And another one! That’s right, to the dozen(s) of you out there still reading this, Kyle Lewis did it again Friday night going 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and his sixth home run. Lewis now has six dingers through his first 10 games as a pro, making him just the fourth player (Aristides Aquino, Trevor Story and Dino Restelli are the other three) to accomplish this. He’s now slashing .325/.349/.850 on the year with 10 runs scored and 12 RBI. He’s got three doubles to go with his six jacks, and yeah, that will help your fantasy team, people! Ignore the fact that he’s struck out in 40% of his at bats, and ignore the dreadful Double-A stats, dude’s got a .525 ISO! The 20.6% swinging strike rate, or the 58.3% contact rate in the minors? Ignore that too! If you want a reason not to BUY Kyle Lewis I suggest checking out Son’s awesome post where he really breaks down some of the advanced stats we saw from Lewis at AA. But like I said, I’m going to ignore all that and focus on the fact that he is hitting all the beisbols right now and he’s hitting them over the fence. He will have plenty of time this offseason to come back down to Earth to be the below-average Mariners prospect he is clearly destined to be, but right now Kyle is hotter than a JLo striptease set to Fiona Apple’s “Criminal.” And trust me that’s about as hot as it gets. I’d add Lewis everywhere on every team for the final week and pray he can fight off the regression fairies another 7 days and keep hitting home runs into the cheap seats. He was a BUY and he’s the most exciting player to come out of a week of Seattle baseball since Domingo Santana in the first week of 2019. Start with a bang, end with a bang, and play like absolute garbage in between. You do you, Seattle! In the meantime, I’m going to pick up Kyle Lewis.
Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:
One day, late-summer, when your cousin, who you don’t like, started posting her kids going-back-to-school pictures on Facebook and a Russian troll farm began mining said pictures and getting your cousin’s kids to distribute propaganda, your so-called ace, James Paxton, decided to show up and be spoken for, after five months of grueling ‘what’s wrong with him/is there something wrong with him/is there something wrong with us for not accepting James Paxton for who he is’ questions. Yesterday’s Paxton line of 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 12 Ks, ERA at 4.16, was what we signed up for! (If we signed up for it, I didn’t, but that’s semantics.) If you drill down on Paxton — hey now! — his velocity is relatively samesies; his K/9 is fine; his walks are up (3.4 BB/9); his FIP is the highest it’s been in almost five years and he’s getting choked by the long ball like a zipper on a senior. This looks like poor luck and worse command. For 2020, a lot depends on how much the ball is flying out still, and I imagine a lot, but it’s hard to not think he should rebound, no matter what your cousin’s brats’ leaflets say. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Hello, Newman! Newman goes into Colorado and gets tangled up with Kramer as he tries to sell his newest invention: Oregano that smells like weed. It’s called Mario Bluntali. Or is it weed that smells like oregano? Or did he already say that? Newman and Kramer have forgotten. Yesterday, Kevin Newman went 4-for-4, 4 RBIs with his 8th and 9th homer. Sure, it was in Coors, but it’s time we start considering Newman as more of a one-trick pony that annoys Jerry, and flush out his character. He had 28 steals last year in Triple-A, and 13 this year in just under 400 ABs. His lack of Ks are also interesting. He has a top ten strikeout rate (11.6%), so his BABIP is high (.334), but his .302 average might be close to repeatable in 2020. Say 12/25/.290 for what will almost be a bargain price in 2020? Is that far off from what you were hoping from Lorenzo Cain? I wrote Kevin Newman in this afternoon’s Buy column, then deleted him because he has to be owned in a majority of leagues by now, but if he’s out there, absolutely grab him, like Newman would help Kramer grab some Kenny Rogers Roasters. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Stan Bush? Give me that beat! You got the Tauchman! You got the power! Yeah! You’ve never walked, you’ve never run! You’re a winner! (Though some may say running and walking aren’t bad for baseball.) You got the moves, you got the streets (not as important in baseball)! Break the rules (well, Barry Bonds had some success with this)! You’re nobody’s fool! Yeah! You’re at your best when the going gets rough! (This is true since the Yanks had some injuries and needed Mike Tauchman to step up.) You’ve been put to the test, but it’s never enough! (That’s less true; we appreciate you here, Tauchman). You got the Tauchman! You got the power! It’s all true! So, Mike Tauchman (2-for-4, 2 RBIs, hitting .299) hit another home run last night, his 10th, that’s in 60 games. And he stole a bag, his 4th! He now has three homers in two games, and four homers in the last week. I grabbed him in multiple leagues, because who doesn’t love dongs! Not this redblooded American! Hoo-rah, I got the Tauch!
Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
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Yesterday, Zack Wheeler went 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.45. Can you please be “2nd Half Wheeler?” Can you be anything but “1st Half Wheeler?” Who do I have to pay for that to happen? Because I made $1.67 from yesterday’s ads and I am willing to give a percentage of that to ensure Wheeler is right for another two months. It’s all I ask and I one day have to say, “Damn, I can’t believe I crashed my 1st yacht into my 2nd yacht. Stupid yacht problems!” Okay, now to go on a rant you never asked for, but I have some legitimate first world problems that need addressing: the Starbucks menu is too complicated. What is all this crap and no Unicorn Frappuchino?! Dubya tee eff! Oh and Netflix has a 15-second rewind but no 15-second fast forward? Are you people stupid?! Also, Amazon Prime two-day shipping begins when the seller ships your item but not when you order? Is this a joke? Seriously? Do I look like a chump to you! Any hoo! Wheeler was phenomenal last 2nd half, and I keep saying I was buying him for his 2nd half. All his peripherals point to him being much better: 9.9 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 3.64 FIP, velocity up to 97 MPH on average. Drop the R from boring, because that’s BOING! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Yesterday, Sonny Gray went 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 3.59 vs. the Brewers. *unloads pockets, eggplant emjois fall to the ground* I’m gonna need all of those. “Sonny came home” hasn’t had such a pleasant ring since Shawn Colvin opened an Art of Shaving booth at a Lilith Fair that only did armpit hair massages, and each payment was followed by a very pleasant, cash register ring. A Sonny hasn’t shone this bright since the last climate change summit that was held in Hellsunki on Urth, which is a planet that looks just like this one, but is 13,000 miles away and is exactly Earth but 25 years in the future, and they have some weird spelling. “I just got back from Hellsunki, and boy are my arms tired, because we don’t have planes on Urth, we fly with our arms.” Sonny Gray’s peripherals are surprising in a good way — 10.3 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 3.46 xFIP. For those not up on the hoo-de-ha, that xFIP would be about 12th in the league and the K/9 and walk rates would firmly put him in the top 20 starters overall. In other words, everyone who owned him last year died for the sins of his current year’s owners. In other other words, he’s throwing fire like pitchers in Hellsunki. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
I’m back from vacation and ready for another week of madness with Grey Albright Fantasy Master Lothario. Lots of news with the All-Star Break approaching and we hit on all of it. We touch briefly on the London games, learn that Grey doesn’t watch “normal tv”, always bets the over, and doesn’t understand the overseas scheduling. We try to make sense of the Red Sox bullpen. Discuss Brendan McKay’s debut and his value going forward. Name some possible second half bounce backs, hit on some breakout second baseman, and touch on what to expect from Dylan Cease. But the show culminates in the unveiling of the Sogard Cycle, a new tool to predict the five to six weeks of hit hitting from The Accountant each season. It’s the Razzball Fantasy Podcast.
We have to talk about these London games. They were bloody awful! Talk about giving the pitchers a lift, but lift as in British English, as in putting the pitchers on an elevator with Droopy Dog saying, “Going down?” This was like if The Spice Girls had a Cilantro Spice. The Yankees used a pitcher named Hale just to troll the Brits. They should’ve signed Ben Revere to a two-day contract, but just to have him scream at the front gates when the Brits were coming into the stadium. That would’ve been savage. Never forget, never surrender! Okay, now I’m just singing Corey Hart, WHO WAS CANADIAN BUT REACHED SUCCESS IN AMERICA! Any hoo! There was a ton of offense this weekend. Luke Voit bongo’ed four hits on Saturday, then pulled up lame because London’s healthcare system. The Yanks said he should be back on Tuesday, and the Brits said, “The Yanks said something.” Aaron Judge (1-for-2, 1 run) went donking (his 7th); Aaron Hicks (2-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs) said, “Dinger ain’t just the Rockies mascot,” with his 6th on Saturday; Brett Gardner (2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI) elicits female-like screams from Joe Buck when he went deep for his 12th homer on Saturday; Michael Chavis stepped up for the Sawx with two dongers on Saturday because the fence was 255 feet away and 0-for-5 on Sunday; Just Dong (3-for-4, 2 runs and his 18th) introduced his new cosplay character, Dongo Magnificent; Christian Vazquez (2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 11th homer) thumbed his nose up at all Protestant Vazquezes, and all pitchers got wrecked. I mean, Rick Porcello (1/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 5.07) and Masahiro Tanaka (2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.74) should’ve forgot their passports and never even went. Oh well, as we know, hitters don’t need to be in London to tea off. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
The White Sox front office announced that top pitching prospect Dylan Cease could be up in July. My guess is it will be post All-Star Break, which by and by is the perfect time to make roster moves while the rest of your league is in rest mode. Cease is one of my favorite pitching specs, even though he hasn’t had the best of seasons in Triple-A (4.10 ERA) and his player photo looks like a second grader who was told to say ‘cheese’. I still think Cease is one of the best stashes for the second half of 2019 and will eventually round into a 2/3 starter in the majors. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…
Ah, June. Stats and standings have settled. At least a quarter of your league has given up. Hot dogs, school’s out, the beach, and Father’s Day. I myself was raised by a baboon troop in a controversial experiment at Stanford. Therefore, Father’s Day is less about cookouts and ties and more about giving thanks that I didn’t fall victim to competitive infanticide. Thanks, pops, for not letting that rival male kill me. Here’s a gift card to Home Depot and some figs. *Eats gift card, hurls figs at my head* Damn you and your primatology Sapolsky! I want a real father! Anyhoo, here’s a list of prospects I think will get called up in June. It’s not exhaustive, but definitely exhausting.