So, I got the 5th pick. How’s your day going? At the Winter Meetings? That’s cool, same. Maybe you’ve seen me in the lobby, I’m wearing a floral arrangement on my head while I hide in a pot. Wait, there’s no Winter Meetings, that’s right. I mean there is, a group of billionaires are Zoom’ing into the Winter Meetings where the hottest commodity is a guy who was a backup catcher last year. Hey, Jon Heyman, stop leaking McCann news. I ate a few too many Olestra-laden potato chips and McCann is leaking! It’s none of your business! Last week, I took part in an NFBC team league, and here is, as the people say who are trying on hats, my recap. For those not in the know, this is a 15-team, two-catcher league that lasts for 50 rounds and there’s no waivers. You draft it, and manage it. Weekly moves for pitchers, bi-weekly (rawr!) for hitters, changing out on Monday and Friday. I didn’t want the fifth pick. I wanted any pick but the fifth pick. As I see it, there’s an obvious top four (Sexy Dr. Pepper, Tildaddy, FTJ, Mookie Best), then…Dot dot dot…Question mark. What now? I didn’t want to think for the 1st pick, but the automated draft picker thing (that’s its name) said I was the most qualified to think, so I thought. Or I just screwed up my pre-draft rankings for which pick I wanted. Like a teamster, I’m leaning on the latter. Anyway, here’s my NFBC draft recap:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Felix Pena to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.
Trevor Bauer (8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 1.73) is going to win the NL Cy Young. Sooner you come to terms with that, the better for your own mental well-being. You’ll be able to listen to relatives talk about how they saw Trevor Bauer on HBO’s Real Sports, and how Trevor Bauer invented ‘a ball spinning,’ and how he’s so old school with his notebook, but not a spiral notebook. No, no, no — a laptop that Bauer calls, “My Notebook.” You can hear about how Trevor Bauer’s best friend is his dad and how he can make any other pitcher better just by talking him through ‘The Process.’ You come to terms with all of this now, you’re gonna be happier later. Trevor Bauer does have two Cy Young-worthy years in the last three, so maybe there’s something to it. Not sure how that circle is squared with last year, which I still haven’t forgiven him for — 4.48 ERA in 213 IP absolutely killed me. For 2021, it’ll be hard for me to stay away, as it always is with Bauer. Hey, I’m a sucker for 12+ K/9 and the promise of a 2.5 BB/9 or lower. If Bauer can do that, he could have this level of success every season. Wonder if there will be people drafting him in the top five starters. Maybe if I’m in a league with Bryant Gumbel, or your uncle who watches him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Take the opportunity this week to sneak some adds by your leaguemates who could very well be distracted by the impending start of the NFL season. Things are happening around the league on the waiver front. The last crop of rookies are getting their shots. Some IL returns are happening. Time to push your chips in.Please, blog, may I have some more?
As an Angeleno, I can’t tell you how amazing it’s been to be able to watch Clayton Kershaw every 5th game for all of his 2,500 Ks. I kid, games are blacked out here, and I’ve only seen him in the playoffs. Is he good? Really? Can you describe what he looks like when he’s good? He’s a lefty? A good slider? Are you messing with me? I can’t tell. *opening up Kershaw’s player page* Wow, I feel like I might’ve missed something by never seeing him pitch in a regular season game. Geez. Yesterday, Clayton Kershaw (6 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 8 Ks, ERA at 1.50) recorded his 2500th strikeout and he seems likely to avoid the Doom of F-Her, where he disappears in his 30s, and ruins his Hall of Fame candidacy. Forget that, actually, Kershaw could win the NL Cy this year for old time’s sake. Be kinda awesome to see him collect the award before Game 4 of the World Series, then goes out and gives up seven earned in the 1st inning, eliminating the Dodgers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Having fun chasing pitching yet? At least this short season won’t be boring. There has been no shortage of actionable bullpen moves. They’re not likely to slow down anytime soon. Get aggressive on middle relievers and closer spec plays.
- Somethings not right with Ryan Pressly. He blew the save in his first opportunity for Houston without recording a shot. Andre Scrubb worked a clean inning and a third before that. Cy Sneed and Blake Taylor gave up a bunch of runs prior to that. We’ll see which way the wind blows next time the ninth comes up with a lead. Brad Peacock is probably worth a stash as he works his way back from arm soreness.
- The Cardinals are going to need Kwang-hyun Kim in their rotation upon their restart from quarantine. That leaves the closer role open. Giovanny Gallegos should be ready to go at this point. Many fantasy managers have also made a bet Ryan Helsley will get opportunities.
- Poor, cursed Nick Burdi has been placed on the season-ending 45-day IL with an elbow issue. At least he was able to earn his first career save before being struck down again. Richard Rodriguez should get the ninth until Keona Kela returns shortly.
- Brad Hand has shown us the rumors of his demise were somewhat exaggerated. He’s notched two uneventful saves this week. I’d still expect Cleveland to try and rest him between appearances when they’re comfortable with James Karinchak handling the ninth.
- The Angels are an unexpected dumpster fire in the backend of their bullpen. Hansel Robles has washed out as the closer. Ty Buttrey is filling in but has 1 K to 3 BBs in 6.1 innings. Kenyan Middleton is serving up gopher balls. Felix Pena is the only one treading water.
- Jairo Diaz is cementing himself into the Rockies closer gig. His Ks and ratios don’t blow you away but the job security is nice. Please, blog, may I have some more?
A reporter, ducked behind chairs, yells at Aaron Sanchez at his no-hitter, post-game press conference. All we hear is the reporter’s disembodied voice, “Isn’t it true your four-seam spin rate went from 2,300 rpm to 2,565 rpm overnight?” Some reporters move out of the way for the reporter, who is crouched behind the chairs. One reporter recognizes him, asking, “Trevor Bauer, is that you?” What are the Astros feeding their pitchers? Pine tar and they’re being told to eat with their hands. Aaron Sanchez (6 IP, 0 ER, 0 hits, 2 walks, 6 Ks, ERA at 5.76) had a 6.07 ERA before this game! I get it, it was the Mariners, but this is crazy. Sanchez wasn’t usable at all in Toronto. The Astros’ coaching vs. cheating argument: Sanchez did kibosh his sinker, which was by far his worst pitch. Could it have been that easy? How could the Jays not figure this out? I could’ve figured this out! I guess Sanchez’s worth the flier. If he’s fixed, he’s too valuable to ignore. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Snap, snap, claw, claw, save. That’s The Save Vulture Dance. Sing it like it’s The Electric Slide. The save vulture is a scavenger bird. They see weakness in others’ misfortune. A closer goes down or struggles or gets traded and the save vulture swoops in and gnaws on the closer’s handcuff. Snap, snap, Reyes Moronta, Mark Melancon, Sam Dyson, Tony Watson, claw, claw, save. Save vultures have trouble reproducing because they’re usually overweight guys who would prefer to listen to sports news than what the girl they’re dating is talking about. Snap, snap, Freddy Peralta, claw, claw, save. The save vulture’s claws are orange from Cheetos dust. Snap, snap, Joe Jimenez, claw, claw, save. Teams are trying to flip their closers for prospects at the trading deadline. Snap, snap, Yoan Lopez, Yoshihisa Hirano, Archie Bradley, claw, claw, save. If you can stash setup men right now, it’s advisable because over the next week closers are going to change rapidly. Snap, snap, Daniel Hudson, claw, claw, save. You may not be able to get to waivers to grab the closer replacement, so I’d forget bench bats until the trading deadline and hold some setup men in case your closers are traded. Snap, snap, Aaron Bummer, claw, claw, save. It’s especially important to make sure you have new closers coming in if you’re about to lose closers who will become setup men on contenders. Snap, snap, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Kyle Crick, Nick Anderson, Nick Wittgren, Craig Stammen, Chris Martin, Jose Leclerc, claw, claw, save. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
First off, big congrats to Albert Pujols (1-for-4 and his 6th homer), as he passed 2,000 RBIs. That is amazing. Now would some archaeologist find old man Pujols’s Holy Grail Goblet Room and let him retire in peace? Second off, David Fletcher went 2-for-5, 2 runs, hitting .310, as he finally seems to be settling in at leadoff. Can we just pause for one second and try to comprehend how stupid I am? Okay, you don’t have to rundown all my countless idiotic calls. I get it. Okay, with my stupidity in mind, it took a major league manager — Bad Assdunce, in this case — almost six weeks to realize Fletcher is the best guy to hit leadoff on the Angels. Assdunce hit Kole Calhoun (2-for-4, 3 runs, and his 9th homer, hitting .223) for 78 ABs at leadoff — a .240 hitter on a good day! Ya know, when they hire MLB managers, they’re not hiring their best and brightest. Oh, and I have it at 50/50 odds Fletcher doesn’t stay at leadoff, just so ya know. By the by, Fletcher is not in this afternoon’s Buy column, but if he’s available add him for average and hopefully counting stats. Finally, Tommy La Stella. What in the holy fudge? Only, I didn’t say fudge. I said the mother of all curse words. Yesterday, he went 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 8th and 9th homer. Did he even have nine homers in 1,000 at-bats prior to this in his career? Not to answer, because I don’t care, but WUT. At this point, Travis Shaw would need to have the best month of his career to even tie La Stella in fantasy value. I am laughing through tears. Sad clown tears! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is easily my favorite week of streamers so far and I’m going to be pedaling harder than ever right down the stream. What I really love is all of the two-start pitchers available. We actually have five two-start streamers that we’re going to recommend, which is a new record for this article! I’m pedaling so furiously that there’s going to be a hole in my kayak!Please, blog, may I have some more?
I don’t actually have much to say today before getting to the picks, in large part because this FanDuel slate doesn’t really seem that attractive. I won’t ever tell my loyal readers not to play on a certain day, but today’s slate is definitely one of the more unappealing ones I’ve seen in a while. There’s a blatant chalk pitcher and there aren’t that many offenses in particularly juicy spots. There’s also not that many value guys. It’s not so much a “bad” slate, it’s just a boring and unattractive slate. But I know people will want to play, so like any good professional, I will do my job and break it down for you guys. Also, don’t leave Damian Lillard open from 37 feet with your season on the line.
On to the picks…
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Corey Kluber (7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 2.83, and his 1st 20-win season) just passed Trevor Bauer with 216 Ks, giving the Indians four guys with 200 Ks. They may not even win as many games as the Rays, but you’re really coming for the Indians in the playoffs? I predict a red-blooded, all-American Indians-Braves World Series. “Hello, my name is Woke Wally. Yes, I’m wearing a badge that reads, ‘Woke.’ I received this honorary badge as a participation trophy from my wife, Margaret. Do you know what I was participating in? Citizenry! I’m here at your sheriff’s office to file a formal complaint on behalf of the millions affected by a casually racist World Series.” The Stream-o-Nator lines Kluber up vs. the Royals for his final game, but I can’t imagine he throws more than three innings in that start, and is likely just skipped. For 2019, Kluber is once again going to be way out of reach for me, like an imaginary tassle on the end of a Braves fan imaginary tomahawk. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is going to blow your mind. Before you read any further, I want you to take some precautions. Grab some masking tape from your “Never Used Shizz” drawer and wrap it around your head. Whoa, whoa, whoa! You didn’t just wrap your head with masking tape, covering your eyebrows, did you? Hmm, well, when you remove that tape, you’re gonna look like Phil Simms. (Hint: He’s got no eyebrows.) Okay, I told you to avoid Tommy Pham in the preseason, due to his draft price, and ranked him 31st for all outfielders. On our Player Rater going into yesterday’s game, he was ranked 31st. *does Ace Ventura victory dance on the porch* I have exorcised the demon! Yesterday, he had one of his best games of the season, if not best (yes, too lazy to look), he went 3-for-5 with his 18th and 19th homer, hitting .266, but hitting .327 on the Rays, and if he wasn’t derailed by an injury when he first arrived in Tampa, he’d be doing better (or worse as his BABIP stabilized; it’s ~.500 in September). I could see letting up on my hate on Pham in 2019, but he’s still old and has stopped running, so the price will need to be much more reasonable. Okay, you can remove the tape now. Hey, eyebrows are overrated (like Tommy Pham coming into this year). Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?