Please see our player page for Francisco Cervelli 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.

On Saturday, Charlie Morton went 3 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hit (!), 6 BBs (Oy), 4 Ks, ERA at 2.82 vs. the never-seen-nothing-that-was-too-terrible-to-swing-at Rangers, no less.  I can think of another word that rhymes with Chazz to call Morton.  It sounds a bit like the spa we operated back in 2010.  Don’t you remember Spazzball?  The retreat for prematurely balding men who had to check in with their moms once a day.  You don’t remember the Ballpark Water in the lobby that we floated hot dogs in?  It was poorly conceived, for sure.  Like this start by Morton, where he said, “I think over the course of the past couple weeks my delivery’s just kind of gotten a little out of whack and timing has gotten a little out of whack. And today was just really bad. It has to do with my front side. I’m just flying open.”  Well, at least he feels bad and seems to know the issue, right?  You don’t have a category for empathy in your league?  Can you check with your commish about adding it?  For unstints, if a player yawns after another player yawns, then they get an empathy point.  No?  Okay.  Hopefully, Morton can right the ship, but I can’t say I’m not concerned.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I can’t deny Brandon Crawford a spot on this list any longer. After a putrid April that saw the month end with his average under .200 — Crawford has turned it on more than any other player in the league. From May 1 to June 28 — a span of 34 games, 127 ABs — Crawford is hitting .425. Say whaaaatt?! Sure, 20 runs, 5 HRs, 25 RBI and 2 SBs as well — but .425 in over 30 games? That easily ranks #1 among qualified hitters over that span. The difference between Crawford and the player with the 3rd ranked average over that period (Jean Segura) is the same difference between Segura and Buster Posey — the hitter with the 20th ranked average. Included in this streak are 18 multi-hit games. Crawford is getting punches in bunches and needs to be owned in more than 65% of leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Coming into this season Yu Darvish owners had a lot to be excited about with his off season signing with the Chicago Cubs. With the Cubs potent offense averaging 5.07 runs per game in 2017 and Darvish’s career 3.41 ERA coming into this year, he was set to get all the run support he’d need to prosper. Unfortunately even with a career K/9 of 11.04, Darvish’s 2018 season has been a disappointment. Even though he’s still striking out at least 11 batters per nine, he’s only averaging 9.38 points per start over his eight starts. For comparison, Miles Mikolas is averaging 19.09 points per start. Darvish is currently on the disabled list with inflammation in his right triceps which I’m sure owners are hoping will explain his less than stellar start to 2018. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some other players that are not living up to our preseason expectations.

I’m going to go out on a short limb (think Jim Abbott) and say that if you were able to exit this year’s draft with the following starting lineup that you’d be awfully excited for the coming season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The value of Michael Taylor is that he can play centerfield better than anyone else on the Nationals roster.  I get that defensive metrics are not a fantasy stat, but it keeps players like him in the lineup from day-to-day.  With the emergence of Juan Soto and the impending return of Adam Eaton, it causes a luxury that most teams don’t offer.  Four decent to great outfielders that all offer a different set of skills but all rosterable in most fantasy formats.  I think the biggest question we have to ask is: Is Juan Soto going to stay up when Adam Eaton returns from the 60-day DL on the 8th?  Given what we have seen from him based on on-field merit, absolutely.  Making Eaton or Taylor the fourth man on any given day is the right choice, but I am leaning that Eaton or Soto form a nice rotation based on what the skipper has said about Taylor: “He wins games with his play on the field” is the truncated version of what he said.  He isn’t wrong, and basically Taylor is the Nationals version of Keirmaier. Similar skill set, maybe a bit more speed for Taylor, but their main asset is their propensity for great glove work.  Listen, I get and hear all the prospect thumpers saying there is no way that Soto comes out of the lineup, but to think that he doesn’t sit occasionally upon Eaton’s return is just plain naive. Eaton won’t play everyday, because he is about as durable as a street watch bought in Chinatown. So if you are a Taylor owner, be semi-nervous he should be owned for SAGNOF appeal, but not a pillar that is in your lineup for any other counting stats.  Even if the are getting better over the past 14 games to what they have been over the course of the year so far. So to summarize on the SAGNOF love, Eaton coming back, Soto, Taylor and Eaton will all lose 4-6 at bats a week, all is well and all are ownable.  SAGNOF Monday starts off your week with class and style.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Falling:

  • Didi Gregorius, SS, NYY: As a Yankee fan, nothing made me happier than to strap a rocket to Didi’s back and have him climb through these rankings. However, we all should’ve seen this decline coming. Since seeing his batting average peak at .368 with 10 HRs on April 27th — no one has seen a steeper fall-off than Didi. In the 25 game since that date he is hitting .135 with only 1 HR in 104 ABs and just destroying your team’s offensive numbers. I still think there will some course correction in his numbers in the coming weeks. His average and HR total has risen every year over the past three years so he might just be in a prolonged slump right now.
  • Buster Posey, 1B/C, SF: Posey isn’t necessarily having a bad season — he’s still hitting close to .300 — but 3 HR and 19 RBI is definitely not what you want from someone with an ADP of 54.1. A closer look shows that Posey is still hitting the ball with authority — he has a 39% hard hit rate. However, he’s hitting a high percentage of his balls into the ground (47.9%.) If he can start getting under the ball a bit more and turning some of those hard hit grounders into line drives and fly balls — he could reach 15 HRs again. However, as of right now it’s looking like he might see a declining HR total for the 4th season in a row.

 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

True Story Alert!  Justin Bieber used to live about two blocks away from Cougs and I.  Honestly, he might still live there, but I doubt it because I no longer go to the supermarket (block between us) and hear this, “BIEBER, I LOVE YOU.  HERE IS MY VIRGINITY.  LITERALLY TAKE IT FROM ME.  PLEASE!!!”  Also, I no longer have to jostle between TMZ cameramen for my kombucha.  Here’s a story about how he wanted to put a skatepark into his condo.  Dude, LA’s special.  Any hoo!  Yesterday, I was screaming like a 15-year-old girl for Shane Bieber to remove my sexual flower for the first few innings, then he ran into some trouble in the 5th, when it became apparent major league hitters (even the bottom of the Twins’ order; Ryan LaMarre, really?) are not quite who he was blowing away in the minors this year (1.05 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 0.5 BB/9).  He worked consistently down in the strike zone with a 93 MPH fastball, and broke off, uh, breaking stuff off down and outside.  There wasn’t a ton of hard contact until the 6th inning, which was a quick turnaround on a 5th inning, which saw him clearly winded — final line, 5 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 9 baserunners (1 BB), 6 Ks.  I’m interested in him in deeper mixed leagues, but he looks like he will have the usual rookie pitcher lumps.  For what it’s Werth, he’s the 9th best starter on the Prospect-o-Nator, which lists all rookie pitcher projections.  Plus, no reports of this Bieber wanting a skatepark.  That’s good.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Juan Soto & Austin Meadows: Two of the league’s highest touted minor leaguers, Juan Soto and Austin Meadows, were called up within days of each other this past week. Soto obviously was the biggest shocker as he is only 19 years old and had only played eight games in Double-A. Austin Meadows, however, was a bit more of a realistic call up as he is 23 and has been on the call-up radar for over a year now. Prospect lovers are going to freak out that I don’t have them ranked (yet!) in this column. Well the problem is they’re just a bit unknown. There are already reports that Meadows is going to go go back down as soon as Starling Marte is healthy again, despite Meadows crushing the ball in his first 29 ABs (6 runs, 13 hits, 3 HR, 2 SB, .448 AVG.) And Soto also has minor league options left on his contract so with Bryce Harper, Matt Adams and Michael Taylor still on the big league roster and Adam Eaton so slowly, but surely coming back soon — Soto might not be a Nat for long. Where would they rank if they were both given starting jobs for the rest of the season? Well despite the Soto surprise and hype — I like Meadows more. He was looking like a bat that might develop into a 20/20 hitter. His star has definitely dimmed since he was ranked as the #6 prospect before the 2017 season — but the potential is still there. Soto would only be ranked lower because of his age. It’s rare for a 19 year old with barely over 500 plate appearances to make the majors and positively contribute to their team. That’s why the minors exist in general. “Enough jibber and jabber — where Kerry, where?!” Due to their uncertainties I’d start them in the 70 to 80 range with a lot of upward mobility.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday’s Yankee/Rangers game started with a 1st-inning blast from Didi Gregorius (1-for-5, 2 RBIs, hitting .246) and his 11th homer.  The return of The Gregorius D.I.D. giving fantasy owners one more chance to tell trade partners gimme the loot, gimme the loot!  Also, in this game, Aaron Judge (2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, hitting .284) went bye-bye now with his 13th; Neil Walker (2-for-5, 2 runs, hitting .220) said get those tennis balls off my feet and hit his 2nd (this week); Nomar Mazara (2-for-5, 3 BRIs, hitting .274) said two teams can play that game and hit his 11th, and Ronald Guzman (2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 5th homer, and his third game in a row, and the two time in a row I said to pick him up.  Rinse, repeat.  Also, in this game, Aaron Judge–Sorry, got carried away with the repeat gag.  Speaking of gags:  Fister, I hardly know ya!  And I wish you BCC’d me on Sabathia.  But the real news, Gleyber Torres (1-for-5, 3 RBIs, hitting .323) hit his 8th homer, and his 5th homer in five games) had his star mitzvah this week.  Were you invited?  Lou Bega performed.  They had dreidel piñatas.  The pot roast was cut-your-mouth dry.  All the fixins!  I know someone who wasn’t invited, Aaron Boone.  Has to explain how Gleyber’s still hitting 9th.  Can someone mansplain to me what’s going on?  Did Neil Walker win a Boone family egg toss so he has to bat so high?  Maybe if Boone’s entire coaching experience wasn’t hitting a walk-off homer, we’d have some idea how this should play out.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ya know, if you’re gonna get busted for PEDs and be suspended for 80 games, the way to do it is right after fracturing your hand.  It’s like coming down with mono the week of your prom when you have no date.  “Damn, am I gonna miss that?  That is too bad, but I am so drowsy I feel like I have two Forest Whitaker eyes.”  That’s you getting prom-o-mono.  I am more surprised to hear Robinson Cano was busted for PEDs, than I am to learn he had no idea he was taking the illegal substance.  Baseball is currently batting a thousand for denials of PEDs suspensions. MLB players’ denials of taking the illicit substance should get into the Hall of Fame on its first ballot.  Speaking of Hall of Fame, I kinda thought Robinson Cano was headed there.  This will obviously shade a cloud over his entire career, which I do think is a shame.  What’s also a shame, you need to drop him in all leagues.  He’s more or less done for the year.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Just a quick plug before we get into this week’s edition. Click over to the football side of the site and check out the podcast that I did this week with Matt Harmon from NFL Media. If you don’t know, he created a really cool wide receiver tool called Reception Perception a few years back and now it is pretty mainstream in the fantasy football community. He’s always a great listen (this is the second time we’ve had him) and there is plenty of stuff to talk about post-draft.

Now it’s time to talk about baseball. The injury bug is smashing through my home league. I’ve lost Jacob deGrom, Johnny Cueto, and Andrew Miller in the span of a week. I’m guessing that I’m not going to be holding onto first place for very much longer. Some of you have lost Corey Seager for the season and I am sad for you as well. Let’s see if we can help each other out by taking a gander at the player rater and looking at the hottest bats…

Please, blog, may I have some more?