On a new true crime podcast, Murdered By The Numbers, the host and a former FBI agent discuss the murdering of baseballs. A serial offender coming into this year was Martin Perez. “The recidivism rates for Perez were due to his 5-ish K/9 and high-3 BB/9,” the host points out. Then the FBI agent takes us through a personal anecdote about how he captured The Golden State Killer, which ends in a Blue Apron ad. “The bloody body laid there like a halibut in a summer tomato bouillabaisse, which is just one of their great options!” Yesterday, Martin Perez showed us once again that no one is too old to be new again. Except Felix Hernandez, he’s not getting new again. Perez went 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.83, as he changes all preconceived notions. His velocity is up 2 MPH and his cutter looks filthy, a pitch he is throwing nearly 35% of the time this year, because of the results he’s getting. A pitch he added just this year. See how obvious this narrative is? Pitcher adds filth and gets results. He’s not quite an under-3 ERA pitcher, but he’s usable for all leagues. He left his old crew in Texas that was a bad influence and he’s now done murdering baseballs. From RIP to rehabilitated FIP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Ivan Nova 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.
It had been so long since I drafted Zack Wheeler (7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners (zero walks), 11 Ks, ERA at 4.85) in multiple leagues, and, after so many subpar efforts, I was beginning to forget why I drafted him as my number two. Was a number two a harbinger of things to come, I asked myself while sitting on the toilet. His control in previous starts left something to be desired, which is the understatement of the year after: Christian Yelich’s poster is on just a few ceilings in Milwaukee of couples who are trying to have a baby. And the guys are the ones looking up. Yesterday, Wheeler pinged up on my iCal, reminding me why I wanted to own him. If you weren’t able to see him or the highlights, he is the first pitcher to throw 100 MPH and pitchslap the opposing pitcher, Zach Eflin (4 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 4.15) with a 100+ MPH exit velocity. “I’d like to report a Zack on Zach crime.” 911 Operator, “Is it a H or K on the first Zack?” “Get down here!” If Wheeler pitches like he did yesterday, he’s not a number two. Dot dot dot. He’s a number one! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Due to the light schedule, let’s drill down on Cody Bellinger (2-for-4 and his 10th homer, hitting .432). If man love bothers you, perhaps you should shield your eyes. This could become naughty, and, yes, I need to remove my pants to write the rest of this. Cody is 2 1/2 home runs from being halfway to last year’s homer total. How does one hit a 1/2 of a home run? You hit it out of the park, then pimp with a bat flip so long you get tackled rounding 2nd. Right now, Bellinger’s HR/FB% is absurd. He’s not even hitting that many fly balls. It’s just everything he touches goes bim-bam-zoom to the moon. Can that continue, you ask with your doe eyes and soft lips. You drafted Goodrum on too many teams, because you sound drunk. Of course, it won’t continue. His launch angle last year, when he hit 25 homers, was 16 degrees. This year it’s 13. He is hitting the ball damn hard, though. He’s third in the majors with 96 MPH average exit velocity. I’d be shocked if he hits less than 35 homers, but I also don’t think he’s going to hit more than his career high of 39 homers, if his fly ball rate holds. His strikeout rate has absolutely cratered, in a good way, but, of course, when a guy is hitting well, he’s not striking out. He will go cold, turkey, and cold turkey on power at some point. It’s early, yadda-blabbity-bloo, so don’t panic sell. He’s now a legit top 15 bat vs. the top 40 one we thought he might be in the preseason. Now, I will put back on my linen Tommy Bahama pants and continue. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Today we have a very special Game of Thrones edition with your host, Ball-less Greyjoy. Or, I guess since it’s a Buy, as in pick up off waivers, it’s a Game of Thrones addition. To prep for the Game of Thrones finale, I pushed a kid out a window. As I get into bed with Cougs, I yell, “The one-eyed raven is here and winter is coming!” This show better not end as a Bob Newhart dream or in a snow globe of an autistic boy. As Daenerys would say, “I just flew to King’s Landing and boy are my armies tired.” I wonder if Daenerys used to be Daenery but added the S on the end like Kendrys. Speaking of which, Kendrys Targaryen has no position flexibility, and is just rigid, due to the 75 years he’s been guarding a freakin’ wall. Why does he guard the wall? Because of the dreaded White Walkers. The Night King, head White Walker, is Christian Walker. Since Kendrys Targaryen unleashed his dragon and it ate a Lamb (then burped fire), Christian Walker could see more time on the other side of the dugout wall. He’s shown good pop (who doesn’t sleep with mom who is his sister) and I’m adding him in all leagues. He hit 30+ homers in Triple-A, during his last full season there. Hopefully, George RR Martin doesn’t stop doing his bend the knee burpees at a Westeros Fitness and kill him off. Spoiler Alert! Game of Thrones ends with Fonzie jumping over a dragon. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Mike Clevinger is old school. Not old school like really old school, but instead what we’d consider old school. Ya know, good. That’s one adjective for old school nowadays. Like things were once better. Of course, shizz was sideways with grabby hands and unhappy people during old school times too, but there’s a Gaussian blur of nostalgia that washes over people to make them think old school is good. So, Mike Clevinger is old school like that. He’s also old school in that he can throw a lot of pitches. Not really old school like when Vida Blue used to throw 175 pitches by the 3rd inning, get an arm transplant then come out and throw another 100 pitches with a groundskeeper’s arm sloppily attached to his shoulder. Nah, not real old school, but old school as we think about it in the new school. That’s Mike Clevinger. A youngish starter (he’s 28) who can throw 200 IP, when so many other starters are lucky to get through 150. Yesterday, Mike Clevinger went 7 IP, 0 ER 1 hit, 3 walks, 12 Ks as he did exactly what I expected from him when I said he was a number one starter coming into this year and you said, “Grey, you’re handsome as fudge, but Clevinger is a #2.” Nah, you’re doing a number two out yo’ mouth, Clevinger is a number one. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training Statistics. You never know who the statistics are coming against. Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level. This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced. You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach. So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat? Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards. Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles!Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Winter Meetings called it quits this week, and that was perhaps the worst Winter Meetings on record. Was it because it was in Vegas? Maybe there were a bunch more trades, but they all “stayed” in Vegas. The Mariners kept busy gathering veterans who will never play for them, as they grabbed Edwin Encarnacion from the Indians for Carlos Santana. You remember Santana, he was the last vet that the M’s traded for that won’t play for them. If the Mariners are trading for vets who won’t actually play for them, they should grab Harold Baines so he can’t go into the Hall of Fame, because last time I checked active players aren’t allowed into the Hall. Or why bother sticking with baseball players. C’mon, Mariners, trade for Michael Jordan or Big Show or Turtle from Entourage. It’s not like you have any expectation of them donning an M’s uniform. So, the assumption is that Edwin will go to the Rays to bury their recently acquired Yandy Diaz. You’d think a guy with guns like Yandy Diaz would be doing the burying. If you don’t know what I mean, see the picture below. If I don’t bring out the Crisco and apply the shortening, this post will be longer than The Fountainhead, so let’s just say you know Encarnacion, whether he’s on the Rays or Mariners. For my Encarnacion projections I am assuming he’ll be on the Rays, and putting him at 78/33/91/.241/2 in 523 ABs, and I already gave you my Carlos Santana projections after his last trade, but am upping him slightly to 74/24/84/.232/2 in 563 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2019 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Hey, Stream-o-Nator, I have a surprise for you.” The Stream-o-Nator backs up slightly, unsure of what I’m going to do to its tender robot heart. The Stream-o-Nator was born in a scrapyard run by Steven Avery’s family. Not the Making a Murderer guy, the ex-Braves pitcher. The story of how it got separated from its family is similar to Sophie’s Choice, but sadder and involves more heavy metal. Suffice it to say, the Stream-o-Nator is longing for any connection, electrical or otherwise. This brings us to yesterday’s matchup and why I sought the Stream-o-Nator. Gently approaching the 8-foot robot, “It’s a good surprise. I wanna be your friend.” The Stream-o-Nator swoons, playing Just The Two Of Us on its chest-implanted boombox. Perhaps my friendship is simply what have you done for me lately, but Andrew Heaney was enough for me to be bothered with late-night phone calls when the robot is feeling blue Raspberry Pi. Heaney went 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 12 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.98. (Reynaldo Lopez wasn’t bad either — 6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 4.22). For this year, due to how few starts are left, I’m looking at the Stream-o-Nator for every start, and it loves Heaney for his next start. “I’m here for you robot pal. C’mon, high-five me!” Stream-o-Nator’s arm falls off and it sighs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In Philly, a celestial light shines down on a book. A deep breath, and someone blows dust off the book so we can read its title, “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Scoring In Philly.” A hand opens the book, turning to the first page, reading, “To all my loving fans, but mostly the females.” We pull back to reveal, reading is its author, Pat Burrell. For reasons we can’t explain, he wears a dead parrot on his shoulder. The Mets could easily have written that book after yesterday’s first game. Putting up the reedonkeylicousness: Amed Rosario went 6-for-11, 7 runs, 4 RBIs and a slam (6) and legs (14) across both games. In the first game, Rhysus (3-for-7, 4 RBIs and his 24th and 25th homer) and Amed both homered. Halleberrylujah! Jose Bautista (3-for-7, 3 runs, 7 RBIs) hit his 10th homer as he continues to turn back the clock to 1987, when he was a 7-year-old and hit barely .200 with some occasional pop off garbage lefties who would put it on a tee for him. Michael Conforto (6-for-12, 3 runs, 5 RBIs) hit his 17th homer, and now has three homers in the last week, and is finally showing signs why people are always saying, “The Mets are bad, but I like that Conforto guy.” The Mess had so much offense I don’t even have time before my Carpal Tunnel kicks in to mention Kevin Plawecki (4-for-5, 4 runs, 3 RBIs). A shame, because Plawecki deserves a mention outside of being mentioned for not being mentioned. The big takeaway, on our 7-day Player Rater of hitters, Amed Rosario is in the top 30 and worth a look. Amed to that. Or Amen. Or Apeople, if that’s how you roll. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If only I had a top performing pitcher to highlight that was the son of an ex-pitcher to really drive home my title. I guess I could discuss Dereck Rodriguez, but his daddy was a catcher. I could change the title to “Son of a Catchter”, but it doesn’t have the same ringtone. While I am here, however, let’s give him a quick shout. Over eight starts Pudge Junior is averaging 16.50 points per start. That sandwiches him in between Lance McCullers (16.42) and Mike Clevinger (16.37). Ignoring the small sample size factor, that puts him inside the top 30. And the list of pitchers ahead of him reads pretty much like a who’s who of who you’d expect the top starting pitchers to be. One surprise on that list is Ross Stripling, whose last name sounds like a little person (midget for you less PC readers) that takes their clothes off for money. Stripling has a 2.43 ERA, is averaging more than 20 points per start and is striking out more than ten batters per nine. His numbers (xFIP of 2.83) say he’s the real deal. And guess what, he’s got RP eligibility. He could end up being the waiver wire pick of the year. I haven’t given that much thought, but his name would certainly be up there. Given his year-to-date performance I’m willing to forgive him for hanging that curveball to Rhys Hoskins Monday night and costing me about ten points, but I would like a complimentary lap dance in the champagne room the next time he’s in town.Please, blog, may I have some more?