Please see our player page for Ji-Man Choi 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.

The All-Star break was fantastic, even though Kyle Schwarber cost me some cash in the home run derby. How the hell did he lose to Albert Pujols? In any case, these teams should be ready to roll for the second half, and it’s going to be fun watching them battle for the final three months. […]

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At least one of you is reading this with a bandaged thumb from a fireworks mishap. I had a Cousin Pete (Italian side of the family) who lost the tip of his thumb on the 4th, but rather than stop the festivities, he taped the tip of a hot dog on his thumb to act as a tourniquet for the rest of the 4th, so we could all go about our fun-having business. I suggested my cousin make a PSA about hot dog tourniquets, but I was turned away by NBC Cares. Let us bow our heads and pray that if anyone loses a piece of their finger, may there be a proper-sized hot dog nearby. Yesterday, the floodgates opened with the strikeouts from Framber Valdez (6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 13 Ks, ERA at 2.67) that no hot dog tourniquet could stop. Heading into the 4th of July and I am saluting The Astros SPangled Banner. Between Verlander, Javier, Luis Garcia and Framber just draft all Astros SPs, and sit back and enjoy the fireworKs. But have some cocktail weenies nearby, just in case. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH.)

It’s time for a Pirates mailbag:

Q: Hey, Mikey Yinz here, I was over in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Not Fred. I mean Roger Rogers, guy I went to Andy Carnegie High School with. I don’t know his real name, we call him Roger Rogers because he’s got a stutter. We were watching the Pirates and eating a two-hander from Primanti’s, and Roger Rogers says to me, after some coaxing with a smack on his back, “What’s going on with Oneil Cruz?” And it got me thinking, let me ask Grey.
A: He’s being called up soon, or not at all, like Bobby Witt Jr. from last year. He’s past service time thresholds. Of course, there’s a new CBA that might have new cutoff days. Baseball’s service time is purposely incomprehensible. It’s like the tax code. They don’t want us to know.
Q: Is he a generational talent like Pops Stargell or a no-good, sell-out like Sid Bream?
A: Closer to a generational talent, but depends on how long the Pirates keep him in the minors on what generation. We have a tool — the Prospectonator — that projects every rookie, and Oneil Cruz is number one by a large margin. He’s a 25/15/.260 hitter (prorated), if he ever gets to the majors.
Q: Like the difference between homemade ketchup and Pittsburgh’s own H.J. Heinz?
A: Yes.
Q: 57 varieties and thicc, baby! Ain’t that right, Roger Rogers? Yo, he just gave you a double nod! Would you say, “Oneil’s finally a prospect to buy without warning ‘But Pirates?'”
A: Sure.
Q: Say it:  “But Pirates.”
A: No.
Q: Damn.
Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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…And then I say, “Shane!”
Shane Shane bo bane, bo-na-na no faux number one! Shane!
And then I say the name McClanahan!
McClahananananana bo-ana! McClahananananana no faux number one! McClanahan!

The superlatives will be lacking when it comes to Shane McClanahan (8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 1.87, yeah, and you don’t stop). On the Player Rater, he’s the best starter. On the Rest of the Season Player Rater — that’s right, we have a Player Rater that knows the future, Shane’s number three. Even the stats thinks McClanahananananan will be at worst the third best starter the rest of the year. I wrote a sleeper post about him coming into this year. I love, love, lurve him. Yet, I didn’t even think he would be this good, this fast, but me mi mo whoa he’s been good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We have every conceivable rookie’s projections who might be called up. Guys I’ve never heard of like Bobson Dugnutt, but even we don’t have Michael Harris II because he was so young and seemingly far away. Michael Harris II is so young Michael Harris I is still in theaters! Andruw Jones played just 50 games above Single A before he was called up by the Braves at age 19 in 1996. Michael Harris II, who is 21, played 43 games above Single A. How’d he go from A to the majors in roughly a month and a half? Hitting, baby! I give a lot of teams shizz for manipulating service time, but the Braves promote guys quickly. Maybe they feel bad after signing them for $500 and a bag of Takis when they’re 12. In 43 Double-A games, Michael Harris II went 5/11 .305/.372/.506 in 174 ABs. His skills are power and speed, which means he’s worth adding in all leagues. Speed doesn’t disappear for a young player after promotion. Power should remain too. The contact is going to make or break his game this year. If he can’t make contact, he might not hit and get demoted. If he can make contact, then he might be on the short list for biggest impact bats to get called up. Here’s what Prospect Itch said, “He’s a must-add where you can fit him. I’m about 60/40 that his swing-happy approach combined with the big-league heavy balls will prove too big a challenge for his first few hundred plate appearances, but stranger things have happened.” This guy sneaking in subconscious Netflix promos! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Last week’s article was all over the map. We got some great starts from Alex Cobb, Taijuan Walker, and Tony Gonsolin but Adrian Houser and Tyler Anderson really let us down. We still feel like the process has been on point, and we’re starting to get a better read on these offenses. Picking streamers is […]

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I was really pleased with how last week played out. Bailey Ober was the only guy who struggled, and it sounds like he wasn’t available in your leagues anyway. On the hitting side, Eric Hosmer was one of our best streamers of the season. Unfortunately, Miguel Sano went into hiding on the Twins bench while […]

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The left side of the mouth:

“Due to a pitch count of 80, Clayton Kershaw would not get a perfect game, but he would become the perfect symbol of his generation. Babied to the point where pitchers can no longer throw, they ‘pitch’ — whatever that means! When did we, as a society, get to the point where a pitcher can’t throw the ball? A participation perfect game, that’s what Clayton Kershaw got yesterday.”

The right side of the mouth:

“Clayton Kershaw has been battling injuries for years. His last year was cut short, due to injuries. He couldn’t pitch much in the preseason, because of the lockout and this was his first start of the year. Who cares about a perfect game? This is about keeping Clayton Kershaw healthy for as many innings as possible.”

The left side of the mouth:

“You’re a sissy.”

The right side of the mouth:

“What are you talking about? We’re just different sides of the same mouth!”

So, Clayton Kershaw (7 IP, 0 ER, 0 baserunners, 13 Ks) threw seven perfect innings, and nothing about him has changed since my preseason thoughts on him. He could be fantastic, but not even for a 9-inning game, let alone a full season. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Dropping 98 MPH 4-seamers, maxing out at 99 MPH, with a bye-bye 82-87 MPH knuckle curve with a 3100 spin rate that has 48-inches of break, followed by “Oh, okay, that was a change, okay, I see what you did there” as the batter swings and misses. Is the answer to, “Are we sure Matt Brash is real?” Oh, he looked very real. Really real. My favorite sequence was right after giving up his first run, he got Tim Anderson on five pitches and only had to throw one fastball, which was taken for a ball. His final line was 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners (1 walk), 6 Ks, and, as good as that looks, he looked better. Not convinced there won’t be some roofies here and there. I could see him going against a club with a better feel for his pitches, and just laying off, because there were a few times when I was like, “Has he thrown a strike at all this at-bat?” After seeing him, I can also answer the question, “Would I pick him up?” With a strong affirmative, i.e., the mustache must Brash. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?