Please see our player page for Joakim Soria 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 trading deadline is days away and the roles they are a changing.  In comes one out goes the other.  Closers losing value left and right while the waiver wire warriors of the world are circling like buzzards for the SAGNOF scrap heaps. The latest in the foray of closers to go is Joakim Soria, now a Brewer.  The White Sox closer role is likely to go to Jace Fry or Juan Minaya.  Not an awesome situation or a good predicament to be in, but a closer is a closer.  The SAGNOF model should be: “Leave no good save behind”.   Similarly, the Orioles traded Zach Britton to the Evil Empire, Brad Brach assumes the role there for the time being or until he gets traded for assets that the Orioles can ruin.  The trade winds and finalized deals don’t help the set-up man either, as key components to the back-end game have been replaced by acquired talent.  This is life for the ever building bullpen foundation of playoff contending teams.  Build from the back, because the girth of talent that exists in the starters just isn’t there. So if you are currently zonked from losing a closer that no longer has a professional job of closing, it is time to speculate where speculating looks speculative.  Look at guys on the secondary for teams that are rumored to be wheelin’ and dealin’.  The Rangers, Nationals, Twins, Rays, Tigers, and to a lesser degree maybe the Cardinals… Be ahead of the curve instead of being caught looking at Uncle Charlie.  Closer news is fluid this time of year, and by the time this gets posted there could be 2-3 more trades that make me look even dumber than I already do.  More after the jump, with success stories and diminishing returns.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

J.A. Happ might’ve realized he wasn’t staying with the Jays much longer when guys in the front office kept asking him if he liked the team’s new jersey and it was the same jersey he had been wearing but a small man with a goatee, who said he worked as Peter Dinklage’s stunt double for parts of season 2 and 3 of GOT, was standing with his hand over the ‘Ja’ of Jays.  Happ tried to understand, “Do I like the Blue Ys?”  The front office exec tried to lead him to the answer, “If there was no,” motioning to Dinklage’s stunt double’s hand covering the ‘Ja,’ “In the Jays, would that be okay with you?”  Rather than the low-rent game of charades, they just traded him to the Yankees.  Happ should be happy to be out of Canada, we have a burgeoning coal economy.  No idea what Happ will do on the Yankees, but what he SHOULD (caps for emphasis, not due to a sticky keyboard) is be great.  His 10.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and 3.63 xFIP makes him easily the 2nd best pitcher on the Yankees and around that of a top 30 starter.  Also, the AL East is like this:  J.A. Happ mimes wiping dandruff off his shoulder.  Nothing to it, kid!  Of course, it’s been like this all year and he still has a 4.18 ERA, so ‘should’ and ‘would’ can have a baby and it will still be, ‘who knows?’  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The closer cavalcade of debauchery is well in season.  Rewind four months ago and look at your team…  If you drafted Jeurys Familia, Alex Colome and Bobby Osuna, you probably came out of the draft smiling like a freshly picked peach.  Now you look at your team today for the first time in a month, because you most likely let the ship sail on the season because of injury, attrition or trades to your bullpen.  The last two names have been done ad nauseum by me and other bullpen savants around the web…  So now we look at Jeurys Familia.  Or a tale of losing a job do to injury, returning, and basically sucking all the trust out of even owning him.  From the beginning of the season until June 7th when he went on the DL, he posted good numbers by Donkeycorn standards; 14 saves with K/9 rate above 10 and ERA of 2.48 and a BAA of .245.  All within the strain of imagination as a set it and forget it closer.  Now we sit here on June 29th, and in six appearances since, he still sits at the same save total of 14, K/9 of 6.35, ERA of 9.53 and BAA of .357.  Now, I am no math whiz, hell I am barely even knowledgeable about what actually is cheese whiz, but those numbers are awful and garbage.  Add in the fact that the Mets as a team are in the toilet, have fired their GM, and have a worse record than the punting from day one Marlins….  Trade-value wise, he has zero in fantasy and almost in real life, because teams aren’t going to trade for a guy who can’t get outs. As an impending free agent, he should and will be traded, maybe to a team that has an opening in middle relief, but I don’t see him gaining closer status for the near future with the Mets or another team.  So if you are a Familia owner and holding out hope for some sort of revert to the former here, I am unfortunately going to tell you that he gets less than 5 saves the rest of the year it looks like. More closer news and views, read on or don’t.  I will continue to sit by the pool regardless!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Cleveland Indians rookie Shane Bieber was dominant Friday night in just his third career start, pitching seven innings, allowing just four base runners and striking out nine for his second win. Talk about a reason to Love Yourself. The Biebs now holds a 2.45 ERA and 1.36 WHIP through his first three starts (18.1 IP) and his 22/3 K/BB is Despacito–at least I think it’s despacito, not 100% sure I know what that means. I’m saying it’s flames. Shane Bieber is striking out lots of batters. Oh Baby, Baby. Baby sign me up. Wow, you sure do know a lot of Justin Bieber songs. What do you mean? I make it my business to know all about the Beibebers. For example, in the minors this year Shane was 6-1 with a 1.29 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and a 72/6 K/BB. If those numbers make you scream like a teenage girl and and write Shane’s name is cursive flirty letters on your notebook you’re not alone, Beiber’s got the stuff to be a bonafide heart throb. He will likely see the usual rookie pitchers highs and lows, but he’s looking like the favorite to run away with the fifth rotation spot in Cleveland. He’ll get a rougher assignment than Detroit next time out taking on the Cardinals in St. Louis but I’d grab Shane for the upside alone and hope he can make a Belieber out of all of us.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Here’s what I’ve said previously about Aaron Hicks, “Open Up and Buy AH, because owning Aaron Hicks is Nothin’ But A Good Time!  Also, a good time is searching any girl’s name from Rock of Love with your parental controls turned off.  Okay, I have a few Bee Tee Dubs here.  Unless you have a child, you don’t set parental controls on your TV.  You can filter what you see without magically stumbling on porn.  The internet though?  You need parental controls on it, no matter if you’re home, at work, 12 years old, 64 years old, at school or on the john.  You can Google something as innocuous as “Persian cucumber” with no parental controls and all hell breaks loose in your search results.  “Oh em gee, I just wanted a recipe for a cucumber salad!  And, wow, I didn’t know Omar Sharif had so many nude scenes.”   Bee tee dubya II, we’re due for a terrible 80’s hair band renaissance.  Someone needs to do a cover of a Poison song.  Bee tee dubya III, there is no bee tee dubya III.  Bee tee dubya IV, I have this nugget in my brain that says, even though I was only 14 years old, I knew how awful Poison was at the time.  Like, when they did Your Mama Don’t Dance, a big part of me knew they were absolutely terrible, even then.  Any hoo!  Hey, any hoo’s initials are Aaron Hicks.  Coinkydink?  Thinks not.  He’s on a 162-game pace of 25 HRs, 15 SBs and a .260 average.  Of course, that doesn’t matter.  We just want a hot player at this point, and, on our 7-day Player Rater, he’s near top 25, and should be owned everywhere.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Yes, the royal we (which is me wearing a Burger King crown) have been here before, but every year it’s the same story with Hicks, until he gets hurt.  Hey, he’s more predictable than that hair band renaissance apparently!  For now, Hicks is healthy, and should be owned.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Off the album, Get Hits or Buy Ryon, 50 Cent sung about Many Men at a corner spot, rapping, “Many men, wish Joe Mauer on me, have mercy on me, many men.”  Then on his other chart-topping song off that album, In Da Club, he rapped, “You can find at my corner slot, some schlubs.  Look, mami, at my corner infidel slot I got X, if you’re into scrubs.  I’m into havin’ specs, I ain’t into a corner man who’s known for his glove, so come give me a hug, if in my corner slot I got Cory Spangenberg’s mug.”  He followed those up with 21 Questions, when he sang, “Would you leave me if your father found out my corner man was scrubbin’?  Do you believe me when I tell you, I thought Josh Donaldson would be more than nothin’?”  Then, after all those, 50 Cent managed one last smash hit with P.I.M.P., where he rapped, “I don’t know what you heard about me, but a Mitch can’t get a FAAB dollar out of me.  No Kingery, no Sano, you can’t see, that my corner man is P.I.M.P.,” where P.I.M.P stood for Please, I’M Playing (Ronald Guzman).  So, Ryon Healy has been one of the hottest corner man over the last week, but beyond that, on our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater, he’s the 17th best 3B this year, in front of Kyle Seager, Longoria, Devers and Carpenter, who are all owned in more leagues than him.  Healy’s also on pace for 28-31 homers with a decent-enough average.  There’s no reason why he’s on waivers in any leagues.  Take 50 Cent’s word for it, Get Hits or Buy Ryon!  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell for this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tis that season!  Whether you are a football fan or not, and not that football fan…  Though the crew over on that football site do an amazing fantasy job.  So for the few of you that aren’t totally dizzy by my words of soccer, then let’s roll baseball into soccer and let the fantasy good times roll.  So for the next month the world, not ‘Mericas, will be casting its gaze on the beautiful game.  So while half the population is watching futbol, you can expand your bullpen horizons and deepen your reliever core.  The trade winds for relievers are already blowing and with just over a month to go before the trade deadline, grabbing the relievers that are secondary or even tertiary now (ones that won’t kill your rates) are all the rage with millennials AND baby boomers.  Situations to monitor and use to your advantage?  The Padres, Royals, and Tigers.  We all own the closer likes of Brad Hand, Kelvin Herrera, and Shane Greene.  But what are the ownership rights to Craig Stammen, Kirby Yates, Kevin McCarthy, and Joe Jimenez?  Way slimmer.  And combined like Voltron, their ownership for all four of those secondary relievers is less than one closer.  So basically free.  The key to mid-season closer acquisitions is being first.  Save that beloved FAAB kitty and be early rather than later.  So if you are looking at your roster, it was rhetorical… I know you are, get rid of that sixth SP or that bench bat that does nothing and play the reliever wait game.  Save now to help later.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*life flashing before eyes right before death* Wow, that’s a lot times I picked up and dropped Chase Anderson.   Is it weird I can understand where Mike Tyson was coming from when he said he wanted to eat Lennox Lewis’ children?  Some of these players — Sonny Gray, Jon Gray, Chase Anderson — come to mind that make me want to eat someone’s children.  Not really (yes, really).  Why couldn’t Chase Anderson do this when he was on my team?!  *lines tacks up on desk, slams head down*  I’m okay!  *blood dripping from forehead like Abdullah the Butcher*  I can’t see!  *screaming at intern*  Getmeahandiwipesoicansee–Okay, I can see again.  I’m still seeing blood though.  Yesterday, Chase Anderson went 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.13.  The peripherals are still not there for Anderson — 6.1 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 5.17 xFIP — so I won’t be going back in on him.  That doesn’t mean it won’t make me think about salt and peppering some kids if he pitches well again.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

All it took was a few homers in a week for us all to realize that Joc Pederson (FAAB: 8-10%) is pretty, pretty, PRETTY good this year.  Now on his third year of plate discipline improvements, the Los Angeles outfielder has cut the K% under 20% for the first time in his career. Not only is it below 20%, but it falls to a ridiculously low 14.5% to go along with higher contact%, lower SwStr%, and overall better pitch recognition. He is making more contact than ever on breaking and off-speed offerings. The specific contact Pederson is making this year shows more fly balls with a career-high FB% and Under%. (Baseball Savant) It is inspiring to see this 26-year-old finally make the jump, stop swinging and missing, and improve as a baseball player. Joc Pederson carries excellent power (Career ISO: .218) and a plus-approach (Career OBP: .345) that is improving in 2018 with a .255 ISO and .347 OBP, but the real marker of elevated batters-eye exists in the 14.5% K%. Below is an image of exactly how Joc battled to advance his pitch recognition into the realm of his power. It took a little while to get going, but these changes stem from last season which seemed like a down year for Pederson. At the end of 2017, he had his first ISO below-.200, first OBP below-.345, and his worst AVG. However, he also had his best K%, SwStr%, and Chase%. Joc Pederson continues to develop all of these statistics in his game which is why I’m buying this year, and I’m not afraid to pay up. Hopefully, he can find space in a healthy Dodgers lineup that includes a red-hot Max Muncy (also one of my favorite pickups for the past few weeks.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?