Please see our player page for Jon Gray 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.

Without looking it up, do any of your know Javier Baez‘s actual first name. Now that you’ve looked it up, we can move on. How do I know you looked it up? Because I didn’t tell you and unless you’re a legit Javy fan, you didn’t know. Baez currently has 337 points which puts puts him in the top twelve batters. He’s second among second basemen behind Jose Ramirez (472 points) and fourth at short behind Francisco Lindor (403), Alex Bregman (373) and Manny Machado (367). For years first base has been the position with the big hitters, but right now four of the top twelve hitters have shortstop eligibility both this year and next. If we look at the top fifteen then we can also include Didi Gregorius (324). I guess shortstop is the new first base. The only first base eligible batters in the top fifteen are Freddie Freeman (335) and Matt Carpenter (339).

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Jon Gray made two starts in the minor leagues on July 3 and 8. His first was ok (6 IP, 2 ER, o BB, 6 K) and his second wasn’t great (4 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K). Craig Edwards of Fangraphs wrote a great column on whether Gray deserved his demotion. His premise highlighted the massive discrepancy between Gray’s ERA and FIP, something brought on by a mix Coors Field and poor luck.

My affinity for statistics often wins out over “gut feelings” and other intangible factors, but I’ve also never been in the shoes of a baseball operations employee staring at seven consecutive starts of more than three earned runs and considered how confident I was in the numbers winning out. Particularly odd about the demotion is the seven-inning, 12-strikeout performance Gray twirled against the Marlins after his stretch of misery. He followed this rebound up with another poor outing on August 28 and then was demoted. If anything, I would’ve been encouraged Gray’s dominance of the Marlins and more willing to tolerate a poor performance similar to his prior stretch. The Rockies were not that tolerable.

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Spinoffs are a risky business with some great hits (The Colbert Report, Better Call Saul, The Jeffersons) and others that never made it (After Mash, The Conners, Joey). I’m taking the risk of writing a spin off article from the 2019 Players To Target Now In Dynasty? The article highlighted players whose value could change in 2019 that you can obtain on the cheap now. This piece has a similar target, but for players who haven’t performed up to expectations in 2018 that I expect to bounce back in 2019.

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Matt Olson, affectionately known as Allahson by people in Middle East Bay, hit his 22nd homer yesterday.  An inconsequential home run to the game, but it’s a part of a larger tapestry.  Khris Davis hit his 31st homer, his 4th homer of the week, but, again, pull back, view the larger picture.  That home run didn’t matter!  Speaking of a matter, Matt Chapman hit his 15th homer, as he hit out of the two-hole, because the A’s can.  Sure, the A’s can and two-hole are synonymous.  But, of course, all of this happened.  Look at the larger picture!  Trevor Cahill went 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.12, which is exactly what was always meant to happen.  Don’t you see it yet?  On Saturday, Edwin Jackson went 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 2.87.  No one on the A’s will have a bad game this year.  Know why?  Are you pulled back far enough to see the larger picture?  No one will have a bad game because no one sells their soul and doesn’t specify they want to be good until the end of the season.  “Hey, cool horns and pitchfork.  So, yeah, here’s my soul, and can you make me pitch well until the first week of August?”  That would never happen!  The A’s aren’t the best team in baseball without serious voodoo, soul-selling!  I have it on good authority someone was seen in the A’s clubhouse with a 1970’s-style mustache hiding horns on top of their head!  That’s the devil, unless Rollie Fingers remodeled his face.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I watch all trading deadline deals like I’m watching Hereditary.  Hands firmly pressed over my eyes, occasionally I’ll peek out.  See a Jon Heyman tweet coming and prepare to scream.  Then a long exhale.  “Ah, thank God, it’s not a player I own nor does it affect any of my other guys.”  Then, out of nowhere, Brian Dozier gets traded to the Dodgers and my head goes into a tailspin like it’s a WHOMP on the old Batman TV show.  “But what about Max Muncy?  Can Chris Taylor still play?  What about Kiké?!  Please tell me Kiké’s still in PLAY!”   Then I take 150 milligrams of Percocet and go to the park to watch pre-teens and all of their innocence.  In my head, I scream to them, “You’ll never know my pain!”  And smile lopsidedly until another adult asks me to leave.   So, the Dodgers are now fielding the NL All-Star team from now until October.  Dozier will likely slot into the two or three hole and I still like him for a huge 2nd half.  Max Muncy and Chris Taylor are not likely going to be as fortunate, as I have no idea where the Dodgers can play all of these guys.  If you’ve been burned by the trade deadline, I will smile lopsidedly and creep out someone for you.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Nathan Eovaldi was sent to the Red Sox for Jalen Beeks.  That’s right, Beeks in Tropicana.  Orange you glad they’re Trading Places?  We can only hope Dan Aykroyd comes to the games in black face to switch out Beeks’ briefcase.  *insert Eddie Murphy laugh*  Sigh.  I miss Eddie Murphy.  Speaking of aging comedians, I was watching Comedians in Cars Yadda and, boy, Jerry Seinfeld got old and bitter, right?  He’s becoming Robert Klein, Jerry Lewis and, well, lots of old comedians.  Any hoo!  Eovaldi is getting passed around the AL East like Johnny Damon.  Thankfully, he can throw better than him.  Moving to Fenway does not help Eovaldi.  I won’t tell you he had a 2.12 ERA at home and a 5.18 ERA in away games, except to tell you that while telling you I won’t say it.  It’s not completely fair, though, because players are just better at home, in general, wherever that home is, but Fenway is unforgiving, especially if you’re not white.  (I kid.)  Eovaldi should provide value in the right matchups, but he’s far from a ‘start every time out’ guy.  As for Beeks, he was placed inside a gorilla suit and shipped off to a much better landing spot.  He appeared on Prospector Ralph’s top 500 fantasy baseball prospects list.  You scrolling for him, “Uh…Um….Is he here….Where is he….Oh, there.  Geez.”  Yeah, he’s deep, and he’s simply a streamer for this year.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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.

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Joey Votto (614), Mookie Betts (594), Bryce Harper (567), Victor Martinez (568), Miguel Cabrera (606) and Miguel Cabrera (609). This is a list of the batters with the most fantasy points in the last six seasons. Did you notice that there’s one name noticeably missing from the list? Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*visoring your eyes with your hand, squinting at the light as you emerge from your mother’s basement*  “Hey, mom, it’s the All-Star break and I thought I’d come up to say hello.”  Where the house once stood, it’s now a Whole Foods, and you’re standing in the cheese aisle.  Confused, you approach a man in Birkenstocks, “Excuse me, is this 450 Palm Terrace Road?”  “It is.”  “Wasn’t there a row of houses here?”  “Back in March, they bulldozed this area when the yuppies won a city ordinance that says there needs to be a Whole Foods within at least three-quarters of a mile of another Whole Foods.”  You reel back, overwhelmed with how your family is gone and how you’ve been living in a Whole Foods basement.  You turn to an employee, “I need to sit down, and can I get a free sample of any cheese?”  You smile, revealing Cheetos-dusted teeth, and thus begins your All-Star break.  Tomorrow, I’ll drop the top 100 for the 2nd half, then there will be a Buy/Sell again Friday morning.  One guy who will have extra time this All-Star break will be Mike Matheny.  Last week it was revealed, Mike McNulty set up a sting operation in the Cards’ bullpen to see if everyone was doing their best with Bud “Bubbles” Norris as his informant.  Then when the Cards fired Donnie Brasco Matheny, he might’ve took his informant with him, because Jordan Hicks (1 IP, 1 ER) got Sunday’s save and Norris came down with mysterious arm concerns.  I’d absolutely grab Hicks.  You know what’s the difference between Hicks and Norris?  One makes you say, “Ooh MPH…”  The other makes you say, “Oompha.”  Also, usually I ignore trade rumors, but at this time of the year, you should be extra vigilant about backing up closers because at any point in the next two weeks a closer could get traded and you don’t want to leave it up to getting to the waiver wire before everyone else.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oooooooooo wweeeeeee can you smell that smell? What’s that, it reminds you of college? You smoked a lot of pot back then, you say? In this new age of legal cannabis, we call that the smell of Colorado; choice buds, and baffling roster decisions. No word on whether or not one impacts the other, but I’ll leave that to the courts. Why all this talk of chronic? Because I attended a pot wedding with a bunch of hippies this weekend. The whole Jon Gray demotion was going on while I was…Hmmmmm… What was I doing? I can’t remember. Any the who, we dig into Ronald Acuna Jr’s return, and the Rest-Of-Season Player Rater’s expectations for him. We spend a little time on news and notes, as well the list of Lucky/Unlucky Pitchers we teased last week. It’s a jam packed episode for reals! Big shouts to our sponsor Rotowear for lacing Grey and myself with the finest tees known to mankind. You can save 20% just by being a Razz listener, and using our promo-code SAGNOF with any of your purchases on the Rotowear.com site.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?