The Sum of All Fears with rookie pitchers is they will do things to you that you never want done. Things Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and Jim from The Office would try to stop by running and screaming through a Washington landmark, while diving for a helicopter that is lifting off. In the Ryanverse, Joe Jack Ryan and Joe Exotic should never interact, but here they are. Spies are taking shortcuts trying to get Tigers into the country from Bengal to sell them to finance a far-off arms deal with a rebel army in Latin America that is illegally trying to take down a corrupt government. Joe Jack Ryan is exactly who you want because of his command of the strike zone, and what it means to be an American. “Sell those tigers if the price is right. We’re running tigers for arms,” a corrupt CIA agent says to an actor that looks like a Latin Phil Hartman. But what they don’t know is Joe Jack Ryan is actually hiding inside of one of the Tigers, having taken them down himself in Minnesota. Any hoo! Joe Ryan went 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 9 Ks, ERA at 1.17, as he does exactly what I was hoping when I told you in the preseason, “In the big picture/pitcher, he’s about the command, and it’s as beautiful as advertised. The zone% on his pitches would’ve been 45.9%, or 5th in the league if he qualified (in 2021). Obviously, he didn’t qualify because he only was in the league for 26 2/3 IP. By the way, in those MLB innings, he had 10.1 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 0.79 WHIP (!!!), and a 3.43 FIP. Bit too in the Zone% because he gave up a few homers, but those numbers are ace-like. I wouldn’t expect better peripherals from Shane Bieber as far as K/9 and BB/9. 10+ and 1+ absolutely works. And by “works,” I mean it f*cks. Rookie pitchers are the devil incarnate with their blowups, but Joe Ryan has the makings of a ‘safe’ rookie starter, due to his command.” And that’s me quoting me! Hopefully, Joe Jack Ryan is wearing a giant bird suit next week when he takes down the Orioles. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Jon Jay 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.
Lucas Giolito was the first White Sox pitcher to get a no hitter and rack up ten-plus Ks, going 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 walk, 13 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.09. And you didn’t think he was an ace that you should draft as your 1st starter! *screams at the heavens* REDEMPTION! Crap, I think I just hurt my back. Okay, the Pirates’ lineup was hilariously bad. They didn’t have one hitter with an OBP over .300. No need to bring in a defensive replacement for the White Sox outfield. Go ahead and put your glove away, DeWayne Wise. “Aw shucks.” That’s DeWayne. I turned the game on for the 9th, and I more just wanted to see a social distancing no-hitter celebration. Something akin to Don Larsen jumping into Yogi’s arms, and Yogi sidestepping him to put on a mask and Don skidding on his butt. But that wasn’t the case. We had our first good thing of 2020. Dot dot dot. Until Eloy Jimenez looked like he got hurt in the celebration. “You thought you’d get something nice?” That’s the year 2020 as it evilly cackles. You suck, 2020! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I remember my final week of Summer Camp. I was in the Weeniechoke Mountains when I had my first experience with a girl. Her name was Michelle Branch. Not the singer, but a branch I named Michelle. This final week of Summer Camp is equally less-than-ideal for some bullpens. “Certain teams with uncertain ninths.” That’s me being poetic. Michelle Branch would’ve appreciated it. So, Keone Kela hit the IL. As I said in Friday’s Buy, “Kyle Crick stands to act as the Pirates’ closer for at least the re-opening. Crick is also one of the few players who will have a cheering section in the fan-less stadiums.” And that’s me quoting me! Since then, Crick gave up four earned in a third of an inning vs. the Indians and I’m checking my watch for Kela’s return. Nick Burdi is lurking there too, but you’re speculating two deep on a pen that might get ten total saves? Next up, Roberto Osuna hasn’t thrown off the mound yet and, when asked when Osuna would, Dusty said, “We don’t have any answers.” Dusty is reassuring as always! I think Osuna will be fine, since he’s with the team, but Ryan Pressly is there, and ain’t no hound dog. (Sorry. Moving on…) Giovanny Gallegos‘s undisclosed reasons for being away have turned into he’s ‘dis close’ to rejoining the Cards’ bullpen. Likely can tear up your Ryan Helsley shares, they’re doing a backwards STONKS. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Brewers, as you likely heard, sent down Keston Hiura, which means the return of Travis Shaw, The Mayor of Ding-Dong City returns to Milkwaukee. *sees Travis Shaw carrying a box of Ding-Dong snack cakes* Oh! See, the whole time I thought that meant home runs. The nickname makes more sense now, and would’ve been good to know in the preseason. Let me hear your jubilation for manipulation of service time. This, more than anything else, MLB really dominates. Hear that’s why MLB is the most popular sport amongst knobsticks, blacklegs and union busters. I grabbed Shaw, because he hit .235 during his rehab in the PCL, which is like hitting with aluminum bats on the moon. No, his .235 average isn’t the reason I picked him up, it’s because I called him my preseason MVP and must wear him like a Scarlett Letter. No, not for that reason either. Because I had room and it was a deep league and I was like dubya tee eff. That really is the reason. Muy excitamente Señor Ding Dong! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I was waiting for Manny Machado or Bryce Harper to sign before dropping the last bit of offseason signings before the rankings that start on Monday, but apparently the Phillies only have $300 million for each, and they want $325-plus respectively, so we need to go forward with the news without Machado and Bryce. The last bit of big news was Yusei Kikuchi signing with the Mariners. He reminds me of every other Japanese pitcher, but not in a raycess way. He reminds me of Miles Mikolas too, who was only Asian after being reborn. It’s something about Asian pitchers, and non-Asian pitchers who go to Asia and return; they exercise some serious control. Maybe it’s the culture. I had a robot watch Gung Ho 15,000 times to tell me what it thinks and now the robot is speaking super-racist. Yo, robot, why are you so culturally inappropriate? “I have no culture of my own, so I adopt yours. And I kill puppies.” AHHH!!! ROBOT MURDERER!!! RUN!!! Or roll your swivel chair towards a door if running is too much for you. Kikuchi, which is going to be fun for me to say this year, comes with a lot less fanfare than Ohtani, but I do think he can be better than him, pitching-wise, in his first full season. Ohtani is a unicorn in Babe Ruth’s body, we all know this. Kikuchi reminds me of Mikolas and Ryu and others in that mold. He’s a decent strikeout guy, but won’t blow people away, while also having impeccable command. I’m definitely looking to draft him this year, then passing him up every other year when he fails to throw 130 IP in consecutive seasons because the Japanese also completely overwork their starters. In fact (Grey’s got more!), the Mariners have already said Kikuchi will only throw an inning or so every fifth or sixth start to try to preemptively avoid the inevitable arm injury that befalls every Japanese starter. For 2019, I’ll give Kikuchi projections of 9-7/3.67/1.18/136 in 151 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2019 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
All gravy as us Italians-Americans say. New York Yankees rookie flamethrower slash phenom slash spot starter Jonathan Loaisiga made his major league debut Friday night pitching five strong shutout innings, giving up just three hits, four walks and striking out six for his first MLB vicky in ever. Called up from Double-A Trenton Johnny was 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 58/4 K/BB ratio through 45 innings. If that K/BB just made your eyes pop like mine did, it’s because the four walks he issued last night in his debut are the same number he’s walked all season in AA. Perhaps some of the struggles he had with his control Friday night were more nerves or jitters and less indicators of what’s to come from Loaisiga. Despite the four free passes, he was excellent out of the gate, Johnny Lasagna layered on the cheese, striking out four in the first two innings with his real pretty mid-90s fastball mixed in with his slider (17 swings and misses induced) and was helped out by a couple double plays. He hit some trouble in the fourth, but managed to pitch his way out of a sticky bases-loaded two-out situation by striking out Christian Arroyo. Yankee fans are calling him “Johnny Lasagna” because he’s a-spicy meatballs-a! Mama mia! Rays manager Kevin Cash called him Little Riviera. That seems a bit over-the-top as well. Either way, I am calling him a player to watch after that performance. Lil’ Jon is telling you to Get Loaisiga, but Jon always jumps the gun on these rookie pitchers. Loaisiga’s first major league stint might be a short one, but I could see him sticking around for another start or two while Masahiro Tanaka is still on the DL and much like this whole Yankees team, his future is very bright. He lines up for another home start next week versus the red-hot Mariners, and I could see streaming him there and for the short term. Add him or no, Johnny Lasagna is not just Garfield’s new favorite player, he’s a name fantasy baseballers are going to hear a lot going forward. He was a BUY and he’s worth a grab for the upside alone, the layers of cheese and pasta are all just bonus.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night: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?
Finally, the Rays took a cue from Fox, and started Jake Bauers‘ clock. Here’s an updated 24: FBI agent, breathlessly, into a phone, “The President is in danger!” Assistant to the FBI director lowers the phone, speaks to the director, less breathlessly, “Have you tried Thai basil chicken?” FBI director, “Basil in Thai dishes always make me think there should be tomato sauce. Ya know, Italians have that basil thing already.” FBI agent into the phone, breathlessly, “Did you hear me, the President’s in danger!” FBI assistant, “Um, yeah, you’ve been on vacay, and we’re no longer taking matters of the President’s safety as seriously as much as we once did.” I keed! Don’t hit me with your political agenda. So, Jake Bauers was called up to presumably play every day. I mean, if the Rays waited this long to bring him up, they’re not doing it for a bench bat. He’s a little bit of everything vs. a lot of one thing, which is less exciting in short-term, but could be something long-term. His Steamer projections are yawnstipating 7/8/.238 (click his name to see projections), but I could see him being a bit closer to 9/16/.265/.345. Not bad, not great. Breathlessly, “He’s okay.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
During the slow Monday, when there was five games on the docket, and half of them were Yankees, I started thinking about some either/or’s. Though maybe because I was listening to Elliott Smith — that guy was uplifting! Luis Severino was out doing his norm — 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.20 and 0.93 WHIP with peripherals that are just as gorge — 10.7 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 2.83 xFIP. First either/or for you, wait for it, here it comes, follow the arrow –> Next year, Luis Severino or Kershaw? Is it even close? Don’t think it is. Okay, next either/or, Luis Severino or every pitcher not named Max Scherzer? Maybe, maybe not. There’s pitchers with better peripherals than Severino right now — Scherzer, deGrom, Cole, Corbin, Kluber and Syndergaard. Throwing the two Mets out because they’re injury risks; Corbin and Cole don’t have the track record; semicolons are fun. That leaves us with Scherzer, Kluber and Severino. So, three’s company, and Severino is Joyce DeWitt. Come and knock on my door! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In an unexciting season for the Royals, lead off man Jon Jay (OF, Royals – (12.5% owned on ESPN, 9% on Yahoo) has been one of the few bright spots. After a slow start, Jay has been heating up at the dish and been one of the hottest hitters in May. Jay is 5th in the MLB in batting average with an incredible .368 mark this month. His 43 hits in May are the most in the MLB, and although in a weak lineup he has been able to help in other areas. Forget your awful Justin Timberlake memes, because it’s gunna be JAY! Jay is a career .290 hitter, so although impossible to sustain his current pace, he remains a good bet to be a solid source of hits and batting average for your fantasy teams the rest of the way.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Today is a 3-game slate. Playing cash is going to be fairly ridiculous – it’s going to be lineups that are almost entirely the same except for 2 or 3 players. Your entire lineup will feature 6 guys who are so chalky that it doesn’t even matter if they play well as everyone else will have them – the entire day will come down to who you picked for the final 2 or 3 spots. FanDuel could have mitigated the absurdity of this slate by moving it up an hour (thus allowing the Houston-Cleveland game to be added to the slate). This would have added some interesting plays – you would have had Morton as a pitcher, plus both teams have plenty of interesting bats. But apparently FanDuel thinks it’s more important to start at 7pm regardless. So that’s what we’ve got. Maybe you like the idea of having the entire contest come down to whether you picked Jay Bruce and Xander Bogaerts instead of J.D. Martinez and Orlando Arcia (because both lineups share the exact same other players across the board). Everyone knows I’m a professional at these DFS Picks articles, so I’ll continue to show up regardless of the absurdity of the slate and give you a professional performance.
On to the picks…
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When the most logical thing isn’t just that, that is the argumentative side to fantasy baseball. The Royals, and most importantly Ned Yost, are outsmarting all us fake baseballers. In turn, he is sapping the value from one of the favorites of SAGNOF-dom. Through three games, the uber Razzball fan favorite Jon Jay has hit leadoff in all three affairs. Negating the leadoff value of Whit Merrifield. I touched briefly this offseason on the importance of hitting in the ultimate spot in the order and how it correlates to the outcomes of stolen bases. The interesting case with Merrifield? It’s that last year he hit in the top spot 111 times and also the final 101 games he played in the season from that top perch. That was last June, and I hate bringing up old stuff but I feel like it is pertinent to the here and now… he basically blossomed when he was left there to think for himself and made Whit Merrifield what you drafted Whit Merrifield this year to be. He amassed 28 steals, batted .282/.313/.449 with great counting stats from a middle infielder. Now he has emerged as a second-in-the-order cog in the Royals order. This is what happens when you are too good of a baseballer, but struggle in comparison to the more superior on-base percentage maven in Jon Jay. (Never thought I would write that last sentence, ever.) So if you drafted Merrifield this year, be afraid…very afraid. the steals may not be there as much as you hoped for until he regains that penultimate spot in the batting order. The Royals approach here isn’t wrong. Jay is a better get on-base player. Merrifield is a better fantasy player though, and batting second is sapping his value right now and basically the gist of this whole thing is JOHN JAY HAS VALUE. I am not saying go into full-on punt formation, but backing yourself up with a MI option is a good idea. Maybe not for tomorrow, but forward-thinking type stuff. There, after all, have only been 11 stolen bases from the leadoff spot this year and 64 totals steals across all of the stolen base universe. Patience is not really the SAGNOF way, but exercising it may be the right thing to do right now…Please, blog, may I have some more?