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Not your Grandfather’s Top 100 Starting Pitchers…

The outpouring of concern over Grandpa-Donk’s well being during Heatwave 2019, has been heart warming. Rest assured, Gramps is still alive and donkey kicking. In fact, last weekend the old jackass worked out in the yard 48 hours straight in the 100-degree heat without stopping for so much as a Señor Crappers change. Once he finished the field labor, G-Donk came inside to make the rest of us pancakes and lemonade–an old Donk family tradition. As Great Gran-Donk always said, “When life gives you apocalyptic weather, make pancakes and lemonade.”

Mmmmm ice cold lemonade: my favorite of the fresh squeezed juices. You know what other juice is worth the squeeze? The Clevinger concentrate. I was skeptical when Mike Clevinger returned from his back injury in mid-June. His first two brutal starts had me strutting around like top donkey, so smart. But since the calendar turned to July, Sunshine has been lights out going 4-0 with a 1.74 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 41 strikeouts in 31 innings. Clevinger is extracting juice like a fantasy ace right now and there’s no reason to think the liquid will dry up anytime soon.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Astros got two great starts this weekend from two guys who weren’t in the conversation until recently.  On Saturday, Jose Urquidy went 7 IP, 1 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 9 Ks, ERA at 5.54.  He made my pants up-jump-the-boogie a little from his pitching.  I expect multiple roofies from him still, but Urquidy is […]

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MLB should put pinball flippers by each dugout, then every time you think someone is about to have a 1-2-3 inning, the ball is flipped out of the stadium for a home run.  “Looks like the ump is tossing that ball in the dirt to the ball boy–BANG! WHIZZ! BOOM! Wow, another home run, Roger!  This is crazy!”  “Just when you think you’ve seen everything to further enhance the game by adding offense, MLB has put in pinball flippers.”  “It’s pretty cool, Roger.”  “My name’s Bill.”  “Sure.”  So, yesterday the Dodgers and Phils traded blows and blown saves — Kenley Jansen (1/3 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 3.72) and Hector Neris (1/3 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 4.08). Both closers are safe as far as any pitcher is safe.  THEY’RE USING PINBALLS!  However, Jansen was limping, due to taking a comebacker off his ankle, so Pedro Baez might see some looks. The hero, or gyro depending on ethnicity, was Bryce Harper (2-for-3, 5 RBIs and his 17th homer, hitting .257).  On our Player Rater, he’s been about as valuable as Shin-Soo Choo and Max Kepler. Yup.  Then, yinging his yang, Max Muncy went 1-for-3, 2 runs with his 25th homer. Most home runs since April 17th of last year when Muncy debuted:  Yelich 67 HRs; Trout 63 HRs; Muncy 60 HRs. And people didn’t want to draft Muncy this preseason.  Yup…YUP!  Of course, no highlight reel in prose would be complete without Cody Bellinger (1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 34th homer).  Forget Bellinger, he’s the Bellingest. Yup…YUP…yup.  Also, getting in on the action, Scott Kingery went 2-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs with his 13th homer, and his 2nd homer in two games. His average did drop about 100 points in the last three weeks, but he’s starting to pick it up again, and is still hitting towards the top of the lineup (2nd yesterday). Yup…YUP…yup…YuP.  Then yanging that yin, A.J. Pollock went 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 5th homer, and 12th homer in the last three games. If it wasn’t for Oscar Mercado, I’d say Pollock was the hottest bat in the majors.  I might say it anyway, but while crossing my fingers.  Right Brain, “LIAR!”  Yup…YUP…yup…YuP…yeppers.  Finally, Matt Beatty hit his 3rd homer.  Snap into a Batt Meatty!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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With the All-Star break happening this week, it’s time to reflect on the special times we’ve had together. We’ve been undoubtedly enabling one another’s fantasy baseball addiction and it’s a beautiful thing. We have to fight through this time together though and do our best to shake off these cravings. In order to get through this period, let’s discuss some of the bright spots we’ve had together and some of the things to look forward too.   

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When I wake up in the morning and the alarm gives out a warning and I don’t think I’ll ever make it on time. By the time I grab my books and I give Razzball a look, I’m at the website just in time to see the news fly by. It’s alright ‘coz I’m saved by Josh Bell. Was Samuel “Screetch” Powers spotted in Pittsburgh last night? No he was not. Neither were any of the other cast of Saved By The Bell. However, Josh Bell was in attendance. Trailing by five runs going into the ninth, Bell’s three run homer helped the Pirates tied the game. You’d have to be living under a rock not to notice how well Josh has been this year. If it weren’t for Yelich and Bellinger, Bell would be the top choice for the National League MVP. Bell went two for four on the night, but the Pirates ended up falling short in extras. As for Mr. Belding and crew this year marks the 30th anniversary of the show. In related news A.C. Slater and Zack Morris are both blue belts in jiu-jitsu. Perhaps we can get rematch of their fight that took place at Bayside High.

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Not your Grandfather’s Top 100 Starting Pitchers…

I’m sure this won’t come as a surprise, but Grandpa-Donk is what they call a “Donk of all trades”.  At one point in his legendary life, the venerable jackass even tried his hoof as a weatherman. In fact, he was one of the first weatherdonks on television back in the ’50s.

When I was just a little donkus, no bigger than Trevor Bauer’s poodle, Gramps would gather all us youngins round and tell us about his days of Hollywood stardom. The weather forecasting tools back in his time were just as primitive as the are now, so he was frequently way off on his prognostications. But he always delivered his forecast with the classic family wit, mixing in his token skyarrhea toilet humor and even the occasional dong joke, which was very risque back in his day. Grandonkey would always finish his meteorology tales with one bit of sage advice, “Find an occupation where you can be wrong 90% of the time and people still come back for more”.

Writing the Top 100 Starting Pitchers post in 2019: the year of the juiciest of juiced balls, and baseballs, I imagine is exactly like being a weatherdonkey. Just other day, when The Kooch was getting lit up for the 17th consecutive outing, G-Donk called me up to tell me how proud he was that I had discovered my niche. Actually, he called to ask where he might find a fresh pair of Señor Crappers, but I could sense the pride in his voice.

The only thing we know about 2019 Starting Pitching is there’s going to be lots of rainy days with a few random sunny days mixed in, followed by a tornado which will destroy what’s left of your already fugly ratios. Your 2019 fantasy pitching staff is more or less going to be Seattle with a little bit of Kansas, but we’re all living there in rainy tornado alley with you; so quit your whining and grab an umbrella!

Speaking of umbrellas, Mike Minor has provided a pleasant refugee from the storms this season, and he’s only become sturdier as the summer monsoons set in, sporting a 1.70 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 37 June innings. Unfortunately, there’s some large red regression fairies lurking here, the first of which is a massive and unsustainable 97.5% strand rate over this past month. Pair that with a lucky .200 June BABIP, and Donkey begins running for new shelter. I’d aggressively shop Minor if someone in your league thinks he’s actually a top 20 pitcher, but I wouldn’t sell him for a cup of Grey’s baby gravy. I’ll take a guy that might continue getting lucky over a cup of Grey goo any day.

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B_Don and Donkey are back at it this week profiling two more young ball tossers. But first DT has a few words for B_Don regarding some of his pickup recommendations on the Razzball Podcast earlier this week.

Donkey then digs in on his profile of exciting Cubs prospect Adbert Alzolay, who features two impressive off speed pitches. The guys speculate that a longer-term opening may arise in the Chicago rotation for Alzolay; since recording Cole Hamels has hit the IL, so be sure Alzolay is owned in all leagues.
For his profile B_Don breaks down Marlins youngster Jordan Yamamoto, who has burst onto the scene with three very solid outings. The show is topped off with some rapid fire pickup suggestions: B_Don loves Ian Kinsler and Mike Fiers. Sausage, sausage, get your sausage here!
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We have to talk about these London games.  They were bloody awful!  Talk about giving the pitchers a lift, but lift as in British English, as in putting the pitchers on an elevator with Droopy Dog saying, “Going down?”  This was like if The Spice Girls had a Cilantro Spice.  The Yankees used a pitcher named Hale just to troll the Brits.  They should’ve signed Ben Revere to a two-day contract, but just to have him scream at the front gates when the Brits were coming into the stadium. That would’ve been savage.  Never forget, never surrender!  Okay, now I’m just singing Corey Hart, WHO WAS CANADIAN BUT REACHED SUCCESS IN AMERICA!  Any hoo!  There was a ton of offense this weekend.  Luke Voit bongo’ed four hits on Saturday, then pulled up lame because London’s healthcare system.  The Yanks said he should be back on Tuesday, and the Brits said, “The Yanks said something.”  Aaron Judge (1-for-2, 1 run) went donking (his 7th); Aaron Hicks (2-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs) said, “Dinger ain’t just the Rockies mascot,” with his 6th on Saturday; Brett Gardner (2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI) elicits female-like screams from Joe Buck when he went deep for his 12th homer on Saturday; Michael Chavis stepped up for the Sawx with two dongers on Saturday because the fence was 255 feet away and 0-for-5 on Sunday; Just Dong (3-for-4, 2 runs and his 18th) introduced his new cosplay character, Dongo Magnificent; Christian Vazquez (2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 11th homer) thumbed his nose up at all Protestant Vazquezes, and all pitchers got wrecked.  I mean, Rick Porcello (1/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 5.07) and Masahiro Tanaka (2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.74) should’ve forgot their passports and never even went.  Oh well, as we know, hitters don’t need to be in London to tea off.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Leonys Martin was designated for assignment.  His assignment is to go back in time and impress 2016 Grey less, so he doesn’t write a sleeper post about him.  On Saturday, Indians were saying Martin’s DFA’ing is more to do with Mercado getting a boost of confidence vs. Bobby Bradley getting promoted, and the Indians were lying.  Bobby Bradley was called up on Sunday. Fun fact!  After Bobby Brady lost a pie-eating contest, his father Mike told him to take the L like a man and disowned him, so he briefly went by Bobby Bradley. Bradley has 24 HRs in 67 games, hitting .292, but has some Ks, so the average could come down, but the power is not going anywhere since the majors are using a SuperBall. As Prospect Mike said yesterday in his Bobby Bradley fantasy, even with the balls stuck with Capri Sun straws, dripping juice, Bradley could still hit 20 homers the rest of the way and every fantasy team could use him.  I tried to grab him in every league, but was too slow.  Don’t worry, I just did two lines of coke to avoid that ever happening again, but now my nose is dripping with a secret formula of caramel flavoring.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Jordan Yamamoto (7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 0.00) is the 1st pitcher to begin a career with back-to-back outings of 7+ scoreless while allowing three or fewer hits in the modern era.  The modern era meaning from 1908, not from 2017 until now when baseballs were filled with helium, which caused Party City stores to close nationwide.  This is exactly what everyone expected when the Marlins called up an 89-MPH fastball that was flame-retardant.  “How fast does he throw?”  A scout recently said to another scout who was holding a speed gun.  “I’ll tell you when the ball passes the plate.”  The scout sticks chew in his mouth, scratches his sweaty armpit, then, finally, “89-ish?  Maybe.  I might’ve just been taking a reading of that bird that flew overhead.”  This goes back to my recently prophesied conspiracy theory that I introduced the other day regarding Zack Greinke.  When everyone is throwing fast, it actually keeps hitters off-balance to throw slow.  The Slow Pitch Theorized Conspiracy for Hardball (SPITCH) is fully realized now that it has an acronym.  If you’re willing to gamble a bit, I could see grabbing Yamamoto in any league to see if he can keep it going. This could also hurt Zac Gallen’s chances of a promotion, and I don’t know who gets bumped for Caleb Smith.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?