This weekend I went to Palm Springs to see the in-laws, and I was saying to Father Cougs that I wished I bet on the Phillies to win the World Series back in November when we were in Vegas.  He replied, “With all that blog money you have?”  Then I went to the bathroom and told my reflection, “One day they’re not gonna laugh at you!  I promise you that Reflection Grey!”  Then, while sitting in a stall, I listened on my iPhone to the theme from Rocky, Gonna Fly Now, and stabilized my ego.  Trying hard now!  Gettin’ strong now!  Gonna fly now!  Any hoo!  The newest favorite son of Philadelphia, Jake Arrieta, joined an already underrated starting rotation.  I’d contend (for the welterweight championship) that Arrieta isn’t even their ace, that label goes to the guy draped in Mardi Gras beads, Nola.  For a while, it appeared Arrieta was headed to Philly.  I hear the hold up was due to Arrieta unable to find a special type of umbrella.  “Do you have an umbrella that blocks thrown batteries?”  In the top 40 starters, I said, “At this stage in Arrieta’s career, I don’t see his value changing much no matter where he signs.  If he goes to Miller Park, Chase or Coors, then I’ll lower him a little, but I see no way I raise him up outside of a move to Petco, which doesn’t seem likely, because the Padres are playing for 2020, then, in 2020, they’ll be playing for 2023.”  And that’s me quoting me!  See, so nothing really changes, and I’m not looking to draft Arrieta suddenly, but a solid real world move for the Phils.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2018 fantasy baseball:

Psyche!  Before we get into the roundup, there’s a $10 league signup today that needs some people.  When we did the polling of what youse wanted in your fantasy leagues, a large majority of you wanted paid leagues, but I’m getting the feeling we may not be doing them next year, and go back to all free leagues.  You don’t want to bet $10 to win $100 that you’re better than eleven others?  C’mon, put that Jimmy John’s sub money where your mouth is!  Hey, I could write ad copy.  Anyway, the roundup:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Steven Souza, Michael Conforto, Avisail Garcia, Corey Dickerson, Eddie Rosario, Michael Taylor.  What do those players have in common?  Guys that were in last year’s top 100 outfielders post that made it out like this is Orange is the New Black and those guys were Taystee.  Only then Taystee got reincarcerated and brought with her that badass b*tch Vee, and Vee then started running shizz and that white ho, who the show was originally about that is annoying AF, started getting institutionalized with panty-selling and lez ho’ing and–Well, anyway, you get the point.  There’s not a ton of sunshine in this top 100 outfielders, but occasionally you do get glimmers of hope.  All the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings are under that link-ma-whosie.  As always, my projections and tiers are included.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2018 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On the podcast coming later today, I felt a reverb.  Luckily, I do everything while standing in a doorway because who has time to run to a doorway in the event of a earthquake?  This reverb wasn’t God practicing his spinning of tectonic plates.  Oh no.  This reverb wasn’t Dr. Dre messing with Technics either.  No siree, Bob.  This was the Padres trading Brandon Maurer and Trevor Cahill to the Royals for Matt Strahm, Travis Wood and Esteury Ruiz.  Damn, San Diego, save some of the trading deadline hype for other people.  Okay, I’m laying it on too thick.  This trade is okay for both teams.  Royals appear to have playoff aspirations, and get bullpen depth that they should never use in Maurer and Cahill, who has some of the most extreme splits I’ve ever seen.  In Petco:  0.72 ERA; elsewhere:  5.75 ERA.  Goodbye, my old friend!  Of course, this means Brad Hand officially officially becomes the closer.  Wouldn’t totally shock me to see Hand dealt — to who?  Phil Ivey? — and Maton become the closer, but that’s more for NL-Only.  Matt Strahm is an interesting name for NL-Only leagues for next year.  As of now, he’s out after knee surgery, and he’s from the crazy Ks and crazy walks variety show, Krazy BBs.  By the way, I believe Esteury Ruiz is Rio Ruiz with a badly thought out new name in the Witness Protection Program.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oakland promoted Franklin Barreto this weekend, and a friend of mine who I only see when he’s mowing my lawn said, “You got to go to The Mission if you really want a Barreto.”  Recalling my 1600 Yelp reviews of every Chipotle in Los Angeles county, I exclaimed, “No way, Jose!”  But he replied, “Mr. Grey, my name is Julio.”  Then we laughed, and, even though he laughed with jajajajaja and I laughed with hahahaha, we found a common ground.  As for fantasy, Prospector Ralph said, “Barreto offers hard contact, some speed.  Gets caught a lot, and who knows how much the A’s send him.  He’s exciting though.  Upside guy with a low floor this season.  Now can I go back to bitching about Tanaka?”  There ya go!  Right from the prospect whore’s mouth!  I tried to get Barreto in all of my leagues, but, alas, he was gone.  Yesterday, he went 2-for-5, 1 run, after homering in his first game on Saturday.  He’s worth a flyer in all leagues in case he sticks with Semien.  Ew.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Our Commissioner Manfred presses his intercom, “Please escort in the Guatemalan baseball stitchers.”  Manfred’s secretary brings six men dressed in blanket ponchos and straw hats.  Their leader steps forward, “Mr. Manfred, the Capri Suns you have us using to juice the balls is not working.”  Their leader pulls out a baseball that is dripping with Ecto Cooler.  Manfred turns in his seat, silhouetted with the setting sun.  He lights a Virginia Slim 120 and pulls, coughing slightly.  “I no longer want the balls juiced.  Now….I want you and your friends to go to Dodger Stadium and blow.”  “Mr. Manfred, we are not sex workers!”  “Not blow like that!  Put your lips together and blow.”  “Like Bogey and Bacall?”  “Yes!  Now go!”  …And this was how Dodger Stadium became a launching pad.  Yesterday, Corey Seager (4-for-5, 6 RBIs) hit three homers (10, 11, 12), Yasmani Grandal (3-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 7th homer and Cody Launchangler (1-for-3, 2 RBIs) did it again, hitting his 22nd.  Granted, someone needs to put Cody Launchangler in carbonite for Cooperstown — we can’t risk something happening to him playing baseball! — but this Seager guy is pretty good too, huh?  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Kinda ridiculous that Odubel Herrera is the first player to get two ledes this year, but this is because they both came on short schedule days and I’m the only one that likely knows this, so let’s just move on!  ODB’s hot like Mariah’s fire.  Mariah’s fire is the dragon breath she breathes right before her morning ritual of firing a staffer.  “Who sprinkled my slippers with gold dust?  It’s Tuesday!  Tuesday’s slippers get sprinkled with powdered sugar so the squirrels follow me like it’s a Disney movie!”  That’s Mariah TCOB.  Ooh, idea!  I’m gonna do the rest of this in acronyms.  ODB TCOB SAGNOF UB40–Ugh, I failed at that exercise.  Grey does not equal a 14-year-old girl texting.  I told you yesterday if you take nothing else from the roundup, take away that you should grab Odubel.  And that’s me reiterating me!  Seriously, he’s 8-for-13 over the last three games with two homers.  Grab him!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Like the old saying goes, “Never trust a man with two first names”, and that is exactly how it feels every time Robbie Ray ($18,400) takes the mound. He is a fantasy enigma, one day he can be the ace for your team then the next day he walks 6 batters and last 4 innings in a start. One of his biggest Jekyll and Hyde characteristic is his Home and Away splits, this season he has an ERA of 6.75 at home and 0.81 on the road. A matchup on the road against the low hitting Pittsburgh Pirates is exactly what we are looking for when building a line up. The Pirates have struggled all year versus lefties hitting .217 and carrying a very pedestrian .689 OPS. He should be able to rack up some strikeouts as that is his best asset. His K/9 this season is at 11.10. Speaking of Elite K rates, Chris Sale ($26,000) is making his return to Chicago, lets just hope he doesn’t go into his old locker room and cut up all the jerseys. The way he is pitching this season it would be hard not to pick him at whatever price he is listed at. There are some good pitchers he can be matched with and some quality bats as well. Lets take a look at the picks.

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On Saturday, Stephen Strasburg went 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 15 Ks, ERA at 2.94.  That’s right, fifteen strikeouts, a career high.  Ah… If only every starter got to face the Padres in every game…*wavy lines*  Hey, Danny Salazar is facing the Padres?  This is awesome!  Wait, why is he walking a guy with a .260 OBP?  Did he just give up a homer to Erick Aybar?  He’s having an epileptic fit trying to pronounce Szczur?!  He’s wiping a booger on my Reggie Jackson rookie card?!  How does he even have my Reggie rookie card?!  Mom, did you give Danny Salazar my Reggie rookie card?!  Oh my God, make it stop….Please… *wavy lines*  Worst dream sequence ever!  On this day of BBQs and Memorials, hot dogs and beer, baseball and refreshing our fantasy baseball team page, we can be thankful Strasburg is not a dream.  Though, the reality is Strasburg was a 2.62 ERA pitcher in the 1st half last year and a 6.15 ERA pitcher in the 2nd.  Happy Memorial Day!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here we are in week 8, so you know what time it is: it’s time to take advantage of the apathy of others. It was a rough weekend in the Holt household, as I checked in Sunday afternoon to find that Tajuan Walker, the one guy who’d been healthy and pitching semi-decently on my deepest NL-only team, had randomly hit the DL with a blister issue. Meanwhile, Trevor Cahill, who’d practically been carrying my pitching staff in the same league before he got hurt, was headed for an MRI that gave me the sinking feeling that he wasn’t gonna be pitching again any time soon. After slamming my computer shut and spending about an hour behaving like a 7-year old having a bad round of miniature golf, I needed an attitude adjustment. I went and saw Guardians of the Galaxy, and remembered that if Chris Pratt can go from being a tubby sitcom fifth banana to a universe-saving mega-movie star, I can keep fighting in the world of fantasy baseball until October. Now that I’m looking at the comparison with a clear head, sure, it may make no sense whatsoever, but it inspired me to spend an hour Sunday night scouring my various league waiver wires in an attempt to improve my teams.  By the way, if you missed out on Parks and Rec when it was on the broadcast television, it’s one of the rare network sitcoms of the last decade that’s worth going back and watching, IMHO (has it been so long since anyone used the term “IMHO” that it’s retro now?)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Excuse me for one second, there’s a doorbell ringing.  *opens door*  “Luigi!  Paisan!  What are you doing here?”  To you, “This is Luigi, my tailor.  And, yes, I’m addressing you, the audience, like it’s Sesame Street.”  “Grey Liotta, as you insist I call you, I saw Michael Conforto had a huge game –  3-for-4, 4 RBIs and hit his 12th and 13th homers, now hitting .333 with a .425 OBP — and I say I have to go see my favorite customer to let out his inseam.”  “Ah, Luigi!  You know me better than anyone, except my mustachioed mother and even more stereotypical Italian barber!”  On a serious note, what Michael Conforto is doing now is why the Mets should promote Amed Rosario.  Reyes, Walker, yadda, blah, blooie are not going to lead to anything of note.  Maybe they have a good game or two, maybe a solid week, but, in the end, you have *raspberries lips* and Rosario still with no major league experience.  Not even saying Amed’s the answer like Iverson, but you have to give guys a chance over these third-rate vets that lead you nowhere.  If the Mets had given Conforto the at-bats all last year, he might’ve came out of his 1st half slump and carried them in the 2nd half and thru the playoffs.  As for those who don’t know me as well as Luigi, I’ve always said Conforto would be an All-Star at some point.  This is not out of nowhere, nor someone to sell high.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?