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Well, folks, this is just about it. I’ve only got like one more of these to write after this one. Ain’t that somethin’? What a year, man. In Yahoo standard leagues, the playoffs start tomorrow. Unlike real baseball, it’s a narrow field in the realm of Yahoo. Semifinals for Week 8, and the grand finale for Week 9. Then donezo!

This week’s waiver piece is going to be much more to the point with not-so-deep dives as in the past. I got a teething toddler who isn’t sleeping well (she goes like 10-11 hours straight normally!), and it’s also her birthday Monday. The big T-W-O. Doing this and that to celebrate all weekend since I have to work late on her actual birthday. Fun stuff. So the writing time is at a premium this time around.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Happy Labor Day, everyone! Today, we celebrate all of those mothers who are in labor giving birth to us, so put your legs up, grunt real hard and scream at a loved one that they are a “bastard” or a “weasel-d*cked moron who isn’t even the real father.” You’ve earned this day, male or female, though I’m not sure how men earned a Labor Day. Do I have this celebration right? Any hoo! University of Seinfeld Dean Kremer made his major league debut yesterday vs. the Yankees, going 6 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 7 Ks. The Orioles acquired Dean Kremer from an Animal House cosplay kegger, where he was lecturing kids on alcohol–Wait, hearing now he was acquired from the Dodgers in the Machado trade. He led the minors in strikeouts in 2018 and 2019, which is a backhanded minor league compliment. If you’re in the minors leading the league in something, it means you’re good enough to excel (check) but not good enough to push your cheap club to promote you (check). Though, in fairness to Kremer, the O’s are especially thrifty, as anyone watching one at-bat with Mountcastle can attest — dude looks like he could’ve been up two years ago, spitting on tough pitches. Kremer looks like he could struggle with command against a better lineup. The curve was the standout pitch, freezing hitters. The fastball look fine (94-5 MPH), if he commands it well. Overpowering? Far from it. He seemed to control the fastball better than the offspeed pitches, so he could be a sneaky backend fantasy pitcher in 2021. For this year, I’m looking at the Streamonator over owning him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Pitching, like everything else this year, has been a literal S-Show. My TGFBI team got quickly dismantled thanks to David Price, Justin Verlander, Corey Kluber, and Joe Musgrove. That dismantlement forced me to turn to streaming early on. Now that we’re a full five weeks into the season, it’s clear what teams to pick on and what teams to avoid for streaming. For example, Indians versus righties avoid (.364 wOBA over the last 14 days), but those same bats against a lefty have posted a .272 wOBA on the year. Justin Dunn (7.5% ESPN, 10% CBS) has learned well that the Rangers are an awesome team to stream against. He’s faced the Rangers twice already this year going 6 IP in each start and allowing just 2 earned runs. He didn’t do anything exceedingly special. Dunn struck out 8 batters over those two starts, but just let the Rangers do what they do best – suck. As of this writing, Dunn gets a third lucky matchup with the Rangers on September 7th. A little bit of a look-ahead for us, but a great spot for us to attack if you’re looking to improve your ratios or grab a streaming “W”. Let’s take a look at five more streamers this week to get you ahead of your competition.

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Trevor Rosenthal and Mitch Moreland were traded to the Padres. Here’s what the Padres are saying to the major leagues: We are your father. Going the other way was Edward Olivares, and some prospects. The hug at the airport when Franchy Cordero sees Edward Olivares will be priceless. “What kind of things are there to do in Kansas City?” “Do you like jazz?” “I thought people just said they like jazz, but no one actually likes jazz.” “True.” Then after a brief pause, “Do the Royals let you play?” “Nah, they have Alex Gordon.” As for Rosenthal, he goes to a place with no set closer, and they will win some games. Rosenthal could be a top 10 closer the rest of the way, or he blows up his 1st game, and Drew Pomeranz is the closer again, or Emilio Pagan. For now, I’d put Rosenthal, Pomeranz then Pagan, as the pecking order. In KC, I’d look at Greg Holland, Scott Barlow or Josh Staumont, that order, but with limited chances. Oh, and Jesse Hahn, who got the save on Saturday, is there and he had an affair with Reverend Jim Bakker. Finally, Mitch Moreland, well, nothing really changes for him, or the main Padres hitters. The DH gave the Padres more room to play with, and they got Moreland. He can hit it out of any stadium, and he enters a better lineup. Did I just say the Padres’ lineup is better than a Red Sox lineup? Yup, welcome to 2020 and back from your coma! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Holy rookie starters! I swear, there are more rookies debuting on the mound in 2020 than there are jokes about dongs on this site. After hearing much conversation about rookie starters and seeing some of the love-at-first-sight that is happening in some fantasy circles, it got me to thinking: of all the rookie starters out there, how do they all stack up from now through the rest of the season? Our very own everywhereblair has already been providing you with awesome updates to Razzball’s starting pitching rankings each week, but I thought I’d take it a step further as one of the prospect gurus and hone in on the first-year hurlers. These are solely rankings for the rest of the 2020 fantasy baseball season, although I plan to have updated dynasty rankings on these same names in the near future. Warning: my rankings do not directly translate to how everywhereblair has the top 100 starters ranked, therefore this article is not doctor approved.

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“Thinking about how I could’ve had Jose Abreu three rounds after Pete Alonso,” is what I tell the man in the plane after I say I want to parachute from the plane without a parachute. “You have anything that burns hotter than 500 degrees?” Is what I ask the grill store employee as I put charcoal briquettes down my pants as I watch Jose Abreu hit six homers in one series. “Just seeing if I can chew glass, that’s all,” which is what I say to Cougs as I bite into a water glass while thinking about El Grande Dolor hitting .322 and four home runs in a row from Saturday until Sunday. “No, I’m not cutting onions, I’m ripping my fingernails out,” which is what I say to my reflection when I think about how Jose Abreu has 11 homers and Pete Alonso hasn’t played in four days and was moved down the lineup for Dom Smith. How’s everyone else doing, that’s nice. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Taking a look back at last week’s predictions I had Randy Dobnak as my two-start pitcher of the week and although we haven’t seen his second start I like the results from his first game (5 IP, 1 ER, 3 Ks.) Sure we’d all like more K’s — but I even told you that in last week’s article. What?! You didn’t read last week’s article? Here: “You’d like to see more than a 4.8 K/9 — but take that liquid gold ratio and the guaranteed wins from the Twins.” Oh yea — he got the win too baby. 

My deeper league two-start pitcher of the week was Tyler Mahle. Well, he made his first start and shutout the Indians over 6 innings allowing only 3 baserunners with 6 strikeouts. The Reds rewarded him by — removing him from the starting rotation for Wade Miley?! The same Wade Miley who has allowed 6 ERs in 3.1 IP so far this year? Yep, the very same! 

This week I’m nominating Trevor Williams and Tyler Anderson as my two-start pitcher adds of the week. Hopefully, neither of them throws a complete game shutout only to be replaced by Francisco Liriano!

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Most of the starting pitchers for week 3’s games haven’t even been officially announced yet. Pair this with reports that MLB is warning television stations to get their Big Bang Theory re-runs and copies of Shawshank Redemption loaded up and it’s hard to be optimistic about the season. The chart I’m working off only has 4 starters confirmed so I had to do some diggin’, scratchin’, and prognosticatin’ to try and determine exactly who might be a two-start pitcher for this week. Below, you’ll find 4 tiers below of week 3’s two-starters. They are in order of descending disappointment. That’s not to say you can’t find any one-start gems in the lower tiers, but I just can’t recommend rolling them out for both starts. 

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Let me get this out of the way: some of these starts below might not even happen. Half of the Marlins are on IVs right now, COVID is about to spread like wildfire through the Cardinals locker room, the Nationals, Blue Jays, Phillies, and Brewers have also had some COVID scares themselves. 

Looking over these pitchers there’s a bunch of quality pitchers who had rough opening starts (Yu Darvish, Charlie Morton, Lucas Giolito, Carlos Martinez) that I’m willing to overlook. Some of them already bounced back in their second starts — but I’m treating these early starts as extended spring training. I know there’s a lot of anxiety and pressure since this is a short season, but just be patient with your pitchers.  

This week I’m ranking these tiers by Animal Crossing villager popularity. (Ask your kids about this one.) 

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Yesterday, Jeff McNeil went 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs with a double slam (19, 20) and legs (5), hitting .326. It’s legitimately surprising when I see any player who has more than 400 ABs with less than 20 homers, so I’m glad McNeil stopped confounding me. Usually don’t do this before the end of the season recaps, but sneaked a peek at my preseason blurb for McNeil, and I will share it right after this awkward sentence, “Truth bomb alert!  I almost wrote a McNeil sleeper post, but A) Mets B) Mets C) There’s no C. D) The Mets are saying he might not have a set position and be more of a floater, and, ever since Meatballs, there’s never been a good use of a floater. E) Mets F) Mets G) I wasn’t as blown away by his projections that I came up with as I thought I would be.  H) That’s about it.  I) Whoa, there’s a HI in the middle of the alphabet?  Who’s trying to say hello?!” And that’s me quoting me! I projected him for 17 HRs and 8 SBs. Those numbers aren’t far off, but you know where I was way off? Yup and yup, his average. I projected him to hit .269, so what changed? He hits everything well. He is in the bottom seven in the league for soft contact — Just Dong, Bryce, Mookie, Bryce — are a few of the names there. He also leads the league in Swing% (59.5), but he doesn’t strikeout a lot. Translation:  He swings a lot and makes good contact. It’s a recipe that’s worked for Castellanos, Javy Baez and Devers, to name a few. The fear for 2020 is McNeil becomes Castellanos on the Tigers, and not the She-cah-go Greek God of Hard Contact. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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