Please see our player page for Justin Steele 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.

Poor Red Sox fans. After being subjected to Mookie Betts game winning home run and his game ending diving catch only a night before, Friday night the Blue Jays completed a historic Beantown beatdown at Fenway scoring 28, yes, TWENTY EIGHT runs on the Sawx hapless pitching staff like it was CFL game. Boston Massacre, […]

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Yesterday, was not just our Independence Day. Yesterday, was the halfway point of the baseball season. So, Halfway to Independence from Jonathan India Day. You cannot tell me our forefathers just happened to put the Fourth of July on the exact midpoint of the baseball season by accident. They didn’t put hairspray on their platinum silver wigs like they were Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada and just happen to drop the doozy of the Declaration of Independence on baseball’s 81st game played just as a little oopsie-daisy on their Yankee Doodle like how your daddy did your mommy. No way! This is why baseball is the National Pastime. So, Happy 4th of July to even all you cowards who drafted starters early. Speaking of starters, Brayan Bello will start for the Red Sox this Wednesday. Bello will pitch for a scream. Take it Highlights, it’s yours! Bello was in the Itch’s top 50 starting pitcher prospects, saying, “Bello added strength and velocity over the lost minor league season and now features a mid-90s fastball with a little extra dotting the gun once in a while. He was successful enough before, as we’ve detailed in these pages, but now he’s striking out 36.9 percent of hitters in High-A and 31.1 percent in AA—a big jump from the 22.6 percent he posted in 2019. His fastball gets a bit too much for him to be a no-doubt starter unless he finds a nasty breaking ball to go along with his plus changeup. Would love to see him take that fastball and hit Grey.” Not cool, man! In a 15-team, mixed league, I grabbed him and I felt unhinged even as I was doing it, but I need something to Bello about. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Bryan Reynolds came upon a boy with a banjo on the porch of a rickety-old shack. The boy with the banjo looked like a 14-year-old version of the former MLB player, Johnny Dickshot, who was nicknamed Ugly, because if they called him by his last name, they’d be arrested in the 1930’s. Since this wasn’t Johnny Dickshot, but a smaller version of him, B. Reynolds called him Tiny Dickshot, and he played this song:

Just looking into Tiny Dickshot’s one good eye was said to curse a person, and Tiny Dickshot did curse B. Reynolds but, since he played for the Pirates, which is a curse in itself, it worked as a reverse jinx, and two negatives made it a positive for Bryan Reynolds (3-for-5, 6 RBIs) as he hit his 13th, 14th and 15th homer. After getting off to a very slow start, Reynolds is on pace for having his best power and speed season. Average (.258) is still below where you want it with him, but…I feel weird…What is this…Am I…liking Bryan Reynolds? I think I am. Yikes, maybe I’ve been cursed by Tiny Dickshot. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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For Mother’s Day, MLB uses pink bats. My suggestion for Father’s Day is bats with hairy bags hanging off the handle. This suggestion appears to fall on deaf ears, even though I go through the proper channels, filling out all the comment cards in the lobby at MLB headquarters. Even chitchatting with Jim, at security, for way longer than most people! No one hears my suggestions! Shoot, I was typing that instead of saying it out loud in the lobby. Hmm, my bad. Hope everyone’s Father’s Day was nice, with a special shoutout to the fathers who are “yelling at cars on their street to slow down” years old. You know who you are (all of you). So, all the fantasy fathers got good news this weekend, major rookie nookie incoming (not from their wives, as usual). First call-up was Alex Kirilloff, after being in my Friday Buy. Not sure if we’ll talk about him today on the podcast, since BDon spent the last six weeks talking about him incessantly like he lost a bet. Next up was Riley Greene, as he started in the majors on Saturday. Dan Pants gave you his Riley Greene fantasy on Saturday. I’ve been giving you a Riley Greene fantasy for the last six months. If you don’t pick up Riley Greene, you hate winning and America. You’re a Communist. I’m sorry, please enter your driver’s license number in the comments. We need to send people to your house. Finally, the Pirates made all our dreams come true. No, they didn’t dissolve into other teams, so all their pitchers could become aces. They called up Oneil Cruz! Literally just gave you my Oneil Cruz fantasy. It’s all there. The “it” I am referring to are his five tools and my post. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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After my best week of the season, last week’s streamers had some mixed results. Weeks like that are inevitable, but enough of them did well for me to be happy with the results. One thing has become clear, and it’s that there are a ton of good streamers out there. The pitching landscape is full […]

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Bert Blyleven allowed a major league record 50 homers in 1986. It was in 271 innings. Hunter Greene (5 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 5.89) might beat the record in 100 innings. There’s an old adage (I don’t know what an adage is but it sounds good) and it goes that starters are better at home. Just in general. Of course, there’s exceptions. Or I should say “of Coors.” Any hoo! Greene is the type that could throw a 15-K shutout vs. the Dodgers or give up five homers to the Marlins with Miguel Rojas leading the charge. His opponent or environs don’t matter, so it’s hard to roster a guy like that. Also, don’t ever say “environs” in real life, person you’re with has ever right to punch you. The offensive star of the game for the Reds was Kyle Farmer (4-for-4, 3 runs, 5 RBIs and his 2nd and 3rd homer). Was his first game back from being out with general soreness. Lucky he didn’t run into Major Setback. Also, in this game, Nick Senzel (4-for-4, 3 runs, 1 RBI) did what we expected of him in 2019, and 2020, and 2021, and, well, you get the picture, as he hit leadoff. Was this a sign of things to come or just going against a terrible pitcher? Well, Justin Steele (2 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 5.40) did not look good. Maybe it wasnt the best idea to pitch the Man of Steele against a guy the color of Kryptonite. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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They say he’s the greatest Orioles catcher ever. They say the greatest catcher prospect since Yogi Berra. They are talking about Matt Wieters. “They” are Keith Law. He’s not the only one. I went back to the 2009 prospect guys to see what people were saying about Matt Wieters and found, “Has the power of Mark Teixeira,” and “a bat so potent he could be a two-time batting champion and one of the game’s biggest stars in almost two years.” Okay, I lied, those are all Keith Law quotes! Good for baseball that Wieters wasn’t its biggest star. Others were just as complimentary to Wieters with Kevin Goldstein, who got a job with the Astros and now the Twins said, “Wieters, Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz are can’t miss.” They had great things to say about Matt LaPorta too. Who? Not sure, I think Matt LaPorta is French for doormat. From that draft alone, there was no mention of Madison Bumgarner, Giancarlo, Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson, or even Travis d’Arnaud, all guys drafted after Wieters and LaPorta. Why mention any of this? Just tamping down Adley Rutschman enthusiasm with this hype-cleaver. That’s my Tamp-ax! Wait, maybe it’s not a good idea to say that. So, this is a weird way to start a post where I say I’d absolutely pick up Adley Rutschman in every league. Killing enthusiasm with my Tampax. Yikes, need to stop saying that. The Tampax (this is not a sponsored post, by the way) is simply to stop up hype that Rutschman will be a top five catcher as soon as he’s called up. I don’t think he will, but he could be. Think 15 HRs and .280 for four months. It’s irrelevant what he was even doing in the minors. He was ready two years ago. He’s worth adding in all leagues if you’re struggling at catcher, Tampax be damned. Period. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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“This is 911, what’s your emergency?”
“I need a defibrillator!”
“Someone’s having a heart attack?”
“No, it’s for the dead ball.”
“Please stop calling, sir.”

Tarik Skubal was a victim of being sneezed on by Matthew Boyd, and used to give up a homer just about every three pitches, but no longer. It might not just be the dead-ball, Skubal was a top pitching prospect a mere three years ago. That timing tracks. Usually it’s three years in the majors, and a rookie pitcher becomes what we expect from him. A rookie pitching prospect has moments his rookie year, then he has more moments his 2nd year, then his third year it’s all moments. Tarik Skubal (6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 2.50) is currently living in the moment. 94 MPH fastball, 89 MPH slider, 76 MPH curve and 84 MPH change, each used liberally. Not relying on the fastball as he had in the past, even though you wouldn’t blame someone with a 70-grade fastball. There might be something to his success and the homers allowed thing, but the ball doesn’t seem like it’s being resuscitated any time soon, so Skubal can absolutely maintain his newfound success. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Max Fried went into the House That Sandy Koufax Built, during Passover, and hid the Afikoman from the Dodgers for 7 innings. For you gentiles who don’t know what an Afikoman is, imagine I was accidentally misspelling the rapper Afroman’s name and you were playing hide and seek with him. That’s an Afikoman. *stares at the ceiling* Damn, I thought balloons would fall if I made the first mention ever of a Afikoman on a fantasy sports site. No luck there, I guess the Hebrews didn’t pay for the balloons! Rarely do I make two straight ledes from the same series. From Freeman to Fried, man. From a guy who looks like he has teeth made of wax to Max. From a guy who abandoned his Atlanta roots to a guy who hears often, “Why don’t you call more?” Max Fried went 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 8 Ks, ERA down to 3.50. I suppose it’s harder to hit an unleavened ball. Nice to see Fried bounce back from his last two meh outings, but this is why I keep telling you to be patient. We really have no idea about anyone yet. Even Max Fried was able to go from meh to mensch. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Five ladies and gentlemen, it’s…HELIO STUDWAGON!

And I can’t fight this rookie nookie anymore,
I’ve forgotten what I started fighting for (which stinks because we’re roughly 72 hours into the season),
It’s time to bring this shizz into the shore and onto my team,
And throw away the either/or’s forever.

Baby, I can’t hold Steven Matz anymore, but how about this Heliot Ramos fella!
He looks great, or as they say in San Fran “hella,”
I need him on my team, er,
His projections are insane from Steamer!

So, Heliot Ramos (2-for-3, 1 RBI) was called up. Prospect Itch said, “Ramos didn’t graduate AA so much as he aged into AAA, where he was still 5.7 years younger than the average player. Across the full season (116 games), he slashed .254/.323/.416 with 14 HR and 15 SB. Not bad. Not ideal. The hope is that he settles in at AAA and soaks up some coaching, applies that across his opportunities and takes the slow road to becoming a fantasy factor. I doubt the club will rush him to the majors in any needs-based scenario. This is good news for Ramos and us, as it gives the 6’1” 188 lb, 2017 first-rounder time to grow into his skillset, and I’d like to hit Grey with a skillet.” Not cool. So, the Giants seemed to disagree with how much time Ramos needed in the minors. His projections at the Prospectonator are fire under a helium balloon. Some of the best projections I’ve seen for a rookie. Oh, just your mundane, ho-hum 20+ HRs and 10 steals. Will the Giants still start guys like Steven Duggar over him? Oh, absolutely. Have you not been paying attention to the Giants for the last year-plus? Still, I’d grab Heliot Ramos in all leagues where I need an injection of sexy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I hate to be rude, so I won’t be Brash in the truest sense, but Seattle pitcher Matt Brash will make this list, so Brash this list will be. 

The individual predictions, however, are a step below that. I can’t exactly call them reasonable predictions for 2022, but I do think these are all within the realm of reason, and I think those kinds of predictions tend to be a little more sticky and useful than the boldest ones.

I hope you’ll join me in the speculatory fun. What are your most reasonably brash predictions for the coming season? Which of these seems most bold to you? (Thanks for reading! I’ll tally everything in this piece up for an article next season, so if you want to get something on the record to amplify your human memory, here is a place to do it.) 

Now into the future we go! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?