Please see our player page for Keynan Middleton 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.

Have you ever been to summer camp?  No, this isn’t going to delve into a lifetime story about my experiences as a teenage boy at summer camp.  It is in relation to that terribly stupid game called the “3-legged race”.  Yes, the one where you and a stranger get to try and coordinate a rhythm that you couldn’t figure out with your own two legs yet.  The race starts off well, you have the “left-right” cadence down pat, until you don’t.  Eventually one of you has fallen or lost your balance and will be dragged the final 2/3 of the race with your face covered in mud and you inevitably lose the race and the ire of the girls in the all-girl summer camp across the lake.  The fantasy baseball season is like this race.  But, with the proper cadence and rhythm, you can “left-right” your way to a fantasy championship.  We are 1 leg of the way done with this race, er marathon, of a season.  By now, some of your competitors have given up with the smell of fantasy football on the horizon and the talks of Tim Tebow doing the lords work in Jacksonville.  So follow along as I prep you for another week of Head to Head. Say it with me, Right-Left-Right…. Get up you idiot!!!

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(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH OR $13/MONTH WITH AN EXTRA WEEKLY PODCAST.)

I saw an article in the Denver Post the other day that said something like, “The Rockies should rebuild, and Bud Black is the man to do it.” And I became The Joker. I started tiptoeing down a staircase in bright makeup, twirling and cackling. Then I threw my computer out my window, hit a squirrel, who lawyered up and sued me, taking 51% control of Razzball. Which is why you can now find acorns in the Razzball store. Hope you understand why I have to say nice things about Jeff McNeil, too. Let’s be fair and honest and charitable, Bud Black was a good pitching coach. That the Rockies hired a pitching-first guy in Coors says all you need to know about how dumb that organization is, but rebuild? If Bud could lure Mark Reynolds out of retirement, he would play him over Ryan McMahon, because of his experience. Bud Black is the worst manager in baseball, and, as Quentin Tarantino says, that’s a very impressive feat. I bring this all up, not to crap on Bud, though that’s fun, but to warn you I only half trust him to play Brendan Rodgers. On our Prospectonator, we project every imaginable rookie, based on 162 games played. So, all things being equal, Alex Kirilloff is number one, Ke’Bryan Hayes is number two, but not that far down the list is Brendan Rodgers. He could be even the shallowest of leagues viable. Assuming the Rockies don’t lure back Mark Reynolds. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Let’s take one more victory lap around my standing desk prior to moving on for good. A hirsute Donkey Teeth said to me in March, “I need a bold prediction from you for this season.” I wrote back, “That they’ll let you within 500 feet of a school.” He wrote back, “About baseball.” I wrote back, “The school will have a baseball team?” He wrote back, “Major League Baseball.” I wrote back, “Venmo me $100 for wasting my time.” Then, after a week back-and-forth, I said the first bold prediction that came to my mind: Keston Hiura‘s batting average would bottom out and he’d be demoted. He was going in the first 50 picks of drafts. This was not a willy and/or nilly bold prediction. People loved Keston Hiura. After that bold prediction, I doubled down, and he was my first sell of the season, telling you to get rid of him the day after Opening Day. *begins to pant* Okay, I’m winded, victory lap over. Keston Hiura (1-for-3, 1 run) was recalled yesterday, and I picked him up in all leagues. I, Mr. Don’t Draft Keston, picked him up? Yes, because now his price isn’t a 4th round pick, but free. Free’s good. Hiura still had strikeout issues in the minors — 34.2%, which is honestly laughably bad. If his price weren’t free, I’d prolly pass. It’s funny how many people are now suddenly excited about Hiura when he seems to have exactly the same problem. Serious question: Are the Brewers capable of teaching how to not strikeout? *looks randomly at their entire team* Forget it, I can answer myself. So, grab Hiura for the speed/power, but don’t be surprised if he still hits in the .180 range. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, across a doubleheader, Mitch Haniger went 3-for-8, 3 RBIs and his 3rd and 4th homer. After the arduous eighteen months that Mitch Haniger went through, it’s great to see him get in touch with his inner dong. If only someone would smack him on the butt to get it to poke out again. Now, now, that must be refreshening for Haniger, like a swim in a cool pond on a warm day, something he embraces since he no longer has to worry about shrinkage. Yesterday, was the first time in 18 months Haniger’s had any luck with hangers. Haniger’s had less luck with hangers than Joan Crawford’s kids. Okay, okay, OKAY! Enough! You’re liable to get Haniger testy, in theory at least. As for fantasy, meh, who am I kidding, I just wanted an excuse to razz him. If he stays healthy, he’s a solid number three outfielder. Too bad to stay healthy, his front side needs to look like the M’s new closer. Ya know, a Kendall. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We close out the American League bullpens with the AL West. It feels like all of these teams have something to offer either in closer speculation or high wattage non-closers. Remember the golden rule of the saves chase: don’t overpay for closers. Opportunities come if you’re active on the wire.

I didn’t realize how upset I was about the sign-stealing scandal until I started writing this. If you’re an Astros fan and I’ve offended your delicate sensibilities below, you can go and discard them along with your stolen championships.

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Starling Marte hit the DL with an oblique injury, which apparently opened up space for Austin Meadows to be called up.  Okay, I wanna be happy.  I do.  C**nt Hurdle seemed to do the right thing, Spike Lee.  However, I wanna mitch and boan about one thing.  The Pirates had to trade for Corey Dickerson to clog the outfield?  Dickerson screams DH.  Literally, he wakes at night screaming, “DH!”  He has David Ortourettiz’s.  Marte has already said he doesn’t think he’ll be out more than a week or two, so where’s Meadows going?  Back to the minors?  The Pirates have been doing The Running Man in place for years now, maybe you call up your 1st round pick who has 1,626 minor league at-bats!  Here’s what Prospector Ralph said in his top 100 fantasy baseball prospects, “The skills put him in the top three entering last season, but a injury riddled season, including his third consecutive year with a hamstring injury have me doubting the upside I once dreamed on. Meadows at his best combines plus hitting, running, and plate discipline with untapped raw power.  There’s still superstar upside here.  Speaking of which, I’d love to hit Grey upside his head.”  What the hey!  He looks like a 10/20/.280 guy to me, assuming he stays up, but assuming makes an ass out of the U. of Ming.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Lot to unpack here with Robinson Cano (2B, Fractured Hand; Dumb)… First Cano took a fastball off the back of his hand and suffered a broken bone in his hand, then an even bigger disappointment hammer fell. Cano was suspended 80 games for taking performance enhancing drug. That brings him to an early August return. Yikes. Stash or Trash: Stash. He’s too good for you to drop. He’ll still have two months of baseball once he returns. Fill In: Yolmer Sanchez (22.2%.) Can’t believe I’m still recommending this guy! He’s got a nice 2B/3B eligibility, a .296 average and is hitting 2nd for the White Sox. Great fill in option now, and bench bat for later.

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The Fantasy Master Lothario is back, and he’s live and direct from Palm Springs!!! While Cougs runs back to LA, the GOD Pert talks Freddy Peralta’s debut, how I’ve sold Lance on Franmil Reyes, and the unexpected emergence of Charlie Morton over the last two seasons. We then talk a little C-Mart, a little Robinson Cano, and off course Vladimir Guerrero Jr. comes up. It’s almost like he’s Ralph Lifshitz Jr. just considerably better at baseball. All in all it’s an hour of fantasy baseball fire, prepping you for the week ahead, and reflecting on the week that was. It’s a little bit of everything, the biscuits, and the beans! Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast:

 

BTW: Get your Prospect Jesus and Grey Albright Tout Wars Champ shirts here!

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Yesterday’s Cubs/Braves matinee was Jose Quintana (4 2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 5.23) vs. Julio Teheran (6 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 1 K, ERA at 3.49).  This start was billed as, “Was The Wind Blowing Out Or Do These Guys Suck?”  A very quizzical billing.  I don’t own Quintana, but I hear your calls to place a flag on a sound stage in Hollywood and say it’s the moon and continue to own Quintana or if it’s cheese.  Guys (and five girls), things aren’t good — Ks are way down; walks are way up; velocity is down; this is the worst he’s looked in the majors.  Now, the good news, it’s relatively good, at least.  He had a 5.60 ERA last through the end of May last year, and a 3.41 ERA in the last 124 IP last year.  He also upped his Ks last June thru September and, until we see different, I think he could take the same route to success this year.  Or not (nice hedge, dopey!), but I’d hold to see.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The theory of SAGNOF is capitalizing on the chances in front of your face.  The “polish sausage” king of steals has returned from the minors and re-established his presence in the stead of others.  Travis Jankowski started the year out of favor, not just based on ability, just on talent.  With Manuel Margot struggling and injured and Hunter Renfroe basically doing the same exact thing (but getting Pipped by Franchy), Travis has jumped from AAA and shown his best SAGNOF face.  Hitting .368, with 2 steals and OBP of .455 over 12 games since his return.  We all know of his one sided ability in the SAGNOF game because that is what makes him the prince of this and basically the west coast Rajai.  His availability in leagues is less than 5% owned across most formats and should steadily climb until the outfield situation is a muck.  An OF of Margot, Franchy, and Travis is of the extremely light-hitting variety.  It is using Travis now before the likes of Wil Myers, whose return is the question.  With Myers eventual return a few weeks off to possibly 10 days, using Jankowski now for the steals affect isn’t a bad idea as his stats say that he can hit, get on base and effectively get on base. The 30-steal year just two years ago shows that he has a penchant for the swipe, just has to avoid attrition, replacement and the inevitable return of better talent.  He has the gig for the next week to 10 days so now is the time to see if you can steal, pun intended, a few bases to pad your stats and move along.  That is what SAGNOF is, hit and move.  Don’t fall in love.  get what you want out of it and than throw it to the waiver wire dogs.  It is a sad world we live in and there is no cuddling in the quest for steals world.  I don’t care how great the big spoon feels.  More saves and steals ain’t got no face goodies after the bump.

Please, blog, may I have some more?