Lance McCullers‘s middle name is Inconsistent. It’s Irish. It was O’Inconsistent, but assimilation through Doc Ellis Island softened the edges. There’s some pitchers I love. That’s it. Just love them. Trevor Bauer, you seem like a total douche, but welcome to my teams! There’s a few pitchers I hate. Good luck getting on any of my teams aging pitcher who doesn’t throw strikeouts. Yo, have fun, Jon Lester, but not here, homey. Finally, there’s pitchers I go back and forth on. Do I love, hate or something else…indifference? This year was indifference for Lance McCullers (6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.24), due to coming off Tommy John surgery. For 2021, it’s going to be hard to figure out what to expect from him. Will I love, hate or…indifference? McCullers-Cullers-Cullers’s velocity returned, but his Ks have been kinda flat. He’s not getting a ton of guys to chase outside the zone, and hitters are making contact. The zone numbers are pretty average, but he’s also battled back from major surgery, and may not yet be at 100%. Do you really hold against a guy a goofy six weeks of stats with his stuff? Maybe, but if you’re holding anything against a guy to love to hate, then that sounds more just like love and you don’t know how to show it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I had Dane Dunning listed as a two-start pitcher last week, but I guess that didn’t happen for whatever reason. However, he was the headlining player of that article, and he’s back again for this week! Way back then I wrote: “I’ll give him this — the career 0.5 HR/9 over 449 professional innings will serve him well this week. Also working in his favor is he’s facing the 7th and 9th worst teams in K/rate to right-handed pitchers.” Well, he did allow a HR to the Twins last week, but still only held them to that 1 ER over 7 innings while tying his season-high with 7 K’s. JUST LIKE I TOLD YOU. So what about these Indians? They’re only hitting .230 against righties with a .373 slugging percentage. The ingredients are there for another delicious recipe for success from Dunning. I’m a little less optimistic about his start against the Cubs, although they have been middle of the road against righties with their third-highest K/rate against them. Take the risk if you can afford it. 

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Another huge Yankees’ threat was activated last night, and he’s a big, big threat, I mean, big, big, big, it’s Aaron Judge, guys and five girls! And, wouldn’t you know it, the Yankees hit seven homers, with three of them from Kyle Higashioka (3-for-4, 5 RBIs with his 2nd, 3rd and 4th homer); DJ LeMahieu (3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) hit two homers (8, 9); Luke Voit? Oh, you know Voit (1-for-4, 3 RBIs) hit one of them! He has 19! Clint Frazier (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) even got in on the action, hitting his 7th homer. Oprah screaming like a lunatic, “You get a home run! You get a home run! You get a home run!” Aaron Judge looks under his seat, pulls out a gift-wrapped box, “I get…an 0-for-4?” *hears Final Jeopardy music* “What is six games?” “Oh, I’m sorry, that’s wrong. Aaron Judge will be injured again in four games.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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With four home runs and a stolen base in his first seven games, Randy Arozarena finally bloomed this week. Better late than never. 

One highlight of my winter was plucking Randy Rose atop the 2nd round of a 30-team First-Year-Player-slash-Supplemental Draft. 

The pre-Rona times were a mood, man. We had plenty of stuff to be indignant or cosmically fearful about, but we kinda weren’t, you know? Like on the day-to-day basis? We were mostly thinking about Randy Arozarena’s flashy spring in the fantasy factory that is Tampa Bay. Or maybe that was just me. 

But Tampa’s the pivot-slash-segue here, if such a thing exists when a conversation wanders among the Rona thoughts. Tampa’s Rays have been getting a lot of winter shade the past few off-seasons because the front office there would prefer to platoon the planet. The reticence to embrace young Rays makes plenty of sense, but on the other hand, a lot of what Tampa touches turns to gold.   

Arozarena will cool off soon enough because nobody could sustain his pace, but I think he’s here to stay as an impact bat for our game. He posted 16 home runs and 19 stolen bases in about 400 plate appearances between AA, AAA and MLB in 2019, slashing better than .300/.400/.500 at every level. Only the Cardinals would look at a guy like that and say no thanks. The “industry” in general loved the trade for St. Louis because we can dream on LHP Matthew Liberatore for a long time. Maybe it’ll still break their way, but Arozarena is a perfect fit in Tampa as a lefty masher who’s been improving against righties the past few seasons to the point where I think he’ll be above average against same-siders. He’s also a plus defender across the outfield. If I have to pick between Arozarena and Dylan Carlson in 2021, I’m feeling Randy enough to pluck the rose. Might even prefer him over the balance of their careers, partly because I’ve always loved the guy, partly because I just trust Tampa’s touch. 

So who else do we need to monitor in Tampa?

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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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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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After blowing the game in epic fashion Thursday night and then blowing another game same-day, hours later even epicly-er the Philadelphia Phillies have finally said enough is enough. Their relievers are rocking a icy 8.07 ERA, with an even more inflated 10.93 ERA in the ninth inning. Wow. That’s like Red Sox-relievers-bad. So who did they reach out to? Who else but the awful reliever experts, the Boston Red Sox, and Philly acquired Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree Friday night in hopes of bring some stability to the late inning relief. In return they send RHPs Connor Seabold and Nick Pivetta to Boston. Pivetta, a sabremetrics darling, will likely slot into the starting rotation immediately despite his ugly 15.88 ERA, 1.94 WHIP. He’s given up 10 runs in just three games this year so he should fit right in with this pitching staff. Still, dude strikes out everyone. A 10.32 K/9 in 2018 shows flashes of what could be a valuable starter some day. I have streamed him many times in the past and he’s burned me even more times, and I look forward to this happening again real soon. Connor Seabold (2.24 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 58/11 K/BB in the minors), could also likely find his way into the rotation at some point this year, given the lack of competition at the big league level. Back to Phillies, Workman should immediately take over as closer and could see a boost as he’s better than his 4.07 ERA and 1.80 suggest and has converted all four of his save chances this year. The Phillies are a considerably better team so the save opportunities should be more frequent. Workman is likely already rostered in most fantasy leagues, even though he probably shouldn’t be. However, his successor in Boston, Matt Barnes, is still unowned in most leagues, and that is likely to change quick. If you’re as desperate for saves as I am for positive feedback Barnes and his 5.59 ERA are the obvious choice for save chances for Boston going forward. He notched his first save of the year Friday night allowing just one hit. Pick him up if you really need the saves or you just hate yourself.

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Jairo Diaz was told the Rockies will no longer have a designated closer. Bud Black is crazy, right? I mean, he is legit nuts or no? I know the Woke Police say you shouldn’t call people crazy, but if we don’t, then they might not get help and Bud Black needs help. I thought maybe Black was just slow on the uptake as witnessed by Garrett Hampson’s playing time. It’s not normal to go from not playing to suddenly being an everyday leadoff man, like Black just discovered Hampson this year. Garrett was good last year, you absolute loon! But this is about Jairo Diaz. He didn’t have the best of games (2/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, ERA at 3.12), but Carlos Estevez (1/3 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 3.38), who saved the game, took a comeback off his hand, and was in severe pain, heading for x-rays. So, one guy’s been decent (Diaz), one guy is obviously injured, and the third guy, Daniel Bard (1 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 4.09) has been okay, but serious emphasis on “okay” and nothing more. That’s when you announce the guy with zero blown saves is no longer the closer? Bud Black is twenty-six screws short of an Ikea dresser. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, this is going to be an interesting day. We have a whopping 12 starting pitchers at risk due to weather as well as a number of teams I’m fading completely due to risk of postponement and to top it all off we have Tampa and Toronto playing in a 7 inning makeup game…..Fun. I’m gonna do my best to help you navigate the land mines and win some money today.  Let’s dig in.

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For next year’s All-Star Game:  The best of the AL and NL will face off against just ex-Mets players. Maybe they can get Steven Matz (4 1/3 IP, 8 ER, ERA at 8.20) to pitch the Home Run Derby too. He’s useless otherwise. Oh, don’t worry, Matz is a great 2nd half pitcher, so wait until you see him around September 1st. Wrong city transpo line and total mixed metaphor, but the Nats T’d off on Matz like they were his daddy and Asdrubal Cabrera (4-for-4, 3 runs, 5 RBIs and his 2nd and 3rd homer) was in charge of doling out the punishment. Then Juan Soto (3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer) was the uncle who came in to tell Asdrubal that the Mets had enough, only to wait until no one was looking and lay a noogie on them himself. Then, as Sexy Dr. Pepper left the room, he tagged in Treat Urner (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer) who laid all 155 pounds of himself into them. If the Mets ever let Pete Alonso go, he might be the first to hit five homers in a game. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?