Have you heard?  The Mariners are rebuilding.  Cool, but haven’t they been rebuilding for the last fifteen years?  Also, is it the wisest decision to tell other teams you’re throwing in the towel in November?  Is that like when you’re a girl and you make a vision board that says you’re going to get a boyfriend and you do?  Or is it more like a guy who throws a PBR into a fountain and makes a wish to get laid?  A girl can find a boyfriend if she’s available.  A guy needs more than optimism, otherwise he’s going home with his hand.  Guess what I’m saying is the Mariners are a bunch of jerkoffs.  With that said, they traded James Paxton to the Yankees for Justus Sheffield and some other prospects.  I will get to the prospects on the other side of the ‘Anyway,’ for now it’s Paxton, who I do love, but how surprising is it that he’s 30 years old already?  Surprising, right?  Last year was the first time he threw more than 160 innings in a year.  Walter Johnson, you are not.  You’re not even Josh Johnson.  His numbers, as always, were spectacular — 11.7 K/9 (4th in majors), 2.4 BB/9, 3.02 xFIP (4th).  By the by, in his best career year for innings, he didn’t even qualify for those stats in the leaderboard.  I had to sort down to 160 IP.  Meh, 150 insanely good innings is better than 200 innings from an Orioles starter.  Speedball guys don’t age great, but his velocity was still 95 MPH on average last year, which has been his norm, and he had the third best cutter in the majors (8.2), and the top 5 don’t have anywhere near his fastball.  Corey Kluber, for unstints, had 16 wins above average on his cutter, and had a -7 fastball.  Paxton had a 11.6 on his fastball.  We’re talking elite stuff, obviously.  The move to Yankee Stadium and AL East will deflate him a bit, but he can pitch anywhere.  For 2019, I’ll give James Paxton the projections of 14-7/3.64/1.12/206 in 179 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2019 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Corey Kluber (7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 2.83, and his 1st 20-win season) just passed Trevor Bauer with 216 Ks, giving the Indians four guys with 200 Ks.  They may not even win as many games as the Rays, but you’re really coming for the Indians in the playoffs?  I predict a red-blooded, all-American Indians-Braves World Series.  “Hello, my name is Woke Wally.  Yes, I’m wearing a badge that reads, ‘Woke.’  I received this honorary badge as a participation trophy from my wife, Margaret.  Do you know what I was participating in?  Citizenry!  I’m here at your sheriff’s office to file a formal complaint on behalf of the millions affected by a casually racist World Series.”  The Stream-o-Nator lines Kluber up vs. the Royals for his final game, but I can’t imagine he throws more than three innings in that start, and is likely just skipped.  For 2019, Kluber is once again going to be way out of reach for me, like an imaginary tassle on the end of a Braves fan imaginary tomahawk.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Didja you know The Captain from Captain & Tennille’s real name is Daryl Dragon?  Why would this guy have a nickname?  Your name’s awesome, you don’t get a nickname.  Daryl Dragon has bedtime slippers that are cooler than you.  Daryl Dragon washes his hands, then breathes a not-very-intense fire on his hands to dry them.  Daryl Dragon can’t get a speeding ticket.  “Okay, Mr. Dragon, I’ll let you go this time with a warning because your name is Daryl Dragon.” Raul Mondesi?  Now that name sucks as bad as Thanksgiving dinners with the Mondesis (Mondesii?).  “Please pass the potatoes and change your name back to Junior.”  “NO!” and chucks mashed potatoes at his father’s head.  “You throw like your mom!”  “I hate you”  And so on.  I don’t hate Adalberto Mondesi though.  Yesterday, he went 3-for-5, 2 RBIs and had a slam (9) and legs (25).  He has nine homers and 25 steals in only 219 ABs.  Mr. Prorater says, “In a full season, he’d have 20 homers and 55 steals.  And if I ate an orange a day for a year, I’d have enough Vitamin C for a Mars colony.”  You could consider this your first 2019 sleeper, assuming I don’t get too crazy with myself and rank Mondesi in the top 25 next year.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Thomas Pannone took a no-hitter into the 7th inning of his 1st MLB start, and was the 5th pitcher since 1900 to go seven shutout innings with one or less hits and two or less walks, finishing with 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 3 Ks.  More trivia?  You got it!  He sometimes goes by his stepfather’s Polish name, Pannonehits, or his mom’s Czech name, Panntwowalks.  Coincidence?  Pannone says puh-no-way!  He has disavowed his biological Italian father, Panettone.  That guy is a real fruitcake.  Haha, we had some good laughs, huh?  I’m going to take a nap now.  *shuts eyes standing up*  I can hear you tiptoeing behind me.  So, wasn’t able to find a ton on Pannone on site.  Our Prospect-o-Nator that has projections for all rookies doesn’t hate Pannone.  Yes, it projects him for 4.98 ERA, but, trust me, with rookies, that’s not awful.  He’s not listed on any major Jays’ prospect lists likely because he throws 89 MPH.  Woof, and let the dog out so it can woof-woof.  For now, I’d look at him as a streamer.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And out like a Jake Lamb after season ending shoulder surgery. Stash or Trash: Trash. If you’re in a dynasty league, however, I’d definitely stash Lamb. He’s expected to be ready for spring training 2019. Lamb is still only 27 and has 100/30/100 potential with upside for more while hitting right in the thick of that awesome Diamondbacks lineup. In my opinion, if they can keep the majority of their roster intact the Diamondbacks have World Series potential in 2019. Fill In: Wilmer Flores (6.9%.) As a part time player the past three seasons, Flores really has some solid seasons. In those three seasons he averaged onl 375 ABs with 17 HRs and 53 RBI with a .754 OPS. With the Mets throwing in the towel after making 0 moves of significance at the deadline, Flores now finds himself batting third in the Mets lineup and hitting pretty well since the start of July: .308 AVG, 11 XBHs, 14 runs, 12 RBI. Flores also has that dual 1B/3B eligibility that makes him even more valuable.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Lance Lynn had to shave his beard to play for the Yankees, because the Yankees are fascists.  I wish Giancarlo would grow a mustache as giant FU.  What, are they going to bench him until he shaves?  Actually, Giancarlo should carve an F and a U in both of his sideburns.  That would be such a 1970’s move.  You could see Willie Stargell, high as a kite, being like, “Carve, ‘Down with Whitey’ in my sideburns.”  Little did we know a clean-shaven Lynn would be an all-new pitcher, throwing 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, 1 walk, ERA at 4.58.  Prior to the trade, here’s the Twins pitching coach talking to the bullpen catcher, “Do you think Lynn might be dragging his right side a little bit because of all that facial hair?”  “I don’t know, but Sasquatches have been deemed the new sexy ‘It Thing,’ so who’s to argue?”  Yesterday, we saw more of Lynn (literally and figuratively) of what made him a solid starter in St. Louis for many years.  His season numbers are still garbage but, if nothing else, the Stream-o-Nator loves his next start.  If he can command his pitches, he could have a solid final seven weeks.  It’s all about The Art of Shaving two walks off his rate.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Matt Olson, affectionately known as Allahson by people in Middle East Bay, hit his 22nd homer yesterday.  An inconsequential home run to the game, but it’s a part of a larger tapestry.  Khris Davis hit his 31st homer, his 4th homer of the week, but, again, pull back, view the larger picture.  That home run didn’t matter!  Speaking of a matter, Matt Chapman hit his 15th homer, as he hit out of the two-hole, because the A’s can.  Sure, the A’s can and two-hole are synonymous.  But, of course, all of this happened.  Look at the larger picture!  Trevor Cahill went 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.12, which is exactly what was always meant to happen.  Don’t you see it yet?  On Saturday, Edwin Jackson went 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 2.87.  No one on the A’s will have a bad game this year.  Know why?  Are you pulled back far enough to see the larger picture?  No one will have a bad game because no one sells their soul and doesn’t specify they want to be good until the end of the season.  “Hey, cool horns and pitchfork.  So, yeah, here’s my soul, and can you make me pitch well until the first week of August?”  That would never happen!  The A’s aren’t the best team in baseball without serious voodoo, soul-selling!  I have it on good authority someone was seen in the A’s clubhouse with a 1970’s-style mustache hiding horns on top of their head!  That’s the devil, unless Rollie Fingers remodeled his face.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I try to avoid repeating ledes during the season and Sean Newcomb already had one.  There I said, “It’s 2074, Grey Albright’s frozen head is on a shelf next to Ted Williams’ frozen head…I took a picture of Ted’s penis…I’m so romantic!”  Damn, I pull quotes almost as well as I dispense fantasy baseball advice!  By the way, I watched the Ted Williams special on PBS this weekend.  Biggest surprise (to me), he was Mexican.  He was the original Fernandomania — Teodoromania?  When I searched Ted Williams and his Mom, that dominated the search results and who are we to question Google?  So, Sean Newcomb ended the game one out from a no hitter against the Dodgers, one of the best offense teams — 8 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.23.  I pulled the reins on Newcomb in the last few weeks because his peripherals are garbage and I’m only happy when I’m pulling reins.  His velocity is down, his 8.3 K/9, 4.3 BB/9 and 4.32 xFIP are not telling the whole story, but they’re telling enough of the story while sitting around a campfire farting.  Then on Sunday, he threw 134 pitches.  I’m all for hypnotizing pitchers into thinking they’re Walter Johnson, but he had never pitched more than 111 pitches in the majors.  Solid game on Sunday, but if you grab Newcomb he could leave a mushroom cloud in his wake, and not as in an umami bomb.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

DJ LeMahieu hit the DL with an oblique injury, and is out for months.  It happened when DJ was carrying a crate of records.  “Aunt Audrey is requesting the Electric–Side!  My side!”  As DJ collapsed into a heap of bar mitzvah party favors he’d collected.  Garrett Hampson (0-for-3) was called up to fill in for him, and I tried to add him everywhere.  Prospector Ralph had him in his top 100 fantasy baseball prospects, and said, “Hampson brings a nice mix of plus contact and plus-plus base running ability. With his combination of contact, speed, and plate approach he has a shot to carve out a niche as a top of the order run producer, which is different than Grey who is a ‘runs producer,’ as in he produces crap.”  Hey!  Hampson could have a 6 HR, 15 steal 2nd half, or, knowing the Rockies, Hampson will sit on the bench four out of five games while Pat Valaika plays.  I wish these were laughter tears.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to prematurely balding men and decided if you can’t beat them, join them!  Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post.  Here, enjoy some coffee.  Oops, you just drank rat poison.  I should’ve used different mugs.  Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than owning Byron Buxton in the 1st half.  Oh, you owned him and that’s why you drank the poison!  Now, I’m following!   Hey, I’m supposed to be leading!  Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2018 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up!  But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest!  So, as with all of the other 2018 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt.  If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade that outfielder for that 2nd baseman.  Also, things change in fantasy baseball.  Daily.  I could put Jose Ramirez number four on the top 100 list for the second half of 2018 and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with Jo-Ram.  Why soil a good thing, ya know?  This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued.  It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache.  This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today.  So while Bryce Harper did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because, well, we have to believe in miracles — my 12-year-old self would want that, and to sleep with Cher.  The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2018.  I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what players will do.  It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone.  Welcome to the future!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2018:

Please, blog, may I have some more?