On the first pitch Justin Upton (2-for-4) saw back from the IL, he slammed it into the seats for his 1st home run. Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department said, “Anyone who wants to come over on Saturday, I’m doing a screening of the short film I did about O.J. Simpson and a lovable group of his former Bills teammates plotting to break into a Vegas casino to steal back his memorabilia called, O.J.’s Eleven. I play O.J. in blackface.” People have been asking about adding Justin Upton, and he’s currently owned in 70% of ESPN leagues, though Klara Bell owns 17,000 teams to help fill his virtual trophy case, and doesn’t own Upton, so, technically, Upton’s owned in 101% of leagues, but, if he’s available, I’d add him everywhere. Prior to his injury, he was a top 30 outfielder, and see no reason why he can’t do something similar from here to there. There being October. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Masahiro Tanaka 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.
The sun rising at dawn as two towheaded surfers paddle out on their longboards. One surfer, Rob, wears a business suit and sunglasses. The other surfer looks like Tony Hawk’s wet brother. Tony Hawk’s wet brother asks, “Why the business threads, my brosef?” “I’m the commissioner of baseball and could be called into action at any time.” “Whoa, right on.” Rob points at the ocean, cascading out in front of them, “You see this Tony Hawk’s Wet Brother? This water as far as the eye can see?” “I do, my brosef.” “This is juice that I will be stuffing into baseballs.” “Whoa, right on.” And that’s Our Commissioner Manfred surfing in the morning sun. Yesterday, was another day for the long ball bizzonkers led by the Diamondbacks. Leading off literally and, well, literally, Jarrod Dyson went 2-for-4 and hit his 4th homer. Inner monologue, “You know you want to compare how many home runs Dyson has to David Dahl. You know you want to do it, so do it. Come on. Compare them.” Dyson’s having a nice year. “A nice year compared to who? Say it!” Hopefully, Dyson keeps it up. “You are the lamest!” Next up literally and literally, Ketel Marte went 3-for-5, 2 runs and hit his 16th homer. “I dare you to compare Marte to David Dahl!” Shut up, Inner Monologue! I hate you! Next up literally and literally, David Peralta went 1-for-4 and hit his 9th homer, as they started the game Dback-to-back-to-back. Four home runs is most home runs ever hit in a row. That record is in jeopardy this year in every inning. Then not literally, Ildemaro Vargas went 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and hit two homers (3, 4). I have a hard time suggesting him because names starting with Il confuse my pea brain. You Il Duce? No? Then goodbye! Finally and literally, Eduardo Escobar went 4-for-5, 3 runs, 5 RBIs and hit his 16th and 17th homer, hitting .299. Gabe Kapler said to the opposing pitcher, Jer-khoff, “Don’t blow this,” and Escobar screamed, “Did someone say blow?!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Masahiro Tanaka’s first 11 starts have been about as good as you could’ve hoped when you drafted him around the 30th-40th SP off the board. It felt like he was being ignored in some leagues and came at quite the value. He’s a no doubt starter this week with the way he’s been performing, but it may be a good opportunity to sell high on the veteran pitcher.
Most of the numbers are in line with his career (GB rate, LD rate, K rate, BB rate, 1st strike rate). However, there are a few indicators that he’s been a little lucky and his stuff may not be quite what it has been in previous seasons, specifically his moneymaker, the splitter.
His swinging strike rate is down to 11.1% from 14.1% in 2017 and 15.1% in 2016. His 77% contact rate is the 2nd worst of his career along with career worsts in hard hit rate, launch angle, and average exit velocity allowed. 80.6% left on base rate isn’t completely unsustainable, but it would be the highest of his career.
It’s my belief, and the numbers back me up, that the splitter is not the pitch we’ve seen in previous seasons (below), which is leading to less swing and miss, and harder contact. The vertical movement on the pitch is the worst we’ve ever seen from Tanaka. His swinging strike and K rates are down, and of his 3 primary pitches (FB, Slider, Splitter), the splitter is the only one that has a worse whiff rate at 11.69 down from 22.99 the previous season and easily the worst of his career. The batting average against the split finger is .333 this season compared to .220 and .191 in the previous 2 seasons. Similarly, the slugging percentage is up to .560 this season vs .344 in 2017.
I don’t believe that Tanaka is just going to fall apart and if you need a steady arm to balance your roster, I think he’s fine, but with his current numbers I believe you may be able to sell him high compared to what he provides the rest of the season.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Cavan Biggio will be promoted today to join Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Soon, Bichette will join Guerrero and Biggio and the Jays’ master plan to reunite the 2005 All-Star Game in the luxury boxes will be complete. “How’s Darin Erstad Jr. look?” “More like Darin Ersatz!” “I don’t get it.” “Ersatz means an inferior substitute.” “Is that some thinking man’s humor? I don’t like that.” That was overheard in the Jays’ front office. Here’s what Prospect Mike said about Biggio this preseason, “At 23, Biggio had a solid 2018 campaign at Double-A. He hit .252 with 26 homers, 20 steals, and a walk rate of nearly 18%. He has the pedigree and patience to make it in the pros and the power to hit 20-25 homers, but he also strikes out a lot and I’m not sure what position he’ll end up at. This could mean he ultimately finds a role as a super-utility type like a Swiss Army knife. Speaking of which, anyone know where Grey is, I want to harvest his liver.” Okay, what now? This year, Biggio cut down on his Ks, and held his walks, hitting .306 in Triple-A, while adding in his usual mix of power and speed. I imagine he takes over for Sogard and hits leadoff. Sogard? So long! I added Biggio everywhere I could because I have a sickness for upside. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Kinda obsessed with our Top 100 Fantasy Starts tool (not a tool as much as it’s a free list). Since I’m writing this on Sunday, I’m not sure yet where Shane Bieber and his 9 IP, 0 ER, 5 hits, zero walks, 15 Ks will rank, but my guess is 1st or 2nd overall. (The tool (list?) updates after this is posted.) Pretty deep into the season to have Shane Bieber throw possibly the best start of the year. Bieber was the youngest Indians pitcher since 1987 with 12+ Ks — wow! — the last to do it was Greg Swindell — um, all right! Bieber was the 4th youngest since 1908 to have a 15-K, zero-walk game, the other three: Gooden — crazy! — Kerry Wood — nasty company! — and Vince Velasquez — well, um, he had a good game. Only two Indians starters in history with a shutout, no walks and 15 Ks are Bieber — damn! — and Luis Tiant, who at 78 years old just beat up my autocorrect for changing his name to Luis Taint. Sunday’s start shows why I wanted to draft Bieber in every league. Hopefully, he keeps it gong…gong…go I ng–Sorry, my autocorrect is scared to change anything now. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hope our five girl readers had a beautiful Mother’s Day yesterday. I sent my mother a trade offer sending her Tyler Flowers and Goodrum. She appreciated the thought. Also, I wore pink the entire day for you mothers, because that is a very girly color that baseball keeps perpetuating every year. Why can’t mothers be into purple or lavender or mauve or rose or fuchsia or flamingo or other shades of a color similar to purple or pink? How about next year all players wear lavender pants suits for Mother’s Day? Ooh, I have an idea. Since all pink bats are relegated to the trash bin after Mother’s Day, how about players use them again to raise awareness to spay or neuter your pets? Like an in-heat bitch (medical term in vet school), George Springer was hot with that pink bat (more vet med terms), going 5-for-5, 5 runs, 4 RBIs with his 14th and 15th homer, hitting .321. The good news is he’s finally living up to his top 10 potential. The bad news is his owners from last year are on suicide watch. But, hey, it’s not us, right?! (Actually, it is me. Damn.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
No ham sad-wiches at this Fiers fest! Mike Fiers pitching a no-hitter with 6 Ks, ERA down to 5.48, and he only needed 131 pitches. Previously, he threw a no-hitter in 2015 when he threw 135 pitches. Man, pitchers really threw a whole lot more pitches back then in the mid-twenty-teens. Way back when we still thought Game of Thrones was a good show and not a shill for Starbucks. Way back in 2015 when we all got along outwardly and just simmered under the surface with our political differences. What a time! Of course, Mike Fiers was facing the Reds, and Fiers is red and *insert Spider-man pointing at himself jpg* and Ramon Laureano needed to rob Joey Votto of a home run, but…piece of cake. As we knew all along, there’s nothing to Fiers except Fiers himself. He was a streamer I strongly considered yesterday, because Fiers is the epitome of a Medi-OAKer pitcher, and he was at home facing a terrible team. Sadly, the one thing that puts out Fiers is when you put your stream on him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Royals swept the Rays yesterday in a doubleheader, taking down Blake Snell (3 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 4.31). Snell can’t handle the Royals, they can Snell what he’s cooking. As Razzball commenter, tigersharkz said, “Yep, Snell’s fine. Recovering from a broken toe in 10 days happens all the time in real life.” From Young MC’s Bust A Move, “Blake is getting shot down because he’s over-Snellous. …so hey, Reigning Cy, don’t bust a toe.” No foolsies, but pitchers need their toes to push off, and anything can get them out of whack. I’m officially concerned. Of course, the Royals were led by Adalberto Mondesi (3-for-7, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (4) and double legs (9, 10) on opposite sides of a doubleheader, hitting .295). Adalberto is my daddy — excuse me, Addadytogrey Mondesi. He’s now on pace for 20/50/.290. Yeah, terrible 2nd round pick. Also, chipping in for the Royals was Kelvin Gutierrez (2-for-7, 4 RBIs and his 1st homer). How big is this guy? Have you seen him? He’s like $54 T-bone vending machine steak. (Gonna keep using this until it catches on.) Is he related to The Big FraGu (throwback)? KelGu, take me away. He looks like he should be able to hit 20 homers and steal 10+ bags, but I don’t know if he’ll have the playing time, so best for deeper leagues for now. Terrance Gore keeps hitting (1-for-4, 1 run, hitting .400). I’d like to see Terrance Gore on the Big floor piano. It would be like Jerry Lee Lewis on coke. …Whole Lotta Stealin’ Going On! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you said you loved Kevin Kline in the role of Cole Tucker, you wouldn’t be wrong. What can’t Kevin Kline do? Yo, Kevin Kline, wanna be my father? “Sir, this is a Cheesecake Factory and that’s James, our short-order cook, not Kevin Kline.” I’m crazy for rookie bats. As crazy as I am for rookie bats, I’m tepid on rookie arms. I don’t dislike them, but roofies are real and dangerous. Rookie bats, however…*places nose right above a stick of butter, inhales deeply* So, the Pirates called up Cole Tucker. He’s the sexiest Pittsburgh shortstop since….uh Jack Wilson wasn’t very sexy…uh…Jordy Mercer God no…Erik Gonzalez bleh…Arky Vaughan! Arky took no crap, quitting for three years at one point because he got sore at Leo Durocher for talking to the press about a teammate. And Arky still made the Hall of Fame! Of course, he had to wait 33 years after his death. Any hoo! Besides Cole Tucker sounding like he wears Vineyard Vines, what do we know about Tucker? He has 30-steal speed. Love that. Where else are we finding that? That alone is reason to grab him in every league. Yes, every league. Next up, he made swing adjustments and is more a 17-homer hitter than the under-5 homer guy he showed before this year. In 18 spring at-bats, he hit two homers. In 57 Triple-A at-bats, he hit three homers. In his first career at-bat with the Pirates, he homered. For power, I’m going to start saying Triple-A is samesies with the majors. We’ll see if my new approach pans out! So, 17/30/.250 while also taking a walk? I told you every league. The Ghost of Arky Vaughan can eat a D! (If the site suddenly goes down for three years, we know why.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
As Ice Cube sang on the now-iconic song, It Was An Away Game, “Just waking up in the morning gotta thank God. Today, German was away, carrying my whole squad.” Then later on, he sings, “I felt ill after that big fat DeSclafani, pitching like he just pulled out of bed in jammies, but German killed those baserunners like every role by Allison Janney. And my teams run deep so deep so deep I’d put your ass to sleep talking about how on one team Alex Cobb’s my number one, but I didn’t hesitate to call German Marquez my top gun.” Imagine you were a Rockies fan who only watched home games, the team’s contract with German Marquez (9 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 0 walks, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.00) would be tré confusing. After 100 pitches, he is so low effort throwing 97 MPH in the 9th inning, and occasionally drops in an off-the-table curve that is freaking brothers every way like M.J. I can’t believe today German’s game was away. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?