Please see our player page for Matt Barnes 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.

I’m back from vacation and ready for another week of madness with Grey Albright Fantasy Master Lothario. Lots of news with the All-Star Break approaching and we hit on all of it. We touch briefly on the London games, learn that Grey doesn’t watch “normal tv”, always bets the over, and doesn’t understand the overseas scheduling. We try to make sense of the Red Sox bullpen. Discuss Brendan McKay’s debut and his value going forward. Name some possible second half bounce backs, hit on some breakout second baseman, and touch on what to expect from Dylan Cease. But the show culminates in the unveiling of the Sogard Cycle, a new tool to predict the five to six weeks of hit hitting from The Accountant each season. It’s the Razzball Fantasy Podcast.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s not easy making a reliever as an MLB closer these days. The ball is juiced and more hitters than ever have figured out that swinging for the fences pays off even with some extra strikeouts. Those factors equal plenty of blown saves these days. The pitching landscape is changing. You need to take more cracks at saves than ever, even if you strike out, too.

Yesterday, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. went 3-for-5, 4 RBIs with his 11th and 12th homer, hitting .304.  Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is the greatest living hitter, and I’m not living in a hyperbolic chamber, while dining out on superlatives to describe how hot Gurriel’s been since he returned from the minors.  On our 30-day Player Rater, he’s a near-top 10 hitter over the last month. His father, Yuli Gurriel, calls his son every day and asks him how he does it and LouGu Jay R is just like, “Father, I cannot explain my success with the white ball.”  And Yuli’s like, “Careful with the coded language because I learned the hard way people don’t like racism. Who knew?”  LouGu Jay R may simply be a hot bat, but there’s something to be said for a guy who has been hot the entire time he’s returned from the minors.  Maybe this is LouGu’s floor vs. ceiling.  At least one Junior is impressing on the Jays.  “I got a better butt.”  That’s Vlad Jr. modeling in front of a mirror for ESPN’s Nude Magazine. However, the song Vlad Jr. sings to his reflection is apt, “Gurriel, you knows it’s true.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

It’s not easy writing a post about a hitter that went bingo-bango on your pitcher three times. Why the hell was Trevor Bauer in the game for 119 pitches?  Did Bauer invite Tito Francona to his house for one of his baseball player meet-and-greets and serve him coconut water? Cause if he did that, then hell hath no fury like someone served coconut water.  “Is this sweet…perspiration?”  That’s me drinking coconut water.  Trevor Bauer (8 IP, 5 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.93) has the Twitter handle BauerOutage and, gotta be honest, it’s meaning something that he’s not intending this season.  It’s like 1977 in New York City power outage and Son of Sam is talking to his dog about what a mess my fantasy pitching is, due to Bauer.  Any hoo!  Max Kepler went to-the-window-to-the-wall three times yesterday (4-for-4, 4 RBIs, hitting .266) with his 13th, 14th, and 15th homer, and is doing what I always dreamt of, only I was dreaming about it in 2017. See, I’m accurate about everything, except years.  Right now, on our Player Rater, Kepler is around the 25th best outfielder.  However, before his home run yesterday, he was hitless for close to a week, so it shows you his hot and cold natural.  Right now, it’s Max Power:

Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This weekend Jay Bruce was traded to the Phillies, because, as the front office in Philly put it, “We’re sick of our autocorrect writing Bruce Harper.  Now we write Bruce Harper and rather than backspacing we can just continue on and we’ve typed out two-thirds of our outfield.  Next we have to try to get Michael Chavis, for our issue with the autocorrect Michael Franco.”  Guys and five girl readers, the Phillies have a plan!  This move also kills two birds with one stone since now Bryce Harper will look so much better by comparison.  Before, “Man, Bryce stinks.”  After, “Man, Bruce stinks.”  Autocorrect and by comparison — done and done!  This likely puts David Herrera’s time all but done on the Phils and maybe baseball until the Astros take a chance on him.  Yes, Odubel’s real name is David, which is now what we, like the cops, call him.  As for Bruce, this is a boost up for him, due to park and lineup.  Now he’s a 30-homer hitter with a .225 average and better runs and RBIs.  Can I get a middle-case yay?  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend 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?

It’s getting ugly in the reliever market. Injuries, ineffectiveness, and promotions have wrung much of the top talent out of the scene.  Much like the bazaar in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle there’s stuff everywhere, but it’s hard to find what you need. Also, there’s a basket with a cobra in it. You just have to hope the Rock shows up and start throwing people through walls. I don’t actually know what the fantasy baseball equivalent of that is. I’ve gotten off track here thinking about the Rock’s ridiculous biceps, as per uzhe. I’ll wrap up this lede in ramble with a comparison Jumanji’s theme: the only way to win the game of relievers is to play and win.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The bullpen upheaval has begun in earnest. If you need saves you’re about to get your chance to bid for some. The NFL draft also starts tonight, so I went with NFL movie themed tiers.

  • Mike Scioscia’s spirit must be haunting the hallways of Angel stadium. Brad Ausmus tried to get twelve outs from Ty Buttrey but he only had 11 in him and gave up a run and the lead to New York. Hansel Robles, who hadn’t pitched the day before, was called on for the last out of the loss. I’m more confused about the LA situation than ever.
  • Mychal Givens notched an honest to goodness save Wednesday. A six-outer, to boot! Maybe that means manager Brandon Hyde is starting to realize that Givens his only real fit for the ninth.
  • Ryan Brasier has grabbed the upside to the Boston closer Schwartz. He’s viewed as the more straight-line ninth inning guy, while Matt Barnes has more value as a fireman.
  • Baseball is weird. Shane Greene has eleven saves and two earned runs. He’s the second best closer in baseball on one of it’s worst teams.
  • With David Robertson on the IL the Phillies have been turning to Hector Neris mainly. That’s shocking for Gabe Kapler. When Neris has his split-piece working it’s nasty, though. We can back the Kapler meddling threat level to yellow for now.
  • Both Jose Alvarado and Diego Castillo needed some well-deserved rest this week. Kevin Cash turned to Emilio Pagan for back to back saves. Pagan was cast off by Oakland after they traded for him and didn’t get the reliable reliever they expected. Their loss could be Tampa’s gain.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?