Please see our player page for Nelson Cruz 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.

Shh…That was what I was saying yesterday. I was like a librarian with my index finger pressed to my collagen-filled lips. I was lowering the shades of my house hoping no one passing by would see how well Luis Severino was pitching. My phone rang; it was a telemarketer, and I talked to them for 45 minutes because I knew if they were talking to me, then they couldn’t be watching Luis Severino and getting excited for him for 2023 fantasy. One less person who’s going to be get all Jazzy Jeff’d for Luis Severino. I don’t need people seeing that! Yesterday, Luis Severino went 7 IP, 0 ER, zero hits, 1 walk, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.18, as he was throwing speedballs by everyone, just peppering 98 to 100 MPH fastballs into the 7th inning, like it was nothing. For 2023 fantasy, Luis Severino will be going around the number three fantasy starters, and be on my short list for guys who can be an ace. I’m already thinking about the Luis Severino sleeper. I wrote a Jordan Montgomery sleeper last year, so being on the Yankees won’t preclude that possibility. Severino’s going to get all that 2023 shine! Now, that you’ve read this, set fire to your computer so no one else can read this and know how good Severino was yesterday. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In most H2H leagues, this is the final week of the regular season.  I reflect on this week as I have watched Pujols and Molina make their final journey around the MLB before they leave for good.  Well, as far as we know!  Pujols has gone on record that even if he doesn’t get to 700, he will retire.  I believe that about as much as I believed he was 19 when he joined the Cardinals.  I think it would be an awesome situation to watch Albert come back next year (if he doesn’t get 700 this year) and have all of America watching his every AB in hopes of 700.  Then again, the swan song for Pujols and Molina hasn’t exactly been one that I had imagined.  I can remember when Mariano Rivera was retiring, he was getting rocking chairs made of broken bats, gold records, and terrifying sand sculptures.   Derek Jeter received a ticker tape parade with every stadium he visited, and yet Pujols and Molina pale in comparison.  Sure, Molina doesn’t deserve the send-off that Jeter or Mo had gotten, but Pujols deserves so much more than what he has gotten.  Hell, the Red Sox and the Cubs gave him the same gift, the #5 from their scoreboards. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And-Gim isn’t just Pam from The Office’s requested guest list plus one. And-Gim isn’t just someone remembering late their favorite characters on Taxi. “And-Gim And-Gim number nine, on the New York Transit Line, if my train goes off the track, pick him up, pick him up, pick him up! Back on the scene, crispy and clean, still 23 with an outside chance for 20/20/.300!” Okay, that last part didn’t rhyme. Yesterday, Andres Gimenez went (4-for-8, 5 RBIs and his 13th and 14th homer, hitting .312) in the doubleheader. Gimenez is averaging about four homers a month, and has seven steals already this month. If he gets ten steals in a month, well, I don’t want to wake up Mr. Prorater — “Did you know your uncle spends more time on Facebook than Jonas Salk spent on polio?” — Oh, shut up, Mr. Prorater! Andres Gimenez is in that delicate area where if he loses just a little power and speed in 2023, then he becomes a 15/15 guy and that’s a little yawnstipating, but he’s also on the precipice of becoming a 20/30/.300 guy, and that’s top 25 overall guy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Atlanta Braves’ rookie flamethrower-slash-hotshot-slash-heartthrob, Spencer Strider turned in his best outing of the year Friday night, pitching five and 2/3 innings, allowing just five baserunners and punching out eight Pirates en route to his second win. Spencer finally hitting his Stride-er! He lowered his ratios to a real nice 2.35 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with the start and his 57/19 K/BB in just 38.1 innings was the exact same number I had on the vision board I made for my positive affirmations class. You just can’t find that kind of strikeout potential on the waiver wire, over-the-internet friends. He’s got a 36.8 K% and a 13.38 K/9. Mhmm. Oh my, is it hot in here? I need to calm myself down, I’m getting excited. *bites knuckles, does ice bucket challenge, thinks about baseball players* Wait! No to that last one! Spence, can I call you, Spence? No? OK, Spencer’s biggest knock is that he’s currently being stretched out after serving in somewhat of a long relief role, so he may not pitch deep enough into games initially to get you those sweet dubs, but Braves manager Snitker seems to be ramping him up quick. He threw 72 pitches in his first start, followed by 87 last week and 92 Friday night. That’s progress, y’all! The five and 2/3 innings was the longest outing of his young career, and even though it was the lowly Bucs, he produced a swinging strike rate of 34%. That’s 18 swings and misses, 11 of those on his stinky, stinky cheese, which topped out at 100+ mph multiple times. Yup, guy’s got gas to spare during a nationwide shortage. Basically, Braves have been ramping him up and he’s taking it in Stride-er. Sure, he’s had some cushy matchups so far with Arizona, Colorado and Pittsburgh, but he gets another juicy one next week versus the Nats. If you are looking to buy unfunny gag gifts, fart pills, embarrassing sex toys or lava lamps, I’d check out Spencer’s Gifts, but if you need starting pitching help with massive strikeout upside on a team that can’t seem to lose right now, I’d buy Spencer Strider. Maybe buy the fart pills, too, those sound fun. Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Only thing better than three homers in a game is three World Championships in three years for three different teams.” — Joc Pederson probably. Joc Pederson is 80-grade fun. Maybe it’s the goofy paunchy body, maybe it’s the frosted hair that seems done by himself on a whim. I don’t know; he’s just so much fun. Yesterday, him and his fantasy owners had a whole lotta fun — 4-for-6, 8 RBIs and his 8th, 9th and 10th homers and his first career three-homer game. I know it’s inaccurate, but it feels like Joc Pederson hits 30 homers every year, and they’re all hit in the matter of 10 games. Think the only thing you need to know about Joc Pederson is this picture:

Joc Pederson has ice in his veins and NFTs in his crypto wallet. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Woke up yesterday morning and Googled to see if there ever was a movie made called, Call Me By Your Mom with Timothee ChalaMILF, then Christian Yelich (4-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, 5th homer) hits his third cycle vs. the Reds. Could this be a coincidence or deja vu? Whenever I think of Yelich, I think of Mr. Redleg:


Excuse me! His name is Mr. Redlegs! Wait, am I talking about cojoined twins now? Co-Dick? Corey Dickerson did nothing yesterday (or all year). Yelich was an early season goof-up by yours truly. He looks markedly better than last year. I saw his sample size — hey now! — in the first two weeks and thought we were in for another long season of ground balls, but he’s actually improved. He’s hitting everything hard, and in the air again. Yelich might not be the Yelich of old — the top 10 overall Yelich — but he could easily be a low-end top 20 outfielder. Now, I’m off to see if anyone will invest in Call Me By Your Mom. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Full Nelson. One of the simplest yet most effective wrestling moves in existence. It was a move mastered by kids even before the optical nerves were blessed with the role of messaging the awesomeness of WWE to the brain. Go to hug someone from behind but, instead of sensually massaging the nipples, move the hands up to the neck then interlock the fingers. That person now looks like a pelican with a shark biting its legs. Nelson Cruz has been one of the simplest yet most effective hitters in MLB. See ball, hit ball. Far, very far. From 2014 to 2019, he hit at least 40 home runs in four of those seasons. In the two that he failed to hit the mark, he went for 39 and 37. Now at age 41, he’s struggling to start the 2022 season, posting a .157/.250/.245 slash with a .088 ISO. As a result, he was dropped in 7.2% of ESPN leagues. We know that Father Time is undefeated, so is this when we cue up the Boyz II Men?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Jazz Chisholm Jr. (1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 3rd homer) was moved back to the leadoff spot. Whatever was worked out between Jazz and Don Mattingly was worked out behind closed doors. There’s no way of knowing. What happened, if I had to guess, was Jazz said to Don, “I’m sorry for drawing a mustache on all the photos of you around the clubhouse. The Rollie Fingers-curl was especially inconsiderate. I still think your machismo is being undersold clean-shaven, but I respect your opinion.” Then Don replied, “And I’m sorry I said your parents have no taste for naming you after the worst Ken Burns doc.” Then later on, Jazz heard someone named John, thought it sounded too much like Don, and said this:

So, the Jazz drama’s prolly not done yet. I’ll admit to maybe being too reactionary about Jazz being a Sell in the 1st week because he was hitting 9th, and I’m glad Don came to his senses. Also, in this game, Jesus Sanchez (2-for-3, 3 runs and his 3rd homer), hit his third homer, and looks every bit of the sleeper I called him to be in the preseason. Speaking of sleepers, Rudy tells me the title means P = Pablo, Js = Jesus and Jazz. Mmmkay, and the Pablo Lopez (7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 0.52) I was very worried about in the preseason looked as good as the Rodon and Kershaw, who I was equally worried about. It’s a long season though, and it’s not exactly actionable to say Pab-Lo will just get hurt, but, well, that was the concern with his shoulder. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Max Fried went into the House That Sandy Koufax Built, during Passover, and hid the Afikoman from the Dodgers for 7 innings. For you gentiles who don’t know what an Afikoman is, imagine I was accidentally misspelling the rapper Afroman’s name and you were playing hide and seek with him. That’s an Afikoman. *stares at the ceiling* Damn, I thought balloons would fall if I made the first mention ever of a Afikoman on a fantasy sports site. No luck there, I guess the Hebrews didn’t pay for the balloons! Rarely do I make two straight ledes from the same series. From Freeman to Fried, man. From a guy who looks like he has teeth made of wax to Max. From a guy who abandoned his Atlanta roots to a guy who hears often, “Why don’t you call more?” Max Fried went 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 8 Ks, ERA down to 3.50. I suppose it’s harder to hit an unleavened ball. Nice to see Fried bounce back from his last two meh outings, but this is why I keep telling you to be patient. We really have no idea about anyone yet. Even Max Fried was able to go from meh to mensch. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Five ladies and gentlemen, it’s…HELIO STUDWAGON!

And I can’t fight this rookie nookie anymore,
I’ve forgotten what I started fighting for (which stinks because we’re roughly 72 hours into the season),
It’s time to bring this shizz into the shore and onto my team,
And throw away the either/or’s forever.

Baby, I can’t hold Steven Matz anymore, but how about this Heliot Ramos fella!
He looks great, or as they say in San Fran “hella,”
I need him on my team, er,
His projections are insane from Steamer!

So, Heliot Ramos (2-for-3, 1 RBI) was called up. Prospect Itch said, “Ramos didn’t graduate AA so much as he aged into AAA, where he was still 5.7 years younger than the average player. Across the full season (116 games), he slashed .254/.323/.416 with 14 HR and 15 SB. Not bad. Not ideal. The hope is that he settles in at AAA and soaks up some coaching, applies that across his opportunities and takes the slow road to becoming a fantasy factor. I doubt the club will rush him to the majors in any needs-based scenario. This is good news for Ramos and us, as it gives the 6’1” 188 lb, 2017 first-rounder time to grow into his skillset, and I’d like to hit Grey with a skillet.” Not cool. So, the Giants seemed to disagree with how much time Ramos needed in the minors. His projections at the Prospectonator are fire under a helium balloon. Some of the best projections I’ve seen for a rookie. Oh, just your mundane, ho-hum 20+ HRs and 10 steals. Will the Giants still start guys like Steven Duggar over him? Oh, absolutely. Have you not been paying attention to the Giants for the last year-plus? Still, I’d grab Heliot Ramos in all leagues where I need an injection of sexy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The time has come to get our final preseason notes in order so there’s no time like the present to dive into the rankings and see who rises and falls in points leagues. For example, Bo Bichette falls all the way out of the top 10 because the total base numbers just aren’t there. Mind you it’s not far out of the top 10 but it does illustrate the difference. Another guy who takes a tumble in points rankings is Luis Robert, who drops down around 30. In both cases these guys are young and have to upside to beat their projections but you might not get quite the value you were hoping for. Remember that for hitters, total bases are king. Obviously home runs are great but I like to look for the guys with doubles power. I love triples but they just aren’t reliable enough to bank on. For starting pitchers I focus on innings and strikeouts, especially later in the draft when the sure things are gone. Now that I’ve rambled on that points leagues are just different and you need to focus on different stats, lets get on to some guys to target in drafts if your league waited. Either way, these are guys I like better in points league formats.

Please, blog, may I have some more?