Yesterday….yesterday….yesterday….
All my fantasy baseball championship titles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though one is here to stay *sung in a very fast voice* oh, crap, nope, because I didn’t draft Daniel Murphy because he didn’t believe in the lifestyle of a gay,
Oh, why didn’t I believe in Murphy like he didn’t believe in a…gay…gay…gay.
Suddenly!  David Price’s arm is not half of what it used to be.
There’s a shadow hanging over me,
Oh, it’s Giancarlo’s groin that I made of plaster of Paris to admire and it just exploded in paste on me…Suddenly!
Why the season had to go, I don’t know, it wouldn’t say… because it can’t talk, it’s a baseball season that ended yesterday…yesterday…yesterday!
Fantasy Baseball was such an easy game to play,
Now I need a mother’s basement to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday…day…day.

*sniffles*  Here, take a tissue.  You have to excuse me, I don’t have any clean ones.  What will we do for the next few months without an update on a Mets’ pitcher elbow?  Will Rougned Odor reveal he was accidentally batting while crossing his eyes and that’s why he barely hit .200?  What will we do without a James Paxton injury update?  WHAT?  WILL?  WE?  DO?  Prepare for next season, of course.  But, first, let’s bask in the last day of the season.  Today is the day when you realize you’ve spent 27,000 man hours this summer beating eleven other strangers to win a virtual trophy, and it feels great!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greetings and welcome to the last Two-Start Starters post of the year. With it being the last week of the season, make sure you take this list with the biggest grain of salt you can find. Just stay away from the bath salts. That will lead to entirely different issues in the coming weeks.

For the last week, obviously, our problem is that these rotations are written in pencil. As more and more teams clinch the playoffs and become locked into their spots, they will rest starters. Some teams, looking ahead to a potential one-game playoff (which is the dumbest thing baseball has ever decided to do, but that is a rant for another time), may even tweak their rotation to get a certain starter lined up for that crucial game. So, disclaimer over. Take this list as a starting point, but know that it could be very fluid throughout the week.

The first thing you may notice is that Chris Sale is scheduled to make two starts, but I did not include him in the rankings. That is because that second start is not a certainty by any means, and I would argue it is very unlikely. If the Red Sox have already clinched the division, there is little chance he starts or, if he does, that he pitches deep into the game. If the Red Sox might be destined for a Wild Card Playoff game, then they will likely want to keep Sale fresh to be able to start that game. Sale is obviously still worth starting for his one start, but don’t bank on getting two starts from him this week.

There are others who are probably in similar situations. I removed Dallas Keuchel, Jon Lester, Luis Severino, and Jake Arrieta because I would avoid them strictly for two start purposes. Obviously, those are still pitchers worth starting; they just are not reliable options if you absolutely need two starts. While I left them on the list, I would also avoid Yu Darvish, Alex Wood, and Carlos Martinez.

As for the Streamonator picks for this week, there are actually seven starters with positive money values who are owned in less than 75% of RCLs:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

To anyone from Southeastern Massachusetts my title means something to you. If you’re anything like me it signifies the first time in your life you were severely disappointed. I can still remember packing into my parent’s station wagon with another family my parents were friendly with. We were headed to the “World Famous King Richard’s Faire“. Six year old Ralph couldn’t believe I was headed to THE fair of THE King Richard. I mean he was the best king ever, and here I am headed to his fair! Me, lowly 6 year old Ralph with a golden bowl cut! Welp, much like everything else in life since, it was a massive disappointment. What was supposed to be a day of jousts, knights, kings and princesses, quickly turned into reality. That reality was drunk bikers with swords, mutton, and the inescapable smell of feces and urine. The strangest part is it smelt just as much like urine as it did poop. It was as if the two smells were competing for dominance, each pushing itself to it’s limits but neither overtaking the other. Needless to say I never went back. I could have, but I did better things with my time like drinking or masturbating. What does this have to do with Garrett Richards and his most recent start? Well let’s just say I was excited, only to be disappointed. That’s my big market tease, trust me you’re bound to be disappointed…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There’s an old expression in Major League Baseball, “As the sun sets on one Weaver, another rises from its ashes.” I have to say it was rather prophetic to predict the spontaneous combustion of Jered Weaver’s career. Then again, it’s not like there weren’t clear signs that we had reached the end of the line with our most recent Weaver. I mean the man was throwing 67 MPH in his last few starts, or years, but whatever… That brings me to today’s subject, our new shiny Weaver, complete with new car scent! I’m of course alluding to Cardinals rookie phenom Luke Weaver. The 24 year old right-hander got his first taste of the big leagues last year to mixed results. He looked brilliant at times, and caught too much of the plate at others. The issues with Weaver are rarely related to his pitching however. He’s had an inability to stay healthy over the course of his career, never exceeding 120 innings pitched in a season. As for the player himself he has one of the more exciting upsides of any arm in the minors, mixing swinging strikes, with weak contact, and elite control. Since his most recent callup in late August, Weaver has posted back to back starts with 10 Ks and 1 walk, while limiting his opponents to a .224 batting average against. There’s nothing I love more than digging into the start of a player I’ve been touting for a year plus. It’s even better when that player’s twitter handle (@DreamWeava7) has a Boston accent! I’m in LOVE!! Previously Weaver has ranked 48th (pre-season), and 60th in my mid-season, which is lofty praise. As anyone who reads my prospect work will tell you, I discount pitching prospects pretty heavily for fantasy purposes.  Enough of the small talk, here’s what I witnessed in Weaver’s Sunday start.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Ender Inciarte went 8-for-10 with two runs, 5 RBIs and two steals (18, 19), hitting .310.  That’s a doubleheader that would’ve made Ernie Banks blush.  And Ernie only blushed one time that we know of, the time Ernie confused Fergie Jenkins with Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas late one night at Harry Caray’s.  “Yo, Ernie, what you talkin’ about with my humps, my lovely little lumps?  And I don’t know what I’m going to do with the junk in my trunk, why do you keep asking?  You holding a garage sale?”  I don’t know why I enjoy the sweet stylings of Ender Inciarte so much.  I kinda hate guys like Adam Eaton, and we should call Ender, “Cheap Eats with Some Indian Guy Named Khan,” because he is nothing more than a cheap Eaton.  Maybe it’s because Ender always comes at a discounted rate to go with his “Yes, You Khan Cheap Eats” shizz.  Though, he is a fantasy beast for supporting actual beasts.  In other words, Ender is not making or breaking your team, but when you have guys that hit 40 HRs and .250, guys like Ender make all the difference as supplements.  “Did someone say supplements?”  What the hell are you doing here, Bonds?  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There’s a narrative making the rounds that today’s Pitching Profile subject Collin McHugh just started throwing a slider. This on it’s face isn’t completely true, his repertoire included a slider two years ago, but he scrapped it in 2016 in favor of a cutter. So the “throwing a slider now” people are insane, and this is open and shut case. Right, Ralphie?” Actually, their narrative is partially correct, because while he did formerly throw a slider he didn’t go back to the pitch he scrapped before last season. He’s throwing a different slider. A reworked version he picked up from clubhouse showboat Brad Peacock. Who picked the pitch up from some shoe salesman named Jordan Jankowski, who picked his up from a decoder ring at the bottom of a box of Count Chocula. Anyway, back in 2015 when McHugh experienced a break through with the Astros, he threw his “old” slider nearly 45% of the time. It’s funny that everyone forgot he threw a slider back then, considering it accounted for such a high chunk of his usage. In fact he threw his breaking pitches, (he also has a high spin-rate curveball), 67.1% of the time.  Leading his 27.2% fastball usage to rank as the second lowest in the majors behind only R.A. Dickey during the 2015 season. Before 2016 began McHugh’s usage of his ineffective slider was scrapped completely for a cutter, and an increased reliance on his hook. The results didn’t change, in fact in someways they got worse, but that’s not important, and here’s why. Fast forward to 2017, and McHugh missed a majority of the season’s first half with an elbow injury. The player that has emerged since is a completely different animal. Throwing his fastball more than 50% of time, and with a new and improved low 80’s slider, one with increased movement from his former offering. The question for today, “Is this a new and improved model or just a redesigned Grand Am?”  Let’s look under the hood and see.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s player’s weekend, ya’ll! These next few days are about letting loose and having fun and not taking this serious game so seriously. Hey, I’m really good at that! There are nicknames on the back of the jerseys and wacky cleats and bats and socks! How fun! Sign me up! The cynical side of me wants to say huge cash grab suuure, but the fact that all the proceeds go to the player’s chosen charity is kind of cool I will admit. And really who wouldn’t want a Big Smooth jersey. It’s just fun, don’t overthink it! Speaking of fun, how about owning Rhys Hoskins? The rookie hit his ninth home run last night in the first inning to become the fastest player ever to get to nine homers in his first 16 big league games! Extrapolate that! Calculating…calculating…that’s a 90 homer season! And that’s math, people! Math don’t lie. He’s now homered in six straight games hitting .385 with 16 RBI in that stretch. ALL HE DOES IS HIT HOME RUNS. Will he hit a home run in every game going forward? Probably! I don’t know! Remarkably, Rhys’ still available in about 40% of leagues but that number should be even higher by the time I finish this dot, dot, dot…sandwich! Gotcha! After jacking 67 homers in two minor leagues seasons the power is coming as no surprise, but his .283/.406/.755 slash is certainly a big plus. Grey told you to BUY and if he’s still out there in your league you need to run, not walk, to pick him up because late season call ups like this can win your fantasy league. Sadly, Hoskins isn’t rocking a nickname on the back of his jersey this weekend, but if it were up to me it’d be “All Rhys.” See what I did there? If I said it should be “Better Than Judge” would that have been clearer? Because no one is more dominant than All Rhys right now, not even that other guy.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Take on your favorite contributors and other readers in the 2017 Fantasy Football Razzball Commenter Leagues for a chance at prizes! Free to join, leagues still open!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It feels good to finally be able to use a Demi Lovato song in my title. Forget Chad Kuhl let’s talk about Demi! What star power! What charisma! What a voice! Name another song besides the one in the title! You can’t!

**inner-monologue** Wait, don’t take that bet. Don’t show your true colors when you don’t have to. I mean, it’s not like I Ralph Lifshitz am actually a Demi Lovato fan. PFFT! That would be preposterous! **inner-monologue-out**

Chad Kuhl of the other hand, different story. Now he is a someone who’s fandom I’d consider! (You don’t believe me do you?) The 24 year old righthander, has followed up a promising rookie campaign with an inconsistent 2017. That’s not to say this season hasn’t had it’s bright spots. He looks on pace to reach at least 150 innings, his velocity has jumped nearly 3 miles per hour on the fastball, his swinging strike rate is up, and despite a 4.52 ERA, he’s been slightly unlucky (68.5% LOB, .316 BABIP). Luck aside he’s struggled to limit contact, and has always walked a few more batters than you’d like to see. Since the calendar turned to July, Kuhl has been a top 30 starter going 4-2 over 10 starts with a 3.21 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, .211 BAA, and his 21% K% is up about 2% from his career norm. More than likely this is a hot streak but with a player this young it’s best to see for ones self. Today we’ll dig into Kuhl’s most recent start vs St. Louis at home to get a closer look.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Clearly, the Razzball Vulcan Mind Meld is complete: just as the Mustached One put up a post addressing rookies, Dr. Easy and I had begun to wonder how the current crop is actually doing. We combed through the Razzball Season-to-Date Player Rater (STD PR) to see who’s living up to their hype. Who’s floundering in the face of big-league hitting or pitching? Who’s doing better than you think they are? Who’s doing worse? Why did basically no one draft Aaron Judge in the Razzball Commenter Leagues? We need answers! To get them, once more unto the Player Rater breach we go, my friends!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As the season rolls along, my choices for starters to profile should be wearing thin. Luckily for all of you, myself, and my relationship with anyone not in the Crab Army, spot starts and rookie callups give me the perfect intersect of my two worlds. Now as any good Seinfield fan knows, worlds colliding can be catastrophic. Just ask George Costanza. That however is not the case for your loyal and eccentric Prospector/Pitchspector. It’s all good on this end. Why? Because I’m more than happy to dig into the ratio roulette that is rookie starting pitchers. In the grand tradition of my messiah like activity on the prospect side, I’m here to observe these wild cards, provide my take, and lead you on the path to true fantasy salvation. This is a really long winded, and pompous, way to say I’m profiling Reynaldo Lopez’s White Sox debut today. I’ve been lower on Lopez than many other prospectors in the industry. For what feels like two years now, I’ve been constantly banging my shoe on the table of the United Prospect Nations, sternly proclaiming that “Lopez is a pen arm!” I’d make a joke of my followers storming the town square with Pier 1 style tiki torches, but the rest of the Lifshitz clan prolly wouldn’t appreciate that. Anywho, here’s what I saw.

Please, blog, may I have some more?