I wish I knew more about Street Fighter so I could come up with better Ryu puns or references. My knowledge of SF (do people abbreviate it like that?) ends at knowing it was fighting video game I had growing up that wasn’t as good as Mortal Kombat (hot take alert). And for the record, yes, I know Hyun-Jin Ryu pronounces his name differently. Give me a break, and go with it.

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On Thursday night, Gumby will be taking the mound for the Yankees, taking on the Athletics at the Coliseum. Gumby, of course, is rookie left-handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery, who has put together a nice season thus far, with an 8.67 K/9 and a 3.27 BB/9. This is good for a 3.55 ERA and a 3.57 FIP, and there’s nothing in Montgomery’s profile to scream regression. He’s facing a weak A’s lineup that is 23rd in wOBA against lefties at .298, and in a great pitcher’s park. At just $7,500, Gumby is a great bang for your buck.

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So let’s just get this whole curse thing out of the way. Seems like every starter I’ve profiled since taking over this here gig has hit the DL, with lone exception being Luis Severino. Some how he’s escaped my DL wrath, which means he made a deal with the devil, or knows strong voodoo. Poor Charlie Morton, Vince Velasquez, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Nate Karns, y’all never had a chance without Severino’s voodoo. Yeah, seriously, the “Ralph Curse” is that real! Now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way, my condolences to the owners of this week’s victim Dinelson Lamet. Let’s pray for a shared secret between he and Luis from the BX. Because DANG, he looks good. He feels like one of those prospects that’s never bad, but falls through the cracks on some lists (mine), while being higher on others (other people not named me). He’s two strong starts, and 10 innings into his major league career, and he’s scheduled to go twice this week. So he’s firmly on the fantasy baseball radar. Enough with the bollocks, let’s dig into the bangers and mash, see what we have here, and determine if he’s someone to hold in the right formats.

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Does anyone remember when Vince Vaughn was funny? It was a time long ago in a land far, far away, your wife was still dating guys wearing Armani Exchange shirts, and George W. Bush was using words like strategrey. It was long before the abortion that was True Detective Season 2, or Couples Retreat, and sometime between Swingers, and The Breakup. In that wrinkle in time Vince Vaughn ruled the box office, and the douchy part of our soul where things like Ed Hardy t-shirts, mirror selfies, and Criss Angel performances still roam free. So where am I going with this awkwardly constructed analogy? I’ll hurry up and get to the point, today’s subject Vince Velasquez has much in common with his big screen brother in initials, way beyond his first name and banal use of the word “Bae-be”. He too started his career with a bang, and universal love during his brief stay in Houston, and then the early season dominance in 2016. And much like Mr. Vaughn, Velasquez took on the task of leading man in the drama that is the Philadelphia Phillies 2017, but unfortunately he just hasn’t been able to recapture the magic. Maybe Velasquez’s nightmare seems less like a heroin dream, and more like a string of poor performances. But the effect is still the same, you just don’t view their latest release with the same excitement you used to. So when I was tasked with covering Velasquez this week by our fearless leader Grey Albright, it felt like a choir singing to me. Perhaps it was the angelic voice of Mr. Albright, perhaps it was my paycheck. Either way, when Grey Albright comes to you and asks “Can you see what’s happin’ with this young brother”, you A. wonder when he became a member of 5% Nation, B. you profile Vince Velasquez. So to the God Grey Albright this is for you…

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I was originally excited to focus on Baby Thor Mike Clevinger in my first post taking over the Two-Start Starters for [email protected], but the rainout on Thursday threw everything out of whack. So, I had to pivot and focus on what’s going on in Seattle. Enter Ariel Miranda and Sam Gaviglio.

Of the two starters for the Mariners right now, Miranda is the one to target. To be honest, neither one is likely to be a long-term fix for your rotation. Gaviglio is a 27-year old who has an ERA of 4.01 over seven seasons in the minor leagues, while Miranda is a 28-year old Cuban who had moderate success in the Cuban National Series and the minors. Both are scheduled to start two games next week for the Mariners.

At first glance, it would appear that Gaviglio is the tasty treat that a starter-needy fantasy owner should target. After all, he has the shiny 1.29 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Unfortunately, not only is that a very small sample size, but there are some pretty serious red flags. For starters, while he only gave up one run against the Nationals, he only struck out one batter in six innings. That shiny ERA is also aided by the fact that he actually gave up five runs, but just the one was earned. Against the White Sox in his previous start, he went five innings and only struck out two batters. In his two starts this season, he has thrown 11 innings and struck out just three batters.

But that’s not it, here is the bigger issue with Gaviglio. His ERA might be 1.29, but his FIP currently sits at 4.22. At 2.93, his FIP-to-ERA ratio is the highest of any of the 40+ two-start starters in week 9. Between his lack of strikeouts, his lackluster career in the minors, and his inflated FIP-to-ERA ratio, you better believe he is going to regress to the mean sooner rather than later. Ignore that ERA and stay away from Sammy G.

As for Miranda, I like him more and hate him less. While he doesn’t have the same sub-2.00 ERA as Gaviglio, he does have an 8.75 K/9, a less hideous .40 FIP-to-ERA, and a 5.77 K/9-to-BB/9 ratio. While he has had a couple of disastrous starts this season, he also has six starts in which he has given up two runs or fewer. You could do worse than Miranda as a two-starter starter. In fact, you could have Gaviglio. Both should be available in more than 75% of leagues. Despite the fact that the Mariners visit the Rockies next week, there are worse options for two-start starters…

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Has there been any “sleeper” more hyped this season than Charlie Morton? It seems like we’re constantly being reminded of the spike in velocity, the swing and miss stuff, the combination of swinging strikes, and groundball rate. Knowing all this I was dying to profile Morton and see what all the noise is about. Speaking of Noise, my Pittsburgh scout, and favorite right testicle Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, has a basket full of hot takes on Morton, that mostly consist of different ways to say Charlie Morton sucks. Perhaps Noisey is right, perhaps all the lemmings in the fantasy industry are right. Much like the ATLiens that raised me to be an emotionally well adjusted gangster, I just stay in the middle and drop bombs, mostly in the toilet. I stay regular ladies and gents. Let’s take a closer look at this “new and improved” Charlie Morton, and see if it’s in fact a new recipe, or the same re-packed garbage.

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Is there anything better than baseball on a rainy Saturday afternoon? You can’t do any yard work, you know, because it’s pouring, so you settle into your favorite chair, crack a beer, and you’re whisked away to a place much warmer, and much sunnier. Here I sit, beer in hand, ready to watch this week’s test subject Royals righty Nate Karns vs the first place Baltimore Orioles. The journeymen starter is on his 4th organization in five seasons, and there’s two ways to look at this. Either Karns can’t keep a job, or he’s highly “in-demand” by multiple teams throughout the league. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, never good enough to lock-down a rotation spot, but also good enough to find opportunity year after year. So far Karns has been a good fit in Kansas City, making his 7th start today vs. a surprisingly mediocre Orioles offense, one that ranks in the bottom half of MLB in nearly every offensive category. So the home matchup vs. Baltimore is a good one, even if it’s a first place club he’s facing…. Here’s what I saw on Saturday.

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The title reminds me of an old joke — stop me if you’ve heard it — a guy with a wooden eye walks into a bar and pours out his heart to the bartender, “My wife left me, she said I had a bad temper, and, with this disability — this wooden eye, I will never find another girl.”  The bartender puts down the glass he’s shining because that’s what bartenders do to talk and says, “I’m not going to lie to you, your wooden eye could be a problem.  You need to find a girl with problems of her own.  How about you try that girl by herself on the dance floor?  The one with the big ears.”  So the guy with the wooden eye downs his shot of whiskey, wipes his mouth with his sleeve and approaches the girl, “Do you wanna dance?”  She swoons, “Would I?”  “F*ck you, Dumbo!”  So, Alex Wood is in Coors tomorrow.  Um, yeah, no thank you, but this is about the bigger picture.  Well, not too big of a picture, because the Dodgers have about sixteen starters on the DL, so at some point Wood might not be in the rotation.  He is now, though, and he’s lovely.  He has a 11.5 K/9.  That would be the fifth best starter K-rate and better than his rotation mate, Kershaw.  Wood has a 2.49 xFIP, which would be third in the majors for starters, behind only Chris Sale and Pineda.  To touch on stats that actually matter, his ERA is 2.73, and he’s been unlucky!  You’d be hard-pressed to find one area where Wood is not excelling.  Am I grabbing him in all leagues?  Of course!  Wait, are you asking, ‘would I?’  F*ck you, Dumbo!  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Greetings streamaholics. I’m back for another week of zany hijinks and madcap fun in our pursuit of streaming perfection. Like always, I’ll be sorting through the bargain bin and lightly owned section of arms and bats to bring you the best options available in standard ESPN leagues. By now you should know the drill…..These suggestions will be less than 50% owned in the aforementioned leagues as well. Holding my hands throughout this entire process are the brains of this operation: The Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron. These sexy, next-level love-bots have provided the pertinent information necessary to pass along the best streaming information in the industry. Hands down. Or hands up if you’re on a dirt bike excursion in the Rockies with Madison Bumgarner. He’s such a blast to kick it with on off days. So do yourself a favor and sign up for one of the many packages Razzball has to offer. The “tools” Rudy has put together here are second to none. The absolute best in the industry if you ask me. And you did ask me, right? Of course you did. Anyway, just sit back, relax and enjoy this post. I’m here to help you win your league. #honchoyourfriend

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Okay, hooligans and hooligals!  I did my best to ward off Rudy from recommending the title, “I’m Keano For Severino.”  Or his 2nd recommended title, “Poop Breath < Severino.”  I think Rudy’s been drinking.  So, as they say when they remove tassels from cow udders in Tennessee, “Playtime’s over, let’s get down to business!”  Yesterday, Luis Severino threw 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 11 Ks to lower his ERA to 4.50.  Maybe not so much better than poop breath?  I keed!  Much better.  Between the lines, where the game is played as I sound vaguely like George Will, Severino looks dominant.  Fastball: 97 MPH, ground balls around 45%, xFIP at 1.95.  Okay, I just put tassels on my udders, because those numbers are gorgeous.  There’s not much fun to be had in his division and park, but his stuff should play anywhere.  I’d absolutely look to add him in all leagues; he’s dramatically better than poop breath!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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