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Slight format change going forward with this column — I’m going to be leaving short term DL candidates near where they were ranked previously. It was become too hard to remember who and when players were coming back. (Yes, I do write the injury column — but I don’t write the healthy column.) This is what happened with Starling Marte — I don’t own any shares of Marte so I didn’t notice his return from DL so he was an unfortunate oversight the past few weeks in these rankings. If someone is looking like they’ll be out for a longer period of time — they might drop a bit more in the rankings or be removed entirely (as is the case with Jorge Soler and his broken foot.) Due to these new additions we’ve got a Top 110 hitters this week with guys like Josh Donaldson, Mookie Betts, Wil Myers, Yoenis Cespedes, Ronald Acuna and others making their surprise reemergence. Next week 10 of these hitters will probably work themselves off this list. Also, as a side effect to these new additions a lot of players will look like they’ve fallen really far in the rankings — again, this should normalize by next week. 

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*life flashing before eyes right before death* Wow, that’s a lot times I picked up and dropped Chase Anderson.   Is it weird I can understand where Mike Tyson was coming from when he said he wanted to eat Lennox Lewis’ children?  Some of these players — Sonny Gray, Jon Gray, Chase Anderson — come to mind that make me want to eat someone’s children.  Not really (yes, really).  Why couldn’t Chase Anderson do this when he was on my team?!  *lines tacks up on desk, slams head down*  I’m okay!  *blood dripping from forehead like Abdullah the Butcher*  I can’t see!  *screaming at intern*  Getmeahandiwipesoicansee–Okay, I can see again.  I’m still seeing blood though.  Yesterday, Chase Anderson went 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.13.  The peripherals are still not there for Anderson — 6.1 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 5.17 xFIP — so I won’t be going back in on him.  That doesn’t mean it won’t make me think about salt and peppering some kids if he pitches well again.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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During the slow Monday, when there was five games on the docket, and half of them were Yankees, I started thinking about some either/or’s.  Though maybe because I was listening to Elliott Smith — that guy was uplifting!  Luis Severino was out doing his norm — 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.20 and 0.93 WHIP with peripherals that are just as gorge — 10.7 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 2.83 xFIP.  First either/or for you, wait for it, here it comes, follow the arrow –> Next year, Luis Severino or Kershaw?  Is it even close?  Don’t think it is.  Okay, next either/or, Luis Severino or every pitcher not named Max Scherzer?  Maybe, maybe not.  There’s pitchers with better peripherals than Severino right now — Scherzer, deGrom, Cole, Corbin, Kluber and Syndergaard.  Throwing the two Mets out because they’re injury risks; Corbin and Cole don’t have the track record; semicolons are fun.  That leaves us with Scherzer, Kluber and Severino.  So, three’s company, and Severino is Joyce DeWitt.  Come and knock on my door!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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After hitting 6 HRs and stealing three bases with a .254 average in his first 17 games, Franchy Cordero (OF, Forearm Strain) has slowed down considerably hitting only 1 HR and stealing 2 bases with a .222 average over his next 23 games with a 30:9 K/BB ratio. With Hunter Renfroe returning and Wil Myers due back soon — I’m afraid it’s the guillotine for Franchy. Stash or Trash: I’d be thinking of trashing him unless you’re in a deep league with not a lot of options. Fill In: Daniel Palka (2.1%.) Palka has been filling in for an injured Leury Garcia for the Chi-Sox and has been doing pretty well lately. Who is Daniel Palka? He’s a former third round pick who hit 34 HRs in 2016 in the Twins AA and AAA program. He’s also a guy who hit 29 HR and stole 24 bases the year before that. What the hell? Why isn’t this guy being added in all leagues? Well throughout his minor league career he’s had a strikeout rate in the high 20% with a contact rate in the 60’s. So far this season in the majors he has 23 strikeouts to only 3 walks so he’s performing pretty on-brand. After an 0 for 8 start to his major league career, Palka has 26 hits in 85 at bats with 4 HR, 15 RBI and 2 SB. If you need help in deeper leagues take a chance on Al Palka.

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Hope everyone’s well rested and had a joyous Michael Bay Day.  If you couldn’t be American yesterday, I hope at least you got drunk and ate a bunch of hot dogs.  As they say in Mississippi, Amurica, “Spelling’s for sissies!”  In honor of Amurica’s half birthday, I hope you put a hot dog in your fly and went up to a female reporter, then let Roger Clemens watch you have sex with his wife.  Amurica would’ve wanted it that way!  Trevor Cahill did his part of keeping Amurica as true as the red, white and blue underwear you wash once a year and shut down those Rays, who we know want to have Devil in their name.  Cast out their demons, Trevamurica!  Yesterday, Cahill went 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners (zero walks), 6 Ks, ERA at 2.25.  He’s never gonna give you a fire emoji of 98 MPH or even throw his fastball more than 45% of time.  He is throwing his slider twice as much as last year, cutting his curve’s usage, and after about 11 years in the league, it looks like its paying dividends.  His ground ball rate is over 60% and his walk rate is down to 1.8 with a 8.4 K/9.  What, you a rich man’s Dallas Keuchel?  I will call you, Dynasty’s Carrington.  I could see owning him in almost all mixed leagues.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I went into the Mike Foltynewicz vs. Red Sox in Fenway matchup a spry, jovial young rascal.  The mischievous imp of Chinese food, the rapscallion.  Then Mike Faultywirewitz went 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners (3 BBs), 7 Ks, ERA at 2.55, and I aged forty years.  “I was told just the painting of me is supposed to age.”  That’s me trying to get a refund for my Dorian Grey Albright portrait.  The time Finkynewhitch was on the mound was like the three-year span when I lost my fortune investing in Beanie Babies compressed into two hours.  He just loses all semblance of the strike zone out of completely nowhere.  It’s like, “We’re cruising….so cruising…And now I’m throwing five feet outside the strike zone.”  With that said, it’s hard not to be encouraged — his velocity is up to 96 MPH; his K/9 is up to 10.4; he’s got the best xFIP of his career, and his team should provide run support.  He’s also in his third full year when I like to look for starter breakouts.  The only drawback is his command is a mess.  As long as you watch him pitch with cucumbers on your eyes to combat the wrinkles, you’ll be fine.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Juan Soto & Austin Meadows: Two of the league’s highest touted minor leaguers, Juan Soto and Austin Meadows, were called up within days of each other this past week. Soto obviously was the biggest shocker as he is only 19 years old and had only played eight games in Double-A. Austin Meadows, however, was a bit more of a realistic call up as he is 23 and has been on the call-up radar for over a year now. Prospect lovers are going to freak out that I don’t have them ranked (yet!) in this column. Well the problem is they’re just a bit unknown. There are already reports that Meadows is going to go go back down as soon as Starling Marte is healthy again, despite Meadows crushing the ball in his first 29 ABs (6 runs, 13 hits, 3 HR, 2 SB, .448 AVG.) And Soto also has minor league options left on his contract so with Bryce Harper, Matt Adams and Michael Taylor still on the big league roster and Adam Eaton so slowly, but surely coming back soon — Soto might not be a Nat for long. Where would they rank if they were both given starting jobs for the rest of the season? Well despite the Soto surprise and hype — I like Meadows more. He was looking like a bat that might develop into a 20/20 hitter. His star has definitely dimmed since he was ranked as the #6 prospect before the 2017 season — but the potential is still there. Soto would only be ranked lower because of his age. It’s rare for a 19 year old with barely over 500 plate appearances to make the majors and positively contribute to their team. That’s why the minors exist in general. “Enough jibber and jabber — where Kerry, where?!” Due to their uncertainties I’d start them in the 70 to 80 range with a lot of upward mobility.

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There’s been plenty of talk this year around guys like Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander (and rightfully so) but it feels like Jacob deGrom hasn’t gotten the same kind of hype despite his absurd numbers. deGrom has a 34.3% K-rate with just a 7.0% walk-rate and isn’t giving up any homers, giving him a 1.82 FIP and a 1.89 Deserved Run Average. He’s coming off of a dominant start against the DBacks where he struck out 13 batters, and now gets another easy matchup in the Marlins. Miami has the second-worst lineup in the league against righties with just a .279 wOBA. deGrom is worth spending your first pick on today.

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I rarely like to make too many movements in the Top 20 or so players, but this week I thought it was necessary. Last week saw me drop Paul Goldschmidt from 8th down to 21st and this week he tumbles a bit further down to 24. In the 4 games since my last top 100 article Goldy has gone 2 for 16 with two measly singles. He can get hot in a minute and rocket back up to the top 10 — but right now it’s disrespectful to the other players to place him in the top 10.

Jose Altuve’s slight fall is going to make a lot of people angry, but he’s just not doing enough with the bat or on the base paths to warrant a top 10 placement. I see the average over .300 but 2 HRs and 2 SBs isn’t cutting it. Just as a heads up — if you have a frustrated owner in your league who is willing to accept your offer of Jonathan Schoop and an OF2/OF3 for Altuve — make the offer now. Altuve is an avid Razzball reader and will be out to prove me wrong!

Two little Indians jumped up in my rankings: Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. They are ranked 6th and 5th respectively on ESPN’s Player Rater and earned their boost. A commenter last week pointed out how much better Lindor was performing than Carlos Correa and I that message was received loud and clear. Correa has been more lauded than Lindor, but I can’t deny Lindor is out-performing Correa so far this year. Ramirez on the other hand has statistics that compare favorably to fantasy baseball Gawd Mike Trout. Ramirez only has 6 less runs, the same amount of HRs, 5 more Rbi, 2 less steals and a higher average (even if only by .006.) With second and third base eligibility that screams top 10 talent to me. Soon.

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Ya know, if you’re gonna get busted for PEDs and be suspended for 80 games, the way to do it is right after fracturing your hand.  It’s like coming down with mono the week of your prom when you have no date.  “Damn, am I gonna miss that?  That is too bad, but I am so drowsy I feel like I have two Forest Whitaker eyes.”  That’s you getting prom-o-mono.  I am more surprised to hear Robinson Cano was busted for PEDs, than I am to learn he had no idea he was taking the illegal substance.  Baseball is currently batting a thousand for denials of PEDs suspensions. MLB players’ denials of taking the illicit substance should get into the Hall of Fame on its first ballot.  Speaking of Hall of Fame, I kinda thought Robinson Cano was headed there.  This will obviously shade a cloud over his entire career, which I do think is a shame.  What’s also a shame, you need to drop him in all leagues.  He’s more or less done for the year.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?