I try to avoid repeating ledes during the season and Sean Newcomb already had one. There I said, “It’s 2074, Grey Albright’s frozen head is on a shelf next to Ted Williams’ frozen head…I took a picture of Ted’s penis…I’m so romantic!” Damn, I pull quotes almost as well as I dispense fantasy baseball advice! By the way, I watched the Ted Williams special on PBS this weekend. Biggest surprise (to me), he was Mexican. He was the original Fernandomania — Teodoromania? When I searched Ted Williams and his Mom, that dominated the search results and who are we to question Google? So, Sean Newcomb ended the game one out from a no hitter against the Dodgers, one of the best offense teams — 8 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.23. I pulled the reins on Newcomb in the last few weeks because his peripherals are garbage and I’m only happy when I’m pulling reins. His velocity is down, his 8.3 K/9, 4.3 BB/9 and 4.32 xFIP are not telling the whole story, but they’re telling enough of the story while sitting around a campfire farting. Then on Sunday, he threw 134 pitches. I’m all for hypnotizing pitchers into thinking they’re Walter Johnson, but he had never pitched more than 111 pitches in the majors. Solid game on Sunday, but if you grab Newcomb he could leave a mushroom cloud in his wake, and not as in an umami bomb. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Tom Murphy 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.
Poor Aaron Sanchez (SP, Index Finger Contusion) probably hurt his finger on the latest episode of Chopped: All-Stars! The boring old baseball version of Aaron Sanchez has yet to rediscover his Cy Young caliber abilities after missing most of 2017. Sanchez rebounded nicely after a 5 inning, 7 ER performance at the end of May with three quality starts in a row in June. Hopefully this injury won’t derail his progress too much. Stash or Trash: I’d stash. If he can come back quickly he could provide some solid value in the second half. Fill In: Rather than force myself to find five starting pitchers who I might not even fully believe in — I’m going to give you three solid options at the bottom of this article who could fill in for the five injured starting pitchers this week.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Cleveland Indians rookie Shane Bieber was dominant Friday night in just his third career start, pitching seven innings, allowing just four base runners and striking out nine for his second win. Talk about a reason to Love Yourself. The Biebs now holds a 2.45 ERA and 1.36 WHIP through his first three starts (18.1 IP) and his 22/3 K/BB is Despacito–at least I think it’s despacito, not 100% sure I know what that means. I’m saying it’s flames. Shane Bieber is striking out lots of batters. Oh Baby, Baby. Baby sign me up. Wow, you sure do know a lot of Justin Bieber songs. What do you mean? I make it my business to know all about the Beibebers. For example, in the minors this year Shane was 6-1 with a 1.29 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and a 72/6 K/BB. If those numbers make you scream like a teenage girl and and write Shane’s name is cursive flirty letters on your notebook you’re not alone, Beiber’s got the stuff to be a bonafide heart throb. He will likely see the usual rookie pitchers highs and lows, but he’s looking like the favorite to run away with the fifth rotation spot in Cleveland. He’ll get a rougher assignment than Detroit next time out taking on the Cardinals in St. Louis but I’d grab Shane for the upside alone and hope he can make a Belieber out of all of us.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Here’s what I’ve said previously about Aaron Hicks, “Open Up and Buy AH, because owning Aaron Hicks is Nothin’ But A Good Time! Also, a good time is searching any girl’s name from Rock of Love with your parental controls turned off. Okay, I have a few Bee Tee Dubs here. Unless you have a child, you don’t set parental controls on your TV. You can filter what you see without magically stumbling on porn. The internet though? You need parental controls on it, no matter if you’re home, at work, 12 years old, 64 years old, at school or on the john. You can Google something as innocuous as “Persian cucumber” with no parental controls and all hell breaks loose in your search results. “Oh em gee, I just wanted a recipe for a cucumber salad! And, wow, I didn’t know Omar Sharif had so many nude scenes.” Bee tee dubya II, we’re due for a terrible 80’s hair band renaissance. Someone needs to do a cover of a Poison song. Bee tee dubya III, there is no bee tee dubya III. Bee tee dubya IV, I have this nugget in my brain that says, even though I was only 14 years old, I knew how awful Poison was at the time. Like, when they did Your Mama Don’t Dance, a big part of me knew they were absolutely terrible, even then. Any hoo! Hey, any hoo’s initials are Aaron Hicks. Coinkydink? Thinks not. He’s on a 162-game pace of 25 HRs, 15 SBs and a .260 average. Of course, that doesn’t matter. We just want a hot player at this point, and, on our 7-day Player Rater, he’s near top 25, and should be owned everywhere.” And that’s me quoting me! Yes, the royal we (which is me wearing a Burger King crown) have been here before, but every year it’s the same story with Hicks, until he gets hurt. Hey, he’s more predictable than that hair band renaissance apparently! For now, Hicks is healthy, and should be owned. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ketel Marte (3-5% FAAB) is not the most intriguing pick-up of all time. He will not star in any Dos Equis commercials alongside silver-haired foxes who dive out of planes into the North Atlantic as an extreme form of salmon fishing. However, if you have injuries, it was surprising to see Marte available on the waiver wire. If your league is savvy enough, someone may be stashing the 24-year-old Arizona shortstop still trying to achieve his full potential. Since June began, Marte has 3 of his 4 HR to go along with a .426 ISO, 209 wRC+, and 3 barrels, that have all come on offspeed pitches. He has found more success this year on breaking and offspeed pitches. In fact, all 4 of his homers have come off of these offerings. Marte hasn’t made significant changes. However, now that he has 316 games of experience in the majors, this young player can finally be comfortable in the box against big league stuff. The MLB is not the best for a kid who can’t catch up to fastballs. Ketel Marte is now making all the contact you want to see while adding a little power to go with the speed. He’s not going to turn into a 20/20 candidate overnight, but that speed potential has been there this whole time. Pairing it with 15 HR pop is what Marte needed to stay relevant in today’s fantasy baseball landscape. While Ketel Marte doesn’t have off-the-charts raw power, he is looking a little more athletic these days, and it shows in the numbers. Pick him up where he is available and enjoy a solid floor for the rest of the season.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Off the album, Get Hits or Buy Ryon, 50 Cent sung about Many Men at a corner spot, rapping, “Many men, wish Joe Mauer on me, have mercy on me, many men.” Then on his other chart-topping song off that album, In Da Club, he rapped, “You can find at my corner slot, some schlubs. Look, mami, at my corner infidel slot I got X, if you’re into scrubs. I’m into havin’ specs, I ain’t into a corner man who’s known for his glove, so come give me a hug, if in my corner slot I got Cory Spangenberg’s mug.” He followed those up with 21 Questions, when he sang, “Would you leave me if your father found out my corner man was scrubbin’? Do you believe me when I tell you, I thought Josh Donaldson would be more than nothin’?” Then, after all those, 50 Cent managed one last smash hit with P.I.M.P., where he rapped, “I don’t know what you heard about me, but a Mitch can’t get a FAAB dollar out of me. No Kingery, no Sano, you can’t see, that my corner man is P.I.M.P.,” where P.I.M.P stood for Please, I’M Playing (Ronald Guzman). So, Ryon Healy has been one of the hottest corner man over the last week, but beyond that, on our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater, he’s the 17th best 3B this year, in front of Kyle Seager, Longoria, Devers and Carpenter, who are all owned in more leagues than him. Healy’s also on pace for 28-31 homers with a decent-enough average. There’s no reason why he’s on waivers in any leagues. Take 50 Cent’s word for it, Get Hits or Buy Ryon! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell for this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Since we’re slowly but surely inching forward to the halfway point of the baseball season, I’m going to toss out a friendly reminder to pay attention to your categories. In standard format leagues, you probably know by now where you can gain points and where you just need to maintain your numbers. In one of my shallower leagues, I was looking at 2-start pitchers heading into the week in a standard attempt to pad my stats, and realized I hadn’t closely checked the standings in a while. Lo and behold, I have a rather comfy lead in both wins and strikeouts in that league (but could use a little help in ERA and WHIP), so at this point it makes no sense for me to go for quantity over quality. I’m leaving Jake Odorizzi and his 2 starts on my bench this week so that I could get Hector Rondon in my lineup, since I do need saves and I don’t trust Odorizzi to do enough in the ERA/WHIP department this week where I’m comfortable he’ll help me rather than hurt me in those categories.Please, blog, may I have some more?
*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:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Every year a player shows up in April and makes you regret your ranking. The honor of “that guy” in 2018, at leats so far, goes to Juan Soto. Ranked 25th on my Top 100 Prospects coming into the season, if I re-ranked today, I’d move Soto up as many as 10 spots. Upon receiving an assignment to low-A Hagerstown, it was obvious from the jump his competition in the Sally was overmatched. Soto slashed .373/.486/.814 with 5 homers and 24 RBI in 15 games, and was quickly promoted to high-A Potomac of the Carolina League. So far through 5 contests he’s hitting .318/.400/.591 with a double, triple, and homer. Here’s a look at the homer he hit on Wednesday versus Wilmington. The swing is a thing of beauty, with a super quick and simple motion, strong wrists, and fast hands. It’s all evident in the video below.
— NatsGM (@NatsGMdotcom) April 26, 2018
Please, blog, may I have some more?
Soto is already looking like he belongs in high-A, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he spent a good chunk of the summer in AA Harrisburg. He’s moving toward a near certain Top 10 rank come mid-season, and a potential Top 5 come pre-season 2019. However, we won’t see Soto at the major league level until later on in 2019. To encapsulate, Soto is a year away, but an elite talent, one that needs to be owned in every dynasty league. He pairs the ability to hit for both power, and average, and shows advanced understanding of hitting. Working counts, making adjustments with two strikes, and avoiding strikeouts. He has a real shot to be the best rightfielder in the game in his prime years.
Last year, I won Tout Wars in a wire-to-wire cakewalk. So, before the Tout Wars draft this Saturday, I prepared like any great champ would. I took a page from Rocky Balboa and ran up a flight of stairs, hands raised in exultation. I took a page from Ultimate Warrior and ordered a group of preteen girls to tighten the slack on a jump rope and shook it furiously. Finally, I took a page from E.T. and draped myself in a blanket, squatted in a bicycle basket and had Rudy pedal me around our hotel room floor. Did E.T. have anything to do with being a champion? Not especially, but I was feeling nostalgic for some faux sentimentality and Ready Player One isn’t out yet. In my mind, I was standing, arms raised, with a lone spotlight shining on me as Lin-Manuel Miranda sang how I was not going to throw away my shot at a repeat. Only it wasn’t in my mind. In our hotel room, Rudy shined an iPhone flashlight on me as we played a rather tinny version of Hamilton off YouTube. I’m past patiently waitin’ I’m passionately mashin’ every expectation! And I’m not throwing away my shot! *clears throat* “Um, Rudy, could you help me down from this Marriott end table? I’m getting vertigo.” Anyway, here’s my Tout Wars, NL-Only recap:Please, blog, may I have some more?