Baseball’s Rat Pack is back! A classic saxophone beat starts playing. It’s Bobby Darin’s Don’t Rain on My Parade. A disembodied voice can be heard, “Hey world here I am!” Just then Jose Altuve stands up from an umbrella stand, “Don’t tell me not to hit a deep fly, I’ve simply got to!” George Springer walks out banging on a bucket, “If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you! Ow, my hamstring!” Alex Bregman walks out, and faux bashfully closes Altuve’s jersey, “Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on our 2017 World Series parade.” Yesterday, was a sign of old stolen signs. Alex Bregman (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 5th homer, and came within a single of the cycle. The Hungry Man cycle! For 2021, Bregman seems less impacted by this egregious season. He was never going to reach last year’s peak, but he can also avoid this year’s nadir. Speaking of low points (segue!), Jose Altuve (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 4th homer, and his 1st homer in more than a month. Mentioned this a few times on recent podcasts, but I tested positive for a 2021 Jose Altuve not being on my teams. He won’t be drafted in the top 25 again, and I’m not sure if he’ll be in the top 100. Finally, George Springer (3-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 14th homer, and, well, he’s acksually been good, when he’s been on the field, which, like usual, is nowhere nearly enough. Now watch the Astros get hot at the perfect time for the playoffs, and give MLB one of the worst storylines for a team contending for the playoffs since the 1920 White Sox were led by “Wearing Shoes” Jim Jackson, Joe’s dandy brother. “Take your shoes off, Jim! You’re embarrassing yourself!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Willie Calhoun 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.
The Yankees scored 20 runs and Giancarlo Stanton returned from the IL with an 0-for-4. Giancarlo Stanton really impressed me last night by staying on the field for numerous swings without oblique, hammy, calf, forearm, torso, shin, neck or shoulder issues. Stanton has a chance to pass his games played total last year of 18. He’s currently at 14, but there’s no way he plays four more games, right? *pop, pop, pop* Paul O’Neill from a remote location, “What is that popping noise?”
Michael Kay in his trademark baritone, “Paul, that’s Giancarlo wrapped in bubble wrap!”
“Ah, that’s great to see.”
“Yeah, really cool. What a team player.”
“Hey, you ever notice our Yankees’ broadcasts are the boringest broadcasts?”
“Is boringest a word?”
“I bet it is.”
“Interesting. Like this conversation.”
Also, in this game, Luke Voit went bazinga two times (3-for-5, 5 RBIs), hitting his 17th and 18th homers. He was the late-round corner man to draft. Sigh. Speaking of sighs, Gary Sanchez (1-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 8th homer, hitting .131) had his first ball hit that didn’t include his crotch. Then, DJ LeMahieu (4-for-6, 3 runs, 5 RBIs) hit his 7th homer, as he hits .363. He’s so adamant to defy me it makes him a real pest. Finally, Aaron Hicks (1-for-4) hit his 5th homer on my bench. *breathes in 95% smoke-filled air mixed with pandemic* What a time to be alive! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
When I first started writing One’s Man Trash, I would go through the most added/drop list at ESPN then highlight a bunch of players that stood out to me. As time passed and evolution did its thing, I would hone in on one player and do a deeper dive. Since it’s the beginning of the season, and the sample sizes are small, I’m going back to my roots. Enjoy.
David Fletcher (3B/2B/SS/OF – LAA) – 73.1% owned – increase of 38%
Fletcher lives!!! In 23 PA, he’s slashing .556/.609/.667 with 1 stolen base. The walk rate is 17.4% while the strikeout rate is a paltry 13%. The BABIP is .625! Lol. He’s obviously not going to maintain that level, but Steamer has him projected for a .283 batting average with 2 home runs, 3 stolen bases, and 24 runs. That ain’t bad for the leadoff hitter for the Angels. Fletcher led the league in swinging strike rate last season with a 3.2% number. This season, he’s at 2.3%. The contact rates are all elite. In this shortened season, Fletcher could lead the league in batting aveage and runs scored if the stars align. Finally, he’s eligible at four positions, which is huge in this Rona-infested environment. TREASUREPlease, blog, may I have some more?
I remember my final week of Summer Camp. I was in the Weeniechoke Mountains when I had my first experience with a girl. Her name was Michelle Branch. Not the singer, but a branch I named Michelle. This final week of Summer Camp is equally less-than-ideal for some bullpens. “Certain teams with uncertain ninths.” That’s me being poetic. Michelle Branch would’ve appreciated it. So, Keone Kela hit the IL. As I said in Friday’s Buy, “Kyle Crick stands to act as the Pirates’ closer for at least the re-opening. Crick is also one of the few players who will have a cheering section in the fan-less stadiums.” And that’s me quoting me! Since then, Crick gave up four earned in a third of an inning vs. the Indians and I’m checking my watch for Kela’s return. Nick Burdi is lurking there too, but you’re speculating two deep on a pen that might get ten total saves? Next up, Roberto Osuna hasn’t thrown off the mound yet and, when asked when Osuna would, Dusty said, “We don’t have any answers.” Dusty is reassuring as always! I think Osuna will be fine, since he’s with the team, but Ryan Pressly is there, and ain’t no hound dog. (Sorry. Moving on…) Giovanny Gallegos‘s undisclosed reasons for being away have turned into he’s ‘dis close’ to rejoining the Cards’ bullpen. Likely can tear up your Ryan Helsley shares, they’re doing a backwards STONKS. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
What’s up party people. We are now 6 days away from Re-Opening Day and the player landscape is starting to move into focus… and simultaneously move out of focus. This is the continuation of my series on outfielders, the last installment being Top 75 Outfielders for 2020: Summer Camp Edition. Some guys are now arriving back into camp just in time to take a few cuts including Juan Soto, Joey Gallo, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Mallex Smith. Then there are others still not back yet like Yordan Alvarez, Austin Meadows, and Victor Robles. Hahahahaha, nothing to see here. The testing policy is going swimmingly, huh? Leave it to MLB to be the MLB’s worst enemy. So, with so much chaos at play as the season starts you will want to make sure you are ready to fill roster holes and have bench guys ready to go in what could be 4–5 roster spots exclusively for outfielders. That could be a real challenge to keep up with and your boy is here to help.
Here’s what I’ve been seeing around camp:Please, blog, may I have some more?
We’re getting close to the re-launched opening day, so any serious knocks guys are picking up in camp now are going to start impacting playing time. That also holds true for new, positive, Covid tests that might pop up.
Eduardo Rodriguez is currently on a throwing program away from the team as he awaits clearance from a positive Covid test. From a physical standpoint, this is all good news, but he’s still up in the air until he tests negative.
DJ LeMahieu, Salvador Perez, Kenley Jansen, and Joey Gallo were both back in camp this week after clearing Covid protocol.
One guy not back yet is Freddie Freeman. His case was originally thought to be more serious, and he has not been cleared to participate yet. The Braves think there’s a chance at opening day for him, but at this point, if he’s still feeling symptoms, I’d put that timeframe at doubtful.
Along with Freeman, Yordan Alvarez, Austin Meadows, Aroldis Chapman, Jesus Luzardo, and Howie Kendrick are all also absent from camp.
Alvarez and Chapman have both been put on the IL, signaling their cases may be a bit more severe than others. I’d expect Zack Britton to get the first shot at saves if Chapman can’t get cleared for a bit. On the Astros front, you’d have to imagine Kyle Tucker has an easier path to ABs with Alvarez sidelined.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Padres traded Franchy Cordero to the Royals. Vincent Vega, “Franchy calls them the Royales with cheese.” If Padres keep trading away fun ballplayers, then Fernando Tatis Jr. better watch himself aka FTJ aka Fun The Jewels. First, the easy side of this trade. With Franchy packing up his red, white and blue flag (no stars), the Padres have an opening for Edward Olivares. They wouldn’t dare, would they? If they dared, then I might be interested. In Double-A last year, he went 18/35/.283, but he was a tad old at that level. Still those numbers are eye-poppers. His overall value until then was of a 4th outfielder (IRL, not IFL). Our Prospectonator (it projects every single rookie) has him down for 14/22/.244 over 162-game season. That’s honestly not bad. I don’t know if Olivares sees any actual playing time, or enough to make him worthwhile. I have added him to today’s Buy column that will be up in a few hours. Yes, that’s right! There’s a Buy this afternoon! Exclamation! (It was released yesterday to our Patreons.) My guess is Wil Myers, Tommy Pham and Trent Grisham are the outfield; Josh Naylor is the DH with, I guess, Ty France, and Edward Olivares is the 4th outfielder. With Franchy headed from the ocean to a-near-a-riverderci, he goes to an equally terrible hitters’ park, and likely still in a platoon. Only now his platoon is less about outfielders needing looks. Against righties, Maikel Franco possibly moves to the bench, and Hunter Dozier takes over third. But vs. lefties, Maikel gets in at third, Dozier moves to the outfield and Franchy is out of the lineup again. It’s pretty flat on fantasy value movement. But, as Franchy was told by Ty France, “If we are going to get men to wear berets, we’re gonna have to spread out.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I only drafted Yasiel Puig in one league (that I remember) and it was a 12-team NL-Only league! *humps the air a’la Ace Ventura* I have exorcised the demons! That’s a new reference, right? What’s that, Inner Monologue, I only drafted Puig because the day I did it it was reported he was being signed by the Rockies? Yeah, so? Get out of my mentions, Inner Monologue! Okay, not to move from humping the air to getting sprung, but the Braves are making me hot under my Skidz. Thank God, they’re drawstring! Can we talk about the Braves’ outfield? Yes, please. Tildaddy, OZUNA and Puig. *gulps* If I were in 8th grade and asked to go to the chalkboard, I’d have to make up an excuse. “Sorry, Teach, my foot fell asleep, and I’m not just saying that because the Braves’ outfield is dirrrrrrrty with seven R’s.” I’d be happy with just Acuña in any outfield. That’s all you need. Throw in OZUNA and I’m starting to sweat, and then you see Puig and it’s time for, “Cougs, I want you right now but lit by the shine of the Braves’ depth chart.” So, I updated my top 40 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball, and Rudy updated all the hitter projections. Funnily enough, I predicted back in January that Puig would not sign until June, but little did little ol’ me know that he wouldn’t miss any actual games. I was so right, yet so not really right at all. Well done! (Not really!) Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Welcome back to another post that you never thought you’d read from a guy who never thought he’d write it! We’re sailing into uncharted territory, worried we could die from some unknown disease, while maybe carrying the unknown plague ourselves that will kill everyone else. “Argh! Name that team in Cleveland the Indians and lets get these 60 games going!” Guys and five female readers, if someone beats the 73 homer record in only 60 games, they have to count it even if the person is shooting up while in the on-deck circle, right? As Long John Silver once said, don’t want to go out on a limb, but c’mon. In a shortened season of 60 games, it will be imperative that you go after categories vs. players. Sure, use the fantasy baseball trade analyzer. (I clickbaited you and you didn’t even see it coming!) Roast your leaguemates with them quick-to-the-point-to-the-point-no-faking fake baseball trades, but you need categories and stats over player names. Who can get you home runs and how fast can they do it? How do we even figure that out? Luckily, this is a rhetorical question to tell you I have you covered like a blanket infected with lice. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for home runs?Please, blog, may I have some more?
My last fantasy team preview went live on May 1, 2020. What a simpler time! Back then we were debating the new cross-league divisions they were thinking of creating. I was a rather stupidly optimistic man who predicted we’d get a return to baseball on July 4th. Now with 10 baseball camps claiming they’ve had someone come down with the ‘VID we’ll be lucky if we even see the Long Island Ducks take on the Morristown Mud Rats. Now be honest — how many of you have already googled “NPB fantasy baseball leagues” and searched Amazon for “conversational Japanese for baseball fans?” I know it’s not just me. I’ve already got my first round draft pick lined up for my yakyu chimu: the league’s best ni-rui shu Tetsuto Yamada! He hits lots of hon-rui da and gets tons of tourui.
Come on Rob SaidFred — let’s get this league back up and running!
As with all of fantasy team preview articles this year I’m not talking about the guys you know to draft. A healthy Joey Gallo is a lock for 45 HRs. Elvis Andrus will still be one of the deepest 15/15 threats in the league. Shin-Soo Choo will continue to be the Korean God of walks until he’s 64. Instead, I like to look deeper at the teams to help you find value you might not have heard of yet — or someone who has been slipping in drafts.
“No prospects? You’re trash!” Nah anger management comment guy — The Itch is the resident prospect guru and here’s his top 10 Rangers prospects for 2020 fantasy baseball.Please, blog, may I have some more?