San Francisco Giants closer Jake McGee was placed on the 10-day injured list Friday afternoon with an oblique strain. Big Jake has racked up 31 saves this year, and paired with some stellar ratios (2.72, 0.91 WHIP) has been a big part of how solid this bullpen has been all season long. Welp, that’s over now but the Giants’ season certainly isn’t and for a first place team fighting to avoid the Wild Card play in there are saves to be had in this bullpen–the question is who? Tyler Rogers (2.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 45/9 K/BB, 12 saves, 27 holds) is the obvious first choice but in his first chance to shoot his shot Friday night he looked real shaky allowing 3 hits and 3 ER in his inning pitched. He gave up back to back singles before allowing a go-ahead home run to Travis d’Arnaud. Welp. Next up could be Dominic Leone, who owns 14 holds on the year and an impressive 1.76 ERA, and 1.04 WHIP. He had a rough outing last Wednesday but overall has been reliable with a sub-2 ERA over the past month. Finally, Tony Watson (4.13 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) could see chances in this pen. He’s been prone to blow ups but he’s got that ever elusive closer experience that managers seem to gush over. So yeah, the only thing clear about this bullpen shituation is that we all hope Jake McGee returns soon. Manager Gabe Kapler seems optimistic about a return before the playoffs, but oblique injuries always seem more oblique to me. As I mentioned, there should be save opportunities for the “best team in baseball” over the next couple weeks and if I needed a closer I’d grab Rogers, Leone or Watson in that order. More likely than not they all get their chances as SF revs up for the postseason–but Kapler seems like the loyal type, so methinks Tyler Rogers gets the another shot fill the Jake McGee void next time out. That’s a roger, Rogers!
Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:
Luis Robert – 3-for-5, run, 3 RBI. Romy Gonzalez also had three hits as the ChiSox scored 8 runs with 12 hits and no homers. Sweet sassy molassy! Robert is hotter than a Lil Nas X album drop! Damn Montero, this guy sure knows how to make a video that will piss off conservatives. As for LouBob, he’s hitting .520 in the past week and his .354/.389/.555 slash is the stuff of legends and I’m hype to see what he does in a full season next year.
Leody Taveras – 2-for-5, SB (9). Clearly needs some more seasoning in the minors but if you’re as desperate for steals as I am for positive feedback I could see adding him.
Dylan Cease – 5.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 BB, 10K, 12th win. His 8th start with double digit Ks (212/66 K/BB). Mmm. I’m writing his name in cursive all over my trapper keeper. OK, kind of was creepy but this guy never Ceases to amaze me. Lol. What are you going to get a cease and desist? Is there any way I get to draft him next year? Probably not but the love will be there. Wonders never Cease!
Luis Castillo – 6.1 IP, 5 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 8th. Luis thankfully waited until his fantasy owners had all long been eliminated and weren’t paying attention anymore to put up a performance like this. The win was just his 8th to go with 15 (FIFTEEN!) losses, although that’s not entirely his fault, his team hasn’t been scoring for him lately, despite being one of the league leaders in run support. Sorry bro, they gave up on you in June.
Walker Buehler – 6.0 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K., 14-4, ERA at 2.39. Walker, like Jay-Z, will not lose, and he’s also top 10 in run support. I figured I’d tell you since I already googled it and have it up. Buehler has just 13 losses, including this one, in 91 starts, that’s less than Luis’ 2021 win total. There’s 8 pitchers with 14+ wins this season and two of them are Dodgers. Meanwhile I cannot buy a win in my head-2-head league.
Kyle Farmer – 2-for-3, run, 2 RBI. Hitting .429 in the past week with not much else! Farmer raking!
Corey Kluber – 6.0 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 5th win. The revenge game! His best start and first win since returning from the IL. The Klubs experiment has been mostly good for New York and he lowered his ERA to 3.68 with a 1.28 WHIP and 76/32 K/BB. I won’t be touching him next year but that’s just because I’ll be too busy drafting Marlins starters. Still, it’s Klubering time, folks! There were some “complaints” I didn’t talk enough Marvel last week and I am nothing if not fan-service-y, so here we go: is this Fantastic 4 movie is really happening and is Jim from the Office going to play Mr. Fantastic because if so that is fantastic news. Get Emily Blunt to play the Invisible woman and we’ve got a meta casting win! As for Shang Chi–better than Black Panther?? Simu Liu at least half as likeable as Chadwick which I mean as a massive compliment. And another thing, quit killing Tony Stark! The man saved the planet, let him rest. And while we’re on that topic, What if…Zombies was so stupid it kind of worked for me. Dr. Strange ep was best so far but I feel like this show just confuses me more than anything. I was having enough trouble keeping my universes straight without hypotheticals rolled in.
Zach Plesac – 6.0 IP, 7 hits, 5 ER, BB, 6 K. Hey, speaking of losing your superpowers, Zach could be in danger of losing his rotation spot too if he keeps pitching this poorly. We know from experience the Guardians can pull starters out of thin air.
Joey Gallo – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 2 HR (37). Brett Gardner (9), Giancarlo Stanton (29) and Aaron Judge (35) also homered. It was one of those nights at Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox and Yankees both won and currently hold the two wild card spots, but Toronto is just a half game back with the two AL West teams lurking. This isn’t fantasy relevant, but it is kind of exciting. This was Gallo’s best game as a Yankee and he’s got five homers hitting close to .400 in the past week.
Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-4. And THIS was the trade that everybody loves at the deadline. Me included. Smh.
Jorge Polanco – 3-for-5, HR (31), 2 RBI. Josh Donaldson (23), Miguel Sano (29) and Brent Rooker (8) also homered. What a year for Polanco, jeez that .279/.332/.522 slash along with 31 homers, 90 RBI and 10 stolen bases. 17 of those bombs have come since the All Star break, too. Could not have paid me to pick this guy up in April. But I’m also a big idiot. Can’t help but think the Twins could have made some noise had Buxton stayed healthy.
Hyun Jin Ryu – 2.0 IP, 5 hits, 5 ER, BB, 2 K. 22 ER in his last five starts. You’re hadoukening yourself, Ryu. And you’re bring your whole team down with you.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – 1-for-3, HR (46). That’s the league lead folks, dot, dot, dot…for now. So the .318/.407/.615 slash is elite and I love the 104 RBI on the season, but I’ve been posting here at RB almost 10 years and if I get an MVP vote I’m not going Vlad OR Ohtani I’m going with Sexy Salvy Perez. That’s right, don’t look so shocked, why is he not being mentioned more? Is it because he calls every pitch for a 66 win team? Fair point.
Michael Pineda – 5.2 IP, 3 hits, ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 7th win, ERA at 3.74. Pineda is typically a streamer that won’t hurt you too bad but you’re playing with fire streaming against this Blue Jays line up. He gets them again next week and I wouldn’t tempt fate twice!
Wil Crowe – 5.0 IP, 3 hits, ER, BB, 5 K, 4th win. I scoffed at the thought of adding Wil and now I’m eating Crowe. Well, not really but I had to shoot my shot. Couldn’t…resist…this pun…is…too great.
Elieser Hernandez – 5.2 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 5 BB, 3 K. Why do I keep streaming Eli every week even though I have just one win to show for it? This week I got 5 walks out of it, and he’s walked just 6 all season before Friday. I guess I like him because he started the season in August so I know he’s not on an innings cap and dag nabbit if that’s not hard to find right now. He gets Washington next week and yeah I’m streaming him. 8th times a charm!
Chris Stratton – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, BB, 3 K, SV (6). BUY. You could grab the Pirates closer, who’s got three saves in the past week. But let’s be honest, if you’re that’s desperate I suggest checking out Razzball’s Fantasy Football Rankings. It’s time to move on!
Zack Wheeler – 5.0 IP, 4 hits, ER, BB, 6 K, 14th win, ERA at 2.83. Yuh, the ERA is that low that’s not a typeo. That wasn’t either I intentionally spelled that word wrong. Could he be Cy Young? Probably. Zack has 231 Ks which is good enough for me to hand him an award. Congratulations!
Taijuan Walker – 5.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 10th L. Ugh. I don’t think I’ve streamed a six inning starter in over a month.
Javier Baez – 1-for-3, RBI. That Boo-az has been the most exciting thing about this Mets team in the second half is tragic. I don’t know if even Billy Beane can help at this point. You might need to recruit fat Jonah Hill to confirm whether or not these guys can get on base.
Miles Mikolas – 5.2 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1st win. Miles is a lot like Elieser in the sense that he started the season late so he has no leash, which can be important this time of year. He’s not going to strike out 10, but he could get you a win.
Vince Velasquez – 4.0 IP, 4 hits, 4 ER, 4 K. Since when has Vinny V been on the ‘Dres? How could the Phils just cut him after six faithful years and many, many home runs allowed. I feel like my reality is shattered and I’m not even watching Marvel’s What If…
Tyler O’Neill – 1-for-3, HR (27). Tyler the Run Creator is hitting .375 with 2 homers, 7 RBI and a steal in the past week! He could be a huge pick for fantasy next year, if the Cardinals don’t trade him in the offseason.
Dylan Carlson – 2-for-4, 2 HR (15), 5 RBI. Have a day, young man! The first multi-homer game of his career was also his first homer since August 28. He could be a sneaky fantasy pick next year, provided the Cardinals don’t trade him in the offseason. WHAT?? The Cardinals trade away talented players–that’s the joke!
Luis Patino – 6.0 IP, 6 hits, 4 ER, BB, 4 K. BUY. The Rays are like me with starting pitchers on draft day. Ehh, we don’t need starters we’ll just grab like, uh, Michael Wacha and then get some rookie off waivers. As for Luis Patiño, I have to use the Alt-165 to type his name and he reminds me of, well, you know who. SIGHS LOUDLY.
Casey Mize – 3.0 IP, 3 hits, ER, BB, 3 K, ERA at 3.64. The a ratios are nice and the 111/41 K/BB is just OK. Not crazy about him for 2022, but then again I feel like I’m gonna own multiple Tigers next year. Did you know Bob Saget once brought a shotgun to a baseball game because he heard the home team was playing the Tigers? That’s a Norm joke! Guys, the Norm MacDonald news hit me like a Gerrit Cole fastball to the heart. I’ve probably seen that awful movie Dirty Work 100+ times and his lines from Billy Madison are quoted daily in my household. (“Ha ha, Billy! I just thought of the funniest thing!”) But my favorite Norm moment remains his epic Saget roast, beforehand which he informed Bob he loved him too much to insult him and here is the result. Gonna miss this guy.
Chris Sale – 5.0 IP, 2 hits, ER, K, 4th win. Returning from the COVID IL, Sale continued his undefeated streak against the O’s but if you’re someone who cares about CSW (NERD!) he had just four, a career low. I’d be concerned if I knew what CSW stood for. Also, I vote CSW as an acronym I’m seeing all the time now all of a sudden with WFT a close second. Which is not a web file transfer but actually a football team in DC.
Matt Barnes – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, BB, 2 K. Returned from the COVID IL after what seems like forever and pitched well. Doubtful he reclaims the closer job in Boston but I could see it happening if Ottavino falters.
Brendan Rodgers – 2-for-4, HR (13), 3 RBI. Hit the go-ahead RBI in the ninth and is now batting .333 with 2 homers in the past week. Would be interesting to see how these talented young players would look if they actually played every day.
Sam Hilliard – 2-for-4, HR (11), SB (3). I love me some Sam Hilliard but he’s streaky as h. H I tells you! Still he’s hitting .429 with a homer and a steal and is at Coors all next week. Grab him in case this is the start of one of his patented hot streaks.
Josiah Gray – 5.1 IP, 3 hits, 5 ER, 4 BB, 5 K. That ERA is 5.16 ugly but I’ll be all over him for 2022. He gets the Marlins next week and I might consider the prospect of maybe thinking about mulling over the possibility of contemplating whether or not I should review the option of potentially picking him up. I still don’t know for sure though!
Kyle Finnegan – 1.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, BB, BS (4). His second straight blown save and yuh you should probably drop him before he ruins your chance at fantasy glory.
Carlos Estevez – 1.0 IP, 2 hits, K, SV (9). Wild thing!
Lane Thomas – 2-for-5, 2 runs, HR (5), 3 RBI. BUY. Yeah that .212/.339/.323 is not pretty, but he’s hitting .296 in the past week with two homers and leading off for one of the worst team’s in baseball. What do you think–did I sell it?
Chris Flexen – 5.2 IP, 6 hits, 2 BB, 3 K, 12th win. The M’s must have the unsexiest starting pitching staff (besides Logan Gilbert) in MLB, but god damnit do they get it done and that bullpen is hot sweaty red face man emoji. Flexen sounds like a guy that would throw cheese, too, but that 3.66 ERA and 1.26 WHIP will have to do.
Jarred Kelenic – 2-for-4, 2 HR (12), 4 RBI. I feel like it was only yesterday I covered his first career two homer (Jarred Puts on a Kelenic) game and the world was his (and his owners) oyster. Fast forward 3.5 monts and he’s slashing .171/.246/.328 and oh dear, I think I need to sit down.
Brendan Bielak – 2.2 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. I don’t know who this is but if he started for Houston he’s probably going to be really good someday.
Madison Bumgarner – 7.0 IP, 1 hit, 2 ER. BB, 3 K. The 4.56 is high but can’t help but think MadBum could have excelled somewhere this year outside of Arizona. Like, perhaps, San Francisco? Oh wait, right.
Josh Rojas – 3-for-5, run, SB (9). I would consider adding Jos. Rojas if I was to abandon everything I believe in the last two weeks of fantasy. Also, maybe if I need steals.
Frank Schwindel – 2-for-5, HR (14). Frank’s out here winning people’s fantasy leagues for them! .366/.414/.689 with 13 home runs and 36 RBI with the Cubbies! You’re Schwindeling yourself by not adding him!
Kolten Wong – 3-for-5, run, 2 RBI and Luis Urias was 2-for-3, run, RBI. The real star of this Brewers team this year have been their mid infielders. Oh right and Corbin Burnes. That guy is pretty dope.
Logan Webb – 7.0 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, 9 K. Ever since Brandon I’ve had an affinity for pitchers named Webb and Logan has not let me down. He’s got a 2.79 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 141/32 K/BB people, he’s no joke and the rumor is he’s maybe, maybe not but sort of confirmed but also denied that he’s featured in the next Spiderman film. Doubling down on the Marvel references today, people! For the fans!
Ian Anderson – 5.2 IP, 5 hits, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Really needed a DUB from Ian, and since there’s no Ian team, of course this happened. Still, he’s got another chance to win me back vs Arizona next week.
Will Smith – 1.0 IP, 1 hits, ER, 2 K, BS. Still salty he wasn’t in the Suicide Squad remake. I mean, come on! The first one has it’s moments, right? Hmm. Give me a minute. Doesn’t Margot Robbie get naked?
Brandon Crawford – 2-for-4, HR (21). Hitting .368 in the past week carrying his team on his back to the post season. Team so heavy. If you told me B-Craw would hit .299/.373/.523 with 21 homers, 81 RBI and 10 steals I probably still would have drafted Wander too high.
Sergio Romo – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, K, SV (3). He’s the A’s closer! And he’s blown half his save chances. That doesn’t instill confidence but the A’s win baseball games and are fighting for a playoff spot so Romo could be worth the add if you’re trying for saves to save your season.
Brandon Belt – 1-for-4, HR (26). BUY. He’s smashed 15 jacks since he returned from the IL early August and has four bombs in the past week. He’s got a 10 game hitting streak and he’s available in at least 50% of non-abandoned fantasy leagues. Grey told you to BUY! You should really grab him if you’re actually trying to win this fantasy thing!
Cole Irvin – 6.0 IP, 7 hits, ER, BB, 3 K, 10th win. I’m more astounded that a streamer of mine actually went six innings. I know I sound like a broken record but one of my leagues almost switched to quality starts this year and I can’t imagine what a disaster that would have been. Forget 20 win pitchers anymore, unless of course, you’re a Dodger. I just want to stream a guy like the old days and not have to think about who might enter in the fourth. Oh no, am I turning into one of those crotchety old white baseball guys who doesn’t want Starling Marte to win a batting title or FTJ to be swag or any rules to change especially the unwritten rules which should never be mentioned, written down, spoken of or violated. Alright, I don’t want to be that guy. I can change! So be on the look out for my Top Fourth Inning Pitcher Sleepers for 2022!