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It’s nearly freaking Memorial Day, folx! I finally relented on No Mow May today and sheered about 8 million dandelions from my backyard. Do you know the meaning of “deadhead”? Other than being one of the greatest Devin Townsend songs. Oh, and that other band with Jerry Garcia. Oh, and the trucker slang. That’s right — the fourth guess did the trick! It’s when you pop the head off a dandelion. I suppose you could do this maliciously while cackling, but I do it with a lawnmower that dates to the 1980s. Have I succeeded in giving you a feeling that my life is ultra-exciting like Grey’s?

And now, much like Grey, let’s see if we can save your fantasy baseball team as it heads into the 1/3 mark of the season.

News and Notes

Brady SingerI can’t tell whether I influenced Grey on his “all-in on Singer” stance in the pre-season. Influencing is kind of a weird thing: at first you’re just taking videos of yourself on the can talking about toilet paper, next thing you know, you’re the spokesperson for Wypez, the AI-powered toilet paper. ENYWHEY. Rostering Singer has felt like a number two operation all year so far. But guess who has two quality starts in a row? Brady Singer! His fantasy-friendly profile still isn’t there — his K/9 is down, his BB/9 is up, and he can’t figure out how to limit damage when it starts. His swinging strike rate is way down on the year, but he’s still generating a ton of called strikes. His true skill stats are 2.5 points lower than his ERA, which is a good sign, but his true skill stats are still near 5.00. Yeeesh. Singer’s BABIP is .336, and it’s partly driven by career-highs in barrel rate and line drive percentage. In short, batters aren’t whiffing, and they’re making quality contact. See ball, hit ball. Singer’s fastball velocity is down on the year compared to previous years. Back in the pre-season, the Kansas City Star reported that Singer’s lack of use in the World Baseball Classic delayed his MLB preparation. Maybe we’re seeing things turn around now? At least keep Singer on the watchlist. Grey and I would love to take a victory lap on this guy at the end of the year, and hopefully, you’re there with us.

Jared Shuster: Speaking of influencers, Shuster was one of the hottest pickups in the pre-season because he had one really good pitch that March batters couldn’t figure out. Now he’s three starts into his MLB career with more walks than strikeouts and a 7.24 ERA and 6.99 FIP. Either the Braves are doing some kind of galaxy brain move with using up his options, or they plan to keep him as a Roleless Rob to get him the “MLB experience.” Meh. Avoid in all formats.

Adam OllerJust to prove how meaningless the pre-season is, Adam Oller was one of the top performers when the games didn’t count. Now he’s in AAA and can’t even stay on the Athletics’ roster, sporting a 10+ ERA on the year. Media is fun to read. I like watching GIFs of nasty pitches as much as the other rube. But dominating batters in March is a wholly different thing than batters in May. Put that in your memory banks for 2024.

Grayson RodriguezFor a while, my system loved GrayRod. Not in the preseason, mind you. GrayRod was as buried on my draft list as Jared Shuster. Now our favorite prospect has a 9.17 ERA / 8.56 FIP over his last four starts and is probably burying your mid-season team. Rookies, eh? You tell them to fill up your truck with diesel and it comes back with E85. But hey, you wanted to flush the system anyway. Rookies are volatile. See every single post I’ve written for Razzball. Wait — don’t look up my Jake Odorizzi hype piece. Don’t remind me of that! There are signs of hope that GrayRod will right the course — xFIP is 5.02 over the past four games, with his control coming back on track. But if you’re in a tight 12-team race, either sit on GrayRod’s next few starts or move him for a more effective piece.

Brandon PfaadtI suppose I can’t cheer him on by saying “Let’s go Brandon,” right? Doesn’t work for BDon, either. Lemme try a new catchphrase: “Something, something, rookies don’t return fantasy value.” We’ll get marketing to fix it up a bit. Pfaadt — which I imagine is pronounced like “fate” with no other possible pronunciation — has a 7.65 ERA and FIP and 8.01 xERA to go with seven homers allowed in 4 games. But on a positive note, he allowed zero homers to the Pirates. Me too, Brandon, me too. There can only be as many homers as Pfaadt allows (pronounce that my way, btw). I’d avoid for your fantasy teams until we see some sort of stability.

Ian HamiltonIf a Roleless Rob falls in the woods, does he make a contract? Hamilton’s off the injured list, which opens up more possible closers/holders/Roleless Robs for the Yankees. Last year’s cheat code Michael King might get some more run with Hamilton taking a break. Since May, King has notched 3 saves, has a 2.19 ERA, and is K’ing a batter per IP. Where are the Wins to make a 5-tool pitcher though? RCL’ers, you’ll have to pivot elsewhere for the week.

Domingo GermanPer the reporting at Yahoo, German had “the stickiest hand I’ve ever felt.” That’s it. That’s the blurb.

OK, German is also suspended for 10 games, which really isn’t a problem for pitchers. Whatever. Start him in 2 weeks, then.

Dustin MayOut until July with a strained forearm on his throwing side. Dave Roberts says the current injury doesn’t affect his surgically repaired elbow, which is like a running back saying, “My repaired ACL is still good, it’s the MCL right next to it that hurts.” May is only 25 and hits arbitration this year, so it would make sense for the Dodgers to limit his IP for the rest of 2023 — last thing they want to do is rebuild his elbow two times in three years. Media sites say that the Dodgers rotation is thin but have you ever seen the Dodgers at the trade deadline? They’ll be fine. But you May managers will need to find another SP5 through the All-Star Break.

Mitch KellerHave we found this year’s Spencer Strider? Keller was waaaaaay off everybody’s radar in the pre-season, but in my Week 2 update I gave y’all the following blurb:

My system … is telling me that Mitch Keller is…possibly rosterable. Keller’s always had a few good pitches but has never put together spurts of control long enough to really be meaningful for fantasy. And 2023 is really no different — his BB/9 hovers near 5 for the early season, and there’s basically no example of a good fantasy pitcher maintaining having that level of wildness and succeeding. But…his hard hit rate is below 20%. That’s astonishing. Again, small sample size. Don’t panic. Chug beers or whatever. But if you’re a pitcher with a nearly 12 K/9 rate who limits damage…then you can get away with a BB/9 profile that resembles my little league stat line. Pirates pitchers aren’t exactly the top of your FAAB list, but it might be worth a speculative add in deeper leagues to see if Keller has figured himself out.

And in a shorter blurb in Week 6, I pointed out that Keller was on his way to being the SP1 for your fantasy team. Keller now finds himself third overall on my rankings. His output over the past month has been nothing short of masterful: 1.62 ERA, 12 K/9 to 0.92 BB/9 (!!!!)…and 52 strikeouts to 4 walks. The Pirates are even winning this year, which gives Keller a sweet 5-1 record that actually helps your team. For those who look at my Brady Singer rankings and wonder “what’s going on,” remember that as early as Week 2, my system locked in on Mitch Keller. You’re welcome.

Reid DetmersSpeaking of strong signal, here’s a guy with a Keller-esque profile that you can still acquire. 13.3 K/9 over the past month…with a nearly 4.74 BB/9. See the Week 2 Keller blurb 150 words ago. Detmers’ FIP is 1.93 over that span, and his BABIP is .413. Yowza! His swinging strike rate has topped 20% in individual games multiple times this year, and his overall rate is 14.4% — that’s 4% higher than Mitch Keller. Detmers is still available in some leagues, and when the batted balls fall into gloves instead of the outfield, you’re going to find yourself with another awesome SP to take you through the rest of the season.

Rankings:

Tier Name Team Confidence Own% L30$/G
1 Spencer Strider ATL 4.189 100 23.3
1 Kevin Gausman TOR 4.040 100 13.8
1 Mitch Keller PIT 3.956 100 49.2
1 Shohei Ohtani LAA 3.700 100 19.4
1 Zac Gallen ARI 3.257 100 26.9
1 Joe Ryan MIN 3.249 100 23.6
2 Logan Gilbert SEA 3.085 100 1.3
2 Nathan Eovaldi TEX 3.082 100 49.3
2 Sonny Gray MIN 3.074 100 13.2
2 Reid Detmers LAA 3.014 99 -26.7
2 Zack Wheeler PHI 2.990 100 11.8
2 Gerrit Cole NYY 2.956 100 -9.3
2 Framber Valdez HOU 2.939 100 10.2
2 Hunter Greene CIN 2.933 100 -30.2
2 Kodai Senga NYM 2.909 100 -6.5
2 Luis Castillo SEA 2.874 100 -32
2 Cristian Javier HOU 2.864 100 24.7
2 Eduardo Rodriguez DET 2.839 100 43.2
2 Chris Sale BOS 2.809 100 21.7
2 Shane McClanahan TB 2.785 100 13.6
2 Pablo Lopez MIN 2.782 100 -23.4
2 George Kirby SEA 2.743 100 39.6
2 Justin Steele CHC 2.715 100 12.7
2 Logan Webb SF 2.694 100 23.3
2 Merrill Kelly ARI 2.639 100 23.5
2 Lucas Giolito CHW 2.620 100 6.8
2 Yu Darvish SD 2.614 100 5.2
2 MacKenzie Gore WSH 2.611 100 -15.3
2 Marcus Stroman CHC 2.564 99 -22.4
2 Sandy Alcantara MIA 2.529 100 -23.9
2 Jose Berrios TOR 2.517 100 0.6
2 Clayton Kershaw LAD 2.479 100 23
2 Aaron Nola PHI 2.455 100 16.2
2 Drew Rasmussen TB 2.450 22 6.4
2 Jesus Luzardo MIA 2.445 100 -15.2
2 Alex Cobb SF 2.422 100 11.7
2 Charlie Morton ATL 2.415 100 20.8
3 Dylan Cease CHW 2.346 100 -48.2
3 Corbin Burnes MIL 2.343 100 6.1
3 Hunter Brown HOU 2.325 100 -8
3 Jordan Montgomery STL 2.323 100 -19.8
3 Chris Bassitt TOR 2.319 100 37.2
3 Zach Eflin TB 2.289 100 22.5
3 Edward Cabrera MIA 2.289 93 -11.8
3 Nick Martinez SD 2.278 9 4
3 Shane Bieber CLE 2.270 100 -6.1
3 Drew Smyly CHC 2.258 93 28.1
3 Anthony DeSclafani SF 2.231 99 -9.3
3 Nestor Cortes NYY 2.202 100 -26.5
3 Matt Strahm PHI 2.186 35 3.8
3 Domingo German NYY 2.177 100 1.3
3 Bryan Abreu HOU 2.165 50 3.7
3 Lance Lynn CHW 2.164 100 -16.3
3 Andrew Heaney TEX 2.157 100 -8.6
3 Josiah Gray WSH 2.157 100 15.5
3 Bryce Elder ATL 2.156 100 0.8
3 Dustin May LAD 2.138 100 18.7
3 Dane Dunning TEX 2.118 67 9.7
3 Alexis Diaz CIN 2.100 100 6.8
3 Patrick Sandoval LAA 2.072 99 -14.1
3 Yennier Cano BAL 2.070 88 4.6
3 Kyle Gibson BAL 2.065 44 -18.2
3 Jose Alvarado PHI 2.063 85 0.8
3 Kyle Freeland COL 2.051 24 -8.3
3 Michael Wacha SD 2.038 75 10.2
3 Freddy Peralta MIL 2.023 100 -8.7
3 Ian Hamilton NYY 2.022 11 0.1
3 Zack Greinke KC 2.014 1 -23.7
3 David Robertson NYM 2.004 100 2.8
3 Josh Hader SD 2.003 100 3.8
3 Tyler Wells BAL 2.001 100 25.4
3 David Bednar PIT 2.001 100 4.1
4 Nick Lodolo CIN 1.998 91 -52.5
4 Alex Lange DET 1.996 100 5.3
4 Jon Gray TEX 1.981 100 6.8
4 Mark Leiter Jr. CHC 1.979 71 -3.4
4 Felix Bautista BAL 1.975 100 4.8
4 Joe Kelly CHW 1.968 0 3.6
4 Braxton Garrett MIA 1.965 73 -18.2
4 Dauri Moreta PIT 1.959 0 1
4 Jacob deGrom TEX 1.941 100 44.1
4 Camilo Doval SF 1.939 100 3.9
4 Graham Ashcraft CIN 1.938 81 -52.5
4 Nick Anderson ATL 1.937 8 -1.1
4 Jeff Hoffman PHI 1.937 0 3.8
4 Paul Sewald SEA 1.935 100 0.6
4 Devin Williams MIL 1.934 100 5.4
4 Miles Mikolas STL 1.933 88 -0.5
4 Vince Velasquez PIT 1.933 19 42.9
4 Evan Phillips LAD 1.931 100 3.7
4 Jack Flaherty STL 1.923 66 -32.9
4 Patrick Corbin WSH 1.921 9 -8.1
4 John Brebbia SF 1.912 0 -14.2
4 Grayson Rodriguez BAL 1.906 100 -27
4 Carlos Estevez LAA 1.897 100 5.5
4 Justin Lawrence COL 1.897 1 -1.8
4 JP Sears OAK 1.879 18 -20.3
4 Phil Maton HOU 1.869 0 -1.8
4 Michael Kopech CHW 1.858 63 -3
4 Hector Neris HOU 1.847 1 4.3
4 Chris Stratton STL 1.840 0 -2.2
4 Ryan Helsley STL 1.836 100 4.6
4 Clarke Schmidt NYY 1.835 55 -14.6
4 Blake Snell SD 1.834 100 -20.1
4 Brad Hand COL 1.833 0 -1
4 Julio Urias LAD 1.827 100 -21.9
4 Roansy Contreras PIT 1.826 86 -8.1
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Snacks
Snacks
13 days ago

Thanks for this list, do you believe M.Keller will finish in the top 10 in a standard pts league?

Brian
Brian
Reply to  Snacks
10 days ago

I think so and sure hope so!!

Brian
Brian
14 days ago

I know how you feel about rookies. But out of everyone, I think Bryce Miller is going to be the man this year. Im super close to pulling the trigger on dropping Pablo Lopez for him. Miller has a a double start next week but it isn’t friendly against the Yankees (tho he should win) but then against the rangers with Eovaldi (which he should lose). He won’t get much run support with the Mariners offense but I think he’s an impressive player.

mcstarrs
mcstarrs
14 days ago

Thoughts on Carlos Hernandez? His numbers look impressive in his last 30 days after a slow-ish start to the season

mcstarrs
mcstarrs
Reply to  mcstarrs
14 days ago

Joel Payamps also caught my eye

scoboticus
scoboticus
14 days ago

Did you mean Ian Hamilton’s off TO the injured list?

Thanks for all you do!

Saints55
Saints55
14 days ago

Hay Blair great stuff,
What are your thoughts about Justin Verlander?
Thinking about trading for him in a dynasty to go for the title this year.
What would you give up for him?
Some names i have and im thinking about are:
Brent rooker, Brandon Marsh, Jeremy Pena, Tyler O Neill, Trevor Larnach.

Beans
Beans
15 days ago

What’s up EB? I have Witt Jr, Tim Anderson and hopefully soon Jordan Walker for my SS & 3B. My OF are Trout, Josh Lowe, Santander, Jarren Duran and Tyler O’Neill. In a H2H league would you drop O’Neill and add Lewis Royce? Thanks for the time man

Thundershoe
Thundershoe
15 days ago

Heyo Blair,

A. In my points league, I just swapped Steele and Disco for Rizzo (who immediately becomes my batter with the highest total points YTD, oy vey). Did I do alright or give up too much?

B. Now I need to try to rebuild the backend of my rotation. I managed to snag Detmers off the wire and also added Bello. Who are the top two you’d add of the following:

Stone
Garrett
Bello
Lorenzen
Liberatore
Allen
Varland
Flaherty
Bradish
Oviedo
Singer

C. Would you start Bello @LAA tomorrow?

Thanks!

Five-on-One
Five-on-One
15 days ago

I know you and your system aren’t a fan of most rookies, but can I ask the resident pitching expert the following anyway?

1. Please rank the kids for this week:
Bibee vSTL ($3.8)
2-start Liberatore @CIN (-16.1) and vKC (-0.1)
2-start Bobby Miller @ATL (-27) and vWAS (-5.1)
Stone @TB (-17.1)
Shuster vPHI (-9.8)

2. Can you rank the same kids for ROS?

Norman Ginsberg
Norman Ginsberg
15 days ago

I’m confused vv Detmers. Wouldn/t the 413 BABIP over-ride the positive metrics and thus negate the Tier 2? I’m still treating him as a risky streamer, agreed?

arods frost
arods frost
Reply to  Norman Ginsberg
15 days ago

Had a similar question.. he’s available in my shallow 12 man league. Would you drop a Severino or Musgrove (or Berrios) to go get him?

Chud
Chud
15 days ago

Always love the perceptive u give!

U buying Braxton Garret since his blow up? any chance he rises to a tier 3?

Thanks!

martinrostoker@aol.com
15 days ago

Hi Blair,

Thanks to you and Grey!I really appreciate your help. I had the best weekend ever
with high Yahoo Points by;

Chris Sale
Andrew Heaney
Merrill Kelly
Reid Detmers
josiah Gray
Max Scherzer
Pedro Lopez

I even sat Servino, Louie Varland and Shane Bieber.

My RPs: Paul Seward and Craig Krigel

1. Do you have any comments about by SPs? Is there one that I should move?

Here are matchups for this week

Which would you start to would probably sit:

Max Scherezer @COL
Luis Sevino @SD
Louie Varland vs TOR
Reid Determs vs MIA
Pebro Lopez vs TOR
Shane Bieber vs STL
Andrew Heaney vs BAL
Merrill Kelly @BOS
Josiah Gray @kC
Chris Sale @ARI

Sorry for the long question. Your help is very much appreciated!!

Martin

martinrostoker@aol.com
Reply to  everywhereblair
15 days ago

What a great detailed response!

I was trying to get another SP1 or SP3. I thought of trying to get Framber Valdez and put together this list:

Jeremy Pena
Andres Gimenez
Hunter Renfroe
Andrew Heaney
merrill Kelly

would you make a trade to get Valdez and who would you offer?

Are there other pitchers besides Valdez that you would try and get in a trade using my list above?

thanks so much!!!

martinrostoker@aol.com
Reply to  [email protected]
15 days ago

I enjoy our conversations and your insights!

In summary, you would start Pablo Lopez and Varland who are both at home against TOR?

thanks so much!

catchers
catchers
15 days ago

Why are relievers discussed here?
Maybe change the title ?

Foxman
Foxman
Reply to  everywhereblair
15 days ago

Spencer Strider was a reliever last year around this time too

The Old Professor
The Old Professor
15 days ago

What is wrong with Sandy Alcantara

Aardvark
Aardvark
15 days ago

Is martin perez a hold? Or just a streamer

Foxman
Foxman
15 days ago

Blair,
We had a convo started on Grey’s post that seems more apt for this write-up. What are your metrics telling you about Musgrove. Is he cooked? Spin rates are still elite, but he isn’t fooling anyone. I think all Musgrove owners want to know, should I jump ship now or ride it out with this liability?

Foxman
Foxman
Reply to  everywhereblair
15 days ago

Blair
That article link is informative, but I was shocked to see how many guys on that list were really struggling this year.
Age factor, this years baseball design, but mostly the foreign substance factor. Maybe sticky substances didn’t just increase spin rates, but they lessened the chance of grooving a pitch over the middle. Now pitchers are having more oops pitches without it.
Just a thought
Thanks for the thorough reply, keep up the great work!

Coconut Willie
Coconut Willie
15 days ago

Just not enough sample size for Bibee, EPerz or BMiller to make the ranks, or should I do better?

Albert
Albert
15 days ago

No Bailey Ober?

Chhhhh
Chhhhh
Reply to  everywhereblair
14 days ago

But you have Cortes at tier 3 who has a 4.99 xFIP. hmmmmmm