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It’s the halfway mark to Memorial Day! Yay! I’m trying to figure out my grill situation this year. On the one hand, I feel the primal desire to burn meat, smash it in my fists, and shove it in my face. On the other hand…I dunno, that first reason was really compelling. ENYWHEY. Baseball. The perfect companion to grilling and shoving meat in your face. Let’s see if I’ve got some helpers for your team below.

What I Like

Ryan O’Hearn (BAL, 1B/OF, 13% Rostered): There was a viral tweet this week about the Orioles’ pride in out-hitting the Yankees with the payroll of a fun size Watchamacallit candy bar. I mean, who would you rather give your money to: Juan Soto or Ryan O’Hearn? Right now, you’ve got a couple bucks in FAAB and you need a hitter, you’re grabbing O’Hearn. ROH is swinging away at the top(ish) of the Orioles batting order, racking up 3 dingers and a .581 slugging percentage over the last ten days or so. Baltimore faces off against the Athletics and the Angels this week — I mean, I might be worthy of a strong FAABing if I’m playing against the A’s. O’Hearn has a fairly long history of mediocrity, so don’t get too attached if he hops in the hammock come May and watches the cool summer breeze from the bench. If he continues hitting, you just got yourself a multi-position player on a top team for the price of a gas station snack.

Graham Pauley (SDP, 3B, 0% Rostered): This is a Hittertron special. Rudy can feel free to interrupt, but my experience with the Hittertron is that it has really aggressive stances on future production based on past playing time. Like, right now, the top free agent add on the Hittertron is Charlie Blackmon. CB isn’t really that great of an add right now — what Hittertron likes is that Blackmon is doing a homestand in the Rockies against righties all week, and we can’t really complain about “odds in your favor” kind of stuff. Why am I talking about Charlie Blackmon in a Graham Pauley blurb? Because Hittertron sees Pauley crushing in the minors and getting a sniff at ABs in the majors right now. Put yourself in a general manager’s shoes right now: Pauley is a 13th round pick out of the baseball powerhouse alma mater of Duke. He journeyed through the minors in 2023, wreaking havoc top the tune of 20/20/.300 across three levels. In 2024, Pauley started the year with four homers in less than 40 plate appearances in triple A, which got him the nod to the big league squad. Now, he’s got a nearly 50% whiff rate, hasn’t walked, and is batting .118. Those of you that want upside, you want a guy like Pauley — for $1, you might get a 10/10/.270 player for the rest of the year if he figures his stuff out (with upside for greater production if he “clicks”, whatever that means). And if he gets sent back to Triple-A for seasoning, you’re out $1 and you’ve got a hot tip on his potential September call up. Hittertron likes Pauley this week because he’s playing in Colorado, which can make that plus power pop. Dart throwers — you know what to do. I wouldn’t add Pauley in 12-teamers unless you’re desperate.

Nathaniel Lowe (TEX, 1B, 85% Rostered): Demonstrating how many leagues are already abandoned, a bunch of you can nab your starting 1B off the wire right now. Lowe has been re-instated from the IL and brings plus average and average pop to your lineup. Not gonna lie that Ryan O’Hearn is on pace to out-crush Lowe, but if you’re in one of those leagues where Lowe is sitting on the wire, you can add him, trade him, and still get O’Hearn for a buck. Profit!

Jose Butto (NYM, SP, 62% Rostered): I’m reading Attack on Titan right now because I can’t seem to get past the first three minutes of the anime. Why does that matter? Because the opening of Attack on Titan is all about sounding an alarm — giant monsters are attacking, and we need to take action. Now, I don’t want to sound the alarm as if giant monsters are standing outside your house right now (but did you check?). But on my Whiffonator, Jose Butto is sitting just about where Spencer Strider sat, before Strider broke out back in the day. Butto is sitting higher than where Mitch Keller sat before Keller broke out last year. We might be on to something. The Whiffonator is designed to be aggressive, and therefore prone to giving out false positives. But we can’t get a treat without paying a price, right? Butto has a 11.6 K/9 (that’s great) to a nearly 5 BB/9 (that’s horrifying), and a sterling 1.65 ERA through three games. For the most part, the swinging strike rate has been legit, and the Statcast profile looks reasonable as well. The bad news? Butto’s great starts came against the Royals and the Tigers, with a mediocre start against the Dodgers (I mean, we’d all crap our pants against the Dodgers). Butto has a long history of great K% performance in the minors, but the 26-year old “rookie” has never managed to control his pitches well enough to stick in the majors. Even if he notches his walks down to 4 BB/9, that’ll play well enough in MLB and in fantasy. Speculative add Butto in all formats.

Blake Snell (SFG, SP, 100% Rostered): ERA of 11.57 but xFIP of 3.77. Snell does this every year. I’ve already heard the rumors of people dropping or trading away Snell for a pile of gas station nachos. Hang on to Snell if you have him or acquire if you’re offered — things will level out later.

I’m the Problem – It’s Me

Jesus Luzardo (MIA, SP, 100% Rostered): Taylor Swift released a new album this week, and I listened to it in an effort to build rapport with my coworkers (no, not Grey. Grey listens to Haim and commercial jingles). Now, you can’t blame the guy who listens to metal and ambient and Elliott Smith (that’s me) for not knowing who Jack Antonoff is, despite the fact Antonoff has won Producer of the Millennium from the Grammy board. A lot of people had really high expectations for a post-Covid Taylor Swift album featuring the Producer of the Millennium, Post Malone, and the love of Travis Kelce. But I see a lot of people are disappointed in the Casio-composed, F-bomb driven automated poems that appear on the Tortured Poets Department. Also, this is all an allegory for Jesus Luzardo. Everybody thought Luzardo was going to be a top pitcher and y’all kept drafting him way higher than his stats predicted. How many wins will a Marlins pitcher get? 8 if he pitches 200 innings? Luzardo is five starts into the season with all the baseball card stats and SABRmetric stats screaming “this guy’s stuff is built on Casio beats.” He’s got the lowest swinging strike / CSW% of his career and he’s allowing more homers than ever. You had high expectations of greatness, but the product didn’t deliver. Don’t get mad. Repurpose. If you can trade Luzardo for something more interesting, go for it. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until he gets streaky and see if you can turn a profit on that.

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Coolwhip
25 days ago

Luzardo makes me a sad panda, that Luzardo vs Joe Ryan decision in drafts, woof. And right now O’Hearn is my consolidation.

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
25 days ago

I have Sean Murphy as my catcher who as you know is on IL. I have using Gabriel Moreno as my catcher.

However Travis D’Arnaud and Cal Raleigh are on the waiver wire. Would you make a move?

thanks so much!!

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
Reply to  everywhereblair
25 days ago

Thanks! I followed your advice and picked up TDA and BDLC. Do you think that you and MamosDad should start a podcast?

My SPs are Burnes, Wheeler, Stubal, GreyRod, Ragans and Nola. My streamers are Cristopher Sanchez, Mize, Crochet and Kutter.

I am weak at 3B with McMahon and Gorman. My SS is Merrill. My 1B is Rhys Hoskins and Ryan O’Hearn.

Would you attempt to move Nola or Crawford or hope for improvement at these positions?

Would you offer Nola for Gunner Henderson?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Have a great day.

Martin

Michael Silva
Michael Silva
26 days ago

What do we do with Nolan Jones? Is he a drop if he doesn’t perform in a favorable week for COL this week?

Swap him out for Josh Lowe about to come off the IL or hold onto someone else like a prospect that could come up in May?

Dude
Dude
26 days ago

Please rank Stott, Luis García and Rengifo ROS.

Also Pages, Fraley Marsh and EDLC ROS.

And I would love your thoughts on Elder, Flaherty and Turbull ROS
And out of those 10 total, who are your bottom 4?

Thanks man! You rock!

Meh
Meh
26 days ago

Thoughts on Albert Suárez?

Get it in soon and you can say ‘Told ya so’

Meh
Meh
Reply to  everywhereblair
25 days ago

Ok. Just looking for a week to week thing. Hopefully it turns into something more serious. I mean, hes nice you know, solid team, maybe he just needs someone to trust him you know?

Coolwhip
Reply to  Meh
25 days ago

On a week-to-week basis I’m game for Suarez, his velo is up a lot and fastball has above-average movement. As long as the matchups are favorable he’s worth a start while the league has no idea what to do with him. If his WHIP starts climbing above 1.25, then its probably time to move on.

Dude
Dude
26 days ago

You dropping BDLC for Pauley?

Dude
Dude
Reply to  everywhereblair
26 days ago

Thanks

martin rostoker
martin rostoker
26 days ago

Hi Blair,

Would you drop any of Gurriel, Nimmo, Mullins, Duran or Marte to pick up Bryan De La Cruz?

Your help is so appreciated!!!!

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
Reply to  everywhereblair
26 days ago

Thanks!!

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
Reply to  martinrostoker
26 days ago

really on point!

Mike Honcho
Mike Honcho
26 days ago

How do you feel about J.Soriano? Seems kinda like Butto to me.
Do you like either better than T.Rogers?

martin rostoker
martin rostoker
26 days ago

Hi Blair,

The fantasy week is always great when your column starts!!

1.I feel great because I had just picked up Ryan O’Hearn, Life is good

Nathaniel Lowe is still on the wire. My other 1B is Rys Hoskins. Would you waive Hoskins to pick up Lowe?

2.My 3B is weak. I have Nolan Gorman and Ryan McMahon. Need I say more. The list of those on the wire are:

Josh H Smith
Tyker Freeman
Eugenio Suarez
Luis Rengifo
Anthony Rendon
Abraham Toro
Ernie Clement
Isiah Kine-Falefa

Thoughts?

Thanks!

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
Reply to  everywhereblair
25 days ago

great advice!

would you cut Gorman over McMahon?

Thanks!!