Phillies’ pitchers have held the Tigers to 6 2/3 IP in Game 1; shutout on three hits in Game two and no hit yesterday by Zack Wheeler in 7 1/3 IP. Seems the Tigers’ pregame sessions meeting around the batting cage while Javier Baez takes batting practice are paying off. “So, swing 7 inches above where the ball is thrown?” “No, I said 17! C’mon!” Wheeler’s line ended 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.91, lowering it from 4.33. Phillies fans of my youth would’ve thrown batteries at the defense that let him down and allowed a guy to get on by error. Actually, the third baseman was the one who committed the error, and Mike Schmidt was their baseman of my youth, and he played good defense and was still hit by batteries, so it wouldn’t have mattered. Was off Wheeler in the preseason, but that was due to health concerns from last year. He’s clearly healthy now and has a 10.3 K/9, 2 BB/9 and 3.61 xFIP, which went up yesterday, hilariously. His velocity looks fine, and could put together a sub-3 ERA rest-of-the-year like he has in the last three. A 10+ K/9 and 2.75 ERA would have him looking at every team like noodled-bat Tigers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Jose Alvarado – Will return today from elbow inflammation. I’m sure he’ll be the only pitcher to return from elbow inflammation and be totally fine.
Alex Lange – 2/3 IP, 2 ER, ERA at 3.20, and his 2nd blown save. Could’ve done without that. Gonna ostrich my head into the sand and pretend all is fine.
Reese Olson – 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 2.70. Since this was the only game on at the time, I watched. By the way, at one point they had Rogers Clemens in the booth, and someone asked how he kept himself in game shape so late in his career. Yeah, I wonder. Any hoo! Was pretty impressed by what I saw with Olson. His change is nasty, and his fastball hits 96. Surprised he’s come up with no fanfare; I was able to pick him up pretty easily in my AL-Only league. Streamonator hates his potential next start, and I don’t trust him enough to face the Braves either, but worth a monocle.
Lance Lynn – 5 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 6.72. “How bad can Lance Lynn be against a Yankees’ lineup without Aaron Judge?” Lance Lynn, “One second…I just want to take a giant crap on the mound. Yeah, sorry, I had Taco Bell. Oh, yeah, it’s real bad.” I’d say Lance Lynn is cooked, but, if he were, he’d be eating himself. Cease, Lynn, Kopech and Giolito are all going over Niagara Falls, because they are so barreled up. Not saying xERA is everything, but Lynn’s expected ERA is 5.40. I’d woof, but I’m done expending energy on this schmohawk.
Yoan Moncada – 1-for-8 and his 3rd homer. White Sox are low-key the Rockies. How does Moncada have so much job security? He’s disappointed five of six seasons, with the one year he was good coming with a .400+ BABIP. No exaggeration. He sucks.
Luis Robert – 3-for-7, 2 runs and a slam (14) and legs (3). Looked at the Player Rater yesterday for which teams have been the worst, and it’s clearly the A’s, but the White Sox are sneaky awful. The A’s have only four positive players; the White Sox only have five above $1 in value. The Rays have 16.
Eloy Jimenez – 2-for-8, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. Not to pick on the White Sox, but Eloy’s one of their biggest bats. Hanging a crooked hat on him to bang ’em, ya know? Yeah, he hasn’t broken 16 homers in a season since 2019, when the ball was juiced.
Luis Severino – 5 IP, 4 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 5.75. Trying not to over-focus on this start, because there wasn’t a lot of games yesterday, and Severino only has 20 1/3 IP total. His velocity looks fine; he might just be finding his footing. Hopefully, he’s healthy.
Willie Calhoun – 3-for-8, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 4th homer, as he hit leadoff. Yanks’ outfield for the doubleheader was Willie Calhoun, Jake Bauers and Billy McKinney (2-for-6, 2 runs, and his 1st homer), or as I like to call it, “Spring Training Competition in 2018 for a 4th outfielder.”
Randy Vasquez – 5 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 1.74, as he took over the empty Nestor spot. That would make him a baby bird or Richard Mulligan, who I used to see all the time smoking like a chimney. RIP. You would’ve loved NYC right now. Randy’s got a big curve and batshizz crazy bad command. As soon as you pick him up, he will give up 5 ER at least. I wouldn’t go anywhere near him, outside of AL-Only.
Austin Riley – 4-for-6, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer, hitting .281. Riley needs a mustache. Everyone does. But especially Riley.
Orlando Arcia – 3-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer, hitting .326. I think I’ve recounted this story before, but he went right before I was going to take him in the free rounds of a 12-team NL-Only, which is crazy deep, and it’s been nightmare fuel for me ever since. Losing Jazz and Oneil Cruz, I could’ve used Orlando.
Brandon Nimmo – 1-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 5th homer. Nimmo lost that one!
Francisco Alvarez – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 10th and 11th homer, and now one home run off the MLB lead for catchers. Oh, and he’s done it in 100 less at-bats.
Travis d’Arnaud – 3-for-4, 4 runs, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer. Also, in this game, Marcell Ozuna (1-for-5, 12th homer) DH’d, and, I guess what I’m saying is I don’t know where Sean Murphy should’ve played, but he should’ve played.
Ozzie Albies – 1-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 14th homer, a walk-off jobber. May the short inherit the earth! (And I get all the Dairy Queens.)
Justin Verlander – 3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 4.85. Not saying anything remotely surprising here, but he doesn’t look right.
Lance McCullers – Will undergo another series of tests on his forearm. Hopefully if you drafted him, you have an MRI category.
Framber Valdez – 5 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 2.36. I talk much more about all the pitchers I have that do the doodie in the bed, but I drafted Framber as my 2nd starter in a few leagues, because he wasn’t being drafted until around 80th overall and he’s an ace, as everyone thought, including the people who were like, “You have to draft a pitcher before Framber, like Strider”
Alex Bregman – 1-for-4 and his 9th homer, and a home run five days ago. That is very Bregman, right? Even when he’s hot, it’s a home run every five games.
Yordan Alvarez – Left the game with oblique discomfort. My one saving grace has been I’ve had solid 1st and 2nd rounders on my teams. I cannot lose Captain Woo Cubano! I just can’t. Let’s do a prayer triangle.
Jose Berrios – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 3.61. Someone asked if they should start him. Reluctantly, I think you have to start guys when they’re going well, even if it’s not a great matchup, and they’re Berrios.
Alex Verdugo – Benched for lack of hustle. That’s why you should never hustle. If you’re always slow, then the manager doesn’t know any better. You think Miguel Cabrera gets benched for no hustle? Nope! He just has a 48 seconds-to-first time.
Jose Ramirez – 3-for-5, 5 RBIs and his 7th, 8th and 9th homer. JoJoRam is so overdue to go Superman for about six weeks straight. Just straight clobbering the ball until the All-Star Break, when he gets inexplicably cold and stinks again until September. Hey, sorry, but I bought this monkey paw from the back page of a comic book.
Aaron Civale – 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 2.31. Yes, his ERA is great, but he has some of the worst peripherals I’ve ever seen. Be like Koko and beware.
Will Brennan – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer, and 2nd homer this week, and hitting .430-ish in June. He won’t be in this afternoon’s Buy column, but hot schmotato alert!
Chris Taylor – 2-for-5 and his 10th homer. I hope Taylor’s giving a kickback to Dave Roberts. Chris Taylor on the Rays would still be in arbitration with the Rays offering one-point-five mill. Chris Taylor with Dave Roberts is a four-year, sixty million-dollar player. It ain’t my money, but Taylor’s made so much with so little in his career.
Clayton Kershaw – 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.95. Different day, same verse, same Kersh. Not that I don’t believe in the talent — you’d have to have a boxful of crackers in your head to not believe in the talent — but I don’t trust him to stay on the field.
Graham Ashcraft – 2 2/3 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 6.78. When he had a 2.00 ERA after 36 IP, I told you to sell him. He’s thrown 35 IP since and has allowed 41 ER.
Kyle Bradish – 5 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 4.25. Call me a whore for strikeouts but I’d take 5 IP, 10 Ks every day, and twice on Muesday, the magical day between Monday and Tuesday that the government is hiding from us that I read about on 4chan.
Ramon Urias – 3-for-4 and a slam (2) and legs (3). “Can’t believe my ‘Draft Every Urias’ plan in March failed so bad. If only there was a name, I could’ve drafted,” Grey said in third person.
Gunnar Henderson – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 7th homer, hitting .206. I’m glad the Orioles stuck with Gunnar, so don’t take this the wrong way, but they fake delayed his service time because of made-up struggles, but when he had real struggles, they’re like, “His service time has already started, go get ’em, kid!”
Colin Rea – 5 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.47. Since it was a short schedule day, made even shorter because many of you are reading this while wearing gas masks, I went to look at Rea’s stats in Nippon. Was pretty meh: 3.57 ERA in 111 IP, and 7.5 K/9, 2.8 BB/9. Meh might be too kind.
Yonny Chirinos – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.60. Uh-oh, Chirinos is what the Twins should be saying. Nothing like being so bad you let a pitcher who usually goes three to four innings almost six innings. Even the Streamonator is like, “C’mon, Twins, do better.”
Harold Ramirez – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer. He’s been more valuable than Kyle Schwarber, but we still have some weeks left of June, right? I question myself, because I dropped Harold Ramirez in April because I thought a lack of at-bats would stop Rays’ hitters from being good. Silly me.
Bailey Ober – 5 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.61. Not completely analogous, but Ober reminds me a young Bassitt. Call him, Puppy. The way he reminds me of Bassitt is his ability to be a safe starter. When you have command like Ober, you can go against just about any team, even the 1927 Rays.
Carlos Correa – 2-for-4 and his 7th homer. He was right next to Jorge Polanco on the Player Rater, prior to yesterday’s game. That was 530th overall! Haha, my God. Or Jordan Walker, as my God is named. Just above them was Konnor Pilkington, who I believe used to do a podcast with Ricky Gervais, and Bryan Hoeing, who is Buck Farmer in Witness Protection. No one ever believes me when I say Correa is wildly overrated. I know places like The Athletic look at real baseball value, so it’s not completely fair because of defense, but would they do as many features about Konnor Pilkington and where he signed this offseason as they did on Correa?
Jorge Polanco – Left yesterday’s game with a leg injury. In hindsight, Polanco shouldn’t have attended that offseason seminar at a Ramada called, “Staying On The Field,” with a guest lecture by Byron Buxton.
Nolan Jones – 3-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 3rd steal. I added him in late in this afternoon’s Buy column, tempting the Gods in Colorado to bench him.
Michael Conforto – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer. Watching him homer in Coors and he really feels like a Rockies player, doesn’t he? I could see him one day being 36 years old, prospblocking someone after signing with the Rockies. Then everyone gets crazy excited about Conforto in Coors, until he plays 100 games, racking up a meager 15 homers and .240. Finally, injuring himself on a collision with Kris Bryant, who was coming in from a foot doctor appointment.