This year we instituted the first ever Fake Teams and Friends fantasy baseball league. It is TGFBI-styled, except the second catcher is a second utility spot. Each week the adds we make are a solid launching point for my study of available deep league free agents. Due to the size (15 teams) there is generally at least one addition I’ve not heard of, as someone is looking to stash someone.
Now for a [brief] league update!
Punk is Dead (118 pts) remains atop the standings, ballin’ out of control in the Fake Teams name. Punk aka Garrett is also SEVENTH overall in The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. Mayhaps everyone should go give the man a follow on the old Twitter machine, eh? You can find him at @13atkins13.
Bases Loaded (aka Mike Kurland) is within striking distance at 114 points. I’ll say it again and not for the last time: Christian Yelich AND Cody Bellinger is a really potent combo. #analysis
Additional shouts to Brian (@bdentrek) and Zack (@zackroto), who have been top five all season. The rest of us are merely playing catch-up at this juncture. And to Felsen Raster (The Last of Us) for climbing all the way into third place!
Now for the adds. Here are the guys we spent money on in our latest waiver wire run (June 23). It’s a $100 budget, for reference.
$15 Liam Hendriks (Oak - P) to to Joe’s All-Sleeper Team
$10 Christian Walker (Ari - 1B) to OG Two-Tone
$7 Logan Allen (SD - P) to No Cigar
$5 Adbert Alzolay (ChC - P) to Ghoji
$3 Roenis Elias (Sea - P) to Punk is Dead
$1 Michael Pineda (Sea - P) to Punk is Dead
And that’s it! It was a quiet week in the monies department. It took me a bit to find a picture of Liam Hendriks as our coverboy. It helped when I stopped searching for “Liam Hendricks.” I’m a fast learner. Anyway, is it a mercy that Blake Treinen is hurt? I daresay that Hendriks has been better in 2019...and now he gets the closer’s role. We’ve seen this story play out before. Joe might have found himself a long-term closer and I am not happy about it. Hendriks already has a pair of saves over the last week.
My baby bro (OG Two-Tone) got himself his fanboy play of Walker. The baby bro is a Gamecocks fan so the move makes sense. Especially with the GOAT Mitch Moreland still on the shelf for Two-Tone. Also, we are 13 weeks in and I still have no idea what “OG Two-Tone” is referencing.
Logan Allen was a fine add for No Cigar, and may have secured a spot in San Diego’s rotation with two solid turns. Allen has 10 strikeouts over his 13 innings, as well as two wins, a 1.38 ERA, and 1.15 WHIP. If you’re in a league of any sort of competitiveness, he’s already gone. He’s 31% on Yahoo and up 24% in the last day. On July 1st, Allen and the Padres host the hapless Giants...another quality matchup for Allen. Add away.
Adbert Alzolay, the Cubs’ top pitching prospect, acquitted himself well in a tough start against Atlanta on June 25th (4 2⁄3 ,1 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO) . Alzolay and Tyler Chatwood may have one more turn each as the Cubs roll with a six-man rotation in the absence of Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks’ return from a shoulder impingement is still unknown, and he’s been on the IL since June 15th. Hendricks is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Saturday (tomorrow) so that will probably let us know something as far as a time frame is concerned. For now, I wouldn’t break the bank on Alzolay, who looks like a shorter-term rental.
Punk is Dead did well in the last run, as Roenis Elias has three saves over the last week. Elias now has a tolerable 3.41 ERA and 1.22 WHIP over his 37 innings, as well as 38 strikeouts and 10 saves. This seems like a guy who is in the driver’s seat for good, so he’s a strong add if you’re saves-hunting. He’s up to 45% on Yahoo, and is up 11% in the last day. So you better grab him fast.
A few more quick-hitting thoughts:
Ross Stripling (55% owned) hurled three solid frames at Arizona on June 25th, and the abbreviated start was due to him being stretched out—not due to poor performance. Stripling threw 60 pitches, allowing two runs (one earned) and generating four whiffs. It looks like he’s projected to miss Coors in his next start, and instead will face the same Diamondbacks at home in Los Angeles. Stripling has taken Rich Hill’s spot in the rotation, and Hill is out until August...at least. My Google research tells me that Hill’s flexor tendon strain is often a precursor to Tommy John surgery, so it’s possible Stripling has a spot for good. Strip has only pitched 52 2⁄3 innings so far this year after throwing 122 a year ago—so we don’t have to worry about him being limited. Add the man everywhere.
Nicky Lopez (2% owned) has hit in the two-hole for the Royals for seven games in a row, going 7-for-27 (.259 BA) over that stretch with six runs and three RBIs. He’s not offering a lot in the power/speed categories with one homer and one steal so far, but he is 2B/SS eligible and had a .457 OBP at Triple-A Omaha this year prior to his call-up. That, and a .353 batting average at Triple-A show his potential for quality in the batting average and runs departments. There’s double-digit speed in those legs, too. I think it’s possible Lopez is in for a strong finish, especially with additional at-bats right now due to the injury to Adalberto Mondesi.
Last but not least, Brendan McKay is slated to debut against the Rangers on Saturday. McKay will get the Shohei Ohtani treatment on Yahoo, and you’ll want to add Brendan McKay (Pitcher) ahead of Saturday’s start. McKay needs to be owned everywhere, and here’s a taste of the goodness to come:
Brendan McKay - @brendan_mckay38- is slated to make his MLB debut this Saturday against the Rangers.— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) June 28, 2019
Here he is striking out Giancarlo Stanton on 3 pitches. pic.twitter.com/ryHSEjxCa8
McKay has dominated Double-A (1.30 ERA) and Triple-A (1.08 ERA) this year. Surely your pitching staff is in mostly terrible shape like everyone else’s in 2019...better grab the next hot Rays contributor now!