It’s The Time Of The Season For Loving (Not Looking At Pitcher Box Scores)

You emerge from mother’s basement, holding your hands up to your eyes to block the sun, and scream, “Ma! I won my fantasy league! Ma!” You stop to look around; it’s a fiery landscape reminiscent to an apocalypse. You open further the basement door, and it falls off its hinges. You, scared, “Ma?” There’s no walls anymore on your house, which gives you a vantage point to the entire surrounding area that smolders. Coming up your once-tree-lined street is a posse of thousands of–An army from another country? Another world? Who are they? What have they done with your family? Just as the questions dissolve over you, a warrior spots you and grunts for you to get in line. You reach for the only weapon you can get your hands on, a Lou Pinella commemorative mini-bat from a 1981 stadium giveaway, and join the post-apocalyptic army. As you scuttle into position behind the marching forces, you see a group of warriors carrying your mother’s head on a pitchfork. Overcome with emotion, you run up and scream, “Ma! I gotta tell you about the fantasy league I won!” In this scenario, I am your mother, and the army is Razzball. You’re welcome! Today is the day when you realize you’ve spent 27,000 man hours this summer beating eleven other strangers to win a virtual trophy, and it feels great! That’s if you won your league, if you came in 2nd or worst, you get an A for effort. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Pete Alonso – 1-for-5, 1 run, hitting .260. On Saturday, Albombso broke the rookie record for home runs with 53 Albombsos. So many Albombsos. Muy Albombsos. Mucho Albombsos. Muah Albombso. Love Albombso. Heart Albombso. Tattoo Albombso to my Al-bum-so. Will be going over him more tomorrow when I celebrate all the guys we love and love to hate during the Razzballies ceremony. Then, a couple days after that, I will go over him again when I recap the 1st basemen. It’s the winter of Albombso! There wasn’t anyone to love much more than Albombso this year. In the two leagues where I owned him, I drafted him for next to nothing and cashed some checks on his giant honkey ass. Bless him.

Dominic Smith – 1-for-1, 3 RBIs and his 11th homer, a walk-off homer, in his first at-bat in nearly two months. Gotta think Dominic Smith’s done enough to win the starting 1st base in 2020 with Mets trading Pete Alonso for Fernando Rodney.

Noah Syndergaard – 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 4.28. Not sure my Syndergaard schmohawk post in the preseason was the best one I’ve ever done, but it wasn’t the worst either *coughs* Gleyber Torres *coughs*

Mike Soroka – 5 IP, 3 ER, 9 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.68. He’s going to wake up every night this offseason at 3 AM, sweating, screaming, and, when Albies sticks his head over the side of the bunk bed to ask what’s wrong, Soroka’s gonna say, “I think…The Regression Fairies are coming for me.”

Adeiny Hechavarria – 3-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 8th and 9th homer. This two-homer game was brought to you by 2019, cosigned by Dr. Manfredenstein after he released his monster, The Year of the Rando Two-Homer Game.

Jack Flaherty – 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.75. Hard to imagine a greater buy low than Flaherty on July 1st. Donkey Teeth nailed it, as previously recounted here. In Flaherty’s last 100-ish IP, he had an under 1.00 ERA and a 0.70-ish WHIP with a 11+ K/9. Sorry, if I’m not giving you exact numbers, but math is harder than typing as I’m writing this sentence without hands or pants.

Paul Goldschmidt – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and a slam (34) and legs (3), hitting .260. Au Shizz!

Cole Hamels – 4 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 3.81. Next year there’s gonna be one guy — and let’s face it, it will be a guy — who will ask me if Hamels can regain his once-dominant pitching, saying, “Hardy-har, but, really, Yahoo loves his price.” I will eventually say, “I guess he could be good,” but what I will really mean is, no, he’s done being good.

Chi Chi Gonzalez – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 5.29. I can’t be the only one with a damaged brain who sees C. Gonzalez pitching for the Rockies and thinks CarGo’s now a two-way player.

Christian Yelich – Won the batting title, but pretty lame he didn’t play the last two weeks in order to secure it.

Rougned Odor – 1-for-3, 1 run, hitting .205, and his 30th homer on Saturday, to go with his 11 steals and hahahahahahaha someone stop me please!

Aaron Judge – 1-for-3 and his 27th homer. On Donkey Teeth and BDon’s last podcast, I argued (loudly) that Devers should be drafted above Judge in 2020. Honestly, I was surprised by pushback. Judge is great for power (everyone is), and never stays on the field. Devers is 22 years old and just went bazinga this year (check the Player Rater, if you don’t believe me), and, ugh, I’m already writing my 2020 rankings right now, aren’t I?

Aristides Aquino – 1-for-2 and his 19th homer, hitting .259. If Aquino isn’t on HBO’s Watchmen, they’re going to need to replace all of the light bulbs in their offices because of the giant parasol of shade I’m throwing their way. Seriously, where does Aquino go in 2020? Is top 100 crazy? Top 70? Top 50?

Trevor Williams – 7 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at oh who cares C**nt Hurdle was fired! Halleberrylujah! Joe Maddon left the Cubs too, but who cares. Maybe Maddon will end up in Pittsburgh. I am totally joking. Like there’s a chance Maddon would ever take that job.

Mike Clevinger – 5 2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 2.71. *raspberries lips* Oh, well. But if this helps us draft him even a half round later in 2020, I’m here for it.

Jorge Soler – 1-for-4 and his 48th homer, hitting .265. In the year of the home run, Jorge Soler won the home run title in the American League. It’s like 1975 being the greatest year in history for movies, and the Don Knotts-starrer The Apple Dumpling Gang taking home the Oscar.

Caleb Smith – 3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.52. His 2nd half 5.42 ERA managed a Simone Bilas-level flip of my excitement to fear in 2020, though I might get suckered into drafting him, due to his Ks.

Sandy Alcantara – 6 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.88. In March, we thought Alcantara was the guy who sings Dean Martin songs at our local trattoria. “Hey, Al Cantara, I think you need to stop drinking, you’ve sung That’s Amore six times tonight.” Now, it’s National League All-Star Sandy Alcantara, and he’s earned it, helping me win my RCL league. Eat it, haters!

Eduardo Rodriguez – 7 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.81. I’ll go over each position in the coming weeks, but Ed-Rod: 203 1/3 IP, 213 Ks, 3.81 ERA at 26 years old. Not saying he’s herb butter that elevates the “top 20 starters are” toast, but his emoji is a little arrow going up with two healthy knee propellers.

Hyun-Jin Ryu – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.32. DeGrom likely locked up his 2nd Cy Young, but his price in the preseason vs. Ryu’s ADP of 191 is *chef’s kiss* for Ryu.

Will Smith – 2-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 15th homer. Not to get Mr. Prorater too loco in the melon, but Smith hit 15 homers in a third of a season. “That’s Mike Piazza with the bacne!” I know, Mr. Prorater.

Taijuan Walker – 1 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 0.00. If you would’ve told me he’d return from Tommy John surgery and post a 0.00 ERA, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Blake Snell – 2 1/3 IP, 2 ER, ERA at 4.29. Honestly, his 2020 value is going to be writing a 2.00 ERA, 3.00 ERA, 4.00 ERA and 4+ ERA on a piece of paper, putting them in a hat, and pulling out a number. Speaking of pulling out, his price is going to make it impossible to own with so much uncertainty. Snell ya later.

Matt Thaiss – 3-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 7th and 8th homer. Dr. Manfredenstein, “Muahahahahahaha.”

Yuli Gurriel – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 31st homer, hitting .298. If you picked up or traded for Gurriel and Flaherty on July 1st, enjoy your fantasy baseball championship, but you’re also about to get burnt at a stake.

Gerrit Cole – 5 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.50. His 9th straight start with 10 Ks, which is a new MLB record. That’s surprising, right? I figured Nolan Ryan would’ve struck out ten-plus hitters in “a whole season of 150-pitches-per-game starts.” As for Cole’s Cy Young chances, to be continued in the next blurb.

Justin Verlander – 6 IP, 3 ER, 4 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 2.58, as he won his 21st game, recorded his 300th strikeout in 2019 and, in this game, Verlander notched his 3,000th career strikeout. Imagine how many pop-ups Ronald Guzman would need to drop to get Mike Minor 3,000 Ks. The only question left for Verlander is:  Does he win the AL Cy Young beating teammate, Gerrit Cole, or does Kate Upton make every BBWAA Cy Young voter regret every fantasy they ever had about her coming to their house? Should be the closest AL Cy Young race since 1980 when it was Steve Stone vs. Mike “Stoned” Norris.

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