Friday Night Fights

The esteemed Commander Daniel Pants has been called to the Spice Wars where he will defend the season of fall against the armies of Pumpkin Spice. If you’re interested, we’ve set up a GoFundMe to buy Commander Pants and his Zipper Platoon a collection of ascots and sweaters. If you’re feeling generous, you can get him one of those Eddie Bauer sweater vests that just screams, “I’d totally be out in the woods if I wasn’t so busy drinking hot coffee on my veranda waiting for my bitcoin investments to start paying off.”

Like any good lef-tenant would do for his Commander Pants, I gathered intelligence on the fine baseball players playing the balls on Friday night. And when I was done looking through the shirtless paparazzi photos on Sports Illustrated, I even looked at some of the boxscores. Here’s some of the best performances from Friday night and what they mean for your baseball team.

Jake Arrieta — 7IP, 2ER, 7H, 7K, W. Lucky Number Slevin! Seriously, who greenlights that movie? Like, I came up with the Commander Pants Zipper Platoon thing in about 5 minutes and there’s already more depth to the battle against pumpkin spice than there ever was in Lucky Number Slevin. ENYWHEY. If you’ve been following my Top 100 starting pitcher posts on Monday afternoons, you’ve probably seen me throw Arrieta in the “deep league dart throws” a few times. Pitchers in that category often play for sort-of-good teams and they have the ability to throw some good games. Arrieta is making $25 million a year to perform like Alec Mills…actually worse than Alec Mills…so, don’t let the lucky 7s get you too excited. If anything, stack against Arrieta his next time out because he can’t strike anybody out and is giving up homers at a career-high rate.

Matthew Boyd — 6IP, 2ER, 4H, 8K. Top 100 starting pitcher followers know that I’m not thrilled about Boyd. He gives up a ton of hits and homeruns, and he was downright awful to start the year. Positive regression does its thing though, and we’re seeing Boyd regress to his career norms. That said, his career norms had him as sort-of a last SP on your fantasy team. Certainly stream him against weak-hitting teams but avoid any team that knows how to hit a changeup.

Corbin Burnes — 6IP, 0ER, 3H, 7K, W. Burnes is getting really, really hot. Like, as hot as that coffee you’re sipping while waiting for your bitcoin to increase in value but you don’t notice how hot it is because you’re numb inside from harsh society. Whoa! But seriously, he’s on the Brewers so you already weren’t paying much attention, and he kind of had a tough start to 2020 after barely making the opening day roster. In his last 11IP, he’s given up 8H, 3ER, and has a 17:3 K:BB ratio. And, it doesn’t hurt to have awesome movement on his pitches with a smooth pitch-framing catcher.

Yu Darvish — 7IP, 1ER, 1H, 11K. Darvish-san is well on his way to the number 1 spot on the Top 100 starting pitcher list. The Cubs are hitting pretty well, and Darvish is basically un-hittable over the past month. Just enjoy the ride, friends!

Ross Stripling 4.1IP, 6H, 2ER, 4K. Stripling was just traded to the Blue Jays, and he’s not exactly the balm the Buffalo Blues need right now. Stripling labored through 81 pitches in 4 innings; to put that in perspective, Matthew Boyd and Yusei Kikuchi needed about that many pitches to go 6IP with 7+Ks.

Yusei Kikuchi — 6IP, 2H, 1ER, 7K. Kikuchi has been climbing up the ranks on the Top 100 starting pitcher list, and if you don’t own him, you should.

Pablo Lopez — 4IP, 5H, 5ER, 6K. The Ks were nice. But even the Miami Sound Machine had some flops. Give Lopez a break, he pitches for the Marlins and he’s basically been an ace this year.

Trevor May — 1IP, 3K, SV. I’m a Twins fan so I’ve gotta serve as the hype man for the DJ reliever. May got the save because…

Taylor Rogers1IP, 1H, 1K, SV. The Twins had a double-header! Rogers went first in the day for the save, so May got the shot at the afternoon game’s save. If anything, you know who’s second in line for saves in the Twins’ bullpen.

Ronald Acuna Jr. — 3H, 3HR, 4RBI in two games. Acuna had missed a few games with a hamstring injury. More like, he was winding up his arm-strings for homerun power, amirite? [checks wikipedia] Hey, you guys know that there’s no arm-strings? No heart strings either. Now I doubt hamstrings are real…

Willson Contreras3H, 4RBI, 1HR. The Cubs chased Jack Flaherty pretty quick, and Contreras started the damage and then knocked out a home run against the bullpen. Cubs have been one of the hottest hitting teams this year, and the Cardinals are near the top in the amount of “makeup” innings they need to play due to Covid delays. Going forward, take advantage of Cubs batters against a tired Cardinals pitching staff.

Yoshitomo Tsutsugo2H, 2R, 1RBI, 2BB, 1HR. OK Razzball lifers, who is ready for the 3-true outcomes revival of Adam Dunn? In August 2020, his first real month in the majors, Tsutsugoh had 14BB, 15K, and 10H, of which 4 were HR. That’s pretty cool. His batting average is also garbaggio so he’s probably not on your team, unless it’s my best ball Razzslam team, in which case he’s been starting for a month because Josh Donaldson didn’t play at all.

Yairo Munoz — 6H, 4R, 3RBI, 1HR. Munoz shouldn’t be on anybody’s radar because it was his third and fourth games of the season. Munoz walked away from spring training earlier this year in the Before Times, and it took the desperate Red Sox to pry him from the jaws of Dark, Season 3. Now, Munoz made me some money in DFS today because I needed the cheapest infielder to permit my rostering of [checks notes] Juan Soto, who became a late scratch and did not play. Munoz more than made up for my error, leading the Razzball writers to have a brief conversation about what we should call scrub players who make up for DNP studs. Right now we’re going with “Junior Prom.” Do you have a good term for players like Munoz today? Drop it in the comments and let us know.

Ryan Mountcastle — 3H, 3RBI, 2R, 1HR. Mountcastle is probably gonna be a sonofabench for a lot of managers because they don’t trust Mountcastle or they don’t trust the Orioles and all of these are valid excuses. But he’s 23, he’s been in the majors for about 50 at-bats, and he’s got at .341/.400/.537 line. If he hangs out through September, he’ll might pass that rookie eligibility in your dynasty leagues and you’ll be stuck with an ethical quandary: do you intentionally keep an Oriole? Have you forgotten Chris Davis and Henry Urrutia? I bet I made you google that last guy. If Mountcastle is available in your league, you better run faster than Chris Davis to go get him.

Oscar Mercado 1H. Guess who’s back in the majors? That’s right! Zach Plesac! Also Oscar Mercado. He’s back, too. But not back on the top 100 hitters list. Yet.

Josh Donaldson — 1H, 1R, 1RBI, 1HR. See that line on the left? That’s why you want home run hitters in point leagues and best ball. One home run counts in four scoring categories. Donaldson should have had a handful more home runs by now, but he sat out most of the season on the IL. Now he’s back, and the track record says you should be playing him if he’s on the waiver wire.

Brent Rooker — 1H, 1RBI. Again, Twins fan, and Rooker just got the call up. This is a weird thing for the Twins because they usually protect their rookies for agonizingly long periods of time. As a team, though, their hitting has actually been rather subpar, and Max Kepler just hit the IL with a muscle strain. If Rooker makes contact and plays defense, well, you know that’s all the Twins really want.

Freddie Freeman — 3H, 2R, 4RBI, 1GS in 2 games. Another Covid recovery story. Braves have struggled with keeping hitters healthy throughout the entirety of 2020, and you know their struggles with pitching. If everybody can stay on the field through September, they’re a fun team to watch. <<–Things I’ve been saying about the Twins since 1994.

OK friends, that’s all from me! Friday was a pretty weird day for baseball, with a whole bunch of double-headers and even Luis Campusano getting the call up for the Padres. What struck you as interesting and fun? Drop me a line in the comments and we’ll chat. Stay safe this Labor Day weekend, and good luck in your fantasy endeavors!


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