Fantasy Baseball Final: July 8, 2016
Baseball is a unique game because there is no clock. You cannot go into the victory formation, four corners, or whatever they do in hockey. You have to get 27 outs to win and in the Oakland/Houston game both teams had difficulty getting to 27 outs. Will Harris (selected to the AL all-star team) blew his first save of the year in spectacular fashion. He could only record one out and combined with Michael Feliz to give up five runs in the top of the night. Not to be outdone, Ryan Madson gave up a three run home run to Luis Valbuena in the ninth inning to make a thrilling 10-9 victory for the Astros.
A similar outcome occurred in Milwaukee with less drama. The clubs traded runs in the last inning and the Brewers came out on top. The life of a closer is a lonely one. Trevor Rosenthal was one of the best in the game the last couple of years, but he’s already lost his job and he lost this game as well. This goes back to why I hate the idea of closers and the artificial pressure we put on them. However, I’ll get off my soapbox.
If you read anything
Baseball is on a pace to have to second most home runs hit in a season in the game’s history. MLB has denied that there is anything different going on with the ball, but there is increasing speculation that the ball has been juiced. It makes some sense even if we don’t want to get bogged down in conspiracy theories. The talent of pitchers combined with the increased use of aggressive shifts had suppressed run scoring. Batting averages are still down somewhat in comparison with the steroid days.
What this means is that home runs are cheaper for fantasy players and good pitchers are harder and harder to come by. The list of ace pitchers having down seasons is too lengthy to enumerate. So, if you have some dominant pitching on your roster you should hold out for maximum value if others are looking to get that pitching from you.
We kind of expected
The Indians hit a lull early in the week, but they are back to their winning ways. They have the second best record in the American League with a 52-34 record. They hit five home runs (see comments above) to beat the Yankees 10-2. The Yankees may have one of the best bullpen trios in baseball, but they are having difficulty getting to them this season. Jason Kipnis was the star of this game as hit had three hits including two home runs. That gives him 14 home runs and 49 RBI on the season.
We Didn’t Expect
Stephen Strasburg became the first pitcher in over a century to begin to season 12-0. His season so far is reminding many historians of Rube Marquard. For the unitiated, Marquard is in the Hall of Fame largely on the strength of his streak in 1911 that even inspired a Broadway play called “Rube Marquard Wins”. I seriously doubt Strasburg will have his own play, but I guess stranger things have literally happened.
- Will Harris (blown save)
- Ryan Madson (blown save)
- Steve Cishek (21)
- Jeanmar Gomez (24)
- Sam Dyson (18)
- Jonathan Papelbon (18)
- Koji Uehara (3)
- J. Ramos (26)
- Mark Melancon (27)
Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes both left the game early with injuries in their game with the Nationals. The hope is that both will not miss any more time, but we don’t have enough information now to make that determination. Please stay tuned.