Triston “Dr. Sticks” McKenzie is so skinny, he hula hoops with a Cheerio. McKenzie is so skinny he uses floss as toilet paper. I have a dad bod but want to identify as skinny–am I trans-slender? Triston McKenzie may get his nickname from his lack of girth, but last night McKenzie left no meat on the bone for the White Sox, as he fired 7 innings of two-ER ball while striking out a career-high 14 batters, lowering his ERA to 3.11 in the process. This wasn’t just a good game for McKenzie; it’s the continuation of at least the last month, as he’s got a 2.95 ERA over his last 33 IP, with a 28/8 K/BB. Pay no attention to the xERA of 4.04 and xFIP of 4.08, or the K% that’s has dropped 2 Ks per 9 IP from 2021, and enjoy the fantasy goodness Dr. Sticks is currently giving fantasy owners as the Guardians chase the AL Central division title. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Jose Ramirez – 2-for-3, 2 R, HR (23), hitting .283. JoRam is the 4th-rated hitter on the Razzball Player Rater, with 99 RBI and 14 bags to go along with his almost-equal BB/K. I’m not convinced I’d do it, but if somebody took him first overall next year, I’d have no quibble.
Andres Gimenez – 2-for-4, 2 RBI, SB, hitting .313. 14 HRs, 17 bags, and that AVG and OBP (.378). Speaking of 2023, how high are we taking him? I won’t throw out names here so as to avoid getting roasted in the comments, but I mean…is he the third 2B off the board after Albies/Altuve?
Luis Robert – DNP. Still not playing, still not on the IL. He has pinch-run and been a defensive replacement during that time, so at least they haven’t been wasting the roster spot, like his fantasy owners.
Eloy Jimenez – 1-for-3, left game with knee injury. The batter before, Andrew Vaughn, got a HBP and stayed in the game. Eloy swung and missed, did something to his knee, and knowing Eloy, we’ll see him again next June. The 2022 White Sox, man.
Lance Lynn – 5.2 IP, 6 baserunners, 1 ER, 6 Ks, ERA at 5.30. Just hasn’t been right all year. The only thing harder to watch than his pitching is listening to La Russa slur the L’s in Lynn’s names. “Are you saying Mance Minn?”
Patrick Sandoval – 9 IP, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.14. Dominating performance by Sandoval, and I would’ve led with the CG/SHO but it was against Detroit, so it’s almost like half-credit. JoJo Siwa shows more at the plate at the celebrity games on All-Star Weekend than most of the Tigers hitters. Sandoval has a 3.14 ERA, but a 4-8 record.
Matt Manning – 7 IP, 4 baserunners, 1 ER, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.81. Manning has been hurt for much of the year, only pitching 32 innings this year, but this can help an inexperienced guy build confidence, knowing he held two of the greatest players ever to a 1-for-7 night with four punchies. His one blemish? A Jared Walsh HR.
Mike Trout – 1-for-4. Trout was activated from the IL before the game, because if he’d been activated after it, it wouldn’t be worth a blurb in this recap. A pair of Ks may indicate a little rust needs knocked off.
Jo Adell – 0-3, 3 Ks. He’s just not going to hit, is he?
Andrew McCutchen – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBI, HR (14). A team with Rowdy Tellez, Hunter Renfroe and Christian Yelich has Cutch hitting cleanup. I, a Tigers fan, may do unholy things for a cleanup hitter to hit that many HRs. And I at least get not hitting Yelich and his nine HRs cleanup; he’s barely got more HRs than Marcell Ozuna had shots on his way home Thursday night. Too soon?
Rowdy Tellez – 1-for-5, HR (25). Tellez homered off of Keegan Thompson (3.2 IP, 5 ER, 3 HRs allowed), and it’s amusing to me because Rowdy homered off of one of the least-rowdy sounding names out there. Keegan Thompson sounds like the guy who wears a Polo shirt with a cashmere sweater tied around his neck while playing croquet, only to get bent out of shape when he finds out the host of the party tried to sneak some pissant Browne Trading Company Osietra Supreme caviar past him instead of the Regalis Two-Tone Osetra that only the classiest soirees serve, as if he’s some sort of a-hole.
Hunter Renfroe – 2-for-4, HR (22), 2 RBI. Three homers in his last seven games for Renfroe. After his HR off of Thompson, Keegan wasn’t even in the mood for a game of squash after the post-dinner tea.
Christopher Morel – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBI, HR (12). His teammates may not love him, but I think he’s a fun guy. Just a little mushroom humor for the mushroom stamp he put on Hoby Milner in the 6th innings. The Cubs batted him 9th, opting for Nick Madrigal (3-for-4, batting .250) to get things started in this game. He did have three hits, so I guess the decision wasn’t *that* bad, but I looked up Madrigal’s season stats, and in 144 ABs, guess how many RBI he has? Lower. Lower still. He’s got fewer RBI than Antonio Alfonseca had fingers on his right hand! This blurb should’ve been more about Morel, whom I love for next year.
Jonathan India – 1-for-4, batting .244. He didn’t really do anything this game, but he played, and given it’s Jonathan India, we may want to include him in these blurbs while we can. I looked at other guys from this game to write about but I couldn’t have been more disinterested if I were my ex-wife.
Graham Ashcraft – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.97. Wait, here’s one! Ashcraft has a 5.84 K/9 over 86 innings this year. Ope, still disinterested.
Oneil Cruz – 1-for-4, 2 Ks, hitting .198. I’m not remotely close to quitting this guy in keeper/dynasty, but man, redraft leagues he’s probably dropped, right? Heard he’s calling in somebody from outside the organization. If he wants him there in a hurry, I wouldn’t trust air travel, but if he makes a call to Atlanta, I know a guy who will drive really fast to get him there.
Chris Bassitt – 6 IP, 7 baserunners, 2 ER, 4 K, ERA at 3.26. Bassitt was ruff on the Philly bats all day, and the Mets ruff-ed up Aaron Nola (5 IP, 5 ER, 9 K, ERA at 3.25). Bassitt has been the 26th best SP on the Razzball player rater in 2022, and he was the consensus 44th SP off the board according to fantasypros.com, whereas Nola is 11th on the Razzball player rater and was consensus 14th in ADP. Nola’s returned his value I guess, but Bassitt seems like the better 2022 buy.
Pete Alonso – 2-for-5, 2B, HR (30), 3 RBI, hitting .275. Albombso! You bought for the power, but are thrilled with the career-high average.
Tyler Naquin – 0-for-5, 5 Ks. If a Golden Sombrero is three strikeouts in one game, what do we call five?!?! I’m going with the Fecal Sombrero.
Brett Baty – 1-for-3, 2 RBI. Hey fellas–if a brother calls up a hotshot 3B at 2 in the morning and that 3B collects a HR and a hit in his first two games, is that or is that not, a Baty call? Can ya help me? (throwing it back to Blackstreet with this blurb; IYNYK as the kids say, and if you don’t know, then Spotify it and thank me later).
Francisco Lindor – 3-for-5, 3 singles, hitting .274. Three singles? Frankie’s taking those singles to Cheerleaders or Atlantis after the game. You Philly readers know what’s up.
J.T. Realmuto – 3-for-4, 2B, hitting .264. At least he’s got 15 steals this year? Top-rated catcher on the Player Rater so I shouldn’t be making jokes here I guess, but 13 HRs and an AVG in the .260s isn’t really Baseball Viagra.
Kutter Crawford – 3.2 IP, 11 hits, 9 ER, 3 HRs allowed, ERA at 5.14. Whammy! Kutter came into this game with an ERA of 4.18. I’m a glass-half-full kinda guy, so what can we say here…*thinking* hey, Kutter didn’t walk anybody! This game ended 15-10 in favor of Baltimore, but the O’s pitchers only gave up five earned runs. Seven Orioles had multiple hits in this game.
Anthony Santander – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBI, 2B, HR (21). Santander has been more valuable this year than Teoscar Hernandez, Giancarlo Stanton, Nick Castellanos. With the season the O’s have had and the minor league system they’ve built up, are we on the verge of some really fun Orioles teams for the next 5-7 years?
Adley Rutschman – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBI, HR (8). It’s not news to you that even the best, most-hyped prospects often fizzle in their first (Spencer Torkelson) or fifth (Jarred Kelenic) opportunity in the bigs, but Adley Rutschman was the universal top-prospect before being called up, and he’s absolutely lived up to the hype.
Jorge Mateo – 1-for-5, 3-run HR (12). Yeah, his AVG and OBP are terrible, but he’s got 12 HRs and 27 stolen bases. I’ll call him Adaljorge Monteo.
Ryan Mountcastle – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBI, HR (17), hitting .250. Anybody taking him 115 overall in 2023 like his consensus ADP was in 2022?
Kevin Gausman – 7 IP, 4 baserunners, 7 K, ERA at 2.99. I sonofabench’d him because he was awful in his last start, only mediocre for the last month, and because I still get a little intimidated pitching people against the Yankees and in Yankee Stadium even though they’ve been a dumpster fire for a while now. You overthought it, Hoove…you overthought it. The Yanks only had four hits, none for extra bases, and drew one walk.
Alejandro Kirk – 3-for-4, batting .304. My daughter and I always laugh when we watch highlights of Kirk running as hard as he can around the bases. Remember how they used to do “The Freeze” in Atlanta and they’d have the really fast guy run down some schmo from the stands after giving said schmo a big head start? Perhaps we could do that in reverse with the random schmo, running down Kirk while the crowd goes bonkers and Kirk runs like he’s wearing MilkBone underwear and a pitbull is chasing him.
Teoscar Hernandez – 1-for-4, 2-run HR (18). And Teoscar for “The Guy I Really Wish I Hadn’t Drafted In The 2nd Round” goes to…
Shane McClanahan – 7 IP, 5 baserunners, 2 ER, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.29. Pretty much stalemated by Brady Singer (6 IP, 9 baserunners, 2 ER, 7 Ks), as both got no-decisions here. Even with the three walks, McClanahan got through seven innings in only 90 pitches, which is good efficiency to see. McClanahan will be one of the first 3-4 pitchers off the board next year; what’s Singer’s draft ceiling if he finishes the year as he’s been pitching?
Bobby Witt Jr. – 1-for-4, 2-run HR (16). It’d be easy to look at Witt’s 2022 and feel disappointed it’s not more like fellow-rook Julio Rodriguez’s, but 16 HRs and 23 SBs is a heckuva line for August 20. It may not feel like a 20/30 season as he’s doing it (at least it doesn’t for me), but that’s what he’s staring down the barrel of. Pretty danged impressive rookie season.
Randy Arozarena – 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, SB. 16 HRs, 23 SBs. It’s late when I’m writing this; did I nod off and accidentally hit Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V?
Kyle Wright – 6 IP, 7 baserunners, 2 ER, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.14. When Wright is right, the Braves are tough to beat. Wins aren’t everything, but a 15-5 record isn’t empty with the performances Wright’s been posting.
Lance McCullers Jr. – 5 IP, 10 baserunners, 3 ER, 6 Ks. McCullers gave up three runs on Austin Riley’s bomb (his 31st of the year), but was allowed to go 91 pitches, showing that a) Houston is comfortable with his health, b) Dusty Baker is doing Dusty things with pitchers’ arms, or c) both can be true. Not very efficient, and too many men on base, but McCullers limited the damage to the one bomb.
Kyle Tucker – 2-for-4, HR (22). Wright’s only real mistake of the night was a Tucker Tater. King Tuck’s 22 HR/18 SB line looks really nice for his owners, but something to give us even more confidence for the year-over-year stuff is his 15% K% and 11% BB%.
Yordan Alvarez – Left game with breathing difficulties. When I saw Yordong leave the game, I had some breathing difficulties as well. Preliminary news as of this writing was that his vitals were solid, and to consider him day-to-day.
Dansby Swanson – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBI, hitting .295. Can Dansby give some tips to Tildaddy in the cage or something? Feels like he shouldn’t hit 20 points higher in AVG and 45 points higher in SLG than Acuna Jr.
Dylan Bundy – 5.1 IP, 3 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 4.60. Bundy only threw 71 pitches; what’s the deal with Rocco Baldelli barely letting his starters go five innings? I suppose it’s the Tampa in him but still. I guess if I could turn things over to Slippin’ Trevor Megill (2.90 ERA), Jhoan Duran (2.01 ERA) and Jorge Lopez (1.95 ERA, 22nd save) I’d get Bundy out of there ASAP as well.
Jose Miranda – 1-for-4, HR (13), hitting .285. I haven’t seen a Miranda this red-hot since Sex in the City. And now that I think about it, she was way more red and way less hot. Miranda’s AVG was sub-.100 as of May 18, but since then, he’s been on an extended heater, posting over-.300 AVGs each month since. He’s even rubbing some power off on Luis Arraez (1-for-3, 7th HR, hitting .335) since Arraez was nice enough to sprinkle some hitting dust on Miranda.
Alex Wood – 4.2 IP, 9 baserunners, 7 ER, 3 HRs allowed. You Wood owners didn’t do this to yourself in Coors, did you?
Joc Pederson – 2-for-4, HR (18). Nice of Joc to pause his fantasy football draft prep long enough to give a slap of his own to one lucky baseball.
Elehuris Montero – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 HRs (3), 5 RBI. Was going to call him Eli Montero, but Lil Nas X told me to call Montero by his name.
Eugenio Suarez – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 HRs (22), 5 RBI, hitting .225. Won’t ever hit for much average but his OBP (.328) is playable and he’s clearly still got some thump. Cole Irvin gave up five ER, and all five were on Suarez dingers.
Miles Mikolas – 8 IP, 3 baserunners, 1 ER, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.32. Great SP duel tonight between Mikolas and D-backs rookie Tommy Henry (5.1 IP, 7 baserunners, 1 ER, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.57). Mikolas has been doing this all year for the Cards, but Henry just recently got the opportunity for Arizona and the former University of Michigan hurler is doing Wolverine fans proud #goblue.
Paul Goldschmidt – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBI, HR (30), hitting .339. Au-Shizz! Goldy is running away with the NL MVP award.
Nolan Arenado – 4-for-5, 2 RBI, 3 2B. There’s no way I’m cribbing Grey’s “Torenado” for Nolan’s blurb, so I’ll just set my copy of the box score down over here by this open window while I try to come up with something more original–oh no, Torenado!!!
Yadier Molina – 3-for-4. I’m already excited to see if Yadi hands over the 2023 catching duties to his successor as gracefully as his predecessor, Pickles Dillhoefer, did to him back in 1922.
Blake Snell – 5 IP, 9 baserunners, 3 ER, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.76. Snell had been masterful the 2nd half, so it’s surprising to see the N-ass-ionals touch him up a bit. We can give him a bit of leash considering how terrifically he’s pitched in the 2nd half, especially when compared to…
Josh Hader – 0 IP, 2 hits, 1 BB, 3 ER, ERA at 5.30. What the heck happened to this dude? When Preller pushed his chips into the middle of the table for Hader, Soto, et al, were those metaphorical poker chips or literal paint chips, because something is toxic in the air right now.
Tyler Anderson – 7 IP, 8 baserunners, 1 ER, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.73. Anderson and Jesus Luzardo (6.1 IP, 6 baserunners, 1 ER, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.44) had themselves a fantastic pitchers duel, as this game was decided by the bullpens and one Markus Lynn Betts (3-for-4, 8th inning 3B) whose run scored was the difference.