“I don’t get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here” ~ Ben Folds “The Luckiest”
This is a strange, strange baseball season. The ball is almost definitely juiced, which would explain how my longtime favorite player Jason Heyward has a semi-resurgent 9 home runs. Unless of course, the ball isn’t juiced, which would explain why Matt Carpenter and Josh Donaldson and David Peralta and Justin Turner and Corey Seager have fewer than 9 home runs. That of course, would not explain why Jason Heyward has 9. And neither option explains why Jose Ramirez has 4 or why Miguel Cabrera suddenly has less power than batteries from the dollar store.
I don’t know what to tell you sometimes. Instead of hold/fold this week, I’m going to point out a series of “Did You Know”, highlighting interesting facts that may or may not be fantasy relevant. When Jason Heyward has 9 home runs and Jose Ramirez has 4, getting things right may just come down to who is the luckiest. Ergo, for the first time:
Did You Know?
That Jason Castro ranks 2nd in all of baseball in barrel%?
I’m sure that you are much smarter than me, and you are sitting there saying “Of course I knew that, where have you been?” Well, good for you. However, because I am late to the party, I’m going to explore this.
Castro was an All-Star way back in the time of Noah. At least it seems that way. Turns out it was only 2013. It seems like it was ages ago because, since that All-Star nod, Castro has hit .222, .211, .210, .242, and .143 – that is until this year, when he is smoking the ball at a .279/.374/.593 clip.
I don’t know what to make of it. I don’t know what the Twins will do when Garver comes back. I do know that only Gary Sanchez is barrelling a greater percentage of pitches, and catcher is dreadfully thin right now, so I’m paying attention here.
That Matt Olson and his .208 batting average is 3rd?
If this were a hold/fold column, this would be the equivalent of you holding a pocket pair and me dancing behind the other guy with a sign telling you that he has 2/7 offsuit. Olson’s always had power. And now he’s crushing the ball more than any non-catcher in baseball.
Sometimes, the answer is obvious. Steven Vogt may not be in Oakland anymore, but I think A’s fans and fantasy owners can believe in Matt Olson instead.
That Daniel Murphy ranks 307th in barrel% while playing his home games at Coors?
Forget Jose Ramirez. This right here might be the biggest fantasy disappointment of the season. A high-quality veteran bat, who was crushing the ball as recently as 2017, goes to Coors and can’t rake?
If this were hold/fold, now I’m dancing behind the other guy telling you he’s got pocket aces and you should fold whatever puny hand you have. I don’t want Murphy to be done, but subpar numbers at Coors are never a positive sign.
That Steven Matz is giving up nearly as many barrels as Mike Foltynewicz?
That’s probably significant because Folty is 303rd with an ERA of 6.10. In front of him, at 302 is Jorge Lopez who stunk his way into the Royals bullpen. In front of him is Daniel Hudson at 301. And at 300, with his nice, decent 3.97 era is Steven Matz.
I’m not saying he’s getting lucky, but if I met him right now I’d rub his head and then go buy a lottery ticket.
That Lance Lynn and Daniel Mengden both rank in the top 30 in terms of fewest barrels?
You probably knew that, but I certainly didn’t. However, it makes me think their recent successes are not flukes. I’m not saying I’m selling an ace to get one of them, but if I can pick them up on the cheap, I’m definitely doing it.
That you should be glad this wasn’t a hold/fold column because I am horrible at dancing?
Well, you do now.
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