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Bridges of Fantasy County: Rest of Season Thoughts

Well, it finally happened. I knew this day would come. I got an offer to sell high on Aaron Judge. My best waiver wire addition the week the season started is probably going to be a hot ticket item as we head into the heart of the summer. This just happened to be the first. For the offering party, it was to buy a piece for the future. It was a whopper, and although it was generous, it actually didn’t come to pass because the other owner does not understand the art of negotiating. Punk.

Noah Syndergaard by Arturo Pardavila III is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Bridges of Fantasy County: Rest of Season Thoughts

Estimated Reading Time: 9 Minutes

Well, it finally happened. I knew this day would come. I got an offer to sell high on Aaron Judge. My best waiver wire addition the week the season started is probably going to be a hot ticket item as we head into the heart of the summer. This just happened to be the first. For the offering party, it was to buy a piece for the future. It was a whopper, and although it was generous, it actually didn’t come to pass because the other owner does not understand the art of negotiating. Punk.

I won’t bore you with the details of the trade and the league context because they’re irrelevant to this article, but it brings me to this week’s topic: buying and selling. But it’s not just your run-of-the-mill Buy/Sell article, I promise! This one has visual aids and bad jokes! And the Mets!

Jokes temporarily aside, we’ve hit the point in the season where it’s time to put up or shut up. You have a pretty good idea of whether or not your team is a contender, fading fast unless you make a drastic change, or you fit neither of those categories. And if that’s the case, you’re probably already studying up on the fantasy football rankings. Let’s face it, if you’re out of it, you probably aren’t reading fantasy advice articles like this one. But you COULD be interested in my dating advice column coming out later next week. See? Something for everyone.

So, this week, we’ll be talking about what to do with your unexpected stars, unexpected busts, and making fun of all the Mets injuries (Sorry, Justin). Some teams have become sellers, some have become buyers, and some dudes haven’t logged in since Memorial Day and won’t respond to your more than fair, extremely smart trade offers. LOOKING AT YOU, SWAG BOSS! Hopefully, this will help you navigate the waters a little. Or you can wholly disagree, and we can have a good old fashioned Reddit debate, trolls! There’s a lot to get to, so let’s do this fast and furious style. But first…a song.

Believe It or Not?!

What a great song. I once did an industry concert where we had to sing that song to a bunch of middle-aged women. They went bananas. Anyways, here are a few guys that are doing so well, it makes me moist. Before the season, if I had told you these stat lines for these schmoes, you would’ve been like…HOLD THE PHONE! We start in the nation’s capital. A controversial place indeed.

Ryan Zimmerman (1B, Washington Nationals): 45 R/19 HR/53 RBI/.360/.403/.693

Well look what he can do when he’s finally healthy! Although he hasn’t played a full season since 2013, all systems are a go in 2017 as he leads the NL in homeruns. He’s raking in an absolutely stacked lineup, and projections call for 15 HRs and about 45 RBIs the rest of the season. One word of caution. The Nats are running away with the division because every other team is either gutter trash (Braves, Phillies, kind of the Marlins too) or devastated by injuries (Mets). Come August, they may have no reason to trot Zimms out there every day given his injury history. I could see Dusty resting old man Zimmerman to save him for October. Still, if he stays healthy, he gets his. BELIEVE IT!

Aaron Judge (OF, New York Yankees): 60 R/23 HR/52 RBI/6 SB/.339/.449/.713

One more word about that trade mentioned earlier. Ultimately, I didn’t end up trading him because he has an insanely good keeper price tag in my league (24th round). That and the trade partner is a doofus. I cannot emphasize that enough. OK…enough about me. I promised I wouldn’t get upset. Aaron Judge has clubbed 23 homeruns, which is the best mark in all of baseball right now. He’s going to hit 40 bombs this season I have no doubt. Bonus points for the unexpected 6 steals! The obvious red flags are the super high BABIP and batting average, so don’t be surprised if he has some cold spells in the later months. The K% is at 30% as well, so make no mistake, regression is coming. However, no one expected Judge to be a .330 hitter. I’ll be satisfied with my 40 HR, 100 RBI, .260 average season. BELIEVE IT on the skills and enjoy the monster power, but also believe that regression is coming.

Jason Vargas (P, Kansas City Royals): 9-3/2.10 ERA/1.09 WHIP/65 K in 81.1 IP

Another obvious candidate for regression. There is no way he rocks a 2.10 ERA the rest of the season. However, as Paul Sporer has pointed out many times on his brilliant podcast, even if he finished with a 3.60 ERA, that’s completely usable in every league. You’ll take it. Just ask Quintana and Gausman owners. Although you’ve probably gotten his best stretch of the year, I don’t it’s crazy to not totally give up on him completely. The skills have been impressive thus far, so keep rolling. This is a tough call. I’ve enjoyed the success in a few leagues, and even though the impending regression jumps off the page, I think he finishes with a nice year. I’ll BELIEVE IT!

Ervin Santana (P, Minnesota Twins): 8-4/2.56 ERA/0.95 WHIP/68 K in 95 IP

Ah, regression. Santana reeked of it in late May, and reality has hit him hard in his last 6 outings. 3 of the last 6 have been shellings, and while that 2.56 ERA is pretty, it will only continue to move in the wrong direction. He’s walking a lot of batters and not striking anyone out, and I think he becomes unrosterable by the All Star Break. This is sinking ship. Vargas is walking less batters and striking more guys out, so I’d much rather have him. DON’T BELIEVE IT.

Yonder Alonso (1B, Oakland A’s): 37 R/17 HR/37 RBI/.303/.400/.638

I’m enamored with the Oakland A’s boppers this season. Just look at my Healy article last week. I’m on board with Alonso and the well publicized alterations to his launch angle. Projections say that he will hit 10 more bombs the rest of the year, and I think that’s conservative. He’s already blown right by his career high in homeruns, and because of the mechanical changes to his swing, there’s no reason to think he can’t hit 30 this season. BELIEVE IT!

Moving On

Shakespeare once said that parting is such sweet sorrow. I think that was from the play that hasn’t been made into an anti-Trump statement in Central Park. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to see the show. I could technically go later tonight, but it’s raining outside here in the Big Apple. There’s no way I’m sitting in a wet amphitheater. I’ll catch a cold.

Anyways, here are some guys it’s time to move on from.

Kevin Gausman (P, Baltimore Orioles): 3-6/6.60 ERA/1.92 WHIP/54 K in 75 IP

Ok. I know I am literally one of the only people who was still holding onto him, but I am officially done. It took me 3 months to cut the cord, but I’ve done it. I unceremoniously dropped him to stream Alex Meyer in one league. He’s getting rocked almost every time out now with just 4 quality starts in 14 outings this year. It only gets warmer in Baltimore from here, and it gets notoriously easier to jack dongs as a result. Must be from all the sweat and slickness on the balls and bats.

Byron Buxton (OF, Minnesota Twins): 19 R/4 HR/12 RBI/12 SB/.209/.278/.316

If you are one of the Buxton truthers out there, don’t be. Change your ways. I don’t think it’s fair to call him a bust, but it is fair to accept that the 20 HR, 40 SB season isn’t happening any time soon. Projections say he ends up with 12 HRs and 24 SBs, which is usable…if your name is not Byron Buxton who has been saddled with enormous expectations. He has a 32.7% K rate and a .209 AVG to go with his ugly .319 slugging. Move on if you haven’t already.

Justin Verlander (P, Detroit Tigers): 4-4/4.50 ERA/1.49 WHIP/75 K in 82 IP

Kate Upton. The ERA is up. The Ks are down. The walks are up. His velocity is…up? That doesn’t add up, but nothing makes sense in fantasy baseball. Accept it. Maybe he regresses to the mean, but I don’t think I’ll be waiting to find out if he does. Ugh. Maybe I have him in the wrong section. I’m not dropping him. You can’t trade him because you’ll get Gary Gaetti in return. So yeah. Pretend like he’s in the next section that says hold him. Hold him like a tiny little baby. Or a lion cub.

Patience is a Virtue

Jose Quintana (P, Chicago White Sox): 3-8/5.07 ERA/1.37 WHIP/79 K in 81.2 IP

Oh man, I’m a really big Quintana fan because he’s been Mr. Reliable over the last few years. I really want to believe this will change, but there are a few red flags. First, his homerun and walk rates are up, which is never good. His BABIP isn’t outrageously higher than it was last year (up to .311 from .293 last season), which means we probably can’t look to that as a sign of positive change to come. The good news is he’s still on pace to cross the 170 K plateau yet again, which is what you expected when you drafted him in March. He’s earned the right for you to hold him for now. If he gets back to a 3.80 ERA this season, that means you’ll be around for some really nice outings down the stretch.

Lorenzo Cain (OF, Kansas City Royals): 37 R/10 HR/26 RBI/12 SB/.283/.358/.467

Duh. Cain is on absolute fire right now as he has cranked 6 homeruns in his last 6 games. He’s completely woken up from his early season struggles even though he hasn’t stolen a base since May 21st. That certainly sucks, but I’m not complaining if he’s jacking dongs. About a month ago, I was looking at a dude who had 2 HRs and a .210 average. Catch me outside, HOW BOUT DA?! If you held, you look smart. If you gave up, then you lose, clown shoes!

Jason Kipnis (2B, Cleveland Indians): 22 R/7 HR/22 RBI/3 SB/.223/.273/.402

What a perfectly lame season so far from the Indians second baseman. .273 OBP?! And why the hell does he only have 2 stolen bases so far?! Remember when he used to steal 30 a year?Anyways, his BABIP sits at a low .244 right now, so that’s at least one arrow that points towards a good second half. He got slightly hotter in May after an ice cold April, and that’s probably because you can’t feel your fingers in most of the cities in the AL Central during April. Oddly enough, he’s traditionally a 1st half player, but he’s sucked so far, so let’s hope he reverses his career trend. He got dropped in one of my re-draft leagues, and I was more than happy to pick him up.

Brian Dozier (2B, Minnesota Twins): 33 R/11 HR/30 RBI/9 SB/.253/.348/.442

Ok, so he’s not having that bad of a 1st half. Actually pretty good. He’s included in here more to remind you that he jacked 28 dongs in the second half last season. He was jacking dongs with the best of them. No one jacked a dong quite like Dozier in the second half last year.

And now for the parade of Mets and their current injuries…


Here’s a list of injured Mets.

Starting off the festivities with a bum hammy…it’s Neil Walker!

He’s reportedly a pain in the neck in the clubhouse, and now he’s got one in his OWN neck! It’s David Wright!

And it’s Asdrubal “Get Your Finger Out of There” Cabrera!

In the outfield, it’s Juan “Where’s Amed Rosario” Lagares and his magical thumb!

On the mound, we have Matt Harvey and his scapula that got hurt while lifting the bat signal up to the top of the Citi building in Long Island City!

And don’t forget about Tommy “Who Cares” Milone!

With his strained lat, it’s Noah Syndergaard!

And finally, everyone’s least favorite closer with a disgusting moral compass, it’s Jeurys Familia!

Have a good fantasy week! Go win all your leagues!

Give me a follow on Twitter @JakeBridges03!

Jake is an NYC based actor who loves to put off daily responsibilities by writing and researching about all things fantasy baseball and college football. He is a life long Auburn Tigers fan, and yes, he does have the same SEC bias as ESPN. Most days, he can be found reminiscing about the 1990s Braves teams or complaining about their rebuild. Auburn 26 Alabama 14. #WDE

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