After a slow start, Kolten Wong has raised his OPS nearly 200 points over the past eight games, currently sitting at .898, which is the fourth highest among all second basemen. He’s 24 years old and has recently been moved to the No. 2 spot in St. Louis’ order (he’s on pace to record 84 runs and 89 RBI despite hitting mostly eighth all season). Wong’s .359 BABIP is going to come down (his career mark is .283), but he should be a threat to go 25/25 with a ton of counting stats. I’d give him around a 50 percent chance he’s more valuable than Robinson Cano this season.
I like Michael Wacha as much as anyone, but he’s somehow 5-0 with a 2.09 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with a 19:8 K:BB ratio over 38.2 innings. His Hard Hit% is just 23.7, which ranks No. 20 among SPs, but a K-BB% of 6.9 to go along with a 7.0 SwStr% is usually the stuff of a pitcher on the waiver wire. There’s plenty of reason to be more than a little concerned with the underlying stats here, and that goes beyond just pointing to Wacha’s .233 BABIP and screaming regression. The Cardinals seemingly always get the most out of their players, and again, I like Wacha, but if there’s some chance people out there are buying him as a Cy Young candidate based on his early season run prevention, please at least look into trading him. There are some major red flags here.
Headlines of the Week: Chlamydia Outbreak Hits Abstinence-Only Texas High-School, Making Officials Rethink Sex Ed...Obese Man Doesn’t Understand Why He Can’t Lose Weight Despite His Healthy, 10,000-Calorie Diet...City Employee Fired After Watching Porn On The Job For 39 Hours Over Two Weeks...Man Sues Florida Hospital After His Leg Found In The Garbage...Man Nearly Loses Arms After Muscles Turn To Rock Due To Toxic Injections...My Husband Forgot Mother’s Day Flowers, So I Had Sex With Someone Else...New York Mobster Held Over Cocaine Smuggling Ring With Italian Mafia Boasted To Wife He ATE The Heart And Kidney Of A Rival And Wanted To Dissolve Two Others In Acid, Wiretaps Reveal...Zoo Keeper Helps Constipated Monkey Pass Peanut By Licking Its Butt For An Hour.
Quick Hits: I was down on Justin Upton entering the year, mainly because of PETCO Park, which has suppressed homers for RHB by 24 percent over the past three seasons. But not only does he already have eight bombs, he also has seven steals (he averaged eight during his previous two years in Atlanta). Despite now calling the best pitcher’s park home, Upton’s .919 OPS is a career high (although he does lead MLB in “just enough” home runs)...David Peralta is batting .302/.361/.603 against righties. He’s strictly platooned, but he’s hitting cleanup when in the lineup, so he’s an interesting option for those in daily transaction leagues, especially with the benefit of Chase Field...Jung Ho Kang is quietly up to an .898 OPS and should continue to get regular playing time for Pittsburgh. Make sure he’s not still unowned in your league, especially considering the lack of depth at the SS position...There’s no guarantee Noah Syndergaard stays in the Mets’ rotation, but he’s worth owning in all formats. He has a 1.82 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with a 4.3:1 K:BB ratio while pitching for Las Vegas in the PCL, which makes Coors Field look like PETCO Park...This death stare by Jered Weaver is unreal. Has anyone ever been more upset after tossing a shutout?...Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances have combined for 35.0 scoreless innings with a 0.77 WHIP, 54 strikeouts, 14 saves and four wins. That will work...Meanwhile, Craig Kimbrel has a 5.06 ERA, and he’s allowed as many homers this year as he did all of last season (to be clear though, there’s nothing to suggest worrying about Kimbrel right now).
Police Blotter: Caught On Video: USC Student Allegedly Spitting, Spraying Windex On Roommates’ Food...Man Robs Subway Then Crosses Street To Buy Sandwich At Potbelly...Woman Slashes Face Of Boyfriend’s Dead Girlfriend At Funeral Home...Woman Uses Online Pizza Hut Order To Alert Of Hostage Situation...Bar Owner On Trial For Allowing Man To Take 56 Shots...Police Officer Charged With Biting Man’s Testicles...Randy Janzen Facebook Post An Apparent Confession Of Killing Wife, Daughter, Sister...Woman Charged With Contaminating Families Milk With Shavings Of Dead Skins From Her Feet.
Quick Hits Part Deux: With Chris Archer looking like a threat to win the Cy Young, Jake Odorizzi owning a 2.09 ERA, Drew Smyly posting a 21:3 K:BB ratio with a 0.78 WHIP over 16.2 innings and both Alex Cobb and Jake McGee set to return, I was starting to get more than a little excited about this bet I made. Of course, with Cobb and Smyly now done for the season, I’m slightly less optimistic...Tim Lincecum’s FB velocity has dropped for the fourth straight season, sitting at a career low 87.5 mph, which is really worrisome for a right-hander. Despite this, he somehow has a 2.00 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, a career-high 54.0 GB% and a 10.6 SwStr%. His 3.14 FIP is his best since 2009. I’m a Giants fan and don’t expect this to last in any shape or form, but it’s been fun to watch...Carlos Santana’s OBP (.382) is nearly higher than his slugging percentage (.385). Matt Holliday currently leads MLB with a .465 OBP...DJ LeMahieu is somehow owned in fewer than 40 percent of Yahoo leagues despite batting .348, while Andrelton Simmons is similarly owned despite being the No. 5 ranked fantasy shortstop so far...Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett have combined for a 2.23 ERA over 76.2 innings, which has resulted in two wins. Meanwhile, Santiago Casilla has four wins (and eight saves) over 14.1 innings.
Songs of the Week: Django Django – “First Light” and Modest Mouse – “The Ground Walks, With Time In A Box.”
Longreads of the Week: My Lovely Wife In The Psych Ward and Inside The Shocking, Abrupt Divorce Of Bill Simmons And ESPN.
Quick Hits Part Tres: The A’s are 12-21 despite scoring the fourth-most runs in MLB. Oakland had the third best bullpen ERA (2.91) last season, but their relievers have been by far the worst in baseball so far this year. While Cincinnati’s 5.47 ERA is slightly higher than Oakland’s 5.23 mark, the A’s pen has accounted for 24.0 more innings. Speaking of bullpens, here are the teams with the best six ERAs, respectively: Royals, Cardinals, Dodgers, Astros, Yankees, Mets. Those teams have six of the seven best winning percentages in baseball...Jimmy Nelson’s 12.3 SwStr% ranks seventh best among all starters. This is almost always a very predictive stat and suggests he’s a monster in the waiting...This is the first 4-5-4 triple play in MLB history...Madison Bumgarner has faced 181 batters this season. Just 10 of them have been left-handed position players. He’s pretty good at baseball...Playing in the worst hitter’s park, Wil Myers is on pace to finish with 138 runs, 25 homers, 49 doubles, 93 RBI and 15 steals. And one year after setting a career-high with 13 home runs, Starling Marte is on pace to hit 37 bombs despite not going yard in any of his past five games...Michael Pineda had a pretty good outing Sunday...With Steve Cishek blowing another save Sunday, putting his ERA up to 8.18 on the season, A.J. Ramos needs to be owned in all fantasy leagues. His control is still a work in progress, but he’s allowed one homer over his past 131.1 innings and has a 16.1 SwStr% this season. He could easily be a top-10 closer from here on out.