Interleague play is here at last. Shut up, traditionalists. You've lost. At least try to enjoy the intra-city match-ups. I'm headed to Wrigley for the Cubs-White Sox game at 1:20, so there's very little time for thoughtful analysis today. Instead, let's try something experimental: fantasy baseball Mad Libs.
Just fill in a few words when prompted …
Didn't I tell you that [name of a universally-owned player] was going to have a monster year? Well, I was right. Hopefully you listened to me. The guy is an absolute [Dungeons & Dragons character]. He's been [verb ending with "-ing"] my team all season in the [popular website] experts league.
Yesterday, in a segment for [cable TV channel], I was debating the value of [plural noun] with [former professional athlete]. Let's just say that [cliche' involving dogs].
I really think [name of a Yankee, other than A-Rod or Jeter] is a great buy-low candidate right now.
If he's still available in your league, consider adding [pitching prospect]. He reminds me of a young [famous person over age 40]. The guy has [adjective] stuff. If he can just throw his [noun]-ball for strikes, he has a chance to be special. He had an incredible [noun]-to-[noun] ratio last season pitching for Double-A [name of a city you'd never visit].
With Huston Street on the DL, I like [name of any Oakland pitcher, living or dead] to pick up a few saves.
Nice job, everyone. Almost makes it seem like fantasy writers have laughably simple jobs, doesn't it? Hmm …
OK, here are some bullet-pointed blurbs that require less work on your part …
Andrew Miller gets his first major league start today against the surprisingly light-hitting Cardinals. Miller was Detroit's first-round draft pick in 2006 and, as most of you know, he's considered one of the better pitching prospects in baseball. In 49.1 minor league innings this year – all of them below Triple-A – Miller has 35 Ks, 15 walks, and a 2.92 ERA. Nice, but he's not a guy I'd start just yet. Miller is a reasonable speculative add in AL-only leagues, though, and he was probably already owned in keeper formats.
Hey look, Adam LaRoche is useful again. He's hitting .304/.411/.457 in May after going 5-for-10 with three runs scored, a homer, and two RBI during a three-game series against the Marlins. This shouldn't surprise anyone. In fantasy terms, he was almost as bad last April (.200/.294/.453, 4 HR) as he was this April (.133/.255/.265, 3 HR). In 2006, LaRoche binged in July and August. He's only 49.2 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues at the moment.
Anybody want to make a case for Russ Ortiz returning to the San Francisco Giants rotation? Anyone? Anyone? No? Tim Lincecum struck out 10 batters and allowed only one unearned run in seven innings against Houston on Thursday.
Cleveland's Fausto Carmona was pretty good, too. He shutout the Twins for his fifth straight win, allowing only four hits and striking out four. The ground-ball specialist won't pile up Ks, but he will win games. His G/F ratio is now 2.51. Carmona is only 9.1 percent owned.
Padres right-hander Justin Germano has a promising start against the Mariners on Saturday. Although Germano is only 24, he's already pitched over 1,000 minor league innings. In two May starts for San Diego, he's thrown 13 innings, allowing six hits and one walk. Germano has only struck out five, but his ERA is 0.69 and opposing batters are hitting only .136.
Other interesting Saturday probables include Mark Hendrickson (65.5 percent owned) at Anaheim, Micah Owings (7.3) at Pittsburgh, Anthony Reyes (4.3) at Detroit, and Wandy Rodriguez (1.5) versus Texas.