Early disclaimer: if you're reading this on your phone, you'll see a Harry Doyle pic and Kim DeJesus pic that aren't lining up with where they sit on the regular computer version. Harry Doyle's pic should be with Matty's recap and DeJesus's pic with Lance's recap. Just wanted to clear up any confusion. Looks like the mobile aspect of this free website needs some attention.
Castillo is currently getting the most attention at this party of ours and it's because he brought along a bunch of fine ass pitches to the party. Felix Hernandez can throw any pitch at any time and is making his AL Cy Young case. The man Felix will have to beat out also has a bunch of crazy pitches and is also in Castillo's rotation. Masahiro Tanaka continues to cut through lineups like a hot ginsu blade through I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and is proving to be the best player from the MLB free agent crop. Tanaka is dripping with so much filth that guys are swinging at his pitches that actually end up smacking them on the leg.
Porcello, Lester, Alvarez, and Soriano were also lights out in June and have helped raise Castillo to the top of the Shocker pitching heap and the standings as well. The bats on this team have also contributed with Andrew McCutchen breaking out of a mini slump in a big way this month with 8 HR's and 25 RBI's. The rest of the lineup isn't as hot as their long haired leader is right now but this entire lineup has more or less been slump proof so far this season. Castillo's not going to beat your face in with his bats but he will undoubtedly fire some fastballs down your throat on his way to collecting some more wins. Castillo was tabbed as the preseason favorite and so far we're all learning in 2014 to always bet on black(sox).
Trade for: An RBI guy
Trade Chips: Top flight SP's
Castillo was great and all in June but he wasn't the best team of the month. Nope, that distinction went to Matthew R. Suer and his Harry Doyles. Matt was able to make huge gains up the standings because his pitching staff finally was able to fire all their bullets and the batting lineup is spraying buckshot all over the yard. We have to talk about Clayton Kershaw and his month of June, which very well could be the best month of pitching we've seen in this league. 5 QS's, 0 L's, 61 K's, 0.82 ERA, and 0.68 WHIP are not numbers a major league pitcher should be able to sustain for thirty days unless he somehow faced the Padres every game. Kershaw was otherworldly in June and proved that his injury is far behind him as he focuses on embarrassing batters the rest of the way. Matt has been very active with his trades and so far his acquisition of David Price has bolstered an already surging staff, too. Matt looks like he's punting saves for now but if he can keep picking up guys like Arrieta and watching them put together two almost no-hitters, it will be hard to question any move Matt makes this year. The bats have woke up a little bit in June as well with Perez and Mesoraco both ranked as top 5 catchers, Abreu firing off Cuban missles, and Billy Hamilton doing a little bit of everything. Matt had the hottest pitcher, batter, and team this month and it looks like this team just got everyone to pay attention to a new #1 contender in the standings.
Trade for: Closer or a contact bat
Trade Chips: High strikeout pitchers
Fightin' Buck Showalters
For yet another month, Meyer is steadily in the top three in the standings. Both the batting and pitching cooled off in June but thanks to a pretty solid foundation, the cooling off period didn't give Meyer frostbite. There is cause for some concern, though as guys like Kendrick, Desmond, Utley, Plouffe, Craig, and Beltran all struggled to get going at the dish for a majority of the month. It looks like Meyer doesn't need to worry about Michael Brantley turning back into a pumpkin as he's been steady all season and is looking like a very good baseball player for the Cleveland baseball nine. The pitching was a little better than the hitting was in June but much like the batters, there wasn't a whole lot of fireworks being shot off on this team. The pitchers are still getting their quality starts in but the lack of strikeouts is a minor concern to keep an eye on to see if that translates to less QS's and more L's in the future. I have no idea how Meyer has the patience to keep Ernesto Frieri on his roster as he continually pours gasoline on the fire when he's out there but I guess maybe a change in scenery will help out all the location problems that Ernesto has had all year. The Showalters have been a steady presence at the top this year so it could just be a little slump that most teams encounter at one point during every season or it could be a harbinger of a steady downward decline.
Trade for: Pitchers that get more strikeouts and batters that get less strikeouts
Trade Chips: Consistent starting pitchers
Stroke My Shaft
Zach is another coach who can't complain much about his wins and losses so far but has to wonder if the decreasing batting average from his players is going to have a similar effect on his winning percentage. Zach did not play .500 ball in June and that's mostly due to a lineup that didn't get good wood on the ball over the past 30 days. Donaldson looks like Daniel-san loading up for a crane kick at the plate and when Josh's exaggerated leg kick isn't timed correctly at the plate, he's all sorts of fucked up. Donaldson was on the verge of an MVP caliber season but his .162/3/13 month of June dropped him out of contention. Donaldson is streaky and will probably rebound at some point but when it goes bad, it goes hella bad for Josh. The A's third baseman had plenty of bad company this month as Puig, Zimmerman, Austin Jackson, and Morse all failed to bat above .250 and gave Suer more hitting losses this month than he would like. The pitching was less trouble for Zach but not good enough to save the broken bats this month. Something ain't right with James Shields lately as the usually steady Royal has had some real piss poor starts as of late. Same goes with Stephen Strasburg who is giving up more hits than his usual dominant self. Zach is hoping that Tanner Roark can infuse some stability into the rotation but it came at a price of David Price who has been linked to trade rumors in real and fantasy baseball leagues since May. June did not go as planned for Zach but he's still in fourth place, still only three games out of first, and still has some nice talent on his roster so hopefully Zach isn't letting this bad 30 day period ruin a pretty decent season so far.
Trade for: ERA and WHIP help
Trade Chips: RBI guys and a closer
Tenniballs to the Wall
Jerome has been the boy that cried wolf all year long and June was the month that the rest of this wolfpack started gnawing away at the commish's fraudulent lead atop the standings. The pitching on this team just hasn't been good this year and even though it stabilized a tad in June, there is plenty of room to improve. Jerome got burned more than a few times playing closer roulette with Ronald Belesario as it seemed whenever the commish inserted him into the lineup, Belesario would blow a save and whenever the commish dropped him, Belesario would pickup a spotless save. DeFelice has had a lot of up and down moments with Alex Cobb, Homer Bailey, and RA Dickey for yet another month as they once again vacillated from Cy Young to Anthony Young at the drop of a padded pitching hat. Jerome's in bed with one crazy ass pitching staff that is fun in the sack one night and then tosses a brick through your windshield the next morning for no particular reason. Where the pitching might never be a strong point on this team, the bats have risen to the occasion, especially in June. Anthony Rendon has been a really nice 20th round pick and he along with Seager, Bruce, Dickerson, and Calhoun have hit enough to drive this fantasy team to the top of the hitting ranks. Jerome has done a fair amount of wheeling and dealing so far and with the batting-pitching imbalance going on, don't be surprised if he sends one of his scouts to check out the next start for one of your pitchers.
Trade for: Pitchers that can keep batters off the bases
Trade Chips: RBI and batting average outfielders
Piss On The Ball
Kevin had himself a pretty good month of June that helped him get into the top six of the standings and only five games out of being in first place. Even though it's been a good month for K.P., I'm still not entirely sure this batting lineup is going to be enough for him to take the next leap up the ladder. Don't get me wrong, having Jonathan Lucroy is helping a lot as he's our top rated catcher and it's by a decent margin, too. Robbie Cano is starting to lift balls over the fence and Dee Gordon is back to playing quality baseball so there are some reasons for hope when Kevin fills out his lineup everyday. Unfortunately, there are still some old guys on here that might need to start hitting from the white tees in order to drive balls over the fence. Adrian Gonzalez, Joey Votto, and Matt Holliday certainly have a history of mashing taters but they look like ancient history so far this year with diminished power. These guys should be key cogs for Kevin but instead they're dragging this team down to be ranked 11th in HR's, and 10th in RBI's and BA. The pitching has some slightly better numbers, especially the best bullpen in our league and it looks like Kevin has decided to ease up on the whirlwind of streaming pitcher moves, which has been good and bad. The good news is that Kevin is very highly ranked in pitching losses, which is something new and the ERA and WHIP numbers are respectable but the bad news is the K and QS numbers are pretty low. It's been the case most of the year that the numbers are suggesting that Kevin should be in the bottom half and not the top half of the standings so we'll see if some of his veterans turn on the power switch in July and prove that numbers can't predict everything.
Trade for: Hitting power and a high K pitcher
Trade Chips: Closers and speed
Head First Dumb Fucks
I'm certain that Jeff Petty knows the Rockies M.O. by now of starting off hot, getting hopes up, and then crushing those hopes in a matter of a three week stretch in June. While Jeff might be wearing his Rockies hat a little less now than he did in May, he's got to put on his hard hat and find a way to dig his fantasy team out from the slide they're experiencing. Petty was absolutely dominated in June and it's pretty much all because his pitchers mirrored the performances of the Rockies rotation this month. Justin Masterson needs to be a goner at this point as he's bringing nothing to the table besides heaping helpings of shit every fifth day. Kennedy, Scherzer, and Smyly are putting too many guys on base, throwing too many pitches, and dragging down the QS and WHIP potential right now, too. Petty has been hit pretty hard by injuries so far and if Latos and Gio can provide some help, it should improve some of the pitching numbers as well. Wacha's weird injury isn't going to do Jeff any favors so it looks like Jeff might be reaching for the Advil plenty when he watches one of his pitchers take the bump.
Trade for: Any decent pitcher
Trade Chips: Power bats
Everybody loves to hit it long. There's plenty of guys that can crank it off the tee but end up shooting a 110 on the golf course because they have zero concern for rounding out their overall game. Arch and Rickey have certainly brought out their Big Bertha's this year as they have the top home run hitting team but when it's time for them to use some finesse to hit a green or knock in a putt, it goes awry. This team is dead last in batting average and batting strikeouts and their lead is pretty large that it woudn't be a shocker if they're last in these categories the rest of the way. Arch might have bought low on Shin Soo-Choo but Choo is still mired in a pretty serious slump and has been dead weight for Arch since the trade. Choo is just one of many big whiffers on this team and while Nelson Cruz is still hitting homers, he batted .218 in June and struck out more than usual. It wasn't a total failure of a month at the plate as this team hit the ball pretty well but fundamentally it's going to be hard for most of these guys to get on base and round them all. The pitching always has been and probably always will be a strength for these guys and again the starting rotation is quite possibly the best in our league. Watching Alfredo Simon pitch you would think he'd be about 5-7 on the year with a 3.90 ERA but Simon is getting it done one way or another and gobbled up 5 quality starts and no losses for this team in June. Wainright, Zimmerman, and Hamels all pitched up to their reputations this month with sub 2.00 ERA's and 15 quality starts combined and if A&R could find one or two more guys that could rack up some saves, which is easier said than done, it would help boost those numbers as well. I hate to keep pounding this drum but here's another Shocker team that should spend a few minutes scanning other rosters in order to take their strength on one half of the roster to help out the other half that needs some love.
Trade for: Some high average and on base guys
Trade Chips: Power hitters, starting pitchers
There is only one team in our league that's worse overall in the hitting categories and you're about to read about them right now. Downs's batters have a perplexing stat line of being the best team in our league in batting K's but also having the second worse batting average. Maybe these guys are just looking for a walk up there? It's time for Downs to officially panic on Chris Davis who has not gotten any better lately and is swinging and missing at nearly every breaking ball thrown. Yadier Molina also might be a cause for concern as he's hitting alright but just isn't scoring or driving in runs at his usual pace. Ben Zobrist gets a lot of love from regular baseball folks because he plays multiple positions and walks a ton but he also seems to be the poster boy for the hitting problems Tim's team possesses as he's not doing a whole lot with the stick. Daniel Murphy is pretty dang good and the same is true for Hanley when he's in the lineup but this team needs to fire the hitting coach or bring in some batters with a different approach because this is obviously not working out. The pitching is better than the hitting on this team but there are still a fair amount of pitchers that can't get out of their own way on this team. Nobody has been more frustrating than Justin Verlander so far. While he's been better his last few starts, you have to wonder and hope that he's not about to fall off a Tim Lincecum cliff from dominant to doormat the way he's been pitching this season. Garrett Richards has been fantastic for another month and Sean Doolittle's 57/2 K/BB rate is incredible but there's been too many bad innings and outings for this team to offset the hitting woes. Hey guess what, this is another team with an obvious need that has to make some changes so I would think Downs would benefit from trying to find any batter that actually swings at a pitch and sending a trade proposal soon afterwards.
Trade for: Any sort of hitting whatsoever
Trade Chips: Low strikeout batters, high potential pitchers
This is honestly the funniest team in our league. I don't know how it's possible to be so good at one thing and so damn inept at another. I bet you're sensing a pattern in our league of owners that need to get on the phone and swing a deal and this team is the epitome of that. This team has crushed since opening day and continues to crush with guys like Encarnacion, Stanton, Moss, Gordon, and Cespedes steadily turning on fastballs and sending them over yonder. Rich's trade of Starlin Castro looks ingenious so far as Starlin is back to being "good Starlin" for the Cubs and Richard. The batting on this team is great and that's been established so lets turn our attention to the comedy portion of the program with the pitchers. I honestly thought Mike Minor would help Rich improve his pitching numbers but Minor started off the season hurt and he's done nothing but injure Rich's pitching hopes one start at a time. Ervin Santana isn't pitching well at the moment and all the hits and walks have finally caught up to Shelby Miller, who has been shit-tastic lately. Cody Allen has been the best pitcher on this roster, which is saying something and once again we'll be treated to the Clay Buchholz experience, which is likely to end in disaster yet again. Maybe Rich can move Cespedes to his pitching staff because he seems to have better accuracy and a stronger arm than any pitcher on his roster.
Trade for: Any pitcher you can find
Trade Chips: Every single batter on your team
I gave Maydew shit the past couple of months for his inactivity but I have to give him some credit for making a couple of moves and generally improving his team in June. Maydew almost went .500 this month, which is nothing to brag about but it does represent a nice change from the Houston Astros-like tank job we saw earlier. Don't get me wrong, this team has a long way to go but at the very least they're trying to do something different to see if it works. And for a $40 fantasy league with your buddies, why not go wild with some trade proposals just to switch it up when you're this far behind? While Maydew parted with some big named talent in Beltre and Kinsler, he also got volume in return with four guys that hopefully can raise the numbers on this team. New additions of Morneau, Chisenhall, Gennett and Cisek have done their part so far. Adam Jones swings at practically everything but he's been hitting a lot more lately and his nine homers in June has certainly helped. The pitching is the main problem on this team, which is sort of like being the bigger problem of the Menendez brothers. C.J. Wilson, Tim Hudson, and Jake Peavy were all pretty awful this month and Maydew couldn't cash in on Lincecum's no hitter because he was on the bench that day. There's still plenty of improvements to be made on this team, especially with the pitching and Maydew might have to swing some more 2 for 1 trades in hopes of gathering enough roster changes to turn this thing around.
Trade for: Speed on the bases, any pitcher that knows how to throw strikes
Trade Chips: Steady, contact hitters
Jose Can You See
Lance's team is like the smart kid in class that doesn't apply himself. The pitching on this team is pretty damn good but the lack of hitting and lack of hitting moves is holding this kid back. Let's take Lance to Fantasy Coaching 101 real fast to see if he can catch up to the rest of the class. A quick scan of this roster shows about six players that don't need to be on the roster for any reason. Alfonso Soriano got 39 at bats in June, which is because he's awful at hitting and Joe Girardi was tired of seeing his ass flail at every outside slider ever thrown. Get him off your team. Same goes with Mike Aviles, he just doesn't start enough games to make an impact. It sucks, I guess, that David DeJesus, Yonder Alonso, and Kolten Wong are all on the DL for their real MLB teams but are they so valuable that you can't release them from your own team? I'll answer that...no they are not. Drop them all. Maybe Lance wants DeJesus on his team because he elevates the hot wife stat with arguably the hottest baseball wife out there.
For a team that needs so much batting help, there's no need to wait for any injured guy or platoon guy to make an impact, because they won't. Time to take chances in the free agent pool and be willing to pick up and drop anyone at this point. There, class dismissed. Lance could turn around and teach me a thing or two about pitching staffs because he's got a good one that needs minimal adjustments. I don't know if Beckett can keep it up all year but he's been phenomenal so far and isn't slowing down at all. The rest of this rotation is doing a great job of pitching efficiently and giving Laser a chance to win a few games each week. Lance really can't afford to make little moves on the waiver wire and has to start getting a little crazy, which means he needs to think about unloading some of his dead weight and turning his great pitching into some respectable hitting via the trade market. The potential is there.
Trade for: Any batter that can hit the ball in the gap
Trade Chips: Every starter on your roster
Now let's look at the roto stats that will show everyone where we stand up to date and the flaws and strengths of each roster in our league.
- As stated earlier, Lance could really have himself a playoff team if he can fix some of the batting problems.
- There's really not too many teams playing way above their heads so far although I guess you could pick on Kevin a little if you wanted to.
- It sure looks like Castillo and Matt have the best teams statistically, by a pretty wide margin as well.
- The roto standings are bunched in the middle just like they are in our regular standings. In fact if we were playing in a roto league, it would be even tighter than our current format.
If you're expecting to see fireworks around the Arvada/Wheat Ridge/Golden area, you won't find them at Tony Grampsas Field on a Thursday night because the Shockers play there and they are showing larger cracks than the Liberty Bell this year. Maybe we need to swing a trade some some guys that know how to hit line drives?
On the couch, I'm officially tired of watching all the high priced hitting talent do jack fucking shit for the Yankees just like I'm sure every Rockies fan is already looking for something else on TV around 7:40 PM every night or about the time it's 0-6 on the the scoreboard each night for the Rox.
I hope everyone is getting a little pre cum flowing now that our boy Jeffrey Granger Meyer is moving back to Colorado. I will put 200% effort in putting together a tenniball game and BBQ once Meyer is settled in and hope that we all have as much free time as possible to join. See you there where we can have an unofficial GM meeting over some banquet beer.