Fifteen years ago today Weird Al’s “Running With Scissors” was released worldwide. Perhaps his best known track from it is The Saga Begins, a tale of the Star Wars prequels. Not related to Running With Scissors, but Al’s latest album titled “Mandatory Fun” hit number one on Billboard’s top albums this past week. The song Word Crimes from it is outstanding.
Billy Burns gets the call
No, not that Burns and not that call. Putting aside the fact I am an Oakland A’s fan, I really do love Burns’ game. The 24-year-old speedster owned 51 steals this year in Double-A before being called up to help in the outfield. With Craig Gentry on the disabled list and Coco Crisp battling a sore neck, Burns was recalled to give the club a capable center fielder. Burns nabbed 74 bags last year between High-A and Double-A while drawing more walks than strikeouts at both levels. His listed height of 5′ 9″ is probably generous, though his speed makes up for his lack of size and power. If you’re looking for a speed grab, pick up Burns as he’ll be playing center field against left-handed pitchers while Gentry and Crisp are out and figures to be their top pinch running option. At the time of writing Burns was not even available in Yahoo! leagues, was owned in 0% of ESPN formats and just 4% of CBS leagues.
Another strong outing from Chase Anderson
The 26-year-old changeup artist is at it again. Yesterday Anderson held the Cincinnati Reds to one run over seven innings, allowing two three hits and two walks. He coaxed 10 swinging strikes out of 89 pitches and posted eight strikeouts on the day. Anderson has posted three straight quality starts. He’s faced Miami, Detroit and Cincinnati over that span and has recorded 21 strikeouts in 18 innings while surrendering just four runs in the three starts. Anderson has been up-and-down this year but his 3.34 ERA/4.44 FIP/3.75 xFIP is worthy of streaming. One should be able to find him over 80% of the three major fantasy sites making him an ideal stream candidate.
Welcome back, James Paxton
The Seattle Mariners are yet to officially activate Paxton from the 60-day disabled list though he did rejoin the big league club after his rehab start on Sunday. It’s possible he could return to a major league mound as soon as Saturday. Prior to being shut down for two months with shoulder soreness after initially being placed on the shelf following a back injury, Paxton posted one great start and one so-so start. I’m a fan of his strikeout rate however I do have concerns regarding his control. If you’re in the market for starting pitcher help I would call Anderson the safer bet, albeit he comes with a lower ceiling. Paxton is already owned in 63% of CBS formats but is available 80% of Yahoo! formats and 95% of ESPN leagues.
The daily five
Starting pitcher: Josh Beckett — $7,900
I don’t love Beckett, but for that price while going up against the Atlanta Braves and their 26th ranked 85 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers, I like him enough today.
Starting pitcher: Brandon McCarthy — $7,400
McCarthy is someone I do love, particularly today. He’ll face the Texas Rangers, a team that just plain isn’t very good.
Outfielder: Charlie Blackmon — $4,700
Although he’ll be outside of Coors Field, Blackmon will be in another hitter friendly park in Wrigley Field today. I like him to have a good day against Edwin Jackson.
Remaining budget: $21,300
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