Welcome to the Fantasy Factor where Matt and Ricky literally cannot stop thinking about two little words that will change Chicago forever:
And now on to the best and worst of fantasy baseball from Wednesday night's action:
Eric Stults - Los Angeles Dodgers (SP)
9 IP, 4 H, 3 K
vs. White Sox
Yikes. From now on, I almost have to suggest starting any pitcher that has a heartbeat against this White Sox offense the day after they win a game. I've never seen a team that can go so cold so quickly and Stults caught these guys at the right time. Stults kept feeding White Sox pitches they could make contact with and they obliged by popping up nearly every time.
Tim Wakefield - Boston Red Sox (SP)
7 IP, 2 H, 6 K
There's something oddly appealing about watching a knuckleballer pitch. When Wakefield has that knuckler working it's nearly impossible to make solid contact.
I swear that I'm going to teach my kid to throw the knuckler from the moment he can pick up a baseball. Think about it. You know that he'll probably never have any shoulder issues and the knuckler is such a rare feat that he'd be able to hang around the bigs for ten years.
The night of the longball
Carl Crawford - Tampa Bay Rays (LF)
2-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R
Crawford very well may be the first nine tool player in the history of baseball. As for what those unidentified tools are, I'm not too sure, however, he's got them and it showed last night.
Rick Ankiel - St. Louis Cardinals (CF)
2-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB
Looking back on it, I'd have to imagine Ankiel feels that those arm and control problems he had as a pitcher were the greatest thing to ever happen to him. Fantasy owners everywhere nod their heads in agreement.
Jay Payton - Baltimore Orioles (LF)
2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
This would be more impressive if it wasn't for the fact he hit them out at Wrigley. Seriously, you could throw a bowling ball up in the air and it would carry out onto Waveland.
Still, for fantasy baseball purposes, this was a very solid performance considering that up until this point Payton had a grand total of four HR on the entire season.
David Wright - New York Mets (3B)
2-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB
New Mets manager Jerry Manuel - yes that Jerry Manuel - decides to give Wright his first day off of the season before yesterday's game and he comes back to light up the Mariners with a pair of long balls.
For now, he's a genius in New York. After this weekend's series against the Yankees, he could become the village idiot. Stay tuned.
Ryan Howard - Philadelphia Phillies (DH)
0-5, 2 K, 0 H, 0 BB, 5 LOB
Um, isn't this guy supposed to be good?
He's got 109 strikeouts already!!
More on him later today.
Greg Maddux - San Diego Padres (SP)
5.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB
Does seeing a performance like this from Maddux surprise you anymore?