With three full months of baseball left to be played, a third horse may be emerging in the race for the first Razznasty dynasty league crown. R’azbahl Al Ghul has made solid win-now pickups and finds himself gaining some ground on the two frontrunners – Hannibal Montana and J-FOH. This month saw a group of about five or six teams ping-ponging around behind the leaders, but it’s been Ghul who has come out of June with sole possession of third place. Here is what else is happening around the league – including full standings, trades, and our league’s FAAB report…

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Quick personal fact: I’ve been writing about fantasy baseball online for seven years. And seven years ago, I had the idea to start saving ADP data to better study drafting.

Well, things that seem like good ideas at one point often get staler with time until they are forever abandoned. Such was the fate of my ADP data project… until now.

What’s changed is that I’ve found  a way to get historical ADP data potentially going all the way back to 2002, and not just for baseball but basketball, football, and hockey too.

How is this done?

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It’s so frustrating to have just the right matchup, the research points you in the right direction and then, poof, you lose. It’s even more infuriating to see that same group of players go off the next day when you are off of them. The emptiness of the DraftKings lineup when guys like Josh Donaldson do absolutely nothing haunts like all the haunted houses in fiction rolled into one website.

So what do you do when your Dodgers stack flops when you needed it the most? When your research and everything tells you to go right back to it again the next day?

Well, you do it, you roster them again. But what about the agony it caused you? You hated those guys for what they did to you and there’s no way you’ll let them do that to you again. Don’t focus on the results, honor your process. I would say Shake It Off, but that now has been tainted by the pop song gods so we’ll just say that it will feel good when that stack or that player does come through like you thought they would.

Chris Davis and Mitch Moreland have long been guys I’ve rostered because their metrics are outstanding, especially against RHP and their fly ball rates are right in line with guys who could go deep at any time. And Tuesday night they did just that, trading a pair of HRs each in that Rangers/Orioles run fest. Good times, good times.

Research, roster, repeat…and don’t let the recent results, one way or the other, fool you.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Dude’s on fire. No. Need better! He is a high-speed torrent download of a yule log burning. Need better! He is Smokey the Bear at a Porno for Pyros concert, wearing earbuds and listening to Firestarter by Prodigy. Need better still! He’s a pyrotechnician smacking a sparkler out of your hand and giving you instead the detonator for the Statue of Liberty’s 4th of July celebration fireworks. Yesterday, Mitch Moreland went 2-for-3 with 4 RBIs and his 13th and 14th homers, and now has five homers in four games and six homers in six games. I already told you yesterday that Moreland has been better than Brandon Belt, Lucas Duda and Brandon Moss, and some other corner infidels, according to our Player Rater. That’s on the year, not in the last week. In the last week, Moreland’s been better than everyone. Let’s take a hootie-hoo at who Moreland has more homers than on the year: Prince Fielder, Beltre (not close), Adam Jones, Big Papi, Tommy Tomstein, Freeman, Yoenis, Billy McDugal, Kris Bryant, Tulo, McClutchin and Sandoval. Sure, some of those guys I only named to rub salt in my own wounds — I hate you, Sandoval! — and other guys I mentioned don’t even exist, but Mitch don’t kill my vibe for the better part of the season now, and, if he’s available, I’d grab him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Steven Matz (+35.6%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball this past week. The Mets decided to roll out the welcome matz last week and promote the impressive young prospect to the big league club, joining a starting rotation that already featured Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard. Yikes. That would be a scary group for any team to face in a playoff series. Of course, the Mets would have to provide at least some run support for their young studs in order to eventually reach the postseason, but Matz might even be able to contribute in that area as well. He just became the first pitcher to drive in 4 runs in his MLB debut, which gave him the same amount of 4 RBI games as Mike Trout, Anthony Rizzo, and Josh Donaldson this season. I thought that looked like Jeff Gillooly hanging around Michael Cuddyer’s locker the other day. Hmmm… maybe the rumor that Matz could see some time in left field on his non-pitching days has some teeth after all. Or maybe I just made that up.

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Michael Pineda has been nothing short of dominant this year. Sure, his 4.08 ERA isn’t too dazzling, but with a 2.73 FIP and 2.80 SIERA, it seems as though sequencing and BABIP have hurt him more than poor pitching. Take a glance at Pineda’s .349 BABIP — a number 60 points above his career average .279 — and it isn’t too difficult to see an overly inflated ERA, especially given a reasonable 0.87 HR/9 thus far. This is all impressive, but I haven’t even begun to wax poetic on his 11.8 percent swinging strike rate or 24.6 percent strikeout rate, both numbers rate him in the top-20 for qualified pitchers. Before we get too invested in what he’s doing, let’s take a look at how Pineda got here.

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Every week I strive to come up with something catchy for the title and shamefully, I went with the Antonio Banderas flick The 13th Warrior. Screw that, I have no shame in this one, I like this movie for what it is. Mindless entertainment where a Mexican Spaniard plays an Arab, and if you have ever looked at a map, it ain’t that far away. According to Wikipedia, the movie is based on the book Eaters of the Dead, which is a much better title. It was also a financial flop, costing $160 million to make and only grossed $61 million at the box office. Yikes! Like many of the dollars we spent on opening day, we are not always guaranteed the return we thought we would get. I’m looking at you Strasburg and Encarnacion. Enough about mediocrity, lets talk about awesome and wonderful, and that means you. Yes, you. As usual, we have the top 10 overall, the weekly leaders, and the top 20 hitting and pitching teams of the week. I’ve also kicked in the 2015 RCL category leaders… so far.

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Poker players tend to make good DFS players.  Some of the top DFS pros are former poker pros.  I think there are several reasons for this occurrence.  First, there’s the element of the grind that is familiar, then there’s of course a similar aspect with bankroll management and also there’s a familiarity with odds and statistics.  There’s a lot of carry over and I want to chat a little about one of my favorite carry overs.  Most self respecting poker players have at least perused Doyle Brunson’s Super System.  This book is a bible on playing power poker.  For those that might be unfamiliar with the book and/or the term, it’s an aggressive style of play, but not being aggressive just for the sake of being aggressive.  It’s calculated aggression.  One of my favorite takeaways from this book was playing your rushes.  The cliff notes of Brunson’s thoughts when it comes to playing a rush is this: after he wins a hand in no limit hold ‘em, he plays the very next hand regardless of what two cards he is dealt.  If he wins that hand, he’s in the very next one and so on and so forth until he loses a hand.  In each of these subsequent hands, he’s a little more loose than normal.  This is something I always do when I play cards and it carries over to DFS for me as well.  If I have a winning night, you can bet I’ll be playing the next night.  If I win again, I’ll be right in there the next night as well, this time maybe making a jump to a higher buy-in tournament than I typically play.  Rudy would probably jump all over this saying there’s no data that backs up “running hot” or being on a “heater”, but that’s no fun.  There’s times where the lineups almost build themselves and things just click.  Maybe it’s a little thought of player that you’re riding or an underpriced player you are plugging and playing (Billy Burns at under $3K for 3 weeks anyone?).  Whatever the reason, have a little fun with your winnings and take a couple shots when you’re hot.  Now, let’s get to some picks to start that hot streak.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 18 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Cody Anderson took a perfect game into the 7th inning yesterday and ended up with a line of 8 IP, 1 ER, 2 baserunners, 2 Ks, and his ERA is at 0.57 thru two starts. The Indians staff just keeps getting sexier. Now their rotation is Cody, Corey, Danny, Trevor and Carlos. Sounds like a boy band, K-Nudo. Only Cody doesn’t strike out as many — he’s the sensitive one. Anderson has an interesting backstory. He’s from Idaho, and he signed with the Tribe out of a junior college for $250,000. Imagine that. One day, Anderson’s asking ma if they have to eat potatoes yet again for dinner and saying a lot of “Aw, geez,” then he signs for a quarter of a million dollars, which is more than the state economy of Idaho. Suddenly, he was able to purchase the state of Idaho and all its trout. (I have no idea if they have trout there, but Guy Fieri seems to stop at a Diner and/or Drive-In and/or Dive at least once a week in Idaho for trout.) “Aw, geez, ma, I have to pay to pave highways now? Money is evil!” As for fantasy, Anderson’s not quite as big city-ish. He has very few Ks thru two games, but he does throw hard-ish (93 MPH fastball) with a decent slider, and he also has decent control. His minor league numbers portend a mid-rotation guy at best and he’s not at his best yet, so there’s still room to grow, but I’d let him grow on someone else’s team in mixed leagues. If you wanna check the Stream-o-Nator on him, go for it, but outside of AL-Only leagues, I wouldn’t own him yet. Just as I wouldn’t eat trout from Idaho. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Geez, what is it about Steven Matz?!

The puns have been outpouring faster than illogical movies by Christopher Nolan.  Maybe it’s because he pitches for the Metz?  I don’t know!

I’ve been… well, naive to not rank Matz to this point.  Even with my standing concerns coming into his debut, he likely should’ve been ranked the last few weeks.  I thought it would be at least July until he was up, and I questioned how many innings he’d really get through in the Majors.  His peak is 140.2 IP last year across high-A and double-A, and he entered the Majors at 90.1 innings before yesterday’s debut.  Innings concerns are a big question mark after his career started with major elbow issues (TJ and complications).

And after that debut with 4 RBI at the plate, the mythical legend might be one of the biggest gaps from perception to reality.  Then again, I’m saying all this before breaking down his first start without seeing much of him beyond the numbers.  What Pitcher Profiles are all about!  You can’t know for sure on a guy until you really get a chance to see him pitch.  So without any more noodling, here’s how Matz looked in his debut:

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