I live in La La land, aka Hollywood, aka the Land of a Fake Faces…and Butts…and Thighs…and Breasteses. Hey, I don’t mind. I’m all for “self-improvement.” I liken it to the PED era of MLB. Pitchers were throwing 100 mph and batters were launching home runs 500 feet. As a Dodger fan, I will always remember the electricity when Eric Gagne would come in to close games. It was a hilariously entertaining time. Chicks dig the long ball. Well, guys dig…butts, thighs, and breasteses. For you purists out there, I give you Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who says that there’s a very high chance we’re living in the Matrix. I’ll admit, that there are times I want to know the truth and will take the red pill. On the other hand, sometimes I just want enjoyment, so I’ll take the blue pill. Anyways, before I went on that PED-induced tangent, I wanted to talk about the movie-making aspect of Hollywood. If a movie is successful, you can be sure that a sequel is coming. A trilogy more than likely, and a remake in 25 years or so. Which brings me to…

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First off, no, I haven’t watched the movies. I’m old, that movie is for the young and I’m not as in love with Anna Kendrick as you. I mean, I don’t hate her? I’d hang with her? She seems fun at parties? Whatever, my point being is that her and her movies are a flavor of entertainment that’s either above me or below me, I’m not sure which and I’m not sure I care. Alright, now that the important stuff has been covered, this pitching slate…whew. It’s about as good looking as Melisandre when the necklace came off. I’ve never even seen that show, but the memes are free! Don’t send your hate on that one unless you’re willing to hook me up with HBO Go so I can catch up. Back to the point: pitching in the late slate is teh sucks tonight. I’ll try and throw some early pitching takes so you can wipe the dirty taste out of your mouth, but it’s a minefield after 4 pm PST so be warned. With that, let’s trudge through the sludge together. Here’s my cover your hair and your eyes taeks for this Wednesday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday May 30th 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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Yesterday, Matt Harvey (5 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 6.08) briefly held the honor of having the worst ERA of any National League starter at 6.08, which means Harvey is the only one happy with Shelby Miller this year.  It’s time we addressed the giant imaginary rabbit in the room, Harvey.  The Mets thought that Harvey’s problems were mental and considered burning all of his locker’s contents to rid him of the bad juju.  Can you put his “animosity for Terry Collins” in the locker too?  How about his “bitterness at not being the star pitcher anymore?”  Does that fit in a locker?  What about “brooding?”  Does brooding fit in a locker?  Someone needs to salve Harvey’s ego with some Jergen’s lotion because you can see his buttsoreness (totally a word!).  His velocity looked fine yesterday, but his slider is not being located with precision.   Also, check this:  1st time through the order facing Harvey:  .241/.292/.373; second time:  .301/.326/.518; third time:  .509/.563/.764.  What does that tell me?  He’s having a hard time keeping his pitches fresh the 2nd and 3rd time a hitter sees him, which goes back to the slider.  I don’t think his problems are unfixable, but he may need a trip to the Disgraceful List with a mysterious ailment to clear his head and figure out his slider.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This week’s most added player in ESPN leagues, Oakland A’s third baseman Danny Valencia (63.8% owned; +36.4% over the past week), has undergone quite the transformation over the last calendar year. Prior to the 2015 season, he was just a part-time player who mashed left-handed pitching in the Ryan Raburn/Scott Van Slyke mold. From his MLB debut in 2010 through the end of the 2014 season, Valencia’s .870 OPS vs lefties far surpassed his .615 OPS against right-handed pitching. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, it’s been business as usual vs LHP (.907 OPS), but he’s improved considerably against RHP (.845 OPS). His ISO also jumped from .142 (pre-2015) to .225 (2015-present day) during that period. Hmm… a player displaying a huge power surge at 30 years old isn’t suspicious at all! Well, there may be a couple of reasonable explanations for Valencia morphing from Kelly Johnson into Ryan Braun at the plate virtually overnight. The first thing is the addition of a leg kick in his swing courtesy of former teammate and elite slugger Jose Bautista. The second thing is the opportunity to play every day. Valencia never received that opportunity until late last season in Toronto, and his performance during that time convinced the A’s to give him a shot as their starting third baseman. Through his first 14 games this season though, Valencia’s power disappeared, as he managed just a .353 slugging percentage with no homers and 2 RBI in 55 plate appearances. Maybe that power surge was just a fluke after all. After a DL stint at the end of April into the beginning of May, however, the power returned with a vengeance. Since returning on May 7th, Valencia has produced a .354/.360/.729 triple slash line, which includes smashing 6 homers across five games from May 13th-17th. He looks like a good bet for a .280 average and 15-17 homers moving forward, so add him if you can (or more likely, try to get him on the cheap via trade).

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

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Lucky week number seven is all wrapped up in the world of fantasy baseball.  Have you gotten lucky yet?  Nah, who am I kidding?  We’re fantasy baseballers, we don’t get lucky.  Unless mom brings down a plate of hot pockets that is!  No matter how great we think we are at this silly little game though, there is obviously an element of luck involved.  Now, I’m a big proponent of the mantra, “Make your own luck” and I certainly think that can be applied to fantasy baseball.  “Win luck” is a term often tossed around to describe a team that is raking in the wins and/or a team that can’t seem to buy a win (most of my teams this year it seems).  Can you make your own luck in regards to wins?  Of course you can.  You can stream those valuable middle relievers, especially the ones that frequently work multiple innings in the middle of games.  When a lead change occurs, these relievers are typically the benefactors.  It’s no guarantee of course, but it can’t hurt your luck any.  There are other ways to increase your win luck too.  Let’s take a look at another big one as well as who is getting lucky and who got luck this week in the week that was, week 7:

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While Bryce Harper is ice cold, Major League Baseball’s other superstar, Mike Trout, is heating up. Over the last seven days, Trout is batting .370 with two home runs and gets a cake matchup on Tuesday night. It may be tough to fit Trout into your lineup given his price tag, but it’s going to be worth it. Trout is like a tall glass of water. He’s a beacon of light on the hill. A superstar in his mid-20s, Trout is who women want and who men want to be. If you can fit Chris Sale and Trout in the same lineup with a solid number two SP, you could be well on your way to god status. Alright, enough with the superlatives. Just play Trout and enjoy the elite production.

New to DraftKings? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday May 30th 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?

Razzball! Razzball! Razzball! Even I get swept into the catchy sound this morning! On today’s show we talk Jackie Bradley Jr.’s hitting streak, Cameron Maybin coming on strong, and play some Buy/Sell for our new Pulitzer Award-winning segment. No one has ever done that before! We also catch up on some Silicon Valley, make some strikeout predictions for Justin Verlander and Alex Wood, and learn why Grey gets himself in so much trouble when he yells at strangers. Either way, what he yelled was WEIRD in my book! Here’s our latest edition of the Razzball Baseball Podcast:

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Yesterday, Shin-Soo Choo hit the DL again.  Yeah, surprise, surprise.  Never would’ve seen that coming, unless you’ve followed Choo’s career for the last three seconds.  In other news, Joey Gallo was called up.  Here’s my transactions yesterday:  Team Albright dropped Tyler Goeddel for Mikie Mahtook.  Twenty-nine minutes later: Team Albright dropped Mikie Mahtook for Delino DeShields.  Two hours later: Team Albright dropped Delino DeShields for Matt Holliday because someone else grabbed Joey Gallo already, and Team Albright didn’t feel like adding Junichi Tazawa for the sixth time.  Gallo has e-meants power.  His power is so e-meants I can’t even spell immense correctly, except there.  He had 8 HRs in 24 games this year in Triple-A and six homers in about a month last year in the majors.  This offseason I said, “I get the sneaking suspicion that Joey Gallo is going to be The Return of the Sucky Average Lagoon Monster, who was played briefly in an off-Broadway revival by Chris Carter.  In Double-A last year, Gallo had a 39.5% strikeout rate.  That’s absurd.  That’s the same rate historians have said Babe Ruth had after an all-night bender with Fatty Arbuckle when Ruth showed up and accidentally went up to bat still wearing his sleep mask.  Fun fact!  Sleep masks for the wealthy used to be made from raw hamburger patties.  So, with Gallo wearing a raw hamburger on his eyes, is there any chance of him hitting above .200?  Not if he can’t tame his strikeouts.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Good news, prematurely balding men and five lady readers, Gallo’s tamed his Ks by a lot this year in Triple-A.  He’s cut them to 22.6%, and was hitting .265.  If he can hit .265 with the Rangers, he’ll be more valuable than Prince Fielder this year because Gallo has 40-homer power.  I tried to pick him up in every league, and I suggest you do the same.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yeah, I did already use this title, didn’t I?! Manaea? Maeda? Tomato? Tomatto?! Let’s call the whole thing off! What’s funny is Sean Manaea and Kenta Maeda couldn’t be more different either, with the former is a lefty hard-thrower, and the other a righty craftsman…

I got a good amount of flack the first few weeks of the Pitcher Profile ranks for not moving Maeda way up, but I think he’s going to end up a pretty average pitcher in fantasy terms – something akin to a standard league SP4. Like Grey’s Pulitzer-winningMatt Harvey is sucking because of the playoff workload last year” advice on the Podcast, I’ve always maintained the entirely unique and previously un-thought “Maeda could start strong, but will fade as the league sees him more.” We’re all about the hard-hitting advice here at Razzball!

We’ve begun to see the cracks in the armor from Maeda (can’t use a different phrase because of Jeremy Lin, thanks ESPN). After a 0.36 ERA through his first 4 starts, he sported a 5.82 the next 4 heading into yesterday afternoon. Didn’t expect it to regress this fast! Comments exclaiming for a Maeda move-up in my ranks certainly went away! But within this 8-start microcosm, I indeed think Maeda is somewhere in that law of averages. So after a few requests for a Maeda profile, I decided to break down his start yesterday afternoon in a saucy matchup at Petco to see how he looks.

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trayce_thompson_hr_med_jgx6b477

‘Splash! Thompson hits another! All of California is cheering for this kid!’ I just want to hear Vin Scully say that once. Has he? Oh, wait, you thought I was talking about Klay? C’mon now, this is baseball, and we’re traveling south down the Cali coast to LA where we find the future mashing prince of Dodgertown. The brother of the Splash Brother in Golden State, Trayce Thompson is quickly making a name for himself early in this 2016 season. We’re gettin’ to to in Week 8, and Trayce is creeeeepin…

  • Trayce Thompson, OF (10.7%) – In the Week 7 edition a few commenters noted the hot bat of Thompson and Adam Duvall. While considering both for the highlight, Trayce edges him out despite potential concerns about the Dodgers having a crowded OF. Duvall’s OBP sits barely over .300 at….301. That ain’t good, no matter how much pop you have in the bat. Thompson, on the other hand, sports a cool .347 OBP with a 9.2% BB% and a 22.4% K%. While that K number might seem high, he’s managed to drop it almost ever year of his professional career. Last season for the ChiSox Trayce hit 5 HR in 135 PA. Solid. .238 ISO. Strong. This year he’s already mayshed 7 in 35 games and seems to be a lock for consistent ABs int he struggling Dodgers lineup. In May he’s slashing .301/10/6/14 with a 6:9 BB:K ratio. With Ethier, Crawford and Van Slyke all on the shelf, Puig seriously struggling and the Dodgers bats essentially flat-lining, Los Angeles can’t afford to not have him in the lineup right now. With another strong week under his belt, he’s a Creeper of the Week that could actually move his way into the Top 100 come Week 9. Get ahead of it while you can.

Enough creepin’…Here are your Top 100 Hitters for Week 8! Now in TECHNICOLOR!

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