In 1778, Benjamin Franklin pulled the first American flag from Betsy Ross’s, uh, clutches and proclaimed a holiday to be called Labor Day in the then-resort city of Philadelphia. Since then there’s been a long history of great Philly pitchers: Steve “Lefty” Carlton, Jackie “Kid” Gleason, Robin “ESPN anchor” Roberts, Curt Schilling, who later went on to be known for saucing his French fries with ketchup out of his sock, Jim “Beds Are” Bunning and Brett “I’ll Show You Slap Hits” Myers. Philly’s not the same town now as it was in Ben’s day, as the battle for best cheesesteak tore up most of the city. “Geno’s? How about I give you a jihad wit wiz?!” It’s ugly, without much joy in the City of Brotherly Love, a nickname adopted due to the popularity of a WWF manager in the early 90′s. Yesterday, for a moment, all of that sorrow was told to go to ‘morrow, as Cole Hamels and Jacob Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon combined for a no hitter. Hamels only made it through six innings, because he took Labor Day literally and struggled with five walks. If I had to give an award out because I had an award and didn’t know what to do with it, I’d ask someone next year if Jacob Diekman ever threw a no-hitter, and would reward them with that unwanted trophy if they said yes. A great day for Philly fans everywhere (except for the fans that came to the game with D batteries hoping for a reason to throw them at a player). Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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After hitting the ‘Publish’ button on my recent post titled ‘Razzball Streamonator TKO’s ESPN Fantasy Forecaster‘, I pictured reading and answering the comments to be like a victory lap*.  Look at me, I’m Cal Ripken!  While I got a healthy share of pats on the back from Razzball Nation (thanks as always!), some commenters were also kind enough to note that Streamonator and Hittertron could learn something from the ESPN Fantasy Forecaster – notably the handy dandy 7-day grid with all the probable starters.

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So I did a little Google of “pine tar brands” and everything is this Grandpa’s brand!  Talk about cornering the market.  And their new spokesman should be Michael Pineda!  “Those other brands, they dirt, it’s dirt…”

I used to be the biggest Big Mike fan.  I was all in on him in the Mariners rookie season, and went gaga watching his starts over anyone else.  Of course he faltered down the stretch, got traded, blew up his shoulder, and now is a little bit of a parody based on the ridiculous double-down of pine tarring and feathering himself.

While he might be a punchline, and finding a little bit of humor for the open was easy, he’s still been good while healthy this year.  And not just good, but Grandpa’s good!  ERA barely over 2, WHIP under 1, 30:4 K-ta-walk.  And still owned in only 51% of Yahoo leagues!  I haven’t seen Pineda pitch since the April oil slick days, so I decided to break down his Saturday start north of the border to see how he’s looking:

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It’s September, and many fantasy owners have taken an all-hands-on-deck approach to their teams as they try to win their weekly matchups or gain ground in roto categories. With just about four weeks left, I’ll use this post to give you as much steals information as possible to help you make your roster decisions in weekly or daily leagues. I would strongly suggest using the new Pitcher Planner and Hitter Planner tools in addition to the regular Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron. There is also a SB vs. SP rate tool that provides some data specifically tailored to stolen bases.

While I find rummaging through leaderboards to be a pleasurable venture, that may not be the case for everyone. So without anything more from me, here are a few tables of data that you may find helpful and time-saving. Good luck down the stretch and may your steals be plentiful!

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So there I was, huddled with my family in the basement. Waiting for the tornado. I kept thinking, “I’m from Massachusetts why am I in the basement at 9 o’clock at night, the Sunday before Labor Day waiting out a tornado warning?” (Entitled Northerner Alert!!) To get my mind off of what was potentially headed my way, I went and checked my DraftKings roster. GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY!!12TH! My mood went from somber to ecstatic almost immediately. That’s the highest I’ve ever finished in a Moonshot before. Sure I’ve had a dozen or so top 100 finishes and a couple of top 50′s but top 12? Hell nah! Now I really hoped to make it out of this basement in one piece. I’m cashing like crazy tonight baby. Get Money indeed!

Not to worry Razzaholics, the storm passed, the Tornado was canceled (I didn’t know that they canceled these things) and the Lifshitz clan is safe and sound. Great! more time to focus on turning these winnings into a vacation to San Diego or Hawaii or some place warm for the winter. Welp, I think I just locked up the award for the most dramatic opening of a post on Razzball. As well as the award for the Father who’s priorities are the least in order. In my work for Football later this week, I’ll be gunning for the most times the word selfie has been used in a post, and the least informative content. What can I say I aim high. You know who is aiming high these days? (Segue FTW!) Corey Kluber! Today he’s got the difficult task of trying to tame the Tigers. This is no feat for mere mortals, in fact Mr. Kluber himself has fallen a victim to the Jaws of the Tigers before. Primarily saber tooth sluggers Miguel Cabrera (15/28, 3 hr’s, 7 RBI, 6 K’s score one for Corey!) and Victor Martinez (8/21, 2 hr’s, 3 RBI, 2 K’s). I’m not under any delusions that tell me Kluber is going to get rocked, but as I said in Two Start-A-Palooza on Saturday I could see a 6 IP, 3 ER, 5 K kind of game. Not bad but also not worth $11,800. Just so we’re clear I love Kluber I’m just giving him the Labor Day fade. (UPDATE: Now that I know that Miggy will be out of the lineup for the foreseeable future I’m upgrading Kluber to a good start in all formats) The same goes for David Price and his $12,200 price tag. There are too many great pitching options today to bother with aces facing good offenses.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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 check the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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There’s a dark side to the expansion of rosters that no one wants you to talk about. Or people do talk about it, but they talk about it as written by the writers of The Honourable Woman so no one can understand it. You laid a cable modem through the Gaza Strip? But now the Palestinians can see which celebrities are on their side. “We got Rihanna! With a hashtag, baby! If we could only buy her albums. What does she sing? S&M? What’s that mean? Whips and chains? Oh, yeah, like torture? Oh. Regarding sex? Hmm, we’d kill her for singing that. What other songs does she have? Umbrella? It doesn’t rain here. What else does she sing? Only Girl in the World? That is neither accurate nor encouraging. Could she remix it to 72 girls in the world?” This MLB roster expansion has a side to it that is that disturbing. With teams expanding, they don’t need to DL players. A week ago if Dustin Pedroia was forearm shivered as he was on Saturday, he would’ve hit the DL. Now, well, he’s going to sit on the bench for at least a week. Miguel Cabrera may have also hit the DL a month ago, so he could rest his ankle. Now, the Tigers said he could sit for 4 to 5 days. It’s not great news, though with how he’s hitting, in some leagues it might pay to just bench him and grab a hot bat. As for Pedroia, I’d drop him in most mixed leagues. He could be out for a week or longer, and, brucely, he hasn’t done much this year when he has been playing. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Breath it all in. That’s it. Can you smell it? That’s the smell of the season winding down and the pastrami Reuben I just ate from the Oinkster. Delicious! I’m writing this with a mouthful of expectations [Jay's Note: That's what she said...] for the magic of September that happens every year. This past Tuesday I talked about the amazing month Marlon Anderson put up in 2006, and who can forget the statistical anomaly that Hunter Pence put up last year? I would of loved to do some cool September call-ups that are going to start right away and make a difference, but those that can are here, and the others will be part timers. So, in the spirit of September rookie-nookie I have chosen the delightfully smelling Rougned Odor. Speaking of delightfully smelling things, I will be doing a “East Coast vs West Coast End of Summer BBQ Battle Jams” with Ralph today. I’m taking my West and he gets his east. We’ll put up some tracks and encourage others to insert their favorites jams. Our criteria is just being good jams that can play to groups of peeps chillin together.  You may wonder why were doing this and all I can say is because it’s fun and helps us cope with our disappointments. Every good backyard party needs a theme, a fat sack to keep it tight, a DJ on the 1′s and 2′s, a strong drink mixed up in a pitcher, some Latinos, because it’s So Cal, and when five-O breaks it up we can yell this as we scramble. (NOTE: All of these tracks are not safe for work.)

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Let me begin by thanking Papa and Nana Lifshitz for taking my two little rugrats last night so the Mrs. and I could go out for our 8th wedding anniversary. We went to a great Italian place in town and left in a food coma that put the two of us out of commission until early this morning. Not to worry Daily Fantasy Junkies I’ve arisen and am here to give you the DK knowledge you need to Get Money. I know what you’re all thinking, my Wife is truly the luckiest woman in the world. After all she’s married to me. Let’s think about this, not only am I handsome with six-pack abs, I’m also always there to explain baseball metrics like K/9, wOBA, and wRC+. Seriously I’m a real gem. You know who else has been a gem of late? Madison Bumgarner! Over his last ten starts he’s averaged 25.5 DraftKings points, he’s had 19+ point efforts in each of his last five games, and best of all he’s had two 47+ point efforts in his last 5. At a price of $11,200 he is tops on the board today but he’s totally worth it if he can keep up his hot streak. The one caution I will throw at you is his poor home ERA of 4.58. This is a little confusing when you consider that AT&T is a pitchers park but not everything makes sense now does it? (BTW am I the only that still wants to call it Pac-Bell?) I’d like to focus more on his August ERA of 1.58 in 40 innings thus far. Ready for this his K/9 for the month is 11.03 while his BB/9 is .45, those are the kind of numbers that make Grey stay at home at night and wax his mustache. They get me really excited, maybe too excited. His wOBA against is .194, those numbers are just video game on easy with cheat codes good. Sure this was an easy call and sure I’ll give you cheaper options but I always feel the need to remind you of great players playing great. These streaks only happen a few times over the course of a career even for a very good player like Mad-Bum. Well my fellow DraftKings welcome to my first DK installment on the newly minted HipHop Sunday let’s proceed to give you what you need.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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!

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September call-ups are almost upon us. Despite monster minor league numbers, it appears the Cubs are not going to add Kris Bryant to the roster. Bryant dominated in 2014, hitting an obscene .328/.438/.674 with 43 home runs, 114 runs, 102 RBIs and even 15 steals across two levels of the minors. I couldn’t hit that in Bases Loaded on my Nintendo. While the Cubs did promote Javier Baez and Jorge Soler to get their feet wet, they seem content to leave Bryant where he is whcih in turn makes him worthless to the prospect hounds in redraft fantasy leagues.

There are two sides to the situation. On one hand Bryant could be added to the roster which gives him some major league at bats and makes all of us fantasy owners very happy. On the other hand, the Cubs could give him the full year in the minors without having to drop anybody from their 40-man roster or start his clock. That clock is important, as Bryant being called up a month or two into next seeason could buy the Cubs another year of his services should he decide to become free agent when eligible. Bryant will be worth the wait, but that’s what we’ll have to do – wait. That leaves us to figure out who is worth a look this September. Assuming that the following players will all be called up, here are some of the names (along with their 2014 MiLB stats) that I think could help fantasy owners in redraft leagues this September…

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Call it recency bias. Call it trending stats. Call it your mom. I don’t care. The Rockies on the road are still ‘teh suck’. Earlier this week I told you to Leave It To Peav’er for similar reasons. If San Fran knew how to hit the ball and play defense, that call would’ve gone from decent to great. Well, and if Dave Eddings knew what the strikezone was or how to call a guy out at the plate. Seriously, ‘human element’ my heiney hole. The best day of baseball for me will be when I don’t have to hear about Joe West making a country album…because he’s Joe West the umpire. Go play for quarters at the local dive down in Nashville and get the eff off my diamond…wow, lost it for a minute there, where were we? Oh yeah, ‘teh suck’. That’s the Rockies on the road in a nutshell. Case in point? Collmenter spun a ‘gem’ last night, going 6.1 IP, giving up a mere 2 hits while striking out 5. Of course, the stats of others don’t tell you much about Vidal Nuno. So let’s dig in, shall we? Here’s the scoop: since being traded to the Diamondbacks, Nuno has a 3.54 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP, and a 3.5 K:BB ratio. The K per 9 is pretty middling around 7 per but did ya see the Collmenter line? Nuno is buried down near the bottom of the DraftKings pricing at $6,200, mixed in with Kyle Ryan (who?) and Chris Bassitt (what?!?) at the same price. Not sure why the price hangs around a couple of guys that even Razzball doesn’t have a player page for, but I’ll take any gifts I’m given. So let’s keep a vigilant watch out for the signs that an El Nuno is developing and I’ll see you down at Arizona Bay when it hits….PS! I’m not really here. Ok, I am still ‘here’ but I’m not there. Actually I am there. Man, this is getting complicated. I’m heading out on the road with Nick Capozzi for the Razzball #32in32in32 tour as it winds down. We’re hitting Chicago, Green Bay, Twin Cities, Kansas City, Saint Louis, and Denver. If you live in the area and wanna see just how big my eyebrows are in person, buy a ticket and find out. Come on, they don’t bite. Just keep a reasonable distance. All that said, if you comment the moment this post goes live, I’ll probably be flying over Gibraltar or something. I failed geography so that might be a tad off. Either way, Mike will be handling all your commentary needs so if the call is great, praise me and if it’s terrible, belittle Mike as much as possible in the comments. Cool, thanks. Now on with the DK show…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10-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!

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