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Bryce Harper

As this is our final Monday of the regular season, I was about to go out all silly with the last Pitcher Profile of the season, but the pitching world – and the sports world as a whole – woke up Sunday morning to the news of the heartbreaking passing of Jose Fernandez. The young phenom was such a pleasure to watch; not only for his youthful exuberance, but his pure pitching stuff seemed to somehow reflect that personality. Monster fastball, video game slider, and he could hit the ball too! Fantasy, and well sports in general, brings people together in the sense that we can just share something intangible – the spirit of a team, momentum of a game, the thrill of winning… Or just experiencing, together, the personality of one of the game’s greats. So instead of merely reflecting on a life taken from us too soon, I felt we should take this slice of time we spend together talking about pitching/fantasy baseball/sports and celebrate Jose Fernandez with a pitcher profile on his last start. Unsurprisingly, it was another absolute gem. Here’s how JoFer looked the final game he toed the rubber:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Sunday morning, I woke around 8 AM to read a text from Rudy saying, “Awful news, Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident.”  I put on my glasses, no time for contacts, and turned on the TV.  It was still on Fox Sports West because I was watching Vin Scully tributes all weekend.  Yesterday morning, Fox Sports was playing Anglers Chronicles, a fishing show, which is wrong in so many ways.  After switching the stations, groggy-eyed and still half asleep, I realized TV was not the place anymore to go for breaking news.  I shut it off and turned to the internet.  I’m still piecing together my thoughts.  He was 24 years old, even if he never played baseball this is a horrible loss of life.  I’m reminded of all the friends I lost to motorcycles in their twenties.  I’m struck by how inconsequential fantasy feels.  There’s a giant pit in my stomach.  Then, I think about how I never saw Jose Fernandez not smiling.  Not having fun.  I think about how on that boat, Saturday evening, you know Jose Fernandez was having a great time, because he was always having a great time.  That exuberance came through in everything he did.  I think about how he spent time in prison after one of his numerous failed attempts of escaping Cuba, and how, even then, he was likely making fellow inmates smile.  How the excellence he brought to the mound every fifth day was felt all the way back in Cuba to raise up even the darkest corners of Cuba’s prisons.  “That was us.  That is us,” the inmates, who are still incarcerated for trying to escape, likely said.  How baseball does that.  How special that is.  You see what you’re going to see in tragedy, but I see Jose Fernandez pitching, and baseball, and making himself and others smile.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Steven Matz is likely done for the year after hurting his shoulder again.  I’m not even joking.  I kinda wish I were.  NY Post writer, Joel Sherman’s headline, “How Terry Collins broke Matz news to Mets in stirring meeting.”  Unless everyone had coffee, creamers and were stirring, Joel, buddy, you’re overselling.  Quick aside, sportswriters assume their audience is a bunch of illiterate 8th graders.  *makes farting noise with hand under armpit*  That’s what I think of that.  Any hoo!  If I could toot my own horn, I’d never leave my house, but I told you Matz wasn’t going to start.  If I were a Mets fan, I’d be particularly worried about the Mets going deep into the playoffs, because, unlike Joel Sherman, I’d like to point out this will be more innings on Gsellman and Lugo’s arms.  Ya know, the same thing that got Matz, Harvey and deGrom in trouble this year.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In order to be competitive, the Marlins would need All-Stars at every position all farmed from their minor league system.  Sorta like what the Cubs have managed to do.  Not impossible, but that’s what it would take for the Marlins because they are cheap AF.  By the way, AF is my favorite acronym.  Props to whoever first started using it.  Feels like it started on Twitter because of the character limit.  Keeps shizz short and simple AF, kinda like me (short and simple).  Any the hoo!  I was saying the Marlins need to be precise AF (I’m overusing it now) with their minor league system like they were with Jose Fernandez.  He’s AF as AF comes.  His nickname should no longer be Jo-Fer but AF.  Or maybe AF-Fer.  Nah, that looks like a trade union.  A-Fer?  That looks like algebra.  Fernandez should own Abercrombie & Fitch he’s so AF.  Yesterday, Jose Fernandez went 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, zero walks and 12 Ks.  He has 253 Ks in 182 1/3 innings.  Seriously, digest that for a second.  WTF AF?!  Of course, I wish the Marlins would shut him down until 2017, but I have no chance of owning him next year.  Not that I don’t love him.  He’s the best pitcher in the game if I’m building a dynasty league.  Yeah, I said it.  I want him over Kershaw.  Kershaw has been durable up until this year, but all pitchers are durable up until the point when they’re not.  At one point, Jake Peavy was durable AF, too.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t know about the rest of you fellows, but I like to spoil my lady every so often. I mean, Honcho is all about romance and class. When I’ve been struck by cupid’s arrow I like to take Mrs. Honcho to a fancy restaurant, order the finest bottle of Boone’s Farm in the building and reflect on our glamorous lifestyle. So the other night, while we were dining at Red Lobster, I was filling her ears with sweet nothings about my favorite under the radar plays on DraftKings. She was enthralled with my tales as usual and she couldn’t take her eyes off me as we shared a package of saltine crackers from the salad bar. Then it struck me…tomorrow the Padres will be at Coors Field! They’ll be facing Chad Bettis, who happens to own a 4.70 ERA at Home this season. While that’s probably acceptable for a Rockies’ starter, I’m more than happy to get a piece of that action with my daily fantasy dollars. Bettis has also allowed a .260 batting average to left-handers this season, which is above the league average. I’ll be looking to use a number of Padres in various lineups today, especially the power hitting lefties. Ryan Schimpf fits that description perfectly. Schimpf has 19 home runs on the year in just 238 at-bats. Sixteen of those long balls have come at the expense of right-handed pitchers – who he happens to also own a .929 OPS against. In my best Kirk Cousins voice I ask you…You Like That!? Well, I do. So excuse me while I finish my left-over plate of hush puppies and fine tune my lineup. While you’re waiting, here’s a look at the rest of my favorite plays for Sunday’s 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 September 19th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Gerrit Cole has an injured arm, possibly elbow spurs.  I love this scenario:  a pitcher throws like garbage for weeks then the team announces he’s hurt.  Love, love, love.  This is my favorite.  Five innings, five runs, but it’s likely nothing, just a bad start.  Cut to five weeks later of terrible starts.  “Oh, yeah, he’s got a torn tendon/elbow spur/missing forearm due to lost baggage.  Oops!  We should’ve sent him to a doctor six starts ago.  Our bad!”  Here’s what I said after his last start, “I don’t know what’s going on with Cole, but I’d guess injury or dead arm.”  And that’s me quoting me!  How is it that I can guess there’s a problem but a major league team can’t figure shizz out?  That should never be possible.  I couldn’t even pass Bio 101, and a MLB team has a staff of doctors.  Seriously, how does this happen?  I want answers!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When I was fresh out of college, I worked at a web company (everyone did in the 90s).  There was four of us.  The other three had real job titles; I was the gofer/do-whatever.  It was about a month before I was going back to school for my Master’s.  I had no intention of keeping the job.  Honestly, I doubt they would’ve kept me for that full month if I weren’t leaving.  I failed at everything they assigned me, but they kept giving me new tasks, hoping I’d succeed.  The only task I seemed capable of was heating up pre-cooked sausages from Trader Joe’s.  I made sausages on a grill for three weeks straight, so, when I finally did leave, they gave me a plaque that reads, “Who wants some sausages?”  This brings me to the sudden and incomprehensible rise of Yulieski Guerriel.  The Astros are that company, and YuGu is me.  The Astros seem between a rock of “We really want this guy to succeed” and “We have about a month left and we’re just hoping something works.”  Yulieski hasn’t failed in the minors, he’s looked completely lost.  He hit .118 in Double-A, was promoted to Triple-A and hit .222.  I could see grabbing Guerriel in all leagues to see if he can get lucky, and figure out how to make something other than pre-cooked sausages for lunch, but the Astros are not promoting him because of how well he’s looked.  They’re promoting him because there’s about a month left.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ohhhhh baby! Here we go with another scintillating Sunday of daily fantasy suggestions. Can you feel the excitement? Can you? Anyone? Okay, well here’s the thing….I’m going off the grid a bit and filling the intro with a couple of bats instead of the usual arm. Riveting, right? See sometimes, even if it’s an unconventional, a good play is a good play and that’s precisely where Dee Gordon and Robinson Cano enter the fray. When it comes to batter versus pitcher stats, you’re either in one camp or the other. Love them or hate them……There is no middle ground. I consider BvP every day before I build my lineups. It’s part of the game. If you’ve ever played baseball, no matter the level, there are certain pitchers that you just know you’re going rake against. Call it confidence or just random luck – your choice, but BvP is a thing and I love it. As far as Gordon is concerned…..the numbers look delicious. He’s 12-for-36 (.333) with a home run, 4 RBI, .500 SLG% and 4 stolen bases vs Ryan Vogelsong. Later on today we have Matt Garza taking the hill for the Brewers as they visit Cano and the Mariners. Over 32 career at-bats, Cano has recorded 12 hits for a .375 average, launched two home runs and produced a healthy 1.068 OPS against the Milwaukee right-hander. He’s also reached base at a .412 clip, so it’s safe to say Robbie has Garza’s number. If we’re being honest here, Garza’s had trouble with lefties this season. He’s yielding a .302 BAA, .378 wOBA and allowing a 42% Hard Contact rate to left-handers. Just to make the non-believers happy, let’s take a look at some advanced stats Cano has put up against righties this year: .272 ISO, 156 wRC+, .371 OBP and a 20.4% HR/FB ratio. I’m overheating just thinking about Cano’s at-bats today. Quick, somebody bring me an ice-cold O’Doul’s before I melt. Anyway, here’s a look at my favorite plays for Sunday’s action:

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 August 22nd to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Best-Of-The-Best-1989-580x400

Who is the best of the best? Or at least, who is the best at each position? I guess the term “best” is subjective, but since I am authoring this post I get to define its meaning. The three key data points I’ve used here are penis size, number of beers they can drink and 2016 salary. Ok, that’s false. The real stats are current points, points per plate appearance and average draft position. Looking at the results it seems that the only player with an ADP of the first round that actually proved to be the best at his position is Anthony Rizzo, and he was more of an early second round player. That’s not to say that any of the following players are less than studs, there just happens to be a player at their position that was better. Let’s look at the results…

Want to take on myself and other Razzball contributors and readers in a Fantasy Football League for prizes? Join here!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Twenty-six years after my Lord and Savior, Reggie Jackson, retired from professional baseball to collect cars, full-length fur coats and start a business where you use cocktail franks as cocktail stirrers, I saw a young Mariner by the name of Brad Miller.  To this day, when you Google “Brad Miller sleeper,” you still see archival footage of Grey’s massive excitement — that’s not what she said!  I was jazzed back in 2013 because Miller had hit 20 HRs, stole 11 bases and over .300 between the majors and minors.  Then 2014 and 2015 happened, Miller did nothing, and I retreated into my cubby hole of snack food that I eat out of sight from my Cougar wife.  “I’m snacking on kale, baby doll!”  “Grey, you sound louder than usual.”  I was being amplified due to eating a nacho cheese Bugle.  Finally, this year I was sure not to own Miller anywhere.  So, of course, he breaks out.  Yesterday, Brad Miller went 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 25th homer, 5th homer this week, while hitting .265.  On our 30-day Player Rater, Miller is 5th most valuable for hitters.  The top 4 –> Blackmon, Hamilton, Braun, Betts.  Yeah, pretty good company, like Reggie’s cocktail frank stirrers’ company, The Dog That Stirs The Drink, Inc.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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