Player Page Matches

My fantasy roster is like Rick and his Walking Dead gang, just waiting around to be fattened up for the slaughter in that train car. Doesn’t Daryl have a hidden crossbow? Feel free to kill off Beth though. Currently my team has lost Cole Hamels and David Robertson. Not too bad, but couple that with the injuries to Adrian Beltre, Andrew McCutchen and Yasiel Puig, and my team is on the verge of doing a Hershel. I feel like we should cue up that cheesy music they play at the Oscars when they pay tribute to those stars that died over the past year. Last week, the fantasy world lost Josh Hamilton (smattering of applause), Matt Moore (gasps) and Avisail Garcia (men openly weeping). Just bury them with all the other guys still on the DL – Clayton Kershaw (at least he’s throwing again), Matt Latos (skipping rehab start this week, uh-oh) and Jose Reyes (was born on the disabled list). Add Troy Tulowitzki (quad), Adrian Beltre (quad), Koji Uehara (shoulder quad), and Joe Nathan (dead arm quad) to the walking wounded list as well (guys hurtin’ but not DL’d) and we have a World War Z-sized fantasy apocalypse. Injuries are expected every year, but does it seem like there are more this season? Can I blame instant replay? Harold Reynolds? Someone or something is responsible. Quick, get Bartolo Colon to throw some stem cells in the Gatorade. I hear that helps. *note to self: Pitch embryonic energy drink to Gatorade, make millions, get killed by pro-life crusaders.* It’s time to bring in the fantasy reinforcements. Let’s scour the waiver wire for players owned 50% or less in most leagues and see if we can cure what’s ailing our battered and broken roster. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh man, we’re back baby!  I just wet my pants a little bit.

The first Pitcher Profile is here!  I haven’t been this nervous since Grey had me wax his mustache my first day as an intern.

So if you’re new to Pitcher Profiles, where ya been?!  Well glad to have you, and below is a gargantuan post that I think will break your browser.  But hey!  It’s your one-stop shop (cliche boner) for all pitching questions, rankings, and GIFfing.  I just learned how to GIF, and man, it’s sorta close to learning how to Dougie except less people point and laugh at you (hopefully – but that’d be a bad GIF!).

As always, I tend to select my profiling on a pitcher who is widely available in most 10 and 12ers for owners to gauge their pickup or streaming interest.  I know these was a hope for a Taylor Jordan (sorry Long Beach!) profile, but I wanted to go for a guy who I think can have a bigger impact.  A guy that “Oh my god throws a fire!  Sale.”

We’ve all heard about Nathan Eovaldi‘s stuff.  Huge velocity – the fastest heater in baseball for a starter – but it’s been a while since I’ve really broken down one of his starts.  Plus his name sounds like an Italian deity of fornication.  Now with two solid, you could even say “quality”, starts under his belt (plus he’s still only 24 even though it feels like he’s been around for a while) I decided to tune into his game against the lowly Padres and see if the hurler from Crayola Canyon deserves more love:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The golf geeks will flock to Augusta this week for the year’s first Major, but who wants to watch a bunch of dudes in plaid pants chase after a ball with a crooked stick when we have this. While senior citizens everywhere gear up for an exciting week in golf, I’ll be settling in to watch my boy Justin Masterson today.

This is my first DraftKings post. The last time I bet on baseball I ended up in a Mexican prison with blue eye shadow on my face, plastic bags on my feet, and this tattoo. I’m still trying to figure out how to squeeze the ‘t’ in there. That’s right… Uncle Mike has a sorted past. One day we’ll gather for a game of Pinochle and I’ll tell you the tales. Hopefully we’ll win enough coin in DFS to cover the therapy bills. I’ll be here every Sunday (AKA the Lord’s Day) for all of your Sunday baseball gambling needs. *dodges lightning bolt*

If you’re new to DraftKings, check out Sky’s primer from earlier this year. Be sure to utilize the Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron in addition to these daily posts. Speaking of the Stream-o-Nator, it loves Justin Masterson today to the tune of $18.4 (that’s good). I hate to beat up on the Twins and they did win yesterday, but Masterson is a nice arm in a favorable matchup at a fair price of $8,300. Here’s some other picks for the 4/6/2014 contests on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Part One of this series can be found here. This is Part Two of a three-part series. 

“The rules are quite clear. For violation of any part of this rule, deliver what is called the “shine” ball, “spit” ball, “mud” ball or “emery” ball, the umpire shall call the pitch a ball, warn the pitcher and have announced on the public address system the reason for the action.” – Fast Facts of Baseball- The Spit Ball*

For decades, the spitter was an accepted part of major league baseball, and little to no controversy surrounded its use.  Jack Chesbro, who achieved baseball immortality by setting the unbreakable 20th century record of 41 wins in the 1904 season, was a notorious spit-ball pitcher. (Perhaps the baseball gods achieved their revenge on “Happy Jack” when he managed to lose the deciding game of that same season on a wild pitch which was undoubtedly a spitter (a pitch he called a “slow ball”) with a bit too much action.  During a match between his own New York Highlanders (nee: Yankees) and the Boston Americans (nee: Red Sox), Chesbro ‘s wild pitch allowed the winning run to score from third base. However, for many years, Chesbro’s bereaved widow blamed the team’s catcher for the miscue.) The following year, Chesbro stated that he had invented a new pitch which he called the “jump ball”, which unfortunately for him, didn’t jump all that much; his record plummeted from a mind-boggling  41-12 to a pedestrian 19-15. During the hallowed ’04 season, Jack also posted an ERA of 1.82, struck out 239 batters, pitched 454 2/3 innings, and set MLB baseball records for wins, complete games and innings pitched in a season. Jack also won 14 straight games during that season, which would remain a Yankee record until Roger Clemens broke it almost 100 years later in 2001; he also held the Yankee strike out record until Ron Guidry broke it 74 years later in 1978. (However, because of the brobdinagian number of innings he pitched that year, his K/9 ratio that season was a mere 4.7). In 1908, Chesbro announced that he would forever more eschew the use of the wetball, and his record amply demonstrated his truthfulness, as he went 14-18 for the season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (5) | 2012 (28) | 2011 (29) | 2010 (8) | 2009 (2)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB:  [62-100] NL East
AAA:  [72-72] Pacific Coast League — New Orleans
AA:  [73-63] Southern League — Jacksonville
A+:  [68-69] Florida State League — Jupiter
A:  [65-72] South Atlantic League — Greensboro
A(ss):  [39-36] New York-Penn League — Batavia

Graduated Prospects
Ed Lucas (INF); Marcell Ozuna (OF); Christian Yelich (OF); Derek Dietrich (2B); Jose Fernandez (RHP); Tom Koehler (RHP); A.J. Ramos (RHP); Dan Jennings (LHP)

The Run Down
The Marlins graduated a slew of high-impact prospects in 2013, including Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna.  That sort of talent exodus will drag any system down the organizational ranks, but fortunately for Miami, this farm still features exciting fantasy potential in the form of Andrew Heaney, Colin Moran, and Jake Marisnick.  It’s probably safe to say that this system experienced the biggest drop-off from 2013 to 2014, but there’s still plenty of intrigue here.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (17) | 2012 (20) | 2011 (21) | 2010 (8) | 2009 (9)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [85-77] AL East
AAA: [77-67] International League – Norfolk
AA: [71-71] Eastern League – Bowie
A+: [61-78] Carolina League – Frederick
A: [54-82] South Atlantic League – Delmarva
A(ss): [40-32] New York-Penn League — Aberdeen

Graduated Prospects
 T.J. McFarland (LHP); Steve Johnson (RHP)

The Run Down
Hey, it’s our first weekend post! Draft season must be near. Rejoice!  And when you’re done rejoicing, feel free to take in some words about the Baltimore Orioles farm, a top heavy group, but its headliners are extreme high-impact.  There’s a case to be made for Kevin Gausman being the top rookie pitcher in 2014, and it’s equally plausible that Dylan Bundy could carry that title in 2015.  The top three arms in this group are about as impressive a trio as you’ll find across Minor League Baseball.  On the other side of things, however, there aren’t many heavy hitters here.  This Baltimore system is depleted when it comes to power bats, and it’s fairly light on offensive talent as a whole.  But considering the absurd power and general awesomeness of their big league hitters, I doubt that O’s fans are too concerned right now with that aspect of their farm.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (18) | 2012 (3) | 2011 (1) | 2010 (16) | 2009 (11)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [86-76] AL Central
AAA: [70-74] Pacific Coast League – Omaha
AA: [59-81] Texas League – Northwest Arkansas
A+: [63-77] Carolina League – Wilmington
A: [68-70] South Atlantic League – Lexington

Graduated Prospect
David Lough (OF)

The Run Down
For fantasy purposes, this Royals farm needs to be considered among the more exciting groups in the game.  There’s big time appeal for the fantasy game from numbers one through eight on this list, and that talent is spread out across the developmental stages, with high-impact prospects at almost every level of the org.  That distribution will make for a steady flow of mixed league-relevant arrivals over the next handful of years, and that includes this year, as front-end arms, Yordano Ventura and Kyle Zimmer, prepare to surface in the bigs.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (23) | 2012 (25) | 2011 (30) | 2010 (14) | 2009 (10)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [74-88] NL Central
AAA: [57-87] Pacific Coast League — Nashville
AA: [59-79] Southern League — Huntsville
A+: [66-68] Florida State League — Brevard County
A: [59-76] Midwest League — Wisconsin

Arizona Fall League PlayersSurprise Saguaros
Tyler Cravy (RHP); David Goforth (RHP); Taylor Jungmann (RHP); Kevin Shackelford (RHP); Adam Weisenburger (C); Mitch Haniger (OF); Jason Rogers (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Logan Schafer (OF); Jeff Bianchi (INF); Scooter Gennett (2B); Khris Davis (OF); Caleb Gindl (OF); Wily Peralta (RHP); Brandon Kintzler (RHP); Alfredo Figaro (RHP); Donovan Hand (RHP); Tyler Thornburg (RHP)

The Run Down
The upper levels of the Brewers’ minor league system graduated quite a bit of talent into the bigs in 2013, as Wily Peralta, Tyler Thornburg, Khris Davis, and Scooter Gennett, among others, earned significant playing time in Milwaukee. What remains of the Brewers’ farm is a rather uninteresting mix of low-risk/low-upside, and high-risk/high-reward type prospects. It’s not the worst org in the game — no, the Angels have that locked up by a comfy margin — but it’s lacking severely in the high-impact department. Outfielders Victor Roache and Tyrone Taylor can change that outlook with big seasons in 2014. And Orlando Arcia and Devin Williams are gifted enough to bring some excitement to the lower levels of this system. But until further notice, you should probably try to avoid stocking up on Brewers in your dynasty leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Who was the greatest pitcher during the first decade of the 20th century? Cy Young, perhaps. Christy Mathewson? Maybe Joe “Iron Arm” McGinnity”? The immensely talented and idiosyncratically eccentric Rube Waddell? Addie Joss? A case can be made for any one of these hurlers. However, the truth is that perhaps the very best of them couldn’t be identified by 95% of the fans of the American pastime. Beyond that, this same individual was considered by many astute observers as the equal of the legendary and irascible John McGraw as a manager. He was one of the most successful owners in the game, and as an Administrator, was the equal of such as Ban Johnson, the President and founder of the fledgling American league. That man was Rube Foster. In all of these respects, there has never been anyone who excelled in all of these capacities in the history of rounders. And although he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1981, he remains a rather obscure figure in baseball history. But the truth of the matter is that without Foster, there likely would not have been an organized Negro league; without Foster, it is likely that there never would have been a Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, or a Jackie Robinson.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In what will be a wild weekend across the Majors, there will be five Interleague matchups over the weekend, throwing a wrench into a lot of Pitcher v. Batter data.  Just imagine if this were last year and everyone was in Interleague at the same time minus two teams…  But with even divisions of 15 these days, Interleague happens every day with this weekend amping them up to five Interleague matchups taking over ten teams.  Cut to the hitters on the Padres at Yankees Stadium, “Hey, Venable, I can actually see the fences from home plate!”  I generally will avoid hitters against new pitchers that are throwing well, and will tend to like pitchers more against line-ups that have never seen them.

This Friday, another RAZZBALL EXCLUSIVE CAN YOU BEAT RUDY GAMBLE contest is back, opening up a few more spots to a 40 person contest, getting you one step closer to the $100,000 Sweet Spot for a shot at a $20,000 top prize.  It’s the usual game, $5.00 an entry, up to two per person, and you can only get in through our exclusive link.  Spots 2-10 double up, and people from last week who finished 1-11 are not invited.  I can’t believe I got 12th last week!  I was winning for a good while there with early pitchers going, but then Edwin Encarnacion went bonkers off the AAA Astros pitching.  But to quote the immortal Maury Ballstein, “what do we do when we fall off the horse?”

Please, blog, may I have some more?