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?
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Houston’s 32-year old Cuban rookie Yulieski Gurriel was 2-for-4 with his first stolen base Friday night. Or is it Guerriel? Gourriel? Don’t worry about spelling his name correctly, the media sure doesn’t–what’s important is Friday’s two hit night capped off an impressive week for the third baseman where he hit .321 with four runs, two home runs and drove in five runs. Debuting at the end of August, Yulieski got off to a slow start after struggling with a mild hamstring injury, but that looks to be a thing of the past and he’s now hit safely in his last six games, and has homered in two of his last three games. Players like Yulieski require praise, they demand it. As soon as manager A.J. Hinch let him know he was a good Gurriel, and started rewarding him with treats (he really likes Combos) Yulieski turned it on. Atta Gurriel! Yes, you are! Who’s a good Gurriel? You arrrre! Yulieski was less than impressive during his short minors stint (.250/.262/.429 line with two home runs and 14 RBI in 15 games), but he bat .500 with 15 homers in 50 games in Cuba last year which is a about as good as it sounds, so there is little doubt our boy is major league ready. Did you read Grey’s Yulieski Gurriel fantasy? I read it while conducting a scientific tasting of all the different Combos flavors. Pepperoni pizza won in a landslide. Lord Byron Buxton will be the hot-shot rookie pick up of the week, and by all means, if he’s available grab him, but Gurriel could be a nice add if you lost the Buxton sweepstakes, and he’s still out there in over 80% of leagues. I’d own him in any league where wanted to win. Yulieski can do it!
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
No, this is not a cheerleading move that requires an upside down split at the top of a human pyramid or some new fangled dessert menu item. Instead, it is a much less exciting and tasty occurrence with the pitchers throwing in Coors tonight. Typically, the intro paragraph is a great place to layout the best value of the day. Specifically, the best value pitcher of the day. Today however, it’s going to be used as a blanket statement to avoid stuffing my picks below with a ton of Yankees and Rockies hitters. Thanks to continuous interleague play (which I really can’t stand) we get a fun, little two game home and home between the Rox and the Yanks. Tonight will be game two of the Coors field showdown, which means all your Yankee starters should be good and used to the elevation and ready to drop a ton of fantasy points on poor Chad Bettis. At first glance you might think to load up on all the lefty bats the Yankees have. If you dig into Bettis’ stats a bit, though, you’ll notice that for his career (and this season) righties have actually hit him for a better average and a higher slugging percentage (.110 points higher to be exact). Some sneaky, against the grain plays might be Rob Refsnyder and Starlin Castro in the middle infield. On the other side of the rubber will be Ivan Nova who, believe it or not, also has some reverse splits going on. For his career, his platoon splits are about even, with an ever so slight nod to the righties. If you just take a look at this year so far you’ll see a .100 point uptick in OPS for righties vs. lefties. This is very rare for a right handed hurler and it’s worth noting. Most DFS players will blindly follow left/right match-ups when making a lineup decision. While it may not matter it what could be a typical Oprah-style showdown at Coors (“You get a homer, you get a homer, you get a homer…) it could also be a nice little edge for those keen enough to do some digging. Mark Reynolds and Nick Hundley may be avoided by many and could turn a nice profit tonight. Let’s see what else is cooking with today’s picks:
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 June 20th 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?
Well, it finally happened, the long wait is over. Wait a minute, this isn’t right at all. It’s only been three years since the Dodgers signed, a then 16 year old, Julio Urias and we haven’t stopped hearing about him since. The comparisons to fellow Mexican Dodgers hurler, Fernando Valenzuela, might be getting a bit ahead of ourselves. Will there be Juliomania? Perhaps, but there will also be innings limits, pitch counts and who knows what else. What we do know is that at $7,600, Julio is going to be an extremely popular option on DraftKings tomorrow night. There’s a strange phenomenon that people enjoy picking players based on games they plan on watching. During the football season you’ll find slight ownership bumps from SNF and MNF players for this very reason. It makes sense, people want to see their players perform. I imagine there will be many eyeballs on the Dodgers @ Mets game tonight and a heavy dose of Urias as a result. Knowing this will be the case, the prudent move would be to fade Urias all together. The Mets are favored with deGrom taking the hill at home after all. Can you really resist the temptation to have a piece of what might be a magical debut? It’s OK, I probably can’t either, I’ve got at least have small share of the 19 year old lefty. Let’s see who else there is to choose from tonight:
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.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Where do you hide your stash? Over the years I have used such hiding places as my original Nintendo Entertainment System (where you put the cartridge in), inside one of my Bauer ice hockey gloves (masks any odors) and in the back pocket of the pants of my homemade Cobra Kai outfit. However, the most important part about hiding your stash isn’t necessarily where you actually hide it, but instead, actually remembering where you hid it. And the key to remembering is based on your “state of mind” when you hid it. I’m pretty sure I just blew through my allotment of commas. If you’ve never spent hours searching for a stash, or stumbled upon a stash weeks later, you’re a better man than I. As for Grey, he hides his stache in plain sight, right on his face. That’s how cool he is!Please, blog, may I have some more?
I can imagine what Juan Nicasio season long owners are feeling right now. First week was straight gravy with some poutine hiding underneath. Next week? Heart attack with a cliffhanger heading into week 3. This shizz is like Knots Landing and I don’t even know what that show is! Either way, drama central is going on and we out here in DFS land be like okay, okay, Childish Gambino style. That’s the beauty of the Daily Fantasy life: No Ragrets. Or better put, no memory. I don’t care that Juan was terrible in his last start. It happened in Detroit against a stacked Tigers lineup. Back at home in the NL against a good but shaky Brew Crew lineup, I’m willing to take a gamble on Juan at his low end price of $6,100. Why? Pitchers that Ray Searage has salvaged include but are not limited to: AJ Burnett, Francisco Liriano, and JA Happ. So you can write the other two off as bouncebacks but Happ? That’s straight voodoo magic, brosephs, and I’m not about to start a Salem witch trial against this good man. So step into my humble abode as we put Juan in our SP2 spot and forget about it for the day. But what should we do with our SP1 spot, you ask? Well read on. Here’s my telenovela hot taeks for this Sunday DK slate…
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 subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last week I joined a league called The Devil’s Rejects. You’ve probably seen posts on this league over at FanGraphs recently. In fact, it must have subconciously rubbed off on me because that is a very FanGraphsy title. Rejects is a 20-team dynasty with 45-man rosters where we keep 28 forever. It’s full of industry talent from sites like FG and Baseball Prospectus. Razzball’s own J-FOH has a team and we’ve already made our first trade with no blood, sweat, or tears spilled. The squad I took over was one that had cycled through a couple of owners in the previous two or three years. So yeah, it’s a bit of a project. But the point of this post is that there’s one name on this roster I have absolutely no idea what to do with, and I’m wondering if other dynasty geeks out there are faced with the same problem. It’s Shohei Otani, the Japanese pitcher who’s tearing it up in the NPB.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, I was watching the Twins game and I fell asleep and had a dream that Razzball’s Twitter account got one of those blue check marks. I’m not sure what this says about my fantasies, but it says something about Tyler Duffey and the Twins. They lack a certain je ne sais Michelle Kwan. The Twins seem to do this on purpose. Very workmanlike. Like a Minnesota woman who would handily beat me in an arm wrestling match. Pun noted. I’ve never been to Minnesota, but I picture the women looking like Jesse Ventura when he used to wear feathers in his hair and leotards. As with just about every Twins pitcher since Radke, minus Liriano and Johan, Duffey is yet another Twins hurler that has solid control and okay, not great strikeouts. Yesterday, he went 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 7 Ks vs. the Tigers, and had a 2.53 ERA in Triple-A with a 7 K/9. I don’t see any huge upside here and is better in real life, which apparently the Twins play in. The Stream-o-Nator hates his next start, but I would start him if I needed to gamble. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Back in my physical prime — not like that means much — I ran cross country, among other sports. As is the case with almost any distance running, you would pace yourself somewhat until the last 200-300ish meters or so, then you’d sprint for the “kick” this meaning pretty much a dead sprint to the finish line. Similarly, the saying “the baseball season isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon” may be well and true in the April and May, but with five weeks remaining, it’s time for the kick, sometimes meaning you need to kick injured players to the curb.Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Who is the Dodgers ace?” asks the Fox Sports newscaster in Los Angeles, after the special report on “Where are the stars shopping for their Emmy gowns?” and “Juicing? Is it good for you?” and “A high-speed pursuit ends in an In-N-Out drive-thru,” and “Actresses over 24 years old may not be washed up after all,” and “Shopkeeper puts up sign to ‘Vote Republican’ and gets looted.” So, who is the Dodgers ace? On Saturday, Clayton Kershaw went 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners with 14 Ks, ERA down to 2.68. My Magic Eight Ball says this is the year the Dodgers hop on Kershaw’s back, march through the playoffs and justify every crackers move Mattingly’s done in his managerial career. Sometimes knowing the future really bums me out. Not to be outdone, on Sunday, Zack Greinke went 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners with 11 Ks, and lowered his ERA to 1.30. Soon he won’t be able to lower his ERA anymore (math is my strong suit). I’m totally done doubting Greinke…or am I?! No, not the ellipsis reversal! Ah! As I ranked in the top 100 for the 2nd half, Kershaw is way above Greinke in terms of, well, everything. Greinke is also not a 1.30 ERA pitcher, but no one really is, except maybe Kershaw. Greinke is definitely a number one though; this isn’t all luck. He has a 8+ K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and 3.05 xFIP, which is essentially nice, aw sooky, nice. A “nice aw sooky” sandwich, if you will. Then there’s the fact that Greinke hasn’t allowed a run in 43 2/3 IP. Orel Hershiser doesn’t scoff at that, maybe he yawns, then does a small double take when no one is looking. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?