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Tommy Milone

“For Kris Bryant‘s first game, can we have Steve Bartman throw out the first pitch and have a goat catch it? Or maybe we carry Bartman through the streets like a Muslim funeral and rip the clothes from his body. Yeah, go with the 2nd idea!” That was the recently fired Cubs PR guy. You know the billboard that announces the Cubs World Series win in Back to the Future II? I took a freeze frame and blew it up, noticing something interesting. It’s not exactly the dead ghost girl in the window of Three Men and a Baby, but I could’ve sworn I saw Kris Bryant’s face reflected in the billboard. I’d show you, but I threw it away by accident. Sorry! So, Kris Bryant is being called up and I don’t own him anywhere, but I do get a certain pleasure out of the Cubs calling him up just after the extra year of team control kicked in, er, kicked Boras in the nuts. In my projections, I had him down for 42/19/54/.256/3, but not getting called up until June 1st. Now, 30 homers is a legit possibility. I do think he could have a 30%+ strikeout percentage and hit below .240, but I’ll give him the highest compliment I can, I wish I owned him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Drew Pomeranz notched his first win of 2015 last night pitching seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and punching out six Mariners. You my boy, Drew! Not too long ago, Pomeranz was once a highly touted prospect with Colorado, children. Yes, believe it or not, the Rockies have pitching prospects just like every other team. It’s funny how an Oakland A uniform changes things. OakTown is the place to be if you’re a highly touted pitching prospect. In the club house, they feed you coconut water, fancy cheeses and all the extra foodie overflow from the SanFran yelpers. Also, warm towels and artisan breads. Pomeranz put up a more than respectable 2.35 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with 64 Ks in 69.0 IP (10 GS) in 2014. Yes, more please. How about that .244 BABIP last year? See where I’m going with this? Did I mention how he was a highly touted prospect? Why is he available in over 90% of leagues? If I were you, I’d live your life, watch then delete everything in your DVR, eat your favorite foods in your fridge and probably sleep with your girlfriend several times. I would also pick up Drew Pomeranz so when you return to your body you wouldn’t have missed your opportunity. DP gets the Astros next week and something tells me Pomeranz come up big this year. The A’s always have that one break out starting pitcher, right? Why not Drew? He was highly touted, people! So grab him before someone else does.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night (*Opening Week Edition*):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

How do you know if you’ve drafted a great pitcher? If his name is Clayton Kershaw or Felix Hernandez, you are on the right track. But what about everyone else that is not them? Well, in head-to-head points leagues, I like to look at points per start (PPS). This gives me an idea of approximately how many puntos (that’s spanish for points) I am going to get, and is often a factor in helping me decide which pitchers to both draft and start.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Alfredo Amezaga
David Eckstein
James Rapoport
Kenneth McNutt
Michael Demperio
Jarret Martin
Taylor Thompson
Aramis Ramirez
Mike Minor
Jason Stoffel
Christian Bethancourt
Patrick Schuster
Chris Owings
Keyvius Sampson
Robert Borchering
Chris Dwyer
Wil Myers
Al Reyes
Austin Wood
Jorge Reyes
Nestor Molina
Grant Green
Alex White
Tyler Matzek
Max Stassi
Brooks Raley
Johnny Hellweg
Ian Krol
Tomas Telis
Jonathan Villar
Elevys Gonzalez
Caleb Thielbar
Keith Butler
Shawn Griffith
Hisanori Takahashi
Dane de la Rosa
Reynaldo Rodriguez
Dustin Ackley
Ron Villone
Ryan Vogelsong
Johan Yan
Jose Flores
Kip Wells
Graham Stoneburner
Kyle Gibson
Jean Lucas Almanzar
Mike Leake
Stephen Strasburg
Brad Boxberger
Julio Rodriguez
Aaron Crow
Craig Wilson
Fabio Martinez
Donald Lutz
Mike Trout
Nick Franklin
Noel Arguelles
Jack Wilson
Jose Ramirez
Edgar Olmos
Juan Duran
Melvin Mercedes
Jacob Turner
Kevin Barker
Tyler Skaggs
Carlos Perez
Shelby Miller
Billy Hamilton
Tucker Barnhart
Matthew Oye
Sean Burroughs
Aaron Northcraft
Stephen Cilladi
Jose Iglesias
Ryota Igarashi
Aroldis Chapman
Bryan Morris
Ariel Pena
Randal Grichuk
Matt Long
Andrew Oliver
Rafael Martin
Omar Beltre
Alexi Ogando
Brandon Belt
Justin Marks
Tanner Scheppers
Kentrail Davis
Francisco Arcia
Jose Toussen
Hector Sanchez
Adam Eaton
Dennis Tepera
Adrian Nieto
Eury Perez
Alan Embree
Chris Heston
Jarred Cosart
Oswaldo Arcia
Roman Mendez
BJ Hermsen
Zack Wheeler
Erasmo Ramirez
Michael Tonkin
Brent Keys
Danny Ortiz
Adrian Salcedo
Danny Santana
Rafael Ortega
Marcell Ozuna
Chad Jenkins
Ramon Cabrera
Reymond Fuentes
Giovanni Soto
Nick Christiani
Zachary Heathcott
Edwin Escobar
Scooter Gennett
Gift Ngoepe
Aaron Loup
JR Murphy
Michael Ohlman
Domingo Santana
Tommy Joseph
Trevor Hoffman
Nicholas Struck
Daniel Rosenbaum
Robbie Erlin
Noah Perio
Zach Samuels
Rylan Sandoval
Eliecer Navarro
Carlos Contreras
Brooks Pounders
Daniel Fields
Ryan Beckman
Rhett Parrott
Greg Maddux
Miguel De Los Santos
Ryan Klesko
Wilfredo Tovar
Carlos Perdomo
Mark Kotsay
Rob Wort
Leslie Anderson
Mychal Givens
Jon Singleton
Adeiny Hechavarria
Sergio Espinosa
Todd Glaesmann
Taylor Jordan
Enrique Hernandez
Cheslor Cuthbert
Jorge Padron
Shawn Tolleson
Frederick Lewis
Yoervis Medina
Jason Marquis
Daniel Dorn
Preston Claiborne
Dallas Poulk
Mario Hollands
Stephen McCray
Jake Peavy
Hunter Morris
Rett Varner
Drew Hayes
Jeffrey Walters
Rocky Gale
Jake Petricka
Shawn Sanford
Ryan Fraser
Ryan Lipkin
Derek Dietrich
Jimmy Nelson
Ramon Morla
Cesar Hernandez
Cory Vaughn
Daniel Webb
Brett Tomko
Jeffrey Malm
Anthony Fernandez
Forrest Snow
Joshua Bowman
Ramon Vazquez
Rico Noel
Addison Reed
Chad Bettis
Juan Sosa
Scott Alexander
Joey Terdoslavich
Kevin Millwood
Adalberto Santos
Stephen Hunt
Chris Sale
Seth Rosin
Bryce Brentz
David Freitas
Ryan Tucker
Donn Roach
Wilfredo Gimenez
Zach Walters
Adam Liberatore
Robby Price
Carlos Perez
Edgar Duran
Telvin Nash
Zachary Thornton
Rob Brantly
Willie Bloomquist
Stephen Pryor
Michael Rayl
Cole White
Gustavo Pierre
Giovanny Urshela
Tyler Thornburg
Brian Baker
Jonathan Garcia
Kyle Roller
Nicholas McBride
Mike Olt
Robert Doran
Mike Cameron
Ryan LaMarre
Aaron Dudley
Red Patterson
Arismendy Alcantara
Jarrett Casey
Leonardo Reginatto
Jeff Cirillo
Drew Hutchison
Michael Blanke
Brandon Jacobs
Miles Head
Kelly Dugan
Trevor Rosenthal
Daniel Reynolds
Kyle Knudson
Shane Greene
Casio Grider
Ryan Franklin
Corey Dickerson
Dale Dickerson
Lane Adams
Freddy Garcia
Travis Ozga
Carlos Guillen
Tony Plagman
Josh Edgin
Joe Nelson
John Halama
Jake Dunning
Tyler Saladino
Mike Foltynewicz
Jurickson Profar
Jedd Gyorko
Todd Cunningham
Michael Mariot
Asher Wojciechowski
Cody Stanley
Rangel Ravelo
Adam Kolarek
Andrelton Simmons
Chasen Shreve
Ryan Casteel
Matthew Little
Jared Hoying
Kolbrin Vitek
Gil Meche
Tyler Burgoon
Darren Ford
Jamie Moyer
Kevin Johnson
Christian Bergman
Ryan Fisher
Joel Pineiro
Austin Hubbard
Christopher Wallace
Jeff Arnold
Scott Podsednik
Adam Duvall
Greg Garcia
Phil Gosselin
Jacob deGrom
Jake Buchanan
Steve McQuail
Timothy Adleman
Arthur Rhodes
Ryan O’Rourke
Barrett Kleinknecht
Chase Whitley
Ben Rowen
Darin Erstad
Horacio Ramirez
Rafael Soriano
Alfredo Lopez
Evan Gattis
Ichiro Suzuki
Kevin Shackelford
Michael Earley
Kevin Kiermaier
Rich Aurilia
Adam Melker
Barry Bonds
Mike O’Neill
Pedro Feliz
A.J. Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Alright Head-to-Headers and Weekly League players. This is more than likely the most important week of your season. You’re either kicking off the first round of playoff match-ups or you’re grinding out the last week trying to get that ever elusive playoff birth. Not to worry my peeps, the Legendary Lifshitz is back and ready to drop some two start pitcher science on y’all. In fact I’ll be taking over as your captain from here on out and into 2015. That’s right! I’m your 2015 Two Start Huckleberry! Think of me as the top prospect getting called up for roster expansions with an eye on the starting job next year. You know like Xander Bogaerts but less of a disappointment. Unless you’re my third grade teacher Ms. Schultz. Then I’m more of a disappointment. What can I say the women had high hopes.

As for the roster of Double dippers, it’s not bad. Lots of good streamers and ton of middle of the road options. I’ll try and focus a little more on the arms with lower ownership levels, knowing those are the guys you’ll be looking to for the extra counting stats to put you over the top. This is one of the most fun times to be a fantasy baseball manager. This is for those digging through the wavier wire looking for that streamer to get you into the dance, or that spot starter to help you lock down that swing category to get you into the next round of the playoffs, or even the roto owner looking to capitalize on the less savvy owners who hit their innings limits this week. May you use this as your guide good sirs! Unless you’re in a league with me, then I hope all your pitchers get shelled. Sorry but I’m in it to win it no matter the cost!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I thought Jay Bruce was a lock for 30/100 not dirty undies. Thirty-hundo not dirty-undies! All year Bruce Stinksteen has been behind “Born to Run” Billy Hamilton, Todd Frazier, who’s classically rocking out and Learning to Fly, and Devin “Is That Your Face Or Are You Wearing Wax Lips?” Mesoraco, who had a breakout season. And, here, Jay Bruce is less appetizing than sitting across from Bruce Jenner when it’s humid. Hard to know where the bottom is. Problem people find when speculating on stocks. Same problem with fantasy baseball. Yesterday, Bruce went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts while his team scored seven runs. He’s now hitting .218. But is that the bottom and he’ll turn things around in the final month? Or will he hit .150 in the final month and make you wish you owned some hot schmotato? The hell you say if I know. Depends a bit on your league, and I’ve been telling people to hold Bruce and wait for the turnaround, but if Steve Pearce or Adam Eaton or some other hot schmotato is on your waivers, I can understand moving on. Let Bruce loose, turnabout is fair play. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well that’s a new one. No player. Nope. Not giving you a pitcher. Ok, I kinda am. Sale is da bomb dot gov. But you don’t need me to tell you that. Unless, of course, you haven’t paid attention to this sport we call baseball for the last three years, then maybe you need my insight on the guy that coulda been AL Cy Young if it weren’t for a DL stint. And heck, I’m not even giving you a specific hitter. I’m talking fat stacks…or phat stacks if I were Chris Tucker and it was 1997. Remember when he was funny? Yeah, I don’t either…anywho, this was a theory discussed with a good friend who’s into the DFS game and who had a great take on the psychology of a baseball game. So when you’re the pitcher opposing a certified ace and aren’t really ‘on your game’, you’re gonna get like your GF’s panties get during that certain time of the month: spotty. And when you get spotty, you get dicey. And when you get you know what, I just can’t do the Direct TV commercial. It’s been done to death. The key thing here is recognizing that the other team and their opposing pitcher can get a bit intimidated going up against an arm like Sale. These types of feelings are hard to get around. An error here, a booted double play there…the big thing is, Baltimore and Bud Norris are in a bad spot for today and I plan on taking advantage. And speaking of Bud…gross. That’s both about the beer and the pitcher splits. Norris isn’t great at all at this point but away from Baltimore, he has a 4.55 ERA and a near doubled HR/9 rate at 1.28 away from the ‘friendly confines’ of Camden Yards. In particular, lefties have given him the most trouble with 6 HRs in 33.1 IP and a .354 wOBA. So if you’re against a huge stack, keep in mind Adam Dunn, Alejandro De Aza, and Conor Gillaspie when you’re building your rosters for the day.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I read a press release that Universal had greenlit the new buddy cop movie, Ham and Moobs, but I thought it was the usual PR stunt. When I heard they cast Kirsten Dunst as the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who would be helping take Josh Willingham from loner without a job in Minnesota to new heights in Kansas City, where she would be sneaking him onto a plane to go — surprise! — parachuting and slipping him into a cage of alligators to get over his fear of being eaten alive, I was hooked! That Dunst girl will annoy the pants off you! So, The Other White Meat moves to KC, and I hear the Royals made the trade simply by pressing this button. This doesn’t hurt Wilingham’s value, but it doesn’t necessarily help it either. He’ll be the majority shareholder of the Royals DH slot and could be good for a little pop here and there, but not worth owning in most mixed leagues unless he’s hot. This does open the way for Kennys Vargas to remain the Twins DH and I’m a big fan of his. Both of his. All the Kennys you got. Every one of them. Okay then. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Psyche! Before I get into today’s post, I have some news. The Guru vanished. No idea where he went. One moment he was on the Razzball tour, next moment he was talking to a group of bears dressed as swimsuit models luring him into their car. You also catch more Gurus with honey, apparently. I await the A. A. Milne book with Guru in the Pooh gang. Any the hoo! The Football RCL signups are still underway, but if you joined one of Guru’s leagues, you need to sign up for a new football league. Repeat, there will be no Guru leagues; he got in a Hyundai filled with masquerading bears. Anyway II, the roundup:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Just do it, you wuss. Yeah, she was probably hammered and will scream when she sees you in daylight, but you never know, the chick might actually like you. So pick up that phone and dial those digits she gave you. What’s that? It’s a number for a cat hotel? That sounds like an awful job … poor girl. Oh, the number was fake … gotcha. Well, that’s good because now you have plenty of time to play some DraftKings tonight, and better yet, you don’t even have to take a shower. You, my friend, are now living the DFS dream.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As I type this, I’m in a small, but expected depression as a disgruntled Mets fan living in Minnesota after today’s non-waiver trade deadline. In the middle of thermal packaging related activities, I saw deal and deal and deal swing by. All I get from both the teams that I follow most? A Kurt Suzuki extension. Oye. All that did was disgruntle me more, as I like Josmil Pinto quite a bit. I figured at least Bartolo Colon would get traded for some PTBL or a BoB (bucket o’ balls). Ah well.

On the other hand, if you’re a Tigers fan (I’m not a bandwagon A’s fan until the Mets are good, I decided today), you must be pretty excited. Drew Smyly wasn’t as dominating as a starter and Austin Jackson continued to short-come expectations. Instead you have an second ace, and can now appropriately consider Justin Verlander your number 3 or 4 or 5. [Jay’s Note: Or playoff closer?] Verlander has not been good, but he’s also been almost as unlucky as he’s been bad, or he’s hurt and isn’t saying anything/doesn’t know it.

July 1st, I noted the luckiest pitchers to date, but the one thing I didn’t do at that time was look at the pitcher’s luck/bad luck relative to their career rates. So for this post, for luck, I z-scored each pitcher’s luck stats relative to their career stats (homerun to flyball ratio, left on base% and BABIP). I weighed each z-score by the stats correlation to ERA. Therefore the luckies pitchers (using luck alone and excluding skill) as of 7/27 is: Josh Beckett, Jake Arrieta, Collin McHugh, Scott Kazmir, Garrett Richards, Zach Britton, Jordan Lyles, Drew Pomeranz, Dellin Betances, Alfredo Simon and Danny Duffy. Chris Young, Jason Hammel and Jesse Chavez (update: both Hammel and Chavez were rocked in their last start). However, this all excludes skill (contact rate, strikeout% minus walk% and ground ball to flyball ratio). Incorporating this, here are the actual luckiest pitchers as of 7/27:

Please, blog, may I have some more?