Who could forget our first visit over to Finnegan’s?! Grabbin’ a pint, singin’ some odes, and getting so sloshed we’re coming back for mo’!

As we saw in his first career start last year, Brandon Finnegan looked kinda blah to me. And after an early-season near no-hit bid against the Cubs, Finnegan’s effectiveness was a range from blah-to-awful. His walk rate was terrible especially next to an equally atrocious K-rate, and Finnegan could not be further off my radar. But suddenly some Ks started popping up with equally sudden success, which beat writers reported could be contributed to learning a change-up from Dan Straily. After heavily using what I’m assuming was a different change-up grip at the start of the season through his first 4 starts (close to 25% of the time), Finnegan then barely threw it 10% of the time over his next 21 starts . As I mentioned in that pitcher profile from last year, his change-up looked pretty below average and I’m guessing he more-or-less scrapped it from his main arsenal. But over his last 4 starts, he’s got an insane 35:8 K:BB in 25.0 IP with a 2.16 ERA. I obviously haven’t watched too much Finnegan, but I have added him in several of my leagues due to glowing reports on this new change-up (and of course, recent result), so I decided to profile him to see how it’s really looking. Here’s how he fared yesterday afternoon against the Bucs:

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REL baseball logo newWow, this is our penultimate league-wide post! In only one-and-a-half weeks, the first REL World Series will see its first pitch.

Even for the non-contenders, it’s September roster expansion time! A lot of prospects have gotten the call, and several big splashes have been made with the final FAAB dollars teams have remaining.

To the standings, and in the AL, what a push from The Tribe! After jostling with the Blue Jays the past few weeks, they took a commanding 11.5 point lead as scores wrapped this morning. The Blue Jays aren’t out of it yet though… In the NL, it’s been the Nats all along, who continue their dominance in the first year. Here’s how week 23 went down in the 2016 REL League:

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The gang is back together! With Grey surviving his weekend with Grandpa Albright, we talk a few of the new rookies on the block with rosters expanding like Yoan Moncada and Raimel Tapia. We then debate where Brian Dozier will rank next year and take a look at the second half HR leaders. I tried my best to trick Grey and have Jedd Gyorko count twice! Then we try out a new game of “would you stream me?” for pitchers down the stretch, and take a look at a few other streamer hitters for the final month. Here’s the latest edition of the Razzball Pod:

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REL baseball logo newDude, it’s September already?! This season has absolutely flown by… Talk about your cliche open! We say this every year, and I think I said this in a similar open… I’m at a lack of creativity during the grind!

With rosters expanding today, it should be a fun final 2-and-a-half-weeks of stashing as the non-competitors head into the offseason. For the races though – the AL is looking like it’s going to be a brutal finish! The Tribe take a 1.5 point lead this morning, after being tied with the Blue Jays yesterday. TIED at this point of the season! Out of control… Unfortunately the NL is less intriguing, with the Cubs continuing to make a little bit of noise, but not enough to really challenge the Nats. Here’s how week 22 went down in the 2016 REL League:

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The Razzball Podcast is back! And with the season nearing it’s final month, it’s time for a September Call-up Special! Joining me on the Pod today is Rappin’ Ralph Lifshitz and Michael Halpern from the Razzball Prospects Podcast to run through all the key potential Sept. promotees that are going to impact your fantasy squads down the stretch. We moan for Yoan Moncada, we groan for Josh Hader, and Michael does both of those and then some for Tom Murphy! We also run through some sleepers that could have a streaming impact in redraft leagues, including a few other Rockies bats and a hot new A’s pitcher. Here’s the latest edition of the Razzball Pod:

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So I’m taking us down yet another rabbit hole, into yet another JB’s-vanity-project-abyss. Although, since the last time this happened only two weeks ago, Alex Reyes made it into the rotation! He was only “OK”, and we’re not sure if he’ll be starting again for the next turn, but at least we were put on readiness!

Of course since I added this guy in the REL, I’ve been following Brock Stewart pretty intently this season. Maybe it’s because Brock is a common name we share! But really, it has to do with his under-the-radar ascension through the Minors this season. He’s dominated in the minor leagues with a 9+ K-rate, a BB-rate well under 2, including a 2.49 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 50.2 PCL innings, with a 9.59:1.07 K:BB in OKC. Overall, his MiLB numbers are a 1.68 ERA 0.86 WHIP in 20 starts, with 126:18 K:BB in 118 innings. And yet, no one seems to care about this guy since they want Jose De Leon! While many may be surprised Brock got the call yet again to spot start over De Leon with an opening in the rotation, logistically he’s on the 40-man while De Leon isn’t and there’s a roster crunch. But it’s not like Brock isn’t deserving! And he’s got pretty good stuff – 93-95 MPH fastball, hard slider, and a change-up that is oddly WAY slower than the heater at 81ish MPH.

Obviously, at the Major League level, things couldn’t be more of a polar opposite. Going into yesterday afternoon, his ERA was over 11 in two spot starts and one relief appearance. In that 3 innings of relief his last MLB appearance, he walked 4, or what would’ve been 22.2% of all the walks he’s thrown in the minors all year. Someone isn’t suited for the bullpen! And the two awful starts? One was a little unlucky with some BABIP hits @MIL, then a murdering @COL. Way to make a guy who progressed all the way from A-ball pitch in the two worst parks in the NL! So the start this afternoon, hosting the Cubs, is BY FAR his best matchup. Man, trial by fire! With Stewart so far off the radar, I am hoping that being pot committed and writing this open before the first pitch will cause some cosmic karma and help Brock throw a breakthrough game. Here’s how he looked:

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REL baseball logo newFinal update through August!  It’s hard to believe we have less than a month left in the REL regular season before our inaugural REL World Series.  Even though I couldn’t be further on the sidelines, I think it’s going to be a ton of fun to track and follow who can take home the first ever trophy (and $1,000!).

The NL side of things are getting moderately interesting with the Cubs on a little bit of a run and the Nats sinking a few, but it may be a case of too little, too late.  But things are stewing up right nice in the pressure cooker that is the AL!  The Tribe have stormed into the leading position over the Blue Jays, with both teams neck and neck in several categories which should make it a photo finish.  Should be a wild ride!  Here’s how week 21 went down in the 2016 REL League:

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We’re back atcha with a hot new Razzball show, where we first learn about Grey’s family lineage and why he has severe anger and ADHD issues.  Then we chat Yuliesky Gurriel‘s major league debut, Gary Sanchez on absolute fire, and how valuable my boy Keon Broxton can be ROS.  We then cast our MLB homeless folk band by looking at some interesting MLB player backstories, and Grey learns some vital information (apparently) about a Gin And Juice song. Then we wrap by talking some hot streaming hitters like Alex Gordon and Leonys Martin and some streaming starters that could help you down the stretch.  Here’s the latest edition of the Razzball Pod:

Note: And be sure to check out the latest Fantasy Football Podcast episode with special host Pod Vader (former ESPN producer) which covered BlogTalkRadio’s Expert League that Razzball is a part of!

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This weekend, I went to an Ikea for the first time. First of all – you are herded through the store on a specific path like you’re being herded alongside other furniture-buying sheep.

Bahhhhhh! That bottom left frame of Buster is about how I handle crowds like that…

Anywho, at the end when you pick your furniture to buy, it’s in this giant warehouse that makes the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark look like it’s in a studio apartment’s tiny closet. Ish is huge! And that giant warehouse is exactly how I used to look at starting pitching in my 10 and 12-team waiver wires through any given MLB season. Limitless streaming opportunities – sure some with more risk than others – but pretty much a starter widely available every night that I could feel decent enough with rolling out. Alas, it’s no more, with hitting making a comeback this season. Balls are juiced! And in that vein, I’ve been overlooking a lot of the “been there, done that” pitchers that have broken through, none worse than being slow to warm up to Danny Duffy. We’ve seen him have power stuff, but not hold up as a starter, getting meh K numbers in the process. This will anger people – but I saw him as a lefty Nathan Eovaldi coming into this year. Ouch! In more ways than one! But Duffy has been absolutely crazypants this season, vaulting all the way into my top-15 last week. And through this amazing run, he hasn’t even been blessed with a Pitcher Profile! This changes now! Here’s how Duffy looked yesterday afternoon against the Twinkies:

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REL baseball logo new20 weeks into the season! Damn it’s flown by. As has our Trade Deadline which didn’t quite have the fireworks of the MLB Trade Deadline, but I think that’s because we all manage our teams smarter than MLB GMs. Why wait until staring down the barrel of a gun at 2:45 at a 3:00 PM deadline to make a deal; you know you need something, make it happen to help your team earlier! My Brewers did that for CC Sabathia, and we needed every ounce outta the big guy! Just like he needed every ounce out of the kegerator…

Not much going on in the standings with the Nats and Blue Jays still leading, but The Tribe continue to be knocking on the door in the AL after making several trades the past month. Let’s see if they can build on the Cavs success! Here’s how week 20 went down in the 2016 REL League:

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