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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Join us once more for our smooth dulcet tones on the Razzball Baseball Pod, where we catch up on the sexy, pinstriped Yankees callups where everyone digs the long ball, double-digit K performances, and where to value Alex Reyes in 2017 if he opens the season in the rotation.  Then we wrap up the show by looking at league leaders, and find some surprising little nuggets with BABIP and K/9 leaders.  Here’s the latest edition of the Razzball Pod, now with more baking!

(And be sure to check out the newest episode of our Fantasy Football Podcast here!)

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So, I’m going to do something a little different today. I’m just gonna throw out the reason why right off the bat: I’m selfish and lazy. That’s what mid-August baseball talk is all about!

As part of my rebuilding efforts in the REL – well, I should say, my main anchor in my rebuilding efforts – I got Alex Reyes to hopefully be my staff stopper. I mean, have you SEEN the Brewers rotation?! Yikes. With some control issues and a pretty bad ERA in AAA, I wasn’t too surprised to see a fantastic arm like Reyes get the call-up anyway as a bullpener. This had been speculated upon all season – the Cards did this with their major prospects in Adam Wainwright and Carlos Martinez – so we’re not getting a big shock. And with Reyes called up at the same time as Luke Weaver, it appears they might piggyback each other for the foreseeable future. But Reyes clearly, CLEARLY looks like a dominant starter that’s about ready. After seeing his debut inning last Thursday night where he hit 101 twice, I’ve been eagerly awaiting an encore. Here’s how Reyes looked in his 2nd-4th career MLB innings Saturday afternoon at Wrigley:

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REL baseball logo newWell, on the heels of the real-life Trade Deadline, we are now faced with the REL Trade Deadline looming this Sunday.  We’ve started seeing a huge influx of trades as team build for the final stretch or rebuild for the future.  You know the saying “the future is now”?  Things couldn’t be further from the truth for my REL Brewers!

To the teams that are actually good, and we’re starting to see runaways in both leagues.  In the AL, the Blue Jays are migrating to the top of every category, and in the NL, the Nats have already lived there.  Looks like the initial REL World Series will be the 1 Canadian team vs. the 1 former Canadian team.  At least things are going better for the ol’ US of A in the Olympics!  Here’s how week 19 went down in the 2016 REL League:

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The Razzball Baseball Pod is back, and on today’s show we learn about what Grey is going to do in retirement – antiquing – and talk big performances from the past week. We debate the relative safety of Joe Musgrove ROS, where Danny Duffy will rank amongst SP next year, and if Manny Machado is still a first rounder with no steals. Speaking of SAGNOF, we discuss some waiver adds like Travis Jankowski, Keon Broxton and Cesar Hernandez. Grey is also sure to share with us his Wikipedia editing prowess. Here’s the latest edition of the Razzball Pod, now with more citations!

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As we’ve seen countless times, a logjam in a starting rotation never ends up being a hurtle. At first, the Astros were seemingly cutting out Lance McCullers with boring vets like Doug Fister and Scott Feldman, the latter who has really not worked out as a starter… Feldman was throwing some good RP innings though, before they dumped him north of the border… Anyway, with McCullers’ elbow barking, it opened a spot for Joe Musgrove to step right into the rotation.

I’ve been thinking back; has there been a more exciting SP debut for a guy coming out of the bullpen at first? 4.1 innings coming in for the injured McCullers with 1 hit, 1 walk, and 8 Ks and a Jose Fernandez-esque fiery presence from Musgrove. Brian McCann will be a big baby whenever the Yankees face him… 8 strikeouts has to be close to a record for an MLB debut out of the bullpen (broadcast tells me it tied the record, nice work Astros broadcast!)… I guess without the clear opening through the season, it dulled the fantasy love for Musgrove, who had a crazy 10.25:1.03 K:BB in AA and 8.69:1.07 in AAA. Makes Phil Hughes look wild! Although, throwing Phil Hughes’ name in here isn’t exciting anyone… Hopefully a good outing and sexy GIFs will do that! Here’s how Musgrove looked yesterday afternoon in his first career MLB start:

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REL baseball logo newThe Trade Deadline hath come and gone!  And thankfully, while there was a huge amount of trades, we got through the deadline with minimal confusion and dissent.  It’s a lot to buy into that you lose & gain players in AL -> NL trades.  But alas, I think we’ve shown the league can work.

Speaking of working it, how about the Indians on the trading block?!  They’ve made 4 trades I think it is in the past week, as they gear up for the stretch run.  I think for next year I’ll have a trades section as well for these updates, but I’m lazy for now!  The Tribe are still chasing the Blue Jays and the Orange Birds in the AL, while the NL is still a snoozefest as the Nats walk all over everyone.  Here’s how week 18 went down in the 2016 REL League:

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Special Edition Podcast Alert! On today’s show we cover all of the big trades in this week’s trade deadline: Jonathan Lucroy, Matt Moore, Andrew Miller… But let’s be real… We’re all here for B-Real! Grey sits down with the Cypress Hill legend to talk, well, lots of ganja. Grey was super lucid for the interview, that’s for sure! Hey at least Grey didn’t ask him about Madonna… Grey’s becoming a master podcaster by the day! Here’s the latest edition of the Razzball Pod:

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I was all about some of that young prospect snell early in the season, ranking Blake Snell within my top-75 preseason ranks. He destroyed the Minors in 2015, then was a little iffy when he hit the Majors for the first time. HE’S AWFUL FOREVER! As we see 95% of the time, initial failure means a prospect is forgotten, even if they start putting up solid numbers a month or two later.

And such was the case for Snell, who had a 3.86 ERA over his first 5 starts (passable), but a horrific 20:15 K:BB and a WHIP close to 2.00. He’s no Trevor Rosenthal! That aforementioned success in the Minors came with some control issues as well, so it stood to reason he might need a little more refinement. On top of that, I watched a few of his starts and his stuff looked a little too “loopy” for me. I have no idea if that makes sense… But it looked like a lot of huge rolling movement, with nothing crisp, ala a Corey Kluber or Jake Arrieta cutter. Just very bendy.

Things have gotten a lot better lately though, with a 24:11 K:BB heading into yesterday’s start against the Yanks in 24 innings. As such a highly regarded prospect and with good pure stuff that I think just needed that little extra “umpf” of crispness, I bought in heavily across my leagues and in last week’s ranks. But I figured it would be a good idea to see for myself if his breaking stuff looks a tad better than when I saw it in his 2nd and 3rd starts. Here’s how he looked:

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