The best part of playing DFS this time of year? Having a horse in the race even if you don’t have a horse in the race. No more phoning it in from August 1st until the end of the season just because the team I drafted is out of it. Joey Votto, Jose Fernandez, and Prince Fielder. What could go wrong? With DFS, I get to draft a brand new team every day and therefore I am never out of it. Unless of course I put my life savings down on a cash game and lose. In which case I really am out of it. I thought the Generals were due! Today’s pitching play is Francisco Liriano ($9,500), who has re-rediscovered himself this season. While his walk rate is still high (4.3 BB/9) he is also sporting a nice K/9 of 9.6. Outside of the egg he laid against the Braves two weeks ago (7 ER) Liriano has been great. The Cubs are better with the arrival of some of their youngsters but Chicago still has the worst strikeout percentage in baseball against left-handed pitchers (25%) making them a nice matchup for Liriano.

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 check the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Sorry, I ran out of “solar energy” puns and “Cirque du Soler” was already taken by Keith Law, so I went with Seinfeld. As I write this, I am stripped to the waist eating a block of cheese the size of a car battery. [Jay’s Note: That’s hot.] We need to mention Jorge Soler (+91%) one more time though. His 91% increase in ownership was by far the highest jump this week. It’s also the highest increase I’ve seen since I started writing this trash/treasure waiver wire column. Soler continued to make the game look easy on Monday. Batting fifth for the Cubs, the 22-year-old outfielder went 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored. He has an extra-base hit in each of his first five games.

It’s not like we didn’t see this coming. Soler was a big sign for the Cubs but injuries hindered his development at times. Earlier this season was a good buy-low opportunity in dynasty leagues actually, as Soler did not even appear in some mid-season Top 50 prospect lists. In Triple-A, Soler had a similar August as fellow Cubs prospect Kris Bryant. For the month Bryant hit .274/.435/.579 with 8 homers and 19 RBIs in 117 plate appearances, while Soler hit .276/.364/.598 with 6 homers and 24 RBIs in 99 plate appearances. They are both 22 years old. It’s scary to think what this lineup could do if all the parts click. You shouldn’t need me or anybody else to tell you to go out and add him. Here are this week’s other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball…

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It’s September, and many fantasy owners have taken an all-hands-on-deck approach to their teams as they try to win their weekly matchups or gain ground in roto categories. With just about four weeks left, I’ll use this post to give you as much steals information as possible to help you make your roster decisions in weekly or daily leagues. I would strongly suggest using the new Pitcher Planner and Hitter Planner tools in addition to the regular Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron. There is also a SB vs. SP rate tool that provides some data specifically tailored to stolen bases.

While I find rummaging through leaderboards to be a pleasurable venture, that may not be the case for everyone. So without anything more from me, here are a few tables of data that you may find helpful and time-saving. Good luck down the stretch and may your steals be plentiful!

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September call-ups are almost upon us. Despite monster minor league numbers, it appears the Cubs are not going to add Kris Bryant to the roster. Bryant dominated in 2014, hitting an obscene .328/.438/.674 with 43 home runs, 114 runs, 102 RBIs and even 15 steals across two levels of the minors. I couldn’t hit that in Bases Loaded on my Nintendo. While the Cubs did promote Javier Baez and Jorge Soler to get their feet wet, they seem content to leave Bryant where he is whcih in turn makes him worthless to the prospect hounds in redraft fantasy leagues.

There are two sides to the situation. On one hand Bryant could be added to the roster which gives him some major league at bats and makes all of us fantasy owners very happy. On the other hand, the Cubs could give him the full year in the minors without having to drop anybody from their 40-man roster or start his clock. That clock is important, as Bryant being called up a month or two into next seeason could buy the Cubs another year of his services should he decide to become free agent when eligible. Bryant will be worth the wait, but that’s what we’ll have to do – wait. That leaves us to figure out who is worth a look this September. Assuming that the following players will all be called up, here are some of the names (along with their 2014 MiLB stats) that I think could help fantasy owners in redraft leagues this September…

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Call it recency bias. Call it trending stats. Call it your mom. I don’t care. The Rockies on the road are still ‘teh suck’. Earlier this week I told you to Leave It To Peav’er for similar reasons. If San Fran knew how to hit the ball and play defense, that call would’ve gone from decent to great. Well, and if Dave Eddings knew what the strikezone was or how to call a guy out at the plate. Seriously, ‘human element’ my heiney hole. The best day of baseball for me will be when I don’t have to hear about Joe West making a country album…because he’s Joe West the umpire. Go play for quarters at the local dive down in Nashville and get the eff off my diamond…wow, lost it for a minute there, where were we? Oh yeah, ‘teh suck’. That’s the Rockies on the road in a nutshell. Case in point? Collmenter spun a ‘gem’ last night, going 6.1 IP, giving up a mere 2 hits while striking out 5. Of course, the stats of others don’t tell you much about Vidal Nuno. So let’s dig in, shall we? Here’s the scoop: since being traded to the Diamondbacks, Nuno has a 3.54 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP, and a 3.5 K:BB ratio. The K per 9 is pretty middling around 7 per but did ya see the Collmenter line? Nuno is buried down near the bottom of the DraftKings pricing at $6,200, mixed in with Kyle Ryan (who?) and Chris Bassitt (what?!?) at the same price. Not sure why the price hangs around a couple of guys that even Razzball doesn’t have a player page for, but I’ll take any gifts I’m given. So let’s keep a vigilant watch out for the signs that an El Nuno is developing and I’ll see you down at Arizona Bay when it hits….PS! I’m not really here. Ok, I am still ‘here’ but I’m not there. Actually I am there. Man, this is getting complicated. I’m heading out on the road with Nick Capozzi for the Razzball #32in32in32 tour as it winds down. We’re hitting Chicago, Green Bay, Twin Cities, Kansas City, Saint Louis, and Denver. If you live in the area and wanna see just how big my eyebrows are in person, buy a ticket and find out. Come on, they don’t bite. Just keep a reasonable distance. All that said, if you comment the moment this post goes live, I’ll probably be flying over Gibraltar or something. I failed geography so that might be a tad off. Either way, Mike will be handling all your commentary needs so if the call is great, praise me and if it’s terrible, belittle Mike as much as possible in the comments. Cool, thanks. Now on with the DK show…

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!

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Jorge Soler arrived in the majors earlier this week like a gift from the fantasy baseball gods. Last night he went 3-for-3 with two more home runs and three more runs batted in. The 22-year-old from Cuba has come to the plate 12 times and already has seven hits, three homers, six RBIs, and a walk. Those are video game numbers and could carry a fantasy team through September. It hasn’t come out of nowhere either. Soler was always regarded as a good prospect even in the loaded Cubs system. Injuries and some makeup questions put a damper on his value earlier this year, but he quieted all that noise by raking for Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs are absolutely stacked with hitting and even if one or two of their prospects don’t reach their ceiling, they will still have more than enough firepower in that lineup. The scary part is that their players are all still so young. It’s a great time to be a Cubs fan, and a great day to be a Soler owner in fantasy. Let’s just hope he doesn’t go too bonkers in September so we can all still draft him on our teams for 2015. Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy baseball…

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This week’s hot add was Mike Fiers (+62%). The Brewers hurler has posted a 9.5 K/9 and a 1.8 BB/9 since filling in for Matt Garza in the Milwaukee rotation. The strikeouts are no fluke, as he posted a K/9 of 11.4 in Triple-A this season. While his FIP is a run higher than his current ERA and Steamer is projecting a 3.60 ERA from this point forward, Fiers remains a great pickup for the stretch run. It will be interestinge to see what Milwaukee does with their rotation when Garza returns since both Fiers and Jimmy Nelson have been solid in his absence. It’s likely that Nelson will be the odd man out and moved to the bullpen while Fiers remains in the rotation. He has certainly earned it. Fiers has won all four of his starts, striking out 32 batters in 28 innings and allowing only four earned runs. As some starters begin to see their innings limited or fade due to fatigue down the stretch, Fiers can help fantasy teams finish strong.

Here are this week’s other big adds and drops in 2014 fantasy baseball…

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The signing of Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo by the Boston Red Sox has everybody excited. Like other Cuban players, scouts were limited in the amount of looks they were able to get and so the information we have on him is somewhat limited as well. The one tool that is not in question is his speed. A 30+ steal season from Castillo is a possibility as soon as 2015. The power is still up in the air. Some have tagged him more as an 8-12 homer type guy while others have said 15 or maybe even 20 homers could be in the cards. With any player, we get lots of comps thrown around. Two of the comps I’ve heard the most are Shane Victorino and Rajai Davis. Honestly, the Davis comp makes the most sense to me. The money the Red Sox invested in Castillo shows how owners are more willing to take a chance on these guys after seeing the success of players like Cespedes, Puig, and Abreu in the majors.

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There are several aces on the mound today including Chris Sale, Max Scherzer, and Stephen Strasburg. If you’re looking for a value play Trevor Bauer is the man for the job. His last outing was a rough one, giving up five earned runs in just under five innings against the Twins. Today he’ll face the Astros and their 91 wRC+ against right-handed pitching which ranks 20th in the majors. Houston also strikes out a lot. In fact, only the Marlins have a higher strikeout percentage against righties. So while Bauer carries some risk compared to some of the other options today, he’s also one of the cheapest at $5,900. At that price you can certainly pair him with one of the more expensive aces. Bauer’s previous start against the Diamondbacks was eight innings strong with nine strikeouts. That’s the upside we’re gambling on, as Arizona’s wRC+ is only five points lower than Houston’s.

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! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to check the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
After a disappointing first half Norichika Aoki has really turned it on, resulting in a +46% spike in ownership which made him this week’s most added player. Most fantasy owners invested in the Royals’ outfielder expecting a high average, lots of runs scored, and a steals total somewhere in the twenties. But prior to the All-Star break, Aoki was hitting a ho-hum .260 with seven steals (four caught stealing) and only 36 runs in 306 plate appearances. On top of that he suffered a groin injury and was promptly released by many frustrated fantasy teams. The 32-year-old right-fielder’s recent play has made some of those same teams turn around and pick him right back up though. In his last eight games he has recorded eight runs scored, six runs batted in, and five steals. Regaining his role at the top of the lineup for the first-place Royals, Aoki should continue to see good counting stats moving forward. In leagues as shallow as ten teams Aoki is a worthwhile add during his current hot streak. Here are this week’s other big adds and drops in 2014 fantasy baseball…
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