Man, I have not watched a Braves game in a frog’s leap, but lemme tell you, Freddie Freeman takes batting seriously. It is no joke when he steps to the plate. First off, Too Close by Alex Clare is his walkup song. Not a bad choice to set a  dramatic tone. What happens is Freeman enters the batter box, takes a quick glance back at the catcher and umpire, as if he’s making sure they’re still there. Then he swivels his head around ever-so-slowly until it faces the pitcher directly, coming to a dramatic stop. After a quick smirk like he knows something you don’t, he assumes his batting stance and awaits to clobber the heck out of whatever you’re about to throw. Since breaking out big in 2012, Freeman has mostly repeated those numbers this year, albeit with a small amount of regression involved. Without an injury history to speak of, Freeman’s the kind of high-floor player that may not be able to win your league outright, but won’t prevent you from winning either.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Quick! Before Rudy completely makes my column obsolete with great new tools like the Hitter Planner, let’s get in another Lineup Maximizer. Sometimes there are players I want to highlight as pickups, but don’t have a game on Thursday, so they don’t fit the criteria for this article. Nate Freiman, the A’s regular at first when facing a lefty, is one such player. Over the past week, he’s been in Single-A Beloit because of arcane rules regarding MiLB playoffs and the September roster expansion. Despite that, Freiman is back with the big league club and will continue hitting the ball hard and being tall. Before the demotion, Freiman was 5 for his last 14, with three homers and five RBI. Alas, Freiman doesn’t play on Thursday so I can’t recommend him for the next stretch of games in when the A’s face three lefties in their next five. What a damn shame.

Anyhoo! Here’s who I can recommend for Thursdays games:

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#75 Robbie Grossman (L) – Hou – OF – @NYY (McCarthy-R) – 1:05 PM – 1% owned

The answer is… it doesn’t matter. You’re adding him to your fantasy lineup, not wining and dining the poor fella. As far as I’m concerned, the grosser the better.  I’d add two of him if I could on Thursday, when he squares off against Brandon McCarthy in Yankee Stahdium. Lefties hit cheapos there all the time, and as a lefty, Grossman is a decent bet to do just that. Overall, he has been pretty abysmal this year, but in the past week he’s been hot fire flames with a .308 average, one homer and five RBI. For what it’s Wuertz (what ever happened to that guy?), Hitter-Tron thinks there’s a 1-in-11 chance Grossman goes yard. Good luck finding another player available in 99 percent of RCL’s with those odds, Tom Dwan.

Here are a few more options for your streaming pleasure:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s mid August, which means it’s football season for everyone except those still in contention in baseball leagues (and those gracious, absurd souls that maintain high effort levels on out-of-it teams). The author of this piece confesses that he, in fact, is not one of them. Of the three leagues for which I drafted teams, only one –the one I’m currently in first– commands my honest attention.

But lemme tell ya, I really want to win that one league. Real bad. And I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you are in a similar spot in your league and can Relate. If we call Level 1 “Showing up to the draft” and Level 2 “Replacing injured players”, then I’m operating on like a Level 13 level right now. That means doing all the little things right like making sure I’m taking advantage of platoon splits, dropping fringe guys with unfavorable upcoming matchups (sorry Grady), and starting a guy in every spot on every night, every day of the week. That last part is what this column is all about, so let’s take a look at some of the lesser-owned hitters at our disposal this Thursday.

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The issue with writing for a site like Razzball, I’ve learned, is that you expend too much mental energy trying to come up with cute ways of saying everything. At least for those of us whose “written humor” is still somewhat of a work in progress, this is true. Needless to say, in just the past minute alone I’ve thought of so many dumb, unfunny ways of saying “I’m back!” that I’m embarrassed to share a single one, and will proceed as dully as possible. Yes, I’ve returned from my three week European extravaganza. There it is. Now instead of flirting with Australian chicks one year out of Uni in hostel bars, I’m back in the States ready to dispense you with the highest quality fantasy advice this country can offer. (You won’t believe how good German Grey is.)

In case you’ve forgotten or are just joining us here at LM for the first time, my goal is to highlight hitters to add for games on the short-slated days of Monday and Thursday. Filling out your lineup on these days is a basic tenet of fantasy leagues with daily moves and to be quite frank, you probably ain’t winning any titles in a competitive unless you put in the time to do this. Prior to my trip I posted here twice a week but that was before I packed my bags and got a soul-sucking office job, so now I’m going to synthesize those into one article that covers both days.

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There aren’t many things you need to know about me. However, when something in my personal life conflicts with my ability to provide you with unrivaled fantasy advice, then what’s my business becomes our business. Our business is that I’m in that glorious for some, and miserable for others abeyance between graduating college and commencing my tenure as an employed person. Instead of lamenting during this transitional phase, I’ll be spending the next few weeks on a Euro-trip beginning in Copenhagen and continuing through Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Munich, and Amsterdam [Jay's Note: Niiiiiiiiiiice.] before finally flying out of Paris July 9th. Needless to say, I likely won’t find the time to sit down and write one of these articles during this prolonged muck-fest. Hopefully you’ve gained the tools to maximize you’re lineups yourselves, because you are own your own the next month or so. If anyone has any advice for such a journey or any hotspots I should check out, feel free to share in the comments. [Jay's Note: Red Light District.]

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Money means time. Time is money. I don’t got much of either today, so I’m skipping the silly intro part that I’m convinced no one reads anyway. Don’t worry, my feelings aren’t hurt; I’m what you call a constitutionally strong person. That’s the opposite of a constitutional weakling, you know, the guy who has his night ruined after you tell him his shirt collar has been flipped up the whole time, and the next thing you know, your friendship is on the rocks and you’re sitting on a couch across from Steve Harvey talking about it. That won’t happen with me.

So, as Captain Tenneal would say, LET’S GO!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Tuesday, the Gods befriended my plans, making the only effect of scattered thunderstorms in the New York area a simple hour rain delay in the Yanks-A’s game. After that, it was a beautiful night for baseball. What began as an unexciting, low-scoring affair, ended in a thrilling come-from-behind, extra-inning A’s victory. Before the game, I was most looking forward to groovin’ to Josh Reddick’s walkup song “Careless Whisper”, and embarrassingly, it wasn’t until I was sitting in my seat and saw the lineups posted on the scoreboard that I remembered he was on the DL. No slow-dancing  for me tonight.

I highly encourage everyone to watch the full MLB video I linked to above about, what was at that time, Reddick’s new walk-up jam. For those of you who need the quick fix, here’s the payoff of the video.

From the professionalism of his attire, you get the sense he’s really letting loose in the moment. And then as soon as the music stops, his demeanor flashes instantly back to his normal stodgy self. This is purely speculation on my part, a modern version of the people-watch-and-invent-stories-of-their-lives game that can make any trip to a metropolitan area more interesting.

Anyhoo! Let’s get down to business with regards to Monday’s games…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I said in my last post I wanted to start off my articles with small discussions about this common game we play that bonds us. The people demanded, I deliver. Today, I want to talk about awareness. Being an aware fantasy manager. This means having some sense of what’s going on in your league, how the other managers are operating and how your general strategy compares.

Some of you, I’d bet, run your team like a horse wearing blinders during a race. While not always bad in horseracing, I would say this is decidedly a bad thing for a fantasy baseballer with title aspirations. This is because how you should optimally run your team is directly affected by how others are running theirs.

Right now, right this very instant, I encourage you to check out every roster in your league if you haven’t recently. At least the competitive ones. Indulge in a passing glance. I guarantee you’ll learn something that you will find interesting and in some way help you make better lineup decisions.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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