So if you hadn’t noticed, Nelson Cruz has been occupying the top spot (until yesterday) on our Player Rater for quite a while now. For the season, he’s hitting .303/.374/.636 with 21 home runs, 42 runs, and 55 RBI’s. In other news, what is up is down, and I’ve already made an appointment with the Catholic church to seek what our options are for exorcism. Afterall, this isn’t the only strange thing happening in the year of the Tommy John, aka year of Closermageddon, aka year of the Nelson Cruz. I can only surmise that the fantasy baseball gods are trolling us. How do I know this for sure? Anyone see what Lonnie Chisenhall has done? I rest my case.

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…And by “IBS”, I don’t mean irritable bowel syndrome. In this context, I mean BABIP verified by ISO and Spd scores. Two things induce my real life IBS: nutrition, and my high impact dynasty leagues. Consider this series your dynasty IBS treatment.

BABIP has little face, so I use ISO (isolated slugging) and Spd (FG’s speed score) to verify the BABIP.

Check out Part 1 of this series where I delved into Trois-A assets. While Joc Pederson and Gregory Polanco naturally lead the rankings in conjunction with Quad-A guys like Andrew Brown and Chris Dickerson, I pointed to some translatable future impact in Chris Taylor and Domingo Santana, among others.

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It’s been pretty well written about that a top tier starter is the way to go in Draftkings. There’s some really, really, really, really nice, sexy, and really pretty expensive options out there in Mad Bum, Waino and Klubes. I like them almost as much as I like looking at myself in the mirror. There’s a potential bounce back, former ace candidate in Verlander who can remove his underwear without removing his pants. He should turn it around soon… But I’ve been working on my humanitarianisms and I am going to say that I like the stacks of hitters out there today even more than my reflection. It’s nice to a have pitcher who pitchers really good. I’m a fan of pitchers who look and pitch really good. But today, I’m deepening myself and taking a tour of “A Center for Hitters Who Can’t Read a Lefty Pitch So Good.” It’s my newest attempt at beautifying the future children of America.

Many of you may say that I’m punting pitching here. That’s a lie! I see beauty in these matchups. Vidal Nuno isn’t good, but he pitches solely with his left hand which is customary practice in some parts of the world. Did I just confuse his pitching with ass wiping? That’s actually normal if you’ve seen him pitch, but if you’ve seen the Mariners face a LHP then you know he’ll only need one square to get the job done. Pitching in the Mariners home park he’s a Safeco bet to give you a quality start and rack up some Ks. He’s a thrifty, nifty choice today at $6,200.

There’s some beautiful matchups out there today to exploit and we’re stacking across the board. If you haven’t given Draftkings a try, today’s a good day to play. First shot at winning real cash is on the house if you use this link. I got some more nice plays for you to check out, but don’t ever, EVER forget to pay homage to the DFSBot and his parents Stream-O-Nator and HitterTron.

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Alert the trolls!  Plaster up the bulletins under the bridges!  Because I’m biased.  I hate the Cardinals.  They’re just so good against my Brewers!  And yeah, that’s pretty much all I got… Ummm, also… because McGwire did steroids?!  Yeah that doesn’t work from a Brewers fan… Ummm, because Lance Lynn is a porker and dominates us every time out?  Dammit, Wily Peralta is listed 5 pounds heavier!  I have no rational basis…

And with said caveats, I’ve never been a Jaime Garcia fan.  I actually picked him up in that redonk rookie year in 2010, and sold him mid-season which didn’t really work out.  As he returned from a rash of shoulder injuries plaguing the past few seasons, he was further off my radar than the Red October.  Can you believe he’s never had a WHIP under 1.30 in ANY Major League season?  And that includes only 9 starts last year and 10 appearances in 2008.  Then after seriously considering him for my top 100 SP ranks last week, he got rocked at KC Tuesday.  But followed it up with a gem yesterday at Toronto!  What is going on here?!  I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!  So I decided to break down Sunday’s start and re-address my ill-conceived biases – and Garcia – for this week’s re-ranks:

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Gerrit Cole, one of the better young pitchers in the game, landed on the DL Sunday with “right shoulder fatigue”.  What does this mean for the Pirates?  Well, they have been playing much, much better of late, and this is gonna put a wrench in their chances of making a run at first place in the division.  Yes, they are still eight games back, but with Gregory Polanco likely getting called up this week, if they had a push in them, now was the time they were going to have to make it.  Instead, 2013 All-Star Jeff Locke, who was so bad post-break that he finished the year in the minors, will fill the void left by Cole and his 6-3 record.

Fantasy baseball owners are also going to be affected by this.  The Pirates hope Cole will only miss one start, but this sounds like it could develop into a multi-week recovery.  Concern arose when Cole, who normally throws in the 95-98 MPH range, was showing decreased velocity in the mid- to-late innings of games.  Assuming the Bucs fall further out of contention, the team will be in no rush to bring back their 23-year-old stud.  For what it’s worth, the Reds’ Tony Cingrani landed on the DL in May for the same reason (left shoulder fatigue) and missed just the minimum time, but he hasn’t been good at all in the weeks since.  For now, fantasy owners will just have to stash Cole on their DL and hope for a speedy recovery.

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I already went over my Danny Santana fantasy three weeks ago. But forget SAGNOF, Daniel Santana was an offensive machine this weekend! Leading off for the Twins on Saturday, the 23-year-old went 4-for-5 with a double, five runs batted in, and his fourth steal of the season. Need more? He’s eligible as a shortstop and an outfielder. His defense hasn’t been all that great in the outfield, but he could continue to see reps at both center and shortstop even when Morales is ready to DH. Santana is now 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts in just 72 plate appearances. He’s also hitting .373 with a .408 on base percentage. While it won’t last, he’s worth a look while he’s hot if you need a short-term spark. He’ll face the Blue Jays and the Tigers this week. Both teams are in the top ten in baseball for stolen bases allowed… we call that a green light special.

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No, I don’t mean save your actual money – that should be used for DraftKings purposes. If you’re new to the game, don’t be scurred. Use our promo link to get the ball rolling, and you’ll get a free contest ticket that could ultimately land you $100K – that’s a lot of cheddar. I’m talking about saving your Monopoly money and avoiding the pricier SP options like Stephen Strasburg ($11,400) and Garrett Richards ($10,200). The home/away splits for Stras have been downright scary for over a year (no stats – just trust me), and Richards was nuked the last time he faced the A’s just over a week ago (5 ER in 0.2 IP).

So, with that being said, let’s take a look at some guys that should stuff the stat sheet tonight. By all means, if you don’t like what you see, there are always Razzball’s kick-ass DFS tools like Hitter-Tron, Stream-o-Nator, and DFSBot to help aid in the decision process. Side note: You won’t see me referencing wOBA as much as other writers. I’ve got nothing against it, but I feel SLG% correlates better with DK’s scoring structure. Therefore, I remain an OPS guy – my two cents.

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With a quarter season of jamming and cramming behind us, it may be time to start taking some serious inventory. No, not a fearless moral inventory, that’s 12-step talk and I ain’t no quitter – just ask my liver. I’m talking about taking an honest look at where your team is good and where it absolutely sucks donkey dongs*. We have enough data behind us now that we know Matt Kemp is actually Milton Bradley in disguise, Billy Butler needs a mansiere (It’s called The Bro!), Jedd Gyorko is more myth than man (and mercifully on the DL), Troy Tulowitzki is really good at baseball, and Nelson Cruz can hit a ball a long way with or without his juice. Now I’m not saying to go and blow up your team and drop Dustin Pedroia  because he has just two more homers than the late Johnny Pesky this year. What your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru is pulling on your coat about here is that it’s time to drop the dead weight wasting away on your bench for some fresh meat that could save your fantasy season. I’ve played this fake game long enough to know that we have about two weeks to go until disgruntled owners completely abandon their teams for fantasy Cricket which cuts down on our trade options, but increases our chances of moving up the leader board. It was around this time last year that I bailed on Josh Rutledge and Jason Heyward for Jean Segura and Dominic Brown. I eventually traded them off for Ian Desmond and Hunter Pence. That worked, and all the cash and glory (and glory holes) were mine. Let’s scour the waiver wire for players owned 50% or less in most leagues and see if we can discover some riches for our bankrupt roster. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

*Donkey dongs is a technical sabermetric term taught at Mathew Berry’s Fantasy Baseball College for the Criminally Insane.

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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…

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I didn’t think this was going to turn into my ode to the Beastie Boys this week, but as fate would have it, it did. Brock Holt has been a beast(ie) of late, but his ownership has barely budged (6.8%). This rap of nonsense has nothing to do with Mr. Holt, but the title worked for me. I’ll be honest, the creative juices are a little low over here. Have you heard some of these lyrics – “beer drinking, breath stinking, sniffing glue, belly fullin’ always illin’ , bustin’ caps” Huh? What? Maybe it isn’t that far off because Brock Holt doesn’t make sense to a lot of people either. But what does make sense is you need to hold on to Holt if you own him and grab him if you don’t. In a league I’m in with our resident Orgeonian Sky, he quickly scooped up Brock to fill in for the injured Nolan Arenado two weeks ago, and I thought he was a puffing penguin. When I saw this I was head scratchin’ a little bit. Who is this Holt kid? Why hasn’t he been plastered all over the place like every other Red Sox prospect that has a sliver of talent? Why do I ask myself all these questions?

Please, blog, may I have some more?