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?

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Felix Hernandez ($12,300) takes the mound against the Rays at the Trop today. He’s an expensive but worthwhile starter against a team that hasn’t exactly been an offensive powerhouse this season. While the Rays have only struck out at a 17% clip against right-handers, King Felix has been as good as they come. A 9.00 K/9 coupled with a BB/9 under 2.00 and a 53% ground ball percentage are real pretty peripherals. Throw in the 0.30 HR/9 (3rd lowest in the majors) and I can’t see the Rays solving him. They didn’t exactly pound rookie Roenis Elias yesterday, either. Clayton Kershaw is the other big money play at pitcher, but I’ll lean away from Coors Field for over $12K.

If you are new to DraftKings, use our promo link to get started. New players that click on that link will get a free contest ticket with a first time deposit (only new users eligible). The winner of the contest gets entry into our $500k Showcase with a $100k top prize. Also, if you haven’t tried the DFSBot via Rudy, check it out: it compares projected values to actual DFS prices for the day. Here are some of today’s other picks for DraftKings contests on 6/8/2014…

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As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

What do you think the Stream-O-Nator looks like? I imagine it resembles Dr. Theopolis, the little circular faced thing that hangs around Twiki’s neck on “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”. Dr. Theo was basically a robot on a robot, only he was the smart one and he kind of relied on his dumb robot friend to get him around. Is it possible that Stream-O-Nator hangs around Hitter-Tron’s neck? Would that make Stream-O-Nator a blow-up doll of sorts?

These questions probably couldn’t and shouldn’t be answered, but one thing I do know is that Stream-O-Nator cannot detect signs of life. Because if it could, it would be able to go in and perform the baseball equivalent of an electrocardiogram on the Philadelphia Phillies and come back with something very close to a straight, flat line. This is especially true at Citizens Bank Park, where it’s almost worse than a road game in terms of boos and pressure from a fan base that’s about to go for a group swim off the Ben Franklin Bridge.

And if Stream-O-Nator could do this, it would know that the first of Ian Kennedy’s two starts next week should be a cake walk. Yes, CBP is a bandbox, but no, the older Phillie bats won’t be able to catch up with Kennedy’s lively fastball, nor will bewildered youngsters like Domonic Brown, whose swing is so jacked up that play-by-play guys with manboobs who never played the game are dissecting the various hitches that have him down near the Mendoza line.

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I think any one of us that spent their 20’s seeking inebriation and adventure had to deal with their share of Sausagefests. You know the ones where your buddy did a great job of collecting all of his brethren to come over on a Saturday night and play Beirut, pound brews, and act like the cocky jerkwads we all are. The problem with these casual get togethers was always the same. Said friend, let’s call him Fred, overlooked one major component of any good college party. Girls! No one wants a 5 to 1 pee-pee to va-Jay-Jay ratio, not even the va-jay’s. Because the bottom line issue is no one wants to spend all night competing for the attention of the same 6 girls. It leads to redundancy and an overall lack of what we all seek, adventure. The same is true for Draftkings. I think we’ve all had nights where the pitching options are thin. Nights where there’s one Clayton Kershaw and a whole crap ton of Felix Doubront’s and Francisco Liriano‘s. On these nights it makes it incredibly difficult to break away from the pack in GPP’s because there’s not enough quality options to put your faith in and dollars behind.

Well my friends you’re in luck, because today is the kind of party you’ve been waiting for. Saturday is a Sexy Soapy Sorority Party of Pitching Delight. A roster of options packed to the gills with randy tight arms in sexy Halloween costumes. Just look at these names Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, Chris Sale, Sonny Gray, Jeff Samardzija, Mark Buehrle, Zack Greinke, Alex Cobb, Andrew Cashner, Ervin Santana, and Roenis Elias. That’s 11 startable options! When the hell does that ever happen? It should be easy to find a 1-2 combo with tons of upside, that will allow you to rack up the points and still have room to grab some bats. Today would be a great day to start playing Daily Fantasy Baseball at Draftkings if you haven’t. You can Play your first game for free with us by clicking Draftkings.

Without further ado, my picks for Today’s Draftkings contests:

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It seems like nothing can go wrong for the Blue Jays right now. They’ve won six in a row and eight of their last ten games, and last night rookie Marcus Stroman grabbed his third win in just his second MLB start, pitching six innings, allowing just one run while giving up seven hits, walking two, and striking out seven. Let the Stromania begin! After defeating the Royals last week, Stroman has now given up just two runs in 12 innings, with a 13/2 K/BB ratio. One of Razzball’s top-20 prospects going into 2014, we’ve been mentioning him for a while now. Stroman’s got a mid-nineties fastball, and a filthy slider and cutter in his repertoire. He may have what it takes to hang with the big dogs, and with the way the Jays have been playing he might become a part of something big. (Bring the American League championship back to where it belongs! Canada.) Marcus excelled in the minors this year (35.2 IP, 3.03 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 11.36 K/9) before being called up in early May to serve as bullpen help, where he struggled a bit. However, now that he’s likely to see a considerable look in the rotation all those Ks and Ws and possibly other letters (WHIP? ERA?) could be yours.  He was a BUY this week although he will undoubtedly experience some ups and downs in the perilous AL East, but Marcus has a nice start versus the Twins next week and I’d try to add him in most standard leagues for some serious strikeout upside. And that’s coming from a bonafide Stromaniac.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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