If the weather cooperates today, I’m hoping Stephen Strasburg ($9,300) comes through as my ace in DFS games. There’s a chance of storms for this match-up with the Phillies, so start at your own risk. That said, the Phils own a wRC+ of 84 against right-handed pitching. That’s good for 28th in baseball and Strasburg should have little trouble against them. In his last start against the Phillies, the 26-year-old right-hander gave up two earned runs while striking out nine batters in just 5 2/3 innings pitched.  That was part of a recent string of four starts with at least eight strikeouts. He’ll have a tough time sealing the win with Cole Hamels on the mound for the Phils, but the strikeout upside here is enough for me to want him as my SP#1 this week. He’s ranked #1 on the Stream-o-Nator today at a $24 value.

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 other picks for DraftKings contests on 8/3/2014…

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t have enough spam, give me the Razzball email newsletter!

Lately, I’ve been thinking about what a creeper of the week really is, and how best to put it out there for you readers. I’m the pimp, uh, I mean dating service, and you are the receiver of a good time… for about a week. You might say a “batty call with benefits broker”. Since the majority of us are men, except Prezzi, who looks like he struggled with sophmore English last year and is waiting on puberty to complete. (Writers note: I would rather look young to slay more cougars than what I do now.) It’s safe to assume that for most of you (except the four girl readers), I’m setting up man dates every week. Which brings me to this week’s hot date– David Murphy. Hi David, I see you’re only 12.2% owned, so I know you’re available. Would you like to hop in my car and go for a  little drive… for a week! This officially got weird, so you can call me Creeper McCreeperstein from now on.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The trade deadline was three days ago. By now fantasy experts like Trojan Croftbell and Cocky Karazola have picked over these deals until the bones were showing, and gone over the “slashes” these guys compiled while “toeing the rubber” and talked you, and themselves really, in-and-out of pickups until they were dizzy. There’s no other way to analyze this. Unless you take some of the moving parts to Week 19 of the Two-Startapalooza party!

What happens to the headlining acts is obvious. Jon Lester is a must-start almost every week. In the post-season, he becomes Orel Hershiser ’88, or at least Billy Beane and any long-time A’s fan that shudders at the thought of Orel Hershiser ’88 hopes. David Price scratches the surface of the Must-Start layer some weeks, but more often than not he’ll break the barrier thanks to some interesting non-sabermetrical splits. This year, Price had way better numbers away from the Trop (6-2, 2.74 ERA) than inside of it (5-6, 3.41). Which also means he had the same numbers on grass than on turf, and of course the Tigers play on the green stuff in Detroit (as opposed to the Rockies, who play on the green stuff in Denver, but that’s different).

Then there’s the other guys. It might not seem like what happened to John Lackey and bed crapper Justin Masterson matters as much, but as Twitter pal Ralph Lifshitz pointed out to me on my feed (@NiceRazzball), the Cardinals can turn anyone into a solid starter (see: Jake Westbrook and Joel Pineiro, Lifshitz said, and to that I say point taken). That being said, and I feel like I’m going to be saying that a lot this week – getting something out of Lackey is one thing, but getting the Masterbaterson to get right on a consistent basis is something else. Can you imagine rolling that guy out in the playoffs? Yipes!

Drew Smyly, who got the shaft in the Price deal and goes from a nice park on a winning team to a mediocre team in a crappy stadium, falls down at least one tier per week. He becomes a stat-piler guy for those in search of Two-Starters. Jesse Chavez falls off the radar completely, as he ends up in the A’s bullpen. I’ll miss seeing his oops-I-crapped-my-pants mug every week.

A few of these guys get a double dip this week. For some more Two-Starters, keep on reading…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s not easy being Hensley Meulens. Not only is his name Hensley Meulens, he’s also responsible for a Giants offense so inept of late that the Padres have a wOBA 20 points higher.  Don’t get me wrong being, the Giants Batting Coach isn’t easy; his team plays in a canyon of a ballpark, his lineup is on the yuck side of meh, and he works for a GM that thought taking a flier on Dan Uggla was a good idea. It’s gotten so bad that Giants fans don’t even know what a great hitter looks like anymore. My brother-in-law is a Giants fan and recently told me how much he loves watching Hunter Pence hit. Really? Would he have to wear depends if he watched say Jose Abreu everyday? What I’m getting at is the Giants can’t hit and you can start pretty much anyone against them. Well with the exception of Mike Minor he sucks and I hate him. Seriously homeboy got pooped on by the Padres last night.

Enter Jacob DeGrom. The Mets pitcher has far exceeded expectations this season coming out of nowhere like a shart on a “going commando” day. Only his results have been good, unlike an underwear-less shart which is just a mess. A big mess. DeGrom has been good to the tune of a 2.79 ERA, 8.59 K/9 and a BB/9 of 3.21. Sure you’d like the walks a bit lower but according to his FIP/xFIP (3.06/3.44) he’s only been slightly lucky. In all honesty, I’ve only started him once on DraftKings in his 14 starts this season. Razzball readers that all changes today. After back to back 20+ point games, I’m all in on DeGrom and his cushy date with the Giants. Sure he’s the second most costly arm on the board but it’s still only $9,800. At that price you could grab another solid arm (there’s a few today….read on) and still have enough coin left to buy premium bats.

Do you think all the DraftKings writers at Razzball are idiots? Are you against handsome men like myself? Does the picture of J-Foh that surfaced scare you? Are you feeling alienated and alone? Do you only trust Rudy and his sweet afro/glasses combo? No fear we have a set of tools to help! Check out the Hitter-Tron, Stream-o-Nator, DFSbot, and the Ombatsman.

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tommy Medica had the game of his life last night, going 5-for-5 with two home runs (5 & 6), 4 runs and 4 RBI. Somebody call a doctor, because Tommy Medica is so sick! Now wait just a minute, hold onto your coffee, and don’t drop anything or anyone just yet, (especially not your coffee because that may burn and I can’t afford a lawsuit). Medica, who generally sits against righties, has been filling in for Yonder Alonso the past month or so while he’s on the shelf. He has squandered the opportunity, batting just .217 with zero homers and 4 RBI in 46 at-bats in July. Even for the Padres, that’s barely a major league starter. I guess his hitting coach has been advising him to study Jedd Gyorko early season game tape. More likely than not, Medica will be headed back to the platoon role once Yonder Alonso returns, but the trade of Chris Denorfia could potentially open up some more playing time. Either way, what a game Tommy Boy! Holy schnikes! I added Medica in a few places on the off-chance this performance buys him some more playing time, but I’d keep the expectations low outside NL-Only and deep mixed leagues. For the time being, Tommy Medica is batting 1.000 and slugging 2.200 in August and certainly a name worth monitoring over the weekend.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As I type this, I’m in a small, but expected depression as a disgruntled Mets fan living in Minnesota after today’s non-waiver trade deadline. In the middle of thermal packaging related activities, I saw deal and deal and deal swing by. All I get from both the teams that I follow most? A Kurt Suzuki extension. Oye. All that did was disgruntle me more, as I like Josmil Pinto quite a bit. I figured at least Bartolo Colon would get traded for some PTBL or a BoB (bucket o’ balls). Ah well.

On the other hand, if you’re a Tigers fan (I’m not a bandwagon A’s fan until the Mets are good, I decided today), you must be pretty excited. Drew Smyly wasn’t as dominating as a starter and Austin Jackson continued to short-come expectations. Instead you have an second ace, and can now appropriately consider Justin Verlander your number 3 or 4 or 5. [Jay's Note: Or playoff closer?] Verlander has not been good, but he’s also been almost as unlucky as he’s been bad, or he’s hurt and isn’t saying anything/doesn’t know it.

July 1st, I noted the luckiest pitchers to date, but the one thing I didn’t do at that time was look at the pitcher’s luck/bad luck relative to their career rates. So for this post, for luck, I z-scored each pitcher’s luck stats relative to their career stats (homerun to flyball ratio, left on base% and BABIP). I weighed each z-score by the stats correlation to ERA. Therefore the luckies pitchers (using luck alone and excluding skill) as of 7/27 is: Josh Beckett, Jake Arrieta, Collin McHugh, Scott Kazmir, Garrett Richards, Zach Britton, Jordan Lyles, Drew Pomeranz, Dellin Betances, Alfredo Simon and Danny Duffy. Chris Young, Jason Hammel and Jesse Chavez (update: both Hammel and Chavez were rocked in their last start). However, this all excludes skill (contact rate, strikeout% minus walk% and ground ball to flyball ratio). Incorporating this, here are the actual luckiest pitchers as of 7/27:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You just endure a break up?  My apologies.  But also… congratulations, you’re free!  Two opposing notions can be equally true and appropriate.  The bottom line is you need a rebound, and now that you have to pay all the utilities solo, a cheaper option is best.  So hit up your ex-ex-ex, or just stick with the acronym form of the same.  Either way, don’t waste more than a couple of hours, because it’s August and that means it’s crunch time for fantasy baseball.  While your standings and players end-of-year stats may represent a full season’s work, all that you can control from this point forward is which players’ points you pile up.  In basketball, they call the end of a blowout “garbage time” because it allows the scrubs to come in and pile up stats.  That’s the focus of this post.  We’re going to focus on waiver wire guys who should be able to help you rest of season despite the fact that up to this point in time they’ve been essentially unrosterable.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This never should have happened, but do you remember a time when Gangnam Style was cool? It’s hard to remember, I know, but I’m talking about the dark ages of 2012; the same year Jeremy Hellickson was last an effective pitcher. Following a disastrous 2013 campaign, Hellickson underwent offseason surgery, and tonight will be his third start off the DL. Against very mediocre competition (BOS and KC), he’s looked rusty (as expected), and I don’t think he’ll get his groove back against the Angels, who are probably my favorite stack of the night. Los Angeles of Anaheim of California of Earth has struggled to put up runs recently, but I expect an outburst at the Trop. So, feel free to take a hit off my stack pipe, but if you’re chicken, see below for some other players who gon’ do the damn thing.

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Pain heals, chicks dig scars, glory lasts forever.”

With that being said, it’s officially go time! Time to make that valiant push into the playoffs, time for me, Tehol Beddict, to assist you however possible in turning your dreams into reality. There’s no time to waste so let’s swan dive right into this thang. This is, Disgrace/Delight!

Note: Are you brave enough to battle not just my fantasy football wit, but my fantasy football loins… powered by the Elder Gods? Take me on in our fantasy football RCL’s for special prizes!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The deadline will have past by the time you’re reading this, so I’m sorry that I can’t meet or exceed all those expectations. What I can do is give you the in’s and out’s of middle relief. Wait, why did everyone just get up and leave? There is punch and pie at the end! So is everyone else confused on what to do with Will Smith?… yeah, me too.  He’s been getting beat up lately needs a vacation. Smith leads the league in appearances, is the leader in appearances with the lead by a non-closer (41), and has pitched an amazing 17 times on consecutive days. He has rewarded you with 19( albeit painful) NSVH, but his recent implosions may lead me to think there could be a better option for the time being. His BB/9 over the last 30 screams bad news, (P.S., it’s in the seven’s). I mean, I know the 24 Holds this year is all good and looks like a Canal St. watch, but if you have someone that just reads stats and doesn’t read between the lines of fantasy too well, see if they give you a name you like better. My best advice is pull a Judas Priest and run for the hills. Stay tuned for some charts and fun words and sentences that lead to abbreviated paragraphs. Good luck in the week to come.

Please, blog, may I have some more?