For those who don’t understand the headline reference, it’s a Sopranos episode title.  A very crucial episode that causes a ripple effect on how the show ends. How does this relate to DraftKings today? Well technically it doesn’t, but Ian Kennedy can cause a ripple effect on your team today, since he is my top pitching option tonight.  Unfortunately we are a day late on Verlander or I could have had a field day with him and his nude pics – speaking of which, am I the only one who thinks Kate Upton is overrated? Her body is shaped like Kendrys Morales with smaller boobs.  With that out the way, lets focus on some DFS – we only got 8 games tonight and some good pitchers on the mound, so I will focus on hitters mainly.

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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This late in the year, Big Head Bochy minus his monsters goes and has to be all “I am changing it back to the way it used to be when all was being drafted and confidence in February Grey was at an all-time high.”  So the news that Santiago Casilla will now be in a co-starring role this late in the season just sucks for all parties involved.  Sergio Romo gets back into the fray as the closer situation is all muddled now in the city by the bay. Whoa, whoa, whoa-o.  Even Steve Perry hates this idea. Don’t believe me? Go ask him, as he seems like he’s over Sheila and prolly all good in the wits department.  Now I can see if Casilla was pitching awfully, which he wasn’t… well not completely, but come on Bruce.  You can’t do this and actually sleep at night knowing you torture fantasy line-ups the way you do, and I for one am writing a letter. No, an email, screw that a petition!  You hear that Bruce? A petition… so get yourself ready, I may even sue you. Smokey smash. So if you saw the writing on the wall from this, you already had Romo stashed. Let’s see what the jumbled up rankings look like with the injuries, demotions, and the rigmarole that is involved in the Saves of Thrones.

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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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I’m taking my chips and going home from the DFS season. What a ride it’s been making some good calls, some bad calls and sometimes the occasional really confusing link. This will be it for me in the land of milk and money. All $4.75 of my winnings to show for the hours on end I have spent looking at this maddening game called daily fantasy. Fortunately for me I got a break from the guys at DraftKings and they made Andrew Cashner ($6,600) way Way WAY too cheap today and I’m going to bounce on this like a kid in an inflatable castle. Speaking of inflatable things I saw this the other day. That is just all kinds of wrong. Cashner stepped up to his old self in his last outing by going 6, striking out 8 and walking zero…against the Dodgers. Now I get that the Dodgers have been all kinds of hot garbage lately but they still have bats that can hurt you bad. Today he gets a team of WTF in the Diamondbacks and I don’t see Cash letting them small ball him into a blow-up. Play this one with complete faith that I won’t screw you over as I’m out the door. He’s a solid guy at home against a team with nothing to fear. Trust me!

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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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What is left to say for the 2014 fantasy baseball year in a virtual world between strangers as we keep inching to the end of the RCL season. I’m just living in a virtual world and I am just a virtual….woh, were did the Madonna lyrics come from? I need to take a nap and get some rest. What’s that Grey? But I made up my mind, I’m keeping my Baez! Okay, this is too weird, and I need to get Madonna out of my head. It must be from watching Reservoir Dogs the other night and that mind burning opening scene (NSFW). Now that we got that out of the way, and hopefully never to return, let’s talk about what you are playing for this year. Below is the Grand Champion Trophy. If you really want one of these, and you’re not the Grand Champ, then you can always order your own here and put whatever you like on it. Mine says “best at not being the best of 2014″. One last thing before I move on is the Fantasy Baseball Team Name contest for the RCLs. Entries must be from the RCL, and the winner gets a free T-Shirt. Place your nominations here so we can create a ballot for everyone to vote.

Baseball Pilsner

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We’re starting to run out of ways to superlative Clayton Kershaw.  I think today’s DraftKings salary may be the best way.  The asking price is $14,900.  For some reason, I felt that the period was more emphatic than an exclamatory dot-line vertical stack there.  Perhaps the punctuation is in line with the excitement level of an 8 IP, 9 K W from the Kersh.  Yawnstipating, no.  Expected, yes.  $14,900 huh?  So like, three top tier bats?  That’s the equivalent of Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun and Jose Bautista as your outfield.  Tough call Razzballers… I can’t make it for you.  That’s your gamble.  I’ll offer up my recommendations with and without C-K-sub-2-ERA.

There are so many ways to go today.  The HitterTron is bonkers over bats.  I love the entire top 20 today.  The Stream-O-Nator is calling a big shot on Mike Minor today as well as breaking down values.  But there’s really nothing better for daily fantasy baseball than the DFSBot.  Rudy’s phenomenal tool, as Mrs. Gamble calls it, cranks out the day’s best value plays and even breaks it down to expected $ per point.

At this point, if you’re new to Draftkings, you should probably hop over for the 20 team NFL Razzball play that was gonna go live tomorrow with Sky but shhhhh, don’t tell him I snuck in and stole his linkage.  The result will be riches or fun.  The choice of the two is yours to make.  Just remember to sign up through us before you partake. It’s how we know you care!

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After hitting the ‘Publish’ button on my recent post titled ‘Razzball Streamonator TKO’s ESPN Fantasy Forecaster‘, I pictured reading and answering the comments to be like a victory lap*.  Look at me, I’m Cal Ripken!  While I got a healthy share of pats on the back from Razzball Nation (thanks as always!), some commenters were also kind enough to note that Streamonator and Hittertron could learn something from the ESPN Fantasy Forecaster – notably the handy dandy 7-day grid with all the probable starters.

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So I did a little Google of “pine tar brands” and everything is this Grandpa’s brand!  Talk about cornering the market.  And their new spokesman should be Michael Pineda!  “Those other brands, they dirt, it’s dirt…”

I used to be the biggest Big Mike fan.  I was all in on him in the Mariners rookie season, and went gaga watching his starts over anyone else.  Of course he faltered down the stretch, got traded, blew up his shoulder, and now is a little bit of a parody based on the ridiculous double-down of pine tarring and feathering himself.

While he might be a punchline, and finding a little bit of humor for the open was easy, he’s still been good while healthy this year.  And not just good, but Grandpa’s good!  ERA barely over 2, WHIP under 1, 30:4 K-ta-walk.  And still owned in only 51% of Yahoo leagues!  I haven’t seen Pineda pitch since the April oil slick days, so I decided to break down his Saturday start north of the border to see how he’s looking:

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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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