Sometimes, you wanna feel like the smartest guy/gal/thing in the room. Of course, that would have to make the title ‘Summa Iwakuma Laude’ but I didn’t like the flow of ‘Summa Iwakuma’. My titles are ridiculous enough anyways, I don’t need unintentional rhyme muddying the waters along with it. So we chose ‘with great honor’ rather than ‘with highest honor’. We just replaced ‘cum’ with Hisashi Iwakuma…you better read that word in latin, perv! Not Hisashi, of course, since his name is in his native language of Japanese. So did I just create a new language? Jatin? Lapanese? Eh, I’ll leave the Bennifers to Hollywood at this point. But really, Hisashi should make you feel like you graduated with honors from Sports Tech Fantasy University (GO STFU!) as his price of $9,100 on DraftKings puts him behind the big three 10K+ pitchers on the day but the Stream-o-nator says his start is the tops of his class on the day. I do think because of the bigger names on the slate, Iwakuma will have a slightly lower ownership than normal despite the fact his start is at home and against a whiff-happy team. Much like my pick up skills will be on the Razzball Radio Tour, the Twins strike out rates are at the bottom of the league already but when they step out on the road, they’re even worse as they own the second worst K% while out Jack Kerouac’ing. So let’s swing our tassel from one side to the other and walk down that aisle…ahem, I meant graduation tassels and the hat. Seriously! Well, whatever, you’ve graduated to the rest of the picks. Now get out of this lead and take your dirty mind with you! Here’s the rest of the Razzball picks for July 7th contests…

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

Happy 4th of July weekend, my all-American Razzballers (and two foreign readers). It was in the greatest breakup letter ever penned that our Founding Fathers said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ‘Murica, f*** yeah!” John Hancock then signed with a big “Ef you very much”. Ben Franklin downed his thirteenth pint of ale (“one for each State”, he slurred) and Thomas Jefferson hurried home to “check on the help”. As we Razzballin’ scribes gather on this holiday weekend in the Razzball Lounge for some grillin’ and chillin’ and a little bottle rocket firin’ at the guys from YAHOO!, it’s important to remember that if it wasn’t for those wig wearing patriots we’d all be driving on the wrong side of the road and playing fantasy cricket! Don’t tread on me and don’t stare directly at Tehol’s red, white and blue thong. This week in the lounge we’re talking some deep league jams and crams. With the season half over, the player pool has gotten shallow in most RCL’s and that requires us to take some chances, play some matchups and maximize at-bats in order to move up in the standings. While our leaguemates are snoozing with a belly full of hot dogs and Miller High Life, let’s make like George Washington crossing the Delaware and kill the competition while they sleep. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

If you’re looking for some more deep league talk and jams and crams, check out Razzball Radio.

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Happy Sunday again gang – hope there weren’t too many of you that overdid it with your personal firework shows to celebrate the 4th – baseball (as always) seems to help us in that regard every year around this time, and the big Billy Beane shocker provided everyone a great finale for a lot of contenders. Of course this also helps bring more clarity for those looking to make a run at the MLB-level (obviously defining the market for ANY contender looking to shore up their rotation) just as it will ultimately lead to even more prospect machinations and opportunities as we move forward.

Given the rising level of prospect interest this time of year (both in potential trade/promotion opportunities, but in general as well), and in addition to our hopes of expanding our prospect coverage and helpful information and discussion for you guys in our Razzball community, Sundays will feature, what I’ll refer to as my Sunday Twelve-Pack, as opposed to a Sunday Six-Pack. As always, pace yourselves – Monday morning still looms, and never drink and drive!!!

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Jordan Zimmermann ($11,100) is tops on the Stream-o-Nator on this fine Sunday afternoon. He’s listed as a $20 value according to SON and that’s a solid five bucks more than the next closest arm for the day. Zimmermann hasn’t put up huge strikeout numbers (7+ K/9) but over his last six starts he has gone at least six innings while giving up two or fewer earned runs. He faces a Cubs team whose wRC+ of 78 ranks 29th in baseball and is striking out at a 22% clip against right-handed pitching. I prefer Zimmermann’s match-up to the David Price draw against the Tigers, which will cost you $900 more. Price actually ranks 9th overall on SON today, for what it’s worth.

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 7/6/2014…

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I have been wanting to write about DJ LeMahieu (9.3% owned) many times throughout the first half of the 2014 season. OK, it’s not a true mathematical half, but an easy way to reference for the non-counters. Numbers….Psshhh! He came into the season with a little MI love but has been an infrequent batty call at best. After a solidly blah April, he went all don’t even think about it to owners who wanted to hit the add button. That was the first three months of the season, but this is July where he’s hit .357 with a HR so far. Anyone who knows DJ’s will know that the first half of the night is a’ight while the last half is when the magic happens. When the crowd has been beat (pun point) into a position for the knockout blow of auditory bliss. You know what I’m saying dog? Yeah yeah yeah, WTF, I just had a hand stutter. The french DJ has the house on his side, and by house I mean Coors Canaveral, where the Coors Correction makes everyone Bichetter!

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Much like Bruce Jenner’s genitals, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click this link.

Hey everybody, I hope your 4th went well! Me, I had a great time with some friends, some beer, some family, some more beer, some burgers, some jaeger, some policemen, some angry white guys at the local drunk tank…really couldn’t have asked for anything more! Could you keep it down please, I have a roaring headache! Oooooh right, forgot about that part. Me, I just asked they cook Alka Seltzer directly into my hamburger patty the entire time. Worked like a charm! Sorry to the seagulls my jerk friend fed my leftovers to that day, though…R.I.P. Don’t worry, I got him back for you later by telling him the mentos were Alka Seltzer and fed him some Diet Coke. Exploding living things isn’t funny now is it, Craig! Of course we know now none of this intro is true. I have no friends! But what I do have is an iPhone and people text me on it and one said person is Grey. Yeah, I name dropped, whatevs. He said our friend Pete Nice needed some help for this week 14 on the Two Start Pitcher tip so I said ‘how much?’ and Grey said ‘we won’t charge you to write for us this time’ and I said ‘what a deal!’ and jumped on it like Sugarhill Gang. You see, typically I’m slanging you some DraftKings knowledge here on the Razz but sometimes I like to slang other thangs at you and here’s my chance. So without further ado, here’s my take on week 14 two start pitchers for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

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Let’s look at some potential homerun decliners based on the following “Power Score” or expected homerun (xHR) formula and compare it to their actual homerun totals. Here is the formula:

Plate Appearances(PA)*Contact Rate(Ct%)*Outfield flyball rate(OFFB%)*Homerun per Outfield Flyball ratio(HR/OFFB).

Make sense? Sure it does: How many homeruns does a player hit per outfield flyball? How much of their contact results in an outfield flyball? How much overall contact does a batter make when swinging the bat in a plate appearance? This should provide us with an expected HR total.

The below lists are ranked by the largest actual HR-expected HR differentials. Their HR related performance (PA, Ct, OFFB, HR/OFFB) is listed along with their average homerun and flyball average distance and rank.

Two contingencies worth noting at this time: 1) Our samples size still isn’t huge and 2) We’re not taking into account platoon hitters, i.e. Scott Van Slyke as a right-hand hitter only raking against left-hand pitchers. So when I extrapolate the data, keep this in mind. In other words, if Scott Van Slyke consumed more playing time against right-hand pitchers, there’s a good chance his performance/power would drop off.

Here are the top potential HR decliners (I think you will see the value of this xHR comp immediately):

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Let’s face it, Kings are pretty cool. Certainly cooler than a President, or a Prime Minister, whatever that is. I mean the only title more powerful than King is God. This is probably why people were so up in arms when LeBron James anointed himself King. I’m sure people wouldn’t have been nearly as upset if he elected himself President James. People hate presidents, People fear Kings. Presidents are chosen by mortals, Kings are chosen by God. The only president that is remotely badass is Abraham Lincoln and that’s mostly due to his downtime vampire slaying. Where I’m going with all this, is you should do what you can to acquire the title King, and if you can’t become a king, get yourself affiliated with one. Well, today you’re in luck, gambling-addicted man between the ages of 26-42, for hear ye hear ye King Felix Hernandez of Seattle has returned!

His highness gets the White Sox today on the South Side of the Chi. Facing Los Calcetinies Blancos at U.S. Cellular Field is no easy task for mere mortals, but for a King it’s just a worthy foe. On the really tho….Felix is matchup proof. First off he’s 10-2 with an Era of 2.10. That’s impressive even to you non-number driven baseball fans. For the hardcore seam heads his numbers are boner inducing. Just look at these sexy stats, 1.96 FIP, 2.37 xFIP, 9.61 K/9, 1.54 BB/9, 54% GB%, 4.9 HR%, and a .28 HR/9. Those numbers are silly, and the FIP, xFIP, and a 72.8% LOB tell me he’s not even getting lucky. He’s just that dominant. His price point today isn’t that cheap but the numbers justify the $12,600 price tag on DraftKings. I think it would be regicide to not give Felix a place in your lineup card.

Before we get into the rest of the choices for the day, I have to mention how unbelievable the competition has been the last few weeks in the daily 20 team Razzball leagues on DraftKings. We now have a steady stream of regulars made up of readers and writers, who are jumping in on the action. Just case you don’t know, I’ve been putting one or two of these contests together everyday and sending the invites out early. The setup is pretty simple, 20 teams, $1 or $2 entry fee with the top 3 teams splitting the pot. It makes for a nice low risk high reward contest. If you win one, you can bankroll a week or so worth of play on DraftKings. Have we mentioned before that if you’ve haven’t yet played DraftKings you can signup by clicking here? Have we? I can’t recall. The best part is if you do decide to join us today DraftKings will give you a ticket for a free game just for getting started. I know that’s like too good to be true, but it is true!

So we have two leagues today on DraftKings the first of which filled. I just put together a 2nd and you can join by clicking here.

Now onto the picks!

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So I’ve decided to go on a hiatus from Razzball. It has nothing to do with Razzball itself, as I think this is a great fantasy site, with the best fantasy sports community I have seen. It has everything to do with me trying to limit my time spent on fantasy baseball, because life is getting crazy. I’m still considering writing again at some point once everything settles down [Jay's Note: Please do, you've certainly spoiled us my friend.], but who knows when that will happen. With this post, I decided that it might be helpful to go over a few things I’ve learned during my time here:

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If you missed Razzball Radio this week, here’s your recap. By the way folks, we’re getting closer and closer to the 32in32in32 Razzball tour, and I’m not sure if you knew this, but you’re all invited. Even Grey. CRAZY, I know. While it’s a Fantasy Football tour (protip: Jay is releasing hisrankings right now…), there will be plenty of beer and Razzball to go around, so it’s not like you baseball folk will complain. I mean, you could complain, but why? Beer I tell ya, BEEEEER. Beer. So get your tickets for beer. I mean, you also get to support the thing you love (ahem, you know, Razzball), AND you secure a spot for our Razzball Fantasy Baseball Tour next year… you just can’t lose. Unless you’re the Tampa Bay Rays. Then, you know, well, beer. The answer to everything.

Don’t forget, the podcast’s (inside every video post) and the Daily Fantasy Hot Sheet (all the day’s fantasy news in under five minutes) are available over there. Also, beer.

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