#75 Robbie Grossman (L) – Hou – OF – @NYY (McCarthy-R) – 1:05 PM – 1% owned

The answer is… it doesn’t matter. You’re adding him to your fantasy lineup, not wining and dining the poor fella. As far as I’m concerned, the grosser the better.  I’d add two of him if I could on Thursday, when he squares off against Brandon McCarthy in Yankee Stahdium. Lefties hit cheapos there all the time, and as a lefty, Grossman is a decent bet to do just that. Overall, he has been pretty abysmal this year, but in the past week he’s been hot fire flames with a .308 average, one homer and five RBI. For what it’s Wuertz (what ever happened to that guy?), Hitter-Tron thinks there’s a 1-in-11 chance Grossman goes yard. Good luck finding another player available in 99 percent of RCL’s with those odds, Tom Dwan.

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Grizzly Adams did have a beard, and so does Adam LaRoche ($4,800), who’s hitting at an insane clip this month (.636 SLG and .348 ISO). He’s also a notorious slow-starter, but his lifetime OPS in August is .903, which is well higher than any of those other stupid months. Hold up, we’re not done here. I got stats on stats on stats. LaRoche also owns a .417 wOBA and .225 ISO at home versus RHP, and he’s 4-for-11 (1 HR) versus Trevor Cahill, who has been hit hard in 2 career starts at Nationals Park (5.11 ERA).

Man, I hope at least some of those numbers don’t lie, but I know if I ever have any doubts, I can bounce my ideas off the DFSBot. This thing is getting all sorts of accolades lately and was probably banging lines with dimes somewhere in VIP last night. Oh to be the most accurate projection system on the interwebs. Congrats Bot, live it up.

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!

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After a disappointing first half Norichika Aoki has really turned it on, resulting in a +46% spike in ownership which made him this week’s most added player. Most fantasy owners invested in the Royals’ outfielder expecting a high average, lots of runs scored, and a steals total somewhere in the twenties. But prior to the All-Star break, Aoki was hitting a ho-hum .260 with seven steals (four caught stealing) and only 36 runs in 306 plate appearances. On top of that he suffered a groin injury and was promptly released by many frustrated fantasy teams. The 32-year-old right-fielder’s recent play has made some of those same teams turn around and pick him right back up though. In his last eight games he has recorded eight runs scored, six runs batted in, and five steals. Regaining his role at the top of the lineup for the first-place Royals, Aoki should continue to see good counting stats moving forward. In leagues as shallow as ten teams Aoki is a worthwhile add during his current hot streak. Here are this week’s other big adds and drops in 2014 fantasy baseball…
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Long before I became a hack over here at Razzball, I was a frequent commenter known as “Jack Full of Hate”. J-FOH is an acronym for those that haven’t figured that out yet. I was known for my rants, smack and general disdain for anything and everything. Then one day that angry guy with a heart of gold was recruited by Sky out of the comments section and turned into a contributer for the best fantasy sports website on the net. After starting to write for the football side and passing his Silence of the Lambs test I got the green light to join the baseball side. You might ask yourself, what is a Silence of the Lambs test? It’s the part of the interview where Sky threw me in a pit, tucked his junk, held his 80-pound dog and yelled at me it rubs the lotion on it’s skin or else it gets the hose again as I screamed “I want to write for Razzball!” Then he got me drunk, took me to a football game, and then threw me back in the pit. I never understood the second trip into the pit because thats where it got really weird. He blared this song while he danced around wearing clown make-up as he flung chili at me for the next day and a half. Now what does Sky’s eccentricity have to do with the RCL updates this week? It’s a two part response, with the first being advised by my therapist to get this off my chest, and the second to demonstrate how he broke me. That hateful one has been reined in but alas a savior came to my aid when last week Grey told me I can go ahead and do a shame segment this week. I’ve been watching highlights of this play to get my anger up. F**k you Brian Sabean…F**k you Bruce Bochy and F**k you Baseball for ruining my game even more than it already has been. It’s f**king baseball b*tches lets play it like it’s meant to be. This is why I love fantasy so much because the reality of the real game makes me want to slit my wrists and start listening country pop. [Jay's Note: Not necessarily in that order...]

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I’ve tried it all gentlemen and lady (possibly +4). We’ve looked at splits, BvP, wOBA, ISO, wRC+ and we’ve even tried the “due” argument. While all of these predictive metrics are very useful and over the long haul ring true, each day is another exercise in randomness. Truth is, 162 games creates plenty of room for chaos theory to rear its wonderfully asymmetrical head. Daily fantasy doesn’t allow for the law of averages and regression to the mean to matter for one single isolated matchup. As a gambling man, I like to try new things to see how things play out. I’ve done my research and feel good about this lineup that is completely segregated by the DraftKings salary. We’re moving the decimal point two places to the left today and removing the glorious zeroes from the end of salaries that we all covet. I’m rolling out only prime numbers today i.e. $2,300 = 23 = prime number. When you look at numbers this much, the unique ones start to stand out. The DFS community can certainly relate to the primes:

Prime numbers… appear among the integers, seemingly at random, and yet not quite: there seems to be some order or pattern, just a little below the surface, just a little out of reach.

–Underwood Dudley

Don’t expect to win each day—that is out of reach. But winning over the long haul is what we’re after. Take a good look at the DFSBot which has recently been ruled the best DFS prediction tool by dailydraftwizard.com. 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.

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!

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Shameless cross-pollination!  Yes, just as shameless as Tony Parker cross-pollinating Brent Barry’s wife, I’m hijacking the open of my post to let you know Fantasy Basketball rankings have begun!  I hope Grey doesn’t suspend me for conduct detrimental to the team… I’ve got my top 50 up earlier than anywhere else (well, no one has recent rankings up!) and if you suffer fantasy depression through winter, and/or hate that Fantasy Football is nothing but pure luck, Fantasy Basketball is the rebound (womp womp) for you!  The mix of percentages and counting stats appeal the Fantasy Baseball-ist in everyone, so if you’ve thought about trying hoops, hop over to basketball and into an RCL when they open next month (I sense another hijack coming…)!

“Get back to the diamond JB, this is a friggin’ baseball blog!”  Fine!  Has any pitcher in the initial top-50 (non-injured) had as tumultuous a season as Danny Salazar?!  Maybe Justin Verlander… But now he’s injured too!  Salazar pitched like a gangbuster (…? can you be only one gang buster?  Ask Ness…) closing out last year, but lower velocity, control issues, and just overall ineffectiveness were so bad he went back down to AAA.  After two months in the Minors, Salazar has been pretty good in 4 of his 5 starts since the call up in late July, including a decent outing yesterday.  Just can’t get deep into games!  To be honest, I haven’t watched a single Salazar start this year (using all my Indians time on Corey Kluber, k?!), so I decided to break down his afternoon against the Orioles and if he needs to be scooped up in more leagues even if his rotation spot is non-guaranteed:

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We discuss Jarrod Dyson a lot in this column. He’s truly what cheap steals are all about. In limited plate appearances he is able to get on base and swipe bags. Not an ideal player to own in weekly leagues, but he can be a huge boost in the steals department for fantasy players in leagues with daily roster moves. So while the Prince of SAGNOF has gotten some love here both in the preseason and throughout the year, he’s getting the lede today just in case you forgot he’s out there (and he probably is with 7.2% ownership at ESPN). Dyson’s 27 steals have come in just 226 plate appearances this season. That’s a steal about every 8 plate appearances. After finishing up the series at Minnesota today, Dyson and the Royals head out to Colorado and Texas. The Rockies have allowed 68 steals, which is middle of the pack in the major leagues in that category. However, their caught stealing percentage (15%) ranks dead last in baseball. Here are some other steals picks for 2014 fantasy baseball…

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Well that’s a new one. No player. Nope. Not giving you a pitcher. Ok, I kinda am. Sale is da bomb dot gov. But you don’t need me to tell you that. Unless, of course, you haven’t paid attention to this sport we call baseball for the last three years, then maybe you need my insight on the guy that coulda been AL Cy Young if it weren’t for a DL stint. And heck, I’m not even giving you a specific hitter. I’m talking fat stacks…or phat stacks if I were Chris Tucker and it was 1997. Remember when he was funny? Yeah, I don’t either…anywho, this was a theory discussed with a good friend who’s into the DFS game and who had a great take on the psychology of a baseball game. So when you’re the pitcher opposing a certified ace and aren’t really ‘on your game’, you’re gonna get like your GF’s panties get during that certain time of the month: spotty. And when you get spotty, you get dicey. And when you get you know what, I just can’t do the Direct TV commercial. It’s been done to death. The key thing here is recognizing that the other team and their opposing pitcher can get a bit intimidated going up against an arm like Sale. These types of feelings are hard to get around. An error here, a booted double play there…the big thing is, Baltimore and Bud Norris are in a bad spot for today and I plan on taking advantage. And speaking of Bud…gross. That’s both about the beer and the pitcher splits. Norris isn’t great at all at this point but away from Baltimore, he has a 4.55 ERA and a near doubled HR/9 rate at 1.28 away from the ‘friendly confines’ of Camden Yards. In particular, lefties have given him the most trouble with 6 HRs in 33.1 IP and a .354 wOBA. So if you’re against a huge stack, keep in mind Adam Dunn, Alejandro De Aza, and Conor Gillaspie when you’re building your rosters for the day.

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!

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Even though I’m recommending Mike Moustakas this week, I still can’t help but booooo! him. Honestly, all Royals hitters this year, except Alcides Escobar, gets the booooo! treatment from me. I’m starting to feel like I’m a Philadelphia resident with my booing of these players regardless of what they do. [Jay's Note: Needs more Duracell.] Even Alex Gordon has turned into boresville in my book. I’m going to take a moment and shred the Royals, who regardless of their recent run in real baseball, have been a fantasy train wreck. Eric Hosmer has been unable to build on last seasons breakout and has become the Midwest’s version of James Loney. Billy Butler can’t channel those moobs for power like he did in the past and will struggle to hit 10 HR’s this year. Norichika Aoki has been a dud of a lead-off hitter after Alex Gordon created a blue print in KC, and for all of his 14 dongs, Salvador Perez has not been the .290 hitter we all wanted to see. The naysayers can state that Hosmer was a line drive hitter with a very un-homerun swing, Billy Butler is a fatter version of Hosmer, Aoki was more of a pipe dream than a lead-off man, and that Sal has never got over the loss of his abuelita. Well screw you Royals! I will never draft another offensive player from this team again. You are all dead to me….in fantasy! Speaking of fantasy, have you signed up for a Razzball Football RCL League yet? Get on the good foot and shimmy over to the football side and sign-up? Click here and let all your fantasy football dreams come true… which of course is winning a bobble-head of yourself (and a Best Buy gift card is up for grabs if you create a league!). Buying one is just straight weird, but winning one is perfectly acceptable and very cool.

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Jake Arrieta ($8,000) takes on the Mets and their 90 wRC+ against right-handed pitching today. That mark ranks New York 26th in baseball while Arrieta continues to surprise in 2014. The Cub righty has posted a 9.22 K/9, a 2.37 BB/9, and a miniscule 0.33 HR/9 this season. That includes his recent clunker in Colorado. The 28-year-old has always had “stuff” but he’s been able to put it all together this year with his new team in Chicago. The stories of J.D. Martinez and Arrieta are a reminder that players can make adjustments to be successful in the majors when given the opportunity. This start is valued at $12.5 and ranks sixth on the Stream-o-Nator today. At $8K, he makes for an affordable number one starter while players like Jon Lester will cost you quite a bit more. On the topic of Lester, it may be wise to avoid him today. Not only will he cost almost $12K, but outside of Jason Heyward, the Braves have hit lefties well. Their 106 wRC+ against southpaws ranks 8th in baseball.

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. Once you’ve signed up, give our Razzball 20 Teamer a go. It’s full of Razzball writers and readers. 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 8/17/2014…

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