I was a little unsure of who would be profiled this week (I thought about Jacob deGrom, but Front Row Amy was in attendance so I’d be too distracted…), so I went with a twitter suggestion that make me scratch my head a bit.  Matt Shoemaker?  Is he really interesting at all?

I’m a big Angels fan, my most important dynasty now has Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Kole Calhoun, and Howie Kendrick manning my O (no one cares!), so I’ve seen some bits and pieces of Shoemaker here and there.  You could say, I’ve seen a sole and a… let’s go with shoelace.  A good mix of pitches but with nothing overwhelming, it was shocking to see two 10+ K games in his previous six, before tossing an absolute gem against the Tigers last Saturday.

So I decided to take a deeper look into Shoemaker and see if he has some spot-start or even backend rotation relevance for fantasy owners pushing towards the final stretch:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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

Oh man, it’s back to real life!  After an awesome weekend in DC to see my Brewers (I’ll share some fun graphics next week), it’s back to pitching and back to Wood jokes. And of course I mean the criminally (for a stretch) underrated Alex Wood.

Wood starting chucking phenomenally out of the gates, with blistering Ks and ratios.  But when Mike Minor got off the DL and Aaron Harang deciding not to suck this year, Wood could not chuck any more wood.  [Hah - you thought Wood jokes were going the other way, huh?!]  Repeatably getting hit out of the bullpen, the Braves finally decided to move him down to AAA to [re]stretch out to get back into the rotation.

Upon [re]arrival in late June, Wood had a lot of “meh”, but I was still all in.  I remember there were some drop Wood comments and I remained steadfast in my Woodward ways.  And with another good start yesterday, I decided to take a deeper look into his pitch-by-pitch performance to be sure my Wood was warranted:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So it’s not really the 2nd half mark in the fantasy baseball season, but it’s the All-Star Break so what else are we going to talk about? Hell’s Kitchen? Is it even believable that these people would one day be in charge of a kitchen? There’s Real World castmates who seem like they have their shizz together better than these schmohawks. I like the one guy who burps a lot. He seems ready to run a kitchen! MasterChef, though, that show is the Sistine Chapel of reality shows. Okay, as with all of the other 2014 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt. If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade the outfielder for the 2nd baseman. Also, things change in fantasy baseball. Daily. I could put Miggy number three on the top 100 list for the second half of 2014 and he could get in a fight with a bartender (not Tom Wilhelmsen) tomorrow, then he wouldn’t be number one. See how that works. This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued. It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache. This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half of their season. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today. So while Carlos Santana did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because I still believe. The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2014. I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what guys will do. Welcome to the future! Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2014:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh man, did the Crew need that win yesterday!  Even up 11-1, I thought K Rod might blow the lead.  The way things have gone…

But it’s not all about me and the Brewers!  At least, that’s what the girlfriend keeps telling me… Yesterday, Wily Peralta showed some exceptional stuff in easily the biggest game of 2014 for Milwaukee, but the day before, high-profile prospect Jimmy Nelson looked to make a statement as the newly entrenched starter.

Anddddddddd… It didn’t go so hot.

Sporting absolutely stupid numbers in the PCL (1.46 ERA 0.92 WHIP 114 K in 111 IP), Nelson also shined in his 2014 debut, a 5.2 inning spot start allowing no runs on 8 base runners with 6 Ks for a W.  But the mightily cold Brewers squared off against the red hot Redbirds to spoil his encore.  How much was his atrocious start impacted by wrong guy, wrong place syndrome?  Should you still be holding on if you picked him up?  I decided to take an uncomfortable (for me) walk down memory lane to really break down how Nelson looked pitch-by-pitch:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Cubs.  The lovable losers.  The trade first and ask questions later…ers…

Say what you want about what the Cubs are doing, but I liked their blockbuster deal with the A’s.  John Kruk was slamming it on Sunday Night Baseball (while my boy Rick Porcello got a bitch slap of regression), but then again I’m a Brewers fan and not a Cubs fan!

Last year, the Cubs sold Scott Feldman for current pickup of the year nominee Jake Arrieta.  So that’s one thing they’ve done right!  Both the Shark and Jason Hammel weren’t re-signing, and this ridiculous emergence from Arrieta eases the pain of rebuilding a rotation.

But we don’t really care about Wrigley politics, we just want some nasty stats on our fantasy teams.  Arrieta has been absolutely unbelievable (only Clayton Kershaw has been better the past month) and he had back-to-back no-nos through 7 prior to Sunday’s start.  How legit is this breakout?  Is Arrieta a sell high?  I’ve seen the highlights and bits of some of the previous starts, but I wanted a deeper look into his stuff and decided to Profile how he looked in yesterday’s great outing against the Nationals:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh, the world we live in today.  Computers.  Phones.  Internet.  Baseball followed so adroitly that even the deepest of prospects are owned in NL/AL-only dynasty leagues.  It’s a wonder any of the farm kids even have and fun with this kind of scrutiny!

But even with all the stats, all the Moneyballs, all the Jonah Hills… We still get a 27-year-old Cuban starter, who had a 6.85 ERA and unreal 2.03 WHIP in 23.2 AAA innings, allow only 1 ER in his first two MLB starts (with a 70 then 58 Gamescore – see what I did with the title there?!).  Part of the fun of baseball – on any given day you just never know!  Remember when Phil Humber had a perfect game?  Exactly.

For just as hard Odrisamer Despaigne has thrust himself into the fantasy baseball lexicon, just as little is known.  I remember seeing his name when he was signed, but that’s about it.  Only 3 Ks in these two great starts, but hey – can’t hurt to take a deeper look.  Just look at what fellow countryman Roenis Elias is doing, and he had virtually no buzz either.  Cubans know what they’re doing on the bump!  So I picked Despaigne for this glorious Monday’s PP and broke down how he looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh man, what a week for The Pitcher Profile! First we had Andrew Heaney called up right when last week posted, Danny Duffy stayed hot after a big ascent in the rankings, and then Rick Porcello throws 6 scoreless for his 9th win. Power of the Profile!

The cherry on top – Heaney was awesome in his debut. I’ve had him ranked since the very unfortunate TJ for Jose Fernandez, envisioning a rotation spot sooner than later. Then when he moved up to AAA (and subsequently dominated), I moved him into the top 50 calling him a must-own. Ahead of the hype! I was able to catch most of his debut live, and I’ve got to say, I’ve had some Game of Thrones-esque daydreams since. Some Will Ferrell with the blow-up doll moments… “You’re my boy, Blue Heaney!”

I’m all the more excited to go back into his sizzling debut for profiling this glorious Monday, and already have a new nickname for him: McDreamy. McDreamy Heaney! Wow, this is going too far… *clears throat and deepens voice* “Beer! Titties!” Here’s how Heaney looked pitch-by-pitch in his first career MLB start:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I know, I know.  Terrible title pun and Vance Worley isn’t exactly the most exciting Pitcher Profile.  CALL UP ANDREW HEANEY ALREADY!  Just needed to get that out of my system…

I thought about a Danny Duffy.  Maybe Daisuke Matsuzaka. Mostly because that would be an inning-long Pitcher Profile and I could play more Call of Duty.  He shoulda laid off the Steak “n Shake!  Over/under on amount of times you see that joke today…

But back to Worley.  I think it’s easily forgotten just how good a run he had for the 2011 Phillies.  3.01 ERA?  119 Ks in 131.2 IP?  11 Wins?  Really surprising looking back on those… Then he was terrible in his follow-up with the Phils, followed by getting absolutely crushed in 10 starts for the Twins last year.  Starting 2014 in AAA, Worley was meh in 7 starts with a 4.30 ERA, but an encouraging 43 Ks in 46 innings.  Which nobody would ever care about, except he had as good a debut anyone could’ve expected yesterday at Miami.  And actually – and I didn’t even think to look until the broadcast showed his Minors numbers – 43:4 K:BB in AAA.  Wowzer!  So I decided to take a look at the spectacled SP and if there’s anything there for you to care about in your fantasy leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I see you back there. Yes I’m talking to you. You love risk and I know you do. How can I tell? Well for starters you’re reading my column here at the ‘ole Razzball rag. You don’t know what a ‘rag’ is do you? It’s ok, you’re the internet generation, we’ll let it slide. I can’t wait for the days when my walk up to the check out at the grocery store has touch computer screens of ‘The Sun’ and ‘People’ rather than actual magazines. I’ll swipe my iPhone past Vibe E-zine to get the latest copy and read about 2Pac’s hologram tour across Europe with the Notorious B.I.G. after their rights have been bought out by Apple. It’s gonna be crazy in 2015 y’all! But of course, you didn’t come here for a glimpse of the future…well you did, just not that far so let’s talk Tom Koehler or better yet, let’s talk Chicago Cubs. We know the drill: Cubs offense = teh suck. Team SLG%? Bottom ten. Team wOBA? Bottom five. Team K%? Bottom three. Admittedly, Koehler has been middling at best on the year but given the spacious confines of his home ballpark and the team he gets to take the mound against, I’d say he’s a solid SP2 for your GPP games over on DraftKings today. Don’t like my take? Well how about the DFSBot saying he’s worth about $8K on the day which is what Weaver goes for. As long as he isn’t needled with singles and walks all game, this should be a 20 point start in my book and it’ll free up some dough to buy a high end pitcher and not kill your batting budget. BTW, if you’re used to our resident stock symbol BTXJ on your Mondays, I have a special surprise for you…he’s dead and buried under my gardenias in the back yard. Woah, wrong surprise and dead body! No, my Thursday nights have become too hectic to handle the rigors of DFS writing so we’ve done a perma-swap. Just keep that in mind if you’re looking for me later in the week before you have a Freaky Friday. And with that, it’s time to move on. Here are some other Razzball picks for June 16th contests on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Alert the trolls!  Plaster up the bulletins under the bridges!  Because I’m biased.  I hate the Cardinals.  They’re just so good against my Brewers!  And yeah, that’s pretty much all I got… Ummm, also… because McGwire did steroids?!  Yeah that doesn’t work from a Brewers fan… Ummm, because Lance Lynn is a porker and dominates us every time out?  Dammit, Wily Peralta is listed 5 pounds heavier!  I have no rational basis…

And with said caveats, I’ve never been a Jaime Garcia fan.  I actually picked him up in that redonk rookie year in 2010, and sold him mid-season which didn’t really work out.  As he returned from a rash of shoulder injuries plaguing the past few seasons, he was further off my radar than the Red October.  Can you believe he’s never had a WHIP under 1.30 in ANY Major League season?  And that includes only 9 starts last year and 10 appearances in 2008.  Then after seriously considering him for my top 100 SP ranks last week, he got rocked at KC Tuesday.  But followed it up with a gem yesterday at Toronto!  What is going on here?!  I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!  So I decided to break down Sunday’s start and re-address my ill-conceived biases – and Garcia – for this week’s re-ranks:

Please, blog, may I have some more?