Don’t look now, but the hottest dynasty baseball league in the game is back for another monthly update. We are the American Dream personified. A former colony of the REL, otherwise known as the Razzball Elite League, and the evil iron fist of King George JB. Much like our founding fathers, M@ and I, the league’s John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson worked hard to redraft our constitution, and bring prosperity to all those effected by King George JB’s extreme taxation. Through these wars waged by an army of rag tag farmers, a great general emerged. Who is this great general? Our George Washington, if you will. None other than the original smoothie himself, Captain of the clean gooch, one Nick The Dick. Under the courageous command of Nick, and his Captain Jaaaaaake, Razz30 has taken on all comers, and anyone looking to down our new found utopia. There is no 30 team league in the land where it’s citizen’s are better educated, better looking, or just plain better. Our gooches are hairless, but our faces are not. We trade like spice merchants in the ports of the Orient! We pillage the posts of our enemies! We chat like high school girls on social messaging apps. We’re the league you wish you played in. It’s the Razz30 Update for April in the year of our lord two thousand and seventeen. Claws Up for my Family!

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Lots of little piddly injuries this week that don’t seem to be of much consequence. Self-proclaimed MVP candidate Yoenis Cespedes missed a few games with hamstring soreness, but seems ready to return. Stephen Strasburg must have had a great time on his July 20th birthday, because here we are nine months later and he is missing a start to be with his wife as they have their second child. Lil’ DP, Dustin Pedroia, has missed a few games after getting taken out by a Manny Machado slide that would make Ty Cobb proud until Cobb looked at a picture of Machado. And Justin Upton injured his forearm hustling into second base trying to outrun all the lofty hype and expectations we’ve heaped on him for a decade now.

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REL baseball logo new

Oh how thangs are-a-changin’!  The Brewers have the talk of the town!  The cock of the walk!  No not Brad Peacock, who I got laughed at on the Podcast for begrudgingly dropping in our Perty Perts RCL, I’m talking about the legend himself Eric Thames!  Hey, I gotta derail the NL intro somehow, because the boring ol’ Nationals continue to dominate.  Thanks to Coors Field allowing Trea Turner a cycle and like, a bajillion RBIs!  The AL is much more interesting though, with yet another new front-runner emerging with the Mariners this week.  James Paxton for president!  Wait, he’s Canadian.  Paxton for Canadian president…  I’m running out of steam with the intro!

Here’s how week 4 went down in the 2017 REL League:

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I’m salivating about my hitters against Mr. Home run allowed Jered Weaver and his 84 MPH fastball in Chase Field.  Weaver has allowed a whopping seven home runs in twenty three innings this year.  But wait, he gave up 37 in 178 innings last year.  In fact, Mr. Weaver has given up 68 home runs in his last 360 innings.  And half of those innings have come in Angel stadium and Petco Park.  These are not home run havens, need I say more.  I should?  Well ok then.  Paul Goldschmidt ($4,300) has been hot hitting .522 with 2 homers in his last 7.  He’s 3 for 4 with a homer against Weaver and he loves home cooking at Chase.  Meanwhile, Jake Lamb ($3,800) has hit .293 this year with .333/.614 split against righties, and Lamb hit .291/.621 in the first half last year before he injured his hand.  Really, Dbacks galore so take your pick among Lamb, Goldy, A.J. Pollock, Chris Owings, David Peralta, and even Brandon Drury (if he’s not hobbled today; check those LUs).  Weaver will be giving, I promise.  There are other stacking targets like the Cards against Matt Latos, the high-powered Indians against Mike Fiers, or the obvious Coors stacks, but I still dream of a Jered matchup .  That 84 MPH heater against Senz’s at 94?  Is 84 MPH actually a heater?  Exactly.  This is why I dream of Weaver today.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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Humor me here…

Austin Hedges’ first 31 plate appearances of 2017 – .037/.133/.037 with a 9/2 strikeout to walk ratio.

Alex Bregman’s first 32 plate appearances of 2016 – .031/.088/.031 with a 10/2 strikeout to walk ratio.

Since then, Hedges has a slash line of .278/.289/.833 as he entered Monday night’s bout with the Diamondbacks. The most important driver in his .833 slugging percentage is the five home runs he has smacked since a rough start to the season. Well, make that six, as Hedges took everybody’s favorite former Colorado Rockies ace Jorge De La Rosa deep in Chase last night (bring on the humidor!). In case you forgot about Bregman’s stretch after his rough start last year, the immensely touted prospect slashed .297/.372/.432 in his 42 plate appearances after the drought and finished with a 1.0 WAR after only 49 games. After this run by Hedges, I’m seriously considering a reworking of this column’s title.

Cheap home runs from the catcher wasteland? Sign me up.

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Fantasy baseball can be a lot like dating. Well, perhaps you’ve never made this particular comparison, but it comes into play time and time again for me. Sometimes it’s easy to spot a jerk – for instance, even if a fellow treated you pretty darn well for most of 2016, once he gets accused of assault, you realize he has outstanding DUIs in like 4 different countries, and then isn’t even allowed to come back to the U.S., it’s obviously time to cut the cord. (Obligatory shout out to the Pittsburgh Pirates: sending a pitching machine to a guy who fits the above description so he can keep practicing baseball, which I heard you did, might not be the best way to cut the cord). Then there’s the one that got away, the guy you avoided because he just seemed too good to be true. This can lead to heartbreak, like when you didn’t believe a beautiful, muscular, 6-foot tall 30-year old whose nickname in Korea translated to “God” was the real deal, and you miss out on what would have been one of the most beautiful relationships of your young life. (Note to self: when someone’s nickname is “God,” in real-life or fantasy baseball, that could be important). Then there’s the guy who you dated for months – you waited so patiently while he would go days without texting you, and then when he finally did take you out, you went to a chain restaurant for a meal you ended up paying for. You just KNEW he had it in him to be a great guy… but finally had to give up and dump him, only to see him treat his next girlfriend to handpicked flowers every morning and gourmet meals every night (so far in 2017, I call this guy Jason Heyward).

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Over the last four seasons Jose Quintana has averaged 461 points per season, finishing as a top 30 (or better) starting pitcher in each of those seasons. Over that same span of seasons he has pitched at least 200 innings, and while he isn’t a strikeout pitcher, averaging just 7.73 punch outs per nine, he has also averaged a very respectable 3.34 earned run average. Quintana might not be a stud, but he has certainly proven to be consistently good. And consistently good is great in points leagues.

Considered by many to be a top trade candidate this season, Quintana stands to get a nice boost in value if he ends up playing for a contender (aka not for the White Sox). Put all of this together and I own him nearly all of my leagues. Take a look at what he’s done this season and you can imagine I’m not very pleased with the results thus far. In his first four starts this year he has averaged just under five points start. Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale have averaged nearly that many points per inning! Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s not far from the truth. You’ve got to be kidding me. Quintana better wake up soon or I’m going to have give Comfort Inn my business.

Here’s what else I’ve seen thus far in points leagues…

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Today’s slate is chalked full of horrible pitchers and the launching pad we know as Coors Field.  This is the worst kind of situation…you have Colorado/Washington in Coors who everybody wants to stack.  Adding two trashy starting pitchers going – Tanner Roark and Tyler Chatwood – makes this a nightmare situation for DFS players.  In cash games this seems simple, you just play them and move on.  In GPP this isn’t so easy, everyone is going to have a piece of this game.  You can differentiate yourself by doing the opposite, I personally will be doing that.  Do this 10 times and you may only be right a few times,  but your probability of winning big money goes WAY up.  So fair warning, I won’t be covering Colorado or Washington guys in my picks.  Obviously you can play them, and should play them (especially in cash games) but I’m here to try and win you all a GPP!

Now onto the picks…

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care! 

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Image result for hyun jin ryu

When the Dodgers signed Hyun-Jin Ryu before the 2013 season, my first thought was, This dude looks like a Macy’s Day Parade balloon; not a professional athlete. The Dodgers did shell out $36 million for him, so they obviously had more grandiose plans for him than to have him float high above Chavez Ravine to provide shade for the whole stadium. So I looked at his numbers in Korea. Not bad, but not great. Then I read the scouting reports and was meh. At the conclusion of his first season with the Dodgers in 2013, Ryu went 14-8, posted a 3.00 ERA, 1.203 WHIP, and struck out 154 batters in 192 innings. Those numbers don’t sound exciting, yet he ended that year as the 25th starting pitcher and 79th overall player in fantasy.

DISCLAIMER: This was written before tonight’s start in San Francisco. He is in my DFS lineups so I put my money where my mouth is. Oh God, help me.

Now, Ryu has missed the past two seasons due to arm injuries. He’s currently sporting a 5.87 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in 15 1/3 innings. There’s a ton of wear and tear on his arm, as he threw 1269 innings in Korea and 391 in the US. So, why is he the focus of this week’s Bear or Bull? Well, there’s this…

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As I have gone over in the preseason, streaming against a starting pitcher is sometimes a good approach.  The problem is that sometimes the blame isn’t completely on the pitcher.  This isn’t Looney Tunes and Bugs Bunny isn’t playing all nine positions versus the Gas House Gorillas.  So obviously I am referring to the catcher in this scenario.  Streaming against a pitcher is all well and good, the bad is that they only pitch once every five days and while it’s fun to rosterbate the high hell out of it, why not take advantage of a starting catcher who usually gets five starts a week?  Seems like genius and a better way to try and capitalize on a three game set versus a weak catcher oriented team at gunning down baserunners. So the handy chart below gives us an early glimpse of who we should be taking advantage of with our waiver additions in the steals category.  Stay after the chart, because I drop some tidbits of grandeur.

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