As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click this link.

Welcome to the “Wacky World of Sports!” I’m your host, Wax Winkingdale. This week we’ve got some weird, wild stuff for you. First up we’re catching up with a bit of silly from last month, when Andrew Cashner played left field for one batter in an extra-inning game for no real reason at all. Whoa, that Bud Black is one crazy guy! And really smart too. Much smarter than Tony LaRussa. [Ed. Note — With less drunk driving to boot!]

Next is more madcap fun from San Diego, where a dinosaur threw out the first pitch before a game last Wednesday against the Royals. And no it wasn’t Steve Garvey! So who was the catcher for this zany occasion? Why it was the Swinging Friar, the team’s mascot. And oh look, the baby T-Rex is on the attack – he heard Friar and got the wrong idea!

Dino

Perhaps the weirdest story of the week comes to us from Toronto, where fantasy experts continue to disrespect a pitcher with a 6-1 record, 1.91 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Regression, they INSIST, is coming for Mark Buehrle as certain as winter is coming for Jon Snow and everyone else in the Seven Kingdoms. One writer said this is because Buehrle is lucky, noting, among other things, his small Home Run to Fly Ball ratio, favorable FIP (Field Independent Pitching) rate and weak K/9 rate. So Buehrle is lucky because he gave up fly balls and not home runs? There’s no skill in that? Guess he was lucky when he threw a perfect game too. And, OKAY, Buehrle doesn’t get a ton of strike outs, and I guess good things are happening when balls that he throws are hit, and that maybe those good things won’t continue happening if balls continue to be hit and not missed by batters. Given all that, by the FIP measurement Buehrle’s ERA would be more in the All-Star zone (low 3’s) and not exactly Cy Young territory (under 2). I don’t think this did the best job of illustrating his point. I’m not really sure how much stock I put in something that looks like this anyway: “FIP = ((13*HR)+(3*(BB+HBP))-(2*K))/IP + constant.” Sounds like Mr. Kowalski’s boring-ass algebra class, not analysis of a sport. There’s a lot of writers a lot smarter than me who use these numbers to make valid points. There’s even more who wank off to print outs of these formulas in the same way that White Goodman rubs one out with a slice of pizza. Here’s my analysis: Buehrle has been excellent, and even though his track record indicates that this isn’t normal, it’s also very possible that he will have the career year the Blue Jays thought he was going to have when they splurged on free agents before the 2013 season. Or at least a career first half. I think we will know which way this is going to go after this week, as Buehrle draws the Angels at home and a trip to the gauntlet in Arlington.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click this link.

When did pitchers become such complete morons?

Michael Pineda’s pine tar party is way old news now, but let’s just go back and revisit what was truly dumb about it: It’s not that he tried to use pine tar, it’s that he tried to hide it on his neck!

Last week’s dummy was Matt Cain. Apparently, he read some of the scouting reports that said his 2013 was a tale of two-halves, which might have given him the idea to make a sandwich in the Giants’ clubhouse before the team’s game last Tuesday against the Padres. Whoops! Cain sliced his index finger instead of a tomato, or whatever, and had to be scratched. It’s not dumb that Cain wanted to have a sandwich on game day. It’s idiotic that he had to make one himself. Don’t they bring in catering before the game? Why are they making their own sandwiches? Aren’t these guys pampered millionaires?

There is an actual fantasy point here. What made Cain’s first half of 2013 so rough is that he was giving up dongs despite his ability to keep the ball in the yard throughout his career. This year he’s yielded five homers, which is up among the league leaders, but not horrid. The sandwich debacle hurts because Cain needed to bounce back strong after a poop-fest in Colorado that followed two quality starts in losses.

The good news is he has two starts in pitcher friendly parks this week (PNC Park and Dodger Stadium). The bad news is that damn cut kept opening up last week when Cain tried to throw. What if it flies open in Pittsburgh and someone mistakes the blood for ketchup and slathers it on their Primanti Bros. sandwich?

Dumber things have happened. Like, say, messing around with a knife before you start a major league game …

… and some of these two-start pitcher rankings. Enjoy!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click this link.

For some reason, I’m cool with the cat-and-mouse game of pitchers hiding sandpaper and pine tar, and I kind of like umpire errors. They’re quirks that are part of the DNA of the game, like grabbing your balls and lighting your teammate’s feet on fire. Do we need new rules for ball grabbing and pyromaniacs with foot fetishes? I didn’t think so.

And while I love home plate collisions as much as the next tobacco-spewing, pot-bellied third base coach, baseball done good by following in the footsteps of the NFL and NBA and addressing concussions.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Matt Moore is a bust,” fantasy expert Cocker Cockleysworth says. “He got lit up in Spring Training and his walks are way up. Great arm, bad command.”

“Now wait a second,” fantasy analyst Roger Dingleberry says. “This is the same Matt Moore who was an All-Star in 2013 and was so close to Cy Young he got himself a peep show. He went 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA and 143 Ks in 150 innings.”

And so the debate raged on all the way up through the 2014 fantasy draft, where owners got the gas face if they drafted Moore too high, while others were quite pleased to have him fall in their laps later than expected. The war of words kicked up a notch. It got heated. Someone got killed with a trident.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

As esteemed Creed frontman Scott Stapp once sang: “Let’s play ball, it’s game day. We want strikeouts, base hits, duhbull plays.”

We should be havin’ a party, ya’ll. It’s the year’s first Two-Startapalooza!!

But yet something feels missing. With Clayton Kershaw out, it’s like Hendrix didn’t make it to Monterey Pop. With Yu Darvish out, it’s like Pearl Jam skipped Lollapalooza ’92. With Patrick Corbin gone for the year, it’s like, well, it’s like the Spin Doctors skipped Woodstock ’94. You get the idea.

Plenty of great double-dippers this week, though, so let’s get to it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Let me begin by saying that each of my H2H teams has been officially eliminated, and being so, I’ve decided to submit the most spiteful two-start post of all time. Ok, fine, I didn’t go that far. But I sure as shizz wanted to. Anyway. It’s the last week of the season, and anyone still reading this post is surely making a championship push, so good for you, and good luck this week. I want to thank everyone for reading along this season. I hope these weekly posts did more good than harm throughout the year. I’ll be digging into MiLB previews before long, and those posts will continue throughout the offseason. But this wraps up our two-start coverage until next spring. Now, go win some championships.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I did some complaining last week about how the plethora of six-man rotations this time of year dilutes the two-start pool and makes two-start forecasting quite difficult. And while all of that is surely true, it’s also true that at this point of the season is probably the easiest time all year to get your greedy little hands on some quality two-start streamers. If you’re still reading this post midway into September, you’re in the minority. Week 25 is the finals in most H2H formats, the semis just about everywhere else. And if you play in one of the weird no-playoffs H2H leagues, odds are there aren’t more than two teams in serious contention at this juncture. Point is, there just aren’t that many people exploiting the two-start scene anymore. From this point forward, you should be able to snag some usable streamers without much trouble. Of course, if you’ve made it this far, I’d like to think your staff is strong enough to succeed without the help of fringy waiver adds.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re almost into mid-September, which means the fantasy season is growing a little long in the tooth. It’s a stressful time for those of us still alive in H2H land — the fantasy baseball playoffs can be a depleting time for both your liquor cabinet and your liver functionality. It doesn’t help, then, that this is the time of the year when managers — especially those of teams out of contention — like to mess around with their starting rotations. I don’t blame them; it makes perfect developmental sense for the White Sox, or any other team, to move to a six-man rotation in order to see what they have in arms like Andre Rienzo or Erik Johnson. But as a weekly leaguer, this sort of rotation shuffling can be maddening if you’re trying to gauge the two-start landscape. This is all to say that now, more than ever, it’s imperative that you check and re-check the probable pitchers prior to locking your weekly lineup. Good luck in the playoffs, my friends.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Weekly leaguers, you’re here to read weekly league advice, of course. But let’s begin this week by broadening our horizons with a little daily league chatter. If you’ve been paying attention to JB throughout the season, you know that we’ve teamed up with DraftKings to offer exclusive Razzball contests all year long. As JB mentioned on Wednesday, next week’s contest is our last of the year, and it’s a good one. 50 entries, $10-per, six get paid, and the winner pockets a few Benjamins. If you haven’t given it a shot yet this year, I highly recommend you join our game next Friday. It’s quite fun — you have my word on that. More details to follow. Now for the two-starters.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Instead of relegating him to bullpen duties, the Cardinals have opted to send Jake Westbrook to the disgraceful list. In a corresponding move, they’ve called up Carlos Martinez from Triple-A. As of the time of this writing there’s been no official word, but it appears likely that Martinez will claim Westbrook’s spot in the starting rotation. That’d make C-Mart the probable starter for Monday, putting him in line for two starts next week. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that I’ve not been shy about my unhealthy adoration for Martinez. The 21-year-old is flat out filthy — 4-seamers at 98; 2-seamers with unreal sink at 96; deceptive change in the mid-80s. If he can shore up his location, he brings as much K-potential as any pitcher in baseball, and that’s not hyperbole. I listed Martinez as a first tier guy below, even considering the tough match-ups. If you have a chance to watch him pitch next week, please do. It’s truly something to behold. The rest of your two-starters are below.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?