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Welcome to the unofficial second half of the fantasy baseball season. If you’re reading this, I tip my dirty turban in your general direction, because that means despite half your roster being on the DL you’re still in the hunt for all the cash, bragging rights, glory and glory holes that is a fake baseball championship. If you’re reading this because you thought this was a Ben Wa ball site, let me be the first to apologize and welcome you to the Razzball Lounge. I’m sure we have some of those balls around here somewhere. Tehol? This is the place we almost award winning fantasy scribes come to pour over the numbers a little and pour out the scotch a lot more. Bellying up to the bar in his Montreal Expos Gary Carter throwback we find resident Razzball Radio on the TV host Nick C-A-P-O-Z-Z-I.  “I’ll trade a Razzball 32 in 32 in 32 ticket for one more Labatts and two of those Slim Jims.” Over at the juke box is the Razzball editor-in-kimchee Jay(Wrong) dropping quarters and lip syncing to Color Me Badd’s “I Wanna Sex You Up” for the seventh time. “Hey guys, I drafted Joaquin Benoit in the third round. Who’s the expert now?” *bottle smashes above head* Duct taped to the bar stool is rookie writer Ralph Lifshitz. Feel free to draw this on his face with a Sharpie. “Hazing is a crime ya know!” Silence, rook! Staggering out of the ladies room with his latest conquest is the one and only Tehol Beddict. “Why the long faces gang? I’ve been in last place since April.” And won’t you join your-humble-yet-not-quite-sober Guru here at the pool table. *adjusts turban, closes eye, banks cue ball off three rails, sinks eight ball, lights smoke, sets beard on fire* Shut off that damned boy band crap and put on some Motorhead. It’s time to play the game. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

 

Jam or Cram: Joaquin Benoit, RP, San Diego Padres

2014 Stats: 39.2 IP, 3 W, 1 S, 46 K, 2.04 ERA, 0.86 WHIP.

Availability: 65% Yahoo, 64% ESPN.

FAAB $$$ Value: $12. Want SAGNOF? You have to pay.

The Gist: With Huston Street packing his bags and headed up I-5 to Anaheim, Benoit is all but assured the closing gig in you-stay-classy San Diego. In his first appearance as the Padres closer Friday night, Benoit gave up the go ahead run. Way to grab the opportunity by the Benoits.

Key Stats: Benoit had 24 saves with the Tigers last season.

Jam it or Cram it: Benoit has been great this season and there’s no doubt he can close games. However, the trade winds continue to blow through San Diego and Benoit’s stint as a stopper could be short if he ends up in a contender’s ‘pen. No matter, we need the SAGNOF now. JAM.

 

Jam or Cram: Arismendy Alcantara, SS, Chicago Cubs

2014 Stats: 26 AB, 7 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 SB, .346 AV.

Availability: 85% Yahoo, 69% ESPN.

FAAB $$$ Value: $7.

The Gist: Alright, the sample size is shorter than his name, but Alcantara has been a *puts pinky to mouth* terror since being called up before the break going 9/26 providing some pop and showing off his SAGNOF skills. Right now the kid has SS eligibility (and 2B on Yahoo) and could add centerfield by the time the season ends – me likey.

Key Stats: In 335 at-bats at Triple-A Iowa he hit .307 with 10 homers, 41 RBI and 21 steals. Javier who?

Jam it or Cram it: Hello, Darwin Barney, we’d like to introduce you to Mr. Wally Pipp. You two have a talk with Junior Lake while we try to figure out a way to get this kid’s name to fit on this jersey and into our fantasy lineups. JAM.

 

Jam or Cram: Conor Gillaspie, 3B, Chicago White Sox

2014 Stats: 261 AB, 36 R, 4 HR, 35 RBI, 0 SB, .322 AV.

Availability: 84% Yahoo, 83% ESPN.

FAAB $$$ Value: $5.

The Gist: Over the last two weeks, “Dizzy” Gillaspie leads all third basemen with four home runs and a 1.531 OPS. While the pop isn’t quite legit, Gillaspie does have 23 doubles (more than Adrian Beltre, Todd Frazier and Josh Donaldson) and an OBP of .373 (better than David Wright, Anthony Rendon and Evan Longoria).

Key Stats: Among third basemen with at least 250 plate appearances, Not-John Conor ranks fourth in batting average and wRC+.

Jam it or Cram it: Gillaspie may be a bit of a Platoony Tune as he struggles against lefties, but he’s a legit hitter and should maintain a .300 average. On the year, Gillaspie is putting up better numbers than higher owned players like Carlos Santana, Martin Prado and Xander Bogaerts. Why no love? Come here Conor and let me hold you. We’re going JAM kwazy.

 

Jam or Cram: Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

2014 Stats: 162 AB, 21 R, 8 HR, 24 RBI, 2 SB, .315 AV.

Availability: 90% Yahoo, 75% ESPN.

FAAB $$$ Value: $3.

The Gist: With Wil Myers on the disgraceful list, Kiermaier – who was known more for his glove than his bat in the minors – has gotten the call and he’s been producing. While the sample size is small, it’s hard not to notice a .272 Isolated Slugging Percentage and a 160 wRC+ which is better than Nelson Cruz, Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Bautista. Now I know my turban is not too tight, there is no way ol’ Kev is in that class of slugger. However, Kiermaier has been showing off some from out of nowhere pop. His 20.5% HR/FB rate is top 15 among hitters with at least 170 plate appearances.

Key Stats: In 433 minor league games, Kiermaier hit just 15 homers. He has more than half that in less than 50 MLB games. Bizarro World alert.

Jam it or Cram it: With home runs at a premium, Kiermaier is worth a look if he continues his hot schmotatoing. I heard him mentioned as a Rookie of the Year candidate and nearly choked on my tikka masala. But how believable is this power surge? He’s already topped his career high in homers, Wil Myers is coming back and Joe Maddon’s just let a box of rattlers loose in the clubhouse. Someone’s going to get snake bit. CRAM.

 

**Bonus Tracks**

Wade Davis, SP/RP, KC: Davis has a 1.13 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 17 holds and is a top 50 arm, according to the Razzball Player Rater. Know how many top 50 pitchers are less than 15% owned? Zero. JAM.

Chris Johnson, 3B, ATL: Has seven hits in his last 13 AB’s with three homers. If he hits three more over his next 30 games I’ll deep fry this turban and eat it with a side of sour cream. CRAM.

Austin Jackson, OF, DET: The matchup early in the week at Chase Field is JAM worthy, later in the week at Anaheim it’s a whole lotta CRAM.

Travis d’Arnaud, C, NYN: Hitting .625 this week. Yay! It’s been two games. Boo! CRAM.

Christian Vazquez, C, BOS: Another catcher? C’mon! CRAM. They are building a statue of him at Fenway though for getting A.J. Pierzynski out of town.

 Stalk me on the tweet machine @TheGuruGS, check out my blog the dirty turban and join us on the Razzball Football 32³ Tour. Get your tix here

 

  1. Turd Ferguson says:
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    Chris Dickerson: Small sample size? Jam?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      It’s JAM. Especially if he’s at home.

  2. Harris says:
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    My SP is killing me. I was offered Latos and Hanley for Tulo and Joe Kelly. Thoughts?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Not liking it. Are you able to stream SP using the Stream-o-nator? Roto or H2H?

      • Harris says:
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        @The Guru: I’m not liking it either. I’ve been having no luck. H2h league. Yesterday is a good example. Stroman has a big start and Greinke is down 4-0 after 1. My opponent gets a 1 out save from Britton. Trading Tulo isn’t going to make things better. Thx…

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
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          Use the streamy and keep your Tulo.

  3. Leifer maddness says:
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    hey guru. who is the better pick up danny salazar or shane greene for this week and ros?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Our pal Sal by a lot this week. ROS? It’s a toss up really.

  4. nick the dick says:
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    Yo Gu 10 team h2h 3 OF 3 UTIL standard cats plus batter ks and losses. My team C-rosario, 1b-edwin (dl) & rizzo, 2b-wong, ss-desmond, 3b-donaldson, OF-jones/puig/pence, UTIL-harper/andrus/calhoun, bench-marte, SP-scherzer/lester/teheran/ryu/gray/wood/arrieta/ventura/gee, RP-uehara/cishek/allen.
    Now i dont NEED pitching but a puig crazy guy sent me an absurd offer. My puig for his madbum/samardzija/richards.
    Id really like to keep puig but my staff would be unbelieveable with those 3 guys added in. I would drop gee and either alex wood or yordano prob or maybe calhoun or marte. Too good to pass up? And if u would take it, who would be the other drop with gee?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      He crazy. Tough to give up Puig, but I think I’d take it. Drop Gee and Yordano.

  5. Connor says:
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    Better be serious about eatting that turban! Already with a homer today

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Ha! I was thinking the same thing. Better buy some sour cream.

  6. ryan says:
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    Would you rather have Altuve or Ellsbury ROS?

    I have Rendon to slot into 2B (has been UTIL) if I deal Altuve

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      If you need OF help its worth it I guess, but ROS I see Altuve slightly head of Jake.

  7. Gabe says:
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    Who’s better the rest of the way aybar or kolton Wong?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Wong has been good lately, but going Aybar here.

  8. Buge hoobs says:
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    Alcantara or segura ROS?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Alcantara has looked good, but I think he’ll hit a wall at some point. Go Segura. *lights candle, prays to Robin Yount bobblehead*

  9. KING TROUT says:
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    “If he [Chris Johnson] hits three more over his next 30 games I’ll deep fry this turban and eat it with a side of sour cream.”

    -Hit one today
    -2 more HRs in 29 games
    -hahaha, I got see this!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      I’m preparing the dipping sauce now. Ha!

  10. OT says:
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    For my utility spot, would you start Belt, Taveras, Craig, or the lesser of Vogt/Gattis (the other will be my second catcher)?

    If Belt is supposed to miss just a day or two, I’m leaning towards him. If not, I don’t know.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Belt has a concussion so he’s headed to the DL for at least 7 days. Go Vogt.

  11. Jack says:
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    In my H2H OBP league someone just dropped Napoli. Do I drop K. Davis to pick him up? Razzball/Steamer likes Napoli better.

    • jef with 1 f says:
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      @Jack: nope

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      I would. It’s close but Nap will give you a little more.

      • Jack says:
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        @The Guru: Thanks to both of you. Not sure if 3 more factors matter…
        1) the league has errors as a category. I’m guessing ROS Napoli has 3 and Davis has 1.

        2) Boston plays in Pittsburgh during the H2H championship week. Wondering if Nap will lose some at bats to Ortiz during that 3 game set.

        3) My team is a little weaker in OBP, R’s, SB’s and a little stronger in HR’s and RBI’s. Do you change your answer to Davis in this case?

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
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          Yeah, that does change things a bit. Stick with Davis. Nap will sit at least 1 game in Pitt and if you’re strong in homers/RBI Davis can help in those other spots more than Naps.

  12. can't fight fate says:
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    Would you trust Wong at 2nd base, ROS, trying to give up Pedroia to get something done for C Gomez. Think maybe Kluber, Pedroia and A Gone for C Gomez and M Adams.

    • jef with 1 f says:
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      @can’t fight fate: I’d do it…I already moved pedroia in a deal and put Wong in his place…you won’t notice much difference…even when Wong cools off

      • can't fight fate says:
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        ok, I asked the owner. Doubt he will do it though. Probably gonna offer me Rios instead and I reject it. Tried dealing for Gomez before, but never included Pedroia.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      I don’t trust him over Pedroia. Seems too much to give up for Gomez. If he’ll do Pedroia for Gomez straight up I could see doing it.

      • can't fight fate says:
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        Maybe you are right. Having doubts, but I think he will say no anyway. If he does Ill have a clear answer. If he says yes, Ill consider it. Adams seems to be doing better then A Gone, and Pedroia has frustrated me for the whole season. But the brand name is still there.

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
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          Pedroia’s career numbers in the second half are usually better.

  13. 2 Cups 1 Braun says:
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    If you were going to drop a closer that is likely to get traded and not close, who would you drop? Qualls or Soria

    Also who would you pickup to replace that person, Giles or Benoi

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Tough to say, but leaning Qualls and Benoit.

  14. costaricanchata says:
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    another nice write-up by the star of razzball tv/radio .
    must be getting close to fresh blueberry pie season , up in your neck of the woods .
    be well .

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Cheers! I raise a Sea Dog blueberry ale in your honor.

  15. McNulty says:
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    Drop Polanco for Byrd? Or hold and pray for better days?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Stick with Polanco – he gets COL at Coors this week. If he sucks it may be time for me to rethink my man crush.

      • McNulty says:
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        @The Guru: Word – thanks, boss.

  16. Abdoozy says:
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    Yo Guru, jam this..
    I have Gattis coming off the DL tomorrow so I have a decision to make.
    I don’t like bench bats as my league is crazy about pitching, so I stash as many as I can.
    Lineup:
    C Vogt
    1 Abreu
    2. Wong
    3. Holt
    Ss Gordon
    Of. Cutch, Stanton, AJones
    UT Crisp, Bruce
    DL Gattis
    Tempted to drop Bruce for Gattis and call it a “trade”.. I can’t get anyone to trade anything I’d want for Bruce.
    Vogt has been hitting too well to drop, plus A’s.
    Pitchers are Teheran, Cobb, Wood, Sanchez, Niese, Gee, DeGrom, Hahn, Melancon, Rodney, Allen.
    (Just dropped Yomama Ventura for Niese)
    Who’s my drop for Gattis? I’m in first place, and would like to stay there.
    ESPN h2H daily 6×6 (OPS, QS)

    • Abdoozy says:
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      @Abdoozy: that’s SP Alex Wood btw.

      • The Guru

        The Guru says:
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        I can’t see dropping Bruce. You really like Niese that much? I’d drop Vogt before Bruce as much as I like like him.

        • Abdoozy says:
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          @The Guru: Niese is Mister Quality Start — he has more this year (13) than a lot of guys who are 100% owned, he has an ERA under 3 and an acceptable WHIP so I can tolerate his meh K rate. He doesn’t get much respect.

          But yeah, he should probably lose in a drop-off cage match with Bruce, although my patience with Bruce is wearing mighty thin.

  17. FLOW says:
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    Send Chris Davis, Bal 1B from 1B/3B to TL
    Send Yu Darvish, Tex SP from P to TL
    Send Kenley Jansen, LAD RP from P to TL
    Receive Jay Bruce, Cin OF from TL to Bench
    Receive J.D. Martinez, Det OF from TL to Bench
    Receive Julio Teheran, Atl SP from TL to Bench
    Receive Chris Archer, TB SP from TL to Bench

    Which side ROS ?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Interesting trade offer, but leaning Yu side.

  18. Chris says:
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    Hello Guru,

    Would you drop Hawkins for Benoit?
    Also, still hold Andrus or drop and add Alcantara?

    Thanks!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Hold.

  19. Bob says:
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    6×6 with QS, who do you like ROS?

    Keuchel
    Roark
    Neise
    Buchholz
    Burnett

    Or would you pick up Benoit for the saves instead? (Jansen, street, Perkins rostered)

    • nick the dick says:
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      @Bob: roark, buchholz

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Burnett.

  20. Bryan says:
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    Benoit or Santiago Casilla Ros?

    • nick the dick says:
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      @Bryan: casilla

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Casilla. For now. Going to be a lot of RP movement this week me thinks.

  21. ty says:
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    Thank you for the sunday Jam Cram sesh sir… I’m thinking
    Gillaspie and Chris Johnson are pretty much the same but wouldn’t CJ get the nod because Gillaspie sitting against lefties? I need a 3rd baseman to plugin until Arenado finds his swing

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      No prob. That’s a good point, but still think Gillaspie will outproduce him.

  22. jb says:
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    rest of the season would you rather have victorino or lorenzo cain

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Victorino.

  23. nick the dick says:
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    V mart and polanco or c davis and porcello 10 team h2h?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Depends on needs really. Leaning a Davis resurgence in the second half.

  24. Lopes says:
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    if you had to roll with one of these guys for the rest of the season as a number 4 in a 10 team h2h keeper league (none are in contention of being a keeper) who would you choose: Taijuan Walker, Zack Wheeler or Odrisamer Despaigne

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Wheeler.

  25. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    d’arnaud has been hitting very well since he came back from AAA. i’m not saying grab him in standard leagues yet, and i’m pretty sure this is what your column indicates though.

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