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As the seminal prog band Emerson, Lake and Laura Palmer once sang: “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside.” (The song went on for 45 minutes before ‘Yes’ came out and kicked their ass.) Opening day is here and the Razzball Lounge is open for bid’ness. Have a seat, grab a cold one and a pickled egg, and don’t get hypnotized by my bedazzled turban my fantasy freaks. Here in the lounge we dedicated, often celebrated, and usually acquitted (we have a great legal team) Razzballin’ scribes gather every opening day to bicker and banter, indulge and imbibe and moan and marvel at our fantasy teams and Grey’s magnificent ‘stache. On this last lazy Sunday (before things get serious) we find Sky in a dark corner slowing rocking back and forth muttering his mantra of “Tulo, Tanaka, Trumbo” over and over. Bellying up to the bar is podcasting paladin Nick Capozzi, clad only in his Expos throwback demanding another Labatts, showing off pics of his rolling Razzball ride and asking no one in particular, “Get your 32in32in32 tickets yet, eh?” Dropping quarters in the jukebox we find Jay Wrong demonstrating his “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” interpretative dance – “Will you love me forever?”  *bottle smashes above head* Stumbling out of the ladies room is the one and only Tehol Beddict casually zipping up his skinny jeans and introducing his new lady friend, “Guys, I’d like to introduce you to my cousin. Ain’t she pretty?” And here at the pool table is your humble-but-nonetheless handsome Guru putting the finishing touches on my 27 rosters. *closes eye, takes aim, sinks eight ball off two rails, drops shot glass into pint, downs boilermaker, lights cigar, sets turban on fireWith the drinks starting to flow let’s run though the jams and crams at each position for Week 1 of the 2014 fantasy baseball season. We’re not talking Miggy, Trout or Goldy here, we’re looking at players owned in less than 50% of most leagues that could help grab you an early lead on your way to fantasy glory. Good luck this season, it’s time to jam it or cram it.

 

Catcher

Jam or CramTravis d’Arnaud, New York Mets

2013 Stats: 31 G, 4 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 0 SB, .202 AV.

Availability: 90% Yahoo, 98% ESPN

2014 $$$ Value: $2

The Gist: Cue the upside theme song. Whaddaya mean there’s no upside theme song? d’Arnaud is currently buried in the rankings – 27th in ESPN, 24TH for the YAHOO!s. Doesn’t make sense to your turban clad friend here. There’s no competition for him and the job is all d’Arnaud’s for the sinking or the swimming. Ranked as the No. 6 prospect in all of baseball last season, the Mets backstop has double-digit power and .300ish average potential – if he can stay healthy.

Key Stat: d’Arnaud has only played 100 games twice in his 7-year pro career.

Jam it or Cram it: Ok, ok, the kid looked overwhelmed last season, but it was a relatively small sample – just 112 PA.However, the minor league numbers are impressive –  69 home runs, 309 RBI and a .347 average. d’Arnaud is a roll of the dice, but if you waited on catcher and currently own the likes of Miguel Montero, Russell Martin or Carlos Ruiz, why not take a gamble on a guy that will finish *bold prediction* as the NL Rookie of the Year this season. JAM

 

Corner Infield

Jam or Cram: Justin Morneau, 1B, Colorado Rockies

2013 Stats: 62 R, 17 HR, 77 RBI, 0 SB, .259 AV.

Availability: 50% Yahoo, 75% ESPN

2014 $$$ Value: $2

The Gist: Post-concussion Morneau has been a sorrowful thing to watch – slow to the ball, power sapped and always asking where his car keys are. In about 1500 AB’s he’s only hit 40 homers and .250. However, a full season at Coors Field could be the perfect headache medicine – see Michael Cuddyer.

Key Stat: Morneau hasn’t hit more than 20 home runs since 2009.

Jam it or Cram it: If you got confused at the end of your scotch-fueled draft and picked up Todd Helton I could see taking a chance on a Morneau resurrection. Just keep in mind it’s not 2006 anymore. In a deep league I could see jamming, but if you drafted like the rest of us Razzballers you already own Paul Goldschmidt, Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols or Joey Votto. CRAM

 

Middle Infield

Jam or Cram: Kolten Wong, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals

2013 Stats: 32 G, 6 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3 SB, .153 AV.

Availability: 75% Yahoo, 80% ESPN

2014 $$$ Value: $1

The Gist: Grey went over his Wong fantasy on Friday and it’s already been nominated for a fantasy Pulitzer and an AVN Award. Gotta agree with the mustachioed maestro here, there’s a lot right about Wong. Last season at Triple-A Memphis he slashed .303/.369/.466 in over 450 appearances with 20 steals in 21 attempts.

Key Stat: Wong hit 375/.434/.646 this spring.

Jam it or Cram it: The Cards No. 1 pick just three years ago has won the second base job after an impressive spring. The kid has 10-15 home run, 25-30 steal potential. Counting on Neil Walker or Anthony Rendon? Crying over your Jurickson Profar? Grab your Wong and give it a JAM. How kinky.

 

Outfield

Jam or Cram: Grady Sizemore, Boston Red Sox

2013 Stats: Did not play.

Availability: 67% Yahoo, 78% ESPN

2014 $$$ Value: $0

The Gist: Despite not playing an inning of baseball since 2011, the Red Sox have penciled Grady in as Jacoby Ellsbury’s replacement in centerfield and shipped Jackie Bradley Jr. off to the sunny shores of Pawtucket. In 12 games this spring, Sizemore hit .333 with a homer, a couple of RBI, six runs scored and finally looks healthy after 426 surgeries, a complete blood transfusion and a Tijuana liver transplant.

Key Stat: Averaged 27 homers, 29 stolen bases from 2005-08 and is one of nine players with 100 home runs, 100 steals and a BB% of 10 or better over the past decade.

Jam it or Cram it: I’ll confess: I have a Tony Conigliaro candle lit for Grady fantasizing about a 30/30 season. You know I’m a dreamer with a heart of gold – and one day I will only communicate in Motley Crue lyrics. Best case scenario: Sizemore wins Comeback Player of the Year. Worst case scenario: Grady trips on Mike Napoli’s beard and his spleen explodes. Guys named Grady always work out in Beantown. CRAM

 

Pitcher

Jam or Cram: Dillon Gee, New York Mets

2013 Stats: 12 W, 3.62 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 142 K

Availability: 59% Yahoo, 55% ESPN

2014 $$$ Value: $2

The Gist: Gee could very well be the only healthy (it’s poetry) arm on the Mets this season not named Zack Wheeler. Matt Harvey saw Dr. Death, Jonathon Niese is dealing with his own elbow problems and Bartolo Colon is 105 years old. Gee had his best season a year ago going 12-11 with a 3.62 ERA and 142 strikeouts – a career high. His 2.74 ERA (just behind Yu Darvish and Matt Latos) in the second half may be signs of things to come.

Key Stat: Finished the spring with a 1.08 ERA over 18 2/3 innings this spring and will start the opener.

Jam it or Cram it: The decline in strikeout rate last year is troublesome as is the career 10.4% HR/FB ratio, but we’re not looking for Gee to carry our staff. We’re just looking for a filinski until Kershaw, Darvish or Cole Hamels comes back. Gee gets two starts this week and have to like the strikeout potential in the early going against the Nationals and the Reds. JAM

 

**BONUS TRACKS**

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, Miami Marlins: Salty was a top 6 catcher a year ago in Boston, but will now find himself hypnotized by that sculpture thingy in Miami. CRAM

Mike Olt, CI, Chicago Cubs: The once highly touted Olt hit .200 last year amid “vision” problems. Apparently, he couldn’t visualize what getting on first base looked like. Keep an eye on him for now. CRAM

Kelly Johnson, MI, New York Yankees: Johnson was top 8 in home runs among second baseman last season and has third base/outfield eligibility. I like my bench bats like my ladies – flexible. JAM

Rajai Davis, OF, Detroit Tigers: Davis missed a week with a bad hammy. Not a good sign for  SAGNOF! lovers. CRAM

Rex Brothers, P, Colorado Rockies: LaTroy Hawkins is the Rockies closer? Riigghhtt. JAM

 

Follow The Guru and his dirty turban on Twitter @TheGuruGS for fantasy ballin’ wisdom and scotch-fueled selfies.

  1. Guy who strikes out swing in softball says:
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    Jam or Cram these SP for me(looking for 1)

    Gibson(Minn)
    Johnson(CWS)
    Danks(CWS)
    Doubrant(BOS)
    Erlin(SD)

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Jam Doubront.

  2. Chicken Dinner says:
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    Hale @ Was (roark)
    or
    Odorizzi v TEX (saunders)

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Cram

  3. B says:
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    Who do you like better as a waiver wire rest of season stud: Jenrry Mejia, Erasmo Ramirez or Drew Hutchison?

    • Chicken Dinner says:
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      @B: Erasmo. Not my opinion, just know that’s what he says.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Erasmo

    • donut says:
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      @B: If dudes aren’t owned by now they probably won’t be until they pitch one game. I like Hutchison because he pitches first. If Hutchison flips out you’re good. If he stinks you could always swap him out for Erasmo or whoever before they start later in the week.

      Ignore this for weekly locks.

  4. Chicken Dinner says:
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    Erasmo. Not my opinion, just know that’s what he says.

    • Chicken Dinner says:
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      @Chicken Dinner:Double post………….CRAM

      • The Guru

        The Guru says:
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        That’s a CRAM CRAM.

  5. Final pick in my minor league draft for NL only league. All in rostered players are eligible. Once I call them up to my roster. They don’t count as keepers and cost $1 for two year.

    Some of the guys I’m targeting. Medlen, Alex Guerrero, Scott Van Slyke, Lohse, Taylor Jordan, Joc Pederson, Glasnow

    Who you think?

    • Chicken Dinner says:
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      @OneIdWilly: Guerrero.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Medlen, Guerrero.

  6. Operation Mindcrime says:
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    Rate this team, please!

    NFBC 12-team 2-catcher 9 pitchers of any kind 1000 min IP 5*5 standard:

    C1-Alex Avila
    C2-Iannetta
    1B-Goldy
    3B-Donaldson
    1B/3B-Votto
    2B-Gyrko
    SS-Andrelton
    2B/SS-Brad Miller
    OF1-Heyward
    OF2-Chris Carter
    OF3-Yelich
    OF4-Ben Revere (think he’s a better hitter than EY Jr.?)
    OF5-Alejandro De Aza
    UT-Pedro Alvarez
    Starters-Stras, Sale, Cashner, Samardzija, Sonny Gray, Archer, Jose Quintana
    Closers-Frieri, Parnell
    Potential Closer-Cody Allen

    Bench-Oswaldo the lucky rabbit Arcia, Rendon, Wong, Ethier (last pick 30th rd), Bourjos, Moustakas

    Would you drop any of bench, 2 starting catchers, or Cody Allen for D’Arnaud or Josmil Pinto?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      I’d drop one of those catchers for d’Arnaud.

  7. gareth says:
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    Hey guru,

    I officially broke my razzball virginity last week and joined a razzball league. Some of my league mates include prezi and kid A, so its going to be quite the experience.

    I’m curious to know what you think of the team I drafted:

    C Santana
    1b goldschmidt
    2b kipnis
    3b headley
    ss Villar
    Mi gyorko
    Ci swisher
    of Stanton
    of pence
    of granderson
    of khris davis
    of revere

    Bench – Willingham, Rajai Davis, Fowler.

    Sale
    price
    Cain
    masterson
    Lester
    jiminez
    koji uehara
    Veras
    Hawkins

    Your feedback and suggestions are much appreciated.

    • RotisserieJedi says:
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      @gareth: Gareth. It looks like you snagged some decent power, good pitching, and Koji. I could definitely work with that team. I would tell you to shore up MI, but MI is a wasteland everywhere!

      • gareth says:
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        @RotisserieJedi: I missed out on everth Cabrera so had to settle for Villar much later. You’re right about middle infield this year. Blech.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Looks like a Razzball team to me. Did you plug the team into the War Room? Probably light on average, but looks good if all falls right.

  8. gareth says:
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    Oops – forgot to add Victor Martinez who is in my utility spot.

  9. Cigs McCoughsalot says:
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    If you could only pick one MLB manager, would it be Jim Leyland?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Grady Little?

  10. Papajeansegura says:
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    Yan Gomes or d’Arnaurd?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Coin flip really. I own both of them on a lot of teams, but my gut says Gomes.

      • Papajeansegura says:
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        @The Guru: as of now i have Lucroy and Gomes, so adding d’Arnaud doesn’t exactly make sense for me, but i didn’t realise Gomes would be hitting around the 8 hole so we’ll see I guess

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
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          Are you in a 2 C league?

  11. LongoTulo says:
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    Owings or Raj Davis as bench/util spot? Thanks!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Punt. Or Davis if you need the SAGNOF!

  12. joeg414 says:
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    I have Mesoraco out hurt. ( one active catcher spot) I could DL him and pickup one of the following for the next week or two. But, which one? Deep mixed daily 6×6 roto.
    R.Martin, A.Avila, AJ Ellis, C.Iannetta,. Arencibia, W.Castillo.

    Is it even worth an acquisition count?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Pick up Martin and see what happens.

  13. allen says:
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    Sergio santos scoooooooop him up

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      SAGNOF!

  14. costaricanchata says:
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    am a little disappointed that melky didn’t even make it to your bonus tracks .
    in addition to being buried in most adp lists ,
    he seems to be the forgotten man around here , at razzball .
    lots of power and rbi’s being projected for bautista and encarnacion ,
    but , apparently , the .300 hitter batting in front of them
    won’t be scoring any runs .
    plus , this is the dh-league , so he’ll get rbi opportunities .

    where do you stand on melky ?
    is he that much worse than fan-favorites kowboy kalhoun and aoki ??

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Melky is worth a gamble I suppose. I don’t put a lot of stock in good springs. I’d rather have Aoki or Calhoun. I’d argue the “lots of power” statement – he’s only hit more than 15 homers once then got busted for roids.

      • costaricanchata says:
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        @The Guru:

        “lots of power” statement was directed
        at bautista (i think Grey said maybe 40 HR)
        and encarnacion …. 35 -36 , last year ??

        • costaricanchata says:
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          @costaricanchata:

          melky should out-power coco crips … from oakland .

          • The Guru

            The Guru says:
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            Sorry, yes, me likey Joey Bats. Not so much likey Melky. I’d rather have Crisp. Who knows though, maybe Melky is back on his “training” regiment. I always tell people that if you got a feeling about a guy, add him and see what happens. What the hell do “experts” know. Ha!

            • J-FOH

              J-FOH says:
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              @The Guru: Melky can hit, but there is no power and no speed. I prefer to view my guys based on HR’s and SB’s….and a BA that won’t kill you. Melky fits in one out of three. All the other stats are out of my hand

              • The Guru

                The Guru says:
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                We’re crossing streams and I like it!

                • J-FOH

                  J-FOH says:
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                  @The Guru: watch the splash back I’m wearing white today

  15. Tom says:
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    What percentage of FAAB budget are people throwing at Sergio Santos? I guess we need to get a little more info on Janssen’s injury, but is 25% too much? I could use another closer.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      That seems a little pricey for two weeks of saves. Jansen’s injury isn’t the arm or shoulder and he should be good to go when he gets back.

  16. Ecstatic Giraffe says:
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    Would you drop Gattis for a’Arnaud?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Despite my “bold prediction” I would not. I might try to trade Gattis to a catcher starved Braves fan then pick up d’Arnaud, though.

  17. J-FOH

    J-FOH says:
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    I’m jamming Morneau…at home….against Right handed pitching

    • Wake Up says:
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      @J-FOH: vs RHP…whew…thought you were going another way there…like…

      I’m jamming Morneau…at home…in my basement…wearing a skinsuit…

      • J-FOH

        J-FOH says:
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        @Wake Up: yeah…thats it, he’s not the catcher…… and I throw left handed….. and there is not a skin suit made from pig skin…..a chicharones tuxedo is not a real thing

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      I’m jamming Morneau at home on Wednesday’s against pitchers with a mom named “Nancy.” The Hitter-Tron said so.

      • J-FOH

        J-FOH says:
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        @The Guru: hitter tron is a sucker for classic American mom names…it’s like the classic American cars he like to defile.

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
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          I’m waiting for a MILF role playing game ad to pop up here. *note to self* Create MILF role playing game.

          • J-FOH

            J-FOH says:
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            @The Guru: MILFopoly….patent pending.

            • The Guru

              The Guru says:
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              Damn you, hateful one!

              • J-FOH

                J-FOH says:
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                @The Guru: you snooze you lose

  18. Wake Up says:
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    Very funny Turbano!

    I’m with you on Olt…

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Thanks, my Razzballin’ friend. Damn, I’m ready for some baseball! Cheers.

    • J-FOH

      J-FOH says:
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      @Wake Up: I’m waiting for your arrival in my creeper post *taps fingers on desk*

  19. Jamiehov says:
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    Great read as usual. Would u guys drop Castro for De Arnoud?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Thanks, Jamie. No, hold for now.

  20. Frank White says:
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    What’s up Guru.. Here’s my lineup
    Matt Wieters
    Prince Fielder
    Gyorko
    Wright
    E. Andrus
    Adam Jones
    J. Bruce
    Alex Gordon
    Utility- M. Cuddyer
    Desmond Jennings
    Bench-
    Leonys Martin
    Pitching –
    Bumgarner
    Alex Cobb
    Homer Bailey
    Matt Moore
    Masterson
    Samardzija
    Jimenez
    Dillon Gee
    Glen Perkins
    Alex Wood
    Erasmo
    Drew Hutchison
    So I only have 1 closer and was told I need another one but don’t see or know who I should drop for one. Most of them are taken but I just read that Sergio Santos is going to be closing over Casey Janssen and yahoo says to grab him. After looking at my lineup Do you think I need to pick him up and for who?? Hutchison?? Or he aint worth it?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Hey Frank, good luck this season. I like the team. I’d drop Hutch and pick up Santos for a couple weeks of SAGNOF!

  21. The Red Cyclones says:
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    Keep Pineda or pickup Nolasco while he’s on waivers? 10 team mixed 5×5 roto

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Dillon Gee available? Or keep Pineda.

  22. Jake Taylor says:
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    Jam or Cram ( looking for a sneaky sp with upside)

    Cosart(HOU)
    Johnson(CWS)

  23. jared says:
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    In a h2h categories league that counts saves and holds as one category. Also Appearances is a category. I have Cody Allen should I drop him for Sergio Santos or stay with Allen? I own Houston street and glen Perkins as other relievers if that affects your decision. Thanks for the help.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Think I’d go Santos here. Probably be a slot you rotate all season anyway.

  24. Chris says:
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    Hey Guru good stuff,

    I’m in a 5×5 mixed league should I start Porcello vs KC this week or Martin Perez vs Philly?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Thanks, Chris. Good lick this season. I’m rolling with Porcello.

  25. Zander says:
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    Was offered my Harper / Matt Holliday / J Zimmerman for Trout / Cespedes / Matt Cain

    How do I not accept?

    • Zander says:
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      @Zander: 12 Team, non-keeper, H2H

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Accept before he sobers up!

      • Zander says:
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        @The Guru: Thank you sir

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
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          No prob, Zander. Thanks for Razzballin’!

  26. Kid A says:
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    Great stuff, as always, Goo.

    Everyone loves the grady story. How can you not. Great in real life – less so in fantasy. Seems there is always some kind of warm and fuzzy fogging up the fantasy windshield coming into each new year. Not for me, no thanks. A pass on punch-drunk Morneau as well.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Thanks, Kid. I want to believe in Grady, but just can’t. As a fan I’m rooting for him. As a fantasy addict I’m not touching him – same with Morneau.

      • Kid A says:
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        @The Guru:

        I’m pretty sure he hit that home run just to make me look like an asshole.

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
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          He’ll be on the DL in a week. I hope he proves me wrong though.

  27. Dumbmutt says:
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    In an RCL Tex wasn’t drafted. I don’t need him but I do have 4th waiver and an empty bench spot. And I’ll watch a bit of yanks games this year so that clouds my judgement. Thank you

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Don’t like what I’ve seen this spring. If you don’t need him just pass.

  28. Militant Vegans says:
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    With all the prog rock references, I can’t believe you couldn’t weave a Capt. Beefheart quote into your article. Unfortunately, nobody would have been able to understand it anyway… kinda like the music.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      white hat on a pumpkin
      you know there’s something

  29. Chris says:
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    I was offered Billy Butler for my Danny Salazar. I currently have Matt Joyce at DH which is where Butler would go. I could pick up Scott Kazmir to take Salazar’s place. Would you take the deal or is Salazar’s potential too great to pull the trigger?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      I don’t know what the rest of your staff looks like. I do tend to lean hitter over an arm.

  30. Adam says:
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    Give Reyes and Scheppers, Get Hosmer and Dee Gordon. Jam or Cram?

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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      @Adam: i would, but you better have another 2b for gordon’s lefty days. also i like hosmer i LOT more than reyes.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      I’d make that deal.

  31. Clint says:
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    Funny you mention Miguel Montero and D’Arnaud. Guys in my 12 team roto league sucked up catchers & closers so fast I wound up staring Montero, D’Arnaud, and Zunino in the face late. I blinked with Montero but I’ve had my hand on the drop button because D’Arnaud’s there on the wire.

  32. Joe G says:
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    For utility aaron hil or kelton wong?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      There’s more power potential with Hill if that’s what you need.

  33. AJ says:
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    Being offered Dravish for my Trumbo, any thoughts ? I like Yu but his neck and back concerns me

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Think Yu could do better than Trumbo.

Comments are closed.