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If you’re reading this, congratulations, you must be in that exclusive club only regarded for winners like you – the Fantasy Baseball playoffs. If you’re reading this and don’t even play fantasy baseball, you must have done a google search on “dustbuster masturbation.” I’m not judging. Perv. To win in the playoffs we have to apply any and all strategies we have learned over the past 150 games: Play the numbers over the names – if Carl Crawford and Torii Hunter are slumping, bench them. Choose the best matchups – Hitter-Tron is your new best friend. Just keep that horny robot away from your toaster oven. Rosterbate daily – you won’t go blind, just do it until you need glasses. Look for players in real life playoff fights – Rays and Royals won’t be getting rests, Tigers and Red Sox will. Shoot dirty pool – grab a player you may not need, but could help your opponent; ethics and “fair play” have no place in our fake baseball world. It’s been a fun jammer crammer kinda season, my dear Razzballers. I feel we have all grown so close over the past six months. You’re like family now and by family I mean we only speak once a week via the internet. We have shared many fond memories of Ike Davis bashing, Xander Bogaerts watching, metal music talking, Twitter stalking and Islay scotch consuming. No, we can’t be blood brothers, but thanks for asking. Let’s complete this mission and bring home the championship. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

Jam or Cram: Kole Calhoun, OF, LA Angels

Availability: 87% Yahoo, 64 % ESPN

Last Week: 3 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI, .458 AV

The Gist: Let’s just get this out of the way: Kole Calhoun is not Mike Trout. Anytime a young outfielder gets called up it’s blah blah, Mike Trout, blah blah. I feel like that guy from Rush at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction. I’m not a fan. Of Rush, not Trout. Trout may be the #1 pick next year and wish I had owned him somewhere this year. As for the diminutive Kole Calhoun, he’s hit big with a .299 average, 7 homers and 26 RBI in 43 games since being called up. Need power, average or is OPS your thing? Kole is ready to live in the limelight. Stupid Rush.

Key Stat: Kole slashed .354/.431/.617 with 12 home runs and 10 stolen bases at Triple-A Salt Lake this year.

X-File: His .384 wOBA is top 10 among all outfielders since the All-Star break.

Jam it or Cram it: Kole is getting a chance to hit lefties now and that means more playing time. Kole’s been a top 30 outfielder for a month and could be one of those pull-a-rabbit-out of-a-hat surprises that forever angers your league and helps deliver you a championship. JAM

 

Jam or Cram: Danny Valencia, 3B, Baltimore Orioles

Availability: 98% Yahoo, 98% ESPN

Last Week: 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, .500 AV

The Gist: With the Orioles gunning for a wild-card berth, Valencia has stepped it up for the birds. He is hot schmotatoing at .522/.532/.935 with four homers and 11 RBI over his last 13 games.

Key Stat: In just the past month, Valencia has raised his average from .200 to .330 by leading the majors with a .548 average.

The X-File: Valencia is the Platoony Tunes poster boy. He’s hit .194 against right-handers and .385 against lefties.

Jam it or Cram it: Valencia may have been on fire for a month, but he can’t hit right-handers and gets three in a row at Fenway this week. CRAM

 

Jam or Cram: Jonathan Villar, SS, Houston Astros

Availability: 80% Yahoo, 72% ESPN

Last Week: 6 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 SB, .357 AV.

The Gist: More Astros have popped up in this little jammer crammer this year than any other team. Mostly because they are widely available and the Lastros suck. However, Jose Veras gave us saves before his trade, Chris Carter provided some pop and here’s Villar with some SAGNOF love. Villar has 4 steals in his last 4 games, has hit .354 with 10 runs scored in September and was the top fantasy shortstop last week.

Key Stat: Villar has 17 swipes in 41 games.

X-File: In 91 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City this year, Villar stole 31 bases and was caught seven times.

Jam it or Cram it: Bo Porter has plugged Villar into the leadoff spot and he’s delivered 8 runs in 7 games. Dig out your Jose Cruz throwback and make room for some sweet SAGNOF love. JAM

 

Jam or Cram: Wilson Ramos, C, Washington Nationals

Availability: 74% Yahoo, 75% ESPN

Last Week: 5 R, 4 HR, 12 RBI, .300 AV

The Gist: So much love for Evan Gattis this week leaves you free to grab the catcher with the most homers over the past 14 games – Wilson Ramos. If Ramos could just stay healthy for an entire year he’s a guy I’d consider setting and forgetting at my catcher position.

Key Stat: Batting just .211 in his last 20 games.

X-File: Ramos is getting everyday playing time to the tune of catching 23 straight games.

Jam it or Cram it: I’ve streamed catchers all year, why stop now? When it comes playoff time you want those late season overachievers and Ramos is doing just that. The average won’t be there, but it is power we want. JAM

 

Jam or Cram: Juan Uribe, 3B, LA Dodgers

Availability: 97% Yahoo, 98% ESPN

Last Week: 6 R, 4 HR, 6 RBI, .350 AV

The Gist: Dodger fans may hate him, but I don’t bleed blue and I’m greedy for home runs. Uribe has been getting playing time despite the trade for Michael Young and he’s been producing.

Key Stat: Hitting .343 in September.

X-File: Uribe knocked 3 homers last Monday against the D’backs.

Jam it or Cram it: Uribe is fighting for a playoff spot on your roster. Why the hate Dodger fans? Oh, he hit .191 last year. Uribe hits the road this week with 4 games in Arizona. Forget last year, remember what he did last week. JAM

 

Jam or Cram: Adam Lind, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays

Availability: 71% Yahoo, 73% ESPN

Last Week: 5 R, 3 HR, 9 RBI, .250 AV

The Gist: Over his last 14 games, Lind has out-produced Joey Votto, Prince Fielder and David Ortiz. It’s Lind-sanity! *sigh* The 30% owned Lind has hit a sneaky 20 home runs this year.

Key Stat: 17 of Lind’s 20 homers have come against right-handed pitching this year. He gets 5 righties this week.

X-File: Lind’s BB/K rate over the last two weeks is 2/4.

Jam it or Cram it: The Hitter-tron loves it some Lind this week in the same way it loves humping my dustbuster. I suggest you do the same. No! Get off my appliances! I meant add him. JAM

 

*BONUS TRACKS* 2X Streamers to jam this week:

Dan Haren, Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta and Miami: Haren has gone 5-4 in his last 12 starts with a 3.67 ERA and a 9.2 K/9. JAM

Sonny Gray, Oakland A’s vs. LA Angels and Minnesota: Gray has been K’ing over a batter an inning and has a 2.63 ERA through his first 7 career starts. JAM

Rick Porcello, Detroit Tigers vs. Seattle and Chicago White Sox: Porcello threw his first complete game last week and gets two tomato cans this week. JAM

Thanks for hanging through 150 games. One more week to go. Follow The Guru on Twitter @TheGuruGS  for the daily jam or cram, fantasy roster 411’s and other gooey shenanigans.

52 Responses

  1. Boy Wonder says:
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    Have a bye week this week.. I have 2 moves left…. And I own Jason Castro and Allen Craig. Do I cut them for a catcher and an SP? Ruiz or Wilson Ramos? Or… Do I just hold and pray Castro finally gets played? My SP’s are Darvish, Verlander, Liriano, Iwakuma, Samardzija, Sonny Gray, Dan Straily, Bartolo Colon. RP’s are Chris Perez and Rex Brothers. I have Putz on my DL.. My hitting other than those 2 slots are solid. Thanks!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Pitching looks good. Since you’re on a bye, I’d wait it out. Good luck.

  2. Boomer19 says:
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    Jam Arenado for his seven game homestand or Butler for his six? Need rbis. Thanks. Enjoyed the read.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Thanks Boomer. Butler has been pretty good the last month, roll him out there and good luck.

  3. Jack says:
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    Cueto is starting tomorrow @HOU(Bedard). He’s on a pitch count. Do you think he’ll get enough pitches to qualify for a W and not kill my rates?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Yes, he’ll go at least 5.

  4. Jack says:
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    Jam Calhoun over Gyorko for next week? What about Lind over Bonifacio?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Depends on needs. You’ll get power numbers from Calhoun and Lind. Bonifacio steals/runs. I’m not high on Gyorko.

  5. bossmanjunior says:
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    Heading into finals, need some advise.

    1) Best play every day for speed and overall production: Span, Yelich, Pagan, Bonefacio

    2) Best streamer for Tuesday: Petit @NYM, Estrada v CHC, Wheeler v SF

    Thanks!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Span and Boniface. The Estrada matchup is a nice play this week.

  6. madden_curser says:
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    Washington rookie Tanner Roark is off to a phenomenal start with a 5-0 record and 0.94 ERA through 10 appearances. Would you stream him next Sundat vs MIA? MIA SP for that one is undetermined. What about streaming Kluber vs HOU (Bededard) next Sunday? Thanks!

    • madden_curser says:
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      @madden_curser: Other options next Sunday include Yusmeiro Petit @ NYY (Pettitte) or Joe Kelly (STL) @MIL (Peralta). Looking for 2 from these 4…

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Stream them both for sure.

      • The Guru

        The Guru says:
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        Tanner and Kluber.

        • Jack says:
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          @The Guru: Im thinking its time for Erasmo to go. Tanner pitches Tuesday against ATL but there is also Thornburg available for Thurs. v. CUBS and Ive been liking his numbers. Add Thornburg, then drop him for Roark start v. MIA (assuming Roark still available then)?

          • The Guru

            The Guru says:
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            Yeah, sounds like a good plan.

            • Jack says:
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              @The Guru: thanks. Added Calhoun earlier as well, and decided to hold off on Lind for Bonifacio.

              • The Guru

                The Guru says:
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                Cool, good luck man.

  7. future11 says:
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    last night was a huge night for me, put about 100 points between me and my opponent heading into today so it looks like Ill be moving on to the championship starting tomorrow.. I loaded up with a bunch of 2 start guys in advance so my potential opponent couldnt.. this is my pitching staff, hows it look? which SP is my worst play and could be dropped to potentially activate mauer or fill my UTL slot (which mauer would go into)

    SP= waino/ scherzer/ hamels/ cole/ weaver/ gray/ petit/ porcello/ kluber

    rp- koji/ kenley/ gregg/ melancon

    = noticed cueto is coming back.. should I add him and dump porcello, kluber, gray or petit?

    Thanks alot to all you guys for all the work you do with these articles!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      You’re in good shape, especially with the 2 start guys. Cueto will be on a pitch count. Pettitte would be the drop I might consider.

  8. Steve Stevenson says:
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    Shallow limited moves league, coming out of a bye and setting my team up. I have 4 moves left for the next (hopefully) two weeks. My semis and likely finals opponents both have fewer moves than me, so nobody can really stream. Based on current rotations, my semis opponent and I both have 9 starts in the upcoming week. It’s one of those yahoo leagues where you have to make pickups a day in advance, so if I want any of the Monday two-starters I have to move tonight. So, do I grab a 2-start Cashner or Kazmir now, grab a strong 1-starter like Parker v MIN (who could conceivably become a 2-starter since he had to be skipped today) or Ubaldo v HOU, or hold and see how the week’s shaking out in a couple days?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      With the limited moves I’d hold for a bit and see how things look.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @The Guru: ubaldo’s been great for a while now.

  9. g says:
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    Hey guru,

    In a 12 team daily league, with championship week starting tomorrow thanks to Goldy and W. Ramos leading a big comeback for me today. Anyway, picked up Porcello to stream tomorrow vs. seattle. Thoughts on that move? Also, I have Cobb (vs Texas) and Minor (vs. Nats) tomorrow but not sure whether I should be starting them?? I have a pitching staff of Sherzer, Darvish, Zimmerman, Archer and Zimmerman available for remainder of the week. Thanks in advance.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Hey G, good move with Porcello, he gets 2 starts this week with SEA and CHW me thinks. Texas is slumping so Cobb may be a go there and Minor could give you some stats as well. I’d roll them out there, if one of them blows up the rest of your staff should be able to take care of any ratio hit. Good luck.

  10. Erich Traum says:
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    I’m in my championship in a H2H weekly points league.
    I am trying to pick two of the following three hitters to start.

    Machado (6 games)
    Choo (6 games)
    Span (7 games).

    I already have Longoria at 3b so these last two spots are for my DH and Utility. My OF already has: McCutchen, Puig, and Rios in it who are all playing 7 games.
    I have ridden Choo & Machado all year, but I can’t overlook how hot Denard Span has been. Any suggetions?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Its Machado and Choo. They’ve been there all year, keep starting them.

  11. Chicken Dinner says:
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    Weekly points league.
    Please pick three
    Ruf
    Sierra
    Blackmon
    EYJr

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Ruff, Sierra and Blackmon. Good luck.

      • Chicken Dinner says:
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        @The Guru: Thank you.

  12. RudyCorrales says:
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    I get to have one of these starters for the 2 start week

    Yusmerio petit
    AJ Griffin
    Mike leake.

    It’s championship week!!! Who do I grab?!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      I’ll grab Griffin at home against the Angels and Twins. Should be solid.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Griffin

  13. Andrew says:
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    Need runs (also BA and OPS)

    Adams 7 games @ COL, @ MIL (no lefties)

    Belt 6 games @NYY @NYM (3 lefties)

    Adams, right? I could also play Kendrick or LeMahieu (don’t need HR/RBI)

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Start Adams. He’s a must own.

  14. Ellsbury Owner says:
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    Trying to stream hitters to make up for loss of Ellsbury. 14 team mixed league weekly 5×5 roto, obp. Hittertron loves Corey Dickerson this next week, what do you think? Anyone else you would look at? All stats useful to me at this point, in second place with people at my heels and first place faltering.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Besides the guys I mentioned? Give me Calhoun or Adam Lind.

      • Ellsbury Owner says:
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        @The Guru: Thanks. Both taken (as is everyone else you said jam). Deep league … That’s what had me reaching for the hittertron and looking at Dickerson.

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
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          I won’t argue with the Tron, it may try to kidnap my dustbuster. Give Dickerson a go.

  15. Dr. Sauce says:
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    Hey Guru … need some advice re: strategy. Luckily made it to the 2nd round of my 5X5 head-head weekly league. We start 5 starters and 4 relievers. My opponent has 10 starts (Shields, CJ Wilson, J-Zimm, MInor, Leake and Shelby Miller (relief pitcher who starts) and 3 closers (Farquhar, Rodney and Holland).
    Please give advice as to what you consider to be my best option;
    Which 5 to start out of the following;
    Ryu (@Ariz, @SD)
    Price (Bal)
    Kluber (@KC, Hou)
    Bailey (@Pitt)
    Gray (LAA, Minn)
    Yas Petit (@NYM, @NYY)
    Porcello (Sea, ChiW)
    Kazmir(@KC, Hou)
    Medlan (@ChcC) – Medlan could also be use as a relief pitcher
    Choose 4 from the following list of closers;
    Riviera @Tor (3) SF (3)
    Mujica @Col (4) @Mil (3)
    Koji Uehara Bal (3) Tor (3)
    Melancon SD (4) Cin (3)
    Henderson ChcC (4) SL (3)
    After all that, given my opponents pitching lIne-up … should I start 6 starters (use Medlan as a relief pitcher) and 3 closers? Or simply, a traditional lineup of 5 starters with 4 closers?
    Clear as mud right?? Anyways if you can wade through all that info. any insight would be appreciated … thanks in advance.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Grab the 2 start guys: Gray, Porcello, Ryu, Kazmir and take Price. Closers: Mujica, Koji, Melancon. And I like the idea of sliding Medlin in there.

  16. troy says:
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    would you add a lind for say adam dunn? also would you add corey dickerson for marte or pagan? dickerson has all righties at home this week where as who knows when marte is going to play. semi finals of playoffs.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Lind over Dunn, play Dickerson and good luck.

      • troy says:
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        @The Guru: actually added adams for dunn thanks guru!

  17. MB says:
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    Jam or cram lowrie this week due to the injury? Only have stupid Starlin Castro to play over him.

    Thanks

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Looks like you may be stuck with Starlin.

  18. papajeansegura says:
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    got some danglers on my squad: Marte, Fowler, Ruf, Infante. I need a big week which one am I dropping for Uribe or Lind? Or should I hold off?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      I’d drop Infante for Lind.

  19. Tom says:
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    2 week , weekly H2H pointsfinals starts today. Of course we can change lineup a week from today for the final week…

    C-keep rolling Posey? Ramos is out there and could play Posey at 1B..of course this shooting may cancel the game today…also Yan Gomes is out there and 1B/C…
    1B- options listed above or Calhoun or Lind
    2B-Phillips
    3B-Machado
    SS-Lowrie goes down so it’s gotta be Simmons, unless I pick up Villar
    OF-Trout/puig/a. jones
    DH- J. Upton

    brett lawrie also sitting on my bench also Calhoun

    we start 4SP 2Rp here are my options..
    SP-Darvish, Medlen, Cashner, Cain, Kazmir, Kuroda, Wacha, A. Wood, L. Lynn,
    RP-Melancon, Uehara, Cashner, Medlen, Roark

    Thoughts?!?!

    • Tom says:
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      @Tom:

      I just picked up Matt Adams, so I think I should roll with him at 1B….

      • Tom says:
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        @Tom:

        I’m basically down to deciding on dropping Jed Lowrie or not..rolling with Villar…also thinking of going Cain, Darvish, Medlen, Cashner w/Melancon and Uehara in RP slots.

        Matt Adams at 1B and call me crazy but Im going Ramos over Posey at C.

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
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          Be BOLD Tom. Be BOLD. Not sure if I’d sit Posey, but I can see why you’re considering it.

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