Welcome into the Razzball Lounge, fantasy freaks. Here in the lounge we celebrated Razzball scribes like to kick back, relax, sketch Grey’s mustache, debate Yasiel Puig and lament our fantasy baseball failures over a couple of scotch and sodas as we prepare for some football drafting here. What do you mean it’s too early for scotch? It’s 11 in the morning, Guru. Well, get me a Pop-Tart with it. On this lazy Sunday in the lounge we find Sky in a dark corner trying to decide where to rank Bilal Powell, “Isn’t baseball season over yet? How many games do they play, like a 100?” Dropping his quarters into the jukebox is our resident bear or bull, JayWrong, “You guys should really pick up Jhoulys Chacin. Mind if I play Elvis Costello again?” *bottle smashes above head* Bellying up to the bar is our Podcast host and resident Canadian arguing with the bartender, “Whaddya mean you don’t have Labatts? How am I gonna wash down this pickled egg, eh?” Meanwhile, in the ladies room we find the one and only Tehol mid fondle with a handsome honey he’ll soon discover has an Adam’s apple, “Uh, guys? GUUYYSS?!” And here at the pool table is your humble and almost as manly Guru preparing a list of ballers that are going to deliver you a fantasy baseball championship. *closes eye, takes aim, sinks eight ball in corner pocket, downs scotch* What are we doing here again? Oh yeah, it’s time to jam it or cram it.
Jam or Cram: Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Boston Red Sox
Availability: 63% Yahoo, 62% ESPN
Last Week: 3 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, .412 AV
The Gist: If you follow me on Twitter you have witnessed my many Middlebrooks rants and pleas for Xander Bogaerts. All the begging for the X-man is not going to work as long as Middlebrooks keep hitting like this. Since being recalled two weeks ago, Will I. Can is hitting .405. He has been bumped up in the order and gets the Orioles and the White Sox this week. Meanwhile, Xander sits on the bench and jabs pins into his Stephen Drew voodoo doll.
Key Stat: Since the recall, Middlebrooks is swinging at 19% of pitches outside the strike zone. Before he was sent down he was taking a hack at 28%. You’d learn patience too if you had to spend two months in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
X-File: While Middlebrooks did make his major league debut at second base last week, don’t expect it to be a regular occurrence unless Xander’s doll was actually Dustin Pedroia.
Jam it or Cram it: I can man up and admit when I’m wrong. I’ve been wrong to dump on Middlebrooks so often. He’s really been great. Middlebrooks is the best thing since Mike Schmidt. Sarcasm is fun. But there’s no denying Will is going all hot schmotato. Need power, need a third baseman? Go all Little Feat and get Will in. JAM
Jam it or Cram it: Donnie Murphy, 2B/3B, Chicago Cubs
Availability: 78% Yahoo, 84% ESPN
Last Week: 6 R, 4 HR, 6 RBI, .286 AV
The Gist: This is Donnie’s second appearance here in the Razzball Lounge. Since that time, he’s hit five more home runs. Five players have hit eight homers in August. Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis, Justin Upton and Alfonso Soriano are four of them. Quick, guess the fifth guy. No, it wasn’t Andre Dawson. Wise ass. It was Donnie Murphy. Which is a good thing because this blurb is about Donnie Murphy.
Key Stat: Murphy’s average over his career is .217.
X-File: Murphy’s average over his last 60 AB’s is .328.
Jam it or Cram it: What in the name of Bizarro World is going on here? Donnie Murphy, a guy that barely hits above the Mendoza line, suddenly turns into Dale Murphy and slashes .311/.382/.770. His career high in home runs is just six and he has hit eight in four weeks. Did he make a road trip to a Miami clinic? I’m not buying any of this silliness. Murph gets Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke this week. The fun is done. CRAM
Jam or Cram: Nate Schierholtz, OF, Chicago Cubs
Availability: 61% Yahoo, 33% ESPN
Last Week: 5 R, 3 HR, 9 RBI, .323 AV
The Gist: Here’s where the difference in ownership between the two leagues makes no sense. I can’t explain it, but I play in the Y! league and that means Schierholtz is there for the taking. I’ll take a guy with more homers and RBI than Joey Votto and Giancarlo Stanton.
Key Stat: Schierholtz is hitting .292 with five home runs and 15 RBI in August.
X-File: He’s also struck out 21 times in 65 appearances.
Jam it or Cram it: With 19 homers and 61 RBI Schierholtz is having a very solid year. If you lost Jason Heyward this week and Schierholtz is on your waiver wire why are you reading this? Get him now! I’ll wait. *lights smoke, sends menacing tweet to Will Middlebrooks* Did you add him? Nice work. JAM
Jam or Cram: Brandon Moss, 1B/OF, Oakland A’s
Availability: 62% Yahoo, 48% ESPN
Last Week: 3 R, 3 HR, 4 RBI, .333 AV
The Gist: Moss is a Platoony Tunes and won’t face lefties, but this week he gets all righties and me likey. Moss’ power is for real, but he’ll drain your average with all the K’s. Moss has struck out 109 times in 115 games.
Key Stat: Moss is hitting .292 with 5 home runs since the All-Star Break and is up to 20 knocks on the year.
X-File: Sit him against lefties. His average against is .227.
Jam it or Cram it: Despite facing Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer this week, Moss could provide some power numbers. Or he could go strike out 426 times. I really lack any enthusiasm for Moss. He’s like trying to embrace a cactus. CRAM
Jam or Cram: Matt Dominguez, 3B, Houston Astros
Availability: 87% Yahoo, 91% ESPN
Last Week: 7 R, 3 HR, 6 RBI, .364 AV
The Gist: Matty D has very quietly hit 18 home runs this year with 63 RBI. Ok, ok, the .237 average is Ike Davis kind of ugly, but we are not talking long term relationship here. We’re talking a cheap meaningless week or two until we both lose interest. But right now, I’m real interested. I’m a homer whore with no pride and daddy issues.
Key Stat: Dominguez has been hitting a home run every 5 AB’s for over a week now.
X-File: The OBP is just .274. You’re not picking him up for OBP.
Jam it or Cram it: Why no love for a third baseman on pace for 25 homers and 80 RBI? Does Brett Lawrie really mean that much to you? You’re still holding out hope for David Wright? Why do you own Kevin Youkilis? So many questions. Dominguez is the answer. Add him and buy me a drink in the lounge. JAM
Jam or Cram: Khris Davis, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
Availability: 83% Yahoo, 65% ESPN
Last Week: 7 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI, .500 AV
The Gist: Chris Davis’ evil twin Kris Davis would have a shot at rookie of the year were it not for Puig and Jose Fernandez. Davis is hitting .386 since the All-Star break, which is good for third-best in the majors over that span.
Key Stat: Davis’ 1.314 OPS in the second half is 200 points higher than Miguel Cabrera’s.
X-File: In a weird sort of reverse Platoony Tune, the right-handed Davis has been crushing right-handers at a .367 clip.
Jam it or Cram it: Braun’s replacement is out putting up juicy numbers since taking over. If you have been struggling to find a bat since Heyward broke his face and Jose Bautista ran into a wall, grab the evil Khris Davis. He’ll be hot schmotatoing until MLB discovers his secret stash of Ryan Braun Sucrets. JAM
Thanks for hanging in the Razzball Lounge. The Goo is available for all your jammer crammer questions. Follow The Guru on Twitter @TheGuruGS for the daily jam or cram, fantasy roster 411’s and other gooey shenanigans.