As a Braves fan, my heart sank this week. Did the Braves fan collective actually believe that we’d catch the Nats in the NL East, or really even compete for one of the wild card spots? Probably not. Well, realistic fans didn’t. Oh, you gonna win with R.A. Dickey, Jaime Garcia and Bartolo Colon as the front of your rotation? Haha, #gtfo. The Braves are just in a waiting game for their pitches (sounds a lot like my #Razz30 team) and trying to develop their hitters fast enough to match them up together in the new SunTrust Park.

And yet…an MVP was emerging. Freddie Freeman was creeping up my rankings fast, and it had nothing to do with my hometown allegiance. He was a bonafide star, as The Ringer recently penned, and entering the highlight of his career just at the perfect time to bring the Braves into their next chapter of dominance (hey…a persistently melancholy Atlanta fan can hope…). And then Aaron Loup happened.
The Braves lost their MVP for 8-10 weeks (but bring out the red carpet for Matt Adams!!!!), but let’s pump the breaks on his drastic downfall in value from a fantasy perspective. His next two months may have been fingered (Tom Green, anyone?), but moving past my homerism tears I see a great opportunity to buy. Right now.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Has there been any “sleeper” more hyped this season than Charlie Morton? It seems like we’re constantly being reminded of the spike in velocity, the swing and miss stuff, the combination of swinging strikes, and groundball rate. Knowing all this I was dying to profile Morton and see what all the noise is about. Speaking of Noise, my Pittsburgh scout, and favorite right testicle Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, has a basket full of hot takes on Morton, that mostly consist of different ways to say Charlie Morton sucks. Perhaps Noisey is right, perhaps all the lemmings in the fantasy industry are right. Much like the ATLiens that raised me to be an emotionally well adjusted gangster, I just stay in the middle and drop bombs, mostly in the toilet. I stay regular ladies and gents. Let’s take a closer look at this “new and improved” Charlie Morton, and see if it’s in fact a new recipe, or the same re-packed garbage.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I know, I know…The title is an awfully long stretch. I just wanted to pay tribute to one of my favorite Tribe albums. I’m referring of course to the legendary hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest for all of you young hipsters who might not be familiar. “Midnight Marauders” was a pivotal release for the group as their lyrics shifted to more of a community concern and focused on stories about their everyday lives. Great stuff and you should definitely check it out. In fact, I challenge you to listen to the entire album and not have “Award Tour” and “Oh My God” stuck in your head for the next week. So, where am I going with this and what does Joe Mauer have to do with it? Could it be that Marauders was released in 1993 and that happens to be the last time Mauer was fantasy relevant? Just kidding. I’m here to sell you on the idea of streaming Joe Mauer for your hitting pleasure this week. Sounds crazy, right? Well, the Twins are scheduled to play seven games this week and all of them line up against right-handed starters. That’s important because Mauer has been a career .318 hitter against righties while slugging 101 of his 132 career home runs against RHP as well. That’s cool. Better yet is the fact that he owns a .378 wOBA, 136 wRC+ .882 OPS against right-handers. Sign me up! He’s also just 3% owned, so yeah…you could say he’s available everywhere.

Like always, I’ll be suggesting a few of my favorite plays with the assistance of the Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron. All of the players mentioned below will be available in at least 50% of standard ESPN leagues, so stream away if you’re so inclined. Without further delay, I bring you the Week 8 streaming suggestions. Enjoy!

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Or will he?  Dun, dun, DUNNNNNN…ok, I don’t think he will.  What, you thought I’d drop a hot beat and a fresh rhyme on you a la Grey?  Psssh, I ain’t about that life, son.  I’ll belt out some Cornell for you live and in person, but you won’t catch me getting lyrical up in this wordpress.  Ok, ok, supply and demand so here’s a hot track.  I’m not sure what the equivalent of being rick rolled is in this day and age, but consider yourself as such.  You got served!  But now that I’ve served you in a way you didn’t like, let me serve you in a way you should: JC Ramirez at $14,400 is middling in terms of price on this slate and ripe for K opportunity facing the surging Rays.  Surging, I say?  Yes, I do.  Sadly, the Rays are a weird bunch so far this year.  Though their K% against righties leads the league, they’re 2nd in the league in wRC+ against them as well.  If you want some further schism, Rays are also 1st in K% on the year but 4th in wRC+.  All this to say that Ramirez isn’t a slam dunk, but I think the Ks will give him a nice baseline.  I’ll tentatively give him the green light as an SP2 in cash, but will definitely be in on him as either a 1 or 2 for tourneys on today.

Speaking on Chris Cornell a bit more, if you’ll permit me…we’ve had some great sounds come out of Seattle and it’s a sad trend that lots of those lungs lend themselves towards ending early.  Cornell was a voice you heard above the fray, whether you wanted to or not.  He had a long and amazing career.  People who thought he sold out with Euphoria Morning and beyond have no clue what it means to be an artist who wants to challenge themselves.  The man could sing anything he wanted…and he wanted to be a lot of different artists.  You metalheads who needed the hard edge couldn’t appreciate that his love of Beatles and Otis Redding brought you Superunknown.  In kind, you all who couldn’t appreciate his time with Soundgarden who thought it was just screeching noise, don’t actually understand that soul comes in many forms.  I’m gonna drop one of those in between tunes that seemingly few heard here called Sweet Euphoria and going on with my picks for this slate…right after I drop the Razzball Listener’s League that goes down with tomorrow’s slate.  Reserve your spot now, win money tomorrow.  It’s almost like investing!

New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Matt Adams was acquired by the Braves for Juan Yepez, who was always a little too excitable for the Braves — Yepez!  See?  Not a good look.  It was a tearful exit from the Cardinals’ clubhouse for Adams.  His emotions hit a crescendo when he realized he couldn’t carry out all the food he had accumulated in the clubhouse refrigerator.  Through tears, “Why didn’t I learn to balance soda on my head like I was Jamaican?”  Hey, mon, they have grape soda in Atlanta.  Adams will be the 1st baseman in Atlanta until Freeman returns, while conceding to Loney on occasion, assuming Adams doesn’t try to eat him, “I thought his jersey read Baloney!  I’m a terrible person!”  Adams gets a boost in value, but mostly just for NL-Only and very deep leagues.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the state of the pitching landscape, moments like last Thursday night, when Twins’ prospect Jose Berrios finally flourished in the major leagues force all fantasy owners turn a very watchful eye north to Minnesota, with a club that has situated itself atop the AL Central heading into Sunday’s action.

After two starts, Berrios has 15.1 innings of work under his belt with 15 strikeouts and two walks. Good for a sub 1.00 ERA and a FIP, that isn’t as good as Kenley Jansen’s -0.95, but will be buoyed by the advanced control always touted as a strength. How much of his current line is indicative of what we should actually expect is more of a puzzle after how dominant he was at home against the Rockies. Tampering expectations might come because his matchup was the second of a double header, and despite the Rockies hold on the NL West, their WRC+ in both home and road games is sub 90, suggesting they might be playing a bit over their heads.

Now that I’ve gotten the two most obvious points to calm us down from Ian Desmond’s comment that Berrios’ stuff looked like Jose Fernandez, I still can’t get over the fact that Berrios had 20 swinging strikes, seven on his curveball, 12 on his fourseamer, and a lone whiff to his sinker. This was basically double the amount of whiffs he had on his fastball and curveball independently, at any point in his major league career. Needless to say, this was a glimpse at the peak of the Berrios mountain. Watching this start, it was painfully obvious that the Rockies had no chance on his curveball, which he threw near 35% of the time and generated about 20% swinging strikes on.

Thursday was a game of firsts for Berrios, but as with any player that storms onto the scene, taking a step back to look at what is actually possible moving forward is extremely important.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What I particularly like about relievers is versatility.  The situation in San Diego is the one in particular I want to discuss.  We were all lured into the Carter Capps preseason love, and I was on the wagon driving the horses as well, but his injury and the results that we expected aren’t coming as fast as we hoped.  He isn’t bowling over anyone in the minors, sporting a 6-plus ERA, and the obnoxious K-rate hasn’t materialized.  Now onto the major league roster which isn’t lighting any fires.  They are second from the bottom in bullpen ERA, have only 12 holds on the year, and now their closer has hit the skids.  He being Brandon Maurer.  Enter who I think should, could be the next man up while we wait (forever) for Capps.  Brad Hand offers that former starter turned good.  I may just call him the Vigilante of holds and possibly saves very soon.  He has the K-rate, the BAA and the moxy to do the job… it is just a matter of if SD is ready to pull the trigger on something because Maurer looks cooked.  Regardless of his situation moving forward or your league perimeters, Hand is worthy for a spot because of speculation and the K’s that he will produce.  This is the bullpen report for this week, so let’s see what’s happening in the setup game and the hold chase…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Aloha from Clearwater Beach, Florida. I will be relaxing at the beach in this 90-degree weather today. I promise, I’m not trying to rub it in. The weather is starting to warm up as we approach summer, which means the balls will start flying out at a higher rate than they already are this season. Today’s lede has done a great job limiting home runs this season and I’m excited to see him deal today. I must say that I’m pleasantly surprised how good Eduardo Rodriguez has pitched this season. Rodriguez looks to make it 6 quality starts in a row today and he has a stellar matchup against a team with the 3rd highest K rate vs. left handed pitching. If you haven’t noticed I like using lefties in DFS, especially when the teams they are facing struggle at the plate against lefties. John Farrell has no problem letting Rodriguez eclipse 100 pitches as he’s done it on several occasions this season already. There appears to be no pitch limit for E-Rod, so if he gets off to a hot start today we could see a high K total in the box score. Today’s game is being played at, which is smack dab middle of the road in home runs per game this season. Eduardo’s price tag is $17,600, which I consider a steal for his upside. Plug him into your lineups and lets win some money today!

New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  Just be sure to sign up through us before jumping into the fray.  It’s how we know you care! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It only took a little over 24 hours for the Luis Robert sweepstakes to come to a close. As news broke yesterday afternoon that the Chicago White Sox had struck a deal in the $25 million to $30 million dollar range with the 19 year old Cuban phenom. This is a significant development on a few fronts; for real life baseball, this will be the last deal signed under the old rules, where teams weren’t capped on international free agents under the age of 23. It’s also significant because, the White Sox, might just have in their possession, 2 to 3 of the top ceiling prospects in the minors at the moment. Those of course being Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, and now Luis Robert. The other element to this story is Moncada and Robert will forever be linked to each other, not just by nationally, or organization, but also by dollars and the expectations attached to those presidential flashcards. As for Luis Robert the player, much like Moncada, he’s as high end in terms of talent as they come. Many have graded Robert’s hit tool a touch below Moncada’s at a 55, with some concern about his swing and miss. Where Robert edges out Moncada is in his 70 grade speed mark, and 60 grade fielding. Some scouts see Robert’s power ceiling being higher, but even those scouts mark it as a splitting hairs difference. So we’re talking about a true 5 tool talent, with some additional polish to his fielding. Though it tends to be overlooked in fantasy it’s actually a major positive for his owners, as it might accelerate his ETA two years from now. There’s little doubt in my mind he’s the clearcut top overall choice in 2017-18 First Year Player Drafts, and it’s really not close at the moment. Here’s who else is making noise in the MiLB…

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An 8.90 K/9? Who does Clayton Kershaw think he is…Madison Bumgarner? (Ooo, shots fired). Now, obviously this is all in jest, even the title, because King Kershaw is the model of consistency when it comes to fantasy baseball, and the only pitcher even remotely worth considering within the top 15 picks. So, here we are in the middle of May and Kershaw’s once again dominating to the tune of a 7-2 record, a 2.15 ERA and 7.75 K/BB ratio. Why the focus, then?

Last season it was a 15.64 K/BB ratio with a 1.69 ERA and a 10.39 K/9. A whole ‘mother stratosphere. But let’s not get it twisted: nothing’s wrong with the Dodgers ace. He still holds a .205 BAA, is inducing more soft contact than last year, and is maintaining that precious velocity across all his pitches (or enough of a gap in velo to make him so dangerous). No, if anything the problem is what we saw out of him last year. Did you take Kershaw in the 1st round this year? Good for you, but the chasm between him and the next best pitchers just isn’t as expansive as we saw in 2016. This version of Kershaw is the normal version of Kershaw that’s consistent with what we’ve seen with him across his entire career. And yes, it’s one of the most impressive careers in history, even at 29 years old.

It’s the difference betwixt (it’s just more enjoyable to write that) him and the others that is significant in the conversation. In the Two-Start asks this week you’ll see a bevy of strong options up there alongside the undisputed. To wrap it up, nothing’s wrong with Clayton Kershaw, he’s just back to normal and a few others are still doing they’re just-behind-him-thing.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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