While the 2015 version of the Boston Red Sox has been a complete disaster for the most part, one redeeming element of this year’s team has been the surprising play of rookie Travis Shaw (+37.4%), who was the most added player in fantasy baseball over the past week. Entering yesterday’s play, he’s been one of MLB’s best offensive players in the 2nd half of this season, producing 16 runs, 6 homers, 13 RBI, and a .386/.431/.738 triple slash line in 72 plate appearances. Those numbers are especially surprising when considering his mediocre minor league results since being promoted to AAA in 2014 (.256/.319/.395 in 158 games). The upcoming slate doesn’t look too promising for him either, as the 25-year-old left-handed slugger faces Jose Quintana and Chris Sale over the next two days before heading to Citi Field to face the Mets over the weekend, where he’ll likely cede first base duties to David Ortiz for a game or two due to the lack of a DH for that series. In Shawshank terms, Shaw seems to be most similar to Tommy – the young, charismatic inmate who gets transferred to that prison and provides a spark before being unceremoniously snuffed out by the warden and the head guard. Like any hot schmotato, ride the streak while you can but have a backup plan ready for when the wheels fall off.

Here are a couple of other significant adds and drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

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Our fantasy master lothario is a reality show junkie. He’s got me hooked on Master Chef, as it has become a religion this season. Shark Tank is the best background noise for me when I’m doing work, real or fantasy. But there is one show that he has never watched called Naked and Afraid on Discovery. In case you are not familiar with the premise: two people, one man and one woman, are dropped in a remote location and must survive 21 days with only their birthday suit and one survival item. Most take a machete or a fire starter… or that one guy that brought duct tape. Funny side note, I was peeking on Wikipedia and they pointed out that even though most struggle with the bare feet, that no one has taken a pair of shoes yet [Jay’s Note: Probably because you can’t do much with one shoe.]. It was a good show that sometimes had great episodes. Well, this year, they went big with Naked and Afraid XL. At first I thought it was going to be fat people surviving and losing weight, but it turned out that it was four teams of three previous contestants dumped into Colombia and surviving 40 days. The show is f***ing awesome. Anythehoo, is that enough filler Jay? Kidding, I bring up this show because we are at about day 17 in our 21 day journey, and have stripped ourselves of all that we were on draft day and are surviving on strategy, schmotatos, streamers and a little good old fashioned luck/voodoo/prayer circles. Before I go, I got a little football plug from the football side about Football RCL’s, which by the way, I’ll be writing this year. I can’t leave Brotha Jay hangin’ like that… Want to expand your RCL prowess? Our Fantasy Football Commenter Leagues are now open, and we have some really sweet prizes for you this season…

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So you’re telling me if the Mets played in Coors field every night, they’d be the highest scoring team in baseball instead of bottom 5, where they were pre-Coors? Huh, 33 runs in 3 games ain’t too shabby and I hope you benefited from Yoenis Cespedes’ onslaught Friday night. I managed to somehow cash without him, but I couldn’t touch the top spots. The Mets have clearly sacrificed some chickens to Jobu over the past month. The good fortune continues as they go from beating up on Rockies pitchers in Coors to now getting to feast on Philly pitching in Citizens Bank Park. Here’s some fun with numbers: in the month of August, the Mets are 5th in Runs, 1st in doubles, 4th in HRs and 3rd in team OPS, one of my favorite stats to look at. As I write this, I just watched Daniel Murphy hit the 7th HR of the the game for the Mets, tying a franchise record. So, how much of this new found offense is Cespedes induced? Well, he hasn’t exactly been cold, his slash line since joining the Mets: Tonight the human Cespedes gets to dine on the shizz that is Jerome Williams’ right arm. Sky, in his recent roundup, mentioned Jerome’s reverse splits this season. Much like the hips, Sky don’t lie. The numbers this year vs. RHB: .336/.363/.597 and vs. LHB: .315/.379/.399 tell you all you need to know. Of course as you can see, everyone is hitting for a hall of fame average off the guy, so you really can’t go wrong when throwing anyone and everyone out there at him, but righties are especially brutalizing him. Reverse splits are fairly screwy, I tend to think they normalize over time, but there are exceptions, like in everything. For his career, Williams’ marks are generous to both handed hitters. Lefties enjoy a better batting average and OBP while righties have a higher slugging percentage. That’s over a 12 year career of course and things change with age. For example, a bag of garbage left in a black trash can in the middle of summer gets much worse with age. Jerome is said bag of garbage and the hot summer months aren’t being kind to him. With any luck, people will take a quick glance as guys like Curtis Granderson (L) and Michael Conforto (L) are highly owned and Cespedes sneaks under the radar. I need you tonight, Yoenis, don’t let me down. Here are some more picks for tonight’s slate:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique.  This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief.  Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed.  Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you?  Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way.  Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring.  Scary good.  May be best of Cubs lot right now.”  Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed.  If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances.  Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming.  On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur.  Or make that, as craptastic as those guys.  In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel.  Time, not the magazine, will tell.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And it wasn’t as dark as I expected. A little more mathy and computery I suppose… then again, I don’t really understand that stuff any how, so it might as well be dark and wizardry. If you hadn’t guessed from the title, Rudy joined me on the Pod to go over baseball thing-a-ma-jigs. We touched on the Mike Trout and Bryce Harper conundrum that Grey and I discussed last week, the future of Erasmo Ramirez and Jackie Bradley Jr., and made sure to complain a bit about my Padres and Hanley Ramirez’s defensive prowess. In that he has none. Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton were touched on, and, as the title suggests, I went into the mind of Rudy to explore how Razzball’s DFSbot had it’s most accurate month in July and how exactly these tools can help win your leagues. We winded down the show talking about how Grey, Rudy, and myself are doing in all the expert leagues we are partaking in this year (Grey and Rudy in Tout, LABR, NFBC, CBS AL-Only, and my team in the CBS Auction.)

J.B. and Grey make their return next week, so until then, enjoy the show!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

SAGNOF just keeps finding ways to stay absurd.  Tom Wilhelmsen, Jean Machi, John Axford = good.  Carson Smith, Junichi Tazawa…. even Greg Holland = bad.  If all you care about are saves there’s been a wealth of options available.  Realistically, I think chasing saves with bad closers can be a losing proposition.  What do the first three (the so called “good”) have in common aside from taking over as the closer?  How about WHIPs greater than 1.40.  These players need to come with a warning label.  “Implosion likely to occur.”  I mean, it only took Edward Mujica about a week to implode and he was arguably better than any of these three.  Axford and Wilhelmsen look like brothers from different mothers with their K:BB ratios at 1.75 and 1.91 respectively.  Anything below 2.50 is really bad for a closer.  Unless you’re Brad Ziegler.  Then it’s okay.  (I need a “no sarcasm” alert for that one).  Here’s the lowdown on the closer situations that will make you want to scream.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s not often we look to Arizona for help in the pitching department. I mean, we’ve lovingly referred to Chase Field as Coors in the desert, Coors Lite (cuz when you make a reference, it’s gotta be about beer even when it’s bad, amirite?), Rocky Mountain High at Sea Level…hrm, that last one I’ve never heard but maybe it’ll become a thing now? Whatevs, the point is, it’s a bit of a risk taking on an arm from these games because the field plays so well for hitters. Make no mistake here, there’s nothing safe about starting Robbie Ray here. His skillset doesn’t truly inspire confidence and that’s evident by his recent run. Overall, he’s a situational pitcher and that’s what has put me on him today. Prior to yesterday’s 8 run outburst, the Cardinals offense had been abhorrent of late, putting up a measly 86 wRC+ in August while K’ing 22.3% of the time. What makes Ray even more intriguing is that the Cardinals numbers vs lefties on the year are identically bad vs southpaws overall, sitting at 88 and 22.8%, respectively. You’re not looking to Ray to score you more than 30 but at his $6,300 price tag, a healthy 20 to 25 point range isn’t going to hurt you at all. And with that, let’s move on. Here’s my desert hot takes for this Monday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m in New York celebrating my grandfather’s 88th birthday, or as he calls it “achy-ache,” and we started talking about Caitlyn Jenner, and he said, “She’s a hot number, I’d throw her one.”  Throw her one, I believe, means have sex with her.  I thought this was pretty forward thinking for my grandfather, then he continued, “Do you know how they put lost children on the side of a carton of milk?  I heard if Caitlyn got lost, they’d put her on a carton of Half & Half.”  Ah, there he is.  Reminds me a bit of Marge Schott, which brings us to Raisel Iglesias, who threw a gem yesterday — 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 13 Ks.  “Raise the Church” has looked far superior since he returned from his stint in the minors with an ERA that’s bordering on startable everywhere (3.93), and peripherals that look ownable everywhere (9.5 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 3.42 xFIP).  At this point in the year, I would go one start at a time for him, but I would definitely own him, and start him for his next one.  Now, if you excuse me, I have to get back before my grandfather tries to “throw one” at Cougs.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m channeling some inner-Albright this week. Seat of your pants son! Speaking of Grey, I used the photo he took of me giving him the Larry Bird for my new avatar since it made sense to me that I should use Grey’s photo on his site. In other news, I shook up my top-100 this week as we get to the third leg of the 400-meter stretch run relay. If you’re not in the top-60, then you can be cut at any time. If you are hot, ascending, or the type of player who can go on a monster power or speed run, then I want you. Obviously, I couldn’t get everyone here, for this isn’t the Top-120, but you may notice the name brands in the bottom of the list. They are there because it’s difficult to cut some of them, but if you must, then you must.

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I must say, I don’t believe in curses, hexes, jinxes or whatever you may call it, but this season is rapidly descending into a Euripides level of despair for me. As I look at my various rosters being struck with injuries and my place in the standings perpetually falling, I’m already looking ahead to next season. With another round of injuries comes another round of drinks. Misery loves company, right?

Jeremy Hellickson, D-Backs: A strained left hamstring forced the club to shelve Hellickson for a time, as the right-hander was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to August 19. The 28-year-old has had an up an down season, and I’ve been bamboozled by his strong 10.6 percent swinging strike rate not translating to a better strikeout rate. His SwStr% is tied for 25th out of 88 qualified starters, however his 7.47 K/9 ranks 38th and 19.1 percent K% comes in at 50th. I’ve been holding out hope Hellboy could get his K-rate to match his whiffs, but for now we’ll have to wait at least until the first week of September to see him back in action.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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