I’ll be honest, I really wanted to do a title about Rudy. After having a top-7 pitching week and moving into the top-10 overall, I wanted to kiss some a*s to the other man in charge. It was supposed to be “Rudy Comfortable”, a play on Rudy Huxtable, but then Grey told me to talk about you guys and four girl readers. I obliged and started looking at the top-10 and the player rater to see what they have in common. The top-4 teams, 5 total in top 10, all have Mike Trout and 3 of the top 5 have Jose Abreu. The top two teams have both. Jose Altuve, Todd Frazier, Michael Brantley, and Corey Dickerson are scattered throughout the top ten. In the pitching it’s a little all over the place. One trend I found interesting was in the bullpen where Cody Allen is on 4 teams and Wade Davis is on 3. I’m pointing those two out because they were both solid all year and probably owned all year. Allen being a draft day stash for save savy owners and Davis being a K/9 machine that caught our attention back in April. Take note of this next year. Instead of drafting next season’s Jose Veras, grab a great handcuff with a high K-rate and some faith. I know that’s easier said than done, being that very few MR’s repeat from year to year. Unless your name is Tyler Clippard. There are always themes to successful teams, if you got the first or second pick and drafted Trout your chances of winning increase exponentially, share with us in the comments how your team’s did where you got that sexy fish or any other studs that put you over the top. For the Trout owners you deserve a hat from the man himself.

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What a world we live in. Just a couple of months ago, me telling you an Oakland stack would be a good idea would’ve lead to you rolling your eyes, giving me your best Charlie Sheen, and ignored the rest of what I had to say because I was clearly not giving any info others weren’t already doling out. YO GUYS LISTEN TO ME, KING FELIX IS A MUST START TODAY. Sheeeiittt, like we don’t know a top pitcher is a good get for the day. But again, days go by and still I think of the times when the Athletics were the stack du jour. You couldn’t tune into any write up about DFS without being told to at least throw in a Brandon Moss or a Josh Donaldson. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Not only have the A’s relinquished the lead in the AL West, they’re now scratching and clawing just to stay the lead wild card for the AL. But that’s what happens when guys like Moss hit 21 bombs in the first half and follow up in the second half with only three while hitting .178. Yes, it’s been that brutal. Why did they trade away Cespedes again? Oh well, what’s done is done. But that definitely makes them a nice stack on a day in which they should be good but probably won’t be looked upon given their offensive struggles. Fair warning here: this stack call ain’t for the faint of heart. The Athletics have scored more than 10 runs just twice in the last two months. This is an offense that’s been giving us more struggle face than Rob Ryan could ever muster. But I will be building an Athletics stack for GPPs today and yes it will have it some Donaldson and Moss. Heck, it might even get a Coco Crisp, Sam Fuld, Josh Reddick, and/or Adam Dunn. We all know everyone is gonna be on the COLvsLAD game in terms of stacks but that doesn’t always win you the tourney calls. You have to think outside the box and the Athletics have become just that. Oh and I guess we should talk a bit about why: Nick Tepesch. Hrm, you need more than that? Well what about his .378 wOBA away from Texas. Yes, he’s worse on the road than he is at home. Hard to do, I know, but given the Rangers season we can’t be all that surprised. But now that I’ve given you an off the wall stack, let’s get down to business. Here’s how I’d play today’s DK slate the rest of the way…

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 check theDFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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I’m going to look right in your eye and say, “I don’t know where Jacob deGrom‘s coming from.” Don’t turn away from me. *turns your face by chin* Look at me. I don’t know everything. I’m sorry. I know that upsets you like finding out that Santa Claus is really just a drunk man in a costume. I apologize profusely if you didn’t know that about Santa too. It hurts me to ruin your naivete more than anything. Your child-like innocence is what originally drew me to you. Alas, we’ll find something else. Like deGrom, for instance, we can discover him together. In Triple-A, deGrom had a 6.8 K/9 this year, and 7.5 last year. Always had nice control, but he has a 9 K/9 in the majors. You don’t see guys often jump up a pedigree when they go from the minors to the majors. He’s always featured nice command, which is the key here. When a guy can command his pitches and then learns how to throw a new pitch that is special, he can use it effectively. So, what did he learn? Supposedly, Johan Santana gave him the secret sauce recipe for The Change. Another key is his velocity. This isn’t a guy who is adding a new pitch with 89 MPH velocity. He throws his fastball in the mid-90’s. Throw one pitch in the mid-90’s and another dropped in around 84 and you have a recipe for Ks. As was the case yesterday — 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 13 Ks — when the Marlins were like Farmer Ted striking out at deGrom. Still think he’s closer to a high-7/low-8 K-rate guy with a mid-3 ERA, but it’s still a lot better than I thought he was when he came up. Now let’s move past this lapse of judgment by me and try to enjoy ourselves. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We’re so close to the finish line!  The marathon is nearing the final push; your legs are weakening, you’re starting to feel incontinent… Well, Jonathan Papelbon sure was yesterday!  But we’re looking at the starting pitchers here in the Pitcher Profile corner, and the emergence of Carlos Carrasco since re-inserted into the rotation has been carrying fantasy owners in tons of leagues.  C&C Pitching Factory!

In six starts from August 10th to September 7th, C&C has had the fastball dancing now, with a 0.70 ERA and 42 Ks in 38.2 IP.  The fastball averaged well over 96 MPH, easily his predominant pitch.  Unfortunately for Carrasco owners, he struggled a bit against the Tigers last Friday, giving up 4 runs with the fastball velocity down.  It’s actually dipped under 96 MPH his past two starts, as well as a progressive trend of more-and-more sliders with less heaters in this late-season run.  So I decided to break down his start at Detroit and see if he’s a guy I’m going to trust in down the stretch:

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No, that’s not a racist title. C’mon, really? Why would I go there? Besides, ‘Alfredo The Dark’ doesn’t even sound racist. Actually, sounds like your character name when you go out LARP’ing. Lemme guess, you start with a +5 in magic and wit but are low in power and physical combat. And, duh, you have black magic and not white magic. Am I nailing this? Mmm hmmm, I see your 20 sided die in your hand there. Please tell me it’s at least steam punk genre. Loved the Lord of the Rings but really don’t care if you’re out here battling orcs. Bores me. BTW, have you ever thought about the Civil War re-enactment? Totally LARP’ing there. Yeah, yeah, you’re a history buff. Well then go read the damn book. No need to grow out the handlebar mustache and go clean out your musket to enjoy a little American history…but yeah, what the hell? That got off track fast. I blame you and your talk of tinctures. Nah, I’m just alluding to the childhood fave of anyone not young enough to quote Lil’ Wayne. So basically, nobody’s gonna get it. Show was off and on for like 10 years…shut up, it’s my childhood! Moving on…what I’m trying to get at is, Alfredo Simon has been a bit of a bear to own in regular fantasy but he’s extremely enjoyable for we daily fantasy folk. You see, these young Cubbies…well, if you caught my last Stroman call you’d understand. They’re still learning how to play baseball the right way. Sure, they’re exciting to watch and it’s great to think about the future but most of their veteran bats are done for the year due to injury and what’s left is a group that’s K’ing at an alarming rate: 28.3% heading into Sunday, to be exact. That’s just 2% less than the Twins and they’ve faced Chris Sale this past past week. And in the end, Simon keeps the ball down reasonably well wtih a 1.62 GB/FB ratio so the ball shouldn’t be flying out of the park on him. In the end, this is a bit of a punt play to give room for those 10+ K pitchers because in the end they are worth it this Monday, believe me. Speaking of, let’s move on and get to them, shall we? So without further ado, here’s Monday’s hot takes on the 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 check theDFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Rusney Castillo is expected to join the Sawx on Tuesday. Whoa, did you see that? There was a rainbow going over the world and when I said that it turned red. I wonder if that’s because he’s Cuban. Oh, it’s probably because the Red Sox paid to sponsor the rainbow. That makes more sense. I didn’t think Mother Nature would sell rainbow naming rights, but there ya go. Someone’s gotta pay for the sun; the world we live in. So, Rusney’s getting a little taste of how’s your father with the Red Sox, but I don’t think he’ll A) Play every day. B) Be much a factor this year. C) There’s no C. Now, for 2015 fantasy baseball, well, there we’re gonna have to talk for a sec. Sorry, I know you’re late to be moral support at your wife’s surgery, but she can wait. Here’s what Prospect Mike said about him previously, “The one tool that is not in question is (Rusney’s) speed. A 30+ steal season from Castillo is a possibility as soon as 2015. The power is still up in the air. Some have tagged him more as an 8-12 homer type guy while others have said 15 or maybe even 20 homers could be in the cards. With any player, we get lots of comps thrown around. Two of the comps I’ve heard the most are Shane Victorino and Rajai Davis. Honestly, the Davis comp makes the most sense to me. The one that makes the least sense is Grey, he’s just a buffoon.” Hey, what’s that all about? To me, the Rajai comparison feels heavy on the speed; Victorino seems a better equivalent, but, honestly, there’s a ton of unknown here. He could be anywhere from a 7 HR/20 SB fourth outfielder to a 20 HR/40 SB superstar. Victorino feels about right — 12 homers, 30 steals. The more I read that he only had 66 steals in 1097 plate appearances in Cuba, I wonder if the hype machine hasn’t taken Rusney and thrown him into the spin cycle, making him more than he is. Shizzton of risk either way you slice the cake, and, brucely, I love cake, so I hope you’re sharing. For this year, I’d take a flyer if I could platoon him. For 2015, I’d take the risk for something special, but don’t expect more than Victorino. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I’m jumping out of the program this week and making this a mash up creeper post. Juan Uribe and Scott Van Slyke have got my mojo at full attention with their road trips to Colorado and Chicago this week, and I want to combine them into one monster. Now why not just choose one? Good point. I don’t want to choose. With the Dodgers September call-ups, the outfield has got mucky, but one thing I know is Don likes to play Scott when a lefty is on the hill, and the Dodgers face five of them this week. I’m not saying that he will play all five games, but I think he has a good chance to get in the line-up a few of those days and you should have him stashed in daily changes leagues. We cool with that? Good!

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Throughout the year I’ve learned many things about Daily Fantasy baseball. Avoid lefties against the Rockies at Coors, never trust a Nationals pitchers, and always target hitters on a hot streak. With the last lesson in mind I’ve complied a lineup entirely filled with smoking hot bats. This strategy has been wildly successful for me all year, and typically is a great way to get a potent lineup on a limited budget. A good way to figure this out is to take a deeper look at the stats over the last two weeks. I’m about to give you a lesson in my native tongue of Stat Geek.

There are a few metrics that are particularly telling and I personally feel hold more weight in daily fantasy. My two favorites are wOBA and wRC+. I was put onto wOBA earlier in the year by the one and only Sky, and I have to say it was a revaluation. wOBA if you don’t know is based on linear weights and measures a players offensive contribution per plate appearance. Huh? I know right? I stole that definition from wiki. To put it in layman’s terms they apply a value to each positive offensive contribution whether it be a walk, a single, home run, etc and divide that total by the number of plate appearances. I have to be honest it’s not the only number I look at, but I now put more weight into that particular statistic than I do batting average, OBP, or OPS. It’s a great way to get a quick snapshot of a player’s overall performance without having to dig through stats for hours. Saving time on your homework is a huge advantage when playing daily fantasy. Of course you could just use Rudy’s DFSbot but my opening would have been really short.

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 check theDFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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After speculating who might get the call this September, we now know which prospects are getting their feet wet in the majors. More importantly, we can decide which ones may provide some fantasy value. Unlike hitter call-ups, pitchers sometimes change roles completely when they first break in. So an arm like Taijuan Walker – whom we all know is destined to be a starter – finds himself pitching out of the pen to help the Mariners in their playoff hunt. It’s not exactly Earth-shattering and it happens often, but it means we’re not going to be streaming a start from the likes of Walker or Andrew Heaney over these last two weeks, making them all but irrelevant in anything but the deepest of redraft leagues. Here – in no particular order – are the September pitcher call-ups with varying degrees of fantasy relevance for the rest of this season…

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Jeff Locke ($7,900) is a solid play today in DraftKings contests with a good matchup against the Chicago Cubs. Jeff’s great-great-grandfather John defined the “self” through the continuity of consciousness. Cool stuff – but all I really need Jeff to do is pitch seven or so strong innings with a decent strikeout total. Against the Cubs it really shouldn’t be much of an uphill climb. Chicago owns the worst strikeout percentage in the major leagues against left-handed pitching (25.3%). Sprinkle in the fact that they will be without both Anthony Rizzo and Jorge Soler this weekend and we’ve got a recipe for success at under $8K. Locke is coming off a great start as well. The 23-year-old left-hander worked the Phillies for seven innings with nine strikouts and only three hits allowed on Monday.

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 check theDFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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