People of Planet Earth, please, pay for your aces. On a slate that features quite a few, there is no need to tempt fate by not building around at least one solid top tier arm and a mid-tier to make it happen. Oh sure, there will that voice inside your head that says, “Hey, Kyle Kendrick fooled everyone Opening Day and was a huge bargain!”. That’s the voice that needs to be driven out into the middle of the DFS cornfields and left without cab fare back to where you are rostering players.

Clayton Kershaw, Johnny Cueto, Madison Bumgarner and David Price are all on the docket, much like the aforementioned Opening Day (don’t get excited, Kendrick). Kershaw at over 12K may be too pricey to engage, but Bumgarner (9.8K) and Cueto (9.5K) might be excellent targets for your ace itch. Ace itch may not sound good, but to get a good core for your evening roster, especially with so many teams going, you may just need to stop thinking and scratch.

One more thing going into the list below: Whenever teams are in Toronto and Denver, I love the stars where you can fit them in. You’ll be harder pressed to do so if you’ve rostered aces at SP like tonight, but I didn’t want the list to go by and have you wonder, “Gee, doesn’t he like Adam Jones, Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Bautista, Chris Davis, et al.?” The answer is, yes, yes I do. Now onto the other guys.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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.

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Jake Lamb hit the DL with a stress reaction in his foot. Now the Diamondbacks’ defense will go from Lamb to the slaughter with Yasmany Tomas taking over. Yasmany makes Sandoval look like a gazelle. Yasmany has the agility of an extra-wide trailer. Yasmany looks like the genie in Aladdin, which means the D-Backs’s 3rd base shituation was Lamb-or-Genie, which is also a northern Italian farmer’s lamb that he hung a car medallion around its neck and rides around to swap meets. I’d look at Yasmany in all leagues (yesterday, he went 2-for-3, 1 run with only one error!), because he does have power to spare — think 27-homer power — and he could surprise people with some regular playing time. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The closer carousel continues to spin round and round. In the season’s first week, Joaquin Benoit’s ride ended abruptly in the fallout of the Craig Kimbrel trade and Jason Grilli climbed aboard to take his place. This week, thanks to the early season struggles of 42 year old former closer LaTroy Hawkins, Adam Ottavino (+83.9%) became the new 9th inning reliever for the Rockies and was the most added player in fantasy baseball. A Rockies reliever? Awesome! Why don’t I just pick up Kelly Gregg and put my ratios out of their misery? That’s your Coors Field park factor voice playing devil’s advocate. When you consider Ottavino’s abilities to keep the ball on the ground (62.5% GB% this season in 6.1 IP – small sample size alert!; 45.6% career), rack up the strikeouts (54.6% K% this season; 25.7% in 2014), and limit his walks allowed (4.6% BB% this year; 5.9% in 2014), the Coors concern is somewhat alleviated. He also appears to have ditched his ineffective change-up in favor of a cutter to keep left-handed hitters honest and improve his split issues against that side. Factor it all in and he looks like a potential top 10 closer this year and an early treasure for fantasy owners. “In Ottavino, there is truth…” Here are a couple of this week’s other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball:

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Welcome back to the best coverage of reader-sponsored leagues on the net. Seriously, do any other sites devote this much time and analysis to commenter-sponsored leagues? Do any other sites answer the quantity of questions like we do? Here we are, two weeks in, and we have our first master standings to peep at, gloat about, and use to either hate or love ourselves. Who am I kidding… we play fantasy baseball, we all hate ourselves to some degree. If you don’t, then play tougher opponents. I’m known as a hater in here, and this is true, but I’m also good at giving out love when love is due. It’s the duality of J-FOH. All I ask is don’t mind the hate, just stick it out with me til the end. This week, I get to sprinkle love on or first overall top-10, weekly leaders, and the mustached master of disaster as he takes over first in the RCL ‘Perts league. It’s Grey Day! As a bonus, Rudy dropped me a cut a paste portion of the update, breaking down the new scoring system for this year. Enough of me yammering, lets get to the meat and potatoes of this…

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One of my favorite things about Razzball besides the glorious mustaches, amazing daily recaps and the best projections/rankings on the net is the community we’ve got here. We’re all huge nerds around these parts and I love striking up intelligent fantasy baseball discussions with my fellow Razzballers. Come on into the comments section and let’s talk shop. These conversations and debates are where the fun is and where real answers can be found. I’ve chatted with a few folks recently and conversations have gone something like this:

Me: So, have you tried DFS yet?

Anonymous Nobody: Yea, I tried it once, but I lost and haven’t played again.

Me: Oh, well, you should give it another go.

Anonymous Nobody: Ya, maybe

So, in a season that spans 7 months these Anonymous Nobodies have played 1 day of DFS, lost and never went back. I’m here to tell you, that is just not enough action to make a decision on this great game. Baseball has more variance than any other sport on a night to night basis and even on a night where you make all the “correct” plays, you’re going to lose. It happens. It’s what makes bankroll management so key here. Playing 5-10% of your roll per night is critical to surviving. A friend of mine who just got into baseball side of DFS recently joined the Razzball Framily Plan $2 league and won the whole kit and kaboodle. He e-mailed me after saying what a confidence boost that was and I completely understand that sentiment. Winning early is probably the biggest factor in people sticking with this. I’d just like to suggest you give yourself enough rope to play for 20-30 days. Track your results and then make a decision. Don’t make the call to quit after one day. If your process is a good one over the span of 30 days, you’ll see a profit. That, over the long haul of the baseball season, really adds up. Now, let’s get to some picks that will get you winning early and hopefully winning often.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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.

Pump the brakes! Something I told myself I wanted to do when I took this gig was to shoutout the previous week’s winner of the contest posted in my article. I’m starting that this week and hope to keep it going. So, if you take down the Framily Plan on a Tuesday night, look for you name here the following week. Everyone likes to see their name in print. This week, it’s a shout out to my aforementioned friend, Joshyb714 who squeaked out a 4 point victory to take home the top prize. Let’s see if you can earn yourself a shout out next week, hop on in.

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Addison Russell was playing some some 2nd base in Triple-A yesterday, minding his own business, when the Cubs management heard something they didn’t like, five full minutes of non-Cubs prospect talk on sports radio. Four minutes is not cool, but five? Nuh-uh, they said, as they wagged their finger. So, the Cubs called him up, and plan to send down Arismendy Alcantara. This offseason I said, “So, the first thing we know about Russell is Billy Beane traded him away. This is obviously a strike against him. The last prospect Beane gave up on was Brett Wallace, and that was partly because Wallace looks like his face is constantly pressed against a window and that’s disconcerting. Right now, it appears Beane got the worst side of this Russell trade. Maybe he shouldn’t have been in such a rush to get back to the gym to pump iron and waited to negotiate a better deal. It’s still early though, and prospects can flame out. Russell, however, doesn’t look headed in that direction. Russell looks like he could be better than Starlin Castro as early as next year. Second thing we know about Russell is he’s got power and speed. Yummers! Third thing we know about Russell is there is no third thing. Russell’s shown solid power in the minors (17 HRs in High-A in 2013 and 12 HRs in only 50 games in Double-A last year after the trade to the Cubs). His speed is a tad below that, which concerns me a bit because speed is the one thing we can always count on translating. He did steal 21 bags in High-A, but, well, that’s High-A. They call it that because everyone’s stoned. Last year in Double-A, he only had five steals all year, and two after the trade. It’s not great, and I think we’re seeing closer to his actual speed level in Double-A. Maybe he’ll reach 15-20 steals at some point, but he’s never going to be a 40-steal guy. He did hit .294 at Double-A after the trade, and I don’t see him hitting much below .280 without some bad luck.” And that’s me quoting me! While drinking Sanka with Lou Avery, I’ve decided Russell should be owned everywhere. Yes, even that league. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 61/12/44/.287/6 with upside from there. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Wahhhhhh, Shane Greene doesn’t strike anyone out, he’s useless, wahhhhhh!”  That’s Sky on the Podcast a few hours ago…  “The Fifth Element sucked!”  That’s Grey before I socked him!

Since my initial ranks in February, I’ve been a Greene champion.  In my blurb, I mention a high K-rate finish to 2014 (52:16 K:BB his last 41.1 innings), along with an unlucky 2014 BABIP (.330).  The starts I saw from him last year had me encouraged with his stuff, plus the move to a much better pitcher’s park in Comerica had me “thrilled”.

But even with the rank looking spiffy and everything going right, the low K-rate does seem a little concerning.  He’s turning into Rick Porcello, noooooooo!  While his ERA and WHIP (along with 3 wins) are all change-your-pants worthy, he’s got a measly 11:5 K:BB in 23 innings.  Regression is screaming like Ruby Rhod after he counted ten!  I of course hope not since he’s on all my teams, and watching him so far this year in my normal bouncing-around-through-all-the-games he looks like a strong strikeout capable guy.  So I decided to watch his start yesterday hosting the White Sox, and give it the ol’ full attention and Pitcher Profile treatment.  Here’s how he looked:

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I’m a value oriented fantasy manager.  I’m not a believer in positional scarcity and I take that approach (aka meritocracy) to my draft by relying largely on projections.  When evaluating my slumping players I look at their projections and peripherals to see if the slump means anything.  When looking at the hot players in the player pool I take the same approach.  I am going to make recommendations to you based on these approaches.  For the next in line closers it means recommending players with good projections but also considering each players chance to close in the future.  For base stealers it means making sure the player won’t destroy your AVG or at least letting you know if he’s going to.

This week in SAGNOF (Saves Ain’t Got No Face) Recap: Early last week Adam Ottavino ascended into the closer role for Colorado and it looks at the very least to be semi-permanent.  He was previously my 7th best next in line closer to own.  Formerly my 2nd best next in line closer to own, Joakim Soria had ascended due to an injury to Joe Nathan, who should be back soon and will regain his closer role.  Jordan Walden notched a save last night but it appears Trevor Rosenthal was being given the night off.  Now onto this week’s recommendations…

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We’re back with the Razzball Pod in a new studio!  Well, by new studio I mean through new equiptmunk, and we’re still working out the kinks; my apologies that Grey’s cackle laugh now has an added layer of raspiness.  Raspy cackle!  Grey and I chat a little Kris Bryant and Danny Salazar, before Sky hops on the Pod with us for the stretch run in order to make fun of Shane Greene‘s K rate.  Who cares when he’s winning games with only 1 ER through 3, amiright?!  Sky – it’s not nice to make fun of someone else’s size…  It’s not the size that counts, it’s how he uses it!  Here’s the newest edition of the Razzball Baseball Podcast:

Download from iTunes

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Happy Patriots Day my loyal DFS junkies. What is Patriots day you ask? Excellent question! It’s a made up holiday here in Boston and to celebrate there’s a marathon, a Red Sox game that starts at 11, and everyone starts drinking around 8 am. About 50% of the population in Massachusetts gets it off so the other 50% gets to complain about not getting it off. What could be more Boston than a day of sports, drinking, and complaining? Why am I talking about this and what does this have to do with DraftKings? Well, nothing…absolutely nothing. The Red Sox/Orioles game is not included in any of the contests on DK. So we’ll focus on the 8 evening games, and some of the top plays to get you on the road to riches and diamond rings. Real players do real things. Ya dig?

My favorite play of the day is Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani. The New Jersey native is off to a hot start scoring 27.4 points in DK the last time out against the Cubs and 17.3 in his first start against the Pirates. Well lucky for the righty he gets another struggling offense in the Brewers tomorrow. The Brew crew is 29th in the bigs in team wOBA and is without their best player in Carlos Gomez. Granted it’s early and the Brewers look good on paper but at a price tag of $6,200 I’m all over “Disco”. Lots of good higher end options today in Arrieta, Iwakuma, and AJ Burnett. But let’s take a look at a few pitching options with value prices shall we?

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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?

Razzball Archives