Good morning fellow prospect nuts – one more week in the books, the trade activity picking up steam, and the prospects are beginning to move around all over the place. All this action prior to the juiciest rumored pieces being dealt in advance of this week’s non-waiver trade deadline gives us hope that there’s much more activity to look forward to and that we may get a look at some of the players that may be competing for 2015 MLB jobs during camp next spring earlier than September.

Time for our weekly look at some of the prospects that have made some noise recently in the hope of climbing a little closer to The Show, whether that step ultimately comes this season or a little further down the road. Refill your coffee cup, get comfortable, and let us guide your continuing research as we try to help you scoop your fellow fantasy competitors with our Sunday Twelve-Pack.

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You: Pete Nice, did you say we should start Marcus Stroman this week at Boston and at Houston?

Jay(Wrong): You DON’T have to answer that question!

Me: I’ll answer the question! You want advice?

You: I think I’m entitled to…

Me: YOU WANT ADVICE?

You: I WANT THE TRUTH!

Me: YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

[Jay's Note: My mother always wanted me to be a lawyer...] Guys, we live in a fantasy baseball world that has risky matchups, and those risky matchups have to be taken on by writers who have to suggest two-starting inexperienced young pitchers with 95 mph-plus fastballs. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Guru? You, Sky? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly imagine. You worry about Stroman, and you curse the Blue Jays. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Stroman’s road performance, while thus far in 2014 has been kind of crappy – 17 hits in 16 IP with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP – will improve with time. And Stroman’s existence, while excitingly intriguing but also slightly scary, can help your fantasy team. You don’t want this advice because deep down in places you don’t talk about at baseball games and fantasy drafts, you want Stroman on that hill. You need Stroman on that hill. We use words like FIP and K/BB ratios. We use these words as the backbone of a fantasy team trying to win something: Stroman’s 3.11 FIP places him in the Top 20 of all MLB pitchers and his K/BB per 9 ratio of close to 6.00 makes him an ownable pitcher, not a streamer, according to Dr. Grey Albright PhD. You use these things as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to readers who rise and sleep under the blanket of the very information that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up Stroman, and set your lineup. Either way, I don’t give a damn who you grab off the wire for two starts this week.

You: Did you order the two-starts for Marcus Stroman?

Me: I did the job…

You: DID YOU ORDER THE TWO-STARTS FOR MARCUS STROMAN?

Me: YOU’RE GODDAMN RIGHT I DID! AND HERE’S SOME MORE TWO-START PITCHERS FOR NEXT WEEK!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re well into the second half of the season now… are you still with us? You haven’t given up yet? Good. Fantasy baseball is a game of stamina, and if you’re still scouring the waiver wire while others are quickly losing interest or preparing for their fantasy football drafts, now is your chance to make a run. Me? I’m still sore after losing Tanaka. Not to mention Tulo walked out on me when I needed him the most. Regardless, I like to think we’re more than just providers of fantasy advice here at Razzball, we’re also a sound piece for all your fantasy frustrations. I always tell my friend(s)– “don’t ask me how I’m doing, ask me how my team is doing”, because more often than not, that is deciding factor for my mood. So today, feel free to sound off in the comments why you’re so upset with your team right now. Why won’t Harper just hit five homers in a week? Why won’t anyone trade with you? Really Stephen Strasburg? Really!? Why did you draft Justin Verlander and why didn’t you draft Jose Abreu? Here’s your chance to let it all out, because god knows your spouse/significant other/barber/sibling/probation officer/mother/cat doesn’t want to hear about your GD fantasy team. Well, I feel your pain my over-the-internet-friend. And I’m listening.

Here’s what happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Have you ever been to one of those beer gardens that has 150 beers on tap? At first the menu is completely daunting. You look at it and are overwhelmed by the amount of potential options. You take your time and carefully read through the first couple of pages trying to pick the right brew for your taste. Meanwhile the waitress is stopping by your table every few minutes to see if you finally made up your mind. You’re feeling the pressure. You hastily make a choice, and pray it doesn’t taste like skunked Old Milwaukee. This is exactly how I felt looking at the pitching options for today’s game. I think I looked at the DraftKings pitching roster for an hour last night. Do I go Clayton Kershaw and Sonny Gray? How about Kershaw and Julio Teheran? Could I manage to start both Kershaw and Chris Sale? Oh wow I’d spend half my budget doing that, can’t do it. As much as I love Sale and Kershaw, I couldn’t bring myself to pony up the dough to buy either. They were particularly expensive today, and with good reason. They both get great matchups in their respective contests, with Kershaw facing the Giants in San Francisco, and Sale getting the Twins in Minnesota. I could certainly vouch for you going with either. I’m putting together a lineup for a GPP today with Sale and Kershaw as my starters, the tough thing is my average salary per hitter is a measly $3,000. So more or less I’m going to have to wait until rosters are published for the day to plug in my scrubs. A lineup of punt plays!

For our purposes, I’m going to share my roster for leagues (like our 20 Teamer) and 50/50′s. This way we’ll have some actual exciting bats to talk about. Plus I can fit in some players from that Rockies vs. Pirates matchup at Coors. Hopefully the Pirates got over the curse of “Sky’s Opening Game of a Series at Coors Dud”, and they’ll be safe to start for the next two days. Any the who, big shouts to our winners from last night’s Razzball 20: Frogkaytee, Rasjuba, Fremka, Jackieinertia, and the Homie and fellow Razzball writer BTXJ. Great job guys! I suggest celebrating your wins by investing in today’s 20 Teamer. If you’ve been playing in our leagues and haven’t been consulting with the Stream-o-Nator, DFSBot, the Hitter-Tron, or the Ombotsman, it could be why you’re not getting mentioned here on Saturdays. But hey, what do I know, I only invented Fantasy baseball, daily fantasy sites, and peanut butter a la Al Gore did the internet. Don’t worry you can thank me in the comments.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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!

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I don’t know about you, but even I get hung up on the individual site rankings for my leagues’ player pages, even though they have little to do with the categories that we use. For example, in my CBS dynasty league, we use Runs Produced (RBI+R-HR), net Stolen Bases (SB-CS), Slugging, On-base Percentage, and Plate Appearances [Jay's Note: We use OBP, TB, W+QS, 2*Sv+H in a couple of my dynasty's], yet I am still at times impulsive to pick-up whomever sits at top of the sites’ rankings, which is based off standard 5×5 formats. Well, you’re welcome– This post is to help you distinguish the value differential for OBP and OPS leagues relative to the ESPN player rater rankings. It should give you targets to trade for or trade away.

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How great would it be for the Braves to trade for Marlon Byrd? Byrd and Ervin reunited. Byrd, of course, would have to bleach his skin like Sammy Sosa, put a giant yellow Brillo pad on his head for hair and wear some butt-hugging shorts that even white boys got to shout, “Baby got back!” Then Isiah can show up early, kiss them all on the cheek and watch from the sidelines. Ah, to dream (team). Due to a slightly inflated BABIP, Ervin Santana‘s ERA is up a tad from where it should be. Right now, he has the 27th best xFIP, right in front of Adam Wainwright. Speaking of Wainwright, Ervin’s K-rate is better than his. Is Ervin Santana pitching better than Wainwright? I wouldn’t go that far, but I wouldn’t go so far away from that statement either. Doesn’t anyone stay in one place anymore? It would be fine to see your face– Sorry. The great thing about Ervin compared to a Wainwright, he’s not even owned in some leagues. In the leagues where he is owned, how much would it take to get him in a trade? A Brain Freeze? A potato chip that’s in the shape of Sloth from The Goonies? A free ticket to an autograph show where Shelley Duncan is dressed up like Tackleberry from Police Academy? I.e., not much. Go, get Ervin, he’s magic, abracadabra. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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If you missed Razzball Radio this week, here’s your recap. And don’t forget, the podcast’s (inside every video post) and the Daily Fantasy Hot Sheet (all the day’s fantasy news in under five minutes) are available over on the Radio side of things. By the way folks, we’re getting closer and closer to the 32in32in32 Razzball tour, and I’m not sure if you knew this, but you’re all invited. Get your tickets for before they run out!

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The answer is simple – hail no. That’s because everyone and their mother (including his own) will be on Alex Wood at home against the Padres. Wait, Mrs. Wood plays DraftKings? Man, she’s the coolest! I bet she also uses the Stream-o-Nator, Hitter-Tron, DFSBot, and Ombatsman. She’s a diabolical DFS mastermind! Anyways, I predict Wood will be drafted and held tight by at least 60% of owners tonight. There will be no Wood chucking, get it? Okay, that sh*t is weak – I’m done. Let us talk lineups.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Back in June, about six weeks ago, the Twins were liking their chances this year. They went out and spent money on Kendrys Morales, just to put them over the hump. Then about five weeks and six days ago, they realized their chances for the playoffs were slim to anorexic, and regretted their move. They had buyer’s remorse quicker than Betty Draper’s new husband. “How could Don not appreciate this blonde beauty?” Dot, dot, dot. “Oh, that’s why.” I personally thought trading for a complement to Willingham, Arcia, Plouffe and Colabello was a good idea. I mean, who among those guys is a power, lousy average and no speed threat? Oh, wait, they all are. Now back to the Mariners, yeah, they need another 1B/DH-type. We’ll assume Kendrys plays every day (which he should). In the 2nd half of last year, he hit 9 homers and a .274 average. I don’t see much more from him this year. If anything, maybe a few less homers since he’s been struggling. Basically, what you can get off waivers in most mixed leagues. Or what the Mariners already had in Coreygan Smoakison, their Frankenstein 1B/DH. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I put a ring on every finger but the rats still askin

Cause there’s one on all of mine, I’m the sportswriter Phil Jackson

Greetings! Tis I, Beddict AKA Fantasy Soldier of Fortune AKA Tha Purple Panty Dropper AKA The Punch Line King AKA Beddict Shmurda AKA Zeus tha God-Body AKA Tha Chicken Handla, and to quote Tupac Shakur,”You ain’t never had a friend like me.” “Why is that?”, you so curiously ask yourself. Well it’s quite simple, really– Do you have any friends who will literally take hours out of their day to speak to you about your endless fantasy sports conundrums, as well as any and all life problems? Did your best friend put your soulmate in a Boston Crab and give her the piping she’d always dreamed of? Well, Dr. Beddict can assist in walking you off the ledge. Did you walk in on your sweet mother receiving back shots from the mailman with a back so hairy that at first glance you believed mom was being mauled by a bear? Again, Tehol the comforter at your service. I’m here for you, playaz and playettes, so never hesitate, for he/she who hesitates, masturbates…or something like that.

I know many of you expected me to write about my big Microsoft commercial that I shot all Sunday night with Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin and Malcolm Smith, but I signed a contract stating that I’m not allowed to mention it anywhere or I won’t BE PAID!! Being that Tehol B. is my stage name, they may have a hard time proving in court, but let’s not push the envelope shall we?! I will say that I did catch some balls from Elder God Blessed, Russell Wilson, and that alone was worth the 15 hours on set. Yep, scratch that one off the bucket list. Anyway, we’ll save the remainder of this gem for another week. Let’s move on to bright spots and last but not least, the boners, from this past week. This is Disgrace/Delight.

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