When I was fresh out of college, I worked at a web company (everyone did in the 90s).  There was four of us.  The other three had real job titles; I was the gofer/do-whatever.  It was about a month before I was going back to school for my Master’s.  I had no intention of keeping the job.  Honestly, I doubt they would’ve kept me for that full month if I weren’t leaving.  I failed at everything they assigned me, but they kept giving me new tasks, hoping I’d succeed.  The only task I seemed capable of was heating up pre-cooked sausages from Trader Joe’s.  I made sausages on a grill for three weeks straight, so, when I finally did leave, they gave me a plaque that reads, “Who wants some sausages?”  This brings me to the sudden and incomprehensible rise of Yulieski Guerriel.  The Astros are that company, and YuGu is me.  The Astros seem between a rock of “We really want this guy to succeed” and “We have about a month left and we’re just hoping something works.”  Yulieski hasn’t failed in the minors, he’s looked completely lost.  He hit .118 in Double-A, was promoted to Triple-A and hit .222.  I could see grabbing Guerriel in all leagues to see if he can get lucky, and figure out how to make something other than pre-cooked sausages for lunch, but the Astros are not promoting him because of how well he’s looked.  They’re promoting him because there’s about a month left.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The Astros offense had some fun with the Orioles pitching staff Friday and Saturday night, collecting a total of 32 hits and scoring 27 runs. Solar plexus! Now those are some rockets that would make NASA proud. George Springer lead the way going 7-for-9, with 2 home runs (24), 6 runs and 4 RBI. Jose Altuve was 5-for-10 with a home run (20),  Evan Gattis was 5-for-9 with a homer (19) and a stolen base, and rookie Teoscar Hernandez was 3-for-6 with 4 runs, a homer (2) and 3 RBI. Well, I guess I know one team that prefers the sticky swampiness of the Baltimore humidity in the air. Even with all Houston’s stars doing their part it was the rookie phenom, Alex Bregman, who really impressed me, going 6-for-11, with four runs, his third home run and five RBI. Oh, hello there. What did you say your name was again? Alex slashed .306/.406/.580 with 20 homers and 7 steals in 80 games at AAA, but struggled to start his MLB career a miserable 2-for-38. But the top-prospect has come on strong of late batting .317 with 3 homers, 13 runs, and 10 RBI over the past two weeks. He extended his hitting streak to five games Saturday night, and has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 contests. The best part? While all your real life non-internet friends are off drafting their fantasy football teams, Alex Bregman sits on the waiver wire available in over 70% of leagues. I don’t want to brag, man, but it sounds like most of you gave up on Bregman too soon and he’s just now getting going. Grey told you to BUY this week and I’d grab Bregman everywhere he’s available for some sweet Houston upside in an even sweeter Houston line up. Don’t make me Breg, man! This kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!

Here’s what else I saw Friday and Saturday in fantasy baseball:Sv

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Ohhhhh baby! Here we go with another scintillating Sunday of daily fantasy suggestions. Can you feel the excitement? Can you? Anyone? Okay, well here’s the thing….I’m going off the grid a bit and filling the intro with a couple of bats instead of the usual arm. Riveting, right? See sometimes, even if it’s an unconventional, a good play is a good play and that’s precisely where Dee Gordon and Robinson Cano enter the fray. When it comes to batter versus pitcher stats, you’re either in one camp or the other. Love them or hate them……There is no middle ground. I consider BvP every day before I build my lineups. It’s part of the game. If you’ve ever played baseball, no matter the level, there are certain pitchers that you just know you’re going rake against. Call it confidence or just random luck – your choice, but BvP is a thing and I love it. As far as Gordon is concerned…..the numbers look delicious. He’s 12-for-36 (.333) with a home run, 4 RBI, .500 SLG% and 4 stolen bases vs Ryan Vogelsong. Later on today we have Matt Garza taking the hill for the Brewers as they visit Cano and the Mariners. Over 32 career at-bats, Cano has recorded 12 hits for a .375 average, launched two home runs and produced a healthy 1.068 OPS against the Milwaukee right-hander. He’s also reached base at a .412 clip, so it’s safe to say Robbie has Garza’s number. If we’re being honest here, Garza’s had trouble with lefties this season. He’s yielding a .302 BAA, .378 wOBA and allowing a 42% Hard Contact rate to left-handers. Just to make the non-believers happy, let’s take a look at some advanced stats Cano has put up against righties this year: .272 ISO, 156 wRC+, .371 OBP and a 20.4% HR/FB ratio. I’m overheating just thinking about Cano’s at-bats today. Quick, somebody bring me an ice-cold O’Doul’s before I melt. Anyway, here’s a look at my favorite plays for Sunday’s action:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday August 22nd to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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Salutations my loyal Razzscalians, and welcome to the latest installment of The Minor League update. I’m your Prospector and Chief Ralph Lifshitz and today I’d like to discuss a mighty slugger from The Great White North. A man with the forearms of a spinach swigging Popeye. A hitter with a swing so strong, that balls explode off his bat head like forgotten land mines in former war zones. The thunderous prospect I speak of is none other than the Mariners Tyler O’neill. The outfielder was a player that popped into many managers favorite prospects lists over the past few months, including yours truly. I mean what’s not to like about Tyler O’Neill “Prospect Power King of the North.”

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In college my roommate would, for no reason at all, walk in our living room and yell, ‘Hot Cross BUNS (emphasis on the word ‘buns’)!’ I had no idea what this was, and presumably figured he was referring to something have to do with a ba-donk-a-donk. And yep…you’re welcome for using ba-donk-a-donk in an article. Now twice.

When I cautiously researched what my Van Wilder of a roommate was talking about my it all made sense. And no…there were no body parts involved. Instead I found these warm, pillowy, sugary bread rolls. That’s essentially what a Hot Cross Bun is: sugary bread. My initial hesitations were eradicated when he made them for us a few weeks later and I partook in the riches of those carb machines. Does any of this justify why in the balls he came in shooting those three words, most likely taken from a nursery rhyme? Um, no. He was strange. One of the smartest and strongest dudes I knew, but like a master level warlock or something in World of Warcraft. He was unique.

I recently had a similar experience. Not with a shirtless 21-year-old roommate, but with the sensation of joyous revelation when I realized Dylan Bundy was good. Really good. Again. For the first time.

If you take his most recent start away (8/17) he only surrendered 10 ER since the end of June, albeit through some long relief outings. But once the former #1 prospect in baseball stepped into the rotation he hasn’t slowed down. To start the year Bundy was relegated to sporadic relief with no real structure to his usage, and even when he took the mound he wasn’t spectacular. However, since the beginning of June opponents are hitting <.220 against him, and he’s striking out batters at rates close to what we saw in the minors currently 8.40 K/9 on the season). Injuries derailed his opportunity to shine before now, but 23 he’s still an incredible prospect that is flashing signs of becoming an ace. And soon. Mike Podhozer at FanGraphs lays out an remarkable case for Bundy’s elite stuff. In short, batters have a hard time not swinging at his pitchers, and when they do they have a hard time making contact. That’s what we call a good combination. Like sugar and bread. Mmm…thank you British bakers for providing that delicious treat. And thank you Dylan Bundy for finally ascending into the elite stratosphere. It’s about time.

Now I’m gonna go stuff my face in some pastries. Here’s how the rest of Week 21 stacks up!

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Best-Of-The-Best-1989-580x400

Who is the best of the best? Or at least, who is the best at each position? I guess the term “best” is subjective, but since I am authoring this post I get to define its meaning. The three key data points I’ve used here are penis size, number of beers they can drink and 2016 salary. Ok, that’s false. The real stats are current points, points per plate appearance and average draft position. Looking at the results it seems that the only player with an ADP of the first round that actually proved to be the best at his position is Anthony Rizzo, and he was more of an early second round player. That’s not to say that any of the following players are less than studs, there just happens to be a player at their position that was better. Let’s look at the results…

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The best way for a starting pitcher to get points in daily fantasy is to get a win a rack up strikeouts. Okay, so find a bad team who strikes out a ton. The Milwaukee Brewers are just that team! They have a 25.6% strikeout rate against RHP, and have won only 3 of their last 13 games. The Brewers also have the 5th lowest wRC+ in the league against RHP at 86. Today, Felix Hernandez get to pitch against theses lowly Brewers. Felix has always enjoyed pitching at Safeco Field. When pitching at home this season, opposing hitters have only managed a .282 wOBA and he owns a 3.34 ERA. Throughout his career, opposing hitters again have a .282 wOBA and his ERA sits slightly lower at 3.08. King Felix has 8 strikeouts in 3 of his past 4 starts. In these 4 starts he has averaged 23 fantasy points. And with that, here are the rest of my Saturday DFS picks…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday August 22nd to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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I wish that he wasn’t… and I wish I could parse my words a little better for a good pun’s sake, but the fact is in the stats.  Sam Dyson is allowing more baserunners, more baserunners to get on via the walk, and a higher slugging percentage in the second half of the year.  Add in the fact that batting average against and K-rate are down since 30 days ago, its never a good sign for someone to be all cozy and buy long-term property in the town of closerville.  Listen, he already wasn’t elite in the K-rate department, but to be hovering in the mid 5’s for the past 20 appearances is just bad.  From what I am noticing, his velocity has leveled out, but he isn’t using his arsenal as much or as frequent, relying mostly on his sinker and moving away from his ancillary fastball and slider.  Not all awful things in the immediate world in the result-driven world of fantasy, but troubling nonetheless.  When a reliever doesn’t trust or use his stuff in a way that was once successful, it shows a lack of confidence in it.  The guests knocking at the door have been a phenomenal swoon for almost all fantasy leagues with the likes of Diekman, Barnette (who has been sneaky great), Bush and Kela.  The saves that have been divided up show that Bush and Diekman look like the guys to watch most for in a change.  So with about a month of useful fantasy to go, now is not the time for a 20-save guy to spin his wheels… grab the cuff in advance and cover yourself like it was your Linus blanket or a just in case of emergency fantasy glass thingy.

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We’re about two weeks from September call-ups, or as we call it in my house, “One more month and Cougs gets back the Fantasy Master Lothario,” or as they call it in Prospector Ralph’s house, “Let’s make another baby,” or as they call it in any Cubs fan’s house, “Start drinking heavily now so the heartbreak of October is a blurry haze.”  By the way, whatever team faces the Cubs in the World Series should pay Steve Bartman to throw out a first pitch of one of the games.  Bartman, “I won’t do it.”  “We’ll give you $50,000.”  “Do you want me to throw out the first pitch while riding on the back of a goat?”  So, that brings us to who will be the top September call-up, or at least for hype, Yoan Moncada.  About a week ago, Moncada injured his ankle, but he’s likely to be fine in a week.  In about 12 days, every fantasy baseball site will be telling you to grab Moncada, so it depends on how quick you need to react in your league on when you grab him, but I would in most leagues.  “Why, Unkie Grey, what does Moncada do?  Can he help me talk to girls?”  Yes!  If those girls live in Boston, have red hair and are named Francine.  Would you be interested if I told you Moncada went 13/44 in only 97 games with a .300 average?  How about if I told you he’s going to play in one of the best offensive parks with one of the best hitting teams?  What if I said he’d move your car on street cleaning day?  He will do all of that (minus the moving of the car, but it’s good if you get out of the house once in a while).  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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It’s late at night. You’ve got about a half an hour before the bar closes. This is when s@#! gets real. Are you desperate enough to go home with anything that walks? Animals included. Are you content to pleasure yourself? Did you hookup the night before? Do you just want to hit up Taco Bell and pray to the porcelain god? We are approaching that time in the fantasy baseball season. Many of trade deadlines will be here, so things about to get real son. Prepare yourselves.

In this weekly column, I highlight some lower-owned players that performed well over the past week. Whammies are no good. Obama making it rain is muy bueno. Watch old episodes of Press Your Luck if you are not familiar with whammies…

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