Well, baseball is finally back. And boy, were there some things to talk about. Welcome to another installment of This Week In Razz, a review of what you might have missed while being productive at your respective workplace (I’m productive at least three times a day, if you know what I mean. Wink-wink. You know… Wink-wink. I’m talking about masturbation), or maybe you were busy enjoying the nicer weather (your mileage may vary), or perhaps you were too busy watching hockey. Just kidding, no one knows what that is or what it does. Except maybe the utlra-pleasant people of Minnesota, but that’s only because it roughly takes a decade for the local baseball team to score anything higher than zero. I’d resort to watching soccer for their high-scoring affairs at that point. Regardless, follow me after the jump to take a look back AND a look forward on all things Razzball, including some player suggestions for next week, straight from Razzball’s Streamonator, Hitter-Tron, and DFSBot!

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Grey say, “Devon Travis my boo-boo.” Obama say, “What it do?” The Buy/Sell Column say, “Did you miss me?!” During the offseason, while you were diddling and thinking about how your middle school nickname was Skidmark, I, The Buy/Sell Column was re-reenacting scenes from The Act of Killing with puppets in a staged production on the western tip of Alaska because I’M HARDCORE! You want some Rip Taylor-wannabe, throwing confetti at your feet or you want a Buy/Sell Column that be cutting puppets’ necks with chicken wire while bundled up because it was frickin’ cold in Alaska during the winter!? Mental midgets, you want the latter! I’m eating puppet stuffing like I’m George “The Animal” Steele just to prove how crazy I am! Okay, enough of the hubbub on the tomfoolery, I love Devon Travis like his momma. Let’s throw out what he’s done this year so far for small sample size reasons — that’s what she said! Huh? — and simply look at Travis’s minor league stats. In Single-A, he hit .352 with 6 homers and 14 steals in 77 games. That’s a young man’s professional ball level, let’s move up higher. In Double-A last year in 100 games, he had 10 homers, 16 steals and a .298 average. He didn’t strike out a lot. He wasn’t getting by on his good looks and high BABIP (for him). If you take me out of the equation, ZiPS gives him 13 HRs, 11 SBs in only 116 games. Unless he gets hurt, there’s no reason why he can’t play at least 140 games, so that makes him a 17 HR, 15 SBs guy. Oh. Wait a minute, that’s glorious. Also, I think the Jays are gonna move him to the top of the order by May 1st. Let’s just pray that the Jays don’t do something stupid when Izturis is healthy again. Because…They say with Devon love comes first! We’ll make Devon a place on earth! Sing it, Belinda Carlisle! (By the by, Belinda Carlisle? Hot Cougar Alert! She could be 85 years old and sexy as all get out!) If you’re hurting at MI, I’d grab him, because I’m randy for Travis. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The first week of baseball.  The sights.  The smells.  The bacon-wrapped corn dogs stuffed with jalapeno cheddar tots.  What a week it was indeed.

A long winter has passed and many things changed.  Most notably, was Ricky Vaughn, who shed his trademark leather jacket and punk rock hairdo for a suit, tie and styling mousse.  Jack Taylor’s knees were weaker than ever, and Pedro Cerrano ditched the rum-loving Jobu for Buddhism. Even Willie Mays Hayes elected to have cosmetic surgery.

Some things need to be replaced.  The classic film Major League was not one of them.  Yet they made a sequel.  Not the worst baseball movie to grace the big screen, but we could’ve done without it.  Unlike the original Wesley Snipes character, in fantasy baseball, finding replacements is part of the game.  It’s how leagues are won.  You can’t just sit back and watch as players are picked up off the wire while you “wait to see how the guys you drafted do”.  That’s one of the most common phrases I hear early on.  Yes, it’s early, so you’re not kicking any studs to the curb, but if the “sleeper” you drafted in the 29th round has begun the season 1-for-16, and there’s a player on the wire who is playing well, go grab him!  Hanging on to an older vet with the delusion that he’ll somehow hit like he’s not 36 years old (Chase Utley, 100 percent owned on ESPN), will keep you from realizing your championship dreams.

This is the “Deep Impact” column, where I’ll only be featuring players under 10 percent owned in ESPN leagues.  During Opening Week I’ve been asked more questions about middle infielders than any other position, so I figured this would be an opportune time to reveal some of my top adds heading into the weekend:

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You’ve got to be schlitting me, right? There’s actually a pitcher with the last name Schlitter. I was watching a Cubs spring training game last week and this guy was on the mound. It was literally a mound of schlit. I wonder… when he has an awful outing and someone asks him how he pitched, does he say “schlitty”? Another pitcher with an interesting last name is Jeff Manship. Manship! Sounds like the Carnival Cruise line that doesn’t allow any females. Or perhaps it’s the mode of transportation that Sean Doolittle will be offering to the dudes he bought tickets for to fill the seats in Oakland on LGBT Pride Night. And what about Josh Outman of the Atlanta Braves. Is he the guy that told everyone who secretly bought a ticket for the man ship? Any chance Josh Phegley is on that list? Wow, that really got outta hand fast. Did anyone throw a trident?

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I recently went on a cruise. Now if you have ever been on one, you know there are way too many things to do, way too much to eat, and way too little space in your room. If you have not been, here is how a typical day goes. You wake up and bump into the wall getting out of bed. Next, look at the schedule written in probably 2 point font because they put 8 million bits of information on it. You’ll probably be hungry by now, no matter what time of day it is, so you decide to go to the buffet. Now on this buffet is anything you could ever imagine… well if you can imagine every TV dinner at Wal-Mart already cooked for you. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good things to eat on this buffet, it’s just hard to tell what they are because it’s just not appealing to the eye. Today’s pitching slate is one gigantic cruise buffet. There are so many unappealing options, but there has to be something good buried beneath the mess. Let’s take a look:

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?

163 pitches, 16 Ks, 7 BBs, 1 H. That’s what Nolan Ryan used to do before going to chop some wood and bulldog some steer. The only pen Ryan ever needed was to house his horses. Yesterday, that was, how do I say this, an interesting start by Trevor Bauer. He went 6 IP, 0 ER with 11 strikeouts. He didn’t allow any hits, but he gave up five walks in 111 pitches. I feel like I should get half-credit for Bauer’s start on teams where I drafted Danny Salazar. Can I call him Tranny Bauerzar or will that upset my LGBT readers? My new favorite spring training stat that means nothing: Bauer’s 26 to 1 K to BB ratio. Bauer looked unhittable for the whole game. Depending on whether or not the Astros hitters decided to swing, it resulted in a strikeout or walk. It was like Randy Johnson in his early years when if hitters swung, they’d strikeout. If they sat there, they’d walk. The “Do You Feel Lucky…Plunk” approach to pitching. I’ll demonstrate as a hitter’s inner monologue, “I’m feeling lucky…Gonna step into this one and drive it… Jesus…That almost plunked me, I’m gonna swing wildly and get back to the dugout.” This approach can also be found in most Little League games. If Bauer’s unowned in your league, I wish I were in your league! Grab him! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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If you take a look at the overall landscape of major league baseball, several things are likely to become apparent fairly quickly. The Padres are pulling out all of the stops in the hopes of contending this year. The Braves are not. Mike Trout is an elite professional baseball player. Skip Schumaker is not. The Cubs are a team that’s on the rise. Veteran offseason additions (Lester, Fowler), a new big ticket manager, and an impressive collection of young organizational talent (Rizzo, Bryant, Soler, Russell) has fans dreaming of finally breaking the longest championship drought in professional sports. Amidst all of the hoopla, Starlin Castro seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle somehow. Or has he?

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Really closers…really?  It took all of two whole days for the save-nami to wash away all people’s hope and dreams.  Maybe this is the end of days, you know the one where Arnold starts crying?  Yet he didn’t cry in Commando, and they kidnapped his daughter who happens to be a fantasy fave in Alyssa Milano.   Strange, uncontrollable apocalyptic things… tears, only daughter kidnapped… killing people.  Well, since every team basically has three games under their belts, is it too early to start analyzing the bullpen situations to date?  It kinda is, the patterns aren’t there for me to read, as usage is the first indicator for anything.  Second is chafing. So instead of looking at the Holds situations this week (which I will come back to next week, I promise), we will take a look at the situations that are boggling our minds and flooding our rosters with handcuffs and middle relief hopefuls.  It’s not an ideal situation for fantasy rosterbating, because it locks up so many bench spots if you are in the ever evolving chase for savedom.  So enjoy the snippets, with some of general perspective on the relief corps. And for giggles I have updated the closer ranks to reflect all the trades, injuries and demotions.

In case you’re sick of baseball already, come on over and join me for some Fantasy Premier league action, it so easy all you have to do is click a tab located at the top that says Soccer.  Read and enjoy.  It’s like a good book that you play with your feet.

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Being a consumer of Razzball for years, I’m sure many of you already participate in or know OBP or On-Base Percentage league(s). The metric has eased into MLB broadcasts (along with OPS) as an advanced way of measuring player value and performance. During the course of the season we will look at OBP, OPS, WQS, OPS, RC27 and assorted other measurements to put a lens on how these scoring leagues may differ from standard leagues. This is not a commentary on what type of leagues you should play in, I enjoy playing in all kinds of baseball leagues, Head to Head, Rotisserie, etc… The idea is to provide you some insight, which I hope is helpful regardless of your favorite format.

For the opening week of 2015, I hope you’ve avoided a closer surprise (injury or trade for instance), a starter clutching his arm, or an ex-MVP suddenly hurting his ribs. If you have avoided this, your lineup can benefit with a speculative stash, so stay right here. Most fantasy leagues allow 2 DL spots, look around your league, someone is using them to stash value right now. I didn’t remember to look at this until after I saw Matt Weiters come up in a league with his elbow being on the mend. For longtime RCL leaguers, apologies for “DL 101,” but if you’re new like me, take a look at your wire:

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Happy Matt Harvey Day, everyone! Too bad the scheduling gods didn’t put it at night so we could have some serious DFS fun. Anywho, welcome. I could go on and on about what I do, and how I’ll be here each Thursday for your DraftKings advice, but we’ve been there and done that.

Let’s make you some cash.

Thursday is a weird day, and my spidey-senses tell me it’s going to be this way quite a few times this year. As a go-home day and an off-day, Thursday won’t be like your typical day for baseball. Today, we have games spread throughout the day, with only three night games.

Not cool.

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! 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?

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