Two weeks ago I said that 2016 was not the year to own Byron Buxton and that in non-dynasty formats he was droppable. Some of you applauded my position, while others second guessed their decision to even read my post. One reader went as far as sending me an email letting me know that I was an idiot and that he wished I was in his league because his league could use more bad players. I accepted his invitation, but have yet to hear back. On Monday Buxton was optioned to Class AAA Rochester. Game. Set. Match. Fantasy tennis anyone?

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In this age of technology, sometimes its good to look back on a forgotten pastime. There was a time when we all believed in the unknown. A time when we believed in that which was unbelievable. A time when some well dressed yet ominous looking man would grab an impeccably dressed lady from the audience and tell you there was nothing up his sleeve while he sawed said beauty in half. All the while, the audience gasped only to have their fears assuaged as he puts her back together with the house band playing a resounding ‘tada!’ via horns and drums. Maybe you never got a chance to believe in those things so for that reason, I’m here today to bring that little sense of illusion and wonder into your life. Please be seated. Are you ready? Please examine my right hand. Notice there’s nothing in it? Ok, please examine Patrick Corbin‘s left hand. Notice a baseball in it? I’m going to show you how with that left hand and a baseball, Corbin is going to make the Cards disappear. Now normally a magician doesn’t reveal how his magic is done but since I like all three of you that read this, I’m gonna let you in on the secret: the Cardinals are terrible against lefties this year and it was a problem last year as well. Look, the sample size for 2016 has been small to say the least – they only have the 19th most PAs against them so far this year – but when Jon Niese K’s seven of you while only walking one, you have a southpaw problem in my book. After finishing basically second in K% in 2015 at 23.6% vs the wrong hand and now sitting at 27% for this season so far, I’m gonna have plenty of Corbin exposure for tourneys and enjoy the likely low ownership. And with that, my magic show is done. Oh wait, you want an encore? Well I’ve been working on this ping pong ball trick I learned from Winona Ryder…well actually, that’s part of another old pastime called the burlesque show and I’m sorry, kiddos, that ain’t free. But you know what is? The rest of my picks. So with that, we’re off. Here’s my pyrotechnic extravaganza magic show hot taeks for this Wednesday 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 subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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“Hi, I work in the front office for the Twins and I’m ordering lunch.  I was wondering what you have that’s old that you can give us a discount on.  Can you eat old pork?  Hmm, let’s try it with extra sauce.  John Ryan Murphy briefly converted to Judaism, or so he wrote in 6-point font inside his lined notebook where he talked about murder, but he’s back to the gentile side of things.  I’d also like to know if any of your very old or very young employees want to join our pitching staff.  We can’t pay them in money, but Byung ho Park and Kurt Suzuki often wrestle together, reenacting Foxcatcher, and it’s just fun to be around when that happens.  Gotcha, okay, just send the old pork then!”  Incredibly, the Twins reached into their oh-so-deep pockets, pulled out some lint and decided to call up their top pitching prospect, Jose Berrios.  He’s only been ready for about three years now; crazy to start his clock now when they could’ve held him down in Triple-A for another five years.  Never underestimate the Twins’ frugality.  It’s FRU-JOUL-LAY, it’s Italian!  Here’s what I said previously about him, “A team like the Tigers would’ve promoted Berrios about two years ago.  No fear, John Deere, Berrios is still only 21 years old.  I’ve seen people peg Berrios as having #3 fantasy starter upside, but I see him landing eventually with a barely-2 BB/9 and 9 K/9 from his mid-90s MPH fastball and plus-curve.  That makes him a borderline fantasy ace in the making.  Of course, as a rookie, there will be stretches where he doesn’t look like that, but want a guy that could come on and give you a Shelby Miller in 2015-type year?  Berrios has that potential.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Yes, I’d grab him, yes, in your league too.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It might surprise you to learn that a catcher was the most added player in ESPN leagues last week. That’s right. A catcher. You’re probably thinking that it’s some hot prospect who looks like the next coming of Mike Piazza. In that case, you’d be wrong. Very, very wrong. It’s actually 30-year-old journeyman catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Salty’s smacked 6 homers in just 48 plate appearances this season, which has some fantasy owners dreaming of a cheap 20 homers from their recent waiver wire find. He has hit 25 homers in a season before (2012), and power has never been an issue for Salty. What has been an issue is making consistent contact. He’s one of 11 players in MLB history (min 2000 PA) with a 30+% K% in his career, and his 32.4% K% since the beginning of the 2014 season is the 3rd highest in MLB over that span (min 600 PA) behind only Mike Zunino and Tyler Flowers. This season, he has a 37.5% K% and his early power outburst is largely due to a 33.3% HR/FB (career 13.8%). Same old Salty. Enjoy the hot streak but don’t get too attached. Too much Salty will give you high blood pressure.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Three weeks in and I’m sure there’s some of you out there pressing as much as Carlos Gomez right now.  Is it too soon to be worried that you’re falling behind in stolen bases?  Probably not, but after next week we’ll be at a good point to stop and assess our teams as well as start scouring for trades to address whatever weaknesses we find.  Or, to quote fellow leaguemate and frequent commenter MauledByPandas, “One more week until we can hit the (Joe) Panik button right?”.  That’s about right I’d say.  It’s still early folks and there’s no reason to be dropping a guy like Carlos Gomez or doing anything else crazy just yet.  

Misery loves company and there’s plenty of misery with aces at the moment.  Matt Harvey, David Price, Zack Greinke and Chris Archer have all had rough starts, leaving those that waited on starting pitching to giggle to themselves.  Now Carlos Carrasco is down for 4-6 weeks and there’s RCL teams everywhere looking for a shoulder to cry on.  Hang tough Razzballer, there’s plenty of fish in the stream for the next few weeks.  In the meantime, form up your prayer octagons that both Carloses (Carlii?) will be alright by June and come check out the week that was in the RCLs.

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Playing Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) comes with plenty of different strategies. There are punts, pairing aces, stacking at Coors Field, value picks, and using right-handed hitters with a last name that begins with R; I’m looking directly at you Ryan Raburn. There is also another strategy that can quite simply be called, Kershaw or Nah? Usually, the answer is Kershaw. On Tuesday night, Major League Baseball’s ace pitcher faces off against a Miami Marlins lineup that has collectively batted .268 and is near the bottom of the league in runs scored (63). Here’s the thing—the Marlins’ stats are somewhat skewed towards right-handers because they’ve actually done much better against lefties (.339 average). So what gives here? If the Marlins are bashing lefties, should you play Clayton Kershaw? Why, hell yes you should! As a team, the Marlins have only logged 59 at-bats against lefties and none of them were the caliber of Kershaw. So, at $13,800, you’re going to be using a ton of salary, but there is no pitcher that is more consistent than the Dodgers’ lethal lefty. It may take a mid-tier pairing to make a competitive lineup, but as usual, no pitcher has the ceiling—and floor—of Clayton Kershaw.

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?

Woooo, the Razzball Pod is back, now with more imbalance and effeminatey! On today’s show we talk Jake Arrieta‘s no-hitter and value moving forward, Tanner Roark‘s 15 Ks, and if there’s any value in Mat Latos. Hint – Nope! We also play America’s Favorite Game Ben Revere or Denard Span, discuss Aledmys Diaz, and how much we can rely on Kenta Maeda. And if you’ve ever wondered how Grey made his fortune, he gives us a look into his highly fortuitous foray into website squatting. Here’s our latest edition of the Razzball Baseball Podcast:

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Yesterday, Buster Olney tweeted, “Kevin Gausman is pitching tonight probably exactly the way the Orioles hoped on the day they drafted him.  Dominant stuff.”  Putting aside the unnecessary “probably” — you’ll never win a Twitter Pulitzer with needless hooha! —  is this what the Orioles hoped for?  Because it’s felt at times like the Orioles were waiting for Gausman to say some sort of secret oath to let him into the rotation and, without Podrick to prompt him, he didn’t know said oath.  By the by, I can’t look at Brienne of Tarth and not see Conan O’Brien.  Perhaps, it’s me (it’s not).  If the Orioles wanted Gausman to pitch probably exactly like this, wouldn’t they have put him in the rotation and left him alone for the last *covers mouth* years?  Not to answer, but to knowingly nod while you undress your computer with your eyes.  Since I have shares in that facacta noodle-hanger Archer, I watched the better part of Gausman’s start, and he looked better than what the boxscore says, and the boxscore says, “Yum, choco-latte.”  It also says 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks in his first start back.  Gausman has the stuff to be a number one, but at worse a number two.  Not saying he will be this year; that’s just his stuff.  He probably exactly should be already, but probably exactly hasn’t been.  Still, I would grab him in any leagues where I needed upside.  A 8+ K/9, 2.7+ BB/9, 3.75 ERA starter is probably exactly what you’ll get.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So I’m watching Raiders of the Lost Ark with my dad and following Tanner Roark strike out 15 Saturday afternoon, and all primed to write my “Raiders of the Lost Roark” pitcher profile. But then I was like, “Ya know what?! I already wrote on Joe Ross and the Nationals don’t need ANY MORE press! I’m not writing two of my first three 2016 profiles on Nats, get outta here!”

Option B: An argument I had with myself the other day: “Is Robbie Ray really that different than Carlos Rodon?” Think about it – both are lefties with mid-90s heat, plus off-speed pitchers, and are near unhittable. But they’re also two of the most frustrating pitchers to own with their control issues. So why would I love Rodon and bank on him figuring it out in my ranks and not have similar optimism for the also young (just turned 24) Ray? Mayyyyyyybe I shouldn’t broadcast to ALL of Razzball Nation my inner monologues… “What was that dream last night about? I think I was taking off my clothes in Miller Park with – – – -” Yeah, bad idea.

With Ray one of my two decent SP in REL, I decided to megalomaniacally (made up word?!) take the pitcher profile to Arizona and break down how Ray looked again the Pirates yesterday afternoon:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Nye

When does a fad become a trend, and a trend the new standard? Whether it’s fashion, politics, music, movies, language or style, the shift from perception to reality advances faster and faster. In baseball, how fast does that timeline shift for a player? How long do we need to realize that a player’s stats are the new norm and not a flash in the pan? 50 at bats? 100 at bats? 2 months? Of course, there’s always the risk of regression, like the 80’s being totally back in style, but there are other things from the past that just won’t come back. Or at least we all better hope they don’t. Like Jnco. Haha, that used to be cool?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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