As they say in a Jewelery District of any major city, [player]Johnny Cueto[/player] pitched a gem. Well, any major city except Detroit. There they call a gem, “Slowly remove it from your finger, and no funny business!” Against the Pirates yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 12 Ks. Pretty much across the board for Cueto’s career, I haven’t been a fan. His xFIP has always been much worse than his ERA, and his K-rate has never been close to an elite starter. Well, a weird thing happened on the way to his fifth start of the year, he looks like an ace. His xFIP is down to 2.55, his K-rate is 10.50 and his walk rate is 2.40. Those are fantasy ace numbers. Last year through April, he had a 2.80 xFIP, 9.35 K-rate and 3.12 walk rate. Those numbers aren’t that different. Hey, random italicized letters are my shtick. Not right now, Random Italicized Voice. Whoa, snippy! There is one fairly significant difference between Cueto this year and last. About a mile per hour on his fastball. In some instances, his fastball is averaging two extra miles per hour from last April, and he’s cut out his, uh, cutter, and his ground balls have remained. He’s pitching slightly different, slightly better, and, for the first time I can remember, I’m really liking what Cueto is showing. Ain’t that a kick in Jason LaRue’s head? His ERA won’t stay at 1.50, but I also wouldn’t be looking to sell him high. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
On today’s podcast, Nick recounts the ups and downs of his journey across ‘Murica. If Nick was doing this journey to collect a Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, we’d all say he was crazy, Alexander Payne would film it and Bruce Dern would play Nick to great critical acclaim. In reality, Nick’s doing it for a podcast. This isn’t crazier?! Get Payne on the hotline, we got ourselves a sequel to Nebraska! “So, the year is 2014, and flying cars haven’t yet been invented. Instead, our lead, everyman, Nick, is in a van and driving from Canada to Arizona to do a podcast over the phone to save on international calling.” “You know, I was having lunch with James Toback the other day and he was looking for a project. Can we get Neve Campbell to play Nick in drag?” “It’s a new direction, but I like it!” Besides the cross-country shenanigans of Nick and his K-Mart mannequin he dressed up and named Blake, we talk about some players who are off to hot starts — hello, [player]Dee Gordon[/player]! — and some players who are currently screwing la pooch — I hate you, [player]Edwin Encarnacion[/player]! Also, mentioned are [player]Adam Eaton[/player], [player]Grady Sizemore[/player], [player]Scott Kazmir[/player], and many, many, many more guys (maybe three more). Anyway, here’s the Razzball Podcast (now with tales from the road):Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ranking prospects for fantasy purposes is a tricky exercise. The variables involved are constantly in flux — talent emerges, talent regresses… opportunity comes, opportunity goes… clubs get cold feet because of service time, clubs don’t give a shizz about service time. So, given the fluid nature of this prospect business, we’re going to keep a running ranking throughout the season. This post will run every other Wednesday, providing a weekly glimpse of the soon-to-arrive impact talent.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Not a bad week for your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru as we cashed in on 15 of 20 contests we entered increasing our bankroll and getting us one step closer to a winter of umbrella drinks in Cancun (or at least a couple weeks in Tijuana). Want to join me poolside? Join the DraftKings Sweet Spot challenge and you could go on a permanent vacation. Their pool is filled with $400,000. If you’re new to the game, keep in mind DraftKings virgins get a free $2 ticket. If I win that thing I’m buying a small island off the coast of Ecuador and a new liver.
If you’re veteran to DFS leagues go ahead and skip to my lineup now as I give our new friends the Guru’s top 5 tips for winning cash with DraftKings.
When it comes to winning real money there are a few things to keep in mind: 1) Pitching leads the way and strikeouts are king. The Stream-o-Nator nails this on an almost daily basis. 2) Build stacks against the worst pitchers. 3) Check the Vegas odds on what games are predicted to have high scores. Vegas knows what they are doing, why not use them. 4) Know the overlay. DraftKings has guaranteed payouts (another reason they are the king) and when a tournament doesn’t fill, the money is still guaranteed. 5) Know the weather situation, know who’s in and who’s out of the starting lineups. Don’t be left with a giant zero because Joey Votto got a day off or it rained frogs in Cleveland. (Shameless plug: Follow me on Twitter @TheGuruGS as I tweet that kind of stuff daily plus yoga pants pics.)
Alrighty my Razzballers, here’s your dirty turbaned Guru’s lineup for Wednesday’s 4/16 contests on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Houston Astros who crawled through a river of shizz and came out clean on the other side. The entire organization looks up in the air, rain beating down. Hey, Bus Driver, take the Astros to Zanwhattwonahwho, they finally called up [player]George Springer[/player]! No, I don’t know how to spell it! With a Z? For an organization that hasn’t had anything promising since Billy Hatcher homered off a left-field foul pole, it’s about time there’s something to look forward to. They were downright depressing there for about seven years. Here’s what I said this offseason, “In Triple-A, Springer had 18 homers after hitting 19 homers in Double-A. That’s not one year in Double-A and one year in Triple-A even though my syntax might lead you to believe that. He hit 37 homers last year in the minors. Hello, sexy, what’s your name? Do you like your creme de menthe on the rocks? Can I call you grasshopper? 37 homers is pretttttay, pretttttay good. I wonder if he can do anything else. *moves finger along his minor league line* Hmm, too bad he only stole 45 bases last year. Oh. Wait, come again? I mean, I just came again. 40-steal speed from a guy that nearly hit 40 homers? Yummo on that Thirty Minute Meal. Give me some Restaurant: Stakeout, my waitress is sexting her boyfriend during business hours! So, I guess his average is atrocious. Oh, he hit .311 in Triple-A? Yeah, I just had a fangasm; I have to change my undershorts. Is it all peaches and cream on this big slice of pound cake? No, there’s a K-rate that could portend him actually hitting .245 in the big leagues and I wish he were a year younger, but nothing is spelling D-O-O-M.” And that’s me quoting me! I lurve me some Springer and he’s ownable in every league. My preseason projections for him were 52/19/71/.254/22, but that was with a full season at-bats. Now that he’s missed about two weeks, I’d cut off a few counting stats, but not much. He could be a 20/20 player. Go get him! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Just kidding. I actually had Tommy John surgery while typing this. Because all the kids are doing it nowadays. It’s so hip, Von Miller went to see Dr. Andrews before it was cool. So what’s the deal here with all of these injuries? Is it the lack of steroids? HGH? Greenies? Cocaine? Naw, cocaine is still present in the game. How else do you explain Matt Williams’ and Fredi Gonzalez’s line-up cards? Either they’re trolling us, or they’re making it snow in their offices. What this post presupposes is, maybe it’s both? Anyhow, let’s take a gander at what’s going on in your RCL universe. I say it’s yours, because I think I’m the only person who has 10 teams, AND 90% of them are taking on water and sinking. Water from the tears that I cry when fantasy baseball goes wrong. OR from global warming. In which case, whew, I’m not a polar bear. So there’s that, I guess.Please, blog, may I have some more?
So you’re down to the last few nickels of your first buy-in this year. You’re pinching pennies—drinking Olympia and thinning out your Cup O Noodles with Ramen. You know you need to do research to come up today, but you can’t justify using that much electricity. Don’t fret, mah people. I got your winning lineup right hurrr. I know. I shouldn’t have. I’ve been invoking Peyton Manning all week. DraftKings don’t slang hot pies, but they do love to hook you up for no apparent reason like Papa John’s. So we’ve teamed up to give you the freshest players in the freshest daily fantasy site out there. But wait, there’s more! Our boys at DraftKings are giving you a chance to get ghetto rich with $2 bucks giving you the chance to cash out $400k in the Sweet Spot.
We’re gonna sweeten the deal a little further today. Once you’ve signed up via Razzball for DraftKings, hit this link, and you can come try to take down Da Schlurricane. I’m opening up a contest for you to see how I do work. I never said I was smart – giving you the opportunity to expose me as a fraud. I’m so brash I even invited Tehol into the mix. The writing may be pro bono but my fantasy contests gotta make some cheddah. I’m betting him 2 tix to Mariners/A’s that I’ll Beddict his ass. You only get to play me for bragging rights and dolla bills ya’ll! But I’m sure you’re studs at bragging. And if you follow my instructions, you’ll have some bills.
Today’s a good day to take advantage of a lot of matchups. I’m gonna give you my lineup today. Go enter a contest or two with it and then invoke the Steam-O-Nator and Hittertron to come take me out. After all, Rudy’s mind is much more elevated than mine. We’re talking catwalk vs. gutter ya’ll.Please, blog, may I have some more?
He’s just lucky his name isn’t Kicked-In Nuts Bailey. If you turned a paper into your English prof and named the homer-prone pitcher, [player]Homer Bailey[/player], your prof would say it’s too expository. But the prof might’ve been more forgiving if you hadn’t named the mayor, Billy Gladhand; the police chief, Officer Corruptski and the fro-yo cashier, Barry Tart. It’s almost too ridiculous to be believable what Homer Bailey did yesterday. He gave up two back-to-back homers in two different innings, while also striking out the side. Who are you, Danny Salazar? No, you are not Danny Salazar! You’re supposed to be more reliable! (Oh, and the game was suspended, but you still get all of Bailey’s glorious stats. Lucky you. Or Yu, if Darvish is reading.) If you play in a Benjamin Netanyahu league were xFIP is a category, you’re doing well. Everyone else would like to kill someone. Potentially me since I advocated drafting Bailey. It takes alligator blood to check raise the bettor, but, after he struck out nine in only five innings yesterday (and gave up a shizz load of homers), I’d say now is the time to buy low on Bailey. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“What’s it short for? Ya know, like Rosstopher?” “Just Ross!”
I had cautious optimism heading into the year for [player]Tyson Ross[/player], and he looked pretty wild early on. And not the good kind of wild. No one in San Diego is wearing Wild Thing-Ross T-Shirts. I caught most of his debut against the Dodgers, and he didn’t look right. Hitchy delivery, lower velocity, and terrible control. Since he was fringy anyway, in the one league I owned him (deeper 10-team), I cut him loose for some scrub closer. I don’t even know who, probably [player]Matt Lindstrom[/player], who at least vultured a win for me yesterday.
Anyway, I saw Ross was bad again in his second effort, racking up 9 walks to only 9 Ks through two games, somehow escaping with a 4.50 ERA because he piled up 6 unearned runs. Needless to say, I was pretty content to ignore him, but yesterday he turned it around against the offensively-charged Tigers. Since it’s still early, maybe he had an early mechanical issue that got worked out, and he’s back to picking up where 2013 left off. So I decided to break down his start, and see if he needs to be scooped off waivers in leagues where he was dropped or undrafted:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Unless you followed the career of boxer Brandon Burke, or are a connoisseur of German speed porn, you’re probably not used to seeing this many guys go down so soon.
Injuries to baseball players have become a national epidemic, especially among frontline pitchers. In just a few short months, we’ve seen players like [player]Kris Medlen[/player], [player]Patrick Corbin[/player], [player]Bobby Parnell[/player], [player]Jarrod Parker[/player] and (most likely) [player]Matt Moore[/player] require Tommy John surgery.
While those pitchers are done for the season (and maybe even parts of 2015), there are in fact some players returning from various ailments who are waiting patiently to be scooped up off your fantasy baseball league’s waiver wire.
The “DL stash” is a time-honored tradition that all fantasy baseball champions employ. Last week, I went over the hitters who are/were residing on the disabled list, and this week I’ll be covering the guys throwing the balls to them. If you have an open DL spot, or spots, in your league, it’s imperative that you use them.
You won’t see me suggesting guys like [player]Cole Hamels[/player] or [player]Mike Minor[/player], because something tells me that you have more cojones than to play in a league so lacking in competition that they would still be available. Rather, I will highlight some pitchers more suited for deeper leagues, as well as NL- and AL-only leagues.Please, blog, may I have some more?