It started with a simple email. Hey Grey and Rudy, wouldn’t it be cool if someone wrote about the top pitchers broken down by month? And within those months, to evaluate with and without wins to ascertain who pitched well and gave good value vs. who pitched for a 90 win club and had a 4-0 month? Response was a resounding yes, of course. And of course, it was my own damn fault for having such a good idea because now I’m here giving you offseason content prior to January. Clearly the time that everyone is reading about fantasy baseball. Oh well, let’s get to it. Here’s a look back at April’s pitching to see if it holds any keys going forward to 2015 fantasy baseball:

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Didja you know The Captain from Captain & Tennille’s real name is Daryl Dragon? Why would this guy have a nickname? Your name’s awesome, you don’t get a nickname. Daryl Dragon has bedtime slippers that are cooler than you. Daryl Dragon washes his hands, then breathes a not-very-intense fire on his hands to dry them. Daryl Dragon can’t get a speeding ticket. “Okay, Mr. Dragon, I’ll let you go this time with a warning because your name is Daryl Dragon.” Any the hoo! Michael Pineda continues to dominate sans pine tar fingers. At least I don’t think he has pine tar on his fingers. Imagine he was really a Caucasian pulling a fast one? His ERA is now down to 1.93 after a 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 1 Walk, 8 Ks gem. For 2015, I picture him being overdrafted due to the Yankees thing and the insanely low ERA, but it’s gonna be hard to be as excited about him due to his 6.30 K-rate, and 3.61 xFIP. You, sir, are no Daryl Dragon. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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At the end of the year, you can look at season long stats and try to build a DK lineup and I can pretty much promise you, disappointment will follow. You see, season is all but done, bro and bro-ettes. That means guys get tired. The studs of May, June and July give way to the youthful, the fresh guys of the DL and the DFAs who get invigorated by their new teams. De Aza, I’m looking directly at you…and many of my season long teams thank you. But truly, if we were to look at the baseball season like it were cut up into the different eras of the Beatles catalog, September would have to be the psychedelic phase. Everything you thought you knew about the baseball season just doesn’t apply right now. Oakland has been a ‘bad’ team for a couple of months yet their record on the surface says otherwise. Nelson Cruz leads the MLB in HRs with 39 but most of those HRs came in May with 13. And in the end, what happens works now in context but overlapping with the season it seems just completely out there. Going from ‘Love Me Do’ to ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ is quite the drastic jolt, Lennon. I Am The Walrus? Shut the f@#$ up, Donny! Now where was I? Oh yeah, all this to say, hanging your hat on season stats don’t get you nowhere. Case in point, Tyler Matzek. Season stats tell you he’s pretty mediocre. The ERA is 4.19…meh. The K/9 says 6.69…ambien pills. But let’s look at Tyler through a different lenses…say from the start of September. This Tyler has a 1.74 ERA over 20.2 IP to go with 19 K and 6 walks. For you non-mathies out there, that’s an 8.27 K/9 and a 2.61 BB/9 rate. Sure, I ain’t streaming him nor am I throwing him into any cash games but I think even with the plum matchup against the Padres, Matzek will be overlooked and underowned because he’s been ‘so bad for so long’. Well, so long to that so bad call. Ride the young arm to victory friends. And with that, let’s move on. Here’s some other hot takes for your Monday 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 check theDFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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So here we are, the last week of the season. If you’re playing now, you’re in the money game of your head-to-head league, or you’re in a dog fight to pull ahead in the roto standings. I’ve said this for the last three weeks but, congratulations! You did something right. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say there are a few things you definitely didn’t do, you didn’t draft Justin Verlander, you didn’t draft Buster Posey or Joe Mauer anywhere near the first 5 rounds, you didn’t invest in one of the top 3 closers, and you probably didn’t draft Dominic Brown (Sorry Tehol). They say fantasy championships are made after the draft. Whoever they are? Seriously do you know? I’m just going to guess that if there is a they that writes these cliches, then they know Nick Capozzi. Mostly because he knows everybody in the fantasy industry. I’m also going to assume it’s a secret club that I’m not privy to. You know, like Skull and Bones.  Wow that escalated quickly! Where was I? Oh yeah winning fantasy championships. Well my belief is that the secret to winning in the final week is pitching, and how you use your streams. If you’re in a H2H league with a limited move number than be careful. One must choose wisely. With this in mind I have created a new format for these posts. As I mentioned last week I had the vision of putting my rankings in spreadsheet form and providing a couple of key metrics I felt gave you the readers full transparency into my thought process. Well my vision is reality behold the new and improved two startapalooza. You’ll see that in addition to the Pitcher’s name and opponent, I’ve also provided the pitcher’s handedness, the pitcher’s Home/Road ERA, the opponent’s Home/Road wOBA, and the opponent’s Right/Left wOBA split. These are the numbers I look at most closely when creating my rankings for the week. So why not share them with you? Enjoy, I put some time into this and I believe you’ll find it extra helpful. I hope it also sparks more debate in the comments and gives you guys all the more reason to challenge my tiers. I’ve also made sure that I based my Two-Start roster off of Rudy’s new two start pitcher SON/tool. This way all the information mirrors each other and gives some continuity to the post. Thanks again for reading and I’m looking forward to bringing this format back next season. Go Get’Em!

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Shields’s season proves one thing. He doesn’t answer to you, he doesn’t answer to anyone. Not today, not tomorrow, not even on Cinco de Mayo. Then Shields steals a knot of hundreds from a drug dealer, nurses a drug addict mother back to health and then kills a criminal only to cover it up. Shields, the anti-hero. Oops, I was watching a best of The Shield, and Vic Mackey had me feeling dirty, like a renegade cop! The renegade cop — fun on TV or movies; pain in the ass in real life. In September, James Shields has a 0.00 ERA, rolling off of yesterday’s 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 8 Ks with his ERA down to 3.13. His season has really been all over the map from month to month. On the bad side of things, May ERA 4.69 and June ERA 4.88. On the good side of things, July ERA 2.63; April ERA 1.60; August ERA 2.95, and the aforementioned September. Maybe the Royals knew something when they traded away Wil Myers. Or maybe we can at least pretend they did for this year. “I got short term eyes, not to be confused with short eyes like Elmore Leonard.” That’s Dayton Moore. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Call it recency bias. Call it trending stats. Call it your mom. I don’t care. The Rockies on the road are still ‘teh suck’. Earlier this week I told you to Leave It To Peav’er for similar reasons. If San Fran knew how to hit the ball and play defense, that call would’ve gone from decent to great. Well, and if Dave Eddings knew what the strikezone was or how to call a guy out at the plate. Seriously, ‘human element’ my heiney hole. The best day of baseball for me will be when I don’t have to hear about Joe West making a country album…because he’s Joe West the umpire. Go play for quarters at the local dive down in Nashville and get the eff off my diamond…wow, lost it for a minute there, where were we? Oh yeah, ‘teh suck’. That’s the Rockies on the road in a nutshell. Case in point? Collmenter spun a ‘gem’ last night, going 6.1 IP, giving up a mere 2 hits while striking out 5. Of course, the stats of others don’t tell you much about Vidal Nuno. So let’s dig in, shall we? Here’s the scoop: since being traded to the Diamondbacks, Nuno has a 3.54 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP, and a 3.5 K:BB ratio. The K per 9 is pretty middling around 7 per but did ya see the Collmenter line? Nuno is buried down near the bottom of the DraftKings pricing at $6,200, mixed in with Kyle Ryan (who?) and Chris Bassitt (what?!?) at the same price. Not sure why the price hangs around a couple of guys that even Razzball doesn’t have a player page for, but I’ll take any gifts I’m given. So let’s keep a vigilant watch out for the signs that an El Nuno is developing and I’ll see you down at Arizona Bay when it hits….PS! I’m not really here. Ok, I am still ‘here’ but I’m not there. Actually I am there. Man, this is getting complicated. I’m heading out on the road with Nick Capozzi for the Razzball #32in32in32 tour as it winds down. We’re hitting Chicago, Green Bay, Twin Cities, Kansas City, Saint Louis, and Denver. If you live in the area and wanna see just how big my eyebrows are in person, buy a ticket and find out. Come on, they don’t bite. Just keep a reasonable distance. All that said, if you comment the moment this post goes live, I’ll probably be flying over Gibraltar or something. I failed geography so that might be a tad off. Either way, Mike will be handling all your commentary needs so if the call is great, praise me and if it’s terrible, belittle Mike as much as possible in the comments. Cool, thanks. Now on with the DK show…

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!

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Chris Tillman went 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.55 while dropping his 2nd half ERA to 2.14 in 46 1/3 IP. Still, the best thing about him is he doesn’t currently have a duet with Nicki Minaj on the radio. He’s the one person in the western hemisphere. You are so lucky, eastern hemisphere! Assuming you, Eastern Hemispherers, move to the western hemisphere in the next six months and don’t get all of our hand-me-down crap songs next. I lived in London in the fall of 1996, so I had a jumpstart on “Tell me what you want what you really want, what you really really want” by the Spice Girls, then when I moved back home, it just got here. I had a good solid 12 months straight of one stupid Spice Girls song. I called it A Clockwork Spice. Ready for me to tie this in? I bet you are! I was in on Tillman in the preseason the past two years, convinced he could make the jump to fantasy number two. I held him both years in the 1st half, as he got battered around, then in the 2nd half of both years after I dropped him, he buckled down and showed the kind of pitcher he can be. Unlike last year, his peripherals this year are pretty poor — 6.2 K/9, 3 BB/9, 4.31 xFIP. I’d definitely own him while he’s going well, but I don’t think he’s become anything more than a decent fantasy number four to five. Right now, he’s a Wannabe. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What a week to be a Nationals pitcher, you’re six games up in the division and you have the D-backs and the Giants rolling into town. So much of my focus this year has been on Daily Fantasy that I tend to see things through DraftKings colored glasses. If you’re unfamiliar with the format and scoring, pitchers have much higher floors than hitters and the scoring is laser focused on K’s and innings. Low strikeout/ good ratio guys need not apply. Both Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg have been good but I always seem to be a little underwhelmed by what I get from them. I’m hoping for a big week from both of them. The Diamondbacks and Giants are both in the bottom 1/3 of the league in wOBA over the past fortnight and both have a k% over 20%. Don’t be surprised if owners of the Nats frontline starters run the table in ratios this week.

Other than the aforementioned Nationals aces, Max Scherzer‘s week sets up to potentially be a monster one. The Tigers and the Scherz-nit travel to both Tampa and Minnesota, as he faces crappy offenses in pitchers parks. Reverse HodgePadre Ian Kennedy gets two road starts this week. I wonder if he’s the first Friars pitcher to be better away from Petco? It’s so confusing I devoted a chapter to it in my forthcoming book “Things That Don’t Make Sense”. Should be a best seller, Gary Busey did the foreword. Most of the content covers the last 5 years and a two week period in 1639. Diamondbacks Ace(?) Chase Anderson looks to continue his hot streak against Washington and San Diego. I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t come away with another two quality starts. Overall this week’s two start pitchers remind me of the stock at a Marshall’s, a couple of finds, a whole bunch of mediocre crap, and a few things so ugly they can’t be unseen.

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How do you like your eggs? Scrambled? Hard-boiled? Sunny-side up? Fertilized (or Shawn Kemp style for you NBA fans)? Me, I like mine Odorizzi. What Egg puns using Jake Odorizzi‘s names are lame? Well soooooorry! You try and be super funny, relevant, and informative several times a week. This is hard work ladies and gents, and I’m in the trenches. What, I’m rambling? Sorry I’m coming off a three day coke binge and haven’t slept since Tuesday. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you view drug abuse, that isn’t true. I just worked a ton of hours and have been spending my down time trying to digest baseball for these daily leagues and football for the fall. The work for a fantasy sports writer never ends. Or it never sleeps, or maybe that’s Wall Street, or money. Yeah I think it’s something with money. Either way my brain is now so filled with mundane factoids about baseball I yelled out wOBA while making love to my wife last night. And Yes, I have indeed taken up residence on the couch for the foreseeable future. Hey! I found a peanut M&M in between the cushions. Score! So what does all this have to do with Jake Odorizzi? Nothing! I told you I’m super tired and have the mental capacity of a jack rabbit on meth.

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?

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…




[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…



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