Manny Machado‘s epitaph: He always found more success throwing a bat at a ball. Better than Salvador Perez’s: Together again! Machado wasn’t just struggling, he was like that friend of yours that not only is having a rotten time at a party, but also sucks the prettiest girls in the room into his sad funk of despair and before long, the girls are like, “I don’t want to go out and get drunk and party and potentially hook up with you. Your friend Manny Machado is too depressed.” The buzz kill friend. Yesterday, Machado went 5-for-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his 8th homer, and fourth homer in his last seven games (skipping the suspension games). About time he listened to your advice, did a body shot off the tummy of the girl that wants to be a physical therapist and cheered up! I don’t own Machado anywhere this year, due to the knee issue coming into the season, but he just turned 22 years old (almost literally; his birthday was Sunday) and I’ll be all over Machado again next year. Of course, if you can acquire him in a trade this year, by all means, which sounds like it was said by Malcolm X’s less militant brother, Bobby X. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Let’s look at some potential homerun decliners based on the following “Power Score” or expected homerun (xHR) formula and compare it to their actual homerun totals. Here is the formula:

Plate Appearances(PA)*Contact Rate(Ct%)*Outfield flyball rate(OFFB%)*Homerun per Outfield Flyball ratio(HR/OFFB).

Make sense? Sure it does: How many homeruns does a player hit per outfield flyball? How much of their contact results in an outfield flyball? How much overall contact does a batter make when swinging the bat in a plate appearance? This should provide us with an expected HR total.

The below lists are ranked by the largest actual HR-expected HR differentials. Their HR related performance (PA, Ct, OFFB, HR/OFFB) is listed along with their average homerun and flyball average distance and rank.

Two contingencies worth noting at this time: 1) Our samples size still isn’t huge and 2) We’re not taking into account platoon hitters, i.e. Scott Van Slyke as a right-hand hitter only raking against left-hand pitchers. So when I extrapolate the data, keep this in mind. In other words, if Scott Van Slyke consumed more playing time against right-hand pitchers, there’s a good chance his performance/power would drop off.

Here are the top potential HR decliners (I think you will see the value of this xHR comp immediately):

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My name is Tom Jacks and I’m here to admit that I have a fantasy baseball trade addiction. While I’ve been trying to do my best to keep it from getting out of hand, I’m pretty sure I’ve either made the most or am tied for making the most trades in every single league I’m in this year. So it should come as no surprise that one of my favorite times of the year is approaching in real baseball: trade season. With that in mind, I figured it would be worth taking a look at some of the players who could be traded and how it would affect their value in OBP leagues:

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I wrote a letter to Dayan Viciedo the other day and promised to sing about him. After hearing this rhyme, I knew I had to take it for me. I couldn’t think of a better way to explain my infatuation because there is life and there is Dayan, at least for this week. Here’s what I’m singing to him:

I’m like Tre, that’s Cuba Gooding
I know I’m good at
Dayan of thirst
Dayan of thirst
Dayan of thirst

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Yesterday, there was a pitching performance that truly captured the minds and hearts of the general public. You know, the general public — the people you smile at on the street and wonder how they got their shirt on because they look so dumb. Those people! This pitching performance wasn’t done by just any average pitcher. No, it was done by…an outfielder. Travis Snider struck out Joey Votto! Whaaaaaaat?! Oh, and Clayton Kershaw threw a no-hitter. It should’ve been a perfect game, but Hanley didn’t feel like it. It’s okay, Hanley, don’t beat yourself up over it too much. Let Dodger fans do it for you! Kershaw’s game wasn’t perfect in the strictly record book sense, but it was in the fantasy sense. 15 Ks, no hits, no walks — you now have the best pitching performance of this year, and it might be a top ten fantasy start of all-time. I wonder if you could buy him low. I keed! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Which is happier, man or boy?
The soul of the father is steeped in joy,
For he’s finding out, to his heart’s delight,
That his son is fit for the future fight.

- Edgar A. Guest -

In honor of today being Father’s Day, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk abut the men that help make us men. For those of us who are fathers, the above excerpt from a poem will resonate with you. If you’re a father, I hope you have a memorable day, and for those who are not fathers, I hope you can go out and try and become one! Who’s a better father figure in MLB than the man with more juniors than any other? Adam Dunn is the big donkey, and however you want to interpret that is up to you. In fantasy, he hits a lot of home runs and strikes out a lot. He has many offspring, with new ones coming to the surface on a regular basis. There is the Mini-Donkey in Mark Reynolds, and the Mini-Mini-Donkey Ian Stewart. I also recognize El Burro Pedro Alvarez and the Urban Donkey Chris Carter. Do you have any other Donkey nicknames? [Jay's Note: Does Pronk count?]

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It seems like nothing can go wrong for the Blue Jays right now. They’ve won six in a row and eight of their last ten games, and last night rookie Marcus Stroman grabbed his third win in just his second MLB start, pitching six innings, allowing just one run while giving up seven hits, walking two, and striking out seven. Let the Stromania begin! After defeating the Royals last week, Stroman has now given up just two runs in 12 innings, with a 13/2 K/BB ratio. One of Razzball’s top-20 prospects going into 2014, we’ve been mentioning him for a while now. Stroman’s got a mid-nineties fastball, and a filthy slider and cutter in his repertoire. He may have what it takes to hang with the big dogs, and with the way the Jays have been playing he might become a part of something big. (Bring the American League championship back to where it belongs! Canada.) Marcus excelled in the minors this year (35.2 IP, 3.03 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 11.36 K/9) before being called up in early May to serve as bullpen help, where he struggled a bit. However, now that he’s likely to see a considerable look in the rotation all those Ks and Ws and possibly other letters (WHIP? ERA?) could be yours.  He was a BUY this week although he will undoubtedly experience some ups and downs in the perilous AL East, but Marcus has a nice start versus the Twins next week and I’d try to add him in most standard leagues for some serious strikeout upside. And that’s coming from a bonafide Stromaniac.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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I feel I need to have a moment of honesty with you all. It’s been a tough go of late. Don’t worry, I don’t need to be institutionalized (note the sweet Pirates hat in the video). I think I need to retire the Hit of the Week. I messed with the Razzball gods, and have been burned by the flames that surround that animated baseball. I’m a creepy guy who should stick to writing about Creeper’s. That is what the universe wants and that’s what it gets. Don’t get me wrong, unfortunate managerial decisions have killed some of my calls. Cameron Maybin got benched for three games that week in favor of Quentin! *shakes fist* Kole Calhoun was sucked into the abyss of the Sciosciapath’s path. I really wanted to suggest C.J. Cron this week, but I fear the folly of Big Mike and his managerial circus. Maybe Jack Clark and Chili Davis should of hit him harder? Last week Mitch Moreland did a lite version of the Full Loney, a Cuarenta Uno? I would of been happy with a Forty Twenty all week from him. Thanks for the new term OTS! What am I to do? My “others to consider” have actually done better than my main calls. Mark Reynolds, Chris Carter and Kolten Wong all out hit Mitch Moreland this week, and the week before, Garrett Jones and Adam Dunn both killed it, while Kole Calhoun sucked it. So you can take this one of two ways. Either only pay attention to the others under consideration because they will be useful, while the focus player won’t, or there is no other choice. I’m kidding, this isn’t a perfect science. In one of my leagues, the FCL, the quality batty calls are amazing. Those dudes are on fire with their adds *tips cap*. Speaking of the FCL, I would like to send a shout out to my new favorite commenter de Nachos. Dude looks like Brett Favre, owns a fungo bat, bought a championship belt for our league, and got a concussion the other day. I lit a prayer candle for you homeboy…..Life’s a risk, carnal!

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One of the main reasons I enjoy writing for Razzball is that I haven’t encountered another fantasy baseball site where the commenters are this active and generally friendly with each other. Another great thing is that even the comments are worth reading because there tends to be some nice insight. Example A is Principal Blackman, likely a pseudonym for Charlie Blackmon, who said this last week, “How about a little love for Shin-Soo Choo’s .432 OBP & .929 OPS? Both would be career highs (the Arlington effect?), but they are not wildly (unbelievably) out of line with his career averages (.391/.858), and they are right in line with the advances he made last year… ZiPS and Steamer both foresee some regression on the way for him, and indeed a .392 average on balls in play would blow his career BABIP (.352) out of the water. And at the same time, his K% has dipped below the league average, but, on the other hand, he has maintained the improvements he made last year to his already stellar walk rate, and since the beginning of the 2013 season he only has one infield popup (none this year).” Since then, Choo has slumped a bit and had his OPS dip below .900. I expect to see him around that level all year, while maintaining his ~.420 OBP. Anyway, here are some other players on my mind in OBP leagues:

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What do the Rangers do now? Prince has gone belly up. [Jay's Note: More like belly all around, amiright? You know, because he's fat.] Besides Yu Darvish, their pitching is hot garbage. I’m 50/50 if they try to make a deal for Kendrys Morales. What’s really going on in Arlington? Mitch “I get relevant every May” Moreland is what’s going on. Over the last three years, the month of May has been by far his best. He’s hit .312, with 17 dongs, 46 runs and 38 RBI’s. Maybe he has a thing with the letter ‘M’? MMMHHHH! – Mitch Moreland May I? Mitch May Moreland… Is May his middle name? Either way, something good has happened for triple M. Prince Fielder‘s neck couldn’t handle all that weight it’s been carrying around, and now Mitch gets his shot again. Hey J-FOH, Mitch has never been able to put it together for a whole season? That is correct, diligent random commenter. Mitch has never been able to put it all together for a full season and I don’t expect that to change. What I do know is May is almost over, Mitch loves to hit in May, Prince is now a popper… of pain killers, and opportunity is the drug we all subscribe to in fantasy baseball.

Please, blog, may I have some more?