After the first couple months of a season, we start to get enough at bats to make informed decisions about how the current season may suggest a change in a player’s future performance from what we previously expected. Or do we? Yes, yes we do. But sometimes people overreact to recent information. Let’s call it recency bias because I think that’s its actual name. However, just because a sample size in the current season is statistically significant doesn’t mean we should ignore a larger sample (the player’s entire career). My preference is to investigate whether there is a reason why a player’s performance may have changed, from both a statistical perspective and due to any reported personal issues (injury, new baby, divorce, etc.). The idea is to see if it tells a story, which admittedly involves some subjectivity, but I think it helps place statistics in their proper context. This helps determine the likelihood that a player will approach their previous numbers or maintain their current performance. This is my long-winded way of saying that I’m looking at some players who have had at least one stretch of a drastic change from their expectations in 2014:

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Alert the trolls!  Plaster up the bulletins under the bridges!  Because I’m biased.  I hate the Cardinals.  They’re just so good against my Brewers!  And yeah, that’s pretty much all I got… Ummm, also… because McGwire did steroids?!  Yeah that doesn’t work from a Brewers fan… Ummm, because Lance Lynn is a porker and dominates us every time out?  Dammit, Wily Peralta is listed 5 pounds heavier!  I have no rational basis…

And with said caveats, I’ve never been a Jaime Garcia fan.  I actually picked him up in that redonk rookie year in 2010, and sold him mid-season which didn’t really work out.  As he returned from a rash of shoulder injuries plaguing the past few seasons, he was further off my radar than the Red October.  Can you believe he’s never had a WHIP under 1.30 in ANY Major League season?  And that includes only 9 starts last year and 10 appearances in 2008.  Then after seriously considering him for my top 100 SP ranks last week, he got rocked at KC Tuesday.  But followed it up with a gem yesterday at Toronto!  What is going on here?!  I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!  So I decided to break down Sunday’s start and re-address my ill-conceived biases – and Garcia – for this week’s re-ranks:

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You make plans, and the Fantasy Baseball Overlord laughs. I believe that is how the saying goes. Yesterday, Carlos Gonzalez succumbed to his time-honored tradition of hitting the DL. This time it was due to his finger inflammation. I wonder if his finger plumped up like a Ballpark Frank. By the by, you know the secret ingredient that is used for Ballpark Franks to plump up when you cook them, why is that not used in other foods? This seems to be the cure for world hunger. Inject everything and ship it to Africa. “Nice pancake, colonizer, but can you plump it up?” Yes, we can now little African kid! On his trips to Africa, why is Bono not armed with Ballpark Franks? We need some sodium nitrate up in here! On the bright side of things, Corey Dickerson is now definitely going to get everyday looks for at least the next two weeks and I’d guess it’ll be more like three to four weeks. Grab Dickerson! Whew, glad his name isn’t Dick, er, son. On a side note, “precious cargo” is the stupidest Urban Dictionary definition I’ve ever seen. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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My favorite move clubs make is the manager says so-and-so is the closer, but then use someone else and that other player becomes the closer. A close second is when they say so-and-so pitcher just didn’t have his best stuff, then roll him out there one more time, watch him get rocked and then say he has a broken elbow. But my third favorite club move is when they hold a rookie back for some arbitrary arbitration day. Everyone knows it’s arbitrary, but it’s done because clubs are cheap and want to hold the rights. Super Two, stupid two. Amiright? But there’s one move clubs do that you don’t see that often that might be crazier. Calling up a prospect — Oscar Taveras — right before his Super Two status changes. That’s crazy like a fox! Three weeks ago, Cards GM said, “I know a lot’s being made out of Oscar … coming to St. Louis, but right now I don’t even think it’s a logical thing to do.” I get that Fatt Adams just hit the DL, but wouldn’t you wait just a few more days at this point? Bizzonkers, but it’s the kind of crazy I can get behind because it brings with it one of the best — if not the best — prospect in the majors. Here’s what I’ve said previously about him, “From what I’ve heard (read), Taveras’s biggest strike against him is he doesn’t see any strikes — turn of a phrase point! He’s being compared to Vladimir Guerrero without having knees like Mama from Mama’s Family. Taveras swings and hits everything. Also, like Vlad, his swing is long, unwieldy and it looks like he could swing at pitches above his head and in the dirt on two consecutive pitches. (Google video of Oscar Taveras if you don’t believe me; what, you don’t believe me? My feelings are hurt.) What wasn’t mentioned, his stats also look like a young Vlad. I will call you, Vladimir Guerrerito. He can hit for power and steal bases. At twenty years old, he hit 23 homers in 477 ABs with 11 steals in Double-A in 2012, his last full year of minor league ball.” And that’s me quoting me! Later on in my Oscar Taveras article from November, I gave him this line 42/10/32/.288/8 for this year if he were to be called up in June. Still sounds about right. Basically, A.J. Pollock, but there’s a chance here for huge upside, so he’s ownable in every league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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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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The Yankees are now in the fray to sign Kendrys Morales. A 30-year-old guy who seems to be five years older than he is and can’t play any position? The Yankees are interested in that? C’mon! Next thing you know, the Yankees are going to be linked with trading for Jason Giambi or coaxing Greg Luzinski out of retirement. What’s Ron Kittle up to? Why are the Yanks so interested in ex-White Sox players? Garry Templeton’s got some gams! So, I do think Kendrys will be signed in the next week-plus and now is around the time when you should consider stashing him. He can give a solid prorated season — think 17 homers, decent average and counting stats. I have no idea what kind of shape he’s going to be in or how long he’ll need to play in minor league games to get up to speed, but I’d guess if he signs within two weeks, he’ll be on the field by the third week of June, at the latest. It’s a long time to stash a guy that won’t be able to be DL’d, so keep that in mind. Or stash Greg Luzinski. The Bull’s seeing red! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’m a self-confessed/afflicted Mariners fan. I have been since the days of The Kid, Bones and ‘The Martinez Brothers’. I remember Mike Blowers catching fire in the second half of 1995 as Seattle surged to take over the AL West pennant from a team led by a guy with a fish for a last name. Fast forward 19 years – make sure you don’t wear out your VCR doing that, it’ll take a while – and the Mariners are still chasing an Angels team that’s led by a guy with a fish for a last name, only now there is no Blowers, we traded for or signed at least 5 DHs in the off-season and get shut down by pitchers like Brett Oberholtzer, who sounds more like an item at IKEA than a major league ball player. All this to say, as a man who plays over at DraftKings, I know what to do with the pain of having this kind of struggle from my home team – take advantage of it. There’s a reason Brandon Maurer is only $5,500 over on the good ‘ole DK. No, I’m not suggesting you play Maurer. You think I’d start with this depressing open and then tell you to roll him out there? His ERA is 6.99. ERA not predictive enough for you? How about an xFIP of 5.09? Or a K/9 of 4.76? Seriously, trade for Danny Worth at this stage, M’s, and let him run out there in Maurer’s stead please. But until they do, consider any and all Angels in play. Consider this your fall-back stack for the day which probably will be overplayed in GPP but should bring reasonable value. No Mariners fan is safe tomorrow, that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits. And just in case you think I’m cray cray bae, HitterTron has got my back on this…and now it’s covered in oil discharge…if you’ll excuse me for a moment I’ll go clean up and finish off the rest of calling out these DK values. Oh and if you’re wondering where J-FOH is today, he called in sick with his own oily discharge going on. Feel free to Tweet at him random forms of sickness and hashtag it with #JFOHsIllness to make him feel better. No really, he loves ridicule. Promise!

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For the 2nd time in two months, Yu Darvish has woken with a stiffy. A stiff neck, that is. Perhaps he should swallow the Viagra pill rather than letting it dissolve in his mouth before bedtime. On the fo’serious, what’s the problem with Texas and necks? I blame the NRA. They insert themselves in national debate, always pointing their finger at people and away from themselves. That’s the Neck Rehab Association. That was clear, right? What does Yu’s bed and pillow arrangement look like? Did he have his favorite Japanese architect of those tiny little cot-beds that are in hotels in Tokyo design his house? Maybe the Hello Kitty pillow is meant more for adornment rather than comfort. Can I have answers, I insist on truthiness. If I were the Rangers, I’d probably take a look at how he’s sleeping, that’s all I’m sayin’. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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If any good can come from Joey Votto going to the DL with a strained quad, at least he didn’t try to play this weekend and have a set back. Well, there’s other good that can come of it. We can be thankful for our own health. Actually, that’s BS, I’d give my quad to have a healthy Votto. I don’t need my quad to type up my fantasy baseball ‘pertness. I got acumen for days! You know what a smart Indian chef uses? Acumen. Take it, Highlights magazine, it’s yours! Fortch, Votto sounds like he should be back in the minimum fifteen days. Here’s hoping, I got hard-hit singles I need hit! In tangentially related news, Reds manager, Bryan Price, said Jay Bruce would return “very, very soon,” then he was activated from the DL. I’d go as far as saying that was very, very, very soon. Bryan Price added “Very, very soon,” I will buy a thesaurus. That’s a very, very good idea! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Is there anything more boring than that guy who won’t shut up about his fantasy team? It’s like when your ex-girlfriend used to try to tell you about The Bachelorette during prime scotch drinking time. And that’s why you’re an ex, Brenda! However, the team I constructed last night in our little Razzballin’ 50/50 took first out of 200 and I plan on putting this $1.80 worth of winnings towards that new and improved liver. Thanks, Obamacare! I’m not trying to bore y’all with the details, but it was the bargain basement plays that put me over the top. Players like Kolten Wong, Danny Valencia and Jonny Gomes weren’t sexy picks, but they scored more than Ian Kinsler, Hanley Ramirez and Andrew McCutchen combined. When it comes to constructing a roster for DFS play those bargain basement players mean just as much as your big named expensive stars. Your Razzballin’ tools like the Stream-o-Nator, Hitter-Tron, and the all-new DFSBot are must reads if you’re playing for cash and bragging rights with our pals at Draftkings.

When it comes to DFS play, I play for profit, sure, but I also play for fun and enter various lineups in cheap Cash Games and Head-to-Heads. The other night I threw together an all-speed team and it cashed. I also played an all-Carlos team that almost cashed. Damn you, Carlos Quentin! Tonight, I’m looking to construct the all-bargain-basement team that’ll feature nothing but players under $4,500. Wish me luck! Feel free to scatter a few of these guys through your roster or be bold and play them all!

With all that said, we have 11 games on the evening slate, some pricey bats and there’s some weather to pay attention to in Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Colorado. Here’s your dirty turbaned Guru’s all-bargain-basement team for Wednesday’s 5/21 contests on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball. Good luck, cheers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?