There’s embarrassment and then there’s having to cover in detail a fantasy baseball league you’re nearly dead last in. So begins our first monthly update on the in house dynasty league “The RazzNasty”. For those of you that are new here, “The RazzNasty” is a Razzball founded dynasty league made up of Razzball writers, readers, commenters, and Methodists! It’s a 16 team roto with semi-weekly adds/drops via blind auction. We have 30 man MLB rosters and 10 man minor league rosters. Since we last updated you in early March there’s been a flurry of activity including trades, wire adds, a second commissioner switch, and a banana or two in the tailpipe. So yes it’s more or less high stakes Mario Kart.

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Chicago_Cubs5

Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…Neil Finnell, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Chicago Cubs!

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So as the two-start pitching post comes to a close, I thought I’d take a break from our usual theme based format and make this week’s edition as straight-forward as possible. But then I wrote the first draft in Old German and realized that translating it back to English was neither simple or straight-forward. There are some terms in Old German baseball vernacular that just don’t translate. Then again most of it is comparing pitchers mechanics to field work. This all gave me a great idea for a sequel to Million Dollar Arm with John Hamm. The premise is simple, upon his return from India J.B. Bernstein is driving through Lancaster County and witnesses a 16 year old Pennsylvania Dutch lefty by the name of Ezekial Miller striking out teams of grown men from a near by town. Bernstein fresh off his cricket adventure, believes he’s found his next project and wacky hi-jinx ensues. It’s one part Kingpin, One part The Natural, and one part Hoosiers. The last part only fits because there’s a lot of veiled racism that only Disney could produce. So that’s my pitch (pun point). What do you guys think, shall I kick start a Kickstarter campaign? Let’s make this happen, I have a football team of little Lifshitz to feed, or as I call them a bunch of Lil-Shitz. You like?

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Joe Ross was spectacular again Friday night, pitching 7.1 innings, allowing just six hits, one walk, one earned run and striking out 11 Pirates. He  grabbed his second win after coming off an 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 K gem last week in Milwaukee. Owning the zone, like a Boss. Striking out hitters, like a Boss. Racking up wins, like a–Ross. Ohh. See what I did there? Ross holds a 2.66 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 23/2 K/BB rate in 20.1 innings. It’s not like this is coming out of no where either, Ross has been pretty boss all year. In 50.1 innings at AA, Ross held a 54/12 K/BB rate, a 2.81 ERA, and a 1.13 WHIP. Unfortunately, despite his boss-like tendencies of late, with Fister back and Strasburg set to return, Joe Ross is likely headed back to the minors for more seasoning. Gordon Ramsay might say any more salt would kill this dish, but the Nats and fantasy owners have to be pleased with Ross’ performance and he is certainly a name worth watching as the season goes on. Is it bad that I kind of want him to stay in the rotation over Strasburg? It is? Well, how about Roark? Maybe Doug Fister can get injured again? Here’s hoping we see Joe Ross again sooner rather than later.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Effin Strasburg hit the DL on Saturday, which came a day after he pitched five outs of one-run baseball. Compared to his previous starts, Effin looked remarkably better. If he threw 27 outs, that would’ve roughly been a five-run game and way below his ERA. I had the cork to pop and cigars to hand out, but he left that game with what he deemed neck tightness. Funny, because I have tightness in my chest when he pitches. I think it’s related. “Hello, Aetna service representative, a fine day to you, ma’am. I was just calling to see if I can take out extra health insurance on the ol’ ticker when Effin Strasburg is pitching. I can? That’s great news. Chirinos!” That’s me talking to my insurance provider. So, Stephen Strasburg has neck tightness as he hit the DL. His velocity has looked good, his BABIP is ridiculously unlucky, but his control is a mess. That would indicate to me that he’s a buy low, because his neck might be the reason behind his control problems. That was why I traded Jose Bautista for him in one league. *opens patio door, climbs to top of railing, jumps, lands in pool on top of inflatable shark* Dah! Right now, I wouldn’t do the same trade. Strasburg, or any pitcher, is too risky to trade for if injured. I’m hoping us Strasburg owners get him back in two weeks and he’s fixed. A prayer triangle anyone? Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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At first, it was reported that Alberto Callaspo rejected the trade to the Dodgers. Leaving Alex Guerrero (1-for-2) to stare at Callaspo’s smugshot-slash-you mad bro? face. Then, later in the evening, Callaspo apparently approved the trade of him going to the Dodgers and Juan Uribe heading the other way. A commenter mentioned how in the preseason, the management didn’t have faith in Mattingly to start Pederson, so they traded away Kemp. It’s a fun theory. One that might have a morsel of truth, but I think this trade might backfire. Here’s a scenario for our five girl readers: imagine you were trying to get your man to change their yellow-pitted t-shirt, so you remove all the stained t-shirts from their hamper and throw them away, even his Bob Marley Buffalo Soldier t-shirt. When he realizes all his stained shirts are gone, what does he do? Does he wear the new shirts you bought him? Or does he scribble an oddly racist-looking Bob Marley on a hand towel and tape it to his chest? Mattingly could play Alex Guerrero at third with Uribe gone, but Justin Turner had started at 3rd base five times in the last week, not Guerrero, even with Uribe still in LA, and Callaspo is a 3rd baseman. So Uribe’s gone, but I think Mattingly just wears a masking-taped, hand towel now. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Sorry my loyal musicfiles, but this week I’ve moved on from our weekly music discussion mixed in with some fantasy baseball edu-ma-cation, to a weekly discussion of my favorite of all foods….the all-mighty fast food cheeseburger.  I’m guessing regular commenter Happy Vegans will have to talk about boca burgers or something made of grass.  Sorry homie, your avatar still has a rocking stache.  Take solace in that.  Either way we’ll once again awkwardly navigate our way through the two-start pitching options for the week and mix in some auxiliary discussion of the delicious, greasy, delicacy we call the cheeseburger.  If you’re kosher remove the cheese, cool?  Looking forward, we have some seriously tasty doubles piled up in the top tiers this week and some dollar menu values spread across the middle tiers where streamers are to be had in super-sized portions.  Some one and done guys that might be In N Out of your lineup depending on the matchup.  There’s also a whole lot more garbage in a bag then there has been in previous weeks…. I know, I know, I’m so topical I should be an ointment!  Quite a few streamers I like this week, one in particular is Mariners Lefty Roenis Elias.  Over his last 15 starts dating back to last July Elias’ ERA is 2.48 with a 7.78 k/9, 3.56 BB/9, and a .65 HR/9.  His pheriperals scream regression (3.71 FIP, 4.02 xFIP, 1.36 WHIP), but they don’t scream awful either.  His control has improved this season and he’s faced some solid lineups thus far in Minnesota, Baltimore, and Houston.  Roenis is slated to go against two clubs this week that are middle of the road when it comes to hitting lefties, in the Rays and Indians.  But I like his chances to continue his string of quality starts.  Now that’s a tasty burger!

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I get props at my mention ’cause I vex y’all. So Wada Wada want! He’s so funny with the 88 MPH gas that he flaunt! Where’d you get your information from, huh? You think that Tsuyoshi can front a fantasy rotation when revelation comes? You can’t front a fantasy rotation on that! Sweeter than that Jason Hammel guy with Ready Whip topping? Goin’ from streamer to streamer kickin’ it wall to wall! Well, I’ll be calling out you people who draft a number one starter! It’s wack when you’re jacked, someone take Strasburg from me, he can’t throw no harder! As you can bet I think I’m losing my league this time. This time I’m losing my league. So, Tsuyoshi Wada looked terrific yesterday in his first start of the year, if just not fully stretched out — 4 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks. He was solid last year (7.4 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 3.25 ERA in 69 1/3 IP). The Ks from yesterday likely won’t be the norm, but he should be solid for most mixed leagues once he gets stretched out, which should be by next game. I’d definitely grab him, and you can’t front on that! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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hebrew


Max Scherzer
, Jordan Zimmermann, and Stephen Strasburg. If that doesn’t sound like the guest list for Temple Beth Sholom’s Rosh Hashanah bash, I don’t know what does. Who will the Nationals sign next, Ryan Braun, Ike Davis or Ian Kinsler? How many Jews does it take to win a World Series? Now before anyone goes and gets offended, let me say that I myself am Jewish, or at least I was raised as such. Bar Mitzvah and all. And that means that it’s kosher for me make Jewish jokes. It’s kinda like how African-American rappers and comedians are allowed to say the word that shall not be said. Shockingly, however, none of Scherzer, Zimmermann, nor Strasburg light the menorah. Say what!?! It’s true. You won’t find any of those names in Adam Sandler’s next rendition of the Hanukkah Song. But while I’m on the topic, allow me to say that Hebrew National hot dogs are, by far, the best hot dogs one can eat. Actually all kosher hot dogs are pretty damn delicious. Most importantly, they are all beef. No uncertainly about what you are actually eating. After all, they answer to a higher authority!

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“Hello, this is the Liquid Paper corporate office. How may I direct your call?” “Well, I’m not sure, to be honest. I run this fantasy baseball blog and–” “You want marketing. I’ll direct your call.” “No! No, sorry, I don’t want marketing. See, I have this pitcher, Corey Kluber, and his stats are saying he’s doing one thing, but it’s all a mistake and I see a big correction coming and…” “You want shipping and orders?” “No, I don’t think I do. I’m not looking to purchase anything.” “Sir, I can’t hear you over your cackle. Is someone tickling you?” “I’m trying to get a pitcher to correct himself, and I thought corrective fluid could work. Maybe I’ll try R&D.” “Transferring you.” “This is R&D. How may I direct your call?” “I want to know how I can get Corey Kluber’s stats to reflect his ability.” “BABIP problems?” “Yes!” “Just have him strike out everyone, get out of the first inning without surrendering any runs, have Roberto Perez consult with Yan Gomes on a game plan, and trust his stuff.” “Thanks so much!” “Would you mind taking a quick survey after the call?” “Sorry, I don’t have time.” Yesterday, Kluber went 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks and 18 Ks. The best baseball fans are in St. Louis. At least when Kluber pitches to them! Hey, I told you to buy him about two weeks ago. Whether you did is on you. Now, please someone talk to Strasburg! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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