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Coming into this season Kris Bryant was the rookie third baseman that had everyone going coo coo for Cocoa Puffs. After the year he had in the minor leagues in 2014 and the home run display he put on during Spring Training, who could blame anyone. Yet despite hitting 10 homers, driving in 42 runs and stealing 6 bases for 152 points, Bryant is not the rookie you were looking for. Be sure to read that last part in your best Episode 4 Obi-wan Kenobi voice. In 148 at bats (85 less than Bryant), Maikel Franco also has 10 home runs to go with his 123 points. With 0.783 points per plate appearance (PPPA) Franco is on pace to finish the season with 408 points (126 games), making him a top 10 3B, just ahead of Bryant who is on pace for 375 points. Considering Maikel has played 24 less games than Kris, that makes this even more noteworthy. Bryant is still the one I’d prefer to own long term, but if I had to settle for Franco, I wouldn’t be very disappointed.

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There was some speculation that the Mets were considering moving Noah Syndergaard (6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks) to the bullpen and bringing up Steven Matz. The NY Post seemed to believe the Mets were talking about it, at least. It could be that a NY Post reporter, hiding in their usual spot inside a Mets equipment broom closet with a Solo cup pressed to the door, overheard, “Hey, should we move Noah to the bullpen and bring up Matz?” “Maybe, but I’m the front office intern and you’re the ticket taker from Gate 3C so I’m not sure our opinion matters.” “Or is that Matzers?” Then they laughed, and the NY Post reporter shot off an article detailing the discussion, but left off the sources. More respected Mets journalists thought Syndergaard wouldn’t go to the bullpen, and Dillon Gee would be designated for assignment. Gee, guess who was right. Right now, Matz has a 2.30 ERA and 9.3 K/9 in Triple-A in 78 1/3 IP. Those numbers are great, fabulous, adjective, but they get better. He’s pitching in the PCL, which is like hitting in an anti-gravity chamber with an aluminum bat. What makes Matz so damn desirable is he can strikeout out hitters and has good control. That’s the one-two punch of “Let me put hearts on my Trapper Keeper.” The Mets are saying Matz will come up around July 1st, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s called up for this weekend, so I’d stash him right now. Or if you have a DeLorean, stash him yesterday. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yeah, yeah, normally I open with something about a player but today I just ain’t doing it. Instead, I’m going to point out something I enjoy personally about the DFS world that, oddly, hasn’t happened much for my day of the week this year: the short slate. Today we have eight games on the docket which is a healthy amount and yet not one that requires an overload of breakdown or information. If you’re a novice or are still cutting your teeth on this silly little game we play, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of days like this or to sign up for games built around the ‘turbo’, ‘early’, or ‘late’ sets. These tend to be slates catering to smaller amounts of games played. They’re good for cash games, which in turn are good for your wallet, which in turn is good for your spinning of the wheel on the bigger slates and some tourney goodness. Anywhere from a five game to up to an eight or even nine is a nice place to be in my book. But enough about my weird novella, let us break it down. Here’s my flaming hot takes for the Monday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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 subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Mondays are just a mess. Most teams are traveling, the matchups that would seem to make sense sometimes just don’t pan out because of…well I don’t know what. I think travel fatigue plays a part. Look, we’re all human. You travel from place A to place B, finally get into your humble abode and are you well rested? Do you feel a bit of the lag of the jet variety? Just to clue you in, athletes may be millionaires but they haven’t built teleportation yet so just like you and I, they gotta deal with the troubles of travel. So for this Monday, I’m going a bit against the grain – unless that grain is for alcohol, then I’m all about said grain – and suggesting a pitcher who gets to enjoy a pitcher’s park and there’s no travel involved for him on this moving Monday. Said pitcher is Alex Colome, pronounced ‘CALL-uh-may’ but I just go with ‘Call On Me‘ given his stats. Over 10 IP this year, he has 10 K and zero walks. I know, sample size small, obligatory ‘that’s what she said’ following but the kid had aviary bird flu or sumpin’ to start the year or we’d have a larger sampling to work with. Now the Yankees are a hard team to K (19.2% overall, 17.6% on the road) so we are really hoping for some of those old bones in that Yanks lineup to have themselves a sleepless in Tampa Bay moment. As the call ain’t safe, it should be clear that this is a tourney only call and at $6,700, you don’t have to break you DK wallet to see if his endline ends up as beautiful as that aerobics instructor. Yes, you gotta click the link to get it. No, you shouldn’t really listen to the song. Yes, that is Steve Winwood…didn’t I tell you not to listen? But enough of my talk about Swedish techno tracks, it’s time for it. Here’s my blazing hot take on the Monday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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 subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

True story: in a 15-team league last year, I toyed with dropping Corey Kluber in April. He was being dropped in multiple leagues, most shallower than mine. If you think I’m crazy as a loon wearing a “I’m crazier than a loon” t-shirt, you have selective memory about him from last year. I decided to stick it out with Kluber and he ended up winning the Cy Young last year. This true story, of course, makes me sound even more moronic than usual. It also highlights a point, Kluber likes the cold weather about as much as a chapped nipple. Or maybe he just takes some time to get going. Either way, his Aprils have been forgettable for the last two years. This year, his April is actually better than last year’s by any measure that means anything. His K-rate is up, ground balls are up (not literally), fly balls are down (literally), xFIP is way down, walks are down and his K/BB is up. You have to do some serious digging to find something that is negative for him this past month other than his ERA. His velocity is down a hair (0.5 MPH on his fastball) and his line drive rate is up (people are making better contact). Everything else is nails, and not as in Lenny “Nails” Dykstra just invested me in this mutual fund and I lost my retirement savings. There’s some worry to some that Kluber threw too many innings last year. That’s not a worry. He’s 29 years old; a jump in IP from one year to the next is for pitchers 25 years and younger. Also, plenty of great analysis here and elsewhere has shown that jump in innings isn’t the end all/be all, even if it applied, which it does not. As the weather warms up, his sensitive nips will be less dry and he’ll likely have months of a sub-2 ERA. If you can buy him now, do it. Quickly! Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Masahiro Tanaka hit the DL with a strained forearm. It’s not related to his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. So, here’s my question? Why not just play through the forearm strain too? That’s where he draws the line? It’s like, “I was fine sleeping with my wife’s sister, and having a baby with her that no one knows about, and plotting to kill my wife on a weekend jaunt to Mexico, but I will not jaywalk. Those people in New York are crazy!” You have nothing to lose, Tanaka, get in there and shank someone in the yard and Hacky Sack the ball to the plate! The Yankees haven’t announced how long Tanaka will be out, but maybe they’ll try to sneak in Tommy John surgery while he’s sleeping. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve heard many a person say something along the lines of “Daily fantasy baseball is such a crap shoot, it’s such a small sample, there’s no way you can win”. To these negative Nellys I say, “must be the money”. No wait, that wasn’t it, “it’s getting hot in herre”. Nope, oh right, here it is, I present them with the old poker counter argument, why then are the same people at the top of the leaderboards on a routine basis? Just like with poker, if it’s all luck, why do the same players routinely make final tables? Is there luck involved? Of course! But I will argue over and over that if you have a good process, you’ll be a winner in the long run. This is where the importance of bankroll management comes into play. You have to manage well enough that you can allow yourself time to be sure your process is a good one without going broke. A week long losing streak will happen and it sucks, but it doesn’t prove your process is bad. A general tip is to use 5-10% of your bankroll a night. In addition, don’t blow that 10% on GPPs. Just like with the stock market, you have to diversify. If you stick to 10% and play generally low risk options while sprinkling in the occasional GPP and you go broke, then I’d say it’s time to reevaluate your strategy and player evaluation methods. However, if your process is sound and your bankroll management and game choices are smart, you’ll be a winner over the course of the season. Will it be a grind? Yes. Will it be glamorous and you’ll win a hundred grand your first week? Doubtful. You just gotta have the heart of a champion. Now, let’s shake ya tailfeather down below to some player picks for today’s slate.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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 subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Fantasy owners lost two good catchers this week in Travis d’Arnaud and Jonathan Lucroy. Even in 12-team formats, you probably threw up in your mouth a little when you went to the wire and saw your replacement options. God help you if you play in a two-catcher format. But not to fear, for the rookies are here! I’m looking in your general direction Kevin Plawecki…don’t disappoint me! When I went over the Top 10 prospects for every team this offseason, I typically spat on catchers in my rankings due to their limited upside. But it’s times like these when we need to bite the bullet and take a closer look at some rookie backstops. Here are six rookie catchers currently in the majors that you may need to roster while your studs are hurt. Yes, this list is ranked in the order that I’d personally add them.

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This week I’m making a little one-week tweak to the Creeper of the Week and going with Creepers because we have something that doesn’t always happen. What is that Big J? Well eager reader, it’s a seven-game Monday-through-Sunday home series for the Rockies. By my count, this will only happen three times this season. The hard part was finding an under-owned player not taken on the Rockies playing everyday, and it’s so barren right now that even the French DJ is over-owned to qualify for this post. Hey there French DJ can you drop me a cut for this creeper post? Very nice, old school, but isn’t that a little too obvious? I get it, you are on the 1’s and 2’s, so the choice is yours. Can I at least get one cut with a baseball name in the title? What’s that? You don’t do requests? Sheesh, that Charlie Blackmon ego is rubbing off on your euro sensibilities. Forget about it, let’s move on to the reason we are here.

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If you had 75 hours into the season for when Joakim Soria would become the closer in Detroit, you win a brand new car*! *Prizes not included (there’s no car; stop being greedy, you instead get words pieced together by the Fantasy Master Lothario). The Tigers’ pen is more of a pencil and a dull one at that. Where for art thou, Willie Hernandez? My kingdom for Todd Jones! Poopie Grande by any other name is still Poopie Grande. That was Shakespeare, you ignant boo-boo! The Tigers did get better yesterday with Joe Nathan, hitting the DL with a flexor strain in his elbow. Like when you remove that hair from your lip mole, it’s addition by subtraction. For those of you that drafted Soria, well done. Hopefully, he keeps the job all year. If Barry Manilow can find love, anything’s possible. By the by, all this time I thought he put the emphasis on Dee in Mandy. Guess I was wrong. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?