I’m staring out on a prairie in the middle of Palm Springs. Okay, it’s not a prairie. It’s more of a dirt field with a bingo card blowing through it. But let’s pretend it’s a prairie. Why am I standing in a prairie that’s not really a prairie? Because all great baseball moments happen this way. Just one man and rows of corn. Except those aren’t rows of corns, but walkers lined up against the window of a Starbucks. But let’s pretend they are cornfields! I’m pulling off my cap (not wearing a cap; don’t want to mess my hair), staring directly into the sky (wearing sunglasses) and screaming at the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, “Why do you have to make the rest of us suffer for the childhood you never had?!” Okay, I need to move on before the OPP (Old People Police) come after me. We should’ve known a rather pedestrian 7 IP, 4 ER from Masahiro Tanaka was a sign that he was hurt. We should’ve known! Or an even worse 6 2/3 IP, 5 ER start the next time out. We should’ve known! Alas, we didn’t know. So, Tanaka’s going for a variety of tests, and hopefully it’s nothing, but any time there’s something wrong with a pitcher’s elbow it’s something. Are we sure he didn’t inflame his elbow using Hideki’s porn collection? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Sometimes, you wanna feel like the smartest guy/gal/thing in the room. Of course, that would have to make the title ‘Summa Iwakuma Laude’ but I didn’t like the flow of ‘Summa Iwakuma’. My titles are ridiculous enough anyways, I don’t need unintentional rhyme muddying the waters along with it. So we chose ‘with great honor’ rather than ‘with highest honor’. We just replaced ‘cum’ with Hisashi Iwakuma…you better read that word in latin, perv! Not Hisashi, of course, since his name is in his native language of Japanese. So did I just create a new language? Jatin? Lapanese? Eh, I’ll leave the Bennifers to Hollywood at this point. But really, Hisashi should make you feel like you graduated with honors from Sports Tech Fantasy University (GO STFU!) as his price of $9,100 on DraftKings puts him behind the big three 10K+ pitchers on the day but the Stream-o-nator says his start is the tops of his class on the day. I do think because of the bigger names on the slate, Iwakuma will have a slightly lower ownership than normal despite the fact his start is at home and against a whiff-happy team. Much like my pick up skills will be on the Razzball Radio Tour, the Twins strike out rates are at the bottom of the league already but when they step out on the road, they’re even worse as they own the second worst K% while out Jack Kerouac’ing. So let’s swing our tassel from one side to the other and walk down that aisle…ahem, I meant graduation tassels and the hat. Seriously! Well, whatever, you’ve graduated to the rest of the picks. Now get out of this lead and take your dirty mind with you! Here’s the rest of the Razzball picks for July 7th contests…Please, blog, may I have some more?
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):Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you take enough shrooms, you start to dream about how Rick Porcello is from the magical land of Zeranok, where Buehrles and Moyers can cruise 15 MPH below the speed limit. Off shrooms, you just see Zeranok as zero ERA, no K. Yesterday’s 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 0 Ks was solid, great, adjective. Hard to not get excited about a complete game shutout, but I’m gonna try. Heard a lot made of the fact that Porcello only needed 95 pitches to finish off the A’s. That’s wonderful. Somewhere, Greg Maddux smiled, then he tried to go behind the counter at his local post office to show them how they can be more efficient and nearly got arrested. “Can we all just form a two-person line as we wait for Wet Willie’s Wild Slide?” That’s Maddux at a water park with his kids. I hear ya, Greg, when people are grouped together in a party of six in an amusement park line it drives me crazy too. The worst is when they get up to the front and suddenly they have 25 other friends that were with them. Any the hoo! A 95 pitch CG SHO is great IRL (you like how I was illustrating efficiency with acronyms; though this parenthetical defeats that purpose), but Porcello’s efficiency doesn’t do a whole lot for me in fantasy if it comes with no Ks. His K-rate is 5.2 and his walk rate is 2. That’s pretty blehtastic. I’d own him, since he gets the Rays next. He’s not suddenly shooting up to ace status for fantasy. I know, I know, that Porcello is one funghi, but he’s actually pretty close to borderline for 12-team mixed leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Wanna really mess with your brain? Think about how you could have the same thing as Guy Pearce in Memento and you would never know. Okay, don’t think about it too long, it’ll mess with your brain too much and then I’m gonna get sued by your loved ones. “Judge, Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it), told my darling boy, Josh, to think about how he could have a brain dysfunction and now I have to change his diaper and order in for Chinese food every fifteen minutes because he keeps forgetting he just ate.” That’s your momma in front of the judge, suing me. Steve Pearce is a thirty-one-year-old journeyman. That’s not a cartographer, that’s a guy who isn’t very good and just travels around offering his services for all-you-can-drink Gatorade. Yes, he hit two homers yesterday and has hit 9 homers in just two months while batting .336. This isn’t a matter of “Maybe he’s breaking out now.” No, there’s no breaking out for Steve Pearce. He doesn’t even sound right if you don’t say his full name. There’s no Steve and no Pearce. There’s only Steve Pearce and he’s the hottest schmotato in the land and is worth picking up while he’s swinging a hot bat, but I wouldn’t expect it to last that long. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Way out east there was this fella… fella I wanna tell ya about. Fella by the name of Lucas Duda. At least that was the handle his loving parents gave him, but he never had much use for it himself. Mr. Duda, he called himself “The Dude”. Now, “Dude” – that’s a name no one would self-apply where I come from – especially one with a career average of .247. But then there’s a lot about the Dude that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense – including his 12 homers this year. And a lot about where he lived, likewise. But then again, maybe that’s why I found the place so darned interestin’. They call New York the “Capital of the World,” a “Modern Gomorrah.” I don’t find it to be that, exactly. But I’ll allow there are some nice folks there – excluding Yankee fans. ‘Course I can’t say I’ve seen London, and I ain’t never been to France. And I ain’t never seen no queen in her damned undies, ‘cept Tehol. But I’ll tell you what – after seeing New York, and this here jam I’m about to unfold, well, I guess I seen somethin’ every bit as stupefyin’ as you’d see in any of them other places. And in English, too. So I can die with a smile on my face, without feelin’ like the good Lord gypped me. But sometimes there’s a man, sometimes, there’s a man. And I’m talkin’ about Duda here. Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that’s the Dude. Aw. I lost my train of thought here. But… aw, hell. I’ve done introduced him enough. Now let’s crack a nice sarsaparilla and jam it or cram it.
If you’re looking for some bonus jams and crams, check out Razzball Radio.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jackie Bradley Jr. walked three times in one game. Have you people forgotten he walked three times…IN ONE GAME! Yeah, that’s old news for the Sons of Sam Horn. They have a new fish to park in Harvard Yard. There’s going to be a new man in Bo’ town soon. The master of no disaster, the king of that’s a purdy swing, the man who once impregnated a lady by looking at her while he was in the batter’s box, Mookie Betts. Oh, you better, you better, you Betts! I usually don’t get caught up in the thrill of the rookie chase (Ha! Of course I do, I’m a damn fool!), but this one looks like he might be mollywhopping like, well, a middle infielder and stealing bases like, well, a middle infielder. Now, now, no deflating. He does look like he can be special and should have middle infield eligibility, which ups the how’s your father just a bit. He stole 22 bases in 54 games in Double-A, but he was completely overmatching people there. Okay, in Triple-A, he’s doing the same. He’s putting up Atari numbers everywhere he goes in the minor leagues. Hard to imagine it continues in the majors, but, if it did, he’d be a 15-homer, 35-steal guy. Sounds like another Red Sox middle infielder from once upon a time ago (no, not dyslexic Ramon). The one that they shipped off to Florida (Hanley Ramirez). If Mookie is available in your league and you have room, I’d stash him. It sounds like he could be up in the landmark case of sooner vs. later. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
To all you dads out there, I salute you. You’re raising your families, keeping your wives happy and you’ve got a holiday dedicated to you and what are you gonna get from it? Socks? Maybe a few nice ties? At best, you’re hoping for some quiet Sunday time to yourself. Maybe you’ll go play golf but you’re probably not getting what March 14th is supposed to bring, I’m assuming. The definition of Rage Quit should have an addendum attached specifically marked for Father’s Day and all the tripe that goes with it from what I’ve heard. My heart goes out to you. So in lieu of knowing you’re gonna get some weird smelling Eau de toilette in your little basket of daddy goodies, I figured I’d have you open my gift first. Sure, it actually probably smells worse than what you’ll get on Sunday but I can assure you this new fresh scent from Flushing, Bartolo Colon, will leave you irresistible to the ladies. Ok, I’m not gonna lie, it’s gonna smell real bad. I mean, seriously, a cologne that smells like Bartolo? Have you seen this man? I’m not even gonna quote it, I’m just gonna link to it. But you wanna know what all the ladies can’t resist? The fat stacks he’ll earn you over on DraftKings since he’s only $7,300 on the day and gets the Padres. Not sure why that’s a good thing? Well let me enlighten you. The Pads have the worst team road wOBA in the MLB. Heck, they have the worst team wOBA period. And the even bestier part? They strike out at a 22.8% clip as a team as well. That’s 5th best – if by best we mean worst – in the league. I’m not one for guessing end lines for games but if Big Bartolo Colon doesn’t go 7 IP with at least 6 K and max 2 runs, I’m gonna be extremely disappointed and surprised. He’s priced right to help you succeed today, Razzballians. So spritz on some Bartolo and let the smell of success singe your nostrils. No wait, that’s just the Bartolo smell. You might need an oatmeal bath to get that off to be honest so my apologies. To make up for this, I’ll show you an image that will probably make the HOF even if Bartolo doesn’t…but you gotta click the read more to get it! So roll on to see the pic and more Razzball picks for Friday DK contests for 2014 Fantasy baseball…Please, blog, may I have some more?
The date was 1 B.O. — that’s one year Before Okrent — and the Fantasy Baseball Overlord rose from the Fantasy Baseball Overlord’s Mom’s Basement and said, “Fantasy baseball lovers, I will grant you one wish.” One Fantasy Baseballer swooped his wisp of hair over his balding spot, in case he ran into any girls, and stepped forward, “I wish that all players would be healthy.” The Fantasy Baseball Overlord scratched under his armpit, thinking. “Fine, prematurely balding man, I will grant you your wish. May all players be healthy. Just not all at the same time or while on your team.” And with that the FBO descended back into its mom’s basement, since it was almost snack time. As the Overlord descended the stairs, the prematurely balding man yelled, “Wait, I didn’t agree to that!” But it was too late, and now Jose Abreu‘s landed on the DL too. Can’t we have anything nice?! Please return to us, The Grande Dolor! Wait a second, where was Frank Thomas this weekend? Frank Thomas did a Snapchat with the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, didn’t he? Answer me true, universe. The White Sox are saying Abreu will be fine to return after the minimum 15 days, and I say, *long sigh* hopefully. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Has the DraftKings monkey jumped on your back yet? What are you waiting for, Razzheads? Try one hit and you’ll be back for more. Especially when the first taste is free. New players that click on this link get into the $500k Showcase with a $100k top prize. Win that 500K and you can buy yourself a new liver. Thanks, Obamacare! We Razzicians will even give you an advantage over the other players by introducing you to the DFSBot. Check it out. Sure he looks like 2XL, but that bucket of bolts knows his shizz.
If you’re new to the DFS World there a number strategies that work when constructing a roster. Over the last few weeks I’ve shared some here and here. Hope they helped. If they didn’t, please stop with the Twitter stalking! Yeah, looking at you, Tehol. DFS is an entirely different beast when it comes to fantasy baseball and the variance day-to-day over playing an entire season is wide as you can imagine. Some rosters I put together come up aces and eights, others simply crap out. I played a roster the other night that had Mike Trout, Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre and Giancarlo Stanton. That team would kill over a season, but on that particular night they all went cold and I lost. Fortunately, I usually play 3-5 rosters a night and it’s very rare I end up in the red. Over the last three days I’ve cashed in seven of 10 contests. Which brings me to the types of contests to play. There are basically two different types of games – 50/50s/Double-ups/Head-to-Head AKA (Cash Games) and GPPs (guaranteed prize pool tournaments). I use a different strategy depending on what I’m playing in. If I’m playing in Cash Games I don’t take a lot of chances. I play it safe and look for sure points. No need to risk not starting Miguel Cabrera because Matt Adams has two homers in 15 at-bats off a particular pitcher. You don’t need to be first you just need to be better than 50% of everyone else. Go for the sure thing. However, when it comes to GPPs I’m taking some risk…okay, a lot of risk. I want guys with huge upside that are going to go off and (hopefully) score a ton of points. Many nights it works out, but there are many nights it does not. If you’re new to DFS I’d suggest starting with Cash Games at low stakes before jumping in with the sharks – unless of course DraftKings is letting you play for free. Hey, I gave you the link!
With all that said, here’s your dirty turbaned Guru’s lineup for Wednesday’s 5/7 contests on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball. Remember to check the lineups and the Doppler radar. Don’t get left with a big fat zero if it starts raining frogs in Boston. Good luck.Please, blog, may I have some more?