It’s nice to have a breather now and then. To kick back and relax, enjoy some time with your family and re-energize for the final home stretch of the baseball season. Of course, I’m talking about myself seeing as the All-Star break just happened and I didn’t write a post last week to do DraftKings coverage. What, you thought I was doing a send up to the actual ball players? Psssh, they’re finally tuned athletes, they don’t need no stinkin’ rest. Plug them into the wall, let’um recharge overnight and send them back out there, damned prima donnas. But as mentioned, it was nice to get a reprieve from the DK roll that we’ve been rolling on. It reminded me that life is short and that I should do something different than DK baseball. Yeah, something important. SOMETHING THAT COULD CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY. So I wrote about my team for the Scott Fish Bowl over on Razzball Football, of course. Yeah, that’s live right now if you wanna talk to me there while I’m also over here. Bi-posting, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. But for those of you who don’t give a rip about Fantasy Football, let’s get down to brass tacks. Your favorite niece may look pretty in a polka dot dress but my favorite, Jonathon Niese, probably wouldn’t look good in an armani suit. That nose, bro…but of course, what has looked good is starting a left-handed pitcher against the Mariners so far this year. To date, the Mariners have the second lowest team wOBA and wRC+ (.286 and 80, respectively) against southpaws. Not to mention the worst ISO against them on the year at .102. They always say it’s tough to start a pitcher coming back from a DL stint which is true but I think the matchup will hold precedence and Niese will keep the M’s at bay for the day, making him a solid shot as your SP1 despite only being priced out at $7,200. But enough family talk, let’s move on. Here are some other picks and observances for July 21st contests on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

Sell George Springer? Are you mad, man? You’re not Joan, that’s for sure. You could be Bertram Cooper, because you are dead to me. I know, it’s blasphemy of the highest order. Springer, for Chris Cooper in Lone Star’s sake, is on the cover of Sports Illustrated! Of course, that’s assuming anyone actually sees a cover of anything. Are there magazines anymore? That’s a question for Stephen Hawking’s Speak ‘n Spell! That would be a great trick question for an alien. True or false, the smartest man on the planet uses a toy for a 5-year-old to speak. Guarantee that I’d trip up Andrelton Simmons with that question. Any the hoo! Springer is striking out like an insane man. If he continues on this rate, he may not hit above .200. For serious. He’s making Adam Dunn look selective. Since 2000, he has the 15th worst K-rate. Only two guys hit above .259 in that time frame with that bad of a K-rate, and one of them needed a .404 BABIP (that means he was lucky). Most guys averaged around .220. I don’t doubt Springer will be great. Maybe even as soon as next year, but he needs to make some serious adjustments, and, with him on the cover of a magazine(!), he’s getting so much pub that you can sell him for a lot more than he’s actually worth. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I swear that box score turning blue to alert people there’s something historic going on is the mother of all jinxes. Not to mention, all the people talking about the perfect game. Member when that was a jinx? Since we’re currently living in the Age of Opinion (which is not the Scorsese movie, though if it gets the green-light, Gary Oldman could play the lead), everyone talks about the perfect game while it’s going on. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitbook, PinkedIn. In my day, we never mentioned a perfect game on Friendster! And on my General Gist band page on Myspace? Nary a whisper! Well, Jake Arrieta still pitched outstanding yesterday — 7 IP, 2 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.05 — even if the bid for a perfect game came up short. Like Altuve short. Like Kershaw looks at Arrieta’s perfect game bid and giggles. Still, this is about where Arrieta’s been and where he can go. What I said the other day still remains true — his swings and misses are going up, his control is getting better and he’s using his cutter more — a pitch he can dominant with. I’d still look at him in every league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When Jaime Garcia was a kicker in high school for his Flick Football team, he lined up the paper football, just left of the finger uprights across from him, adjusting for the southwesterly wind coming from a student’s handheld fan. Like it was happening in slow motion, he flicked hard, the paper sailed through, poking the kid’s eye that was holding the finger uprights. Unfortunately, Garcia also pulled a finger tendon and had to watch from the sidelines the rest of the year as his team marched to the playoffs. Ever since then, he’s never been able to shake the injury bug, and yesterday he hit the DL with a shoulder injury. Unfortunately for the rest of us, the Fantasy Baseball Overlord’s hunger for ruining pitchers’ arms didn’t stop at Garcia, and Michael Wacha is out with a shoulder injury too. Wacha, Wacha, f**ka! Wacha has a stress reaction on his shoulder, and the Cards are saying no surgery is required, but his fantasy owners may still want to make a Kenesaw Mountain Landis out of Doritos and pray to it. The good news, Carlos Martinez will now be in the rotation for at least another month. He went 5 IP, 3 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks yesterday, and I’d grab him in most leagues now that he’s staying in the rotation. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Fellow Razzballer and DraftKings extraordinaire BTXJ brought Daniel Santana to our collective attention last week in the comments. Santana returned from a hamstring issue this past weekend and could be a cheap source of steals going forward. His ability to play both middle infield and outfield, as well as switch-hit, make him an interesting play in deeper leagues and leagues with daily roster moves. He’ll most likely hit from the bottom of the lineup, but he could certainly play his way up at some point. The 23-year-old is 8-for-21 in the majors this year and stole 30 bags in Double-A last season. He had stolen four bases prior to his call up from Triple-A this year. Why does an inexperienced hitter coming off an injury get the lede? He’s got the best possible match-ups this week. It’s only five games, but the Twins draw the Padres and Giants. Those teams are 1-2 for the most stolen bases allowed in the majors this year with 42 and 38 steals allowed, respectively. Even without a ton of playing time, Santana could work in a steal or two against these teams. Here are some other steals plays for this week in fantasy baseball…

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Bauer is back. You have 24 hours to pick him up before someone else does and the terrorists win. Cleveland Indians pitcher/rapper/counter-terrorist Trevor Bauer will be called up to start Tuesday versus the Tigers and likely take over Danny Salazar‘s spot in the rotation. The third overall pick in 2011, Bauer has filthy stuff, with numerous pitches at his disposal, including that sweet 95-97 mph fastball. He has struggled with control during his brief stints in the majors (7.1 BB/9 in nine major league starts), which has ultimately kept him from finding success in the big leagues. However, in a spot start in early April (6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 1 ER, 8 K), it seemed like Bauer’s command issues were a thing of the past.  Granted, that start was against the Padres, but he impressed nonetheless. Although he labored through his latest minors start (5.2 IP, 12 base runners, 6 ER, 4 home runs), the Indians obviously think Bauer is ready to show his stuff, and I don’t mean his free-styling ability. Yeah, he raps. Does that make you like him more or less? Not so sure? Maybe you should listen and judge for yourself. He’s still not as bad as P. Diddy. Whether you believe T-Bau’s a gifted lyricist or not, his 4-1 record, 2.15 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and a 44/14 K/BB ratio in 46.0 IP at Triple-A this season could certainly help out your fantasy pitching staff. If he can pitch twice as good as he can rhyme, Lil’ Trev could be headed from the “Gutter to the Grail” like his song. He raps,  “From gutter to grail, we rise up to win it/Wahoos on first with his eyes on the pennant.” So Trevor Bauer can spit hot fire, let’s see him throw some hot fire next week versus Detroit. Based on his upside, he’s worth the add in all leagues. To quote the the Notorious T.R.E.V., “Getting filthy with the pitch…getting stupid throwing cheddar,” pick up Bauer in your league, cause buying Bauer makes you better.

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

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So I forgot to throw it in last week, but I was thinking to myself, “what are some baseball ‘catch phrase’ calls I would make if I were a broadcaster?”  If a batter chased a breaking ball, I would exclaim “and he’s gone gone chasin’ waterfalls!”  Hmmmm, what would my home run call be… I need some ideas here!  I know the Dodgers need a replacement play-by-play guy next season…

Then to the profile for today, and I wasn’t sure where I was going to go.  Chris Archer seemed a good fit since he’s underperformed, but I did break him down once last year.  Then in my “aha” moment of the weekend, I remember my gone gone chasin’ waterfalls bit and noticed Chase Anderson was set to make his MLB debut!  It’s like the baseball gods are talking to me!  Thanks for the title, Shoeless Joe. (If a pitcher you’d like to see for next week’s Profile pitches next Sunday, please remind me and throw in a comment on Sunday or tweet me @jbgilpin – I will take requests!  But I do like to keep it to guys pitching on Sunday.)

With an injury-plagued first three years as a pro, Anderson seemed like a dooming last name for a starting pitcher (see, Brett).  Chase finally got himself through a big chunk of work in 2012, pitching pretty well in 104 AA innings, then was limited to only 88 innings in 2013 and was awful in AAA.  But just like Robert Downey Jr., he’s done with Anne Heche and ready for a comeback! (way to stay topical, JB…)  Anderson started this season breezing through AA with a dazzling 39 innings to the tune of a 0.69 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, and 38 Ks.  Sure he’s already 26, but the injuries have held him back and he finally got his MLB debut yesterday against the White Sox.  I decided to check it out and break it down to see if anything’s there for spot-starting or a deeper league stache [sic]:

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Yu Darvish was outstanding last night, pitching 8.2 innings and allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out 12 Red Sox. Darvish brought his filthiest stuff to the park last night. No, not his magazine collection. Yu’s pitches were overpowering the Sawx and the movement on his slider made him practically unhittable. Yu retired the first 20 batters he faced before David Ortiz reached on an error in the fifth inning, breaking up the perfect game. Regardless, Darvish dominated. He struck out six in a row at one point, which is like Craig Kimbrel getting a double save. Yu was one strike away from his first no-hitter, but David Ortiz pulled through again with a ground ball through the shift. D’ohvish. Damn you, Big Papi! Yu do not “Luv Ya Papi”, but you’re better off with J.Lo anyway, David. Poor Darvish suffered the same fate in his debut last April versus Houston, striking out 14 Astros through 8.2 innings before losing the perfect game with one out to go. So what does all this mean for your fantasy team? Not a whole lot, except if you own Darvish you’re as happy as Pharrell in a new, big hat. Despite his bad luck, Darvish currently sports a lovely 10.49 K/9 to go along with his 1.08 WHIP, and it’s those stats that will help your fantasy team a lot more than any perfect game will.  But don’t worry, Yu will get there some day.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?