So, we had our first July 31st trading deadline deal, and it paid off for all the A’s fans who paid Oaktown’s own, Bubb Rubb, to break into Billy Beane’s office and turn his iCal forward a month. “Any ideas what you want to do for the 4th of July, Billy?” “I celebrated last month with some friends.” Screen spirals out and slam cuts to Bubb Rubb, maniacally (bubb)rubbing his hands together. When the A’s are playing like it’s playoff baseball in September, don’t say your mustachioed over-the-internet friend didn’t warn you. So, the trade that went down was Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel for David Addison Leave Me Alone Maddie Russell, who I will get to after this lede. Samardzija and Hammel both gain value going to the A’s, which isn’t often the case with an NL pitcher going to The Land of Milk and Honey-Flavored DHs. Wrigley isn’t a great place to pitch — one day it’s overcast with winds blowing straight out, another day winds are just swirling overhead like a toilet bowl genie. As we’ve seen in the past, pitchers can do just about anything in a short period of time. Could Hammel and Samardzija completely poop the sheets? Fo’sho. Likely? Prolly not. O.co is like Petco and Metco, a big cavernous wasteland for hitters and they have more foul territory than Roseanne Barr’s privates. Samardzija brings strikeout stuff to hitters that aren’t as familiar with him and could be the 2nd half’s Kazmir. Yesterday, in his first A’s start, he had a line of 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks. Dividends paying out quick there. Hammel keeps the ball down and O.co will love him. This trade only really hurts Tommy Milone, who was shipped to the minors. The A’s just made themselves a serious contender and having a friend in Bubb Rubb pays off once again. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I will admit I’m a bit of an ageist when it comes to my fantasy baseball teams. I’ll gravitate towards the Christian Yelichs and steer clear of the Michael Cuddyers. So when Josh Willingham (+67%) came off of the disabled list, balloons didn’t fall from my living room ceiling. Fact is, though, he’s a solid player and should be a good option moving forward for fantasy owners in need of an outfielder. He was the most added player this week, over the likes of Oscar Taveras and even Gregory Polanco. In 20 games played, the 35-year-old corner outfielder has already racked up four home runs and 15 runs batted in. Steamer projects another 15 home runs and 48 runs batted in. He won’t continue to hit .300 obviously, and his career slash of .256/.361/.472 is about what I’d expect when it’s all said and done this year. Add him if you need a little pop and RBI help in your outfield for sure, but be ready in case his 35-year-old body needs another DL stint. Here are two more add/drop notes for this week in 2014 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re through just over a month of baseball, and I’m sure there are more than a few players you’d like to see walk the plank right now, and Sergio Santos is no doubt up there on the Captain’s log as far as closers are concerned. Santos blew another save last night, lasting 0.2 innings, and promptly giving up 3 ER off 3 hits. SAN-TOS-AAH! I ain’t even mad at ‘cha, the skip just keeps sending you out there to do it. I should be mad at myself for owning you this long. Serge gave up two home runs in the ninth, one to Pedro Alvarez (3-for-5) and the other was the walk off game-winner to Starling Marte (4-for-5). His ERA is sitting pretty at 10.61, which is almost as much money as I have in my checking account at the moment. I can’t imagine we’ll see Sergio out there for the ninth again. Best the Jays deal with him the same way the Pirates would have last night: “Arr! Blow the scallywag down and make ‘em shark bait, fer dead men blow no saves.”  In any case, you may be able to grab some short-term saves from Aaron Loup with Brett Cecil and Steve Delabar seeing possible chances. My guess is the Jays go to a combination of these relievers until Casey Janssen returns in a couple weeks.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This should go down easier than Danny Salazar‘s last start, but it’s still not going to be that easy to digest. You have a Tums handy? Good, take like seven of them. Don’t worry, if they give you kidney stones, it will take your mind off of K-Zar. Something is wrong. I hypothesized that he was tipping his pitches last time. It didn’t make sense that he would strikeout more guys in four innings than anyone has ever while still getting rocked. Maybe he is, I still have no idea. I don’t have my degree from the University of Pitch Scouting, which is still in a heated lawsuit with the United Parcel Service. You should sign the online petition for the United Parcel Service to change to the acronym NBU for Nice Brown Uniforms. If an online petition can’t get something changed, what can? Member when people actually protested things and not just clicked a box on an online petition site? Those in-person protestors were silly! Any the hoo! A larger problem with K-Zar is his velocity is down. Still decent for most mortals, but he could be hiding a larger issue with his arm. The other day when he K’d ten guys in four innings, it might’ve masked a bigger problem. Yesterday’s start was a real eye-opener — 4 2/3 IP, 5 ER and only 3 Ks — is terrible. That’s not tipping pitches, that’s something is wrong. The final ruling on K-Zar is you should hold him if you can, but I don’t think the short-term is going to be pretty. Obviously, you can’t start him next time out or until he throws a decent start. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So you’re down to the last few nickels of your first buy-in this year. You’re pinching pennies—drinking Olympia and thinning out your Cup O Noodles with Ramen. You know you need to do research to come up today, but you can’t justify using that much electricity. Don’t fret, mah people. I got your winning lineup right hurrr. I know. I shouldn’t have. I’ve been invoking Peyton Manning all week. DraftKings don’t slang hot pies, but they do love to hook you up for no apparent reason like Papa John’s. So we’ve teamed up to give you the freshest players in the freshest daily fantasy site out there. But wait, there’s more! Our boys at DraftKings are giving you a chance to get ghetto rich with $2 bucks giving you the chance to cash out $400k in the Sweet Spot.

We’re gonna sweeten the deal a little further today. Once you’ve signed up via Razzball for DraftKings, hit this link, and you can come try to take down Da Schlurricane. I’m opening up a contest for you to see how I do work. I never said I was smart – giving you the opportunity to expose me as a fraud. I’m so brash I even invited Tehol into the mix. The writing may be pro bono but my fantasy contests gotta make some cheddah. I’m betting him 2 tix to Mariners/A’s that I’ll Beddict his ass. You only get to play me for bragging rights and dolla bills ya’ll! But I’m sure you’re studs at bragging. And if you follow my instructions, you’ll have some bills.

Today’s a good day to take advantage of a lot of matchups. I’m gonna give you my lineup today. Go enter a contest or two with it and then invoke the Steam-O-Nator and Hittertron to come take me out. After all, Rudy’s mind is much more elevated than mine. We’re talking catwalk vs. gutter ya’ll.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Raise your hand if you got burned by Justin Masterson‘s last two starts. If you detect a touch of Old Spice deodorant and bitterness that’s because I’ve got both of my arms straight up in the air on this one. Bet you’re wondering how I can still type. That’s a trade secret Sky taught me. I haven’t been this mad at an Indian since I caught my neighbor Joe Charboneau peeing on my rose bushes. Don’t think I can’t see you Super Joe! As our fearless leader, George W. Bush used to say, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me…you can’t get fooled again.”

That’s why this week I’m learning my lesson and going for the ace instead of trying to get cute with pitching values. Which leads me to this week’s pick, Max Scherzer, whose nice match-up against the Padres and all-around goodness make him a great start today. He’s perched atop the Stream-o-Nator at a $25 value, and while he’ll cost you $11,900 to roster, he’s worth every penny.

As always, the Hitter-Tron and the Stream-O-Nator are your best friends in this DraftKings venture. Their cold, emotionless robot minds are perfect for gambling. Signing up for DraftKings is easy…just click here. There’s also a great contest happening now called the Sweet Spot. Good luck and let’s look at some of the other picks for today…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Most of the league’s top aces took the hill last night, but none were more impressive than the Padres’ Andrew Cashner, who threw a one-hit shutout, tossing 108 pitches against the ferocious Tigers, walking just two and striking out 11. That’s straight Cashner, homey! Randy Moss would be proud. Cashner’s shutout was the first of the season in all of baseball, and just the second of his career. He now holds a 1.29 ERA and 0.81 WHIP with 22 Ks through three starts. It’s gotta be that beard, right? You don’t have to tell Razzball nation about the magic of facial hair, see: Albright, Grey. Mystic whiskers aside, Cashner was money Friday night, surrendering just the one hit to Rajai Davis (breaking up his perfect game in the 6th), and striking out Miguel Cabrera to end the game. Yes, that Miguel Cabrera! I’ve always been high on Cashner, and I owned him everywhere last year, so naturally, I own him no where this year. After last night, I might have to hit the trade market, because if I can’t own him, no one should! “I want a Golden Andrew Cashner Goose now, daddy!” Andrew has had injury issues in the past, but he has always been solid when healthy, and with high a 90’s fastball that can hit the triple digits, doode throws some serious cheese. The key with Cashner remains his aforementioned health; if he stays healthy, I could see 12-14 wins, 160 Ks and some solid ratios. That kind of Cashner can pay off big for your fantasy team.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*Channeling my inner Hank Williams Jr.* Are you ready for some baseball? *Fireworks, confetti cannon, ‘splosions, dingo attacks* Perhaps only us baseball junkies and fantasy geeks are excited about opening day Down Under. Is there fantasy cricket? Asking for a friend. Sky needs, like, four more fantasy sports to write about and I’m imagining Nick and his Razzball Radio rolling tanker going all Road Warrior across the outback. I’m more excited than a Lipitor snorting Vin Scully, cuddling with a koala he thinks is actually Yasiel Puig. Slather my hot dog in Vegemite, turn up the Men at Work and blow my didgeridoo, baseball is back. With the RCL’s in full swing and the season firing up in Australia, I’m balls deep in 20 teams – RCL’s, H2H leagues, dynasty leagues, auctions leagues, AL-only, NL-only, a pitcher league and an All-Timey fantasy draft that ought to prove interesting – I drafted Shoeless Joe in the round 13, that’s value! If you have yet to draft or are already making moves let’s dig out the ol’ jammer crammer machine© and get to work on the schmotatoes in the outfield. Since we use ESPN for the Razzballin’ leagues, let’s use their rankings and go digging for some jams and crams outside the top-100 players. No use in bickering whether to jam Mike Trout or cram Billy Hamilton – although I would. We are looking for mid-late round upside filled value here. It’s time to jam it or cram it. Hey Nick, I’ll drive that tanker.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The hardest division in the league, which includes last year’s world champs, looks to be just as intense again.  For that matter, it probably will be that way for the foreseeable future.  My favorite team is also being covered here.  I’ll do my best not to be biased about the Yankees, and I think I’m pretty good at keeping my emotions away from the reality of the team.  That being said, I think the Yankees are going to win 120 games this season. (You can check out the NL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Catcher-rye-full

Get it?

Time to finally hang up the fantasy football helmet, slip into my official Steve Balboni athletic supporter and get ready for some of the base and the balls talk. This nipple hardening February morning finds your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru loading the van up with scouting reports, clean turbans, eye black and my Jenny Dell inflatable doll for that long, lonely road trip to Fort Myers to prepare for spring training. As we cross the days off the calendar until we dive into some actual fake baseball drafting, it’s time to dig out the ol’ jammer crammer machine (available on Adam&Eve.com) and dig through this year’s jams and crams by position for the 2014 fantasy baseball season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?