Felix Hernandez went 9 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners with 8 Ks, but wasn’t the best pitcher in yesterday’s gaymey. Damn! I wrote the preceding sentence in drool hanging from my mouth while looking at Chris Archer‘s stats, and got to the very end before my drool failed me, sorta like Boxberger failed the Rays. This post will be one part fawning over Archer, two parts awe and three parts peyote. Speaking of peyote, why are there jam bands, but not jelly bands? I put on 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover by Garfunkel’s old partner and fell asleep. When I woke, I started singing, “Chris, there is something you can do to make me smile again. I said I appreciate that and would you please explain the fifty ways you can fix my ratios. You just throw a backdoor curve, swerve! Make a new game plan, man! You don’t need to be coy, 12 Ks — oh, boy! Just get yourself free to pitch every fifth day! Hop on the Nats bus and explain it to Effin Strasburg! You don’t need to discuss much because you are so clutch! Just drop off the key and stay with me! There’s fifty ways I can leave my Cougar!” Yesterday, Archer’s line was 8 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 12 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.12. Fancy area code you got there! The crazy thing is his K-rate is 10.9, walk rate is 2.7 and xFIP is 2.59, which means he’s as good as he seems. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Cuban phenom and top prospect Rusney Castillo debuted for the Red Sox last night going 1-for-4 with a run scored and a fielding error on a fly ball that resulted in a few boos from the Sawx Nation. “You ahre nevah gunna be like owah Tawmmy!” Be nice you guys, he’s new. OK, so not the best debut, sure, but Castillo made good strong contact on a few fly balls and showed flashes of that speed we’ve all heard so much about. Russy was slashing .293/.341/.440 with six steals, two homers and 10 RBI in 18 games at Pawtucket, and Boston is in desperate need of an offensive jolt right now. If he’s still available in your league you need to go grab him immediately, he was number one on Prospector Mike’s Power Rankings and Grey told you to BUY. If I’m projecting conservatively, I could see 10-12 homers and 15 steals from Rusney with a .275 AVG, but there is a lot of upside here and the homer in me wants to project 25 jacks, 30 steals and .325 AVG, because that’s way more fun. He also has the same hair cut as David Ortiz so they should be best friends forever in no time, and that’s always a bonus, especially if your league counts “Hugs Received” as a category.

Here’s what else I saw Friday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maybe I shamed the Marlins into caring about their bullpen. Maybe I’m just like my mother, she’s never satisfied. Why do we scream at Steve Cishek? This is what it sounds like, when fantasy baseballers cry! Damn, I’ll never get sick of Prince. Well, except when I have to rely on him to hit homers from my 1st base slot. As they removed Cishek from the closer role, the Marlins said, “Shrek has done a tremendous job for us, but at the end of the day, it’s about winning games.” They call Cishek Shrek? Is that so the 12-year-old Yelich isn’t scared to room with him? Holy cow, have you seen Cishek?! He looks like he could be Yelich’s younger brother! Do the Marlins pay their prospects in Girl Scout cookies? Does the team bus have to wait an extra five minutes every day so they can finish their paper route? Are Yelich and Cishek extras from the off-Broadway adaption of Drake & Josh? I have questions, y’all! So, Cishek is not only out, but looks like a flaming Pu-Pu Platter. I’d grab A.J. Ramos immediately, stash Mike Dunn and Bryan Morris and would even look at Rafael Soriano, since the Marlins said they might sign him. Oh, and once Henderson Alvarez returns, there’s speculation Tom Koehler could close. A Koehlser?! In other words, this shituation is a closerousel, so hold on for your life. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Another week of two-start pitchers and another music focused theme to guide you in your conquests. Wait that sounded sexual, you’re not trying to sleep with two start pitchers right?  I mean it’s fine if you do this is a judgement free zone, but I wanted to be clear about my usage of conquests.  I don’t want to start showing up for searches based around jersey chasing.  Then my comments might be questions like “What’s the best type of underwear to wear when trying to seduce Max Scherzer?”.  Jesus, how did I get here?  I just want to talk a little 90’s grunge and throw a few stats at you.  Stream of conscious writing isn’t for everyone.  Let’s put aside my ramblings for a moment and get into the meat of this sandwich shall we?  Anyone see the Kurt Cobain documentary “Montage of Heck”?  I watched it three times this week and was reminded of how much I loved Nirvana as a 10 year old Ralph.  For anyone that’s a Nirvana fan it’s a worthy take.  So thanks to the film and last week’s spirited music debate in the comments I’ve been inspired to base this week’s tiers on my favorite groups from the Seattle Grunge scene.  Hell it’s probably the last good thing to come out of Seattle. I see you Tehol.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Through the first month of the first year of our new dynasty league here at Razzball, team Hannibal Montana (owned by commenter Csifu) has jumped out to an early lead. Thanks in part to a ridiculously good 2.22 team ERA and top 5 performances in all but two of our ten categories, Csifu is sitting on 132.5 points in the early going. Razzball’s own JFOH (119.5) is hot on his tail, with Ra’zbahl Al Ghul (113) rounding out the top three. It’s a 16-team, 40-man roster dynasty league with weekly FAAB pickups and no restrictions on how long players can be kept (we keep 30). I love this format, and the league has been active in both trades and pickups. Considering how many players were owned coming out of our 40-round draft, there has been a lot of activity on the waiver wire. Here’s a peek at our league’s standings, as well as the trades and major free agent acquisitions that have gone down so far…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Imagine Gangsta Gangsta’s Ice Cube singing, “With a right left, right left you toothless, and then you say goddamn they ruthless,” but not coming out of Ice Cube’s mouth, but out of Glass Joe’s mouth from Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. Imagine Mola Ram reaching into a chest and ripping out a heart. Only instead of Mola Ram, it’s Arvid from Head of the Class. Imagine the head Neo-Nazi from Oz, walking into your shower, only instead of him it’s the guy from the Farmers Insurance commercials…Oh, wait, that’s the same guy. Those were the sort of visions Chris Sale must’ve been having when he looked at the Twins. We see nerds, he sees Ice Mola Cube Ram Nazis. The Twins scored eight runs on him in three innings and, without looking at a box score, you can’t even imagine who did that damage. Brian Dozier? Yeah, he went 2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 2nd homer. Joe Mauer? Yup, he went 3-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs. Eduardo Escobar? Okay, now you’re cheating. You would’ve never guessed Eduardo Escobar. Up until two seconds ago, you thought Eduardo Escobar was Pablo’s peacenik brother. Sale’s ERA is up to 5.32, but that’s almost entirely due to last night. If his owner is panicked, I’d look for a little sale on, um, well, you know. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Saturday’s games gives us intriguing SP options with Bauer, Alfredo Simon, and Anthony DeSclafani. Heading that list is Trevor Bauer with his clever and catchy Twitter handle, @BauerOutage. All three of these SP’s have started 2015 very strong. Today’s match-ups really have me focused on whether they are legit SP’s in DFS, or have they just got off to lucky starts. I’ll continue to say your two SP’s need to be strikeout pitchers. Meaning, don’t play a pitcher that has far less K’s per IP, or has a high WHIP. Go ahead and pay the big bucks for the SP’s. However, you can’t always start two SP’s that are $10,000+ and will eat up a huge portion of your salary. The aforementioned SP’s prices have good value. But my biggest struggle is, do I keep plugging them in or are they going to get destroyed by a good opponent? Of the three, Bauer is the only pitcher that at one point was a top pitching prospect. He was highly touted out of UCLA, and the Diamondbacks drafted him third overall in the 2011 MLB Draft. Bauer also won the Golden Spikes Award as the nation’s top amateur player. The Diamondbacks gave up on him pretty fast and traded him to the Cleveland Indians. He’ll get his biggest test of 2015 today against the Detroit Tigers. Anthony DeSclafani was once a top prospect in the Marlins organization, and was a key piece to the trade involving Mat Latos. He pitched 33 Innings for the Marlins in 2014, and those numbers are not impressive at all. So if you want to rollout a SP whose name you can’t pronounce, don’t look it up. Realize that he isn’t an ultra-talented rookie that has come out of nowhere. The player I can’t help but compare him to the most is Jacob deGrom. Like DeSclafani, deGrom was somewhat of a top prospect in the Mets organization, but no one expected this type of skill at the major league level. It’s still too early to make that comparison, but DeSclafani’s hot start has me thinking in that direction. As for Alfredo Simon, he came on last year with the Cincinnati Reds. His overall numbers in 2014 were good, but he fizzled out a bit at the end. Now with the Tigers in 2015, he’s off to another good start, and although the Indians haven’t looked great so far, it’ll be a good match-up to see if Simon is a legit DFS option every week. Don’t be afraid to start two SP’s that face each other, as Bauer and Simon do today. Although you would only be able to potentially get one win, if the strikeouts pile up, so will your DraftKings score.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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?

Addison Russell was playing some some 2nd base in Triple-A yesterday, minding his own business, when the Cubs management heard something they didn’t like, five full minutes of non-Cubs prospect talk on sports radio. Four minutes is not cool, but five? Nuh-uh, they said, as they wagged their finger. So, the Cubs called him up, and plan to send down Arismendy Alcantara. This offseason I said, “So, the first thing we know about Russell is Billy Beane traded him away. This is obviously a strike against him. The last prospect Beane gave up on was Brett Wallace, and that was partly because Wallace looks like his face is constantly pressed against a window and that’s disconcerting. Right now, it appears Beane got the worst side of this Russell trade. Maybe he shouldn’t have been in such a rush to get back to the gym to pump iron and waited to negotiate a better deal. It’s still early though, and prospects can flame out. Russell, however, doesn’t look headed in that direction. Russell looks like he could be better than Starlin Castro as early as next year. Second thing we know about Russell is he’s got power and speed. Yummers! Third thing we know about Russell is there is no third thing. Russell’s shown solid power in the minors (17 HRs in High-A in 2013 and 12 HRs in only 50 games in Double-A last year after the trade to the Cubs). His speed is a tad below that, which concerns me a bit because speed is the one thing we can always count on translating. He did steal 21 bags in High-A, but, well, that’s High-A. They call it that because everyone’s stoned. Last year in Double-A, he only had five steals all year, and two after the trade. It’s not great, and I think we’re seeing closer to his actual speed level in Double-A. Maybe he’ll reach 15-20 steals at some point, but he’s never going to be a 40-steal guy. He did hit .294 at Double-A after the trade, and I don’t see him hitting much below .280 without some bad luck.” And that’s me quoting me! While drinking Sanka with Lou Avery, I’ve decided Russell should be owned everywhere. Yes, even that league. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 61/12/44/.287/6 with upside from there. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Wahhhhhh, Shane Greene doesn’t strike anyone out, he’s useless, wahhhhhh!”  That’s Sky on the Podcast a few hours ago…  “The Fifth Element sucked!”  That’s Grey before I socked him!

Since my initial ranks in February, I’ve been a Greene champion.  In my blurb, I mention a high K-rate finish to 2014 (52:16 K:BB his last 41.1 innings), along with an unlucky 2014 BABIP (.330).  The starts I saw from him last year had me encouraged with his stuff, plus the move to a much better pitcher’s park in Comerica had me “thrilled”.

But even with the rank looking spiffy and everything going right, the low K-rate does seem a little concerning.  He’s turning into Rick Porcello, noooooooo!  While his ERA and WHIP (along with 3 wins) are all change-your-pants worthy, he’s got a measly 11:5 K:BB in 23 innings.  Regression is screaming like Ruby Rhod after he counted ten!  I of course hope not since he’s on all my teams, and watching him so far this year in my normal bouncing-around-through-all-the-games he looks like a strong strikeout capable guy.  So I decided to watch his start yesterday hosting the White Sox, and give it the ol’ full attention and Pitcher Profile treatment.  Here’s how he looked:

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This week’s slate of two start pitchers reminds me of fire-crotched former hottie and child star Lindsey Lohan. So let’s examine the parallels. No, they don’t have whiney coked up fathers or unstable attention whore mothers who may or may not be as equally coked up. No, they don’t post pictures to their Instagram accounts where they fail miserably at “breaking the internet”. Well, they may do all these things, but not to my knowledge. Then again, my knowledge consists of Fantasy soccer, baseball, and Fernando Tatis MS paint artwork. Oh you are unfamiliar with Tatis’s work? Click here and check her out. Seriously, I have five Tatis’ on my office walls at work. People often ask if those are blown up drawings by my four-year-old son. When I inform them that are in fact cherished works of computer generated art by a former fringe major leaguer, they typically stop extending invitations to lunch, but no matter, I like eating alone. Where were we? Oh yeah! Lindsey Lohan and two-start pitchers! So much like Lindsey Lohan’s career and looks the options start strong, but are very brief and ummmm….well, drop off dramatically. In the first two weeks we’ve been blessed with a plethora of sexy names and strong performers to double up on in our head to head and weekly leagues. This week not so moooch! (Last sentence said with bad Italian accent) I even struggle to rank anyone in the top tier. I love Jake Arrieta and you can make the case that he is matchup proof at this point but it’s two road starts. The first against a good offense and the second against an above average offense at a hitter’s park. I guess he’s sort of like Mean Girls Lindsey. She’s certainly hot and it’s an entertaining flick but A. Do you look like a creep for drooling over a teenager? and B. do you share with your bros that you were watching Mean Girls on TBS for the fourth time? (Shawshank Redemption it is not my friends.) That just means we need to dig a little deeper and appreciate each tier for what it is. Sort of like Lindsey’s wild coked out knife play phase, her lesbian phase, her doing anything for money including nude pictorials phase. We just need to avoid her methed out shell of herself phase. Those ladies and gentleman are your tiers. Good luck may your Li-Lo’s be kind.

Please, blog, may I have some more?