It’s the 4th of July everybody and life is good. You’re probably spending your day with loved ones grilling, drinking, swimming, and reminding yourself why you hate your cousin Gary. Pretentious prick! Do I really care that you do Andrew W.K’s taxes? Do we always have to listen to “Let’s Get The Party Started” at every July 4th pool party? Oh BTW your wife Cheri propositions me every time we’re alone. What can I say she wants the Lifshitz naknik. Enough about me I mean you, yes you. This in no way bears any resemblance to my life. I don’t even have a cousin Gary! In fact if you’re here reading this then you probably have no friends or family and more than likely own cats or have dead bodies in your basement. It’s cool I’m not going to say anything. So I know the question on everyone’s mind “Ralph you’re rambling what’s the theme this week?” Well it’s the 4th of July. So that’s my theme, 4th of July’s of Lifshitz past. So each tier will include an offbeat story about my Independence Day misadventures. No these misadventures will not feature Will Smith, Bill Pullman, or aliens. Or will they? Week 14 Two Start Pitchers are upon us….

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Steven Matz is getting the call to the majors, a day after the Mets received this call, “Earth to Mets, your season is slipping away, and stop crashing back into me.” Though, it was kinda nervy of Earth to call collect. Earth added, “Sorry, I also invested in Madoff.” Thankfully for Mets fans, the Mets accepted the charges for Earth’s call, but declined Ian Desmond’s. If you are a fan of the Mets, I’d immediately write them a strongly-worded letter to not trade for Ian Desmond. I just gave you my Steven Matz fantasy. It was written on the backside of the napkin where you wrote your phone number. Not a whole lot has changed since then, except he’s added some more wonderful to his statz (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?! Sorry, I’m using a keyboard sponsored by Marcus Semien and the keys are sticky.). Matz’s IP count is now up to 90 1/3 with a 2.19 ERA and 94 Ks. Before you scoff, you scoffer, it’s in the PCL, where they use helium balloons as baseballs. I’d absolutely grab him in all leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The title comes from Rudyard Gamble’s novel about a young Astros prospect named Carlos Correa that is saved by a non-Portuguese man named Jeff. Jeff Luhnow is his full name, and he’s the only straight man named Jeff in the northern hemisphere. A point that Rudyard only alludes to in the 4th chapter, when he says, “As he read the Doppler radar outputs that track the ball in three dimensions, Jeff chewed corn from the cob, careful to not disturb his mustache that still had the fragrance of a dame.” The adventure novel is full of twists and turns. Correa is signed as a 17-year-old in 2012 and hits, then is called up to Single-A and hits, then is called up to High-A and hits, then is called up to Double-A–Now that I think about it, it’s pretty straightforward. Not too many twists. Correa hits everywhere he goes. According to the novel, Correa even succeeds when he comes upon a fellmonger on the Appalachian plain. Rudyard’s adventure novel first appeared in serialisation form in SABReader’s Digest underneath the horoscope. A fact that once disturbed Rudyard, but when his horoscope read, “The two-plus months of waiting are over, Correa’s being called up,” even he took pause. Any the hoo! I already went over my Carlos Correa fantasy about two weeks ago. I told everyone to grab him then, so the same holds true now. If you don’t think you have room, think of the trouble Jeff, Rudyard and Correa went through to make this possible. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Finally, the phrase ‘riding my jock’ could be used in the Dodgers’ clubhouse without referencing Alyssa Milano. Joc Pederson went 1-for-3, 2 RBIs with his 15th homer in the 1st game of the doubleheader, then 2-for-5, 2 RBIs with his 16th homer in the 2nd game of the doubleheader. He now has a .260 average to go with the 16 homers and 2 steals. Oh, bee tee dubya, he has 30-steal speed, we just haven’t seen it yet! I don’t even own him and he makes me goose pimply and go humma-humma-humma and get warm and fuzzy and make me want to dip my hand into wax and walk into Madame Tussaud’s and say, “I’m Tom Selleck from the third floor.” How is it even possible I like a guy I don’t own? Am I getting empathic unlike Alice in Luther? This isn’t coming out of nowhere either. He had the PCL’s first and only 30/30 year in 2014. First time in 80 years someone had done that in the PCL. Not since Trout has a player gone from rookie to the first round, but this Joc has the tools! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Travel back in time with me if you will, to a place where fanny packs, male ponytails, and Jordache jeans were all the rage. A time when Bruce Jenner was a symbol of masculinity, and O.J. Simpson was America’s favorite star! Travel with me to the age of Nintendo, a time when video games had two buttons and you didn’t need a degree in molecular biology to play. That last sentence made me sound very old, oh well. Anyway the theme of this week’s two start pitchers soiree is Nintendo! No not Super Nintendo (which was awesome BTW, #GoldenEye4life) or Wii, just plan old “blow on the console” to clean it NES. If you were anything like me then you played your fair share of Zelda, Super Mario, Duck Hunt, Tecmo Bowl, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, RBI Baseball, Double Dribble, Blades Of Steel, the list goes on and on. [Jay’s Note: Where’s Excite Bike and Battle Toads?] Aww the good old days when video games had easily exploitable glitches, like throwing to the outside of the plate with Nolan Ryan. Or pressing the Duck Hunt gun against the screen because that damn pooch kept laughing at you. Don’t look at me swan! Anyway, this week we have one of the deeper rosters of two-start pitchers in recent memory, and arguably the four best arms in the game double dipping. Not to worry if you don’t own one of the four horsemen there’s plenty of other great options in week number 9. So get up off of that thang and take a gander at this week’s two start madness.

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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…

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