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.

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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.

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The Diamondbacks decided now is the time to call up Yasmany Tomas! Hold on, exclamation mark, let’s examine. !, “Do we have to? I’m a sucker for excitement.” Tomas was only hitting .190 in Triple-A. !, “Hmm, this isn’t gonna end well.” The Diamondbacks aren’t exactly setting the world on fire. !, “It’s getting better.” But they have been more than fine in the outfield, and he can’t play 3rd base. !, “Oh, that.” With a karate kick and few words, Diamondbacks GM, Dave Stewart, said Tomas would be a bench bat. !, “I’m out of here.” Stewart said he would’ve liked Tomas to stay in Reno longer, but he was already on the 40-man roster, so they called him up. Yasmany said, “Who ate my English Muffins? I wrote my name on them! Hello? Amigos?” Tomas is fine as a flyer in deep leagues in case he catches on, but it doesn’t look like he’s going to get much playing time out of the gate. Assuming he can get through said gate. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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therecord

I’ve been playing fantasy baseball since I was 15 back in 1992. If you have access to a calculator, that should tell you how old I am. Back then we had to gather the stats from newspapers, The Bergen Record to be precise, and compile the standings by hand. We had two guys in the league responsible for this awful task, and I was one of them. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but to look back at it from where we are today with all of the websites and mobile apps we now have that make it so easy, I wonder what fantasy sports will be like in another 20 years. What I’m hoping for is a button that I can press that will instantly taser a player on my team if he does something that I don’t like. Not likely? I didn’t think so, but a guy can dream.

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Sometimes I use opening paragraphs of off-season content to remind myself what I was doing at the time of writing it. It’s hard to say when this stuff will come out so I like to treat these like that YouTube guy did with himself. Sky, this is me from the past! Are you falling asleep to Jeopardy now? Do you have dentures? Are you, by any chance, dead? If so, can I have your stereo? Sorry, you just never know when these posts might go live. Maybe if I pass along the way, this post could become a piece of art reveled by many…or it could just be another one of my crappy posts. Yeah, prolly one of those! Oh well, if you’re not famil with the series, take a look back at Top April and Top May pitcher posts from earlier. The premise is pretty basic. We’re slowly looking back on the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season in month sets of data just to see how much value you got from drafting a high end pitcher compared to what you could’ve gotten late in the draft or from your free agent pool. As you may or may not remember/know, we were chirping ‘#PitchingIsSoDeep’ earlier in the year so here’s us – well, me at least – trying to see if that was truly true. So without further ado, let’s begin anew…sorry, got caught up in rhyming. Let’s just get on with it. Anyone want a peanut? Here’s the top June pitchers from last year to see what we can gleam for 2015 fantasy baseball…

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In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp played for one of the most popular sports franchises in the world in the 2nd largest city in the country. In San Diego, the Padre fans pride themselves not on wins and losses, but how well the Chablis goes with the brie while they watch the game from the picnic area. In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp went to all the hottest nightclubs. In San Diego, he’ll be frequenting places that look like the bar where Jodie Foster was in The Accused. In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp hung out with the hottest celebrities. In San Diego, “Hey, is that Natalie from The Facts of Life?” In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp dated Rihanna. In San Diego, Kemp’s dating Natalie. It’s only a mere two and half hour drive, but the culture shock is going to hit Kemp as soon as he arrives because he’s going to have to surrender his Lamborghini, there’s a town ordinance that everyone must drive a Jeep with no doors that they put plastic bags over when it rains once a year. On the backside of the site, I’m currently churning through rankings that will be coming in January. I nearly ranked Kemp higher than I want to admit to now. I was believing the 150 games played, 25 HR, 8 SB, .287 season he had last year. Whether I believe it or not, going to San Diego is going to hurt his value. From hitting in the middle of an All-Star lineup to hitting in the middle of Yellowstone. Kemp said on his first day in Petco, “It took some time to get my bearings. In other parks, you can set yourself in the batter’s box by using the outfield fences as a guide. Here, you have to assume the outfield fences are out there somewhere.” Kemp has money coming to him either way, so if he became a 20 HR, 5 SB, .270 guy for a few years, it wouldn’t surprise me. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 72/22/81/.276/8. Oh, and, yes, I’m cautiously optimistic this means Joc Pederson will now be the starting center fielder in LA. For more, I already went over my Joc Pederson fantasy. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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It started with a simple email. Hey Grey and Rudy, wouldn’t it be cool if someone wrote about the top pitchers broken down by month? And within those months, to evaluate with and without wins to ascertain who pitched well and gave good value vs. who pitched for a 90 win club and had a 4-0 month? Response was a resounding yes, of course. And of course, it was my own damn fault for having such a good idea because now I’m here giving you offseason content prior to January. Clearly the time that everyone is reading about fantasy baseball. Oh well, let’s get to it. Here’s a look back at April’s pitching to see if it holds any keys going forward to 2015 fantasy baseball:

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I’m going to look right in your eye and say, “I don’t know where Jacob deGrom‘s coming from.” Don’t turn away from me. *turns your face by chin* Look at me. I don’t know everything. I’m sorry. I know that upsets you like finding out that Santa Claus is really just a drunk man in a costume. I apologize profusely if you didn’t know that about Santa too. It hurts me to ruin your naivete more than anything. Your child-like innocence is what originally drew me to you. Alas, we’ll find something else. Like deGrom, for instance, we can discover him together. In Triple-A, deGrom had a 6.8 K/9 this year, and 7.5 last year. Always had nice control, but he has a 9 K/9 in the majors. You don’t see guys often jump up a pedigree when they go from the minors to the majors. He’s always featured nice command, which is the key here. When a guy can command his pitches and then learns how to throw a new pitch that is special, he can use it effectively. So, what did he learn? Supposedly, Johan Santana gave him the secret sauce recipe for The Change. Another key is his velocity. This isn’t a guy who is adding a new pitch with 89 MPH velocity. He throws his fastball in the mid-90’s. Throw one pitch in the mid-90’s and another dropped in around 84 and you have a recipe for Ks. As was the case yesterday — 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 13 Ks — when the Marlins were like Farmer Ted striking out at deGrom. Still think he’s closer to a high-7/low-8 K-rate guy with a mid-3 ERA, but it’s still a lot better than I thought he was when he came up. Now let’s move past this lapse of judgment by me and try to enjoy ourselves. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?