Today we Southern Californians get to be treated to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Los Angeles Dodgers baseball. Thanks to the national broadcasts, the rest of the country will be seeing the Angels and Dodgers battle it out under the Hollywood Sign and hitting long balls over the ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier. But we know better than to think that the Angels are just a hop, skip, and a jump away. The drive north on Interstate 5 from Angels Stadium to Dodgers Stadium is 41 miles, and anyone who knows Interstate 5 knows that you can’t travel a mile per minute. The Angels will make the long gruesome trip to the next county while passing downtown Los Angeles. There’s a lot of players I like in this game. I wouldn’t even be worried about starting both pitchers in the same entry. The strikeouts will be there for both lefty pitchers. Blog on and check out some of my other DraftKings picks for today, and remember to have a Dodger Dog while at Chavez Ravine.

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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Let’s play a quick game of Jeopardy. I’ll take “Inappropriate Clues for $1000 Alex”. Ok, here’s your clue. “It’s not wise to upset a wookie.” If your answer is “what did Han Solo say to C-3PO regarding the holographic game between R2-D2 and Chewbacca aboard the Millennium Falcon?” then you’d be wrong. The correct answer is “what did Hisashi Iwakuma say when I asked him what he thought about playing a prank on Carlos Correa“. And before anyone goes and gets offended by that I’d like to point out that the category was “Inappropriate Clues” and before I moved forward with it I got the approval of Yu Darvish, Norichika AokiMasahiro Tanaka and Ichiro Suzuki. They all got a good raff out of it. So should you.

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If you can remember back a few years, Johnny Cueto 401KO’d Jason LaRue with a kick to his head. When he got up, LaRue couldn’t see straight and needed to retire. Elsewhere, Yordano Ventura (7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks in what might’ve been a spot start) has been honing his fight-picking and ability to be held back by teammates so it doesn’t look too obvious that he wants to be held back. After every game this year, Ventura sat in his hotel room, perfecting his Clubber Lang at the Rocky statue coronation. “Yo, if you want a real man, you come find me!” There was really only man that Ventura admired the league over. One man as diabolical. As lowdown! And now through a trade between the Reds and Royals, Cueto joins Ventura! This is like thunder meeting lightning! Bonnie and Clyde if they were both men! Germany and Italy joining forces to rid the world of non-mustached, non-broad shouldered women! Wonder Twin powers activate in the form of pure evil! So, Cueto’s trade to the Royals obviously doesn’t hurt him. He’ll be on a team that can win games and it’s a much better home stadium, but he also leaves the NL. That makes this feel like a push in value. Right now, his ERA is 2.62. How much lower could it be? Not much is my guess. He’s a 2.50-3.15 ERA pitcher anywhere he is, so that’s what he’ll continue to be. Unless Yordano throws Great Kabuki-style green dust into every hitter’s face when the ump’s back is turned. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Here’s a prospect post that even a redraft leaguer can love. At Razzball there are a lot of great tools, but the one I use the most when looking at potential trades or player acquisitions is the player rater. It’s basically a way to evaluate players based on Steamer’s projections for the rest of the year. What makes it particularly useful is the fact that it’s also updated daily by Rudy to account for playing time changes, lineup changes, injuries, etc. I thought it would be fun to look at how our rookies are faring in the machine. I found 54 players in the rater who were under the 130 AB/50 IP cutoff to start the year. Then I sorted into three subcategories for the hell of it. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a couple of names (hopefully no big ones) and there’s probably nothing incredibly enlightening to glean from this (Correa is good at baseball and projects to be good at baseball in the second half…thanks Mike!). But…there were some surprises for me when I gathered it together. At any rate, hopefully it spurs some discussion and provides a snapshot for the massive wave of quality prospects we’re seeing reach the majors in 2015.

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The Cardinals called up their top hitting prospect, Stephen Piscotty, who has a great eye, and could hit .320 with 20+ homers and 15+ steals in his prime. What will he do this year though? Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! He could play 1st base for the suddenly old-looking and decrepit Mini Donkey. Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty could play some outfield, but where? Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! I’m wondering something else. The Cardinals make a mountain out of molehill prospects, always. A prospect no one cares about comes up and the Cardinals make them look terrific. So, will Piscotty come up and be the opposite? Like the Law of Inverse Properties, which is in no way related to the douchey guy on HGTV that hosts Income Property. Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! I’d grab Piscotty in all leagues since he’s essentially Matt Holliday right before he entered his prime, but I’m guessing Piscotty won’t play enough to be a factor this year in shallower than 15-team mixed leagues. He could though. Grey doesn’t know! Grey doesn’t know! Grey doesn’t know! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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At least, that’s what wise men say. Thankfully for both you and I, I’m not one of those…wait, I mean…dammit, nevermind, you know what I mean. I think? Not good to start a recommendation blog off with trepidation but what can I say as I’m going for the unreliable narrator thing. I mean, it worked for Chuck Palahniuk and who doesn’t love the anti-hero Tyler Durden? So while I splice some rated X films into your kids’ movie, lemme tell you a little bit about Chris Rusin. Or better, yet let me tell you about his opponent, the Texas Rangers. Or better than better yet, let me start by saying this: it’s a tourney only call. I know, I know, anything goes in tourneys but hear me out. The Rangers are an impressive offense overall so far this year, especially with how many projected them but there’s one thing they haven’t done well: hit left-handed pitching. For the year, the Rangers have K’d 22.9% of the time vs southpaws and just got sat down by Keuchel on Sunday as he went 7 and struck out 13 while only giving up 2 hits. Would I expect that from Rusin on Monday? Hells to the no, children, but I expect the opportunity for at least 5 to 6 innings and perhaps 7 punch outs. Given the low ownership he’ll garner and the minimal price tag of $4,800, Chris opens the doors to flood your lineup with all of the best bats in the prime spots…ya know, like Colorado, where he’s pitching. It’s a gamble but it’s not one without its merit and I’ll be sure to be the fool that’ll Rusin today. But enough about Elvis love songs, let’s get a little more country. Here’s my ring of fire hot takes for the Monday DK slate…

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?

Growing up everyone had their favorite school lunch. Didn’t matter if your Mom packed you one or if you paid Bertha $1.25 for the crap they served on the foam divided plate. Everybody had a favorite. Maybe you were a lima beans and ravioli guy, a P,B, and J-er, did you crush fluffernutters like a boss? Or did you wait all week for pizza on Friday? I had several favorites and they evolved as I got older, I’m sure that’s the same for you too. So this week we compare pitchers to some of my favorite brown bag meals. Excuse me while I go heat up some Dino-shaped chix nuggets. Yummmm weird chicken type meat smoothered in sweet baby rays….Yummmmmm. So anyway we’re all starving for some fantasy baseball coming out of the break, and what better way to ring in the second half than a little elementary school nostalgia? Two Start Pitchers week 16 gentlemen and four LADIES.

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Last week I put together comprehensive year-to-date, rest of season and end of season rankings for batters. Quite honestly I think it was the bees knees, but that’s just me tooting my own horn. Do bees even have knees? If you are in a points league and missed it, I highly recommend you check it out. And when I say I “highly” recommend it, that does not mean I ate pot brownies two hours before making said recommendation. I was just standing at the top of a 30-foot ladder.

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Since there were no games this week and players haven’t been able to get hot or cold or humid, this Buy/Sell is going to be slightly different. This Buy/Sell includes some players that are owned in more than 50% of leagues. Okay, that’s not different for the Sells, but it does change the Buys. The other day on our podcast I was asked by JB, “What is the USA Today?” Because JB was born in the 2000s. But I was also asked by him who is my biggest buy of the 2nd half. For that I said, “Um, well, I have to say, actually, actually, actually, my biggest buy is, uh, um, hmm.” Spit it out, Grey! You know how your own voice sounds weird? I wonder if that holds up for the Movie Trailer Guy. Any the hoo! My biggest buy was Adrian Beltre. For s’s and g’s, I looked at Beltre’s 2nd half from last year, it wasn’t great — six homers, zero steals, .308. Last year, he had 19 homers for the full season and he has 7 homers right now. So, I don’t think the power is going to come roaring back like he’s Mickey Maris in 1927 with Barry Bonds’s personal trainer. In my top 100 for the 2nd half of 2015 fantasy baseball (say that fast 117 times!), I gave Beltre 11 homers. That feels optimistic, but doable. His fly balls are more or less fine from last year, but he’s getting unlucky with his HRs per fly balls even though his home run distance isn’t terrible. He’s also been crazy unlucky with his BABIP. It’s sitting at .263, which would be his lowest since 2003. Basically, he’s hitting a line drive to the gap and a squirrel is grabbing it, flipping it to an outfielder and Beltre’s being called out because the ball never touched the ground. If I were struggling at corner and need to take a gamble, I’d trade for Beltre and watch the good times Esther Rolle! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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I’ve just never been a Matt Moore guy…

Uber-talented Moore has always gotten praise for his clean mechanics and smooth delivery, plus fastball, and solid slider, but it never materialized into good control and solid numbers.  Those horrible, horrible walks…  Moore’s K zone looks like a star chart!

After never ranking him favorably the past few years because of a 4.5 walk rate, yes 4.5, I thought the buzz for him off the DL from TJ recovery was too… buzzy.  I’m at a loss for words I’m so confused!  But I hadn’t seen him pitch since hitting the DL after two starts last year, and maybe a reconstructed elbow can help.  “He’s more machine now, than man!”  Well let’s hope it helps the horrific walk rate!  Here’s how he looked yesterday hosting the Astros, along with ranks for pitchers for the second half:

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