Does anyone remember the sitcom That ’70s Show? It was a harmless enough little show, despite the fact that it unleashed Ashton Kutcher upon the world and led to several high profile movie roles for lead actor Topher Grace (why?). Perhaps most notably, it also introduced the public to a young actress named Mila Kunis, who portrayed a character named Jackie Burkhart. Jackie was young, cute, and full of potential, but man was she annoying. Her whiny, shrilly voice was like nails on a chalkboard. It was enough to make you want to hit the mute button or just change the channel entirely. Until recently, this week’s most added player, Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (84.2% owned; +54.5% over the past week), was just like the early version of that Jackie. A young player with solid upside who possessed a few annoying tendencies. Sure he could take a walk, but what good is that in fantasy (outside of OBP leagues) if there’s no stolen base or counting stats resulting from it? Think of the fantasy ramifications, dammit! Fortunately, JBJ has been more aggressive at the plate this season (48.3% Swing% – up from 43.7% in 2015), and it has paid dividends for him. His K% is down to a career low 21.1%, and his .962 OPS (14th in MLB) and .257 ISO (18th in MLB) are currently among the league leaders. Over the last two weeks, he’s produced a .423/.444/.769 slash line with 5 homers and 17 RBI. This version of JBJ is like That ’70s Jackie muted and wearing a coconut bikini (sorta NSFW). Expect the RBI pace to drop off a bit (30 RBI – 7th most in MLB), but he looks like a viable OF3 for the immediate future.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

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Jon Gray pitched seven innings Friday night versus the Mets, allowing just five hits, two runs, a walk and struck out eight in his first win, in well, in ever. Congrats on your first major league win, chief! It only took you nine months! How about that headline? That was a bad Fifty Shades joke. If you don’t like it I will tie you up and make you like it. Mmm. Bondage. Anyway, Jon Gray–Coors pitchers be damned! After surrendering 11 runs through his first two starts, Gray has been damned good in his past three starts, giving up just four runs and 10 hits in 20.0 innings, and his 1.15 WHIP and 36/7 K/BB are certainly impressing me mucho. I know what you’re thinking, still a Coors pitcher pitches at Coors and even in the most stream worthy of starts it makes him very hard for me hard to recommend. But that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be on your radar, folks. You should be watching him closer than the latest episode of Game of Thrones, looking for secret hidden fantasy clues in the sand. You guys, I’m pretty sure the scarring on Jon Snuh’s chest spells out R+L=J! Oh em god, wait! The “J” must stand for, dot, dot, dot…Jon Gray! But Jon Gray knows nothing. He must be Targaryen!

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

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Owning Max Scherzer last night was like watching the Showtime classic, Emmanuelle, the erotic thriller starring Emmanuel Lewis as Webster Schlong and Alex Karras as George Papadopepuss.  Through 6 IP, Scherzer had 13 Ks and was only 77 pitches.  On the Tigers broadcast, Jimmy Leyland said, “(Scherzer) looks spent.”  Who’s a better judge of that than his ex-manager?  If only the Nationals had Jose Valverde to come in.  But then Scherzer went out in the 7th and had a 1-2-3 inning with two Ks and it was if Shannon Tweed had appeared next to Emmanuel Lewis and this erotic thriller became more elaborate, convoluted and spectacular!  Then Scherzer came out in the 8th and struck out three more guys to put his total at 18 Ks.  Then, came the ninth.  Now, no guy has a shorter hook than Emmanuel Lewis, but no manager has a longer hook than Dusty.  Scherzer could’ve been on pitch 175 and he would’ve been out there to finish it, and finish the Tigers he did.  Final line:  9 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 20 Ks.  He is still giving up homers though…. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Hi there! I’m the new Saturday Draft Kings guy, and I’ll be helping you make millions BILLIONS of dollars on DraftKings. Anyway enough about me, let’s get in to this. It’s lefty ace day! We have Kershaw, Price, and Sale (and Kuechel, if you consider him an ace… I mean he did win a Cy Young) all pitching today. That’s why I’m here to talk to you about the soft throwing and soft looking righty, Bartolo Colon. What’s in that belly and how is he still pitching effectively in the MLB? My guess is there’s a lot of cheese cake, pizza, and pastrami. Tonight Big Bart gets to pitch against the Padres. If it weren’t for Atlanta, the Padres would be the worst team against RHP. His last outing vs Atlanta he threw 8 scoreless with 7 Hits, 7 K, and 0 BB. That outing added up to 31.8 DraftKings points. The thing about the Padres is that they strike out and don’t walk. Big Bart has struck out 28 and only walked 3. The big man doesn’t cut corners…he paints them with his 2-seamer. Early on this season, he’s painting corners and generating the most swings and misses that he has since 2004. This seems like a solid match up for the 42 year old, but like that belly, it may explode at any time. Rostering him is only going to run you $7,300. This will save you some money to spend on one of those lefty ace’s or some big bats. All right Razzballers, I give you the rest of my picks:

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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Preseason I was telling anyone that would listen to draft Nick Markakis. I had him ranked as the 35th best outfielder in standard points leagues. While 37 is well outside the top ten, or even twenty, in twelve team leagues that start three outfielders he becomes a borderline starter. Most leagues will start four outfielders, moving Markakis squarely into a starting role. For those trying to figure out how I came to that conclusion, here’s the math. Twelve teams times four outfielders equals 48 outfielders, and the last I checked, 35 was less than 48. Even in ten team leagues with four OF spots Markakis lands a starting gig.

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The “five tool” player (having the abilities to hit for average and power, base-running skills/speed, throwing, and fielding) is one who possesses an incredibly rare set of skills. Branch Rickey, who first coined the term in his book The American Diamond, could only name two true “five tool” players at the time – Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle. Essentially, it’s a term that refers to elite, well-rounded athletes who can do anything and everything on the baseball field. Which players would qualify as true five toolers in today’s game? Three names immediately come to mind – Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Manny Machado. Elite skills and production across the board. Andrew McCutchen is a strong candidate based on his track record, though his speed appears to be in decline. Jose Altuve, Mookie Betts, and Starling Marte might have a shortcoming or two, but they’re in the mix as well.

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El Grande Dolor. The Cuban Barry Bonds. Oso or Yogi. All of these are phrases and nicknames that have been used to describe Chicago White Sox slugger Jose Abreu in recent years. I’m not really sure where those last couple of ones came from, but they’re listed under his profile at baseball-reference, so we’ll roll with it. Side note: can those profiles be edited by the public á la Wikipedia? Perhaps I could just go in and change his nickname to, say, Boo-Boo. Would that make listening to Hawk Harrelson tolerable if he started using random meaningless terms to describe the Sox players? Hmm… probably not. But I digress. Abreu has looked anything but a Cuban version of Barry Bonds or Frank Thomas in the early going. Maybe more like the current version of Thomas, but that’s not exactly what was expected of him coming into this season. We’re almost a month into the 2016 campaign, and Abreu’s been outhomered by the likes of Aledmys Diaz and Scooter Gennett. He obviously brings no speed to the table, and his batting average currently resides under the Mendoza line. In other words, he’s been pretty awful thus far. What’s going on here? Why has Abreu been so terrible this season?

Let’s dig into Abreu’s profile to see if we can figure out what’s causing these early struggles. Here are a few observations:

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“Hi, I work in the front office for the Twins and I’m ordering lunch.  I was wondering what you have that’s old that you can give us a discount on.  Can you eat old pork?  Hmm, let’s try it with extra sauce.  John Ryan Murphy briefly converted to Judaism, or so he wrote in 6-point font inside his lined notebook where he talked about murder, but he’s back to the gentile side of things.  I’d also like to know if any of your very old or very young employees want to join our pitching staff.  We can’t pay them in money, but Byung ho Park and Kurt Suzuki often wrestle together, reenacting Foxcatcher, and it’s just fun to be around when that happens.  Gotcha, okay, just send the old pork then!”  Incredibly, the Twins reached into their oh-so-deep pockets, pulled out some lint and decided to call up their top pitching prospect, Jose Berrios.  He’s only been ready for about three years now; crazy to start his clock now when they could’ve held him down in Triple-A for another five years.  Never underestimate the Twins’ frugality.  It’s FRU-JOUL-LAY, it’s Italian!  Here’s what I said previously about him, “A team like the Tigers would’ve promoted Berrios about two years ago.  No fear, John Deere, Berrios is still only 21 years old.  I’ve seen people peg Berrios as having #3 fantasy starter upside, but I see him landing eventually with a barely-2 BB/9 and 9 K/9 from his mid-90s MPH fastball and plus-curve.  That makes him a borderline fantasy ace in the making.  Of course, as a rookie, there will be stretches where he doesn’t look like that, but want a guy that could come on and give you a Shelby Miller in 2015-type year?  Berrios has that potential.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Yes, I’d grab him, yes, in your league too.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So I’m watching Raiders of the Lost Ark with my dad and following Tanner Roark strike out 15 Saturday afternoon, and all primed to write my “Raiders of the Lost Roark” pitcher profile. But then I was like, “Ya know what?! I already wrote on Joe Ross and the Nationals don’t need ANY MORE press! I’m not writing two of my first three 2016 profiles on Nats, get outta here!”

Option B: An argument I had with myself the other day: “Is Robbie Ray really that different than Carlos Rodon?” Think about it – both are lefties with mid-90s heat, plus off-speed pitchers, and are near unhittable. But they’re also two of the most frustrating pitchers to own with their control issues. So why would I love Rodon and bank on him figuring it out in my ranks and not have similar optimism for the also young (just turned 24) Ray? Mayyyyyyybe I shouldn’t broadcast to ALL of Razzball Nation my inner monologues… “What was that dream last night about? I think I was taking off my clothes in Miller Park with – – – -” Yeah, bad idea.

With Ray one of my two decent SP in REL, I decided to megalomaniacally (made up word?!) take the pitcher profile to Arizona and break down how Ray looked again the Pirates yesterday afternoon:

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theprince
You know who I’d really love to punch in the face? Justin Upton. When did he become B.J. Upton. I’m sorry, I mean the artist formerly known as B.J. Upton. Justin has more strikeouts than Chris Davis, George Springer and Miguel Sano. Heck, the only hitter with more strikeouts is Trevor Story. At least Story has 8 home runs. Upton has only one! Even Melvin has more homers. Seriously, WTF! Eight points? J-Up. More like J-Down.

And how about Prince. Mr. Fielder has just 23 points! I know it’s early, but that puts him safely outside the top 100 hitters. Can you believe that those 23 points are four more than Joey Votto’s total. Seriously, I’d like to take Upton, Votto and Fielder, put them in a little red Corvette and drive it off a cliff. As bad as these three have been it’s Khris Davis that takes the cake. Through 13 games and 49 plate appearances this pile of dung has amassed negative four points. That’s correct, you read that right. He has less than zero points on the season. Pathetic does not even come close to describing this sh*t show.

Please, blog, may I have some more?