I remember a time not long ago. A time when the #Barves were the Braves. I think said time predates the hashtag phenomenon which makes it, like, sooooo old. Before Fredi got Fired and even more importantly, before Freddy Got Fingered, you could count on three things: death, taxes, and the Braves reaching the playoffs. From 1991 to 1998, three Braves pitchers won six Cy Youngs. and the 90’s and early 2000’s were filled with Braves bats you’d love to roster in the current DFS world. Fred McGriff, David Justice, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, and Ron Gant, just to name a few. The Braves looked like they’d never come down from their perch…and now enter the dystopian future of Atlanta. Nick Markakis is your leadoff hitter. Retreads like Chase d’Arnaud and Gordon Beckham solidify your infield. Your most feared hitter is Freddie Freeman who is good, don’t get me wrong, but he bats like Adrian Gonzalez and Gonzo is eight years his senior. It’s a team that lacks identity, cohesion, meat in the middle of the lineup, pitching…yeah, we’re looking at the bleakest roster in MLB right now. Man, that’s depressing, I need something to cheer me up. I know, I’ll start a pitcher against their sorry a$$es! Those double dollar signs are me telling you you’re gonna rake in the dough starting Francisco Liriano tonight against these #Barves. They are bad and they only get worse when facing a lefty so gear up for a potential banner night for Francisco. But now that we’ve covered that, we need to move along so let’s do this. Here’s my nobel prize winning taeks for this Wednesday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday May 23rd 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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Daniel Murphy is the hottest homophobe since Kirk Cameron got three offers in one week for three different Christian movies, “A Behind…Left Behind,” “Groundhog’s Day Is For Satanists, God Makes The Seasons,” and “Make Me Dinner Woman, And No Leftovers.”  Daniel Murphy’s hotter than Kim Davis looks to lesbians looking for a challenge.  Daniel Murphy is hotter than Ted Nugent’s nougat, which he has to heat to 214 degrees to get the sugar to melt.  Yesterday, Murphy went 4-for-5, 4 runs, 3 RBIs and his 4th homer while hitting .398 on the year.  I’m not saying we need to throw Ted Williams’s head in the microwave to defrost, but we may want to leave it on the counter to slowly bring it to room temperature.  Okay, Murphy’s BABIP is absurdly high (.427), which means he’s hitting about a hundred points too high, so his average will come down.  He’s also not hitting for a ton of power, so it’s a good story right now for the MLB that their hottest hitter is a bigot — The Ghost of Ty Cobb, “That sounds rad.” — but it’ll end eventually.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Josh Tomlin continued his early season success pitching 6.2 innings of four hit beisbol, allowing just one run and striking out four for his second win of the year. Josh is now 2-0 through his first two starts with a 1.54 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 10 strikeouts. He’s available in over 90% of ESPN leagues. Am I missing something? Tomlin was part of my championship pitching staff last year. No. I didn’t win, but I still made the finals, so that counts as a championship team, right? Tomlin finished 2015 especially strong giving up just 14 runs in 49.3 IP with a 44/3 K/BB rate, and two complete games. Can he keep it up? Let’s look at the stats. First, Josh’s ESPN player page photo looks a whole lot like Bradley Cooper. Second, Tomlin’s .219 BABIP for 2015 was laughably low, and he’s not exactly a strikeout machine. That said, he doesn’t walk anyone either. Doode throws strikes, and his 3.2 BB% from 2015 is no fluke. If we look further into the advanced stats (NERD!), we see Josh doesn’t induce a lot of ground ball outs either, and his fly ball percentage was 46.2 last year. Basically, he could give up a lot of long balls. Or not, what do these numbers know anyway. I’ll tell you what I know. Josh Tomlin has been pitching very well dating back to last September and he has a juicy match up with the Twins next week. He’s certainly a worthy streaming option in the right match up and I’d give him a chance next week in Minnesota.

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

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Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called a fantasy baseball season.  I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, forgive me if I recommend starting a hitter vs. Jake Arrieta and pray.  I’m not a woman, I’m not a man, I am Bartolo Colon and you will never understand how I get on these pants.  1, 2, 1, 2, 3.  Yeah.  I was working part-time in a five-and-dime, my boss was Willie McGee.  U got the look.  Jesus, McGee, that look.  Twenty-three positions in a one night stand.  Twenty-three positions in a very deep league fantasy team.  Who’s my short-second-short-1st baseman?  Why do we scream at each other?  This is what it sounds like when David Price’s owners cry.  “Sorry to hear about Chyna,” said the ghost of Farrah Fawcett.  Arrieta, you got the batter’s fly balls all tied up!  Don’t make the outfielders chase you!  Even doves have pride.  Why do we scream at each other when we don’t own Jake Arrieta?  So, Arrieta threw a no-hitter yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 BBs, 6 Ks.  Rather economical pitch count too (119).  Member when we were able to own him last year by drafting him in the 8th round?  Alas, he’s a Sexy M.F. and I would die 4 U.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Bryan Price, always one for colorful language, should go full Tony Montana about his relievers, “Look at that, I got a junkie bullpen, mang.  My bullpen is so polluted!  I can’t even have a save with that bullpen.  It’s so polluted!”  After his Montana rant, Price could clarify who will save games in his bullpen through a string of curse words and em-effers.  Yesterday, Price said they’d go to a committee.  Great, maybe they can make a camel.  Hoover’s out, Jumbo’s gone because his physique reminded them too much of their ERA.  Caleb Cotham could see some saves, and he’s been good vs. minor leaguers, but he’s been honing his craft in the minor leagues for a while.  This isn’t like a potter who needs time to hone his ashtray-making skills before hitting the big-time flea markets.  Being in the minors long just means you might never achieve success in the majors.  Going for Cotham is that he throws righty and he hasn’t failed yet.  Then there’s Tony Cingrani, who I grabbed on Tuesday.  He has been decent enough in the bullpen this year, but he’s a lefty and he blew the save yesterday in the 8th inning.  Oh, and there’s Blake Wood, who is reminiscent of Jeanmar Gomez, and we know how well that turned out.  *intern whispers in my ear*  Seems that so far Jeanmar has worked out okay.  For now, I’d own Cingrani then Cotham, but this is nigh-thurr pretty nor set in stone.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Crank up that AC/DC and let’s get this party started! Oh and in case you haven’t heard Axl Rose will be joining AC/DC as Brian Johnson will be stepping down due to hearing loss. Bittersweet as I loved me some BJ, but it should be fun to see Axl and Angus rock the stage. Nothing gets the Monday morning juices flowing like AC/DC and seeing Thor on the slate, especially with the rest of sub-par starting pitching options for today. Who is this Thor I speak of (rhetorical, unless you stumbled upon us through some sort of comic con accident). The Thor, I speak of is Noah Syndergaard, the highest priced pitcher today at $12,100. Thor had some big expectations coming into the season, but lets face it, living up to the Norse God of Thunder seemed like an even bigger task. Well in his first two games he’s exceeded those expectations, by absolutely dropping the hammer on opposing batters with 21 K’s, 1ER, 2 BB over the last 13 innings. Last season when he was called up he showed that dominate +95 MPH fastball, 99 MPH sinker and 90 MPH change up that actually danced. That’s a lethal combination, especially when you add in his physical attributes, he only stands 6’6″ and weighs 240 lbs (he’s probably closer to 255, cause dude is jacked) He’s got the nickname, the hair, the body and did I mention that he added a 95 MPH slider to his arsenal? His power pitches were already dominating hitters and now he added this nasty slider that is making him miss even more bats. Thor is not without his flaws as it looked like Miami may have found a small chink in the armor. They got him for 7 hits on Tuesday, but most of those were because they were all swinging on the first pitch, the second and third time through the order. If he can be a little more elusive on the first pitch, we may see an out of this universe season from this stud. If anyone is looking to shower the staff here at Razzball with gifts, I’d like to put my request in for this little New York Mets give away on 4/30 Thor Garden Gnome. With the pitching slate extremely thin today, Thor and Jose Fernandez, $11,300 will be highly rostered, so let’s dive into two other guys who might help us cash in.

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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So J.A. Happ was almost a tourney call for me and then I looked at the Yanks so far. I looked at how their offense was rolling. I looked at how they did when everyone was healthy last year. I looked at how it seems the old guys get their licks in early in the year, and when it was all said and done? I said to myself, ‘you know how that should go’. What, you want more Drake references? Look, I ain’t hip, I ain’t with it. For visual proof, here’s Drake and I together and I gotta say…well, I gotta say my turtle neck game is also on point but yeah, you don’t want that free-styling to open the post. Rather, we should talk about what bats we want to have a Happ attack. Alex Rodriguez at $4k? Check. Mark Teixeira at $4,200? Only if you can spell his name right. A little pricy but as a contrarian play, Aaron Hicks at $4K? I used to live in the country, so I’m fine with Hicks. Carlos Beltran for salary relief at $3,600? Sure, dive right in. This world is your oyster here and I strongly suggest you shuck the hell out of it. So with that, let’s move on. Here’s my Hotline Bling takes for this Wednesday 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?

My schmohawk posts are like the fantasy equivalent of Final Destination.  First, A.J. Pollock loses his season, then Kyle Schwarber is carted off the field after running into Fowler.  If I were Miguel Sano, I’d look both ways while carefully crossing to the plate to strikeout.  And Tulo, well, I would just stay in the hyperbaric chamber that you sleep in for your hamstrings.  I’m not sure if it was the writing of the posts, publishing of the posts or simply thinking about writing the posts that jinxed these players.  Where does my kavorka start and end?  Is it okay for me to think bad thoughts about Trevor Story?  How serious are my premonitions?  Oh, and one side note, you never want to see anyone get hurt, but how on earth did Schwarber get hurt and Fowler was fine?  Schwarber’s got like 200 pounds on him.  Damn, Dexter Fowler is one strong bean.  So, Schwarber has a sprained ankle and is headed for an MRI today.  He could be gone for a while, which could help Jorge Soler see some light, though I’m not sure this won’t just mean more playing time for Matt Szczur, Javier Baez (when he returns) or Kris Bryant into the outfield.  I’m not even joking; Maddon’s playbook is written in hieroglyphics and the Rosetta Stone didn’t make it through baggage claim.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The year was 1987. I was ten years old and my biggest hobby was collecting baseball cards. Topps. Fleer. Donruss. You name it. And once Upper Deck was released in 1989, watch out! Hello Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball cards were awesome in the 80s. So were a great many other things, but I’ll save some of those for another post. The excitement of ripping open a pack of baseball cards and the anticipation of finding out who I got in that pack is something that can still get me going today. But back to 1987 for a moment. I was walking with my dad to his car in the parking lot of Matthew’s Diner in Teaneck when I uttered my first curse word in his presence. At the time I was busy trying to complete my set of 7-11 Slurpee baseball coins. You remember those gems? They were underneath a small flap on the bottom of the cup. As you tilted them they’d give the illusion of movement. As if Slurpees weren’t good enough on their own.

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