Here’s a scenario for you: Hanley Ramirez and Carlos Gonzalez get onto a plane. Knowing their inability to stay healthy, you A) Get off the plane. B) Purposely get yourself thrown off the plane by calling the male flight attendant, Mr. Stewardess, and asking him if he’s the pimp for the female stewardesses and if you could have a multi-person shag in the lavatory. C) There’s no C. Any of the above answers would work, even C and there wasn’t a C. CarGo can’t stay healthy and Hanley doesn’t seem to want to. If you count 145 games played as a full season, CarGo’s played one full season. This year, he might not play in 71 games and he’s at 70. Yes, he could be done for the year. Yes, it’s bad news with CarGo. Freight so. Even if he plays again, he has 11 homers and 3 steals in 70 games. Yunel Escobar looks at that and talks to a trademark attorney. It’s gonna be fun next year hearing people draft CarGo while they say, “I just need him to stay healthy for 120 games.” Those people are called delusional. As for Hanley, he’s supposed to return as soon as his DL stint is over, and he should as long as he doesn’t have to play hard in a rehab assignment. That would be impossible for him even if healthy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Several aces take the mound today, but with Clayton Kershaw costing $14K and David Price $12.5K, I’m going to save a few bucks and use Johnny Cueto ($9,900) as my #1 starter. Not only is his price much more reasonable which allows me to buy a few better hitters, but Cueto gets a nice match-up against the Marlins. Cueto has been dominant this season with a 2.04 ERA and a strikeout for every inning pitched. The 28-year-old right-hander is coming off of a complete game against the Indians. He actually faced the Marlins in the previous start, striking out nine while allowing only one earned run and one walk in seven innings pitched. I’d expect similar success again today. The Marlins are in the middle of the pack in terms of wRC+ against right-handed pitching (91) but their strikeout percentage against righties (24.1%) is the worst in baseball.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tommy Medica had the game of his life last night, going 5-for-5 with two home runs (5 & 6), 4 runs and 4 RBI. Somebody call a doctor, because Tommy Medica is so sick! Now wait just a minute, hold onto your coffee, and don’t drop anything or anyone just yet, (especially not your coffee because that may burn and I can’t afford a lawsuit). Medica, who generally sits against righties, has been filling in for Yonder Alonso the past month or so while he’s on the shelf. He has squandered the opportunity, batting just .217 with zero homers and 4 RBI in 46 at-bats in July. Even for the Padres, that’s barely a major league starter. I guess his hitting coach has been advising him to study Jedd Gyorko early season game tape. More likely than not, Medica will be headed back to the platoon role once Yonder Alonso returns, but the trade of Chris Denorfia could potentially open up some more playing time. Either way, what a game Tommy Boy! Holy schnikes! I added Medica in a few places on the off-chance this performance buys him some more playing time, but I’d keep the expectations low outside NL-Only and deep mixed leagues. For the time being, Tommy Medica is batting 1.000 and slugging 2.200 in August and certainly a name worth monitoring over the weekend.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As I type this, I’m in a small, but expected depression as a disgruntled Mets fan living in Minnesota after today’s non-waiver trade deadline. In the middle of thermal packaging related activities, I saw deal and deal and deal swing by. All I get from both the teams that I follow most? A Kurt Suzuki extension. Oye. All that did was disgruntle me more, as I like Josmil Pinto quite a bit. I figured at least Bartolo Colon would get traded for some PTBL or a BoB (bucket o’ balls). Ah well.

On the other hand, if you’re a Tigers fan (I’m not a bandwagon A’s fan until the Mets are good, I decided today), you must be pretty excited. Drew Smyly wasn’t as dominating as a starter and Austin Jackson continued to short-come expectations. Instead you have an second ace, and can now appropriately consider Justin Verlander your number 3 or 4 or 5. [Jay's Note: Or playoff closer?] Verlander has not been good, but he’s also been almost as unlucky as he’s been bad, or he’s hurt and isn’t saying anything/doesn’t know it.

July 1st, I noted the luckiest pitchers to date, but the one thing I didn’t do at that time was look at the pitcher’s luck/bad luck relative to their career rates. So for this post, for luck, I z-scored each pitcher’s luck stats relative to their career stats (homerun to flyball ratio, left on base% and BABIP). I weighed each z-score by the stats correlation to ERA. Therefore the luckies pitchers (using luck alone and excluding skill) as of 7/27 is: Josh Beckett, Jake Arrieta, Collin McHugh, Scott Kazmir, Garrett Richards, Zach Britton, Jordan Lyles, Drew Pomeranz, Dellin Betances, Alfredo Simon and Danny Duffy. Chris Young, Jason Hammel and Jesse Chavez (update: both Hammel and Chavez were rocked in their last start). However, this all excludes skill (contact rate, strikeout% minus walk% and ground ball to flyball ratio). Incorporating this, here are the actual luckiest pitchers as of 7/27:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In a crazy day of trading, the blockbuster has to be David Price heading to the Tigers. Though, I’m not sure blockbuster is the right word anymore. Blockbuster is so 80′s. Blockbuster sold out to a fro-yo chain and is Blockberry now, isn’t it? The Netflix deal of the day? The Hulu pause-for-three-ads-every-five-minutes trade of the day? The Redbox snatch and grab? See, I wasn’t even talking about the trade in that last one. I wonder if Josh Reddick ever rubs up against a Redbox. Any the hoo! The Tigers rotation is now Price, Anibal, Verlander and Scherzer. Well, you got two aces again! Unless Tim McCarver is announcing and still thinks Verlander and Anibal are aces. As for fantasy, this does nothing to Price’s value. Maybe now that he doesn’t have a manager pulling names out of a hat for a lineup, he might get a few more wins, but did his bullpen get noticeably better? Eh. Did his division become noticeably easier? Eh, his career ERA vs. the White Sox and Indians is worse than his ERA vs. the Red Sox. That’s kinda irrelevant though, these are different teams then he faced previously. In all, it’s a solid lateral trade for Price’s value, but he was already a top arm in the game. No one is happier to see Price than the Tigers Assistant GM, Ted DiBiase. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before we jump into the cash-filled DraftKings mosh pit , let your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru pull on your coat about something cool happening here that will change the landscape of fantasy sports forever – The Razzball 32 in 32 in 32 Tour is ready to hit the road. We’re talking a 50,000 mile rock and roll all night, party every day, psycho circus of fantasy ballin’ madness in full Razzball makeup! Starting next week, Razzball Radio will have shows from all 32 NFL cities and I’ll be posting the daily dirt on the football side of things so you can follow along. We hope to meet, greet and tip a few back with the Razz Army. There are still some spots available, so get your tix here and you could win a trip to Vegas with the Razzball crew.

lp

As we hit the dog days of the fantasy baseball season, my bankroll building has stalled. Sure, there’s still enough there for that week in Cancun, but I’m aiming for a month of fun in the sun. We’ve talked a lot of DFS strategy over the course of the season and you can check that here, here, or here. Oops, that last one was a link to gals in yoga pants, my bad. A question I was asked recently was how I feel about stacking teams. If you’re familiar with the strategy of stacking, go ahead and skip to the picks, I won’t mind, I get paid by the word anyway and just made an extra 38 cents telling you that. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, stacking is grabbing six hitters from the same team – usually the first six batters or two through seven. Generally, in 50/50′s or H2H games, I don’t stack teams. However, when it comes to tournament play it makes sense to go full-on stack attack mode. Why is it a good strategy? Hitters from the same team facing a bad starting pitcher have their production tied to one another, i.e. the leadoff guy gets a hit, steals second, the next guy singles him in and one of the following big boppers hits a bomb – it’s points for everyone, you’re on your way to cashing already and it’s just the first inning. Generally, I’ll enter three different stacks against the three worst pitchers that day and sometimes throw a sneaky stack in there as well. Using the DFSBot to choose your starting pitchers makes sense, but also check who the bot has at the bottom – that’s who we are picking on. Usually, at least one of my stack attacks will cash in a tourney. Last night, my A’s, Jays and Yankees stacks cashed in eight of 12 contests I entered while the hodge podge team I put together fell flat. Stacking works in tourneys and if you haven’t tried it give it a shot tonight here in our Razzball only creatures of the night contest.

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Here are your Guru’s stack attacks for Wednesday 7/30 on DraftKings:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s nice to feel good about a call now and then. This week’s most added player was Austin Jackson (+42%). He was one of the first players in this column to get the “treasure” label back in early June when he was one of the most dropped. Back then I said, “It looks a little bleak now, but I still think Jackson gets to double digit homers and 20 steals by the end of this season. I’m not going crazy over him, and if you have better options please start them. However, he’s not a straight drop for a hot schmotato and it might be wise to inquire with a Jackson owner before the buy-low window closes.” And that’s me quo-, you get it. I’m not so sure about the homers and steals, but Jackson’s hitting for average and accumulating counting stats.

The 27-year-old outfielder has been starting regularly and leading off for the Tigers. In July, he’s hitting .351 with a .385 OBP, 18 runs scored and ten runs batted in. Should he continue to lead off, Jackson will be a nice source of runs scored from this point forward. Steamer projects him for another four homers and five steals. I think he could easily pass that steals mark with the Tigers being more aggressive this season.

Here are this week’s other big adds and drops for 2014 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was a little unsure of who would be profiled this week (I thought about Jacob deGrom, but Front Row Amy was in attendance so I’d be too distracted…), so I went with a twitter suggestion that make me scratch my head a bit.  Matt Shoemaker?  Is he really interesting at all?

I’m a big Angels fan, my most important dynasty now has Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Kole Calhoun, and Howie Kendrick manning my O (no one cares!), so I’ve seen some bits and pieces of Shoemaker here and there.  You could say, I’ve seen a sole and a… let’s go with shoelace.  A good mix of pitches but with nothing overwhelming, it was shocking to see two 10+ K games in his previous six, before tossing an absolute gem against the Tigers last Saturday.

So I decided to take a deeper look into Shoemaker and see if he has some spot-start or even backend rotation relevance for fantasy owners pushing towards the final stretch:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Back in June, about six weeks ago, the Twins were liking their chances this year. They went out and spent money on Kendrys Morales, just to put them over the hump. Then about five weeks and six days ago, they realized their chances for the playoffs were slim to anorexic, and regretted their move. They had buyer’s remorse quicker than Betty Draper’s new husband. “How could Don not appreciate this blonde beauty?” Dot, dot, dot. “Oh, that’s why.” I personally thought trading for a complement to Willingham, Arcia, Plouffe and Colabello was a good idea. I mean, who among those guys is a power, lousy average and no speed threat? Oh, wait, they all are. Now back to the Mariners, yeah, they need another 1B/DH-type. We’ll assume Kendrys plays every day (which he should). In the 2nd half of last year, he hit 9 homers and a .274 average. I don’t see much more from him this year. If anything, maybe a few less homers since he’s been struggling. Basically, what you can get off waivers in most mixed leagues. Or what the Mariners already had in Coreygan Smoakison, their Frankenstein 1B/DH. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Like a good Jewish boy, Brad Ausmus said to his Bubbie, “Bubbie, I love sulfites, nitrates and pig a**holes, but every time I see a Nathan’s, I get the runs. Bubbie, do you have a remedy?” His Bubbie lowered her knitting and said, “You need to get a goddamn decent closer!” And so it was done. Unfortunately, due to being wracked with guilt (or possibly due to a rather hard knock on the head), Ausmus couldn’t pull the trigger and said Nathan will remain the closer. Oh. WHAT?! The Rangers traded Joakim Soria to the Tigers because Joe Nathan is making Detroit look even lousier. I can’t imagine Soria remains the set-up man for very long, since Nathan owns a 5.89 ERA and has looked completely lost for the better part of the season. For now, I’d hold both of them. Over in Texas, I have a rooting interest in Neal Cotts getting saves, because I own him and not Neftali Feliz. If I had my druthers, and knew what the hell druthers were — hmm, maybe then I do have druthers — I would grab Neftali first. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?