Ugh! Not another silly Grateful Dead reference and about their one commercial hit from 1987 at that. Seriously that song is the least Dead song in the history of Dead songs. It’s not my fault that Sonny Gray’s last name is Gray and not Sonny Darkstar or Sonny “Sugar” Magnolia. I wasn’t in charge of giving out sir names whenever that happened, so give me a break. Anythewho back to baseball! Today I get to advocate you drafting one of my favorite young arms in the game in Sonny Gray ($8,400). It’s crazy to think the 2011 first rounder hasn’t yet had a full season of major league ball. Since being called up to the bigs last July, Gray has gone 12-6 with ERA/FIP/xFIP of 2.82/3.03/3.22 with K/9 and BB/9’s of 8.45 and 2.98. 25 starts into his young career and Gray looks like an ace, or at least the best pitching arm produced by the A’s since the days of Barry Zito and Tim Hudson.

Gray is a nice mix of a groundball pitcher that also has the ability to punch guys out. This combination allows him to get deep into games while also being a model of consistency. He’s been so consistent that he’s only given up more than 3 runs in a start 4 times in his 25 turns. His ability to give our fake team’s quality innings with little worry of a meltdown is invaluable in all formats. I fully expect another high ceiling/ high floor start from Sonny today against the Marlins in Miami. Though the Marlins have certainly been far better than expected thus far in 2014, they aren’t without their flaws. For example, the fish have the second highest K% of any team in baseball with a 23.2%. This should setup nicely for Gray to put up 7 IP and 7-8 K’s. When looking at pitching in DraftKings format, my focus tends to be K’s and IP because that’s where your big points come from. The price on Gray is very nice today as well only costing a measly $8,400 compared to a half dozen other options in the 5 figure range. The Stream-o-Nator doesn’t love the start, but doesn’t hate it either, ranking Gray at 9 overall today and 5th best of the afternoon slate. The streamer is slightly coo-coo ranking Matt Cain and Gerrit Cole in the two spots ahead of Gray. I wouldn’t advocate you drafting either of those options today.

Over the last two weeks I’ve been organizing daily Razzball leagues on DraftKings and they’ve been a blast. We went from having trouble filling 10 teamers two weeks ago to consistently filling 20 team leagues every day for the last week. This is thanks in large part to Razzball’s great community of readers and writers. I’m making another jump today and organizing two 20 teamers, one for the early set that will kick off at 1:05 pm (EST) and another that will cover the night games kicking off at 7:05. The early league is $1 buy in with the top 3 taking home prizes and the late set is a $2 buy in with the top 3 once again taking home the cash. If you haven’t yet signed up for DraftKings you can do so here by clicking this link. The best part about signing up with us today is that DraftKings will give you a ticket for a free game just for joining. It’s a total win-win. If you’re interested in getting on the invite list for our Daily Leagues simply leave your DK username in the comments and I’ll add you to my ever growing friends list. Ohhh internet friendship!

BTW if you think I’m a dope of the highest caliber, you can always make your own informed decisions by consulting with our suite of tools here on Razzball. Check the Stream-o-Nator, DFSBot, and Hitter-Tron for all the info you need to make that money!

Without further ado, Razzball’s DraftKings picks for June 28th

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Instead of relegating him to bullpen duties, the Cardinals have opted to send Jake Westbrook to the disgraceful list. In a corresponding move, they’ve called up Carlos Martinez from Triple-A. As of the time of this writing there’s been no official word, but it appears likely that Martinez will claim Westbrook’s spot in the starting rotation. That’d make C-Mart the probable starter for Monday, putting him in line for two starts next week. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that I’ve not been shy about my unhealthy adoration for Martinez. The 21-year-old is flat out filthy — 4-seamers at 98; 2-seamers with unreal sink at 96; deceptive change in the mid-80s. If he can shore up his location, he brings as much K-potential as any pitcher in baseball, and that’s not hyperbole. I listed Martinez as a first tier guy below, even considering the tough match-ups. If you have a chance to watch him pitch next week, please do. It’s truly something to behold. The rest of your two-starters are below.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

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How many times have you completely written off Francisco Liriano? Seriously. Probably four or five times, right? I know I’ve uttered the phrase “f**k that guy, I’m never using him again” at least once a year for the last five years. That’s the way it is with him — the K-potential has always made him an interesting option for fantasy streaming, but until this year, I don’t think he’s ever helped my team. Not once. Which is what makes Liriano’s 2013 production so absurd, and it’s definitely no fluke at this point. Through roughly 90 IP he’s posted a 2.23 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP while whiffing more than a batter per inning. And given his sub-3 FIP, the peripheral numbers bode well, too. I’m sure I’ll have to write him off again at some point, but it’s amazing to consider the path the 29-year-old Liriano has taken to transition from never-using-him-again streamer status, to one of the best arms in the league. He goes twice this week, making his debut in the must start tier. The rest of the week 18 two-starters are below.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Looking back on the unofficial first half of the fantasy baseball season can be a lot of fun, unless of course you are in dead last, in which case it’s about as much fun as watching your auntie’s cat play with its new Cat’s Meow toy while you eat stale Circus Peanuts. In any event, the gods of SAGNOF have not been as kind to us thus far in 2013, and it shows in the numbers. The total number of steals in the league, 1524, is the lowest it’s been since 2006. In addition, there are only 21 players with 15 or more steals at this point in the season. That’s also the lowest it’s been since 2006. It feels even lower given that just last year there were 28 players with 15+ steals at the break and 30 the year before that. This all means that players who steal 30 bags or more are a little harder to come by, and it’s no sure thing that each fantasy team will have one or two guys that can carry them in steals like in years past. It also means that having a guy like Ben Revere break his foot and lose his season is a much bigger blow to our fantasy squads (mine included) than it used to be. So what do we do if we lost a guy like Revere or missed out on a Jacoby Ellsbury or Everth Cabrera type? If you read my column regularly, you know I’m a big fan of playing the match-ups when it comes to steals, and seizing the opportunity to eke them out whenever possible against teams that are weak against the run. After all, just because steals are down in general, it doesn’t change the fact that they still make up 20% of our offensive points in most leagues.

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Two-start hoarders, welcome back. First things first: I’m vacationing in Mexico with what, by now, is a potentially-fatal sunburn. Not to worry, though, because the cervezas at this joint are unlimited, and I’m feelin’ no pain. Zero. I just arrived here yesterday, and I’ll be here through next Friday. That means my esteemed Razzball colleagues will be filling in for me in the comments for my next few posts. In any case, we’ve got a deep list of two-start options, and plenty of good streamers this week. The usual tiered rankings are below.

NOTE: I looked ahead at the two-start landscape a few days earlier than usual this week, so this group of probable pitchers is especially subject to change. Apologies in advanced for anything I may have missed. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re halfway through the H2H regular season, and for many of us, it’s time to make some moves in the standings. It’s not always so easy to negotiate trades, especially for those in public leagues, making additions from waivers an absolute necessity in most cases. A good method to get ahead in weekly formats is to keep up with the two-start landscape and stream the shizz out of the good options. If you’ve been lazy in this regard so far, it’s not too late. So quit looking for the new Kanye album that leaked yesterday (it’s not that great), and begin hoarding two-starters instead. I’m here every Saturday to help keep your hopes alive.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yasiel Puig was scratched yesterday with a strained shoulder, suffering the injury during batting practice. Look at him, making himself feel right at home with the Dodgers. Next thing you know, he’s going to say Brandon League is their best reliever, run at 40% and leave before the eighth inning to beat the traffic. Let’s recap quickly, Puig took a fastball off his nose, wiped blood from his face and took first base. Then The Cuban did an interpretative dance with Kennedy’s whole team that he called “The Bay of Puig.” Finally, the next day, he hurts himself in batting practice. It’s like when Jean-Claude Van Damme beat the crap out of 47 bad guys, but stopped production on Timecop because the production assistant forget to bring his hair gel to set. “Van Damme be Van Damned if his hair isn’t coifed.” As of right now, there’s no word on how long Puig will be out, but hopefully this Puiggy doesn’t go wee, wee, wee all the way home. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Cameron Frye called up Ned Colletti yesterday. He said, “Ned. This is Joc Pederson. Well, we’ve had a bit of bad luck this morning as you may have heard. Matt Kemp got injured.” Ned, “Yeah I heard, and man, I’m all broken up, boy, what a blow.” “Yeah. Yeah. Well, uh, it’s been a tough morning and we got a lot of business to take care of, so if you wouldn’t mind DL’ing Kemp, I’d appreciate it.” “Uh, yeah, sure, I’d be happy to, yeah you, uh, you, you, you just produce a corpse, and uh, I’ll DL Kemp, but I wanna see Salvador Perez’s dead grandmother first.” “Ned?” So, Matt Kemp did hit the DL, which has led to speculation that this will lead to the arrival of Pederson. Last night, the Dodgers played Ethier in center, but that’s not a long-term solution. But, instead of Puig or Pederson, the Dodgers called up…Wait for it… It’s right here… Hold on, I left it in my other pants… Got it! They called up Tony Gwynn Jr.! In other words, the Dodgers suck as badly as Matt Kemp. In other other words, you can grab Pederson in case Gwynn doesn’t pan out, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. In other other other words, the fly me to the moon record is skipping. Oh, and let’s not forget I told you six weeks ago to sell Kemp and ranked him very low in the preseason, so you were warned. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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If you’re anything like me (and your office’s firewall is feeble or nonexistent), then I’m sure you’ve wasted countless hours clicking through the player cards on Baseball-Reference.com. It’s fun to get lost in the vortex of baseball history, absorbing interesting nuggets, like how Hawk Harrelson posted a 155 OPS+ in 1968. Of course, scientific analysis is overrated according to Hawk, so don’t bother telling him that the metrics suggest he was quite awesome that year. Baseball-Reference is also the place where I learn about player nicknames and Twitter handles and all that sort of nonsense that we simply cannot live without. But the most fascinating feature of the site is one that I was only recently made aware of — I’m sure it’s been there for awhile, so forgive me if you know about it already. Next time you’re visiting the website, click on the player search box and type “f**kface”, only leave out the censoring characters. Then search it, and enjoy. I have no idea why that particular player card shows up, but it’s hilarious nonetheless. Any insight on this topic would be appreciated in the comments section. Also feel free to focus your comments on the coming week’s two-starters, which are listed below.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

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“The Nats Don’t Play,” was almost the title, but that’s too raw for all you suckas. It’s too cutting. It cuts the quick and bleeds ever-so-slightly that irritates you when you cut a lemon for your Arnold Palmer. Y’all can’t hang with my chinchilla fur that I’m wearing in my picture. (It’s just off my shoulder; you can’t see it.) B-Real said it best, “You don’t know where I’m going cause you haven’t been where I’ve been, understand where I’m coming from?” The Nationals know where I’ve been. They’ve dealt with the same thing as me, only they had to pay Zimmerman millions of dollars to get what I got. Which is an ulcer. Thanks, doode! I’ll send you the bill for the Zantac I’ve had to take for the last two years. The Nats called Zimmerman into their office and said, “You only have a hamstring issue, but if it’s anything like the injuries you’ve had in the past that have lasted about 60 days past when they were supposed to, we’re bringing up our best prospect, Anthony Rendon. We’re gonna tell everyone that it’s only for a few weeks while you heal, but we hope you don’t come back until July and we can trade you to the highest bidder. What? No, we don’t validate!” Rendon is gonna be a great one…some day. Damn, the fantasy baseball fortune cookie ending! Yeah, I’m not sure he’s ready just yet, but he’s worth a flyer in all leagues. I grabbed him in one league where I have Moustakas, because I’m tired of seeing that gyro-eating-motherfu– Let’s just say I’m tired of Moustakas. Best case scenario, Zimmerman has a set back and Rendon stays up and hits for a solid average and gives high-teen power with some very light speed. Another scenario, Rendon hits, Zimmerman returns and the Nats gutter ball Espinosa’s value and move Rendon to 2nd. Most likely scenario, Zimmerman returns and Rendon is demoted. Worst case scenario, Rendon shows up at your house at 3 AM and asks to sleep on your couch, seems fine at first then he tells you he has no place to live, stays for months, doesn’t ever flush the toilet or fill up the Tang in the fridge then starts dating your aunt, eventually marries her, making him your uncle, a title he insists you call him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?