Some things are easy to pinpoint when it comes to DFS. Overall, chalk plays tend to annoy me. More often than not, they don’t pan out the way they should. With that said, Nelson Cruz is chalk on Tuesday and he’s going to be in all of my lineups. Cruz is a lefty killer and faces off against Jon Niese and the Pittsburgh Pirates. On the season, Cruz has 19 homers, 10 of which have come against left-handed pitching. When you set your lineup, start with Cruz and build from there; you will not regret your decision….we interrupt this broadcast for a special announcement. *Makes the static-like noise knowing full well you can’t hear them*. Hey you. Yes you. What other you it would it be? You’re the one reading…anyhoo, if you’re just used to cruising by the italics, you might not want to today and moving forward. If you’ve reading these like a wallflower at the dance, now’s the time to sign up. For the rest of the year, you can get a free subscription to the DFSBot if you sign up through us through DraftKings. ‘But how do I do that’, you ask timidly, tears welling in your eyes all while clutching your Adventure Time lunch box. First off, you gotta be of age so either you’re kinda weird or you’re kinda not gonna be able to do this. Secondly, we’re ok with kinda weird; it’s our brand, after all. A, B, C’edly, you can click on the link in the italics below here to sign up which will give you access to one of the best projection tools in the entire industry. Anyways, the clicky-pops are just below here so don’t miss out on this great offer. And just so it’s clear as mud, here’s some legalese on how to make things go right from the Razzball Subscriptions page: Make a first-time deposit of at least $5 at DraftKings and open a free Cointent account (click here) with the same e-mail address to activate your subscription. This will provide access to the DFS Premium Package which is all the tools EXCEPT the lineup optimizers which will require a $50/season upgrade. This is the DFS Premium package. Please allow for up to 24 hours of activation of your account. This is the editor’s note signing off!

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

My Spanish is more than rusty, so I apologize if I failed to offend you with my title. Actually I don’t apologize. Now have I offended you? Who cares. I realize it should have been “Aquí Viene Ramos”, but my way sounds much better. More Dr. Seuss if you will. I feel like it’s time for some points league rankings. Who doesn’t love rankings? The best part about writing this column is that if I feel like it’s time for a rankings post, I write a rankings post. Who’s gonna stop me. I guess Grey could, but if I fly in under the greydar, then I should be ok. Today’s rankings are based 70 percent on year-to-date performance, 30 percent on rest of season projections and 10 percent on experimental formulas. Yes, I realize that adds up to 110 percent, but that’s part of what makes it experimental.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Houston Astros top first base prospect, future MLB All-Star slash hall of famer and savior of my fantasy team, A.J. Reed, has finally been called up after several weeks of waiting. The 23-year old phenom was currently slashing a very modest .266/.345/.509 with 11 homers and 36 RBI in 59 games with AAA Fresno. Certainly nothing to sneeze at, but it’s the fact that A.J. has hit safely in his past 8 games batting .372 with 14 hits, 3 homers, 3 doubles and 7 RBI in that stretch that makes me say, “aww yissss, thatswhatimtalkinabout!” You need more? What if I told you that A.J. Reed was one of the best hitters in the minors last year hitting .340/.432/.612 with 34 homers and 127 RBI between AA and AAA (135 games). Oh boy, now that is some POWER! All caps! Yessir, A.J.’s got a molly whopping home run stick and then some. Primed to hit the ding dongs! The one caveat, which is a French word for bad stuffs, is that A.J. has struggled mightily against lefties batting just .222 against them. This appears to be Houston’s primary reason for delaying his call-up, and as a result I wouldn’t be surprised to see Reed sit versus lefties in the early going. Regardlesss, irregahdless, irrecaveats, let’s recap: A.J. Reed is finally here, he should get the majority of the playing time at first base, he has immense power upside and you should add him everywhere he’s available. He’s going to save my fantasy team and trust me I wouldn’t have quoted Top Gun if I wasn’t completely serious. This kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Albert Almora, Jr. went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI Friday night and the rookie outfielder has now hit safely in his past three games and is slashing .429/.455/.619 since his call up June 7. Oh, hello there, AAJ. Have we met? This isn’t just any prospect we’re talking about here. This is a Cubs prospect. Alert the media! Oh wait, that’s us? Grey covered him a week or so ago, and I’ve been telling you to pick him up as well. Grey said, “Albert Almora also anagrams to Barrel T. Alamo, who’d be great as a San Antonian oil man villain.” Sound advice as always, boss. I will summarize in case you no read good. Almora had 3 homers and 10 steals in 55 games at AAA and he likely won’t play every day, so expectations can be tempered. I added him everywhere I needed runs and average, but I also drafted Giancarlo Stanton and Justin Upton, so I’m not so sure you should be listening to me anymore. Regardless, he’s definitely a player to keep your eye on, especially if you have a third eye, and the other two are busy trying to watch the NBA Finals and the most-hyped episode of Game of Thrones ever simultaneously. If you’re a sucker for the rookies like me, Almora has looked good so far at the plate and bats in a stacked Chicago line up and could certainly be worth an add for his upside alone.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Aw, man, now we’re left with the ominous team updates of “Giancarlo Stanton is not in lineup, no other news available.”  I think I need to have a talk with him.  Maybe I’ll hide in the trunk of his car and get out when he parks in his four-car garage, then go in through the kitchen that’s got the espresso machine on the left; not the kitchen with the soft-serve machine.  What?  I memorized his Cribs episode, I never snuck in his house.  So, times are rough for Giancarlo.  The Marlins score 13 runs and he’s not even playing.  Holy sit!  Giancarlo has the lowest batting average for a qualified hitter.  Things are so bad, the other day he hit the hardest recorded ball in StatCast history, 123.9 MPH, and it was a double play.  Digging through his numbers is a little bit encouraging.  His BABIP is way below his career mark; he’s hitting .192, but could hit .250 the rest of the way.  You don’t get him for average; it’s homers you desire like I desire him.  His ground balls are through the roof.  Not literally, unless we’re talking about roofs of ant farms.  All he’s hitting is fly balls and ground balls.  His line drive rate is poor.  He usually kills fastballs.  So far, he’s a negative on them.  That was his bread and butter, and right now he’s toast.  He’s 26 years old; this should be the prime of his beef.  Instead, he’s been getting a steady diet of sliders.  That’s not real beef!  What I think is going on, he’s dealing with some health issues after his collision with OZUNA, he’s not spitting on sliders and waiting for fastballs.  Then when he gets a fastball, he hits it hard, but gets unlucky.  Can all of this be changed with me appearing mysteriously in his Snuggie?  I’m not sure.  The health is an unknown question mark.  Eventually, he should get luckier and do damage on some fastballs, assuming he’s healthy.  I wouldn’t count him out, but health has been an issue for him in the past.  If I were able to get a tasty offer for someone buying him, I could see letting him be someone else’s problem.  For now, I will wait in his bathroom wearing a shirt that matches his wallpaper, and try to ‘talk’ some encouragement into him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

He’s not just good for making shoes! Matt Shoemaker has been making batters look silly. His swinging strike % is at an all-time high of 13.6%, well above the league average of 10%. This could be because he has be getting batters to chase his pitches out of the strike zone 33% of time, where they only are making contact 51% of the time. Now, in stroll the Indians, who have a strikeout rate of 21.3%. He’s found more velocity, reaching nearly 93 with his fastball and 84 with his slider, which have been helping out his splitter. His last outing at Yankee Stadium was spoiled by his bullpen, resulting in 4 earned runs. The good news is he hasn’t allowed a walk in his last 4 starts and has struck out 37! A season ERA of 5.40 doesn’t look very good, but the 2.37 ERA in his last 4 starts looks more similar to his 3.16 ERA at home in his career, where he gets the start today. Shoemaker throws his splitter over 30% of the time, which sits a top of the league, and is generating 22% swings and misses. In addition, his it’s also creating nearly 50% ground balls. Shoemaker is also producing 15.6% pop-ups, good for 10th highest among qualified pitchers. Yan Gomes and Carlos Santana have each seen him 6 times and have only combined for one hit. No other player on the team has faced him more than that. The Indians inexperience against Shoemaker and his increased velocity may help him maintain his newfound strikeout rate. He has averaged 25.6 points in his last 5 starts. For the price of $7,600, I’ll even take 20 points! There’s a lot to like here with Matty K’maker, but let’s get on to the rest of my superb Saturday selections.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Wil Myers went 2-for-4 and his 11th and 12th homers as he hits .294.  How many posts does Wil Myers have with his post-hype sleeper?  More than the postman at the postoffice marking his post-lunch post-time with some extra postage licking and complaints that they have their postbaccalaureate to sort postcards without postcodes wishing they were postcoital not dealing with postapocalyptic posturing about the postage for the postmortem envelope they pulled out of the garbage that now looks postmodern.   Nah’mean?!  That’s 14 posts, kid!  Damn, I should be on Def Poetry Jam.  I know you wish there were some sleepers you could unswallow, but Myers has been the one shining light in a sea of brown, cloaked Padres.  This could be the last year that he’s even a question mark and not owned from start to finish.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Felix Hernandez hit the DL with a calf strain.  He could veal it during his last start.  Sounds like a good injury to milk.  Sorry, I was just shaking out the pockets of these jeans I wore last night and I had a bunch of unused cow puns.  What’s a dad cow’s poop called?  Pa-nure!  Take it, Highlights, it’s yours!  So, James Paxton was called up to replace F-Her, who is likely going to only miss a few weeks, but Paxton could continue to get starts if he’s good.  So, can Paxton be good?  Is there’s twelve posts in post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-hype sleeper?  Paxton has shown flashes of brilliance with his 94 MPH fastball but the M’s have wanted Paxton to improve on a bunch of pitches and he’s already 27 years old, so is improvement coming?  Well, he had a 3.97 ERA in Triple-A this year and Steamer projects him as a streamer, so I have no faith whatsoever.   Speaking of faith, yesterday Paxton gave up runs like his character gave out marriage proposals.  Looking at his line is like looking at Chloe Sevigny — 3 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 5 unearned runs.  Paxton’s like when Picasso stood up from the toilet.  He’d look down and say, “That’s a work in progress.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Devon Travis was activated from the DL yesterday (1-for-4, 1 run).  Be interesting to see what he can do in his return from shoulder surgery.  Shoulder surgery never really stopped anyone from doing well before.  “Yes, Michael Brantley?  Ask your question.  Okay, if you’re not going to ask your question, at least put your arm down.  You can’t put down your arm?  Oh.”  The Blue Jays said that Travis could move up the order soon, and hit leadoff.  No way, Azul Jays!  You mean Jose Bautista isn’t a leadoff hitter?  That’s downright shocking.  I never would’ve guessed that.  Shiver me Timberlands, and stockpile my hatch chiles before Trump kicks New Mexico out of the union.  There’s been a lot of talk in the comments about how unenthused I am for Travis, and it’s not entirely true.  I would take a flyer on him in all leagues, but it takes hitters a while to return from shoulder surgery, so I’d tempura my expectations.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Nothing is a better, giant surprise than a Rubby in the morning!

Rubby De La Rosa has always been a guy with a power fastball and plus slider, but it’s never been enough.  Ks haven’t been there, he couldn’t get lefties out, and he’s looked more and more like Nathan Eovaldi rather than “the next big thing”.  But after yesterday’s outing, Rubby has somehow limited lefties to a .162 average and only allowed 1 homer in 87 LH batters faced.  Compare that to last year, when lefties murdered him for .315 and 20 homers in 410 batters faced.

After a pretty brutal start – including 3 relief appearances due to the D’backs bullpen being overtaxed – I really didn’t think too much about Rubby and his upside.  Kinda thought “he is who we thought he is!”  Wait, that’s a different Arizona sports team…  His last 5 starts have been really good with solid Ks, but I thought for sure the Giants with their bevy of lefties would crash the party.  Alas, we got a Giant surprise!  Here’s how Rubby looked yesterday afternoon in Zona against those Gigantes:

Please, blog, may I have some more?