Welcome to Razzball, here is your pitching menu for this morning and afternoon. First off, we have plenty of arms to choose from on the Early Bird Special but that stops serving shortly. I can and will go over the choices on there later if you’d like but for now, I’d like to talk to you about our special for this evening: Jake Odorizzi. For just $8,000, you get a delicious splits difference in that Jake has a 2.87 xFIP and a K-BB% of 20.4% on the year against left-handed bats. Given that the Mariners boast around seven of those in their lineup on a given night, this is by far the most bang for your buck that we have on the menu tonight and if you choose correct sides around it, he might end up being able to feed your whole family for, like, a long, long time. Why am I wearing a tight, sheer tank top? Um, *covers kids’ ears* Razzball is what we call in the industry a ‘Breastaurant’. Woah, don’t talk about my chest like that. It’s only this small because I haven’t landed my big gig in Hollywood yet to pay for the goods! *End Scene* – In all seriousness, Jake looks to be a fine cash game get for a very small slate of pitching on this evening and is probably my SP1 given the price and the ugliness surrounding him. In all seriousness part deux, we’ll be covering a bit of the mid-day/morning slate because I have a bigger window to talk about it. In all seriousness part triple, I tip my cap to all of those who have given their lives for us. Your service is never forgotten. But with that, let’s move on to what we came to do. Here’s my seething hot takes for this Monday’s DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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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harperimage

In 1977, not only was yours truly introduced to this cruel, crazy beautiful world, but so was a place that would sell the coolest of cool gadgets. Who reading this can say that, as a kid, or even an adult, they didn’t go into a Sharper Image to sit in one of their outrageously overpriced, super comfortable leather massage chairs. The display chairs in those showrooms saw more action than Jenna Jameson did in the late 90s. The Sharper Image was a great place to kill a good 20 minutes while you wife, girlfriend or other female shopping companion went into the stores you had no desire to see the inside of. It was either Sharper Image or Cinnabon, or both. I used to get yelled at all the time by the store clerks for eating that cinnamon deliciousness while getting a free mechanical rub down.

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I get props at my mention ’cause I vex y’all. So Wada Wada want! He’s so funny with the 88 MPH gas that he flaunt! Where’d you get your information from, huh? You think that Tsuyoshi can front a fantasy rotation when revelation comes? You can’t front a fantasy rotation on that! Sweeter than that Jason Hammel guy with Ready Whip topping? Goin’ from streamer to streamer kickin’ it wall to wall! Well, I’ll be calling out you people who draft a number one starter! It’s wack when you’re jacked, someone take Strasburg from me, he can’t throw no harder! As you can bet I think I’m losing my league this time. This time I’m losing my league. So, Tsuyoshi Wada looked terrific yesterday in his first start of the year, if just not fully stretched out — 4 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks. He was solid last year (7.4 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 3.25 ERA in 69 1/3 IP). The Ks from yesterday likely won’t be the norm, but he should be solid for most mixed leagues once he gets stretched out, which should be by next game. I’d definitely grab him, and you can’t front on that! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I was going to say Shelby Miller looks sensational, but then I Googled sensational to see its definition, even though I know it already. (Al Gore did originally invent the internet as a tool of procrastination.) So, the Oxford Dictionary defines sensational as: causing great public interest and excitement, example “a sensational murder trial.” Wow, even the Oxford Dictionary is trying to get in on the tabloid journalism of our day. Hey, Oxford, why not, “Kim Kardashian’s booty was sensational when she broke the internet that Al Gore had created and now needed to fix.” That gives me a great idea, a mash up of the Urban and Oxford Dictionary! Definition of a flake: A crazy or eccentric person. “Yo, that flake is three crumbs short of a Peek Frean.” Any the hoo! Shelby Miller did look sensational, murdering bats like The Riddler. Yesterday, he went 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks to lower his ERA to 1.33. Is he this good? Oh, c’mon. But how bad is he? His K/9 is 7.2, BB/9 is 2.7 and xFIP is 3.79. His BABIP is .203, LOB% is 88.8% and his ground ball rate is 50.4%. Essentially, Miller’s a 3.25-3.60 ERA pitcher with decent, but not great Ks, solid but not terrific control, and one great pitch that he’s figured out how to use, the cutter. He could easily have a month-long spasm of a 5.00 ERA just as easily as he’s done six weeks of a 1.33 ERA. Would I sell him high? Yes, indeed. Or as the Urban-Oxford Dictionary would say, “Does a corgi crap under the Queen’s bed and she calls it a soon-to-be truffle?” Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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“Hello, this is the Liquid Paper corporate office. How may I direct your call?” “Well, I’m not sure, to be honest. I run this fantasy baseball blog and–” “You want marketing. I’ll direct your call.” “No! No, sorry, I don’t want marketing. See, I have this pitcher, Corey Kluber, and his stats are saying he’s doing one thing, but it’s all a mistake and I see a big correction coming and…” “You want shipping and orders?” “No, I don’t think I do. I’m not looking to purchase anything.” “Sir, I can’t hear you over your cackle. Is someone tickling you?” “I’m trying to get a pitcher to correct himself, and I thought corrective fluid could work. Maybe I’ll try R&D.” “Transferring you.” “This is R&D. How may I direct your call?” “I want to know how I can get Corey Kluber’s stats to reflect his ability.” “BABIP problems?” “Yes!” “Just have him strike out everyone, get out of the first inning without surrendering any runs, have Roberto Perez consult with Yan Gomes on a game plan, and trust his stuff.” “Thanks so much!” “Would you mind taking a quick survey after the call?” “Sorry, I don’t have time.” Yesterday, Kluber went 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks and 18 Ks. The best baseball fans are in St. Louis. At least when Kluber pitches to them! Hey, I told you to buy him about two weeks ago. Whether you did is on you. Now, please someone talk to Strasburg! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Am I the only one still utterly confused by Danny Salazar? The only thing I know he brings to the table for sure is strikeouts. After his first two starts, there was a great deal of chatter that Salazar had finally figured it out and his ascension to heaven to sit on the right side of Roger Clemens and Bob Feller was nearly complete. Yes in this scenario Roger Clemens is dead, and heaven is also full of unabashed racists like Bob Feller. Come to think of it, that’s sounds exactly the way heaven is described in the bible. Either way I’m still not sure what to make of Salazar. On one hand his K rate once again through four starts is phenomenal. On the other hand his HR/FB rate is 22.2%. Which in turn has led to a pretty scary 1.38 HR/9. Then again all of this could be bad luck over a couple of starts. This theory is further supported by his .328 BABIP which tells me he’s in fact been a bit unlucky. The problem is through 188 big league innings his career BABIP is .330. So is he just perpetually unlucky? Or is he a hit or miss, feast or famine type? His FIP of 3.23 and xFIP of 2.18 tell me that yes he has in fact been unlucky. The K/BB of 7.40 is gorgeous just like a horse is, and his BAA of .232 is marvelous. So count me amongst the believers in the Cult of Salazar. So this leads me to today’s matchup with the hotter than fish grease Minnesota Twins. In the last few weeks, the Twinkies have squished the dreams of quite a few daily players looking to cash in on the mantra “beat up on the Twins”. Well have no fear my fellow DFS junkies because Danny Salazar is here and ready to feast on the Twins and their 22.4% K% against righties. As we all well know in DraftKings, K’s are king. Or maybe the drafts are….nevermind. So save a couple of bucks and go Salazar at $8,600 over Felix Hernandez, Zack Greinke, Jordan Zimmermann, and Garrett Richards.
New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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?

If you search for the pitchers with the top xFIPs, it’s a who’s who of the league’s finest. It’s not quite as glamorous as the Who’s Who of Western Appalachian High School Students that your parents paid $25 for you to get your picture in, but it’s still pretty illustrious. Kershaw on top, then Salazar, F-Her, Gerrit, Carrasco, Pineda, Archer, Shields, Scherzer, Harvey and Lynn. If your pitching staff was just those guys, you may not be currently winning your pitching categories, but you will by the end of the year, or your money back1. Right after Lynn in the list is Clay Buchholz, then after him it continues to be purdy: Arrieta, Kluber, Lester and so on2. Out of all of those pitchers, Kershaw, Shields and Salazar are the only ones with a better K-rate with Buchholz’s at 11.5. 11.5 K/9 is excellent and is the 4th best in the majors. Buchholz’s walk rate isn’t bad either at 2.87 — under 3 is solid. Under three walk rate with an 11.5 K/9 is an ace. Only thing is, his ERA is 6.03. Oopsie! Right now, his BABIP is .407. A .407 BABIP is basically the equivalent to an easy grounder is headed right to a fielder, but the ball is grabbed by a possum and the possum runs the ball around the infield for five minutes as the hitter goes around the bases for an inside-the-parker. If Buchholz is available in your league, I’d absolutely grab him, and could even see trading for him in deeper leagues9.

1You just need to sell my Jose Canseco Sportsflics rookie card to get that money back.
2Yes, I said so on rather than list Bartolo Colon3.
3Yes, by footnoting Bartolo Colon I am sorta listing him4.
4My autocorrect wanted to change sorta to Sorat. Is that Borat’s sister5?
5I miss Sacha Baron Cohen. Shame what happened to him.6
6My intern says nothing happened to him, he just picked crappy films to be in7.
7The Spirit of David Foster Wallace has taken over my body8.
8Not really.
9Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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I’ve already gone over the top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball, the top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball and the top 20 2nd basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball. Last year, I thought the top 20 shortstops for 2015 fantasy baseball looked a whole lot better than the 2nd basemen. I said that’s not usually the norm, but you gotta be malleable in this fantasy baseball game. Then going on to say I’d give a free car to a brother and sister who were named Norm and Malleable. No one won the car and I was pretty off with where I thought shortstops had depth. They showed up last preseason in a librarian’s outfit with red-rimmed glasses and seemed interesting. Then they turned around and it was Sally Jessy Raphael and we should’ve ran the other way. As with the other top 20 rankings, I point out where tiers start and stop and my projections. All the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings can be found under that thing that says 2015 fantasy baseball rankings. Unsuccinct! Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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Top 20 catchers, 1st basemen and the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 are in the books. What a strange, glorious trip it’s been! Though not really. Today, the top 20 shortstops for 2014 fantasy baseball get to shine. Hmm… Actually, most of these won’t shine. They’re cloudy with a chance of crapballs. To be a bit more specific, Dee Gordon was 5th for 2nd baseman, here he’s second overall. Then it stabilizes with Zobrist being 13th at 2nd basemen and only 12th here. But then the shortstops flat line with guys like Jordy Mercer and Brock Holt appearing on this list and not even making in the top 20 2nd basemen. Either way, it’s ugly. Okay, enough of the hubbub on the tomfoolery. To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason. Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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The rain cooperated to let Derek Jeter play his final game at Yankee Stadium. Thank God, the Yankees needed the tarp for Suzyn Waldman. The Yankees presented Jeter with a replica of the Yankee Stadium on-deck circle. He is going to put it outside his house and instead of pine tar rags and donuts there will be lingerie and gift baskets. I don’t really care for his final lap around Fenway. I do agree with Olbermann that I think he should have bowed out of playing in Fenway. With that said (reversal time!), sometimes stars get grooved pitches on their final retirement jaunt. I grabbed Jeter two days ago in my leagues just in case that happens, and so far, so good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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