The Pirates have been on a slippery slope. They are 2-8 in their past 10 and sit 5 games back of a wild card spot. Something needs to be fixed. In comes Dr. Drew Hutchison to heal the team of their losing woes. Tonight the Pirates will be facing the Reds who are far from the playoffs and sit second last in the National League. The Reds own a 89 wRC+ with a 21.1% strikeout rate vs RHP. The thing I like most about Hutch is his strikeout potential. In his 406.1 career MLB innings pitched he has averaged a 8.28 K/9. Hutch has the stuff to easily strike out out 8 over 6 innings tonight. This division rivalry has gone in Pirates favor most often. In their past 9 games in Pittsburgh, the Reds are 3-6. These are crucial games for the Pirates that they need to win. And that win is exactly what us Fantasy players need from Hutch to earn us cash. And with that I give you the rest of my Saturday DFS picks….

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When Jonathan Lucroy vetoed the trade to the Indians this past weekend, I thought we were going to find out Lucroy was Joey Lauren Adams in Chasing Amy.  Other teams were going to try and convert him into one of their players, but he was always going to continue to play for the other team.  Then, at some point, he was going to describe oral sex in insane, graphic detail, using balls, bats, and a gear shift, and other teams were just going to give up trying to get him to play for their team.  Then it turned out the Brewers were not going to be “Holden” him forever, you can “Banky” on it.  Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress were Chinese finger-cuffed to each other and sent to the Rangers for Lewis Brinson and Luis Ortiz.  By the way, Luis/Lewis is the Spanish version of tomato-tomahto.  I wonder what the Brewers finally said to Lucroy.  “We love you, but, dude, if you really love this organization, you’ll get the eff out of here.  Go!”  Then cried in the rain all super-weepy like Ben Affleck.  So, Lucroy gets a small boost in value from the lineup, but the stadium change is nearly a push.  As for Jeremy Jeffress, who is Jason Lee in this scenario, will work set up for Sam Dyson, who will keep the job.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Noah Syndergaard admitted to having an elbow bone spur after denying it multiple times.  Terry Collins said, “No one would know our business if it wasn’t for giving the PR job to a puppy dog!  Ruff ruff!  Come here, Fido, I wanna spank you with a rolled up newspaper!”  This is the 2nd Mets’ starter in two days with elbow spurs.  I look forward to the opening round of the playoffs when all of the Mets’ starters are wearing Iron Mike Sharpe elbow pads to hold their arms together.  Or they hire John Cusack to marionette their starters.  So, this is obviously not good news from Syndergaard, but it’s also not the end of his season.  He could opt for surgery if he’s in pain, but he says he’s not in pain (though, he also said he didn’t have elbow spurs up until yesterday).  Jon Lester has pitched through elbow spurs for the last five years.  It’s not uncommon for starters to power through.  Would I look to sell Syndergaard low?  No.  If you can get a healthy, similar starter, then sure, why not?  No reason to panic.  Unless Syndergaard starts wearing cowboy boots on his elbow.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

James Shields was traded to the White Sox for Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatis Jr.  I remember well his father, Fernando Tatis Jr. (yes, they are both juniors; not at all confusing).  I remember Tatis because he was the reason back in 2000, I said on my Geocities site, Fantasy Baseball and Neon Green Backgrounds, the following, “The Cardinals won’t bring up Albert Pujols because they have Fernando Tatis.  Let’s just be grateful we made it through Y2K with all of our AOL emails intact.  I got this forward from my uncle that is hilarious!  Also, I think JC Chasez is easily the best singer in NSYNC.  Justin Timberlake?  More like Give-Me-A-Timberbreak!”  Wow, that didn’t age well at all.  So, the Padres finally listened to me and attempted to get younger.  No idea about this Tatis; he’s so young he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page yet — and Carson Cistulli has a Wiki page longer than Harriet Tubman!  Elsewhere, Erik Johnson becomes an NL-Only add, but his wonky control leaves him a streamer for now in mixed leagues.  As for Shields, leaving Petco + aging pitcher who hasn’t looked great for over a year now = Aged Balsamic.  Hmm, math’s off there, was supposed to equal risky bet for mixed leagues with increased win potential and decreased ratios.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I missed out on Julio Urias in all of my leagues.  Shame because I was just looking at his stats the other day — 9.8 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 1.10 ERA and I was like, “Those can’t be real,” and he winked at me.  An interminable wink.  And I was like, “Are you winking that those stats are real or are you winking at me that they’re not?”  He didn’t answer, he just kept winking.  So, I tried to pull a fast one on him and was like, “Wink once if I should wait to pick you up, wink twice if I should pick you up now or wink three times if you’re going to be called up to be a middle reliever.”  And he winked once.  Again.  Then, like I do at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, I climbed onto his head and blew into his eye to see if he was alive.  He wasn’t.  I mean, he is, but this was just a picture of him.  Don’t be like me, don’t worry about the wink test with Urias and just grab him in all leagues.  He could be a number one starter for the time he’s in the rotation.  That’s the catch, however.  (Or is it pitch?)  He’s filling in for Alex Wood, who has triceps tightness.  Wood could be out the rest of the season (not saying he is) and Urias would still not stay in the rotation.  The Dodgers have said they will limit Urias’s innings.  He could only pitch 60 more innings this year, which is about ten starts.  My guess is he’ll pitch a few starts in the rotation, then move to the bullpen and pitch an inning or three a week.  Sound about right to you, Urias?  Wink once for yes…. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Shin-Soo Choo hit the DL again.  Yeah, surprise, surprise.  Never would’ve seen that coming, unless you’ve followed Choo’s career for the last three seconds.  In other news, Joey Gallo was called up.  Here’s my transactions yesterday:  Team Albright dropped Tyler Goeddel for Mikie Mahtook.  Twenty-nine minutes later: Team Albright dropped Mikie Mahtook for Delino DeShields.  Two hours later: Team Albright dropped Delino DeShields for Matt Holliday because someone else grabbed Joey Gallo already, and Team Albright didn’t feel like adding Junichi Tazawa for the sixth time.  Gallo has e-meants power.  His power is so e-meants I can’t even spell immense correctly, except there.  He had 8 HRs in 24 games this year in Triple-A and six homers in about a month last year in the majors.  This offseason I said, “I get the sneaking suspicion that Joey Gallo is going to be The Return of the Sucky Average Lagoon Monster, who was played briefly in an off-Broadway revival by Chris Carter.  In Double-A last year, Gallo had a 39.5% strikeout rate.  That’s absurd.  That’s the same rate historians have said Babe Ruth had after an all-night bender with Fatty Arbuckle when Ruth showed up and accidentally went up to bat still wearing his sleep mask.  Fun fact!  Sleep masks for the wealthy used to be made from raw hamburger patties.  So, with Gallo wearing a raw hamburger on his eyes, is there any chance of him hitting above .200?  Not if he can’t tame his strikeouts.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Good news, prematurely balding men and five lady readers, Gallo’s tamed his Ks by a lot this year in Triple-A.  He’s cut them to 22.6%, and was hitting .265.  If he can hit .265 with the Rangers, he’ll be more valuable than Prince Fielder this year because Gallo has 40-homer power.  I tried to pick him up in every league, and I suggest you do the same.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Listen, I’m a realist when it comes to numbers.  I understand that trends are written in there somewhere and the analytic guys use their Little Orphan Annie decoder rings to decipher everything.  I, my friends, am not that guy.  I look at something and then relay the message to you.  I am a sharer, an over excessive high-fiver, and extremely (and most importantly) excessively inappropriate in public.  I have looked at the numbers and I am telling you that the stolen base is the new punt stat.  Everyone always talks about punting stats from time-to-time in their ramblings of delusion, but I am being serious.  The downward trend in baseball is written in the stats.  I will even slap a handy chart in this post to clarify my thinking, (the chart is through the end of May for all other years but this), but the trend is going down the way of the SAGNOF drain.  I wish it weren’t true, because I loved watching the go-go 80’s and guys like Vince Coleman make a living being this generations, chuckle… Billy Hamilton.  Those days are gone.  Do we even remember the last guy who stole 100? 90? or even 80 bases in a year?  The answers are: 1987, 1988, and 1988 again.  The last significant stolen base total was when Jose Reyes was single and not suspended in 2007 with 78 swipes.  Like I said, I hate it to be true, but the days of amassing a significant total from one player, and having that player be a fantasy asset are dead and gone.  Running just doesn’t happen as frequently…  This is based on delivery times to plate, video technology, and basically the game evolving.  So I am sorry that this week’s report is a sad trombone of fantasy reality, which is an oxymoron, but I just wanted people to realize the decline in stat that they chase on a weekly basis.

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Nerds Again? Yes, this is my second consecutive week with a Nerds reference, thank you for noticing. Since my Tri-Lamb recommendation went for 28 points last Monday, I figured let’s keep it going tonight with John Lackey for a reasonable $9,400. Yes, Clayton Kershaw is at home tonight going for his 7th consecutive 10 K performance, but he’s $14,000 and he’ll be owned on most rosters so I wanted to highlight the less obvious choice. Yes, I like V2 and Rich Hill tonight as well, but Lackey loves him some Busch! Last month when he faced his former team he went 7 Ing, 11 K’s and 0 ER. Over the last 2 seasons Lackey went 11-4 with a 2.03 ERA racking up 129 K’s in 155 Ing’s, dude is lights out when he steps on the mound in St. Louis. I’m banking on Lackey being underowned tonight in both cash and tourney play, so now we’re going to try to find some budget offensive plays so we can pair him with Kershaw and cash in on tonights contests.

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“Hey, I’ll take two home runs from Khris Davis and be more than happy.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I’ll take one homer.  Gently farting in your direction, Prince Fielder.  Three homers?  Well that is too much for my little old heart.”  So began the monologue I told myself in my mirror last night.  I was wearing a fedora with a feather in it and no pants.  That’s added color for you to understand the scene.  Then, it was the ninth, the A’s in the lead and Davis’s night looked over with two homers until.  Dot dot dot.  Ian Desmond homered off Ryan Madson and sent the game into the bottom of the ninth inning.  Khris Davis came up to the plate, bases loaded, already with two homers on his scoresheet, could he hit one more?  Could my monologue presented to my reflection come to fruition?  Could my neighbors stop screaming for me to put on pants?  Yes on all three!  Finished the night with 3-for-5, 6 RBIs and three homers (9, 10, 11).  I had Davis ranked around eight rounds higher than anyone else because I thought he could easily hit 30 homers in an age when 30 homers doesn’t come that easily.  Has anything changed since the preseason?  Yeah, the date.  Dur.  I love Khris Davis and right now looks even better than his namelganger, Chris Davis.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Danny Valencia had himself a nice little weekend.  On Friday, he hit two homers, then yesterday he became only the third player to ever have a three-homer game (3-for-5, 5 RBIs) against the Rays (last one was Carlos Delgado in 2003), and only the 2nd player that also stood for the pregame National Anthem.   Valencia grew up Jewish, and, according to Wikipedia, “(Valencia’s) two key hitting coaches growing up were Bob Molinaro, a family friend who is a former major leaguer, and his mother Mindy.”  I didn’t have a Jewish mother, but have plenty of experience being half-Jewish, so I can imagine the guilt trips he got, “Why don’t you marry a nice Jewish girl and stop swinging at balls in the dirt?”  “You never call your mother, and you’re opening up too soon.”  “You can go take batting practice after you give your mother a kiss.”  Wikipedia doesn’t mention it, but one less guilt-inducing hitting coach he had was Jose Bautista.  Valencia learned how to hit for more power from Joey Bats.  Since Bautista imparted wisdom on Valencia, he’s hit 30 homers in the last 580 ABs.  So, can Valencia keep it going?  It appears so.  Now finish your latkes and keep your hands back!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?