If there was a NBA Jam version for relievers, it would go to the Royals bullpen.  They are the hottest team since sliced pimento loaf, and as of this typing, are finding themselves tops in the AL Central.  I have said it before and I will say it again– play the hot hand until it slaps you where it shouldn’t.  They are led recently and not recently, as in all year, by Wade Davis. Davis, on the year, has been just stellar: 6-2 K rate over 13 and has allowed only 5 ER all year. That my friends is about as robust as the McRib sandwich being not not real rib meat. Over the last two weeks Davis has lead the world in Holds with 7.  His subtle sidekick has been a nice mix of Jason Frasor and Kelvin Herrera, both garnering fantasy value in their own way. Frasor notching 2 wins in relief and Herrera grabbing 4 holds for himself… both guys also have the same ERA as Davis during the last 2 weeks. It’s zero, so stop with the guesses. Ride the lightning here as the Royale’s w/o cheese are scorching the universe like a bikini waxing store. Stay tuned for more middle relief haps and slaps.

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I’m a self-confessed/afflicted Mariners fan. I have been since the days of The Kid, Bones and ‘The Martinez Brothers’. I remember Mike Blowers catching fire in the second half of 1995 as Seattle surged to take over the AL West pennant from a team led by a guy with a fish for a last name. Fast forward 19 years – make sure you don’t wear out your VCR doing that, it’ll take a while – and the Mariners are still chasing an Angels team that’s led by a guy with a fish for a last name, only now there is no Blowers, we traded for or signed at least 5 DHs in the off-season and get shut down by pitchers like Brett Oberholtzer, who sounds more like an item at IKEA than a major league ball player. All this to say, as a man who plays over at DraftKings, I know what to do with the pain of having this kind of struggle from my home team – take advantage of it. There’s a reason Brandon Maurer is only $5,500 over on the good ‘ole DK. No, I’m not suggesting you play Maurer. You think I’d start with this depressing open and then tell you to roll him out there? His ERA is 6.99. ERA not predictive enough for you? How about an xFIP of 5.09? Or a K/9 of 4.76? Seriously, trade for Danny Worth at this stage, M’s, and let him run out there in Maurer’s stead please. But until they do, consider any and all Angels in play. Consider this your fall-back stack for the day which probably will be overplayed in GPP but should bring reasonable value. No Mariners fan is safe tomorrow, that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits. And just in case you think I’m cray cray bae, HitterTron has got my back on this…and now it’s covered in oil discharge…if you’ll excuse me for a moment I’ll go clean up and finish off the rest of calling out these DK values. Oh and if you’re wondering where J-FOH is today, he called in sick with his own oily discharge going on. Feel free to Tweet at him random forms of sickness and hashtag it with #JFOHsIllness to make him feel better. No really, he loves ridicule. Promise!

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Yu Darvish was outstanding last night, pitching 8.2 innings and allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out 12 Red Sox. Darvish brought his filthiest stuff to the park last night. No, not his magazine collection. Yu’s pitches were overpowering the Sawx and the movement on his slider made him practically unhittable. Yu retired the first 20 batters he faced before David Ortiz reached on an error in the fifth inning, breaking up the perfect game. Regardless, Darvish dominated. He struck out six in a row at one point, which is like Craig Kimbrel getting a double save. Yu was one strike away from his first no-hitter, but David Ortiz pulled through again with a ground ball through the shift. D’ohvish. Damn you, Big Papi! Yu do not “Luv Ya Papi”, but you’re better off with J.Lo anyway, David. Poor Darvish suffered the same fate in his debut last April versus Houston, striking out 14 Astros through 8.2 innings before losing the perfect game with one out to go. So what does all this mean for your fantasy team? Not a whole lot, except if you own Darvish you’re as happy as Pharrell in a new, big hat. Despite his bad luck, Darvish currently sports a lovely 10.49 K/9 to go along with his 1.08 WHIP, and it’s those stats that will help your fantasy team a lot more than any perfect game will.  But don’t worry, Yu will get there some day.

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

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Seriously, I’m jonesing over here. David Price killed a small part of me yesterday in my lineups. Then Jake Arrieta went in with the dagger plunge on my lineups. And how the hell didn’t I get Ian Kennedy in ONE lineup. Really, Sky? REALLY?!? Woah, hey Seth Meyers. Could ya go back to New York, I’m kinda doing my thing here. BTW, I loved you in Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist…I’m joking, of course. I never watched that movie. But you know what I do watch? Baseball. And wanna know who’s fun to watch and good at that? Jose Fernandez. Do I really need to make a huge selling point here? Alright, here it is. Jo-Fer is #1 in the major leagues with a 12.54 K/9 rate. The Friars hitters? Eighth worst K-rate as a team at 22.8%. I know, I know…I had you at 12.54 K/9. There’s a reason he’s the top rated pitcher on the night with a $12,800 price tag. Might be harder to justify in GPP but he’s should be in every 50/50 you play for the day. Oh and BTW, just wanted to let you know, all y’all who signed up through our DraftKings sponsored link? To date, you’ve raked in over $38K. Yeah, that’s too round of a number to be believed. It’s actually $38,245. That’s some mad bank. How much did you spend to earn that amount back? I don’t know, I’m not your bookie. I’ll just assume that if your thumbs aren’t broken, you’re doing well in the game of ‘is it negative or is it positive’. My wife and I play that once a month around a Clear Blue. It’s just as nerve-wracking and just as worrisome about the expenses associated. But bygones! Either way it’s clear you all have great minds…or great tools like the DFSbot who’s just an extension of Rudy Gamble’s mind. Have we checked to see if Rudy is actually human yet himself? Anyways, just wanted to give you a well deserved congrats before we get on with the show. Here’s my picks for Friday’s DK contests for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

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Go, go, go, go, go, go. Go, Corey, it is your birthday. We want to party like it is your birthday. *dance like a white man that has on parachute pants* We will sip Bacardi like it is your birthday. And you know we do not give an expletive it is not your birthday. I see Corey Kluber on my iPad and I want to kick him in the ass, but I still can’t make heads or tails of him. “Mr. Kluber, why do you bring anguish to my potluck dinner?” Justin Masterson had RSVP’d already with anguish! Ugh, I really don’t know what to make of Kluber. He’s hella risky and, yes, I still say hella. After his start yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks — you obviously have to own him if he’s on your waivers. The good news is his BABIP is obscenely unlucky (.353). The bad news is his velocity is down. He gets the Angels next and the Stream-o-Nator doesn’t like it and I’d be lying if I told you I had the utmost confidence in him. In other words, own him, but it could be a rocky road without delicious marshmallows. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Funny that Mark Trumbo has a stress fracture in his foot, because I now have a stress fracture in my stress-bearing frontal lobe. “You wanna remember your anniversary with the Cougar or Mark Trumbo’s recovery timetable?” Shut up, frontal lobe, I hate you! I wish you were dead! *wavy lines* Hey, I have no frontal lobe anymore. Cool, I really like this episode of The Big Bang Theory. They are a gang of funny people! I wish Slystevesr Stallone would do more movies. He’s so awesome. Slvester? Why is there a red line under that? Damn, I can’t spell my favorite movie star’s name without my frontal lobe! *wavy lines* Okay, I’m glad I have a frontal lobe, but not glad I have Mark Trumbo on multiple deep league teams. Wah, wah, wah, that’s the sound of my sad Trumbone. This could mean more playing time for Tony Campana — SAGNOF! — or steady playing time for Cody Ross — um, AGNOF!, I guess. Last time Trumbo had a stress fracture — how many stress fractures does this guy have? — he was laid up for close to six months. Yay. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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First off, I would like to say Eric Sogard should be the Face of the MLB; that vote was rigged in David Wright’s favor.  Baseball needs more nerdy-looking, glasses-touting, Bernie-leanin’, jive-walking players.  But without further ado, here is the AL West Spring Training Showdown. (You can check out the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

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Ryan Zimmerman went Yardo Montalban as he Tattooed the ball three times. Da plane, da plane…is flying right next to Zimmerman’s homers! My dear guests! I am Mr. Albright, your host. Welcome… to Fantasy Baseball! Smiles, everyone, smiles! No, seriously, smile, you paid a lot of money for those caps. Since it was a game between the O’s and Nationals, they shared announcers (since they share channels). So, the O’s announcers said everyone’s crazy for Machado, Jones, Zimmermann and Harper and not Ryan Zimmerman or Nick Markakis much anymore, after they were the stars of their respective clubs. Then the Nationals announcer says, “I can’t say I know much about Markakis myself.” Burn! I’d play that over the clubhouse speakers before every game. Not to motivate Markakis as much to mess with him. Oh, and Zimmerman! Right! Yeah, he had a huge game, and you might remember he goosed me in my nethers last year when I dropped him, because he hit 10 homers in July of 2012. Might be the start of another special run. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Are you familiar with The Legend of Oso Blanco? It’s the very true story behind Evan Gattis, and it’s a must listen if you haven’t yet heard it. Even if you have, it’s still worth another run through. Atlanta sports radio 680 The Fan was on point with this bit, which should have some appeal among us here at Razzball. Thanks to Deadspin for bringing it to our attention. Anyway, two-starters… Week 9 features nearly a full-slate of action, so there are a shizzload of them to choose from. To help guide your two-start perusing, I’ve slapped together our usual tiered worksheet.

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

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Going into yesterday’s game, Gio Gonzalez had a 5.85 ERA and in three of four starts he only threw five innings. I saw the fear in your eyes. Nervousness was percolating just below the surface. You were like Mr. Coffee when he was about to lose his virginity. You were expecting some grinds and instead you were just overheating. Steaming so hard you needed a cup to catch the water beneath you. (How long you think I could keep the visual of Mr. Coffee about to lose his virginity going? Three more lines? Do I hear four?) Finally, the heat was too much, the water dripping too fast and everything began to steam. Quickly, you grabbed your little creamer. She usually likes to put the cream in herself, but you’re just gonna splash it all over the place to avoid a mess on your pants. And that’s how coffee became Mr. Coffee. So, today Gio threw an eight-inning, one-hitter with 7 Ks; his only blemish a Votto opposite-field blast. Things looked awry, making dyslexics wary. Luckily, it’s still freakin’ April and you shouldn’t worry so much. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?