I’ll be honest, picking a creeper early in the year is not an easy task. We have small sample sizes to work with, players under performing and pitchers very hard to predict. I ask myself every week as I prepare these: what angle can I find to make a call? What is a constant that doesn’t change? Where are my pants? Well, the third question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s like trying to figure out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. The other two are things we always look for, regardless of what point of the season we are at, are park factors, lefty/righty match-ups, Schmotatoness, and batter vs. pitcher history. For example, this week, Brad Miller plays six games and for five of them, he faces right-handers. On the year, he bats .348 against RHP (good thing), but among the five he faces this week, he bats .191 against (not so good), and Hitter-Tron (-$2.5) says he won’t be any good. I’ll pass too. That’s a little snapshot into my process.  This week, I’m going for Schomtatoness and park factors to make my call. Would you like to hear more? Oh c’mon, I’ll give you some Arby’s coupons? Dairy Queen? Fine, then skip to the top 100 and we can fight about that in the comments instead.

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miggymousehouse

Perhaps the title to this week’s post was influenced by the fact that I just watched Miguel Cabrera smack a 432-foot home run for his second of the day, bringing his season total to 5 home runs and 83 fantasy points. Don’t look now, but Miggy is batting .370 and is quietly climbing his way to the top. Or perhaps today’s title has been influenced by the fact that, as I write this, I am also in the process of packing my bags to get ready to take my family to Disney World. Actually, I am certain it’s a combination of both.

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Masahiro Tanaka hit the DL with a strained forearm. It’s not related to his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. So, here’s my question? Why not just play through the forearm strain too? That’s where he draws the line? It’s like, “I was fine sleeping with my wife’s sister, and having a baby with her that no one knows about, and plotting to kill my wife on a weekend jaunt to Mexico, but I will not jaywalk. Those people in New York are crazy!” You have nothing to lose, Tanaka, get in there and shank someone in the yard and Hacky Sack the ball to the plate! The Yankees haven’t announced how long Tanaka will be out, but maybe they’ll try to sneak in Tommy John surgery while he’s sleeping. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It seems loud and clear that the roof is closing on Adam Wainwright‘s season. If only he had a 3rd Achilles he could sub in! We should be able to have a schadenfreude party since I told everyone not to draft him this year, but there’s always a few people who still draft him against my wishes, so do we ignore these people and still schadenfreude or do we show pity? *thinks for a millisecond* We schadenfreude party! The schadenfreude party is being held in the superiority complex. Put up the pinata of someone’s ego that is smarter, prettier, funnier or richer and we beat it down! Put on some tunes and let’s do the Point and Laugh Dance! That’s not the Point and Laugh Dance, that’s the African Anteater Ritual. So, Wainwright’s done for 2015 and Carlos Villanueva, Tyler Lyons or Tim Cooney could step in at first, but this will likely be Marco Gonzales’s job for the majority of the year once he returns from the minor league DL with a shoulder issue. I like Gonzales for very deep leagues, especially NL-Only ones, so if you have room, I’d grab him. He’s around a 7+ K/9, low-2 BB/9 guy that could have a 3.75 ERA or under with a good WHIP. Now, you’ll have to excuse me, I’m headed back to the schadenfreude party, hungry for self-satisfaction, eager for some prigs in a blanket! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Never once did I think I would be writing about a creeper older than I am, and yet here I am, talking about Torii Hunter. Being the ageless wonder (or is it the wonder of agelessness, I’m not really sure), he still suits up every day and goes out and plays. I was racking my brain for some kind of analogy for the creeper and I found my inspiration from the Paleolithic 80’s flick Quest for Fire, for like this movie, we are just a bunch of uncivilized men searching for a player to catch fire. So why not a Hunter? Haha…get it? Okay, I’ll stop with the bad jokes. Hey, at least I didn’t do Caveman with Ringo Starr. Come to think of it, Hunter could be considered the Twins Ringo. Doesn’t really matter if he’s there or not. Oh well, the moment has passed and now we move on to why we are here…

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Not quite a done deal just yet, but it’s looking like Josh Hamilton is heading home on the Rangers, as the Angels have agreed to pay the majority of Hamilton’s giant contact in exchange for Hamilton agreeing to get the heck out of Dodge. The trade would certainly qualify as Woody’s rootin-est, tootin-est, roundup in the wild, wild west so far this season. The least cynical of all my multiple personalities would certainly like to believe if Josh Hamilton can get back on track anywhere, it’d be with the Rangers in Texas. Yee-haw, we’ve hog-tied us a Hamilton! As a Rangers fan, you’ve got to be happy with any news that doesn’t concern Adrian Beltre’s age, Yu Darvish’s injury, Prince Fielder’s weight, or Elvis Andrus’ suckiness. In five years with Texas, Josh Hamilton batted .305 with 142 home runs and over 500 RBI, including his 2010 MVP season where he hit 32 homers and batted .359 with a .633 SLG%. Well, howdy there, partner! However, Josh managed just 32 homers and a .255 AVG in two injury-riddled seasons with Anaheim. The L.A. air just wasn’t agreeing with him. It was the traffic wasn’t it? Yeah, well, you deal with it because the weather is perfect and the tacos are awesome. Currently on the shelf recovering from shoulder surgery, J-Hammies is due back sometime in June and is available in most leagues. I grabbed him in a few leagues where I had a DL spot to spare, and I’d suggest you do the same. Here’s to hoping he can recapture some of the thrill, the romance and the magic that those hot summer nights in Texas can bring to the bat.

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

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This week I’m making a little one-week tweak to the Creeper of the Week and going with Creepers because we have something that doesn’t always happen. What is that Big J? Well eager reader, it’s a seven-game Monday-through-Sunday home series for the Rockies. By my count, this will only happen three times this season. The hard part was finding an under-owned player not taken on the Rockies playing everyday, and it’s so barren right now that even the French DJ is over-owned to qualify for this post. Hey there French DJ can you drop me a cut for this creeper post? Very nice, old school, but isn’t that a little too obvious? I get it, you are on the 1’s and 2’s, so the choice is yours. Can I at least get one cut with a baseball name in the title? What’s that? You don’t do requests? Sheesh, that Charlie Blackmon ego is rubbing off on your euro sensibilities. Forget about it, let’s move on to the reason we are here.

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The title of this post is more indicative of what the fantasy baseball season does to us than to what this player will do for you. How nutty was week 1? I’m loving drafting Adrian Gonzalez in the 4th round of the Razzball Pert’s league, and pissed at myself for not drafting J.D. Martinez anywhere. I really liked J.D. coming into the year and yet got sniped on him every time I was ready to draft him. Same goes for Matt Harvey. I heart you two and will look to trade for you at premium prices if I must. Wait! What? No I won’t. Yes you will. Okay, maybe I will, but sometimes you have to pay a price to get the toys you want. The bills on my Impala can attest to that. Before I move into this week’s creeper, I want to thank all the commenters that came out for the Easter Creeper. What a great kick off to the MLB season…thanks guys. It was a great opener for the baseball season.

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Note: We’ve got real baseball games being played and I’m stuck in this theoretical auction world. If you’re not prepared to dive into coding and stat minutiae, maybe save your energies for my article next week. Fair warning…

If you were with us last time, I introduced a program that simulated an auction given a list of the participants, a list of the players to be bid on, and lists of how much each owner valued each player. The reason I built this program was to learn more about auction strategy. The issue with my program was, even though it simulated auctions well enough, it was hard to glean any meaningful information from the results.

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Wow, what an amazing opening day. I thought I fell asleep in my DeLorean and went back to the juiced up era. And by juiced up I mean the players and/or ball. Am I the only one (I know I’m not) who thinks that blaming the players bad habits was just a smokescreen for the other culprits in the heist of our game? It was also the owners and their puppet Mr. Selig, the GM’s and the players association. Now don’t get me wrong, the players were dirty and deserve everything, they are getting but why not the rest of the guilty? Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox, I got laundry to do. If you didn’t get a dong on opening day this year, then your team is terrible and you will lose. I kidd, I kidd. This feels like when I was growing up and if you were the last one to get garbage pail kids cards or acid washed jeans, then you were lame. This week there are no master standings since the season is only two days old, so just assume you are tied for first and sleep well til next week.

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