We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball.  Today, we dip our big toe into the top 20 2nd basemen pool.  Okay, it was actually more like a lake where lots of spring breakers are partying, and, instead of throwing beads at girls, they’re throwing 30 home run hitters.  It’s a little scary, for unstints (how I say it), that there were only six 2nd basemen that you wanted to own all year in 2015, and, this year, there’s a 30-homer hitter 2nd baseman that didn’t even make the top 25 2nd basemen — Jedd, you Gyorko!  1st basemen were still a little deeper, but barely.  2nd basemen, and the soon to be released shortstops got their sea legs in 2016.  To recap this crap (rhyme points!), this final ranking for last year 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 2nd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Yesterday, was the first time the Cubs have won 100 games since 1935.  Though, in 1994, the Cubs were so gonna win the final 49 games if the strike didn’t happen, giving them 98 wins, then two losses were going to go under review and get reversed.  What?  My crystal ball is very specific.  Why don’t you people believe me?  Kidding, I know you believe me because I can see you in my crystal ball.  Put on some pants that don’t have an elastic band, would you please!  Kyle Hendricks (6 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners (0 walks), 5 Ks, ERA down to 1.99) did his usual magic.  I say let him sit out his final start so he can end the year with a minus-2 ERA, and I bet the Cubs say the same thing as me.  Know why?  I have the best words.  People love my words.  No one has words like me.  Carrying them offensively was Javier Baez (2-for-5, 6 RBIs and his 14th homer).  Whenever Hendricks grooves, Baez seems to play himself a little ditty, too.  Must be their Woodstock connection.  If Joan Baez didn’t perform at Woodstock, don’t tell me, for folk’s sake.  Baez is going to be a tough nut to peg (totally a saying) for 2017 fantasy.  He’s made great strides with his strikeouts.  Looks like an easy bet for a 17/17 season if he were to play every day, but 17/17 is just a tad boring compared to 20/20.  By the way, Tad Boring never gets any dates on Tinder.  Also, we’re not sure if Baez will have an everyday job.  Cubs’ playing time can be Maddon’ing.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’m OCD about my iTunes.  I listen to a new album a few times, pick out some songs that I like, five star them, and then play them endlessly until I’m sick of them.  My top 20 for most played is embarrassing.   I like Lil Wayne more than anyone should ever admit.  Sometimes I have a song on repeat, and I’ll get a phone call (rare; only old people use the phone for calling people), the doorbell will ring (less rare; Cougs orders a ton of shizz on Amazon) or I’m just called away from my desk for some reason.  Then I’ll forget I have a song on repeat and I’ll go to lunch, dinner or…No, those are the only reasons I leave my fantasy cave.  When I come back and see a song’s play count has been artificially boosted with me not listening, I will edit info in iTunes and reset the play count to where it was before the accidental repeat.  It’s important to have a gage to tell how much you like a song.  Do you like it enough to play it 200 times like, say, Aloe Blacc’s Red Velvet Seat or do you like it enough to listen to it 120 times like, say, Tom Petty Yer So Bad (actual play counts)?  Why do I bring this up now?  Because Rick Porcello should roll his win count back to 15.  21 wins?!  C’mon!  That is misrepresenting him in every conceivable way.  Yesterday, Rick Porcello went 9 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.08, to move his record to 21-4 <–LIES!  He’s pretending to be Eazy E vs. Johnny Cash (great song; play count 278) when he’s really Randy Newman’s Short People (good song, but you ain’t listening to that nonsense more than once every few months; play count 59).  His ERA isn’t even accurate.  It’s saying, “I’m Bon Iver’s Skinny Love (play count 175),” when it’s really You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb by Spoon (play count 96).  The only thing that is sort of legit is his 0.98 WHIP, but that’s more Men At Work’s Overkill (play count 186) legit.  Have a season, Rick Porcello, but you are so Rihanna’s Diamonds (play count 86) and not Martians vs. Goblins (play count 365).  Also, if you want more, we talk about Rick Porcello on today’s podcast.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So for a lot of these puppies I pump out here for Razzball (That makes sense in oldspeak terms right?! You’re not picturing me birthing a litter under Grey’s desk at the Razzball office, right?! RIGHT?!), I write the intro before a pitcher’s start to unsully my biases so you can read how the pitcher looked in real-time. Yeahhhh, football is on during Sundays now… It’s tough to multi-task watching the Panthers, RedZone, AND baseball! Alas, for this week’s installment of Pitcher Profiling, I had already known the outcome before breaking it down. The title should give it away as well!

I lucked out and nabbed Ivan Nova in several leagues just on a streaming whim within his first few starts on the Pirates, and was reaping the rewards of a late-season pitching surge. All hail Searage! I actually read an interview with Frank Herbert that the planet Dune was actually being mined for “Magic Searage Dust”, but it wasn’t literary-sounding enough, so he just went with “Spice”. Authors are nothing but lazy bums! Which speaking of, I picked a dude who got shellacked and didn’t pitch too deep… But I wanted to take a second look at how he… well, looked (lazy again!), to see if I should just cut bait and move on, or hold onto the most recent Searage reclamation project through the finish line. Here’s how Nova fared pitch-by-pitch, and hopefully a helpful treatises on if you should hold him as well:

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The Diamondbacks host the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night in what is expected to be a pier six brawl. Both teams are starting below average left-handed pitchers and that means runs should come in bunches. The Rockies should do their fair share of damage, but the D’Backs are the holy grail tonight. Jorge de la Rosa is like a lamb being led to slaughter every single time he takes the mound. He occasionally racks up strikeouts, but mostly it is walks and meatballs. Arizona has two lefty killers in their outfield and I expect both of them to do damage. Rickie Weeks Jr. has one purpose in life and that is smashing lefties. He does it quite well. So well actually, that he still has a spot on a 25-man roster years after being removed as the Brewers’ second baseman. He’s never taken JDLR deep, but has five hits in 11 at-bats against the 12 year veteran. Yasmany Tomas is 6-for-12 with a home run against de la Rosa and lives rent free in his mind everyday. With Tomas just $4,400 and Weeks Jr. priced at $4,000, I am using both of them.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday September 19th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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Who could forget our first visit over to Finnegan’s?! Grabbin’ a pint, singin’ some odes, and getting so sloshed we’re coming back for mo’!

As we saw in his first career start last year, Brandon Finnegan looked kinda blah to me. And after an early-season near no-hit bid against the Cubs, Finnegan’s effectiveness was a range from blah-to-awful. His walk rate was terrible especially next to an equally atrocious K-rate, and Finnegan could not be further off my radar. But suddenly some Ks started popping up with equally sudden success, which beat writers reported could be contributed to learning a change-up from Dan Straily. After heavily using what I’m assuming was a different change-up grip at the start of the season through his first 4 starts (close to 25% of the time), Finnegan then barely threw it 10% of the time over his next 21 starts . As I mentioned in that pitcher profile from last year, his change-up looked pretty below average and I’m guessing he more-or-less scrapped it from his main arsenal. But over his last 4 starts, he’s got an insane 35:8 K:BB in 25.0 IP with a 2.16 ERA. I obviously haven’t watched too much Finnegan, but I have added him in several of my leagues due to glowing reports on this new change-up (and of course, recent result), so I decided to profile him to see how it’s really looking. Here’s how he fared yesterday afternoon against the Bucs:

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Gerrit Cole has an injured arm, possibly elbow spurs.  I love this scenario:  a pitcher throws like garbage for weeks then the team announces he’s hurt.  Love, love, love.  This is my favorite.  Five innings, five runs, but it’s likely nothing, just a bad start.  Cut to five weeks later of terrible starts.  “Oh, yeah, he’s got a torn tendon/elbow spur/missing forearm due to lost baggage.  Oops!  We should’ve sent him to a doctor six starts ago.  Our bad!”  Here’s what I said after his last start, “I don’t know what’s going on with Cole, but I’d guess injury or dead arm.”  And that’s me quoting me!  How is it that I can guess there’s a problem but a major league team can’t figure shizz out?  That should never be possible.  I couldn’t even pass Bio 101, and a MLB team has a staff of doctors.  Seriously, how does this happen?  I want answers!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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We’re about two weeks from September call-ups, or as we call it in my house, “One more month and Cougs gets back the Fantasy Master Lothario,” or as they call it in Prospector Ralph’s house, “Let’s make another baby,” or as they call it in any Cubs fan’s house, “Start drinking heavily now so the heartbreak of October is a blurry haze.”  By the way, whatever team faces the Cubs in the World Series should pay Steve Bartman to throw out a first pitch of one of the games.  Bartman, “I won’t do it.”  “We’ll give you $50,000.”  “Do you want me to throw out the first pitch while riding on the back of a goat?”  So, that brings us to who will be the top September call-up, or at least for hype, Yoan Moncada.  About a week ago, Moncada injured his ankle, but he’s likely to be fine in a week.  In about 12 days, every fantasy baseball site will be telling you to grab Moncada, so it depends on how quick you need to react in your league on when you grab him, but I would in most leagues.  “Why, Unkie Grey, what does Moncada do?  Can he help me talk to girls?”  Yes!  If those girls live in Boston, have red hair and are named Francine.  Would you be interested if I told you Moncada went 13/44 in only 97 games with a .300 average?  How about if I told you he’s going to play in one of the best offensive parks with one of the best hitting teams?  What if I said he’d move your car on street cleaning day?  He will do all of that (minus the moving of the car, but it’s good if you get out of the house once in a while).  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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True or false:  A) Dansby Swanson is famous for being Ted Knight’s caddy in Caddyshack. B) Starting a meme at his frat house in Arizona where he’d put his checkered pants on a cactus with the caption, “I’m thirsty, yo.”  C) There’s no C.  D) All the above.  E) Was drafted a second ago by the Diamondbacks 1st overall, then traded to the Braves for the fellow WASP, Shelby Miller, and all-around terrible pitcher.  If you answered D) All the above, how did you know what all the above was before reading E?  Also, it was a true or false quiz, what the hell is all of the above?!  So, Dansby Swanson is being called up by the Braves just in time, no lie, for their series against the Diamondbacks.  Dayum.  Hello, wounds, here’s your salt.  In Prospector Ralph’s midseason top 100 prospects, Dansby was 22nd overall, right by Willie Calhoun, who totally tanked Mike Dukakis’ campaign.  Swanson is a 22-year-old that was a’ight in Double-A (8 HRs, 6 SBs, .261 in 84 games).  That’s neither here nor there, he’s young; he should be owned in most mixed leagues; you’re not going to find his talent level on waivers in many leagues; semicolons; fun.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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If you’re not familiar with Sia, then I encourage you to take a minute and enjoy her golden voice. If you’re still not convinced then I feel bad for you, cause she got Heidi Klum to star in this video Fire Meets Gasoline. Sorry I couldn’t edit the dude out, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of sharing my German crush that’s even hotter than my last name. Yes, Heater really is my last name and I’m banking on Jose Fernandez, $12,800 vs SF & Kevin Gausman, $8,500 at OAK to ignite our DK lineups even hotter than that clip, so we can cash in tonight. J-Fer’s splits are well documented, but I did the old stop short when I actually looked them up. Check this shizz out (that way you can come to your own conclusions) 113 Ks in 76.2 innings to go along with a 2.11 ERA and a 9-2 record vs 79 Ks in 55 innings with a 3.93 ERA and a 3-4 record. Yeah, dude is hotter than the girls wearing bikinis on Beachfront Avenue when he takes the mound in Miami, he’s straight FIRE. Fire definitely needs some Gausoline to make it go boom and our boy Gausman is primed with a great matchup in the friendly confines of the O.co Coliseum. Oakland’s offense has been the worst AL team at home when it comes to scoring and with a flame throwing righty on the mound that trend will continue tonight. Gausman has been roughed up this year being in the AL Beast, but he’ll feast on his AL West opponent tonight with at least 7 Ks and he’ll offense will do the rest to get him the win.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run today to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?