Since I opened with an odd title, I figure I might as well open with an awkward fun fact! Carbonation in your beer comes from yeast digesting sugar. Think about that for a minute…or better yet, think about what happens after you consume a bean burrito and go swimming. Do you get the general gist, colonel confused? Yeah, I’m just gonna leave that dangling out there. Ponder on ponderers whilst I move on to talking some Patrick Corbin. This will be Corbin’s 4th start of the year as he’s coming back from Tommy John surgery and so far it’s been ‘baseball’ successful, ‘fantasy baseball’ so-so and ‘daily fantasy’ blech. I know, I totally just sold you on him. But the key to this suggestion really comes back to Brewers and their bats and how they seem to have holes in them when facing a left-handed pitcher. For the year, the Brewers have an 81 wRC+ and a healthy 20% K rate on the year against southpaws. Given his surgery, I’m not going to push him for cash but for your tourney lineups, he makes a lot of sense. There’s potential for 6 innings and perhaps 5 or 6 Ks to go along with minimal damage on the basepaths and the scoreboard. Given its a Coors night, that along with his pricetag of just $5,900 could go a long way in helping your LUs. So crack a cold one and put Corbin in your lineups tonight. Just remember that beer carbonation is actually just yeast farts. Sorry, it had to be said but you know beer is tasty and you DGAF. So enjoy those ‘bubbles’ and I’ll carry on with my steaming hot takes for this Friday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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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Geez, what is it about Steven Matz?!

The puns have been outpouring faster than illogical movies by Christopher Nolan.  Maybe it’s because he pitches for the Metz?  I don’t know!

I’ve been… well, naive to not rank Matz to this point.  Even with my standing concerns coming into his debut, he likely should’ve been ranked the last few weeks.  I thought it would be at least July until he was up, and I questioned how many innings he’d really get through in the Majors.  His peak is 140.2 IP last year across high-A and double-A, and he entered the Majors at 90.1 innings before yesterday’s debut.  Innings concerns are a big question mark after his career started with major elbow issues (TJ and complications).

And after that debut with 4 RBI at the plate, the mythical legend might be one of the biggest gaps from perception to reality.  Then again, I’m saying all this before breaking down his first start without seeing much of him beyond the numbers.  What Pitcher Profiles are all about!  You can’t know for sure on a guy until you really get a chance to see him pitch.  So without any more noodling, here’s how Matz looked in his debut:

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Member how I was saying yesterday that I owned Zack Cozart in multiple leagues, and he was a top five shortstop this year on our Player Rater, but I didn’t really appreciate him? Do I even need to tell you what happened next? Can you guess? If you hold your ear to the computer, does it help you guess? Cozart lunged for the 1st base bag as he was going down the line, hyperextended his knee and is headed to the DL. Einstein was right, “Absence does make the heart grow fonder.” Or maybe that was Peabo Bryson. I always confuse those two on attributing quotes. It’s usually one or the other. Was it Peabo Bryson who did the theory of relativity? Why can’t I spell genius without spellchecker? Questions for another day. One potential fill-in is Ivan De Jesus (1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer). De Jesus now has homers in two of three games, that’s twice as many homers as his dad had in his final 600 plate appearances. With Cozart out for who knows how long, De Jesus Jr., or as Christians and Nike marketers like to call him Lil’ Jesus, could be the shortstop, but so could Kris Negron (1-for-4). Negron, please! If it’s Lil’ Jesus, well, it’s worse than Negron, please! Lil’ Jesus doesn’t have much power or speed, while Negron, please, at least swiped 30+ bags one year in the minors. Neither are advisable outside of NL-Only leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The season is here baby!  Well, that’s kinda old news at this point, but I’m pumped for the first Pitcher Profile of 2015!

Every Monday this season, we’ll be breaking down fringy mixed-league starters (usually) to get a better gauge on their value and if they’re worthy of a valuable roster spot.  And I certainly like suggestions!  Add into the comments a pitcher that’s projected to start next weekend and I very well might end up Profiling them.  Wait, not like that!

Now to our debut this year, and I’ve just never really known what to make of Carlos Martinez.  Power stuff, destroys righties, but left-handed batters have crushed him.  I had Martinez 74 in my original ranks amongst SP,  but dropped him out in my re-ranks as he was heading to the bullpen.  Then Jaime Garcia blew out his 5th or 6th shoulder – I’ve lost count – so it’s back into the starting five, Carlos!  Made him as excited as I was when I stumbled upon his Twitter a few years ago…

So I decided to tune into his 2015 debut as a starter (he threw an inning of relief on opening night last Sunday), and break down how he looked against the Reds pitch-by-pitch:

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Grizzly Adams did have a beard, and so does Adam LaRoche ($4,800), who’s hitting at an insane clip this month (.636 SLG and .348 ISO). He’s also a notorious slow-starter, but his lifetime OPS in August is .903, which is well higher than any of those other stupid months. Hold up, we’re not done here. I got stats on stats on stats. LaRoche also owns a .417 wOBA and .225 ISO at home versus RHP, and he’s 4-for-11 (1 HR) versus Trevor Cahill, who has been hit hard in 2 career starts at Nationals Park (5.11 ERA).

Man, I hope at least some of those numbers don’t lie, but I know if I ever have any doubts, I can bounce my ideas off the DFSBot. This thing is getting all sorts of accolades lately and was probably banging lines with dimes somewhere in VIP last night. Oh to be the most accurate projection system on the interwebs. Congrats Bot, live it up.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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!

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It’s mid August, which means it’s football season for everyone except those still in contention in baseball leagues (and those gracious, absurd souls that maintain high effort levels on out-of-it teams). The author of this piece confesses that he, in fact, is not one of them. Of the three leagues for which I drafted teams, only one —the one I’m currently in first– commands my honest attention.

But lemme tell ya, I really want to win that one league. Real bad. And I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you are in a similar spot in your league and can Relate. If we call Level 1 “Showing up to the draft” and Level 2 “Replacing injured players”, then I’m operating on like a Level 13 level right now. That means doing all the little things right like making sure I’m taking advantage of platoon splits, dropping fringe guys with unfavorable upcoming matchups (sorry Grady), and starting a guy in every spot on every night, every day of the week. That last part is what this column is all about, so let’s take a look at some of the lesser-owned hitters at our disposal this Thursday.

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OH-WA-AH-AH-AH! Woah, sorry about that. A little rough for a Saturday morning for you? Well what can I say but toughen up, kiddos. There’s only a little over 60 games left on the season for you to tell your significant others that you’re scouring the waiver wire for decent players at 12:30 AM on a Tuesday morning with that ‘Brown Chicken Brown Cow’ sound in the background playing on your computer and no, you’re not listening to Trace Adkins. You don’t like country and you don’t even know who that is. But you do know who Jason Kipnis is…was that a segue? I’m not even sure. If it was, it was a little weak at best but it’s done and now we’re here so lets get down to the goods of it all. Kip – I can call him that since I have a friend from OH with whom I’m bros with; that’s how these things work – hit 2 bombs from the lead off spot for the Tribe on Friday, finishing the night 2/5 with 4 RBIs and 2 runs. And here’s me telling you to sell on dat chit. He’s had a little hotty toddy, we likes to party July, hitting near .300 with 2 said HRs and 5 stolen bases but let us not forget what he has done for his career in the second half. He loses about 20 points of average, about .040% on Slugging and even finds a way to steal less down the stretch. Obviously, past doesn’t always dictate the future. I mean, look at people who get married a second a third time. The percentages staying together get better right? *Looks at percentages*…oh. History is just not on the side of Kipnis being a second half savior for you and I’d make a move if I can still get a price return on him close to what you had to draft him for. In other news from the All-Star break return to our 2014 Fantasy Baseball season…oooh, on the TLC tip! Just a friendly reminder that myself and some other cool cats (I think Mike might be a Toyger) do this thing called DraftKings for you all every day of the week. That last link takes you away to Daily Fantasy land care of our VIP card but this link shows you all the content we’ve been providing to help you get the game down while you’re with us. BTW, didn’t bring up Mike just cuz. I’m swinging for Dan Pants today because apparently he’s pantsless or something. I told him just to change his name to Dan Assless Chaps for the day but he declined. That said, I’m gonna be away from the good ‘ole ‘puter for the day but Mike will be fielding all your burning questions. No, not those questions. If it burns down there, go see a doctor. Mike is just a cool cat and cats aren’t doctors. Duh. But enough chicanery, let’s really get back to this show…

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On Saturday, Jon Lester threw a gem: 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 15 Ks. Such a gem that if that were a blood diamond, diplomats from Monrovia would be lined up in the streets of Liberia for a taste of that. If that were an emerald, friends of Dorothy would stand outside of Ricky Martin’s hotel for weeks just for the chance he forgoes the hotel buffet and wants to eat out. If that were a ruby, it would stand outside a Dallas police station to cover any possible conspiracies and add fuel to other conspiracies. Lester has pitched spectacularly so far, and it’s not a product of luck. His 10.7 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 are elite. Those are fantasy ace numbers. His fastball doesn’t have renewed life, if anything he’s lost something on it. What appears to be the biggest difference is he’s almost completely abandoned his changeup and throwing his cutter a bit more. Since he’s always been good for 200 innings and has had huge success before, I’m willing to say he will hold the improvements to his rates and be an extremely reliable starter. Likely in the top 15 for the year. Yeah, he looks damn good. I want some, purdy puhlease. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Maybe it’s the rush of the holiday season with two kids or the fact that some major cash is flowing in free agency, but I feel like this year’s offseason is just whizzing by. This will be the last sort of “stat review” for SAGNOF before I head into the territory of value plays for steals in 2014. This post will lay out some of the best and worst catchers in terms of their caught stealing percentages (CS%). Keep in mind that pitchers have a lot to do with holding baserunners as well, and you can find my previous post on the best and worst pitchers against the stolen base here at Razzball. A quick note on the catcher tables – I sorted them by qualified and non-qualified catchers. “Qualified” catchers played more than 1/2 of their team’s games, while “non-qualified” catchers played less than that. Catchers who split times between two teams, like Kurt Suzuki, also end up on the “non-qualified” list. The league average caught stealing percentage in 2013 was 28%, and that hasn’t really changed much over the last 3 years (27% in 2012, 28% in 2011). Last but not least, consider that playing time situations can fluctuate with free agent signings and trades, creating new opportunities for previously non-qualified catchers as the offseason transactions continue. Green columns indicate guys that are easy to run against, and red columns designate the toughest to run against:

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You might think I took a week off from the Deep Impact series because of the Memorial Weekend. I mean, who really wants to write when there is BBQ in the air, beer in the hand, and extra time off for everyone? You could think that. And it might be part of the reason, but frankly, I looked at the list of players I wanted to talk about, and that list started and ended with Trevor Crowe. So we could pretend that I enjoyed a vacation due to a holiday, but really, I enjoyed a vacation because I really can’t figure a way to write more than ‘fml’ in a Trevor Crowe blurb. But this week is different, since I’ve figured out a way to bloat some space with quality, not quantity. Oh, wait, scratch that. I have it backwards. Quantity over quality! Wooo!

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