I’ve been forced to travel a lot lately. Today’s installment comes to you from the friendly confines of the Denver airport. I just came out of the smoking lounge. People are crazy out here, man. I was excited because I thought all U.S. airports had done away with indoor smoking lounges. I went in, sparked a cig and like 20 people gave me dirty looks until one guy ran over flailing his arms and yelling at me that I was “harshing the whole room’s mellow!” I wasn’t bothering anyone! Whatever. I left. I guess that’s why they got rid of the indoor smoking lounges. People go crazy in there. I feel tingly after being in there for only 30 seconds. Anyway, on to Draftkings!

Today’s bold prediction: The Washington Nationals will be kicking the Rox all over the place today. Not bold enough? It gets bolder. (or Boulder?) Jordan Zimmermann at $8,800 is worthy of starting today. I’m recommending to start a pitcher in Coors Field. And as such, I shall start my obituary as a DFS writer… Yes, I understand how risky Coors is for pitchers and I’m slightly ok with it anyway. Zimmerman has owned the Rockies in his career and he’s not afraid to pitch in Coors. Over the past 3+ seasons, Zimmerman is 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA at Coors Field. He’s sporting his best K rates of his career and the Rockies are cold and injured. Tulowitzki is doubtful for today’s game, and if he’s out I’ll roll out Zimmerman. Cuddyer is out and Arenado and CarGo just came back from injuries and haven’t gotten it going.

I’m also gonna stack Washington hitters today. Which Nats players you ask? If he’s in the starting lineup for the Nats today, I’d stack him. Yep any of em. I don’t care who it is. Name him, I’d stack him. That sounds dirty, but it isn’t. It’s ok. Just do it. If you haven’t stacked yet, today is your day. This one is so luscious. The entire lineup is hot right now. They’re in Coors. Yohan Flande. Yohan Flande? Yohan Flande! That was fun.

Speaking of fun… join a bunch of Razzballers for a friendly 20 team league over at DraftKings. I’ve added to the fun by paying out the top 5. If you’re signing up for the first time, make sure to use our link to sign up. Think of it as voting for your favorite fantasy site! Don’t wanna play with us small timers? Well try the big time tourney with a $20 buy-in for the $100K pot by clicking here. Top prize gets $20K. That could afford you a couple of nights in Paris! I’m sure she could use the publicity at this point, anyway.

We’re gonna need to find ways to afford all those expensive Nats hitters. The DFSBot has been impressively accurate in predicting player values. Make sure you put it to use in your favor and check your starting lineups prior to first pitch. Here’s a few guys I recommend as well:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As I mentioned in my first/intro OPS post, we’re looking at OPS differential by using expected (x)Homerun and expected (x)BABIP differentials. If you like Captain Planet or laser beams, or want to understand my general approach, then I recommend a gander. If you provide your email below, I can furnish the full list that you can sort. Wordpress doesn’t allow me to copy and paste it all pretty for you.

Let’s start with my xHR formula (PA*Ct%*OFFB%*HR/OFFB%). Here are the top 10 guys likely to drop off from a HR perspective: Albert Pujols, Adam Jones, Justin Morneau, Alexei Ramirez, Mark Reynolds, Charlie Blackmon, Ian Desmond, Brett Lawrie, Hunter Pence and Salvador Perez.

Here are the top 35 guys likely to drop off from a BABIP perspective that you actually might own (meaning I’m excluding the Martin Maldonados of the world): Josh Rutledge, Justin Ruggiano, A.J. Pollock, Josh Hamilton, Stephen Vogt, J.D. Martinez, J.J. Hardy, Eugenio Suarez, Hunter Pence and Matt Adams.

Looking at both xHR and xBABIP differentials, here are guys you might own that I would consider selling in OPS leagues based on their expected vs. actual OPS (the differential is in parenthesis just like this statement. See what I did here?):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Manny Machado‘s epitaph: He always found more success throwing a bat at a ball. Better than Salvador Perez’s: Together again! Machado wasn’t just struggling, he was like that friend of yours that not only is having a rotten time at a party, but also sucks the prettiest girls in the room into his sad funk of despair and before long, the girls are like, “I don’t want to go out and get drunk and party and potentially hook up with you. Your friend Manny Machado is too depressed.” The buzz kill friend. Yesterday, Machado went 5-for-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his 8th homer, and fourth homer in his last seven games (skipping the suspension games). About time he listened to your advice, did a body shot off the tummy of the girl that wants to be a physical therapist and cheered up! I don’t own Machado anywhere this year, due to the knee issue coming into the season, but he just turned 22 years old (almost literally; his birthday was Sunday) and I’ll be all over Machado again next year. Of course, if you can acquire him in a trade this year, by all means, which sounds like it was said by Malcolm X’s less militant brother, Bobby X. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What’s the mood, doode? How ya’ feelin’? Why is it all real G’s drop their G’s on their gerunds? G-dropping as non-G’s call it. That keeps me up at night. Failing to rank at first Tyson Ross in my top 100 starters doesn’t. It was a mistake on my part, and I corrected it before we got out of February. I ranked him. Snafu less afu’d than it could’ve been. I still probably didn’t rank him high enough. They have no award for that. Trophies, trophies. This is like Gangsta Deep Thoughts on Def Poetry Jam. Stop me from going up like a crescendo. This is not a love song. This is “What Tyson Ross has done so far this year” song. That is not as catchy. They don’t play that on KDay. His ERA is at 2.93 after a complete game shutout where he struck out 9 and only allowed 3 baserunners. His K-rate is 8.6, walk rate is 3.2 and xFIP is 3.16. Clap, pause for a sip of Olde E, clap. I paused for a sip of the brew on his walk rate, if you’re uptake is slow. His away ERA is 4.18. Well, you had me convinced you were more than a Hodgepadre there for a moment. Nice trick, Copperfield. Ross is owned in 51% of ESPN leagues, which is stoopid, but since I only own 12,000 ESPN teams to collect some software. Virtual trophies, virtual trophies. I can only do so much. Yes, he should be owned, but he’s a lot safer in Petco. No dur. And I bow. And I just hit my head on my desk. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, you should be sorry, Ronald Belisario. You have been pretty rough on your owners since stepping into the closer role, testing the limits of SAGNOF and just how much pain a fantasy owner will endure to capture those elusive saves. Belisario was at it again last night and gave up three hits and two runs to the Blue Jays, recording just one out before being removed from the game. In just 12 innings pitched since inheriting the job, Ronny has surrendered 10 ER on 20 hits with three blown saves in in that time. More like RonaldO-No! Hey, a World Cup pun, how topical. In Belisario’s defense, he did manage eight saves during his stay as closer, but that’s more a testament to Manager Robin Ventura sticking with him this long. Well, Ventura has had enough. Alrighty then, Ventura, who’s your closer now? Jake Petricka finished out the game last night and notched his second save of the season. Petricka has a 2.08 ERA and 1.27 WHIP on the year and looks like the most likely choice to take over the closer role. Javy Guerra, Zach Putnam and Daniel Webb could also be names to watch and see chances were the Sox to go to a committee. Whatever the case, Ronald is out. And although he may not apologize for killing your ratios over the past month, you can drop him now, which is definitely something you won’t have to feel sorry about.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, there was a pitching performance that truly captured the minds and hearts of the general public. You know, the general public — the people you smile at on the street and wonder how they got their shirt on because they look so dumb. Those people! This pitching performance wasn’t done by just any average pitcher. No, it was done by…an outfielder. Travis Snider struck out Joey Votto! Whaaaaaaat?! Oh, and Clayton Kershaw threw a no-hitter. It should’ve been a perfect game, but Hanley didn’t feel like it. It’s okay, Hanley, don’t beat yourself up over it too much. Let Dodger fans do it for you! Kershaw’s game wasn’t perfect in the strictly record book sense, but it was in the fantasy sense. 15 Ks, no hits, no walks — you now have the best pitching performance of this year, and it might be a top ten fantasy start of all-time. I wonder if you could buy him low. I keed! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Clap along if you feel like that song got overplayed (Cuz it’s crappyyyyyy). Clap along if you feel like Pharrell should’ve never sang (Cuz it’s crappyyyyyy). Clap along if you know he coulda done a better thang (Cuz it’s crappyyy). Clap along if you feel these lyrics are just a drain (Cuz they’re crappyyyyyyy). Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Pharrell Williams fan…back when he was a producer as part of The Neptunes duo. The man knows music inside and out and it’s pretty clear he knows how to stick good tunes in your head. Hell, even N.E.R.D. was boss. Yeah, yeah, he sang…if you think the Beastie Boys sing. Let me put it to you this way. I’ll listen to Britney Spears. It’s one song. It’s ‘I’m A Slave 4 U‘ and not out of any sense of irony or wry humor. It’s all cuz of Pharrell. Granted, I do it with the vocals stripped but whatever, you get the point: the man knows his beats and has a huge musical vocabulary. Jazz, do-wop, 70′s soul, punk, disco…the man is a walking classics playlist with his own flare. What does all this have to do with J.A. Happ you ask? Eh, nothing really. I just wanted to riff on Pharrell for a bit. Before he was gathering Grammys with a weird hat, he was dropping quality track after quality track…and winning Grammys. So basically nothing’s changed and the same can be said of Happ. He’s still not a good pitcher. But that doesn’t mean he can’t drop a quality start in the middle of of his mediocrity, especially when given such a prime matchup. The Royals are either at or near the bottom of the barrel in terms of team wOBA, ISO, and OBP against lefties on the year. Now that doesn’t make J.A. a safe bet, of course, but when you look at his price of $6,300 over on DraftKings, you have to consider how much he’ll aid you in rostering some bigger bats for a full Friday slate. So now that we’ve covered the important things in life – Pharrell’s discography and Happ still being a bad pitcher with a good matchup – let’s give this Friday slate a whirl, shall we?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In the past, I’ve gone out of my way to focus more on rookie hitters than pitchers, but after last year and living through season-after-season of diminishing offense, this is the world we live in. Before you blame anyone, look in the mirror. What do you see? Besides, the blackheads. You see someone that supported baseball ridding itself of PEDs. So, this is what we have. Pitching up the wazoo. I still contend it should be ‘out the wazoo’ and not ‘up the wazoo,’ but I’m playing by your rules now. I’m no longer sticking it to the man and going up the wazoo. Hmm, that sounded wrong, but never the hoo! Kevin Gausman just barely maintained rookie eligibility by only pitching 47 2/3 IP last year. Really showing a thing or two about not knowing what was coming or going either by having a 5.66 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. It really means nothing. First of all, his xFIP was 3.04, so his ERA shouldn’t have even been that bad. Second of all, he had a 9+ K-rate, which is right in line what you can expect. Third of all, there is no third of all. Why would you think there was a third of all? Gausman isn’t a 5+ ERA pitcher. He could be the best rookie pitcher this year. He has that kind of stuff. With the O’s, you gotta mind your P’s and Q’s. Excuse me, I had Alphabet Soup for lunch and just burped. What I mean is the O’s aren’t in the best division for nurturing along a young starter. You have to be on the top of your game in the AL East. Gausman has the stuff to tame the big offenses. As I’ve tried to beat into your head, a pitcher with great control and strikeout stuff is worth your attention. Gausman is that type of pitcher. The only real question is do the O’s stay with him in the rotation. If today’s game vs. the Tigers is a spot start and back to the minors, it’s not great. Opportunity + Stuff = Fudgie the Whale. Wow, my math is off there. It should’ve equaled “worth a flyer in all fantasy leagues to see if he stays in the rotation.” To give you an idea of this guy’s upside, in Prospect Scott’s top 25 fantasy baseball prospects, the top five are Tanaka, Abreu, Bogaerts, Taijuan and then Gausman. That’s elite company. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m not here to tell you that Giancarlo Stanton is a great player because I’ve already done that. However, his hot start has me questioning just how good he really is. I understand that you never want to overrate the first month of a season (I’m looking at you, Jose Abreu), but Stanton has had many stretches like this before. He currently has a .294/.385/.610 line and the crazy thing is that there aren’t any red flags. Sure, his average is a little higher than you’d expect, but he’s hitting more line drives and, with as hard as he hits the ball, you’d expect a higher batting average as a result. It’s always difficult to make the case for taking anybody above Mike Trout, regardless of the format. Still, I believe there’s a reasonable argument for taking Stanton with the first pick in a keeper or redraft league, where slugging is heavily weighted, batting average is replaced with OBP, and steals aren’t valued highly. Feel free to chime in – I’m curious where you would rank him in an OPS league if a draft was held today. Anyway, here are some other guys on my mind and their impact on OPS leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

According to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater, Albert Pujols is our #3 first baseman (#17 overall) – prior to Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman, Anthony Rizzo and Joey Votto, in that order, with others dispersed in between. I’m selling Pujols for any one of these guys, for sure, but I’d also accept Justin Morneau, Brandon Belt, Edwin Encarnacion, perhaps Matt Adams and maybeeee Prince Fielder, contingent on who else can be had.

Here is exactly what you can say to your league-mate(s): “Bro/Brethren, Pujols is back. Plus, look at the .240 BABIP – that is going to shoot up!”

But this post is what I really think. Feel free to comment below with the offers you see for him or request for him, and I’ll offer my feedback, which will often be “do it”, and here is why:

Please, blog, may I have some more?