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?

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

Welcome to the “Wacky World of Sports!” I’m your host, Wax Winkingdale. This week we’ve got some weird, wild stuff for you. First up we’re catching up with a bit of silly from last month, when Andrew Cashner played left field for one batter in an extra-inning game for no real reason at all. Whoa, that Bud Black is one crazy guy! And really smart too. Much smarter than Tony LaRussa. [Ed. Note — With less drunk driving to boot!]

Next is more madcap fun from San Diego, where a dinosaur threw out the first pitch before a game last Wednesday against the Royals. And no it wasn’t Steve Garvey! So who was the catcher for this zany occasion? Why it was the Swinging Friar, the team’s mascot. And oh look, the baby T-Rex is on the attack – he heard Friar and got the wrong idea!

Dino

Perhaps the weirdest story of the week comes to us from Toronto, where fantasy experts continue to disrespect a pitcher with a 6-1 record, 1.91 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Regression, they INSIST, is coming for Mark Buehrle as certain as winter is coming for Jon Snow and everyone else in the Seven Kingdoms. One writer said this is because Buehrle is lucky, noting, among other things, his small Home Run to Fly Ball ratio, favorable FIP (Field Independent Pitching) rate and weak K/9 rate. So Buehrle is lucky because he gave up fly balls and not home runs? There’s no skill in that? Guess he was lucky when he threw a perfect game too. And, OKAY, Buehrle doesn’t get a ton of strike outs, and I guess good things are happening when balls that he throws are hit, and that maybe those good things won’t continue happening if balls continue to be hit and not missed by batters. Given all that, by the FIP measurement Buehrle’s ERA would be more in the All-Star zone (low 3’s) and not exactly Cy Young territory (under 2). I don’t think this did the best job of illustrating his point. I’m not really sure how much stock I put in something that looks like this anyway: “FIP = ((13*HR)+(3*(BB+HBP))-(2*K))/IP + constant.” Sounds like Mr. Kowalski’s boring-ass algebra class, not analysis of a sport. There’s a lot of writers a lot smarter than me who use these numbers to make valid points. There’s even more who wank off to print outs of these formulas in the same way that White Goodman rubs one out with a slice of pizza. Here’s my analysis: Buehrle has been excellent, and even though his track record indicates that this isn’t normal, it’s also very possible that he will have the career year the Blue Jays thought he was going to have when they splurged on free agents before the 2013 season. Or at least a career first half. I think we will know which way this is going to go after this week, as Buehrle draws the Angels at home and a trip to the gauntlet in Arlington.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Fredo is a disgrace. That’s Fredo Gonzalez. He’s running around yapping his mouth about my fantasy team’s business, saying Alex Wood can go to the bullpen and Gavin Floyd can stay in the rotation. Why don’t you defend Moe Green while you’re at it, Fredo? I’m sorry, I’m about to have an aneurysm. Fredo said he doesn’t want to go to a six-man rotation, saying, “(Floyd) is one guy that would not go to the bullpen… We all know how the bullpen thing is. You get up. You get down. You go in. You got to warm up in 15 (pitches), and I don’t want to do that to (Floyd).” No, instead you’ll do it to one of your best, young arms. Jonny Venters just asked an elderly man behind him in line at the bank to sign his check for him because he can’t lift his arm! I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart! Well, I haven’t heard anything official yet, but it sounds like Wood is headed to the bullpen so Floyd can start. Super. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Michael Cuddyer to the DL with his hamstring injury. I love these Monday DL calls right after weekly fantasy lineups lock. Turr…iffic! You don’t care about our fantasy teams at all, Walt Weiss, do you? Last year it was Josh Rutledge, this year it’s Corey Dickerson. I wonder if he holds a secret grudge against fantasy baseball because it never rewarded his defensive prowess while he was playing. “Have you ever thought of adding fielding percentage to your fantasy league?” That was Walt Weiss disguised as a waiter at a Cheesecake Factory waiting on Dan Okrent’s table. Weiss then released bumblebees into Okrent’s suite at The Plaza while he read box scores in his robe. Walt is just bitter because the teacher he had a crush on never gave him the time of day. No, this isn’t the plot of Rushmore; the teacher was Carney Lansford. Ginger ’til he dies! So, with Cuddyer out, this could give Corey Dickerson a chance to show why he should be an everyday outfielder on all mixed league teams. Yesterday, Dickerson had the slam & legs and is capable of more. If you need a fifth outfielder, I’d give him a whirl. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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

Before a big test, my high school history teacher would always announce that it would “separate the Dukes from the Chiefs.” Since he liked to be known as Chief, and he called everyone he liked Chief, I’m assuming that this meant that the “Chiefs” were the good guys. Then again, Chief also liked to transport himself back to ‘Nam sometimes, stalking around the classroom looking for “Charlie.” The weirdest thing? I’m not even sure he was in ‘Nam.

Anywho, this legendary teacher from my youth came to mind as I was writing this week’s Two Startapalooza because at Week 4, we’re starting to be able to separate the Dukes from the Chiefs.

As in, it’s obvious that Darvish, King Felix and James Shields are still Chiefs. Yordano Ventura and Julio Teheran are looking like Chiefs. Cliff Lee, who was starting to look a little Duke-ish to me, is still pretty much a Chief. David Price, a surefire Chief a few years ago, is very much a Duke right now.

It’s becoming a lot easier to fill out the Third Tier and Don’t Starts, because we know who is a Duke and who is not. And to get in the Must Start category, you are most certainly a Chief or you have two starts against the Astros next week.

Aight, Chief, let’s get to it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Houston Astros who crawled through a river of shizz and came out clean on the other side. The entire organization looks up in the air, rain beating down. Hey, Bus Driver, take the Astros to Zanwhattwonahwho, they finally called up George Springer! No, I don’t know how to spell it! With a Z? For an organization that hasn’t had anything promising since Billy Hatcher homered off a left-field foul pole, it’s about time there’s something to look forward to. They were downright depressing there for about seven years. Here’s what I said this offseason, “In Triple-A, Springer had 18 homers after hitting 19 homers in Double-A. That’s not one year in Double-A and one year in Triple-A even though my syntax might lead you to believe that. He hit 37 homers last year in the minors. Hello, sexy, what’s your name? Do you like your creme de menthe on the rocks? Can I call you grasshopper? 37 homers is pretttttay, pretttttay good. I wonder if he can do anything else. *moves finger along his minor league line* Hmm, too bad he only stole 45 bases last year. Oh. Wait, come again? I mean, I just came again. 40-steal speed from a guy that nearly hit 40 homers? Yummo on that Thirty Minute Meal. Give me some Restaurant: Stakeout, my waitress is sexting her boyfriend during business hours! So, I guess his average is atrocious. Oh, he hit .311 in Triple-A? Yeah, I just had a fangasm; I have to change my undershorts. Is it all peaches and cream on this big slice of pound cake? No, there’s a K-rate that could portend him actually hitting .245 in the big leagues and I wish he were a year younger, but nothing is spelling D-O-O-M.” And that’s me quoting me! I lurve me some Springer and he’s ownable in every league. My preseason projections for him were 52/19/71/.254/22, but that was with a full season at-bats. Now that he’s missed about two weeks, I’d cut off a few counting stats, but not much. He could be a 20/20 player. Go get him! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So you’re down to the last few nickels of your first buy-in this year. You’re pinching pennies—drinking Olympia and thinning out your Cup O Noodles with Ramen. You know you need to do research to come up today, but you can’t justify using that much electricity. Don’t fret, mah people. I got your winning lineup right hurrr. I know. I shouldn’t have. I’ve been invoking Peyton Manning all week. DraftKings don’t slang hot pies, but they do love to hook you up for no apparent reason like Papa John’s. So we’ve teamed up to give you the freshest players in the freshest daily fantasy site out there. But wait, there’s more! Our boys at DraftKings are giving you a chance to get ghetto rich with $2 bucks giving you the chance to cash out $400k in the Sweet Spot.

We’re gonna sweeten the deal a little further today. Once you’ve signed up via Razzball for DraftKings, hit this link, and you can come try to take down Da Schlurricane. I’m opening up a contest for you to see how I do work. I never said I was smart – giving you the opportunity to expose me as a fraud. I’m so brash I even invited Tehol into the mix. The writing may be pro bono but my fantasy contests gotta make some cheddah. I’m betting him 2 tix to Mariners/A’s that I’ll Beddict his ass. You only get to play me for bragging rights and dolla bills ya’ll! But I’m sure you’re studs at bragging. And if you follow my instructions, you’ll have some bills.

Today’s a good day to take advantage of a lot of matchups. I’m gonna give you my lineup today. Go enter a contest or two with it and then invoke the Steam-O-Nator and Hittertron to come take me out. After all, Rudy’s mind is much more elevated than mine. We’re talking catwalk vs. gutter ya’ll.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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

Matt Moore is a bust,” fantasy expert Cocker Cockleysworth says. “He got lit up in Spring Training and his walks are way up. Great arm, bad command.”

“Now wait a second,” fantasy analyst Roger Dingleberry says. “This is the same Matt Moore who was an All-Star in 2013 and was so close to Cy Young he got himself a peep show. He went 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA and 143 Ks in 150 innings.”

And so the debate raged on all the way up through the 2014 fantasy draft, where owners got the gas face if they drafted Moore too high, while others were quite pleased to have him fall in their laps later than expected. The war of words kicked up a notch. It got heated. Someone got killed with a trident.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Another Cuban has washed ashore, dreaming of American capitalism and getting seriously laid in Miami. The Cardinals signed shortstop, Aledmys Diaz. Let’s give you a comparison that may or may not do it for you. Diaz hit 12 homers and stole 11 bases with a.315 average in his last year in Cuban ball. Recent raftee by the Dodgers, Alexander Guerrero hit 21 homers, stole 2 bases and hit .290. Right now, Guerrero might be losing the starting job to Dee Gordon who can’t hit his weight, and he weighs 143 pounds. It’s nice that another Cuban gets to realize his dreams like Yasiel Puig and Tony Montana, but I’m not even sure if Diaz will make an impact this year, or ever. Despite his name resembling “All Days,” he’s being projected as a bench player. Oh, and I just had a great idea. I’m not sure who can make this happen, but we should get Fidel Castro on the podcast to talk about baseball. Speaking of which, we’re recording the first podcast of the year today and it should be on-site tomorrow. You can hardly wait. No, you! Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If I am correct on my predictions, the NL pennant race will be a fun one.  I see three teams with playoff potential, and a fourth that is just shy of it.  Sorry San Diego fans, this isn’t your year. [Ed. Note — JERK!]  Good news though, the Chinese calendar says it is going to be the year of the Tony Gwynn soon. [Ed. Note — I take it back. Sorta.] (You can check out the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?