This is happening on the other side of my laptop as I sit here writing the Two-Startapalooza…

owierazz

Yes, that is a dog dry-humping Boo the star Pomeranian in stuffed animal form. He does it all the time, but for some reason it seemed profound to me and strangely relevant to this week’s batch of pitchers. [Jay's Note: Uhhhh. Okay?] Perhaps my dog represents the fantasy gods, and Boo is fantasy owners everywhere, especially those on the playoff bubble in their leagues. No Clayton Kershaw, no Max Scherzer, no David Price, no mega-aces to speak of. Combustible No. 2’s. A lot of mediocrity. Dudes obviously pitching over their heads, and dying to, well, eff you over. And then the looming threat of namby-pamby real-life baseball managers pulling guys early in games to get ready for the real-life playoffs and even scratching top-flight starters with mysterious blisters, hangnails and other assorted bogus injuries in an effort to save them for the postseason. The nerve! But I see two little gifts from these same fantasy gods: Two guys with potential who have good-to-great matchups this week.

First up is Eric Stults, a Hodgepadre with two home starts (Brew Crew and Dodgers) and a nice run going. He’s 3-1 in August with a 1.49 ERA, and only one of those starts was in Petco. Also, he’s only walked two guys in his last three starts, and has the potential to strike guys out on top of that. Then there’s Dillon Gee, who looked like a potential ace out of the gate this year but then missed two months with a back injury. He’s been about as appealing as amusement park food since his return, racking up a 5.50 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP with no wins over the last 30 days. But if you drill down into his last four starts, he hasn’t been that awful. He held down the Giants for the most part on Aug. 4, giving up two runs over 5-plus innings. He then dominated the flat-lining Phillies in Philly. Now I’ll make some excuses. Is there shame in getting a little shaken (4 ER in 5 innings) in a loss to the first-place Nats at home or a road loss to first-place Oakland? This week, Gee welcomes two beatable opponents to Citi Field: The strikeout happy Braves and then those same crappy Phillies. I like Gee and Stults as streamers who won’t “screw you over” (heh) and nothing else. Now let’s see what else we got in the Two-Starter cupboard this week.

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.

Two-Startapalooza’s back, beoches!

Man, I gotta tell yunz, I had a superly-dooperly extended break, and all ya’ll who know me know that there is not one hint of sarcasm in that statement. There were some lessons learned, particularly on the baseball front, although almost none of those items involved fantasy baseball since there was no fantasy baseball. We learned that Major League players love Derek Jeter so much that they’re willing to sully their good name by not only grooving him pitches in the All-Star Game and but also admitting it and then awkwardly and unsuccessfully backtracking. We learned that the Guru had a Derek Jeter Retirement Barf Bag – I bought five, by the way. Thanks Guru! We learned that another Derek, Derek Holland, is the grand Puba of not one but two fart games played in the Rangers bullpen, Pink Eye and Fart Bottle Roulette (nevermind the fact that Holland has been injured all year). We learned that baseball doesn’t give a crap about one Anthony Keith Gwynn Sr.

I for one learned that Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom gets recognized around New York for his fantastic early 1990s mullet and that he is not one bit ashamed of it. I discovered this in a great New York Times piece on deGrom that I read when trying to decide if I should stream him or hang onto him. Well, the fact that deGrom is a proud business-in-the-front, party-in-the-back kind of guy was just enough to make me sacrifice to keep him. That and the fact that he was mowing down dudes heading into the All-Star break. Over his last three games, he whiffed 27 and only walked four. Two of those were fairly dominant performances. If there was ever a time to scoop up Zane Smith’s more attractive clone (this is not saying much, as old-schoolers well know), it’s right now. deGrom is slated for a two-start week, including one in Safeco.

Here’s some more two-start guys for next week. Oh and tip of the cap to Sky, who did an amazing job filling in at Two-Startapalooza. During his stay he introduced some cool new ideas I might run with but also left behind a whole lot of some kind of sticky substance. Thanks Sky! I think?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I wrote a letter to Dayan Viciedo the other day and promised to sing about him. After hearing this rhyme, I knew I had to take it for me. I couldn’t think of a better way to explain my infatuation because there is life and there is Dayan, at least for this week. Here’s what I’m singing to him:

I’m like Tre, that’s Cuba Gooding
I know I’m good at
Dayan of thirst
Dayan of thirst
Dayan of thirst

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.

The story of Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto is the Tale of Two Reds.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times to have Dusty Baker as a manager. It was the age of the possibility, with two pitchers on the same team going after the Cy Young every year. It was the age of those two hurlers sharing an apartment and duking it out on PlayStation. It was the epoch of mid-90s fastballs, it was the epoch of a Cincinnati team that never made it, it was the season of 2008… It was the season of throwing way too many pitches, but it was the spring of hope …

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For all of today’s news and lineup notes, all with a Canadian/Arizonian accent (if that’s such a thing, I’m assuming it is unless they already deported it) here’s Nick the Podcast Radio Host with today’s HotSheet!

To be fair, Johnny Cueto is good, but that’s not the name of the song. Pitching a complete game, three hit shut-out with eight strikeouts is quite an impressive start, until you realize it was against the Padres. You gave up three hits against them? What is this? Kevin Correia hour? Even though those nine innings struck me as quite pedestrian, his last 63.0 IP have been quite impressive. And seeing as how he’s one of the eighteen pitchers who has survived so far without a tendon exploding, he could be well on his way for a Cy Young caliber year. And while the red flags are few and far between, I would be remiss not to mention them. First, his LOB% is insane at 99.5%. Yes, he’s really great at holding runners, but the league average is 72.8% and his career average 76.6%. Second, his BB% is unchanged, but his K/9 is 9.71, compared to a career number of 7.19, and there’s really no reason why. The velocity has remained the same. There’s been an uptick of two-seamers with less sliders and change-ups… but if it was sequencing, we’d need a bigger sample. If it’s a case of getting called third strikes at a higher rate, that would demand regression. And, of course, there’s always injury-risk. But in the year of the Tommy John, I’ll feel relieved if someone’s arm doesn’t literally just fall off during a game this season. But hey, pitchers have career years. And when good pitchers have career years, well, ahem, they have career years? Uhh… I was in trouble like six words in…

Here’s what else I saw on Thursday (besides yo momma):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The other day I said that I smelled a Disgraceful List stint coming for Tony Cingrani from a dead arm, then yesterday the Reds announced Cingrani had shoulder tendinitis. He said he didn’t think he needed a DL stint. I’ve said this before, but it always surprises me how teams can put players who are not injured on the DL. Before a player can go on the DL, Major League Baseball should require approval from one person: a strict school nurse. “Hey, Nurse Blumenthal, this is the Mets calling and we were wondering if we can DL Bartolo Colon with an inflamed elbow?” Nurse Blumenthal gives out a disapproving groan, yanks up her hosiery and then tells them, “I saw him playing catch and talking to some girls in the parking lot. I’d say he looked fine. Goodbye!” I’d DL Cingrani for now and pray to whoever will hear fantasy baseball prayers — A nerdy priest? An athletic rabbi? Do these things exist? — that Cingrani gets right with himself and the world in two weeks’ time. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When Grey asked me if I wanted to be the creeper of the week, I thought I was being scolded for inappropriate behavior in the comments section. What a relief it was when I found out I would get to write for the readers on a weekly basis talking about Creepers. After doing some research, I’ve found out that to be a good creeper you need a good pair of binoculars, a really nice van, and a list….lipstick optional.  Unfortunately I didn’t need the binoculars or the van to write this article, but I’ll keep them anyway. Though the list has been valuable and the lipstick is quite empowering,  I think it it’s time to get this party started. I started with a list and whittled it down and realized there were too many young guys people have taken flyers on. But what I did see was a lot of veteran streaky hot schomatato types. As I sat here digging through the piles of the unwanted to find that one guy that should be available in most 12-team leagues and usable in terms of SAGNOF, HR’s, great park/matchups, I came across a name we all know and love to hate…..Adam Dunn (14.3% owned).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As spring training takes off, we, the wonderful people of Razzball, thought it would be a good idea to look into some intra-team rivalries.  What positions are a lock?  What positions are being fought over?  What positions will they hire me to fill-in for (second base Blue Jays, I’m looking at you)? Find out as the second part of this series will focus on AL Central… (You can check out the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Back on the 6th of February, I was invited to a 15-Team Expert’s Mock meant to emulate something akin to what the NFBC does. Whoa, Rudy has a Razzy sign-up on-going for this type of format?… Coincidence? NOTHING IS COINCIDENCE. Anyhizzle, I’d like to thank Paul Sporer of Baseball Prospectus and our mighty mustache’d overlord Grey for being invited to such a festive affair. I even wore my Christmas sweater. At home. In front of the computer. With no socks. Or pants. Lo-and-behold, the draft was held on a Thursday, which, if you don’t know, is a night reserved for drinking and debauchery in the Longfellow household. Then again, so is Friday. And Saturday. And, um, well, Sunday too. And Monday. Well, you get the point. ALL THE NIGHTS. I could quite possibly be an alcoholic. But I like the taste, so that means I’m not. Wait, what? Anyhow, the best part about drinking during a draft, even a mock one, is you get plausible deniability for everything. Did I need some here? That’s for you to decide…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We started this thing like boys and four girls (but, let’s be honest, one or two of the girls are kinda manly), and we leave this season as men and four women. In March, we dazzled each other with our drafted lineups in the comments. Today, most of those people are playing fantasy football, fantasy basketball or fantasy hockey and forgetting all about their one-two punch of Ryan Braun and Josh Hamilton, that, in their words, they were just shocked to be able to draft both. Fantasy baseball isn’t made for the water cooler like the Breaking Bad finale — holy crap! — it’s made for the vending machine, because you don’t walk away from your team to talk. You rush away to get snacks and run those snacks back to your team, so you can watch as your team accrues stats or just ‘a-screws’ you. Some of you will sit with your fantasy team’s lineup open on your desktop through November like it has been for the last six months, hoping for one more day to save your season. Some of you will just close that team lineup browser window, ripping off the Band-Aid. But even if the lineup isn’t open, the player’s names will be burned into your screen because you shut off your screensaver six months ago. You should go ahead and turn that back on, or buy a new monitor. If you won your league, the salary hours you put into your teams could’ve saved the economy. Well, eff the economy, you won bragging rights! If you won your league with Henderson Alvarez and his no-hitter, then God bless your foresight, but I wouldn’t be shocked if you were really a witch. Conspiracy Theory Alert! The Tigers are securely in the playoffs and Henderson Alvarez is in the on-deck circle. Bases are juiced with two outs. The Tigers don’t want extra innings right before the playoffs and the Marlins can’t score with a prostitute and a roofie. Leyland sends the pitching coach out and tells Putkonen throw a breaking ball to the backstop and give the kid the no hitter. Either way, what a great way to end the baseball season. A sport that you just can’t ever predict gives a guy no one would’ve predicted a no hitter. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?