I’m staring out on a prairie in the middle of Palm Springs. Okay, it’s not a prairie. It’s more of a dirt field with a bingo card blowing through it. But let’s pretend it’s a prairie. Why am I standing in a prairie that’s not really a prairie? Because all great baseball moments happen this way. Just one man and rows of corn. Except those aren’t rows of corns, but walkers lined up against the window of a Starbucks. But let’s pretend they are cornfields! I’m pulling off my cap (not wearing a cap; don’t want to mess my hair), staring directly into the sky (wearing sunglasses) and screaming at the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, “Why do you have to make the rest of us suffer for the childhood you never had?!” Okay, I need to move on before the OPP (Old People Police) come after me. We should’ve known a rather pedestrian 7 IP, 4 ER from Masahiro Tanaka was a sign that he was hurt. We should’ve known! Or an even worse 6 2/3 IP, 5 ER start the next time out. We should’ve known! Alas, we didn’t know. So, Tanaka’s going for a variety of tests, and hopefully it’s nothing, but any time there’s something wrong with a pitcher’s elbow it’s something. Are we sure he didn’t inflame his elbow using Hideki’s porn collection? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

July 4th is right around the corner, and I know you got tons of big (that’s me finger quoting) plans for the weekend.  So I’ll cut right to the chase and break down some of the injuries affecting fantasy baseball at the moment. Just remember, when you’re two cases of beer in and your starting shortstop breaks his finger sliding headfirst into second base, don’t, I repeat, don’t take out your frustrations by launching fireworks at your computer.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jackie Bradley Jr. walked three times in one game. Have you people forgotten he walked three times…IN ONE GAME! Yeah, that’s old news for the Sons of Sam Horn. They have a new fish to park in Harvard Yard. There’s going to be a new man in Bo’ town soon. The master of no disaster, the king of that’s a purdy swing, the man who once impregnated a lady by looking at her while he was in the batter’s box, Mookie Betts. Oh, you better, you better, you Betts! I usually don’t get caught up in the thrill of the rookie chase (Ha! Of course I do, I’m a damn fool!), but this one looks like he might be mollywhopping like, well, a middle infielder and stealing bases like, well, a middle infielder. Now, now, no deflating. He does look like he can be special and should have middle infield eligibility, which ups the how’s your father just a bit. He stole 22 bases in 54 games in Double-A, but he was completely overmatching people there. Okay, in Triple-A, he’s doing the same. He’s putting up Atari numbers everywhere he goes in the minor leagues. Hard to imagine it continues in the majors, but, if it did, he’d be a 15-homer, 35-steal guy. Sounds like another Red Sox middle infielder from once upon a time ago (no, not dyslexic Ramon). The one that they shipped off to Florida (Hanley Ramirez). If Mookie is available in your league and you have room, I’d stash him. It sounds like he could be up in the landmark case of sooner vs. later. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

James Jones has appeared in this column before, but his three steals against the Padres last week opened the eyes of fantasy players in all formats. It shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise given who those steals came against though. The Padres are one of the worst teams in the majors at holding baserunners and on that particular night it was Tyson Ross on the mound. Ross is currently leading the major leagues in stolen bases allowed (21). He’s got a big red target on his back for those of us in daily leagues looking to deploy SAGNOF types. If you look at it as a rate, the Padres hurler is giving up about a steal for every five innings pitched. Ross is scheduled to face the Diamondbacks this week, so even fringy players like Tony Campana might be worth a shot for a stolen base. Week to week we give you the best and worst teams to run against, but looking even closer at the individual pitchers can be helpful for daily lineup changes. Hey Mike, I wish we had a tool for that! I hear you, friend. Check out the SB Rates vs. SP tool. It will give you the stolen base against data for each pitcher in 2013. Here’s a quick rundown of the best arms to run against in 2014 fantasy baseball…

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(Blows Whistle) Campers settle down now! My name is Ralph and I’ll be your Draftkings camp counselor for the summer. Now that you’ve returned here to beautiful camp Razzawanna, I’d like to give you some tips for safe and successful DraftKinging during your time here. First and foremost keep these two things in mind, first wear your sun screen. The sun is very strong here in Death Valley. You might ask why our camp’s founders Grey Albright and Rudy Gamble picked a location with such harsh weather. I can’t tell you, but I think they might be slightly sadistic. Hey, it could be worse; we could be down the road at the Scientology compound. They shock you with cattle prods when you’re bad, we just take your cash and re-invest it in gambling on daily fantasy sports. The second rule is don’t mess with Padres hitters…that’s pretty self-explanatory. Questions? No? Alrighty then, let’s move on.

With the NBA and NHL finals in the books and Football a few months away all focus is back on baseball. As it should be, what’s better than baseball? Boobs you say! Well, we got them! Billy Butler has not yet eaten his way out of the league and he’s got a solid pair (but with two homers he is getting close). The best way to get in on the daily madness that is baseball is to play DraftKings with us here at Razzball. Not only can you join in the Razzball leagues put together daily by yours truly, but if you join today you’ll get a ticket for a free entry into one of DK’s awesome contests. To join the debauchery click here. Don’t forget to check out the top-notch tools provided here on Razzball in the DFSbot, the Hitter-tron, and the Stream-o-nator.

I’m running two contests today on Draftkings a 10 teamer for the early games and a 20 team blood bath for the later set. Hop on the good foot and get into these contests early to avoid getting Lifshitzed like fellow Razzball writer J-Foh. The setup for today is a little different with three sets of contests running (early afternoon, late afternoon, and night games), so I’m going to give you a couple of targets for the early ones and a full roster for the late games.
Without further ado, here’s Razzball’s picks for June 21st in the year of our lord 2014.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Carlos Santana went 0-for-5 with 1 RBI. He could’ve hit six homers yesterday and still only had one RBI, because the guy in front of him said to the media, “By the power vested in me in the state of Cleveland — is this a state? — I now pronounce myself Lonnie Gonnie. I will now release an album that will be critically drubbed, but the masses will enjoy it called, ‘Lonnie Went Gonnie.’ Then the straight-to-DVD movies I star in will be reprisals of the Ernest movies, but with Lonnie in the title. For example, ‘Lonnie Goes To Africa’ or ‘Lonnie Goes to Jail.’ Is there any questions for Lonnie Gonnie? No? Good, because I got homers to hit and ribbies to eat and average to drive up the wazoo like I’m a wazoo driving machine.” Yesterday, Lonnie Chisenhall went H.A.M then damn, then come again, ma’am. Three homers (5, 6, 7), nine RBIs, and raised his average up to .385 while going 5-for-5. That’s a career .265 hitter. Zoinks! He’s probably going to remember who he really is at some point soon, but ride the lightning while Lonnie’s rocking out. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I didn’t think this was going to turn into my ode to the Beastie Boys this week, but as fate would have it, it did. Brock Holt has been a beast(ie) of late, but his ownership has barely budged (6.8%). This rap of nonsense has nothing to do with Mr. Holt, but the title worked for me. I’ll be honest, the creative juices are a little low over here. Have you heard some of these lyrics – “beer drinking, breath stinking, sniffing glue, belly fullin’ always illin’ , bustin’ caps” Huh? What? Maybe it isn’t that far off because Brock Holt doesn’t make sense to a lot of people either. But what does make sense is you need to hold on to Holt if you own him and grab him if you don’t. In a league I’m in with our resident Orgeonian Sky, he quickly scooped up Brock to fill in for the injured Nolan Arenado two weeks ago, and I thought he was a puffing penguin. When I saw this I was head scratchin’ a little bit. Who is this Holt kid? Why hasn’t he been plastered all over the place like every other Red Sox prospect that has a sliver of talent? Why do I ask myself all these questions?

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.

What do you think the Stream-O-Nator looks like? I imagine it resembles Dr. Theopolis, the little circular faced thing that hangs around Twiki’s neck on “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”. Dr. Theo was basically a robot on a robot, only he was the smart one and he kind of relied on his dumb robot friend to get him around. Is it possible that Stream-O-Nator hangs around Hitter-Tron’s neck? Would that make Stream-O-Nator a blow-up doll of sorts?

These questions probably couldn’t and shouldn’t be answered, but one thing I do know is that Stream-O-Nator cannot detect signs of life. Because if it could, it would be able to go in and perform the baseball equivalent of an electrocardiogram on the Philadelphia Phillies and come back with something very close to a straight, flat line. This is especially true at Citizens Bank Park, where it’s almost worse than a road game in terms of boos and pressure from a fan base that’s about to go for a group swim off the Ben Franklin Bridge.

And if Stream-O-Nator could do this, it would know that the first of Ian Kennedy’s two starts next week should be a cake walk. Yes, CBP is a bandbox, but no, the older Phillie bats won’t be able to catch up with Kennedy’s lively fastball, nor will bewildered youngsters like Domonic Brown, whose swing is so jacked up that play-by-play guys with manboobs who never played the game are dissecting the various hitches that have him down near the Mendoza line.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The 2014 season is two months old, so it’s data day here at the Razzball Steals Emporium. This is kind of like the chapter review our teachers gave us in school, except there is no test, so everybody wins. We have to mention Dee Gordon to start. His ADP was 222. This is ironic because that’s about how many steals he’ll likely end up with this year. With 34 stolen bases on June 1, the 26-year-old middle infielder is on a crazy pace for about 90 swipes this season. Billy Hamil-who?

Gordon has always had speed, but he’s doing more to utilize it this year in the majors. He’s been successful on the basepaths 92% of the time. He’s swinging at less pitches outside of the strike zone, making better contact, and striking out less in general. Gordon has also been hitting more ground balls, less fly balls, and significantly less infield fly balls. This has all resulted in a better batting average, better on-base percentage, and in turn crazy stolen base numbers. It’s almost as if someone reminded Dee that he was fast and should just try to put the ball on the ground. Amazing!

Gordon owners can enjoy the ride and shouldn’t stay up at night worrying about him falling off a cliff. If anything, I wouldn’t be shy to acquire Gordon off of an owner who was nervous about that very scenario. He won’t provide much outside of stolen bases, but he’ll help you come close to winning that category from a middle infield position, allowing you to roster more balanced players in your outfield slots.

Here’s where we’re at with steals through the first two months in 2014 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.

If someone had told me on Aug. 15, 2013 that Zack Wheeler would only be half-owned in Yahoo and ESPN leagues at the start of June 2014 I would have quit fantasy baseball immediately and wailed the loudest Nicolas Cage wail I could muster. That day was the height of early Wheeler Mania: 6 IP and 12 Ks to just one walk in a no-decision at San Diego. At the time Wheeler was not only a member of the rookie pitcher crew that also included Gerrit Cole, Michael Wacha and Sonny Gray, he was arguably the main attraction. If that group was New Kids On The Block, he was at best Jordan Knight, or at least Donnie Wahlberg, but he wasn’t no Danny Wood. Control problems kept him from being all that he could be, they said. Bad catchers (John Buck) can make good pitchers pitch badly, they said.

Well, here we are in the weeds of the 2014 season and Wheeler is on the verge of getting kicked out of the group. Cole, Wacha and Gray have been, for the most part, pitching like the budding studs they were supposed to be, and Wheeler has looked more like Nuke LaLoosh before Annie had him wearing garter belts and breathing through his eyelids. Wheeler might not have found his Crash Davis in Travis D’Arnaud, but something is clicking. He got bashed around pretty good in D.C. on May 18 but he finally found the plate, walking only two guys. May 24 against the Diamondbacks was even better, as he K’ed 7 to just one walk. You can blow this K/BB ratio thing out of proportion and go ga-ga over Wheeler’s last start, a win in which he blew away nine Phillies and walked none in 6-plus innings. It wasn’t what he did in that start, it’s how he looked doing it. Wheeler had the command that scouts and experts who know way more than me said he was missing. He looked like he was pitching downhill. His curveball was wicked and his fastball was popping. I know road starts in Wrigley and whatever they’re calling the Giants’ stadium now are not ideal, but I think this is the week Wheeler returns to his place next to the Coles and Wachas of the world.

Here’s some more two-starters for Week 10:

Please, blog, may I have some more?