Happy Black Friday!  Oops, sorry, I mean Happy African-American Friday!  As I type this, I’m being trampled at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  “There’s enough Scrub Daddys for everyone!”  The Diamondbacks got a head start on Black Friday sales on Wednesday when they traded Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger and Zac Curtis to the Mariners for Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte.  What’s that old axiom, if you don’t know who the sucker is at the table, you’re the sucker.  Mariners, you’re the sucker.  If anyone forgot that the Diamondbacks fired Dave Stewart immediately following the end of the season, this was a reminder.  If Stewart were still there, the Diamondbacks would’ve traded Greinke for Todd Walker.  As Dave Stewart would say after reading that, “I’m not mad at ya.”  Don’t love the move to Chase Field for Walker, but the NL West makes that medicine go down a little easier, chim chiminy chim chiminy chim chim cher-ee!  Walker had a 8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 last year in 134 1/3 IP.  That goes up to 8.5 in the NL West and he’s pretending to yawn as he puts his arm around a low to mid-3 ERA.  The only thing that’s stopping you from nodding your head like a plus-size Pez is that Walker hasn’t done it yet.  He’s only 24 years old, not doing it yet isn’t a great excuse for never doing it.  For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 12-11/3.44/1.18/153 in 160 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Sunday morning, I woke around 8 AM to read a text from Rudy saying, “Awful news, Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident.”  I put on my glasses, no time for contacts, and turned on the TV.  It was still on Fox Sports West because I was watching Vin Scully tributes all weekend.  Yesterday morning, Fox Sports was playing Anglers Chronicles, a fishing show, which is wrong in so many ways.  After switching the stations, groggy-eyed and still half asleep, I realized TV was not the place anymore to go for breaking news.  I shut it off and turned to the internet.  I’m still piecing together my thoughts.  He was 24 years old, even if he never played baseball this is a horrible loss of life.  I’m reminded of all the friends I lost to motorcycles in their twenties.  I’m struck by how inconsequential fantasy feels.  There’s a giant pit in my stomach.  Then, I think about how I never saw Jose Fernandez not smiling.  Not having fun.  I think about how on that boat, Saturday evening, you know Jose Fernandez was having a great time, because he was always having a great time.  That exuberance came through in everything he did.  I think about how he spent time in prison after one of his numerous failed attempts of escaping Cuba, and how, even then, he was likely making fellow inmates smile.  How the excellence he brought to the mound every fifth day was felt all the way back in Cuba to raise up even the darkest corners of Cuba’s prisons.  “That was us.  That is us,” the inmates, who are still incarcerated for trying to escape, likely said.  How baseball does that.  How special that is.  You see what you’re going to see in tragedy, but I see Jose Fernandez pitching, and baseball, and making himself and others smile.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mets outfielder Michael Conforto was 2-for-3 last night, scoring two runs with his 12th home run, and three RBI. Could this be the start of something big? Who’s Conforto, you ask? Lol, you pleb–Don’t you know anything? He’s just an uber prospect for the New York Mets.  *Sips cold brew coffee, adjust horn rimmed glasses, strokes beard* Sigh. You’ve probably never heard of him. Have I mentioned he’s the hipster’s favorite player? Do I really have to mention that? The man hit .365 with four homers, 11 doubles and 18 RBI in April, then completely fell of the planet. He was busy working on his documentary film/visual novel/app for dogs. Sitting in an abandoned warehouse turned secret speakeasy/corn hole arena/craft cider house/live-bluegrass music cafe, I sip my gluten-free organic cold brew coffee (cage-free beans, obv) and curl my finely waxed mustache, pondering what life would be like with a fantasy baseball championship. I put down my Gabriel García Márquez book (I only read South American novelists), let my hair free out of its man-bun, and realize that Michael Conforto could be the key to everything. All that magical realism is really paying off! Sure, he struggled mightily all year, and sure, Jay Bruce threatens to steal some of his playing time. But Bruce is also 2-for-31 (.065 BA) in the past two weeks, and Conforto’s got all the upside. If I were you, and I’m not, because I’m obviously way hipper than you, I’d grab Michael Conforto, who’s available in about 90% of fantasy leagues, before he gets hot. In fact, this could only make you cooler because when he does finally break out, that means you picked him up before he was cool. And there’s nothing cooler than that!

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Pirates have been on a slippery slope. They are 2-8 in their past 10 and sit 5 games back of a wild card spot. Something needs to be fixed. In comes Dr. Drew Hutchison to heal the team of their losing woes. Tonight the Pirates will be facing the Reds who are far from the playoffs and sit second last in the National League. The Reds own a 89 wRC+ with a 21.1% strikeout rate vs RHP. The thing I like most about Hutch is his strikeout potential. In his 406.1 career MLB innings pitched he has averaged a 8.28 K/9. Hutch has the stuff to easily strike out out 8 over 6 innings tonight. This division rivalry has gone in Pirates favor most often. In their past 9 games in Pittsburgh, the Reds are 3-6. These are crucial games for the Pirates that they need to win. And that win is exactly what us Fantasy players need from Hutch to earn us cash. And with that I give you the rest of my Saturday DFS picks….

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday September 12th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Not quite as spiritually moving as John Lennon, but imagine for a moment Jose Abreu were to actually put together two solid halves in the same year.  “Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try.  No ‘He’ll end up below Andrus,’ for half the year.  Above Andrus only this Jose guy.  Imagine Abreu playing a decent, full season like today.  Aha-ha…  Imagine there’s no countries.  It isn’t hard to do.  Nothing to drop or trade for, and no ‘Abreu’s so cold it’s like this hell has a fridge in it’ too.  Imagine all the people living to get a piece of…Abreu…  You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one!  I hope some day Abreu’ll be better than Andrus, and play an entire season as one.”  So, Jose Abreu hit two homers yesterday (3-for-7, 7 RBIs, and 21st and 22nd HRs), and he’s been great recently, but it’s hard to get that excited about a guy for 2017 who invariably takes three months off every year.  Can’t imagine he’s a top 25 player ever again.  You-WHO-OOH!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As we always do about this time!  *beat drops, Grey does the worm, Grey’s iPhone alarm goes off, time to put more money in the meter*  Damn, how long was I worming for?  September 1st hits and teams expand their rosters to the Four-Oh.  Now pour some extra bullpen guys out for all the dead moments between pitcher changes.  So, what does this mean for all of us, fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!)?  It means call-ups and rookie nookie is aplenty.  Aplenty, I tell ya!  By the by, for big boned people, rather than an X-Large t-shirt, they should call them aplen-Tees.  Yeah, I just made the English language better.  High-five yourself for even knowing to read me.  *Grey worms, alarm goes off*  Damn, I need to get more coins.  At this point in the year, you need guys that are getting everyday playing time, so I’m pumped up the jam on rookie nookie, but if a guy isn’t playing every day, he’s as good as dirt in redraft leagues, and I don’t have a Soil category, do you?  It’s a most exciting time to be alive and be fantasy balling, but don’t lose sight of the real goal here:  to get quality at-bats from guys that are playing, not to pick up a guy that will be great in 2017.  (Unless you’re in a keeper league; then, by all means, knock yourself out!  Not literally!  Ouch.)  Which bring us to Yoan Mocada.  Red Sox manager, John Farrell, says Moncada’s promotion is eminent.  They have a bobblehead giveaway planned, a kid’s jersey giveaway, a ‘Yoan yawn coverer’ which is really just a foam hand, a–*intern whispers in my ear*  Seems I was misusing ‘promotion.’  I already gave you my Yoan Moncada fantasy.  He’ll be up on Friday.  He should be owned everywhere and will play 3rd base.  No Gas Face there.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

To paraphrase Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, “America has so many enemies:  Iran, Iraq, China, Mordor, Josh Tomlin in away games, Justin Upton, Melvin Upton for the last two months, Clint Hurdle, the people on Twitter that take a trending topic and attach linkbait, Giancarlo Stanton’s groin when its injured, but not at all when its healthy, anyone that gets Mookie Betts out the once-in-a-blue-moon when someone can get him out, Clint Hurdle again, anyone that doesn’t appreciate blue raspberry, undesirable immigrants, by which I mean everyone that came after Carlos Martinez.”  Yesterday, Carlos Martinez went 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners with 13 Ks to lower his ERA to 3.07.  Thank you, come again!  From last year to this year, C-Mart’s strikeout rate is down (9.2 to 7.8), his walk rate is unchanged, his velocity is virtually the same and his xFIP is up due to a lucky BABIP.  So, what does that mean for Carlos Martinez 2017?  Random prediction alert!  I won’t be enthused about drafting him again next year, but he’ll likely be a solid #2 fantasy starter, i.e., good in a pinch, but not exciting, i.e., convenience forever, freshness never!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mookie Betts was 5-for-5 and drove in two runs Friday night. It was the first five-hit game of his career and the number of pets in New England being named Mookie is climbing quicker than his batting average. Let me gush about Betts for a minute, even though it might be tough because I know Xander is reading. (Do not worry, you are still my number 1, Awesome-X.) Mookie is slashing .320/.360/.557 with 28 homers, 93 RBI, 21 steals, and 99 runs scored. He is the only reason I am winning anything fantasy baseball this year and he is an early favorite for AL MVP. I tell all my real life friends, who are definitely all real life humans and not people I just made up for the purposes of the post, that Mookie Betts is my spirit animal. However, I was recently told I can’t say this because I’m not Native American and if you ain’t Native you can’t have spirit animals. That’s their thing. Quit trying to take their thing. Well, I just did San Pedro cactus and tripped out in the desert last weekend, does that mean I’m a real native now or nah? At the very least I’d hold it makes me much more spiritual. In the past two weeks, Betts is hitting .387 with 12 runs scored, 5 homers, 18 RBI and 3 steals. If those numbers don’t bring you existential enlightenment, I’m not sure a psychedelic cactus or a sweat lodge will either. He’s hitting close to .400 in August as he attempts to carry the Sawx to the promised land aka the postseason. In addition, since moving from lead off to clean up over the past week and a half he’s only gotten better, slashing .400/.455/.550 with two jacks and 8 RBI. I love Mookie Betts more than I could ever love a human baby. I think I am feeling more spiritual already.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s not much of a secret, of course; or at least, it’s not an undocumented fact: the Rockies away from Coors can be a bore with the bats. Wanna know an undocumented fact? Harambe might be a more long lasting meme than Crying Jordan when all is said and done. I don’t know how I feel about that, honestly, but #DicksOutForHarambe needs to go. NOW. Or at least, the pics preceding do…because gross. But more to the point, the Rockies and the road are the antithesis of Forrest and Jenny. Ice cream and cyanide? Gingers and souls? Jose Canseco and Grey? All important things to factor here as really, Rockies are generally trashy Mctrashersons on the road, holding down the 6th worst wRC+ while K’ing the 4th most at 23.6%. And with that, we turn to our key bold faced name for the intro: A.J. Cole. Cole’s season debut wasn’t spectacular, but definitely useful as he K’d 8 Orioles over 7 IP. He finished just short of 20 points and that was without a win and in Camden Yards. You intrigued yet? Mmm-hmm, thought so. Throw in the fact he’s only $6,300 and for once, it’s alright to get a Cole in your stocking so let’s roll. Here’s my I’m still pretending summer will last forever taeks for this Saturday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday August 29th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When I was fresh out of college, I worked at a web company (everyone did in the 90s).  There was four of us.  The other three had real job titles; I was the gofer/do-whatever.  It was about a month before I was going back to school for my Master’s.  I had no intention of keeping the job.  Honestly, I doubt they would’ve kept me for that full month if I weren’t leaving.  I failed at everything they assigned me, but they kept giving me new tasks, hoping I’d succeed.  The only task I seemed capable of was heating up pre-cooked sausages from Trader Joe’s.  I made sausages on a grill for three weeks straight, so, when I finally did leave, they gave me a plaque that reads, “Who wants some sausages?”  This brings me to the sudden and incomprehensible rise of Yulieski Guerriel.  The Astros are that company, and YuGu is me.  The Astros seem between a rock of “We really want this guy to succeed” and “We have about a month left and we’re just hoping something works.”  Yulieski hasn’t failed in the minors, he’s looked completely lost.  He hit .118 in Double-A, was promoted to Triple-A and hit .222.  I could see grabbing Guerriel in all leagues to see if he can get lucky, and figure out how to make something other than pre-cooked sausages for lunch, but the Astros are not promoting him because of how well he’s looked.  They’re promoting him because there’s about a month left.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?