So Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix was on HBO tonight and before you ask, no I still don’t have cable. Me not having cable is a running joke around here. Sorry if you don’t understand, but this intro is for those who understand that I understand how silly it is, you understand? Anyhoo, it put me in the mindset for this title and it’s also apropos to the actual topic. AJ Griffin…admittedly I could give two bee-sized bowel movements about how good he is or has been. Overall, he’s just not good. He’s about as SP3/4 vanilla as you can get for an MLB team, but that’s neither here nor there. The Royals have suffered so many injuries this year and have seemingly thrown in the towel on the season as they’ve gone into full blown sell mode. I don’t know if that’s what is affecting the production on the field, but it’s clear this team isn’t sniffing the 2015 version. The K rate as a whole is up nearly 4% and they sit mired in 24th overall in wRC+. Factor in they’ve actually been worse since the All-Star break and you have the perfect spot to take advantage of a $6,500 priced pitcher who doesn’t need a gem to outplay his price. When suggesting a pitcher that has a 4+ ERA, it should go without say but yeah, this is a tourney only call. So let the sorting hat decide whether you’re courageous enough to follow through with Griffin and let’s get on with the rest. Here’s my Goblet of Fire hot taeks for this Friday DK slate…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Gerrit Cole‘s start yesterday — 9 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.78 — wasn’t the most impressive start.  *walks around, shaking people out of their slumber*  Hey, what’s going on, guys and five girl readers?  Was it the opening sentence?  Okay, so Gerrit Cole didn’t look as good as, say, Dylan Bundy over five innings.  Cole looked solid, salt-of-the-earth, lumberjack-shirt-for-a-tablecloth-middle-class-sturdy-as-oak-workman-like for nine innings.  By the way, you know what they call a hyena with lines instead of spots?  Hyphena.  Take it, Highlights, it’s yours.  Do we have to have starters that are all lordy-me-I’m-fainting-with-a-handkerchief-to-my-forehead filled with upside?  Well, I’d like it, and Cole prolly has it somewhere in there.  *knocks on Cole’s chest*  Is a near-9 K/9 in there still?  Hello?  Okay, I think it is, but it’s just not answering now.  Maybe it’s taking a nap from Cole’s less-than-stellar K-rate.  That’s been the story of his season, actually.  Great results for real baseball, but a little lacking on the flash (7.5 K/9).  He’s still throwing hard (95 MPH), maybe he fell asleep while Contact was on late-night TV and woke up deciding to throw to contact.  Not sure, but if I had to bet, I’d bet every day on a 25-year-old who throws 95 returning to his previous flashy Ks while maintaining his excellent ERA results.  But there’s nothing wrong with a lumberjack shirt for a tablecloth.  It’s Murica!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Today is the first time that I can look at Billy Hamilton and say, “now is the time if he was available in a league I was in, I would add him.”  Chances are some douche canoe has been sitting on him all year, playing him sporadically and reaping the semi-benefits of him.  Watching him recently and correlating that into his last nine games, he has 9 stolen bases and looks to be turning the corner for the last 60 games of the year.  Long term, I wouldn’t trust him to babysit my schnauzer, but the immediacy of his stats and the effect they can have on a your steals in impactful.  The Reds are going to be sellers in a day or ten, and it would behoove them to play him everyday and let him run rampant and cause people headaches on the base paths like he is currently doing.  Since the All-Star break, he has a unsustainable .390 OBP, which has garnered him the SB total that we should expect from him.  The unfortunate thing is that it is like the cat calling the kettle black and the cat actually being black, because if he keeps up the .390 OBP, he is a HOF-bound and I will eat Grey’s hat.  In the short term, go look at your waiver wire just to make sure that he isn’t available… if he isn’t, see if the owner is asleep at the wheel and throw him something stupid via trade.  If he is available, grab him and reap the benefits for the next fortnight with your footie pajamas, kick back, and enjoy the new Jughead comic.  This week in SAGNOF deets is after the bump, so do your sister a favor before I do a favor for your sister and click that button.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This marks my 100th post here at the Razzball baseball blog and I must say how thankful I am that I have a home at a blog where I can provide below average fantasy baseball analysis while referencing Jules Verne, Scientology, Jon Snuh and ayahuasca all in the same post. It’s been a wild couple a years and I outlasted many a writer I didn’t think I’d outlast. Remember when the Guru disappeared in a van? Remember Razzball TV on the Radio? And what ever happened to Kenyon!? That guy was hilarious. I remember when Grey first found me. I was trying to get my Harry Potter erotica/fan fiction off the ground and writing signs for homeless people to make a quick buck. “Why Lie I Need A Beer,” ever see that one? Yep, that’s a Dan Pants original. Grey said he could use my talents to express undying love for shortstops named Xander and tell people they shouldn’t own two catchers. The rest is history, folks. Special thanks to Grey, Rudy, and Jay. Not Tehol though–[expletive deleted] that guy. But enough about me, you’re here for the sub-par fantasy advice. The New York Mets (lol, Joakim Noah!) called up rookie Brandon Nimmo last Sunday and after going 0-for-4 in his debut, he’s hit safely in his past five games. He’s led off for NY the past two games and responded in a big way last night going 2-for-3 with a 3-run home run (a 440 foot shot). Curtis Granderson remains hobbled and with Michael Conforto “working things out” in the minors Brandon has been given an opportunity to shine at the top of the order. He slashed .328/.409/.508 with five homers and five steals in 63 games AAA this year. If you are looking for an outfielder in NL-Only and deeper mixed leagues you might consider finding Nimmo on your waiver wire.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Noah Syndergaard admitted to having an elbow bone spur after denying it multiple times.  Terry Collins said, “No one would know our business if it wasn’t for giving the PR job to a puppy dog!  Ruff ruff!  Come here, Fido, I wanna spank you with a rolled up newspaper!”  This is the 2nd Mets’ starter in two days with elbow spurs.  I look forward to the opening round of the playoffs when all of the Mets’ starters are wearing Iron Mike Sharpe elbow pads to hold their arms together.  Or they hire John Cusack to marionette their starters.  So, this is obviously not good news from Syndergaard, but it’s also not the end of his season.  He could opt for surgery if he’s in pain, but he says he’s not in pain (though, he also said he didn’t have elbow spurs up until yesterday).  Jon Lester has pitched through elbow spurs for the last five years.  It’s not uncommon for starters to power through.  Would I look to sell Syndergaard low?  No.  If you can get a healthy, similar starter, then sure, why not?  No reason to panic.  Unless Syndergaard starts wearing cowboy boots on his elbow.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Not sure how many of you saw it yesterday, but Terry Collins got heated in a press conference when the Mets’ PR guy wanted him to tell the media more about Syndergaard.  Finally, Collins called him a puppy dog and stormed out.  Now, in a move that will be sure to make even the best PR person sweat, the Mets are in final talks to reunite with Jose Reyes.  The news picked up steam when management asked that the players’ wives not travel with the team.  Also, Wilmer Flores better not cry if Reyes joins the team.  Reyes smells the slightest weakness and he becomes a slap hitter (of recent vs. of old).  So, what can we expect of Reyes if he does land on the Mets, or any team, because he will sign somewhere.  Last year, in 116 games, he had 7 homers, 24 steals and a .274 average.  Honestly, that’s not that bad.  He can’t stay healthy, but maybe starting in July will help with that.  Figure he can play 80 games, which should put him in the area of a 7-10 HRs, 17-25 SBs and a .270 average.  Not terrible if you’re struggling at shortstop or MI.  Maybe the Mets will say eff it and also hire Doc Gooden to cut the foul lines.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello everyone, and welcome to Sunday!

After a week off in which I studied game film of the 2003 Grey Cup QF’s (single greatest game in Canadian Football history), I am back and what a day to return to! There are many fantastic games on tap for today, and many high scoring ones at that as well, as we see some with very high O/U’s on the docket, with six games over 9 total runs scored. So why is this? Superb offenses? Maybe, but I have to say, I’m not excited about pitching options for the day, as there are many weak guys taking the mound today, and are likely to give up a whole bunch of runs. Gas cans.

There are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of. Kendall Graveman and John Lamb are two very mediocre pitchers facing off in what is shaping up to be a shootout. Adam Morgan is facing a Nats’ team that is primed to hang up a lot of runs. And for those of you playing the all-day slate, the Rockies-Padres games has a O/U at a whopping 12 total runs scored.

With many great offensive opportunities and gas cans to target, how do we attack pitching on a slate like this?

You’ll have to keep reading.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before we point fingers and exclaim how “right or wrong” we are, know that I am writing this intro BEFORE Aaron Nola‘s start yesterday afternoon. I don’t want my intro to sully my thoughts from the top down. The post needs to read like a before-and-after! Kinda like how Grey slammed my Joe Ross rank endlessly on the Pod “before” the season, and even with awesome results “after” 5 starts, he’s still going to find ways to troll me on him… Sigh… Also, I need to use a thesaurus on the word “before”…

So why was I so slow to sip any of the Nola Kool-Aid? Well, here’s the red flags I saw PRIOR TO yesterday’s start: .227 BABIP, he averages 90.0 on his fastball, was never a K guy through the Minors, K rate has jumped from 7.88 in 77.2 IP last year to 9.90 in 40.0 IP this year, and finally, he’s looking like a 2-pitch guy right now with 59.5% fastballs and 33.7% curveballs. Now, I admittedly use Fangraphs as my reference, and maybe he mixes a few fastball variants and he’s leaning off his change-up since his curve is working so well right now. Unless you’re in the MLB Man Cave, you’re not watching every single SP every start (plus you’re like, a few weeks behind the current action, so that’s lame), so I concede I hadn’t watched Nola yet this year. But after the Nola-grilling on my ranks in the comments last week, seeing Nola was getting the start on Sunday made him the prime Pitcher to be Profiled. Here’s how he looked yesterday afternoon in the Crayola Canyon:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Hi, I work in the front office for the Twins and I’m ordering lunch.  I was wondering what you have that’s old that you can give us a discount on.  Can you eat old pork?  Hmm, let’s try it with extra sauce.  John Ryan Murphy briefly converted to Judaism, or so he wrote in 6-point font inside his lined notebook where he talked about murder, but he’s back to the gentile side of things.  I’d also like to know if any of your very old or very young employees want to join our pitching staff.  We can’t pay them in money, but Byung ho Park and Kurt Suzuki often wrestle together, reenacting Foxcatcher, and it’s just fun to be around when that happens.  Gotcha, okay, just send the old pork then!”  Incredibly, the Twins reached into their oh-so-deep pockets, pulled out some lint and decided to call up their top pitching prospect, Jose Berrios.  He’s only been ready for about three years now; crazy to start his clock now when they could’ve held him down in Triple-A for another five years.  Never underestimate the Twins’ frugality.  It’s FRU-JOUL-LAY, it’s Italian!  Here’s what I said previously about him, “A team like the Tigers would’ve promoted Berrios about two years ago.  No fear, John Deere, Berrios is still only 21 years old.  I’ve seen people peg Berrios as having #3 fantasy starter upside, but I see him landing eventually with a barely-2 BB/9 and 9 K/9 from his mid-90s MPH fastball and plus-curve.  That makes him a borderline fantasy ace in the making.  Of course, as a rookie, there will be stretches where he doesn’t look like that, but want a guy that could come on and give you a Shelby Miller in 2015-type year?  Berrios has that potential.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Yes, I’d grab him, yes, in your league too.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sorry I missed you guys… and girls last week. I was having computer issues, and when you couple that with all my other issues, well then, you got a lot of issues. This week I’m going to keep focusing on steals after last week’s… I mean two weeks ago post where I went over the top pitchers and teams to steal against. You can read that here. It’s really exciting stuff. Speaking of exciting stuff, did any of you get a chance to stream Blake Snell? I didn’t see him getting called up this early, but as always, we get crushed when he gets sent down and now we have to wait for his next arrival. Stupid friggin’ Rays. I’m just glad he wasn’t Ian Snell out there.

Please, blog, may I have some more?