It’s hard to pick which Ross is hated more: the one in Friends whose character is so annoying David Schwimmer could never get work again, or the dynamite starter for the Nationals, who even after pitching mad impressive through his first few starts, wasn’t even the first SP to get the call when Stephen Strasburg went back to the DL yet again.  Why wasn’t he the first call?!

After Joe Ross‘s first run in June, I kept him in the ranks a few more weeks even without a for-sure rotation spot, and when Strasburg tweaked the oblique, I was ready to vault him into the top-50.  But nooooooo, instead they use, I dunno, Taylor Jordan or someone who doesn’t matter?  C’mon Nats, what did Ross ever do to you?!  Finally the Nationals got Ross back up to face the Mets last week in a decent – albeit underwhelming – start given the matchup, so I decided to break down his 5th MLB start at the Pirates, in a pitcher’s duel Sunday afternoon against Gerrit Cole.  Here’s how Ross looked:

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Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk continued to hit all the baseballs last night chipping in two hits and a two-run home run to help beat the Braves. Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy has been quite randy indeed lately, he’s now homered in back to back games and he’s hitting .346 with six runs, four home runs, ten RBI and a stolen base in the past week. Yes! More please! He’s slashing .283/.333/.566 with 11 home runs and 36 RBI on the year, and the .900 OPS ain’t too shabby either. But it’s the 11 homers in 219 at-bats that raises my eyebrow, Dwayne Johnson. That’s a 25-30 homer hitter over a full season, folks! If we take a peep at the next level stats we can see Randy and his .375 BABIP may be getting a bit lucky. Let’s not even talk about 30.8 K% and 5.8 BB% because they are downright awful. And sure Stephen Piscotty could threaten to steal some of Grichuk’s ABs down the line. However, the fact is Grichuk is hitting hot fire right now and is still under 50% owned in most leagues, a number that will undoubtedly grow over the next few hours as the legend of his four homer week spreads throughout the land. Time to Buy-chuk, Grichuk! I’d add him in all leagues while he’s still hitting everything he sees into the bleachers. Randy! Randy! Randy!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Since I opened with an odd title, I figure I might as well open with an awkward fun fact! Carbonation in your beer comes from yeast digesting sugar. Think about that for a minute…or better yet, think about what happens after you consume a bean burrito and go swimming. Do you get the general gist, colonel confused? Yeah, I’m just gonna leave that dangling out there. Ponder on ponderers whilst I move on to talking some Patrick Corbin. This will be Corbin’s 4th start of the year as he’s coming back from Tommy John surgery and so far it’s been ‘baseball’ successful, ‘fantasy baseball’ so-so and ‘daily fantasy’ blech. I know, I totally just sold you on him. But the key to this suggestion really comes back to Brewers and their bats and how they seem to have holes in them when facing a left-handed pitcher. For the year, the Brewers have an 81 wRC+ and a healthy 20% K rate on the year against southpaws. Given his surgery, I’m not going to push him for cash but for your tourney lineups, he makes a lot of sense. There’s potential for 6 innings and perhaps 5 or 6 Ks to go along with minimal damage on the basepaths and the scoreboard. Given its a Coors night, that along with his pricetag of just $5,900 could go a long way in helping your LUs. So crack a cold one and put Corbin in your lineups tonight. Just remember that beer carbonation is actually just yeast farts. Sorry, it had to be said but you know beer is tasty and you DGAF. So enjoy those ‘bubbles’ and I’ll carry on with my steaming hot takes for this Friday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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“Who is the Dodgers ace?” asks the Fox Sports newscaster in Los Angeles, after the special report on “Where are the stars shopping for their Emmy gowns?” and “Juicing? Is it good for you?” and “A high-speed pursuit ends in an In-N-Out drive-thru,” and “Actresses over 24 years old may not be washed up after all,” and “Shopkeeper puts up sign to ‘Vote Republican’ and gets looted.” So, who is the Dodgers ace? On Saturday, Clayton Kershaw went 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners with 14 Ks, ERA down to 2.68. My Magic Eight Ball says this is the year the Dodgers hop on Kershaw’s back, march through the playoffs and justify every crackers move Mattingly’s done in his managerial career. Sometimes knowing the future really bums me out. Not to be outdone, on Sunday, Zack Greinke went 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners with 11 Ks, and lowered his ERA to 1.30. Soon he won’t be able to lower his ERA anymore (math is my strong suit). I’m totally done doubting Greinke…or am I?! No, not the ellipsis reversal! Ah! As I ranked in the top 100 for the 2nd half, Kershaw is way above Greinke in terms of, well, everything. Greinke is also not a 1.30 ERA pitcher, but no one really is, except maybe Kershaw. Greinke is definitely a number one though; this isn’t all luck. He has a 8+ K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and 3.05 xFIP, which is essentially nice, aw sooky, nice. A “nice aw sooky” sandwich, if you will. Then there’s the fact that Greinke hasn’t allowed a run in 43 2/3 IP. Orel Hershiser doesn’t scoff at that, maybe he yawns, then does a small double take when no one is looking. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last week I put together comprehensive year-to-date, rest of season and end of season rankings for batters. Quite honestly I think it was the bees knees, but that’s just me tooting my own horn. Do bees even have knees? If you are in a points league and missed it, I highly recommend you check it out. And when I say I “highly” recommend it, that does not mean I ate pot brownies two hours before making said recommendation. I was just standing at the top of a 30-foot ladder.

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With the first half of the MLB season in the books, I thought it might be a good idea to do a quick mid-season evaluation of the players who have been profiled in this series over the last two and a half months. Of course, that entails reminding you of all of the many mistakes that I’ve made this season. Hmmm… maybe this isn’t such a good idea after all. Oh well, too late now. As the great Frank Drebin once said, “Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes.” It’s accountability time. As we look back on the bears/bulls of the first half, we’ll examine what went right, what went wrong, and what’s yet to be determined.

Just as a quick reminder, the players who are labeled “bulls” are the ones who I’m bullish, or optimistic, about going forward, while the “bears” are the players who I’m bearish on and expect regression moving forward. Let’s take a look at the monthly breakdowns of this season’s bears and bulls (post date can be found next to each player’s name):

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Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to prematurely balding men and decided if you can’t beat them, join them! Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post. Here make yourself some java. Okay, you just poured rat poison into your coffee. Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than owning Pablo Sandoval in the 1st half. Oh, you owned him and that’s why you poured it into coffee! Now, I’m following! Hey, who’s leading here? Well, whoever it is their taillight is out and I’m gonna have to make a citizen’s arrest. Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2015 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up! But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest! So, as with all of the other 2015 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt. If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade the outfielder for the 2nd baseman. Also, things change in fantasy baseball. Daily. I could put Au Shizz number two on the top 100 list for the second half of 2015 and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with Goldy. Why soil a good thing, ya know? This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued. It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache. This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half of their season. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today. So while Carlos Santana did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because I still believe. The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2015. I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what guys will do. It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone. Welcome to the future! Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2015:

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Yesterday, Carlos Gomez went 2-for-3 with 4 RBIs and his 8th and 9th homers. Only took until the 87th game of the year for a big game. Maybe I’m a goofy chicken. Maybe I’m a guy that puts feety pajamas on over his head. Maybe I walk into a Subway and ask a sandwich artist, “Do you smell onion?” Maybe I stare at people playing Jenga and try to move the pieces with telekinesis. Maybe I pronounce the D in Django. Maybe I call diner waitresses “Sweetheart” and old guys “Sonny.” Maybe I could be wrong, but — here it comes, Razzball nation — I wouldn’t be shocked by a huge 2nd half from Gomez. Can’t be much worse than his 1st half, could it? Don’t answer. Let’s hold hands and ruminate. Figuratively! Let go of my hand! Last year, his 2nd half was much worse than his 1st half and in 2013 it wasn’t that different, so there’s nothing here historically. What Gomez does have is a track record that had him drafted in the first round in most leagues, and showing next to nothing so far. His ground balls are up (not literally) and his fly balls are down (literally) and he’s making lousy contact. Again, there’s no reason to think he bounces back, but he was nursing injuries in the 1st half, and hopefully he stays healthy. If you have to take a hard way bet and can get him cheap enough, I could see it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Justin Bour celebrated the birth of our nation Friday night by going 2-for-3 with his 10th home run, making that four straight games he’s homered. Bour is hotter than a roman candle! He’s hotter than a screaming mimi, on top of a snicker blaster with a sparkling spleen splitter igniting a whistling kitty chaser! Thems fireworks, y’all!  I will try to keep it short and sweet today, we’ve all got American beer to drink, things to set on fire, second amendment rights to practice, BBQs to ruin and so, so many hot dogs to eat, but Justin Bour deserves a moment of your short, sweet American attention span. He is hitting .412 in the past week with 4 jacks and 8 RBI. The rookie struggled, batting just .138 with two homers in June, but with the oh so tragic injury to Giancarlo Stanton, Bour has slid into the clean up spot in Miami and it has agreed with him so far. Overall the season numbers aren’t that bad either, he’s slashing .271/.350/.521 with 21 RBI. Grey told you to BUY this hot little potato, especially if you need more power. No one is saying he’s going to replace Stanton in your line up or your heart, but with the Marlins offense in need a big boost, Justin Bour could be the 6’5, 250 pounds of All-American hero that your fantasy team and our nation, needs right now.

Here’w what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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busta

When did Busta Rhymes get so fat? Dayam!!! Dude looks like he ate the Busta Rhymes I remember that put out some great music back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I’m not much of a rap fan, but I was always a Busta fan. When he sang “Gimme Some More” who knew he was talking to the guy that was putting food on his plate. Did you hear what the talking M&M said to Busta in that unreleased M&M’s commercial? Put your hands where my eyes can see. Sorry Busta, it’s too easy. Please spend less time at the all you can eat buffets with Billy Butler and CC Sabathia and more time making dope music. I’m sure there’s a spot in the Fast and Furious 8 Soundtrack for you.

Please, blog, may I have some more?