In this age of technology, sometimes its good to look back on a forgotten pastime. There was a time when we all believed in the unknown. A time when we believed in that which was unbelievable. A time when some well dressed yet ominous looking man would grab an impeccably dressed lady from the audience and tell you there was nothing up his sleeve while he sawed said beauty in half. All the while, the audience gasped only to have their fears assuaged as he puts her back together with the house band playing a resounding ‘tada!’ via horns and drums. Maybe you never got a chance to believe in those things so for that reason, I’m here today to bring that little sense of illusion and wonder into your life. Please be seated. Are you ready? Please examine my right hand. Notice there’s nothing in it? Ok, please examine Patrick Corbin‘s left hand. Notice a baseball in it? I’m going to show you how with that left hand and a baseball, Corbin is going to make the Cards disappear. Now normally a magician doesn’t reveal how his magic is done but since I like all three of you that read this, I’m gonna let you in on the secret: the Cardinals are terrible against lefties this year and it was a problem last year as well. Look, the sample size for 2016 has been small to say the least – they only have the 19th most PAs against them so far this year – but when Jon Niese K’s seven of you while only walking one, you have a southpaw problem in my book. After finishing basically second in K% in 2015 at 23.6% vs the wrong hand and now sitting at 27% for this season so far, I’m gonna have plenty of Corbin exposure for tourneys and enjoy the likely low ownership. And with that, my magic show is done. Oh wait, you want an encore? Well I’ve been working on this ping pong ball trick I learned from Winona Ryder…well actually, that’s part of another old pastime called the burlesque show and I’m sorry, kiddos, that ain’t free. But you know what is? The rest of my picks. So with that, we’re off. Here’s my pyrotechnic extravaganza magic show hot taeks for this Wednesday 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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Josh Tomlin continued his early season success pitching 6.2 innings of four hit beisbol, allowing just one run and striking out four for his second win of the year. Josh is now 2-0 through his first two starts with a 1.54 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 10 strikeouts. He’s available in over 90% of ESPN leagues. Am I missing something? Tomlin was part of my championship pitching staff last year. No. I didn’t win, but I still made the finals, so that counts as a championship team, right? Tomlin finished 2015 especially strong giving up just 14 runs in 49.3 IP with a 44/3 K/BB rate, and two complete games. Can he keep it up? Let’s look at the stats. First, Josh’s ESPN player page photo looks a whole lot like Bradley Cooper. Second, Tomlin’s .219 BABIP for 2015 was laughably low, and he’s not exactly a strikeout machine. That said, he doesn’t walk anyone either. Doode throws strikes, and his 3.2 BB% from 2015 is no fluke. If we look further into the advanced stats (NERD!), we see Josh doesn’t induce a lot of ground ball outs either, and his fly ball percentage was 46.2 last year. Basically, he could give up a lot of long balls. Or not, what do these numbers know anyway. I’ll tell you what I know. Josh Tomlin has been pitching very well dating back to last September and he has a juicy match up with the Twins next week. He’s certainly a worthy streaming option in the right match up and I’d give him a chance next week in Minnesota.

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

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Chicago_Cubs5

Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…Neil Finnell, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Chicago Cubs!

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I said it last week and I’ll say it again, if you’re still reading our DFS content at this point in the game, then you most likely had yourself a profitable season. Congrats and come on into the comments and brag about your successes. Let’s see if we can finish off the season on a high note and maybe win a little extra spending money before the holidays. Also, if you’ve done well this season (Over $600 in winnings) you’ll need to set a little aside for taxes, you know, if you’re into paying those.

Now, come sail away with me to Arizona. Don’t worry, it’s a “dry” heat. Once we’re there, we’re going to check out Robbie Ray. Ray checks in with a very affordable $6,900. Let’s face it, he’s affordable because he isn’t really that great, but, and it’s a big but, he’s got a couple things going for him. Well, he’s got one thing going for him and that’s his opponent. The Rockies are such a beautiful disaster away from Coors field, that they can make even make the most mediocre pitcher look amazing. Away from home, the Rockies have the lowest team OPS in the majors, about 50 points below league average as a matter of fact. Even more in Ray’s favor is his handedness. The Rocks are bottom five in team OPS vs. Lefties. Add this up and you can see a lefty on the road is death on the Coors crew. It makes sense really, their only scary RHB is Arenado. Does DJ LeMahieu strike fear in your heart? Wilin Rosario maybe? I thought not. Ray’s been fairly respectable in his own right. His 3.53 ERA is right in line with his 3.55 FIP and his 8.3 K/9 is nothing to sneeze at. Ray’s biggest issue is being a little WHIP-y at times and that can get him into trouble. I think this match-up really sets up well for him though and he can be a low-priced star for tonight’s slate. Let’s look at a few more potential stars tonight:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 7 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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“We all started mainlining fame when we hit it big. I didn’t want to say goodbye to the lights, the drugs, or most importantly, the groupies. Sure, Slater and Screech told me I was out of control popping at least 4 or 5 caffeine pills a night and then hitting the slums of whatever city Zack Attack was in that night to find some anonymous woman to sleep with. But when you’re the biggest backyard birthday party band in the world, how could I not? I could afford any legal over the counter pill I wanted. But all I really wanted, was approval from Mr. Belding.”

– Zack Morris, lead singer, Zack Attack

Much like his fair haired brother in Los Angeles arms, Zack Morris, Zack Greinke has been on the attack all season, sporting a ridiculously low 1.61 ERA. But, just as danger waited around the corner for Morris as he chased the fruits of his fame, so too might Greinke have a crashing to earth experience himself.

Greinke has been carrying a FIP of 2.77, an XFIP of 3.22 and a SIERA of 3.31, meaning that, good as he is and has been, he probably shouldn’t have been that good. Still here he is pitching well and posting solid, if unspectacular DraftKings points. Over his last 15 games, Greinke has put up 26.38 DK points. It’s really good, but at his price of over $13,200, it needs to offer more than that. We’ve been paying up for aces and haven’t been disappointed lately, like Arrieta last night. Greinke is neither pitching as well as Arrieta lately nor does he have as good a matchup, but he is an overwhelming favorite and the Diamondbacks have the lowest team total at 2.5 runs. And being not as good as Arrieta is hardly a conviction of poor play. Greinke has been more than just solid and he is going at home, which has been a bottom ten ballpark for hitting this season. For cash games, he’s a solid play.

You might think that the fact that Greinke just pitched against the Diamondbacks 10 days ago might mean trouble, since often when a team sees a pitcher so close together, the hitters are more locked into that SP since they just saw him recently. However, Greinke had a similar situation in August against the Reds. On 8/16, Greinke held the Reds to one run over seven innings in Los Angeles. Then, eleven days later he faced them again. This time, Zack attacked (oh yeah!) and this time held the Reds completely scoreless over seven innings. He struck out eight and nine in those two outings.

I’m rostering Zack in cash games but looking at lower cost alternatives to get the Coors bats (which I don’t preview in this piece because you don’t need to be told to roster those guys, I’m sure.) in the lineup as well as some other high cost, high yield bats I’ll discuss down below.

You may think it’s time for the Zack Attack to crumble, but I think there’s one more hit song for sure.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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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I love when halfway decent starting pitchers are given away for practically free on DraftKings. I especially enjoy it when it happens on a Coors field day. That of course could be read as a “Coors Field” day or as a Coors “field day”, because both are true. When you’re trying to squeeze in as much Coors exposure as you can, a 4K pitcher opens up an awful lot of options. Logan Verrett sits at $4,500 tonight and gets to square off at home against one of, if not the worst hitting team in the majors in the Atlanta Braves. Jon Niese just completely shut them down. That’s the same Niese who had given up 11 runs in his previous 8 IP mind you. The Braves have the lowest team OPS in the majors and their “lead” in the category seems to grow by the day. Verrett has been a more than capable spot starter for the Mets as they try to limit every one of their young pitcher’s innings. Tonight he fills in for deGrom and should be good to go for at least 75-80 pitches, possibly more. He only threw 63 against the Marlins over 5 IP, but the Mets let him air it out for 93 a month ago at Coors field. All he did there was hold the Rockies to 1 run in 8 IP and strikeout 8. The strikeout upside is limited with the Braves as they are pretty stingy when it comes to striking out, but posting zeros works too and a win should be easily obtained. For $4,500 you can’t get too greedy. I do imagine Verrett will be fairly highly owned at this price and Coors field on the docket so despite the low price he may be more of a cash game play than a GPP. Let’s look at some more plays for tonight’s DFS slate:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 5 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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The Big Magoo inspired todays title… don’t ask. He told me to tell you guys (and five girls) to grab Chris Carter for the lefty match-ups this week. I like the call, but wanted to give him his own space for that, and since I’m all out of creative juices, I’m just going to talk about him while I kill some space to get to what happens below, or should I say what is not below. Freedom!!! This week, I’m dropping the ranks as they have become redundant the last month. Going forward, my main goal is to help you H2H players with your playoffs and those fighting until the bitter end in roto. The list will be divided into position groups (CI, MI, OF). Many of these players have been listed in previous posts, and I will identify what match-ups are the most favorable. Oh, and I expanded the cut off to 25% owned. Alright! We cool? Moving on…

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I start my lineups these days in one place: the starting pitcher. They’re the fulcrum upon which all things must work. You can find way more diamonds in the rough among the hitters than you can on the hill, so it behooves you to focus on this position first before attacking the rest.

That doesn’t mean you can’t target hitters, especially when there are Coors games and the like, but those hitters aren’t going to lift you as high if there is a SP in your slots working a negative number.

That said, it doesn’t mean you should just pop the first two pitchers you come to in the salary list and then mine the lineups for values. That happens sometimes, but what you should really do is look at the SP trends, matchups, splits, parks, swinging strike and K-rates to whittle down the slate to a few good men you could live with for the night.

Oh I’ve gone through this process and ended up with some strange birds on the hill. There was a night this season where Joe Blanton, patron saint of gas cans, actually went into Safeco and helped me to a nice payday. Recently, even, Kris Medlen has been helpful with his low salary and decent performances, allowing me to target more prime bats.

As I look at the slate for Wednesday, I was hoping I could log on, take a quick glance and know where I was going, but I couldn’t. This was because the best two SP on the slate happened to be the highest paid as well:

David Price, SP: $12,500

Jake Arrieta, SP: $14,000

Price in Atlanta and Arrieta in Pittsburgh were, at first glance, the best SP, so I had to dig deeper just to be sure and, sure enough, they came through the process on top.

Since they are so high priced, about 6K more than I like to dedicate to the cause, I didn’t automatically ink them in the lineup until I could see if there was indeed enough value in the hitters to make it work. Looking down the list, it was clear that I could roster two or three Phillies, who can hit a lefty fairly well and have a nice home park, to make it happen. Facing Gio Gonzalez, who has a mid 4s SIERA and nearly 800 OPS vs. righties over the last 30 days also made it easy to go that route.

So I did. It looks like a newb move, rosting the top two SP of the night, but you have to trust your process. Other nights, I would lay up short well short of this $$ commitment at SP, but tonight, it’s pay up.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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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Troy Tulowitzki left Saturday’s game after colliding with Pillar.  That was the same way Julius Caesar hurt himself, forcing him out of baseball and into ruling.  Crazy what the stadiums were made of that the Romans used to play in.  Alas, as Caesar said, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Those roads over there took seven months!  Freakin’ teamsters.”  The MRI on Tulo’s ribs and back came back negative, though it was as in:  Doctor, “Can you move?”  Tulo, “Negative, Doc.”  Because what the MRI originally failed to mention was his cracked shoulder blade.   He won’t be shaving with that shoulder blade anytime soon!  Or possibly playing baseball for two to three weeks, according to the Blue Jays.  Ryan Goins is Goins to fill-in, and that’s the Blue Jays’ shortstop comings and Goins!  Stay tuned for more fantasy news and reborts coming up after the break.  Offscreen voice, “It’s reports, not reborts, you jackass.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Who’s the guy who wrote up Jason Hammel the night prior only to see Dan Haren subbed in for him this morning while trying to set his season long and DFS football lineups. Two thumbs pointed back and me! Which is really hard to do when you’re typing at a rapid pace…hope you appreciate it! So we’re doing a mad scramble to find a lede and…I ain’t got one for ya, sorry. I don’t see a reason to change my analysis below and I really don’t feel like see a reason to flesh it out fuller with a hastily written blurby-mah-bob up here. Worst part? I really went in depth on how good it would be to play Jason Hammel! Teh Phils are teh suck! But they haven’t always been. But most times they are…eh, that was a synopsis as if written by a 13 year old. You’re welcome. Anyhoo, happy first Sunday of football for the 2015 season and happy overlay in baseball for us, amirite? Exactly, so let’s get to it. So here’s my Foosball hot takes for this Sunday 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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?