So, an old boss of mine used to talk about how she was friends with Chris Coghlan. This was back when Coghlan was kind of hip and new. Back when Coghlan won Rookie of the Year (the kind of ROY where we all groan, knowing that it’s probably another Angel Berroa or Bobby Crosby type selection, soon to fizzle out). Anyhow, my boss went to school with him and bragged about it. So of course, I remember ruthlessly hoping for him to fail, for no particular reason other than seeing her reaction. It was petty, and silly, and ultimately, it totally happened. Coghlan sputtered out of Miami and bounced up and down the minor leagues for a bit before resurfacing in Chicago. Let this post be my penitence. Coghlan has been surprisingly decent this season, posting a nice blend of power (8) and speed (5).  Better still for this column, Coghlan has a .462 OBP over the past two weeks (.571 over the past 7 days), going 12-for-40. His playing time has been a bit sporadic with a crowded outfield now featuring Matt Szczur, but he is still a viable play in deeper OBP formats.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before you accuse Jose Tabata of leaning into a pitch with two outs and Max Scherzer on the brink of a perfect game, let’s take you back to 2009. The then 19-year-old Jose Tabata was with his wife, the 54-year-old, Conchita Alonso Rivera Consuela Charlynn Torres, and she was pregnant. Conchita etc. would tell Jose to lean into her belly to hear the baby, and Jose leaned. At supermarkets, at carnivals, at the car wash, Conchita etc. asked Jose to lean and listen, and he did. Of course, there was no baby in her belly, it was actually a Betsy Wetsy doll that she shoved under her shirt. Later when Conchita etc. was arrested for falsifying a pregnancy and kidnapping a baby for Jose and her to raise as their own, they would meet at the glass partition in prison and she would tell Jose to lean in. Times were good, Jose leaned in. Times got rough, Jose leaned in. So, on Saturday, when the Pirates were one out from having a perfect game thrown against them, Jose did what he always did — he leaned in. After that no hitter, Max Scherzer has a 10.8 K/9, 1.2 BB/9 and a 1.76 ERA. So, yeah, he’s a top three starter, if not the best this year, and he is amazing. No kidding; hey, sorta like Tabata and his wife! (There is a lot more truth in this opening paragraph than you’d likely ever imagine. Just Google “Tabata wife” if you don’t believe me. Happy belabored Father’s Day, Tabata!) Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

 

That face says it all. It’s the face of a man who’s seen some $hit. Like a DK LU that rostered Carlos Frias for his -18 point implosion. I mean, the scarring just don’t heal. It’s also the face of our humble…oh who am I kidding, braggart lothario Overload Grey Albright. A long time back (in fantasy baseball, 2 years ago really is a long time back), his Royal Stacheness had Erasmo Ramirez pegged as a sleeper and who could blame him? Solid minor league numbers to go along with a great home ballpark with a team that had a good track record of bringing good, young arms along. The stars were aligned and it looked like Erasmo was destined for greatness. And then he started pitching…woof. Everything he throws just dances which is great if he knew where he was throwing it. Erasmo got lit up but not like the way Buckcherry meant it. That’s illegal. Either way, he was chucked aside by the Mariners to the Rays and considered a forgotten man…but if you’ve been paying attention, you’d notice things haven’t been as dire in Tampa for him as they were in Seattle. The Rays seem to be taking this reclamation project over quite well as he currently owns a 50% groundball rate (highest of his albeit short career) and he even has a 31 point DK showing to his credit. At $5,600, you need about 18 points to get your ROI and if the Nats are still without Bryce Harper, I believe you can get that. Now after saying all that, if Harper is in, I’m probably out on this call but even Vegas is giving Erasmo the slight nod in a low scoring pick’em today with -110 and a 7 o/u so there’s some merit to this David Lynch’ian madness. But enough about surrealism, let’s get this going. Here are my other hot takes for today’s DK slate…

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Member how I was saying yesterday that I owned Zack Cozart in multiple leagues, and he was a top five shortstop this year on our Player Rater, but I didn’t really appreciate him? Do I even need to tell you what happened next? Can you guess? If you hold your ear to the computer, does it help you guess? Cozart lunged for the 1st base bag as he was going down the line, hyperextended his knee and is headed to the DL. Einstein was right, “Absence does make the heart grow fonder.” Or maybe that was Peabo Bryson. I always confuse those two on attributing quotes. It’s usually one or the other. Was it Peabo Bryson who did the theory of relativity? Why can’t I spell genius without spellchecker? Questions for another day. One potential fill-in is Ivan De Jesus (1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer). De Jesus now has homers in two of three games, that’s twice as many homers as his dad had in his final 600 plate appearances. With Cozart out for who knows how long, De Jesus Jr., or as Christians and Nike marketers like to call him Lil’ Jesus, could be the shortstop, but so could Kris Negron (1-for-4). Negron, please! If it’s Lil’ Jesus, well, it’s worse than Negron, please! Lil’ Jesus doesn’t have much power or speed, while Negron, please, at least swiped 30+ bags one year in the minors. Neither are advisable outside of NL-Only leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sometimes you think you know what a player is. He’s a stud. He’s a stiff. He’s hot. He’s not. And so on. Players get labels pretty quick as they come into our consciousness and it’s awfully hard to shake that.

The same goes for teams throughout a season. Oh, they aren’t hitting well or that’s a hitter’s park. These types of unwitting biases can keep you from rostering the exact players you need to win so it’s important that you keep investigating the trends that are going on throughout the season.

Those that though, prior to the 2014 season, that Anthony Rizzo can’t hit lefties were right…..prior to that season. In 2015, Rizzo broke out and it was, in a significant part, due to a much improved approach against LHP. Those that didn’t just accept the current track record were rewarded when they rostered Rizzo against lefties when few other people did.

This season, maybe it’s a guy like Tampa’s Erasmo Ramirez, who looks to be turning the corner as a pitcher and has put up some solid numbers so far this season. You might write him off as stinky based on prior track record or by him burning you when you did roster him, but a look at the most recent 30 days show a different story.

It’s a good idea to look at a player’s metrics over the last 30 days or so to get an idea which way the player it trending or if he’s been able to continue a trend that he hasn’t exhibited before. You’re likely to find some player emerging and give you an edge over your competitors who are still reading last month’s news.

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The closest David Wright is to getting on the field is to smell the glove. The doctors have diagnosed him with spinal stenosis, which is the narrowing of the spinal column. “That sounds awesome, my column’s way too wide,” says a runway model. Has there ever been a situation, besides This Is Spinal Tap, where the word spinal has been good? Misspellings of spinal with l’pinas, the French Colada, does not count. The plains in Wright’s pain fall directly on the spinal. Honestly, this sounds like an issue that will plague him this entire year and he’s going to have a lost season. Not honestly, good news. On our podcast that is coming later today this ailment is compared to some football guy no longer doing football things due to spinal stenosis and how dropping Wright, if you don’t have DL room, could be the, uh, right move. I sorta agree, but would try to hold him a bit longer, until we hear more. It does sound like this has the makings of “Can Wright bounce back in 2016?” articles. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Victor Martinez hit the DL. I told you he was overrated in the preseason, but rather than just say I told you so, let’s tell you exactly what I told you, “Wah-wah. Sad trombone. ‘Those aren’t pillows!’ Or whatever signal you want for a reversal from good to bad. That was what I heard when it was announced that Victor Martinez had a torn meniscus, which reminds me of a conversation I had when calculators were first introduced in 1961 and I had to abandon my loyalty to my other counting device, screaming, “I’m torn, abacus!” I got sad when Martinez was hurt, not because I wanted to draft him and now he had an injury. I was saddened because now I figured my ranking of him in the 110’s wouldn’t be as low as other ‘perts. You know, they’d hear this news and lower him. Much to my surprise, I overestimated the rest of the ‘pert world. They still have him ranked 75 overall on average. *scratches head* You know, head scratching really doesn’t help one understand anything, which sounds like a line from C.J. Wilson’s latest dandruff commercial. CBS has V-Mart ranked 15th overall. I’m not even joking. I wish I were. “Your final wish is granted.” No, Genie in a Bottle, it’s a figure of speech! Okay, it looks like CBS has changed his ranking slightly, that ranking was before the knee surgery. Stupid, wish-taking Genie! Martinez is still ranked way too high, and it has nothing to do with the surgery.” And that’s me quoting me! See, I told you I told you so. This will likely be a nice boost in playing time for Anthony Gose and Rajai Davis, the King of SAGNOF and his Golden Gose. Also, hitting the DL is Corey Dickerson with his plantar fasciitis, a garden variety injury. This helps Drew Stubbs see playing time, but takes him away from his BBQ sauce manufacturing. While the Rockies are home, I’d give Stubbs a shot. Martinez and Dickerson share something in injury; these aren’t ailments that DL stints are going to fix. These will linger all year and I would sell low on both guys. Sorry to bum you out, unless Evan Gattis is reading. He can bum out all on his own. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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There was a song in the 80’s by the surely-it-had-to-be made up stage name of Brenda K. Starr called I Still Believe. It was a typical, run of the mill, studio pop ballad sung by an artist who clearly made it her goal to sound like Madonna. It made the Top 20 in 1988 and Brenda K. Starr vanished into pop obscurity. Incredibly, her backup singer paid tribute to her former lead by re-recording it and having success in the 90’s with it. That backup singer, whose demo tape was passed forward by Starr to CBS Records and Tommy Mottola? Mariah Carey.

Early in the baseball season, it can be easy to look at some statistics and feel unsure whether someone’s previous year’s success was real or not. Corey Kluber came from the might-be level all the way to becoming the Klu-Bot, Cy Kluber last season. This year, Kluber has not looked so good, statistically, carrying an ERA of over 5.00.

But I Still Beliiiiiiieve in Kluber and I will sing it from the mountaintops. More importantly, I am happy to continue to roll him out in my cash and tournament games. In fact, I relish the fact that there is going to be a substantial part of the public that is going to back away from Kluber because of that fat ERA.

So why I am so sure that I am willing to perm my hair and sing as a soprano? For one, his K-rates remain rock solid, with a Swinging Strike rate of 13% and a K/9 rate of 9.3. These are elite numbers. That’s probably why his SIERA is much lower than his ERA, registering at a 3.20, which is 17th in the majors for pitchers with more than 20IP for this season.

In short, he’s still a top pitcher and due for some comeback. And all my singing will have been worth it. Well, to me at least.

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maybe I shamed the Marlins into caring about their bullpen. Maybe I’m just like my mother, she’s never satisfied. Why do we scream at Steve Cishek? This is what it sounds like, when fantasy baseballers cry! Damn, I’ll never get sick of Prince. Well, except when I have to rely on him to hit homers from my 1st base slot. As they removed Cishek from the closer role, the Marlins said, “Shrek has done a tremendous job for us, but at the end of the day, it’s about winning games.” They call Cishek Shrek? Is that so the 12-year-old Yelich isn’t scared to room with him? Holy cow, have you seen Cishek?! He looks like he could be Yelich’s younger brother! Do the Marlins pay their prospects in Girl Scout cookies? Does the team bus have to wait an extra five minutes every day so they can finish their paper route? Are Yelich and Cishek extras from the off-Broadway adaption of Drake & Josh? I have questions, y’all! So, Cishek is not only out, but looks like a flaming Pu-Pu Platter. I’d grab A.J. Ramos immediately, stash Mike Dunn and Bryan Morris and would even look at Rafael Soriano, since the Marlins said they might sign him. Oh, and once Henderson Alvarez returns, there’s speculation Tom Koehler could close. A Koehlser?! In other words, this shituation is a closerousel, so hold on for your life. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Deep leaguers are nearing a point in the season where waiver wire pickings aren’t going to be easy to find.  But it’s barely Week 3!  Tell that to someone who gives a damn!  All intense rage aside, despite the season’s relative infancy, if you’re in a league of 14 or more teams, adding players who can contribute will become more difficult by the week.  This isn’t a 10 team league where No. 3 starters are sitting on the wire.  This column is designed to help you dig deeper (and deeper).  Read carefully, and maybe one of these players will be your lucky star.

Last week’s post discussed middle infielders, and today I’ll be passing out advice on some outfielders who can assist you in your travails.  As always, I will be using ESPN’s ownership percentages and only selecting players who are available in less than 10 percent of leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?