Greetings, weekend warriors. Your resident creeper, J-FOH, is unavailable this week due to either a mani/pedi or macaroni, I’m not quite sure. Bad phone connection. But whether he’s tending to some fugly nails or an empty stomach, fear not. I’m here to fill the void, minus a hundred hyperlinks or so. So let’s get to it. First up is Preston Tucker, one of the hottest schmotatoes in the land. Over the past week, he’s produced a .381/.409/1.048 triple slash with 4 homers, 8 runs, and 6 RBI. That’s a 1.048 slugging percentage, not OPS. Pretty Bryce Harper-esque. At home, where he’ll be playing six games this upcoming week, he’s managed a .291/.351/.523 line, and he’s crushed right-handed pitching to the tune of .296/.359/.585. The four righties that he’ll be facing – Garrett Richards, Jered Weaver, Rubby de la Rosa, and Jeremy Hellickson – aren’t exactly a fearsome group to contend with. As of right now, Tucker is owned in 11.2% of ESPN leagues. Like Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element, he won’t outshine the studs, but he should be a valuable role player.

Here are a few other bonus creepers for the week of 7/27 – 8/2:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What do numbers call their father? Data. Thank you, Highlights. You taught me so much with the juxtaposition of Goofus and Gallant, and you’ve entertained me for thirty years. One copy, that is well worn, sits on the back of my toilet as my salvation, especially when Cougs forgets to restock the toilet paper. Why am I thinking about data right now? Because I just spent two hours (more like ten minutes) looking for something. I was trying to find what a hitter does after hitting the longest home run of their career, then sorting by guys that do it before their 24th birthday. Alas, I couldn’t find anything. Elias Sports Bureau probably knows but they’re a bunch of baseball nerds. We’re fantasy nerds. Huge difference, we have imaginary friends cooler than their real friends! My hypothesis I was aiming for is if a guy, who was once a well-regarded prospect is called up at a very young age, it might take a bit of time for them to acclimate themselves. Then, once they were comfortable, they’d show power, hit the longest home run of their career and take off from there. At this point, it’s just conjecture, but it makes reasonable sense in a case study of one. So, who was this well-regarded prospect that just hit the longest home run of his career this week? Nick Castellanos. My Spidey sense says Castellanos might finally be breaking out. Breaking out from what, you’re likely thinking. Well, not from chocolate. From being a schmohawk. Plus, my Spidey sense is strong since this is on the web. Like Castellanos’s relatives throw glasses into the fireplace, he was thrown into the fire at an insanely young age, and is only 23 years old now. It’s a little early for 2016 sleepers, but Castellanos was a guy that was pegged as someone that could hit for a solid average with some power. I’m intrigued, y’all! In keepers, I could see going after him now for next year, and just grabbing him in redraft mixed leagues. Castellanos you later! Thanks again, Highlights! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“I don’t know what my face is doing right now.” “It looks like you ate a full Tony Luke’s cheesesteak and forgot to swallow.” “No. I mean, I did, but I took the sub out of mouth and put it in my glove compartment for later. But this is something else. Feel my cheeks, they’re, like, pushed up.” “You get that f**kin’ Botox?” “No! I’m a 45-year-old construction worker with bad knees. Why would I get Botox?” “Then what’s wrong with your cheeks? You’re freaking me out!” “Wait, I know what it is. I’m…I’m smiling and I’m a Phillies fan. This is better than the day Charlie Manuel stopped at our job site to use our Porta-Potty!” Yesterday, Aaron Nola looked great — 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, and Phillies fans, or Phans, have something to smile about. I watched a portion of the game and he looked like he could be an ace. Love, love, lurve the control and mid-90’s fastball. At worst, he’s a number three. I was pretty jazzed at what I saw. Whenever you have a guy that has great command and can strike out people, there’s a chance for wonderful. With that said (hold on to the starboard, Grey’s turning around!), he’s a rookie and there will be some Growing Pains, and not the good kind of boners. I would absolutely own him, but in shallower leagues I’d be careful of roofies. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?