Here’s what I didn’t say in June, but could have, “With the promotion of George Springer and Gregory Polanco, Mike Trout and Mike Trout’s father, Tim Salmon, should make room in their mini-van that’s designed to look like a submarine because there’s new top hitters in the major leagues of baseball. Put down your periscope, Trout, no need to look any further. You have the new challenger for your supremacy. Polanco is especially intriguing due to his blend of speed and power, and inability to hit for a low average. There’s just no chance he hits below .280. No chance. Also, on August 25th play the Powerball numbers 37-08-32-11-09-38.” And that’s me quoting what I could’ve said! Of course, I didn’t say it exactly like that, but that was generally my feelings. As it started to appear like each was overmatched, I told you to sell both of them before they bottomed out. Springer’s got his strikeout problems, that I’ll go over at some point in the offseason, but Polanco got a raw deal. He had 6 homers, 12 steals in 64 games. That’s a 15-homer, 30-steal guy next year. The Pirates demoted him yesterday as some kind of neg designed by pick-up artist, Mystery. Polanco’s K-rate wasn’t terrible, his walk rate was fine, he was done in by a .241 average. A .241 average with the aforementioned strikeout rate that wasn’t bad. So what happened? He was unlucky. That batting average was being grounded by a .277 BABIP. With his speed, Polanco could easily have a .320 BABIP and a .290 average. For this year, you can lose him, but I’m still going to like him in 2015. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

How does that old adage go? A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush? Basically, having in hand and ‘knowing’ what you have is worth more than the potential of what you could get elsewhere. Well, because this is my post and I can kinda do whatever I want, I’m gonna mix up that metaphor into a fruit cocktail of fantasy baseball jargon. A Rocky in the Mountains is worth two in the McCovey. Yeah, take that! Basically, for every one Rockies hitter you’d take in Colorado, it would take two to get the offensive production you’d expect to get from that one. You feel me? I’m glad you do. Now stop feeling me, you’re making me this write up dirty. The point here is the Rockies on the road have a rocky road as they’re the 4th worst wOBA away from their friendly confines. Well golly gee, DraftKings players, look what we have here. It’s a Cy Young blast from the past on the mound to face this fragile lineup in Jake Peavy. It may seem like the last time Peavy was good that Leave It To Beaver was a popular television show and truth be told, that may still be the case. He hasn’t looked fully ‘right’ over the last few years and his best days are behind him. But, he’s a bulldog on the mound and he’s also pitched well since rejoining the senior circuit, posting a 3.58 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Not Earth-shattering numbers but when he has a matchup he can exploit – like his last turn against the Cubs, going 7 innings while striking out 8 – he typically delivers. The Rockies K nearly 24% of the time while on the road and even if they dial one up on him, the AT&T Park rarely delivers good service. We’re sorry, but the HR you have hit is no longer the right distance. Please hang up your batting helmet and try again. I rarely call lines, but give me at least 6 IP with 6 K and minimal walks and hits to go along with it for the Peav’er. Here’s some other picks for the Monday slate on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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 check theDFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is happening on the other side of my laptop as I sit here writing the Two-Startapalooza…

owierazz

Yes, that is a dog dry-humping Boo the star Pomeranian in stuffed animal form. He does it all the time, but for some reason it seemed profound to me and strangely relevant to this week’s batch of pitchers. [Jay's Note: Uhhhh. Okay?] Perhaps my dog represents the fantasy gods, and Boo is fantasy owners everywhere, especially those on the playoff bubble in their leagues. No Clayton Kershaw, no Max Scherzer, no David Price, no mega-aces to speak of. Combustible No. 2’s. A lot of mediocrity. Dudes obviously pitching over their heads, and dying to, well, eff you over. And then the looming threat of namby-pamby real-life baseball managers pulling guys early in games to get ready for the real-life playoffs and even scratching top-flight starters with mysterious blisters, hangnails and other assorted bogus injuries in an effort to save them for the postseason. The nerve! But I see two little gifts from these same fantasy gods: Two guys with potential who have good-to-great matchups this week.

First up is Eric Stults, a Hodgepadre with two home starts (Brew Crew and Dodgers) and a nice run going. He’s 3-1 in August with a 1.49 ERA, and only one of those starts was in Petco. Also, he’s only walked two guys in his last three starts, and has the potential to strike guys out on top of that. Then there’s Dillon Gee, who looked like a potential ace out of the gate this year but then missed two months with a back injury. He’s been about as appealing as amusement park food since his return, racking up a 5.50 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP with no wins over the last 30 days. But if you drill down into his last four starts, he hasn’t been that awful. He held down the Giants for the most part on Aug. 4, giving up two runs over 5-plus innings. He then dominated the flat-lining Phillies in Philly. Now I’ll make some excuses. Is there shame in getting a little shaken (4 ER in 5 innings) in a loss to the first-place Nats at home or a road loss to first-place Oakland? This week, Gee welcomes two beatable opponents to Citi Field: The strikeout happy Braves and then those same crappy Phillies. I like Gee and Stults as streamers who won’t “screw you over” (heh) and nothing else. Now let’s see what else we got in the Two-Starter cupboard this week.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Chris Tillman went 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.55 while dropping his 2nd half ERA to 2.14 in 46 1/3 IP. Still, the best thing about him is he doesn’t currently have a duet with Nicki Minaj on the radio. He’s the one person in the western hemisphere. You are so lucky, eastern hemisphere! Assuming you, Eastern Hemispherers, move to the western hemisphere in the next six months and don’t get all of our hand-me-down crap songs next. I lived in London in the fall of 1996, so I had a jumpstart on “Tell me what you want what you really want, what you really really want” by the Spice Girls, then when I moved back home, it just got here. I had a good solid 12 months straight of one stupid Spice Girls song. I called it A Clockwork Spice. Ready for me to tie this in? I bet you are! I was in on Tillman in the preseason the past two years, convinced he could make the jump to fantasy number two. I held him both years in the 1st half, as he got battered around, then in the 2nd half of both years after I dropped him, he buckled down and showed the kind of pitcher he can be. Unlike last year, his peripherals this year are pretty poor — 6.2 K/9, 3 BB/9, 4.31 xFIP. I’d definitely own him while he’s going well, but I don’t think he’s become anything more than a decent fantasy number four to five. Right now, he’s a Wannabe. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve tried it all gentlemen and lady (possibly +4). We’ve looked at splits, BvP, wOBA, ISO, wRC+ and we’ve even tried the “due” argument. While all of these predictive metrics are very useful and over the long haul ring true, each day is another exercise in randomness. Truth is, 162 games creates plenty of room for chaos theory to rear its wonderfully asymmetrical head. Daily fantasy doesn’t allow for the law of averages and regression to the mean to matter for one single isolated matchup. As a gambling man, I like to try new things to see how things play out. I’ve done my research and feel good about this lineup that is completely segregated by the DraftKings salary. We’re moving the decimal point two places to the left today and removing the glorious zeroes from the end of salaries that we all covet. I’m rolling out only prime numbers today i.e. $2,300 = 23 = prime number. When you look at numbers this much, the unique ones start to stand out. The DFS community can certainly relate to the primes:

Prime numbers… appear among the integers, seemingly at random, and yet not quite: there seems to be some order or pattern, just a little below the surface, just a little out of reach.

–Underwood Dudley

Don’t expect to win each day—that is out of reach. But winning over the long haul is what we’re after. Take a good look at the DFSBot which has recently been ruled the best DFS prediction tool by dailydraftwizard.com. Rudy’s phenomenal tool, as Mrs. Gamble calls it, cranks out the day’s best value plays and even breaks it down to expected $ per point.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Au Shucks, Au No, Au Crap, Au Whatever You Want To Say, it’s Au Not So Good. Au contraire mon frere, it’s auful. On Friday night, in a meaningless at-bat in a meaningless game in a meaningless season by the lowly Diamondbacks team, lowly’s meaning: less, Paul Goldschmidt entered the game as a pinch hitter and was plunked* (*trademark Eric Plunk), and now has a broken hand. Au, c’mon, can’t we have anything nice? Au, guys and four girls, it’s au so bad. Am I au right? Au, sadly no, I’m not au right; shizz has gone pear shape and au wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t have paid retail for this word ‘au;’ now I feel compelled to use it so auften. Aufortunately, Goldschmidt is droppable in redraft leagues. Here’s hoping he’s fine for next year. Au please. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As I type this, I’m in a small, but expected depression as a disgruntled Mets fan living in Minnesota after today’s non-waiver trade deadline. In the middle of thermal packaging related activities, I saw deal and deal and deal swing by. All I get from both the teams that I follow most? A Kurt Suzuki extension. Oye. All that did was disgruntle me more, as I like Josmil Pinto quite a bit. I figured at least Bartolo Colon would get traded for some PTBL or a BoB (bucket o’ balls). Ah well.

On the other hand, if you’re a Tigers fan (I’m not a bandwagon A’s fan until the Mets are good, I decided today), you must be pretty excited. Drew Smyly wasn’t as dominating as a starter and Austin Jackson continued to short-come expectations. Instead you have an second ace, and can now appropriately consider Justin Verlander your number 3 or 4 or 5. [Jay's Note: Or playoff closer?] Verlander has not been good, but he’s also been almost as unlucky as he’s been bad, or he’s hurt and isn’t saying anything/doesn’t know it.

July 1st, I noted the luckiest pitchers to date, but the one thing I didn’t do at that time was look at the pitcher’s luck/bad luck relative to their career rates. So for this post, for luck, I z-scored each pitcher’s luck stats relative to their career stats (homerun to flyball ratio, left on base% and BABIP). I weighed each z-score by the stats correlation to ERA. Therefore the luckies pitchers (using luck alone and excluding skill) as of 7/27 is: Josh Beckett, Jake Arrieta, Collin McHugh, Scott Kazmir, Garrett Richards, Zach Britton, Jordan Lyles, Drew Pomeranz, Dellin Betances, Alfredo Simon and Danny Duffy. Chris Young, Jason Hammel and Jesse Chavez (update: both Hammel and Chavez were rocked in their last start). However, this all excludes skill (contact rate, strikeout% minus walk% and ground ball to flyball ratio). Incorporating this, here are the actual luckiest pitchers as of 7/27:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You: Pete Nice, did you say we should start Marcus Stroman this week at Boston and at Houston?

Jay(Wrong): You DON’T have to answer that question!

Me: I’ll answer the question! You want advice?

You: I think I’m entitled to…

Me: YOU WANT ADVICE?

You: I WANT THE TRUTH!

Me: YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

[Jay's Note: My mother always wanted me to be a lawyer...] Guys, we live in a fantasy baseball world that has risky matchups, and those risky matchups have to be taken on by writers who have to suggest two-starting inexperienced young pitchers with 95 mph-plus fastballs. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Guru? You, Sky? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly imagine. You worry about Stroman, and you curse the Blue Jays. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Stroman’s road performance, while thus far in 2014 has been kind of crappy – 17 hits in 16 IP with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP – will improve with time. And Stroman’s existence, while excitingly intriguing but also slightly scary, can help your fantasy team. You don’t want this advice because deep down in places you don’t talk about at baseball games and fantasy drafts, you want Stroman on that hill. You need Stroman on that hill. We use words like FIP and K/BB ratios. We use these words as the backbone of a fantasy team trying to win something: Stroman’s 3.11 FIP places him in the Top 20 of all MLB pitchers and his K/BB per 9 ratio of close to 6.00 makes him an ownable pitcher, not a streamer, according to Dr. Grey Albright PhD. You use these things as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to readers who rise and sleep under the blanket of the very information that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up Stroman, and set your lineup. Either way, I don’t give a damn who you grab off the wire for two starts this week.

You: Did you order the two-starts for Marcus Stroman?

Me: I did the job…

You: DID YOU ORDER THE TWO-STARTS FOR MARCUS STROMAN?

Me: YOU’RE GODDAMN RIGHT I DID! AND HERE’S SOME MORE TWO-START PITCHERS FOR NEXT WEEK!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Those weren’t tears of sadness, bro. I’m a straight hater of the Craptain – the realest you’ll ever know. Every time I take a dump, all that’s heard is, “number two, Derek Jeter, number two.”

The love fest during the ASG was unbearable, and I was screaming for it to end, waterboarding style. That being said, ding dong the break is dead! Thank Zod! I watched an actual network show with human actors in it yesterday … terrible! Then I picked up a book … and threw it at the TV because it was so … terrible! Oh, how I sorely missed drinking beers (OK, still did that), streaming baseball on my deck, and sweating DFS rosters alongside my fellow degenerates (that’s you).

Have no fear, my friends. Our time hath cometh again. It’s my honor to kick-off the second half of MLB DraftKings action here at Razzball, home of Stream-o-Nator, Hitter-Tron, DFSBot, and the Ombatsman. Check those fabulous F’ers out – they were built by science and love of sport.

Now, let’s play ball … again.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 person matchup 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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Most things that can be enjoyed in life are temporary and fleeting. When it comes to owning Carlos Gonzalez (OF, $4,700) in fantasy, the previous statement couldn’t be more accurate. The only thing CarGo is better at than putting up big fantasy numbers is racking up DL stints and games missed. Which is why he is the perfect player for Daily Fantasy formats like DraftKings. When he’s in the lineup and playing, he’s typically hitting and there are few players in baseball more exciting to watch. When he’s not in the lineup and he’s taking up residence in your DL spot, there are few players more infuriating to own. I typically avoid Gonzalez in drafts because the price is high and the risk is great. My approach in the first few rounds is to buy low risk/high floor players. In DFS I just want great players and great matchups. With Cargo returning to the Rockies lineup yesterday and a home matchup with punching bag Kevin Correia, he’s both! In the early set the Rockies stack is very much in play. Even better there are some great low cost pitching options on the slate to help fit those premium Colorado bats into your lineups.

We have a couple of 20 Teamers setup again today, one for the earlier set and another for the later bunch. We filled two 20 Teamers for last nights games and they’ve been filled every night for the last couple of weeks. We’ve had Razzball personalities like Sky, The Guru, J-Foh, Tehol, Schlurricane, BTXJ, and Nick Cappozzi. To extremely competitive players from our Comments section like LoneRiders, ddmcd 1974, nrk5014, Resnati, and heatster. Going forward they’re going to be a daily drop in our DraftKings blogs. So get yourself together and join DraftKings today. In case you didn’t know, DraftKings will give you a ticket for a contest just for joining with us by clicking here. So let’s review, you get to compete against your favorite Razzball personalities and fellow readers, and you get a ticket for the sweet price of Free.99. Don’t forget we have some great tools to help you optimize your lineups in the DFSBot, the Stream-o-nator, and the Hitter-tron. So use them and thank Rudy!

Please, blog, may I have some more?