Greetings, my fine DK’ers and so that we have it out of the way, May the 4th be with you. See that? Now it’s covered so don’t bother me about it. I’m not even a Star Wars fan. There, I said it and I can’t take it back. I don’t care you’re still hot and bothered about Princess Leia in that bikini but I am sorry George Lucas bent over and took a steaming pile on what you divine to be a national treasure and then wiped his pimply butt with the money he made off you. I had a similar thing happen to me with the Alien franchise so I can relate. Alien: Resurrection? *Man dumping trash into trash can emoji* Nonetheless, it’s done, enjoy your new Disney money-making machine while I trudge on in the DFS world. So Travis Wood. He’s been pretty good. Obviously, that’s the only reason I’m suggesting him, right? Welllll, not exactly. I mean, do I love his 9.89 K/9 and his 2.28 BB/9? Of course, but there’s more to love, namely his opponent. On the surface, you wouldn’t think that the Cardinals are a team to attack for Ks, AKA the money-making tool on DraftKings when it comes to taking a pitcher. Their overall team K% of 18.2% puts them 25th worst (well, for them 6th best) in the league. But then you go and look at the splits and realize a hidden gem of a secret. Over 190 PA this year, they strike out 23.7% of the time versus southpaws. But that’s what happens when half your lineup are left handed bats and you force Mark Reynolds into your lineup because he is one of your better hitters against LHP. BTW, thanks STL for those two free Ks! Anywho, let’s move on. Here’s my scalding hot take on the May the 4th be with you DK slate. See, I did it again just for you…

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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To many, 1993 is considered the watershed moment in Hip-hop’s golden era.  Classic album after classic album was released over that year.  It’s the only year I can think of that’s in the title of an all-time hip hop classic.  Some might even argue a top 10 song of all time within the genre.  I’m of course talking about the Souls of Mischief classic and title of this post.  If you don’t know by now I like to ramble about something that has nothing to do with baseball in my intro.  This is to set the stage for the theme of the week’s two start pitching tiers.  This week we delve into the greatest years in hip hop.  Why? because if there’s one thing I know better than baseball it’s soccer… oops, I mean hip-hop.  Then again soccer is pretty awesome….did you know we have a site here on Razzball where we talk about it exclusively?  My plugs are shameless like William H. Mace, better have legs like B-Ham if you wants to keep pace, lace the track, dutchies dipped in honey, two start pitchers ain’t nothing move but the streamonator $.  Okay now back to the lecture at hand, perfection is perfected…. What’s perfection? Why the greatest years of hip-hop of course.  So I’ll discuss this week’s two start pitchers in relation to each great year in hip-hop and share some science on the top jewels to drop in the tier’s title year.  If I missed any years or albums let me know.  Hell drop some of your favorite jams/albums/miscellaneous stories about your mom’s slutty college experiences in the comments. I like to talk about all those things…

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Masahiro Tanaka hit the DL with a strained forearm. It’s not related to his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. So, here’s my question? Why not just play through the forearm strain too? That’s where he draws the line? It’s like, “I was fine sleeping with my wife’s sister, and having a baby with her that no one knows about, and plotting to kill my wife on a weekend jaunt to Mexico, but I will not jaywalk. Those people in New York are crazy!” You have nothing to lose, Tanaka, get in there and shank someone in the yard and Hacky Sack the ball to the plate! The Yankees haven’t announced how long Tanaka will be out, but maybe they’ll try to sneak in Tommy John surgery while he’s sleeping. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The Tigers announced that Joe Nathan had a torn UCL and would require season-ending Tommy John surgery. This could be the end of a once-illustrious career. To commemorate all that Nathan has done for baseball, this Fourth of July, at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, they will be eating Nathan’s discarded elbow tendons. Takeru Kobayashi said, “I’ll be training on udon and Brandon Beachy tendons for the next few months, then a week before I will eat nothing but Sabathia’s knee ligaments to widen my gullet.” Gotta love that guy’s ambitious spirit. So, Nathan’s done and Joakim Soria now becomes a top twelve-ish closer with the chance of being top seven-ish by season’s close. As long as -ish don’t kill my vibe! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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As the Greek myth goes, the Yellin’ of LaTroy is the closer that launched thousands of fantasy baseballers to the waiver wire to pick up his set-up man, Adam Ottavino. There’s something to that great myth. There’s also the Greek myth about the LaTrojan Horse. In that one, the Greeks sent a closer that seemed like a workhorse onto the field, but once the battle began the LaTrojan Horse opened up and inside was marshmallows and the opposing team made a campfire, lit up the LaTrojan Horse and ate Smores. There’s also the Greek myth of Mike Mostsuckass, but that isn’t appropriate for right now. LaTroy Hawkins was spotted one out in the ninth inning and still gave up three earned runs, allowing a homer to the 135-pound power slugger, Dexter Fowler (who had a slam and legs and went 2-for-5, 2 RBIs). Whether the Rockies come out and say Hawkins is finished or on thin ice, I’d still stash Ottavino. He’s about to become a 35-save guy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Dustin Pedroia will hit you two homers (3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) and then run out after the game to help hawk papers, “Extr-ee, extr-ee, read all about it!” “Keep the change, kid.” “Thanks, mister!” While Pedroia sold Boston Heralds on the corner, Hanley Ramirez (also homered twice; 2nd one was a grand slam; 2-for-4, 2 runs, 5 RBIs) was tricked into a youth-rejuvenating oxygen chamber by piping in the smell of roasted pig. All the Red Sox did was put a game-used Sandoval jersey over a fan. Buncha tricksters! Or maybe that’s trickstahs in Boston. Also homering yesterday was Mookie Betts (2-for-4, 2 runs). Well, in this game. In other games, everyone homered at least once. If your fantasy team didn’t hit at least three homers yesterday, check again, you might’ve been accidentally looking at your fantasy football team. New commissioner-slash-new-step-dad, Rob Manfred, wants your love and if that means using juiced balls and no curfews, so be it! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Can you smell that? Can you? It’s the smell of a brand spanking new baseball season about to begin and with it, the smell of popcorn, fully chewed Redman, hot dog-flavored water, and gun powder. Why gun powder? MURICA! That’s why! What are you a bunch of red commies that hate freedom? No?!?! Good! Now that we’ve established your patriotism, let’s move on to our first two-start pitcher post of the young season. As I did at the end of 2014, when I took over this ship, I’ll break down all of the starters into a few tiers based on quality of the pitcher and then of course their matchups. To back up just why I’m placing each pitcher into a particular tier, I’ll provide stats on the pitcher and the lineups they’re facing. Considering the only data I have at this point in the season to go on will be last year’s numbers…and what good are those? I’m going to skip this step and just do my rankings and usual blurbs per tier. After all, it is Week 1, and much like a toilet in a unisex bathroom, we’re dealing with everyone’s 1’s and 2’s. Plus, we have plenty of tools to help you figure this stuff out… So sit back, relax, catch ya contact, sip ya cog-ni-ac, and feel free to share your perspective in the comments. I didn’t think the last part about laundering money applied.

Shameless Plug Alert!!!! When you’re done here, head on over to Razzball Soccer and catch all the goodies that Smokey and I are providing for Fantasy Premier League!! Do it!

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Pitcher Profiles are almost back baby!  Let’s get this shizz goin!

We’ve got another big year of GIFfing, Gamescore+ , breaking down every pitch to a tedium… it’s going to get my motor running about as hard as every Corey Kluber start!

I hope everyone has had a nice winter, and enjoyed an awesome year with us so far over on Hoops.  Good thing it’s an indoor sport!  Northeast getting more snow than Tony Montana’s desk.  But with the allure of the weather warming (it hasn’t yet), we can all get together and talk some starting pitching (it’s deep, convo over).  With depth comes two interesting schools of thought – should you go with aces early because there’s so little distinguishing the mid-tier and breakout guys?  Or wait entirely and build your whole staff late?  Of course there’s 50 Shades of Grey, which is still my usual approach.  Hopefully Grey’s next book will be 51 Shades of Grey Albright.  Shade 1 – mustache play.

If you missed the wrap up at the end of last year, you can check out how my 2014 pre-ranks fared against Grey and ESPN.

Enough foreplay, below are my top 100 SP ranks!  With the great pitching depth, comes great responsibility a lot of guys out of the 100 that are probably in other ranks here and there.  Pitchers 70-130 are so hard to differentiate…  But as always, please shoot your comments below on what ya think, and happy pitching 2015!

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The late rounds of fantasy baseball drafts are filled with players who have questions surrounding them. It’s usually not too difficult to categorize these players, particularly in terms of starting pitching. There’s the post-hype group (Trevor Bauer, Kevin Gausman, Tony Cingrani), the declining veteran tier (CC Sabathia, Dan Haren, Bartolo Colon), and the unproven prospect tier (Noah Syndergaard, Andrew Heaney, Archie Bradley). Several high floor, low ceiling options (Ervin Santana, Kyle Lohse, Wei-Yin Chen) and volatile injury-prone pitchers (Clay Buchholz, Matt Garza) tend to remain on the board for quite a while as well. In recent years, Brandon McCarthy has generally been perceived by the fantasy community as someone who falls into one of the latter two categories. Is this perception accurate? What can be expected from McCarthy in 2015?

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Dot dot dot. Kicks an end table. Picks up the phone. Dial tone. No one there. Flips the TV channel. Not really watching. Picks up phone. No one there. Flips the TV channel. Stops on a special about Tony Conigliaro. Sobs uncontrollably. Picks up the phone, dials, “Hello, I don’t want to be alone, please come over. This is Grey. Albright. Momma Stanton, I’m your son’s stalker. Please, don’t hang up. We need each other right now. Hello? Hello?” Guess it’s just us right now. It’s lonely without Giancarlo Stanton. And his mollywhoppers. God, how I loved those mollwhoppers. It’s late, I need rest, hoping for good news tomorrow. Giancarlo, mi novio, we sip from the same mug, even if you don’t know it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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