“Hi, I work in the front office for the Twins and I’m ordering lunch.  I was wondering what you have that’s old that you can give us a discount on.  Can you eat old pork?  Hmm, let’s try it with extra sauce.  John Ryan Murphy briefly converted to Judaism, or so he wrote in 6-point font inside his lined notebook where he talked about murder, but he’s back to the gentile side of things.  I’d also like to know if any of your very old or very young employees want to join our pitching staff.  We can’t pay them in money, but Byung ho Park and Kurt Suzuki often wrestle together, reenacting Foxcatcher, and it’s just fun to be around when that happens.  Gotcha, okay, just send the old pork then!”  Incredibly, the Twins reached into their oh-so-deep pockets, pulled out some lint and decided to call up their top pitching prospect, Jose Berrios.  He’s only been ready for about three years now; crazy to start his clock now when they could’ve held him down in Triple-A for another five years.  Never underestimate the Twins’ frugality.  It’s FRU-JOUL-LAY, it’s Italian!  Here’s what I said previously about him, “A team like the Tigers would’ve promoted Berrios about two years ago.  No fear, John Deere, Berrios is still only 21 years old.  I’ve seen people peg Berrios as having #3 fantasy starter upside, but I see him landing eventually with a barely-2 BB/9 and 9 K/9 from his mid-90s MPH fastball and plus-curve.  That makes him a borderline fantasy ace in the making.  Of course, as a rookie, there will be stretches where he doesn’t look like that, but want a guy that could come on and give you a Shelby Miller in 2015-type year?  Berrios has that potential.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Yes, I’d grab him, yes, in your league too.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It might surprise you to learn that a catcher was the most added player in ESPN leagues last week. That’s right. A catcher. You’re probably thinking that it’s some hot prospect who looks like the next coming of Mike Piazza. In that case, you’d be wrong. Very, very wrong. It’s actually 30-year-old journeyman catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Salty’s smacked 6 homers in just 48 plate appearances this season, which has some fantasy owners dreaming of a cheap 20 homers from their recent waiver wire find. He has hit 25 homers in a season before (2012), and power has never been an issue for Salty. What has been an issue is making consistent contact. He’s one of 11 players in MLB history (min 2000 PA) with a 30+% K% in his career, and his 32.4% K% since the beginning of the 2014 season is the 3rd highest in MLB over that span (min 600 PA) behind only Mike Zunino and Tyler Flowers. This season, he has a 37.5% K% and his early power outburst is largely due to a 33.3% HR/FB (career 13.8%). Same old Salty. Enjoy the hot streak but don’t get too attached. Too much Salty will give you high blood pressure.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Playing Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) comes with plenty of different strategies. There are punts, pairing aces, stacking at Coors Field, value picks, and using right-handed hitters with a last name that begins with R; I’m looking directly at you Ryan Raburn. There is also another strategy that can quite simply be called, Kershaw or Nah? Usually, the answer is Kershaw. On Tuesday night, Major League Baseball’s ace pitcher faces off against a Miami Marlins lineup that has collectively batted .268 and is near the bottom of the league in runs scored (63). Here’s the thing—the Marlins’ stats are somewhat skewed towards right-handers because they’ve actually done much better against lefties (.339 average). So what gives here? If the Marlins are bashing lefties, should you play Clayton Kershaw? Why, hell yes you should! As a team, the Marlins have only logged 59 at-bats against lefties and none of them were the caliber of Kershaw. So, at $13,800, you’re going to be using a ton of salary, but there is no pitcher that is more consistent than the Dodgers’ lethal lefty. It may take a mid-tier pairing to make a competitive lineup, but as usual, no pitcher has the ceiling—and floor—of Clayton Kershaw.

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?

theprince
You know who I’d really love to punch in the face? Justin Upton. When did he become B.J. Upton. I’m sorry, I mean the artist formerly known as B.J. Upton. Justin has more strikeouts than Chris Davis, George Springer and Miguel Sano. Heck, the only hitter with more strikeouts is Trevor Story. At least Story has 8 home runs. Upton has only one! Even Melvin has more homers. Seriously, WTF! Eight points? J-Up. More like J-Down.

And how about Prince. Mr. Fielder has just 23 points! I know it’s early, but that puts him safely outside the top 100 hitters. Can you believe that those 23 points are four more than Joey Votto’s total. Seriously, I’d like to take Upton, Votto and Fielder, put them in a little red Corvette and drive it off a cliff. As bad as these three have been it’s Khris Davis that takes the cake. Through 13 games and 49 plate appearances this pile of dung has amassed negative four points. That’s correct, you read that right. He has less than zero points on the season. Pathetic does not even come close to describing this sh*t show.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called a fantasy baseball season.  I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, forgive me if I recommend starting a hitter vs. Jake Arrieta and pray.  I’m not a woman, I’m not a man, I am Bartolo Colon and you will never understand how I get on these pants.  1, 2, 1, 2, 3.  Yeah.  I was working part-time in a five-and-dime, my boss was Willie McGee.  U got the look.  Jesus, McGee, that look.  Twenty-three positions in a one night stand.  Twenty-three positions in a very deep league fantasy team.  Who’s my short-second-short-1st baseman?  Why do we scream at each other?  This is what it sounds like when David Price’s owners cry.  “Sorry to hear about Chyna,” said the ghost of Farrah Fawcett.  Arrieta, you got the batter’s fly balls all tied up!  Don’t make the outfielders chase you!  Even doves have pride.  Why do we scream at each other when we don’t own Jake Arrieta?  So, Arrieta threw a no-hitter yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 BBs, 6 Ks.  Rather economical pitch count too (119).  Member when we were able to own him last year by drafting him in the 8th round?  Alas, he’s a Sexy M.F. and I would die 4 U.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s been a rough season for starting pitching in the early going. If you splurged on Clayton Kershaw or pulled the trigger on Noah Syndergaard in your draft, you’re probably sitting pretty on the pitching side at the moment. However, fantasy mainstays Zack Greinke, Chris Archer, Matt Harvey, Adam Wainwright, and Justin Verlander have combined for zero wins, a 7.30 ERA, and a 1.79 WHIP thus far in 2016. Those ratios are as painful to look at as this video is. Ok, maybe not quite that bad, but still pretty awful. Caught somewhere in the middle of all of this madness is Los Angeles Angels ace Garrett Richards. He’s generally not considered to be a #1 or #2 SP in fantasy circles, but a decent #3. Good, but not great K-rate. Middle of the road ratios. Won’t kill you anywhere but probably won’t be a huge asset either. A fallback option. Is this perception of Richards accurate? What can be expected from him this season?

Let’s take a look at a few things that stand out regarding Richards:

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I’ve begun working on a program that aims to harness the collective super powers of some of the greatest minds in the last five hundred years. Think of it as a digital hybrid of Nate Silver, Tom Tango, Billy Beane, Kenny Powers and Nostradamus. The beta version, however, was just Powers and Nostradamus. I called it Nostradumbass. According to its calculations I was supposed to draft Adam LaRoche, Torii Hunter and Reggie Jackson. Now call me old fashioned, but if I’m going to get screwed, I’d at least like to get dinner out of the deal. The only guaranteed prediction you can make from those suggestions is that my team is going to suck. If something is a “guaranteed” prediction, is it really a prediction? The aforementioned players project to zero fantasy points for the remainder of the season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The year was 1987. I was ten years old and my biggest hobby was collecting baseball cards. Topps. Fleer. Donruss. You name it. And once Upper Deck was released in 1989, watch out! Hello Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball cards were awesome in the 80s. So were a great many other things, but I’ll save some of those for another post. The excitement of ripping open a pack of baseball cards and the anticipation of finding out who I got in that pack is something that can still get me going today. But back to 1987 for a moment. I was walking with my dad to his car in the parking lot of Matthew’s Diner in Teaneck when I uttered my first curse word in his presence. At the time I was busy trying to complete my set of 7-11 Slurpee baseball coins. You remember those gems? They were underneath a small flap on the bottom of the cup. As you tilted them they’d give the illusion of movement. As if Slurpees weren’t good enough on their own.

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*takes a long inhale*  “You smell that, Roberta?  You, with the yellow-stained armpits and sweatpants, I’m calling you Roberta.  That’s baseball you smell.  In its infinite complexity and finite simplicity.  The foul lines whiter than any Lohan mirror.  The grass?  Manicured better than any Vietnamese lady could.  The object of the game?  Accumulate the most stats so I win my fantasy league.  Simple, yet complex.  Like trying to understand Jeff Foxworthy’s appeal.  From today forward, this is our Independence Day (from all that other shizz in our life).”  The preceding was Bill Pullman visiting the set of Field of Dreams.  To that end, Roberta and your long-flowing sideburns, if the idea is to win saves, that difficulty intensifies when you draft Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson becomes the closer.  That’s funny, because the Astros beat writer the other day said GILES IS THE CLOSER.  Caps his, not mine.  I know how to shut off my caps lock.  So, now that GILES IS THE SETUP MAN, I would GRAB Gregerson in EVERY league, though, if it’s competitive, he’s likely GONE by NOW.  No idea why Giles is NOT the CLOSER.  My GUESS is the Astros went OUT and GOT Giles withOUT their manager, A.J. Hinch, agreeing, so Hinch IS now BEING petulANT.  I’d prefer if he were petulANT with A closER I DO NOT OWN.  Hey, it looks like I’m typing this on a busted Smith-Corona.  Fun.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Baseball is coming. So is winter. By the time you actually read this the start of the Major League season will be less than a day away. And for those of you lazy readers that catch up on Razzball on Monday mornings when you get to your desk, the season will already be three games deep. By the way, if you are one of those Monday morning people, I’d like to point out your first mistake. Fantasy baseball slows down for no one. If you’re not keeping up with baseball’s current events, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage because I can assure you that at least one person (likely most) in your league is (are). And if you just prefer to get your information from another site, I guess it’s better than nothing, but all biases aside, where else are you going to read a post that was written while sitting on the toilet. Just me, my laptop and my squatty potty. Wait a minute, let me rephrase that a bit. Where else are you going to be able to read a post where the author actually admits to penning it from the throne?

Please, blog, may I have some more?