a href=”http://razzball.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Sparky-Polastri.gif”>sparky-polastri

Look, on the one hand, I’m ashamed that I’m quoting Not Another Teen Movie. On the other, I’m surprised this wasn’t a Keenan Ivory Wayans joint. On the third, more interesting hand that’s simply a cut out of the hamburger helper off my beefaroni box, it allows me to reference back to one of the best teen comedy movies of all time: Bring It On. Or better put, this movie has four minutes worth of Sparky Polastri, and that’s never enough and yet more than enough all at the same time. With all this said, my call today is Steven Brault or as I like to call him, ‘the guy who gets to pitch against the Phillies’. If you’ve read anything I’ve written – or wrotten, if you wanna keep with title theme – you’ll know that I love picking on Phillies. It’s September and this should be clear to you but just in case it’s not, here’s a simple flowchart for you to think about. If you’re not convinced by my conciseness, let’s consider some other facts. The Phils have the worst wRC+, the fifth worst K%, and the second worst BB% in the majors this year. The fact they’ve been on a K tear of late – second worst K% over the last 30 and worst over the last 14 and 7 – makes this call even nicer. But the real kicker here? Brault is a mere $4,500 so he’s in punt territory with 20 point upside. Seriously, this intro is AmPm: too much good stuff. But guess what, I have some even potentially greater takes down the road. So follow me past the italics, would you? Here’s my ‘y’all ready for this’ hot taeks for this Wednesday, DK slate…follow me or perish, sweater monkeys!

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday September 19th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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bulldozier

In the last month Brian Dozier has been bulldozing opponents like it’s his job. Technically it is his job, but he gets an “A” for effort and is the run away candidate for Employee of the Month. Gary Sanchez who? After two hot weeks, he’s been more like Harry Sanchez. And in case you didn’t know who Harry Sanchez was, the Urban Dictionary defines him as “Same as Dirty Sanchez with the addition of pulling the hair from ones taint, and making a mustache from the left overs of the dirty sanchez.” While I’m pretty sure anyone can add entries to the Urban Dictionary as I’ve done so myself, I’d have to say this description is pretty accurate considering Gary has totaled zero points in the last two weeks. Just in time for points leagues playoffs. (This opening was written on Friday before Sanchez hit two home runs.)

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Houston’s 32-year old Cuban rookie Yulieski Gurriel was 2-for-4 with his first stolen base Friday night. Or is it Guerriel? Gourriel? Don’t worry about spelling his name correctly, the media sure doesn’t–what’s important is Friday’s two hit night capped off an impressive week for the third baseman where he hit .321 with four runs, two home runs and drove in five runs. Debuting at the end of August, Yulieski got off to a slow start after struggling with a mild hamstring injury, but that looks to be a thing of the past and he’s now hit safely in his last six games, and has homered in two of his last three games. Players like Yulieski require praise, they demand it. As soon as manager A.J. Hinch let him know he was a good Gurriel, and started rewarding him with treats (he really likes Combos) Yulieski turned it on. Atta Gurriel! Yes, you are! Who’s a good Gurriel? You arrrre! Yulieski was less than impressive during his short minors stint (.250/.262/.429 line with two home runs and 14 RBI in 15 games), but he bat .500 with 15 homers in 50 games in Cuba last year which is a about as good as it sounds, so there is little doubt our boy is major league ready. Did you read Grey’s Yulieski Gurriel fantasy? I read it while conducting a scientific tasting of all the different Combos flavors. Pepperoni pizza won in a landslide. Lord Byron Buxton will be the hot-shot rookie pick up of the week, and by all means, if he’s available grab him, but Gurriel could be a nice add if you lost the Buxton sweepstakes, and he’s still out there in over 80% of leagues. I’d own him in any league where wanted to win. Yulieski can do it!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Not quite as spiritually moving as John Lennon, but imagine for a moment Jose Abreu were to actually put together two solid halves in the same year.  “Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try.  No ‘He’ll end up below Andrus,’ for half the year.  Above Andrus only this Jose guy.  Imagine Abreu playing a decent, full season like today.  Aha-ha…  Imagine there’s no countries.  It isn’t hard to do.  Nothing to drop or trade for, and no ‘Abreu’s so cold it’s like this hell has a fridge in it’ too.  Imagine all the people living to get a piece of…Abreu…  You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one!  I hope some day Abreu’ll be better than Andrus, and play an entire season as one.”  So, Jose Abreu hit two homers yesterday (3-for-7, 7 RBIs, and 21st and 22nd HRs), and he’s been great recently, but it’s hard to get that excited about a guy for 2017 who invariably takes three months off every year.  Can’t imagine he’s a top 25 player ever again.  You-WHO-OOH!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Kyle Hendricks went 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, lowering his ERA (if that’s even possible at this point) to 2.09.  The Seattle museum, Experience Music Project is going to need to update their Hendricks section.  EMP Tour guide, “In 1970, Hendricks said, ‘I’m going to take my guitar, grab Janis, impregnate Afeni Shakur, have my lawyer write a letter that says Ben and/or Jerry can never name an ice cream after me while simultaneously sucking and blowing this joint.  Then thirty-six years later, I’m going to win the NL Cy Young if the BBWAA votes based on ERA.’  Now, let’s move on to our five floors of Nirvana memorabilia.  There’s some interesting flannel stories I can’t wait to share.”   No, of course, Kyle Hendricks isn’t this good.  His fastball velocity is down to 87 MPH, he’s relying heavily on a changeup that isn’t that much slower and his BABIP is absurdly low.  Not saying you drop him, but if Hendricks does win the Cy Young, in 2017, the same faith that befell Dallas Keuchel this year will happen to Hendricks too.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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To paraphrase Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, “America has so many enemies:  Iran, Iraq, China, Mordor, Josh Tomlin in away games, Justin Upton, Melvin Upton for the last two months, Clint Hurdle, the people on Twitter that take a trending topic and attach linkbait, Giancarlo Stanton’s groin when its injured, but not at all when its healthy, anyone that gets Mookie Betts out the once-in-a-blue-moon when someone can get him out, Clint Hurdle again, anyone that doesn’t appreciate blue raspberry, undesirable immigrants, by which I mean everyone that came after Carlos Martinez.”  Yesterday, Carlos Martinez went 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners with 13 Ks to lower his ERA to 3.07.  Thank you, come again!  From last year to this year, C-Mart’s strikeout rate is down (9.2 to 7.8), his walk rate is unchanged, his velocity is virtually the same and his xFIP is up due to a lucky BABIP.  So, what does that mean for Carlos Martinez 2017?  Random prediction alert!  I won’t be enthused about drafting him again next year, but he’ll likely be a solid #2 fantasy starter, i.e., good in a pinch, but not exciting, i.e., convenience forever, freshness never!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So I’m taking us down yet another rabbit hole, into yet another JB’s-vanity-project-abyss. Although, since the last time this happened only two weeks ago, Alex Reyes made it into the rotation! He was only “OK”, and we’re not sure if he’ll be starting again for the next turn, but at least we were put on readiness!

Of course since I added this guy in the REL, I’ve been following Brock Stewart pretty intently this season. Maybe it’s because Brock is a common name we share! But really, it has to do with his under-the-radar ascension through the Minors this season. He’s dominated in the minor leagues with a 9+ K-rate, a BB-rate well under 2, including a 2.49 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 50.2 PCL innings, with a 9.59:1.07 K:BB in OKC. Overall, his MiLB numbers are a 1.68 ERA 0.86 WHIP in 20 starts, with 126:18 K:BB in 118 innings. And yet, no one seems to care about this guy since they want Jose De Leon! While many may be surprised Brock got the call yet again to spot start over De Leon with an opening in the rotation, logistically he’s on the 40-man while De Leon isn’t and there’s a roster crunch. But it’s not like Brock isn’t deserving! And he’s got pretty good stuff – 93-95 MPH fastball, hard slider, and a change-up that is oddly WAY slower than the heater at 81ish MPH.

Obviously, at the Major League level, things couldn’t be more of a polar opposite. Going into yesterday afternoon, his ERA was over 11 in two spot starts and one relief appearance. In that 3 innings of relief his last MLB appearance, he walked 4, or what would’ve been 22.2% of all the walks he’s thrown in the minors all year. Someone isn’t suited for the bullpen! And the two awful starts? One was a little unlucky with some BABIP hits @MIL, then a murdering @COL. Way to make a guy who progressed all the way from A-ball pitch in the two worst parks in the NL! So the start this afternoon, hosting the Cubs, is BY FAR his best matchup. Man, trial by fire! With Stewart so far off the radar, I am hoping that being pot committed and writing this open before the first pitch will cause some cosmic karma and help Brock throw a breakthrough game. Here’s how he looked:

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Yesterday, Ivan Nova threw a complete game with one earned run — 9 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks — ERA at 3.20 on the Pirates, after having a 4.90 ERA on the Yankees.  This Ray Searage guy can do miracles.  People should travel far and wide to go see him with their ailments, anguish and general malaise.  “So, I was standing in line for a frappuccino and I was thinking, ‘What’s the point?’  So, what is the point, Searage?”  “Sounds like you should use the change more.”  By the way, malaise is not the actress that plays Arya Stark.  Ray Searage is a modern-day miracle worker.  Move over, Anne Sullivan!  This is also exactly what they said about Searage in regards to Juan Nicasio before he flamed out about three weeks into the season, and Gerrit Cole has been pretty gross.  Searage seems totally competent, but to think he can fix all Pirates pitchers seems foolhardy.  No relation to Tom Hardy.  I could see grabbing Nova if the matchups are right, but I’m not running out to grab him in 12 team mixed leagues.  Not simply because my computer’s at home and it makes no sense to run out anywhere.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This weekend, I went to an Ikea for the first time. First of all – you are herded through the store on a specific path like you’re being herded alongside other furniture-buying sheep.

Bahhhhhh! That bottom left frame of Buster is about how I handle crowds like that…

Anywho, at the end when you pick your furniture to buy, it’s in this giant warehouse that makes the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark look like it’s in a studio apartment’s tiny closet. Ish is huge! And that giant warehouse is exactly how I used to look at starting pitching in my 10 and 12-team waiver wires through any given MLB season. Limitless streaming opportunities – sure some with more risk than others – but pretty much a starter widely available every night that I could feel decent enough with rolling out. Alas, it’s no more, with hitting making a comeback this season. Balls are juiced! And in that vein, I’ve been overlooking a lot of the “been there, done that” pitchers that have broken through, none worse than being slow to warm up to Danny Duffy. We’ve seen him have power stuff, but not hold up as a starter, getting meh K numbers in the process. This will anger people – but I saw him as a lefty Nathan Eovaldi coming into this year. Ouch! In more ways than one! But Duffy has been absolutely crazypants this season, vaulting all the way into my top-15 last week. And through this amazing run, he hasn’t even been blessed with a Pitcher Profile! This changes now! Here’s how Duffy looked yesterday afternoon against the Twinkies:

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So, I’m going to do something a little different today. I’m just gonna throw out the reason why right off the bat: I’m selfish and lazy. That’s what mid-August baseball talk is all about!

As part of my rebuilding efforts in the REL – well, I should say, my main anchor in my rebuilding efforts – I got Alex Reyes to hopefully be my staff stopper. I mean, have you SEEN the Brewers rotation?! Yikes. With some control issues and a pretty bad ERA in AAA, I wasn’t too surprised to see a fantastic arm like Reyes get the call-up anyway as a bullpener. This had been speculated upon all season – the Cards did this with their major prospects in Adam Wainwright and Carlos Martinez – so we’re not getting a big shock. And with Reyes called up at the same time as Luke Weaver, it appears they might piggyback each other for the foreseeable future. But Reyes clearly, CLEARLY looks like a dominant starter that’s about ready. After seeing his debut inning last Thursday night where he hit 101 twice, I’ve been eagerly awaiting an encore. Here’s how Reyes looked in his 2nd-4th career MLB innings Saturday afternoon at Wrigley:

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