I hear you out there. Wait, something’s not quite right…I see a grainy pic so we’re kinda ok…but where’s the mustache…*squints*…OMG YOU’RE NOT GREY WHAT IS THIS INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE. Look, Grey had a thang, ok? He paged me and asked for coverage. Yes, I’m being literal, he paged me. He’s a bit old school, there’s nothing wrong with that. I showed him my iPhone 6s and how it could translate to Kirundi and make a mean cheese omelette but he said he’d rather ping me with ‘5318008‘. Honestly, I’m totally fine with that but he calls every time afterwards asking me to flip it upside down. Every. Time. Either way, I said I’d cover and here I am, covering the coverage and that leads us to Drew Hutchison. First off, if you own him…ticker shock! Those Houston guys are really good at coming from behind. That’s what she said! Over six innings, Drew gave up two runs while allowing 6 base runners (only one walk), striking out nine. Nine is a nice number when you’re talking about Ks but not as nice as 10. Ten is how many Astros Chris Heston fanned on Tuesday as he threw a complete game two hitter. Heston is close to a 7 K/9 kind of guy, probably a little under. On the one hand, I love Drew so this start has me piqued. On the other hand, the Astros are second in the majors in K rate at 24.6%. On the third hand which is actually Grey’s hand as he takes the pager from me and flips it upside down, Drew looks like a good get for deeper leagues where you can wait on his high K potential, but this shouldn’t move the needle for standard or the RCL. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s a six game slate tonight and there’s rain possible in two of those. Quick math tells me there’s 8 starting pitchers worth considering. Man I hate the rain, have I mentioned that? I would watch the weather like a hawk and if things look so-so, I’d still roll with the hitters in the contest, but so-so weather and starting pitchers don’t mix for me. Nothing is worse than 3.2 solid IP followed by a one hour rain delay. So, who am I pairing with Johnny Cueto tonight? Chase Whitley, believe it or not. Here we have a $5,700 pitcher that has a 8.15 K/9 and a 1.57 BB/9. Granted, that’s in only 17.2 IP, so it’s small sample size. Everyone leftover has fleas though, and Whitley’s seem to be the least scratchy. He got pounded for 3 long balls at home against the Orioles. This start is at the Trop, a little more pitcher friendly environment against a not quite as great offense. I like guys that don’t walk a ton of batters, that helps reduce the potential damage and the decent K-rate helps for DraftKings scoring. Just for good measure, the opposing pitcher is Erasmo Ramirez & the rest of the TB bullpen. For the price, let’s just cross our fingers and hope he doesn’t blow-up and the Yank’s offense carries him to the Win.

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?

Hide the women and children. It looks like there’s a zombino on the loose! Torii Hunter (+53.6%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball this past week. I can’t believe that he was even available in the first place. Torii’s a beast! Sorry comatose Twins fan, but Hunter isn’t the same 25/20 player that he was during his first stint in Minnesota. The soon-to-be 40-year-old version of Hunter has held up remarkably well throughout the years though. His .783 OPS with the Tigers over the last two seasons is identical to Evan Longoria’s and ahead of players like Albert Pujols, Kyle Seager, and Alex Gordon during that time frame. This season, with the exception of stolen bases (just 1 this season, and 7 total from 2013-14), his numbers across the board rival those of his prime days with the Twins a decade ago. Can he keep it up? Well, his 10.9% LD% is way down (18.2% career), while his 14.7% IFFB% (11.6% career) and 12.1% SwStr% (11.3% career) are up. It’s difficult to envision a player of Hunter’s age maintaining a productive pace throughout the season as well. Depending on him as a key contributor to your fantasy team is kind of like sticking a bandage on a stab wound and then just leaving it there without addressing the situation further. It might be ok in the short term, but your team is likely to bleed out eventually. Here were a couple of other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball from this past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you search for the pitchers with the top xFIPs, it’s a who’s who of the league’s finest. It’s not quite as glamorous as the Who’s Who of Western Appalachian High School Students that your parents paid $25 for you to get your picture in, but it’s still pretty illustrious. Kershaw on top, then Salazar, F-Her, Gerrit, Carrasco, Pineda, Archer, Shields, Scherzer, Harvey and Lynn. If your pitching staff was just those guys, you may not be currently winning your pitching categories, but you will by the end of the year, or your money back1. Right after Lynn in the list is Clay Buchholz, then after him it continues to be purdy: Arrieta, Kluber, Lester and so on2. Out of all of those pitchers, Kershaw, Shields and Salazar are the only ones with a better K-rate with Buchholz’s at 11.5. 11.5 K/9 is excellent and is the 4th best in the majors. Buchholz’s walk rate isn’t bad either at 2.87 — under 3 is solid. Under three walk rate with an 11.5 K/9 is an ace. Only thing is, his ERA is 6.03. Oopsie! Right now, his BABIP is .407. A .407 BABIP is basically the equivalent to an easy grounder is headed right to a fielder, but the ball is grabbed by a possum and the possum runs the ball around the infield for five minutes as the hitter goes around the bases for an inside-the-parker. If Buchholz is available in your league, I’d absolutely grab him, and could even see trading for him in deeper leagues9.

1You just need to sell my Jose Canseco Sportsflics rookie card to get that money back.
2Yes, I said so on rather than list Bartolo Colon3.
3Yes, by footnoting Bartolo Colon I am sorta listing him4.
4My autocorrect wanted to change sorta to Sorat. Is that Borat’s sister5?
5I miss Sacha Baron Cohen. Shame what happened to him.6
6My intern says nothing happened to him, he just picked crappy films to be in7.
7The Spirit of David Foster Wallace has taken over my body8.
8Not really.
9Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If there’s one thing I kill myself doing in DFS it’s talking myself into starting a pitcher against a decent offense and whiff on sticking with targeting the stinkers.

Tuesday, it was talking myself into Andrew Cashner because Vegas had the game at a very low number, with Cashner as a slight favorite. I ignored the data that told me that the Giants weren’t terrible against RHP, especially at home and they certainly didn’t strike out much to boot.

I decided the Brewers data was too early to call, so I didn’t spend up to get Zach Greinke, even though the Brewers had been terrible against RHP so far and struck out plenty to justify any risk of one of the Brew Crew connecting.

Also, I ignored the numbers that were telling me Shelby Miller was a good play against the Phillies, again due to high Ks, low numbers on the road and overall and that Vegas had Miller as a heavy favorite against forgotten Chad Billingsley.

Sometimes you have to look at the numbers, trust your process and do what you have to do. It also helps to lock yourself in a closet after setting your lineups so you don’t do a last minute panic switch that sends you to the poorhouse.

So what about tonight? Despite temptations to roster a personal fave, Chris Sale, on the bump against the Tigers, I am sticking to the data and going with Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole at home against the Reds. The Reds are 23rd vs. RHP this season and 27th on the road. Mix in Cole’s #3 status on the SIERA charts so far and Cole is my pick at $9,500 for my SP1 Wednesday night on DraftKings.

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?

True story: in a 15-team league last year, I toyed with dropping Corey Kluber in April. He was being dropped in multiple leagues, most shallower than mine. If you think I’m crazy as a loon wearing a “I’m crazier than a loon” t-shirt, you have selective memory about him from last year. I decided to stick it out with Kluber and he ended up winning the Cy Young last year. This true story, of course, makes me sound even more moronic than usual. It also highlights a point, Kluber likes the cold weather about as much as a chapped nipple. Or maybe he just takes some time to get going. Either way, his Aprils have been forgettable for the last two years. This year, his April is actually better than last year’s by any measure that means anything. His K-rate is up, ground balls are up (not literally), fly balls are down (literally), xFIP is way down, walks are down and his K/BB is up. You have to do some serious digging to find something that is negative for him this past month other than his ERA. His velocity is down a hair (0.5 MPH on his fastball) and his line drive rate is up (people are making better contact). Everything else is nails, and not as in Lenny “Nails” Dykstra just invested me in this mutual fund and I lost my retirement savings. There’s some worry to some that Kluber threw too many innings last year. That’s not a worry. He’s 29 years old; a jump in IP from one year to the next is for pitchers 25 years and younger. Also, plenty of great analysis here and elsewhere has shown that jump in innings isn’t the end all/be all, even if it applied, which it does not. As the weather warms up, his sensitive nips will be less dry and he’ll likely have months of a sub-2 ERA. If you can buy him now, do it. Quickly! Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Chris Davis (1-for-4, 3 RBIs, hitting .268) hit his 5th homer, and the announcers said that it was all Davis since there was no breeze in the stadium. Could there have been no breeze because there were no one in attendance? Is that why they’re called fans? Is the world devoid of wind without people? I feel like Mike Seaver on the Growing Pains episode when he figured out there was TV shows even if he was at school. This is mind blowing! I need to take a schvitz and clear my mind. Maybe Manny Machado (3-for-4, 3 runs and his 4th homer) plays better without a crowd, not taking after his uncle, Randy “Machado Manny” Savage. RIP, you raspy voiced lunatic! But, really, all of this offense was thanks largely to Jeff Samardzija (5 IP, 7 ER, 11 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA up to 4.78). When I type Samardzija in my iPhone, it autocorrects to, “Inseam Arduous.” No truer words were ever autocorrected. If Devon Travis and Arenado were sitting on either of my legs and I had Samardzija pitching for my team, it would still be arduous in my inseam. Way to kill my buzz, you impossible-to-spell, mullet-haired freak! Alphabet Soup’s ERA is worse than his xFIP, that’s the good news. The bad news is everything else. His xFIP is still 4.13 and his K/9 is 6.2. He’s throwing next to no walks, but maybe he should throw some if it means not letting people single you to death. I wouldn’t sell Samardzija low, but I’m also more concerned now than I was in the preseason. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Josh Hamilton was acquired by the Rangers as originally reported by Dan Pants on Saturday. Gammons, Dan Pants, Heyman, that’s the top three most quoted baseball reporters. Dan Pants is a bit more optimistic than me for Hamilton’s return to the Land of Spurs, Twinkie-frying and hats with gigantism. I wouldn’t own Hamilton unless I had a free DL spot and don’t expect much from him. I’ve chimed this triangle before, but have you recently seen Brett Butler? She looks like she’s 89 years old. She’s 57. Have you seen Lohan recently? She looks like she’s 50; she’s 28. Haley Joel Osment just looks awful, I don’t know if he was an addict. Addicts age poorly. Hamilton, 33, has the body of a 60-year-old. Breaking down left and right just getting out of bed. He says he’ll be back in a few weeks, but he’ll go down to another injury, and then when the doctor goes to prescribe something, Hamilton won’t be able to take it due to his addictions and he’ll be back on the DL. It’s a feel-good story (if the only other stories you’ve ever heard involve Amanda Bynes), but I wouldn’t bother. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Addison Russell was playing some some 2nd base in Triple-A yesterday, minding his own business, when the Cubs management heard something they didn’t like, five full minutes of non-Cubs prospect talk on sports radio. Four minutes is not cool, but five? Nuh-uh, they said, as they wagged their finger. So, the Cubs called him up, and plan to send down Arismendy Alcantara. This offseason I said, “So, the first thing we know about Russell is Billy Beane traded him away. This is obviously a strike against him. The last prospect Beane gave up on was Brett Wallace, and that was partly because Wallace looks like his face is constantly pressed against a window and that’s disconcerting. Right now, it appears Beane got the worst side of this Russell trade. Maybe he shouldn’t have been in such a rush to get back to the gym to pump iron and waited to negotiate a better deal. It’s still early though, and prospects can flame out. Russell, however, doesn’t look headed in that direction. Russell looks like he could be better than Starlin Castro as early as next year. Second thing we know about Russell is he’s got power and speed. Yummers! Third thing we know about Russell is there is no third thing. Russell’s shown solid power in the minors (17 HRs in High-A in 2013 and 12 HRs in only 50 games in Double-A last year after the trade to the Cubs). His speed is a tad below that, which concerns me a bit because speed is the one thing we can always count on translating. He did steal 21 bags in High-A, but, well, that’s High-A. They call it that because everyone’s stoned. Last year in Double-A, he only had five steals all year, and two after the trade. It’s not great, and I think we’re seeing closer to his actual speed level in Double-A. Maybe he’ll reach 15-20 steals at some point, but he’s never going to be a 40-steal guy. He did hit .294 at Double-A after the trade, and I don’t see him hitting much below .280 without some bad luck.” And that’s me quoting me! While drinking Sanka with Lou Avery, I’ve decided Russell should be owned everywhere. Yes, even that league. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 61/12/44/.287/6 with upside from there. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This draft was so slow that I lost half my starting rotation before the draft ended. This draft was so slow that when it started Minnie Minoso was still alive. This draft was so slow when it started Tupac was still dead. I didn’t enjoy my time last year in the 15-team NFBC slow draft. I drafted Mark Trumbo, Prince Fielder, Cliff Lee, Anibal Sanchez and Patrick Corbin and my only chance was a big year from Nadir Bupkis, who gave me just that. See, there’s no waivers and the league is 50 rounds deep, so if you’re hit by injuries, you’re done. So, I was talked into doing the league one more time, but knew I had to draft starters early and often, and, of course, prior to the draft even completing I lost Zack Wheeler and Tony Cingrani. Many will disagree with me, but I’m under the firm belief that it’s a lot harder and more fun to win a league like a Razzball Commenter League, than it is to win a super-deep league. With super-deep leagues, if you’re hit by injuries, you’re done. That’s neither fun nor challenging. That’s just shizzy luck. You can say I should’ve known Wheeler and Cingrani weren’t safe, and I’d say to you that neither are any of the pitchers that are healthy all year. They just happened to stay healthy. It’s not like the guy that drafted Alex Cobb is any smarter than the guy who drafted (insert pitcher that is healthy right now that may not be healthy by the time you read this). How’s dem grapes? Sour! Anyway, here’s my 15-team, 5×5, roto, NFBC slow draft team and thoughts:

Please, blog, may I have some more?