Razzball Exclusive! The Twins were seen on Saturday at the Factory Outlet Mall in St. Paul, shopping for an outfielder. Unhappy with the selection — everything was odd-sized or someone they had called up and sent down numerous times — they headed back to the car, deciding to go on to the Duluth Shop ‘n Zoo, a place, contrary to the name, that doesn’t sell animals. When they got back to the car, they realized they forgot their change purse in the mall. They raced back, but it was too late; it was gone. Frustrated and angry, they asked to use Spencer Gifts’ phone because they didn’t want to incur long distance charges on their own. Fed up and at their breaking point, they called up Byron Buxton, while also spotting a gag gift, fake vomit, that they shoplifted, figuring they can use it to play shortstop. Here’s what Prospect Mike said this offseason, “Buxton is ranked numero uno on my Top 50 fantasy prospects list, and it’s thanks to his ability to fill all five roto categories. He might be the closest thing we have in the minors right now to a first round fantasy talent with the power to hit 20 homers, the speed to swipe 30+ bags, and the ability to hit for a high average. Injuries limited him to 137 plate appearances in 2014, but that shouldn’t stop the 21-year-old from seeing the majors later this season. The ceiling is a perennial All-Star outfielder and a top ten fantasy player overall. In short, he’s wonderful and Grey’s terrible.” Oh, man, c’mon! In Double-A this year, Buxton had six homers, 20 steals (in only 59 games!) and was hitting .283. At points during this season, Mike has compared him to Carlos Gomez. That sounds like an apt comparison, which isn’t the same as roomier with two bathrooms. That’s an Apt. comparison. You should grab him in every league. Yes, even that 10 team league, where it’s you playing against nine of your email aliases. By the way, I can’t believe you’re losing to Imtoosexyforthisemail@aol.com. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Eduardo Rodriguez (+38.9%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball this past week, and it’s not hard to see why. For those of you who Googled the words fantasy, hard, and rod and ended up here, perhaps you’d like to stick around and check out this fantasy baseball thing. Or you could just scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Rated R GIFs of Sexy Celebs ad. Your choice! As far as Mr. Rodriguez goes, his big league debut against the Rangers last week couldn’t have gone much better for the 22-year-old. The young lefty threw 7 2/3 shutout innings while registering 7 strikeouts during the outing. Perhaps most impressively, his average fastball velocity of 95.0 mph (according to the Brooks Baseball PITCHf/x game report) would place him 10th among all qualified MLB starting pitchers and 1st among lefties. Of course, it’s just one start, and his minor league numbers show that he can be prone to occasional bouts of wildness, but E-Rod looked pretty impressive on this day. If he’s available in your league, grab him while you still can. No guarantees here, but loads of fantasy upside. And I’m not talking to you, Googlers. Gross! Here were a couple of other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball from this past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Preston Tucker is up and the no longer LAstros have shown the confidence to not only start him, but bat him third a few times already this year, so I decided to break down this guy and see if he can keep sticking himself in that luscious three hole.  When looking at Tucker’s mechanics, I noticed something that relates to a perennial fantasy enigma, so if you stick around, you’ll get more than you bargained for in this post…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Victor Martinez hit the DL. I told you he was overrated in the preseason, but rather than just say I told you so, let’s tell you exactly what I told you, “Wah-wah. Sad trombone. ‘Those aren’t pillows!’ Or whatever signal you want for a reversal from good to bad. That was what I heard when it was announced that Victor Martinez had a torn meniscus, which reminds me of a conversation I had when calculators were first introduced in 1961 and I had to abandon my loyalty to my other counting device, screaming, “I’m torn, abacus!” I got sad when Martinez was hurt, not because I wanted to draft him and now he had an injury. I was saddened because now I figured my ranking of him in the 110’s wouldn’t be as low as other ‘perts. You know, they’d hear this news and lower him. Much to my surprise, I overestimated the rest of the ‘pert world. They still have him ranked 75 overall on average. *scratches head* You know, head scratching really doesn’t help one understand anything, which sounds like a line from C.J. Wilson’s latest dandruff commercial. CBS has V-Mart ranked 15th overall. I’m not even joking. I wish I were. “Your final wish is granted.” No, Genie in a Bottle, it’s a figure of speech! Okay, it looks like CBS has changed his ranking slightly, that ranking was before the knee surgery. Stupid, wish-taking Genie! Martinez is still ranked way too high, and it has nothing to do with the surgery.” And that’s me quoting me! See, I told you I told you so. This will likely be a nice boost in playing time for Anthony Gose and Rajai Davis, the King of SAGNOF and his Golden Gose. Also, hitting the DL is Corey Dickerson with his plantar fasciitis, a garden variety injury. This helps Drew Stubbs see playing time, but takes him away from his BBQ sauce manufacturing. While the Rockies are home, I’d give Stubbs a shot. Martinez and Dickerson share something in injury; these aren’t ailments that DL stints are going to fix. These will linger all year and I would sell low on both guys. Sorry to bum you out, unless Evan Gattis is reading. He can bum out all on his own. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?