Yesterday, Latos was traded to the Dodgers, then not traded. Then CarGo was traded to the Mets, then not traded. Then Cole Hamels was traded to the Rangers, and really traded, I think. I don’t know, I’m dizzy. Ruin Tomorrow Jr. was sad to see Hamels go, but this is the business he chose, after getting fired from Duane Reade for mixing up the garbage with “the important stuff.” And after getting fired for explaining to kids there is no Santa, after being dressed as the mall Santa. After being fired as Ruin Tomorrow Sr.’s personal assistant, but he maintains that was a misunderstanding. He thought, “Don’t tell your mother,” meant, “Don’t tell your mother until you see her.” After his no-hitter the other day, I said, “(Hamels’s) peripherals look fine and he’s just getting a tad unlucky. I could see someone thinking they’re selling high after this no-hitter, but Hamels is a low-3 ERA pitcher with a 9.6 K/9, i.e., a low-end fantasy ace.” And that’s me quoting me! I would’ve preferred to see him go to the NL, but Arlington is about a push with Citizens Bank and could see him stringing together a sub-3 ERA for two months. Jorge Alfaro, Jerad Eickhoff and Nick Williams were acquired by the Phils, and I’m sure Prospect Mike will go over them, after he gets their posters up in his living room. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s hard to pick which Ross is hated more: the one in Friends whose character is so annoying David Schwimmer could never get work again, or the dynamite starter for the Nationals, who even after pitching mad impressive through his first few starts, wasn’t even the first SP to get the call when Stephen Strasburg went back to the DL yet again.  Why wasn’t he the first call?!

After Joe Ross‘s first run in June, I kept him in the ranks a few more weeks even without a for-sure rotation spot, and when Strasburg tweaked the oblique, I was ready to vault him into the top-50.  But nooooooo, instead they use, I dunno, Taylor Jordan or someone who doesn’t matter?  C’mon Nats, what did Ross ever do to you?!  Finally the Nationals got Ross back up to face the Mets last week in a decent – albeit underwhelming – start given the matchup, so I decided to break down his 5th MLB start at the Pirates, in a pitcher’s duel Sunday afternoon against Gerrit Cole.  Here’s how Ross looked:

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Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk continued to hit all the baseballs last night chipping in two hits and a two-run home run to help beat the Braves. Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy has been quite randy indeed lately, he’s now homered in back to back games and he’s hitting .346 with six runs, four home runs, ten RBI and a stolen base in the past week. Yes! More please! He’s slashing .283/.333/.566 with 11 home runs and 36 RBI on the year, and the .900 OPS ain’t too shabby either. But it’s the 11 homers in 219 at-bats that raises my eyebrow, Dwayne Johnson. That’s a 25-30 homer hitter over a full season, folks! If we take a peep at the next level stats we can see Randy and his .375 BABIP may be getting a bit lucky. Let’s not even talk about 30.8 K% and 5.8 BB% because they are downright awful. And sure Stephen Piscotty could threaten to steal some of Grichuk’s ABs down the line. However, the fact is Grichuk is hitting hot fire right now and is still under 50% owned in most leagues, a number that will undoubtedly grow over the next few hours as the legend of his four homer week spreads throughout the land. Time to Buy-chuk, Grichuk! I’d add him in all leagues while he’s still hitting everything he sees into the bleachers. Randy! Randy! Randy!

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Who was actually good…

Last time, I used ADP data and player values to determine Kyle Lohse was the most under-drafted player of the last five years. Turns out, there are some assumptions in the calculation that could be tweaked, and the result could be a totally different most under-drafted player. Go figure! The methodology was to take the difference between a player’s preseason ADP and his end-of-season rank to determine  “undervalued-ness”. This time we’re still going to take the difference, but it’ll be between the square root of his ADP and the square root of his EOS rank.

Why the square rooting? The reason is to give more weight to better players, which square rooting accomplishes.

For reference, here’s the list from last time (that won one lucky man a Razzball T-Shirt):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to prematurely balding men and decided if you can’t beat them, join them! Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post. Here make yourself some java. Okay, you just poured rat poison into your coffee. Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than owning Pablo Sandoval in the 1st half. Oh, you owned him and that’s why you poured it into coffee! Now, I’m following! Hey, who’s leading here? Well, whoever it is their taillight is out and I’m gonna have to make a citizen’s arrest. Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2015 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up! But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest! So, as with all of the other 2015 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt. If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade the outfielder for the 2nd baseman. Also, things change in fantasy baseball. Daily. I could put Au Shizz number two on the top 100 list for the second half of 2015 and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with Goldy. Why soil a good thing, ya know? This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued. It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache. This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half of their season. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today. So while Carlos Santana did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because I still believe. The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2015. I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what guys will do. It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone. Welcome to the future! Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2015:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As soon as you’re finished with this post, I want you to close your laptop, step outside and look at a bird in flight. Pick up a flower, breathe in its fragrance, sneeze from your allergies, wave to a neighbor and close your robe because you’re not just waving with your hand. How does that feel? Exhilarating? Then your dedication sucks! It should be a total bore. You should be more interested in whether or not I’m going to have a top 100 for the 2nd half of fantasy baseball tomorrow than what your significant other has been doing for the last three and a half months. Luckily, I will have a top 100 tomorrow, and your significant other can remain your fantasy team. Okay, enough hubbub on the tomfoolery! Yesterday, Rob Refsnyder went 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer as the Yankees called him up on Saturday to be their 2nd baseman. My middle infielder slot on all of my teams feels like the old adage, “Ridden hard and put away wet.” If a fantasy team slot could catch an STD, my MI slot would be it. There might not be a starter on any team that I haven’t tried once, thanks, Rendon! Refsnyder had seven homers and ten steals with a .290 average in Triple-A and looking at him, I’m immediately reminded of Pedroia. In other words, goodbye, Jace Peterson, hello, Refsnyder! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Does this happen to people? You’re working on something, and listening to certain tunes and that informs the way you go about your work. I’ve never had a real job in my life, so I don’t know how this works for those. Does a toll collecting juggalo listen to Insane Clown Posse while working and violently throw change back at drivers? Is this why a building’s roof caves in because the construction crew was listening to Because I Got High by Afroman? Or if you were to suddenly change a hitter’s walk-up music from say Next Episode by Dr. Dre (which seems to be at least one hitter’s song on every team) to The Pina Colada Song would that change everything? I don’t know, but I’m a deep thinker, and I saw Johnny Cueto‘s start yesterday and thought he had to be listening to the Silver Jews, specifically this one section, because that gets me so jacked I could jackhammer a driveway with my foot. I took a hammer to it all! *banging foot on cement* Right?! Okay, maybe it’s me. That’s why we’re having this one-sided conversation, to better understand each other. Yesterday, Cueto threw a farkin sparkler — a farkler, if you will — 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA down to 2.61. Cueto’s the bomb dot gov. He’s almost exactly in line with what he was doing last year when he had a 2.25 ERA in 243 2/3 IP. And, if anything, he’s actually pitching better this year, lowering his walk rate from 2.4 to 1.7. For whatever reason, he seems to stay out of the conversation for the best pitchers in the major leagues, but yesterday he took on Max Scherzer (4 2/3 IP, 5 ER) and took a hammer to it all. A hammer to it all! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s the 4th of July everybody and life is good. You’re probably spending your day with loved ones grilling, drinking, swimming, and reminding yourself why you hate your cousin Gary. Pretentious prick! Do I really care that you do Andrew W.K’s taxes? Do we always have to listen to “Let’s Get The Party Started” at every July 4th pool party? Oh BTW your wife Cheri propositions me every time we’re alone. What can I say she wants the Lifshitz naknik. Enough about me I mean you, yes you. This in no way bears any resemblance to my life. I don’t even have a cousin Gary! In fact if you’re here reading this then you probably have no friends or family and more than likely own cats or have dead bodies in your basement. It’s cool I’m not going to say anything. So I know the question on everyone’s mind “Ralph you’re rambling what’s the theme this week?” Well it’s the 4th of July. So that’s my theme, 4th of July’s of Lifshitz past. So each tier will include an offbeat story about my Independence Day misadventures. No these misadventures will not feature Will Smith, Bill Pullman, or aliens. Or will they? Week 14 Two Start Pitchers are upon us….

Please, blog, may I have some more?

George Springer will miss six weeks with a broken wrist. I find in these times of sadness it’s best to turn to the ones you love, your family. But it’s also important to not forget why you were sad either, so you don’t lose perspective. So print out pictures of Springer’s face and paste them to your wife, kids and dog’s faces. See, aren’t you glad you have family. It’s that kind of moral support that one needs at a time like this. If they don’t allow you to paste pictures on their face, you can leave your family or paste it on their faces while they’re asleep. Fun Fact! I always fall asleep during the movie While You Were Sleeping. Power of suggestion? Perhaps. This is obviously terrible news for Springer’s owners, and I wouldn’t get too cutesy with trying to trade for him on the cheap in redraft leagues. Wrist injuries can be tricky to rock around, it’s right on time, they’re tricky. Oh, oh, oh, they’re tricky! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Max Scherzer against the Phillies. If there was ever a chance to redeem yourself in losing a perfect game on the last out the very next day, this would be the pitcher and the team to do so. From a daily fantasy perspective, I’ve always said that in order for a pitcher to pay for his price, he has to have a reasonable expectation of doing 2 things: Allow 3 runs or less, and strike out 1 batter for every thousand dollars you pay. You may ask why I don’t include innings or hits in this formula of mine, and it is a valid question. For one, if a pitcher has allowed less than 3 runs up to a certain point, he has a good chance of remaining in the game. Also, if a pitcher is going to strikeout plenty of hitters, he must pitch plenty of innings, therefore that basis is completely covered. I don’t worry about hits so much, because they tend to correlate with runs scored and high contact rates (which pitchers that strike hitters out typically don’t have). So this all begs the question, “is Max Scherzer worth paying 14K for on DraftKings?” My answer is no. Now to preface this, you will never find someone that lends themselves to the “pay for pitching” mantra than myself. The reason I say no does not boil down to one simple point, but rather to many. My first reason to avoid Scherzer is that while the Phillies are the worst in basically every hitting category ever, they actually don’t strike out that much. Even against one of the more strikeout prone teams such as the Astros or Cubs, I would have a hard time giving any pitcher the reasonable expectation to reach 14 strikeouts. Another reason, maybe even bigger so than the first, is the fact that there are so many other solid, high-upside options for 3-5K cheaper. So should you pay 14K for 14 Ks? Yes! Should you pay 14K for Scherzer today? No!

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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?