Ayo whaddup, it’s ya boy Grey Albright aka the Fantasy Master Lothario aka White Chocolate aka The Ladder You Use To Reach New Heights aka The God Particle aka Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Judge Reinhold aka Paid Overtime aka Close Parking Spot When You’re In A Rush aka Al Swearengen’s Swearing Dictionary aka Teacher, We Don’t Need No Education aka The Weird Guy That Latches Onto The Main Character In Oscar Films I Think His Name Is Paul Dano aka The Butcher, The Baker and The Candlestick Maker aka The Stinging On Your Pinkie Toe When You Clip Too Close aka Paul Anka aka Forget How To Spell My Name And Just Get Me My Coffee!  I just spent thirty minutes looking up Mindy Cohn and whether or not she’s a lesbian.  Ah, the offseason.  You are a soothing mistress that touches my naughty bits with idle hands.  She’s apparently not a lesbian, but a confirmed friend of the gays, and she wanted to lose weight in the 80’s, but the producers asked her to avoid it for the character of Natalie.  They finally agreed to let her wear baggy clothes.  No comment, except the “no comment” comment has the weight of a thousand eye rolls.  A quick preamble about the 2017 fantasy baseball rookie series that is coming from me over the next few weeks.  Rookies could get a post if they meet MLB eligibility requirements, less than 130 ABs or 50 IP.  That means no Greg Bird, no Orlando Arcia, no Alex Bregman, and finally no Joey Gallo.  In 2012, the first player I highlighted was Mike Trout.  That wasn’t an accident.  I said in the Mike Trout post, “He’s ranked number one for me. Numero uno. The Big Mahoff.  He’s the big Statue of Liberty in New York, not that girly one in Paris!”  Since then, I’ve attempted to make the first rookie post about a prospect that will be the top rookie for fantasy the following year.  Last year, that honor went to Corey Seager.  Yes, it’s an honor, don’t be so condescending.  This year the top fantasy prospect isn’t no ordinary man, this is the prospect I be seeing in my sleep.  Yoan Moncada will be your number one 2017 fantasy baseball rookie.  Will Moncada be named to the All-Century Team in 85 years or edged out by a robot with grabby hands named the Hitter-Tron that my great-great-nephew will sue due to trademark infringement only to find out it’s the same Hitter-Tron that once graced this little fantasy baseball blog called Razzball?  Can Moncada be a top five 3rd basemen in 2017?  So many questions and so little time to look up Mindy Cohn info!  Anyway, what can we expect of Yoan Moncada for 2017 fantasy baseball?

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We’re gonna find out if the top 20 shortstops are as Ken Bonerific as the top 20 2nd basemen.  Hint:  they are.  Damn, I gotta work on building suspense.  That hint pretty much gives the whole kit away and tacks the kaboodle onto its back as it’s walking out the door.  Goodbye, kit and kaboodle, I just gave you away for nothing.  I am very charitable.  When I go to Whole Foods, I only throw a small hissy fit when they ask me to donate money, “Take a dollar out of the $12 per pound olive bar and you donate!”  To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2016 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Can you imagine such a surprise thing in the delivery room? I can barely fathom the idea of fatherhood, let alone the extra money and work having two babies at one time can be. Thankfully, this isn’t a stay at home dad blog so of course, the title don’t mean shizz in terms of giving birth to two bundles of expensive joy at once. Nay, I’m talking about my favorite type of bundle of joy: cash. The kind of cash you get when starting someone against the Twins. Heck, you can look back just to my Friday post to see how I think of said Twinkies. Synopsis: they trash and I look to take advantage of that knowledge as often as possible. How do I plan to implement this info today, you ask? By starting Jason Vargas. Yes, I hate Minnesota that much…apologies to Prince #RIP. Vargas showed decently in his last outing but really, this is a two fold call. One, the Twins have been at or near the bottom all year in terms of offensive output and are currently streaking further down, dropping a wRC+ of 41 and a 31.3% K rate over their last 7 and a 62 and 27.9% over their last 14. Basically, Dozier stopped hitting a HR every day so their offense went south. Funny that. Anyhoo, we now get to look at that Vargas price tag of $4,600 and get to ask ourselves a very simple question: can he score around 15 points against such a bad opponent? Well if his 11.2 in Cleveland over just 4 innings in his last outing is any indication, the answer is yes. Due to pitch count concerns and because, well, he IS Jason Vargas, I wouldn’t play him outside of tourneys tonight but he’s a great price reliever if you wanna pay up for an SP2 or for big bats. So grab a couple of cigars and celebrate with me. Here’s my spank to make you cry taeks for this Wednesday DK slate…

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 October 3rd 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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On Sunday morning, I woke around 8 AM to read a text from Rudy saying, “Awful news, Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident.”  I put on my glasses, no time for contacts, and turned on the TV.  It was still on Fox Sports West because I was watching Vin Scully tributes all weekend.  Yesterday morning, Fox Sports was playing Anglers Chronicles, a fishing show, which is wrong in so many ways.  After switching the stations, groggy-eyed and still half asleep, I realized TV was not the place anymore to go for breaking news.  I shut it off and turned to the internet.  I’m still piecing together my thoughts.  He was 24 years old, even if he never played baseball this is a horrible loss of life.  I’m reminded of all the friends I lost to motorcycles in their twenties.  I’m struck by how inconsequential fantasy feels.  There’s a giant pit in my stomach.  Then, I think about how I never saw Jose Fernandez not smiling.  Not having fun.  I think about how on that boat, Saturday evening, you know Jose Fernandez was having a great time, because he was always having a great time.  That exuberance came through in everything he did.  I think about how he spent time in prison after one of his numerous failed attempts of escaping Cuba, and how, even then, he was likely making fellow inmates smile.  How the excellence he brought to the mound every fifth day was felt all the way back in Cuba to raise up even the darkest corners of Cuba’s prisons.  “That was us.  That is us,” the inmates, who are still incarcerated for trying to escape, likely said.  How baseball does that.  How special that is.  You see what you’re going to see in tragedy, but I see Jose Fernandez pitching, and baseball, and making himself and others smile.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The Cleveland Indians’ rotation has taken some major hits in the last week or two, with Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar going out for the season with injuries. Mike Clevinger, he of the most beautiful hair I’ve ever seen this side of Sampson, starts against the Royals today. They need to find a way to expand their rotation options for the postseason, and I suspect that Clevinger will get stretched out plenty in his last few starts; his lack of innings in his last few starts should stop being an issue, and instead it should be all about his hair (and his nasty stuff).

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 26th 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 ourDFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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2015 was a golden year for rookies. Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Noah Syndergaard, Francisco Lindor, Addison Russell, Lance McCullers, Roberto Osuna, and many other youngsters made a huge impact for their respective teams during their first run through the big leagues. This season’s rookie crop hasn’t been quite as impressive as that historically productive group, but it’s been a pretty strong one as well. Corey Seager (technically in his rookie season), Trevor Story, Trea Turner, David Dahl, Jon Gray, and Michael Fulmer are some of the players who have been outstanding in their first full MLB seasons. Perhaps the brightest prospect of them all, however, especially on the pitching side, is 20-year-old Dodgers phenom Julio Urias. He’s considered by many to be the best pitching prospect in baseball over the past several years, and it’s not difficult to see why. With plus velocity (his fourseam fastball can reach 96 mph at times) and a varied arsenal (fastball/slider/curve/change) that can generate swings and misses with regularity, it doesn’t seem to be a matter of if Urias will be successful, but when. Considering he was still a teenager for the bulk of his rookie season, it’s reasonable to question whether or not Urias is ready to contribute down the stretch for fantasy owners this season. What can be expected from him over the next month or so?

Let’s take a look at his profile to determine how the rookie has been performing during his first run in MLB. Here are a few thoughts and observations:

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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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I know the lede may scream Millennial, but I wasn’t born in the 90’s, my cursive writing is on point and I don’t wear a beanie in 95 degree weather. I never use shorthand when texting or emailing, but it’s tough to pass up on word play when Yu Darvish is part of the feature. Two weeks ago I gave you Tres Zurdos and this week I’m following up with Tres Diestros, or three righties for those of you who are north of the border. Carlos Martinez, $10,300 at Milwaukee is running point on our 3 headed monster tonight. I think most people will stay away from this one because he’s at Coors Jr, but he’s been lights out on the road this year. He’s 7-1 with a 2.36 ERA, granted his Ks aren’t where I’d like them to be, only 57 over 72.1 innings. Keep in mind the Brewers are still leading the league in Ks and in his previous two starts against Mil he racked up 19 Ks in just 13 innings. Darvish at $10,800 vs the Mariners is our middleman/comic relief for the evening. He walked 5 guys last time out, but he was in an National League park and he struggled to get the juices flowing in an unfamiliar place. Yu loves that hot Texas weather and I’m looking for him to bounce back tonight with at least 8-9 Ks to go along with a much needed Texas W. Closing for the Tres Diestros’s tonight is Jake Arrieta, $12,300 vs Pittsburgh. Yes I know he’s a bit pricey, especially since he hasn’t been the dominate Ace we saw in the second half of last season, but he owns the Pirates. When it comes to taking the mound against his Central League Rival he definitely brings his A game, as he’s 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA to go along with 33 Ks over 27 innings.

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 today 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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I looked at the pitching for today’s slate of games on DraftKings and puked a little bit. There are a few good pitchers on the docket, but none who instill confidence in me matched up against their opposition. So, today I would recommend you pick every bat you want, and only then pick your pitching. Go after the biggest names; sure, some will be highly owned, but there won’t be too many lineups with all the studs (only the people who read this column). Pitching, just follow your gut and avoid hitters’ ballparks, and you’ll probably do just fine.

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 August 29th 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 ourDFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At Stephen Strasburg‘s summer DL rental, the driveway is an inverted W and he timeshares with Ryan Zimmerman.  The Nationals said Strasburg’s elbow issue is not structural.  Yeah, it’s deconstructed like a Cobb salad at some overpriced restaurant.  I’m sure Strasburg is totally fine and it’s completely coincidental that he has a 10.19 ERA in August.  Totally unrelated, guys and five girl readers, totally unrelated.  Strasburg feels like the kind of pitcher that we can never rely on for more than 150 IP.  In five years, he’s thrown 200+ IP once and he’s 28 years old.  Oh, and ‘member how Strasburg was supposed to bounce back this year?  He currently has the worst ERA of his career.  Yeah, great.  In my fantasy team news, because who doesn’t love someone talking about their fantasy team, Strasburg hit the DL about an hour after my weekly Scout league locked.  The same league where I was in first a week ago before Strasburg went to Coors and Lackey went to the DL.  The same league where I’m now in 2nd.  The same league where I needed Strasburg to start twice this week and Lackey was set to face the Padres.  The same league that ends at the end of August.  The same league that just made me cry.  I need a tissue, you karmic bullies!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?