As I type this, I’m in a small, but expected depression as a disgruntled Mets fan living in Minnesota after today’s non-waiver trade deadline. In the middle of thermal packaging related activities, I saw deal and deal and deal swing by. All I get from both the teams that I follow most? A Kurt Suzuki extension. Oye. All that did was disgruntle me more, as I like Josmil Pinto quite a bit. I figured at least Bartolo Colon would get traded for some PTBL or a BoB (bucket o’ balls). Ah well.

On the other hand, if you’re a Tigers fan (I’m not a bandwagon A’s fan until the Mets are good, I decided today), you must be pretty excited. Drew Smyly wasn’t as dominating as a starter and Austin Jackson continued to short-come expectations. Instead you have an second ace, and can now appropriately consider Justin Verlander your number 3 or 4 or 5. [Jay's Note: Or playoff closer?] Verlander has not been good, but he’s also been almost as unlucky as he’s been bad, or he’s hurt and isn’t saying anything/doesn’t know it.

July 1st, I noted the luckiest pitchers to date, but the one thing I didn’t do at that time was look at the pitcher’s luck/bad luck relative to their career rates. So for this post, for luck, I z-scored each pitcher’s luck stats relative to their career stats (homerun to flyball ratio, left on base% and BABIP). I weighed each z-score by the stats correlation to ERA. Therefore the luckies pitchers (using luck alone and excluding skill) as of 7/27 is: Josh Beckett, Jake Arrieta, Collin McHugh, Scott Kazmir, Garrett Richards, Zach Britton, Jordan Lyles, Drew Pomeranz, Dellin Betances, Alfredo Simon and Danny Duffy. Chris Young, Jason Hammel and Jesse Chavez (update: both Hammel and Chavez were rocked in their last start). However, this all excludes skill (contact rate, strikeout% minus walk% and ground ball to flyball ratio). Incorporating this, here are the actual luckiest pitchers as of 7/27:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Like a good Jewish boy, Brad Ausmus said to his Bubbie, “Bubbie, I love sulfites, nitrates and pig a**holes, but every time I see a Nathan’s, I get the runs. Bubbie, do you have a remedy?” His Bubbie lowered her knitting and said, “You need to get a goddamn decent closer!” And so it was done. Unfortunately, due to being wracked with guilt (or possibly due to a rather hard knock on the head), Ausmus couldn’t pull the trigger and said Nathan will remain the closer. Oh. WHAT?! The Rangers traded Joakim Soria to the Tigers because Joe Nathan is making Detroit look even lousier. I can’t imagine Soria remains the set-up man for very long, since Nathan owns a 5.89 ERA and has looked completely lost for the better part of the season. For now, I’d hold both of them. Over in Texas, I have a rooting interest in Neal Cotts getting saves, because I own him and not Neftali Feliz. If I had my druthers, and knew what the hell druthers were — hmm, maybe then I do have druthers — I would grab Neftali first. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Let’s face it, Kings are pretty cool. Certainly cooler than a President, or a Prime Minister, whatever that is. I mean the only title more powerful than King is God. This is probably why people were so up in arms when LeBron James anointed himself King. I’m sure people wouldn’t have been nearly as upset if he elected himself President James. People hate presidents, People fear Kings. Presidents are chosen by mortals, Kings are chosen by God. The only president that is remotely badass is Abraham Lincoln and that’s mostly due to his downtime vampire slaying. Where I’m going with all this, is you should do what you can to acquire the title King, and if you can’t become a king, get yourself affiliated with one. Well, today you’re in luck, gambling-addicted man between the ages of 26-42, for hear ye hear ye King Felix Hernandez of Seattle has returned!

His highness gets the White Sox today on the South Side of the Chi. Facing Los Calcetinies Blancos at U.S. Cellular Field is no easy task for mere mortals, but for a King it’s just a worthy foe. On the really tho….Felix is matchup proof. First off he’s 10-2 with an Era of 2.10. That’s impressive even to you non-number driven baseball fans. For the hardcore seam heads his numbers are boner inducing. Just look at these sexy stats, 1.96 FIP, 2.37 xFIP, 9.61 K/9, 1.54 BB/9, 54% GB%, 4.9 HR%, and a .28 HR/9. Those numbers are silly, and the FIP, xFIP, and a 72.8% LOB tell me he’s not even getting lucky. He’s just that dominant. His price point today isn’t that cheap but the numbers justify the $12,600 price tag on DraftKings. I think it would be regicide to not give Felix a place in your lineup card.

Before we get into the rest of the choices for the day, I have to mention how unbelievable the competition has been the last few weeks in the daily 20 team Razzball leagues on DraftKings. We now have a steady stream of regulars made up of readers and writers, who are jumping in on the action. Just case you don’t know, I’ve been putting one or two of these contests together everyday and sending the invites out early. The setup is pretty simple, 20 teams, $1 or $2 entry fee with the top 3 teams splitting the pot. It makes for a nice low risk high reward contest. If you win one, you can bankroll a week or so worth of play on DraftKings. Have we mentioned before that if you’ve haven’t yet played DraftKings you can signup by clicking here? Have we? I can’t recall. The best part is if you do decide to join us today DraftKings will give you a ticket for a free game just for getting started. I know that’s like too good to be true, but it is true!

So we have two leagues today on DraftKings the first of which filled. I just put together a 2nd and you can join by clicking here.

Now onto the picks!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Wanna really mess with your brain? Think about how you could have the same thing as Guy Pearce in Memento and you would never know. Okay, don’t think about it too long, it’ll mess with your brain too much and then I’m gonna get sued by your loved ones. “Judge, Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it), told my darling boy, Josh, to think about how he could have a brain dysfunction and now I have to change his diaper and order in for Chinese food every fifteen minutes because he keeps forgetting he just ate.” That’s your momma in front of the judge, suing me. Steve Pearce is a thirty-one-year-old journeyman. That’s not a cartographer, that’s a guy who isn’t very good and just travels around offering his services for all-you-can-drink Gatorade. Yes, he hit two homers yesterday and has hit 9 homers in just two months while batting .336. This isn’t a matter of “Maybe he’s breaking out now.” No, there’s no breaking out for Steve Pearce. He doesn’t even sound right if you don’t say his full name. There’s no Steve and no Pearce. There’s only Steve Pearce and he’s the hottest schmotato in the land and is worth picking up while he’s swinging a hot bat, but I wouldn’t expect it to last that long. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greetings all as I wrap up this month of June DraftKings coverage. Be sure to drive the right speed today as it’s a little known – ok well known – fact that the popo need to meet their minimums and they’re out to get you. Don’t laugh! The closest I ever came to getting a ticket was at the end of the month. Don’t get me wrong, I speed all the time. I don’t have a lead foot, per se. I more like to think of it as a permanent slab of immovable iron and that sits on the gas pedal whenever I drive. As the great poet laureate Samuel Roy Hagar once stated, ‘I Can’t Drive 55′ and it’s true for me. Unless of course the speed limit is 25 then I can prolly swing it. But enough about my illegal driving habits, we came here to talk some DK strategy and I think there’s an ace in the making taking the mound today that’s way too cheap to pass up given the matchup. I’m of course talking of Taijuan Walker, the illegitimate son of famed Sergeant Cordell Walker of the Dallas-Fort Worth-based Texas Rangers (not true). This son of Sgt. Walker (still not true) is adept at catching the bad guys in Texas and as luck would have it, he’ll be in Houston today where he’ll get to face the Astros. Now these aren’t your typical gang of bad guys unless you’re talking plate discipline and if you are, well, they’re the baddest guys in town. The Astros lead the MLB in K% on the year at 23.6% and I have recently been struck out 8 times by Verlander and 13 times by Scherzer. Since Walker’s going rate is $7K, he’s worth the risk as your SP2 based on pricing alone and given the upside of the matchup, I think he helps you seek cash money by the end of the day. Even the DFSBot sees the silver-lining of this play as even though he’s only the 9th best arm on the list, he’s also underpriced by about $1500 DK doubloons. So now that we’ve established a solid number 2 (not that kind; you’re gross), let’s move on to see what other bargains we can find. Here are your Razzball picks for June 30th on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Are you like me? Have you been doubting the existence of the humidor at Coors Field since they allegedly installed it in the early 2000s? Didn’t it sound like some kind of lame way to side-step the concerns that juiced-up ogres were having a field day lighting up the scoreboard in the thin air? Yeah, that’s it, it’s the baseballs, not the steroids coursing through players’ veins, leading to 15-13 games. But no, there really is a humidor at Coors, and they really do put baseballs in there to bathe them in humidity, not groups of smelly 55-year-old cigar-smoking creeps.

All kinds of studies have been done that show home run numbers and batting averages have been somewhat deflated thanks to the humidor. But that hasn’t exactly transformed Coors into Petco. I don’t need to dig for stats on that – you’ve started your best guys there, and you’ve seen your ERA numbers skyrocket as a result. It’s why I see an “@COL” next to one of the guy’s names below and move them down from where they started. So what pitchers don’t get crushed in Coors? There’s no way to predict for certain, but I looked at some of the games where the Rockies were dominated in Denver and found something interesting. Three pitchers who have done well this year have good sinkers, decent-to-great curveballs and throw the four-seam fastball.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What up everyone, I’m here taking the hill for back to back DraftKings days. The coach called for the modern day Mike Marshall to come in and throw his crazy words around. I actually like Mike Marshall but I can see how he might rub people the wrong way. For more details about his work click here. Maybe we would have less Tommy John surgeries if people would listen to him. He can bring back the screwball! Sorry, I got off track there. Henderson Alvarez has been a friggin stud this year and Harry and the Hendersons was a stud of a movie in 1987. Ok, maybe not a stud but it was a lovable family flick I saw in the theater. I’ve been watching Oaktown Steve successfully stream Henderson Alvarez on the regular, always too weary to touch the man with two last names and no first name. On the season he sports a very healthy 2.56 ERA with a 1.28 WHIP. A reasonable BABIP (.320) a solid xFIP (3.48) and a strand rate (76.1%) that isn’t spelling doom on the horizon. His K-rate (5.73) is not what we like for DK, but for today I like him facing the Swing and Miss Mets. Earlier in the year he pitched a complete game shutout against them where he K’d 7. At $7,300 you won’t find a better deal today.

As usual here is my promotion of the DraftKings. Your daily reminder to play with us and use the tools we give you to get an edge over all the other players in the DK universe. We have the Hitter-tron, the Stream-o-nator, and the DFS-Bot at your disposal plus a slew of writers to help you along. If you are playing an RCL right now then this isn’t that far off. The daily streamers and batty calls used in many of the highly competitive RCL leagues reminds me of the DFS style. The only difference is the clean slate you get every day. If you want to play with some of the other readers and writers here at Razzball then please leave your handle in the comments and we’ll get resident DK league organizer Ralph to add you to the list. My goal is a day when we can get 25 players going. Here is what else I like today.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

What do you think the Stream-O-Nator looks like? I imagine it resembles Dr. Theopolis, the little circular faced thing that hangs around Twiki’s neck on “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”. Dr. Theo was basically a robot on a robot, only he was the smart one and he kind of relied on his dumb robot friend to get him around. Is it possible that Stream-O-Nator hangs around Hitter-Tron’s neck? Would that make Stream-O-Nator a blow-up doll of sorts?

These questions probably couldn’t and shouldn’t be answered, but one thing I do know is that Stream-O-Nator cannot detect signs of life. Because if it could, it would be able to go in and perform the baseball equivalent of an electrocardiogram on the Philadelphia Phillies and come back with something very close to a straight, flat line. This is especially true at Citizens Bank Park, where it’s almost worse than a road game in terms of boos and pressure from a fan base that’s about to go for a group swim off the Ben Franklin Bridge.

And if Stream-O-Nator could do this, it would know that the first of Ian Kennedy’s two starts next week should be a cake walk. Yes, CBP is a bandbox, but no, the older Phillie bats won’t be able to catch up with Kennedy’s lively fastball, nor will bewildered youngsters like Domonic Brown, whose swing is so jacked up that play-by-play guys with manboobs who never played the game are dissecting the various hitches that have him down near the Mendoza line.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A shameful start to the season will not be the result of a promising career and 2014 for Chris Archer. Yes, we all thought he would start to break through this year and, to be Frank or his best bud Ernest, there’s a good chance that still happens. His FIP is 3.14 and his BABIP is more than .040 over his norm. Sounds like it’ll improve for rest of season. But who cares right now, cuz we’re playing DFS on this Tuesday. So why Archer today? The Marlins youngsters have never seen him. He’s getting in the zone and rebounding lately with his last 3 starts: 17.2 IP, 2 R, 22 Ks vs. TOR, BOS, and LAA. That’s a rough translation to 6 IP, 1 R, 7 Ks per start against top offenses (2 of 3 on the road). Draftkings is offering him at $7,400 today. Don’t miss out!!!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m a self-confessed/afflicted Mariners fan. I have been since the days of The Kid, Bones and ‘The Martinez Brothers’. I remember Mike Blowers catching fire in the second half of 1995 as Seattle surged to take over the AL West pennant from a team led by a guy with a fish for a last name. Fast forward 19 years – make sure you don’t wear out your VCR doing that, it’ll take a while – and the Mariners are still chasing an Angels team that’s led by a guy with a fish for a last name, only now there is no Blowers, we traded for or signed at least 5 DHs in the off-season and get shut down by pitchers like Brett Oberholtzer, who sounds more like an item at IKEA than a major league ball player. All this to say, as a man who plays over at DraftKings, I know what to do with the pain of having this kind of struggle from my home team – take advantage of it. There’s a reason Brandon Maurer is only $5,500 over on the good ‘ole DK. No, I’m not suggesting you play Maurer. You think I’d start with this depressing open and then tell you to roll him out there? His ERA is 6.99. ERA not predictive enough for you? How about an xFIP of 5.09? Or a K/9 of 4.76? Seriously, trade for Danny Worth at this stage, M’s, and let him run out there in Maurer’s stead please. But until they do, consider any and all Angels in play. Consider this your fall-back stack for the day which probably will be overplayed in GPP but should bring reasonable value. No Mariners fan is safe tomorrow, that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits. And just in case you think I’m cray cray bae, HitterTron has got my back on this…and now it’s covered in oil discharge…if you’ll excuse me for a moment I’ll go clean up and finish off the rest of calling out these DK values. Oh and if you’re wondering where J-FOH is today, he called in sick with his own oily discharge going on. Feel free to Tweet at him random forms of sickness and hashtag it with #JFOHsIllness to make him feel better. No really, he loves ridicule. Promise!

Please, blog, may I have some more?