“We’re more alike than we are different.” That’s what Mary Ann said of her and Ginger, but it could also be said of Marcus Stroman and a Flat-Billed Pitchypus. He needs maybe a fifteen-second ironing and a quarter-cup of starch and he’d be there. Considering the tumultuous recent years of the Flat-Billed Pitchypus, maybe it’s for the best. “You want more starch on this?” “Yes.” Dontrelle Willis reaches for his TGIF’s hat, drops jalapeno poppers on his foot and screams. Yesterday, Stroman threw a shutout in 93 pitches. Greg Maddux called and said, “You owe me a nickel.” Stroman’s sparkling like I screwed his head into my SodaStream, pushed down the level way too long and bubbles started coming into his eyes. Mary Ann’s existential quote could also be used to say there’s more similarities than differences between Stroman and an ace. He shouldn’t generate that much velocity from a five-foot-nine frame. Yet, there he is throwing 94 MPH while high-fiving his teammates on a step stool. He’s credited with a six-pitch arsenal that he can locate with pinpoint accuracy. I’m going to have a Marcus Stroman post for 2015 fantasy baseball to highlight his sensational stuff for next year, and then he’ll probably be in the top 10 pitchers for 2016. A star is born just don’t iron the brim any further; you’re good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So here we are in week 24 if you don’t count the All-Star break. Where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday that this whole marathon got started. Tehol was speaking of the blessings bestowed upon Dominic Brown by the elder gods, Grey was telling you pitching was crazy deep, and Sky was freaking Nick and everyone else out with his creepy masks in the background of his podcast segments. Things were simple then, we all had hope, some of us still do. Oh who am I kidding you read Razzball of course you have at least one team in the playoffs. Everyone knows we only cater to savvy fantasy owners and snappy dressers. Maybe mustache aficionados also, but they only read Grey for the avatar. Mustachioed men are like the rich and Greek Nationalists, they stick with their own.

Regardless, the end is neigh good citizens of fantasy land. It’s now officially the end of  the beginning of the season. My beginning just so happens to last 5 months. The real ending for fantasy and real life players alike is that last month chasing a championship. Hence the end of the beginning, beginning of the end title. It’s also a not so subtle nod to my favorite Murs album  and possibly song, Done Deal.  The point is you have 3 weeks left max, and should be doing all you can to edge your league mates in the H2H playoffs or Roto standings. Either way we’re all hustling like Freeway Ricky Ross, and I mean the Drug Dealer not the rapper. I’d only say we were like Rick Ross the rapper if I was in a room with Matt Adams and Billy Butler. Even then it would be about them and not me. For the record I’m built like a Greek God and bearded like one as well. I’m sort of a fantasy sports version of Dan Bilzerian, but without the trust fund, harem, and over the top douchiness. Well I guess the last one is up for debate. Okay everything I just said about myself is up for debate…Sad Trombone.

You know what isn’t up for debate (Segue! FTW) the quality of the high end double dipping starters this week. We have 4! Count’em! 4 must start options this week in Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, Max Scherzer, and Jon Lester. That’s great for any owner with those guys and bad news bears for any owner facing them in the playoffs. It’s okay there’s some hidden gems in the lower tiers with some good matchups. Also feel free to chime in with any double dippers flying under the radar. Whether you feel I’m overlooking them, or that they have under appreciated fantasy appeal. We’re all in this together, unless you’re in one of my leagues, then you’re on your own.

The tier names this week are a nod to my all-time favorite HipHop Group Gang Starr…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

That’s what time of year it is! Juan Lagares gets a buy lede. Read between the lines here, and what does it tell you? That as you get older you have to eat salad for lunch three times a week? Hmm, I’ve found that too, but that wasn’t what I wrote between the lines. Try again! That you don’t get embarrassed being seen in a public restroom, but get embarrassed being seen walking out of one? Me too. Still not what I wrote between the lines. You look for the skinniest person in a conveyor belt sushi place and sit next to them? Didn’t write that between the lines either, but lambda! (Lambda is the Greek letter used to indicate wavelength, so when you want to indicate you are a nerd and to tell someone you’re on the same wavelength just say lambda. That’s what I do. “I was thinking we should go to a movie.” “Lambda.” See? Now go have nerd babies!) Okay, between the lines it actually read that we’re firmly in the part of the year when it only matters what a player did in the last week. Lagares is about as hot as anyone right now. Better still, Terry Collins said he wants Lagares to run more. Let’s do a quick equation. Player who is trying to prove their worth + Suggested by manager that they run = Merle Haggard! Wow, math’s off there. Was supposed to equal tremendous fantasy value. Now, if Lagares wasn’t hitting it wouldn’t matter that Collins told him to run, but he is hitting and running like crazy — five steals in the last week while hitting over .300. He’s also been inserted into the leadoff spot. Thinking you should own him? Lambda! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Denver Homerlette is like the Slam & Legs, except it’s 2 HRs, while Tulo and CarGo hold their legs. As most of you know, Rudy writes the title for most of these. Currently, Rudy and I are in a tough battle for 1st place in our RCL and he owns Corey Dickerson, so I thought I’d share with you the first few titles Rudy suggested, “Dickerson Poops On Grey, But Of Coors” and “Suck My Dickerson.” Stay classy, Rudy! Since Rudy won’t or can’t toot his own horn, I will for him. Hmm, that sounds weird. Maybe if he could’ve tooted his own horn, his wife wouldn’t be spitting out kids like they were sunflower seeds. In February, Rudy released his rankings, and he had Dickerson at 102 overall. I don’t think I saw Dickerson within 100 spots of that anywhere. I was one of the other few people who even ranked him, and I didn’t have him within 150 of that. Yesterday, Dickerson hit two bombs, raising his season total to 22. In addition, he has a .311 batting average to go with 8 steals. Right now, he’s top 60 overall on our Player Rater and near the top 15 for outfielders. That’s after Walt Weiss played with his ding-a-ling for a month, platooning him. That ranking won’t be far from where he’s ranked for 2015 either. Everywhere he’s played he’s shown solid power, average and some speed, then throw Coors into the equation and he could be a top 30 bat overall in 2015. Yup, I kinda love him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Grab Luke Gregerson! Ah, that’s how you start a post. Some sweet, sweet SAGNOF. It’s like when I walk into a room and it just lights up. Guys and four girls be going, “Ooh, what’s his name, and can I get his number?” My mustache is yours. *eye wink* There’s plenty of me to go around. On the other hand (wasn’t that the first hand?), there hasn’t been that many closer jobs changing hands (there’s those hands again). This weekend us save chasers caught a lucky break when Sean Doolittle came down with a strained intercostal. Yes, he strained the highway that runs down the side of Florida. What the H do I know? Handsome, that’s the H I know. Now, go grab Gregerson and come back for some straight fantasy flavor from the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it, thank you). UPDATE: A’s said they might go to or Eric O’Flaherty, the dad from Freaks and Geeks. I’d grab both Gregerson and O’Flaherty until the situation worked itself out. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Shameless cross-pollination!  Yes, just as shameless as Tony Parker cross-pollinating Brent Barry’s wife, I’m hijacking the open of my post to let you know Fantasy Basketball rankings have begun!  I hope Grey doesn’t suspend me for conduct detrimental to the team… I’ve got my top 50 up earlier than anywhere else (well, no one has recent rankings up!) and if you suffer fantasy depression through winter, and/or hate that Fantasy Football is nothing but pure luck, Fantasy Basketball is the rebound (womp womp) for you!  The mix of percentages and counting stats appeal the Fantasy Baseball-ist in everyone, so if you’ve thought about trying hoops, hop over to basketball and into an RCL when they open next month (I sense another hijack coming…)!

“Get back to the diamond JB, this is a friggin’ baseball blog!”  Fine!  Has any pitcher in the initial top-50 (non-injured) had as tumultuous a season as Danny Salazar?!  Maybe Justin Verlander… But now he’s injured too!  Salazar pitched like a gangbuster (…? can you be only one gang buster?  Ask Ness…) closing out last year, but lower velocity, control issues, and just overall ineffectiveness were so bad he went back down to AAA.  After two months in the Minors, Salazar has been pretty good in 4 of his 5 starts since the call up in late July, including a decent outing yesterday.  Just can’t get deep into games!  To be honest, I haven’t watched a single Salazar start this year (using all my Indians time on Corey Kluber, k?!), so I decided to break down his afternoon against the Orioles and if he needs to be scooped up in more leagues even if his rotation spot is non-guaranteed:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When I was growing up, we had a hutch. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember what piece of furniture it was that my grandparents used to call a hutch. So, like a child of the naughts, I Googled it. On Wikipedia, it says a hutch is where one prepares an evening tipple. Let me just say, I don’t remember anyone in Jersey ever preparing an evening tipple. An evening Sloppy Joe? Sure. An evening ‘bang on the side of the TV so the picture would come in?’ Yup. An evening ‘curse at the neighbors?’ Definitely! An evening tipple? Not in my Jersey. But, for the sake of argument, let’s all pour ourselves an evening tipple for Drew Hutchison. Last night, he went 8 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hit, 1 Walk and 8 Ks. See, nothing to it. The only mistake yesterday was a long ball surrendered to Chris Davis (now has back-to-back games with ding-shots). As I said when Hutchison was called up, he could be as great as any pitcher to come up this year. Sadly, it may not be this year that he is great. It’s the pickle that is young pitchers. I would own him, shoot, I’d even have a tipple with him, but I wouldn’t fully trust him until he has a longer track record. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I have returned, my good Razzballians, from an excursion I can only describe with great glee. Seriously, school girl level teeheehees were shared as I got our good man Nick Capozzi to pick me up as he started his #32in32in32 tour kicked off in Seattle at the World Sports Grille. Not only did I get to stand next to those awesome vocal cords, but also got to check Tehol Beddict‘s pad – he’s as swag as advertised, bros – and also started a bit of a fling with The Guru as we bunked for a few nights in the same bed. Don’t worry, we had a pillow barricade. At least I thought it was one until ‘Da Gu’ shouted THOSE AREN’T PILLOWS! We live and we learn, right? Just because it’s soft and supple, does not appropriate head-rest material make. In either case, my short sojourn across this little part of the bigger trek Nick is doing across the USA went splendtastically. What? I can make up words as I go. You can’t hold me back, spell check! Sorry, I’ll just wrap up this cross-promo saying there are still some tickets left in cities near you so make sure to check it out. Heck, there’ll be one in Cincinnati where – and here’s your awkward segue – our pal Danny Salazar gets to take the mound. Now if you know anything about Sky (psst, that’s me BTW), you’ll know that he loves looking back over the last 7 or 14 days to see how a hitting team is doing. Granted, this isn’t the end all, be all of the research involved but let’s take for a moment a look at the last seven games for the Reds. Their wOBA? Third worst in the league. Check. Their ISO? First worst in the league. Discount Double check. Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips still on the DL? Triple lutz with a salchow-ending flourish check. Given that Salazar has returned and performed quite well since his stint down on the farm, posting an average of 21.4 DraftKings points over three starts, I’m willing to roll him out there at his reasonably low price of $7,100, which will hopefully save me some cash for another, bigger arm or better yet, bigger, better bats. For me, I plan to release the Czar of the under-priced pitcher on most of my Wednesday lineups. But with that, here are some other picks for August 6th contests…

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tommy Medica had the game of his life last night, going 5-for-5 with two home runs (5 & 6), 4 runs and 4 RBI. Somebody call a doctor, because Tommy Medica is so sick! Now wait just a minute, hold onto your coffee, and don’t drop anything or anyone just yet, (especially not your coffee because that may burn and I can’t afford a lawsuit). Medica, who generally sits against righties, has been filling in for Yonder Alonso the past month or so while he’s on the shelf. He has squandered the opportunity, batting just .217 with zero homers and 4 RBI in 46 at-bats in July. Even for the Padres, that’s barely a major league starter. I guess his hitting coach has been advising him to study Jedd Gyorko early season game tape. More likely than not, Medica will be headed back to the platoon role once Yonder Alonso returns, but the trade of Chris Denorfia could potentially open up some more playing time. Either way, what a game Tommy Boy! Holy schnikes! I added Medica in a few places on the off-chance this performance buys him some more playing time, but I’d keep the expectations low outside NL-Only and deep mixed leagues. For the time being, Tommy Medica is batting 1.000 and slugging 2.200 in August and certainly a name worth monitoring over the weekend.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You know how when you move out of a place, you throw out a majority of your stuff, but a few things you just slide into the cubbyhole behind the washer/dryer? Maybe nothing significant. Just something to leave your mark, like an old pair of underwear. Then in a few years, maybe ten, you go back to your old place, knock on the door and ask to see what they’ve done with the place. Once inside, you ask if you can launder your pants and while in the basement, you check for your old underwear, and there they are. You shake the rat droppings off them, breath them in and they still smell of you. What? You’ve never done this? Okay, you’re weird, but Jake Peavy did, and now he’s going to get to smell his old gotchies that he left in the NL West. San Francisco has a lot of hills and their pitching staff has gone over all of them. They’d like Petit more if he had more T’s and E’s in his last name. Want to spot a Giants starter in San Fran? Find a hill, go over it. They’re on the other side. This is a boost for Peavy’s value. Obvi! He had a 7.5 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9, which is borderline streamer in most shallower mixed leagues, but that was the AL East, and even while he’s been in the AL the last few years (while not pitching that great), he’s been solid vs. NL teams. They have no DH! The pitcher hits! Etc. Etc. Etc. Last night against the NL West’s best offense outside of Coors, he had a line of 6 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks. I’d take a flyer on Peavy in all leagues, and his next matchup on the Stream-o-Nator says it agrees. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?