Growing up, I, like many of my friends, held the All-Star Game to be a true collection of the best baseball players in the game. We’d watch Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt, Johnny Bench and the National League beat up on Reggie Jackson, Vida Blue and the American League year after year. But even then, and as time has moved on, there have been some head scratching choices as All-Stars along the way. Some of it can be pinned on the rule that each team has to have an All-Star, lending to some interesting choices. But some, like Alfredo Griffin, who was named to the 1984 American League squad simply because he came with actual All-Star Damaso Garcia and the AL needed some when Alan Trammell got hurt, didn’t belong and years later, it still looks odd. There has been Chris Brown, Mike Sharperson, Jay Howell, Ron Coomer, Cesar Izturis and a host of so-so relievers since the age of the relief pitcher in the All-Star game has taken full bloom.

Even with all that mediocrity in the AS game, it still surprises me to see names I am fairly sure will stand out years from now that have now been minted All-Star. One of those is D.J. Lemahieu. Lemahieu is nothing special as an offensive player. He has a decent contact rate, average walk rate, good speed. He’s a good fielder at second base this season, too. But nothing about Lemahieu says All-Star, except the offense in which he plays.

But little of that matters in daily fantasy. LeMahieu can be as basic as a game of tic-tac-toe, but if he’s batting second, which he has often this season, and the game is at Coors Field, Mr. Average can be rostered with confidence that he’ll be putting that decent contact rate and speed to good use. For you.

So enjoy the All-Star game, D.J., what do I care? As long as you keep on delivering in DFS.

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.

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Yesterday, the Cubs scored seventeen runs, so enough jibber-jabbering, let’s get to it! Starting this whole she bangs, she bangs, Oliver’s got bangs in the 2nd inning, Addison Russell (2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 5th homer as he continues to hit ninth. Joe Maddoning says he’s hitting Addison ninth to take pressure off him. McNulty would call that bunk. (By the by, tell me this doesn’t look like McNulty.) Isn’t there pressure just being in the major leagues? Did Addison not see how the Cubs pushed aside Javier Baez and Arismendy from year to year? Bunk! Chris Coghlan (2-for-3, 3 runs, hitting .251) needs to hit fifth? David Ross (1-for-5, 1 run) in any lineup should be hitting ninth. There’s absolutely no reason Russell should be that low. Move him up! Then Kyle Schwarber went 4-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs in his first major leagues start, and became only the third Cub in their history to have four hits in his first major league start. The other two were two guys you never heard of, which makes this record depressing. Thanks, Elias Sports Bureau! Oh, and there’s no pressure on Schwarber as he hits sixth? Okay, I’ll let it go. I pray to the deity of your choice that Schwarber gets four hits in every game until Sunday, Miguel Montero stays injured and Epstein says, “Okay, Schwarber schways. He schways! Stays, sorry, it’s hard to say anything normal after Schwarber.” Then (Yes, it keeps going!) Chris Denorfia went 2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 1st homer, hitting .396. Put the microwave on defrost and stick in Ted Williams’s head! Never to be outdone (or overdue, as the case might be), Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer. Finally (I’m exhausted!), Kris Bryant (2-for-6, 4 RBIs and his 8th homer) as he grand salami’d in the ninth. You at a 2016 fantasy draft, “I need a Bryant.” *Smash* As a pie gets thrown in your face. Five over-the-internet dollars to be paid out in fake installments, if you get that reference. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It can be easy to watch home run hitters and otherwise high scoring bats get above 5K and then say, no way, that’s too high to roster that guy! But if the conditions are right, and these epically awesome, and otherwise game-changing hitters can be rostered easily after you’ve applied all the other goodness and value plays, then you should absolutely do it, even if you’re slightly “downgrading” another position.

Experts all the time find their values so they can take advantage of situations like rostering Stanton against a LHP or Harper against a homer prone RHP, as he was Tuesday against Alex Colome.

Limiting yourself mentally to excluding these players, regardless of situation, will leave you out of the money in a lot of tournaments. Bryce Harper is absolutely the mashiest lefty bat going right now and is posting obscene numbers against RHP (1.247 OPS, .432 ISO, .511 wOBA, 230 RC+), so why wouldn’t you want to make room? Cost is relative and if you have the right value, then it’s worth rostering a little lower somewhere else so you can fit someone like Harp in.

Tonight, Harper faces Matt Andriese at home in Washington, where Harper’s numbers against righties….actually tick up another notch (1.339 OPS, .515 ISO, .541 wOBA, 251 RC+). Sluggers and Sluggers…it’s the new Vote Early, Vote Often!

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?

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?

Hopefully everyone is rested up after the Memorial Day holiday and is ready for some DFS action. I know I am. There’s a slew of aces with mint match-ups throwing tonight, so I’ll be digging past the Clayton Kershaw vs. the Braves and Jacob deGrom (Are his initials written as J.d., J.deG. or J.G.? These are the things I think about) vs. the Phillies and getting into the nitty gritty. These guys are great, if you can afford them, by all means. I generally like to pair an ace with a cheap option with high strikeout upside. My favorite pairing option will be Clay Buchholz tonight. Alright, you can stop snickering now. Clay, of course has the ability to make me look like a complete moron tonight and go 1.2 IP and give up 8 ER, but, it’s the upside that intrigues me. It’s always a risk vs. reward vs. price battle with DFS and I like the potential return. Grey already gave you the Buchholz buy recommendation a few weeks ago. Since then his ERA is 2.49 and he’s struck out 18 in 21.2 IP while only walking 5. A funny thing happened on the way to everyone burying Clay and leaving him for dead. First, his insane .407 BAbip straightened out (.236 over the last 3 starts). Next, his luck leaving men on base normalized a bit. After two starts early in the year where he only left 12% and 28% of men on base (If you got on base, you scored basically) he’s stranded no less than 70% the last three starts, which is about league average. Finally, he got his Bullfrog sponsor back *insert rim shot*. Really though, the biggest thing we care about for DraftKings scoring, the strikeouts have been there all along. Clay is rocking the sunscreen as well as a 9.85 K/9. The Twinkies are bottom 5 in team OPS vs. right handers and the price is right tonight at $7,700. Let’s take a look at the rest of the picks and all make some Buchs tonight, shall we?

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?

What’s that I see creeping around the corner? The stalker you’ve filed a restraining order against? Nah, our resident Creeper of the Week writer JFOH is fine; we’ve finally taught him what ‘personal bubble space’ and ‘bad touch’ is so he’s allowed to spend time with the other writers. Granted, he DOES have to wear oven mitts so he doesn’t get overly stimulated when we high five but he gets to enjoy Razzball potlucks again without the police getting involved. Baby steps! Of course, what’s creeping is the baseball season as this Sunday is the start of six months of that game we love so much…Daily Fantasy Sports! I heard you just say ‘what, huh’? If you don’t know what DFS is, just click on that link to get an idea of what we’re talking about here and then come back. Don’t worry, we’ll be waiting…ok, we’re still waiting…alright, some of us just didn’t take the speed reading class seriously, I guess. Heck, I even learned how to do it out loud. Sounded like the Micro Machines guy. Anyways, now that you’re intrigued by the concept, we’re gonna talk about what to do once you’ve signed up for DraftKings. Ah ‘but how do I sign up for DraftKings while supporting Razzball at the same time?’ is your question. I could read it on your face and let me tell you, ‘sharpie’ isn’t a good look on you. By clicking on the DraftKings link I’ve now given you thrice, you are given a signup referral from us and a free $3 ticket to any contest you choose. In fact, you COULD choose a $100,000 Moonshot tourney opening day with that $3 ticket or better yet, a free $15,000 tourney to kick off the season care of signing up through us. Or just keep it simple and join a multiplier or a head to head……if you don’t know what these words mean feel free to take a look at a review post of the league types to get yourself acquainted. Now that we’re past these link hurdles, though, let’s get down to da biz. Here’s some strategy to attack your DK games with for the 2015 Fantasy Baseball season…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Leave it to the man living in Oregon, born and raised in Washington to take you to Electric Ladyland in the title. PNW represent *tries showing PNW with flashy gang sign…fails…breaks all fingers*. Fine, I’ll just throw up the West Coast symbol a la 2Pac and be fine with it. Grey originally pinged me with the idea of heading up a league for the NFBC back in February. When I said yes, I assumed we were talking ‘Norwegian Female Bikini Challenge’ and graciously accepted. I mean they’re right next to Sweden; what could possibly go wrong? Well, ALOT could go wrong, let me tell you. Thankfully, I had Rudy‘s recap of his 2013 team and the wherewithal and the guile to forge my own path for my own team. For those interested in only RCL style of play…well, first off that’s the link to sign up for one and second of all, make an about face. This ain’t it. No trades and no FA pickups in season. Nope, you play against 15 other teams in 5×5 roto set up and draft 50 players a team. That’s 750 players. There’s only 30 teams and they only roster 25 players at the major league level at a time. So basically, we’re drafting the entire MLB in one fell swoop. That’s special. And hard. And especially hard. But let’s not talk about bedroom things just yet. Instead, let’s review my NFBC team for the 2015 Fantasy Baseball season…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greetings Razzball nation, and welcome to another edition of The Numbers Game. Suffering through a long week at work? Looking for a break? Come along with me on a trip to a little town called Splitsville (disclaimer: not a real place). I guarantee you that we’ll have a delightful time there (satisfaction not guaranteed). At the very least, I have a lukewarm inclination that this post will help to pass the time during your afternoon trip to the can (sure, why not). I’ll take it!

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So I did a little Google of “pine tar brands” and everything is this Grandpa’s brand!  Talk about cornering the market.  And their new spokesman should be Michael Pineda!  “Those other brands, they dirt, it’s dirt…”

I used to be the biggest Big Mike fan.  I was all in on him in the Mariners rookie season, and went gaga watching his starts over anyone else.  Of course he faltered down the stretch, got traded, blew up his shoulder, and now is a little bit of a parody based on the ridiculous double-down of pine tarring and feathering himself.

While he might be a punchline, and finding a little bit of humor for the open was easy, he’s still been good while healthy this year.  And not just good, but Grandpa’s good!  ERA barely over 2, WHIP under 1, 30:4 K-ta-walk.  And still owned in only 51% of Yahoo leagues!  I haven’t seen Pineda pitch since the April oil slick days, so I decided to break down his Saturday start north of the border to see how he’s looking:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last night, Melky Cabrera hit two homers. Watch out, Melky’s lactating home runs! Sorry, I cribbed that from Rotowire’s notes. Kidding. Of course. Imagine you clicked on a player’s name on another site and the first thing it said was Melky’s lactating home runs. Only it would probably be more like this, “Melky has found his groove this year, especially vs. right-handers, who he’s hitting .330 against. In the power department, he’s lactating equally against righties and lefties.” Snooze! Wake me when you’re not regurgitating numbers. Tell me how you’re glad mom slept with the Melk Man. Or tell me how Melky and Coco Crisp had a threesome that they would refer to later only as a ménage à breakfast. Give me the Juicy Juice with an extra straw! Or give me the obvious, Melky has been a number one outfielder, ranking in the top 15 outfielders on our Player Rater. He’s being sustained by runs, RBIs and average that I won’t put much faith in next year, which will almost definitely make him overrated, but we’ll ferry cross that Melky when we come to it. (Note: We did not give Melky the lede in exchange for free web development.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Psych! Before we get into the roundup, I just wanted to point you to our fantasy football leagues. They are signing up now. Go there, and sign up for them. You can win expensive, custom-made prizes! No, not a mohair toupee! Who are you, Bud Selig? Anyway II, the roundup:

Please, blog, may I have some more?