This week’s most added player in ESPN leagues, Oakland A’s third baseman Danny Valencia (63.8% owned; +36.4% over the past week), has undergone quite the transformation over the last calendar year. Prior to the 2015 season, he was just a part-time player who mashed left-handed pitching in the Ryan Raburn/Scott Van Slyke mold. From his MLB debut in 2010 through the end of the 2014 season, Valencia’s .870 OPS vs lefties far surpassed his .615 OPS against right-handed pitching. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, it’s been business as usual vs LHP (.907 OPS), but he’s improved considerably against RHP (.845 OPS). His ISO also jumped from .142 (pre-2015) to .225 (2015-present day) during that period. Hmm… a player displaying a huge power surge at 30 years old isn’t suspicious at all! Well, there may be a couple of reasonable explanations for Valencia morphing from Kelly Johnson into Ryan Braun at the plate virtually overnight. The first thing is the addition of a leg kick in his swing courtesy of former teammate and elite slugger Jose Bautista. The second thing is the opportunity to play every day. Valencia never received that opportunity until late last season in Toronto, and his performance during that time convinced the A’s to give him a shot as their starting third baseman. Through his first 14 games this season though, Valencia’s power disappeared, as he managed just a .353 slugging percentage with no homers and 2 RBI in 55 plate appearances. Maybe that power surge was just a fluke after all. After a DL stint at the end of April into the beginning of May, however, the power returned with a vengeance. Since returning on May 7th, Valencia has produced a .354/.360/.729 triple slash line, which includes smashing 6 homers across five games from May 13th-17th. He looks like a good bet for a .280 average and 15-17 homers moving forward, so add him if you can (or more likely, try to get him on the cheap via trade).

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Hey, I’ll take two home runs from Khris Davis and be more than happy.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I’ll take one homer.  Gently farting in your direction, Prince Fielder.  Three homers?  Well that is too much for my little old heart.”  So began the monologue I told myself in my mirror last night.  I was wearing a fedora with a feather in it and no pants.  That’s added color for you to understand the scene.  Then, it was the ninth, the A’s in the lead and Davis’s night looked over with two homers until.  Dot dot dot.  Ian Desmond homered off Ryan Madson and sent the game into the bottom of the ninth inning.  Khris Davis came up to the plate, bases loaded, already with two homers on his scoresheet, could he hit one more?  Could my monologue presented to my reflection come to fruition?  Could my neighbors stop screaming for me to put on pants?  Yes on all three!  Finished the night with 3-for-5, 6 RBIs and three homers (9, 10, 11).  I had Davis ranked around eight rounds higher than anyone else because I thought he could easily hit 30 homers in an age when 30 homers doesn’t come that easily.  Has anything changed since the preseason?  Yeah, the date.  Dur.  I love Khris Davis and right now looks even better than his namelganger, Chris Davis.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Danny Valencia had himself a nice little weekend.  On Friday, he hit two homers, then yesterday he became only the third player to ever have a three-homer game (3-for-5, 5 RBIs) against the Rays (last one was Carlos Delgado in 2003), and only the 2nd player that also stood for the pregame National Anthem.   Valencia grew up Jewish, and, according to Wikipedia, “(Valencia’s) two key hitting coaches growing up were Bob Molinaro, a family friend who is a former major leaguer, and his mother Mindy.”  I didn’t have a Jewish mother, but have plenty of experience being half-Jewish, so I can imagine the guilt trips he got, “Why don’t you marry a nice Jewish girl and stop swinging at balls in the dirt?”  “You never call your mother, and you’re opening up too soon.”  “You can go take batting practice after you give your mother a kiss.”  Wikipedia doesn’t mention it, but one less guilt-inducing hitting coach he had was Jose Bautista.  Valencia learned how to hit for more power from Joey Bats.  Since Bautista imparted wisdom on Valencia, he’s hit 30 homers in the last 580 ABs.  So, can Valencia keep it going?  It appears so.  Now finish your latkes and keep your hands back!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jon Gray pitched seven innings Friday night versus the Mets, allowing just five hits, two runs, a walk and struck out eight in his first win, in well, in ever. Congrats on your first major league win, chief! It only took you nine months! How about that headline? That was a bad Fifty Shades joke. If you don’t like it I will tie you up and make you like it. Mmm. Bondage. Anyway, Jon Gray–Coors pitchers be damned! After surrendering 11 runs through his first two starts, Gray has been damned good in his past three starts, giving up just four runs and 10 hits in 20.0 innings, and his 1.15 WHIP and 36/7 K/BB are certainly impressing me mucho. I know what you’re thinking, still a Coors pitcher pitches at Coors and even in the most stream worthy of starts it makes him very hard for me hard to recommend. But that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be on your radar, folks. You should be watching him closer than the latest episode of Game of Thrones, looking for secret hidden fantasy clues in the sand. You guys, I’m pretty sure the scarring on Jon Snuh’s chest spells out R+L=J! Oh em god, wait! The “J” must stand for, dot, dot, dot…Jon Gray! But Jon Gray knows nothing. He must be Targaryen!

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Matthew Wisler threw a gem yesterday — 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 2 Walks, 4 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.24.  Or if you like portmanteaus and/or vomit — Matthrew up a gem.  By the by, after anyone says their name is Matthew, do you always want to say, “Gesundheit?”  “Name for the cup?”  “Matthew.”  “Wow, it’s allergy season, huh?”  That’s me as a barista, a job I never had.  I’ve actually held one real job in my entire life.  I’m like Mark Cuban without the money.  Since I own Wisler in more leagues than I care to admit, I watched the whole game.  Prolly first time I watched one of my pitchers while listening to the opposing broadcast, but you cannot beat the Mets announcers for a broadcast booth or for stories about insane cocaine intake in the 80s.  Wisler was dancing a 94 MPH fastball just at the knees, spinning a backdoor curve that had Neil Walker look more like Neil Statue.  Duda?  Go take a doodie, it’d be more productive than facing Wisler!  Asdrubal?  Well, he actually hit the ball hard.  Quite a few Mets did.  It was like, “Matthew!  Damn, I think I caught something,” and the Braves would look up with a ball in their glove.  So, Wisler’s performance last night was a gorgeous line, but I wouldn’t go near him outside of the deepest of leagues.  In shallower leagues, Matthew?  God bless you for last night, but I don’t need those tissues.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Could this finally be Brett Lawrie‘s post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-POST-post hype breakout?  I don’t want to overrate or prorate or ameliorate a past inveterate obturate to eviscerate execrate, try not to hate, love your mate, mediate or flip through cards like Michael Hutchence forth, Sandoval’s girth, Andrelton’s not from this earth, movie remake that never went anywhere was North by North.  Yesterday, Lawrie went 3-for-3 with his third straight game with a homer, and he threw in a steal on Saturday, not a liar like James Frey, in Florida I need my mosquito spray, I have three albums by The Fray, said no one that wasn’t gay, which is totally okay.  I was very high on Lawrie in the preseason, and right now he’s on pace for 20+ HRs, 12-15 SBs and hitting .290.  On its own this would be implausible, laughable, impossible, insoluble in water, but he hit 16 homers last year, is only 26 years old and has easy 15-steal speed, so it’s not INXS of the possible.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Bryan Price, always one for colorful language, should go full Tony Montana about his relievers, “Look at that, I got a junkie bullpen, mang.  My bullpen is so polluted!  I can’t even have a save with that bullpen.  It’s so polluted!”  After his Montana rant, Price could clarify who will save games in his bullpen through a string of curse words and em-effers.  Yesterday, Price said they’d go to a committee.  Great, maybe they can make a camel.  Hoover’s out, Jumbo’s gone because his physique reminded them too much of their ERA.  Caleb Cotham could see some saves, and he’s been good vs. minor leaguers, but he’s been honing his craft in the minor leagues for a while.  This isn’t like a potter who needs time to hone his ashtray-making skills before hitting the big-time flea markets.  Being in the minors long just means you might never achieve success in the majors.  Going for Cotham is that he throws righty and he hasn’t failed yet.  Then there’s Tony Cingrani, who I grabbed on Tuesday.  He has been decent enough in the bullpen this year, but he’s a lefty and he blew the save yesterday in the 8th inning.  Oh, and there’s Blake Wood, who is reminiscent of Jeanmar Gomez, and we know how well that turned out.  *intern whispers in my ear*  Seems that so far Jeanmar has worked out okay.  For now, I’d own Cingrani then Cotham, but this is nigh-thurr pretty nor set in stone.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I have no doubt James Joyce would be proud to be mentioned in a Razzball opening, even before his great great nephew Matt Joyce is for this season. What, I shouldn’t assume they’re related? What, I’m showing cultural appropriation? And misogyny? And assuming gender roles that are antiquated according to our day and time?!?! Wow, it really has been a while since I wrote on the Razz. Did we move from wordpress to tumblr? I guess at this point I should reference the book I referenced in the title but I mean, it took James 19 years to actually finish the thing, I ain’t reading that. If you don’t wanna finish it in a reasonable amount of time, I don’t wanna read it. Time is money and all that…speaking of, queue the awkward segue! Let’s talk Brandon Finnegan. When the Cueto trade dropped and the collective dust settled, Finnegan along with John Lamb and Cody Reed were sent to the Reds for some of Cueto’s worst career numbers. Fair trade! But more to the point, B-Fin as I lovingly call him – and will also lovingly call him when he’s straight beefin’ against the Phillies – was considered the prize of said trade and methinks we get to see a glimpse of the why. Other than general expected improvement across the board from the young Phillies team, Brandon shouldn’t be overly matched in his season debut. Though I’d steer clear in cash, Finnegan makes a fine upside K tourney play and at $6,300, he leaves you with plenty of cash to spend up elsewhere, weather permitting (sighs). So to wrap up the opening, don’t read Finnegans Wake, tumblr is full of social justice warriors, and Brandon should have a good day. Use the information that helps you best…and with that we’re off. So let’s get to my Skyline Chili hot takes for this Wednesday DK slate (if Skyline Chili is even hot, I honestly don’t know; it sounds gross)…

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?

Did you know that Rockies starter Chad Bettis is the only major league player in history with the last name Bettis? That means he’s the best Bettis, but he’s also the worst. What a claim to fame. The most famous Bettis of all time is NFL Hall of Famer and former Pittsburgh Steelers beast, Jerome Bettis. Here is something you already know: Chad ain’t Jerome. Hell, Chad doesn’t even play football. Does Chad have a restaurant in the town where he made most of his money? I didn’t think so. Anyway, we are talking about baseball since, you know, this is only Day 3 of the 2016 season. I love early season exploitation and that’s really what this is all about. Chad Bettis is the Colorado Rockies’ number two starter. His career ERA is 5.22. Just ponder that for a couple of moments. Do you see dollar signs yet? This is my first article here at Razzball and I’m happy to be aboard. At the end of the day it’s all about the Benjamin’s, baby. So let’s dog pile on Chad Bettis and kick off the first Tuesday of the season by being ballers and shot-callers. We deserve it.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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 a happenin’ Razz-stuff? FOH, the player slayer, is at the helm for my first and probably last bold predictions post. I only call it my last because after this one, I’m confident that I won’t be allowed to be bold again. Kidding… sorta. I get bold from time to time, but usually play it more conservative and pick my spots. I’m getting an assist on this one, as I have everyone’s favorite commenter doing a pop-up like a rogue restaurant or a children’s book. You have to follow me after the jump to find out who it is, but I’ll give you a hint: He sets his clock to Pacific time. No fancy intro needed here… Let’s get to some predictions for the 2016 season!

Please, blog, may I have some more?