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?

As any DFS player knows, the daily grind of fantasy sports can be downright One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest-kind of maddening. When you hit a cold spell that drains your bankroll and has you questioning your sanity (not now, voices in my head!) you may start to think it’s time to get a girlfriend or maybe just try throw a sink through the window. Your humble-but-nonetheless-certifiable Guru hit one of those cold streaks before the break that approached Game of Thrones-winter-is-coming-sized proportions. (Cuckoos Nest and GOT references in the first paragraph?! Genius!)

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The bankroll took a big dent and my January in Cancun fund may turn out to be February in Fargo. The cold streak can be attributed to a couple of things: 1) Baseball is completely unpredictable. No sport has more variance – anyone that claims to be an expert may need a weekend with Nurse Ratched; 2) Bad bankroll management. Ouch! I broke my own unwritten-but-about-to-be-written rules about taking care of my green. When it comes to not fudging the finances there are five things I usually do and don’t do. 1) Stay up to date on the weather, injuries and lineups. Nothing is more frustrating than spending big on Jose Abreu then seeing he’s not in the lineup or having stacked the Tigers only to see it starts raining frogs in Detroit in the third inning. 2) Don’t wager more than you can afford to lose. Whether your bankroll is $5 or $5,000, never wager more than 10% on any given night. Despite what Mr. Gekko may say, greed is not good. 3) Don’t chase losses. If you crapped out in the early games don’t try to recoup in the late games. Take your lump for the night and know tomorrow is a new day full of unicorns and rainbows. 4) Avoid multi-entry GPP’s. This is tough when you see a contest that’ll let you turn your $10 into $10,000. The odds of your one entry winning are not good. Those high roller, multi-entry tanks are filled with sharks that’ll be throwing out multiple lineups and running 10 team trains that’ll leave you crying in your Corona. I saw a guy run a 50 team train recently that cashed big for him, but left everyone else busted. He was later found in the trunk of his Caddie with his winnings shoved up his caboose. 5) Don’t play if it doesn’t feel right. Great analysis, Guru. Thanks, disembodied voice that sounds slightly like my ex, Brenda. Sorry you’re still pissed I sold your 1989 Mazda Miata to pay off my debts, but I’m a degenerate gambler and that car sucked. If you can’t get a lineup together that you’re confident in don’t play it – unless you just want to hand me your $5. I’ll gladly accept it.

We have 6 games this afternoon and 9 on the evening slate today at DraftKings with a few aces on the mound and teams to stack – hello Washington, Toronto and Detroit. I’ll be digging deep into the research and convening with my good friends DFSBot,Stream-O-Nator, HitterTron and Islay scotch to find the best matchups to grow the bankroll. If you haven’t given Draftkings a shot yet, today’s the day you get in the game. Just hit the Razzball promo link to get a first time deposit match and come play with the Razzball gang in a 50/50 contest.

Here are some of my top picks and value plays for Wednesday, July 23.

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?

Something many of you don’t realize, but one of the first people to talk to a player that was just traded is his new team’s tailor. The Yankees tailor got on the phone with Chase Headley to find out what size jersey he wears, and Headley looked down, beaming to be out of Petco, and said, “Giuseppe, you might want to take out my inseam too.” I wonder if the flowers smelled a little better as Headley stepped into Yankee Stadium for the first time. Sure, in contrast to his hour long ride through the Bronx, getting lost in Hunts Point, anything would smell better, but it can’t be worse, can it? His career in away games prorated over a 162 game season is: 79/19/79/.286/14. Doode’s David Wright! Well, almost. Which is sad for Headley and Wright. More sad for Wright. What a guy does in only half a season can be anywhere from bupkis to I-want-to-bump-grind-and-kiss. Will Headley suddenly be mixed league worthy? Yeah, for at least a flyer, if nothing else. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Damn, after reading that title, now I want to eat pasta. Has anyone ever watched The Godfather and not wanted to eat Italian right after? It’s an American rite of passage. Once you’re old enough to crave Italian food after The Godfather, then you’re an adult. That should be the only test to vote or get into the military. “Listen, maggot, you want to go fight for your country? Then sit down and watch this three-hour movie and tell me what you want to eat afterwards. If you want a burger, fries and extra ketchup, you’re a baby. Go home.” Adam Duvall homered last night off Clifford Lee, and Duvall had 26 homers in Triple-A this year in 310 ABs. Of course, they play in the PCL, a league that pumps their baseballs with helium. He will only fill-in while Brandon Belt is on the concussion DL, but that could be anywhere from a week to a month. In NL-Only leagues, I’d definitely grab him, and even look at him in deeper mixed leagues, if you’re desperate. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As I mentioned in my first/intro OPS post, we’re looking at OPS differential by using expected (x)Homerun and expected (x)BABIP differentials. If you like Captain Planet or laser beams, or want to understand my general approach, then I recommend a gander. If you provide your email below, I can furnish the full list that you can sort. Wordpress doesn’t allow me to copy and paste it all pretty for you.

Let’s start with my xHR formula (PA*Ct%*OFFB%*HR/OFFB%). Here are the top 10 guys likely to drop off from a HR perspective: Albert Pujols, Adam Jones, Justin Morneau, Alexei Ramirez, Mark Reynolds, Charlie Blackmon, Ian Desmond, Brett Lawrie, Hunter Pence and Salvador Perez.

Here are the top 35 guys likely to drop off from a BABIP perspective that you actually might own (meaning I’m excluding the Martin Maldonados of the world): Josh Rutledge, Justin Ruggiano, A.J. Pollock, Josh Hamilton, Stephen Vogt, J.D. Martinez, J.J. Hardy, Eugenio Suarez, Hunter Pence and Matt Adams.

Looking at both xHR and xBABIP differentials, here are guys you might own that I would consider selling in OPS leagues based on their expected vs. actual OPS (the differential is in parenthesis just like this statement. See what I did here?):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So it’s not really the 2nd half mark in the fantasy baseball season, but it’s the All-Star Break so what else are we going to talk about? Hell’s Kitchen? Is it even believable that these people would one day be in charge of a kitchen? There’s Real World castmates who seem like they have their shizz together better than these schmohawks. I like the one guy who burps a lot. He seems ready to run a kitchen! MasterChef, though, that show is the Sistine Chapel of reality shows. Okay, as with all of the other 2014 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt. If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade the outfielder for the 2nd baseman. Also, things change in fantasy baseball. Daily. I could put Miggy number three on the top 100 list for the second half of 2014 and he could get in a fight with a bartender (not Tom Wilhelmsen) tomorrow, then he wouldn’t be number one. See how that works. This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued. It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache. This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half of their season. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today. So while Carlos Santana did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because I still believe. The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2014. I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what guys will do. Welcome to the future! Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2014:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jay(Wrong) sent presentation rights over to me with the departure/hiatus of Tom Jacks. Tom passed the torch to me by way of a Captain Planet quote: “The Power is Yourz.”

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You all seemed to appreciate his content, and I hope to fill your passion-buckets with the same sense of quality. I will offer some value in my next post through OPS differential and possible pick-ups, but I wanted to take this time to summarize a few thoughts from Mr. Jacks’ last post, while sharing my general approach. Hopefully Jay(Wrong) strategically publishes this in a slot where you all aren’t salivating for immediate pick-ups! That’s right. In my very first OPS post, I wrote Jay, slot and salivate in one sentence. [Jay's Note: Go easy on the ladies my friend.]

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, we had our first July 31st trading deadline deal, and it paid off for all the A’s fans who paid Oaktown’s own, Bubb Rubb, to break into Billy Beane’s office and turn his iCal forward a month. “Any ideas what you want to do for the 4th of July, Billy?” “I celebrated last month with some friends.” Screen spirals out and slam cuts to Bubb Rubb, maniacally (bubb)rubbing his hands together. When the A’s are playing like it’s playoff baseball in September, don’t say your mustachioed over-the-internet friend didn’t warn you. So, the trade that went down was Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel for David Addison Leave Me Alone Maddie Russell, who I will get to after this lede. Samardzija and Hammel both gain value going to the A’s, which isn’t often the case with an NL pitcher going to The Land of Milk and Honey-Flavored DHs. Wrigley isn’t a great place to pitch — one day it’s overcast with winds blowing straight out, another day winds are just swirling overhead like a toilet bowl genie. As we’ve seen in the past, pitchers can do just about anything in a short period of time. Could Hammel and Samardzija completely poop the sheets? Fo’sho. Likely? Prolly not. O.co is like Petco and Metco, a big cavernous wasteland for hitters and they have more foul territory than Roseanne Barr’s privates. Samardzija brings strikeout stuff to hitters that aren’t as familiar with him and could be the 2nd half’s Kazmir. Yesterday, in his first A’s start, he had a line of 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks. Dividends paying out quick there. Hammel keeps the ball down and O.co will love him. This trade only really hurts Tommy Milone, who was shipped to the minors. The A’s just made themselves a serious contender and having a friend in Bubb Rubb pays off once again. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Let’s look at some potential homerun decliners based on the following “Power Score” or expected homerun (xHR) formula and compare it to their actual homerun totals. Here is the formula:

Plate Appearances(PA)*Contact Rate(Ct%)*Outfield flyball rate(OFFB%)*Homerun per Outfield Flyball ratio(HR/OFFB).

Make sense? Sure it does: How many homeruns does a player hit per outfield flyball? How much of their contact results in an outfield flyball? How much overall contact does a batter make when swinging the bat in a plate appearance? This should provide us with an expected HR total.

The below lists are ranked by the largest actual HR-expected HR differentials. Their HR related performance (PA, Ct, OFFB, HR/OFFB) is listed along with their average homerun and flyball average distance and rank.

Two contingencies worth noting at this time: 1) Our samples size still isn’t huge and 2) We’re not taking into account platoon hitters, i.e. Scott Van Slyke as a right-hand hitter only raking against left-hand pitchers. So when I extrapolate the data, keep this in mind. In other words, if Scott Van Slyke consumed more playing time against right-hand pitchers, there’s a good chance his performance/power would drop off.

Here are the top potential HR decliners (I think you will see the value of this xHR comp immediately):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So I’ve decided to go on a hiatus from Razzball. It has nothing to do with Razzball itself, as I think this is a great fantasy site, with the best fantasy sports community I have seen. It has everything to do with me trying to limit my time spent on fantasy baseball, because life is getting crazy. I’m still considering writing again at some point once everything settles down [Jay's Note: Please do, you've certainly spoiled us my friend.], but who knows when that will happen. With this post, I decided that it might be helpful to go over a few things I’ve learned during my time here:

Please, blog, may I have some more?