There are 15 games on today’s slate. That means there are 30 starting pitchers to choose from. Well… Don’t have a cow, Man! Just pick Big Bart. Bartolo Colon has a 2.25 ERA in four starts this month, with a 15:4 strikeout to walk ratio. Tonight, the Phillies are in town and have not done well vs Colon this season. In three games, the Phillies only had a .206 BA and a .588 OPS, with a 15:3 strikeout to walk ratio. In 267 career inning pitching in Citi Field, opposing hitters have only managed a .715 OPS off Colon. Right handed pitchers should be happy when they get to face the Phillies, who have a 21.8% strikeout rate and a 84 wRC+. Ay Caramba, that’s bad! The Phillies will be eating Big Bart’s shorts by the end of this game. And with that, here are the rest of my Friday DFS picks…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday August 29th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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This weekend, I went to an Ikea for the first time. First of all – you are herded through the store on a specific path like you’re being herded alongside other furniture-buying sheep.

Bahhhhhh! That bottom left frame of Buster is about how I handle crowds like that…

Anywho, at the end when you pick your furniture to buy, it’s in this giant warehouse that makes the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark look like it’s in a studio apartment’s tiny closet. Ish is huge! And that giant warehouse is exactly how I used to look at starting pitching in my 10 and 12-team waiver wires through any given MLB season. Limitless streaming opportunities – sure some with more risk than others – but pretty much a starter widely available every night that I could feel decent enough with rolling out. Alas, it’s no more, with hitting making a comeback this season. Balls are juiced! And in that vein, I’ve been overlooking a lot of the “been there, done that” pitchers that have broken through, none worse than being slow to warm up to Danny Duffy. We’ve seen him have power stuff, but not hold up as a starter, getting meh K numbers in the process. This will anger people – but I saw him as a lefty Nathan Eovaldi coming into this year. Ouch! In more ways than one! But Duffy has been absolutely crazypants this season, vaulting all the way into my top-15 last week. And through this amazing run, he hasn’t even been blessed with a Pitcher Profile! This changes now! Here’s how Duffy looked yesterday afternoon against the Twinkies:

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The Astros offense had some fun with the Orioles pitching staff Friday and Saturday night, collecting a total of 32 hits and scoring 27 runs. Solar plexus! Now those are some rockets that would make NASA proud. George Springer lead the way going 7-for-9, with 2 home runs (24), 6 runs and 4 RBI. Jose Altuve was 5-for-10 with a home run (20),  Evan Gattis was 5-for-9 with a homer (19) and a stolen base, and rookie Teoscar Hernandez was 3-for-6 with 4 runs, a homer (2) and 3 RBI. Well, I guess I know one team that prefers the sticky swampiness of the Baltimore humidity in the air. Even with all Houston’s stars doing their part it was the rookie phenom, Alex Bregman, who really impressed me, going 6-for-11, with four runs, his third home run and five RBI. Oh, hello there. What did you say your name was again? Alex slashed .306/.406/.580 with 20 homers and 7 steals in 80 games at AAA, but struggled to start his MLB career a miserable 2-for-38. But the top-prospect has come on strong of late batting .317 with 3 homers, 13 runs, and 10 RBI over the past two weeks. He extended his hitting streak to five games Saturday night, and has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 contests. The best part? While all your real life non-internet friends are off drafting their fantasy football teams, Alex Bregman sits on the waiver wire available in over 70% of leagues. I don’t want to brag, man, but it sounds like most of you gave up on Bregman too soon and he’s just now getting going. Grey told you to BUY this week and I’d grab Bregman everywhere he’s available for some sweet Houston upside in an even sweeter Houston line up. Don’t make me Breg, man! This kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!

Here’s what else I saw Friday and Saturday in fantasy baseball:Sv

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Chad Green was out there painting corners like he was on work release and someone decided the yellow curb needed to be yellower!  Green ball in the corner pocket is what he felt!  Green was dealing like a sad-looking, poker dealer at a poker room that is badly lit, which is known for having great dealers!  Green for the money, gold for the honeys!  Yesterday, Green was the envy of the league, though not a shizzton happened, admittedly.  He threw 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 11 Ks vs. the Jays.  Because his name is Green!  Nah, that’s prolly not the reason, but it’s an interesting thought.  Green has worked well in the minors (1.52 ERA in Triple-A), and gets strikeouts (9.5 K/9) with his mid-90s MPH fastball, and cutter.  At this point, I’d still rely on the Stream-o-Nator with him for shallower mixed leagues, but I could see a flyer on him in keeper leagues for a chance there’s something here moving into 2017.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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I mean, is there any other photo that more represents the name Phelps this summer? Wait. (Checks the photo again). Hang on.

There we go! Haha, sorry about that. Who’s that other dude? HE’S NO DAVID PHELPS! I tell ya that much…

Now, in all seriousness, David is no Michael, but in Week 20 he has the potential of bringing your fantasy baseball some significant value. And we’re not talking GOLD-TONED value, for all you Razzball Podcasters (thanks for that one, @Grey). While only starting two games this year, Phelps is producing a career year. By far. With a K/9 over 11 the Marlins have used him in multiple situations leaving to his 5 W and 3 SV. He’s been valuable in his role, but moving into the rotation for this week could bring great things. The Marlins are in the playoff hunt and need some fresh breath to get some elusive wins of late. Enter Phelps. And enter the Reds and Pirates lineups.

Phelps LOB% (Left on-base %) is a large reason his stats look so great (88.5%), but all the peripherals match up to his impressive surface stats of ERA (2.40) and strikeouts (11.03 K/9). It will be interesting to see how he translates his success through a lineup a second and then, hopefully, a third time, and he’ll need to do better than his history as a starter, but I have every reason to believe he can. The Reds are a porous team with a few traditional bright spots in the lineup, and the Pirates offense has tried its best to suck enough to rival the Braves in season-long numbers. Phelps is on the road for both, but has a good defense behind him and features a great shot at scoring some W.

Lastly, unlike many of the pitchers highlighted in this series, David Phelps is ACTUALLY AVAILABLE FOR PICKUP! He’s only owned in 10.2% of leagues. He won’t go past 6 or 7 innings, but it’ll be enough to bring great value.

Here’s how the rest of Week 20 stacks up!

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The holds leaderboard has been basically demolished as guys have switched roles. Three out of the top-10 holds guys (Bettances, Herrera, and Watson) currently are holding down the closer roles for their respective teams.  Add in two more from the top-20 (Andrew Miller and Ken Giles) and you can see that 20% of the entire holds leaders are double dipping in stats.  Not always a bad thing, but when you are counting on one stat from a guy and then it switches to another, it detracts from the previous.  Have no fear, because the bullpen aficionado is here to steer you through the muck and mire that is the bullpen shuffle.  So for this week, we are going to look at guys who aren’t in a closing role.  I have taken current closers out of the equation for the chart, because this is a holds piece and we don’t want “their kind” infiltrating the holds stuff.  So be active on the waiver wire as we come down to the end of the season, there should be no commitment in the relief game.

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Yesterday, Carlos Gomez was designated for assignment.  Outfielders in the tier of guys in the preseason I told you not to draft:  Pence, Kemp, Gomez, Schwarber, Hanley, Corey Dickerson, Ellsbury, Brantley, Adam Jones and Carlos Gonzalez.  I’ll take a 7-for-10.  You believed still in the preseason about Carlos Gomez, didn’t you?  *touches finger to nose but not for a sobriety test*  I’m more surprised by the people shocked by Gomez’s fall from grace.  *makes crazy, rolly finger motion by ear*  Anyone who saw him in his prime knew he was gonna find a steep cliff.  Even when he broke out, the underlying stats told you something had to change or he wasn’t going to have continued success.  *sticks finger in nose, smiles*  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Shaba Antone in the know knows that I am all about Jamaica.  Love to visit the place.  I also have several friends that reside on the isle and like to partake in the national festivity of… well, you know, don’t make me say.  The Dodger pen has been a flux of capacitors all year, and I think at some point I’ll bet a sixer on the leading hold leader from them being someone who may have contracted a melanoma.  Enter Joe Blanton.  The resurrection project of all resurrection projects.  Not only has he flourished in the role of set-up to the stars, but he doesn’t seem to have any competition to say the opposite.  In his last 30 days, minus a week off for the All-Star break, he has a one-off the pace total of 7 holds, a K/9 rate of above average, and an ERA of two bills.  All this for a team that has lacked stability setting up the dude who sounds like someone you would rent a kickboard from in Jamaica.  Now, he isn’t the only reason for the Dodgers having a top-5 bullpen ERA in the last 30 days, but he isn’t not-not the problem.   He is someone you may need to own though, add in the fact that in some leagues, I have SP eligibility, and he looks even sexier.  So now that we have got the lede out the way, let’s get to the milk and cookies of the bullpen report.

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I figured out the best concoction for delivering fantasy baseball…  First, go to liquor store and grab your consumption of choice.  Next, convey your thoughts about fantasy bullpens to the masses in a cognitive and fluid way that makes sense to… the masses.  Mission One: check, Mission Two: to be determined.  This week, I wanna touch base on the neophyte in Seattle’s Edwin Diaz, the once highly-touted starting pitcher prospect that is now occupying the first chair in Seattle.   He is sorta the new kid in class, and the trust level to let him borrow a Nintendo game just isn’t there yet.   The stats will speak differently though.  Check the rhythm of the rhyme I wrote and while I got a chance here, let me clear my throat.  For the last month, he has been chipping away at the Benoit salad in Seattle’s pecking order.  Well, now he is the goods by setting up a Cishek.  Cishek in this case is Swahili for “not for long”.  Over the last fortnight, he leads all of baseball in holds with 5, and his 20.57 K/9, which is basically unparalleled by anyone.  Listen, Cishek has the job and he isn’t getting shipped anywhere while the Mariners are in a wildcard hunt.  But isn’t it fun to own the guy who is sexy now before you start seeing kids in the mall all wearing him like he is the new Cavaricci?  Diaz is his name and RP satisfaction is his game, green is his color… blue is the other.  So hop on the good foot and add the sure thing.  While you’re at it, check some other delectable sundries that I have in the shape of bullpens and their place in society…

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Whatever your cultivation of choice may be, go with it.  Oscar Gamble was, and is still a pimp in social culture, as is California sensemilia.  So whatever your subset of life is, that’s cool with me.  My obsession is a little of column A, a lot of column B, and I incorporate column C.  Column C being my love and passion for the deliverance of the most finite bullpen jargon on the web.  Go look, there isn’t anything better than me.  I checked, if I added a pretty colorful chart with catchy funny names, then I would literally have to kick my own ass.  So here we sit, and look at what the Rangers are doing.  They have been doing, in the last 30 days what the Cubs did over the first 30.  They are, in no large part, being buoyed by a stout bullpen.  Their starters are all hitting the DL and fast.  The trio of Matt Bush, Jake Diekman, and Sam Dyson are about as tight as a bullpen can get, and the best group I have seen since the Isley Brothers concert Prospector Ralph and I went to see.  I have talked about Dyson and Diekman on separate occasions this year.  So no, it’s the one without voting privileges turn.  Bush has basically been a la machina since promotion on May 12th.  He has appeared in 13 games for the Rangers to date, and his usage has only recently spiked having pitched in 13 of the last 22 overall for the Rangers.  His 10-plus K-rate over that time is coupled with an ERA under a buck and his xFIP is basically what David Phelps is giving you.  Who, in most hold leagues right now, is pretty much a must own and isn’t a guy you yawn at in mixed company leagues either.  Bush is a feel good story that I think can continue as long as the Rangers can duct tape their starting rotation together long enough to maintain their AL West dominance.  He should be rostered in most leagues going forward for his usage potential as the remaining Rangers starters, minus Cole Hamels, average less than 6 innings per start.  So head for the mountains and roster some Bush.  Stick with me for some other diatribes of greatness…

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