Yesterday, Daniel Norris went 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 3.81.  Deserved better than a no decision, but he’s 23 years old, making $500,000, so who cares what he deserves?  I deserve equal pay for cracking jokes about fantasy baseball for six months!  *marching with a picket sign*  Sign reads:  BLOGGER = Better Living-wage Or Gainful Gifts, Earnings, Reimbursements *pull back to reveal I’m marching in my underwear with my dog humping my leg*  Stop, Ted!  I’m trying to make a point!  So, Norris looked terrific, but he’s had a vexing season.  Vexing, I tell ya!  He was put in middle relief after a back problem that sidelined in the spring, then he returned and was almost immediately sidelined with an oblique problem.  Why do we care?  Well, I wrote a sleeper post about him last year, saying, “He’s a sleeper, because he’ll likely be drafted late since he appears to be a year away, and, sadly, he might not just appear to be a year away, but he might actually be a year away, though he might appear to be a year away and not be a year away.  I’m the Grand Champion of putting “year away” in one sentence, by the way.  Norris is a pure upside play.  He could be a 4+ ERA guy that bounces between the rotation, the bullpen and the minors or a 2.75 ERA guy with truckloads of Ks.”  And that’s me quoting me!  I quote that, because I was exactly right (I couldn’t have been wrong since I hedged more than Sonic) and for 2017 I’m going to like Norris for the exact same reasons while being a year closer.  Dot dot dot.  To getting a living wage!  I’m Norma Rae!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta certainly has a lot of things going for him these days. He’s the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner. He’s the ace on a team that’s the favorite to win the World Series which would end the longest championship drought in professional sports and cement his place in MLB history. He’s in tremendous physical shape and he’s not afraid to show it off. He’s won 16 games already this season, and his 2.84 ERA and 1.05 WHIP are once again among the best in the game. However, despite all of these great things that Arrieta has working in his favor, he’s actually been in somewhat of a slump recently. Over his last twelve starts, Arrieta is just 5-4 with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. These are certainly not terrible results, but it almost feels like blind luck when he delivers the finishing blow to his opponents these days. So what’s going on here? Is Arrieta’s slide just the result of bad luck in a relatively small sample size or something more concerning?

Let’s take a look at Arrieta’s profile to determine if his recent production is just a blip in the radar or a sign of things to come. Here are a few thoughts and observations:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maybe it was the food poisoning I had yesterday, but I had a dream Toomgis, the AM/PM mascot, and I were driving around talking about September baseball.  It feels like half the teams are either resting regulars for the playoffs, or the other teams that are out of it are resting regulars to give rookies a chance.  Those are the matchups you need to capitalize on with starting pitchers.  By the way, Toomgis is so obvious a creation of stoned creatives.  It’s a collection of stoner food and Toomgis stands for ‘Too Much Good Stuff.’  Um, okay, but there’s an I in there.  Stoner creative, “Eye-shmeye, we just need to move on before I eat our prototype.”  One more Toomgis point, how is this not Colorado’s national bird?  Any hoo!  So, with this matchups point hidden amongst my fracking in on Toomgis, we have Jharel Cotton capitalizing.   In his first major league start, 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 3 Ks.  Jharel Cotton makes me think of Faye Dunaway in a heavy Southern accent saying, “I shall avert my eyes.”  Cotton showed good control in the minors, and solid Ks, but in redraft leagues, you’re more worried about matchups this time of year.  For 2017, Cotton idolized Pedro Martinez and I can see why.  He’s five-eleven soaking wet (but I’m not sure people get taller when wet).  He also relies on the speed of the fastball and the break of the change.  A change that might carry him to glory, as soon as next year.  In keepers, I’d be very interested.  For this year, go with Toomgis’ advice on matchups.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL – and before you ask, yes there was such a time…and why do you demarcate things around such a movie? God, you’re weird – there was The Full Monty. The Full Monty was about a bunch of white guys who took off their clothes for money, just like Magic Mike. It was also a comedy, just like Magic Mike. Serious question: why is it so damn funny when a white guy takes his clothes off? I mean, we weren’t SUPPOSED to laugh when Showgirls did it…even though we did because if we didn’t laugh, we’d cringe. It seems racist and misandrist to me, but then I just stripped in front of the mirror myself and even I had to laugh. What is wrong with me and the world…well, that was a short-lived moment of self-awareness and poignancy, so let’s talk about Mike Montgomery instead. Admittedly, there’s not much to see here in terms of season stats since he’s really only been a spot starter and a middle relief arm for most of the year. That said, he’s only been in the rotation for three games with the Cubs and from the looks of it, I wouldn’t say the Cubs are going to suppress his pitch count when you factor in the 91 he threw against the Dodgers just a start prior. Basically, here’s what I see: a guy with a K/9 in the 8 range, going against a team with a K% in the 25 range, at a price point in the $4,300 range. Ok, $4,300 isn’t a range, it’s his exact salary and that salary plays gloriously into punt range. Really, if he returns you 16 DK points – which, with a win, is very within reach – you’re gonna be absolutely fine cuz he let you beef up elsewhere. Hell, you could even throw a few more dollars into some dude’s golden lame thong if you’re into that thing. Just don’t laugh when you do, it hurts my feelings…I mean THEIR feelings! So with that, let’s move on to this. Here’s my thunder from down under taeks for this Wednesday DK slate…

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 September 12th 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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For those of you expecting Dan Pants, well the pants are off today. And when the pants come off, malamoney comes out. Did I just talk about myself in third person? I love when I do that. I think Grey might have asked every Razzball writer before asking me to fill in. I’m not sure I blame him, but did he really have to ask the Chinese food delivery guy too? Just because it was Chien-Ming Wang doesn’t lessen the blow to my already diminished self esteem. Speaking of self esteem, Jon Lester was on a roll last night. I’m not a big fan of Lester, but I was watching the box score thinking to myself how much easier this post would be if he completed the no hit bid. Nonetheless, with two outs in the seventh, Hunter Pence hit 1-2 pitch over the wall that Trump is going to build to keep the illegal Mexicans out to break up Lester’s no-no. “No no” is exactly what Trump plans to say to any Mexican caught trying to scale his new wall. Rumor has it that Jorge Cantu caught Pence’s home run ball and threw it back over the wall in disgust. Then he and Yovani Gallardo put on sombreros and cracked open some cervazas. Lester went the distance giving up just three hits and the one run. He struck out four and walked two throwing just 102 pitches…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At Stephen Strasburg‘s summer DL rental, the driveway is an inverted W and he timeshares with Ryan Zimmerman.  The Nationals said Strasburg’s elbow issue is not structural.  Yeah, it’s deconstructed like a Cobb salad at some overpriced restaurant.  I’m sure Strasburg is totally fine and it’s completely coincidental that he has a 10.19 ERA in August.  Totally unrelated, guys and five girl readers, totally unrelated.  Strasburg feels like the kind of pitcher that we can never rely on for more than 150 IP.  In five years, he’s thrown 200+ IP once and he’s 28 years old.  Oh, and ‘member how Strasburg was supposed to bounce back this year?  He currently has the worst ERA of his career.  Yeah, great.  In my fantasy team news, because who doesn’t love someone talking about their fantasy team, Strasburg hit the DL about an hour after my weekly Scout league locked.  The same league where I was in first a week ago before Strasburg went to Coors and Lackey went to the DL.  The same league where I’m now in 2nd.  The same league where I needed Strasburg to start twice this week and Lackey was set to face the Padres.  The same league that ends at the end of August.  The same league that just made me cry.  I need a tissue, you karmic bullies!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was going to lede with Lester the Molester is going to flip the script on the Padres, but I didn’t want the Vatican Policia to flag me. The last thing I need is some little Italian guy going through my trash in the middle of the night. I just had a vision of Grey outside of Giancarlo’s house rummaging through his Salvation Army donation bags looking for his old jock straps. This coming from a guy who tried to get Manny Machado’s birthday bubble gum he tossed at us when Grey proposed a Netflix and chill night. Oh what hijinks we get ourselves into. For the record I wasn’t going to extract the DNA for a Mini Manny Heater, but that’s a hell of an idea, Grey! Now let’s get into the real reason you’re here; Monday Night DK. There’s only 8 games on the docket tonight. I really liked the Dodgers matchups, but unfortunately they had a 9:35 am start time and DK doesn’t even have that game available. A-Gon will probably hit 2 HRs and Kazmir will probably have 15 baserunners and 1 K because I need him to deal in our Scout league. I’m not to thrilled about the offensive matchups tonight as there’s some solid arms taking the bump tonight. The few matchups I do like are through the roof expensive, so I’m going to pay for two top arms and try to jimmy rig the rest, hopefully it comes together. I know we like to pick on the Padres, but after seeing Robby Ray strikeout 13 over 7 innings on Saturday I just can’t pass up on this matchup. Granted, Jon Lester at $12,500 is the most expensive and he’ll probably be highly owned, so it goes without saying he’s not the ideal tourney play. Lester had a couple clunkers going in the All Star break, but he’s been great over his last six starts picking up 4 Ws, 38 Ks to go along with a 2.47 ERA over 36.1 innings. With the Padres offense trailing just Milwaukee for total Ks on the year I’m counting on Lester to hit double digit Ks and he could top 40 points if all goes well tonight.

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 today 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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Twenty-six years after my Lord and Savior, Reggie Jackson, retired from professional baseball to collect cars, full-length fur coats and start a business where you use cocktail franks as cocktail stirrers, I saw a young Mariner by the name of Brad Miller.  To this day, when you Google “Brad Miller sleeper,” you still see archival footage of Grey’s massive excitement — that’s not what she said!  I was jazzed back in 2013 because Miller had hit 20 HRs, stole 11 bases and over .300 between the majors and minors.  Then 2014 and 2015 happened, Miller did nothing, and I retreated into my cubby hole of snack food that I eat out of sight from my Cougar wife.  “I’m snacking on kale, baby doll!”  “Grey, you sound louder than usual.”  I was being amplified due to eating a nacho cheese Bugle.  Finally, this year I was sure not to own Miller anywhere.  So, of course, he breaks out.  Yesterday, Brad Miller went 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 25th homer, 5th homer this week, while hitting .265.  On our 30-day Player Rater, Miller is 5th most valuable for hitters.  The top 4 –> Blackmon, Hamilton, Braun, Betts.  Yeah, pretty good company, like Reggie’s cocktail frank stirrers’ company, The Dog That Stirs The Drink, Inc.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Joe Musgrove shut down the mighty Toronto Blue Jays for the second time, going seven strong innings, allowing just six hits, two runs, a walk and striking out seven for his first major league win. He looked dominant. Like Michael Phelps dominates the pool, or Simone Biles dominates her sport, and all sports, for ever and ever. Simone though. Have you ever seen such dominance? Clearly, ESPN has not. Regardless, Joey Joe Joe now sports a sparkling 1.47 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and 21/2 K/BB ratio though 18.1 innings. Did you miss out on Jameson Taillon, Michael Fulmer, Lucas Giolito or Blake Snell? Well frown no-more, my frowny-faced friend, because Joe Musgrove may just be the best performing of the rookie-nookie bunch, and while everyone is off drafting their fantasy football teams, Musgrove is still available in over half of baseball leagues. Who is this Musgrove character, and what makes him a must-own pitcher, you ask? In 16 games in AA and AAA (85.1 IP), Joe was 7-4 with a 2.74 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 87/10 K/BB rate. Oh yeah. For those of you playing at home, that will help your fantasy team. He also plays for the Houston Astros, a team in dire need of all the help they can get as they make their playoff push. Grey told you told BUY and Joe Musgrove needs to be added in all leagues as soon as you finish reading this…sandwich! Gotcha! Now make like Katie Ledecky and 100m fly to the waiver wire!

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Manny Machado put up his right hand yesterday to measure it against a hand drawing every clubhouse has posted on its wall.  The drawing is of Mark Whiten’s hand that once held four baseballs in it.  Four baseballs for the four homers he hit in one game.  In the Padres’ clubhouse, this hand has been removed because it’s just a not-so-subtle reminder of what will never be.  In the Indians’ clubhouse, the hand is made into a turkey to celebrate the first Thanksgiving.  In the Astros’ clubhouse, the hand has been cut out and fashioned into a t-shirt for Altuve.  Imagine if Donald Trump wins the presidency and throws out a first pitch.  He may never make it to the field, too distracted in the clubhouse by measuring his hands against Whiten.  Yesterday, Machado came a fingernail short of the hand, hitting three homers with seven RBIs.  Now has 25 homers on the year with a .307 average.  Terrific, stupendous, adjective!  What’s more remarkable is he does not have one steal all year.  Almost as crazy, he’s only attempted three.  Did he have a knee transplant this offseason with McCutchen as the donor?  Machado stole 20 bases last year.  To go to none?  Wow, his feet definitely don’t measure up to the Rickey Henderson foot drawings in each clubhouse.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?