So I’m taking us down yet another rabbit hole, into yet another JB’s-vanity-project-abyss. Although, since the last time this happened only two weeks ago, Alex Reyes made it into the rotation! He was only “OK”, and we’re not sure if he’ll be starting again for the next turn, but at least we were put on readiness!

Of course since I added this guy in the REL, I’ve been following Brock Stewart pretty intently this season. Maybe it’s because Brock is a common name we share! But really, it has to do with his under-the-radar ascension through the Minors this season. He’s dominated in the minor leagues with a 9+ K-rate, a BB-rate well under 2, including a 2.49 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 50.2 PCL innings, with a 9.59:1.07 K:BB in OKC. Overall, his MiLB numbers are a 1.68 ERA 0.86 WHIP in 20 starts, with 126:18 K:BB in 118 innings. And yet, no one seems to care about this guy since they want Jose De Leon! While many may be surprised Brock got the call yet again to spot start over De Leon with an opening in the rotation, logistically he’s on the 40-man while De Leon isn’t and there’s a roster crunch. But it’s not like Brock isn’t deserving! And he’s got pretty good stuff – 93-95 MPH fastball, hard slider, and a change-up that is oddly WAY slower than the heater at 81ish MPH.

Obviously, at the Major League level, things couldn’t be more of a polar opposite. Going into yesterday afternoon, his ERA was over 11 in two spot starts and one relief appearance. In that 3 innings of relief his last MLB appearance, he walked 4, or what would’ve been 22.2% of all the walks he’s thrown in the minors all year. Someone isn’t suited for the bullpen! And the two awful starts? One was a little unlucky with some BABIP hits @MIL, then a murdering @COL. Way to make a guy who progressed all the way from A-ball pitch in the two worst parks in the NL! So the start this afternoon, hosting the Cubs, is BY FAR his best matchup. Man, trial by fire! With Stewart so far off the radar, I am hoping that being pot committed and writing this open before the first pitch will cause some cosmic karma and help Brock throw a breakthrough game. Here’s how he looked:

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Welcome back Y’all, I hope everyone enjoyed the All-Star break. I don’t know about you, but I dread the break, then it comes and I’m actually thankful for it. I feel revived and ready for the second half push, but part of me is still on break until today. So now it’s time to shake off that DK rust, take a deep whiff of some Nitro and get this biatch started. If you’re a little confused about the lead, let me help clear it up. The two L’s I’m referring to are Jon Lester, $9,400 vs the Mets and Mike Leake, $8,200 vs the Padres. Lester had a rough end to the first half pitching 6 of his last 7 games on the road and he got absolutely hammered for 8 ER at NYM two weeks ago, so why would I roll with him today? He’s a veteran who got some much needed rest over the break. Granted, he threw one inning at Petco last Tuesday but I think he’ll be extremely under owned across the board with J-Fer, Sale and Kluber all going tonight. Lester has been great at home this year with a 2.32 ERA while striking out 62 batters over 54 innings and the Mets are second to last in runs scored vs LHP. Wrigley Field is just what the doctor ordered for Lester’s recent road ails as he’s due to get back on track vs a depleted Mets lineup. Mike Leake turns into Mike Stopper when July 1st rolls around. There’s just something that happens to him when the calendar turns on June 30th as he goes lights out on the mound. It’s time to own him in daily and RCL, at least for the next 3 weeks. He went into the break on a high note striking out 10 in Milwaukee over 7 innings. He’s got a solid matchup at home tonight against the Padres who probably didn’t got into St. Louis at a cushy 4 AM Central this morning. I’m counting on Sneaky Leaky to put up a solid line of at least 8 K’s while he puts it to a weary San Diego team that’s still in vacation mode.

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. 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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With Tyler Glasnow being called up, let’s go over what we know so far about him.  1) In Triple-A, he had 113 Ks in only 96 IP.  2) He had a 1.78 ERA.  3) There’s no C, since we’re not even lettering these facts.  D) And now we are lettering them, great!  E) Glasnow enters to bagpipes and wears a kilt on the mound.  F) This.  I didn’t get him in one single league!  G) Money.  H) His command in Triple-A was wonky as all get-out — 4.9 BB/9. I) could see some major blowups if he loses command of the strike zone.  J) abba the Hut failed with the Cookie Diet.  K) Glasnow likely won’t pitch an entire season.  L) M, N, O P Q) How many innings? Arrgh) Likely close to 50 IP S)o that’s still into September.  T) for two!  U) The letter U looks like Jon Niese looking down.  V) What a great show!  Remake it, again!  W) Should officially change its name to Dubya. X) Marks that one spot where the two lines intersect or the entire area of the X?  Y) Cause.  Z) Yes, I’d grab Glasnow in all leagues.  Prospector Ralph even ranked Glasnow number two for all the 2nd half fantasy baseball prospects, so you know shizz is real.  AA) My name is Grey Albright– Oh, we’re done with the lettering.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This Frankencatcher Report was a tough one to write. It began as a piece hailing the return of Evan Gattis and mentioning Blake Swihart as a potential roll-of-the-dice pickup. The Red Sox called Swihart up to get a look in left field when Brock Holt hit the disabled list with what appears to be a pretty serious concussion, as he has now been on the DL for about a month.

But then Swihart ran into a wall.

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We have a compact slate of only ten games today, but there’s a whole lot of lefty action going on, so let’s see who we can expose to cash in on some DK dolla billz. Jon Lester, $11,600 seems like the obvious choice against a weak Philly offense, but he hasn’t been the K machine on the road that he has been at home. At home he’s been beasting out, as opponents are hitting a mere .186 with 55 Ks in 48 IP and on the road they’re hitting .271 with only 14 Ks in 22 IP. Granted it’s a very small sample size, but it is something to think about going into a hitters park. I may not be feeling Lester today, but I am One Hunnit on a Cubbies stack vs lefty Adam Morgan. Steven Matz, is another LH stud going tonight against Pit and as good as he’s been I’m hesitant endorsing him as well because of the matchup. Pit has been swinging it against LHP, ranking in the top 5 at a .267/.445/.787 clip. With JDong Jr (Jung Ho Kang) back along with Marte, Cutch, Freese and Mercer, I think Matz it’s going to have a rough night. Now that I’ve negged you out on the top two starters for tonight who should you roster?

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. 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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Justin Upton was one of this offseason’s prized free agents, and with good reason. He’s shown the ability to hit for power (.200+ ISO and 26+ homers in each of the last three seasons), get on base (.348 career OBP), and even steal a few bags (18 or more SBs in five out of the last seven seasons). At 28 years old, the odds were pretty good that there were still a few productive seasons left in the tank. The Detroit Tigers pounced on the fresh meat and decided to lavish a six year, $132.75 million contract upon Upton in January. Thus far, the carcass of this Upton has been more rancid than the ones described by Upton Sinclair in his novel The Jungle over a century ago. J-Up has managed to produce a measly .213/.259/.319 batting line with just 3 home runs, 1 stolen base, 22 runs, and 11 RBI through the first two months of the season. Eduardo Nunez and Coco Crisp have hit more homers. Renowned speedsters Buster Posey and Mike Napoli have swiped more bags. Backup catchers David Ross and Bobby Wilson have driven in more runs in a fraction of the at-bats. Umm… what in the blue hell is going on here? Is Upton washed up already? Is there any hope for a turnaround?

Let’s take a look at Upton’s profile to see if there’s hope for a rebound. Here are a few observations:

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A few weeks ago, I was but a wee lad writing my first article for Razzball, and you were reading that article because you were either desperate for catcher advice in your fantasy league or because you just plain hate yourself. I recommended picking up J.T. Realmuto for a lengthy dice roll or Jarrod Saltalamacchia for some short term power, and we all laughed a little on the outside and cried a little on the inside.

Then Realmuto hit .500 over the course of the next week. .500, as in half of his at bats were hits. .500, as in the batting average of some of the top high school baseball prospects (except Realmuto, he hit .595 and had 119 RBI in 42 games. Found those stats by accident while searching for a picture of the Realmuto family crest.). .500, as in—OK, enough. It was only a week.

Realmuto cooled off a bit the next week, but he was still more than solid, especially for a catcher: 8-23, 0.348 BA, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R, SB, .739 OPS. Not too shabby, even if there isn’t a ton of power there. I would like to take this time to point out that my predictions (read: ANALYSIS) for Realmuto, Salty, and Wilson Ramos were all pretty much spot on. Ok, now that we got that out of the way, we can move on.

The free agent catcher wasteland is as bleak as it has ever been. I checked the top 3 free agents by position yesterday in my CBS league, and the top 3 catchers available were: Saltalamacchia, Chris Herrmann, and David Ross. I think most of us would agree that the logical reactions to those three are “old news,” “who?,” and “really?,” respectively. It’s bad, guys. Let’s start with the catchers to stay away from, first.

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In what seemed like a meaningless spring training game, Dee Gordon bunted and it landed 12 feet from home plate.  The announcer said, “Wow, didn’t think that was going to make it out of the batter’s box”  And an investigation began.   Dee Gordon, unaware, of the investigation continued to use exogenous Testosterone and Clostebol, two performance-enhancing substances.  Later in spring, he knocked a single that fell just out of the 2nd baseman’s reach.  That ball, it was said, looked like a 47-footer.  It went 57 feet.  Another shot, sailed just over the pitcher’s mitt, and just before the 2nd base bag.  Gordon raced to 1st, and everyone looked around, “That was a half-a-pede.”  That’s baseball jargon for a 50-footer.  So, Dee Gordon will be out for the next 80 games, call him The Suspended Splinter.  Sure glad I bought him in my Tout Wars draft.  Super!  What the hell was this schmohawk doing?  Who thinks they can possibly get away with using in today’s game?  It’s just stupid.  This is a break for Derek Dietrich; he should be the 2nd baseman on most days.  He has 15-homer pop, and is worth a grab in NL-Only leagues.  Look forward to seeing Gordon return in August when his 28-footers go 28 feet again, and he’s back to a .215 hitter.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called a fantasy baseball season.  I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, forgive me if I recommend starting a hitter vs. Jake Arrieta and pray.  I’m not a woman, I’m not a man, I am Bartolo Colon and you will never understand how I get on these pants.  1, 2, 1, 2, 3.  Yeah.  I was working part-time in a five-and-dime, my boss was Willie McGee.  U got the look.  Jesus, McGee, that look.  Twenty-three positions in a one night stand.  Twenty-three positions in a very deep league fantasy team.  Who’s my short-second-short-1st baseman?  Why do we scream at each other?  This is what it sounds like when David Price’s owners cry.  “Sorry to hear about Chyna,” said the ghost of Farrah Fawcett.  Arrieta, you got the batter’s fly balls all tied up!  Don’t make the outfielders chase you!  Even doves have pride.  Why do we scream at each other when we don’t own Jake Arrieta?  So, Arrieta threw a no-hitter yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 BBs, 6 Ks.  Rather economical pitch count too (119).  Member when we were able to own him last year by drafting him in the 8th round?  Alas, he’s a Sexy M.F. and I would die 4 U.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Chicago_Cubs5

Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…Neil Finnell, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Chicago Cubs!

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