We’re well into the second half of the season now… are you still with us? You haven’t given up yet? Good. Fantasy baseball is a game of stamina, and if you’re still scouring the waiver wire while others are quickly losing interest or preparing for their fantasy football drafts, now is your chance to make a run. Me? I’m still sore after losing Tanaka. Not to mention Tulo walked out on me when I needed him the most. Regardless, I like to think we’re more than just providers of fantasy advice here at Razzball, we’re also a sound piece for all your fantasy frustrations. I always tell my friend(s)– “don’t ask me how I’m doing, ask me how my team is doing”, because more often than not, that is deciding factor for my mood. So today, feel free to sound off in the comments why you’re so upset with your team right now. Why won’t Harper just hit five homers in a week? Why won’t anyone trade with you? Really Stephen Strasburg? Really!? Why did you draft Justin Verlander and why didn’t you draft Jose Abreu? Here’s your chance to let it all out, because god knows your spouse/significant other/barber/sibling/probation officer/mother/cat doesn’t want to hear about your GD fantasy team. Well, I feel your pain my over-the-internet-friend. And I’m listening.

Here’s what happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

I’ve been forced to travel a lot lately. Today’s installment comes to you from the friendly confines of the Denver airport. I just came out of the smoking lounge. People are crazy out here, man. I was excited because I thought all U.S. airports had done away with indoor smoking lounges. I went in, sparked a cig and like 20 people gave me dirty looks until one guy ran over flailing his arms and yelling at me that I was “harshing the whole room’s mellow!” I wasn’t bothering anyone! Whatever. I left. I guess that’s why they got rid of the indoor smoking lounges. People go crazy in there. I feel tingly after being in there for only 30 seconds. Anyway, on to Draftkings!

Today’s bold prediction: The Washington Nationals will be kicking the Rox all over the place today. Not bold enough? It gets bolder. (or Boulder?) Jordan Zimmermann at $8,800 is worthy of starting today. I’m recommending to start a pitcher in Coors Field. And as such, I shall start my obituary as a DFS writer… Yes, I understand how risky Coors is for pitchers and I’m slightly ok with it anyway. Zimmerman has owned the Rockies in his career and he’s not afraid to pitch in Coors. Over the past 3+ seasons, Zimmerman is 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA at Coors Field. He’s sporting his best K rates of his career and the Rockies are cold and injured. Tulowitzki is doubtful for today’s game, and if he’s out I’ll roll out Zimmerman. Cuddyer is out and Arenado and CarGo just came back from injuries and haven’t gotten it going.

I’m also gonna stack Washington hitters today. Which Nats players you ask? If he’s in the starting lineup for the Nats today, I’d stack him. Yep any of em. I don’t care who it is. Name him, I’d stack him. That sounds dirty, but it isn’t. It’s ok. Just do it. If you haven’t stacked yet, today is your day. This one is so luscious. The entire lineup is hot right now. They’re in Coors. Yohan Flande. Yohan Flande? Yohan Flande! That was fun.

Speaking of fun… join a bunch of Razzballers for a friendly 20 team league over at DraftKings. I’ve added to the fun by paying out the top 5. If you’re signing up for the first time, make sure to use our link to sign up. Think of it as voting for your favorite fantasy site! Don’t wanna play with us small timers? Well try the big time tourney with a $20 buy-in for the $100K pot by clicking here. Top prize gets $20K. That could afford you a couple of nights in Paris! I’m sure she could use the publicity at this point, anyway.

We’re gonna need to find ways to afford all those expensive Nats hitters. The DFSBot has been impressively accurate in predicting player values. Make sure you put it to use in your favor and check your starting lineups prior to first pitch. Here’s a few guys I recommend as well:

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?

Manny Machado‘s epitaph: He always found more success throwing a bat at a ball. Better than Salvador Perez’s: Together again! Machado wasn’t just struggling, he was like that friend of yours that not only is having a rotten time at a party, but also sucks the prettiest girls in the room into his sad funk of despair and before long, the girls are like, “I don’t want to go out and get drunk and party and potentially hook up with you. Your friend Manny Machado is too depressed.” The buzz kill friend. Yesterday, Machado went 5-for-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his 8th homer, and fourth homer in his last seven games (skipping the suspension games). About time he listened to your advice, did a body shot off the tummy of the girl that wants to be a physical therapist and cheered up! I don’t own Machado anywhere this year, due to the knee issue coming into the season, but he just turned 22 years old (almost literally; his birthday was Sunday) and I’ll be all over Machado again next year. Of course, if you can acquire him in a trade this year, by all means, which sounds like it was said by Malcolm X’s less militant brother, Bobby X. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you take enough shrooms, you start to dream about how Rick Porcello is from the magical land of Zeranok, where Buehrles and Moyers can cruise 15 MPH below the speed limit. Off shrooms, you just see Zeranok as zero ERA, no K. Yesterday’s 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 0 Ks was solid, great, adjective. Hard to not get excited about a complete game shutout, but I’m gonna try. Heard a lot made of the fact that Porcello only needed 95 pitches to finish off the A’s. That’s wonderful. Somewhere, Greg Maddux smiled, then he tried to go behind the counter at his local post office to show them how they can be more efficient and nearly got arrested. “Can we all just form a two-person line as we wait for Wet Willie’s Wild Slide?” That’s Maddux at a water park with his kids. I hear ya, Greg, when people are grouped together in a party of six in an amusement park line it drives me crazy too. The worst is when they get up to the front and suddenly they have 25 other friends that were with them. Any the hoo! A 95 pitch CG SHO is great IRL (you like how I was illustrating efficiency with acronyms; though this parenthetical defeats that purpose), but Porcello’s efficiency doesn’t do a whole lot for me in fantasy if it comes with no Ks. His K-rate is 5.2 and his walk rate is 2. That’s pretty blehtastic. I’d own him, since he gets the Rays next. He’s not suddenly shooting up to ace status for fantasy. I know, I know, that Porcello is one funghi, but he’s actually pretty close to borderline for 12-team mixed leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, you should be sorry, Ronald Belisario. You have been pretty rough on your owners since stepping into the closer role, testing the limits of SAGNOF and just how much pain a fantasy owner will endure to capture those elusive saves. Belisario was at it again last night and gave up three hits and two runs to the Blue Jays, recording just one out before being removed from the game. In just 12 innings pitched since inheriting the job, Ronny has surrendered 10 ER on 20 hits with three blown saves in in that time. More like RonaldO-No! Hey, a World Cup pun, how topical. In Belisario’s defense, he did manage eight saves during his stay as closer, but that’s more a testament to Manager Robin Ventura sticking with him this long. Well, Ventura has had enough. Alrighty then, Ventura, who’s your closer now? Jake Petricka finished out the game last night and notched his second save of the season. Petricka has a 2.08 ERA and 1.27 WHIP on the year and looks like the most likely choice to take over the closer role. Javy Guerra, Zach Putnam and Daniel Webb could also be names to watch and see chances were the Sox to go to a committee. Whatever the case, Ronald is out. And although he may not apologize for killing your ratios over the past month, you can drop him now, which is definitely something you won’t have to feel sorry about.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I wrote a letter to Dayan Viciedo the other day and promised to sing about him. After hearing this rhyme, I knew I had to take it for me. I couldn’t think of a better way to explain my infatuation because there is life and there is Dayan, at least for this week. Here’s what I’m singing to him:

I’m like Tre, that’s Cuba Gooding
I know I’m good at
Dayan of thirst
Dayan of thirst
Dayan of thirst

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Royals are Daddy Rich from Car Wash or Max Scherzer owed Verlander a favor. “Hey, Scherzer, do me a solid and do a solid on the mound so my Monday start doesn’t look so bad. You feel me? If you do, I got a Ms. Upton to feel you.” Little did Scherzer know that Verlander wasn’t talking about Kate Upton, but about Justin and B.J.’s sister, Misshapen. “Misshapen, your legs are so curvaceous they remind me of the coastline of Africa.” Or maybe Verlander is just spreading something around the clubhouse. Anibal, you better not touch him or I will know it! Scherzer only lost once all of last year at home, which is slightly misleading like I’m saying he is that much better at home. He only lost twice on the road last year and his ERA on the road was almost a run and half lower. Yesterday, it all went to pot — Lincecum, “That’s where I want to go!” — as Scherzer gave up 10 runs in four innings. Leyland was right. Pitchers are like barbecuing pork. You need a lot of indirect smoke to tender up their shoulder and get ‘em right. If this allows a buying opportunity on Scherzer, unlike Verlander, I do think this was a hiccup rather than a long, extended burp. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So if you hadn’t noticed, Nelson Cruz has been occupying the top spot (until yesterday) on our Player Rater for quite a while now. For the season, he’s hitting .303/.374/.636 with 21 home runs, 42 runs, and 55 RBI’s. In other news, what is up is down, and I’ve already made an appointment with the Catholic church to seek what our options are for exorcism. Afterall, this isn’t the only strange thing happening in the year of the Tommy John, aka year of Closermageddon, aka year of the Nelson Cruz. I can only surmise that the fantasy baseball gods are trolling us. How do I know this for sure? Anyone see what Lonnie Chisenhall has done? I rest my case.

Please, blog, may I have some more?