Aw, man, now we’re left with the ominous team updates of “Giancarlo Stanton is not in lineup, no other news available.”  I think I need to have a talk with him.  Maybe I’ll hide in the trunk of his car and get out when he parks in his four-car garage, then go in through the kitchen that’s got the espresso machine on the left; not the kitchen with the soft-serve machine.  What?  I memorized his Cribs episode, I never snuck in his house.  So, times are rough for Giancarlo.  The Marlins score 13 runs and he’s not even playing.  Holy sit!  Giancarlo has the lowest batting average for a qualified hitter.  Things are so bad, the other day he hit the hardest recorded ball in StatCast history, 123.9 MPH, and it was a double play.  Digging through his numbers is a little bit encouraging.  His BABIP is way below his career mark; he’s hitting .192, but could hit .250 the rest of the way.  You don’t get him for average; it’s homers you desire like I desire him.  His ground balls are through the roof.  Not literally, unless we’re talking about roofs of ant farms.  All he’s hitting is fly balls and ground balls.  His line drive rate is poor.  He usually kills fastballs.  So far, he’s a negative on them.  That was his bread and butter, and right now he’s toast.  He’s 26 years old; this should be the prime of his beef.  Instead, he’s been getting a steady diet of sliders.  That’s not real beef!  What I think is going on, he’s dealing with some health issues after his collision with OZUNA, he’s not spitting on sliders and waiting for fastballs.  Then when he gets a fastball, he hits it hard, but gets unlucky.  Can all of this be changed with me appearing mysteriously in his Snuggie?  I’m not sure.  The health is an unknown question mark.  Eventually, he should get luckier and do damage on some fastballs, assuming he’s healthy.  I wouldn’t count him out, but health has been an issue for him in the past.  If I were able to get a tasty offer for someone buying him, I could see letting him be someone else’s problem.  For now, I will wait in his bathroom wearing a shirt that matches his wallpaper, and try to ‘talk’ some encouragement into him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Contrary to what I previously believed, the San Diego chicken is not in fact the mascot for the Padres. That dubious honor goes to “The Swinging Friar”. What he’s swinging, we don’t really know, but we do know he’s swinging…and missing…a lot. In fact, there’s only one other team that is striking out more than the Padres. The numbers are darn near video game level. A really easy video game though, not like World Championship Baseball, that shizz was darn near impossible. Vince Velasquez went for 16, Clayton Kershaw went for 14 (and 9), Cueto went for 11, and Jon Gray got 11 Pads. Multiple other pitchers have K’d 9 Padres in a night as well. It’s ugly. So, tonight we’ve got Noah Syndergaard taking the mound, he of the 12.25 K/9 and 2.51 ERA. The scary thing is, he could be even better, his FIP is sitting at a tidy 1.39 and his xFIP is a wonderful 1.79. *Drool* How do I not own this guy in any leagues this year? Brutal. Things shouldn’t get any worse in Petco Park. I don’t need to blab about how amazing Syndergaard is, but I will. A stat I love to look at is SwStr%, or the % of strikes a batter swings at and misses. Noah’s 15.9% currently leads the league. He’s throwing strikes and guys still can’t touch it. Could be that 97.6 MPH average fastball. I also like a pitcher that can get a batter to chase a bad pitch. Even if they get ahold of it, it’s usually weak contact, so making a guy chase a pitch is a nice skill to have. Well, Syndergaard’s 36.6% O-swing %, or percentage of non-strikes swung at, is 2nd in the league behind only Zack Greinke. That would help explain why he has a soft contact % of 26%, good for 11th in the league. All of this is to say, he’s really, really good and the Padres are really, really bad. This is a no brainer top cash game option of the night, despite the lofty price tag ($12,900). Don’t overthink it and just watch those K’s pile up. Let’s see if we can make our bankrolls pile up with the rest of these picks:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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“Hi, I work in the front office for the Twins and I’m ordering lunch.  I was wondering what you have that’s old that you can give us a discount on.  Can you eat old pork?  Hmm, let’s try it with extra sauce.  John Ryan Murphy briefly converted to Judaism, or so he wrote in 6-point font inside his lined notebook where he talked about murder, but he’s back to the gentile side of things.  I’d also like to know if any of your very old or very young employees want to join our pitching staff.  We can’t pay them in money, but Byung ho Park and Kurt Suzuki often wrestle together, reenacting Foxcatcher, and it’s just fun to be around when that happens.  Gotcha, okay, just send the old pork then!”  Incredibly, the Twins reached into their oh-so-deep pockets, pulled out some lint and decided to call up their top pitching prospect, Jose Berrios.  He’s only been ready for about three years now; crazy to start his clock now when they could’ve held him down in Triple-A for another five years.  Never underestimate the Twins’ frugality.  It’s FRU-JOUL-LAY, it’s Italian!  Here’s what I said previously about him, “A team like the Tigers would’ve promoted Berrios about two years ago.  No fear, John Deere, Berrios is still only 21 years old.  I’ve seen people peg Berrios as having #3 fantasy starter upside, but I see him landing eventually with a barely-2 BB/9 and 9 K/9 from his mid-90s MPH fastball and plus-curve.  That makes him a borderline fantasy ace in the making.  Of course, as a rookie, there will be stretches where he doesn’t look like that, but want a guy that could come on and give you a Shelby Miller in 2015-type year?  Berrios has that potential.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Yes, I’d grab him, yes, in your league too.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

People standing to the side, huddled together.  Faces ashen.  All they could talk about was the moment the Carlos Carrascident happened.  There was nothing anyone could do.  It was as if time slowed down like Keanu was diving away from a Matrixy bullet.  A split second and a heap on the ground, silence.  Terry Francona dressed as a law enforcement officer putting up yellow tape, people wondering if Francona was working a bachelorette party after the game.  Carlos Carrasco is headed to the disabled list with a hamstring strain but needs to have an MRI, which is never what you want to hear about your ace.  Filling in for him will be Trevor Bauer.  Not farfetched to think Bauer could have value in matchups.  Farfetch is also what they call warming up Bauer.  “Why is our bullpen catcher driving to Akron?”  “Friggin’ Bauer.”  As for Carlos Carrasco, that’s the way the Cookie crumbles.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I have no doubt James Joyce would be proud to be mentioned in a Razzball opening, even before his great great nephew Matt Joyce is for this season. What, I shouldn’t assume they’re related? What, I’m showing cultural appropriation? And misogyny? And assuming gender roles that are antiquated according to our day and time?!?! Wow, it really has been a while since I wrote on the Razz. Did we move from wordpress to tumblr? I guess at this point I should reference the book I referenced in the title but I mean, it took James 19 years to actually finish the thing, I ain’t reading that. If you don’t wanna finish it in a reasonable amount of time, I don’t wanna read it. Time is money and all that…speaking of, queue the awkward segue! Let’s talk Brandon Finnegan. When the Cueto trade dropped and the collective dust settled, Finnegan along with John Lamb and Cody Reed were sent to the Reds for some of Cueto’s worst career numbers. Fair trade! But more to the point, B-Fin as I lovingly call him – and will also lovingly call him when he’s straight beefin’ against the Phillies – was considered the prize of said trade and methinks we get to see a glimpse of the why. Other than general expected improvement across the board from the young Phillies team, Brandon shouldn’t be overly matched in his season debut. Though I’d steer clear in cash, Finnegan makes a fine upside K tourney play and at $6,300, he leaves you with plenty of cash to spend up elsewhere, weather permitting (sighs). So to wrap up the opening, don’t read Finnegans Wake, tumblr is full of social justice warriors, and Brandon should have a good day. Use the information that helps you best…and with that we’re off. So let’s get to my Skyline Chili hot takes for this Wednesday DK slate (if Skyline Chili is even hot, I honestly don’t know; it sounds gross)…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Chicago_White_Sox

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…James Fegan, 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 White Sox!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The other day the top 10 for 2016 fantasy baseball was straight sexy like when a model on America’s Next Top Model knows how to smize and booty tooch.   Then, the next day, the top 20 for 2016 fantasy baseball was all the flavors of the Skittles rainbow melted into one giant Skittle that was a color that was not-black even though all colors together should’ve been.  Today, the top 20 catchers for 2016 fantasy baseball is the direct opposite of those wondrous achievements.  This post, here, is, um, catchers.  Lowercase yay.  Most of you know how I feel about catchers.  If you draft a catcher any time before the first 100 picks, you don’t know how I feel about catchers.  Let me freshen up your cocktail with a splash of insight.  I don’t draft top catchers in one catcher leagues.  I Reggie Roby them.  Last year, Posey was the top ranked catcher at the end of year.  Yet, he was only the 8th best 1st baseman, about as valuable as Albert Pujols, who hit only .244.  The best catcher can’t spray aerosol deodorant on the top guy for another position.  The top five catchers last year were Bust Posey, Bri McCann, Eve Gattis, Russ Martin and Sal Perez.  Only one guy was drafted in the top 100.  No one should draft a top catcher because there are no top catchers.  They’re all hot garbage with a side order of gefilte fish, or kapelka as Q-Tip calls it.  Catchers are unreliable to stay healthy; the job is grueling and takes its toll on offensive stats.  There’s not much difference between, say, the tenth best catcher and nothingness.  Last year, Welington Castillo was the tenth best catcher.  He was on waivers for at least half the season.  He was the tenth best catcher with a line of 42/19/57/.237.  Yo, Q, forget kapelka, Welington Castillo makes me vomit.  Also, with this crop of catchers — they’re actually deep in mediocrity.  You can draft the fifth best catcher or the 12th best and they’re tomato-tomato said with a different emphasis.  Because I ignore the top catchers doesn’t mean I’m starting the top 20 catcher list at number twenty-one; some of you might want to know the top catchers.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them draft d’Arnaud.  In two catcher leagues, catchers are a little more valuable, but I’d still prefer to avoid them.  You can see other top 20 lists for 2016 fantasy baseball under 2016 fantasy baseball rankings.  Listed along with these catchers are my 2016 projections for each player and where the tiers begin and end.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s not a great year to be rooting for Milwaukee and it just got worse as the year progressed. GM fired? Check. Big name star traded? Double check. Big name stars hurt? Triple check. Your mama always taught you not to kick someone while they’re down, but your mama didn’t play DFS. What, were you expecting a ‘your mama’ joke? What is this, 1989? I’m sure your mama is nice, just don’t ask me why she wanted me as a job reference on her resume (subtle maternal insults are the best!). But back to beating on the bad teams…Brewers are bad. Since we started off with a beer analogy, let’s keep it rolling and say this is not Milwaukee’s Best. Or maybe it is? I’m a beer snob but haven’t had that beer so I’ll pretend it doesn’t taste like runny pig bile and give you MB lovers the benefit of the doubt. Whichever side makes me insult you less is the side I’m going for, though, let’s make that clear. Choose your own adventure here and let’s move on to why we talk of the Brew Crew being the pew crew: Andrew Cashner. Would I love to attack the Brewers with a safer option? You betcha. Am I ok with taking this chance at a low end price of $6,100? YUP. So tip a few back as you watch the DK points rack up. Or maybe as you tip a few back it just looks like you’re scoring a lot cuz you’re seeing double. Whatevs, just enjoy yourself. Here’s the rest of my PBR takes for this Wednesday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sure there’s roto leagues wrapping up, some final H2H matchups, but the Pitcher Profile isn’t going to help too many owners scout for the remaining 6 days of this season.  We are doing a little more looking ahead!  Progressive scouting is my term for this edition – makes me feel all front-office-y!

So I decided to find another off-the-map “prospect” to break down – Rays maybe long-term long-relief/maybe full-time starter next year, Matt Andriese.  I know what you’re thinking…  Blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!  But what really intrigued me was his AAA numbers this year.  In 12 starts (13 app.), 3-3 with a 2.35 ERA and 69 K in 65 innings.  He did have a 1.15 WHIP, but then in the deeper numbers it’s even more intriguing – 9.55:1.38 K:BB and all with a .344 BABIP, giving him – wait for it – a 1.94 FIP.  Whoa!  Given it’s a pretty small sample, but he’s been decent in 62.2 innings in the Majors as well.  I don’t really remember seeing any of those innings this year in the Majors (and I don’t think I saw him the few Durham Bulls games I’ve been to this year), so I decided to break down his spot start yesterday to see if there’s some deep league sleeper appeal for 2016:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, began yesterday, and Brad Ausmus, the Tigers manager who doesn’t believe in a manger, started atoning for his mistakes, by sending the Tigers closer, Bruce Rondon, home due to a lack of effort.  This sends an interesting message.  I’d guess, with a motorized scooter and knee-bypass surgery, Victor Martinez still wouldn’t be at 100% effort.  Kyle Lobstein and Randy Wolf wouldn’t be at 100% effort with a pitching machine standing next to them as they mimed throwing.  Shoot, I don’t know if Miggy was at 100% effort even in his Triple Crown season.  Also, what does this say about Ausmus?  That he’s managing a team in last place, but he’s coaching at 100% effort?  Wouldn’t he be better off pretending he was at, say, 60% effort?  How about this, “I sent Rondon home because he was at 40% effort.  I lead by example around here, and I demand everyone give 50 to 55% effort, as I do.  What?  You thought I was at 100% effort and we’re in last place?  Please!”  Alex Wilson is the likely replacement closer, maybe Neftali Feliz also sees some saves, but he blew one last night.  Then, in Kansas City, Greg Holland let the entire organization off easy by saying he had a tight elbow and is done for the year.  This saves everyone from calling for Wade Davis to close while berating and belittling Holland worse than a tourist who doesn’t smoke pot and hates windmills.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?