After blowing his fifth save Thursday night, giving up three walks and two runs in the ninth, John Axford has now blown four save chances in his past five appearances. Colorado Rockies Manager Walt Weiss said Friday that John Axford would be removed from the closer role. But from the looks of the quote, it sounds like Axford could potentially gain the job back, especially if the replacement candidates don’t prove to be worthy. Rafael Betancourt, Tommy Kahnle and Justin Miller are the three possibly unworthy candidates, and names you should consider adding if you are searching for saves. Rafael Betancourt would seem like the obvious choice if not for his 4.88 ERA. He does have that much sought after closer-experience, though. Kahnle, on the other hand, is rocking a much nicer 2.96 ERA, and a 1.80 ERA for the month of July and seems like a more suitable candidate. Justin Miller has the best numbers of the bunch (0.90 ERA, 0.60 WHIP in just 10 IP), but also holds the least experience. The situation will certainly be worth monitoring over the next few days, but one thing is for sure, you probably won’t really be happy owning any one of these guys. However, if you need saves I’d add Betancourt, Kahle and Miller in that order until we see how this shakes out.

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

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Yesterday, Michael Brantley went 4-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs with his 7th homer. One big day for a 2nd rounder is more than Ian Desmond owners can say. Yes, everything’s better when compared to Ian Desmond. “Maw, this spinach is still half-frozen and spinach juice is dripping into my Salisbury steak.” “In some countries, all children have is a 2nd round draft pick of Ian Desmond.” “You’re right, maw, you’re right. I’m an ingrate!” That’s a 34-year-old you after coming up from your mom’s basement for dinner. One of my biggest regrets of this season was not labeling Brantley a Noid and telling you to avoid. I didn’t rank him in the preseason crazy high so you would draft him, but I didn’t outright say, “Look elsewhere, prematurely balding man.” Meh, I guess my regrets could be worse. I mean, look at Lindsay Lohan’s last ten years. If you own Brantley, I think at this point you have to hold tight and either go down with the ship or hope some of his cream rises — mixed metaphor points! If you don’t own Brantley like me, well, whew. I’m empathetic though. Kinda. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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therecord

I’ve been playing fantasy baseball since I was 15 back in 1992. If you have access to a calculator, that should tell you how old I am. Back then we had to gather the stats from newspapers, The Bergen Record to be precise, and compile the standings by hand. We had two guys in the league responsible for this awful task, and I was one of them. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but to look back at it from where we are today with all of the websites and mobile apps we now have that make it so easy, I wonder what fantasy sports will be like in another 20 years. What I’m hoping for is a button that I can press that will instantly taser a player on my team if he does something that I don’t like. Not likely? I didn’t think so, but a guy can dream.

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So here we are, the last week of the season. If you’re playing now, you’re in the money game of your head-to-head league, or you’re in a dog fight to pull ahead in the roto standings. I’ve said this for the last three weeks but, congratulations! You did something right. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say there are a few things you definitely didn’t do, you didn’t draft Justin Verlander, you didn’t draft Buster Posey or Joe Mauer anywhere near the first 5 rounds, you didn’t invest in one of the top 3 closers, and you probably didn’t draft Dominic Brown (Sorry Tehol). They say fantasy championships are made after the draft. Whoever they are? Seriously do you know? I’m just going to guess that if there is a they that writes these cliches, then they know Nick Capozzi. Mostly because he knows everybody in the fantasy industry. I’m also going to assume it’s a secret club that I’m not privy to. You know, like Skull and Bones.  Wow that escalated quickly! Where was I? Oh yeah winning fantasy championships. Well my belief is that the secret to winning in the final week is pitching, and how you use your streams. If you’re in a H2H league with a limited move number than be careful. One must choose wisely. With this in mind I have created a new format for these posts. As I mentioned last week I had the vision of putting my rankings in spreadsheet form and providing a couple of key metrics I felt gave you the readers full transparency into my thought process. Well my vision is reality behold the new and improved two startapalooza. You’ll see that in addition to the Pitcher’s name and opponent, I’ve also provided the pitcher’s handedness, the pitcher’s Home/Road ERA, the opponent’s Home/Road wOBA, and the opponent’s Right/Left wOBA split. These are the numbers I look at most closely when creating my rankings for the week. So why not share them with you? Enjoy, I put some time into this and I believe you’ll find it extra helpful. I hope it also sparks more debate in the comments and gives you guys all the more reason to challenge my tiers. I’ve also made sure that I based my Two-Start roster off of Rudy’s new two start pitcher SON/tool. This way all the information mirrors each other and gives some continuity to the post. Thanks again for reading and I’m looking forward to bringing this format back next season. Go Get’Em!

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With a quarter season of jamming and cramming behind us, it may be time to start taking some serious inventory. No, not a fearless moral inventory, that’s 12-step talk and I ain’t no quitter – just ask my liver. I’m talking about taking an honest look at where your team is good and where it absolutely sucks donkey dongs*. We have enough data behind us now that we know Matt Kemp is actually Milton Bradley in disguise, Billy Butler needs a mansiere (It’s called The Bro!), Jedd Gyorko is more myth than man (and mercifully on the DL), Troy Tulowitzki is really good at baseball, and Nelson Cruz can hit a ball a long way with or without his juice. Now I’m not saying to go and blow up your team and drop Dustin Pedroia  because he has just two more homers than the late Johnny Pesky this year. What your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru is pulling on your coat about here is that it’s time to drop the dead weight wasting away on your bench for some fresh meat that could save your fantasy season. I’ve played this fake game long enough to know that we have about two weeks to go until disgruntled owners completely abandon their teams for fantasy Cricket which cuts down on our trade options, but increases our chances of moving up the leader board. It was around this time last year that I bailed on Josh Rutledge and Jason Heyward for Jean Segura and Dominic Brown. I eventually traded them off for Ian Desmond and Hunter Pence. That worked, and all the cash and glory (and glory holes) were mine. Let’s scour the waiver wire for players owned 50% or less in most leagues and see if we can discover some riches for our bankrupt roster. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

*Donkey dongs is a technical sabermetric term taught at Mathew Berry’s Fantasy Baseball College for the Criminally Insane.

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As spring training takes off, we, the wonderful people of Razzball, thought it would be a good idea to look into some intra-team rivalries.  What positions are a lock?  What positions are being fought over?  What positions will they hire me to fill-in for (second base Blue Jays, I’m looking at you)? Find out as the start of this series will focus on NL East…

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Greetings ya’ll! Tis I yet again, Tehol Beddict, legendary bull-fighter, master class stripper, fantasy sports champion, and the west coasts top male escort 3 years running. Tis true, my name has been associated with much folklore, for I have gone balls deep more often and more ferociously than THIS grand creature. That’s right, click that link, turn the lights down low, turn up the volume and get a clearer picture of what I’m speaking of. But I come to you today, not to boast about my seemingly constant erotic encounters, but to give a little insight on fantasy baseball, though in a strange way they both go together. Ok, so they really don’t. Hopefully that didn’t get many of you “Magic the Gathering” players too excited. Anyway, this week’s session will consist of me comparing some players who have stood out to me all season with some of hip hop’s most famous rappers. I will even include the best single lines of these rapper’s career, so that’s something to get pumped about right? This genius idea was inspired by young Kendrick Lamar’s controversial verse on Big Sean’s new record, Control, where son came in and claimed both the east and west coast throne. Kendrick has the streets talking and this priceless Adolph Hitler response has kept me in tears all night. I’m guessing many of you would prefer me comparing bands like Pearl Jam and Guns and Roses but we’ll save that till Axl Rose dies, which could be as soon as next week. This is just part one and the end will consist of some short blurbs of what else went on this week in fantasy baseball so skip to the bottom if you like. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!? No? Oh well, lets do it.

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The man, the myth, the legend. I speak not of young Xander, he who was blessed to be featured in this article, but of myself, Tehol Beddict, good at many things and great at more. Greetings noble readers! It is you that keeps me cognizant at 4 am, even with an enormous modeling audition tomorrow in Vegas. I’d rather pluck and eat my pet chicken than dissatisfy what few consistent readers I have. That is saying something, for my chicken has been with me now for 7 years, accompanying me on my countless cross country trips and movie shoots. She even attended a recent Kenny Chesney concert with myself and my good buddy Riley Cooper. WHOOPS! Without Beatrice I would be lost, but if I were to lose you readers I would likely go back to the bath salts, possibly eat human flesh, and start writing for footballnation.com again. Those were loathsome times I tell you.

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I know a lot of writers want Beddict gone, but my kind of beef will f%#k up ya grill and not the kind you put franks on. Greetings all!!! Tis I, Tehol, Razzball’s head to head expert, points league expert, fantasy football champion, and the most prestigious male model/fantasy writer in the world. I come to you today even more full of testosterone than usual for I just devoured 2 dozen oysters and injected some moose testosterone. Do you worship the ground Wil Myers walks on? If so you will like this post. If you are obsessed with Twilight, Kristen Stewart, or her character Bella, then you may have stumbled across the wrong article. Quick side-note. How many MF’ing people am I going to meet with dogs named Bella? Or kids for that matter!?!? Yeah, it seemed like a cool name before the books/films caught on like wild fire and now there’s 3.2 million people with Pit bulls named Bella. Don’t be ashamed people. JUST CHANGE IT!! Let’s move on.

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“Yo Jaywrong, I’m really happy for you…Imma let you finish your list. But Grey had one of the best lists of all time! One of the best lists of all time!” -Kayne West (Yes, because Kayne calls me late at night. BELIEVE IT BRO.)

Spoiler Alert! We’re doing things deep league style, keeper league style, dynasty style, which ever nomenclature you prefer. Basically, if you hold onto players for more than a year, these are the rankings you’ve been waiting your whole life for. Whole life man. Seriously. Remember, the process for this list is quite different. Unlike Grey, I didn’t type half of it with my mustache. (Mainly because I don’t have one at the moment. Dating! I know, don’t get me started.) Think of it this way. If a draft for a new deep/keeper/dynasty league started today, this is my idea of how it would go, or rather, how I think it would go if the league had anywhere from 12 to 20 owners that were me. That’s a whole lot of Jaywrong ladies. Hey baby, how you doin’, what’s yo name, what’s yo number? (times 12-20.) The actual process involves things like current and remaining production for 2013, projections for 2014-2016, along with future potential, position scarcity, and injury-risk. One things for sure. I believe in the Oxford comma. Wait, what?

Note: I’ve only ranked players who have pitched at least one inning or had one at-bat in their MLB career. Our prospect maven, Scott Evans, has the low down on all those MiLB guys I left out and will have his mid-season list out on Saturday. Go bother him. With hugs and kisses. I’m sure he’s a very handsome man. But I’ve never seen him, so, well, just trust me.

Please, blog, may I have some more?