harperimage

In 1977, not only was yours truly introduced to this cruel, crazy beautiful world, but so was a place that would sell the coolest of cool gadgets. Who reading this can say that, as a kid, or even an adult, they didn’t go into a Sharper Image to sit in one of their outrageously overpriced, super comfortable leather massage chairs. The display chairs in those showrooms saw more action than Jenna Jameson did in the late 90s. The Sharper Image was a great place to kill a good 20 minutes while you wife, girlfriend or other female shopping companion went into the stores you had no desire to see the inside of. It was either Sharper Image or Cinnabon, or both. I used to get yelled at all the time by the store clerks for eating that cinnamon deliciousness while getting a free mechanical rub down.

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The year was 2005 and my buddy kept talking about his fantasy baseball team. I had no idea what he was saying most the time, because I had never played the game before. Actually I had barely watched any baseball at all. I was a jaded strike fan who was as casual as they come with my knowledge of the game. I knew a little about the local teams and that was about it. Any the hoo, he kept going on and on about this Ryan Howard kid until that name was stuck in my head. Fast forward to March of 2006, he talked me into playing with him and “his” friends for fun… and money. I get to the 10th round of the draft and I need a 1B, so I remember the kid that got drilled into my head the year before and I take Ryan Howard with the pick. That year he put up a 104/58/149/0/.313 line and I won that league. Actually I won for lots of reason, I rosterbated before I knew what that was and I streamed like a mofo. I also never gave him a dime, he took my entry out of my winnings, kept some of it for the next season and I played with them for free for the next five seasons. I hearted Howard like Grey hearts Giancarlo. He was my savior that year. I think I drafted Gagne in the 5th and Fatolo in the 4th… I had no idea what I was doing. But I learned the game by doing and picked it up pretty fast, and now you get to see me at least twice a week. If this angers you, then blame occasional commenter the Birdman for me being here. It’s all his fault.

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What are you all doing here today? It’s Mother’s Day… shouldn’t you be getting out of the basement and going to pick up the pizza for her for once! Go put on your fancy sweatpants, you know, the ones without the hot pocket stains, and put on actual shoes. Slippers or flip flops are not okay today. Seriously, try and do something! Did you remember to write her a Dear Mama letter? What about being mothers little helper and taking out the trash or refilling her bourbon? There are lots of things you can do to help out your Mother. I know they like telling you what to do or what not to do, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes. At least you know mama tried and wasn’t just standing in the shadows… I hope. Let’s be nice to her and  just lay off the yo mama jokes for the day? Cool. Oh, that’s right, you are here for fantasy baseball and not just songs and jokes. Yeah I got jokes.

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I’ll be honest, picking a creeper early in the year is not an easy task. We have small sample sizes to work with, players under performing and pitchers very hard to predict. I ask myself every week as I prepare these: what angle can I find to make a call? What is a constant that doesn’t change? Where are my pants? Well, the third question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s like trying to figure out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. The other two are things we always look for, regardless of what point of the season we are at, are park factors, lefty/righty match-ups, Schmotatoness, and batter vs. pitcher history. For example, this week, Brad Miller plays six games and for five of them, he faces right-handers. On the year, he bats .348 against RHP (good thing), but among the five he faces this week, he bats .191 against (not so good), and Hitter-Tron (-$2.5) says he won’t be any good. I’ll pass too. That’s a little snapshot into my process.  This week, I’m going for Schomtatoness and park factors to make my call. Would you like to hear more? Oh c’mon, I’ll give you some Arby’s coupons? Dairy Queen? Fine, then skip to the top 100 and we can fight about that in the comments instead.

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Never once did I think I would be writing about a creeper older than I am, and yet here I am, talking about Torii Hunter. Being the ageless wonder (or is it the wonder of agelessness, I’m not really sure), he still suits up every day and goes out and plays. I was racking my brain for some kind of analogy for the creeper and I found my inspiration from the Paleolithic 80’s flick Quest for Fire, for like this movie, we are just a bunch of uncivilized men searching for a player to catch fire. So why not a Hunter? Haha…get it? Okay, I’ll stop with the bad jokes. Hey, at least I didn’t do Caveman with Ringo Starr. Come to think of it, Hunter could be considered the Twins Ringo. Doesn’t really matter if he’s there or not. Oh well, the moment has passed and now we move on to why we are here…

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Only 15 games into the 2015 season, I asked myself: “Is it too early to compile positional rankings?” Considering most readers love rankings, the answer was a resounding “NO”. However, what was more troubling was the fact that I consistently find myself talking to myself. Allow myself to introduce myself. That was awkward. You should only hear half the sh*t that goes on inside my head, but we’ll leave that exploration into my thoughts for another time…

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Apparently, it was never the elevation in Coors. It was because it was cold in Colorado. Or at least that’s what the Yanks/Tigers game looked like last night while it was played in Arctic temps (granted, a hot day in the Arctic) and snow. Other teams may get some ideas that it’s all about the cold. “Let’s get Howard, Utley, Galvis and Asche on that side of the air conditioner, and the outfield on the other side. Now go straight from the AC to the batter’s box. No, don’t stop at the on-deck circle! You’re dropping to room temp!” Yesterday, David Price gave up 8 ER on 13 baserunners in 2 1/3 IP. That reminded Yankee fans of their teams from the 1950s, or when most of the current roster was teenagers. Obviously, this is just a blip, but if you can buy Price from a panicked owner, I’d consider it, even if it did seem yesterday like Price was Rocky screaming at Mickey to cut him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This week I’m making a little one-week tweak to the Creeper of the Week and going with Creepers because we have something that doesn’t always happen. What is that Big J? Well eager reader, it’s a seven-game Monday-through-Sunday home series for the Rockies. By my count, this will only happen three times this season. The hard part was finding an under-owned player not taken on the Rockies playing everyday, and it’s so barren right now that even the French DJ is over-owned to qualify for this post. Hey there French DJ can you drop me a cut for this creeper post? Very nice, old school, but isn’t that a little too obvious? I get it, you are on the 1’s and 2’s, so the choice is yours. Can I at least get one cut with a baseball name in the title? What’s that? You don’t do requests? Sheesh, that Charlie Blackmon ego is rubbing off on your euro sensibilities. Forget about it, let’s move on to the reason we are here.

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Folks love a large slate. What folks don’t love is a large slate when the starting pitchers in said slate is a Who’s Who of Who?! Between the poor performers and solid guys in bad matchups, it can be tough to pick even one SP to try and trust in your lineup, much less two.

But there’s still a way to find your way to finding your starters, even if there aren’t obvious plays. First, check your weather for potential advantages to help break ties. Lower temperature games will often give SP an advantage and air pressure (higher) and humidity (lower) can provide edge for those arms in more favorable situations. Then check your Vegas odds to look for the lowest number and which team has the best odds of winning.

For Wednesday’s slate, it looks like Jon Niese has the edge with favorable weather conditions, great park factors at home and Vegas has that game pegged low at seven runs, with the Mets a decent favorite.

Have fun using that process to find who you want to start in a considerably ugly 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.

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The title of this post is more indicative of what the fantasy baseball season does to us than to what this player will do for you. How nutty was week 1? I’m loving drafting Adrian Gonzalez in the 4th round of the Razzball Pert’s league, and pissed at myself for not drafting J.D. Martinez anywhere. I really liked J.D. coming into the year and yet got sniped on him every time I was ready to draft him. Same goes for Matt Harvey. I heart you two and will look to trade for you at premium prices if I must. Wait! What? No I won’t. Yes you will. Okay, maybe I will, but sometimes you have to pay a price to get the toys you want. The bills on my Impala can attest to that. Before I move into this week’s creeper, I want to thank all the commenters that came out for the Easter Creeper. What a great kick off to the MLB season…thanks guys. It was a great opener for the baseball season.

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