“‘I need a bouncy C.  Not a bouncy castle!’  Billy Beane screams into his headset, when an intern interrupts him and his daughter, practicing her guitar, while they are both on a treadmill.  The intern tells Beane that Jesse Hahn has a blister.  The intern turns and it’s Jonah Hill.  Fat Jonah, not “He doesn’t look right skinny” Jonah.   Beane then looks at the camera to establish empathy and says, “Get me Sean Manaea.”  Only he adds three extra syllables to Manaea’s naeame.   And…scene!”  The producer smiles, “That’s a great pitch.  If only Manaea looks that good.  High-five!”  So, Manaea has been called up to start on Friday.  He’s looked downright fantastic thus far.  Upleft fantastic too.  He’s a six-five Samoan, but he doesn’t weight 475 pounds.  He could be the Rookie of the Year; his stuff is that TNT with SVU reruns.  I also think there’s more downside here than, say, Berrios.  He’s had moments where his command leaves him, and he becomes a 5+ IP, 4 ER guy.  His delivery looks to me like he could get wild very easily.  Wide range of possibility here, could be a #1 or could be a #4-5 that you only own in AL-Only leagues.  Of course, I’m taking the flyer in all leagues for the chance he comes up and wows upsides our fantasy heads.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Playing Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) comes with plenty of different strategies. There are punts, pairing aces, stacking at Coors Field, value picks, and using right-handed hitters with a last name that begins with R; I’m looking directly at you Ryan Raburn. There is also another strategy that can quite simply be called, Kershaw or Nah? Usually, the answer is Kershaw. On Tuesday night, Major League Baseball’s ace pitcher faces off against a Miami Marlins lineup that has collectively batted .268 and is near the bottom of the league in runs scored (63). Here’s the thing—the Marlins’ stats are somewhat skewed towards right-handers because they’ve actually done much better against lefties (.339 average). So what gives here? If the Marlins are bashing lefties, should you play Clayton Kershaw? Why, hell yes you should! As a team, the Marlins have only logged 59 at-bats against lefties and none of them were the caliber of Kershaw. So, at $13,800, you’re going to be using a ton of salary, but there is no pitcher that is more consistent than the Dodgers’ lethal lefty. It may take a mid-tier pairing to make a competitive lineup, but as usual, no pitcher has the ceiling—and floor—of Clayton Kershaw.

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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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:

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Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! Sorry, always wanted to pretend I was the announcer for a monster truck rally…wouldn’t want to pretend to be AT one, exactly. Hell, wouldn’t want to be at one for real, either. Feel like I grew up in monster truck rally/WWE territory and have been doing my best to find intelligent life on Earth since and let me tell you, the occurrences have been slim…that excludes current company, of course. I’m sure none of you have an The Rock Fat Head in your room. Or better yet, I’m sure none of you have one that you wish to reveal now save for maybe Tehol but said Fat Head is on the ceiling above his bed and I’ve stopped asking why about these things. Sometimes its best to just go with the flow and that’s what I’m doing with today’s slate. DK is telling me I have a lot of expensive options to choose from but we’re being presented with a nice middle of the road price of $7,800 on Joe Ross today. At this point in the season – the season that is a whole seven days of data worth old – I tend to angle myself towards a very simple approach. That simple approach is: is the player good and if the answer is yes, is his price good? Ross’ price is good so I’m sold. Last year, Ross ticked a lot of the boxes on the stats I love. Good walk rate? At a BB/9 of 2.47, yup. Then you ask, does he K anyone? At an 8.10 K/9 rate, yes he does. Then I ask myself, can he keep the ball in the park? With a 49.8% GB rate, I’d have to say that’s also an affirmative. Ross will be scattered across pretty much every lineup I have today as he comes at a great price and will probably go overlooked on a day where there are so many aces on the mound. So feel free to join me in grabbing a Natty…no, not those Nattys. That’s gross, bro; it’s 2016, there’s better beer than that. Instead, join me on this Joe Ross is boss Natty train and let the money follow you in. And with that, we’re off so here’s my Robosaurus hot takes for this Sunday DK slate…

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s Opening Day, so what better time to start an “I Told You So.”  Sure, any time is a good time for an “I Told You So,” and that doesn’t just hold true for So Taguchi.  Though, that “I Told You So” rings true, as well.  That’s if you did indeed tell So something, and he doesn’t heed your prescience.  Oh, and don’t be scared, Carl Everett, prescience isn’t science from before science.  So (Taguchi), A.J. Pollock has a fractured elbow.  I told you not to draft him.  Of course, I didn’t say he’d fracture his elbow; my Magic Eight Ball isn’t that precise, but I did say to avoid him in drafts.  If you would’ve just followed that, we’d all be okay.  You didn’t listen because you know better, and I’m not talking about that Armenian dishwasher you befriended at the bus stop, Better Vardanyian.  You might know that Better, but you didn’t know better than to draft Pollock.  For you drafters of Pollock, I’ll pour some of my “I Told You So” juice out that I’m marketing with So Taguchi.  By the way, So Taguchi — retired for seven years, but a major part of the Opening Day roundup.  Good for So Taguchi.  And great for us, we got baseball!  And not great for Pollock, he’ll be out for the better part of the year, if not the whole shebang, to quote Ricky Martin.  I grabbed Socrates Brito in one league because he’ll be facing the majority of pitchers (righties).  He was in my top 80 outfielders.  I’m a big fan, though not as a houseguest.  Wearing nothing but a toga on a couch is a little gross.  He has solid speed and some power, think 10 HRs and 22 SBs.  A poor man’s Pollock, I will call him Warsaw Ghetto.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Scout and Razzball teamed up to bring you 12-team mixed league slow drafts, and, when I say slow, I mean that I’ve seen paint dry faster and with more upside.  It’s exactly like our 12-team, mixed Razzball Commenter League drafts (there still might be a few spots), but in this league there’s two catchers, no waivers and 44 rounds.  So, I guess, it’s really not that similar to the RCLs.  No waivers changes everything.   I would never draft two top starters in a regular mixed league, let alone one in a 12 team league, but when you can’t pick up a starter off waivers or stream, it changes the dynamic.  You can’t worry about upside as much as you need to make sure you have innings when a rash of injuries hits.  Same with hitters.  Upside is nice, but at-bats are even nicer when you lose five outfielders to injuries in July.  This kind of leagues makes John Jaso Jingleheimer Schmidt and Tyler Flowers appealing.  Dot dot dot.  Okay, nothing makes Tyler Flowers appealing.  Anyway, here’s my 12-team, mixed league draft recap:

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Ever get an invitation to a party you shouldn’t have been invited to? You know, like that IQ party you got invited to junior year of college, because you dated way outside your social circle, and spent 6 months with the hot girl from the rockets and brain surgery school. You had no idea how you got there, but there you were, with the future rocket scientists and Ben Carsons of America. Hopefully you wore your largest belt buckle to protect you from the brain surgeon’s steely knives, and also steered clear of any conversations involving jet propulsion, or other “rocketry”. So why am I asking you to dig through the painful cobwebbed recesses of your brain? Because I found myself in a similar position just a few short weeks ago, and was hoping to draw upon your ability to feel empathy. I know, look at me treating you like a fully developed well rounded adult. What can I say? I think highly of you. But why this long diatribe, begging for empathy? Because I somehow weaseled my way into the Couch Managers Expert Mock with some rather reputable names. People like Adam Ronis, Mike Gianella, and you know yada, yada, yada, I’m in the draft. Me!….Ralph, the Prospector, or whatever I am, so here’s my team..

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I’m going to take a new approach with this post.  No, not because I’m typing with my elbows, but becooooze I’mmmm ryping–Okay, I am typing with my elbows, but this is also new because I don’t think I’ve ever done a post like this before.  On the heels of beginning to draft my first 12-team mixed league team of the year I realized something. (Sign up for a Commenter League too.)  There’s some players I absolutely would draft and some I just won’t.  It occurred to me when I was about to draft Eric Hosmer at the tail end of the fifth round.  Top guys on the board at the time from my 2016 fantasy baseball rankings were Pujols, Lindor, Hosmer, Maikel, Sano and Kemp.  I already had Giancarlo, so that eliminated Pujols for me, due to the injury risk; I called Miguel Sano overrated; I wouldn’t draft Kemp, per my top 40 outfielders, so that left me with Hosmer, Lindor and Maikel.  I wish I had three picks at that point, but I was on the turn, so I took Lindor and Hosmer, praying that Maikel would make it back to me.  Of course, he didn’t make it back to me.  He didn’t even last five picks later.  Then, I thought deeper about my situation like I was KRS-One, and realized there were dozens of players I could’ve chosen at that point.  Hundreds of players, really.  I mean, only 60 players were off the board.  Couldn’t I have drafted so many other players?  Actually, no, I couldn’t.  Or, I guess better, I wouldn’t.  In my top 100 for 2016 fantasy baseball, there’s 20 players I’m drafting after the top 25 overall and before we’re out of the top 100.  Why after the top 25?  Because in the top 25, I’d take anyone.  Technically, I won’t draft Kershaw where I have him ranked because he’ll be drafted already, but now you’re quibbling, you quibbler!  Anyway, here’s twenty players I’m drafting in the top 100 for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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What goes through J-FOH’s head when he does these ranks? I’m glad you asked. Wait… you didn’t ask? Are you sure? No? Not at all? Sheesh, thanks guys… and four girls. I’m going to be my usually contrarian self and tell you anyway. I’m looking at players from their floor to their ceilings over the next 3-5 years (and beyond). I’m looking at games played over the previous few seasons, projecting risk going forward, and predicting how they will age based on their skill set. A player whose value is heavily dependent upon speed will usually lose that speed going into the 30’s and players with power will usually keep that a little bit longer. There are always guys who defy the odds like David “I never juiced” Ortiz or Adrian Beltre. They are a special breed that should never be slept on ’til the day they retire. There is science, stats, and anecdotal B.S., and then there are “those guys”. Joey Bats and those sweet bat throws would fall into that class for me. Excuse me while I preach for a second. I love bat flips. I think they should be mandatory for any home run after the 7th, 6th for the Yankees. This is a kids game that is suppose to be fun and guys like Mad Bum need to either throw the punch or shut the front door. Any a-hole can stand there shouting with a team behind him. At least Robin Ventura had the cojones to try and fight. (I want that shirt!) Now that we have my major side track out of the way, let’s move down to some words about the list before we get to the list. Note to self, take an english class at the local adult education center next year.

Take on your favorite writers in the 2016 Razzball Commenter Leagues! Join here

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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…Max Rieper, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Kansas City Royals!

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