There’s numerous ways you can choose to earn funds on Thursday’s FanDuel slate, but one starter stands above the rest. The 23-year-old Astros prodigy David Paulino looks to wreak havoc on the Athletics, a weak lineup that has just a .319 wOBA versus righties. The A’s and their 25% K-rate will look like shook ones against Paulino, who has a 9.15 K/9 and a 2.29 BB/9 in his four starts this year. Paulino is coming off of a six inning outing against the Red Sox where he gave up just one earned run, so it looks like he’s settling in to the big leagues. Avoiding Paulino at just $7,400 will be the start of your ending, so just step to him in your lineups.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Something struck me the other day.  Luckily, not a bus.  No, it was a thought.  Bus-sized thought!  I was looking at Rob Neyer’s Twitter account, and he’s almost completely stopped talking about baseball and it’s all about politics.  It’s like he’s taken “stick to sports” as a directive of what not to do.  Occasionally, I’ll make a joke about Trump, but no more than I joke about being married to a Cougar, being a Jew who thinks he’s black, Mike Napoli’s mom’s breasts, hating C**nt Hurdle or an array of things.  Honestly, I miss baseball Rob Neyer.  His hot takes on politics are fine.  Personally, I agree with his politics, but at a certain point doesn’t he miss baseball?  He was the one person who I read religiously at ESPN.  Might be the last person I’ve ever read at ESPN.  The grand game misses you, buddy, come back from the MSM hot takes.  Any hoo!  Rudy’s title inspired me to talk on that topic, but Joe Ross.  He’s why we’re here.  Yesterday, he went 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners (0 BBs), 12 Ks.  Is it a Mirage or is the Circus, Circus back in town and he’s a Treasure Island of Wynn (I don’t know why I’m in Vegas now.)  His peripherals can go either way.  His 9.7 K/9, 1.7 BB/9 and 3.48 xFIP are gorge, but his velocity is way down.  Down to the point where his Hard Contact is up nearly 10% to just under 40%.  The absolute worst of the worst allow Hard Contact at that rate.  Yesterday was a great sign, and I’d hold or grab him, but I want to see another start before saying he’s back.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve been trying to figure out if I should use a percentage-owned threshold to determine which players I cover in this column, but have come to realize that it’s probably best not to use a hard and fast rule for this. There are just too many different sizes and shapes huddled together under the “deep league” umbrella, and a few differences in rules and roster restrictions can make a huge difference in how deep the player pool goes. I have a 12-team one AL-only league where we have huge rosters, we’re only allowed to add minor leagues at a supplemental draft once a year, and we can never add a player on the DL. The waiver pool is miniscule, consisting mostly of players who are 0-1% owned or less in CBS leagues. I have a couple NL-only leagues, meanwhile, where there are often a handful of 20 – 40% CBS owned players.

One of the reasons I’m mentioning this is because I’ve gotten in the habit of using percentage owned as my go-to way to sort players when perusing the waiver wire, trade possibilities, etc., and I want to make sure I’m not using it as an unnecessary (or even harmful) crutch, especially in my shallower leagues. I feel like in the past, I’ve actually gone to pick up a player in a mixed league and changed my decision at the last minute because it seemed so wrong to be adding a guy who was 8% or 17% or 25% owned in a league where every lineup is packed with 80%-plus owned players. (I guess the deep, ‘only’ league equivalent of this is picking up a 0% owned player… nothing like the boost of confidence it gives you to see that you have a couple guys in your lineup that, according to the internet, basically don’t exist in fantasy baseball).

While ownership percentages can be a good way to sort players, I think paying too much attention to them can be a big mistake, including when it comes to evaluating trade value. If you think a player can help your team or have a gut feeling about a guy, don’t let others’ perceived value of him keep you from pulling the trigger. Now if you can squeeze more out of the other owner by mentioning that you’re taking on lesser-owned players, go for it. And you can feel free to use it to your advantage the other way as well – if you’re trying to move, say, Julio Teheran, who hasn’t looked like he belongs on a fantasy team of any size all season, feel free to mention that he is owned in an absolutely inexplicable 91% of CBS leagues (but don’t include the part about it being inexplicable). With that being said, on to some deep-league names…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here we are in week 8, so you know what time it is: it’s time to take advantage of the apathy of others. It was a rough weekend in the Holt household, as I checked in Sunday afternoon to find that Tajuan Walker, the one guy who’d been healthy and pitching semi-decently on my deepest NL-only team, had randomly hit the DL with a blister issue. Meanwhile, Trevor Cahill, who’d practically been carrying my pitching staff in the same league before he got hurt, was headed for an MRI that gave me the sinking feeling that he wasn’t gonna be pitching again any time soon. After slamming my computer shut and spending about an hour behaving like a 7-year old having a bad round of miniature golf, I needed an attitude adjustment. I went and saw Guardians of the Galaxy, and remembered that if Chris Pratt can go from being a tubby sitcom fifth banana to a universe-saving mega-movie star, I can keep fighting in the world of fantasy baseball until October. Now that I’m looking at the comparison with a clear head, sure, it may make no sense whatsoever, but it inspired me to spend an hour Sunday night scouring my various league waiver wires in an attempt to improve my teams.  By the way, if you missed out on Parks and Rec when it was on the broadcast television, it’s one of the rare network sitcoms of the last decade that’s worth going back and watching, IMHO (has it been so long since anyone used the term “IMHO” that it’s retro now?)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Jose Berrios went 7 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 11 Ks, bringing his two-game ERA to 0.59.  Hi ho the Berrios, snitches!  Here’s what I said previously on Jose Berrios (because this is instructive, and not out of laziness), “In Triple-A, Berrios threw 75 2/3 IP and had a 2.62 ERA with a 9.9 K/9 and a 1.7 BB/9.  That’s Sizzlean that you leave on top of your camel’s head as you gallop through the Sahara heat.  You don’t usually see that kind of sample size — that’s what she said! — in Triple-A.  You know why?  Most major league teams promote guys who are as good as Berrios.  Most teams also don’t tie a player’s paycheck to a string then drag said check right in front of the player’s feet, just out of their reach.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Here’s the kicker.  That was from two years ago!  I’ve loved this guy for a long time — that’s not what she said!  His first two games I’d describe as ‘a little difficult’ to pretty easy.  His next start at Baltimore will be the true test.  If you’re in a competitive league, you need to own him now before he goes out and throws a gem in Balty-more (they call it that, right?).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to Razzball, here is your pitching menu for this morning and afternoon. First off, we have plenty of arms to choose from on the Early Bird Special but that stops serving shortly. I can and will go over the choices on there later if you’d like but for now, I’d like to talk to you about our special for this evening: Jake Odorizzi. For just $8,000, you get a delicious splits difference in that Jake has a 2.87 xFIP and a K-BB% of 20.4% on the year against left-handed bats. Given that the Mariners boast around seven of those in their lineup on a given night, this is by far the most bang for your buck that we have on the menu tonight and if you choose correct sides around it, he might end up being able to feed your whole family for, like, a long, long time. Why am I wearing a tight, sheer tank top? Um, *covers kids’ ears* Razzball is what we call in the industry a ‘Breastaurant’. Woah, don’t talk about my chest like that. It’s only this small because I haven’t landed my big gig in Hollywood yet to pay for the goods! *End Scene* – In all seriousness, Jake looks to be a fine cash game get for a very small slate of pitching on this evening and is probably my SP1 given the price and the ugliness surrounding him. In all seriousness part deux, we’ll be covering a bit of the mid-day/morning slate because I have a bigger window to talk about it. In all seriousness part triple, I tip my cap to all of those who have given their lives for us. Your service is never forgotten. But with that, let’s move on to what we came to do. Here’s my seething hot takes for this Monday’s 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?

As any DFS player knows, the daily grind of fantasy sports can be downright One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest-kind of maddening. When you hit a cold spell that drains your bankroll and has you questioning your sanity (not now, voices in my head!) you may start to think it’s time to get a girlfriend or maybe just try throw a sink through the window. Your humble-but-nonetheless-certifiable Guru hit one of those cold streaks before the break that approached Game of Thrones-winter-is-coming-sized proportions. (Cuckoos Nest and GOT references in the first paragraph?! Genius!)

game-of-thrones-daenerys-dragons-season-3-i16

The bankroll took a big dent and my January in Cancun fund may turn out to be February in Fargo. The cold streak can be attributed to a couple of things: 1) Baseball is completely unpredictable. No sport has more variance – anyone that claims to be an expert may need a weekend with Nurse Ratched; 2) Bad bankroll management. Ouch! I broke my own unwritten-but-about-to-be-written rules about taking care of my green. When it comes to not fudging the finances there are five things I usually do and don’t do. 1) Stay up to date on the weather, injuries and lineups. Nothing is more frustrating than spending big on Jose Abreu then seeing he’s not in the lineup or having stacked the Tigers only to see it starts raining frogs in Detroit in the third inning. 2) Don’t wager more than you can afford to lose. Whether your bankroll is $5 or $5,000, never wager more than 10% on any given night. Despite what Mr. Gekko may say, greed is not good. 3) Don’t chase losses. If you crapped out in the early games don’t try to recoup in the late games. Take your lump for the night and know tomorrow is a new day full of unicorns and rainbows. 4) Avoid multi-entry GPP’s. This is tough when you see a contest that’ll let you turn your $10 into $10,000. The odds of your one entry winning are not good. Those high roller, multi-entry tanks are filled with sharks that’ll be throwing out multiple lineups and running 10 team trains that’ll leave you crying in your Corona. I saw a guy run a 50 team train recently that cashed big for him, but left everyone else busted. He was later found in the trunk of his Caddie with his winnings shoved up his caboose. 5) Don’t play if it doesn’t feel right. Great analysis, Guru. Thanks, disembodied voice that sounds slightly like my ex, Brenda. Sorry you’re still pissed I sold your 1989 Mazda Miata to pay off my debts, but I’m a degenerate gambler and that car sucked. If you can’t get a lineup together that you’re confident in don’t play it – unless you just want to hand me your $5. I’ll gladly accept it.

We have 6 games this afternoon and 9 on the evening slate today at DraftKings with a few aces on the mound and teams to stack – hello Washington, Toronto and Detroit. I’ll be digging deep into the research and convening with my good friends DFSBot,Stream-O-Nator, HitterTron and Islay scotch to find the best matchups to grow the bankroll. If you haven’t given Draftkings a shot yet, today’s the day you get in the game. Just hit the Razzball promo link to get a first time deposit match and come play with the Razzball gang in a 50/50 contest.

Here are some of my top picks and value plays for Wednesday, July 23.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ah yes, David Price.  I like to think of Price as a great pitcher who flies under the radar.  He’s like the Spinal Tap of baseball.  Feel free to call me out on this, I did five minutes of research/thinking in the shower for that simile.  Sure, we all know his name, but how often does he come up when you compare him to his peers: Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Adam Wainwright, and Stephen Strasburg?  Price is looking to dominate in what looks like his last year with the Rays.  If he plays well, I fully expect the Yankees to offer him a $400 million, 10-year contract.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Razzball Nation!  I used today’s title to try and embody the question everyone is having looking at their waiver wires…

Who the hell is this guy?!

Before his ridiculous debut at Safeco, Collin McHugh had pitched less than 50 ML innings with an ERA that resembled an Extenze advertising claim.  Called up to fill in for a DL-bound Corey Scott Feldman, McHugh got a struggling Mariners offense with swiss cheese bats for 12 Ks and no walks in 6.2 for his first win – giving up three singles and no earned.  I love that before the start, Bo Porter said McHugh is a “pitch to contact guy.”  Good thing the Mariners ain’t got no contact right now!

I watched some highlights of the Ks that game and was lukewarm impressed, but McHugh went out and shut down the A’s, who have a pretty solid O these days.  #Moneyball!  So I decided to take a deeper look at his hot start to 2014 and break down what he could offer fantasy owners looking for some SP help:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One of the perks of getting burned by the same player year after year (in this case Cameron Maybin) is that I get to come up with a different pun for a title each season. This one wasn’t my brainchild, though. It comes to us courtesy of Rudy Gamble. He’s not just a stat guy. He’s pretty hilarious, especially on Twitter. Maybin burns me every year because I get sucked in to the youth (he’s still just 27) and the glimpses of upside he still flashes from time to time. Take last year for example, when he came back to the field for what ended up being just a handful of games, but still stole four bases. Maybin was one of my offseason choices for SAGNOF outfielders simply because he still has that 30-40 stolen base potential in his legs. He’ll have to hit and hit well to earn his keep in the crowded San Diego outfield, and health is obviously a major concern, but when he’s on the field he’s still a good steals play. The center fielder will draw the Giants and Diamondbacks this week. Both teams are in the top-10 in baseball this season for steals allowed. Lots of options for steals with some recent injuries so let’s get to it…

Please, blog, may I have some more?