While you’re taking time from your family to read this on this beautiful Fourth of July, I just want to say a few quick thank yous. *intern whispers in my ear* I’m told Thanksgiving is the time for that thanking people crap and the 4th of July is for hot dogs, red, white and blue Jell-o shots and almost losing a finger when a fuse goes off prematurely — that’s what she said! Huh? You know what’s more apple pie (appley-er?) than the 4th of July? A guy that was once lost in the abyss of self-despair and Fruit Loops making good– Wait that’s the intro for Celebrity Fit Club. Okay, better than apple pie is a guy that looks like a stick figure and pitches like Adrian Adonis (in his heyday, obviously), and going into Coors and taming the mountain better than the Red Viper. Zack Greinke threw 8 IP, 1 ER, 11 baserunners and 8 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.66. His peripherals aren’t much worse either — 9.6 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and a 2.72 xFIP. He’s pretty much a top five pitcher. So, on today, when we celebrate flashes of color in the sky and a bunch of drunk white guys signing parchment 238 years ago, let’s raise our fruity, rum-filled concoction and toast Greinke. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

I did some soul-searching math the other day, and I determined that 54 percent of the time, I’m right every time. But that benchmark of psychic-level foresight seems to no longer be reachable in these turbulent times. Although a few recent stumbles have me questioning myself a bit lately, there are some things I do know for sure. Taking a page out of Jimmy Fallon’s playbook, I give you my “True Facts of Truth” for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball Season:

1) Something (Bigger crackdown on P.E.D.’s? Climate change? More tightly wound balls?) has sapped the power out of guys who used to have power. Robinson Cano, Billy Butler, Jedd Gyorko and Evan Longoria are among those who have experienced major power outages.

2) Roughly 32 percent of all adult males get excited when they see Matt Adams rub a bat between his moobs, but only 30 percent will admit to it (Cards’ fans).

3) Something (Bigger crackdown on P.E.D.’s? Climate change? Less tightly wound balls?) and not something else (kids throwing curveballs too early) has made Dr. James Andrews and very busy man and caused carpel tunnel issues for whoever types up the disabled list section of the transactions that run in newspaper sports sections.

4) The “R.A.” in R.A. Dickey stands for “Really Acting”.

5) Guys who were aces heading into the season (Justin Verlander, Matt Cain, Gerrit Cole, Gio Gonzalez, Homer Bailey) are not aces in 2014, and therefore not automatic green lights as two-start pitchers.

6) Guys who were not aces heading into the season (Johnny Cueto, Dallas Keuchel, Phil Hughes, Tim Hudson, Mark Buehrle, Josh Beckett) are pitching like aces and becoming dang near must-starts as two-start pitchers.

7) In cricket, the game of pepper is called “circle jerk.”

8) When in doubt, go with the Stream-O-Nator.

9) If you’re still not sold, look at a dude’s K/BB per game ratio.

10) Ronald Belisario is actually 61 years old.

Maybe you saw something in the list you can use and apply to the rankings below. Or maybe you saw some things that have you questioning the future of the human race. Regardless, let the Two-Startapalooza begin!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It seems like nothing can go wrong for the Blue Jays right now. They’ve won six in a row and eight of their last ten games, and last night rookie Marcus Stroman grabbed his third win in just his second MLB start, pitching six innings, allowing just one run while giving up seven hits, walking two, and striking out seven. Let the Stromania begin! After defeating the Royals last week, Stroman has now given up just two runs in 12 innings, with a 13/2 K/BB ratio. One of Razzball’s top-20 prospects going into 2014, we’ve been mentioning him for a while now. Stroman’s got a mid-nineties fastball, and a filthy slider and cutter in his repertoire. He may have what it takes to hang with the big dogs, and with the way the Jays have been playing he might become a part of something big. (Bring the American League championship back to where it belongs! Canada.) Marcus excelled in the minors this year (35.2 IP, 3.03 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 11.36 K/9) before being called up in early May to serve as bullpen help, where he struggled a bit. However, now that he’s likely to see a considerable look in the rotation all those Ks and Ws and possibly other letters (WHIP? ERA?) could be yours.  He was a BUY this week although he will undoubtedly experience some ups and downs in the perilous AL East, but Marcus has a nice start versus the Twins next week and I’d try to add him in most standard leagues for some serious strikeout upside. And that’s coming from a bonafide Stromaniac.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There was a strange time in history that some may not be aware of. It was a time when Fergie wasn’t a household name and giving her fans dreams of golden showers. It was a time they were all about having a live backing band instead of sampled beats. It was a time when they were earning critical acclaim for what I’ll biasedly – which IS a word, autocorrect; check yo’self! – say was good music. Well, at least in comparison to what everyone thinks of them as now. And then things changed. Is it irony or coincidence they became a household name with a song titled ‘Let’s Get Retarded’? I don’t know, Alanis has effed me up forever on that word. I’ll hand it off to you, dear reader, to discern for me that debate. But back to what we came to talk about…wait, all we’ve talked about is Black Eyed Peas. Hrm…que awkward segue! Well, maybe Erik Bedard has a similar career arc. Drift back with me to 2005-2006 and you had what seemed like an ace in the making. Then 2007 happened and he dropped a beautiful endline: 182 IP, 3.16 ERA, 10.93 K/9 and move to a pitcher friendly park in Safeco as 2008 destination. Everything was pointing up for Bedard’s career. And then injuries and ineptitude hit. The most innings he’s pitched in a season since 2007 is 151 with the Astros last year and I wouldn’t call many of them successful. Fast forward to the now and his season stat line still looks like a mess but there’s some underlying hope for him being useful as he turned in a 3.00 ERA in May. Given the right matchup, you could dare say Erik will having you wanting to Pump It (LOUDER!) and I’ll say the Mariners are just that. The Mariners sport the 5th worst team wOBA against left handed pitching on the year which should be no surprise considering like 90% of the lineup is left-handed. Given he’s the 5th cheapest pitcher on DraftKings today at $6,100, buying in will give you plenty of room to roster an ace like Yu Darvish without breaking your bat bank. And before you say ‘bish u cray’ about this call, the DFSBot is on board, calling him the 10th best pitcher to go today and the 3rd best money differential play with a positive value of 2412 over his going price. But enough about getting Bedard’ed, let’s move on. Here are some more Razzball picks for June 6th…oops, before I go just wanted to let you know I’ll be driving myself to the oblivion that is a family reunion on the Mrs. side so J-FOH has lovingly said he’ll caddy the questions for today. Be nice to him. I don’t wanna come back to find out you were all terrors in the comments section. Now moving on…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I put a poster of David DeJesus up on my bedroom wall. Cougs said to me, “Grey, why do we have a picture of David DeJesus on our bedroom wall?” She was right. It was silly to put DeJesus up on my wall. So I cut out his face, cut out his lips, cut out his eyes and taped it around her face with masking tape, so she could see and talk to me through DeJesus. Then I asked my religious poster-ography if it could please leave my sweet, sweet upside pitchers alone. DeJesus said back to me, “Yes, can you please untape this thing from my head now?” DeJesus spoke to me! Too bad I didn’t do this prior to Yordano Ventura going out and getting rocked (2 2/3 IP, 5 ER) and then complaining after the game of elbow discomfort. Dah! As we know by now, no pitchers get away with elbow discomfort without a DL stint. The MRI will either lead him to a 15-day DL stint or a 12-18 month one. Lowercase yay. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With 11 of the 15 games pegged for the early contests on DraftKings, it’s a weird day to be a DFS baseball player, but a damn proud day to be an American. Thousands of men and women died for our freedom; so first and foremost, honor those brave souls any way you can, because without them, we wouldn’t be “enjoying” the daily grinds and the sweats (amongst many other [more important] things). Quit ogling the X-Men for one second and embrace the real heroes.

Now, back to the unique Memorial Day schedule – for the sake of not wasting research cycles, and in honor of my right to a Sunday Fun Day, this column will focus solely on the nighttime four-game set (i.e. the late games). To stand out in GPPs with such limited selection, it will take some creativity and a diamond in the rough or two, but let’s see what advantages we can find in just eight lineup cards. Of course, in-house tools like Hitter-Tron, Steam-o-Nator, and DFSBot are also here to help too. Oh, and on a random side note – why doesn’t Mike Olt change to #45? Olt 45 – it works every time. Billy Dee would be proud. Someone pass this along to Olt 45 – he can thank me later.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click this link.

The story of Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto is the Tale of Two Reds.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times to have Dusty Baker as a manager. It was the age of the possibility, with two pitchers on the same team going after the Cy Young every year. It was the age of those two hurlers sharing an apartment and duking it out on PlayStation. It was the epoch of mid-90s fastballs, it was the epoch of a Cincinnati team that never made it, it was the season of 2008… It was the season of throwing way too many pitches, but it was the spring of hope …

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If any good can come from Joey Votto going to the DL with a strained quad, at least he didn’t try to play this weekend and have a set back. Well, there’s other good that can come of it. We can be thankful for our own health. Actually, that’s BS, I’d give my quad to have a healthy Votto. I don’t need my quad to type up my fantasy baseball ‘pertness. I got acumen for days! You know what a smart Indian chef uses? Acumen. Take it, Highlights magazine, it’s yours! Fortch, Votto sounds like he should be back in the minimum fifteen days. Here’s hoping, I got hard-hit singles I need hit! In tangentially related news, Reds manager, Bryan Price, said Jay Bruce would return “very, very soon,” then he was activated from the DL. I’d go as far as saying that was very, very, very soon. Bryan Price added “Very, very soon,” I will buy a thesaurus. That’s a very, very good idea! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Saturday, Jon Lester threw a gem: 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 15 Ks. Such a gem that if that were a blood diamond, diplomats from Monrovia would be lined up in the streets of Liberia for a taste of that. If that were an emerald, friends of Dorothy would stand outside of Ricky Martin’s hotel for weeks just for the chance he forgoes the hotel buffet and wants to eat out. If that were a ruby, it would stand outside a Dallas police station to cover any possible conspiracies and add fuel to other conspiracies. Lester has pitched spectacularly so far, and it’s not a product of luck. His 10.7 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 are elite. Those are fantasy ace numbers. His fastball doesn’t have renewed life, if anything he’s lost something on it. What appears to be the biggest difference is he’s almost completely abandoned his changeup and throwing his cutter a bit more. Since he’s always been good for 200 innings and has had huge success before, I’m willing to say he will hold the improvements to his rates and be an extremely reliable starter. Likely in the top 15 for the year. Yeah, he looks damn good. I want some, purdy puhlease. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click this link.

For some reason, I’m cool with the cat-and-mouse game of pitchers hiding sandpaper and pine tar, and I kind of like umpire errors. They’re quirks that are part of the DNA of the game, like grabbing your balls and lighting your teammate’s feet on fire. Do we need new rules for ball grabbing and pyromaniacs with foot fetishes? I didn’t think so.

And while I love home plate collisions as much as the next tobacco-spewing, pot-bellied third base coach, baseball done good by following in the footsteps of the NFL and NBA and addressing concussions.

Please, blog, may I have some more?