Hello readers, hope you’re ready for another wonderful write up from The Collector!  Today should be an interesting slate as long as we get the pitcher right.  As my title suggests, I think Michael Pineda at $8,700 is that pitcher.  I’ve talked in the past how he has high strike out upside; besides that, he’s also been very consistent this year if you take the Toronto game out.  He’s looking more and more like the Pineda we all fell in love with during his rookie year.  It also helps he gets to face off against a Trout-less Angels team.  Angels in the Outfield can’t even save this team without Trout.  I expect Pineda to have the best game of the slate, though he might be a little higher owned than I normally like.  Today just focus on picking the guy you like and worry about ownership elsewhere.

Now on to the picks…

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Vince Velasquez will try his best Vaudeville Villain impression on Thursday against the Rockies, flashing more heat than Viktor Vaughn rapping about an armed robbery. At just $7,400 on FanDuel, buying Velasquez is a modern day mugging. I get that he has a 5.98 ERA, but as Viktor Vaughn says, “the roach is never dead.” VV is still rocking a 9.27 K/9 on the season, which he gets from his dominant fastball and his curveball (respect the drop). He’s getting killed by a 21.4% HR/FB rate, and while it hasn’t been purely bad luck, Velasquez is a better pitcher than his results have shown. The Rockies on the road are about league-average, with a .313 wOBA, good for 16th in baseball. They strike out a lot, at 23.8% away from Coors, so VV has major strikeout potential against them. The best part about Velasquez is that everybody else is too afraid to play him, especially since the Rockies have thumped the Phillies three nights in a row. Even if Velasquez has another blow-up start, the strikeouts should buoy him. But if Velasquez can hold it together, he will provide huge numbers at a bargain price.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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True story, I told Cougs that I had the hots for Maria Conchita Alonso, and she was like, “You know the woman who walks her Yorkie off leash in the neighborhood that Ted always tries to hump?”  I answered in the affirmative.  I hate people who have their dogs off leash.  It’s like people who bring their dog into the supermarket.  I love dogs, but I don’t need Arfer Woofruff licking my bottle of Kombucha.  Any hoo!  As you likely figured, the woman with her Yorkie off leash is Maria Conchita Alonso, and she’s no longer hot because she can’t follow the rules!  So, guys and five girl readers, Yonder Alonso has nine homers.  Quite the change from a guy who used to be Hither Alonso.  Okay, Imma let Fangraphs Database finish about launch angle and exit velocity, but Yonder Alonso is the greatest 1st baseman waiver wire pick up right now.  Yonder Alonso had two homers on Saturday and added his ninth on Sunday, and I’d grab him everywhere.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The first Frankencatcher Report came at a pretty ironic time for me. Right before sitting down to work on this report, I checked my lineups and saw that Welington Castillo was placed on the disabled list with tendinitis in his shoulder. Castillo missed Monday’s game with neck spasms, and the assumption was that he would be day-to-day and likely be fine by Wednesday or Thursday, but screw me I guess. So, I had to pick up a catcher before getting started on this. I’ll go over who I picked in some detail below.

Continuing with a trend of the past few years, catcher is not exactly a prominently contributing position in fantasy baseball this season (hence the need for such a handsome Frankencatcher Report). If you don’t get lucky with one of the elite catchers, of which there are very few these days, you are likely going to have to stream the position at some point in the season.

In ESPN leagues, there are only 11 catchers with an ownership percentage of more than 70. The next highest is Russell Martin, at just over 47%. And of those 11, one of them is Gary Sanchez, who has been on the disabled list for a couple weeks and only has 20 at-bats to his name on the season. Here are those 11:

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As the old expression goes, you can count on three things in life, death, taxes, and Mets pitchers ruining your week/month/season with an injury of some sort. This is a slight update on the late 80’s iteration of this expression, death, taxes, and Mets pitchers at a snowstorm. If you’re a Noah Syndergaard owner you might want to hit up Doc’s medicine man, because the mighty righty was skipped in the rotation due to a sore bicep. Apparently curls are for the girls, and the DL too. Seriously how does Bartolo stay healthy eating like Kristie Alley on a bender, while Thor spends his free time living like Schwarzenegger in the beginning of Twins? Nothing makes sense, I’m writing the Notes! Riddle me this, Does that mean Colon was birthed from his poop? Or is it the other way around. Yes, I was an odd child. As for Thor, and his right arm, he’s headed for an MRI today. After first experiencing pain between bullpen sessions, and playing catch. He said he “felt great” playing catch, two things, “who doesn’t feel great playing catch?” and as far as I know “felt great” doesn’t mean I couldn’t lift my arm above my shoulder. But Syndergaard is from Texas and a Viking, so he may speak a different language. Oh, yeah, that’s not a joke. He actually said I “felt great playing catch”, but his bicep “stiffens up when it gets cold”. Funny, mine does the opposite when it gets cold. The worst part is that gem of a comment was followed with “I couldn’t really lift my arm above my shoulder at that point”. However, the Mets and Terry Collins assure us that Thor isn’t hurt. In fact, he showed up to the park ready to pitch! But old cautious Terry pulled the plug, because as he so eloquently put it, “when you are talking about anything that runs into the shoulder to where he changes his delivery and other things happen.” Damn, the man has the vocabulary of Sling Blade! Not going to lie, I’m intrigued about these “other things” happening in Syndergaard’s bicep. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m picturing Clint Eastwood in Escape from Alcatraz, coiffing his hair (gorgeous hair) chipping away with his pickaxe.  I’m seeing Andy Dufresne also beautiful hair and a pickaxe.  Now that I think about it, you don’t need jail cells, just take away all prisoners’ blow dryers.  Any hoo!  Why am I seeing these great prison movies?  Because they are about breakouts.  Breakouts come in different shapes and sizes.  Some would say Cameron Diaz’s complexion is a breakout.  For a baseball breakout:  James Paxton.  Yesterday, Paxton went 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 1.39.  His K/9 and BB/9 are now 10.7 and 1.8, respectively.  That’s about as ace-like as you’re gonna find.  Okay, now for one small step back from the ledge of crazy excited.  In his last start, he did give up five earned in four innings and I don’t think he’s going to avoid all wonkiness, but there’s no one throwing as well as him right now.  Okay, maybe Kershaw and Ervin Santana.  Someone get these guys blow dryers.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greetings and welcome back to the Mike Maher Halfway House for Troubled Fantasy Baseball Owners. There will be cookies and White Russians, and they are mandatory. The season is but a few days away, and there is much to be done if you want to avoid embarrassment, at least in your fantasy leagues. I can’t help you with your daily embarrassments. Or maybe I can. Hit me up on Twitter, and I’ll give it a shot. What’s the worst that could happen?

Anyway, we’re going to talk about a few players and, as you might have guessed, their relative fantasy environments. What does/do fantasy environments mean, you ask? Great question. It means whatever you want it to mean.

Oh, more specifically? Well, it can mean a bunch of things. I went over them a few weeks ago after making a hilarious joke about how I envisioned it by putting my bitmoji-face in a picture with Kate Upton. :::pause here for laughter:::.

Now that you’re all good and warmed up, let’s get to some players…

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Before we jump right into this draft recap, let’s go over a little bit of background about the league and its details. This isn’t like the typical RCL 5×5 rotisserie league we often talk about in this space. LOEG is a 10×10 head-to-head keeper league, with 10 teams and four keepers per team from year to year. The league has been around for something like ten years and has been graced by the presence of yours truly for the past five.

Since the categories, scoring, and rules are a little different in this league I’ll break down all the details below. I think it’s important to break this down a bit first because not only do I want to bore you to death, but I want you to have all the information while you are going over the results and making fun of my team in the comments section. Anyway, here we go:

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You’re the monster preparing for your fantasy draft, and I’m Dr. Frankenstein telling you it’s all going to be OKAY.

If you are one of our beloved loyal Razzball readers, you know by now that this site tends to discourage you from taking catchers early in fantasy drafts. The argument is simple: the difference between a top 5 catcher and a 5-15 range catcher is negligible. At other positions, the difference is much more significant. Plus, there are always surprises who end up either getting drafted later or picked up on waivers who put up top 10 catcher numbers.

Some years ago, a younger Grey with what we can only assume was a less prominent mustache wrote about his draft strategy for punting catchers. I’ll wait here while you give it a look. Go ahead. It’s the same website, so I won’t get in trouble. I might even get some kind of bonus for encouraging clicks or something.

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

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I hope you do, because I’m at best, lukewarm (Yay! Starting off exciting).  I’m not sure which I like least, Catchers in Fantasy Baseball or Kickers in Fantasy Football.  Both score points/runs, both are integral to their teams, and both bore the ever-living crap out of me.  But they are a necessary evil (though would anyone have a problem if we did away with fantasy catchers?  I’m sure less would than doing away with kickers) that we have to play with, so while that’s the case, they get rankings.  Now that you’re sufficiently warmed up, let’s get to it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?