Has there been any “sleeper” more hyped this season than Charlie Morton? It seems like we’re constantly being reminded of the spike in velocity, the swing and miss stuff, the combination of swinging strikes, and groundball rate. Knowing all this I was dying to profile Morton and see what all the noise is about. Speaking of Noise, my Pittsburgh scout, and favorite right testicle Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, has a basket full of hot takes on Morton, that mostly consist of different ways to say Charlie Morton sucks. Perhaps Noisey is right, perhaps all the lemmings in the fantasy industry are right. Much like the ATLiens that raised me to be an emotionally well adjusted gangster, I just stay in the middle and drop bombs, mostly in the toilet. I stay regular ladies and gents. Let’s take a closer look at this “new and improved” Charlie Morton, and see if it’s in fact a new recipe, or the same re-packed garbage.

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Is there anything better than baseball on a rainy Saturday afternoon? You can’t do any yard work, you know, because it’s pouring, so you settle into your favorite chair, crack a beer, and you’re whisked away to a place much warmer, and much sunnier. Here I sit, beer in hand, ready to watch this week’s test subject Royals righty Nate Karns vs the first place Baltimore Orioles. The journeymen starter is on his 4th organization in five seasons, and there’s two ways to look at this. Either Karns can’t keep a job, or he’s highly “in-demand” by multiple teams throughout the league. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, never good enough to lock-down a rotation spot, but also good enough to find opportunity year after year. So far Karns has been a good fit in Kansas City, making his 7th start today vs. a surprisingly mediocre Orioles offense, one that ranks in the bottom half of MLB in nearly every offensive category. So the home matchup vs. Baltimore is a good one, even if it’s a first place club he’s facing…. Here’s what I saw on Saturday.

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We all have fears, no matter who you are, no matter what you’ve been through, you’re scared of something. It might be clowns, maybe it’s spiders, perhaps it’s being strapped to a chair Clockwork Orange style, and forced to watch a Ben Stiller movie marathon. Totally a plausible scenario, might I add. While not quite as frightening as any of the aforementioned options, I must admit, I have developed a new fear. And no it’s not the fear of Grey mistaking me for Giancarlo, and having to have him surgically removed from my toilet leg. No, that ain’t it, though I am frightened by that thought. It’s far more topical, and far less titillating. It’s the fear of covering a bad start in my weekly pitching profiles. What fate could be worse than writing up an absolute slugfest? What if the pitcher I pick is chased in less than 3 innings? What if he trips and falls jumping imaginary lines? Shizz happens, right? So to prevent this, I decided to pick out three games, record them, and use the start I like best. In my whitewashed, pre-fab world of pitching, there are no bad starts, only starters I poorly ranked.  So who did I go with? Who was this lucky recipient of my barely readable prose? Well, it just so happens, I decided to go ying to last week’s yang, and cover another young AL East starter, facing the Cubs on Sunday Night baseball. That’s right, this week’s Pitcher Profile is on Yankees righty Luis Severino. Not a bad time to dive into the young flamethrower as he’s hotter than fish grease.

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What you didn’t think I was going to go full homer with my debut pitching profile? I mean, it’s as if you don’t even know me? Suffice it to say we’ve turned the keys to the Top 100 pitching ship from one homer, to another. Truth be told, it was a busy weekend, as I covered for Grey on Friday, recorded the Prospect Podcast on that night with Halp, traveled to New York for Smokey’s 40th birthday, took in the Saturday Yanks vs. O’s game with Smokey and the crew, wrote my Minor League Update, and drove back to Massachusetts Sunday morning. Not to mention I was only tasked with this honor Thursday evening, right after I returned from my oldest son’s first baseball practice of the season. So to say it’s been a hectic few days is an understatement. However, a date for Edurado Rodriguez with the Cubs seemed like a good test for his new found swing and miss tendencies. It should be mentioned, that coming into the game Ed-Rod sported a 33 at bat hitless streak vs righthanded batters. So I was going to be paying extra attention as to how he attacked righties vs lefties, and what sequencing, pitch, etc. was leading to his success. Let’s get into it.

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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:

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Sign says, ‘Don’t stay away, fools,’ cause Cody Bellinger rules!  No?  Okay, go to sleep.  “Go to sleep” is my new favorite thing I say that my Cougar can’t stand.  She’s like, “Why are you excited?”  Rather than saying, “I’m excited because Cody Bellinger was called up,” I say, “Go to sleep.”  Is that bad?  I feel like her reaction is like the step before divorce.  “Baby, we’re good, go to sleep.”  “It’s 4 o’clock on a Tuesday.”  “Yeah, go to sleep.”  And then we’re divorced.  You know who isn’t divorced?  Cody Bellinger!  Okay, I’m talking crazy, but I’m excited, you get it.   In 18 games of Triple-A, he was hitting .343 with five homers and seven steals.  I will now cackle maniacally.  Who is this guy, Justice Eric Ruth Thames but with speed?  I can’t even.  *puts handkerchief to forehead, and faints*  Oh, thank you for catching me in my dream state, Giancarlo.  This is funny (not funny), Bellinger had three homers last year in Triple-A.  Guess how many games?  Oh, three.  Three games!  I wanna project him over five months for 17 HRs, 20 SBs, and .280, but feel like that is too conservative, that’s how crazy I am for him.  Yes, you should absolutely grab him.  Where will he play when Pederson returns from the DL?  Not sure, but worth grabbing him now to see how the Dodgers handle it.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Amir Garrett, or as he’s commonly referred to as, Muslim Mrs. Garrett, took Natalie, Jo, Blair, Tootie and that little white kid, who no one remembers, to school last night.  Muslim Mrs. Garrett was like, “Listen, child, I’m your boss while you’re in this park and I’m going to rule over you with sweet motherly affection, but an iron fist like you get from a male Gulag prisoner.”  Yesterday, he straight dazzled — 7 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 1.83.  MMG is so out of nowhere I feel like we need to start at the beginning.  He was born– Okay, flash forward Lost-style and they’re off the island and Garrett is a former basketball player, so his age isn’t as old as it seems for his development level.  I think because of that he could also sneak up on people.  His control gets wonky at times, and he doesn’t read as a strikeout pitcher, but there he was doing just that last night.  He could surprise some people, but A) Reds and their ballpark. B) Rookie.  C) There’s no C.  To take this back to 80’s sitcoms, there could be some Boners along the way through Growing Pains, but I’d grab him if you feel like Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, or can just handle the risk.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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When did Opening Day for the Padres become a laugher?  Was it when Corey Seager (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) homered off Christian Bethancourt?  You might remember Bethancourt was a catcher last year, but the Padres brought him back this year as a reliever.  If the Padres are going to make every one of their terrible hitters a reliever, their bullpen is going to get crowded.  Maybe that wasn’t the moment it became as cringeworthy as Michael Jackson/Lisa Marie’s romance.  Maybe it was the moment Jhoulys Chacin was pulled after giving up nine earned in 3 1/3 IP.  Considering this was the Padres’ best starter, the game score for their fifth best starter is going to be 38 to 1.  Maybe the moment an 0-162 season became a possibility was when Yasmani Grandal (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) hit his 2nd home run, tying Madison Bumgarner for the major league lead.  Or maybe it was the moment Manuel Margot (1-for-4, 1 run, hitting leadoff) tried to take first base after three balls, because he was facing Kershaw, and no one wants to face Clayton Kershaw (7 IP, 1 ER, 2 baserunners, 8 Ks).  Kershaw must’ve felt like Meatloaf when he mowed down Dan Cortese’s 1999 Rock n Jock team.  Oh, and haven’t even mentioned Joc Pederson (1-for-3, 5 RBIs with his 1st homer, a grand slam).  He never gets any love in the preseason, but I can’t ever (I mean never) move past that he was the first 30/30 guy in the PCL in 80 years.  Kinda wish I owned Pederson in more (any) leagues.  Well, looks like LA now owns San Diego’s Chargers and Chacin.  Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles might be the next beneficiary.  Though, if LA takes San Diego’s navy, it’ll prolly only be used in a West Hollywood musical featuring Village People songs.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Holy Shizz!  I can’t believe Opening Day is already here, it seems like a couple weeks ago I was opening up the 2016 season with Mad Max.  I hope you all had a great off season, but now it’s time to get back into the swing of things and started building that DFS account.  Practically every ace is going today, so I know you’re asking yourself, why Danny Duffy, $16,800?  Although I maybe a little rusty with my picks, I can assure you The Duffman won’t be showing any signs of rust as he’s already in mid May form.  I’m sure you all followed the WBC this year, dude was absolutely lights out grabbing 2 W’s, 8 K’s, and 1 ER in 8 innings of work.  He has a solid matchup versus the Twins and I think he’s stretched out enough to give us a solid 6 innings.  Granted, it’s early so dumping all your money on top arms isn’t the best strategy, so I’m really feeling the mid level guys like Duffy, Kendall Graveman at $11,200 and Jon Gray at $15,200.  Just a quick update on the DFS format.  We’ve changed gears this year and I think you guys are really going to enjoy the format with FantasyDraft Sunday thru Tuesday.  It’s still a two pitcher roster, but you have three IF, three OF and two Utility spots, so the positions don’t matter.  That means no more catchers; Woo Hoo!  There’s still catchers available to roster, but you won’t hear much from me about them.  I’m really excited about the new format as it allows for a lot more flexibility.  Anyways, on to the picks!

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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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