Hey, it’s Memorial Day weekend, so I assume most of you aren’t here. I guess I’ll be chatting with some of our playas’ from Europe and that New Zealander Steve. Damn, that came out like I’m hatin’ on Razzballs good buddy Steve. Sorry Steve, we miss you. With this title you might think I’m going to play a bunch of jazz tunes and that would be the most logical place to go, but not in the stream of confusion of my  mind. Of course I started with Dizzy from one of my favorite jazz albums, but then my mind took an odd turn to Herbie Hancock and how this song changed a lot of musical perspectives for me. After absorbing all of that I fell deeper into the funk and the brilliance of the godfather of soul’s backing band (now there is some dancing I want to see come back). Oh, that sweet sweet soul music from the Baby H to the contemporary Charles Bradley and Lee Fields. Now along the way, I had the local LA underground hiphop scene to deliver rare gems like the Breakestra, and speaking of hip-hop, I have to wonder what the world would be like without Herbie Hancock. Now, you might be asking yourself what this has to do with todays creeper or top 100, and all I can say is my mind is a place and I’m letting you step in it for a few. I also know you guys like talking about music so WTFN.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

harperimage

In 1977, not only was yours truly introduced to this cruel, crazy beautiful world, but so was a place that would sell the coolest of cool gadgets. Who reading this can say that, as a kid, or even an adult, they didn’t go into a Sharper Image to sit in one of their outrageously overpriced, super comfortable leather massage chairs. The display chairs in those showrooms saw more action than Jenna Jameson did in the late 90s. The Sharper Image was a great place to kill a good 20 minutes while you wife, girlfriend or other female shopping companion went into the stores you had no desire to see the inside of. It was either Sharper Image or Cinnabon, or both. I used to get yelled at all the time by the store clerks for eating that cinnamon deliciousness while getting a free mechanical rub down.

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I was in Baltimore yesterday, watching AL Cy Young winner Roenis Elias toe the mound for the Mariners. King Felix who? During the game, I was keeping tabs on my DraftKings lineup, which ultimately failed me in the end.

I was texting back and forth with my buddy, who is newer to DFS games. We have seemingly different strategies when it comes to setting our lineups, where I will always pay up for at least one stud pitcher and fine a bargain pitcher with upside for my second slot. He, on the other hand, prefers to find two cheap pitchers with strikeout upside. I explained my reasoning for how I do it. I feel that elite pitchers are the surest bet in fantasy, where even the best hitters get out seven out of 10 times at the plate.

It didn’t work for me yesterday, but you know what they say about trusting the process, right? That’s something I plan on doing, but when I look at the slate today, I get a little sick. There are only six games, but the pitching may be worse today than it has all year long.

Here’s hoping for the best.

Straight to the cash, homie.

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.

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I was the last one. It didn’t matter what it was, my family was not well flush with the monies so I watched as my friends got the latest and greatest toys and game while I had to wait, and wait, and wait to get the same toy/game if I ever got it at all. On the holidays I wouldn’t open presents, we’d go down to the store and look at what I was going to get later, after getting it on layaway.

But don’t think I was any less thankful. Hey, I didn’t know any better and may have been better off in a lot of ways for having to live that way. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. When I finally did get that toy/game, it was almost always passe’, beyond its value already. Everyone else was onto the next so I made do with what I had.

In DFS, there is a similar, less warm and fuzzy things that happens when folks jump on the trending toy. They chase the previous performance and end up overpaying for what has already happened rather than look to see what was going to be the hot sexy item tomorrow.

Recency bias. It was the same thing I wrote about Corey Kluber last week. I relished the fact that I knew folks were going to steer clear because of his 5+ ERA and the fact that, most recently, he had burned them in games. Everything else was screaming that he was due to get his sexy back, but he was fairly low owned when we rostered him last Wednesday.

It’s not always a bad thing to jump aboard a bandwagon. Sometimes they run on pretty well. Kluber followed up last week’s told-you-so special with another beaut. And Bryce Harper’s heater has gone on long enough to be dangerous to the touch.

Still, chances are if you are paying based on yesterday, you’ll miss out on today. Look at everything, disregard yesterday. If your research says he should be good today, then do it, man, put him on the board! But if things aren’t in his favor, think twice and don’t do it just because he did well yesterday.

The same is true for bad performance. If you see that your guy should be good to go for his matchup, but his recent play looks stinky, don’t hesitate, beat the crowd to the performance and reap the rewards.

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.

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I read a great piece this offseason on J.D. Martinez.  He was such an interesting player last year and I was trying to make heads or tails of him.  Was his breakout for real?  Was he to be believed?  Was this a fluke?  Where in the world am I going to draft this guy this year?  In my research of the man, the myth, the J.D. I found an article talking about his failures in Houston and adjustments he made.  You can read it for yourself here.  J.D. talks about how the breakthrough happened when watching film.  Not film of himself mind you, but film of his teammate, Jason Castro.  Next up, he checked out film of Ryan Braun, then Miguel Cabrera and finally Mike Trout.  He noticed how each of their bats stayed in the zone for a much longer time than his did and realized he needed to make this adjustment to succeed.  He worked on it with great success in winter ball, but was cut by Houston during spring training.  The Tigers welcomed him with open arms and the rest is J.D.’s breakout season.

Why am I telling you this and how does it related to DFS?  Well grasshopper, I will tell you.  I am telling you this because you can learn something from J.D.  You can employ this same technique to improve your daily game that J.D. used to tattoo baseballs.  I think one of the best ways to learn how to play this game well is to study those that are more successful at it than you.  Pick a DFS player you see at the top of tournament boards most nights and play them heads up, join the same tournaments as them and study them.  Don’t just look at who they picked, but why they picked them.  If you can’t come up with a good reason why they picked them, dig deeper.  I personally believe this is helpful in all walks of life, but I can guarantee it won’t make you a worse DFS player.  So, give it a whirl and see what you can learn, you might just have your own breakout.

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.

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The year was 2005 and my buddy kept talking about his fantasy baseball team. I had no idea what he was saying most the time, because I had never played the game before. Actually I had barely watched any baseball at all. I was a jaded strike fan who was as casual as they come with my knowledge of the game. I knew a little about the local teams and that was about it. Any the hoo, he kept going on and on about this Ryan Howard kid until that name was stuck in my head. Fast forward to March of 2006, he talked me into playing with him and “his” friends for fun… and money. I get to the 10th round of the draft and I need a 1B, so I remember the kid that got drilled into my head the year before and I take Ryan Howard with the pick. That year he put up a 104/58/149/0/.313 line and I won that league. Actually I won for lots of reason, I rosterbated before I knew what that was and I streamed like a mofo. I also never gave him a dime, he took my entry out of my winnings, kept some of it for the next season and I played with them for free for the next five seasons. I hearted Howard like Grey hearts Giancarlo. He was my savior that year. I think I drafted Gagne in the 5th and Fatolo in the 4th… I had no idea what I was doing. But I learned the game by doing and picked it up pretty fast, and now you get to see me at least twice a week. If this angers you, then blame occasional commenter the Birdman for me being here. It’s all his fault.

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Just like Ol’ Blue Eyes used to say, but replace the lady with baseball players. The MLB season is 6 weeks old, and my DFS expectations have not been met. I’ve been using two very high priced pitchers that are allegedly good, in the majority of my DraftKings entries. I’d say at least 75% of the time I have used two pitchers in the same entry that were in the top five in terms of highest priced. Wednesday I did a 50/50 entry and used Raisel Iglesias and Jose Quintana. When I make quick bold decisions that are borderline head-scratching, I find that I do pretty well. However, using Iglesias and Quintana that day wasn’t just me closing my eyes and seeing where my finger would land. I was intentionally looking for low-priced pitchers and high-priced hitters, and felt that I made educated picks. Iglesias was doing very well in the minors, and Quintana was facing the Brewers. So if you remember, both of these pitchers had stellar performances. Iglesias pitched 8 innings, giving up 1 earned run and had 5 strikeouts. Quintana pitched 7 innings while giving up 1 earned run and had 10 strikeouts. At this point I am leading you to believe I won in that 50/50 entry. However, I still lost. It turned out that all of my pricey hitters fell flat. Thursday, I did another DFS entry where I played Erasmo Ramirez as one of my pitchers and stacked several Rays hitters against Chase Whitley and the Yankees. Again, Ramirez and three of my Rays hitters did very well. I’m not going to tell you today, that I am taking the two least expensive pitchers available, but, just because some of these players are priced much lower than the top tier guys, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider playing them. With that being said, as much as I like to think I am making educated picks, you will need a little luck on your side just like the legend himself, Frank Sinatra.

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.

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What are you all doing here today? It’s Mother’s Day… shouldn’t you be getting out of the basement and going to pick up the pizza for her for once! Go put on your fancy sweatpants, you know, the ones without the hot pocket stains, and put on actual shoes. Slippers or flip flops are not okay today. Seriously, try and do something! Did you remember to write her a Dear Mama letter? What about being mothers little helper and taking out the trash or refilling her bourbon? There are lots of things you can do to help out your Mother. I know they like telling you what to do or what not to do, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes. At least you know mama tried and wasn’t just standing in the shadows… I hope. Let’s be nice to her and  just lay off the yo mama jokes for the day? Cool. Oh, that’s right, you are here for fantasy baseball and not just songs and jokes. Yeah I got jokes.

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If there’s one thing I kill myself doing in DFS it’s talking myself into starting a pitcher against a decent offense and whiff on sticking with targeting the stinkers.

Tuesday, it was talking myself into Andrew Cashner because Vegas had the game at a very low number, with Cashner as a slight favorite. I ignored the data that told me that the Giants weren’t terrible against RHP, especially at home and they certainly didn’t strike out much to boot.

I decided the Brewers data was too early to call, so I didn’t spend up to get Zach Greinke, even though the Brewers had been terrible against RHP so far and struck out plenty to justify any risk of one of the Brew Crew connecting.

Also, I ignored the numbers that were telling me Shelby Miller was a good play against the Phillies, again due to high Ks, low numbers on the road and overall and that Vegas had Miller as a heavy favorite against forgotten Chad Billingsley.

Sometimes you have to look at the numbers, trust your process and do what you have to do. It also helps to lock yourself in a closet after setting your lineups so you don’t do a last minute panic switch that sends you to the poorhouse.

So what about tonight? Despite temptations to roster a personal fave, Chris Sale, on the bump against the Tigers, I am sticking to the data and going with Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole at home against the Reds. The Reds are 23rd vs. RHP this season and 27th on the road. Mix in Cole’s #3 status on the SIERA charts so far and Cole is my pick at $9,500 for my SP1 Wednesday night on DraftKings.

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?

I’ll be honest, picking a creeper early in the year is not an easy task. We have small sample sizes to work with, players under performing and pitchers very hard to predict. I ask myself every week as I prepare these: what angle can I find to make a call? What is a constant that doesn’t change? Where are my pants? Well, the third question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s like trying to figure out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. The other two are things we always look for, regardless of what point of the season we are at, are park factors, lefty/righty match-ups, Schmotatoness, and batter vs. pitcher history. For example, this week, Brad Miller plays six games and for five of them, he faces right-handers. On the year, he bats .348 against RHP (good thing), but among the five he faces this week, he bats .191 against (not so good), and Hitter-Tron (-$2.5) says he won’t be any good. I’ll pass too. That’s a little snapshot into my process.  This week, I’m going for Schomtatoness and park factors to make my call. Would you like to hear more? Oh c’mon, I’ll give you some Arby’s coupons? Dairy Queen? Fine, then skip to the top 100 and we can fight about that in the comments instead.

Please, blog, may I have some more?