It’s been a rough season for starting pitching in the early going. If you splurged on Clayton Kershaw or pulled the trigger on Noah Syndergaard in your draft, you’re probably sitting pretty on the pitching side at the moment. However, fantasy mainstays Zack Greinke, Chris Archer, Matt Harvey, Adam Wainwright, and Justin Verlander have combined for zero wins, a 7.30 ERA, and a 1.79 WHIP thus far in 2016. Those ratios are as painful to look at as this video is. Ok, maybe not quite that bad, but still pretty awful. Caught somewhere in the middle of all of this madness is Los Angeles Angels ace Garrett Richards. He’s generally not considered to be a #1 or #2 SP in fantasy circles, but a decent #3. Good, but not great K-rate. Middle of the road ratios. Won’t kill you anywhere but probably won’t be a huge asset either. A fallback option. Is this perception of Richards accurate? What can be expected from him this season?

Let’s take a look at a few things that stand out regarding Richards:

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*takes a long inhale*  “You smell that, Roberta?  You, with the yellow-stained armpits and sweatpants, I’m calling you Roberta.  That’s baseball you smell.  In its infinite complexity and finite simplicity.  The foul lines whiter than any Lohan mirror.  The grass?  Manicured better than any Vietnamese lady could.  The object of the game?  Accumulate the most stats so I win my fantasy league.  Simple, yet complex.  Like trying to understand Jeff Foxworthy’s appeal.  From today forward, this is our Independence Day (from all that other shizz in our life).”  The preceding was Bill Pullman visiting the set of Field of Dreams.  To that end, Roberta and your long-flowing sideburns, if the idea is to win saves, that difficulty intensifies when you draft Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson becomes the closer.  That’s funny, because the Astros beat writer the other day said GILES IS THE CLOSER.  Caps his, not mine.  I know how to shut off my caps lock.  So, now that GILES IS THE SETUP MAN, I would GRAB Gregerson in EVERY league, though, if it’s competitive, he’s likely GONE by NOW.  No idea why Giles is NOT the CLOSER.  My GUESS is the Astros went OUT and GOT Giles withOUT their manager, A.J. Hinch, agreeing, so Hinch IS now BEING petulANT.  I’d prefer if he were petulANT with A closER I DO NOT OWN.  Hey, it looks like I’m typing this on a busted Smith-Corona.  Fun.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What goes through J-FOH’s head when he does these ranks? I’m glad you asked. Wait… you didn’t ask? Are you sure? No? Not at all? Sheesh, thanks guys… and four girls. I’m going to be my usually contrarian self and tell you anyway. I’m looking at players from their floor to their ceilings over the next 3-5 years (and beyond). I’m looking at games played over the previous few seasons, projecting risk going forward, and predicting how they will age based on their skill set. A player whose value is heavily dependent upon speed will usually lose that speed going into the 30’s and players with power will usually keep that a little bit longer. There are always guys who defy the odds like David “I never juiced” Ortiz or Adrian Beltre. They are a special breed that should never be slept on ’til the day they retire. There is science, stats, and anecdotal B.S., and then there are “those guys”. Joey Bats and those sweet bat throws would fall into that class for me. Excuse me while I preach for a second. I love bat flips. I think they should be mandatory for any home run after the 7th, 6th for the Yankees. This is a kids game that is suppose to be fun and guys like Mad Bum need to either throw the punch or shut the front door. Any a-hole can stand there shouting with a team behind him. At least Robin Ventura had the cojones to try and fight. (I want that shirt!) Now that we have my major side track out of the way, let’s move down to some words about the list before we get to the list. Note to self, take an english class at the local adult education center next year.

Take on your favorite writers in the 2016 Razzball Commenter Leagues! Join here

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The 2016 fantasy baseball rankings are under that link.  Why are you lifting your computer?  Not literally under that link!  Okay, you’re thick like a CVS receipt folded in half twelve times.  In years past, the top 40 starters is a mix of guys I like and don’t like.  Like a high cholesterol cow, it’s about half and half.  This year, I really had to struggle to find guys that I didn’t want to draft in the top 40 starters.  There are four starters I wouldn’t draft in this top 40.  Four!  In the top 20 outfielders, I kept going back to how there was about eighty outfielders I would draft.  Here, it’s kinda different.  I don’t want to draft so many starters, but there’s a crapton of decent ones.  As with past rankings, my tiers and projections are included for the low, low price of $19.99!  Kidding, they’re free.  The oxygen you need to live while reading them is gonna cost you though.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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As the 2015 MLB regular season concludes, there are still playoff positions to be won and teams to get in. Today will be a day where you really want to stay glued to starting lineups and starting pitchers. It can also be a very interesting day to take full advantage of your opponents if you stay glued, as many DK players might not fully pay attention to who is in and who is out of the lineup. Like usual, you’ll be able to switch out your players at their scheduled start times. The first 14 games all start at the same time, 3pm EST, and the last game starts just an hour and a half later. So you will know everyone who is in the starting lineup at the same time, which is a rarity for a full slate. As of Saturday evening, which I wrote this, that Dodgers’ LHP was scheduled to be the starting pitcher. However, depending on how Saturday night ends between the Division winners, he may not be Sunday’s starting pitcher. Of course the obvious is, if he’s starting, you’re starting him. Check out some of my other DraftKings’ picks below.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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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It’s not a great year to be rooting for Milwaukee and it just got worse as the year progressed. GM fired? Check. Big name star traded? Double check. Big name stars hurt? Triple check. Your mama always taught you not to kick someone while they’re down, but your mama didn’t play DFS. What, were you expecting a ‘your mama’ joke? What is this, 1989? I’m sure your mama is nice, just don’t ask me why she wanted me as a job reference on her resume (subtle maternal insults are the best!). But back to beating on the bad teams…Brewers are bad. Since we started off with a beer analogy, let’s keep it rolling and say this is not Milwaukee’s Best. Or maybe it is? I’m a beer snob but haven’t had that beer so I’ll pretend it doesn’t taste like runny pig bile and give you MB lovers the benefit of the doubt. Whichever side makes me insult you less is the side I’m going for, though, let’s make that clear. Choose your own adventure here and let’s move on to why we talk of the Brew Crew being the pew crew: Andrew Cashner. Would I love to attack the Brewers with a safer option? You betcha. Am I ok with taking this chance at a low end price of $6,100? YUP. So tip a few back as you watch the DK points rack up. Or maybe as you tip a few back it just looks like you’re scoring a lot cuz you’re seeing double. Whatevs, just enjoy yourself. Here’s the rest of my PBR takes for this Wednesday 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.

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All right all of you, hardcore, prematurely balding fantasy baseballers, who are battling in the trenches these final weeks.  You people.  And by “you people,” I mean middle-aged, middle class white men with their mothers on speed dial.  (What?  Google Analytics can tell a lot.)  Let’s do this like Brutus and Tommy Artootis.  (I went to middle school with Tommy Artootis; you probably didn’t know that.)  Yesterday, Kendrys Morales went 4-for-4, 5 runs and three solo home runs (19, 20, 21).  The Morales of the story?  He’s stepping up to help you win because we prayed for this.  Right after praying that Lay’s Gyro-flavored potato chips wins the new flavor contest.  Show of hands:  how many of you care who becomes the next president?  Okay, now how many of you care what flavor wins Lay’s potato chip contest?  Ya’ll bunch of liars if you didn’t vote for Lay’s.  Can we just make a Trump flavored potato chip to combine all my voting into one place?  Morales has done well for my Tout Wars team, but I’m gonna come up a little short like Altuve.  Here’s the current standings, as you can see power was my real bugaboo.  If Miggy had reached 30 homers like he did seemingly every other year, it could’ve made a huge difference.  For now, let’s bask in Rudy’s dominance and hope Lay’s Gyro flavor kicks ass.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The Red Sox have such great talent on paper, but they are not contending with their AL East opponents that have less than impressive starting pitching. However, they are only 7 games behind a Wild Card spot. It seems that teams out of contention always come on strong towards the end, as if they have nothing to lose. Well, they do have nothing to lose, or gain. Seems as though the players are more confident than ever in the batter’s box. Good thing this is DFS! Mookie Betts is having a great season. He didn’t start off so hot as expectations were very high. With only a few weeks left in the regular season, Betts is worthy of being played everyday on DraftKings until he slows down. The Red Sox have hit pretty well against right-handed pitchers this season and today they’ll face a young unproven righty in Baltimore. Check out some of my other picks below.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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?

With my oldest starting kindergarten last week, I was reminded of my days in grade school and the things I looked forward to the most. The first was the recess basketball game. Your level of happiness for the rest of the day depended upon which side of the ball you were on from Bennett School Playground legend Rufus Frazier. This kid could ball, he had the crazy hook shot that was impossible for the other kids to defend. He had the wicked first step and was one of like five kids that didn’t travel once every four dribbles. The second was cafeteria pizza on Friday’s, if you were lucky you got the french bread ones with the extra cheese. But you didn’t complain if you got the Elio’s because it was still better than anything your Mom gave you all week. Amirite? But the thing I looked forward to the most was the daily snack time around 10 o’clock. The quality of your snacks was a direct correlation to how much your parents loved you. Lucky for me my Mom was killing the snack game way back in 88′ and kept it real proper. So for this week’s edition of my never-ending quest to connect my childhood nostalgia with two start pitchers we’re going to be discussing snack foods of the late 80’s and early 90’s. Some of these staples of my childhood are still in stores, while others have gone the way of Kato Kaelin. Wait he’s still around? Ayo, it’s two start pitchers, Week 24….

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You wanna know what’s on my mind?  “If the Nationals wouldn’t have shut down Stephen Strasburg three years ago, would they have been eliminated a day earlier this year?”  No, that’s not on my mind.  “Is there anything to your business idea of selling 500-foot rulers outside the courthouse to people who just got restraining orders?”  That’s been on my mind, but that wasn’t what I was thinking about now.  “What does Strasburg offer us for 2016?”  Yes, that was what I was thinking.  How did you read my mind?  “I’m you.”   Shh, you’re ruining the illusion.  Yesterday, he went 7 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 13 Ks.  Prettttay, pretttay good.  Of course, Effin Stressbird has been an ulcer all year with his 4.30 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and continual injuries that have left him with only 98 1/3 IP.  When digging deeper — and it hurts me soul, Lupe Fiasco, to say this — he doesn’t look bad.  His velocity went up this year to 95.3 MPH from 94.8; his K/9 is down 10.1 to 9.7, but I think that’s just due to his control, and a 9.7 K/9 isn’t bad.  He hasn’t been as sharp with command, but couldn’t that be due to the back problems he’s fighting?  I hate him as much as anyone that is making hashtags by combining MLK and the dipshit in Kentucky, but if I’m looking at his stats with impartial eyes, he doesn’t look terrible for 2016.  For this year, just give me three more effin starts like last night, you Effin Stressbird.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?