Jonathan Papelbon hit the DL and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.  Though, I’m using the archaic definition of nicer.  An adjective which was once described a jerk off who went to Nice, France and hurled insults.  Example, A nicer man would stand on the curb as Gerard Depardieu passed on his bicycle, screaming, “You are the fattest frog I’ve ever seen and I once force fed a frog to make frog foie gras.”  Filling in for Papelbon will be Shawn Kelley and Felipe Rivero.  Rivero is a lefty, so his best hope for saves is a 9th inning that is lefty heavy like my Facebook feed from my Bernie Sanders-supporting friends.  Of course, Dusty said he wouldn’t commit to any one replacement because Dusty’s gonna Dusty.  He cited other possible candidates to close like Blake Treinen and Sammy Solis.  I wonder if Dusty knows that’s not the slugger he once managed in Chicago.  “Sammy Solis, you came up short with McGwire, but I need you to close out this game.  By the way, go easier on the skin whitening.”  That’s Dusty while juggling the toothpick in his mouth.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Splits are a real thing in baseball. Everyone knows that. There are players that get paid to strictly get out left-handed hitters. There are right-handed hitters that blast lefties (I’m looking at you Ryan Raburn), while looking like little leaguers against RHP. On Tuesday night, one name keeps popping up. He’s done quite well this year against righties and lefties, but he’s always been known more for his ability to smash southpaws. Danny Valencia, come on down! Over 155 at-bats, Valencia has 10 home runs; five of those homers have come against lefties. When a lefty is on the mound, Valencia is 16-for-40 (.400) this season. Martin Perez is a serviceable pitcher, but Valencia should make quick work of him on Tuesday night. At $4,000, he’ll be a staple in many of my lineups.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Did I just get something from nothing?  Because Justin Upton is nothing, and I got something yesterday — 2-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (4) and legs (2).  Therefore, hence, Argo the movie, vis-a-vis, I got something from nothing.  Take that all of you non-believers!  And you said he would never come around to be worth that top 25 pick.  I pfft on you.  A big fat pfft.  Come here, accept my pfft.  I got one good game from him out of 57!  Holy schnikeballs, I got only one good game from my 2nd rounder?  Please, neighbor’s cat, don’t confuse me for a ball of yarn as I curl up in a ball and sob.  Please, stop tapping me with your paw.  I am not a ball of yarn.  So, can Upton turn it around?  I believe he can.  At least moderately.  Last year, he hit two homers and .196 in June and .162 in July.  And you still drafted him this year, so apparently you don’t care about two-month slumps.  In 2014, he had a month of .226 with 3 HRs and a month of .169 with 3 HRs.  This year in April, he had a 38% strikeout percentage, 34% in May and 22% in June.  He’s already seeing the ball better.  If he finishes June with 6 homers and .259, then hit .343 in May, would you be shocked?  Well, you shouldn’t be, because those were months he did last year when he also had two sub-.200 months.  Upton gets awful for months; it’s what he does.  He also gets hot for months.  Unfortunately, the slump months came to start the season so it was more pronounced.  Pronounced specifically as:  Gäd, h? s?ks.  And, remember, it takes the Uptons a while to adjust to new leagues.  It took Melvin Upton three years and a first name change to adjust to the NL.  Hopefully, this is the start of something so Justin doesn’t have to resort to being Melvin Upton Jr. Jr.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re about 50 games into the season now meaning things are starting to take shape.  I’m a firm believer that we should #killthewin but I can’t help but be impressed that Chris SaleJake Arrieta and Stephen Strasburg all have 9 wins already.  Arguably more impressive, Arrieta, Strasburg and Josh Tomlin all haven’t lost yet.  Tomlin is 7-0 with a WHIP under 1.  The K’s aren’t great but there’s a ton of value with how he’s pitching right now.  His ERA is sitting at 3.35 but it’s not a fluke.  Here’s what was posted throughout Week 8:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jose Altuve is on pace for 60 homers.  He can’t even reach the cereal in the morning!  If an opposing manager were to ask to see Altuve’s bat, they would crack it open to reveal gumballs because he’s the leader of the lollipop guild.  If the major leagues were to institute a Daffy Duck ‘You Have To Be This Tall’ sign before getting to the batter’s box, Altuve would need his mother to escort him into the batter’s box every time.  That’s assuming she’s tall enough!  If she’s not, who does he get?  His uncle?  Erik Kratz?  If might were height, Jose Altuve would be a giant.  That much is true.  I love that lil’ bugger!  I want a Teddy Ruxpin in the shape of Altuve to cuddle at night.  Last night, he went 4-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his 9th homer, hitting .330.  So, the question is, can he keep it up?  Up is not a word I associate with Altuve, and, no, he can’t keep it up.  No one could keep up this pace.  Of course, he’s still a .315 hitter with an easy 110 runs, 35 steals and 70 RBIs, i.e., a top ten bat.  So, keep it up?  No, not without four phonebooks under him.  Do enough to make you glad you didn’t sell high?  As a French dwarf would say, “Wee!”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Could this finally be Brett Lawrie‘s post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-POST-post hype breakout?  I don’t want to overrate or prorate or ameliorate a past inveterate obturate to eviscerate execrate, try not to hate, love your mate, mediate or flip through cards like Michael Hutchence forth, Sandoval’s girth, Andrelton’s not from this earth, movie remake that never went anywhere was North by North.  Yesterday, Lawrie went 3-for-3 with his third straight game with a homer, and he threw in a steal on Saturday, not a liar like James Frey, in Florida I need my mosquito spray, I have three albums by The Fray, said no one that wasn’t gay, which is totally okay.  I was very high on Lawrie in the preseason, and right now he’s on pace for 20+ HRs, 12-15 SBs and hitting .290.  On its own this would be implausible, laughable, impossible, insoluble in water, but he hit 16 homers last year, is only 26 years old and has easy 15-steal speed, so it’s not INXS of the possible.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“‘I need a bouncy C.  Not a bouncy castle!’  Billy Beane screams into his headset, when an intern interrupts him and his daughter, practicing her guitar, while they are both on a treadmill.  The intern tells Beane that Jesse Hahn has a blister.  The intern turns and it’s Jonah Hill.  Fat Jonah, not “He doesn’t look right skinny” Jonah.   Beane then looks at the camera to establish empathy and says, “Get me Sean Manaea.”  Only he adds three extra syllables to Manaea’s naeame.   And…scene!”  The producer smiles, “That’s a great pitch.  If only Manaea looks that good.  High-five!”  So, Manaea has been called up to start on Friday.  He’s looked downright fantastic thus far.  Upleft fantastic too.  He’s a six-five Samoan, but he doesn’t weight 475 pounds.  He could be the Rookie of the Year; his stuff is that TNT with SVU reruns.  I also think there’s more downside here than, say, Berrios.  He’s had moments where his command leaves him, and he becomes a 5+ IP, 4 ER guy.  His delivery looks to me like he could get wild very easily.  Wide range of possibility here, could be a #1 or could be a #4-5 that you only own in AL-Only leagues.  Of course, I’m taking the flyer in all leagues for the chance he comes up and wows upsides our fantasy heads.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

People standing to the side, huddled together.  Faces ashen.  All they could talk about was the moment the Carlos Carrascident happened.  There was nothing anyone could do.  It was as if time slowed down like Keanu was diving away from a Matrixy bullet.  A split second and a heap on the ground, silence.  Terry Francona dressed as a law enforcement officer putting up yellow tape, people wondering if Francona was working a bachelorette party after the game.  Carlos Carrasco is headed to the disabled list with a hamstring strain but needs to have an MRI, which is never what you want to hear about your ace.  Filling in for him will be Trevor Bauer.  Not farfetched to think Bauer could have value in matchups.  Farfetch is also what they call warming up Bauer.  “Why is our bullpen catcher driving to Akron?”  “Friggin’ Bauer.”  As for Carlos Carrasco, that’s the way the Cookie crumbles.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There’s nothing he can do that can’t be done. Gets on base, multi-hit games and hits home runs. There’s nothing you can say he just knows how to play the game. It’s easy. The Cuban rookie Aledmys Diaz continued his hot start going 2-for-5, with his second home run of the season and for your sake and mine I hope you read those first few sentences in your best Paul McCartney accent. Honestly, everything sounds better in a Beatles accent. Try it! But enough about old rock and/or roll bands no one has ever heard of, Aledmys Diaz is 11-for-27 (.407 AVG) through his first eight games, 5 extra base hits, 8 RBI and 8 runs scored. Al–can I call you Al? No? Aledmys “Don’t Call Me Al” Diaz has also hit safely in all but one game he’s played in. Can I tell you if Diaz is going to be a star (ha-cha-cha!)? No, not exactly. But he’s got a quick bat with good plate discipline and the Cards have invested enough money in the Cuban rookie that he will likely get a chance to show what he can do. Grey told you to BUY and now I’m telling you. Don’t make this more complicated than it has to be, we’re only trying to help.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Platoon. The word fantasy baseball owners hate and the word that makes no sense in its context to anyone outside of baseball. The word that makes you wish death upon all left handed pitchers and maybe all lefties in general. (Don’t worry, they die earlier than us pure breeds anyway. Seriously…look it up!)  (There’s also a tool for all platoon splits.)

And as we wish death to lefties, we think to ourselves… is the platoon a death sentence for your fantasy player in a shallow league? How much does it really even affect your player’s value? Well, let me do the dirty work for you.

In this write up, I show you which teams are expected to see the most lefty pitchers for their 162 game season based on the percentage of likelihood they face a lefty in any given game. It sounds like a lot, but I am the king of taking shortcuts. Instead of looking at projected starting pitchers for all 15 NL teams, I used probabilities (based on % lefties in a given teams’ rotation), to identify which platooners might be spending the most and least times on the bench.

Now if your head isn’t spinning by now, then I failed at my job. Take a look for yourself and hopefully it makes more sense:

Please, blog, may I have some more?