“‘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?

Playing Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) comes with plenty of different strategies. There are punts, pairing aces, stacking at Coors Field, value picks, and using right-handed hitters with a last name that begins with R; I’m looking directly at you Ryan Raburn. There is also another strategy that can quite simply be called, Kershaw or Nah? Usually, the answer is Kershaw. On Tuesday night, Major League Baseball’s ace pitcher faces off against a Miami Marlins lineup that has collectively batted .268 and is near the bottom of the league in runs scored (63). Here’s the thing—the Marlins’ stats are somewhat skewed towards right-handers because they’ve actually done much better against lefties (.339 average). So what gives here? If the Marlins are bashing lefties, should you play Clayton Kershaw? Why, hell yes you should! As a team, the Marlins have only logged 59 at-bats against lefties and none of them were the caliber of Kershaw. So, at $13,800, you’re going to be using a ton of salary, but there is no pitcher that is more consistent than the Dodgers’ lethal lefty. It may take a mid-tier pairing to make a competitive lineup, but as usual, no pitcher has the ceiling—and floor—of Clayton Kershaw.

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?

So I’m watching Raiders of the Lost Ark with my dad and following Tanner Roark strike out 15 Saturday afternoon, and all primed to write my “Raiders of the Lost Roark” pitcher profile. But then I was like, “Ya know what?! I already wrote on Joe Ross and the Nationals don’t need ANY MORE press! I’m not writing two of my first three 2016 profiles on Nats, get outta here!”

Option B: An argument I had with myself the other day: “Is Robbie Ray really that different than Carlos Rodon?” Think about it – both are lefties with mid-90s heat, plus off-speed pitchers, and are near unhittable. But they’re also two of the most frustrating pitchers to own with their control issues. So why would I love Rodon and bank on him figuring it out in my ranks and not have similar optimism for the also young (just turned 24) Ray? Mayyyyyyybe I shouldn’t broadcast to ALL of Razzball Nation my inner monologues… “What was that dream last night about? I think I was taking off my clothes in Miller Park with – – – -” Yeah, bad idea.

With Ray one of my two decent SP in REL, I decided to megalomaniacally (made up word?!) take the pitcher profile to Arizona and break down how Ray looked again the Pirates yesterday afternoon:

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?

I’m fascinated by things that are outside of the box and things that challenge what is considered the “norm”.  A good knuckleballer is a joy to watch.  Trevor Bauer and his pregame routine and training regime is so intriguing.  I wish he’d have some success so people might take it a little more seriously.  Basically, it’s no fun doing things the exact same way every, single time and there’s no way to evolve and learn if we don’t try something new.  In this same vein, we have Hector Santiago, the only pitcher in the major leagues to throw a screwball last year.  He will also probably be the only pitcher to throw one in the majors this season.  This pitch was very popular back in the early days of baseball but has since become almost entirely extinct due to the threat of injury it possess.  I get it, but you’d think if you’re the only pitcher throwing a pitch that funky in MLB, you’d have an advantage.  Well, Mr. Santiago is having himself a year so far in the early going, but I’m not so sure it’s screwball related.  Santiago has raised his K/9 from 8.07 last year to 8.71 so far this year and he’s lowered his BB/9 from 3.54 to 2.61.  Also of note is the 2 MPH he’s added to his fastball.  Early jumps in fastball velocity are typically a great sign that a pitcher’s early season success might be more than just a fluke.  Another sign that something has changed for Santiago is the change in GB/FB ratio.  Santiago has typically been an extreme flyball pitcher, which wasn’t always wonderful in US Cellular field.  His flyball percentage is still high-ish, but it’s dropped from an average of 48% for his career to 44% this year.  The big change though is in his ground ball percentage which has jumped from his career average of 33% up to 47% so far this year.  That has lead his GB/FB to jump from a career norm of 0.7 to over 1.0.  So, we’ve got a pitcher with increased fastball velocity, with better control and who’s inducing more grounders.  Did I mention he’ll be facing the Mariners where he’ll have the platoon advantage against just about everyone outside of Nelson Cruz?  At $8,400 he’s the perfect compliment to Jose Fernandez for the night slate.

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?

As George Bush Jr. once said, “Fool me once, shame on you, you can’t fool me again because we won’t get fooled again,” then he was joined by Pete Townshend in a duet that made sense at the time, but now seems inconceivable.  GB was right on, and that’s how I initially felt about Matt Moore.  How many times could we be fooled by this guy?  What’s that?  Twelve?  I was asking that rhetorically, I didn’t want a number.  Why did you just say thirteen?  I don’t want a number!  Whether it is twelve, thirteen or one time fooled, it doesn’t *pinkie to mouth* Matt-er.  Yesterday, Moore went 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners with 10 Ks.  He now has a 10.3 K/9 and a 1.5 BB/9.  That walk rate, I mean muah.  That with a 8 K/9 would have me interested.  With a 10+ K/9?  Yes, please and thank you, to get politely excited.  On a related note, not sure how this happened, but I have an abundance of AL East pitchers in different leagues.  Great, terrific, adjective, except when they face New York, Boston and Toronto, which is basically every game.  FMFBBL!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t know where it’s coming from with Jeremy Hazelbaker, so I called Keith Morrison of Dateline to investigate.  He went to St. Louis to investigate and left me this message, “Here, in bucolic St. Louis, all seemed right in the world.  Jeremy had just married his high school sweetheart, and they were on a honeymoon of a lifetime when the unthinkable happened.”  I picked up the phone, because I use an old school answering machine, “Keith, St. Louis isn’t bucolic, and I’m not looking for a suspicious murder scenario.  I want to know who Jeremy Hazelbaker is for fantasy baseball.”  Keith continued, “The neighbors had nothing but nice things to say about the couple.  But they didn’t see the dark side.”  “Keith, yesterday, Hazelbaker went 4-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, and is hitting .526 through a week’s worth of games and hitting 2nd on most days.  Can he continue it?”  “Only that wasn’t pine tar on his bat, it was iron-rich blood.  Coming up after the break–”  So, I don’t know how the Cardinals do this with outfielders every year.  These outfielders that just come out of nowhere to be fantasy relevant; I will call them, The Sons of Ludwick.  Will it continue for Hazelbaker?  It seems highly unlikely.  He profiles as a 5-7 HR, 15-17 SB guy who might hit .245.  But, ya know what, I don’t need to know where it’s coming from or if it will continue to own Hazelbaker, as I now do in a few leagues.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The San Diego Padres just went on a scoring bender at Coors, putting up 32 runs over the past three days. Their scoring barrage comes just two days after throwing up triple zeros for the first three games of the season. In case you missed it, that’s the WORST start to an MLB season ever. Yep, you read that correctly, it’s the WORST ever, like ever ever. Obviously they couldn’t go scoreless all season, but I doubt anyone expected them to average over 10 runs a game, especially after that hideous start. I really hope Matt Kemp & Company enjoyed that offensive explosion, because as of 4PM yesterday, they’re all out of that Rocky Mountain Kush……err…. Air. Just like Hangover 2 and 3, this one is going to hurt quite a bit as today they’re due to come crashing back down to reality in Philly. Taking the bump for the Fightin Phil’s is Aaron Nola, No-La, No-La Ay, rolling, rolling, rolling with Kid N Play now (Ear Worm!). Nola looked sharp against Cincinnati on Wednesday throwing 7 innings, with 8 Ks & 1 ER. With San Diego coming off that Rocky Mountain High and combined with his solid $8,500 price tag, look for Nola to keep it rolling (side note, Kid N Play had some great dance moves that even a white kid from the suburbs could pull off). No-La, No-La Ay can easily be paired with Price or Quintana and still leave you with plenty of cash for those offensive options. I don’t know about the rest of you, but the weather has been wreaking havoc on me in DK! I think that last weeks rainouts are about to push some of those chips back to us today with some solid match-ups.

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?

It feels so good to be back in the DFS saddle, does it not? I don’t know about you, but I’ve been taking it easy this first week. This week has been full of weird start times, random lineup decisions and even a snow out for Pete’s sake! SNOW! With a near full slate today, though, it’s a fine time to jump on in. It’s appropriate there’s a game at Coors today too, since I’m a big Coors stacker. Today will be no different and for those choosing to play the all day or 4 o’clock start time I would like to turn your attention to Jabari Blash. Blash was in the Mariners system for some time and was left exposed to the Rule 5 draft after bashing 32 HRs across two minor league levels last year. The A’s snagged him, traded him to San Diego and now here we are. You may not have heard of Blash, so here’s the 3 second scouting report. Blash can mash. Need more? Well, he doesn’t hit for average and he strikes out a lot, but that power! A little deeper dive shows us a .305 ISO last year in the minors, part of that was in the PCL, but still, the power is legit. Do you know what scores a lot of points in DraftKings games? Home runs, that’s what. Do you know what doesn’t count against batters in the DraftKings games? Strikeouts. Blash in Coors, even for the elevated price tag of $4,000 is worth a shot. Check the lineup and if he’s in, jump all over the somewhat unknown masher and reap the rewards. Let’s see what other picks we can unearth for the Friday slate.

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?

I have no doubt James Joyce would be proud to be mentioned in a Razzball opening, even before his great great nephew Matt Joyce is for this season. What, I shouldn’t assume they’re related? What, I’m showing cultural appropriation? And misogyny? And assuming gender roles that are antiquated according to our day and time?!?! Wow, it really has been a while since I wrote on the Razz. Did we move from wordpress to tumblr? I guess at this point I should reference the book I referenced in the title but I mean, it took James 19 years to actually finish the thing, I ain’t reading that. If you don’t wanna finish it in a reasonable amount of time, I don’t wanna read it. Time is money and all that…speaking of, queue the awkward segue! Let’s talk Brandon Finnegan. When the Cueto trade dropped and the collective dust settled, Finnegan along with John Lamb and Cody Reed were sent to the Reds for some of Cueto’s worst career numbers. Fair trade! But more to the point, B-Fin as I lovingly call him – and will also lovingly call him when he’s straight beefin’ against the Phillies – was considered the prize of said trade and methinks we get to see a glimpse of the why. Other than general expected improvement across the board from the young Phillies team, Brandon shouldn’t be overly matched in his season debut. Though I’d steer clear in cash, Finnegan makes a fine upside K tourney play and at $6,300, he leaves you with plenty of cash to spend up elsewhere, weather permitting (sighs). So to wrap up the opening, don’t read Finnegans Wake, tumblr is full of social justice warriors, and Brandon should have a good day. Use the information that helps you best…and with that we’re off. So let’s get to my Skyline Chili hot takes for this Wednesday DK slate (if Skyline Chili is even hot, I honestly don’t know; it sounds gross)…

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?