Oh my God, Drew Smyly is more like Smyly Corleone.  Every time you think you’re out, he pulls you right back in.  Fredo, you went against the family, and we can’t have that.  “Smyly, is that you?  Why do you keep calling me?”  That’s Alfredo Griffin getting annoyed with Smyly Corleone.  “I made them offer at a pitch they couldn’t refuse.”  Seriously, stop Smyly Corleone!  So, there’s always one pitcher (sometimes more than one) that befuddles and seduces, seduces and befuddles.  Justin Masterson carried the torch for a while when he was Justin Masterson:  Passive Aggressive Starter.  Now, Drew Smyly seems to be carrying that same damned if you do, damned if you don’t torch.  Yesterday, his line was 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners with 12 Ks.  On the year, his K-rate and walk rate are 10.3 and 2.2.  Those are ace numbers.  Unlike a lot of other big strikeout guys and actual aces, Smyly doesn’t throw very hard and seems to tire after about two starts in a row.  His ERA on the year is 4.75, but that’s absurd, as in I will absurd you while you’re on waivers.  But, ugh, that K-rate, that walk rate, it’s hard for me to resist and if he was dropped in your league, I could see giving him another chance, but I’d be wary of matchups because I just don’t see him overpowering most teams when he’s not working on ten days rest.  He just doesn’t throw hard enough.  I.e., leave the speed gun, take the cannoli.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tommy Joseph continued his early success last night going 2-for-4, with two home runs, and four RBI. I felt it was appropriate to go with the biblical headline because for those in desperate need of a corner infielder, Joseph has been heaven sent. The big game Friday brought his season stats to a .323/.333/.677 triple slash with seven home runs and 12 RBI in just 21 games (65 at bats). All this coming on the heels of Manager Pete Mackanin naming Tommy Boy the starter Friday afternoon over Ryan “I’m Not Sure How Old You Are Anymore, But I Would Have Guessed Older” Howard. Joseph has really turned on the jets in the past week hitting .438 with six runs, 4 homers, and 7 RBI. This isn’t coming completely out of nowhere either. After an abysmal 2015, Tommy was slashing .347/.370/.611 in 100 ABs at AAA this year. The advanced stats are a bit wonky for Joseph at the moment (.333 BABIP, 26.1 K%, .354 ISO), but don’t necessarily suggest Joseph is playing over his head. Regardless, TJ has carved out a nice spot for himself batting clean up for the Phils and I could see his success continuing. Grey told you to BUY, Joseph is available everywhere and is definitely worth grabbing in all leagues where you need a corner infielder with some pop.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Danny Valencia had himself a nice little weekend.  On Friday, he hit two homers, then yesterday he became only the third player to ever have a three-homer game (3-for-5, 5 RBIs) against the Rays (last one was Carlos Delgado in 2003), and only the 2nd player that also stood for the pregame National Anthem.   Valencia grew up Jewish, and, according to Wikipedia, “(Valencia’s) two key hitting coaches growing up were Bob Molinaro, a family friend who is a former major leaguer, and his mother Mindy.”  I didn’t have a Jewish mother, but have plenty of experience being half-Jewish, so I can imagine the guilt trips he got, “Why don’t you marry a nice Jewish girl and stop swinging at balls in the dirt?”  “You never call your mother, and you’re opening up too soon.”  “You can go take batting practice after you give your mother a kiss.”  Wikipedia doesn’t mention it, but one less guilt-inducing hitting coach he had was Jose Bautista.  Valencia learned how to hit for more power from Joey Bats.  Since Bautista imparted wisdom on Valencia, he’s hit 30 homers in the last 580 ABs.  So, can Valencia keep it going?  It appears so.  Now finish your latkes and keep your hands back!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Daniel Murphy is the hottest homophobe since Kirk Cameron got three offers in one week for three different Christian movies, “A Behind…Left Behind,” “Groundhog’s Day Is For Satanists, God Makes The Seasons,” and “Make Me Dinner Woman, And No Leftovers.”  Daniel Murphy’s hotter than Kim Davis looks to lesbians looking for a challenge.  Daniel Murphy is hotter than Ted Nugent’s nougat, which he has to heat to 214 degrees to get the sugar to melt.  Yesterday, Murphy went 4-for-5, 4 runs, 3 RBIs and his 4th homer while hitting .398 on the year.  I’m not saying we need to throw Ted Williams’s head in the microwave to defrost, but we may want to leave it on the counter to slowly bring it to room temperature.  Okay, Murphy’s BABIP is absurdly high (.427), which means he’s hitting about a hundred points too high, so his average will come down.  He’s also not hitting for a ton of power, so it’s a good story right now for the MLB that their hottest hitter is a bigot — The Ghost of Ty Cobb, “That sounds rad.” — but it’ll end eventually.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Adam Conley threw 7 2/3 innings, of “exciting” no-hit baseball Friday night, striking out seven Brewers en route to his first win of the season. Manager Don Mattingly pulled Conley after 116 pitches and left it up to Miami’s bullpen to blow Conley’s no-hitter. Sigh, the Miami fan(s) need someone to cheer for now that their star player Dee “I Didn’t Know We Couldn’t Do That” Gordon betrayed them. And I won’t even mention that other power-hitter outfielder (a complicated restraining order actually prevents me from mentioning his full name, let’s just call him G. Stanton–or better, Giancarlo S.) Adam ain’t worried about it. YOLO. Speaking of YOLOing, how about that new Drake album? Uh, singasongmuch? Please stop. I get the whole calypso/R&B/I’mdoingthistobangRihanna vibe the album has and I’m not feeling it. Meanwhile, Mr. Drake, you are depriving fans of some of the best Canadian rap the world has to offer. Oh, hey tangent, we were talking about Adam Conley! The lefty now possesses a 3.67 ERA and 1.22 WHIP through four starts with a 28/12 K/BB rate (9.33 K/9). Mmm, strikeouts. Adam’s 72.2% swinging strike percentage (including 14 in last night’s game) suggest that the strikeouts are for real. That could help your fantasy team. Like Drizzy’s new album, he’s been a bit inconsistent, but Conley gets Arizona next week, he’s available in over 80% of fantasy leagues and he could be worth a pick up in deeper mixed and NL-Only leagues. Why not take a flier–you only YOLO once!

Here’s what else I saw Friday 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?

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.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

To understand Jake Lamb, I think it’s important to go back to the 1964 Summer Olympics when his father’s hero, Lambis Manthos, was competing for Greece in the 50 meter pistol shooting event.  Due to a clerical error, Lambis thought he was competing in the 50 centimeter pistol shooting event.  Lambis practiced shooting dinner plates from about 20 inches away.  At one point, he was able to shoot an olive off a branch from about two feet away.  Metaphorically, that meant war, and he knew it.  He was ready, which is why this story ended so sadly when he realized it was really a 50-meter event.  Lambis was extremely shortsighted and nearly took out a judge when tasked with shooting so far away.   Thankfully, tragedy was averted when he only shot into one of those mats high jumpers fall on.  At the end of the event, with Lambis in last place, the laughingstock of the competition, a young man by the name of Jake, was so moved with Lambis and his ability to hit close targets, he took his name as his last.  This was Jake Lamb Sr., and the legend that Jake Lamb has to live up to.  So, besides being a heartwarming story, what does this have to do with fantasy?  Not a ton, said the man with four letters at his disposal.  Lamb is currently slotted into the six or two hole on most days.  He hasn’t shown great ability with lefties, so he’ll likely need to be platooned, but I’d do just that in all leagues.  He has some power, some speed and shouldn’t kill you in average.  Not from 50 meters or centimeters.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, that sucked.  It was extra sucky too because I had high hopes for Carlos Rodon‘s start vs. the lifeless Angels.  Like eating Chinese food by yourself and accidentally getting two fortune cookies, then you open them and they both say the same thing, “The highlight of your night will be getting two fortune cookies with the same fortune.”  Like going to the car wash and they give you a deal due to an impending rainstorm.  Only it never rains, false alarm.  But you did forget to put up your window.  Like your parents reconcile their differences, just to yell at you.  Rodon, it’s one thing to disappoint, but to raise expectations first?  Oh man, you are one evil doode with a heart as cold as Clint Hurdle who has a serious attraction to Freese.  Yesterday, Rodon went 1/3 IP, 5 ER with one strikeout.  On the bright side, he upped his K-rate.  “Don’t mock bright sides or I will burn you.”  That’s the vengeful sun.  Rodon had ten straight quality starts, and, unless he’s hurt, we should just treat this as an aberration.  A sick, twisted aberration.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My schmohawk posts are like the fantasy equivalent of Final Destination.  First, A.J. Pollock loses his season, then Kyle Schwarber is carted off the field after running into Fowler.  If I were Miguel Sano, I’d look both ways while carefully crossing to the plate to strikeout.  And Tulo, well, I would just stay in the hyperbaric chamber that you sleep in for your hamstrings.  I’m not sure if it was the writing of the posts, publishing of the posts or simply thinking about writing the posts that jinxed these players.  Where does my kavorka start and end?  Is it okay for me to think bad thoughts about Trevor Story?  How serious are my premonitions?  Oh, and one side note, you never want to see anyone get hurt, but how on earth did Schwarber get hurt and Fowler was fine?  Schwarber’s got like 200 pounds on him.  Damn, Dexter Fowler is one strong bean.  So, Schwarber has a sprained ankle and is headed for an MRI today.  He could be gone for a while, which could help Jorge Soler see some light, though I’m not sure this won’t just mean more playing time for Matt Szczur, Javier Baez (when he returns) or Kris Bryant into the outfield.  I’m not even joking; Maddon’s playbook is written in hieroglyphics and the Rosetta Stone didn’t make it through baggage claim.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?