Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique.  This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief.  Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed.  Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you?  Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way.  Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring.  Scary good.  May be best of Cubs lot right now.”  Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed.  If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances.  Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming.  On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur.  Or make that, as craptastic as those guys.  In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel.  Time, not the magazine, will tell.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s not often we look to Arizona for help in the pitching department. I mean, we’ve lovingly referred to Chase Field as Coors in the desert, Coors Lite (cuz when you make a reference, it’s gotta be about beer even when it’s bad, amirite?), Rocky Mountain High at Sea Level…hrm, that last one I’ve never heard but maybe it’ll become a thing now? Whatevs, the point is, it’s a bit of a risk taking on an arm from these games because the field plays so well for hitters. Make no mistake here, there’s nothing safe about starting Robbie Ray here. His skillset doesn’t truly inspire confidence and that’s evident by his recent run. Overall, he’s a situational pitcher and that’s what has put me on him today. Prior to yesterday’s 8 run outburst, the Cardinals offense had been abhorrent of late, putting up a measly 86 wRC+ in August while K’ing 22.3% of the time. What makes Ray even more intriguing is that the Cardinals numbers vs lefties on the year are identically bad vs southpaws overall, sitting at 88 and 22.8%, respectively. You’re not looking to Ray to score you more than 30 but at his $6,300 price tag, a healthy 20 to 25 point range isn’t going to hurt you at all. And with that, let’s move on. Here’s my desert hot takes for this Monday DK 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.

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They’re the world’s most fearsome fighting team, they’re heroes in the half shell and they’re green. When the Evil Shredder attacks these turtle boys don’t…. Oops sorry I got lost for a minute in quite possibly the greatest theme song of my childhood. Say what you will G.I. Joe fans, and followers of He-Man but the Turtles were killing the game back in the early 90’s. Maybe you’re not familiar with a little ditty called “Ninja Rap” by the God emcee Rakim Vanilla Ice! Is it bad that after watching that video I’m reminded that Ice was 100 times more legit hip-hop than Drake or Meek Mill? Seriously some solid scratches in the intro there. But that’s all besides the point, today’s post is dedicated to those down with the Turtle Power since Day One. Welcome to the sewer…Riggidy Raow! Oh snap who invited Das Efx? Sorry guys you disappeared faster than Chris Shelton’s short lived power surge. Go back down that man-hole cover. Now back to the lecture at hand, this week the tiers are all about the Turtles boi! Oh yeah and two start pitchers, because anyone reading this is in one of two positions. A. You’re in the playoffs, don’t have a bye and are loading up on the double dippers. or B. You’re making that last push to make the playoffs or lockdown that all important bye. Doesn’t matter what type of league you’re in this time of year, even roto players like myself are looking to stream and load up on starters to reach our limits after being patient boys and girls all year. So this is for y’all. Two Start Pitchers, Week 21!

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After the first two homer-game, I was like, “Yo, Grey, stop twirling your mustache and trying to squeeze into your Z. Cavariccis from high school and check out Travis Shaw.”  And I did.  Only, I wasn’t that impressed.  He had five homers in 77 games in Triple-A.  Then, a week or so later, he had his 2nd two-homer game and I was like, “Yo, Sir Hairlip-A-Lot, those Zubaz look awful on you, and maybe you look at Shaw’s numbers again.”  And I did.  His ‘big’ year in Double-A saw him hit 16 homers with a .221 average and again I came away yawnstipated; must be he’s showing some Maas appeal.  Then, yesterday, he went 4-for-4 with two runs and is hitting .371 in 22 games, and I was like, “Yo, Fantasy Master Lothario, just let Cougs clean out your closet for you and really delve into Shaw’s numbers!”  No, I don’t know what delve means but it sounds smart when I’m talking to myself.  I’ve said it before, but Shaw feels exactly like a Maas appeal-type player.  I bet after September he never even plays regularly on the Sawx again.  But now suddenly you’re worried about the future?  You weren’t when you were writing to the National Institute of Health about having nacho cheese classified as a vegetable.  Get a 401K and grab Shaw until he stops hitting.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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With just over a month and a half left to play, it’s still a tight two-horse race between Razzball’s J-FOH and Hannibal Montana for the first Razznasty championship. The big story right now though is MattTruss (The Hippos). Truss has gained nearly 20 points in the standings since our last league update in early July and now sits comfortably in third place. How has he done it? Basically he’s dominated the rest of us since July 1st – leading the league in RBIs, wins, and strikeouts over that span. But that’s not all. The Hippos have also been top five in four other categories, including hitting the second most homers and posting the second best ERA since the beginning of last month. In other words, it’s been a balanced attack on the standings, and I am now officially scared of hippos. There is still a lot of ground between Truss and our two leaders, but anything can happen when you’re a 2-ton animal on the move.

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Luis Severino (+29.7%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball this past week. You know that the MLB youth movement is officially underway when even the Yankees refuse to part with their top prospects at the trade deadline in order to acquire a veteran rental for the stretch run. “I just traded Severino and Aaron Judge to the Mariners for Hisashi Iwakuma. Suckers! We just found our Hiroki Kuroda replacement, and it only took a couple of unproven kids to get him. You’re welcome, New York!” That’s pre-2015 Brian Cashman gloating about a potential deadline deal that might’ve been made in seasons past. Fortunately for Yankees fans, Severino was off-limits in trade talks and was promoted to the big league club just under a week ago instead. The 21-year-old phenom flashed his impressive arsenal (mid-90s fastball, slider, changeup) against the Red Sox in his debut and more than held his own, allowing just 2 hits and 2 runs (1 earned) over 5 innings of work while walking none and striking out 7 batters. Severino has excelled at limiting the long ball, allowing only 8 homers in 320+ minor league innings throughout his career. He’s exhibited impressive control in the minors (2.3 BB/9) while striking out just over a batter per inning (9.1 K/9) during that time period as well. However, as is the case with most young pitchers these days, Severino’s workload is likely to be closely monitored in the coming weeks. He’s already thrown over 100 combined innings this season, and he seems to be in store for roughly 35-40 more (or 6 more starts) if the Yankees follow the old +30 rule for young pitchers. He looks like the real deal, but is likely to be skipped/shut down by mid-September, limiting his fantasy value for the rest of this season. Until then – giddy up!

Here are a couple of other significant adds and drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

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Luis Severino will be called up to face the Red Sox on Wednesday and presumably will stay in the rotation for the busted, no-candy-giving Pineda. I say presumably, because can we really be sure about anything other than smart stuff coming from my brain, but not being able to come up with a synonym for stuff? It’s rhetorical, don’t rack your brain custard. Severino’s minor league numbers are eye-popping like John Lithgow in The Twilight Zone: The Movie (not a dated reference at all!). In Double-A, a 11.4 K/9 and a 1.91 ERA in Triple-A. Yup, I’m like a migrant worker cherrypicking stats, but I’d gamble on Severino in all leagues for upside. He looks like he might be the 2nd coming of wonderful with a splash of yummystiltskin. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Let’s play a quick game of Jeopardy. I’ll take “Inappropriate Clues for $1000 Alex”. Ok, here’s your clue. “It’s not wise to upset a wookie.” If your answer is “what did Han Solo say to C-3PO regarding the holographic game between R2-D2 and Chewbacca aboard the Millennium Falcon?” then you’d be wrong. The correct answer is “what did Hisashi Iwakuma say when I asked him what he thought about playing a prank on Carlos Correa“. And before anyone goes and gets offended by that I’d like to point out that the category was “Inappropriate Clues” and before I moved forward with it I got the approval of Yu Darvish, Norichika AokiMasahiro Tanaka and Ichiro Suzuki. They all got a good raff out of it. So should you.

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Jonathan Papelbon has a contract that insures that he remains the closer if he’s traded. He would likely be the closer in Washington even without that stipulation, but it’s so like Papelbon to have that in his contract. Should just call that the douche clause. To fix him, the Nationals should bring him into games where they’re up one run in the seventh and run him out there for three innings every night until his arm falls off. Sure, they’d cost themselves a closer and games, but isn’t spite worth it? I know it is when Cougs says she has a headache and I say, “Fine, I’m gonna sleep in the bathtub!” Sure, I could stay in the bed, or even opt for a couch, but the spite wouldn’t be driven home as well. Papelbon’s trade obviously kills all value for Drew Storen. Shame, his career feels like the exact opposite of Fernando Rodney. No matter how well Storen pitches every year he seems to lose the job for some unforeseen reason. Maybe he can figure out a way to work into his contract, “Must pitch after any white guy that is a terrible dancer whether that is Mark Madsen, Grey Albright or Papelbon.” Of course, in Philly, this means that Ken Giles gets his long-deserved chance to close for the Phils. All three games where they’re leading. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last week it was lefties beating up on Shane Greene, this week we have the Canadian lefty killers, the Toronto Blue Jays. If you read me at all this season you’ve noticed some themes. Mainly the pitching staffs I enjoy picking on most, Texas and Philadelphia. When one of those two waltzes into a home stadium of the highest scoring team in MLB, I get a little excited. The cherry on top is the first starter just so happens to give the platoon advantage to Toronto’s three best hitters. Not only have the Blue Jays scored 70+ more runs than the next best team, but they own the best team OPS (.832) vs. lefties by over 50 points. This is almost too good to be true, a dream matchup that most likely everyone will be on. Do with that info what you will, but you won’t catch me fading Josh Donaldson tonight, even at a lofty $5,800. Whether it be tournament or cash game, Dongaldson and his 1.051 OPS vs. LHP (or .441 wOBA if that’s the language you prefer to speak) this season will find his way into my lineups to pheast on Adam Morgan. You can fade him if you like, but if he goes triple dong, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Let’s see who else I’ll be looking at on tonight’s slate.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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?