Thomas Pham is a 27-year old rookie who has made the most of his first month in the big leagues. Big Magoo wrote about him on Tuesday, saying “Enjoy the fling while it lasts, but be wary of a long-term commitment.” And I completely agree! I don’t think that Pham will be a viable option in shallow mixed leagues next year.

thomas-pham-mlb-st.-louis-cardinals-milwaukee-brewers-590x900

Can he do it? Yes, he pham! Remember those great Jorge Cantu chants? Jorge can’t hit a home run! Yes, he Cantu!

My initial reaction was: could this be a Charlie Blackmon scenario? Blackmon’s first full season came at the age of 27, when he batted .288/.335/.440 with 19 bombs. But, Blackmon had already had plenty of major league action to that point, and his skillset was generally superior to Pham’s. So, I slapped myself and recognized that Pham is a perfect playoff schmotato and nothing more. Given that information, Pham has absolutely crushed over the past two weeks, posting a 1.350 OPS with 4 homers and 12 RBI. At this point in the year, you need to grab onto these hot streaks. And, Pham’s hot streak is molten right now.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In the spirit of the playoffs, I’m going to run through one widely available player at each position who might be able to help you in your OPS stretch run. Let’s get started.

Catcher: Grey gave you J.P. Arencibia and Francisco Cervelli as buys yesterday. But, if those guys are taken and you are hurting at catcher, take a look at Florida’s J.T. Realmuto. Over the past two weeks, Realmuto has gone 13-for-34 with 3 home runs and a 1.084 OPS.  He’s been one of the hottest hitting catchers going of late and he is owned in about 15% of ESPN leagues. I also considered Detroit’s James McCann for this one. Over the past week, McCann trails only Buster Posey, Kyle Schwarber, and Salvadaor Perez in OPS, posting a .853. But, playing time is a bit more of a concern with McCann, so Realmuto is the pick.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Don’t you know about Greg Bird?  Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy! Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy! Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy!  I, honestly, figured you would’ve heard.  Heard what, you ask.  Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy!  Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy!  Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy!  Well, everybody said about Greg Bird that Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy!  Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy!  Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy!  You know, I thought you’d heard.  Heard what?  About the Bird!  I was watching a TV show on cybercrime recently, and I have an idea on how to attack North Korea.  Just pump in the “Bird is the Word” song into their national Bose speakers.  (If North Korea has taken over the US by the time you read this, this cyber attack could be used in the reverse direction.  I’m yours, Kimchi Jong-il, however you want to use me.  I am very loyal.)  So, now that we know the word and that word is indeed Bird, what do we do with this info?  We pick him up in our leagues.  He has seven homers in only 29 games.  Sample size, she says.  Well, he had six homers in only 34 games in Triple-A, six homers in only 49 Double-A games, seven homers in only 27 games in Double-A last year…Do you see a pattern?  Bird’s got power.  Not really anything else, but there’s only two weeks left, grab him if you need homers.  Or had you not heard?  Bird Bird Bird, Bird– Okay, I’ll stop.  Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maybe because The Bastard Executioner premiered last night, but I’m feeling reminiscent for Sons of Anarchy — Jax, Clay, Peg Bundy and that Irish guy I couldn’t understand — and, specifically, to the Season 4 premiere set to Joshua James’s Coal War.  In that spirit, I ain’t cuttin’ my Strasburg till the good Strasburg shows!  Ain’t cuttin’ my Strasburg till the good Strasburg shows!  Ain’t cuttin’ my Strasburg till the good Strasburg shows!  Good Lord, when’s he gonna come!  I hate to give someone a lede soon after I just gave them a lede, but Stephen Strasburg had a line of 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 1 Walk, 14 Ks, and I need to make exceptions.  As previously stated, Strasburg’s control and ERA (still at 3.98 on the year) have been all over the map like a drunk Magellan, but, as he showed yesterday, he could easily be a Cy Young candidate for 2016.  I just wish he’d wait until April of next year to show it so we can draft him for cheap.  Likely, most have moved on to fantasy football, so people will see a 3.90-ish ERA from him and under draft him next year.  That’s when we pounce like SAMCRO near an Elvis impersonator that’s not Bobby.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

J.P. Arencibia (+32.3%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball over the past week. Ah, you gotta love this time of year, don’t you? All of the prospects who are likely to make an impact in 2015 have long since arrived and most waiver wires are so thin at this point in the season that the most popular add is a journeyman catcher with an illustrious .211 career batting average. Or maybe the whole save-the-earth movement is catching on and human windmills are the trend du jour. Al Gore would be so proud! Whatever the case may be, J.P. has been white hot in September, posting a .375/.375/.938 triple slash with 5 homers and 12 RBI in 32 plate appearances this month. He’s always produced solid power numbers at the MLB level (79 homers in 459 career games), but has he finally tweaked his approach to become a more consistent threat? Well, he has yet to draw a walk this season, and his current 38.1% K% is almost 10% higher than his career average (28.9%). Arencibia’s .429 BABIP would be unsustainable for any player, much less a fly ball hitter like him (career 47% FB%). You down with ol’ J.P.? Hell no, not me! But if you need a catcher with power down the stretch, might as well ride the schmotato while it lasts. Just keep ol’ J.P. on a short leash for when the inevitable crash occurs.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

The King has returned to Middle Earth, to rule over the hobbits and elves and the other woodland friends. His name is Bryce Harper, and he will dole out fiery OPS vengeance upon any foolish enough to oppose him. Yes, friends, Harper, our long-time OPS champion, has enacted his fury this past week, going 10-for-23 with 5 homers and 6 RBI. His OPS for this period was a gorgeous 1.753. If Harper doesn’t win the NL MVP award, something is very wrong with the BBWAA. Harper has the 2nd highest OPS all-time for a 22-year old, behind only Teddy Ballgame. Almost more impressively, if the season ended today, Harper’s OPS would be the highest since Barry Bonds’ in 2004 (Bonds had an absolutely inhuman 1.422 OPS).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When I hear the name Domingo Santana, I’m immediately transported to a small village in the Catalan region of Spain.  A Gregorian monk overlooks the city of Barcelona.  A breeze of air rolls in.  Not from the Mediterranean, but it’s that breeze of air that rolls over the city from the residents pronouncing Barcelona with a lisp.  This is the Gregorian monk’s city, and his name is Domingo Santana Sr. Sr. and the year is 1789, and I feel like I just pitched a cheap wine commercial to a client at an ad agency.  “The tag line is:  This monk’s got spirit!”  Client leaves; I’m fired.  I scream, “But I’ve seen every Mad Men episode,” as the screen fades to black.  So, Domingo Santana isn’t the best guy on waivers in every league.  I’d likely go with Jayson Werth, Wil Myers and a bunch of other guys over Sunday Santana for this year, but some of youse are in keepers and this post can also be for 2016 fantasy baseball, because I said so.   According to some Jean Smarts at other sites, Santana made contact on only around 70% of minor league pitches that were in the strike zone over the past two years.  Only one other player in the minors was that bad (Rymer Liriano).  To put that in perspective, Domingo can’t hit balls that are in the strike zone.  So far this year in the majors, he has a 30% strikeout percentage.  What do all of these numbers mean?  He might hit .230 if he’s lucky.  So, why am I crushing on him so hard like I’m a Swede who just found a frozen time capsule filled with Frusen Glädjé?  Because Sunday Santana has 30-homer power and 15-steal speed, and kinda reminds me of a young Carlos Gomez with a bit less speed.  The same CarGo that struggled until he was 26 years old, and Domingo is only 23.  Will Santana ever make enough contact?  It’s hard to say, and it may not come in 2016, but I’d definitely grab him for cheap in keepers for a flyer for next year, and I like him in deeper leagues right now for some occasional flashes of the power/speed combo.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

It’s a simple concept/guideline for life. Don’t make the circle try to fit into the square hole. It’s related to Occam’s Razor which says that the simplest explanation is the one that should be chosen. In DFS this means, don’t overthink things. Take what’s out there on a given slate, and don’t try to manufacture something or divine something that isn’t there. For example, you are looking at a slate and there are only a couple of pitchers that make sense, but you start thinking about diversifying and other techniques that you’ve picked up throughout the season and you begin to talk yourself into a couple of other starters to give you this diversification even though your research, and your gut, told you that there were only the two starters you liked. This is the way you turn your perfectly good knowledge into lost contests with your new creations that didn’t need to be there to begin with.

The alternative in that situation, if you feel like you shouldn’t put all your bankroll eggs for the night into a single SP basket, would be not to play the volume you normally would. If you feel that strongly about diversifying, but the SPs aren’t there to do it, emanate some inner strength and simply not play the additional volume you would’ve if you did have other SPs you liked.

The same goes with hitters. In a bunch of columns this season, I’ve varied the number of guys I’ve listed here. Today, for example, there are probably fewer than in past weeks. Why? There are fewer players I like on the slate, because of the matchup, prices, tap dancing skills, hat size, whatever. Therefore, I am likely going to play fewer lineups, contests, etc, based on this, although it’s tempting to play my full budgeted bankroll for the night because I like the action. But to do that would be me trying to fit an octagon into a triangle hole. Or something. Just don’t.

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?