I love the Aussie people; they have goofy words for a barbecue and even goofier animals — koalas and kangaroos? Is Australia animated? Those things are goofy! Why not just get a duck-billed platypus and anteater and call it a day, you wacky-animal-having country! How about baseball there? Did all the fans in attendance win a Bowie knife if a player hit a home run into the big marsupial pouch? Did Crocodile Dundee throw out the first pitch? Did the batters hit with a fraternity hazing paddle? I don’t know, because it was at four in the morning! Selig really needs to stop doing this to Opening Day. The players will be exhausted from traveling and won’t be able to get their usual reps in during the spring. The first pitch of the season should be at a time when 7-year-old North American boys and girls can watch it. Not at 4 AM EST. What if the first game went extra innings or someone got hurt? Can they just call up someone from the minors for the next game? No, so then you’ll have a team playing short. Do these stunts in December as a goodwill trip. Don’t make major league baseball teams into the Harlem Globetrotters for a regular season game. Eh, whatevs, baseball is back, who cares if it comes with a big helping of Vegemite. Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

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As spring training takes off, we, the wonderful people of Razzball, thought it would be a good idea to look into some intra-team rivalries.  What positions are a lock?  What positions are being fought over?  What positions will they hire me to fill-in for (second base Blue Jays, I’m looking at you)? Find out as the start of this series will focus on NL East…

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Two weeks ago we looked at the speedsters from 2013 and there were more than a few names on the list that were available on the waiver wire at some point. For deeper leagues and daily fantasy players that need to maximize each and every matchup, even the smallest advantages can mean the difference between a win and a loss. That’s why we focused a lot on matchups this past year, and we’ll do it again in 2014. Even the best base stealers get caught once in a while, so it’s good to know as much as we can about who might be doing the catching before deploying our fantasy lineups. There’s a lot that goes into a stolen base, of course, and the battery of pitcher and catcher is a large piece of the puzzle. Pitchers who are good at holding baserunners can be avoided while pitchers who have a tendency to cough up a lot of steals can be exploited. Here’s how some starters fared in 2013 and over the last three years against the stolen base.

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Damn, the planets had all lined up for Jacoby Ellsbury to be overrated for 2014 fantasy baseball. 50+ bases and only four times caught (!). Some power (8 homers) and solid counting stats (89 runs; 52 RBIs). Seemingly repeatable numbers for 2014. All he needed to do was get through this season healthy so people would forget how he can’t get through a season healthy. Then, he goes and injuring himself. Now when I say to avoid him next year, people are gonna think I actually have a point rather than being the cracked out of his mind guy who invented something this weekend that I will only share with you. It’s really for our four girl readers, but since guys are likely to buy it for their women, here it is: a Segway vacuum cleaner. Think of it as a ride-along Roomba! Brilliant, I know. So, as of right now, Ellsbury’s in a walking boot. That sounds terrific. Almost as good as Salvador Perez when a loved one is on their death bed. Ellsbury headed off to the Steadman Clinic for a second opinion — ’bout time he started bringing in some money for Oprah! — and Ellsbury was diagnosed with a compression fracture. Ellsbury’s not going to be back until the playoffs, in the best case scenario. I’d absolutely drop him. In his place has been Jackie Bradley Jr., who can walk multiple times in one game! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Did you guys see that Clint Eastwood movie, “Trouble with the Curve”? No? Yeah, me neither. It got a 52% on RottenTomatoes.com, which is pretty awful, so I think it’s safe to assume we didn’t miss much. Anyway, I’m thinking the whole flick would’ve gone over better if it had just looped this clip from the Little League World Series over and over again:

Bhahahahahah. I laugh, but I’m sure my effort wouldn’t have been much better. Your two-starters are below.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

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To misquote Lucinda Williams, “You don’t have to prove your manhood to me constantly, Jim Johnson.” Maybe prove it once in a while. Maybe once in a blue moon with a slice of orange to tie in your uniform. Yesterday, he blew his third save in a row and his league-leading ninth. As the Orioles vie for a pennant spot, the boo birds are probably out in full force in Baltimore. Or for the big-boned fans in Baltimore, the Boog birds. If it was simply based on performance or the will of my piercing brown eyes, Johnson would be doing mop duty dressed as a pelican and every time someone made a mess they’d point to Johnson and say, “I can’t clean it up, but Peli-can.” The Orioles really should give him a rest and turn it over to Francisco Rodriguez or Tommy Hunter. For those of you hoping to vulture some sweet, sweet saves, it’s not a clear cut case of Johnson about to be removed, Lorena Bobbit-style. He’s built up some goodwill over the last twelve months with 51 saves last year and 39 saves now. Also, the O’s are Confucius non gratis as to who is their set-up man. K-Rod, his goggles and his dyslexic dor-K lifestyle has plenty of experience, but the O’s have gone to Hunter to save a few games this year. I grabbed K-Rod in one league where I’m desperate, but this is a shituation that maybe even Peli-can’t handle. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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How many times have you completely written off Francisco Liriano? Seriously. Probably four or five times, right? I know I’ve uttered the phrase “f**k that guy, I’m never using him again” at least once a year for the last five years. That’s the way it is with him — the K-potential has always made him an interesting option for fantasy streaming, but until this year, I don’t think he’s ever helped my team. Not once. Which is what makes Liriano’s 2013 production so absurd, and it’s definitely no fluke at this point. Through roughly 90 IP he’s posted a 2.23 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP while whiffing more than a batter per inning. And given his sub-3 FIP, the peripheral numbers bode well, too. I’m sure I’ll have to write him off again at some point, but it’s amazing to consider the path the 29-year-old Liriano has taken to transition from never-using-him-again streamer status, to one of the best arms in the league. He goes twice this week, making his debut in the must start tier. The rest of the week 18 two-starters are below.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

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If you’re squeamish, don’t watch the video of Tim Hudson getting hurt. That’s what they say. This is like saying, “Your Christmas (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus) presents are under the tree (Star of David, Star Jones, pole) and they’re unwrapped, but don’t look at them.” Is there anyone in the history of mankind who’s ever heard the phrase “don’t watch this because it’s too gruesome” and has actually stopped watching it. That sentence is brain crack! It’s like your brain neurons suddenly start moving around like a Roomba in a closet, bumping into the sides, trying to get out. So, with that said, I wouldn’t watch it. Hudson will need surgery and is out for the year. Well, if Eric Young was gonna step on his foot like THAT I wouldn’t have been speculating for two months who was going to get bumped for Brandon Beachy. I’ve been saying for the last two months that I don’t own Beachy. I think he’s going to give a lot less than what you’re expecting. Tommy John surgery causes most pitchers to lose control when they first return, and Beachy has a 5+ BB/9 in the minors. That would be near the worst in the major leagues. Edinson Volquez looks at that walk rate and says, “Whoa, pardner.” You know the guy from Shadesville at the horse track who goes around picking up discarded race tickets hoping to find a winner, if you pick up Beachy, you might resemble that guy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Matt Cain had his shortest outing of his career with 2/3 IP and 3 ER. At least Bochy had the sense in his giant watermelon-sized head to remove Cain quick enough that yesterday’s damage was that of a bad Heath Bell outing. Wait a second, did I just compare Cain to Heath Bell? I just rang my own bell and answered with, “Holy crap no one wants to be compared to Heath Bell.” Where did it all go wrong for Cain and can Cain (almost stutterer!) get it back to good, assuming you’re not just signing a Matchbox Twenty song? Looking at his K-rate from last year to this year, he’s actually been better this year. His velocity is fine. His xFIP is nearly the same as last year when he had a 2.79 ERA. The only big change is his luck and his walk rate. He’s missing his spots. This can come one of two ways. He can miss his spots off the plate and walk guys or he can miss his spots in the zone and give up hits and homers. He usually works up in the zone. Done it his whole career. If you miss up…up, it’s a ball. If you miss up…down, you’re Sandy Duncan with one glass eye while watching with your other eye as the ball is leaving the park. The Giants are saying he might not be healthy, but I don’t think Cain is hurt. Still could land on the Disgraceful List. More likely, he needs to tweak something in his mechanics. Until that happens, I’d stay away from him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This post comes to you by the power of Greyskull! I have the power! The power of Greyskull dropped Justin Masterson earlier in the year after one bad start. I have a power outage! Then the power of Greyskull watched as the power of Rudyskull picked him up and has been reaping the rewards ever since, but the power of Rudyskull benched Masterson yesterday, so the power of Greyskull let out a small, fleeting smile. Yesterday, Masterson threw a complete game shutout. He’s been great all year with a 9+ K-rate. Yadda, yadda eff me. Just above him on the K-rate chart is a who’s who of the pitchers you want: F-Her, Sale, Samardzija, Miller, Harvey, Yu, Scherzer, etc. etc. etc. He also has one of the worst walk rates in that group (not bad overall, just in that group), which will hold Masterson out of the top tier of pitchers this year, but will make him ownable in all leagues and why the power of Greyskull failed me. I wonder if Skeletor is hiring. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?