The season is here baby!  Well, that’s kinda old news at this point, but I’m pumped for the first Pitcher Profile of 2015!

Every Monday this season, we’ll be breaking down fringy mixed-league starters (usually) to get a better gauge on their value and if they’re worthy of a valuable roster spot.  And I certainly like suggestions!  Add into the comments a pitcher that’s projected to start next weekend and I very well might end up Profiling them.  Wait, not like that!

Now to our debut this year, and I’ve just never really known what to make of Carlos Martinez.  Power stuff, destroys righties, but left-handed batters have crushed him.  I had Martinez 74 in my original ranks amongst SP,  but dropped him out in my re-ranks as he was heading to the bullpen.  Then Jaime Garcia blew out his 5th or 6th shoulder – I’ve lost count – so it’s back into the starting five, Carlos!  Made him as excited as I was when I stumbled upon his Twitter a few years ago…

So I decided to tune into his 2015 debut as a starter (he threw an inning of relief on opening night last Sunday), and break down how he looked against the Reds pitch-by-pitch:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Danny Salazar was sent to the minors because the Indians are trying to make life difficult for themselves. As someone who needs to pat their lip with a kerchief after a sip of anything, I know about making your life difficult, but my mustache makes me sexy, Salazar going to the minors does the exact opposite. Behind this move was almost definitely The House of McAllister trying to boost their progeny, Zach. “I don’t need stirrups.” That’s Zach McAllister, talking to the Indians equipment manager, as he dons a kilt. McAllister isn’t terrible (or Allisn’terrible if portmanteaus light your fire), but he’s really nothing more than any standard 5th starter. He’ll have stretches where he’s usable in all leagues, and other stretches where your ratios will need stretchers. Pithy points! I’ve moved Salazar into my top 100 starters and down my top 400 and I’ve left McAllister unranked, because what will likely happen is he’ll be replaced by Salazar by June. The other half of the scheming House of McAllister is T.J. House, who will also be in the rotation. Sky gave you a T.J. House sleeper, and I’m a bit more excited about House’s foundation and have ranked him in the top 100 starters. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The latest Cuban raftee, Hector Olivera, signed yesterday with the Dodgers. Olivera leaves Cuba with a slight tear in his UCL and he missed out on the 2012-13 season in Cuba due to a blood clot in his arm. Michael Moore just called, he says you better go back to Cuba for better healthcare. In related Cuban news in regards to the Dodgers, Alex Guerrero might be the first person to raft back to Cuba to play. “I was watching Coach Taylor in the Florida Keys, and I think I need to go back to Cuba to play 3rd base.” That’s Alex Guerrero discussing his future with loved ones while enjoying Netflix streaming. I’d love to interview Puig about this Olivera signing. Not because I think Puig would have anything interesting to say, but because Puig strikes me as a guy that is always at a strip club, and that would make for a fun interview. Olivera has some huge question marks like The Riddler’s leotards. He has those aforementioned health concerns, he’s about to turn 30 years old and he doesn’t have a place to play every day. The Dodgers are so concerned about his health, they put a provision in his contract in case he needs Tommy John surgery. He could take over for Uribe at some point, but he’ll need at least a month in the minors, maybe a few months. So, a guy with injury concerns that will need at least a month of minor league at-bats that doesn’t have a set place to play? Well, I’ve heard better scenarios. Want more wonderful that isn’t wonderful? Lots of baseball people seem to think Olivera is a Latin 29, i.e., he’s actually a few years older than what is being reported. Also, baseball people scratch themselves and spit a lot. Those same spitting, scratching people also think Olivera fatigues too quickly, because his conditioning isn’t there. I will say that after watching Olivera hit he looks like Hanley Ramirez to me. The me who has a minor in Punting Middle Infielders from the Fantasy Baseball College of Charleston. The me who is out on a limb like the Tootsie Roll owl saying that Olivera’ll hit 12-15 homers, steal 6-9 bases and hit .275-ish. There’s obviously a huge amount of risk, upside, downside and unknown here. He could be up in July or April. He could play every day and hit 22 homers while stealing 15 bags or platoon with Uribe and hit 8 homers and steal 2 bases. He reminds of another import from this offseason. Call him The Cuban Kang. For this year, I’ll give him the projections of 51/14/56/.272/6 in 400 ABs. That is admittedly almost complete conjecture. Or as I said in the top 20 3rd basemen after I ranked him, “Hector of Olivera, Cuban Baseballmania, Ole Uribe, Corey Seager year away, Dodgers beat Padres, Pope Vin, Puig X, Mattingly Lineup Sets, NL West blown away, what else do I have to say?” Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, we had our first July 31st trading deadline deal, and it paid off for all the A’s fans who paid Oaktown’s own, Bubb Rubb, to break into Billy Beane’s office and turn his iCal forward a month. “Any ideas what you want to do for the 4th of July, Billy?” “I celebrated last month with some friends.” Screen spirals out and slam cuts to Bubb Rubb, maniacally (bubb)rubbing his hands together. When the A’s are playing like it’s playoff baseball in September, don’t say your mustachioed over-the-internet friend didn’t warn you. So, the trade that went down was Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel for David Addison Leave Me Alone Maddie Russell, who I will get to after this lede. Samardzija and Hammel both gain value going to the A’s, which isn’t often the case with an NL pitcher going to The Land of Milk and Honey-Flavored DHs. Wrigley isn’t a great place to pitch — one day it’s overcast with winds blowing straight out, another day winds are just swirling overhead like a toilet bowl genie. As we’ve seen in the past, pitchers can do just about anything in a short period of time. Could Hammel and Samardzija completely poop the sheets? Fo’sho. Likely? Prolly not. O.co is like Petco and Metco, a big cavernous wasteland for hitters and they have more foul territory than Roseanne Barr’s privates. Samardzija brings strikeout stuff to hitters that aren’t as familiar with him and could be the 2nd half’s Kazmir. Yesterday, in his first A’s start, he had a line of 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks. Dividends paying out quick there. Hammel keeps the ball down and O.co will love him. This trade only really hurts Tommy Milone, who was shipped to the minors. The A’s just made themselves a serious contender and having a friend in Bubb Rubb pays off once again. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When Jaime Garcia was a kicker in high school for his Flick Football team, he lined up the paper football, just left of the finger uprights across from him, adjusting for the southwesterly wind coming from a student’s handheld fan. Like it was happening in slow motion, he flicked hard, the paper sailed through, poking the kid’s eye that was holding the finger uprights. Unfortunately, Garcia also pulled a finger tendon and had to watch from the sidelines the rest of the year as his team marched to the playoffs. Ever since then, he’s never been able to shake the injury bug, and yesterday he hit the DL with a shoulder injury. Unfortunately for the rest of us, the Fantasy Baseball Overlord’s hunger for ruining pitchers’ arms didn’t stop at Garcia, and Michael Wacha is out with a shoulder injury too. Wacha, Wacha, f**ka! Wacha has a stress reaction on his shoulder, and the Cards are saying no surgery is required, but his fantasy owners may still want to make a Kenesaw Mountain Landis out of Doritos and pray to it. The good news, Carlos Martinez will now be in the rotation for at least another month. He went 5 IP, 3 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks yesterday, and I’d grab him in most leagues now that he’s staying in the rotation. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What up everyone, I’m here taking the hill for back to back DraftKings days. The coach called for the modern day Mike Marshall to come in and throw his crazy words around. I actually like Mike Marshall but I can see how he might rub people the wrong way. For more details about his work click here. Maybe we would have less Tommy John surgeries if people would listen to him. He can bring back the screwball! Sorry, I got off track there. Henderson Alvarez has been a friggin stud this year and Harry and the Hendersons was a stud of a movie in 1987. Ok, maybe not a stud but it was a lovable family flick I saw in the theater. I’ve been watching Oaktown Steve successfully stream Henderson Alvarez on the regular, always too weary to touch the man with two last names and no first name. On the season he sports a very healthy 2.56 ERA with a 1.28 WHIP. A reasonable BABIP (.320) a solid xFIP (3.48) and a strand rate (76.1%) that isn’t spelling doom on the horizon. His K-rate (5.73) is not what we like for DK, but for today I like him facing the Swing and Miss Mets. Earlier in the year he pitched a complete game shutout against them where he K’d 7. At $7,300 you won’t find a better deal today.

As usual here is my promotion of the DraftKings. Your daily reminder to play with us and use the tools we give you to get an edge over all the other players in the DK universe. We have the Hitter-tron, the Stream-o-nator, and the DFS-Bot at your disposal plus a slew of writers to help you along. If you are playing an RCL right now then this isn’t that far off. The daily streamers and batty calls used in many of the highly competitive RCL leagues reminds me of the DFS style. The only difference is the clean slate you get every day. If you want to play with some of the other readers and writers here at Razzball then please leave your handle in the comments and we’ll get resident DK league organizer Ralph to add you to the list. My goal is a day when we can get 25 players going. Here is what else I like today.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

David Price is one of the most interesting pitchers right now. Snooze! Okay, Random Italicized Voice, I’ll try not make this too boring. No, I thought I heard an alarm and was yelling for it to snooze. Oh, okay. So– Snooze! You’re not hearing an alarm! Maybe it’s your voice, Random High-Pitched Voice! Snooze! So, Price’s K/9 and BB/9 are at 10+ and sub-1. He should be a top five pitcher with those numbers. It’s not rocket surgery that if you’re striking out ten guys per nine innings and walking less than one guy good things will happen. This isn’t like when your mom says if you’re good to people, good things will happen back to you, cause I’m pretty sure any millionaire will tell you that’s a crock. The odd thing is not enough good things have happened to Price. See, Mom! Price’s ERA is at 3.93 on the year. That couldn’t be further from what is going on. Right now, he’s having the best season of his career from a strictly peripheral sense. This is all happening while his fastball velocity continues to fall. It doesn’t add up like Joan from Mad Men being married to that guy that looks like a young Jeff Goldblum only geekier. As each great start happens like yesterday’s — 8 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks — it’s going to make it harder to buy Price low, but I would. Snooze! Ugh, I hate you. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If this title doesn’t make any sense to you then you are probably not familiar with the New Zealand rap duo hiphopopotamus and rhymenoceros. Also known as the Flight of the Conchords, Jemaine and Bret throw it down hard like Roenis Elias did earlier this year against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. In that contest he had a season high 10 K’s in 7 innings that made all fantasy baseballers take notice. I’m not blown away that he K’d 10 Yankees, half those guys collect social security checks and can remember the Kennedy presidency. But it does set a little precedence here. I’m always a little weary of the second time around after success the first time around but I’m going to give this one a pass. The first time was in New York, bonus point, and this time it’s in Seattle, double bonus point, which should lead to another great day. With a price tag of $8,600 I’m a buyer on my budget play today. This Cuban doesn’t have a cool nickname yet, so I’m going to name him after one of my favorite Cuban dishes: Papas Rellenas! Writers Note: This dish is popular across Latin American cuisine but the first time I had it was at a Cuban restaurant. Here is a recipe and picture for you.

Every week I tell you all to play DraftKings and I have no idea if anyone is listening. I’m starting to think I sound like my mother beating a dead horse day after day after day after day after day. You get the point. I would like to find a way to get some of us together in a big razzball bragging rights league. If you play and would like to join me and the other writers…oh and TV on the radio host Nick, then leave your DraftKings handle in the comments and we’ll try to organize some events. Don’t worry we have all been taking it in the shorts lately with Kevin Correia, Jaime Garcia and Shelby Miller taking the 1927 Blue Jays out to the woodshed. No mas stack attacks! And now back to our regularly scheduled program. Below are good value plays tomorrow. I’m not going to tell you to grab all studs because you can’t afford it. If you play this entire lineup you got $500 bucks to spare, but I’m not saying that unless you really trust me. You can swap Jones out for the Dread Pirate and now you got no change. Before I move on, I have one last thing for you. The PROMO LINK. Just click and play already!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Alert the trolls!  Plaster up the bulletins under the bridges!  Because I’m biased.  I hate the Cardinals.  They’re just so good against my Brewers!  And yeah, that’s pretty much all I got… Ummm, also… because McGwire did steroids?!  Yeah that doesn’t work from a Brewers fan… Ummm, because Lance Lynn is a porker and dominates us every time out?  Dammit, Wily Peralta is listed 5 pounds heavier!  I have no rational basis…

And with said caveats, I’ve never been a Jaime Garcia fan.  I actually picked him up in that redonk rookie year in 2010, and sold him mid-season which didn’t really work out.  As he returned from a rash of shoulder injuries plaguing the past few seasons, he was further off my radar than the Red October.  Can you believe he’s never had a WHIP under 1.30 in ANY Major League season?  And that includes only 9 starts last year and 10 appearances in 2008.  Then after seriously considering him for my top 100 SP ranks last week, he got rocked at KC Tuesday.  But followed it up with a gem yesterday at Toronto!  What is going on here?!  I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!  So I decided to break down Sunday’s start and re-address my ill-conceived biases – and Garcia – for this week’s re-ranks:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Felix Hernandez had the best game of the season for fantasy — 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 15 Ks. F-Her was the best thing to hit the world since Natalie Portman decided it was a good idea to get naked for a short film. Granted, that short film was by Wes Anderson. In film school, it was always met with a mixture of amusement, bewilderment and excitement when any student filmmaker convinced an actress to take their clothes off for a student film. Invariably, they were a better salesman than auteur if they were able to pull it off. “So, your husband, hungry for approval, just left you for a ham sandwich and now you want to shed your clothes, which is a metaphor for the stripping of your soul. Don’t worry, it’s a locked set.” I’ve talked in the past about how if a pitcher has a difference of six between his K-rate and walk rate, then he’s usable in all leagues. F-Her has a difference of plus-8. That’s glorious. He has 106 Ks to 17 BBs. That’s insane. His ERA is at 2.39. He’s real and he’s magnificent. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?