Yesterday, Buster Olney tweeted, “Kevin Gausman is pitching tonight probably exactly the way the Orioles hoped on the day they drafted him.  Dominant stuff.”  Putting aside the unnecessary “probably” — you’ll never win a Twitter Pulitzer with needless hooha! —  is this what the Orioles hoped for?  Because it’s felt at times like the Orioles were waiting for Gausman to say some sort of secret oath to let him into the rotation and, without Podrick to prompt him, he didn’t know said oath.  By the by, I can’t look at Brienne of Tarth and not see Conan O’Brien.  Perhaps, it’s me (it’s not).  If the Orioles wanted Gausman to pitch probably exactly like this, wouldn’t they have put him in the rotation and left him alone for the last *covers mouth* years?  Not to answer, but to knowingly nod while you undress your computer with your eyes.  Since I have shares in that facacta noodle-hanger Archer, I watched the better part of Gausman’s start, and he looked better than what the boxscore says, and the boxscore says, “Yum, choco-latte.”  It also says 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks in his first start back.  Gausman has the stuff to be a number one, but at worse a number two.  Not saying he will be this year; that’s just his stuff.  He probably exactly should be already, but probably exactly hasn’t been.  Still, I would grab him in any leagues where I needed upside.  A 8+ K/9, 2.7+ BB/9, 3.75 ERA starter is probably exactly what you’ll get.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re just over two weeks into the regular season now, and perhaps things haven’t gone as well as you hoped for on your fantasy team. You’ve fantasized about taking a hammer to Ian Desmond’s fingers since he doesn’t seem to need them for anything anyway. Waterboarding seems too lenient of a punishment for the pathetic numbers that Miguel Sano has produced for your team thus far. If you’ve been thinking along these lines, then you’ve probably been watching too many mob movies recently. More importantly, it’s just mid-April. No need to panic. Depending on your format, there are likely several interesting players available on the waiver wire to help your team during it’s early season funk. One of those players might be St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker (65.9% owned; +57.5% over the past week), who was the most added player in ESPN leagues over the last seven days. The departure of Jason Heyward and an injury to Tommy Pham have finally given the 28-year-old Hazelbaker a chance to play in the big leagues after toiling away in the minors since being drafted by the Red Sox in 2009. He’s made the most of his early opportunity, producing a 7/3/7/2/.394 batting line across 39 plate appearances. Hazelbaker has displayed double digit home run power as well as 30+ steal speed at multiple stops in the minors, so he could just be a late bloomer who needed an opportunity to shine. However, he does tend to strikeout fairly often (25.6% K% this year; 25.4% K% in his minor league career), and his current .424 ISO and .455 BABIP are likely to come crashing down in the near future.  Think of Dexter Fowler as an upside comp and Jake Marisnick as a downside one. Ride the wave while it lasts but be ready to cut bait if and when he comes back to Earth.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome back campers to the second season of Razzball’s homegrown dynasty baseball league, “The Razznasty”, filled with readers, writers, commenters, and J-FOH. It’s with great pleasure that I ring in the second year of updates. Since we last left you a few teams have changed hands, a commissioner switch took place, a whole lot of trades before the winter trade deadline, and our inaugural 10 round draft comprised of the unkept, free agents, 2015 draftees and internationals. A couple of teams with ownership changes included, J-FOH pulling a Jay-z and retiring for like 5 seconds after winning last year, and then handing the M-I-C to commenter and hip-hop aficionado Nick the Dick. This was then followed by the “Hatest that ever did it” coming out of retirement to manage the first vacancy available. We also welcomed Smokey into the fold, as he stepped in to take over an up and coming squad. Finally this club will have the quality ownership to match it’s competitive roster. In addition to those three changes, we were gifted a real wheeler and dealer by the name of Raskals. An owner, that from his first day in the league, has aggressively built what seems to be a formidable contender.

In our latest installment we’ll discuss a couple of the trades from the deadline, and hear from some of the members of the Razznasty on their takeaways form the draft. Yes there were takeaways, just like the Oscars, but more like the swag from an insurance conference. Yeah another stressball!!! Well here it is Razzball’s 2016 dynasty baseball league.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We are so close to the top 20 starters you can almost taste it, and it tastes like limoncello.  I wonder why that is.  From the top 20 outfielders through to this top 100 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball has been like the greatest mini-series ever.  Sorta like what I hope the O.J. Simpson show is.  By the way, don’t Google O.J. Simpson, major spoilers!  In most fantasy leagues, you won’t need to draft guys from this top 100 outfielders, and they’ll be waiver wire pickups.  A few of these guys will be drafted by people saying things like, “I’m really loving (fill-in name from this post) as a late sleeper,” then those same people will get to the middle of April and be saying things like, “I can drop (fill-in player’s name), right?”  As with other rankings posts, I go over where tiers start and stop and my projections.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t have a long history with Razzball.  I either found the site for the first time or became truly interested in them for the first time (I don’t remember which, the latter I think) when I found this old Rudy post on rating different baseball projection systems via Google search heading into the 2013 baseball season.  I quickly decided to make Steamer projections my goto, which led me to targeting Anthony Rizzo and Paul Goldschmidt in my 2013 home league (a H2H OBP league) auction.  (Goldy had a great year, Rizzo not so much, I only ended up with one of them.. guess which one).

Here’s how I came to write for Razzball…

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Yoenis Cespedes went 3-for-5 with his 31st homer and, like, his 12th homer in the past week.  Doode’s straight combustible heat.  Like a fatty steak on the grilling heat.  Uh-oh, I feel my rap altar ego, B-Fire, coming on.  Cannot stop the blaze.  Like a Scottish sheep, I can’t stand here, I gotta graze.  Between Monday and Tuesday is a hidden day called Muesday, between Monday and Sunday is all Grey’s days.  I watch a Merchant-Ivory period flick with my piece, because I’m strapped and going through a phase.  Shh, it’s my Victorian secret.  Whomp, there’s another Yoenis hit.  Cepedes is so on-lock it’s like he’s got a hundred legs all stuck in tar pits.  For my Def Poetry Jam audition tape, this I will submits.  I liked About Schmidt, but why Kathy Bates gotta get out of the tub naked with her flabby– Nah, I need to quit.  So, on the year, Yoenis has a line of 93/31/92/.298/7 and is nearly top five for all players on our Player Rater, not just top five outfielders, and, for 2016, it’s going to be real hard to knock him down much past the 2nd round.  Unless, of course, the Padres get their grubby mitts on him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve just never been a Matt Moore guy…

Uber-talented Moore has always gotten praise for his clean mechanics and smooth delivery, plus fastball, and solid slider, but it never materialized into good control and solid numbers.  Those horrible, horrible walks…  Moore’s K zone looks like a star chart!

After never ranking him favorably the past few years because of a 4.5 walk rate, yes 4.5, I thought the buzz for him off the DL from TJ recovery was too… buzzy.  I’m at a loss for words I’m so confused!  But I hadn’t seen him pitch since hitting the DL after two starts last year, and maybe a reconstructed elbow can help.  “He’s more machine now, than man!”  Well let’s hope it helps the horrific walk rate!  Here’s how he looked yesterday hosting the Astros, along with ranks for pitchers for the second half:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hopefully everyone else had an excellent Fourth of July! Depending on your local weather, perhaps you spent it lounging in a hammock, lounging in a pool or lounging on the couch. The important part is I hoped you all had a lazy holiday.

Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: After spending the day indulging on steaks and burgers, clearly the cows decided to strike back, putting a curse on Cabrera’s calf. The slugger suffered a left calf strain — grade 3 to be precise — and the Tigers have already placed him on the 15-day disabled list. Count on him missing approximately six weeks, and for now the team appears ready to roll with Alex Avila as their primary first baseman. Expect to see Avila gaining 1B eligibility soon, but his lack of power makes him a pretty “meh” option at the corner. For fellow Cabrera owners scrambling for a replacement with some pop, I already snapped up Jon Singleton in one of my leagues, though the recently activated Michael Morse could work too.

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Yesterday, the Cubs scored seventeen runs, so enough jibber-jabbering, let’s get to it! Starting this whole she bangs, she bangs, Oliver’s got bangs in the 2nd inning, Addison Russell (2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 5th homer as he continues to hit ninth. Joe Maddoning says he’s hitting Addison ninth to take pressure off him. McNulty would call that bunk. (By the by, tell me this doesn’t look like McNulty.) Isn’t there pressure just being in the major leagues? Did Addison not see how the Cubs pushed aside Javier Baez and Arismendy from year to year? Bunk! Chris Coghlan (2-for-3, 3 runs, hitting .251) needs to hit fifth? David Ross (1-for-5, 1 run) in any lineup should be hitting ninth. There’s absolutely no reason Russell should be that low. Move him up! Then Kyle Schwarber went 4-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs in his first major leagues start, and became only the third Cub in their history to have four hits in his first major league start. The other two were two guys you never heard of, which makes this record depressing. Thanks, Elias Sports Bureau! Oh, and there’s no pressure on Schwarber as he hits sixth? Okay, I’ll let it go. I pray to the deity of your choice that Schwarber gets four hits in every game until Sunday, Miguel Montero stays injured and Epstein says, “Okay, Schwarber schways. He schways! Stays, sorry, it’s hard to say anything normal after Schwarber.” Then (Yes, it keeps going!) Chris Denorfia went 2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 1st homer, hitting .396. Put the microwave on defrost and stick in Ted Williams’s head! Never to be outdone (or overdue, as the case might be), Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer. Finally (I’m exhausted!), Kris Bryant (2-for-6, 4 RBIs and his 8th homer) as he grand salami’d in the ninth. You at a 2016 fantasy draft, “I need a Bryant.” *Smash* As a pie gets thrown in your face. Five over-the-internet dollars to be paid out in fake installments, if you get that reference. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The title comes from Rudyard Gamble’s novel about a young Astros prospect named Carlos Correa that is saved by a non-Portuguese man named Jeff. Jeff Luhnow is his full name, and he’s the only straight man named Jeff in the northern hemisphere. A point that Rudyard only alludes to in the 4th chapter, when he says, “As he read the Doppler radar outputs that track the ball in three dimensions, Jeff chewed corn from the cob, careful to not disturb his mustache that still had the fragrance of a dame.” The adventure novel is full of twists and turns. Correa is signed as a 17-year-old in 2012 and hits, then is called up to Single-A and hits, then is called up to High-A and hits, then is called up to Double-A–Now that I think about it, it’s pretty straightforward. Not too many twists. Correa hits everywhere he goes. According to the novel, Correa even succeeds when he comes upon a fellmonger on the Appalachian plain. Rudyard’s adventure novel first appeared in serialisation form in SABReader’s Digest underneath the horoscope. A fact that once disturbed Rudyard, but when his horoscope read, “The two-plus months of waiting are over, Correa’s being called up,” even he took pause. Any the hoo! I already went over my Carlos Correa fantasy about two weeks ago. I told everyone to grab him then, so the same holds true now. If you don’t think you have room, think of the trouble Jeff, Rudyard and Correa went through to make this possible. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?