“This is a smart decision by the Nationals franchise to not let Stephen Strasburg pitch in the playoffs,” said every sports reporter two years ago. Let’s try another one, Google, just give me the search results from 2010 when Strasburg was first promoted. “He’s a once-in-a-lifetime arm that the world has not seen since Sidd Finch.” Strasburg, Virginia even considered renaming itself Stephen Strasburg. I’m not joking. The hype was real, prematurely balding man. In the past seven months of baseball: Sonny Gray or Strasburg? Is it close? Who’s been better, Strasburg or Lance Lynn? Can I now ingest that laced-Halloween candy that I got from the sketchy guy that I’ve been saving for a special occasion? Yesterday, Strasburg left the game after three innings and two earned runs, saying he has irritation under his shoulder blade. The Nats say it’s an alignment issue that could be corrected by a chiropractor. He’ll be looked at by Jon Cryer from Two and A Half Men. Probably from his stupid inverted W. Why not just call it an M?! No idea how long Strasburg will be out, but obviously this isn’t great news. But, Part II: If Ifs And Buts Were Candy And Nuts, I’d Be A Diabetic Squirrel, it’s better Strasburg not pitch injured and keep getting rocked. But, Part III: But Lives, I’d grab Tanner Roark in case he’s moved into the rotation. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There’s a lot of hate towards qualifiers out there. I get it, you feel like the odds are long when you have to spike two rosters to make it count. I also get the sentiment that people feel like they get raked twice when they play qualifiers. If you can win a qualifier however, and you do spike that second lineup, that my friends is bankroll changing. I’m not saying to stop playing you regular tournaments or anything, I’m just trying to make sure you aren’t ignoring what could be a great opportunity to drastically increase your fun money. I’ll lay it out for you using one of DraftKings upcoming featured contests, the Slugfest. This contest is a $33 buy-in, $300K total prize pool event with 10,300 total entrants. Buying straight into that bad boy might be a little out of your price range, and that’s fine. Perhaps the Moonshot tournament is more your style, at $3 buy-in and 30,600 entrants. You may want to consider passing on the Moonshot one or two nights and maybe playing a $3 Slugfest qualifier instead. These qualifiers are 758 entrants with the top 60 earning a spot in the Slugfest. Roughly 8% of entrants will win here. Low odds you say, and you’re right. If we compare these odds to the Moonshot odds however, you’ll see it’s not that bad. In order to win enough in the Moonshot to pay for your buy-in to the Slugfest you’d have to finish 130th or better (winning $40). Your odds there my good friend are a mere 0.4%. Them’s bad odds right thur. If you have a lineup that can get you in the top 8% on the night of the qualifier and then just min cash in the Slugfest (a top 20.1% lineup will get you there), you’d walk away with a cool $65. If you’d like to turn your $3 Moonshot into that kind of cash, you’d have to place in the top 60, in other words a top 0.2% lineup. The other great thing about these qualifiers is, since they have such a bad rap, there is often overlay. Overlay is your friend. Look for it, embrace it, play it often to great success. Look, I’m not saying playing these things is going to allow you to quit your job or anything, I just want you to be aware of them. Don’t let a good thing slip by just because you heard it was bad, try it for yourself and see what you think. Now, let’s cover some plays that might help you win yourself a ticket tonight.

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.

But wait, there’s more! Sticking with the program here, last Tuesday’s Razzball Friend’s and Family DraftKings contest was none other than your humble author. I feel a little awkward shouting myself out, but hey, at least you know the guy handing out advice isn’t finishing 23rd out of 25 every night, so there’s that. Now, back to regular scheduled programming.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sometimes a news story falls through the cracks, but Lewis Black is there to catch them in a segment we call Back in Black!  Oh wait, got a little carried away there…  I mean:

Sometimes a pitcher falls through the cracks, and Grey is there to catch them!

Now, I have somewhat of an excuse…  Due to the MLB and regional networks wanting to stick it up the rear of their viewers and black out however-the-hell-far their national maps can reach, I can’t watch Orioles or Nationals games live in my region.  It’s so frustrating that I sold high on Adam Jones in my keeper just because I couldn’t see the homers right away!  I’m an instant gratification kinda guy, wink wink.

It’s easy to follow the hitters from these teams and see the highlights, but I never see big samples from either teams’ SP unless it’s on national TV.  Or in this case, in a Pitcher Profile!  Grey has been all about some Miguel Gonzalez on the Podcast, and I guess it’s easy for me to be a little dismissive as he’s never had “huge” numbers and I can’t ever watch him.  Plus, how good could he be anyway, he’s not even the only starting pitcher named Miguel Gonzalez!  Mmmmmm, Alfredo.  But not the Simon kind!  Anyway, since I’ve seen so little of Gonzalez and he had a very under the radar 2.09 ERA in the final 3 months last year and a 2.59 ERA this year with nice Ks, I figured it was a good time to break down his last start hosting the Rays to see how he’s doing pitch-by-pitch:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Imagine Gangsta Gangsta’s Ice Cube singing, “With a right left, right left you toothless, and then you say goddamn they ruthless,” but not coming out of Ice Cube’s mouth, but out of Glass Joe’s mouth from Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. Imagine Mola Ram reaching into a chest and ripping out a heart. Only instead of Mola Ram, it’s Arvid from Head of the Class. Imagine the head Neo-Nazi from Oz, walking into your shower, only instead of him it’s the guy from the Farmers Insurance commercials…Oh, wait, that’s the same guy. Those were the sort of visions Chris Sale must’ve been having when he looked at the Twins. We see nerds, he sees Ice Mola Cube Ram Nazis. The Twins scored eight runs on him in three innings and, without looking at a box score, you can’t even imagine who did that damage. Brian Dozier? Yeah, he went 2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 2nd homer. Joe Mauer? Yup, he went 3-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs. Eduardo Escobar? Okay, now you’re cheating. You would’ve never guessed Eduardo Escobar. Up until two seconds ago, you thought Eduardo Escobar was Pablo’s peacenik brother. Sale’s ERA is up to 5.32, but that’s almost entirely due to last night. If his owner is panicked, I’d look for a little sale on, um, well, you know. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m popping a cherry of sorts here…  I’m double-dipping in my first ever Pitcher Profile on a hurler already profiled.  But things change!  People change!  Hairstyles change!  I’ll miss you the most, scarecrow!  (bonus points if you know that movie!)

Two years ago, I broke down Chris Archer‘s first career complete game that Summer…  Look at how much we’ve improved!  No weekly rankings, no GIFs, it’s like that was written in the stone age!  At the time, Archer was a young-up-and-comer who even surprised the most die hard of Archer fans, but after going complete twice in a three game span in 2013, really hasn’t shown uber-dominance in any long stretches.  Well, looking back at 2014 he did go on a huge roll starting at the end of May, but never more than say 6 or 7 starts.

After a meh opener, Archer has been a stud the last four, and at age 26 may be finally settling in to an ace-like season.  So I decided to break down his outing yesterday hosting the Blue Jays to see if I think this is a new Archer that is going to maintain dominant numbers all year:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Saturday’s games gives us intriguing SP options with Bauer, Alfredo Simon, and Anthony DeSclafani. Heading that list is Trevor Bauer with his clever and catchy Twitter handle, @BauerOutage. All three of these SP’s have started 2015 very strong. Today’s match-ups really have me focused on whether they are legit SP’s in DFS, or have they just got off to lucky starts. I’ll continue to say your two SP’s need to be strikeout pitchers. Meaning, don’t play a pitcher that has far less K’s per IP, or has a high WHIP. Go ahead and pay the big bucks for the SP’s. However, you can’t always start two SP’s that are $10,000+ and will eat up a huge portion of your salary. The aforementioned SP’s prices have good value. But my biggest struggle is, do I keep plugging them in or are they going to get destroyed by a good opponent? Of the three, Bauer is the only pitcher that at one point was a top pitching prospect. He was highly touted out of UCLA, and the Diamondbacks drafted him third overall in the 2011 MLB Draft. Bauer also won the Golden Spikes Award as the nation’s top amateur player. The Diamondbacks gave up on him pretty fast and traded him to the Cleveland Indians. He’ll get his biggest test of 2015 today against the Detroit Tigers. Anthony DeSclafani was once a top prospect in the Marlins organization, and was a key piece to the trade involving Mat Latos. He pitched 33 Innings for the Marlins in 2014, and those numbers are not impressive at all. So if you want to rollout a SP whose name you can’t pronounce, don’t look it up. Realize that he isn’t an ultra-talented rookie that has come out of nowhere. The player I can’t help but compare him to the most is Jacob deGrom. Like DeSclafani, deGrom was somewhat of a top prospect in the Mets organization, but no one expected this type of skill at the major league level. It’s still too early to make that comparison, but DeSclafani’s hot start has me thinking in that direction. As for Alfredo Simon, he came on last year with the Cincinnati Reds. His overall numbers in 2014 were good, but he fizzled out a bit at the end. Now with the Tigers in 2015, he’s off to another good start, and although the Indians haven’t looked great so far, it’ll be a good match-up to see if Simon is a legit DFS option every week. Don’t be afraid to start two SP’s that face each other, as Bauer and Simon do today. Although you would only be able to potentially get one win, if the strikeouts pile up, so will your DraftKings score.

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?

Dressed in a tuxedo, Ron Kittle walks up to Leon Durham, looking fabulous in a red dress and high heels, and says, “It would be my pleasure to give you a lesson in marksmanship.” Leon scoffs, “You couldn’t give me a lesson in long-distance spitting.” Then they begin to go back and forth, “Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything, better than you.” “No, you can’t, Kris Bryant!” “Yes, I can, Carlos Rodon!” “No, you can’t, Kris Bryant!” “Yes, I can, Carlos Rodon!” “You four-eyed honkey, KRIS BRYANT!” “You four-eyed non-honkey, CARLOS RODON!” And so went the Annie Get Your Gun musical performed by the White Sox and Cubs alumni this weekend. Rodon is ready to perform, but why start his clock to pitch out of the bullpen? Unless the White Sox are sick of Noesi butting into their rotation where he doesn’t belong. I’d have to guess that’s what’s happening here. The White Sox are saying Rodon will work out of the bullpen, but within a week or two, he’ll be in the rotation. Why do we care? Because he can be the best pitching prospect call up of the season. Yes, he can! I’d own him in any league, but he’s likely gone. No, he can’t! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So let me be the first person on the internet to reference Chris Farley’s Matt Foley character when talking Daniel Norris. You hear me. THEE. FIRST. Don’t google it, just trust me. And what could you really want from this blog? Want me to reference Into The Wild? So what you’re saying is you want to be depressed by Eddie Vedder acoustic material. You can go get mopey on your own time; around here, we aim for the yucks not socio-political stances. BTW, meat is murder, can you sign my petition?!? Now for this young season, our young arm hasn’t really done much in his matchups to garner trust so this is strictly a GPP call but the numbers are there to exploit. Though the season isn’t too far along, the Braves offense wasn’t looking too sparkling on paper against LHPs coming into the year and they’ve proven that on the field so far. In an albeit small sample size of 74 PA, the Braves have a .247 wOBA against southpaws while mustering a woeful 56 wRC+. But that’s what happens when you initially sign Jonny Gomes to be your full time left fielder. Yes, Atlanta, I’m throwing you some shade. There’s a difference between rebuilding and derailing and you definitely crossed that line but it’s all good with me because for $5,800, I just freed up some salary for some bigger bats today. So without further ado, let’s get to it. Here are my scorching hot takes for this Sunday DK slate…

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?

For the first time, there’s Reasonable Doubt for you, the Jay Z owner. Asking yourself, on Growing Pains, am I, Boner? You’re supposed to put up goose eggs, and be all zen. Now the Black Album is scrambled, got funky albumen. Grey told me don’t draft a top starter, but I got Jordan Zimmermann not Shawn Carter. Jigga what…is with all the runs? His starts make me want to curse, hide your nuns. Pardon my question, but my H2H is on tilt and I need streamers from the SON, see. This is fantasy, where’s my funzies!? Yesterday, Zimmermann went 2 1/3 IP and gave up seven, but at least I have Kershaw, Strasburg and Samardzija. Wait, then why is my team’s ERA pushing five and I don’t have anything that rhymes with Samardzija!? As for Zimmermann, he looks like he’s hiding an injury so far this year. Velocity’s down, Ks are down, pitches are up. I wouldn’t panic trade him, but I wonder if something might be wrong and I would explore trade possibilities. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Lads (and ladies), sit with me for a moment while I bless yee with a bit of the folklore of the old country, the Emerald Isle to be exact. A place of legal drugs, pubs, whiskey, rolling green hills, lovely redheaded lassies, and a tradition of folklore as rich as an Irishman’s heart. You may be familiar with stories of wee men and their pots of gold, or the luck of the Blarney Stone, Stonehenge perhaps, but how many of you are familiar with the Púca? To be clear Púcas are ghosts or spirits, bringers of good luck or bad fortune, they are said to be both helpers and hindrances. The really tricky thing about Púcas is how tough they are to identify due to their ability to change appearances and shape-shift. We’re all familiar with Púca’s in one way or another but the most well known Púca to those of us in the States is a giant rabbit named Harvey. That would be the protagonist from Mary Coyle Chase’s play of the same name. The play was later adapted to the silver screen in a film staring Jimmy Stewart, and its a worthwhile take.

Please, blog, may I have some more?