The closest David Wright is to getting on the field is to smell the glove. The doctors have diagnosed him with spinal stenosis, which is the narrowing of the spinal column. “That sounds awesome, my column’s way too wide,” says a runway model. Has there ever been a situation, besides This Is Spinal Tap, where the word spinal has been good? Misspellings of spinal with l’pinas, the French Colada, does not count. The plains in Wright’s pain fall directly on the spinal. Honestly, this sounds like an issue that will plague him this entire year and he’s going to have a lost season. Not honestly, good news. On our podcast that is coming later today this ailment is compared to some football guy no longer doing football things due to spinal stenosis and how dropping Wright, if you don’t have DL room, could be the, uh, right move. I sorta agree, but would try to hold him a bit longer, until we hear more. It does sound like this has the makings of “Can Wright bounce back in 2016?” articles. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If I was drafting a season-long fantasy baseball team today, I would target Kolten Wong very early. I remember before the start of the 2014 season, a major media outlet had a debate as to who the best future middle infielder would be. I was hoping one of them was going to talk about Wong, and to my surprise, they did. I was surprised because there was so much focus on future star players like Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor, Addison Russell, and Carlos Correa. We all remember Kolten being picked-off first base to end Game 4 of the World Series against the Red Sox in 2013. Talk about a way for a young rookie’s career to start off! Wong came back in 2014 starting at second base for the Cardinals, only to be demoted to the minors after struggling to begin the season, and was then recalled and performed very well to end 2014. This season, Wong was the starting second baseman for the Cardinals, but batted at the bottom of the lineup. Now he’s batting at the top of the Cardinals’ lineup and has really displayed his talent. So far he’s batting over .300 with 5 home runs and 3 stolen bases. However, he has the potential to hit 20 homers and have 25 stolen bases. When it comes to DFS, I will continue to play Wong at every opportunity. Not too many second basemen have power and speed ability. Robinson Cano is no longer a viable DFS option. Brian Dozier is a power hitter. Ian Kinsler has been an on-base player this season while still looking for his first home run. Jason Kipnis is coming back to his potential self, and as for Jose Altuve, well, umm, all I can say is Wong isn’t there, yet. If there’s a second baseman that can potentially reach Altuve-type ability, I firmly believe Wong could be that guy.

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?

Man, I was coming into yesterday afternoon all pumped for today’s Profile – high-caliber young gun in Noah Syndergaard going on Sunday, facing my terrible Brewers, it was going to be a monster start…  Andddddd – he plunks my favorite player Carlos Gomez in the face.  F you Noah!  You went from Chris Hemsworth to whoever played the nincompoop in Blue Lagoon.  What a ninny!  And he didn’t even look remorseful, but in retrospect while re-reading my open, he was a little shaken.  Regardless, I only barely like him more than Yordano Ventura now…

Biases be as they be (I think I heard that on some rap mixtape Grey made for me), but I still gutted through an objective-as-possible Pitcher Profile to break down how Syndergaard looked and how much we can expect from him in his rookie season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

hebrew


Max Scherzer
, Jordan Zimmermann, and Stephen Strasburg. If that doesn’t sound like the guest list for Temple Beth Sholom’s Rosh Hashanah bash, I don’t know what does. Who will the Nationals sign next, Ryan Braun, Ike Davis or Ian Kinsler? How many Jews does it take to win a World Series? Now before anyone goes and gets offended, let me say that I myself am Jewish, or at least I was raised as such. Bar Mitzvah and all. And that means that it’s kosher for me make Jewish jokes. It’s kinda like how African-American rappers and comedians are allowed to say the word that shall not be said. Shockingly, however, none of Scherzer, Zimmermann, nor Strasburg light the menorah. Say what!?! It’s true. You won’t find any of those names in Adam Sandler’s next rendition of the Hanukkah Song. But while I’m on the topic, allow me to say that Hebrew National hot dogs are, by far, the best hot dogs one can eat. Actually all kosher hot dogs are pretty damn delicious. Most importantly, they are all beef. No uncertainly about what you are actually eating. After all, they answer to a higher authority!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maybe I shamed the Marlins into caring about their bullpen. Maybe I’m just like my mother, she’s never satisfied. Why do we scream at Steve Cishek? This is what it sounds like, when fantasy baseballers cry! Damn, I’ll never get sick of Prince. Well, except when I have to rely on him to hit homers from my 1st base slot. As they removed Cishek from the closer role, the Marlins said, “Shrek has done a tremendous job for us, but at the end of the day, it’s about winning games.” They call Cishek Shrek? Is that so the 12-year-old Yelich isn’t scared to room with him? Holy cow, have you seen Cishek?! He looks like he could be Yelich’s younger brother! Do the Marlins pay their prospects in Girl Scout cookies? Does the team bus have to wait an extra five minutes every day so they can finish their paper route? Are Yelich and Cishek extras from the off-Broadway adaption of Drake & Josh? I have questions, y’all! So, Cishek is not only out, but looks like a flaming Pu-Pu Platter. I’d grab A.J. Ramos immediately, stash Mike Dunn and Bryan Morris and would even look at Rafael Soriano, since the Marlins said they might sign him. Oh, and once Henderson Alvarez returns, there’s speculation Tom Koehler could close. A Koehlser?! In other words, this shituation is a closerousel, so hold on for your life. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Another week of two-start pitchers and another music focused theme to guide you in your conquests. Wait that sounded sexual, you’re not trying to sleep with two start pitchers right?  I mean it’s fine if you do this is a judgement free zone, but I wanted to be clear about my usage of conquests.  I don’t want to start showing up for searches based around jersey chasing.  Then my comments might be questions like “What’s the best type of underwear to wear when trying to seduce Max Scherzer?”.  Jesus, how did I get here?  I just want to talk a little 90’s grunge and throw a few stats at you.  Stream of conscious writing isn’t for everyone.  Let’s put aside my ramblings for a moment and get into the meat of this sandwich shall we?  Anyone see the Kurt Cobain documentary “Montage of Heck”?  I watched it three times this week and was reminded of how much I loved Nirvana as a 10 year old Ralph.  For anyone that’s a Nirvana fan it’s a worthy take.  So thanks to the film and last week’s spirited music debate in the comments I’ve been inspired to base this week’s tiers on my favorite groups from the Seattle Grunge scene.  Hell it’s probably the last good thing to come out of Seattle. I see you Tehol.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you search for the pitchers with the top xFIPs, it’s a who’s who of the league’s finest. It’s not quite as glamorous as the Who’s Who of Western Appalachian High School Students that your parents paid $25 for you to get your picture in, but it’s still pretty illustrious. Kershaw on top, then Salazar, F-Her, Gerrit, Carrasco, Pineda, Archer, Shields, Scherzer, Harvey and Lynn. If your pitching staff was just those guys, you may not be currently winning your pitching categories, but you will by the end of the year, or your money back1. Right after Lynn in the list is Clay Buchholz, then after him it continues to be purdy: Arrieta, Kluber, Lester and so on2. Out of all of those pitchers, Kershaw, Shields and Salazar are the only ones with a better K-rate with Buchholz’s at 11.5. 11.5 K/9 is excellent and is the 4th best in the majors. Buchholz’s walk rate isn’t bad either at 2.87 — under 3 is solid. Under three walk rate with an 11.5 K/9 is an ace. Only thing is, his ERA is 6.03. Oopsie! Right now, his BABIP is .407. A .407 BABIP is basically the equivalent to an easy grounder is headed right to a fielder, but the ball is grabbed by a possum and the possum runs the ball around the infield for five minutes as the hitter goes around the bases for an inside-the-parker. If Buchholz is available in your league, I’d absolutely grab him, and could even see trading for him in deeper leagues9.

1You just need to sell my Jose Canseco Sportsflics rookie card to get that money back.
2Yes, I said so on rather than list Bartolo Colon3.
3Yes, by footnoting Bartolo Colon I am sorta listing him4.
4My autocorrect wanted to change sorta to Sorat. Is that Borat’s sister5?
5I miss Sacha Baron Cohen. Shame what happened to him.6
6My intern says nothing happened to him, he just picked crappy films to be in7.
7The Spirit of David Foster Wallace has taken over my body8.
8Not really.
9Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“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?