Lots of little piddly injuries this week that don’t seem to be of much consequence. Self-proclaimed MVP candidate Yoenis Cespedes missed a few games with hamstring soreness, but seems ready to return. Stephen Strasburg must have had a great time on his July 20th birthday, because here we are nine months later and he is missing a start to be with his wife as they have their second child. Lil’ DP, Dustin Pedroia, has missed a few games after getting taken out by a Manny Machado slide that would make Ty Cobb proud until Cobb looked at a picture of Machado. And Justin Upton injured his forearm hustling into second base trying to outrun all the lofty hype and expectations we’ve heaped on him for a decade now.

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If only Adam Jones had gotten injured that headline would’ve been perfect. Well, it looks like we are in the thick of baseball injury season! When I went to put this week’s article together, I had 20 players listed that I needed to check out. Luckily, some guys like Brian Dozier, Logan Forsythe and Gregory Polanco were back in their team’s line-ups by the time came for me to check out their current status. Other guys like Jarrett Parker, Mallex Smith and James Kaprielan aren’t really fantasy relevant enough to worry about. But if you are in a deep or AL/NL-only league, feel free to ask me about anyone you want in the comments. Also, many of my fill in recommendations are for deeper leagues, so if you want to know who to pick up in shallower leagues, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments as well! 

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Joining Paul Hollywood at The Great Britton’s Brach Off is Orioles’ manager, Buck Showalter.  Showalter said, “Craig Gentry (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) hit a home run with his leadoff Battenberg cake even if it is missing the mark on OBP, but I love its moistness, and I apologize for using the word moist.”  Trey Mancini (3-for-5, 4 RBIs, and his 3rd and 4th homers) was crowned this week’s Star Baker, beating out Mark Trumbo (2-for-5, 1 run), who was in the cleanup spot, saying, “Why do these people have to use so many pots and pans?”  The Great Britton’s Brach Off didn’t end without losing one baketestant.  Zach Britton over-whisked his meringue and left with a forearm strain.  The Brits are calling it, Zaxit.  So, Britton will be out for at least ten days with Brad Brach filling in, behind Brach will be Darren O’Day, who sounds too IRA to me, then behind him will be Mychal Givens, who is Mike Tyson and Robin Givens’ child.  Buck Showalter said he hopes Britton will be ready in ten days, but forearm strains don’t work that way, so you should grab Brach, at least.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The City of Brotherly Love opened up its sweaty arms, where the hair is growing weirdly on the backside of the biceps, and said, “Come here, and get some of these meatballs that Clay Buchholz is throwing.”  Yoenis Cespedes hit his 2nd, 3rd and 4th homers (4-for-6, 3 runs, 5 RBIs).  In Philly, they say he hit three wiz wits and a Tastykake; Neil Walker (2-for-5, 1 run) had a Tastykake and a dollop of light cream cheese; Asdrubal Cabrera (4-for-6, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer) had a wiz wit, a Tastykake and three dollops of light cream cheese; Lucas Duda (4-for-6 and his 2nd and 3rd homers) had two wiz wits, a Tastykake and a dollop of the good stuff that is like curdled mother’s milk.  Yoenis started off slow, which is a ludicrous thing to say, he has four homers in eight games.  He’s on pace for 80 homers.  I mean, you really need to take a lesson from Uncle LL, and chillllllllll.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yaisel Puig‘s home runs are so effortless they’re like Billie Jean King and Billy Dee Williams only needing to say, “40-love?” to hook up with a girl in the 70s.

Somewhere, Ashton Kutcher is struggling to come off as smart.  He is exerting more energy than Yasiel Puig on his home runs.  When Yasiel Puig is in El Zono Loco, pitchers should be chicken.  When Puig is locked in, he looks as good as all the Cuban graphic novels that were written about him in Fidelphia.  Of course, just as quickly as Puig gets everyone’s hopes up, he collapses under his own hype.  He’s a (ba)con artist?  I’d absolutely own Puig right now that he has three homers in two games (2-for-3, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and a double slam (3) and legs (1) yesterday), but I wouldn’t be surprised if by May he’s back to disappointing.  (By the way, the pitch speed on that homer is 78 MPH.  HAHAHAHAHAHA– Oh my God, I can’t breathe!  Member that old timey film of Bob Feller throwing faster than a speeding motorcycle?  They should have Weaver go against a speed-walking senior citizen.)  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It’s my first post of the year.  I’m so excited!  Thursdays are short schedule days and there’s a nice choice of players this week but still less games means others will have the same plays as you.  Especially if they follow my lead.  Ha!  By the way, has there been a James Shields citing, er siting yet this year?  He should be cited for his performance last year.  You don’t need a coat of arms on your shield today.  But Big Game James will need to protect his arm…and probably neck.  Shields was big time terrible with the White Sox last year after his trade from the Padres.  He gave up a 1.70 whip along with 31 home runs in 119+ innings with the Pale Hose.  Twenty three of those were in 78 US Cellular Field innings.  Shoot, he’s allowed SEVENTY-THREE home runs in his last 384 innings.  That’s a lot of WHIPlash from hard hit balls.  It’s time to play your Tigers.  The Tigers as a team have hit a whopping .299 with 12 home runs in 288 at bats.

I’m all about extra at bats in my daily fantasy games.  Number one and two and three hitters are my favorites.  And if they hit on a team ready two go off on a bum pitcher, even better.

Here’s a look at my picks for Thursday April 6.

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The goal of a stat is to maximize it from the jump, and you could plan it that way even further on draft day.  There are certain pitchers that have a greater propensity to allow the stolen base, and exploiting that by originally drafting those players on draft day to get a jump on streaming isn’t an awful idea.  I used this feature multiple times  last year, so a preseason refresher is never a bad thing to prep you for the upcoming season.  The one bad theory that works against you when trying to stream is that some of these pitchers are fantasy stalwarts in the starting pitcher department.  The biggest name being Noah Syndergaard.  Because he is a good deterrent of actual OBPa, the stolen base becomes a risky proposition to try and gamble on with him taking the mound, most likely twice in the first six games. Because in actuality OBPa is a huge thing, because you can’t steal first. Picking on a pitcher isn’t the only way to go about it either as teams with poor catchers could also benefit you for the streaming guessing game.  The best thing here is that usually the first three days of the year have truncated schedules so picking and choosing your options could be the jump start you need to dominate a category from day one.  Here is a handy chart with last year’s stolen base totals, stolen base opportunities, and OBPa.  The three key factors to see who is easy to Winona…

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As I begin to prepare my projections and rankings for the 2017 season, I like to look back on the previous season’s attempt to not only assess my work, but also to learn how I can do better next time. Projecting statistics in any sport is a tedious and arduous task. The variables, formulas and algorithms are constantly changing and if you don’t adapt with them, your results will lose their precision and accuracy. However, I’d like to make one point blatantly clear, projections are nothing more than calculated guesses. Some are better than the next, but none are even close to perfect.

Let’s see how I fared with my 2016 efforts. For all positions I will provide the following six numbers: projected points, actual points, projected rank, actual rank, projected points per plate appearance and actual points per plate appearance. I am including points per plate appearance because it helps put a player’s projections vs performance into perspective when they’ve missing time due to injury. For pitchers I’ve replaced points per plate appearance with points per start. I’ve also included a column showing the percentage by which my points projections were off. Any player with an “n/a” listed in this column is because that player spent at least 30 days on the disabled list.

Lastly, a quick note about the rankings listed in this post. These rankings are based purely on points. This season I plan to provide additional rankings that allow me to adjust them based on three important factors: intuition, gut and my sporadic conversations with Nostradumass.

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Yesterday….yesterday….yesterday….
All my fantasy baseball titles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though one is here to stay *sung in a very fast voice* oh, crap, nope, because I drafted Matt Holliday,
Oh, why did I believe in Holliday…day…day…day.
Suddenly!  Jacob deGrom’s arm is not half of what it used to be.
There’s a shadow hanging over me,
Oh, it’s Giancarlo’s injured groin that I made of plaster of Paris and that just came to me suddenly!
Why the season had to go, I don’t know, it wouldn’t say… because it can’t talk, it’s a baseball season that ended yesterday…yesterday…yesterday!
Fantasy Baseball was such an easy game to play,
Now I need a mother’s basement to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday…day…day.

*sniffles*  Here, take a tissue.  You have to excuse me, I don’t have any clean ones.  What will we do for the next few months without an update on a Mets’ pitcher elbow?  Does Daniel Murphy’s butt hurt or is he just butt-hurt?  What will we do without a Bryce Harper injury update?  WHAT?  WILL?  WE?  DO?  Prepare for next season, of course.  But, first, let’s bask in the last day of the season.  Today is the day when you realize you’ve spent 27,000 man hours this summer beating eleven other strangers to win a virtual trophy, and it feels great!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I always get a bit sentimental this time of year. The leaves start changing, green turns to vibrant orange, crisp yellow, lavish purple. The thought that I’m getting older creeps into the back of my mind and begins to fester, like a mouse gnawing on the old bones of a once sturdy home. I start thinking about the things I said I’d do and haven’t done, the things I always wanted to do and never have, and the things I said I’d never be and how I became those very things…and of course, this all coincides with the end of the boys of summer, as those days of 30 teams playing baseball whittles down to the merry few that were the best on the year. Then the numbers shrink a little bit, then they shrink a little bit more, until one team is crowned the victor and they all go home to that long silence that winter brings without baseball. I tell ya, some people really dig seeing the baseball season winding down. They get into the groove of the football year and then begin their slow trudge of learning all that happened in baseball over the winter months around February. For me, I enjoy football but baseball is always tops…bae’s ball if you will. And with that, I am saying good bye for the year and signing out with…wait, what? Colby Lewis?!? Am I really gonna do this? Yeah, I think so. As bad as Colby has struggled since his return from the DL, I think we get the start that tells his coaches he should be part of the starting rotation in the playoffs as the Rays have had some slumbering bats of late. Over their last 7, the Rays have a wRC+ of 80 and a K rate of 28.5%. In fact, their 14 game peer in looks eerily similar at 83 and 28.2%, respectively. Throw in the third worst K rate against righties on the year and you have a chance at fantasy glory going with Colby today. Because of recent production, I’d only look to Lewis in my tourneys today but as we know, Coors and Coors South looms so we’re gonna have to do some penny pinching to get in on said action. But let’s talk about that later. For now, let Sky sign off for the year with you in one final hurrah. Here’s my not as gloomy taeks for this Saturday DK slate…

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