While it’s all well and good that Noah Syndergaard got to be on Game of Thrones, I cannot fathom why the powers that be did not consider using someone who actually looks like he belongs in Westeros (albeit beyond the wall) – the ginger-god himself, Justin Turner. Seriously, how could they not get Justin Turner to play a freefolk. He legitimately looks just like Tormund Giantsbane – you’re telling me you couldn’t have him be Tormund’s brother (or long lost son), Turner Giantsbane? That’s a massive opportunity entirely blown by the writers and casting. Anyway, turning to DFS for a second, Justin Turner-Giantsbane is having quite a season so far. A career .284/.351/.419 hitter before the 2015 season, Turner had seemingly taken a big step forward over the past two seasons by posting numbers a step above his career to that point – .294/.370/.491 in 2015 (142 wRC+), and .275/.339/.493 (124 wRC+) in 2016. But just like how Tormund went from small character to a well-liked secondary character to a full-blown fan favorite, Justin Turner has gone from decent major league (everything up through 2014) to respectable major league hitter (2015-2016) to full blown MVP candidate this year by batting .348/.441/.561 (currently good for the 3rd best wRC+ at 166 – fourth if you want to include Mike Trout, which is mandatory because he’s Mike $%^&*[email protected] Trout). And of note is how he’s done it – so far in 2017, he’s destroying lefties on a level that even Edgar Renteria and Alex Rodriguez would be impressed by – so far this season, he’s batting .398/.489/.759 (222 wRC+) against lefties. Sure enough, he’s facing a lefty today, and not a good one either – Clayton Richard. Now, I will be the first to admit that his L/R splits in a single season are the product of small sample size. But while the lefty-mashing will likely regress, the righty-hitting will likely also likely regress (in the opposite direction) as he reverts towards his career norms of having no real split. And yes, it’s probable that the 2015-2016 Justin Turner is the “true” Justin Turner, but the 2015-2016 Justin Turner is still pretty damn good. And he’s in a great matchup, facing Clayton Richard today. So ride the ginger wave, and roster Justin Giantsbane. If he continues the 2017 Justin Turner, complete with lefty-mashing that can only be rivaled by Arya’s list, you’ve got an absolute monster today. And if he’s just the 2015-2016 Justin Turner? Well, you’ve still got one heck of a good play today.

On to the picks once Turner Giantsbane is a character in Game of Thrones

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Not gonna lie: the pickings are slim at this time of year. After a couple of weeks where it seemed like there were actually a few almost-interesting names on the wire in NL and AL-only leagues, the pool is pretty dried up.  When I looked up “blech” on dictionary.com just out of curiosity to see whether or not it was considered an actual word, I was amused to see the sample sentence for its entry:  “Blech, I feel like vomiting.”  I suspect that is how many of us feel each time we peruse the waiver wire looking for help in an NL or AL-only league.  In deep leagues, it can get incredibly frustrating reading recommendations about how it might be a good time to grab Reynaldo Lopez or Rhys Hoskins, when those guys have been owned in your league since April (if not before). But every once in a while, an under-the-radar minor leaguer, post-hype prospect, or washed-up pitcher who has a surprisingly good run of starts slips through at this time of year, so it’s still worth paying attention to who’s getting added and dropped.

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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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Yasmany Tomas, Odubel Herrera, Nomar Mazara.  What do those players have in common?  Guys that were in last year’s top 100 outfielders post that made it out like this is Orange is the New Black and those guys were Taystee.  Only then Taystee got reincarcerated and brought with her that badass b*tch Vee, and Vee then started running shizz and that white ho, who the show was originally about that is annoying AF, started getting institutionalized with panty-selling and lez ho’ing and–Well, anyway, you get the point.  There’s not a ton of sunshine in this top 100 outfielders, but occasionally you do get glimmers of hope.  All the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are under that link-ma-whosie.  As always, my projections and tiers are included.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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span style=”font-weight: 400;”>This was supposed to be a day filled with Clayton Kershaw against the Rockies. That was the de facto cash game play, who you paired with him was a game of “Don’t Break The Ice”. Now, with Kershaw down and out with an apparent childbirth (epidural), it’s more like a game of russian roulette picking your starters. So, let’s close up, give it a spin and in chamber one, we’ve got Jaime Garcia vs. the Milwaukee Brewers. I always like to lean towards a pitcher who’s at home, check one in the positive column for Garcia. Another positive is the Brew Crew’s strikeout rate. They currently have the second most strikeouts in all of baseball. Generally, the Brewer’s offense is a bit scary (top 10 home OPS), but get them away from Miller Park and the bats go quiet (5th worst away OPS). Jaime has been a bit all over the map this year, but his 3.54 FIP and 3.74 xFIP (compared to 4.09 ERA) suggest he’s been getting a tad unlucky. For the low price of $7,900, Jaime will be my staff anchor on a night where the options are far from safe. Here’s what else is loaded in our DraftKings six shooter tonight:

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Albert Almora was called up yesterday by the Cubs, and he’s the latest barely in-his-20s, big-time Cubs prospect.  Albert Almora also anagrams to Barrel T. Alamo, who’d be great as a San Antonian oil man villain.  “Remember my wrath, Walker, Texas Ranger!  Now hand me my seersucker suit, and, yes, I’m in my underwear because I just bedded your wife and daughter together.  I dig holes for a living!”  So, Almora’s up while Jorge Soler mends his broken hamstring, and Almora’s ready to get all that and a cup of coffee.  Or is it bring Maddon a cup of coffee?  Well, he’s here for his cup of coffee.  And Maddon says he’ won’t play every day.  And, Part II, And There’s More!, I still grabbed him in two leagues.  He’s basically a young Dexter Fowler.  I will call him Dexter Chick.  In Triple-A, he had 3 HRs, 10 SBs, .318 average in 55 games.  He could see action here and there, and might provide a few steals.  In most leagues, he’s not worth grabbing yet, unless you’re like me and can’t resist rookie nookie.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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James Shields was traded to the White Sox for Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatis Jr.  I remember well his father, Fernando Tatis Jr. (yes, they are both juniors; not at all confusing).  I remember Tatis because he was the reason back in 2000, I said on my Geocities site, Fantasy Baseball and Neon Green Backgrounds, the following, “The Cardinals won’t bring up Albert Pujols because they have Fernando Tatis.  Let’s just be grateful we made it through Y2K with all of our AOL emails intact.  I got this forward from my uncle that is hilarious!  Also, I think JC Chasez is easily the best singer in NSYNC.  Justin Timberlake?  More like Give-Me-A-Timberbreak!”  Wow, that didn’t age well at all.  So, the Padres finally listened to me and attempted to get younger.  No idea about this Tatis; he’s so young he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page yet — and Carson Cistulli has a Wiki page longer than Harriet Tubman!  Elsewhere, Erik Johnson becomes an NL-Only add, but his wonky control leaves him a streamer for now in mixed leagues.  As for Shields, leaving Petco + aging pitcher who hasn’t looked great for over a year now = Aged Balsamic.  Hmm, math’s off there, was supposed to equal risky bet for mixed leagues with increased win potential and decreased ratios.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You missed out on Julio Urias and are like, “I will never miss out on another top prospect call up, I promise you that,” then you stick your pinkie out to pinkie swear with your reflection, only the girl you’re seeing walks in on you pinkie swearing with yourself and you need to come up with an excuse, so you tell her, you’re practicing drinking tea with your pinkie out and that works because you’re dating Princess Iman bint Al-Hussein of Jordan, who your friends were more impressed with when they thought you were dating Michael Jordan’s lesbian daughter.  Well, in order to keep your promise to yourself, you Promise Keeper, you need to pick up Jameson Taillon now now now.  Not now, not now now, but now now now.  Three nows.  An extra now when now now is not fast enough.  Why now now now?  The Pirates skipped him this past week because they want him to throw more in the majors.  Now (one now) they are simply sitting on him until they can call him up in the first week of June.  I’d guess Niese or Locke get one more start in the rotation, then Jameson will be here.  Is he that good?  His numbers are kinda ridiculous in Triple-A — 9+ K/9, 0.9 BB/9, 1.82 ERA.  I will now climb into my giant iguana skin throw rug and laugh hysterically like a madman.  Jameson can be the number one call-up pitcher this year, and should be owned now now now.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Well, it finally happened, the long wait is over. Wait a minute, this isn’t right at all. It’s only been three years since the Dodgers signed, a then 16 year old, Julio Urias and we haven’t stopped hearing about him since. The comparisons to fellow Mexican Dodgers hurler, Fernando Valenzuela, might be getting a bit ahead of ourselves. Will there be Juliomania? Perhaps, but there will also be innings limits, pitch counts and who knows what else. What we do know is that at $7,600, Julio is going to be an extremely popular option on DraftKings tomorrow night. There’s a strange phenomenon that people enjoy picking players based on games they plan on watching. During the football season you’ll find slight ownership bumps from SNF and MNF players for this very reason. It makes sense, people want to see their players perform. I imagine there will be many eyeballs on the Dodgers @ Mets game tonight and a heavy dose of Urias as a result. Knowing this will be the case, the prudent move would be to fade Urias all together. The Mets are favored with deGrom taking the hill at home after all. Can you really resist the temptation to have a piece of what might be a magical debut? It’s OK, I probably can’t either, I’ve got at least have small share of the 19 year old lefty. Let’s see who else there is to choose from tonight:

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When it comes to rookies we all known the top 100 prospects, and the guys outside the rankings with all the helium, but more often than not it’s the unheralded prospects that can make all the difference in deeper leagues and dynasty’s. Ask the 2014 Charlie Blackmon owner, the 2015 Delino Deshields owner, or the guy that picked up Travis Shaw down the stretch. They’ll tell you that when everyone else was blinded by minor leagues stats, or top 100 hyperboles, they took a shot on a guy who had something more important than hype; playing time. When it comes down to it, no matter the format, or scoring system everything starts and ends with playing time opportunity. So, with that said, for the next two posts I’m going to take a look at players that have a chance of breaking camp with their clubs, and reaping the benefits of that most important thing. Today we focus on the hitters and Wednesday we’ll move onto the pitchers. These won’t be your heralded guys like A.J. Reed or Jose Peraza, but those less sexy “rooks” that toe the line of JAG, and sleeper. Behold, Dr. Lifshitz’s Sleeper Rookies for 2016 Fantasy Baseball!

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