Yesterday, Noah Syndergaard admitted to having an elbow bone spur after denying it multiple times. Terry Collins said, “No one would know our business if it wasn’t for giving the PR job to a puppy dog! Ruff ruff! Come here, Fido, I wanna spank you with a rolled up newspaper!” This is the 2nd Mets’ starter in two days with elbow spurs. I look forward to the opening round of the playoffs when all of the Mets’ starters are wearing Iron Mike Sharpe elbow pads to hold their arms together. Or they hire John Cusack to marionette their starters. So, this is obviously not good news from Syndergaard, but it’s also not the end of his season. He could opt for surgery if he’s in pain, but he says he’s not in pain (though, he also said he didn’t have elbow spurs up until yesterday). Jon Lester has pitched through elbow spurs for the last five years. It’s not uncommon for starters to power through. Would I look to sell Syndergaard low? No. If you can get a healthy, similar starter, then sure, why not? No reason to panic. Unless Syndergaard starts wearing cowboy boots on his elbow. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Bases haven’t been nearly full at all in Michael Fulmer‘s starts this past month!
After a rocky beginning to his Major League career, Fulmer has been absolutely on fire the past month, vaulting from “meh, another big prospect called up too early, schwatev” to “this guy is ROY!” As in, Roy Campanella! Wait, I don’t think he was a pitcher…
Featuring a huge fastball and an awesome beard, it’s getting tougher and tougher to not jump on board the Fulmer train on his incredible scoreless streak and 5 Ws in a row. I usually write the intro before breaking down the start, but I worked a little out-of-sequence today. Spoiler alert! I’m so on board. I’m trading in my “Mustache Rides – $0.25” shirt with Grey on it to “Beard Rides – $0.50” with Fulmer. So without any more ado or facial hair-play, here’s how Fulmer looked yesterday in a dominating start against the Yanks:Please, blog, may I have some more?
A few weeks ago, I was but a wee lad writing my first article for Razzball, and you were reading that article because you were either desperate for catcher advice in your fantasy league or because you just plain hate yourself. I recommended picking up J.T. Realmuto for a lengthy dice roll or Jarrod Saltalamacchia for some short term power, and we all laughed a little on the outside and cried a little on the inside.
Then Realmuto hit .500 over the course of the next week. .500, as in half of his at bats were hits. .500, as in the batting average of some of the top high school baseball prospects (except Realmuto, he hit .595 and had 119 RBI in 42 games. Found those stats by accident while searching for a picture of the Realmuto family crest.). .500, as in—OK, enough. It was only a week.
Realmuto cooled off a bit the next week, but he was still more than solid, especially for a catcher: 8-23, 0.348 BA, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R, SB, .739 OPS. Not too shabby, even if there isn’t a ton of power there. I would like to take this time to point out that my predictions (read: ANALYSIS) for Realmuto, Salty, and Wilson Ramos were all pretty much spot on. Ok, now that we got that out of the way, we can move on.
The free agent catcher wasteland is as bleak as it has ever been. I checked the top 3 free agents by position yesterday in my CBS league, and the top 3 catchers available were: Saltalamacchia, Chris Herrmann, and David Ross. I think most of us would agree that the logical reactions to those three are “old news,” “who?,” and “really?,” respectively. It’s bad, guys. Let’s start with the catchers to stay away from, first.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s 2016 and everyone is raving about their kale and quinoa diet, and if you’re drinking anything other than water you may die. But today I am here to tempt you with a tall glass of Aaron Nola. Obviously you have aces Strasberg, Arrieta, and Kluber all starting, but as I surveyed the pitching field, I noticed several bad pitchers and some decent pitchers with bad scenarios. Today is most certainly a day to pony up for pricy pitchers. I was almost going to suggest Mike Foltynewicz … that’s how bad it is out there. Nola’s price falls under 10K at $9,500. However, if he keeps pitching like he has been, that price is bound to rise. Nola has been ace-like to start the season. He has gone 7 strong in 5 out of his 7 starts, issuing 49 K and only 8 BB to the tune of a 2.54 xFIP. Only two pitchers own lower xFIP, who happen to be Kershaw and Syndergaard, so he’s in pretty good company on the xFIP front. Opposing batters haven’t been able to generate much solid contact off his pitches. Nola is 12th in average exit velocity at 86.6 among qualified starting pitchers. Nola again finds himself in the good company, as his average distance per hit is only flying 200 feet. That pegs him right in between Syndergaard (201) and Kershaw (199). Are you worried about him facing Cincy? Don’t be. The Reds are a completely different team on the road than they are at home. At home they are stroking a .733 OPS, with 98 runs (2nd), and have hit 31 HR (1st). Compared to .638 OPS, 37 runs (30th), and 5 HR (29th) on the road. It’s the weekend! Forget about your diet, sit back, and take a swig from the Coca-Nola bottle. With that, I give you the rest of my DraftKings picks…
New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday May 16th 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?
There’s embarrassment and then there’s having to cover in detail a fantasy baseball league you’re nearly dead last in. So begins our first monthly update on the in house dynasty league “The RazzNasty”. For those of you that are new here, “The RazzNasty” is a Razzball founded dynasty league made up of Razzball writers, readers, commenters, and Methodists! It’s a 16 team roto with semi-weekly adds/drops via blind auction. We have 30 man MLB rosters and 10 man minor league rosters. Since we last updated you in early March there’s been a flurry of activity including trades, wire adds, a second commissioner switch, and a banana or two in the tailpipe. So yes it’s more or less high stakes Mario Kart.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s 2016, and that means that most of us will have to make some moves throughout the year to address the catcher position. Long gone are the glory days of 2004 when the top 10 catchers could all be counted on for double digit home runs and an average above .280. In 2004, an already aging Mike Piazza rated as the 10th best catcher with 20 home runs and a .266 average (See: Doping in Baseball). This year, in this sad world that we live in, Travis d’Arnaud was the second catcher taken in many leagues because it was thought that he had the POTENTIAL for 20+ long balls and a .240 average.
So, the chances are that unless you drafted Buster Posey early or were able to keep Posey in a keeper league, you’ll be at least flirting with the waiver wire catchers at some point this year. Perhaps you drafted d’Arnaud and now have his .196 AVG and zero home runs on your DL. Maybe you’re in my league and you traded for Kyle Schwarber on draft day and are now ready to kill yourself. It’s even possible that you drooled over his 2014 stats (25 HR, .273 AVG) and drafted Devin Mesoraco, but now his .152 AVG and frequent days off have you ready to move on.
The bad news is that catchers in fantasy baseball have become crapshoots, and many owners choose to chase categories instead of trying to find balance. The good news is that you’ll get to pick a new catcher and feel hopeful every few weeks!Please, blog, may I have some more?
It might surprise you to learn that a catcher was the most added player in ESPN leagues last week. That’s right. A catcher. You’re probably thinking that it’s some hot prospect who looks like the next coming of Mike Piazza. In that case, you’d be wrong. Very, very wrong. It’s actually 30-year-old journeyman catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Salty’s smacked 6 homers in just 48 plate appearances this season, which has some fantasy owners dreaming of a cheap 20 homers from their recent waiver wire find. He has hit 25 homers in a season before (2012), and power has never been an issue for Salty. What has been an issue is making consistent contact. He’s one of 11 players in MLB history (min 2000 PA) with a 30+% K% in his career, and his 32.4% K% since the beginning of the 2014 season is the 3rd highest in MLB over that span (min 600 PA) behind only Mike Zunino and Tyler Flowers. This season, he has a 37.5% K% and his early power outburst is largely due to a 33.3% HR/FB (career 13.8%). Same old Salty. Enjoy the hot streak but don’t get too attached. Too much Salty will give you high blood pressure.
Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Sorry I missed you guys… and girls last week. I was having computer issues, and when you couple that with all my other issues, well then, you got a lot of issues. This week I’m going to keep focusing on steals after last week’s… I mean two weeks ago post where I went over the top pitchers and teams to steal against. You can read that here. It’s really exciting stuff. Speaking of exciting stuff, did any of you get a chance to stream Blake Snell? I didn’t see him getting called up this early, but as always, we get crushed when he gets sent down and now we have to wait for his next arrival. Stupid friggin’ Rays. I’m just glad he wasn’t Ian Snell out there.Please, blog, may I have some more?
To understand Jake Lamb, I think it’s important to go back to the 1964 Summer Olympics when his father’s hero, Lambis Manthos, was competing for Greece in the 50 meter pistol shooting event. Due to a clerical error, Lambis thought he was competing in the 50 centimeter pistol shooting event. Lambis practiced shooting dinner plates from about 20 inches away. At one point, he was able to shoot an olive off a branch from about two feet away. Metaphorically, that meant war, and he knew it. He was ready, which is why this story ended so sadly when he realized it was really a 50-meter event. Lambis was extremely shortsighted and nearly took out a judge when tasked with shooting so far away. Thankfully, tragedy was averted when he only shot into one of those mats high jumpers fall on. At the end of the event, with Lambis in last place, the laughingstock of the competition, a young man by the name of Jake, was so moved with Lambis and his ability to hit close targets, he took his name as his last. This was Jake Lamb Sr., and the legend that Jake Lamb has to live up to. So, besides being a heartwarming story, what does this have to do with fantasy? Not a ton, said the man with four letters at his disposal. Lamb is currently slotted into the six or two hole on most days. He hasn’t shown great ability with lefties, so he’ll likely need to be platooned, but I’d do just that in all leagues. He has some power, some speed and shouldn’t kill you in average. Not from 50 meters or centimeters. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Philly fans are often singled out for their rude, obnoxious behavior, but yesterday, as the Mets hit six home runs, the Philly fans were attempting to be on their best behavior. Here’s a few of the more polite things heard, “Excuse me, sir, are you using the batteries in your portable radio? I’d like to throw them at someone’s shoulder. No, not their head. That would be rude.” Also heard, “I hate to waste a cheesesteak, but I’d like to vomit on an unsuspecting Mets fan.” “Jimmy, no, vomit on a suspecting Mets fan.” “Yeah, you’re right, Marge.” Finally, “These Mets are fun to watch, I get to try out new curse words — screw you, nut sock!” Then, with a pleased smile, “See, it’s like sack, but sock. Catchy, no?” Philly fans had all kinds of reasons to be annoyed yesterday as the Mets did damage. Yoenis Cespedes hit his 4th homer (1-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs). Driving to the park in a limited edition car made of guano and Play-Doh must be his good luck charm! Michael Conforto hit his 2nd homer (2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) as he hit third until he was pinch hit for against a lefty later in the game. I get that Conforto’s a lefty and it’s a matchup thing, but there’s gotta be some kind of unspoken rule. The guy you bat third in your lineup is not a platoon player. That’s Connie Mack to Earl Weaver to Coach Taylor rock solid coach stuff. You don’t pinch hit your three hole hitter! Then Neil Walker hit his 5th and 6th homers (2-for-5), with two homers in the past two days, and, honestly, truthfully, interruptingly, when you have six homers in 13 games, there weren’t a whole lot of games where you didn’t homer. Finally, Lucas Duda hit his 2nd homer (1-for-5, 2 RBIs), and 2nd in as many days. The Phillies starters really aren’t that bad. Dot dot dot. Compared to their relievers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?