It was May of 2001, Beyoncé was the lead singer of Destiny’s Child, people still listened to Limp Bizkit, I was huddled in some college dorm room taking gravity bong hits, and Barry Bonds was hitting steroid fueled dongs at an alarming rate. Bonds hit 17 that month, numbers we were never supposed to see again in the post-steroid era. Then Edwin Encarnacion woke up from his early season slumber and started rounding the bases at Bondsian rates, imaginary parrot in tow. Unfortunately I didn’t draft E5 on a single team and after watching his recent tear this pains me deeply. It’s not that I didn’t like Encarnacion, I just preferred his teammate Jose Bautista in the second round of my drafts. This my friends is what makes DraftKings such a beautiful thing. Every night I can make up for the mistakes of March and own players like Encarnacion or Nelson Cruz, but wait it gets even better! If you haven’t played daily fantasy on DraftKings before you can play for free by joining.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Is there anything more boring than that guy who won’t shut up about his fantasy team? It’s like when your ex-girlfriend used to try to tell you about The Bachelorette during prime scotch drinking time. And that’s why you’re an ex, Brenda! However, the team I constructed last night in our little Razzballin’ 50/50 took first out of 200 and I plan on putting this $1.80 worth of winnings towards that new and improved liver. Thanks, Obamacare! I’m not trying to bore y’all with the details, but it was the bargain basement plays that put me over the top. Players like Kolten Wong, Danny Valencia and Jonny Gomes weren’t sexy picks, but they scored more than Ian Kinsler, Hanley Ramirez and Andrew McCutchen combined. When it comes to constructing a roster for DFS play those bargain basement players mean just as much as your big named expensive stars. Your Razzballin’ tools like the Stream-o-Nator, Hitter-Tron, and the all-new DFSBot are must reads if you’re playing for cash and bragging rights with our pals at Draftkings.

When it comes to DFS play, I play for profit, sure, but I also play for fun and enter various lineups in cheap Cash Games and Head-to-Heads. The other night I threw together an all-speed team and it cashed. I also played an all-Carlos team that almost cashed. Damn you, Carlos Quentin! Tonight, I’m looking to construct the all-bargain-basement team that’ll feature nothing but players under $4,500. Wish me luck! Feel free to scatter a few of these guys through your roster or be bold and play them all!

With all that said, we have 11 games on the evening slate, some pricey bats and there’s some weather to pay attention to in Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Colorado. Here’s your dirty turbaned Guru’s all-bargain-basement team for Wednesday’s 5/21 contests on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball. Good luck, cheers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There are so many Tommy Boy quotes that I can manipulate to start this post, so you choose which one…

a) I can get a good look at Luck by sticking my head up BABIP’s a**, but I’d rather take xBABIP’s word for it.

b) I write fantasy baseball posts for the American working man, because that’s who I am and that’s who I care about.

c)  You: Prince Fielder, Hmmmm, he should get better.”

      Me: “This guy is batting .231, which is actually backed up because of the gross groundball rate (11+% jump) and hitting into the shift with a sense of urgency, and all you can say is, Hmmmm, he should get better?”

d) The season is drivin’ along, la-de-da, woo. And you have Justin Morneau batting .338. And then you look at your team. Tires go EEEEEEEEE! Whoa, that was close.

Now let’s see what happens if you have Prince Fielder on your team… You’re drivin’ along, Tires go EEEEEEEE! I CAN’T STOP! “Oh my God, I’m burning alive! And this isn’t a fire sale! No! I can’t feel my legs!” Here comes the meat wagon. And the medic gets out and says, “Oh my God”. New guy’s around the corner puking his guts out…

…Whichever quote you go with, if you own Fielder then consider yourself the new guy puking his guts out. This post is the meat wagon.

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Happy early Cinco de Mayo, my tequila-fueled Razzaholics, and welcome back to the Razzball Lounge. We men of letters have donned our sombreros and gathered to celebrate whatever the hell Cinco de Mayo is – hey, I went to a school for dysfunctional teachers in Maine and the only Mexicans we ever saw were picking blueberries and turning John Deere’s into lowriders. We are also celebrating the Razzball revolucian! Yes, Razzball Radio launches this week with Señor Nick, who is currently transporting illegal video equipment across the border as we speak. Good stuff! As we gather in the lounge downing shots of Patron we look back at the first month of the season. There have been hot starts from new meat – Jose Abreu, Charlie Blackmon and Chris Colabello. There have been early season slumps – Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Adam Jones. And every team is battered and broken with Clayton Kershaw, Bryce Harper, Chris Davis and 422 other players on the disabled list. There’s plenty to celebrate and plenty to berate in the lounge today. Bellying up to the bar we find Sky wondering why he drafted a team that is completely on the disabled list. “Hey, at least Nick Punto is healthy!” *throws up on floor* At the jukebox we find Jay Wrong playing “Mexican Radio” for the 23rd time. “I’m on a Mexican radio, whoa! I just picked up  Bobby LaFromboise on waivers!” *bottle smashes above head* New to the Razzball Lounge is stat-boy Dano and his big book of facts who we have strung up from the ceiling for some human piñata-style hazing. “Did you fellas know Babe Ruth’s career wOBA was .510?” *WHACK!* Coming out of the ladies room is the one and only Tehol Beddict clad in just his Sears poncho. “Hey, guys I’ve set up a cock fight out back.”  Tehol, where are the roosters? “Whaddya mean roosters?” And here at the pool table is your-humble-but-nontheless-guapo Guru. *adjusts turban, closes eye, aims cue, banks eight-ball off three rails, licks salt, downs tequila, sucks lime,* Viva la Jam or Cram!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re through just over a month of baseball, and I’m sure there are more than a few players you’d like to see walk the plank right now, and Sergio Santos is no doubt up there on the Captain’s log as far as closers are concerned. Santos blew another save last night, lasting 0.2 innings, and promptly giving up 3 ER off 3 hits. SAN-TOS-AAH! I ain’t even mad at ‘cha, the skip just keeps sending you out there to do it. I should be mad at myself for owning you this long. Serge gave up two home runs in the ninth, one to Pedro Alvarez (3-for-5) and the other was the walk off game-winner to Starling Marte (4-for-5). His ERA is sitting pretty at 10.61, which is almost as much money as I have in my checking account at the moment. I can’t imagine we’ll see Sergio out there for the ninth again. Best the Jays deal with him the same way the Pirates would have last night: “Arr! Blow the scallywag down and make ‘em shark bait, fer dead men blow no saves.”  In any case, you may be able to grab some short-term saves from Aaron Loup with Brett Cecil and Steve Delabar seeing possible chances. My guess is the Jays go to a combination of these relievers until Casey Janssen returns in a couple weeks.

Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Marcus Stroman has a slide piece that would make John Popper jealous. Last year, he was just as dominating, so it’s not like this came out of nowhere. Well, last year after he returned from his suspension for testing positive for methylhexaneamine. Did you know that no one connected to the commissioner’s office was able to pronounce what he was suspended for nor anyone directly connected to Stroman? His grandma said, “My grandy-son was suspended for menthol cigarettes?” A coach familiar with Stroman said, “It was really frustrating when people kept asking, ‘What’s he suspended for?’ After a while, when people asked during his suspension where Stroman was, we’d just say he was in the bathroom. No one wanted to try to pronounce the drug he was banned for.” Last week, he threw six no-hit innings. Here’s what Prospect Scott said in the offseason, “The 22-year-old made 20 Double-A starts on the season, posting a 3.30 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, and K/9 at 10.4. Those of you who read my posts throughout the regular season know that I’m intrigued by Stroman — he brings a fastball/slider combo that’s as good as any in the minors, and that skill set makes for some exciting performances (he whiffed 11+ batters in four of his 20 starts). Stroman was probably ready for a big league look this past September, but the Jays opted to send him to the Arizona Fall League instead. Big time whiff potential will make him a coveted piece in the fantasy game as soon as he surfaces. Speaking of faces, I hate Grey’s.” Hey! The Jays will be finished with McGowan in the landmark case of sooner vs. later, as well they should be. Stroman could be up any day now, Annie Potts. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

C.J. Wilson doesn’t really know what’s going on unless Twitter tells him. He tweeted out Mike Napoli’s phone number. He watches Shark Week. He has a big TV. He hasn’t watched his TV since November. His TV is bigger than his car. His car is big. He watches Lost reruns, out of order. He wears Old Spice, on his head. He is a Taoist. He thinks a Taoist has something to do with wearing a towel while being interviewed. He told a guy to wash his mouth out with soap. He listens to Killswitch Engage, which Google tells me is a metalcore group. Even Google didn’t know what metalcore was. Four ladies and gentlemen, those were all C.J. Wilson quotes. Yesterday, he continued his dominance with a performance of 8 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA down to 3.18. So, you’re saying after Curtis Jackson Wilson was mollywhopped in his first start of the year, I should’ve held him? Since his first start, he’s thrown 34 innings with a 2.12 ERA and he has more Ks than innings pitched. He’s hard to like him because of his all-around douchebaggery, but his numbers aren’t lying and right now they’re saying he’s a strong fantasy number two. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Carlos Carrasco was bumped from the rotation. Do I smell a 400-foot, long-tossing fool from Columbus, Ohio that has a rap group that plays to sell-out shows in the furnished basement of his parents’ house? Trevor Bauer, your time is near. I said that last line in a Darth Vader voice. Trevor, I am your father. I said that in the voice of someone who has a son named Trevor. Am I confusing you? How about now? Trevor Bauer may have overcome his past WHIPping post issues and could be usable in all mixed leagues. They worked with Trevor in Triple-A. They taught him to pitch from the rubber instead of short center. I would speculate on him, as I said in Friday’s Buy column, I wouldn’t go and drop anyone too crazy valuable. Josh Tomlin may instead be called up to replace Carrasco. Tomlin can’t pitch out of the bullpen because it takes him like 2 innings to get out of his oversized chair. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“I know it was you, Alfredo, you broke my heart–because I should have picked you up yesterday. You’re nothing to me now. Not a brother, not a friend–but, I’ll admit you may be an intriguing add in fantasy baseball this week.” Michael Corleone’s words for his fantasy team are harsh but true. Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon continued his streak of success yesterday, pitching six scoreless innings versus the Cubs, allowing just six base runners and striking out three. Coming off the heels of an eight inning gem last week against Tampa, where he allowed just one run and struck out four, Alfredo now has pitched 21.0 innings, allowing just 2 ER and 13 hits, while grabbing two wins. It looks like he’ll stick in the rotation while Mat Latos is on the shelf. Simon’s sparkling 0.86 ERA is good for top 3 in the league, and the 0.81 WHIP sure is purdy. But before you go racing to the waiver wire dropping your Stephen Strasburgs or your R.A. Dickeys for this guy, just wait a second. Because I didn’t say Simon says? Got ya! I know. Bad. I’m sorry. Anyway, let’s examine if Simon says  you should grab Alfredo or not. If we look closer into the starts, it’s a small sample size but we get the sense he’s been pretty lucky so far, and not just because he’s faced the Mets, Rays and Cubs. Simon’s .194 BABIP is good for top 10 in the league. Along with a 3.14 FIP (3.90 xFIP) and an insane 94.3 LOB% we have a ton a nerdy stats that say major regression coming. Translation: Alfredo is probably gonna get sauced. Mama mia! That’s not to say that those numbers are not still very good. After moving to Cincinnati from Baltimore, Simon was awesome in relief, with a 2.76 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in two years from 2012-2013, way above his career averages (3.98 ERA and 1.33 WHIP). And he’s been extremely efficient as a starter this year as his 13.4 pitches thrown per inning (roughly 3.5 per batter) shows. Doode is doing work. The 13/4 K/BB ratio is nothing special, but he is working efficiently in his starts, going deep into games. So Simon says, if you need a streamer you can grab AlFredo for his next start in Pittsburgh. He’s under 20% owned, and he’s making us an offer we can’t refuse. Ride this hot streak out for now, but if he’s ready to sleep with the fishes don’t hesitate to take him out to the middle of Lake Tahoe and take care of business.

Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As the seminal prog band Emerson, Lake and Laura Palmer once sang: “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside.” (The song went on for 45 minutes before ‘Yes’ came out and kicked their ass.) Opening day is here and the Razzball Lounge is open for bid’ness. Have a seat, grab a cold one and a pickled egg, and don’t get hypnotized by my bedazzled turban my fantasy freaks. Here in the lounge we dedicated, often celebrated, and usually acquitted (we have a great legal team) Razzballin’ scribes gather every opening day to bicker and banter, indulge and imbibe and moan and marvel at our fantasy teams and Grey’s magnificent ‘stache. On this last lazy Sunday (before things get serious) we find Sky in a dark corner slowing rocking back and forth muttering his mantra of “Tulo, Tanaka, Trumbo” over and over. Bellying up to the bar is podcasting paladin Nick Capozzi, clad only in his Expos throwback demanding another Labatts, showing off pics of his rolling Razzball ride and asking no one in particular, “Get your 32in32in32 tickets yet, eh?” Dropping quarters in the jukebox we find Jay Wrong demonstrating his “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” interpretative dance – “Will you love me forever?”  *bottle smashes above head* Stumbling out of the ladies room is the one and only Tehol Beddict casually zipping up his skinny jeans and introducing his new lady friend, “Guys, I’d like to introduce you to my cousin. Ain’t she pretty?” And here at the pool table is your humble-but-nonetheless handsome Guru putting the finishing touches on my 27 rosters. *closes eye, takes aim, sinks eight ball off two rails, drops shot glass into pint, downs boilermaker, lights cigar, sets turban on fireWith the drinks starting to flow let’s run though the jams and crams at each position for Week 1 of the 2014 fantasy baseball season. We’re not talking Miggy, Trout or Goldy here, we’re looking at players owned in less than 50% of most leagues that could help grab you an early lead on your way to fantasy glory. Good luck this season, it’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?