The H is O! Oh, no, Jose Fernandez has me so jazzed, I need to bust some rhymes. I came in the door, I said it before. I never let a top starter magnetize me no more, but watching Fernandez yesterday is biting me, fighting me, inviting me to want a number one starter just this one time. I can’t hold it back, I’m looking at his pitching line — 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 14Ks. Taking off my coat, and that’s me quoting Rakim’s quote, his pitches were kicking it until his last hitter, Ryan Doumit. My mind remains refined, all kinds of ideas. Self-esteem makes it seem like his pitching took years to build, but his age is just twenty-one. Prepared, never scared, he’s just a blessed one. And you know that I’ve never seen that terrible movie with Jamie Foxx, think it was called The Soloist, so Jose F. make ‘em clap to this. I said it the other day, but in case you weren’t reading, Fernandez is going to be the best pitcher going into next year. Thought he was a donut, you tried to glaze him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Before a big test, my high school history teacher would always announce that it would “separate the Dukes from the Chiefs.” Since he liked to be known as Chief, and he called everyone he liked Chief, I’m assuming that this meant that the “Chiefs” were the good guys. Then again, Chief also liked to transport himself back to ‘Nam sometimes, stalking around the classroom looking for “Charlie.” The weirdest thing? I’m not even sure he was in ‘Nam.

Anywho, this legendary teacher from my youth came to mind as I was writing this week’s Two Startapalooza because at Week 4, we’re starting to be able to separate the Dukes from the Chiefs.

As in, it’s obvious that Darvish, King Felix and James Shields are still Chiefs. Yordano Ventura and Julio Teheran are looking like Chiefs. Cliff Lee, who was starting to look a little Duke-ish to me, is still pretty much a Chief. David Price, a surefire Chief a few years ago, is very much a Duke right now.

It’s becoming a lot easier to fill out the Third Tier and Don’t Starts, because we know who is a Duke and who is not. And to get in the Must Start category, you are most certainly a Chief or you have two starts against the Astros next week.

Aight, Chief, let’s get to it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As they say in a Jewelery District of any major city, Johnny Cueto pitched a gem. Well, any major city except Detroit. There they call a gem, “Slowly remove it from your finger, and no funny business!” Against the Pirates yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 12 Ks. Pretty much across the board for Cueto’s career, I haven’t been a fan. His xFIP has always been much worse than his ERA, and his K-rate has never been close to an elite starter. Well, a weird thing happened on the way to his fifth start of the year, he looks like an ace. His xFIP is down to 2.55, his K-rate is 10.50 and his walk rate is 2.40. Those are fantasy ace numbers. Last year through April, he had a 2.80 xFIP, 9.35 K-rate and 3.12 walk rate. Those numbers aren’t that different. Hey, random italicized letters are my shtick. Not right now, Random Italicized Voice. Whoa, snippy! There is one fairly significant difference between Cueto this year and last. About a mile per hour on his fastball. In some instances, his fastball is averaging two extra miles per hour from last April, and he’s cut out his, uh, cutter, and his ground balls have remained. He’s pitching slightly different, slightly better, and, for the first time I can remember, I’m really liking what Cueto is showing. Ain’t that a kick in Jason LaRue’s head? His ERA won’t stay at 1.50, but I also wouldn’t be looking to sell him high. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Lots of people tried to explain to me why you don’t slide into first base. I still don’t get it, so apparently I’m dense. Is 1st base lifted higher than other bases? Are there Lilliputians standing by first base with mini hammers? Is there a mini MC Hammer there singing U Can’t Touch This which is just so bizarre it screws you up and you hurt yourself? I get that it slows you down, so there’s no point to doing it. I understand that sprinters don’t slide into the finish line. I’ve heard that from countless announcers. I do kinda wish in the next Summer Olympics a sprinter would slide into the finish line just so announcers would stop saying it. I still don’t understand why people invariably get hurt doing it. Josh Hamilton for one. He’s out for 6-8 weeks with thumb surgery. He should’ve just had Ryan Braun look at it, he can cure thumbs just by brining them in vinegar. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s nice when your chickens come home to roost. Sure, chickens coming home to roost is usually used to indicate a negative, but whoever heard of roosted chickens not being delicious. Lemon pepper, rosemary and roosted chickens is my favorite menu item and this Chinese restaurant has the best #3 in town. So, now, chickens coming home to roost is a positive and so is Todd Frazier with two jacks yesterday like Nicholson in Mars Attacks!. Frazier has long been a favorite of mine — we were younger then, and you had more hair. I hit you with a sleeper post for him in 2013 and again this offseason. There I said, “(Frazier) dropped his K-rate from 22.2% in 2012 to 20.8% last year. This was counteracted by a falling line drive rate (22.4% to 18.1%). Make weak contact and balls get caught and your BABIP falls. His fly ball rate fell too. When a fly ball rate falls in a hitters’ park, your power numbers appear less than desirable. Cause and effin’ effect or effin’ affect or affin’ effect or affin’ affect. BTW, what’s a humpageddon? A pornmanteau. Take it, it’s yours. The good news is when Frazier did hit a home run, he hit them a long way (average distance was 403 feet). He was right there at the top of the league for guys who averaged the longest distance per home run. When he hit six homers (this past) September in only 88 ABs, it showed the player he can be every month.” And that’s me quoting me! Still, love Frazier, unlike a lot of you since he’s only owned in 50% of leagues. I’d absolutely grab him if he were available in my league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Clever girl.

The McC went 1-for-2 last night with a run. Not really numbers deserving of the lede, but since I only get to do this once a week, I do what I want. And plus, I had already done my photoshop before the game ended. So there’s that. Truth be told, I really have nothing else to say about Andrew McCutchen. It is a very fine season. You know that. I know that. Sky… may not know that. He’s busy helping out all you folks that don’t have a Fantasy Baseball team in the running over at RazzFoot. That’s what I’m calling our Fantasy Football site. Because 20 years ago, I loved the Ninja Turtles. You know, the Foot Clan? RazzFoot? NINJA VANISH! Eh. Whatever. The McCutch is having a great year. He’s having a great Fantasy Baseball year. To hate him is to hate kittens. To love him is to not spell it McCutcheon. Start spreading the word. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In what can only be described as the biggest trade ever made for some Hoes, Bud Norris was traded to the O’s for L.J. Hoes. Hoes ain’t shizz against pitches and tricks! An almost title, “Hoes Go South, Norris Makes O’s Face.” But too gangster for you. You can’t handle such gangster frivolities! You play your tennis at the country club and call your girl and tell her, “Guess what, baby? Houston got some Hoes!” See where that get you. Get you a month straight in the man cave watching pay-per-view Hoes. That’s where it get you. So, Norris goes to Baltimore, and takes his 3.93 ERA with him, replacing the newly-DL’d Jason Hammel. He’s a trifling Bud that can’t get out lefties all that well. I wouldn’t put him at more than match-up capable against weaker righty heavy teams. So, does his fantasy value go up with this trade? Hoes please! Another barely fantasy-relevant starter to move at the trading deadline was Ian Kennedy. Reminds me of the idiom, there’s a place for everything and everything in its place. This also applies for any starter who is struggling. There’s only one place for them. Petco! It’s no surprise that his career numbers are superb in Petco — 2.27 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 48 Ks in 35 2/3 IP. His major problem everywhere is the home run ball and this is negated in a park that is 1025 feet to dead center and has tumbleweeds blowing past a statute of Nate Colbert in left. Also, it certainly — or sointly if you’re reading in a Stooge voice — does not hurt — or hoit — that he was facing the Padres. He could easily be a low-3 ERA pitcher at home. I still wouldn’t start him in road match-ups, but I’d own him in all fantasy leagues for home games. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At the time of this writing, there’s a tentative trade in place, one that would send Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers in exchange for a few prospects, including the heavy hitting 1B/3B, Mike Olt. Olt has long been a trade candidate — he’s an MLB-ready third baseman, but he’s thoroughly blocked by Adrian Beltre — and I’m surprised he wasn’t moved last season when his value was higher. Still, he’s a good fit for the Cubs and he’s been hitting quite well over the past month at Triple-A. The deal seems to make sense for both clubs, but this sort of tentative trade is never a sure-thing, as Cubs fans can attest. There’s a decent chance that this one will be off the table by the time this post runs. And if that’s the case, then Garza is scheduled for two starts next week. He’s listed below along with all the others going twice.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ahhhh July.  The 4th.  Hot dogs.  Fireworks.  Sparklers and going to other neighboring states to get the fireworks.  You know the good ones (I don’t know if people outside of NC will get that one).  I love July.  In baseball we get a little fantasy break to watch the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game.  Side note – they should have an MLB skills games like the NBA.  Throw a 100-MPH fastball through the target.  Get down a bunt on the third base line against the pitching machine set at 120 MPH.  OK maybe not the best idea.

But our friends at DraftKings have got their stuff better together than my pipe dreams, with their huge Midsummer Classic coming up on July 19th for $500,000 worth of payouts with a $125,000 winner.  Must cost an arm and a leg and a first-born to get in, huh?  Nope!  Just play in our RAZZBALL EXCLUSIVE CAN YOU BEAT RUDY GAMBLE contest for an entry fee of $10, beat the exclusive Razzball-only players, and a ticket into the Midsummer Classic is yours!  2-10 still double up to $20 and if you’re still new, first time depositors will get a $2 Qualifier ticket that wins you a circuit to the Midsummer Classic as well.  As I said on the Podcast this week, I’m gonna be back in the contest this week with my eyes on that Midsummer ticket.

Please, blog, may I have some more?