It’s hard to pick which Ross is hated more: the one in Friends whose character is so annoying David Schwimmer could never get work again, or the dynamite starter for the Nationals, who even after pitching mad impressive through his first few starts, wasn’t even the first SP to get the call when Stephen Strasburg went back to the DL yet again.  Why wasn’t he the first call?!

After Joe Ross‘s first run in June, I kept him in the ranks a few more weeks even without a for-sure rotation spot, and when Strasburg tweaked the oblique, I was ready to vault him into the top-50.  But nooooooo, instead they use, I dunno, Taylor Jordan or someone who doesn’t matter?  C’mon Nats, what did Ross ever do to you?!  Finally the Nationals got Ross back up to face the Mets last week in a decent – albeit underwhelming – start given the matchup, so I decided to break down his 5th MLB start at the Pirates, in a pitcher’s duel Sunday afternoon against Gerrit Cole.  Here’s how Ross looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Michael Brantley went 4-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs with his 7th homer. One big day for a 2nd rounder is more than Ian Desmond owners can say. Yes, everything’s better when compared to Ian Desmond. “Maw, this spinach is still half-frozen and spinach juice is dripping into my Salisbury steak.” “In some countries, all children have is a 2nd round draft pick of Ian Desmond.” “You’re right, maw, you’re right. I’m an ingrate!” That’s a 34-year-old you after coming up from your mom’s basement for dinner. One of my biggest regrets of this season was not labeling Brantley a Noid and telling you to avoid. I didn’t rank him in the preseason crazy high so you would draft him, but I didn’t outright say, “Look elsewhere, prematurely balding man.” Meh, I guess my regrets could be worse. I mean, look at Lindsay Lohan’s last ten years. If you own Brantley, I think at this point you have to hold tight and either go down with the ship or hope some of his cream rises — mixed metaphor points! If you don’t own Brantley like me, well, whew. I’m empathetic though. Kinda. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“I don’t know what my face is doing right now.” “It looks like you ate a full Tony Luke’s cheesesteak and forgot to swallow.” “No. I mean, I did, but I took the sub out of mouth and put it in my glove compartment for later. But this is something else. Feel my cheeks, they’re, like, pushed up.” “You get that f**kin’ Botox?” “No! I’m a 45-year-old construction worker with bad knees. Why would I get Botox?” “Then what’s wrong with your cheeks? You’re freaking me out!” “Wait, I know what it is. I’m…I’m smiling and I’m a Phillies fan. This is better than the day Charlie Manuel stopped at our job site to use our Porta-Potty!” Yesterday, Aaron Nola looked great — 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, and Phillies fans, or Phans, have something to smile about. I watched a portion of the game and he looked like he could be an ace. Love, love, lurve the control and mid-90’s fastball. At worst, he’s a number three. I was pretty jazzed at what I saw. Whenever you have a guy that has great command and can strike out people, there’s a chance for wonderful. With that said (hold on to the starboard, Grey’s turning around!), he’s a rookie and there will be some Growing Pains, and not the good kind of boners. I would absolutely own him, but in shallower leagues I’d be careful of roofies. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In my never ending quest to blend two start pitchers and nostalgia, I stumbled upon a even better spin-off of last week’s premise. In Week 9’s post we dove head first into a little Nintendo nostalgia (awesome band name BTW) and a cornucopia of rad games were discussed. Seemed like everyone had opinions on Battletoads. Interesting because I always thought that hands down Battletoads held the record for most frustrated controller throws induced. Frustration City Beeyatch! The most discussed game by a large measure was the classic pastime of the pugilistic arts “Mike Tyson’s Punchout”. Some of you claim to have defeated Tyson with Little Mac, to which I say “You’re a bunch of stinkin’ Liars”. Seriously lasting one round with Tyson in and of it self was a victory. Then again maybe King Of Kong Billy Mitchell is reading the Razz, I suppose one never knows. I mean all of you could actually be productive and upstanding members of society! Feel like I might be giving our readers a bit too much credit. Go ahead take it for what it’s worth. Regardless Mike Tyson’s Punchout is this week’s theme. So the tiers will be listed by character and we can discuss everyone’s exploits with “Little Mac” in the comments. I wonder if that’s what Mark McGuire calls his junk?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Travel back in time with me if you will, to a place where fanny packs, male ponytails, and Jordache jeans were all the rage. A time when Bruce Jenner was a symbol of masculinity, and O.J. Simpson was America’s favorite star! Travel with me to the age of Nintendo, a time when video games had two buttons and you didn’t need a degree in molecular biology to play. That last sentence made me sound very old, oh well. Anyway the theme of this week’s two start pitchers soiree is Nintendo! No not Super Nintendo (which was awesome BTW, #GoldenEye4life) or Wii, just plan old “blow on the console” to clean it NES. If you were anything like me then you played your fair share of Zelda, Super Mario, Duck Hunt, Tecmo Bowl, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, RBI Baseball, Double Dribble, Blades Of Steel, the list goes on and on. [Jay’s Note: Where’s Excite Bike and Battle Toads?] Aww the good old days when video games had easily exploitable glitches, like throwing to the outside of the plate with Nolan Ryan. Or pressing the Duck Hunt gun against the screen because that damn pooch kept laughing at you. Don’t look at me swan! Anyway, this week we have one of the deeper rosters of two-start pitchers in recent memory, and arguably the four best arms in the game double dipping. Not to worry if you don’t own one of the four horsemen there’s plenty of other great options in week number 9. So get up off of that thang and take a gander at this week’s two start madness.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This was just announced by the Yankees’ front office. “No Yankee will ever wear the last Monday of May on their jersey. 5/25-5/31 will all be retired. We dedicate this to all the Yankees who served honorably on federal holidays.” When asked why Memorial Day and not Veteran’s Day, the Yankees’ brass said their roster celebrates Veteran’s Day every day. The Yankees exploded for 14 runs yesterday on five home runs as Jeremy Guthrie (1 IP, 11 ER) got Vin Mazzacred! Chase Headley went 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer as Headley helped *pinkie to mouth* Chase! Guthrie. In the 1st inning, Brian McCann got into the action (1-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) with his 5th homer as he put up the bangfizzle, Stephen Drew added his one hit in five at-bats, his 5th homer, and, because Guthrie was doing a special Memorial Day giveaway with homers going to the first seven batters in attendance, even Slade Heathcott (2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) got into the action, hitting his 1st homer, and Slade Heathcott is merely just a name spit out by the Preppie Name Generator. But the one I really want to talk about after this clunky sentence intro is Brett Gardner (2-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 4th homer, hitting .285 and has 12 steals). Gardner gives you around the stats you were hoping to get from Jacoby Ellsbury, and at a fraction of the draft day cost. To quote Fonzie’s horse, nay! It’s not just Gardner’s draft day cost, he’s still likely cheap as dog balls to acquire in a trade. Everyone on the Yankees gets overrated, but somehow Gardner never does. Weird and interesting and everything you could want from a novel you find tucked away in someone else’s beach blanket that you steal. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was going to say Shelby Miller looks sensational, but then I Googled sensational to see its definition, even though I know it already. (Al Gore did originally invent the internet as a tool of procrastination.) So, the Oxford Dictionary defines sensational as: causing great public interest and excitement, example “a sensational murder trial.” Wow, even the Oxford Dictionary is trying to get in on the tabloid journalism of our day. Hey, Oxford, why not, “Kim Kardashian’s booty was sensational when she broke the internet that Al Gore had created and now needed to fix.” That gives me a great idea, a mash up of the Urban and Oxford Dictionary! Definition of a flake: A crazy or eccentric person. “Yo, that flake is three crumbs short of a Peek Frean.” Any the hoo! Shelby Miller did look sensational, murdering bats like The Riddler. Yesterday, he went 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks to lower his ERA to 1.33. Is he this good? Oh, c’mon. But how bad is he? His K/9 is 7.2, BB/9 is 2.7 and xFIP is 3.79. His BABIP is .203, LOB% is 88.8% and his ground ball rate is 50.4%. Essentially, Miller’s a 3.25-3.60 ERA pitcher with decent, but not great Ks, solid but not terrific control, and one great pitch that he’s figured out how to use, the cutter. He could easily have a month-long spasm of a 5.00 ERA just as easily as he’s done six weeks of a 1.33 ERA. Would I sell him high? Yes, indeed. Or as the Urban-Oxford Dictionary would say, “Does a corgi crap under the Queen’s bed and she calls it a soon-to-be truffle?” Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One of my favorite things about Razzball besides the glorious mustaches, amazing daily recaps and the best projections/rankings on the net is the community we’ve got here. We’re all huge nerds around these parts and I love striking up intelligent fantasy baseball discussions with my fellow Razzballers. Come on into the comments section and let’s talk shop. These conversations and debates are where the fun is and where real answers can be found. I’ve chatted with a few folks recently and conversations have gone something like this:

Me: So, have you tried DFS yet?

Anonymous Nobody: Yea, I tried it once, but I lost and haven’t played again.

Me: Oh, well, you should give it another go.

Anonymous Nobody: Ya, maybe

So, in a season that spans 7 months these Anonymous Nobodies have played 1 day of DFS, lost and never went back. I’m here to tell you, that is just not enough action to make a decision on this great game. Baseball has more variance than any other sport on a night to night basis and even on a night where you make all the “correct” plays, you’re going to lose. It happens. It’s what makes bankroll management so key here. Playing 5-10% of your roll per night is critical to surviving. A friend of mine who just got into baseball side of DFS recently joined the Razzball Framily Plan $2 league and won the whole kit and kaboodle. He e-mailed me after saying what a confidence boost that was and I completely understand that sentiment. Winning early is probably the biggest factor in people sticking with this. I’d just like to suggest you give yourself enough rope to play for 20-30 days. Track your results and then make a decision. Don’t make the call to quit after one day. If your process is a good one over the span of 30 days, you’ll see a profit. That, over the long haul of the baseball season, really adds up. Now, let’s get to some picks that will get you winning early and hopefully winning often.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends 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.

Pump the brakes! Something I told myself I wanted to do when I took this gig was to shoutout the previous week’s winner of the contest posted in my article. I’m starting that this week and hope to keep it going. So, if you take down the Framily Plan on a Tuesday night, look for you name here the following week. Everyone likes to see their name in print. This week, it’s a shout out to my aforementioned friend, Joshyb714 who squeaked out a 4 point victory to take home the top prize. Let’s see if you can earn yourself a shout out next week, hop on in.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This week’s slate of two start pitchers reminds me of fire-crotched former hottie and child star Lindsey Lohan. So let’s examine the parallels. No, they don’t have whiney coked up fathers or unstable attention whore mothers who may or may not be as equally coked up. No, they don’t post pictures to their Instagram accounts where they fail miserably at “breaking the internet”. Well, they may do all these things, but not to my knowledge. Then again, my knowledge consists of Fantasy soccer, baseball, and Fernando Tatis MS paint artwork. Oh you are unfamiliar with Tatis’s work? Click here and check her out. Seriously, I have five Tatis’ on my office walls at work. People often ask if those are blown up drawings by my four-year-old son. When I inform them that are in fact cherished works of computer generated art by a former fringe major leaguer, they typically stop extending invitations to lunch, but no matter, I like eating alone. Where were we? Oh yeah! Lindsey Lohan and two-start pitchers! So much like Lindsey Lohan’s career and looks the options start strong, but are very brief and ummmm….well, drop off dramatically. In the first two weeks we’ve been blessed with a plethora of sexy names and strong performers to double up on in our head to head and weekly leagues. This week not so moooch! (Last sentence said with bad Italian accent) I even struggle to rank anyone in the top tier. I love Jake Arrieta and you can make the case that he is matchup proof at this point but it’s two road starts. The first against a good offense and the second against an above average offense at a hitter’s park. I guess he’s sort of like Mean Girls Lindsey. She’s certainly hot and it’s an entertaining flick but A. Do you look like a creep for drooling over a teenager? and B. do you share with your bros that you were watching Mean Girls on TBS for the fourth time? (Shawshank Redemption it is not my friends.) That just means we need to dig a little deeper and appreciate each tier for what it is. Sort of like Lindsey’s wild coked out knife play phase, her lesbian phase, her doing anything for money including nude pictorials phase. We just need to avoid her methed out shell of herself phase. Those ladies and gentleman are your tiers. Good luck may your Li-Lo’s be kind.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When Grey and Jay first approached me about doing some preseason posts about Two Start Pitchers “Strategy” I thought “uhhhh, play the best guy”. Problem is that doesn’t really make for intriguing content, now does it? So instead, I’m going to do 1500 words about soccer! Naw, I’m joking…if you wanted to be inundated with my footie ramblings, you’d be reading our soccer site…(shameless plug alert). So instead I’ll focus my post on the very things I look for when ranking my two-start pitchers from week-to-week. An overview of what to look for when scouring the wire for that pick up to tip the scales of your counting stats in your weekly head-to-head match-up. So we’ll break everything into sections; home vs. road splits, opposing lineup righty vs. lefty splits, K/BB ratio, and HR/9. To illustrate this we’ll use an example player to discuss each when appropriate. Sound good? Just say yes, I don’t care what you think! Muhahahaha!

Please, blog, may I have some more?