When it comes to DFS play nothing can kick you off your throne quicker than a cold streak. And I hit one last week. Playing daily fantasy sports can be a fun, lucrative and an absolutely maddening endeavor. No other sport has as much variance on a nightly basis. I often wonder why I put myself through this athletic sadism. Ok, I know why. I like pain the competition, I like the cash and I love baseball. Over the past week, your humble-but-nonetheless-royal Guru has had plenty of competition, not so much cash and nowhere near the love I deserve as I went just 23 for 40. I may be no draft king, but the bankroll increased a bit and I’m inching closer to a winter of fun in the sun. The problem is I may have to pass on Cancun and head to Coney Island. Hopefully, I have a little left over for the bail bondsman. If you want to join me poolside just hit the DraftKings link and you’ll get a free ticket for a contest with your first-time deposit. The winner of that contest gets entry into our $500k Showcase with a $100k top prize – that’s a lot of banana daiquiris. Also, if you haven’t fired up the DFSBot yet, check it out. It’s a great tool for your bag of tricks that’ll give you an advantage over the competition. I used it Monday for some Tim Lincecum love that banked big for me. Believe me, I needed it.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared some of my strategies when playing DFS baseball. If you missed them you can give a look here, here, and here. This week, let’s talk a bit about managing the budget. On DraftKings you get 50K to spend on two pitchers and eight positions. I usually spend 18- 22K of that on pitching which doesn’t leave a lot of room for mistakes with hitters. One of the questions I get asked a lot is if it’s okay to leave money on the table when constructing a team. I say, unless you’re a seasoned DFS shark, it’s best to spend to the cap or real close to it. I never leave more than $500 on the board and there are three reasons for that: 1) No projections are 100% accurate. Sorry, DFSBot, you’re good but no one’s that good. 2) More often than not your “optimal lineup” will be wrong. Ha! I know this sounds negative, but play DFS awhile and you’ll realize that not spending that leftover $800 will hurt. I found this out on Monday when I didn’t spend up for pitching and went with Tyler Lyons – he gave me -11 points. Yes, negative 11! 3) Finding cheap players that produce is necessary to win, but players are in the bargain bin for reason. If you see a player that usually has a high price tag is suddenly cheap there’s probably a reason for it – he has a bad matchup, he’s unlikely to play or he’s hurt. I saw a lot of people grab Mark Teixeira on Monday because the price was right in a great matchup. Unfortunately, he ended up not playing which left some people with a big fat zero.

With all that said, we have just eight games on the evening slate, a number of aces on the mound and some weather to pay attention to in St. Louis and Cincinnati. Here’s your dirty turbaned Guru’s lineup for Wednesday’s 5/14 contests on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball. Good luck, cheers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It was about a half year ago that Grey threw all his chips into the pot on Marco Estrada. Man-crushed him onto just about every team we co-manage (along with the deviated septumet) as well as his Razzball Commenter League team. Well, this looked like a lost season for ol’ Marco when he went on the Disgraceful List in early June while sporting a 5.32/1.36 in 69 IP. Combined with Ryan Braun’s suspension and the inevitable 2nd half regressions for Gomez/Segura, Milwaukee has been as relevant to fantasy baseball fans as the city is for travelers intolerant of lactose, cheap domestic beer, and drag queens masquerading as a young Penny Marshall. Under this shroud of yawnonymity, Marco Estrada’s season is beginning to rise from the ashes like Bud Selig’s toupee at that fateful windy hometown barbecue that’s now annually celebrated as Furrywurst Day. Estrada went 7 IP in a tough matchup (@CIN) and gave up 3 baserunners (1 H, 2 BB) and K’d 9 Reds. That’s his 3rd solid start in his last 4 and that includes an @TEX + home vs. STL. He’s definitely worth a pickup for the homestretch if only to see if he can pitch well enough to convince Grey to double down on Estrada in 2014.

In other news…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Our correspondent in St. Louis, Dan Pants, is reporting at 8:05 Eastern Standard Time, Ian Kennedy‘s fastball died. There’s still no official confirmation. Details are scant. Daniel Descalso is in questioning about the murder. Let’s go back now, and take a moment and recount the life of Ian Kennedy’s fastball. It originally came up in the Yankee organization, where it showed promise, but one two many times it was left out over the plate and hitters clobbered it. They didn’t quite murder it like last night. No, that was saved for a balmy night in St. Louis. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy family. Wait, now I understand they are transporting Daniel Descalso to another police station for questioning. Let’s go there now. Descalso, “I don’t know anything about the situation here. I am just a patsy. Ian Kennedy’s fastball’s died weeks ago in Cuba chasing Fidel Castro. I’d like legal representation.” Wait, is that Kubel… Descalso is down! Kubey’s in cuffs. Mayhem ensues. Hopefully, Ian Kennedy can find some peace on the Disgraceful List, where he’s surely headed. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You might think I took a week off from the Deep Impact series because of the Memorial Weekend. I mean, who really wants to write when there is BBQ in the air, beer in the hand, and extra time off for everyone? You could think that. And it might be part of the reason, but frankly, I looked at the list of players I wanted to talk about, and that list started and ended with Trevor Crowe. So we could pretend that I enjoyed a vacation due to a holiday, but really, I enjoyed a vacation because I really can’t figure a way to write more than ‘fml’ in a Trevor Crowe blurb. But this week is different, since I’ve figured out a way to bloat some space with quality, not quantity. Oh, wait, scratch that. I have it backwards. Quantity over quality! Wooo!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After an underwhelming cup of coffee last year, Tyler Skaggs looked primed for the 5th spot in the Diamondbacks rotation, only to lose out to Patrick Corbin.  I remember there was some dissension with that decision, but you don’t hear any of those arguments now!  With Corbin obviously one of the biggest surprises of the season, Skaggs had a really rough start to his AAA assignment with his ERA climbing close to 7.00 through six starts, but then again it was with Reno in the Pacific Coast League.

Skaggs has put it together recently though, racking up a 30:5 K:BB ratio in 25.1 May innings and three straight quality starts.  With Ian Kennedy ailing with a cut on his finger, Skaggs got the call for a spot start in a tough matchup in the first leg of a double-header against the Rangers.  I don’t think expectations were huge for this game, but having never seen Skaggs pitch and with no knowledge of his repertoire, I decided to tune in and break down his 2013 debut:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

First off, Rudy is safe. We have him in a padded room with only marshmallows to eat. He’s a bit overcome by the absence of color, but it will be a good distraction while Bryce Harper is touch and go. Before we put Rudy where he wouldn’t hurt himself, Rudy said to me, “If Bryce Harper is hurt, will they cancel the rest of the season?” That’s a frown question, bro. Lie down, Rudy. It’ll be okay. Actually, could you lie down with your head hanging off the couch? You’re gonna leave a Soul Glo stain. I’m sure Rudy isn’t the only one feeling a bit woozy hearing Harper hurt himself last night. The entire eye black industry hangs in the balance. He left yesterday’s game with an apparent injury and that turned into an apparent diagnosis of an apparent bad bruise in his apparent side. Thanks for the apparency. This sounds like a day-to-day thing rather than a 15-day DL thing. So the worst thing that may come of this is for the next few days you won’t get as drunk if you take a tequila shot every time someone on Baseball Tonight mentions Harper. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Recently, I had the pleasure of doing karaoke with Johnny Cueto.  He decided to go with Landslide by Fleetwood Mac.  Here’s what he sang, “I took my ERA and I took it down….  I climbed a mountain and I turned around…  And I saw my xFIP in the snow covered hills… Well, I’ve been afraid of changing… ‘Cause I’ve kicked the life out of Jason LaRue… Awh, take this ERA, and TAKE IT DOWN!…”  Then I joined him on stage for Islands in the Stream. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?