Junior Guerra has a backstory that puts the odd in odyssey.  The Braves signed him as a 16-year-old catcher out of Venezuela.  In 2006, he had position reassignment surgery and became a pitcher.  As a herbathrowdite in Georgia, bathrooms and strike zones were hard to find, so he was released.  He found courage from the support group, “PAC IO,” which is Pitchers And Catchers Input/Output, and tried his hand at Independent leagues.  Eventually, he played in Mexico, Spain, and Italy.  In Italy, it was especially difficult to be a pitcher because every time a hitter came up to the plate a large, mustachioed woman umpire would say, “Guerra, you hafta throw the meatballs.  C’mon, the hitter’s starvin’ over here.”  And Guerra’s cheeks would constantly be pinched.  But, miraculously, Robin Ventura found him in Italy, while mistakenly thinking that’s where Jim Rome taped his show, and signed him.  Of course, the White Sox had no place for Guerra, and his journey took him to Milwaukee, allowing him to be the first person with an Italian stamp on his passport in Milwaukee since Arthur Fonzarelli.  Yesterday, he went 7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 11 Ks to move his record to 3-0.  He’s touched 99 MPH with his fastball, averaging around 92-95 and has a split-finger change that falls off the map like an explorer in the 1400’s.  Is he more than a streamer?  Hard to say at this point.  He will get strikeouts and faces the Braves next so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and grab him for that start.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You see that old rocking chair in the corner? That’s me, mister reliable.  Made of wood and literally been around these parts since the dawn of time. I may not be the smartest fella, or the fartest smeller either, but I dig baseball.  I get the stats and the hub-bub surrounding the intricacies of deeper stats.  Relaying them in a manner that makes sense on paper and conveying them to you in a way that makes us all put away our Casio calculator watches is my style.  This report covers similarities from what I touch on the regular in my bullpen post, so for the normalcy of life, I will add some of my usual middle relief spice into the streaming world of stolen bases.  Sound good, grand glad we could agree.  Rostering established stolen base guys is all well and good, but is a better feeling when you stream an option and he gets one that wasn’t normally accounted for.  Kinda feels like stealing, in the actually stealing sense and not just in the statistical sense.  The world of streaming swipes is becoming harder and harder as stolen bases are a stat best left for the dudes hitting dingers. The more a pitcher lets players get on base with SB opportunities, the increase for SB’s grows… sometimes. This is my first attempt at this post, so I am starting it my own way. So let’s look at this weeks options to stream stolen bases and the trends for which to follow for streaming ideas.  Cheers!

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Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! Sorry, always wanted to pretend I was the announcer for a monster truck rally…wouldn’t want to pretend to be AT one, exactly. Hell, wouldn’t want to be at one for real, either. Feel like I grew up in monster truck rally/WWE territory and have been doing my best to find intelligent life on Earth since and let me tell you, the occurrences have been slim…that excludes current company, of course. I’m sure none of you have an The Rock Fat Head in your room. Or better yet, I’m sure none of you have one that you wish to reveal now save for maybe Tehol but said Fat Head is on the ceiling above his bed and I’ve stopped asking why about these things. Sometimes its best to just go with the flow and that’s what I’m doing with today’s slate. DK is telling me I have a lot of expensive options to choose from but we’re being presented with a nice middle of the road price of $7,800 on Joe Ross today. At this point in the season – the season that is a whole seven days of data worth old – I tend to angle myself towards a very simple approach. That simple approach is: is the player good and if the answer is yes, is his price good? Ross’ price is good so I’m sold. Last year, Ross ticked a lot of the boxes on the stats I love. Good walk rate? At a BB/9 of 2.47, yup. Then you ask, does he K anyone? At an 8.10 K/9 rate, yes he does. Then I ask myself, can he keep the ball in the park? With a 49.8% GB rate, I’d have to say that’s also an affirmative. Ross will be scattered across pretty much every lineup I have today as he comes at a great price and will probably go overlooked on a day where there are so many aces on the mound. So feel free to join me in grabbing a Natty…no, not those Nattys. That’s gross, bro; it’s 2016, there’s better beer than that. Instead, join me on this Joe Ross is boss Natty train and let the money follow you in. And with that, we’re off so here’s my Robosaurus hot takes for this Sunday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you’re not a fan of The Walking Dead or haven’t watched last week’s episode, then you can just skip this paragraph. Am I that only one that cheered when that arrow shot through Denise’s eye? That was awesome. Her insufferable rant made me want to jump into the television and drop the People’s Elbow on that thang. Thankfully the writers took care of that for me. I also loved seeing Daryl reunited with his crossbow. Welcome back! With only two episodes left I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to see what will happen. Here’s my theory. A major character has to die. It’s happened every season. So who’s going to die? My money is on Glen. Here’s why? The writers have already teased his death. Back in episode 3 “Thank You” Glen appeared to meet his demise after he fell off the dumpster. It wasn’t until episode 7 “Heads Up“, four weeks later, that we found out he survived. I believe the writers were testing the waters to see how the fans would react to killing off Glen. That’s my theory. With that said, if they kill off Daryl I’m going to lose my sh*t. Literally!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My initial thought regarding the NL Central was that it was the best division in all of baseball. The St. Louis Cardinals won 100 games last year, while the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs won 98 and 97 games respectively. To put that into perspective, since 1969, there have only been 47 teams to reach the 100 win mark. The division almost had three in the same season! Wilt would chuckle, but wouldn’t be impressed. Anyways, most of the great philosophical enlightenments come from cartoons. This one being particularly relevant. Put another way, the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds are the cellar dwellers, both failing to win 70 wins last year. I guess the division is a microcosm of mankind. You got the “haves” and the “have-nots.” With two punching bags in the division, which elevates the win totals of the other teams, the NL Central cannot be considered the best division in baseball. That distinction probably goes to the AL East, but we are not here to talk about that. We are here to discuss the position battles in the NL Central. So without further adieu Pepe Le Pew….

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Hello! How many of Y’all remember the early 90’s? I don’t mean you were 5 and sort of remember it. I mean you know all the words to Color Me Bad, “I Wanna Sex You Up”, or K7’s “Come Baby Come”. How many of you had a fly honey in high waisted shorts and a fresh perm? Can you bust out a Running Man or the Wop? If you caught even 60% of what I just said this one’s for you. You know for all my overall shorts with the one strap rocking CooleyHighHarmony heads. We’re bringing it back New Jack Style with some of the flyest threads of the early 90’s. Ya heard?

One big change before we go forward, the format of the charts got a little remix treatment here in the two-trey. Yours truly, decided to roll out a different set of wOBA ranks, scrapping the righty/lefty splits and instead looking at the entirety of the second half. This should give you some idea of what offenses are A. Hot and B. Putting it together following any acquisitions they made before the trade deadline. Because who really cares what a team looked like in April or June, right?  Should we let our judgement be skewed by first half data if a team has been awful for all of July and August? Hell no! So we made that change for your benefit I’m a giver. The other change is we dropped the k% and added the ERA/FIP/xFIP of each potential two start pitcher over their last 5 or so turns. We did have a couple with under 5 starts total for the season, but it was just two (Zach Davies, and Cody Martin). Once again this is taking a look at the current form of each starter, not how they were pitching two months ago. Ya Dig? Good, well let’s get to it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ll be up front and honest from the jump. This is a post designed to do one thing, and one thing only. That’s share the pain of not getting what I wanted at the toy store between the ages of 0-8. My ultimate goal today is to make my parents feel so awful about what I was deprived of as a child. That they feel motivated to hit E-Bay and bid on some sweet, sweet nostalgia toys. You know, stuff I can play with after I put my kids to bed, around the time I usually begin binge drinking, or ignoring my wife on the couch. What I like to affectionately call “Grown man shizz”. But seriously didn’t we all have that awesome toy we desired that we never got, because our parents just wouldn’t buy them for us? My Mom was a teacher and always had this big thing about not buying toys that would kill my sister and me’s “creativity”. Whatever that means…. Let’s just say my parents set the trend for the pretentious I’m better than you parent shaming that’s so popular amongst the social media mommy bunch. You know the types, they’re the people on your news feed always sharing toy and stroller recalls, and anti-GMO posts about Kraft Mac & Cheese. Hey I get it, you want what’s best for your kids, but you’re nuts if you think at 18 they won’t be crushing EasyMac at 3am on a dorm room couch after a night of drinking like the rest of us. It’s just the natural way of things toots! Any the who, here we are week 22 or da deuce deuce as I likes to calls it. 22 weeks of two start pitching and we’re still here looking to get you into the playoffs or the next round if you so choose. So without further ado let’s whine about toys I didn’t get and discuss two start pitchers for week 22.

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*swirls a glass, takes a gulp. spits it back in a bucket*  “That’s vintage Justin Verlander,” said Kate Upton.  “Okay, this might sound gross, but can you spit into my mouth?”  That’s you getting up the nerve to say something to Kate Upton.  I just thought of a moneymaking idea for Shark Tank!  You stand outside of Comerica Park with a cardboard cutout of a naked Verlander and have people pay $10 to take a picture with him, pretending to be Kate Upton.  Oh, and no, this post isn’t an attempt to Bleacher Report up Google’s rankings by mentioning Verlander and Upton repeatedly, though it does seem that way…Verlander/Upton, Verlander/Upton and Verlander/Upten for the illiterates.  So, Verlander did look magnificent yesterday until the 8th inning when he began to tire, ending up with a one hitter –> 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners (1 Hit), 9 Ks with an ERA at 3.45.  Big Magoo captured Verlander’s upside about two weeks ago with this post.  Worth reading, but the key part (cause I know, y’all can only read so much), “Since the All-Star break, Verlander’s 7.25 K/BB ratio is the 5th highest among qualified starting pitchers, and his 1.1 BB/9 is the 6th lowest.  He shares the same swinging strike rate (12.1%) as Jake Arrieta and Gerrit Cole over that span as well.  Now, excuse me as I go drain the weasel on a picture of Grey.”  Hey, wait a minute!  I didn’t remember that last part.  So, if Verlander is out there in your league, the one-hitter yesterday doesn’t seem to be a hirame.  Sorry, I just had sushi.  It’s not a fluke.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sup Sunday goers. Our resident Ralph had himself a thing on Saturday. A thing I don’t really wanna repeat in public so lets just say there were multiple piercings and paddleboards involved and mayhap a few types of ‘beads’. Needless to say, he asked to switch days and after explaining to him that next time he could just tell me he’s really busy and I don’t need the whole story, I humbly and nervously obliged. So here I be and here be Jeff Locke. Jeff isn’t that good of a pitcher; maybe league average. He’s just not one of those guys who’s going to have an All-Star season out of the blue and for streamers and DFS’ers, that’s just fine…wait, he was an All-Star in 2013? Man, I hate that game. Anyways, he only gotta be good once for us to be happy and he’s being spotted a prime matchup to make just that happen. Yes, we all know the Mets have performed well since gaining Yoenis but even he can’t help them with one major thing: their atrocious numbers vs lefties. On the year, the Mets rank 2nd to last at 24.2% for their K% against left-handed pitching. Only the Padres are worse at 24.3% so we are really comparing rotten apples to rotten apples here. Add in a miniscule 84 wRC+ and you’re looking at Locke’s chance to at a cheap $6,400 on DK. On a day with so many good options, there’s no need to risk him in cash but Jeff has 25 point upside with the matchup he’s been handed and if I’m multi-lineup building today, I’m gonna have some exposure to him. But enough about what’s under this overly large, brown dust-coat, let’s get on with the show. Here’s my publicly indecent hot takes for this Sunday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

 

When you think about Rob Schneider’s career, his Richmeister character was bordering on prophetic. I mean, the first time we saw the character, ok, that was fun. Annoying and yet you get the gist of it why it’s funny and it was in a small enough sample size for you to actually enjoy it and not be frustrated. And then they kept doing the skit over and over and making the skits longer and longer. The reason it was funny was that you get it, the dude is annoying. But is it really funny annoying your audience? Not really. I mean, who the eff watched Deuce Bigalow? Wait, don’t answer that, especially with a ‘yes’ cuz I want us to stay friends. Basically, Rob Schneider in small doses can work (YOU CAN DO IT!) but if you have to deal with him for longer than five minutes, you’re basically trying to annoy your audience to death. Speaking of annoying your audience to death, there’s me not talking about Luis Severino. Let’s fix that, shall we? Severino’s first start of the year wasn’t perfect but it was spectacular as he K’d 7 through 5 and only gave up 2 hits, though those two hits were smacked pretty hard and one left the yard. But said hits were in Yankees stadium and by lefties in a lefty friendly park. Progressive Field still plays well to lefties but it pales in comparison to that Bronx short porch. And though I wouldn’t call that offense lost at sea entirely, it is made up of guys still learning the game and castaways at this point as they shed payroll and try to build for 2016. Meanwhile, New York is still playing for something and Severino looked so good his first time out, I’m hard pressed not to go back to him on a day where he may go underowned because of all the other higher priced pitchers. So join me in rostering the Sevman…the Sevmeister…the Severino, won’t you? Meanwhile, Schneider looks forward to reprising his cameo roles in another Adam Sandler movie. My hatred there is for another time cuz it’s time we move on to some other calls. So here’s my red hot chick takes for this Tuesday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?