The Phils have a game plan, and it looks a something like this:  trade and/or sign washed-out AL East starters.  Worked last year with Jeremy Hellickson, and now they’ve traded for Clay Buchholz.  This is the first trade where I can declaratively state both teams won and I don’t even know who Josh Tobias is, the infielder the Phils sent to the Red Sox.  Yes, I used declaratively.  Watch out, reading comprehension!  Looks like Tobias has some speed, but it doesn’t matter.  The Sox needed Buchholz off their team because they have a set rotation without him, and the NL East is about as good a landing place can be, even if Citizens Flank is slightly offensive-minded, and I don’t just mean the insults that rain down from the stands.  “The only time the Phils ever strung three W’s together is with their website.”  That’s a Philly fan.  “Now lean down so I can puke on you.”  That’s the same Phils fan.  Buchholz looks to be in possession of all his pitches that he had when he had a 3.30 xFIP in 2015.  Of course, those pitches couldn’t have looked more pear-shaped than last year with his 5.32 xFIP.  Honestly, I think he could be anywhere from a 3.50 ERA pitcher to a 4.50 ERA one.  Is he a mixed league starter?  Maybe as a streamer, or if he starts off well, but not out of the gate, as they say in horse racing.  For NL-Only, I’m going to like him as a late-round flyer.  For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 8-10/4.07/1.31/117 in 145 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Open the door, get on the floor. Everybody walk the F. Lindor. Boom boom acka-lacka lacka boom. Boom boom acka-lacka boom boom. I can’t remember when the shortstop position was this deep. And by deep I mean you have more options than Troy Tulowitzki, who was all but guaranteed to be injured yet still outscore the field, and Jose Reyes who relied heavily on his legs to get him points. I guess there were a few years where Jimmy Rollins was a strong play at the position, but regularly there was just one, maybe two, studs at shortstop. The landscape looks quite different in 2016.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I didn’t want to open this post with just any old sentence. I needed to come up with an unbelievable opening. Something that screamed brilliance. Something that truly captured my feelings for Andrew Benintendi. I held off on really gushing about him in an opening, because the time needed to be right. You know popping his opening cherry, so to speak was special stuff….(WOW! those were some words you could quote me out of context on, and it would look real bad on my part.) The time is here! So off we go, let the trumpets blow, and hold on because the driver of this mission is a horse proctologist by the name of Jan Wilbury. Is that my real name? It shall remain a mystery!! Oh yeah, Andrew Benintendi was promoted to AA Portland on Monday. The long and the short of it, or the “those Grey readers who just read the openings to other posts and scoff” version of why you should care. He’s a future 5 category, 6 if you’re in OBP leagues, contributor, and he’s going to be in the Boston outfield in short order. I suppose he could be in someone else’s outfield too, if there’s a …..gulp….trade. I’d just like to suppress those thoughts for today.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s 2016 and everyone is raving about their kale and quinoa diet, and if you’re drinking anything other than water you may die. But today I am here to tempt you with a tall glass of Aaron Nola. Obviously you have aces Strasberg, Arrieta, and Kluber all starting, but as I surveyed the pitching field, I noticed several bad pitchers and some decent pitchers with bad scenarios. Today is most certainly a day to pony up for pricy pitchers. I was almost going to suggest Mike Foltynewicz … that’s how bad it is out there. Nola’s price falls under 10K at $9,500. However, if he keeps pitching like he has been, that price is bound to rise. Nola has been ace-like to start the season. He has gone 7 strong in 5 out of his 7 starts, issuing 49 K and only 8 BB to the tune of a 2.54 xFIP. Only two pitchers own lower xFIP, who happen to be Kershaw and Syndergaard, so he’s in pretty good company on the xFIP front. Opposing batters haven’t been able to generate much solid contact off his pitches. Nola is 12th in average exit velocity at 86.6 among qualified starting pitchers. Nola again finds himself in the good company, as his average distance per hit is only flying 200 feet. That pegs him right in between Syndergaard (201) and Kershaw (199). Are you worried about him facing Cincy? Don’t be. The Reds are a completely different team on the road than they are at home. At home they are stroking a .733 OPS, with 98 runs (2nd), and have hit 31 HR (1st). Compared to .638 OPS, 37 runs (30th), and 5 HR (29th) on the road. It’s the weekend! Forget about your diet, sit back, and take a swig from the Coca-Nola bottle. With that, I give you the rest of my DraftKings picks…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday May 16th 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?

*walks into a Moroccan marketplace*  I got me some Marra-CASH to spend!  Hoo-ah!  Wow, I sound a little like Al Pacino in my own head.  Okay, I’m going to go over to that table that is filled with players to buy low.  “Hello…*reads name tag* Djibooti, I see you’re selling slow-starting hitters for a deal.”  “Good deal!  Good deal!”  “Well, I’ll be the judge of that.”  *picks up Justin Upton*  “This smells like skunk.”  “No skunk!  Good deal!”  *goes through crates filled with albums that have a player’s face on them, lifts Lorenzo Cain*  “How much?”  “Djibooti need to check MLB Statcast.”  Djibooti looks at his iPad, looks up and snatches Cain out of my hands.  “No longer for sale!”  “Damn, Djibooti, don’t put your emotions in a tagine and get them all heated.”  So, Lorenzo Cain obviously was struggling mightily going into yesterday’s game, and, now, not so much — 3-for-5, 5 RBIs with 3 HRs (3, 4, 5).  This is why I rarely sell low on struggling top 50 hitters.  There was a reason they were drafted there in the first place.  Now the buy low is going to be much more difficult too.  “Djibooti, how much for David Price?”  “You take for free!  He’s yours!”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In what seemed like a meaningless spring training game, Dee Gordon bunted and it landed 12 feet from home plate.  The announcer said, “Wow, didn’t think that was going to make it out of the batter’s box”  And an investigation began.   Dee Gordon, unaware, of the investigation continued to use exogenous Testosterone and Clostebol, two performance-enhancing substances.  Later in spring, he knocked a single that fell just out of the 2nd baseman’s reach.  That ball, it was said, looked like a 47-footer.  It went 57 feet.  Another shot, sailed just over the pitcher’s mitt, and just before the 2nd base bag.  Gordon raced to 1st, and everyone looked around, “That was a half-a-pede.”  That’s baseball jargon for a 50-footer.  So, Dee Gordon will be out for the next 80 games, call him The Suspended Splinter.  Sure glad I bought him in my Tout Wars draft.  Super!  What the hell was this schmohawk doing?  Who thinks they can possibly get away with using in today’s game?  It’s just stupid.  This is a break for Derek Dietrich; he should be the 2nd baseman on most days.  He has 15-homer pop, and is worth a grab in NL-Only leagues.  Look forward to seeing Gordon return in August when his 28-footers go 28 feet again, and he’s back to a .215 hitter.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Buster Olney tweeted, “Kevin Gausman is pitching tonight probably exactly the way the Orioles hoped on the day they drafted him.  Dominant stuff.”  Putting aside the unnecessary “probably” — you’ll never win a Twitter Pulitzer with needless hooha! —  is this what the Orioles hoped for?  Because it’s felt at times like the Orioles were waiting for Gausman to say some sort of secret oath to let him into the rotation and, without Podrick to prompt him, he didn’t know said oath.  By the by, I can’t look at Brienne of Tarth and not see Conan O’Brien.  Perhaps, it’s me (it’s not).  If the Orioles wanted Gausman to pitch probably exactly like this, wouldn’t they have put him in the rotation and left him alone for the last *covers mouth* years?  Not to answer, but to knowingly nod while you undress your computer with your eyes.  Since I have shares in that facacta noodle-hanger Archer, I watched the better part of Gausman’s start, and he looked better than what the boxscore says, and the boxscore says, “Yum, choco-latte.”  It also says 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks in his first start back.  Gausman has the stuff to be a number one, but at worse a number two.  Not saying he will be this year; that’s just his stuff.  He probably exactly should be already, but probably exactly hasn’t been.  Still, I would grab him in any leagues where I needed upside.  A 8+ K/9, 2.7+ BB/9, 3.75 ERA starter is probably exactly what you’ll get.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We want dingers, lots and lots of dingers. The formal definition of a ‘dinger’ has something to do with home runs, just to paint a better picture for you. We will go after dingers, dingers, and more dingers. Now remember, you don’t want your pitchers to give up dingers, so be careful to not fall too much in love with them. The first Thursday of the MLB season promises plenty of potential for the long ball; sadly, most of the pitchers possess this potential too. With a few lower priced arms, it is possible to put together a very strong hitting lineup that can compete with anyone. Without further ado, we construct Team Dingers, and more importantly a team that will prove a winner on DraftKings for you!

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?

“It’s an All-Star edition of Chopped!  I’m your host, Ted Allen.  Let’s meet the competitors.  First up, Aaron Sanchez.”  *hits fast forward button*  “You know, I didn’t think you could put together such a great starter with turkey jerky, kumquats, Mallomars and boxed rice, but this sauce you made is divine.”  Alex Guarnaschelli lifts the bowl and slurps.  Geoffrey Zakarian, “I thought it could’ve used a bit more spice.”  “Okay, GZ.”  True Story Alert!  My dog’s name is Ted, and the dog walker’s name is Allen, so in my phone I have him listed as Ted Allen.  Whenever he calls, I yell out to Cougs, “I finally got on Chopped!”  So, I started Aaron Sanchez and he threw a dazzler, 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks.  His 89th pitch was a 97 MPH fastball.  Sign me up for some of that!  I grabbed him off waivers in my RCL (no idea why he wasn’t owned), and I plan on starting him every time out, Stream-o-Nator be damned!   To keep the runner at first, I’m gonna quick pitch this one.  For the cost of four cups of coffee, you get the Stream-o-Nator.  To buy stats for all major leaguers that helps the tools run costs us about $8,000.  There’s a shizzton of man hours for Rudy to make the tools.  A lot of it is a labor of love; we get that.   No one is getting rich here; again, it’s all good.  I don’t want to pay extra taxes anyway!  Now, with that said (here comes a reversal!), I take the Stream-o-Nator with a grain of salt in April.  Sample sizes need to grow.  Ugh, that’s what she keeps saying!  That’s the size of the sample, sweetheart.  Please, don’t put me on the DL with a fractured ego.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“With my last trick, I will make Paul Simon six feet tall, while throwing a 94 MPH fastball with pinpoint control.”  Then Ray Searage waved a fancy-style cape in front of the audience.  It didn’t block their gaze, but it was such an exotic-looking garment, they were distracted enough to not notice a six-foot-tall Paul Simon walk onto stage, towering over Art Garfunkel.  Simon then threw a brushback pitch while singing Home Plate Bound.  Prior, of course, Searage made the seemingly all-over-the-map Juan Nicasio into an ace.  Or at least an ace in spring training.  Do I believe Nicasio is fixed because of some spring training stats?  Actually, yeah, he could be, and is worth a flyer.  Last year, he averaged 95 MPH on his fastball, and his undoing was always his control, which Searage has helped other pitchers conquer.  Bring Searage your stuff, and he’ll make it work.  I added Nicasio into the top 80 starters and gave him the projections of 8-10/3.81/1.33/148 in 165 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?