The first half is in the books.  You suffered through the HR Derby and stomached the ASG.  Congratulations, you’ve weathered the first “half” storm.  We have about 65-70 games left, depending on the team, and you now have a good look at your team.  Or do you?  Plenty of players have outperformed expectations and a seemingly equivalent contingent of guys have been duds.  I’m not gonna bore you with a long intro here.  Let’s look at guys who should have increased value rest of season.  Buy em or don’t sell em, but use it to your advantage.

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jeter1

Has the Derek Jeter Memorial Midsummer lovefest ended in Minnesota yet? I need an afterglow cigarette and one of those Jeter gift baskets after that All-Star reach around. Hey, as a Red Sox fan I can actually tip the turban to Jeter for a great career ( I just vomited in my mouth a little), but it’s not like Jeets is on his death bed muttering “Rosebud” or was the greatest player of his generation. Or was he? At least Adam Wainwright wasn’t grooving pitches to him for the last 20 years. With the fantasy DT’s settling in, I turned my trembling hands to Razzball’s Historical Fantasy Baseball Player Rater to check the numbers. I was surprised by what I found. No surprise that the top 3 fantasy players of all-time were Ruth, Aaron and Cobb, but it is interesting to note that Jeter ranks in the top 50 at No. 41. The Yankees captain ranks just ahead of Hall of Famers like Jim Rice, Paul Molitor, George Brett and should be Hall of Famer Pete Rose. According to the Razzball Rater, Jeter is the No.6 shortstop all-time ahead of Robin Yount, Barry Larkin, Joe Cronin and Pee Wee Reese. Now, as Jeter rides off into the pinstriped sunset, he currently ranks as the 22nd best shortstop in our fake ballin’ world. Not great, but still better than more heavily owned players like J.J. Hardy, Xander Bogaerts and Brad Miller. In honor of the departing Jeets, his “dating diamond”, the Midsummer Classic and the fantasy baseball DT’s, let’s jam or cram the currently under-owned (60% or less) waiver wire All-Stars.

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Manny Machado‘s epitaph: He always found more success throwing a bat at a ball. Better than Salvador Perez’s: Together again! Machado wasn’t just struggling, he was like that friend of yours that not only is having a rotten time at a party, but also sucks the prettiest girls in the room into his sad funk of despair and before long, the girls are like, “I don’t want to go out and get drunk and party and potentially hook up with you. Your friend Manny Machado is too depressed.” The buzz kill friend. Yesterday, Machado went 5-for-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his 8th homer, and fourth homer in his last seven games (skipping the suspension games). About time he listened to your advice, did a body shot off the tummy of the girl that wants to be a physical therapist and cheered up! I don’t own Machado anywhere this year, due to the knee issue coming into the season, but he just turned 22 years old (almost literally; his birthday was Sunday) and I’ll be all over Machado again next year. Of course, if you can acquire him in a trade this year, by all means, which sounds like it was said by Malcolm X’s less militant brother, Bobby X. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Wanna really mess with your brain? Think about how you could have the same thing as Guy Pearce in Memento and you would never know. Okay, don’t think about it too long, it’ll mess with your brain too much and then I’m gonna get sued by your loved ones. “Judge, Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it), told my darling boy, Josh, to think about how he could have a brain dysfunction and now I have to change his diaper and order in for Chinese food every fifteen minutes because he keeps forgetting he just ate.” That’s your momma in front of the judge, suing me. Steve Pearce is a thirty-one-year-old journeyman. That’s not a cartographer, that’s a guy who isn’t very good and just travels around offering his services for all-you-can-drink Gatorade. Yes, he hit two homers yesterday and has hit 9 homers in just two months while batting .336. This isn’t a matter of “Maybe he’s breaking out now.” No, there’s no breaking out for Steve Pearce. He doesn’t even sound right if you don’t say his full name. There’s no Steve and no Pearce. There’s only Steve Pearce and he’s the hottest schmotato in the land and is worth picking up while he’s swinging a hot bat, but I wouldn’t expect it to last that long. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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When Jaime Garcia was a kicker in high school for his Flick Football team, he lined up the paper football, just left of the finger uprights across from him, adjusting for the southwesterly wind coming from a student’s handheld fan. Like it was happening in slow motion, he flicked hard, the paper sailed through, poking the kid’s eye that was holding the finger uprights. Unfortunately, Garcia also pulled a finger tendon and had to watch from the sidelines the rest of the year as his team marched to the playoffs. Ever since then, he’s never been able to shake the injury bug, and yesterday he hit the DL with a shoulder injury. Unfortunately for the rest of us, the Fantasy Baseball Overlord’s hunger for ruining pitchers’ arms didn’t stop at Garcia, and Michael Wacha is out with a shoulder injury too. Wacha, Wacha, f**ka! Wacha has a stress reaction on his shoulder, and the Cards are saying no surgery is required, but his fantasy owners may still want to make a Kenesaw Mountain Landis out of Doritos and pray to it. The good news, Carlos Martinez will now be in the rotation for at least another month. He went 5 IP, 3 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks yesterday, and I’d grab him in most leagues now that he’s staying in the rotation. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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After the first couple months of a season, we start to get enough at bats to make informed decisions about how the current season may suggest a change in a player’s future performance from what we previously expected. Or do we? Yes, yes we do. But sometimes people overreact to recent information. Let’s call it recency bias because I think that’s its actual name. However, just because a sample size in the current season is statistically significant doesn’t mean we should ignore a larger sample (the player’s entire career). My preference is to investigate whether there is a reason why a player’s performance may have changed, from both a statistical perspective and due to any reported personal issues (injury, new baby, divorce, etc.). The idea is to see if it tells a story, which admittedly involves some subjectivity, but I think it helps place statistics in their proper context. This helps determine the likelihood that a player will approach their previous numbers or maintain their current performance. This is my long-winded way of saying that I’m looking at some players who have had at least one stretch of a drastic change from their expectations in 2014:

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David Price is one of the most interesting pitchers right now. Snooze! Okay, Random Italicized Voice, I’ll try not make this too boring. No, I thought I heard an alarm and was yelling for it to snooze. Oh, okay. So– Snooze! You’re not hearing an alarm! Maybe it’s your voice, Random High-Pitched Voice! Snooze! So, Price’s K/9 and BB/9 are at 10+ and sub-1. He should be a top five pitcher with those numbers. It’s not rocket surgery that if you’re striking out ten guys per nine innings and walking less than one guy good things will happen. This isn’t like when your mom says if you’re good to people, good things will happen back to you, cause I’m pretty sure any millionaire will tell you that’s a crock. The odd thing is not enough good things have happened to Price. See, Mom! Price’s ERA is at 3.93 on the year. That couldn’t be further from what is going on. Right now, he’s having the best season of his career from a strictly peripheral sense. This is all happening while his fastball velocity continues to fall. It doesn’t add up like Joan from Mad Men being married to that guy that looks like a young Jeff Goldblum only geekier. As each great start happens like yesterday’s — 8 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks — it’s going to make it harder to buy Price low, but I would. Snooze! Ugh, I hate you. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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There was a strange time in history that some may not be aware of. It was a time when Fergie wasn’t a household name and giving her fans dreams of golden showers. It was a time they were all about having a live backing band instead of sampled beats. It was a time when they were earning critical acclaim for what I’ll biasedly – which IS a word, autocorrect; check yo’self! – say was good music. Well, at least in comparison to what everyone thinks of them as now. And then things changed. Is it irony or coincidence they became a household name with a song titled ‘Let’s Get Retarded’? I don’t know, Alanis has effed me up forever on that word. I’ll hand it off to you, dear reader, to discern for me that debate. But back to what we came to talk about…wait, all we’ve talked about is Black Eyed Peas. Hrm…que awkward segue! Well, maybe Erik Bedard has a similar career arc. Drift back with me to 2005-2006 and you had what seemed like an ace in the making. Then 2007 happened and he dropped a beautiful endline: 182 IP, 3.16 ERA, 10.93 K/9 and move to a pitcher friendly park in Safeco as 2008 destination. Everything was pointing up for Bedard’s career. And then injuries and ineptitude hit. The most innings he’s pitched in a season since 2007 is 151 with the Astros last year and I wouldn’t call many of them successful. Fast forward to the now and his season stat line still looks like a mess but there’s some underlying hope for him being useful as he turned in a 3.00 ERA in May. Given the right matchup, you could dare say Erik will having you wanting to Pump It (LOUDER!) and I’ll say the Mariners are just that. The Mariners sport the 5th worst team wOBA against left handed pitching on the year which should be no surprise considering like 90% of the lineup is left-handed. Given he’s the 5th cheapest pitcher on DraftKings today at $6,100, buying in will give you plenty of room to roster an ace like Yu Darvish without breaking your bat bank. And before you say ‘bish u cray’ about this call, the DFSBot is on board, calling him the 10th best pitcher to go today and the 3rd best money differential play with a positive value of 2412 over his going price. But enough about getting Bedard’ed, let’s move on. Here are some more Razzball picks for June 6th…oops, before I go just wanted to let you know I’ll be driving myself to the oblivion that is a family reunion on the Mrs. side so J-FOH has lovingly said he’ll caddy the questions for today. Be nice to him. I don’t wanna come back to find out you were all terrors in the comments section. Now moving on…

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I get so funny with the money that you flaunt
I said where’d you get your information from huh?
You think that you can front when revelation comes

Yeah, you can’t front on that

Yo Yo Yo’s we iz takin’ it back to ’92 with the baddest trio of white boys since Richie,Potsie and Ralph. The Beastie Boys are probably the best ever to drop lyrics for all the suburban kids to feel fresh too. Seriously, after this song came out every kid went out and bought a beanie and made it a staple that to this day has gotten a little ridiculous. By the way, why the hell do people wear beanies when it’s 100 degrees outside? I don’t get it. You can look like this guy and that’s not a good thing. Sorry back to the Beasties and this game changing jam. Oh damn, what am I doing? This is suppose to be about DraftKings. Let’s get funny with our money and drop the $10,700 today on Michael Wacha. He’s worth it. You might ask where I get my information from?…Huh? The Royals have been pretty blaherrible for fantasy purposes. Collectively they can do some damage but I’m willing to bet they won’t. Wacha’s K-rate sits at a very pretty 9.20 with a walk rate at 2.33. He faces Yoradno Ventura who is coming off an elbow issue and has given up 9 earned runs over his last 8.2 innings and as much as I like K’s I also like to get the W when I invest this much. The other options for the afternoon set is not as sexy and if I’m gonna be spending, I want to spend on sexy. Before I move on I was flipping through Beastie Boy videos on You Tube and was reminded of how good videos used to be. Here is my top 5 all time 5) No Sleep Til Brooklyn 4) Intergalactic 3) Fight for Your Right (To Party) 2) Hey Ladies 1) Sabotage Please post your own favorites below and let’s talk about it.

Oh you thought I was jumping to player profiles? Ha! Actually the Guru did a great job yesterday of providing tips and jokes for the newbies. It’s a great game and I alway tell you all to come join us. If you are feeling a little apprehensive we can keep it our little secret. If you decide to play I suggest using the DFS-Bot as a baseline first. Then go look for what you think is a good value. We are essentially making a lineup of batty calls and streamers. Honestly you can spend 20 minutes and get a good grasp on what your lineup should be. Please don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you want in the comments. That is what we are here for. You can look me up on DraftKings too, my handle is J-FOH.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Clap along if you feel like that song got overplayed (Cuz it’s crappyyyyyy). Clap along if you feel like Pharrell should’ve never sang (Cuz it’s crappyyyyyy). Clap along if you know he coulda done a better thang (Cuz it’s crappyyy). Clap along if you feel these lyrics are just a drain (Cuz they’re crappyyyyyyy). Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Pharrell Williams fan…back when he was a producer as part of The Neptunes duo. The man knows music inside and out and it’s pretty clear he knows how to stick good tunes in your head. Hell, even N.E.R.D. was boss. Yeah, yeah, he sang…if you think the Beastie Boys sing. Let me put it to you this way. I’ll listen to Britney Spears. It’s one song. It’s ‘I’m A Slave 4 U‘ and not out of any sense of irony or wry humor. It’s all cuz of Pharrell. Granted, I do it with the vocals stripped but whatever, you get the point: the man knows his beats and has a huge musical vocabulary. Jazz, do-wop, 70′s soul, punk, disco…the man is a walking classics playlist with his own flare. What does all this have to do with J.A. Happ you ask? Eh, nothing really. I just wanted to riff on Pharrell for a bit. Before he was gathering Grammys with a weird hat, he was dropping quality track after quality track…and winning Grammys. So basically nothing’s changed and the same can be said of Happ. He’s still not a good pitcher. But that doesn’t mean he can’t drop a quality start in the middle of of his mediocrity, especially when given such a prime matchup. The Royals are either at or near the bottom of the barrel in terms of team wOBA, ISO, and OBP against lefties on the year. Now that doesn’t make J.A. a safe bet, of course, but when you look at his price of $6,300 over on DraftKings, you have to consider how much he’ll aid you in rostering some bigger bats for a full Friday slate. So now that we’ve covered the important things in life – Pharrell’s discography and Happ still being a bad pitcher with a good matchup – let’s give this Friday slate a whirl, shall we?

Please, blog, may I have some more?