People get hurt.  It’s one of the downsides of life – like a Katherine Heigl movie or the script for Season 4 of The Walking Dead.  Like all of God’s creatures, baseball players will also get hurt (they’re people, too, right?).  So unless you can put in a Cal Ripken “max health” cheat code into your fantasy baseball players’ bodies, dealing with injuries is something you’ll have to stomach for the next five months.

In each of the past two weeks I’ve covered some of the top players to stash on your team’s DL.  That route can be pretty cut and dry.  All fantasy owners should continue that process, but there are other ways to maximize injury potential.  It may sound a little grim, but targeting injured or injury-prone players in trades, or players that you may want to give up in a trade, is a savvy strategy that could net you a nice return.

To succeed in fantasy baseball you can’t be complacent.  Opposing owners often get frustrated with players who are constantly on the trainer’s table, and that’s always a good time to buy low.  It’s also a smart move to trade away a player who may be healthy now, but who’s been known to have worse luck than a cast member in one of the Final Destination flicks.

It’s a dirty business, but gambling on a player’s health can be profitable…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As they say in a Jewelery District of any major city, Johnny Cueto pitched a gem. Well, any major city except Detroit. There they call a gem, “Slowly remove it from your finger, and no funny business!” Against the Pirates yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 12 Ks. Pretty much across the board for Cueto’s career, I haven’t been a fan. His xFIP has always been much worse than his ERA, and his K-rate has never been close to an elite starter. Well, a weird thing happened on the way to his fifth start of the year, he looks like an ace. His xFIP is down to 2.55, his K-rate is 10.50 and his walk rate is 2.40. Those are fantasy ace numbers. Last year through April, he had a 2.80 xFIP, 9.35 K-rate and 3.12 walk rate. Those numbers aren’t that different. Hey, random italicized letters are my shtick. Not right now, Random Italicized Voice. Whoa, snippy! There is one fairly significant difference between Cueto this year and last. About a mile per hour on his fastball. In some instances, his fastball is averaging two extra miles per hour from last April, and he’s cut out his, uh, cutter, and his ground balls have remained. He’s pitching slightly different, slightly better, and, for the first time I can remember, I’m really liking what Cueto is showing. Ain’t that a kick in Jason LaRue’s head? His ERA won’t stay at 1.50, but I also wouldn’t be looking to sell him high. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

First off: Poop joke. Secondly: next poop joke. Good, now is it out of your system? Well if it ain’t, pinch it off we’ve got to keep dropping these DraftKings posts like they’re hot. Alright, alright, we can’t get things moving with you so backed up on this topic. Here, have some yogurt. Better? Good! Now I have to ask you to draft a guy who’s only $6,000 on DK and is pitching in Petco and he’s not a Padre pitcher. In fact, he’s playing for a team that could actually get him a win. You interested? Me too! His name is Rick Porcello. He enjoys going six to seven innings, loves ground ball outs, and can probably K about five or six guys today given that his opponent is the Padres who have scored 20 total runs in nine games to start the year. For you non-math majors, that’s 2.22 runs per game. You don’t even need to look at the Hitter-Tron to know these Padres won’t help your hitting lineup. I would’ve said just 2 runs since you can’t actually score .22 runs but I didn’t wanna make the lovers of San Diego cry more than their team has already made them. But of course, I’m just a man with an idea. What say you, Stream-O-Nator? Only the 11th best pitcher tomorrow? Balderdash! Oh wait, tons of aces on the mound tomorrow. I mean, Jose Fernandez is the 6th best pitcher tomorrow on there? Well that changes things now doesn’t it. Considering he’s about half the price of the big arms taking the mound, you can take him, buy an ace, and still have room in your budget for more Activia. Seriously, go talk with your doctor, you’ve got a problem. But enough about that, let’s do a few more quick DK pimpings and then move on. We’ve mentioned it a few times but there’s a little game we like to call the Sweet Spot on DraftKings. That’s a $400,000 pot. The cool thing about the link I just gave you? You sign up for the first time to DK you get a free ticket which you can turn into a ticket in the Sweet Spot. How often do you get to tell your wife you actually WON money playing fantasy sports (we’re friends here, you don’t need to lie to me). In either case, if you want in on this DK fun, that would be a great way to start. With that, let’s get on with it. Here’s the Razzball slant on the 4/11/2014 slate for your DraftKings lineups…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I love the Aussie people; they have goofy words for a barbecue and even goofier animals — koalas and kangaroos? Is Australia animated? Those things are goofy! Why not just get a duck-billed platypus and anteater and call it a day, you wacky-animal-having country! How about baseball there? Did all the fans in attendance win a Bowie knife if a player hit a home run into the big marsupial pouch? Did Crocodile Dundee throw out the first pitch? Did the batters hit with a fraternity hazing paddle? I don’t know, because it was at four in the morning! Selig really needs to stop doing this to Opening Day. The players will be exhausted from traveling and won’t be able to get their usual reps in during the spring. The first pitch of the season should be at a time when 7-year-old North American boys and girls can watch it. Not at 4 AM EST. What if the first game went extra innings or someone got hurt? Can they just call up someone from the minors for the next game? No, so then you’ll have a team playing short. Do these stunts in December as a goodwill trip. Don’t make major league baseball teams into the Harlem Globetrotters for a regular season game. Eh, whatevs, baseball is back, who cares if it comes with a big helping of Vegemite. Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Chris Davis hit his 51st home run, breaking the Orioles’ home run record of 50 set by Brady Anderson. In a ceremony following the game, Chris Davis sheared Brady Anderson’s sideburns, donating them to a teenager who wants to appear closer in age to his fake ID. Teenager Billy Lutkin said, “I already look like I’m at least 22, these will make me look like I’m like 30! I’m gettin’ drunk!” Davis’s season line is 100/51/132/.293/3, and rightfully sits near the top of our Player Rater. Old news, but I’m thinking about new news (almost stutterer!) and what can he do for 2014 fantasy baseball? In the 2nd half, he hit .255 with 13 homers as his BABIP and HR/FB% came soaring back to his career norms and rather than otherworldly as in the first half. He has a near 30% K-rate and doesn’t look anything close to the guy he was in the first half. Next year, he should still get 35 homers, but will probably hit closer to .265 and with those numbers his counting stats will come back to earth like Andrelton after holiday. Let’s just say someone will be drafting him before me next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I did some complaining last week about how the plethora of six-man rotations this time of year dilutes the two-start pool and makes two-start forecasting quite difficult. And while all of that is surely true, it’s also true that at this point of the season is probably the easiest time all year to get your greedy little hands on some quality two-start streamers. If you’re still reading this post midway into September, you’re in the minority. Week 25 is the finals in most H2H formats, the semis just about everywhere else. And if you play in one of the weird no-playoffs H2H leagues, odds are there aren’t more than two teams in serious contention at this juncture. Point is, there just aren’t that many people exploiting the two-start scene anymore. From this point forward, you should be able to snag some usable streamers without much trouble. Of course, if you’ve made it this far, I’d like to think your staff is strong enough to succeed without the help of fringy waiver adds.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Grey’s in transit to Texas Wine Country for a friend’s wedding so Drunk Uncle Rudy’s has control of the ol’ roundup post. Yup, Texas has a wine country. If you guessed the wine is mediocre and they only sell it in magnum bottles because everything’s bigger in Texas, you’re half-right (you can buy it in barrels too). But mediocre wine ain’t so bad. My mother-in-law brought us Arkansas wine the other day that she and her husband picked up on a recent roadtrip. Oofa! I had a sip and thought, “Are they trying to make this taste like Manischewitz?” Did they run out of grapes and substitute with purple gobstoppers? I bet when Arkansas winery sales reps stop by Wal*Mart HQ, the wine buyer has to euphemize, “We appreciate you make wine in our state but we don’t think it meets the standards of our indiscriminate clientele.”

Since there is no big news today, I thought I’d revel in the awesomeness of Arquimedes Caminero – the Marlins middle reliever who pitched 2 scoreless innings last night in a mop-up role. It isn’t his talent or potential that is awesome – it’s the name. The first name adds some Greeky Latin to the Italiany Latin Giancarlo and Placido and explains the spiraling fortunes of the Marlins. The last name sounds like a Chevy car designed especially for Staten Island with a Camaro front and an El Camino pickup truck back. Haul trash to the local landfill by day – charm the guidettes by night. The Caminero! (BTW, Chevrolet’s social media agency, if you’re reading this, totally recommend the Caminero to GM and stop with that Chevy Silverado ‘Strong’ commercial on Pandora. “Everybody knows he ain’t just tough…he’s strong.” More like everyone knows that song doesn’t just suck….it blows!

Anyway, here are some Grey bragging about his RCL team-free notes from a short schedule Thursday…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I remember as a kid trying to watch Kelly’s Heroes with my dad, and not understanding any of it.  I mean, it didn’t have a Wookie.  Reading over that Wikipedia synopsis, sounds a lot like Three Kings that came out almost 3 decades later.  Nothing original in Hollywood anymore!

But to baseball, Joe Kelly has some heroes of his own.  First there’s the Cardinals developmental system that seems to churn out pitching prospects that can throw upper 90′s faster than Hollywood sequel greenlights.  Then there’s the Cardinals offense that leads the NL in runs scored by 53.  Using his rag-tag unit of pitching coaches, arguably the best catcher in the game Yadier Molina, and an offense ready to give him a lead every game out, can Joe Kelly help you steal the gold in a fantasy title?  I tuned into his start yesterday in Pittsburgh to break down how he looks and if he can be a wildcard contributor to your final fantasy push:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Nick Castellanos a ti, Nick Castellanos a ti, Nick Castellanos a ti… Oh, sorry, I didn’t here you walk in. I was just singing Happy Birthday in Spanish with a Greek player’s name to anyone that was born on September 2nd. I’m glad you’re here. Sit down. You just sat down on the birthday cake. Okay, forget that now. This weekend rosters expanded, and with it the promise of a greater tomorrow. Yay, Billy Hamilton is going to steal 78 bases in September. Nick Castellanos will hit 12 homers and fix this gaping hole in my lineup I call, “Josh Hamilton Sucks.” All of the guys called up will be great (no, they won’t, but some may). It doesn’t mean they will be great immediately or even have the playing time to succeed this year. In keepers, obviously you pursue these players hard and fast like you’re Gosh Johnson, Josh’s porn star brother. In redraft leagues where you are desperate for SAGNOF, I’d grab Billy Hamilton now. If you have an open spot in your lineup and Hamilton isn’t playing, I’d still insert him and watch him get a steal in a pinch running appearance. Nick Castellanos is another ball of fruit — a melon ball, if you will. If he doesn’t have playing time, he adds nothing for redraft leagues. I will reiterate what Prospect Scott said yesterday, “I like his former teammate, Avisail Garcia, better and Grey is an idiot.” Okay, I will only reiterate the first part of that. In redraft leagues, you don’t want someone who will be great next year, you want someone who is swinging a hot bat right now. Now, go clean the cake off your ass. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?