When I was growing up, we had a hutch. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember what piece of furniture it was that my grandparents used to call a hutch. So, like a child of the naughts, I Googled it. On Wikipedia, it says a hutch is where one prepares an evening tipple. Let me just say, I don’t remember anyone in Jersey ever preparing an evening tipple. An evening Sloppy Joe? Sure. An evening ‘bang on the side of the TV so the picture would come in?’ Yup. An evening ‘curse at the neighbors?’ Definitely! An evening tipple? Not in my Jersey. But, for the sake of argument, let’s all pour ourselves an evening tipple for Drew Hutchison. Last night, he went 8 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hit, 1 Walk and 8 Ks. See, nothing to it. The only mistake yesterday was a long ball surrendered to Chris Davis (now has back-to-back games with ding-shots). As I said when Hutchison was called up, he could be as great as any pitcher to come up this year. Sadly, it may not be this year that he is great. It’s the pickle that is young pitchers. I would own him, shoot, I’d even have a tipple with him, but I wouldn’t fully trust him until he has a longer track record. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The trade deadline was three days ago. By now fantasy experts like Trojan Croftbell and Cocky Karazola have picked over these deals until the bones were showing, and gone over the “slashes” these guys compiled while “toeing the rubber” and talked you, and themselves really, in-and-out of pickups until they were dizzy. There’s no other way to analyze this. Unless you take some of the moving parts to Week 19 of the Two-Startapalooza party!

What happens to the headlining acts is obvious. Jon Lester is a must-start almost every week. In the post-season, he becomes Orel Hershiser ’88, or at least Billy Beane and any long-time A’s fan that shudders at the thought of Orel Hershiser ’88 hopes. David Price scratches the surface of the Must-Start layer some weeks, but more often than not he’ll break the barrier thanks to some interesting non-sabermetrical splits. This year, Price had way better numbers away from the Trop (6-2, 2.74 ERA) than inside of it (5-6, 3.41). Which also means he had the same numbers on grass than on turf, and of course the Tigers play on the green stuff in Detroit (as opposed to the Rockies, who play on the green stuff in Denver, but that’s different).

Then there’s the other guys. It might not seem like what happened to John Lackey and bed crapper Justin Masterson matters as much, but as Twitter pal Ralph Lifshitz pointed out to me on my feed (@NiceRazzball), the Cardinals can turn anyone into a solid starter (see: Jake Westbrook and Joel Pineiro, Lifshitz said, and to that I say point taken). That being said, and I feel like I’m going to be saying that a lot this week – getting something out of Lackey is one thing, but getting the Masterbaterson to get right on a consistent basis is something else. Can you imagine rolling that guy out in the playoffs? Yipes!

Drew Smyly, who got the shaft in the Price deal and goes from a nice park on a winning team to a mediocre team in a crappy stadium, falls down at least one tier per week. He becomes a stat-piler guy for those in search of Two-Starters. Jesse Chavez falls off the radar completely, as he ends up in the A’s bullpen. I’ll miss seeing his oops-I-crapped-my-pants mug every week.

A few of these guys get a double dip this week. For some more Two-Starters, keep on reading…

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In a crazy day of trading, the blockbuster has to be David Price heading to the Tigers. Though, I’m not sure blockbuster is the right word anymore. Blockbuster is so 80’s. Blockbuster sold out to a fro-yo chain and is Blockberry now, isn’t it? The Netflix deal of the day? The Hulu pause-for-three-ads-every-five-minutes trade of the day? The Redbox snatch and grab? See, I wasn’t even talking about the trade in that last one. I wonder if Josh Reddick ever rubs up against a Redbox. Any the hoo! The Tigers rotation is now Price, Anibal, Verlander and Scherzer. Well, you got two aces again! Unless Tim McCarver is announcing and still thinks Verlander and Anibal are aces. As for fantasy, this does nothing to Price’s value. Maybe now that he doesn’t have a manager pulling names out of a hat for a lineup, he might get a few more wins, but did his bullpen get noticeably better? Eh. Did his division become noticeably easier? Eh, his career ERA vs. the White Sox and Indians is worse than his ERA vs. the Red Sox. That’s kinda irrelevant though, these are different teams then he faced previously. In all, it’s a solid lateral trade for Price’s value, but he was already a top arm in the game. No one is happier to see Price than the Tigers Assistant GM, Ted DiBiase. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Odrisamer Despaigne almost threw a no-hitter yesterday (7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks) in his Padres camo fatigues, which had Fidel completely uncertain how to react. “I love to wear camo too, but now he’s doing it for the American Baseball Organization and representing their military? I am torn like Natalie Imbruglia.” Luckily, Fidel had someone who burped too loud to assassinate to take his mind off things. Odrisamer Despaigne, or Otis Spunkmeyer as I always want to call him, now has a 1.31 ERA on the year (34 1/3 IP) and a laughable K-rate (4.46). Speaking of communists, that’s even laughable for Correia. Maybe the Mets couldn’t see Spunkmeyer’s pitches because the Padres were also using their trademark camo-painted baseball? Oh, wait, this is the Mets we’re yakking up. How silly of me. Spunkmeyer is definitely worth riding when in home starts, and even favorable road matchups while throwing well, but I wouldn’t trust him long-term. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I love when I tell you to pick up a player and he comes up days later. It makes me smile, and not one of those weird Japanese emoji smiles, but a full-faced grin. So, Andrew Heaney, you’re already okay in my book, even if that book is called, “Rookie Pitchers Will Fill You With Enthusiasm Until They Actually Pitch For Your Fantasy Team.” If you missed my Andrew Heaney fantasy with Friday’s Buy, where were you? Playing Patty Cake without your hands on the dance floor to Jason Derulo’s Wiggle song? Good story, brah. You should turn that into a novella. I’m giggling with excitement for Heaney like I’m Lisa Simpson, only instead of hehe I’m going HeHeaney. Pitching his home games in Crayola Canyon won’t hurt him, and the NL East is filled with a bunch of sad, sad hitting teams. Didja know the Marlins are the best NL East hitting team, and it’s not close? Fact! The Braves, Phillies, Nats and Mets could hold a two week round robin tournament and score less runs than goals scored in the World Cup. I went over the dangers of rookie pitchers in my Friday Buy, and what Heaney’s been doing this year in the minors. It’s all there. I will say now he should be owned in every league and is capable of winning the NL Rookie of the Year in only a little over a half a season. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If Nick, the Podcast-Now-Radio host put on a glove, or even an oversized mitten, the Mets would move Eric Young Jr. to the bench because of how much the Mets dislike him — Young, not Nick. Sure, it helps that Nick is like seven-feet tall, but he doesn’t have any athletic ability. Now, imagine the hate for EY and multiple it by seven. That’s how much the Mets hate Ruben Tejada. He once landed on the DL with hurt feelings. The Mets tried to trade him this offseason for a closer parking spot to their stadium, and they own the parking lot so they didn’t even need it! Finally, unable to look at Tejada’s stupid face anymore, they brought up Wilmer Flores to play shortstop. In Triple-A this year, he hit 5 homers in 29 games. That’s a small sample size — that’s what she said! — but it’s nothing new for him. Last year, he hit 15 homers in 107 games; 18 homers between Double and High-A the year before, etc. etc. etc. He has better-than-average power for a middle infielder, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s worth owning in 12 team mixed leagues by the All-Star Break. For now, I’d grab him in deeper mixed leagues because Flores is ready to bloom. Pun noted and unavoidable, though I didn’t try very hard. Then in Texas they called up Rougned Odor, which only sounds like a discontinued brand of Lysol. “So, we’re thinking about a new smell to mask dirty socks. It’s the smell of rotten eggs. Yes, it’s bad, but you don’t smell socks anymore.” And then that Lysol employee was fired, sued for discrimination and was awarded two-point-six mill. Don’t you wish you’d get fired from a corporate job? That’s where it’s at! Odor is going to play 2nd base while Profar is out, which is actually the issue with Odor. Once Profar returns, does Odor keep playing? Only if Odor’s hitting like .350 and spark plugging the entire team. Odor has 30-steal speed and some light power that won’t kill you in average. I like him, but if I had to bet who would get more ABs this year, I’d say Flores. But for short-term value in shallower leagues, I want Odor above Flores because speed translates quicker. Again, noted and I didn’t try to avoid it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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…

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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?