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:

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The Houston Astros who crawled through a river of shizz and came out clean on the other side. The entire organization looks up in the air, rain beating down. Hey, Bus Driver, take the Astros to Zanwhattwonahwho, they finally called up George Springer! No, I don’t know how to spell it! With a Z? For an organization that hasn’t had anything promising since Billy Hatcher homered off a left-field foul pole, it’s about time there’s something to look forward to. They were downright depressing there for about seven years. Here’s what I said this offseason, “In Triple-A, Springer had 18 homers after hitting 19 homers in Double-A. That’s not one year in Double-A and one year in Triple-A even though my syntax might lead you to believe that. He hit 37 homers last year in the minors. Hello, sexy, what’s your name? Do you like your creme de menthe on the rocks? Can I call you grasshopper? 37 homers is pretttttay, pretttttay good. I wonder if he can do anything else. *moves finger along his minor league line* Hmm, too bad he only stole 45 bases last year. Oh. Wait, come again? I mean, I just came again. 40-steal speed from a guy that nearly hit 40 homers? Yummo on that Thirty Minute Meal. Give me some Restaurant: Stakeout, my waitress is sexting her boyfriend during business hours! So, I guess his average is atrocious. Oh, he hit .311 in Triple-A? Yeah, I just had a fangasm; I have to change my undershorts. Is it all peaches and cream on this big slice of pound cake? No, there’s a K-rate that could portend him actually hitting .245 in the big leagues and I wish he were a year younger, but nothing is spelling D-O-O-M.” And that’s me quoting me! I lurve me some Springer and he’s ownable in every league. My preseason projections for him were 52/19/71/.254/22, but that was with a full season at-bats. Now that he’s missed about two weeks, I’d cut off a few counting stats, but not much. He could be a 20/20 player. Go get him! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Most of the league’s top aces took the hill last night, but none were more impressive than the Padres’ Andrew Cashner, who threw a one-hit shutout, tossing 108 pitches against the ferocious Tigers, walking just two and striking out 11. That’s straight Cashner, homey! Randy Moss would be proud. Cashner’s shutout was the first of the season in all of baseball, and just the second of his career. He now holds a 1.29 ERA and 0.81 WHIP with 22 Ks through three starts. It’s gotta be that beard, right? You don’t have to tell Razzball nation about the magic of facial hair, see: Albright, Grey. Mystic whiskers aside, Cashner was money Friday night, surrendering just the one hit to Rajai Davis (breaking up his perfect game in the 6th), and striking out Miguel Cabrera to end the game. Yes, that Miguel Cabrera! I’ve always been high on Cashner, and I owned him everywhere last year, so naturally, I own him no where this year. After last night, I might have to hit the trade market, because if I can’t own him, no one should! “I want a Golden Andrew Cashner Goose now, daddy!” Andrew has had injury issues in the past, but he has always been solid when healthy, and with high a 90′s fastball that can hit the triple digits, doode throws some serious cheese. The key with Cashner remains his aforementioned health; if he stays healthy, I could see 12-14 wins, 160 Ks and some solid ratios. That kind of Cashner can pay off big for your fantasy team.

Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

DraftKings: Week One is in the books. The MLB 2014 season is now only a wee one week old and aww look it’s drooling. Or is that you? No it was me; I couldn’t stand that long awful thingy called winter in which there was no baseball. Now that it is back, we have enjoyed every second whether it is Puig’s blunders or some Trumbo-bombs. So hey, while you’re enjoying all this warm gooey baseball-ness why not make a lil money doing it? Everybody is doing it. Ok maybe not everybody but they should be. I started playing DFS myself this baseball season and I am hooked. On with the show …

This being my first run on Razzball lets go over the basics. First, while you’re here on the Razz check out the Stream-O-Nator and see who it likes for today’s pitchers. Secondly, click on the tab that says Hitter-Tron. Its going to give you some guys who can handle the wood. Wait, ew, nevermind they can do the batting thing more preferably than other guys. Man, this is just going downhill fast isn’t it? Click here on our sponsored DraftKings link to get to safety and I’ll get it back together. The Stream-o-nator seems to like Michael Wacha the most and at a $8,400 price tag he’s not a bad value. Not my cup o tea, though, and I’ll tell you why below as we discuss Draftkings picks for 4/7/2014 for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

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I’m sailing away, set an open course for the virgin sea, I’ve got to be free, free to face the life that’s ahead of me. The Virgin Sea is Coors Field and you have got to be free to add Avisail Garcia ASAP. What sweet sweet rock n’ roll poetry to get week 2 of the season started. The 1970′s and early 80′s hit making band Styx provided me with that brilliant piece of intro for this week’s Creeper of the Week. Their classic, Come Sail Away, has been a radio staple, as well as a beautiful remade meoldy by Eric Cartman on South Park.  In week 2, we get the early season gift of Avisail Garcia making his Coors debut and like any lover of sleepers out there we love these kind of trips. If I was wealthy, I’d hop a plane to cheer this 6’4 240lb Venenzuelan onto fantasy week 2 gold. I’d also want to go get a room in the team hotel (stalker alert) and that way I can make sure anytime he isn’t on the field no one is trying to disrupt this treasured hitter. Wait a minute, before you all think I’m crushing too hard on him be reminded I’m not the only person at Razzball with a crush on Avisail. (He was Jammed by the Gurutargeted by Greya sleeper by Grey, loved by Mike and Bill Mahoney in the White Sox Fantasy Preview, and is one of Jay’s top 100 keepers) So why is he only 11.6% owned in ESPN? I’ll tell you why, 88.4% of all ESPN leagues don’t read Razzball (for shame) and only contain ESPN employees and their family members. Thankfully we have a good readership in Yahoo who sports a 34% for my Creeper of the Week. Props to you Yahoo players for reading the Razz on the regular.

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Around here at Razzball we are one big family that is some freakish hybrid of the Brady Bunch meets the Addams Family. Honestly, I’m not really sure what to make of all this. First we have our father Grey, the dad who works all day, comes home every night to a daiquiri, and goes out on the weekend and buys us the $100 high tops we want, but mom won’t let us have. He does this to make up for all the little league games he missed because he was bringing home the bacon. Now, Rudy is our mother, and I mean this in the nicest, most masculine way possible. He’s there to keep everything sensible, clean, and in order. Jay and Sky are the older brothers we come to for advice when we get in trouble, or to teach us how to undo a bra with one hand. Guru is Grey’s illegitimate child from a high school girlfriend that is re-connecting with us, and getting to know his dad. Jeremy and I are the younger brothers just glad to get scraps and a hand me down that isn’t filled with holes. Mike is our reliable uncle, who taught us how to properly swing a bat and to drive our shoulder to the plate when we pitched. Smokey is our cool uncle, who gives us beer and taught us all how to roll a doobie so we’ll be ready for high school. Tehol is our creepy uncle, who wears ridiculous clothes that border on illegal, and who our parents never want to leave us alone with since the “incident”. Nick is our neighbor that takes too many pictures and video of the family, even when we aren’t aware of it. Scott is our bachelor neighbor, who drives a kick ass Iroc-Z and dates a different 20-year-old every week. Our cousins Pete, Josh, Dano, and Tom are always hanging out because their mother, Paulie, and father, Dan, are either drinking or drinking. It’s a family over here, I’ll cut any mother f***er who tries to mess with these guys, and have no problem doing a couple a months in county to protect them. That’s why when Jay called upon me to help him out and cover the RCL recap this week I was ready to step up to the plate and help a brother out.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As the seminal prog band Emerson, Lake and Laura Palmer once sang: “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside.” (The song went on for 45 minutes before ‘Yes’ came out and kicked their ass.) Opening day is here and the Razzball Lounge is open for bid’ness. Have a seat, grab a cold one and a pickled egg, and don’t get hypnotized by my bedazzled turban my fantasy freaks. Here in the lounge we dedicated, often celebrated, and usually acquitted (we have a great legal team) Razzballin’ scribes gather every opening day to bicker and banter, indulge and imbibe and moan and marvel at our fantasy teams and Grey’s magnificent ‘stache. On this last lazy Sunday (before things get serious) we find Sky in a dark corner slowing rocking back and forth muttering his mantra of “Tulo, Tanaka, Trumbo” over and over. Bellying up to the bar is podcasting paladin Nick Capozzi, clad only in his Expos throwback demanding another Labatts, showing off pics of his rolling Razzball ride and asking no one in particular, “Get your 32in32in32 tickets yet, eh?” Dropping quarters in the jukebox we find Jay Wrong demonstrating his “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” interpretative dance – “Will you love me forever?”  *bottle smashes above head* Stumbling out of the ladies room is the one and only Tehol Beddict casually zipping up his skinny jeans and introducing his new lady friend, “Guys, I’d like to introduce you to my cousin. Ain’t she pretty?” And here at the pool table is your humble-but-nonetheless handsome Guru putting the finishing touches on my 27 rosters. *closes eye, takes aim, sinks eight ball off two rails, drops shot glass into pint, downs boilermaker, lights cigar, sets turban on fireWith the drinks starting to flow let’s run though the jams and crams at each position for Week 1 of the 2014 fantasy baseball season. We’re not talking Miggy, Trout or Goldy here, we’re looking at players owned in less than 50% of most leagues that could help grab you an early lead on your way to fantasy glory. Good luck this season, it’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The_Good_The_Bad_and_The_Ugly

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly. AKA, yo momma. ICE BURN.

Hey, really quick, did you hear the news? Or, I guess in this case, read the news? Razzball has a radio now! AND we’re going on tour this August. That’s right, Nick the Podcast Host and I will be traveling to every NFL city to have a beer with you! Click here for the details.

So here we are, another week gone by, another wave of drafts. And for this set, we’ll be playing a game. And that game is taking a look at your leagues and deciding which picks were good, which were bad, and which were ugly. Don’t take it personally though, as I’m sure you could find my team’s and pick apart my decision making process. Really, there is no perfect draft. ONLY PERFECT BOOBS. Just kidding. They’re all perfect. Honestly, this post is really just a vehicle to mention Clint Eastwood. The spaghetti western version. Not that having a stroke at the Republican convention version. So let’s take a look at some leagues that drafted this past week, in no particular order, and pick them apart. And don’t worry, I’m plenty hard on myself. That’s what she said. Wait, what?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Internet Friends, Razzballians, big country breakfast eaters at Billy Butler’s house…Lind me your ears. Yeah, I didn’t know how to start so I figured I’d make it awkward for everyone all around. Hey, I’m Sky. You might know me from the Fantasy Football side of this little part of the interweb universe. That was just an FYI, ICYDK. I’m not expecting you to actually click it. I mean, you can if you want to. Like big, red shiny buttons at the Pentagon, you know it’s hard to resist clicking on an embedded link in a paragraph. Case in point, this link is of a small, drunk Asian kid wearing just a bra and a Teddy Bear that was superglued to his junk while standing on top of a cop car. You’re a hetero and you still totes clicked, admit it! Ok, ok maybe you assumed it was JayWrong and couldn’t resist – and maybe it was – but ya did it. Even after everything I told you, you still decided it was worth your right index finger to push down on the mouse and have a looksee. And now after this long-winded intro that had absolutely nothing to do with Adam Lind, it’s now my duty to keep you intrigued without said links or other forms of Triple-Dub sorcery. So let’s move on from this weird little intro and see why Lind should be a nice value to nab in deep leagues for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season…

Please, blog, may I have some more?