As spring training takes off, we, the wonderful people of Razzball, thought it would be a good idea to look into some intra-team rivalries.  What positions are a lock?  What positions are being fought over?  What positions will they hire me to fill-in for (second base Blue Jays, I’m looking at you)? Find out as the start of this series will focus on NL East…

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To misquote Lucinda Williams, “You don’t have to prove your manhood to me constantly, Jim Johnson.” Maybe prove it once in a while. Maybe once in a blue moon with a slice of orange to tie in your uniform. Yesterday, he blew his third save in a row and his league-leading ninth. As the Orioles vie for a pennant spot, the boo birds are probably out in full force in Baltimore. Or for the big-boned fans in Baltimore, the Boog birds. If it was simply based on performance or the will of my piercing brown eyes, Johnson would be doing mop duty dressed as a pelican and every time someone made a mess they’d point to Johnson and say, “I can’t clean it up, but Peli-can.” The Orioles really should give him a rest and turn it over to Francisco Rodriguez or Tommy Hunter. For those of you hoping to vulture some sweet, sweet saves, it’s not a clear cut case of Johnson about to be removed, Lorena Bobbit-style. He’s built up some goodwill over the last twelve months with 51 saves last year and 39 saves now. Also, the O’s are Confucius non gratis as to who is their set-up man. K-Rod, his goggles and his dyslexic dor-K lifestyle has plenty of experience, but the O’s have gone to Hunter to save a few games this year. I grabbed K-Rod in one league where I’m desperate, but this is a shituation that maybe even Peli-can’t handle. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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How many times have you completely written off Francisco Liriano? Seriously. Probably four or five times, right? I know I’ve uttered the phrase “f**k that guy, I’m never using him again” at least once a year for the last five years. That’s the way it is with him — the K-potential has always made him an interesting option for fantasy streaming, but until this year, I don’t think he’s ever helped my team. Not once. Which is what makes Liriano’s 2013 production so absurd, and it’s definitely no fluke at this point. Through roughly 90 IP he’s posted a 2.23 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP while whiffing more than a batter per inning. And given his sub-3 FIP, the peripheral numbers bode well, too. I’m sure I’ll have to write him off again at some point, but it’s amazing to consider the path the 29-year-old Liriano has taken to transition from never-using-him-again streamer status, to one of the best arms in the league. He goes twice this week, making his debut in the must start tier. The rest of the week 18 two-starters are below.

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

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Matt Kemp is headed back to the DL. He needs Chris Brown to slap some health into him. Obviously, this a terrible sign for Kemp since it’s his shoulder that he had surgery on that is bothering him. Prior to last week, I stayed away from him all year. Teach me to waffle. Billy Butler, “Who’s making waffles?!” On the bright side, Andre Ethier (3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI yesterday) should see everyday playing time. I’m not sure who that’s a bright side for outside of Ethier and his close relatives. Maybe in some leagues where you’re struggling to find a fifth outfielder, you give Ethier a bit of how’s your father. There’s no bright side for Kemp. I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole or touch a ten-foot Pole named Stanislaw. He’s the Pole I’ve been seeing in my dreams. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Two-start hoarders, welcome back. First things first: I’m vacationing in Mexico with what, by now, is a potentially-fatal sunburn. Not to worry, though, because the cervezas at this joint are unlimited, and I’m feelin’ no pain. Zero. I just arrived here yesterday, and I’ll be here through next Friday. That means my esteemed Razzball colleagues will be filling in for me in the comments for my next few posts. In any case, we’ve got a deep list of two-start options, and plenty of good streamers this week. The usual tiered rankings are below.

NOTE: I looked ahead at the two-start landscape a few days earlier than usual this week, so this group of probable pitchers is especially subject to change. Apologies in advanced for anything I may have missed. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

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Happy Fourth of July, unless you own Yasiel Puig, then you’re wondering if A) He’s healthy B) Where was Carlos Quentin during this? If you haven’t seen it, here’s another look of Puig crashing into the wall. Why do I suddenly want to buy a Subaru? This comes the same day he won Player and Rookie of the Month honors. That’s the first time a player has won Player of the Month honors their first month in the majors. It’s not the first time a player has won Rookie of the Month honors in their first month. If that’s surprising, you should take your medication. After crashing into the wall, Puig originally stayed in the game and he’s a cyborg, so I think he escaped without anything serious happening. Right now, he’s listed as day-to-day with a bruised hip and thigh. Let’s hope it heals quickly because I just sold my Cougar’s engagement ring for 3,000 Yasiel Puig rookie cards. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Josh Johnson looked solid yesterday (7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks vs. the Rockies). But Colorado away from home can be an easy match-up. Hey, Rockies, try doin’ it in the land of Labatt! You’ve been Molson Iced! JB called this one in the comments yesterday. I did not believe. Though, I do look much more animated now. Like I just stepped off a yacht in a Miami Vice cartoon. I’m snorting cartoon drugs and listening to cartoon Phil Collins play cartoon bongos. What do you think of the new avatar? I just stepped off a boat yet my hair still looks adorable, right? The new avatar rates well in the 18-25 demographic; it’s the Poochie of avatars. As for Johnson, I wouldn’t mess with him. So far, he’s been solid vs. NL teams, but, the thing is, he kinda, sorta plays in the AL. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We’re halfway through the H2H regular season, and for many of us, it’s time to make some moves in the standings. It’s not always so easy to negotiate trades, especially for those in public leagues, making additions from waivers an absolute necessity in most cases. A good method to get ahead in weekly formats is to keep up with the two-start landscape and stream the shizz out of the good options. If you’ve been lazy in this regard so far, it’s not too late. So quit looking for the new Kanye album that leaked yesterday (it’s not that great), and begin hoarding two-starters instead. I’m here every Saturday to help keep your hopes alive.

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

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Ryan Zimmerman went Yardo Montalban as he Tattooed the ball three times. Da plane, da plane…is flying right next to Zimmerman’s homers! My dear guests! I am Mr. Albright, your host. Welcome… to Fantasy Baseball! Smiles, everyone, smiles! No, seriously, smile, you paid a lot of money for those caps. Since it was a game between the O’s and Nationals, they shared announcers (since they share channels). So, the O’s announcers said everyone’s crazy for Machado, Jones, Zimmermann and Harper and not Ryan Zimmerman or Nick Markakis much anymore, after they were the stars of their respective clubs. Then the Nationals announcer says, “I can’t say I know much about Markakis myself.” Burn! I’d play that over the clubhouse speakers before every game. Not to motivate Markakis as much to mess with him. Oh, and Zimmerman! Right! Yeah, he had a huge game, and you might remember he goosed me in my nethers last year when I dropped him, because he hit 10 homers in July of 2012. Might be the start of another special run. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Welcome back, two-start hoarders. The awful weather this April has made things a bit more challenging, as two-starters keep getting bumped from one week to the next. The coming week has a seven-game slate for most clubs, and obviously we’re hoping for fewer postponed contests, but keep in mind that Tuesday’s two-starters could easily slide into the two-start slot for week 5.

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?