You know one of those posters where they feature celebrities from different eras that may or may not have ever been together in the same room?  Like James Dean, Mickey Mouse and Lenny Bruce standing at a bar, smoking cigarettes.  Okay, I’m pretty sure those three never hung out.  In 75 years, when we’re all dead and buried, except for maybe some of my preteen readers — YASSSSSS I never forget you! — they will decide to make a poster featuring some standouts from this year:  Trump, Hillary, Nadiya from The Great British Bake Off.  Also, on that poster will be one player from the 2016 World Champion Cubs team, the last Cubs team to win the World Series in 75 years.  Which player will be on that poster made from the last remaining tree?  I don’t think it’ll be David Ross, prolly not Arrieta, not for this year, maybe Bryant, maybe Rizzo, maybe Hendricks and maybe Jon Lester.  Yesterday, pushed forward Lester’s agenda to get on the “last tree poster” — 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.40, moving his record to 17-4, and, since the All-Star break, it’s a 1.47 ERA in 73 1/3 IP.  His ERAs over the last four years:  3.75, 2.46, 3.34 and 2.40.  And you thought Saberhagenmetrics were some contrived statistical model.  Look in the mirror, and pfft yourself.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

a href=”http://razzball.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Sparky-Polastri.gif”>sparky-polastri

Look, on the one hand, I’m ashamed that I’m quoting Not Another Teen Movie. On the other, I’m surprised this wasn’t a Keenan Ivory Wayans joint. On the third, more interesting hand that’s simply a cut out of the hamburger helper off my beefaroni box, it allows me to reference back to one of the best teen comedy movies of all time: Bring It On. Or better put, this movie has four minutes worth of Sparky Polastri, and that’s never enough and yet more than enough all at the same time. With all this said, my call today is Steven Brault or as I like to call him, ‘the guy who gets to pitch against the Phillies’. If you’ve read anything I’ve written – or wrotten, if you wanna keep with title theme – you’ll know that I love picking on Phillies. It’s September and this should be clear to you but just in case it’s not, here’s a simple flowchart for you to think about. If you’re not convinced by my conciseness, let’s consider some other facts. The Phils have the worst wRC+, the fifth worst K%, and the second worst BB% in the majors this year. The fact they’ve been on a K tear of late – second worst K% over the last 30 and worst over the last 14 and 7 – makes this call even nicer. But the real kicker here? Brault is a mere $4,500 so he’s in punt territory with 20 point upside. Seriously, this intro is AmPm: too much good stuff. But guess what, I have some even potentially greater takes down the road. So follow me past the italics, would you? Here’s my ‘y’all ready for this’ hot taeks for this Wednesday, DK slate…follow me or perish, sweater monkeys!

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday September 19th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Houston’s 32-year old Cuban rookie Yulieski Gurriel was 2-for-4 with his first stolen base Friday night. Or is it Guerriel? Gourriel? Don’t worry about spelling his name correctly, the media sure doesn’t–what’s important is Friday’s two hit night capped off an impressive week for the third baseman where he hit .321 with four runs, two home runs and drove in five runs. Debuting at the end of August, Yulieski got off to a slow start after struggling with a mild hamstring injury, but that looks to be a thing of the past and he’s now hit safely in his last six games, and has homered in two of his last three games. Players like Yulieski require praise, they demand it. As soon as manager A.J. Hinch let him know he was a good Gurriel, and started rewarding him with treats (he really likes Combos) Yulieski turned it on. Atta Gurriel! Yes, you are! Who’s a good Gurriel? You arrrre! Yulieski was less than impressive during his short minors stint (.250/.262/.429 line with two home runs and 14 RBI in 15 games), but he bat .500 with 15 homers in 50 games in Cuba last year which is a about as good as it sounds, so there is little doubt our boy is major league ready. Did you read Grey’s Yulieski Gurriel fantasy? I read it while conducting a scientific tasting of all the different Combos flavors. Pepperoni pizza won in a landslide. Lord Byron Buxton will be the hot-shot rookie pick up of the week, and by all means, if he’s available grab him, but Gurriel could be a nice add if you lost the Buxton sweepstakes, and he’s still out there in over 80% of leagues. I’d own him in any league where wanted to win. Yulieski can do it!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For those of you expecting Dan Pants, well the pants are off today. And when the pants come off, malamoney comes out. Did I just talk about myself in third person? I love when I do that. I think Grey might have asked every Razzball writer before asking me to fill in. I’m not sure I blame him, but did he really have to ask the Chinese food delivery guy too? Just because it was Chien-Ming Wang doesn’t lessen the blow to my already diminished self esteem. Speaking of self esteem, Jon Lester was on a roll last night. I’m not a big fan of Lester, but I was watching the box score thinking to myself how much easier this post would be if he completed the no hit bid. Nonetheless, with two outs in the seventh, Hunter Pence hit 1-2 pitch over the wall that Trump is going to build to keep the illegal Mexicans out to break up Lester’s no-no. “No no” is exactly what Trump plans to say to any Mexican caught trying to scale his new wall. Rumor has it that Jorge Cantu caught Pence’s home run ball and threw it back over the wall in disgust. Then he and Yovani Gallardo put on sombreros and cracked open some cervazas. Lester went the distance giving up just three hits and the one run. He struck out four and walked two throwing just 102 pitches…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So I’m taking us down yet another rabbit hole, into yet another JB’s-vanity-project-abyss. Although, since the last time this happened only two weeks ago, Alex Reyes made it into the rotation! He was only “OK”, and we’re not sure if he’ll be starting again for the next turn, but at least we were put on readiness!

Of course since I added this guy in the REL, I’ve been following Brock Stewart pretty intently this season. Maybe it’s because Brock is a common name we share! But really, it has to do with his under-the-radar ascension through the Minors this season. He’s dominated in the minor leagues with a 9+ K-rate, a BB-rate well under 2, including a 2.49 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 50.2 PCL innings, with a 9.59:1.07 K:BB in OKC. Overall, his MiLB numbers are a 1.68 ERA 0.86 WHIP in 20 starts, with 126:18 K:BB in 118 innings. And yet, no one seems to care about this guy since they want Jose De Leon! While many may be surprised Brock got the call yet again to spot start over De Leon with an opening in the rotation, logistically he’s on the 40-man while De Leon isn’t and there’s a roster crunch. But it’s not like Brock isn’t deserving! And he’s got pretty good stuff – 93-95 MPH fastball, hard slider, and a change-up that is oddly WAY slower than the heater at 81ish MPH.

Obviously, at the Major League level, things couldn’t be more of a polar opposite. Going into yesterday afternoon, his ERA was over 11 in two spot starts and one relief appearance. In that 3 innings of relief his last MLB appearance, he walked 4, or what would’ve been 22.2% of all the walks he’s thrown in the minors all year. Someone isn’t suited for the bullpen! And the two awful starts? One was a little unlucky with some BABIP hits @MIL, then a murdering @COL. Way to make a guy who progressed all the way from A-ball pitch in the two worst parks in the NL! So the start this afternoon, hosting the Cubs, is BY FAR his best matchup. Man, trial by fire! With Stewart so far off the radar, I am hoping that being pot committed and writing this open before the first pitch will cause some cosmic karma and help Brock throw a breakthrough game. Here’s how he looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At Stephen Strasburg‘s summer DL rental, the driveway is an inverted W and he timeshares with Ryan Zimmerman.  The Nationals said Strasburg’s elbow issue is not structural.  Yeah, it’s deconstructed like a Cobb salad at some overpriced restaurant.  I’m sure Strasburg is totally fine and it’s completely coincidental that he has a 10.19 ERA in August.  Totally unrelated, guys and five girl readers, totally unrelated.  Strasburg feels like the kind of pitcher that we can never rely on for more than 150 IP.  In five years, he’s thrown 200+ IP once and he’s 28 years old.  Oh, and ‘member how Strasburg was supposed to bounce back this year?  He currently has the worst ERA of his career.  Yeah, great.  In my fantasy team news, because who doesn’t love someone talking about their fantasy team, Strasburg hit the DL about an hour after my weekly Scout league locked.  The same league where I was in first a week ago before Strasburg went to Coors and Lackey went to the DL.  The same league where I’m now in 2nd.  The same league where I needed Strasburg to start twice this week and Lackey was set to face the Padres.  The same league that ends at the end of August.  The same league that just made me cry.  I need a tissue, you karmic bullies!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was going to lede with Lester the Molester is going to flip the script on the Padres, but I didn’t want the Vatican Policia to flag me. The last thing I need is some little Italian guy going through my trash in the middle of the night. I just had a vision of Grey outside of Giancarlo’s house rummaging through his Salvation Army donation bags looking for his old jock straps. This coming from a guy who tried to get Manny Machado’s birthday bubble gum he tossed at us when Grey proposed a Netflix and chill night. Oh what hijinks we get ourselves into. For the record I wasn’t going to extract the DNA for a Mini Manny Heater, but that’s a hell of an idea, Grey! Now let’s get into the real reason you’re here; Monday Night DK. There’s only 8 games on the docket tonight. I really liked the Dodgers matchups, but unfortunately they had a 9:35 am start time and DK doesn’t even have that game available. A-Gon will probably hit 2 HRs and Kazmir will probably have 15 baserunners and 1 K because I need him to deal in our Scout league. I’m not to thrilled about the offensive matchups tonight as there’s some solid arms taking the bump tonight. The few matchups I do like are through the roof expensive, so I’m going to pay for two top arms and try to jimmy rig the rest, hopefully it comes together. I know we like to pick on the Padres, but after seeing Robby Ray strikeout 13 over 7 innings on Saturday I just can’t pass up on this matchup. Granted, Jon Lester at $12,500 is the most expensive and he’ll probably be highly owned, so it goes without saying he’s not the ideal tourney play. Lester had a couple clunkers going in the All Star break, but he’s been great over his last six starts picking up 4 Ws, 38 Ks to go along with a 2.47 ERA over 36.1 innings. With the Padres offense trailing just Milwaukee for total Ks on the year I’m counting on Lester to hit double digit Ks and he could top 40 points if all goes well tonight.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run today to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When thinking about the Colorado Rockies organization, great pitching is probably the last thing that comes to mind. The main reason for this is that there just hasn’t been much of it throughout their brief history, due in large part to the launching pad that is known as Coors Field. Mike Hampton was a former runner up in the Cy Young voting and frontline starter prior to producing a disastrous 5.75 ERA during his two seasons in Colorado. Denny Neagle was a two time All-Star and former 20 game winner who struggled mightily in a Rockies uniform. It’s pretty telling when Jorge de la Rosa, Aaron Cook, and Jeff Francis are some of the most successful pitchers in franchise history. The bottom line is fairly obvious – pitchers generally don’t fare well in Colorado. However, current ace Jon Gray is doing his best to buck the trend of underwhelming production from Rockies hurlers. Will he prove to be the exception to the rule or will he just be another in a long line of Rockies pitchers to avoid?

Let’s take a look at Gray’s profile to determine if his current success is sustainable moving forward. Here are a few thoughts and observations:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Devon Travis hit two home runs Friday night including one to lead off the ballgame and a heroic, Olympic-sized tie-breaking shot in the ninth inning to give the Jays the lead. Clearly, Travis just wanted to get back to his hotel room so he could catch the Opening Ceremony in Rio. Speaking of which, that ceremony was really…something, wasn’t it? When you watch four hours of the Olympics and not a single event is played. Hmm, I think I might be burned out on the games already and the torch was just lit. At least Gisele was there. According to my sources, Tom Brady would have held the flag for the U.S.A. but he’s busy at training camp. Devon Travis, however, was busy leading off his third straight game for Toronto. The second year infielder is batting .313 over the past week with three homers, 4 runs, and 5 RBI, including that game-saving shot Friday night. It’s Devon Providence! Let’s call him Christ the Redeemer. Remember last April when he hit .325 with 6 home runs? I do. The dude can get hot in a hurry, and batting in this stacked Blue Jays line up could mean big things for your fantasy team. He is slashing .290/.332/.479 with nine homers in 217 at-bats to date, and Travis is currently available in about 70% of fantasy leagues and he’s feeling the Olympic spirit. I’d grab him if you need a middle infielder who plays for Canada but bleeds for the red, white and blue.

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix was on HBO tonight and before you ask, no I still don’t have cable. Me not having cable is a running joke around here. Sorry if you don’t understand, but this intro is for those who understand that I understand how silly it is, you understand? Anyhoo, it put me in the mindset for this title and it’s also apropos to the actual topic. AJ Griffin…admittedly I could give two bee-sized bowel movements about how good he is or has been. Overall, he’s just not good. He’s about as SP3/4 vanilla as you can get for an MLB team, but that’s neither here nor there. The Royals have suffered so many injuries this year and have seemingly thrown in the towel on the season as they’ve gone into full blown sell mode. I don’t know if that’s what is affecting the production on the field, but it’s clear this team isn’t sniffing the 2015 version. The K rate as a whole is up nearly 4% and they sit mired in 24th overall in wRC+. Factor in they’ve actually been worse since the All-Star break and you have the perfect spot to take advantage of a $6,500 priced pitcher who doesn’t need a gem to outplay his price. When suggesting a pitcher that has a 4+ ERA, it should go without say but yeah, this is a tourney only call. So let the sorting hat decide whether you’re courageous enough to follow through with Griffin and let’s get on with the rest. Here’s my Goblet of Fire hot taeks for this Friday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday August 1st to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?