This week’s most added player in ESPN leagues, Oakland A’s third baseman Danny Valencia (63.8% owned; +36.4% over the past week), has undergone quite the transformation over the last calendar year. Prior to the 2015 season, he was just a part-time player who mashed left-handed pitching in the Ryan Raburn/Scott Van Slyke mold. From his MLB debut in 2010 through the end of the 2014 season, Valencia’s .870 OPS vs lefties far surpassed his .615 OPS against right-handed pitching. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, it’s been business as usual vs LHP (.907 OPS), but he’s improved considerably against RHP (.845 OPS). His ISO also jumped from .142 (pre-2015) to .225 (2015-present day) during that period. Hmm… a player displaying a huge power surge at 30 years old isn’t suspicious at all! Well, there may be a couple of reasonable explanations for Valencia morphing from Kelly Johnson into Ryan Braun at the plate virtually overnight. The first thing is the addition of a leg kick in his swing courtesy of former teammate and elite slugger Jose Bautista. The second thing is the opportunity to play every day. Valencia never received that opportunity until late last season in Toronto, and his performance during that time convinced the A’s to give him a shot as their starting third baseman. Through his first 14 games this season though, Valencia’s power disappeared, as he managed just a .353 slugging percentage with no homers and 2 RBI in 55 plate appearances. Maybe that power surge was just a fluke after all. After a DL stint at the end of April into the beginning of May, however, the power returned with a vengeance. Since returning on May 7th, Valencia has produced a .354/.360/.729 triple slash line, which includes smashing 6 homers across five games from May 13th-17th. He looks like a good bet for a .280 average and 15-17 homers moving forward, so add him if you can (or more likely, try to get him on the cheap via trade).

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My years of sitting in French cafes, smoking really long cigarettes and wearing a beret, while sneering at children and puppies, has taken its toll.  I’m no longer the innocent fantasy baseballer who picks up just any potential rookie call-up.  I have more discerning tastes now.  When I was a mere jejune tot, I’d sip a combination of ale and grenadine my bartendress called a Monaco and talk about Super 2’s and so-and-so was going to be the next Ryan Braun-like call-up.  I’m no longer a tot; now, I’m a full potato, and I drink gin with extra juniper berries.  Crunching on juniper berries, coughing from a tumor, watching cyclists in spandex shorts, carrying baguettes.  The days bleed together.  I take out my daily planner and pencil, lick the pencil, turn the calendar day to make a note to, “Buy more Virginia Slim 120s,” when I read a note to myself, “It’s almost June, start picking up rookie call-ups, you dipshit!”  Ah, yes, Daily Planner Grey has a point.  Today, I decided to highlight Trea Turner.  At this point, he feels like the number one call-up.  A.J. Reed, Jameson Taillon, Tyler Glasnow, Orlando Arcia might make bigger impacts, but the Nats consider themselves a playoff team and they’re in a heated division battle right now.  I doubt they let Dusty simply ignore Turner because Espinosa is older.  Older really isn’t a reason to play someone.  An exec has to relay that to Dusty at some point.  Turner looks like he could be a Francisco Lindor-type from last year — 7-10 HRs, 15-18 steals, solid average.  Basically, a top ten shortstop from the time he’s called up.  I would stash him now–*coughs*  Sorry, I accidentally bought Virginia Slim 140s.  The extra 20 is killing me.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re now through six weeks of the baseball season which is the point where I consider making big changes to my team. No, I don’t mean cutting Razzball’s own Delino DeShields now that he’s down at AAA Round Rock. I’m talking about trying to make a big trade if your team is at the bottom of the standings. Don’t be afraid to be bold, it definitely could be better than standing pat. And if you aren’t sure about things, there’s plenty of people on the website to ask their opinions. Here’s a summary of what’s been posted in the last week on Razzball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hold the Internet presses (which is just posting a silly video; that makes the internet stop)!  Jonathan Villar isn’t owned in more than 50% of leagues?  That feels like a personal slight against my manhood.  And my manhood is already slight!  Hey, Previous Sentence Grey, not cool!  My bad, Next Sentence Grey, but you set yourself up!  This is like a Yo Momma episode on MTV where everyone called in sick so they had one schizophrenic guy play both sides.  Yo, Momma is so fat her blood type is gravy!  *same guy runs to other side*  Oh!  Oh!  Okay, well, your Momma is so dumb she drafted A.J. Pollock!  Snap!  *runs to the other side, but pulls hammy*  Yo Momma, shoot, can we pause?  My hammy’s torn. *collapses onto ground*  Don’t think MTV didn’t consider the one man Yo Momma show.  Insider talk, they are one of the cheapest channels.  It’s no surprise all of their shows star unknowns.  Okay, this is neither funny nor that illuminating.  I love Villar because SAGNOF.  I hear ya, prematurely balding man, what happens when Arcia is called up?  Well, we don’t know when Orlando Arcia will be called up and Villar can play 3rd (since everyone is over Hill, especially Aaron) or Villar can play 2nd, and Scooter’s a platoon guy that can’t always get it out of first.  Villar has 40-steal speed and should not be on waivers anywhere.  *pulled hammy Yo Momma guy pokes his head up*  Yo Momma is so ugly…Yeah, I can’t continue, my hammy is killing me.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*walks into a Moroccan marketplace*  I got me some Marra-CASH to spend!  Hoo-ah!  Wow, I sound a little like Al Pacino in my own head.  Okay, I’m going to go over to that table that is filled with players to buy low.  “Hello…*reads name tag* Djibooti, I see you’re selling slow-starting hitters for a deal.”  “Good deal!  Good deal!”  “Well, I’ll be the judge of that.”  *picks up Justin Upton*  “This smells like skunk.”  “No skunk!  Good deal!”  *goes through crates filled with albums that have a player’s face on them, lifts Lorenzo Cain*  “How much?”  “Djibooti need to check MLB Statcast.”  Djibooti looks at his iPad, looks up and snatches Cain out of my hands.  “No longer for sale!”  “Damn, Djibooti, don’t put your emotions in a tagine and get them all heated.”  So, Lorenzo Cain obviously was struggling mightily going into yesterday’s game, and, now, not so much — 3-for-5, 5 RBIs with 3 HRs (3, 4, 5).  This is why I rarely sell low on struggling top 50 hitters.  There was a reason they were drafted there in the first place.  Now the buy low is going to be much more difficult too.  “Djibooti, how much for David Price?”  “You take for free!  He’s yours!”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Road trip! Everyone pile in to the Razz van as we head to the dirty south. Hrm, that makes it sound like I’m suggesting you go below the equator on someone who needs a bath or a ‘shot’, so let’s correct this: The Dirty South. There, that’s better. We all know the Atlanta Braves are bad but really, they can be worse than even their season stats suggest. Wanna know how? Throw a lefty arm out at them. I hear what you’re saying, ‘how bad can they get?’ I got really good hearing, what can I say? Well I’ll tell you: they can get 46 wRC+ bad. Sure, you could say they’re due for some positive regression and I wouldn’t argue it but this same team was third worst in wRC+ last year against southpaws at 77 so this isn’t a new trend. The new trend we all savor here on DK is the Ks. Last year, it was a menial 20.5% K rate against lefties but this year, the bottom has dropped out and the #Barves are only second to the Padres in whiffing futility with a huge 26% clip. But hey, that’s what happens when your second best hitter against southpaws is Jeff Francoeur. So with that, I introduce Adam Morgan. He’s a lefty…the end! Fo’really, this is just to see if a perfect situation pans out at a low end $5,500 price. He K’d 7 over 5 IP against the Indians who struggle just a little less against southpaws but still struggle mightily. Because of the matchup, Adam has 10 K upside which brings 10K upside to your bank account. So feel free to join in with my enjoyment of some Captain Morgan while we ease into covering the rest of the slate. With that, let’s do this. Here’s my Flaming Dr. Pepper hot taeks for this Tuesday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Chris Young went 2 2/3 IP, 5 ER as he allowed five solo home runs, which tied a franchise record, and was only the 7th starting pitcher to give up five home runs in less than three innings.  He was then followed by Dillion Gee.  Too bad Gee wasn’t followed by Aaron Laffey, then the box score would’ve read Chris Young, Gee, Laffey, which, as everyone knows, is an Asian giraffe, which is where these pitchers should be pitching:  Asia.  I didn’t know the Mets had an exchange program going with the Royals.  Oh, and the Mets’ AARP affiliate was on the Yanks too with Carlos Beltran (2-for-4) hitting two homers.  Member the days when the Mets got the Yanks’ also-rans — Willie Randolph, Orlando Hernandez, Rick Cerone?  Now the Yanks are taking sloppy seconds.  The Yankees are Ben Affleck and the Mets are Joey Lauren Adams and the Yanks are listening to the Mets in the bar in Chasing Amy.  Watch out for the gear shift, Yankees!  Also, in this game, Brian McCann (1-for-4) mick-can-can with his 4th homer, Brett Gardner (1-for-4) said, “Same,” and hit his 4th and Aaron Hicks (1-for-3, 2 RBIs) blasted his 2nd.  With Ellsbury out for a few, I grabbed Hicks in one league, and this is now his 2nd homer in the past four games.  As for Christall Young, he’ll likely be replaced in the rotation by Gee.  Though, I vote for Gee with Laffey on his shoulders for the Asian giraffe.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Is he learning the English language?  Is he drunk?  Is he trying to say ‘drawer’ while drunk?  Did he have a stroke?  Does he just not know that the person he’s thinking of is an artist and he’s calling him a drawer?  Did he just have an operation on his teeth and he’s saying jewelry?  The jewelry drawer?  Does he have marbles in his mouth?  Rocks?  Gobstoppers?  Is he doing an insensitive impersonation of a speech impediment?  No, prematurely balding man, he’s trying to say the name Drury!  As in Brandon Drawer–Excuse me, Brandon Drury.   Yes, he’s about as hot as any hitter in the league and should be owned.  In the bigger picture, he had a .331 average in 63 games in Triple-A, and is only 23 years old, so, while he hasn’t shown great power in the minors, it could still be developing.  Is Drawer top shelf?  Too Drury to say.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Contrary to what I previously believed, the San Diego chicken is not in fact the mascot for the Padres. That dubious honor goes to “The Swinging Friar”. What he’s swinging, we don’t really know, but we do know he’s swinging…and missing…a lot. In fact, there’s only one other team that is striking out more than the Padres. The numbers are darn near video game level. A really easy video game though, not like World Championship Baseball, that shizz was darn near impossible. Vince Velasquez went for 16, Clayton Kershaw went for 14 (and 9), Cueto went for 11, and Jon Gray got 11 Pads. Multiple other pitchers have K’d 9 Padres in a night as well. It’s ugly. So, tonight we’ve got Noah Syndergaard taking the mound, he of the 12.25 K/9 and 2.51 ERA. The scary thing is, he could be even better, his FIP is sitting at a tidy 1.39 and his xFIP is a wonderful 1.79. *Drool* How do I not own this guy in any leagues this year? Brutal. Things shouldn’t get any worse in Petco Park. I don’t need to blab about how amazing Syndergaard is, but I will. A stat I love to look at is SwStr%, or the % of strikes a batter swings at and misses. Noah’s 15.9% currently leads the league. He’s throwing strikes and guys still can’t touch it. Could be that 97.6 MPH average fastball. I also like a pitcher that can get a batter to chase a bad pitch. Even if they get ahold of it, it’s usually weak contact, so making a guy chase a pitch is a nice skill to have. Well, Syndergaard’s 36.6% O-swing %, or percentage of non-strikes swung at, is 2nd in the league behind only Zack Greinke. That would help explain why he has a soft contact % of 26%, good for 11th in the league. All of this is to say, he’s really, really good and the Padres are really, really bad. This is a no brainer top cash game option of the night, despite the lofty price tag ($12,900). Don’t overthink it and just watch those K’s pile up. Let’s see if we can make our bankrolls pile up with the rest of these picks:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Matthew Wisler threw a gem yesterday — 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 2 Walks, 4 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.24.  Or if you like portmanteaus and/or vomit — Matthrew up a gem.  By the by, after anyone says their name is Matthew, do you always want to say, “Gesundheit?”  “Name for the cup?”  “Matthew.”  “Wow, it’s allergy season, huh?”  That’s me as a barista, a job I never had.  I’ve actually held one real job in my entire life.  I’m like Mark Cuban without the money.  Since I own Wisler in more leagues than I care to admit, I watched the whole game.  Prolly first time I watched one of my pitchers while listening to the opposing broadcast, but you cannot beat the Mets announcers for a broadcast booth or for stories about insane cocaine intake in the 80s.  Wisler was dancing a 94 MPH fastball just at the knees, spinning a backdoor curve that had Neil Walker look more like Neil Statue.  Duda?  Go take a doodie, it’d be more productive than facing Wisler!  Asdrubal?  Well, he actually hit the ball hard.  Quite a few Mets did.  It was like, “Matthew!  Damn, I think I caught something,” and the Braves would look up with a ball in their glove.  So, Wisler’s performance last night was a gorgeous line, but I wouldn’t go near him outside of the deepest of leagues.  In shallower leagues, Matthew?  God bless you for last night, but I don’t need those tissues.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?