Here’s an example from your own life. You walked into a bar and negged the first girl you saw. Told her she had nice hair, then immediately asked her how often she dyes it. Never worked before. This girl laughed and talked to your dopey ass. She even thought it was charming when you told her to pay the bar tab. Went home, had great sex and the next morning she’s moving some of her shirts out of her dresser, so you have room to bring a few of your things over. You tell her that’s not necessary and she shrugs, goes into the bathroom, calls her mother and starts crying loudly. Seemed awesome, turned out psycho. Now imagine she didn’t reveal she was psycho for three months. That’s Steve Pearce. At some point in 2015, he will start moving his shirts out of his dresser and you’re gonna feel real awkward. Right now, he’s insane. Yesterday, was part of that insanity as he hit two homers, bringing his season total to 20. No longer is the fortune cookie’s ending ‘in bed,’ it’s now ‘with Steve Pearce.’ There’s some noise about him changing his stance and that’s led to him having a breakout season. Yeah, don’t buy it. He’s 31 years old. Not the death knell for anyone, but when you’re barely rosterable as a utility man for a major league team for almost seven years, you don’t suddenly change your stance and everything’s great. He’s a 10-homer utility man, disguised as Jesus. It will end at some point in 2015, but for now Pearce your genitals, make the devil horns and ride the lightning! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is happening on the other side of my laptop as I sit here writing the Two-Startapalooza…
Yes, that is a dog dry-humping Boo the star Pomeranian in stuffed animal form. He does it all the time, but for some reason it seemed profound to me and strangely relevant to this week’s batch of pitchers. [Jay's Note: Uhhhh. Okay?] Perhaps my dog represents the fantasy gods, and Boo is fantasy owners everywhere, especially those on the playoff bubble in their leagues. No Clayton Kershaw, no Max Scherzer, no David Price, no mega-aces to speak of. Combustible No. 2’s. A lot of mediocrity. Dudes obviously pitching over their heads, and dying to, well, eff you over. And then the looming threat of namby-pamby real-life baseball managers pulling guys early in games to get ready for the real-life playoffs and even scratching top-flight starters with mysterious blisters, hangnails and other assorted bogus injuries in an effort to save them for the postseason. The nerve! But I see two little gifts from these same fantasy gods: Two guys with potential who have good-to-great matchups this week.
First up is Eric Stults, a Hodgepadre with two home starts (Brew Crew and Dodgers) and a nice run going. He’s 3-1 in August with a 1.49 ERA, and only one of those starts was in Petco. Also, he’s only walked two guys in his last three starts, and has the potential to strike guys out on top of that. Then there’s Dillon Gee, who looked like a potential ace out of the gate this year but then missed two months with a back injury. He’s been about as appealing as amusement park food since his return, racking up a 5.50 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP with no wins over the last 30 days. But if you drill down into his last four starts, he hasn’t been that awful. He held down the Giants for the most part on Aug. 4, giving up two runs over 5-plus innings. He then dominated the flat-lining Phillies in Philly. Now I’ll make some excuses. Is there shame in getting a little shaken (4 ER in 5 innings) in a loss to the first-place Nats at home or a road loss to first-place Oakland? This week, Gee welcomes two beatable opponents to Citi Field: The strikeout happy Braves and then those same crappy Phillies. I like Gee and Stults as streamers who won’t “screw you over” (heh) and nothing else. Now let’s see what else we got in the Two-Starter cupboard this week.Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Richards is talking to trainers but remains on back. Injury appears to be serious.” That’s how the news was tweeted out yesterday by the Angels beat writer. If Agatha Christie were around today, she’d adapt that tweet and name the novel, 140 Characters On A Train Wreck. Then it would be re-released after a train disaster with its new title, The Pitcher’s Trap. No matter the title, there was and will only be one antagonist, the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, who gets his jollies from the misery of fantasy baseballers. You sit on his lap; he says, “What do you want this season?” “A healthy pitcher.” “Ho, ho, ho, no.” Arm injury, oblique, hip impingement, parallel parking impingement because of a stupid cone, broken toe, Tommy John surgery, Tomas Juan surgery in Mexico, forearm strain and now a knee. The Angels best options are Wade “Joey” LeBlanc, Randy “Team Jacob” Wolf and Chris “Lord” Volstad. They are all horror shows. Mean’s while, it sounds like Garrett Richards will miss the remainder of the season, but hopefully will be fine for next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You: Pete Nice, did you say we should start Marcus Stroman this week at Boston and at Houston?
Jay(Wrong): You DON’T have to answer that question!
Me: I’ll answer the question! You want advice?
You: I think I’m entitled to…
Me: YOU WANT ADVICE?
You: I WANT THE TRUTH!
Me: YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!
[Jay's Note: My mother always wanted me to be a lawyer...] Guys, we live in a fantasy baseball world that has risky matchups, and those risky matchups have to be taken on by writers who have to suggest two-starting inexperienced young pitchers with 95 mph-plus fastballs. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Guru? You, Sky? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly imagine. You worry about Stroman, and you curse the Blue Jays. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Stroman’s road performance, while thus far in 2014 has been kind of crappy – 17 hits in 16 IP with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP – will improve with time. And Stroman’s existence, while excitingly intriguing but also slightly scary, can help your fantasy team. You don’t want this advice because deep down in places you don’t talk about at baseball games and fantasy drafts, you want Stroman on that hill. You need Stroman on that hill. We use words like FIP and K/BB ratios. We use these words as the backbone of a fantasy team trying to win something: Stroman’s 3.11 FIP places him in the Top 20 of all MLB pitchers and his K/BB per 9 ratio of close to 6.00 makes him an ownable pitcher, not a streamer, according to Dr. Grey Albright PhD. You use these things as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to readers who rise and sleep under the blanket of the very information that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up Stroman, and set your lineup. Either way, I don’t give a damn who you grab off the wire for two starts this week.
You: Did you order the two-starts for Marcus Stroman?
Me: I did the job…
You: DID YOU ORDER THE TWO-STARTS FOR MARCUS STROMAN?
Me: YOU’RE GODDAMN RIGHT I DID! AND HERE’S SOME MORE TWO-START PITCHERS FOR NEXT WEEK!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Like a good Jewish boy, Brad Ausmus said to his Bubbie, “Bubbie, I love sulfites, nitrates and pig a**holes, but every time I see a Nathan’s, I get the runs. Bubbie, do you have a remedy?” His Bubbie lowered her knitting and said, “You need to get a goddamn decent closer!” And so it was done. Unfortunately, due to being wracked with guilt (or possibly due to a rather hard knock on the head), Ausmus couldn’t pull the trigger and said Nathan will remain the closer. Oh. WHAT?! The Rangers traded Joakim Soria to the Tigers because Joe Nathan is making Detroit look even lousier. I can’t imagine Soria remains the set-up man for very long, since Nathan owns a 5.89 ERA and has looked completely lost for the better part of the season. For now, I’d hold both of them. Over in Texas, I have a rooting interest in Neal Cotts getting saves, because I own him and not Neftali Feliz. If I had my druthers, and knew what the hell druthers were — hmm, maybe then I do have druthers — I would grab Neftali first. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
As any DFS player knows, the daily grind of fantasy sports can be downright One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest-kind of maddening. When you hit a cold spell that drains your bankroll and has you questioning your sanity (not now, voices in my head!) you may start to think it’s time to get a girlfriend or maybe just try throw a sink through the window. Your humble-but-nonetheless-certifiable Guru hit one of those cold streaks before the break that approached Game of Thrones-winter-is-coming-sized proportions. (Cuckoos Nest and GOT references in the first paragraph?! Genius!)
The bankroll took a big dent and my January in Cancun fund may turn out to be February in Fargo. The cold streak can be attributed to a couple of things: 1) Baseball is completely unpredictable. No sport has more variance – anyone that claims to be an expert may need a weekend with Nurse Ratched; 2) Bad bankroll management. Ouch! I broke my own unwritten-but-about-to-be-written rules about taking care of my green. When it comes to not fudging the finances there are five things I usually do and don’t do. 1) Stay up to date on the weather, injuries and lineups. Nothing is more frustrating than spending big on Jose Abreu then seeing he’s not in the lineup or having stacked the Tigers only to see it starts raining frogs in Detroit in the third inning. 2) Don’t wager more than you can afford to lose. Whether your bankroll is $5 or $5,000, never wager more than 10% on any given night. Despite what Mr. Gekko may say, greed is not good. 3) Don’t chase losses. If you crapped out in the early games don’t try to recoup in the late games. Take your lump for the night and know tomorrow is a new day full of unicorns and rainbows. 4) Avoid multi-entry GPP’s. This is tough when you see a contest that’ll let you turn your $10 into $10,000. The odds of your one entry winning are not good. Those high roller, multi-entry tanks are filled with sharks that’ll be throwing out multiple lineups and running 10 team trains that’ll leave you crying in your Corona. I saw a guy run a 50 team train recently that cashed big for him, but left everyone else busted. He was later found in the trunk of his Caddie with his winnings shoved up his caboose. 5) Don’t play if it doesn’t feel right. Great analysis, Guru. Thanks, disembodied voice that sounds slightly like my ex, Brenda. Sorry you’re still pissed I sold your 1989 Mazda Miata to pay off my debts, but I’m a degenerate gambler and that car sucked. If you can’t get a lineup together that you’re confident in don’t play it – unless you just want to hand me your $5. I’ll gladly accept it.
We have 6 games this afternoon and 9 on the evening slate today at DraftKings with a few aces on the mound and teams to stack – hello Washington, Toronto and Detroit. I’ll be digging deep into the research and convening with my good friends DFSBot,Stream-O-Nator, HitterTron and Islay scotch to find the best matchups to grow the bankroll. If you haven’t given Draftkings a shot yet, today’s the day you get in the game. Just hit the Razzball promo link to get a first time deposit match and come play with the Razzball gang in a 50/50 contest.
Here are some of my top picks and value plays for Wednesday, July 23.
New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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!Please, blog, may I have some more?
High scores – that’s what we here for, right!? Well then, let’s serve you up right-quick, partner. I’ve got these players you’ll see down below, but you can also check out Stream-o-Nator, Hitter-Tron, and DFSBot to assemble the ultimate, Voltron-like lineup over at DraftKings (a.k.a. the paper factory). Oh yeah, don’t forget about our shiny new Ombotsman, which audits all Razzball tools (except the human ones) and keeps them in check – kinda like the IRS (fist shake). Ombotsman’s cool though, get to know him. Nice work, Rudy.
Anyways, as for me (like you care), I’m hopping on a flight to Denver to see my Twins in a three-game set against the Rockies. This will be stadium #20-something on the lifetime tour but that’s nothing. My dream is to win the lottery, and then one night, simultaneously attend every game at once, in hologram form. I haven’t been to Denver since 2007, but I’m sure not a whole lot has changed, right? All I know is this: I can’t wait to watch some baseball in a beautiful stadium and abide by whatever beautiful laws the beautiful home state enforces. Now, on with the picks!
New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 person matchup of Razzball writers and friends to whet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Let’s face it, Kings are pretty cool. Certainly cooler than a President, or a Prime Minister, whatever that is. I mean the only title more powerful than King is God. This is probably why people were so up in arms when LeBron James anointed himself King. I’m sure people wouldn’t have been nearly as upset if he elected himself President James. People hate presidents, People fear Kings. Presidents are chosen by mortals, Kings are chosen by God. The only president that is remotely badass is Abraham Lincoln and that’s mostly due to his downtime vampire slaying. Where I’m going with all this, is you should do what you can to acquire the title King, and if you can’t become a king, get yourself affiliated with one. Well, today you’re in luck, gambling-addicted man between the ages of 26-42, for hear ye hear ye King Felix Hernandez of Seattle has returned!
His highness gets the White Sox today on the South Side of the Chi. Facing Los Calcetinies Blancos at U.S. Cellular Field is no easy task for mere mortals, but for a King it’s just a worthy foe. On the really tho….Felix is matchup proof. First off he’s 10-2 with an Era of 2.10. That’s impressive even to you non-number driven baseball fans. For the hardcore seam heads his numbers are boner inducing. Just look at these sexy stats, 1.96 FIP, 2.37 xFIP, 9.61 K/9, 1.54 BB/9, 54% GB%, 4.9 HR%, and a .28 HR/9. Those numbers are silly, and the FIP, xFIP, and a 72.8% LOB tell me he’s not even getting lucky. He’s just that dominant. His price point today isn’t that cheap but the numbers justify the $12,600 price tag on DraftKings. I think it would be regicide to not give Felix a place in your lineup card.
Before we get into the rest of the choices for the day, I have to mention how unbelievable the competition has been the last few weeks in the daily 20 team Razzball leagues on DraftKings. We now have a steady stream of regulars made up of readers and writers, who are jumping in on the action. Just case you don’t know, I’ve been putting one or two of these contests together everyday and sending the invites out early. The setup is pretty simple, 20 teams, $1 or $2 entry fee with the top 3 teams splitting the pot. It makes for a nice low risk high reward contest. If you win one, you can bankroll a week or so worth of play on DraftKings. Have we mentioned before that if you’ve haven’t yet played DraftKings you can signup by clicking here? Have we? I can’t recall. The best part is if you do decide to join us today DraftKings will give you a ticket for a free game just for getting started. I know that’s like too good to be true, but it is true!
Now onto the picks!Please, blog, may I have some more?
As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.
Everyone got all excited last Wednesday because Bartolo Colon hit a double in a game that he also won. Obviously, this was worthy of some attention given the fact that Colon is 41, bears a close resemblance to “Big P*ssy” Bonpensiero, and the fact that he twirled eight innings of one-run ball en route to the victory in St. Louis, which is not an easy place to pitch. Lost in all of that was the fact that Terry Collins took Colon out heading into the 9th at only 86 pitches. Unless Colon asked to come out because his mummy arm was falling off, I just don’t get it. It’s another one of those robot moves that make baseball managers so infuriating. Oh, it’s the 9th inning and we have a lead of three runs or less, time to bring in the closer. Nevermind that we don’t really have a closer, and that the closer of the night is Jenrry Mejia, whose birth certificate was typed up by someone who liked to eat peanut butter at their desk. Nevermind that the backup plan for that is a guy (Dana Eveland) who has a different hat on in his fantasy baseball profile photo. Well, Mejia almost blew it, which would have not only cost the 700-year-old Colon a well-deserved victory but would have also pissed off fantasy managers everywhere, including right here. Except for a few turdlet pies, Colon has been surprisingly sturdy in 2014. Maybe it’s not so surprising given his strong performance in the telling strikeout per walk category, where he’s at 5.3, good for sixth right behind Stephen Strasburg. It would have looked really silly, but I almost put Bartolo in the first tier, with starts in his cavernous home against Oakland and continues in Pittsburgh, where teams just don’t score a lot for some reason. He’s only 36 percent owned in Yahoo, 37 percent owned in ESPN. He’s definitely worth a spin while he’s going good, especially at Citi Field.
Here’s some more two-start pitchers for the week:Please, blog, may I have some more?
As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click this link.
If someone had told me on Aug. 15, 2013 that Zack Wheeler would only be half-owned in Yahoo and ESPN leagues at the start of June 2014 I would have quit fantasy baseball immediately and wailed the loudest Nicolas Cage wail I could muster. That day was the height of early Wheeler Mania: 6 IP and 12 Ks to just one walk in a no-decision at San Diego. At the time Wheeler was not only a member of the rookie pitcher crew that also included Gerrit Cole, Michael Wacha and Sonny Gray, he was arguably the main attraction. If that group was New Kids On The Block, he was at best Jordan Knight, or at least Donnie Wahlberg, but he wasn’t no Danny Wood. Control problems kept him from being all that he could be, they said. Bad catchers (John Buck) can make good pitchers pitch badly, they said.
Well, here we are in the weeds of the 2014 season and Wheeler is on the verge of getting kicked out of the group. Cole, Wacha and Gray have been, for the most part, pitching like the budding studs they were supposed to be, and Wheeler has looked more like Nuke LaLoosh before Annie had him wearing garter belts and breathing through his eyelids. Wheeler might not have found his Crash Davis in Travis D’Arnaud, but something is clicking. He got bashed around pretty good in D.C. on May 18 but he finally found the plate, walking only two guys. May 24 against the Diamondbacks was even better, as he K’ed 7 to just one walk. You can blow this K/BB ratio thing out of proportion and go ga-ga over Wheeler’s last start, a win in which he blew away nine Phillies and walked none in 6-plus innings. It wasn’t what he did in that start, it’s how he looked doing it. Wheeler had the command that scouts and experts who know way more than me said he was missing. He looked like he was pitching downhill. His curveball was wicked and his fastball was popping. I know road starts in Wrigley and whatever they’re calling the Giants’ stadium now are not ideal, but I think this is the week Wheeler returns to his place next to the Coles and Wachas of the world.
Here’s some more two-starters for Week 10:Please, blog, may I have some more?