It started with a simple email. Hey Grey and Rudy, wouldn’t it be cool if someone wrote about the top pitchers broken down by month? And within those months, to evaluate with and without wins to ascertain who pitched well and gave good value vs. who pitched for a 90 win club and had a 4-0 month? Response was a resounding yes, of course. And of course, it was my own damn fault for having such a good idea because now I’m here giving you offseason content prior to January. Clearly the time that everyone is reading about fantasy baseball. Oh well, let’s get to it. Here’s a look back at April’s pitching to see if it holds any keys going forward to 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Long before I became a hack over here at Razzball, I was a frequent commenter known as “Jack Full of Hate”. J-FOH is an acronym for those that haven’t figured that out yet. I was known for my rants, smack and general disdain for anything and everything. Then one day that angry guy with a heart of gold was recruited by Sky out of the comments section and turned into a contributer for the best fantasy sports website on the net. After starting to write for the football side and passing his Silence of the Lambs test I got the green light to join the baseball side. You might ask yourself, what is a Silence of the Lambs test? It’s the part of the interview where Sky threw me in a pit, tucked his junk, held his 80-pound dog and yelled at me it rubs the lotion on it’s skin or else it gets the hose again as I screamed “I want to write for Razzball!” Then he got me drunk, took me to a football game, and then threw me back in the pit. I never understood the second trip into the pit because thats where it got really weird. He blared this song while he danced around wearing clown make-up as he flung chili at me for the next day and a half. Now what does Sky’s eccentricity have to do with the RCL updates this week? It’s a two part response, with the first being advised by my therapist to get this off my chest, and the second to demonstrate how he broke me. That hateful one has been reined in but alas a savior came to my aid when last week Grey told me I can go ahead and do a shame segment this week. I’ve been watching highlights of this play to get my anger up. F**k you Brian Sabean…F**k you Bruce Bochy and F**k you Baseball for ruining my game even more than it already has been. It’s f**king baseball b*tches lets play it like it’s meant to be. This is why I love fantasy so much because the reality of the real game makes me want to slit my wrists and start listening country pop. [Jay's Note: Not necessarily in that order...]

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As I type this, I’m in a small, but expected depression as a disgruntled Mets fan living in Minnesota after today’s non-waiver trade deadline. In the middle of thermal packaging related activities, I saw deal and deal and deal swing by. All I get from both the teams that I follow most? A Kurt Suzuki extension. Oye. All that did was disgruntle me more, as I like Josmil Pinto quite a bit. I figured at least Bartolo Colon would get traded for some PTBL or a BoB (bucket o’ balls). Ah well.

On the other hand, if you’re a Tigers fan (I’m not a bandwagon A’s fan until the Mets are good, I decided today), you must be pretty excited. Drew Smyly wasn’t as dominating as a starter and Austin Jackson continued to short-come expectations. Instead you have an second ace, and can now appropriately consider Justin Verlander your number 3 or 4 or 5. [Jay's Note: Or playoff closer?] Verlander has not been good, but he’s also been almost as unlucky as he’s been bad, or he’s hurt and isn’t saying anything/doesn’t know it.

July 1st, I noted the luckiest pitchers to date, but the one thing I didn’t do at that time was look at the pitcher’s luck/bad luck relative to their career rates. So for this post, for luck, I z-scored each pitcher’s luck stats relative to their career stats (homerun to flyball ratio, left on base% and BABIP). I weighed each z-score by the stats correlation to ERA. Therefore the luckies pitchers (using luck alone and excluding skill) as of 7/27 is: Josh Beckett, Jake Arrieta, Collin McHugh, Scott Kazmir, Garrett Richards, Zach Britton, Jordan Lyles, Drew Pomeranz, Dellin Betances, Alfredo Simon and Danny Duffy. Chris Young, Jason Hammel and Jesse Chavez (update: both Hammel and Chavez were rocked in their last start). However, this all excludes skill (contact rate, strikeout% minus walk% and ground ball to flyball ratio). Incorporating this, here are the actual luckiest pitchers as of 7/27:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As I write this, I’m on a plane. I knew I wouldn’t have internet, so I asked myself what data could I pull and play with to help you play with your team. Let me play guarantee fairy again… I’m supposed to be writing about Deep Impact. I guarantee you can use this list to trade away pitchers that are over-performing for long term deep impact while targeting other pitchers that can provide you with more short-term value. Use the comments section below and I’ll scold or virtual high-five your trade offers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh man, what a week for The Pitcher Profile! First we had Andrew Heaney called up right when last week posted, Danny Duffy stayed hot after a big ascent in the rankings, and then Rick Porcello throws 6 scoreless for his 9th win. Power of the Profile!

The cherry on top – Heaney was awesome in his debut. I’ve had him ranked since the very unfortunate TJ for Jose Fernandez, envisioning a rotation spot sooner than later. Then when he moved up to AAA (and subsequently dominated), I moved him into the top 50 calling him a must-own. Ahead of the hype! I was able to catch most of his debut live, and I’ve got to say, I’ve had some Game of Thrones-esque daydreams since. Some Will Ferrell with the blow-up doll moments… “You’re my boy, Blue Heaney!”

I’m all the more excited to go back into his sizzling debut for profiling this glorious Monday, and already have a new nickname for him: McDreamy. McDreamy Heaney! Wow, this is going too far… *clears throat and deepens voice* “Beer! Titties!” Here’s how Heaney looked pitch-by-pitch in his first career MLB start:

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Chris Sale is a monster. Before the season, Jay(Wrong) gathered and tallied the 2014 Official Razzball Picks. And I have to state, at this point, my choices are making me look stupid so far: ROY = Nick Castellanos; Sleeper = Justin Ruggiano; Come Back = Mitch Moreland (although he does still have an elite fly ball and home run average distance); Bust = Jose Bautista, not; MVPitcher = Danny Salazar (ugh).

One pick makes me still feel omniscient: Infatuation = Chris Sale.

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Looking for the Razzball Podcast? TOO BAD! It’s now Razzball Radio, and you can check out all the episodes here!

With only two (three if you are including the eventual death of Yordano Ventura‘s elbow) notable names going on the Disabled List this past week (Mike Napoli and Noah Syndergaard, who probably pulled something while pillaging a camp near the North Sea… HAHA Viking jokes, so good), things are looking a tad bit brighter. But not really, since there are still about 983 players currently on the DL according to my last count. Which seems low, but what do I know? Rudy does all my counting for me. And, as we took a moment this weekend, between relaxing and cooking stuff, to honor all the men and women, active, retired, and tragically lost while defending their county, in all the armed services, we should take a moment today to remember that Jose Fernandez is awesome. Prince Fielder, well, he’s fat. Matt Wieters‘ elbow just seems to be one angry effer. Kris Medlen is strikingly average, but some Patrick Corbin could have been nice. Special thanks to Bobby Parnell for the wake he’s left in New York. Jose Valverde… more like Jose LOLverde. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, which is probably the most apt metaphor ever. EVAAR. I mean, just check out my team’s start of the season, in picture form:

titanic-maiden-voyage-2

So, after taking a moment yesterday to remember all of those brave souls that we’ve lost, and all those who have served and are serving now to preserve our way of life, let us take a moment today, Tuesday, to remember all the hamstrings that have been pulled, all the obliques that have exploded, and all the ulnar collateral ligament’s that have just simply dropped dead, and honor their sacrifice. How did I honor them, you might ask? By doing what I usually do when perusing my leagues available player list…

XpKRTcC

My Fantasy Baseball brethen… 2014, the year of the DL… always remember.

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I had it all setup, I was going to come on here and advocate you buying my favorite breakout player of 2014, Dallas Keuchel. I compared him to my favorite 90s wrestler Diamond Dallas Page. I even nicknamed Keuchel’s slider the diamondcutter after Page’s famous finishing move. There were fireworks, boobs, and jokes about the Mariners inability to hit lefties. I even fit in a jab at Teen Mom turned Pornstar Farrah Abraham’s lack of understanding of Memorial Day. Well I guess I still got that! Then Bo Porter decided sometime between my bedtime and wakeup that he was going to push back my Southpaw Sweetheart. Well that’s fine Bo Porter, I already thought you were a dink. In fact if I ever see you in person, I’m going to walk by you, wait until you are a safe distance away, and then say terrible things and run.

I all seriousness I can’t blame you for this move Keuchel did throw 128 pitches on Monday. So it makes sense. Well anyway I’ll just move on to another one of my favorite Aces in the making in Corey Kluber. His Manager is Terry Francona and he and I have an understanding because we both resemble personified turtles. He’d never do this to me!

Starting Kluber today will take some balls. He’s going against the Orioles who have been scoring runs in bunches the last week or so. Maybe we’ll get lucky and Chris Davis won’t play to be with his wife, who’s scheduled to give birth tomorrow. Even if Davis is in the lineup fear not; Corey K’s is getting to the point of being matchup proof. With a K rate of 10.13 and a walk rate of 2.06 on the season he’s pitching like an ace. He get’s strikeouts in bunches and in his last 4 starts his k/9 is 12.4, that’s a number that’s tough to ignore. With a price of $10,300 he’s not cheap but well worth the coin.

Before we proceed any further with this madness, let me get in a quick shameless plug. Did you start the season with a roster than included Prince Fielder? Jose Fernandez? Did you not listen to Grey and drafted Matt Moore? Have you been in a coma and completely forgot to change your roster and Mike Moustakas is your 3rd baseman? Well, get on over to Draftkings, sign up, and let good old Doctor Lifshitz be your guide. Bonus! I don’t charge for prostate exams.

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This is starting to get a little ridiculous now.  It seems as if I can’t even make it through my lunch break without hearing of some catastrophic injury news.  No matter how well teams manage their young hurlers’ inning limits (Jose Fernandez), or how many times we yell to ourselves, “Stop sliding head-first on the base paths!” (Ben Zobrist), the injuries just seem to keep piling up.

Maybe fantasy baseball owners should probably employ a handcuff system similar to the one used in fantasy football.  In fact, come August, there may not even be enough players to fill out major league rosters.  If Will Middlebrooks lands on the DL one more time, Julio Franco may be called upon to play the hot corner for the Red Sox.

Here are this week’s injuries and other health-related situations to monitor…

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In the past, I’ve gone out of my way to focus more on rookie hitters than pitchers, but after last year and living through season-after-season of diminishing offense, this is the world we live in. Before you blame anyone, look in the mirror. What do you see? Besides, the blackheads. You see someone that supported baseball ridding itself of PEDs. So, this is what we have. Pitching up the wazoo. I still contend it should be ‘out the wazoo’ and not ‘up the wazoo,’ but I’m playing by your rules now. I’m no longer sticking it to the man and going up the wazoo. Hmm, that sounded wrong, but never the hoo! Kevin Gausman just barely maintained rookie eligibility by only pitching 47 2/3 IP last year. Really showing a thing or two about not knowing what was coming or going either by having a 5.66 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. It really means nothing. First of all, his xFIP was 3.04, so his ERA shouldn’t have even been that bad. Second of all, he had a 9+ K-rate, which is right in line what you can expect. Third of all, there is no third of all. Why would you think there was a third of all? Gausman isn’t a 5+ ERA pitcher. He could be the best rookie pitcher this year. He has that kind of stuff. With the O’s, you gotta mind your P’s and Q’s. Excuse me, I had Alphabet Soup for lunch and just burped. What I mean is the O’s aren’t in the best division for nurturing along a young starter. You have to be on the top of your game in the AL East. Gausman has the stuff to tame the big offenses. As I’ve tried to beat into your head, a pitcher with great control and strikeout stuff is worth your attention. Gausman is that type of pitcher. The only real question is do the O’s stay with him in the rotation. If today’s game vs. the Tigers is a spot start and back to the minors, it’s not great. Opportunity + Stuff = Fudgie the Whale. Wow, my math is off there. It should’ve equaled “worth a flyer in all fantasy leagues to see if he stays in the rotation.” To give you an idea of this guy’s upside, in Prospect Scott’s top 25 fantasy baseball prospects, the top five are Tanaka, Abreu, Bogaerts, Taijuan and then Gausman. That’s elite company. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?