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?

Before we jump into the cash-filled DraftKings pool, let your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru pull on your coat about something cool happening here that will change your life forever – Razzball Radio is ready to launch! Starting on Monday there will be daily fantasy talk with Nick, Grey, Rudy and all your fave Razzballin’ personalities. And Tehol. I sure hope my new turban arrives from Calcutta in time. Let the stalking begin!

As I said last week I’ll be letting you follow my DraftKings progress through the season as I try to build that bankroll to the point where I can spend a few of the winter months in Cancun. However, after my showing last week it may just be a couple days in Newark. Ouch. Over the last seven days I’ve been mired in a 20-for-60 slump including a loss to Tehol who spanked me good and seemed to enjoy it just a bit too much. I was able to rebound later in the week cashing in seven of my final eight contests, but ultimately ended up in the red for the week. On the season, the bankroll has doubled and it’s time to get back to the winning ways.

For those familiar with DFS play feel free to skip ahead to today’s lineup as I share some strategies for choosing hitters. My downfall last week was hitting. I stacked the wrong teams, terrible starters pitched gems against good lineups and I was convinced someone had a Guru voodoo doll. Despite the tough week, I will stick to my system for picking hitters as it has paid off well in the past. I’m not one to junk my entire philosophy on one bad stretch. Here are the five things I look at when building a DFS lineup: 1) Pick on the day’s worst pitchers in the best hitters parks. 2) Check the Vegas o/u. Look for high scoring games. Vegas knows what they’re doing. Use them. 3) Forget batter vs. pitcher matchups if the sample is less than 100 AB’s. The sample size is just too small. 4) Check the lefty-righty splits. If I’m on the fence between two equal bats I’ll choose the bat with the better numbers against the splits, i.e. a right-handed bat vs. a left-handed pitcher or vice versa. 5) Embrace the wOBA. What the hell is that, Guru? The new Star Wars villain? Well, my sabermetricly challenged friend in the Yoda mask, “wOBA” is weighted on-base average and is the stat I look at the most when deciding on hitters. I won’t get into the science of the power of the wOBA, but know that it’s a stat that can accurately predict a hitters value. The DFS sharks love their wOBA, but don’t like to tell.

Alrighty my Razzballers, here’s your dirty turbaned Guru’s lineup for Wednesday’s 4/30 contests on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball. Remember to check the lineups and the Doppler radar. Don’t get left with a big fat zero if it starts raining frogs in Boston. Good luck.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So many times the so-called experts give you the names and the numbers, but you never really know how the ‘perts are doing in their DFS play. Well, my unkempt Razzballers, you’re humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru will share with you my results all season long. Will my winnings enable me to spend the winter in Cancun or will I go bust and be left turbanless and living under the bridge? We shall see. So far we’re looking at sand and sunshine. I’ve been in the money in 45 of 65 DraftKings contests. I’ll admit I don’t bet big. (A good tip: never wager more than 10% of your bankroll in any given day.) I also play mainly 50-50s/double-ups and head-to-heads where the odds of cashing are much better. It’s a good way to build a bankroll in the early going. I also use a couple different philosophies when playing DFS. 1) Ace and stack philosophy: One or two teams featuring the days best pitcher and a stack of players from teams that’ll score a lot. I used Jose Fernandez and a stack of Tigers last night. It cashed. 2) Stream-a-tron philosophy: I use Razzball’s Stream-o-nator and Hitter-tron to construct a team consisting of the two best pitchers along with hitters the ‘tron projects to produce that also fit under my budget. This may not win a tourney, but it cashes out in 50/50’s at a pretty good rate. Yesterday the Stream and the ‘tron liked David Price and Hyun-Jin Ryu along with Buster Posey, Miguel Cabrera and Hunter Pence. Not sure how this worked, but as of this writing I’m 27th out of 140 players. That’s one step closer to umbrella drinks and me showing off my tan lines.

With the rambling out of the way, don’t forget to join the DraftKings Sweet Spot challenge and we could frolic on the beach together with our thongs filled with $400,000 in cash. If you’re new to the game, keep in mind DraftKings virgins get a free $2 ticket.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The hardest division in the league, which includes last year’s world champs, looks to be just as intense again.  For that matter, it probably will be that way for the foreseeable future.  My favorite team is also being covered here.  I’ll do my best not to be biased about the Yankees, and I think I’m pretty good at keeping my emotions away from the reality of the team.  That being said, I think the Yankees are going to win 120 games this season. (You can check out the NL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maybe it’s the rush of the holiday season with two kids or the fact that some major cash is flowing in free agency, but I feel like this year’s offseason is just whizzing by. This will be the last sort of “stat review” for SAGNOF before I head into the territory of value plays for steals in 2014. This post will lay out some of the best and worst catchers in terms of their caught stealing percentages (CS%). Keep in mind that pitchers have a lot to do with holding baserunners as well, and you can find my previous post on the best and worst pitchers against the stolen base here at Razzball. A quick note on the catcher tables – I sorted them by qualified and non-qualified catchers. “Qualified” catchers played more than 1/2 of their team’s games, while “non-qualified” catchers played less than that. Catchers who split times between two teams, like Kurt Suzuki, also end up on the “non-qualified” list. The league average caught stealing percentage in 2013 was 28%, and that hasn’t really changed much over the last 3 years (27% in 2012, 28% in 2011). Last but not least, consider that playing time situations can fluctuate with free agent signings and trades, creating new opportunities for previously non-qualified catchers as the offseason transactions continue. Green columns indicate guys that are easy to run against, and red columns designate the toughest to run against:

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The other day Don Mattingly said something like this, “When your closer can’t close, but you need games closed and you have a closer in name and a non-closer closer, who’s your closer? The guy who’s closing games? I don’t know. I’m seriously asking. I would think it’s the guy you call closer, but we call Brandon League the closer and he can’t close, so the closer must the guy we don’t call closer but can close games named, Kenley Jansen. Warmer… Warmer… No, now you’re getting colder. Go back the other way.” Kenley Jansen got the save. YAY!…But…BOO!…It was on the tail end of an 8 2/3 IP, 11 Ks, 6 baserunners stunning performance by Clayton Kershaw, so it wasn’t a stereotypical save. I would’ve preferred to see a standard “closer enters to start the 9th inning” save before telling people to drop League. I’d hold both for now, but a new era (not the hats) may be upon us. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Each week I’ll be looking at some favorable match-ups to help you grab a few extra steals for your fantasy team. Whether you are in a weekly or daily league, looking at weak defensive catchers and strong/aggressive base running teams may help you make decisions as to which players you should start or sit in your hunt for an edge in the stolen base category. Since the 2013 season is only a week old, I’ll use some data from 2012 to get started and give you an idea of what we will be looking for. Just realize that these are only two dimensions that can affect stolen base totals.

Please, blog, may I have some more?