It’s the 4th of July everybody and life is good. You’re probably spending your day with loved ones grilling, drinking, swimming, and reminding yourself why you hate your cousin Gary. Pretentious prick! Do I really care that you do Andrew W.K’s taxes? Do we always have to listen to “Let’s Get The Party Started” at every July 4th pool party? Oh BTW your wife Cheri propositions me every time we’re alone. What can I say she wants the Lifshitz naknik. Enough about me I mean you, yes you. This in no way bears any resemblance to my life. I don’t even have a cousin Gary! In fact if you’re here reading this then you probably have no friends or family and more than likely own cats or have dead bodies in your basement. It’s cool I’m not going to say anything. So I know the question on everyone’s mind “Ralph you’re rambling what’s the theme this week?” Well it’s the 4th of July. So that’s my theme, 4th of July’s of Lifshitz past. So each tier will include an offbeat story about my Independence Day misadventures. No these misadventures will not feature Will Smith, Bill Pullman, or aliens. Or will they? Week 14 Two Start Pitchers are upon us….

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Kennys Vargas was demoted to Double-A. Shouldn’t it be Double-Kenny? It’s official, the Twins hate Vargas. They gave him all of about ten days to prove himself this time around. Maybe they just get off on killing Kennys. Oh, well, that’s all I wanted to say in the lede. Nothing else. Just gonna pick my cuticles until I get to that “Anyway, here’s what else” jazz that I always write. Oh, I guess I could mention Miguel Sano is being called up. I buried the lede worse than Kendall Graveman! First Buxton and now Sano, this is the most excitement Minnesota’s seen since Prince was spotted at a Cold Stone Creamery ordering raspberry sorbet, and, without missing a beat, the cashier said, “And if it was warm, you’d order much more,” then high-fived his oblivious co-worker. I just gave you my Miguel Sano fantasy. I wrote it with an 80’s glam Sharpie. I’ll add one thing to that. Grab him right now! He could hit .180 with power or he could hit .250 with power, but, either way, at corner infidel, you do worse, as my Jewish grandmother would say. After saying, “Oy, it’s hot in here.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Happy Father’s Day to all of my fellow fathers out there. May your days be filled with copious amounts of meat, and a responsible amount of beer. I mean let’s not get out of hand here. But I don’t need to tell all of you that because we’re all responsible adults. Forgive me if a ramble a bit in this week’s post; I just got back from a Cuban themed BBQ complete with a Latin jazz quintet, open bar, and weird fat white lady rolling cigars. So what can I say, I’m a few mojitos deep and ready to talk some daily fantasy baseball. I thought of featuring nothing but Cuban players but then I couldn’t talk about Jose Quintana!! Was that an awkward segue? Yeah it was but whatever, let’s move along. Jose Quintana faces the Rangers today and the Streamonator loves him. So much so that he’s priced at a $23.1 value which is the second highest rank of the day, just below Masahiro Tanaka and above Matt Harvey. I’m sure the SoN is factoring in the Rangers struggles vs LHP, in particular that 23.9% K%. Quintana’s ratio have been a bit skewed by three bad starts earlier in the year and the others have been consistently 6+ innings, under 3 earned, and 5 plus K’s with some potential for more. He’s your typical high floor value play on DraftKings. He’s priced economically at $7,300 which gives you some coin to pair him with Matt Harvey or Tanaka.

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! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Son of a plumber, the real American dream has returned for another week of two start scrutiny. I’m here to do the dirty work. I drop the bionic elbow on your dome to enlighten you to the two start knowledge that I possess. I’ve seen hard times recently, and it’s due to Rick Flair, Nate Karns, Mike Foltynewicz, and Tom Cruise! You don’t know what hard times are Daddy! Hard times is when the factory workers are out of work and got 4 or 5 kids. Hard times are when the Auto Workers are out of work! Hard times are when a man who’s worked at a company for 30 years gets a watch and gets told a computer can do his job! Hard times Daddy! I’ve been stuck in hard times. Well screw Mike Foltynewicz until he tricks me into believing in him again. We’re back this week and it’s no holds barred we’re taking the folding chairs out of the front row and fighting dirty. We’re going with the theme of 1980’s and early 90’s wrestling. This is pretty much the last time I watched wrestling. They ruined it with all the complex storylines and other non-sense. Remember when it was just sort of some meaningless beef and you got to watch them duke it out on Saturday morning? In my humble opinion it was the best it ever was, but what do I know?

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Member how I was saying yesterday that I owned Zack Cozart in multiple leagues, and he was a top five shortstop this year on our Player Rater, but I didn’t really appreciate him? Do I even need to tell you what happened next? Can you guess? If you hold your ear to the computer, does it help you guess? Cozart lunged for the 1st base bag as he was going down the line, hyperextended his knee and is headed to the DL. Einstein was right, “Absence does make the heart grow fonder.” Or maybe that was Peabo Bryson. I always confuse those two on attributing quotes. It’s usually one or the other. Was it Peabo Bryson who did the theory of relativity? Why can’t I spell genius without spellchecker? Questions for another day. One potential fill-in is Ivan De Jesus (1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer). De Jesus now has homers in two of three games, that’s twice as many homers as his dad had in his final 600 plate appearances. With Cozart out for who knows how long, De Jesus Jr., or as Christians and Nike marketers like to call him Lil’ Jesus, could be the shortstop, but so could Kris Negron (1-for-4). Negron, please! If it’s Lil’ Jesus, well, it’s worse than Negron, please! Lil’ Jesus doesn’t have much power or speed, while Negron, please, at least swiped 30+ bags one year in the minors. Neither are advisable outside of NL-Only leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Eduardo Rodriguez (+38.9%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball this past week, and it’s not hard to see why. For those of you who Googled the words fantasy, hard, and rod and ended up here, perhaps you’d like to stick around and check out this fantasy baseball thing. Or you could just scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Rated R GIFs of Sexy Celebs ad. Your choice! As far as Mr. Rodriguez goes, his big league debut against the Rangers last week couldn’t have gone much better for the 22-year-old. The young lefty threw 7 2/3 shutout innings while registering 7 strikeouts during the outing. Perhaps most impressively, his average fastball velocity of 95.0 mph (according to the Brooks Baseball PITCHf/x game report) would place him 10th among all qualified MLB starting pitchers and 1st among lefties. Of course, it’s just one start, and his minor league numbers show that he can be prone to occasional bouts of wildness, but E-Rod looked pretty impressive on this day. If he’s available in your league, grab him while you still can. No guarantees here, but loads of fantasy upside. And I’m not talking to you, Googlers. Gross! Here were a couple of other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball from this past week:

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Today’s starting pitching options leaves a lot to be desired in your DraftKings entry knowing that you have to two starters. However, one of my favorite young pitchers is starting, Michael Wacha. The obvious choice for your first pitcher is Tyson Ross, as he is pitching at home in Petco Park. When it comes to my second pitcher, I see Wacha is 7-0 with a 1.87 ERA and 1.04 WHIP on the season. His overall numbers look great except for his K/9 rate. It is an unimpressive 5.46, and even makes me wince when I see pitchers like Shane Greene at 5.80. The Dodgers will be his best opponent today, so when considering one of my young favorites in DFS, I’ll need to dig a little deeper and look at the less obvious statistics. In his last two starts he’s faced the Royals and Mets, both on the road. The Royals are a good hitting team, and the Mets were a good hitting team that has cooled off a bit. In those two games, Wacha allowed 9 hits in 54 plate appearances. He only allowed 2 earned runs in 14 innings pitched, and batters hit .180 against him. Wacha had a meager 9 strikeouts and allowed 4 walks in that span. This is a small sample size of course, but I like to look how pitchers have recently done when facing an upcoming juggernaut. But the main reason I am sold on Wacha as a good choice on DraftKings today is his career home/away splits. He is considerably a better pitcher at home in St. Louis. In 22 games started, he is 9-1 with a 2.31 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP in 120 innings pitched. He has a 3.43 K/BB rate, and a 7.70 K/9 rate. I dug through a few more uncommon stats, and found that Wacha has never faced the Dodgers before. I gotta Wacha fine line at that point and rely on the above mentioned. So although there are starting pitchers that are priced similarly as Wacha, I’ll go with the guy who has only lost once in 22 career home starts, and is facing a team he’s never pitched against. Take a look at some of my other DraftKings’ picks today.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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.

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Victor Martinez hit the DL. I told you he was overrated in the preseason, but rather than just say I told you so, let’s tell you exactly what I told you, “Wah-wah. Sad trombone. ‘Those aren’t pillows!’ Or whatever signal you want for a reversal from good to bad. That was what I heard when it was announced that Victor Martinez had a torn meniscus, which reminds me of a conversation I had when calculators were first introduced in 1961 and I had to abandon my loyalty to my other counting device, screaming, “I’m torn, abacus!” I got sad when Martinez was hurt, not because I wanted to draft him and now he had an injury. I was saddened because now I figured my ranking of him in the 110’s wouldn’t be as low as other ‘perts. You know, they’d hear this news and lower him. Much to my surprise, I overestimated the rest of the ‘pert world. They still have him ranked 75 overall on average. *scratches head* You know, head scratching really doesn’t help one understand anything, which sounds like a line from C.J. Wilson’s latest dandruff commercial. CBS has V-Mart ranked 15th overall. I’m not even joking. I wish I were. “Your final wish is granted.” No, Genie in a Bottle, it’s a figure of speech! Okay, it looks like CBS has changed his ranking slightly, that ranking was before the knee surgery. Stupid, wish-taking Genie! Martinez is still ranked way too high, and it has nothing to do with the surgery.” And that’s me quoting me! See, I told you I told you so. This will likely be a nice boost in playing time for Anthony Gose and Rajai Davis, the King of SAGNOF and his Golden Gose. Also, hitting the DL is Corey Dickerson with his plantar fasciitis, a garden variety injury. This helps Drew Stubbs see playing time, but takes him away from his BBQ sauce manufacturing. While the Rockies are home, I’d give Stubbs a shot. Martinez and Dickerson share something in injury; these aren’t ailments that DL stints are going to fix. These will linger all year and I would sell low on both guys. Sorry to bum you out, unless Evan Gattis is reading. He can bum out all on his own. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So after back to back weeks of discussing two of the more trendsetting genres in Hip-Hop and Grunge.  I have gone off the reservation and devoted the tiers and peripheral discussion to one of my favorites groups of all-time, Philly hitmakers Daryl Hall and John Oates.  In other words, I’m trying very hard to not exceed 12 comments.  Hey, it’s just like my weekday job on the soccer site!  Then again maybe you too enjoy hitting the freeway with the top down in your Sebring convertible and the cool sounds of the dynamic duo pumping through your speakers.  Good God, someone get me a peach flavored mystic.  I’m going to need to hydrate for all the cougars who just swooned after reading that description.  Not for nothing, but there is no better way to serenade a cougar then to pull up in a low power american convertible, top down, with Sara Smile on the stereo.  I be collecting spanx for days kid.  All I’m saying is watch your Mom around me, true player for real, ask my dog Smokey.  Or you could ask your mom…. This is all nonsense and besides the point.  We’re here dearly beloved to discuss the double-dipping masters of blue eyed soul, mixed in with some two start pitchers right?  Well bad news…the two start pitching options this week are sort of limited after the first 8 or so arms.  Yay Mike Fiers!  Seriously Fiers is so meta.  Because I typically want to yell FIRE! upon glancing at my ratios after each of his starts.

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Just like Ol’ Blue Eyes used to say, but replace the lady with baseball players. The MLB season is 6 weeks old, and my DFS expectations have not been met. I’ve been using two very high priced pitchers that are allegedly good, in the majority of my DraftKings entries. I’d say at least 75% of the time I have used two pitchers in the same entry that were in the top five in terms of highest priced. Wednesday I did a 50/50 entry and used Raisel Iglesias and Jose Quintana. When I make quick bold decisions that are borderline head-scratching, I find that I do pretty well. However, using Iglesias and Quintana that day wasn’t just me closing my eyes and seeing where my finger would land. I was intentionally looking for low-priced pitchers and high-priced hitters, and felt that I made educated picks. Iglesias was doing very well in the minors, and Quintana was facing the Brewers. So if you remember, both of these pitchers had stellar performances. Iglesias pitched 8 innings, giving up 1 earned run and had 5 strikeouts. Quintana pitched 7 innings while giving up 1 earned run and had 10 strikeouts. At this point I am leading you to believe I won in that 50/50 entry. However, I still lost. It turned out that all of my pricey hitters fell flat. Thursday, I did another DFS entry where I played Erasmo Ramirez as one of my pitchers and stacked several Rays hitters against Chase Whitley and the Yankees. Again, Ramirez and three of my Rays hitters did very well. I’m not going to tell you today, that I am taking the two least expensive pitchers available, but, just because some of these players are priced much lower than the top tier guys, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider playing them. With that being said, as much as I like to think I am making educated picks, you will need a little luck on your side just like the legend himself, Frank Sinatra.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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?