Don’t let the title fool you, I am by no means a Styx fan. I actually had to look up who sang this song when I decided to use it. Does anyone even say “look up” any more or has the term been officially replaced with “google”. Speaking of Google, whatever happened to the “I’m feeling lucky” button. I wonder how many times Clint Eastwood clicked that thing? I wonder if he sued Google to have the button removed. I have questions that need answers. In the meantime, let’s talk points leagues. For weeks I’ve been promising to focus on pitchers in one of these posts and today’s the lucky day. Do you feel lucky?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s 2016 and everyone is raving about their kale and quinoa diet, and if you’re drinking anything other than water you may die. But today I am here to tempt you with a tall glass of Aaron Nola. Obviously you have aces Strasberg, Arrieta, and Kluber all starting, but as I surveyed the pitching field, I noticed several bad pitchers and some decent pitchers with bad scenarios. Today is most certainly a day to pony up for pricy pitchers. I was almost going to suggest Mike Foltynewicz … that’s how bad it is out there. Nola’s price falls under 10K at $9,500. However, if he keeps pitching like he has been, that price is bound to rise. Nola has been ace-like to start the season. He has gone 7 strong in 5 out of his 7 starts, issuing 49 K and only 8 BB to the tune of a 2.54 xFIP. Only two pitchers own lower xFIP, who happen to be Kershaw and Syndergaard, so he’s in pretty good company on the xFIP front. Opposing batters haven’t been able to generate much solid contact off his pitches. Nola is 12th in average exit velocity at 86.6 among qualified starting pitchers. Nola again finds himself in the good company, as his average distance per hit is only flying 200 feet. That pegs him right in between Syndergaard (201) and Kershaw (199). Are you worried about him facing Cincy? Don’t be. The Reds are a completely different team on the road than they are at home. At home they are stroking a .733 OPS, with 98 runs (2nd), and have hit 31 HR (1st). Compared to .638 OPS, 37 runs (30th), and 5 HR (29th) on the road. It’s the weekend! Forget about your diet, sit back, and take a swig from the Coca-Nola bottle. With that, I give you the rest of my DraftKings picks…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday May 16th 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?

I’d like to dedicate this post to all the mothers out there, and to the most important mother in most of our lives, Manny Machado.  The Oxford Dictionary defines mother, “something that is an extreme or ultimate example of its kind especially in terms of scale.”  So, one can say that Manny Machado is the mother of all shortstops and 3rd basemen.  Yesterday, on Machado’s Day, a true mother in the most arcane sense, he went 2-for-4, 6 RBIs with two homers (8, 9).  He’s gaining shortstop eligibility for next year because Hardy hurt himself and the Orioles realized that necessity is the Machado of invention.  So, next year, is there any way he’s not in the top three overall for all of fantasy?  I guess if he gets hurt.  Did I just jinx him?  What a Machado f**ker!  Whatever the case, there’s no way I can pay you back, but the plan is to show you that I understand; you are appreciated.  Sweet Manny, don’tcha know, I love ya (Dear Machado).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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?

Once in a while, a break is a good thing. It’s especially a good thing in DFS. Yeah, yeah, I always see people on Twitter saying things like #keepgrindin, but a losing streak is a losing streak and who really wants to see their bankroll dwindle away because they are chasing a winning night. A little over two weeks ago I went through a stretch where I couldn’t lose. I cashed nine out of 10 nights, which is relatively impressive. The streak ended last Tuesday with a brutal night and continued on Wednesday with an equally unimpressive showing. With that said, vacation called and I went to Boston for the weekend. I didn’t play DFS, I rarely thought about it, and most of all, I enjoyed the break. I came back with a vengeance on Monday night and cashed in all of my double-ups and 50/50s making the four-day break worthwhile. So let this be a lesson. If you’re getting hammered every night, step back and take a breather. Or, just drink more and pass out. Either way, you’ll be drunk or you’ll save your bankroll. You can’t win every night, but you can certainly win the majority of games you play. Oh, and even with his $12,100 price tag, feel free to use Jake Arrieta against a very good Pittsburgh offense. He’s the best pitcher in baseball not named Clayton Kershaw.

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?

Man, what a week for starting pitcher callups!  Thankfully we’re seeing Major League clubs unshy of bringing up their future aces instead of being little scaredy-cats and using the Super 2 as a crutch.  “Stop wasting some of your better pitched innings in the Minors, ya bums!”  That was me two years ago.  I was also skinnier and not married yet, so not everything has gotten better…

Right on the heels of the Jose Berrios callup, the A’s promoted Sean Manaea after an absolutely meteoric rise after being traded by the Royals in the Ben Zobrist deal.  Manaea always had power stuff and great K-rates, but never quite harnessed the command to get himself atop prospect lists.  But when you have awesome pure stuff, sometimes one minor tweak can take you from “meh” to “mania”!  After a 21:4 K:BB in Triple A over 18 innings this year, it certainly came with a lot of fanfare that Manaea was getting called up, and he’s surely scooped up in almost all leagues at this point.  Is he worth all the hype?  Here’s how he looked on Friday night in his MLB debut against the Astros:

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“‘I need a bouncy C.  Not a bouncy castle!’  Billy Beane screams into his headset, when an intern interrupts him and his daughter, practicing her guitar, while they are both on a treadmill.  The intern tells Beane that Jesse Hahn has a blister.  The intern turns and it’s Jonah Hill.  Fat Jonah, not “He doesn’t look right skinny” Jonah.   Beane then looks at the camera to establish empathy and says, “Get me Sean Manaea.”  Only he adds three extra syllables to Manaea’s naeame.   And…scene!”  The producer smiles, “That’s a great pitch.  If only Manaea looks that good.  High-five!”  So, Manaea has been called up to start on Friday.  He’s looked downright fantastic thus far.  Upleft fantastic too.  He’s a six-five Samoan, but he doesn’t weight 475 pounds.  He could be the Rookie of the Year; his stuff is that TNT with SVU reruns.  I also think there’s more downside here than, say, Berrios.  He’s had moments where his command leaves him, and he becomes a 5+ IP, 4 ER guy.  His delivery looks to me like he could get wild very easily.  Wide range of possibility here, could be a #1 or could be a #4-5 that you only own in AL-Only leagues.  Of course, I’m taking the flyer in all leagues for the chance he comes up and wows upsides our fantasy heads.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Josh Tomlin continued his early season success pitching 6.2 innings of four hit beisbol, allowing just one run and striking out four for his second win of the year. Josh is now 2-0 through his first two starts with a 1.54 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 10 strikeouts. He’s available in over 90% of ESPN leagues. Am I missing something? Tomlin was part of my championship pitching staff last year. No. I didn’t win, but I still made the finals, so that counts as a championship team, right? Tomlin finished 2015 especially strong giving up just 14 runs in 49.3 IP with a 44/3 K/BB rate, and two complete games. Can he keep it up? Let’s look at the stats. First, Josh’s ESPN player page photo looks a whole lot like Bradley Cooper. Second, Tomlin’s .219 BABIP for 2015 was laughably low, and he’s not exactly a strikeout machine. That said, he doesn’t walk anyone either. Doode throws strikes, and his 3.2 BB% from 2015 is no fluke. If we look further into the advanced stats (NERD!), we see Josh doesn’t induce a lot of ground ball outs either, and his fly ball percentage was 46.2 last year. Basically, he could give up a lot of long balls. Or not, what do these numbers know anyway. I’ll tell you what I know. Josh Tomlin has been pitching very well dating back to last September and he has a juicy match up with the Twins next week. He’s certainly a worthy streaming option in the right match up and I’d give him a chance next week in Minnesota.

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Crank up that AC/DC and let’s get this party started! Oh and in case you haven’t heard Axl Rose will be joining AC/DC as Brian Johnson will be stepping down due to hearing loss. Bittersweet as I loved me some BJ, but it should be fun to see Axl and Angus rock the stage. Nothing gets the Monday morning juices flowing like AC/DC and seeing Thor on the slate, especially with the rest of sub-par starting pitching options for today. Who is this Thor I speak of (rhetorical, unless you stumbled upon us through some sort of comic con accident). The Thor, I speak of is Noah Syndergaard, the highest priced pitcher today at $12,100. Thor had some big expectations coming into the season, but lets face it, living up to the Norse God of Thunder seemed like an even bigger task. Well in his first two games he’s exceeded those expectations, by absolutely dropping the hammer on opposing batters with 21 K’s, 1ER, 2 BB over the last 13 innings. Last season when he was called up he showed that dominate +95 MPH fastball, 99 MPH sinker and 90 MPH change up that actually danced. That’s a lethal combination, especially when you add in his physical attributes, he only stands 6’6″ and weighs 240 lbs (he’s probably closer to 255, cause dude is jacked) He’s got the nickname, the hair, the body and did I mention that he added a 95 MPH slider to his arsenal? His power pitches were already dominating hitters and now he added this nasty slider that is making him miss even more bats. Thor is not without his flaws as it looked like Miami may have found a small chink in the armor. They got him for 7 hits on Tuesday, but most of those were because they were all swinging on the first pitch, the second and third time through the order. If he can be a little more elusive on the first pitch, we may see an out of this universe season from this stud. If anyone is looking to shower the staff here at Razzball with gifts, I’d like to put my request in for this little New York Mets give away on 4/30 Thor Garden Gnome. With the pitching slate extremely thin today, Thor and Jose Fernandez, $11,300 will be highly rostered, so let’s dive into two other guys who might help us cash in.

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?

I don’t know where it’s coming from with Jeremy Hazelbaker, so I called Keith Morrison of Dateline to investigate.  He went to St. Louis to investigate and left me this message, “Here, in bucolic St. Louis, all seemed right in the world.  Jeremy had just married his high school sweetheart, and they were on a honeymoon of a lifetime when the unthinkable happened.”  I picked up the phone, because I use an old school answering machine, “Keith, St. Louis isn’t bucolic, and I’m not looking for a suspicious murder scenario.  I want to know who Jeremy Hazelbaker is for fantasy baseball.”  Keith continued, “The neighbors had nothing but nice things to say about the couple.  But they didn’t see the dark side.”  “Keith, yesterday, Hazelbaker went 4-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, and is hitting .526 through a week’s worth of games and hitting 2nd on most days.  Can he continue it?”  “Only that wasn’t pine tar on his bat, it was iron-rich blood.  Coming up after the break–”  So, I don’t know how the Cardinals do this with outfielders every year.  These outfielders that just come out of nowhere to be fantasy relevant; I will call them, The Sons of Ludwick.  Will it continue for Hazelbaker?  It seems highly unlikely.  He profiles as a 5-7 HR, 15-17 SB guy who might hit .245.  But, ya know what, I don’t need to know where it’s coming from or if it will continue to own Hazelbaker, as I now do in a few leagues.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?