I’m fascinated by things that are outside of the box and things that challenge what is considered the “norm”.  A good knuckleballer is a joy to watch.  Trevor Bauer and his pregame routine and training regime is so intriguing.  I wish he’d have some success so people might take it a little more seriously.  Basically, it’s no fun doing things the exact same way every, single time and there’s no way to evolve and learn if we don’t try something new.  In this same vein, we have Hector Santiago, the only pitcher in the major leagues to throw a screwball last year.  He will also probably be the only pitcher to throw one in the majors this season.  This pitch was very popular back in the early days of baseball but has since become almost entirely extinct due to the threat of injury it possess.  I get it, but you’d think if you’re the only pitcher throwing a pitch that funky in MLB, you’d have an advantage.  Well, Mr. Santiago is having himself a year so far in the early going, but I’m not so sure it’s screwball related.  Santiago has raised his K/9 from 8.07 last year to 8.71 so far this year and he’s lowered his BB/9 from 3.54 to 2.61.  Also of note is the 2 MPH he’s added to his fastball.  Early jumps in fastball velocity are typically a great sign that a pitcher’s early season success might be more than just a fluke.  Another sign that something has changed for Santiago is the change in GB/FB ratio.  Santiago has typically been an extreme flyball pitcher, which wasn’t always wonderful in US Cellular field.  His flyball percentage is still high-ish, but it’s dropped from an average of 48% for his career to 44% this year.  The big change though is in his ground ball percentage which has jumped from his career average of 33% up to 47% so far this year.  That has lead his GB/FB to jump from a career norm of 0.7 to over 1.0.  So, we’ve got a pitcher with increased fastball velocity, with better control and who’s inducing more grounders.  Did I mention he’ll be facing the Mariners where he’ll have the platoon advantage against just about everyone outside of Nelson Cruz?  At $8,400 he’s the perfect compliment to Jose Fernandez for the night slate.

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.

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Noah Syndergaard steps into a giant metal milk can and submerges himself.  At first, bubbles come up, then nothing.  Only Houdini has ever been able to escape this, and even then Tony Curtis struggled to keep his life in order afterwards.  The beautiful-despite-her-pantyhose girl locks him in.  Everyone watches, and Noah just sits there, locked in.  The audience shifts, then realizes this is what they want.  They want Noah to stay this locked in.  This locked in leads to Cy Young awards.  This locked in carries teams to championships.  One man stands in the audience and screams, “Grow gills and stayed locked in!”  The crowd erupts.  Harvey’s looked just okay, that other Mets pitcher put out the welcome Matz to opposing hitters and deGrom is battling an injury.  Syndergaard?  Oh, he’s so locked in.  Yesterday, he went 7 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 12 Ks and looked like he could’ve beat the 1927 Blue Jays in Coors Field.  If you own him, ‘gaard your grill and knuckle up if anyone tries to trade you for him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Meet Erik, 35 years old. After meeting a fantasy baseball expert on the internet, he took his last three dollars, entered it in the Early Moonshot on Monday, April 11, 2016, and won $5,000. His conscience never came into play.

All of the above is true, except the part about Erik‘s last three dollars, of course. See, Erik has now done what the vast majority of DFS players have not–he’s taken down a large GPP. This sucker had 28,750 entries. Impressive to say the least. Instead of going all-in with David Price, he pivoted to Michael Wacha. Combine that with nine Aaron Nola strikeouts, a rare offensive outburst from Yadi Molina, home runs from Chris Davis, Mookie Betts, and J.D. Martinez, respectively, and a 19-point punt play in Aledmys Diaz, Erik nailed every single player on Monday’s early slate. Good on you, Erik. You are truly a DFS inspiration and I’m proud to call you one of my good friends. Rags to riches, homie, you ain’t done. You got 99 Problems, but winnin’ a GPP ain’t one. Enjoy that Four Roses Bourbon. Just remember you’re picking up the bar tab when you come to Pittsburgh in June. It’s the least you can do! (Also, bring me a bottle of that bourbon. On the house, of course.)

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?

The other day the top 10 for 2016 fantasy baseball was straight sexy like when a model on America’s Next Top Model knows how to smize and booty tooch.   Then, the next day, the top 20 for 2016 fantasy baseball was all the flavors of the Skittles rainbow melted into one giant Skittle that was a color that was not-black even though all colors together should’ve been.  Today, the top 20 catchers for 2016 fantasy baseball is the direct opposite of those wondrous achievements.  This post, here, is, um, catchers.  Lowercase yay.  Most of you know how I feel about catchers.  If you draft a catcher any time before the first 100 picks, you don’t know how I feel about catchers.  Let me freshen up your cocktail with a splash of insight.  I don’t draft top catchers in one catcher leagues.  I Reggie Roby them.  Last year, Posey was the top ranked catcher at the end of year.  Yet, he was only the 8th best 1st baseman, about as valuable as Albert Pujols, who hit only .244.  The best catcher can’t spray aerosol deodorant on the top guy for another position.  The top five catchers last year were Bust Posey, Bri McCann, Eve Gattis, Russ Martin and Sal Perez.  Only one guy was drafted in the top 100.  No one should draft a top catcher because there are no top catchers.  They’re all hot garbage with a side order of gefilte fish, or kapelka as Q-Tip calls it.  Catchers are unreliable to stay healthy; the job is grueling and takes its toll on offensive stats.  There’s not much difference between, say, the tenth best catcher and nothingness.  Last year, Welington Castillo was the tenth best catcher.  He was on waivers for at least half the season.  He was the tenth best catcher with a line of 42/19/57/.237.  Yo, Q, forget kapelka, Welington Castillo makes me vomit.  Also, with this crop of catchers — they’re actually deep in mediocrity.  You can draft the fifth best catcher or the 12th best and they’re tomato-tomato said with a different emphasis.  Because I ignore the top catchers doesn’t mean I’m starting the top 20 catcher list at number twenty-one; some of you might want to know the top catchers.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them draft d’Arnaud.  In two catcher leagues, catchers are a little more valuable, but I’d still prefer to avoid them.  You can see other top 20 lists for 2016 fantasy baseball under 2016 fantasy baseball rankings.  Listed along with these catchers are my 2016 projections for each player and where the tiers begin and end.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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Hopefully everyone had an enjoyable Labor Day Weekend and if all went well, a profitable one. Labor Day weekend is a fine time to cruise for overlay as it’s a busy outdoors weekend for many folks. I, for one, took the weekend off from DFS. I enjoyed some of the great outdoors and took part in a few fantasy football season-long drafts. I’m ready to hit MLB hard for the last five weeks as people become less focused on it and turn their eyes instead to NFL. With any luck, that will lead to some dead money out there. Terrible transition time as we go from dead money to the Grateful Dead. I know there’s a few deadhead fantasy baseballers out there reading Razzball, I’ve seen the steal your face avatars. Truth be told, I’m a fan via love as the woman whom I live with and to whom I’m related by marriage is a huge fan. When I saw that both Sonny Gray and Jon Gray were pitching tonight and both had nice match-ups, I couldn’t help myself. I’m choosing to focus on Jon Gray since, frankly, Sonny Gray has, and will continue to be, a great play all year. Jon Gray on the other hand, gets the hard to handle task of pitching in Coors for his home games. We saw the effect this can have when he faced the Mets at Metco and was on the golden road (6 IP, 1 ER, 5 Ks) and then faced them again a couple weeks later at Coors and had the Mexicali blues (1.2 IP, 7 ER, 0 Ks). Gray faced the Padres in Coors a few weeks ago and made barely a ripple, giving up just one run in 5 IP and striking out five friars. Doing some quick math means he should only give up negative five runs when he faces them in Petco Park. It’s like a box of rain when a promising young arm gets drafted into the Rockies system, but we always have their away games to look forward to. Gray’s got a pretty nasty looking 95+ MPH fastball and a nice change-up (85 MPH)/slider combo that makes him at least serviceable with upside for more. Thanks to his home park and some rough outings there, he’s practically free for $4,600. The pitching friendly Petco Park and a bottom three team OPS for the Padres makes me pretty excited to roster the young gun tonight. You should be too and if nothing else, we will get by, we will survive.

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.

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Greetings to the end of August which is a firm reminder we’re just one month away from the fun ending. Or for some of you, the question might be…did it ever really begin? Well no worries because if that’s the case, you’re not reading. Hrm, borderline philosophical question: if you lead with making fun of people who don’t read what you have written, have you really insulted them? DEEP. Speaking of deep, here’s the dig down on those Cinci Reds. Though they haven’t been the greatest team or offense in the second half overall, they’ve really tanked in August as they hold the third worst wRC+ at 79 while maintaining a healthy 21.8% K rate. And with that, in enters Kyle Hendricks. Kyle is a bit of a home schooler as his ERA goes down a full run when in Chi-town and his K/9 jumps from 7.18 to 8.67. Given the matchup and the K potential, I’m a tad surprised to find Hendricks so reasonably priced at $6,700. I’m probably not leaning towards him in cash games but if you’re a GPP addict like myself, you know exactly what to do with this call. Snort it up your nose, of course! Oops, wrong addiction. But enough about nose candy, let’s go. Here’s my red hot takes for this Monday DK slate…

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.

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Left-handed hitters are always going to be popular given their tendency to hold the larger “half” of a platoon’s playing time situation, but as we enter the final five weeks of the season — or in DFS — production of any type is worth employing. While most of these names aren’t flashy, all of these players have something to offer in terms of counting or rate stats for hitting southpaws. The ownership rates (not the availability) are listed after each player for the three major fantasy sites. To add an arbitrary filter to things, we’re looking at 50 plate appearance minimums, with numbers excluding Monday’s games.

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Sup Sunday goers. Our resident Ralph had himself a thing on Saturday. A thing I don’t really wanna repeat in public so lets just say there were multiple piercings and paddleboards involved and mayhap a few types of ‘beads’. Needless to say, he asked to switch days and after explaining to him that next time he could just tell me he’s really busy and I don’t need the whole story, I humbly and nervously obliged. So here I be and here be Jeff Locke. Jeff isn’t that good of a pitcher; maybe league average. He’s just not one of those guys who’s going to have an All-Star season out of the blue and for streamers and DFS’ers, that’s just fine…wait, he was an All-Star in 2013? Man, I hate that game. Anyways, he only gotta be good once for us to be happy and he’s being spotted a prime matchup to make just that happen. Yes, we all know the Mets have performed well since gaining Yoenis but even he can’t help them with one major thing: their atrocious numbers vs lefties. On the year, the Mets rank 2nd to last at 24.2% for their K% against left-handed pitching. Only the Padres are worse at 24.3% so we are really comparing rotten apples to rotten apples here. Add in a miniscule 84 wRC+ and you’re looking at Locke’s chance to at a cheap $6,400 on DK. On a day with so many good options, there’s no need to risk him in cash but Jeff has 25 point upside with the matchup he’s been handed and if I’m multi-lineup building today, I’m gonna have some exposure to him. But enough about what’s under this overly large, brown dust-coat, let’s get on with the show. Here’s my publicly indecent hot takes for this Sunday DK slate…

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.

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On a day where pitching isn’t deep and very top-heavy, it gets really hard to look past the tops of the charts. Clayton Kershaw you say? Don’t mind if I do. Jacob deGrom? Yes please may I have some more. For me, I’m looking at a guy who gets to face the Atlanta Braves. Said Atlanta Braves sit tied for last in wRC+ since the start of the second half. Also, said Atlanta Braves are missing their best bat in Freeman and have so much scrub in the lineup I’m about to start calling them the Scotch-Brites. Guaranteed to keep the scoreboards clean! But the biggest thing Jake Odorizzi has going for him isn’t even the opponent. Actually, it’s where he’s pitching. Jake is a home schooler. Through 51 innings at the Trop, Jake owns a 1.41 ERA. Sure, he’s a little lucky in that regards as his xFIP is more than double that at 3.44 but you know what helps you luck out? How about a 9.12 K/9 rate and a 20.2% K%-BB%. Overall, given the higher end options, many may find it hard to look Odorizzi’s way. Don’t be one of those people who says Odor’in ain’t easy Izzi and go with Jake. But enough about my strange rap and hip hop references, here we go. Let’s look at my it’s getting hot in here takes for this Wednesday DK slate…

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?

Yeah, can’t top the start at this point. Shark done been jumped, peeps, we gotta find a new road to venture down cuz you can’t climax at the title and then tease the rest of the time…dang it, phrasing! Segueing away from this mess…the knuckle ball. It’s a curious thing. It does it’s own thing so when it comes to making a call on a knuckle ball pitcher, you have to start with two key points. One, is the pitcher ‘on’ currently? Well, R.A. Dickey has three straight 25+ DK point games to his credit so check that box. Two, how does the team fare against him/knuckle ballers in general? You see, BvP is a bit of a sticky subject in our little world that we fantasy baseball guys live in. It’s not a huge part of my research, personally…unless said pitcher is a knuckler. Overall, the Yankees as a team haven’t done well against Dickey since his return to the AL in 2013. Over 8 games, Dickey has owned the Bronx Bombers to the tune of a 1.98 ERA to go with a 0.97 WHIP and has averaged close to 7 IP per start. Now the Ks haven’t been anything special with a mere 6.67 K/9 during that span but in a tournament where Dickey has a chance to not only last long into a game but also get 4 points for a win, count me in at his current $6,600 asking price. When you factor in the current Yankees roster owns a mere .640 OPS off of R.A., it’s easy to find this matchup more enticing than at first glance. So let’s go forth together with Dickey in hand, dear friends, and see where it gets us…ugh, yeah, phrasing. Let’s move on shall we? Here’s my other throbbing hot takes for this Friday DK slate…

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?