Did you ever wonder why, back in your school days, that there was no “E” grade? What happened to “E”? The apparent reason for the lack of an “E” grade is because most systems are based on four passing grades. “A”, “B”, “C” and “D”. After these passing grades come failure, and since failure starts with the letter “F”, “F” is used to denote a failure. It’s really quite simple. It just happens to be that “F” is the sixth letter, but had it been the tenth or even the last, an “F” would still be used to let you know that you just flunked. Someone who fails is a failure. Does that make someone that flunks a flunky? I actually had a teacher one year, I think it was the 7th grade, that incorporated “E” into his grading system. It was actually higher than an “A”, if that makes sense, and stood for “excellent”. I always thought that was an A+. I’m pretty sure that teacher was a major pothead. I liked him. I had an entirely different teacher that had a completely different set of grades that included an “E”. In this class it stood for “exceeds expectations”. There was no “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” or “F”. Instead we had “E”, “M” and “N”. The latter two standing for “meets expectations” and “needs improvement”.

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Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique.  This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief.  Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed.  Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you?  Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way.  Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring.  Scary good.  May be best of Cubs lot right now.”  Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed.  If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances.  Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming.  On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur.  Or make that, as craptastic as those guys.  In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel.  Time, not the magazine, will tell.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Groove with me, won’t you? Admittedly I’m not much of a dancer. I can Macarena with the best of them but that’s about it. In fact, if a song is in 4/4 time, that’s my go to dance move outside of the towel off. Never heard of the towel off? Well, grab a towel and pretend like you’re drying off but to the beat. Grab it and swipe it back and forth against the back of your neck. Good, now down to your shoulders. Alright, now down to your butt. The crescendo? Between the legs swipe! Now start from the top and repeat. Once you have that down, feel free to throw in a little variety. Maybe a ’tilt your head to the side and one hand shake dry your hair’ if you’re feeling frisky. You’ve got it! Now don’t forget who brought this dance craze to you cuz I don’t wanna have to sue you! Yeah, I patented that shizz, wouldn’t you? But enough about my sweet dance moves, lets talk some Jesse Chavez. Baltimore is a team that Ks no matter who they’re facing or where they’re at. That said, away from Camden Yards, their whiffiness takes a bit of a leap as it sits at 23.8% entering Sunday’s contests, placing them third worst road K% right behind the Rockies (24%) and Cubs (23.9%). Notice those numbers? They’re basically tied for first here, y’all, and I plan to take advantage of it with Jesse and his splits. Chavez enjoys the cavernous confines of O.Co just fine, thank you, doling out a 2.33 ERA to go with a drop in BB/9 by nearly one from his road starts. It’s all interpretation, but methinks he is willing to challenge hitters at home more because of the size of the stadium. This is one of those starts that could yield you 8 to 10 Ks and minimal damage. For the miniscule price of $6,800, you are gonna be hard pressed to find a better deal. So come out on a the dance floor and cha cha Chavez with me, won’t you? But enough rug cutting, let’s have at it. Here’s my Flamenco 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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I have returned from my much needed and financially reasonable vacation. I went to San Diego for five days and four nights with the family, and enjoyed almost every damn second of it. I learned one thing while I was away, and that’s the closer I got to Mexico, the browner I got. Seriously, I need to go by Juan Lleno de Odio until I kick this tan. I’m going to cut to the chase today, as I have lots to go over and little time for small talk… unless you want to chat it up in the comments about whatever is on your mind, I don’t mind that. Oh wait, before I move on to the good stuff, I would like to self-celebrate today. Today is my 100th post for Razzball baseball. As some of you may know, I started on the football side when Sky took a chance on me. After I went to Oregon and passed the Sky test/initiation, Grey hit me up and invited me to come over to the baseball side. Then came my first Razzball baseball post and the rest is history. Thanks you two for allowing me to be a part of this.

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Yesterday, Latos was traded to the Dodgers, then not traded. Then CarGo was traded to the Mets, then not traded. Then Cole Hamels was traded to the Rangers, and really traded, I think. I don’t know, I’m dizzy. Ruin Tomorrow Jr. was sad to see Hamels go, but this is the business he chose, after getting fired from Duane Reade for mixing up the garbage with “the important stuff.” And after getting fired for explaining to kids there is no Santa, after being dressed as the mall Santa. After being fired as Ruin Tomorrow Sr.’s personal assistant, but he maintains that was a misunderstanding. He thought, “Don’t tell your mother,” meant, “Don’t tell your mother until you see her.” After his no-hitter the other day, I said, “(Hamels’s) peripherals look fine and he’s just getting a tad unlucky. I could see someone thinking they’re selling high after this no-hitter, but Hamels is a low-3 ERA pitcher with a 9.6 K/9, i.e., a low-end fantasy ace.” And that’s me quoting me! I would’ve preferred to see him go to the NL, but Arlington is about a push with Citizens Bank and could see him stringing together a sub-3 ERA for two months. Jorge Alfaro, Jerad Eickhoff and Nick Williams were acquired by the Phils, and I’m sure Prospect Mike will go over them, after he gets their posters up in his living room. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Jonathan Papelbon has a contract that insures that he remains the closer if he’s traded. He would likely be the closer in Washington even without that stipulation, but it’s so like Papelbon to have that in his contract. Should just call that the douche clause. To fix him, the Nationals should bring him into games where they’re up one run in the seventh and run him out there for three innings every night until his arm falls off. Sure, they’d cost themselves a closer and games, but isn’t spite worth it? I know it is when Cougs says she has a headache and I say, “Fine, I’m gonna sleep in the bathtub!” Sure, I could stay in the bed, or even opt for a couch, but the spite wouldn’t be driven home as well. Papelbon’s trade obviously kills all value for Drew Storen. Shame, his career feels like the exact opposite of Fernando Rodney. No matter how well Storen pitches every year he seems to lose the job for some unforeseen reason. Maybe he can figure out a way to work into his contract, “Must pitch after any white guy that is a terrible dancer whether that is Mark Madsen, Grey Albright or Papelbon.” Of course, in Philly, this means that Ken Giles gets his long-deserved chance to close for the Phils. All three games where they’re leading. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I went out on my annual mid-season man-date with Grey this past Friday. What a day! Sandwiches at the wine shop, facial hair products at the beauty supply store, and coffee at some weird fancy hipsteresque spot. I think the guy at the coffee spot wanted to kill the two of us because we were harassing him for not having any alternative sweeteners for my diabetic arse. No matter what we said to him, he just kept responding with, we only have our raw organic fair trade artisanal sugar syrup. He was Mets-front-office annoying. You might be asking yourself why am I telling you all this. Well, at Grey’s suggestion, I have added in the DL players to gain some perspective into what they are worth compared to the healthy players for the rest of the season. Earlier in the year I left them out to get more players on the list, as I was figuring out how I wanted to take on the rankings. Like many of you know, this list got dropped on my lap right before the season started and I have been learning on the fly how to approach this. This is FOH’s list!

Note: I mentioned in the RCL Update this week that I would be out on vacation. The Big Magoo handled the Creeper of the Week, and I will be in and out of the comments today. I’ll also be getting some help from my co-workers so we don’t leave you guys… and girls hanging. VinWins! will be covering the RCL Update for me on Tuesday. Thanks guys for helping me while I’m out. *hugs screen*

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“Who is the Dodgers ace?” asks the Fox Sports newscaster in Los Angeles, after the special report on “Where are the stars shopping for their Emmy gowns?” and “Juicing? Is it good for you?” and “A high-speed pursuit ends in an In-N-Out drive-thru,” and “Actresses over 24 years old may not be washed up after all,” and “Shopkeeper puts up sign to ‘Vote Republican’ and gets looted.” So, who is the Dodgers ace? On Saturday, Clayton Kershaw went 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners with 14 Ks, ERA down to 2.68. My Magic Eight Ball says this is the year the Dodgers hop on Kershaw’s back, march through the playoffs and justify every crackers move Mattingly’s done in his managerial career. Sometimes knowing the future really bums me out. Not to be outdone, on Sunday, Zack Greinke went 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners with 11 Ks, and lowered his ERA to 1.30. Soon he won’t be able to lower his ERA anymore (math is my strong suit). I’m totally done doubting Greinke…or am I?! No, not the ellipsis reversal! Ah! As I ranked in the top 100 for the 2nd half, Kershaw is way above Greinke in terms of, well, everything. Greinke is also not a 1.30 ERA pitcher, but no one really is, except maybe Kershaw. Greinke is definitely a number one though; this isn’t all luck. He has a 8+ K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and 3.05 xFIP, which is essentially nice, aw sooky, nice. A “nice aw sooky” sandwich, if you will. Then there’s the fact that Greinke hasn’t allowed a run in 43 2/3 IP. Orel Hershiser doesn’t scoff at that, maybe he yawns, then does a small double take when no one is looking. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I sat down Friday night and started watching Shark Tank for the first time. Wow, have I been missing out on a beautiful reality show. No B.S., I have been binge watching it all weekend. I know, I know, Grey has been pimping this reality masterpiece for years. Grey, you were right and I won’t doubt your reality lotharioness ever again. This show got me thinking about how I choose my creeper and how in some ways that I am the shark. I’m looking at numbers and schedules every week to buy the creeper. Based on the arguments in my head, I choose my player to invest in. Pretty easy. Now, what would you guys… and girls think of this new concept I thought of yesterday while chatting with Grey? Each week next season, instead of one contributor picking a creeper, we have several contributors each make one sell for a creeper? Take all those sells and combine them into one post and you peeps can decide what creeper you believe in. Just a thought.

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For many a year, it’s been well documented that Jorge De La Rosa was a bit of a homeschooler. Of course, that in and of itself isn’t something that would make a person curious; plenty of pitchers have road splits that make them look pedestrian. But Jorge is a Rocky and two things go with that. One, your bats are terrible away and two, your pitching is terrible at home but Jorge is not about that life. He’s had a ton of success at Coors Field which makes my call maybe seem odd given the context but Jorge is doing a bit of a reverse of his already seemingly reversed splits so far this year. Over 32.1 IP this year, Jorge has held his opponents to a 1.67 ERA to go along with 26 K. I know, those Ks don’t sound appealing but they just got a nice bump via the opponent in the Padres. Despite being a heavily righty lineup, San Diego boasts the highest K% against lefty pitchers in all of the MLB and they’re near the bottom in wRC+ and ISO against them to boot. Starting a road pitcher is never safe, of course, so I’m just recommending Of The Rose for tourneys only but there I could see putting him as your SP1 cuz you’re gonna get another cheap option from me below. Ooooh, foreshadowing! So lets not dawdle any longer. Here’s my hot takes for the start of the second half of the DK MLB slate…

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?