Oh my God, Drew Smyly is more like Smyly Corleone. Every time you think you’re out, he pulls you right back in. Fredo, you went against the family, and we can’t have that. “Smyly, is that you? Why do you keep calling me?” That’s Alfredo Griffin getting annoyed with Smyly Corleone. “I made them offer at a pitch they couldn’t refuse.” Seriously, stop Smyly Corleone! So, there’s always one pitcher (sometimes more than one) that befuddles and seduces, seduces and befuddles. Justin Masterson carried the torch for a while when he was Justin Masterson: Passive Aggressive Starter. Now, Drew Smyly seems to be carrying that same damned if you do, damned if you don’t torch. Yesterday, his line was 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners with 12 Ks. On the year, his K-rate and walk rate are 10.3 and 2.2. Those are ace numbers. Unlike a lot of other big strikeout guys and actual aces, Smyly doesn’t throw very hard and seems to tire after about two starts in a row. His ERA on the year is 4.75, but that’s absurd, as in I will absurd you while you’re on waivers. But, ugh, that K-rate, that walk rate, it’s hard for me to resist and if he was dropped in your league, I could see giving him another chance, but I’d be wary of matchups because I just don’t see him overpowering most teams when he’s not working on ten days rest. He just doesn’t throw hard enough. I.e., leave the speed gun, take the cannoli. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Did I just get something from nothing? Because Justin Upton is nothing, and I got something yesterday — 2-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (4) and legs (2). Therefore, hence, Argo the movie, vis-a-vis, I got something from nothing. Take that all of you non-believers! And you said he would never come around to be worth that top 25 pick. I pfft on you. A big fat pfft. Come here, accept my pfft. I got one good game from him out of 57! Holy schnikeballs, I got only one good game from my 2nd rounder? Please, neighbor’s cat, don’t confuse me for a ball of yarn as I curl up in a ball and sob. Please, stop tapping me with your paw. I am not a ball of yarn. So, can Upton turn it around? I believe he can. At least moderately. Last year, he hit two homers and .196 in June and .162 in July. And you still drafted him this year, so apparently you don’t care about two-month slumps. In 2014, he had a month of .226 with 3 HRs and a month of .169 with 3 HRs. This year in April, he had a 38% strikeout percentage, 34% in May and 22% in June. He’s already seeing the ball better. If he finishes June with 6 homers and .259, then hit .343 in May, would you be shocked? Well, you shouldn’t be, because those were months he did last year when he also had two sub-.200 months. Upton gets awful for months; it’s what he does. He also gets hot for months. Unfortunately, the slump months came to start the season so it was more pronounced. Pronounced specifically as: Gäd, h? s?ks. And, remember, it takes the Uptons a while to adjust to new leagues. It took Melvin Upton three years and a first name change to adjust to the NL. Hopefully, this is the start of something so Justin doesn’t have to resort to being Melvin Upton Jr. Jr. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Platoon. The word fantasy baseball owners hate and the word that makes no sense in its context to anyone outside of baseball. The word that makes you wish death upon all left handed pitchers and maybe all lefties in general. (Don’t worry, they die earlier than us pure breeds anyway. Seriously…look it up!) (There’s also a tool for all platoon splits.)
And as we wish death to lefties, we think to ourselves… is the platoon a death sentence for your fantasy player in a shallow league? How much does it really even affect your player’s value? Well, let me do the dirty work for you.
In this write up, I show you which teams are expected to see the most lefty pitchers for their 162 game season based on the percentage of likelihood they face a lefty in any given game. It sounds like a lot, but I am the king of taking shortcuts. Instead of looking at projected starting pitchers for all 15 NL teams, I used probabilities (based on % lefties in a given teams’ rotation), to identify which platooners might be spending the most and least times on the bench.
Now if your head isn’t spinning by now, then I failed at my job. Take a look for yourself and hopefully it makes more sense:Please, blog, may I have some more?
We are so close to the top 20 starters you can almost taste it, and it tastes like limoncello. I wonder why that is. From the top 20 outfielders through to this top 100 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball has been like the greatest mini-series ever. Sorta like what I hope the O.J. Simpson show is. By the way, don’t Google O.J. Simpson, major spoilers! In most fantasy leagues, you won’t need to draft guys from this top 100 outfielders, and they’ll be waiver wire pickups. A few of these guys will be drafted by people saying things like, “I’m really loving (fill-in name from this post) as a late sleeper,” then those same people will get to the middle of April and be saying things like, “I can drop (fill-in player’s name), right?” As with other rankings posts, I go over where tiers start and stop and my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I also considered “Yas Many More Holmbergers Please” but the title isn’t really what’s important here. What’s important is how awful David Holmberg is and how happy I am to load up on some Diamondbacks this evening, especially AJ Pollock. First, let’s touch on the dumpster fire that is David Holmberg. Well, he has a 5.95 ERA for starters. That could be a small sample size, though, as he’s only pitched in 4 games and is fresh off a 2 IP, 7 ER outing at the Dodgers. So, before that trainwreck was a 3.06 ERA. Not too shabby you say. Well, his FIP and xFIP tell a different story, they are 7.33 and 5.81 respectively and even before the 7 ER outing they were each sitting around a 4.90. We can even go back and take a look at last season’s 30 IP and see the 7.60 FIP and 5.86 xFIP. Those numbers are eerily similar to this year’s numbers through 19.2 IP. Holmberg has spread the love quite nicely with righties and lefties as each has a wOBA over .350, with righties earning a slight bump (.390) which is why we are focusing our attack there. In addition to all of this, all of Holmberg’s pitches have a negative value and his fastball has been especially bad this season. Guess who the second best fastball hitter (behind Goldy who is simply a beast vs. everyone and every pitch type) on the Diamondbacks is this year? AJ Pollock, come on that one was easy! Pollock is enjoying a very nice breakout season. One of the many great things about Pollock this season is it doesn’t matter who he’s facing, he’s raking. The trouble in DFS sometimes can be when you identify that mint matchup vs. a certain handed pitcher, only to have that pitcher pulled after 3 IP and 6 ER and you mint matchup goes out the window as your play is pulled for a pinch hitter. No fear with Pollock, he’s an equal opportunity masher. Here are Pollock’s slash lines plus wOBA vs. first righties: .309/.365/.471/.361 and then lefties: .316/.368/.490/.372. Pretty remarkable right? All this is to say Pollock is a stud and Holmberg is a dud, so fireworks should be in the air at Great American Ballpark tonight.
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?
Greg Bird was called up by the Yankees. I wonder if when Greg Bird dies his ghost will be harassed by a 1980’s black gang calling him Larry Bird. But, more importantly, let’s pray Bird doesn’t wear ball-hugger shorts. Whoever thought those 1980s shorts were a good idea? They were so tight, you can tell which players manscaped. When Marv Albert said someone was dribbling a ball down the court, I had to wonder which ball he meant. Yes! Bird, Greg that is, has done nothing but hit at every stop in the minors — 20 HRs in Single-A in 2013; 20 HRs in 2014 across three levels; 12 HRs across two levels this year with six homers in only 34 games in Triple-A. He’s also not the type to strike out a lot and knows how to take a walk, and not like it’s a bad thing as, “Hey, take a walk!” Bird started yesterday (0-for-5), but for now he’s a bench bat, but I get the sense the Yankees are going to start looking towards the future as of next year and Bird should be someone on dynasty and keeper radars. And you know I have me some radar love. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hishashi my dashi — slurp SLURP! Yesterday, Hisashi Iwakuma threw the AL’s first no-hitter since 2012, a span of three years (nice math skills, Grey stache!) This wasn’t an easy, rollover and let me scratch your belly, Padres club he was no-hitting either. This was no “Get out your Slinky and drop it from the top of the stairs and it’ll go all the way to the bottom,” this was more of a “Drop your Slinky and watch it get two stairs down, and then Chris Davis comes up and flattens one into the Pike’s Market concourse, and then one of the fish guys throws it back and then Machado comes up orders a Flat White with almond milk and he hits one over one of the 16,000 Starbucks* in the greater Seattle area.” Wow, I got totally lost in that analogy. Iwakuma’s ERAs are all over the place in his time in the states, but I’ll say this, everything else is nearly identical. His K/9 is always within point five, his xFIP is 3.29 now and it was 3.28 in his 2nd major league season, his fastball velocity was 88.9 last year; it’s 88.9 now, his walk rate is 1.5, it was 1.1 last year. This year, he’s given up more homers, that’s been the difference. You’d have to assume in Safeco homers would come down and Iwakuma would go back to being a mid to low-3 ERA pitcher. *I did the Segway Seattle tour during the All-Star break counting them. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m going to take you all the way back to February of 2015. Rachel Dolezal was still black, Bruce Jenner was still a man, Donald Trump was still a floppy-haired airbag — a hairbag, if you will, Coach Taylor wasn’t yet a killer, Jon Snow was still a keeper of the wall, “on fleek” was still gibberish, gas cost only “eating a lentil salad with a side order of milkshake,” the White Sox lineup was “stacked,” Christian Yelich was still asking people to take him to see an R-rated film, the North Korean government just released their one movie a year, the 1985 classic, Just One Of The Guys, the Cardinals were looking at emails Jeff Luhnow sent to the CEO of Home Depot about getting custom-order ladder shoes for Altuve and Anthony Rendon was still a first round draft pick. We didn’t seem naive then, but apparently we were. Or were we?! Nice reversal, Grey! Rendon’s value right now is nowhere near where it could be in a month’s time. Right now, he’s interchangeable with Omar Infante, aka Hispanic Baby Omar aka HBO. There’s nothing at all exciting about Rendon. Prior to his injury, he looked like the new Cano (not the new old Cano, which is awful). Rendon looked capable of 25 HRs, 15 steals and a great batting average. The injuries in March took some of the luster away, but he’s also not suddenly garbage, which is about what you could trade to get him right now, which is exactly what I would do. Trade for him before he comes out of his wigwam like Jenner, Dolezal, Trump — Well, Trump’s wigwam is still on his head, but you get the picture. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The election for the Sons of Sam Horn government would be an ever-evolving oligarchy. David Ortiz (1-for-3) would be the honorary Papi emeritus, Dustin Pedroia would be the Secretary of Sparky Anklebiters, Alejandro De Aza (2-for-4, 1 run, 3 RBIs) would be a stunt double in case of an assassination attempt, Pablo Sandoval (2-for-4, 2 runs) would be the ambassador to the International House of Pancakes, Wade Miley (6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.88) would be in charge of the Armed Farces and the election for president would be a popularity contest between Brock Holt (4-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .309) and Mookie Betts (3-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI) after Jackie Bradley Jr. was told to take a walk. For a half season last year, Holt hit .327 with three homers and six steals. So, he’s done this over an extended period of time before, and yesterday was the first day the Red Sox really have looked themselves all year, so I highly doubt Holt will fall much lower than the two hole in the lineup any time soon. If he’s available in your league, I’d definitely grab him. Brock Holt! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Razzball Exclusive! The Twins were seen on Saturday at the Factory Outlet Mall in St. Paul, shopping for an outfielder. Unhappy with the selection — everything was odd-sized or someone they had called up and sent down numerous times — they headed back to the car, deciding to go on to the Duluth Shop ‘n Zoo, a place, contrary to the name, that doesn’t sell animals. When they got back to the car, they realized they forgot their change purse in the mall. They raced back, but it was too late; it was gone. Frustrated and angry, they asked to use Spencer Gifts’ phone because they didn’t want to incur long distance charges on their own. Fed up and at their breaking point, they called up Byron Buxton, while also spotting a gag gift, fake vomit, that they shoplifted, figuring they can use it to play shortstop. Here’s what Prospect Mike said this offseason, “Buxton is ranked numero uno on my Top 50 fantasy prospects list, and it’s thanks to his ability to fill all five roto categories. He might be the closest thing we have in the minors right now to a first round fantasy talent with the power to hit 20 homers, the speed to swipe 30+ bags, and the ability to hit for a high average. Injuries limited him to 137 plate appearances in 2014, but that shouldn’t stop the 21-year-old from seeing the majors later this season. The ceiling is a perennial All-Star outfielder and a top ten fantasy player overall. In short, he’s wonderful and Grey’s terrible.” Oh, man, c’mon! In Double-A this year, Buxton had six homers, 20 steals (in only 59 games!) and was hitting .283. At points during this season, Mike has compared him to Carlos Gomez. That sounds like an apt comparison, which isn’t the same as roomier with two bathrooms. That’s an Apt. comparison. You should grab him in every league. Yes, even that 10 team league, where it’s you playing against nine of your email aliases. By the way, I can’t believe you’re losing to [email protected] Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?