After drudging through an Andy Dufresne-type tunnel for the top 20 catchers for 2014 fantasy baseball, I find myself with a group that actually really hurt or helped your team depending on how you drafted. If you went wrong with your 1st baseman, it could kill your season. Hey, Prince Fielder, no hard feelings from me. We are totally fine. Please enjoy these cyanide pills I made special for you. If you went right, you might’ve won your league. Last year, I said the end-of-the-season rankings of the 1st basemen was the sorriest group I’d ever seen. That remains true. Last year was sorrier. This group isn’t exactly the meow’s cat, but you didn’t lose your league due to these guys. You lost your league due to guys that didn’t make this list like Chris Davis, Mauer, Hosmer, Cuddyer, Votto, Trumbo, Allen Craig and the afatmentioned, Fielder. To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Cuban sensation Rusney Castillo did his part to ensure he’ll be over valued in fantasy leagues next year going 2-for-3 with a home run and a stolen base last night versus the Yankees. He’s now 4-for-7 with two homers, four RBI and a steal starting in center field in the past two games. I guess it’s pretty clear from his bat that’s where he’s most comfortable. With New England, the new home for Cuban All-Stars and Big Papis, sure to be buzzing all offseason over these final games, the hype should build enough that Rusney Castillo is the next Manny Ramirez by draft day. At the very least he’ll be the next Jackie Bradley, Jr.  Still, desperate times, call for desperate fantasy measures and Castillo could be a hot schmotato with a whole lot more to prove in these final two games than most players.  We know he can steal. We’re seeing him hit. Two homers in two days, people! It’s mathematical! You’re trying to win a championship, right? Well, this Rusney trombone could be the reach around your fantasy team needs for the final push. Did I just type those words that way? Doesn’t matter it’s my last day of the season, is anyone still reading this? If you are, it’s about time you picked up Rusney Castillo and let him help you bring home a trophy.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s an example from your own life. You walked into a bar and negged the first girl you saw. Told her she had nice hair, then immediately asked her how often she dyes it. Never worked before. This girl laughed and talked to your dopey ass. She even thought it was charming when you told her to pay the bar tab. Went home, had great sex and the next morning she’s moving some of her shirts out of her dresser, so you have room to bring a few of your things over. You tell her that’s not necessary and she shrugs, goes into the bathroom, calls her mother and starts crying loudly. Seemed awesome, turned out psycho. Now imagine she didn’t reveal she was psycho for three months. That’s Steve Pearce. At some point in 2015, he will start moving his shirts out of his dresser and you’re gonna feel real awkward. Right now, he’s insane. Yesterday, was part of that insanity as he hit two homers, bringing his season total to 20. No longer is the fortune cookie’s ending ‘in bed,’ it’s now ‘with Steve Pearce.’ There’s some noise about him changing his stance and that’s led to him having a breakout season. Yeah, don’t buy it. He’s 31 years old. Not the death knell for anyone, but when you’re barely rosterable as a utility man for a major league team for almost seven years, you don’t suddenly change your stance and everything’s great. He’s a 10-homer utility man, disguised as Jesus. It will end at some point in 2015, but for now Pearce your genitals, make the devil horns and ride the lightning! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What a world we live in. Just a couple of months ago, me telling you an Oakland stack would be a good idea would’ve lead to you rolling your eyes, giving me your best Charlie Sheen, and ignored the rest of what I had to say because I was clearly not giving any info others weren’t already doling out. YO GUYS LISTEN TO ME, KING FELIX IS A MUST START TODAY. Sheeeiittt, like we don’t know a top pitcher is a good get for the day. But again, days go by and still I think of the times when the Athletics were the stack du jour. You couldn’t tune into any write up about DFS without being told to at least throw in a Brandon Moss or a Josh Donaldson. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Not only have the A’s relinquished the lead in the AL West, they’re now scratching and clawing just to stay the lead wild card for the AL. But that’s what happens when guys like Moss hit 21 bombs in the first half and follow up in the second half with only three while hitting .178. Yes, it’s been that brutal. Why did they trade away Cespedes again? Oh well, what’s done is done. But that definitely makes them a nice stack on a day in which they should be good but probably won’t be looked upon given their offensive struggles. Fair warning here: this stack call ain’t for the faint of heart. The Athletics have scored more than 10 runs just twice in the last two months. This is an offense that’s been giving us more struggle face than Rob Ryan could ever muster. But I will be building an Athletics stack for GPPs today and yes it will have it some Donaldson and Moss. Heck, it might even get a Coco Crisp, Sam Fuld, Josh Reddick, and/or Adam Dunn. We all know everyone is gonna be on the COLvsLAD game in terms of stacks but that doesn’t always win you the tourney calls. You have to think outside the box and the Athletics have become just that. Oh and I guess we should talk a bit about why: Nick Tepesch. Hrm, you need more than that? Well what about his .378 wOBA away from Texas. Yes, he’s worse on the road than he is at home. Hard to do, I know, but given the Rangers season we can’t be all that surprised. But now that I’ve given you an off the wall stack, let’s get down to business. Here’s how I’d play today’s DK slate the rest of the way…

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 check theDFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rusney Castillo is expected to join the Sawx on Tuesday. Whoa, did you see that? There was a rainbow going over the world and when I said that it turned red. I wonder if that’s because he’s Cuban. Oh, it’s probably because the Red Sox paid to sponsor the rainbow. That makes more sense. I didn’t think Mother Nature would sell rainbow naming rights, but there ya go. Someone’s gotta pay for the sun; the world we live in. So, Rusney’s getting a little taste of how’s your father with the Red Sox, but I don’t think he’ll A) Play every day. B) Be much a factor this year. C) There’s no C. Now, for 2015 fantasy baseball, well, there we’re gonna have to talk for a sec. Sorry, I know you’re late to be moral support at your wife’s surgery, but she can wait. Here’s what Prospect Mike said about him previously, “The one tool that is not in question is (Rusney’s) speed. A 30+ steal season from Castillo is a possibility as soon as 2015. The power is still up in the air. Some have tagged him more as an 8-12 homer type guy while others have said 15 or maybe even 20 homers could be in the cards. With any player, we get lots of comps thrown around. Two of the comps I’ve heard the most are Shane Victorino and Rajai Davis. Honestly, the Davis comp makes the most sense to me. The one that makes the least sense is Grey, he’s just a buffoon.” Hey, what’s that all about? To me, the Rajai comparison feels heavy on the speed; Victorino seems a better equivalent, but, honestly, there’s a ton of unknown here. He could be anywhere from a 7 HR/20 SB fourth outfielder to a 20 HR/40 SB superstar. Victorino feels about right — 12 homers, 30 steals. The more I read that he only had 66 steals in 1097 plate appearances in Cuba, I wonder if the hype machine hasn’t taken Rusney and thrown him into the spin cycle, making him more than he is. Shizzton of risk either way you slice the cake, and, brucely, I love cake, so I hope you’re sharing. For this year, I’d take a flyer if I could platoon him. For 2015, I’d take the risk for something special, but don’t expect more than Victorino. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before we jump into the cash-filled DraftKings mosh pit , let your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru pull on your coat about something cool happening here that will change the landscape of fantasy sports forever – The Razzball 32 in 32 in 32 Tour is ready to hit the road. We’re talking a 50,000 mile rock and roll all night, party every day, psycho circus of fantasy ballin’ madness in full Razzball makeup! Starting next week, Razzball Radio will have shows from all 32 NFL cities and I’ll be posting the daily dirt on the football side of things so you can follow along. We hope to meet, greet and tip a few back with the Razz Army. There are still some spots available, so get your tix here and you could win a trip to Vegas with the Razzball crew.

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As we hit the dog days of the fantasy baseball season, my bankroll building has stalled. Sure, there’s still enough there for that week in Cancun, but I’m aiming for a month of fun in the sun. We’ve talked a lot of DFS strategy over the course of the season and you can check that here, here, or here. Oops, that last one was a link to gals in yoga pants, my bad. A question I was asked recently was how I feel about stacking teams. If you’re familiar with the strategy of stacking, go ahead and skip to the picks, I won’t mind, I get paid by the word anyway and just made an extra 38 cents telling you that. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, stacking is grabbing six hitters from the same team – usually the first six batters or two through seven. Generally, in 50/50’s or H2H games, I don’t stack teams. However, when it comes to tournament play it makes sense to go full-on stack attack mode. Why is it a good strategy? Hitters from the same team facing a bad starting pitcher have their production tied to one another, i.e. the leadoff guy gets a hit, steals second, the next guy singles him in and one of the following big boppers hits a bomb – it’s points for everyone, you’re on your way to cashing already and it’s just the first inning. Generally, I’ll enter three different stacks against the three worst pitchers that day and sometimes throw a sneaky stack in there as well. Using the DFSBot to choose your starting pitchers makes sense, but also check who the bot has at the bottom – that’s who we are picking on. Usually, at least one of my stack attacks will cash in a tourney. Last night, my A’s, Jays and Yankees stacks cashed in eight of 12 contests I entered while the hodge podge team I put together fell flat. Stacking works in tourneys and if you haven’t tried it give it a shot tonight here in our Razzball only creatures of the night contest.

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!

Here are your Guru’s stack attacks for Wednesday 7/30 on DraftKings:

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Yesterday, Alex Cobb‘s line was 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 12 Ks. March Grey, “You’re welcome.” April Grey, “Figures you show your face now.” May Grey, “You know how much crap I took for you, March Grey?” June Grey, “Seriously!” All the Greys start yammering over each other. March Grey, “Hey! Hey! Hey! July Grey, defend me here!” July Grey, “Don’t be too hard on him, Cobb was injured. He has a 2.23 ERA in July.” April/May/June Grey, “Shut up!” March Grey, “What about the Ks, July Grey? Tell them about those too.” April Grey, “We don’t want to hear it!” July Grey, “36 Ks in only 32 1/3 IP in July. Oh, and in April his ERA was 1.89, so I have no idea what your problem is.” April Grey, “Peer pressure.” March Grey, “April Grey’s still in a daze from Dozier’s April.” June Grey, “Yeah, April Grey, how’s Mike Morse doing too?” April Grey, “You know what? I’m hanging up now.” May Grey, “Probably wants to check on his Brett Lawrie-led offense.” So, Cobb hasn’t been dazzling all year like I expected, but his ERA is down to 3.54 on the year, his K-rate is 8.6, walk rate is 2.6 and his xFIP is 3.27. Everything I liked about him in the preseason still stands. March Grey, “That’s what I’m saying! Now, are you sending the bail money or what? This Nicaraguan prison sucks. Greys? Are you guys still there?” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You know how when you move out of a place, you throw out a majority of your stuff, but a few things you just slide into the cubbyhole behind the washer/dryer? Maybe nothing significant. Just something to leave your mark, like an old pair of underwear. Then in a few years, maybe ten, you go back to your old place, knock on the door and ask to see what they’ve done with the place. Once inside, you ask if you can launder your pants and while in the basement, you check for your old underwear, and there they are. You shake the rat droppings off them, breath them in and they still smell of you. What? You’ve never done this? Okay, you’re weird, but Jake Peavy did, and now he’s going to get to smell his old gotchies that he left in the NL West. San Francisco has a lot of hills and their pitching staff has gone over all of them. They’d like Petit more if he had more T’s and E’s in his last name. Want to spot a Giants starter in San Fran? Find a hill, go over it. They’re on the other side. This is a boost for Peavy’s value. Obvi! He had a 7.5 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9, which is borderline streamer in most shallower mixed leagues, but that was the AL East, and even while he’s been in the AL the last few years (while not pitching that great), he’s been solid vs. NL teams. They have no DH! The pitcher hits! Etc. Etc. Etc. Last night against the NL West’s best offense outside of Coors, he had a line of 6 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks. I’d take a flyer on Peavy in all leagues, and his next matchup on the Stream-o-Nator says it agrees. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Damn, after reading that title, now I want to eat pasta. Has anyone ever watched The Godfather and not wanted to eat Italian right after? It’s an American rite of passage. Once you’re old enough to crave Italian food after The Godfather, then you’re an adult. That should be the only test to vote or get into the military. “Listen, maggot, you want to go fight for your country? Then sit down and watch this three-hour movie and tell me what you want to eat afterwards. If you want a burger, fries and extra ketchup, you’re a baby. Go home.” Adam Duvall homered last night off Clifford Lee, and Duvall had 26 homers in Triple-A this year in 310 ABs. Of course, they play in the PCL, a league that pumps their baseballs with helium. He will only fill-in while Brandon Belt is on the concussion DL, but that could be anywhere from a week to a month. In NL-Only leagues, I’d definitely grab him, and even look at him in deeper mixed leagues, if you’re desperate. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As I mentioned in my first/intro OPS post, we’re looking at OPS differential by using expected (x)Homerun and expected (x)BABIP differentials. If you like Captain Planet or laser beams, or want to understand my general approach, then I recommend a gander. If you provide your email below, I can furnish the full list that you can sort. Wordpress doesn’t allow me to copy and paste it all pretty for you.

Let’s start with my xHR formula (PA*Ct%*OFFB%*HR/OFFB%). Here are the top 10 guys likely to drop off from a HR perspective: Albert Pujols, Adam Jones, Justin Morneau, Alexei Ramirez, Mark Reynolds, Charlie Blackmon, Ian Desmond, Brett Lawrie, Hunter Pence and Salvador Perez.

Here are the top 35 guys likely to drop off from a BABIP perspective that you actually might own (meaning I’m excluding the Martin Maldonados of the world): Josh Rutledge, Justin Ruggiano, A.J. Pollock, Josh Hamilton, Stephen Vogt, J.D. Martinez, J.J. Hardy, Eugenio Suarez, Hunter Pence and Matt Adams.

Looking at both xHR and xBABIP differentials, here are guys you might own that I would consider selling in OPS leagues based on their expected vs. actual OPS (the differential is in parenthesis just like this statement. See what I did here?):

Please, blog, may I have some more?