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?

Yesterday, Wil Myers went 2-for-4 and his 11th and 12th homers as he hits .294.  How many posts does Wil Myers have with his post-hype sleeper?  More than the postman at the postoffice marking his post-lunch post-time with some extra postage licking and complaints that they have their postbaccalaureate to sort postcards without postcodes wishing they were postcoital not dealing with postapocalyptic posturing about the postage for the postmortem envelope they pulled out of the garbage that now looks postmodern.   Nah’mean?!  That’s 14 posts, kid!  Damn, I should be on Def Poetry Jam.  I know you wish there were some sleepers you could unswallow, but Myers has been the one shining light in a sea of brown, cloaked Padres.  This could be the last year that he’s even a question mark and not owned from start to finish.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This week’s most added player in ESPN leagues, Oakland A’s third baseman Danny Valencia (63.8% owned; +36.4% over the past week), has undergone quite the transformation over the last calendar year. Prior to the 2015 season, he was just a part-time player who mashed left-handed pitching in the Ryan Raburn/Scott Van Slyke mold. From his MLB debut in 2010 through the end of the 2014 season, Valencia’s .870 OPS vs lefties far surpassed his .615 OPS against right-handed pitching. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, it’s been business as usual vs LHP (.907 OPS), but he’s improved considerably against RHP (.845 OPS). His ISO also jumped from .142 (pre-2015) to .225 (2015-present day) during that period. Hmm… a player displaying a huge power surge at 30 years old isn’t suspicious at all! Well, there may be a couple of reasonable explanations for Valencia morphing from Kelly Johnson into Ryan Braun at the plate virtually overnight. The first thing is the addition of a leg kick in his swing courtesy of former teammate and elite slugger Jose Bautista. The second thing is the opportunity to play every day. Valencia never received that opportunity until late last season in Toronto, and his performance during that time convinced the A’s to give him a shot as their starting third baseman. Through his first 14 games this season though, Valencia’s power disappeared, as he managed just a .353 slugging percentage with no homers and 2 RBI in 55 plate appearances. Maybe that power surge was just a fluke after all. After a DL stint at the end of April into the beginning of May, however, the power returned with a vengeance. Since returning on May 7th, Valencia has produced a .354/.360/.729 triple slash line, which includes smashing 6 homers across five games from May 13th-17th. He looks like a good bet for a .280 average and 15-17 homers moving forward, so add him if you can (or more likely, try to get him on the cheap via trade).

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A Duvall hasn’t looked this good since Popeye starring Robin Williams.  You thought I was going Robert Duvall and I steered it into Crazytown with Shelley Duvall.  By the way, don’t look at current pictures of Shelley Duvall.  She’s a Shelley of her former self.  I have a theory.  She had to do everything just so for Kubrick in The Shining, to the point where she couldn’t even think for herself, then she started working with Robert Altman, who was like, “Do whatever you like, improv,” and going from one extreme to the other drove her crazy.  I’d put money on it that this is the biggest update on Shelley Duvall you will ever get on a fantasy baseball website.  Any hoo!  Adam Duvall (1-for-4, and his 7th homer, hitting .284) has been crushing the ball for the last two weeks.  Now seven homers in 33 games.  Fluky, right?  Not so fast, Cousin Sweatpants.  Duvall hit 26 homers in only 100 games in Triple-A and 27 homers in 91 Double-A games.  He was always a power guy, just never really had a chance to play.  He’s now getting that chance and proving he can continue to hit homers.  Will he hit anything besides homers?  That’s yet to be seen, but I’d grab him in all leagues where I needed power.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

atlanta-braves-logo

Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…Brad Rowland, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Atlanta Braves!

Note: Want to take on M@ in the Razzball Commenter Leagues? Join here!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Pacific Northwest siiiiide! Ouch! My fingers aren’t limber enough for a PNW gang sign. Gonna have to start that Phalanges yoga I’ve been meaning to do…but hey, that’s my problem. Wanna know what else my problem is? Bad beer. I’m a beer snob, proud of it. The history of drinking bad beer started when the US government put the smack down on home brewing. You know, that whole ‘prohibition’ thing that went over so well. Take note, War on Drugs! But my point is, don’t bring your watered down swill up north here, we’re doing just fine with our micro brews, thanks. With all that said, in comes the Colorado Rockies to Safeco Field. Yeah, the Rockies have played like their stadium name this year: bland, tasteless and lacking substance. This not so perfect analogy is a great way to look at the Rockies as a whole, especially when you take them out of their friendly Coors confines and throw in a lefty starter to boot. The numbers ain’t pretty, folks. The Rockies are bottom of the wRC+ barrel against lefties on the year at 66 and the next closest team – the White Sox – ain’t even close at 75. Factor in the 23% K rate and you’ve got one good reason to start Roenis Elias today. The other? Those road stats, bro. Rockies are barely 2nd worst carrying a 79 wRC+ – just ahead of the Twins wRC+ of 78 – while K’ing 23.9% of the time. All this lines up just fine for starting Elias in the friendly confines of Safeco. Starting opposite Yohan Flande, Elias not only has a great chance for high K potential but also the win and maybe a beer shower afterwards…ok, I lied, I don’t mind Coors for once. No IPA baths needed, break out that crappy six-pack! And then finish your night with a tasty cold one when you’re done. But enough about me not so silently judging you, let’s move on. Here’s my Chipotle Ale hot takes for this Saturday DK slate…

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! 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?

Yoenis Cespedes went 3-for-5 with his 31st homer and, like, his 12th homer in the past week.  Doode’s straight combustible heat.  Like a fatty steak on the grilling heat.  Uh-oh, I feel my rap altar ego, B-Fire, coming on.  Cannot stop the blaze.  Like a Scottish sheep, I can’t stand here, I gotta graze.  Between Monday and Tuesday is a hidden day called Muesday, between Monday and Sunday is all Grey’s days.  I watch a Merchant-Ivory period flick with my piece, because I’m strapped and going through a phase.  Shh, it’s my Victorian secret.  Whomp, there’s another Yoenis hit.  Cepedes is so on-lock it’s like he’s got a hundred legs all stuck in tar pits.  For my Def Poetry Jam audition tape, this I will submits.  I liked About Schmidt, but why Kathy Bates gotta get out of the tub naked with her flabby– Nah, I need to quit.  So, on the year, Yoenis has a line of 93/31/92/.298/7 and is nearly top five for all players on our Player Rater, not just top five outfielders, and, for 2016, it’s going to be real hard to knock him down much past the 2nd round.  Unless, of course, the Padres get their grubby mitts on him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about U2. I already go over boring hitters below. Seriously, they are one of the most overrated bands ever. They are like the 80’s and 90’s version of the Eagles. The closest they get to my iPOD is this song. This week we are going in a different direction than before, because I killed the Top 100. After receiving Grey’s blessing (thanks bossman!), here’s what’s going to happen: After going through the evolution of ranking players this season, it became clear to me that it wasn’t working. By June 1st, you know what you have and it’s generally a good point to start making trades to address needs. As the season goes forward, those needs get increasingly particular until you get to this point. After some discussions with Mike, Sky and Big Magoo, I got some good input and a really confusing emoji text conversation with Sky. Still not sure if we cool, but I got my Japanese friend coming over later to translate. This week, I have a Top 50 Hitters and a few sub lists for you to check out. Every week, it’s my plan to mix a few different sub lists in to help cover all bases… pun point!  I have included Steamers, ROS, HR/SB, projections, the ROS player rater, dollar values, and my own HR/SB projections. Don’t worry if you don’t see someone here, they are probably going to appear in another list next week or thereafter. Some people may even appear on multiple lists. You never know? Any questions? Good moving on…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As Jeff Probst once said, “Turnabout is Johnny Fairplay,” which was his mashup of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart line, “Turn around, bright eyes,” which was co-opted by a children’s toy commercial with, “Turn around, Rainbow Brite eyes,” which was Elmore Leonard’s original name for a pedophile, which he changed to short eyes, and short people have big reason to smile, unless they’re not wearing shoes and, yesterday, Matt Shoemaker threw a one-hitter into the 8th inning.  *takes a breath, bows, exits like Tommy from this season of MasterChef*  And scene!  So, Shoemaker returned from the minors yesterday and did exactly what we’d hoped from him since March — 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 5 Ks.  He will remain in the rotation, but I wouldn’t indiscriminately add him in all leagues.  I would give him a shot in his next start in Oakland, and go one start at a time from there.  While you’re wearing the kid gloves for Shoemaker, hopefully you don’t accidentally Like an Instagram post from two years ago by someone you once dated that you’re now stalking.  Been there!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m channeling some inner-Albright this week. Seat of your pants son! Speaking of Grey, I used the photo he took of me giving him the Larry Bird for my new avatar since it made sense to me that I should use Grey’s photo on his site. In other news, I shook up my top-100 this week as we get to the third leg of the 400-meter stretch run relay. If you’re not in the top-60, then you can be cut at any time. If you are hot, ascending, or the type of player who can go on a monster power or speed run, then I want you. Obviously, I couldn’t get everyone here, for this isn’t the Top-120, but you may notice the name brands in the bottom of the list. They are there because it’s difficult to cut some of them, but if you must, then you must.

Please, blog, may I have some more?