When I look at the top 20 2nd basemen from the end of the year rankings, I’m yawnstipated. So after the top guy went to Safeco and with no games played this offseason (that I’m aware of), the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball didn’t get better since the last game of the season. Last year, Matt Carpenter and Daniel Murphy buoyed the 2nd basemen, making them seem better than they were due to counting stats. I expect better this year than last year from a few guys, but just as many come with the “Bound For Disappointment” label. Hey, BFD would make a great acronym. I’m surprised no one has used it before. Oh, wait, in the age of the internet, everything is an acronym. Well, SAGNOF to that. There’s the position eligibility chart for 2014 fantasy baseball. All the 2014 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie. As always, my projections and tiers are included for the low, low price of zero dollars. Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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No worries, fantasy owners: Alejandro De Aza may not speak Swahili*, but this past month his numbers have been music to fantasy owners’ ears. With a .350/.418/.567 line in July, a strikeout rate that has decreased every month of this season, and already reaching a career high in home runs, there are many reasons for optimism. Yes, he struggled early on this season, but he seems to be rounding into form with an approach that attempts to hit for more power. And why not? After all, he plays in a park where Adam Dunn bunted for a home run** last year. I, for one (unless I can speak for more than one?), am embracing the slightly more homer-friendly De Aza. If he continues to steal bases, then he will add to the scarcity of players who steal bases, but don’t destroy your OPS (you know who you are). For the rest of the season, I believe that he will be able to maintain his current .278/.336/.444 line, which represents a slight dip in OBP with a nice bump in slugging. Anyway, here are some other guys I’m dreaming about in OPS leagues:

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Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, the latest Cuban raftee, is set to sign with the Dodgers. Hey, I’m no Quicken magician, but with the money the Dodgers spent on Yasiel Puig and Gonzalez, couldn’t they just have bought the island nation of Cuba and had all of their baseball players? Shoot, for an extra million in designer green camo fatigues, they could have Castro too. “I like the green camo fatigues that Heidi Klum wears in Munich. But no fur hood! If it has fur hood, you Marxist down the price.” That’s Castro consulting with his fashion police. Gonzalez’s repertoire consists of a mid-90′s fastball, changeup, curveball and forkball. Anyone that’s seen him believes he’s major-league ready now, but M.A.G.’s will probably be sent to the minors for at least a few weeks, so it’s doubtful he makes any real impact this year for fantasy. Maybe we’ll see him start two, three or six times in September, depending on how bad the Dodgers need a starter. If nothing else, this signing will give Puig someone to commiserate with on why there’s so much Gulden’s on Cuban sandwiches made here. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Chad Gaudin shut down the Diamondbacks last night, pitching seven innings, surrendering no runs while giving up just three hits, walking none and striking out eight for his fourth win. Throwing just 92 pitches, he could have easily come out for the eighth but Manager Bruce Bochy opted to go with four relievers instead, because, well that’s the most Bruce Bochy thing ever. Anyway, hello there, Gaudin. Have we met? You say you shook my hand while I was unconscious? Strange, but I’ll allow it. Poor Chad seems like an easy target ever since the news broke that he was arrested for lewdness in Vegas after groping an unconscious woman on a stretcher. That doesn’t sound that…bad….right? Errr. I don’t know the whole story, but perhaps he was trying to resuscitate her? Besides, we all get a case of “the honks” every now and again, amiright, fellas? Despite his inability to keep his hands to his sides, Chad Gaudin has been able to pitch incredibly effectively since stepping into the rotation. Since June 2, Chad has allowed two runs or fewer in six of his seven starts, with a 2.16 ERA and 35/9 K/BB ratio in that span. Gaudin is still under 20% owned in RCL leagues and he gets a good test versus the Reds next week at home. With a 0.55 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 33.0 innings at AT&T Park, Chad Gaudin is definitely worth a pick up in all leagues where you need help with starting pitching, at least until he gets suspended for groping Pablo Sandoval in the locker room.That’s sexual harassment, Panda!

Here’s what else happened last night in fantasy baseball:

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It’s doubtful that Chicago will start singing, ‘Baby, what a big surprise,’ when Garza’s traded. I don’t imagine there will be that many that are left holding their Putz when the Diamondbacks trade for a closer. Every fifteenth rumor you hear between now and July 31st has at least a two percent chance of happening. So, that rumor about how your old lady is sleeping with your mechanic? Still unlikely no matter how many times you tell her, “Quiet, the game is on.” This Buy is about a rumored trade of yours for Yoenis Cespedes that you can make happen. Cespedes was touched on briefly by JayWrong yesterday, which caused Boras to call Razzball HQ and ask that Yoenis stop being touched on now and fo’ever more. I’m here to say I concur — JayWrong shouldn’t touch on people, and I also concur Cespedes is a solid buy low with enough reasons to count on all 100 of Cespedes’s feet. With regards to his BABIP, he’s been getting unlucky. He’s been hacking a bit less, but saying a hitter hacking less is a bad thing is a stretch for even Rubber Boy Daniel Browning Smith. Yoenis has been swinging at less pitches outside of the strike zone, but more aggressive at pitches inside the strike zone. Cespedes is the kind of hitter who could have a huge 2nd half and suddenly be in the MVP conversation as Who. As in, Trout, Miggy and who? The only drawback is Cespedes won that stupid long ball hitting contest, so he might not be as low on the radar as he should be. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy and sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Despite not living in an MLB-market area, I have a great AAA team nearby.  I got to see Chris Archer pitch for the AAA Durham Bulls with his great velocity, luckily before his hit role in Coming To Tampa.  But after wanting to search for a career, he got promoted from Zamunda and went to Queens Tropicana Field in hopes of a complete game.  Well, when Houston is running out Carlos Pena at leadoff, as Kevin Garnett would exclaim, “Anything is possible!”

I’ve always liked Archer’s stuff, but the high WHIP was a big bugaboo.  Like Starship Troopers big.  But I liked him in spot starts, and all through comments on Grey’s articles last week, took Archer as my spot starter of choice against a lot of other fringe-streamers.  Score one for JB-O-Nator!  Ok, that sounds more like I’m an Austrian movie star in a political position.  Let’s take a look at how Archer did inning-by-inning, get to the Choppa Pitcher Profile!

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Yesterday, Matt Cain had his shortest outing of his career with 2/3 IP and 3 ER. At least Bochy had the sense in his giant watermelon-sized head to remove Cain quick enough that yesterday’s damage was that of a bad Heath Bell outing. Wait a second, did I just compare Cain to Heath Bell? I just rang my own bell and answered with, “Holy crap no one wants to be compared to Heath Bell.” Where did it all go wrong for Cain and can Cain (almost stutterer!) get it back to good, assuming you’re not just signing a Matchbox Twenty song? Looking at his K-rate from last year to this year, he’s actually been better this year. His velocity is fine. His xFIP is nearly the same as last year when he had a 2.79 ERA. The only big change is his luck and his walk rate. He’s missing his spots. This can come one of two ways. He can miss his spots off the plate and walk guys or he can miss his spots in the zone and give up hits and homers. He usually works up in the zone. Done it his whole career. If you miss up…up, it’s a ball. If you miss up…down, you’re Sandy Duncan with one glass eye while watching with your other eye as the ball is leaving the park. The Giants are saying he might not be healthy, but I don’t think Cain is hurt. Still could land on the Disgraceful List. More likely, he needs to tweak something in his mechanics. Until that happens, I’d stay away from him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The afternoon started with Matt Harvey. He pitched a stellar 7 innings with 13 Ks, but Terry Collins sent him out there in the 8th after throwing 110 pitches, which lead to two singles and a walk, three runners that the bullpen let in. After the game, Collins said, “I felt bad for Duda (who blew a chance for a Harvey no-hitter by not covering first base on Heyward’s infield single). I couldn’t let Duda make the only Metsake of the game. I was going to keep pitching Harvey until he screwed up. He’d have started the nightcap, if necessary.” Fortch, it wasn’t necessary, as the nightcap brought on Zack Wheeler‘s debut with a line of 6 IP, 0 ER, 9 baserunners (5 BBs), 7 Ks. To summarize, it was shaky as all get-out at first. He looked like he couldn’t hit the broadside of Precious. Then he either calmed, or realized something — if he could locate, no one could hit him. He can easily be as good as Harvey, but I’m guessing it won’t be until next year. Last night was the best you could’ve hoped for. To summarize that summary, he was shaky, then solid. To summarize the summary’s summary, Zack good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Hope everyone’s well rested and had a joyous Michael Bay Day. If you couldn’t be American yesterday, I hope at least you got drunk and ate a bunch of hot dogs. As they say in Mississippi, Amurica, spelling’s for sissies! The Mariners made it a bit more joyous for some of us fantasy baseballers when they demoted Dustin Ackley for Nick Franklin. Ackley was a guy I could never fully get behind, in a non-sexual way. He arrived in the majors with a ton of hype, but that’s more because Mariners fans lie to themselves more than anything Ackley showed. So, what does the Mustache King, Purveyor of Smart Stuff Who Should Be Able To Come Up With A Better Word Than Stuff If He Were That Smart think about Franklin? Brucely, I’m a bit meh, but I’d pick him up in all leagues and have. Franklin looks similar to Ackley. He has power and speed, but not in a huge way, which will be further suppressed by Safeco. Safeco: Where a hitter’s upside goes to die. Franklin’s best year in the minors was in A-Ball in 2010. To put that into a relatable comparison, you were your town’s best T-ball hitter, how well did you do in high school? You flunked out of high school? Point made. This year, he had 4 homers and 7 steals in Triple-A, and I’d put it at about a 25% chance that his end of the season numbers look the same for the Mariners. If you can’t find someone that can get you 4 homers and 7 steals from now until October, you’re not trying very hard. There is a chance for upside and he is only 22 years old, so I’d take the gamble and grab him. Best case scenario, 15 homers, 15 steals. Worst case scenario, he shows up at the nightclub you like to take your lady to, challenges you to a dance battle, beats you, screaming “You got served!” and your lady leaves with him. Most likely scenario, he hits 8 homers, steals 12 bases and bats .250, so watch how you spend your FAAB Benjamins on Franklin. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So for any of you esteemed loyalists to Razzball Nation who have not yet tried out DraftKings, the real question is why are you such a Schmohawk!?  Well don’t worry, we can trim that Schmohawk right off with an awesome offer from our friends at DraftKings to get you winning right away.  For any first time depositor to the industry leading daily fantasy site, if you deposit at least $25 you’ll receive an extra $10.  Hurry though – the offer is only good until Friday at 5:00 PM EST – aka when Grey gets up in the “morning.”  That mustache won’t comb itself!  You’ve got to enter through our link here into another CAN YOU TAKE DOWN RUDY GAMBLE (and Nick) CONTEST, which returns to Friday (the 24th) this week.  The contest is limited to 30 entries (up to 2 per person), with the winner receiving a ticket into another one of their huge six figures contests – the $100,000 Punch Out on June 14th.  But as always, there isn’t just 1 winner.  This week spots 2-5 will double up to $10 and 6-10 nab $5.  And if you’re a first time depositor, you can get your two entries this week essentially for free!

The last huge DraftKings $100K Spring Fling challenge last Friday had six Razzballers enter and commenter Pacochu got 54th and notched $200 buck-a-roos!  Not bad for a $5 entry, huh?  Hey Pacochu, next time we get cervesas at the cantina the Dos Equis are on you!  I don’t always drink beer with Razzballers, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.  Now I’m starting to get hungry for some tacos.

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