I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day filled with fun, booze, and fire. And if you used your booze to start that fire then you get bonus points. Fireball! Damn I loved that movie growing up, it taught me so much about life. Funny story, my mom took my brother, his friend, and I to see that in the theater not noticing it was rated R, but even when she figured it out let us stay and watch anyway. In hindsight, probably not the best idea when my eight and nine-year-old self would repetitively repeat “thats my pie!” and “we got bush!” at all the wrong times. Before I move on, I have to share one of my favorite scenes. Okay, enough screwing around. This week, we get the usual suspects (weekly leaders and top-10), plus the return of the top-5 trades according to me, because I write this and get carte blanche on that content. *Does Poindexter dance.*

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hey, it’s Memorial Day weekend, so I assume most of you aren’t here. I guess I’ll be chatting with some of our playas’ from Europe and that New Zealander Steve. Damn, that came out like I’m hatin’ on Razzballs good buddy Steve. Sorry Steve, we miss you. With this title you might think I’m going to play a bunch of jazz tunes and that would be the most logical place to go, but not in the stream of confusion of my  mind. Of course I started with Dizzy from one of my favorite jazz albums, but then my mind took an odd turn to Herbie Hancock and how this song changed a lot of musical perspectives for me. After absorbing all of that I fell deeper into the funk and the brilliance of the godfather of soul’s backing band (now there is some dancing I want to see come back). Oh, that sweet sweet soul music from the Baby H to the contemporary Charles Bradley and Lee Fields. Now along the way, I had the local LA underground hiphop scene to deliver rare gems like the Breakestra, and speaking of hip-hop, I have to wonder what the world would be like without Herbie Hancock. Now, you might be asking yourself what this has to do with todays creeper or top 100, and all I can say is my mind is a place and I’m letting you step in it for a few. I also know you guys like talking about music so WTFN.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Cuban phenom and top prospect Rusney Castillo debuted for the Red Sox last night going 1-for-4 with a run scored and a fielding error on a fly ball that resulted in a few boos from the Sawx Nation. “You ahre nevah gunna be like owah Tawmmy!” Be nice you guys, he’s new. OK, so not the best debut, sure, but Castillo made good strong contact on a few fly balls and showed flashes of that speed we’ve all heard so much about. Russy was slashing .293/.341/.440 with six steals, two homers and 10 RBI in 18 games at Pawtucket, and Boston is in desperate need of an offensive jolt right now. If he’s still available in your league you need to go grab him immediately, he was number one on Prospector Mike’s Power Rankings and Grey told you to BUY. If I’m projecting conservatively, I could see 10-12 homers and 15 steals from Rusney with a .275 AVG, but there is a lot of upside here and the homer in me wants to project 25 jacks, 30 steals and .325 AVG, because that’s way more fun. He also has the same hair cut as David Ortiz so they should be best friends forever in no time, and that’s always a bonus, especially if your league counts “Hugs Received” as a category.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The year was 2005 and my buddy kept talking about his fantasy baseball team. I had no idea what he was saying most the time, because I had never played the game before. Actually I had barely watched any baseball at all. I was a jaded strike fan who was as casual as they come with my knowledge of the game. I knew a little about the local teams and that was about it. Any the hoo, he kept going on and on about this Ryan Howard kid until that name was stuck in my head. Fast forward to March of 2006, he talked me into playing with him and “his” friends for fun… and money. I get to the 10th round of the draft and I need a 1B, so I remember the kid that got drilled into my head the year before and I take Ryan Howard with the pick. That year he put up a 104/58/149/0/.313 line and I won that league. Actually I won for lots of reason, I rosterbated before I knew what that was and I streamed like a mofo. I also never gave him a dime, he took my entry out of my winnings, kept some of it for the next season and I played with them for free for the next five seasons. I hearted Howard like Grey hearts Giancarlo. He was my savior that year. I think I drafted Gagne in the 5th and Fatolo in the 4th… I had no idea what I was doing. But I learned the game by doing and picked it up pretty fast, and now you get to see me at least twice a week. If this angers you, then blame occasional commenter the Birdman for me being here. It’s all his fault.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There was a song in the 80’s by the surely-it-had-to-be made up stage name of Brenda K. Starr called I Still Believe. It was a typical, run of the mill, studio pop ballad sung by an artist who clearly made it her goal to sound like Madonna. It made the Top 20 in 1988 and Brenda K. Starr vanished into pop obscurity. Incredibly, her backup singer paid tribute to her former lead by re-recording it and having success in the 90’s with it. That backup singer, whose demo tape was passed forward by Starr to CBS Records and Tommy Mottola? Mariah Carey.

Early in the baseball season, it can be easy to look at some statistics and feel unsure whether someone’s previous year’s success was real or not. Corey Kluber came from the might-be level all the way to becoming the Klu-Bot, Cy Kluber last season. This year, Kluber has not looked so good, statistically, carrying an ERA of over 5.00.

But I Still Beliiiiiiieve in Kluber and I will sing it from the mountaintops. More importantly, I am happy to continue to roll him out in my cash and tournament games. In fact, I relish the fact that there is going to be a substantial part of the public that is going to back away from Kluber because of that fat ERA.

So why I am so sure that I am willing to perm my hair and sing as a soprano? For one, his K-rates remain rock solid, with a Swinging Strike rate of 13% and a K/9 rate of 9.3. These are elite numbers. That’s probably why his SIERA is much lower than his ERA, registering at a 3.20, which is 17th in the majors for pitchers with more than 20IP for this season.

In short, he’s still a top pitcher and due for some comeback. And all my singing will have been worth it. Well, to me at least.

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?

Mondays are just a mess. Most teams are traveling, the matchups that would seem to make sense sometimes just don’t pan out because of…well I don’t know what. I think travel fatigue plays a part. Look, we’re all human. You travel from place A to place B, finally get into your humble abode and are you well rested? Do you feel a bit of the lag of the jet variety? Just to clue you in, athletes may be millionaires but they haven’t built teleportation yet so just like you and I, they gotta deal with the troubles of travel. So for this Monday, I’m going a bit against the grain – unless that grain is for alcohol, then I’m all about said grain – and suggesting a pitcher who gets to enjoy a pitcher’s park and there’s no travel involved for him on this moving Monday. Said pitcher is Alex Colome, pronounced ‘CALL-uh-may’ but I just go with ‘Call On Me‘ given his stats. Over 10 IP this year, he has 10 K and zero walks. I know, sample size small, obligatory ‘that’s what she said’ following but the kid had aviary bird flu or sumpin’ to start the year or we’d have a larger sampling to work with. Now the Yankees are a hard team to K (19.2% overall, 17.6% on the road) so we are really hoping for some of those old bones in that Yanks lineup to have themselves a sleepless in Tampa Bay moment. As the call ain’t safe, it should be clear that this is a tourney only call and at $6,700, you don’t have to break you DK wallet to see if his endline ends up as beautiful as that aerobics instructor. Yes, you gotta click the link to get it. No, you shouldn’t really listen to the song. Yes, that is Steve Winwood…didn’t I tell you not to listen? But enough of my talk about Swedish techno tracks, it’s time for it. Here’s my blazing hot take on the Monday DK 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?

What are you all doing here today? It’s Mother’s Day… shouldn’t you be getting out of the basement and going to pick up the pizza for her for once! Go put on your fancy sweatpants, you know, the ones without the hot pocket stains, and put on actual shoes. Slippers or flip flops are not okay today. Seriously, try and do something! Did you remember to write her a Dear Mama letter? What about being mothers little helper and taking out the trash or refilling her bourbon? There are lots of things you can do to help out your Mother. I know they like telling you what to do or what not to do, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes. At least you know mama tried and wasn’t just standing in the shadows… I hope. Let’s be nice to her and  just lay off the yo mama jokes for the day? Cool. Oh, that’s right, you are here for fantasy baseball and not just songs and jokes. Yeah I got jokes.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ll be honest, picking a creeper early in the year is not an easy task. We have small sample sizes to work with, players under performing and pitchers very hard to predict. I ask myself every week as I prepare these: what angle can I find to make a call? What is a constant that doesn’t change? Where are my pants? Well, the third question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s like trying to figure out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. The other two are things we always look for, regardless of what point of the season we are at, are park factors, lefty/righty match-ups, Schmotatoness, and batter vs. pitcher history. For example, this week, Brad Miller plays six games and for five of them, he faces right-handers. On the year, he bats .348 against RHP (good thing), but among the five he faces this week, he bats .191 against (not so good), and Hitter-Tron (-$2.5) says he won’t be any good. I’ll pass too. That’s a little snapshot into my process.  This week, I’m going for Schomtatoness and park factors to make my call. Would you like to hear more? Oh c’mon, I’ll give you some Arby’s coupons? Dairy Queen? Fine, then skip to the top 100 and we can fight about that in the comments instead.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Call the Sons of Sam Horn! Get Matt Damon on the line! Someone tweet @RemDawg! Unfreeze Ted the Head! Avengers Assemble! The Red Sox are set to promote their next top super-prospect, Blake Swihart, today to serve as the primary catcher while Ryan Hanigan is on the shelf. If the legends spoke of in ancient Fenway lore are true, he could be the one who will bring balance back to a Red Sox pitching staff that has looked somewhat questionable in the early going. A late first round pick in 2011, Swihart gathered a lot of buzz in spring training this year after slashing .333/.375/.533 with a HR and 8 RBI. In 18 games with AAA Pawtucket this year he’s hit .338/.392/.382 with 3 doubles and 11 RBI. With just 22 home runs in five minor league seasons I wouldn’t expect much power from Swihart, but as a spray hitter the bat certainly seems to be major league ready. Initially, Boston felt Swihart’s defense needed a bit more seasoning in the minors, but there is unquestionably some offensive upside, especially in Boston’s heavy hitting, run scoring line up. Here’s what Razzball’s prospector Mike said last week about Swihart, who was ranked #11 in his Prospect Power Rankings, “With the injuries and such at the catching position right now, folks will be chomping at the bit to add Swihart to their teams when he arrives.” He’s so right, you guyz, if your fantasy catcher situation is anything like mine, you’re cycling out a cast of characters the likes of Nick Hundley, Tucker Barnhart, Crash Davis and Caleb Joseph, some of whom do more harm than good. I’d take a chance on Blake Swihart if you need a catcher, he’s owned in less than 5% of ESPN leagues but as soon as Brandi-Lynn from Southie finds out everyone will know so act quickly. There is potential runs and average here, and like every Sawx prospect, there is all that sweet, sweet upside, so here’s hoping Blake can rake.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Masahiro Tanaka hit the DL with a strained forearm. It’s not related to his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. So, here’s my question? Why not just play through the forearm strain too? That’s where he draws the line? It’s like, “I was fine sleeping with my wife’s sister, and having a baby with her that no one knows about, and plotting to kill my wife on a weekend jaunt to Mexico, but I will not jaywalk. Those people in New York are crazy!” You have nothing to lose, Tanaka, get in there and shank someone in the yard and Hacky Sack the ball to the plate! The Yankees haven’t announced how long Tanaka will be out, but maybe they’ll try to sneak in Tommy John surgery while he’s sleeping. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?