Let’s start on Jose Berrios with what Prospect Mike said, “Berrios has a great starter’s arsenal with a plus fastball (sits mid-90s) and a plus curveball coupled with an above average slider and changeup.  The ceiling is a #3 starter with good ratios and decent strikeout totals.  Most reports rave about his maturity and ability to make adjustments, which could give him a better shot at making it in a big league rotation.  Imagine a scale of good and evil with Maikel Franco on the good side and that Albright fella on the evil side, Berrios is more on the Franco side.”  Why am I a part of this example?  If I could quickly evaluate the Twins current crop of starters that are prospblocking Berrios:  Garbage, More Garbage, Utter Garbage, Shirley Manson in Garbage, Magic Garbage.  (Magic Garbage is Utah garbage where you find soiled magic underpants.)  I haven’t even started talking about how Berrios was bred in a lab in Knott’s Berry Farm by founder of the boysenberry, Rudolph Boysen, whose grandchild killed his parents and is currently behind bars (true story; yes, you’re dropping the ball, Dateline, by not featuring this).  The only thing that’s been stopping me from adding Berrios in every league is I have no idea when he’ll be called up.  I would add him now to see if he’s called up when rosters expand on September 1st, then drop him soon after in redraft leagues if he’s not called up.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*swirls a glass, takes a gulp. spits it back in a bucket*  “That’s vintage Justin Verlander,” said Kate Upton.  “Okay, this might sound gross, but can you spit into my mouth?”  That’s you getting up the nerve to say something to Kate Upton.  I just thought of a moneymaking idea for Shark Tank!  You stand outside of Comerica Park with a cardboard cutout of a naked Verlander and have people pay $10 to take a picture with him, pretending to be Kate Upton.  Oh, and no, this post isn’t an attempt to Bleacher Report up Google’s rankings by mentioning Verlander and Upton repeatedly, though it does seem that way…Verlander/Upton, Verlander/Upton and Verlander/Upten for the illiterates.  So, Verlander did look magnificent yesterday until the 8th inning when he began to tire, ending up with a one hitter –> 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners (1 Hit), 9 Ks with an ERA at 3.45.  Big Magoo captured Verlander’s upside about two weeks ago with this post.  Worth reading, but the key part (cause I know, y’all can only read so much), “Since the All-Star break, Verlander’s 7.25 K/BB ratio is the 5th highest among qualified starting pitchers, and his 1.1 BB/9 is the 6th lowest.  He shares the same swinging strike rate (12.1%) as Jake Arrieta and Gerrit Cole over that span as well.  Now, excuse me as I go drain the weasel on a picture of Grey.”  Hey, wait a minute!  I didn’t remember that last part.  So, if Verlander is out there in your league, the one-hitter yesterday doesn’t seem to be a hirame.  Sorry, I just had sushi.  It’s not a fluke.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last week I looked at some players who are more or less widely available and could be useful to rebuilding teams in keepers and dynasties. All of these players are available in the majority of leagues in both the CBS and Fantrax formats, which cater to dynasty players. There’s obviously some risk attached to all of them, but I chose to focus mainly on players who are already in the majors or the upper levels of the minors…the reason being you don’t want to get stuck in a rebuild forever by missing on guys who are four-plus years away. I was able to get my hands on these names in 12, 16, and some even in 20-team formats. They’re not necessarily superstars, but rather interesting pieces given the option to keep them heading into next year. Grabbing them now in free agency can save you the headache of chasing them down in the spring once everyone’s “sleepers” etc. are announced.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It feels like only yesterday when everything was right in the world.  An animated blue bird landed on my window ledge and sung to me about boobies and other things the republicans want to make illegal, then another animated bird joined him and sung to me about foie gras and other things the democrats want to make illegal, then a centrist animated bird landed and said a lot of nothing that could neither be refuted nor approved.  Why do I have all of these damn cartoon birds but no Carlos Carrasco?!  Yesterday, Carrasco hit the DL with a sore shoulder.  This sounds to me like an early shutdown is not too far off.  “Hello, shopping mall ear piercer, can you put a diamond stud in the hole in my heart that Carrasco left?”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique.  This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief.  Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed.  Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you?  Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way.  Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring.  Scary good.  May be best of Cubs lot right now.”  Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed.  If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances.  Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming.  On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur.  Or make that, as craptastic as those guys.  In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel.  Time, not the magazine, will tell.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s not often we look to Arizona for help in the pitching department. I mean, we’ve lovingly referred to Chase Field as Coors in the desert, Coors Lite (cuz when you make a reference, it’s gotta be about beer even when it’s bad, amirite?), Rocky Mountain High at Sea Level…hrm, that last one I’ve never heard but maybe it’ll become a thing now? Whatevs, the point is, it’s a bit of a risk taking on an arm from these games because the field plays so well for hitters. Make no mistake here, there’s nothing safe about starting Robbie Ray here. His skillset doesn’t truly inspire confidence and that’s evident by his recent run. Overall, he’s a situational pitcher and that’s what has put me on him today. Prior to yesterday’s 8 run outburst, the Cardinals offense had been abhorrent of late, putting up a measly 86 wRC+ in August while K’ing 22.3% of the time. What makes Ray even more intriguing is that the Cardinals numbers vs lefties on the year are identically bad vs southpaws overall, sitting at 88 and 22.8%, respectively. You’re not looking to Ray to score you more than 30 but at his $6,300 price tag, a healthy 20 to 25 point range isn’t going to hurt you at all. And with that, let’s move on. Here’s my desert hot takes for this Monday DK slate…

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?

Mike Fiers threw the first Astros no-hitter by a single pitcher in over 20 years last night and the very first no-no in Minute Maid Park to make his way into the Houston record books, alongside Houston greats such as Beyonce, Dennis Quaid….uh, Rory Gilmore…did I say, Beyonce already? Anyway, even more impressive, the 30-year old Fiers did it against one of the leagues top offenses in the LA Dodgers. You probably wouldn’t have started Michael Fiers unless you owned @#$%ing Michael Fiers! Fiers walked just three batters and struck out 10 in what was also his first career complete game. It took Mike 134 pitches to get through this one, but his stuff seemed to get better as he got deeper into the game. It was his first win with his new team. After struggling in relief in his first appearance with Houston, Fiers settled nicely into a starting role that he will be unlikely to relinquish after last night’s dominating performance. He’s allowed just one earned run in three starts with Houston, with a 19/6 K/BB rate. Fiers struggles with control at times but when he’s on the strikeouts numbers are nice and he can be a very useful fantasy starter. He’s available in over half of leagues and gets the Yankees next week, I’d grab him if he’s out there, he could be a helpful guy to own as the Astros make their run for a pennant.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sup Sunday goers. Our resident Ralph had himself a thing on Saturday. A thing I don’t really wanna repeat in public so lets just say there were multiple piercings and paddleboards involved and mayhap a few types of ‘beads’. Needless to say, he asked to switch days and after explaining to him that next time he could just tell me he’s really busy and I don’t need the whole story, I humbly and nervously obliged. So here I be and here be Jeff Locke. Jeff isn’t that good of a pitcher; maybe league average. He’s just not one of those guys who’s going to have an All-Star season out of the blue and for streamers and DFS’ers, that’s just fine…wait, he was an All-Star in 2013? Man, I hate that game. Anyways, he only gotta be good once for us to be happy and he’s being spotted a prime matchup to make just that happen. Yes, we all know the Mets have performed well since gaining Yoenis but even he can’t help them with one major thing: their atrocious numbers vs lefties. On the year, the Mets rank 2nd to last at 24.2% for their K% against left-handed pitching. Only the Padres are worse at 24.3% so we are really comparing rotten apples to rotten apples here. Add in a miniscule 84 wRC+ and you’re looking at Locke’s chance to at a cheap $6,400 on DK. On a day with so many good options, there’s no need to risk him in cash but Jeff has 25 point upside with the matchup he’s been handed and if I’m multi-lineup building today, I’m gonna have some exposure to him. But enough about what’s under this overly large, brown dust-coat, let’s get on with the show. Here’s my publicly indecent hot takes for this Sunday DK slate…

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?

Whatever happened to Flavor of Love? That show was my jizzoint! And Rock of Love, its companion piece, was the Better Call Saul to its Breaking Bad. You can’t tell me those two shows went off the air because Flavor or Brett found love. They were both likely married when the shows aired. It wasn’t about love, it was about meeting incredible people and finding out about other cultures..and watching girls fight! So, Matt Boyd rang ’em up and rang ’em down (Is that the saying? Let’s say it is!) with a line of 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 2 Ks. Boyd came over to the Tigers in the David Price trade, which is different than the Star of David trade, which sent a necklace to Bernie Hermowitz for a mah jong set. Sadly, Boyd is a streamer for most mixed leagues with his 91 MPH fastball and likely 6 to 7 K/9. In his next start, he gets the Royals again, and no matter what the Stream-o-Nator says, I wouldn’t touch him, not unless Mo’Nique’s taking him under her wing at Charm School (another great show!). Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m still not entirely sure what the Braves were doing at the trade deadline, but Alex Wood found himself in a much more favorable position. For his first start in Dodger Blue, he’ll be on the road facing a familiar foe in the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies are, of course, always a team we like to target. Being in the bottom 5 of just about every offensive category will earn you that dubious honor. Alex Wood hasn’t exactly been peaches and cream this season, his Ks have disappeared and he’s been a bit WHIP-y. These are things I’m willing to deal with when the price is right and $7,400 is right. The best part of the match-up is Jerome Williams is on the other side of the mound so a win is all but guaranteed. The Dodgers should tee off on Williams, pushing him ever closer to the retirement he deserves and Wood should be able to cruise to the easy win. With any luck he gets to relax early and can let it fly vs. the woeful Phils. Wood is one of the biggest favorites on the night and makes a nice second tier pitcher to throw alongside the ace of your choosing.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 15 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?