We have a full 15 game slate this evening, with the last game of the night featuring the Phillies taking on Peavy and the Giants at AT&T Park. I’m not a fan of late night talk shows, but I am fan of late night baseball. If you are out this evening, a cool party trick you can do is to open your DraftKings app and show your friends how many points Jake Peavy has. Over his last 5 starts, Peavy has average 19.1 fantasy points. But are those stats boosted by wins? No, he only had 2 wins during that time. Tonight, however, he should have high chance for the win against the pitiful Phillies, who have a 73 wRC+ and 22.1 K%. The odds makers in Vegas agree with me, putting Peavy and Giants at a -220 favorite. The Phillies and the Giants are on opposite paths right now. In the past 10 the Giants are 9-1, while the Phillies are 1-9. Peavy’s main pitches are a fastball, cutter, and a sinker. Against those pitch types, Philly has a league low average of .236 and slugging of .375 (2nd lowest). He has also rediscovered his ability to make batters swing and miss. His swinging strike rate sits at 10.8%, which is the highest its been in 2007. He has also been getting hitters to chase his pitches out of the zone. Hitters are swinging on 31.8% his pitch thrown out of the strike zone, putting him at 17th highest among qualified starting pitchers. Because of his low price and recent performance, other players should be all over Peavy tonight, but so should you! Peavy owners are going to be fired up about having him in their lineups. And with that, here are the rest of my picks for this Friday slate…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

It feels like only yesterday J.D. Martinez injured himself, and it was yesterday if you were roofied.  In his place, Steven Moya is filling in admirably.  Yesterday, he went Yardo Montalban as he Tattooed the ball two times.  Da plane, da plane…is flying right next to Moya’s homers!  My dear guests!  I am Mr. Albright, your host.  Welcome… to Fantasy Baseball!  Smiles, everyone, smiles!  No, seriously, smile, you paid a lot of money for those caps.  Moya now has three homers in his last three games, and if baseball is a game of inches, Moya’s got a lot of ’em.  79 inches to be exact.  Not saying he’s John Holmes, he’s six-seven and looks like an easy 35-homer hitter.  I watched him hit a ball the other way and he was like, “Yeah, okay, I guess I’ll hit this one out.”  He looks like the kind of guy that could twelve homers in a month.  If you’re power-starved, or just bored and wanna pick up a new player, I’d grab Moya.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Junior Guerra has a backstory that puts the odd in odyssey.  The Braves signed him as a 16-year-old catcher out of Venezuela.  In 2006, he had position reassignment surgery and became a pitcher.  As a herbathrowdite in Georgia, bathrooms and strike zones were hard to find, so he was released.  He found courage from the support group, “PAC IO,” which is Pitchers And Catchers Input/Output, and tried his hand at Independent leagues.  Eventually, he played in Mexico, Spain, and Italy.  In Italy, it was especially difficult to be a pitcher because every time a hitter came up to the plate a large, mustachioed woman umpire would say, “Guerra, you hafta throw the meatballs.  C’mon, the hitter’s starvin’ over here.”  And Guerra’s cheeks would constantly be pinched.  But, miraculously, Robin Ventura found him in Italy, while mistakenly thinking that’s where Jim Rome taped his show, and signed him.  Of course, the White Sox had no place for Guerra, and his journey took him to Milwaukee, allowing him to be the first person with an Italian stamp on his passport in Milwaukee since Arthur Fonzarelli.  Yesterday, he went 7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 11 Ks to move his record to 3-0.  He’s touched 99 MPH with his fastball, averaging around 92-95 and has a split-finger change that falls off the map like an explorer in the 1400’s.  Is he more than a streamer?  Hard to say at this point.  He will get strikeouts and faces the Braves next so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and grab him for that start.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My initial thought regarding the NL Central was that it was the best division in all of baseball. The St. Louis Cardinals won 100 games last year, while the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs won 98 and 97 games respectively. To put that into perspective, since 1969, there have only been 47 teams to reach the 100 win mark. The division almost had three in the same season! Wilt would chuckle, but wouldn’t be impressed. Anyways, most of the great philosophical enlightenments come from cartoons. This one being particularly relevant. Put another way, the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds are the cellar dwellers, both failing to win 70 wins last year. I guess the division is a microcosm of mankind. You got the “haves” and the “have-nots.” With two punching bags in the division, which elevates the win totals of the other teams, the NL Central cannot be considered the best division in baseball. That distinction probably goes to the AL East, but we are not here to talk about that. We are here to discuss the position battles in the NL Central. So without further adieu Pepe Le Pew….

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*balloons fall from the ceiling, sirens go off*  Oh my God, what did I win?  Little ol’ me was the winner of the “Only Person To Put Dustin Garneau In A Headline?!”  *more sirens, more balloons*  I’m also the winner of the first person ever to mention Dustin Garneau in a lede?!  *yet more balloons, yet more sirens*  Okay, what is it now?  I’m the first person to mention Dustin Garneau three times in one lede?  Great, can we kill the sirens?  My neighbors are gonna get annoyed.  What do I win anyway?  Dustin Garneau on my fantasy team?  That’s the worst prize ever!  So, I took on the monsters of the industry in an NL Only league that was hosted by Scott White at CBS and I came away with a team that is more imbalanced than Amanda Bynes.  This league is deep so hold onto ye old hat.  (If you want a shallower league, play against me and hundreds of your closest buddies in the Razzball Commenter Leagues.)  Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and some thoughts:

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As soon as you’re finished with this post, I want you to close your laptop, step outside and look at a bird in flight. Pick up a flower, breathe in its fragrance, sneeze from your allergies, wave to a neighbor and close your robe because you’re not just waving with your hand. How does that feel? Exhilarating? Then your dedication sucks! It should be a total bore. You should be more interested in whether or not I’m going to have a top 100 for the 2nd half of fantasy baseball tomorrow than what your significant other has been doing for the last three and a half months. Luckily, I will have a top 100 tomorrow, and your significant other can remain your fantasy team. Okay, enough hubbub on the tomfoolery! Yesterday, Rob Refsnyder went 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer as the Yankees called him up on Saturday to be their 2nd baseman. My middle infielder slot on all of my teams feels like the old adage, “Ridden hard and put away wet.” If a fantasy team slot could catch an STD, my MI slot would be it. There might not be a starter on any team that I haven’t tried once, thanks, Rendon! Refsnyder had seven homers and ten steals with a .290 average in Triple-A and looking at him, I’m immediately reminded of Pedroia. In other words, goodbye, Jace Peterson, hello, Refsnyder! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday was the first day of autumn; this demands a poem. I call this, “Naked Prince Fielder Has The Definition Of Melted Tootsie Rolls.” The passing of summer; it’s a total bummer. Word, word, word; man, I’ve gotten dumber. Michael Brantley was da bomb; Napoli’s mom has got it going on. Jose Abreu would’ve been a sweet draft pick; Frank Thomas sued him for copyright infringement. Kershaw’s FIP is 1.87 on all hitters; Sonny Gray’s got selective dyslexia, using my teams for his personal shitter. Everything will be okay in this final week; Avisail Garcia is on a streak! Garcia went deep twice yesterday for his 6th and 7th homers. If he’s out there, of course you grab him. I’d prefer to talk about Avisail Garcia for 2015 fantasy baseball. He was a preseason sleeper this year, and he will be again in fifteen-after-twenty because he missed five months this year with an injury. Yes, he looks like Miggy, but he doesn’t act like Miggy. He’s a 20/20 type guy without killing you on average. In this injury-plagued year, his stats don’t look exactly as he has in the past, but that’s probably due to shutting it down in April and starting it up in August. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years we look back at this year and see how it didn’t portend anything. Unless he really did learn how to take a walk, as he’s shown this year. Though, I kinda doubt it. I expect he’s a line drive machine, 17-20 homer and 15-steal guy with a solid-enough average. Think what you were expecting from Brantley, rather than what you ended up with. Now smoke a spliff! Oh, wait, I stopped rhyming about ten lines ago. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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If you’re one of the seventy percent of ESPN fantasy owners who haven’t jumped on board the A.J. Pollock train, let’s fix that for the weekend. The Diamondbacks’ 26-year-old outfielder has hits in 9 of his 13 games since returning from the disabled list and also has four steals. He’ll get a four-game set in Colorado heading into the weekend which is great for any hitter, but especially good from a steals perspective. Colorado owns baseball’s worst caught stealing percentage at 17%. The league average mark on the year is 27%. With Pollock currently owned in just 30% of ESPN leagues, he should be available to pick up. If he happens to be gone in your league, here are some other good steals matchups for this week in fantasy baseball…

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So, we had our first July 31st trading deadline deal, and it paid off for all the A’s fans who paid Oaktown’s own, Bubb Rubb, to break into Billy Beane’s office and turn his iCal forward a month. “Any ideas what you want to do for the 4th of July, Billy?” “I celebrated last month with some friends.” Screen spirals out and slam cuts to Bubb Rubb, maniacally (bubb)rubbing his hands together. When the A’s are playing like it’s playoff baseball in September, don’t say your mustachioed over-the-internet friend didn’t warn you. So, the trade that went down was Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel for David Addison Leave Me Alone Maddie Russell, who I will get to after this lede. Samardzija and Hammel both gain value going to the A’s, which isn’t often the case with an NL pitcher going to The Land of Milk and Honey-Flavored DHs. Wrigley isn’t a great place to pitch — one day it’s overcast with winds blowing straight out, another day winds are just swirling overhead like a toilet bowl genie. As we’ve seen in the past, pitchers can do just about anything in a short period of time. Could Hammel and Samardzija completely poop the sheets? Fo’sho. Likely? Prolly not. O.co is like Petco and Metco, a big cavernous wasteland for hitters and they have more foul territory than Roseanne Barr’s privates. Samardzija brings strikeout stuff to hitters that aren’t as familiar with him and could be the 2nd half’s Kazmir. Yesterday, in his first A’s start, he had a line of 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks. Dividends paying out quick there. Hammel keeps the ball down and O.co will love him. This trade only really hurts Tommy Milone, who was shipped to the minors. The A’s just made themselves a serious contender and having a friend in Bubb Rubb pays off once again. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?