Devon Travis was activated from the DL yesterday (1-for-4, 1 run).  Be interesting to see what he can do in his return from shoulder surgery.  Shoulder surgery never really stopped anyone from doing well before.  “Yes, Michael Brantley?  Ask your question.  Okay, if you’re not going to ask your question, at least put your arm down.  You can’t put down your arm?  Oh.”  The Blue Jays said that Travis could move up the order soon, and hit leadoff.  No way, Azul Jays!  You mean Jose Bautista isn’t a leadoff hitter?  That’s downright shocking.  I never would’ve guessed that.  Shiver me Timberlands, and stockpile my hatch chiles before Trump kicks New Mexico out of the union.  There’s been a lot of talk in the comments about how unenthused I am for Travis, and it’s not entirely true.  I would take a flyer on him in all leagues, but it takes hitters a while to return from shoulder surgery, so I’d tempura my expectations.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Matt Harvey (5 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 6.08) briefly held the honor of having the worst ERA of any National League starter at 6.08, which means Harvey is the only one happy with Shelby Miller this year.  It’s time we addressed the giant imaginary rabbit in the room, Harvey.  The Mets thought that Harvey’s problems were mental and considered burning all of his locker’s contents to rid him of the bad juju.  Can you put his “animosity for Terry Collins” in the locker too?  How about his “bitterness at not being the star pitcher anymore?”  Does that fit in a locker?  What about “brooding?”  Does brooding fit in a locker?  Someone needs to salve Harvey’s ego with some Jergen’s lotion because you can see his buttsoreness (totally a word!).  His velocity looked fine yesterday, but his slider is not being located with precision.   Also, check this:  1st time through the order facing Harvey:  .241/.292/.373; second time:  .301/.326/.518; third time:  .509/.563/.764.  What does that tell me?  He’s having a hard time keeping his pitches fresh the 2nd and 3rd time a hitter sees him, which goes back to the slider.  I don’t think his problems are unfixable, but he may need a trip to the Disgraceful List with a mysterious ailment to clear his head and figure out his slider.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Sonny Gray hit the Disgraceful List with a combination of ineffectiveness and Grey calling him a preseason schmohawk.  My schmohawks:  Schwarber, Pollock, Gray, Tulo and Sano.  If I were Sano, I’d move into the giant bubble that Tulo is apparently living in to still be healthy.  Seriously, if you were placing odds in the preseason on which one of those would hit the DL, Tulo would be 10 to 1 odds as the first one; Pollock likely 2nd since he was nursing an elbow issue in the preseason; third would be Schwarber because he was playing a position he had no business playing and bound to run into a wall; finally, Gray because I put the kavorka on my namelganger, which is a magic spell so hideous that no amount of Creoles with an unlimited supply of chickens to sacrifice could reverse that hex.  By the by, everything I know of Creole black magic I learned from Angel Heart.  Gray has a 6+ ERA, so you can DL him if you have room, but I could see just dropping him if you don’t.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tolleson had his cookies tossed for the last time on Tuesday.  Or maybe Shawn Tolleson caused his owners’ cookies to be tossed?  Sounds too passive, said Flesch-Kincaid, but you get the idea.  By the by, why is tossing food so gross?  Tossing one’s cookies should be a glorious thing.  Who doesn’t want cookies tossed at them?  Please toss your cookies into my mouth!  Then there’s tossing salad?  That sounds healthy and like a spring morn.  Why is tossing salad so bad?  I’d love a salad tossing and a jog around the Maypole!  Any hoo!  There’s no more Tolleson, and Sam Dyson will step in as the Rangers closer.  Glad to see Rangers manager, Jeff Banister, finally react.  Though, it took a long time since Tolleson’s ERA is over nine.  Banister’s reflexes are so slow Bautista could’ve snuck in a punch on him.  Maybe they should’ve let Odor punch Tolleson’s card.  He would’ve been out on April 4th.  “You’re done!”  “That was one pitch.”  “I don’t care, now I will punch you.”  Sam Dyson should be owned in all leagues.  Will Tolleson regain the role?  Maybe, if Dyson gets injured, but it seems highly unlikely otherwise and can be dropped in most leagues.  Hey, Tolleson, don’t let the door hit you, where Odor split your lip.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! Sorry, always wanted to pretend I was the announcer for a monster truck rally…wouldn’t want to pretend to be AT one, exactly. Hell, wouldn’t want to be at one for real, either. Feel like I grew up in monster truck rally/WWE territory and have been doing my best to find intelligent life on Earth since and let me tell you, the occurrences have been slim…that excludes current company, of course. I’m sure none of you have an The Rock Fat Head in your room. Or better yet, I’m sure none of you have one that you wish to reveal now save for maybe Tehol but said Fat Head is on the ceiling above his bed and I’ve stopped asking why about these things. Sometimes its best to just go with the flow and that’s what I’m doing with today’s slate. DK is telling me I have a lot of expensive options to choose from but we’re being presented with a nice middle of the road price of $7,800 on Joe Ross today. At this point in the season – the season that is a whole seven days of data worth old – I tend to angle myself towards a very simple approach. That simple approach is: is the player good and if the answer is yes, is his price good? Ross’ price is good so I’m sold. Last year, Ross ticked a lot of the boxes on the stats I love. Good walk rate? At a BB/9 of 2.47, yup. Then you ask, does he K anyone? At an 8.10 K/9 rate, yes he does. Then I ask myself, can he keep the ball in the park? With a 49.8% GB rate, I’d have to say that’s also an affirmative. Ross will be scattered across pretty much every lineup I have today as he comes at a great price and will probably go overlooked on a day where there are so many aces on the mound. So feel free to join me in grabbing a Natty…no, not those Nattys. That’s gross, bro; it’s 2016, there’s better beer than that. Instead, join me on this Joe Ross is boss Natty train and let the money follow you in. And with that, we’re off so here’s my Robosaurus hot takes for this Sunday DK slate…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Opening day is here! But it’s really tomorrow! But baseball happens today! Where are my pants! I’m so confused and happy all at the same time! Yes, it’s me. You might remember me from such posts as that one about that guy or that other one about that other guy. I am kinda well known in that respect. Now before you get all teary-eyed over this reunion, realize this won’t be my regularly spotted day. Think of me as the manager of a Grand Opening and I’m here making sure all the merchandise is where it needs to be. Also think of me as overweight with a heart condition and nearly suffering from a massive coronary, all while sweating profusely. No clue why on that, I just wanted you to have a fun start to the year. But speaking of start to the year, start Francisco Liriano. I know, that call took me at least 15 seconds to make. He’s the second most costly pitcher but he’s at home and the weather is chilly enough to help keep the ball in the park just in case Tommy Pham gets into one. HA, see I crack myself up, too! Look, it’s a three game slate, what were you expecting? I won’t have a huge amount of knowledge to dump on you in this post other than you should sign up for the DFSBot and make your life easier for the rest of the DFS season if you’re gonna play along with us. But with that, let’s make some bold calls. Here’s my opening day that’s not really opening day takes for this beautiful but brief Sunday slate…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

“With my last trick, I will make Paul Simon six feet tall, while throwing a 94 MPH fastball with pinpoint control.”  Then Ray Searage waved a fancy-style cape in front of the audience.  It didn’t block their gaze, but it was such an exotic-looking garment, they were distracted enough to not notice a six-foot-tall Paul Simon walk onto stage, towering over Art Garfunkel.  Simon then threw a brushback pitch while singing Home Plate Bound.  Prior, of course, Searage made the seemingly all-over-the-map Juan Nicasio into an ace.  Or at least an ace in spring training.  Do I believe Nicasio is fixed because of some spring training stats?  Actually, yeah, he could be, and is worth a flyer.  Last year, he averaged 95 MPH on his fastball, and his undoing was always his control, which Searage has helped other pitchers conquer.  Bring Searage your stuff, and he’ll make it work.  I added Nicasio into the top 80 starters and gave him the projections of 8-10/3.81/1.33/148 in 165 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Since the All-Star break, Joey Votto is hitting .399 with a .576 OBP.  His season line is 27 HRs, 70 RBIs, 81 runs, slashing .316/.457/.567.  Or as Reds manager, Bryan Price, would say, “I want to sew a sock puppet in Votto’s likeness, then put it on my c*** and–”  Okay, maybe we shouldn’t ask Bryan Price, he can’t keep things PG-13.  “PG-13 is for a man with a Cavapoo puppy.  Real men take their Votto-faced, sock puppet and pay an old stripper to suck its f****** yarn until those little f******** eye rolly glue-on things that you bought at Michaels Arts & Crafts store roll up into its f******* sock eye sockets.”  Yesterday, Votto had another big day in a 2nd half of lovely — 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 27th homer.  To recap, or just tell you for the first time, Rudy almost drafted Votto in the 2nd round of Tout Wars (it’s an OBP league).  Rudy ended up getting Donaldson and is in first place, so I’ll be sure to bid a penny on eBay for the world’s smallest violin for him.  But for 2016 fantasy, I have to think Votto is right there in the 2nd round again for all leagues, OBP or not.  Good for Joey, making pitchers ‘roo the day!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday 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?

Remember when Shane Greene was a thing?  Those were the days, spring had just sprung and there was so much hope, so much optimism.  Your team ERA was so pretty then.  You had a shiny new toy fresh from the free agent pool and after his second of two 8 IP, 0 ER gems, you were feeling like the smartest guy your league.  Then, April 24th happened.  4 IP, 8 ER vs. the lefty-heavy Indians lineup.  Still you believed and then, 4.1 IP, 7 ER.  You were wounded, beaten, bloodied and you team ERA was approaching the double digit mark.  If this sounds familiar, it’s OK, we’ve all been there.  Now is the time to act and seek a little revenge against the one who hurt you.  It became apparent fairly early that Greene had some trouble with southpaws.  In fact, his season splits read like a hall of famer to be, lefties are slashing .349/.401/.592.  There are a handful of pitchers I adore stacking against and when Greene was optioned to AAA, I was sad to lose one of the best.  Aaron Harang and Bud Norris can only do so much here.  Greene is back now though and in his first start back in the majors proceeded to go 4.2 IP and give up 7 ERs.  There’s the Shane we know and love.  I really can’t dream up a more nightmarish match-up for Shane besides maybe the Yankees in the house that Jeter built.  Seattle can go lefty-heavy with the best of ‘em and I could easily see another 3 IP, 8 ER outing here.  There’s not a Seattle lefty I won’t be trying to squeeze into my lineup tonight and I’ll mention one or two below so you don’t forget.  Just remember, left on Greene and you’ll be on the road to sweet redemption.

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?