harperimage

In 1977, not only was yours truly introduced to this cruel, crazy beautiful world, but so was a place that would sell the coolest of cool gadgets. Who reading this can say that, as a kid, or even an adult, they didn’t go into a Sharper Image to sit in one of their outrageously overpriced, super comfortable leather massage chairs. The display chairs in those showrooms saw more action than Jenna Jameson did in the late 90s. The Sharper Image was a great place to kill a good 20 minutes while you wife, girlfriend or other female shopping companion went into the stores you had no desire to see the inside of. It was either Sharper Image or Cinnabon, or both. I used to get yelled at all the time by the store clerks for eating that cinnamon deliciousness while getting a free mechanical rub down.

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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.

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Chris Young continues to shock the fantasy baseball world as he held the Yankees to just one run and four hits last night to grab his third win. He struck out two. After coming off a six inning shut out of Detroit last week, Young has now lowered his ratios to a 0.93 ERA and 0.63 WHIP. He has been very good in his three starts and pitching in relief for the Royals. This begs the question. What are the Royals giving their pitchers? And why isn’t Yordano Ventura getting any? The 21/7 K/BB ratio is nothing special and the .132 BABIP is impossible to sustain. In addition, his 4.70 xFIP is real bad and suggest this he can’t keep this charade going for much longer. He gets the Cardinals next week, and I’m not quite ready to recommend him outside AL-Only or deep leagues, but I’m watching him closely, and I think you should, too. Also, very few players were lede-worthy this week, which is why you get 200 words on a 35-year old journeyman. We know now that you don’t doubt the Royals, and if he continues to excel, Chris Young could pitch himself into a rotation spot even after Jason Vargas returns.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Never once did I think I would be writing about a creeper older than I am, and yet here I am, talking about Torii Hunter. Being the ageless wonder (or is it the wonder of agelessness, I’m not really sure), he still suits up every day and goes out and plays. I was racking my brain for some kind of analogy for the creeper and I found my inspiration from the Paleolithic 80’s flick Quest for Fire, for like this movie, we are just a bunch of uncivilized men searching for a player to catch fire. So why not a Hunter? Haha…get it? Okay, I’ll stop with the bad jokes. Hey, at least I didn’t do Caveman with Ringo Starr. Come to think of it, Hunter could be considered the Twins Ringo. Doesn’t really matter if he’s there or not. Oh well, the moment has passed and now we move on to why we are here…

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I hate bloop singles. I despise watching my pitcher give up a run because a guy got jammed up inside and sent it between first base and left field. It doesn’t even feel right when my guy who is 0-3 on the day (trust me, this happens often) drops one between the infielders and outfielders on a lucky blooper. Sometimes though, it takes a blooper or 2 to have success… Like my 2 RBI bloop single in my slow pitch softball league the other night, but we won’t talk about that. What we do need to talk about though, is Lorenzo Cain. This guy is a stud. I wouldn’t doubt that he would be good at whatever sport he attempts because he is such an athlete. He now finally gets away from all these pitchers parks and gets a sweet matchup at US Cellular. Oh… and he’s getting on base at a rate of .479 on the young season and driving the ball extremely well. I look forward to rostering him today.

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.

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This week I’m making a little one-week tweak to the Creeper of the Week and going with Creepers because we have something that doesn’t always happen. What is that Big J? Well eager reader, it’s a seven-game Monday-through-Sunday home series for the Rockies. By my count, this will only happen three times this season. The hard part was finding an under-owned player not taken on the Rockies playing everyday, and it’s so barren right now that even the French DJ is over-owned to qualify for this post. Hey there French DJ can you drop me a cut for this creeper post? Very nice, old school, but isn’t that a little too obvious? I get it, you are on the 1’s and 2’s, so the choice is yours. Can I at least get one cut with a baseball name in the title? What’s that? You don’t do requests? Sheesh, that Charlie Blackmon ego is rubbing off on your euro sensibilities. Forget about it, let’s move on to the reason we are here.

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I got the chills! They’re multiplying. And I’m losing all control. Because the fantasy value Devon Travis is supplying–well, for lack of a better word, it’s electrifying. Oo oo oo! Oh yes, indeed. Friday night Travis was 2-for-5 with his third home run and two RBI. He’s leading off for a mighty Blue Jays line up, batting .375 and he’s currently on a six game hitting streak with ten hits, two homers, five runs and nine RBI in that span. You don’t have to be Danny Zuko to know how rockin’ and rollin’ that is. Dude is systematic, hydromatic, ultramatic! He’s hit in every game he’s played so far except one. Grey’s been telling you to BUY and get Randy for Travis for weeks now! Two weeks, to be exact! Well, now I’m telling you, so you know things are getting serial. If you need a middle infielder, set your heart on Devon Travis. Then sing, “cause to your heart you must be truuuue, nothing left, nothing left for you to do…but pick-up-Dev-on! Off-of-the-waivers-now! Ooo ooo ooo!” What do you mean, you don’t think you like Grease as much as me!? Everybody likes Grease! Travis is owned in just over half of ESPN leagues and that number will surely skyrocket over the weekend. Irregardless! With Jose Reyes sidelined and Devon stepping into the lead off spot, the rookie second baseman is sure to be a valuable fantasy asset going forward. Oh yes, indeed!

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

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