Yesterday, Ivan Nova threw a complete game with one earned run — 9 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks — ERA at 3.20 on the Pirates, after having a 4.90 ERA on the Yankees.  This Ray Searage guy can do miracles.  People should travel far and wide to go see him with their ailments, anguish and general malaise.  “So, I was standing in line for a frappuccino and I was thinking, ‘What’s the point?’  So, what is the point, Searage?”  “Sounds like you should use the change more.”  By the way, malaise is not the actress that plays Arya Stark.  Ray Searage is a modern-day miracle worker.  Move over, Anne Sullivan!  This is also exactly what they said about Searage in regards to Juan Nicasio before he flamed out about three weeks into the season, and Gerrit Cole has been pretty gross.  Searage seems totally competent, but to think he can fix all Pirates pitchers seems foolhardy.  No relation to Tom Hardy.  I could see grabbing Nova if the matchups are right, but I’m not running out to grab him in 12 team mixed leagues.  Not simply because my computer’s at home and it makes no sense to run out anywhere.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Milwaukee Brewers non-roster invitee Josh Hader, points to help his catcher field a wild pitch, Wednesday, February 24, 2016, in Phoenix. Arizona.(Photo/Roy Dabner) ORG XMIT: RD037

Don’t be a hader. Don’t hade the player, hade the game. Hader. Hader. Hader alligator. Alright, well maybe that last one was a bit of a stretch, but far be it from me to give it the old college try. What have I got to lose, two of my remaining eight readers? Based on the metrics available to me it seems I lost about thirty percent of my followers after I posted that article comparing Julio Urias’s eye to Sloth’s from The Goonies. If you serve it up on a silver platter you better believe I’m going to gobble it up like a bag of Doritos after a session with Tim Lincecum. Besides, that one was like hitting the ball off of a tee. Since that post I’ve been trying to figure out how I can lose another thirty percent while still providing some valuable fantasy baseball advice. Enter Josh Hader, the minor league pitcher for Milwaukee. There’s no pussy footing around it, this guy is not handsome. Talk about getting beat by the ugly stick. This guy fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. He’s so ugly he makes Willie MgGee look good. He’s so ugly his manager insists that he wear a catchers mask at all times. He looks like Randy Johnson had a baby with Jorge Cantu and that baby had a baby with Pascual Perez. You don’t have to tell me that it’s wrong to poke fun at something another cannot control, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to. Besides, it’s not like I’m making this sh!t up.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As a Mariners fan, it’s very rare I have much of any empathy for other teams and their fans, especially teams that just came off winning a World Series. And yet, here I am looking at the sad state of the Royals and think to myself ‘how many black cats crossed this team’s path?’. A majority of KC’s masterpiece last year was the young nucleus staying healthy, guided by Alex Gordon as the vet, and a crazy good bullpen. Flash forward to this year and it seems like the entire team is on the DL. No really! This is not the roster it was back in 2015 and the numbers resemble it. The Royals have the 5th worst wRC+ on the year and are K’ing about 5% more than they did last year. But even those numbers lie a little because it keeps some of the early part of the year – read: when the team was healthier – in the equation. So instead, I’m looking at their second half numbers and yup, worst team in baseball by wRC+ standards. Yes, worse than the Phillies and the Braves. Yes, that is really, really gross. But now that I’ve done all that research, it’s time to turn it into some cash money and with that, we get Tyler Duffey. Tyler’s game log inspires zero confidence as it’s about as up and down as a certain type of professional dancer around certain poles. That said, at $5,700, he inspires me to call him my SP2 in tourneys. Now that we’ve turned the Royals’ pain into our gain, let’s see what else we should do. Here’s my hung over and maybe still drunk taeks for this Saturday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday August 15th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Manny Machado put up his right hand yesterday to measure it against a hand drawing every clubhouse has posted on its wall.  The drawing is of Mark Whiten’s hand that once held four baseballs in it.  Four baseballs for the four homers he hit in one game.  In the Padres’ clubhouse, this hand has been removed because it’s just a not-so-subtle reminder of what will never be.  In the Indians’ clubhouse, the hand is made into a turkey to celebrate the first Thanksgiving.  In the Astros’ clubhouse, the hand has been cut out and fashioned into a t-shirt for Altuve.  Imagine if Donald Trump wins the presidency and throws out a first pitch.  He may never make it to the field, too distracted in the clubhouse by measuring his hands against Whiten.  Yesterday, Machado came a fingernail short of the hand, hitting three homers with seven RBIs.  Now has 25 homers on the year with a .307 average.  Terrific, stupendous, adjective!  What’s more remarkable is he does not have one steal all year.  Almost as crazy, he’s only attempted three.  Did he have a knee transplant this offseason with McCutchen as the donor?  Machado stole 20 bases last year.  To go to none?  Wow, his feet definitely don’t measure up to the Rickey Henderson foot drawings in each clubhouse.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Gerrit Cole‘s start yesterday — 9 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.78 — wasn’t the most impressive start.  *walks around, shaking people out of their slumber*  Hey, what’s going on, guys and five girl readers?  Was it the opening sentence?  Okay, so Gerrit Cole didn’t look as good as, say, Dylan Bundy over five innings.  Cole looked solid, salt-of-the-earth, lumberjack-shirt-for-a-tablecloth-middle-class-sturdy-as-oak-workman-like for nine innings.  By the way, you know what they call a hyena with lines instead of spots?  Hyphena.  Take it, Highlights, it’s yours.  Do we have to have starters that are all lordy-me-I’m-fainting-with-a-handkerchief-to-my-forehead filled with upside?  Well, I’d like it, and Cole prolly has it somewhere in there.  *knocks on Cole’s chest*  Is a near-9 K/9 in there still?  Hello?  Okay, I think it is, but it’s just not answering now.  Maybe it’s taking a nap from Cole’s less-than-stellar K-rate.  That’s been the story of his season, actually.  Great results for real baseball, but a little lacking on the flash (7.5 K/9).  He’s still throwing hard (95 MPH), maybe he fell asleep while Contact was on late-night TV and woke up deciding to throw to contact.  Not sure, but if I had to bet, I’d bet every day on a 25-year-old who throws 95 returning to his previous flashy Ks while maintaining his excellent ERA results.  But there’s nothing wrong with a lumberjack shirt for a tablecloth.  It’s Murica!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Decisions, decisions…we all love when a bad hitting team gets to go up against a good to great pitcher. But do we love it when it’s in a friendly hitter’s park? This is the question you’re going to have to ask yourself today. With so many good pitching options on this slate priced reasonably, is it the kind of day you should toss Jon Gray out there on your team? Clearly Gray isn’t without risk given Coors is the backdrop but lets consider a few things for a moment. His K/9 on the year is nestled right in between David Price and Jake Arrieta. His GB% sits at a healthy 47.8% and his xFIP (3.53) is nearly a run less than his ERA (4.33). Also, Gray has done a tremendous job this year of taking advantage of cush matchups no matter where he was at. He went seven and K’d seven Padres back on June 10th in Coors and just finished up the Braves in Atlanta with eight Ks for a seven inning shutout. When Jon is given an opportunity to take down a bad team, he does it with authority. The asking price of $8,200 isn’t the cheapest nor is it unmanageable; it’s just there asking you if you like taking a bit of risk with your LU. Well, do ya punk? Alright then, let’s get on with the getting on. Here’s my fuerte taeks for this Friday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday July 25th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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The surname Quintana is listed as having a Spanish origin and meaning “dweller on a piece of land whose rent is one-fifth its produce.” In the case of Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana, this definition seems to be fairly accurate. After all, he starts one-fifth of his team’s games and is compensated roughly one-fifth of what a pitcher his caliber would be on the free agent market. If my math is accurate, this would make him the equivalent of an indentured servant or a government mule in the MLB pecking order. There’s no need to start a fundraiser for this mule, however, as his listed salary of $5.4 million this season is hardly chump change, but the truth is that Quintana has been undervalued and underappreciated for quite some time now. Since the beginning of the 2013 season, Quintana has produced the 6th highest WAR (16.3) among all MLB pitchers, placing him directly above established aces Madison Bumgarner, Zack Greinke, and Jon Lester over that span. He’s also in the midst of arguably his best season to date, as his 3.13 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 8.15 K/9 rates represent career best marks in those respective categories. With impressive numbers like these, Quintana is starting to gain more traction in fantasy circles, as his name has been popping up on a lot of top 20 starting pitcher lists around the web in recent weeks. Quintana just might be one of the top dozen or so MLB pitchers in real life, but has his fantasy value followed suit?

Let’s take a look at Quintana’s profile to see if his ascension into the fantasy elite is sustainable moving forward. Here are a few observations:

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On Wednesday I gave you my second half projections for hitters. At the request of a commenter I have decided to see what I can come up with for starting pitchers. While projections are a slippery slope, I going to give it the old college try anyway. I’ve come to realize that you really can’t be wrong when making projections. It’s impossible to be right, so by process of elimination, how can I be wrong. Anyone follow that absolutely twisted logic? Me neither.

As I did with my hitter projections, I have merged my weighted preseason projections with weighted year-to-date stats to generate rest of season projections. Hocus-pocus. Abracadabra. I present my second half visions.

Given standard points systems do you have any guesses who might be projected to score the most points in the second half. Despite currently being on the disabled list, Clayton Kershaw still manages to come out on top. Kershaw is in line for another 334 points. Obviously this is all predicated on him making a quick return to action. The longer he’s out, the less points he will score. But then again, that’s basic math. Or is it just common sense?

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The break is over! How long was that?10 Days? It’s never a good day when there is no baseball. But we’re back, so let’s get into the picks. Marcus Stroman had a less than stellar start to his season. He will be looking to lower his 4.89 ERA in the second half of the season. After slightly tweaking his mechanics, his last two starts resembled the heroic Stroman of 2015. In his last two starts, he has thrown 14.2 innings where he has gave up only 3 runs on 8 hits, and issuing 6 K with only 1 BB. As the season wears on, Stroman has thrown harder. He started the year off throwing around 92 mph, and his his last two starts he has averaged over 94 mph. Not only is he throwing harder, he has also been utilising his slider. He increased his slider percentage to 38% in his last two starts, and has generated a 25% whiff percentage from it. Stroman has seen success when throwing less of a variety of pitches. He is unlikely to rack up 10+ K, but I can see him pitching 7 innings with 6 K. He should provide value at his price of $7,500. The only issue I have with Stro is that he might be hungover from his trip to Cabo during the break. And with that, I give you the rest of my picks for this Friday DFS slate…

New to DraftKings? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday July 18th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to prematurely balding men and decided if you can’t beat them, join them!  Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post.  Here, enjoy some coffee.  Oops, you just drank rat poison.  Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than owning Chris Archer in the 1st half.  Oh, you owned him and that’s why you drank the poison!  Now, I’m following!   Hey, I’m supposed to be leading!  Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2016 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up!  But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest!  So, as with all of the other 2016 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt.  If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade that outfielder for that 2nd baseman.  Also, things change in fantasy baseball.  Daily.  I could put Bryce Harper number two on the top 100 list for the second half of 2016 and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with Bryce.  Why soil a good thing, ya know?  This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued.  It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache.  This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today.  So while David Price did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because I still believe.  The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2016.  I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what players will do.  It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone.  Welcome to the future!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2016:

Please, blog, may I have some more?