You know who’s happiest about Kolten Wong being called up? The Vatican. Finally, something non-Catholic related will show up in search results when you Google ‘Cardinal + Wong + 2nd base.’ Somewhere, Dan Brown is scribbling notes for a new thriller…the Catholic church took a page out of the playbook of the Native Americans, who having foreseen the Internet in a 1973 peyote-inspired dream, worked to make sure the practice of reselling tickets was known as scalping. So now you Google ‘Indians + scalping’ and the search results are just a way to get cheap seats in Progressive Field. Wong’s call-up crowds the Cardinals infield in the weirdest of ways. Wong can’t play shortstop. It says here. There. Where I just wrote here. He can’t play 3rd. Says there. Where I wrote it. Can’t play 1st. Says here. Next to where I wrote here. He plays 2nd, Carpenter goes to 3rd and Freese goes on ice. Sorta surprised by this because the Cardinals know that seriously reduces Freese’s trade value, but he was seriously reducing his trade value by playing. But, wait, why do we care? What can Wong do right? Here’s what Prospect Scott said just two days ago, “Wong has caught a heater at the right time, hitting .333/.429/.556 with 2 homers and 2 stolen bases through his last 10. Too bad Grey can’t catch a heater in his groin.” What? Why? On the year in the minors, Wong has a line of 10 HRs, 20 steals and a .303 average. That’s close to what I’d expect of him in the majors too. He has a great eye at the plate (60 Ks, 41 BBs) and nice speed. Maybe a handful of homers and steals in the last six weeks with a good average. In keepers, he’s a must have. In redrafts, I’d grab him in all leagues for upside. I’m excited. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

First off, Jose Iglesias is gone. The less intelligent Red Sox fan screams bloody murder like Schilling’s sock, “But Julio Iglesias was batting .400 after ten games about two weeks ago! His name’s Julio, right? RIGHT?!” The intelligent Sawx fan screams, “Does this mean Xander Bogaerts is coming up?!” The drunk Sawx fan screams, “We’re fine with this trade no mahder what ‘cuz Jackie Bradley Jr. wok’d three times in his first game! I need more Sammy A!” The Sawx fan who doesn’t play fantasy says, “Um, what about Jake Peavy?” The Sawx fan who does play fantasy says, “His value doesn’t change with this trade, maybe a few more wins.” The drunk Sawx fan butts in, “I’m going to the packie, you wahnt anything?” The less intelligent Red Sox fan says, “I’ll take a packie of Pahl Mahls.” Then the drunk Sawx fan shakes his head, “Yah more stoned than Robert Parrish.” Then Will Middlebrooks says, “Hey, I could get called up instead of Bogaerts.” Then all the Sawx fans in unison say, “Shaddup!” So, Iglesias goes to the Tigers, which is a solid landing spot for him. He’s known for his defense, which puts his fantasy value at slim to anorexic, unless you have a Web Gems category in your league. He’ll act as insurance for when the steroid hammer drops on Jhonny Peralta. Avisail Garcia goes to the White Sox, and he’s a light hitting corner outfielder who will probably take over once Rios is moved. Bogaerts or Middlebrooks will take over shortly (or third basely) and I stashed Bogaerts immediately when I heard this trade go down. Finally, Peavy is who he is as the Sawx fan pointed out above. He doesn’t have substantial innings in Fenway in his career, but that doesn’t matter because they would’ve been against the Sawx. He’s a terrific addition in real life for Boston, but he’s a 3.70-ish, 8+ K-rate starter for fantasy, which is around a fantasy number three. Jake Peavy will definitely do better than Jack Pervy, who Rudy and I went to school with in Boston. He used to hang out with someone we named Tim Wackfield and you can imagine how we mangled Keith Foulke’s name. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

How many times have you completely written off Francisco Liriano? Seriously. Probably four or five times, right? I know I’ve uttered the phrase “f**k that guy, I’m never using him again” at least once a year for the last five years. That’s the way it is with him — the K-potential has always made him an interesting option for fantasy streaming, but until this year, I don’t think he’s ever helped my team. Not once. Which is what makes Liriano’s 2013 production so absurd, and it’s definitely no fluke at this point. Through roughly 90 IP he’s posted a 2.23 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP while whiffing more than a batter per inning. And given his sub-3 FIP, the peripheral numbers bode well, too. I’m sure I’ll have to write him off again at some point, but it’s amazing to consider the path the 29-year-old Liriano has taken to transition from never-using-him-again streamer status, to one of the best arms in the league. He goes twice this week, making his debut in the must start tier. The rest of the week 18 two-starters are below.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Like Billy Joel, Alfonso Soriano is washed up and in a New York state of mind. Don’t tell A-Rod, Christie Brinkley is his type of gal. Soriano getting traded to the Yankees is the best news for him in some time. That’s the magical elixir calling to fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!). Soriano will now revert back to his younger self — when he was still in his forties — and start mashing the ball, stealing bases and doing an extra springy hop when he catches fly balls. Playing for the Yankees is a youth tonic made of juniper berries and grounded-up mints Steinbrenner hoarded from restaurants. There’s just an air about playing with other guys in their fifties that brings everything to life. It’s a real life Cocoon in the Bronx. Don Ameche will be played by Vernon Wells, Wilford Brimley will be played by Travis Hafner and Alfonso Soriano is Steve Guttenberg! Girardi might be the third youngest guy on the bench. Birth certificates are inconclusive. Or! Soriano is who he is at this point. This second scenario seems more likely. It’s not like Wrigley is a bad hitters’ park. Nothing’s gonna change for him in Yankee Stadium. He could hit a few homers, give you a .260 average and throw out his hip at a moment’s notice. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The NBA season is over, thank god. The Heat won it all, so it played out exactly how we all thought it would when the season started last October. Sure, the Finals was an entertaining series, and I tuned in, but I’m truly glad I don’t have any more hoops distracting my attention from baseball. Most of you can now devote yourselves completely to your fantasy teams. Those of us in Chicago or Boston, however, still have two, possibly three, hockey games standing between us and full-time baseball season. I won’t complain about that though, because I’m a full-on bandwagon Blackhawks fan at the moment, and I look forward to drunkenly screaming “Kaaaaner!” at my television for a few more games. Anyway, two-starters…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s been a rough month for Ryan Braun, you guys. A top three pick in the preseason, he’s on pace for career lows in home runs and steals, he could be seriously implicated in this biogenesis business depending on what delivery service he decides to use this time (go with USPS, they guarantee to screw it up), and don’t even mention the Game of Thrones “Red Wedding” to Ryan, because he’s taking it all pretty hard. Braun hits the DL for the first time in his career for his thumb injury, but owners knew this was coming. The move is retroactive to Monday so he could return at the end of June. If he comes back with an comically over sized thumb and hits 20 homers and steals 20 bases going forward, we’ll know everything is back to normal. Logan Schafer went 3-for-5 last night and was one of several Logan’s in this weeks BUY/SELL. He’s available everywhere. As long as Braun’s out Schafer should see plenty of playing time. I will call him Weapon X. Berserker! He’s no Hebrew Hammer, but Schafer’s got some below average to decent power and speed and could be a useful fill in if you need an outfielder while Braun’s on the shelf.

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

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It’s here!  This Friday, our friends at DraftKings are throwing their huge $100,000 Punch Out with the top winner nabbing $20K.  If you haven’t been following our DraftKings posts and you’re new, DraftKings is an industry leading daily fantasy sports site, and they hold our very own RAZZBALL EXCLUSIVE CAN YOU BEAT RUDY GAMBLE contests where the top winner gets a ticket for that shot at 20K. You can only get in by clicking that link – it’s not open to the public!  Unlike Grey’s Mustache Rides (LLC).

This week is a special feature on THURSDAY instead of Friday to not conflict with the $100K Punch Out.  But even better, this time the top TWO spots get tickets into the Punch Out.  And it doesn’t stop there.  Spots 3-10 double up to $10.00 and 11-20 break even and get $5.00, almost DOUBLING the normal prize pool.  This is the week to play Razzball Nation!  The contest is capped at 50 entrants, and with the increase in payouts, I expect it to fill fast so sign up soon!  If you read only bold all caps words, that should be enough to spark your interest, or so our marketing crack team tells me…

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Are you familiar with The Legend of Oso Blanco? It’s the very true story behind Evan Gattis, and it’s a must listen if you haven’t yet heard it. Even if you have, it’s still worth another run through. Atlanta sports radio 680 The Fan was on point with this bit, which should have some appeal among us here at Razzball. Thanks to Deadspin for bringing it to our attention. Anyway, two-starters… Week 9 features nearly a full-slate of action, so there are a shizzload of them to choose from. To help guide your two-start perusing, I’ve slapped together our usual tiered worksheet.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Senior year of high school, I cheated on my final exam in religion class. Never got caught. Three others involved in the cheating scandal were each brought to justice — they failed the test, failed the class, and had to retake the course the following semester. Did I feel guilty about my actions? F*#k no I didn’t. I aced the test, and got a B+ in the class. It was the best grade I ever earned in religion. My parents were thrilled! Ever since then I’ve held a sort of admiration for those who cheat and get away with it, and even for some who didn’t get away with it. I respect he who is ballsy enough to cruise down life’s low road, while the rest of the chumps fight traffic on the high road. I’m halfway kidding, of course, but there are moments when the opportunity to cheat presents itself, and you’d be crazy to pass it up. Take, for instance, just a couple weeks ago, when Jeff Samardzija didn’t immediately cease pitching while his throwing hand bled onto the baseball, perhaps doctoring the ball. Well done, Jeff. And as for this Clay Buchholz situation, the evidence against him isn’t quite definitive, and it seems extremely doubtful that any real fallout is to come. More power to the guy if he was indeed doctoring the ball — the umps didn’t notice, and neither did the Blue Jays. He goes twice next week, by the way.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Going into yesterday’s game, Gio Gonzalez had a 5.85 ERA and in three of four starts he only threw five innings. I saw the fear in your eyes. Nervousness was percolating just below the surface. You were like Mr. Coffee when he was about to lose his virginity. You were expecting some grinds and instead you were just overheating. Steaming so hard you needed a cup to catch the water beneath you. (How long you think I could keep the visual of Mr. Coffee about to lose his virginity going? Three more lines? Do I hear four?) Finally, the heat was too much, the water dripping too fast and everything began to steam. Quickly, you grabbed your little creamer. She usually likes to put the cream in herself, but you’re just gonna splash it all over the place to avoid a mess on your pants. And that’s how coffee became Mr. Coffee. So, today Gio threw an eight-inning, one-hitter with 7 Ks; his only blemish a Votto opposite-field blast. Things looked awry, making dyslexics wary. Luckily, it’s still freakin’ April and you shouldn’t worry so much. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?