The 2014 season is two months old, so it’s data day here at the Razzball Steals Emporium. This is kind of like the chapter review our teachers gave us in school, except there is no test, so everybody wins. We have to mention Dee Gordon to start. His ADP was 222. This is ironic because that’s about how many steals he’ll likely end up with this year. With 34 stolen bases on June 1, the 26-year-old middle infielder is on a crazy pace for about 90 swipes this season. Billy Hamil-who?

Gordon has always had speed, but he’s doing more to utilize it this year in the majors. He’s been successful on the basepaths 92% of the time. He’s swinging at less pitches outside of the strike zone, making better contact, and striking out less in general. Gordon has also been hitting more ground balls, less fly balls, and significantly less infield fly balls. This has all resulted in a better batting average, better on-base percentage, and in turn crazy stolen base numbers. It’s almost as if someone reminded Dee that he was fast and should just try to put the ball on the ground. Amazing!

Gordon owners can enjoy the ride and shouldn’t stay up at night worrying about him falling off a cliff. If anything, I wouldn’t be shy to acquire Gordon off of an owner who was nervous about that very scenario. He won’t provide much outside of stolen bases, but he’ll help you come close to winning that category from a middle infield position, allowing you to roster more balanced players in your outfield slots.

Here’s where we’re at with steals through the first two months in 2014 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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

Welcome to the “Wacky World of Sports!” I’m your host, Wax Winkingdale. This week we’ve got some weird, wild stuff for you. First up we’re catching up with a bit of silly from last month, when Andrew Cashner played left field for one batter in an extra-inning game for no real reason at all. Whoa, that Bud Black is one crazy guy! And really smart too. Much smarter than Tony LaRussa. [Ed. Note -- With less drunk driving to boot!]

Next is more madcap fun from San Diego, where a dinosaur threw out the first pitch before a game last Wednesday against the Royals. And no it wasn’t Steve Garvey! So who was the catcher for this zany occasion? Why it was the Swinging Friar, the team’s mascot. And oh look, the baby T-Rex is on the attack – he heard Friar and got the wrong idea!

Dino

Perhaps the weirdest story of the week comes to us from Toronto, where fantasy experts continue to disrespect a pitcher with a 6-1 record, 1.91 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Regression, they INSIST, is coming for Mark Buehrle as certain as winter is coming for Jon Snow and everyone else in the Seven Kingdoms. One writer said this is because Buehrle is lucky, noting, among other things, his small Home Run to Fly Ball ratio, favorable FIP (Field Independent Pitching) rate and weak K/9 rate. So Buehrle is lucky because he gave up fly balls and not home runs? There’s no skill in that? Guess he was lucky when he threw a perfect game too. And, OKAY, Buehrle doesn’t get a ton of strike outs, and I guess good things are happening when balls that he throws are hit, and that maybe those good things won’t continue happening if balls continue to be hit and not missed by batters. Given all that, by the FIP measurement Buehrle’s ERA would be more in the All-Star zone (low 3’s) and not exactly Cy Young territory (under 2). I don’t think this did the best job of illustrating his point. I’m not really sure how much stock I put in something that looks like this anyway: “FIP = ((13*HR)+(3*(BB+HBP))-(2*K))/IP + constant.” Sounds like Mr. Kowalski’s boring-ass algebra class, not analysis of a sport. There’s a lot of writers a lot smarter than me who use these numbers to make valid points. There’s even more who wank off to print outs of these formulas in the same way that White Goodman rubs one out with a slice of pizza. Here’s my analysis: Buehrle has been excellent, and even though his track record indicates that this isn’t normal, it’s also very possible that he will have the career year the Blue Jays thought he was going to have when they splurged on free agents before the 2013 season. Or at least a career first half. I think we will know which way this is going to go after this week, as Buehrle draws the Angels at home and a trip to the gauntlet in Arlington.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“He is a prince of Dorne. Men and women will line up to f*ck him until the day he dies.”

[Game of Thrones spoilers ahead!] The probable reign of Prince Giancarlo Stanton, aka The Yardfather from House Ravishing, is upon us. Has anyone among you ever witnessed such a statuesque and magnificently proportioned beast?  Has a single one of you viewed a more virtuous and angelic presence, possessing both kindness and strength? Here and now I command you to step forward if you have knowledge of a more deserving candidate! Did someone just say, Adam Jones? That sort of insolence is usually  rewarded with a swift kick to the chin from my steel toed, ostrich leather boots! Stanton leads the majors with 27 RBIs and holds a sturdy .357 OBP, and that’s with the usual disgraceful lineup protection. I swear to the Elder Gods, I almost came in my Versace man-thong when Stanton crushed that walk-off grand slam against Seattle (my home team) last week. Is Prince Giancarlo’s emergence near the time of disgraceful King Joffrey’s death coincidence? I think not.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Stepping aside from my DraftKings role here, I used to feel sorry for coach Porter. He’s dealing with all the fluff that won’t be in an Astros uniform by 2015 in his starting 9 minus Springer right now. He’s there to instill the day to day process and hustle into these kids. But you know what he’s not here to do? Stir stuff up. Yeah, yeah, you’re trying to show your team that you have heart by taking exception to Jed Lowrie‘s bunt in the first when you’re down 7-0 in the first inning last week. Well then don’t play the shift! Give up now, Bro Porter, or forever hold your beef. BTW, I don’t call people Bro unless I don’t like them, Porter. So now that we’re clear on that mess, Bro Porter had the audacity to send his reliever out to plunk Jed last night after he’d already gone 3/4 against his team while he was down 8-1. Now, I’m not a big believer in ‘revenge’ games but Oakland is just the better team right now, Bro Porter, and you’ve essentially kicked the hornet’s nest. What’s this all mean to you, you ask? Well, I’m hard-pressed to believe this mess puts a charge into the lethargic Astros and Jesse Chavez gets to mop up. I’m not gonna lie and tell you I’m a full season Chavez believer but what I do believe in is this: the Astros as a team strike out at a 4th worst 24.3% strikeout rate and Jesse averages over a strikeout per inning on this young season. When you add those numbers together, JC Super-Arm is due for at least 57.2 Ks today…give or take about 50. The reality is, he has zero weather issues and looks to be the safest arm to rely on for Friday given the weather concerns circling the East Coast. Even though the Stream-O-Nator is lukewarm on the idea, there’s some gold here and I’d take advantage if I can afford it. I’ll put it to you this way: the highest rated batter on Hitter-Tron for this tilt that plays for the Astros is George Springer and he’s batting .171 at the moment. If this were twitter, I’d say #yikes. But it’s not so I’ll move on and remind you that today – yes TODAY – is the Sweet Spot kickoff. We’ve been talking about it for forever and now you get to put your moola to work. I wish you the safest of journeys on your trek to financial glory. May the best man/woman/fantasy baseball vermin win. And with that, let’s get on with the pickins…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I originally titled this post “SuperNova Destroys Baltimore,” but I was worried it would cause mass panic in the Crab Cake Capital, and those guys already have it rough enough with Hamsterdam running wild. For now, I’ll settle for simply pissing PETA off. Planet destroying exploding stars aside, Ivan Nova‘s star was shining extra bright Friday night as he dominated Baltimore pitching a complete game, giving up just three hits, two runs and striking out 11 Orioles. Ivan “I Vill Crush You” Nova’s only blemish in this game was a second inning home run to Matt Wieters. It looked like Nova would be stuck with the no-decision but new best friend and obvious father figure Vernon Wells hit a walk off single in the bottom of the ninth to get New York their fifth win in a row. It was Ivan’s first career shutout and he now has a 2.95 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with a 22/4 K/BB ratio in his three starts since returning to the majors. You gotta like that! Ivan gets the Royals next time out and he could be worth streaming in most formats, because they aren’t any good. Super Nova is a star worthy of a look, at least until he explodes.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2013 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2013 Blue Jays Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Tom Dakers from Blue Bird Banter.

Please, blog, may I have some more?