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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As has been the theme since day one of this series, I’ve been stressing the fact that you shouldn’t panic. The fantasy season is still very young, (very fragile, like your mom, sure), but anything can happen in any amount of short time anywhere. SO META. For example, does anyone think they’d notice Evan Gattis going 12-for-73 in the month of June? Probably not, as the first month of the season shines an unfair spotlight on a player’s production (or lack thereof). Also, Evan Gattis isn’t really that good, which probably would have an affect on someone not noticing as well. While the majority of players (that aren’t suffering from an obvious injury or velocity loss specifically with pitchers) it’s been fairly easy for me to say, “It’s April”… well, that actually doesn’t ring true any more. Nope. Instead, I’ll just simply say “It’s May.” Now, if there are some players in a few more weeks that are wildly off their career norms, then we can talk. But until then, have patience, but here something you can do… and that’s start assessing your needs, wants, dreams and start gauging the market for those things you seek out. Excuse me while I go search the free agent wire for a date… Anyhow, follow me after the jump to take a look back at what was week four AND a look forward on all things Razzball, including some player suggestions for next week, straight from Razzball’s Streamonator, Hitter-Tron, and DFSBot!

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Masahiro Tanaka hit the DL with a strained forearm. It’s not related to his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. So, here’s my question? Why not just play through the forearm strain too? That’s where he draws the line? It’s like, “I was fine sleeping with my wife’s sister, and having a baby with her that no one knows about, and plotting to kill my wife on a weekend jaunt to Mexico, but I will not jaywalk. Those people in New York are crazy!” You have nothing to lose, Tanaka, get in there and shank someone in the yard and Hacky Sack the ball to the plate! The Yankees haven’t announced how long Tanaka will be out, but maybe they’ll try to sneak in Tommy John surgery while he’s sleeping. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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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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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So let me be the first person on the internet to reference Chris Farley’s Matt Foley character when talking Daniel Norris. You hear me. THEE. FIRST. Don’t google it, just trust me. And what could you really want from this blog? Want me to reference Into The Wild? So what you’re saying is you want to be depressed by Eddie Vedder acoustic material. You can go get mopey on your own time; around here, we aim for the yucks not socio-political stances. BTW, meat is murder, can you sign my petition?!? Now for this young season, our young arm hasn’t really done much in his matchups to garner trust so this is strictly a GPP call but the numbers are there to exploit. Though the season isn’t too far along, the Braves offense wasn’t looking too sparkling on paper against LHPs coming into the year and they’ve proven that on the field so far. In an albeit small sample size of 74 PA, the Braves have a .247 wOBA against southpaws while mustering a woeful 56 wRC+. But that’s what happens when you initially sign Jonny Gomes to be your full time left fielder. Yes, Atlanta, I’m throwing you some shade. There’s a difference between rebuilding and derailing and you definitely crossed that line but it’s all good with me because for $5,800, I just freed up some salary for some bigger bats today. So without further ado, let’s get to it. Here are my scorching hot takes for this Sunday DK slate…

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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If you read my column last week, I used a terrible metaphor relating a cruise buffet to the pitching slate of the day. I guess I don’t learn from my mistakes very well, so I’ll use another bad food comparison. A few days ago I went to one of my favorite steak restaurants and the service was absolutely terrible. We waited 45 minutes for our food, and it was cold when it got there. It was an absolutely terrible experience. I dread going back there again, but I know that it will probably be amazing the next time I do. This is Clayton Kershaw. For that huge price, he probably burned you last time out. Do not be fooled, mediocrity is a very rare (unintended steak pun), occurrence for Clayton. I don’t care that the Rockies are hot, you are pitching Kersh, and you will be rewarded for it.

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“For Kris Bryant‘s first game, can we have Steve Bartman throw out the first pitch and have a goat catch it? Or maybe we carry Bartman through the streets like a Muslim funeral and rip the clothes from his body. Yeah, go with the 2nd idea!” That was the recently fired Cubs PR guy. You know the billboard that announces the Cubs World Series win in Back to the Future II? I took a freeze frame and blew it up, noticing something interesting. It’s not exactly the dead ghost girl in the window of Three Men and a Baby, but I could’ve sworn I saw Kris Bryant’s face reflected in the billboard. I’d show you, but I threw it away by accident. Sorry! So, Kris Bryant is being called up and I don’t own him anywhere, but I do get a certain pleasure out of the Cubs calling him up just after the extra year of team control kicked in, er, kicked Boras in the nuts. In my projections, I had him down for 42/19/54/.256/3, but not getting called up until June 1st. Now, 30 homers is a legit possibility. I do think he could have a 30%+ strikeout percentage and hit below .240, but I’ll give him the highest compliment I can, I wish I owned him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The title of this post is more indicative of what the fantasy baseball season does to us than to what this player will do for you. How nutty was week 1? I’m loving drafting Adrian Gonzalez in the 4th round of the Razzball Pert’s league, and pissed at myself for not drafting J.D. Martinez anywhere. I really liked J.D. coming into the year and yet got sniped on him every time I was ready to draft him. Same goes for Matt Harvey. I heart you two and will look to trade for you at premium prices if I must. Wait! What? No I won’t. Yes you will. Okay, maybe I will, but sometimes you have to pay a price to get the toys you want. The bills on my Impala can attest to that. Before I move into this week’s creeper, I want to thank all the commenters that came out for the Easter Creeper. What a great kick off to the MLB season…thanks guys. It was a great opener for the baseball season.

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Wow, what an amazing opening day. I thought I fell asleep in my DeLorean and went back to the juiced up era. And by juiced up I mean the players and/or ball. Am I the only one (I know I’m not) who thinks that blaming the players bad habits was just a smokescreen for the other culprits in the heist of our game? It was also the owners and their puppet Mr. Selig, the GM’s and the players association. Now don’t get me wrong, the players were dirty and deserve everything, they are getting but why not the rest of the guilty? Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox, I got laundry to do. If you didn’t get a dong on opening day this year, then your team is terrible and you will lose. I kidd, I kidd. This feels like when I was growing up and if you were the last one to get garbage pail kids cards or acid washed jeans, then you were lame. This week there are no master standings since the season is only two days old, so just assume you are tied for first and sleep well til next week.

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