Saturday’s games gives us intriguing SP options with Bauer, Alfredo Simon, and Anthony DeSclafani. Heading that list is Trevor Bauer with his clever and catchy Twitter handle, @BauerOutage. All three of these SP’s have started 2015 very strong. Today’s match-ups really have me focused on whether they are legit SP’s in DFS, or have they just got off to lucky starts. I’ll continue to say your two SP’s need to be strikeout pitchers. Meaning, don’t play a pitcher that has far less K’s per IP, or has a high WHIP. Go ahead and pay the big bucks for the SP’s. However, you can’t always start two SP’s that are $10,000+ and will eat up a huge portion of your salary. The aforementioned SP’s prices have good value. But my biggest struggle is, do I keep plugging them in or are they going to get destroyed by a good opponent? Of the three, Bauer is the only pitcher that at one point was a top pitching prospect. He was highly touted out of UCLA, and the Diamondbacks drafted him third overall in the 2011 MLB Draft. Bauer also won the Golden Spikes Award as the nation’s top amateur player. The Diamondbacks gave up on him pretty fast and traded him to the Cleveland Indians. He’ll get his biggest test of 2015 today against the Detroit Tigers. Anthony DeSclafani was once a top prospect in the Marlins organization, and was a key piece to the trade involving Mat Latos. He pitched 33 Innings for the Marlins in 2014, and those numbers are not impressive at all. So if you want to rollout a SP whose name you can’t pronounce, don’t look it up. Realize that he isn’t an ultra-talented rookie that has come out of nowhere. The player I can’t help but compare him to the most is Jacob deGrom. Like DeSclafani, deGrom was somewhat of a top prospect in the Mets organization, but no one expected this type of skill at the major league level. It’s still too early to make that comparison, but DeSclafani’s hot start has me thinking in that direction. As for Alfredo Simon, he came on last year with the Cincinnati Reds. His overall numbers in 2014 were good, but he fizzled out a bit at the end. Now with the Tigers in 2015, he’s off to another good start, and although the Indians haven’t looked great so far, it’ll be a good match-up to see if Simon is a legit DFS option every week. Don’t be afraid to start two SP’s that face each other, as Bauer and Simon do today. Although you would only be able to potentially get one win, if the strikeouts pile up, so will your DraftKings score.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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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For the first time, there’s Reasonable Doubt for you, the Jay Z owner. Asking yourself, on Growing Pains, am I, Boner? You’re supposed to put up goose eggs, and be all zen. Now the Black Album is scrambled, got funky albumen. Grey told me don’t draft a top starter, but I got Jordan Zimmermann not Shawn Carter. Jigga what…is with all the runs? His starts make me want to curse, hide your nuns. Pardon my question, but my H2H is on tilt and I need streamers from the SON, see. This is fantasy, where’s my funzies!? Yesterday, Zimmermann went 2 1/3 IP and gave up seven, but at least I have Kershaw, Strasburg and Samardzija. Wait, then why is my team’s ERA pushing five and I don’t have anything that rhymes with Samardzija!? As for Zimmermann, he looks like he’s hiding an injury so far this year. Velocity’s down, Ks are down, pitches are up. I wouldn’t panic trade him, but I wonder if something might be wrong and I would explore trade possibilities. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Lads (and ladies), sit with me for a moment while I bless yee with a bit of the folklore of the old country, the Emerald Isle to be exact. A place of legal drugs, pubs, whiskey, rolling green hills, lovely redheaded lassies, and a tradition of folklore as rich as an Irishman’s heart. You may be familiar with stories of wee men and their pots of gold, or the luck of the Blarney Stone, Stonehenge perhaps, but how many of you are familiar with the Púca? To be clear Púcas are ghosts or spirits, bringers of good luck or bad fortune, they are said to be both helpers and hindrances. The really tricky thing about Púcas is how tough they are to identify due to their ability to change appearances and shape-shift. We’re all familiar with Púca’s in one way or another but the most well known Púca to those of us in the States is a giant rabbit named Harvey. That would be the protagonist from Mary Coyle Chase’s play of the same name. The play was later adapted to the silver screen in a film staring Jimmy Stewart, and its a worthwhile take.

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Last night, Mat Latos looked like he was headed for the Disgraceful List. He didn’t fool anyone. I didn’t say he didn’t fool any hitters because he was facing the Braves, they don’t have any hitters besides Freeman. After giving up seven runs, he didn’t get out of the first inning, replaced by Brad Hand. Here’s some tweets Dallas Latos wanted to write, “Keep pitching like that and Hand will replace me too.” “My third collagen injection blew up less than you.” “I knew I should’ve slept with Cueto.” In the preseason, I should’ve dropped Latos in my rankings when Rudy wrote his warnings. I screwed up. I did mention last week about staying away from him, but it was likely too little, too Latos for most of you. I think you could likely sell very low right now — like for a Brain Freeze closer — and still be happy just to get Latos off your team because he looks like Latoast. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Per the usual, I have to drop a caveat when it comes to Deep League Thoughts about pitchers: there’s no such thing as a deep league pitcher. Unless you’re talking 20 team leagues and then you’re calling some relievers deep league pitchers. I ain’t going there so let’s realize upfront before you feel affronted. Now that we have that settled, when does a young pitcher settle? Two years? Four years? Do they ever? It’s all hard to predict. As we’ve seen through our years as fantasy baseballers, growth isn’t a promise from a young kid, it’s a possibility. How many rookies came and went on your rosters in 2014 alone? I’m not asking you, Grey. You’d add and drop the same player five times in one day so you don’t count, you chronic rosterbator. That said, I’m sure Trevor Bauer hit your roster more than once. He had some good with some bad in 2014. Maybe you got the bad from him and won’t go near him again. Maybe you had more of the good like I did and you’re willing to look into him a bit further. If so, trudge on with me. We’re about to go deep inside the enigma that is Bauer and what he can do for you for the 2015 Fantasy Baseball season…

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Everyone has their own method of determining their draft board and I imagine mine is rather unique. My early focus is on playing time/injuries so I can run Steamer rates against them and run the results through my Player Rater $ calculation. I then compare this against NFBC ADP and any expert drafts to get a sense for the outliers. As the preseason crawls on, I find myself digging into more and more players and determining whether they are players I want on my team based on their market value.

My tweak this year has been to analyze the outliers (guys my Player Rater is high/low on) earlier in the preseason. Projections are far from perfect and I have no problem drafting a guy above or below my $ value if I feel passionately about his value. These analyses are not terribly thorough – just scanning their FanGraphs pages for peripheral stats and reading Baseball Forecaster and Baseball Prospectus player summaries (the former of which being more helpful than the latter). I also check against Grey’s rankings so I can identify on which players we will inevitably debate.

Below are three pitchers – Julio Teheran, Mat Latos, Tyson Ross – where my Player Rater is way more pessimistic than the other sources I have reviewed. While my reasons vs Steamer’s reasons may differ, it still ends up with the same conclusion: I think these guys are being overvalued and I cannot see how any of three will end up on any of my teams.

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Greetings all, and welcome to the first installment of The Numbers Game. “Boy, that title sounds about as exciting as it would be to draft Omar Infante in 2015.” Hey, quiet in the peanut gallery! Fantasy baseball is, as the title of this series makes blatantly obvious, all about the numbers. The idea behind these posts is to identify players who fit a specific set of search criteria using statistics accumulated over the past three seasons. The various criteria that I’ll be using will be established based on player comps and/or the MLB averages in key statistical categories. Some results will include data from 2014 only, while others will include some combination of the previous two seasons as well. The ultimate goal of these exercises is to provide a different perspective that will help to confirm your evaluations of certain players and perhaps reconsider your opinions of others. While I’ll be providing my two cents from time to time, it’ll be up to you to decide how valid the results truly are.

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With the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings for every position done, we turn our lazy eye towards the top 100 for 2015 fantasy baseball. These 2015 fantasy baseball rankings are one part fresh and two parts to def. They own a cat, a dog and a lizard in a two bedroom apartment where pets aren’t allowed. Know why? Cause they don’t care! None of this top 100 for 2015 fantasy baseball is meant to surprise. *jumping out of a closet* Boo! Now, that was meant to surprise. This top 100 is just taking my positional rankings and putting guys in The Big Picture. You really should read each ranking post because the blurbs in this top 100 are on the skimpy side because there’s so many of them, and I went over each one of these guys already. Obviously at a hundred players, some guys just didn’t make it. About 300, to be inexact. It’s okay; there will be a top 400 tomorrow. Shortly, Sloth, you’ll have your Baby Ruth. Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel. Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2015 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.” Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters. Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter! Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, we went over the top 20 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball and today it’s the top 40 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball. This is one of my favorite ranking posts because I usually end up with two starters from these twenty. They are the low end number one starters. To quote Lil Jon at his fantasy baseball draft, “Get low end number ones! To the Carrasco, to the Wheeler! Til Wood drop his base on balls! Til all these pitchers fall!” Is it weird I have a man crush on Lil Jon? He seems like he’d be a constant source of entertainment if you hung out with him on the day-to-day. Also, besides the low end number ones, there’s number twos and high end number threes. These are going to be your fantasy staff linchpins. So, all the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings are right in there. As with all other ranking posts, my projections and tiers are included. Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp played for one of the most popular sports franchises in the world in the 2nd largest city in the country. In San Diego, the Padre fans pride themselves not on wins and losses, but how well the Chablis goes with the brie while they watch the game from the picnic area. In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp went to all the hottest nightclubs. In San Diego, he’ll be frequenting places that look like the bar where Jodie Foster was in The Accused. In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp hung out with the hottest celebrities. In San Diego, “Hey, is that Natalie from The Facts of Life?” In Los Angeles, Matt Kemp dated Rihanna. In San Diego, Kemp’s dating Natalie. It’s only a mere two and half hour drive, but the culture shock is going to hit Kemp as soon as he arrives because he’s going to have to surrender his Lamborghini, there’s a town ordinance that everyone must drive a Jeep with no doors that they put plastic bags over when it rains once a year. On the backside of the site, I’m currently churning through rankings that will be coming in January. I nearly ranked Kemp higher than I want to admit to now. I was believing the 150 games played, 25 HR, 8 SB, .287 season he had last year. Whether I believe it or not, going to San Diego is going to hurt his value. From hitting in the middle of an All-Star lineup to hitting in the middle of Yellowstone. Kemp said on his first day in Petco, “It took some time to get my bearings. In other parks, you can set yourself in the batter’s box by using the outfield fences as a guide. Here, you have to assume the outfield fences are out there somewhere.” Kemp has money coming to him either way, so if he became a 20 HR, 5 SB, .270 guy for a few years, it wouldn’t surprise me. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 72/22/81/.276/8. Oh, and, yes, I’m cautiously optimistic this means Joc Pederson will now be the starting center fielder in LA. For more, I already went over my Joc Pederson fantasy. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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