Hey, it’s Memorial Day weekend, so I assume most of you aren’t here. I guess I’ll be chatting with some of our playas’ from Europe and that New Zealander Steve. Damn, that came out like I’m hatin’ on Razzballs good buddy Steve. Sorry Steve, we miss you. With this title you might think I’m going to play a bunch of jazz tunes and that would be the most logical place to go, but not in the stream of confusion of my  mind. Of course I started with Dizzy from one of my favorite jazz albums, but then my mind took an odd turn to Herbie Hancock and how this song changed a lot of musical perspectives for me. After absorbing all of that I fell deeper into the funk and the brilliance of the godfather of soul’s backing band (now there is some dancing I want to see come back). Oh, that sweet sweet soul music from the Baby H to the contemporary Charles Bradley and Lee Fields. Now along the way, I had the local LA underground hiphop scene to deliver rare gems like the Breakestra, and speaking of hip-hop, I have to wonder what the world would be like without Herbie Hancock. Now, you might be asking yourself what this has to do with todays creeper or top 100, and all I can say is my mind is a place and I’m letting you step in it for a few. I also know you guys like talking about music so WTFN.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

harperimage

In 1977, not only was yours truly introduced to this cruel, crazy beautiful world, but so was a place that would sell the coolest of cool gadgets. Who reading this can say that, as a kid, or even an adult, they didn’t go into a Sharper Image to sit in one of their outrageously overpriced, super comfortable leather massage chairs. The display chairs in those showrooms saw more action than Jenna Jameson did in the late 90s. The Sharper Image was a great place to kill a good 20 minutes while you wife, girlfriend or other female shopping companion went into the stores you had no desire to see the inside of. It was either Sharper Image or Cinnabon, or both. I used to get yelled at all the time by the store clerks for eating that cinnamon deliciousness while getting a free mechanical rub down.

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The year was 2005 and my buddy kept talking about his fantasy baseball team. I had no idea what he was saying most the time, because I had never played the game before. Actually I had barely watched any baseball at all. I was a jaded strike fan who was as casual as they come with my knowledge of the game. I knew a little about the local teams and that was about it. Any the hoo, he kept going on and on about this Ryan Howard kid until that name was stuck in my head. Fast forward to March of 2006, he talked me into playing with him and “his” friends for fun… and money. I get to the 10th round of the draft and I need a 1B, so I remember the kid that got drilled into my head the year before and I take Ryan Howard with the pick. That year he put up a 104/58/149/0/.313 line and I won that league. Actually I won for lots of reason, I rosterbated before I knew what that was and I streamed like a mofo. I also never gave him a dime, he took my entry out of my winnings, kept some of it for the next season and I played with them for free for the next five seasons. I hearted Howard like Grey hearts Giancarlo. He was my savior that year. I think I drafted Gagne in the 5th and Fatolo in the 4th… I had no idea what I was doing. But I learned the game by doing and picked it up pretty fast, and now you get to see me at least twice a week. If this angers you, then blame occasional commenter the Birdman for me being here. It’s all his fault.

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Just like Ol’ Blue Eyes used to say, but replace the lady with baseball players. The MLB season is 6 weeks old, and my DFS expectations have not been met. I’ve been using two very high priced pitchers that are allegedly good, in the majority of my DraftKings entries. I’d say at least 75% of the time I have used two pitchers in the same entry that were in the top five in terms of highest priced. Wednesday I did a 50/50 entry and used Raisel Iglesias and Jose Quintana. When I make quick bold decisions that are borderline head-scratching, I find that I do pretty well. However, using Iglesias and Quintana that day wasn’t just me closing my eyes and seeing where my finger would land. I was intentionally looking for low-priced pitchers and high-priced hitters, and felt that I made educated picks. Iglesias was doing very well in the minors, and Quintana was facing the Brewers. So if you remember, both of these pitchers had stellar performances. Iglesias pitched 8 innings, giving up 1 earned run and had 5 strikeouts. Quintana pitched 7 innings while giving up 1 earned run and had 10 strikeouts. At this point I am leading you to believe I won in that 50/50 entry. However, I still lost. It turned out that all of my pricey hitters fell flat. Thursday, I did another DFS entry where I played Erasmo Ramirez as one of my pitchers and stacked several Rays hitters against Chase Whitley and the Yankees. Again, Ramirez and three of my Rays hitters did very well. I’m not going to tell you today, that I am taking the two least expensive pitchers available, but, just because some of these players are priced much lower than the top tier guys, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider playing them. With that being said, as much as I like to think I am making educated picks, you will need a little luck on your side just like the legend himself, Frank Sinatra.

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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Everybody in the DFS world always talks about stacking Coors. Home runs fly out of there faster than a toupee in a hurricane. Nobody talks about the ill affects of Coors on the the offense that plays half of their games there. The Rockies are so fun to pick on away from home. They strikeout against lefties at one of the highest rates in baseball (heck Brett Anderson struck out 8 in 5.1 innings before the rain delay just last night). Less than 8 punch-outs for a man named Clayton Kershaw will be a disappointment today and he has an upside of 12 or more.

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?

Early yesterday morning, on Mother’s Day, Bill Hall hopped out of bed to the wail of sirens. There was a puppy tied to train tracks two miles from Bill’s house and the train was due for a gruesome splat in four seconds. If Bill flew at 500 MPH, he would get to the train tracks in a quarter of a millisecond, but Bill didn’t fly. Bill Hall moonwalked backwards, causing the earth to move in reverse five minutes and lifted the puppy off the tracks before the sirens even began. Next up, Hall was due at the ballpark in a face mask that resembled Michael Pineda. Yesterday, Bill Hall threw 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 hits, zero walks and 16 Ks. For Hall/Pineda this year, it’s been a bunch of Mother’s Days. His K/9 is 10.5, his BB/9 is 0.60 and his xFIP is 2.20. For those just joining us, those numbers are insane. If the difference between a K-rate and a walk rate is 7, we’re looking at an ace. Hall/Pineda’s difference is nearly ten! It’s better than Kershaw’s (11.4 K/9, 2.2 BB/9)! So Hall/Pineda’s walk rate is absurd and we shouldn’t expect it to continue, right? His walk rate last year was 0.83 and he had a 1.89 ERA, which was in 76 1/3 IP. At what point do we consider Hall/Pineda an ace? I say this point. (I’m pointing my finger as well, to drive home the pointing point.) I’ve even considered that maybe that was Michael Pineda in a Bill Hall mask for all of those other Mother’s Days. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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What are you all doing here today? It’s Mother’s Day… shouldn’t you be getting out of the basement and going to pick up the pizza for her for once! Go put on your fancy sweatpants, you know, the ones without the hot pocket stains, and put on actual shoes. Slippers or flip flops are not okay today. Seriously, try and do something! Did you remember to write her a Dear Mama letter? What about being mothers little helper and taking out the trash or refilling her bourbon? There are lots of things you can do to help out your Mother. I know they like telling you what to do or what not to do, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes. At least you know mama tried and wasn’t just standing in the shadows… I hope. Let’s be nice to her and  just lay off the yo mama jokes for the day? Cool. Oh, that’s right, you are here for fantasy baseball and not just songs and jokes. Yeah I got jokes.

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If you search for the pitchers with the top xFIPs, it’s a who’s who of the league’s finest. It’s not quite as glamorous as the Who’s Who of Western Appalachian High School Students that your parents paid $25 for you to get your picture in, but it’s still pretty illustrious. Kershaw on top, then Salazar, F-Her, Gerrit, Carrasco, Pineda, Archer, Shields, Scherzer, Harvey and Lynn. If your pitching staff was just those guys, you may not be currently winning your pitching categories, but you will by the end of the year, or your money back1. Right after Lynn in the list is Clay Buchholz, then after him it continues to be purdy: Arrieta, Kluber, Lester and so on2. Out of all of those pitchers, Kershaw, Shields and Salazar are the only ones with a better K-rate with Buchholz’s at 11.5. 11.5 K/9 is excellent and is the 4th best in the majors. Buchholz’s walk rate isn’t bad either at 2.87 — under 3 is solid. Under three walk rate with an 11.5 K/9 is an ace. Only thing is, his ERA is 6.03. Oopsie! Right now, his BABIP is .407. A .407 BABIP is basically the equivalent to an easy grounder is headed right to a fielder, but the ball is grabbed by a possum and the possum runs the ball around the infield for five minutes as the hitter goes around the bases for an inside-the-parker. If Buchholz is available in your league, I’d absolutely grab him, and could even see trading for him in deeper leagues9.

1You just need to sell my Jose Canseco Sportsflics rookie card to get that money back.
2Yes, I said so on rather than list Bartolo Colon3.
3Yes, by footnoting Bartolo Colon I am sorta listing him4.
4My autocorrect wanted to change sorta to Sorat. Is that Borat’s sister5?
5I miss Sacha Baron Cohen. Shame what happened to him.6
6My intern says nothing happened to him, he just picked crappy films to be in7.
7The Spirit of David Foster Wallace has taken over my body8.
8Not really.
9Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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“This is a smart decision by the Nationals franchise to not let Stephen Strasburg pitch in the playoffs,” said every sports reporter two years ago. Let’s try another one, Google, just give me the search results from 2010 when Strasburg was first promoted. “He’s a once-in-a-lifetime arm that the world has not seen since Sidd Finch.” Strasburg, Virginia even considered renaming itself Stephen Strasburg. I’m not joking. The hype was real, prematurely balding man. In the past seven months of baseball: Sonny Gray or Strasburg? Is it close? Who’s been better, Strasburg or Lance Lynn? Can I now ingest that laced-Halloween candy that I got from the sketchy guy that I’ve been saving for a special occasion? Yesterday, Strasburg left the game after three innings and two earned runs, saying he has irritation under his shoulder blade. The Nats say it’s an alignment issue that could be corrected by a chiropractor. He’ll be looked at by Jon Cryer from Two and A Half Men. Probably from his stupid inverted W. Why not just call it an M?! No idea how long Strasburg will be out, but obviously this isn’t great news. But, Part II: If Ifs And Buts Were Candy And Nuts, I’d Be A Diabetic Squirrel, it’s better Strasburg not pitch injured and keep getting rocked. But, Part III: But Lives, I’d grab Tanner Roark in case he’s moved into the rotation. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?