Devon Travis was activated from the DL yesterday (1-for-4, 1 run).  Be interesting to see what he can do in his return from shoulder surgery.  Shoulder surgery never really stopped anyone from doing well before.  “Yes, Michael Brantley?  Ask your question.  Okay, if you’re not going to ask your question, at least put your arm down.  You can’t put down your arm?  Oh.”  The Blue Jays said that Travis could move up the order soon, and hit leadoff.  No way, Azul Jays!  You mean Jose Bautista isn’t a leadoff hitter?  That’s downright shocking.  I never would’ve guessed that.  Shiver me Timberlands, and stockpile my hatch chiles before Trump kicks New Mexico out of the union.  There’s been a lot of talk in the comments about how unenthused I am for Travis, and it’s not entirely true.  I would take a flyer on him in all leagues, but it takes hitters a while to return from shoulder surgery, so I’d tempura my expectations.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Matt Harvey (5 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 6.08) briefly held the honor of having the worst ERA of any National League starter at 6.08, which means Harvey is the only one happy with Shelby Miller this year.  It’s time we addressed the giant imaginary rabbit in the room, Harvey.  The Mets thought that Harvey’s problems were mental and considered burning all of his locker’s contents to rid him of the bad juju.  Can you put his “animosity for Terry Collins” in the locker too?  How about his “bitterness at not being the star pitcher anymore?”  Does that fit in a locker?  What about “brooding?”  Does brooding fit in a locker?  Someone needs to salve Harvey’s ego with some Jergen’s lotion because you can see his buttsoreness (totally a word!).  His velocity looked fine yesterday, but his slider is not being located with precision.   Also, check this:  1st time through the order facing Harvey:  .241/.292/.373; second time:  .301/.326/.518; third time:  .509/.563/.764.  What does that tell me?  He’s having a hard time keeping his pitches fresh the 2nd and 3rd time a hitter sees him, which goes back to the slider.  I don’t think his problems are unfixable, but he may need a trip to the Disgraceful List with a mysterious ailment to clear his head and figure out his slider.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yeah, I did already use this title, didn’t I?! Manaea? Maeda? Tomato? Tomatto?! Let’s call the whole thing off! What’s funny is Sean Manaea and Kenta Maeda couldn’t be more different either, with the former is a lefty hard-thrower, and the other a righty craftsman…

I got a good amount of flack the first few weeks of the Pitcher Profile ranks for not moving Maeda way up, but I think he’s going to end up a pretty average pitcher in fantasy terms – something akin to a standard league SP4. Like Grey’s Pulitzer-winningMatt Harvey is sucking because of the playoff workload last year” advice on the Podcast, I’ve always maintained the entirely unique and previously un-thought “Maeda could start strong, but will fade as the league sees him more.” We’re all about the hard-hitting advice here at Razzball!

We’ve begun to see the cracks in the armor from Maeda (can’t use a different phrase because of Jeremy Lin, thanks ESPN). After a 0.36 ERA through his first 4 starts, he sported a 5.82 the next 4 heading into yesterday afternoon. Didn’t expect it to regress this fast! Comments exclaiming for a Maeda move-up in my ranks certainly went away! But within this 8-start microcosm, I indeed think Maeda is somewhere in that law of averages. So after a few requests for a Maeda profile, I decided to break down his start yesterday afternoon in a saucy matchup at Petco to see how he looks.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Junior Guerra has a backstory that puts the odd in odyssey.  The Braves signed him as a 16-year-old catcher out of Venezuela.  In 2006, he had position reassignment surgery and became a pitcher.  As a herbathrowdite in Georgia, bathrooms and strike zones were hard to find, so he was released.  He found courage from the support group, “PAC IO,” which is Pitchers And Catchers Input/Output, and tried his hand at Independent leagues.  Eventually, he played in Mexico, Spain, and Italy.  In Italy, it was especially difficult to be a pitcher because every time a hitter came up to the plate a large, mustachioed woman umpire would say, “Guerra, you hafta throw the meatballs.  C’mon, the hitter’s starvin’ over here.”  And Guerra’s cheeks would constantly be pinched.  But, miraculously, Robin Ventura found him in Italy, while mistakenly thinking that’s where Jim Rome taped his show, and signed him.  Of course, the White Sox had no place for Guerra, and his journey took him to Milwaukee, allowing him to be the first person with an Italian stamp on his passport in Milwaukee since Arthur Fonzarelli.  Yesterday, he went 7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 11 Ks to move his record to 3-0.  He’s touched 99 MPH with his fastball, averaging around 92-95 and has a split-finger change that falls off the map like an explorer in the 1400’s.  Is he more than a streamer?  Hard to say at this point.  He will get strikeouts and faces the Braves next so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and grab him for that start.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Nothing is a better, giant surprise than a Rubby in the morning!

Rubby De La Rosa has always been a guy with a power fastball and plus slider, but it’s never been enough.  Ks haven’t been there, he couldn’t get lefties out, and he’s looked more and more like Nathan Eovaldi rather than “the next big thing”.  But after yesterday’s outing, Rubby has somehow limited lefties to a .162 average and only allowed 1 homer in 87 LH batters faced.  Compare that to last year, when lefties murdered him for .315 and 20 homers in 410 batters faced.

After a pretty brutal start – including 3 relief appearances due to the D’backs bullpen being overtaxed – I really didn’t think too much about Rubby and his upside.  Kinda thought “he is who we thought he is!”  Wait, that’s a different Arizona sports team…  His last 5 starts have been really good with solid Ks, but I thought for sure the Giants with their bevy of lefties would crash the party.  Alas, we got a Giant surprise!  Here’s how Rubby looked yesterday afternoon in Zona against those Gigantes:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’d like to dedicate this post to all the mothers out there, and to the most important mother in most of our lives, Manny Machado.  The Oxford Dictionary defines mother, “something that is an extreme or ultimate example of its kind especially in terms of scale.”  So, one can say that Manny Machado is the mother of all shortstops and 3rd basemen.  Yesterday, on Machado’s Day, a true mother in the most arcane sense, he went 2-for-4, 6 RBIs with two homers (8, 9).  He’s gaining shortstop eligibility for next year because Hardy hurt himself and the Orioles realized that necessity is the Machado of invention.  So, next year, is there any way he’s not in the top three overall for all of fantasy?  I guess if he gets hurt.  Did I just jinx him?  What a Machado f**ker!  Whatever the case, there’s no way I can pay you back, but the plan is to show you that I understand; you are appreciated.  Sweet Manny, don’tcha know, I love ya (Dear Machado).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Matthew Wisler threw a gem yesterday — 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 2 Walks, 4 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.24.  Or if you like portmanteaus and/or vomit — Matthrew up a gem.  By the by, after anyone says their name is Matthew, do you always want to say, “Gesundheit?”  “Name for the cup?”  “Matthew.”  “Wow, it’s allergy season, huh?”  That’s me as a barista, a job I never had.  I’ve actually held one real job in my entire life.  I’m like Mark Cuban without the money.  Since I own Wisler in more leagues than I care to admit, I watched the whole game.  Prolly first time I watched one of my pitchers while listening to the opposing broadcast, but you cannot beat the Mets announcers for a broadcast booth or for stories about insane cocaine intake in the 80s.  Wisler was dancing a 94 MPH fastball just at the knees, spinning a backdoor curve that had Neil Walker look more like Neil Statue.  Duda?  Go take a doodie, it’d be more productive than facing Wisler!  Asdrubal?  Well, he actually hit the ball hard.  Quite a few Mets did.  It was like, “Matthew!  Damn, I think I caught something,” and the Braves would look up with a ball in their glove.  So, Wisler’s performance last night was a gorgeous line, but I wouldn’t go near him outside of the deepest of leagues.  In shallower leagues, Matthew?  God bless you for last night, but I don’t need those tissues.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“‘I need a bouncy C.  Not a bouncy castle!’  Billy Beane screams into his headset, when an intern interrupts him and his daughter, practicing her guitar, while they are both on a treadmill.  The intern tells Beane that Jesse Hahn has a blister.  The intern turns and it’s Jonah Hill.  Fat Jonah, not “He doesn’t look right skinny” Jonah.   Beane then looks at the camera to establish empathy and says, “Get me Sean Manaea.”  Only he adds three extra syllables to Manaea’s naeame.   And…scene!”  The producer smiles, “That’s a great pitch.  If only Manaea looks that good.  High-five!”  So, Manaea has been called up to start on Friday.  He’s looked downright fantastic thus far.  Upleft fantastic too.  He’s a six-five Samoan, but he doesn’t weight 475 pounds.  He could be the Rookie of the Year; his stuff is that TNT with SVU reruns.  I also think there’s more downside here than, say, Berrios.  He’s had moments where his command leaves him, and he becomes a 5+ IP, 4 ER guy.  His delivery looks to me like he could get wild very easily.  Wide range of possibility here, could be a #1 or could be a #4-5 that you only own in AL-Only leagues.  Of course, I’m taking the flyer in all leagues for the chance he comes up and wows upsides our fantasy heads.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

 

In this age of technology, sometimes its good to look back on a forgotten pastime. There was a time when we all believed in the unknown. A time when we believed in that which was unbelievable. A time when some well dressed yet ominous looking man would grab an impeccably dressed lady from the audience and tell you there was nothing up his sleeve while he sawed said beauty in half. All the while, the audience gasped only to have their fears assuaged as he puts her back together with the house band playing a resounding ‘tada!’ via horns and drums. Maybe you never got a chance to believe in those things so for that reason, I’m here today to bring that little sense of illusion and wonder into your life. Please be seated. Are you ready? Please examine my right hand. Notice there’s nothing in it? Ok, please examine Patrick Corbin‘s left hand. Notice a baseball in it? I’m going to show you how with that left hand and a baseball, Corbin is going to make the Cards disappear. Now normally a magician doesn’t reveal how his magic is done but since I like all three of you that read this, I’m gonna let you in on the secret: the Cardinals are terrible against lefties this year and it was a problem last year as well. Look, the sample size for 2016 has been small to say the least – they only have the 19th most PAs against them so far this year – but when Jon Niese K’s seven of you while only walking one, you have a southpaw problem in my book. After finishing basically second in K% in 2015 at 23.6% vs the wrong hand and now sitting at 27% for this season so far, I’m gonna have plenty of Corbin exposure for tourneys and enjoy the likely low ownership. And with that, my magic show is done. Oh wait, you want an encore? Well I’ve been working on this ping pong ball trick I learned from Winona Ryder…well actually, that’s part of another old pastime called the burlesque show and I’m sorry, kiddos, that ain’t free. But you know what is? The rest of my picks. So with that, we’re off. Here’s my pyrotechnic extravaganza magic show hot taeks for this Wednesday DK slate…

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Josh Tomlin continued his early season success pitching 6.2 innings of four hit beisbol, allowing just one run and striking out four for his second win of the year. Josh is now 2-0 through his first two starts with a 1.54 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 10 strikeouts. He’s available in over 90% of ESPN leagues. Am I missing something? Tomlin was part of my championship pitching staff last year. No. I didn’t win, but I still made the finals, so that counts as a championship team, right? Tomlin finished 2015 especially strong giving up just 14 runs in 49.3 IP with a 44/3 K/BB rate, and two complete games. Can he keep it up? Let’s look at the stats. First, Josh’s ESPN player page photo looks a whole lot like Bradley Cooper. Second, Tomlin’s .219 BABIP for 2015 was laughably low, and he’s not exactly a strikeout machine. That said, he doesn’t walk anyone either. Doode throws strikes, and his 3.2 BB% from 2015 is no fluke. If we look further into the advanced stats (NERD!), we see Josh doesn’t induce a lot of ground ball outs either, and his fly ball percentage was 46.2 last year. Basically, he could give up a lot of long balls. Or not, what do these numbers know anyway. I’ll tell you what I know. Josh Tomlin has been pitching very well dating back to last September and he has a juicy match up with the Twins next week. He’s certainly a worthy streaming option in the right match up and I’d give him a chance next week in Minnesota.

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?