So it’s not really the 2nd half mark in the fantasy baseball season, but it’s the All-Star Break so what else are we going to talk about? Hell’s Kitchen? Is it even believable that these people would one day be in charge of a kitchen? There’s Real World castmates who seem like they have their shizz together better than these schmohawks. I like the one guy who burps a lot. He seems ready to run a kitchen! MasterChef, though, that show is the Sistine Chapel of reality shows. Okay, as with all of the other 2014 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt. If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade the outfielder for the 2nd baseman. Also, things change in fantasy baseball. Daily. I could put Miggy number three on the top 100 list for the second half of 2014 and he could get in a fight with a bartender (not Tom Wilhelmsen) tomorrow, then he wouldn’t be number one. See how that works. This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued. It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache. This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half of their season. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today. So while Carlos Santana did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because I still believe. The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2014. I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what guys will do. Welcome to the future! Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2014:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tsuyoshi Wada hit the majors leagues yesterday, so let’s talk about the new Yu Darvish! Actually, that’s Masahiro Tanaka. Okay, let’s talk about the new Hiroki Kuroda! That’s Ryu. Uh, the new Cubs pitcher that I’m excited about? That’s Arrieta. The new pitcher that autocorrect tries to change his first name to tsuris? By the by, is my autocorrect anti-Semitic? Why does it suggest tsuris? Because I’m half-Heb? And why did autocorrect just change Jew to Heb. Siri, dial the Anti-Defamation League and apologize. “Dialing your mother now.” Siri, not cool! Any pitcher that does compare to Wada? Yes, the new Bruce Chen. So, Wada is a rookie in name only. He’s 33 years old, and the first rookie with salt and pepper hair to throw five shutout innings since Satchel Paige. He’s also a soft-tossing lefty. Yawn. He might catch some hitters off-balance, but he’s probably around a high-6 K/9 and a 4 ERA pitcher. Yesterday’s line of 5 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks is okay, but not much to flap your gums about outside of NL-Only leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, we had our first July 31st trading deadline deal, and it paid off for all the A’s fans who paid Oaktown’s own, Bubb Rubb, to break into Billy Beane’s office and turn his iCal forward a month. “Any ideas what you want to do for the 4th of July, Billy?” “I celebrated last month with some friends.” Screen spirals out and slam cuts to Bubb Rubb, maniacally (bubb)rubbing his hands together. When the A’s are playing like it’s playoff baseball in September, don’t say your mustachioed over-the-internet friend didn’t warn you. So, the trade that went down was Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel for David Addison Leave Me Alone Maddie Russell, who I will get to after this lede. Samardzija and Hammel both gain value going to the A’s, which isn’t often the case with an NL pitcher going to The Land of Milk and Honey-Flavored DHs. Wrigley isn’t a great place to pitch — one day it’s overcast with winds blowing straight out, another day winds are just swirling overhead like a toilet bowl genie. As we’ve seen in the past, pitchers can do just about anything in a short period of time. Could Hammel and Samardzija completely poop the sheets? Fo’sho. Likely? Prolly not. O.co is like Petco and Metco, a big cavernous wasteland for hitters and they have more foul territory than Roseanne Barr’s privates. Samardzija brings strikeout stuff to hitters that aren’t as familiar with him and could be the 2nd half’s Kazmir. Yesterday, in his first A’s start, he had a line of 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks. Dividends paying out quick there. Hammel keeps the ball down and O.co will love him. This trade only really hurts Tommy Milone, who was shipped to the minors. The A’s just made themselves a serious contender and having a friend in Bubb Rubb pays off once again. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Let’s face it, Kings are pretty cool. Certainly cooler than a President, or a Prime Minister, whatever that is. I mean the only title more powerful than King is God. This is probably why people were so up in arms when LeBron James anointed himself King. I’m sure people wouldn’t have been nearly as upset if he elected himself President James. People hate presidents, People fear Kings. Presidents are chosen by mortals, Kings are chosen by God. The only president that is remotely badass is Abraham Lincoln and that’s mostly due to his downtime vampire slaying. Where I’m going with all this, is you should do what you can to acquire the title King, and if you can’t become a king, get yourself affiliated with one. Well, today you’re in luck, gambling-addicted man between the ages of 26-42, for hear ye hear ye King Felix Hernandez of Seattle has returned!

His highness gets the White Sox today on the South Side of the Chi. Facing Los Calcetinies Blancos at U.S. Cellular Field is no easy task for mere mortals, but for a King it’s just a worthy foe. On the really tho….Felix is matchup proof. First off he’s 10-2 with an Era of 2.10. That’s impressive even to you non-number driven baseball fans. For the hardcore seam heads his numbers are boner inducing. Just look at these sexy stats, 1.96 FIP, 2.37 xFIP, 9.61 K/9, 1.54 BB/9, 54% GB%, 4.9 HR%, and a .28 HR/9. Those numbers are silly, and the FIP, xFIP, and a 72.8% LOB tell me he’s not even getting lucky. He’s just that dominant. His price point today isn’t that cheap but the numbers justify the $12,600 price tag on DraftKings. I think it would be regicide to not give Felix a place in your lineup card.

Before we get into the rest of the choices for the day, I have to mention how unbelievable the competition has been the last few weeks in the daily 20 team Razzball leagues on DraftKings. We now have a steady stream of regulars made up of readers and writers, who are jumping in on the action. Just case you don’t know, I’ve been putting one or two of these contests together everyday and sending the invites out early. The setup is pretty simple, 20 teams, $1 or $2 entry fee with the top 3 teams splitting the pot. It makes for a nice low risk high reward contest. If you win one, you can bankroll a week or so worth of play on DraftKings. Have we mentioned before that if you’ve haven’t yet played DraftKings you can signup by clicking here? Have we? I can’t recall. The best part is if you do decide to join us today DraftKings will give you a ticket for a free game just for getting started. I know that’s like too good to be true, but it is true!

So we have two leagues today on DraftKings the first of which filled. I just put together a 2nd and you can join by clicking here.

Now onto the picks!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, there was a pitching performance that truly captured the minds and hearts of the general public. You know, the general public — the people you smile at on the street and wonder how they got their shirt on because they look so dumb. Those people! This pitching performance wasn’t done by just any average pitcher. No, it was done by…an outfielder. Travis Snider struck out Joey Votto! Whaaaaaaat?! Oh, and Clayton Kershaw threw a no-hitter. It should’ve been a perfect game, but Hanley didn’t feel like it. It’s okay, Hanley, don’t beat yourself up over it too much. Let Dodger fans do it for you! Kershaw’s game wasn’t perfect in the strictly record book sense, but it was in the fantasy sense. 15 Ks, no hits, no walks — you now have the best pitching performance of this year, and it might be a top ten fantasy start of all-time. I wonder if you could buy him low. I keed! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Royals are Daddy Rich from Car Wash or Max Scherzer owed Verlander a favor. “Hey, Scherzer, do me a solid and do a solid on the mound so my Monday start doesn’t look so bad. You feel me? If you do, I got a Ms. Upton to feel you.” Little did Scherzer know that Verlander wasn’t talking about Kate Upton, but about Justin and B.J.’s sister, Misshapen. “Misshapen, your legs are so curvaceous they remind me of the coastline of Africa.” Or maybe Verlander is just spreading something around the clubhouse. Anibal, you better not touch him or I will know it! Scherzer only lost once all of last year at home, which is slightly misleading like I’m saying he is that much better at home. He only lost twice on the road last year and his ERA on the road was almost a run and half lower. Yesterday, it all went to pot — Lincecum, “That’s where I want to go!” — as Scherzer gave up 10 runs in four innings. Leyland was right. Pitchers are like barbecuing pork. You need a lot of indirect smoke to tender up their shoulder and get ‘em right. If this allows a buying opportunity on Scherzer, unlike Verlander, I do think this was a hiccup rather than a long, extended burp. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Gregory Polanco broke out Friday night, collecting five hits, scoring two runs, and hitting the go ahead 2-run home run in the 13th inning to win it for the Bucs. Polancopacetic! The Polancomeback (the first of many!) gives his fantasy owners good reason to be excited, too. The home run was his first major league jack and someone better grab that ball and display it at the Carnegie Museum because this kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha! I guess the Fish that Saved Pittsburgh was a Polancod. Oh geez. That was bad, I apologize. After dominating AAA batting .347 with 47 runs, 7 homers, 49 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 62 games, Polanco was off to a slow start in the majors, hitting just 3-for-14 in his first three games. But he busted out in a big way last night, and those who stashed him have got to be feeling real good. Between Giancarlo, George Springer and Mike Trout, I don’t know if have room in my life for another player obsession, you can only stalk so many players in a 24-hour span, and the constant travel and hiding in bushes is exhausting. More importantly I don’t think I have room in my locker for all the Tiger Beat photos I’ll need to cut out and post of him. But I guess I will have to make room for you now Gregory Polanco! Let’s be friends.

Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With a quarter season of jamming and cramming behind us, it may be time to start taking some serious inventory. No, not a fearless moral inventory, that’s 12-step talk and I ain’t no quitter – just ask my liver. I’m talking about taking an honest look at where your team is good and where it absolutely sucks donkey dongs*. We have enough data behind us now that we know Matt Kemp is actually Milton Bradley in disguise, Billy Butler needs a mansiere (It’s called The Bro!), Jedd Gyorko is more myth than man (and mercifully on the DL), Troy Tulowitzki is really good at baseball, and Nelson Cruz can hit a ball a long way with or without his juice. Now I’m not saying to go and blow up your team and drop Dustin Pedroia  because he has just two more homers than the late Johnny Pesky this year. What your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru is pulling on your coat about here is that it’s time to drop the dead weight wasting away on your bench for some fresh meat that could save your fantasy season. I’ve played this fake game long enough to know that we have about two weeks to go until disgruntled owners completely abandon their teams for fantasy Cricket which cuts down on our trade options, but increases our chances of moving up the leader board. It was around this time last year that I bailed on Josh Rutledge and Jason Heyward for Jean Segura and Dominic Brown. I eventually traded them off for Ian Desmond and Hunter Pence. That worked, and all the cash and glory (and glory holes) were mine. Let’s scour the waiver wire for players owned 50% or less in most leagues and see if we can discover some riches for our bankrupt roster. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

*Donkey dongs is a technical sabermetric term taught at Mathew Berry’s Fantasy Baseball College for the Criminally Insane.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hate on me all you want, but I’ve been a full-fledged, die-hard New York Yankees fan since birth. [Jay's Note: Could be worse... you could have been a Red Sox fan...] I may have been born and raised in the land of palm trees, bikinis and coked-out debutantes (Los Angeles), but my father, a Brooklynite, instilled in me his love for the men in pinstripes.

Being a Yankees fan has many ups, but when it has its downs, it makes you wanna bury your head in the sand.  Most of these “downs” are related to the front office spending a gazillion bricks of gold bullion on aging vets (that is the form of currency Hiroki Kuroda used during his formidable years in the 1920s).  No matter how many supplements and PEDs and anti-aging hormones these players use, they’ll eventually wither away and get hurt in the process. If only the Yankees had a pill that gave their players Benjamin Button disease.  I can picture CC Sabathia as a fat three-year-old baby, probably licking the fluid coming out of his knees.  How adorable, he got it all over his face!  How many jars of Gerber’s mashed zucchini can you buy for $142 million?

Mark Teixeira had to leave Saturday’s game with renewed wrist “inflammation”.  This is not something to be taken lightly.  He had offseason surgery on the same wrist and had to miss three games earlier this week before returning Friday.  The fact that could only make it through one-and-a-half games before getting hurt again says this problem is not going away.  Wrist injuries can completely sap your power (see, Encarnacion, Edwin in April).  He’s scheduled to see a specialist on Tuesday to determine the severity of the injury. Don’t hold your breath.

After a promising start to the season in which he compiled a 2-2 record with a 1.83 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, Michael Pineda has been nothing but a pain in the backside for fantasy owners — literally.  He’s been dealing with back issues, similar to the one Clayton Kershaw had in spring training, and he had been on track to return within the next few weeks.  But that is no more.  After a setback in his rehab this weekend, Pineda will be shutdown indefinitely.  It’s time for fantasy owners to cut bait, as it’s possible we won’t see him in the Bronx till August.

There may be some good news on the injury front in New York, however.  Carlos Beltran‘s attempt to avoid surgery to his elbow seems to be going well.  He’s been slowly swinging a bat — progressing from dry swings, to swinging from both sides of the plate, and he took batting practice on the field before Friday’s game.  According to Beltran himself, he walked away from that session happier than a big city business man taking his lunch break at a Korean massage parlor.  Evidently that was enough proof of good health for the Yankees to send him out on an extended spring training stint in Tampa.  He is shooting for a June 10 return when the Yanks visit Seattle to take on the Mariners.

Now on to the rest of the league…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Lewis Carroll wrote in Alice in Wonderland, “The rule is: jam tomorrow and jam yesterday, but never jam today.”  Carroll also was blasted out of his mad hatter on opium and really liked little kids (in a weird Michael Jackson-Jesus juice kind of way). However, your humble-but-nonetheless-poppy-fueled Guru says jam yesterday, cram tomorrow and jam it twice today. Now pass the hookah and pardon me while I pull on your bloomers about something here, Alice (and it completely applies to the jamming and the cramming we’re about to do): This Super Two nonsense is damn annoying. Not to just us fantasy ballers, but to anyone that’s a fan of young talent wasting away in the likes of Iowa and Indianapolis. Bring up Javier Baez and Gregory Polanco now! Don’t give me the ol’, “He needs more seasoning” B.S.. How much seasoning does Polanco need? He’s hitting .350, with six homers, 45 RBI and 11 steals in 50 games. I think this meat is tender enough, get him on the grill now. Of course teams put money above winning (and our fake teams), that’s why four watered down Sam Adams’ cost me a kidney at Fenway last week. What exactly is Super Two? As simple as I can put it is: once a player gets promoted, they start to accrue MLB service time. A player needs three years of MLB service time to qualify for salary arbitration. However, the top 22% of players promoted first in the season that have more than two years of service time, but less than three years, qualify for salary arbitration under the “Super Two” status. Get all that? Becoming arbitration eligible obviously means a significant bump in the bucks. So, it’s a big money grab by a bunch of Spaulding Smails that fart in the general direction of fans and our fantasy teams. And, while the Pirates playoff chances slip away, you pay $75 to park at PNC, and my Polanco has to have dinner at the Indy Applebee’s. Now that we’ve hit June, this Super Two stuff is about to end and there will be a bunch of prospects making their way to the party. At least the Twins called up Oswaldo Arcia and the St. Louis Cardinals came to their senses by bringing up  Oscar Tavares on Saturday. If the waiver wire in your league is full of Super Two’s, grab them now and screw the Queen of Hearts. With my Sunday rant out of the way, let’s head down this rabbit hole – it’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?