I’m back baby!

It’s been sad these past two weeks off from the Pitcher Profiles, but fortunately I could drown my sorrows in all-inclusive, all-day drinking on the honeymoon. YES I DID GET A STRAWBERRY DAIQUIRI, GREY! Although it didn’t stain my mustache, especially since a month long of growth would just be shameful peach fuzz…

We’re now through the bulk of the season and heading into the stretch run, which means Sky has only September left to get to 1,000 moves in our quote-expert-unquote RCL league. If expert meant constantly dropping 6-7 duds every morning, than I’m an expert in my thrown room if ya catch my drift… And on the pitching side, once you get to about 50ish in my ROS ranks, they all can be given the evacuation. But I’ve been really bullish on ranking Luis Severino since his promotion, who I think is a must-own even through these final streaming weeks.

It’s a little hard to stay light-hearted and joke-y with what happened in Atlanta on Saturday night, but obviously my condolences to the fan’s family and we’re supposed to have fun in fantasy, so we won’t delve any more into that. Instead, let’s embrace what we love on the field, which is some nasty breaking stuff and hitters getting baffled. Who doesn’t base their fantasy-team live-watching on their SPs on a given night?! So this was a perfect weekend to get back on the Profiles and check out how Severino looked in a full breakdown:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

All year we’ve been ranking the top prospects closest to the majors. With September call-ups quickly approaching, this post is a little different. Instead of limiting the list to players with their rookie eligibility intact, this will include any players currently in the minor leagues regardless of their at bats or innings pitched totals. There’s a catch, though. It’s only going to list players who are currently healthy and on their team’s 40-man roster. If you see a big name omitted, it’s probably because they aren’t currently on the 40-man. That can still be manipulated of course, but if a player is already on the roster, it increases the chances they’ll get a look next month. I also decided to weed through it for players that I thought could actually have some relevance in fantasy. With guys like Domingo Santana, Trea Turner, and even Aaron Altherr already up, this isn’t exactly the sexiest group. But there are some nice players in here, and if they can find playing time, they could also help your fantasy team down the stretch. When looking at who to pick up, I’d recommend focusing on teams that are out of the playoff hunt and who may be more inclined to give their younger players a look. Zeroing in on injuries (or potential ones) is also a good move. I bolded a few of the names that I think are interesting gambles…

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With just over a month and a half left to play, it’s still a tight two-horse race between Razzball’s J-FOH and Hannibal Montana for the first Razznasty championship. The big story right now though is MattTruss (The Hippos). Truss has gained nearly 20 points in the standings since our last league update in early July and now sits comfortably in third place. How has he done it? Basically he’s dominated the rest of us since July 1st – leading the league in RBIs, wins, and strikeouts over that span. But that’s not all. The Hippos have also been top five in four other categories, including hitting the second most homers and posting the second best ERA since the beginning of last month. In other words, it’s been a balanced attack on the standings, and I am now officially scared of hippos. There is still a lot of ground between Truss and our two leaders, but anything can happen when you’re a 2-ton animal on the move.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s always good to try and see every pitcher that you can.

I’ve never seen Henry Owens pitch, but didn’t think much of him for 2015 with a horrible walk rate in AAA (4.12 per/9).  “Is this strike zone regulation size, or what?!”  But he is a top prospect, reportedly has good stuff, and was decent in his debut against the Yanks.

You never know what you can see at the eye level, and you never know what pitchers might have a fluky bad walk rate in AAA only to find dynamite command in the Majors (cough,  Taylor Jungmann).  So I decided to check out Owens yesterday, to see how he looked on the road against the Tigers in his second MLB start:

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Yesterday, Brandon Crawford went 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs with two homers (17, 18). Crawford has a big flashing sign over his head that reads, “Career Year.” Under said sign, he has a smaller sign that reads, “Or could this be a legitimate breakout?” Under that sign, there’s yet another sign that reads, “There is no third sign.” Then under that there’s a smaller sign that reads, “Is that meta? Why even go through the trouble of hanging a third sign?” Then there’s yet another smaller sign that reads…Ugh, I can’t even read it, the font is too small. Let’s stick with the signs we can read and that make sense, “Career year” and “Or could this be a legitimate breakout?” His previous career high was 10 homers in 153 games last year, and prior to that he had never homered ten times in any professional league. In four full years with the Giants, he only had 26 homers coming into this season. That was in over 1800 plate appearances. His previous career high in HR/FB% was 7%. This year it’s over 17%. He’s in the top 30 in the league for homers per fly balls. For the most part, a guy who hits a lot of homers per fly balls are, as you can imagine, not guys that had a previous high of ten homers in over 1800 plate appearances. They’re guys like Just Dong, Braun, Te(i)x, Miggy, etc. etc. etc. The homers will disappear, but I wouldn’t mind so much if Crawford was more than a .255 hitter. The most obvious comp is a young J.J. Hardy, if he was an actual comp, but he’s not. Hardy hit 26 homers in his 2nd full season, Crawford never came close to this before, and I don’t think he ever will again. So…*picks up megaphone* All right, guys, let’s lose all the signs, except the first one. And get back to work! Ugh, teamsters. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s hard to pick which Ross is hated more: the one in Friends whose character is so annoying David Schwimmer could never get work again, or the dynamite starter for the Nationals, who even after pitching mad impressive through his first few starts, wasn’t even the first SP to get the call when Stephen Strasburg went back to the DL yet again.  Why wasn’t he the first call?!

After Joe Ross‘s first run in June, I kept him in the ranks a few more weeks even without a for-sure rotation spot, and when Strasburg tweaked the oblique, I was ready to vault him into the top-50.  But nooooooo, instead they use, I dunno, Taylor Jordan or someone who doesn’t matter?  C’mon Nats, what did Ross ever do to you?!  Finally the Nationals got Ross back up to face the Mets last week in a decent – albeit underwhelming – start given the matchup, so I decided to break down his 5th MLB start at the Pirates, in a pitcher’s duel Sunday afternoon against Gerrit Cole.  Here’s how Ross looked:

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The Cardinals called up their top hitting prospect, Stephen Piscotty, who has a great eye, and could hit .320 with 20+ homers and 15+ steals in his prime. What will he do this year though? Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! He could play 1st base for the suddenly old-looking and decrepit Mini Donkey. Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty could play some outfield, but where? Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! I’m wondering something else. The Cardinals make a mountain out of molehill prospects, always. A prospect no one cares about comes up and the Cardinals make them look terrific. So, will Piscotty come up and be the opposite? Like the Law of Inverse Properties, which is in no way related to the douchey guy on HGTV that hosts Income Property. Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! I’d grab Piscotty in all leagues since he’s essentially Matt Holliday right before he entered his prime, but I’m guessing Piscotty won’t play enough to be a factor this year in shallower than 15-team mixed leagues. He could though. Grey doesn’t know! Grey doesn’t know! Grey doesn’t know! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At least, that’s what wise men say. Thankfully for both you and I, I’m not one of those…wait, I mean…dammit, nevermind, you know what I mean. I think? Not good to start a recommendation blog off with trepidation but what can I say as I’m going for the unreliable narrator thing. I mean, it worked for Chuck Palahniuk and who doesn’t love the anti-hero Tyler Durden? So while I splice some rated X films into your kids’ movie, lemme tell you a little bit about Chris Rusin. Or better, yet let me tell you about his opponent, the Texas Rangers. Or better than better yet, let me start by saying this: it’s a tourney only call. I know, I know, anything goes in tourneys but hear me out. The Rangers are an impressive offense overall so far this year, especially with how many projected them but there’s one thing they haven’t done well: hit left-handed pitching. For the year, the Rangers have K’d 22.9% of the time vs southpaws and just got sat down by Keuchel on Sunday as he went 7 and struck out 13 while only giving up 2 hits. Would I expect that from Rusin on Monday? Hells to the no, children, but I expect the opportunity for at least 5 to 6 innings and perhaps 7 punch outs. Given the low ownership he’ll garner and the minimal price tag of $4,800, Chris opens the doors to flood your lineup with all of the best bats in the prime spots…ya know, like Colorado, where he’s pitching. It’s a gamble but it’s not one without its merit and I’ll be sure to be the fool that’ll Rusin today. But enough about Elvis love songs, let’s get a little more country. Here’s my ring of fire hot takes for the Monday 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?

Growing up everyone had their favorite school lunch. Didn’t matter if your Mom packed you one or if you paid Bertha $1.25 for the crap they served on the foam divided plate. Everybody had a favorite. Maybe you were a lima beans and ravioli guy, a P,B, and J-er, did you crush fluffernutters like a boss? Or did you wait all week for pizza on Friday? I had several favorites and they evolved as I got older, I’m sure that’s the same for you too. So this week we compare pitchers to some of my favorite brown bag meals. Excuse me while I go heat up some Dino-shaped chix nuggets. Yummmm weird chicken type meat smoothered in sweet baby rays….Yummmmmm. So anyway we’re all starving for some fantasy baseball coming out of the break, and what better way to ring in the second half than a little elementary school nostalgia? Two Start Pitchers week 16 gentlemen and four LADIES.

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I’ve just never been a Matt Moore guy…

Uber-talented Moore has always gotten praise for his clean mechanics and smooth delivery, plus fastball, and solid slider, but it never materialized into good control and solid numbers.  Those horrible, horrible walks…  Moore’s K zone looks like a star chart!

After never ranking him favorably the past few years because of a 4.5 walk rate, yes 4.5, I thought the buzz for him off the DL from TJ recovery was too… buzzy.  I’m at a loss for words I’m so confused!  But I hadn’t seen him pitch since hitting the DL after two starts last year, and maybe a reconstructed elbow can help.  “He’s more machine now, than man!”  Well let’s hope it helps the horrific walk rate!  Here’s how he looked yesterday hosting the Astros, along with ranks for pitchers for the second half:

Please, blog, may I have some more?