Imagine the Cubs decided to use Lester, Hendricks, Hammel and Lackey in the playoffs, and not Jake Arrieta.  Not sure it would be the wrong move either.  Arrieta isn’t just out of gas, he’s on a late-70s gas station line, cursing Jimmy Carter.  He’s eaten six Chalupas and a Pintos ‘n Cheese from Taco Bell, washed it down with a 16-ounce Coke, and can’t produce any gas.  He’s staying at a Marriott in Saudi Arabia where OPEC is meeting and all hotel guests get a complimentary barrel of petroleum and Arrieta can’t produce any gas.  Yesterday, Arrieta went 5 IP, 7 ER and his ERA went up to 3.10.  About five months ago, I said Arrieta doesn’t look right.  I said it around the time of his no-hitter.  That took some pants grapes.  What’s funny (not funny) when you’re super early at calling something out, people write you off as cuckoo in the coconut.  On April 29th, I said, “It’s hard to find a positive when you take this year’s numbers vs. last year’s (of Arrieta).  Velocity is down, K-rate is down, walk rate is up, xFIP is up, luck is up, homers are up, ground balls are down and fly balls are up.  It’s like looking under a Maserati’s hood and seeing a Mercedes engine.  It’s not bad, but it’s not a Maserati.”  And that’s me quoting me!  On May 9th, I said, “Not to sound like a broken record, but his peripherals just haven’t been as good as last year thus far.”  And that’s me quoting me sounding like a broken record!  I continued to say more or less the same for a few months, then SUDDENLY everyone else started saying it.  For 2017, I picture Arrieta being drafted a lot like Felix Hernandez in the preseason this year.  People are concerned, but he’s so good, they’re still drafting Arrieta around 60th overall.  Yeah, and it won’t work out either.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Sunday morning, I woke around 8 AM to read a text from Rudy saying, “Awful news, Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident.”  I put on my glasses, no time for contacts, and turned on the TV.  It was still on Fox Sports West because I was watching Vin Scully tributes all weekend.  Yesterday morning, Fox Sports was playing Anglers Chronicles, a fishing show, which is wrong in so many ways.  After switching the stations, groggy-eyed and still half asleep, I realized TV was not the place anymore to go for breaking news.  I shut it off and turned to the internet.  I’m still piecing together my thoughts.  He was 24 years old, even if he never played baseball this is a horrible loss of life.  I’m reminded of all the friends I lost to motorcycles in their twenties.  I’m struck by how inconsequential fantasy feels.  There’s a giant pit in my stomach.  Then, I think about how I never saw Jose Fernandez not smiling.  Not having fun.  I think about how on that boat, Saturday evening, you know Jose Fernandez was having a great time, because he was always having a great time.  That exuberance came through in everything he did.  I think about how he spent time in prison after one of his numerous failed attempts of escaping Cuba, and how, even then, he was likely making fellow inmates smile.  How the excellence he brought to the mound every fifth day was felt all the way back in Cuba to raise up even the darkest corners of Cuba’s prisons.  “That was us.  That is us,” the inmates, who are still incarcerated for trying to escape, likely said.  How baseball does that.  How special that is.  You see what you’re going to see in tragedy, but I see Jose Fernandez pitching, and baseball, and making himself and others smile.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As we always do about this time!  *beat drops, Grey does the worm, Grey’s iPhone alarm goes off, time to put more money in the meter*  Damn, how long was I worming for?  September 1st hits and teams expand their rosters to the Four-Oh.  Now pour some extra bullpen guys out for all the dead moments between pitcher changes.  So, what does this mean for all of us, fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!)?  It means call-ups and rookie nookie is aplenty.  Aplenty, I tell ya!  By the by, for big boned people, rather than an X-Large t-shirt, they should call them aplen-Tees.  Yeah, I just made the English language better.  High-five yourself for even knowing to read me.  *Grey worms, alarm goes off*  Damn, I need to get more coins.  At this point in the year, you need guys that are getting everyday playing time, so I’m pumped up the jam on rookie nookie, but if a guy isn’t playing every day, he’s as good as dirt in redraft leagues, and I don’t have a Soil category, do you?  It’s a most exciting time to be alive and be fantasy balling, but don’t lose sight of the real goal here:  to get quality at-bats from guys that are playing, not to pick up a guy that will be great in 2017.  (Unless you’re in a keeper league; then, by all means, knock yourself out!  Not literally!  Ouch.)  Which bring us to Yoan Mocada.  Red Sox manager, John Farrell, says Moncada’s promotion is eminent.  They have a bobblehead giveaway planned, a kid’s jersey giveaway, a ‘Yoan yawn coverer’ which is really just a foam hand, a–*intern whispers in my ear*  Seems I was misusing ‘promotion.’  I already gave you my Yoan Moncada fantasy.  He’ll be up on Friday.  He should be owned everywhere and will play 3rd base.  No Gas Face there.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As a Mariners fan, it’s very rare I have much of any empathy for other teams and their fans, especially teams that just came off winning a World Series. And yet, here I am looking at the sad state of the Royals and think to myself ‘how many black cats crossed this team’s path?’. A majority of KC’s masterpiece last year was the young nucleus staying healthy, guided by Alex Gordon as the vet, and a crazy good bullpen. Flash forward to this year and it seems like the entire team is on the DL. No really! This is not the roster it was back in 2015 and the numbers resemble it. The Royals have the 5th worst wRC+ on the year and are K’ing about 5% more than they did last year. But even those numbers lie a little because it keeps some of the early part of the year – read: when the team was healthier – in the equation. So instead, I’m looking at their second half numbers and yup, worst team in baseball by wRC+ standards. Yes, worse than the Phillies and the Braves. Yes, that is really, really gross. But now that I’ve done all that research, it’s time to turn it into some cash money and with that, we get Tyler Duffey. Tyler’s game log inspires zero confidence as it’s about as up and down as a certain type of professional dancer around certain poles. That said, at $5,700, he inspires me to call him my SP2 in tourneys. Now that we’ve turned the Royals’ pain into our gain, let’s see what else we should do. Here’s my hung over and maybe still drunk taeks for this Saturday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday August 15th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been riding the clutch for the last six years and it seems the damage has been done. Now the clutch is slipping and there might be damage to the flywheel. Some people just don’t realize that it’s much cheaper to replace brake pads than it is to replace your clutch. Especially when your clutch was a first round draft pick.

Since 2011 Andrew McCutchen has been a top ten outfielder in points leagues. From 2012-2015 he was in the top five, scoring 499, 490, 471 and 465 points respectively. The wear and tear on the clutch can be seen in his decline in point production. This season he is on pace for a meager 298 points. Wait, that must be a typo right? Wrong! With 195 points so far McCutchen finds himself right between Yasmany Tomas (197) and Brad Miller (189), both of whom have had about 50 less plate appearances. This means they have both technically been more valuable with better points per plate appearance ratios. Essentially Andrew McCutchen has been useless in 2016. Perhaps even detrimental to your team considering the wasted early round pick. He has had just two weeks in which he scored more than 20 points and is averaging just 11 points per week. Jose Altuve scores 11 points per game! Okay, so that’s not an accurate statement, but has done so several times this season. So have many other hitters. Heck, a grand slam is 9 points with one swting! At this point there’s not really anything you can with McCutchen except put him on your bench. Given his history I would buy low on him, but it would have to be a legit buy low offer.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mike Napoli hit his 27th homer yesterday.  He now has five straight games with a home run.  On the year, he is top 30 for fantasy value on our Player Rater.  Dude is such butter right now brioche buns be jumping up on his back.  (Why am I not writing rap lyrics?)  Uh-oh, Napoli’s so hot, he’s bringing out my rap alter ego, B-Fire.  Napoli is such butter right now brioche buns be jumping up on his back!  Yo, he’s not whack like some homeboy going to a strip club with a quarter stack!  In fact!  Grey’s got more indoors, then you got outdoors, and technically there’s more room outdoors for you to have more but nope, my room’s got floors!  *dance, prance, romance off your pants*  My action lines got asterisks, smooth.  Your action lines got an asterisk with an excuse down below why you can’t move.  *said while bowing sushi chef-style*  Napoli.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Stashed Orlando Arcia in a few of my deepest leagues back in March.  What a waste.  Well, 59 games left — guess that’s something.  If he Lindors.  No idea why he hadn’t been called up until now.  Milwaukee’s 3rd base position has been bratwurst casings all year and Jonathan Villar plays shortstop like the guy who hacks the meat to fill those casings.  Were the Brewers afraid Arcia would’ve been too confused by the fact Will Smith was white?  Did they need to first move Jeffress due to language stipulations?  “Wait until we trade Jeffress — he might hurt his tongue saying the R’s in Orlando Arcia’s name.  Remember Higuera hit the DL when he yelled Robin Yount.”  If the Brewers didn’t drag their heels worse than the kielbasa in the sausage race after he bet five-large on the chorizo, I would’ve had Arcia months ago!  *takes deep breath*  Okay, I’m good.  So, what can we expect from Arcia?  A little pop and solid speed — think Jean Segura or Villar over the course of the final two months.  Yes, I’d grab him if I were hurting at shortstop.  Speaking of hurting at shortstop (DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!), Trevor Story hit the DL with a torn UCL in his thumb, and will be out for the season.  Colorado already has DL forms with SS written in.  Just have to cross out Tulo for Story.  Save that piece of paper for rolling!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When Jonathan Lucroy vetoed the trade to the Indians this past weekend, I thought we were going to find out Lucroy was Joey Lauren Adams in Chasing Amy.  Other teams were going to try and convert him into one of their players, but he was always going to continue to play for the other team.  Then, at some point, he was going to describe oral sex in insane, graphic detail, using balls, bats, and a gear shift, and other teams were just going to give up trying to get him to play for their team.  Then it turned out the Brewers were not going to be “Holden” him forever, you can “Banky” on it.  Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress were Chinese finger-cuffed to each other and sent to the Rangers for Lewis Brinson and Luis Ortiz.  By the way, Luis/Lewis is the Spanish version of tomato-tomahto.  I wonder what the Brewers finally said to Lucroy.  “We love you, but, dude, if you really love this organization, you’ll get the eff out of here.  Go!”  Then cried in the rain all super-weepy like Ben Affleck.  So, Lucroy gets a small boost in value from the lineup, but the stadium change is nearly a push.  As for Jeremy Jeffress, who is Jason Lee in this scenario, will work set up for Sam Dyson, who will keep the job.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is the 2nd title this week referencing Willy Wonka, first being this week’s podcast.  It’s a gee-dee Gene Wilder renaissance up in here (up in here)!  I miss Gene Wilder, taken way too soon from us.  Oh, he’s not dead.  He just stopped being funny a’la Dan Aykroyd.  (By the way, Aykroyd is a good ten to twenty years younger than you think he is.  64?!  I thought he was 64 in Driving Miss Daisy.)  I’m thankful for Thomas Middleditch replacing Gene Wilder.  If you have no idea who that is, it’s the lead character on Silicon Valley, who is a dead ringer for a young and still alive Gene Wilder.  With all of this Wonka talk, tell me you can look at David Dahl in his purple uniform and not hear in your head, “Violet, you’re turning violet.”  Or look at the trough you pee in at the next baseball game and tell me you don’t hear, “What a disgusting, dirty river!  Industrial waste, that. You’ve ruined your watershed, Wonka:  it’s polluted.”  Only to realize it’s not poop, but chocolate.  Wait, it’s not chocolate, is it?  Well, if you want to view paradise, simply look around at David Dahl’s stats and view it.  There’s nothing to it.  Anything he wants to do, he can do it.  There’s no players I know to compare to a pure 30/30 player like David Dahl.  Oompa Loompa doopie-what-can-Rockies’-Dahl-do?   That’s another puzzle I have for you.  He can hit for power, steal bases and likely platoon on the strong side of the left field platoon, unless the Rockies trade CarGo or Blackmon.  Anything, that’s what Dahl can do.  Want to change the world?  There’s nothing to it.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Twins’ lineup could generate power for any remote control, because they’re filled with Double-A batteries.  High five me!  C’mon!  You don’t appreciate a good snap!  I’m zinging over here!  Fine, be that way.  The Twins traded the 29-year-old Eduardo Nunez to the Giants, which makes him the youngest player the Giants have ever acquired and the cheapest player the Twins have ever traded away.  A double first!  Which sounds almost like how you picture your ex describing herself on Tinder.  So, Eduardo Nunez goes from a neutral park to a pitching park and from a lineup that could be best described with their two-hole hitter, Grossman, to a lineup best described as “in the middle of a panic.”  Or a Panik in the middle.  This move likely doesn’t change his value much, but if anything it takes him down a notch.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?