As I type this, I’m in a small, but expected depression as a disgruntled Mets fan living in Minnesota after today’s non-waiver trade deadline. In the middle of thermal packaging related activities, I saw deal and deal and deal swing by. All I get from both the teams that I follow most? A Kurt Suzuki extension. Oye. All that did was disgruntle me more, as I like Josmil Pinto quite a bit. I figured at least Bartolo Colon would get traded for some PTBL or a BoB (bucket o’ balls). Ah well.

On the other hand, if you’re a Tigers fan (I’m not a bandwagon A’s fan until the Mets are good, I decided today), you must be pretty excited. Drew Smyly wasn’t as dominating as a starter and Austin Jackson continued to short-come expectations. Instead you have an second ace, and can now appropriately consider Justin Verlander your number 3 or 4 or 5. [Jay's Note: Or playoff closer?] Verlander has not been good, but he’s also been almost as unlucky as he’s been bad, or he’s hurt and isn’t saying anything/doesn’t know it.

July 1st, I noted the luckiest pitchers to date, but the one thing I didn’t do at that time was look at the pitcher’s luck/bad luck relative to their career rates. So for this post, for luck, I z-scored each pitcher’s luck stats relative to their career stats (homerun to flyball ratio, left on base% and BABIP). I weighed each z-score by the stats correlation to ERA. Therefore the luckies pitchers (using luck alone and excluding skill) as of 7/27 is: Josh Beckett, Jake Arrieta, Collin McHugh, Scott Kazmir, Garrett Richards, Zach Britton, Jordan Lyles, Drew Pomeranz, Dellin Betances, Alfredo Simon and Danny Duffy. Chris Young, Jason Hammel and Jesse Chavez (update: both Hammel and Chavez were rocked in their last start). However, this all excludes skill (contact rate, strikeout% minus walk% and ground ball to flyball ratio). Incorporating this, here are the actual luckiest pitchers as of 7/27:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Cardinals traded for one of the most unreliable starters this year, Justin Masterson and his 5.51 ERA. Ouch. The Cardinals fell asleep and the Indians drew a shaft and balls on their forehead. People are snickering at you, Cardinals, because you have a shaft and balls on your head. Unless it’s a non-Leaning Tower of Pisa that is partially obscuring a tractor trailer so all we’re seeing is its giant wheels. Then, it’s a lovely scenic landscape, but you still got had. This saves the Brewers a lot of trouble because I heard they were going to trade for Masterson and then ‘accidentally’ leave him behind on their next road trip to St. Louis. No reason to obfuscate, my dear Milwaukee friends. Masterson gets a slight uptick in value just going to the NL, but he needs to prove he’s healthy and able to throw a Quality Start before I’d start him anywhere. So, he’s gone from a Waiver Wire guy, to an On My Bench Until He Shows Something guy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Back in June, about six weeks ago, the Twins were liking their chances this year. They went out and spent money on Kendrys Morales, just to put them over the hump. Then about five weeks and six days ago, they realized their chances for the playoffs were slim to anorexic, and regretted their move. They had buyer’s remorse quicker than Betty Draper’s new husband. “How could Don not appreciate this blonde beauty?” Dot, dot, dot. “Oh, that’s why.” I personally thought trading for a complement to Willingham, Arcia, Plouffe and Colabello was a good idea. I mean, who among those guys is a power, lousy average and no speed threat? Oh, wait, they all are. Now back to the Mariners, yeah, they need another 1B/DH-type. We’ll assume Kendrys plays every day (which he should). In the 2nd half of last year, he hit 9 homers and a .274 average. I don’t see much more from him this year. If anything, maybe a few less homers since he’s been struggling. Basically, what you can get off waivers in most mixed leagues. Or what the Mariners already had in Coreygan Smoakison, their Frankenstein 1B/DH. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m not trying to double dip here but I can’t help a good Tyson Ross play. Speaking of double dipping, I would be remiss to not include this classic double dipping clip. Back on Tyson, I’m not going to appeal to the low hanging fruit and go all Hangover because that movie kinda sucked. Sky covered Mike Tyson’s Punchout here and I don’t want to be “that guy” so instead I will talk about how much I love Tyson Ross tomorrow and leave the video gaming to my Sky-Dog! OK, one thing I have to say is when I first saw my best friend beat Mike Tyson we jumped up and down screaming like school girls. Tyson Ross has been taking his Hodgepadre act on the road in the month of July. His last two road shows have resulted in a 6 innings 6 K’s with 2 ER in Colorado and a 7 inning 9 K’s with 1 ER against the Dodgers. He’s also pitched well on the road against the White Sox, Reds, and Phillies, which also happen to all be hitters parks. Today he gets the third worst K rate Cubs in their hitters park with no wind factor to hurt him. At $9,300, I like his value far more than Max Scherzer ($11,400) or Garrett Richards ($10,200) and will be pairing him with an equally awesome match-up below.

Here is my gratuitous promotion for those who haven’t got on the DraftKings tip. It’s fun, I won dollars yesterday and now own a streak of one. *high fives self* Our resident camp counselor Ralph Lifshitz has been organizing all the summer time activities for the kiddies and doing a hell of a job of it. As always, if you want to play, then please put your handle below and we’ll get you invited to one of our games. Before the year is out I want to see a 40 team, 10 dollar buy in winner take all game. Can you dig it? With out further ado, here are the plays.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

My name is Tehol Beddict, I’m a sexaholic (Hi Tehol)
I have a disease and they don’t know what to call it
Better empty out your leaguesafe funds ’cause I’m coming up quick to strip your cash
Joined your fantasy league just to come and whip your ass

Greetings! Welcome to another, hopefully exciting edition of Disgrace/Delight. I’m your host, Tehol B., and I’ll be trying my mightiest to fulfill your fantasies (baseball that is) in mentioning the players I feel have either disgraced themselves, their families, and their organizations or those of whom deserve feet and rings kissed, as well as animal sacrifices done so in their name. I don’t have time to dilly dally, for I have to shoot a commercial Thursday morning and Brother Beddict needs his beauty sleep. For optimum enjoyment (yours and mine), I should probably begin these memorable pieces of literature earlier then the day before they need to be submitted. That way, Beddict can truly be 100 percent balls deep, and that’s really what we all want, right?!  I didn’t choose this lifestyle, the lifestyle chose me. Let this quest beginith.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m staring out on a prairie in the middle of Palm Springs. Okay, it’s not a prairie. It’s more of a dirt field with a bingo card blowing through it. But let’s pretend it’s a prairie. Why am I standing in a prairie that’s not really a prairie? Because all great baseball moments happen this way. Just one man and rows of corn. Except those aren’t rows of corns, but walkers lined up against the window of a Starbucks. But let’s pretend they are cornfields! I’m pulling off my cap (not wearing a cap; don’t want to mess my hair), staring directly into the sky (wearing sunglasses) and screaming at the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, “Why do you have to make the rest of us suffer for the childhood you never had?!” Okay, I need to move on before the OPP (Old People Police) come after me. We should’ve known a rather pedestrian 7 IP, 4 ER from Masahiro Tanaka was a sign that he was hurt. We should’ve known! Or an even worse 6 2/3 IP, 5 ER start the next time out. We should’ve known! Alas, we didn’t know. So, Tanaka’s going for a variety of tests, and hopefully it’s nothing, but any time there’s something wrong with a pitcher’s elbow it’s something. Are we sure he didn’t inflame his elbow using Hideki’s porn collection? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Playing daily fantasy can be a bit of a grind, but when you hit big nothing feels better. However, when you get slapped upside the head with a cold streak nothing feels worse. As we hit the halfway point of the MLB season your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru has had a profitable season. Yet, when a cold streak comes a knockin’ you just have to know when to walk away and know when to run. And I’ve hit a “Winter is coming”-sized cold spell the last few days. Nevertheless, I’ve never listened to Kenny Rogers and I’m ready to dive into the deep end of the DraftKings pool. I’m coming for your cash. Or, the way things have been going lately, maybe I should just hand you mine.

Before we get to today’s picks, let’s talk some strategy. If you’re a DFS shark feel free to skip ahead, I don’t mind, I’ll still get paid by the word. We have talked a lot about hitting this year and constructing lineups. What we have not touched on is pitching. We give you the tools in the Stream-o-Nator and the DFSBot and we send the Razzball Hotsheet to your email everyday so finding the right arms shouldn’t be too tough. When it comes to choosing two pitchers on DraftKings there are three ways to go and maybe even a fourth way – which is kind of a DraftKings secret. 1) Take the two stud arms and find value bats. This is not generally the way I go, but it can be effective in some Cash Games like cheap 50/50s. 2) Punt the pitchers and load up on bats. This can work on a night like last night where there were not a lot of high priced arms and we had high over/unders in Arizona, Boston, Colorado and Texas. 3) The stud and the scrub philosophy. This is the way I usually go. Grab the one big pricey arm and one low priced arm that’s going to give you Ks and won’t get shelled. Last night I went with Masahiro Tanaka and Chris Young. It didn’t work. Tonight I will sacrifice a chicken to my Luis Tiant bobblehead in order to change my recent luck. And 4) The Mystery way. A lot of players don’t realize this, but on DraftKings if you select the “All” option on the roster page it will show a complete list of players that includes relievers. And they are cheap! The other night I started Hisashi Iwakuma and grabbed Kevin Quackenbush for $2000. Iwakuma had a big night and Quackenbush outscored Tyler Matzek – who was one of the cheapest pitchers of the night but still triple the price of the Quackenbush. It cashed as I was able to take the stud bats in Arizona and Texas. It’s a risky move, but it can allow you to load up on hitters and win big. Give it a shot in a free game and let me know how it works. Come to think of it, I have should went this way last night as I owned Julio Teheran and his -6.5 points everywhere. It was a bad night and my liver is not happy.

With all the said, let’s get to the plays of the day. We do have a bit of split slate today with four games this afternoon and 11 tonight. I’ll offer up the pitching studs, scrubs and punts I like today and throw in some bonus bats in as well.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

While you’re taking time from your family to read this on this beautiful Fourth of July, I just want to say a few quick thank yous. *intern whispers in my ear* I’m told Thanksgiving is the time for that thanking people crap and the 4th of July is for hot dogs, red, white and blue Jell-o shots and almost losing a finger when a fuse goes off prematurely — that’s what she said! Huh? You know what’s more apple pie (appley-er?) than the 4th of July? A guy that was once lost in the abyss of self-despair and Fruit Loops making good– Wait that’s the intro for Celebrity Fit Club. Okay, better than apple pie is a guy that looks like a stick figure and pitches like Adrian Adonis (in his heyday, obviously), and going into Coors and taming the mountain better than the Red Viper. Zack Greinke threw 8 IP, 1 ER, 11 baserunners and 8 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.66. His peripherals aren’t much worse either — 9.6 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and a 2.72 xFIP. He’s pretty much a top five pitcher. So, on today, when we celebrate flashes of color in the sky and a bunch of drunk white guys signing parchment 238 years ago, let’s raise our fruity, rum-filled concoction and toast Greinke. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello DK’ers, I’m glad to be back after my Brazilian excursion to get as hairless as possible. I’m trying to break into dancing like our boss Grey, or was that break dancing? Either way, the man has moves like Sam Rockwell. If there was a competition between us, it would look something like this. To this day, that still cracks me up. Sorry reader, I really need to get back to this drivel thing and in case you were wondering I am Barney in the video. I can’t help myself today, with Matt Shoemaker taking the hill, I get transported back to my favorite movie ever, Goodfellas! That’s right, I said that; Goodfellas is my all time favorite movie. You got a problem with that? In case you didn’t know, The Departed was the “I’m sorry we screwed up so we’ll give you one for an inferior movie Oscar” for Martin Scorcese. Why do I keep getting sidetracked? Dah!!! This scene (NSFW) is one of my favorites among many brilliant moments in that 1990 classic. I remember being in high school and sneaking into see this R rated flick because our local theater was unwavering on the 17 and over policy. I could go on and on about Goodfellas but I need to write about Matt Shoemaker and his low low price tag of $6,800 today. He’s been solid as a starter since moving out of the bullpen and has even posted a 10K game. Getting to face the team with the worst K-rate in the game, 23.3%, isn’t too shabby either. But here is the takeaway for him – he has a 2.54 ERA at home compared to a 6.66 on the road, devil arm! That’s good enough for me. You can choose to pay the high price tags of Yu Darvish, Masahiro Tanaka, or Max Scherzer and then compliment one of them with Shoemaker to leave you some extra dollars for bats.

Yesterday, the Guru talked strategy and I agree with him that you got to look at all the nerdy numbers but sometimes I think you need to go with your gut. Whether it’s the hot hand like Steve Pearce or someone due like Jay Bruce you need to take chances when you have limited dollars on the table. Like Guru, I have been on both ends of the batter vs. pitcher stats and all I can say is it’s just the numbers, the numbers ala Jimmy Two Times. Don’t lose your mind! But before I continue on I want to give a little B vs P advice that has worked well for me. Look at the K’s vs. the pitcher, when I have a guy that K’s a lot or doesn’t walk vs. a pitcher I generally stay away. That’s just me and my way to go about it. Sometimes you will see a batter who is 0 for 4 against someone but has 4 walks. I get interested when I see that and like the chance that a hit is coming soon. And now on to my DraftKings picks for today.

Please, blog, may I have some more?