Go chalk, they’ll tell you. Play and pay up for the studs each time they pitch, they’ll say. It’s all about trusting the process.

Most of the time, I agree with this. I’ve made it no secret that I prefer to pay up big for the top starter of the day if it’s warranted. Today, in a 8-game slate (I’m counting the Phillies and Brewers), Max Scherzer is without a doubt the top-priced pitcher.

However, is his astronomical $14,500 price tag worth it against the Freddie Freeman-less Atlanta Braves? Or, is it better to save nearly $5,000 and go for the still-good-but-not-dominant Tyson Ross?

Here are two lineups that features both of them. You make the call.

Straight to the cash, homie.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 15 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.

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Geez, what is it about Steven Matz?!

The puns have been outpouring faster than illogical movies by Christopher Nolan.  Maybe it’s because he pitches for the Metz?  I don’t know!

I’ve been… well, naive to not rank Matz to this point.  Even with my standing concerns coming into his debut, he likely should’ve been ranked the last few weeks.  I thought it would be at least July until he was up, and I questioned how many innings he’d really get through in the Majors.  His peak is 140.2 IP last year across high-A and double-A, and he entered the Majors at 90.1 innings before yesterday’s debut.  Innings concerns are a big question mark after his career started with major elbow issues (TJ and complications).

And after that debut with 4 RBI at the plate, the mythical legend might be one of the biggest gaps from perception to reality.  Then again, I’m saying all this before breaking down his first start without seeing much of him beyond the numbers.  What Pitcher Profiles are all about!  You can’t know for sure on a guy until you really get a chance to see him pitch.  So without any more noodling, here’s how Matz looked in his debut:

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Yankees outfielder Chris B. Young has been on fire in the past week and Krispie’s monster week culminated in last nights 3-hit performance including a 3-run homer run, his ninth. Ol’ Young has got himself a nine game hitting streak, with two homers, two stolen bases and eight RBIs in the stretch. He’s also managed four straight multi-hit games. Not bad for a guy with a .313 OBP! Ugh. Well, that number actually is bad. Still, Young’s batting .370 with three homers, 10 runs and 10 RBI in June and he’s managed to bring his average up to a respectable .270. The counting stats aren’t that bad for a guy who’s been stuck batting in the bottom of the order most of the year, but the fact that he’s been hitting higher in the order as of late could be a big reason for his recent success. He even led off on Thursday night! His BABIP suggests he may actually be getting a bit lucky, but sometimes, particularly in fantasy, lucky counts for just as many points as good. In deeper leagues, if you’re hurting for an outfielder Chris B. Young is definitely worth a look while he’s hitting all the baseballs. At the very least, he’s a reliable source of power in a good line up and a great park, and at just 10% owned he’s definitely worth a flier while he’s hot.

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

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I usually focus mostly on pitching in DraftKings, but today doesn’t give many good options. The top tier is good but pricey of course, and I don’t see much value in any starting pitcher under $8,000. So today I’ll mostly focus on hitting and stick with the expensive starting pitchers like Clayton Kershaw, Matt Harvey, and Michael Wacha. So read on and blog, and share your strategies for your DFS lineups. Do you always play top pitchers regardless or matchup? Do you have at least one top pitcher? Or do you pick low-priced pitchers to keep you hitters strong? Do your 50/50 and ‘Guaranteed’ lineups differ in strategy? Share what has worked for you.

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! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Max Scherzer against the Phillies. If there was ever a chance to redeem yourself in losing a perfect game on the last out the very next day, this would be the pitcher and the team to do so. From a daily fantasy perspective, I’ve always said that in order for a pitcher to pay for his price, he has to have a reasonable expectation of doing 2 things: Allow 3 runs or less, and strike out 1 batter for every thousand dollars you pay. You may ask why I don’t include innings or hits in this formula of mine, and it is a valid question. For one, if a pitcher has allowed less than 3 runs up to a certain point, he has a good chance of remaining in the game. Also, if a pitcher is going to strikeout plenty of hitters, he must pitch plenty of innings, therefore that basis is completely covered. I don’t worry about hits so much, because they tend to correlate with runs scored and high contact rates (which pitchers that strike hitters out typically don’t have). So this all begs the question, “is Max Scherzer worth paying 14K for on DraftKings?” My answer is no. Now to preface this, you will never find someone that lends themselves to the “pay for pitching” mantra than myself. The reason I say no does not boil down to one simple point, but rather to many. My first reason to avoid Scherzer is that while the Phillies are the worst in basically every hitting category ever, they actually don’t strike out that much. Even against one of the more strikeout prone teams such as the Astros or Cubs, I would have a hard time giving any pitcher the reasonable expectation to reach 14 strikeouts. Another reason, maybe even bigger so than the first, is the fact that there are so many other solid, high-upside options for 3-5K cheaper. So should you pay 14K for 14 Ks? Yes! Should you pay 14K for Scherzer today? No!

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! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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It’s funny how drastic and immediate changes can be from the Minors to the Majors.  Thinking back on Trevor May who was profiled a few weeks back – the guy was walking everyone in the Minors and in his short stint in the Majors last year, to become top-25 in K:BB ratio.

But that took some seasoning.  We’re seeing something even drastic-er and immediate-er with what’s going on with the Astros younguns.  Lance McCullers went from being old Trevor May with better Ks to having an 18:0 K:BB stretch before getting a tad wilder these past few…  But he was supposed to struggle through control issues, not Vincent Velasquez!  Vinny V went from a 4.11 K:BB mowing through AA this year to 1.70 so far this year in the show with 17 Ks and 10 BB through his first three starts.

I was pretty high on Velasquez when he was called up, but maybe it was a tad too early for the 23 year old to find immediate success.  So I decided to break down his start yesterday, that should’ve been a cakewalk at the Mariners, to see how he’s looking:

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Before you accuse Jose Tabata of leaning into a pitch with two outs and Max Scherzer on the brink of a perfect game, let’s take you back to 2009. The then 19-year-old Jose Tabata was with his wife, the 54-year-old, Conchita Alonso Rivera Consuela Charlynn Torres, and she was pregnant. Conchita etc. would tell Jose to lean into her belly to hear the baby, and Jose leaned. At supermarkets, at carnivals, at the car wash, Conchita etc. asked Jose to lean and listen, and he did. Of course, there was no baby in her belly, it was actually a Betsy Wetsy doll that she shoved under her shirt. Later when Conchita etc. was arrested for falsifying a pregnancy and kidnapping a baby for Jose and her to raise as their own, they would meet at the glass partition in prison and she would tell Jose to lean in. Times were good, Jose leaned in. Times got rough, Jose leaned in. So, on Saturday, when the Pirates were one out from having a perfect game thrown against them, Jose did what he always did — he leaned in. After that no hitter, Max Scherzer has a 10.8 K/9, 1.2 BB/9 and a 1.76 ERA. So, yeah, he’s a top three starter, if not the best this year, and he is amazing. No kidding; hey, sorta like Tabata and his wife! (There is a lot more truth in this opening paragraph than you’d likely ever imagine. Just Google “Tabata wife” if you don’t believe me. Happy belabored Father’s Day, Tabata!) Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Remember when you used to open a pack of baseball cards and were only looking for the rookies? DFS Fantasy Baseball has been just like that for me this season. Instead of sliding my thumb from left to right on paper, it is now sliding up and down on my cell phone, looking for players like Kris Bryant, Joc Pederson, and Carlos Correa. I can’t remember a season where this many rookies have made such huge impacts early on. In DFS, DraftKings will price rookies that have just been called-up really cheap. Kyle Schwarber was only $2,200 on the first day he played. Now he is $4,000. Even at that price, he’s still a good option, especially at the Catcher position.The Cubs prospect was the best hitting player in the minors until his call-up a few days ago. Play him while you still can because it’s been said by Cubs’ management that he’ll be sent back down to the minors after the interleague games. By this time next week you’ll be back to picking your Catcher last and not caring who you pick. As much as I love the rookies, playing them in DFS can be daring. It’s important to look at the match-ups even more so than other players. I’m definitely staying away from a rookie hitter when facing a top pitching ace. Check out some more rookies I like today.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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.

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Razzball Exclusive! The Twins were seen on Saturday at the Factory Outlet Mall in St. Paul, shopping for an outfielder. Unhappy with the selection — everything was odd-sized or someone they had called up and sent down numerous times — they headed back to the car, deciding to go on to the Duluth Shop ‘n Zoo, a place, contrary to the name, that doesn’t sell animals. When they got back to the car, they realized they forgot their change purse in the mall. They raced back, but it was too late; it was gone. Frustrated and angry, they asked to use Spencer Gifts’ phone because they didn’t want to incur long distance charges on their own. Fed up and at their breaking point, they called up Byron Buxton, while also spotting a gag gift, fake vomit, that they shoplifted, figuring they can use it to play shortstop. Here’s what Prospect Mike said this offseason, “Buxton is ranked numero uno on my Top 50 fantasy prospects list, and it’s thanks to his ability to fill all five roto categories. He might be the closest thing we have in the minors right now to a first round fantasy talent with the power to hit 20 homers, the speed to swipe 30+ bags, and the ability to hit for a high average. Injuries limited him to 137 plate appearances in 2014, but that shouldn’t stop the 21-year-old from seeing the majors later this season. The ceiling is a perennial All-Star outfielder and a top ten fantasy player overall. In short, he’s wonderful and Grey’s terrible.” Oh, man, c’mon! In Double-A this year, Buxton had six homers, 20 steals (in only 59 games!) and was hitting .283. At points during this season, Mike has compared him to Carlos Gomez. That sounds like an apt comparison, which isn’t the same as roomier with two bathrooms. That’s an Apt. comparison. You should grab him in every league. Yes, even that 10 team league, where it’s you playing against nine of your email aliases. By the way, I can’t believe you’re losing to Imtoosexyforthisemail@aol.com. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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In my never ending quest to blend two start pitchers and nostalgia, I stumbled upon a even better spin-off of last week’s premise. In Week 9’s post we dove head first into a little Nintendo nostalgia (awesome band name BTW) and a cornucopia of rad games were discussed. Seemed like everyone had opinions on Battletoads. Interesting because I always thought that hands down Battletoads held the record for most frustrated controller throws induced. Frustration City Beeyatch! The most discussed game by a large measure was the classic pastime of the pugilistic arts “Mike Tyson’s Punchout”. Some of you claim to have defeated Tyson with Little Mac, to which I say “You’re a bunch of stinkin’ Liars”. Seriously lasting one round with Tyson in and of it self was a victory. Then again maybe King Of Kong Billy Mitchell is reading the Razz, I suppose one never knows. I mean all of you could actually be productive and upstanding members of society! Feel like I might be giving our readers a bit too much credit. Go ahead take it for what it’s worth. Regardless Mike Tyson’s Punchout is this week’s theme. So the tiers will be listed by character and we can discuss everyone’s exploits with “Little Mac” in the comments. I wonder if that’s what Mark McGuire calls his junk?

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