Michael Pineda has been nothing short of dominant this year. Sure, his 4.08 ERA isn’t too dazzling, but with a 2.73 FIP and 2.80 SIERA, it seems as though sequencing and BABIP have hurt him more than poor pitching. Take a glance at Pineda’s .349 BABIP — a number 60 points above his career average .279 — and it isn’t too difficult to see an overly inflated ERA, especially given a reasonable 0.87 HR/9 thus far. This is all impressive, but I haven’t even begun to wax poetic on his 11.8 percent swinging strike rate or 24.6 percent strikeout rate, both numbers rate him in the top-20 for qualified pitchers. Before we get too invested in what he’s doing, let’s take a look at how Pineda got here.

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I almost went with Mark Wahlberg‘s rendition here but I thought, nah, I ain’t gonna make your ears bleed. I’ll just gif it and be done. Just realize you did it to yourself if you clicked that. Ample warning was given. But back to the point: Drew Hutchison. He’s a GPP play today at the low, low price of $6,500. I hear you out there: but Sky, he has a 5.33 ERA and is pitching in a pitcher’s park. Bish you cray! Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard these things before. Don’t care. What I care is going on below the surface numbers for Hutch and that’s his home/road splits. He’s having a bizarro season thus far so why not have him be amazing at Rogers Center despite having major reverse splits on the year? I mean, it all makes sense, right? Over 45.1 IP this year at home, Hutch carries a 2.38 ERA, an 8.34 K/9 and a miniscule 1.59 BB/9. I don’t understand this and yet I can’t fight these stats. And just for correctness, he ain’t getting lucky as his xFIP of 3.04 and FIP of 2.49 can attest to. So Hutch really does have the power…YEAH! PS, if you’re reading this Michael Bay. Kindly go eff yourself for taking a CGI dump on my childhood Transformer memories. Hate you forever. But enough about Optimus Prime, let’s move along. Here’s my Sunday fun day takes for this day’s slate…

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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Maikellebrew strikes again! And again! Two homers last night for Maikel Franco (4-for-5, 3 runs, 5 RBIs, hitting .312), his 8th and 9th homers of the season in only his 36th game played. That prorates to, like, 189 homers in a season. (Don’t do the math.) Perhaps I’m drenched in jade, the mother jewel of sarcasm. Perhaps my cup runneth over with Blasé like a bored rapper. Perhaps I’m all cosmopolitan and citified and other words Charlie Manuel would call me, but why do I get the feeling Maikel is going to have a great rookie year than disappoint for the next three years? Has Bruce, Heyward, Machado and so many others taken away my innocence? Is that a Black Flag bumper sticker on a Cadillac? Don’t look back, I can never look back. I sure hope I’m wrong, but with each homer by Maikel, his hype grows and he moves further away from my clutches. But, if we are to entertain the insane for a moment, he’s only 22 years old. What does his future hold? Does only the papier-mâché head of Michael Jack Schmidt that sits on Prospect Mike desk hold the answers? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Whoa there, friend. Don’t go there. You really, REALLY read that title wrong. This isn’t Brazzersball, this is Razzball so you keep your dirty thoughts to yourself…or share them in the comments! There’s no double entendre going on here. I’m suggesting nothing lewd when I suggest you play Hector Santiago. Or maybe I am? It does seem a bit crude of me to suggest someone who’s been playing above his peripherals all year. That 2.71 ERA and that 4.51 xFIP will surely meet and become one in the future, especially when you consider his low ground ball rates and his mediocre K:BB ratio. He’s a bit of a mirage but when you’re in the desert, I’ll take a pretend oasis over staring at the arid vastness. We have a seven game slate tonight so stumping for upside outside of the major names can be tough. And hell, what am I even saying? He’s SP6 in terms of price on the day at $7,200. That said, the Astros…well maybe you’ve heard this before but they strike out a lot. Their lineup is basically 9 Adam Dunns of varying height and girth because they’re all three true outcome types of players. Given that Hector gets to pitch in a relatively friendly pitchers’ park and that he’s at home, I’m willing to make him my SP2 today in cash games and possibly my SP1 in tourneys. Mmm, that sweet, sweet Hector…ahem, I mean Nectar. I think? But enough about my my confusion over sweet, sugary liquids, let’s move on. Here’s my emoji fire takes on today’s DK slate…

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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Some call them cookie dusters, others dirt squirrels, lip luggage, snot mops, and upper lipholstery. I believe our Boss/fearless leader/fantasy master lothario calls his “old bullet proof”, but I’m not sure. I’m of course talking about those lip rugs knows as mustaches. Our sport of baseball more so than any other contest of athletic prowess has embraced the flavor savor. Over the years there have been some top choice lip rugs in the American past time. So this week’s theme is Baseball Mustaches. Seriously narrowing hardball’s best mustaches down to just six was damn near impossible. I tried anyway and I’m sure all of you will call me thick as brick for not including the handlebars you’d most like to ride. But that’s why we have comments, so you can belittle and abuse me for my lapses in judgement, poorly formed opinions, and general lack of research when it comes to the pitchers being skipped two days after this article posts. I mean in some circles I am known as the Oracle and my propensity for knowing the future is rather well documented. Still I’m at least 37% human, so cut me some slack.  Week 12’s roster of two start pitchers is top heavy and flat bottomed, it’s like the Kate Upton of two start pitching weeks. You know because she’s big…..wait I’m not going to bother explaining this.

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“Son of a female dog,” exclaimed Tim Lincecum as he reached into his pocket. “What? We’re out of weed,” asked Ron Washington in a rather concerned voice. “No man. We’re never out of weed,” replied Tim as he pulled out another joint. “I forgot to set my damn lineup again,” he continued as he lit the joint, took two hits and passed it to Wash. “Dude, with those two hits, I think you are approaching 3,000 hits,” declared Ron to Tim as he took a Chong-like inhale of the devil’s lettuce. “Me too,” remarked Alex Rodriguez, who had just stopped by Tim’s to pick up some baked goods. “Look what the cat dragged in,” said Lincecum when he saw ARod. “You want a hit,” he asked as he offered him the joint. “Nah man. I’d love to, but these idiot fans in New York are just starting to come back around. It’s amazing what a few home runs and RBIs will do for your fan base. The last thing I need to do is derail that progress,” replied Alex. “I see you forgot to set your lineup again today buddy. What’s with that? It’s like the third time this season. You’re lucky we’re not in a daily league,” he continued. “You guys are in the same league?” questioned Ron. “Yeah man,” said Tim. “That’s some bs. I asked to get in that league and you said you were full,” retorted Wash. “We were, but then Lenny Dykstra dropped out at the last minute. He said he was broke and couldn’t afford it. Magic Johnson offered to back him, but our league rules prohibit a person from paying for two teams. Alex happened to be there at the time, so he jumped in. Sorry,” explained Tim.

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Yesterday, the Cubs scored seventeen runs, so enough jibber-jabbering, let’s get to it! Starting this whole she bangs, she bangs, Oliver’s got bangs in the 2nd inning, Addison Russell (2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 5th homer as he continues to hit ninth. Joe Maddoning says he’s hitting Addison ninth to take pressure off him. McNulty would call that bunk. (By the by, tell me this doesn’t look like McNulty.) Isn’t there pressure just being in the major leagues? Did Addison not see how the Cubs pushed aside Javier Baez and Arismendy from year to year? Bunk! Chris Coghlan (2-for-3, 3 runs, hitting .251) needs to hit fifth? David Ross (1-for-5, 1 run) in any lineup should be hitting ninth. There’s absolutely no reason Russell should be that low. Move him up! Then Kyle Schwarber went 4-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs in his first major leagues start, and became only the third Cub in their history to have four hits in his first major league start. The other two were two guys you never heard of, which makes this record depressing. Thanks, Elias Sports Bureau! Oh, and there’s no pressure on Schwarber as he hits sixth? Okay, I’ll let it go. I pray to the deity of your choice that Schwarber gets four hits in every game until Sunday, Miguel Montero stays injured and Epstein says, “Okay, Schwarber schways. He schways! Stays, sorry, it’s hard to say anything normal after Schwarber.” Then (Yes, it keeps going!) Chris Denorfia went 2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 1st homer, hitting .396. Put the microwave on defrost and stick in Ted Williams’s head! Never to be outdone (or overdue, as the case might be), Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer. Finally (I’m exhausted!), Kris Bryant (2-for-6, 4 RBIs and his 8th homer) as he grand salami’d in the ninth. You at a 2016 fantasy draft, “I need a Bryant.” *Smash* As a pie gets thrown in your face. Five over-the-internet dollars to be paid out in fake installments, if you get that reference. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It can be easy to watch home run hitters and otherwise high scoring bats get above 5K and then say, no way, that’s too high to roster that guy! But if the conditions are right, and these epically awesome, and otherwise game-changing hitters can be rostered easily after you’ve applied all the other goodness and value plays, then you should absolutely do it, even if you’re slightly “downgrading” another position.

Experts all the time find their values so they can take advantage of situations like rostering Stanton against a LHP or Harper against a homer prone RHP, as he was Tuesday against Alex Colome.

Limiting yourself mentally to excluding these players, regardless of situation, will leave you out of the money in a lot of tournaments. Bryce Harper is absolutely the mashiest lefty bat going right now and is posting obscene numbers against RHP (1.247 OPS, .432 ISO, .511 wOBA, 230 RC+), so why wouldn’t you want to make room? Cost is relative and if you have the right value, then it’s worth rostering a little lower somewhere else so you can fit someone like Harp in.

Tonight, Harper faces Matt Andriese at home in Washington, where Harper’s numbers against righties….actually tick up another notch (1.339 OPS, .515 ISO, .541 wOBA, 251 RC+). Sluggers and Sluggers…it’s the new Vote Early, Vote Often!

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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Aramis Ramirez roared with three doubles Friday night and five RBI. Dana na na naaa, da na na na naaa, da na naa, na naaa, na naaaaaaaaa! Welcome to Miller Park! One thing playing fantasy for the past 45 million years has taught me is that you always buy Aramis Ramirez in the second half, and never own him in the first. How about that headline by the way? That was my lame attempt to throw in Jurassic World reference. Anyway, I admit Aramis’ .223/.263/.406 triple slash is scarier than a charging Tyrannosaurus, and his hard hit percentage is way below his career norm. Not to mention at 36-years old he’s a bit of a dinosaur himself. However, that .230 BABIP is crazy unlucky so we can assume he’s not going to bat .223 all year. And if history has taught me anything, it’s that as the weather heats up, so does A-Ram. If his three doubles last night were any indication, he’s still got plenty of pop left in his bat, and while he may not win your heart like Chris Pratt, he could certainly be a useful commodity going forward, especially in deeper formats. He’s owned in less than 25% of leagues and I might buy Aramis Ramirez if I was looking for some pop at the corner infield position. I think this dinosaur has got a bit more roar left in him before he goes extinct, you don’t need to be a Coelurosaurus to see that.

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

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All hail his grace, Tehol of House Beddict and House Razzball, first of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of Fantasy Baseball, and Protector of the Realm.

Come, sit with me at the fire pit while we witness Grey, Lord of Light, burn another traitor at the stake. Ahhhh, I love a good BBQ, don’t you? Rudy Gamble, Warden of the Norh, is here, rambling on and on about how statistics show that gelded men are superior warriors. Oh Sky, I’m truly sorry. The theory HAD to be tested. Sending the High Sparrow, Jay Wrong, to bring you up on false charges, imprison you for 2 and ½ months, feeding you gruel, and b*tch slapping you with the ladel every time you got mouthy was a tad over the top, but hey, I’m a King, and am extremely busy. Kind of forgot you were in there. J-FOH, bring me another glass of red wine with a wildfire floater, would you? And no lip this time. I don’t want to have to feed your spleen to the direwolves. Really, J-FOH, you can be quite mouthy. RAAAAAAAAAALPH, by “the 7″, you are a right lackadaisical bastard. Were you touched by a stone man recently, or were you just sucking the pipe with Ser Smokey again? I REQUESTED my armor  removed over 20 minutes ago. Oh, imagined I’d enjoy roasting by the fire, sweating my kingly balls off, did you? Don’t make your King command Grand Maester Mike to lace your milk of the poppy with donkey urine again. That brings to mind the time my Dragon, Dom Brown, the Dread, almost choked to death on the last assassin who dared make an attempt on my life. [As always, Game of Thrones spoilers ahead!]

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