harperimage

In 1977, not only was yours truly introduced to this cruel, crazy beautiful world, but so was a place that would sell the coolest of cool gadgets. Who reading this can say that, as a kid, or even an adult, they didn’t go into a Sharper Image to sit in one of their outrageously overpriced, super comfortable leather massage chairs. The display chairs in those showrooms saw more action than Jenna Jameson did in the late 90s. The Sharper Image was a great place to kill a good 20 minutes while you wife, girlfriend or other female shopping companion went into the stores you had no desire to see the inside of. It was either Sharper Image or Cinnabon, or both. I used to get yelled at all the time by the store clerks for eating that cinnamon deliciousness while getting a free mechanical rub down.

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The year was 2005 and my buddy kept talking about his fantasy baseball team. I had no idea what he was saying most the time, because I had never played the game before. Actually I had barely watched any baseball at all. I was a jaded strike fan who was as casual as they come with my knowledge of the game. I knew a little about the local teams and that was about it. Any the hoo, he kept going on and on about this Ryan Howard kid until that name was stuck in my head. Fast forward to March of 2006, he talked me into playing with him and “his” friends for fun… and money. I get to the 10th round of the draft and I need a 1B, so I remember the kid that got drilled into my head the year before and I take Ryan Howard with the pick. That year he put up a 104/58/149/0/.313 line and I won that league. Actually I won for lots of reason, I rosterbated before I knew what that was and I streamed like a mofo. I also never gave him a dime, he took my entry out of my winnings, kept some of it for the next season and I played with them for free for the next five seasons. I hearted Howard like Grey hearts Giancarlo. He was my savior that year. I think I drafted Gagne in the 5th and Fatolo in the 4th… I had no idea what I was doing. But I learned the game by doing and picked it up pretty fast, and now you get to see me at least twice a week. If this angers you, then blame occasional commenter the Birdman for me being here. It’s all his fault.

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Chris Young continues to shock the fantasy baseball world as he held the Yankees to just one run and four hits last night to grab his third win. He struck out two. After coming off a six inning shut out of Detroit last week, Young has now lowered his ratios to a 0.93 ERA and 0.63 WHIP. He has been very good in his three starts and pitching in relief for the Royals. This begs the question. What are the Royals giving their pitchers? And why isn’t Yordano Ventura getting any? The 21/7 K/BB ratio is nothing special and the .132 BABIP is impossible to sustain. In addition, his 4.70 xFIP is real bad and suggest this he can’t keep this charade going for much longer. He gets the Cardinals next week, and I’m not quite ready to recommend him outside AL-Only or deep leagues, but I’m watching him closely, and I think you should, too. Also, very few players were lede-worthy this week, which is why you get 200 words on a 35-year old journeyman. We know now that you don’t doubt the Royals, and if he continues to excel, Chris Young could pitch himself into a rotation spot even after Jason Vargas returns.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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hebrew


Max Scherzer
, Jordan Zimmermann, and Stephen Strasburg. If that doesn’t sound like the guest list for Temple Beth Sholom’s Rosh Hashanah bash, I don’t know what does. Who will the Nationals sign next, Ryan Braun, Ike Davis or Ian Kinsler? How many Jews does it take to win a World Series? Now before anyone goes and gets offended, let me say that I myself am Jewish, or at least I was raised as such. Bar Mitzvah and all. And that means that it’s kosher for me make Jewish jokes. It’s kinda like how African-American rappers and comedians are allowed to say the word that shall not be said. Shockingly, however, none of Scherzer, Zimmermann, nor Strasburg light the menorah. Say what!?! It’s true. You won’t find any of those names in Adam Sandler’s next rendition of the Hanukkah Song. But while I’m on the topic, allow me to say that Hebrew National hot dogs are, by far, the best hot dogs one can eat. Actually all kosher hot dogs are pretty damn delicious. Most importantly, they are all beef. No uncertainly about what you are actually eating. After all, they answer to a higher authority!

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I hear you out there. Wait, something’s not quite right…I see a grainy pic so we’re kinda ok…but where’s the mustache…*squints*…OMG YOU’RE NOT GREY WHAT IS THIS INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE. Look, Grey had a thang, ok? He paged me and asked for coverage. Yes, I’m being literal, he paged me. He’s a bit old school, there’s nothing wrong with that. I showed him my iPhone 6s and how it could translate to Kirundi and make a mean cheese omelette but he said he’d rather ping me with ‘5318008‘. Honestly, I’m totally fine with that but he calls every time afterwards asking me to flip it upside down. Every. Time. Either way, I said I’d cover and here I am, covering the coverage and that leads us to Drew Hutchison. First off, if you own him…ticker shock! Those Houston guys are really good at coming from behind. That’s what she said! Over six innings, Drew gave up two runs while allowing 6 base runners (only one walk), striking out nine. Nine is a nice number when you’re talking about Ks but not as nice as 10. Ten is how many Astros Chris Heston fanned on Tuesday as he threw a complete game two hitter. Heston is close to a 7 K/9 kind of guy, probably a little under. On the one hand, I love Drew so this start has me piqued. On the other hand, the Astros are second in the majors in K rate at 24.6%. On the third hand which is actually Grey’s hand as he takes the pager from me and flips it upside down, Drew looks like a good get for deeper leagues where you can wait on his high K potential, but this shouldn’t move the needle for standard or the RCL. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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What are you all doing here today? It’s Mother’s Day… shouldn’t you be getting out of the basement and going to pick up the pizza for her for once! Go put on your fancy sweatpants, you know, the ones without the hot pocket stains, and put on actual shoes. Slippers or flip flops are not okay today. Seriously, try and do something! Did you remember to write her a Dear Mama letter? What about being mothers little helper and taking out the trash or refilling her bourbon? There are lots of things you can do to help out your Mother. I know they like telling you what to do or what not to do, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes. At least you know mama tried and wasn’t just standing in the shadows… I hope. Let’s be nice to her and  just lay off the yo mama jokes for the day? Cool. Oh, that’s right, you are here for fantasy baseball and not just songs and jokes. Yeah I got jokes.

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David Ortiz has been a dominant offensive force since joining the Red Sox in 2003. During the time period from ’03 to present day, he’s one of only three MLB players to hit at least 400 home runs (Albert Pujols and Adam Dunn are the others); one of three players to knock in at least 1300 runs (Miguel Cabrera and Pujols); he’s 11 walks shy of 1000 which would make him just the 2nd player to reach that mark (Dunn); he’s also produced the 6th highest OPS as well as the 2nd highest ISO (behind only Barry Bonds) during this span. Basically, Big Papi has been an extremely patient hitter with massive power who’s been really good for a really long time. He certainly hasn’t been sloppy like this Poppie. But no player can elude Father Time forever. Except for Julio Franco. I think he was around 60 when he retired. However, most players begin to see their production drop off by their mid-30s at the latest. While Ortiz still appears to be going strong, how much gas does he have left in the tank in his age 39 season?

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Yesterday, Evan Gattis went 2-for-4, 3 runs, 4 RBIs with his 5th and 6th homers, while hitting four homers in the last three days. After the game, Gattis likened this streak to the five red lights in a row where the first car to stop had broken windshield wipers and Gattis had a squeegee. Adding, “Right now, I’m swinging the squeegee as good as ever. There was one guy, Non-Tall Paul, who claimed to get a six-red-light streak back in ’98. Non-Tall Paul reminds me of Altuve, actually. Size-wise. Not smell-wise. He smelled of grapes. Very, very rancid grapes.” Okay, Gattis! This weekend Gattis reminds us how ridiculous it was that people wanted to drop him in the first week-plus when he was striking out like Non-Tall Paul at a plus-sized model runway show. I think someone even asked me in the first two weeks if I had revised projections for Gattis. Guys and five girl readers (we have a new one! Hey, lady!), the season isn’t even a month old yet. You need to trust your players. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I’ll be honest, picking a creeper early in the year is not an easy task. We have small sample sizes to work with, players under performing and pitchers very hard to predict. I ask myself every week as I prepare these: what angle can I find to make a call? What is a constant that doesn’t change? Where are my pants? Well, the third question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s like trying to figure out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. The other two are things we always look for, regardless of what point of the season we are at, are park factors, lefty/righty match-ups, Schmotatoness, and batter vs. pitcher history. For example, this week, Brad Miller plays six games and for five of them, he faces right-handers. On the year, he bats .348 against RHP (good thing), but among the five he faces this week, he bats .191 against (not so good), and Hitter-Tron (-$2.5) says he won’t be any good. I’ll pass too. That’s a little snapshot into my process.  This week, I’m going for Schomtatoness and park factors to make my call. Would you like to hear more? Oh c’mon, I’ll give you some Arby’s coupons? Dairy Queen? Fine, then skip to the top 100 and we can fight about that in the comments instead.

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Ladies and gents, boys and girls, gasses and minerals, can we be serious for a moment? I have something that’s touched us all in one way or another to discuss; the cold streak. Yes they happen to DFS gods such as myself too. Hard to believe I know, but it’s true. Since last Sunday’s post my wins have been few and far between. The worst part about all this is I’m not getting blown away by the field. I’m consistently finishing just outside the money. East Coast players (where’s my furs and gators?) like myself will be all too familiar with the old going to bed a winner and waking up a loser act. Your girlfriend told me you wake up a loser a lot, so you get it. But that’s besides the point, and they make pills for that “issue”. Just blame it on the alcohol. Either way today is a new day, just as it is everyday on DraftKings and with it comes new opportunity.

After studying todays pitching roster there’s a lot of arms with good matchups, at value prices. My favorite arm of the day, and one that will be in all of my lineups (GPP’s included) is Jason Hammel. The Cubs starter has been a good under the radar play thus far this season striking out 23 batters and only walking 1 in 25 1/3 innings. That’s some old school Cliff Lee shizz. Last time out, Hammel went 8 against the Pirates, not allowing a run and striking out 7. Today he squares off against the Brewers and all American boy Jimmy Nelson. The Brew crew has not been very formidable in 2015, ranking 29th in team wOBA, while striking out at the third highest rate (23.4%) in the league. Full disclosure time, Milwaukee has played most of their games sans their best hitter Carlos Gomez, who returned to the lineup yesterday, but the numbers tell me they need a lot more than Gomez. Fuller disclosure, Vegas hates my idea because the winds be a-blowin out hard to left but at a price of $7,400 you’ll have plenty of other dollars to spend elsewhere.

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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