It’s that time of year again when your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru digs out his star-spangled turban, the seersucker suit, and attempts to pull the ol’ “hotdog” trick on the unsuspecting ladies at the annual Razzball cookout. Johnny Manziel’s got nothin’ on me! Welcome once again to the Razzball Lounge where your favorite fake baseball scribes gather to crunch the numbers, drink the grog, and avoid the Tehol – hey, the kid gets all handsy after a few! We raise our glasses this Memorial Day weekend to all those that served and we pour out a little to all those boys of summer that never made it home. Let’s lower the Razzball flag to half-mast in horror honor of the latest fantasy casualties: Prince Fielder broke his cervix (who knew?), Ryan Braun strained his oblique (‘roids help with healin’, cust kayin’), Nolan Arenado broke a finger sliding (here’s a finger for you Nolan) and Mike Moustakas burned the roof of his mouth on the Hot Pocket Mama Mous made for him. Fielder looks done for the year, Braun was done the minute his medicine cabinet contained nothing but baby aspirin and Ben-Gay, Arenado is down a digit and good ol’ Moosetacos will be spending the summer in Omaha – oh, no, he just fell into the thresher. RIP Moosetacos. Yes, we’re grieving our fake baseball teams in the lounge this long weekend. At the bar we find Sky crying in his Islay, “I’m an organ donor and Arenado can have one of my fingers.”  Sky, NO!!!! *raises machete, cuts off pinky* Over at the jukebox is our resident jukebox hero Jay(Wrong) playing “Candle in the Wind” for the 23rd time.  “This one’s for you my sweet Prince.”  *bottle smashes above head* Sauntering out of the ladies room, zipping up his fly, arm around his latest conquest, is international man of mystery Tehol Beddict, “Why the long faces, gang? I’ve been in last place since April.”  *gets punched in the face by J-Foh, breaks nose* Here at the pool table is your humble-but-nonetheless-dejected Guru. *closes eye, takes aim, fires cue ball through window*  “All is lost, I’m going to start playing fantasy cricket.”  And, with the Razzball crew at an all-time low, who should suddenly grace us all with his presence? The one and only Grey Albright, looking all Gatsby as he exits his convertible amidst a plume of sweet smelling vapor, a coug on each arm, mustache glistening in the summer sun. “Gentleman, don’t lose faith, it’s a long season, and even if we win, if we win, HAH! Even if we win! Even if we play so far above our heads that our noses bleed for a week to ten days; even if God in Heaven above comes down and points his hand at our side of the field; even if every man woman and child held hands together and prayed for us to win, it just wouldn’t matter because all the really good looking girls would still go out with the guys from Yahoo because they’ve got all the money! It just doesn’t matter if we win or we lose. IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER! Now, Guru, fire up your jammer crammer machine and someone get me a goddamn umbrella drink!”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I had it all setup, I was going to come on here and advocate you buying my favorite breakout player of 2014, Dallas Keuchel. I compared him to my favorite 90s wrestler Diamond Dallas Page. I even nicknamed Keuchel’s slider the diamondcutter after Page’s famous finishing move. There were fireworks, boobs, and jokes about the Mariners inability to hit lefties. I even fit in a jab at Teen Mom turned Pornstar Farrah Abraham’s lack of understanding of Memorial Day. Well I guess I still got that! Then Bo Porter decided sometime between my bedtime and wakeup that he was going to push back my Southpaw Sweetheart. Well that’s fine Bo Porter, I already thought you were a dink. In fact if I ever see you in person, I’m going to walk by you, wait until you are a safe distance away, and then say terrible things and run.

I all seriousness I can’t blame you for this move Keuchel did throw 128 pitches on Monday. So it makes sense. Well anyway I’ll just move on to another one of my favorite Aces in the making in Corey Kluber. His Manager is Terry Francona and he and I have an understanding because we both resemble personified turtles. He’d never do this to me!

Starting Kluber today will take some balls. He’s going against the Orioles who have been scoring runs in bunches the last week or so. Maybe we’ll get lucky and Chris Davis won’t play to be with his wife, who’s scheduled to give birth tomorrow. Even if Davis is in the lineup fear not; Corey K’s is getting to the point of being matchup proof. With a K rate of 10.13 and a walk rate of 2.06 on the season he’s pitching like an ace. He get’s strikeouts in bunches and in his last 4 starts his k/9 is 12.4, that’s a number that’s tough to ignore. With a price of $10,300 he’s not cheap but well worth the coin.

Before we proceed any further with this madness, let me get in a quick shameless plug. Did you start the season with a roster than included Prince Fielder? Jose Fernandez? Did you not listen to Grey and drafted Matt Moore? Have you been in a coma and completely forgot to change your roster and Mike Moustakas is your 3rd baseman? Well, get on over to Draftkings, sign up, and let good old Doctor Lifshitz be your guide. Bonus! I don’t charge for prostate exams.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

King Salomon Brothers, the overseer of the Iron Bank, was mortgaging castles that he shouldn’t have been and fighting to get repaid, so he decided to sell his crown that was bespeckled in quinoa and Boca Burgers. The crown itself was worth more than all castles together. The world could be saved of economic ruin if the crown could get safely to the world’s largest pawn broker, Wei-Yin Chains. Unable to leave the kingdom himself, King Salomon Brothers gave Prince Fielder the crown, entrusting it to his overweight son, knowing if there was one person not interested in the healthy adornments on the crown it would be he. Unfortunately, heavy is the neck that wears Prince’s crown, and he gobbled up the crown like he gobbled up all the fantasy trust I put in him when I drafted this man the size of four horses. Goddammit! Dubya tee eff, doode! You can’t put on a neck brace and get up to bat? Shoot some cortisone is your cellulite! DAH!!! The only positive in this travesty that has befallen the fattest POS in the seven kingdoms? You’ll get to drop him! Fielder exclamation mark, exclamation mark, exclamation mark, I hate you. Sincerely, Your Drafter. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Earlier this week, I played guarantee fairy by marking guys likely to rebound or drop-off based on their BABIP differentials (actual vs. expected). Justin Morneau was a red flag because his expected BABIP is 34+ points lower than his actual BABIP, however this is the case for other Rockies, Brandon Barnes and Troy Tulowitzki even more-so. Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado are just behind Morneau as well. What I’m saying is that it’s a generalizable (Colorado) effect, and isn’t too much of a concern in Morneau’s case. The lineup stack probably exacerbates the effect as well.

On the other hand, while Prince Fielder is likely to rebound based on expected BABIP, the ground ball increase and hitting into the defensive shift is really hurting him, meaning I think his issues will somewhat sustain all year.

For this post (using this same matrix), let’s look at some MLB catchers and corner infielders to replace Matt Wieters and Brandon Belt long-term, and who should rebound at least from an expected BABIP perspective (<10% ownership on ESPN as of 5/12). Here is how I have them ranked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For all of today’s news and lineup notes, all with a Canadian/Arizonian accent (if that’s such a thing, I’m assuming it is unless they already deported it) here’s Nick the Podcast Radio Host with today’s HotSheet!

To be fair, Johnny Cueto is good, but that’s not the name of the song. Pitching a complete game, three hit shut-out with eight strikeouts is quite an impressive start, until you realize it was against the Padres. You gave up three hits against them? What is this? Kevin Correia hour? Even though those nine innings struck me as quite pedestrian, his last 63.0 IP have been quite impressive. And seeing as how he’s one of the eighteen pitchers who has survived so far without a tendon exploding, he could be well on his way for a Cy Young caliber year. And while the red flags are few and far between, I would be remiss not to mention them. First, his LOB% is insane at 99.5%. Yes, he’s really great at holding runners, but the league average is 72.8% and his career average 76.6%. Second, his BB% is unchanged, but his K/9 is 9.71, compared to a career number of 7.19, and there’s really no reason why. The velocity has remained the same. There’s been an uptick of two-seamers with less sliders and change-ups… but if it was sequencing, we’d need a bigger sample. If it’s a case of getting called third strikes at a higher rate, that would demand regression. And, of course, there’s always injury-risk. But in the year of the Tommy John, I’ll feel relieved if someone’s arm doesn’t literally just fall off during a game this season. But hey, pitchers have career years. And when good pitchers have career years, well, ahem, they have career years? Uhh… I was in trouble like six words in…

Here’s what else I saw on Thursday (besides yo momma):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There are so many Tommy Boy quotes that I can manipulate to start this post, so you choose which one…

a) I can get a good look at Luck by sticking my head up BABIP’s a**, but I’d rather take xBABIP’s word for it.

b) I write fantasy baseball posts for the American working man, because that’s who I am and that’s who I care about.

c)  You: Prince Fielder, Hmmmm, he should get better.”

      Me: “This guy is batting .231, which is actually backed up because of the gross groundball rate (11+% jump) and hitting into the shift with a sense of urgency, and all you can say is, Hmmmm, he should get better?”

d) The season is drivin’ along, la-de-da, woo. And you have Justin Morneau batting .338. And then you look at your team. Tires go EEEEEEEEE! Whoa, that was close.

Now let’s see what happens if you have Prince Fielder on your team… You’re drivin’ along, Tires go EEEEEEEE! I CAN’T STOP! “Oh my God, I’m burning alive! And this isn’t a fire sale! No! I can’t feel my legs!” Here comes the meat wagon. And the medic gets out and says, “Oh my God”. New guy’s around the corner puking his guts out…

…Whichever quote you go with, if you own Fielder then consider yourself the new guy puking his guts out. This post is the meat wagon.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Seriously, I’m jonesing over here. David Price killed a small part of me yesterday in my lineups. Then Jake Arrieta went in with the dagger plunge on my lineups. And how the hell didn’t I get Ian Kennedy in ONE lineup. Really, Sky? REALLY?!? Woah, hey Seth Meyers. Could ya go back to New York, I’m kinda doing my thing here. BTW, I loved you in Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist…I’m joking, of course. I never watched that movie. But you know what I do watch? Baseball. And wanna know who’s fun to watch and good at that? Jose Fernandez. Do I really need to make a huge selling point here? Alright, here it is. Jo-Fer is #1 in the major leagues with a 12.54 K/9 rate. The Friars hitters? Eighth worst K-rate as a team at 22.8%. I know, I know…I had you at 12.54 K/9. There’s a reason he’s the top rated pitcher on the night with a $12,800 price tag. Might be harder to justify in GPP but he’s should be in every 50/50 you play for the day. Oh and BTW, just wanted to let you know, all y’all who signed up through our DraftKings sponsored link? To date, you’ve raked in over $38K. Yeah, that’s too round of a number to be believed. It’s actually $38,245. That’s some mad bank. How much did you spend to earn that amount back? I don’t know, I’m not your bookie. I’ll just assume that if your thumbs aren’t broken, you’re doing well in the game of ‘is it negative or is it positive’. My wife and I play that once a month around a Clear Blue. It’s just as nerve-wracking and just as worrisome about the expenses associated. But bygones! Either way it’s clear you all have great minds…or great tools like the DFSbot who’s just an extension of Rudy Gamble’s mind. Have we checked to see if Rudy is actually human yet himself? Anyways, just wanted to give you a well deserved congrats before we get on with the show. Here’s my picks for Friday’s DK contests for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Long, long ago, in a realm us mere mortals would know nothing about, there was a secret assemblage of the Elder Gods, for something of vast importance had come to light. An event of this magnitude is the only thing that can force the congregation of the Elders, for you see, the Elders can’t help but bicker between themselves about who’s power is supreme, whose creations are superior, and who has bagged the hottest chicks.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Happy early Cinco de Mayo, my tequila-fueled Razzaholics, and welcome back to the Razzball Lounge. We men of letters have donned our sombreros and gathered to celebrate whatever the hell Cinco de Mayo is – hey, I went to a school for dysfunctional teachers in Maine and the only Mexicans we ever saw were picking blueberries and turning John Deere’s into lowriders. We are also celebrating the Razzball revolucian! Yes, Razzball Radio launches this week with Señor Nick, who is currently transporting illegal video equipment across the border as we speak. Good stuff! As we gather in the lounge downing shots of Patron we look back at the first month of the season. There have been hot starts from new meat – Jose Abreu, Charlie Blackmon and Chris Colabello. There have been early season slumps – Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Adam Jones. And every team is battered and broken with Clayton Kershaw, Bryce Harper, Chris Davis and 422 other players on the disabled list. There’s plenty to celebrate and plenty to berate in the lounge today. Bellying up to the bar we find Sky wondering why he drafted a team that is completely on the disabled list. “Hey, at least Nick Punto is healthy!” *throws up on floor* At the jukebox we find Jay Wrong playing “Mexican Radio” for the 23rd time. “I’m on a Mexican radio, whoa! I just picked up  Bobby LaFromboise on waivers!” *bottle smashes above head* New to the Razzball Lounge is stat-boy Dano and his big book of facts who we have strung up from the ceiling for some human piñata-style hazing. “Did you fellas know Babe Ruth’s career wOBA was .510?” *WHACK!* Coming out of the ladies room is the one and only Tehol Beddict clad in just his Sears poncho. “Hey, guys I’ve set up a cock fight out back.”  Tehol, where are the roosters? “Whaddya mean roosters?” And here at the pool table is your-humble-but-nontheless-guapo Guru. *adjusts turban, closes eye, aims cue, banks eight-ball off three rails, licks salt, downs tequila, sucks lime,* Viva la Jam or Cram!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Funny that Mark Trumbo has a stress fracture in his foot, because I now have a stress fracture in my stress-bearing frontal lobe. “You wanna remember your anniversary with the Cougar or Mark Trumbo’s recovery timetable?” Shut up, frontal lobe, I hate you! I wish you were dead! *wavy lines* Hey, I have no frontal lobe anymore. Cool, I really like this episode of The Big Bang Theory. They are a gang of funny people! I wish Slystevesr Stallone would do more movies. He’s so awesome. Slvester? Why is there a red line under that? Damn, I can’t spell my favorite movie star’s name without my frontal lobe! *wavy lines* Okay, I’m glad I have a frontal lobe, but not glad I have Mark Trumbo on multiple deep league teams. Wah, wah, wah, that’s the sound of my sad Trumbone. This could mean more playing time for Tony Campana — SAGNOF! — or steady playing time for Cody Ross — um, AGNOF!, I guess. Last time Trumbo had a stress fracture — how many stress fractures does this guy have? — he was laid up for close to six months. Yay. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?