I was a little unsure of who would be profiled this week (I thought about Jacob deGrom, but Front Row Amy was in attendance so I’d be too distracted…), so I went with a twitter suggestion that make me scratch my head a bit.  Matt Shoemaker?  Is he really interesting at all?

I’m a big Angels fan, my most important dynasty now has Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Kole Calhoun, and Howie Kendrick manning my O (no one cares!), so I’ve seen some bits and pieces of Shoemaker here and there.  You could say, I’ve seen a sole and a… let’s go with shoelace.  A good mix of pitches but with nothing overwhelming, it was shocking to see two 10+ K games in his previous six, before tossing an absolute gem against the Tigers last Saturday.

So I decided to take a deeper look into Shoemaker and see if he has some spot-start or even backend rotation relevance for fantasy owners pushing towards the final stretch:

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?

As any DFS player knows, the daily grind of fantasy sports can be downright One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest-kind of maddening. When you hit a cold spell that drains your bankroll and has you questioning your sanity (not now, voices in my head!) you may start to think it’s time to get a girlfriend or maybe just try throw a sink through the window. Your humble-but-nonetheless-certifiable Guru hit one of those cold streaks before the break that approached Game of Thrones-winter-is-coming-sized proportions. (Cuckoos Nest and GOT references in the first paragraph?! Genius!)

game-of-thrones-daenerys-dragons-season-3-i16

The bankroll took a big dent and my January in Cancun fund may turn out to be February in Fargo. The cold streak can be attributed to a couple of things: 1) Baseball is completely unpredictable. No sport has more variance – anyone that claims to be an expert may need a weekend with Nurse Ratched; 2) Bad bankroll management. Ouch! I broke my own unwritten-but-about-to-be-written rules about taking care of my green. When it comes to not fudging the finances there are five things I usually do and don’t do. 1) Stay up to date on the weather, injuries and lineups. Nothing is more frustrating than spending big on Jose Abreu then seeing he’s not in the lineup or having stacked the Tigers only to see it starts raining frogs in Detroit in the third inning. 2) Don’t wager more than you can afford to lose. Whether your bankroll is $5 or $5,000, never wager more than 10% on any given night. Despite what Mr. Gekko may say, greed is not good. 3) Don’t chase losses. If you crapped out in the early games don’t try to recoup in the late games. Take your lump for the night and know tomorrow is a new day full of unicorns and rainbows. 4) Avoid multi-entry GPP’s. This is tough when you see a contest that’ll let you turn your $10 into $10,000. The odds of your one entry winning are not good. Those high roller, multi-entry tanks are filled with sharks that’ll be throwing out multiple lineups and running 10 team trains that’ll leave you crying in your Corona. I saw a guy run a 50 team train recently that cashed big for him, but left everyone else busted. He was later found in the trunk of his Caddie with his winnings shoved up his caboose. 5) Don’t play if it doesn’t feel right. Great analysis, Guru. Thanks, disembodied voice that sounds slightly like my ex, Brenda. Sorry you’re still pissed I sold your 1989 Mazda Miata to pay off my debts, but I’m a degenerate gambler and that car sucked. If you can’t get a lineup together that you’re confident in don’t play it – unless you just want to hand me your $5. I’ll gladly accept it.

We have 6 games this afternoon and 9 on the evening slate today at DraftKings with a few aces on the mound and teams to stack – hello Washington, Toronto and Detroit. I’ll be digging deep into the research and convening with my good friends DFSBot,Stream-O-Nator, HitterTron and Islay scotch to find the best matchups to grow the bankroll. If you haven’t given Draftkings a shot yet, today’s the day you get in the game. Just hit the Razzball promo link to get a first time deposit match and come play with the Razzball gang in a 50/50 contest.

Here are some of my top picks and value plays for Wednesday, July 23.

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?

As I mentioned in my first/intro OPS post, we’re looking at OPS differential by using expected (x)Homerun and expected (x)BABIP differentials. If you like Captain Planet or laser beams, or want to understand my general approach, then I recommend a gander. If you provide your email below, I can furnish the full list that you can sort. Wordpress doesn’t allow me to copy and paste it all pretty for you.

Let’s start with my xHR formula (PA*Ct%*OFFB%*HR/OFFB%). Here are the top 10 guys likely to drop off from a HR perspective: Albert Pujols, Adam Jones, Justin Morneau, Alexei Ramirez, Mark Reynolds, Charlie Blackmon, Ian Desmond, Brett Lawrie, Hunter Pence and Salvador Perez.

Here are the top 35 guys likely to drop off from a BABIP perspective that you actually might own (meaning I’m excluding the Martin Maldonados of the world): Josh Rutledge, Justin Ruggiano, A.J. Pollock, Josh Hamilton, Stephen Vogt, J.D. Martinez, J.J. Hardy, Eugenio Suarez, Hunter Pence and Matt Adams.

Looking at both xHR and xBABIP differentials, here are guys you might own that I would consider selling in OPS leagues based on their expected vs. actual OPS (the differential is in parenthesis just like this statement. See what I did here?):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

OH-WA-AH-AH-AH! Woah, sorry about that. A little rough for a Saturday morning for you? Well what can I say but toughen up, kiddos. There’s only a little over 60 games left on the season for you to tell your significant others that you’re scouring the waiver wire for decent players at 12:30 AM on a Tuesday morning with that ‘Brown Chicken Brown Cow’ sound in the background playing on your computer and no, you’re not listening to Trace Adkins. You don’t like country and you don’t even know who that is. But you do know who Jason Kipnis is…was that a segue? I’m not even sure. If it was, it was a little weak at best but it’s done and now we’re here so lets get down to the goods of it all. Kip – I can call him that since I have a friend from OH with whom I’m bros with; that’s how these things work – hit 2 bombs from the lead off spot for the Tribe on Friday, finishing the night 2/5 with 4 RBIs and 2 runs. And here’s me telling you to sell on dat chit. He’s had a little hotty toddy, we likes to party July, hitting near .300 with 2 said HRs and 5 stolen bases but let us not forget what he has done for his career in the second half. He loses about 20 points of average, about .040% on Slugging and even finds a way to steal less down the stretch. Obviously, past doesn’t always dictate the future. I mean, look at people who get married a second a third time. The percentages staying together get better right? *Looks at percentages*…oh. History is just not on the side of Kipnis being a second half savior for you and I’d make a move if I can still get a price return on him close to what you had to draft him for. In other news from the All-Star break return to our 2014 Fantasy Baseball season…oooh, on the TLC tip! Just a friendly reminder that myself and some other cool cats (I think Mike might be a Toyger) do this thing called DraftKings for you all every day of the week. That last link takes you away to Daily Fantasy land care of our VIP card but this link shows you all the content we’ve been providing to help you get the game down while you’re with us. BTW, didn’t bring up Mike just cuz. I’m swinging for Dan Pants today because apparently he’s pantsless or something. I told him just to change his name to Dan Assless Chaps for the day but he declined. That said, I’m gonna be away from the good ‘ole ‘puter for the day but Mike will be fielding all your burning questions. No, not those questions. If it burns down there, go see a doctor. Mike is just a cool cat and cats aren’t doctors. Duh. But enough chicanery, let’s really get back to this show…

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?

The Oakland A’s have been the team to beat in the first half of 2014. They own the best record the majors, their offense, which is comprised of a ragtag bunch of misfits from the other side of the tracks, ranks second among all teams in RBIs and total bases. They lead the league in ERA and WHIP, and they just upgraded their rotation with the acquisition of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, all without the help of fat Jonah Hill. You don’t need Andy Serkis’ acting school to show you you’d be a real monkey to doubt these guys. They’ve been just as good from a fantasy perspective. Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss and Sonny Gray have carried over their success from 2013, and Jesse Chavez, Sean Doolittle and the two-headed catcher platoon of John Jaso and Derek Norris have all been first half surprises. So which A’s can you hitch a ride on for some second half fantasy glory? Jed Lowrie (2-for-4, RBI) can get real hot, real quick, and is currently on a seven game hitting streak, with multi-hit performances in six of those games. You might want to scoop him up before he explodes, or gets injured again. Similarly, Stephen Vogt (3-for-3, HR (4)) has been excellent since receiving everyday at bats and is slashing .435/.480/.652 over the past two weeks.  He’s got an 11 game hitting streak (six multi-hit games in that span) and two homers in his past three days, and that catcher eligibility makes him extra valuable. P. Diddy says Vogt or die, so you should grab Stephen while he’s still just under 30% owned. We may be through a little over half of the fantasy season so far, but there’s still plenty of time to ride the Oaktown bandwagon to some fantasy glory, at least until they get to San Antonio. #keeptheAsinOakland!

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night (*All-Star Edition*):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jay(Wrong) sent presentation rights over to me with the departure/hiatus of Tom Jacks. Tom passed the torch to me by way of a Captain Planet quote: “The Power is Yourz.”

i.chzbgr

You all seemed to appreciate his content, and I hope to fill your passion-buckets with the same sense of quality. I will offer some value in my next post through OPS differential and possible pick-ups, but I wanted to take this time to summarize a few thoughts from Mr. Jacks’ last post, while sharing my general approach. Hopefully Jay(Wrong) strategically publishes this in a slot where you all aren’t salivating for immediate pick-ups! That’s right. In my very first OPS post, I wrote Jay, slot and salivate in one sentence. [Jay's Note: Go easy on the ladies my friend.]

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Now that I’m married Jimmy Carter’s line, “I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times.” Really stands out to me. I don’t necessarily want to think about Jimmy Carter in lust, or even contemplating lust. The thing he doesn’t say is if he wasn’t married, he’d be lusting too. Men are men, and Jimmy Carter is no different. Jimmy Carter is one tightly wound ball of lust, and probably hooked Clinton up with Lewinsky. Jimmy Carter is a pimp! If Jimmy Carter was president in the 2000′s, he probably would’ve had Outkast to the White House and would’ve been like, “What’s colder than our relations with the Middle East? Ice cold!” In that similar vein, I lust after rookie pitchers. They are so dang sexy prior to actually pitching in the major leagues. Jimmy Nelson is just another. I like him a lot, and glad to see Marco Estrada was replaced by him. From Nelson, could see a 9+ K/9 and a middling walk rate. Due to the walk rate, that has ballooned at times, he could be absolute death — like games of 5 IP, 6 ER death. He could also run over the NL with games of 6 IP, 8 Ks. I’d grab him in all leagues for the upside, but be wary of the downside. As Jimmy Carter also once said, “You can do what you have to do, and sometimes you can do it even better than you think you can. Speaking of can, that’s where I like to stick my peanuts. I said PEANUTS!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sometimes, you wanna feel like the smartest guy/gal/thing in the room. Of course, that would have to make the title ‘Summa Iwakuma Laude’ but I didn’t like the flow of ‘Summa Iwakuma’. My titles are ridiculous enough anyways, I don’t need unintentional rhyme muddying the waters along with it. So we chose ‘with great honor’ rather than ‘with highest honor’. We just replaced ‘cum’ with Hisashi Iwakuma…you better read that word in latin, perv! Not Hisashi, of course, since his name is in his native language of Japanese. So did I just create a new language? Jatin? Lapanese? Eh, I’ll leave the Bennifers to Hollywood at this point. But really, Hisashi should make you feel like you graduated with honors from Sports Tech Fantasy University (GO STFU!) as his price of $9,100 on DraftKings puts him behind the big three 10K+ pitchers on the day but the Stream-o-nator says his start is the tops of his class on the day. I do think because of the bigger names on the slate, Iwakuma will have a slightly lower ownership than normal despite the fact his start is at home and against a whiff-happy team. Much like my pick up skills will be on the Razzball Radio Tour, the Twins strike out rates are at the bottom of the league already but when they step out on the road, they’re even worse as they own the second worst K% while out Jack Kerouac’ing. So let’s swing our tassel from one side to the other and walk down that aisle…ahem, I meant graduation tassels and the hat. Seriously! Well, whatever, you’ve graduated to the rest of the picks. Now get out of this lead and take your dirty mind with you! Here’s the rest of the Razzball picks for July 7th contests…

Please, blog, may I have some more?