El Grande Dolor. The Cuban Barry Bonds. Oso or Yogi. All of these are phrases and nicknames that have been used to describe Chicago White Sox slugger Jose Abreu in recent years. I’m not really sure where those last couple of ones came from, but they’re listed under his profile at baseball-reference, so we’ll roll with it. Side note: can those profiles be edited by the public á la Wikipedia? Perhaps I could just go in and change his nickname to, say, Boo-Boo. Would that make listening to Hawk Harrelson tolerable if he started using random meaningless terms to describe the Sox players? Hmm… probably not. But I digress. Abreu has looked anything but a Cuban version of Barry Bonds or Frank Thomas in the early going. Maybe more like the current version of Thomas, but that’s not exactly what was expected of him coming into this season. We’re almost a month into the 2016 campaign, and Abreu’s been outhomered by the likes of Aledmys Diaz and Scooter Gennett. He obviously brings no speed to the table, and his batting average currently resides under the Mendoza line. In other words, he’s been pretty awful thus far. What’s going on here? Why has Abreu been so terrible this season?

Let’s dig into Abreu’s profile to see if we can figure out what’s causing these early struggles. Here are a few observations:

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Two weeks ago I said that 2016 was not the year to own Byron Buxton and that in non-dynasty formats he was droppable. Some of you applauded my position, while others second guessed their decision to even read my post. One reader went as far as sending me an email letting me know that I was an idiot and that he wished I was in his league because his league could use more bad players. I accepted his invitation, but have yet to hear back. On Monday Buxton was optioned to Class AAA Rochester. Game. Set. Match. Fantasy tennis anyone?

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We’re now about three weeks into the season, obviously still a very small sample to work with but it’s worth taking a look at current trends around the league.  Some young guys around the league are having a great start helping their long term value while others are on the opposite side of the spectrum.  On the other side of things, there are some older players who are showing signs of decline that you’ll need to make a decision on.  In this article, I’m going to look at these players and talk about their current stock and what I’d do from here.  Let’s get right to it:

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theprince
You know who I’d really love to punch in the face? Justin Upton. When did he become B.J. Upton. I’m sorry, I mean the artist formerly known as B.J. Upton. Justin has more strikeouts than Chris Davis, George Springer and Miguel Sano. Heck, the only hitter with more strikeouts is Trevor Story. At least Story has 8 home runs. Upton has only one! Even Melvin has more homers. Seriously, WTF! Eight points? J-Up. More like J-Down.

And how about Prince. Mr. Fielder has just 23 points! I know it’s early, but that puts him safely outside the top 100 hitters. Can you believe that those 23 points are four more than Joey Votto’s total. Seriously, I’d like to take Upton, Votto and Fielder, put them in a little red Corvette and drive it off a cliff. As bad as these three have been it’s Khris Davis that takes the cake. Through 13 games and 49 plate appearances this pile of dung has amassed negative four points. That’s correct, you read that right. He has less than zero points on the season. Pathetic does not even come close to describing this sh*t show.

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Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called a fantasy baseball season.  I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, forgive me if I recommend starting a hitter vs. Jake Arrieta and pray.  I’m not a woman, I’m not a man, I am Bartolo Colon and you will never understand how I get on these pants.  1, 2, 1, 2, 3.  Yeah.  I was working part-time in a five-and-dime, my boss was Willie McGee.  U got the look.  Jesus, McGee, that look.  Twenty-three positions in a one night stand.  Twenty-three positions in a very deep league fantasy team.  Who’s my short-second-short-1st baseman?  Why do we scream at each other?  This is what it sounds like when David Price’s owners cry.  “Sorry to hear about Chyna,” said the ghost of Farrah Fawcett.  Arrieta, you got the batter’s fly balls all tied up!  Don’t make the outfielders chase you!  Even doves have pride.  Why do we scream at each other when we don’t own Jake Arrieta?  So, Arrieta threw a no-hitter yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 BBs, 6 Ks.  Rather economical pitch count too (119).  Member when we were able to own him last year by drafting him in the 8th round?  Alas, he’s a Sexy M.F. and I would die 4 U.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Meet Erik, 35 years old. After meeting a fantasy baseball expert on the internet, he took his last three dollars, entered it in the Early Moonshot on Monday, April 11, 2016, and won $5,000. His conscience never came into play.

All of the above is true, except the part about Erik‘s last three dollars, of course. See, Erik has now done what the vast majority of DFS players have not–he’s taken down a large GPP. This sucker had 28,750 entries. Impressive to say the least. Instead of going all-in with David Price, he pivoted to Michael Wacha. Combine that with nine Aaron Nola strikeouts, a rare offensive outburst from Yadi Molina, home runs from Chris Davis, Mookie Betts, and J.D. Martinez, respectively, and a 19-point punt play in Aledmys Diaz, Erik nailed every single player on Monday’s early slate. Good on you, Erik. You are truly a DFS inspiration and I’m proud to call you one of my good friends. Rags to riches, homie, you ain’t done. You got 99 Problems, but winnin’ a GPP ain’t one. Enjoy that Four Roses Bourbon. Just remember you’re picking up the bar tab when you come to Pittsburgh in June. It’s the least you can do! (Also, bring me a bottle of that bourbon. On the house, of course.)

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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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I don’t know where it’s coming from with Jeremy Hazelbaker, so I called Keith Morrison of Dateline to investigate.  He went to St. Louis to investigate and left me this message, “Here, in bucolic St. Louis, all seemed right in the world.  Jeremy had just married his high school sweetheart, and they were on a honeymoon of a lifetime when the unthinkable happened.”  I picked up the phone, because I use an old school answering machine, “Keith, St. Louis isn’t bucolic, and I’m not looking for a suspicious murder scenario.  I want to know who Jeremy Hazelbaker is for fantasy baseball.”  Keith continued, “The neighbors had nothing but nice things to say about the couple.  But they didn’t see the dark side.”  “Keith, yesterday, Hazelbaker went 4-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, and is hitting .526 through a week’s worth of games and hitting 2nd on most days.  Can he continue it?”  “Only that wasn’t pine tar on his bat, it was iron-rich blood.  Coming up after the break–”  So, I don’t know how the Cardinals do this with outfielders every year.  These outfielders that just come out of nowhere to be fantasy relevant; I will call them, The Sons of Ludwick.  Will it continue for Hazelbaker?  It seems highly unlikely.  He profiles as a 5-7 HR, 15-17 SB guy who might hit .245.  But, ya know what, I don’t need to know where it’s coming from or if it will continue to own Hazelbaker, as I now do in a few leagues.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! Sorry, always wanted to pretend I was the announcer for a monster truck rally…wouldn’t want to pretend to be AT one, exactly. Hell, wouldn’t want to be at one for real, either. Feel like I grew up in monster truck rally/WWE territory and have been doing my best to find intelligent life on Earth since and let me tell you, the occurrences have been slim…that excludes current company, of course. I’m sure none of you have an The Rock Fat Head in your room. Or better yet, I’m sure none of you have one that you wish to reveal now save for maybe Tehol but said Fat Head is on the ceiling above his bed and I’ve stopped asking why about these things. Sometimes its best to just go with the flow and that’s what I’m doing with today’s slate. DK is telling me I have a lot of expensive options to choose from but we’re being presented with a nice middle of the road price of $7,800 on Joe Ross today. At this point in the season – the season that is a whole seven days of data worth old – I tend to angle myself towards a very simple approach. That simple approach is: is the player good and if the answer is yes, is his price good? Ross’ price is good so I’m sold. Last year, Ross ticked a lot of the boxes on the stats I love. Good walk rate? At a BB/9 of 2.47, yup. Then you ask, does he K anyone? At an 8.10 K/9 rate, yes he does. Then I ask myself, can he keep the ball in the park? With a 49.8% GB rate, I’d have to say that’s also an affirmative. Ross will be scattered across pretty much every lineup I have today as he comes at a great price and will probably go overlooked on a day where there are so many aces on the mound. So feel free to join me in grabbing a Natty…no, not those Nattys. That’s gross, bro; it’s 2016, there’s better beer than that. Instead, join me on this Joe Ross is boss Natty train and let the money follow you in. And with that, we’re off so here’s my Robosaurus hot takes for this Sunday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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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I’ve begun working on a program that aims to harness the collective super powers of some of the greatest minds in the last five hundred years. Think of it as a digital hybrid of Nate Silver, Tom Tango, Billy Beane, Kenny Powers and Nostradamus. The beta version, however, was just Powers and Nostradamus. I called it Nostradumbass. According to its calculations I was supposed to draft Adam LaRoche, Torii Hunter and Reggie Jackson. Now call me old fashioned, but if I’m going to get screwed, I’d at least like to get dinner out of the deal. The only guaranteed prediction you can make from those suggestions is that my team is going to suck. If something is a “guaranteed” prediction, is it really a prediction? The aforementioned players project to zero fantasy points for the remainder of the season.

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We want dingers, lots and lots of dingers. The formal definition of a ‘dinger’ has something to do with home runs, just to paint a better picture for you. We will go after dingers, dingers, and more dingers. Now remember, you don’t want your pitchers to give up dingers, so be careful to not fall too much in love with them. The first Thursday of the MLB season promises plenty of potential for the long ball; sadly, most of the pitchers possess this potential too. With a few lower priced arms, it is possible to put together a very strong hitting lineup that can compete with anyone. Without further ado, we construct Team Dingers, and more importantly a team that will prove a winner on DraftKings for you!

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?