The CIA’s plan to work out of a Petco concession stand because the stadium is so quiet is looking far less like a good plan to stay covert. “Did you just ask for two mustard packets with your hot pretzel because you have some information for us or because you simply want an extra mustard packet? If it’s the latter, one per customer.” Probably the worst call for a covert operation’s headquarters since the CIA opened an office in Vegas in the 1940’s. “It’s just a desert, no one’s coming here.” So, the Padres traded for Justin Upton because they are obviously intent on deflating outfielder stats everywhere. At least this outfielder has two hips that don’t resemble Abe Vigoda’s. (Still alive as of this writing, but may not be by the time you read this.) Maybe the Padres can trade Kemp for Pujols to create the Up-My-Pujols lineup. I came down hard on Matt Kemp in the non-sexual way when he went to San Diego, but that had as much to do with him being the first new bat they acquired (no one around him in the lineup yet), his health and his flakiness. As with the Myers trade, I’m less inclined to write off Upton simply due to Petco. Upton’s a guy in his prime that has hit everywhere when healthy. I don’t like to put too much weight on a player’s stats in their new stadium when they were still playing as a visiting player, but Upton has 10 HRs and a .291 average in 172 ABs in Petco in his career. That’s a HR every 17.2 ABs, which is better than his career rate (1 HR every 23 at-bats). Petco played like its usual “Are you sure the fences are out there? I can’t see them” self last year, but in 2013 it wasn’t as bad after they moved in the fences prior to that season, so I think last year’s putrid offense was more the Padres hitters streaming into a confluence of crap. (By the by, Confluence of Crap was my worst selling album, despite Rick Reuben producing it. I should’ve paid the extra money for the non-imposter, Rick Rubin.) Even in Petco, Upton feels like a 25-27 homer guy, which is what he was before. His steals are leaving his game quicker than a rhinoceros with plantar fasciitis, and he’s not a huge average guy, but writing him off due to Petco feels a bit too easy. He’ll be hitting in the middle of a lineup that is at least as good as the Braves last year and in a nearly neutral ballpark. For 2015, I’ll give him 81/27/95/.266/8. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It started with a simple email. Hey Grey and Rudy, wouldn’t it be cool if someone wrote about the top pitchers broken down by month? And within those months, to evaluate with and without wins to ascertain who pitched well and gave good value vs. who pitched for a 90 win club and had a 4-0 month? Response was a resounding yes, of course. And of course, it was my own damn fault for having such a good idea because now I’m here giving you offseason content prior to January. Clearly the time that everyone is reading about fantasy baseball. Oh well, let’s get to it. Here’s a look back at April’s pitching to see if it holds any keys going forward to 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

First off, congratulations fellow nerd, if you’re reading this it means one of two things. 1. You’re just as painfully boring as I am and you read everything Razzball posts. Or 2., You’ve made it to the second or third round of your head-to-head league playoffs. Pretty impressive if you ask me! Now go tell everyone about it and be sure to let them know how you couldn’t have done it with out the good folks at Razzball! Best fantasy sports coverage in the industry, and all that happy horse shizz as my Vavo would say. What’s a Vavo you ask? It’s a Portuguese grandfather. See, you learn something new everyday. Well, I don’t because I know everything there is to know. It’s okay marvel at my excellence.

As for this week in double dipping, we have a couple of rude party guests in the Red Sux, Diamondbacks, Cubs, White Sox, Astros, and Padres, who have decided to move to 6-man rotations. Who would have guessed that the rudest guests at this two start party would come from Massachusetts, California, Texas, Arizona, and Chicago? Regardless of those skipping the cake and ice cream that is this week’s TwoStartapalooza we still have a whole bunch of good options to discuss. I’ve decided to add another element to these posts going forward. I’m now going to add in each pitchers home or road ERA, as well as the opponents wOBA against that pitcher’s handiness, and their home/road wOBA. I feel this provides you the reader with better statistical data, as well as better transparency into the reasoning behind each ranking. This week I’m just going with each opponents home/road wOBA because I’m on vacation, and if I spend any more time writing, my wife will kill me. So starting next week I’ll have all these numbers for you. The greater point is this data paired with Rudy’s new handy dandy two start matrix makes these posts that much more helpful. Knowledge is power boys, and raw Imma give it to ya with no trivia raw like cocaine straight from Bolivia. Ohhh U-God you had one good line in 25 years….

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Like a good Jewish boy, Brad Ausmus said to his Bubbie, “Bubbie, I love sulfites, nitrates and pig a**holes, but every time I see a Nathan’s, I get the runs. Bubbie, do you have a remedy?” His Bubbie lowered her knitting and said, “You need to get a goddamn decent closer!” And so it was done. Unfortunately, due to being wracked with guilt (or possibly due to a rather hard knock on the head), Ausmus couldn’t pull the trigger and said Nathan will remain the closer. Oh. WHAT?! The Rangers traded Joakim Soria to the Tigers because Joe Nathan is making Detroit look even lousier. I can’t imagine Soria remains the set-up man for very long, since Nathan owns a 5.89 ERA and has looked completely lost for the better part of the season. For now, I’d hold both of them. Over in Texas, I have a rooting interest in Neal Cotts getting saves, because I own him and not Neftali Feliz. If I had my druthers, and knew what the hell druthers were — hmm, maybe then I do have druthers — I would grab Neftali first. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It seems like nothing can go wrong for the Blue Jays right now. They’ve won six in a row and eight of their last ten games, and last night rookie Marcus Stroman grabbed his third win in just his second MLB start, pitching six innings, allowing just one run while giving up seven hits, walking two, and striking out seven. Let the Stromania begin! After defeating the Royals last week, Stroman has now given up just two runs in 12 innings, with a 13/2 K/BB ratio. One of Razzball’s top-20 prospects going into 2014, we’ve been mentioning him for a while now. Stroman’s got a mid-nineties fastball, and a filthy slider and cutter in his repertoire. He may have what it takes to hang with the big dogs, and with the way the Jays have been playing he might become a part of something big. (Bring the American League championship back to where it belongs! Canada.) Marcus excelled in the minors this year (35.2 IP, 3.03 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 11.36 K/9) before being called up in early May to serve as bullpen help, where he struggled a bit. However, now that he’s likely to see a considerable look in the rotation all those Ks and Ws and possibly other letters (WHIP? ERA?) could be yours.  He was a BUY this week although he will undoubtedly experience some ups and downs in the perilous AL East, but Marcus has a nice start versus the Twins next week and I’d try to add him in most standard leagues for some serious strikeout upside. And that’s coming from a bonafide Stromaniac.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My favorite move clubs make is the manager says so-and-so is the closer, but then use someone else and that other player becomes the closer. A close second is when they say so-and-so pitcher just didn’t have his best stuff, then roll him out there one more time, watch him get rocked and then say he has a broken elbow. But my third favorite club move is when they hold a rookie back for some arbitrary arbitration day. Everyone knows it’s arbitrary, but it’s done because clubs are cheap and want to hold the rights. Super Two, stupid two. Amiright? But there’s one move clubs do that you don’t see that often that might be crazier. Calling up a prospect — Oscar Taveras — right before his Super Two status changes. That’s crazy like a fox! Three weeks ago, Cards GM said, “I know a lot’s being made out of Oscar … coming to St. Louis, but right now I don’t even think it’s a logical thing to do.” I get that Fatt Adams just hit the DL, but wouldn’t you wait just a few more days at this point? Bizzonkers, but it’s the kind of crazy I can get behind because it brings with it one of the best — if not the best — prospect in the majors. Here’s what I’ve said previously about him, “From what I’ve heard (read), Taveras’s biggest strike against him is he doesn’t see any strikes — turn of a phrase point! He’s being compared to Vladimir Guerrero without having knees like Mama from Mama’s Family. Taveras swings and hits everything. Also, like Vlad, his swing is long, unwieldy and it looks like he could swing at pitches above his head and in the dirt on two consecutive pitches. (Google video of Oscar Taveras if you don’t believe me; what, you don’t believe me? My feelings are hurt.) What wasn’t mentioned, his stats also look like a young Vlad. I will call you, Vladimir Guerrerito. He can hit for power and steal bases. At twenty years old, he hit 23 homers in 477 ABs with 11 steals in Double-A in 2012, his last full year of minor league ball.” And that’s me quoting me! Later on in my Oscar Taveras article from November, I gave him this line 42/10/32/.288/8 for this year if he were to be called up in June. Still sounds about right. Basically, A.J. Pollock, but there’s a chance here for huge upside, so he’s ownable in every league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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?

Every time I hear Nate Eovaldis name I think about the delicious Italian staple the Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I also think of Rachel Ray and her sick obsession for the stuff. Seriously, that woman puts it in everything. But thank goodness this isn’t about her and I’ve probably already turned some of you off and you’re heading back over to Grey’s with all the other cool kids….Hi De Nacho Favre! Speaking of De Nacho, in the FCL I was commenting how I’m glad I drove a Honda but I’ll never do it again. It was boring, like listening to Air Supply for the rest of your life. I like power at my feet, I haven’t owned a car that wasn’t a V8 in years. Now why am I telling you this nonsense and how does it relate to EVOO? Dude is not boring! He’s damn exciting to watch, makes playing all this worth it. He went undrafted all over the place back in March but has been one of the best adds all season. The returns on him has given his owners a 2.86 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 8.58 K/9, 1.79 BB/9, a realistic LOB rate, a high ground ball rate and low line drive rate. He also throws really friggin’ hard with an average velocity of 95.7 on his four seam and 96.1 on his 2 seam fastballs. I also dropped him in one league a couple of weeks back. I’ll be honest, I thought he was good but I’ve been waiting for the regression fairies to show up. They’re late to the party. I see him as this year’s Patrick Corbin, a great start but will die a slow death after the All Star break. The only saving grace is the velocity. He throws hard and that is always a plus. In case some of you have forgot, he was the centerpiece of the Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers deal. The Marlin’s know their talent. Ok, enough back story blah blah blah. He gets the Giants today at the their nice cushy ballpark. The Giants are the 11th worst team in MLB for K rate and have a couple of their bats banged up. Brandon Belt is on the DL, Pablo Sandoval is hurt and Hunter Pence has been stuck at the light switch all season. Nothing really scary there. We could say Michael Morse is playing and hitting but I say he’s playing and looking ready to hit the DL. I have May 23rd on my Morse injury pool. *crosses fingers* Bottom line is he’s my favorite pitcher of the day and anytime Matt Cain takes the hill the Giants lose. Stream-o-Nator likes Cain better and has Eovaldi 6th on the day. I say Stream has been partying too much with Hitter-Tron. I’m playing him in DraftKings contests today and if you did too then let’s take a moment to hold hands over the internet.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Another Saturday with money on the line. It’s like sitting in AC, but not being bothered by the annoying people whose whole day revolves around being in AC. That prolly doesn’t make sense if you have never been so go and bring NJ some money. As you can tell by the title I am like a stutterer today and hitching my cart or your cart to the Cabreras. You don’t have to listen but the matriarch of the Cabrera family won’t be happy or amused one bit. So mosey on over to DraftKings for some fun today and if you are having trouble deciding who to use go check out Rudy’s version of Skynet. The DFSBot is so helpful for you daily fantasy folk that if you don’t use it you should be arrested and charged with some felonious crime that in the end of the day gets you community service. Enjoy the day and good luck.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click this link.

When did pitchers become such complete morons?

Michael Pineda’s pine tar party is way old news now, but let’s just go back and revisit what was truly dumb about it: It’s not that he tried to use pine tar, it’s that he tried to hide it on his neck!

Last week’s dummy was Matt Cain. Apparently, he read some of the scouting reports that said his 2013 was a tale of two-halves, which might have given him the idea to make a sandwich in the Giants’ clubhouse before the team’s game last Tuesday against the Padres. Whoops! Cain sliced his index finger instead of a tomato, or whatever, and had to be scratched. It’s not dumb that Cain wanted to have a sandwich on game day. It’s idiotic that he had to make one himself. Don’t they bring in catering before the game? Why are they making their own sandwiches? Aren’t these guys pampered millionaires?

There is an actual fantasy point here. What made Cain’s first half of 2013 so rough is that he was giving up dongs despite his ability to keep the ball in the yard throughout his career. This year he’s yielded five homers, which is up among the league leaders, but not horrid. The sandwich debacle hurts because Cain needed to bounce back strong after a poop-fest in Colorado that followed two quality starts in losses.

The good news is he has two starts in pitcher friendly parks this week (PNC Park and Dodger Stadium). The bad news is that damn cut kept opening up last week when Cain tried to throw. What if it flies open in Pittsburgh and someone mistakes the blood for ketchup and slathers it on their Primanti Bros. sandwich?

Dumber things have happened. Like, say, messing around with a knife before you start a major league game …

… and some of these two-start pitcher rankings. Enjoy!

Please, blog, may I have some more?