Robert Downey Jr. and Phil Hughes have more in common than you might think. Both dealt with notoriously weak starts to their careers in The Big Apple. Hughes in pinstripes had four straight years of a 4+ ERA, and Downey on SNL. Both had to deal with brace-faced divas, Joe Girardi and Anthony Michael Hall. One was scouted by Gene Michael, the other Lorne Michaels. One wanted to impress Pettitte, one wanted to avoid petting Randy Quaid’s pet squirrel. One had to wait for A-Rod to finish frosting his hair before he could use the bathroom, one made frosting out of cocaine. But once they were out of New York, the world opened up to each. Yesterday, Hughes won his 16th game, going 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, and lowering his ERA to 3.52. His K-rate is 8 and his walk rate is 0.7, as he set the all-time strikeout-to-walk ratio at 11.63. Think about that walk rate for a second. Okay, the second is up. He walked 16 guys in 209 2/3 IP. That’s as terrific as 186 Ks, which is what he had. His ERA doesn’t look amazing in today’s day and age where everyone has a sub-3 ERA, but Hughes was actually unlucky and had a 3.15 xFIP. Everything together has me excited about Hughes for 2015 fantasy baseball. I could see him being relegated to 2nd fiddle status with some other 3rd or 4th fantasy starters, but outperforming his draft spot. Circling back to AMH, any time a guy like Hughes strikes out as much as Anthony Michael Hall and walks less than Uncle Buck, color me excited. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Let’s break this down like Murray Chass would want it. Felix Hernandez has the 2nd best ERA in the AL, fourth most Ks, and 14 wins. When his team needed a win more than anything, so Grey (me) could possibly collect on a preseason bet he foolishly made for the Mariners to win the World Series, Felix choked up 8 ER in 4 2/3 IP, raising his ERA to 2.34. Felix has the 2nd best xFIP, 3rd best WAR for a pitcher and 8th best K-rate, but since we’re doing this as Murray would’ve wanted it, “What the flip is xFIP and I fought in Dubya Dubya Two and F-Her doesn’t know anything about WAR! Now stop with the Pollyanna chicken crap!” Did F-Her just lose the Cy Young award? He did if all the voters are subjected to a fifteen minute wait in a post office line with Mr. Chass. “Mr. Chass, did you print out an email to snail mail it?” “I don’t trust the internet!” Did the Mariners just lose all hope at the playoffs? F-Her, you effed me. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you’ve been scouring all your picture books for a proper fantasy hitter in the final week, look no further. Oswaldo Arcia was 3-for-4 with his 19th home run and two RBI last night. Arcia has a nice little six-game hitting streak, with four homers in that stretch. To be fair, however, he’s also sat four games in that span with a tweaked muscle in his upper back. Injury concerns aside, Oswaldo is destroying baseballs when he’s on the field. In his past six games, he’s clubbed four homers and with 8 RBI. He’s slugging .858 in the past two weeks while batting over .400, and with 19 homers (12 at cavernous Target Field) in 94 games, he’s got serious power and might be someone to consider on draft day next year. He’s worth the pick up in all leagues if you need some pop in the final week of the season. Oswaldo could power you to fantasy glory. He’s missed some time in the past few days, but he hasn’t shown any ill effects of the injury while on the field, so hopefully this back injury is behind him for the most part. Get it!? Ha! Either way that shouldn’t discourage you from picking him up this hot little potato while he’s mashing.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ve got serious questions surrounding the top pitching options today. Strasburg could quite possibly be the most overrated pitcher in the National League if not all of baseball. He gets owned by the Braves. James Shields faces the surging Detroit offense who he has a history of having trouble with. Samardzija has a history of really wearing down in September. If I have to go with one of the top salaried guys in DraftKings today, I’m taking Hisashi Iwakuma. His K rate versus the Astros is around 25% and they love to strike out. He still has some matchup issues with them so I’m going to fade all of the top salaried pitchers on DraftKings today.
Taking risks is the name of the game in DFS and I’m rolling the dice with the surging Rockies youngster Tyler Matzek. With a thrifty price tag of only $7,300 and facing a Mets squad who just lost its leading threat against lefties in David Wright for the year, Matzek should be poised to deliver plenty of value for today’s DraftKings contests. Matzek has historically struggled with his control in the minor leagues, but seems to have figured things out the “Rockies way”. They preach pitching to contact and he’s relinquished his obsession with getting punch outs in lieu of letting guys on base. Since joining the senior circuit he’s lowered his WHIP by nearly .2 and his ERA has been cascading downward of late. He’s made 4 consecutive quality starts with a streak of 21 consecutive scoreless innings heading into his matchups against the Mets. Metco suppresses hitting as we all know and the Mets hold the 3rd worst wOBA versus southpaws and the 2nd worst K rate in all of baseball.
I got plenty more great plays today below, but nothing really compares to the DFSBot for daily fantasy baseball. Make sure you check today’s rankings for some couponless savings.
If you haven’t tried out DraftKings daily baseball contests, come on down and take a stab at a few extra bucks to bolster your football season’s bankroll. We got a contest full of Razzball writers and friends to get ya goin with this 10 teamer. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care!
With Matzek at the eye of the Schlurricane today, here’s the rest of the destructive debris to wreak havoc on your opponents.Please, blog, may I have some more?
After Rafael Soriano once again looked like his apologetic alter ego, Sorry-yo, Matt Williams said the Nats won’t have a set closer. Let’s backtrack to August 18th, it was a day after the fourth time Soriano had given up runs in the matter of two weeks. At that point, I wrote there was a problem, and I grabbed Drew Storen. That was three weeks ago, and things haven’t gotten better. So, why was I able to spot there was a problem with Soriano three weeks prior to the Nationals manager, Matt Williams? Terrific question. There’s a few possible reasons A) Matt Williams’s Oakleys are worn to shield TV cameras from showing he’s actually asleep. B) Matt Williams can’t find steroids that make him smarter. C) There’s no C. D) In a secret meeting in Bud Selig’s wood-paneled basement in Milwaukee in 1999, Major League Baseball declared that every team must have at least one Mark McGwire. Matt Williams was elected to be Arizona’s Mark McGwire. (Sosa was elected to be the Cubs’ McGwire, which is why he bleached his skin.) The experiment to have a McGwire on every team was a success at first, but soon the players that were elected to be McGwire began to say, “I’m not here to talk about the past,” every time any question was asked. The biggest offender of this was Matt Williams, so, rather than risk being found out, MLB made him the Nats manager. Any of these reasons could be right, but it’s probably D. So, with Soriano in trouble, the Nats could go to Storen, Tyler Clippard or Matt Thornton. My guess is it’ll go in that order, and yesterday Storen got the clean save, helping his case. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Recently, Matt Adams and his melon-ball shape has either been dreadful or benched for Daniel Descalso. The only time Descalso should be in front of Adams is in pictures, so the photographer can see him. It’s odd to think Fatt Adams isn’t getting it done at the plate. I do have a useful suggestion for everyone in Missouri. Send a topless Adams into Ferguson. That would lighten the mood for everyone involved. “I hate your guts!” “Speaking of guts…” And everyone smiles and laughs at the naked fat man. Peace brought to you by the ingestion of copious amounts of lard. Now, instead of Descalso, the Cardinals have a real option to move over moobs, Xavier Scruggs. What? No Crockett? How can the Cardinals go with a platoon of Scruggs and Tubbs? It’s crazy talk! Scruggs is A) Old to never be in the majors yet. B) Legit power threat that could hit .190. C) There’s no C. He has Quad-A player written all over him, but sometimes Quad-A players are exactly the kind of hitters that excel in September when they’re facing a bunch of Quad-A pitchers. Too early outside of NL-Only and deep mixed leagues to worry about Scruggs, but this does put the kibosh on any value Tubbs had, not to mention now he’s phantomed-up an oblique injury. Like anyone could even find his oblique! In all but very deep leagues, I’d drop Adams. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In 1778, Benjamin Franklin pulled the first American flag from Betsy Ross’s, uh, clutches and proclaimed a holiday to be called Labor Day in the then-resort city of Philadelphia. Since then there’s been a long history of great Philly pitchers: Steve “Lefty” Carlton, Jackie “Kid” Gleason, Robin “ESPN anchor” Roberts, Curt Schilling, who later went on to be known for saucing his French fries with ketchup out of his sock, Jim “Beds Are” Bunning and Brett “I’ll Show You Slap Hits” Myers. Philly’s not the same town now as it was in Ben’s day, as the battle for best cheesesteak tore up most of the city. “Geno’s? How about I give you a jihad wit wiz?!” It’s ugly, without much joy in the City of Brotherly Love, a nickname adopted due to the popularity of a WWF manager in the early 90’s. Yesterday, for a moment, all of that sorrow was told to go to ‘morrow, as Cole Hamels and Jacob Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon combined for a no hitter. Hamels only made it through six innings, because he took Labor Day literally and struggled with five walks. If I had to give an award out because I had an award and didn’t know what to do with it, I’d ask someone next year if Jacob Diekman ever threw a no-hitter, and would reward them with that unwanted trophy if they said yes. A great day for Philly fans everywhere (except for the fans that came to the game with D batteries hoping for a reason to throw them at a player). Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last night, I finally took a break after nearly 30 non-stop hours of watching the Every Simpsons Ever marathon to watch Wil Myers at bat. Much like Grandpa Simpson, I imagine someday I’ll tell my grand kids about watching the at-bats of a young Wil Myers, before he went on to achieve fantasy superstardom. Also like Grandpa Simpson, I imagine my story won’t really go anywhere. Like, “Back in ought-14, I had to use a remote to change the channel, because the cable companies had yet to implant the channel-changing chips in our brains. However, the important thing was I had an onion on my belt. Wil Myers stepped up to the plate in the 8th and sent a ball 400 feet into the seats for his first homer since May. Back then, before we switched to the metric system officially in 2042, we still measured things in feet because, Amurica. Twelve inches, you know. Myers ended 1-for-3 with 2 runs, 2 walks, his fifth home run, and his fourth stolen base. Mmmm, HRs and SBs. In those days, fantasy players like that were hard to come by, steroids were still illegal in baseball at the time, and did I mention I had an onion on my belt?” Anyway, I managed to pry myself away from #everysimpsonsever to watch Myers impress for the first time since returning from the DL three days ago and was shocked to find he’s unowned in a little less than 50% of ESPN and 30% of Yahoo leagues. Why am I not in any of these leagues? Wil “I Passed the Other L to the Player on My Left” Myers struggled earlier in the season (.227 batting average in 53 games) but the 23-year old phenom is just a year removed from being baseball’s top prospect, and hit close to .300 with 13 homers and 5 stolen bases in just 88 games in 2013. Dude could catch fire any minute! Grey told you to BUY him this week, and Myers has all the tools to Wil your fantasy team to victory in the last few weeks, so if he’s out there on waivers somehow I’d grab him immediately, then maybe someday you can bore your grand kids with the story of how Wil Myers saved your fantasy season.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Richards is talking to trainers but remains on back. Injury appears to be serious.” That’s how the news was tweeted out yesterday by the Angels beat writer. If Agatha Christie were around today, she’d adapt that tweet and name the novel, 140 Characters On A Train Wreck. Then it would be re-released after a train disaster with its new title, The Pitcher’s Trap. No matter the title, there was and will only be one antagonist, the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, who gets his jollies from the misery of fantasy baseballers. You sit on his lap; he says, “What do you want this season?” “A healthy pitcher.” “Ho, ho, ho, no.” Arm injury, oblique, hip impingement, parallel parking impingement because of a stupid cone, broken toe, Tommy John surgery, Tomas Juan surgery in Mexico, forearm strain and now a knee. The Angels best options are Wade “Joey” LeBlanc, Randy “Team Jacob” Wolf and Chris “Lord” Volstad. They are all horror shows. Mean’s while, it sounds like Garrett Richards will miss the remainder of the season, but hopefully will be fine for next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Shameless cross-pollination! Yes, just as shameless as Tony Parker cross-pollinating Brent Barry’s wife, I’m hijacking the open of my post to let you know Fantasy Basketball rankings have begun! I hope Grey doesn’t suspend me for conduct detrimental to the team… I’ve got my top 50 up earlier than anywhere else (well, no one has recent rankings up!) and if you suffer fantasy depression through winter, and/or hate that Fantasy Football is nothing but pure luck, Fantasy Basketball is the rebound (womp womp) for you! The mix of percentages and counting stats appeal the Fantasy Baseball-ist in everyone, so if you’ve thought about trying hoops, hop over to basketball and into an RCL when they open next month (I sense another hijack coming…)!
“Get back to the diamond JB, this is a friggin’ baseball blog!” Fine! Has any pitcher in the initial top-50 (non-injured) had as tumultuous a season as Danny Salazar?! Maybe Justin Verlander… But now he’s injured too! Salazar pitched like a gangbuster (…? can you be only one gang buster? Ask Ness…) closing out last year, but lower velocity, control issues, and just overall ineffectiveness were so bad he went back down to AAA. After two months in the Minors, Salazar has been pretty good in 4 of his 5 starts since the call up in late July, including a decent outing yesterday. Just can’t get deep into games! To be honest, I haven’t watched a single Salazar start this year (using all my Indians time on Corey Kluber, k?!), so I decided to break down his afternoon against the Orioles and if he needs to be scooped up in more leagues even if his rotation spot is non-guaranteed:Please, blog, may I have some more?