We’re so close to the finish line!  The marathon is nearing the final push; your legs are weakening, you’re starting to feel incontinent… Well, Jonathan Papelbon sure was yesterday!  But we’re looking at the starting pitchers here in the Pitcher Profile corner, and the emergence of Carlos Carrasco since re-inserted into the rotation has been carrying fantasy owners in tons of leagues.  C&C Pitching Factory!

In six starts from August 10th to September 7th, C&C has had the fastball dancing now, with a 0.70 ERA and 42 Ks in 38.2 IP.  The fastball averaged well over 96 MPH, easily his predominant pitch.  Unfortunately for Carrasco owners, he struggled a bit against the Tigers last Friday, giving up 4 runs with the fastball velocity down.  It’s actually dipped under 96 MPH his past two starts, as well as a progressive trend of more-and-more sliders with less heaters in this late-season run.  So I decided to break down his start at Detroit and see if he’s a guy I’m going to trust in down the stretch:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“We’re more alike than we are different.” That’s what Mary Ann said of her and Ginger, but it could also be said of Marcus Stroman and a Flat-Billed Pitchypus. He needs maybe a fifteen-second ironing and a quarter-cup of starch and he’d be there. Considering the tumultuous recent years of the Flat-Billed Pitchypus, maybe it’s for the best. “You want more starch on this?” “Yes.” Dontrelle Willis reaches for his TGIF’s hat, drops jalapeno poppers on his foot and screams. Yesterday, Stroman threw a shutout in 93 pitches. Greg Maddux called and said, “You owe me a nickel.” Stroman’s sparkling like I screwed his head into my SodaStream, pushed down the level way too long and bubbles started coming into his eyes. Mary Ann’s existential quote could also be used to say there’s more similarities than differences between Stroman and an ace. He shouldn’t generate that much velocity from a five-foot-nine frame. Yet, there he is throwing 94 MPH while high-fiving his teammates on a step stool. He’s credited with a six-pitch arsenal that he can locate with pinpoint accuracy. I’m going to have a Marcus Stroman post for 2015 fantasy baseball to highlight his sensational stuff for next year, and then he’ll probably be in the top 10 pitchers for 2016. A star is born just don’t iron the brim any further; you’re good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rosters are just about to go from Foster’s oil cans to forties for our annual tradition of getting completely wasted on rookie nookie. I remember in September of 1997, this young talkative player debuted. He could spin a yarn as well as he could spin his bat. That player had modest power in the minors and was hitting .361 in Triple-A at the time of his call-up. His name: Sean Casey. He had a solid career, hitting for modest power and a solid average. Later he became more known for his defense. Not with his glove, but how hitters would purposely not get a hit so they didn’t have to stand on first and hear him talk. He’d say there’s nothing a good conversation can’t defend. What is all of this getting at? That first year Sean Casey was called up, he didn’t do anything. Looked totally overmatched. Now if I would’ve dropped Ryan Klesko to grab Sean Casey, I would’ve missed out on a damn fine September from Klesko. If that happened, it may have shook my confidence in the great game of baseball and the ability to grow sideburns, and maybe I would’ve never have went on to become the fantasy baseball ‘pert you’ve grown to love and secretly dream up of scenarios where we’re hanging out and sharing a burrito. A parallel universe none of us want to imagine. So, be careful about who you drop in the coming days as players are called up. I love Joc Pederson, I’ll probably make him my preseason NL Rookie of the Year next year, but this year he may not even have a starting job.* *Fantasy Players who read this also searched for Kevin Maas, Sam Horn and Nadir Bupkis. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I thought Jay Bruce was a lock for 30/100 not dirty undies. Thirty-hundo not dirty-undies! All year Bruce Stinksteen has been behind “Born to Run” Billy Hamilton, Todd Frazier, who’s classically rocking out and Learning to Fly, and Devin “Is That Your Face Or Are You Wearing Wax Lips?” Mesoraco, who had a breakout season. And, here, Jay Bruce is less appetizing than sitting across from Bruce Jenner when it’s humid. Hard to know where the bottom is. Problem people find when speculating on stocks. Same problem with fantasy baseball. Yesterday, Bruce went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts while his team scored seven runs. He’s now hitting .218. But is that the bottom and he’ll turn things around in the final month? Or will he hit .150 in the final month and make you wish you owned some hot schmotato? The hell you say if I know. Depends a bit on your league, and I’ve been telling people to hold Bruce and wait for the turnaround, but if Steve Pearce or Adam Eaton or some other hot schmotato is on your waivers, I can understand moving on. Let Bruce loose, turnabout is fair play. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yu Darvish hit the DL with elbow inflammation.  In Grey’s 2nd half rankings, he said, “BAM!  What?  (Darvish) should be in the top 20 with the rest of the big-name pitchers, but I’m worried about an injury, so I ranked him much lower and that gets a BAM!”  And that’s me quoting Grey!  Dayum, son, Grey called that one.  Sure, he called it so long ago that no one even remembers it, but he called it neverthehoo!  Actually sounds a bit like Grey is writing this.  Oh, shoot, here he comes!  Hey, who wrote those previous, beautifully written sentences?  Sure as heck wasn’t me!  Guess that’s what I get for leaving my computer open at a Starbucks while I order a double foam, half-Sanka, half-espresso mocha, goochie, goochie, ya ya latte, LaBelle-style.  Well, I told you I had concerns about Darvish and when I have concerns, I make it happen with my mind like some crazy, telekinetic-fantasy-baseball-Scott-Baio-in-Zapped mofo!  The Rangers haven’t given a timetable for Darvish’s return yet, but like I also said in the 2nd half rankings, the Rangers have nothing to play for so they could shut him down.  Give him more time with his lady friends.  What does Darvish’s girlfriend call Yu’s erections?  YD Bulger, and it’s in hiding.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I have returned, my good Razzballians, from an excursion I can only describe with great glee. Seriously, school girl level teeheehees were shared as I got our good man Nick Capozzi to pick me up as he started his #32in32in32 tour kicked off in Seattle at the World Sports Grille. Not only did I get to stand next to those awesome vocal cords, but also got to check Tehol Beddict‘s pad – he’s as swag as advertised, bros – and also started a bit of a fling with The Guru as we bunked for a few nights in the same bed. Don’t worry, we had a pillow barricade. At least I thought it was one until ‘Da Gu’ shouted THOSE AREN’T PILLOWS! We live and we learn, right? Just because it’s soft and supple, does not appropriate head-rest material make. In either case, my short sojourn across this little part of the bigger trek Nick is doing across the USA went splendtastically. What? I can make up words as I go. You can’t hold me back, spell check! Sorry, I’ll just wrap up this cross-promo saying there are still some tickets left in cities near you so make sure to check it out. Heck, there’ll be one in Cincinnati where – and here’s your awkward segue – our pal Danny Salazar gets to take the mound. Now if you know anything about Sky (psst, that’s me BTW), you’ll know that he loves looking back over the last 7 or 14 days to see how a hitting team is doing. Granted, this isn’t the end all, be all of the research involved but let’s take for a moment a look at the last seven games for the Reds. Their wOBA? Third worst in the league. Check. Their ISO? First worst in the league. Discount Double check. Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips still on the DL? Triple lutz with a salchow-ending flourish check. Given that Salazar has returned and performed quite well since his stint down on the farm, posting an average of 21.4 DraftKings points over three starts, I’m willing to roll him out there at his reasonably low price of $7,100, which will hopefully save me some cash for another, bigger arm or better yet, bigger, better bats. For me, I plan to release the Czar of the under-priced pitcher on most of my Wednesday lineups. But with that, here are some other picks for August 6th contests…

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!

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The Cardinals traded for one of the most unreliable starters this year, Justin Masterson and his 5.51 ERA. Ouch. The Cardinals fell asleep and the Indians drew a shaft and balls on their forehead. People are snickering at you, Cardinals, because you have a shaft and balls on your head. Unless it’s a non-Leaning Tower of Pisa that is partially obscuring a tractor trailer so all we’re seeing is its giant wheels. Then, it’s a lovely scenic landscape, but you still got had. This saves the Brewers a lot of trouble because I heard they were going to trade for Masterson and then ‘accidentally’ leave him behind on their next road trip to St. Louis. No reason to obfuscate, my dear Milwaukee friends. Masterson gets a slight uptick in value just going to the NL, but he needs to prove he’s healthy and able to throw a Quality Start before I’d start him anywhere. So, he’s gone from a Waiver Wire guy, to an On My Bench Until He Shows Something guy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s nice to have a breather now and then. To kick back and relax, enjoy some time with your family and re-energize for the final home stretch of the baseball season. Of course, I’m talking about myself seeing as the All-Star break just happened and I didn’t write a post last week to do DraftKings coverage. What, you thought I was doing a send up to the actual ball players? Psssh, they’re finally tuned athletes, they don’t need no stinkin’ rest. Plug them into the wall, let’um recharge overnight and send them back out there, damned prima donnas. But as mentioned, it was nice to get a reprieve from the DK roll that we’ve been rolling on. It reminded me that life is short and that I should do something different than DK baseball. Yeah, something important. SOMETHING THAT COULD CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY. So I wrote about my team for the Scott Fish Bowl over on Razzball Football, of course. Yeah, that’s live right now if you wanna talk to me there while I’m also over here. Bi-posting, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. But for those of you who don’t give a rip about Fantasy Football, let’s get down to brass tacks. Your favorite niece may look pretty in a polka dot dress but my favorite, Jonathon Niese, probably wouldn’t look good in an armani suit. That nose, bro…but of course, what has looked good is starting a left-handed pitcher against the Mariners so far this year. To date, the Mariners have the second lowest team wOBA and wRC+ (.286 and 80, respectively) against southpaws. Not to mention the worst ISO against them on the year at .102. They always say it’s tough to start a pitcher coming back from a DL stint which is true but I think the matchup will hold precedence and Niese will keep the M’s at bay for the day, making him a solid shot as your SP1 despite only being priced out at $7,200. But enough family talk, let’s move on. Here are some other picks and observances for July 21st contests on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tsuyoshi Wada hit the majors leagues yesterday, so let’s talk about the new Yu Darvish! Actually, that’s Masahiro Tanaka. Okay, let’s talk about the new Hiroki Kuroda! That’s Ryu. Uh, the new Cubs pitcher that I’m excited about? That’s Arrieta. The new pitcher that autocorrect tries to change his first name to tsuris? By the by, is my autocorrect anti-Semitic? Why does it suggest tsuris? Because I’m half-Heb? And why did autocorrect just change Jew to Heb. Siri, dial the Anti-Defamation League and apologize. “Dialing your mother now.” Siri, not cool! Any pitcher that does compare to Wada? Yes, the new Bruce Chen. So, Wada is a rookie in name only. He’s 33 years old, and the first rookie with salt and pepper hair to throw five shutout innings since Satchel Paige. He’s also a soft-tossing lefty. Yawn. He might catch some hitters off-balance, but he’s probably around a high-6 K/9 and a 4 ERA pitcher. Yesterday’s line of 5 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks is okay, but not much to flap your gums about outside of NL-Only leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello DK’ers, I’m glad to be back after my Brazilian excursion to get as hairless as possible. I’m trying to break into dancing like our boss Grey, or was that break dancing? Either way, the man has moves like Sam Rockwell. If there was a competition between us, it would look something like this. To this day, that still cracks me up. Sorry reader, I really need to get back to this drivel thing and in case you were wondering I am Barney in the video. I can’t help myself today, with Matt Shoemaker taking the hill, I get transported back to my favorite movie ever, Goodfellas! That’s right, I said that; Goodfellas is my all time favorite movie. You got a problem with that? In case you didn’t know, The Departed was the “I’m sorry we screwed up so we’ll give you one for an inferior movie Oscar” for Martin Scorcese. Why do I keep getting sidetracked? Dah!!! This scene (NSFW) is one of my favorites among many brilliant moments in that 1990 classic. I remember being in high school and sneaking into see this R rated flick because our local theater was unwavering on the 17 and over policy. I could go on and on about Goodfellas but I need to write about Matt Shoemaker and his low low price tag of $6,800 today. He’s been solid as a starter since moving out of the bullpen and has even posted a 10K game. Getting to face the team with the worst K-rate in the game, 23.3%, isn’t too shabby either. But here is the takeaway for him – he has a 2.54 ERA at home compared to a 6.66 on the road, devil arm! That’s good enough for me. You can choose to pay the high price tags of Yu Darvish, Masahiro Tanaka, or Max Scherzer and then compliment one of them with Shoemaker to leave you some extra dollars for bats.

Yesterday, the Guru talked strategy and I agree with him that you got to look at all the nerdy numbers but sometimes I think you need to go with your gut. Whether it’s the hot hand like Steve Pearce or someone due like Jay Bruce you need to take chances when you have limited dollars on the table. Like Guru, I have been on both ends of the batter vs. pitcher stats and all I can say is it’s just the numbers, the numbers ala Jimmy Two Times. Don’t lose your mind! But before I continue on I want to give a little B vs P advice that has worked well for me. Look at the K’s vs. the pitcher, when I have a guy that K’s a lot or doesn’t walk vs. a pitcher I generally stay away. That’s just me and my way to go about it. Sometimes you will see a batter who is 0 for 4 against someone but has 4 walks. I get interested when I see that and like the chance that a hit is coming soon. And now on to my DraftKings picks for today.

Please, blog, may I have some more?