Rusney Castillo is expected to join the Sawx on Tuesday. Whoa, did you see that? There was a rainbow going over the world and when I said that it turned red. I wonder if that’s because he’s Cuban. Oh, it’s probably because the Red Sox paid to sponsor the rainbow. That makes more sense. I didn’t think Mother Nature would sell rainbow naming rights, but there ya go. Someone’s gotta pay for the sun; the world we live in. So, Rusney’s getting a little taste of how’s your father with the Red Sox, but I don’t think he’ll A) Play every day. B) Be much a factor this year. C) There’s no C. Now, for 2015 fantasy baseball, well, there we’re gonna have to talk for a sec. Sorry, I know you’re late to be moral support at your wife’s surgery, but she can wait. Here’s what Prospect Mike said about him previously, “The one tool that is not in question is (Rusney’s) speed. A 30+ steal season from Castillo is a possibility as soon as 2015. The power is still up in the air. Some have tagged him more as an 8-12 homer type guy while others have said 15 or maybe even 20 homers could be in the cards. With any player, we get lots of comps thrown around. Two of the comps I’ve heard the most are Shane Victorino and Rajai Davis. Honestly, the Davis comp makes the most sense to me. The one that makes the least sense is Grey, he’s just a buffoon.” Hey, what’s that all about? To me, the Rajai comparison feels heavy on the speed; Victorino seems a better equivalent, but, honestly, there’s a ton of unknown here. He could be anywhere from a 7 HR/20 SB fourth outfielder to a 20 HR/40 SB superstar. Victorino feels about right — 12 homers, 30 steals. The more I read that he only had 66 steals in 1097 plate appearances in Cuba, I wonder if the hype machine hasn’t taken Rusney and thrown him into the spin cycle, making him more than he is. Shizzton of risk either way you slice the cake, and, brucely, I love cake, so I hope you’re sharing. For this year, I’d take a flyer if I could platoon him. For 2015, I’d take the risk for something special, but don’t expect more than Victorino. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In a crazy day of trading, the blockbuster has to be David Price heading to the Tigers. Though, I’m not sure blockbuster is the right word anymore. Blockbuster is so 80’s. Blockbuster sold out to a fro-yo chain and is Blockberry now, isn’t it? The Netflix deal of the day? The Hulu pause-for-three-ads-every-five-minutes trade of the day? The Redbox snatch and grab? See, I wasn’t even talking about the trade in that last one. I wonder if Josh Reddick ever rubs up against a Redbox. Any the hoo! The Tigers rotation is now Price, Anibal, Verlander and Scherzer. Well, you got two aces again! Unless Tim McCarver is announcing and still thinks Verlander and Anibal are aces. As for fantasy, this does nothing to Price’s value. Maybe now that he doesn’t have a manager pulling names out of a hat for a lineup, he might get a few more wins, but did his bullpen get noticeably better? Eh. Did his division become noticeably easier? Eh, his career ERA vs. the White Sox and Indians is worse than his ERA vs. the Red Sox. That’s kinda irrelevant though, these are different teams then he faced previously. In all, it’s a solid lateral trade for Price’s value, but he was already a top arm in the game. No one is happier to see Price than the Tigers Assistant GM, Ted DiBiase. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to the second edition of the Lineup Maximizer! If you’re here as a result of my Reddit AMA, glad to know that that day wasn’t all for naught. Kidding! My motivations for dispensing fantasy advice are purely altruistic.

Before we get under with this week’s streaming picks, let’s recap how we did last week in honor of commenter Simply Fred. Record-keeping and accountability are taken seriously around these parts.

Last Week & Season Results

16 AB, 2 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB, .188 AVG.

My first edition’s picks did perform as well as hoped, but if you agree with the process, results should follow over a larger sample. The question should be raised though, what should we expect from these players? Sure, most of them have favorable matchups, that’s why I highlight them in the article. But they are still available in the vast majority of leagues for a reason, that reason being they aren’t good enough to be owned in the vast majority of leagues.

I could try to compute a baseline scientifically, something like the rate at which replacement level hitters score runs, homers, etc. on a per game basis, but let’s instead just do something that feels nice. A .250 average, that feels nice. If the hitters I suggest here end up getting one hit for every four at-bats, I think everyone would agree it was worth our time to do this. Also arbitrary, I’ll aim for .5 runs per game, .5 RBI, .2 HR, and .2 SB. If one of every five players hits a home run (one per article), I think we all go home happy.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For the 2nd time in two months, Yu Darvish has woken with a stiffy. A stiff neck, that is. Perhaps he should swallow the Viagra pill rather than letting it dissolve in his mouth before bedtime. On the fo’serious, what’s the problem with Texas and necks? I blame the NRA. They insert themselves in national debate, always pointing their finger at people and away from themselves. That’s the Neck Rehab Association. That was clear, right? What does Yu’s bed and pillow arrangement look like? Did he have his favorite Japanese architect of those tiny little cot-beds that are in hotels in Tokyo design his house? Maybe the Hello Kitty pillow is meant more for adornment rather than comfort. Can I have answers, I insist on truthiness. If I were the Rangers, I’d probably take a look at how he’s sleeping, that’s all I’m sayin’. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s about that time, prematurely balding men and four girl readers. Gregory Polanco is nearing his call-up date. He is basically a young version of Starling Marte. As of this writing, he’s 22 years old. I’m hoping he’s still 22 years old when I’m done writing this post otherwise I spent way too much time on it. He can be a superstar, which has me excited. He won’t be a superstar this year, which takes the wind out of my sails for redraft leagues. Usually when I’m talking about wind in my sails, I’m wearing only my boxers and just ate a can of beans, so maybe it’s best if we ignore how much wind is in my sails. Polanco can hit 12 homers and steal 40 bags without killing you in average. Yes, I know, you love him too now. It’s okay, just because your father never loved you doesn’t mean you can’t love another man. In Single-A, Polanco had 16 homers and 40 steals. In Single-A, Marte had 3 homers and 24 steals. Granted, Polanco had 200 extra at-bats in his Single-A year. Granted, Part II: Granted Lives; Polanco was two years younger in his Single-A year. Marte doesn’t have anywhere near the plate discipline of Polanco, so, if anything, Marte will become a poor man’s Polanco. Polanco has the kind of pedigree right now that could mean he’s a top three rounder and one day supplanting The Dread Pirate as the best outfielder in Pittsburgh. I.e., The Sexy Dish That Ate Pittsburgh. Yes, I’m really excited for him. This past year between the two levels, he hit 12 homers and 37 steals while hitting .286. Christian Yelich went from Double-A to the majors and hit fine. Lots of players do. The Pirates weren’t that aggressive. If they were, then Polanco would’ve shot up my preseason rankings and I would’ve told everyone to draft him in every single league. Instead, Polanco went to Triple-A and continued to bash like your 12-year-old self idealizing Jose Canseco. As with rookies, you need to keep expectations in check. To misquote the immortal words of John Popper, “Nobody should think or expect too much while everyone is calling for the movie rights. Singing, ‘Hey, babe, let’s keep in touch. Hey, baby, let’s keep in touch.” He will be up in early June and now is the time to stash him. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 32/8/36/.250/15 in 300 ABs. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Over the off-season Rudy laid out his argument for why it’s important to maximize at-bats in fantasy leagues with daily moves (like the RCL ones). Even if the mathematical proof don’t resonate with you, there’s no denying the good vibes generated from streaming a hitter for a night and getting even just a 1-for-4 line with a run. Don’t know that feeling? Seriously, loosen up man. Do something crazy. Get black AND pinto beans on your next Chipotle burrito. Pay extra for guac. Add Mike Carp for a night. Just one.

The only downside to this strategy is time. The time it takes to sort through the options and decide who to add and who to drop. Razzball offers tools like Hitter-Tron and Stream-o-Nator to help speed up the process, but even then you have to scroll through its table to find who is available, make sure he will actually play, the game won’t be rained out, etc. For those of you with a wife, two kids, and a job, I get it. It’s tough being a loving father and winning fantasy manager.

I have no wife and zero kids so what I’m offering is to add meaning to my life and do some of that work for you. What I’ll do is scroll through Hitter-Tron, find the best players that are mostly unowned and likely to start, and present them here in an easily digestible format. My plan is to do this every Sunday and Wednesday so you can fill out your lineup on Mondays and Thursdays (the days when teams have off days and you’ll need to stream guys). Sound good? You’re not sure? Whatever, I’m not you trying to convince your girlfriend to try anal. It won’t hurt to do it once.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Can I be more obvious by using the most expensive pitcher in my title? Two words: Adam Wainright! There isn’t an emoticon out there that can express how his owners felt this past Tuesday. I sadly was not one of them. I went the budget pitching route and spent more on bats and was fortunate enough to squeak out some wins. The pain of missing out on Waino’s one hit no walks CG shutout will haunt me for at least a week. Today we have a similar situation with Zach Greinke. My favorite dark horse Cy Young candidate last year and still one this year gets the free swinging Mets at the infamously named Metco. Do we add “co” to all overly large places that hurt the product? Please post your own uses for the addition of “co” below and enlighten me. On the year Greinke has 7 wins, a 2.03 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 10.29 K/9, and a 2.03 BB/9. That’s ridiculous. I don’t care if he costs $12,100 today. I’m buying and looking for some sleeper hitters. The Mets have the 5th worst team K-rate and I wouldn’t be shocked to see 7 innings and 10 K’s vs. the Mets. And, yes I made a Sixteen Candles reference in my title…you got a problem with that?

You guys need to get over to DraftKings and jump on board the daily train. Let me be a salesman for a minute. Are your teams going through slumps? Are you dealing with an over abundance of injuries? Does hearing the words Tommy John make you want to puke? Well then a daily fantasy win might be just what you need! You get a fresh canvas every day to paint a fantasy mosaic of your best sure things and value plays on a daily basis. You can play for money or you can play for free. You can play H2H with me or against 5,000 others. Here is the link for our latest promo with the guys over at DraftKings. Don’t forget you can use the Stream-o-Nator, Hitter-Tron, and the DFSBot to check your work.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Four teams were showing interest in Stephen Drew. No official word on which four teams, but I’m guessing the Yankees, Tigers, Red Sox and whoever didn’t want the Yankees, Tigers or Red Sox to get him. Probably the Giants. That Sabean is a real party pooper! “Stephen Drew is under 40 years old, but he comes across as a guy that is aging twice the speed of the average human.” That’s Sabean weighing Drew’s pros and cons. Well, tough noogs, Sabean, the Red Sox secured their long-coveted, barely above replacement level shortstop. In a news conference, the Red Sox said they hadn’t had a news conference in a while and felt like now was as good a time as any. “We were gonna hold a presser to say Jerry Remy was down to a pack and a half of smokes a day, but this is so much better!” Drew hasn’t been worth owning in fantasy in about six years, so I wouldn’t expect you picking him up will work as a Viagra substitute. He’s around that of a 12-homer, 5-steal, .250 hitter. Lowercase yay. This will move Xander Bogaerts to third base and Will Middlebrooks to an outside chance of being a deep league sleeper in 2015, if he gets a few good at-bats off the bench when he returns because he’s now out of a job. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Funny that Mark Trumbo has a stress fracture in his foot, because I now have a stress fracture in my stress-bearing frontal lobe. “You wanna remember your anniversary with the Cougar or Mark Trumbo’s recovery timetable?” Shut up, frontal lobe, I hate you! I wish you were dead! *wavy lines* Hey, I have no frontal lobe anymore. Cool, I really like this episode of The Big Bang Theory. They are a gang of funny people! I wish Slystevesr Stallone would do more movies. He’s so awesome. Slvester? Why is there a red line under that? Damn, I can’t spell my favorite movie star’s name without my frontal lobe! *wavy lines* Okay, I’m glad I have a frontal lobe, but not glad I have Mark Trumbo on multiple deep league teams. Wah, wah, wah, that’s the sound of my sad Trumbone. This could mean more playing time for Tony Campana — SAGNOF! — or steady playing time for Cody Ross — um, AGNOF!, I guess. Last time Trumbo had a stress fracture — how many stress fractures does this guy have? — he was laid up for close to six months. Yay. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I remember distinctly the day Will Clark retired. I just got home from a Winter Solstice Pageant. I was only 12 years old at the time, but my mustache was already coming in. Earlier that night, when I was singing in the pageant, a mother yelled out from the audience, “Who’s the midget with the mustache?” Then another parent yelled out, “Or is it a dwarf? I always get confused.” Another yelled, “Is that kid 40 years old? I don’t know if I want my kid around that adult.” I didn’t think my day could get worse, then, back at home, I heard that Clark retired. I was still in my autumn leaf costume, sobbing into my Pop Rocks, essentially ruining them. A devastating day all around, but things got better eventually. Soon my friends’ parents wouldn’t call the cops when I was hanging out with their kid, thinking I was a 40-something pervert. One mother even complimented me on my mustache. Maybe this was where my love of Cougars first started. What does this have to do with Wil Myers? Nothing at all. Just like his first two weeks mean nothing. It’s two weeks! Frequent Commenter, Oaktown Steve, asked the other day who would have more value this year, Wil Myers or Carlos Beltran? It’s a totally fair question. In my preseason projections, there’s essentially only 5 steals separating the two. Of course, there is something like 15 years separating them too, and I would say one is moving up and one is moving down due to age. Get a sense a lot of people are looking to bail on Myers already. That would be a mistake. He didn’t just happen to get named one of the top prospects in baseball. He’s crazy talented. He could go off still and be a first round draft pick for next year. Now is the time you buy him on the cheap, not sell him. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Psyche! Before we get into this week’s Buy/Sell, just wanted to announce that Rest of the Season Projections are on-site and everyone’s favorite fantasy baseball dinosaur, Buysellatops. The Buyasellatops is easy to use. When you first get to the page, Sells are listed first. To see Buys, click ROS$ minus STD$. To see Rest of Season projections, click on any player’s name — in this post or anywhere on-site. Finally, with the Rest of Season Projections, it means the Fantasy Baseball Player Rater is now functional and the Rest of the Season Player Rater. Anyway II, the Buy/Sell:

Please, blog, may I have some more?