Donaldson pulling a Jeter? Shades of Armando Galarraga on a play at first in a perfect game? John Gibbons looking like he’s sucking on a lemon but really he just happened to glimpse Brett Cecil? The eighth was thick with humidity. The tension was buzzing from a few bugs that made their way inside the domed stadium as Marco Estrada went for a perfect game. Unfortunately, Donaldson diving into the stands to make the first out in the 8th, when the announcers said he was “pulling a Jeter,” didn’t stop the infield hit on the very next batter when Logan Forsythe just barely beat it out to first. To misquote that previous sentence, it would be the first time a pulling Jeter had to beat it out. Marco ended the game with 8 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, zero walks and 10 Ks. He’s now allowed three hits in his previous two starts (over 15 2/3 IP). Estrada’s main peccadillo — or ponchadillo, as might be the case with Estrada — is he allows a shizzton of homers and he pitches his home games in Toronto. He’s recently looked untouchable, and I’d stay with the theme and not touch him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before you accuse Jose Tabata of leaning into a pitch with two outs and Max Scherzer on the brink of a perfect game, let’s take you back to 2009. The then 19-year-old Jose Tabata was with his wife, the 54-year-old, Conchita Alonso Rivera Consuela Charlynn Torres, and she was pregnant. Conchita etc. would tell Jose to lean into her belly to hear the baby, and Jose leaned. At supermarkets, at carnivals, at the car wash, Conchita etc. asked Jose to lean and listen, and he did. Of course, there was no baby in her belly, it was actually a Betsy Wetsy doll that she shoved under her shirt. Later when Conchita etc. was arrested for falsifying a pregnancy and kidnapping a baby for Jose and her to raise as their own, they would meet at the glass partition in prison and she would tell Jose to lean in. Times were good, Jose leaned in. Times got rough, Jose leaned in. So, on Saturday, when the Pirates were one out from having a perfect game thrown against them, Jose did what he always did — he leaned in. After that no hitter, Max Scherzer has a 10.8 K/9, 1.2 BB/9 and a 1.76 ERA. So, yeah, he’s a top three starter, if not the best this year, and he is amazing. No kidding; hey, sorta like Tabata and his wife! (There is a lot more truth in this opening paragraph than you’d likely ever imagine. Just Google “Tabata wife” if you don’t believe me. Happy belabored Father’s Day, Tabata!) Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If Friday, when I last wrote, was the worst pitching day I had ever seen, this one looks fantastic.  Aces abound.  Congrats if you recognize the reference from my title.  One of my favorite movie scenes from a great movie, Rounders.  Classic really, it could be a little overplayed and some may say overrated, but I’m a big fan.  It’s an aces full day and so I’m going to skip to fellas I’ll be looking to pair with my aces.  Some folks will pay up and pair two aces tonight, it’s a matter of your own personal strategy and risk assessment.  Two aces will be more “safe”.  Kluber/Syndergaard will probably be amazing.  Scherzer/Gray, that would most likely be incredible.  However, with a game in Coors and some high priced bats, I’m much more likely to take one lower tier ace (like Syndergaard for instance) and pair him with a cheap upside play, someone such as Mike Foltynewicz.  Mike’s point totals throughout May are a bit of a mixed bag, but his strikeouts are not.  Starting May 6th his K totals are: 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 5.  San Diego is willing to play along as they rank 3rd in MLB in Ks right now.  They’re an all or nothing, HR or strikeout style team a’la the Astros.  For $7,200, I’ll take my chances that tonight is a nothing night  and the kid can rack up the Ks at home.  Let’s look at a couple more value pitchers to pair with our aces.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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?

Yeah, yeah, normally I open with something about a player but today I just ain’t doing it. Instead, I’m going to point out something I enjoy personally about the DFS world that, oddly, hasn’t happened much for my day of the week this year: the short slate. Today we have eight games on the docket which is a healthy amount and yet not one that requires an overload of breakdown or information. If you’re a novice or are still cutting your teeth on this silly little game we play, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of days like this or to sign up for games built around the ‘turbo’, ‘early’, or ‘late’ sets. These tend to be slates catering to smaller amounts of games played. They’re good for cash games, which in turn are good for your wallet, which in turn is good for your spinning of the wheel on the bigger slates and some tourney goodness. Anywhere from a five game to up to an eight or even nine is a nice place to be in my book. But enough about my weird novella, let us break it down. Here’s my flaming hot takes for the Monday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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?

Happy Friday everyone. It’s nice being in on a Friday. Tuesday and Friday nights are usually the most jam packed nights of the DFS week with plenty of large tournaments and Friday tends to house the week’s biggest events including qualifiers aplenty. Good luck to those chasing Q’s this evening. Despite being a Friday, it’s more like a whacky Wednesday. I guess we can call it a freaky Friday. For those that don’t subscribe to the hitter-tron and stream-o-nator, first of all, I’m sorry you’re losing your league. Second of all, what is the matter with you? Thirdly, there’s some craziness going down tonight and I’ll fill you in a little and explain my sentiments. There’s something I can’t ever recall seeing with the stream-o-nator tonight and that’s not a single pitcher with over a $6.7 value. In fact, there are only 9 pitchers with any positive value tonight, which leaves 21 pitchers in the negative with three of them in the negative $30 range. Those three pitchers aren’t even starting in Coors! What does all this mean? Expect a ton of offense tonight because there’s a ton of shizz pitchers throwing. I would guess tonight might be one of those nights where you can score 150 DraftKings points and not cash. The other fun thing tonight is Giancarlo Stanton in Coors field. The superhuman crusher of baseballs checks in at a very rare $100+ value tonight. Just imagine what Giancarlo could do if he were on the Rockies. *Wavy lines* I was so excited to draft Giancarlo #1 overall this year. He hit 30 homers before the all-star break and then his hamstring tore in half, what a bummer. *Wavy lines* Yea, that sounds about right, very Tulo-esque. No matter, he’s in the hitter friendly confines tonight and will be appointment television for me. At $5,800 tonight, I’d say he’s worth every penny. I expected him to be over $6,000 to be honest. Look at us, bargain shopping like a soccer mom. Let’s take a look at some other players to roster and see if there’s any starters worth rostering this Friday.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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?

At first, it was reported that Alberto Callaspo rejected the trade to the Dodgers. Leaving Alex Guerrero (1-for-2) to stare at Callaspo’s smugshot-slash-you mad bro? face. Then, later in the evening, Callaspo apparently approved the trade of him going to the Dodgers and Juan Uribe heading the other way. A commenter mentioned how in the preseason, the management didn’t have faith in Mattingly to start Pederson, so they traded away Kemp. It’s a fun theory. One that might have a morsel of truth, but I think this trade might backfire. Here’s a scenario for our five girl readers: imagine you were trying to get your man to change their yellow-pitted t-shirt, so you remove all the stained t-shirts from their hamper and throw them away, even his Bob Marley Buffalo Soldier t-shirt. When he realizes all his stained shirts are gone, what does he do? Does he wear the new shirts you bought him? Or does he scribble an oddly racist-looking Bob Marley on a hand towel and tape it to his chest? Mattingly could play Alex Guerrero at third with Uribe gone, but Justin Turner had started at 3rd base five times in the last week, not Guerrero, even with Uribe still in LA, and Callaspo is a 3rd baseman. So Uribe’s gone, but I think Mattingly just wears a masking-taped, hand towel now. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m going to introduce you to a word: chalk. No, not the kind you used to write ‘I will not depants Sally in front of the auditorium full of parents during the Winter Christmas Pageant’ 100 times. I’m here to talk about the DFS slang borrowed from the betting world. Here, chalk means the favorite or best play of the day. For example, we all know to greet each other with ‘Happy Harvey Day’ in the comments, but do you really need me to tell you he’s good? Do you need that to be my opening post to you? There’s your chalk. He’s one of the best pitchers in the league and on a very short slate, he literally jumps off the pitching page when you look at the mere 12 on there. With that said, let’s not waste words on what we already know, let’s talk about something unknown: The B-52’s were actually a good band. Subjective, you say. Well, let’s say it differently then: in the small world of New Wave, they held their own. Let’s consider this New Wave Monday with that in mind and consider Harvey The Talking Heads while we decide to Rock Lobstein. I’m not going to talk up Kyle Lobstein too much. He in and of himself is just an average MLB pitcher, but here’s what I will talk about: The Brewers. So far on the year, the team has a wRC+ of 55 against LHP, good for second to last in the league. Factor in the 26% K rate against southies, regulars Segura and Lucroy on the DL, not to mention Gomez being beaned in the head on Sunday and likely out himself…well, the stars couldn’t align more for Kyle. Sometimes you don’t have to be the best play of the day to be a good choice. So let’s Rock Lobstein together and look on to what other hot takes I have on the Monday DK slate…

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! 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?

There’s a lot of hate towards qualifiers out there. I get it, you feel like the odds are long when you have to spike two rosters to make it count. I also get the sentiment that people feel like they get raked twice when they play qualifiers. If you can win a qualifier however, and you do spike that second lineup, that my friends is bankroll changing. I’m not saying to stop playing you regular tournaments or anything, I’m just trying to make sure you aren’t ignoring what could be a great opportunity to drastically increase your fun money. I’ll lay it out for you using one of DraftKings upcoming featured contests, the Slugfest. This contest is a $33 buy-in, $300K total prize pool event with 10,300 total entrants. Buying straight into that bad boy might be a little out of your price range, and that’s fine. Perhaps the Moonshot tournament is more your style, at $3 buy-in and 30,600 entrants. You may want to consider passing on the Moonshot one or two nights and maybe playing a $3 Slugfest qualifier instead. These qualifiers are 758 entrants with the top 60 earning a spot in the Slugfest. Roughly 8% of entrants will win here. Low odds you say, and you’re right. If we compare these odds to the Moonshot odds however, you’ll see it’s not that bad. In order to win enough in the Moonshot to pay for your buy-in to the Slugfest you’d have to finish 130th or better (winning $40). Your odds there my good friend are a mere 0.4%. Them’s bad odds right thur. If you have a lineup that can get you in the top 8% on the night of the qualifier and then just min cash in the Slugfest (a top 20.1% lineup will get you there), you’d walk away with a cool $65. If you’d like to turn your $3 Moonshot into that kind of cash, you’d have to place in the top 60, in other words a top 0.2% lineup. The other great thing about these qualifiers is, since they have such a bad rap, there is often overlay. Overlay is your friend. Look for it, embrace it, play it often to great success. Look, I’m not saying playing these things is going to allow you to quit your job or anything, I just want you to be aware of them. Don’t let a good thing slip by just because you heard it was bad, try it for yourself and see what you think. Now, let’s cover some plays that might help you win yourself a ticket tonight.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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.

But wait, there’s more! Sticking with the program here, last Tuesday’s Razzball Friend’s and Family DraftKings contest was none other than your humble author. I feel a little awkward shouting myself out, but hey, at least you know the guy handing out advice isn’t finishing 23rd out of 25 every night, so there’s that. Now, back to regular scheduled programming.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ll be honest, picking a creeper early in the year is not an easy task. We have small sample sizes to work with, players under performing and pitchers very hard to predict. I ask myself every week as I prepare these: what angle can I find to make a call? What is a constant that doesn’t change? Where are my pants? Well, the third question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s like trying to figure out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. The other two are things we always look for, regardless of what point of the season we are at, are park factors, lefty/righty match-ups, Schmotatoness, and batter vs. pitcher history. For example, this week, Brad Miller plays six games and for five of them, he faces right-handers. On the year, he bats .348 against RHP (good thing), but among the five he faces this week, he bats .191 against (not so good), and Hitter-Tron (-$2.5) says he won’t be any good. I’ll pass too. That’s a little snapshot into my process.  This week, I’m going for Schomtatoness and park factors to make my call. Would you like to hear more? Oh c’mon, I’ll give you some Arby’s coupons? Dairy Queen? Fine, then skip to the top 100 and we can fight about that in the comments instead.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

True story: in a 15-team league last year, I toyed with dropping Corey Kluber in April. He was being dropped in multiple leagues, most shallower than mine. If you think I’m crazy as a loon wearing a “I’m crazier than a loon” t-shirt, you have selective memory about him from last year. I decided to stick it out with Kluber and he ended up winning the Cy Young last year. This true story, of course, makes me sound even more moronic than usual. It also highlights a point, Kluber likes the cold weather about as much as a chapped nipple. Or maybe he just takes some time to get going. Either way, his Aprils have been forgettable for the last two years. This year, his April is actually better than last year’s by any measure that means anything. His K-rate is up, ground balls are up (not literally), fly balls are down (literally), xFIP is way down, walks are down and his K/BB is up. You have to do some serious digging to find something that is negative for him this past month other than his ERA. His velocity is down a hair (0.5 MPH on his fastball) and his line drive rate is up (people are making better contact). Everything else is nails, and not as in Lenny “Nails” Dykstra just invested me in this mutual fund and I lost my retirement savings. There’s some worry to some that Kluber threw too many innings last year. That’s not a worry. He’s 29 years old; a jump in IP from one year to the next is for pitchers 25 years and younger. Also, plenty of great analysis here and elsewhere has shown that jump in innings isn’t the end all/be all, even if it applied, which it does not. As the weather warms up, his sensitive nips will be less dry and he’ll likely have months of a sub-2 ERA. If you can buy him now, do it. Quickly! Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?