You know the guy that was going to draft Nelson Cruz in your league because he just had a career year? The guy that drafted Chris Davis last year, Buster Posey the year before and Mitzi Gaynor in his 50’s pinup league back in 1953? That guy is the Mariners. (In fairness to that doode, Mitzi had a hell of a follow-up in ’54. Va Va Va Va Va Va — How many Va’s is that — Voom!) Nelson Cruz stayed healthy one other year, besides last year. He hit the most home runs of his career last year. He had the most RBIs, runs, strikeouts and will be 35 years old in 2015. So, of course, the Mariners give him a huge deal. Baseball team management is a peculiar thing. (By the by, I can’t say the word ‘peculiar.’ It sounds like I’m trying to pronounce the word for film in Spanish.) What seems obvious to the everyday person must not be obvious to baseball management. It would be fun to test this out in other areas of life. “Okay, baseball management, I’m going to bring you to the corner of the street. When the light turns green, cross the street.” Insert Batman-style sound effect. Only they’re doing it with nearly $60 million dollars. Well, ours isn’t to wonder why, ours is to figure out the fantasy value when a player changes environs. (Environs? Coolest word to write. Least cool word to say aloud.) Up until Cruz actually passed 27 homers last year, I had him pegged for 27 homers, because, well, that’s how many home runs he always hits, give or take a handful. Last year, he had big hands — that’s what she said! Huh? — but that was contingent on one big number that he had never reached before: 678. As in how many ABs he had last year. If a player has a pattern of getting injured and has a healthy year at 34 years old, I don’t buy that his health concerns are a thing of history. Call me a fool! (Not to my face.) In the past two years, his steals have dropped to the five-steal range, so he is essentially power. He has hideous numbers in Safeco for his career, but I don’t buy into that mattering because when he was in Safeco prior he was facing Mariners pitching and he was playing in an away game (sleeping in a hotel, chasing tail amongst visitor hoochie, etc.). Safeco isn’t going to do him any favors, but he can homer anywhere if healthy. That’s the stick in my craw. For 2015, I’ll give him 475 ABs and the projections of 71/26/85/.262/5. Decent, but almost surely overrated for this year, and don’t call me Shirley. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The rain cooperated to let Derek Jeter play his final game at Yankee Stadium. Thank God, the Yankees needed the tarp for Suzyn Waldman. The Yankees presented Jeter with a replica of the Yankee Stadium on-deck circle. He is going to put it outside his house and instead of pine tar rags and donuts there will be lingerie and gift baskets. I don’t really care for his final lap around Fenway. I do agree with Olbermann that I think he should have bowed out of playing in Fenway. With that said (reversal time!), sometimes stars get grooved pitches on their final retirement jaunt. I grabbed Jeter two days ago in my leagues just in case that happens, and so far, so good. 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?

At the end of the year, you can look at season long stats and try to build a DK lineup and I can pretty much promise you, disappointment will follow. You see, season is all but done, bro and bro-ettes. That means guys get tired. The studs of May, June and July give way to the youthful, the fresh guys of the DL and the DFAs who get invigorated by their new teams. De Aza, I’m looking directly at you…and many of my season long teams thank you. But truly, if we were to look at the baseball season like it were cut up into the different eras of the Beatles catalog, September would have to be the psychedelic phase. Everything you thought you knew about the baseball season just doesn’t apply right now. Oakland has been a ‘bad’ team for a couple of months yet their record on the surface says otherwise. Nelson Cruz leads the MLB in HRs with 39 but most of those HRs came in May with 13. And in the end, what happens works now in context but overlapping with the season it seems just completely out there. Going from ‘Love Me Do’ to ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ is quite the drastic jolt, Lennon. I Am The Walrus? Shut the f@#$ up, Donny! Now where was I? Oh yeah, all this to say, hanging your hat on season stats don’t get you nowhere. Case in point, Tyler Matzek. Season stats tell you he’s pretty mediocre. The ERA is 4.19…meh. The K/9 says 6.69…ambien pills. But let’s look at Tyler through a different lenses…say from the start of September. This Tyler has a 1.74 ERA over 20.2 IP to go with 19 K and 6 walks. For you non-mathies out there, that’s an 8.27 K/9 and a 2.61 BB/9 rate. Sure, I ain’t streaming him nor am I throwing him into any cash games but I think even with the plum matchup against the Padres, Matzek will be overlooked and underowned because he’s been ‘so bad for so long’. Well, so long to that so bad call. Ride the young arm to victory friends. And with that, let’s move on. Here’s some other hot takes for your Monday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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 check theDFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday was the first day of autumn; this demands a poem. I call this, “Naked Prince Fielder Has The Definition Of Melted Tootsie Rolls.” The passing of summer; it’s a total bummer. Word, word, word; man, I’ve gotten dumber. Michael Brantley was da bomb; Napoli’s mom has got it going on. Jose Abreu would’ve been a sweet draft pick; Frank Thomas sued him for copyright infringement. Kershaw’s FIP is 1.87 on all hitters; Sonny Gray’s got selective dyslexia, using my teams for his personal shitter. Everything will be okay in this final week; Avisail Garcia is on a streak! Garcia went deep twice yesterday for his 6th and 7th homers. If he’s out there, of course you grab him. I’d prefer to talk about Avisail Garcia for 2015 fantasy baseball. He was a preseason sleeper this year, and he will be again in fifteen-after-twenty because he missed five months this year with an injury. Yes, he looks like Miggy, but he doesn’t act like Miggy. He’s a 20/20 type guy without killing you on average. In this injury-plagued year, his stats don’t look exactly as he has in the past, but that’s probably due to shutting it down in April and starting it up in August. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years we look back at this year and see how it didn’t portend anything. Unless he really did learn how to take a walk, as he’s shown this year. Though, I kinda doubt it. I expect he’s a line drive machine, 17-20 homer and 15-steal guy with a solid-enough average. Think what you were expecting from Brantley, rather than what you ended up with. Now smoke a spliff! Oh, wait, I stopped rhyming about ten lines ago. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So there I was, huddled with my family in the basement. Waiting for the tornado. I kept thinking, “I’m from Massachusetts why am I in the basement at 9 o’clock at night, the Sunday before Labor Day waiting out a tornado warning?” (Entitled Northerner Alert!!) To get my mind off of what was potentially headed my way, I went and checked my DraftKings roster. GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY!!12TH! My mood went from somber to ecstatic almost immediately. That’s the highest I’ve ever finished in a Moonshot before. Sure I’ve had a dozen or so top 100 finishes and a couple of top 50’s but top 12? Hell nah! Now I really hoped to make it out of this basement in one piece. I’m cashing like crazy tonight baby. Get Money indeed!

Not to worry Razzaholics, the storm passed, the Tornado was canceled (I didn’t know that they canceled these things) and the Lifshitz clan is safe and sound. Great! more time to focus on turning these winnings into a vacation to San Diego or Hawaii or some place warm for the winter. Welp, I think I just locked up the award for the most dramatic opening of a post on Razzball. As well as the award for the Father who’s priorities are the least in order. In my work for Football later this week, I’ll be gunning for the most times the word selfie has been used in a post, and the least informative content. What can I say I aim high. You know who is aiming high these days? (Segue FTW!) Corey Kluber! Today he’s got the difficult task of trying to tame the Tigers. This is no feat for mere mortals, in fact Mr. Kluber himself has fallen a victim to the Jaws of the Tigers before. Primarily saber tooth sluggers Miguel Cabrera (15/28, 3 hr’s, 7 RBI, 6 K’s score one for Corey!) and Victor Martinez (8/21, 2 hr’s, 3 RBI, 2 K’s). I’m not under any delusions that tell me Kluber is going to get rocked, but as I said in Two Start-A-Palooza on Saturday I could see a 6 IP, 3 ER, 5 K kind of game. Not bad but also not worth $11,800. Just so we’re clear I love Kluber I’m just giving him the Labor Day fade. (UPDATE: Now that I know that Miggy will be out of the lineup for the foreseeable future I’m upgrading Kluber to a good start in all formats) The same goes for David Price and his $12,200 price tag. There are too many great pitching options today to bother with aces facing good offenses.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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 check the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s what I didn’t say in June, but could have, “With the promotion of George Springer and Gregory Polanco, Mike Trout and Mike Trout’s father, Tim Salmon, should make room in their mini-van that’s designed to look like a submarine because there’s new top hitters in the major leagues of baseball. Put down your periscope, Trout, no need to look any further. You have the new challenger for your supremacy. Polanco is especially intriguing due to his blend of speed and power, and inability to hit for a low average. There’s just no chance he hits below .280. No chance. Also, on August 25th play the Powerball numbers 37-08-32-11-09-38.” And that’s me quoting what I could’ve said! Of course, I didn’t say it exactly like that, but that was generally my feelings. As it started to appear like each was overmatched, I told you to sell both of them before they bottomed out. Springer’s got his strikeout problems, that I’ll go over at some point in the offseason, but Polanco got a raw deal. He had 6 homers, 12 steals in 64 games. That’s a 15-homer, 30-steal guy next year. The Pirates demoted him yesterday as some kind of neg designed by pick-up artist, Mystery. Polanco’s K-rate wasn’t terrible, his walk rate was fine, he was done in by a .241 average. A .241 average with the aforementioned strikeout rate that wasn’t bad. So what happened? He was unlucky. That batting average was being grounded by a .277 BABIP. With his speed, Polanco could easily have a .320 BABIP and a .290 average. For this year, you can lose him, but I’m still going to like him in 2015. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When you get a little cumin, coriander, curry, power and speed in the same dish, you got a Marte party! Whatever happened to that Next Food Network Star? She disappear with every other one, except Guy Fieri? As Anthony Bourdain aptly said, Fieri is the Poochie of the Food Network. Due to Fieri’s success, they keep trying to sandwich (pardon the word) new personalities onto their network. This past season they awarded a Hee Haw Fieri. Instead of the frosted hair, he had a cowboy hat. We call this show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Farting By The Fire! Any the hoo! Going into yesterday’s game, Starling Marte was tied with George Springer and behind Michael Morse on our Player Rater. To that, The Count would say blah blah blah. Crazy enough, Drew Stubbs was above all of them, and in the top 40 outfielders. By the power of Coors, I pronounce you fantasy worthy. Of course, Marte went 3-for- 4 with his 7th and 8th homers yesterday, so he’ll probably shoot above those aforementioned outfielders. Marte’s a little behind his pace from last year, but I’m going to like him next year for one simple reason: a guy that can hit 12 homers and steal 40 bases is very valuable as long as he doesn’t hit .220. That’s like a manhole in Fantasy Town! 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?

Here’s a scenario for you: Hanley Ramirez and Carlos Gonzalez get onto a plane. Knowing their inability to stay healthy, you A) Get off the plane. B) Purposely get yourself thrown off the plane by calling the male flight attendant, Mr. Stewardess, and asking him if he’s the pimp for the female stewardesses and if you could have a multi-person shag in the lavatory. C) There’s no C. Any of the above answers would work, even C and there wasn’t a C. CarGo can’t stay healthy and Hanley doesn’t seem to want to. If you count 145 games played as a full season, CarGo’s played one full season. This year, he might not play in 71 games and he’s at 70. Yes, he could be done for the year. Yes, it’s bad news with CarGo. Freight so. Even if he plays again, he has 11 homers and 3 steals in 70 games. Yunel Escobar looks at that and talks to a trademark attorney. It’s gonna be fun next year hearing people draft CarGo while they say, “I just need him to stay healthy for 120 games.” Those people are called delusional. As for Hanley, he’s supposed to return as soon as his DL stint is over, and he should as long as he doesn’t have to play hard in a rehab assignment. That would be impossible for him even if healthy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?