So here we are, the last week of the season. If you’re playing now, you’re in the money game of your head-to-head league, or you’re in a dog fight to pull ahead in the roto standings. I’ve said this for the last three weeks but, congratulations! You did something right. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say there are a few things you definitely didn’t do, you didn’t draft Justin Verlander, you didn’t draft Buster Posey or Joe Mauer anywhere near the first 5 rounds, you didn’t invest in one of the top 3 closers, and you probably didn’t draft Dominic Brown (Sorry Tehol). They say fantasy championships are made after the draft. Whoever they are? Seriously do you know? I’m just going to guess that if there is a they that writes these cliches, then they know Nick Capozzi. Mostly because he knows everybody in the fantasy industry. I’m also going to assume it’s a secret club that I’m not privy to. You know, like Skull and Bones.  Wow that escalated quickly! Where was I? Oh yeah winning fantasy championships. Well my belief is that the secret to winning in the final week is pitching, and how you use your streams. If you’re in a H2H league with a limited move number than be careful. One must choose wisely. With this in mind I have created a new format for these posts. As I mentioned last week I had the vision of putting my rankings in spreadsheet form and providing a couple of key metrics I felt gave you the readers full transparency into my thought process. Well my vision is reality behold the new and improved two startapalooza. You’ll see that in addition to the Pitcher’s name and opponent, I’ve also provided the pitcher’s handedness, the pitcher’s Home/Road ERA, the opponent’s Home/Road wOBA, and the opponent’s Right/Left wOBA split. These are the numbers I look at most closely when creating my rankings for the week. So why not share them with you? Enjoy, I put some time into this and I believe you’ll find it extra helpful. I hope it also sparks more debate in the comments and gives you guys all the more reason to challenge my tiers. I’ve also made sure that I based my Two-Start roster off of Rudy’s new two start pitcher SON/tool. This way all the information mirrors each other and gives some continuity to the post. Thanks again for reading and I’m looking forward to bringing this format back next season. Go Get’Em!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As the MLB season comes to a close, you probably have lost interest in your season long leagues, and DFS at DraftKings is all you have left. Even focusing on MLB is a challenge with the NFL back in the loop; but there is money to be made, and if you don’t like money well then stop reading now. I have a love/hate relationship with Thursday MLB slates. They are usually very short which means there are not a lot of options. On the flip side, it is easier to focus on certain games and make better choices. Today is an interesting day as there are a lot of “fringe” aces on the mound, and a lot of “crap” pitchers too – so there should be some great value hitting wise. PS kudos to anyone who got the Three Six Mafia title reference.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 team league 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.

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This is happening on the other side of my laptop as I sit here writing the Two-Startapalooza…

owierazz

Yes, that is a dog dry-humping Boo the star Pomeranian in stuffed animal form. He does it all the time, but for some reason it seemed profound to me and strangely relevant to this week’s batch of pitchers. [Jay’s Note: Uhhhh. Okay?] Perhaps my dog represents the fantasy gods, and Boo is fantasy owners everywhere, especially those on the playoff bubble in their leagues. No Clayton Kershaw, no Max Scherzer, no David Price, no mega-aces to speak of. Combustible No. 2’s. A lot of mediocrity. Dudes obviously pitching over their heads, and dying to, well, eff you over. And then the looming threat of namby-pamby real-life baseball managers pulling guys early in games to get ready for the real-life playoffs and even scratching top-flight starters with mysterious blisters, hangnails and other assorted bogus injuries in an effort to save them for the postseason. The nerve! But I see two little gifts from these same fantasy gods: Two guys with potential who have good-to-great matchups this week.

First up is Eric Stults, a Hodgepadre with two home starts (Brew Crew and Dodgers) and a nice run going. He’s 3-1 in August with a 1.49 ERA, and only one of those starts was in Petco. Also, he’s only walked two guys in his last three starts, and has the potential to strike guys out on top of that. Then there’s Dillon Gee, who looked like a potential ace out of the gate this year but then missed two months with a back injury. He’s been about as appealing as amusement park food since his return, racking up a 5.50 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP with no wins over the last 30 days. But if you drill down into his last four starts, he hasn’t been that awful. He held down the Giants for the most part on Aug. 4, giving up two runs over 5-plus innings. He then dominated the flat-lining Phillies in Philly. Now I’ll make some excuses. Is there shame in getting a little shaken (4 ER in 5 innings) in a loss to the first-place Nats at home or a road loss to first-place Oakland? This week, Gee welcomes two beatable opponents to Citi Field: The strikeout happy Braves and then those same crappy Phillies. I like Gee and Stults as streamers who won’t “screw you over” (heh) and nothing else. Now let’s see what else we got in the Two-Starter cupboard this week.

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“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:

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Who misses Making the Band? I know I do. For the uninitiated and unhip (not really) of the early-aughts, it was a reality show about Puffy (or Diddy … or whatever he went by back then) and his never-ending quest to form the world’s greatest rap group. It was an epic failure on the music front, but damn, it was good TV. It also spawned one of the greatest Chappelle’s Show skits of all time. How does this relate to baseball? It doesn’t, but the title makes me giggle and should serve as a reminder to fade Zack Greinke against the Brewers tonight. The price is steep ($10,400), and he just hasn’t been that good lately. He’s also surrendered 9 ER in 10 IP versus his former crew, so I’m shutting down the studio on Zack Attack (bonus points if you get that reference). Now, let me spit hot fire about who I like tonight.

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 trade deadline was three days ago. By now fantasy experts like Trojan Croftbell and Cocky Karazola have picked over these deals until the bones were showing, and gone over the “slashes” these guys compiled while “toeing the rubber” and talked you, and themselves really, in-and-out of pickups until they were dizzy. There’s no other way to analyze this. Unless you take some of the moving parts to Week 19 of the Two-Startapalooza party!

What happens to the headlining acts is obvious. Jon Lester is a must-start almost every week. In the post-season, he becomes Orel Hershiser ’88, or at least Billy Beane and any long-time A’s fan that shudders at the thought of Orel Hershiser ’88 hopes. David Price scratches the surface of the Must-Start layer some weeks, but more often than not he’ll break the barrier thanks to some interesting non-sabermetrical splits. This year, Price had way better numbers away from the Trop (6-2, 2.74 ERA) than inside of it (5-6, 3.41). Which also means he had the same numbers on grass than on turf, and of course the Tigers play on the green stuff in Detroit (as opposed to the Rockies, who play on the green stuff in Denver, but that’s different).

Then there’s the other guys. It might not seem like what happened to John Lackey and bed crapper Justin Masterson matters as much, but as Twitter pal Ralph Lifshitz pointed out to me on my feed (@NiceRazzball), the Cardinals can turn anyone into a solid starter (see: Jake Westbrook and Joel Pineiro, Lifshitz said, and to that I say point taken). That being said, and I feel like I’m going to be saying that a lot this week – getting something out of Lackey is one thing, but getting the Masterbaterson to get right on a consistent basis is something else. Can you imagine rolling that guy out in the playoffs? Yipes!

Drew Smyly, who got the shaft in the Price deal and goes from a nice park on a winning team to a mediocre team in a crappy stadium, falls down at least one tier per week. He becomes a stat-piler guy for those in search of Two-Starters. Jesse Chavez falls off the radar completely, as he ends up in the A’s bullpen. I’ll miss seeing his oops-I-crapped-my-pants mug every week.

A few of these guys get a double dip this week. For some more Two-Starters, keep on reading…

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Something many of you don’t realize, but one of the first people to talk to a player that was just traded is his new team’s tailor. The Yankees tailor got on the phone with Chase Headley to find out what size jersey he wears, and Headley looked down, beaming to be out of Petco, and said, “Giuseppe, you might want to take out my inseam too.” I wonder if the flowers smelled a little better as Headley stepped into Yankee Stadium for the first time. Sure, in contrast to his hour long ride through the Bronx, getting lost in Hunts Point, anything would smell better, but it can’t be worse, can it? His career in away games prorated over a 162 game season is: 79/19/79/.286/14. Doode’s David Wright! Well, almost. Which is sad for Headley and Wright. More sad for Wright. What a guy does in only half a season can be anywhere from bupkis to I-want-to-bump-grind-and-kiss. Will Headley suddenly be mixed league worthy? Yeah, for at least a flyer, if nothing else. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’ve been forced to travel a lot lately. Today’s installment comes to you from the friendly confines of the Denver airport. I just came out of the smoking lounge. People are crazy out here, man. I was excited because I thought all U.S. airports had done away with indoor smoking lounges. I went in, sparked a cig and like 20 people gave me dirty looks until one guy ran over flailing his arms and yelling at me that I was “harshing the whole room’s mellow!” I wasn’t bothering anyone! Whatever. I left. I guess that’s why they got rid of the indoor smoking lounges. People go crazy in there. I feel tingly after being in there for only 30 seconds. Anyway, on to Draftkings!

Today’s bold prediction: The Washington Nationals will be kicking the Rox all over the place today. Not bold enough? It gets bolder. (or Boulder?) Jordan Zimmermann at $8,800 is worthy of starting today. I’m recommending to start a pitcher in Coors Field. And as such, I shall start my obituary as a DFS writer… Yes, I understand how risky Coors is for pitchers and I’m slightly ok with it anyway. Zimmerman has owned the Rockies in his career and he’s not afraid to pitch in Coors. Over the past 3+ seasons, Zimmerman is 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA at Coors Field. He’s sporting his best K rates of his career and the Rockies are cold and injured. Tulowitzki is doubtful for today’s game, and if he’s out I’ll roll out Zimmerman. Cuddyer is out and Arenado and CarGo just came back from injuries and haven’t gotten it going.

I’m also gonna stack Washington hitters today. Which Nats players you ask? If he’s in the starting lineup for the Nats today, I’d stack him. Yep any of em. I don’t care who it is. Name him, I’d stack him. That sounds dirty, but it isn’t. It’s ok. Just do it. If you haven’t stacked yet, today is your day. This one is so luscious. The entire lineup is hot right now. They’re in Coors. Yohan Flande. Yohan Flande? Yohan Flande! That was fun.

Speaking of fun… join a bunch of Razzballers for a friendly 20 team league over at DraftKings. I’ve added to the fun by paying out the top 5. If you’re signing up for the first time, make sure to use our link to sign up. Think of it as voting for your favorite fantasy site! Don’t wanna play with us small timers? Well try the big time tourney with a $20 buy-in for the $100K pot by clicking here. Top prize gets $20K. That could afford you a couple of nights in Paris! I’m sure she could use the publicity at this point, anyway.

We’re gonna need to find ways to afford all those expensive Nats hitters. The DFSBot has been impressively accurate in predicting player values. Make sure you put it to use in your favor and check your starting lineups prior to first pitch. Here’s a few guys I recommend as well:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Much like Bruce Jenner’s genitals, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click this link.

Hey everybody, I hope your 4th went well! Me, I had a great time with some friends, some beer, some family, some more beer, some burgers, some jaeger, some policemen, some angry white guys at the local drunk tank…really couldn’t have asked for anything more! Could you keep it down please, I have a roaring headache! Oooooh right, forgot about that part. Me, I just asked they cook Alka Seltzer directly into my hamburger patty the entire time. Worked like a charm! Sorry to the seagulls my jerk friend fed my leftovers to that day, though…R.I.P. Don’t worry, I got him back for you later by telling him the mentos were Alka Seltzer and fed him some Diet Coke. Exploding living things isn’t funny now is it, Craig! Of course we know now none of this intro is true. I have no friends! But what I do have is an iPhone and people text me on it and one said person is Grey. Yeah, I name dropped, whatevs. He said our friend Pete Nice needed some help for this week 14 on the Two Start Pitcher tip so I said ‘how much?’ and Grey said ‘we won’t charge you to write for us this time’ and I said ‘what a deal!’ and jumped on it like Sugarhill Gang. You see, typically I’m slanging you some DraftKings knowledge here on the Razz but sometimes I like to slang other thangs at you and here’s my chance. So without further ado, here’s my take on week 14 two start pitchers for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

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As I write this, I’m on a plane. I knew I wouldn’t have internet, so I asked myself what data could I pull and play with to help you play with your team. Let me play guarantee fairy again… I’m supposed to be writing about Deep Impact. I guarantee you can use this list to trade away pitchers that are over-performing for long term deep impact while targeting other pitchers that can provide you with more short-term value. Use the comments section below and I’ll scold or virtual high-five your trade offers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?