It seems loud and clear that the roof is closing on Adam Wainwright‘s season. If only he had a 3rd Achilles he could sub in! We should be able to have a schadenfreude party since I told everyone not to draft him this year, but there’s always a few people who still draft him against my wishes, so do we ignore these people and still schadenfreude or do we show pity? *thinks for a millisecond* We schadenfreude party! The schadenfreude party is being held in the superiority complex. Put up the pinata of someone’s ego that is smarter, prettier, funnier or richer and we beat it down! Put on some tunes and let’s do the Point and Laugh Dance! That’s not the Point and Laugh Dance, that’s the African Anteater Ritual. So, Wainwright’s done for 2015 and Carlos Villanueva, Tyler Lyons or Tim Cooney could step in at first, but this will likely be Marco Gonzales’s job for the majority of the year once he returns from the minor league DL with a shoulder issue. I like Gonzales for very deep leagues, especially NL-Only ones, so if you have room, I’d grab him. He’s around a 7+ K/9, low-2 BB/9 guy that could have a 3.75 ERA or under with a good WHIP. Now, you’ll have to excuse me, I’m headed back to the schadenfreude party, hungry for self-satisfaction, eager for some prigs in a blanket! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Wahhhhhh, Shane Greene doesn’t strike anyone out, he’s useless, wahhhhhh!”  That’s Sky on the Podcast a few hours ago…  “The Fifth Element sucked!”  That’s Grey before I socked him!

Since my initial ranks in February, I’ve been a Greene champion.  In my blurb, I mention a high K-rate finish to 2014 (52:16 K:BB his last 41.1 innings), along with an unlucky 2014 BABIP (.330).  The starts I saw from him last year had me encouraged with his stuff, plus the move to a much better pitcher’s park in Comerica had me “thrilled”.

But even with the rank looking spiffy and everything going right, the low K-rate does seem a little concerning.  He’s turning into Rick Porcello, noooooooo!  While his ERA and WHIP (along with 3 wins) are all change-your-pants worthy, he’s got a measly 11:5 K:BB in 23 innings.  Regression is screaming like Ruby Rhod after he counted ten!  I of course hope not since he’s on all my teams, and watching him so far this year in my normal bouncing-around-through-all-the-games he looks like a strong strikeout capable guy.  So I decided to watch his start yesterday hosting the White Sox, and give it the ol’ full attention and Pitcher Profile treatment.  Here’s how he looked:

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A scary scene yesterday for my fantasy team. WHY DOES THE UNIVERSE MOCK ME?! I’m not saying it was Ancient Aliens, but it was Ancient Aliens. Everything was lined up for my success, then Carlos Carrasco was a little too lined up by Melky. I don’t wish ill on anyone, but couldn’t Melky have hit T.J. House. He’s got a solid foundation. He could take the hit. Was this the Fantasy Baseball Overlord and his infinite deviousness? Why is your deviousness so infinite? In a pool of your deviousness, do you have to lifeguard it constantly? Seems dangerous. Ugh, Carrasco? More like Srir-ouch-a, I’m going to get sauced. The Indians are saying Carrasco didn’t suffer a concussion, but we’ll see. This might open a spot for Danny Salazar. I went to grab him in every league, but he was gone already. Then again, Jhoulys Chacin just signed a minor league deal with the Indians, and Salazar was seen riding in the rain, while the song, Just Once, played on the radio as he cried. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

163 pitches, 16 Ks, 7 BBs, 1 H. That’s what Nolan Ryan used to do before going to chop some wood and bulldog some steer. The only pen Ryan ever needed was to house his horses. Yesterday, that was, how do I say this, an interesting start by Trevor Bauer. He went 6 IP, 0 ER with 11 strikeouts. He didn’t allow any hits, but he gave up five walks in 111 pitches. I feel like I should get half-credit for Bauer’s start on teams where I drafted Danny Salazar. Can I call him Tranny Bauerzar or will that upset my LGBT readers? My new favorite spring training stat that means nothing: Bauer’s 26 to 1 K to BB ratio. Bauer looked unhittable for the whole game. Depending on whether or not the Astros hitters decided to swing, it resulted in a strikeout or walk. It was like Randy Johnson in his early years when if hitters swung, they’d strikeout. If they sat there, they’d walk. The “Do You Feel Lucky…Plunk” approach to pitching. I’ll demonstrate as a hitter’s inner monologue, “I’m feeling lucky…Gonna step into this one and drive it… Jesus…That almost plunked me, I’m gonna swing wildly and get back to the dugout.” This approach can also be found in most Little League games. If Bauer’s unowned in your league, I wish I were in your league! Grab him! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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!

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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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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…

Please, blog, may I have some more?