Greetings! It’s crunch time, boys and girls! Are you one of the good people frantically following the trade talks, hoping to find that closer or rookie call up to complete your championship squad? Or are you one of those mud pirates, who has stopped paying attention all together, ruining things for everyone else? I suppose you’re more than likely not reading this if that’s the case, but just in case you are, let me be speak for your leaguemates, and say ef you! In head-to-head leagues, it’s even more despicable, giving undeserving teams huge victories and besmirching the playoff standings. Stick to DFS, for this is a game of Kings, and why I usually insist on playing in high money leagues, where frauds are beheaded like a deserter of the Nights Watch. Kudos to you if you’re still around, fighting for your lives in the greatest game ever invented. You, my goodmen, are warriors and the Elder Gods will write poetry in you honor.

I am Tehol Beddict, and this is, Disgrace/Delight! Take heed!

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Jonathan Papelbon has a contract that insures that he remains the closer if he’s traded. He would likely be the closer in Washington even without that stipulation, but it’s so like Papelbon to have that in his contract. Should just call that the douche clause. To fix him, the Nationals should bring him into games where they’re up one run in the seventh and run him out there for three innings every night until his arm falls off. Sure, they’d cost themselves a closer and games, but isn’t spite worth it? I know it is when Cougs says she has a headache and I say, “Fine, I’m gonna sleep in the bathtub!” Sure, I could stay in the bed, or even opt for a couch, but the spite wouldn’t be driven home as well. Papelbon’s trade obviously kills all value for Drew Storen. Shame, his career feels like the exact opposite of Fernando Rodney. No matter how well Storen pitches every year he seems to lose the job for some unforeseen reason. Maybe he can figure out a way to work into his contract, “Must pitch after any white guy that is a terrible dancer whether that is Mark Madsen, Grey Albright or Papelbon.” Of course, in Philly, this means that Ken Giles gets his long-deserved chance to close for the Phils. All three games where they’re leading. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Michael Conforto (+29%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball this past week. The New York Mets have been staggering along on offense this season (29th in MLB in runs scored), which hasn’t exactly made life easy for their impressive trio of starting pitchers (Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Noah Syndergaard) thus far. Despite this offensive ineptitude, they are currently just two games behind the NL East leading Washington Nationals in the standings. Ownership doesn’t seem to be interested in significantly adding to the team payroll in order to improve the offense, so what’s a playoff contending team to do? Why not call on your stud prospect for a boost down the stretch? Sounds nice and cheap to me!

Enter Conforto. The 22-year-old former first round draft pick has been successful at each stop in the minor leagues, but logged just 197 plate appearances above single-A ball prior to his MLB promotion. However, he’s certainly hit the ground running in the very early going, producing a .444/.583/.667 triple slash line in his first three MLB games, including an impressive 4 hit outing against the Dodgers in just his second career big league game. Unfortunately, Steamer isn’t terribly impressed, projecting a .243/.297/.383 line with 4 homers and 1 steal in 143 plate appearances for the rest of the 2015 season. The early book on him seems to be that he has plus power and plate discipline for his age, but offspeed stuff, particularly breaking balls, can give him problems. He’s definitely worth a lottery ticket, but you probably shouldn’t expect Conforto to be a fantasy stud immediately.

Here are a couple of other significant adds and drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

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In the vast world of fast food, food, and fine dinning, you’ll find your pick of the garnishes to the delight your tastebuds. Some will be salty and some will be sweet, but only a pickle can be some of each. No where on earth such a veggie exists, you’ll it eat on burgers, and sausage, and fish. I run to the store to share some with friends, that here is the place where this story book ends. Or maybe begins as I took out my sack and I shared with my kins, cause I’m the pickleman mack. I gave one to Grey, Smokey, and Jay, I gave one to Tehol but he put it away. No, no silly Beddict keep that out of your rectum, these pickles are delicious I demand you respect them. Dan Pants said here, here as he munched on a gherkin, but Tehol didn’t hear he was too busy twerkin. Magoo and J-Foh enjoyed their half sours, as Jack waxed poetic about hating Joe Mauers. All was well in Razzland oh sweet pickled cucumber, it’s Two start pitchers, week I forget the number.

So big changes this week to the two start post, and I think the you’ll agree it’s for the better. I ramble less and instead provide you with a wide range of stats to justify my rankings. That’s better right? Hopefully I don’t leave you with a burning feeling like that girl in your dorm that had Daddy issues. Oh yeah and pickles!

BTW when you’re done here go read soccer, it’s good I swear!

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Yesterday, Michael Brantley went 4-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs with his 7th homer. One big day for a 2nd rounder is more than Ian Desmond owners can say. Yes, everything’s better when compared to Ian Desmond. “Maw, this spinach is still half-frozen and spinach juice is dripping into my Salisbury steak.” “In some countries, all children have is a 2nd round draft pick of Ian Desmond.” “You’re right, maw, you’re right. I’m an ingrate!” That’s a 34-year-old you after coming up from your mom’s basement for dinner. One of my biggest regrets of this season was not labeling Brantley a Noid and telling you to avoid. I didn’t rank him in the preseason crazy high so you would draft him, but I didn’t outright say, “Look elsewhere, prematurely balding man.” Meh, I guess my regrets could be worse. I mean, look at Lindsay Lohan’s last ten years. If you own Brantley, I think at this point you have to hold tight and either go down with the ship or hope some of his cream rises — mixed metaphor points! If you don’t own Brantley like me, well, whew. I’m empathetic though. Kinda. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Here’s a prospect post that even a redraft leaguer can love. At Razzball there are a lot of great tools, but the one I use the most when looking at potential trades or player acquisitions is the player rater. It’s basically a way to evaluate players based on Steamer’s projections for the rest of the year. What makes it particularly useful is the fact that it’s also updated daily by Rudy to account for playing time changes, lineup changes, injuries, etc. I thought it would be fun to look at how our rookies are faring in the machine. I found 54 players in the rater who were under the 130 AB/50 IP cutoff to start the year. Then I sorted into three subcategories for the hell of it. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a couple of names (hopefully no big ones) and there’s probably nothing incredibly enlightening to glean from this (Correa is good at baseball and projects to be good at baseball in the second half…thanks Mike!). But…there were some surprises for me when I gathered it together. At any rate, hopefully it spurs some discussion and provides a snapshot for the massive wave of quality prospects we’re seeing reach the majors in 2015.

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The Cubs have recalled super catching prospect Kyle Schwarber to split catching duties while Miguel Montero is out for the next six weeks. Kyle was 3-for-4 with a run scored Friday night. We know the Cubs have a crazy amount of young talent on their roster, but Schwarber could be the final piece. I’ve seen enough baseball movies to know the hot-shot catching phenom usually comes in half way through the season to unite a bunch of ragtag misfits and lead them to victory, even though the owner wants to move them to Albuquerque. Schwarber is likely no exception. In a brief call up in June to serve as DH, Kyle slashed .364/.391/.591 with a homer and 6 RBI in 22 at bats (6 games). Extrapolate that! Let’s see…6 over 22 is equal to, carry the 1, cross-multiply, take the cosine and divide by zero…87 home runs! Whoa! Even I underestimated Schwarber’s ceiling, I guess! Or perhaps my math is off? Regardless, Schwarber is an immediate add in all leagues. In the minors, between AA and AAA he combined to hit .323/.430/.591 with 16 homers and 49 RBI. Prospector Mike ranked Kyle 7th on his Midseason Top 50 Prospects list, and Grey told you to BUY. Seventh is in the top 10 you guys. That’s right, more math. I’m just saying there is some serious upside here and Kyle Schwarber could be the biggest and smartest pick up you make all season. Now bring on the catcher questions!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Here’s a look at the best prospects for fantasy baseball right now. It’s a fluid list, and you’ll see some big changes as well as some new faces from the preseason Top 50. I’m sticking to a cap of 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched in the major leagues when determining who is still eligible for this list. So while some of the names have already been promoted this year and are expected to graduate, I’m still going to rank them. If Miguel Sano drinks too much nerve tonic with only 100 MLB at bats, he’d still qualify for prospect lists heading into next year, so he’s included on this one. This list does not include any 2015 draftees or J2 signees. The +/- column on the right shows how much each prospect rose or fell from my preseason list. I wouldn’t sweat players who moved just a few slots. Instead, I’d focus on the double-digit changes and the new additions. For lengthier notes on some of the biggest movers, you should check out last week’s post. Personally I skew towards hitters and rank only a handful of pitchers that I really like. Keep in mind that I’m coming at you from the perspective of our fantasy game, so it may differ from a traditional prospect list when it comes to certain players. Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, here is this year’s midseason Top 50 prospects for fantasy baseball…

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C.J. Cron blasted two home runs last night to help the Angels to a convincing victory over Seattle. Cron has got it going on right now, after his 2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI performance last night, he’s got five homers and 18 RBI on the year and is batting a modest .255. Since being recalled from AAA Salt Lake June 29, MegaCron is hitting an insane .448 in eight games with 7 runs, 4 home runs, and 12 RBI. Cron Air, indeed! I’ve got nothing but praise for C.J. Cron right now, Nic Cage! High praise! Since his return to the bigs after struggling earlier this year, Cron has managed to raise his average from under .200 to a respectable .255. Also, dude is just 25 years and is a potential 30 home run hitter. He was batting .323 at AAA with 6 homers so there’s little doubt that he belongs here. The only issue is the playing time, The Sciosciapath may very well play a host of other shmohawks as Grey mentioned when he told you to BUY this week. Methinks if Cron keeps hitting jacks he will force Scioscia’s hand, and hopefully C.J. is Anaheim’s primary DH going forward. Regardless, he is hotter than Rihanna’s VEVO right now and if you are in need of power numbers, the young slugger has tons of upside and is worth grabbing in most leagues before he’s going, going, Cron!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Before I put internet pen to internet paper about my leads, I want you to know something: I do research. I know, I know, it may SEEM like this stuff is off the cuff because it’s so off the chain (kids say that still, right?) but I swear to you, I spend a good amount of time looking into season long stats as well as current trends before I start snuggling up to my starting pitchers, especially when I’m looking to go cheap. As you know by now if you’ve played a bit on DK, strikeouts for pitchers are the black gold of fantasy baseball DFS so scouting out the right scenario to rack them up is key. So first I go and look at team K% for the season to see how teams are fairing and see – sarcastic drum roll please – the Astros sitting on top at 25.1%. Then I change the view to last 7 days and guess what? The Astros are still waiving their bats in the air like they just don’t care as they’re at 26.2%. Why check both? Well, it puts you on going after teams that are perhaps slumping or it could make you recognize a particular team that normally Ks seems locked in as a group and may not be one to pick on at the moment. But for now, I’m following this whiff wagon and taking the Erasmo Ramirez discount of $5,600 so I can have all of the Coors. No not the beer, silly! I’d rather be a teetotaler than do that. I’m talking about those Atlanta and Colorado bats, of course. And of course, now that I have, I don’t have to mention them again. Damn, I covered a lot in this opener, I should just quit now! But instead, we’ll keep this Friday post rolling. Here’s some of my other hot takes for this Friday 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?