Yesterday, Buster Olney tweeted, “Kevin Gausman is pitching tonight probably exactly the way the Orioles hoped on the day they drafted him.  Dominant stuff.”  Putting aside the unnecessary “probably” — you’ll never win a Twitter Pulitzer with needless hooha! —  is this what the Orioles hoped for?  Because it’s felt at times like the Orioles were waiting for Gausman to say some sort of secret oath to let him into the rotation and, without Podrick to prompt him, he didn’t know said oath.  By the by, I can’t look at Brienne of Tarth and not see Conan O’Brien.  Perhaps, it’s me (it’s not).  If the Orioles wanted Gausman to pitch probably exactly like this, wouldn’t they have put him in the rotation and left him alone for the last *covers mouth* years?  Not to answer, but to knowingly nod while you undress your computer with your eyes.  Since I have shares in that facacta noodle-hanger Archer, I watched the better part of Gausman’s start, and he looked better than what the boxscore says, and the boxscore says, “Yum, choco-latte.”  It also says 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks in his first start back.  Gausman has the stuff to be a number one, but at worse a number two.  Not saying he will be this year; that’s just his stuff.  He probably exactly should be already, but probably exactly hasn’t been.  Still, I would grab him in any leagues where I needed upside.  A 8+ K/9, 2.7+ BB/9, 3.75 ERA starter is probably exactly what you’ll get.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m fascinated by things that are outside of the box and things that challenge what is considered the “norm”.  A good knuckleballer is a joy to watch.  Trevor Bauer and his pregame routine and training regime is so intriguing.  I wish he’d have some success so people might take it a little more seriously.  Basically, it’s no fun doing things the exact same way every, single time and there’s no way to evolve and learn if we don’t try something new.  In this same vein, we have Hector Santiago, the only pitcher in the major leagues to throw a screwball last year.  He will also probably be the only pitcher to throw one in the majors this season.  This pitch was very popular back in the early days of baseball but has since become almost entirely extinct due to the threat of injury it possess.  I get it, but you’d think if you’re the only pitcher throwing a pitch that funky in MLB, you’d have an advantage.  Well, Mr. Santiago is having himself a year so far in the early going, but I’m not so sure it’s screwball related.  Santiago has raised his K/9 from 8.07 last year to 8.71 so far this year and he’s lowered his BB/9 from 3.54 to 2.61.  Also of note is the 2 MPH he’s added to his fastball.  Early jumps in fastball velocity are typically a great sign that a pitcher’s early season success might be more than just a fluke.  Another sign that something has changed for Santiago is the change in GB/FB ratio.  Santiago has typically been an extreme flyball pitcher, which wasn’t always wonderful in US Cellular field.  His flyball percentage is still high-ish, but it’s dropped from an average of 48% for his career to 44% this year.  The big change though is in his ground ball percentage which has jumped from his career average of 33% up to 47% so far this year.  That has lead his GB/FB to jump from a career norm of 0.7 to over 1.0.  So, we’ve got a pitcher with increased fastball velocity, with better control and who’s inducing more grounders.  Did I mention he’ll be facing the Mariners where he’ll have the platoon advantage against just about everyone outside of Nelson Cruz?  At $8,400 he’s the perfect compliment to Jose Fernandez for the night 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 subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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To understand Jake Lamb, I think it’s important to go back to the 1964 Summer Olympics when his father’s hero, Lambis Manthos, was competing for Greece in the 50 meter pistol shooting event.  Due to a clerical error, Lambis thought he was competing in the 50 centimeter pistol shooting event.  Lambis practiced shooting dinner plates from about 20 inches away.  At one point, he was able to shoot an olive off a branch from about two feet away.  Metaphorically, that meant war, and he knew it.  He was ready, which is why this story ended so sadly when he realized it was really a 50-meter event.  Lambis was extremely shortsighted and nearly took out a judge when tasked with shooting so far away.   Thankfully, tragedy was averted when he only shot into one of those mats high jumpers fall on.  At the end of the event, with Lambis in last place, the laughingstock of the competition, a young man by the name of Jake, was so moved with Lambis and his ability to hit close targets, he took his name as his last.  This was Jake Lamb Sr., and the legend that Jake Lamb has to live up to.  So, besides being a heartwarming story, what does this have to do with fantasy?  Not a ton, said the man with four letters at his disposal.  Lamb is currently slotted into the six or two hole on most days.  He hasn’t shown great ability with lefties, so he’ll likely need to be platooned, but I’d do just that in all leagues.  He has some power, some speed and shouldn’t kill you in average.  Not from 50 meters or centimeters.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Bryan Price, always one for colorful language, should go full Tony Montana about his relievers, “Look at that, I got a junkie bullpen, mang.  My bullpen is so polluted!  I can’t even have a save with that bullpen.  It’s so polluted!”  After his Montana rant, Price could clarify who will save games in his bullpen through a string of curse words and em-effers.  Yesterday, Price said they’d go to a committee.  Great, maybe they can make a camel.  Hoover’s out, Jumbo’s gone because his physique reminded them too much of their ERA.  Caleb Cotham could see some saves, and he’s been good vs. minor leaguers, but he’s been honing his craft in the minor leagues for a while.  This isn’t like a potter who needs time to hone his ashtray-making skills before hitting the big-time flea markets.  Being in the minors long just means you might never achieve success in the majors.  Going for Cotham is that he throws righty and he hasn’t failed yet.  Then there’s Tony Cingrani, who I grabbed on Tuesday.  He has been decent enough in the bullpen this year, but he’s a lefty and he blew the save yesterday in the 8th inning.  Oh, and there’s Blake Wood, who is reminiscent of Jeanmar Gomez, and we know how well that turned out.  *intern whispers in my ear*  Seems that so far Jeanmar has worked out okay.  For now, I’d own Cingrani then Cotham, but this is nigh-thurr pretty nor set in stone.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Bartolo Colon MLB Logo

The night slate is…hrm, how best to put this? Not good for pitching. Like uglier than the dude in the pic above this sentence ugly. If you’re in the eleven game grouping tonight, you’re gonna wonder where the safe arms are. Well, from what I see you ain’t got none and for that reasoning, I’m out here looking for something that feels safe. Plushy, soft, and supple. Something that makes me feel like I could curl up and fall asleep on it’s giant Buddha belly. Admittedly, I don’t like the idea of going to the well over and over against the Phillies because you know it’s eventually got to have a regression to the positive which would be negative for us, but here I am looking at Bartolo Colon for the night. Fluffy, stay puft marshmallow man that he is, Colon is 42 years young and rarely walks hitters. And why would you when your fastball sits at 89.8? All jokes aside, the reality is Colon throws strikes and spots his pitches well…except when he doesn’t. Then he looks like he’s pitching BP. Obvi I’m hoping for the good Bartolo and not the bad one tonight but with a slate full of nasty, his 5.5K price tag makes him appealing as a cash relief so you can pay up for big bats. You get peak Bartolo, you’re getting about 22 points which more than offsets the memory you rostered this. So on this night, realize you only live once and roster a guy who looks like he should’ve keeled over and died ten times at this point. But enough about that, let’s talk about this. Here’s my triple coronary bypass hot taeks for this Wednesday 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 subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, that sucked.  It was extra sucky too because I had high hopes for Carlos Rodon‘s start vs. the lifeless Angels.  Like eating Chinese food by yourself and accidentally getting two fortune cookies, then you open them and they both say the same thing, “The highlight of your night will be getting two fortune cookies with the same fortune.”  Like going to the car wash and they give you a deal due to an impending rainstorm.  Only it never rains, false alarm.  But you did forget to put up your window.  Like your parents reconcile their differences, just to yell at you.  Rodon, it’s one thing to disappoint, but to raise expectations first?  Oh man, you are one evil doode with a heart as cold as Clint Hurdle who has a serious attraction to Freese.  Yesterday, Rodon went 1/3 IP, 5 ER with one strikeout.  On the bright side, he upped his K-rate.  “Don’t mock bright sides or I will burn you.”  That’s the vengeful sun.  Rodon had ten straight quality starts, and, unless he’s hurt, we should just treat this as an aberration.  A sick, twisted aberration.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As George Bush Jr. once said, “Fool me once, shame on you, you can’t fool me again because we won’t get fooled again,” then he was joined by Pete Townshend in a duet that made sense at the time, but now seems inconceivable.  GB was right on, and that’s how I initially felt about Matt Moore.  How many times could we be fooled by this guy?  What’s that?  Twelve?  I was asking that rhetorically, I didn’t want a number.  Why did you just say thirteen?  I don’t want a number!  Whether it is twelve, thirteen or one time fooled, it doesn’t *pinkie to mouth* Matt-er.  Yesterday, Moore went 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners with 10 Ks.  He now has a 10.3 K/9 and a 1.5 BB/9.  That walk rate, I mean muah.  That with a 8 K/9 would have me interested.  With a 10+ K/9?  Yes, please and thank you, to get politely excited.  On a related note, not sure how this happened, but I have an abundance of AL East pitchers in different leagues.  Great, terrific, adjective, except when they face New York, Boston and Toronto, which is basically every game.  FMFBBL!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One of the great things about playing in a dynasty league is the active offseason. Since most of the players on a roster are kept, the draft is usually just a handful of rounds and consists of other teams’ trash and fresh signees. That means offseason trading can get pretty intense as owners attempt to improve their roster, whittle down their keepers, or accumulate higher draft picks. Razznasty has been no different, and there have been a ton of trades since our offseason opened in November. The league started last year. It’s a 16-team/keep 30 of 40 dynasty league made up exclusively of Razzball readers and writers. I won’t go into every trade in detail, but rather comment on a few of the bigger ones in this post. You can, however, view every trade made this offseason here.

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A couple of years ago Bret Sayre invited me to participate in his dynasty league – The Dynasty Guru Expert League, or TDGX. At the time I was writing for him at his site, and while I don’t anymore, I’ve been allowed to remain in the league as a representative of Razzball. I’d like to say my team has been killing it, but that hasn’t been the case in the first two years. The league is a lot of fun, and there are representatives from sites like Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, Baseball HQ, and CBS. It’s deep and it’s challenging. Tim McLeod and Ian Khan took the championship in each of the first two years, so major kudos to them.

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All year we’ve been ranking the top prospects closest to the majors. With September call-ups quickly approaching, this post is a little different. Instead of limiting the list to players with their rookie eligibility intact, this will include any players currently in the minor leagues regardless of their at bats or innings pitched totals. There’s a catch, though. It’s only going to list players who are currently healthy and on their team’s 40-man roster. If you see a big name omitted, it’s probably because they aren’t currently on the 40-man. That can still be manipulated of course, but if a player is already on the roster, it increases the chances they’ll get a look next month. I also decided to weed through it for players that I thought could actually have some relevance in fantasy. With guys like Domingo Santana, Trea Turner, and even Aaron Altherr already up, this isn’t exactly the sexiest group. But there are some nice players in here, and if they can find playing time, they could also help your fantasy team down the stretch. When looking at who to pick up, I’d recommend focusing on teams that are out of the playoff hunt and who may be more inclined to give their younger players a look. Zeroing in on injuries (or potential ones) is also a good move. I bolded a few of the names that I think are interesting gambles…

Please, blog, may I have some more?