As they say in a Jewelery District of any major city, Johnny Cueto pitched a gem. Well, any major city except Detroit. There they call a gem, “Slowly remove it from your finger, and no funny business!” Against the Pirates yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 12 Ks. Pretty much across the board for Cueto’s career, I haven’t been a fan. His xFIP has always been much worse than his ERA, and his K-rate has never been close to an elite starter. Well, a weird thing happened on the way to his fifth start of the year, he looks like an ace. His xFIP is down to 2.55, his K-rate is 10.50 and his walk rate is 2.40. Those are fantasy ace numbers. Last year through April, he had a 2.80 xFIP, 9.35 K-rate and 3.12 walk rate. Those numbers aren’t that different. Hey, random italicized letters are my shtick. Not right now, Random Italicized Voice. Whoa, snippy! There is one fairly significant difference between Cueto this year and last. About a mile per hour on his fastball. In some instances, his fastball is averaging two extra miles per hour from last April, and he’s cut out his, uh, cutter, and his ground balls have remained. He’s pitching slightly different, slightly better, and, for the first time I can remember, I’m really liking what Cueto is showing. Ain’t that a kick in Jason LaRue’s head? His ERA won’t stay at 1.50, but I also wouldn’t be looking to sell him high. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Lots of people tried to explain to me why you don’t slide into first base. I still don’t get it, so apparently I’m dense. Is 1st base lifted higher than other bases? Are there Lilliputians standing by first base with mini hammers? Is there a mini MC Hammer there singing U Can’t Touch This which is just so bizarre it screws you up and you hurt yourself? I get that it slows you down, so there’s no point to doing it. I understand that sprinters don’t slide into the finish line. I’ve heard that from countless announcers. I do kinda wish in the next Summer Olympics a sprinter would slide into the finish line just so announcers would stop saying it. I still don’t understand why people invariably get hurt doing it. Josh Hamilton for one. He’s out for 6-8 weeks with thumb surgery. He should’ve just had Ryan Braun look at it, he can cure thumbs just by brining them in vinegar. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

[Sky's Note: I'm not wearing any pants. Wait, that's not the note I came to give you. And how could I carry said note without pockets anyways? Whatevs, our friends over at DraftKings wanted you to know about this little thing called the Sweet Spot. The prize pool is $400,000. That's the kind of pool Scrooge McDuck would swim in and who wouldn't want to swim like Unca Scooge? The coolest part about that link? First time depositors get a free $2 ticket. Wanna know what you can spend that $2 ticket on? A Satellite ticket to get in on this thang. So if you've been sitting on the sidelines while we at the Razz were having fun, now would be a good time to get in the game. We now give you back your regularly scheduled bloggy-type thing.]

Cheers, my Razzballin’ droogs. Why am I sipping a fine Islay at this time of day you may be asking? Firstly, it’s the only scotch I buy (I didn’t say drink) and secondly I can afford it after doubling my bankroll in just one week of play on DraftKings. If you’re not playing, you’re letting cash get scooped up by the likes of me. Thanks, today I’ll buy a genuine alligator skin turban with my winnings. Now if you are a regular DFS player feel free to skip ahead to your humble-but-nontheless-handsome Guru’s picks of the day – they are money. If you have never played daily fantasy sports please allow me to pull on your coat about something here: Get your fanny perpendicular in the game now! I know the fantasy season can be a long haul in the RCLs. It’s a marathon not a sprint blah blah blah. However, with DraftKings every day is a new season, every game, every pitch, every at-bat is of upmost importance and there’s cold hard cash to be won. Quite simply it’s a lot of fun, damn addictive and I got a monkey that likes to party on my back – hi Tehol. And whether you know it or not, sweet innocent Razzballers, you have a distinct advantage on the competition – us. The best way to get in the money quickly is to have the best info available. If you wander into the shark infested waters of DFS without relevant data, predictive stats or a clue you will be chum. Using the Stream-o-Nator, Hitter-tron and our info on Vegas odds and weather forecasts (especially this time of year) gives you a leg up on the competition. Let the Thomas Magnum lookalike drop too much on Miguel Cabrera because he loves the Tigers. We’re going to jam Jose Abreu because we like money and Cuban sandwiches. So, give DraftKings a shot today, join a 50/50 league for a buck and watch your bankroll grow. Just remember us and send a drink our way when we get thirsty. We’re always thirsty. Cheers.

With all that out of the way (I kinda felt like Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society there – Carpe Diem!) let me step down from my atop my desk and get down to business. Here’s our picks for Wednesday’s 4/09 contests on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Picture this. Stephen Strasburg comes to you and says up close, I want you to draw me like one of your French Girls wearing this. At this moment, he pulls out his sports rope necklace from underneath his jersey. Sure, you respond as you pour over his fantasy baseball stats, clearly distracted and not mindful of the subject. And then he follows up this conversation with, wearing ONLY this…Oh and now it’s on. You quickly whip out your charcoal pencil set and diligently get to work as he lavishly drapes himself across an old davenport couch. Turn your head so I can’t see your oversized Adam’s Apple, you brusquely say. So serious, Stras says to you with a mock scowl upon his face but with a clear glint of mischievousness in his eye. But you don’t care as you are immersed within your art and all of the sudden you hear some weird Canadian singer tell you she believes the hot dogs will go on. And it’s at that moment you wake up from your nightmare screaming but while rocking a semi. Told you not to drink so much on a Friday night, bro! There’ll be pictures on the internet later. Last night was at ‘The Hangover’ level of messed up. But maybe the DraftKings Gods are trying to tell you something. Quickly! Rush to your nearest internet providing device and find that the Stream-O-Nator has him down as the second best pitcher to Price on the day. And then you dig a bit further and find him at $11,500 and it makes you worry that maybe the Rent Is Too Damn High. But then you dig even further and find out that the Atlanta Braves are still one of the worst in the game at striking out as their 2014 K rate (26.2%) is sitting up near where it was last year at 22.6%. And then you put the two together: The Braves strike out a lot and Strasburg strikes a lot of hitters out. Win + Win = EPIC WIN. Even the Hitter-Tron is lukewarm on Atlanta’s lineup and he’d squirt his motor oil on anything that moves if given the chance. All this to say, a 10K+ performance could happen and you kinda wanna be in on that action. But with all that out of the way, let’s tread on. Here’s our picks for 4/5/14 contests on Draftkings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s nice when your chickens come home to roost. Sure, chickens coming home to roost is usually used to indicate a negative, but whoever heard of roosted chickens not being delicious. Lemon pepper, rosemary and roosted chickens is my favorite menu item and this Chinese restaurant has the best #3 in town. So, now, chickens coming home to roost is a positive and so is Todd Frazier with two jacks yesterday like Nicholson in Mars Attacks!. Frazier has long been a favorite of mine — we were younger then, and you had more hair. I hit you with a sleeper post for him in 2013 and again this offseason. There I said, “(Frazier) dropped his K-rate from 22.2% in 2012 to 20.8% last year. This was counteracted by a falling line drive rate (22.4% to 18.1%). Make weak contact and balls get caught and your BABIP falls. His fly ball rate fell too. When a fly ball rate falls in a hitters’ park, your power numbers appear less than desirable. Cause and effin’ effect or effin’ affect or affin’ effect or affin’ affect. BTW, what’s a humpageddon? A pornmanteau. Take it, it’s yours. The good news is when Frazier did hit a home run, he hit them a long way (average distance was 403 feet). He was right there at the top of the league for guys who averaged the longest distance per home run. When he hit six homers (this past) September in only 88 ABs, it showed the player he can be every month.” And that’s me quoting me! Still, love Frazier, unlike a lot of you since he’s only owned in 50% of leagues. I’d absolutely grab him if he were available in my league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I take a look at my life and realize there’s nothin’ left
Cause I’ve been toutin and praisin Domonic so long,
That even Grey and Jay(Wrong) think that my mind is gone
But I ain’t never praised a man that didn’t deserve it
“Sir” Dom or Beddict treated like a punk? you know that’s unheard of
You better watch how you manage and how you baller block.
Or you and your staff  gonna be given your papers to walk
I really hate to trip but I gotta loc
As Mayberry chokes, I see myself in the Payote smoke, fool
I’m the kinda writer/model the little homies wanna be like
On my knees sacrificing goats every night saying prayers to the Elder Gods in the streetlight
Been Speeeeending most my life, livin’ in the Models/strippers/writers Paradise!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As the seminal prog band Emerson, Lake and Laura Palmer once sang: “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside.” (The song went on for 45 minutes before ‘Yes’ came out and kicked their ass.) Opening day is here and the Razzball Lounge is open for bid’ness. Have a seat, grab a cold one and a pickled egg, and don’t get hypnotized by my bedazzled turban my fantasy freaks. Here in the lounge we dedicated, often celebrated, and usually acquitted (we have a great legal team) Razzballin’ scribes gather every opening day to bicker and banter, indulge and imbibe and moan and marvel at our fantasy teams and Grey’s magnificent ‘stache. On this last lazy Sunday (before things get serious) we find Sky in a dark corner slowing rocking back and forth muttering his mantra of “Tulo, Tanaka, Trumbo” over and over. Bellying up to the bar is podcasting paladin Nick Capozzi, clad only in his Expos throwback demanding another Labatts, showing off pics of his rolling Razzball ride and asking no one in particular, “Get your 32in32in32 tickets yet, eh?” Dropping quarters in the jukebox we find Jay Wrong demonstrating his “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” interpretative dance – “Will you love me forever?”  *bottle smashes above head* Stumbling out of the ladies room is the one and only Tehol Beddict casually zipping up his skinny jeans and introducing his new lady friend, “Guys, I’d like to introduce you to my cousin. Ain’t she pretty?” And here at the pool table is your humble-but-nonetheless handsome Guru putting the finishing touches on my 27 rosters. *closes eye, takes aim, sinks eight ball off two rails, drops shot glass into pint, downs boilermaker, lights cigar, sets turban on fireWith the drinks starting to flow let’s run though the jams and crams at each position for Week 1 of the 2014 fantasy baseball season. We’re not talking Miggy, Trout or Goldy here, we’re looking at players owned in less than 50% of most leagues that could help grab you an early lead on your way to fantasy glory. Good luck this season, it’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There’s SAGNOF – now there’s BGLIF or BABIPGLIF.

B(ABIP)GLIF = BABIP’s Got Little Face. As you delve into players for your drafts and you see a surprising glorious batting average from last year, ensure you validate it. Use Razzball Fantasy Baseball BABIP vs. Average Comparison. I’ll point out some sleepers below using this method.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

J7WzY4N

Most exciting thing to happen at spring training thus far.

Can the season start already? Spring training has all the excitement of watching The Bachelor finale through the holes in a cracker. Basically, your humble-but-nonetheless-superstitious Guru spends spring training lighting candles, arranging antlers True Detective-style and just praying guys I’ve already drafted don’t strain a bursa sac or meet the Yellow King mowing the outfield. With only a handful of RCL drafts completed – including the writers league – the fun is just getting started. Let’s fire up the jammer crammer machine ©, get to the hot corner and take a look at third baseman ranked outside ESPN’s top 100 players. The third base position is a whole lot of Pam Anderson kind of top heavy with the flat girls and their nice personalities stuck in the middle and the cross dressers in the back – sounds like the worst New Orleans strip club ever. If you miss out on the stacked guys like Miguel Cabrera, Evan Longoria or Adrian Beltre don’t panic, just make sure you’re stuffing dollar bills into the g-strings of David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman and or Josh Donaldson’s. Now if you pass on one of those guys too it might be time to take up morning drinking and fantasy NASCAR. Dale Earnhardt Jr. goes left really well – that’s it for my racing analysis. There’s only six third baseman in the top 100 and the guys that immediate follow test the gag reflex in a way that is not at all exciting – Aramis Ramirez *hiccup*, Pedro Alvarez *burp* and Brett Lawrie *gets bucket*. I’m passing on those guys and waiting a little longer like it’s almost last call in the Razzball Lounge – we’re holding out for something better. I’ll risk a late CI pick on a young skank like Todd Frazier that tries hard before I wake up next to the eager lady that looks like Mike Moustakas who rolls over in the morning to say, “Let’s play jam it or cram it.”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If I am correct on my predictions, the NL pennant race will be a fun one.  I see three teams with playoff potential, and a fourth that is just shy of it.  Sorry San Diego fans, this isn’t your year. [Ed. Note -- JERK!]  Good news though, the Chinese calendar says it is going to be the year of the Tony Gwynn soon. [Ed. Note -- I take it back. Sorta.] (You can check out the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?