Since the All-Star break, Joey Votto is hitting .399 with a .576 OBP.  His season line is 27 HRs, 70 RBIs, 81 runs, slashing .316/.457/.567.  Or as Reds manager, Bryan Price, would say, “I want to sew a sock puppet in Votto’s likeness, then put it on my c*** and–”  Okay, maybe we shouldn’t ask Bryan Price, he can’t keep things PG-13.  “PG-13 is for a man with a Cavapoo puppy.  Real men take their Votto-faced, sock puppet and pay an old stripper to suck its f****** yarn until those little f******** eye rolly glue-on things that you bought at Michaels Arts & Crafts store roll up into its f******* sock eye sockets.”  Yesterday, Votto had another big day in a 2nd half of lovely — 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 27th homer.  To recap, or just tell you for the first time, Rudy almost drafted Votto in the 2nd round of Tout Wars (it’s an OBP league).  Rudy ended up getting Donaldson and is in first place, so I’ll be sure to bid a penny on eBay for the world’s smallest violin for him.  But for 2016 fantasy, I have to think Votto is right there in the 2nd round again for all leagues, OBP or not.  Good for Joey, making pitchers ‘roo the day!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As we always do about this time!  *beat drops, Grey does the worm, Grey’s iPhone alarm goes off, time to put more money in the meter*  Damn, how long was I worming for?  September 1st hits and teams expand their rosters to the Four-Oh.  Now pour some extra bullpen guys out for all the dead moments between pitcher changes.  So, what does this mean for all of us, fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!)?  It means call-ups and rookie nookie is aplenty.  Aplenty, I tell ya!  By the by, for big boned people, rather than an X-Large t-shirt, they should call them aplen-Tees.  Yeah, I just made the English language better.  High-five yourself for even knowing to read me.  *Grey worms, alarm goes off*  Damn, I need to get more coins.  At this point in the year, you need guys that are getting everyday playing time, so I’m pumped up the jam on Javier Baez (0-for-4) being called up — Javier Na Gila! — but if he’s not playing every day, he’s not helping me in redraft leagues.  I’m intrigued by Brandon Drury (0-for-4), but I’m also hesitant if he doesn’t play every day.  Hector Olivera (0-for-4) was called up, and I’ve already gave you my Hector Olivera fantasy and I do think he plays every day.  It’s a most exciting time to be alive and be fantasy balling, but don’t lose sight of the real goal here.  To get quality at-bats from guys that are playing, not to pick up a guy that will be great in 2016.  (Unless you’re in a keeper league; then, by all means, knock yourself out!  Not literally!  Ouch.)  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Did you ever wonder why, back in your school days, that there was no “E” grade? What happened to “E”? The apparent reason for the lack of an “E” grade is because most systems are based on four passing grades. “A”, “B”, “C” and “D”. After these passing grades come failure, and since failure starts with the letter “F”, “F” is used to denote a failure. It’s really quite simple. It just happens to be that “F” is the sixth letter, but had it been the tenth or even the last, an “F” would still be used to let you know that you just flunked. Someone who fails is a failure. Does that make someone that flunks a flunky? I actually had a teacher one year, I think it was the 7th grade, that incorporated “E” into his grading system. It was actually higher than an “A”, if that makes sense, and stood for “excellent”. I always thought that was an A+. I’m pretty sure that teacher was a major pothead. I liked him. I had an entirely different teacher that had a completely different set of grades that included an “E”. In this class it stood for “exceeds expectations”. There was no “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” or “F”. Instead we had “E”, “M” and “N”. The latter two standing for “meets expectations” and “needs improvement”.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*swirls a glass, takes a gulp. spits it back in a bucket*  “That’s vintage Justin Verlander,” said Kate Upton.  “Okay, this might sound gross, but can you spit into my mouth?”  That’s you getting up the nerve to say something to Kate Upton.  I just thought of a moneymaking idea for Shark Tank!  You stand outside of Comerica Park with a cardboard cutout of a naked Verlander and have people pay $10 to take a picture with him, pretending to be Kate Upton.  Oh, and no, this post isn’t an attempt to Bleacher Report up Google’s rankings by mentioning Verlander and Upton repeatedly, though it does seem that way…Verlander/Upton, Verlander/Upton and Verlander/Upten for the illiterates.  So, Verlander did look magnificent yesterday until the 8th inning when he began to tire, ending up with a one hitter –> 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners (1 Hit), 9 Ks with an ERA at 3.45.  Big Magoo captured Verlander’s upside about two weeks ago with this post.  Worth reading, but the key part (cause I know, y’all can only read so much), “Since the All-Star break, Verlander’s 7.25 K/BB ratio is the 5th highest among qualified starting pitchers, and his 1.1 BB/9 is the 6th lowest.  He shares the same swinging strike rate (12.1%) as Jake Arrieta and Gerrit Cole over that span as well.  Now, excuse me as I go drain the weasel on a picture of Grey.”  Hey, wait a minute!  I didn’t remember that last part.  So, if Verlander is out there in your league, the one-hitter yesterday doesn’t seem to be a hirame.  Sorry, I just had sushi.  It’s not a fluke.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In 1847 in Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson said “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”. He actually said more than that, but I have taken just those words. Did I just start out my fantasy baseball post with a partial Emerson quote about goblins?! For some reason I apparently have. In one of my preseason rants, I said something about consistency being key. I’d much rather have a hitter that scores about the same number of points each week, than one that is hit or miss. For example, over a five week span, I’d rather have my hitter get 20 points a week than have him score 5 the first week, 45 the second week, 5 week three, 5 week four and 40 in the fifth week. While the two 40-point weeks are awesome, the 5-point weeks are awful. That might now have been the best example, but I believe it sufficient enough to get my point across.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Late bloomers can be found pretty much anywhere you look. Do you remember that Jose Altuve-like kid in junior high who was at least six inches shorter than the next tallest boy in the class? I know I do. That kid is 6’5″ now. (Apologies to the real Altuve who might never experience the thrill of riding a roller coaster). If you’re a film buff, you’re probably aware that Harrison Ford was toiling away in obscurity until his mid-30s when Star Wars hit it big, and Sandra Bullock followed a similar career path with Demolition Man and Speed. In the sports world, there are several post-hype and un-hyped players who break out each year, such as Josh Donaldson, JD Martinez, and Charlie Blackmon over the last few years. Is Chris Coghlan one of those players this season?

Let’s take a look at Coghlan’s career statistics to see how he’s evolved offensively over the years:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One of the statistics that a lot of daily fantasy players look at is Weighted On-Base Average, or wOBA for short. wOBA attempts to credit extra base hits and find the statistical balance between the values of all the possible ways to get on base. This number attempts to show the true value of a hitter, or pitcher, in its form.

Daily fantasy players look at wOBA but more specifically they look at what the wOBA is in terms of the handedness of the pitcher they are facing. Most players, as we know, will do better against the opposite handedness of pitcher. Examples are that Lefties hit Righties better and vice versa.

So to see who might have the best advantages for a given night, one would look at the combination of how the SP fares against the different handedness of pitchers and how the hitters fare against those pitchers.

For example, Wednesday’s games have a couple of LHP going and some of these guys can really hammer left-handed pitching. Goldschmidt, for example, will go against J.A. Happ, who is left-handed and is okay overall against right-handed hitters. Goldy, though, has a massive .479 wOBA against lefties. For context, Josh Donaldson, another known lefty hammer, has a .439 wOBA against lefties and the league average for wOBA overall is around .315.

So, even though Goldy’s price tag is high, you might want to make sure you find a way to get him in the lineup against lefties. The splits say so.

The same goes for SP. Keuchel gets the Rays who are tough on the road against LHP but Dallas has a remarkable .249 wOBA at home this season. LHP Adam Morgan, who we will call out a couple of times below, has a .358 wOBA against righties. For comparison, Keuchel, also left-handed, has a more reasonable .284 wOBA against righties.

So look around, find some winning matchups and win all the monies! Good luck!

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! 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?

David Peralta (+25.8%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball this past week. Crotalus atrox (aka the Western diamondback rattlesnake) is widely considered to be the most dangerous snake in North America, but since the MLB All-Star break, another Diamondback has given that species a run for it’s money as far as that distinction goes. In 27 second half games (101 PA), Peralta has been on an absolute tear, producing a .409/.446/.677 triple slash line (1.123 OPS – tied for 4th best in MLB) with 12 runs, 4 homers, 25 RBI, and 1 steal. Sure, Peralta’s .500 BABIP over that span might come down a hair (or three) over the long haul, but he’s been an RBI machine (64) while hitting cleanup behind one of the best hitters in baseball (Paul Goldschmidt, in case you’re having a brain fart), and has managed to put up solid power numbers (12 HR, .222 ISO) and a plus batting average (.306) over the course of the season. While Chase Field has been one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks over the past few seasons, Peralta has been almost as good on the road (.874 OPS) as he has been at home (.926 OPS) this season as well. He still sits against tough left-handed pitchers and had some split issues last season, but he’s at least held his own against southpaws this year (.286/.375/.411 in 64 PA). Grab him if he’s still available, but make sure to bring some anti-venom just in case. Those diamondbacks pack a wallop!

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

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Remember that hit song from Back to the Future? Yeah I remember it a little too well. As a child of the 1980’s I watched the movie numerous times. I remember getting anxious seeing Biff chasing Marty on his skateboard, anticipating horse manure falling all over him. Ahhh, the memories…. But it’s not a song that originated from Back to the Future. The next time you’re watching Name that Tune, you’ll know that Johnny B. Goode was performed by Chuck Berry in 1959. Today, I’m drumming to the beat of Johnny Cueto. Of today’s DFS pitchers, Cueto has the best BAA, .197, and the best WHIP, 0.93. Sure, most of his success this season has come against the National League, but I saw what a rock star he was last week when making his first career home start in Kansas City against the Tigers. Johnny was rock’n and rolling on the mound, literally. The controversial shimmy during his windup made the Royals’ fans twist and shout. I definitely think that the advantage goes to Cueto when facing American League teams from here on out in 2015. It’ll be a harder adjustment for a hitter to face a pitcher they haven’t seen much of in their career, rather than Cueto having to adjust to which pitches batters have success with in the strike zone. Shimmy on down and check out the rest of my DraftKings picks for today.

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?

Gerrardo Parra is one of the least sexy guys to own in baseball. He’s isn’t particularly flashy, with no outstanding one category skill and he doesn’t have a cool name (Saltalamacchia or Gregorius, for instance). These are serious marks against him. But, it looks like Parra is on the move to Baltimore, where he should slot into an improved lineup, with the likes of Adam Jones, the smoldering-hot Chris Davis, and Manny Machado. Parra has been very under the radar this season but has a fantastic .326/.367/.517 triple slash with 9 bombs and 7 legs on the year. Parra is probably owned in your league, as he is available in just over 25% of ESPN leagues. His OBP since the ASG is third-best in baseball at .512, behind only The Earth Shaker (Joey Votto) and Au Shizz (Paul Goldschmidt). So, if he is out there, I’d gobble up Parra right away, as his .365 OBP could be legit. This is a guy that could be breaking out as a player at age 28. He should get into the mid-teens in both power and speed (15/15 is doable).

Please, blog, may I have some more?