As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Before a big test, my high school history teacher would always announce that it would “separate the Dukes from the Chiefs.” Since he liked to be known as Chief, and he called everyone he liked Chief, I’m assuming that this meant that the “Chiefs” were the good guys. Then again, Chief also liked to transport himself back to ‘Nam sometimes, stalking around the classroom looking for “Charlie.” The weirdest thing? I’m not even sure he was in ‘Nam.

Anywho, this legendary teacher from my youth came to mind as I was writing this week’s Two Startapalooza because at Week 4, we’re starting to be able to separate the Dukes from the Chiefs.

As in, it’s obvious that Darvish, King Felix and James Shields are still Chiefs. Yordano Ventura and Julio Teheran are looking like Chiefs. Cliff Lee, who was starting to look a little Duke-ish to me, is still pretty much a Chief. David Price, a surefire Chief a few years ago, is very much a Duke right now.

It’s becoming a lot easier to fill out the Third Tier and Don’t Starts, because we know who is a Duke and who is not. And to get in the Must Start category, you are most certainly a Chief or you have two starts against the Astros next week.

Aight, Chief, let’s get to it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“I know it was you, Alfredo, you broke my heart–because I should have picked you up yesterday. You’re nothing to me now. Not a brother, not a friend–but, I’ll admit you may be an intriguing add in fantasy baseball this week.” Michael Corleone’s words for his fantasy team are harsh but true. Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon continued his streak of success yesterday, pitching six scoreless innings versus the Cubs, allowing just six base runners and striking out three. Coming off the heels of an eight inning gem last week against Tampa, where he allowed just one run and struck out four, Alfredo now has pitched 21.0 innings, allowing just 2 ER and 13 hits, while grabbing two wins. It looks like he’ll stick in the rotation while Mat Latos is on the shelf. Simon’s sparkling 0.86 ERA is good for top 3 in the league, and the 0.81 WHIP sure is purdy. But before you go racing to the waiver wire dropping your Stephen Strasburgs or your R.A. Dickeys for this guy, just wait a second. Because I didn’t say Simon says? Got ya! I know. Bad. I’m sorry. Anyway, let’s examine if Simon says  you should grab Alfredo or not. If we look closer into the starts, it’s a small sample size but we get the sense he’s been pretty lucky so far, and not just because he’s faced the Mets, Rays and Cubs. Simon’s .194 BABIP is good for top 10 in the league. Along with a 3.14 FIP (3.90 xFIP) and an insane 94.3 LOB% we have a ton a nerdy stats that say major regression coming. Translation: Alfredo is probably gonna get sauced. Mama mia! That’s not to say that those numbers are not still very good. After moving to Cincinnati from Baltimore, Simon was awesome in relief, with a 2.76 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in two years from 2012-2013, way above his career averages (3.98 ERA and 1.33 WHIP). And he’s been extremely efficient as a starter this year as his 13.4 pitches thrown per inning (roughly 3.5 per batter) shows. Doode is doing work. The 13/4 K/BB ratio is nothing special, but he is working efficiently in his starts, going deep into games. So Simon says, if you need a streamer you can grab AlFredo for his next start in Pittsburgh. He’s under 20% owned, and he’s making us an offer we can’t refuse. Ride this hot streak out for now, but if he’s ready to sleep with the fishes don’t hesitate to take him out to the middle of Lake Tahoe and take care of business.

Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This should go down easier than Danny Salazar‘s last start, but it’s still not going to be that easy to digest. You have a Tums handy? Good, take like seven of them. Don’t worry, if they give you kidney stones, it will take your mind off of K-Zar. Something is wrong. I hypothesized that he was tipping his pitches last time. It didn’t make sense that he would strikeout more guys in four innings than anyone has ever while still getting rocked. Maybe he is, I still have no idea. I don’t have my degree from the University of Pitch Scouting, which is still in a heated lawsuit with the United Parcel Service. You should sign the online petition for the United Parcel Service to change to the acronym NBU for Nice Brown Uniforms. If an online petition can’t get something changed, what can? Member when people actually protested things and not just clicked a box on an online petition site? Those in-person protestors were silly! Any the hoo! A larger problem with K-Zar is his velocity is down. Still decent for most mortals, but he could be hiding a larger issue with his arm. The other day when he K’d ten guys in four innings, it might’ve masked a bigger problem. Yesterday’s start was a real eye-opener — 4 2/3 IP, 5 ER and only 3 Ks — is terrible. That’s not tipping pitches, that’s something is wrong. The final ruling on K-Zar is you should hold him if you can, but I don’t think the short-term is going to be pretty. Obviously, you can’t start him next time out or until he throws a decent start. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello, Total Fiasco, it’s nice of you to join us. Can I just call you Total? You prefer your full name? Can I get you anything, Total Fiasco? Bullpens scrambling? Real baseball managers pulling their hair out? Fantasy managers wishing they had hair to pull out? How about I just give Jim Johnson the ball and step out of the way? That should be to your liking. While you’re waiting for a meltdown, here’s a hot towel for your face. So, the A’s announced they would move to a closer committee. The only thing ever done better by committee? Spice in jerk seasoning. The A’s have the luxury of a few options: Luke Gregerson, Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle, which makes things harder for fantasy. Much easier if there’s one great handcuff and then junk behind him. I’d pick up the A’s relievers in the order I listed them. Saves could very well be divvied up with a little Gregerson, a little Cook and a little Doo. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Our first full slate of games and two closers lost jobs. Mother Nature and/or Al Gore (if they’re different people), how is climate different than weather if both lead to a closepocalypse? An interested party is curious. It was a bit before concussions were in vogue, but did anyone ever check Robin Ventura for a concussion when he got cantalouped by Nolan Ryan? Cause he just lamebrained up my fantasy teams by naming Matt Lindstrom the closer– Um, Grey? What’s up, Random Italicized Voice? When Addison Reed was traded in December, you said, “White Sox GM Rick Hahn named Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom, Scott Downs and Daniel Webb as possible replacements. Due to Scott Downs’ Syndrome, Downs is out of the mix. Jones will be a favorite by fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) due to his ability to strike guys out, but I’m guessing Lindstrom will end up with the job due to that hard-to-put-your-finger-on-it closer experience quality.” And that’s me quoting you! DAH!!! I got wrapped in the allure of a young, sexy closer and forgot where my butter pickles were buttered! I imagine this shituation will get worse before it gets better, so if you have room, I’d hold Jones for now, but you should absolutely pick up Lindstrom in all leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

As esteemed Creed frontman Scott Stapp once sang: “Let’s play ball, it’s game day. We want strikeouts, base hits, duhbull plays.”

We should be havin’ a party, ya’ll. It’s the year’s first Two-Startapalooza!!

But yet something feels missing. With Clayton Kershaw out, it’s like Hendrix didn’t make it to Monterey Pop. With Yu Darvish out, it’s like Pearl Jam skipped Lollapalooza ’92. With Patrick Corbin gone for the year, it’s like, well, it’s like the Spin Doctors skipped Woodstock ’94. You get the idea.

Plenty of great double-dippers this week, though, so let’s get to it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As of right now, is anything in this endless universe more scorching hot that Matthew McConaughey? When you take into account his performance in the criminally underrated film, Mud, his epic scene stealing performance in, The Wolf of Wall Street, which was possibly the greatest part of the movie which one would think impossible considering the countless classic scenes that Wall Street has within, and his Oscar winning performance in the true story of, The Dallas Buyers Club, the answer is a resounding, NO! There is none hotter.  Oh yea, I almost forgot to mention, Matty Ice, tag teaming viewers into submission along with partner, and legend in his own right, Woody Harrelson, in the undeniable classic series, True Detective. If his Oscar speech didn’t prove to you that this man cannot be touched right now, then you may want to go see a doctor, for you are clinically insane.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s official because we don’t deal in unofficial. Whatever that means. Which is nothing, if you’re wondering. But it does make the post feel more important. Delusions of grandeur? That’s my life story bro. And that also might describe the life story of many here who reside at Razzball HQ. Which is basically our basement. With bountiful supplies of Hot Pockets and Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Oh, wait, nevermind. Sky called, he want’s his everything back. Jokes on you buddy. I’m keeping the Hot Pockets. So, where were we? Oh, that’s right, delusions of grandeur… and Hot Pockets, it happens to the best of us. And that’s why we make these picks. Because we think we’re right all the time. Except for me. I’m just very wrong. But don’t let that stop you from looking at our well-thought out (maybe) picks for this upcoming 2014 season. (Now with more Grey and Rudy!) We all can’t write a 1500 word exposé on these players, so you get this nifty assortment where you’ll gain a general sense of which players we like and which we don’t. All in a simple box for you to stare and giggle at. Kind of like what you normally would do if you were looking at Tehol.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 Blue Jays Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Tom Daker from Bluebird Banter.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A trio of players were Razzball comment section regulars last year due in large part to their phallic-referencing, chuckle-inducing monikers. Coincidentally, all three have outlooks that are pointing up for the 2014 season.

Let’s start with B.J. Upton. This one’s easy, since it will be virtually impossible for him to not top .184/9/26/12 and an OPS of .557. The guy snagged 30-plus bases five seasons in a row and has flashed 30-30 potential. Bro Justin Upton is in the same outfield, so clearly the talent’s innate and all he has to do is cut down on the whiffs and tap into it, right? Right?

Please, blog, may I have some more?