“What’s it short for?  Ya know, like Rosstopher?”  ”Just Ross!”

I had cautious optimism heading into the year for Tyson Ross, and he looked pretty wild early on.  And not the good kind of wild.  No one in San Diego is wearing Wild Thing-Ross T-Shirts.  I caught most of his debut against the Dodgers, and he didn’t look right.  Hitchy delivery, lower velocity, and terrible control.  Since he was fringy anyway, in the one league I owned him (deeper 10-team), I cut him loose for some scrub closer.  I don’t even know who, probably Matt Lindstrom, who at least vultured a win for me yesterday.

Anyway, I saw Ross was bad again in his second effort, racking up 9 walks to only 9 Ks through two games, somehow escaping with a 4.50 ERA because he piled up 6 unearned runs.  Needless to say, I was pretty content to ignore him, but yesterday he turned it around against the offensively-charged Tigers.  Since it’s still early, maybe he had an early mechanical issue that got worked out, and he’s back to picking up where 2013 left off.  So I decided to break down his start, and see if he needs to be scooped off waivers in leagues where he was dropped or undrafted:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Kolten Wong has received the Grey seal of approval from the BUY column, but I’d like to take a minute to talk about his wheels, considering he’s owned in less than 20 percent of ESPN leagues. He’s hitting higher in the batting order for the Cardinals now, and has stolen three bases in the past week. He’s also hot, riding a six-game hit streak entering today. Wong stole 26 and 23 bases in the last two years respectively, so 20 steals is a safe bet, especially if he can gain some more at-bats from hitting towards the top of the lineup. Last year at Triple-A Memphis, Wong stole 20 bags and was only caught once. He’ll draw the Brewers and Nationals this week. Both have been stingy in allowing stolen bases so far this season, so Wong might not have an easy go of it. Over the Wong haul, though, I like him for 20 steals the rest of the way. Here’s some of this week’s steals plays…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My fantasy roster is like Rick and his Walking Dead gang, just waiting around to be fattened up for the slaughter in that train car. Doesn’t Daryl have a hidden crossbow? Feel free to kill off Beth though. Currently my team has lost Cole Hamels and David Robertson. Not too bad, but couple that with the injuries to Adrian Beltre, Andrew McCutchen and Yasiel Puig, and my team is on the verge of doing a Hershel. I feel like we should cue up that cheesy music they play at the Oscars when they pay tribute to those stars that died over the past year. Last week, the fantasy world lost Josh Hamilton (smattering of applause), Matt Moore (gasps) and Avisail Garcia (men openly weeping). Just bury them with all the other guys still on the DL – Clayton Kershaw (at least he’s throwing again), Matt Latos (skipping rehab start this week, uh-oh) and Jose Reyes (was born on the disabled list). Add Troy Tulowitzki (quad), Adrian Beltre (quad), Koji Uehara (shoulder quad), and Joe Nathan (dead arm quad) to the walking wounded list as well (guys hurtin’ but not DL’d) and we have a World War Z-sized fantasy apocalypse. Injuries are expected every year, but does it seem like there are more this season? Can I blame instant replay? Harold Reynolds? Someone or something is responsible. Quick, get Bartolo Colon to throw some stem cells in the Gatorade. I hear that helps. *note to self: Pitch embryonic energy drink to Gatorade, make millions, get killed by pro-life crusaders.* It’s time to bring in the fantasy reinforcements. Let’s scour the waiver wire for players owned 50% or less in most leagues and see if we can cure what’s ailing our battered and broken roster. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Most of the league’s top aces took the hill last night, but none were more impressive than the Padres’ Andrew Cashner, who threw a one-hit shutout, tossing 108 pitches against the ferocious Tigers, walking just two and striking out 11. That’s straight Cashner, homey! Randy Moss would be proud. Cashner’s shutout was the first of the season in all of baseball, and just the second of his career. He now holds a 1.29 ERA and 0.81 WHIP with 22 Ks through three starts. It’s gotta be that beard, right? You don’t have to tell Razzball nation about the magic of facial hair, see: Albright, Grey. Mystic whiskers aside, Cashner was money Friday night, surrendering just the one hit to Rajai Davis (breaking up his perfect game in the 6th), and striking out Miguel Cabrera to end the game. Yes, that Miguel Cabrera! I’ve always been high on Cashner, and I owned him everywhere last year, so naturally, I own him no where this year. After last night, I might have to hit the trade market, because if I can’t own him, no one should! “I want a Golden Andrew Cashner Goose now, daddy!” Andrew has had injury issues in the past, but he has always been solid when healthy, and with high a 90′s fastball that can hit the triple digits, doode throws some serious cheese. The key with Cashner remains his aforementioned health; if he stays healthy, I could see 12-14 wins, 160 Ks and some solid ratios. That kind of Cashner can pay off big for your fantasy team.

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

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It may only be for two games, but Dee Gordon draws a nice match-up against the Tigers to start the week. Gordon is already in mid-season SAGNOF form, hitting over .400 with 3 steals entering Sunday’s game. Alex Avila can’t catch a cold. In 2013 he caught base stealers at a 17% clip. That was well below the 28% league average. Word on the street is that he spent the off-season catching up on Breaking Bad and True Detective instead of working on his times to second base, so here’s hoping the good times continue. Tuesday’s probable starter Anibal Sanchez gave up a steal every seven innings pitched last year and the battery should be an easy target for a speedster like Gordon. I found the info on Sanchez using the new SB Rates vs. SP tool here at Razzball. It’s a big help when deciding which pitcher’s to target for stolen bases in your daily match-ups.

There was a tear in the fabric of the SAGNOF universe during Opening Week. Pedro Alvarez stole a base off of Yadier Molina while Billy Hamilton was caught. Black is white. up is down. We’ve gone through the looking glass, folks. Seriously though, Hamilton looks lost. Good thing we have SAGNOF options for all of us schlubs who didn’t draft him in the first five rounds. Here are this week’s steals plays…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There really is no place like home if you play for the Rockies. Charlie Blackmon aka Chuck Nazty knows this better than anyone, and helped Colorado drop 12 runs on Arizona last night at Coors. Now slashing .563/.588/.938 on the early season, Blackmon admits his nickname hasn’t caught on quite like he hoped yet, but that’s because it’s a terrible nickname. I ain’t mad at cha, and if you keep having games this this we’ll call you whatever you want! Chuck Nazty was perfect yesterday, going 6-for-6, with 3 doubles, a 2-run home run, 4 runs and 5 RBI as the Rox managed 13 hits in their home opener. Now you know Carlos Gonzalez wasn’t about to get overshadowed on opening day, he’s the real Chuck Nazty, if anyone is. CarGo added 4 RBI and 2 hits, including a 2-run jack and free tacos for the entire state of Colorado! Every-body-gets-a-taco! Something tells me after Colorado’s new legislation, they’re going to be needing all the tacos they can get. Chuck Nazty, legalization, and free tacos? Get in the car, honey, we’re moving! By the way, I call my laptop “Honey.” Anyway, it’s probably not a stretch to say that Rockies fans are pretty high on Blackmon after today. Ha, that’s the title! Well, don’t light up your celebratory doobies just yet, Centennial Staters. Despite the huge day, Blackmon remains in a platoon in a crowded outfield featuring Corey Dickerson, who is a also a fairly exciting prospect, but perhaps Blackmon’s stellar play will force Walt Weiss to play him consistently. For now, C. Nazty could provide decent streaming value, especially when he’s a mile high. He managed a .309 average in 82 games in 2013 and after a strong spring he is a hot little potato right now and could be worth the speculative add while he’s hitting.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So apparently as of this writing, Draftkings just doesn’t want us to have a full day of games. I went to check and see if I could build a lineup with Max Scherzer, but then I’m stuck with only three or four games to choose from. But when I pick the bigger slate, we’re stuck with good but not the best options on this fine baseball day. What’s a player to do? Well, adjust sucka! Sorry, that was out of line. I try and avoid short slates as it leads too weird lineups winning out, especially in big GPP leagues. So I’m gonna take my 11 games and stay sad I can’t get in on Mad Max while I do it. Tears…oh well, there are still some good things to find. And one play that I’ve been trumpeting since I wrote a Fantasy Sleeper post on him would be Tyson Ross. Said Ross has a few things going for him. One, he’s pitching in a pitcher friendly park. Deux, he finished 2013 looking downright sexy. Thricely, the Dodgers and Padres have combined to score nine runs in two games. That’s runs total for both teams if you’re having a hard time picking up what I’m putting down. So while I can’t promise you a win, the runs should stay low and hopefully the K’s get high and for the fun low price of $7,400, you don’t have to break the bank to get in on it and go buy Scherzer! Damn, forgot…Y U NO ALL GAMES, DK?!? Oh well, just like you can’t hug every cat, you can’t get all the games you want on DK sometimes. C’est la Daily Fantasy Baseball I guess. Speaking of full slates, don’t forget to reserve your spot for the Razzball Draftkings Contest this Friday. Now I WOULD put a 50/50 here for everyone to hop in on but yesterday…well let’s just say that Razzball Nation let me down. It’s no biggie, clearly you don’t need me anymore. You’re all grown up…fly away, lesbian seagulls *sniffs*. Wow, that got emotional. Let’s not do that again. Instead, let’s get to picks for 4/2/2014 for Draftkings Daily Fantasy Baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s back to business as usual with the SAGNOF column after an offseason on Team Preview Island. It was awesome. T. Moore [Ed. Note-- Cheater!] and I sipped little umbrella drinks on the beach while we chatted MLB teams. Before we get to this week’s SAGNOF players, I’m afraid I will have to link bomb you, so heads up.

First, if you’re new here, check out this blast from the past. That’s not a YouTube link, I swear. Here’s the 2013 stolen base data for the best and worst catchers to run against. Here’s the SB Rates vs. SP tool. That’s a great tool for us speed freaks that Rudy came up with. I’ll be referring to it in these posts as the season progresses. Finally, there’s a new steals archive page that will house all of these posts. You can also use it to thumb through some of the offseason articles. There, that wasn’t so bad. Moving forward, it’s time for Week 1. This week’s list includes a young man named Abraham Almonte of the Seattle Mariners, who might be Lloyd McClendon’s new favorite toy…

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?

This is the year of the pitcher, it’s so deep that people are even naming their kids deep. But that doesn’t mean you need to wait til the end of your draft to fill out your staff. It means don’t waste your top-3 picks on arms and be wise when you grab a pitcher because you might be able to take a bat and then get a pitcher the next round that is on the same tier as the guy you passed on. I drafted with the writers the other day and wow, that turned out to be one big hangover with a side of blurred vision the next day. I still have no idea how I got this cut on my head.  Two things I learned, don’t drink and draft because you might end up with Michael Saunders in your OF and taketh what the draft giveth’s. Yes, I said it, plans are nice, but don’t miss a great opportunity when something beautiful appears and the guy you had penciled in at that round is also on the board. I don’t mind a few stretches here and there but don’t make it a habit. I’m a best player available drafter, I like to punt the middle infield positions and Catchers can go hang out with kickers on the football side of the site… except you Wilin Rosario, you can come sit next to Big Papa. Here is my all Late-Round Flyer Team, LRFT for short. It’s comprised of guys I like and people that Grey and other Razzball writers like. I’m here to serve them and fill their coffee and weird requests. Sky likes his green skittles separated into a wooden bowl, Guru makes me starch his turbans and JayWrong makes me tag everything that belongs to Nick at the Razzquarters… Best Internship Ever! Here are the guidelines, this is written for the default ESPN style format and the players have to be less than 20% owned and drafted after the 20th round, yup that’s it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?