Guess who’s back?  Back again!  No, that’s not The Greek God of Walks, Kevin Youkilis, sufferer of chronic back pain, singing.  Besides, it’s “who’s back,” not “whose back.”  We’re not trying to identify a back!  Byron Buxton‘s back, baby, yeah.  With every positive reaction, there’s an equal opposite negative reaction, or so said Einstein when he was fiddling with refrigerator magnets.   And the negative reaction to Buxton coming back is Aaron Hicks hit the DL.  Too bad, so sad.  Buxton didn’t do much in his first stint in the majors, but he could be easily as good as Schwarber, Sano or any other rookie nookie that’s got your cookie all melty.  I would grab Buxton in every league.  I’m excited.  Uppercase yay!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s always good to try and see every pitcher that you can.

I’ve never seen Henry Owens pitch, but didn’t think much of him for 2015 with a horrible walk rate in AAA (4.12 per/9).  “Is this strike zone regulation size, or what?!”  But he is a top prospect, reportedly has good stuff, and was decent in his debut against the Yanks.

You never know what you can see at the eye level, and you never know what pitchers might have a fluky bad walk rate in AAA only to find dynamite command in the Majors (cough,  Taylor Jungmann).  So I decided to check out Owens yesterday, to see how he looked on the road against the Tigers in his second MLB start:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m picturing Droopy Dog saying, “Going down,” to my Excitement for Jose Fernandez. My Excitement for J-Fer is hooking up with a strobe light honey at a club, and my Excitement for J-Fer’s friend later tells my Excitement for J-Fer, “She was cute, except for that protruding Adam’s apple.” My Excitement for J-Fer just got a $300 red light camera ticket. My Excitement for J-Fer put the green trash can at the curb the day it was supposed to put the blue can and then puts the black can at the curb the day the green can was supposed to go out. My Excitement for J-Fer exclaims, “Why can’t I even throw out the trash right?!” My Excitement for J-Fer sighs and puts an emoji in its text messages that symbolizes its childhood hero Hulk Hogan being a racist. As you’ve likely heard, Fernandez is out indefinitely with a bicep strain. Hopefully, he can be fine for next spring, i.e., I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t return this year. Otherwise, as the old beer jingle will tell you, J-Fer, the pitcher to draft when you’re DL’ing more than one. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Papelbon, your new Nationals closer

Maybe the worst thing to happen on the trade deadline was something that didn’t happen.  Carter Capps to the Yankees would have been stupendous.  I wanted to see the media and baseball people lose their mind over Capps’ delivery and I think that’s exactly what would have happened had he ended up there.  But the thing that really has fantasy baseball managers in a tizzy is Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals.  As their closer.  (Yeah this old news, Grey and Smokey already beat me to Paplebon/Nationals puns.  Whatever.)  Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Joakim Soria and Jim Johnson are out of their closing job but jobs were created in the form of Ken Giles, Edward Mujica, Alex Wilson, and Arodys Vizcaino.  Now some of us might still be scrambling for players that can get some saves.  Well the Rockies have a closer spot up for grabs.  It sure took long enough, but this is something I’ve been saying would happen since Axford took that role.  Justin Miller, Rafael Betancourt, and Tommy Kahnle are the candidates to close there and that’s the order I would own them in.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At least, that’s what wise men say. Thankfully for both you and I, I’m not one of those…wait, I mean…dammit, nevermind, you know what I mean. I think? Not good to start a recommendation blog off with trepidation but what can I say as I’m going for the unreliable narrator thing. I mean, it worked for Chuck Palahniuk and who doesn’t love the anti-hero Tyler Durden? So while I splice some rated X films into your kids’ movie, lemme tell you a little bit about Chris Rusin. Or better, yet let me tell you about his opponent, the Texas Rangers. Or better than better yet, let me start by saying this: it’s a tourney only call. I know, I know, anything goes in tourneys but hear me out. The Rangers are an impressive offense overall so far this year, especially with how many projected them but there’s one thing they haven’t done well: hit left-handed pitching. For the year, the Rangers have K’d 22.9% of the time vs southpaws and just got sat down by Keuchel on Sunday as he went 7 and struck out 13 while only giving up 2 hits. Would I expect that from Rusin on Monday? Hells to the no, children, but I expect the opportunity for at least 5 to 6 innings and perhaps 7 punch outs. Given the low ownership he’ll garner and the minimal price tag of $4,800, Chris opens the doors to flood your lineup with all of the best bats in the prime spots…ya know, like Colorado, where he’s pitching. It’s a gamble but it’s not one without its merit and I’ll be sure to be the fool that’ll Rusin today. But enough about Elvis love songs, let’s get a little more country. Here’s my ring of fire hot takes for the Monday 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?

This is the Saves Ain’t Got No Face “eff the team managers” edition which will give me a chance to both vent and try to deflect blame for bad calls I’ve made.  Joe Maddon of the Cubs decided to go a different route on his closer situation by removing Hector Rondon from the role.  For like three days.  And I make the call that Pedro Strop had a good chance to take over as closer.  Eff Joe Maddon.  Then in Tampa (Joe Maddon’s old team.. coincidence??) the following sequence happened:  1. Brad Boxberger gets dinged, Kevin Jepsen becomes the interim closer, (arguably) leapfrogging Jake McGee in the process.  2. Boxberger came back, blew a save.  3. Jake McGee (seemingly) takes over as closer.  4. Kevin Jepsen notches a (random) save.  5. Brad Boxberger (seemingly) regains closer role.  As of Sunday, the last 15/30 days for Rays Saves is 2/4 for Jepsen, 3/3 for McGee, 3/6 for Boxberger.  Last week I claimed Jake McGee was the new closer.  He gets zero save attempts this week.  Keep reading folks because this is really just the beginning of the latest twist and turns which will leave you wanting to pull out your hair.  (Plus recommendations to follow…)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If Friday, when I last wrote, was the worst pitching day I had ever seen, this one looks fantastic.  Aces abound.  Congrats if you recognize the reference from my title.  One of my favorite movie scenes from a great movie, Rounders.  Classic really, it could be a little overplayed and some may say overrated, but I’m a big fan.  It’s an aces full day and so I’m going to skip to fellas I’ll be looking to pair with my aces.  Some folks will pay up and pair two aces tonight, it’s a matter of your own personal strategy and risk assessment.  Two aces will be more “safe”.  Kluber/Syndergaard will probably be amazing.  Scherzer/Gray, that would most likely be incredible.  However, with a game in Coors and some high priced bats, I’m much more likely to take one lower tier ace (like Syndergaard for instance) and pair him with a cheap upside play, someone such as Mike Foltynewicz.  Mike’s point totals throughout May are a bit of a mixed bag, but his strikeouts are not.  Starting May 6th his K totals are: 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 5.  San Diego is willing to play along as they rank 3rd in MLB in Ks right now.  They’re an all or nothing, HR or strikeout style team a’la the Astros.  For $7,200, I’ll take my chances that tonight is a nothing night  and the kid can rack up the Ks at home.  Let’s look at a couple more value pitchers to pair with our aces.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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?

Finally, the phrase ‘riding my jock’ could be used in the Dodgers’ clubhouse without referencing Alyssa Milano. Joc Pederson went 1-for-3, 2 RBIs with his 15th homer in the 1st game of the doubleheader, then 2-for-5, 2 RBIs with his 16th homer in the 2nd game of the doubleheader. He now has a .260 average to go with the 16 homers and 2 steals. Oh, bee tee dubya, he has 30-steal speed, we just haven’t seen it yet! I don’t even own him and he makes me goose pimply and go humma-humma-humma and get warm and fuzzy and make me want to dip my hand into wax and walk into Madame Tussaud’s and say, “I’m Tom Selleck from the third floor.” How is it even possible I like a guy I don’t own? Am I getting empathic unlike Alice in Luther? This isn’t coming out of nowhere either. He had the PCL’s first and only 30/30 year in 2014. First time in 80 years someone had done that in the PCL. Not since Trout has a player gone from rookie to the first round, but this Joc has the tools! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is the SAGNOF Special “broken record edition” where I repeat things I’ve touched on in the past.  Danny Santana bad.  Rajai Davis good.  But let’s start with: sell Steven Souza.  Why?  So many reasons, but the most important are his 37% K rate and 35.7% HR/FB.  The K rate is bound to come down some, but how much?  32-35% might still be too high for Souza to have great value going forward, once the HR/FB rate regresses. To put that HR/FB rate in perspective, last year’s leader among qualified batters was Jose Abreu, with 26.9%.  Nelson Cruz‘s HR/FB rate was “only” 20.4% last year.  So on the one hand you can be very successful with a much lower HR/FB rate, on the other hand if Souza’s HR/FB rate were halved and we assume that half of his home runs were instead FB outs, his AVG drops from  .238 to .206.  While he can in fact have value with such a low AVG, the problem is, will the Rays send him down?   To look at it another way, think of how low his average might be during a 3-4 week home run drought.  So who to trade for?  If you want a similar type player maybe Charlie Blackmon or Gregory Polanco.  If you need some pitching maybe Jake Arrieta.  In any case, I’m trying to tell you to trade him as a player batting .238 with 10 home runs and 7 stolen bases, because that’s what he’s done.  So if you trade him make sure you get plenty in return because you are assuming the risk that he can lower his K% down to 32%-ish while maintaining a HR/FB of above 20%, because if he can do those things he can be pretty good.  But I don’t think his value will ever be higher than it is right now.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I hear you out there. Wait, something’s not quite right…I see a grainy pic so we’re kinda ok…but where’s the mustache…*squints*…OMG YOU’RE NOT GREY WHAT IS THIS INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE. Look, Grey had a thang, ok? He paged me and asked for coverage. Yes, I’m being literal, he paged me. He’s a bit old school, there’s nothing wrong with that. I showed him my iPhone 6s and how it could translate to Kirundi and make a mean cheese omelette but he said he’d rather ping me with ‘5318008‘. Honestly, I’m totally fine with that but he calls every time afterwards asking me to flip it upside down. Every. Time. Either way, I said I’d cover and here I am, covering the coverage and that leads us to Drew Hutchison. First off, if you own him…ticker shock! Those Houston guys are really good at coming from behind. That’s what she said! Over six innings, Drew gave up two runs while allowing 6 base runners (only one walk), striking out nine. Nine is a nice number when you’re talking about Ks but not as nice as 10. Ten is how many Astros Chris Heston fanned on Tuesday as he threw a complete game two hitter. Heston is close to a 7 K/9 kind of guy, probably a little under. On the one hand, I love Drew so this start has me piqued. On the other hand, the Astros are second in the majors in K rate at 24.6%. On the third hand which is actually Grey’s hand as he takes the pager from me and flips it upside down, Drew looks like a good get for deeper leagues where you can wait on his high K potential, but this shouldn’t move the needle for standard or the RCL. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?