He’s just lucky his name isn’t Kicked-In Nuts Bailey. If you turned a paper into your English prof and named the homer-prone pitcher, Homer Bailey, your prof would say it’s too expository. But the prof might’ve been more forgiving if you hadn’t named the mayor, Billy Gladhand; the police chief, Officer Corruptski and the fro-yo cashier, Barry Tart. It’s almost too ridiculous to be believable what Homer Bailey did yesterday. He gave up two back-to-back homers in two different innings, while also striking out the side. Who are you, Danny Salazar? No, you are not Danny Salazar! You’re supposed to be more reliable! (Oh, and the game was suspended, but you still get all of Bailey’s glorious stats. Lucky you. Or Yu, if Darvish is reading.) If you play in a Benjamin Netanyahu league were xFIP is a category, you’re doing well. Everyone else would like to kill someone. Potentially me since I advocated drafting Bailey. It takes alligator blood to check raise the bettor, but, after he struck out nine in only five innings yesterday (and gave up a shizz load of homers), I’d say now is the time to buy low on Bailey. 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.

Matt Moore is a bust,” fantasy expert Cocker Cockleysworth says. “He got lit up in Spring Training and his walks are way up. Great arm, bad command.”

“Now wait a second,” fantasy analyst Roger Dingleberry says. “This is the same Matt Moore who was an All-Star in 2013 and was so close to Cy Young he got himself a peep show. He went 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA and 143 Ks in 150 innings.”

And so the debate raged on all the way up through the 2014 fantasy draft, where owners got the gas face if they drafted Moore too high, while others were quite pleased to have him fall in their laps later than expected. The war of words kicked up a notch. It got heated. Someone got killed with a trident.

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?

Two weeks ago we looked at the speedsters from 2013 and there were more than a few names on the list that were available on the waiver wire at some point. For deeper leagues and daily fantasy players that need to maximize each and every matchup, even the smallest advantages can mean the difference between a win and a loss. That’s why we focused a lot on matchups this past year, and we’ll do it again in 2014. Even the best base stealers get caught once in a while, so it’s good to know as much as we can about who might be doing the catching before deploying our fantasy lineups. There’s a lot that goes into a stolen base, of course, and the battery of pitcher and catcher is a large piece of the puzzle. Pitchers who are good at holding baserunners can be avoided while pitchers who have a tendency to cough up a lot of steals can be exploited. Here’s how some starters fared in 2013 and over the last three years against the stolen base.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s here!

The $100,000 Sweet Spot is up this Friday (fact!) and we’re ready to have a Razzballer take da paper!  If you’ve won one of our past 5 Play With Rudy contests, looking at you CramIt and Margaret (sorry I left out other winners, I got depressed and drank my sorrows away with a Crown & Coke in the other contests [and enough with the wasting delicious Crown with Coke - it's damn tasty OK!]), then you’re looking at a $20,000 pay day if you can top the field this week.  I think I just set a record of the most hyperlinks I’ve ever put in a paragraph…

Anywho, with the Sweet Spot taking the spotlight front and center, we’ve got no Razzball exclusive contest this week… But you can still play all sorts of satellites to get your Sweet Spot ticket, and I’ll tweet out and shoot up a comment Friday morning with the Daily Dollar I’ll be playing in on Friday Night (I’m broke as a joke!) to keep the Friday DraftKings spirit alive for those of us just plain not good enough to win that Sweet Spot ticket…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

First off, Jose Iglesias is gone. The less intelligent Red Sox fan screams bloody murder like Schilling’s sock, “But Julio Iglesias was batting .400 after ten games about two weeks ago! His name’s Julio, right? RIGHT?!” The intelligent Sawx fan screams, “Does this mean Xander Bogaerts is coming up?!” The drunk Sawx fan screams, “We’re fine with this trade no mahder what ‘cuz Jackie Bradley Jr. wok’d three times in his first game! I need more Sammy A!” The Sawx fan who doesn’t play fantasy says, “Um, what about Jake Peavy?” The Sawx fan who does play fantasy says, “His value doesn’t change with this trade, maybe a few more wins.” The drunk Sawx fan butts in, “I’m going to the packie, you wahnt anything?” The less intelligent Red Sox fan says, “I’ll take a packie of Pahl Mahls.” Then the drunk Sawx fan shakes his head, “Yah more stoned than Robert Parrish.” Then Will Middlebrooks says, “Hey, I could get called up instead of Bogaerts.” Then all the Sawx fans in unison say, “Shaddup!” So, Iglesias goes to the Tigers, which is a solid landing spot for him. He’s known for his defense, which puts his fantasy value at slim to anorexic, unless you have a Web Gems category in your league. He’ll act as insurance for when the steroid hammer drops on Jhonny Peralta. Avisail Garcia goes to the White Sox, and he’s a light hitting corner outfielder who will probably take over once Rios is moved. Bogaerts or Middlebrooks will take over shortly (or third basely) and I stashed Bogaerts immediately when I heard this trade go down. Finally, Peavy is who he is as the Sawx fan pointed out above. He doesn’t have substantial innings in Fenway in his career, but that doesn’t matter because they would’ve been against the Sawx. He’s a terrific addition in real life for Boston, but he’s a 3.70-ish, 8+ K-rate starter for fantasy, which is around a fantasy number three. Jake Peavy will definitely do better than Jack Pervy, who Rudy and I went to school with in Boston. He used to hang out with someone we named Tim Wackfield and you can imagine how we mangled Keith Foulke’s name. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

How many times have you completely written off Francisco Liriano? Seriously. Probably four or five times, right? I know I’ve uttered the phrase “f**k that guy, I’m never using him again” at least once a year for the last five years. That’s the way it is with him — the K-potential has always made him an interesting option for fantasy streaming, but until this year, I don’t think he’s ever helped my team. Not once. Which is what makes Liriano’s 2013 production so absurd, and it’s definitely no fluke at this point. Through roughly 90 IP he’s posted a 2.23 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP while whiffing more than a batter per inning. And given his sub-3 FIP, the peripheral numbers bode well, too. I’m sure I’ll have to write him off again at some point, but it’s amazing to consider the path the 29-year-old Liriano has taken to transition from never-using-him-again streamer status, to one of the best arms in the league. He goes twice this week, making his debut in the must start tier. The rest of the week 18 two-starters are below.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At the time of this writing, there’s a tentative trade in place, one that would send Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers in exchange for a few prospects, including the heavy hitting 1B/3B, Mike Olt. Olt has long been a trade candidate — he’s an MLB-ready third baseman, but he’s thoroughly blocked by Adrian Beltre — and I’m surprised he wasn’t moved last season when his value was higher. Still, he’s a good fit for the Cubs and he’s been hitting quite well over the past month at Triple-A. The deal seems to make sense for both clubs, but this sort of tentative trade is never a sure-thing, as Cubs fans can attest. There’s a decent chance that this one will be off the table by the time this post runs. And if that’s the case, then Garza is scheduled for two starts next week. He’s listed below along with all the others going twice.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Looking back on the unofficial first half of the fantasy baseball season can be a lot of fun, unless of course you are in dead last, in which case it’s about as much fun as watching your auntie’s cat play with its new Cat’s Meow toy while you eat stale Circus Peanuts. In any event, the gods of SAGNOF have not been as kind to us thus far in 2013, and it shows in the numbers. The total number of steals in the league, 1524, is the lowest it’s been since 2006. In addition, there are only 21 players with 15 or more steals at this point in the season. That’s also the lowest it’s been since 2006. It feels even lower given that just last year there were 28 players with 15+ steals at the break and 30 the year before that. This all means that players who steal 30 bags or more are a little harder to come by, and it’s no sure thing that each fantasy team will have one or two guys that can carry them in steals like in years past. It also means that having a guy like Ben Revere break his foot and lose his season is a much bigger blow to our fantasy squads (mine included) than it used to be. So what do we do if we lost a guy like Revere or missed out on a Jacoby Ellsbury or Everth Cabrera type? If you read my column regularly, you know I’m a big fan of playing the match-ups when it comes to steals, and seizing the opportunity to eke them out whenever possible against teams that are weak against the run. After all, just because steals are down in general, it doesn’t change the fact that they still make up 20% of our offensive points in most leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

By now you’ve probably seen Giancarlo Stanton in ESPN’s magazine completely naked. Coincidentally, I looked at the pictures completely naked. Did I say looked? I meant took with a telephoto lens. In all seriousness, I know ESPN loves to copy other people’s successes, but if they’re going to blatantly try to do an equivalent of SI’s swimsuit issue, can they at least do a bikini issue or a thong issue or a Brazilian wax issue? Does the majority of their audience have any interest in seeing guys naked, showing their muscles? If I did, I’d subscribe to Men’s Fitness or Playgirl. I mean, for serious, who do they think is buying their magazine? Wait, a bigger question, who even buys magazines? Any the hoo! So far Giancarlo hasn’t been the hot butter slicing through a fat man’s veins that we’ve come to expect. He had a near-pulling a Kotchman hamstring injury where he went from fundamental crawling to fundamental running to fundamental running away from me as he exited the shower. It was all very tedious, but he’s healthy now and simply slumping. If he can get over the hump with my help, there’s very few players that could have the type of 2nd half Giancarlo is capable of. You can count on one hand the guys capable of a 25+ homer 2nd half. Giancarlo would be the player sitting on my thumb. At this point, a down season seems impossible to avoid, but 30 homers overall wouldn’t surprise me. That means 22 more. 35 homers would surprise me, but it wouldn’t be out of the question. I’d absolutely buy him, and I hear you can get him cheap. What? I’ve been inquiring. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?