Do you remember the days of riding skateboards all hours of the day with your legs and arms filled with scabs, bruises, and dried blood? A broken bone or a lost fingernail never really stopped most of us. (Actually, I broke my back skateboarding so I had to stop for a while). Searching high and low for any skate videos we could get our hands on, leading us to this epic flick (putting the whole movie would be cruel and unusual punishment for those that have nothing else better to do). Yup, we’re old and it sucks; I go on the DL, and by DL I mean Drinking Longer, with a sprained ankle or a hang nail these days. 

Me: “Hey grey, I can’t write this week, my fingernail problem flared up and I can’t type.”

Grey: “It’s not like anyone reads your drivel, so just slap it together. Now go get me a bagel!”

Best internship ever!

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.

Two-Startapalooza’s back, beoches!

Man, I gotta tell yunz, I had a superly-dooperly extended break, and all ya’ll who know me know that there is not one hint of sarcasm in that statement. There were some lessons learned, particularly on the baseball front, although almost none of those items involved fantasy baseball since there was no fantasy baseball. We learned that Major League players love Derek Jeter so much that they’re willing to sully their good name by not only grooving him pitches in the All-Star Game and but also admitting it and then awkwardly and unsuccessfully backtracking. We learned that the Guru had a Derek Jeter Retirement Barf Bag – I bought five, by the way. Thanks Guru! We learned that another Derek, Derek Holland, is the grand Puba of not one but two fart games played in the Rangers bullpen, Pink Eye and Fart Bottle Roulette (nevermind the fact that Holland has been injured all year). We learned that baseball doesn’t give a crap about one Anthony Keith Gwynn Sr.

I for one learned that Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom gets recognized around New York for his fantastic early 1990s mullet and that he is not one bit ashamed of it. I discovered this in a great New York Times piece on deGrom that I read when trying to decide if I should stream him or hang onto him. Well, the fact that deGrom is a proud business-in-the-front, party-in-the-back kind of guy was just enough to make me sacrifice to keep him. That and the fact that he was mowing down dudes heading into the All-Star break. Over his last three games, he whiffed 27 and only walked four. Two of those were fairly dominant performances. If there was ever a time to scoop up Zane Smith’s more attractive clone (this is not saying much, as old-schoolers well know), it’s right now. deGrom is slated for a two-start week, including one in Safeco.

Here’s some more two-start guys for next week. Oh and tip of the cap to Sky, who did an amazing job filling in at Two-Startapalooza. During his stay he introduced some cool new ideas I might run with but also left behind a whole lot of some kind of sticky substance. Thanks Sky! I think?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m staring out on a prairie in the middle of Palm Springs. Okay, it’s not a prairie. It’s more of a dirt field with a bingo card blowing through it. But let’s pretend it’s a prairie. Why am I standing in a prairie that’s not really a prairie? Because all great baseball moments happen this way. Just one man and rows of corn. Except those aren’t rows of corns, but walkers lined up against the window of a Starbucks. But let’s pretend they are cornfields! I’m pulling off my cap (not wearing a cap; don’t want to mess my hair), staring directly into the sky (wearing sunglasses) and screaming at the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, “Why do you have to make the rest of us suffer for the childhood you never had?!” Okay, I need to move on before the OPP (Old People Police) come after me. We should’ve known a rather pedestrian 7 IP, 4 ER from Masahiro Tanaka was a sign that he was hurt. We should’ve known! Or an even worse 6 2/3 IP, 5 ER start the next time out. We should’ve known! Alas, we didn’t know. So, Tanaka’s going for a variety of tests, and hopefully it’s nothing, but any time there’s something wrong with a pitcher’s elbow it’s something. Are we sure he didn’t inflame his elbow using Hideki’s porn collection? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ugh! Not another silly Grateful Dead reference and about their one commercial hit from 1987 at that. Seriously that song is the least Dead song in the history of Dead songs. It’s not my fault that Sonny Gray’s last name is Gray and not Sonny Darkstar or Sonny “Sugar” Magnolia. I wasn’t in charge of giving out sir names whenever that happened, so give me a break. Anythewho back to baseball! Today I get to advocate you drafting one of my favorite young arms in the game in Sonny Gray ($8,400). It’s crazy to think the 2011 first rounder hasn’t yet had a full season of major league ball. Since being called up to the bigs last July, Gray has gone 12-6 with ERA/FIP/xFIP of 2.82/3.03/3.22 with K/9 and BB/9’s of 8.45 and 2.98. 25 starts into his young career and Gray looks like an ace, or at least the best pitching arm produced by the A’s since the days of Barry Zito and Tim Hudson.

Gray is a nice mix of a groundball pitcher that also has the ability to punch guys out. This combination allows him to get deep into games while also being a model of consistency. He’s been so consistent that he’s only given up more than 3 runs in a start 4 times in his 25 turns. His ability to give our fake team’s quality innings with little worry of a meltdown is invaluable in all formats. I fully expect another high ceiling/ high floor start from Sonny today against the Marlins in Miami. Though the Marlins have certainly been far better than expected thus far in 2014, they aren’t without their flaws. For example, the fish have the second highest K% of any team in baseball with a 23.2%. This should setup nicely for Gray to put up 7 IP and 7-8 K’s. When looking at pitching in DraftKings format, my focus tends to be K’s and IP because that’s where your big points come from. The price on Gray is very nice today as well only costing a measly $8,400 compared to a half dozen other options in the 5 figure range. The Stream-o-Nator doesn’t love the start, but doesn’t hate it either, ranking Gray at 9 overall today and 5th best of the afternoon slate. The streamer is slightly coo-coo ranking Matt Cain and Gerrit Cole in the two spots ahead of Gray. I wouldn’t advocate you drafting either of those options today.

Over the last two weeks I’ve been organizing daily Razzball leagues on DraftKings and they’ve been a blast. We went from having trouble filling 10 teamers two weeks ago to consistently filling 20 team leagues every day for the last week. This is thanks in large part to Razzball’s great community of readers and writers. I’m making another jump today and organizing two 20 teamers, one for the early set that will kick off at 1:05 pm (EST) and another that will cover the night games kicking off at 7:05. The early league is $1 buy in with the top 3 taking home prizes and the late set is a $2 buy in with the top 3 once again taking home the cash. If you haven’t yet signed up for DraftKings you can do so here by clicking this link. The best part about signing up with us today is that DraftKings will give you a ticket for a free game just for joining. It’s a total win-win. If you’re interested in getting on the invite list for our Daily Leagues simply leave your DK username in the comments and I’ll add you to my ever growing friends list. Ohhh internet friendship!

BTW if you think I’m a dope of the highest caliber, you can always make your own informed decisions by consulting with our suite of tools here on Razzball. Check the Stream-o-Nator, DFSBot, and Hitter-Tron for all the info you need to make that money!

Without further ado, Razzball’s DraftKings picks for June 28th

Please, blog, may I have some more?

James Jones has appeared in this column before, but his three steals against the Padres last week opened the eyes of fantasy players in all formats. It shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise given who those steals came against though. The Padres are one of the worst teams in the majors at holding baserunners and on that particular night it was Tyson Ross on the mound. Ross is currently leading the major leagues in stolen bases allowed (21). He’s got a big red target on his back for those of us in daily leagues looking to deploy SAGNOF types. If you look at it as a rate, the Padres hurler is giving up about a steal for every five innings pitched. Ross is scheduled to face the Diamondbacks this week, so even fringy players like Tony Campana might be worth a shot for a stolen base. Week to week we give you the best and worst teams to run against, but looking even closer at the individual pitchers can be helpful for daily lineup changes. Hey Mike, I wish we had a tool for that! I hear you, friend. Check out the SB Rates vs. SP tool. It will give you the stolen base against data for each pitcher in 2013. Here’s a quick rundown of the best arms to run against in 2014 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.

Everyone got all excited last Wednesday because Bartolo Colon hit a double in a game that he also won. Obviously, this was worthy of some attention given the fact that Colon is 41, bears a close resemblance to “Big P*ssy” Bonpensiero, and the fact that he twirled eight innings of one-run ball en route to the victory in St. Louis, which is not an easy place to pitch. Lost in all of that was the fact that Terry Collins took Colon out heading into the 9th at only 86 pitches. Unless Colon asked to come out because his mummy arm was falling off, I just don’t get it. It’s another one of those robot moves that make baseball managers so infuriating. Oh, it’s the 9th inning and we have a lead of three runs or less, time to bring in the closer. Nevermind that we don’t really have a closer, and that the closer of the night is Jenrry Mejia, whose birth certificate was typed up by someone who liked to eat peanut butter at their desk. Nevermind that the backup plan for that is a guy (Dana Eveland) who has a different hat on in his fantasy baseball profile photo. Well, Mejia almost blew it, which would have not only cost the 700-year-old Colon a well-deserved victory but would have also pissed off fantasy managers everywhere, including right here. Except for a few turdlet pies, Colon has been surprisingly sturdy in 2014. Maybe it’s not so surprising given his strong performance in the telling strikeout per walk category, where he’s at 5.3, good for sixth right behind Stephen Strasburg. It would have looked really silly, but I almost put Bartolo in the first tier, with starts in his cavernous home against Oakland and continues in Pittsburgh, where teams just don’t score a lot for some reason. He’s only 36 percent owned in Yahoo, 37 percent owned in ESPN. He’s definitely worth a spin while he’s going good, especially at Citi Field.

Here’s some more two-start pitchers for the week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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

If someone had told me on Aug. 15, 2013 that Zack Wheeler would only be half-owned in Yahoo and ESPN leagues at the start of June 2014 I would have quit fantasy baseball immediately and wailed the loudest Nicolas Cage wail I could muster. That day was the height of early Wheeler Mania: 6 IP and 12 Ks to just one walk in a no-decision at San Diego. At the time Wheeler was not only a member of the rookie pitcher crew that also included Gerrit Cole, Michael Wacha and Sonny Gray, he was arguably the main attraction. If that group was New Kids On The Block, he was at best Jordan Knight, or at least Donnie Wahlberg, but he wasn’t no Danny Wood. Control problems kept him from being all that he could be, they said. Bad catchers (John Buck) can make good pitchers pitch badly, they said.

Well, here we are in the weeds of the 2014 season and Wheeler is on the verge of getting kicked out of the group. Cole, Wacha and Gray have been, for the most part, pitching like the budding studs they were supposed to be, and Wheeler has looked more like Nuke LaLoosh before Annie had him wearing garter belts and breathing through his eyelids. Wheeler might not have found his Crash Davis in Travis D’Arnaud, but something is clicking. He got bashed around pretty good in D.C. on May 18 but he finally found the plate, walking only two guys. May 24 against the Diamondbacks was even better, as he K’ed 7 to just one walk. You can blow this K/BB ratio thing out of proportion and go ga-ga over Wheeler’s last start, a win in which he blew away nine Phillies and walked none in 6-plus innings. It wasn’t what he did in that start, it’s how he looked doing it. Wheeler had the command that scouts and experts who know way more than me said he was missing. He looked like he was pitching downhill. His curveball was wicked and his fastball was popping. I know road starts in Wrigley and whatever they’re calling the Giants’ stadium now are not ideal, but I think this is the week Wheeler returns to his place next to the Coles and Wachas of the world.

Here’s some more two-starters for Week 10:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On this day, I’m reminded of the Imagine Dragons song, Demons. “It’s Prince Fielder‘s curtain’s call, it’s the last of all, when the lights fade out all the other players look like an upgrade. They look like an upgrade! Prince Fielder let us down! He should be hell bound! Though he says it’s all for you, stop hiding the truth! No matter what Cecil Fielder would breed. We are still made of greed, my fantasy team is my kingdom come, when will Prince Fielder’s homers come? When will they come?! When you feel my heat, look into my eyes, it’s where my hate for Fielder hides, it’s where my hate hides. Abreu, don’t get too close, it’s dark inside and Fielder might rub off on you. It’s where my hate for Fielder hides, it’s where my hate hides. They say it’s okay if he hits .280 with 85 RBIs and 20 homers around the pole that is foul. I say it’s up to fate, it’s woven in my soul, Prince Fielder is an a**hole!” Usually I’m like don’t sell so-and-so for a DVD box set of the third season of Punky Brewster, but I’d sell Fielder low. Who knows maybe someone in your league won’t think you’re selling low. I’d explore ALL (yes, capped) offers for him immediately before things get worse. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Saturday, Jon Lester threw a gem: 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 15 Ks. Such a gem that if that were a blood diamond, diplomats from Monrovia would be lined up in the streets of Liberia for a taste of that. If that were an emerald, friends of Dorothy would stand outside of Ricky Martin’s hotel for weeks just for the chance he forgoes the hotel buffet and wants to eat out. If that were a ruby, it would stand outside a Dallas police station to cover any possible conspiracies and add fuel to other conspiracies. Lester has pitched spectacularly so far, and it’s not a product of luck. His 10.7 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 are elite. Those are fantasy ace numbers. His fastball doesn’t have renewed life, if anything he’s lost something on it. What appears to be the biggest difference is he’s almost completely abandoned his changeup and throwing his cutter a bit more. Since he’s always been good for 200 innings and has had huge success before, I’m willing to say he will hold the improvements to his rates and be an extremely reliable starter. Likely in the top 15 for the year. Yeah, he looks damn good. I want some, purdy puhlease. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What does Juan Lagares have to do with this title? Not very much, but this day only comes around once a year, and I’m going to honor it by using it as the title of my post. I’m such a nerd that I still have my Star Wars lunch box from when I was a kid, and I ain’t selling it. My inner-Jedi has been searching around to try and find a stop-gap who has the force flowing through them for the next week. Many of us need help in our lineups while we deal with injuries and non-performers. I own Adam Eaton, Billy Hamilton, and Kole Calhoun in one league, and I’m in serious need of a bat right now that won’t kill my team. If you were a diligent reader of the pre-season awesomeness here at Razzball, then you may own some of these players too. It’s a predicament of Sarlaccian proportions and as we dodge asteroids in our Millennium Falcons, we need to find that bat to help us through this mess.

Please, blog, may I have some more?