Devon Travis was activated from the DL yesterday (1-for-4, 1 run).  Be interesting to see what he can do in his return from shoulder surgery.  Shoulder surgery never really stopped anyone from doing well before.  “Yes, Michael Brantley?  Ask your question.  Okay, if you’re not going to ask your question, at least put your arm down.  You can’t put down your arm?  Oh.”  The Blue Jays said that Travis could move up the order soon, and hit leadoff.  No way, Azul Jays!  You mean Jose Bautista isn’t a leadoff hitter?  That’s downright shocking.  I never would’ve guessed that.  Shiver me Timberlands, and stockpile my hatch chiles before Trump kicks New Mexico out of the union.  There’s been a lot of talk in the comments about how unenthused I am for Travis, and it’s not entirely true.  I would take a flyer on him in all leagues, but it takes hitters a while to return from shoulder surgery, so I’d tempura my expectations.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello everyone, and welcome to Sunday!

Just like always, we’ve got a very hearty 11-game slate on our hands today, with a number of stud SP’s set to take the mound, 5 of which are priced above $10k, which begs the question of which high-priced stud we want.

There’s a couple of issues that I have with each “ace” that we have on our hands today with the exception being Noah Syndergaard.

Max Scherzer: We’ve seen the 20-strikeout performance, and we know the upside that he brings to the table with his high K%, but he brings serious blowout potential with his 21.30% HR/FB rate, his low GB-rate, and the fact that he doesn’t do well against lefties is cause for concern.

Jordan Zimmermann: His 2.45 ERA makes it seem that he is playing at a good level, but that is not true. He lacks the ability to strike guys out with his stuff, with a 16.40 K% and a 7.40 SwK%, and I prefer the likes of Danny Salazar for less.

Cole Hamels: Yes, Houston strikes out a bunch, causing for opposing pitchers to get a price bumb, yet I don’t think anyone should pay up for Hamels when you can get other, better pitchers for less. Hamels has serious blowup potential with a daunting 25.0% HR/FB rate, and while he has been solid this year, he isn’t doing that well for me to want to use him, yet we can’t really pick on him that much with our bats.

With that being said, I don’t think there are any cheap/value options on the slate that we should use, as most of the lower-priced guys are the ones we want to pick on. Especially Alfredo Simon and Phil Hughes.

You ready? Let’s break it down.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday May 23rd 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?

A few weeks ago, I was but a wee lad writing my first article for Razzball, and you were reading that article because you were either desperate for catcher advice in your fantasy league or because you just plain hate yourself. I recommended picking up J.T. Realmuto for a lengthy dice roll or Jarrod Saltalamacchia for some short term power, and we all laughed a little on the outside and cried a little on the inside.

Then Realmuto hit .500 over the course of the next week. .500, as in half of his at bats were hits. .500, as in the batting average of some of the top high school baseball prospects (except Realmuto, he hit .595 and had 119 RBI in 42 games. Found those stats by accident while searching for a picture of the Realmuto family crest.). .500, as in—OK, enough. It was only a week.

Realmuto cooled off a bit the next week, but he was still more than solid, especially for a catcher: 8-23, 0.348 BA, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R, SB, .739 OPS. Not too shabby, even if there isn’t a ton of power there. I would like to take this time to point out that my predictions (read: ANALYSIS) for Realmuto, Salty, and Wilson Ramos were all pretty much spot on. Ok, now that we got that out of the way, we can move on.

The free agent catcher wasteland is as bleak as it has ever been. I checked the top 3 free agents by position yesterday in my CBS league, and the top 3 catchers available were: Saltalamacchia, Chris Herrmann, and David Ross. I think most of us would agree that the logical reactions to those three are “old news,” “who?,” and “really?,” respectively. It’s bad, guys. Let’s start with the catchers to stay away from, first.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Hi, I work in the front office for the Twins and I’m ordering lunch.  I was wondering what you have that’s old that you can give us a discount on.  Can you eat old pork?  Hmm, let’s try it with extra sauce.  John Ryan Murphy briefly converted to Judaism, or so he wrote in 6-point font inside his lined notebook where he talked about murder, but he’s back to the gentile side of things.  I’d also like to know if any of your very old or very young employees want to join our pitching staff.  We can’t pay them in money, but Byung ho Park and Kurt Suzuki often wrestle together, reenacting Foxcatcher, and it’s just fun to be around when that happens.  Gotcha, okay, just send the old pork then!”  Incredibly, the Twins reached into their oh-so-deep pockets, pulled out some lint and decided to call up their top pitching prospect, Jose Berrios.  He’s only been ready for about three years now; crazy to start his clock now when they could’ve held him down in Triple-A for another five years.  Never underestimate the Twins’ frugality.  It’s FRU-JOUL-LAY, it’s Italian!  Here’s what I said previously about him, “A team like the Tigers would’ve promoted Berrios about two years ago.  No fear, John Deere, Berrios is still only 21 years old.  I’ve seen people peg Berrios as having #3 fantasy starter upside, but I see him landing eventually with a barely-2 BB/9 and 9 K/9 from his mid-90s MPH fastball and plus-curve.  That makes him a borderline fantasy ace in the making.  Of course, as a rookie, there will be stretches where he doesn’t look like that, but want a guy that could come on and give you a Shelby Miller in 2015-type year?  Berrios has that potential.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Yes, I’d grab him, yes, in your league too.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, that sucked.  It was extra sucky too because I had high hopes for Carlos Rodon‘s start vs. the lifeless Angels.  Like eating Chinese food by yourself and accidentally getting two fortune cookies, then you open them and they both say the same thing, “The highlight of your night will be getting two fortune cookies with the same fortune.”  Like going to the car wash and they give you a deal due to an impending rainstorm.  Only it never rains, false alarm.  But you did forget to put up your window.  Like your parents reconcile their differences, just to yell at you.  Rodon, it’s one thing to disappoint, but to raise expectations first?  Oh man, you are one evil doode with a heart as cold as Clint Hurdle who has a serious attraction to Freese.  Yesterday, Rodon went 1/3 IP, 5 ER with one strikeout.  On the bright side, he upped his K-rate.  “Don’t mock bright sides or I will burn you.”  That’s the vengeful sun.  Rodon had ten straight quality starts, and, unless he’s hurt, we should just treat this as an aberration.  A sick, twisted aberration.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Crank up that AC/DC and let’s get this party started! Oh and in case you haven’t heard Axl Rose will be joining AC/DC as Brian Johnson will be stepping down due to hearing loss. Bittersweet as I loved me some BJ, but it should be fun to see Axl and Angus rock the stage. Nothing gets the Monday morning juices flowing like AC/DC and seeing Thor on the slate, especially with the rest of sub-par starting pitching options for today. Who is this Thor I speak of (rhetorical, unless you stumbled upon us through some sort of comic con accident). The Thor, I speak of is Noah Syndergaard, the highest priced pitcher today at $12,100. Thor had some big expectations coming into the season, but lets face it, living up to the Norse God of Thunder seemed like an even bigger task. Well in his first two games he’s exceeded those expectations, by absolutely dropping the hammer on opposing batters with 21 K’s, 1ER, 2 BB over the last 13 innings. Last season when he was called up he showed that dominate +95 MPH fastball, 99 MPH sinker and 90 MPH change up that actually danced. That’s a lethal combination, especially when you add in his physical attributes, he only stands 6’6″ and weighs 240 lbs (he’s probably closer to 255, cause dude is jacked) He’s got the nickname, the hair, the body and did I mention that he added a 95 MPH slider to his arsenal? His power pitches were already dominating hitters and now he added this nasty slider that is making him miss even more bats. Thor is not without his flaws as it looked like Miami may have found a small chink in the armor. They got him for 7 hits on Tuesday, but most of those were because they were all swinging on the first pitch, the second and third time through the order. If he can be a little more elusive on the first pitch, we may see an out of this universe season from this stud. If anyone is looking to shower the staff here at Razzball with gifts, I’d like to put my request in for this little New York Mets give away on 4/30 Thor Garden Gnome. With the pitching slate extremely thin today, Thor and Jose Fernandez, $11,300 will be highly rostered, so let’s dive into two other guys who might help us cash in.

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?

If there’s one stat you will repeatedly find in my posts it’s “points per plate appearance”, commonly noted as PPPA. How many points does a batter get every time he steps into the batters box. I feel this is a very underrated stat in points leagues. To be honest, I’m not sure if many even given it a second thought or are even aware of this valuable stat. I find it a great indicator of a useful player, especially when browsing the waiver wire for potential fill ins or trying to decide between drafting one of two players.

It should come as no surprise to find that Bryce Harper had the highest PPPA (0.8547) of any qualified batter in the Major Leagues. And by “qualified” I mean they had at least 200 plate appearances. There were 353 batters that made the list. The average PPPA among all qualified batters was an abysmal 0.4928, but if we take just the top 100 batters the bar raises to 0.6368. The actual PPPA of the top 100 was 0.6423

Here are the top ten from last season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It feels like just the other day the baseball regular season started.  You wrote “I heart baseball” in permanent marker on your arm, then you met a girl who wrote “I heart guys who heart baseball” on her arm, then, during sex in August, you screamed out “I love you, Arenado!” and now you don’t have baseball or a girlfriend.  C’mon, calendar, make like a soldier and turn to March.  The only cure for the post-baseball season blues — recapping the preseason top twenty lists and being hand-fed Doritos.  First up, Cool Ranch and our preseason Top 20 Catchers for 2015.  It’s important to look back before we look ahead to 2016.  To paraphrase the one and only B-Real, “How do you know where you’re at, if you don’t know where you’ve been? Understand where I’m coming from?”  It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  It’s cold hard math, y’all!  Please, for the love that all is holy, don’t ask me if this is for next year.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m not sure if DK has been monitoring what J.A. Happ has done since being traded to Pittsburgh, but he’s at the bargain price of $7,600 for tonight. How about we keep it a secret between us Razzballers? Since being traded in early August, Happ is 6-2 with a 2.43 ERA while striking out 58 batters in 48.1ings. His first start as a Pirate he let up 4er and Tuesday night, in Coors, he gave up 3er, but he still K’d 8 over 5.1ings. Throw out those two games and dude looks like Greinke with a sparkling 1.39 ERA and 44K’s over 38.9ings. Happ gets the Cards tonight which may seem like a bad matchup, but they’re only batting .232 and they’re the NL’s numero uno in strikeouts versus LHP. Happ’s resurgence after making the move isn’t a surprise as the Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage is a friggin genius whisperer on a whole different level. This guy is so great that instead of buying him a few beers, a brewery named a beer after him; for realsies, check out the Bucco Blonde. At a relatively low sticker price of $7,600 you can match up Happ with Mad Max at $12,000 or the aforementioned Greinke at $13,100. Let’s keep the good times rolling and raise our pints to Ray Searage and The Happ Slapp!

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.

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With just over 1 week to go in the regular season it is important to keep a close eye on starting lineups. Many playoff contenders are playing their regulars, but it’s the non-contenders that you really have to watch. Luckily for us, DraftKings lets you switch out players up until each player’s game time. However, with today’s slate, I have my eyes focused on the first game of the day between the White Sox and Yankees in New York. The Yankees are 4 games back behind the Blue Jays in the A.L. East, so we know they’ll have their regulars out there. The visitors are sending a rookie pitcher to the mound who was formerly their top pitching prospect last season. Of today’s 15 games, he is the least expensive pitcher. Take a hint, DraftKings thinks he’ll get destroyed, and so do I. Today’s most confusing and interesting player is Greg Bird. Out of all the hitters on the Yankees, he’s the most expensive at $4,400 and that is $300 more than the second most expensive Yankee, Alex Rodriguez. The three Yankees’ outfielders are all under $4,000. Bird had hit a home run in three straight games last week, but hasn’t done much since. So does that really warrant him being the most expensive Yankees’ hitter? Certainly not. I don’t think Bird is necessarily a bad play, but knowing that information, I may shy away. I will stack Yankees in an entry though, mostly consisting of the three other infielders, and an outfielder, not to mention their perfectly priced pitcher. I really like the matchup. Read on and check out some of my other DraftKings picks for today.

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?