Max Scherzer against the Phillies. If there was ever a chance to redeem yourself in losing a perfect game on the last out the very next day, this would be the pitcher and the team to do so. From a daily fantasy perspective, I’ve always said that in order for a pitcher to pay for his price, he has to have a reasonable expectation of doing 2 things: Allow 3 runs or less, and strike out 1 batter for every thousand dollars you pay. You may ask why I don’t include innings or hits in this formula of mine, and it is a valid question. For one, if a pitcher has allowed less than 3 runs up to a certain point, he has a good chance of remaining in the game. Also, if a pitcher is going to strikeout plenty of hitters, he must pitch plenty of innings, therefore that basis is completely covered. I don’t worry about hits so much, because they tend to correlate with runs scored and high contact rates (which pitchers that strike hitters out typically don’t have). So this all begs the question, “is Max Scherzer worth paying 14K for on DraftKings?” My answer is no. Now to preface this, you will never find someone that lends themselves to the “pay for pitching” mantra than myself. The reason I say no does not boil down to one simple point, but rather to many. My first reason to avoid Scherzer is that while the Phillies are the worst in basically every hitting category ever, they actually don’t strike out that much. Even against one of the more strikeout prone teams such as the Astros or Cubs, I would have a hard time giving any pitcher the reasonable expectation to reach 14 strikeouts. Another reason, maybe even bigger so than the first, is the fact that there are so many other solid, high-upside options for 3-5K cheaper. So should you pay 14K for 14 Ks? Yes! Should you pay 14K for Scherzer today? No!

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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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It can be easy to watch home run hitters and otherwise high scoring bats get above 5K and then say, no way, that’s too high to roster that guy! But if the conditions are right, and these epically awesome, and otherwise game-changing hitters can be rostered easily after you’ve applied all the other goodness and value plays, then you should absolutely do it, even if you’re slightly “downgrading” another position.

Experts all the time find their values so they can take advantage of situations like rostering Stanton against a LHP or Harper against a homer prone RHP, as he was Tuesday against Alex Colome.

Limiting yourself mentally to excluding these players, regardless of situation, will leave you out of the money in a lot of tournaments. Bryce Harper is absolutely the mashiest lefty bat going right now and is posting obscene numbers against RHP (1.247 OPS, .432 ISO, .511 wOBA, 230 RC+), so why wouldn’t you want to make room? Cost is relative and if you have the right value, then it’s worth rostering a little lower somewhere else so you can fit someone like Harp in.

Tonight, Harper faces Matt Andriese at home in Washington, where Harper’s numbers against righties….actually tick up another notch (1.339 OPS, .515 ISO, .541 wOBA, 251 RC+). Sluggers and Sluggers…it’s the new Vote Early, Vote Often!

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.

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It’s the oldest trick in DFS. Blah blah blah Rockies blah blah blah Coors blah blah blah all the money. It’s true. If you are the type to play multiple lineups in a day (as I do in low dollar contests), it behooves you to follow the blah blah and build a Rockies stack, as well as their opponent. Right now, it’s the Los Angeles Dodgers, the same early season juggernaut that sees them second in road wOBA and tops overall against RHP.

Sometimes the Coors stack goes awry, but not in this series. It’s been some delicious soft serve home runs for many of the participants, largely due to the usual questionable Rockies pitching. Now Wednesday starter Chad Bettis has been better than most Rockies starters. After all, he does sport a spiffy 3.42 SIERA, which isolates the actual skills of the pitchers. He also has missed 10% of the bats he’s faced so far this season, a good measure of the man. Same for the other side, where Michael Bolsinger has surprised, sporting a shiny 3.14 SIERA of his own.

(Sidenote: For comparison sake, Corey Kluber has a 2.45 SIERA, Chris Sale a 3.08 and Mark Buehrle is saddled with a 4.64 number.)

So does that mean you shy away from the game? By no means! There are some excellent bats to target, provided they are playing. In the interest of staying away from this obvious stack below the weekly DraftKings contest invite, here are the names I am tracking for the game today, presented without comment:

Michael McKenry, C: $3,400

Ben Paulsen, 1B: $3,300

Alexander Guerrero, 3B/OF: $3,700

Andre Ethier, OF: $4,400

Joc Pederson, OF: $5,100

The other guys, like Troy Tulowitzki, Nolan Arenado and Adrian Gonzalez, I would love to roster and with some of the picks below, maybe you can fit them in without sacrificing starting pitching. Good luck!

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.

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Effin Strasburg hit the DL on Saturday, which came a day after he pitched five outs of one-run baseball. Compared to his previous starts, Effin looked remarkably better. If he threw 27 outs, that would’ve roughly been a five-run game and way below his ERA. I had the cork to pop and cigars to hand out, but he left that game with what he deemed neck tightness. Funny, because I have tightness in my chest when he pitches. I think it’s related. “Hello, Aetna service representative, a fine day to you, ma’am. I was just calling to see if I can take out extra health insurance on the ol’ ticker when Effin Strasburg is pitching. I can? That’s great news. Chirinos!” That’s me talking to my insurance provider. So, Stephen Strasburg has neck tightness as he hit the DL. His velocity has looked good, his BABIP is ridiculously unlucky, but his control is a mess. That would indicate to me that he’s a buy low, because his neck might be the reason behind his control problems. That was why I traded Jose Bautista for him in one league. *opens patio door, climbs to top of railing, jumps, lands in pool on top of inflatable shark* Dah! Right now, I wouldn’t do the same trade. Strasburg, or any pitcher, is too risky to trade for if injured. I’m hoping us Strasburg owners get him back in two weeks and he’s fixed. A prayer triangle anyone? Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I was in Baltimore yesterday, watching AL Cy Young winner Roenis Elias toe the mound for the Mariners. King Felix who? During the game, I was keeping tabs on my DraftKings lineup, which ultimately failed me in the end.

I was texting back and forth with my buddy, who is newer to DFS games. We have seemingly different strategies when it comes to setting our lineups, where I will always pay up for at least one stud pitcher and fine a bargain pitcher with upside for my second slot. He, on the other hand, prefers to find two cheap pitchers with strikeout upside. I explained my reasoning for how I do it. I feel that elite pitchers are the surest bet in fantasy, where even the best hitters get out seven out of 10 times at the plate.

It didn’t work for me yesterday, but you know what they say about trusting the process, right? That’s something I plan on doing, but when I look at the slate today, I get a little sick. There are only six games, but the pitching may be worse today than it has all year long.

Here’s hoping for the best.

Straight to the cash, homie.

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.

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I was the last one. It didn’t matter what it was, my family was not well flush with the monies so I watched as my friends got the latest and greatest toys and game while I had to wait, and wait, and wait to get the same toy/game if I ever got it at all. On the holidays I wouldn’t open presents, we’d go down to the store and look at what I was going to get later, after getting it on layaway.

But don’t think I was any less thankful. Hey, I didn’t know any better and may have been better off in a lot of ways for having to live that way. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. When I finally did get that toy/game, it was almost always passe’, beyond its value already. Everyone else was onto the next so I made do with what I had.

In DFS, there is a similar, less warm and fuzzy things that happens when folks jump on the trending toy. They chase the previous performance and end up overpaying for what has already happened rather than look to see what was going to be the hot sexy item tomorrow.

Recency bias. It was the same thing I wrote about Corey Kluber last week. I relished the fact that I knew folks were going to steer clear because of his 5+ ERA and the fact that, most recently, he had burned them in games. Everything else was screaming that he was due to get his sexy back, but he was fairly low owned when we rostered him last Wednesday.

It’s not always a bad thing to jump aboard a bandwagon. Sometimes they run on pretty well. Kluber followed up last week’s told-you-so special with another beaut. And Bryce Harper’s heater has gone on long enough to be dangerous to the touch.

Still, chances are if you are paying based on yesterday, you’ll miss out on today. Look at everything, disregard yesterday. If your research says he should be good today, then do it, man, put him on the board! But if things aren’t in his favor, think twice and don’t do it just because he did well yesterday.

The same is true for bad performance. If you see that your guy should be good to go for his matchup, but his recent play looks stinky, don’t hesitate, beat the crowd to the performance and reap the rewards.

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.

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We’re so close to the finish line!  The marathon is nearing the final push; your legs are weakening, you’re starting to feel incontinent… Well, Jonathan Papelbon sure was yesterday!  But we’re looking at the starting pitchers here in the Pitcher Profile corner, and the emergence of Carlos Carrasco since re-inserted into the rotation has been carrying fantasy owners in tons of leagues.  C&C Pitching Factory!

In six starts from August 10th to September 7th, C&C has had the fastball dancing now, with a 0.70 ERA and 42 Ks in 38.2 IP.  The fastball averaged well over 96 MPH, easily his predominant pitch.  Unfortunately for Carrasco owners, he struggled a bit against the Tigers last Friday, giving up 4 runs with the fastball velocity down.  It’s actually dipped under 96 MPH his past two starts, as well as a progressive trend of more-and-more sliders with less heaters in this late-season run.  So I decided to break down his start at Detroit and see if he’s a guy I’m going to trust in down the stretch:

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King Salomon Brothers, the overseer of the Iron Bank, was mortgaging castles that he shouldn’t have been and fighting to get repaid, so he decided to sell his crown that was bespeckled in quinoa and Boca Burgers. The crown itself was worth more than all castles together. The world could be saved of economic ruin if the crown could get safely to the world’s largest pawn broker, Wei-Yin Chains. Unable to leave the kingdom himself, King Salomon Brothers gave Prince Fielder the crown, entrusting it to his overweight son, knowing if there was one person not interested in the healthy adornments on the crown it would be he. Unfortunately, heavy is the neck that wears Prince’s crown, and he gobbled up the crown like he gobbled up all the fantasy trust I put in him when I drafted this man the size of four horses. Goddammit! Dubya tee eff, doode! You can’t put on a neck brace and get up to bat? Shoot some cortisone is your cellulite! DAH!!! The only positive in this travesty that has befallen the fattest POS in the seven kingdoms? You’ll get to drop him! Fielder exclamation mark, exclamation mark, exclamation mark, I hate you. Sincerely, Your Drafter. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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As spring training takes off, we, the wonderful people of Razzball, thought it would be a good idea to look into some intra-team rivalries.  What positions are a lock?  What positions are being fought over?  What positions will they hire me to fill-in for (second base Blue Jays, I’m looking at you)? Find out as the second part of this series will focus on AL Central… (You can check out the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

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We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball. Today, we dip our big toe into the top 20 2nd basemen. End of the season-wise, the 2nd basemen don’t seem as shallow as I thought they were in the preseason, but, really, they’re not that much deeper on second glance. They are just barely shallower than shortstops, but it’s so close, I’m sure an argument could be made for the shortstops being shallower. Before you make that argument, remember what you’re arguing about. To recap, this final ranking for last year is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason. Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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