People standing to the side, huddled together.  Faces ashen.  All they could talk about was the moment the Carlos Carrascident happened.  There was nothing anyone could do.  It was as if time slowed down like Keanu was diving away from a Matrixy bullet.  A split second and a heap on the ground, silence.  Terry Francona dressed as a law enforcement officer putting up yellow tape, people wondering if Francona was working a bachelorette party after the game.  Carlos Carrasco is headed to the disabled list with a hamstring strain but needs to have an MRI, which is never what you want to hear about your ace.  Filling in for him will be Trevor Bauer.  Not farfetched to think Bauer could have value in matchups.  Farfetch is also what they call warming up Bauer.  “Why is our bullpen catcher driving to Akron?”  “Friggin’ Bauer.”  As for Carlos Carrasco, that’s the way the Cookie crumbles.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“It’s an All-Star edition of Chopped!  I’m your host, Ted Allen.  Let’s meet the competitors.  First up, Aaron Sanchez.”  *hits fast forward button*  “You know, I didn’t think you could put together such a great starter with turkey jerky, kumquats, Mallomars and boxed rice, but this sauce you made is divine.”  Alex Guarnaschelli lifts the bowl and slurps.  Geoffrey Zakarian, “I thought it could’ve used a bit more spice.”  “Okay, GZ.”  True Story Alert!  My dog’s name is Ted, and the dog walker’s name is Allen, so in my phone I have him listed as Ted Allen.  Whenever he calls, I yell out to Cougs, “I finally got on Chopped!”  So, I started Aaron Sanchez and he threw a dazzler, 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks.  His 89th pitch was a 97 MPH fastball.  Sign me up for some of that!  I grabbed him off waivers in my RCL (no idea why he wasn’t owned), and I plan on starting him every time out, Stream-o-Nator be damned!   To keep the runner at first, I’m gonna quick pitch this one.  For the cost of four cups of coffee, you get the Stream-o-Nator.  To buy stats for all major leaguers that helps the tools run costs us about $8,000.  There’s a shizzton of man hours for Rudy to make the tools.  A lot of it is a labor of love; we get that.   No one is getting rich here; again, it’s all good.  I don’t want to pay extra taxes anyway!  Now, with that said (here comes a reversal!), I take the Stream-o-Nator with a grain of salt in April.  Sample sizes need to grow.  Ugh, that’s what she keeps saying!  That’s the size of the sample, sweetheart.  Please, don’t put me on the DL with a fractured ego.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We are so close to the top 20 starters you can almost taste it, and it tastes like limoncello.  I wonder why that is.  From the top 20 outfielders through to this top 100 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball has been like the greatest mini-series ever.  Sorta like what I hope the O.J. Simpson show is.  By the way, don’t Google O.J. Simpson, major spoilers!  In most fantasy leagues, you won’t need to draft guys from this top 100 outfielders, and they’ll be waiver wire pickups.  A few of these guys will be drafted by people saying things like, “I’m really loving (fill-in name from this post) as a late sleeper,” then those same people will get to the middle of April and be saying things like, “I can drop (fill-in player’s name), right?”  As with other rankings posts, I go over where tiers start and stop and my projections.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, I was watching the Twins game and I fell asleep and had a dream that Razzball’s Twitter account got one of those blue check marks.  I’m not sure what this says about my fantasies, but it says something about Tyler Duffey and the Twins.  They lack a certain je ne sais Michelle Kwan.  The Twins seem to do this on purpose.  Very workmanlike.  Like a Minnesota woman who would handily beat me in an arm wrestling match.  Pun noted.  I’ve never been to Minnesota, but I picture the women looking like Jesse Ventura when he used to wear feathers in his hair and leotards.  As with just about every Twins pitcher since Radke, minus Liriano and Johan, Duffey is yet another Twins hurler that has solid control and okay, not great strikeouts.  Yesterday, he went 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 7 Ks vs. the Tigers, and had a 2.53 ERA in Triple-A with a 7 K/9.  I don’t see any huge upside here and is better in real life, which apparently the Twins play in.  The Stream-o-Nator hates his next start, but I would start him if I needed to gamble.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Unfortunately when you watch a lot of baseball, there’s guys who at the eye-level look awesome (whoa, not like that though!) that turn out to just never put forth the numbers.  You get this big lumbering Canadian, with this long but smooth delivery, hitting high-90s at times, and you get all excited and…  It turns out to be James Paxton‘s bumpy start to his career.  A few nice stretches, but very inconsistent Ks, inconsistent control, AND THE INJURIES!!  Long-term lat strain last year, he sprains both his forearms tripping in Spring Training, then sprains a finger tendon which keeps him out almost this entire season.  Hey Pax, I have a finger with a sprained tendon for ya too!

Even with all these injuries, I still think I’ll rank Paxton favorably next year…  Eesh, I just know I will…  But I did want to see his final starts of 2015 before my off-season work…  So I decided to break down his return off the DL yesterday afternoon hosting the Rockies to see if he’s worth a spot start or two for the stretch run, or will be the worst ranked pitcher yet again in my 2016 ranks:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After the first two homer-game, I was like, “Yo, Grey, stop twirling your mustache and trying to squeeze into your Z. Cavariccis from high school and check out Travis Shaw.”  And I did.  Only, I wasn’t that impressed.  He had five homers in 77 games in Triple-A.  Then, a week or so later, he had his 2nd two-homer game and I was like, “Yo, Sir Hairlip-A-Lot, those Zubaz look awful on you, and maybe you look at Shaw’s numbers again.”  And I did.  His ‘big’ year in Double-A saw him hit 16 homers with a .221 average and again I came away yawnstipated; must be he’s showing some Maas appeal.  Then, yesterday, he went 4-for-4 with two runs and is hitting .371 in 22 games, and I was like, “Yo, Fantasy Master Lothario, just let Cougs clean out your closet for you and really delve into Shaw’s numbers!”  No, I don’t know what delve means but it sounds smart when I’m talking to myself.  I’ve said it before, but Shaw feels exactly like a Maas appeal-type player.  I bet after September he never even plays regularly on the Sawx again.  But now suddenly you’re worried about the future?  You weren’t when you were writing to the National Institute of Health about having nacho cheese classified as a vegetable.  Get a 401K and grab Shaw until he stops hitting.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There are 14 games on the slate Friday night, and four of them are over an eight run number for the night. Also, there are no games less than seven runs tonight. This bodes well for DFS players who want a fat slice of those run totals for their teams. So many variables go into a big number and one is venue. The top ballparks for offense this season are: Coors Field (Rockies), Globe Life Park (Rangers), Fenway Park (Red Sox), Miller Park (Brewers), Chase Field (Diamondbacks), and the Rogers Centre (Blue Jays). Understanding what’s happening in these parks (wind, roof, etc.)  is a needed piece of prep for the night’s slate. The other is level of pitching competition. Sure, a team can go off against any old gas can, but who are they up against tonight? Finally, though this is not an exhaustive list here, a key area is the proficiency of the team at the plate. If you have a lineup full of hitters who aren’t producing, the number will reflect that. When considering this line from these agencies, one must be very diligent, watching the lineups come in and making sure you’re getting someone from that lineup into your cash games (50/50s, HTH) and making sure they are higher in the lineup in order to get extra at-bats. At DraftKings, where you aren’t penalized with negative points for outs, the extra plate appearances are definitely worth seeking out..

So choose wisely, keep an eye on the lineup as they come in on Twitter, websites and the like. Be ready to pivot to a player if he’s suddenly sitting in the 1-spot after seeing a majority of the at-bats this season a lot further down the lineup. On a night when there should be soon high scores, it’s going to pay to be on the offensive…

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I get them all the time. The DFS man-crush. The players in the game that I latch onto and can’t stop rostering them, through the good times and bad. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, when you know a guy is in a good spot, it’s important that you not bail like a newb at the first 0-4. Park is good, he’s making hard contact, the handedness is in his favor again, then don’t worry, just go with it. In fact, it may make sense to commit to a player for a whole week if he’s locked in and hitting with authority.

Right now my DFS crush has been J.D. Martinez and has been for almost two months. I’ve had exposure into J.D. almost every game for between 30-45 games and the results have been fantastic. He’s been the top hard contact/expected power player over the last 30 days and has launched 13 home runs over that period of time. There have been clunkers, too, but knowing he was going good and having the prices way below his production, those days were mere speed bumps on the way to the cash freeway.

Some crushes last shorter than others. The 2014 summer of Scooter Gennett was fun. Johnny Paredes had his week or two this season and Gerardo Parra has been on man crush status for some guys as long as I’ve been on Martinez. Parra is still inexpensive, too. The newest sensation is Kyle Schwarber in Chicago. The catcher eligible slugger popped two home runs and scored 40 points Tuesday night, which may have just made many a DFS player swoon right into crushdom.

They wear off eventually – everything has to come to an end, but it’s a fun ride.

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Remember when Shane Greene was a thing?  Those were the days, spring had just sprung and there was so much hope, so much optimism.  Your team ERA was so pretty then.  You had a shiny new toy fresh from the free agent pool and after his second of two 8 IP, 0 ER gems, you were feeling like the smartest guy your league.  Then, April 24th happened.  4 IP, 8 ER vs. the lefty-heavy Indians lineup.  Still you believed and then, 4.1 IP, 7 ER.  You were wounded, beaten, bloodied and you team ERA was approaching the double digit mark.  If this sounds familiar, it’s OK, we’ve all been there.  Now is the time to act and seek a little revenge against the one who hurt you.  It became apparent fairly early that Greene had some trouble with southpaws.  In fact, his season splits read like a hall of famer to be, lefties are slashing .349/.401/.592.  There are a handful of pitchers I adore stacking against and when Greene was optioned to AAA, I was sad to lose one of the best.  Aaron Harang and Bud Norris can only do so much here.  Greene is back now though and in his first start back in the majors proceeded to go 4.2 IP and give up 7 ERs.  There’s the Shane we know and love.  I really can’t dream up a more nightmarish match-up for Shane besides maybe the Yankees in the house that Jeter built.  Seattle can go lefty-heavy with the best of ‘em and I could easily see another 3 IP, 8 ER outing here.  There’s not a Seattle lefty I won’t be trying to squeeze into my lineup tonight and I’ll mention one or two below so you don’t forget.  Just remember, left on Greene and you’ll be on the road to sweet redemption.

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s funny how drastic and immediate changes can be from the Minors to the Majors.  Thinking back on Trevor May who was profiled a few weeks back – the guy was walking everyone in the Minors and in his short stint in the Majors last year, to become top-25 in K:BB ratio.

But that took some seasoning.  We’re seeing something even drastic-er and immediate-er with what’s going on with the Astros younguns.  Lance McCullers went from being old Trevor May with better Ks to having an 18:0 K:BB stretch before getting a tad wilder these past few…  But he was supposed to struggle through control issues, not Vincent Velasquez!  Vinny V went from a 4.11 K:BB mowing through AA this year to 1.70 so far this year in the show with 17 Ks and 10 BB through his first three starts.

I was pretty high on Velasquez when he was called up, but maybe it was a tad too early for the 23 year old to find immediate success.  So I decided to break down his start yesterday, that should’ve been a cakewalk at the Mariners, to see how he’s looking:

Please, blog, may I have some more?