Kenta Maeda signed with the Dodgers and has been labeled as “Not as good as Yu and Masahiro.”  Looks that good though.  Right?  I guess one can edit together 200 IP into a three-minute video to make Bartolo Colon look skinny too.  Okay, with some funhouse mirrors.  I say Maeda could be getting a favorable edit like CT after he started dating Diem because his K-rate was just 7.4 in Japan, which is solid, but not spectacular.  Baseball in the Land of the Rising Sun has often been compared to playing in Triple-A.  I’d like to add the Nippon Professional Baseball league is like Triple-A, but almost everyone is Japanese.  Perhaps an unnecessary distinction.  So, if a guy is 7+ K/9 in Japan (or Triple-A) that doesn’t land him in the elite class of pitchers like Yu and Masahiro.  If Darvish and Masahiro are toro, Maeda is the tuna they chop up for the spicy tuna roll.  Since it’s impossible to not compare one Japanese pitcher to another, a 7+ K/9 compares more favorably to Iwakuma.  Iwakuma is still a solid comparison for a pitcher to receive; that’s still a number two to (stutterer!) three fantasy starter.  Unfortch, I think Maeda is likely a notch below Iwakuma.  For 2016, I’ll give Maeda the projections of 14-10/3.66/1.16/152 in 200 IP.  On a real baseball note, Maeda’s deal was an 8-year deal for $24 million.  I’m guessing the Dodgers hired Melky Cabrera to hack into Japan’s Google, or as it’s known there, Googre, and change all recent baseball salaries to thousands rather than millions.  “So, David Price will earn two hundred and seventeen thousand dollars?  I’m definitely taking a deal for three million a year!”  That’s Kenta reading off of Googre.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hopefully everyone had an enjoyable Labor Day Weekend and if all went well, a profitable one. Labor Day weekend is a fine time to cruise for overlay as it’s a busy outdoors weekend for many folks. I, for one, took the weekend off from DFS. I enjoyed some of the great outdoors and took part in a few fantasy football season-long drafts. I’m ready to hit MLB hard for the last five weeks as people become less focused on it and turn their eyes instead to NFL. With any luck, that will lead to some dead money out there. Terrible transition time as we go from dead money to the Grateful Dead. I know there’s a few deadhead fantasy baseballers out there reading Razzball, I’ve seen the steal your face avatars. Truth be told, I’m a fan via love as the woman whom I live with and to whom I’m related by marriage is a huge fan. When I saw that both Sonny Gray and Jon Gray were pitching tonight and both had nice match-ups, I couldn’t help myself. I’m choosing to focus on Jon Gray since, frankly, Sonny Gray has, and will continue to be, a great play all year. Jon Gray on the other hand, gets the hard to handle task of pitching in Coors for his home games. We saw the effect this can have when he faced the Mets at Metco and was on the golden road (6 IP, 1 ER, 5 Ks) and then faced them again a couple weeks later at Coors and had the Mexicali blues (1.2 IP, 7 ER, 0 Ks). Gray faced the Padres in Coors a few weeks ago and made barely a ripple, giving up just one run in 5 IP and striking out five friars. Doing some quick math means he should only give up negative five runs when he faces them in Petco Park. It’s like a box of rain when a promising young arm gets drafted into the Rockies system, but we always have their away games to look forward to. Gray’s got a pretty nasty looking 95+ MPH fastball and a nice change-up (85 MPH)/slider combo that makes him at least serviceable with upside for more. Thanks to his home park and some rough outings there, he’s practically free for $4,600. The pitching friendly Petco Park and a bottom three team OPS for the Padres makes me pretty excited to roster the young gun tonight. You should be too and if nothing else, we will get by, we will survive.

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?

Since the All-Star break, Joey Votto is hitting .399 with a .576 OBP.  His season line is 27 HRs, 70 RBIs, 81 runs, slashing .316/.457/.567.  Or as Reds manager, Bryan Price, would say, “I want to sew a sock puppet in Votto’s likeness, then put it on my c*** and–”  Okay, maybe we shouldn’t ask Bryan Price, he can’t keep things PG-13.  “PG-13 is for a man with a Cavapoo puppy.  Real men take their Votto-faced, sock puppet and pay an old stripper to suck its f****** yarn until those little f******** eye rolly glue-on things that you bought at Michaels Arts & Crafts store roll up into its f******* sock eye sockets.”  Yesterday, Votto had another big day in a 2nd half of lovely — 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 27th homer.  To recap, or just tell you for the first time, Rudy almost drafted Votto in the 2nd round of Tout Wars (it’s an OBP league).  Rudy ended up getting Donaldson and is in first place, so I’ll be sure to bid a penny on eBay for the world’s smallest violin for him.  But for 2016 fantasy, I have to think Votto is right there in the 2nd round again for all leagues, OBP or not.  Good for Joey, making pitchers ‘roo the day!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I also considered “Yas Many More Holmbergers Please” but the title isn’t really what’s important here. What’s important is how awful David Holmberg is and how happy I am to load up on some Diamondbacks this evening, especially AJ Pollock. First, let’s touch on the dumpster fire that is David Holmberg. Well, he has a 5.95 ERA for starters. That could be a small sample size, though, as he’s only pitched in 4 games and is fresh off a 2 IP, 7 ER outing at the Dodgers. So, before that trainwreck was a 3.06 ERA. Not too shabby you say. Well, his FIP and xFIP tell a different story, they are 7.33 and 5.81 respectively and even before the 7 ER outing they were each sitting around a 4.90. We can even go back and take a look at last season’s 30 IP and see the 7.60 FIP and 5.86 xFIP. Those numbers are eerily similar to this year’s numbers through 19.2 IP. Holmberg has spread the love quite nicely with righties and lefties as each has a wOBA over .350, with righties earning a slight bump (.390) which is why we are focusing our attack there. In addition to all of this, all of Holmberg’s pitches have a negative value and his fastball has been especially bad this season. Guess who the second best fastball hitter (behind Goldy who is simply a beast vs. everyone and every pitch type) on the Diamondbacks is this year? AJ Pollock, come on that one was easy! Pollock is enjoying a very nice breakout season. One of the many great things about Pollock this season is it doesn’t matter who he’s facing, he’s raking. The trouble in DFS sometimes can be when you identify that mint matchup vs. a certain handed pitcher, only to have that pitcher pulled after 3 IP and 6 ER and you mint matchup goes out the window as your play is pulled for a pinch hitter. No fear with Pollock, he’s an equal opportunity masher. Here are Pollock’s slash lines plus wOBA vs. first righties: .309/.365/.471/.361 and then lefties: .316/.368/.490/.372. Pretty remarkable right? All this is to say Pollock is a stud and Holmberg is a dud, so fireworks should be in the air at Great American Ballpark tonight.

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?

Greg Bird was called up by the Yankees. I wonder if when Greg Bird dies his ghost will be harassed by a 1980’s black gang calling him Larry Bird. But, more importantly, let’s pray Bird doesn’t wear ball-hugger shorts. Whoever thought those 1980s shorts were a good idea? They were so tight, you can tell which players manscaped. When Marv Albert said someone was dribbling a ball down the court, I had to wonder which ball he meant. Yes! Bird, Greg that is, has done nothing but hit at every stop in the minors — 20 HRs in Single-A in 2013; 20 HRs in 2014 across three levels; 12 HRs across two levels this year with six homers in only 34 games in Triple-A. He’s also not the type to strike out a lot and knows how to take a walk, and not like it’s a bad thing as, “Hey, take a walk!” Bird started yesterday (0-for-5), but for now he’s a bench bat, but I get the sense the Yankees are going to start looking towards the future as of next year and Bird should be someone on dynasty and keeper radars. And you know I have me some radar love. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*Grey adjusts his chiseled body, places himself on a seat, props his chin up with his hand, makes sure that he’s not covering his mustache.* “Welcome to today’s symposium on the intersection of art, science and fantasy baseball. Thank you for joining me at the New Brunswick Holiday Inn. For those arriving late, please fill in the front seats. Don’t groan, my handsome will distract you from wherever you’re sitting if you allow it. Carlos Rodon showed yesterday what he’s capable of — 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks — but his 4.61 ERA shows everything else. Yes, he will be a 2016 sleeper; his stuff is just so nasty. He has a 10 K/9 in 91 2/3 IP this year (good for sixth best in the majors if he qualified). Yo, Prince, what you say to that? He’s a sexy M.F. Unfortunately, his walk rate is 5, which is as awful as his K-rate is good (would be the worst qualified starter’s BB/9). You know who that reminds me of? Just about every hard thrower when they first came up: Scherzer, Randy Johnson, Sale, Carrasco…. Even Kershaw’s first full year’s BB/9 was 4.79. I’m not saying Rodon will be that good next year, but he’s 22 years old and by the age of 24 he could be a top ten starter. Okay, that should be enough for you to digest for now. For the five ladies joining us, I will continue this in the hotel bar, The Cheeky Monkey, for refreshments and chicken fingers.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Luis Severino will be called up to face the Red Sox on Wednesday and presumably will stay in the rotation for the busted, no-candy-giving Pineda. I say presumably, because can we really be sure about anything other than smart stuff coming from my brain, but not being able to come up with a synonym for stuff? It’s rhetorical, don’t rack your brain custard. Severino’s minor league numbers are eye-popping like John Lithgow in The Twilight Zone: The Movie (not a dated reference at all!). In Double-A, a 11.4 K/9 and a 1.91 ERA in Triple-A. Yup, I’m like a migrant worker cherrypicking stats, but I’d gamble on Severino in all leagues for upside. He looks like he might be the 2nd coming of wonderful with a splash of yummystiltskin. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I just can’t resist myself when it comes to a baaaaad sheep pun and my buddy Jake Lamb. Jake’s had a pretty rough go of things since coming off the DL including being 0 for his last 10. Do you know what can end a rough patch faster than a scalded dog? A trip to Coors field, that’s what. The Diamondbacks pack up and head from Coors South to Coors Coors and I’m going to be all over Jake Lamb while he visits. Because of Lamb’s missed time it’s hard to get a great read on where he’s at as a hitter. In his 22 games so far this season he’s got an identical wOBA as his teammate, Yasmany Tomas (.342) and a very similar SLG percentage (.418 vs. .429). Looking back to his minor league numbers last season we can see he was just obliterating AA (.318/.399/.551). The kid can hit and with the Coors assist I like him to have a nice few days.

As for the second part of my title, DraftKings is running a fun little survivor tournament that starts tonight. I’m a big fan of these style tournaments, I think they are lots of fun. You can read the details on the tournament here. This is the first of three of these they will be running at various price points. The one tonight happens to be their “medium” tournament. The smallest stake event will feature a $5 buy-in and if you’ve never done one before, I encourage you to give it a whirl. The biggest deal is, you need to have the 4 days to be able to build a lineup. For the most part you play each day as you would a regular 50/50 game. Survive the second day and you’re in the money. If you make it to the final day, you’ve made your money back and can shoot for the moon and the 30 grand top prize. Not bad for a $27 buy-in. I said for the most part you can play this as a regular 50/50 because I tend to be a little more aggressive in these tournaments than a typical 50/50. The reason is, the pros and those with money to burn will be running some large trains in this thing, trying to push through multiple entries to the end and the guaranteed money. I’m not saying to go totally crazy but when choosing between Byron Buxton and Torii Hunter for your final roster spot, lean towards the upside. Here’s a couple more picks to help you survive tonight…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 18 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?

Before you accuse Jose Tabata of leaning into a pitch with two outs and Max Scherzer on the brink of a perfect game, let’s take you back to 2009. The then 19-year-old Jose Tabata was with his wife, the 54-year-old, Conchita Alonso Rivera Consuela Charlynn Torres, and she was pregnant. Conchita etc. would tell Jose to lean into her belly to hear the baby, and Jose leaned. At supermarkets, at carnivals, at the car wash, Conchita etc. asked Jose to lean and listen, and he did. Of course, there was no baby in her belly, it was actually a Betsy Wetsy doll that she shoved under her shirt. Later when Conchita etc. was arrested for falsifying a pregnancy and kidnapping a baby for Jose and her to raise as their own, they would meet at the glass partition in prison and she would tell Jose to lean in. Times were good, Jose leaned in. Times got rough, Jose leaned in. So, on Saturday, when the Pirates were one out from having a perfect game thrown against them, Jose did what he always did — he leaned in. After that no hitter, Max Scherzer has a 10.8 K/9, 1.2 BB/9 and a 1.76 ERA. So, yeah, he’s a top three starter, if not the best this year, and he is amazing. No kidding; hey, sorta like Tabata and his wife! (There is a lot more truth in this opening paragraph than you’d likely ever imagine. Just Google “Tabata wife” if you don’t believe me. Happy belabored Father’s Day, Tabata!) Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When Chris Heston entered the 1st inning and said, “Keep your stupid bats off my pitches, you damn dirty Mets,” we should’ve known we were in for a historic night. Or at least a histrionic one. I was between Mike Foltynewicz (5 2/3 IP, 5 ER) and Heston to stream yesterday, and, well, you can imagine who I went with. What’s wrong with me, Dr. Zaius? Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius, ooooooooh, Dr. Zaius. Help me, Dr. Zaius! Yesterday, Heston pitched a no hitter against the Mets, striking out eleven, and just missed a perfect game, due to hitting three batters. Those batters Heston plunked likely critiqued his acting in Soylent Green or supported the Brady Handgun Bill. After this game, Heston’s numbers look like a fantasy #2 (8 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 3.21 xFIP), but, since he throws around 89 MPH, I’d limit his exposure against tougher hitting teams on the road. Obviously, he’s worth owning. On a concluding note, I hate every streamer I see, from streamer A to Chumpanzee. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?