From the land of Pilgrims, Cranberries, Sachems, and Ocean Spray, it’s Middleborough, Massachusetts’ own Sean Newcomb. A true Masshole through and through, over the course of his time in the minors, he’s refused to throw strikes with any regularity. This all changed last week, as Newcomb crushed two XL Great One’s from Dunks, and a marble cruller, before crushing the souls of the Mets. I’ve long followed Newcomb’s career dating back to his high school days at Middleborough. As he’s the rare professional sports product from my corner of the world. After some ups and downs, mostly due to control, or lack there of. Newcomb made his triumphant major league debut a little over a week ago, and in the process looked phenomenal. Flashing control and command he never possessed before. So today, we dig into the second start from the young lefty, at home vs Miami, and Giancarlo. A tough task for the rookie… Oh yeah, then we rank some pitchers.

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Yesterday, Jacob deGrom threw a complete game with 1 ER, 9 baserunners (4 BBs), 6 Ks, lowering his ERA to 4.33.  Oh, his peripherals are beautiful.  Velocity is fine, even up a tad up, and that’s not the new radar gun positioning talking.  For what it’s worth, a radar gun can’t talk.  His Ks are way up.  Walks are up too, but not quite to the point where it justifies his four-plus ERA.  His xFIP is even below where it was last year.  So, what explains his mediocre ERA besides the general answer of:  Mets gonna Mets?  He’s not throwing his cutter or change nearly as much and is almost entirely relying on a slider and four-seam fastball.  The change and cutter were never ‘big’ pitches for him, but mixing them in may have kept hitters honest like Abe Lincoln and iced tea.  His slider this year is barely a positive pitch for him.  Last year, it was a top 20 slider in the majors, right next to Sabathia, and that guy loves sliders!  As with most things Mets pitchers-related, it’s a conundrum wrapped inside a forklift of fortune cookies that is wrapped inside a turkey.  It’s called a turforkum.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It’s Peacock week here at Razzball, and I for one, have been trying my damnedest to use some of the lessons taught to me by my mentor, the sometimes debonair, but mostly creepy, world-renowned pickup artist Mystery. You might remember this sexual predator from MTV at some point in the last 10 years. MTV, ruining everything since 1981! You might not recall this, particularly if you’ve never been under the spell of a man dressed as the lead singer of Jamiroquai, but Mystery has long preached the word of “Peacocking”. I can’t be sure, but I’m almost certain that this is the act of pretending you’re Brad Peacock to pickup women. I mean how could this not work have you seen “The P-Cock” in all his glory? Gorgeous just like a horse is, to say the least. The 29 year old Peacock has spent parts of 5 seasons in the majors, mostly as a shuttle arm, between AAA and the majors. In 2017 however, the righty has been a bit of a revelation for the Astros, first in the bullpen, and now in the rotation. Grey wrote him up on Friday, and he’s been one of the more interesting streams over the last few weeks. If only due to that heavenly 15 K/9 over his first three starts. So let’s dig into Peacock and see what he’s doing on the mound, when not going into liquor store rages.

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Stephen Strasburg, $24,800 is taking the mound tonight against the Braves and I for one purchased my ticket for the SS K machine back on Thursday.  The good news is, there’s still tickets available, the bad news is they’re a little pricey.  I hate to use the word underrated when it comes to Strasburg, but all you hear about is Kershaw, Mad Max, Keuchel and Greinke.  Where’s the Love for Strasburg?  His last four starts are ridiculous, 3-1 with 5 ER and 41 K’s over his last 27.2 innings.  Yes, you read that correctly, 41 K’s over his last 27.2 innings (Mic drop).  I’m matching Strasburg up with Jameson Taillon, $13,600 who’s got the Rockies fresh off the DL.  Now I typically don’t like starting guys coming off the DL due to pitch counts, but Taillon wasn’t gone due to any baseball related injury and he was hitting 97 on the radar gun in his last rehab start.  He was straight money before the sudden cancer diagnosis and I’m sure it’ll be an emotional night for the Pirates team upon his return.  I think Taillon will have a little extra juice in the tank tonight and at this price I can’t pass him up.  Now that we got our pitching locked in let’s see what offense is going to help us cash in.

New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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Mike Trout used to be pretty much the only reason to watch the Angels :::pause here for sobbing break:::. Despite having the best player on the planet and one of the larger budgets in the league, the Angels were still not very good. Now Trout is gone forever (Okay, he will probably be back in a couple months) and we have no reason to watch that team out in Los Angeles of Anaheim of California or whatever they are calling themselves this week. But that wouldn’t make any sense. Why would I start off this article with such a non-sequitur? Aha! I wouldn’t!

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So let’s just get this whole curse thing out of the way. Seems like every starter I’ve profiled since taking over this here gig has hit the DL, with lone exception being Luis Severino. Some how he’s escaped my DL wrath, which means he made a deal with the devil, or knows strong voodoo. Poor Charlie Morton, Vince Velasquez, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Nate Karns, y’all never had a chance without Severino’s voodoo. Yeah, seriously, the “Ralph Curse” is that real! Now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way, my condolences to the owners of this week’s victim Dinelson Lamet. Let’s pray for a shared secret between he and Luis from the BX. Because DANG, he looks good. He feels like one of those prospects that’s never bad, but falls through the cracks on some lists (mine), while being higher on others (other people not named me). He’s two strong starts, and 10 innings into his major league career, and he’s scheduled to go twice this week. So he’s firmly on the fantasy baseball radar. Enough with the bollocks, let’s dig into the bangers and mash, see what we have here, and determine if he’s someone to hold in the right formats.

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Bronson Arroyo, in his last full season, was a pitch-to-contact innings eater who didn’t walk a lot of guys and had a below average GB rate. Although he wasn’t good by any stretch, the combination of not walking guys, combined with below average K-rates and GB-rates meant that he could still have a role as a back-end starter and innings eater. Except that was 2013 and pre Tommy John surgery. While it’s a great story that he’s back in the bigs now, he now doesn’t do anything well. His walk rate and his GB rate have taken a huge hit, so now you’ve got a guy who walks batters, doesn’t get a lot of strikeouts, and has a truly atrocious GB rate (31.6%). Pitch to contact guys who don’t get ground balls and still manage to walk guys don’t belong in the major leagues. But we’re not the GM of the Cincinnati Reds, we’re DFS players, so as long as the Reds keep trotting him out, I’m going to keep recommending the guys facing him that day. I’m fairly certain anyone reading this is smart enough to know that Matt Kemp ($3,800) is nearly the same hitter he was when he put up 8.3 fWAR in 2011. Wait, what? Yes, it’s true, Matt Kemp has a 160 wRC+ this year and had a 168 wRC+ in 2011 (his wOBA is actually higher this year, .416 to .413). He cut his walk rate from 8.9% to 5.5%, he’s dropped his K rate from 23.1% to 21% (while the league has increased its K rate). But, you might say, he’s got a .398 BABIP this year, that has to be the main driver from the Matt Kemp we knew and loved from his Dodger days and I’d say, you’d be wrong. Shockingly, his BABIP in 2011 was .380. He’s swinging at more pitches in the zone and less out of the zone this year (that’s a good thing) and making more contact on those pitches in the zone. When Kemp was with the Padres, he employed the Padres approach of swing at everything that is remotely close to the plate, and if it’s not, still swing at it. It’s a unique style of hitting that only works for a very select few, and like most of the Padres, he wasn’t good at it. Now, he’s back to the approach he had as a Dodger. He likely won’t continue to put up a .345/.381/.608 line with a .398 BABIP, but he’s a hitter with a solid approach that, while not leading to a lot of walks, is still leading to good counts and then he’s punishing the ball like he did in the year Ryan Braun won MVP. I would expect Kemp to actually start walking more as pitchers start to respect him again and throw more balls out of the zone, and if they don’t, they might just find that Matt Kemp may once again be one of the top hitters in baseball. Kemp is plenty good enough to take advantage of the Reds’ masochistic desire to give the ball to Bronson Arroyo every 5 days.

On to the picks once Matt Kemp takes advantage of the Reds masochistic desire…

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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Does anyone remember when Vince Vaughn was funny? It was a time long ago in a land far, far away, your wife was still dating guys wearing Armani Exchange shirts, and George W. Bush was using words like strategrey. It was long before the abortion that was True Detective Season 2, or Couples Retreat, and sometime between Swingers, and The Breakup. In that wrinkle in time Vince Vaughn ruled the box office, and the douchy part of our soul where things like Ed Hardy t-shirts, mirror selfies, and Criss Angel performances still roam free. So where am I going with this awkwardly constructed analogy? I’ll hurry up and get to the point, today’s subject Vince Velasquez has much in common with his big screen brother in initials, way beyond his first name and banal use of the word “Bae-be”. He too started his career with a bang, and universal love during his brief stay in Houston, and then the early season dominance in 2016. And much like Mr. Vaughn, Velasquez took on the task of leading man in the drama that is the Philadelphia Phillies 2017, but unfortunately he just hasn’t been able to recapture the magic. Maybe Velasquez’s nightmare seems less like a heroin dream, and more like a string of poor performances. But the effect is still the same, you just don’t view their latest release with the same excitement you used to. So when I was tasked with covering Velasquez this week by our fearless leader Grey Albright, it felt like a choir singing to me. Perhaps it was the angelic voice of Mr. Albright, perhaps it was my paycheck. Either way, when Grey Albright comes to you and asks “Can you see what’s happin’ with this young brother”, you A. wonder when he became a member of 5% Nation, B. you profile Vince Velasquez. So to the God Grey Albright this is for you…

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On Saturday, Stephen Strasburg went 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 15 Ks, ERA at 2.94.  That’s right, fifteen strikeouts, a career high.  Ah… If only every starter got to face the Padres in every game…*wavy lines*  Hey, Danny Salazar is facing the Padres?  This is awesome!  Wait, why is he walking a guy with a .260 OBP?  Did he just give up a homer to Erick Aybar?  He’s having an epileptic fit trying to pronounce Szczur?!  He’s wiping a booger on my Reggie Jackson rookie card?!  How does he even have my Reggie rookie card?!  Mom, did you give Danny Salazar my Reggie rookie card?!  Oh my God, make it stop….Please… *wavy lines*  Worst dream sequence ever!  On this day of BBQs and Memorials, hot dogs and beer, baseball and refreshing our fantasy baseball team page, we can be thankful Strasburg is not a dream.  Though, the reality is Strasburg was a 2.62 ERA pitcher in the 1st half last year and a 6.15 ERA pitcher in the 2nd.  Happy Memorial Day!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I’m not a religious girl, but when I was sitting down to write this post and saw the magic words “Stephen Strasburg versus the San Diego Padres” and [email protected] (mmm, strudel), I raised my hands and gave up a “hallelujah.” Which caused some raised eyebrows in the coffee shop I was sitting in, let me tell you (ugh, whatEVer, Man Yelling Into Skype About His Deck Repairs).

So it’s fair to say I’m reasonably excited about Stephen’s match-up today. Even if he does cost me $11,100 (gulp). Collectively, the Padres are hitting .221 at time of writing. They’re the third-worst team in MLB (and I hate pointing all this stuff out — I do root for the Padres). I have some worries: so far this year, Strasburg’s K/9 is a little down (8.80) and his ERA at home is not ideal (4.00 at home versus 2.70 away), but I gotta have faith. I also want to stack some Rockies and Cardinals bats. Trying to squeeze all this into my FanDuel salary cap is gonna hurt like kneeling too long at church when you’re as old as I am, but I’ll make it work.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot  for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?