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?

Cameron Maybin was 3-for-4 Friday night with his fourth stolen base in four games. Did someone say SAGNOF? Since his return from the disabled list last Monday, Killa Cam has hit safely in all four games he’s played, going 8-for-13 (.615 AVG), with 3 runs, an RBI, and oh, did I mention he’s stolen four bases?! Because that’s why I’m writing this lede about Cameron Maybin and not some obviously more valuable and less disappointment-prone player. I googled my headline thinking it was a song title by the Cure or something but all that came up was a sub reddit about depression. What’s worse is I had visited this page before. Hmm, probably because I’ve owned Maybin so many times in the past. Cameron has burned me more over the years than the cast of That 70’s Show, but four steals in four games should not be ignored. Grey told you to BUY and he said “That’s so, Maybin!” Wow, that’s so Grey to say that. Temper your expectation, but pick up Maybin if you got the Need for Speed but refuse to support EA games or Aaron Paul’s acting career. So yeah, Maybin this time will be different? This could be my crippling depression talking, but he’s available in about 80% of leagues and I’d take a flier wherever I needed steals.

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You have to appreciate the classics. I wouldn’t say I’m a jazz nerd or anything, but I do listen to the genre, am familiar with the legends and am generally a sucker for horns. If you have no idea what I’m talking about right now, do yourself a favor and go hit up your favorite music streaming service and search for John Coltrane. Then prepare yourself for some serious ear candy. Speaking of candy (geez, that transition was more forced than a JB SeatGeek spot huh?), Gerrit Cole faces off against the Colorado Rockies tonight. Facing the Rockies away from Coors is like taking the aforementioned candy right out of the hands of an infant. These very same Rockies just made Adam Wainwright look like a legitimate ace. I know, crazy right? Cole held his own against the Rox out in Coors, 6 IP, 2 ER, 3 Ks. That translates to 8 IP, -4 ER and 9 Ks in a normal ball park. PNC park has also ranked in the bottom 1/5th in the league for LHB HR park factor the past two seasons. That lines up perfectly for the left-heavy Rockies. I really don’t understand Coles’s price tag tonight, but for $4,000 less than Jake Arrieta, he is my number one pitching play today. Let’s see what other values we can dig up for tonight’s slate:

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.

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?

Danny Valencia had himself a nice little weekend.  On Friday, he hit two homers, then yesterday he became only the third player to ever have a three-homer game (3-for-5, 5 RBIs) against the Rays (last one was Carlos Delgado in 2003), and only the 2nd player that also stood for the pregame National Anthem.   Valencia grew up Jewish, and, according to Wikipedia, “(Valencia’s) two key hitting coaches growing up were Bob Molinaro, a family friend who is a former major leaguer, and his mother Mindy.”  I didn’t have a Jewish mother, but have plenty of experience being half-Jewish, so I can imagine the guilt trips he got, “Why don’t you marry a nice Jewish girl and stop swinging at balls in the dirt?”  “You never call your mother, and you’re opening up too soon.”  “You can go take batting practice after you give your mother a kiss.”  Wikipedia doesn’t mention it, but one less guilt-inducing hitting coach he had was Jose Bautista.  Valencia learned how to hit for more power from Joey Bats.  Since Bautista imparted wisdom on Valencia, he’s hit 30 homers in the last 580 ABs.  So, can Valencia keep it going?  It appears so.  Now finish your latkes and keep your hands back!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before we point fingers and exclaim how “right or wrong” we are, know that I am writing this intro BEFORE Aaron Nola‘s start yesterday afternoon. I don’t want my intro to sully my thoughts from the top down. The post needs to read like a before-and-after! Kinda like how Grey slammed my Joe Ross rank endlessly on the Pod “before” the season, and even with awesome results “after” 5 starts, he’s still going to find ways to troll me on him… Sigh… Also, I need to use a thesaurus on the word “before”…

So why was I so slow to sip any of the Nola Kool-Aid? Well, here’s the red flags I saw PRIOR TO yesterday’s start: .227 BABIP, he averages 90.0 on his fastball, was never a K guy through the Minors, K rate has jumped from 7.88 in 77.2 IP last year to 9.90 in 40.0 IP this year, and finally, he’s looking like a 2-pitch guy right now with 59.5% fastballs and 33.7% curveballs. Now, I admittedly use Fangraphs as my reference, and maybe he mixes a few fastball variants and he’s leaning off his change-up since his curve is working so well right now. Unless you’re in the MLB Man Cave, you’re not watching every single SP every start (plus you’re like, a few weeks behind the current action, so that’s lame), so I concede I hadn’t watched Nola yet this year. But after the Nola-grilling on my ranks in the comments last week, seeing Nola was getting the start on Sunday made him the prime Pitcher to be Profiled. Here’s how he looked yesterday afternoon in the Crayola Canyon:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’d like to dedicate this post to all the mothers out there, and to the most important mother in most of our lives, Manny Machado.  The Oxford Dictionary defines mother, “something that is an extreme or ultimate example of its kind especially in terms of scale.”  So, one can say that Manny Machado is the mother of all shortstops and 3rd basemen.  Yesterday, on Machado’s Day, a true mother in the most arcane sense, he went 2-for-4, 6 RBIs with two homers (8, 9).  He’s gaining shortstop eligibility for next year because Hardy hurt himself and the Orioles realized that necessity is the Machado of invention.  So, next year, is there any way he’s not in the top three overall for all of fantasy?  I guess if he gets hurt.  Did I just jinx him?  What a Machado f**ker!  Whatever the case, there’s no way I can pay you back, but the plan is to show you that I understand; you are appreciated.  Sweet Manny, don’tcha know, I love ya (Dear Machado).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello everyone, and welcome to Sunday!

Like always, we have a great slew of games on our hands to discuss today, as there are 11 games on the main slate today, and if you want to sweat it out the entire day, there is also a set of 15 games in the all-day slate. These games we see today aren’t ace-filled like the previous ones have been, yet we are coming up on a new challenge to face this Sunday. The sample size.

Baseball is very stats-driven, but they biggest key of effectively using these stats is to interpret them: Which ones are noise, which ones are the most beneficial to us, and when to start looking at these beneficial statistics.

At this point in the season, for Starting Pitchers, most of our options have pitched through 5-6 starts, except for those who have been hurt, promoted from AA/AAA ball, etc. I personally believe that 5-6 starts is enough to see how these SP’s have been doing against a whole bunch of teams, and how they look in 2016. Yes, we haven’t seen double-digit starts yet, but we can get an idea of how they’ll continue to do throughout the season. But what about our bats? This is tricky.

For the studs who have played every on most days, we are looking at anywhere between 100-125 total plate appearances. For the normal guys, we have seen anywhere between 80-100 appearances, and for the low-tiered guys, we have seen mostly between 50-80 appearances. Is this enough? Sometimes, as we can start to get an idea about how these certain players will do, however we have to keep in mind of how baseball is such a high-variance sport, and 100 plate appearances may not do it enough.

For me especially, I will make sure that if the appearances are solid (because one guy could have a 30 K% in 2016, but only have 10 PA’s) and consistent, and continuing my theme of breaking down the pitchers we want to use, who we want to attack against, and the bats to do so.

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?

Matthew Wisler threw a gem yesterday — 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 2 Walks, 4 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.24.  Or if you like portmanteaus and/or vomit — Matthrew up a gem.  By the by, after anyone says their name is Matthew, do you always want to say, “Gesundheit?”  “Name for the cup?”  “Matthew.”  “Wow, it’s allergy season, huh?”  That’s me as a barista, a job I never had.  I’ve actually held one real job in my entire life.  I’m like Mark Cuban without the money.  Since I own Wisler in more leagues than I care to admit, I watched the whole game.  Prolly first time I watched one of my pitchers while listening to the opposing broadcast, but you cannot beat the Mets announcers for a broadcast booth or for stories about insane cocaine intake in the 80s.  Wisler was dancing a 94 MPH fastball just at the knees, spinning a backdoor curve that had Neil Walker look more like Neil Statue.  Duda?  Go take a doodie, it’d be more productive than facing Wisler!  Asdrubal?  Well, he actually hit the ball hard.  Quite a few Mets did.  It was like, “Matthew!  Damn, I think I caught something,” and the Braves would look up with a ball in their glove.  So, Wisler’s performance last night was a gorgeous line, but I wouldn’t go near him outside of the deepest of leagues.  In shallower leagues, Matthew?  God bless you for last night, but I don’t need those tissues.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yeah, Justin Upton will hit six homers all year and .170.  Yup, Jason Hammel will have an ERA under one.  You betcha, Gregory Polanco will bat after the pitcher by September.  Okay, on that last one, I don’t want to jinx anything, so let’s just say I’m being sarcastic and I don’t need no Polanco batting low in the order.  Double negatives be damned!  Finally, Jose Abreu is a Cuban sandwich short of pickles, which makes him a ham sandwich, which is a trailer park doorstop.  He’s nothing.  Done.  It was a good ride we had with Abreu, but the last three weeks trumps all the seasons that came before it.  And the new president of that sentence is trumps.  Abreu, sir, if I may sit you down for a second.  Please retire, your career is over.  You had a good ride.  Let baseball go.  Look at Bobby Abreu, for example.  He had grandkids and started wearing a dress and now goes by Bubbie Abreu.  Take his lead.  Your time is gone.  Sure, you have an insanely low BABIP.  You’re actually walking more this year than last.  Your homers per fly balls is absurdly low.  Your ground balls are actually lower this year, like subterranean.  You’re striking out about the same amount.  Alas, it’s over!  Hang up your cleats!  Not on that hook, that’s for my Par Djoos jersey for when I want to start a Sega video game fight.  Or I guess you could just turn around your season; I mean, there are five months left.  Yes, you should buy low on Abreu (and Upton).  The season is barely nascent.  Fun fact!  N/A-scent is when you think someone farted, but they actually have a dead raccoon in their jacket.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In what seemed like a meaningless spring training game, Dee Gordon bunted and it landed 12 feet from home plate.  The announcer said, “Wow, didn’t think that was going to make it out of the batter’s box”  And an investigation began.   Dee Gordon, unaware, of the investigation continued to use exogenous Testosterone and Clostebol, two performance-enhancing substances.  Later in spring, he knocked a single that fell just out of the 2nd baseman’s reach.  That ball, it was said, looked like a 47-footer.  It went 57 feet.  Another shot, sailed just over the pitcher’s mitt, and just before the 2nd base bag.  Gordon raced to 1st, and everyone looked around, “That was a half-a-pede.”  That’s baseball jargon for a 50-footer.  So, Dee Gordon will be out for the next 80 games, call him The Suspended Splinter.  Sure glad I bought him in my Tout Wars draft.  Super!  What the hell was this schmohawk doing?  Who thinks they can possibly get away with using in today’s game?  It’s just stupid.  This is a break for Derek Dietrich; he should be the 2nd baseman on most days.  He has 15-homer pop, and is worth a grab in NL-Only leagues.  Look forward to seeing Gordon return in August when his 28-footers go 28 feet again, and he’s back to a .215 hitter.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?