Robert Downey Jr. and Phil Hughes have more in common than you might think. Both dealt with notoriously weak starts to their careers in The Big Apple. Hughes in pinstripes had four straight years of a 4+ ERA, and Downey on SNL. Both had to deal with brace-faced divas, Joe Girardi and Anthony Michael Hall. One was scouted by Gene Michael, the other Lorne Michaels. One wanted to impress Pettitte, one wanted to avoid petting Randy Quaid’s pet squirrel. One had to wait for A-Rod to finish frosting his hair before he could use the bathroom, one made frosting out of cocaine. But once they were out of New York, the world opened up to each. Yesterday, Hughes won his 16th game, going 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, and lowering his ERA to 3.52. His K-rate is 8 and his walk rate is 0.7, as he set the all-time strikeout-to-walk ratio at 11.63. Think about that walk rate for a second. Okay, the second is up. He walked 16 guys in 209 2/3 IP. That’s as terrific as 186 Ks, which is what he had. His ERA doesn’t look amazing in today’s day and age where everyone has a sub-3 ERA, but Hughes was actually unlucky and had a 3.15 xFIP. Everything together has me excited about Hughes for 2015 fantasy baseball. I could see him being relegated to 2nd fiddle status with some other 3rd or 4th fantasy starters, but outperforming his draft spot. Circling back to AMH, any time a guy like Hughes strikes out as much as Anthony Michael Hall and walks less than Uncle Buck, color me excited. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is not to be confused with Krispie Young. I’m squarely in on a Buy for Kris Bryant. I need a Bryant! Great, now I’ve alluded to Anita Bryant and Buys in two sentences and I will be flagged by the Association of the Free and Unified Commitment Keepers. Though it would be fun to get a strongly-worded letter from them on their letterhead. Bigots can be unintentionally funny, but only if they were THAT funny. “Hello, this is Anita Bryant from the Ass. F.U.C– Hey, Paul, are we sure we want to go with the acronym here?” Kris Bryant has torn the roof off minor league pitching, then built a roof ten feet above that first roof, tore that 2nd roof off too, and then jumped in a hot air balloon, soared up 3,000 feet and built another roof. Between Double and Triple-A, he has 36 homers, 15 steals and is hitting .341. Seriously. He’d be a prospect to keep an eye on if he were a third baseman playing behind Josh Donaldson. In other words, if he had to surpass a great 3rd baseman for playing time, he’d still be someone to watch. Right now, he’s behind Luis Malbuena. *extended burp* The Cubs have already brought up Arismendy and Baez. They are not sitting on prospects anymore and the next one to get the call is Bryant. He could be a top 50 player for all of fantasy as early as next year, but for now he’s a flyer in redraft leagues that I’d absolutely take right now. Grab him, he could be up within two weeks and carry your teams in the final six weeks. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

PSYCHE! Before we get into the Buy/Sell, I just wanted to remind people to go join a Razzball fantasy football league. As if pride wasn’t enough reason, you can win a custom bobblehead! You know you always wanted a little bobbly bust of yourself. Anyway II, here’s the BUY/SELL:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Au Shucks, Au No, Au Crap, Au Whatever You Want To Say, it’s Au Not So Good. Au contraire mon frere, it’s auful. On Friday night, in a meaningless at-bat in a meaningless game in a meaningless season by the lowly Diamondbacks team, lowly’s meaning: less, Paul Goldschmidt entered the game as a pinch hitter and was plunked* (*trademark Eric Plunk), and now has a broken hand. Au, c’mon, can’t we have anything nice? Au, guys and four girls, it’s au so bad. Am I au right? Au, sadly no, I’m not au right; shizz has gone pear shape and au wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t have paid retail for this word ‘au;’ now I feel compelled to use it so auften. Aufortunately, Goldschmidt is droppable in redraft leagues. Here’s hoping he’s fine for next year. Au please. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tommy Medica had the game of his life last night, going 5-for-5 with two home runs (5 & 6), 4 runs and 4 RBI. Somebody call a doctor, because Tommy Medica is so sick! Now wait just a minute, hold onto your coffee, and don’t drop anything or anyone just yet, (especially not your coffee because that may burn and I can’t afford a lawsuit). Medica, who generally sits against righties, has been filling in for Yonder Alonso the past month or so while he’s on the shelf. He has squandered the opportunity, batting just .217 with zero homers and 4 RBI in 46 at-bats in July. Even for the Padres, that’s barely a major league starter. I guess his hitting coach has been advising him to study Jedd Gyorko early season game tape. More likely than not, Medica will be headed back to the platoon role once Yonder Alonso returns, but the trade of Chris Denorfia could potentially open up some more playing time. Either way, what a game Tommy Boy! Holy schnikes! I added Medica in a few places on the off-chance this performance buys him some more playing time, but I’d keep the expectations low outside NL-Only and deep mixed leagues. For the time being, Tommy Medica is batting 1.000 and slugging 2.200 in August and certainly a name worth monitoring over the weekend.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re well into the second half of the season now… are you still with us? You haven’t given up yet? Good. Fantasy baseball is a game of stamina, and if you’re still scouring the waiver wire while others are quickly losing interest or preparing for their fantasy football drafts, now is your chance to make a run. Me? I’m still sore after losing Tanaka. Not to mention Tulo walked out on me when I needed him the most. Regardless, I like to think we’re more than just providers of fantasy advice here at Razzball, we’re also a sound piece for all your fantasy frustrations. I always tell my friend(s)– “don’t ask me how I’m doing, ask me how my team is doing”, because more often than not, that is deciding factor for my mood. So today, feel free to sound off in the comments why you’re so upset with your team right now. Why won’t Harper just hit five homers in a week? Why won’t anyone trade with you? Really Stephen Strasburg? Really!? Why did you draft Justin Verlander and why didn’t you draft Jose Abreu? Here’s your chance to let it all out, because god knows your spouse/significant other/barber/sibling/probation officer/mother/cat doesn’t want to hear about your GD fantasy team. Well, I feel your pain my over-the-internet-friend. And I’m listening.

Here’s what happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh, the world we live in today.  Computers.  Phones.  Internet.  Baseball followed so adroitly that even the deepest of prospects are owned in NL/AL-only dynasty leagues.  It’s a wonder any of the farm kids even have and fun with this kind of scrutiny!

But even with all the stats, all the Moneyballs, all the Jonah Hills… We still get a 27-year-old Cuban starter, who had a 6.85 ERA and unreal 2.03 WHIP in 23.2 AAA innings, allow only 1 ER in his first two MLB starts (with a 70 then 58 Gamescore – see what I did with the title there?!).  Part of the fun of baseball – on any given day you just never know!  Remember when Phil Humber had a perfect game?  Exactly.

For just as hard Odrisamer Despaigne has thrust himself into the fantasy baseball lexicon, just as little is known.  I remember seeing his name when he was signed, but that’s about it.  Only 3 Ks in these two great starts, but hey – can’t hurt to take a deeper look.  Just look at what fellow countryman Roenis Elias is doing, and he had virtually no buzz either.  Cubans know what they’re doing on the bump!  So I picked Despaigne for this glorious Monday’s PP and broke down how he looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So if you hadn’t noticed, Nelson Cruz has been occupying the top spot (until yesterday) on our Player Rater for quite a while now. For the season, he’s hitting .303/.374/.636 with 21 home runs, 42 runs, and 55 RBI’s. In other news, what is up is down, and I’ve already made an appointment with the Catholic church to seek what our options are for exorcism. Afterall, this isn’t the only strange thing happening in the year of the Tommy John, aka year of Closermageddon, aka year of the Nelson Cruz. I can only surmise that the fantasy baseball gods are trolling us. How do I know this for sure? Anyone see what Lonnie Chisenhall has done? I rest my case.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve said before Homer Bailey is someone you should acquire in a trade. SAME! I’ve said Homer and homers are synonymous. SAME! Those homers should come down, literally. SAME! I…went…scuba…diving…while…eating…Captain…Crunch…SAME! His K-rate is down from last year and his walks are up…NOT SAME! I’ve also said his BABIP is absurdly high, which means he’s getting unlucky. SAME! I’ve said before the difference between his xFIP and his ERA are huge, but after his last start his ERA is starting to come down. Um, SAME but different? He’s not the same pitcher as he was last year. SAME NOT SAME! His Ks are a bit off. NOT SAME! It’s more likely he has a low-3 ERA the rest of the way than the plus-5 ERA he has right now. Um…Well…Dah, the Gobstopper! I wouldn’t trade anyone too huge to acquire Bailey, but the beauty of this is you don’t have to. He’s got a 5+ ERA, so trade for him your Never Nude jorts. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Clap along if you feel like that song got overplayed (Cuz it’s crappyyyyyy). Clap along if you feel like Pharrell should’ve never sang (Cuz it’s crappyyyyyy). Clap along if you know he coulda done a better thang (Cuz it’s crappyyy). Clap along if you feel these lyrics are just a drain (Cuz they’re crappyyyyyyy). Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Pharrell Williams fan…back when he was a producer as part of The Neptunes duo. The man knows music inside and out and it’s pretty clear he knows how to stick good tunes in your head. Hell, even N.E.R.D. was boss. Yeah, yeah, he sang…if you think the Beastie Boys sing. Let me put it to you this way. I’ll listen to Britney Spears. It’s one song. It’s ‘I’m A Slave 4 U‘ and not out of any sense of irony or wry humor. It’s all cuz of Pharrell. Granted, I do it with the vocals stripped but whatever, you get the point: the man knows his beats and has a huge musical vocabulary. Jazz, do-wop, 70’s soul, punk, disco…the man is a walking classics playlist with his own flare. What does all this have to do with J.A. Happ you ask? Eh, nothing really. I just wanted to riff on Pharrell for a bit. Before he was gathering Grammys with a weird hat, he was dropping quality track after quality track…and winning Grammys. So basically nothing’s changed and the same can be said of Happ. He’s still not a good pitcher. But that doesn’t mean he can’t drop a quality start in the middle of of his mediocrity, especially when given such a prime matchup. The Royals are either at or near the bottom of the barrel in terms of team wOBA, ISO, and OBP against lefties on the year. Now that doesn’t make J.A. a safe bet, of course, but when you look at his price of $6,300 over on DraftKings, you have to consider how much he’ll aid you in rostering some bigger bats for a full Friday slate. So now that we’ve covered the important things in life – Pharrell’s discography and Happ still being a bad pitcher with a good matchup – let’s give this Friday slate a whirl, shall we?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Braves called Tommy La Stella up to replace Fuggla. Here’s what I said about a month ago, “Incredibly, we already had a Tommy La Stella fantasy post. Don’t you people sleep?! There, Dano compared him to Pedroia and not because he needs his tippy toes to get on a roller coaster. I think that comparison might be a tad bizzonkers. Or as the gentle fantasy writers of our day would say, “That’s a bit more bullish than I’d say.” Has any group of people said the word bullish more? This word feels like it’s dominating all fantasy conversations. It’s a polite way to say, someone is smoking more crack than another person. Of course, in a world of small sample sizes, anything could happen, but La Stellllllllllla looks like an NL-Only play with a chance for 5 homers, 7 steals and a decent average if he were called up in June.” And that’s me quoting me! Now that he’s been called up, I’d add him in deeper mixed leagues (think 15+), but I still don’t have high hopes for him outside of maybe a decent average. He’s basically a forty-twenty. If Fredi Gonzalez had any brains in that squishy melon on his shoulders, he’d bat La Stella leadoff and move Heyward down the order. Smarts and managing baseball teams don’t always go hand-in-hand though. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?