The day before our Independence Day, the Nationals exploded for six home runs, a fireworks display that would make the Grucci family jealous.   The Grucci fireworks family has a fascinating history.  Giuseppe Grucci in 1923 said to his momma, “I don’t want to be a two-bit gangster, cutting peoples’ fingers off for debt payment, I want to blow up thousands of fingers all across this great nation.”  Then his mother smacked him and told him to finish his lasagna.  Yesterday, Bryce Harper (2-for-4) hit his 17th homer, Wilson Ramos (3-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs) hit his 13th, Anthony Rendon (2-for-3, 2 runs) hit his 8th, but at the heart of the fireworks celebration was Danny Espinosa (4-for-5, 6 RBIs) with his 17th and 18th home run, and his 4th and 5th homers in the last four games.  For those of you who think he’s a weekend hot bat, he hit .309 with nine homers in June.  He’s only 29 years old and he is a guy that has seasons of 20+ homers and 20 steals.  So, yes, you should own him.  Fun fact!  Did you know what they call a fireworks display on July 3rd?  A premature ejacu-elation.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The sixth inning of every home Clayton Kershaw start isn’t going to be the same.  No longer will Angelenos be filing in as if it’s the first, suddenly realizing that Kershaw is pitching, but now they will be stuck talking about everything but baseball for the entirety of the game and not simply 95% of it.  “Ma, can I keep score on the back of my headshot?”  “We’re not here to see the game, Timmy, we’re here to run into commercial directors.  This is where Stew’s mom got him that Tropicana commercial.  You want to pay my bills, don’t you?”  “Sorry, ma.”  Like the oral sex scene in The World According to Garp, it’s a devastating blow losing Kershaw for any amount of time.  He was diagnosed with a herniated disc, but won’t require surgery.  The Dodgers are hoping he’s back (poor choice of words) from the DL right after the All-Star Game.  I’d pray with you, but I’m using my hands to clap for not drafting a pitcher in the 1st round.  The Dodgers did pick up Bud Norris in a trade to fill in.  Won’t see any fall off there!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You have Eugenio Suarez as your middle infielder and are growing bored, so you check out The Replacements, and there’s so many possibilities.  Anything you want, dear, is fine, fine, fine, fine, fine.  Everything you say, dear, I’ll buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, goodbye Eugenio.  He was merely a steward to better things.  Sorry, too formal, he was a waiter in the sky.  He played/was fair, don’t wanna complain.  Don’t want to treat him like a bum, don’t wanna ask Cougs and Ted who I should pick up in case of a tie.  Now, I like what I hear about Tim Anderson.  If bein’ wrong’s a crime, I’m waiver wiring forever.  If bein’ strong’s your kind of pick up, then I need help here this Tim’s got power like a feather.  If bein’ afraid is a crime, put the two players side by side.  Cause Tim’s at the SAGNOF party down the line.  So, Tim Anderson is just steals?  Well, not entirely, but that’s what he mostly is.  He can also hit for a solid average.  In the minors the last three years, he hit .364, .312 and .304.  The Honkey Sox seem happy to try him at leadoff, and, with his batting average skills, he should stick there.  The speed is real — stealing 49 bases last year in the minors.  I’d absolutely take a flyer on him for speed alone.  South Park isn’t the only place that has a Tim A. with wheels.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Just Damn.  Just Doh.  Just Don’t-tell-me-he’s-out-for-the-year.  Just Depression.  Just Difficulty-feeling-happiness.  Just Dis-stress-is-stressing-me-out.  Just D-negative-words-in-the-thesaurus.  Just Dissolvent.  Just Did-you-say-dissolvent?  Just Don’t-stop-hugging-me-with-your-eyes-Ted-I-can’t-be-alone-right-now.  A fractured elbow for J.D. Martinez.  It happened when he ran into a wall.  Apparently, the wall doesn’t own him.  I hate you, wall!  “If he dies, he dies.”  Oh my God, the wall is imitating Ivan Drago!  I knew it!  The wall is a Russian super-villain.  Martinez will head for a CT scan.  I don’t know how long he’ll be out with a fractured elbow, but it sounds like it will be a while.  Let’s join in the shape of a parallelogram and pray.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Wikipedia says groupthink is, “A psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome.  Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.  Now spend forty minutes randomly popping around the internet until you somehow end up on an exercise video of Morgan Fairchild.”  I’m sure someone has already done this, but you know how there’s Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?  Why isn’t there an internet six degrees to tepid porn?  No matter where you are, you are six clicks from tepid porn.  Any hoo!  I was thinking about groupthink because of the comments on this site, but it’s more like groupspeak.  Just listen to what the groupspeak say.  Sometimes you get comments that can be helpful, even if they’re not intentionally trying to be helpful.  If you see ten to twenty random comments asking about Danny Duffy, a pattern emerges.  A beautiful snowflake pattern because every comment is different unless it’s a catcher question.  With that many people asking about Duffy, there might be something there.  So, I looked at his stats, and, J. Lo and behold, his peripherals are gorge.  In 43 IP, he has a 10.3 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 and a 3.52 xFIP.  He’s there with a 95.7 MPH fastball and a change that is buckling hitters.  These are not waiver wire pitcher peripherals.  These are ace pitcher numbers.  I’d go pick him up right now…Which should only take you three clicks, so you have three more clicks to find Morgan Fairchild doing crunches.  Enjoy (or be careful)!  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As the season progresses, we get these lovely things called ‘stats’. And with those stats, as they build and build, we get ‘stabilization of stats’. But sometimes you’re kinda in between and gotta start reading some tea leaves to beat others to the rush. With that, I started looking at Taijuan Walker and his miniscule $6,800 price tag. I mean, minus his last start, his stats looked really solid for the year as I’m fairly certain his ERA was sub-3 prior to the debacle in Texas. Then I realized: he likes homeschooling. Maybe he’s just a young pitcher still learning the ropes. Maybe he lets it fly at home because he knows the ballpark helps. Whatever it is, his home vs road splits are night and day and thankfully he’s at home…which I think is day in that metaphor. Regardless, at home Walker is rocking a 3.48 ERA backed by a 3.51 xFIP. Top that off with an 8.93 K/9 and a 1.96 BB/9, and you’re looking at some fairly elite stats over 41 IP so far. Given the cost and the big arms on the mound, making Walker your SP2 makes a lot of cents (see what I did there!). So Walker with me will you as we take a look at my taeks for this Wednesday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday June 13th 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?

Albert Almora was called up yesterday by the Cubs, and he’s the latest barely in-his-20s, big-time Cubs prospect.  Albert Almora also anagrams to Barrel T. Alamo, who’d be great as a San Antonian oil man villain.  “Remember my wrath, Walker, Texas Ranger!  Now hand me my seersucker suit, and, yes, I’m in my underwear because I just bedded your wife and daughter together.  I dig holes for a living!”  So, Almora’s up while Jorge Soler mends his broken hamstring, and Almora’s ready to get all that and a cup of coffee.  Or is it bring Maddon a cup of coffee?  Well, he’s here for his cup of coffee.  And Maddon says he’ won’t play every day.  And, Part II, And There’s More!, I still grabbed him in two leagues.  He’s basically a young Dexter Fowler.  I will call him Dexter Chick.  In Triple-A, he had 3 HRs, 10 SBs, .318 average in 55 games.  He could see action here and there, and might provide a few steals.  In most leagues, he’s not worth grabbing yet, unless you’re like me and can’t resist rookie nookie.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Despite my best efforts, I can no longer avoid writing about this week’s most added player, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Adam Duvall (68.9% owned; +45.8% over the last seven days). It’s not that I don’t like him. I actually considered writing about him a few weeks ago. After deciding to go in another direction, that opportunity came and went quicker than a patron at a pay by the hour hotel. Everyone seemed to jump on the Duvall bandwagon, and for good reason. Over his last 14 games, he’s smashed 9 homers to go along with 14 runs, 19 RBI, and a .268/.293/.786 triple slash line. If you want to go back a bit further, he’s produced a 24/14/30/1/.292 line since May 3rd (31 games). Those are numbers that’ll have his fantasy owners frequenting the hourly hotels on a regular basis. While he’s unlikely to maintain this blistering power pace for the rest of the season, Duvall hit 35 homers between AAA and MLB in 2015, and 30 homers across those same levels in 2014. The power is very much for real. The strikeouts (29.7% K%) are likely to keep his average in the .250 range, and while his on-base skills (.327 or lower OBP at every stop but one since 2012) and speed (10 stolen bases since 2013) are severely limited, 35 homers appears to be in his wheelhouse. Think of him as the NL version of Mark Trumbo. In competitive leagues, Duvall is likely long gone, but if his owner is interested in “selling high,” it’s worth exploring a trade if you’re looking to add some power.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m back baby! Returned henceforth from thy vacation, and I have no idea if that attempt at Ol’ English made any sense. Now I wanna drink a 40! Which is something Julio Urias can’t do!

So much happens in baseball when you’re gone for two weeks! Well, I was just on vacation for one week, but most of it was without internet. Yeah – rough! First time I’ve done a big vacation like that during the baseball season. Not gonna lie though – kinda worth it for a little break. But alas – we have a lot to catch up on! Like Urias getting a very surprising (to me) call up this early. Sure he was mowing down AAA, but he’s 19 and the Dodgers seemed to go into the year with a lot of pitching options. Then Alex Wood went from scratched (giving Urias his debut in a “spot-start” that went poorly against the Mets) to the DL, so Urias has a shot to stick in the rotation for a bit. With that little bit of extra leash, how would Urias respond in a tough matchup at Wrigley? Here’s how the MLB’s youngest cub fared last Thursday afternoon:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

James Shields was traded to the White Sox for Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatis Jr.  I remember well his father, Fernando Tatis Jr. (yes, they are both juniors; not at all confusing).  I remember Tatis because he was the reason back in 2000, I said on my Geocities site, Fantasy Baseball and Neon Green Backgrounds, the following, “The Cardinals won’t bring up Albert Pujols because they have Fernando Tatis.  Let’s just be grateful we made it through Y2K with all of our AOL emails intact.  I got this forward from my uncle that is hilarious!  Also, I think JC Chasez is easily the best singer in NSYNC.  Justin Timberlake?  More like Give-Me-A-Timberbreak!”  Wow, that didn’t age well at all.  So, the Padres finally listened to me and attempted to get younger.  No idea about this Tatis; he’s so young he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page yet — and Carson Cistulli has a Wiki page longer than Harriet Tubman!  Elsewhere, Erik Johnson becomes an NL-Only add, but his wonky control leaves him a streamer for now in mixed leagues.  As for Shields, leaving Petco + aging pitcher who hasn’t looked great for over a year now = Aged Balsamic.  Hmm, math’s off there, was supposed to equal risky bet for mixed leagues with increased win potential and decreased ratios.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?