“I know it was you, Alfredo, you broke my heart–because I should have picked you up yesterday. You’re nothing to me now. Not a brother, not a friend–but, I’ll admit you may be an intriguing add in fantasy baseball this week.” Michael Corleone’s words for his fantasy team are harsh but true. Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon continued his streak of success yesterday, pitching six scoreless innings versus the Cubs, allowing just six base runners and striking out three. Coming off the heels of an eight inning gem last week against Tampa, where he allowed just one run and struck out four, Alfredo now has pitched 21.0 innings, allowing just 2 ER and 13 hits, while grabbing two wins. It looks like he’ll stick in the rotation while Mat Latos is on the shelf. Simon’s sparkling 0.86 ERA is good for top 3 in the league, and the 0.81 WHIP sure is purdy. But before you go racing to the waiver wire dropping your Stephen Strasburgs or your R.A. Dickeys for this guy, just wait a second. Because I didn’t say Simon says? Got ya! I know. Bad. I’m sorry. Anyway, let’s examine if Simon says  you should grab Alfredo or not. If we look closer into the starts, it’s a small sample size but we get the sense he’s been pretty lucky so far, and not just because he’s faced the Mets, Rays and Cubs. Simon’s .194 BABIP is good for top 10 in the league. Along with a 3.14 FIP (3.90 xFIP) and an insane 94.3 LOB% we have a ton a nerdy stats that say major regression coming. Translation: Alfredo is probably gonna get sauced. Mama mia! That’s not to say that those numbers are not still very good. After moving to Cincinnati from Baltimore, Simon was awesome in relief, with a 2.76 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in two years from 2012-2013, way above his career averages (3.98 ERA and 1.33 WHIP). And he’s been extremely efficient as a starter this year as his 13.4 pitches thrown per inning (roughly 3.5 per batter) shows. Doode is doing work. The 13/4 K/BB ratio is nothing special, but he is working efficiently in his starts, going deep into games. So Simon says, if you need a streamer you can grab AlFredo for his next start in Pittsburgh. He’s under 20% owned, and he’s making us an offer we can’t refuse. Ride this hot streak out for now, but if he’s ready to sleep with the fishes don’t hesitate to take him out to the middle of Lake Tahoe and take care of business.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is a tough one for me this week. I just attended a funeral the other day for the death of Avisail Garcia‘s 2014 season. We all had such high hopes here at Razzball for the winner of the Miguel Cabrera look-a-like contest. When he was with the Tigers they called him Minnie-Miggy.  He had just come off his best game of the year where he smacked two home run’s and was making me look like the creep whisperer…..That really sounds like I whisper in a really creepy way, which I don’t, I have a sexy whisper.  Hey there four girl readers! (What’s yo’ name, what’s yo’ number?) Now we must move on and bury our Avisail dreams, unless you are in a deep keeper league, then I would take a deep breath, put him on your DL and go out and grab Marlon Byrd… for the week. Ok, he might be worth owning longer, but this week he’s my Creeper. Before I get to all the blah blah blah for why he is my keeper, I want to talk about what a cool name Byrd is. You got Larry Bird, Harvey Birdman, the Dirty Bird, Lady Bird Johnson, and Robin Thicke. Hey wait a minute J-FOH, Robin Thicke is a type of bird? That is correct diligent Razzican, but he is a damn sexy type of bird. The man makes beautiful music that gets the ladies into the mood, with the help of alcohol too, to give J-FOH the sweet sweet loving he needs. Do my dirty work Robin, you have replaced Michael McDonald, serenade their repulsion’s away so I can play outside my division.  Damn that gives me an idea, a collaboration made in the heavens, Robin Thicke and Michael McDonald team up for the ultimate lovers album.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If I am correct on my predictions, the NL pennant race will be a fun one.  I see three teams with playoff potential, and a fourth that is just shy of it.  Sorry San Diego fans, this isn’t your year. [Ed. Note -- JERK!]  Good news though, the Chinese calendar says it is going to be the year of the Tony Gwynn soon. [Ed. Note -- I take it back. Sorta.] (You can check out the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

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In the spring of 2013, Astro fans celebrated through the streets of Houston, shooting guns in the air and playing Houston’s own, Mind Playing Tricks On Me and Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits, because her last name hailed from there. Those fans (all 17 of them) were celebrating the Astros’ National League exodus. “Let my people go, NL!” That’s what they chanted for years. “We need a fresh start like our entire body is covered in deodorant.” That’s what they told each other. Unfortch, no one explained to them that they wouldn’t just be able to play split squad games in their own league, they would have to join the AL. Yesterday, the Sawx destroyed them for 15 runs. Jacoby Ellsbury hit two homers (6 & 7), scored four runs, knocked in three and went 2-for-4. David Ortiz went 4-for-4 with 2 runs, 2 RBIs and one big belly laugh at what A-Rod is going through. Shane Victorino went 3-for-5 with 4 runs and even walked once in honor of Jackie Bradley Jr. Jonny Gomes hit a homer and knocked in four runs and he didn’t even start. This was also a reminder to not go near any Lastro pitcher. A sad, sad reminder. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I think we can all agree that Two-Startapalooza is pretty much mind-blowingly awesome. But as far as paloozas go, let’s be real: our weekly two-start feature takes a backseat to Lollapalooza music festival. Sure, both paloozas have similarities: each attracts crowds in the hundreds of thousands; each is a celebration of profound creativity; each is best experienced while under the influence of booze and/or mind-expanding chemicals. It’s close, but I must admit, Lolla’ is a slightly better event than this blog post. Anyway, I only bring this up because Lollapalooza is happening right now in Grant Park on Chicago’s lakefront. I’m there today. I was there yesterday. I’ll be there tomorrow. Needless to say, my comment activity will be sparse during the PM hours this weekend, but I’ll be around in the AM to address your inquiries. Also, if any of Razzball Nation is headed to Lolla’, feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@Scott_Razzball) — I’m always down for havin’ a cold one and talkin’ ball. Now for the two-starters.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In what can only be described as the biggest trade ever made for some Hoes, Bud Norris was traded to the O’s for L.J. Hoes. Hoes ain’t shizz against pitches and tricks! An almost title, “Hoes Go South, Norris Makes O’s Face.” But too gangster for you. You can’t handle such gangster frivolities! You play your tennis at the country club and call your girl and tell her, “Guess what, baby? Houston got some Hoes!” See where that get you. Get you a month straight in the man cave watching pay-per-view Hoes. That’s where it get you. So, Norris goes to Baltimore, and takes his 3.93 ERA with him, replacing the newly-DL’d Jason Hammel. He’s a trifling Bud that can’t get out lefties all that well. I wouldn’t put him at more than match-up capable against weaker righty heavy teams. So, does his fantasy value go up with this trade? Hoes please! Another barely fantasy-relevant starter to move at the trading deadline was Ian Kennedy. Reminds me of the idiom, there’s a place for everything and everything in its place. This also applies for any starter who is struggling. There’s only one place for them. Petco! It’s no surprise that his career numbers are superb in Petco — 2.27 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 48 Ks in 35 2/3 IP. His major problem everywhere is the home run ball and this is negated in a park that is 1025 feet to dead center and has tumbleweeds blowing past a statute of Nate Colbert in left. Also, it certainly — or sointly if you’re reading in a Stooge voice — does not hurt — or hoit — that he was facing the Padres. He could easily be a low-3 ERA pitcher at home. I still wouldn’t start him in road match-ups, but I’d own him in all fantasy leagues for home games. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tyler Chatwood continued his red hot play last night pitching seven innings, surrendering just six hits, two runs, and walking none while striking out 11 Brewers for his seventh win. He also went 2-for-2 at the plate with 2 RBI because apparently he is Tyler the Run Creator now. How about that headline, you guys? I woke up in the middle of the night and saw it in bright lights. And as much as I kept telling myself it was really, really bad — sometimes these things are too bad to be denied. Back to Tyler Chatwood. Hello there, strikeouts! Have we met? You’re just visiting for the weekend? Oh, that’s too bad. The Ks may be a bit fluky and that Milwaukee line up is inspiring fear in no one these days, but Chatwood’s success over his past few starts can’t be denied. He lowered his ERA to 2.48 and has allowed 2 ER or fewer in his past four starts. He has also managed to notch three wins in those four starts, with the tough luck loss coming after pitching 8.0 innings of one-run ball. He is a great option on the road and is at criminally under 10% owned in RCL. I’d absolutely grab him for his start in Atlanta next week if you need starting pitching help. He cannot be stopped right now! I better go knock on Chat-wood.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well the Midsummer Classic has come and gone, but unlike Groundhog Day, we saw our shadow and there’s still over two more months of baseball.  Or is it if he doesn’t see his shadow there’s more winter?

I never understood Groundhog Day.  Some rodent comes out of his hole and then depending on its reaction there’s more winter?  I’d rather have Ancient Mayans calculate my seasons.  Oh wait, then we would’ve been out of seasons since last December…

After an All-Star Break and a Friday dedicated to the Classic, the RAZZBALL EXCLUSIVE CAN YOU BEAT RUDY GAMBLE contest is back!  Entry fee is back down to $5 and we’re playing for tickets into DraftKings’ next biggie, the $100,000 Sweet Spot on August 23rd with a grand prize of $20,000.  35 spots will be open this week, 2 per user with spots 2-10 doubling up to $10, and yours truly will be back out there battling with the Nation.  I’ve finished in the money all but one week I’ve played, but still looking for that elusive 1st place!  I guess I’ve been seeing my shadow too much and can’t get out of the hole…

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Matt Kemp is headed back to the DL. He needs Chris Brown to slap some health into him. Obviously, this a terrible sign for Kemp since it’s his shoulder that he had surgery on that is bothering him. Prior to last week, I stayed away from him all year. Teach me to waffle. Billy Butler, “Who’s making waffles?!” On the bright side, Andre Ethier (3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI yesterday) should see everyday playing time. I’m not sure who that’s a bright side for outside of Ethier and his close relatives. Maybe in some leagues where you’re struggling to find a fifth outfielder, you give Ethier a bit of how’s your father. There’s no bright side for Kemp. I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole or touch a ten-foot Pole named Stanislaw. He’s the Pole I’ve been seeing in my dreams. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Two-start hoarders, welcome back. First things first: I’m vacationing in Mexico with what, by now, is a potentially-fatal sunburn. Not to worry, though, because the cervezas at this joint are unlimited, and I’m feelin’ no pain. Zero. I just arrived here yesterday, and I’ll be here through next Friday. That means my esteemed Razzball colleagues will be filling in for me in the comments for my next few posts. In any case, we’ve got a deep list of two-start options, and plenty of good streamers this week. The usual tiered rankings are below.

NOTE: I looked ahead at the two-start landscape a few days earlier than usual this week, so this group of probable pitchers is especially subject to change. Apologies in advanced for anything I may have missed. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?