Yu Darvish was outstanding last night, pitching 8.2 innings and allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out 12 Red Sox. Darvish brought his filthiest stuff to the park last night. No, not his magazine collection. Yu’s pitches were overpowering the Sawx and the movement on his slider made him practically unhittable. Yu retired the first 20 batters he faced before David Ortiz reached on an error in the fifth inning, breaking up the perfect game. Regardless, Darvish dominated. He struck out six in a row at one point, which is like Craig Kimbrel getting a double save. Yu was one strike away from his first no-hitter, but David Ortiz pulled through again with a ground ball through the shift. D’ohvish. Damn you, Big Papi! Yu do not “Luv Ya Papi”, but you’re better off with J.Lo anyway, David. Poor Darvish suffered the same fate in his debut last April versus Houston, striking out 14 Astros through 8.2 innings before losing the perfect game with one out to go. So what does all this mean for your fantasy team? Not a whole lot, except if you own Darvish you’re as happy as Pharrell in a new, big hat. Despite his bad luck, Darvish currently sports a lovely 10.49 K/9 to go along with his 1.08 WHIP, and it’s those stats that will help your fantasy team a lot more than any perfect game will.  But don’t worry, Yu will get there some day.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We love our Padre home starts here at Razzball. We love it so much we have a term for it in our glossary. That spacious ocean front property is where hitters go to die and pitchers go to pad their stats for arbitration. How genius to make a park that is so huge you never have to worry about acquiring hitting and fill it with mediocre pitchers and speedy poor hitting fielders. This works so well it’s been passed off as a Major League ball club. It’s funny that the next closest ball club is in Tijuana, Mexico and they might be as good as the Padres. It may sound like I’m picking a fight with Jay, but I’m really not. If I was to do that I would say that Maker’s Mark is like toilet water, which it’s not, and that Star Trek is for guys who can’t get a date….OK, let’s shoot for two out of three. I think the Padres are working with what they got and know their chances to compete come along once in a blue moon. I honestly think if they went back to the old school brown and yellow uni’s with the swinging friar they will start to compete. That bland blue or strangely out of place camo has got’s to go. You get them looking like Dave Winfield and Ozzie Smith and I think they will start winning ball games. What does this have to do with daily fantasy? Not much, but any chance to push for the return of the brown and yellow is a good day for me. I remember 1984 like it was yesterday. I went to a Dodger game with my brother’s baseball team so we could see Steve Garvey in another jersey and watch the Goose, Nettles, Gwynn, McReynolds, and Templeton strut their stuff. Back then it was safe to root for the opposing team at Dodger Stadium and you could enjoy all the players without fear of a beat down. Now you just need to do it quietly while in disguise as a Dodger fan. Fast forward to today…actually tomorrow but because you won’t read this today but tomorrow then I’ll just say today….got it? Good! The fish and their free swinging ways are coming to San Diego and the solid Ian “the head hunter” Kennedy gets to take the hill. The Marlins have dropped to 9th for team K% with a rate of 22.7 but a lot of that has to do with the really nice home stand they are on. It’s still a lot by daily fantasy standards and we are here to play the odds. Ian Kennedy ($9,700) sports a very healthy 9.43 K/9 which when you combine with that K rate should give us 8 K’s in 7 innings and a really nice anchor line for your daily fantasy team. The Stream-o-Nator has him as the #3 starter on the day. In the morning you can check Rudy’s newest fantasy toy the DFSBot for another perspective. If you are still on the fence about daily fantasy then click this DraftKings link and we have a free entry for new users that make a deposit. It’s a blast and welcome any of you to challenge myself or any of the other daily fantasy writers for a little H2H action and we can have a little bragging rights session next week.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Go, go, go, go, go, go. Go, Corey, it is your birthday. We want to party like it is your birthday. *dance like a white man that has on parachute pants* We will sip Bacardi like it is your birthday. And you know we do not give an expletive it is not your birthday. I see Corey Kluber on my iPad and I want to kick him in the ass, but I still can’t make heads or tails of him. “Mr. Kluber, why do you bring anguish to my potluck dinner?” Justin Masterson had RSVP’d already with anguish! Ugh, I really don’t know what to make of Kluber. He’s hella risky and, yes, I still say hella. After his start yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks — you obviously have to own him if he’s on your waivers. The good news is his BABIP is obscenely unlucky (.353). The bad news is his velocity is down. He gets the Angels next and the Stream-o-Nator doesn’t like it and I’d be lying if I told you I had the utmost confidence in him. In other words, own him, but it could be a rocky road without delicious marshmallows. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ryan Braun hit his first two home runs off Kyle Kendrick — you know, that Kendrick sure sticks out for a sore thumb — and then Braun emancipated a third ball off Lincoln. Three homers a mere two days after saying he was not able to swing normally is quite the 180. It’s like when Mickey Rourke is one of the best actors — in movies like Diner and Angel Heart — only to have a string of flops, terrible plastic surgery and then he reemerges in The Wrestler. Or Travolta’s career is in the toilet after Saturday Night Fever, dealing with whispers about his bedroom predilections and then he does Pulp Fiction. Doing The McConaughey while McConaughey was still ruining his career. A few years later, Mickey Rourke has another string of flops and his face still scares small children; Travolta does Battlefield Earth and now whispers about his religion have joined the other whispers. (Be forewarned, McConaughey.) So, will Braun now reemerge as the top hitter in the game and hold his Pulp Fiction/Wrestler renaissance or will his thumb continue to haunt him while he commits to Wild Hogs II: Where The Wild Hogs Are? All I know is he was complaining about his thumb a full nine months after he first hurt it, so it doesn’t seem likely to disappear that fast. His value may be even higher now, but I’d still be concerned. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m sailing away, set an open course for the virgin sea, I’ve got to be free, free to face the life that’s ahead of me. The Virgin Sea is Coors Field and you have got to be free to add Avisail Garcia ASAP. What sweet sweet rock n’ roll poetry to get week 2 of the season started. The 1970’s and early 80’s hit making band Styx provided me with that brilliant piece of intro for this week’s Creeper of the Week. Their classic, Come Sail Away, has been a radio staple, as well as a beautiful remade meoldy by Eric Cartman on South Park.  In week 2, we get the early season gift of Avisail Garcia making his Coors debut and like any lover of sleepers out there we love these kind of trips. If I was wealthy, I’d hop a plane to cheer this 6’4 240lb Venenzuelan onto fantasy week 2 gold. I’d also want to go get a room in the team hotel (stalker alert) and that way I can make sure anytime he isn’t on the field no one is trying to disrupt this treasured hitter. Wait a minute, before you all think I’m crushing too hard on him be reminded I’m not the only person at Razzball with a crush on Avisail. (He was Jammed by the Gurutargeted by Greya sleeper by Grey, loved by Mike and Bill Mahoney in the White Sox Fantasy Preview, and is one of Jay’s top 100 keepers) So why is he only 11.6% owned in ESPN? I’ll tell you why, 88.4% of all ESPN leagues don’t read Razzball (for shame) and only contain ESPN employees and their family members. Thankfully we have a good readership in Yahoo who sports a 34% for my Creeper of the Week. Props to you Yahoo players for reading the Razz on the regular.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s nice when your chickens come home to roost. Sure, chickens coming home to roost is usually used to indicate a negative, but whoever heard of roosted chickens not being delicious. Lemon pepper, rosemary and roosted chickens is my favorite menu item and this Chinese restaurant has the best #3 in town. So, now, chickens coming home to roost is a positive and so is Todd Frazier with two jacks yesterday like Nicholson in Mars Attacks!. Frazier has long been a favorite of mine — we were younger then, and you had more hair. I hit you with a sleeper post for him in 2013 and again this offseason. There I said, “(Frazier) dropped his K-rate from 22.2% in 2012 to 20.8% last year. This was counteracted by a falling line drive rate (22.4% to 18.1%). Make weak contact and balls get caught and your BABIP falls. His fly ball rate fell too. When a fly ball rate falls in a hitters’ park, your power numbers appear less than desirable. Cause and effin’ effect or effin’ affect or affin’ effect or affin’ affect. BTW, what’s a humpageddon? A pornmanteau. Take it, it’s yours. The good news is when Frazier did hit a home run, he hit them a long way (average distance was 403 feet). He was right there at the top of the league for guys who averaged the longest distance per home run. When he hit six homers (this past) September in only 88 ABs, it showed the player he can be every month.” And that’s me quoting me! Still, love Frazier, unlike a lot of you since he’s only owned in 50% of leagues. I’d absolutely grab him if he were available in my league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Confession time! I’m looking at Craigslist’s Missed Connections for a five feet, three inch starting pitcher that I saw last year on TV. I see someone on Missed Connections looking for a man that they ran into who was wearing a striped shirt and a wool hat. Hey, that’s no fair, you have to find Waldo on your own. I don’t see the guy I’m looking for on Missed Connections, so I’m going to fill out my own ad, “Seeking SLM (Sexy Little Man). When I first saw you throwing 100 MPH, I was smitten like a kitten that grabs onto the side of a building on one of those posters that reads, Hang In There. There’s no emoji to express the joy you gave me that day. If you’re interested — no strings attached! — please be available to draft around 220 overall in standard mixed league drafts.” There, now I just have to wait to see if Yordano Ventura is available in my next draft after being officially named to the Royals starting rotation. Since some of youse, have a problem searching the site for what I’ve said about him in the past, allow me to copy and paste me, “Check out these K-rates from Ventura in the minor leagues: 9.91, 9.39, 11.55, 11.55 and 9.47. That’s every year’s K-rate where he had more than 50 IP pitched. Those are eye popping like John Lithgow in The Twilight Zone Movie. I want to sit by a campfire with those K-rates and let them search for firewood on my lap. His walk rates weren’t egregious either. Not elite, not bad. On average around a 3.50. A 9+ K/9 and a 3.50 BB/9 works. He reminds me of Pedro Martinez, which is a huge compliment. Yordano weighs about a buck-forty and he can hit 100 MPH on the speed gun. His stuff is elite. He could be a lights out closer or starter. For now, the Royals think he’ll work as a starter and so far he hasn’t disproved them.” And that’s me quoting me! Ventura is worth owning in every league. Yes, even that one. Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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As spring training takes off, we, the wonderful people of Razzball, thought it would be a good idea to look into some intra-team rivalries.  What positions are a lock?  What positions are being fought over?  What positions will they hire me to fill-in for (second base Blue Jays, I’m looking at you)? Find out as the second part of this series will focus on AL Central… (You can check out the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maybe it’s the rush of the holiday season with two kids or the fact that some major cash is flowing in free agency, but I feel like this year’s offseason is just whizzing by. This will be the last sort of “stat review” for SAGNOF before I head into the territory of value plays for steals in 2014. This post will lay out some of the best and worst catchers in terms of their caught stealing percentages (CS%). Keep in mind that pitchers have a lot to do with holding baserunners as well, and you can find my previous post on the best and worst pitchers against the stolen base here at Razzball. A quick note on the catcher tables – I sorted them by qualified and non-qualified catchers. “Qualified” catchers played more than 1/2 of their team’s games, while “non-qualified” catchers played less than that. Catchers who split times between two teams, like Kurt Suzuki, also end up on the “non-qualified” list. The league average caught stealing percentage in 2013 was 28%, and that hasn’t really changed much over the last 3 years (27% in 2012, 28% in 2011). Last but not least, consider that playing time situations can fluctuate with free agent signings and trades, creating new opportunities for previously non-qualified catchers as the offseason transactions continue. Green columns indicate guys that are easy to run against, and red columns designate the toughest to run against:

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Charlie Morton‘s start yesterday of 7 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks wasn’t incredible in itself, but other than Lenny from Laverne and Shirley when he was wearing a Lone Wolf jacket and Burgess Meredith when he broke his glasses on The Twilight Zone, nothing in this world is to itself. There’s befores and afters, causes and effects and chewy watermelon Now and Laters. Morton has now strung together six straight starts and nine of his last ten, dropping his ERA to 3.00. His K-rate isn’t particularly inspiring, but his walk rate is more than solid and his xFIP is 3.62, which tells us he’s not that far from a guy you start every time out. With all of that said, I still don’t trust him for his next start vs. the Cardinals, but then he gets the Cubs and Padres, and for those two starts, I’d absolutely gamble that Morton is worth his salt. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?