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

Welcome to the “Wacky World of Sports!” I’m your host, Wax Winkingdale. This week we’ve got some weird, wild stuff for you. First up we’re catching up with a bit of silly from last month, when Andrew Cashner played left field for one batter in an extra-inning game for no real reason at all. Whoa, that Bud Black is one crazy guy! And really smart too. Much smarter than Tony LaRussa. [Ed. Note -- With less drunk driving to boot!]

Next is more madcap fun from San Diego, where a dinosaur threw out the first pitch before a game last Wednesday against the Royals. And no it wasn’t Steve Garvey! So who was the catcher for this zany occasion? Why it was the Swinging Friar, the team’s mascot. And oh look, the baby T-Rex is on the attack – he heard Friar and got the wrong idea!

Dino

Perhaps the weirdest story of the week comes to us from Toronto, where fantasy experts continue to disrespect a pitcher with a 6-1 record, 1.91 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Regression, they INSIST, is coming for Mark Buehrle as certain as winter is coming for Jon Snow and everyone else in the Seven Kingdoms. One writer said this is because Buehrle is lucky, noting, among other things, his small Home Run to Fly Ball ratio, favorable FIP (Field Independent Pitching) rate and weak K/9 rate. So Buehrle is lucky because he gave up fly balls and not home runs? There’s no skill in that? Guess he was lucky when he threw a perfect game too. And, OKAY, Buehrle doesn’t get a ton of strike outs, and I guess good things are happening when balls that he throws are hit, and that maybe those good things won’t continue happening if balls continue to be hit and not missed by batters. Given all that, by the FIP measurement Buehrle’s ERA would be more in the All-Star zone (low 3’s) and not exactly Cy Young territory (under 2). I don’t think this did the best job of illustrating his point. I’m not really sure how much stock I put in something that looks like this anyway: “FIP = ((13*HR)+(3*(BB+HBP))-(2*K))/IP + constant.” Sounds like Mr. Kowalski’s boring-ass algebra class, not analysis of a sport. There’s a lot of writers a lot smarter than me who use these numbers to make valid points. There’s even more who wank off to print outs of these formulas in the same way that White Goodman rubs one out with a slice of pizza. Here’s my analysis: Buehrle has been excellent, and even though his track record indicates that this isn’t normal, it’s also very possible that he will have the career year the Blue Jays thought he was going to have when they splurged on free agents before the 2013 season. Or at least a career first half. I think we will know which way this is going to go after this week, as Buehrle draws the Angels at home and a trip to the gauntlet in Arlington.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If Nick, the Podcast-Now-Radio host put on a glove, or even an oversized mitten, the Mets would move Eric Young Jr. to the bench because of how much the Mets dislike him — Young, not Nick. Sure, it helps that Nick is like seven-feet tall, but he doesn’t have any athletic ability. Now, imagine the hate for EY and multiple it by seven. That’s how much the Mets hate Ruben Tejada. He once landed on the DL with hurt feelings. The Mets tried to trade him this offseason for a closer parking spot to their stadium, and they own the parking lot so they didn’t even need it! Finally, unable to look at Tejada’s stupid face anymore, they brought up Wilmer Flores to play shortstop. In Triple-A this year, he hit 5 homers in 29 games. That’s a small sample size — that’s what she said! — but it’s nothing new for him. Last year, he hit 15 homers in 107 games; 18 homers between Double and High-A the year before, etc. etc. etc. He has better-than-average power for a middle infielder, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s worth owning in 12 team mixed leagues by the All-Star Break. For now, I’d grab him in deeper mixed leagues because Flores is ready to bloom. Pun noted and unavoidable, though I didn’t try very hard. Then in Texas they called up Rougned Odor, which only sounds like a discontinued brand of Lysol. “So, we’re thinking about a new smell to mask dirty socks. It’s the smell of rotten eggs. Yes, it’s bad, but you don’t smell socks anymore.” And then that Lysol employee was fired, sued for discrimination and was awarded two-point-six mill. Don’t you wish you’d get fired from a corporate job? That’s where it’s at! Odor is going to play 2nd base while Profar is out, which is actually the issue with Odor. Once Profar returns, does Odor keep playing? Only if Odor’s hitting like .350 and spark plugging the entire team. Odor has 30-steal speed and some light power that won’t kill you in average. I like him, but if I had to bet who would get more ABs this year, I’d say Flores. But for short-term value in shallower leagues, I want Odor above Flores because speed translates quicker. Again, noted and I didn’t try to avoid it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ryan Zimmerman should just join a kickball league. His upper stuff doesn’t work right. He’s got a bad case of waist-up-is-not-up-to-snuff-is. He should tent his entire body, because he’s got an infestation of the bad health termites. They lay dormant, living off of bacteria that is produced naturally by your secretions. Then one day you wake up and you dive into the 2nd base bag and break your thumb. The preceding was taken directly from WebMD, I can’t vouch for its accuracy. It’s a thumbpocalypse! So, Zimmerman’s gonna be out for six weeks with a broken thumb. I’d point out that I told you on Friday to sell him, but that’s in poor taste. As would simply pointing and laughing at you. Mostly due to the fact, I don’t know where you are, you don’t return my phone calls! So, put Zimmerman on your DL, and let’s pray his shoulder gets miraculously better in the mean’s while. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s me yesterday looking to pick up the new Yankee closer…. *types Kelly into waivers box, presses Enter* Inner monologue, “Joe Kelly?! No, I don’t want him! Casey Kelly?! Blech! C’mon, this is a 15 team mixed league, I’m not in an NL-Only keeper! Someone beat me to the waiver wire? Really? For the first time in three years, I’m watching a Yankees game because nothing else is on and serendipitously David Robertson is announced with a groin strain, so there’s no way anyone beat me to the waiver wire… I’m here first, I have to be! So where’s Kelly?! Fine, I’ll click the button that shows the players that are owned too. Wait, he’s not even listed there. What in the holy name of Christ Colabello–” And that was around the time I realized his name was spelled Kelley, not Kelly and while I was misspelling it someone else swooped in and grabbed him. This has been the latest installment of Grey Albright: Are You Sure You Want To Listen To This Man? So, Robertson is out for a few weeks with a groin strain — easy on the noodes, doode! — and Shawn Kelley is your new closer in New York, and, even though yesterday was Kelley’s first career save, it doesn’t mean he can’t be successful for the next three weeks. Or unsuccessful, but I’d pick him up either way in any league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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

It feels like there’s a lot of overreaction going on this year. Maybe it’s just because I live in the Philadelphia sports market, where one day you’re a popular All-Pro with a banner on the side of the stadium and the next you’re slandered and labeled a malcontent gang-banger.

Or maybe it’s some of the fantasy writing I’m seeing this year where a guy changes course five times in the same thought – “Mike Olt was a great prospect for Texas, but we don’t see him holding onto the third base job in Chicago, then again it’s always possible his power stroke could be dangerous in Wrigley. Still, Olt is a rookie and should be treated as such, unless he gets on a roll. Then you should pick him up, if you want to. But you don’t have to. We would.”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The hardest division in the league, which includes last year’s world champs, looks to be just as intense again.  For that matter, it probably will be that way for the foreseeable future.  My favorite team is also being covered here.  I’ll do my best not to be biased about the Yankees, and I think I’m pretty good at keeping my emotions away from the reality of the team.  That being said, I think the Yankees are going to win 120 games this season. (You can check out the NL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

We got starters for days, literally and Urbandictionaryly. The other day I went over our top 20 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball, then I went over my top 40 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball. Today, the title of the post might’ve gave it away, but for those that skipped it, this is the top 60 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball. You could probably get away with waiting until this post to draft your first starter. To put that in perspective, Medlen is ranked 134 in the top 400 (that I’ll post in a few days). So, in a 12 team league, you could have 11 picks prior to your first starter. That’s, oh, I don’t know, five outfielders, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, corner infidel and middle infidel. I’m not saying to do that, but it’s possible. Basically, you can have your whole offense and still put together a pitching staff. If you don’t believe me, you insult Al Gore who invented the internet as a portal for fantasy baseball advice. All the 2014 fantasy baseball rankings are there. As always, I point out where tiers start and stop and my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 60 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

To be fair, I’m here to cover deep leagues with these posts and I don’t know if this pitcher applies given how his 2013 season went and how JB Gilpin gushed all over him in his Pitcher Profile of him last year.  But then I remembered some of y’all forget that guys who didn’t reach the IP minimum to qualify on certain lists count too and said to myself ‘Oh Em Gee, these kids gotta start doing better research.  They need my help!’  Thus was the beginning of this beautiful Corey Kluber sleeper story born, and after wiping all the afterbirth and poo off of it, I bring it to you. Though… I’m not quite ready to cut the umbilical cord on it.  You may have to wait a few more wasted opening sentences for that.  Sorry, can’t be helped.  Grey tells me repeatedly that I must maintain a 200 minimum word count in these openers and that if I dip below that, the bus we’re driving will explode.  Which is a weird thing to say considering we’re not on a bus.  I’d call it more a minivan.  Rudy is mumbling about SIERRA and WAR in his sleep in the back, Tehol is working on his flow by watching Gary The Snail rap (NSFW), JFOH is putting his gum in Mike’s hair, Jaywrong is making Jennifer Lawrence gifs on his laptop, and Tom Jacks is busy reading the politics section of the newspaper.  Ha, Tom…what a nerd!  But all this to say, Grey is driving this band of misfits while wearing mom jeans so we must abide.  But enough about the Razzball Family life, let’s trudge on.  So let’s look at why Kluber should be on your radar in deep leagues for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Two weeks ago we looked at the speedsters from 2013 and there were more than a few names on the list that were available on the waiver wire at some point. For deeper leagues and daily fantasy players that need to maximize each and every matchup, even the smallest advantages can mean the difference between a win and a loss. That’s why we focused a lot on matchups this past year, and we’ll do it again in 2014. Even the best base stealers get caught once in a while, so it’s good to know as much as we can about who might be doing the catching before deploying our fantasy lineups. There’s a lot that goes into a stolen base, of course, and the battery of pitcher and catcher is a large piece of the puzzle. Pitchers who are good at holding baserunners can be avoided while pitchers who have a tendency to cough up a lot of steals can be exploited. Here’s how some starters fared in 2013 and over the last three years against the stolen base.

Please, blog, may I have some more?