It’s nice to have a breather now and then. To kick back and relax, enjoy some time with your family and re-energize for the final home stretch of the baseball season. Of course, I’m talking about myself seeing as the All-Star break just happened and I didn’t write a post last week to do DraftKings coverage. What, you thought I was doing a send up to the actual ball players? Psssh, they’re finally tuned athletes, they don’t need no stinkin’ rest. Plug them into the wall, let’um recharge overnight and send them back out there, damned prima donnas. But as mentioned, it was nice to get a reprieve from the DK roll that we’ve been rolling on. It reminded me that life is short and that I should do something different than DK baseball. Yeah, something important. SOMETHING THAT COULD CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY. So I wrote about my team for the Scott Fish Bowl over on Razzball Football, of course. Yeah, that’s live right now if you wanna talk to me there while I’m also over here. Bi-posting, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. But for those of you who don’t give a rip about Fantasy Football, let’s get down to brass tacks. Your favorite niece may look pretty in a polka dot dress but my favorite, Jonathon Niese, probably wouldn’t look good in an armani suit. That nose, bro…but of course, what has looked good is starting a left-handed pitcher against the Mariners so far this year. To date, the Mariners have the second lowest team wOBA and wRC+ (.286 and 80, respectively) against southpaws. Not to mention the worst ISO against them on the year at .102. They always say it’s tough to start a pitcher coming back from a DL stint which is true but I think the matchup will hold precedence and Niese will keep the M’s at bay for the day, making him a solid shot as your SP1 despite only being priced out at $7,200. But enough family talk, let’s move on. Here are some other picks and observances for July 21st contests on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As soon as you’re finished with this post, I want you to close your laptop, step outside and look at a bird in flight. Pick up a flower, breathe in its fragrance, sneeze from your allergies, wave to a neighbor and close your robe because you’re not just waving with your hand. How does that feel? Exhilarating? Then your dedication sucks. It should be a total bore. You should be more interested in whether or not I’m going to have a top 100 for the 2nd half of fantasy baseball tomorrow than what your significant other has been doing for the last three and a half months. Luckily, I will have a top 100 tomorrow, guys and four girl readers. Clay Buchholz didn’t make the top 100, but with a game like yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 12 Ks — he could be better than some guys that are on there. I’ll go over this in detail tomorrow, but in only two and a half months, anything can happen. Even something good with Buchholz because there is upside, right? Check. Downside? Check? Waitress? Check please. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

PSYCH! Before we get into the post, I just wanted to say our TV on the Radio host, Nick, wants to cover some live fantasy football drafts in the following cities: Dallas, New Orleans, Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincy and Detroit. We’re currently airing our show on cable in 22 million homes in the New York area, so if you want to make an ass of yourself on a bigger scale than you can imagine, now’s your chance! Leave your email address in the comments or over at our TV/Radio side of things, and Nick will hit you back. Anyway II, the roundup:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m staring out on a prairie in the middle of Palm Springs. Okay, it’s not a prairie. It’s more of a dirt field with a bingo card blowing through it. But let’s pretend it’s a prairie. Why am I standing in a prairie that’s not really a prairie? Because all great baseball moments happen this way. Just one man and rows of corn. Except those aren’t rows of corns, but walkers lined up against the window of a Starbucks. But let’s pretend they are cornfields! I’m pulling off my cap (not wearing a cap; don’t want to mess my hair), staring directly into the sky (wearing sunglasses) and screaming at the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, “Why do you have to make the rest of us suffer for the childhood you never had?!” Okay, I need to move on before the OPP (Old People Police) come after me. We should’ve known a rather pedestrian 7 IP, 4 ER from Masahiro Tanaka was a sign that he was hurt. We should’ve known! Or an even worse 6 2/3 IP, 5 ER start the next time out. We should’ve known! Alas, we didn’t know. So, Tanaka’s going for a variety of tests, and hopefully it’s nothing, but any time there’s something wrong with a pitcher’s elbow it’s something. Are we sure he didn’t inflame his elbow using Hideki’s porn collection? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Let’s look at some potential homerun decliners based on the following “Power Score” or expected homerun (xHR) formula and compare it to their actual homerun totals. Here is the formula:

Plate Appearances(PA)*Contact Rate(Ct%)*Outfield flyball rate(OFFB%)*Homerun per Outfield Flyball ratio(HR/OFFB).

Make sense? Sure it does: How many homeruns does a player hit per outfield flyball? How much of their contact results in an outfield flyball? How much overall contact does a batter make when swinging the bat in a plate appearance? This should provide us with an expected HR total.

The below lists are ranked by the largest actual HR-expected HR differentials. Their HR related performance (PA, Ct, OFFB, HR/OFFB) is listed along with their average homerun and flyball average distance and rank.

Two contingencies worth noting at this time: 1) Our samples size still isn’t huge and 2) We’re not taking into account platoon hitters, i.e. Scott Van Slyke as a right-hand hitter only raking against left-hand pitchers. So when I extrapolate the data, keep this in mind. In other words, if Scott Van Slyke consumed more playing time against right-hand pitchers, there’s a good chance his performance/power would drop off.

Here are the top potential HR decliners (I think you will see the value of this xHR comp immediately):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

While you’re taking time from your family to read this on this beautiful Fourth of July, I just want to say a few quick thank yous. *intern whispers in my ear* I’m told Thanksgiving is the time for that thanking people crap and the 4th of July is for hot dogs, red, white and blue Jell-o shots and almost losing a finger when a fuse goes off prematurely — that’s what she said! Huh? You know what’s more apple pie (appley-er?) than the 4th of July? A guy that was once lost in the abyss of self-despair and Fruit Loops making good– Wait that’s the intro for Celebrity Fit Club. Okay, better than apple pie is a guy that looks like a stick figure and pitches like Adrian Adonis (in his heyday, obviously), and going into Coors and taming the mountain better than the Red Viper. Zack Greinke threw 8 IP, 1 ER, 11 baserunners and 8 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.66. His peripherals aren’t much worse either — 9.6 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and a 2.72 xFIP. He’s pretty much a top five pitcher. So, on today, when we celebrate flashes of color in the sky and a bunch of drunk white guys signing parchment 238 years ago, let’s raise our fruity, rum-filled concoction and toast Greinke. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What’s the mood, doode? How ya’ feelin’? Why is it all real G’s drop their G’s on their gerunds? G-dropping as non-G’s call it. That keeps me up at night. Failing to rank at first Tyson Ross in my top 100 starters doesn’t. It was a mistake on my part, and I corrected it before we got out of February. I ranked him. Snafu less afu’d than it could’ve been. I still probably didn’t rank him high enough. They have no award for that. Trophies, trophies. This is like Gangsta Deep Thoughts on Def Poetry Jam. Stop me from going up like a crescendo. This is not a love song. This is “What Tyson Ross has done so far this year” song. That is not as catchy. They don’t play that on KDay. His ERA is at 2.93 after a complete game shutout where he struck out 9 and only allowed 3 baserunners. His K-rate is 8.6, walk rate is 3.2 and xFIP is 3.16. Clap, pause for a sip of Olde E, clap. I paused for a sip of the brew on his walk rate, if you’re uptake is slow. His away ERA is 4.18. Well, you had me convinced you were more than a Hodgepadre there for a moment. Nice trick, Copperfield. Ross is owned in 51% of ESPN leagues, which is stoopid, but since I only own 12,000 ESPN teams to collect some software. Virtual trophies, virtual trophies. I can only do so much. Yes, he should be owned, but he’s a lot safer in Petco. No dur. And I bow. And I just hit my head on my desk. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Wanna really mess with your brain? Think about how you could have the same thing as Guy Pearce in Memento and you would never know. Okay, don’t think about it too long, it’ll mess with your brain too much and then I’m gonna get sued by your loved ones. “Judge, Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it), told my darling boy, Josh, to think about how he could have a brain dysfunction and now I have to change his diaper and order in for Chinese food every fifteen minutes because he keeps forgetting he just ate.” That’s your momma in front of the judge, suing me. Steve Pearce is a thirty-one-year-old journeyman. That’s not a cartographer, that’s a guy who isn’t very good and just travels around offering his services for all-you-can-drink Gatorade. Yes, he hit two homers yesterday and has hit 9 homers in just two months while batting .336. This isn’t a matter of “Maybe he’s breaking out now.” No, there’s no breaking out for Steve Pearce. He doesn’t even sound right if you don’t say his full name. There’s no Steve and no Pearce. There’s only Steve Pearce and he’s the hottest schmotato in the land and is worth picking up while he’s swinging a hot bat, but I wouldn’t expect it to last that long. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s deja vu all over again. It was almost a year ago that Tim Lincecum threw a no hitter vs. the Padres. Only thing better would be if they both came on 4/20. After the game, Lincecum said, “I felt unstoppable the whole game. Even if something was hit, I felt like there was a giant baseball mitt in the outfield,” then seeing the giant baseball mitt sculpture in AT&T Park’s outfield, Lincecum slowly looked around to see if anyone else saw what he did, then said, “Dude,” five or six times, then refused to answer any more questions. The Padres are a team that could be no-hit any time they step on the field, so, in some ways, they fulfilled their destiny yesterday. What’s the difference between the Padres bats and Tony Gwynn? I remember when Tony Gwynn was alive. “Dude, seriously, do you see that giant mitt?” Yes, Lincecum, leave us alone. In the game following Lincecum’s no-hitter last year, he threw three and two-thirds innings and gave up eight runs, so, while this was a nice game, I wouldn’t go thinking Lincecum is suddenly the pitcher he was in his Cy Young years. A paranoid Lincecum runs by, “There’s a giant mitt out there!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rock and Roll.  Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and and Little Richard got it going.  Elvis made it sexy.  The Beatles made it ok to admit you liked it.  Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd made it hallucinogenic.  The Stones and Aerosmith kept it alive.  Motley Crue and Skid Row made it pretty and disgusting.  Then Sean Combs, alias TBD, got the idea to sample all of it–to middling results.  And other dudes annihilated it.  Thanks Nickelback and Creed and Puddle of Mudd and Dookie and the Bunghole Fish.  No really, thank you!  Cuz now it’s far more exciting to concern ourselves with sports, fantasy sports, boob jobs and bacon creations.  Drinking is now an acceptable way to pass the day as long as you’re tweeting about it.

We all want instant gratification now and that’s at the sacrifice of actually taking two full years to make a great album or more than a day to create a great riff.  The tradeoff is that we have 61 food options that take less than 10 minutes to get from synapse to taste buds.  We have television that is on demand which is now dwindling in the light of streaming media.  Kissing on the first date used to be taboo.  Now dating on the first sex is the standard.  Man this is good.  Essentially, Razzball has to thank all of the crappy bands of the 2000s for much of our success!  That and Grey and Rudy…  Fantasy sports have become as popular as the real thing.  Not to be outdone by (as your mother would call it) the daily fantasy.  You can have a new one every day.  DRAFTKINGS!!!  You can hump tomorrow (it’s Wednesday) but today you’re gonna DraftKings!!!  And if you’re gonna partake, don’t forget the DFS porn.  We won’t make you work or pay for your info or your winnings.  We got Steam-O-Nator, HitterTron and DFSBot to wet your whistle.  Tools of the trade, ya’ll.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It was a good night for a rally, but a bad night for a closer. Summer is officially here which means we can no longer use the “he’ll heat up as soon the weather warms up” excuse for our struggling stars. And just as the air at Coors makes the balls fly higher, the increased temperature and humidity also causes those baseballs to travel even farther. This time of year the advantage tends to shift from the pitchers to the hitters. It’s science, Mr. White! Fact. Just go ask a scientist. He’ll tell you summer is coming, Jon Snuh, no need to look so depressed all of the time. Perhaps this explains why last night, on Summer’s Eve, a number of closers collectively decided to destroy your ratios in an all out Closer Catastrophe. Let’s start with Zach Britton (0.2 IP, 3 hits, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, BS (2)). I haven’t seen a Yankee beat a Britton like that since the Battle of Saratoga. Revolutionary war joke! (NERD!)  With nine saves in the past month, it’s hard for Britton’s owners to complain here, so let’s move on. Old Reliable Glen Perkins (1.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 1 BB), was handed his third blown save but managed his third win, in expert vulture stylez. The crowning jewel of last night’s CloserTastrophe, Aroldis Chapman (0.2 IP, 2 hits, 2 BB, 4 ER) was handed the loss after a five run ninth inning capped off by a 3-run HR by Edwin Encarnacion. Say it ain’t so, Roldy! Is no one safe? With Craig Kimbrel (1.0 IP, 1 hit, 2 BB, 1 ER) notching his fourth blown save I should think not. Anthony Rendon hit a game-tying HR (11) off Craig, the first homer Kimbrel has surrendered all season. Are you getting scared yet? Was there a full moon last night or something? How about Greg Holland (1.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 BB, 2 ER) taking his second loss. This one was tied when he entered but stillz. By this time in the night when I saw Kenley Jansen (0.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 hits) enter the game with one run lead, I knew it could only end poorly. Escape while you can, Kenley! Fake a stomach cramp or something! He was handed his third blown save of the year. Sure, I’m ignoring all the closers who did manage to notch saves last night, but that’s not the point. It was a tough night to be a closer, but an even tougher night to own one in fantasy baseball. I feel your pain, all.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?