As I type this, I’m in a small, but expected depression as a disgruntled Mets fan living in Minnesota after today’s non-waiver trade deadline. In the middle of thermal packaging related activities, I saw deal and deal and deal swing by. All I get from both the teams that I follow most? A Kurt Suzuki extension. Oye. All that did was disgruntle me more, as I like Josmil Pinto quite a bit. I figured at least Bartolo Colon would get traded for some PTBL or a BoB (bucket o’ balls). Ah well.

On the other hand, if you’re a Tigers fan (I’m not a bandwagon A’s fan until the Mets are good, I decided today), you must be pretty excited. Drew Smyly wasn’t as dominating as a starter and Austin Jackson continued to short-come expectations. Instead you have an second ace, and can now appropriately consider Justin Verlander your number 3 or 4 or 5. [Jay’s Note: Or playoff closer?] Verlander has not been good, but he’s also been almost as unlucky as he’s been bad, or he’s hurt and isn’t saying anything/doesn’t know it.

July 1st, I noted the luckiest pitchers to date, but the one thing I didn’t do at that time was look at the pitcher’s luck/bad luck relative to their career rates. So for this post, for luck, I z-scored each pitcher’s luck stats relative to their career stats (homerun to flyball ratio, left on base% and BABIP). I weighed each z-score by the stats correlation to ERA. Therefore the luckies pitchers (using luck alone and excluding skill) as of 7/27 is: Josh Beckett, Jake Arrieta, Collin McHugh, Scott Kazmir, Garrett Richards, Zach Britton, Jordan Lyles, Drew Pomeranz, Dellin Betances, Alfredo Simon and Danny Duffy. Chris Young, Jason Hammel and Jesse Chavez (update: both Hammel and Chavez were rocked in their last start). However, this all excludes skill (contact rate, strikeout% minus walk% and ground ball to flyball ratio). Incorporating this, here are the actual luckiest pitchers as of 7/27:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Cardinals traded for one of the most unreliable starters this year, Justin Masterson and his 5.51 ERA. Ouch. The Cardinals fell asleep and the Indians drew a shaft and balls on their forehead. People are snickering at you, Cardinals, because you have a shaft and balls on your head. Unless it’s a non-Leaning Tower of Pisa that is partially obscuring a tractor trailer so all we’re seeing is its giant wheels. Then, it’s a lovely scenic landscape, but you still got had. This saves the Brewers a lot of trouble because I heard they were going to trade for Masterson and then ‘accidentally’ leave him behind on their next road trip to St. Louis. No reason to obfuscate, my dear Milwaukee friends. Masterson gets a slight uptick in value just going to the NL, but he needs to prove he’s healthy and able to throw a Quality Start before I’d start him anywhere. So, he’s gone from a Waiver Wire guy, to an On My Bench Until He Shows Something guy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

How great would it be for the Braves to trade for Marlon Byrd? Byrd and Ervin reunited. Byrd, of course, would have to bleach his skin like Sammy Sosa, put a giant yellow Brillo pad on his head for hair and wear some butt-hugging shorts that even white boys got to shout, “Baby got back!” Then Isiah can show up early, kiss them all on the cheek and watch from the sidelines. Ah, to dream (team). Due to a slightly inflated BABIP, Ervin Santana‘s ERA is up a tad from where it should be. Right now, he has the 27th best xFIP, right in front of Adam Wainwright. Speaking of Wainwright, Ervin’s K-rate is better than his. Is Ervin Santana pitching better than Wainwright? I wouldn’t go that far, but I wouldn’t go so far away from that statement either. Doesn’t anyone stay in one place anymore? It would be fine to see your face– Sorry. The great thing about Ervin compared to a Wainwright, he’s not even owned in some leagues. In the leagues where he is owned, how much would it take to get him in a trade? A Brain Freeze? A potato chip that’s in the shape of Sloth from The Goonies? A free ticket to an autograph show where Shelley Duncan is dressed up like Tackleberry from Police Academy? I.e., not much. Go, get Ervin, he’s magic, abracadabra. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Lights cigarette, takes a deep inhale, ahhhh that was satisfying. Looks over at DraftKings app and says “It’s good to have you back”. That’s how I felt last night with the return of baseball. After what seemed to be the four longest days of my life, I was more than happy to get back to a night of watching baseball and playing in Razzball’s Daily Leagues. In my best night in awhile, I cashed in all but one contest I entered. Winning one of our two nightly leagues, placing in a GPP, and winning a couple of head to heads. It was a good start to the second half! Well we’re back again today with another contest for the 11 games this evening. It’s an unusual Saturday in that the majority of games are tonight as opposed to afternoon contests.

Other than myself, congrats to last night’s other winners PC Bomberos, and Rasjuba who were the 2nd and 3rd place winners from contest one. As well as the winner of our 2nd contest and the owner of the highest total (139.15) between the two leagues; our very own Schlurricane. He was followed by Bearcats594 and jackieinertia respectively. If you’re not playing DraftKings yet, do yourself a favor and get signed up. Just for joining with us today you’ll get a free entry into a contest. It’s a sweet deal! Plus we have tons of tools to help you get setup and on the right track with your lineups. Check out the DFSBOT, the Stream-o-Nator, the Hitter-tron, and the Ombotsman.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 Teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Save Vulture is no ordinary animal. Or Jordanian animal, as my autocorrect wanted me to write. The Save Vulture doesn’t need much sunlight. The Save Vulture doesn’t need water in its purest form; it can distill water from cola, in a process called sodasynthesis. The Save Vulture is strictly a meat eater. It’s even been known to remove vegetables that are in the proximity of meat it plans on devouring. The one thing it considers a vegetable is a potato and that’s in chip form, which it consumes daily. The Save Vulture is not a social animal, but it does have close ties to its mother. Sometimes staying in the nest for 35 to 40 years. Once it leaves the nest, it usually latches onto a partner that nurtures it like a mother would. The Save Vulture doesn’t work much, except six months a year when it’s scrolling through a fantasy waiver wire for potential closers. The Save Vulture’s most active time is the last two weeks of July when closers could change teams, thus making a new reliever a closer. The Save Vulture preys on the weakness of others who lose their closer. This year, one of the most likely targets for The Save Vulture is Ken Giles with Jonathan Papelbon likely being traded. The Save Vulture is also flying over Huston Street, waiting to swoop in on Joaquin Benoit‘s carcass. Do you think The Save Vulture isn’t looking at Neftali Feliz if Joakim Soria is traded? You must be Joakim. Some desperate Save Vultures are talking about Koji Uehara being traded and Edward Mujica taking over. Not to be confused with Huston Street, but Chad Qualls on a Houston St. could go to a contender and Jesse Crain or Tony Sipp or Josh Fields or Jose Veras or Craig Biggio in a bad wig would step in. Could LaTroy Hawkins get moved? You bet your white Blackmon! In that case, Adam Ottavino or Rex Brothers would step in. The Save Vulture is even monitoring Matt Lindstrom‘s rehab, knowing if he’s healthy in the next few weeks, he could take over again. The Save Vulture doesn’t bathe itself, unless you count spilled soda, but it is the most diligent about stealing closers this time of year, I suggest you do the same. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, we had our first July 31st trading deadline deal, and it paid off for all the A’s fans who paid Oaktown’s own, Bubb Rubb, to break into Billy Beane’s office and turn his iCal forward a month. “Any ideas what you want to do for the 4th of July, Billy?” “I celebrated last month with some friends.” Screen spirals out and slam cuts to Bubb Rubb, maniacally (bubb)rubbing his hands together. When the A’s are playing like it’s playoff baseball in September, don’t say your mustachioed over-the-internet friend didn’t warn you. So, the trade that went down was Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel for David Addison Leave Me Alone Maddie Russell, who I will get to after this lede. Samardzija and Hammel both gain value going to the A’s, which isn’t often the case with an NL pitcher going to The Land of Milk and Honey-Flavored DHs. Wrigley isn’t a great place to pitch — one day it’s overcast with winds blowing straight out, another day winds are just swirling overhead like a toilet bowl genie. As we’ve seen in the past, pitchers can do just about anything in a short period of time. Could Hammel and Samardzija completely poop the sheets? Fo’sho. Likely? Prolly not. O.co is like Petco and Metco, a big cavernous wasteland for hitters and they have more foul territory than Roseanne Barr’s privates. Samardzija brings strikeout stuff to hitters that aren’t as familiar with him and could be the 2nd half’s Kazmir. Yesterday, in his first A’s start, he had a line of 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks. Dividends paying out quick there. Hammel keeps the ball down and O.co will love him. This trade only really hurts Tommy Milone, who was shipped to the minors. The A’s just made themselves a serious contender and having a friend in Bubb Rubb pays off once again. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you take enough shrooms, you start to dream about how Rick Porcello is from the magical land of Zeranok, where Buehrles and Moyers can cruise 15 MPH below the speed limit. Off shrooms, you just see Zeranok as zero ERA, no K. Yesterday’s 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 0 Ks was solid, great, adjective. Hard to not get excited about a complete game shutout, but I’m gonna try. Heard a lot made of the fact that Porcello only needed 95 pitches to finish off the A’s. That’s wonderful. Somewhere, Greg Maddux smiled, then he tried to go behind the counter at his local post office to show them how they can be more efficient and nearly got arrested. “Can we all just form a two-person line as we wait for Wet Willie’s Wild Slide?” That’s Maddux at a water park with his kids. I hear ya, Greg, when people are grouped together in a party of six in an amusement park line it drives me crazy too. The worst is when they get up to the front and suddenly they have 25 other friends that were with them. Any the hoo! A 95 pitch CG SHO is great IRL (you like how I was illustrating efficiency with acronyms; though this parenthetical defeats that purpose), but Porcello’s efficiency doesn’t do a whole lot for me in fantasy if it comes with no Ks. His K-rate is 5.2 and his walk rate is 2. That’s pretty blehtastic. I’d own him, since he gets the Rays next. He’s not suddenly shooting up to ace status for fantasy. I know, I know, that Porcello is one funghi, but he’s actually pretty close to borderline for 12-team mixed leagues. 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.

Are you like me? Have you been doubting the existence of the humidor at Coors Field since they allegedly installed it in the early 2000s? Didn’t it sound like some kind of lame way to side-step the concerns that juiced-up ogres were having a field day lighting up the scoreboard in the thin air? Yeah, that’s it, it’s the baseballs, not the steroids coursing through players’ veins, leading to 15-13 games. But no, there really is a humidor at Coors, and they really do put baseballs in there to bathe them in humidity, not groups of smelly 55-year-old cigar-smoking creeps.

All kinds of studies have been done that show home run numbers and batting averages have been somewhat deflated thanks to the humidor. But that hasn’t exactly transformed Coors into Petco. I don’t need to dig for stats on that – you’ve started your best guys there, and you’ve seen your ERA numbers skyrocket as a result. It’s why I see an “@COL” next to one of the guy’s names below and move them down from where they started. So what pitchers don’t get crushed in Coors? There’s no way to predict for certain, but I looked at some of the games where the Rockies were dominated in Denver and found something interesting. Three pitchers who have done well this year have good sinkers, decent-to-great curveballs and throw the four-seam fastball.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Daily fantasy brings a whole new dimension to the we look at fantasy players.  We’re getting used to streaming pitchers which has become a great strategy being implemented over the last few years, but daily fantasy takes it to a whole new level.  You don’t have to drop anyone to pick up the man of the hour, knowing that his long-term value will be equivalent to Lenny Dykstra’s business ventures.

If you get off watching a pitcher dominate like I do, then you’ll appreciate the pornutopia of starters going today.  Masa-Hero, Darvish, Greinke, Cueto, Scherzer, and Wacha are all on cam today.  If I gotta pick two, I’m taking Cueto and Tanaka.  Darvish has been lit up by the A’s, almost to the extent I want to stack against him today.  Greinke and Wacha have been a bit shaky lately and, besides his last start, so has Scherzer and the Royals bats are about as hot as it gets in baseball right now.  I’m rolling the dice on Roenis Elias today.  He’s had some rough ones lately as well, but he’s also had some dominant outings including a complete game shutout with 8 Ks against the Tigers just ten days ago.  And the K’s seem real as he boasts nearly 8 K/9 this year.  He also has the most tasty matchup on the slate today facing the Padres who get nothing right against lefties as they mutter a .598 OPS against them this year which is marginally crappier than anyone other squad.  A price tag of $8,000 climaxes the excitement with dough to blow on some other nice pieces.

Hopefully, you’ve been playing along with us at Draftkings so far this year.  If not, c’mon and join us cuz we’ve been having daily leagues for the last two weeks thanks to the zealous @RalphLifshitzbb who’s been heading it up.  We aren’t wagering huge, but just making sure to have some fun with $1 on the line each day.  Come on and hang out and test your mettle with us.  Here’s a link to our fun little cash game today.  The Razzball community only gains strength as we reach out to more avenues.  If you haven’t signed up yet use this link cuz you’ll get a free contest to start building your stack.  Here’s a few more highlights of today’s DFS best offerings:

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.

I did some soul-searching math the other day, and I determined that 54 percent of the time, I’m right every time. But that benchmark of psychic-level foresight seems to no longer be reachable in these turbulent times. Although a few recent stumbles have me questioning myself a bit lately, there are some things I do know for sure. Taking a page out of Jimmy Fallon’s playbook, I give you my “True Facts of Truth” for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball Season:

1) Something (Bigger crackdown on P.E.D.’s? Climate change? More tightly wound balls?) has sapped the power out of guys who used to have power. Robinson Cano, Billy Butler, Jedd Gyorko and Evan Longoria are among those who have experienced major power outages.

2) Roughly 32 percent of all adult males get excited when they see Matt Adams rub a bat between his moobs, but only 30 percent will admit to it (Cards’ fans).

3) Something (Bigger crackdown on P.E.D.’s? Climate change? Less tightly wound balls?) and not something else (kids throwing curveballs too early) has made Dr. James Andrews and very busy man and caused carpel tunnel issues for whoever types up the disabled list section of the transactions that run in newspaper sports sections.

4) The “R.A.” in R.A. Dickey stands for “Really Acting”.

5) Guys who were aces heading into the season (Justin Verlander, Matt Cain, Gerrit Cole, Gio Gonzalez, Homer Bailey) are not aces in 2014, and therefore not automatic green lights as two-start pitchers.

6) Guys who were not aces heading into the season (Johnny Cueto, Dallas Keuchel, Phil Hughes, Tim Hudson, Mark Buehrle, Josh Beckett) are pitching like aces and becoming dang near must-starts as two-start pitchers.

7) In cricket, the game of pepper is called “circle jerk.”

8) When in doubt, go with the Stream-O-Nator.

9) If you’re still not sold, look at a dude’s K/BB per game ratio.

10) Ronald Belisario is actually 61 years old.

Maybe you saw something in the list you can use and apply to the rankings below. Or maybe you saw some things that have you questioning the future of the human race. Regardless, let the Two-Startapalooza begin!

Please, blog, may I have some more?