Gerrit Cole, one of the better young pitchers in the game, landed on the DL Sunday with “right shoulder fatigue”.  What does this mean for the Pirates?  Well, they have been playing much, much better of late, and this is gonna put a wrench in their chances of making a run at first place in the division.  Yes, they are still eight games back, but with Gregory Polanco likely getting called up this week, if they had a push in them, now was the time they were going to have to make it.  Instead, 2013 All-Star Jeff Locke, who was so bad post-break that he finished the year in the minors, will fill the void left by Cole and his 6-3 record.

Fantasy baseball owners are also going to be affected by this.  The Pirates hope Cole will only miss one start, but this sounds like it could develop into a multi-week recovery.  Concern arose when Cole, who normally throws in the 95-98 MPH range, was showing decreased velocity in the mid- to-late innings of games.  Assuming the Bucs fall further out of contention, the team will be in no rush to bring back their 23-year-old stud.  For what it’s worth, the Reds’ Tony Cingrani landed on the DL in May for the same reason (left shoulder fatigue) and missed just the minimum time, but he hasn’t been good at all in the weeks since.  For now, fantasy owners will just have to stash Cole on their DL and hope for a speedy recovery.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Tuesday, the Gods befriended my plans, making the only effect of scattered thunderstorms in the New York area a simple hour rain delay in the Yanks-A’s game. After that, it was a beautiful night for baseball. What began as an unexciting, low-scoring affair, ended in a thrilling come-from-behind, extra-inning A’s victory. Before the game, I was most looking forward to groovin’ to Josh Reddick’s walkup song “Careless Whisper”, and embarrassingly, it wasn’t until I was sitting in my seat and saw the lineups posted on the scoreboard that I remembered he was on the DL. No slow-dancing  for me tonight.

I highly encourage everyone to watch the full MLB video I linked to above about, what was at that time, Reddick’s new walk-up jam. For those of you who need the quick fix, here’s the payoff of the video.

From the professionalism of his attire, you get the sense he’s really letting loose in the moment. And then as soon as the music stops, his demeanor flashes instantly back to his normal stodgy self. This is purely speculation on my part, a modern version of the people-watch-and-invent-stories-of-their-lives game that can make any trip to a metropolitan area more interesting.

Anyhoo! Let’s get down to business with regards to Monday’s games…

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Wil Myers was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his hand. Experts are saying, “Guess you shouldn’t have drafted him!” Those are experts in schadenfreude. Other experts are saying he should’ve been wearing iron gloves called járngreipr. But those experts are in Norse mythology. Then there’s experts that say when he was injured he should’ve been going for a Chocolate Silk Pie Blizzard, but those are experts in Dairy Queen. Are there any experts on injuries that weighed in?! Oh, here’s one that says he’ll have his cast removed in about 6 weeks and could return in August. Ugh. I think I need a Blizzard. In shallower leagues where DL spots are already filled, I could see dropping him. In one 15-team league, I’m holding him, but Taijuan Walker is about to come off the DL, so I have room. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“All this time, I had a dead possum on my head and I didn’t even realize it.” That was overheard recently by Selig. There should be a rule that anyone that can’t make the determination that their toupee is obvious to everyone should not be in any high-powered position. Rule number two: They should be able to hear. Or maybe he’s saying to an off-camera female reporter, “Where can I get one earring like that for this ear?” But since Selig can’t figure out the most-basic concepts, I’m going to break it down to him real simple as I did on yesterday’s Razzball TV on the Radio. How do people get excited about a particular day if no one knows when the hell that day is? Super Two status day is, um, well, no one has any idea! It changes for every player. A team could think they’re delaying it now and in two years realize they haven’t delayed it. Major League Baseball should say all rookies keep the extra year of eligibility if they stay down until May 31st. So this way everyone can focus on June 1st as the big day. Or make it June 5th. I don’t care, just make it one day so fans can get excited about a specific day. Like how there is a trading deadline. Any the hoo! For Jon Singleton, it’s irrelevant because the Astros gave him a contract and he will now be their starting 1st baseman. I already gave you my Singleton fantasy, it went like this, “Singleton was suspended for 50 games last year for smoking marijuana. Singleton wasn’t even tested until he kept forgetting the pitch count and called time out to grab some nachos. After his suspension, Singleton said, “I made an error in judgement. I should’ve cleansed by downing a 3-liter jug of cranberry juice rather than Nature’s Way Detox Tea. Damn you, Tommy Chong, for endorsing that inferior product!” Any self-respecting marijuana smoker will tell you that players aren’t suspended for DUIs but marijuana gets them… Then they trail off and their argument becomes less coherent and they’ll ask if they can borrow your Snuggie so they can take a nap. We should throw out his 2013 season. Who knows how long it took for him to return to form after his suspension. He’s still a prospect and only 22 years old. In 2012, Singleton hit 21 homers with 7 steals and a .284 average in 131 games. That’s more like what his minor league season should look like, and he does have 30-homer power, but won’t hit for a huge average. He strikes out too much. Singleton reminds me a lot of fellow Astro, Chris Carter. See, the truth is out there. Maybe Chris Carter and Jon Singleton can get together and make an X-Filez movie. Last year, Carter hit 29 homers and .223 with an insanely terrible 36.2% strikeout percentage. Singleton could do the same. More than likely, he won’t be quite that bad for average. Singleton could hit for the same amount of power and hit for a .260 average. Singleton will give you a line of 32/14/39/.258/4 and be up in June.” And that’s me quoting me! I’d grab him in every league for the chance for some sweet, sweet upside, and have already. Here’s hoping he can fill my giant gaping, Fielder-sized hole at 1st base. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Braves called Tommy La Stella up to replace Fuggla. Here’s what I said about a month ago, “Incredibly, we already had a Tommy La Stella fantasy post. Don’t you people sleep?! There, Dano compared him to Pedroia and not because he needs his tippy toes to get on a roller coaster. I think that comparison might be a tad bizzonkers. Or as the gentle fantasy writers of our day would say, “That’s a bit more bullish than I’d say.” Has any group of people said the word bullish more? This word feels like it’s dominating all fantasy conversations. It’s a polite way to say, someone is smoking more crack than another person. Of course, in a world of small sample sizes, anything could happen, but La Stellllllllllla looks like an NL-Only play with a chance for 5 homers, 7 steals and a decent average if he were called up in June.” And that’s me quoting me! Now that he’s been called up, I’d add him in deeper mixed leagues (think 15+), but I still don’t have high hopes for him outside of maybe a decent average. He’s basically a forty-twenty. If Fredi Gonzalez had any brains in that squishy melon on his shoulders, he’d bat La Stella leadoff and move Heyward down the order. Smarts and managing baseball teams don’t always go hand-in-hand though. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With 11 of the 15 games pegged for the early contests on DraftKings, it’s a weird day to be a DFS baseball player, but a damn proud day to be an American. Thousands of men and women died for our freedom; so first and foremost, honor those brave souls any way you can, because without them, we wouldn’t be “enjoying” the daily grinds and the sweats (amongst many other [more important] things). Quit ogling the X-Men for one second and embrace the real heroes.

Now, back to the unique Memorial Day schedule – for the sake of not wasting research cycles, and in honor of my right to a Sunday Fun Day, this column will focus solely on the nighttime four-game set (i.e. the late games). To stand out in GPPs with such limited selection, it will take some creativity and a diamond in the rough or two, but let’s see what advantages we can find in just eight lineup cards. Of course, in-house tools like Hitter-Tron, Steam-o-Nator, and DFSBot are also here to help too. Oh, and on a random side note – why doesn’t Mike Olt change to #45? Olt 45 – it works every time. Billy Dee would be proud. Someone pass this along to Olt 45 – he can thank me later.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s official, DraftKings has broken me. It started with Tyler Lyons getting destroyed at home by the Cubs on Monday and I never fully recovered. The doctors say I’ve been catatonic since then only to wake late Thursday night shouting ‘they bat .188 against opposing LHP you !#@$)(%#$@%@!’ Needless to say, I’m typing this from what my wife has lovingly coined ‘the fun house’ and what with all the white padded walling and little cups of multi-colored, pill-form heaven, I have to say I’m feeling much better now. Or is it I can’t feel anything? When the doc asked me to take a look at some pictures to tell him what I saw, he said he was amazed by the findings. In every single inkblot, I saw Daily Fantasy values. Here I saw the Stream-o-Nator pointing out that Tanner Roark was a top 10 stream play on the day. Here I saw the DFSBot tell me he was undervalued by $300 relative to what his expected outcome was, making him a great value play. And here…well that was clearly Yngve Malmsten covered in butter playing ukulele to a bunch of Travelocity Gnomes at the Grand Ole Opry. Sadly, the doctor now says I can’t leave but at least there’s wi-fi here. So without further ado, here’s some more Razzball picks for today’s DraftKings contests for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For all of today’s news and lineup notes, all with a Canadian/Arizonian accent (if that’s such a thing, I’m assuming it is unless they already deported it) here’s Nick the Podcast Radio Host with today’s HotSheet!

To be fair, Johnny Cueto is good, but that’s not the name of the song. Pitching a complete game, three hit shut-out with eight strikeouts is quite an impressive start, until you realize it was against the Padres. You gave up three hits against them? What is this? Kevin Correia hour? Even though those nine innings struck me as quite pedestrian, his last 63.0 IP have been quite impressive. And seeing as how he’s one of the eighteen pitchers who has survived so far without a tendon exploding, he could be well on his way for a Cy Young caliber year. And while the red flags are few and far between, I would be remiss not to mention them. First, his LOB% is insane at 99.5%. Yes, he’s really great at holding runners, but the league average is 72.8% and his career average 76.6%. Second, his BB% is unchanged, but his K/9 is 9.71, compared to a career number of 7.19, and there’s really no reason why. The velocity has remained the same. There’s been an uptick of two-seamers with less sliders and change-ups… but if it was sequencing, we’d need a bigger sample. If it’s a case of getting called third strikes at a higher rate, that would demand regression. And, of course, there’s always injury-risk. But in the year of the Tommy John, I’ll feel relieved if someone’s arm doesn’t literally just fall off during a game this season. But hey, pitchers have career years. And when good pitchers have career years, well, ahem, they have career years? Uhh… I was in trouble like six words in…

Here’s what else I saw on Thursday (besides yo momma):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Every time I hear Nate Eovaldis name I think about the delicious Italian staple the Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I also think of Rachel Ray and her sick obsession for the stuff. Seriously, that woman puts it in everything. But thank goodness this isn’t about her and I’ve probably already turned some of you off and you’re heading back over to Grey’s with all the other cool kids….Hi De Nacho Favre! Speaking of De Nacho, in the FCL I was commenting how I’m glad I drove a Honda but I’ll never do it again. It was boring, like listening to Air Supply for the rest of your life. I like power at my feet, I haven’t owned a car that wasn’t a V8 in years. Now why am I telling you this nonsense and how does it relate to EVOO? Dude is not boring! He’s damn exciting to watch, makes playing all this worth it. He went undrafted all over the place back in March but has been one of the best adds all season. The returns on him has given his owners a 2.86 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 8.58 K/9, 1.79 BB/9, a realistic LOB rate, a high ground ball rate and low line drive rate. He also throws really friggin’ hard with an average velocity of 95.7 on his four seam and 96.1 on his 2 seam fastballs. I also dropped him in one league a couple of weeks back. I’ll be honest, I thought he was good but I’ve been waiting for the regression fairies to show up. They’re late to the party. I see him as this year’s Patrick Corbin, a great start but will die a slow death after the All Star break. The only saving grace is the velocity. He throws hard and that is always a plus. In case some of you have forgot, he was the centerpiece of the Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers deal. The Marlin’s know their talent. Ok, enough back story blah blah blah. He gets the Giants today at the their nice cushy ballpark. The Giants are the 11th worst team in MLB for K rate and have a couple of their bats banged up. Brandon Belt is on the DL, Pablo Sandoval is hurt and Hunter Pence has been stuck at the light switch all season. Nothing really scary there. We could say Michael Morse is playing and hitting but I say he’s playing and looking ready to hit the DL. I have May 23rd on my Morse injury pool. *crosses fingers* Bottom line is he’s my favorite pitcher of the day and anytime Matt Cain takes the hill the Giants lose. Stream-o-Nator likes Cain better and has Eovaldi 6th on the day. I say Stream has been partying too much with Hitter-Tron. I’m playing him in DraftKings contests today and if you did too then let’s take a moment to hold hands over the internet.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Saturday, Jon Lester threw a gem: 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 15 Ks. Such a gem that if that were a blood diamond, diplomats from Monrovia would be lined up in the streets of Liberia for a taste of that. If that were an emerald, friends of Dorothy would stand outside of Ricky Martin’s hotel for weeks just for the chance he forgoes the hotel buffet and wants to eat out. If that were a ruby, it would stand outside a Dallas police station to cover any possible conspiracies and add fuel to other conspiracies. Lester has pitched spectacularly so far, and it’s not a product of luck. His 10.7 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 are elite. Those are fantasy ace numbers. His fastball doesn’t have renewed life, if anything he’s lost something on it. What appears to be the biggest difference is he’s almost completely abandoned his changeup and throwing his cutter a bit more. Since he’s always been good for 200 innings and has had huge success before, I’m willing to say he will hold the improvements to his rates and be an extremely reliable starter. Likely in the top 15 for the year. Yeah, he looks damn good. I want some, purdy puhlease. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?