On Saturday, our prayers were answered.  No, not the prayer about winning Powerball.  Or the prayer about sweatpants becoming the new formalwear.  Or the prayer about muttonchops being some magical aphrodisiac.  Or the prayer about your mom forgetting that time you accidentally sexted her.  Or that prayer about being as successful in real life as you are in fantasy.  No, not those.  The prayer about Yu Darvish returning and looking as dominant as ever.  On Saturday, he threw the fastest pitch of his major league career, throwing three pitches for more than 98 MPH.  The line of 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks was solid, but I imagine this will be the start of him reaffirming his place in the top 10 starter conversation.  Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department sang, “Yu, Yu got what I need…Yu say he just spends Yen…Yu say he just spends Yen…But baby Yuuuuuu,Yu got what I need!”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Matt Harvey (5 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 6.08) briefly held the honor of having the worst ERA of any National League starter at 6.08, which means Harvey is the only one happy with Shelby Miller this year.  It’s time we addressed the giant imaginary rabbit in the room, Harvey.  The Mets thought that Harvey’s problems were mental and considered burning all of his locker’s contents to rid him of the bad juju.  Can you put his “animosity for Terry Collins” in the locker too?  How about his “bitterness at not being the star pitcher anymore?”  Does that fit in a locker?  What about “brooding?”  Does brooding fit in a locker?  Someone needs to salve Harvey’s ego with some Jergen’s lotion because you can see his buttsoreness (totally a word!).  His velocity looked fine yesterday, but his slider is not being located with precision.   Also, check this:  1st time through the order facing Harvey:  .241/.292/.373; second time:  .301/.326/.518; third time:  .509/.563/.764.  What does that tell me?  He’s having a hard time keeping his pitches fresh the 2nd and 3rd time a hitter sees him, which goes back to the slider.  I don’t think his problems are unfixable, but he may need a trip to the Disgraceful List with a mysterious ailment to clear his head and figure out his slider.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A few weeks ago, I was but a wee lad writing my first article for Razzball, and you were reading that article because you were either desperate for catcher advice in your fantasy league or because you just plain hate yourself. I recommended picking up J.T. Realmuto for a lengthy dice roll or Jarrod Saltalamacchia for some short term power, and we all laughed a little on the outside and cried a little on the inside.

Then Realmuto hit .500 over the course of the next week. .500, as in half of his at bats were hits. .500, as in the batting average of some of the top high school baseball prospects (except Realmuto, he hit .595 and had 119 RBI in 42 games. Found those stats by accident while searching for a picture of the Realmuto family crest.). .500, as in—OK, enough. It was only a week.

Realmuto cooled off a bit the next week, but he was still more than solid, especially for a catcher: 8-23, 0.348 BA, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R, SB, .739 OPS. Not too shabby, even if there isn’t a ton of power there. I would like to take this time to point out that my predictions (read: ANALYSIS) for Realmuto, Salty, and Wilson Ramos were all pretty much spot on. Ok, now that we got that out of the way, we can move on.

The free agent catcher wasteland is as bleak as it has ever been. I checked the top 3 free agents by position yesterday in my CBS league, and the top 3 catchers available were: Saltalamacchia, Chris Herrmann, and David Ross. I think most of us would agree that the logical reactions to those three are “old news,” “who?,” and “really?,” respectively. It’s bad, guys. Let’s start with the catchers to stay away from, first.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jose Fernandez exploded onto the Miami scene harder than Vanilla Ice in 1990, dude was mowing people down like he was the Cuban sales manager for John Deere. JFer looked like he was going to be the foundation for the Miami rebuild collecting All Star honors & ROY in 2013. He was young, exciting, electric, fiery and then he had a visit with Dr. Freeze. Dr. Freeze immediately put him on ice and for the next 14 months the only time we got to see JFer pitch was for a 5 hour energy commercial on the MLB channel (seriously, that commercial ran non stop last year). Thankfully he came back late last year and looked sharp racking up 79 K’s in 65 Ing’s with a solid 2.91 ERA. He was in Grey’s top ten SP’s at the beginning of the year and personally I was excited to see him come back and pick up where he left off. Then the season started, Chen was tapped as the opening day starter and after that it seemed like the JFer banner season went sideways. I’m not sure what happened in the clubhouse or front office, but who the eff decided that JFer wouldn’t be the opening day starter? I get that they’re trying to keep his innings down, but this is your 23 year old franchise starting pitcher you’re messing with. I get that they’re supposed to be professionals and it’s business, but this kid just got bumped for Wei-Yin Chen on Opening Day. Yeah I’d be super pissed too. I’m not saying his rough start is due to not getting the nod on Opening Day, but maybe, just maybe he’s like that crazy ex GF that messes with you just to prove a point. I could be way off base here, but maybe, just maybe JFer is making a point to Loria and the rest of the Miami Minions, he’s Numero Uno snitches! I’m banking on the fact he sowed his April oats, he’s done pouting and that he’s proved his point to the peeps in charge. This wild horse’s reigns have been weighing him down to start the season and now it’s time for the guys in charge to let this stud run free like Nyquist, cause he’s a got a lot more in the tank Vanilla’s five point oh. At $11,300 he’s on the bottom end of the aces, but I think he be under owned due to the juicy match-ups for Corey Kluber and Jon Lester.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s 2016, and that means that most of us will have to make some moves throughout the year to address the catcher position. Long gone are the glory days of 2004 when the top 10 catchers could all be counted on for double digit home runs and an average above .280. In 2004, an already aging Mike Piazza rated as the 10th best catcher with 20 home runs and a .266 average (See: Doping in Baseball). This year, in this sad world that we live in, Travis d’Arnaud was the second catcher taken in many leagues because it was thought that he had the POTENTIAL for 20+ long balls and a .240 average.

So, the chances are that unless you drafted Buster Posey early or were able to keep Posey in a keeper league, you’ll be at least flirting with the waiver wire catchers at some point this year. Perhaps you drafted d’Arnaud and now have his .196 AVG and zero home runs on your DL. Maybe you’re in my league and you traded for Kyle Schwarber on draft day and are now ready to kill yourself. It’s even possible that you drooled over his 2014 stats (25 HR, .273 AVG) and  drafted Devin Mesoraco, but now his .152 AVG and frequent days off have you ready to move on.

The bad news is that catchers in fantasy baseball have become crapshoots, and many owners choose to chase categories instead of trying to find balance. The good news is that you’ll get to pick a new catcher and feel hopeful every few weeks!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Crank up that AC/DC and let’s get this party started! Oh and in case you haven’t heard Axl Rose will be joining AC/DC as Brian Johnson will be stepping down due to hearing loss. Bittersweet as I loved me some BJ, but it should be fun to see Axl and Angus rock the stage. Nothing gets the Monday morning juices flowing like AC/DC and seeing Thor on the slate, especially with the rest of sub-par starting pitching options for today. Who is this Thor I speak of (rhetorical, unless you stumbled upon us through some sort of comic con accident). The Thor, I speak of is Noah Syndergaard, the highest priced pitcher today at $12,100. Thor had some big expectations coming into the season, but lets face it, living up to the Norse God of Thunder seemed like an even bigger task. Well in his first two games he’s exceeded those expectations, by absolutely dropping the hammer on opposing batters with 21 K’s, 1ER, 2 BB over the last 13 innings. Last season when he was called up he showed that dominate +95 MPH fastball, 99 MPH sinker and 90 MPH change up that actually danced. That’s a lethal combination, especially when you add in his physical attributes, he only stands 6’6″ and weighs 240 lbs (he’s probably closer to 255, cause dude is jacked) He’s got the nickname, the hair, the body and did I mention that he added a 95 MPH slider to his arsenal? His power pitches were already dominating hitters and now he added this nasty slider that is making him miss even more bats. Thor is not without his flaws as it looked like Miami may have found a small chink in the armor. They got him for 7 hits on Tuesday, but most of those were because they were all swinging on the first pitch, the second and third time through the order. If he can be a little more elusive on the first pitch, we may see an out of this universe season from this stud. If anyone is looking to shower the staff here at Razzball with gifts, I’d like to put my request in for this little New York Mets give away on 4/30 Thor Garden Gnome. With the pitching slate extremely thin today, Thor and Jose Fernandez, $11,300 will be highly rostered, so let’s dive into two other guys who might help us cash in.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And if Vince V. is so money, it would make the Padres a bunch of Swingers.  Seriously, tell me Vince Velasquez wasn’t money?  He struck out 16, baby.  He only gave up three hits, baby.  He is a beautiful baby, baby.  C’mon, he’s so money.  You gotta grab him, baby, you gotta.  Call him up on waivers, go ahead, c’mon, baby, call him up.  “Hi, uh, this is a random fantasy baseballer, which is, uh, Grey’s mom’s term.  I saw you struck out 16, uh, Padres, in a shutout and I was, uh, wondering–”  Machine beeps.  Call back, baby!  Velasquez wants you to!  “Hi, Mr. Velasquez, it’s me again.  Ha, silly movie answering machines always shutting off prior to a message ending.  I mean, who even has answering machines like this anymore–”  Machine beeps.  C’mon, baby!  You’re almost through that message!  Then you can go on to direct Iron Man and be the namelganger for a Washington speech writer, while I can go do a lot of blow with Jennifer Aniston and singlehandedly ruin True Detective playing essentially myself.  You gotta, baby!  You are so money!  So, Vince Velasquez went 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, zero walks, 16 Ks, and if he’s still on waivers in your league, I want to be in your league.  Yes, you should grab, like yesterday (preferably before his last start).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t know where it’s coming from with Jeremy Hazelbaker, so I called Keith Morrison of Dateline to investigate.  He went to St. Louis to investigate and left me this message, “Here, in bucolic St. Louis, all seemed right in the world.  Jeremy had just married his high school sweetheart, and they were on a honeymoon of a lifetime when the unthinkable happened.”  I picked up the phone, because I use an old school answering machine, “Keith, St. Louis isn’t bucolic, and I’m not looking for a suspicious murder scenario.  I want to know who Jeremy Hazelbaker is for fantasy baseball.”  Keith continued, “The neighbors had nothing but nice things to say about the couple.  But they didn’t see the dark side.”  “Keith, yesterday, Hazelbaker went 4-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, and is hitting .526 through a week’s worth of games and hitting 2nd on most days.  Can he continue it?”  “Only that wasn’t pine tar on his bat, it was iron-rich blood.  Coming up after the break–”  So, I don’t know how the Cardinals do this with outfielders every year.  These outfielders that just come out of nowhere to be fantasy relevant; I will call them, The Sons of Ludwick.  Will it continue for Hazelbaker?  It seems highly unlikely.  He profiles as a 5-7 HR, 15-17 SB guy who might hit .245.  But, ya know what, I don’t need to know where it’s coming from or if it will continue to own Hazelbaker, as I now do in a few leagues.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re finally starting to settle into the season!  The Opening Week jitters are gone, and while we still say “small sample size” on everything – it’s not the size of the data but how you use it!

With starting pitching, most guys have only made their first start on the year – a few top-of-the-rotation guys have made two – so unless you see something drastic, you’re not panicking.  And full disclosure, I wrote this intro before Joe Ross‘s first start, so admittedly I am a little nervous…  I have several shares of Ross – on all my redrafts teams, I ranked him crazy high, he’s going to have my first born child…  But whatever happens, it’s still only one start!  This is one of the most nerve-racking Pitcher Profiles I’ve done!

My heavy investment in Ross made him an easy choice to break down for the first Profile on the young season, so here’s how he looked on Sunday afternoon hosting the Marlins, after having his start Saturday night postponed:

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The San Diego Padres just went on a scoring bender at Coors, putting up 32 runs over the past three days. Their scoring barrage comes just two days after throwing up triple zeros for the first three games of the season. In case you missed it, that’s the WORST start to an MLB season ever. Yep, you read that correctly, it’s the WORST ever, like ever ever. Obviously they couldn’t go scoreless all season, but I doubt anyone expected them to average over 10 runs a game, especially after that hideous start. I really hope Matt Kemp & Company enjoyed that offensive explosion, because as of 4PM yesterday, they’re all out of that Rocky Mountain Kush……err…. Air. Just like Hangover 2 and 3, this one is going to hurt quite a bit as today they’re due to come crashing back down to reality in Philly. Taking the bump for the Fightin Phil’s is Aaron Nola, No-La, No-La Ay, rolling, rolling, rolling with Kid N Play now (Ear Worm!). Nola looked sharp against Cincinnati on Wednesday throwing 7 innings, with 8 Ks & 1 ER. With San Diego coming off that Rocky Mountain High and combined with his solid $8,500 price tag, look for Nola to keep it rolling (side note, Kid N Play had some great dance moves that even a white kid from the suburbs could pull off). No-La, No-La Ay can easily be paired with Price or Quintana and still leave you with plenty of cash for those offensive options. I don’t know about the rest of you, but the weather has been wreaking havoc on me in DK! I think that last weeks rainouts are about to push some of those chips back to us today with some solid match-ups.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?