Damn, after reading that title, now I want to eat pasta. Has anyone ever watched The Godfather and not wanted to eat Italian right after? It’s an American rite of passage. Once you’re old enough to crave Italian food after The Godfather, then you’re an adult. That should be the only test to vote or get into the military. “Listen, maggot, you want to go fight for your country? Then sit down and watch this three-hour movie and tell me what you want to eat afterwards. If you want a burger, fries and extra ketchup, you’re a baby. Go home.” Adam Duvall homered last night off Clifford Lee, and Duvall had 26 homers in Triple-A this year in 310 ABs. Of course, they play in the PCL, a league that pumps their baseballs with helium. He will only fill-in while Brandon Belt is on the concussion DL, but that could be anywhere from a week to a month. In NL-Only leagues, I’d definitely grab him, and even look at him in deeper mixed leagues, if you’re desperate. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Odrisamer Despaigne almost threw a no-hitter yesterday (7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks) in his Padres camo fatigues, which had Fidel completely uncertain how to react. “I love to wear camo too, but now he’s doing it for the American Baseball Organization and representing their military? I am torn like Natalie Imbruglia.” Luckily, Fidel had someone who burped too loud to assassinate to take his mind off things. Odrisamer Despaigne, or Otis Spunkmeyer as I always want to call him, now has a 1.31 ERA on the year (34 1/3 IP) and a laughable K-rate (4.46). Speaking of communists, that’s even laughable for Correia. Maybe the Mets couldn’t see Spunkmeyer’s pitches because the Padres were also using their trademark camo-painted baseball? Oh, wait, this is the Mets we’re yakking up. How silly of me. Spunkmeyer is definitely worth riding when in home starts, and even favorable road matchups while throwing well, but I wouldn’t trust him long-term. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So it’s not really the 2nd half mark in the fantasy baseball season, but it’s the All-Star Break so what else are we going to talk about? Hell’s Kitchen? Is it even believable that these people would one day be in charge of a kitchen? There’s Real World castmates who seem like they have their shizz together better than these schmohawks. I like the one guy who burps a lot. He seems ready to run a kitchen! MasterChef, though, that show is the Sistine Chapel of reality shows. Okay, as with all of the other 2014 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt. If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade the outfielder for the 2nd baseman. Also, things change in fantasy baseball. Daily. I could put Miggy number three on the top 100 list for the second half of 2014 and he could get in a fight with a bartender (not Tom Wilhelmsen) tomorrow, then he wouldn’t be number one. See how that works. This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued. It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache. This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half of their season. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today. So while Carlos Santana did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because I still believe. The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2014. I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what guys will do. Welcome to the future! Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2014:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jordan Zimmermann ($11,100) is tops on the Stream-o-Nator on this fine Sunday afternoon. He’s listed as a $20 value according to SON and that’s a solid five bucks more than the next closest arm for the day. Zimmermann hasn’t put up huge strikeout numbers (7+ K/9) but over his last six starts he has gone at least six innings while giving up two or fewer earned runs. He faces a Cubs team whose wRC+ of 78 ranks 29th in baseball and is striking out at a 22% clip against right-handed pitching. I prefer Zimmermann’s match-up to the David Price draw against the Tigers, which will cost you $900 more. Price actually ranks 9th overall on SON today, for what it’s worth.

If you are new to DraftKings, use our promo link to get started. New players that click on that link will get a free contest ticket with a first time deposit (only new users eligible). The winner of the contest gets entry into our $500k Showcase with a $100k top prize. Also, if you haven’t tried the DFSBot via Rudy, check it out: it compares projected values to actual DFS prices for the day. Here are some other picks for DraftKings contests on 7/6/2014…

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Hello DK’ers, I’m glad to be back after my Brazilian excursion to get as hairless as possible. I’m trying to break into dancing like our boss Grey, or was that break dancing? Either way, the man has moves like Sam Rockwell. If there was a competition between us, it would look something like this. To this day, that still cracks me up. Sorry reader, I really need to get back to this drivel thing and in case you were wondering I am Barney in the video. I can’t help myself today, with Matt Shoemaker taking the hill, I get transported back to my favorite movie ever, Goodfellas! That’s right, I said that; Goodfellas is my all time favorite movie. You got a problem with that? In case you didn’t know, The Departed was the “I’m sorry we screwed up so we’ll give you one for an inferior movie Oscar” for Martin Scorcese. Why do I keep getting sidetracked? Dah!!! This scene (NSFW) is one of my favorites among many brilliant moments in that 1990 classic. I remember being in high school and sneaking into see this R rated flick because our local theater was unwavering on the 17 and over policy. I could go on and on about Goodfellas but I need to write about Matt Shoemaker and his low low price tag of $6,800 today. He’s been solid as a starter since moving out of the bullpen and has even posted a 10K game. Getting to face the team with the worst K-rate in the game, 23.3%, isn’t too shabby either. But here is the takeaway for him – he has a 2.54 ERA at home compared to a 6.66 on the road, devil arm! That’s good enough for me. You can choose to pay the high price tags of Yu Darvish, Masahiro Tanaka, or Max Scherzer and then compliment one of them with Shoemaker to leave you some extra dollars for bats.

Yesterday, the Guru talked strategy and I agree with him that you got to look at all the nerdy numbers but sometimes I think you need to go with your gut. Whether it’s the hot hand like Steve Pearce or someone due like Jay Bruce you need to take chances when you have limited dollars on the table. Like Guru, I have been on both ends of the batter vs. pitcher stats and all I can say is it’s just the numbers, the numbers ala Jimmy Two Times. Don’t lose your mind! But before I continue on I want to give a little B vs P advice that has worked well for me. Look at the K’s vs. the pitcher, when I have a guy that K’s a lot or doesn’t walk vs. a pitcher I generally stay away. That’s just me and my way to go about it. Sometimes you will see a batter who is 0 for 4 against someone but has 4 walks. I get interested when I see that and like the chance that a hit is coming soon. And now on to my DraftKings picks for today.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As many of you know, I went in a new direction to get inspiration for what player I will cover.  I took a page out of Who Wants to be a Millionaire’s playbook and I asked the audience.  That audience only has four choices though…you guys had over four hundred.  Here are you results:

Votes 6-30-14

There isn’t much need for a drum roll though, unless none of you read the titles of these things.  Ah yes, Michael Brantley, how your owners love you so.  If you were lucky enough to draft him, probably after 200th overall, you’re getting a great bang for your buck.  Brantley is a top ten outfielder right now, and arguably a top five one.  On draft day, the tenth outfielder was going around twenty-fifth to thirtieth overall.  And the player drafted probably had a name like Giancarlo Stanton, Yasiel Puig, or Jose Bautista.  Just for kicks and giggles, let’s compare Brantley’s season to everyone’s favorite outfielder, Mike Trout:

Player R HR RBI SB AVG OBP
Trout 49 16 54 9 .303 .394
Brantley 49 11 46 9 .320 .386

Looks comparable, if you ask me…

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Yesterday, Felix Hernandez had the best game of the season for fantasy — 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 15 Ks. F-Her was the best thing to hit the world since Natalie Portman decided it was a good idea to get naked for a short film. Granted, that short film was by Wes Anderson. In film school, it was always met with a mixture of amusement, bewilderment and excitement when any student filmmaker convinced an actress to take their clothes off for a student film. Invariably, they were a better salesman than auteur if they were able to pull it off. “So, your husband, hungry for approval, just left you for a ham sandwich and now you want to shed your clothes, which is a metaphor for the stripping of your soul. Don’t worry, it’s a locked set.” I’ve talked in the past about how if a pitcher has a difference of six between his K-rate and walk rate, then he’s usable in all leagues. F-Her has a difference of plus-8. That’s glorious. He has 106 Ks to 17 BBs. That’s insane. His ERA is at 2.39. He’s real and he’s magnificent. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Razzball Radio last week, where you finally got to see my perfectly circumferenced face, that looks like almost any chubby latino catcher that you can think of (to name a couple: Ramon Castro, Josmil Pinto), I got into my win-now approach. I traded high impact prospects (Gregory Polanco and Anthony Rendon) for a more immediate influence, (Robinson Cano).

I often wind up with no top prospects by year’s end, but still wind up with a sundry of “B” prospects that turn into more i.e. Mookie Betts and Joc Pederson last year for nothing! It’s about this time of the year that I start delving into C prospects in dynasty leagues for warm bodies to displace my empty prospect slots. Often, guys that come up will have initial contact problems, so I look for guys that can elevate their BABIP through both power (ISO) and speed (SPD). An extreme example is Yasiel Puig. He had contact problems last year, but he’s a monster in the power and speed departments ensuring an elevated BABIP. This year he’s put that together with a rational HR/FB ratio and a really nice contact and discipline jump. He’s elite.

It seems like I’m always seeing current and former Mets when I do this. This year is no different thanks to Andrew Brown and Eric Campbell (current Mets) as well as Nick Evans and Mike Jacobs (former) – all on this list due to their wOBA’s and ISO. While we might find more eventual, longer-term impact in AA, for this post, let’s look at the AAA minor league leaderboard (as of 5/30), including the Mexican League ranked by wOBA combined with BABIP (weighed by ISO and SPD)… just trust me:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Game-of-Thrones-Season-4-Episode-7-Tyrion-Bronn

“I’d be a bloody fool if he didn’t frighten me. He’s freakish big and freakish strong. And quicker than you’d expect for a man of that size.”

Edwin Encarnacion is known for his size, bat speed, and his Herculean power. Sir Edwin is tall (he is 6’2″, so I guess not that tall). He possesses massive shoulders and arms thick as the trunk of small trees. Edwin weighs over twenty stone (230 lbs), practically all of it muscle, making him near in-humanly strong. Encarnacion’s strength allows him to wield a bat so humongous, it would make Greg Oden’s wang look like a thumb tack, giving him enormous reach, making him all the more lethal with his eagle-eye vision. Such is the power of Sir Edwin’s strength, that he has been known to literally obliterate baseballs upon contact with just a single blow.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you’re a regular listener to the Razzball Hot Sheet and Razzball Radio then you know I wear a handsome turban and we Razzicians love our wOBA. “Guru, what the hell is wOBA?” That’s a great question disembodied voice of Razzball Nation that sounds slightly like my ex-girlfriend. Brenda, stop stalking me! When it comes to my daily routine for DraftKings there are a few things I do: 1) Drink a Bloody Mary. 2) Check the daily salaries, cross out the overvalued guys. 3) Check the weather and the Vegas lines. 4) Look at batter vs. pitcher stats then ignore them. 5) Dive into the wOBA and drink another Bloody. Basically, wOBA (weighted on-base average) is a way to measure a hitter’s overall offensive performance. wOBA is calculated by giving a value to each type of offensive stat including walks, singles, doubles, etc. with the player’s totals for each being combined and then divided by their total plate appearances to arrive at their weighted on-base average. That explains why I have this tattooed on my chest all Memento-style: (0.72 x NIBB) + (0.75 x HBP) + (0.90 x 1B) + (0.92 x RBOE) + (1.24 x 2B) + (1.56 x 3B) + (1.95 x HR) / PA. Math is fun! Thanks, handy abacus. If you’re curious to learn more check out The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball by Tom Tango and some other aliens that have a love for baseball stats and anal probing.

We have 12 games on the night slate with a couple aces on the mound in Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez along with some pricey big bats that’ll make putting together a solid team a challenge. Fortunately, we have the Hitter-Tron, the Stream-o-Nator and the DFSbot to help us out. Is that cheating? Hell, no! We’re Razzaholics. Let’s get to it, here’s your dirty turbaned Guru’s all-wOBA team for Wednesday 5/28. Of course all these players won’t fit on one team, but there’s a good chance you can get more than a few of them in tonight.

Please, blog, may I have some more?