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?

Nolan Arenado left last night’s game with a left mallet finger fracture. Despite how it sounds, he suffered the injury sliding head first into second base, and not from a giant sledge hammer. That’s a broken middle finger for the laymans. The team is saying Arenado could be sidelined for 4-6 weeks, but likely more if he opts for surgery. Oh Nolan, you could really use that middle finger right about now. Arenado has been every bit the dream Coors third baseman we all thought he could be this year, triple slashing a mean .305/.333/.489, with six home runs and 28 RBI. This is just bad news. The good news? Razzball favorite and general disappointment to fantasy owners, Josh Rutledge will be called up to replace Arenado on the roster. I like to think anyone playing in Colorado is worth a look and JR is no exception, especially if you’re hurting at the hot corner. Rutledge did well in limited time with the Rockies in April, batting .318 with a home run in 22 ABs. He played 88 games in 2013, but struggled to hit for average despite flashing some speed and power, and was eventually sent down. In 12 team leagues, I might hold off on grabbing Rutledge until he shows us something, but I’ll be watching him as intensely as the last three episodes of Breaking Bad. Here’s hoping he can fill the Nolan Arenado-sized hole in our hearts until that finger fully heals.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Over the off-season Rudy laid out his argument for why it’s important to maximize at-bats in fantasy leagues with daily moves (like the RCL ones). Even if the mathematical proof don’t resonate with you, there’s no denying the good vibes generated from streaming a hitter for a night and getting even just a 1-for-4 line with a run. Don’t know that feeling? Seriously, loosen up man. Do something crazy. Get black AND pinto beans on your next Chipotle burrito. Pay extra for guac. Add Mike Carp for a night. Just one.

The only downside to this strategy is time. The time it takes to sort through the options and decide who to add and who to drop. Razzball offers tools like Hitter-Tron and Stream-o-Nator to help speed up the process, but even then you have to scroll through its table to find who is available, make sure he will actually play, the game won’t be rained out, etc. For those of you with a wife, two kids, and a job, I get it. It’s tough being a loving father and winning fantasy manager.

I have no wife and zero kids so what I’m offering is to add meaning to my life and do some of that work for you. What I’ll do is scroll through Hitter-Tron, find the best players that are mostly unowned and likely to start, and present them here in an easily digestible format. My plan is to do this every Sunday and Wednesday so you can fill out your lineup on Mondays and Thursdays (the days when teams have off days and you’ll need to stream guys). Sound good? You’re not sure? Whatever, I’m not you trying to convince your girlfriend to try anal. It won’t hurt to do it once.

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?

Oh man, we’re back baby!  I just wet my pants a little bit.

The first Pitcher Profile is here!  I haven’t been this nervous since Grey had me wax his mustache my first day as an intern.

So if you’re new to Pitcher Profiles, where ya been?!  Well glad to have you, and below is a gargantuan post that I think will break your browser.  But hey!  It’s your one-stop shop (cliche boner) for all pitching questions, rankings, and GIFfing.  I just learned how to GIF, and man, it’s sorta close to learning how to Dougie except less people point and laugh at you (hopefully – but that’d be a bad GIF!).

As always, I tend to select my profiling on a pitcher who is widely available in most 10 and 12ers for owners to gauge their pickup or streaming interest.  I know these was a hope for a Taylor Jordan (sorry Long Beach!) profile, but I wanted to go for a guy who I think can have a bigger impact.  A guy that “Oh my god throws a fire!  Sale.”

We’ve all heard about Nathan Eovaldi‘s stuff.  Huge velocity – the fastest heater in baseball for a starter – but it’s been a while since I’ve really broken down one of his starts.  Plus his name sounds like an Italian deity of fornication.  Now with two solid, you could even say “quality”, starts under his belt (plus he’s still only 24 even though it feels like he’s been around for a while) I decided to tune into his game against the lowly Padres and see if the hurler from Crayola Canyon deserves more love:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, I took part in one of those 15-team NFBC drafts that Rudy and all the cool kids were talking about-slash-doing. What a snoozefest! I mean, it was fun, but I fell asleep literally 19 times during it. Granted, it lasted for 19 days, so if I didn’t fall asleep 19 times, I would’ve needed trucker speed, but still. Speaking of which, I have much respect for truckers. They’re driving all day and they have to wear the stupidest hats. Any the hoo! This draft was one part fresh, two parts ‘to def’ and some random Razzballers took part, so maybe we can chat in the comments — I have no friends! We can’t talk about trades, because there are none. There’s also no waivers. This was a 15-team league that went 50 rounds deep. What you draft is what you have. No backsies, no foolsies. Anyway, here’s my 15-team NFBC team and some thoughts:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If I am correct on my predictions, the NL pennant race will be a fun one.  I see three teams with playoff potential, and a fourth that is just shy of it.  Sorry San Diego fans, this isn’t your year. [Ed. Note — JERK!]  Good news though, the Chinese calendar says it is going to be the year of the Tony Gwynn soon. [Ed. Note — I take it back. Sorta.] (You can check out the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

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Spring training has sprung! Where’s my Rusty Staub Expos throwback? I got this in junior high and it still fits great. I have the body of an 11-year-old girl. *moonwalks across living room, falls on face* Most fantasy ballers are in the mocking mood right now with the for real fake drafts firing up in a few weeks. (There’s still time for you to commish an RCL league wink wink nudge nudge slap in the back of the head.) As we prepare this year’s team(s) (ss) and (sss), let’s fire up the jammer crammer machine once again and turn our all knowing fantasy eye toward first base. First base may have plenty of quality to find through the first 100 picks – Señor Stache has 15 first baseman in the top-100 – but the position ain’t what it used to be (and that’s what she said). Only six first baseman had more than 30 bombs last year, the fewest in over two decades. Is Andres Galarraga still playing? Those were the fantasy baseball golden years. Personally, I’d grab one early, say within my first three picks. We are not talking about whether or not to jam Paul Goldschmidt or cram Chris Davis here, we know what’s up there. We are looking towards players not ranked in the top 100 that can win you your league and all the cash, bragging rights and glory holes that go along with it. Last season, players with first base eligibility like Michael Cuddyer and Daniel Murphy were ranked (according to the Yahoos!) outside the top-100, but finished in the top-45. Any expert that told you they predicted that is actually from the moon and a time traveler. Sorry, watched Lunopolis on Netflix last month and just found out it wasn’t a documentary. While I’m no man on the moon, let’s cue up Mott the Hoople, make like Andy Kaufman in a wrestling match and jam it or cram it. Nothing is cool.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This top 20 1st basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball goes to about forty-six. Last year, I said the first base position is going through a transition. Pujols isn’t what he used to be; Howard, Te(i)x and Konerko are washed up; guys like Chris Davis, Hosmer and Trumbo were on the way up. Right, right and yup. The position is still deep in that transition. We’ll come out of the other side this year with a good idea of where we stand. If Pujols continues to fall, if the washed up ones are completely done and if the up-and-comers are still on the move. Hey, that sounds like a commencement speech from a school for porn. Okay, let’s get into it because I can’t count to twenty and this list goes on forever. As always, for each player there’s my projections and where I see tiers starting and ending. There’s the position eligibility chart for 2014 fantasy baseball, and all the 2014 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So yeah, I promised a time and place where I would eat crow on my 11 Bold Predictions for 2013 (you can refresh your memory here with Part I and Part II), and this is where we landed. Right smack dab in the off-season where hopefully none of you will read this. Obviously that means my predictions were a smashing success, right? Totally. That’s exactly what it means. I’m lying. But hey, these weren’t rational predictions, so there’s that. Follow me after the jump for the official tally…

Please, blog, may I have some more?