It started with a simple email. Hey Grey and Rudy, wouldn’t it be cool if someone wrote about the top pitchers broken down by month? And within those months, to evaluate with and without wins to ascertain who pitched well and gave good value vs. who pitched for a 90 win club and had a 4-0 month? Response was a resounding yes, of course. And of course, it was my own damn fault for having such a good idea because now I’m here giving you offseason content prior to January. Clearly the time that everyone is reading about fantasy baseball. Oh well, let’s get to it. Here’s a look back at April’s pitching to see if it holds any keys going forward to 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Let’s break this down like Murray Chass would want it. Felix Hernandez has the 2nd best ERA in the AL, fourth most Ks, and 14 wins. When his team needed a win more than anything, so Grey (me) could possibly collect on a preseason bet he foolishly made for the Mariners to win the World Series, Felix choked up 8 ER in 4 2/3 IP, raising his ERA to 2.34. Felix has the 2nd best xFIP, 3rd best WAR for a pitcher and 8th best K-rate, but since we’re doing this as Murray would’ve wanted it, “What the flip is xFIP and I fought in Dubya Dubya Two and F-Her doesn’t know anything about WAR! Now stop with the Pollyanna chicken crap!” Did F-Her just lose the Cy Young award? He did if all the voters are subjected to a fifteen minute wait in a post office line with Mr. Chass. “Mr. Chass, did you print out an email to snail mail it?” “I don’t trust the internet!” Did the Mariners just lose all hope at the playoffs? F-Her, you effed me. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So here we are, the last week of the season. If you’re playing now, you’re in the money game of your head-to-head league, or you’re in a dog fight to pull ahead in the roto standings. I’ve said this for the last three weeks but, congratulations! You did something right. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say there are a few things you definitely didn’t do, you didn’t draft Justin Verlander, you didn’t draft Buster Posey or Joe Mauer anywhere near the first 5 rounds, you didn’t invest in one of the top 3 closers, and you probably didn’t draft Dominic Brown (Sorry Tehol). They say fantasy championships are made after the draft. Whoever they are? Seriously do you know? I’m just going to guess that if there is a they that writes these cliches, then they know Nick Capozzi. Mostly because he knows everybody in the fantasy industry. I’m also going to assume it’s a secret club that I’m not privy to. You know, like Skull and Bones.  Wow that escalated quickly! Where was I? Oh yeah winning fantasy championships. Well my belief is that the secret to winning in the final week is pitching, and how you use your streams. If you’re in a H2H league with a limited move number than be careful. One must choose wisely. With this in mind I have created a new format for these posts. As I mentioned last week I had the vision of putting my rankings in spreadsheet form and providing a couple of key metrics I felt gave you the readers full transparency into my thought process. Well my vision is reality behold the new and improved two startapalooza. You’ll see that in addition to the Pitcher’s name and opponent, I’ve also provided the pitcher’s handedness, the pitcher’s Home/Road ERA, the opponent’s Home/Road wOBA, and the opponent’s Right/Left wOBA split. These are the numbers I look at most closely when creating my rankings for the week. So why not share them with you? Enjoy, I put some time into this and I believe you’ll find it extra helpful. I hope it also sparks more debate in the comments and gives you guys all the more reason to challenge my tiers. I’ve also made sure that I based my Two-Start roster off of Rudy’s new two start pitcher SON/tool. This way all the information mirrors each other and gives some continuity to the post. Thanks again for reading and I’m looking forward to bringing this format back next season. Go Get’Em!

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Here’s an example from your own life. You walked into a bar and negged the first girl you saw. Told her she had nice hair, then immediately asked her how often she dyes it. Never worked before. This girl laughed and talked to your dopey ass. She even thought it was charming when you told her to pay the bar tab. Went home, had great sex and the next morning she’s moving some of her shirts out of her dresser, so you have room to bring a few of your things over. You tell her that’s not necessary and she shrugs, goes into the bathroom, calls her mother and starts crying loudly. Seemed awesome, turned out psycho. Now imagine she didn’t reveal she was psycho for three months. That’s Steve Pearce. At some point in 2015, he will start moving his shirts out of his dresser and you’re gonna feel real awkward. Right now, he’s insane. Yesterday, was part of that insanity as he hit two homers, bringing his season total to 20. No longer is the fortune cookie’s ending ‘in bed,’ it’s now ‘with Steve Pearce.’ There’s some noise about him changing his stance and that’s led to him having a breakout season. Yeah, don’t buy it. He’s 31 years old. Not the death knell for anyone, but when you’re barely rosterable as a utility man for a major league team for almost seven years, you don’t suddenly change your stance and everything’s great. He’s a 10-homer utility man, disguised as Jesus. It will end at some point in 2015, but for now Pearce your genitals, make the devil horns and ride the lightning! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After Rafael Soriano once again looked like his apologetic alter ego, Sorry-yo, Matt Williams said the Nats won’t have a set closer. Let’s backtrack to August 18th, it was a day after the fourth time Soriano had given up runs in the matter of two weeks. At that point, I wrote there was a problem, and I grabbed Drew Storen. That was three weeks ago, and things haven’t gotten better. So, why was I able to spot there was a problem with Soriano three weeks prior to the Nationals manager, Matt Williams? Terrific question. There’s a few possible reasons A) Matt Williams’s Oakleys are worn to shield TV cameras from showing he’s actually asleep. B) Matt Williams can’t find steroids that make him smarter. C) There’s no C. D) In a secret meeting in Bud Selig’s wood-paneled basement in Milwaukee in 1999, Major League Baseball declared that every team must have at least one Mark McGwire. Matt Williams was elected to be Arizona’s Mark McGwire. (Sosa was elected to be the Cubs’ McGwire, which is why he bleached his skin.) The experiment to have a McGwire on every team was a success at first, but soon the players that were elected to be McGwire began to say, “I’m not here to talk about the past,” every time any question was asked. The biggest offender of this was Matt Williams, so, rather than risk being found out, MLB made him the Nats manager. Any of these reasons could be right, but it’s probably D. So, with Soriano in trouble, the Nats could go to Storen, Tyler Clippard or Matt Thornton. My guess is it’ll go in that order, and yesterday Storen got the clean save, helping his case. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Alright Head-to-Headers and Weekly League players. This is more than likely the most important week of your season. You’re either kicking off the first round of playoff match-ups or you’re grinding out the last week trying to get that ever elusive playoff birth. Not to worry my peeps, the Legendary Lifshitz is back and ready to drop some two start pitcher science on y’all. In fact I’ll be taking over as your captain from here on out and into 2015. That’s right! I’m your 2015 Two Start Huckleberry! Think of me as the top prospect getting called up for roster expansions with an eye on the starting job next year. You know like Xander Bogaerts but less of a disappointment. Unless you’re my third grade teacher Ms. Schultz. Then I’m more of a disappointment. What can I say the women had high hopes.

As for the roster of Double dippers, it’s not bad. Lots of good streamers and ton of middle of the road options. I’ll try and focus a little more on the arms with lower ownership levels, knowing those are the guys you’ll be looking to for the extra counting stats to put you over the top. This is one of the most fun times to be a fantasy baseball manager. This is for those digging through the wavier wire looking for that streamer to get you into the dance, or that spot starter to help you lock down that swing category to get you into the next round of the playoffs, or even the roto owner looking to capitalize on the less savvy owners who hit their innings limits this week. May you use this as your guide good sirs! Unless you’re in a league with me, then I hope all your pitchers get shelled. Sorry but I’m in it to win it no matter the cost!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Madison Bumgarner threw a near-perfect game vs. the Rockies, ending with a one hitter and 13 Ks. Tim Lincecum was the first one to congratulate him, saying, “I’ll see you in the bullpen in two months.” Then Lincecum laughed, a hallow, empty laughter and his eyes glazed with what appeared to be tears. Yesterday, Bum was so impressive that even Gattis said, “I’d bunk in a cardboard box with that Bum anytime.” Yesterday, Bum was so impressive, Brian Sabean altered Bumgarner’s contract, making him twelve years older. Yesterday, Bum was so impressive, Giants fans didn’t roll their eyes when someone had white wine with a burger. On the year, Bumgarner has a 3.02 ERA, 9.3 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and is about as consistent as a starter that you can find. Oh, and he’s only 25 years old. *Homer Simpson drool* Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last night, I finally took a break after nearly 30 non-stop hours of watching the Every Simpsons Ever marathon to watch Wil Myers at bat. Much like Grandpa Simpson, I imagine someday I’ll tell my grand kids about watching the at-bats of a young Wil Myers, before he went on to achieve fantasy superstardom. Also like Grandpa Simpson, I imagine my story won’t really go anywhere. Like, “Back in ought-14, I had to use a remote to change the channel, because the cable companies had yet to implant the channel-changing chips in our brains. However, the important thing was I had an onion on my belt. Wil Myers stepped up to the plate in the 8th and sent a ball 400 feet into the seats for his first homer since May. Back then, before we switched to the metric system officially in 2042, we still measured things in feet because, Amurica. Twelve inches, you know. Myers ended 1-for-3 with 2 runs, 2 walks, his fifth home run, and his fourth stolen base. Mmmm, HRs and SBs. In those days, fantasy players like that were hard to come by, steroids were still illegal in baseball at the time, and did I mention I had an onion on my belt?” Anyway, I managed to pry myself away from #everysimpsonsever to watch Myers impress for the first time since returning from the DL three days ago and was shocked to find he’s unowned in a little less than 50% of ESPN and 30% of Yahoo leagues. Why am I not in any of these leagues?  Wil “I Passed the Other L to the Player on My Left” Myers struggled earlier in the season (.227 batting average in 53 games) but the 23-year old phenom is just a year removed from being baseball’s top prospect, and hit close to .300 with 13 homers and 5 stolen bases in just 88 games in 2013. Dude could catch fire any minute! Grey told you to BUY him this week, and Myers has all the tools to Wil your fantasy team to victory in the last few weeks, so if he’s out there on waivers somehow I’d grab him immediately, then maybe someday you can bore your grand kids with the story of how Wil Myers saved your fantasy season.

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

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I read a press release that Universal had greenlit the new buddy cop movie, Ham and Moobs, but I thought it was the usual PR stunt. When I heard they cast Kirsten Dunst as the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who would be helping take Josh Willingham from loner without a job in Minnesota to new heights in Kansas City, where she would be sneaking him onto a plane to go — surprise! — parachuting and slipping him into a cage of alligators to get over his fear of being eaten alive, I was hooked! That Dunst girl will annoy the pants off you! So, The Other White Meat moves to KC, and I hear the Royals made the trade simply by pressing this button. This doesn’t hurt Wilingham’s value, but it doesn’t necessarily help it either. He’ll be the majority shareholder of the Royals DH slot and could be good for a little pop here and there, but not worth owning in most mixed leagues unless he’s hot. This does open the way for Kennys Vargas to remain the Twins DH and I’m a big fan of his. Both of his. All the Kennys you got. Every one of them. Okay then. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Psyche! Before I get into today’s post, I have some news. The Guru vanished. No idea where he went. One moment he was on the Razzball tour, next moment he was talking to a group of bears dressed as swimsuit models luring him into their car. You also catch more Gurus with honey, apparently. I await the A. A. Milne book with Guru in the Pooh gang. Any the hoo! The Football RCL signups are still underway, but if you joined one of Guru’s leagues, you need to sign up for a new football league. Repeat, there will be no Guru leagues; he got in a Hyundai filled with masquerading bears. Anyway II, the roundup:

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As I scrolled through the under-owned players yesterday, I kept trying to find a guy that was a one week rental, but all I saw was Yugo’s on the lot. Then I saw something I had overlooked because I own him and he wasn’t in the free agent pool. Kennys Vargas has been swinging a solid stick since his call up, and I like what he brings to the table over the next 7 days and beyond. For this week’s title, I was inspired by the San Diego tour stop this past Thursday and the circus type atmosphere we had going. I  had a blast hanging with Nick “the voice” Capozzi, Master Lothario Grey Albright, Frequent Commenter Royce, and the great group of guys that trekked down to San Diego and drafted live with us atthe  Player’s Sports Bar.

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So why are you talking about this J-FOH? Because I write for both football and baseball, and I want you all to try and make it out to one of the tour stops. Nick is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, and it’s great being around other fantasy players to talk shop and have a drink with. Yes this is a plug and yes I want you all to play football with us too. (Join one of our RCL Leagues today! New to fantasy football, but still want a try at prizes? Jay was happy to make a Beiginners Guide, just for you. They call him… philanthropist.) Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Please, blog, may I have some more?