If you take enough shrooms, you start to dream about how Rick Porcello is from the magical land of Zeranok, where Buehrles and Moyers can cruise 15 MPH below the speed limit. Off shrooms, you just see Zeranok as zero ERA, no K. Yesterday’s 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 0 Ks was solid, great, adjective. Hard to not get excited about a complete game shutout, but I’m gonna try. Heard a lot made of the fact that Porcello only needed 95 pitches to finish off the A’s. That’s wonderful. Somewhere, Greg Maddux smiled, then he tried to go behind the counter at his local post office to show them how they can be more efficient and nearly got arrested. “Can we all just form a two-person line as we wait for Wet Willie’s Wild Slide?” That’s Maddux at a water park with his kids. I hear ya, Greg, when people are grouped together in a party of six in an amusement park line it drives me crazy too. The worst is when they get up to the front and suddenly they have 25 other friends that were with them. Any the hoo! A 95 pitch CG SHO is great IRL (you like how I was illustrating efficiency with acronyms; though this parenthetical defeats that purpose), but Porcello’s efficiency doesn’t do a whole lot for me in fantasy if it comes with no Ks. His K-rate is 5.2 and his walk rate is 2. That’s pretty blehtastic. I’d own him, since he gets the Rays next. He’s not suddenly shooting up to ace status for fantasy. I know, I know, that Porcello is one funghi, but he’s actually pretty close to borderline for 12-team mixed leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I love when I tell you to pick up a player and he comes up days later. It makes me smile, and not one of those weird Japanese emoji smiles, but a full-faced grin. So, Andrew Heaney, you’re already okay in my book, even if that book is called, “Rookie Pitchers Will Fill You With Enthusiasm Until They Actually Pitch For Your Fantasy Team.” If you missed my Andrew Heaney fantasy with Friday’s Buy, where were you? Playing Patty Cake without your hands on the dance floor to Jason Derulo’s Wiggle song? Good story, brah. You should turn that into a novella. I’m giggling with excitement for Heaney like I’m Lisa Simpson, only instead of hehe I’m going HeHeaney. Pitching his home games in Crayola Canyon won’t hurt him, and the NL East is filled with a bunch of sad, sad hitting teams. Didja know the Marlins are the best NL East hitting team, and it’s not close? Fact! The Braves, Phillies, Nats and Mets could hold a two week round robin tournament and score less runs than goals scored in the World Cup. I went over the dangers of rookie pitchers in my Friday Buy, and what Heaney’s been doing this year in the minors. It’s all there. I will say now he should be owned in every league and is capable of winning the NL Rookie of the Year in only a little over a half a season. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We’re through just over a month of baseball, and I’m sure there are more than a few players you’d like to see walk the plank right now, and Sergio Santos is no doubt up there on the Captain’s log as far as closers are concerned. Santos blew another save last night, lasting 0.2 innings, and promptly giving up 3 ER off 3 hits. SAN-TOS-AAH! I ain’t even mad at ‘cha, the skip just keeps sending you out there to do it. I should be mad at myself for owning you this long. Serge gave up two home runs in the ninth, one to Pedro Alvarez (3-for-5) and the other was the walk off game-winner to Starling Marte (4-for-5). His ERA is sitting pretty at 10.61, which is almost as much money as I have in my checking account at the moment. I can’t imagine we’ll see Sergio out there for the ninth again. Best the Jays deal with him the same way the Pirates would have last night: “Arr! Blow the scallywag down and make ‘em shark bait, fer dead men blow no saves.”  In any case, you may be able to grab some short-term saves from Aaron Loup with Brett Cecil and Steve Delabar seeing possible chances. My guess is the Jays go to a combination of these relievers until Casey Janssen returns in a couple weeks.

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

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The first time I got a Led Zeppelin album was when I was 11 years old and my brother hooked me up with Led Zeppelin II. What a life changing moment, I was so utterly in love and confused all at the same time. What great riffs and mind bending sounds that turned everything musically I knew, which was very little, upside down and changed the course of my musical tastes from then on out. I wasn’t afraid anymore to try something I hadn’t watched on MTV or heard on the radio. Back then, 1986, we had very few options for our music and you had to use nobs and a steady hand to “tune in” to get static free tunes. Cute story J-FOH! I know 3rd personality, what is the point? Well 3rd personality, like our lead today, Scott Kazmir, we have a starting pitcher that is someone that is confusing to love, has forced us to change our tastes, and reminds me of a mesmerizing jam that takes me back to Fast Times at Ridgemont High. In the buildup to Rat’s date with Stacy, Damone advises him on his 5 point plan and tells him to play side one of Led Zeppelin 4, but low and behold he has Kashmir on the radio, which is off Physical Graffiti, the putz can’t even follow the plan. I feel like Rat when I keep passing on Kazmir in roto leagues this year. But why? I can’t get over the train wreck that he was for so long after starting out so promising. I think Matt Moore is ready to be the next Kazmir. We’ll see you back to relevance in 4-5 years Mr. Moore. Cleveland did a nice job in their reclamation projects last year, WTF is going on this year, and you need to trust him going against the Astros. He should be good for 8 K’s and a big fat W.

Our DraftKings King and deep league thinker Sky wrote a pre-season article about Mr. Kazmir here. How great minds think alike or is it how narrowly we think with our Led Zeppelin references? It’s the obvious lead in. We could be talking about our Kazmir sweaters, Kazmir scarves, or the Kazmir region of northwest India. But we didn’t and that’s OK. This is daily fantasy y’all, by tomorrow all will be forgotten and we will move on to a new day and a new set of players to tickle our fancy. For today though lets stick to Mr. Kazmir. He’s an expensive play and I get that is not always the best strategy, but after looking at what else is out there I have to highly recommend him. It’s worth the money and here is why. The Astros have the highest K rate in MLB, second lowest runs total, the worst team BABIP, and are the team of my newest hat. It’s f-ing pimp yo’s! Winning at DraftKings is wholly dependent on two things, great pitching matchups like the kind you can find on the Stream-O-Nator and great hitting matchups like the kind provided to you by that commercial grade stainless steal sex machine the Hitter-Tron.

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I’m sitting here with the 80′s classic Gung Ho on the TV. Directed by Ron Howard and starring Michael Keaton and Long Duck Dong, it tells the story of how a man tries to save a town by bringing in a Japanese car company to fill an empty car factory. In hindsight what great foreshadowing for the towns in the rust belt that became abandoned by the loss of all the manufacturing jobs. Filled with lots of people you might recognize, like George Wendt and John Turturo, it pulls at the heart strings of my childhood and all the forgotten movies we would watch. Now what does this have to do today’s DraftKings article. Absolutely nothing! I’m just sharing what I’m watching on TV……I’m kidding it has lots to do with today’s daily fantasy. In daily fantasy we have to be key on the match-ups and the value one guy has because he destroys a certain pitcher or team. Yunel Escobar is that guy for me today. Like this movie, we need to take a risk on the little guy when the stars align and use hope as a tool……and some numbers crunching helps too. He has 2HR’s, 10 RBI’s, 4 doubles, 3 BB’s and a .306 BA lifetime vs. CC Sabathia. Couple that with a small price tag and you have what I like to call my blue light special. I’m rolling him out there even if the Hitter-Tron is farting in his general direction. Someone put his dipstick back in! Given that the Stream-O-Nator isn’t that hot on CC, though, I do think there’s room for this to work.

For those of you still new to this daily fantasy thing you really need to get in on this. I don’t always have time to be on the computer throughout the day but I can find a little time in the morning to get a line-up and take on 5,000 other players for a chance to win some sweet cash. If you sign up you can play the free games until you get the hang of it. You can also play H2H against each other or me if you would like to. My handle on there is J-FOH. Now get over to DraftKings and sign up already and while you’re at it, try your hand at the Sweet Spot. This might be one of the few times in life that you are going after a sweet spot that’s not on your wife and she will not only not mind, but be happy about it. Ok, on with the picks.

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The hardest division in the league, which includes last year’s world champs, looks to be just as intense again.  For that matter, it probably will be that way for the foreseeable future.  My favorite team is also being covered here.  I’ll do my best not to be biased about the Yankees, and I think I’m pretty good at keeping my emotions away from the reality of the team.  That being said, I think the Yankees are going to win 120 games this season. (You can check out the NL West Spring Training Preview here, 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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Once again, the top 20 shortstops for 2014 fantasy baseball look a whole lot better than the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball. For the first time that I can remember, I want a shortstop from the top tiers. Usually I punt shortstops along with catchers due to how bad they are, but this year it’s pretty clear 2nd basemen are worse than shortstops and I like quite a few shortstops. Hey, you gotta be malleable in this fantasy baseball game. Malleable is also a great name for a baby girl. Feel free to take it for your daughter if you so desire. As with the other top 20 rankings, I point out where I think tiers start and stop and my projections. All the 2014 fantasy baseball rankings can be found under that thing that says 2014 fantasy baseball rankings. Unsuccinct! Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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Top 20 catchers, 1st basemen and 2nd basemen are in the books. What a strange, glorious trip it’s been! Though not really. Today, the top 20 shortstops for 2013 fantasy baseball get to shine. Hmm… Actually, most of these won’t shine. They’re cloudy with a chance of crapballs. To be a bit more specific, the top ten shortstops were about equal with the 2nd basemen through the top 10, then they actually go a bit deeper than the 2nd basemen. Yes, shortstops are deeper. Barely. Mike Aviles was 18th overall for 2nd basemen, here he doesn’t even make the list coming in 22nd. Either way, it’s ugly. Okay, enough of the hubbub on the tomfoolery. To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason. Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2013 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Jose Bautista left yesterday’s game as Jose hip got amiss and he hit the DL. In his place will be Anthony Gose and Kevin Pillar, who’s good friends with Jason Paritek and Kevin Poukilis, but even Pillar can’t stand Jonathan Ppappelbon. Pillar said, “He’s a pancing fool!” In the minors this year, Pillar had nine homers and 23 steals while maintaining a .300+ average. He profiles as a fourth outfielder, but you never know when someone gets hot. He hasn’t yet though. Meanwhile, Gose is good if you have the need…the need for speed! Or so says Maverick. Gose stole 70+ bases some years in the minors. No, that’s not a misprint. Unfortch, he never heard that anonymous credo, you can’t steal first. Together, they’re interesting from a Jays’ perspective. Together, not so much from a fantasy one, unless one steals the job (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, duck, duck, Gose!). In AL-Only leagues, I’d grab the Pillar and wait until someone says, “Hey, you making sure the Parthenon doesn’t fall?” In deep mixed leagues, I’d grab Gose if you’re desperate for steals. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Despite not living in an MLB-market area, I have a great AAA team nearby.  I got to see Chris Archer pitch for the AAA Durham Bulls with his great velocity, luckily before his hit role in Coming To Tampa.  But after wanting to search for a career, he got promoted from Zamunda and went to Queens Tropicana Field in hopes of a complete game.  Well, when Houston is running out Carlos Pena at leadoff, as Kevin Garnett would exclaim, “Anything is possible!”

I’ve always liked Archer’s stuff, but the high WHIP was a big bugaboo.  Like Starship Troopers big.  But I liked him in spot starts, and all through comments on Grey’s articles last week, took Archer as my spot starter of choice against a lot of other fringe-streamers.  Score one for JB-O-Nator!  Ok, that sounds more like I’m an Austrian movie star in a political position.  Let’s take a look at how Archer did inning-by-inning, get to the Choppa Pitcher Profile!

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