It’s been a rough week to be Dallas! Last Sunday the Cowboys lost Bryant for 2-3 months and yesterday Romo went down with a broken collarbone. Tough break for the Cowboys but you’re not here for Da Boys, so let’s talk about the other Dallas. Last Wednesday night, Dallas Keuchel got shelled for 9er against a Texas lineup that’s leads all of baseball in K’s vs LHP. I for one paid up for Keuchel last week as it seemed like a no brainer. Granted his home/road splits lean towards that Houston home cooking, but I definitely didn’t see a season worst performance coming. I mean this is a guy who’s supposed to be tops on a short list of AL Cy Young candidates. The same guy that has put up 24 quality starts this year and has gone at least 6 innings in 29 of his 30 starts. In fact you’d have to go all the way back to last July to find an outing that he lasted 5 or less innings prior to last Wednesday’s Cleveland Steamer. In DFS you have to have a short memory and tonight is a perfect example as I’m doubling down and buying in big on Keuchel for $11,400. He’s third on the board tonight, but I think he’ll be a top the leaderboard with an excellent HOME matchup against the not so Angelic Anaheim club. Anaheim is limping into Houston after a 4 game set with Min, which had them play a double header on Saturday and yesterday they only put up 1 run . In fact LAA is hitting just .232 against LHP and Keuchel has owned them this year putting up 2 W’s, 21 K’s and just 4er in 18.1 innings. Luckily for this Dallas he can bounce back a lot quicker than the other Dallas team that will be licking their wounds for the next couple months.

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.

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All right all of you, hardcore, prematurely balding fantasy baseballers, who are battling in the trenches these final weeks.  You people.  And by “you people,” I mean middle-aged, middle class white men with their mothers on speed dial.  (What?  Google Analytics can tell a lot.)  Let’s do this like Brutus and Tommy Artootis.  (I went to middle school with Tommy Artootis; you probably didn’t know that.)  Yesterday, Kendrys Morales went 4-for-4, 5 runs and three solo home runs (19, 20, 21).  The Morales of the story?  He’s stepping up to help you win because we prayed for this.  Right after praying that Lay’s Gyro-flavored potato chips wins the new flavor contest.  Show of hands:  how many of you care who becomes the next president?  Okay, now how many of you care what flavor wins Lay’s potato chip contest?  Ya’ll bunch of liars if you didn’t vote for Lay’s.  Can we just make a Trump flavored potato chip to combine all my voting into one place?  Morales has done well for my Tout Wars team, but I’m gonna come up a little short like Altuve.  Here’s the current standings, as you can see power was my real bugaboo.  If Miggy had reached 30 homers like he did seemingly every other year, it could’ve made a huge difference.  For now, let’s bask in Rudy’s dominance and hope Lay’s Gyro flavor kicks ass.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You wanna know what’s on my mind?  “If the Nationals wouldn’t have shut down Stephen Strasburg three years ago, would they have been eliminated a day earlier this year?”  No, that’s not on my mind.  “Is there anything to your business idea of selling 500-foot rulers outside the courthouse to people who just got restraining orders?”  That’s been on my mind, but that wasn’t what I was thinking about now.  “What does Strasburg offer us for 2016?”  Yes, that was what I was thinking.  How did you read my mind?  “I’m you.”   Shh, you’re ruining the illusion.  Yesterday, he went 7 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 13 Ks.  Prettttay, pretttay good.  Of course, Effin Stressbird has been an ulcer all year with his 4.30 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and continual injuries that have left him with only 98 1/3 IP.  When digging deeper — and it hurts me soul, Lupe Fiasco, to say this — he doesn’t look bad.  His velocity went up this year to 95.3 MPH from 94.8; his K/9 is down 10.1 to 9.7, but I think that’s just due to his control, and a 9.7 K/9 isn’t bad.  He hasn’t been as sharp with command, but couldn’t that be due to the back problems he’s fighting?  I hate him as much as anyone that is making hashtags by combining MLK and the dipshit in Kentucky, but if I’m looking at his stats with impartial eyes, he doesn’t look terrible for 2016.  For this year, just give me three more effin starts like last night, you Effin Stressbird.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Masahiro Tanaka went 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks.  I took some guff in the preseason for being down on Tanaka, in the non-sexual way.  I projected him for the line of 10-4/3.49/1.15/150.  His line right now is 11-6/3.57/1.01/125.  Yeah, I was waaaaaaaaay off.  Multiple A’s to allow time for an eye roll.  Kids write me letters and say, “Unkie Grey, how did you know what Tanucky (sic) would do so mediocrely?”  My answer is always the same, I’m a witch.  Then I continue, “No, that’s just a broom.  Male witches ride around on Vespas.”  Tanaka was an easy person for me to avoid this year due to his elbow tendon.  For 2016, sadly, I don’t see my enthusiasm changing.  Or at any point for him until he has surgery, rehabs for 12-16 months and then returns.  I wish he would, because I would like to get excited about him, but it’s just not gonna happen, said like Dana Carvey impersonating George H. W. Bush.  Now, excuse me, I double-parked my Vespa on Sandoval’s foot.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yeah, can’t top the start at this point. Shark done been jumped, peeps, we gotta find a new road to venture down cuz you can’t climax at the title and then tease the rest of the time…dang it, phrasing! Segueing away from this mess…the knuckle ball. It’s a curious thing. It does it’s own thing so when it comes to making a call on a knuckle ball pitcher, you have to start with two key points. One, is the pitcher ‘on’ currently? Well, R.A. Dickey has three straight 25+ DK point games to his credit so check that box. Two, how does the team fare against him/knuckle ballers in general? You see, BvP is a bit of a sticky subject in our little world that we fantasy baseball guys live in. It’s not a huge part of my research, personally…unless said pitcher is a knuckler. Overall, the Yankees as a team haven’t done well against Dickey since his return to the AL in 2013. Over 8 games, Dickey has owned the Bronx Bombers to the tune of a 1.98 ERA to go with a 0.97 WHIP and has averaged close to 7 IP per start. Now the Ks haven’t been anything special with a mere 6.67 K/9 during that span but in a tournament where Dickey has a chance to not only last long into a game but also get 4 points for a win, count me in at his current $6,600 asking price. When you factor in the current Yankees roster owns a mere .640 OPS off of R.A., it’s easy to find this matchup more enticing than at first glance. So let’s go forth together with Dickey in hand, dear friends, and see where it gets us…ugh, yeah, phrasing. Let’s move on shall we? Here’s my other throbbing hot takes for this Friday DK slate…

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.

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It’s hard to pick which Ross is hated more: the one in Friends whose character is so annoying David Schwimmer could never get work again, or the dynamite starter for the Nationals, who even after pitching mad impressive through his first few starts, wasn’t even the first SP to get the call when Stephen Strasburg went back to the DL yet again.  Why wasn’t he the first call?!

After Joe Ross‘s first run in June, I kept him in the ranks a few more weeks even without a for-sure rotation spot, and when Strasburg tweaked the oblique, I was ready to vault him into the top-50.  But nooooooo, instead they use, I dunno, Taylor Jordan or someone who doesn’t matter?  C’mon Nats, what did Ross ever do to you?!  Finally the Nationals got Ross back up to face the Mets last week in a decent – albeit underwhelming – start given the matchup, so I decided to break down his 5th MLB start at the Pirates, in a pitcher’s duel Sunday afternoon against Gerrit Cole.  Here’s how Ross looked:

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A NASA engineer who plays fantasy, “Houston, we’ve Scott a pitcher!” Then he tries to high-five another NASA engineer, but their 180 IQs can’t figure out a hand slap. A gay man in the Bay Area who plays fantasy, “I see a run on Minute Maid mimosas thanks to the Kaztro!” Then he tries to high-five his friend and it becomes patty cake. A Real Housewife of Houston sees that Scott Kazmir was traded to the Astros and gets on the phone with her husband, “You want me to hide our oil futures in which bank account again?” Okay, that had nothing to do with Kazmir. For the past three months, I’ve been saying to trade Kazmir in July and guess who reads Razzball. Yo, Beane, I’m on a treadmill as I write this — simpatico, my brother! Crap, I just hit ‘Begin Workout.’ How do I shut this off? I just wanted to stand on the treadmill! So, Kazmir takes his 2.38 ERA to Houston and I can kinda understand it from the Astros’ perspective. If they get ten starts from him instead of Feldman, then it’s a score since they traded low-level prospects. Kazmir is from Houston so he’ll be able to play in front of family and friends, which is great if this were Little League and needed a ride home. He has only 15 1/3 IP in The Juice Box, so his numbers there are irrelevant. O.co is a -co park like Petco or Metco and stands for Overstock(ed on foul territory), but Minute Maid isn’t exactly Coors. Keuchel, McHugh, McCullers and Velasquez have done fine there, and I think this is a fairly lateral move out of the wishbone offense. What?! Grey must be reading JayWrong’s fantasy football rankings. The only thing that really stops Kazmir from performing is his health, which is almost definitely going to fail him. Damn, I should’ve been a doctor. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Michael Brantley went 4-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs with his 7th homer. One big day for a 2nd rounder is more than Ian Desmond owners can say. Yes, everything’s better when compared to Ian Desmond. “Maw, this spinach is still half-frozen and spinach juice is dripping into my Salisbury steak.” “In some countries, all children have is a 2nd round draft pick of Ian Desmond.” “You’re right, maw, you’re right. I’m an ingrate!” That’s a 34-year-old you after coming up from your mom’s basement for dinner. One of my biggest regrets of this season was not labeling Brantley a Noid and telling you to avoid. I didn’t rank him in the preseason crazy high so you would draft him, but I didn’t outright say, “Look elsewhere, prematurely balding man.” Meh, I guess my regrets could be worse. I mean, look at Lindsay Lohan’s last ten years. If you own Brantley, I think at this point you have to hold tight and either go down with the ship or hope some of his cream rises — mixed metaphor points! If you don’t own Brantley like me, well, whew. I’m empathetic though. Kinda. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the first half now in the books, it’s time to take inventory on the OBP/OPS delights and surprises and forecast a bit for the second half.

Let’s start at the top with the undisputed OBP/OPS King of the first half of 2015, Bryce Harper. Harper has paced the league in both categories since late April and hasn’t looked back yet. Harper has a .464 OBP and a whopping 1.168 OPS. Only Miguel Cabrera and Paul Goldschmidt are really in the neighborhood with respect to either category. I do expect Harper’s blistering first half to be the best we’ll see from him. I don’t expect another 1.168 OPS going forward, but he should still wind up in the top spot or so in the season’s end, so don’t expect significant regression. Remember those commercials that showed Harper yucking it up next to the Bambino, in grainy, black and white? It seemed absurd at the time, and it still is, but Harper is at least holding up his end of the bargain when Sports Illustrated dubbed him “The Chosen One.” I’m all in on Harper for the second-half and in 2016 and beyond.

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Before you accuse Jose Tabata of leaning into a pitch with two outs and Max Scherzer on the brink of a perfect game, let’s take you back to 2009. The then 19-year-old Jose Tabata was with his wife, the 54-year-old, Conchita Alonso Rivera Consuela Charlynn Torres, and she was pregnant. Conchita etc. would tell Jose to lean into her belly to hear the baby, and Jose leaned. At supermarkets, at carnivals, at the car wash, Conchita etc. asked Jose to lean and listen, and he did. Of course, there was no baby in her belly, it was actually a Betsy Wetsy doll that she shoved under her shirt. Later when Conchita etc. was arrested for falsifying a pregnancy and kidnapping a baby for Jose and her to raise as their own, they would meet at the glass partition in prison and she would tell Jose to lean in. Times were good, Jose leaned in. Times got rough, Jose leaned in. So, on Saturday, when the Pirates were one out from having a perfect game thrown against them, Jose did what he always did — he leaned in. After that no hitter, Max Scherzer has a 10.8 K/9, 1.2 BB/9 and a 1.76 ERA. So, yeah, he’s a top three starter, if not the best this year, and he is amazing. No kidding; hey, sorta like Tabata and his wife! (There is a lot more truth in this opening paragraph than you’d likely ever imagine. Just Google “Tabata wife” if you don’t believe me. Happy belabored Father’s Day, Tabata!) Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?