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As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click this link.

Welcome to the “Wacky World of Sports!” I’m your host, Wax Winkingdale. This week we’ve got some weird, wild stuff for you. First up we’re catching up with a bit of silly from last month, when Andrew Cashner played left field for one batter in an extra-inning game for no real reason at all. Whoa, that Bud Black is one crazy guy! And really smart too. Much smarter than Tony LaRussa. [Ed. Note -- With less drunk driving to boot!]

Next is more madcap fun from San Diego, where a dinosaur threw out the first pitch before a game last Wednesday against the Royals. And no it wasn’t Steve Garvey! So who was the catcher for this zany occasion? Why it was the Swinging Friar, the team’s mascot. And oh look, the baby T-Rex is on the attack – he heard Friar and got the wrong idea!

Dino

Perhaps the weirdest story of the week comes to us from Toronto, where fantasy experts continue to disrespect a pitcher with a 6-1 record, 1.91 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Regression, they INSIST, is coming for Mark Buehrle as certain as winter is coming for Jon Snow and everyone else in the Seven Kingdoms. One writer said this is because Buehrle is lucky, noting, among other things, his small Home Run to Fly Ball ratio, favorable FIP (Field Independent Pitching) rate and weak K/9 rate. So Buehrle is lucky because he gave up fly balls and not home runs? There’s no skill in that? Guess he was lucky when he threw a perfect game too. And, OKAY, Buehrle doesn’t get a ton of strike outs, and I guess good things are happening when balls that he throws are hit, and that maybe those good things won’t continue happening if balls continue to be hit and not missed by batters. Given all that, by the FIP measurement Buehrle’s ERA would be more in the All-Star zone (low 3’s) and not exactly Cy Young territory (under 2). I don’t think this did the best job of illustrating his point. I’m not really sure how much stock I put in something that looks like this anyway: “FIP = ((13*HR)+(3*(BB+HBP))-(2*K))/IP + constant.” Sounds like Mr. Kowalski’s boring-ass algebra class, not analysis of a sport. There’s a lot of writers a lot smarter than me who use these numbers to make valid points. There’s even more who wank off to print outs of these formulas in the same way that White Goodman rubs one out with a slice of pizza. Here’s my analysis: Buehrle has been excellent, and even though his track record indicates that this isn’t normal, it’s also very possible that he will have the career year the Blue Jays thought he was going to have when they splurged on free agents before the 2013 season. Or at least a career first half. I think we will know which way this is going to go after this week, as Buehrle draws the Angels at home and a trip to the gauntlet in Arlington.

Must Start

Adam Wainwright (CHC, ATL), Felix Hernandez (TB, @MIN), C.J. Wilson (@TOR, TB)

Yes, he looks deflated, and yes, he failed to strike out even one Athletic in one half of the Mariners’ double-header against Oakland on Wednesday, but I’m shoving King Felix up here. The Rays also don’t strike out, and they have an above-average offense, but the game’s in Safeco. And then Minnesota, well, yeah. I think he gets 10-plus K’s in that one.

First Tier

Jordan Zimmermann (@ARI, NYM), James Shields (COL, BAL), Gerrit Cole (@MIL, @NYY), Mark Buehrle (LAA, @TEX), Dan Haren (MIA, @ARI), Andrew Cashner (@CIN, @COL), Cliff Lee (LAA, CIN), Mike Leake (SD, @PHI), David Price (@SEA, @LAA)

I’m seeing a big week for Zimmermann against those soft opponents. Meanwhile, Shields’ ERA would be barely visible if not for his May 2 blow-up against the Tigers. His two-starts aren’t exactly pushovers offensively, but I think he’ll handle them OK.

Second Tier

Tom Koehler (@LAD, @SF), Danny Salazar (@TOR, OAK), Zack Wheeler (@NYY, @WAS), Tyler Lyons (CHC, ATL), Jacob Turner (@LAD, @SF), Travis Wood (@STL, MIL), Ubaldo Jimenez (DET, @KC), Gavin Floyd (@SF, @STL), Rick Porcello (@BAL, @BOS), Jesse Chavez (CWS, @CLE), R.A. Dickey (CLE, @TEX), Hiroki Kuroda (NYM, PIT), Marco Estrada (PIT, @CHC), Cesar Ramos (@SEA, @LAA)

If his name wasn’t Tom Koehler, Tom Koehler would be more than 80 percent owned in Yahoo and he’d be in my First Tier. As it is, I just can’t trust him. Not on the road, not just yet. Salazar’s last three starts have been much better, and this could be a corner-turning week.

Third Tier

Bud Norris (DET, @KC), Josh Collmenter (WAS, LAD), Ryan Vogelsong (ATL, MIA), Bartolo Colon (@NYY, @WAS), Jake Arrieta (@STL, MIL), Vidal Nuno (NYM, PIT), Bronson Arroyo (WAS, LAD),  Colby Lewis (@HOU, TOR), Ricky Nolasco (BOS, SEA), Felix Doubront (@MIN, DET), John Danks (@OAK, @HOU)

There’s 12 guys in this tier. They are all the same guy, only with varying degrees of matchups. That’s how I ranked ’em. So have at it. Or don’t. I wouldn’t. Actually I just got this bad feeling about Doubront. Even though he hasn’t been horrid lately, and he should do swell in the start at Minny, I’m really worried about Detroit’s barrage of right-handed hitters.

Don’t Start

Tim Lincecum (ATL, MIA)

No coincidence that, as I’m getting to Linecum, a Doors concert from 1968 is playing on VH1 Classic. This is the end, indeed. And, oh, if you’re looking for Brett Oberholtzer, he’s not here. He’s on his way to Oklahoma City, and it’s not to check out a Thunder playoff game. He’s been bumped by Scott Feldman, who has been activated and was very good for the ‘Stros last night, whiffing six Orioles in 6 IP.

  1. SMLV1 says:
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    Benching Perez vs Boston tonight? Trying to catch Opponent in ERA and WHIP.

    As of now I have Santana vs CHC, Eovaldi vs SD and Perez vs BOS. Opponent is starting Cain vs LAD.

    My ERA and WHIP – 3.97 1.45
    Opponent – 2.25 1.25

    I have K’s locked up and we are tied with 2 Wins each.

    12 team standard Y! League.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @SMLV1: yea no brainer. sit em!

  2. Hondo says:
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    Are these ordered within the tiers?Say like in the 2nd tier,is Koehler ranked in front of Salazar or is it a pick ‘em poo pile? Apples and Oranges?Kate Upton or a young Cindy Crawford?PBR and Rolling Rock(the old kind from Latrobe,PA.)?

    Think Lyons will stick?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Hondo: no this is correct. I like Koehler more than Salazar this week. but it was late when I wrote this, so I’ll answer any and all beefs

  3. Beau says:
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    My Jose Abreu for his Jose Bautista and Matt Holliday. Pretty sure I take this trade without thinking twice, right?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Beau: he’s selling high. Abreu is SICK but Bautista might end up with the same numbers if not better. I’d do Jose for Jose straight up

      • Tarman Got Him says:
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        @Pete Nice: Wait, Abreu for Bats AND Holiday? This guys valuing Abreu super high. Take it.

        • Pete Nice

          Pete Nice says:
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          @Tarman Got Him: @Beau: oh right he’s getting Bautista-Holliday. Def do that trade.

        • Billy Beane Is Not My Lover says:
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          @Tarman Got Him:

          yes without a doubt accept that trade!

  4. Joe says:
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    Should i trade jean segura for David price?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Joe: if you need pitching sure

  5. Andrew A says:
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    Is Hamels v. Cin a sit when I could use Masterson @TOR or Wood in the bullpen (6×6 holds league)?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Andrew A: i would

  6. 1nil says:
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    I was tempted to pick up Lincecum on a streamer dropping Gee in my very shallow 8 team league (only 4 owners really on the ball), since I looked at the Streamanator and see his $35+ rating for the week. However your post backed up my instinct to run away from the smell of Timmy Skunk Weed. Also, I just offered a guy Tulo, Buehrle and MadBum for Miggy and Scherzer – will I regret this when Beuhrle wins come backer of the year and Tulo hits .400?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @1nil: I love Stream-o-nator but I think he was watching “Short Circuit 2″ with his pants down when he made that assessment. As far as the trade I got no problem including Buehrle, I’m more worried about giving Tulo and getting Scherzer. Max is not the same guy this year.

  7. David says:
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    12 team 7×7 roto with extra categories being slg and obp and quality starts and holds. Which side would you rather be on in this trade: T. Hunter, Kimbrell and Liriano or Bruce/Brantley, Holland and Teheran? Does it change your opinion whether it’s Bruce or Brantley? Thanks

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @David: I like the Teheran side and probably with Brantley, whom Mr. Albright loves.

  8. Pete says:
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    Is Nolasco even worth the risk this week in a deep (16-team) league? He would replace a 1-start Shelby Miller. I’m thinking not since the Braves hit barely better than the Padres.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Pete: yea probably not. Nolasco could be a Must Sit, especially for a Miller start. Did I write this comment to myself?

      • Pete says:
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        @Pete Nice: Yes you did. I’m your alter ego. #mindblown

  9. Wallpaper Paterson says:
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    That is not a real dinosaur. I saw a dude’s legs.

      • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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        @Pete Nice: Yes, the friar is real.

  10. Wallace says:
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    Hey Pete – nice writeup, as usual. Two things…

    How confident are you with Cashner in the first tier with those matchups? I think he’s fairly overrated as it is. Perhaps I’m just not up on the xBafipSwStrOwa stuff but when I watch him pitch, I’m not all that impressed, particularly on the road.

    One more thing…can you shed any insight as to why Venable is always SO high in the hitter-tron? One of these weeks, he’ll earn it but, as of now and the recent past, the HT continues to lose some e-cred. Blame Mustache, right?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Wallace: I’ve always had a stiffy for Cashner but this year he’s earned it. When he has control he’s really hard to hit. The Coors start worries me a little but it’s tough for me to take him out of first tier. Venable is just wow. I mean it makes sense why the Tron has him so high talent wise, maybe it can’t account for mental blocks.

  11. J Boy says:
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    What are your thoughts on Vogelsong? He’s been pretty lights out his last 3 starts and he was relevant in 2011 and 2012. Worth a shot?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @J Boy: Yea he should be up mid-second tier. He has been great lately but always feels kind of bleh to me. Go for it but don’t come cryin to me!

      • J Boy says:
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        @Pete Nice: I hear you, he is kind if an eh guy, even in his good years. You think he has ROS value? He’d be my 8th SP, could probably do worse, no?

        Thanks for the reply and keep up the great work on the site.

        • Pete Nice

          Pete Nice says:
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          @J Boy: yea why not

  12. Joe says:
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    Pete They offer me wil myers and jeff smarndija for my Zack grienke….should i accept?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Joe: yea I’d do that

      • Billy Beane Is Not My Lover says:
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        @Pete Nice:

        oh yea the shark is on some kind of roll and probably will be dealt to a contender where he will get more w’s for certain.

  13. Jaret Payne says:
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    If you were to start any third tier the order you listed them is how you’d rank them? Thanks

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Jaret Payne: yes except for Vogelsong, he’ should probably be in the second tier.

  14. Lemmingness says:
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    Was planning on dropping Skaggs for sure but he just put up a good outing against Toronto. Is he still too inconsistent to be rostering? Just for streaming?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Lemmingness: depends how deep your league is. I roster him in a 20 teamer but I wouldn’t in a 12-teamer. 16 is a gray area.

  15. los locos says:
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    stream o nator likes lyons this week, how about you?

    I have as my normal 4, my 5th I been rolling the dice I have wheeler, niese, tillman and fister on my bench. But I could drop niese for lyons, thoughts?
    Kershaw
    strausburg
    verlander
    evololdi

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @los locos: no I don’t think so man Niese has been toit

  16. los locos says:
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    or volgsong and beckett are available too

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @los locos: maybe for Beckett. you must hate Niese?

  17. Snacks13 says:
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    I’ve got 3 quality first basemen (Abreu, A-Gon, Rizzo) and only 2 spots to play them.. Considering some trades so I can use my roster to its full extent. Any replies to the these trade proposals I’m considering making would be appreciated.

    Rizzo for Jay Bruce – sit on his injury and strengthen my outfield when Bruce is back
    A-Gon for Bumgarner
    A-Gon and Shields for Jo-Fer
    Rizzo, Kipnis for Cano
    Rizzo for Iwakuma
    Rizzo for Sterling Marte

    Thanks guys

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Snacks13: I feel like you’re forcing it just because you have a plethora of riches. Can you try Rizzo for Bum? Or A-Gon for Jo-Fer straight up? I just feel like your trade partners know you’re getting rid of a player because you “have” to. If you put a gun to my head I’d go A-gon-Bum but I wouldn’t be too happy about it.

  18. Cash 4 Goldschmidt says:
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    Trade my Paxton for his Porcello?

    Yay or nay?

  19. picard56 says:
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    Cliff lee is getting two starts even though they play five games? Are they skipping Fausto? (can’t remember his actual name)

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @picard56: with as many off days as they have fausto carmona incognito is being skipped for forseeable future. they don’t need to truck with his garbage for a bit.

  20. goodfold2 says:
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    i think hec santiago is being bullpenned at least during this week.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @goodfold2: Yep thanks for the catch.

  21. goodfold2 says:
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    according to any stat you want (but you may not like using those) scherzer isn’t the same as last year, he’s better. only thing out of line is LOB% (and it is out of line). every other thing is better. FIP/xFIP/era/ (walk and K rates are only marginally better), babip last year was very lucky, but closer to career norm there.

  22. peejer says:
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    I give up I kennedy for collaballo /C martinez or

    kennedy for lind/stroman—-need another good starter in a 5×5

    which one is better to offer.

    • peejer says:
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      PS its a keeper league and stroman will be $5 while C mart will be $8 for the next two years

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @peejer: I like the Colabello story and think it could keep going this year but probably not beyond. It seems like Lind is ancient but he’s only 31. I’d take the Lind/Stroman.

  23. los locos says:
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    no I like niese, but nationals beat up on lefties.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @los locos: maybe so but that’s quite a drop in quality.

  24. malamoney says:
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    In order to pick up Montero I’d need to drop one of Jim Johnson, Ernesto Frieri or Melancon. I also have Street. We start only 2 RP, but given those 3, who knows which one is startable.

    Also not sure if Montero crack my lineup behind Felix, Strasburd, Greinke, Gerrit, Gray, Anibal and Stroman when we only start 4.

    I could drop Khris Davis who is now behind Braun, Cespedes, Gordon, Bruce, Kemp, Springer, Moss and Prado.

    Thoughts?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @malamoney: I’ve seen a lot of people dumping Khris Davis. that appears to be the right cut

  25. Lemmingness says:
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    10 team weekly points league, it’s fine to drop sabathia with his DL time?

    • Lemmingness says:
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      @Lemmingness: Or try to hold onto him?

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @Lemmingness: no DL? if not that is a shallow league and he has sucked mightily. so yea I’d cut if no DL

  26. Natty Boh says:
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    What about Drew Pomeranz starting Tuesday for Oakland?

    • Natty Boh says:
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      @Natty Boh: and do you like him, Jason vargas, or roenis elias more long term?

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @Natty Boh: ew well we saw what Roenis did today. Bummed out about that. Too soon to go overboard on Pomeranz but he’s got potential pitching for Oak. I’d say Pom, Vargas, Roenis, with Pom being the best gamble but Vargas being the safest bet.

  27. Claytonio says:
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    Hello good sir! I hope you’re right about King Felix…
    I know Chris Archers’s peripherals say better times are coming…but WHEN?!
    Am I a bitter lover if I drop him this early?
    Also, what is our chance of seeing Carlos Martinez in the rotation following Motte’s activation?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Claytonio: I’ve never liked Archer. If you can dump him in a trade you might feel better about it. I can’t speculate too much on what’s going on with STL but doesn’t it seem like all of the sudden teams are being more careful due to injuries? Bauer call-up is stalled, Wood was put in pen in ATL, Tajuan Walker is taking forever. Hard to say but I know the Cards won’t rush.

  28. zampano says:
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    lincecum really blew it against atlanta and miami.

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