Another week, another trawl through the Razzball Season-to-Date Player Rater, as Dr. Easy and I look for some sneaky-value position players who may be doing better than you think they are, as well as players you may be hanging onto out of nostalgia or inertia or some other word that ends in “-ia”. Paranoia? Melancholia? Pedroia? Suburbia? Fuschia? MIA? Victoria? Amnesia: “Oh ya, I forgot I had that guy!” (That last one actually happens to me all the time.) Here goes!

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I fired up the trusty Razzball Stream-o-Nator to glean its wisdom about the pitching slate for today, and nearly fell over. The top-ranked pitcher of the day? Kyle Hendricks versus the Phillies, which in itself is not surprising; the surprising part is that he is 8.9 Stream-o-Nator dollars ($SON 8.9), which is oscillating wildly on the brink of “don’t start this guy.” To put this into perspective, things get back to normal with SON’s Sunday’s prospects, with the top-rated pitcher of the day being Yu Darvish at $SON 33.6. Uhhh… can we punt pitcher altogether today? Sadly, FanDuel’s not going to let us do that and still enter a valid lineup (harrumph; the cheek of it). SON’s number 2 (so to speak) for the day is Ross Stripling ($6,000 on FanDuel; SON$ 7.5), who has actually been Quite Good as a long reliever, but this is a spot start and he has a limit of 55 pitches. So, as much as I’ve made it my life’s purpose to follow the Way of SON, I’m going risky and starting Gio Gonzalez (a terrifying $SON 1.3), while trying to compensate by paying up for batting, with games going down in hitter-friendly parks like Arizona today. A.k.a.: time to stack and hope!

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We’re back, Dr. Easy and I, for another week of Razzball Player Rater deep-diving, looking for the unexpected gems at the bottom of the ocean (a.k.a., the waiver wire) and trying to separate them out from the cubic zirconia and the fish poop. All that glisters is not gold; the owls are not what they seem; etc. etc. Last week, we probed — so to speak — rookie hitters. This time around, we’ll look at relievers and rookie pitchers. So, which players are all bling bling? Which are the real thing?

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Whilst doing some exhaustive research on mascots (i.e., I stumbled across this ranking of MLB mascots by a two-year-old, which you should read because you probably need a break from real news this week), I discovered that the San Diego Padres’ mascot is a priest-like figure named the Swinging Friar. … “Swinging”? Ohhhh…kay. Anyway, it seemed a propos in a way because I predict a lot of swinging and missing of the strikeout kind as Stephen Strasburg ($10,400) takes on the Padres in Petco today. I’m starting him in my FanDuel lineup, even though he costs a small fortune. I’m with SON and its no. 1 pick for the day: it’s Strasburg versus the Padres today, all the way, baby. Yes, he costs a slightly horrifying $10,400 on FanDuel. Yes, this is a return-from-the-DL start, and we don’t usually fancy those — also, at time of writing on Friday night Dusty Baker is still being coy about whether he’ll actually be activated on Saturday, so keep an eye on that. But I’d like to remind you that last time he faced San Diego, he earned himself 15 strikeouts in 7 innings, with 3 hits, 1 walk and 0 runs. Today he’s in pitcher-friendly Petco Park, to boot. Three days ago, he breezed through his rehab start; in fact, after 66 pitches in 5 innings, “he made such quick work of the Salem Red Sox that he had to throw in the bullpen to get up to the 75 the team had prescribed.” However, you may be dubious — that start was against single A hitters, after all — and it’s also a Rockies-at-home day, so perhaps you want to save money for batter-stacks instead. If so, I have an answer for that…

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Clearly, the Razzball Vulcan Mind Meld is complete: just as the Mustached One put up a post addressing rookies, Dr. Easy and I had begun to wonder how the current crop is actually doing. We combed through the Razzball Season-to-Date Player Rater (STD PR) to see who’s living up to their hype. Who’s floundering in the face of big-league hitting or pitching? Who’s doing better than you think they are? Who’s doing worse? Why did basically no one draft Aaron Judge in the Razzball Commenter Leagues? We need answers! To get them, once more unto the Player Rater breach we go, my friends!

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I’m starting to think there’s a conspiracy on my FanDuel Saturdays: this is the 3rd? 4th? week in a row where the pitching options are either expensive or dismal or both. But we do have an @ARI game, huzzah: the Cubs are taking on the Diamondbacks. [Sidebar: this sounds like a nature movie in which a baby bear tries gamely, vainly, to defend his wounded mother from the evil snake, while everyone in the audience cries. (Sub-sidebar: I have a friend who tells me I always take things to the dark place.)] The Brewers have a good match-up at home versus Scott Feldman, too. Thus, we DFS warriors will make do as we can on the pitching front (Hyun-Jin Ryu, $8,200: I’m looking at you) and otherwise stack like the stacking great bastards we are.

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First things first: go grab Cameron Maybin; he’s just been activated from the DL and is only 41% owned in RCLs at time of writing. More on him later.

Right, now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s some proper preambling. Unbelievably, we are somehow in mid-August. The evenings are dropping in earlier. Those cruel “back to school” ads are in full swing. And we’re staring the 11 August trade deadline in the face — for the Razzball Commenter Leagues (RCLs), anyway. If you haven’t yet dropped dead of attrition, it’s time to go for it; time to take a long, hard look at categories where you still might catch up with competitors in your leagues. This week, Dr. Easy — my partner in fantasy baseball and other crimes — and I thought we’d comb through the Razzball Season-to-Date Player Rater (STD PR) with a particular focus on the categories of runs and RBIs. I.e. (ooh! She’s trotting out the Latin!), some surprisingly high scorers in these categories, whom you might target in trades (or off the waiver wire).

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And suddenly, it’s August. Week 18 of the season. Ahhh, I remember the good ol’ days of April, when former World Series contenders (*cough* Blue Jays *cough*) still had hopes of surfing their wave of 2016 success into 2017. I also remember the very first post I wrote for you lovelies, on April 8th, because here we are again, on a new go-around on the great Monopoly board of life (do pass “Go”; do collect $200), with the Phillies facing the Rockies in Colorado. The last time this match-up happened on a Saturday, poor old Jeremy Guthrie gave up 10 runs—on his birthday, to boot. I don’t wish that on anyone, but I do want all those runs again! A platter of relatively slim pickings on the pitching front has me wishing I didn’t have to start any pitchers today in my FanDuel slate, but we do what we must: fade (just a little) on pitching while paying up for hitting. Luckily, there are a couple of reasonably priced pitchers today — Gerrit Cole and Drew Pomeranz, I’m looking at you — around whom we can build our lineups.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot  for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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Today Dr. Easy and I are taking a deep dive into the Razzball Season-to-Date Player Rater, the good ol’ STD PR. We’re focusing on the dollar-per-game ($/G) category, looking for surprisingly good (or bad!) hitters who might (or not!) offer you value in the short term on days when they’re in the starting lineup. Many of these players are likely to be available off the waiver wire in your roto leagues, or you could look to play them in DFS line-ups. It probably doesn’t need to be said, but Imma say it anyway: obviously, don’t just take these rankings at face value for batty calls and DFS starts; check out match-ups and recent performance.

First, a word on how this works. The $ category is absolutely key as an overall ranking of players, but it tends to overlook players who haven’t played all that much. This could be due to injury or platoon or call-up situations. For example, on the STD PR, Mr. Mike Trout is 43rd out of all hitters when sorted by $, because he has only 275 plate appearances; but when sorted by $/G, he is 1st. He offers the most value per game, overall. Similar deal with Freddie Freeman: 73rd of hitters when ranked by $ (because of his 269 plate appearances this season), but 8th when ranked by $/G. We set the STD PR to show us hitters who have a minimum of 50 plate appearances, then sorted by $/G. Trout and Freeman’s rankings probably won’t raise any eyebrows, so let’s see if we can find some who will titillate your “I didn’t know that!” muscle along with your facial hair (includes beards, peach fuzz and Grey mustache wannabes).

Next, before we proceed, just a quick note: despite the name, “$/G” is not dollars divided by number of games. See the FAQs on the Player Rater page for a full explanation. And lastly, all stats lobbed at you are up to date as of Wednesday. So check for changes early and often.

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You know how some days you stand in front of the fridge with the door open (until your wife/husband/love-ah/mum/dad/other shouts at you for letting the cold out), staring at all the perfectly nutritious, healthy, slimming foodstuffs you bought from Whole Foods in a fit of enthusiasm because really you ate far too many crab cakes and drank too much Natty Boh while on holiday in Baltimore, and you know you should make a spinach and hard-boiled egg salad because that has like zero calories, but none of it is exciting, and all you really want is a honking great Big Mac? Well, that’s what the pitching slate is like today. It’s all…spinach. Yes, you know your only real options are Corey Kluber (at the White Sox; $11,900), Rich Hill (at home versus the Giants; $9,400—and hopefully starting, after his respiratory ailment), or Zack Greinke (at the Cardinals; $10,200), because they’re all good and they all have decent match-ups. But $$$$, you know? And then there’s Dinelson Lamet ($7,900) and Jacob DeGrom ($11,200) with iffy match-ups, followed by Ivan Nova ($8,300; more on him below), and after that the pitching options fall off a cliff. None of it is particularly appealing. Today I want something heavy, calorie-laden, sexy. I just want to use a cheap-ish pitcher as a plate for my delicious FanDuel hitter pancakes and smother the whole lot in syrup and whipped cream: in other words, Mama’s gonna stack. (Mama is also hungry, can you tell?)

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?