There’s no denying that Madison Bumgarner works hard. Well, he plays even harder. So it should have come as no surprise when news broke that the San Francisco ace was placed on the disabled list after injuring his left shoulder in a dirt bike accident. Wait. You were doing WHAT? But why!? You can’t expect Madison to get his kicks doing regular pleb things like playing Xbox or frisbee golf, it’s gotta be EXTREME. Regardless, this is a huge blow for Giants fans and Bumgarner owners alike. Madison is sporting a 3.00 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 28/4 K/BB rate through four starts and early reports suggest he is set to miss over two months. Bummer. But honestly, what do you want from the guy? For him to not participate in dangerous extreme sports on his days off? I mean, come on, his hands were tied. Ty Blach is set to fill in the interim. Blach and his just 21.2 innings of major league experience. Blach is a ground ball pitcher with just a 13.4% strikeout rate, so he’s probably not the answer to your Bumgarner woes. More like, Ty Blech, right? Lol. He is slated to take on the Dodgers next week, but if you’re feeling dangerous you’d likely be better off dirt biking than picking up Ty Blach outside of deep NL-Only leagues. Here’s hoping at the very least Bumgarner got some sick air.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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I’m with Streamonator: Carlos Carrasco is your No-Brainer O’ the Day. (Not to be confused with your Darren O’ the Day, which is a fish submarine sandwich.) The last time Carrasco faced the White Sox, at home, it was to the tune of 1 ER over 7 innings, and this matchup is in the more pitcher-friendly Sox park. (Mind you, his last start versus the Tigers was a tad more worrying — still only 2 ER, but he struggled with command.) But today on FanDuel, he’s $10,300. And at the same time, the Giants are in Coors. I’ve set myself a silly challenge: to play Carlos Carrasco AND stack as many Coors bats as possible, all while plugging the remaining holes as cheaply (and well? Ha) as I can. And you’ll see that through my own stubbornness, I’ve created possibly the most lopsided FanDuel lineup ever, one that will need complete rejigging if any one of my players doesn’t actually start. Like George Michael, I may come to be filled with regret and (totally logical consequence to cheating on someone!) never dance again, but it’s not for nothing that my mother calls me Victoria Mary Quite Contrary. So here goes!

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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Chase Headley  is a guy that I haven’t been able to get on board with, really ever. Even when he had his Brady Anderson year back in 2012, I couldn’t allow myself to believe that he was a top-tier ballplayer. When the Red Sox and the Yankees were both in the market for a third baseman, and Pablo Sandoval and Headley were the best bats available, the AL East superpowers each signed one. And, while the Sandoval contract has been an unmitigated disaster, Headley has actually had some middling success. He isn’t exciting, which is perhaps why I never took a liking to him. But, OBP isn’t particularly exciting either. And, it is in OBP where Headley will shine.

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Even being 1/10th of the way through the season, it is never too early to see some trends forming.  The trends I am learning you about are the bullpen usage rates.  Not every team follows an A to B to C type formulas, and it would be nice, but usage rates in certain situations, even 15 games into the season, peak their heads out for fantasy usefulness.  The ancillary stats that no one really notices, and that I use all year, are runners inherited and appearances with the lead.  All key factors for what a reliever is and what they are at sustaining.  The inherited runners stat is a ruiner, not only for themselves but for the pitchers they are replacing.  Basically a sad trombone in the case of reliever sad trombones.  The appearances with the lead factor is what we all eat our Holds and gravy with.  It basically says that they are pitching with a lead, granted, holds are scored the same as a save.  So all that less than four runs runner on deck shenanigans that people made up for it to qualify.  So welcome to the first Holds/bullpens post of the year as we embark on a road far less traveled then it should.  Holds matter, regardless of color.

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It’s week four and The Hey Batter, Batter, Batter contest is in full swing. And since it’s week four that means it’s time to announce week two’s winner. Before I do, let’s take a look at the top batters from that week. Eric Thames is hitting the ball like a guy that just whacked the shit out of the ball in the Korean Baseball Organization. Oh wait, he did that? For the last three years Thames has done his best Mike Trout impression for the NC Dinos by averaging 41 homers, 127 RBIs, 114 runs scored, a .347 batting average and 21 stolen bases. Heck, those stats make Trout seem like a second rounder. Many did not expect his success to translate back to the MLB, but I wasn’t as skeptical. My preseason projections were higher than most as I had him as a top twenty outfielder in points leagues. His 200+ ADP allowed me to scoop him up in many of my important leagues. I can’t imagine he keeps up his current pace, but he should be opening up a lot of eyes. Unfortunately the “buy low” period was during draft season.

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28.4, 12.2, 21.4, 34.1, 24.9, 43.6, 28.7, 31.4. What Power Forward game log is this? You have a 7x day where he puts up 20 points and 15 rebounds, a day where he flopped hard because he got in foul trouble, and then a lot of 4x and 5x scores. Wait, what’s that? It is the last 8 games of Eric Thames? That’s absurd. I’m not even saying he’s a great play simply because of his last 8 games, but Adam Wainwright’s a decent innings muncher, who is losing the ability to get ground balls so Thames is in play again, even at his elevated price. Are we at the point where Thames is always in play because he’s a good hitter who obliterated the KBO and will spend 2017 obliterating major league pitching. I think the previous sentence answers your question. You might be asking where does Eric Thames rank in the greatest hitting seasons ever with a minimum 50 PAs? And I would tell you that it’s not first, it’s actually 2nd. Yes, Eric Thames 281 wRC+ ranks 2nd. That’s because Freddie Freeman this year has a 282. It helps when you decide that outs really aren’t your thing for 3 games. I’m also sure you are wondering who’s 3rd, and I will tell you that this year Bryce Harper is 3rd at 256. We’ve had some insane starts this year, but only one of them is making crotchety old pitching coaches and grumpy veteran pitchers subtly hint “things.”

On to the picks as soon as Freddie Freeman makes an out…wait, that may be a while…I’ll just do the picks now…

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On Monday night, my top scout (aka my daughter) and I, loaded up our rented scouting station (mini-van), and headed out to LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida to check out some Florida State League action. LECOM Park is actually the corporate name of McKechnie Field, often called the Fenway Park of Spring Training. Funny, I didn’t feel like my seat was designed for a garden gnome, but hey, everything is bigger in Florida right? Wait, that doesn’t sound right. Any the Arsenio Hall, my daughter and I headed out to go scout, and I use that term loosely, some of Bradenton and Clearwater’s top players. Bradenton is the Pirates Class Advanced A affiliate, and Clearwater is the Phillies. While my daughter and I munched on pretzels, hot dogs, and other assorted ballpark foods, I was reminded of why I love the minor leagues. Where else can you see potential future stars mere feet away, chat with coaches about breaking balls, and shoot some sweet scouting video without an usher booting you out of the stadium? Where am I going with all this? Be patient and I’ll tell you. Why are you so hasty bro? Well, I had an idea while shooting some scouting videos of Will Craig, and Cornelius Randolph. What if we had an army of amateur scouts throughout the country sharing their first hand video accounts?

Why not have my readers, and listeners, shoot scouting videos at the minor league games they attend throughout the year? From there, we’ll take your raw footage, edit it, and post it on Razzball’s YouTube channel. It’s crowdsourced scouting, and with smart phones more common than smart people what could be easier. So if you’re taking in a minor league game at anytime this season, whip out your phone and shoot some videos of top prospects you see. Once you do shoot them over to me via email at [email protected]

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It’s been seven years since we last saw Jason Voorhees stalk and slaughter in a Friday the 13th movie. As we all know, it’s impossible to kill him, so it only makes sense that he may have reincarnated in the form of Jason Vargas (57.6% owned; +54.5%), the Kansas City Royals pitcher. In 13 2/3 innings, Vargas has an ERA of 0.66, a K/9 of 9.22, and a SwStr% of 13.1%. Those numbers would be akin to the other Jason wielding an AR-15 and mowing down his slow-running prey. Let’s delve into the KC iteration of Jason and see if anything can get unmasked. Vargas has been in the major leagues since 2005. Prior to this season, he never had a K/9 over 6.54 and a SwStr% over 9.2% (2016 was 10.1% but he only pitched 12 innings). There has been no velocity uptick, as the fastball remains in the 87 mph range. So, what can we attribute this early success to? Early in his career, Vargas was primarily a fastball, sinker, and change pitcher. In 2015, he really started to incorporate the curveball. This is when he started throwing the four-seam fastball more and sinker less. So far in 2017, he’s decreased usage of the four-seam fastball, increased the sinker usage while still throwing the curveball and changeup.

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REL baseball logo new

About 2.5 weeks in, only 25 or whatnot left to go!  Man I love baseball, so much time to make your shitty teams unshitty again.  “Make American Unshitty Again!”  Totally should’ve been the campaign slogan…

Speaking of, what is the AL turning into in the REL, 1990’s MLB?!  What’s with the Yankees taking over the first spot outta nowhere?!  The pinstripes have gotten a great balanced attack from their roster (despite losing Gary Sanchez), with the surprisingly hot starts from Chase Headley and Aaron Judge.  Plus Luis Severino going nuts with the Ks!  On the NL side, yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwn.  Business as usual with the Nats winning games in real-life, and awesomely suited for fantasy in REL-life.  Good luck to those squads hoping to hold onto the #1 spots!

Here’s how week 3 went down in the 2017 REL League:

PS – this league is way better than Razz30.

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If good pitching beats good hitting most of the time, what does bad pitching do against good hitting?  Or even bad hitting?  Someone, somewhere (ok, in San Diego) will have to have a big day against Patrick Corbin.  I think it’s more than one player and yes, even the bad hitters.  I like my righty hitters against Corbin even in Petco.  Patrick has been terrible since coming back from TJS.  Last year he allowed 24 homers in 155 innings with a .286 BAA.  This year he’s only allowed 1 homer but still a .303 BAA with 7 BB and only 7 K in 16 innings.  Maybe he’ll get it back some day, but that day won’t be today.  Manuel Margot at $2,800?  Yes please.  Hunter Renfroe at $2,900?  He’s only got 1 K in 19 AB’s against lefties.  I think K rates stabilize the quickest so I’m in there as well.  Your usual suspects for the Padres…well suspect – Wil Myers at $3,800 – should also be considered.  Outside that, most (ALL) of my picks are against bad pitching.  Is there any other way?  Once again I’ll do it my way.  Ok, Frank’s way!  Either way….no regerts this week.

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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