Grey wrote a sleeper about Dylan Cease (FD $10,900/DK $10,400) over the winter (don’t believe me? It’s right here), and, as always, we all should have listened to him. If you did, you’ve been rostering Cease and enjoying the 5th-best SP in 2022 according to the Razzball Player Rater. I’ll stop gassing up Grey at this point before he gets so diamond-hard that he’s knocking lamps and knick-knacks off desks and coffee tables in his house every time he turns around. If I may paraphrase Dave Chappelle in one of the awesome “Chappelle’s Show” skits, who are the five greatest SPs in the world? Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, Dylan and…Dylan.

I could probably write 500 words about the kind of things Cease is doing this year, but let’s lead with this and see where it takes us–Cease has given up four total earned runs since May. SINCE MAY. It’s August 5. I looked at Cease’s Statcast/Baseball Savant page and there was so much dark red I thought my used laptop may have been at Corey Feldman’s stabbing. Too soon? He’s ok, you know. Anyway, back to Cease. If we were going to pick one nit, it’d be his 10.4% BB%, but there’s a 33.3% chance he’s going to strike the next guy or two out anyway (good for 5th best in MLB). Cease can’t possibly keep this string of dominance forever, and with Semien and Seager hitting, Adolis Garcia can do damage…it wouldn’t shock at all to see the Rangers hit the ball and remind us, as Duke reminded Rocky after Rocky cut Drago–he’s not a machine; he’s a man! Until then, we’ve got to take the Roman poet Horace’s advice to Cease every 5th day and ride it until it, uhh….Ceases.

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Eric Lauer, SP: FD $9,700/DK $8,000 – Streamonator says to absolutely play Lauer at home vs. the Reds, as it’s got Lauer ranked 4th today. Lauer has given up 1, 2, 1, 1 ER with only a four-run clunker for the Rockies in his last five starts. He hasn’t struck out more than four people in any of his last three starts, but by the end of the trade deadline, the Reds sold most anybody that could hit except for the bag of protoplasm resembling Joey Votto and were already 5th-worst in MLB in Ks vs LHPs. If there’s a match-up to take advantage of using Lauer, this is a good one.

Daulton Varsho, C: FD $2,900/DK OF-only – Varsho has seven hits in his last seven days, chipping in a HR and a stolen base. Bags should count two when they come from the C position, and Varsho’s .333/.391/.571 mini-heater says you should play him at home vs. German Marquez tonight.

Jose Abreu, 1B: FD $3,300/DK $4,900 – Abreu has eight hits in his last 24 ABs, including a trio of round-trippers, and gets to face (according to Hittertron) “GOtto” who may be Glen Otto, but I read it as Gatto, like Joe Gatto, the former Impractical Joker who would run around yelling and looking for “Larry!” Abreu >>> than both GOtto and (Joe) Gatto, and that’s no joke. Play Jose today.

DJ LeMahieu, 2B: FD $3,600/DK 1B/3B only $4,900 – Gesundheit! DJLM has 10 hits over his last 25 ABs, including a pair of homers, a stolen base, six runs, and has walked more than he’s struck out. Dakota Hudson has a 12.8% K% and a 10.4% BB%–whoa! That’s awesome! Wait, he’s the pitcher New York is facing? Yuck. Play your Yankees tonight.

Rafael Devers, 3B: FD $4,100/DK $5,200 – Hittertron has Devers as its top-ranked 3B tonight. Raffy only has 8 ABs in the last week as he’s just coming back from a minor injury, but has already gone yard once and is facing Zack Greinke, whose HardContact% is a career-high 33%. Devers is 4th in MLB with a 38% HardContact%, so this….seems like a good match-up.

Oneil Cruz, SS: FD $2,900/DK $4,200 – Pittsburgh just swept Milwaukee in a 3-game series that ended yesterday, and Cruz effortlessly blasted HRs in two of those games (one off of Corbin Burnes; yes, that Corbin Burnes). The average still isn’t where you’d like it, or where it will be, but this is a fantasy beast in the making, and his price is still a great gamble. His eight HRs in 36 games prorates to 36 HRs over 162 games, and his five stolen bases to 22.5 SBs. That’ll play.

Randy Arozarena, OF: FD $3,000/DK $4,900 – Say hello to Hittertron’s top pick of the day. The Rice Bowl is near Greektown in Detroit hoping to open a can of whupazz on the Tigers’ opener, Bryan Garcia. The only thing Garcia will be opening is the floodgates for the Rays, as Hittertron absolutely loves these guys today. It’s even got Jose Siri in the top-10. Yes, way–Jose. The Rice Bowl got things started yesterday with a four-hit game.

Charlie Blackmon, OF: FD $3,300/DK $4,800 – I know Colorado turns into Colora-don’t on the road, but Blackmon has tuned up Madison Bumgarner to a .340 career AVG over 53 ABs, with five XBHs among his 18 hits. I didn’t do the digging to see what the home/road splits vs Bummy are, so maybe he’s batted .893 against Bummy in Coors and -.035 against him on the road. 

Anthony Santander, OF: FD $3,400/DK $4,600 – Santander is the 7th-best hitter on the Razzball Player Rater over the last seven days, with 13 hits in 29 ABs, including a pair of HRs. The surging Orioles, winners of 8 of their last 12 games, are hosting Mitch Keller, who has gone at least six innings in each of his last five starts, but I’m giving the nod to O’s Magic and some home momentum here. @BallparkWeather says high risk of postponement, so make your contingency.


I’m Only Happy When It Rains

@BallparkWeather predicts an active Friday gameday as of Friday morning, with Pirates @ Orioles a high risk of delay/high risk of postponement, Nationals @ Phillies a moderate risk of delay/low risk of postponement, and Braves @ Mets a low to moderate risk of a delay.


Doing Lines In Vegas

As mentioned above, Arozarena is Hittertron’s top-ranked hitter today and he just went 4-for-5 yesterday. He’s +135 for over 1.5 total bases today, and I like that against the Tigers. I also like Jeimer Candelario at +145 to go over 1.5 total bases vs. Corey Kluber and the Rays.

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3 days ago

Hi Hoove,

a follow up to your great in-depth analysis on my inning situation regarding Jeffery Springs.

1. On August 6th, would you start or sit Miami’s Pablo Lopez on the road against the Cubs? The razz dollars was minus.3.

2. on 8/12, Lopez’s next start is at home against atlanta with a positive dollar value of +16.0. I was leaning to starting at home. what are your thoughts?



Reply to  martinrostoker
3 days ago

I get the positive/negative dollar values and would imagine park factors having a lot to do with that. Cubs are a fair amount worse lineup than ATL, but Wrigley plays a lot better for offense than where the Marlins play. I like the Cubs matchup better and like PabLo as a SP, and am inclined to roll him for that one and bench at home vs ATL, but it’s tough to go against projected dollar values with that stark of a difference too. His career splits show him to be a much better pitcher at home than on the road as well (3.16 ERA at home vs 4.77 ERA on the road).

My gut says reverse the starts but the numbers say you’ve got it right.

Reply to  Hoove
3 days ago

thanks for all this insight!!