So Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix was on HBO tonight and before you ask, no I still don’t have cable.  Me not having cable is a running joke around here.  Sorry if you don’t understand, but this intro is for those who understand that I understand how silly it is, you understand?  Anyhoo, it put me in the mindset for this title and it’s also apropos to the actual topic.  AJ Griffin…admittedly I could give two bee-sized bowel movements about how good he is or has been.  Overall, he’s just not good.  He’s about as SP3/4 vanilla as you can get for an MLB team, but that’s neither here nor there.  The Royals have suffered so many injuries this year and have seemingly thrown in the towel on the season as they’ve gone into full blown sell mode.  I don’t know if that’s what is affecting the production on the field, but it’s clear this team isn’t sniffing the 2015 version.  The K rate as a whole is up nearly 4% and they sit mired in 24th overall in wRC+.  Factor in they’ve actually been worse since the All-Star break and you have the perfect spot to take advantage of a $6,500 priced pitcher who doesn’t need a gem to outplay his price.  When suggesting a pitcher that has a 4+ ERA, it should go without say but yeah, this is a tourney only call.  So let the sorting hat decide whether you’re courageous enough to follow through with Griffin and let’s get on with the rest.  Here’s my Goblet of Fire hot taeks for this Friday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday August 1st to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Kenta Maeda, SP: $10,200 – Before we carry on, let’s be clear about the top end arms.  Scherzer?  Not sure-zer (sorry, not sorry) Mad Max can get enough Ks on the road vs a solid offense that doesn’t K to make the price work for me.  Tourney only.  Jose Quintana is reasonable, but I don’t think you need to chase here.  Vince Velasquez is the counter to Maeda for cash and Marco Estrada is confusing at this price because he’s still coming off the DL; I’m not in on CHiPs.  Now that THAT has been covered…Maeda at home against a team that Ks the fifth most in the league?  Factor in he’s facing Zack Godley about which an archaic proverb has been dropped – suckiness is next to Godleyness – and a win is almost assured.  Cash play du jour.  Bon appetit!

Collin McHugh, SP: $8,600 – As any Razz reader knows, Grey is all about the Regression Fairies.  The thing is, regression don’t gotta be negative.  McHugh is a 3.75 ERA kind o’ pitcher.  It’s ok to use ‘o’ instead of ‘of’ when the last name starts with ‘Mc’.  I’ve vetted this, lets move on.  Well, April (6.65 ERA) has disguised a pitcher who has pitched up to his skill set for three months and it’s come to a head in July where he’s pitching to the tune of a 2.66 ERA and his ERA now sits at 4.18.  With that, in steps the Tigers; a team that is right-handed heavy and ready for a few half dozen punchouts or more.  I’m Collin on ya, McHugh, don’t do me wrong!

Steven Matz, SP: $8,500 – I like McHugh and Matz equally, but something tells me Steven and his sexy matchup is going to get talked up much more.  Matz paired with Maeda or Velasquez makes too much sense for cash today.  So much sense that you gotta know in advance, everyone is on it.  Move on in tourneys.

Ivan Nova, SP: $8,300 – The 8K pitchers are a nice little place to be today, apparently.  I trust nothing about Nova but I do trust the Rays to K no matter who they’re facing.  Ivan the terrible might show up so let’s just keep this to tourneys only.

Edwin Jackson, SP: $5,300 – We know there’s the three true outcomes for hitters but for pitchers, it’s gotta be two true outcomes, right?  Edwin is just that: Ace or position player pitcher.  There’s just no in between!  But here’s what Edwin has going for him: A team that Ks 22+ percent of the time against righties and is bottom five in road wRC+.  There will be people out there – and I don’t wanna name names…mainly cuz I don’t know who they actually are – that will say that Tyrell Jenkins is the perfect SP2 for tourney play but I’m here to tell you, it’s a secret to everybody.  Let’s E-Jax-ulate together, shall we?

Cameron Rupp, C: $3,000 – Hey, I follow up with a ‘don’t follow the Jenkins sheeple’ with a ‘pick on Jenkins’ call…raise your hand if you’re surprised!  Ok, you who raised their hands…you’re dismissed.  You gotta be on your toes to stay around here.  Rupp is batting .349 against lefties this year, but honestly the sample size is small.  BTW, what’s allowed vs disallowed for a sample size being big vs small?  Can I call ‘small ample size’ for something that gives us enough info to work with but is admittedly not the ‘right’ size for planting your flag on?  Yeah?  Thank you, one person who reads!  So that’s to say, I think we have a small ample size for Rupp and he’s facing Tyrell.  Tyrell is bad.  Tyrell is also a Game of Thrones reference I don’t yet get but that’s neither here nor there.  Rupp is a cheap catcher and he should be a good play and so should Phillies today.  I’m all on board with Maikel Franco, Cesar Hernandez, Tommy Joseph, and Aaron Altherr.  Wow, way too much text for a catcher, let’s get condensed from here on out!

Wil Myers, 1B: $4,600 – If you’ll allow for me to be a Brit for one moment, Myers is a confusing bloke.  He’s great against lefties overall on the year, but he’s amazing at Petco period.  Myers saw his numbers dip on the recent road trip but I fully expect a visit from Brandon Finnegan to change all of that.  Myers and Matt Kemp make a nice little SD combo stack as Kemp keeps his annual second half surge up and Wil lives up to his 1.039 home OPS.  Yes, you read that right.  My #1 play today with a bullet.

Neil Walker, 2B: $3,100 – When you produce 75% of your season stats in about six weeks to start the year, it’s understandable you take a figurative dirt nap for a bit.  However, after back to back 10+ point performances from Neil, I think we’re back on track.  A Walker bomb wouldn’t surprise me today.

Derek Dietrich, 2B: $2,700 – If you’re strapped for cash and looking to pay down up the middle, Derek likely mans 1B for the Marlins against a historically bad pitcher against southies in Leake.  Strictly a cash saving move here and because of that, let’s move along…

Hernan Perez, 3B/OF: $4,200 – While everyone yells ‘OVERPRICED’, I’m just gonna roll with it.  Likely batting second with steal and power upside vs a LHP at home.  By the power of Greyskull, he has the power!  Oh, you don’t see that ‘r’ and ‘n’ next to each other as an ‘m’ but now you do because I mentioned it?  Welcome.

Miguel Sano, 3B/OF: $3,700 – Again for all Quintana lovers: I don’t hate him!  That said, Sano given the better side of the splits and being a nice boom or bust tourney play, I’d be remiss to not mention him.  Sano is just good to go, ya know?

Jonathan Villar, SS: $4,900 – Narrative alert!  Villar got sat on Wednesday after two errors and a poor base stealing decision.  Then Craig Counsell decided that he would sit Thursday as well.  Competitive fire?  I’ll show you coach angst?  Shame filled hatred?  All of the above?  I can promise you if Villar starts, Villar going to be very, very happy.

Raul Mondesi, SS: $2,900 – If you’re looking to save some fake DK bucks, you gotta look to the rookie named after his fantasy relevant father.  The fruit rarely falls very far from the tree…unless the tree grows on a hill…but that ruins the metaphor so let’s not go there.

George Springer, OF: $5,000 – I’ll give you an expensive go and then move on.  Springer leads off and will likely get at least three shots at hitting a bomb off a lefty.  Springer done been sprung, son.  BTW, if you’re looking for cheapish OF players, it seems that DK doesn’t want you spending less than 4.5K on your OF today.  That said, I got some options…

Jose Bautista, OF: $3,900 – He’s not quite back in a groove, but 3.9K?  Much like Tehol’s burlesque show, that’s worth the price of admission.  PS, the price on that was free.  And behind a 7-11.  And involved whip its.  I don’t wanna talk about it.  The creamy white stuff on my face was Reddi-Wip, I swear!

Lonnie Chisenhall, OF: $3,800 – With his limited upside and lack of power, Chisenhall is simply a part of a suggested Cleveland stack.  Could he hit a bomb?  Sure.  Is he more than likely going to max out on a 1/4 with a double and an RBI?  YUP.  Well rested and at home, that Chis in the hall is a solid cash play even if you don’t stack.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

Basically, this post is being written in California because no rain exists for our concerns.  Let me know if you want an avocado or a fake boob or three.  Don’t ask why we don’t sell them in pairs.  It’s a hot dog vs hot dog bun thing.

Doing Lines In Vegas

The heavy line of the day goes to none other than my selection for SP1 in cash Maeda as LADvsARZ sits with a 7.5 O/U and a -235 line in favor of Kenta.  Kenta I get a witness!  Outside of Maeda, though, we have few heavy favorites.  The early game for the day of CHCvsSEA has Jon Lester sitting at -180 which is fine and dandy and all, but after him?  Well my Matz call looks ok at -163, I guess.  Trevor Bauer at -160 in an 8.5 O/U game?  Rick Porcello also at -160 on the road in a 9 O/U game?  Ehhhh…speaking of Porcello, though, I didn’t mention any Red Sox batters in my blurb.  Yes, that was intentional.  Not because they’re a bad play but because LAAvsBOS is going to be the chalk for the night as its tied for the highest run total of the night at 9 and because Tim Lincecum is on the mound.  Expensive bats all around that will be high owned…lower case ‘yay’.