“It’s day 127 of the quarantine and all pitchers have already had Tommy John surgery. Now our first manager is going under the knife.”
“I was reaching for a toothpick and I heard something pop,” said Dusty Baker.
For those who have resorted to wiping their butts with baseball news for lack of toilet paper, Noah Syndergaard has a torn UCL and is kaput for 16-ish months. If only someone told you to avoid Noah Syndergaard, huh? What’s that, Voice In My Head? I told everyone to avoid Noah Syndergaard? Aw, jeez, I think you’re right. Voice In My Head, can I ever be as smart as you? Voice In My Head, “No. Shut up.” Wow, graciousness has left the chat. In my top 40 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball, I had a tier of guys to avoid, that tier had in it Noah Syndergaard, Luis Severino and Chris Sale. Gosh darn it, fellas, I might be as smart as the Voice In My Head. Can you even imagine it? This Syndergaard news is terrible. Dot dot dot. For all the people who wanted to draft him but got off easy because their drafts were delayed until MLB stops washing its hands of the season. Seriously, the only thing that sucks in all of my absolute genie-ness psychic ability is everyone not getting a chance to draft these pitchers before it’s too late. People tend to hate when people take victory laps over injuries, but I have on my Fitbit and I’m going for a jog! I’ve been saying to avoid Syndergaard for so long (two years), due to funky things going on in his peripherals. Maybe I didn’t know 100% he was injured, but I 100% knew something was wrong with him, and have been saying it. Not sure why people are thinking he tore his UCL just this week. This is the Mets and their doctors. Syndergaard was likely injured for the last two years. Okay, I’m out of shape from too much quarantining, so pulling the victory lap into the depot to freshen up with some hand sanitizer. On a side note, all of these guys going for Tommy John surgery might be signaling something else. No, not that they have no porch that needs repair like you during the Corona timeline. It means we might have more baseball this year than next year. If there’s a lockout to start the 2021 season, and baseball returns in June for the 2nd year in a row, how many starts do these guys miss? Not to answer, but to ruminate until our next full season in 2022. Anyway, here’s what else I saw for 2020 fantasy baseball:
Sometimes you ask and you shall receive and in that vein, I begin this month’s Razznasty update. Now I know the two questions you’re asking, what did you ask for and receive? And which vein? First, it’s the main vein, you know the one in the middle…. Secondly, I asked our very own Hippo in the bush Matt Truss to make a push in the standings over the course of June so I could name the next update “Can’t Truss It”. Done and done. I told Mr. Truss-ah Truss that I’d dress as Flavor Flav from this video while I wrote it. Truss, that I held up my end of the bargain, picture me decked out in white tuxedo with top hat and Batman glasses. Unfortunately I can’t share with all of you due to a shortage on the correct cartridges for my vintage Polaroid Sun 600. Sorry boys, and whatever number of girls are reading this year. I believe we were up to five, but we might have lost a few after the Jose Canseco interview. There’s nothing that upsets the ladies more than invasive question about Madonna’s early 90’s sperm brokering. Enough of the bollocks, onto the Razznasty update for June. Dynasty League Baseball at it’s finest.
Jake McGee hit the DL with a sprained MCL. Damn, 1150 was a very bad year for him. Wait, a new closer that no one owns is up for grabs! When this news broke, I was sitting in a French cafe, wearing a beret to the side, flicking a Virginia Slim 120 like a French baller. I immediately looked for Carlos Estevez, but he was gone. Then I looked for Jason Motte — gone! Then I looked for Boone Logan — there! So, I grabbed him, then I wept quietly. Was I really picking up the guy third down the SAGNOF totem for the Rockies? I’m such a pitiful save vulture. Get some dignity, man, you’re better than this, you’re rocking a beret and a Virginia Slim 120! After Saturday’s game, Walt Weiss announced Estevez would be the closer, so now, even more pitifully, I will be dropping Boone Logan, who got me a cheap vulture save on Sunday due to Estevez being used too many days in a row. That’s like the fantasy baseball walk of shame. Everyone who sees you drop the guy that doesn’t get the closer job knows full well that you desperately tried to make the wrong guy work. Now I have to pick up and drop twelve other guys to bury my move. The fantasy baseball shame cycle! As for Estevez, his outings will be like brother Emilio — short. His performances may be like brother Charlie’s relationships — rocky. Unlike his father, Martin, he will not be starring in an awful Netflix series canoodling with the DA from Law & Order. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
We have a compact slate of only ten games today, but there’s a whole lot of lefty action going on, so let’s see who we can expose to cash in on some DK dolla billz. Jon Lester, $11,600 seems like the obvious choice against a weak Philly offense, but he hasn’t been the K machine on the road that he has been at home. At home he’s been beasting out, as opponents are hitting a mere .186 with 55 Ks in 48 IP and on the road they’re hitting .271 with only 14 Ks in 22 IP. Granted it’s a very small sample size, but it is something to think about going into a hitters park. I may not be feeling Lester today, but I am One Hunnit on a Cubbies stack vs lefty Adam Morgan. Steven Matz, is another LH stud going tonight against Pit and as good as he’s been I’m hesitant endorsing him as well because of the matchup. Pit has been swinging it against LHP, ranking in the top 5 at a .267/.445/.787 clip. With JDong Jr (Jung Ho Kang) back along with Marte, Cutch, Freese and Mercer, I think Matz it’s going to have a rough night. Now that I’ve negged you out on the top two starters for tonight who should you roster?
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Vegas is approximately a 4 1/2 hour drive from where I live. The drive there is always fun, unless you leave on a Friday night and it seems like all 3.884 million inhabitants of Los Angeles are headed that way as well. Regardless, even with the traffic, the anticipation and excitement are at a fervent level in the beginning. You feel lucky. You’ve got your strategy down. You are going to come back a winner. Then you get there and reality sets in. For some it’s great. For the rest, Vegas would like to thank you for paying for the lights, wages, profits, etc…The ride back is either the Drive of Shame, the longest freaking journey in the history of mankind that has you screaming Are We There Yet? or you are floating on a magic carpet ride and it’s a Whole New World. We are entering that phase of the fantasy baseball season when some owners will start wondering when the fantasy football season starts, while others will be giddy with excitement at their place in the standings. I’m here to say that there’s a ton of baseball to be played. Don’t get too excited if you are on top and don’t give up hope… at least not yet.
In this weekly column, I will highlight some lower-owned players that performed well over the past week (5/22 – 5/28). If I think they can help your fantasy team, Obama will make it rain. If I do not, then they get a whammy. If you are not familiar with whammies, check out old episodes of the game show Press Your Luck.
Step right up folks, only $5 waiver wire bucks gets you the admission of a lifetime! It brings you wonderment beyond compare, unfulfilled roster spots with the snap of a finger, and most of all, it gives you zero return on your initial investment sometimes. Yes, that’s right gents (and gals too!), it’s the ever growing laundry pile that sits in the corner, but without the physical stench its the bullpen keystone capers. Key the music! The Blue Jays started the year thinking the man with the poor eye sight would be nice a cozy in the head bullpen chair. Unbeknownst to them, he sucked and failed at his job and was demoted to a set-up role. Fast forward two and half whole weeks, and he is somehow back to being the man again. Did he develop a new pitch, started throwing with his feet? Nope, he is still the same ole Brett Cecil. He isn’t throwing any harder and didn’t change his wind-up. He is just the next man up after Miguel Castro went all bay of pigs, making us all buy into him, and then poof went the dynamite. I personally didn’t think it would be a forever type scenario, and as far as I’m concerned, Cecil isn’t the man either as he sits right now. That just opens the door for possiblities… a trade (Papelbon perhaps), a free agent signee off the street (Rafael Soriano), or eventually going back to Castro or letting Roberto Osuna get a shot at the title. My answer is yes to all the above. I think it takes another failure by Cecil for the contending Blue Jays to realize that they need to shore that thing up. So in a month we could see a whole new bullpen there, and no, I am not kidding. So now that the team beyond the wall is taken care of this week, let’s peruse what else is happening around the league in bullpen situations.
It’s trendy to be trendy and follow your nose like Toucan Sam. Unfortunately, there are no Fruit Loops here, only Holds. Holds with a silver lining of saves that helps everyone. For now though, it’s all about the holds. It’s only a dozen games into the season and it’s never too early to turn a side eye to what’s going on with the key bullpen pieces around the league. These guys are mostly for holds only leagues, but the elite of the elite are the rosterable guys that should be universally owned. So, for those that are new to the Bullpen Report, it goes a little like this… I focus on relievers that are pitching in high leverage situations, games with the lead, inherited runners and the inherited runners they allow to score. Those more or less correlate to the stat we are chasing, and no it’s not that white dragon. It’s the hold. Team situations, team success, and the players ability in those situations all dictate that stat. It’s no coincidence that teams with better teams usually have more save chances, it just happens. So have a gander at some trendy type stats that have happened in the games so far. Be aware that stats this early are misleading like a Polish GPS, so be aware and don’t go for the first car you see when your hitchhiking your way through the holds life.
I wish filling out your fantasy roster with middle relievers was as easy as plop-plop, fizz-fizz. But I’m sure it isn’t, because not everyone is using the same model of success. I can dig that, I mean, I come from a long line of Smokeys that like the art of shoveling. Listen, I get it if you don’t wanna help your team-rates and ratios by adding guys that are stout in production for basically free at the end of your draft. Streaming relievers is a real thing, I didn’t make it up. It does exist, and it lives in the house between Nessy and Sasquatch. It’s not for the faint of heart and is probably not for everyone. It is about optimizing your free innings (very useful in RCL leagues that have games started limits, which everyone wants to win). It’s a basic theory and the patent is pending, so stick around as I get into the art of streaming relievers. And as an added bonus, I have broken down the MR corps into four separate groups. These groups are broken down by usefulness. We have one for straight cuffs, one for rates and holds, a straight holds, and then some stone cold sleepers for you deep-leaguers.
Thank God Apollo Creed was played by Carl Weathers and notKhris Davis. The reason I say this is because when Balboa Switched to Southpaw in the last round of Rocky 2 Davis would have killed him! Khris Davis (OF, $4,100) is a cyborg sent to Earth to destroy lefty pitching. (A Cyborg huh? That’s a bit overly dramatic don’t you think?) No seriously he is!! Allow me to explain. This season Davis has a .452 wOBA against lefties with 6 homers, 16 Rbi’s, and a wRC+ of 191. Davis’ wRC+ against lefties is more than double what it is against righties. Lucky for Davis, The Brewers, and most esspically us Daily Fantasy Players he faces a lefty tomorrow….a bad one. Christian Friedrich is a lefty who in 17 career starts has an ERA of 6.15. He also has a HR/9 of 1.49 to go along with a tidy 3.28 BB/9, what I’m more or less saying is the Brewers stack is very much in play today. The only way this matchup could setup any better for the Brewers is if the game was played in Coors with metal bats filled with super balls. I think Carlos Gomez (OF, $4,500), Jonathan Lucroy (C, $4,600), and Aramis Ramirez (3B, $4,900) are all solid plays today. I’d suggest Ryan Braun (OF, $5.600) but his price tag is too high considering his numbers against lefties are the worst of all the Brew-Crew members named.
Now time for my shameless plug!
If you’re not playing daily fantasy baseball with us on Draftkings you’re missing out. Not only will we hook you up with a ticket to one free game just for signing up. Once you’re on you’ll have the oppourtunity to play head to head against some of your favorite Razzball writers in the contests we’re running daily. We’ve been filling up a 20 team league the last couple of nights and the competition has been great. I’ll make sure to post the link below. There’s also no need to fret about who to start because with our daily columns and advanced tools like the DFSbot, Hitter-tron, and Stream-o-Nator. In other words we got you covered.
Without Further Ado my Draftkings picks for June 26th 2014.
VinWins outed me as having had a modicum of success in streaming pitchers: 68 SP (yes, 68 different starters) have recorded 55 wins and 648 strikeouts with an ERA of 3.13 and 1.22 WHIP in 797 IP. From FA/WW grabbed the likes of R.A. Dickey, Lance Lynn, James McDonald, Jonathan Niese, Wade Miley, Matt Harrison, […]