Now that the closest baseball stadium to me is in Anaheim I’m watching more Angels games. Truthfully I’m watching more MLB network, and then Cubs games, and then Angels games. It’s still more than just the Mike Trout highlights I would normally but in any event I’ve seen some of this guy, Jefry Marte. Jefry Marte? Who is that? And why can’t he spell Jeffrey right?
Well this Jefry is seeing time in left field for the Angels, who really stink out there to the tune of an MLB worst .550 OPS (thanks Yahoo!, as that tidbit is on his player page). That is pathetic. So they’re running Marte out there, who is normally a corner infielder. Only 24 years old from the Dominican Republic, which is on the island of Hispaniola (which is such a fun word to say, especially if you throw a lisp in there), Marte has been around in his short career. He originally started with Mets at age 17, played in the Futures game at the 2011 All-Star Game, was traded to the A’s for the not aptly named Collin Cowgill (he’s not a cow at 5’9, 190), and then was released by Oakland after the 2014 season. Signed by Detroit two weeks later, he wound up being designated for assignment so the Tigers could sign Justin Upton (I can’t imagine that Detroit could foresee that Marte would be almost as good so far in 2016 as Upton) and traded to the Angels.
Marte did play in the majors in Detroit last year, hitting four homers in 80 at-bats; this season in limited action he’s hit four homers in 42 at-bats and has an OPS of 1.078; which is good. His 4.5% BB and 29.5% K are not. Those numbers last season on the Tigers were 8.9% BB and 24.4% K. So he looks like a hacker. A power hitting hacker in the same lineup as Mike Trout? Are you sure I’m not really talking about Albert Pujols? No, I’m not. Not even I can recommend Albert anymore. Just think, the Angels get him for how many more years? Five more? And full no-trade protection? Ha!
Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…Matt Lyons, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Cleveland Indians!
Does your lady like the finer things in life? When she says ‘lets go out to dinner’ does she mean ‘lets pull out a second mortgage on the house for a really tiny steak and snooty service?’. Well, first things first, dump her. I’m no Love Guru, but I do know when one of my good people is getting played. We’re all about bros before L.J. Hoes around here so don’t say we didn’t warn you! But since you’re not gonna listen (and I mean, I get it, you’re a fantasy baseball nerd and you probably scored a 10 with that kind of taste) at the very least I need to teach you how to bargain hunt for those goods. Did you know cashmere wool is actually hair and that it comes from goats? Well speaking of GOAT, let’s roll with this awkward segue and talk Scott Kazmir. In his first start of the year against Texas, the Kazmanian Devil scattered two walks and a hit over seven innings while striking out 10. Now we all knew the Rangers were gonna be a weaker team coming into the season but that’s just someone pitching like a top shelf starter and Scott should have another shot at such glory facing the Astros. Though the season is still early, Houston seems to have picked up right where they left off in 2014 in terms of striking out since as a team, their K% is second-worst in the MLB at 26.8%. Last year they finished second to last in K% at 23.8 so we’re not seeing a statistical outlier here as a majority of their roster from last year is back in 2015 with their major additions (Valbuena, Rasmus, and Gattis) being known to swing and miss a bit. Given that, who knows. Maybe Kazmir can help you afford the real cashmere and you can get in on those caviar dreams. Better sign a pre-nup, though! Here’s some other hot takes for the April 13th DK slate…
Sometimes, you wanna feel like the smartest guy/gal/thing in the room. Of course, that would have to make the title ‘Summa Iwakuma Laude’ but I didn’t like the flow of ‘Summa Iwakuma’. My titles are ridiculous enough anyways, I don’t need unintentional rhyme muddying the waters along with it. So we chose ‘with great honor’ rather than ‘with highest honor’. We just replaced ‘cum’ with Hisashi Iwakuma…you better read that word in latin, perv! Not Hisashi, of course, since his name is in his native language of Japanese. So did I just create a new language? Jatin? Lapanese? Eh, I’ll leave the Bennifers to Hollywood at this point. But really, Hisashi should make you feel like you graduated with honors from Sports Tech Fantasy University (GO STFU!) as his price of $9,100 on DraftKings puts him behind the big three 10K+ pitchers on the day but the Stream-o-nator says his start is the tops of his class on the day. I do think because of the bigger names on the slate, Iwakuma will have a slightly lower ownership than normal despite the fact his start is at home and against a whiff-happy team. Much like my pick up skills will be on the Razzball Radio Tour, the Twins strike out rates are at the bottom of the league already but when they step out on the road, they’re even worse as they own the second worst K% while out Jack Kerouac’ing. So let’s swing our tassel from one side to the other and walk down that aisle…ahem, I meant graduation tassels and the hat. Seriously! Well, whatever, you’ve graduated to the rest of the picks. Now get out of this lead and take your dirty mind with you! Here’s the rest of the Razzball picks for July 7th contests…
A lot of talk has been made about the Fantasy Baseball Overlord causing all of these injuries this year. What people haven’t mentioned as much is the why. FBO was born in a small Jamaican village outside of Kingston. His family was wealthy from manufacturing fertilizer, though this came with a severe downside — the smell of manure. Knowing how cruel kids can be, it’s no surprise they would pick on FBO. The school jocks, specifically the baseball players were the worst. Constantly mocking his ever-present stench, they nicknamed him Fecal Body Odor, or FBO for short. It got so bad that teachers and adults started calling him FBO. Eventually, people called him FBO without even knowing what it stood for. Rather than trying to shake the nickname, FBO decided to have it empower him. First, he tried to get into banking, thinking he could convince people it stood for Fixed Buyout. Then he got an internship with the Field Botanists of Ontario. Neither worked for him, but he did have some knowledge of voodoo from his Jamaican aunt and always harbored hate for baseball players, so Fantasy Baseball Overlord – or FBO, for short, was born. With that said, Adam Wainwright went for an MRI on his elbow and the FBO said, “Eat it, Wainwright!” The Cards are saying his UCL is fine and it’s just tennis elbow. Hopefully this isn’t game, set, match for him. He received a cortisone shot, and there’s no word yet on a DL stint. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Hi there. It’s me – the guy who vouched for Tyler Lyons in his last start, because let’s face it; his matchup (on paper) was prettier than Kelly Kapowski on prom night. Sadly, the outcome of said start turned out to be more like Prom Night the movie, which I never saw because it looked awful, but I imagine it was a blood bath with an awful soundtrack. So yeah, anyone with shares in Lyons (there were a lot) had an awful night, and I got trolled a little (which I love). I’m not sorry though. All I can do is present useful data the best I can and let the cards fall where they may. You just gotta keep on keepin’ on, you know? That being said, if you still can’t forgive me for Lyonsgate, there are other awesome tools here at Razzball like Stream-o-Nator, Hitter-Tron, and the new DFSBot. Wait, did I just call myself an awesome tool? Whatever. As always, we’ve got you covered here, so head on over to DraftKings and use our promo link; it could lead you to $100K and probably a foursome at the bare minimum. Now, let’s put this Lyons nonsense behind us and examine some key participants in tonight’s short slate.
I’m going to be completely honest with you……. bear with me I’ve spent the past 8 years in sales this isn’t something I’m used to. I loathe John Lackey. I hate his voice, I hate his face, I hate the way his mouth is always open as if it was some 24 hour 7-11, but most of all I hated the way he was overvalued in fantasy and reality during his time with the Angels. After posting a 6.47 ERA in 2011 I figured the man I mockingly call The Muppet was done, off to the land of Dontrelle Willis. Then after sitting out 2012 for the now mandatory Tommy John surgery he came back a different player. Keeping hitters off balance with great sequencing, Lackey was one of the big surprises for the World Champions last season. Thus far this season it’s been more of the same (if not better). He enters tonight’s game against the Tigers with a 5-2 record, a 3.57 era, and an 8.83 k rate, the highest of his career. In fact, outside of two rough outings back to back against the Yankees and the Orioles back in mid-April, he’s provided a quality start each time he’s taken the mound for the Sawx. The only thing that could derail his season is inappropriate text messages from a member of the media. Well that and Ian Kinsler and the Tigers. Over the years, several members of the Tigers (some of which will be covered later on!) have owned Lackey but none quite like Kinsler. In 39 PA’s Kinsler has a 1.345 OPS with 4 hr’s, 9 steaks, and a couple of steals. That sample size ain’t small folks (that’s what she said) and that OPS is huge! (that’s what Bill James said…?) Kinsler is a must own at 2b in all lineups over at DraftKings. With a cost of $4,900 he’s not cheap but I think based on his history he’s well worth the premium price.
B-T-Dubs guys (and 4… maybe 5 girl readers) if you haven’t played daily fantasy over at Draftkings you should. In fact just for signing up you’ll get a free entry into a contest….so click here and do it now…….I’m waiting….are you going to click? I don’t have all day folks, I got poopy diapers to change and 10 minute bathroom trips to check my fantasy teams to make…..Perfect, now let’s move on.
Dubba B-T-Dubs if you don’t trust me, the genius Rudy Gamble has put together another amazing tool in the DFSBot to aid you in finding value in your Daily Fantasy persuits.
Every time I hear Nate Eovaldi‘s name I think about the delicious Italian staple the Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I also think of Rachel Ray and her sick obsession for the stuff. Seriously, that woman puts it in everything. But thank goodness this isn’t about her and I’ve probably already turned some of you off and you’re heading back over to Grey’s with all the other cool kids….Hi De Nacho Favre! Speaking of De Nacho, in the FCL I was commenting how I’m glad I drove a Honda but I’ll never do it again. It was boring, like listening to Air Supply for the rest of your life. I like power at my feet, I haven’t owned a car that wasn’t a V8 in years. Now why am I telling you this nonsense and how does it relate to EVOO? Dude is not boring! He’s damn exciting to watch, makes playing all this worth it. He went undrafted all over the place back in March but has been one of the best adds all season. The returns on him has given his owners a 2.86 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 8.58 K/9, 1.79 BB/9, a realistic LOB rate, a high ground ball rate and low line drive rate. He also throws really friggin’ hard with an average velocity of 95.7 on his four seam and 96.1 on his 2 seam fastballs. I also dropped him in one league a couple of weeks back. I’ll be honest, I thought he was good but I’ve been waiting for the regression fairies to show up. They’re late to the party. I see him as this year’s Patrick Corbin, a great start but will die a slow death after the All Star break. The only saving grace is the velocity. He throws hard and that is always a plus. In case some of you have forgot, he was the centerpiece of the Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers deal. The Marlin’s know their talent. Ok, enough back story blah blah blah. He gets the Giants today at the their nice cushy ballpark. The Giants are the 11th worst team in MLB for K rate and have a couple of their bats banged up. Brandon Belt is on the DL, Pablo Sandoval is hurt and Hunter Pence has been stuck at the light switch all season. Nothing really scary there. We could say Michael Morse is playing and hitting but I say he’s playing and looking ready to hit the DL. I have May 23rd on my Morse injury pool. *crosses fingers* Bottom line is he’s my favorite pitcher of the day and anytime Matt Cain takes the hill the Giants lose. Stream-o-Nator likes Cain better and has Eovaldi 6th on the day. I say Stream has been partying too much with Hitter-Tron. I’m playing him in DraftKings contests today and if you did too then let’s take a moment to hold hands over the internet.
The news is good, Allen Craig is in a walking boot and on crutches. Yay! Sorry, I should’ve said the news was good for people who don’t own Allen Craig. *smacks forehead with palm of hand* Geez, I’m such a huckleberry! So, this means the new Cardinals first baseman is… Please, open door number one! Actually, all I see is his elbow. Could you open door number two, as well? Hmm, still missing his right side. Go ahead and open door number three, too. There he is… Matt Adams! I’ve teased Adams a lot about his girth and that ain’t right, even if right and girth are anagrams. Adams isn’t out of shape…if watermelon is a shape! The zaftig Madams will be playing first for as long as Craig can’t and I’d grab Adams in all leagues where I needed power. He could hit five homers the rest of the way if Craig stays sidelined until the playoffs. As of right now, there’s no word on how much time Craig will need. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Last year, the Buy/Sell brought you such brilliant ideas as “Eric Thames is gonna be a river running through your heart!” and “Brennan Boesch is more like Brennan Bauce.” Buy/Sell, “You know, I don’t point all of your crappy suggestions… A.J. Mass was talking about buying me an acre of land in Kentucky and letting me run around with all of his stolen base draft picks. I may take him up on the offer if you’re not careful.” So, this is the first Buy/Sell of the season. Every Friday there will be a new one. Buy/Sell, “Not if we continue to get along like this. Try me, ‘stache. Try me.” This week’s lede pick is a new fave of mine who might not be worth owning by the end of April in mixed leagues, Jose Fernandez. Here’s an overall note, in this fantasy baseball game that has chosen us, we want to take the risk right now in case someone breaks out. It would be great if we all drafted a team that we can coast to a championship with, but if that’s true, your league isn’t competitive. In any league worth its salt, you need to pepper in some risk. Tuck your head down and go head long into the risk tornado. Fantasy baseballers on the storm, Fantasy baseballers on the storm…Into this blog we are born… Fantasy baseballers on the storm! I’m not saying drop Wainwright after one bad start, but having guys like Jose Fernandez at the end of your staff is much better than guys like Maholm (assuming every one of your other starters isn’t a risky upside gamble). You want guys at the end of your rotation that can do so much more than a 5th or 6th starter, rather than a 5th or 6th starter that is essentially a 5th or 6th starter. As for Fernandez, here’s what I said the other day, “First thing I do when I have a prospect question is search the site to see what Scott, our prospect writer, said. What I found, was a whole Jose Fernandez fantasy. He didn’t stop there, he also talked about him in the Marlins prospect preview post in October. There he said, “Fernandez broke out in 2012, posting a 1.75 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP, and a 10.6 K/9 between Low-A and High-A. The 20-year-old has legitimate ace-potential, and should find himself in the top-15 on most prospect lists this offseason. Now, if I were making a top-15 list of Well-Groomed Mustaches, Grey wouldn’t make it. When I blow up his picture 1000% in my laboratory, I can see cheese microbes.” Wow, Scott has a laboratory? That’s awesome! So, the Marlins are an interesting beast. They sell off all of their pieces, but they promote within quickly. After watching that Showtime series last year about the Marlins. I’m 50/50 on whether they even know about the arbitration clock. Within their minor league system, they’re run like, “We gotta make it to the playoffs this year!” From the major league level, they’re run like, “Let’s make sure we ship in our concession stands’ Cracker Jack from Chile because it’s four-hundredths of a cent cheaper. They pop their corn in yak oil.” I’d absolutely grab Jose Fernandez in all leagues. He has the chance to be lights out and could go 160 innings. He has the stuff that could make him a top ten starter in all of baseball within a year. For this year, I’ll give him the line of: 7-8/3.74/1.31/120 in 130 innings. Absolutely can be better. And worse. That’s the rookie nookie blessing and curse.” And that’s me quoting me! A lot of people commented about his lack of experience. He hasn’t thrown above High-A. Or as he calls it now, Bye-A. That shouldn’t matter. His stuff will play anywhere. He hits mid-90’s with a plus change and curve. Does it matter that a guy is 20 years old or 30 years old with his stuff? Chances are a pitcher is more likely to have that stuff at 20 with less miles on his arm. Fernandez will need to be lucky to win 10 games this year, but he could get a shizzload of Ks and have decent ratios. If he flames out, then you drop him for the next hot starter. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball: