Stan Bush? Give me that beat! You got the Tauchman! You got the power! Yeah! You’ve never walked, you’ve never run! You’re a winner! (Though some may say running and walking aren’t bad for baseball.) You got the moves, you got the streets (not as important in baseball)! Break the rules (well, Barry Bonds had some success with this)! You’re nobody’s fool! Yeah! You’re at your best when the going gets rough! (This is true since the Yanks had some injuries and needed Mike Tauchman to step up.) You’ve been put to the test, but it’s never enough! (That’s less true; we appreciate you here, Tauchman). You got the Tauchman! You got the power! It’s all true! So, Mike Tauchman (2-for-4, 2 RBIs, hitting .299) hit another home run last night, his 10th, that’s in 60 games. And he stole a bag, his 4th! He now has three homers in two games, and four homers in the last week. I grabbed him in multiple leagues, because who doesn’t love dongs! Not this redblooded American! Hoo-rah, I got the Tauch!
Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
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Out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac, and the illustration next to it was Salvador Perez’s abuelita. A little voice inside my head said, “Don’t look back. You can never look back.” I thought I knew what love was. I owned Javier Baez in every league I could grab him, but what did I know? Those minor league days are gone forever. He’s got to let them go! I can see you, Baez, your brown skin shinin’ in the sun. You got your hair combed back and your sunglasses on, baby. And I can tell you, my love for you will still be strong. Not Giancarlo strong, but strong never the hoo! Baez’s minor league numbers are eye-popping like John Lithgow in The Twilight Zone Movie — 23 homers, 16 steals and a .260 average in only 104 games. What are you? A 35/25 guy at shortstop? Why stop there? Why not just dress up like the Sun-Maid girl and feed me shrunken grapes? What? It’s my fantasy! Like Don Henley and later The Ataris sang, I grabbed Baez in every league that I could. He might not be any better than, say, Danny Santana this year, his K-rate in the minors is a little scary, and he might hit .220. Whatevs, it’s an upside gamble, which I like at middle infield. I’m guessing Baez will play 2nd base, Arismendy (I still love you!) will move to center field and one of the Cubs platooners will sit. To paraphrase Harry Caray, if the moon was made of Javier Baez would cha eat it? Well, would cha? I would! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
The trade deadline was three days ago. By now fantasy experts like Trojan Croftbell and Cocky Karazola have picked over these deals until the bones were showing, and gone over the “slashes” these guys compiled while “toeing the rubber” and talked you, and themselves really, in-and-out of pickups until they were dizzy. There’s no other way to analyze this. Unless you take some of the moving parts to Week 19 of the Two-Startapalooza party!
What happens to the headlining acts is obvious. Jon Lester is a must-start almost every week. In the post-season, he becomes Orel Hershiser ’88, or at least Billy Beane and any long-time A’s fan that shudders at the thought of Orel Hershiser ’88 hopes. David Price scratches the surface of the Must-Start layer some weeks, but more often than not he’ll break the barrier thanks to some interesting non-sabermetrical splits. This year, Price had way better numbers away from the Trop (6-2, 2.74 ERA) than inside of it (5-6, 3.41). Which also means he had the same numbers on grass than on turf, and of course the Tigers play on the green stuff in Detroit (as opposed to the Rockies, who play on the green stuff in Denver, but that’s different).
Then there’s the other guys. It might not seem like what happened to John Lackey and bed crapper Justin Masterson matters as much, but as Twitter pal Ralph Lifshitz pointed out to me on my feed (@NiceRazzball), the Cardinals can turn anyone into a solid starter (see: Jake Westbrook and Joel Pineiro, Lifshitz said, and to that I say point taken). That being said, and I feel like I’m going to be saying that a lot this week – getting something out of Lackey is one thing, but getting the Masterbaterson to get right on a consistent basis is something else. Can you imagine rolling that guy out in the playoffs? Yipes!
Drew Smyly, who got the shaft in the Price deal and goes from a nice park on a winning team to a mediocre team in a crappy stadium, falls down at least one tier per week. He becomes a stat-piler guy for those in search of Two-Starters. Jesse Chavez falls off the radar completely, as he ends up in the A’s bullpen. I’ll miss seeing his oops-I-crapped-my-pants mug every week.
A few of these guys get a double dip this week. For some more Two-Starters, keep on reading…
Back in June, about six weeks ago, the Twins were liking their chances this year. They went out and spent money on Kendrys Morales, just to put them over the hump. Then about five weeks and six days ago, they realized their chances for the playoffs were slim to anorexic, and regretted their move. They had buyer’s remorse quicker than Betty Draper’s new husband. “How could Don not appreciate this blonde beauty?” Dot, dot, dot. “Oh, that’s why.” I personally thought trading for a complement to Willingham, Arcia, Plouffe and Colabello was a good idea. I mean, who among those guys is a power, lousy average and no speed threat? Oh, wait, they all are. Now back to the Mariners, yeah, they need another 1B/DH-type. We’ll assume Kendrys plays every day (which he should). In the 2nd half of last year, he hit 9 homers and a .274 average. I don’t see much more from him this year. If anything, maybe a few less homers since he’s been struggling. Basically, what you can get off waivers in most mixed leagues. Or what the Mariners already had in Coreygan Smoakison, their Frankenstein 1B/DH. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Greetings all as I wrap up this month of June DraftKings coverage. Be sure to drive the right speed today as it’s a little known – ok well known – fact that the popo need to meet their minimums and they’re out to get you. Don’t laugh! The closest I ever came to getting a ticket was at the end of the month. Don’t get me wrong, I speed all the time. I don’t have a lead foot, per se. I more like to think of it as a permanent slab of immovable iron and that sits on the gas pedal whenever I drive. As the great poet laureate Samuel Roy Hagar once stated, ‘I Can’t Drive 55’ and it’s true for me. Unless of course the speed limit is 25 then I can prolly swing it. But enough about my illegal driving habits, we came here to talk some DK strategy and I think there’s an ace in the making taking the mound today that’s way too cheap to pass up given the matchup. I’m of course talking of Taijuan Walker, the illegitimate son of famed Sergeant Cordell Walker of the Dallas-Fort Worth-based Texas Rangers (not true). This son of Sgt. Walker (still not true) is adept at catching the bad guys in Texas and as luck would have it, he’ll be in Houston today where he’ll get to face the Astros. Now these aren’t your typical gang of bad guys unless you’re talking plate discipline and if you are, well, they’re the baddest guys in town. The Astros lead the MLB in K% on the year at 23.6% and I have recently been struck out 8 times by Verlander and 13 times by Scherzer. Since Walker’s going rate is $7K, he’s worth the risk as your SP2 based on pricing alone and given the upside of the matchup, I think he helps you seek cash money by the end of the day. Even the DFSBot sees the silver-lining of this play as even though he’s only the 9th best arm on the list, he’s also underpriced by about $1500 DK doubloons. So now that we’ve established a solid number 2 (not that kind; you’re gross), let’s move on to see what other bargains we can find. Here are your Razzball picks for June 30th on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…
Are you like me? Have you been doubting the existence of the humidor at Coors Field since they allegedly installed it in the early 2000s? Didn’t it sound like some kind of lame way to side-step the concerns that juiced-up ogres were having a field day lighting up the scoreboard in the thin air? Yeah, that’s it, it’s the baseballs, not the steroids coursing through players’ veins, leading to 15-13 games. But no, there really is a humidor at Coors, and they really do put baseballs in there to bathe them in humidity, not groups of smelly 55-year-old cigar-smoking creeps.
All kinds of studies have been done that show home run numbers and batting averages have been somewhat deflated thanks to the humidor. But that hasn’t exactly transformed Coors into Petco. I don’t need to dig for stats on that – you’ve started your best guys there, and you’ve seen your ERA numbers skyrocket as a result. It’s why I see an “@COL” next to one of the guy’s names below and move them down from where they started. So what pitchers don’t get crushed in Coors? There’s no way to predict for certain, but I looked at some of the games where the Rockies were dominated in Denver and found something interesting. Three pitchers who have done well this year have good sinkers, decent-to-great curveballs and throw the four-seam fastball.
What up everyone, I’m here taking the hill for back to back DraftKings days. The coach called for the modern day Mike Marshall to come in and throw his crazy words around. I actually like Mike Marshall but I can see how he might rub people the wrong way. For more details about his work click here. Maybe we would have less Tommy John surgeries if people would listen to him. He can bring back the screwball! Sorry, I got off track there. Henderson Alvarez has been a friggin stud this year and Harry and the Hendersons was a stud of a movie in 1987. Ok, maybe not a stud but it was a lovable family flick I saw in the theater. I’ve been watching Oaktown Steve successfully stream Henderson Alvarez on the regular, always too weary to touch the man with two last names and no first name. On the season he sports a very healthy 2.56 ERA with a 1.28 WHIP. A reasonable BABIP (.320) a solid xFIP (3.48) and a strand rate (76.1%) that isn’t spelling doom on the horizon. His K-rate (5.73) is not what we like for DK, but for today I like him facing the Swing and Miss Mets. Earlier in the year he pitched a complete game shutout against them where he K’d 7. At $7,300 you won’t find a better deal today.
As usual here is my promotion of the DraftKings. Your daily reminder to play with us and use the tools we give you to get an edge over all the other players in the DK universe. We have the Hitter-tron, the Stream-o-nator, and the DFS-Bot at your disposal plus a slew of writers to help you along. If you are playing an RCL right now then this isn’t that far off. The daily streamers and batty calls used in many of the highly competitive RCL leagues reminds me of the DFS style. The only difference is the clean slate you get every day. If you want to play with some of the other readers and writers here at Razzball then please leave your handle in the comments and we’ll get resident DK league organizer Ralph to add you to the list. My goal is a day when we can get 25 players going. Here is what else I like today.
What do you think the Stream-O-Nator looks like? I imagine it resembles Dr. Theopolis, the little circular faced thing that hangs around Twiki’s neck on “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”. Dr. Theo was basically a robot on a robot, only he was the smart one and he kind of relied on his dumb robot friend to get him around. Is it possible that Stream-O-Nator hangs around Hitter-Tron’s neck? Would that make Stream-O-Nator a blow-up doll of sorts?
These questions probably couldn’t and shouldn’t be answered, but one thing I do know is that Stream-O-Nator cannot detect signs of life. Because if it could, it would be able to go in and perform the baseball equivalent of an electrocardiogram on the Philadelphia Phillies and come back with something very close to a straight, flat line. This is especially true at Citizens Bank Park, where it’s almost worse than a road game in terms of boos and pressure from a fan base that’s about to go for a group swim off the Ben Franklin Bridge.
And if Stream-O-Nator could do this, it would know that the first of Ian Kennedy’s two starts next week should be a cake walk. Yes, CBP is a bandbox, but no, the older Phillie bats won’t be able to catch up with Kennedy’s lively fastball, nor will bewildered youngsters like Domonic Brown, whose swing is so jacked up that play-by-play guys with manboobs who never played the game are dissecting the various hitches that have him down near the Mendoza line.
The Braves called Tommy La Stella up to replace Fuggla. Here’s what I said about a month ago, “Incredibly, we already had a Tommy La Stella fantasy post. Don’t you people sleep?! There, Dano compared him to Pedroia and not because he needs his tippy toes to get on a roller coaster. I think that comparison might be a tad bizzonkers. Or as the gentle fantasy writers of our day would say, “That’s a bit more bullish than I’d say.” Has any group of people said the word bullish more? This word feels like it’s dominating all fantasy conversations. It’s a polite way to say, someone is smoking more crack than another person. Of course, in a world of small sample sizes, anything could happen, but La Stellllllllllla looks like an NL-Only play with a chance for 5 homers, 7 steals and a decent average if he were called up in June.” And that’s me quoting me! Now that he’s been called up, I’d add him in deeper mixed leagues (think 15+), but I still don’t have high hopes for him outside of maybe a decent average. He’s basically a forty-twenty. If Fredi Gonzalez had any brains in that squishy melon on his shoulders, he’d bat La Stella leadoff and move Heyward down the order. Smarts and managing baseball teams don’t always go hand-in-hand though. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
There’s something about Katy Perry that just works for me. I’ve tried talking to my wife about it. ‘Do you like her voice?’, she asks. No, I’ve heard dying wild turkeys that sound better. ‘Maybe its her lyrics’, she suggests. No, I’m not a 13 year old girl so that doesn’t do anything for me. There’s just something about her, I don’t know what it is. It’s at this point I realize both of my hands around chest high, undulating and spread open like I was holding two honeydew melons. It’s also at this point that my wife let’s me know where I can sleep for the night. Don’t feel bad for me, though. The couch is pretty comfortable AND I can watch those Perry videos on mute to enjoy the bounty she has to offer. Yeah, yeah, I know you didn’t come here to see if Katy should be rostered over at DraftKings. And by ‘Rostered’ I mean…well nevermind what I mean, let’s talk Brad Peacock, m’kay? As I talked with Nick about on the Razzball Podcast on Tuesday, Peacock looked amazing at times and then seemed to fall apart out of nowhere. All this to say, my call is very to the nth degree cubed multiplied by pi risky. I’m definitely not suggesting this for 50/50 and cash games. But for a GPP go? Well, at home, the Mariners carry the second worst team wOBA in the league at .279, barely beating out the Mets for last place with their robust .275. It’s contrarian, it’s dangerous and it all comes with a cheap price tag of $6,500. Does the DFSBot like my call? Not one bit. But do I? Well…let’s just move on and see what other picks I have for you for DraftKings contests for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…