Please see our player page for Jake Smolinski to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

The American League West. Home to the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros. Home to the best player in baseball. Is that Mike Trout or Shohei Ohtani? Home to the team that has a need for speed, as the Seattle Mariners acquired Dee Gordon. Can some of that speed and “other stuff” be transferred to the arm of Felix Hernandez? Home to the only team that has had a Bush own the team, pitch for the team, and had, not one, but two POTUS’s. Or is it POTI? Home to the team with the second-lowest payroll in all of baseball. The Oakland Athletics are at $50.7 million for the 2018 season, while the Boston Red Sox have a $229.7 million payroll for the upcoming season. Ladies and gentlemen, the American League West.

The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!

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If only baseball were as easy as the surface stats tell us. Player A has great peripherals and a pretty ERA. Player B has numbers more hideous than the elephant man, lock him away in the dungeon and let us never speak of him again. It’s all too easy to look at the season long numbers on a player and simply throw him out the proverbial window…or literal window if they really screwed you in your league. But of course, you’re here because baseball isn’t that easy and you’re a straight masochist. With that, enter Anibal Sanchez. Come in close and get a whiff of that stat line…whew! You don’t put up a 6.60 ERA over nearly 90 innings without doing a lot wrong. But even the worst pitchers can put things together for a good stretch and Anibal is far and away not the worst pitcher in baseball so he has that going for him. Know what else he has going for him? He just came off of a 10 K, 2 BB performance against the Twins. I know, I know, they’re the Twins, but its more common for a nice little groove of good pitching than it is to have an ace-like outing and then completely fade the next go. I’m not stumping for Sanchez for anything outside of tourneys but at $4,800, he’ll sure make your dollar stretch for a Coors day. But enough about bad pitchers have good days, let’s talk about good players and good plays. Here’s my Sunday fun day hot taeks for this Sunday DK slate…

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Yesterday, Francisco Liriano went 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 13 Ks with zero walks.  Insert the madman cackle of Francisco Liriano’s owners who owned him up until last night when he had a 5.11 ERA.  He had 13 Ks without a walk!  This came from a guy who had a 5.7 BB/9 coming into the game.  That’s not bad.  No, no.  You think that’s bad?  You should swipe right on Tinder the next time you come across a thesaurus if bad’s all you got.  That’s effin’ egregious.  That’s the 1980’s Lower East Side before Donald Trump fixed the entire New York City as narrated by Jon Voight.  That’s the worst walk rate since Todd Van Poppel’s walk rate of 6.87 in 1994.   Since 1980, there’s only been walk rates of 5.7 or worse four other times.  In 36 years!  Jesus, 36 years?  I’m getting old.  This start came against the Brewers who have struck out more than any other team in the major leagues.  So, nice start, but I wouldn’t go near him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Oh my God, Drew Smyly is more like Smyly Corleone.  Every time you think you’re out, he pulls you right back in.  Fredo, you went against the family, and we can’t have that.  “Smyly, is that you?  Why do you keep calling me?”  That’s Alfredo Griffin getting annoyed with Smyly Corleone.  “I made them offer at a pitch they couldn’t refuse.”  Seriously, stop Smyly Corleone!  So, there’s always one pitcher (sometimes more than one) that befuddles and seduces, seduces and befuddles.  Justin Masterson carried the torch for a while when he was Justin Masterson:  Passive Aggressive Starter.  Now, Drew Smyly seems to be carrying that same damned if you do, damned if you don’t torch.  Yesterday, his line was 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners with 12 Ks.  On the year, his K-rate and walk rate are 10.3 and 2.2.  Those are ace numbers.  Unlike a lot of other big strikeout guys and actual aces, Smyly doesn’t throw very hard and seems to tire after about two starts in a row.  His ERA on the year is 4.75, but that’s absurd, as in I will absurd you while you’re on waivers.  But, ugh, that K-rate, that walk rate, it’s hard for me to resist and if he was dropped in your league, I could see giving him another chance, but I’d be wary of matchups because I just don’t see him overpowering most teams when he’s not working on ten days rest.  He just doesn’t throw hard enough.  I.e., leave the speed gun, take the cannoli.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The original title Rudy suggested was, Love Is To Own Lindor, but Rudy tells me that title only makes sense to people forced to watch Frozen 5+ times.  Let it go…Let it go…Let it go…  I just sang that in perfect key and it still caused a cat to screech and paint to peel.  Luckily, I don’t have a kid, a cat or paint.  Let’s count the ways I love Francisco Lindor.  *five minutes later, makes farting sound with hand in armpit*  And that’s it!  Oh, yeah, I should count the ways I love him aloud so you can hear.  Fair enough, you nitpicker, you.  Yesterday, he hit his 9th homer (3-for-4, 4 RBIs), topping off a week when he was hitting over .400, a month when he’s hitting over .340, a 2nd half when he’s hitting over .350 with 7 homers and 7 steals.  He’s only 21 years old.  At 21 years old, you fell asleep on a couch outside of your local bar waiting to talk a girl that you think might have been interested, only waking after a passing bus splashed a puddle of your own vomit onto you.  Guys and five girl readers, he has 9 homers in 82 games (essentially a half a season) and he has 30-steal speed.  I just got goose pimplies.  To emphasize them, I’m drawing little goose faces on my pimples like those psychopaths draw on grains of rice.  Yes, you should own Lindor on your teams for this year, and I can’t wait to draft him in sixteen after twenty.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, I was watching the Twins game and I fell asleep and had a dream that Razzball’s Twitter account got one of those blue check marks.  I’m not sure what this says about my fantasies, but it says something about Tyler Duffey and the Twins.  They lack a certain je ne sais Michelle Kwan.  The Twins seem to do this on purpose.  Very workmanlike.  Like a Minnesota woman who would handily beat me in an arm wrestling match.  Pun noted.  I’ve never been to Minnesota, but I picture the women looking like Jesse Ventura when he used to wear feathers in his hair and leotards.  As with just about every Twins pitcher since Radke, minus Liriano and Johan, Duffey is yet another Twins hurler that has solid control and okay, not great strikeouts.  Yesterday, he went 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 7 Ks vs. the Tigers, and had a 2.53 ERA in Triple-A with a 7 K/9.  I don’t see any huge upside here and is better in real life, which apparently the Twins play in.  The Stream-o-Nator hates his next start, but I would start him if I needed to gamble.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I also considered “Yas Many More Holmbergers Please” but the title isn’t really what’s important here. What’s important is how awful David Holmberg is and how happy I am to load up on some Diamondbacks this evening, especially AJ Pollock. First, let’s touch on the dumpster fire that is David Holmberg. Well, he has a 5.95 ERA for starters. That could be a small sample size, though, as he’s only pitched in 4 games and is fresh off a 2 IP, 7 ER outing at the Dodgers. So, before that trainwreck was a 3.06 ERA. Not too shabby you say. Well, his FIP and xFIP tell a different story, they are 7.33 and 5.81 respectively and even before the 7 ER outing they were each sitting around a 4.90. We can even go back and take a look at last season’s 30 IP and see the 7.60 FIP and 5.86 xFIP. Those numbers are eerily similar to this year’s numbers through 19.2 IP. Holmberg has spread the love quite nicely with righties and lefties as each has a wOBA over .350, with righties earning a slight bump (.390) which is why we are focusing our attack there. In addition to all of this, all of Holmberg’s pitches have a negative value and his fastball has been especially bad this season. Guess who the second best fastball hitter (behind Goldy who is simply a beast vs. everyone and every pitch type) on the Diamondbacks is this year? AJ Pollock, come on that one was easy! Pollock is enjoying a very nice breakout season. One of the many great things about Pollock this season is it doesn’t matter who he’s facing, he’s raking. The trouble in DFS sometimes can be when you identify that mint matchup vs. a certain handed pitcher, only to have that pitcher pulled after 3 IP and 6 ER and you mint matchup goes out the window as your play is pulled for a pinch hitter. No fear with Pollock, he’s an equal opportunity masher. Here are Pollock’s slash lines plus wOBA vs. first righties: .309/.365/.471/.361 and then lefties: .316/.368/.490/.372. Pretty remarkable right? All this is to say Pollock is a stud and Holmberg is a dud, so fireworks should be in the air at Great American Ballpark tonight.

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What do numbers call their father? Data. Thank you, Highlights. You taught me so much with the juxtaposition of Goofus and Gallant, and you’ve entertained me for thirty years. One copy, that is well worn, sits on the back of my toilet as my salvation, especially when Cougs forgets to restock the toilet paper. Why am I thinking about data right now? Because I just spent two hours (more like ten minutes) looking for something. I was trying to find what a hitter does after hitting the longest home run of their career, then sorting by guys that do it before their 24th birthday. Alas, I couldn’t find anything. Elias Sports Bureau probably knows but they’re a bunch of baseball nerds. We’re fantasy nerds. Huge difference, we have imaginary friends cooler than their real friends! My hypothesis I was aiming for is if a guy, who was once a well-regarded prospect is called up at a very young age, it might take a bit of time for them to acclimate themselves. Then, once they were comfortable, they’d show power, hit the longest home run of their career and take off from there. At this point, it’s just conjecture, but it makes reasonable sense in a case study of one. So, who was this well-regarded prospect that just hit the longest home run of his career this week? Nick Castellanos. My Spidey sense says Castellanos might finally be breaking out. Breaking out from what, you’re likely thinking. Well, not from chocolate. From being a schmohawk. Plus, my Spidey sense is strong since this is on the web. Like Castellanos’s relatives throw glasses into the fireplace, he was thrown into the fire at an insanely young age, and is only 23 years old now. It’s a little early for 2016 sleepers, but Castellanos was a guy that was pegged as someone that could hit for a solid average with some power. I’m intrigued, y’all! In keepers, I could see going after him now for next year, and just grabbing him in redraft mixed leagues. Castellanos you later! Thanks again, Highlights! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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“Who is the Dodgers ace?” asks the Fox Sports newscaster in Los Angeles, after the special report on “Where are the stars shopping for their Emmy gowns?” and “Juicing? Is it good for you?” and “A high-speed pursuit ends in an In-N-Out drive-thru,” and “Actresses over 24 years old may not be washed up after all,” and “Shopkeeper puts up sign to ‘Vote Republican’ and gets looted.” So, who is the Dodgers ace? On Saturday, Clayton Kershaw went 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners with 14 Ks, ERA down to 2.68. My Magic Eight Ball says this is the year the Dodgers hop on Kershaw’s back, march through the playoffs and justify every crackers move Mattingly’s done in his managerial career. Sometimes knowing the future really bums me out. Not to be outdone, on Sunday, Zack Greinke went 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners with 11 Ks, and lowered his ERA to 1.30. Soon he won’t be able to lower his ERA anymore (math is my strong suit). I’m totally done doubting Greinke…or am I?! No, not the ellipsis reversal! Ah! As I ranked in the top 100 for the 2nd half, Kershaw is way above Greinke in terms of, well, everything. Greinke is also not a 1.30 ERA pitcher, but no one really is, except maybe Kershaw. Greinke is definitely a number one though; this isn’t all luck. He has a 8+ K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and 3.05 xFIP, which is essentially nice, aw sooky, nice. A “nice aw sooky” sandwich, if you will. Then there’s the fact that Greinke hasn’t allowed a run in 43 2/3 IP. Orel Hershiser doesn’t scoff at that, maybe he yawns, then does a small double take when no one is looking. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Today, it’s the final Buy of the year. Next week, we’ll be doing one last roundup on Monday and recaps the rest of the month until I start on 2015 rookies that could make an impact. In other words, where the hell did the summer go? And does this mean I have to go back to spending time with Cougs? To paraphrase the Broadway musical Rent (or maybe it was Abe Lincoln), eight thousand, two hundred million seconds, five hundred trillion milliseconds and three fortnights ago, our forefathers had a full head of hair and began on a journey to win their fantasy league. Today, I sit in front of you, a changed man, if we were to count my underwear. No longer do I love unconditionally any man (in redraft leagues). Now I simply like hot schmotatoes. And today’s hot schmotato is Ender Inciarte. So, sneaky good, he’s got CIA in the middle of his name. Ender has six steals this month and is hitting .400 in the last week. There’s no time to worry about the future, only the present. I call this Ender’s Game. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?