DraftKings was actually a little late to the DFS party.  You’d never know it by looking at how prevalent they are everywhere.  They have done a wonderful job marketing, nabbing up partnerships with MLB and several major sports franchises along the way.  They are one of the two big fishes in the sea right now.  Back in the early days of DFS every site had a little chat box that was a place for three things usually.  1) Trash talking, 2) Whining, 3) Immature potty humor that quickly degenerated into things that you’d read on a Yahoo! article comments section.  DraftKings came into being after the chat box phenomenon had started to fade away.  It’s really no surprise these chat boxes have gone the way of the buffalo, but there are a few smaller sites where they still exist.  All of this was a long introduction into me reading one of these chats the other day and seeing someone whining about “stupid Coors stacks”.  I’m a Coors stacker, it’s what I do.  I try every way I can to get as much exposure to that place as I possibly can on a given night.  For me, it’s a worthwhile gamble and one that pays off more often than not.  It’s not everyone’s bag though, but you have to be aware of the situation.  You can always fade Coors in a  tournament, figuring most people will be on that game.  If Coors is a dud and your guys go off, you should have a nice advantage.  You could go with the flow and stack Coors, or you could just sprinkle in Coors action and pick your spots.  The final option of course, if the Coors stacks really bother you is to just sit those nights out.  No one will think any less of you.  If you are playing tonight, one name I highly discourage fading is Wilin Rosario.  Wilin is a beast with the stick and is superhuman when he’s got the platoon advantage (.325/.360/.623 career slash line).  Toss in the Coors factor and for $3,600 with eligibility at first base or catcher and there’s no excuse for fading Wilin tonight.  Here are a few more fellas you shouldn’t be fading this evening.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 18 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I remember back to the heydays of the public service announcement that would grace the network telecasts of things like baseball games. (Sidenote: Apparently I also remember back to the days when folks would use the word heydey….and folks.)

One such PSA was on peer pressure and it would feature a couple of kids: One doing something they shouldn’t be doing and the other hesitating on whether to do the same or stand strong. Inevitably, the ne’er do well of the duo would say something influential like “Come on, do it.” and “Go ahead, try it, everybody’s doing it.”

Some people in the DFS realm might tell you not to roster two starting pitchers together in the same game. The thinking is that you’ll limit yourself in the all-important win points from the SP if both pitchers are in the same game. After all, only one may win.

But in DraftKings, that win isn’t always the carrot you need to chase when it comes to starting pitchers. A nice cash game score in DK would be around 120-130. A win is four points, which isn’t insignificant, but it’s a mere pittance compared to the overall number. On another site, you might see a win being worth four points, too, but the point total to cash will be around 40. So while a win is worth almost 10 percent of the cash line for that site, a win is worth around .03% on DraftKings. This frees you up to take on more risks with pitchers that may not win, but are in good positions to score some value for you.

One such situation is occurring tonight in Pittsburgh, where the Cincinnati Reds and the hometown Pirates are sharing a Vegas line of 6.5, with Gerrit Cole established as a significant favorite (-190). In situations like this, on a weak SP slate as it is tonight, you may want to tackle both sides of the 6.5 line.

The Pirates are 22nd against RHP this season and 24th overall over the last 14 days, both with over a 20% K rate. Mike Leake isn’t awesome, but he’s solid, especially on this slate, rocking a 3.20 SIERA, 3.1 K/BB ratio and a 54% groundball rate over the last 30 days.

Sure, Cole looks great and is worth being rostered at home with his nine Ks/9 IP, great control, a high groundball rate of his own and a 3.03 SIERA over the last five starts. But why not roster both?

Everybody’s doing it.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Truth up front: this be a punt. You want me to extol the virtues of Mike Montgomery and I just don’t have that much smoke to blow up your pretty little tush. Today there are a lot of great pitching options at the top and very few pitchers I wanna take chances on below so this call is really me going ‘hey, what does the Teamonator say about home team win percentage chances?’ and abiding by it accordingly. Basically, at this low price of $5,400 I’m hoping for 15-17 points of production as I pair him with a high end arm and some sweet power bats. All this to say, I do not expect Montgomery to be excellent but I expect his price tag to help you build a lineup that is. But enough about The Simpsons, let’s get through this. Here’s my scalding hot takes for this Thursday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Chi Chi Gonzalez went 7 IP, 1 ER, 11 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 0.42. Hey, Major League Baseball retired that number! If this pitching thing ever stops working out for Gonzalez, he can go into Eastern medicine, and open a clinic called Chi Chi’s. Or a tea shop called Chai Chi. Or a tea shop where all the workers are dressed in karate apparel called Chai Tai Chi. Or how about a karate, Eastern medicine clinic that serves tea called Chai Tai Chi Chi’s? Or how about a Mexican restaurant called Chi-Chi’s? Or how about a karate, Eastern medicine clinic that serves tea and Mexican food called Chai Tai Chi Chi Chi-Chi’s? I can keep going. So what’s the deal deal with Chi Chi? He had a 5.4 K/9 in Triple-A with a 4 BB/9. I don’t even know why he was called up let alone has done so well. Sure, he gets ground balls, but how big is Elvis Andrus’s mitt? Seventeen feet wide and twenty feet long? I mean, this is ridiculous. Through three games started in the majors, he has a 3.3 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9. Hahahahaha…Breathe, Grey, breathe! I almost lost it there. Wow, is that silly. So, Chi Chi has been cha-ching, but if I owned him, I’d cash out my Chi Chi chips. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greetings Razzball nation, and welcome to another edition of The Numbers Game. Suffering through a long week at work? Looking for a break? Come along with me on a trip to a little town called Splitsville (disclaimer: not a real place). I guarantee you that we’ll have a delightful time there (satisfaction not guaranteed). At the very least, I have a lukewarm inclination that this post will help to pass the time during your afternoon trip to the can (sure, why not). I’ll take it!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When it comes to DFS play nothing can kick you off your throne quicker than a cold streak. And I hit one last week. Playing daily fantasy sports can be a fun, lucrative and an absolutely maddening endeavor. No other sport has as much variance on a nightly basis. I often wonder why I put myself through this athletic sadism. Ok, I know why. I like pain the competition, I like the cash and I love baseball. Over the past week, your humble-but-nonetheless-royal Guru has had plenty of competition, not so much cash and nowhere near the love I deserve as I went just 23 for 40. I may be no draft king, but the bankroll increased a bit and I’m inching closer to a winter of fun in the sun. The problem is I may have to pass on Cancun and head to Coney Island. Hopefully, I have a little left over for the bail bondsman. If you want to join me poolside just hit the DraftKings link and you’ll get a free ticket for a contest with your first-time deposit. The winner of that contest gets entry into our $500k Showcase with a $100k top prize – that’s a lot of banana daiquiris. Also, if you haven’t fired up the DFSBot yet, check it out. It’s a great tool for your bag of tricks that’ll give you an advantage over the competition. I used it Monday for some Tim Lincecum love that banked big for me. Believe me, I needed it.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared some of my strategies when playing DFS baseball. If you missed them you can give a look here, here, and here. This week, let’s talk a bit about managing the budget. On DraftKings you get 50K to spend on two pitchers and eight positions. I usually spend 18- 22K of that on pitching which doesn’t leave a lot of room for mistakes with hitters. One of the questions I get asked a lot is if it’s okay to leave money on the table when constructing a team. I say, unless you’re a seasoned DFS shark, it’s best to spend to the cap or real close to it. I never leave more than $500 on the board and there are three reasons for that: 1) No projections are 100% accurate. Sorry, DFSBot, you’re good but no one’s that good. 2) More often than not your “optimal lineup” will be wrong. Ha! I know this sounds negative, but play DFS awhile and you’ll realize that not spending that leftover $800 will hurt. I found this out on Monday when I didn’t spend up for pitching and went with Tyler Lyons – he gave me -11 points. Yes, negative 11! 3) Finding cheap players that produce is necessary to win, but players are in the bargain bin for reason. If you see a player that usually has a high price tag is suddenly cheap there’s probably a reason for it – he has a bad matchup, he’s unlikely to play or he’s hurt. I saw a lot of people grab Mark Teixeira on Monday because the price was right in a great matchup. Unfortunately, he ended up not playing which left some people with a big fat zero.

With all that said, we have just eight games on the evening slate, a number of aces on the mound and some weather to pay attention to in St. Louis and Cincinnati. Here’s your dirty turbaned Guru’s lineup for Wednesday’s 5/14 contests on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball. Good luck, cheers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It was about a half year ago that Grey threw all his chips into the pot on Marco Estrada. Man-crushed him onto just about every team we co-manage (along with the deviated septumet) as well as his Razzball Commenter League team. Well, this looked like a lost season for ol’ Marco when he went on the Disgraceful List in early June while sporting a 5.32/1.36 in 69 IP. Combined with Ryan Braun’s suspension and the inevitable 2nd half regressions for Gomez/Segura, Milwaukee has been as relevant to fantasy baseball fans as the city is for travelers intolerant of lactose, cheap domestic beer, and drag queens masquerading as a young Penny Marshall. Under this shroud of yawnonymity, Marco Estrada’s season is beginning to rise from the ashes like Bud Selig’s toupee at that fateful windy hometown barbecue that’s now annually celebrated as Furrywurst Day. Estrada went 7 IP in a tough matchup (@CIN) and gave up 3 baserunners (1 H, 2 BB) and K’d 9 Reds. That’s his 3rd solid start in his last 4 and that includes an @TEX + home vs. STL. He’s definitely worth a pickup for the homestretch if only to see if he can pitch well enough to convince Grey to double down on Estrada in 2014.

In other news…

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Our correspondent in St. Louis, Dan Pants, is reporting at 8:05 Eastern Standard Time, Ian Kennedy‘s fastball died. There’s still no official confirmation. Details are scant. Daniel Descalso is in questioning about the murder. Let’s go back now, and take a moment and recount the life of Ian Kennedy’s fastball. It originally came up in the Yankee organization, where it showed promise, but one two many times it was left out over the plate and hitters clobbered it. They didn’t quite murder it like last night. No, that was saved for a balmy night in St. Louis. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy family. Wait, now I understand they are transporting Daniel Descalso to another police station for questioning. Let’s go there now. Descalso, “I don’t know anything about the situation here. I am just a patsy. Ian Kennedy’s fastball’s died weeks ago in Cuba chasing Fidel Castro. I’d like legal representation.” Wait, is that Kubel… Descalso is down! Kubey’s in cuffs. Mayhem ensues. Hopefully, Ian Kennedy can find some peace on the Disgraceful List, where he’s surely headed. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You might think I took a week off from the Deep Impact series because of the Memorial Weekend. I mean, who really wants to write when there is BBQ in the air, beer in the hand, and extra time off for everyone? You could think that. And it might be part of the reason, but frankly, I looked at the list of players I wanted to talk about, and that list started and ended with Trevor Crowe. So we could pretend that I enjoyed a vacation due to a holiday, but really, I enjoyed a vacation because I really can’t figure a way to write more than ‘fml’ in a Trevor Crowe blurb. But this week is different, since I’ve figured out a way to bloat some space with quality, not quantity. Oh, wait, scratch that. I have it backwards. Quantity over quality! Wooo!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After an underwhelming cup of coffee last year, Tyler Skaggs looked primed for the 5th spot in the Diamondbacks rotation, only to lose out to Patrick Corbin.  I remember there was some dissension with that decision, but you don’t hear any of those arguments now!  With Corbin obviously one of the biggest surprises of the season, Skaggs had a really rough start to his AAA assignment with his ERA climbing close to 7.00 through six starts, but then again it was with Reno in the Pacific Coast League.

Skaggs has put it together recently though, racking up a 30:5 K:BB ratio in 25.1 May innings and three straight quality starts.  With Ian Kennedy ailing with a cut on his finger, Skaggs got the call for a spot start in a tough matchup in the first leg of a double-header against the Rangers.  I don’t think expectations were huge for this game, but having never seen Skaggs pitch and with no knowledge of his repertoire, I decided to tune in and break down his 2013 debut:

Please, blog, may I have some more?