Even after harvesting the farm to add star-level MLB bats (Marcell Ozuna and Paul Goldschmidt) each of the last two off-seasons, the Cardinals’ system remains solid. 

We’ve known for years the Cards get more out of their fringe types than just about every organization. We even invented a phrase to encapsulate this quality, letting “Devil Magic” explain everything Cardinal for years before the Astros and Dodgers captured the zeitgeist. You’ll still hear the phrase, but not every ten minutes like once upon a time. These days, we know everyone’s just cheating and hacking and scratching and clawing for every little inch of advantage they can get, but hey, that’s the American Dream personified via sport. Better to ask forgiveness than permission. You can always find a fall guy no matter how ugly it gets. (See: Correa, Chris)

That’s a link to just one story, but the whole saga is pretty good lore if you get on an injustice kick.

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While sweet sixteens are traditionally celebrated by girls, it’s 2019 and so many lines have been blurred that we are living in a very “anything goes” society. Setting a new personal high, Walker Buehler struck out 16 Colorado Rockies while throwing a three-hit complete game gem. What I like most: Well I guess what I like most is the sixteen punch outs, but what I really like is the zero walks. Sixteen strikeouts and no walks is so sexy. How sexy? 2007 Grady Sizemore sexy. Walker did give up two solo home runs, but those were to two of the best hitters in baseball. Charlie Blackmon has been unbelievable lately and Nolan Arenado is Nolan Arenado. He did strike both of them out (Arenado twice) over the course of the game, but when you strikeout 16, that’s bound to happen. To put Buehler’s performance in terms my usual nine readers might better understand, he scored just under 50 fantasy points depending on if you league gives points for complete games. That’s the kind of points jolt that feels like a gut punch to your opponent when he checks his/her matchup and sees he’s playing Buehler.

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I would like to take this opportunity (highjack the opening paragraph of this post) to rant about Bryce Harper’s current All-Star vote total. At the moment, a phrase I’ve chosen instead of “currently”, Harper is second in voting for National League Outfielders. With approximately a little more than one million votes, he is not far behind Nick Markakis. Allow me to remind you that just a few weeks ago I referred to Markakis as the current points league MVP. Given his draft position, or lack thereof considering he as undrafted in most leagues, I stand by that comment. It’s not the players you draft in the first two rounds that win you the championship. They are supposed to be superstars. In reality they have a better chance of helping you lose the championship by not living up to their draft status. An early round flub can put you in a serious hole. This concept is a bit more pronounced in fantasy football where rosters are smaller and losing your first round running back can pretty much doom your entire season. It’s undrafted players like Nick Markakis, whom I’ve been patting on the back in points leagues since I started writing for Razzball, that give you the boosts you need to win your league.

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Welcome to Razzball’s 2018 team previews. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be previewing all of the teams and talking to writers who represent those teams around the web. We want to provide the best and most in-depth fantasy projections to go along with the asking the most useful questions to those who know their teams best. We want to talk about the players in the first half of your draft and also the deep sleepers that make you log into google and start watching Midwest Single-A ball for hours. Just kidding, don’t do that, hopefully we don’t go that far…

MB here. You may know me from the football page of this elite website known as Razzball dot com. I have snaked my way over to the baseball page this season. Don’t you feel so lucky? We start off with the Atlanta Braves and this could really be a team on the rise. Hell, we could be talking about a playoff contender within the next year or two. The Cubs and Astros were ahead of schedule so why can’t the Braves be? There are a lot of question marks because this is such a young team, but there is so much potential in this line up and rotation. Today, we pick the brain of Alan Carpenter. You can check out his work over at Tomahawk Take.

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Ooooh that smell, Can’t you smell that smell, Ooooh that smell, The smell of death surrounds you”.  If you don’t recognize this gem little by Lynyrd Skynyrd, I won’t hold it against you.  I’m sure you’re familiar with their bigger hits like, Sweet Home Alabama, Tuesday’s Gone, or the epic classic Free Bird.  If you’re still drawing a blank and those legendary songs don’t ring a bell, then you’re not a true ‘Merican!  The bad news is Chuck Norris just put you on his list because you’re not a true ‘Merican, the good news is you can use tonight’s DFS winnings to redeem yourself and convince him otherwise.  I y’all have a short memory, but if you followed my lineup from last week you would have got paid straight cash homie!  Yep, for the record I killed it last week with a total of 151.2 points, even with my featured pitcher Luis Severino scoring a paltry 2.75 points.  I banked a cool $125 off a $5 entry.  I’m not bragging by any means, but it just goes to show that you can take your coffee money and turn it into some walking around money.  If you made it all the through my longest intro ever, then your patience is ’bout to be rewarded with tonight’s sleeper pick: Blake Snell at $15,000.  Our featured boy, B’Locke Snell seems like he’s shaken off that undeniable odor of disappointment that tends to linger alongside most rookie pitchers.  Over his last 5 starts he’s gone 24.2 innings giving up 8 ER, to go with 22 Ks and a 2.97 ERA.  If he can get over the 5 IP hump, he could easily pick up double digit Ks vs the struggling Royals offense tonight.  Snell is due to come up smelling roses tonight.  Now let’s see who else is going to keep our winning streak going.

New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Who won week one? Before I answer that question let’s talk about the top batters from the week. Paul Goldschmidt and J.T. Realmuto led the way with 32 points. Goldschmidt is an Unpickable. Despite this fact, he was picked by one competitor, turning 32 points into zero. Realmuto was not picked by anyone. The next top hitter was Brandon Belt, who totaled 31 points. Belt was selected by four people. One of these people was the winner. In addition to Belt, the winner also chose Ian Kinsler and Justin Turner. The winner from week one, with a total of 70 points, was Chris Montgomery. Congratulations Chris on earning a bid into the playoffs in just the first week.

Here are the top five finishers from Week 1…

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That totally sounds legit right? Clayton Kershaw, $14,200 & Stephen Strasburg, $13,200 are squaring off in LA tonight and the place is going to be on fire, literally. Game time is temperature is set to be around 97-100 degrees, so between the fastballs and the the sun, Chavez Ravine it’s going to be muy caliente. Gun to my head, I’m going with Kershaw tonight because he seems like he’s going to be able to get through the heat and still go 7 or 8 innings. Strasburg left early a few starts ago with cramping, so if dude doesn’t hydrate he may only go 5 or 6 innings, leaving precious points on the table for you. If you want to stay away from this matchup all together then go with Madison Bumgarner, $12,800 at Pittsburgh, who just got victimized by Kyle Hendricks with 12 K’s in 6 Ings. Granted the Pirates have no game vs the Cubbies, but if Hendricks can miss that many bats then look for Madbum to continue mowing guys down. From a pitching stand point, those are the studs that will be highly owned, so lets take a look at a couple other guys who might be flying under the DK radar.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run today 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.

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Are you all like me? Do you spend hours and hours contemplating how to maximize the value out of that last roster spot currently occupied by a fringe player you aren’t sure about?  It’s crazy, we spend all this time leading up to the draft analyzing everyone, then, for me at least, once the season begins, it’s all about contemplating guys on waivers in bottom 20% ownership range.  I know that if I can figure who, among these guys will climb up the ladder in value/ownership, he can either make my team’s season, allow me deal him to someone else in the league for an underperforming proven commodity, or potentially for an elite player as part of a package deal with a medium-value player.  Thus, really understanding the bottom 20% of available players can actually allow you to drastically improve your roster if you know to leverage it.

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I know, I know.  Terrible title pun and Vance Worley isn’t exactly the most exciting Pitcher Profile.  CALL UP ANDREW HEANEY ALREADY!  Just needed to get that out of my system…

I thought about a Danny Duffy.  Maybe Daisuke Matsuzaka. Mostly because that would be an inning-long Pitcher Profile and I could play more Call of Duty.  He shoulda laid off the Steak “n Shake!  Over/under on amount of times you see that joke today…

But back to Worley.  I think it’s easily forgotten just how good a run he had for the 2011 Phillies.  3.01 ERA?  119 Ks in 131.2 IP?  11 Wins?  Really surprising looking back on those… Then he was terrible in his follow-up with the Phils, followed by getting absolutely crushed in 10 starts for the Twins last year.  Starting 2014 in AAA, Worley was meh in 7 starts with a 4.30 ERA, but an encouraging 43 Ks in 46 innings.  Which nobody would ever care about, except he had as good a debut anyone could’ve expected yesterday at Miami.  And actually – and I didn’t even think to look until the broadcast showed his Minors numbers – 43:4 K:BB in AAA.  Wowzer!  So I decided to take a look at the spectacled SP and if there’s anything there for you to care about in your fantasy leagues:

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