Lads (and ladies), sit with me for a moment while I bless yee with a bit of the folklore of the old country, the Emerald Isle to be exact. A place of legal drugs, pubs, whiskey, rolling green hills, lovely redheaded lassies, and a tradition of folklore as rich as an Irishman’s heart. You may be familiar with stories of wee men and their pots of gold, or the luck of the Blarney Stone, Stonehenge perhaps, but how many of you are familiar with the Púca? To be clear Púcas are ghosts or spirits, bringers of good luck or bad fortune, they are said to be both helpers and hindrances. The really tricky thing about Púcas is how tough they are to identify due to their ability to change appearances and shape-shift. We’re all familiar with Púca’s in one way or another but the most well known Púca to those of us in the States is a giant rabbit named Harvey. That would be the protagonist from Mary Coyle Chase’s play of the same name. The play was later adapted to the silver screen in a film staring Jimmy Stewart, and its a worthwhile take.

The premise of the play is simple the main character Elwood has an imaginary friend or Púca a 6’3 rabbit by the name of Harvey. Elwood introduces the Rabbit to everyone he meets and for this reason his family takes him to be committed. When they arrive at the Sanitarium, Veta Elwood’s sister, is instead committed by the hapless doctor who allows Elwood to walk away scot-free. The doctor later realizes his error and the search for Elwood is on. When Elwood returns to search for his lost pal Harvey his delusional begins to have an effect on the staff of the sanitarium. Just before Elwood can be injected with a drug to make him a perfectly normal human being Veta realize that Elwood is fine the way he is care free and happy. Even if he’s delusional.

So where am I going with all this? Why the verbose description of a movie from the 50’s? What the hell does this have to do with two start pitchers? Well I’ll tell you, in many ways starters can be Púcas to our fantasy teams. Sometimes they’re helpers bringing us good luck and great fortune and other times they’re a hindrance destroying our ratios and crushing our dreams. I’m looking at you Taijuan Walker…My favorite of all Púcas this season is also named Harvey. Matt Harvey of course! In a lot of ways there a ton of parallels besides just the name. Harvey certainly has some magic (his fastball), some people would introduce you to him as their fantasy ace (but is he really?), and he could certainly bring great fortune, or could be a serious hindrance if he injures himself again. He was lights out in his first start going 6, punching out 9, and walking 1. His average velocity was also in line with his 2013 averages of 95 mph on his fastball, and 96 on his two-seamer. Though he did throw his slider a lot less (5.5% vs. Washington, vs. 18.7% of the time in 2013) on Wednesday . It’s only one start, so let’s not get too crazy, but it was a great way to begin the season after missing all of 2014 and taking the mound for the first time in nearly 20 months. Well great news Razzballers, he’s back with two starts this week, and the matchups are tasty. Two home matchups in fact one against the Phillies and the other vs. Miami. If you have Harvey enjoy the week ahead, may this Púca bring your great riches!

In honor of our theme of Púcas I’ll be naming each of the tiers after a different mythical creature. If you feel I missed one or misrepresented one that was mentioned than bring it up in the comments and we can call each other names and handle this shizz like real O.G internet trolls. See what I did there?!?

 

The Griffins (Must Start)No not those Griffins, I mean the bad-ass mythical animal that’s pretty much a lion with wings. Well maybe it’s more of an eagle with lions body. The only way a creature could be more majestic is if it was part me and part Tehol. Wow part Ralph, part Tehol…that’s scary but the ladies would love us.

Matt Harvey, NYM: (vs. Phi, vs. Mia); Stephen Strasburg, Wsh: (@Bos, vs. Phi); Jon Lester, CHC: (vs. Cin, vs. SD)

 

The Dragons (Great Starts) – These guys breath fire, kick ass, take names, etc, but they’re just a tick below the Griffins. A few really interesting players in this tier this week, none more than Michael Pineda. One start at Baltimore scares me a little, but the start at Tampa looks delightful. In Pineda’s two starts vs the O’s last year he was 1-0 with an ERA of 0.72, a whip of 0.32, and a K/9 of 8.75. So maybe it’s not so scary as there’s some history of success. I like Zimmermann but don’t love the matchup at Fenway, deGrom gets the same matchups as Harvey and there’s a lot to like with last year’s NL ROY this week. Scott Kazmir rounds out the tier with two very winnable matchups in Houston and Kansas City. If he can follow up his dominance of the Indians this past Wednesday he could be a top option.

Michael Pineda, NYY: (@Bal, @TB); Jacob deGrom, NYM: (vs. Phi, vs. Mia); Scott Kazmir, Oak: (@Hou, @KC), Jordan Zimmermann, Wsh: (@Bos, vs. Phi)

 

Phoenix (Good Starts) – This tier is full of players with the greatest upside. Players who like the Phoenix can rise above the ashes of their tough matchups, bad previous start, up and down careers, and past failures, etc to be reborn. The Phoenix houses your Shane Greene’s, Danny Duffy’s, Gerrit Cole’s, Adam Wainwright’s, etc. These are guys I considered for the first two tiers but need to prove something to me before I can settle them into the heights of the upper echelons.

Adam Wainwright, Stl: (vs. Mil, vs. Cin); Danny Duffy, KC: (@Min, vs. Oak); Anibal Sanchez, Det: (@Pit, vs. CWS); Gerrit Cole, Pit: (vs. Det, vs. Mil); Shane Greene, Det: (@Pit, vs. CWS); Andrew Cashner, SD: (vs. Ari, @CHC); Daniel Norris, Tor (vs. TB, vs. Atl); James Paxton, Sea (@LAD, vs. Tex)

 

Centaur (Meh Starts) – Are these starts good? Are they bad? Are they one of each? Much like the Centaur they are a little of both. Do I trust Jake Odorizzi? I really want to but I don’t. These are the guys that I don’t trust but I don’t hate either. Lots of solid streaming options in this tier, Tom Koehler in particular. He’s widely available and draws road starts at Atlanta and the Mets, neither fear-inducing lineups. Mat Latos is in the house….he was awful, but I’m not ready to bottom him out yet. You’ll notice Matt Shoemaker’s a man-horse, his road splits last year were awful so I’m discounting him a bit this week.

Jake Odorizzi, TB: (@Tor, vs. NYY); Matt Shoemaker, LAA (@Tex, @Hou); R.A. Dickey, Tor: (vs. TB, vs. Atl); Tim Hudson, SF: (vs. Col, vs. Ari); Tom Koehler, Mia (@Atl, @NYM); Mat Latos, Mia (@Atl, @NYM); Brandon McCarthy, LAD: (vs. Sea, vs. Col); Rick Porcello, Bos: (vs. Was, vs. Bal); Shelby Miller, Atl: (vs. Mia, @Tor); Wei-Yin Chen, Bal: (vs. NYY, @Bos); Mike Leake, Cin: (@CHC, @Stl); Matt Garza, Mil: (@Stl, @Pit); Eddie Butler, Col (@SF, @LAD)

 

Trolls (Avoid These Starts) – Trolls are the worst, they hang under bridges, steal, they smell, and they wear overalls by choice!

Trevor May, Min: (vs. KC, vs. Cle); Jeremy Hellickson, TB: (@SD, @SF); Chris Heston, SF: (vs. Col, vs. Ari); Aaron Harang, Phi: (@NYM, @Was); Ross Detwiler, Tex: (vs. LAA, @ Sea); Rubby De La Rosa, Ari: (@SD, @SF); David Buchanan, Phi: (@NYM, @Was)

 

 
  1. slimbo says:
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    What’s up

    keeper league with no penalties, can keep forever. Trade Stanton for Gomez, Votto, and strasburg?”

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @slimbo: Yeah that’s a big haul. Make the deal.

      • slimbo says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        Thanks i was asking for a friend…

        From me he would want abreau rendon and bumgarner..wWould you do that for stanton?

        • Nute Sewell says:
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          @slimbo:

          No.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @slimbo: Nope that’s way too much…

  2. Bobo Schafe says:
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    Why is Shane Greene listed as a 2 starter? He gets the nod Tuesday with a team day off on Thursday. That makes his next up on Monday of the next week. Am I missing something?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Bobo Schafe: I’m not buying the time table on Verlander and I don’t see why they wouldn’t skip Lobstein. So my educated guess is Greene starts against Sale next Sunday.

  3. wJessereid says:
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    Have Lester, deGrom and Paxton in a 5 start H2H. think I’ll skip Paxtons road start?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @wJessereid: I would, the other 4 starts are better.

  4. Clint says:
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    Need one streamer and 3 to keep rostered in my h2h league out of Greene, McCarthy, Peavy, Daniel Norris, Pomeranz, and/or Bauer.

    • Clint says:
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      @Clint: @Clint:
      Jimmy Nelson’s also available if he tops the others.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Clint: Keep Bauer, Pomeranz, and Greene. Stream Daniel Norris.

  5. Andy says:
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    Weekly lineup
    Drop walker to stream Norris?

    • Andy says:
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      Could drop joc pederson too

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Andy: I’d drop Walker to stream Norris. I own Walker and Norris everywhere but I’m nervous he’s a year away from being where we need him to be. I’d hold on Joc for at least a few more weeks.

  6. Abdoozy says:
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    I dropped Latos in my 12tm H2H league to pick up Pomeranz.

    Please tell me I am not insane. I need to hear this.

    • DMT says:
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      @Abdoozy:

      Crazy insane, got no brain!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Abdoozy: I don’t think it’s crazy. Ballsy sure but crazy no.

  7. Oranje says:
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    All week I have debated dropping Latos…no idea who I would pick up yet..hence the comment. I could drop Latos for pitchers like… Masterson, Hendricks, Hammel, Galardo, Burnett, eventually a good fantasy contributer in Gausman, or Cecil who was dropped by a team in my league and I imagine will resume his closer duties soon. Other pitchers on my bench are J. Nelson, Hahn, Peavy, and Fister (because of salary I have to cycle between Fister and Latos). I am not a big fan of Fister, for obvious reasons…Do I roll the dice with Latos for one more week and take his two starts and hope for the best…or jump on a waiver add that I list or someone else who could help later in the season…Thanks.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Oranje: I’d roll the dice with Latos, we could be over reacting, but he did look wretched. I think Cecil stays in middle relief. I don’t think they ever really wanted him to close. I like Castro to stick in that roll.

      None of the other pitchers available are worth your time.

  8. Shivdaddy says:
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    I have an issue with you sir. No way Griffins should be a class above dragons. Dragons need to be at the top. I can not take your seriously if you do not fix these ratings.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Shivdaddy: I don’t trust Dragons what can I say they’re loose cannons.

  9. Gareth says:
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    Kazmir has not played against the indians so far this season. He’s a good lefty, so I’m sure he will dominate them when he faces them.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Gareth: Oops meant to write Rangers.

  10. Gareth says:
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    I agree that Dragons should be the top tier.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Gareth: One bad burp and you’re toast though..

  11. Flesh Gordon says:
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    Keeper league 5×5 standard cat. Trade offer on my table from a guy who spent $101 on Kershaw, costing him the ability to compete:

    I give:
    player-current year/contract period – salary
    C Gomes – 4/5 – $15
    B Hamilton – 3/4 – $7
    M Harvey – 2/3 – $14 (can be extended next year up to 3 years at $5 addtl salary per year extended)
    T D’arnaud – 2/3 – $2 (see above note on extension)
    F Rodney – 2/3 – $2 (same but he’s more of a throw IN).

    I get (all in final year of contracts or prohibitively expensive so who cares about cost/contract status)

    M Trout , C Kershaw, J Upton, W Myers, A Chapman

    Is that too much to give up? The prospect of getting Trout and Kershaw is so tempting. Current Roster if it matters:

    C – D’arnaud
    1B – C Santana
    2B – Wong
    3B – M Cabrera
    SS – Tulo
    Mi – Starlin C
    Ci – Sandoval
    OF – R Zimmerman
    OF – C Gomes
    OF – B Hamilton
    OF – B Harper
    OF – J Pederson
    U – N Aoki/D Santana

    SP – King Felix
    SP – M Harvey
    SP – A Wainwright
    SP – A Cobb (RA Dickey filling in)
    SP – Garrett Richards (D Fister filling in)
    RP – F Rodney (Pap on bench)
    RP – D Robertson

    • Flesh Gordon says:
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      @Flesh Gordon: 13 team league

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Flesh Gordon: I think you make the deal, that’s a win now deal but look at it from a player for player perspective and you win. Long term you’ll have to make some moves to compete in the feature but it’s an agreesive move. I like aggressive.

  12. Gareth says:
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    Moose tacos, Teixeira and headley are available on the wire in a 12 team rcl.

    Any of them worth picking up over Napoli, duda, lind or vogt?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Gareth: I’d go Lind or Duda…

  13. Malicious Phenom says:
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    Scott Feldman also throws twice this week, didn’t see him listed above..

    Both starts are at the juice box V Oakland and Kazmir, then against the Angels and Shoemaker..

    What are your Deep (Sky) thoughts on Felman?

    thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Malicious Phenom: Yeah Feldman should be listed between Heaston and Harang. I’m not a fan, no K’s and he’s really nothing more than a streamer from time to time in mixed leagues of 14 or less. I own him in a 20 Teamer but it’s head to head and almost every starter is owned.

  14. JoeJ says:
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    12 team league. First time playing fantasy baseball. Is my team any good?
    C Gomes (now hurt), Avila
    1b Encarnacion
    3b Arenado
    2B/ss Dee Gordon, Anthony Rendon
    OF A Jones, Ellsbury, Springer, C Gonzalez
    UTIL M Betts, J Pederson, D Murphy

    P Cueto, Tehran, DeGrom, Cody Allen, Clay Bucholz, Zach Britton, Hector Rondon, Jason Gilli
    Thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @JoeJ: Yeah very good haul. Great work!

  15. AI says:
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    Looks like the Indians are skipping McAllister this week, which sets Carrasco up for two starts this week (Tuesday vs CWS, Sunday @ MIN).

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @AI: I’d place him between Kazmir and Zimmermann

  16. Diesel says:
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    I got an offer, Jon Lester for my Gerrit Cole in a h2h keeper league. Which will be more valuable by end-of-season? And as a keeper? Thank you!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Diesel: Keeper and ROS I think I like Cole.

  17. Scott says:
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    Just curious. If you and Tehol merged so that the ladies would love you. Who would be the top and who would be the bottom?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Scott: The ladies already love is so we’d have to put it up to a vote but I think the answer is tops and bottoms are interchangeable. Sort of like Beyblades.

  18. Diesel says:
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    Hi!! I’m thinking of dropping Mark Trumbo (I have DOrtiz), Carlos Martinez, Phil Huges, Drew Storen, or Steve Cishek for Shawn Greene. Please, I need some advise for those Greene lovers out there! It’s a 10 team h2h and keeper league.

    • Diesel says:
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      @Diesel: That’s Shane Greene! Who to drop for him, if anyone? (see first comment)

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Diesel: That’s tough. I wouldn’t drop Trumbo yet. The only one I would consider is Carlos but the upside is too great for me to pull the trigger.

  19. Chad says:
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    Have the following in a full keeper, no limit, no salary league (24 teams):

    Miggy, C. Santana, Y. Alonzo, Chiz, Arenado, J. Upton, C.Kluber, J. Shields

    Looking to acquire:

    Gerrit Cole and or Matt Shoemaker

    Stay put or deal?

  20. Ralph Lifshitz

    Ralph Lifshitz says:
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    If you could do Santana for Cole that would be awesome. Or Shields for Cole. Wouldn’t trade Miggy, Arenado, Upton, or Kluber.

    If you could trade Alonso and Chiz for Shoemaker that would be a coupe.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Ralph Lifshitz: Coup* damn auto correct!

Comments are closed.