Daily Fantasy: MLB Kicks Braun's Ass, Like Daily Unto Traditional

Originally published at DFSEdge.

Ryan Braun.

Yes, you’ve been inundated with talk about Braun’s suspension for the last 24 hours or so, but you had to know this was coming.  Luckily for you, I’m not going to sit here and go over the details of what happened, why he didn’t appeal, or what this means for the game of baseball.  Instead, I’m going to complain about how I lost Braun from three of my experts league teams (fun!), putting a huge damper on my full-season league outlook, and probably make some offensive comments along the way.

In Tout Wars NL, I bought Braun on draft day for $41 (16 percent of my total budget).  In Yahoo! Friends & Family, I spent my first-round pick on him.  In FSIC NL, I traded Ryan Zimmerman, Yasiel Puig, and Tyler Colvin for Braun, Garrett Jones, and Dan Haren.  That one is looking terrible in retrospect, and though I currently stand in second place, moving up into first will be much more difficult without Zim, Puig, or Braun.  In Tout Wars, my team has been scuffling a little -- mostly bad luck, in my estimation -- with a run at the top on the way… or at least that’s what I thought before all this happened.  Now, I think I’ll need quite a bit of good luck to take a top-three spot.

I woke up very disheartened by the news since it sinks quite a few of my title hopes, but then after stretching my arms, rubbing the crusties out of my eyes, and sneaking the prostitutes out the secret tunnel in my basement bedroom so my mom wouldn’t see them, I realized that I’m also a daily fantasy baseball writer. In daily, player suspensions and injuries don't matter because you get to start fresh every single day.

I realized that the death of my full-season teams is analogous to the end of a long-term relationship.  It sucks, but there is quite a bit of solace to be found in being single and having the chance to play the field (daily fantasy!).  Think about it.  You get to pick a new team every day, and while you sometimes have to put some money in at the start, if it goes well you get back what you paid and more at the end of the night (although maybe that’s just me; my friends say they don’t usually experience the same "refund-plus-interest" policy with their courtesans).  Now that I think about it, maybe comparing daily leagues to prostitution was a bad idea.  Just pretend I used whatever socially acceptable analogy you prefer, take home my point that I feel especially loving toward daily fantasy today, and let’s move on.

Brad Ziegler was officially named Arizona’s closer yesterday.  He costs the minimum on both DraftStreet ($1,500) and Fantasy Feud ($15,000) and is a solid play if you’re going ultra cheap for one of your pitcher spots.

Jason Grilli left last night’s game and could be out a while.  If he is, Mark Melancon is the obvious choice to replace him.  He costs a paltry $1,672 on DraftStreet and the minimum $15,000 on Fantasy Feud.

Mitch Moreland batted second for Texas last night.  I love Moreland’s skills, and if this becomes a regular thing he could be a great guy to use in daily leagues.

— One of my Pitcher Picks for yesterday, Dan Haren, managed a sweet 6/1 K/BB in 5 IP, but he still allowed 5 ER.  That seems to be the story of his season, but I’m still a believer.

Matt Garza was traded to the Texas Rangers yesterday.  As I’ve noted before, a move to the tougher league can wreak havoc on a player’s value.  Garza should likely be avoided in matchups against AL teams going forward, as his price is going to be based heavily on his baseline established in the National League.

— On the other hand, Justin Grimm (part of the return for Garza) could be a big value pick if he finds his way into Chicago’s rotation.

Event Tip: FanDuel announced the biggest one-day daily fantasy tournament ever yesterday: Its 2013 King of the Diamond tournament, which will award $555,555 in prizes.  That’s over a half-million dollars! And first prize is a huge $155,555.  Satellites to gain entry will be running nearly every day at the $1, $2, $5, $10, and $25 levels.

Contest Tip: Every Friday at DraftStreet, you have the chance to try out one of their alternate contests, the oh-so-fun Pick ‘Em game, in a $300 free roll -- with the added bonus of competing against me.  Make sure you join with this link.

Life Tip: If you happen to have an annoying younger sibling, one strategy for maintaining control is to fill a squirt bottle with water, label it “Discipline and Shame,” and squirt him with it when he misbehaves… like you’d do to an ill-trained house cat.  Anecdotal evidence suggests it works up to at least age 18.  If water ceases to be effective, consider substituting hot sauce or hobo urine.

I'm starting to settle into a format for these Daily Blog pieces, so we're going to keep going with the lists here.

Top Five Pitchers for Today
  1. Taylor Jordan vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
  2. Jhoulys Chacin vs. Miami Marlins
  3. Donovan Hand vs. San Diego Padres
  4. Todd Redmond vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
  5. Zach McAllister at Seattle Mariners
There aren’t a lot of matchups I love today, and none involving big-name pitchers.  No, today looks like a spin-the-wheel-of-mediocre-pitchers-with-not-totally-awful-matchups-and-hope-you-land-on-the-right-one kind of day.

Top 5 Teams to Stack Today
  1. Cincinnati Reds vs. LHP Barry Zito
  2. San Francisco Giants vs. RHP Greg Reynolds
  3. Milwaukee Brewers vs. RHP Tyson Ross
  4. St. Louis Cardinals vs. RHP Jonathan Pettibone
  5. Cincinnati Reds vs. LHP Eric Surkamp
Zito is pitching the late game of the double-header in Cincinnati, so while they’ll likely destroy him, most daily sites won’t count stats from this game.  The pitcher in the early game, Surkamp, hasn't pitched in the bigs since 2011 and has a 5.74 career ERA in six starts -- he should also get rocked by Cincy.

Top 5 Players Whose Value Could Change at the Trade Deadline
  1. Raul Ibanez
  2. Bud Norris
  3. Alex Rios
  4. Justin Morneau
  5. Alexei Ramirez
Garza was the most obvious player for this list up until yesterday; now we’re just speculating.  This list could easily have five completely different players and still be viable.  The Cubs, for instance, surely aren’t done, with guys like David DeJesus, Alfonso Soriano, and Kevin Gregg possibilities (rumors of Soriano to the Yankees are swirling as I write this).

And now for the part where I force my non-fantasy views upon you, berate you if you dare disagree, and send you a friendship bracelet if you tell me how impeccable my taste is...

Before we jump into this week’s list though, I need to apologize to Jonah Hill for leaving “Allen Gregory” out of last week’s “Most Underrated TV Comedies” list.  Big oversight.

Top 5 Lamest DC Comic Book Villains
  1. Tweedledee and Tweedledum
  2. Captain Boomerang
  3. Clock King
  4. Calendar Man
  5. Doctor Spectro
I’m far from a comic book nerd (I wish I was, I just don’t have the time or attention span for it), but I’m friends with enough of them to know a little about comics and some of the most hilariously terrible villains to fill their pages.

Tweedledee and Tweedledum literally have no powers whatsoever apart from “fat bodies [that] enable them to bounce and roll as they please.”  Oh.  My.  God.  Captain Boomerang doesn’t have any powers either, although at least he has a trusty boomerang that he tries to throw at The Flash.  The guy who’s super fast.  And can easily avoid a boomerang.  Yeah.  Oh, and he’s an Aussie.  How original.

Calendar Man is pretty much a regular dude, but at least he has a penchant for actual crime.  Problem is, he always commits them on holidays.  I mean, seriously, just send out a facsimile to the rest of Gotham’s criminals with a cheesy homemade "free pass" to just go crazy on Arbor Day.  Even if all Calendar Man does is trap a few cats up in some trees, if The Joker decides to burn down an orphanage for blind children, guess who’s taking the fall for it?

Speaking of which, given that so many villains have a shtick, why don’t the more maniacal ones just imitate others’ shticks to cast some misdirection on their own crimes? Penguin, if you want to rob a bank, leave a riddle at the scene and see how long it takes Batman to catch you.  He probably will, since he always does, but at least you’ll have the satisfaction of screwing with him a little.  Hell, maybe this has happened before.  What do I know?  If it has, let me know; I’d love to read that comic.  Or on second thought, maybe give me like three different options.  I want to be surprised.