This is a post for the fantasy baseball drafters who use Excel, Google Docs, or some other war room software that automatically totals a drafted team’s stats while in the middle of a draft.  Or perhaps for those of you who do mock drafts or simulated drafts.

The below grid represents my projected 75% mark in each stat category across 10/12/14/15/16 team ESPN and Yahoo default roster format leagues.

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Red Sox

Welcome to the 2015 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpee’s, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Oh, wait, yeah, like half of those things are actually what I have in front of me… But hey, what’s the point of lube and cacti if you can’t share? Truer words have never been written. We also have a very special guest…  Conor Frederick from Red Sox Life, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. So without further ado (and plenty of lube and cacti), let’s check out the 2015 Boston Red Sox!

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This draft was by Yours Trudy. Never understood that, Yours Trudy. Who is this Trudy that everyone is talking about? No, no, I’m not changing the subject before even embarking on the subject simply because I’m not happy with my team. How dare you j’accuse Yours Trudy of that! So, yesterday, on the Not-the-Ides of February, Grey Albright, the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it!) took part in a 12-team NL-Only draft that was commissioned by Scott White of CBS Fantasy. You know, CBS, they brought you such head-scratchers as Viva Laughlin and Travis d’Arnaud as a top 60 overall pick. In fact, I razzed one of the CBS ‘perts about his d’Arnaud love in the beginning of the draft, then the room nominated d’Arnaud and the CBS ‘pert didn’t draft him. I think I might’ve shamed too hard. *shrugs* C’est la. This league is deep so hold onto ye old hat. (If you want a shallower league, play against me and 1,000 of your closest buddies in the Razzball Commenter Leagues.) Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and some thoughts:

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Everyone has their own method of determining their draft board and I imagine mine is rather unique. My early focus is on playing time/injuries so I can run Steamer rates against them and run the results through my Player Rater $ calculation. I then compare this against NFBC ADP and any expert drafts to get a sense for the outliers. As the preseason crawls on, I find myself digging into more and more players and determining whether they are players I want on my team based on their market value.

My tweak this year has been to analyze the outliers (guys my Player Rater is high/low on) earlier in the preseason. Projections are far from perfect and I have no problem drafting a guy above or below my $ value if I feel passionately about his value. These analyses are not terribly thorough – just scanning their FanGraphs pages for peripheral stats and reading Baseball Forecaster and Baseball Prospectus player summaries (the former of which being more helpful than the latter). I also check against Grey’s rankings so I can identify on which players we will inevitably debate.

Below are three pitchers – Julio Teheran, Mat Latos, Tyson Ross – where my Player Rater is way more pessimistic than the other sources I have reviewed. While my reasons vs Steamer’s reasons may differ, it still ends up with the same conclusion: I think these guys are being overvalued and I cannot see how any of three will end up on any of my teams.

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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (10) | 2013 (16) | 2012 (24) | 2011 (20) | 2010 (25)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [79-83] NL East
AAA: [81-63] Pacific Coast League – Las Vegas
AA: [83-59] Eastern League – Binghamton
A+: [76-62] Florida State League – St. Lucie
A: [85-51] South Atlantic League – Savannah
A(ss): [42-34] New York-Penn League – Brooklyn

Graduated Prospects
Travis d’Arnaud, C | Jake deGrom, RHP | Jeurys Familia, RHP | Wilmer Flores INF

The Gist
This is a strong farm system that boasts both talent up the middle and arms to bolster a young rotation headlined by Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Jacob deGrom. Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud were acquired in the R.A. Dickey trade, and with Syndergaard arriving sometime this summer, Mets fans will finally see the fruits of that trade at Citi Field. Dilson Herrera should also stick in the majors at some point this season. One of 2014’s pleasant surprises was the recently graduated deGrom, who will look to build on a 2014 rookie campaign in which he posted a 2.69 ERA with 144 strikeouts in 140 innings pitched. After a demotion to Triple-A early in the year, Travis d’Arnaud also posted good numbers with 13 homers in 421 plate appearances.

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Players are going to play, play, play, play, play, play. The haters are going to hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. And Grey’s going to hate Matt Holliday. Shake it off! I’ve been waiting for years to write this post. Just biding my time, rubbing my fingers together like an animated villain. If you look at me real fast, twirling my mustache, plotting Holliday’s schmohawk post, you might see the human incarnate of Snidely Whiplash. Each year, I’d look at Holliday and see a guy that consistently put up fantasy stats with dashing good looks. A regular Dudley Do-Right. They even both wear red and ride a horse. Holliday’s horse is, of course, his chauffeur, Carlos Lee. Dudley Do-Right is a Canadian Mountie, and Holliday is from Oklahoma, which is a known hatchery for Mounties. Regularly, you hear about Oklahomans being kidnapped into the Mountie army. Like how the North Koreans kidnap the Japanese. (I saw a documentary on this.) The similarities are endless! But, now, Holliday, you’re 35 years old, you can’t move as fast, and you’re mine! Also, out of 35 ‘perts polled (say that fast 117 times!), I had Holliday ranked lower than everyone, so obviously I needed to write this post. It was my duty! (Hehe, I said duty.) So, what makes Matt Holliday overrated for 2015 fantasy baseball?

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Pitcher Profiles are almost back baby!  Let’s get this shizz goin!

We’ve got another big year of GIFfing, Gamescore+ , breaking down every pitch to a tedium… it’s going to get my motor running about as hard as every Corey Kluber start!

I hope everyone has had a nice winter, and enjoyed an awesome year with us so far over on Hoops.  Good thing it’s an indoor sport!  Northeast getting more snow than Tony Montana’s desk.  But with the allure of the weather warming (it hasn’t yet), we can all get together and talk some starting pitching (it’s deep, convo over).  With depth comes two interesting schools of thought – should you go with aces early because there’s so little distinguishing the mid-tier and breakout guys?  Or wait entirely and build your whole staff late?  Of course there’s 50 Shades of Grey, which is still my usual approach.  Hopefully Grey’s next book will be 51 Shades of Grey Albright.  Shade 1 – mustache play.

If you missed the wrap up at the end of last year, you can check out how my 2014 pre-ranks fared against Grey and ESPN.

Enough foreplay, below are my top 100 SP ranks!  With the great pitching depth, comes great responsibility a lot of guys out of the 100 that are probably in other ranks here and there.  Pitchers 70-130 are so hard to differentiate…  But as always, please shoot your comments below on what ya think, and happy pitching 2015!

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Fellow RCL’ers, it’s your pre-narrator for the pre-RCL 2015 season, back to bring you into the fold for everything RCL. That’s pre, I guess. And also type RCL and pre as many times as possible. Needs more RCL and pre if you ask me. Anyhow, mark this day in your calender folks. It is a day which will (probably not) live in infamy. It is a day where we will chase history for the good of all mankind. Are we curing cancer? No. Solving world hunger? I just ate a Kit-Kat, so we might have some more work to do on that front. Are we creating a foundation to rescue stray animals? Ef no! We’re doing something much-much more important (not really). Today, I am making it our personal goal to create at least 100 RCL leagues for the 2015 Fantasy Baseball Season. Are we close? Darn straight we are. Right now, we are at 65 RCL leagues, and I know we can do this. Together. As one. HOLD ME.

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Potatoes to chips, I’m gonna keep this Head-to-Head fantasy baseball draft strategy so succinct that it could be written on the back of a CVS receipt and still have room for a grocery list for a family of five. Assuming the family of five has shopped in the previous two months. If said family was in Breckenridge for a skication, and are just getting home before Rascal, Tommy and Clarafeen have to go back to school, then their shopping list might be too long to fit. Now if they’re just getting back from Breckenridge and are bringing food with them in coolers that they accumulated over the skication, then there might still be enough room. More or less contingent on accumulated food and their level of hunger. Fangraphs has a formula to figure this out. It converts a CSV table into a CVS receipt. Quite revolutionary. Head-to-Head, or H2H, doesn’t change a lot to our 2015 fantasy baseball rankings. There are 300 billion suns in the Milky Way galaxy. There are 100s of billions of galaxies in the universe. There are at least 256,000 planets exactly like Earth. Yet, there’s only one Mike Trout. (Though Trike Mout on Planet Spoonerism is pretty good too. Not a first rounder though.) H2H doesn’t change that. The strategy for playing in the middle of the season in H2H leagues changes. You aren’t hoping Billy Butler hits 20 homers by October, but whether or not he’ll hit a homer on Sunday or if you should sit him to try and win steals. It’s all about the matchups, y’all! So you want to build a team that can match up well with any other team. (FYI, I’ve gone over this stuff before, but some of you might need a pine tree refresher hung from your rear view.) Anyway, here’s my head-to-head draft strategy:

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Hello readers of the Razz! It’s been a long winter and I have some strange ideas floating around my mind, so I’d like to start things off with a little guessing game.

If I have your permission, I’d like to presuppose that at one point in your fantasy baseball career, probably near the start, you had a dream that you were better than everyone else at predicting player performance. Maybe not for every single  player but you at least had a few players, your guys, who you thought would have a big year. It was based on only hunches, but you were a confident, naive little soul.

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