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For these pitcher pairings, I’m going to be using our (my) 2017 fantasy baseball rankings.  Notably, the top 20 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball, top 40 starters for 2017, top 60 starters for 2017 and the top 80 starters for 2017.  You can also just go to our Fantasy Baseball War Room.  Okay, formalities out of the way.  *rolls up sleeves, makes farting noise with hand under armpit, rolls down sleeve*   Let’s get busy!  Now, what is a pitcher pairing?  It’s your plan for putting together a fantasy staff.  A course of action.  If you have A pitcher, which B, C, D, E and F pitcher goes with him?  Which is different than ‘F this pitcher,’ that’s what you say in May.  You should have six starters.  The sixth starter is Blake Snell or take whoever you want.  I suggest an upside pick.  Snell comes to mind.  Or Mike Montgomery.  Daniel Norris also comes to mind.  I’m going to assume you’re in a 12 team, 5×5 and some variation of 9 pitcher leagues like the Razzball Commenter Leagues.  Speaking of which, the RCL league signups will began as soon as ESPN opens for business. (NOTE: What you are about to read is massively confusing.  If it were found scribbled in a notebook, the FBI would be watching me.  If Charles Manson stood up and read this at the next prison Meet N’ Greet, no one would blink an eye.)  Anyway, here’s pitcher pairings for pitching staffs for 2017 fantasy baseball drafts:

TIERS

If your first pitcher is from the tiers: “Security blankets are for bouncers who are chilly,” or “2500 Jokes To Start A Toast!

These tiers are from Kershaw to Lester.  If you draft someone from these tiers, you’ll probably lose your league or get lucky with your hitters.  If you do draft one, I wouldn’t take another pitcher until the tiers, “Crazy is super subjective” and “These guys give me the good willies.”  Take one pitcher from one of those two tiers.  Then grab three starters from any of the tiers, “These guys give me the good willies,” “Trying to find a balance like Atmosphere,” and “Dollar Store condoms.” Finally, draft one starter from “Grey’s upside your head.”  So, you’d have a rotation something like Madison Bumgarner, Aaron Nola, Vince Velasquez, Robbie Ray, Jerad Eickhoff and Blake Snell.  Or maybe Jacob deGromTaijuan Walker, James Paxton, Jameson Taillon, Jeremy Hellickson and Blake Snell.  Either of those staffs will probably have 13’s in every pitching category in a 12 team league.

If your first pitcher is from the tiers:  “I have illusions of drafting these guys, maybe they’re delusions, or is it allusions?

This tier goes from Verlander to Cueto.  I’d pair any of them with anyone in their same tier or in the tier, “Slowly remove the hand from under your bun and click yo’ mouse,” “Buckle up, I’m creating turbulence” or “There’s safety in numbers, especially number twos,” but it’s not mandatory.  In other words, if I drafted Corey Kluber, I could see taking Kenta Maeda or Gerrit Cole or Masahiro Tanaka or anyone from any of those tiers, but I wouldn’t reach either.   If you do take two guys from those first three tiers, then you jump to “Crazy is super subjective” or “These guys give me the good willies” and take one guy.  You will also be fine taking Kluber and moving right to “Crazy is super subjective” and “These guys give me the good willies.”  If you skip “Slowly…” “Buckle up…” “There’s safety,” then draft two guys from “Crazy is super subjective” and the good willies.  So, you could have either something like Kluber, Maeda and McCullers or Kluber, McCullers and Paxton.  Either way, you then move along to “Trying to find a balance like Atmosphere” and “Dollar Store condoms” and grab two guys.  Finally, one guy from Upside Grey’s Head.  So, you’ll have something like Kluber, Maeda, McCullers, Hellickson, Nova and Foltywirewitz.  Don’t mind if I do!  Or you could have something like Kluber, McCullers, Paxton, Smyly, Tillman and Snell.  That’s straight gorge.  As in engorged.

If your first pitcher is from the tiers:  “Slowly remove the hand from under your bun and click yo’ mouse,” or “Buckle up, I’m creating turbulence.

These tiers go from Carrasco to Carlos Martinez and from Duffy to Cole.  This is likely the way I’m going in 12-team leagues and shallower.  This would be ideal (and just as convoluted.  Anyone that actually reads AND understands this post deserves a gold star and a head exam.)  My first pitcher will be from “Slowly…” or “Buckle Up…” then two starters from “Crazy is super subjective” and “These guys give me the good willies,” then two starters from “Trying to find a balance like Atmosphere” and “Dollar Store condoms.”  Finally, a starter from Grey’s Upside Yo’ Head, sucka.  So, you could have something like Carrasco, Gausman, McCullers, Eickhoff, Gsellman and Blake Snell.  You just won your league and games haven’t even started. You’re welcome.

Close to ideal (let’s say ideal-ish) is if you draft one pitcher from “Slowly…” and “Buckle Up…,” then one pitcher from “There’s safety,” then one from “Crazy” or willies, then two from “Trying to find a balance like Atmosphere” and “Dollar Store condoms,” then one from Upside Yo’ Damn Head.  So, you could have something like Carlos Martinez, Lackey, Lance McCullers, Drew Smyly, Julio Teheran and Blake Snell.  Could this post become more confusing?  Short answer: no.  Long answer: nooooooooooo.  But let’s try…

Overall Thoughts

You can’t go wrong with a lot of different sets of pitchers.  Shoot (not you, deranged white man), you probably could do fine with drafting only 3 starters and 3 great relievers and streaming.  If you stick to the pitchers I like, then you’ll do well matching them up any way you see fit.  For unstints, I could see a lot of people saying Robbie Ray is being drafted close to Blake Snell, so is it okay if he’s my Grey’s Upside Yo’ Head?  Yeah, of course.  If you draft only pitchers that I like then I have no quarrel with you.  The most important tiers are the “There’s safety” and Atmosphere tiers because these tiers are going to balance your staff like the bar in the photo in the Prince Albert Wikipedia entry.  Trust me, do not Google it!  These tiers do this, “Holy crap, my first pitcher is Gerrit Cole and he keeps getting rocked, I’d be so dead if I didn’t also take a guy like Jose Quintana or Odorizzi.”  Unexciting guys won’t win your league, but without them you will be lost.

TROUBLE AREAS

WHIP Issues – For every pitcher who is projected over a 1.23 WHIP, take one below. The quicker you do this, the better off you’ll be.  For instance, if you take Kevin Gausman, who I have projected for 1.24, you need to pair him with someone I have projected below a 1.23.  Don’t pair Gausman with Paxton.  Pair him with someone like Nola.  Remember, the further you get into the rankings, the harder it becomes to find lower WHIPs.  Side note: WHIP can be helped by closers and MRs… Or hurt by them.

What about the tier “Your joie de vivre is a contagious rash in the shape of the Indonesian islands,” or any starter listed in the top 100 starters who are in tiers not listed above.  They are 7th starters or DL-bound or minor league-bound who you’re stashing.  I wouldn’t count on any of them for anything.  I like me some Jose De Leon or Ed-Rod or a bunch of those guys, but are you really starting any of them every time out in April and risking a huge blow up, which would lead to a crushing April that leaves you in your fantasy baseball basement and a chance to start trading for keepers in May?  You take a flyer on someone like De Leon, hope he works out and if he doesn’t, you decide whether to drop him in redraft leagues.  He’s not your 6th starter.

K ISSUES – For drafters who follow my lead, this shouldn’t be much of an issue. You’re shooting for around 150/starter.

Overall Pitching Issues – Just about everyone, including yours truly, drops at least one of their starters by May 1st.  Obviously, you want the best team coming out the draft, but it’s a marathon not a sprint.  Starters always come out of nowhere on waivers to become productive. Always.  Even in deep leagues.

BONUS FEATURE

Because we both know everything above this point was the gibberish of a mad mind, here’s an easy to use shortcut.  Just click the pitcher you draft, then you’ll get a short list of the next pitcher you’re supposed to draft.  Frank Voila, snitches!  Now, have at it:

 

 
  1. Ante GALIC says:
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    Grey!

    Great post, just great.

    a. Completing the whole picture in a holistic way. Just waiting for the batters’ pairing and then to follow the ST news until opening day!

    b. Looking back at my rookie season in an RCL last year I can see a little more clearly.

    1. I was pretty much delusional to the fact that my draft picks broke every single rule of thumb from the Holy Book of Fantasy Master Lothario! In other words, I did relatively well for a total newcomer to the RCL and rotisserie style point scoring and even daily leagues. So naturally…
    2. …as the shallow person that I am, I figure I one-upped Grey! And I debunked His system of not drafting pitchers early. However, and with the bigger picture in mind…
    3. I now see with this post and JB’s post from yesterday I was extremely lucky with the picks that the autobot made for me.
    4. To wit, I drafted Lester and MadBum with high picks. They were very successful in 2016 and I profited from that.
    5. All I’m saying is, I’m sorry for ever mentioning ‘debunked His (Grey’s) system’. I didn’t debunk the system at all. I just got extremely lucky on two of my high picks.
    6. The flip side of that scenario would have been very grave, man. If pitching goes south through injury or loss of velocity or lack of focus, you can replace it with something that could come close if you find it on time. The same cannot be said for primo hitters, they cannot be replaced.
    7. So, Viva Le system Grey! Frank voila!

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ante GALIC: A. Holistic? You talking ginseng? B. 7. Yeah!

      • Ante GALIC says:
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        @Grey: Grey!

        Ginseng and gingko.

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yes!

  2. Nittanychris says:
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    Thanks Grey! In a 12 team mixed auction standard 5 x 5, I have these 4 keepers: Maeda $5, Quintana $4, Gausman $2, Nola $1. How do you like that group as a base and what 2 starters would you add and be ecstatic with your staff?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Nittanychris: I like those pitchers as my rankings say

  3. Jason says:
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    Did my first mock with all your rankings out and my excel sheet done. 10 team H2H 5×5 21 roster spots. Thoughts appreciated thanks!

    C- MURPHY (RD 21)
    1B- FREEMAN (RD 3)
    2B- ODOR (RD 4)
    3B- RENDON (RD 8)
    SS- CORREA (RD 2)
    OF- BRYANT (RD 1)
    OF- DESMOND (RD 5)
    OF- DAHL (RD 10)
    UT- SEGURA (RD 7)
    BN- MILLER (RD 14)
    BN- KEPLER (RD 18)

    SP- DARVISH (RD 6)
    SP- MARTINEZ (RD 9)
    RP- HERRERA (RD 15)
    RP- IGLESIAS (RD 19)
    P- DUFFY (RD 11)
    P- HILL (RD 12)
    P- LACKEY (RD 13)
    BN- MCCULLERS (RD 16)
    BN- PINEDA (RD 17)
    BN- KELLEY (RD 20)

    CHEERS!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Jason: Looks solid, I’d be happy with that team

  4. Papi says:
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    Looking for advice with my first picks at 48/49. Keepers are Altuve, Betts and Lindor. Do I take 1 pitcher (Carrasco or Cueto) or 2x offense and wait to early 70s for first pitcher?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Papi: How many teams?

      • LenFuego says:
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        @Grey: Looks like 12 teams – he has 3 keepers (Altuve, Betts and Lindor), and then will pick at overall picks 48/49. So he has the last pick in the “4th” round and the first pick in the “5th” round.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah

  5. Packers says:
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    Thanks Grey. I love this post. With 6 reserves on our rosters I double dip some vanilla guys with some upside guys and ride the hot hands and match ups in my weekly format.
    1. In a dynasty league 12 teams, 2 players at each position I have Walker and Phillips. Easily my worst situation. I offered Phillips and C. Rodon for Schoop. He has Moncada on reserves so Phillips was going to be his replacement until Moncada plays. He said no. He wants Healy and Rondon for Schoop. If it was redraft I would do it but dynasty lm not sure. I have Seagar and Lamb are 3rd.
    Should I trade Healy and C. Rondon for Schoop? For reference I won the league barely last year, so in a win now mode as always.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Packers: That works! 1. Phillips? Brandon?

      • Packers says:
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        @Grey: yes Brandon Phillips.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Phillips is garbage

  6. Matt says:
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    I like the subtle absence of Price & Strasburg in your “Bonus Feature”… a nice touch.

    How might your SP draft strategy change if you were in a 10-team league with owners that tend to roster 8-10 SP instead of 6, and where owners tend to chase QS & W. Would you feel more inclined to grab an ace?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Matt: No pitchers I say not to draft are in the bonus — in a 10 team league, nothing would change

  7. JB says:
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    when will you be posting your draft room excel spreadsheet?
    Thanks!

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      If this is on the War Room, that comes out later today!

      • peacecoast says:
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        @Jay: this excites me greatly

  8. Matty says:
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    How would you differ the strategy for head-to-head leagues?

    I tend to err on the side of having more late tier pictures- fill everything but catcher then go all SP.. Curious how other Razzballers mix it up for this.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Matty: I wouldn’t, except maybe take an extra starter or two late

      • Matty says:
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        @Grey:
        Thanks.
        This ESPN app has been down long enough that I’m starting to get withdrawals

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          They have been down a while right?

          • JoeG414 says:
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            @Grey:
            Over a week

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Berry accidentally spilled coffee on the server

              • Matty says:
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                @Grey: Dagnabit Berry. Not again.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Haha

  9. Killer B's says:
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    Thanks as always!

    Keeper help please…

    12 team – Keep two players – Custom scoring – 10 offensive categories – 9 Pitching categories which are IP, W, L , SV, K, ERA, WHIP, K/BB, and QS

    Need to pick two of these:

    Jon Lester – 8th round
    Aroldis Chapman – 15th
    Andrew Miller – 20th
    Julio Urias – 21st

    Thanks!

    • Brian says:
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      Lester and Chapman. Pretty easy call me thinks, since holds isn’t a category. They’re the only two with sure stats and no kid gloves.

  10. Clogged Rosterman says:
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    Can you think of any articles that talk about drafting pitchers from a finance angle? (Like, wall street finance… not auction draft finance.) All this talk about investing in safe picks got me thinking about portfolio theory and diversification (thanks?), and how investing in more risky assets can actually reduce your overall risk without dragging down expected returns.

    Maybe beta would be a luck adjusted version of hr/9 or something.? (The guys with high hr/9s could suffer disproportionately as league-wide homers go up, but benefit disproportionately if they stop juicing the damned ball.)

    (I took a class once!)

    Something this pretentious must exist somewhere on fangraphs, right?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Clogged Rosterman: My Cougs recently told me she put money in Shake Shack, I told her don’t invest on an empty stomach, I think we’re doomed…

      • Clogged Rosterman says:
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        @Grey:

        It’s not all bad. The Shake Shack by me also has unnecessarily good wifi. The coffee shop where I usually do work has started shutting off their wifi at 2pm on weekends to be classier, so I wind up there quite a bit. I get an iced tea and glared at.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I do love frozen custard too

  11. Swfcdan says:
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    Is there a way to set the war room stat targets for deeper 16 team leagues? Or is it only set for 10/12 teamers.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Swfcdan: Targets aren’t dynamic

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Grey: So what are they set for, 12 teamers?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, but just assume you need about 90% of the totals

          • Swfcdan says:
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            @Grey: Thought for a 16 team league it would be more like 75% of the total. But ok cool beans.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Well 90% can’t hurt

  12. Theo says:
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    Keeper Question
    10 team, keep up to 10 forever (if I keep 10, I lose my first 10 picks, no minimum)
    Goldy
    Bryant
    Bregman
    Addy Russell
    Betts
    JD Mart
    Benitendi
    Moncada
    Kluber
    Carrasco
    Carlos Martinez

    Who would you throw back?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Theo: Moncada

      • Theo says:
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        Thanks!
        Are Bregman or Martinez worth throwing back in order to get a 10th rd pick?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Nope

  13. S'All Goooood, Man says:
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    I’m torn on how to approach drafting starters in a 10 team H2H league, 7×7 with QS, L. The last three years I’ve followed a similar approach as this regardless of the settings difference and taken the first SP in rounds 6-8 or so.

    The difficult part is the 4 transactions per week limit, which makes streaming hard when you have injuries to your bats and need to stream them as well. Those 4 moves go fast.

    I’m thinking this H2H limited format needs a little more safety at the top of your rotation, as much as it pains me to draft a starter any earlier.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @S’All Goooood, Man: H2H doesn’t need more safety, but limited moves would… If you can’t stream, you need safer SPs

  14. peacecoast says:
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    hi Grey,

    so my league has no innings limit, people usually take 8 or 9 SP in order to compete for W and K. I don’t necessarily want to do that this year but I figure I need at least 7 SP. We are a NSVH league so I can take 6 RP and this can help with the ratios and throw in some K’s too. Now I am keeping 5 badass hitters in the first 5 rounds (goldie, arenado, bryant, rizzo and pollock), can you take a moment first to tell me how badass those first 5 rounds are please? Ok so then my first SP picks will likely be at pick 71 and 74. I hope Cmart is still available there.

    anyway in my situation, starting at pick 71 and 74 and needing 7 or 8 SP, how would that change your pairing suggestions?

    thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @peacecoast: Take an extra starter between Gausman and Smyly

      • peacecoast says:
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        @Grey: did I mention we have once a week FAAB so no streaming. Does that change anything? I am reading in other comments you think that means I need more stability?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, you need slightly better pitching, but unless it’s a crazy deep league, you should be okay with just a tad more pitching

  15. Ace of Spades says:
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    Mr. Grey A

    First off, Thanks for the great analytical work ( and comedic genius ) provided by you and the rest of the Razzball staff. From my own personal rankings, you guys are the top tier and have knocked Ron Shandler into tier two. Nothing against Ron, but you guys are Trout and he is now Bryant or Betts.
    Anyways my question has to do with your pairings. I am in a 14 team auction ( with 10 keepers ) We have 5 starting pitchers, 2 relievers, and one utility pitcher that starts ( could be either ) . We also can have a four man bench ( not required ) . Our league is weekly , so many owners ( smart enough to have $$$ left at the end of the draft ) load them with pitchers so they can start two start pitchers when applicable. I am ( thanks to advice you had given me earlier ) keeping Carrasco ($14 ) and Pineda ( $11 ) . So I am obviously on my way to following your ultimate pairing system with my first two starters….My question is this: given the 14 team ( and the bench spots ) vs the 12 you made these pairings for , is your pairings list still the way to go? or should I perhaps try to take 3 pitchers from the crazy/subjective- good willies areas? or maybe 3 from the atmosphere/condoms and lay off the upside your head? In this years draft studs like Kershaw, Scherzer, Bum, and Sale will probably be thrown back and available. I am taking your advice and not bidding on them to save my money for hitters. Just give me the green light on whether my different format ( 14 teams , bench, ) still applies, or is their some way I should tweak the pairings.
    As always, thanks in advance and keep up the great work.

      • Ace of Spades says:
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        )(

        • nick the dick says:
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          @Cram It: 8====>

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @Cram It: That’s so sexy

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ace of Spades: Thanks! 14 teams doesn’t change much, but keepers can… Players are going to be kept for less than they would normally be drafted for, so you need to bid higher on guys than values you will find… I’d still go with pairings I’ve listed

  16. FrankGrimes says:
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    Yes!

  17. Milarky says:
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    Love the post – just trying to figure out how to apply it to my league settings. I’m in a 10-team keeper where we start 2 at each IF position (including Util), 5 OF, 5 SP and 3 RP, plus a rookie hitter, rookie pitcher, 3 prospects, and 9 additional bench spots.

    The trick is we only allow 1 waiver claim per week, and we charge $5 after your first 5, so most waiver claims need to count for more than streaming. My keepers are Scherzer, Salazar, Stanton, Just Dong, Rizzo, Segura (with prospects Benintendi, Hader and Lourdes Gourriel). What strategy do you think I should go with for my staff?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Milarky: You can’t stream with only one waiver claim, so you need better pitching… I’d grab an extra starter in the Lackey/Gausman range

      • Milarky says:
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        @Grey: Thanks Grey! So given my starting point (Scherzer/Salazar), along with say Gausman as my assumed third SP, can you give me an idea of what you think would be an ideal top 6 SPs given my format? Or an ideal combination of tiers to go with? There are some really ‘good’ SPs available in the draft (i.e. Verlander, Lester, Price, etc.). I’m cool to pass them over until the tier you mentioned – it’s just hard to know how risky to go on passing up pitchers.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Another Gausman, a Velasquez, a Hellickson, a Urias

  18. Cram It says:
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    So many “caveat” questions regarding applying SP draft strategy. Everyone’s league is just so unique. You might want to put in a disclaimer with these posts for all those special snowflakes. Something like…IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER HOW MANY TEAMS ARE IN YOUR LEAGUE.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Cram It: Wow, you went from punctuation boobs to 11 fast!

      • Cram It says:
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        @Grey: Haha. I’m well-rounded.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Like those punctuation boobs!

          • Cram It says:
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            @Grey: I soft-tossed that one for ya.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Appreciated!

    • Big Odio says:
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      @Cram It: I like your way of telling people to think for themselves

      • Cram It says:
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        @Big Odio: The lack thereof must be a Millennial thing.

        • Big Odio says:
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          @Cram It: greys a millenial….cust kayin’

          • Cram It says:
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            @Big Odio: There are always outliers.

  19. Price check on Duff Salazar says:
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    Love this article.

    – Scenario –
    12 man, 11 keeper league (no minimum keep), 25 man rosters, required to have 7 starters

    The starters I am keeping Price, Duffy, Salazar, & Harvey. Who should I target for 5th through 7th stater?

    Kinda thinking the following could be available for drafting:

    -5th-
    Carlos Rondon
    Michael Fulmer
    Robbie Ray
    Anthony DeSclafani
    Tanner Roark

    -6th-
    Drew Smyly
    Steven Matz
    Alexander Reyes
    Alex Cobb
    Adam Conley

    -7th-
    Garrett Richards
    Jeff Samardzija
    Josh Tomlin
    Jordan Zimmermann
    Dan Straily
    Collin McHugh

    Thanks!

  20. Brian says:
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    Love this post, especially because in my NL Only league, I have Lester, Velasquez, and Gray as my three pitcher keepers which seems to line up well. I have two other questions about the crazy 16 team 9×8 mixed league I joined.

    In this league, you can keep 7 – 13 players. Before the real draft, there is a mini-draft to make sure each team has thirteen players. As I’m taking over the team that finished last last year, I would get first crack in the mini-draft, UNLESS I keep more than 7 (e.g. – if I kept 8 players, I don’t get that first eighth round pick — consider it around 112 overall). So my thinking is to only keep seven to ensure I get first crack each round of the mini draft as it’s not a snake draft. I’ve listed potential keepers below and was wondering if a.) I have the right keepers and b.) if I should keep more than 7. The offensive categories are:

    BA Batting Average
    HR Home Runs
    KO Strikeouts (Batter)
    OBP On Base Pct
    R Runs
    RBI Runs Batted In
    SB Stolen Bases
    SDT Singles + Doubles + Triples
    TB Total Bases

    Daily, you start one player at each position and there are 3 OF (no UTIL, MI, CI, etc.)

    Potential keepers:
    Mookie Betts
    Joey Votto
    AJ Pollack
    Corey Kluber
    David Price
    Max Kepler
    Dansby Swanson
    Marcus Semien
    Brad Miller
    Domingo Santana
    Micheal Pineda
    Steven Matz
    Micheal Conforto
    Jim Johnson
    Brad Maurer
    Alex Dickerson

    I was thinking of just keeping the first seven, but I wonder about Matz, Pineda, and Santana, Semien (especially since the vasectomy), and Miller, but I worry about BA, OBP, and batting strikeouts. Does it not matter than much in a 9 category hitting league? Am I only keeping Swanson since you can keep seven to thirteen players every year and even if I think he’s gonna be average this year, he could be a stud keeper down the road? What to do?

    Help! To make a short question out of a longish post — how many would you keep? And which ones?

    Bonus — would you trade Corey Kluber and David Price for Trea Turner and Kenta Madea in this league?

    Thanks so much.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Brian: So, you can keep everyone? Just keep them then, except Conforto, Maurer, Johnson and Dickerson

      I’d take Turner

      • Brian says:
        (link)

        I could keep them all, but I lose a pick for each. Essentially, if I keep more than seven, I lose first crack at picking anyone who wasn’t keptand it’s possible, even likely, that Mikael Franco, Keon Broxton, Zobrist, Grichuk, Paxton, Velasquez, Hwan-Oh, Jake Lamb, Margot, that type of player will be available for the mini-draft (equivalent of rounds 8 – 13). I like the idea of having first pick of the litter and then first pick of each further round.

        For each keeper after seven, I lose a pick in the mini-draft, so I guess it comes down to whether you think any of those players after the first seven are worth keeping over having first shot at everyone who wasn’t kept in a 16-team keeper. Does that change your thinking at all, or would still keep all 13?

        Thanks in advance for the help.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Have you gone thru my rankings? At what point would value no longer apply to your keepers?

          • Brian says:
            (link)

            I have gone through the rankings. It’s hard to tell since I don’t know how many people will be kept as each team will keep between seven and thirteen. There are some teams that don’t even have seven keepers, but there are certainly some with more than seven. I think I’ll go through, make my educated guesses on keepers, and then compare with your rankings. Thanks for the guidance. Also, just acquired Murphy / Turner for Price/Kluber. Thanks!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              It’s hard for me to say too, I think you have decent guys, minus the ones I said, but if you can get better guys, which neither of us knows, then that’s the move

        • Brian says:
          (link)

          Also, I have my choice of trading Kluber and Price for Trea Turner and my choice of Kenta Madea or Daniel Murphy. My gut says Murphy, so I can have Murphy at 2B, Swanson at SS, and an outfield of Turner, Betts, and Pollack. However, that leaves me with no pitching keepers.

          Should I accept Turner and Madea or Turner and Johnson for Price and Kluber. Sorry for all the questions. Once I understand this league better I won’t be so panicky!

          • Grey

            Grey says:
            (link)

            Murphy

  21. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
    (link)

    For all you Yahoo snake drafters, the Razz SP ranks / pairings mean that you can spend the first 8 rounds in a standard league taking top bats + still likely snag the likes of C-Mart (86), Maeda (~100), Duffy (116), and Rich Hill (117) with your next 4 picks.

    • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
      (link)

      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: You never know til the draft room, but if most people follow the Yahoo default rankings, I could see a pretty stress free: (1) Top 10 guy, (2) Correa, (3) Story, (4) Odor, (5) Desmond/Villar, (6) Hanley, (7) J Turner.

      • Jason says:
        (link)

        @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?:

        I’d go Freeman 3rd over story. All my mocks I’ve been constantly been able to get from 4 spot
        Arenado
        Correa
        Freeman
        Odor
        Desmond

        I love it, then I normally look at Carrasco in 6th as my 1st SP. It’s a beautiful thing

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
        (link)

        @Grey: You said it. If that top 7 is attainable, followed by those first 4 to a rotation, you’d also enter the 10th or 11th round ready to have your pick of RPs (Diaz, Oh are around 100, but Wade Davis, Herrera, Giles are all later on).

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Yeah, I likey

    • Brian says:
      (link)

      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: In a Yahoo draft the other day I got a starting staff of Duffy (9), Maeda (10), Shoemaker (18), Rodon (19), Hellickson (20), and Foltynewicz (22). This post wasn’t out yet but I apparently followed it perfectly.

  22. GregJeffries says:
    (link)

    Thanks for the great read Grey. This is excellent stuff.
    Need to choose 5 keepers. 15 team 5×5 Rotiss.
    (If I decide to keep less than five, I go into the supplemental draft which usually has a few decent players to choose from). Thanks again!
    – G. Sanchez
    – Hanley
    – Altuve
    – Betts
    – K. Seager
    – K. Davis
    – Schwarber
    – Arrieta
    – Darvish
    – Duffy

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @GregJeffries: Thanks!
      – Seager
      – Hanley
      – Altuve
      – Betts
      –Darvish

      Tough choices

      • GregJeffries says:
        (link)

        Thanks. Glad you like YU over Arrieta!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem

  23. Tim says:
    (link)

    Even thought Goldschmidt is the better option, if you have the chance to acquire Rizzo as a round 9 keeper instead of Goldy as a round 1 that’s an easy choice to get AR right?

    • Lance

      Lance says:
      (link)

      @Tim: I definitely would. Rizzo @ 9th rd value is gorgeous.

  24. Trumps Wig says:
    (link)

    10 team, keep 18 league. Debating last 2 spots. I will list the player followed by his potential spot and roster depth to give an idea of how they would slot in with the other 16:

    Robertson (RP3)
    A Sanchez (SP5)
    Velasquez (SP5)
    Peraza (MI1)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Velasquez (SP5)
      Peraza (MI1)

  25. Test Kitchen says:
    (link)

    Grey,

    Are you going to do a post about your strategy for drafting closers? If so, I can just wait for the post.

    Mostly, I am wondering what sort of things you balance/weigh in deciding when to draft a closer and what sort of closers you pair with one another and with your pitching staff.

    Lastly, would being in a league with a weekly lineup change your strategy at all?

    Thanks in advance

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Weekly league doesn’t change anything with closers… SAGNOF

  26. tigercalvin says:
    (link)

    Need your advice Grey. I’m in a 15 keeper dynasty league (10 teams involved). I’m struggling with my 15th pick. Would you keep Jonathon Schoop or Taijuan Walker. I am light on SP, but like the upside of Schoop. Or if you think i should keep both, and drop someone else. Below is my team..

    C- Buster Posey
    1B- Carlos Santana
    2B – Jason Kipnis
    SS- Francisco Lindor
    3B – Anthony REndon
    OF – Mike Trout
    OF- JD Martinez
    OF- Ian Desmond
    Util – Stephen Piscotty
    Util- Khris Davis
    Util- ?

    SP- Justin Verlander
    SP- StephenStrasburg
    SP-?
    SP-?
    SP-?
    RP- Roberto Osuna
    RP- Craig Kimbrel

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Walker

      • tigercalvin says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Thanks Grey!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem

  27. JoeG414 says:
    (link)

    Alex Reyes: Not cleared to throw following physical

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I saw, it’s early

  28. Michael says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey! Have V-Day!

    Need a bit of advice. 12 Man H2H 6×6 (HR, RBI, R, SB, OBP, SLG) (IP, SV, ERA, WHIP, K/9, QS)
    (28 Man Roster)
    C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, OF, OF, OF, Util, Util
    SP, SP, SP, RP, P, P, P (Rest are bench spots)

    My keepers that I have decided (8): Betts, Goldy, Freeman, Pollock, Story, Jose Abreu, Bumgarner (Abreu + Freeman will be my 2 Util spots)

    My last keeper would be a choice of: Matt Kemp, Jason Kipnis, Matt Carpenter, Jose Bautista, Rick Porcello

    What do you think? Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      You too! What did you get me? Kipnis

  29. Dave says:
    (link)

    Good Morning Grey,
    Great column.
    Unrelated question
    I’m in a 10 team 5×5 h2h league.
    We keep one player.
    Who would you keep Goldy or Torenado?
    I’m leaning Coors guy but what say you?
    Looking forward to your wisdom and having another successful season
    Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Goldy

  30. Commish Cauda says:
    (link)

    20-team, H2H-Points, Auction League w/$300 cap….Kershaw $71 OR Freeman $45 + Kyle Seager $26?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Freeman

  31. Mike says:
    (link)

    This is so helpful – thank you!

    I’m in a 10 team weekly league with 4 SP slots, 2 RP, and 1 P. No inninngs max, no max starts. I’m thinking I go for an SP in tier 3 and another in 4, then don’t draft any starters until the Reyes upside types and look to fill the weekly roster with FA 2-start guys. Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Sure you’ll be fine but I’d draft another starter before that

  32. Bigly Leagues says:
    (link)

    Please help keep 3:
    Kyle Seager (give up 6th round pick)
    Ian Kinsler (give up 7th round pick)
    Justin Verlander (give up 10th round pick)
    Trevor Story (give up 18th round pick)
    Marco Estrada (give up 19th round pick)
    Rich Hill (give up 22nd round pick)
    Odubel Herrera (give up 22nd round pick)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Story, Seager, Verlander

  33. Nightpandas says:
    (link)

    What do you think about moving Harvey for Reyes in a keeper? Sounds like Reyes may have issues as well

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      He doesn’t have issues like Harvey, I’d take Reyes

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Nightpandas: Oh my God, you totally jinxed him!

  34. Big Odio says:
    (link)

    When do rudys dollar values come out?….asking for a friend

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Yesterday

    • they are out! just go into Tools/2017 Preseason Player Rater.

  35. Q says:
    (link)

    Any differences here in a H2H lg with limited moves? I only get 5 moves a week, so I can stream to an extent, but it can be tough since everyone else is using their moves for that too.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      If you limited moves, you should have slightly better pitching, definitely a starter from There’s Safety in…

  36. Robert says:
    (link)

    I know you said you like this strategy for 12 team leagues and shallower, but in a 10 team league with additional pitching stats: Losses, QS, and K/9, is there a specific tier you recommend hitting an extra pitcher either early or midway to shore up some of those other stats?

    We get to keep 4, and I’m already winning the league because I get to keep Betts, Bryant, Arenado, and Votto, so I’m in a place to grab some pitching earlier given the strength and depth of MI as well.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      K/9 can be helped with MRs, QS needs solid, top tier pitching… You need a starter as your first pick

      • Robert says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Thanks. I don’t know if you have someone already working on the excel version of the warroom, but I normally download it and tweak them myself. I’m currently working on updating it from last year’s file on my own, but if I get it done before anyone else who has volunteered I will send it along.

  37. The Great Knoche says:
    (link)

    Alex Reyes elbow MRI

  38. Ralph Lifshitz

    Ralph Lifshitz says:
    (link)

    If this Alex Reyes news came like two weeks later, I’d be ruined!

    • The Great Knoche says:
      (link)

      @Ralph Lifshitz: Can we ask that all pitchers planning on having elbow problems please let us know now?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
        (link)

        This is true, before drafts is good time to know

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Why?

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Cause I would own him in waaaaaaaaaaay too many places

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Ah, yeah, same same… I think… Honestly, I likely would’ve looked like a genius with him, b/c I have him ranked way after most

  39. jon says:
    (link)

    your favorite non closer that will end up closer ?

    maybe Bedrosian? Nate Jones? Carter Capps? Baraclough? was hoping for a slick grab from a good team though..

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I have Bedrosian above Street… I think he is the closer majority of this year

      • jon says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        Wonderful news my friend! Bedrosian it is!

  40. ChiCitySox23 says:
    (link)

    I have the #2 pick in my draft. I also have the 4th pick in the second round. My plan was to take Goldschmidt at 2. We just turned in our keepers and I have been pulling players off my rankings based on your position rankings that wont be available to draft. All of the first baseman are available. At SS, (based on your rankings) Correa-Russell are all going to be kept by other owners. Am I better off taking Mochado at #2 and getting another first basemen in the second or third round? Like Votto, Abreu or Hanley? Ill hang up and listen.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      No, Goldy’s better than Machado

  41. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey – what do you think of Bautista as an OF 3 or UTL in 12 team OBP OPS leagues (no AVG)?

    He’s not very sexy, but wouldn’t he outproduce or match JD Mart in that format? Injury concern is of course larger; but his 30 hr 90 runs 90 RBI handful of SB looks a lot better when you think of a .360/.370 obp rather than a .240 avg….

    Thanks!

    • The Great Knoche says:
      (link)

      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: Better, but I dont trust he’s getting to 500 ABs to put up those numbers. Rather have JD.

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
        (link)

        @The Great Knoche: would definitely prefer JD, but it looks like Bautista is coming super cheap from an auction draft standpoint.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
        (link)

        Agree with The Great Knoche

      • Grey

        Grey says:
        (link)

        Don’t like him in general… Injury risk, old, OBP is okay, but lots of guys have decent OBP

        • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
          (link)

          @Grey: yeah – the more i look at it, if I want a cheap obp asset with power, a Joc Pederson type is a much better option.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
            (link)

            Much better!

  42. Bill Lumbergh says:
    (link)

    Grey: 12-team dynasty roto league. Had good success selling guys just before their inevitable decline. Who should I cash out on next: Kershaw, Scherzer, or Mad Bum? Don’t want to wait too long… yes I own all 3 and it is a money league!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Whoever you can get most for… Kershaw

  43. Jon says:
    (link)

    Long-term keeper league, should I deal Andrew Miller to add Tim Anderson? 5×5 stats.

    Anderson would slot in at MI for me this year as I already have Bogaerts. I like adding a riskier Anderson since I have the stability of XB, but I also have JP Crawford as a minor league keeper this year and he can be “called up” in June.

    Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I’d take Anderson, but not sure you need him w/ Crawford

  44. Jibbs says:
    (link)

    One of my favourite articles every year!

    Grey, re: pitcher pairings, in my big money H2H 10×10 dynasty league I’ve got:

    Kluber, Cueto, Tanaka, Duffy, Greinke, Joe Ross, Chapman and Britton.

    I like the the balance but think I may struggle with K% weekly, though Chappy/Britton will buffer it a bit.

    Would you want to flip any of these guys for a different style of pitcher for better balance?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Thanks! I don’t like Greinke, would flip him if I could

  45. Cole says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey,
    Great post, I don’t think it lacked clarity anywhere. I joined a 12 team h2h cats league. The pitching seems to favor high k/9 starers since IP, K, and K/9 are 3 of the categories. I have a keeper decision to make. I am keeping Rich Hill since he costs my 14th rd pick. The two I have to choose from are Forsythe in the 11th or Lackey in the 10th. I know both pitchers are old and not exciting, but I’m leaning Lackey since he pairs well with Hill in that both are decent strikeout pitchers and maybe Lackey mitigates Hill’s injury/regression/old man risk a little. What do you think?

  46. sh says:
    (link)

    Grey my favorite post this year.

    I am in a new 16 team, head to head 8 player keeper league.
    Question with the way my league point system is set up, is Arenado is projected to have the most points for a hitter, overall that would put him in the 20 spot.

    Would you pick 2 SP in this league in the first two rounds?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Yeah, I’d go heavy for SPs in that league

  47. Q says:
    (link)

    Anything change in a QS league instead of wins?

    Also–any thought to having Rudy (or soneone) give $ amounts per category, like in the player rater, but with your projections instead of Steamer? I can probably figure out the math myself, but, you know….

      • Q says:
        (link)

        @Grey: yeah I know. But it’s with all Steamer numbers & prices, instead of yours. But I’m sure I can approximate them without much trouble

        You da man. This is one of my favorite 3-4 week stretches of the year. Terrific as always

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem!

  48. Chillsee says:
    (link)

    Security Blankets
    1-4

    2500 Jokes
    5-8

    Illusions, Delusions, Allusions
    9-12

    Slowly Remove Hand **
    13-15

    Lose Lg if Strasburg/Price Top 10
    16-17

    Buckle Up
    18-21

    Safety in Numbers
    22-27

    Crazy is Super Subjective
    28-34

    Get Out
    35-39

    Good Willies
    40-47

    Balance Like Atmosphere
    48-53

    Daisy Flowers
    54-58

    The Board
    59-66

    $1 Store Condoms
    67-75

    Greys Upside Ya Head
    76-90

    Joie De Vivre
    91-99

    Sweatpants
    100-114

    Apollo Creed Rocky IV
    115-127

    Odds & Near-The-Ends
    128-135

    Cankles
    136-end

    For Clarity…

  49. Javier says:
    (link)

    This article is very helpful.

    Keep up the good work Razzball has become one of my fav websites.

    Gracias!

Comments are closed.