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Michael Cuddyer

I’m taking a stand. I officially want to change Thursday to Slowday. Is anyone else with me? No? OK, well, anyways, it’s another slow day for baseball on Thursday, with just four games in the evening slate. Personally, I prefer days where there are 12 games or so to play in the evening, allowing for numerous possibilities. On a day like today, the importance of having one or two guys different from everyone else can’t be understated. Now to hit on that person or two is another story.

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A scary scene yesterday for my fantasy team. WHY DOES THE UNIVERSE MOCK ME?! I’m not saying it was Ancient Aliens, but it was Ancient Aliens. Everything was lined up for my success, then Carlos Carrasco was a little too lined up by Melky. I don’t wish ill on anyone, but couldn’t Melky have hit T.J. House. He’s got a solid foundation. He could take the hit. Was this the Fantasy Baseball Overlord and his infinite deviousness? Why is your deviousness so infinite? In a pool of your deviousness, do you have to lifeguard it constantly? Seems dangerous. Ugh, Carrasco? More like Srir-ouch-a, I’m going to get sauced. The Indians are saying Carrasco didn’t suffer a concussion, but we’ll see. This might open a spot for Danny Salazar. I went to grab him in every league, but he was gone already. Then again, Jhoulys Chacin just signed a minor league deal with the Indians, and Salazar was seen riding in the rain, while the song, Just Once, played on the radio as he cried. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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bryant_park

Those of you that live in the New York City area or have visited the world’s greatest metropolis have likely walked past Bryant Park. Perhaps you even stopped to take a leak or even sat down on a nice sunny day to do some fantasy baseball research and adjust your lineup. Located between between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and between 40th and 42nd Streets in Midtown Manhattan, Bryant Park is actually built on top of an underground building containing the archives for the New York Public Library. I know… who gives a shift. Besides, I’m more of a Washington Square Park kinda guy anyway.

For those of you that thought Bryant Park was the name of the Chicago Cubs spring training stadium, guess again. That would be Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona, which happens to be the largest spring training stadium (by capacity) with room for 15,000 people. [Jay’s Note: Had amazing sight lines, rugged, yet modern feel. 8/10, would go again.] I think that translates into 25,000 little people, but my math could be wrong. Despite his herculean efforts this spring, not only did they not rename the stadium after him, but Kris Bryant was denied the opportunity of being on the Opening Day roster. Instead, Theo Epstein gave us all some bullshart excuse that he needs more time in the minors. Listen Theo, say what you want, but there isn’t a baseball fan north of the border that doesn’t believe this isn’t a service time maneuver. I’m not a Boras fan, but I love how he called him out on this. Even Cubs manager Joe Maddon has said that he’d love to have him in the lineup. I guess I’ll see you in a few weeks Kris.

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It is about that time…you’re checking Grey’s daily updates, dreaming about your draft position, and in need of those last minute tips. As high-profile fantasy leagues like Tout Wars and broadcasts begin to infuse OBP an advanced way to look at player productivity, this is an effort to provide you with more data for your OBP drafts this year. First, a few notes to consider while reading…

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If you’ve lived in an area with access to the major Turner Broadcasting networks at any point since 1997, you’re probably familiar with the popular holiday movie A Christmas Story. The plot of the film revolves around Ralphie’s desire to obtain a BB gun (or more specifically a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle – but who can remember for sure) for Christmas that year. What nine-year-old boy wouldn’t want a BB gun? I know I would’ve loved one. All I usually got were a bunch of socks and sweaters and other boring stuff that I couldn’t care less about. What the hell, Mom?

But I digress. Just like Ralphie, we’ve all wanted that shiny, new BB gun at some point. Without those BBs, how would’ve young Ralphie fared against the likes of Black Bart and his crew? This fantasy season, we want those BBs instead of Aunt Clara’s homemade gift of choice. That brings us to this week’s exercise. Watch A Christmas Story tonight and then post your review in the comments. Wait, that’s not it, though feel free to discuss the movie if you’re so inclined.

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Like the 2nd basemen to target, this is necessary. You want to take flyers on late middle infielders. I like a few top shortstops this year: Hanley, Desmond and Tulo, but if you don’t get them, don’t sweat it and definitely don’t ‘panic reach’ for another shortstop just because you feel like you need one. This is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Lichtenstein) supplement to the top 20 shortstops for 2015 fantasy baseball. The players listed have a draft rank after 200 on other sites. Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2015 projections. Anyway, here’s some shortstops to target for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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Greetings Razzball nation, and welcome to another edition of The Numbers Game. Suffering through a long week at work? Looking for a break? Come along with me on a trip to a little town called Splitsville (disclaimer: not a real place). I guarantee you that we’ll have a delightful time there (satisfaction not guaranteed). At the very least, I have a lukewarm inclination that this post will help to pass the time during your afternoon trip to the can (sure, why not). I’ll take it!

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kershawshank

Well, I thought I was extremely clever when I came up with the title for this one, but then a quick Google search proved that there were others that were clever before I thought I was being clever. Darn you Google for knowing so much! And darn you Al Gore for inventing the internet! Thanks to the internet, a guy can’t get away with anything these days. Google, Facebook and Twitter have made it next to impossible for a guy to get a reach around in the back of the bowling alley from the girl that rents the shoes without everyone knowing, and every one of those people finding out about it. But I digress…

As draft dates draw nearer, I decided it was time to put together and share my head-to-head points league rankings. But before I do, I wanted to let you in on my process. Points leagues are all about one thing. Points. It’s the only category that counts for jack squat. I wonder how many dudes out there actually have the name Jack Squat? I guess it’s better than Richard Nose. I don’t care if my player gets 100 points because he had 100 RBIs or because he stole 100 bases. Whatever he needs to do to bring home the bacon is A-O-K with me. In Japanese that would be “Aoki”. I don’t even care if it’s turkey bacon! Points are points. So ranking players within the same position comes down to who will score more points. I’ll touch on comparing players across positions in my next post.

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In past years, I’ve said the following analogy. There’s years of looking up to your father, whether you agree all the time or not. Then, one day, he takes a poop on your couch. You take him to the hospital; he’s in need of some sort of psychology examination. If the tests come back conclusive that he pooped the couch simply out of laziness, then that’s ESPN. If tests come back that he’s gone crazy, then that’s Yahoo. That’s inaccurate this year. It still holds true for ESPN, but Yahoo seems like it’s taking steps to correct past mistakes. They’ve lost The Noise from the composite rankings, and he’s always said baseball wasn’t his thing. (What is his thing…well…) Funston, Behrens, Del Don and Pianowski do a conscientious job with their rankings. No, I don’t agree with all of them, I’ll get to that. But they do take the time to actually rank, which I’m 99.9% sure can’t be said of ESPN. Yahoo could easily phone-in their rankings like ESPN, but they don’t. That is, indeed, a point for them. Yahoo still seems to be in love the stolen base and guys that can be labeled as ‘hot, unproven bats.’ They don’t rank nearly deep enough and they have some of the funkiest position eligibility decisions, but these all seem to be coming from places of conscious decisions and not, “Tristan, could you rank for everyone today? I just saw Stephen A. Smith in the elevator and he asked me to Au Bon Pain for lunch. Thanks.” That’s a voicemail message that Cockcroft gets every day. Anyway, here’s where my 2015 fantasy baseball rankings differ from the 2015 Yahoo fantasy baseball rankings:

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The royal we already went over all the hitters for 2015 fantasy baseball rankings. That’s not the “royal we” as that term usually implies. It was me writing it alone while wearing a Burger King crown. I refuse to draft a top starter where they are usually drafted. Unlike hitters, you need six starters, depending on your league depth. Simple math tells us there’s plenty of starters to go around. Simple Math, “Stop putting words in my mouth!” In most leagues, there’s a ton of guys on waivers that can help you — all year. Not just in April, and then they disappear. With the help of the Stream-o-Nator, you can get by with, say, three starters while streaming the rest. To read more about streaming as a draft strategy. There’s also the fact that three stats by starters are difficult to predict due to luck. Wins, ERA and WHIP are prone to shift due to which way the ball bounces and whether or not the guys behind the pitchers can score runs. Finally, the best starters can give you four categories. The best hitters can give you five categories. As always, where I see tiers starting and stopping are included and my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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