Player Page Matches

Fantasy baseball writers and analysts play in a lot of leagues. Take it from any mind on this site, it’s very hard to say no to leagues with great competition. After multiple years of keeping my ‘portfolio’ compact, this was the year my theoretical box started it’s adventure down a slippery slope.

In deciding after draft season to seriously focus on about five of my 11 leagues of which I found most near and dear to my heart… and wallet… I noticed one player I had stumbled onto more shares of than I ever envisioned (minus James Paxton).

Gerrit Cole.

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Welcome to this wonderful Sunday chalked full of baseball, great food and adult beverages. I don’t know about you guys, but I will be breaking open a bottle of Sambuca on this lovely day as it’s family tradition for every family get together. If you’re not familiar with Sambuca it’s an Italian liquor that taste like black liquorice. Anyways, ever since I was a little kid we’ve always had Italian themed dinners growing up because my dad “thought” he was Italian. It wasn’t till a few years ago where my cousin ran the family tree and discovered we had no Italian in us whatsoever, in fact we are predominately English. Despite the devastating news we continue to eat Italian themed dinners and drink Sambuca. Moving on to the real reason you are here, Gio Gonzalez ($15,600) is my golden egg of the day and I would only use him in GPP plays. Gio has started the season off hotter than helles and I’m banking on him to win me more than just eggs. The Nationals are the 4th highest favorite on the board so there is some risk but that is why this is strictly a GPP play. Historically he’s pitched well against the Phillies and they were ranked towards the bottom vs lefties last season. This season they are sporting a 25% K rate against lefties which is more of the reason to target Gio. Don’t let us down Gio, we are all counting on you.

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We back baby!  The Pitcher Profiles are back!

It’s a brand new season, so we got some brand new digs!  Hah not really, just some new GIFfing magic to help make the posts pop a little, and see some pitches a little clearer.  Even better content if these posts are too long, and you just watch the GIFs then scroll to the ranks!

If you’re new to the Profiles, I break down a starter’s outing pitch-by-pitch, to try and portray how they “really” looked.  We’ve seen multiple guys have a lucky BABIP day – or a few flares fall against them – that can really skew their numbers (especially early in the year).  The Profiles try to help give an eye level account, leaving nothing to question.  I also developed my own “Gamescore+” stat, that I will continue scoring for pitchers getting Profiled.  With Statcast data now out there, I still need to work with Rudy to automate it!

So to our subject today, I know I’ve Profiled Sean Manaea before…  Here’s his 2016 Profile, but I decided to go back to the well and see if he’s maintaining his good stuff that he showed in the second half last year.  Plus in that Profile, it was his Major League debut and I thought he looked a lot better once he settled into the rotation by August and September.  I mostly hope and pray he looks good in a tough matchup @TEX so Grey would feel bad about laughing at my high Manaea rank.  My order of baseball priorities – 1) Brewers 2) Proving Grey wrong 3) My SP Ranks 4) My fantasy teams.  Here’s how Manaea looked yesterday afternoon in the desert:

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Me watching Lance McCullers:

The genius thing in that gif is the moment where Tom doesn’t seem like he knows which way to twirl the pool stick, looks about to mess up, and crack a smile, then spins and starts walking away.  Scorsese likely had cleaner takes, but it brilliant that he uses a slightly flubby take because the character Vince is so full of himself even when he shouldn’t be.  There were no such flubs in Lance McCullers’ start yesterday (6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks).  May your God strike me down if this guy isn’t so butter that I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter sees him and says, “You are more butter than I can ever hope to be,” then I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter bows repeatedly, backing out of the room, saying, “Your butterness, I am not worthy.”  As I said repeatedly in the preseason, I was thisclose to putting McCullers in my top 20 starters overall, but his health deterred me.  Well, de-turd this, because he looks healthy and I wish I owned McCullers everywhere.  If he throws 180+ IP, he could be a top ten starter.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Draft season is done and over.  Did that seem to drag or what?  I’m pretty sure I had a draft every night for about 11 straight days there.  I’m ready for real baseball.  You can close out of your cheat sheets now.  Take a breathe….OK stop….time to get on the RCL grind!  Grab your caffeine vessel of choice and start researching tomorrow’s batty calls.  

We’ll be looking at all the draft data that all of you contributed from the evening of February 22nd all the way until this past Sunday night.  That’s just over a month of draft data to break down, dissect and tear apart.  Next week, we’ll be able to dig into all those RCL teams a bit, but this week, it’s all about those drafts.  Without further ado, let’s dig into how the RCLers drafted this year.

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It’s really hard not to overreact, I understand.

With that said, I think that it’s best Madison Bumgarner was the human highlight reel of opening day as opposed to somebody like Mallex Smith or Tuffy Gosewich(!!!).

The early season star of 2016 was the pun machine himself, Trevor Story. I’d consider him a best case scenario for any early season performer. Six homers in his first four games, on his way to a 27 home run season over less than 400 ABs. Story was a top 30 pick this year, all after that early season explosion, and I’ll admit, there was a league where I paid that price for him.

With Bumgarner holding the headlines for the next few days, there is no need for overreaction and desperate projection for his rest-of-season value. We know what he’ll give back. Very, very good value.

Is there a chance somebody else stands out? Of course, and you’ll likely have to make a tough decision to give up that ’25th’ man on your roster as sacrifice if you want to believe in the hype…

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The last week of the spring always breeds injuries, demotions, and the occasional leap frogging.  Or in some cases, Dusty is going to be simply be Dusty.  But I will get to that little blurb in a few.  So with the injury news to T.T., the Red Sox order is now Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, and then maybe Bob Stanley.  Joe Kelly is the interesting name here because I always thought he was at least in the conversation for the secondary chair behind Tyler.  This is interesting because if, and only if, Kimbrel goes down, the man on the spot may very well be Joe freaking Kelly.  The same guy that said that he could win a Cy Young last year.  Adjusting to a newer role is always a tough spot, even though he appeared in 14 games as a RP last year.  His K-rate spiked, his walk rate halved, and his ability to be touched for hits disappeared.  Not unusual for former starting pitchers, but this was kind of a drastic change from what we saw as a starter. He is not the second coming of Luke Gregerson circa 2012, but is a fine enough arm with enough quality in it to garner the counting stats needed in Thorny’s stead. Let’s see what else is happening in the set-up facet of the game and update the final preseason Holds chart before the games actually mean something…

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It’s been a long tradition here at Razzball, passed on from generation to generation by word of…keyboard; don’t draft a starter in the first round.  There always seems to be those faces in the crowd that will argue until they are blue in the face that Kershaw is worth a top 2 pick.  All leagues are different, of course.  There are leagues, such as NFBC leagues or other leagues with limited moves where quality innings are hard to come by that top pitchers make more sense.  However, we tend to focus on the ESPN 12 team leagues we know and love, the RCLs.  In this format, you’re doing yourself a disservice drafting a first round pitcher.  I’ve said it, “I’m not here to suggest that if you draft a pitcher in the first round, you’ll lose the league, but you’re not doing yourself any favors.”  Grey has said it, “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.”  Countless other top RCLers have echoed the same sentiment.  Yet, there is Clayton Kershaw with an ADP of 10.5 and a high pick of #2 overall.  Just last week in an RCL I put together there was a spirited discussion as a drafter took Kershaw 4th overall.  The debate raged on as this drafter went on to take Max Scherzer in the 2nd round, 21st overall.  There were talks of “1/6th of my GS will now have elite ratios” and “Elite starters are so valuable with all this offense around the league”.  I’m not typically one to throw out anecdotal claims, so let’s look at some cold, hard numbers to see if the old spiel holds true.

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What’s the most common phrase you’ve heard this offseason among the fantasy community?

Steals are scarce is one. James Paxton is my sleeper might be another contender – I’m guilty of this one. How about player x is injury prone? This is one that I’ve heard numerous times, and for good reason.

There are a lot of players whom are properly tagged as a risk to not stay on the field. However, I always find myself stepping back from discussion whenever I hear the claim as I determine what the actual standard is for a player being prone to injury.

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

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Excuse the exposition and this clunky intro into aforementioned exposition, but here’s the catchers to target, 1st basemen to target, 2nd basemen to targetshortstops to target and something to stick to your dartboards to target.  These 3rd basemen to target are being drafted after 200 overall.  Keep in mind, nephew (and five niece readers), your Uncle Grey likes to have a corner man drafted by the time these guys appear, so you’re looking at potential utility men more than anything.  Now, this is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Indonesia) supplement to the top 20 3rd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2016 projections.  Anyway, here’s some 3rd basemen to target for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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