The Razzball Pod is back, and we open with the somberest of news with the tragic passing of Jose Fernandez and what it meant to the baseball community. But hopefully all of our saddened feelings can be assuaged by remembering why we love fantasy baseball, and thinking ahead of what will come in 2017! On today’s show, we mock the first 3 rounds of the 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft! As you’d expect, Grey constantly smatters me with “I hate that pick” of which he gets an armageddon of gongs. THE GONG WILL BE HERE FOREVER, GREY! Here’s our latest edition of the Razzball Baseball Podcast, now with more – you guessed it – gongs!

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As this is our final Monday of the regular season, I was about to go out all silly with the last Pitcher Profile of the season, but the pitching world – and the sports world as a whole – woke up Sunday morning to the news of the heartbreaking passing of Jose Fernandez. The young phenom was such a pleasure to watch; not only for his youthful exuberance, but his pure pitching stuff seemed to somehow reflect that personality. Monster fastball, video game slider, and he could hit the ball too! Fantasy, and well sports in general, brings people together in the sense that we can just share something intangible – the spirit of a team, momentum of a game, the thrill of winning… Or just experiencing, together, the personality of one of the game’s greats. So instead of merely reflecting on a life taken from us too soon, I felt we should take this slice of time we spend together talking about pitching/fantasy baseball/sports and celebrate Jose Fernandez with a pitcher profile on his last start. Unsurprisingly, it was another absolute gem. Here’s how JoFer looked the final game he toed the rubber:

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rel-baseball-logo-new-2016-wsThe regular season in the first REL season has concluded! In the AL, a strong second half finish from The Tribe vaulted the Indians into the World Series, winning the first AL pennant. In the other corner, standing a combined 254 feet weighing 3,000 pounds (I dunno, that math might be WAY off!), the Washington Nationals pick up the NL pennant. It really wasn’t a contest the whole season in the NL!

The inaugral World Series (final 2-week H2H playoff) has already begun, and it’s a razor close 6-3-1 lead thus far by the Nationals, with all categories neck-and-neck. If you’d like to check out coolest and most prestigous final in all of fantasy baseball (no hyperbole there!), you can track the matchup on our 2016 World Series page. Dope, right?!

For the other 28 franchises, this is our final post to reflect on the 2016 season that was… We’re all prepping for the offseason with some hopeful Winter trades and praying our parent clubs make smart offseason decisions. Here’s our regular season wrap-up of the Razzball Elite League:

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Turn off your football and stop worrying about the weather getting colder, it’s still baseball time! We’re back with another edition of the Razzball Pod to prepare for the last week-and-a-half of action including Giancarlo Stanton returning to the starting line-up, the hottest hitters in baseball the past two weeks, and where Hanley Ramirez will rank in 2017. Somehow Grey likes the oldies now! But we make up for it projecting where Trea Turner is going to rank as well! Dude is inhuman! We also talk a few pitcher stream options for the next few days, and wrap with your commenter questions. Here’s the latest edition of the Razzball Pod, now with less air conditioning!

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So for a lot of these puppies I pump out here for Razzball (That makes sense in oldspeak terms right?! You’re not picturing me birthing a litter under Grey’s desk at the Razzball office, right?! RIGHT?!), I write the intro before a pitcher’s start to unsully my biases so you can read how the pitcher looked in real-time. Yeahhhh, football is on during Sundays now… It’s tough to multi-task watching the Panthers, RedZone, AND baseball! Alas, for this week’s installment of Pitcher Profiling, I had already known the outcome before breaking it down. The title should give it away as well!

I lucked out and nabbed Ivan Nova in several leagues just on a streaming whim within his first few starts on the Pirates, and was reaping the rewards of a late-season pitching surge. All hail Searage! I actually read an interview with Frank Herbert that the planet Dune was actually being mined for “Magic Searage Dust”, but it wasn’t literary-sounding enough, so he just went with “Spice”. Authors are nothing but lazy bums! Which speaking of, I picked a dude who got shellacked and didn’t pitch too deep… But I wanted to take a second look at how he… well, looked (lazy again!), to see if I should just cut bait and move on, or hold onto the most recent Searage reclamation project through the finish line. Here’s how Nova fared pitch-by-pitch, and hopefully a helpful treatises on if you should hold him as well:

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The final stretch run is here! For all of you out there in your H2H semis or finals – or wrapping up your final push in your Roto tables – Grey and I discuss some of the news & notes around the Majors like Matt Moore‘s must-own-ability and if you need to own Kendrys Morales. Morales then shoots us into an ESPN vs. Yahoo position eligibility tangent! On the one hand, Yahoo has no consistency, on the other, ESPN can’t keep their fantasy App from crashing when football floods their servers! Then we get to your comments and tweets, which were all about keepers for 2017. We throw out a few value names, and talk some guys we might like as sleepers next season. Here’s the latest edition of the Razzball Pod, now with more British accents!

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Who could forget our first visit over to Finnegan’s?! Grabbin’ a pint, singin’ some odes, and getting so sloshed we’re coming back for mo’!

As we saw in his first career start last year, Brandon Finnegan looked kinda blah to me. And after an early-season near no-hit bid against the Cubs, Finnegan’s effectiveness was a range from blah-to-awful. His walk rate was terrible especially next to an equally atrocious K-rate, and Finnegan could not be further off my radar. But suddenly some Ks started popping up with equally sudden success, which beat writers reported could be contributed to learning a change-up from Dan Straily. After heavily using what I’m assuming was a different change-up grip at the start of the season through his first 4 starts (close to 25% of the time), Finnegan then barely threw it 10% of the time over his next 21 starts . As I mentioned in that pitcher profile from last year, his change-up looked pretty below average and I’m guessing he more-or-less scrapped it from his main arsenal. But over his last 4 starts, he’s got an insane 35:8 K:BB in 25.0 IP with a 2.16 ERA. I obviously haven’t watched too much Finnegan, but I have added him in several of my leagues due to glowing reports on this new change-up (and of course, recent result), so I decided to profile him to see how it’s really looking. Here’s how he fared yesterday afternoon against the Bucs:

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REL baseball logo newWow, this is our penultimate league-wide post! In only one-and-a-half weeks, the first REL World Series will see its first pitch.

Even for the non-contenders, it’s September roster expansion time! A lot of prospects have gotten the call, and several big splashes have been made with the final FAAB dollars teams have remaining.

To the standings, and in the AL, what a push from The Tribe! After jostling with the Blue Jays the past few weeks, they took a commanding 11.5 point lead as scores wrapped this morning. The Blue Jays aren’t out of it yet though… In the NL, it’s been the Nats all along, who continue their dominance in the first year. Here’s how week 23 went down in the 2016 REL League:

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The gang is back together! With Grey surviving his weekend with Grandpa Albright, we talk a few of the new rookies on the block with rosters expanding like Yoan Moncada and Raimel Tapia. We then debate where Brian Dozier will rank next year and take a look at the second half HR leaders. I tried my best to trick Grey and have Jedd Gyorko count twice! Then we try out a new game of “would you stream me?” for pitchers down the stretch, and take a look at a few other streamer hitters for the final month. Here’s the latest edition of the Razzball Pod:

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REL baseball logo newDude, it’s September already?! This season has absolutely flown by… Talk about your cliche open! We say this every year, and I think I said this in a similar open… I’m at a lack of creativity during the grind!

With rosters expanding today, it should be a fun final 2-and-a-half-weeks of stashing as the non-competitors head into the offseason. For the races though – the AL is looking like it’s going to be a brutal finish! The Tribe take a 1.5 point lead this morning, after being tied with the Blue Jays yesterday. TIED at this point of the season! Out of control… Unfortunately the NL is less intriguing, with the Cubs continuing to make a little bit of noise, but not enough to really challenge the Nats. Here’s how week 22 went down in the 2016 REL League:

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