Liner notes from the Razzball fantasy baseball meeting:

Grey: Hey Sky, you should do a piece on Chris Johnson.

Sky: Chris Johnson? Tennessee Titans? Football season’s over, why exactly would I do that?

Grey: You goof-tard, I’m talking about the Braves’ Chris Johnson.

Sky: The only Chris Johnson I’m familiar with from baseball plays for the Houston Astros.

Grey: You’ve gotta be kidding me…dude, just go back to your fantasy football hidey-hole!

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Truth be told, I almost made Logan Morrison my discount double check post for first basemen but decided ‘nah, I’ll cheap out and go with an already draftable commodity in Kendrys Morales cuz I’m lazy like that’. Then Grey said ‘only one OF? Seriously, how lazy can you be? Give me three posts about outfielders. And put the lotion in the F@#$ing basket!’. And so I obliged on both counts but still got the hose again for some reason. But we’re not here to talk about playing lambs with Albright, we’re here to dissect LoMo’s current draft day ADP of 219 and whether it’s a discount or a steal for 2013 fantasy baseball…

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You might’ve heard this guy’s name before as one of the guys I want in every league per my pitchers pairings post (say that fast 117 times!). So, how did it all start? Well, I was looking at Marco Estrada‘s peripherals and I fell in love. I couldn’t figure out what I was missing because it all looked so good. Like good good. Like Barefoot Contessa in a negligee with Jeffrey locked out of the house good. Like going to Supercuts and actually getting a super cut good. Like not having to spell out your name after you order a latte at Starbucks good. I will now blow your mind. For starters with 130+ innings, Estrada had the 7th best K-rate in the major leagues with a 9.30. That usually comes with a ton of walks or a top ten starter price tag. Estrada had the 14th best walk rate (1.89) in the major leagues. For K/BB, he had the third best rate in the majors behind only Cliff Lee and Kris Medlen. Not that these things can be done by petting a rabbit’s foot, but he was actually unlucky last year with a 3.64 ERA and a 3.48 xFIP. He had an above-average first pitch strike percentage, above-average with swings generated on pitches outside the strike zone and above-average percentage of swings and misses. In his career as a starter in 176 innings, he has a 8.85 K-rate and 1.99 walk rate. His peripherals match those of an ace. Estrada’s Down Side, “Are you choosing to ignore me or just not seeing it?” I don’t see any down side whatsoever. So what can we expect of Marco Estrada for 2013 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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As the old adage goes, ‘Spare the rod, spoil the child’. Hrm, I was going to make a reference to ‘caning’ and ‘Singapore’ here but it seems I’ve fumbled it worse than Mark Sanchez did with his slide into the backside of Moore. Yes, that was a football reference. Deal with it. You’re reading the works of none other than the main editor/writer for Razzball fantasy football so some pigskin is gonna leak over no matter what I do. But more to the point, I’ve been bringing the Discount Double Check series to you this pre-season in the hopes we can find some potential sleepers for 2013 fantasy baseball and what better way to do that then to revisit a former Grey love in Lorenzo Cain. Grey really wouldn’t leave this man alone in 2012. At some point I’m sure he got addicted to Cain…SUGAR! The fact he didn’t land on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew is a bit surprising as he was snorting lines of confectionery by late March. At least that’s what he told me when I asked about the white powder caking his nose. But back to the point, we’re here today to look at Lorenzo and see if his current ADP of 196 is warranted or if he’s going at a discount for 2013 fantasy baseball…

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Well he ain’t Ty, that’s for sure. *Laugh track begins* Well if he isn’t Thai, then what is he? Vietnamese? Micro-Polynesian? And who are we talking about exactly? Did you accidentally delete a sentence? This is a really confusing intro. Sorry, readership, it was an inside joke that somehow escaped like an alien from Ripley’s chest. For those who googled ‘Ripley’s chest’ expecting to either find Alien 3 or Sigourney Weaver’s bosom, welcome to Razzball! I’ll be your special host for this post where we try and find the truth to whether a player is a draft day discount or if they’re going low for a good reason. Why am I a special host? Well you see, I’m Sky from Razzball fantasy football and I’ve come here to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women. Wait, no, that’s what I do on Saturdays. What I’m here to do is talk to you about Ty…I mean Alex Cobb of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and how he just might be a pitcher of interest for 2013 fantasy baseball…

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The outcry has been strong, Razzball nation, and it is finally being heard. Sky, we’re used to your Deep League Thoughts and Under the Greydar posts from long ago about pitchers…and by ‘long ago’ we mean 2012. Where’s this year’s Homer Bailey fantasy? This year’s Chris Capuano fantasy? This year’s Jon Niese fantasy? We’re also used to calling you ONC and looking at a magnificent picture of Buhner? What’s with the grainy pic of a unibrow guy? Bring back Bones! Well, minus that last part, my people, your fantasy baseball prayers have been answered. Today’s discount double check is a review of a guy who could/might/should/maybe/dear Gawd I hope is in the starting rotation for the Milwaukee Brewers this year. So without further self-reference/deprecation, let us all take a look at a man by the name of Wily Peralta and whether or not his current 339 ADP is a bargain or accurate for 2013 fantasy baseball…

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I was going to start this post about Dillon Gee by making fun of how to pronounce his name but MLB did a great job of that already. And by ‘did a great job’ I mean they set up a fun premise and Gee acted like what he was – an athlete put in front of a camera who can’t convey humor. Hey, we can’t all be Peyton Manning. Sorry for cross-pollinating your sports worlds, Razzball, but you see I am Sky from the Fantasy Football side so you’re just going to have to deal with it. I’ll lay the BABIP on you just as frequently as I lay the YAC cuz I got game and I bring the swag, bro! #YOLO! Sorry, thought I was a frat boy there for a minute. Now let me channel my inner deep pitcher caller like I did last year with another Met, Jon Niese, and see if I can get you all geed out about Gee for 2013 fantasy baseball…

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KNOCK, KNOCK! Who’s there? CarGo! CarGo who? CarGo vrooooooooom! That made absolutely no sense. Did it need a prop to explain it? Who’s writing your standup, Carrot Top? It’s true, my stand-up goes over about as well as Michael Richards’ did back in the day. I’ll never look at Cosmo Kramer the same way again…but enough about maniacal, racist tirades, come join Sky from Razzball fantasy football as we look at Carlos Gomez and whether his current ADP of 224 is appropriate or if we’ve got a discount on our hands for 2013 fantasy baseball…

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Yes, I went Crazy Town on you. Look, the more and more you do this, the more you realize there are good title days and bad title days. And let me tell you this friends. Today is an amazing day. You know what the opposite of amazing is? Tim Lincecum in your left ocular region. Even though his star had been dimming slowly each year since 2009, many if not most did not predict such a precipitous drop. And when I say drop, it’s a landing that made a convincing doo-doo splat, but with fake dubstep. I feel like I am just too close to up-WUB you. You know, that’s a good ZZZZUHHHH CHUHHHHHHH BZZZZZZZAAAAAA Doo-doo splat! WAAAAAAW WAAAAAAAAWA WAWAAAHHHH!!!! During the two seasons before 2012, his strikeout rate dropped while his walk rate increased, both trending in a non-zesty direction. While he had a slight up-tick in his fastball velocity in 2011, the improved velocity did not show up in his SwStr% (swinging strike percentage), scoring a 10.7% from a 11.0%. It was an unlikely proposition that he would ever return to a 10.0+ K% pitcher, but it was rational to expect at least a strike out per inning while still holding league average control and still inducing grounders at an above average rate. After all, those three things are still ingredients for a top of the rotation starter.

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Since I like to scour possible discounts for all positions and not just catcher like I did with my J.P. Arencibia fantasy, we’re here to take a look at shortstop and a man we call Jed Lowrie. When you do a Google search for Jed, the typical suggestions are ‘Jed Lowrie injury’, ‘Jed Lowrie injury history’, ‘Jed Lowrie surrounded by flowers in hospital bed’, and ‘Jed Lowrie is dead but is still SS eligible so there’s some value to be had here.’ And even after you hit search, Google says ‘Did You Mean Brett Lawrie? He’s a lot better, you should really go look at him.’ I can’t really argue with Google in either case, really. Word in Hollywood right now is M. Night Shyamalan is doing sequels to all of his successful movies but can’t get Sam L. back to play Mr. Glass and Lowrie is in deep contractual discussions to fill in for ‘Unbreakable 2: Yippy-Kai-Yay, Bruce Willis Jumped The Shark With A Good Day To Die Hard.’ That long-winded sentence is yet another way of me saying ‘Yes, we know Lowrie is injury-prone.’ But of course, that’s not my question. My question is – even with that injury history – is his current ADP of 278 justifiable or is there a discount in the works at a talent thin position? Let’s get to the things that I’ll call ‘facts’ to back up my argument which are actually just more Google and movie references to find out…

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