We back baby!  Spring Training is already starting up (We desperately need shorter games, but like 2 extra weeks of Spring Training?!?! I know, I know, WBC, but whatever!), we’re about to March, drafts about to be drafting…  Love this time of year.

So note to self – get the rankings done earlier in 2018.  Second note to self – bitch slap Grey when I see him in person next week for making everyone else look so bad, with his ranks done so early!  But hey, not like he’s got other sports to worry about!  Speaking of, if you haven’t played fantasy basketball yet, shameless plug sentence/link for you to come over and check us out on hoops!  Play in some Hoops RCLs next year maybe!

Ok, JB’s ADHD voice, back to bidness!  My yearly baseball magnum opus is finally complete – weeks in the works – and went from 9600 words last year to 9700!  Weird they were so similar… I’m kinda like Tolstoy, they just gonna keep getting longer, hah!  Of course no one is expected to read War & Peace in one sitting, so take your time getting through this bad boy!  I’ll wait!

I’m pumped to get the Pitcher Profiles ramped up again, better quality GIFs, and another year with the Gamescore+, which maybe we can start to automate with more batted ball data out there.  RUDY?!?!?!  WHERE’S RUDY?!?!?!?!  SOMEONE GET ME RUDY!!!  Also, if you missed the wrap up I put together a few weeks ago, you can check out how Grey and I did vs. ESPN with the 2016 SP ranks.

A question that is always debated and weirdly always different for each ranker/rankings sets is: are these your personal rankings?  Adjusted for ADP?  Are they how you would draft, or how you think guys will finish?  I’ve decided I have the be all, end all answer.  I did these ranks initially without looking at ADP or any other rankings sets.  The ranks are my personal ranks for how I would value guys one over the other, and then I’ll use this list to be malleable for every draft/site/league format.  Pigeonholing ranks to adjust for ADP means you’re stuck looking at one list of ADP data.  So there’s my answer for how I approach rankings.

Anyway, here we go!  Find below my top 100 SP for 2017.  And as always, my top-5 sleepers (to varying degrees) are James Paxton, Sean Manaea, Blake Snell, Ivan Nova & Reynaldo Lopez.  Plus bonus #6 – Tyler Skaggs – moved him up after re-looking at his data.  Apparently I love my lefties this year!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Better late than never!  February in the following year is always THE BEST time to review last year’s follies and jollies, amiright Razzball Nation!?

After making it through the duldrums of Winter (which I haven’t really had in NC, but ya know, the EPA was lying about global warming), I’m finally catching up on my Pitcher Profile wrap-up for the 2016 season.  If anything, it turns out to be a pretty funny post!  Let’s see how bad JB/Grey/ESPN ranked the AL Cy Young Winner!  Always a good time…  They say hindsight is 20/20, but seeing how bad some of these went, I’ll need my hindsight to be 420 to get through this!

As I did last year and the previous seasons ere’twixt, I’m here to break down my initial 2016 Starting Pitcher Ranks with the – hot, hot, hot!  …or cold – hits and misses.  I compare and contrast what happened with Grey’s 2016 ranks at SP, along with ESPN’s initial ranks from the 2016 season, then make us all look foolish by lining these up with Razzball’s Player Rater rank amongst SP.  And as I did last year, complete the analysis with the Player Rater’s top-40 SP that I missed on in my ranks.  Lots of whiffing this season!  Whiffing as bad as I do when I play Rocket League, the boost makes you go too fast!

Here’s the recap to 2016’s starting pitching ranks (plus my 2017 ranks should be out hopefully in a week or two):

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Finally! The finale! Finally finale! As you’ll hear on the Pod, we had some delays getting our wrap-up show recorded, but we finally got together to review the 2016 season! The season that was… The Brewers were awful, Grey steamrolled me with his sheer number of moves in our RCL league, Joe Ross wasn’t that good… Ugh! In our finale, we review all of the league leaders in the standard 5×5 cats, and also break down some of leaders in the indicator stats like BABIP and HR rate from this past season. We then review our Official 2016 Picks, which I think went a lot better for me than Grey! You be the judge! And of course we end the show thanking everyone who helped make 2016 a great season, mainly you, Razzball Nation listeners! Here’s our final edition of the 2016 Razzball Baseball Podcast:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

rel-2016-winner
You know how they say “banners fly forever”?  Well in the REL, it’s true!  The 2016 Nationals have won the inaugural 2016 Razzball Elite League season, in a truly epic 4-4 final over the AL champion The Tribe, winning on the second tie-breaker, RBIs.  You can see how close the standings wrapped up in this link, as the Nats won on a Sunday homer and Tyler Thornburg blowing a save.  Congratulations to the Nationals for posting such a dominant 2016, as us other 29 peons try to gather ourselves for a run at immortal legacy, by having our banner fly in the logo in 2017.  Here’s what our AL and NL champions had to say about the first REL World Series:

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No joke, this is how my day opened. I woke up (amazing!), went for my usual run, came home and begin my usual shizz, shower, and shave routine. The thing is, during the first part of my usual triple S routine, I was checking my email. BTW more emails get checked on the throne than anywhere else in the world. In fact if you don’t bring your phone into the hopper, you’re a sociopath. Simple and plain. Anywho, I check my email and am greeted by this beaut.

“This morning we received a report that an individual wearing a clown costume was seen on a school campus in Your Random Massachusetts town. All schools were alerted and schools responded consistent with safe school readiness practices. Our police investigated and have reported that this is confirmed to be hoax. I appreciate the quick response by our schools and police. Thank you.”

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

The end is here my friends.  I thought for a second there we might have some Monday rain delay controversy, but it all worked out and it was Team Levy who took all the glory!  We’ve never had a team with a perfect season until now.  This guarantees Team Levy will remain in the RCL record books for all time as the perfect season can never be beaten, only tied.  That’s pretty amazing to think about.  Out of all the teams that have been managed throughout the the (seven?) years of RCLs and all the leagues we’ve seen, no one has ever pulled off the perfect season.  An amazing achievement!  For their efforts Team Levy takes home a shizz ton of loot.  Let’s see…hold on, searching the site to find the list of goodies…ah-ha, here it is: an autographed baseball of the player who is Grey’s avatar.  That’s right, an autographed baseball of… Well, I guess only Grey and Team Levy will know.  Levy will also receive an autographed baseball of Oscar Gamble!  That’s two, count ‘em, two autographed balls and last, but not least, a $250 Best Buy gift card.  I remember Best Buy, that was the place we used to go before the internet was invented to buy things like video games, CDs and speakers.  I’m pretty sure my local Best Buy just went out of business as a matter of fact.  Good times!  Oh, and Grey says he’ll throw in a Razzball T-shirt as well.  I don’t believe Team Levy has checked in via comments at all this year, but now would be the time.  Levy fended off some very tough competitors this year to claim the RCL crown and it took every bit of that perfect score to win.  Cram It put up a valiant final few weeks but came up 1 point short of going back to back.  Still first, followed by 2nd overall, beating out thousands in the process is no laughing matter.  Cram It deserves some major kudos.  This is Team Levy’s moment though, so hopefully they show up, take a bow and soak it up, they earned it.  Here’s what else what happened this year and this final week of the RCLs:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

papiout

Today, ladies and gentlemen, is officially the last day of school. And by school I mean me writing fantasy baseball posts in 2016. Over the next few months I’m sure Grey will take a gander at the numbers to determine if yours truly will be back in 2017. Hopefully my eight remaining followers have enough pull to see me through to the other side and get me invited back to Razzball Spring Training. But if not, it’s been a good run. This post is my 94th baseball-related post. I have big incentives in my contract if I make it one hundred, so I hope that doesn’t influence Grey’s decision in a negative way. There are a lot of hungry points league writers out there that just might be willing do what I do for even less. Will they be as cool as I am? Doubtful. As funny? Certainly not. And lastly, will they have the maturity level of a third grader? I certainly hope so. Here’s to hoping Grey just flips a two-headed coin.

Before I jump the gun and start saying any official goodbyes, I think we should take a look back at 2016 and what happened in points leagues…

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

It’s truly a somber day here at Razzball Headquarters. Today marks the final day of the baseball season, so of course that means the final DraftKings write-up as well. I’m in shambles as I pen this. I’m sitting here with an almost-empty box of tissues just staring at my screen and crying my eyes out. In years past this might signal that my PornHub Gold subscription had come to an end. But that’s in the past. I’m much older now. Plus, my Mom cut my allowance in half so I don’t have the funds for that type of luxury any longer. What a jerk! Whatever though. Right? I mean, we’re here for baseball talk and that’s exactly what Honcho intends to give you. So we’ve reached game 162 on the schedule and hopefully, with the help of all the fantastic writers here, you’re a much better player than you were in April. Don’t fret, we’ll be back next season to lead you to the land of DFS riches. It kind of boils down to what Dr. Seuss and my ex-girlfriend’s are famous for saying: Don’t smile because it’s over. Cry because it happened. Wait. What!? Anyway, Here’s the deal for today. Pedro Alvarez smashes right-handers and guess what? The Yankees are sending Luis Cessa to the hill today. It’s almost like the DFS Gods are teeing one up for us. Alvarez has been fairly hot over his last 7 games – reaching base at a .385 clip, blasting a home run and producing a 1.021 OPS. On the road vs RHP this season, Alvarez has racked up a .390 wOBA, 145 wRC+ and .266 ISO. Is that any good? He’s also blasted 21 of his 22 home runs against righties. So there’s that. Wanna know what else is cool about Alvarez today? He’s priced at $3,700. That’s more than decent value for a lefty battling the short porch. In fact, this is so exciting that the neighbor kids would tell me that “It’s Lit!” Now GET OFF MY LAWN and go win some money!

Here’s a look at the rest of my picks for today’s slate:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday October 3rd to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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In my never ending quest to overturn every stone, and scour every corner of fantasy prospectdom; I’ll be going through all of the MiLB leagues over the next couple of weeks. Each post will touch on a handful or so, of the most interesting prospects in each circuit. For our purposes, these lists are always with a fantasy slant, because intangibles, defensive prowess, and leadership, ain’t winning nobody no fantasy title. Unless you play in a league where the scoring is created by Yadier Molina. Any the who, today we go to Carolina….in my mind. Our minds? James Taylor anyone? Okay no Sweet Baby James fans eh?!?… Okay then, we go to the Carolina League, and finish off the reviews of the High-A circuits for our weekly Sunday Prospect sermon. On Wednesday we’ll then begin our look at the Class A Leagues, with the exciting Midwest League. This may be the first time exciting and Midwest were used in the same sentence.  So let’s get into the names of note, and the juicy prospect booty that lurks. I meant Prospect Booty the pirate way….. You don’t believe me do you?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

What is a finale in fantasy without a final closer report?  Nothing I tell ya.  It’s like a compound without an element, or a really cool shout out to the Low End Theory.  I salute the 14 sober readers of that “not firmly planted” on the porcelain thinking throne.  So this is it my friends, the last of the last of the last.  I was debating on what to do for the last post of the year.  Something cliche, something with recycled jokes that you see all the time… wink.  Nah, I am an original, I survive millennials and the whole generation X by just being me.  Not loved by all by liked by most and yet here I still sit.  Shout out to all the readers I lead astray, and the ones I actually helped.  Not everyone gets everything right all the time, but I try.  I am human.  You would think a computer generated version of Smokey would have a cooler avatar than a bear that looks like an extra from the Fat Boys movie Disorderlies.  So to keep it chalk, I will keep it plain and simple and do what I have done for years.  Give you a final ranking of all the closers this year and a glimpse into the future of closers.  As in the who will be closing next year for every team or at the very least an estimated guess straight from my basement.  So with the final post of the year for me from a baseball perspective about to wrap, I enjoyed bringing you the jazz and the haps on the relief game again, this my eighth year at Razzball nation.

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