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Power. It’s why we’re all here, right? As Kanye so eloquently penned:

I’m living’ in that 21st century
Doing something mean to it
Do it better than anybody you ever seen do it
Screams from the haters, got a nice ring to it
I guess every superhero need his theme music
No one man should have all that power
The clock’s ticking’, I just count the hours
Stop tripping’, I’m tripping’ off the power

See, it’s power that rules supreme in fantasy baseball. Whether it’s a pitcher’s flaming fastball for strikeouts or a hitter dropping mammos into the light tower, power brings strength in numbers. Power is like the tide of fantasy baseball: when the tide rises, everything else rises; when the tide falls, everything else falls. So, if you want to accumulate the most stats possible, target power. And, for hitters, the best way to muster up power? The  pull.

While it comes with pros and cons, pulling the baseball provides more power as the batter generates more torque from the turn in his hips. Chubbs was right, it really is all in the hips. As the body turns and the hitter gets out in front of the ball for contact, the shoulders, the hips and the wrists are all engaged to bring the bat through the swing creating the greatest exit velocity of the baseball. Now, before all the baseball purists yell at me, this is not to say that the best hitters in the game are those that only pull the ball. The truth would actually be the opposite, as hitters must be able to take what’s given to them and hit to all fields. But…this isn’t real life. We’re talking fantasy. And in fantasy, gimme those pulled home runs all. day. long, because sometimes a hitter unlocks his development and success when he pulls the ball more. Case in point? The creeper for week 9…

Adam Duvall, OF (16.9%) – I mentioned Duvall twice last week as he almost topped Trayce Thompson for the highlighted hitter, but he’s jumped him this week all the way into the Top 100 rankings, which is rare for players owned in less than 20% of leagues. But that’s where you can find Duvall, available in 80%+ of ESPN leagues. Duvall’s taken over everyday duty in the Reds outfield and is producing like a fantasy darling since he took the job. The reason for his recent success (4 HR last 6 games) he highlighted himself in a recent interview with Zach Buchanan, “‘It’s probably because I’m getting the head [of the bat] out,’ Duvall said. ‘Your bat speed maxes out from the plate to a little bit past it. Anytime you can catch the ball out there, you’ve got a chance to do some damage.'” And that’s just what he’s doing: serious damage. Now, be careful with Duvall, as his sub-.300 OBP and 30%+ K% scream cold spells are coming, but he’s pulling the ball so well that he’s raising his average, blasting the ball out of the park and racking up the counting stats. Oh, and that power? Duvall has a .313 ISO. As Kanye said, ‘no one man should have all that power.’ But he does.

Enough creepin’…Here are your Top 100 Hitters for Week 9!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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trayce_thompson_hr_med_jgx6b477

‘Splash! Thompson hits another! All of California is cheering for this kid!’ I just want to hear Vin Scully say that once. Has he? Oh, wait, you thought I was talking about Klay? C’mon now, this is baseball, and we’re traveling south down the Cali coast to LA where we find the future mashing prince of Dodgertown. The brother of the Splash Brother in Golden State, Trayce Thompson is quickly making a name for himself early in this 2016 season. We’re gettin’ to to in Week 8, and Trayce is creeeeepin…

  • Trayce Thompson, OF (10.7%) – In the Week 7 edition a few commenters noted the hot bat of Thompson and Adam Duvall. While considering both for the highlight, Trayce edges him out despite potential concerns about the Dodgers having a crowded OF. Duvall’s OBP sits barely over .300 at….301. That ain’t good, no matter how much pop you have in the bat. Thompson, on the other hand, sports a cool .347 OBP with a 9.2% BB% and a 22.4% K%. While that K number might seem high, he’s managed to drop it almost ever year of his professional career. Last season for the ChiSox Trayce hit 5 HR in 135 PA. Solid. .238 ISO. Strong. This year he’s already mayshed 7 in 35 games and seems to be a lock for consistent ABs int he struggling Dodgers lineup. In May he’s slashing .301/10/6/14 with a 6:9 BB:K ratio. With Ethier, Crawford and Van Slyke all on the shelf, Puig seriously struggling and the Dodgers bats essentially flat-lining, Los Angeles can’t afford to not have him in the lineup right now. With another strong week under his belt, he’s a Creeper of the Week that could actually move his way into the Top 100 come Week 9. Get ahead of it while you can.

Enough creepin’…Here are your Top 100 Hitters for Week 8! Now in TECHNICOLOR!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Drake

You know how that should go. Countin’ money you know how it goes. Pray the real live forever man. Pray the fakes get exposed.

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Drake. We’re six full weeks in and I’m just gettin’ tired of these fakes taking up roster spots due to their name value. Ya know? Pray that real live forever, man! Ok, well, I don’t really pray about fantasy baseball, but I hope that some of the bigger names turn it around and come back to life for the sake of our fantasy baseball teams. When it comes to ranking the Top 100 hitters in terms of rest-of-season value, though, it’s time to cut bait on a few. And, honestly, I may even be late by a few weeks in bringing out the scissors. You’ll see a lot of names at the bottom of the rankings this week that dropped out. Don’t freak out. Don’t get emotional. Look at the stats, even the deeper stats, and you’ll see it’s more than time to get the hotter players in your lineups regardless of name.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

 

HP-trelawney-2

Listen, I’m no clairvoyant. Actually, I don’t even believe in them. Look into a ball, read a card, trace a palm and tell the future? GTFO. Well, unless you’re Professor Trelawney and your medium of choice for prophesy is tea leaves. Anyone? Anyone? Did I just nerd out alone?!? Thanks for judging me at this very moment. I could have said meteorologist instead of clairvoyant above, I suppose.

While I joke about it, one of the most important elements to competing in fantasy baseball, especially in long-term leagues, is knowing how to look at the minor league spectrum and predict the future of prospects that can help you in the immediate. It’s not necessarily telling the future, but there’s a way to extract some wisdom from the process. Now, let me go all teacher on you as to why the word wisdom was just used: Wisdom is looking to the past to know what’s going to happen in the future before it happens.

Applied to fantasy baseball, experience and wisdom can give you a leg up on the competition if you know what to look for. The elements of a call-up? A team that believes they should be in competition, a struggling hitter at the major league level, and a red hot hitter that can maysh (redneck pronunciation intended). Oh, it also doesn’t hurt to have FanGraphs highlight said player. I’ve yet to do this, and am surely shooting myself in the foot by doing so, but it’s time to make this week’s Creeper of the Week someone who has yet to take a major league at bat. Read those tea leaves and get out ahead of the crowd, because he won’t be available in many leagues once he’s called up. And I predict that will be soon.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sinatra

Ever made a girl swoon for you? Now, obviously I’m writing this from the angle of a guy, asking the question to other guys, even though if you listen to the podcast maybe we should change that direction after Grey being called effeminate in the most recent episode (haha!). But before you puff up your pride and answer that question in your head, ‘Well, yeah!’ let’s play the comparison game. Teddy Roosevelt says ‘Comparison is the thief of joy,’ and if ole Teddy is right then let me sap your joy for a moment: none of us could serenade and swoon like Frank Sinatra. Dude’s timeless, suave, and the epitome of cool. But why in the world am I beginning a fantasy baseball post by discussing Frank Sinatra’s game? Because even the best of ’em need a little luck.

Typically I argue that fantasy football requires much more luck than fantasy baseball, as the length and grueling nature of the season allows for managers to actually manage themselves into the playoffs and further. It’s a fallacy to believe that luck isn’t involved, though. In ‘Luck Be a Lady,’ one of Sinatra’s most iconic songs, he tells the story of needing Lady Luck’s presence to win his bet. In order to win your league, you better start swooning that scantily-clad dame of fortune as soon as you can. How? Nail the draft, avoid the DL, and pick up the right hitters at the right time. I’m here for the last one, you could probably use some help on the first one, and we’re gonna need a lot of help with that middle portion for this week’s Creeper of the Week (and even the honorable mention).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Nye

When does a fad become a trend, and a trend the new standard? Whether it’s fashion, politics, music, movies, language or style, the shift from perception to reality advances faster and faster. In baseball, how fast does that timeline shift for a player? How long do we need to realize that a player’s stats are the new norm and not a flash in the pan? 50 at bats? 100 at bats? 2 months? Of course, there’s always the risk of regression, like the 80’s being totally back in style, but there are other things from the past that just won’t come back. Or at least we all better hope they don’t. Like Jnco. Haha, that used to be cool?

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Now, before you grammar police start kicking down my door, just slow down. This English Major knows what he’s doing. That little title up there is what we call intentional, or better yet, a play on words.

Creeper of the Week? How about ‘Ashamed of the Past Three Years and Source of Rage for Fantasy Owners and Atlanta Fans Alike?’ Too long? Too accurate? No, that’s a pretty accurate banner. As a Braves fan I really do feel like I’m channeling my inner-J-FOH. And if you’re still struggling to identify the culprit of said rage, the following interaction with a friend of mine reveals the answer in the most eloquent way possible:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is it, no mas quiero creepers. I’ve been pondering today’s post all week as we get to the most unpredictable week for playing time. As teams clinch, guys will get days off, all willy-nilly. Any little ding, bruise, ouchie or pending surgery will be a first class ticket to the bench. Yeah I’m looking at you Brauny, you are dead to me for making me drop you everywhere. I’ll throw a few names that could be good to grab but saying their playing time is secure can turn into a fools errand. If you are in a weekly league, then I hope to God you make the right choices and I will do everything in my power to help you. If you are in a daily league, then you got a chance. And if you are in a moves limit league, you can go tell your commish to f*ck themselves courtesy of Jack Full of Hate. I hate moves limits leagues more than H2H. *Intern taps me on shoulder and whispers into ear* Oh… I see, H2H and moves limits are usually linked together. Thanks Octavio. Sorry guys, Octavio is my gardener-slash-intern that is trying to break into a new career.  He also makes a mean Cadillac Margarita. Okay enough about Octavio, let’s get to creepin…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Big Magoo inspired todays title… don’t ask. He told me to tell you guys (and five girls) to grab Chris Carter for the lefty match-ups this week. I like the call, but wanted to give him his own space for that, and since I’m all out of creative juices, I’m just going to talk about him while I kill some space to get to what happens below, or should I say what is not below. Freedom!!! This week, I’m dropping the ranks as they have become redundant the last month. Going forward, my main goal is to help you H2H players with your playoffs and those fighting until the bitter end in roto. The list will be divided into position groups (CI, MI, OF). Many of these players have been listed in previous posts, and I will identify what match-ups are the most favorable. Oh, and I expanded the cut off to 25% owned. Alright! We cool? Moving on…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Don’t be judging my title. I’m always late to the topical title party. I’m lazy! I haven’t seen Straight Outta Compton because I refuse to pay for overpriced tickets to movies that have nothing visually cool to offer. Seeing the clips and Grey talking it up and being in the same room as Cube has made me reflect… When that album broke, I was in the 8th grade and it was the biggest game changer for us since the Beastie Boys and RUN DMC (I group them together because it felt like it was around the same time). I wasn’t a huge hip-hop head, but I had friends that listened to nothing but street poets. Then came NWA and Eazy-E (I say them separately because Eazy’s album dropped a month after Straight Outta Compton and was treated like a companion piece). It was impossible to own one and not the other. Now, I bring this up because this movie reminds me of the first time I heard Eazy Duz It. I was coming back from Carpenteria (its just south of Santa Barbara) with my good buddy and his mom. He asked her if we could play his new tape on the way home. She, being the very open minded lady she was, obliged and sat through that whole album. Damn, I don’t miss my buddy since he turned into a bitch ass when we got older, but his mom was the baddest mom I knew. From Boyz N’ Tha Hood to Eazy-er Said Than Dunn, we would bump this almost as much as SOC. Hey, we were from L.A., it was great to get someone changing the game from our backyard. Now, you might be asking yourself what this has to do with this weeks creeper. Nothing, I just felt like waxing about NWA.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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