Ah yes, David Price. I like to think of Price as a great pitcher who flies under the radar. He’s like the Spinal Tap of baseball. Feel free to call me out on this, I did five minutes of research/thinking in the shower for that simile. Sure, we all know his name, but how often does he come up when you compare him to his peers: Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Adam Wainwright, and Stephen Strasburg? Price is looking to dominate in what looks like his last year with the Rays. If he plays well, I fully expect the Yankees to offer him a $400 million, 10-year contract.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Welcome to the second edition of the Lineup Maximizer! If you’re here as a result of my Reddit AMA, glad to know that that day wasn’t all for naught. Kidding! My motivations for dispensing fantasy advice are purely altruistic.
Before we get under with this week’s streaming picks, let’s recap how we did last week in honor of commenter Simply Fred. Record-keeping and accountability are taken seriously around these parts.
Last Week & Season Results
16 AB, 2 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB, .188 AVG.
My first edition’s picks did perform as well as hoped, but if you agree with the process, results should follow over a larger sample. The question should be raised though, what should we expect from these players? Sure, most of them have favorable matchups, that’s why I highlight them in the article. But they are still available in the vast majority of leagues for a reason, that reason being they aren’t good enough to be owned in the vast majority of leagues.
I could try to compute a baseline scientifically, something like the rate at which replacement level hitters score runs, homers, etc. on a per game basis, but let’s instead just do something that feels nice. A .250 average, that feels nice. If the hitters I suggest here end up getting one hit for every four at-bats, I think everyone would agree it was worth our time to do this. Also arbitrary, I’ll aim for .5 runs per game, .5 RBI, .2 HR, and .2 SB. If one of every five players hits a home run (one per article), I think we all go home happy.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It was easy to accept Jay(Wrong)’s offer to add an additional column when I heard his idea. The concept was simple: take a look through the most added and dropped players and decide which ones are actually deserving of their big gains or declines in ownership percentage. Every fantasy baseball platform has some version of the ‘Most Added/Dropped’ sheet, but for the purposes of this column, I’ll use ESPN’s data. I don’t consider ownership percentages to be research. In fact, if you you are using ownership percentages as your only barometer for player evaluations, then you probably found Razzball by mistake. Welcome. We’re here to help.
What is interesting about these numbers is that they offer a window into the minds of all the other teams out there patrolling the waiver wire. We see a player on our roster or in free agency with the double digit red/green numbers next to his name and we tend to think, “What am I missing?” There are two feelings I hate in fantasy baseball- the feeling that I just dropped somebody I shouldn’t have, and the feeling I just picked up a guy who’s about to go as cold as ice. God forbid we tick both boxes in the same move (I’ve done this).
Each week, we’ll look at one of the biggest adds or drops, then I’ll suggest one player from the most added column that I feel is actually trash, and one player from the most dropped list that is actually a treasure.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It wouldn’t truly be baseball without a plethora of injuries to grace your fantasy teams’ rosters, now would it?
As I predicted last week, Prince Fielder is set to undergo surgery, but he isn’t the only player lost for an extended period of time. Here are some of the fallen from Week 8 and perhaps some players who could actually be returning (yes, believe it or not, they still practice modern medicine in MLB clubhouses!)Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s that time of year again when your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru digs out his star-spangled turban, the seersucker suit, and attempts to pull the ol’ “hotdog” trick on the unsuspecting ladies at the annual Razzball cookout. Johnny Manziel’s got nothin’ on me! Welcome once again to the Razzball Lounge where your favorite fake baseball scribes gather to crunch the numbers, drink the grog, and avoid the Tehol – hey, the kid gets all handsy after a few! We raise our glasses this Memorial Day weekend to all those that served and we pour out a little to all those boys of summer that never made it home. Let’s lower the Razzball flag to half-mast in horror honor of the latest fantasy casualties: Prince Fielder broke his cervix (who knew?), Ryan Braun strained his oblique (‘roids help with healin’, cust kayin’), Nolan Arenado broke a finger sliding (here’s a finger for you Nolan) and Mike Moustakas burned the roof of his mouth on the Hot Pocket Mama Mous made for him. Fielder looks done for the year, Braun was done the minute his medicine cabinet contained nothing but baby aspirin and Ben-Gay, Arenado is down a digit and good ol’ Moosetacos will be spending the summer in Omaha – oh, no, he just fell into the thresher. RIP Moosetacos. Yes, we’re grieving our fake baseball teams in the lounge this long weekend. At the bar we find Sky crying in his Islay, “I’m an organ donor and Arenado can have one of my fingers.” Sky, NO!!!! *raises machete, cuts off pinky* Over at the jukebox is our resident jukebox hero Jay(Wrong) playing “Candle in the Wind” for the 23rd time. “This one’s for you my sweet Prince.” *bottle smashes above head* Sauntering out of the ladies room, zipping up his fly, arm around his latest conquest, is international man of mystery Tehol Beddict, “Why the long faces, gang? I’ve been in last place since April.” *gets punched in the face by J-Foh, breaks nose* Here at the pool table is your humble-but-nonetheless-dejected Guru. *closes eye, takes aim, fires cue ball through window* “All is lost, I’m going to start playing fantasy cricket.” And, with the Razzball crew at an all-time low, who should suddenly grace us all with his presence? The one and only Grey Albright, looking all Gatsby as he exits his convertible amidst a plume of sweet smelling vapor, a coug on each arm, mustache glistening in the summer sun. “Gentleman, don’t lose faith, it’s a long season, and even if we win, if we win, HAH! Even if we win! Even if we play so far above our heads that our noses bleed for a week to ten days; even if God in Heaven above comes down and points his hand at our side of the field; even if every man woman and child held hands together and prayed for us to win, it just wouldn’t matter because all the really good looking girls would still go out with the guys from Yahoo because they’ve got all the money! It just doesn’t matter if we win or we lose. IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER! Now, Guru, fire up your jammer crammer machine and someone get me a goddamn umbrella drink!”Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s about that time, prematurely balding men and four girl readers. Gregory Polanco is nearing his call-up date. He is basically a young version of Starling Marte. As of this writing, he’s 22 years old. I’m hoping he’s still 22 years old when I’m done writing this post otherwise I spent way too much time on it. He can be a superstar, which has me excited. He won’t be a superstar this year, which takes the wind out of my sails for redraft leagues. Usually when I’m talking about wind in my sails, I’m wearing only my boxers and just ate a can of beans, so maybe it’s best if we ignore how much wind is in my sails. Polanco can hit 12 homers and steal 40 bags without killing you in average. Yes, I know, you love him too now. It’s okay, just because your father never loved you doesn’t mean you can’t love another man. In Single-A, Polanco had 16 homers and 40 steals. In Single-A, Marte had 3 homers and 24 steals. Granted, Polanco had 200 extra at-bats in his Single-A year. Granted, Part II: Granted Lives; Polanco was two years younger in his Single-A year. Marte doesn’t have anywhere near the plate discipline of Polanco, so, if anything, Marte will become a poor man’s Polanco. Polanco has the kind of pedigree right now that could mean he’s a top three rounder and one day supplanting The Dread Pirate as the best outfielder in Pittsburgh. I.e., The Sexy Dish That Ate Pittsburgh. Yes, I’m really excited for him. This past year between the two levels, he hit 12 homers and 37 steals while hitting .286. Christian Yelich went from Double-A to the majors and hit fine. Lots of players do. The Pirates weren’t that aggressive. If they were, then Polanco would’ve shot up my preseason rankings and I would’ve told everyone to draft him in every single league. Instead, Polanco went to Triple-A and continued to bash like your 12-year-old self idealizing Jose Canseco. As with rookies, you need to keep expectations in check. To misquote the immortal words of John Popper, “Nobody should think or expect too much while everyone is calling for the movie rights. Singing, ‘Hey, babe, let’s keep in touch. Hey, baby, let’s keep in touch.” He will be up in early June and now is the time to stash him. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 32/8/36/.250/15 in 300 ABs. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Guess who’s bizack? The boy T.B. Mizack, a.k.a. Mr. snatch-a-trick! Greetings and salutations, ya’ll! I can’t begin to imagine the devastation you felt not having a post from yours truly last week. I envision you feeling so powerless, so weak. Were you forced to scroll through sports websites, that, for some God’s forsaken reason, still use mother effing slide shows? That’s all inconsequential now, for I, Tehol Beddict, am back.
Now, you all may also be wondering about my absence on Razzball Radio this week, and for that, my excuse is anything but true. If you’ve been reading my posts for the past year or so, you know about my vast amount of various charities. Two weeks ago, I led an expedition to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, bringing along all the children of a nearby orphanage I fund. Soon after we heroically reached the mountaintop, I decided there was no better time for a photo opp, to bring some much needed notoriety to the needs of the children of Tanzania, and possibly re-establish my floundering modeling career. What a grave error in judgement this turned out to be, as I took one faulty step, tripped on a rock, and tumbled 400 yards down the mountain side. If not for a local Tanzanian explorer deterring my continued slide, I would not be typing this to you now, nor typing to you ever again for that matter, for I’d be deader than Neve Cambell’s career. I owe my new friend, Ambakisye, a great deal of gratitude, for he saved my life, keeping hope alive, that one day I will be a world famous writer.
My nose was badly broken, so I’ve been popping enough OXY and Valium to incapacitate a horse, and one would clearly understand why I could’t be seen on television like this. Next week is a possibility, but only the Elder Gods truly know my fate. Again, noting the fact that I’m highly medicated and literally nodding off while I type this, we’re going to have to keep it short and sweet this week on Disgrace/Delight. (Jay(Wrong) gets down on his knees and thanks the Gods. Now he has time to watch The Fountain for 223rd time). [Ed. Note -- This is true. Except it was Big Trouble in Little China...] With no episode of Game of Thrones being shown this next Sunday, I feel like next week is the perfect time to dive balls deep back into my GOT Disgrace/Delight epic posts you have all grown to know and love. Ok, before I pass out, let’s get on with this. Take Heed!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Over the off-season Rudy laid out his argument for why it’s important to maximize at-bats in fantasy leagues with daily moves (like the RCL ones). Even if the mathematical proof don’t resonate with you, there’s no denying the good vibes generated from streaming a hitter for a night and getting even just a 1-for-4 line with a run. Don’t know that feeling? Seriously, loosen up man. Do something crazy. Get black AND pinto beans on your next Chipotle burrito. Pay extra for guac. Add Mike Carp for a night. Just one.
The only downside to this strategy is time. The time it takes to sort through the options and decide who to add and who to drop. Razzball offers tools like Hitter-Tron and Stream-o-Nator to help speed up the process, but even then you have to scroll through its table to find who is available, make sure he will actually play, the game won’t be rained out, etc. For those of you with a wife, two kids, and a job, I get it. It’s tough being a loving father and winning fantasy manager.
I have no wife and zero kids so what I’m offering is to add meaning to my life and do some of that work for you. What I’ll do is scroll through Hitter-Tron, find the best players that are mostly unowned and likely to start, and present them here in an easily digestible format. My plan is to do this every Sunday and Wednesday so you can fill out your lineup on Mondays and Thursdays (the days when teams have off days and you’ll need to stream guys). Sound good? You’re not sure? Whatever, I’m not you trying to convince your girlfriend to try anal. It won’t hurt to do it once.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Upton brothers are starting their second year as teammates…and it hasn’t been a pretty sight so far: B.J. Upton became a giant train wreck and Justin Upton’s average and stolen bases fell out from under him. I’m dedicating this article to Justin. Maybe I’ll give Bossman Junior a look-see some other time. But don’t get your hopes up, he isn’t as interesting as his little bro.Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is starting to get a little ridiculous now. It seems as if I can’t even make it through my lunch break without hearing of some catastrophic injury news. No matter how well teams manage their young hurlers’ inning limits (Jose Fernandez), or how many times we yell to ourselves, “Stop sliding head-first on the base paths!” (Ben Zobrist), the injuries just seem to keep piling up.
Maybe fantasy baseball owners should probably employ a handcuff system similar to the one used in fantasy football. In fact, come August, there may not even be enough players to fill out major league rosters. If Will Middlebrooks lands on the DL one more time, Julio Franco may be called upon to play the hot corner for the Red Sox.
Here are this week’s injuries and other health-related situations to monitor…Please, blog, may I have some more?