If I were a box of cereal my first ingredient would be “good advice.” Here are some important questions I’ve been asked and my magnificent answers…

Howdy Kenyon! I’m in a six-team mixed league from 1945. Who should I play this weekend? Stan Musial or Pete Gray? – Logan.

Logan: Unless one of the categories in your league is “fewest arms” I’d go with Stan the Man. In the future, you might want to examine the baseball card of the player in question. Simple rule to remember: Rock beats scissors beats paper and two arms beats one arm. Although two arms beats eight arms because octopi stink to high heaven at baseball (despite their lofty reputations as tetherballers).

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Guess who’s back. Back again. The guessing game’s back. Tell a friend. That’s right, it’s time for round three of everyone’s favorite fantasy baseball guessing game. For those of you that missed out on the first two rounds you can find out how this game works by clicking here. For those that need a refresher you should click the link too. Let me start by saying that I have proof read today’s edition tree times. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any mistakes, but at least I made an effort. In all seriousness, this should be spot on. So let’s get guessing.

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A little about me:

I am old and cranky.

I know way more about baseball than you.

Many people automatically get four college credits simply for reading a single column of mine.

I am the only person to see the rookie years of both Ty Cobb and Bryce Harper.

I can steal signs from the catcher merely from feeling the breeze produced from his fingers.

I am so respected I have two Hall of Fame ballots each year.

I am a switch-hitter, ambidextrous and tri-sexual. Yes, that’s correct. I often have sex with a tricycle.

I am a vegan and will only play ball with a mitt made of cucumbers and lettuce.

I will see you next week…

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Last year, I wrote a “If You Can Think It, I Could Test It” where I invited commenters to ask me draft questions that I can test against the Razzball Commenter League data. With Grey traveling back from his stealthily awesome Tout NL draft, I figured I’d use today for a sequel.

Here’s what I have at my disposal:

  • 101 12-team RCLs from 2015: Draft Results + Final Standings/Stats (Daily roster changes/pickups)
  • 17 12-team NFBC leagues from 2015: Draft Results + Final Standings/Stats (Weekly)
  • 2015 Steamer/Razzball Hitter and Pitcher Projections
  • 84 12-team RCLs from 2014: Draft Results + Final Standings/Stats (Daily)

Types of questions you can ask include:

  • How did teams that drafted a SAGNOF like Billy Hamilton or Dee Gordon do?
  • How did teams that invested a lot vs a little in starting pitching do?
  • What stat categories correlated best with final standings points?

The more specific the question, the better.

This is a special day. If you ask me an everyday question about your team, I’m going to reply with “Boo, wrong post. Ask Grey tomorrow.”

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I remember when I first came in contact with Fantasy Golf.  I was eight years old on the boardwalk of the Jersey Shore and my grandmother and I were at a makeshift tiki hut where a teenager was handing out clubs.  I held a golf club up to my waist — perfect size!  The teenager then handed me a scorecard, a mini pencil and, finally, a golf ball, but it slipped through my little fingers and started bouncing down the boardwalk. I gave chase and, right as I was about to reach the bouncing ball, tripped and the mini golf pencil went through the palm of my hand. Now, whenever I have to sign anything, I just turn my hand over and scribble with the back of my hand.  *intern whispers in my ear*  I’m told Fantasy Golf is not mini putt-putt where you play wearing a wizard’s pointed hat and try to avoid getting your ball in the dragon’s moat.  That is a shame.  Well, in that case, what are we doing?  *intern whispers in my ear*  Uh-huh.  *intern whispers in my ear*  Right.  *intern whispers in my ear*  And… *intern whispers in my ear*  Okay, okay, stop.  I don’t have a clue about Fantasy Golf.  Like zero clues.  Like I’m in an elevator and Professor Plum, Colonel Mustard and Mrs. White all get on and I still have no clue.  (That is almost as strained as every analogy Tom Verducci makes in the announcer’s booth of the World Series.  “These managers will need to be more imaginative than Stephen King!”  Apparently, Harold Reynolds’s stupid is rubbing off.)  Since I had no idea, I asked our Fantasy Golf ‘pert, Joe MacDonald (who I believe was the villain on Happy Gilmore) to explain it, and here’s what he said:

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Welcome back for another star-studded event!  Assuming you hack into your favorite online dictionary and replace the definition of ‘star’ with “guy who lives in his mom’s basement and screams when someone finishes his Doritos,” and next to the definition of ‘stud’ you put a picture of yourself.  The Razzballies are the only award show where it’s totally fine to show up in sweatpants and for your fingers to be orange from Cheetos.  We don’t judge.  We will occasionally mock.  Mock-judge, tomato-tomahto.  Get over it!  So, without further ado (cause I have to do a doo), here’s the year-end awards for the best and worst of fantasy baseball:

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Who was actually good…

Last time, I used ADP data and player values to determine Kyle Lohse was the most under-drafted player of the last five years. Turns out, there are some assumptions in the calculation that could be tweaked, and the result could be a totally different most under-drafted player. Go figure! The methodology was to take the difference between a player’s preseason ADP and his end-of-season rank to determine  “undervalued-ness”. This time we’re still going to take the difference, but it’ll be between the square root of his ADP and the square root of his EOS rank.

Why the square rooting? The reason is to give more weight to better players, which square rooting accomplishes.

For reference, here’s the list from last time (that won one lucky man a Razzball T-Shirt):

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What has become tradition over the past several years, I’ve been pumping bold predictions, like, well, insert your own mom joke here. I’ve even done them over on the Fantasy Football side of things. Speaking of which, don’t forget, shameless plug alert, Fantasy Football is coming! [Insert another mom joke here.] So since this is my little corner here on the baseball side of things, and seeing as how we’re near the All-Star break, what is tacitly known as the half-time marker of the season, I thought it’d be nice to check out how badly my predictions look now, and estimate how much crow I’ll have to eat by season’s end. Join me? (I meant the post. Not eating the crow. Unless you like eating crow. Then here’s some salt. Just dump it all over.)

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Quick personal fact: I’ve been writing about fantasy baseball online for seven years. And seven years ago, I had the idea to start saving ADP data to better study drafting.

Well, things that seem like good ideas at one point often get staler with time until they are forever abandoned. Such was the fate of my ADP data project… until now.

What’s changed is that I’ve found  a way to get historical ADP data potentially going all the way back to 2002, and not just for baseball but basketball, football, and hockey too.

How is this done?

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This is part three, the final conclusion, in what is a very special mini-series exploring the St. Louis Cardinals’ “Gas House Gang”. You can read part one here, and part two here. The story continues…

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“The most rabid, vituperative, hysterical rooter in the world, the Brooklyn fan, will troop across the bridge by the thousands, bringing cowbells, sirens, razzberries, whistles.” Paul Gallico – NY Daily News

Perhaps no team in the history of the game has ever taken the role of spoiler so seriously. The excitement in Brooklyn is extreme. The Polo Grounds are expected to be filled with Dodger fans, who want to pay Bill Terry (pictured above) back in the worst way for slighting his New York neighbors. Dodgers’ President Judge McKeever takes out his cane and, shaking it with glee, exhorts his team, “We’ll make him eat those words.” Casey Stengel adds, “Yes, and if it chokes him, that will be all right, too.” And, indeed, Brooklyn takes out the Giants in both games, concluding a collapse that had seen them lose their last five games to inferior competition.

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