I had my whole article raring and ready to go with the flow, and then Thursday happened; Michael Brantley down indefinitely, Josh Reddick broken hand.  No biggie I told myself, I have Jason Heyward, who is about to go off.  Then Friday night, Heyward crashes in to the wall and now he’s out.  So I have no more OF to play and it’s time for dumpster diving.  Or wading through the valley of the waiver wire of a 12 team league that’s been picked over like honey crisp apples with no blemishes at a farmers market.   So scrap the original article, that will go next week.  It’s really good, so make sure you come back to check it out.  Maybe even better than this week.  Probably better.  So you should definitely check it out next week.  Please?  Pretty please?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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One of my longtime rules of fantasy baseball (and this one is shared by many) is to avoid older hitters.  David Ortiz?  Never drafted him (often and including this season to my detriment), Albert Pujols?  Nope.  Robinson Cano?  Again, my bad this season, but still I’m not drafting him.  Ben Zobrist?  Just can’t do it.  I know three out of the four guys I just mentioned are having great seasons thus far, but let’s see how they look in August, shall we?  We shall, since August is coming whether we want it to or not; how’s that for ominous?

Thing is I just don’t want to take the chance of injury or decline.  As I get older, and though I’m no athlete, it just takes longer to recover.  Recover from injuries, running or long walks even, the few weights I do lift, and mainly, hangovers.  I keep telling myself I’m one more bad hangover (which at this point is five or six beers and home by 11:00 PM and still takes two days to feel right again) from giving it up.

But good beer is so, so good.  Just not at the ballpark for $10 a 12 ounce.  As such when I go see my Cubs play the Cardinals in a couple weeks I’m bringing in a bottle of water, refilling it as often as I like in the many fountains, and eating hot dogs and nachos until my heart’s content.  You know who also makes my heart’s content?  Brandon Phillips.  (Well, no, he doesn’t but I didn’t have a good transition there and that one did the trick.  Or it didn’t.  You decide!) But he’s an old guy and you don’t own them; you just said this.  I know, but to be clear, I won’t draft these guys; nor will I trade for them.  What I will do is pick them up off of waivers/free agent wire and plug them into my lineup.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello OPSers!  Hold up; we need a better name than that.  That sounds like we like to add lots of Post Scripts to our letters, but it’s a surprise or we work for UPS but there was a typo.  Someone think of something better, I implore you.

Anyway, I hope all your teams are dominating; I’m lucky enough to be doing really well in my home league; the rest, eh, not so much.  Still, I’m not deterred.  I’m looking at some trades but I don’t really like to assess the standings until the end of May.  Because by then we should have a month of good weather hitting (and pitching, though I don’t really talk about pitching here as there are better sources, like JB) and know if guys are who we thought they are(LINK).  Man, that never, will ever, get old.

What is getting a little old to me?  The Cubs and their zany road threads.  Joe Maddon might be too loose.  Every time I watch the Cubs they show them getting off the bus in their crazy threads (check them out!).  It’s definitely hilarious but as a longtime cursed Cubs fan I worry.  It’s like they are all rookies when I don’t think any of them are (correct me if I’m wrong, wait, don’t make me look bad, keep it to yourself).

I figure this week we’ll look at the some of the top OPS hitters by position and some slumping guys to acquire.  Note: all stats through May 3rd.  Let’s dive in!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My wife and I have a long running joke on what’s worse, Hot Dog breath or hot dog breath?  Hot dogs are a requirement for me at the ballpark, but the last time I was there, I gleaned some interesting information about the difference between the jumbo dog and the regular dog.  That is, there is no difference.  At least not at my local stadium, named after a terrible beer.  I asked for the jumbo dog, didn’t have enough cash for it, and asked for the regular.  They were the same size, except one was in silver and blue foil, the other in silver and red.  I asked the woman at the counter what’s the difference? She smiled and said “nothing.”  I appreciate that kind of candor and told her so; so I took my regular hot dog, covered it in mustard and onions, and enjoyed my favorite food at the ballpark.

Furthermore, the breath you get after eating a hot dog isn’t great.  On the flip-side, in the middle of summer after taking the dog on a long walk, yields some strong hot dog breath.  Is there a difference?  Sure, but not too much.  So I pop a mint, the dog takes one of those dog improving breath treats, and we move on.  What did all that have to do with fantasy baseball?  Uh…not much, so take the hot dog tip, avoid hot dog breath in all cases, and add Ben Paulsen to your fantasy teams.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I want to start talking about a little piece of OPS strategy that has worked for me over the years.  This works for AVG and OBP Leagues but I think works especially well for OPS leagues.  I call it: “Pair two players (PTP).”  Sexy, I know.  Usually it’s the combination of a power guy (say Giancarlo Stanton) with a speed guy (say Billy Hamilton).  Simple, yet efficient.  Giancarlo Hamilton, as it were.  Other examples: Edwin Pillar, Ender Rizzo, Lorenzo Abreu, make up your own! It’s fun.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello, Razzball Readers and six reader-ettes (Grey says it’s five, but now my wife will read (or says she will), so let’s up that number to six, shall we?). The name is Phil, and I’m here to provide some OPS league analysis. I’m from St Louis, but I’m no Cardinals Fan; so the Browns Logo it is.  I’m also not as funny as some of the writers on this site, but I’ll try to work in some humor; we’ll have a few beers, a few laughs, stop at In-and-Out burger, you know, the usual.

I’m going to be breaking down players and numbers for OPS leagues, which are the best of leagues. For those not in the know, that’s On Base % (so walks count!) + Slugging Percentage. Chicks dig the long ball, as Greg Maddux(?!?!) said back in the 90’s, and OPS leagues love those guys. However, as we enter deflated numbers for power hitters, we need to look at guys who help at OPS, which isn’t as easy to find as “batting average” hitters.

The biggest part of OPS to know is that batting average DOESN’T MATTER. Remember that, right it down, take a picture, I don’t give an ef, as it’s the most important part when comparing rankings from Experts. In recent history sluggers like Adam Dunn (the OPS League Gold Standard for many years), Mark Reynolds, Brandon Moss, Cris Carter, Mark Trumbo; all can/did barely hit over .240 but they hit bombs and had a nice OPS.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The season is winding down, and honestly, there isn’t much that can be said to help improve your playoff chances at this point. Largely, the last few days of the season come down to grabbing the appropriate streamer options. This post will go up on Saturday, so this may not look wise, but guys like Wei-Yen Chen are typically smart plays. Anyone going up against a lineup that is being “rested,” such as the Yankees following their clenching of the Wild Card, is a smart gamble.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Thomas Pham is a 27-year old rookie who has made the most of his first month in the big leagues. Big Magoo wrote about him on Tuesday, saying “Enjoy the fling while it lasts, but be wary of a long-term commitment.” And I completely agree! I don’t think that Pham will be a viable option in shallow mixed leagues next year.


Can he do it? Yes, he pham! Remember those great Jorge Cantu chants? Jorge can’t hit a home run! Yes, he Cantu!

My initial reaction was: could this be a Charlie Blackmon scenario? Blackmon’s first full season came at the age of 27, when he batted .288/.335/.440 with 19 bombs. But, Blackmon had already had plenty of major league action to that point, and his skillset was generally superior to Pham’s. So, I slapped myself and recognized that Pham is a perfect playoff schmotato and nothing more. Given that information, Pham has absolutely crushed over the past two weeks, posting a 1.350 OPS with 4 homers and 12 RBI. At this point in the year, you need to grab onto these hot streaks. And, Pham’s hot streak is molten right now.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In the spirit of the playoffs, I’m going to run through one widely available player at each position who might be able to help you in your OPS stretch run. Let’s get started.

Catcher: Grey gave you J.P. Arencibia and Francisco Cervelli as buys yesterday. But, if those guys are taken and you are hurting at catcher, take a look at Florida’s J.T. Realmuto. Over the past two weeks, Realmuto has gone 13-for-34 with 3 home runs and a 1.084 OPS.  He’s been one of the hottest hitting catchers going of late and he is owned in about 15% of ESPN leagues. I also considered Detroit’s James McCann for this one. Over the past week, McCann trails only Buster Posey, Kyle Schwarber, and Salvadaor Perez in OPS, posting a .853. But, playing time is a bit more of a concern with McCann, so Realmuto is the pick.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The King has returned to Middle Earth, to rule over the hobbits and elves and the other woodland friends. His name is Bryce Harper, and he will dole out fiery OPS vengeance upon any foolish enough to oppose him. Yes, friends, Harper, our long-time OPS champion, has enacted his fury this past week, going 10-for-23 with 5 homers and 6 RBI. His OPS for this period was a gorgeous 1.753. If Harper doesn’t win the NL MVP award, something is very wrong with the BBWAA. Harper has the 2nd highest OPS all-time for a 22-year old, behind only Teddy Ballgame. Almost more impressively, if the season ended today, Harper’s OPS would be the highest since Barry Bonds’ in 2004 (Bonds had an absolutely inhuman 1.422 OPS).

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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