better-call-saul

You’ve got to be schlitting me, right? There’s actually a pitcher with the last name Schlitter. I was watching a Cubs spring training game last week and this guy was on the mound. It was literally a mound of schlit. I wonder… when he has an awful outing and someone asks him how he pitched, does he say “schlitty”? Another pitcher with an interesting last name is Jeff Manship. Manship! Sounds like the Carnival Cruise line that doesn’t allow any females. Or perhaps it’s the mode of transportation that Sean Doolittle will be offering to the dudes he bought tickets for to fill the seats in Oakland on LGBT Pride Night. And what about Josh Outman of the Atlanta Braves. Is he the guy that told everyone who secretly bought a ticket for the man ship? Any chance Josh Phegley is on that list? Wow, that really got outta hand fast. Did anyone throw a trident?

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bryant_park

Those of you that live in the New York City area or have visited the world’s greatest metropolis have likely walked past Bryant Park. Perhaps you even stopped to take a leak or even sat down on a nice sunny day to do some fantasy baseball research and adjust your lineup. Located between between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and between 40th and 42nd Streets in Midtown Manhattan, Bryant Park is actually built on top of an underground building containing the archives for the New York Public Library. I know… who gives a shift. Besides, I’m more of a Washington Square Park kinda guy anyway.

For those of you that thought Bryant Park was the name of the Chicago Cubs spring training stadium, guess again. That would be Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona, which happens to be the largest spring training stadium (by capacity) with room for 15,000 people. [Jay’s Note: Had amazing sight lines, rugged, yet modern feel. 8/10, would go again.] I think that translates into 25,000 little people, but my math could be wrong. Despite his herculean efforts this spring, not only did they not rename the stadium after him, but Kris Bryant was denied the opportunity of being on the Opening Day roster. Instead, Theo Epstein gave us all some bullshart excuse that he needs more time in the minors. Listen Theo, say what you want, but there isn’t a baseball fan north of the border that doesn’t believe this isn’t a service time maneuver. I’m not a Boras fan, but I love how he called him out on this. Even Cubs manager Joe Maddon has said that he’d love to have him in the lineup. I guess I’ll see you in a few weeks Kris.

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MLB: San Francisco Giants-Photo Day

I’ve got to be “bust”ing your chops by suggesting Buster Posey as a first round pick in points leagues, right? First I declare Clayton Kershaw the top overall pick over Mike Trout, and now this? Some of you are probably thinking that I’ve been smoking a bit of the devil’s lettuce with Tim Lincecum while putting together these posts! Well I can assure you, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Although I wouldn’t mind sitting down with Big Time Timmy Jim and seeing if I can figure out what the heck happened to him, as I expected The Freak to anchor my staff for longer than he did…

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kickmejimmy
Unlike roto leagues, most points leagues “kick you in the Jimmy” for strikeouts. In a roto league a strikeout is no different than a ground out, a fly out, a pop out, a line out, or making contact with one foot completely outside the batters box. It’s just another out. While it doesn’t help your batting average, there is no additional penalty for being sent down on strikes.

In points leagues, however, strikeouts can have quite the detrimental effect on the overall value of a hitter. And depending on the number of points deducted for a strikeout, that effect can easily shift a roto-stud to a points league dud. Most leagues usually subtract either half a point or a full point for a strikeout. In leagues that take the full point, you are going to have some frustrating weeks if you own any of the strikeout kings of the league.

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4fef870c8ccc9.image

What is there not to love about Mike Trout? I know. The fact that I don’t own him in any of my keeper leagues and the chances of me owning him in any of my other leagues is slim. In order to do so I’d have to have the first pick of the first round. Or would the second pick be good enough to land me Trout? Dare I suggest the idea of drafting Clayton Kershaw ahead of Trout in head-to-head points leagues? The thought of not taking Trout with the first pick is one that only Dom Cobb could plant in your subconscious. But would it be such a terrible decision? Let’s look at the numbers.

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kershawshank

Well, I thought I was extremely clever when I came up with the title for this one, but then a quick Google search proved that there were others that were clever before I thought I was being clever. Darn you Google for knowing so much! And darn you Al Gore for inventing the internet! Thanks to the internet, a guy can’t get away with anything these days. Google, Facebook and Twitter have made it next to impossible for a guy to get a reach around in the back of the bowling alley from the girl that rents the shoes without everyone knowing, and every one of those people finding out about it. But I digress…

As draft dates draw nearer, I decided it was time to put together and share my head-to-head points league rankings. But before I do, I wanted to let you in on my process. Points leagues are all about one thing. Points. It’s the only category that counts for jack squat. I wonder how many dudes out there actually have the name Jack Squat? I guess it’s better than Richard Nose. I don’t care if my player gets 100 points because he had 100 RBIs or because he stole 100 bases. Whatever he needs to do to bring home the bacon is A-O-K with me. In Japanese that would be “Aoki”. I don’t even care if it’s turkey bacon! Points are points. So ranking players within the same position comes down to who will score more points. I’ll touch on comparing players across positions in my next post.

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therecord

I’ve been playing fantasy baseball since I was 15 back in 1992. If you have access to a calculator, that should tell you how old I am. Back then we had to gather the stats from newspapers, The Bergen Record to be precise, and compile the standings by hand. We had two guys in the league responsible for this awful task, and I was one of them. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but to look back at it from where we are today with all of the websites and mobile apps we now have that make it so easy, I wonder what fantasy sports will be like in another 20 years. What I’m hoping for is a button that I can press that will instantly taser a player on my team if he does something that I don’t like. Not likely? I didn’t think so, but a guy can dream.

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Everyone knows that the most hitter friendly ballpark in the Major Leagues is Coors Field, home to the Colorado Rockies. We all love us some Rockies on our fantasy rosters, but we also enjoy when our non-Rockies players visit the Mile-High City. Mile-High, Colorado… Not even gonna go there. So many possibilities. I’m sure most have been done already.

So… how do the fantasy points stack up? Does Coors Field live up to its reputation when it comes to the points? It sure does! Last year there were 4,269 fantasy points scored there by batters. That is more than double the 2,063 points scored at Petco Park in San Diego, which came in dead last. Exactly as many would have predicted, Coors with the most, Petco with the least. But what about in between. What other ballparks were fantasy points friendly in 2014?

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How do you know if you’ve drafted a great pitcher? If his name is Clayton Kershaw or Felix Hernandez, you are on the right track. But what about everyone else that is not them? Well, in head-to-head points leagues, I like to look at points per start (PPS). This gives me an idea of approximately how many puntos (that’s spanish for points) I am going to get, and is often a factor in helping me decide which pitchers to both draft and start.

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Rosters expand on Monday to allow for the big league clubs to take a look at 15 more players during the last month of the season.  All the mainstream experts say to pick up the top prospects who will get to see playing time for the last month to boost your roster.   But I’m so bitter today that I can’t recommend doing anything like that if you’re in a points league.  You see, I woke up early and picked out just the perfect outfit, but not one person has mistaken me for homeless.  I hate people.  And I hate prospect call ups (for points leagues).  They’re so new and trendy and just not sustainable enough for me.  In fact, even my moustache hates them.  I’m so heated over the matter that all 12 handlebars I waxed into it are now pointing down.  I used Burt’s Bees and now I can breathe like Brian Wilson on the mound.  Sinuses are so clear!

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