It was almost 15 years ago (somehow) when Outkast introduced us to the truth that sometimes “roses really smell like poo-poo-oo.” Ha, that silly Caroline thought she was special. Back in January, not gonna lie, I had a two weeks spurt of praying and hoping that I could break the mold, that I was special, and that I could get away with not smelling while disregarding one important component of every adult’s life.

After a wedding in Charleston for New Years Eve I came home with zero deodorant. Who in the balls steals deodorant, I don’t quite understand. But that triggered a little experiment for two weeks of wearing none. (Gasp) The horror!

Well, I actually got away with it. For a while. Then came one day at work when I had to walk about 10,000 steps…you can see where this is going. Let’s just put it this way, I didn’t raise either of my arms anywhere north of about 5 degrees from my sides. While it wasn’t doo-doo that I smelled like (because that would be quite possibly the. worst.), Ol’ Three Stacks was right in that you just can’t avoid the necessary elements and think you’re 100. For Caroline, that betch needed a little humility. For me, it was as simple as stop being a cheap bastard because the experiment failed miserably. But, oh, for Rougned Odor? The approach would catch up with him eventually. Here comes the massive drop.

  • Rougned Odor, 2B, TEX (96.2% owned) – I can feel the scorn of all the Grey acolytes reading this. I’m lucky enough to somehow be a part of the FantasyPros Expert Consensus rankings, and while doing a little studying back in March one person stood far above the others in his love for the smelly Texas man with a nasty right haymaker: our Grey. Now, I trust Grey’s ratings above almost everyone else’s, but with Odor we weren’t in lockstep. And then his first week happened and I felt a little silly, because our mustached macho man was looking quite nice for his top 15 ranking of Rougned (3 HR in first 4 games). But then reality set in: this dude’s streakier than Frank the Tank running around the quad (somehow also almost 15 years ago). With a BABIP south of .300 last year he hit .271 and posted 33HR with 14 SB. Incredi-belmo! When the ol’ BABIP drops under .200, though, you get a player slashing .194/9/4/13/1. His game doesn’t allow him to weather the bad storms because he never walks (4.0% this year), whereas players that walk to a double-digit rate can still provide value while getting on base when the bat goes cold. He’s a special talent with a massive ceiling, but until he turns it around there are plenty of other options I’d rather own. At only 23 years old he’s prime to turn it around and still finish with a .250/80/25/80/12 line, but if April’s a precursor for the rest of 2017 we need to pump the brakes on what we dreamed he may be. .270/90/30/90/20 just ain’t happening. This is bad Odor. You’ll have to live with it. It’s definitely not roses.

Now, I’m sure I’ll look like an idiot for this in a few days when he goes all Anthony Rendon, but then I’ll just say this was all a ploy to make my big boss man look better (insert Grey cackle here)! Still worth the 96.2% own rate? Yep. Still worth a top 25 ranking where even I had him preseason? Nope. And much of the below rankings are my subjective thoughts, so don’t agree? THAT’S WHAT THE COMMENTS ARE FOR!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Oh, hey there. Glad you could find time to visit us here at Razzball, even though it seems like the rest of the world is dry humping the NFL draft. I mean yeah, sure, I like football as much as the next person, but how awful is the first round? Seriously guys, just MAKE THE PICK! Is it necessary to have fifteen minutes between selections? The front office’s of all 32 teams have had the entire year to break down the information. Surely the final few minutes are not life and death. Remember, the Bears had all of the required data, interviews and film and still found a way to draft Mitch Trubisky. That will definitely leave a mark. That’s why I love writing this post every week. The tools here at Razzball make it almost too easy to make the right decision. If you haven’t yet, check out the Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron. After you delight yourself with their fantasy baseball prowess, make the right decision and subscribe to one of the many options offered. Consider it money well spent after you’re counting your winnings in October. Remember kids, just say no to bad decisions. Anyway, as always we’ll be assisted in our streaming journey by the suggestions of both the aforementioned Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron. I’ll give you a few of the gems that both these sexy bots have to offer up, while spicing up the recommendations with a few numbers that may or may not get your engine running hot. Rawwrr! Before we get started, let me remind you that every player recommended in this post will be owned in less than 50% of standard ESPN leagues. Let’s go streaming:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

I know what you’re thinking, he’s switching it up and leading with a hitter?  Nah, not this early in the season, this article is not about Aaron Judge (although he is an absolute beast); it’s actually about Luis Severino who’s $15,600.  We all know that The Great Bambino started out as a pitcher and since the Yankees have changed their pinstripes as of late, I’m crushing on this new crop of talent.  Little know fact: I’m a big Yankees fan ever since the Don Mattingly days and it’s been a while since I had something to get excited about.  Honestly, the last time I had the warm and fuzzies when it came to the Bronx Bombers was when I was at Yankee Stadium celebrating Derek Jeter’s walk off win against the O’s.  Granny Law has been instituted in the form of  Larry Rothschild and I’m praying that he finally broke the wild horses that we know as Luis Severino and Michael Pineda.  It’s been a rocky road with the two of these young bucks; they giveth and they taketh away in the blink of a ticker.  Stacks on stacks of Ks, then they take your ERA/WHIP and smash it so fine that you could use it to chalk the foul lines on your coffee table.  There’s a reason Grey is cuckoo for both these guys, they got mad, crazy potential, yo!  “All I want to do is talk about Severino.  He is breaking out, and looks like he could be a top 20 starter this year.”  That’s me quoting Grey and I have to say, I absolutely agree with him.  The Baby Bambino faces a depleted Blue Jays line up at home tonight and if he can come close to his outing in Boston last week, – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks – then we’ll be in a good spot to cash in tonight.

New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Yesterday, Anthony Rendon went 6-for-6, 5 runs, 10 RBIs and his first three homers of the year.  *gulps*  Sonavabench!  That is worst sonavabench I’ve had in my life and I thought my worst sonavabench was when I benched Conforto on Saturday for his double slam and legs.  Five homers on my bench in two days.  I feel a little uneasy from this sonavbenching.  Is woozy a side effect of sonavabench?  I feel legit woozy.  I need to sit down.  *vomits*  I feel worse.  “Hello, I need a paramedic.  The problem?  I BENCHED RENDON FOR THE TOP OFFENSIVE GAME OF THE SEASON!  Yes, I have insurance.  No, it’s not an HMO.”  *turns on oven, sticks head in oven, reads The Bell Jar lit by the pilot light*  This book is so boring, at what point does Plath mention Rendon and bite the big one?  So, yeah, I’m an idiot for benching Rendon, but what can do, as my Polish neighbor used to say.  On the bright side, he appears out of his early season slump.  That’s a consolation prize like coming in second on The Bachelor and all you get is herpes.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Grey had Taijuan Walker as a top 30 starting pitcher in his preseason rankings.

I thought that was clinically insane when combing through his pitcher rankings upon their release in early February.

The argument was there, I just couldn’t support it. Walker had a favorable division change to the NL West which made sense, but not 20 spots worth of an impact. I was stumped as to how you categorize him an SP3 (top 36 SP). Using youth to project future success is one I often turn to, but rarely in regards to seasonal relevance.

Joey Gallo is a good example of a player who over the last two years I have suggested taking a step back to see the big picture with. Even with the genuinely terrifying strikeout rate, to say you have never been unbelievably impressed with a good handful of Gallo’s at bats is a flat out lie. Anybody who can hit baseballs as hard and far as him, at the age of 23, has to be given some leeway for developmental matters. (Side note, I talked with Murray Chass on a podcast I host and he suggested that distance on home runs didn’t matter. Take that for data!). The fault in my “step back and calm down” philosophy with young players is that I sometimes miss the breakout year. I wasn’t high on Gallo for this season, and that was a mistake, but I’m fine with being cautious season-to-season on breakouts without something underneath the surface that I can believe in. I didn’t envision an early Adrian Beltre injury, nor did I think his swinging strike rate could come down 5% so quickly.

Pitching is different animal, but the general theory still persists. I just couldn’t wrap my head around Walker…

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

We’ve reached the one month mark and as expected, there are plenty of early surprises. Eric Thames is the #1 player according to the Razzball Player Rater, Ryan Zimmerman is #3 and Ervin Santana is the #1 overall pitcher. Quietly sitting at #5 is Mike Trout. Trout’s line is outstanding with 18/7/18/5/.365 yet all of the talk is about Thames, Bryce Harper and a few others. At the end of the day, this is why taking Trout with the first overall pick is a no-brainer. We all know this. There’s nothing like safety and upside in the first round which is why I have Paul Goldschmidt on a bunch of teams this season. Au Schizz is as safe as anybody but Trout yet he was consistently falling in drafts to the middle or late part of the first round. I preach on the hockey side of things that you can’t win your league with your first two picks but you can certainly lose it. “Safety first” is even more important in baseball where it is easier to find hot schmotatos to fill out the bottom of your roster. Obviously we are long past draft season at this point but if you can trade some guys off hot starts for some consistency, I’d generally advise doing it. Let’s take a look at everything that was posted on Razzball over the last week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Happy May day!  Or is it still April?  I ‘m not sure because I started writing this in April, but it may not go up on the site until May, and I’m just so confused…and isn’t that what you want out of your fantasy baseball ‘pert?  (Don’t answer that, please).  If you read last week I went to the Angels game the other night, first time.  Those two big ball caps outside the stadium are odd.  Do they serve a purpose?  Like if it ever rains people can stand underneath them (they look permeable)?  As Grey says, I need answers, y’all!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Dallas is screaming my name today. There is a good chance that Dallas Keuchel is chalky today as he has the best matchup. He is a must play in all cash games. The Oakland bats are striking out at a rate of 28% in the last 7 days and 24% on the season.  Oakland has been held to 1 run in 4 of the last 7 games. Keuchel has been struggling to rack up K’s this season and this will be an opportunity for him to cash in. For this reason he is my favorite play of the day for the pitchers. FantasyDraft has Keuchel priced at a modest $18,300. I’m not overly enthused with today’s pitchers and I think you need to be careful as it looks like a lot of these game may have high run potential.

New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Pitching prospects are funny. Sometimes the best major league starters seemingly come out of nowhere. A mechanical tweak, or improved grip on a breaking pitch can sky rocket a prospect’s status to new heights. Sometimes, a high floor prospect that wasn’t getting too many prospect hounds or dynasty managers excited, progresses to the point of at least real mid-rotation upside. The later seems to be the case of the Reds AA righthander Tyler Mahle. On the heels of a perfect game just about a week ago. One in which, he made quick work of the 27 batters, throwing just 88 pitches. He produced another strong showing Friday, going 6 scoreless innings, striking out 6, and allowing 5 to reach. Mahle’s displayed pinpoint control throughout his time in the minors, and the results have been good outside a blip during his first go-at AA last season. A four pitch arsenal includes an average low 90’s fastball, a plus changeup, and a slurvy breaking ball. He’s not someone I foresee breaking a K per inning rate, but so far the swing and miss has been there, with 34 K’s in 32.1 innings. If Injuries to Reds starters begin to pile up, we might see Mahle in the big leagues by mid-July. As always Great America Ballpark is a horrible landing spot for any young starter, but I’m more inclined to believe in one with control and tendencies to induce weak contact (14.8%) and ground balls (44.4% GB).

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

You may think I’m high for this. In the slack channel for the #Razz30 our very own @Ralph Lifshitz himself mentioned that the Mets 5th man Robert Gsellman just may not be that good. And he may be right. Or…maybe not?

Don’t all race to raise your hands when I ask who wants a SP with a 6.23 ERA that just got lit up by my still-one-year-away Atlanta Braves. I know that’s not exciting, just like if Phil asked ‘Who wants a mustache ride?‘ above. But what if the Phil Dunphy wisdom bomb in that gif actually plays out with our highlighted man? What if Ralph’s wrong and we’re dealing with a great buy low option?

Now that I feel like I’ve used-car salesman’d (yep, we’re making that a verb) you for 30 seconds, let’s cut to the chase. The Mets rotation has more red crosses in it than the road in Mereen after Daenerys crucified the previous slavers. And that was a bloody mess. Awful to see. I’m not totally sure what’s happening to seemingly every Mets stud starting pitcher, but with Noah Syndergaard’s biceps trouble another one bites the dust. Sure, they got Zack Wheeler to return, Matt Harvey’s been impressive in his bounce back, and Jacob deGrom is still dominant (for now), but Steven Matz caught the bug the preseason, as well as Thor. Hell, even  Seth Lugo couldn’t avoid the plague happening in New York? Goodness, what pharaoh pissed off Moses in that organization?

Now, back to the focus of Gsellman. Not even 24 years old, he flashed enough promise through the minors to be the first named called up when it became clear Lugo and Matz couldn’t crack opening day. However, while his ERA, FIP and BB/9 were all impressive, strikeouts were not his forte. In his short debut last season, and thus far in 2017, the storyline’s been different: 66.1 IP and 64 Ks. That’s a small part of the picture, but when you see the whole portrait, especially the deeper cats, you find a great buy-low option. While ~70% of baserunners are usually left on-base (LOB%), Gsellman’s strand rate sits at only 52.5% this year. That will change. As will his HR/FB% that sits at 16.7%. 1 out of every 6 fly balls don’t leave the yard across a whole season. Oh yeah, and there’s the whole .377 BABIP thing. He’s not facing Tony Gwynn every at bat.

So, now that I’ve overwhelmed you with peripheral stats, here’s the bottom line. Is he as good as his 2.42 ERA and 2.63 FIP from last year? Maybe not, but he’s also not as bad as his current 6.23 ERA suggests. Meet in the middle and you have a 4 ERA (which is still higher than his current FIP) with a strong strikeout rate. Add in all the opportunity to remain in the rotation against a middling NL East and I’d put him on all my watch lists. Especially for his two starts this week.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 
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