Greetings! I’m back, better than ever. I’m top of my game, even them country boys saying “Beddict, we feelin’ ya maaaaayne.” My previous week has been spent scouring the internet, attempting to penetrate the brains of each and every player-ranking “expert” on the planet. What I found out is this…I absolutely adore the shortstop position this year! Say one thing for Beddict, he’s a lover. I know, I know, they can’t all have great seasons. You’ve got to be realistic about these things. But still, I’m fairly high on 12-16 shortstops this season and it will more than likely be a position I wait on in the draft. We have much to discuss, so let’s jump right in.

I am Tehol Beddict and this is, Disgrace/Delight! Take Heed!

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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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Hehe, I said tool. Our Fantasy Baseball War Room is one part draft tool, one part fantasy team evaluator, one part fantasy junkie’s s’s and g’s tool, one part holy, two parts smokes, three parts… How many parts is that so far? Cause it’s only really seven parts total. I think there’s one part kill-your-day-with-this-war-room-thing-a-maboob in there too. I don’t know, guys and four girls, I think it’s pretty cool and I only get excited about things once every three full moons or once every time I see the t-shirt with three moons and a wolf. For reals, it might be the best thing since sliced bread. Now sliced bread that is toasted and buttered is another story entirely. This shizz is so insane, I just had an aneurysm. Are you happy now?!

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xps13_1160b-100249349-origI have been saddled (by employers) with mediocre PC laptops for years. Most companies have their IT
groups recycle (aka ‘refurbish’) laptops to save costs. Inevitably, all but a couple people end up with 3-year old models that are heavier, slower, and lamer than the latest/greatest model (kind of like comparing a Miguel Cabrera 2014 to Miggy 2011).

Just as my latest laptop started acting up, an e-mail popped into my inbox from Dell. They wanted me to test drive their XPS 13 laptop and share with all of you my thoughts on it. As an incentive, I could keep the laptop and give one out to our wonderful readers. Wow, last year I got a free book to review. This year, a laptop. Just putting it out there that Rudy could use a non-minivan to drive around in…

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I wish filling out your fantasy roster with middle relievers was as easy as plop-plop, fizz-fizz.  But I’m sure it isn’t, because not everyone is using the same model of success.  I can dig that, I mean, I come from a long line of Smokeys that like the art of shoveling.  Listen, I get it if you don’t wanna help your team-rates and ratios by adding guys that are stout in production for basically free at the end of your draft.  Streaming relievers is a real thing, I didn’t make it up.  It does exist, and it lives in the house between Nessy and Sasquatch.  It’s not for the faint of heart and is probably not for everyone.  It is about optimizing your free innings (very useful in RCL leagues that have games started limits, which everyone wants to win).  It’s a basic theory and the patent is pending, so stick around as I get into the art of streaming relievers. And as an added bonus, I have broken down the MR corps into four separate groups.  These groups are broken down by usefulness.  We have one for straight cuffs, one for rates and holds, a straight holds, and then some stone cold sleepers for you deep-leaguers.

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In past years, I’ve said the following analogy. There’s years of looking up to your father, whether you agree all the time or not. Then, one day, he takes a poop on your couch. You take him to the hospital; he’s in need of some sort of psychology examination. If the tests come back conclusive that he pooped the couch simply out of laziness, then that’s ESPN. If tests come back that he’s gone crazy, then that’s Yahoo. That’s inaccurate this year. It still holds true for ESPN, but Yahoo seems like it’s taking steps to correct past mistakes. They’ve lost The Noise from the composite rankings, and he’s always said baseball wasn’t his thing. (What is his thing…well…) Funston, Behrens, Del Don and Pianowski do a conscientious job with their rankings. No, I don’t agree with all of them, I’ll get to that. But they do take the time to actually rank, which I’m 99.9% sure can’t be said of ESPN. Yahoo could easily phone-in their rankings like ESPN, but they don’t. That is, indeed, a point for them. Yahoo still seems to be in love the stolen base and guys that can be labeled as ‘hot, unproven bats.’ They don’t rank nearly deep enough and they have some of the funkiest position eligibility decisions, but these all seem to be coming from places of conscious decisions and not, “Tristan, could you rank for everyone today? I just saw Stephen A. Smith in the elevator and he asked me to Au Bon Pain for lunch. Thanks.” That’s a voicemail message that Cockcroft gets every day. Anyway, here’s where my 2015 fantasy baseball rankings differ from the 2015 Yahoo fantasy baseball rankings:

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Man, Razzball must really hate Freddie Freeman, eh? Ehhhh, hate is such a strong word. Loathe? Sure. Despise? Maybe. Disgustipated? Only amongst Tool fans (btw, you guys are awesome. Love Track #1! *Sniffs fist like Kennedy from MTV*). I mention the hate because Grey has already notified us that Freddie is, in fact, a Schmohawk this year earlier this morning. Why pile on, you ask? Well, telling you someone is overpriced is useful but since that’s covered, how about we look at this from a market exploitation angle now that we know not to buy, eh? So let’s compare the stats and the relative price differences the market offers to get your pseudo-Freddie freak on. Here’s a little draft day arbitrage for 2015 Fantasy Baseball. *Sniffs fist like Kennedy from MTV again for no good reason other than to make you google it*

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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (12) | 2013 (17) | 2012 (20) | 2011 (21) | 2010 (8)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [96-66] AL East
AAA: [65-79] International League – Norfolk
AA: [72-70] Eastern League – Bowie
A+: [65-72] Carolina League – Frederick
A: [66-73] South Atlantic League – Delmarva
A(ss): [27-48] New York-Penn League – Aberdeen

Graduated Prospects
Jonathan Schoop, INF | Kevin Gausman, RHP

The Gist
The Orioles’ farm is headlined by two solid pitching prospects, although both have dealt with elbow injuries of late. Dylan Bundy may see MLB time later this year along with hitting prospects Christian Walker and Dariel Alvarez. The top half of this farm is pretty solid from a fantasy standpoint, and the Orioles already have nice young talent at the major league level in Manny Machado, Kevin Gausman, and Jonathan Schoop. Gausman was a good arm to own in the second half of 2014 after yo-yoing in the first, and may take a major step forward this year. Meanwhile, Schoop popped 16 homers in his rookie campaign. Machado is still just 22 years old and obviously has massive potential. With a bounce back from Chris Davis, this could be a very nasty offense in 2015.

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Some guys are obvious they’re going to be overrated, other guys don’t reveal themselves until I start seeing where others are ranking them. Freddie Freeman fell into the latter category. I wasn’t expecting to see people rank him that much higher than I had him. I mean, I knew people love to love players that are good in real life. It’s the Poseyitis Syndrome again. The general population knows Freeman is a good real baseball player, so if some ‘perts rank him too low or say anything negative on him, then people get upset. As a general rule of thumb, people don’t want to upset other people. I grew up Jersey, so if you’re not upsetting someone else, you’re doing something wrong. You need thick skin to get by. Preferably thick, bronzed skin. When I saw some people ranking Freeman in the top 20 overall and even in the top 15 in some instances, my toes began to tingle and I knew there might be something schmohawky here. Of course, I hadn’t moved off the couch in three months, so I might’ve just lost circulation to my lower extremities. “Get off the couch, Fantasy Master Lothario!” That’s me yelling at myself. So, what makes Freddie Freeman overrated for 2015 fantasy baseball?

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Greetings all, and welcome to the first installment of The Numbers Game. “Boy, that title sounds about as exciting as it would be to draft Omar Infante in 2015.” Hey, quiet in the peanut gallery! Fantasy baseball is, as the title of this series makes blatantly obvious, all about the numbers. The idea behind these posts is to identify players who fit a specific set of search criteria using statistics accumulated over the past three seasons. The various criteria that I’ll be using will be established based on player comps and/or the MLB averages in key statistical categories. Some results will include data from 2014 only, while others will include some combination of the previous two seasons as well. The ultimate goal of these exercises is to provide a different perspective that will help to confirm your evaluations of certain players and perhaps reconsider your opinions of others. While I’ll be providing my two cents from time to time, it’ll be up to you to decide how valid the results truly are.

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