Many people don’t know this, but one of the great scenes in modern cinema was nearly about fantasy baseball but was turned on its head due to a misunderstanding. Darren Aronofsky, being Polish and thus having things assbackwards, originally intended Jennifer Connelly in Requiem for a Dream to be doing a scene about head-to-head fantasy baseball strategy instead of what turned out to be ass-to-ass. Sometimes it takes a true auteur to recognize happy accidents and go with them. “So, I said to Darren, you want me to debate the merits of taking a pitcher early while I’m connected to this other girl by a dildo? And he just gave me a blank stare.” That’s a line from Jennifer on the DVD commentary. Head-to-Head, or H2H, doesn’t change a lot to our 2014 fantasy baseball rankings. There are 300 billion suns in the Milky Way galaxy. There are 100s of billions of galaxies in the universe. There are at least 256,000 planets exactly like Earth. Time is a flat circle, says Rust Cohle. Yet, there’s only one Miggy Cabrera. (Though Ciggy Mabrera on Planet Yurick is pretty good too. Not a first rounder though.) H2H doesn’t change that. The strategy for playing in the middle of the season in H2H leagues changes. You aren’t hoping Billy Butler hits 25 homers by October, but whether or not he’ll hit a homer on Sunday or if you should sit him to try and win steals. It’s all about the match-ups, y’all! So you want to build a team that can match up well with any other team. (FYI, I’ve gone over this stuff before, but some of you might need a pine tree refresher hung from your rear view.) Anyway, let’s look at some H2H fantasy baseball draft strategy:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Spring training has sprung! Where’s my Rusty Staub Expos throwback? I got this in junior high and it still fits great. I have the body of an 11-year-old girl. *moonwalks across living room, falls on face* Most fantasy ballers are in the mocking mood right now with the for real fake drafts firing up in a few weeks. (There’s still time for you to commish an RCL league wink wink nudge nudge slap in the back of the head.) As we prepare this year’s team(s) (ss) and (sss), let’s fire up the jammer crammer machine once again and turn our all knowing fantasy eye toward first base. First base may have plenty of quality to find through the first 100 picks – Señor Stache has 15 first baseman in the top-100 – but the position ain’t what it used to be (and that’s what she said). Only six first baseman had more than 30 bombs last year, the fewest in over two decades. Is Andres Galarraga still playing? Those were the fantasy baseball golden years. Personally, I’d grab one early, say within my first three picks. We are not talking about whether or not to jam Paul Goldschmidt or cram Chris Davis here, we know what’s up there. We are looking towards players not ranked in the top 100 that can win you your league and all the cash, bragging rights and glory holes that go along with it. Last season, players with first base eligibility like Michael Cuddyer and Daniel Murphy were ranked (according to the Yahoos!) outside the top-100, but finished in the top-45. Any expert that told you they predicted that is actually from the moon and a time traveler. Sorry, watched Lunopolis on Netflix last month and just found out it wasn’t a documentary. While I’m no man on the moon, let’s cue up Mott the Hoople, make like Andy Kaufman in a wrestling match and jam it or cram it. Nothing is cool.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (8) | 2012 (5) | 2011 (23) | 2010 (28) | 2009 (26)
2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [81-81] NL West
AAA: [60-84] Pacific Coast League – Reno
AA: [79-60] Southern League – Mobile
A+: [77-63] California League – Visalia
A: [81-58] Midwest League – South Bend
A(ss): [34-42] Northwest League — Hillsboro
A.J. Pollock (OF); Didi Gregorius (SS); Adam Eaton (OF); Will Harris (RHP); Tyler Skaggs (LHP)
The Run Down
The Arizona farm has been one of great interest to fantasy players over the past few years, and that trend holds true for 2014. The D’backs have done a fine job in acquiring impact talent through recent drafts, and the trade market has been friendly to their system too. I’ll admit, though, that this 2014 crop of prospects is a little more top-heavy than what we’ve grown used to seeing from Arizona — once Archie Bradley, Chris Owings, and Braden Shipley surface in the bigs, this will be a system in need of high-end talent to emerge. Fortunate for them, lower-levels prospects like Stryker Trahan, Justin Blair, and Jose Martinez seem poised for breakouts in the year ahead.
“Get in a line, and limp.” That’s the master of ceremonies at the latest calfalcade. Chase Headley has a Grade 1 strain of his calf. Grade 2 or higher would be a cow. Semantics, perhaps. He’s supposed to be out for two to (stutterer!) three weeks. I’ve dropped him a couple of spots in my top 20 3rd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball and my top 400 for 2014 fantasy baseball. Probably if he was in Coors for his home games, coming off a 30-homer season and/or whispered in my ear sweet nothings about Giancarlo, I wouldn’t have moved him in my rankings at all. However, he’s in Petco, coming off a 13 homer season and any reason to not mess with a Padre is good enough for me. You say confirmation bias, I say keep your Psych 101 terms and Headley. To give you a present day example of another player with a calf strain who I’m not currently moving in my rankings: Josh Hamilton. If this were the 2nd week of March, I’d re-rank him, but he’s got time to heal or get injured worse. I’ll be monitoring Hamilton like a cyclops with a monocle. Anyway, here’s what else has been going down in Spring Training for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In recent posts, I used the results of our 2013 Razzball Commenter Leagues (based on 64 12-team mixed leagues with daily roster changes and unlimited pickups) to show:
- The end of season value of a team’s hitters explains about 70% of a team’s final season Hitting Standings Points
- The PROJECTED value of a team’s hitters before the draft explains on average only 15% of a team’s final season Hitting Standings Points (with a range in 2013 from 2% to 37%)
- Thus, about 55% of a team’s hitting success is driven by deviations from what was projected and what actually happened (drafter prescience may be part of this but it is likely driven by good/bad luck in hitter performance and health)
So this leaves 30% of Hitting Standings Points that could be attributed to a manager’s in-season moves.
Inspired by one of our commenters (initials SF), I thought of a way to reduce the size of that 30% black box. While estimating the quality of a manager’s in-season moves is very complicated, estimate the quantity of a manager’s moves is EZPZ. That would be interesting…..but what kind of guidance would that provide? Making roster moves just for the sake of it is a waste of time and if you, our loyal readers, are going to waste your time, we prefer you do it on our site vs. your league site.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Fellow RCL’ers, it’s your narrator for the 2014 season, back to bring you into the fold for everything RCL. And also type RCL as many times possible. Needs more RCL if you ask me. Anyhow, mark this day in your calender folks. It is a day which will (probably not) live in infamy. It is a day where we will chase history for the good of all mankind. Are we curing cancer? No. Solving world hunger? I just ate a Kit-Kat, so we might have some more work to do on that front. Are we creating a foundation to rescue stray animals? Ef no! We’re doing something much-much more important (not really). Today, I am making it our personal goal to create at least 75 RCL leagues for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball Season. Are we close? Darn straight we are. Right now, we are at 63 RCL leagues, and I know we can do this. Together. As one. HOLD ME.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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, well, over at Yahoo The Noise ranked Matt Carpenter 37th overall. A recipe for success at Yahoo involves Kosher salt because you need to take Yahoo’s rankings with a bigger grain of salt. Now, with that said, I think this year Yahoo’s flipped the script on ESPN. Yahoo’s rankings are better this year, i.e., they’re closer to mine than ESPN. At least that’s the vibe I get from looking at them, I didn’t actually stop and weigh the differences and divide that weight by pi to the seventh integer and multiply by X. I simply looked at what they had vs. me and think Yahoo did a better job this year. They have also changed their rankings dramatically in the last week. See, I originally had The Noise down as ranking Carpenter 30th overall. Just about every guy in the chart at the end of this post has moved closer to my rankings in the last week. I’m not saying they’re copying (or they’re not copying fast enough), because, well, they’re still off and now it’s time to spit fire:Please, blog, may I have some more?
One of the many perks of being a fantasy baseball blog with a modicum of popularity is the chance to play in expert leagues. For the 4th straight year, Razzball’s gunning for a LABR crown (3rd straight in the 15-team mixed league snake format) to put atop my afro’d head (Grey’s moustache is all the regality his noggin needs).Please, blog, may I have some more?
As spring training takes off, we, the wonderful people of Razzball, thought it would be a good idea to look into some intra-team rivalries. What positions are a lock? What positions are being fought over? What positions will they hire me to fill-in for (second base Blue Jays, I’m looking at you)? Find out as the start of this series will focus on NL East…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jason Kipnis? More like bacon with Kaddish! Am I right, twelve-hundred and eleven Jew readers? What? Google tracks this shizz, don’t look at me. For all of y’all that be up in my grill day in and day out about Jean Segura’s crizzappy 2nd half, let’s go off topic to bring it back to topic, shall we? Thanks, expository question! Segura had a ridunkiculous 2nd half, if you’re dunking turds in a bucket. Tis true, homies and four homettes. I agree. He’s also 23 years old and was in his first major league season. Never before had he played that much, so he was probably tired. Well, he did play a lot the year he played winter ball in the 8th grade because his dad told him, “You either play ball for 12 months or work at my pizza place, Papa Jean’s. Oh, and if anyone asks you about the lawsuit, Papa John’s and Papa Jean’s are not the same thing.” Segura was also hurt at the end of last year. But no excuses, he wasn’t good in the 2nd half with one homer and 17 steals. So, Kipnis, who the world and thy Lord in Fantasy Heaven, likes, did what exactly last year in the 2nd half? 4 homers and 9 steals. YAY!!! Seriously, I’m going to jump off the Bridge Of Who Cares after reading those numbers. Kipnis is also 26 years old and did the exact same tail off the previous year in the 2nd half, so this is a pattern you don’t need to be a knit maker to spot. So why is Jason Kipnis overrated for 2014 fantasy baseball?Please, blog, may I have some more?