When it’s fourth and long and 20 years ago, I believe the old song from the sea goes… You don’t look at the stats to date, especially when it’s with two weeks to play. What is ahead of you is all that matters. There is no loyalty, this isn’t the time to dance with the date you brought to the dance. You are looking for stats in any shape or form, period. So I give you the list, yes, the list is the bible of what guys are and what they have done for the year, but if you have an inkling that player A is going to save three games compared to player B getting one, then that answers your own question and you have deemed me useless. It kinda hurts that you deem me useless, but I will move on. I have been through a few relationships where it was a “it’s you not me” type scenario. Regardless, I have taken pride in bringing you the best that I can give in terms of fantasy bullpen type goodies on a weekly basis. After all, it is the readers of fantasy that make fantasy go round. So I would like to say thank you, no there is at best two more post to end the year but I wanted to say thank you now since we still have some attention span left instead of steering it towards fantasy football, which is awesome and you should go check out what Jay and the boys (and girls) are dishing out top notch type stuff. Before you click over to that, stay here for some fantasy bullpen chicanery and knowledge courtesy of your’s truly.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Kevin Kiermaier might be my first sleeper of the 2017 fantasy baseball season. The funny thing (completely and irrefutably not funny) is with fantasy football starting, fantasy basketball getting underway (don’t worry, I won’t clickbait you to death) and fantasy teams just falling out of contention, players that do well in September are often forgotten by next March even though they’re performing in the month closest to the next preseason. (Guys and five girl readers, if anyone says I don’t know the calendar, you tell them that is just inaccurate. Grey knows the calendar very well. Happy July 4th!) Kiermaier has that potent mix that I crave so much. No, not Russian dressing and relish, though that is delicious. Your secret is safe with me, sauce! Instead, I’m talking about a power and speed combo. For 2017, it seems entirely possible that he gets to 25+ HRs and 30+ steals. He’s only played in 91 games this year for 12 HRs, 18 SBs, and has a repeatable HR/FB%. In fact (Grey’s got more!), with his walk rate trending up and speed, his average might be more like .275 in 2017 vs. .250 this year. It’s not all yums ‘n roses with his Slash line. He could be more Dexter Fowler (14-ish HRs, 17-20 SBs) than Correa. That’s fine, because he’ll be drafted way closer, if not after Fowler. As for why to grab him now? He’s got five homers and six steals in the last ten days. DUR! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Entering the last weeks of the season, a few things have become crystal clear #1: No one wanted Crystal Clear Pepsi in the first place, why is it back? #2: OPS Leagues are the best in fantasyland and #3: It hasn’t been my best season overall. I know, I know, anyone that writes for Razzball should dominate every league they are in. I’m doing well in more leagues then I’m not, true; however I’ve had an epic collapse in my home league that has messed with me as I owned the first half; another I know I should be doing better in but moving across country, starting a new job; life really got in the way this summer (not that’s it’s an excuse…well it is, life happens). So I’m taking responsibility (or at least placing the blame). However one thing I didn’t need to be reminded of is the luck of it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
One of these Weavers just doesn’t belong…in the majors. We’ve got both Weavers going tonight and the two are near polar opposites. Luke Weaver is breaking his way into the majors, while Jered Weaver is pushing his way out. One is young (23), the other not so much (33). One throws a 92 MPH fastball and one throws about a 62 MPH fastball. Jered’s K/9 is about half (5.03) of Luke’s (11.32) and their xFIPs couldn’t be much different (2.79 for Luke, 5.75 for Jered). All of this is why one of these Weavers is a wonderful cheap DFS play (and streaming option in season-long leagues) and the other is a guy we love to stack against. Riddle me this DFSers, why then is Luke Weaver priced over a grand LESS than Jered Weaver? Luke checks in at a measly $5,200 and is my top pitching play of the night because of it. You might think it’s all small sample size so far for Luke Weaver, but digging into his minor league numbers you’ll see a 10+ K rate in AA with a FIP of 2.04 in 16 games. I’m buying, especially in a pitchers park (SF) tonight. Meanwhile, stack those Jays. Let’s look at a few more plays for tonight’s slate:
New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday September 19th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Real talk: is there some kind of unwritten law that the first year a new baseball commissioner takes over he’s allowed to institute juiced baseballs? Is Our Commissioner Manfred sticking Capri Sun straws in baseballs across the league? Does he have someone else do the actual juicing? When Bud Selig told Manfred that he could juice the baseballs did he finish by doffing his toupee? Does Manfred own Dozier in fantasy? I got questions, y’all! Yesterday, the Pirates added five more homers to MLB’s bottom line: Sean Rodriguez (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) with his 14th homer; Jordache Mercer (1-for-4, 3 RBIs) hit his 11th; John Jaso Jingleheimer Schmidt (1-for-4) his his 6th, but the real damage was done by The Undread Pirate, Andrew McCutchen (3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) with his 22nd and 23rd homer, hitting .250. McCutchen got old real fast in every conceivable way over the last two years. His BABIP fell faster than a 40-year-old on the Cheesecake Factory Diet, his Ks shot up like he’s Danny Glover and he “ain’t got time” for walks and his steals dried up quicker than Cougs’ cactus. An actual cactus she bought at the supermarket and forgot to water over the course of three years. What did you think I meant? Oh c’mon! All of that for McCutchen who is still only 29 years old! I’m beginning to think he’s 29 years old like Debra Winger’s listed as 29 years old on her headshot. In 2017, I think McCutchen won’t be drafted anywhere near where he’s been in the last two years. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him fall to the 75 to 100 range, which might actually reverse his fortunes and make him a value play again. Except for those that drafted Carlos Gomez this year, they’re not falling for the ol’ banana in the tailpipe again. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
We’re back, and this time with 100% less cracking mics, and Candy Crush breaks! Do people still play Candy Crush? Anywho…This week on the Prospect Podcast Michael Halpern of Imaginarybrickwall.com and I talk the recent callups of Roman Quinn and Dan Vogelbach. Touch on Chance Adams 2016, the return of Benintendi, and the end of Aaron Judge’s season. I promise I won’t gloat. From there, we discuss next season value for the big three rookie catchers, Sanchez, Contreras, and Murphy for those of you not in the know. Then again, you’re listening to a fantasy prospect podcast in September, so you know. We round out the episode with our top 10 prospect catchers, and follow that up with some interesting sleepers. Ladies and Gents it’s episode 7 of the Razzball Fantasy Prospect Podcast!!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Since the beginning of this season, I have been following the lovely mustache of none other than Daniel Mengden of the Oakland Athletics. Turns out, Mengden also has pretty good stuff in his right arm out on the hill. However, he has yet to be able to fully translate it to the big leagues. I believe in him in a matchup against the mostly punchless Royals, and so should you. If you need convincing, just go look up Daniel Mengden, admire his mustache for however long you need, and then put him in your lineup and reap the rewards of such a great mustache.
New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday September 19th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to ourDFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.Please, blog, may I have some more?
You know one of those posters where they feature celebrities from different eras that may or may not have ever been together in the same room? Like James Dean, Mickey Mouse and Lenny Bruce standing at a bar, smoking cigarettes. Okay, I’m pretty sure those three never hung out. In 75 years, when we’re all dead and buried, except for maybe some of my preteen readers — YASSSSSS I never forget you! — they will decide to make a poster featuring some standouts from this year: Trump, Hillary, Nadiya from The Great British Bake Off. Also, on that poster will be one player from the 2016 World Champion Cubs team, the last Cubs team to win the World Series in 75 years. Which player will be on that poster made from the last remaining tree? I don’t think it’ll be David Ross, prolly not Arrieta, not for this year, maybe Bryant, maybe Rizzo, maybe Hendricks and maybe Jon Lester. Yesterday, pushed forward Lester’s agenda to get on the “last tree poster” — 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.40, moving his record to 17-4, and, since the All-Star break, it’s a 1.47 ERA in 73 1/3 IP. His ERAs over the last four years: 3.75, 2.46, 3.34 and 2.40. And you thought Saberhagenmetrics were some contrived statistical model. Look in the mirror, and pfft yourself. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is one of those posts where I feel like I’m writing as much for guys researching their minors draft in early January, as I am the few hardcores still checking out prospect blogs in the throws of Fantasy Football season. Hardcores, excuse me if you will, while I direct a few questions at the January readers. January readers, here are my questions:
- Did the Cubs win the World Series?
- Did the Red Sox win the World Series?
- Has Strasburg had TJ yet? How about Salazar?
- Is Trump President?
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk a little about why we’re gathered here today. Dearly beloved….Wait, sorry! I was about to read the notes from the last wedding I did. BTW Prospector Ralph is a fully licensed Justice of the Peace. Imagine hiring me to do your next wedding! I could talk specs, oogle at your wife’s cans, and the best part is you can pay me in scotch! Sounds like a win-win-win. Right? Anyway, I’m actually here today to finish off my 2016 All-Prospect team, and with the help of our very own bullpen specialist Smokey. Who just so happened to be nice enough to throw me three bullpen specs he’s excited about. So I’ll give you my top 10 minor league pitchers of the year, and Smokey will give you his 7th, 8th, and 9th inning guys for our imaginary farm team. Do Smokey a solid, and go read some of his stuff over on Razzball Soccer. Do me a solid while you’re at it and subscribe to the Razzball Prospect Podcast.Please, blog, may I have some more?
This week’s most added player, Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton (52.6% owned; +34.6% over the past week), needs no introduction to those of you familiar with the prospecting circles. Well, I guess I should clarify and say prospect circles since we can leave the prospecting to his agent(s) and entourage. The bottom line is that Buxton has been widely considered to be one of the best (if not the best) young talents in baseball for the last several years. While rising up the minor league ranks, he’s shown the abilities to hit for average and power, field his position well, consistently throw runners out when they attempt to take an extra base, and run really, really fast. That’s basically just a long-winded way of saying that he’s a five tool player. Unfortunately for Buxton and his fantasy owners, these tools haven’t led to much on-field production during his time in MLB thus far. At least early on, that is. From his MLB debut on June 14th of last season through August 5th of this season, Buxton managed just a .199/.248/.319 triple slash line through his first 109 MLB games (356 PA) with 3 homers and 11 steals along the way. His 34.8% K% over that span showed that the 22-year-old wasn’t quite able to adjust to big league pitching just yet. Since being sent down to the minors last month and reemerging in the majors on September 1st, Buxton has looked like a different player. In 10 games (40 PA), he’s produced a .405/.436/.919 line with 12 runs, 5 homers, and 13 RBI over that span. He’s managed to cut his K-rate down to 27.5% as well. A large part of this newfound success (especially the power) can most likely be attributed to a leg kick that he reintroduced into his plate approach after abandoning it last season. However, despite the recent surge in production, Buxton has actually been as undisciplined at the plate as ever, in some regards. His 41.7% O-Swing% and 17.3% SwStr% over the last 10 games are up significantly from his previous 31.6% and 14.2% marks in his MLB career. He’s clearly being much more aggressive at the plate during this recent stint, which is great when the ball is consistently flying out of the park, but could spell trouble when his 45.5% HR/FB and .476 BABIP come back down to Earth. Buxton reminds me quite a bit of another young, toolsy outfielder with a similar build, skillset, and approach by the name of B.J. (though you might know him as Melvin) Upton – fantastic speed, solid pop, and a few too many Ks. I’m referring to the Rays version of Upton, of course, who topped 30 steals five times (including 40+ three times) and smashed 20+ homers on three different occasions while in Tampa. His shaky plate discipline generally kept his batting average just south of .250, but his power/speed combination was very impressive. The back of Buxton’s baseball card could look very similar to that of the Tampa version of Upton over the next few years. Dynasty leaguers – giddy up! Oh yeah, he should be a solid asset in redraft leagues over the next few weeks too as pitchers attempt to adjust to Buxton’s new approach.
Now that that run-on paragraph is finished, here are a couple of quick takes on players who have been among the most added/dropped in fantasy leagues over the past week:Please, blog, may I have some more?