Yesterday, Ivan Nova threw a complete game with one earned run — 9 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks — ERA at 3.20 on the Pirates, after having a 4.90 ERA on the Yankees.  This Ray Searage guy can do miracles.  People should travel far and wide to go see him with their ailments, anguish and general malaise.  “So, I was standing in line for a frappuccino and I was thinking, ‘What’s the point?’  So, what is the point, Searage?”  “Sounds like you should use the change more.”  By the way, malaise is not the actress that plays Arya Stark.  Ray Searage is a modern-day miracle worker.  Move over, Anne Sullivan!  This is also exactly what they said about Searage in regards to Juan Nicasio before he flamed out about three weeks into the season, and Gerrit Cole has been pretty gross.  Searage seems totally competent, but to think he can fix all Pirates pitchers seems foolhardy.  No relation to Tom Hardy.  I could see grabbing Nova if the matchups are right, but I’m not running out to grab him in 12 team mixed leagues.  Not simply because my computer’s at home and it makes no sense to run out anywhere.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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At Stephen Strasburg‘s summer DL rental, the driveway is an inverted W and he timeshares with Ryan Zimmerman.  The Nationals said Strasburg’s elbow issue is not structural.  Yeah, it’s deconstructed like a Cobb salad at some overpriced restaurant.  I’m sure Strasburg is totally fine and it’s completely coincidental that he has a 10.19 ERA in August.  Totally unrelated, guys and five girl readers, totally unrelated.  Strasburg feels like the kind of pitcher that we can never rely on for more than 150 IP.  In five years, he’s thrown 200+ IP once and he’s 28 years old.  Oh, and ‘member how Strasburg was supposed to bounce back this year?  He currently has the worst ERA of his career.  Yeah, great.  In my fantasy team news, because who doesn’t love someone talking about their fantasy team, Strasburg hit the DL about an hour after my weekly Scout league locked.  The same league where I was in first a week ago before Strasburg went to Coors and Lackey went to the DL.  The same league where I’m now in 2nd.  The same league where I needed Strasburg to start twice this week and Lackey was set to face the Padres.  The same league that ends at the end of August.  The same league that just made me cry.  I need a tissue, you karmic bullies!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The other day the Astros signed the coveted Cuban refugee, Yulieski Gourriel.  One time!  Yulieski is as apple pie as a Canadian tenor group making a political statement during the All-Star Game.  He’s 32 years old.  If he went by YuGo, that would make him the newest car in Cuba.  “Bueno Model T, amigo!  Now, tell me about this Ford Taurus I hear so much about.”  You know who a 32-year-old Cuban immediately reminds me of?  Hector Olivera and Alex Guerrero.  Sloppy comparison maybe.  Hey, that gives me an idea.  Whenever doing a sloppy comparison between players who just happen to be Cuban, we should call them Sloppy Jose’s.  We need a similar term for when making a sloppy comparison between Japanese players; please suggest in the comments.  As for Gourriel, yeah, I don’t see much here.  I watched video of him, and he looks like a 15 HR, 6 SB, .260 hitter, which is Hector Olivera.  I’m sorry, but those Sloppy Joses make sense sometimes.  This Gourriel signing obviously delays Bregman’s arrival, so boo, you mothereffer, boo.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The Rangers called up their super-prospect, Nomar Mazara (3-for-4 and a solo homer).  That’s super *prospect*, Hillary Clinton fans.  Don’t worry, not the word that is also a title of an Arnie, Carl Weathers and Jesse Ventura movie.  How is that trifecta not in more movies?  I wanna see ACJ in everything!  This Mazara call up is happening a lot faster than I thought it would.  As the Story one did and the Max Kepler one and the Mallex Smith one (which I’ll go over in the post) and others.  Maybe clubs read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  I started to read it, got to the first chapter, “Put first things first,” skipped to the third chapter about being proactive, grew bored and never finished it.  Feels like the days of Super Twos and June call-ups are behind us, right?  Not answer, but to ruminate.  I gave you a Nomar Mazara prospect post back in November of last year where I said, “He won’t struggle to hit .220.  He won’t be a liability anywhere.  He kinda reminds me of a young Matt Holliday, though from the other side of the dish.  I watched some of his YouTube highlights and he doesn’t struggle to hit balls a long way, but also doesn’t look like a fat turd that can’t make it to first.  I’m no scout, but watching him makes me think this is what scouts call sexy.  I’ve seen him compared to Miguel Cabrera.  Okay, no one is Miguel Cabrera until they are Miguel Cabrera, if you catch my drift, but Mazara doesn’t look like a guy that is going to disappoint.  .280 with 30 homers a season for many years, that’s what he profiles as.”  And that’s me quoting me!   I grabbed him in every league where he was available.  For now, he’s just filling in for Shin-Soo Choo, who is out four to six weeks with a strained calf, but I could see Mazara staying up and producing.  Think Stephen Piscotty-type numbers, 20 HRs, .275, and a few steals.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The first major injury of the 2016 MLB season occurred last Friday as spring training was drawing to a close, when Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock fractured his right elbow sliding into home plate. Why did he decide to slide head first in a meaningless game with a previously sore elbow that kept him out of preseason action for several weeks? Does GM Dave Stewart finally wish that he could rescind his ill-conceived Shelby Miller trade and bring Ender Inciarte back into the fold? Why does it seem like I’m peeing more frequently as I get older? So many questions! However, the most relevant question in this particular situation is: who is the next man up? The most interesting in-house candidate to replace Pollock appears to be 23-year-old prospect Socrates Brito (11.3% owned; +6.1% in the past week). Brito was a candidate to steal some playing time away from Yasmany Tomas in left field, so Pollock’s injury opens up yet another potential path to playing time for the youngster. In a brief stint in MLB last season (34 PA), he managed a .303/.324/.455 triple slash and graded out well defensively, which helps his case to see some at-bats in the near future. In fantasy terms, a decent comp might be Austin Jackson. With regular playing time, a .260/10/20 type of line looks to be in his wheelhouse. There is some upside here, so he’s worth a gamble to grab and stash to see how this situation plays out.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

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It’s Opening Day, so what better time to start an “I Told You So.”  Sure, any time is a good time for an “I Told You So,” and that doesn’t just hold true for So Taguchi.  Though, that “I Told You So” rings true, as well.  That’s if you did indeed tell So something, and he doesn’t heed your prescience.  Oh, and don’t be scared, Carl Everett, prescience isn’t science from before science.  So (Taguchi), A.J. Pollock has a fractured elbow.  I told you not to draft him.  Of course, I didn’t say he’d fracture his elbow; my Magic Eight Ball isn’t that precise, but I did say to avoid him in drafts.  If you would’ve just followed that, we’d all be okay.  You didn’t listen because you know better, and I’m not talking about that Armenian dishwasher you befriended at the bus stop, Better Vardanyian.  You might know that Better, but you didn’t know better than to draft Pollock.  For you drafters of Pollock, I’ll pour some of my “I Told You So” juice out that I’m marketing with So Taguchi.  By the way, So Taguchi — retired for seven years, but a major part of the Opening Day roundup.  Good for So Taguchi.  And great for us, we got baseball!  And not great for Pollock, he’ll be out for the better part of the year, if not the whole shebang, to quote Ricky Martin.  I grabbed Socrates Brito in one league because he’ll be facing the majority of pitchers (righties).  He was in my top 80 outfielders.  I’m a big fan, though not as a houseguest.  Wearing nothing but a toga on a couch is a little gross.  He has solid speed and some power, think 10 HRs and 22 SBs.  A poor man’s Pollock, I will call him Warsaw Ghetto.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend for fantasy baseball:

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After Jada Pinkett Smith started the #closerssowhite controversy, boycotting SAGNOF until there were more black closers, because her husband, Will Smith, wasn’t immediately anointed closer of the Brewers, the entire MLB began a well-needed discussion about race.  Our Commissioner Manfred said, “I thought about this for a brief second, then I realized the entire league is Dominican.  I mean, before I was chosen as commissioner I had to vacation in Punta Cana for a long weekend just to ‘feel the vibe’ as Selig said.”  Jada Pinkett Smith said she will not sleep until her husband gets saves or Torii Hunter comes out of retirement and is made closer of one of those real white teams, “Maybe Minnesota.”  Closers So White lives on.  Will Smith’s closer season, however, looks about as promising as an After Earth sequel.  On Saturday, it was reported he tore his LCL.  He tore his 150?  That’s like when Pablo Sandoval’s dyslexic cousin saw Pablo tore his 501’s.  My money’s on Jeremy Jeffress getting the most saves in Milwaukee this year.  My money also has Alfred E. Neuman on it.  Jeffress is the top guy from the Brewers pen in my top 500 with Corey Knebel up next.  The fantasy baseball war room has been updated, as well.  (By the way, some rejected titles for this post were Collateral Ligaments of the World Ain’t Nothing But Trouble and Will Smith Gettin’ Limpy With It.)  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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Hey guys!  Today, I’ll be looking at outfielders that I think are currently overvalued and undervalued in dynasty leagues.  I’ll be referencing their overall rank and rank among outfielders based on the expert consensus at Fantasy Pros.  I’ve selected some guys that are currently going at the top of the draft, a few rounds after the top and then in the middle.  Let’s get right to it!

Andrew McCutchen (#6 overall, #3 OF) – This isn’t at all to say I don’t like McCutchen.  He’s an amazing player who has a long track record of staying healthy.  My problem is that if I was starting a 12-15 man dynasty league today, there’s no chance that I’m taking McCutchen in the first round, let alone at 6th overall.  This is because of the steep dropoff he’s had in the stolen base department.  After years of getting 20+ steals, he had 18 in 2014 and 11 in 2015. From 2010 to 2015, here are his attempted steal totals: 43 (33 SB + 10 CS), 33 (23+10), 32 (20+12), 37, (27+10), 21 (18+3), 16 (11+5).  He’s going to be 29 this year so it makes logical sense for his steals to start declining.  His counting stats are going to be strong, his average will be around .300 and Cutch should hit 20-25 bombs, but if he only gets 10-15 steals, that’s not a first rounder in normal leagues.  In dynasties, that pushes him even further down the totem pole because McCutchen’s decline is approaching us.

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What goes through J-FOH’s head when he does these ranks? I’m glad you asked. Wait… you didn’t ask? Are you sure? No? Not at all? Sheesh, thanks guys… and four girls. I’m going to be my usually contrarian self and tell you anyway. I’m looking at players from their floor to their ceilings over the next 3-5 years (and beyond). I’m looking at games played over the previous few seasons, projecting risk going forward, and predicting how they will age based on their skill set. A player whose value is heavily dependent upon speed will usually lose that speed going into the 30’s and players with power will usually keep that a little bit longer. There are always guys who defy the odds like David “I never juiced” Ortiz or Adrian Beltre. They are a special breed that should never be slept on ’til the day they retire. There is science, stats, and anecdotal B.S., and then there are “those guys”. Joey Bats and those sweet bat throws would fall into that class for me. Excuse me while I preach for a second. I love bat flips. I think they should be mandatory for any home run after the 7th, 6th for the Yankees. This is a kids game that is suppose to be fun and guys like Mad Bum need to either throw the punch or shut the front door. Any a-hole can stand there shouting with a team behind him. At least Robin Ventura had the cojones to try and fight. (I want that shirt!) Now that we have my major side track out of the way, let’s move down to some words about the list before we get to the list. Note to self, take an english class at the local adult education center next year.

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Complex-chalkboard-equations-revenue-requirements

Head-to-head points leagues are a completely different animal than roto leagues. A player’s value in one format does not translate to the other. He (or she) that uses roto rankings at a H2H points league draft is like the jackass that brings a knife to a gunfight when he knows he’s headed to a gunfight. A prime example would be Chris Davis who is much more valuable in roto leagues than he is in points leagues. To further complicate the matter, all points leagues are not created equal. Not even close. Nearly all leagues have their own version of some “standard” scoring system. Perhaps one league awards two points for a stolen base and another gives just one. That subtle difference boosts the value of a base stealer in the two-point stolen base league resulting in a different set of rankings. Jose Altuve becomes more valuable than both Albert Pujols and Andrew McCutchen (based on 2015 stats). Knowing your system is essential to navigating a draft or auction.

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