Yesterday (but really every time he pitches), Chris Sale went 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 13 Ks, ERA down to 0.91, and yet another no decision.  Elias Sports Bureau said, “Chris Sale had his 4th start in last five seasons on Thursday with 8 IP, 10+ Ks, 0 ER without getting win; no one else has more than one.  Also, there’s 16 different vending machines in our company to choose from, but only one has M&M’s and Drake’s Apple Fruit Pie for 50 Cent that elicits Snickers with the wrappers.”  God, what a bunch of nerds!  Not like us fantasy baseball cool kids!  I wanna tent the Elias Sports Bureau office, fart in there and leave.  Seriously, that’s what I want.  I need a wish genie, up in here!  Up in here!  So, Chris Sale is flippin’ awesome once again, and nothing can stop him except a rock vs. his scissors.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s never too late to start talking about next year, is it?  Well, that is the direction I am heading.  I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but second base, and for that matter middle infield, is going to be an interesting position come draft time or even for some keepers.  This is the first time in a few years that there will be a dearth of players with a value at the position, so I am personally sorta excited, about as excited as getting a onion ring in my french fry order.  The middle rounds for these second base eligible guys is going to be an interesting pecking order of who covets who more, and what we have seen this year steers them.  Now, this is a steals post and most of the guys I am talking about are going to have value there and in some ancillary stat contributions, I am not talking about the over-drafting of Brian Dozier, and to some extent, Robbie Cano.  Steals only guys, they in this case, have faces until at least your draft or keepers are pot committed. So this week, I am looking at some second sackers that will shine for you next year based on the second half stats.  For giggles afterwards, since the season isn’t over, some two-week guys that will help you down the stretch and of course some save stealers…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mookie Betts was 5-for-5 and drove in two runs Friday night. It was the first five-hit game of his career and the number of pets in New England being named Mookie is climbing quicker than his batting average. Let me gush about Betts for a minute, even though it might be tough because I know Xander is reading. (Do not worry, you are still my number 1, Awesome-X.) Mookie is slashing .320/.360/.557 with 28 homers, 93 RBI, 21 steals, and 99 runs scored. He is the only reason I am winning anything fantasy baseball this year and he is an early favorite for AL MVP. I tell all my real life friends, who are definitely all real life humans and not people I just made up for the purposes of the post, that Mookie Betts is my spirit animal. However, I was recently told I can’t say this because I’m not Native American and if you ain’t Native you can’t have spirit animals. That’s their thing. Quit trying to take their thing. Well, I just did San Pedro cactus and tripped out in the desert last weekend, does that mean I’m a real native now or nah? At the very least I’d hold it makes me much more spiritual. In the past two weeks, Betts is hitting .387 with 12 runs scored, 5 homers, 18 RBI and 3 steals. If those numbers don’t bring you existential enlightenment, I’m not sure a psychedelic cactus or a sweat lodge will either. He’s hitting close to .400 in August as he attempts to carry the Sawx to the promised land aka the postseason. In addition, since moving from lead off to clean up over the past week and a half he’s only gotten better, slashing .400/.455/.550 with two jacks and 8 RBI. I love Mookie Betts more than I could ever love a human baby. I think I am feeling more spiritual already.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Want to take on Razzball writers and contributors in the great game of Fantasy Football? For Prizes? OH MY GOD YES. Where do you sign up? Great question! (Even though you didn’t technically ask. I mean, you might have, but I couldn’t hear you…) You can join here!

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tuxes

Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…Matt Lyons, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Cleveland Indians!

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We are so close to the top 20 starters you can almost taste it, and it tastes like limoncello.  I wonder why that is.  From the top 20 outfielders through to this top 100 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball has been like the greatest mini-series ever.  Sorta like what I hope the O.J. Simpson show is.  By the way, don’t Google O.J. Simpson, major spoilers!  In most fantasy leagues, you won’t need to draft guys from this top 100 outfielders, and they’ll be waiver wire pickups.  A few of these guys will be drafted by people saying things like, “I’m really loving (fill-in name from this post) as a late sleeper,” then those same people will get to the middle of April and be saying things like, “I can drop (fill-in player’s name), right?”  As with other rankings posts, I go over where tiers start and stop and my projections.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m going down the path of J-FOH and others here and trying to give general, “win your league” type advice these last couple weeks.  I’ve decided this week that advice will come in the form of how many games each team has left, along with noting which teams have Monday and Thursday off days. It’s not only useful for stolen bases but whatever category you need.  And I’ll also be noting as I did last week, some speedsters that have gained playing time recently, these are players to consider for streaming stolen bases these last two weeks.  So definitely couple this advice with the stolen bases versus starting pitchers SAGNOF tool and stream, stream, stream for steals, if you are up to the task.  Here’s this weeks “Names to consider” from speediest to least speedy:  Sam Fuld (Athletics), Abraham Almonte (Indian), Mikie Mahtook (Rays, decent power too), Andrew Romine (Tigers), Cory Spangenberg (Padres).  Some of those aren’t exactly household names, which is basically the point.

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Troy Tulowitzki left Saturday’s game after colliding with Pillar.  That was the same way Julius Caesar hurt himself, forcing him out of baseball and into ruling.  Crazy what the stadiums were made of that the Romans used to play in.  Alas, as Caesar said, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Those roads over there took seven months!  Freakin’ teamsters.”  The MRI on Tulo’s ribs and back came back negative, though it was as in:  Doctor, “Can you move?”  Tulo, “Negative, Doc.”  Because what the MRI originally failed to mention was his cracked shoulder blade.   He won’t be shaving with that shoulder blade anytime soon!  Or possibly playing baseball for two to three weeks, according to the Blue Jays.  Ryan Goins is Goins to fill-in, and that’s the Blue Jays’ shortstop comings and Goins!  Stay tuned for more fantasy news and reborts coming up after the break.  Offscreen voice, “It’s reports, not reborts, you jackass.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Matt Kemp went 2-for-3 with his 21st homer, and his 5th homer in the past ten games.  With the help of his last ten games, he’s quietly put together a decent season.  You’re likely thinking, “Quiet, yes.  Decent?  Well, he’s worn pants, if that’s what you mean by him getting himself decent.”  On our Player Rater, where do you think Kemp ranks overall?  For all players, not just outfielders or hitters.  If you said top 40, you’d be right and you likely cheated, because he did not feel like a top 40 fantasy player.   Outfield is absolutely stacked this year, and Kemp is only around the 15th best outfielder.  He’s been better than quite a few guys that you might think have been better Michael Brantley, Mookie Betts, Adam Jones…Okay, maybe you don’t think Adam Jones has been better.  Kemp is still nowhere near what he once was, nor will he be in 2016, and moving to San Diego from LA has had its challenges.  For instance, there’s real military at games and not just Mark Harmon fresh from the set of NCIS.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Cubs traded a player to be named later for Austin Jackson.  Assuming the player to be named later isn’t anyone on their current roster, this was a solid trade for them from a real baseball perspective.  Real baseball has more spitting than fantasy baseball, but about the same amount of scratching.  The areas that are scratched are similar too.  Like just below the FUPA.  Austin Jackson clouds up the Cubs’ current roster in all the worst ways.  Can one team have too much of a good thing?  The short answer is yes.  The long answer is yeeeeeeeees.  Now, Coghlan (1-for-4), Fowler (2-for-5 and his 15th homer), Schwarber (1-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI) and maybe Baez, when he’s called up, are squeezed for playing time.  If anyone can make this work, it’s Maddon.  Sadly, only Maddon will understand how, why, what and every journalistic question as to when Jackson or anyone will play.  Oh, and Soler will return shortly too.  And by “shortly,” I don’t mean the manner in which Altuve does something.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maybe it’s because Whip/Nae Nae is permanently stuck in my head — One word of advice.   If you take no other advice from me, please, I implore you, accept this advice.  If you don’t know what Whip/Nae Nae is, don’t, under any circumstances, Google it.  It make Gangnam Style seem like a walk in the park when it comes to catchy songs. If you don’t know what Gangnam Style is, I love how you’ve decorated under that rock of yours.  — but I can’t help looking at Jake Arrieta‘s no hitter less about the 12 Ks and only allowing one walk — Sure, those are sweet — but more about how his season WHIP is 0.94.  There’s Greinke (.85 WHIP), Kershaw (.90), Scherzer (.93) and deGrom (.94).  An under one WHIP and a 9+ K/9 is a little piece of heaven like sitting in an exit row of an airplane.  On the podcast that’s coming later today, I debate Greinke and Arrieta, Scherzer and Arrieta and deGrom and Arrieta as we try to figure out where they’ll be ranked in 2016.  I say something like Arrieta will be ranked around the 4th to about the 7th SP off the board.  I agree with Early Sunday Afternoon Grey, but I will say that Arrieta has made it difficult for me to think of four SPs that should be drafted before him.  Let alone six.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?