It was a year to remember for the Amazins in 2015. Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Noah Syndergaard fronted the best starting rotation in MLB. Yoenis Cespedes had a 2nd half for the ages after being acquired at the trade deadline. Curtis Granderson put his forgettable 2014 season behind him and played at an all-star level. Michael Conforto made quite an impact as a rookie following his July call-up. Jeurys Familia was one of the best closers in all of baseball. Daniel Murphy got white hot in October and helped propel his team to the World Series. Who am I forgetting? Oh yeah, there’s that Lucas Duda character. Does he even play there anymore?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, the Twins traded Aaron Hicks to the Yankees for serial-killer-in-name-only, John Ryan Murphy. Here’s what I said earlier this year, “When Hicks first came up, people thought he was going to be better than that Pollock fella. No, not a stereotypical dumb person, but as in A.J. Pollock. In Double-A, Hicks had 12 homers, 32 steals and a .285 average. Then strikeouts enveloped his game in the majors and he hit .192 with a 27% K-rate in 2013, and hit .215 with a 25% K-rate in 2014, but this year, .277 and a 17% K-rate! That’s a huge improvement. That’s what she said! What?” And that’s me quoting me! On a side note, am I the only that sees K-rate and then tries to chop in half a wooden block while screaming hi-ya? “Today, Daniel-san, we will talk about K-rate.” No? Okay, maybe it’s just me. *Grey does a flying crane kick* “Oh, he’s been practicing his K-rate.” Still nothing? Okay, I’m moving on. One more Pollock comparison that is likely coincidental but I’m gonna throw it out there. Pollock didn’t break out until his age-27 season and Hicks is only 26. Okay, one more Pollock comparison, Pollock never stole 39 bases in the minors leagues, but just did it in the majors. Hicks never stole more than the aforementioned 32 bases, but that means nothing. Okay, fine, one more Pollock comparison! Pollock never hit more than ten homers in the minors and he just hit 20 homers in the majors. So who cares Hicks never hit more than 13 homers in the minors. That’s still above anything Pollock did. Okay, and I really mean it this time, one more comparison to Pollock. The excitement I had last year for A.J. Pollock when I called him a sleeper is nearly identical to the excitement I have right now for Hicks. Okay, okay, one final thing on Pollock! The mistake I made last year when I didn’t draft him after flagging him as a breakout won’t be repeated with Hicks. Let’s go over quickly what Hicks did last year, he hit 11 homers with a 11% home run to fly ball ratio, which is completely repeatable, so last year in 155 games he would’ve had 18 homers. He also had 13 steals and four steals in September. If he stole 4 bags every month, he’d have 24 steals. Last year, he had a .256 batting average with a .285 BABIP, which is low for him. He’s got some speed and a .310 BABIP isn’t out of the question (he had years of a .340+ BABIP in the minors). If he gets to a .310 BABIP, he’s going to hit .270. Really, that’s not a stretch, which is also a nickname no one ever called Altuve. 18 HRs, 24 steals with a .270 average on the year? If he would’ve done that, I’m not sure we’d even be talking about Hicks as a sleeper, but rather as a top 20 outfielder. And this isn’t me fighting hard to get him to these numbers. Like a migrant worker, I’m cherrypicking a little with the steals by saying he’s going to get four a month because he did that in September, except (!) he’s likely closer to a guy that could take six bags per month. When Steamer projects Hicks for 10 HRs and 11 steals with a .256 in 2016, it doesn’t worry me. It actually makes me more excited because that means most people aren’t going to be excited about him. Steamer is very conservative and doesn’t flag breakouts; that’s my job. For 2016, I’ll give Hicks the projections of 82/15/52/.274/26, assuming the Yankees find a way to get him a starting job this offseason, which seems all but assured. So, my question for you is, who’s the Pollock now? Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
After drudging through an Andy Dufresne-type tunnel for the top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball, I find myself with a group that actually really hurt or helped your team depending on how you drafted. If you went wrong with your 1st baseman, it could kill your season. Hey, Freddie Freeman, no hard feelings from me. We are totally fine since I knew to not draft you. If you went right, you might’ve won your league. If you’re looking at the top 20 1st basemen in a vacuum, it appears that offense is making a comeback. And my what a big vacuum you have! Lots of guys on this list not only did well, but did better than their preseason projections. In fact (Grey’s adding on!), if you followed my rankings (saying to avoid V-Mart and Freeman), you did just fine at 1st base. To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Welcome back for another star-studded event! Assuming you hack into your favorite online dictionary and replace the definition of ‘star’ with “guy who lives in his mom’s basement and screams when someone finishes his Doritos,” and next to the definition of ‘stud’ you put a picture of yourself. The Razzballies are the only award show where it’s totally fine to show up in sweatpants and for your fingers to be orange from Cheetos. We don’t judge. We will occasionally mock. Mock-judge, tomato-tomahto. Get over it! So, without further ado (cause I have to do a doo), here’s the year-end awards for the best and worst of fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone.
Baseball, the schedule they made put an end to you.
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song,
All I was wearing was a thong.
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days when I thought the season would not end.
I’ve seen lonely times for Matt Williams, I mean, he’s a dope, but he can’t even find a friend from his own coaches.
But I always thought that I’d see Giancarlo again.
I believe they call that a prelude, but since it comes the day after the fantasy baseball season wraps up, it’s not a prelude. It’s an epitaph. Here, take a tissue. You have to excuse me, I don’t have any clean ones. What will we do for the next few months without an update on Ryan Zimmerman’s oblique? Will Pablo Sandoval’s back hurt even if we don’t talk about it? What will we do without a Hanley injury update? WHAT? WILL? WE? DO? Prepare for next season, of course. But, first, let’s bask in the last day of the season. Today is the day when you realize you’ve spent 27,000 man hours this summer beating eleven other strangers to win a virtual trophy, and it feels great! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Fall in line, Metropolitans! Fall in line, you strumpets! *Jerad Eickhoff goose steps up and down the starting lineup, screaming* I am going to go nutzi on these weak sister Metropolitan hitters! Nein chance! You have nein chance! *leaning in on Nieuwenhuis* You look Anglo-Saxon, maybe I take it easier on you. Not you, Michael Conforto…*then a small beat, in a pipsqueak voice* Unless you know Mussolini. Do you? *can’t wait for Conforto to answer* Forget it! Fall in line! And the Mets hitters did fall in line. Jerad Eickhoff went 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks, to lower his ERA to 2.65, and now has back-to-back 10-K games. Maybe this guy isn’t a Jer-khoff. *looks at his minor league numbers* Yeah, I have no idea. His minor league numbers give the impression that he’ll be a fourth to fifth starter. That’s not for fantasy, that’s for real baseball. A fourth or fifth starter on the Phils, even in 2016, doesn’t scream excitement to me. Sorry, strumpets. For this year, drop him and check out the Stream-o-Nator, there’s only three days left. AHH!!! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Hello, and welcome to the Izod Center in downtown East Rutherford, New Jersey! We’re only 35 minutes from New York! On tonight’s fight card, we have everyone vs. George Zimmerman and, our main event, Bryce Harper vs. Jonathan Papelbon! Harper has him on height by a good six inches, if you count his mohawk. They’re both tipping the scales like heavyweights, if you count their egos, but Papelbon has the reach by three and a quarter inches since Harper will be fighting off his heels, as he’s been known to do his whole career. The Loafer vs. The Soft Shoe! The Cock vs. The Guy With A Haircut That Makes Him Look Like A Cock! The Veteran Who Plays The Game The Right Way vs. The Upstart Who Just Plays The Game Better Than Anyone Else. Hosting this event is Donald Trump. Making this country great again like he did in Atlantic City!” Yesterday, I said, these two mix like vinegar and douche, and then the Nationals made sure they wouldn’t have to mix at all. Papelbon was suspended for the rest of the regular season, which opens the door for Blake Treinen, Matt Thornton and/or Casey Janssen. That’s the order I’d grab them for saves, but like a carrot in minestrone, it’s real dicey. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Rich Hill pitched a complete game two-hit shutout last night against the Mighty Orioles walking just one batter and striking out 10 for his second win. Where the heck was this guy in April when Justin Masterson and Steven Wright were starting? Am I really asking that question about a 35-year-old southpaw journeyman who hasn’t started a big league game since 2009, and was out of baseball in July? Yeah I guess I am asking that because Hill has been an absolute monster since debuting with the Sawx two weeks ago in Tampa Bay. In just three starts, he’s pitched 23.0 IP, allowing just 10 hits and 3 ER, with a 30/2 K/BB rate. Yes, my friends, the Hill Has Ks. That was almost your headline. Also, not for nothing, the three earned runs were surrendered to the Blue Jays, and I mean, come on, it’s the Blue Jays. And just in case you thought this story couldn’t get any sweeter, Rich was pitching for the Independent League’s Long Island Ducks just months ago. He holds a 1.70 ERA and 0.52 WHIP through three starts and although I love what he’s doing, he’s scheduled to take on the Yankees in New York next week and I wouldn’t call it a slam dunk. If you’re feeling lucky, by all means ride the snake, but I’m not sure I’d risk my fantasy season on Rich Hill, despite how awesome he’s been. But cool story, bro!
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
That title wasn’t a real question, y’all, please don’t provide your responses in the comments below. And if your answer was yes, that means you’ve eaten it and lived so I’ll just take your word for it and barf on my own time. But I don’t wanna know about your culinary disasters, what I do wanna know about is how can I find a way to price in those sweet Colorado bats. I know that you know that we all want in on that action, boss, so we have to find ways to swerve to get them in and pitching is a prime starting point to begin that search. I’m not gonna lie to you and say that Alfredo Simon has merit on his own. He’s pretty meh if we’re being honest but the Twins vs righties especially on the road will always grab my attention. For the year, the Twins rank 4th worst in wRC+ against righties and throw in a reasonably healthy K rate of 21.1% to boot. Throw in the second worst road wRC+ and a 22.9% K rate and you have the mixings for a solid if maybe unspectacular line from the Big Fettuccine. I wouldn’t even think about this in cash but for tourneys, picking on Twinkies on the road with righties is a solid Konami Cheat Code for this kind of day. But now that we’ve covered culinary dysentery, let’s move on to better things. Here’s my Wild Mushroom Risotto hot takes for this Saturday DK slate…
New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, began yesterday, and Brad Ausmus, the Tigers manager who doesn’t believe in a manger, started atoning for his mistakes, by sending the Tigers closer, Bruce Rondon, home due to a lack of effort. This sends an interesting message. I’d guess, with a motorized scooter and knee-bypass surgery, Victor Martinez still wouldn’t be at 100% effort. Kyle Lobstein and Randy Wolf wouldn’t be at 100% effort with a pitching machine standing next to them as they mimed throwing. Shoot, I don’t know if Miggy was at 100% effort even in his Triple Crown season. Also, what does this say about Ausmus? That he’s managing a team in last place, but he’s coaching at 100% effort? Wouldn’t he be better off pretending he was at, say, 60% effort? How about this, “I sent Rondon home because he was at 40% effort. I lead by example around here, and I demand everyone give 50 to 55% effort, as I do. What? You thought I was at 100% effort and we’re in last place? Please!” Alex Wilson is the likely replacement closer, maybe Neftali Feliz also sees some saves, but he blew one last night. Then, in Kansas City, Greg Holland let the entire organization off easy by saying he had a tight elbow and is done for the year. This saves everyone from calling for Wade Davis to close while berating and belittling Holland worse than a tourist who doesn’t smoke pot and hates windmills. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?