“Hello, this is the Liquid Paper corporate office. How may I direct your call?” “Well, I’m not sure, to be honest. I run this fantasy baseball blog and–” “You want marketing. I’ll direct your call.” “No! No, sorry, I don’t want marketing. See, I have this pitcher, Corey Kluber, and his stats are saying he’s doing one thing, but it’s all a mistake and I see a big correction coming and…” “You want shipping and orders?” “No, I don’t think I do. I’m not looking to purchase anything.” “Sir, I can’t hear you over your cackle. Is someone tickling you?” “I’m trying to get a pitcher to correct himself, and I thought corrective fluid could work. Maybe I’ll try R&D.” “Transferring you.” “This is R&D. How may I direct your call?” “I want to know how I can get Corey Kluber’s stats to reflect his ability.” “BABIP problems?” “Yes!” “Just have him strike out everyone, get out of the first inning without surrendering any runs, have Roberto Perez consult with Yan Gomes on a game plan, and trust his stuff.” “Thanks so much!” “Would you mind taking a quick survey after the call?” “Sorry, I don’t have time.” Yesterday, Kluber went 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks and 18 Ks. The best baseball fans are in St. Louis. At least when Kluber pitches to them! Hey, I told you to buy him about two weeks ago. Whether you did is on you. Now, please someone talk to Strasburg! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“This is a smart decision by the Nationals franchise to not let Stephen Strasburg pitch in the playoffs,” said every sports reporter two years ago. Let’s try another one, Google, just give me the search results from 2010 when Strasburg was first promoted. “He’s a once-in-a-lifetime arm that the world has not seen since Sidd Finch.” Strasburg, Virginia even considered renaming itself Stephen Strasburg. I’m not joking. The hype was real, prematurely balding man. In the past seven months of baseball: Sonny Gray or Strasburg? Is it close? Who’s been better, Strasburg or Lance Lynn? Can I now ingest that laced-Halloween candy that I got from the sketchy guy that I’ve been saving for a special occasion? Yesterday, Strasburg left the game after three innings and two earned runs, saying he has irritation under his shoulder blade. The Nats say it’s an alignment issue that could be corrected by a chiropractor. He’ll be looked at by Jon Cryer from Two and A Half Men. Probably from his stupid inverted W. Why not just call it an M?! No idea how long Strasburg will be out, but obviously this isn’t great news. But, Part II: If Ifs And Buts Were Candy And Nuts, I’d Be A Diabetic Squirrel, it’s better Strasburg not pitch injured and keep getting rocked. But, Part III: But Lives, I’d grab Tanner Roark in case he’s moved into the rotation. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ll be honest, picking a creeper early in the year is not an easy task. We have small sample sizes to work with, players under performing and pitchers very hard to predict. I ask myself every week as I prepare these: what angle can I find to make a call? What is a constant that doesn’t change? Where are my pants? Well, the third question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s like trying to figure out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. The other two are things we always look for, regardless of what point of the season we are at, are park factors, lefty/righty match-ups, Schmotatoness, and batter vs. pitcher history. For example, this week, Brad Miller plays six games and for five of them, he faces right-handers. On the year, he bats .348 against RHP (good thing), but among the five he faces this week, he bats .191 against (not so good), and Hitter-Tron (-$2.5) says he won’t be any good. I’ll pass too. That’s a little snapshot into my process. This week, I’m going for Schomtatoness and park factors to make my call. Would you like to hear more? Oh c’mon, I’ll give you some Arby’s coupons? Dairy Queen? Fine, then skip to the top 100 and we can fight about that in the comments instead.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Fantasy owners lost two good catchers this week in Travis d’Arnaud and Jonathan Lucroy. Even in 12-team formats, you probably threw up in your mouth a little when you went to the wire and saw your replacement options. God help you if you play in a two-catcher format. But not to fear, for the rookies are here! I’m looking in your general direction Kevin Plawecki…don’t disappoint me! When I went over the Top 10 prospects for every team this offseason, I typically spat on catchers in my rankings due to their limited upside. But it’s times like these when we need to bite the bullet and take a closer look at some rookie backstops. Here are six rookie catchers currently in the majors that you may need to roster while your studs are hurt. Yes, this list is ranked in the order that I’d personally add them.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Grey say, “Devon Travis my boo-boo.” Obama say, “What it do?” The Buy/Sell Column say, “Did you miss me?!” During the offseason, while you were diddling and thinking about how your middle school nickname was Skidmark, I, The Buy/Sell Column was re-reenacting scenes from The Act of Killing with puppets in a staged production on the western tip of Alaska because I’M HARDCORE! You want some Rip Taylor-wannabe, throwing confetti at your feet or you want a Buy/Sell Column that be cutting puppets’ necks with chicken wire while bundled up because it was frickin’ cold in Alaska during the winter!? Mental midgets, you want the latter! I’m eating puppet stuffing like I’m George “The Animal” Steele just to prove how crazy I am! Okay, enough of the hubbub on the tomfoolery, I love Devon Travis like his momma. Let’s throw out what he’s done this year so far for small sample size reasons — that’s what she said! Huh? — and simply look at Travis’s minor league stats. In Single-A, he hit .352 with 6 homers and 14 steals in 77 games. That’s a young man’s professional ball level, let’s move up higher. In Double-A last year in 100 games, he had 10 homers, 16 steals and a .298 average. He didn’t strike out a lot. He wasn’t getting by on his good looks and high BABIP (for him). If you take me out of the equation, ZiPS gives him 13 HRs, 11 SBs in only 116 games. Unless he gets hurt, there’s no reason why he can’t play at least 140 games, so that makes him a 17 HR, 15 SBs guy. Oh. Wait a minute, that’s glorious. Also, I think the Jays are gonna move him to the top of the order by May 1st. Let’s just pray that the Jays don’t do something stupid when Izturis is healthy again. Because…They say with Devon love comes first! We’ll make Devon a place on earth! Sing it, Belinda Carlisle! (By the by, Belinda Carlisle? Hot Cougar Alert! She could be 85 years old and sexy as all get out!) If you’re hurting at MI, I’d grab him, because I’m randy for Travis. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you had 75 hours into the season for when Joakim Soria would become the closer in Detroit, you win a brand new car*! *Prizes not included (there’s no car; stop being greedy, you instead get words pieced together by the Fantasy Master Lothario). The Tigers’ pen is more of a pencil and a dull one at that. Where for art thou, Willie Hernandez? My kingdom for Todd Jones! Poopie Grande by any other name is still Poopie Grande. That was Shakespeare, you ignant boo-boo! The Tigers did get better yesterday with Joe Nathan, hitting the DL with a flexor strain in his elbow. Like when you remove that hair from your lip mole, it’s addition by subtraction. For those of you that drafted Soria, well done. Hopefully, he keeps the job all year. If Barry Manilow can find love, anything’s possible. By the by, all this time I thought he put the emphasis on Dee in Mandy. Guess I was wrong. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Dustin Pedroia will hit you two homers (3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) and then run out after the game to help hawk papers, “Extr-ee, extr-ee, read all about it!” “Keep the change, kid.” “Thanks, mister!” While Pedroia sold Boston Heralds on the corner, Hanley Ramirez (also homered twice; 2nd one was a grand slam; 2-for-4, 2 runs, 5 RBIs) was tricked into a youth-rejuvenating oxygen chamber by piping in the smell of roasted pig. All the Red Sox did was put a game-used Sandoval jersey over a fan. Buncha tricksters! Or maybe that’s trickstahs in Boston. Also homering yesterday was Mookie Betts (2-for-4, 2 runs). Well, in this game. In other games, everyone homered at least once. If your fantasy team didn’t hit at least three homers yesterday, check again, you might’ve been accidentally looking at your fantasy football team. New commissioner-slash-new-step-dad, Rob Manfred, wants your love and if that means using juiced balls and no curfews, so be it! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I just went over the top 10 for 2015 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2015 fantasy baseball. Those were exciting, fun, adjective posts! I took a Snapchat of myself reading those posts and had to delete it after one second it was so hot! Now, this post, well, it’s the top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball. Most of you know how I feel about catchers. If you draft a catcher any time before the first 100 picks, you don’t know how I feel about catchers. Let me freshen up your cocktail with a splash of insight. I don’t draft top catchers in one catcher leagues. I Reggie Roby them. Last year, Posey was the top ranked catcher at the end of year. Yet, he was only the 8th best 1st baseman. The best catcher can’t spray aerosol deodorant on the top guy for another position. The last time Buster Posey had a huge season he followed it up with a stank season that had you wishing for that aerosol deodorant. In the top five catchers last year were Posey, Santana, Mesoraco, Lucroy and Gomes. Only two guys were drafted in the top 100. No one should draft a top catcher because there are no top catchers. They’re all hot garbage with a side order of gefilte fish, or kapelka as Q-Tip calls it. Catchers are unreliable to stay healthy; the job is grueling and takes its toll on offensive stats. There’s not much difference between, say, the tenth best catcher and nothingness. Last year, Dioner Navarro was the tenth best catcher. He was on waivers the entire season. He was the tenth best catcher with 12 HRs and .274. Yo, Q, forget kapelka, Dioner Navarro makes me vomit. Finally, a reason that is new to this current crop of catchers — they’re actually deep in mediocrity. You can draft the fifth best catcher or the 12th best and they’re tomato-tomato said with a different emphasis. Because I ignore the top catchers doesn’t mean I’m starting the top 20 catcher list at number twenty-one; some of you might want to know the top catchers. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them draft d’Arnaud. In two catcher leagues, catchers are a little more valuable, but I’d still prefer to avoid them. You can see other top 20 lists for 2015 fantasy baseball under 2015 fantasy baseball rankings. Listed along with these catchers are my 2015 projections for each player and where the tiers begin and end. Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m going to look right in your eye and say, “I don’t know where Jacob deGrom‘s coming from.” Don’t turn away from me. *turns your face by chin* Look at me. I don’t know everything. I’m sorry. I know that upsets you like finding out that Santa Claus is really just a drunk man in a costume. I apologize profusely if you didn’t know that about Santa too. It hurts me to ruin your naivete more than anything. Your child-like innocence is what originally drew me to you. Alas, we’ll find something else. Like deGrom, for instance, we can discover him together. In Triple-A, deGrom had a 6.8 K/9 this year, and 7.5 last year. Always had nice control, but he has a 9 K/9 in the majors. You don’t see guys often jump up a pedigree when they go from the minors to the majors. He’s always featured nice command, which is the key here. When a guy can command his pitches and then learns how to throw a new pitch that is special, he can use it effectively. So, what did he learn? Supposedly, Johan Santana gave him the secret sauce recipe for The Change. Another key is his velocity. This isn’t a guy who is adding a new pitch with 89 MPH velocity. He throws his fastball in the mid-90’s. Throw one pitch in the mid-90’s and another dropped in around 84 and you have a recipe for Ks. As was the case yesterday — 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 13 Ks — when the Marlins were like Farmer Ted striking out at deGrom. Still think he’s closer to a high-7/low-8 K-rate guy with a mid-3 ERA, but it’s still a lot better than I thought he was when he came up. Now let’s move past this lapse of judgment by me and try to enjoy ourselves. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
We’re so close to the finish line! The marathon is nearing the final push; your legs are weakening, you’re starting to feel incontinent… Well, Jonathan Papelbon sure was yesterday! But we’re looking at the starting pitchers here in the Pitcher Profile corner, and the emergence of Carlos Carrasco since re-inserted into the rotation has been carrying fantasy owners in tons of leagues. C&C Pitching Factory!
In six starts from August 10th to September 7th, C&C has had the fastball dancing now, with a 0.70 ERA and 42 Ks in 38.2 IP. The fastball averaged well over 96 MPH, easily his predominant pitch. Unfortunately for Carrasco owners, he struggled a bit against the Tigers last Friday, giving up 4 runs with the fastball velocity down. It’s actually dipped under 96 MPH his past two starts, as well as a progressive trend of more-and-more sliders with less heaters in this late-season run. So I decided to break down his start at Detroit and see if he’s a guy I’m going to trust in down the stretch:Please, blog, may I have some more?