Can the Braves please trade Craig Kimbrel?  This isn’t a fantasy question, it’s a real question.  What need does a team, who is obviously rebuilding for 2017, have for the best closer in baseball?  Plus, closers are the most overvalued position in sports. Rant over, sorry.  Okay, let’s get to some fantasy baseball…

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When Grey and Jay first approached me about doing some preseason posts about Two Start Pitchers “Strategy” I thought “uhhhh, play the best guy”. Problem is that doesn’t really make for intriguing content, now does it? So instead, I’m going to do 1500 words about soccer! Naw, I’m joking…if you wanted to be inundated with my footie ramblings, you’d be reading our soccer site…(shameless plug alert). So instead I’ll focus my post on the very things I look for when ranking my two-start pitchers from week-to-week. An overview of what to look for when scouring the wire for that pick up to tip the scales of your counting stats in your weekly head-to-head match-up. So we’ll break everything into sections; home vs. road splits, opposing lineup righty vs. lefty splits, K/BB ratio, and HR/9. To illustrate this we’ll use an example player to discuss each when appropriate. Sound good? Just say yes, I don’t care what you think! Muhahahaha!

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The day of reckoning is upon us. You could even say that today is judgment day. The pitching machine known as the Klubot didn’t feel pity, or remorse, or even elbow pain en route to 269 hitter terminations via the strikeout last season and earning the ’14 Cy Young Award to take into the future. But the question remains, “Why was Terminator Salvation even made?” Wait a second, wrong question. The one we’re looking to answer today is: “Who is the next Klubot off of the assembly line?”

In the first part of this series, we identified the starting pitchers who met the “Kluber criteria” during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. But what exactly are those criteria comprised of? Here are the search parameters that I used to try to find the next Corey Kluber:

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This draft was by Yours Trudy. Never understood that, Yours Trudy. Who is this Trudy that everyone is talking about? No, no, I’m not changing the subject before even embarking on the subject simply because I’m not happy with my team. How dare you j’accuse Yours Trudy of that! So, yesterday, on the Not-the-Ides of February, Grey Albright, the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it!) took part in a 12-team NL-Only draft that was commissioned by Scott White of CBS Fantasy. You know, CBS, they brought you such head-scratchers as Viva Laughlin and Travis d’Arnaud as a top 60 overall pick. In fact, I razzed one of the CBS ‘perts about his d’Arnaud love in the beginning of the draft, then the room nominated d’Arnaud and the CBS ‘pert didn’t draft him. I think I might’ve shamed too hard. *shrugs* C’est la. This league is deep so hold onto ye old hat. (If you want a shallower league, play against me and 1,000 of your closest buddies in the Razzball Commenter Leagues.) Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and some thoughts:

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Keeper league rankings are here (the 2014 Rankings can be found here), and I am going to absolutely shock the world with my number one. This is all about zagging when others zig. You gotta get out in front of the pack with advanced statistics and clever strategory. Sometimes you have to be bold and go against the grain to get that competitive edg…what’s that? Everybody else has Mike Trout number one too? It’s common sense? Well…crap. These are my personal rankings and take into account the 2015-2019 seasons. Don’t start flipping through your calendar – that’s 5 years. It means the senior citizen players are really going have to provide some nice statistics in the first year or two to rank highly. It also means players who are in or, better yet, just entering their prime get a bump. It’s not a hybrid list, so no prospects or Cuban rookies…sorry. It’s also not set for any specific pricing or league settings so assume a standard 5×5 roto format with no penalties to keep a player. Basically it’s a ranking of what I think these players will be worth over the next 5 years as a whole. It’s that simple. Here are my top 100 keepers for 2015 and beyond…

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With the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings for every position done, we turn our lazy eye towards the top 100 for 2015 fantasy baseball. These 2015 fantasy baseball rankings are one part fresh and two parts to def. They own a cat, a dog and a lizard in a two bedroom apartment where pets aren’t allowed. Know why? Cause they don’t care! None of this top 100 for 2015 fantasy baseball is meant to surprise. *jumping out of a closet* Boo! Now, that was meant to surprise. This top 100 is just taking my positional rankings and putting guys in The Big Picture. You really should read each ranking post because the blurbs in this top 100 are on the skimpy side because there’s so many of them, and I went over each one of these guys already. Obviously at a hundred players, some guys just didn’t make it. About 300, to be inexact. It’s okay; there will be a top 400 tomorrow. Shortly, Sloth, you’ll have your Baby Ruth. Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel. Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2015 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.” Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters. Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter! Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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Well at this point you kinda sorta maybe know what this is all about. I mean, I’ve now dropped April, May, June and July on you so if you’re lost about what we’re trying to look at it simply means you haven’t been keeping up. That’s ok, that’s what hyperlinks are for. Now if you’re asking me to spoon-feed you info…well, ok. Vvvvvvvvvvrooooooom, open the mental hangar, we’re about to drop some #PitchingIsSoDeep knowledge on you. We’ve been looking back at 2014 to get some feel for just how deep the pitching rabbit hole really went. Did we reach Wonderland? Well, I’m not here to make a verdict on either side but so far we have seen an abundance of ownable arms either for extended periods or for at least a few weeks that were sufficient if you didn’t draft a ‘top’ arm in the draft. Better yet, if your top arm was Jose Fernandez, you had your chances to make up for it. This isn’t a West Side Story thing, BTW. I’m not ‘team draft late arms forever’ any more than I am ‘draft Kershaw in the first’. I want to see both sides and weigh them out for myself so that’s why I’m here. Come join me, will you? Here’s the top August arms from the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season…

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The royal we already went over all the hitters for 2015 fantasy baseball rankings. That’s not the “royal we” as that term usually implies. It was me writing it alone while wearing a Burger King crown. I refuse to draft a top starter where they are usually drafted. Unlike hitters, you need six starters, depending on your league depth. Simple math tells us there’s plenty of starters to go around. Simple Math, “Stop putting words in my mouth!” In most leagues, there’s a ton of guys on waivers that can help you — all year. Not just in April, and then they disappear. With the help of the Stream-o-Nator, you can get by with, say, three starters while streaming the rest. To read more about streaming as a draft strategy. There’s also the fact that three stats by starters are difficult to predict due to luck. Wins, ERA and WHIP are prone to shift due to which way the ball bounces and whether or not the guys behind the pitchers can score runs. Finally, the best starters can give you four categories. The best hitters can give you five categories. As always, where I see tiers starting and stopping are included and my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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It started with a simple email. Hey Grey and Rudy, wouldn’t it be cool if someone wrote about the top pitchers broken down by month? And within those months, to evaluate with and without wins to ascertain who pitched well and gave good value vs. who pitched for a 90 win club and had a 4-0 month? Response was a resounding yes, of course. And of course, it was my own damn fault for having such a good idea because now I’m here giving you offseason content prior to January. Clearly the time that everyone is reading about fantasy baseball. Oh well, let’s get to it. Here’s a look back at April’s pitching to see if it holds any keys going forward to 2015 fantasy baseball:

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So, how’s everyone holding up without fantasy baseball every day? I don’t know what to do with myself! This weekend I wandered into a Starbucks and told the coffeerista about Chris Tillman for 2015. Then I laughed hysterically for a good twenty minutes until someone asked me to leave. We’ve gone over the final 2014 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters. There’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left before we’re into 2015 fantasy baseball. You’re welcome. Well, there are Rudy’s recaps of every fantasy sites projections that are coming eventually and Sky’s “Is pitching that deep?” posts. I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking about 2015 rookies next. Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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