Only 15 games into the 2015 season, I asked myself: “Is it too early to compile positional rankings?” Considering most readers love rankings, the answer was a resounding “NO”. However, what was more troubling was the fact that I consistently find myself talking to myself. Allow myself to introduce myself. That was awkward. You should only hear half the sh*t that goes on inside my head, but we’ll leave that exploration into my thoughts for another time…

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The Tigers announced that Joe Nathan had a torn UCL and would require season-ending Tommy John surgery. This could be the end of a once-illustrious career. To commemorate all that Nathan has done for baseball, this Fourth of July, at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, they will be eating Nathan’s discarded elbow tendons. Takeru Kobayashi said, “I’ll be training on udon and Brandon Beachy tendons for the next few months, then a week before I will eat nothing but Sabathia’s knee ligaments to widen my gullet.” Gotta love that guy’s ambitious spirit. So, Nathan’s done and Joakim Soria now becomes a top twelve-ish closer with the chance of being top seven-ish by season’s close. As long as -ish don’t kill my vibe! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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“Wahhhhhh, Shane Greene doesn’t strike anyone out, he’s useless, wahhhhhh!”  That’s Sky on the Podcast a few hours ago…  “The Fifth Element sucked!”  That’s Grey before I socked him!

Since my initial ranks in February, I’ve been a Greene champion.  In my blurb, I mention a high K-rate finish to 2014 (52:16 K:BB his last 41.1 innings), along with an unlucky 2014 BABIP (.330).  The starts I saw from him last year had me encouraged with his stuff, plus the move to a much better pitcher’s park in Comerica had me “thrilled”.

But even with the rank looking spiffy and everything going right, the low K-rate does seem a little concerning.  He’s turning into Rick Porcello, noooooooo!  While his ERA and WHIP (along with 3 wins) are all change-your-pants worthy, he’s got a measly 11:5 K:BB in 23 innings.  Regression is screaming like Ruby Rhod after he counted ten!  I of course hope not since he’s on all my teams, and watching him so far this year in my normal bouncing-around-through-all-the-games he looks like a strong strikeout capable guy.  So I decided to watch his start yesterday hosting the White Sox, and give it the ol’ full attention and Pitcher Profile treatment.  Here’s how he looked:

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I got the chills! They’re multiplying. And I’m losing all control. Because the fantasy value Devon Travis is supplying–well, for lack of a better word, it’s electrifying. Oo oo oo! Oh yes, indeed. Friday night Travis was 2-for-5 with his third home run and two RBI. He’s leading off for a mighty Blue Jays line up, batting .375 and he’s currently on a six game hitting streak with ten hits, two homers, five runs and nine RBI in that span. You don’t have to be Danny Zuko to know how rockin’ and rollin’ that is. Dude is systematic, hydromatic, ultramatic! He’s hit in every game he’s played so far except one. Grey’s been telling you to BUY and get Randy for Travis for weeks now! Two weeks, to be exact! Well, now I’m telling you, so you know things are getting serial. If you need a middle infielder, set your heart on Devon Travis. Then sing, “cause to your heart you must be truuuue, nothing left, nothing left for you to do…but pick-up-Dev-on! Off-of-the-waivers-now! Ooo ooo ooo!” What do you mean, you don’t think you like Grease as much as me!? Everybody likes Grease! Travis is owned in just over half of ESPN leagues and that number will surely skyrocket over the weekend. Irregardless! With Jose Reyes sidelined and Devon stepping into the lead off spot, the rookie second baseman is sure to be a valuable fantasy asset going forward. Oh yes, indeed!

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

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I think I can-o. I think I can-o. Opposing catchers are claiming to have heard Robinson Cano chanting these words to himself as he stepped into the batters box on numerous occasions during the first two weeks of the season. Sources have reported that Yasmani Grandal is confirming these allegations, saying he heard him mutter those exact words on Tuesday night right before he hit his first home run of the season. That two-run homer accounts for 7 of Robinson’s measly 13 points so far this season. While it is much too early in the season to Joe “Panik”, my preseason fantasy MVP is making me look bad. And for those of you that have never met me, which should be every one of you, I already look bad enough. Over the last five seasons Cano has averaged 511 fantasy points. However, last season’s move to Seattle saw his points take a dip to 449, his lowest total since 2008 (346). My preseason projections for Cano have him coming in just under 449 at 437 points. With 13 points in hand that means he’s got another 424 points in the tank. I don’t put much stock into projections, but if for some reason the Cano owner in your league is willing to make a fair deal, I’d try and make that deal.

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As the Greek myth goes, the Yellin’ of LaTroy is the closer that launched thousands of fantasy baseballers to the waiver wire to pick up his set-up man, Adam Ottavino. There’s something to that great myth. There’s also the Greek myth about the LaTrojan Horse. In that one, the Greeks sent a closer that seemed like a workhorse onto the field, but once the battle began the LaTrojan Horse opened up and inside was marshmallows and the opposing team made a campfire, lit up the LaTrojan Horse and ate Smores. There’s also the Greek myth of Mike Mostsuckass, but that isn’t appropriate for right now. LaTroy Hawkins was spotted one out in the ninth inning and still gave up three earned runs, allowing a homer to the 135-pound power slugger, Dexter Fowler (who had a slam and legs and went 2-for-5, 2 RBIs). Whether the Rockies come out and say Hawkins is finished or on thin ice, I’d still stash Ottavino. He’s about to become a 35-save guy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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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:

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Greetings y’all, it is finally here! You use Greek in the title and then go hillbilly in the lead paragraph? Look, my ghost writers are very diverse in their backgrounds, m’kay? Gotta let them wax poetic as they want to. Or wax period, honestly. Could use some help with my eyebrows right now if we’re being honest. It’s the one thing me and The Brow have in common. Oh no, a basketball joke on a baseball blog; worlds are colliding! Anyways, opening day is here and that’s both a blessing and a curse in the world of DraftKings. You see, on the one hand, the season is starting and we’re excited. On the other hand, all that data mining you did last year to aid your own ascent up your tourney rankings? Might as well grab the paint thinner and start the Mona Lisa over because plenty of things don’t matter any more. We now have to aggregate some data from over the years and weigh some things out, carry the two, multiply by the square root of an isosceles triangle…OR you can get your subscription to the DFSBot started today and take a look at some of the data I’ll be looking at for today’s slate. How’s that for a god from the machine? But more to the point, it’s opening day and time for some fun. There’s the $100K Moonshot Tourney out there as well as a free $15K Tourney if you’re new to DK and sign up through us. But how do I do such a thing, you ask? Click on the underlined ‘DraftKings’ in this opening paragraph. No, I won’t tell you where it is. Treat it like this is a game of ‘Where’s Waldo’. PS, I referenced a child’s game because this search shouldn’t take that long…I’m still waiting…alright, just gonna have to leave you laggards behind because we have to get this show on the road. Here’s my red hot takes for the Opening Day 2015 Fantasy Baseball DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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.

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Greetings all, and welcome to the first installment of The Numbers Game. “Boy, that title sounds about as exciting as it would be to draft Omar Infante in 2015.” Hey, quiet in the peanut gallery! Fantasy baseball is, as the title of this series makes blatantly obvious, all about the numbers. The idea behind these posts is to identify players who fit a specific set of search criteria using statistics accumulated over the past three seasons. The various criteria that I’ll be using will be established based on player comps and/or the MLB averages in key statistical categories. Some results will include data from 2014 only, while others will include some combination of the previous two seasons as well. The ultimate goal of these exercises is to provide a different perspective that will help to confirm your evaluations of certain players and perhaps reconsider your opinions of others. While I’ll be providing my two cents from time to time, it’ll be up to you to decide how valid the results truly are.

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The late rounds of fantasy baseball drafts are filled with players who have questions surrounding them. It’s usually not too difficult to categorize these players, particularly in terms of starting pitching. There’s the post-hype group (Trevor Bauer, Kevin Gausman, Tony Cingrani), the declining veteran tier (CC Sabathia, Dan Haren, Bartolo Colon), and the unproven prospect tier (Noah Syndergaard, Andrew Heaney, Archie Bradley). Several high floor, low ceiling options (Ervin Santana, Kyle Lohse, Wei-Yin Chen) and volatile injury-prone pitchers (Clay Buchholz, Matt Garza) tend to remain on the board for quite a while as well. In recent years, Brandon McCarthy has generally been perceived by the fantasy community as someone who falls into one of the latter two categories. Is this perception accurate? What can be expected from McCarthy in 2015?

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