I’m a stat junkie. Way back in the pre-internet days when I was just a little Magoo, I would run outside first thing in the morning to grab the daily paper so I could immediately check out the previous night’s box scores. There’s Tony Gwynn leading the league in batting average yet again. A slam and legs (before I even knew what that was) by that Bonds fellow. The Big Unit piled up another dozen Ks. Another high scoring game in Colorado. What’s the deal with that place anyway?

This fascination with statistics has led to the fantasy baseball obsession that I’m burdened with today. Only now, with all of the advanced statistics and metrics that are available at the click of a button, the obsession is worse than ever. Fortunately for you, all of the man hours that I’ve wasted poring over stats this offseason has allowed me to discover some interesting nuggets of information that I think are fantasy-relevant for the upcoming season, and I’d like to share some of them with you today. At least, I find them to be interesting and potentially useful for fantasy purposes, and I hope that you will too.

From here on out, I’ll be listing various statistics with little to no analysis so that you can be the judge of how relevant each statistic and/or trend is in regards to the 2016 season. This article focuses on hitters only, and the stats that will be highlighted range from the basic (home runs, stolen bases, batting average, counting stats) to the slightly more advanced (plate discipline, batted ball profile).

And now, without further ado, here are some interesting stats and trends to consider for the 2016 fantasy baseball season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Don’t be judging my title. I’m always late to the topical title party. I’m lazy! I haven’t seen Straight Outta Compton because I refuse to pay for overpriced tickets to movies that have nothing visually cool to offer. Seeing the clips and Grey talking it up and being in the same room as Cube has made me reflect… When that album broke, I was in the 8th grade and it was the biggest game changer for us since the Beastie Boys and RUN DMC (I group them together because it felt like it was around the same time). I wasn’t a huge hip-hop head, but I had friends that listened to nothing but street poets. Then came NWA and Eazy-E (I say them separately because Eazy’s album dropped a month after Straight Outta Compton and was treated like a companion piece). It was impossible to own one and not the other. Now, I bring this up because this movie reminds me of the first time I heard Eazy Duz It. I was coming back from Carpenteria (its just south of Santa Barbara) with my good buddy and his mom. He asked her if we could play his new tape on the way home. She, being the very open minded lady she was, obliged and sat through that whole album. Damn, I don’t miss my buddy since he turned into a bitch ass when we got older, but his mom was the baddest mom I knew. From Boyz N’ Tha Hood to Eazy-er Said Than Dunn, we would bump this almost as much as SOC. Hey, we were from L.A., it was great to get someone changing the game from our backyard. Now, you might be asking yourself what this has to do with this weeks creeper. Nothing, I just felt like waxing about NWA.

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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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Matt Harvey did a 180 on his 180.  This weekend he announced that he’s not pitching past 180 innings.  Come rain, come shine, come playoffs.  Then, when met with a huge backlash, he reverted course to say he will not pitch past 180 innings in the regular season, so he can pitch in the playoffs.  Somewhere, Nolan Ryan is cackling like a mad man (though, after he cackles, his arm falls off and he needs to Crazy Glue it back on).  I don’t have anything personally against Harvey’s decision, but, to announce it yourself, it comes off like a selfish decision.  PR 101, have the team announce it.  And, don’t, whatever you do, have your agent announce anything, especially while Boras is wearing that horned costume with the pitchfork.  Or maybe I just saw a picture doctored by a Mets fan.  This is not at all surprising.  He’s coming off of Tommy John surgery.  He should be shut down at some point.  Glad to hear he’s pitching in the playoffs, those innings won’t count towards his innings count for next year.  Of course, I’m being sarcastic.  None of this bodes well for how much I’ll like Harvey next year, since I prefer pitchers to get babied, but I guess this won’t be an issue if the Mets are bounced early in the playoffs.  Let’s go Dodgers!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about U2. I already go over boring hitters below. Seriously, they are one of the most overrated bands ever. They are like the 80’s and 90’s version of the Eagles. The closest they get to my iPOD is this song. This week we are going in a different direction than before, because I killed the Top 100. After receiving Grey’s blessing (thanks bossman!), here’s what’s going to happen: After going through the evolution of ranking players this season, it became clear to me that it wasn’t working. By June 1st, you know what you have and it’s generally a good point to start making trades to address needs. As the season goes forward, those needs get increasingly particular until you get to this point. After some discussions with Mike, Sky and Big Magoo, I got some good input and a really confusing emoji text conversation with Sky. Still not sure if we cool, but I got my Japanese friend coming over later to translate. This week, I have a Top 50 Hitters and a few sub lists for you to check out. Every week, it’s my plan to mix a few different sub lists in to help cover all bases… pun point!  I have included Steamers, ROS, HR/SB, projections, the ROS player rater, dollar values, and my own HR/SB projections. Don’t worry if you don’t see someone here, they are probably going to appear in another list next week or thereafter. Some people may even appear on multiple lists. You never know? Any questions? Good moving on…

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Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique.  This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief.  Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed.  Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you?  Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way.  Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring.  Scary good.  May be best of Cubs lot right now.”  Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed.  If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances.  Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming.  On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur.  Or make that, as craptastic as those guys.  In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel.  Time, not the magazine, will tell.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’m channeling some inner-Albright this week. Seat of your pants son! Speaking of Grey, I used the photo he took of me giving him the Larry Bird for my new avatar since it made sense to me that I should use Grey’s photo on his site. In other news, I shook up my top-100 this week as we get to the third leg of the 400-meter stretch run relay. If you’re not in the top-60, then you can be cut at any time. If you are hot, ascending, or the type of player who can go on a monster power or speed run, then I want you. Obviously, I couldn’t get everyone here, for this isn’t the Top-120, but you may notice the name brands in the bottom of the list. They are there because it’s difficult to cut some of them, but if you must, then you must.

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Guess who’s back?  Back again!  No, that’s not The Greek God of Walks, Kevin Youkilis, sufferer of chronic back pain, singing.  Besides, it’s “who’s back,” not “whose back.”  We’re not trying to identify a back!  Byron Buxton‘s back, baby, yeah.  With every positive reaction, there’s an equal opposite negative reaction, or so said Einstein when he was fiddling with refrigerator magnets.   And the negative reaction to Buxton coming back is Aaron Hicks hit the DL.  Too bad, so sad.  Buxton didn’t do much in his first stint in the majors, but he could be easily as good as Schwarber, Sano or any other rookie nookie that’s got your cookie all melty.  I would grab Buxton in every league.  I’m excited.  Uppercase yay!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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A few weeks back, I was on vacation and the Big Magoo covered the creeper. He did one hell of a job by making good calls and changing up the format. This week, I’m feeling inspired by the Big Magoo and will follow in his form. I should literally follow in his form because we are similar in height, but not in weight. I’m always looking at schedules every week to help assist with my creeper, but this week I’m taking it a step further. I’m going all in on home parks. This is my mixed bag of who to grab throughout the week because you should be shuffling players in and out as long as you don’t have restrictions on moves…

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Remember that hit song from Back to the Future? Yeah I remember it a little too well. As a child of the 1980’s I watched the movie numerous times. I remember getting anxious seeing Biff chasing Marty on his skateboard, anticipating horse manure falling all over him. Ahhh, the memories…. But it’s not a song that originated from Back to the Future. The next time you’re watching Name that Tune, you’ll know that Johnny B. Goode was performed by Chuck Berry in 1959. Today, I’m drumming to the beat of Johnny Cueto. Of today’s DFS pitchers, Cueto has the best BAA, .197, and the best WHIP, 0.93. Sure, most of his success this season has come against the National League, but I saw what a rock star he was last week when making his first career home start in Kansas City against the Tigers. Johnny was rock’n and rolling on the mound, literally. The controversial shimmy during his windup made the Royals’ fans twist and shout. I definitely think that the advantage goes to Cueto when facing American League teams from here on out in 2015. It’ll be a harder adjustment for a hitter to face a pitcher they haven’t seen much of in their career, rather than Cueto having to adjust to which pitches batters have success with in the strike zone. Shimmy on down and check out the rest of my DraftKings picks for today.

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?