We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball. Today, we dip our big toe into the top 20 2nd basemen. There were a lot of land mines found at this position. Shoot (not you Dick Cheney!), I’d say a guy like Cano ending up in the top 10 was still a landmine due to where you had to draft him. But there was Kipnis, Gyorko, Aaron Hill, Brandon Phillips, Brad Miller (!), Lowrie and the thousands words devoted to Alex Guerrero in the preseason and he didn’t even show up until September. To recap, this final ranking for last year is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason. Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Every year we get together in a Schenectady Sheraton to give away fantasy baseball awards for the past season. I’m your host, Grey Albright and I’m joined by Random Italicized Voice — What’s up, guys and four girls?” On the red carpet for everyone’s arrival is the Comatose Rangers Fan, “Let’s get started, I need to get home to see my Rangers face the Tigers!” Joining us up on the balcony is Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department, “I’m high above the crowd, in more ways than one!” Today’s very special musical guest opening the show is…Counting Crows! Coming straight from opening for Pink! Not playing on stage prior to her performing, but literally opening a door for her. They now work as doormen. At hotels. It’s very sad. Anyway, here’s the 2014 Razzball Year End Awards:

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Cuban sensation Rusney Castillo did his part to ensure he’ll be over valued in fantasy leagues next year going 2-for-3 with a home run and a stolen base last night versus the Yankees. He’s now 4-for-7 with two homers, four RBI and a steal starting in center field in the past two games. I guess it’s pretty clear from his bat that’s where he’s most comfortable. With New England, the new home for Cuban All-Stars and Big Papis, sure to be buzzing all offseason over these final games, the hype should build enough that Rusney Castillo is the next Manny Ramirez by draft day. At the very least he’ll be the next Jackie Bradley, Jr.  Still, desperate times, call for desperate fantasy measures and Castillo could be a hot schmotato with a whole lot more to prove in these final two games than most players.  We know he can steal. We’re seeing him hit. Two homers in two days, people! It’s mathematical! You’re trying to win a championship, right? Well, this Rusney trombone could be the reach around your fantasy team needs for the final push. Did I just type those words that way? Doesn’t matter it’s my last day of the season, is anyone still reading this? If you are, it’s about time you picked up Rusney Castillo and let him help you bring home a trophy.

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

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The ghost of Mac Dre has been blowing up my dream phone and telling me that Jonathan Schoop is a MI Sleeper for January-Grey. He is reminding me of another MI who had a great finish last season and has been a breakout this year. (It’s Brian Dozier if you’re not following me.) I’m taking a scarcity position schmotato this week as I try to reinforce the dropping of dead wright and the addition of hot bats. You might think it’s blasphemy to drop a David Wright type player to improve your chances, but sometime you gotta sin to win. Don’t worry, fantasy Jesus understands. Hey dummy, what’s with the title? Oh that, I pronounce Schoop’s name Shoop, because I have no idea how it’s pronounced. The only Shoop I could think of is Mark Harmon’s Mr. Shoop character from the 80’s classic Summer School. Hey, I’m a sucker for former UCLA quarterback’s. I’ve probably seen that flick more times than I would like to admit, but it was a cable staple for years on end. Speaking of staples, frequent commenter Nick the Dick is taking over my hip-hop Sunday today with a few select tracks for you. I respect that he threw me some west coast and some new takes with the old school. By making himself rough and rugged, he has shown how he proceeds to his roots. I can’t help my mellow self today, like 1982 me, who was a lot more kick back than the grouch I am today.

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For those who don’t understand the headline reference, it’s a Sopranos episode title.  A very crucial episode that causes a ripple effect on how the show ends. How does this relate to DraftKings today? Well technically it doesn’t, but Ian Kennedy can cause a ripple effect on your team today, since he is my top pitching option tonight.  Unfortunately we are a day late on Verlander or I could have had a field day with him and his nude pics – speaking of which, am I the only one who thinks Kate Upton is overrated? Her body is shaped like Kendrys Morales with smaller boobs.  With that out the way, lets focus on some DFS – we only got 8 games tonight and some good pitchers on the mound, so I will focus on hitters mainly.

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 check the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Here’s a scenario for you: Hanley Ramirez and Carlos Gonzalez get onto a plane. Knowing their inability to stay healthy, you A) Get off the plane. B) Purposely get yourself thrown off the plane by calling the male flight attendant, Mr. Stewardess, and asking him if he’s the pimp for the female stewardesses and if you could have a multi-person shag in the lavatory. C) There’s no C. Any of the above answers would work, even C and there wasn’t a C. CarGo can’t stay healthy and Hanley doesn’t seem to want to. If you count 145 games played as a full season, CarGo’s played one full season. This year, he might not play in 71 games and he’s at 70. Yes, he could be done for the year. Yes, it’s bad news with CarGo. Freight so. Even if he plays again, he has 11 homers and 3 steals in 70 games. Yunel Escobar looks at that and talks to a trademark attorney. It’s gonna be fun next year hearing people draft CarGo while they say, “I just need him to stay healthy for 120 games.” Those people are called delusional. As for Hanley, he’s supposed to return as soon as his DL stint is over, and he should as long as he doesn’t have to play hard in a rehab assignment. That would be impossible for him even if healthy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I don’t know about you, and let me preface this by saying most if not all of my league mates at least know I contribute fantasy baseball (OPS) content, but I keep getting the old “But, he’s a Catcher/Shortstop so he’s worth more” and from a position scarcity perspective, that’s obviously true. However, I am A) going for the win-now so all I want is to take the lead in certain (all) categories and B) position scarcity-schmarcity: give me the best available.

So it’s time for your 5×5 (HR,SB,R,RBI,OPS) rankings for both position scarcity and position schmarcity.

FYI, I use the FVAR (fantasy value above replacement) approach to fantasy valuation vs. SGP (standard gains points) approach since I don’t have all of your leagues’ current and historical information. Feel free to look this up or ask below.

For reference, here are the positional replacement 5×5 values and associated players (the 5 z-scores for each category are summed up; the sum is adjusted in each position by this positional replacement value i.e. each Catcher gets .73 added to their z-sum while each First Baseman only gets .01 added to their z-sum i.e. all catchers values are inflated more because of the lower replacement-value):

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Tommy Medica had the game of his life last night, going 5-for-5 with two home runs (5 & 6), 4 runs and 4 RBI. Somebody call a doctor, because Tommy Medica is so sick! Now wait just a minute, hold onto your coffee, and don’t drop anything or anyone just yet, (especially not your coffee because that may burn and I can’t afford a lawsuit). Medica, who generally sits against righties, has been filling in for Yonder Alonso the past month or so while he’s on the shelf. He has squandered the opportunity, batting just .217 with zero homers and 4 RBI in 46 at-bats in July. Even for the Padres, that’s barely a major league starter. I guess his hitting coach has been advising him to study Jedd Gyorko early season game tape. More likely than not, Medica will be headed back to the platoon role once Yonder Alonso returns, but the trade of Chris Denorfia could potentially open up some more playing time. Either way, what a game Tommy Boy! Holy schnikes! I added Medica in a few places on the off-chance this performance buys him some more playing time, but I’d keep the expectations low outside NL-Only and deep mixed leagues. For the time being, Tommy Medica is batting 1.000 and slugging 2.200 in August and certainly a name worth monitoring over the weekend.

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

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I don’t know about you, but even I get hung up on the individual site rankings for my leagues’ player pages, even though they have little to do with the categories that we use. For example, in my CBS dynasty league, we use Runs Produced (RBI+R-HR), net Stolen Bases (SB-CS), Slugging, On-base Percentage, and Plate Appearances [Jay’s Note: We use OBP, TB, W+QS, 2*Sv+H in a couple of my dynasty’s], yet I am still at times impulsive to pick-up whomever sits at top of the sites’ rankings, which is based off standard 5×5 formats. Well, you’re welcome– This post is to help you distinguish the value differential for OBP and OPS leagues relative to the ESPN player rater rankings. It should give you targets to trade for or trade away.

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I’m not trying to double dip here but I can’t help a good Tyson Ross play. Speaking of double dipping, I would be remiss to not include this classic double dipping clip. Back on Tyson, I’m not going to appeal to the low hanging fruit and go all Hangover because that movie kinda sucked. Sky covered Mike Tyson’s Punchout here and I don’t want to be “that guy” so instead I will talk about how much I love Tyson Ross tomorrow and leave the video gaming to my Sky-Dog! OK, one thing I have to say is when I first saw my best friend beat Mike Tyson we jumped up and down screaming like school girls. Tyson Ross has been taking his Hodgepadre act on the road in the month of July. His last two road shows have resulted in a 6 innings 6 K’s with 2 ER in Colorado and a 7 inning 9 K’s with 1 ER against the Dodgers. He’s also pitched well on the road against the White Sox, Reds, and Phillies, which also happen to all be hitters parks. Today he gets the third worst K rate Cubs in their hitters park with no wind factor to hurt him. At $9,300, I like his value far more than Max Scherzer ($11,400) or Garrett Richards ($10,200) and will be pairing him with an equally awesome match-up below.

Here is my gratuitous promotion for those who haven’t got on the DraftKings tip. It’s fun, I won dollars yesterday and now own a streak of one. *high fives self* Our resident camp counselor Ralph Lifshitz has been organizing all the summer time activities for the kiddies and doing a hell of a job of it. As always, if you want to play, then please put your handle below and we’ll get you invited to one of our games. Before the year is out I want to see a 40 team, 10 dollar buy in winner take all game. Can you dig it? With out further ado, here are the plays.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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!

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