Aw, man, now we’re left with the ominous team updates of “Giancarlo Stanton is not in lineup, no other news available.”  I think I need to have a talk with him.  Maybe I’ll hide in the trunk of his car and get out when he parks in his four-car garage, then go in through the kitchen that’s got the espresso machine on the left; not the kitchen with the soft-serve machine.  What?  I memorized his Cribs episode, I never snuck in his house.  So, times are rough for Giancarlo.  The Marlins score 13 runs and he’s not even playing.  Holy sit!  Giancarlo has the lowest batting average for a qualified hitter.  Things are so bad, the other day he hit the hardest recorded ball in StatCast history, 123.9 MPH, and it was a double play.  Digging through his numbers is a little bit encouraging.  His BABIP is way below his career mark; he’s hitting .192, but could hit .250 the rest of the way.  You don’t get him for average; it’s homers you desire like I desire him.  His ground balls are through the roof.  Not literally, unless we’re talking about roofs of ant farms.  All he’s hitting is fly balls and ground balls.  His line drive rate is poor.  He usually kills fastballs.  So far, he’s a negative on them.  That was his bread and butter, and right now he’s toast.  He’s 26 years old; this should be the prime of his beef.  Instead, he’s been getting a steady diet of sliders.  That’s not real beef!  What I think is going on, he’s dealing with some health issues after his collision with OZUNA, he’s not spitting on sliders and waiting for fastballs.  Then when he gets a fastball, he hits it hard, but gets unlucky.  Can all of this be changed with me appearing mysteriously in his Snuggie?  I’m not sure.  The health is an unknown question mark.  Eventually, he should get luckier and do damage on some fastballs, assuming he’s healthy.  I wouldn’t count him out, but health has been an issue for him in the past.  If I were able to get a tasty offer for someone buying him, I could see letting him be someone else’s problem.  For now, I will wait in his bathroom wearing a shirt that matches his wallpaper, and try to ‘talk’ some encouragement into him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Despite my best efforts, I can no longer avoid writing about this week’s most added player, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Adam Duvall (68.9% owned; +45.8% over the last seven days). It’s not that I don’t like him. I actually considered writing about him a few weeks ago. After deciding to go in another direction, that opportunity came and went quicker than a patron at a pay by the hour hotel. Everyone seemed to jump on the Duvall bandwagon, and for good reason. Over his last 14 games, he’s smashed 9 homers to go along with 14 runs, 19 RBI, and a .268/.293/.786 triple slash line. If you want to go back a bit further, he’s produced a 24/14/30/1/.292 line since May 3rd (31 games). Those are numbers that’ll have his fantasy owners frequenting the hourly hotels on a regular basis. While he’s unlikely to maintain this blistering power pace for the rest of the season, Duvall hit 35 homers between AAA and MLB in 2015, and 30 homers across those same levels in 2014. The power is very much for real. The strikeouts (29.7% K%) are likely to keep his average in the .250 range, and while his on-base skills (.327 or lower OBP at every stop but one since 2012) and speed (10 stolen bases since 2013) are severely limited, 35 homers appears to be in his wheelhouse. Think of him as the NL version of Mark Trumbo. In competitive leagues, Duvall is likely long gone, but if his owner is interested in “selling high,” it’s worth exploring a trade if you’re looking to add some power.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

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James Shields was traded to the White Sox for Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatis Jr.  I remember well his father, Fernando Tatis Jr. (yes, they are both juniors; not at all confusing).  I remember Tatis because he was the reason back in 2000, I said on my Geocities site, Fantasy Baseball and Neon Green Backgrounds, the following, “The Cardinals won’t bring up Albert Pujols because they have Fernando Tatis.  Let’s just be grateful we made it through Y2K with all of our AOL emails intact.  I got this forward from my uncle that is hilarious!  Also, I think JC Chasez is easily the best singer in NSYNC.  Justin Timberlake?  More like Give-Me-A-Timberbreak!”  Wow, that didn’t age well at all.  So, the Padres finally listened to me and attempted to get younger.  No idea about this Tatis; he’s so young he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page yet — and Carson Cistulli has a Wiki page longer than Harriet Tubman!  Elsewhere, Erik Johnson becomes an NL-Only add, but his wonky control leaves him a streamer for now in mixed leagues.  As for Shields, leaving Petco + aging pitcher who hasn’t looked great for over a year now = Aged Balsamic.  Hmm, math’s off there, was supposed to equal risky bet for mixed leagues with increased win potential and decreased ratios.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Hi, I work in the front office for the Twins and I’m ordering lunch.  I was wondering what you have that’s old that you can give us a discount on.  Can you eat old pork?  Hmm, let’s try it with extra sauce.  John Ryan Murphy briefly converted to Judaism, or so he wrote in 6-point font inside his lined notebook where he talked about murder, but he’s back to the gentile side of things.  I’d also like to know if any of your very old or very young employees want to join our pitching staff.  We can’t pay them in money, but Byung ho Park and Kurt Suzuki often wrestle together, reenacting Foxcatcher, and it’s just fun to be around when that happens.  Gotcha, okay, just send the old pork then!”  Incredibly, the Twins reached into their oh-so-deep pockets, pulled out some lint and decided to call up their top pitching prospect, Jose Berrios.  He’s only been ready for about three years now; crazy to start his clock now when they could’ve held him down in Triple-A for another five years.  Never underestimate the Twins’ frugality.  It’s FRU-JOUL-LAY, it’s Italian!  Here’s what I said previously about him, “A team like the Tigers would’ve promoted Berrios about two years ago.  No fear, John Deere, Berrios is still only 21 years old.  I’ve seen people peg Berrios as having #3 fantasy starter upside, but I see him landing eventually with a barely-2 BB/9 and 9 K/9 from his mid-90s MPH fastball and plus-curve.  That makes him a borderline fantasy ace in the making.  Of course, as a rookie, there will be stretches where he doesn’t look like that, but want a guy that could come on and give you a Shelby Miller in 2015-type year?  Berrios has that potential.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Yes, I’d grab him, yes, in your league too.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

People standing to the side, huddled together.  Faces ashen.  All they could talk about was the moment the Carlos Carrascident happened.  There was nothing anyone could do.  It was as if time slowed down like Keanu was diving away from a Matrixy bullet.  A split second and a heap on the ground, silence.  Terry Francona dressed as a law enforcement officer putting up yellow tape, people wondering if Francona was working a bachelorette party after the game.  Carlos Carrasco is headed to the disabled list with a hamstring strain but needs to have an MRI, which is never what you want to hear about your ace.  Filling in for him will be Trevor Bauer.  Not farfetched to think Bauer could have value in matchups.  Farfetch is also what they call warming up Bauer.  “Why is our bullpen catcher driving to Akron?”  “Friggin’ Bauer.”  As for Carlos Carrasco, that’s the way the Cookie crumbles.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As George Bush Jr. once said, “Fool me once, shame on you, you can’t fool me again because we won’t get fooled again,” then he was joined by Pete Townshend in a duet that made sense at the time, but now seems inconceivable.  GB was right on, and that’s how I initially felt about Matt Moore.  How many times could we be fooled by this guy?  What’s that?  Twelve?  I was asking that rhetorically, I didn’t want a number.  Why did you just say thirteen?  I don’t want a number!  Whether it is twelve, thirteen or one time fooled, it doesn’t *pinkie to mouth* Matt-er.  Yesterday, Moore went 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners with 10 Ks.  He now has a 10.3 K/9 and a 1.5 BB/9.  That walk rate, I mean muah.  That with a 8 K/9 would have me interested.  With a 10+ K/9?  Yes, please and thank you, to get politely excited.  On a related note, not sure how this happened, but I have an abundance of AL East pitchers in different leagues.  Great, terrific, adjective, except when they face New York, Boston and Toronto, which is basically every game.  FMFBBL!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Rangers called up their super-prospect, Nomar Mazara (3-for-4 and a solo homer).  That’s super *prospect*, Hillary Clinton fans.  Don’t worry, not the word that is also a title of an Arnie, Carl Weathers and Jesse Ventura movie.  How is that trifecta not in more movies?  I wanna see ACJ in everything!  This Mazara call up is happening a lot faster than I thought it would.  As the Story one did and the Max Kepler one and the Mallex Smith one (which I’ll go over in the post) and others.  Maybe clubs read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  I started to read it, got to the first chapter, “Put first things first,” skipped to the third chapter about being proactive, grew bored and never finished it.  Feels like the days of Super Twos and June call-ups are behind us, right?  Not answer, but to ruminate.  I gave you a Nomar Mazara prospect post back in November of last year where I said, “He won’t struggle to hit .220.  He won’t be a liability anywhere.  He kinda reminds me of a young Matt Holliday, though from the other side of the dish.  I watched some of his YouTube highlights and he doesn’t struggle to hit balls a long way, but also doesn’t look like a fat turd that can’t make it to first.  I’m no scout, but watching him makes me think this is what scouts call sexy.  I’ve seen him compared to Miguel Cabrera.  Okay, no one is Miguel Cabrera until they are Miguel Cabrera, if you catch my drift, but Mazara doesn’t look like a guy that is going to disappoint.  .280 with 30 homers a season for many years, that’s what he profiles as.”  And that’s me quoting me!   I grabbed him in every league where he was available.  For now, he’s just filling in for Shin-Soo Choo, who is out four to six weeks with a strained calf, but I could see Mazara staying up and producing.  Think Stephen Piscotty-type numbers, 20 HRs, .275, and a few steals.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to my first regular season post of the year 2016. I’m moving in a different direction this season, as I wanted a new challenge and got burnt out doing the same thing every year. You gots to diversify! This will be my first season where I get to talk about pitching, but not just any pitching, bullpens! I love the pen, always have. As a kid, the Goose was one of my favorite players and seeing a game get closed out was the best feeling as a fan. Even as a kid I wanted the ball at the end of games. From age nine ’til 16, I was a solid back end option [Jay’s Note: I like your mom’s solid back end option] to take the mound and finish a game. On the unfortunate flip-side, I couldn’t start a game to save my life. I don’t even want to try and remember what the ERA difference was, but it was somewhere in the fourish range. You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with SAGNOF? Only to show you how much passion I have for the bullpen. This year I’ll be doing my best week in and week out to bring you the top speed and saves plays. For those that remember my Sunday content for the past two seasons, Creeper of the Week, this will be similar to that, with the focus going solely to SAGNOF. Unless of course I can’t resist a batty call plug that hasn’t been mentioned on the site. Hey, I’m working through creeper withdraw. I wonder if they make an alternative to help me get my fix… Mendozadone!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you haven’t noticed by now, I freaking love stats. In fact, one of the few things I love more than stats is fantasy baseball. And luckily the two go together like lamb and tuna fish. So I decided to dedicate my weekly release to something new. As many people spend hours upon hours analyzing batter vs pitcher and other split stats, I am going to focus on what is truly important to your roto success: categories.

Each week, I plan to give you an idea of which teams have the most favorable and least favorable match-ups by looking at their opposing scheduled starters for the week. I do this by taking each opposing pitchers’ stats and giving you an idea of which teams should expect to score the most (and least) Rs, HRs, RBIs, SBs, and highest/lowest OBP for the week. I will then give you some suggested spot starts for the week based on the categories (players owned in less than 50% of leagues).

For the first full month of April, I will strictly be using starting pitcher statistics from last season to project out the week. However, as we move forward throughout the season, I will transition to the starters’ 2016 statistics so that I can give you the most accurate and relative numbers to help you win your roto league!

So sit back, crack open a coldie, and let’s nerd out with our bird out. It’s time to play some damn baseball!

(Keep in mind, the categories analyzed are for a 5×5 OBP format.)

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Dodger-hat_logo-woolennium-Flickr

Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…Daniel Brim, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Los Angeles Dodgers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?