All the final 2016 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done.  For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball.  This is NOT for 2017 (caps for those who can’t read titles; supposedly it’s easier to read caps, I have my doubts).  This is a recap.  Will these affect next year’s rankings?  Sure.  But not entirely.  To recapitulate, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  We’re (me’re) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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papiout

Today, ladies and gentlemen, is officially the last day of school. And by school I mean me writing fantasy baseball posts in 2016. Over the next few months I’m sure Grey will take a gander at the numbers to determine if yours truly will be back in 2017. Hopefully my eight remaining followers have enough pull to see me through to the other side and get me invited back to Razzball Spring Training. But if not, it’s been a good run. This post is my 94th baseball-related post. I have big incentives in my contract if I make it one hundred, so I hope that doesn’t influence Grey’s decision in a negative way. There are a lot of hungry points league writers out there that just might be willing do what I do for even less. Will they be as cool as I am? Doubtful. As funny? Certainly not. And lastly, will they have the maturity level of a third grader? I certainly hope so. Here’s to hoping Grey just flips a two-headed coin.

Before I jump the gun and start saying any official goodbyes, I think we should take a look back at 2016 and what happened in points leagues…

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It’s hard to believe it’s almost over, but here we are, the final Friday of the regular season. Some DFS will continue through the MLB playoffs, but that shizz is only for the hardcore degens. You can play a couple bucks in that mess if you want, but I’m all set with 300 similar lineups because there’s four teams to chose from. Friday is typically the biggest night of the week for MLB DFS, it’s when the biggest contests typically run, and this is the last of it, especially with NFL stealing all the Sunday love. So, if you’re going to make a big play, this is your last shot. Hopefully you’ve done well for yourself this season and have a little disposable bankroll to toss out there. If you’re not down for taking a shot at a $100 buy-in tournament, then by all means, join our newly created Razzball League. Taking advantage of DraftKing’s new “Leagues” feature I created this as a place for all us Razzball DFSers to hangout, create contests and play against one another. Anyone can create a contest and there it will appear for all to join. You can create a H2H or a 10 man league, whatever you like, for whatever buy-in you’re comfortable with (even free!). I created a contest for tonight, so hop on in, the more the merrier! This league will continue posting contests through the NFL season as well, so if you’re into that sort of thing, I’ve got you covered. Hope you’ve had a great year and it’s been a pleasure writing for you all season long. Take care, but first, let’s get into some picks for tonight’s slate:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday October 3rd to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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I’m OCD about my iTunes.  I listen to a new album a few times, pick out some songs that I like, five star them, and then play them endlessly until I’m sick of them.  My top 20 for most played is embarrassing.   I like Lil Wayne more than anyone should ever admit.  Sometimes I have a song on repeat, and I’ll get a phone call (rare; only old people use the phone for calling people), the doorbell will ring (less rare; Cougs orders a ton of shizz on Amazon) or I’m just called away from my desk for some reason.  Then I’ll forget I have a song on repeat and I’ll go to lunch, dinner or…No, those are the only reasons I leave my fantasy cave.  When I come back and see a song’s play count has been artificially boosted with me not listening, I will edit info in iTunes and reset the play count to where it was before the accidental repeat.  It’s important to have a gage to tell how much you like a song.  Do you like it enough to play it 200 times like, say, Aloe Blacc’s Red Velvet Seat or do you like it enough to listen to it 120 times like, say, Tom Petty Yer So Bad (actual play counts)?  Why do I bring this up now?  Because Rick Porcello should roll his win count back to 15.  21 wins?!  C’mon!  That is misrepresenting him in every conceivable way.  Yesterday, Rick Porcello went 9 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.08, to move his record to 21-4 <–LIES!  He’s pretending to be Eazy E vs. Johnny Cash (great song; play count 278) when he’s really Randy Newman’s Short People (good song, but you ain’t listening to that nonsense more than once every few months; play count 59).  His ERA isn’t even accurate.  It’s saying, “I’m Bon Iver’s Skinny Love (play count 175),” when it’s really You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb by Spoon (play count 96).  The only thing that is sort of legit is his 0.98 WHIP, but that’s more Men At Work’s Overkill (play count 186) legit.  Have a season, Rick Porcello, but you are so Rihanna’s Diamonds (play count 86) and not Martians vs. Goblins (play count 365).  Also, if you want more, we talk about Rick Porcello on today’s podcast.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

a href=”http://razzball.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Sparky-Polastri.gif”>sparky-polastri

Look, on the one hand, I’m ashamed that I’m quoting Not Another Teen Movie. On the other, I’m surprised this wasn’t a Keenan Ivory Wayans joint. On the third, more interesting hand that’s simply a cut out of the hamburger helper off my beefaroni box, it allows me to reference back to one of the best teen comedy movies of all time: Bring It On. Or better put, this movie has four minutes worth of Sparky Polastri, and that’s never enough and yet more than enough all at the same time. With all this said, my call today is Steven Brault or as I like to call him, ‘the guy who gets to pitch against the Phillies’. If you’ve read anything I’ve written – or wrotten, if you wanna keep with title theme – you’ll know that I love picking on Phillies. It’s September and this should be clear to you but just in case it’s not, here’s a simple flowchart for you to think about. If you’re not convinced by my conciseness, let’s consider some other facts. The Phils have the worst wRC+, the fifth worst K%, and the second worst BB% in the majors this year. The fact they’ve been on a K tear of late – second worst K% over the last 30 and worst over the last 14 and 7 – makes this call even nicer. But the real kicker here? Brault is a mere $4,500 so he’s in punt territory with 20 point upside. Seriously, this intro is AmPm: too much good stuff. But guess what, I have some even potentially greater takes down the road. So follow me past the italics, would you? Here’s my ‘y’all ready for this’ hot taeks for this Wednesday, DK slate…follow me or perish, sweater monkeys!

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday September 19th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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Houston’s 32-year old Cuban rookie Yulieski Gurriel was 2-for-4 with his first stolen base Friday night. Or is it Guerriel? Gourriel? Don’t worry about spelling his name correctly, the media sure doesn’t–what’s important is Friday’s two hit night capped off an impressive week for the third baseman where he hit .321 with four runs, two home runs and drove in five runs. Debuting at the end of August, Yulieski got off to a slow start after struggling with a mild hamstring injury, but that looks to be a thing of the past and he’s now hit safely in his last six games, and has homered in two of his last three games. Players like Yulieski require praise, they demand it. As soon as manager A.J. Hinch let him know he was a good Gurriel, and started rewarding him with treats (he really likes Combos) Yulieski turned it on. Atta Gurriel! Yes, you are! Who’s a good Gurriel? You arrrre! Yulieski was less than impressive during his short minors stint (.250/.262/.429 line with two home runs and 14 RBI in 15 games), but he bat .500 with 15 homers in 50 games in Cuba last year which is a about as good as it sounds, so there is little doubt our boy is major league ready. Did you read Grey’s Yulieski Gurriel fantasy? I read it while conducting a scientific tasting of all the different Combos flavors. Pepperoni pizza won in a landslide. Lord Byron Buxton will be the hot-shot rookie pick up of the week, and by all means, if he’s available grab him, but Gurriel could be a nice add if you lost the Buxton sweepstakes, and he’s still out there in over 80% of leagues. I’d own him in any league where wanted to win. Yulieski can do it!

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

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Is everyone recovered from their NFL opening night hangover? I’m excited to have some NFL DFS to pair with the grind of MLB DFS. Something to keep in mind these next four weeks is MLB DFS will be losing a fair share of players as NFL takes over the scene. Like it or not, NFL DFS is infinitely more popular than MLB DFS. I get it, in this instant gratification world we live in, NFL DFS is that one killer weekend party while MLB DFS is the local bar down the road; it’s there for you every night, but it’s not exactly thrilling. What does this loss mean for us hardcore MLB DFSers? Well, keep an eye out for overlay for one. Mostly though, it means the casual player has likely moved on which leaves stiffer competition from here on out. You have been advised (in my best Nick Capozzi voice, I miss Nick).

On to today, Clayton Kershaw picks right up at basically the same price as when he last pitched…over two months ago. The good news is he pitched a whole 3 innings in his rehab start. I know the guy’s a machine, but I’m not feeling the $13,500 price tag for 5 innings of Kershaw. That brings us to the next high priced ace, Jose Fernandez. The Marlins have already come right out and said Jose will be shut down if they’re eliminated from the playoffs. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy for his potential innings. For $12,700, I’ll look elsewhere. So, where should we look? Let’s take the jump and see:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday September 12th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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Over the past week, the most added player in ESPN fantasy baseball leagues was… Gary Sanchez. Seriously? Is it that difficult to part with Matt Wieters at this point? Sanchez should be universally owned (and practically is by now) and I’ve discussed him ad nauseam in this space over the past few weeks, so we’ll move on to the next name on the most added list. Let’s see… Ivan Nova (30.2% owned; +20.5% over the past week)? Step on up! The new Pittsburgh Pirate acquisition has left the unfriendly pitching environment of Yankee Stadium behind and seems to be enjoying a career renaissance under the tutelage of renowned pitcher whisperer Ray Searage. The main differences in Nova under Searage’s watchful eyes are that he’s throwing more strikes and keeping the ball in the park more effectively. In 97.1 innings with the Yankees this season, Nova allowed 19 home runs (1.76 HR/9) and had a first-pitch strike percentage of 58.4%, leading to a 2.31 BB/9. In five starts (31.1 innings pitched) with the Pirates, he’s allowed just 3 home runs (0.86 HR/9) and improved his F-Strike% by 11% (to 69.4%) in the process, walking just one hitter (0.29 BB/9) along the way. Consequently, Nova’s 4.90 ERA and 1.36 WHIP as a Yankee have improved to 2.87 and 0.99 as a Pirate. Nova appears to be well on his way to joining the ranks of pitchers such as Edinson Volquez, A.J. Burnett, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ whose careers were revitalized after suppling the teat of their new pitching daddy. If you need starting pitching help down the stretch, Nova is definitely worth a look.

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

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To paraphrase Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, “America has so many enemies:  Iran, Iraq, China, Mordor, Josh Tomlin in away games, Justin Upton, Melvin Upton for the last two months, Clint Hurdle, the people on Twitter that take a trending topic and attach linkbait, Giancarlo Stanton’s groin when its injured, but not at all when its healthy, anyone that gets Mookie Betts out the once-in-a-blue-moon when someone can get him out, Clint Hurdle again, anyone that doesn’t appreciate blue raspberry, undesirable immigrants, by which I mean everyone that came after Carlos Martinez.”  Yesterday, Carlos Martinez went 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners with 13 Ks to lower his ERA to 3.07.  Thank you, come again!  From last year to this year, C-Mart’s strikeout rate is down (9.2 to 7.8), his walk rate is unchanged, his velocity is virtually the same and his xFIP is up due to a lucky BABIP.  So, what does that mean for Carlos Martinez 2017?  Random prediction alert!  I won’t be enthused about drafting him again next year, but he’ll likely be a solid #2 fantasy starter, i.e., good in a pinch, but not exciting, i.e., convenience forever, freshness never!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I know the lede may scream Millennial, but I wasn’t born in the 90’s, my cursive writing is on point and I don’t wear a beanie in 95 degree weather. I never use shorthand when texting or emailing, but it’s tough to pass up on word play when Yu Darvish is part of the feature. Two weeks ago I gave you Tres Zurdos and this week I’m following up with Tres Diestros, or three righties for those of you who are north of the border. Carlos Martinez, $10,300 at Milwaukee is running point on our 3 headed monster tonight. I think most people will stay away from this one because he’s at Coors Jr, but he’s been lights out on the road this year. He’s 7-1 with a 2.36 ERA, granted his Ks aren’t where I’d like them to be, only 57 over 72.1 innings. Keep in mind the Brewers are still leading the league in Ks and in his previous two starts against Mil he racked up 19 Ks in just 13 innings. Darvish at $10,800 vs the Mariners is our middleman/comic relief for the evening. He walked 5 guys last time out, but he was in an National League park and he struggled to get the juices flowing in an unfamiliar place. Yu loves that hot Texas weather and I’m looking for him to bounce back tonight with at least 8-9 Ks to go along with a much needed Texas W. Closing for the Tres Diestros’s tonight is Jake Arrieta, $12,300 vs Pittsburgh. Yes I know he’s a bit pricey, especially since he hasn’t been the dominate Ace we saw in the second half of last season, but he owns the Pirates. When it comes to taking the mound against his Central League Rival he definitely brings his A game, as he’s 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA to go along with 33 Ks over 27 innings.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run today to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?