Before we point fingers and exclaim how “right or wrong” we are, know that I am writing this intro BEFORE Aaron Nola‘s start yesterday afternoon. I don’t want my intro to sully my thoughts from the top down. The post needs to read like a before-and-after! Kinda like how Grey slammed my Joe Ross rank endlessly on the Pod “before” the season, and even with awesome results “after” 5 starts, he’s still going to find ways to troll me on him… Sigh… Also, I need to use a thesaurus on the word “before”…

So why was I so slow to sip any of the Nola Kool-Aid? Well, here’s the red flags I saw PRIOR TO yesterday’s start: .227 BABIP, he averages 90.0 on his fastball, was never a K guy through the Minors, K rate has jumped from 7.88 in 77.2 IP last year to 9.90 in 40.0 IP this year, and finally, he’s looking like a 2-pitch guy right now with 59.5% fastballs and 33.7% curveballs. Now, I admittedly use Fangraphs as my reference, and maybe he mixes a few fastball variants and he’s leaning off his change-up since his curve is working so well right now. Unless you’re in the MLB Man Cave, you’re not watching every single SP every start (plus you’re like, a few weeks behind the current action, so that’s lame), so I concede I hadn’t watched Nola yet this year. But after the Nola-grilling on my ranks in the comments last week, seeing Nola was getting the start on Sunday made him the prime Pitcher to be Profiled. Here’s how he looked yesterday afternoon in the Crayola Canyon:

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:

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Sorry I missed you guys… and girls last week. I was having computer issues, and when you couple that with all my other issues, well then, you got a lot of issues. This week I’m going to keep focusing on steals after last week’s… I mean two weeks ago post where I went over the top pitchers and teams to steal against. You can read that here. It’s really exciting stuff. Speaking of exciting stuff, did any of you get a chance to stream Blake Snell? I didn’t see him getting called up this early, but as always, we get crushed when he gets sent down and now we have to wait for his next arrival. Stupid friggin’ Rays. I’m just glad he wasn’t Ian Snell out there.

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I want to start talking about a little piece of OPS strategy that has worked for me over the years.  This works for AVG and OBP Leagues but I think works especially well for OPS leagues.  I call it: “Pair two players (PTP).”  Sexy, I know.  Usually it’s the combination of a power guy (say Giancarlo Stanton) with a speed guy (say Billy Hamilton).  Simple, yet efficient.  Giancarlo Hamilton, as it were.  Other examples: Edwin Pillar, Ender Rizzo, Lorenzo Abreu, make up your own! It’s fun.

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The Tyler White hot fire stayed lit last night with his third multi-hit game in a row, going 3-for-4 with 2-run home run. His second jack this year and brings his average to .692 with 7 RBI. Who is Tyler White, you ask? And why should you care, you say? Why am I talking about an Astros rookie first baseman not named A.J. Reed? Geez, bruh, what’s with the attitude, this is my first week back and I’m just trying to help. The 33rd round pick slashed a real nice .325/.442/.496 with 25 doubles, 14 homers and 99 RBI between AA and AAA in 2015. Ty also slashed .366/.460/.585 with 2 homers this spring. So none of this is completely out of no where. And it’s not like we’re talking about Trevor Story here. Now that I think of it, I probably should have written this blurb about him. What a Story! Oh man, perfect headline, too. Think of the all the delicious clicks I’d get. Oh well, Tyler White Hawt will surely cool down but until that time let’s have some fun with early season stats. Doode is slugging 1.308, with a .875 BABIP and a 2.022 OPS! Uh, that will help your fantasy team! Inflated saber metrics aside, White’s available in about 80% of ESPN leagues, Grey told you to BUY and he’s certainly worth a look while he’s hitting all the baseballs.

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

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Moogly-boogly!  It’s been a long winter.  The Buy/Sell Column’s back asking, “Did you miss me?!” During the offseason, while you were diddling and thinking about how your middle school nickname was Bracecrotch, I, The Buy/Sell Column was re-reenacting scenes from The Act of Killing with puppets in a staged production on the western tip of Alaska because I’M HARDCORE!  You want some Rip Taylor-wannabe, throwing confetti at your feet or you want a Buy/Sell Column that be cutting puppets’ necks with chicken wire while bundled up in fur coats because it was frickin’ cold in Alaska during the winter!?  Like Jose Altuve trying to get the Cocoa Puffs, you want the latter!  I’m eating puppet stuffing like I’m George “The Animal” Steele just to prove how crazy I am!  Okay, enough of the hubbub on the tomfoolery, I’m in on Domingo Santana.  Like all the way in.  Like Michael, Sonny, Tom Hagen and Vito — all the way in.  Like an Asian man wearing dark sunglasses indoors, pushing his chips into the middle of a table — all the way in!  Like Gilligan in quicksand — all the way in!  The Brewers are awful, this is not a lie.  But — and this is a J. Lo-sized but — Miller Park is a great park to hit in.  The Brewers offense is not entirely as bad as their pitching.  Domingo is a 25 HR, 10 SB guy.  Let’s see, that’s better than Hunter Pence.  Better than Kole Calhoun.  Shoot, that’s better than Matt Kemp.  Does Domingo have more risk than those guys?  Yeah, word, you betcha.  He also has more upside.  Right now, Domingo is owned in 33% of ESPN leagues, that’s goofy.  Don’t want my word for it?  Then stare into Grey’s eyes on his little avatar photo until you see yourself.  Now ask yourself if there’s a reason you haven’t picked up Domingo yet, and if there’s no answer, then grab him!  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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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!

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What’s a happenin’ Razz-stuff? FOH, the player slayer, is at the helm for my first and probably last bold predictions post. I only call it my last because after this one, I’m confident that I won’t be allowed to be bold again. Kidding… sorta. I get bold from time to time, but usually play it more conservative and pick my spots. I’m getting an assist on this one, as I have everyone’s favorite commenter doing a pop-up like a rogue restaurant or a children’s book. You have to follow me after the jump to find out who it is, but I’ll give you a hint: He sets his clock to Pacific time. No fancy intro needed here… Let’s get to some predictions for the 2016 season!

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I’ve already gone over corners and middle infidels [Jay’s Note: I was going to correct this, but it was too funny. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.], and now it’s time to get to my last position player post of the preseason, especially for all you late drafters out there. Trying saying that five times fast:”last position player post of the pre-season, last position player post of the pre-season, last position player post of the pre-season!” Okay, three is enough, no wait, eight is enough… Dick Van Patten… three is company. Why hello there Suzanne Summers circa 1979. That got sideways fast. Speaking of fast, did you catch my late late round loving of Cesar Hernandez? Mark my words, low risk flyer for cheap bags. I wish he was outfield eligible so I can write about him again. Hey wait, I just wrote about him again. Okay, moving on… to my last plug for the RCL commenter leagues. C’mon guys and girls, sign up for one or start a new one, there’s still a little time left. They’re free!

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If you caught the corner edition of this series, then you know what’s going on with the title. If you missed it (shame on you), go and click on that link now… Grey went over his second basemen and shortstops already, so now it’s my turn. Actually, it’s a different turn for a different game… for the most part. These are for the deeper and the desperate. The DDs! Speaking of DDs, have you signed up for an RCL yet? There is still time, so click here to join one or start your own. Okay, now that I got the shameless RCL plug out of the way, are you all ready for 2016? Feeling the burn yet? Selected your draft day spirits? I’ve been stuck in this scout.com for what feels like an eternity with the end still a week away. Anythehoo, let’s get to the players already…

Please, blog, may I have some more?