I’ve drafted my Razzball Commenter League team (last call for fantasy baseball — I’m saying that so it rhymes with alcohol), and now I’m ready for the season.  All those other drafts — like Tout, Friends & Family, Scout, yadda-whodoodie — are in the past.  They were prep for this draft.  This draft is the one that matters, because I’m going against, like, a thousand of youse.  And youse are the ones that matter.  Well, a few of youse matter more than a few of the other youse.  Just assume you are part of the favorable youse.  In this league was Tim McLeod from RotoRob, Mike Gianella from Baseball Prospectus, Dalton Del Don from Yahoo, and from Razzball:  Rudy, JayWrong, Big Magoo, Smokey, J-FoH, Tehol, Prospector Ralph, JB and yours truly.  All of these people make me very thankful (that it wasn’t an in-person draft).  I was drafting out of the twelve-hole (which is porn-speak for the right nostril), and I knew after all those preliminary drafts that I was finally going to take guys that I really, really wanted from my 2016 fantasy baseball rankings (clickbait, snitches!).  Well, until around the 5th round, then shizz went to hell.  Okay, enough hubbub on the tomfoolery, let’s get to it!  Anyway, here’s my RCL draft (5×5, roto, mixed league, 12 team, 5 OFs, etc.):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We are so close to the top 20 starters you can almost taste it, and it tastes like limoncello.  I wonder why that is.  From the top 20 outfielders through to this top 100 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball has been like the greatest mini-series ever.  Sorta like what I hope the O.J. Simpson show is.  By the way, don’t Google O.J. Simpson, major spoilers!  In most fantasy leagues, you won’t need to draft guys from this top 100 outfielders, and they’ll be waiver wire pickups.  A few of these guys will be drafted by people saying things like, “I’m really loving (fill-in name from this post) as a late sleeper,” then those same people will get to the middle of April and be saying things like, “I can drop (fill-in player’s name), right?”  As with other rankings posts, I go over where tiers start and stop and my projections.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

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I can’t believe I’ve come to this point in the season but it’s that time, fam. Or ‘Pham’ if you’re into making things not only hip but fantasy baseball-related. This is the time of the season where you just can take that season-long ERA/WHIP of a pitcher here and there, throw them out the window, turn on your Janet Jackson album and sing ‘what have you done for me lately?’ *Singing optional…and some of you? Please don’t. Don’t look at me like that, you know why*. It’s one of the trickiest times of the year. Maybe it’s because the young arm is unknown and the vet team he’s facing didn’t scout well enough or is just plain tired from a long season? Or in the case of the vet arm, maybe they were hurt all year and are healthy and ‘fresh’ by comparison to the other team? I don’t know, I guess what I’m trying to say is this is the time of year for some truly bizarro world shizz and you gotta think about players you may not have at other times. Case in point, CC Sabathia. I mean, 4.80 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP is…well it’s…hrm, it’s…let’s just have Cleveland call it like it is. Yet he’s now had back to back 24+ point DK outings and gets a matchup against a team that currently floats near the bottom against LHP in wRC+ (29th), ISO (28th), and BB/K (28th). Am I confident enough in him to fling him out there in cash games? Ish you cray! But his $6,600 pricetag makes it easy to work in bigger bats and another big arm as needed so I’m all in on CC. Just remember when paying up today for your arms, the all important Beastie Boys words: ‘Cause what you see you might not get, And we can bet so don’t you get souped yet, You’re scheming on a thing that’s a mirage, I’m trying to tell you now it’s sabotage. But enough about my poetic license use of someone else’s poetry, let’s have at it. Here’s my Root Down hot takes for this Friday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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?

You wanna know what’s on my mind?  “If the Nationals wouldn’t have shut down Stephen Strasburg three years ago, would they have been eliminated a day earlier this year?”  No, that’s not on my mind.  “Is there anything to your business idea of selling 500-foot rulers outside the courthouse to people who just got restraining orders?”  That’s been on my mind, but that wasn’t what I was thinking about now.  “What does Strasburg offer us for 2016?”  Yes, that was what I was thinking.  How did you read my mind?  “I’m you.”   Shh, you’re ruining the illusion.  Yesterday, he went 7 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 13 Ks.  Prettttay, pretttay good.  Of course, Effin Stressbird has been an ulcer all year with his 4.30 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and continual injuries that have left him with only 98 1/3 IP.  When digging deeper — and it hurts me soul, Lupe Fiasco, to say this — he doesn’t look bad.  His velocity went up this year to 95.3 MPH from 94.8; his K/9 is down 10.1 to 9.7, but I think that’s just due to his control, and a 9.7 K/9 isn’t bad.  He hasn’t been as sharp with command, but couldn’t that be due to the back problems he’s fighting?  I hate him as much as anyone that is making hashtags by combining MLK and the dipshit in Kentucky, but if I’m looking at his stats with impartial eyes, he doesn’t look terrible for 2016.  For this year, just give me three more effin starts like last night, you Effin Stressbird.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Hopefully everyone had an enjoyable Labor Day Weekend and if all went well, a profitable one. Labor Day weekend is a fine time to cruise for overlay as it’s a busy outdoors weekend for many folks. I, for one, took the weekend off from DFS. I enjoyed some of the great outdoors and took part in a few fantasy football season-long drafts. I’m ready to hit MLB hard for the last five weeks as people become less focused on it and turn their eyes instead to NFL. With any luck, that will lead to some dead money out there. Terrible transition time as we go from dead money to the Grateful Dead. I know there’s a few deadhead fantasy baseballers out there reading Razzball, I’ve seen the steal your face avatars. Truth be told, I’m a fan via love as the woman whom I live with and to whom I’m related by marriage is a huge fan. When I saw that both Sonny Gray and Jon Gray were pitching tonight and both had nice match-ups, I couldn’t help myself. I’m choosing to focus on Jon Gray since, frankly, Sonny Gray has, and will continue to be, a great play all year. Jon Gray on the other hand, gets the hard to handle task of pitching in Coors for his home games. We saw the effect this can have when he faced the Mets at Metco and was on the golden road (6 IP, 1 ER, 5 Ks) and then faced them again a couple weeks later at Coors and had the Mexicali blues (1.2 IP, 7 ER, 0 Ks). Gray faced the Padres in Coors a few weeks ago and made barely a ripple, giving up just one run in 5 IP and striking out five friars. Doing some quick math means he should only give up negative five runs when he faces them in Petco Park. It’s like a box of rain when a promising young arm gets drafted into the Rockies system, but we always have their away games to look forward to. Gray’s got a pretty nasty looking 95+ MPH fastball and a nice change-up (85 MPH)/slider combo that makes him at least serviceable with upside for more. Thanks to his home park and some rough outings there, he’s practically free for $4,600. The pitching friendly Petco Park and a bottom three team OPS for the Padres makes me pretty excited to roster the young gun tonight. You should be too and if nothing else, we will get by, we will survive.

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?

It feels like only yesterday when everything was right in the world.  An animated blue bird landed on my window ledge and sung to me about boobies and other things the republicans want to make illegal, then another animated bird joined him and sung to me about foie gras and other things the democrats want to make illegal, then a centrist animated bird landed and said a lot of nothing that could neither be refuted nor approved.  Why do I have all of these damn cartoon birds but no Carlos Carrasco?!  Yesterday, Carrasco hit the DL with a sore shoulder.  This sounds to me like an early shutdown is not too far off.  “Hello, shopping mall ear piercer, can you put a diamond stud in the hole in my heart that Carrasco left?”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So you’re telling me if the Mets played in Coors field every night, they’d be the highest scoring team in baseball instead of bottom 5, where they were pre-Coors? Huh, 33 runs in 3 games ain’t too shabby and I hope you benefited from Yoenis Cespedes’ onslaught Friday night. I managed to somehow cash without him, but I couldn’t touch the top spots. The Mets have clearly sacrificed some chickens to Jobu over the past month. The good fortune continues as they go from beating up on Rockies pitchers in Coors to now getting to feast on Philly pitching in Citizens Bank Park. Here’s some fun with numbers: in the month of August, the Mets are 5th in Runs, 1st in doubles, 4th in HRs and 3rd in team OPS, one of my favorite stats to look at. As I write this, I just watched Daniel Murphy hit the 7th HR of the the game for the Mets, tying a franchise record. So, how much of this new found offense is Cespedes induced? Well, he hasn’t exactly been cold, his slash line since joining the Mets: Tonight the human Cespedes gets to dine on the shizz that is Jerome Williams’ right arm. Sky, in his recent roundup, mentioned Jerome’s reverse splits this season. Much like the hips, Sky don’t lie. The numbers this year vs. RHB: .336/.363/.597 and vs. LHB: .315/.379/.399 tell you all you need to know. Of course as you can see, everyone is hitting for a hall of fame average off the guy, so you really can’t go wrong when throwing anyone and everyone out there at him, but righties are especially brutalizing him. Reverse splits are fairly screwy, I tend to think they normalize over time, but there are exceptions, like in everything. For his career, Williams’ marks are generous to both handed hitters. Lefties enjoy a better batting average and OBP while righties have a higher slugging percentage. That’s over a 12 year career of course and things change with age. For example, a bag of garbage left in a black trash can in the middle of summer gets much worse with age. Jerome is said bag of garbage and the hot summer months aren’t being kind to him. With any luck, people will take a quick glance as guys like Curtis Granderson (L) and Michael Conforto (L) are highly owned and Cespedes sneaks under the radar. I need you tonight, Yoenis, don’t let me down. Here are some more picks for tonight’s slate:

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?

Hishashi my dashi — slurp SLURP! Yesterday, Hisashi Iwakuma threw the AL’s first no-hitter since 2012, a span of three years (nice math skills, Grey stache!) This wasn’t an easy, rollover and let me scratch your belly, Padres club he was no-hitting either. This was no “Get out your Slinky and drop it from the top of the stairs and it’ll go all the way to the bottom,” this was more of a “Drop your Slinky and watch it get two stairs down, and then Chris Davis comes up and flattens one into the Pike’s Market concourse, and then one of the fish guys throws it back and then Machado comes up orders a Flat White with almond milk and he hits one over one of the 16,000 Starbucks* in the greater Seattle area.” Wow, I got totally lost in that analogy. Iwakuma’s ERAs are all over the place in his time in the states, but I’ll say this, everything else is nearly identical. His K/9 is always within point five, his xFIP is 3.29 now and it was 3.28 in his 2nd major league season, his fastball velocity was 88.9 last year; it’s 88.9 now, his walk rate is 1.5, it was 1.1 last year. This year, he’s given up more homers, that’s been the difference. You’d have to assume in Safeco homers would come down and Iwakuma would go back to being a mid to low-3 ERA pitcher. *I did the Segway Seattle tour during the All-Star break counting them. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On a day where pitching isn’t deep and very top-heavy, it gets really hard to look past the tops of the charts. Clayton Kershaw you say? Don’t mind if I do. Jacob deGrom? Yes please may I have some more. For me, I’m looking at a guy who gets to face the Atlanta Braves. Said Atlanta Braves sit tied for last in wRC+ since the start of the second half. Also, said Atlanta Braves are missing their best bat in Freeman and have so much scrub in the lineup I’m about to start calling them the Scotch-Brites. Guaranteed to keep the scoreboards clean! But the biggest thing Jake Odorizzi has going for him isn’t even the opponent. Actually, it’s where he’s pitching. Jake is a home schooler. Through 51 innings at the Trop, Jake owns a 1.41 ERA. Sure, he’s a little lucky in that regards as his xFIP is more than double that at 3.44 but you know what helps you luck out? How about a 9.12 K/9 rate and a 20.2% K%-BB%. Overall, given the higher end options, many may find it hard to look Odorizzi’s way. Don’t be one of those people who says Odor’in ain’t easy Izzi and go with Jake. But enough about my strange rap and hip hop references, here we go. Let’s look at my it’s getting hot in here takes for this Wednesday DK slate…

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?