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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… James Attwood, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Arizona Diamondbacks!

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Glad to see you haven’t completely moved on to fantasy football just yet. There’s still money to be had on the baseball side and as a matter of fact, there’s quite a bit. DraftKings is running a baseball version of the Millionaire Maker. To the best of my knowledge, they’ve never run one of these for MLB and I’m pretty excited to take a few whacks at it. I’ve played these for PGA and of course, NFL and playing for a shot at a million is pretty silly to think about. It’s MLB, anyone can win you that dough on a given night, so let’s see if we can dig up some gems for this evening.

J. A. Happ is the pitcher I’m going to be looking at the most when building tonight’s lineups. I can’t understand a couple things about Happ, first is his price. Happ is $7,500 tonight, cheaper than John Lamb. Happ has been on an impressive run lately, much like Josh Tomlin. Tomlin costs $3,000 more tonight and is facing the K-stingy Royals. Happ’s ERA in August was a tidy 1.98 and he’s kept that momentum rolling into September with a 1.38 ERA in 2 starts. Also included in those 7 total starts is 42 Ks and 7 BBs in 40.1 IP. The other thing I don’t quite understand is the Streamonator’s hate for Happ tonight, ranking him as the 12th best pitcher on the day. That seems criminal, much like what the SON wants to do to my kitchen appliances. Maybe DraftKings and SON know something I don’t here. The Cubs are a solid hitting team, sure, but they lead the league in strikeouts and strikeouts mean points in the daily game, so that’s a plus for Happ. The Cubs are also in the bottom 8 in team OPS vs. LHP. This makes sense as their typical 2-4 hitters (Schwarber, Coghlan and Rizzo) are all lefties. Seems like another plus for Happ. Kris Bryant you say? PNC Park is one of, if not the hardest park for RH hitters to go deep in. If that’s not enough, Happ will be pitching the second game of a double header, which means he could be facing an even shakier lineup as the studs take the night off. I don’t know about you, but I’m sold. Let’s all hope Happ is just awesome and look at a few more picks to help us win that million.

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.

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about U2. I already go over boring hitters below. Seriously, they are one of the most overrated bands ever. They are like the 80’s and 90’s version of the Eagles. The closest they get to my iPOD is this song. This week we are going in a different direction than before, because I killed the Top 100. After receiving Grey’s blessing (thanks bossman!), here’s what’s going to happen: After going through the evolution of ranking players this season, it became clear to me that it wasn’t working. By June 1st, you know what you have and it’s generally a good point to start making trades to address needs. As the season goes forward, those needs get increasingly particular until you get to this point. After some discussions with Mike, Sky and Big Magoo, I got some good input and a really confusing emoji text conversation with Sky. Still not sure if we cool, but I got my Japanese friend coming over later to translate. This week, I have a Top 50 Hitters and a few sub lists for you to check out. Every week, it’s my plan to mix a few different sub lists in to help cover all bases… pun point!  I have included Steamers, ROS, HR/SB, projections, the ROS player rater, dollar values, and my own HR/SB projections. Don’t worry if you don’t see someone here, they are probably going to appear in another list next week or thereafter. Some people may even appear on multiple lists. You never know? Any questions? Good moving on…

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Some of the trade rumors I’ve seen are just plain funny.  Craig Kimbrel to the Yankees?  Wait, what!?  Really?  I’m not denying it as a possibility but I am thinking it might be a little overboard to acquire a premier closer when you probably only need a solid bullpen guy because you already have TWO premier closers.  The list of closers and strong middle relievers available is so long this year.  One thing’s for sure, there are going to be some strong bullpens vying for postseason play.  Here’s the lowdown on closers and some other relievers who could be dealt in the upcoming weeks, starting with some of the players most likely to be traded and ending in with those much less likely to be.

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The Cubs have recalled super catching prospect Kyle Schwarber to split catching duties while Miguel Montero is out for the next six weeks. Kyle was 3-for-4 with a run scored Friday night. We know the Cubs have a crazy amount of young talent on their roster, but Schwarber could be the final piece. I’ve seen enough baseball movies to know the hot-shot catching phenom usually comes in half way through the season to unite a bunch of ragtag misfits and lead them to victory, even though the owner wants to move them to Albuquerque. Schwarber is likely no exception. In a brief call up in June to serve as DH, Kyle slashed .364/.391/.591 with a homer and 6 RBI in 22 at bats (6 games). Extrapolate that! Let’s see…6 over 22 is equal to, carry the 1, cross-multiply, take the cosine and divide by zero…87 home runs! Whoa! Even I underestimated Schwarber’s ceiling, I guess! Or perhaps my math is off? Regardless, Schwarber is an immediate add in all leagues. In the minors, between AA and AAA he combined to hit .323/.430/.591 with 16 homers and 49 RBI. Prospector Mike ranked Kyle 7th on his Midseason Top 50 Prospects list, and Grey told you to BUY. Seventh is in the top 10 you guys. That’s right, more math. I’m just saying there is some serious upside here and Kyle Schwarber could be the biggest and smartest pick up you make all season. Now bring on the catcher questions!

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

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With the time when prospects are called up and Memorial Day upon us, it’s appropriate for us to take this time to walk past the fallen rookies of the past. Sorta like the Rites of Passage walk on Survivor when they burn all of the Survivors’ belongings that didn’t make it to the end. When I write it out, it sounds like something Germany did in the 1940s. Any the hoo! Here we have the number one pick in the 2008 MLB draft, Tim Beckham. Actual Keith Law quote, “(Beckham has) the best chance of anybody in this draft pool to be a superstar.” Not Buster Posey (drafted a few picks after him), but Beckham. Next up, Jesus Montero and Zach McAllister. Actual Keith Law quote from a chatscript: Question, “Could Montero be an All-Star level 1B?” Answer from Law, “Yes.” Question, “How do you project McAllister?” Law answer, “At least a #3.” At least! These are fun, let’s do more! Another question posed to him, “I’ve heard contrasting things about Dustin Ackley’s power. Based on what you’ve seen what is Ackley’s ceiling in terms of HR/year?” Keith, or Klaw as he calls himself, said, “I could see 20-25. I’d say Ackley’s chance for 30 HR power is 20%.” Okay, one more (though I could do this all day) actual Keith Law quote, and this one is classic because he name drops his alma mater. In 2009, someone asked him, “Shouldn’t Teheran be higher on (Law’s prospect) list than Jeff Locke?” Keith said, “Are you asking me or telling me? When I first got to Harvard, there was this variety show that some upperclassmen put on during freshman week, and one guy had a funny routine about “flexers” — students who would ask bogus questions that were really designed to state opinions or try to show off knowledge. (Grey comment, “Sounds like a riot!”) Obviously, the answer is “no,” since I ranked Locke over Teheran. It’s incredibly naive to ignore probability when ranking prospects.” I do enjoy a pompous ass. I wonder if he has a post.harvard.edu email address. Of course, he does! Shoot, his email is likely [email protected] So, what in the Hans Christian Anderson does this have to do with Carlos Correa? He’s a sure thing right now. That doesn’t mean he’s a sure thing. A lot of shizz happens between Matt Bush signing a contract and having his tiki torch snuffed out with his 4th DUI while singing Free Bird. Just like it’s also true that Albert Pujols was drafted in the 13th round. I’m reminded of the William Goldman quote about Hollywood, no one knows anything. What we do know is the Astros are winning and have no reason to keep down the hitting Correa. He looks like a young Hanley. Just remember, so did Xander Bogaerts. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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You in March, “Well, at least if I draft Carlos Gonzalez, he’ll either produce or be on the DL.” You now, “I wish he would get hurt already. Is he hurt? Could someone tell me what’s wrong with CarGo? Does CarGo even stand for Carlos Gonzalez anymore? Isn’t the other CarGo hurt too? I feel like a Russian mobster wondering what’s happened to my CarGo. If I find emaciated prostitutes inside my CarGo, there’s going to be hell to pay by my friend, Ukrainian Petrov. UP has let me down! Why am I muttering these things about CarGo while standing in the middle of Route 22 in a straitjacket? Is this a dream? Nightmare? Out of body experience? Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” There’s a few reasons behind this CarGo buy. Yes, I’m going to try to convince you to buy the hated CarGo. 1) The weather was atrocious in Colorado in April. Hitters can’t get into rhythm when they’re being rained/snowed/sleeted out three times a week. I’d say I’d buy low on any Rockie hitter due to this. 2) CarGo’s always been good when healthy. 3) There’s no 3. 4) He’s only 29. 5) You could be a 17-homer, .275 hitter in Coors. Yes, you, who just this morning confused a dirty Q-tip with a Cheez Doodle. 6) His BABIP is very low for him. He’s not a sub-.200 hitter. 7) His walk rate is up from last year and his strikeout rate is down from his last big season in 2013. 8) 675-3oooooh 9) I think his speed is more or less gone. If we see 7 steals, I’d be shocked. Okay, this isn’t a positive, but it’s worth noting. 10) To buy him right now, it will cost you about the price of admission to see Milli sing Girl, You Know It’s True next to Vanilli’s grave. I’m not paying a lot, but people are talking about dropping CarGo, so the price is right, Drew Carey, and I’d move in. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Hello, this is the Liquid Paper corporate office. How may I direct your call?” “Well, I’m not sure, to be honest. I run this fantasy baseball blog and–” “You want marketing. I’ll direct your call.” “No! No, sorry, I don’t want marketing. See, I have this pitcher, Corey Kluber, and his stats are saying he’s doing one thing, but it’s all a mistake and I see a big correction coming and…” “You want shipping and orders?” “No, I don’t think I do. I’m not looking to purchase anything.” “Sir, I can’t hear you over your cackle. Is someone tickling you?” “I’m trying to get a pitcher to correct himself, and I thought corrective fluid could work. Maybe I’ll try R&D.” “Transferring you.” “This is R&D. How may I direct your call?” “I want to know how I can get Corey Kluber’s stats to reflect his ability.” “BABIP problems?” “Yes!” “Just have him strike out everyone, get out of the first inning without surrendering any runs, have Roberto Perez consult with Yan Gomes on a game plan, and trust his stuff.” “Thanks so much!” “Would you mind taking a quick survey after the call?” “Sorry, I don’t have time.” Yesterday, Kluber went 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks and 18 Ks. The best baseball fans are in St. Louis. At least when Kluber pitches to them! Hey, I told you to buy him about two weeks ago. Whether you did is on you. Now, please someone talk to Strasburg! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’ll be honest, picking a creeper early in the year is not an easy task. We have small sample sizes to work with, players under performing and pitchers very hard to predict. I ask myself every week as I prepare these: what angle can I find to make a call? What is a constant that doesn’t change? Where are my pants? Well, the third question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s like trying to figure out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. The other two are things we always look for, regardless of what point of the season we are at, are park factors, lefty/righty match-ups, Schmotatoness, and batter vs. pitcher history. For example, this week, Brad Miller plays six games and for five of them, he faces right-handers. On the year, he bats .348 against RHP (good thing), but among the five he faces this week, he bats .191 against (not so good), and Hitter-Tron (-$2.5) says he won’t be any good. I’ll pass too. That’s a little snapshot into my process.  This week, I’m going for Schomtatoness and park factors to make my call. Would you like to hear more? Oh c’mon, I’ll give you some Arby’s coupons? Dairy Queen? Fine, then skip to the top 100 and we can fight about that in the comments instead.

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Week 5 of the fantasy baseball season will be underway on Monday and now is the time to start preparing.  Adding quality players off the waiver wire isn’t the easiest thing to do in deep leagues, and that’s why we’re here to help.

In this week’s edition of “Deep Impact”, I’ll be discussing a few players who can give you an edge in the stolen bases category – one SAGNOF and two who can provide more than just speed.  As per usual, ownership percentages are taken from ESPN.com, but since every league has different settings, I can’t guarantee every player I suggest will be available in each of your individual leagues.  Let’s not waste any more time ¡Ándale!

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