Yeah, I did already use this title, didn’t I?! Manaea? Maeda? Tomato? Tomatto?! Let’s call the whole thing off! What’s funny is Sean Manaea and Kenta Maeda couldn’t be more different either, with the former is a lefty hard-thrower, and the other a righty craftsman…

I got a good amount of flack the first few weeks of the Pitcher Profile ranks for not moving Maeda way up, but I think he’s going to end up a pretty average pitcher in fantasy terms – something akin to a standard league SP4. Like Grey’s Pulitzer-winningMatt Harvey is sucking because of the playoff workload last year” advice on the Podcast, I’ve always maintained the entirely unique and previously un-thought “Maeda could start strong, but will fade as the league sees him more.” We’re all about the hard-hitting advice here at Razzball!

We’ve begun to see the cracks in the armor from Maeda (can’t use a different phrase because of Jeremy Lin, thanks ESPN). After a 0.36 ERA through his first 4 starts, he sported a 5.82 the next 4 heading into yesterday afternoon. Didn’t expect it to regress this fast! Comments exclaiming for a Maeda move-up in my ranks certainly went away! But within this 8-start microcosm, I indeed think Maeda is somewhere in that law of averages. So after a few requests for a Maeda profile, I decided to break down his start yesterday afternoon in a saucy matchup at Petco to see how he looks.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! Sorry, always wanted to pretend I was the announcer for a monster truck rally…wouldn’t want to pretend to be AT one, exactly. Hell, wouldn’t want to be at one for real, either. Feel like I grew up in monster truck rally/WWE territory and have been doing my best to find intelligent life on Earth since and let me tell you, the occurrences have been slim…that excludes current company, of course. I’m sure none of you have an The Rock Fat Head in your room. Or better yet, I’m sure none of you have one that you wish to reveal now save for maybe Tehol but said Fat Head is on the ceiling above his bed and I’ve stopped asking why about these things. Sometimes its best to just go with the flow and that’s what I’m doing with today’s slate. DK is telling me I have a lot of expensive options to choose from but we’re being presented with a nice middle of the road price of $7,800 on Joe Ross today. At this point in the season – the season that is a whole seven days of data worth old – I tend to angle myself towards a very simple approach. That simple approach is: is the player good and if the answer is yes, is his price good? Ross’ price is good so I’m sold. Last year, Ross ticked a lot of the boxes on the stats I love. Good walk rate? At a BB/9 of 2.47, yup. Then you ask, does he K anyone? At an 8.10 K/9 rate, yes he does. Then I ask myself, can he keep the ball in the park? With a 49.8% GB rate, I’d have to say that’s also an affirmative. Ross will be scattered across pretty much every lineup I have today as he comes at a great price and will probably go overlooked on a day where there are so many aces on the mound. So feel free to join me in grabbing a Natty…no, not those Nattys. That’s gross, bro; it’s 2016, there’s better beer than that. Instead, join me on this Joe Ross is boss Natty train and let the money follow you in. And with that, we’re off so here’s my Robosaurus hot takes for this Sunday 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?

Javier Baez takes another shoveling of dirt as he gets buried further.  “Is this a staged Off Broadway adaption of The Revenant?”  Javier asks as he spits dirt out of his mouth.  “You have a toothpick?  I have dirt stuck between my teeth.  Hello?”  Baez doesn’t know why this shadowy figure won’t stop shoveling dirt on top of his body; he’s obviously not dead.  Or is he?  Just then, the camera swings around, and, in a crazy twist that only M. Night Shamalamadingdong could’ve came up with, the person that is doing the shoveling is Arismendy Alcantara.  “If I can’t have fantasy value, then never can you!”  Arismendy yells as he cackles maniacally.   Then, “You still want that toothpick?”  And…scene!  So, Jason Heyward signs with the Cubs and moves Arismendy and Baez even further down the depth charts.  At this point, they are closer to playing on the Padres after a trade than they are at playing in Chicago.  Heyward had sneaky value last year, as in it seemed like he disappointed, but since steals are scarce (only seven players last year stole 30 bags), and since Heyward provided some value in all categories, he wasn’t that bad.  His numbers last year seemed like a poor man’s Lorenzo Cain.  I will call him Crack Cocaine.  Moving to the stacked Cubs lineup and into Wrigley could provide Heyward’s best season to date.  I’ll give him the projections of 87/22/77/.274/15, which has him hitting leadoff for about 80 games and shuffling between 2nd, 3rd and 5th in the other games.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in 2016 fantasy baseball:

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The Braves are in a rebuilding period, and after a few trades their farm looks a lot different than it did at this time last year. Mike Foltynewicz, Williams Perez, Jace Peterson, Adonis Garcia, and Matt Wisler all surfaced in the majors with mixed results. In one of the more surprising moves, Atlanta took on Cuban import Hector Olivera from the Dodgers as part of a much larger deal that included Alex Wood and Jose Peraza. Peraza would have easily topped this year’s list, and while Olivera is a very good prospect in his own right, the initial reaction to the trade was confusion. 2016 will be a continuation of the rebuild, and the Braves can add another premium prospect with the third overall pick in the draft.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m back baby!

It’s been sad these past two weeks off from the Pitcher Profiles, but fortunately I could drown my sorrows in all-inclusive, all-day drinking on the honeymoon. YES I DID GET A STRAWBERRY DAIQUIRI, GREY! Although it didn’t stain my mustache, especially since a month long of growth would just be shameful peach fuzz…

We’re now through the bulk of the season and heading into the stretch run, which means Sky has only September left to get to 1,000 moves in our quote-expert-unquote RCL league. If expert meant constantly dropping 6-7 duds every morning, than I’m an expert in my thrown room if ya catch my drift… And on the pitching side, once you get to about 50ish in my ROS ranks, they all can be given the evacuation. But I’ve been really bullish on ranking Luis Severino since his promotion, who I think is a must-own even through these final streaming weeks.

It’s a little hard to stay light-hearted and joke-y with what happened in Atlanta on Saturday night, but obviously my condolences to the fan’s family and we’re supposed to have fun in fantasy, so we won’t delve any more into that. Instead, let’s embrace what we love on the field, which is some nasty breaking stuff and hitters getting baffled. Who doesn’t base their fantasy-team live-watching on their SPs on a given night?! So this was a perfect weekend to get back on the Profiles and check out how Severino looked in a full breakdown:

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Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique.  This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief.  Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed.  Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you?  Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way.  Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring.  Scary good.  May be best of Cubs lot right now.”  Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed.  If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances.  Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming.  On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur.  Or make that, as craptastic as those guys.  In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel.  Time, not the magazine, will tell.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There was some speculation that the Mets were considering moving Noah Syndergaard (6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks) to the bullpen and bringing up Steven Matz. The NY Post seemed to believe the Mets were talking about it, at least. It could be that a NY Post reporter, hiding in their usual spot inside a Mets equipment broom closet with a Solo cup pressed to the door, overheard, “Hey, should we move Noah to the bullpen and bring up Matz?” “Maybe, but I’m the front office intern and you’re the ticket taker from Gate 3C so I’m not sure our opinion matters.” “Or is that Matzers?” Then they laughed, and the NY Post reporter shot off an article detailing the discussion, but left off the sources. More respected Mets journalists thought Syndergaard wouldn’t go to the bullpen, and Dillon Gee would be designated for assignment. Gee, guess who was right. Right now, Matz has a 2.30 ERA and 9.3 K/9 in Triple-A in 78 1/3 IP. Those numbers are great, fabulous, adjective, but they get better. He’s pitching in the PCL, which is like hitting in an anti-gravity chamber with an aluminum bat. What makes Matz so damn desirable is he can strikeout out hitters and has good control. That’s the one-two punch of “Let me put hearts on my Trapper Keeper.” The Mets are saying Matz will come up around July 1st, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s called up for this weekend, so I’d stash him right now. Or if you have a DeLorean, stash him yesterday. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Fantasy owners lost two good catchers this week in Travis d’Arnaud and Jonathan Lucroy. Even in 12-team formats, you probably threw up in your mouth a little when you went to the wire and saw your replacement options. God help you if you play in a two-catcher format. But not to fear, for the rookies are here! I’m looking in your general direction Kevin Plawecki…don’t disappoint me! When I went over the Top 10 prospects for every team this offseason, I typically spat on catchers in my rankings due to their limited upside. But it’s times like these when we need to bite the bullet and take a closer look at some rookie backstops. Here are six rookie catchers currently in the majors that you may need to roster while your studs are hurt. Yes, this list is ranked in the order that I’d personally add them.

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This week I’m making a little one-week tweak to the Creeper of the Week and going with Creepers because we have something that doesn’t always happen. What is that Big J? Well eager reader, it’s a seven-game Monday-through-Sunday home series for the Rockies. By my count, this will only happen three times this season. The hard part was finding an under-owned player not taken on the Rockies playing everyday, and it’s so barren right now that even the French DJ is over-owned to qualify for this post. Hey there French DJ can you drop me a cut for this creeper post? Very nice, old school, but isn’t that a little too obvious? I get it, you are on the 1’s and 2’s, so the choice is yours. Can I at least get one cut with a baseball name in the title? What’s that? You don’t do requests? Sheesh, that Charlie Blackmon ego is rubbing off on your euro sensibilities. Forget about it, let’s move on to the reason we are here.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (26) | 2013 (26) | 2012 (15) | 2011 (2) | 2010 (9)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [79-83] NL East
AAA: [65-77] International League – Gwinnett
AA: [83-56] Southern League – Mississippi
A+: [68-71] Carolina League – Lynchburg (2015: Carolina)
A: [56-84] South Atlantic League – Rome

Graduated Prospects
Tommy La Stella, 2B | David Hale, RHP

The Gist
The Braves have a few interesting fantasy prospects in the pipeline, with Jose Peraza looking like the most relevant for 2015. The farm is on the thin side in general, but that could change if Atlanta decides to part ways with any of their major league stars. Jason Heyward and Justin Upton are both free agents in 2016. Evan Gattis is another trade candidate. Starting pitching is up in the air with both Ervin Santana and Aaron Harang possibly leaving in free agency, while Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen are still recovering from injuries. This could give the younger arms in the system a chance to crack the rotation in 2015. The Braves were part of the affiliation shuffle as High-A Carolina is now affiliated with Atlanta. Change also came in the front office this fall. Interim GM John Hart named Brian Bridges the organization’s new scouting director.

Please, blog, may I have some more?