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?

Jose Fernandez exploded onto the Miami scene harder than Vanilla Ice in 1990, dude was mowing people down like he was the Cuban sales manager for John Deere. JFer looked like he was going to be the foundation for the Miami rebuild collecting All Star honors & ROY in 2013. He was young, exciting, electric, fiery and then he had a visit with Dr. Freeze. Dr. Freeze immediately put him on ice and for the next 14 months the only time we got to see JFer pitch was for a 5 hour energy commercial on the MLB channel (seriously, that commercial ran non stop last year). Thankfully he came back late last year and looked sharp racking up 79 K’s in 65 Ing’s with a solid 2.91 ERA. He was in Grey’s top ten SP’s at the beginning of the year and personally I was excited to see him come back and pick up where he left off. Then the season started, Chen was tapped as the opening day starter and after that it seemed like the JFer banner season went sideways. I’m not sure what happened in the clubhouse or front office, but who the eff decided that JFer wouldn’t be the opening day starter? I get that they’re trying to keep his innings down, but this is your 23 year old franchise starting pitcher you’re messing with. I get that they’re supposed to be professionals and it’s business, but this kid just got bumped for Wei-Yin Chen on Opening Day. Yeah I’d be super pissed too. I’m not saying his rough start is due to not getting the nod on Opening Day, but maybe, just maybe he’s like that crazy ex GF that messes with you just to prove a point. I could be way off base here, but maybe, just maybe JFer is making a point to Loria and the rest of the Miami Minions, he’s Numero Uno snitches! I’m banking on the fact he sowed his April oats, he’s done pouting and that he’s proved his point to the peeps in charge. This wild horse’s reigns have been weighing him down to start the season and now it’s time for the guys in charge to let this stud run free like Nyquist, cause he’s a got a lot more in the tank Vanilla’s five point oh. At $11,300 he’s on the bottom end of the aces, but I think he be under owned due to the juicy match-ups for Corey Kluber and Jon Lester.

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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Jung Ho Kang returned to the Pittsburgh line up after being sidelined since last September with a fractured tibia and what a return he had. Tibia shmibia! Kang came back with style, hitting two ding-dongs and going 2-for-4 with 3 RBI. Talk about gung ho! Talk about an obvious headline! What? You think you can do better? Go ahead and try. Please don’t I need that .0001% of a cent per page view every month if I want to afford my obsessive soba noodles and MOBA habit. Kang slashed .287/.355/.461 last season with 15 homers and 58 RBI.  If there’s a possibility Kang is somehow still available in your league now’s your chance because he won’t be long. Me suspects manager Clint Hurdle will ease Kang into the daily line up slowly, but if he keeps hitting dingers we should see him playing everyday sooner rather than later. From the looks of it, Kang is going to pick up right where he left off and be a valuable fantasy asset immediately.

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

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Jose Altuve is on pace for 60 homers.  He can’t even reach the cereal in the morning!  If an opposing manager were to ask to see Altuve’s bat, they would crack it open to reveal gumballs because he’s the leader of the lollipop guild.  If the major leagues were to institute a Daffy Duck ‘You Have To Be This Tall’ sign before getting to the batter’s box, Altuve would need his mother to escort him into the batter’s box every time.  That’s assuming she’s tall enough!  If she’s not, who does he get?  His uncle?  Erik Kratz?  If might were height, Jose Altuve would be a giant.  That much is true.  I love that lil’ bugger!  I want a Teddy Ruxpin in the shape of Altuve to cuddle at night.  Last night, he went 4-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his 9th homer, hitting .330.  So, the question is, can he keep it up?  Up is not a word I associate with Altuve, and, no, he can’t keep it up.  No one could keep up this pace.  Of course, he’s still a .315 hitter with an easy 110 runs, 35 steals and 70 RBIs, i.e., a top ten bat.  So, keep it up?  No, not without four phonebooks under him.  Do enough to make you glad you didn’t sell high?  As a French dwarf would say, “Wee!”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re finally starting to settle into the season!  The Opening Week jitters are gone, and while we still say “small sample size” on everything – it’s not the size of the data but how you use it!

With starting pitching, most guys have only made their first start on the year – a few top-of-the-rotation guys have made two – so unless you see something drastic, you’re not panicking.  And full disclosure, I wrote this intro before Joe Ross‘s first start, so admittedly I am a little nervous…  I have several shares of Ross – on all my redrafts teams, I ranked him crazy high, he’s going to have my first born child…  But whatever happens, it’s still only one start!  This is one of the most nerve-racking Pitcher Profiles I’ve done!

My heavy investment in Ross made him an easy choice to break down for the first Profile on the young season, so here’s how he looked on Sunday afternoon hosting the Marlins, after having his start Saturday night postponed:

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The Rangers called up their super-prospect, Nomar Mazara (3-for-4 and a solo homer).  That’s super *prospect*, Hillary Clinton fans.  Don’t worry, not the word that is also a title of an Arnie, Carl Weathers and Jesse Ventura movie.  How is that trifecta not in more movies?  I wanna see ACJ in everything!  This Mazara call up is happening a lot faster than I thought it would.  As the Story one did and the Max Kepler one and the Mallex Smith one (which I’ll go over in the post) and others.  Maybe clubs read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  I started to read it, got to the first chapter, “Put first things first,” skipped to the third chapter about being proactive, grew bored and never finished it.  Feels like the days of Super Twos and June call-ups are behind us, right?  Not answer, but to ruminate.  I gave you a Nomar Mazara prospect post back in November of last year where I said, “He won’t struggle to hit .220.  He won’t be a liability anywhere.  He kinda reminds me of a young Matt Holliday, though from the other side of the dish.  I watched some of his YouTube highlights and he doesn’t struggle to hit balls a long way, but also doesn’t look like a fat turd that can’t make it to first.  I’m no scout, but watching him makes me think this is what scouts call sexy.  I’ve seen him compared to Miguel Cabrera.  Okay, no one is Miguel Cabrera until they are Miguel Cabrera, if you catch my drift, but Mazara doesn’t look like a guy that is going to disappoint.  .280 with 30 homers a season for many years, that’s what he profiles as.”  And that’s me quoting me!   I grabbed him in every league where he was available.  For now, he’s just filling in for Shin-Soo Choo, who is out four to six weeks with a strained calf, but I could see Mazara staying up and producing.  Think Stephen Piscotty-type numbers, 20 HRs, .275, and a few steals.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

marlins

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…Scott Gelman, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Miami Marlins!

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What goes through J-FOH’s head when he does these ranks? I’m glad you asked. Wait… you didn’t ask? Are you sure? No? Not at all? Sheesh, thanks guys… and four girls. I’m going to be my usually contrarian self and tell you anyway. I’m looking at players from their floor to their ceilings over the next 3-5 years (and beyond). I’m looking at games played over the previous few seasons, projecting risk going forward, and predicting how they will age based on their skill set. A player whose value is heavily dependent upon speed will usually lose that speed going into the 30’s and players with power will usually keep that a little bit longer. There are always guys who defy the odds like David “I never juiced” Ortiz or Adrian Beltre. They are a special breed that should never be slept on ’til the day they retire. There is science, stats, and anecdotal B.S., and then there are “those guys”. Joey Bats and those sweet bat throws would fall into that class for me. Excuse me while I preach for a second. I love bat flips. I think they should be mandatory for any home run after the 7th, 6th for the Yankees. This is a kids game that is suppose to be fun and guys like Mad Bum need to either throw the punch or shut the front door. Any a-hole can stand there shouting with a team behind him. At least Robin Ventura had the cojones to try and fight. (I want that shirt!) Now that we have my major side track out of the way, let’s move down to some words about the list before we get to the list. Note to self, take an english class at the local adult education center next year.

Take on your favorite writers in the 2016 Razzball Commenter Leagues! Join here

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I mentioned in the top 20 outfielders that there’s a ton outfielders that I want to draft.  The top 40 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball extends my enthusiasm.  I’d say it’s like Cialis, but then I’d have to go through a five-minute spiel of all of its side effects.  “Drafting six outfielders in the first seven rounds can lead to high blood pressure, diarrhea, sudden heart attack, fever, a fever after a heart attack which makes your loved ones think you’re still alive because you’re burning up but you’re actually dead and nausea.”  As with all of my 2016 fantasy baseball rankings, included are my projections and where I see tiers start and stop.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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It’s my last post of the year, so thanks to all who read each Thursday. It’s been a fun time, but these past few weeks have been frustrating with the expanded rosters when trying to set my DraftKings lineup. Who is going to play? Who will throw five innings and be pulled? I continue to wish that baseball would have the expanded rosters at the beginning of the season and not at the end.

Anyway, let’s get straight to the cash, homie.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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?