I’m picturing Clint Eastwood in Escape from Alcatraz, coiffing his hair (gorgeous hair) chipping away with his pickaxe.  I’m seeing Andy Dufresne also beautiful hair and a pickaxe.  Now that I think about it, you don’t need jail cells, just take away all prisoners’ blow dryers.  Any hoo!  Why am I seeing these great prison movies?  Because they are about breakouts.  Breakouts come in different shapes and sizes.  Some would say Cameron Diaz’s complexion is a breakout.  For a baseball breakout:  James Paxton.  Yesterday, Paxton went 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 1.39.  His K/9 and BB/9 are now 10.7 and 1.8, respectively.  That’s about as ace-like as you’re gonna find.  Okay, now for one small step back from the ledge of crazy excited.  In his last start, he did give up five earned in four innings and I don’t think he’s going to avoid all wonkiness, but there’s no one throwing as well as him right now.  Okay, maybe Kershaw and Ervin Santana.  Someone get these guys blow dryers.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Moving the standard disabled list to 10 days from 15 was a horrific decision by Major League Baseball. If a pitcher is going to miss one start, a team can just throw him on the DL now and get that extra body up in his place. I wouldn’t be surprised if half of the starting pitchers in the majors end up on the disabled list for that reason. In the past, when a batter was going to be out for a week, teams had to make a decision whether to force him out another week by putting him on the DL or waiting it out. Now, teams are going to defer to putting the player on the DL. That’s where the biggest fantasy impact is going to come. We’ve already seen a bunch of players go on the 10-day DL and come off immediately when the 10 days are up. On most of my teams, I’ve had 3-6 players on the DL at the same time already and we’re only three weeks into the season. I think the use of the disabled list is going to increase by a fairly wide margin so I suggest that your league has at least 3 DL spots going forward. The more players that go on the list, the more spots you should have. Anyways, let’s take a look at what was posted on Razzball this week, including a bunch of different articles that can help you with injuries:

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There’s no denying that Madison Bumgarner works hard. Well, he plays even harder. So it should have come as no surprise when news broke that the San Francisco ace was placed on the disabled list after injuring his left shoulder in a dirt bike accident. Wait. You were doing WHAT? But why!? You can’t expect Madison to get his kicks doing regular pleb things like playing Xbox or frisbee golf, it’s gotta be EXTREME. Regardless, this is a huge blow for Giants fans and Bumgarner owners alike. Madison is sporting a 3.00 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 28/4 K/BB rate through four starts and early reports suggest he is set to miss over two months. Bummer. But honestly, what do you want from the guy? For him to not participate in dangerous extreme sports on his days off? I mean, come on, his hands were tied. Ty Blach is set to fill in the interim. Blach and his just 21.2 innings of major league experience. Blach is a ground ball pitcher with just a 13.4% strikeout rate, so he’s probably not the answer to your Bumgarner woes. More like, Ty Blech, right? Lol. He is slated to take on the Dodgers next week, but if you’re feeling dangerous you’d likely be better off dirt biking than picking up Ty Blach outside of deep NL-Only leagues. Here’s hoping at the very least Bumgarner got some sick air.

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

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We’ve reached the end of the line for Cole Hamels‘ viability.  It happens to everyone.  Robert De Niro went from Meet the Fockers, a respectable comedic turn as Rex Reed likely said, to total garbage.  Maybe Hamels throws a couple of good games here and there, just as De Niro might have a scene or two here and there after the Fockers.  Silver Linings Playbook wasn’t all bad, but if you’re going to see a movie because of De Niro, you’re about to sit through crap that he did for money.  Hamels is heading out there with a 6-ish K/9 and starring in Last Vegas.  His xFIP and velocity look like Dirty Grandpa.  Hamels’ walk rate is still not right and you’ve walked into the wrong theater and now you’re watching The Intern and a grandmother is standing in front of the exit telling you to sit back down.  I want out!!!  Please God!!!  I would attempt to sell Hamels before it’s too late.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Man, after thinking about where I need to go with this intro, I got a mad hankering for Italian food.  Just ordered some to get here during afternoon baseball.  Is it profiling that now I’m non-stop craving Italian when I hear a name like Sal Romano?  But Italian food is so positive!  Is there such a thing as positive profiling?!

Speaking of Profiling, we’re back with enough edition of the Pitcher Profile!  I know I’m picking someone that’s pretty far off the beaten path, but any time Sunday baseball features an-even-somewhat-interesting guy making their debut, I’m intrigued!  Romano was vaguely on the radar for the NL-only and NFBC-type leagues given the Reds complete lack of a starting rotation, and surprisingly it was Rookie Davis getting the first DL stint (not their old farts, although Brandon Finnegan got hurt as well Saturday night) that opened an early spot for Romano to make his debut.  Buried on prospect lists in the 10-20 range for Cincy (they do have a good farm system though), with Ralph ranking him as merely a “floorboard”, Romano apparently has pretty interesting stuff from what I read, mainly a mid-to-high 90s fastball.  As tradition, I write the intro to the Profiles before I watch a pitcher’s start, and I’ll withhold any judgment until I see him throw.  So as I eagerly await my baked ziti, the Brewers game is about to start and I’m pumped to see how Romano looks and Profile his debut.  Here’s how he fared yesterday afternoon in his debut:

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Welcome to this wonderful Sunday chalked full of baseball, great food and adult beverages. I don’t know about you guys, but I will be breaking open a bottle of Sambuca on this lovely day as it’s family tradition for every family get together. If you’re not familiar with Sambuca it’s an Italian liquor that taste like black liquorice. Anyways, ever since I was a little kid we’ve always had Italian themed dinners growing up because my dad “thought” he was Italian. It wasn’t till a few years ago where my cousin ran the family tree and discovered we had no Italian in us whatsoever, in fact we are predominately English. Despite the devastating news we continue to eat Italian themed dinners and drink Sambuca. Moving on to the real reason you are here, Gio Gonzalez ($15,600) is my golden egg of the day and I would only use him in GPP plays. Gio has started the season off hotter than helles and I’m banking on him to win me more than just eggs. The Nationals are the 4th highest favorite on the board so there is some risk but that is why this is strictly a GPP play. Historically he’s pitched well against the Phillies and they were ranked towards the bottom vs lefties last season. This season they are sporting a 25% K rate against lefties which is more of the reason to target Gio. Don’t let us down Gio, we are all counting on you.

New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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Before we jump right into this draft recap, let’s go over a little bit of background about the league and its details. This isn’t like the typical RCL 5×5 rotisserie league we often talk about in this space. LOEG is a 10×10 head-to-head keeper league, with 10 teams and four keepers per team from year to year. The league has been around for something like ten years and has been graced by the presence of yours truly for the past five.

Since the categories, scoring, and rules are a little different in this league I’ll break down all the details below. I think it’s important to break this down a bit first because not only do I want to bore you to death, but I want you to have all the information while you are going over the results and making fun of my team in the comments section. Anyway, here we go:

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The goal of a stat is to maximize it from the jump, and you could plan it that way even further on draft day.  There are certain pitchers that have a greater propensity to allow the stolen base, and exploiting that by originally drafting those players on draft day to get a jump on streaming isn’t an awful idea.  I used this feature multiple times  last year, so a preseason refresher is never a bad thing to prep you for the upcoming season.  The one bad theory that works against you when trying to stream is that some of these pitchers are fantasy stalwarts in the starting pitcher department.  The biggest name being Noah Syndergaard.  Because he is a good deterrent of actual OBPa, the stolen base becomes a risky proposition to try and gamble on with him taking the mound, most likely twice in the first six games. Because in actuality OBPa is a huge thing, because you can’t steal first. Picking on a pitcher isn’t the only way to go about it either as teams with poor catchers could also benefit you for the streaming guessing game.  The best thing here is that usually the first three days of the year have truncated schedules so picking and choosing your options could be the jump start you need to dominate a category from day one.  Here is a handy chart with last year’s stolen base totals, stolen base opportunities, and OBPa.  The three key factors to see who is easy to Winona…

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

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Our 2017 Razzball Commenters Leagues are in full signup mode.  I even heard there were a few people from Anonymous that signed up!  They said, “To the world, I’m Anonymous, just another white man who sits in parking lots with binoculars watching women.”  Man, that Anonymous guy is depressing!  As we always do about this time, I eviscerate the haters and complicators!  I eviscerate the not-knowers and the over-knowers!  I eviscerate the ESPN goers and the garden hoers!  I overuse a word like eviscerate that I just learned!  I am the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it) and I’ve come for your children!  See, because blog writing doesn’t pay so well, I’ve taken a second job as a bus driver, so I’m literally here for your kids.  Like a baller!  A shot caller!  An “I’m outside of Hot Topic at the maller!”  My eviscerating (I’m conjugating my new word!) today comes at the expense of ESPN and their 2017 fantasy baseball rankings.  To the tune of Kanye’s Runaway:

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As I begin to prepare my projections and rankings for the 2017 season, I like to look back on the previous season’s attempt to not only assess my work, but also to learn how I can do better next time. Projecting statistics in any sport is a tedious and arduous task. The variables, formulas and algorithms are constantly changing and if you don’t adapt with them, your results will lose their precision and accuracy. However, I’d like to make one point blatantly clear, projections are nothing more than calculated guesses. Some are better than the next, but none are even close to perfect.

Let’s see how I fared with my 2016 efforts. For all positions I will provide the following six numbers: projected points, actual points, projected rank, actual rank, projected points per plate appearance and actual points per plate appearance. I am including points per plate appearance because it helps put a player’s projections vs performance into perspective when they’ve missing time due to injury. For pitchers I’ve replaced points per plate appearance with points per start. I’ve also included a column showing the percentage by which my points projections were off. Any player with an “n/a” listed in this column is because that player spent at least 30 days on the disabled list.

Lastly, a quick note about the rankings listed in this post. These rankings are based purely on points. This season I plan to provide additional rankings that allow me to adjust them based on three important factors: intuition, gut and my sporadic conversations with Nostradumass.

Please, blog, may I have some more?