As the old expression goes, you can count on three things in life, death, taxes, and Mets pitchers ruining your week/month/season with an injury of some sort. This is a slight update on the late 80’s iteration of this expression, death, taxes, and Mets pitchers at a snowstorm. If you’re a Noah Syndergaard owner you might want to hit up Doc’s medicine man, because the mighty righty was skipped in the rotation due to a sore bicep. Apparently curls are for the girls, and the DL too. Seriously how does Bartolo stay healthy eating like Kristie Alley on a bender, while Thor spends his free time living like Schwarzenegger in the beginning of Twins? Nothing makes sense, I’m writing the Notes! Riddle me this, Does that mean Colon was birthed from his poop? Or is it the other way around. Yes, I was an odd child. As for Thor, and his right arm, he’s headed for an MRI today. After first experiencing pain between bullpen sessions, and playing catch. He said he “felt great” playing catch, two things, “who doesn’t feel great playing catch?” and as far as I know “felt great” doesn’t mean I couldn’t lift my arm above my shoulder. But Syndergaard is from Texas and a Viking, so he may speak a different language. Oh, yeah, that’s not a joke. He actually said I “felt great playing catch”, but his bicep “stiffens up when it gets cold”. Funny, mine does the opposite when it gets cold. The worst part is that gem of a comment was followed with “I couldn’t really lift my arm above my shoulder at that point”. However, the Mets and Terry Collins assure us that Thor isn’t hurt. In fact, he showed up to the park ready to pitch! But old cautious Terry pulled the plug, because as he so eloquently put it, “when you are talking about anything that runs into the shoulder to where he changes his delivery and other things happen.” Damn, the man has the vocabulary of Sling Blade! Not going to lie, I’m intrigued about these “other things” happening in Syndergaard’s bicep. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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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28.4, 12.2, 21.4, 34.1, 24.9, 43.6, 28.7, 31.4. What Power Forward game log is this? You have a 7x day where he puts up 20 points and 15 rebounds, a day where he flopped hard because he got in foul trouble, and then a lot of 4x and 5x scores. Wait, what’s that? It is the last 8 games of Eric Thames? That’s absurd. I’m not even saying he’s a great play simply because of his last 8 games, but Adam Wainwright’s a decent innings muncher, who is losing the ability to get ground balls so Thames is in play again, even at his elevated price. Are we at the point where Thames is always in play because he’s a good hitter who obliterated the KBO and will spend 2017 obliterating major league pitching. I think the previous sentence answers your question. You might be asking where does Eric Thames rank in the greatest hitting seasons ever with a minimum 50 PAs? And I would tell you that it’s not first, it’s actually 2nd. Yes, Eric Thames 281 wRC+ ranks 2nd. That’s because Freddie Freeman this year has a 282. It helps when you decide that outs really aren’t your thing for 3 games. I’m also sure you are wondering who’s 3rd, and I will tell you that this year Bryce Harper is 3rd at 256. We’ve had some insane starts this year, but only one of them is making crotchety old pitching coaches and grumpy veteran pitchers subtly hint “things.”

On to the picks as soon as Freddie Freeman makes an out…wait, that may be a while…I’ll just do the picks now…

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I’m trying an experiment.  I’m writing this opening lede before the actual draft.  I wish there was some way to timestamp this, but you’ll have to take my word for it.  *cracks knuckles*  Here we go!  Ooh, Tehol grabbed Dominic Brown!  Wow, he must be expecting a bounce back, or Dominic Brown is his daddy.  Like a teamster painter, I’m leaning on the latter.  Damn, Rappin’ Ralph grabbed Benintendi, Manuel Margot, and Roman Quinn?  Rookies are his ‘Bud Fox’s Bluestar.’  Oh my God, Rudy grabbed three catchers!  (I had an advantage predicting this one, because I knew Rudy was autodrafting due to a family obligation.)  Jay grabbed Chase Headley with the 5th round pick and R.A. Dickey in the 7th!  In the chatroom, Malamoney asked how many points a home run gets in this league?  Yes, of course, he did!  JB drafted Joe Ross, then called me on speakerphone from an internet cafe where WHERE ARE YOU NOW?! is playing.  MattTruss drafted…Actually I don’t know what Truss will do, which has me worried.  Stupid wild cards!  And, of course, I drafted Rougned Odor.  Boy, that was a fun draft, and Tehol only timed out on his picks three times trying to get his Periscope thing to work.  *reading back what I wrote after the draft*  Well, I got the Odor part right.  Anyway, here’s my thoughts on our RCL draft, it’s a 12-team, mixed league:

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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:

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

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I’m going to take a new approach with this post.  No, not because I’m typing with my elbows, but becooooze I’mmmm ryping–Okay, I am typing with my elbows.  On the heels of drafting my third team, I realize there’s some players I absolutely would draft and some I just won’t.  It’s not that I don’t like these players.  Well, some of them, but there’s just some players I won’t draft due to their ADP and where I’m looking to draft at any given moment.  It occurred to me when I was about to draft Carlos Carrasco (prayer hexagon, please) in the fifth round.  Top guys on the board at the time from my 2017 fantasy baseball rankings were Polanco, Myers, Segura, Kyle Seager, Arrieta and deGrom.  I already had two outfielders, so that eliminated Polanco for me; I called Jake Arrieta overrated; I wouldn’t draft deGrom, per my top 20 starters, and I really needed a starter.  I wish I had three picks at that point, because I like Myers and Seager and don’t fully hate Segura, though that price is high.  So, if this is how the 5th round shakes out, how can I draft Myers, Segura, Seager or Polanco this year?  It just seems like it’s not happening.  No matter if I like them or not.  Then, I thought deeper about my situation like I was KRS-One, and realized there were dozens of players I could’ve chosen at that point.  Hundreds of players, really.  I mean, only 60 players were off the board.  Couldn’t I have drafted so many other players?  Actually, no, I couldn’t.  Or, I guess better, I wouldn’t.  In my top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball, there’s approximately 20 players I’m drafting after the top 25 overall and before we’re out of the top 100.  Why after the top 25?  Because in the top 25, I’d take anyone.  Technically, I won’t draft Kershaw where I have him ranked because he’ll be drafted already, but now you’re quibbling, you quibbler!  Anyway, here’s twenty players I’m drafting in the top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Here’s what I know about projections, they’re guaranteed to be mostly wrong with a handful of unpredictable close calls. That’s probably the most accurate projection I’m about to make, which is not quite the ringing self-endorsement one my expect to read in the introduction paragraph for a 2017 fantasy baseball projections post. Let’s be honest with ourselves, projections are bullshit. They’re little more than slightly educated guesses. This is not meant to take anything away from the hard work and resulting labors of love bestowed upon us by very smart statisticians and baseball analysts, but at the end of the day, I almost feel like the projections-hungry fantasy baseball population would be better off without them. Having just written that sentence I find it extremely ironic considering I am about to release my projections in just a few moments. I think they call that the pot calling the kettle black. Maybe the pot is just racist. Did anyone ever consider that the kettle might have started the name calling? Was it Tim Lincecum’s pot?

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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.

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Earlier this week I partook (a much fancier word than participated) in my first mock draft of the season. As most of you know I am much more of a points league player, but I have no issue going both ways. This draft, however, represented a less common fantasy baseball format known as the 5×5 head-to-head league. This was actually the first time I had even drafted for this format, and with barely an hour to prepare, I’m not sure how I feel about the results. In hindsight, had I had more time to calculate more precise player values for this league format I believe I would have applied a different strategy when selecting my players. While I obviously cannot go back and actually change my picks, I can imagine the results with a different outcome. After all, imagination is the essence of discovery.

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One word about this top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball, before I give you another 5,000 words.  I’m going to avoid repeating myself from the position rankings in the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings.  If you want to know my in-depth feelings about a player, then you need to go to his positional page, i.e., the top 20 1st basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball, the top 20 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball, the top 20 Gucci handbags for 2017– Ah, I almost got you.  This post is meant to give you an idea where guys from different positions are in relation to each other.  Since this post is only the top 100, there’s more players where this came from.  416 more, to be very exact.  Next up, there will be a top 500 that will go to 516.  Then, after that, there will be a top 7,500, then a top 25,000, then a top 600,000, until we end up with a top kajillion in April.  Or maybe I’ll stop at the top 500.  Yeah, that makes sense.  Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel.  Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2017 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.”  Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters.  Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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