The City of Brotherly Love opened up its sweaty arms, where the hair is growing weirdly on the backside of the biceps, and said, “Come here, and get some of these meatballs that Clay Buchholz is throwing.”  Yoenis Cespedes hit his 2nd, 3rd and 4th homers (4-for-6, 3 runs, 5 RBIs).  In Philly, they say he hit three wiz wits and a Tastykake; Neil Walker (2-for-5, 1 run) had a Tastykake and a dollop of light cream cheese; Asdrubal Cabrera (4-for-6, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer) had a wiz wit, a Tastykake and three dollops of light cream cheese; Lucas Duda (4-for-6 and his 2nd and 3rd homers) had two wiz wits, a Tastykake and a dollop of the good stuff that is like curdled mother’s milk.  Yoenis started off slow, which is a ludicrous thing to say, he has four homers in eight games.  He’s on pace for 80 homers.  I mean, you really need to take a lesson from Uncle LL, and chillllllllll.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Damn the Luniz bring back some great memories from High School, too bad $5 bucks today won’t even get you a quarter of a bag.  Effin inflation, now I know how my parents felt when they used to tell me how they could get a Coke or a scoop of ice cream for $0.25.  The good news is we can take $5 and turn it into $50 or $100 tonight if all goes right with this mix.  The bad news is there’s only five games to roster from, so we’ve got a limited player pool to choose from.  Coors is in play tonight, but I feel like the masses are going stacking and you know I like to zag when the play is to zig.  I’m taking the top two arms tonight: Jon Lester, $22,000 vs the Dodgers and Jacob deGrom, $18,000 at Phillies.  The Cubs are raising the World Series banner tonight and it’s the season opener in Wrigley.  The Dodgers are going to be coming off that Rockie Mountain High and needless to say Wrigley will be electric tonight, (please let the stands be electric and not the weather).  deGrom looked really good in his season opener, 6 innings, 6 Ks and 0 ER and I’m hoping he can get back to his dominant 2015 numbers.  Fun fact, current Philly hitters are hitting .190 lifetime vs deGrom and only 1 HR.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve been waiting here at my computer crunching advanced sabremetrics in hyper-suspended cryogenic animation since we last spoke a la Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in Passengers, and yes, that was 100% an effort to shoe horn two of Hollywood’s most famous people into my lede for clicks. I may have had six months off, but I still know how to get those sweet, zesty page views. San Diego Padres outfielder slash hot shot prospect slash fastest man alive, Manuel Margot showed many why he’s so highly touted last night with a 2-for-4 night, including two home runs out of the lead off spot. So what happened while I was gone? The Cubs won what, you say? No way! And who is president? You are messing with me. Another Drake album!? How does he have the time? Well, Manny Margs is now slashing .263/.333/.632 with two homers, three RBI and a stolen base on the young season. Wait, did someone say–stolen base? Yeah, you did, ya joker. Ess Bees are basically the reason you drafted Margot. This doode can fly. The big return for San Diego in the Craig Kimbrel trade, he stole 30 bases in 517 ABs at AAA (.304/.351/.426). His speed and defense should ensure he gets plenty of playing time this year, and leading off for the ‘Dres makes him a player to own. A razzball preseason sleeper, he’s under 50% owned in ESPN leagues right now, but I see that number climbing real quickly after last night’s performance. Like, do your best Manuel Margot impression and go grab him quickly. Grey told you to BUY and if you got a need for speed pick him up before I do!

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After fourteen drafts/auctions I am finally done selecting players. It was a long (and tiring) stretch of two weeks, but I don’t regret one thing. Although give me a few more days of watching my pitchers get knocked around and I might have a change of heart. The aforementioned drafts consisted of four points league auctions, one points league snake draft, five various mock drafts with the fantasy baseball gurus over at CBS, and four Razzball Commentator Leagues, concluding with the Razzball Experts league. Towards the end, my selections almost began to feel robotic. Something akin to a human auto-drafter. And while we’re discussing auto-drafting, I’d like to announce that I hate auto-drafters. Not the actual person, but the act of auto-drafting. Unless you’ve actually taken the time to legitimately rank your players, your presence (or lack there of) at our draft annoys me. And if you end up with two or more catchers or a handful of middle relievers/closers I’m talking about you.

Of all the drafts/auctions I participated in the one I’d like to discuss is the experts points league auction for the league known as The Points League. I’ve accepted that points leagues are the red-headed step child of fantasy baseball, but the bottom line is that many do play the format. Despite this fact most “experts” refuse to give points leagues much, if any, attention. And if they are in a points leagues, they generally don’t publicize as much. I bet the number of closet points league players is staggering. It’s 2017 people, you can come out of the closet.

A few weeks back I decided I was going to attempt to organize an experts points leagues by inviting some very smart, and mostly respected, fantasy baseball analysts/writers from across the online world of fantasy baseball. When all was said and done, and the league was filled, here are the fierce competitors vying to be the champion of The Points League:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greetings and welcome back to the Mike Maher Halfway House for Troubled Fantasy Baseball Owners. There will be cookies and White Russians, and they are mandatory. The season is but a few days away, and there is much to be done if you want to avoid embarrassment, at least in your fantasy leagues. I can’t help you with your daily embarrassments. Or maybe I can. Hit me up on Twitter, and I’ll give it a shot. What’s the worst that could happen?

Anyway, we’re going to talk about a few players and, as you might have guessed, their relative fantasy environments. What does/do fantasy environments mean, you ask? Great question. It means whatever you want it to mean.

Oh, more specifically? Well, it can mean a bunch of things. I went over them a few weeks ago after making a hilarious joke about how I envisioned it by putting my bitmoji-face in a picture with Kate Upton. :::pause here for laughter:::.

Now that you’re all good and warmed up, let’s get to some players…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Writing this as I watch the WBC Championship game I might be drafting Marcus Stroman on a few teams.  The World Baseball Classic is pretty darn entertaining with so many good lineups and watching the US pull off the win has been awesome.  I like that over the past couple weeks I can have it on in the background because it’s competitive baseball, but there’s no fantasy implications so I can just enjoy it.  These are all-stars playing for their country (for the most part, we all know that “team” Italy, Israel and the Netherlands are stretches) and so so so much better than watching spring training games.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

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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Please, blog, may I have some more?

I have no idea if anyone at ESPN actually ranks people.  There’s talk of it.  Like, “Yo, Klara Bell, you do your rankings yet?”  “No, did you?”  Then Cockcroft makes farting noises with his armpit.  All I ever see at ESPN is consensus rankings.  I have to figure out how to do this “consensus” thing.  Talk about a nice way to avoid taking any blame for anything.  “Hey, man, sorry about Andrew McCutchen being ranked so high this year, but these are ‘consensus’ rankings.”  Let’s turn to a conversation between two random fantasy baseballers.  “Cockcroft has said he doesn’t like Cano this year.”  “But ESPN has him 34th overall.”  “Yeah, doesn’t apply when talking about Cockcroft.”  “So, when does it apply?”  “When talking about ESPN.”  “But Cockcroft is at ESPN”  “Yeah, still doesn’t apply.”  “Can you explain that?”  “Nope.”  Then heads explode.  Consensus rankings are done by committee.  Only thing ever done better by committee is jerk seasoning.  Now, while you might think ESPN’s rankings have a ton of jerk seasoning, they are just an indecipherable mess.  But why bring up all of this when I’m about to take a blowtorch to Yahoo’s 2017 fantasy baseball rankings?  Thanks for asking, clunky expositional question!  Yahoo has consensus rankings, but they also show their work.  Each ‘pert is accounted for in their rankings.  This is already much better than ESPN.  You can at least see what Pianowski, Funston, Behrens and Triple D are thinking individually.  This, of course, doesn’t mean I agree with all of their rankings, but at least I can point to how they came to their consensus.  Anyway, here’s where my 2017 fantasy baseball rankings differ from the 2017 Yahoo fantasy baseball rankings:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?