If there’s one stat you will repeatedly find in my posts it’s “points per plate appearance”, commonly noted as PPPA. How many points does a batter get every time he steps into the batters box. I feel this is a very underrated stat in points leagues. To be honest, I’m not sure if many even given it a second thought or are even aware of this valuable stat. I find it a great indicator of a useful player, especially when browsing the waiver wire for potential fill ins or trying to decide between drafting one of two players.

It should come as no surprise to find that Bryce Harper had the highest PPPA (0.8547) of any qualified batter in the Major Leagues. And by “qualified” I mean they had at least 200 plate appearances. There were 353 batters that made the list. The average PPPA among all qualified batters was an abysmal 0.4928, but if we take just the top 100 batters the bar raises to 0.6368. The actual PPPA of the top 100 was 0.6423

Here are the top ten from last season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Howdy Razzballero! Razzballians? Did we ever come to a consensus on a term to identify the loyal followers of this great site? *checks glossary* Hmmm… don’t see one. I do see the term DLzebub though. That one isn’t used nearly enough. He pays me a visit at least a half a dozen times each season. I hate that guy! But it’s a great term and it probably should be used more often, just hopefully not when analyzing the roster that I recently assembled in an industry mock draft that took place on Wed., Feb. 3rd at Couchmanagers.com (smooth transition, eh?).

The format that was used for this draft was a standard 15 team NFBC format, with no bench spots being the only major difference. The starting positions used were 2 catchers, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 5 outfielders, CI, MI, Util, and 9 pitchers (any combination of starters and relievers). You can check out the results of the entire draft here.

I drew the #11 pick, and my strategy from that position was simple:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s a post I haven’t done in some time.  I stopped doing the top 5 designated hitters a few years ago because there was only one guy, Papi Grande, that was only eligible at DH that was worth discussing.  Then last year happened, and Ron Blomberg finally had something to talk about again at the bingo hall.  “If you wanna sit by your bingo cards while I come in and hit them with the marker for you, I can do that.”  That’s Blomberg keeping his DH muscles on the ready.  All of the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings are under that rather self-explanatory link.  As with all other posts, I say when tiers start and stop and give you my projections.  If you want, here’s the 2016 position eligibility chart that doesn’t contain any of the guys in this post.  Anyway, here’s the top 5 designated hitters for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

boston-red-sox

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… Brendan O’Toole, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Boston Red Sox!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m a stat junkie. Way back in the pre-internet days when I was just a little Magoo, I would run outside first thing in the morning to grab the daily paper so I could immediately check out the previous night’s box scores. There’s Tony Gwynn leading the league in batting average yet again. A slam and legs (before I even knew what that was) by that Bonds fellow. The Big Unit piled up another dozen Ks. Another high scoring game in Colorado. What’s the deal with that place anyway?

This fascination with statistics has led to the fantasy baseball obsession that I’m burdened with today. Only now, with all of the advanced statistics and metrics that are available at the click of a button, the obsession is worse than ever. Fortunately for you, all of the man hours that I’ve wasted poring over stats this offseason has allowed me to discover some interesting nuggets of information that I think are fantasy-relevant for the upcoming season, and I’d like to share some of them with you today. At least, I find them to be interesting and potentially useful for fantasy purposes, and I hope that you will too.

From here on out, I’ll be listing various statistics with little to no analysis so that you can be the judge of how relevant each statistic and/or trend is in regards to the 2016 season. This article focuses on hitters only, and the stats that will be highlighted range from the basic (home runs, stolen bases, batting average, counting stats) to the slightly more advanced (plate discipline, batted ball profile).

And now, without further ado, here are some interesting stats and trends to consider for the 2016 fantasy baseball season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It feels like the Tigers have been searching for a closer since Todd Jones retired — Percival, Valverde, Nathan, Soria.  They prey on dead meat so much, they’re more like the Vultures than Tigers. Papelbon recently was heard saying, “I am going to close forever.  Wait, are those Tigers’ front office people circling above me?  Crap!”  It’s too bad none of the Syrian refugees don’t have closing experience.  So, hopefully, the Tigers’ wait to find a closer is finally over.  Unless Bruce Rondon is reading this, then the wait has just begun.  Assuming Francisco Rodriguez doesn’t get off the plane in Detroit, see an Alburquerque jersey, think he’s in New Mexico, then beat the crap out of an American Airlines pilot for flying him to the wrong city, and get arrested by federal authorities for beating up an employee of a company with the word “American” in the name and get sent to Gitmo.  Sure, this sounds unlikely, not impossible though.  With K-rod sent to the Tigers, I’ll give him the projections of 4-2/2.69/1.02/66, 42 saves in 61 IP.  As for the Brewers, their closer now is Jeremy Jeffress, Will Smith or Corey Knebel, i.e., the offseason is still young and they could trade for someone.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After drudging through an Andy Dufresne-type tunnel for the top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball, I find myself with a group that actually really hurt or helped your team depending on how you drafted.  If you went wrong with your 1st baseman, it could kill your season.  Hey, Freddie Freeman, no hard feelings from me.  We are totally fine since I knew to not draft you.  If you went right, you might’ve won your league.  If you’re looking at the top 20 1st basemen in a vacuum, it appears that offense is making a comeback.  And my what a big vacuum you have!  Lots of guys on this list not only did well, but did better than their preseason projections.  In fact (Grey’s adding on!), if you followed my rankings (saying to avoid V-Mart and Freeman), you did just fine at 1st base.  To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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It’s been a great year, and it’s been a pleasure talking to you all throughout the course of the season. But as much as I thank you for all the comments, feedback and conversation over the year, I have to thank all my favorite plays this season for the joy, and sometimes heartburn, they gave me.

SP: Zack Greinke, Corey Kluber, Chris Sale: Some nights I gave the ball to Greinke with no hope to cash in my lineups. The bats were cold, the chips were down…all was lost. But Greinke came through anyway, all season long. First month Kluber had the underlying metrics without the results, mid-season Kluber found the groove and made late season Kluber jealous. And Sale….well, nice knowing that it never mattered how many runs you have up, because those Ks….those sweet Ks, always delivered. Thanks, fellas.

C: Kyle Schwarber: The Swarb has a warm back rub when the day was so tense. Sweet, delicious power in a catcher, forever eligible on DraftKings. The stuff cash was made of.

1B: David Ortiz: Last season he led in both hard hit rating and expected power and he spent the last 2/3 of the season getting back to that. Never age, Papi, never age.

2B: Luis Valbuena, Cesar Hernandez: Valby has been a vs. RHP crutch since his time in Chicago last year. He goes for the downs every time up and does it enough to make it worth rostering him, though he cost a bit more as time progressed. Cesar was a sub-3K dynamo for far too long, ripping base hit and steals at the top of the Phillies lineup. Cesar the Great? He sure was.

SS: Carlos Correa, Andres Blanco: Correa came up and raked and hardly ever stopped. His price eventually rose to All-Star heights, but he was fun to own for long time. and Andres Blanco is my favorite vs. LHP masher at SS and is always priced like he’s homeless. Gotta love the vs. LHP Phillies.

3B: Alex Rodriguez, Yangervis Solarte: ARod was fairly modestly priced all season and early on, he was a monster and great fun to roster as the Yankees were crushing. Solarte started leading off in San Diego and was a base hit, hard hit metrics darling and paid off often at his price tag, which always hovered around 3K.

OF: From Joey Butler and Grady Sizemore to Nelson Cruz and Mike Trout all the way through The Grandy Man, JD Martinez and Gerardo Parra, the Milwaukee version, the outfield produced so much good times, it’s hard to single anybody out. Thanks fellas.

Let me know who your favorites were in the Comments area and enjoy the last couple of days of baseball. I’m going to treat the Saturday slate as if these teams will all give a darn, but check the lineups for fun and games. Thank you all!

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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?

We have one reader in Nigeria who emails me privately about how I’ve won large amounts of muney (sic), so I don’t need to be working, which means this is more of a PSA, and should be taken even more seriously:  Starling Marte is a God.  There’s Jesus, there’s his Dad, there’s Jehovah, there’s Mormons’ magic underpants, there’s whoever the Jews pray to — Mel Brooks? — there’s Chief Jay Strongbow, there’s the Pope, there’s Allah, there’s Halla, the Arab God for dyslexics, and there’s others, I’m sure.  My God is Starling Marte.  You know how the religious say, “Peace be with you?”  For baseball players, they should say, “May you always hit in Coors.”  Yesterday in Coors, Marte went 4-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, which is the rainbow jimmies on the ice cream that has been his season.  He has 18 HRs, 29 SBs and is hitting .288.  Right now, he’s around top 25 on our Player Rater.  For 2016, it’s gonna be hard for me to wait past the top 20 overall.  Yes, he’s that good, and I may just rank him above McCutchen.  Oh, snap!  Don’t need the police to try to save them, your voice will seize, so please, stay off my back or I will attack and you don’t want that.  Hit the bass, hit the anyway and let’s do this!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I love when halfway decent starting pitchers are given away for practically free on DraftKings. I especially enjoy it when it happens on a Coors field day. That of course could be read as a “Coors Field” day or as a Coors “field day”, because both are true. When you’re trying to squeeze in as much Coors exposure as you can, a 4K pitcher opens up an awful lot of options. Logan Verrett sits at $4,500 tonight and gets to square off at home against one of, if not the worst hitting team in the majors in the Atlanta Braves. Jon Niese just completely shut them down. That’s the same Niese who had given up 11 runs in his previous 8 IP mind you. The Braves have the lowest team OPS in the majors and their “lead” in the category seems to grow by the day. Verrett has been a more than capable spot starter for the Mets as they try to limit every one of their young pitcher’s innings. Tonight he fills in for deGrom and should be good to go for at least 75-80 pitches, possibly more. He only threw 63 against the Marlins over 5 IP, but the Mets let him air it out for 93 a month ago at Coors field. All he did there was hold the Rockies to 1 run in 8 IP and strikeout 8. The strikeout upside is limited with the Braves as they are pretty stingy when it comes to striking out, but posting zeros works too and a win should be easily obtained. For $4,500 you can’t get too greedy. I do imagine Verrett will be fairly highly owned at this price and Coors field on the docket so despite the low price he may be more of a cash game play than a GPP. Let’s look at some more plays for tonight’s DFS slate:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 5 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?