To make sure I don’t miss any player in my rankings, I go through every team’s depth charts and I go through every eligible player who is projected for at least one at-bat by Steamer.  After I looked through the players with at least one at-bat at 2nd base, I vomited in my mouth, then spit said vomit onto the ground and it spelled out, “Gnarly.”  My vomit is right.  2nd base is not a pretty position.  Shortstops got younger in the last year and some guys are coming to make it even better.  The top 20 1st basemen wasn’t straight gorge, but there was plenty of talent there from veterans.  The top 20 catchers are always ugly, but these top 20 2nd basemen are giving the catchers a run for their money.  There’s only three guys with legit 20-homer power and three guys with easy 20-steal speed.  One that will hit .300 and zero that will get 100 RBIs.  I don’t know what happened to the latest crop of 2nd basemen, but I have a theory.  Twelve years ago, when these 2nd basemen were learning the position, their role model was Bret Boone.  Boone used to frost his hair blonde, so all the kids learning 2nd base at that time, frosted their hair too.  Then their friends beat the crap out of them, and that was the end of all future 2nd basemen.  Here’s the position eligibility chart for 2016 fantasy baseball.  All the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie.  As always, my projections and tiers are included for the low, low price of zero dollars.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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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:

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We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball.  Today, we dip our big toe into the top 20 2nd basemen pool.  Okay, it was actually a lukewarm puddle where lots of amoebas grew, and I don’t mean a giant San Francisco-based record store where the cashiers know more about an REM B-side from their unreleased first album than hygiene.  It’s a little scary, for unstints (how I say it), that there were only six 2nd basemen that you wanted to own all year, and even the sixth man (not Marlon Wayans) had his share of “Meh, I guess he’s okay.”  Pretty appropriate that the first 2nd baseman off the board in a lot of leagues didn’t even make the year-end top 20.  Thank you very much, Anthony Rendon!  To recap this crap (rhyme points!), this final ranking for last year is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone.
Baseball, the schedule they made put an end to you.
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song,
All I was wearing was a thong.
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days when I thought the season would not end.
I’ve seen lonely times for Matt Williams, I mean, he’s a dope, but he can’t even find a friend from his own coaches.
But I always thought that I’d see Giancarlo again.

I believe they call that a prelude, but since it comes the day after the fantasy baseball season wraps up, it’s not a prelude.  It’s an epitaph.  Here, take a tissue.  You have to excuse me, I don’t have any clean ones.  What will we do for the next few months without an update on Ryan Zimmerman’s oblique?  Will Pablo Sandoval’s back hurt even if we don’t talk about it?  What will we do without a Hanley injury update?  WHAT?  WILL?  WE?  DO?  Prepare for next season, of course.  But, first, let’s bask in the last day of the season.  Today is the day when you realize you’ve spent 27,000 man hours this summer beating eleven other strangers to win a virtual trophy, and it feels great!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Rich Hill pitched a complete game two-hit shutout last night against the Mighty Orioles walking just one batter and striking out 10 for his second win. Where the heck was this guy in April when Justin Masterson and Steven Wright were starting? Am I really asking that question about a 35-year-old southpaw journeyman who hasn’t started a big league game since 2009, and was out of baseball in July? Yeah I guess I am asking that because Hill has been an absolute monster since debuting with the Sawx two weeks ago in Tampa Bay. In just three starts, he’s pitched 23.0 IP, allowing just 10 hits and 3 ER, with a 30/2 K/BB rate. Yes, my friends, the Hill Has Ks. That was almost your headline. Also, not for nothing, the three earned runs were surrendered to the Blue Jays, and I mean, come on, it’s the Blue Jays. And just in case you thought this story couldn’t get any sweeter, Rich was pitching for the Independent League’s Long Island Ducks just months ago. He holds a 1.70 ERA and 0.52 WHIP through three starts and although I love what he’s doing, he’s scheduled to take on the Yankees in New York next week and I wouldn’t call it a slam dunk. If you’re feeling lucky, by all means ride the snake, but I’m not sure I’d risk my fantasy season on Rich Hill, despite how awesome he’s been. But cool story, bro!

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

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That title wasn’t a real question, y’all, please don’t provide your responses in the comments below. And if your answer was yes, that means you’ve eaten it and lived so I’ll just take your word for it and barf on my own time. But I don’t wanna know about your culinary disasters, what I do wanna know about is how can I find a way to price in those sweet Colorado bats. I know that you know that we all want in on that action, boss, so we have to find ways to swerve to get them in and pitching is a prime starting point to begin that search. I’m not gonna lie to you and say that Alfredo Simon has merit on his own. He’s pretty meh if we’re being honest but the Twins vs righties especially on the road will always grab my attention. For the year, the Twins rank 4th worst in wRC+ against righties and throw in a reasonably healthy K rate of 21.1% to boot. Throw in the second worst road wRC+ and a 22.9% K rate and you have the mixings for a solid if maybe unspectacular line from the Big Fettuccine. I wouldn’t even think about this in cash but for tourneys, picking on Twinkies on the road with righties is a solid Konami Cheat Code for this kind of day. But now that we’ve covered culinary dysentery, let’s move on to better things. Here’s my Wild Mushroom Risotto hot takes for this Saturday DK slate…

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.

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In the preseason I projected Dee Gordon to finish this season with 272 points. Those projections included 1.8 home runs, 33.83 RBIs, 71 runs scored and 51 stolen bases. Through 135 games Gordon has 333 points, with 3 home runs, 42 RBIs, 78 runs and 53 stolen bases. Had he not missed about three weeks with a thumb injury those numbers would be even a little better. All told my projections were pretty accurate. So where did the extra 61 points come from? Singles. Dollar dollar bills y’all. I projected 115.75 singles and a .268 batting average. He currently has 157 one-baggers and a .332 average. When asked how he felt about my 272-point projection, Dee responded with “do you like tapes or CDs?”

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Maybe because The Bastard Executioner premiered last night, but I’m feeling reminiscent for Sons of Anarchy — Jax, Clay, Peg Bundy and that Irish guy I couldn’t understand — and, specifically, to the Season 4 premiere set to Joshua James’s Coal War.  In that spirit, I ain’t cuttin’ my Strasburg till the good Strasburg shows!  Ain’t cuttin’ my Strasburg till the good Strasburg shows!  Ain’t cuttin’ my Strasburg till the good Strasburg shows!  Good Lord, when’s he gonna come!  I hate to give someone a lede soon after I just gave them a lede, but Stephen Strasburg had a line of 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 1 Walk, 14 Ks, and I need to make exceptions.  As previously stated, Strasburg’s control and ERA (still at 3.98 on the year) have been all over the map like a drunk Magellan, but, as he showed yesterday, he could easily be a Cy Young candidate for 2016.  I just wish he’d wait until April of next year to show it so we can draft him for cheap.  Likely, most have moved on to fantasy football, so people will see a 3.90-ish ERA from him and under draft him next year.  That’s when we pounce like SAMCRO near an Elvis impersonator that’s not Bobby.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Don’t be judging my title. I’m always late to the topical title party. I’m lazy! I haven’t seen Straight Outta Compton because I refuse to pay for overpriced tickets to movies that have nothing visually cool to offer. Seeing the clips and Grey talking it up and being in the same room as Cube has made me reflect… When that album broke, I was in the 8th grade and it was the biggest game changer for us since the Beastie Boys and RUN DMC (I group them together because it felt like it was around the same time). I wasn’t a huge hip-hop head, but I had friends that listened to nothing but street poets. Then came NWA and Eazy-E (I say them separately because Eazy’s album dropped a month after Straight Outta Compton and was treated like a companion piece). It was impossible to own one and not the other. Now, I bring this up because this movie reminds me of the first time I heard Eazy Duz It. I was coming back from Carpenteria (its just south of Santa Barbara) with my good buddy and his mom. He asked her if we could play his new tape on the way home. She, being the very open minded lady she was, obliged and sat through that whole album. Damn, I don’t miss my buddy since he turned into a bitch ass when we got older, but his mom was the baddest mom I knew. From Boyz N’ Tha Hood to Eazy-er Said Than Dunn, we would bump this almost as much as SOC. Hey, we were from L.A., it was great to get someone changing the game from our backyard. Now, you might be asking yourself what this has to do with this weeks creeper. Nothing, I just felt like waxing about NWA.

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Hopefully everyone had an enjoyable Labor Day Weekend and if all went well, a profitable one. Labor Day weekend is a fine time to cruise for overlay as it’s a busy outdoors weekend for many folks. I, for one, took the weekend off from DFS. I enjoyed some of the great outdoors and took part in a few fantasy football season-long drafts. I’m ready to hit MLB hard for the last five weeks as people become less focused on it and turn their eyes instead to NFL. With any luck, that will lead to some dead money out there. Terrible transition time as we go from dead money to the Grateful Dead. I know there’s a few deadhead fantasy baseballers out there reading Razzball, I’ve seen the steal your face avatars. Truth be told, I’m a fan via love as the woman whom I live with and to whom I’m related by marriage is a huge fan. When I saw that both Sonny Gray and Jon Gray were pitching tonight and both had nice match-ups, I couldn’t help myself. I’m choosing to focus on Jon Gray since, frankly, Sonny Gray has, and will continue to be, a great play all year. Jon Gray on the other hand, gets the hard to handle task of pitching in Coors for his home games. We saw the effect this can have when he faced the Mets at Metco and was on the golden road (6 IP, 1 ER, 5 Ks) and then faced them again a couple weeks later at Coors and had the Mexicali blues (1.2 IP, 7 ER, 0 Ks). Gray faced the Padres in Coors a few weeks ago and made barely a ripple, giving up just one run in 5 IP and striking out five friars. Doing some quick math means he should only give up negative five runs when he faces them in Petco Park. It’s like a box of rain when a promising young arm gets drafted into the Rockies system, but we always have their away games to look forward to. Gray’s got a pretty nasty looking 95+ MPH fastball and a nice change-up (85 MPH)/slider combo that makes him at least serviceable with upside for more. Thanks to his home park and some rough outings there, he’s practically free for $4,600. The pitching friendly Petco Park and a bottom three team OPS for the Padres makes me pretty excited to roster the young gun tonight. You should be too and if nothing else, we will get by, we will survive.

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?