I’ve begun working on a program that aims to harness the collective super powers of some of the greatest minds in the last five hundred years. Think of it as a digital hybrid of Nate Silver, Tom Tango, Billy Beane, Kenny Powers and Nostradamus. The beta version, however, was just Powers and Nostradamus. I called it Nostradumbass. According to its calculations I was supposed to draft Adam LaRoche, Torii Hunter and Reggie Jackson. Now call me old fashioned, but if I’m going to get screwed, I’d at least like to get dinner out of the deal. The only guaranteed prediction you can make from those suggestions is that my team is going to suck. If something is a “guaranteed” prediction, is it really a prediction? The aforementioned players project to zero fantasy points for the remainder of the season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Shawn Tolleson went zero innings and gave up five earned for the blown save.  Why is there blood dripping down the back of my leg?  OH GOD, TOLLESON, WHAT HAVE YAO REEKED?!  Yao is totally a medieval word for you, by the way.  Yao Ming was medieval for “You mean?”  Rather popular question in the olden days.  Any hoo!  Jesus, Tolleson, I wish I owned Jesus Tolleson, the Dominican League 2nd baseman from the Punta Cana Putas, instead of you.  That was egregious, my man.  At least buy me dinner before touching up my nethers with an iron maiden.   Someone tase me so I forget about it.  I immediately grabbed Sam Dyson and Keone Kela, wherever I could.  It’s not completely clear who would be next, but Dyson has been used as the 8th inning setup man recently, so he’d be my first choice.  If Tolleson looks wonky in one more game, he might no longer be the closer.  Or as Elvis Costello would say, “Tolleson, I know the M’s are killing you, but my aim for SAGNOF is true.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*takes a long inhale*  “You smell that, Roberta?  You, with the yellow-stained armpits and sweatpants, I’m calling you Roberta.  That’s baseball you smell.  In its infinite complexity and finite simplicity.  The foul lines whiter than any Lohan mirror.  The grass?  Manicured better than any Vietnamese lady could.  The object of the game?  Accumulate the most stats so I win my fantasy league.  Simple, yet complex.  Like trying to understand Jeff Foxworthy’s appeal.  From today forward, this is our Independence Day (from all that other shizz in our life).”  The preceding was Bill Pullman visiting the set of Field of Dreams.  To that end, Roberta and your long-flowing sideburns, if the idea is to win saves, that difficulty intensifies when you draft Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson becomes the closer.  That’s funny, because the Astros beat writer the other day said GILES IS THE CLOSER.  Caps his, not mine.  I know how to shut off my caps lock.  So, now that GILES IS THE SETUP MAN, I would GRAB Gregerson in EVERY league, though, if it’s competitive, he’s likely GONE by NOW.  No idea why Giles is NOT the CLOSER.  My GUESS is the Astros went OUT and GOT Giles withOUT their manager, A.J. Hinch, agreeing, so Hinch IS now BEING petulANT.  I’d prefer if he were petulANT with A closER I DO NOT OWN.  Hey, it looks like I’m typing this on a busted Smith-Corona.  Fun.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Baseball is coming. So is winter. By the time you actually read this the start of the Major League season will be less than a day away. And for those of you lazy readers that catch up on Razzball on Monday mornings when you get to your desk, the season will already be three games deep. By the way, if you are one of those Monday morning people, I’d like to point out your first mistake. Fantasy baseball slows down for no one. If you’re not keeping up with baseball’s current events, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage because I can assure you that at least one person (likely most) in your league is (are). And if you just prefer to get your information from another site, I guess it’s better than nothing, but all biases aside, where else are you going to read a post that was written while sitting on the toilet. Just me, my laptop and my squatty potty. Wait a minute, let me rephrase that a bit. Where else are you going to be able to read a post where the author actually admits to penning it from the throne?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Astros announced that Lance McCullers would start the year on the DL.  Just like a Mick to skip out on work on St. Patty’s Day.  Keeping an eye on you, Andrew McCutchen!  At least we don’t have to start the year with tears for Fiers.  Everybody wants to rule the Astros rotation!  With it being announced that McCullers would start the year on the DL, I dropped him 15 spots in my starting pitcher ranks and lowered his projections.  He’s now in the top 60 starters vs. the top 40 starters.  He’s a young pitcher with a shoulder issue, so if you take my previous excitement and divide it by my current hesitation, you get the entire Angels team dancing on the head of a pin.  Okay, my math might be off there, but I’m trying to weigh my current cautious optimism with my realistic pessimism.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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?

Back in my physical prime — not like that means much — I ran cross country, among other sports. As is the case with almost any distance running, you would pace yourself somewhat until the last 200-300ish meters or so, then you’d sprint for the “kick” this meaning pretty much a dead sprint to the finish line. Similarly, the saying “the baseball season isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon” may be well and true in the April and May, but with five weeks remaining, it’s time for the kick, sometimes meaning you need to kick injured players to the curb.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Look, I’m all about facts here. I have my sources *googles Shelby Miller‘s favorite ice cream…finds nothing…looks under google images…randomly finds naked women…stops writing for a while to do further research* Well, looks like my sources failed me. I can’t verify anything about Miller’s cold dessert of choice but I can verify some other, more factually laden and potentially more useful sets of data. Like for example, Shelby enjoys his friendly confines where he goes from a 6.56 K/9 on the road to a lovely 9 per at home. To no one’s surprise, this shaves about a run off his road ERA down to a ace-like 2.01 in Atlanta. But of course, that’s only half the math. The other? The Rockies and their road woes just never seem to go away as they rank 3rd worst in wRC+ at 81 and a second worst K% at 24.2%. To make matters worse, Colorado might be without Carlos Gonzalez and are already sitting at the bottom in wRC+ in the month of August. They tell you not to kick someone when they’re already down but I’m out here offering you metal-toed boots and I’m paying the ref to look away. That’s the kind of service you get with a $9,500 price tag. I wouldn’t call him a deal, per se, but I would call him a high upside buy as your SP1 on a day where it gets ugly quick past the top end plays. But enough about my high school prom options, let’s get on with it. Here’s my cayenne ice cream hot takes for this Wednesday DK slate…

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?

It feels like only yesterday when everything was right in the world.  An animated blue bird landed on my window ledge and sung to me about boobies and other things the republicans want to make illegal, then another animated bird joined him and sung to me about foie gras and other things the democrats want to make illegal, then a centrist animated bird landed and said a lot of nothing that could neither be refuted nor approved.  Why do I have all of these damn cartoon birds but no Carlos Carrasco?!  Yesterday, Carrasco hit the DL with a sore shoulder.  This sounds to me like an early shutdown is not too far off.  “Hello, shopping mall ear piercer, can you put a diamond stud in the hole in my heart that Carrasco left?”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique.  This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief.  Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed.  Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you?  Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way.  Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring.  Scary good.  May be best of Cubs lot right now.”  Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed.  If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances.  Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming.  On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur.  Or make that, as craptastic as those guys.  In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel.  Time, not the magazine, will tell.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?