If I am correct on my predictions, the NL pennant race will be a fun one. I see three teams with playoff potential, and a fourth that is just shy of it. Sorry San Diego fans, this isn’t your year. [Ed. Note -- JERK!] Good news though, the Chinese calendar says it is going to be the year of the Tony Gwynn soon. [Ed. Note -- I take it back. Sorta.] (You can check out the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
When we started the hitter rankings, we were mere boys. Now, we’re men as we come to the end of the road for hitters and we can’t go on, it’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you. You, “Hey, look at that, I’m in a crazy/stupid/gooftarded deep league and everyone in this league that I’m talking to myself about is well-versed in this fantasy baseball shizz because they are also in this crazy/stupid/gooftarded deep league yet they forgot to draft Matt Holliday. Cool, I’ll take him with my 350th pick.” Yeah, that’s not going to happen. If you’re drafting from guys in the top 100 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball, your league is deep and you know you’re not going to get much from these guys. Potatoes to chips, most of these guys will be worth owning at some point in the season. If you’re joining us late, here’s the top 20 outfielders, top 40 outfielders, top 60 outfielders and top 80 outfielders. Next up in our 2014 fantasy baseball rankings will be the pitchers. You can hardly wait. No, you. Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s a closerousel! Which is a play on carousel, not arousal. Pick up your pants. Recently, the Cleveland Indians organization talked to the media about moving away from the unfortunate Native American stereotype their team is known for. They said, “We respect the people who came before us. This was their land, and we drove them out. Scalping was a crime on humanity. In other news, we just signed a guy that goes by the Ax Man. Chief Wahoo, can I get a woohoo?!” John Axford should be perfectly competent as the closer in Cleveland, until he’s not. What I mean is he’ll be handed the job and will hold it the whole year unless he reverts to his hideous ways. I was burnt by him in more leagues than I care to remember, but I would still draft him again. SAGNOF, after all. Then Theo Cubstein went out and got Jose Veras to close games. Cubs fans will miss the days when their games went an extra fifty minutes due seven men getting on base in the ninth inning. If you throw out Veras’s first five appearances and start his stats on April 13th of last year, he had a 2.48 ERA. Yeah, that’ll work just fine. Then the Orioles pulled their best Billy Beane impersonation when they let one high-priced closer go and got Grant Balfour back. Oddly enough, Billy Beane was the one that took the high-priced one. I scream, what’s the world coming to?! Then Billy Beane shoots Spider dead. Then Beane turns to me and says, “Not so fast, amigo. Check Balfour’s health. Oh, and amigo is being sarcastic, you dumbass.” I knew that! But not about the health. No one did. Except for the Jedi master. Of course, there was more to it. So, now Balfour’s deal may fall through with the O’s due to health concerns raised in his physical. It’s a developing situation as they say in third world countries about their water and cable TV. Finally, Addison Reed went from the Chicago White Sox to Arizona. Now the Diamondbacks won’t have to worry about what happens when J.J. Putz hurts himself opening a tin of Band-Aids. Irony only takes you so far, Putz. This leaves a vacuum in the South Side of Chicago in the ninth inning, but I guess they don’t plan on winning any games. White Sox GM Rick Hahn named Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom, Scott Downs and Daniel Webb as possible replacements. Due to Scott Downs’ Syndrome, Downs is out of the mix. Jones will be a favorite by fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) due to his ability to strike guys out, but I’m guessing Lindstrom will end up with the job due to that hard-to-put-your-finger-on-it closer experience quality. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2014 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In true Halloween spirit, we have a special haunted edition of the Pitcher Profile. Ok, so it’s not even September yet, but hey, we live in a world of mass consumerism and the Halloween specials and themed sections of department stores are already up. Don’t believe me? Ask the um, French Maid, you um… you saw leaving my room last night – it was just someone breaking in the costume! I’m kidding, I’m not Jude Law.
So about a month ago, I was all set to do a Scott Kazmir Pitcher Profile then his arm died. Kinda like Jared Leto’s arm in Requiem For A Dream. After a strong stretch through mid-June to late-July, Kaz gave up 4 to the White Sox, blanked the Marlins (but a slow-pitch softball pitcher could do that), then got rocked vs. the Angels and his arm was murdered. Murder, I Wrote! But through the modern world of medicine, he got a Will Smith I, Robot replacement, then struggled with his stuff with the zombie arm in his first game back, giving up a 5 spot and 12 baserunners at Oakland. So expectations were pretty low heading into his start yesterday against the Twins, but after seeing the stat line and his return to form, I decided to break down his start and see if that velocity is back where it was a few months ago:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s that time of year. With just a couple of weeks until rosters expand in September, it’s time for players in re-draft leagues to start considering prospect call-ups. Billy Hamilton is by far the best bet for a steals impact in the final month of the season. Entering the weekend, he had 70 stolen bases in just 110 games. Check out what Razzball’s prospect whisperer Scott Evans had to say about him recently: “Need to make a late push in steals before year’s end? Billy Hamilton will soon help in that regard, and he won’t need regular plate appearances to do so.” And Evans knows his shizz. Billy Hamilton is fast. He could enter games as a pinch runner on first base and be on third base before you swallow that sip of stadium suds. In addition to holding the MiLB steals record and posting sick times from base to base, Hamilton chugs through Mountain Dews like Dusty Baker chews through toothpicks. He’s one of the players I’m most excited about watching if he gets the call this September. The fly in the ointment continues to be the Reds’ reluctance to place him on the 40-man roster. As of Friday they were still undecided, and that’s important information to keep an eye on. To be honest, the Reds would be foolish not to use him as a weapon, but I’m not running any major league teams last time I checked. As we’ve done all year long, let’s look at who is out there and ready to contribute now in the steals category:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ll admit that I rarely write about pitchers, which may not come as a surprise if you knew my long and troubled past. Many years ago, I had a strong affinity for many pitchers on my favorite team (rhymes with Drew Stubbs). Unfortunately the coach – let’s call him either “D. Baker” or “Dusty B.” – was bent on crushing my hopes. But for you, my favorite readers, I will temporarily set aside my shattered dreams to review how 2013 “OPS against” views different pitching staffs. I’ll also include WHIP and BB/9 because I’m just that generous (don’t forget humble!). Anyway, here is the list of the worst pitching staffs:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Why don’t I have Yu Darvish on any teams? Why don’t I have him on every team? It’s not like I ranked him low in the preseason. Maybe not crazy high, but I should’ve drafted him once. In ten leagues, you would’ve thought it had to happen. I wanna find a Japanese man and feed him grapes and tell him, “Yu are beautiful.” I wanna walk five paces in front of a Japanese woman and tell her how much I love Yu. He just jazzes me up so much I wanna do weird shizz with Japanese people! Something that takes my mind off not owning Yu in fantasy and transports me to living in some kind of weird fantasy with Yu surrogates. Cradle me in your arms, Japanese surrogate that I found on the street, and tell me Yu love me too. So, yesterday, Yu was dazzling again. This was his fourth game with 14 strikeouts as he went seven strong with zero earned runs and only five baserunners, resurrecting the Diamondhacks. After yesterday’s game, Arizona now wants to close all borders. It’s a little early to be talking about this, but I want Yu Darvish in every fantasy league in 2014, but I know now I won’t be able to afford him. Come here, Japanese surrogate, you fill in for Yu. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Okay, sue me for Safecoexual Erasment, but I need some Erasmo Ramirez right now. Who is stopping him? Joe Saunders, The Harangutan or is it Jeremy Bonderman? Whips and chains excite me, but Bonderman does absolutely nothing for me. The tantric Mariners will eventually succumb to an Erasm. They have to. They are pleasure seekers like all of us fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!). Ewww, just got the shudders talking about my mom with all of these double entendres. “Grey, your moostasha is full, but I don’t like this dirty word talk!” That’s my mom fresh off the boat from Sicily. Ramirez has an under 2 BB/9 and over 9 K/9 in Triple-A this year, and he’s not an out of the blue pitcher or without major league seasoning. Last year with the M’s, he threw 59 IP with a 3.36 ERA and an even 1.00 WHIP. There was even talk he’d start the year in the Mariners rotation, until he got injured. He’s fully healthy right now and blowing people away, biding his time for entry into the M’s rotation. Looking for that pitcher that could be this year’s Kris Medlen? Look no further! Unless, of course, you’re looking about 3 inches short of your computer screen, then look a little further. What does the Buysellatops think? It doesn’t think; it’s a dinosaur! I realize Erasmo pronounced backwards is, “I’m sorry,” but he won’t disappoint. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Angel Pagan might be out the season, but will definitely be out until September. Too bad, so sad, don’t forget to write, don’t write too often, waste of paper. Hey, Gregor Blanco, come on down! You are the next contestant on The SAGNOF Is Right. How many steals can you steal this year? Peter Bourjos says 20. Not bad, but seems a little low. Jacoby Ellsbury says 60. Whoa, that’s way too high; you’re not gonna win a trip for two to Mount Rushmore like that. Michael Bourn says 35. That’s not bad; he’s practiced this at home with his grammy. Oh no, Darin Ruf says 1. Damn you, Darin Ruf! Now I have to guess exactly or go with 2, but then Marlon Byrd can say 3 and I’m screwed. I’ll say…28. Byrd goes with 2, and Ruf gives him the stink-eye. Drew Carey says… Oops, when he pulled out the card an eight ball of coke fell out of his pocket. The correct answer is 32! I win! Next up, Plinko! Fitting since Gregor sounds like a Pinko. Sure, Blanco’s not an exciting name and is only the lede because there were four games yesterday, but he still has lots of value. This news is the equivalent to a new closer taking over. Blanco won’t kill you in average, and has been hitting near .500 in the last week. Blanco is a guy I’d grab in every single league if I needed speed. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
K:BB. Mmmm can’t think of a sexier group of three letters. Double D’s are nice but that’s only two letters. JB is only two letters. So if you have to go to three letters, I’ll take K:BB.
A guy I’ve liked for a while now, Corey Kluber came into yesterday’s matchup against the Nationals with a sparkling 57:12 K:BB ratio so far this season. Don’t believe me that he’s been my man crush the past month? Look at phone records to Sky or my friend Peter. Just ask the NSA, they’ve got them saved somewhere… Kluber has been around a while, pitching in the Minors since 2006 with consistent strikeout numbers, but other than that never has put it completely together. Now 27 years old, Kluber is suddenly owning MLB offenses.
As soon as I saw Kluber’s numbers last month before he was the talk of the town, I went and looked at his pitch selection. He’s completely changed his arsenal from a slider as his main breaking offering into tossing a cutter as his second pitch. Does that remind you of any other Cleveland Indian who had late(r) career success? Reminds me of Cliff Lee! Ok so I’m not saying Kluber is the next Cliff Lee, they’re very different pitchers, but it is interesting.Please, blog, may I have some more?