Most of the league’s top aces took the hill last night, but none were more impressive than the Padres’ Andrew Cashner, who threw a one-hit shutout, tossing 108 pitches against the ferocious Tigers, walking just two and striking out 11. That’s straight Cashner, homey! Randy Moss would be proud. Cashner’s shutout was the first of the season in all of baseball, and just the second of his career. He now holds a 1.29 ERA and 0.81 WHIP with 22 Ks through three starts. It’s gotta be that beard, right? You don’t have to tell Razzball nation about the magic of facial hair, see: Albright, Grey. Mystic whiskers aside, Cashner was money Friday night, surrendering just the one hit to Rajai Davis (breaking up his perfect game in the 6th), and striking out Miguel Cabrera to end the game. Yes, that Miguel Cabrera! I’ve always been high on Cashner, and I owned him everywhere last year, so naturally, I own him no where this year. After last night, I might have to hit the trade market, because if I can’t own him, no one should! “I want a Golden Andrew Cashner Goose now, daddy!” Andrew has had injury issues in the past, but he has always been solid when healthy, and with high a 90′s fastball that can hit the triple digits, doode throws some serious cheese. The key with Cashner remains his aforementioned health; if he stays healthy, I could see 12-14 wins, 160 Ks and some solid ratios. That kind of Cashner can pay off big for your fantasy team.

Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy baseball:

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Of all the teams to predict to sweep their first series, who would have guessed the Mariners as one of those clubs? Well, aside from our resident Mariners fans –Tehol and Sky, and Grey, who put some serious coin on them to win the World Series. Who’s the crazy one now? Ha! I know the M’s weren’t supposed to be that bad this year, so its not all that surprising. It’s more surprising where some of the production is actually coming from. We expected it from Robinson Cano and Felix, and shoot, we even expected some from Miller, Erasmo, and Paxton. But Smoak? Ackley? I sure didn’t. Seems like anyone could put on a Mariners uniform and mash right now. MLB should probably take a further look into what’s going on behind the scenes up there. Maybe they’ve hired Grey as a trainer, a la Barry Bonds, to inject their guys with the special sauce. But wait, clearly that doesn’t work for everyone,  *cough* Jesus Montero *cough*… Or maybe Tehol has actually sacrificed himself to the gods to make such things come true! Who really knows? And with it being such a small sample size (a measly three games), there isn’t much we can draw from any of the numbers, relative to long-term production. But some guys have really started off hot and may be playing themselves into a hot schmotato for the next week or two or three or, well you get the point. Some guys, quite frankly, have not. Let’s take a look at who’s catchin’ my eye in points leagues in the VERY early going.

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Scott White from CBS hosted this AL-Only draft that started at 10 AM PST, but started around 1 PM PST for me because I refused to draft anyone for the price they were going. Instead of drafting, I watched my favorite cooking show, Celebrity Chef Mr. Hamiham. He’s the only one I know that makes a sandwich like my Eastern European nanny, Viktoria. Everyone that knows anything about sandwich preparation knows there’s no sandwich before adding the white cabbage. Rudy was in Tampa (slogan: We’re no San Diego, but just as classy), so I went it alone with this draft. All the mistakes (none!) and acclaim (some!) can fall fully on my shoulders. I drafted this on February 18th, so don’t say so-and-so may not make the rotation/lineup/team or is now injured, why did you draft him? I drafted him because at the time it seemed like a smart move. Okay, okay, at no point does it seem like a smart move to draft Kurt Suzuki. Point taken. It’s a 12-team AL-Only league and I drafted using that thing I linked to under the link-ma-whosie — seamless linking! Anyway, here’s my 2014 fantasy baseball AL-Only team:

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First off, I would like to say Eric Sogard should be the Face of the MLB; that vote was rigged in David Wright’s favor.  Baseball needs more nerdy-looking, glasses-touting, Bernie-leanin’, jive-walking players.  But without further ado, here is the AL West Spring Training Showdown. (You can check out the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

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When I told Grey and JayWrong that I was going to do a deep league sleeper post on Dustin Ackley, the first thing they said was ‘Simpsons did it! Simpsons did it!’. It’s true, Dustin is a bit of a sloppy seconds here on the site for me as Jay already waxed both poetically and his taint when he wrote his own Dustin Ackley Sleeper post back in 2013. And what did we learn from this post? Well, one don’t get overly excited about Ackley and two, don’t wax your taint. It’s painful and no one goes down there enough to care what it looks like. Yeah, make all the excuses you want. You’re reading a fantasy baseball site, you ain’t getting busy any time soon, nerd. But where was I? Yeah, Ackley…ooph, this is gonna be a hard sell. It’s not a sexy call but then again, we’re talking about getting to Second Base. Trust me when I say, there’s very little heavy-petting available there in 2014. To put it kindly, 2B is a rancid cesspool of disease-riddled zombie maggot death. In fact, if the question is 2B or not 2B, I’ll take the latter. But to put this 2B angle of my fantasy dangle in perspective, we’re gonna need a new paragraph. So let’s find out why I think Ackley is a good get at second base for deep leagues for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season…

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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:

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When I look at the top 20 2nd basemen from the end of the year rankings, I’m yawnstipated. So after the top guy went to Safeco and with no games played this offseason (that I’m aware of), the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball didn’t get better since the last game of the season. Last year, Matt Carpenter and Daniel Murphy buoyed the 2nd basemen, making them seem better than they were due to counting stats. I expect better this year than last year from a few guys, but just as many come with the “Bound For Disappointment” label. Hey, BFD would make a great acronym. I’m surprised no one has used it before. Oh, wait, in the age of the internet, everything is an acronym. Well, SAGNOF to that. There’s the position eligibility chart for 2014 fantasy baseball. All the 2014 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 2014 fantasy baseball:

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Gerrit Cole has filthy stuff. He can hit 100 MPH with his fastball and make all four of our girl readers go, “Ooh…” Which reminds me of my Walk on the Wild Side remixed chorus, “And the four girl readers go doo do doo do doo do do doo.” There was a whole lot of nonsense, or whole lotta if we stick with the rock theme, when he was first called up that Cole didn’t want to strike people out. Does Alf not want to get back to Melmac?! Does macaroni not mean awesome when Yankee Doodle stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni!? Does everyone with glasses not look goofy on a 1980′s baseball card?! Ron Kittle? I rest my case! Of course, Cole wants to strike out guys. You can’t stop that! Yesterday, he struck out 12 of them. In 111 1/3 IP this year, he has a 7.60 K-rate and if you throw out June, when he was saying that nonsense about throwing to contact, his K-rate would be near 9. Oh, bee tee dubya, everything else is purdy, too. His FIP is 2.98, his walk rate is barely over 2, he gets ground balls. For 2014 fantasy baseball, Cole could easily be a top 20 starter for all of baseball and will be someone I’ll get plenty googly about this offseason. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Seriously, I’ve been on a bad streak on these. I’m giving you that fair warning. It seems no matter what research I do – and yes I do research – flies back in my face like I just spit out the car window. Chris Colabello? Awful. Dustin Ackley? Egads. Michael Morse? There are baby diapers out there that were stuffed full of more stats then he was. It’s such a tough stretch of year to not only nail down playing time but to also performance. But one thing I thought I could nail down? You guys knowing who the current starting first baseman was for the Saint Louis Cardinals. This feels cheaper than a date with Jaywrong, but I just have to point out the 14.8% owned Matt Adams and how he should be able to assist you in week 25 of your 2013 Fantasy Baseball season path to dominance (or futility, if that applies)…

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Well, I keep going deep on these calls and keep digging a bigger hole so I figure why stop? Let’s dig straight to Italy. Why didn’t I say China you ask? Because that little boot of a country had the player I’m talking about this week on its National team this year. Which is really weird when you consider his wiki page says he’s an American. Um, don’t you have to be of said nationality to play for said nationality? Sounds like the standards for playing for a National team are pretty loose. I’d love to see the fill-out sheet to join. Wonder if it looks like this. Well, never mind, these things matter not. What DOES matter is Chris Colabello looks like a nice power pickup for week 24 of our 2013 Fantasy Baseball season…

Please, blog, may I have some more?