I use a number of different tools, sites, and metrics every week to adjust my rankings and to determine exactly who I should focus on each week. I usually try to focus on players owned in less than 60% leagues, players who are rising or falling and who you should probably buy low or sell high on, or players who are new to the Top 100 or on the cusp of joining the ranks. It has only been a few weeks since I took over these rankings for the legendary M@, so I am still working on creating the most efficient system (I spend wayyyyyy too much time agonizing over these rankings every Sunday).

I start by going over my notes and spreadsheets from the previous week, then take a peek at Razzball’s Player Rater and look at the current rankings and the Rest of Season Projections. Once I jot down some notes from those, I take a look at ESPN’s PR15 Player Ratings for the last 15 days. Lastly, I check FanGraphs with a focus on the best wOBA for the last 14 days and the last 30 days. Usually, once I am finished with that process, I have an idea of who I am going to write about and a starting point for adjusting the rankings.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Something struck me the other day.  Luckily, not a bus.  No, it was a thought.  Bus-sized thought!  I was looking at Rob Neyer’s Twitter account, and he’s almost completely stopped talking about baseball and it’s all about politics.  It’s like he’s taken “stick to sports” as a directive of what not to do.  Occasionally, I’ll make a joke about Trump, but no more than I joke about being married to a Cougar, being a Jew who thinks he’s black, Mike Napoli’s mom’s breasts, hating C**nt Hurdle or an array of things.  Honestly, I miss baseball Rob Neyer.  His hot takes on politics are fine.  Personally, I agree with his politics, but at a certain point doesn’t he miss baseball?  He was the one person who I read religiously at ESPN.  Might be the last person I’ve ever read at ESPN.  The grand game misses you, buddy, come back from the MSM hot takes.  Any hoo!  Rudy’s title inspired me to talk on that topic, but Joe Ross.  He’s why we’re here.  Yesterday, he went 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners (0 BBs), 12 Ks.  Is it a Mirage or is the Circus, Circus back in town and he’s a Treasure Island of Wynn (I don’t know why I’m in Vegas now.)  His peripherals can go either way.  His 9.7 K/9, 1.7 BB/9 and 3.48 xFIP are gorge, but his velocity is way down.  Down to the point where his Hard Contact is up nearly 10% to just under 40%.  The absolute worst of the worst allow Hard Contact at that rate.  Yesterday was a great sign, and I’d hold or grab him, but I want to see another start before saying he’s back.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Scooter Gennett had the game of his life yesterday.  Well, isn’t he Vespecial?  You say to me, “Unkie Grey, can I sit on your lap metaphorically and you tell me why Scooter hit so many homers?”  Sure, Nephew, it’s simple.  A story of my Scooter in two tweets:

I am the first person in the history of fantasy baseball to bench two hitters for games with at least three home runs in the same season.  *opens oven, sticks head in oven, opens The Bell Jar to read*  Ugh, could someone check on the pilot light?  You might be asking yourself why I had Scooter on my bench, while you coyly bat your eyelashes.  I’ll explain, you coquettish bastard!  He was hitless the entire previous week!  WHAT THE EFF?!  Any hoo!  Scooter had a big game, and will now be invited to all the same parties as Mark Whiten, but Scooter is not much more than a hot schmotato.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Kinda ridiculous that Odubel Herrera is the first player to get two ledes this year, but this is because they both came on short schedule days and I’m the only one that likely knows this, so let’s just move on!  ODB’s hot like Mariah’s fire.  Mariah’s fire is the dragon breath she breathes right before her morning ritual of firing a staffer.  “Who sprinkled my slippers with gold dust?  It’s Tuesday!  Tuesday’s slippers get sprinkled with powdered sugar so the squirrels follow me like it’s a Disney movie!”  That’s Mariah TCOB.  Ooh, idea!  I’m gonna do the rest of this in acronyms.  ODB TCOB SAGNOF UB40–Ugh, I failed at that exercise.  Grey does not equal a 14-year-old girl texting.  I told you yesterday if you take nothing else from the roundup, take away that you should grab Odubel.  And that’s me reiterating me!  Seriously, he’s 8-for-13 over the last three games with two homers.  Grab him!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Let’s begin by having a moment of silence for the fact that we will be without Mike Trout for two months. I dropped him to 23 in the rankings below, which are considered ROS trade value. I know it is hard to justify Trout over some talented players who aren’t going to miss two months, I just couldn’t bring myself to drop him much lower. The Razzball Player Rater has him all the way down to 71 for ROS projections. Personally, if I were to trade Trout, I would hold out for the highest bid and make someone overpay. Otherwise, I’m not moving him. And in keeper leagues, I would still have him at number 1 and wouldn’t entertain offers.

Now, for the players who are playing right now. The two players I moved up and want to focus on this week are Justin Bour and Justin Smoak. I received some questions and comments on here and on Twitter last week about Smoak, so let’s take a look at him first. He has looked great this season, but I have my doubts.

While Smoak’s slash line and counting stats look great right now, unless he finally figured everything out at 30 years old, I have my doubts. Yes, he is currently on pace for almost 40 home runs. Yes, he is striking out 17.9% of the time, which is almost half as much as he did last season and is well below his career average of 23.5%. Through 55 games and over 200 plate appearances in 2017, the metrics back up what he is doing.

But here’s the thing.

Smoak has been in the league for eight seasons and has over 3,000 plate appearances. He’s a career .227 / .311 / .402 hitter. His previous high for home runs in a season is 20, which he did back in 2013. Take a look at his wOBA by season:

Translation: Smoak isn’t this good. This probably isn’t going to last, and a regression is coming.

Now, as far as Justin Bour goes, I am still skeptical but am less skeptical. Bour is 29 but has just over 1,000 plate appearances at the MLB level. He has displayed this kind of power before, both at the major league level and in the minors, so it is easier to believe that his current power stroke is real. Will he continue to hit up around .300? No, but it is reasonable to expect him to hit in the .250-.270 range and offer up 30 home runs, as long as he can stay healthy (which he can’t always do).

The main point here is that, while Bour is only a year younger, he doesn’t have as much of a negative track record that we can hold against him. He has also displayed plus-power in the past, while Smoak has always struggled to fulfill his potential in that department. Bour is likely to regress a bit as well, but I don’t think his regression will be as extreme as Smoak’s. If I had to pick between these two first basemen as a guy I value higher ROS I am taking Bour every time. Maybe I’m just biased now that I live in South Florida, or maybe their track records are telling us everything we need to know about them…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sometimes, baseball can be that game we all fell in love with *covers mouth so you can’t hear number* years ago.  Whether it’s Paul O’Neil hitting a triple with an error to score a home run for a child in the hospital or that minor leaguer who crashed through a fence to make a catch or Bryce Harper tossing a foul ball to an actual clown to silence his questions or Reggie Jackson thinking about someone other than himself for a moment after Thurman Munson’s plane crashed or Lou Gehrig’s speech or Kirk Gibson’s fist pump or Saturday.  It would’ve been Yordano Ventura’s 26th birthday.  Obviously Edinson Volquez was very close to him when they were both on Royals.  According to Volquez, they shared everything, even constantly having to tell people, “No, I’m not Johnny Cueto.”  Edinson posted a pic of Ventura on his Instagram page Saturday morning, then went out and pitched the game of his life that afternoon, a no hitter — 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 walks, 10 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.79.  For one day, Edinson was able to say, “No, I’m not Johnny Cueto.  I’m better.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Whaddaya Say! Jesse Hahn ($12,000) has a very nice matchup on Tuesday night against the Miami Marlins, especially for the price he is listed at. His price should allow you to squeeze in some solid bats and Clayton Kershaw. For the season, Hahn is 1-3 with 3.08 ERA, but a home start should bode well for him. His ERA is a full run lower at home than it is when he pitches on the road for his career. As for the game, Oakland Athletics are listed as a -130 favorite so he does have a good chance to record the win. The Marlins have struggled all year versus RHP, carrying an OPS below .700. He is a bargain at that price, so lets take a look at what bats we can put together…right after the editor Sky jumps in like a jerk and steals my thunder.  [Editor’s Note]: Hey!  I represent that remark!  Howdy y’all, it’s Tuesday and you know what that means…it’s the day before Wednesday!  Ok, ok, let’s not drag this out.  Today is the weekly Razzball Listener’s League.  If you don’t know what that is, click on the link ya schmo!  In all cerealness, $5 to hop in and play some FantasyDraft with your friends, family, family friends, and friendly familial here at the Razz.  Now on with the show…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Matt Adams was acquired by the Braves for Juan Yepez, who was always a little too excitable for the Braves — Yepez!  See?  Not a good look.  It was a tearful exit from the Cardinals’ clubhouse for Adams.  His emotions hit a crescendo when he realized he couldn’t carry out all the food he had accumulated in the clubhouse refrigerator.  Through tears, “Why didn’t I learn to balance soda on my head like I was Jamaican?”  Hey, mon, they have grape soda in Atlanta.  Adams will be the 1st baseman in Atlanta until Freeman returns, while conceding to Loney on occasion, assuming Adams doesn’t try to eat him, “I thought his jersey read Baloney!  I’m a terrible person!”  Adams gets a boost in value, but mostly just for NL-Only and very deep leagues.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jose Bautista is such a douche canoe.  He bat-flipped after a home run that cut the Braves lead to 8-4.  That’s like “Pimp my Ride” with a Hyundai.  That’s like moonwalking at a bar mitzvah with toilet paper on your shoe.  That’s like screaming at your recently ex-girlfriend, “I’ll never be alone, because I will always have my mom!”  He’s hitting .208, and hasn’t looked right since Odor ended him like Drago ended Apollo.  Any hoo!  This has nothing to do with Bautista.  Well, kinda.  Freddie Freeman was hit on the wrist, and then all hell broke out for the better part of the Jays/Braves games.   Freeman looked like he was in serious pain and he’s headed for an MRI and CT scan today.  I don’t own him, but I will join your prayer hexagon if you need me.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday was a bad day to quit being young with A.J. Pollock and Carlos Gomez both hitting the DL.  Together!  In a non-gay way.  But it would’ve been totally cool with me if it was in a gay way.  Let’s start with Pollock since he is the less ethnically sensitive of the two.  Pollock has a Grade 1 groin strain.  When the strain happened, Pollock was reading Groin Strains for Dummies.  Chapter 1:  Don’t Move Your Leg In A Normal Manner.  “Go to a trampoline, but don’t jump on it with your feet, fall on it sitting criss-cross apple sauce.”  Pollock will likely be out for two to three weeks, and in his place the Russian Game of Thrones character, Gregor Blanco, and Reymond “You Can’t Not Think Of Daisy” Fuentes.  Fuentes is the more interesting of two, since he should be on the stronger side of a platoon, and has speed.  Outside of NL-Only and deep mixed leagues, I’m passing on both.  As for CarGomez, he will miss four to six weeks.  That’s too bad, he used to be good three years ago.  Replacing him on the roster will be Jared Hoying, who looks like a Motter-fodder.  Then, we have Carlos Carrasco, who is affectionately known as Cookie, and I am a Cookie Monster for him, so this one hurts me.  In yesterday’s game, Carrasco had a huge lead, when he squandered that and left the game with a trainer.  All you had to do with cruise to the W on the Ivictory Coast!  Apparently, that’s the way the Cookie crumbles.  He was diagnosed with left pectoral tightness, which doesn’t sound bad.  Which, Part 2:  The Return of the Which, will still likely mean a DL stint.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?