I’m all about the win-now. This means I will rarely own a top prospect, because I’ll trade them for short term MLB value and/or I just won’t spend the dough on those guys, because I can look a bit deeper for translatable prospects that don’t have as much associated hype. Therefore, I’m not going to whine about not owning and emphasizing the obvious: Oscar Tavares, George Springer, Gregory Polanco or even Jackie Bradley Jr. Instead I’ll draft sure-thing offense so long as they’re healthy (Michael Morse and Yasmani Grandal), and then go with upside starters/or solid veterans like Marco Estrada, Alex Wood, Corey Kluber, Tyson Ross, Kyle Lohse and Tim Hudson (all were available around the same time as these prospects in deep leagues). I literally own all of these guys, and the following ESPN’ers <10% owned as of 4/14:Please, blog, may I have some more?
My fantasy roster is like Rick and his Walking Dead gang, just waiting around to be fattened up for the slaughter in that train car. Doesn’t Daryl have a hidden crossbow? Feel free to kill off Beth though. Currently my team has lost Cole Hamels and David Robertson. Not too bad, but couple that with the injuries to Adrian Beltre, Andrew McCutchen and Yasiel Puig, and my team is on the verge of doing a Hershel. I feel like we should cue up that cheesy music they play at the Oscars when they pay tribute to those stars that died over the past year. Last week, the fantasy world lost Josh Hamilton (smattering of applause), Matt Moore (gasps) and Avisail Garcia (men openly weeping). Just bury them with all the other guys still on the DL – Clayton Kershaw (at least he’s throwing again), Matt Latos (skipping rehab start this week, uh-oh) and Jose Reyes (was born on the disabled list). Add Troy Tulowitzki (quad), Adrian Beltre (quad), Koji Uehara (shoulder quad), and Joe Nathan (dead arm quad) to the walking wounded list as well (guys hurtin’ but not DL’d) and we have a World War Z-sized fantasy apocalypse. Injuries are expected every year, but does it seem like there are more this season? Can I blame instant replay? Harold Reynolds? Someone or something is responsible. Quick, get Bartolo Colon to throw some stem cells in the Gatorade. I hear that helps. *note to self: Pitch embryonic energy drink to Gatorade, make millions, get killed by pro-life crusaders.* It’s time to bring in the fantasy reinforcements. Let’s scour the waiver wire for players owned 50% or less in most leagues and see if we can cure what’s ailing our battered and broken roster. It’s time to jam it or cram it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
“I’m a prince, boy. Have you ever been with a prince? …Take off your clothes.”
No, this isn’t Tehol quoting Tehol, regurgitating the way I speak to my Thai boy handlers when I’m doing thong shoots in Phuket. Very similar verbiage, but no, this fascinating quote comes from none other than the legendary, Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne, a man I’m positive you will come to love throughout season four of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Like a supreme vortex, “GOT” has sucked in the entire nation, and it’s well past time it was brought forth into the wondrous world of fantasy baseball. [Ed. Note-- Oh, you mean like here, and here, and, ahem, here? FIRST! Bwahahahah.] Some people say fantasy baseball is the equivalent of D&D for jocks. Well, I for one, want a piece of both worlds! The season four premier was a masterful work of art, as I’m fully reminded as to why I was so entranced by the novels. Let’s have some fun and intertwine some of the premium quotes from the season premier with the annual Delight/Disgrace column. Will you allow me the pleasure of doing this? No? Too late, for I am already balls deep. and I’m on some Geno Auriemma/Charlie Sheen winning type-ish thing. So let us begin. [Warning, Game of Thrones Spoilers ahead!]Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ryan Braun hit his first two home runs off Kyle Kendrick — you know, that Kendrick sure sticks out for a sore thumb — and then Braun emancipated a third ball off Lincoln. Three homers a mere two days after saying he was not able to swing normally is quite the 180. It’s like when Mickey Rourke is one of the best actors — in movies like Diner and Angel Heart — only to have a string of flops, terrible plastic surgery and then he reemerges in The Wrestler. Or Travolta’s career is in the toilet after Saturday Night Fever, dealing with whispers about his bedroom predilections and then he does Pulp Fiction. Doing The McConaughey while McConaughey was still ruining his career. A few years later, Mickey Rourke has another string of flops and his face still scares small children; Travolta does Battlefield Earth and now whispers about his religion have joined the other whispers. (Be forewarned, McConaughey.) So, will Braun now reemerge as the top hitter in the game and hold his Pulp Fiction/Wrestler renaissance or will his thumb continue to haunt him while he commits to Wild Hogs II: Where The Wild Hogs Are? All I know is he was complaining about his thumb a full nine months after he first hurt it, so it doesn’t seem likely to disappear that fast. His value may be even higher now, but I’d still be concerned. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It may only be for two games, but Dee Gordon draws a nice match-up against the Tigers to start the week. Gordon is already in mid-season SAGNOF form, hitting over .400 with 3 steals entering Sunday’s game. Alex Avila can’t catch a cold. In 2013 he caught base stealers at a 17% clip. That was well below the 28% league average. Word on the street is that he spent the off-season catching up on Breaking Bad and True Detective instead of working on his times to second base, so here’s hoping the good times continue. Tuesday’s probable starter Anibal Sanchez gave up a steal every seven innings pitched last year and the battery should be an easy target for a speedster like Gordon. I found the info on Sanchez using the new SB Rates vs. SP tool here at Razzball. It’s a big help when deciding which pitcher’s to target for stolen bases in your daily match-ups.
There was a tear in the fabric of the SAGNOF universe during Opening Week. Pedro Alvarez stole a base off of Yadier Molina while Billy Hamilton was caught. Black is white. up is down. We’ve gone through the looking glass, folks. Seriously though, Hamilton looks lost. Good thing we have SAGNOF options for all of us schlubs who didn’t draft him in the first five rounds. Here are this week’s steals plays…Please, blog, may I have some more?
The greatest sporting event in the history of mankind takes place tonight (if all of mankind lived in a Louisiana trailer park and were named Mick Foley) – Wrestlemania! I’ll admit I come from the deep south of the far north where the pro rasslin’ rivals lobster wranglin’ and coffee brandy drinkin’ as favorite sports. I’ll also admit I haven’t watched wrestling since I was about 11 when Ivan Putski delivered the “Polish Hammer” upside the head of Superstar Billy Graham at the Lewiston Armory. Fortunately, my Hulk Hogan costume still fits! You may be asking yourself, “Guru, you got that turban on too tight? What do headlocks, pile drivers and the ‘Camel Clutch’ have to do with fantasy baseball?” Well, my Razzballin’ Rick Rude lovers, they are both fake sports and I have 1500 words to fill. This week’s jam or cram has your handsome-but-nonetheless-figure-four-leglocking Guru comparing those old school wrestlers to fantasy ballers that could crown you king of the ring. We’re not talking Mike Trout here. We all know he’s the Iron Sheik of fantasy ball and he’ll make any team he faces humble. We are digging down into the lower levels of the waiver wire (owned 50% or less in most leagues, although it can vary league to league for reasons only Matthew Berry knows) searching for the players that will knock the competition stone cold – Gimme a hell yea! With us Razzballers just a week into the season, DL spots already filled, Closepocalypse 2 upon us and a number of studs delivering duds we have to make some early season roster shuffling. No, don’t panic yet and trade away Andrew McCutchen for Coco B. Crisp just because the dread pirate is being outperformed by a man and is parrot friend. We’re just looking for some outside interference à la Captain Lou Albano style to keep the fight going. With all that ‘splainin’ out of the way, it’s time for my signature move – it involves your eyes and my scotch. It’s time to jam it or cram it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
See Nate Eovaldi throw 99 MPH! Stop. In a part! Stop. Never before seen! Stop. As he takes on the role! Stop. Of Stanley Fastballski! Stop. He’s got a method fastball! Stop. Adapted from the book! Stop. You Shall Know My Eovelocity! Stop. If you want to park in the underground garage! Stop. No, seriously, stop! Stop. We don’t Eovalidate that garage! I loved what I saw the other day from Eovaldi. As Alicia Keys says, he throws fiiiiiiiiiiire! Fiiiiiiiiiire! Fiiiiiiiiiiire! He averaged over 96 MPH in his first start. That’s really good. That would’ve been the best fastball velocity for any starter for all of last year. Better than Matt Harvey. I don’t think he can maintain 96, but even if it falls to 94 on average, which it has been his entire career, he’s still in the top 1% of all starters. Only seven guys threw that fast last year. The list is a who’s who of guys you want on your team — Strasburg, Jose Fernandez, Samardzija, Homer Bailey, Cashner and the aforementioned Harvey. For his velocity alone, you should pick up Eovaldi in every league. Wins will be hard to come by, but a 3.50 ERA and a 7+ K-rate won’t be. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s nice when your chickens come home to roost. Sure, chickens coming home to roost is usually used to indicate a negative, but whoever heard of roosted chickens not being delicious. Lemon pepper, rosemary and roosted chickens is my favorite menu item and this Chinese restaurant has the best #3 in town. So, now, chickens coming home to roost is a positive and so is Todd Frazier with two jacks yesterday like Nicholson in Mars Attacks!. Frazier has long been a favorite of mine — we were younger then, and you had more hair. I hit you with a sleeper post for him in 2013 and again this offseason. There I said, “(Frazier) dropped his K-rate from 22.2% in 2012 to 20.8% last year. This was counteracted by a falling line drive rate (22.4% to 18.1%). Make weak contact and balls get caught and your BABIP falls. His fly ball rate fell too. When a fly ball rate falls in a hitters’ park, your power numbers appear less than desirable. Cause and effin’ effect or effin’ affect or affin’ effect or affin’ affect. BTW, what’s a humpageddon? A pornmanteau. Take it, it’s yours. The good news is when Frazier did hit a home run, he hit them a long way (average distance was 403 feet). He was right there at the top of the league for guys who averaged the longest distance per home run. When he hit six homers (this past) September in only 88 ABs, it showed the player he can be every month.” And that’s me quoting me! Still, love Frazier, unlike a lot of you since he’s only owned in 50% of leagues. I’d absolutely grab him if he were available in my league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Reds manager Bryan Price, who I thought was their catcher, has a long way to go to catch up to ex-manager, Dusty Baker, on the Crazy-Meter, but naming Jonathan Broxton the closer a week before he’s even healthy, is a great start. Now Price needs to throw Latos 147 pitches in his first game back and he’ll be running a dead heat. Apparently, Broxton can’t only fill pants, he can fill shoes too. Dumpster Pants isn’t safe by any means, but when a crazy-as-a-fox manager names someone the closer, and he could be the closer for the next two months, I’d pick him up. Not literally, no one can pick up Broxton literally. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?