The hardest division in the league, which includes last year’s world champs, looks to be just as intense again.  For that matter, it probably will be that way for the foreseeable future.  My favorite team is also being covered here.  I’ll do my best not to be biased about the Yankees, and I think I’m pretty good at keeping my emotions away from the reality of the team.  That being said, I think the Yankees are going to win 120 games this season. (You can check out the NL West Spring Training Preview here, 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?

We started this thing like boys and four girls (but, let’s be honest, one or two of the girls are kinda manly), and we leave this season as men and four women. In March, we dazzled each other with our drafted lineups in the comments. Today, most of those people are playing fantasy football, fantasy basketball or fantasy hockey and forgetting all about their one-two punch of Ryan Braun and Josh Hamilton, that, in their words, they were just shocked to be able to draft both. Fantasy baseball isn’t made for the water cooler like the Breaking Bad finale — holy crap! — it’s made for the vending machine, because you don’t walk away from your team to talk. You rush away to get snacks and run those snacks back to your team, so you can watch as your team accrues stats or just ‘a-screws’ you. Some of you will sit with your fantasy team’s lineup open on your desktop through November like it has been for the last six months, hoping for one more day to save your season. Some of you will just close that team lineup browser window, ripping off the Band-Aid. But even if the lineup isn’t open, the player’s names will be burned into your screen because you shut off your screensaver six months ago. You should go ahead and turn that back on, or buy a new monitor. If you won your league, the salary hours you put into your teams could’ve saved the economy. Well, eff the economy, you won bragging rights! If you won your league with Henderson Alvarez and his no-hitter, then God bless your foresight, but I wouldn’t be shocked if you were really a witch. Conspiracy Theory Alert! The Tigers are securely in the playoffs and Henderson Alvarez is in the on-deck circle. Bases are juiced with two outs. The Tigers don’t want extra innings right before the playoffs and the Marlins can’t score with a prostitute and a roofie. Leyland sends the pitching coach out and tells Putkonen throw a breaking ball to the backstop and give the kid the no hitter. Either way, what a great way to end the baseball season. A sport that you just can’t ever predict gives a guy no one would’ve predicted a no hitter. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Matt Moore had the line of 5 IP, 8 ER, 13 baserunners, 6 Ks. But he only allowed one walk! What? Like putting frosting on a doodie cupcake? Like eating only cupcakes for three weeks, then pooping into a cupcake pan? Do you eat the cupcake ingredients separate, then let them mix in your stomach? Does it matter? Either way, Moore was crap. If you thought he was a sub-2 ERA pitcher, you were lying to yourself. Remember, it’s okay to lie to others, dangerous when you lie to yourself. Moore’s xFIP is egregious, which meant he had some regressing to do. His walks are out of control — literally. His walks right now are Jonathan Sanchez bad. Yes, that made me shudder too. If you build a pitching staff house with a bunch of Jonathan Sanchezes, it’ll be shuttered. Hopefully, Moore’s next game vs. the Royals will stall further regression and he can cut his walks (and not just when he gets rocked). If Moore can’t get it together vs. the Royals, he’ll have a tough Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers stretch to get through that might need a lengthy benching, i.e. less Moore is more or less Moore. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Domonic Brown went 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and yet another homer, his 17th. Can we just bask in the Brown glow? Or Basque, if you’re Spanish. A run like this only happens once in a blue moon. Or Blue Moon, if you like orange wedges with your beer. Brown is in the zone, then the zone called and said Brown doesn’t need to pay his room service bill. It’s on the house! (The zone just doesn’t do that sorta thing usually.) Everyone wants a piece of Brown. The League of Extraordinary Italian-Americans called and claimed True Romance was right and Domonic is Italian. The Mexican American hip hop duo, A Lighter Shade of Brown, is going to a tanning salon in anticipation of changing their name. Charlie Manuel said he’s known all along what Brown was capable of, but no one understands a word he says. From my mouth to your deity of choice, please let him stay hot until October. That is all I ask. That and to win the lottery. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Rudy went into his fantasy laboratory and came up with yet another tool. This, guys and four girl readers, is the Fantasy Baseball Buy/Sell Tool. It’s about as easy to use as any of the other tools combined. It’s called the Buysellatops and it looks like this. It talks instead of grunting or whatever dinosaurs did. Actually, they could’ve talked. We don’t know. Maybe The Land of the Lost was a documentary. Who’s to say? The Buysellatops has two things on its mind this week, how can we get rid of all of these pollutants and gravity so I can graze the roof? And how little can I buy Jason Heyward for? Sometimes all the planets align for a great buy, this week is one of those days. This day is one of those weeks? You know what I mean. Heyward has just about reached his nadir. Unless he has a season-ending injury tonight, there’s no way he can be worse. His BABIP is silly terrible. Right now, he’s hitting line drives into the gap and it’s hitting a pelican and falling into the outfielder’s glove. If he hits .330 from now until October, it wouldn’t surprise me. He is not a one hundred-something hitter. He has power and speed. Here’s a comparison for ya — he can be as good as Adam Jones the rest of the year. Rarely do you get a chance to buy low on such a highly ranked hitter, but here’s your chance. As Buysellatops would say, “Get Heyward, and maybe some suntan lotion from Buchholz. This sun is so much stronger than I remember it.” Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ryan Zimmerman went Yardo Montalban as he Tattooed the ball three times. Da plane, da plane…is flying right next to Zimmerman’s homers! My dear guests! I am Mr. Albright, your host. Welcome… to Fantasy Baseball! Smiles, everyone, smiles! No, seriously, smile, you paid a lot of money for those caps. Since it was a game between the O’s and Nationals, they shared announcers (since they share channels). So, the O’s announcers said everyone’s crazy for Machado, Jones, Zimmermann and Harper and not Ryan Zimmerman or Nick Markakis much anymore, after they were the stars of their respective clubs. Then the Nationals announcer says, “I can’t say I know much about Markakis myself.” Burn! I’d play that over the clubhouse speakers before every game. Not to motivate Markakis as much to mess with him. Oh, and Zimmerman! Right! Yeah, he had a huge game, and you might remember he goosed me in my nethers last year when I dropped him, because he hit 10 homers in July of 2012. Might be the start of another special run. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Each week I’ll be looking at some favorable match-ups to help you grab a few extra steals for your fantasy team. Whether you are in a weekly or daily league, looking at weak defensive catchers and strong/aggressive base running teams may help you make decisions as to which players you should start or sit in your hunt for an edge in the stolen base category. Since the 2013 season is only a week old, I’ll use some data from 2012 to get started and give you an idea of what we will be looking for. Just realize that these are only two dimensions that can affect stolen base totals.

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You could argue Mike Minor threw a slightly better game yesterday and deserved the lede, but you’d be arguing with a computer screen and over what should be the lede on a fantasy baseball blog.  It’s about time I gave Gio Gonzalez (7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks) some love after emoting all over myself in the preseason about how much I wanted Gio on every team.  

Please, blog, may I have some more?