Man, after thinking about where I need to go with this intro, I got a mad hankering for Italian food.  Just ordered some to get here during afternoon baseball.  Is it profiling that now I’m non-stop craving Italian when I hear a name like Sal Romano?  But Italian food is so positive!  Is there such a thing as positive profiling?!

Speaking of Profiling, we’re back with enough edition of the Pitcher Profile!  I know I’m picking someone that’s pretty far off the beaten path, but any time Sunday baseball features an-even-somewhat-interesting guy making their debut, I’m intrigued!  Romano was vaguely on the radar for the NL-only and NFBC-type leagues given the Reds complete lack of a starting rotation, and surprisingly it was Rookie Davis getting the first DL stint (not their old farts, although Brandon Finnegan got hurt as well Saturday night) that opened an early spot for Romano to make his debut.  Buried on prospect lists in the 10-20 range for Cincy (they do have a good farm system though), with Ralph ranking him as merely a “floorboard”, Romano apparently has pretty interesting stuff from what I read, mainly a mid-to-high 90s fastball.  As tradition, I write the intro to the Profiles before I watch a pitcher’s start, and I’ll withhold any judgment until I see him throw.  So as I eagerly await my baked ziti, the Brewers game is about to start and I’m pumped to see how Romano looks and Profile his debut.  Here’s how he fared yesterday afternoon in his debut:

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I feel like I could list every Boston Red Sox player in my post this week. A bunch of their players came down with the flu, even the untouchable Andrew Benintendi, who apparently threw-up in the dugout during a game this week. He might’ve ralphed due to hearing about his .174 AVG so far though. Relax everyone, he’s 14-years-old and we’re only in Week 2. Don’t overreact! However, if you happen to visit Fenway this week for their games — make sure to wash your hands well, seal up your plastic bubble boy suit and keep away from patient zero (probably Dustin Pedroia — he seems like the superstitious type to not wash during the season for luck).

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Dylan Bundy was a particularly hard asset to value on draft day.

We had just over 100 innings with a 4.70 FIP and a swinging strike rate of 10.5% that didn’t really turn any heads. Tales of the prospect he once was lingered in broadcasts as announcers imagined a day when the highly talented righty would emerge from the darkness of his injury-plagued past and blossom into the Orioles’ ace.

That day was Wednesday…

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Yaisel Puig‘s home runs are so effortless they’re like Billie Jean King and Billy Dee Williams only needing to say, “40-love?” to hook up with a girl in the 70s.

Somewhere, Ashton Kutcher is struggling to come off as smart.  He is exerting more energy than Yasiel Puig on his home runs.  When Yasiel Puig is in El Zono Loco, pitchers should be chicken.  When Puig is locked in, he looks as good as all the Cuban graphic novels that were written about him in Fidelphia.  Of course, just as quickly as Puig gets everyone’s hopes up, he collapses under his own hype.  He’s a (ba)con artist?  I’d absolutely own Puig right now that he has three homers in two games (2-for-3, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and a double slam (3) and legs (1) yesterday), but I wouldn’t be surprised if by May he’s back to disappointing.  (By the way, the pitch speed on that homer is 78 MPH.  HAHAHAHAHAHA– Oh my God, I can’t breathe!  Member that old timey film of Bob Feller throwing faster than a speeding motorcycle?  They should have Weaver go against a speed-walking senior citizen.)  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Somewhere, Melissa Leo is acting out today’s title and it’s so spot on you’re not sure if you should applaud, or put your wallet in the front pocket.  “I came straight from the packie because I heard you were having a sale on shamrock undergarments.  Are you having a shamrock undergarment sale or not?”  That’s Melissa Leo acting out the title.  Okay, okay, okay, guys and six girl readers and one girl writer. (She debuted yesterday; is there a female verb for that?  She debutante’d yesterday?  She debbie’d yesterday?  She damsel’d yesterday?  I’m asking, don’t roll your eyes at me like I’m a moron; I’ve had enough of that!)  Chris Sale looked great yesterday (7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks), but you knew he was going to look great.  You didn’t draft him in the first three rounds for him to look like hot garbage under Pablo Sandoval’s ass.  Or, rather, you didn’t not draft him in the first three rounds because I told you not to.  But you know who looked as good in Fenway?  Jameson Taillon (7 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks).  He doesn’t miss a huge number of bats — will average around 7.7 K/9 — but his control is masterful.  He will have around a 1.7 BB/9, if not lower.  When a guy has a difference of six between his K/9 and BB/9 great things can happen, and Taillon will be no different.  I’m not sure if he’ll get all the way to 190+ IP this year, but he had a 3.38 ERA last year, and I’m ready for around the same this year, if not better.  Like Melissa Leo would say, “This guy is fahkin spacktackulure.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It’s really hard not to overreact, I understand.

With that said, I think that it’s best Madison Bumgarner was the human highlight reel of opening day as opposed to somebody like Mallex Smith or Tuffy Gosewich(!!!).

The early season star of 2016 was the pun machine himself, Trevor Story. I’d consider him a best case scenario for any early season performer. Six homers in his first four games, on his way to a 27 home run season over less than 400 ABs. Story was a top 30 pick this year, all after that early season explosion, and I’ll admit, there was a league where I paid that price for him.

With Bumgarner holding the headlines for the next few days, there is no need for overreaction and desperate projection for his rest-of-season value. We know what he’ll give back. Very, very good value.

Is there a chance somebody else stands out? Of course, and you’ll likely have to make a tough decision to give up that ’25th’ man on your roster as sacrifice if you want to believe in the hype…

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Before we jump right into this draft recap, let’s go over a little bit of background about the league and its details. This isn’t like the typical RCL 5×5 rotisserie league we often talk about in this space. LOEG is a 10×10 head-to-head keeper league, with 10 teams and four keepers per team from year to year. The league has been around for something like ten years and has been graced by the presence of yours truly for the past five.

Since the categories, scoring, and rules are a little different in this league I’ll break down all the details below. I think it’s important to break this down a bit first because not only do I want to bore you to death, but I want you to have all the information while you are going over the results and making fun of my team in the comments section. Anyway, here we go:

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With all the innings totals I wish I could accurately project for 2017, two that carry some of the most weight in drafts come from the same team. To say the Dodgers have a plethora of starting pitching would be an understatement. One of the many divergences between baseball and fantasy baseball is the value of depth. The Dodgers have roughly 10 viable starting pitchers from which they can construct their opening day rotation, yet that only creates headaches for fantasy owners trying to figure out projections for arms like the two I’m curious about, Julio Urias and Rich Hill.

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As I begin to prepare my projections and rankings for the 2017 season, I like to look back on the previous season’s attempt to not only assess my work, but also to learn how I can do better next time. Projecting statistics in any sport is a tedious and arduous task. The variables, formulas and algorithms are constantly changing and if you don’t adapt with them, your results will lose their precision and accuracy. However, I’d like to make one point blatantly clear, projections are nothing more than calculated guesses. Some are better than the next, but none are even close to perfect.

Let’s see how I fared with my 2016 efforts. For all positions I will provide the following six numbers: projected points, actual points, projected rank, actual rank, projected points per plate appearance and actual points per plate appearance. I am including points per plate appearance because it helps put a player’s projections vs performance into perspective when they’ve missing time due to injury. For pitchers I’ve replaced points per plate appearance with points per start. I’ve also included a column showing the percentage by which my points projections were off. Any player with an “n/a” listed in this column is because that player spent at least 30 days on the disabled list.

Lastly, a quick note about the rankings listed in this post. These rankings are based purely on points. This season I plan to provide additional rankings that allow me to adjust them based on three important factors: intuition, gut and my sporadic conversations with Nostradumass.

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With these top 100 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball, I’ve finished our (my) 2017 fantasy baseball rankings for positions.  Still coming will be a top 100 overall and top 500 to see how all the positions mesh together like your mesh Redskins jersey that meshes with your burgundy sweatpants.  Trust me, when you see how long this post is, you’ll be glad I kept this intro short.  As always, my projections are included, and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  If you want an explanation of tiers, go back to the top 10 overall and start this shizz all over again.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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