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Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…Brad Rowland, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Atlanta Braves!

Note: Want to take on M@ in the Razzball Commenter Leagues? Join here!

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The Red Sox signed David Price to a seven-year deal for $217 million.  MFW I heard.  I get that half goes to the government, and ten percent goes to his lawyer, and ten percent goes to his agent, and ten percent goes to his business manager, and ten percent goes to his accountant, and ten percent goes to the guy in his business manager’s office that is pretending to be his business manager and moving money straight to a bank account in Turks and Caicos without anyone knowing, but $217 million is ludicrous.  The Ghost of Curt Flood says, “Ya’ll abusing the crack baby out free agency.”  The ‘crack baby’ modifier is popular amongst ghosts.  The Ghost of Marion Barry started it.  This contract makes me long for the days of collusion.  This doesn’t even take into account how stupid it is from the Red Sox perspective, and I don’t mean just due to Price’s unstellar (Made Up Word of the Day!) playoff history.  There will never be a contract where this much money ever makes sense.  Look at your World Champion Royals, they don’t have one guy making more than ten million.  Look at the past handful of huge contracts, have any of them looked good in hindsight?  By the third year, this will look as egregious as the contracts given to Sabathia, A-Rod, Cano, Ryan Howard…Okay, nothing will look as bad as Ryan Howard’s.  It’s not like contracts are secret either.  It’s not as if the Red Sox are sitting there scratching their heads wondering how much the Royals are paying Hosmer.  Big contracts get you nowhere!  I said that last sentence while pounding my fist on a lectern as a few kids dozed in the front row.  As for Price, he’ll turn 31 years old during the 2016 season, which is not exactly when pitchers get better, but he looks like he could stave off decline for a year or two.  Last year, his fastball velocity went up from 2014, his K-rate was above his career average and his walk rate was within sneezing distance of his career mark.  He was a tad lucky on homers, LOB% and BABIP, but he appears to be 2.70-3.20 ERA pitcher with neutral luck.  Of course, I wouldn’t draft him since I don’t buy number one fantasy aces, but I doubt Fenway or the AL East really hurt him that much.  At least not until the third year of his deal when there will be 217 million reasons why the Red Sox want to unload him.  For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 17-7/3.03/1.10/225 in 220 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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How do you quantify the pure power of you, yes you, the loyal Razzball Nation commenter?

How about with an 82 ranking as if from nowhere!

I’ve actually seen Nate Karns pitch in AAA, and I remember not being too impressed…  Then again I was balls deep in craft beer and a footlong hot dog with BBQ and slaw on it, so there’s that…

I really haven’t seen too much of Karns this year, but what I have seen heading into yesterday’s start is a pretty good fastball with a solid knucke-curve.  Nothing “blow you away”, but enough to keep hitters honest.  And with a garbage-ish pool of pitchers to stream in a couple of leagues where I’m behind in my innings quota, Karns was my stream of choice against a struggling White Sox offense yesterday.  Boy was I happy with the result!  So I decided to go back and watch this start complete with all of the Pitcher Profile bells and whistles to see if there’s something a little deeper here than just a 10 or 12-team matchup streamer:

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The infidels are coming. They are storming the stronghold and sieging the castle. Cover your children’s eyes and lock up your grandmas. As a general rule, I’m not drafting a middle “infidel” early unless it comes at great value or I’m tinkering with the zig strategy. Scarcity has over taken too many owners who pass up great numbers to fill a positional need and have been blinded by the fact that numbers are numbers. As I’m writing this, I’m looking at all the great depth for MI and I wonder why the heck should I even be writing this. It’s pretty obvious that there is great upside late by reading Grey’s coverage of second base. Add to that some of the bounce back golden oldies, and you got generations at the keystone. Speaking of golden oldies, did you all catch the ridiculously redumbasshatily things Brandon Phillips had to say the other day?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Let’s break this down like Murray Chass would want it. Felix Hernandez has the 2nd best ERA in the AL, fourth most Ks, and 14 wins. When his team needed a win more than anything, so Grey (me) could possibly collect on a preseason bet he foolishly made for the Mariners to win the World Series, Felix choked up 8 ER in 4 2/3 IP, raising his ERA to 2.34. Felix has the 2nd best xFIP, 3rd best WAR for a pitcher and 8th best K-rate, but since we’re doing this as Murray would’ve wanted it, “What the flip is xFIP and I fought in Dubya Dubya Two and F-Her doesn’t know anything about WAR! Now stop with the Pollyanna chicken crap!” Did F-Her just lose the Cy Young award? He did if all the voters are subjected to a fifteen minute wait in a post office line with Mr. Chass. “Mr. Chass, did you print out an email to snail mail it?” “I don’t trust the internet!” Did the Mariners just lose all hope at the playoffs? F-Her, you effed me. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Adam Wainwright went 6 IP, 3 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks as he was out-dueled by Jeff Locke (7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks). Wainwright being out-dueled seems to be the norm lately. In August, his ERA is 5.17 and he says he’s going through a ‘dead arm’ phase. Ways that a dead arm could help (in no particular order): tricking a zombie while playing dead, making your other arm feel more alive, doorstop, can’t pick up a bill because your wallet is in the dead arm pocket, screaming out “Sorry, dead arm!” when cutting off people while driving and making your Bernie Lean more believable. Ways that a dead arm won’t help: pitching. Verlander’s arm must be so dead that necrophiliac stray dogs try to constantly hump it. You have to hold onto Wainwright and hope he comes out of it, but obviously this was not what you wanted to hear. By the by, Rudy tells me after he learned his wife was preggers with twins he went through a ‘dead penis’ phase. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Amish text states vociferously that a Quackenbush should not render thou’s biblical nature moot. Stating, “Eroticism is the devil’s electricity, and our brains should not be hardwired to flip any switches when our nature’s bell rings. You may want to churn butter into the Quackenbush–” I just realize I had a smudge on my Amish Schoolchildren Early Education textbook and it’s not Quacken, it’s Quaker. That is my bad. So, Joaquin Benoit could be headed to the DL, and even if he’s not, he’s dealing with a shoulder issue and may not be effective. In every league I needed saves, I’d grab Kevin Quackenbush. And, if truly desperate, I’d even grab Dale Thayer. As for a Quaker bush, well, caution is advised. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Boy let me show ya how to make that trade
How to spend that money how to win your league and get paid
Girl let me show how to hit that wire quick
How to get that d!ck, don’t give back lip
Go head do what you do make it work for ya!

Beddict  don’t play when it comes to money
I guess that’s why I’m okay when it comes to money

Hit Jay on the hip Guru on the celly
Rudy call Grey, I get ’em for the R.Kelly
That’s seventeen a chicken, you know Beddict tha bird man
Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia. I know the Byrd gang

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Just as George wants to be draped in velvet, I want to be draped in Kazmir. Speaking of fabric names, when are we going to get a pitcher with a name like Velvet? Velour? Tweed? Like the very expensive, warm, comfortable fabric, Scott Kazmir ain’t coming to you cheap today, $8,400 to be exact. This is no bargain basket blue light special. This is spending your money and getting your money’s worth. My new Kazmir toga will be the envy of the community. Looking good Jack, that Kazmir looks perfect on you. Thanks DraftKings regulars. Being that today is off day Thursday you have limited options. Speaking of off days, I was watching the 1980’s b-movie classic Mischief the other night during a bout of insomnia. Besides waiting to see Kelly Preston’s boobs and seeing some sweet rides it was just passing time. In the main characters pursuit to lose his virginity he fumbles and stumbles his way to the goal line. Oops! Sorry, that was a football reference my baseball friends. On his way to hitting a home run I was reminded of how this year has gone for many of us. FRUSTRATING!!! If this was twitter the trending would be #TommyJohn and #DL. It’s like I’m trapped in a theater after buying a ticket for Goodfellas and they show us Corky Romano. Hey this isn’t the gangster flick I paid for? Raise your hand if you feel we are in a bizarro season? In all this crazy though we have a stud that has a 2.05 ERA (1.45 at home) facing a team that is ranked 21st on the year in team batting according to Fangraphs. Do we need anything else? He’s been a steal all year and even went undrafted in some 12 team leagues. Sky, our resident deep league writer, has a huge crush on him and keeps a picture of him in his wallet.

Just like last week I encourage everyone to try DraftKings at least once. Nah, let’s shoot for a half dozen times. We have been doing some play with the DK writers league with really good turnouts. If you would like to play with us just post your DraftKings user name in the comments and I will make sure Ralph, our resident organizer, gets you added to the list and we’ll send you invites for when we play. It’s been a blast playing with everyone so far and the more players we get the more fun we’ll have. Here is what else I have for you today:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Royals are Daddy Rich from Car Wash or Max Scherzer owed Verlander a favor. “Hey, Scherzer, do me a solid and do a solid on the mound so my Monday start doesn’t look so bad. You feel me? If you do, I got a Ms. Upton to feel you.” Little did Scherzer know that Verlander wasn’t talking about Kate Upton, but about Justin and B.J.’s sister, Misshapen. “Misshapen, your legs are so curvaceous they remind me of the coastline of Africa.” Or maybe Verlander is just spreading something around the clubhouse. Anibal, you better not touch him or I will know it! Scherzer only lost once all of last year at home, which is slightly misleading like I’m saying he is that much better at home. He only lost twice on the road last year and his ERA on the road was almost a run and half lower. Yesterday, it all went to pot — Lincecum, “That’s where I want to go!” — as Scherzer gave up 10 runs in four innings. Leyland was right. Pitchers are like barbecuing pork. You need a lot of indirect smoke to tender up their shoulder and get ’em right. If this allows a buying opportunity on Scherzer, unlike Verlander, I do think this was a hiccup rather than a long, extended burp. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?