Did you see last night’s Yankee/Red Sox clash? No? It lasted a super fast 2 hours and 20 minutes and here’s a recap: Sale crushed souls to start the game and then gave up runs late. Masahiro Tanaka threw the year’s first Maddux (CGSO under 100 pitches) and it was glorious. Maddux’s are fantastic. The dominance and efficiency is a thing of beauty (Come on DFS sites, let’s get a Maddux bonus!). On the other side, the Red Sox offense continues to struggle. They have the league’s worst isolated power (.107) and are a below average offense (99 wRC+) with the league’s 2nd best BABIP (.319). They are thoroughly mediocre despite getting well above average offense from Benintendi (143 wRC+), Betts (144) and Moreland (151). Hanley (62), and Pedroia (66) are going to rebound, but I’m not sure that regulars Chris Young (77) and Pablo Sandoval (74) will improve by much – those numbers are likely just who those two players are at this point in their careers. A rebound from Hanley and Pedroia will likely be offset by the normal regression of Benintendi and Moreland and the extreme regression of Christian Vazquez after he just had the best 25 PAs of his life (254). All of this means the Red Sox might be an offense to target in GPPs with pitching because without Ortiz it relies on Betts and Benintendi and a bunch of average-ish bats.  As we are seeing with Toronto right now, you take a link or 2 away from a very top-heavy chain and the entire thing breaks down.

On to the picks once we celebrate the year’s first Maddux, which are better than no-hitters…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was talking to a couple of friends about baseball and the necessity of pitching and we agreed that we don’t need it.  IN Fantasy that is.  Don’t get me wrong, I like pitchers and realize they are an integral part of the game; I mean someone has to throw the ball.  Or do they?  We have pitching machines already, and we don’t have to worry about them getting hurt.  All we have to do is make them look cool.  Let Kayne design them.  Nah, you say, c’mon man, that’s crazy.  I know it is; I’m just looking forward to when we have half man/half machine and full on robots like Super Baseball 2020 for the Super Nintendo (or if you were a rich kid back in the day you had it on Neo Geo).  I don’t expect we’re getting there soon, and definitely not by 2020, but when we do I will be there cheering on Barry Bonds (if anyone is getting fused with a robot to play baseball it’s him, right?).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The ace who just last year produced the lowest ERA (1.66) in a single season among qualified starting pitchers since Greg Maddux in 1995 and the lowest WHIP (0.84) since Pedro Martinez in 2000 wasn’t supposed to struggle like this. But things haven’t exactly gone according to plan for Zack Greinke since signing a six-year, $208 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks this past offseason. His current 1.31 WHIP isn’t too far off from last year’s ERA and his current 4.59 ERA is almost triple that of last season’s mark. At this rate, Greinke and his fantasy owners are unlikely to remain friends forever. But what exactly has happened here? Is he going to turn things around, or was last season just a fluke?

Let’s take a look at Greinke’s profile to determine why he’s struggling and what can be expected from him moving forward. Here are a few observations:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Razzball is psyched to being taking part in the BBWAA Hall of Fame vote.  As the chief stat geek at Razzball, I take this responsibility very seriously.  I admit there are obstacles – e.g., determining the right paper size and stock for fashioning a  ballot (ours always gets lost in the mail), writing all the eligible players’ names, tracking down the BBWAA address, buying a stamp,  ignoring the ‘return to sender’ and ‘cease and desist’ letters from BBWAA, etc – but how best to honor the nominees’ perseverance than to show a little of my own, right?

Below is my 2014 Hall of Fame ballot  as well as some commentary on the Veterans ballot.  As you can surmise by my votes, I’m a PED realist (vs. moralist) with a slight bias towards hitters (particularly well-rounded 2B/SS/CF) vs pitchers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?