It might surprise you to learn that a catcher was the most added player in ESPN leagues last week. That’s right. A catcher. You’re probably thinking that it’s some hot prospect who looks like the next coming of Mike Piazza. In that case, you’d be wrong. Very, very wrong. It’s actually 30-year-old journeyman catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Salty’s smacked 6 homers in just 48 plate appearances this season, which has some fantasy owners dreaming of a cheap 20 homers from their recent waiver wire find. He has hit 25 homers in a season before (2012), and power has never been an issue for Salty. What has been an issue is making consistent contact. He’s one of 11 players in MLB history (min 2000 PA) with a 30+% K% in his career, and his 32.4% K% since the beginning of the 2014 season is the 3rd highest in MLB over that span (min 600 PA) behind only Mike Zunino and Tyler Flowers. This season, he has a 37.5% K% and his early power outburst is largely due to a 33.3% HR/FB (career 13.8%). Same old Salty. Enjoy the hot streak but don’t get too attached. Too much Salty will give you high blood pressure.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

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Yesterday, Buster Olney tweeted, “Kevin Gausman is pitching tonight probably exactly the way the Orioles hoped on the day they drafted him.  Dominant stuff.”  Putting aside the unnecessary “probably” — you’ll never win a Twitter Pulitzer with needless hooha! —  is this what the Orioles hoped for?  Because it’s felt at times like the Orioles were waiting for Gausman to say some sort of secret oath to let him into the rotation and, without Podrick to prompt him, he didn’t know said oath.  By the by, I can’t look at Brienne of Tarth and not see Conan O’Brien.  Perhaps, it’s me (it’s not).  If the Orioles wanted Gausman to pitch probably exactly like this, wouldn’t they have put him in the rotation and left him alone for the last *covers mouth* years?  Not to answer, but to knowingly nod while you undress your computer with your eyes.  Since I have shares in that facacta noodle-hanger Archer, I watched the better part of Gausman’s start, and he looked better than what the boxscore says, and the boxscore says, “Yum, choco-latte.”  It also says 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks in his first start back.  Gausman has the stuff to be a number one, but at worse a number two.  Not saying he will be this year; that’s just his stuff.  He probably exactly should be already, but probably exactly hasn’t been.  Still, I would grab him in any leagues where I needed upside.  A 8+ K/9, 2.7+ BB/9, 3.75 ERA starter is probably exactly what you’ll get.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Bryan Price, always one for colorful language, should go full Tony Montana about his relievers, “Look at that, I got a junkie bullpen, mang.  My bullpen is so polluted!  I can’t even have a save with that bullpen.  It’s so polluted!”  After his Montana rant, Price could clarify who will save games in his bullpen through a string of curse words and em-effers.  Yesterday, Price said they’d go to a committee.  Great, maybe they can make a camel.  Hoover’s out, Jumbo’s gone because his physique reminded them too much of their ERA.  Caleb Cotham could see some saves, and he’s been good vs. minor leaguers, but he’s been honing his craft in the minor leagues for a while.  This isn’t like a potter who needs time to hone his ashtray-making skills before hitting the big-time flea markets.  Being in the minors long just means you might never achieve success in the majors.  Going for Cotham is that he throws righty and he hasn’t failed yet.  Then there’s Tony Cingrani, who I grabbed on Tuesday.  He has been decent enough in the bullpen this year, but he’s a lefty and he blew the save yesterday in the 8th inning.  Oh, and there’s Blake Wood, who is reminiscent of Jeanmar Gomez, and we know how well that turned out.  *intern whispers in my ear*  Seems that so far Jeanmar has worked out okay.  For now, I’d own Cingrani then Cotham, but this is nigh-thurr pretty nor set in stone.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Bartolo Colon MLB Logo

The night slate is…hrm, how best to put this? Not good for pitching. Like uglier than the dude in the pic above this sentence ugly. If you’re in the eleven game grouping tonight, you’re gonna wonder where the safe arms are. Well, from what I see you ain’t got none and for that reasoning, I’m out here looking for something that feels safe. Plushy, soft, and supple. Something that makes me feel like I could curl up and fall asleep on it’s giant Buddha belly. Admittedly, I don’t like the idea of going to the well over and over against the Phillies because you know it’s eventually got to have a regression to the positive which would be negative for us, but here I am looking at Bartolo Colon for the night. Fluffy, stay puft marshmallow man that he is, Colon is 42 years young and rarely walks hitters. And why would you when your fastball sits at 89.8? All jokes aside, the reality is Colon throws strikes and spots his pitches well…except when he doesn’t. Then he looks like he’s pitching BP. Obvi I’m hoping for the good Bartolo and not the bad one tonight but with a slate full of nasty, his 5.5K price tag makes him appealing as a cash relief so you can pay up for big bats. You get peak Bartolo, you’re getting about 22 points which more than offsets the memory you rostered this. So on this night, realize you only live once and roster a guy who looks like he should’ve keeled over and died ten times at this point. But enough about that, let’s talk about this. Here’s my triple coronary bypass hot taeks for this Wednesday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Grey beat me with the parallel to the other Aaron Sanchez, so I’ve got to cook up something different! …dammit.

As I mentioned in my first in-season re-ranks last week, I mentioned I always liked [the real] Aaron Sanchez‘s stuff and had some of my worst early-season regret not ranking him higher. But after that sizzling (…crap) debut, 5 K and 3 BB against the Yankees in his second course (…ahhhh!). It was still a quality start, but if he keeps walking guys, he’ll be a recipe for disaster (…OK, I’m done).

While it’s still too early to make blanket judgment calls, it’s nice to start having 3-game samples on starters as we head into week 3. Sanchez is likely owned in most mixed leagues, but in the RCLs where the name of the game is streaming, I wanted to see how “must-hold” he is in formats where starting pitchers are cycled in-and-out more than sex jokes in Two Broke Girls. Oh my god, have you seen that show?! Wife loves it, but it’s written by 12-yr-olds who giggle during sex ed class in middle school! Speaking of: “boobies”. Tee-hee! Wow, this got way off track. One of the more interesting starters going on Sunday afternoon, I decided to break down Sanchez’s third start on the young season to see how his command is maturing (hopefully maturing faster than I am…):

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We’re finally starting to settle into the season!  The Opening Week jitters are gone, and while we still say “small sample size” on everything – it’s not the size of the data but how you use it!

With starting pitching, most guys have only made their first start on the year – a few top-of-the-rotation guys have made two – so unless you see something drastic, you’re not panicking.  And full disclosure, I wrote this intro before Joe Ross‘s first start, so admittedly I am a little nervous…  I have several shares of Ross – on all my redrafts teams, I ranked him crazy high, he’s going to have my first born child…  But whatever happens, it’s still only one start!  This is one of the most nerve-racking Pitcher Profiles I’ve done!

My heavy investment in Ross made him an easy choice to break down for the first Profile on the young season, so here’s how he looked on Sunday afternoon hosting the Marlins, after having his start Saturday night postponed:

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“With my last trick, I will make Paul Simon six feet tall, while throwing a 94 MPH fastball with pinpoint control.”  Then Ray Searage waved a fancy-style cape in front of the audience.  It didn’t block their gaze, but it was such an exotic-looking garment, they were distracted enough to not notice a six-foot-tall Paul Simon walk onto stage, towering over Art Garfunkel.  Simon then threw a brushback pitch while singing Home Plate Bound.  Prior, of course, Searage made the seemingly all-over-the-map Juan Nicasio into an ace.  Or at least an ace in spring training.  Do I believe Nicasio is fixed because of some spring training stats?  Actually, yeah, he could be, and is worth a flyer.  Last year, he averaged 95 MPH on his fastball, and his undoing was always his control, which Searage has helped other pitchers conquer.  Bring Searage your stuff, and he’ll make it work.  I added Nicasio into the top 80 starters and gave him the projections of 8-10/3.81/1.33/148 in 165 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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It’s been a helluva busy morning. Your boss is on your case to get that report in by the end of the day. You only got to spend five minutes checking out Razzball today. Work sucks. Thankfully, it’s lunchtime, and just in the nick of time too. You’re famished. You’re on the clock though. Don’t have a whole lot of time to dick around and enjoy a sit down meal. You need to grab something quickly. Panera’s out. Look at that ridiculous line. Is there a “you pick three” special today or something? Chick-fil-A and Chipotle are out too. It seems like everyone is eating out today. But there are only four cars in the McDonald’s drive through. Looks like it’s the McHeat lamp special for you today! Cheap, quick, and somewhat edible. Not the worst thing in the world, but not exactly what you were looking for either. More of a “plan D” than anything else.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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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…Max Rieper, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Kansas City Royals!

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With the top 80 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball, we are so close to the end of the rankings I can almost taste it!  Wait, that’s not rankings I taste, I bit my lip and it’s blood.  I wonder if when Dracula bites his lip it’s like when Cougs goes out with her friends and I’m left at home while Emmanuelle is on Cinemax.  You might say to yourself, “Self, everyone is totally fooled by my toupee and do I really need to draft starters this deep in my friendly 12-team mixed league?”  You don’t, except you will own guys from this post this year either from the draft or from waivers or your leaguemates will own them and beat you.  Last year, in the tier of pitchers I liked in the top 80 starters was Wacha, Carlos Martinez and Heaney.  They had an ERA of 3.26 in 467 IP.  You put three guys like that together with, say, Kluber and Rodon and you have all the pitching you need.  Or team three starters like that with Hamels and Corbin or Ventura and Lester.  I’ll go over exactly how to draft starters in a few days, but there are so many ways to skin a cat we should have PETA breathing down our necks.  All the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings are there.  My tiers and projections are noted.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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