When I say uptick, I mean that with the slightest bit of tick that any tick can offer.  But any positive in a stat that was headed for the extinct list like that Rhino on Tinder is a fantastic thing.  Through the first month of the season, there were 28,022 plate appearances across all games in MLB, accounting for 399 stolen bases.  This number is better than it was last year, but way off the pace it was in 2015, 2014, and 2012.  So for all the hub bub that I created with the stat being a dying entity, and one that really has fallen by the wayside of chasing, there may be a pulse.  Albeit a slight one.  Steals still don’t have a face, but for stat purposes and chasing, there may be a nose.  Maybe half an ear and maybe some dimples.  Welcome to the Terrorome of speed and saves.  As I drop some stupid goodness and general domineering debauchery that only Smokey and Razzball can deliver… Get comfy, it’s late Tuesday let’s get crazy, but home before the street lights come on.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Corey Kluber left yesterday’s game with lower back discomfort, before giving up five earned in three innings to the Tigers.  In every game, the Tigers look like John Jaso, just dreadful.  I mean, you ain’t got no alibi.  U-G-L-Y.  Then Kluber makes them look like The Ghost of Charley Lau is gliding each bat from beyond the grave.  “Don’t worry, Alex Avila, I will help you hit .400 and don’t forget to buy your mother a gift for Mother’s Day.”  “Hey, Ghost of Charley Lau, you help with the hitting and let my iCal do the rest!”  That’s so ungrateful, Alex Avila!  Looking at Kluber’s peripherals, there’s some cause for concern, but cause for optimism too, assuming his back will be fine (maybe a large assumption).  His velocity is down a hair, but his Ks, walks, and xFIP are not saying he should be pummeled like a gymnast’s horse.  His Aprils have been terrible for the last two years (yes, I know we’re in May), so I’m hoping Kluber comes out of it.  At worst, he’s a 3.70 ERA guy with 200+ Ks.  At best, it all still comes together. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mat Latos has been on six different teams since 2015, DFA’d three times and some how is still pitching in the big leagues. He’s actually been pitching pretty well in his couple starts this season, carrying a 3.27 ERA and has only allowed 1 HR in his 11 innings.  However, a trip to Yankee stadium on Tuesday night should change those numbers in a hurry. New York Yankees currently rank first in runs scored and HRs hit in the American league. Meanwhile, Latos FIP is 5.48, so his 3.27 ERA doesn’t tell the whole story; he is due for one of those outings where he gives up a couple long balls and 6-7 runs. Bats like Aaron Judge ($7,600), Didi Gregorius ($7,200), Jacoby Ellsbury ($7,500) and Starlin Castro ($7,200) could prove to be a nice stack for the night.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

There’s no denying that Madison Bumgarner works hard. Well, he plays even harder. So it should have come as no surprise when news broke that the San Francisco ace was placed on the disabled list after injuring his left shoulder in a dirt bike accident. Wait. You were doing WHAT? But why!? You can’t expect Madison to get his kicks doing regular pleb things like playing Xbox or frisbee golf, it’s gotta be EXTREME. Regardless, this is a huge blow for Giants fans and Bumgarner owners alike. Madison is sporting a 3.00 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 28/4 K/BB rate through four starts and early reports suggest he is set to miss over two months. Bummer. But honestly, what do you want from the guy? For him to not participate in dangerous extreme sports on his days off? I mean, come on, his hands were tied. Ty Blach is set to fill in the interim. Blach and his just 21.2 innings of major league experience. Blach is a ground ball pitcher with just a 13.4% strikeout rate, so he’s probably not the answer to your Bumgarner woes. More like, Ty Blech, right? Lol. He is slated to take on the Dodgers next week, but if you’re feeling dangerous you’d likely be better off dirt biking than picking up Ty Blach outside of deep NL-Only leagues. Here’s hoping at the very least Bumgarner got some sick air.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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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Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here we are, the third of four posts about the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft. Previously, I posted recaps of rounds 1-6 and rounds 7-12. This post is for rounds 13-18. The final post will be for rounds 19-23. Complicated stuff, I know. But try to keep up.

In case you have yet to see my previous posts, here is a quick recap of the league rules for this mock:

This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1).

As I have done with the other posts, I’ll post the results below by round and will offer a few of my thoughts for each round…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As we continue our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings, we head into the homestretch of ranking hitters.  For those confused, homestretch isn’t when you shoot up late at night, remembering there’s a Dorito under the couch and go reaching for it.  That is the opening to my short film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dorito.  The main character has just been Frito-Laid off and is described as Pringley and Ruffled.  Last year, this post had Adam Duvall, Jackie Bradley Junz, Jay Brucespringsteen and a bunch of vomit.  So, there is some value to still be found in the outfielders, it’s just a matter of finding it, like in the landmark film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dorito.  As with the other rankings, my projections are included and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greetings, friends. I hopped over to the football side of things once last year’s baseball season ended, but now I’m back. And apparently, I am such a disturbed individual that I am doing fantasy baseball mock drafts in early January. And, I am writing about them. And, well, I just wanted to start another sentence with and because it feels so wrong but so right at the same time. Anyway, moving on.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft, and we’re going to recap it here. This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1). As long as I did that math correctly, that is 23 spots.

Below, I will provide the results for the first six rounds and a give my thoughts for each round. I’ll do the same for rounds 7-12, 13-18, and 19-23 in subsequent posts. I’ll try to keep it brief. All we really care about are the results here, right? Feel free to tell me how awesome or crappy you think my team is, along with what you think were the best and worst picks of the draft or the different rounds…

Please, blog, may I have some more?