Has there been any “sleeper” more hyped this season than Charlie Morton? It seems like we’re constantly being reminded of the spike in velocity, the swing and miss stuff, the combination of swinging strikes, and groundball rate. Knowing all this I was dying to profile Morton and see what all the noise is about. Speaking of Noise, my Pittsburgh scout, and favorite right testicle Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, has a basket full of hot takes on Morton, that mostly consist of different ways to say Charlie Morton sucks. Perhaps Noisey is right, perhaps all the lemmings in the fantasy industry are right. Much like the ATLiens that raised me to be an emotionally well adjusted gangster, I just stay in the middle and drop bombs, mostly in the toilet. I stay regular ladies and gents. Let’s take a closer look at this “new and improved” Charlie Morton, and see if it’s in fact a new recipe, or the same re-packed garbage.

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Matt Adams was acquired by the Braves for Juan Yepez, who was always a little too excitable for the Braves — Yepez!  See?  Not a good look.  It was a tearful exit from the Cardinals’ clubhouse for Adams.  His emotions hit a crescendo when he realized he couldn’t carry out all the food he had accumulated in the clubhouse refrigerator.  Through tears, “Why didn’t I learn to balance soda on my head like I was Jamaican?”  Hey, mon, they have grape soda in Atlanta.  Adams will be the 1st baseman in Atlanta until Freeman returns, while conceding to Loney on occasion, assuming Adams doesn’t try to eat him, “I thought his jersey read Baloney!  I’m a terrible person!”  Adams gets a boost in value, but mostly just for NL-Only and very deep leagues.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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We have our first big call-up of the major league season!!!  “Yoo-hoo!”  You want chocolate milk, Cody Bellinger?  “I was drawing attention to myself, since I was called up first.”  Oh, yeah, but you feel like you were always here.  “Oh, well, that’s nice of you to say–”  Shut up, Cody Bellinger!  Bradley Zimmer, now this is a call-up!  “I’ll be up soon!”  Shut up, Amed Rosario!  This is about Bradley Zimmer.  Zimmer is a guy who is a speed-first, power-second, average-third guy.  Actually, on base percentage second in leagues that count that sorta thing.  In Triple-A, he had five homers, nine steals and a 30% strikeout rate.  He looks like Keon Broxton who should be platooned out of the lineup against lefties.  I will call him, Right-on Broxton.  I grabbed him in all leagues where he was available, you don’t want to miss out on the first big call-up.  “Seriously, are you just ignoring me?”  Bellinger, you’re getting on my last nerve!  For 2017, I’d give Zimmer a line around 45/10/40/.235/20.  That could be the best call-up of the year.  “Seriously?!”  Shut it down, CB!  Oh, and I’m aware that Zimmer went 0-for-3 with 3 Ks out of the nine hole, but Bellinger looked lost thru a whole two starts too when he was first called up. “Keep my name out of your mouth!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Is there anything better than baseball on a rainy Saturday afternoon? You can’t do any yard work, you know, because it’s pouring, so you settle into your favorite chair, crack a beer, and you’re whisked away to a place much warmer, and much sunnier. Here I sit, beer in hand, ready to watch this week’s test subject Royals righty Nate Karns vs the first place Baltimore Orioles. The journeymen starter is on his 4th organization in five seasons, and there’s two ways to look at this. Either Karns can’t keep a job, or he’s highly “in-demand” by multiple teams throughout the league. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, never good enough to lock-down a rotation spot, but also good enough to find opportunity year after year. So far Karns has been a good fit in Kansas City, making his 7th start today vs. a surprisingly mediocre Orioles offense, one that ranks in the bottom half of MLB in nearly every offensive category. So the home matchup vs. Baltimore is a good one, even if it’s a first place club he’s facing…. Here’s what I saw on Saturday.

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We all have fears, no matter who you are, no matter what you’ve been through, you’re scared of something. It might be clowns, maybe it’s spiders, perhaps it’s being strapped to a chair Clockwork Orange style, and forced to watch a Ben Stiller movie marathon. Totally a plausible scenario, might I add. While not quite as frightening as any of the aforementioned options, I must admit, I have developed a new fear. And no it’s not the fear of Grey mistaking me for Giancarlo, and having to have him surgically removed from my toilet leg. No, that ain’t it, though I am frightened by that thought. It’s far more topical, and far less titillating. It’s the fear of covering a bad start in my weekly pitching profiles. What fate could be worse than writing up an absolute slugfest? What if the pitcher I pick is chased in less than 3 innings? What if he trips and falls jumping imaginary lines? Shizz happens, right? So to prevent this, I decided to pick out three games, record them, and use the start I like best. In my whitewashed, pre-fab world of pitching, there are no bad starts, only starters I poorly ranked.  So who did I go with? Who was this lucky recipient of my barely readable prose? Well, it just so happens, I decided to go ying to last week’s yang, and cover another young AL East starter, facing the Cubs on Sunday Night baseball. That’s right, this week’s Pitcher Profile is on Yankees righty Luis Severino. Not a bad time to dive into the young flamethrower as he’s hotter than fish grease.

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What you didn’t think I was going to go full homer with my debut pitching profile? I mean, it’s as if you don’t even know me? Suffice it to say we’ve turned the keys to the Top 100 pitching ship from one homer, to another. Truth be told, it was a busy weekend, as I covered for Grey on Friday, recorded the Prospect Podcast on that night with Halp, traveled to New York for Smokey’s 40th birthday, took in the Saturday Yanks vs. O’s game with Smokey and the crew, wrote my Minor League Update, and drove back to Massachusetts Sunday morning. Not to mention I was only tasked with this honor Thursday evening, right after I returned from my oldest son’s first baseball practice of the season. So to say it’s been a hectic few days is an understatement. However, a date for Edurado Rodriguez with the Cubs seemed like a good test for his new found swing and miss tendencies. It should be mentioned, that coming into the game Ed-Rod sported a 33 at bat hitless streak vs righthanded batters. So I was going to be paying extra attention as to how he attacked righties vs lefties, and what sequencing, pitch, etc. was leading to his success. Let’s get into it.

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Oh, hey there. Glad you could find time to visit us here at Razzball, even though it seems like the rest of the world is dry humping the NFL draft. I mean yeah, sure, I like football as much as the next person, but how awful is the first round? Seriously guys, just MAKE THE PICK! Is it necessary to have fifteen minutes between selections? The front office’s of all 32 teams have had the entire year to break down the information. Surely the final few minutes are not life and death. Remember, the Bears had all of the required data, interviews and film and still found a way to draft Mitch Trubisky. That will definitely leave a mark. That’s why I love writing this post every week. The tools here at Razzball make it almost too easy to make the right decision. If you haven’t yet, check out the Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron. After you delight yourself with their fantasy baseball prowess, make the right decision and subscribe to one of the many options offered. Consider it money well spent after you’re counting your winnings in October. Remember kids, just say no to bad decisions. Anyway, as always we’ll be assisted in our streaming journey by the suggestions of both the aforementioned Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron. I’ll give you a few of the gems that both these sexy bots have to offer up, while spicing up the recommendations with a few numbers that may or may not get your engine running hot. Rawwrr! Before we get started, let me remind you that every player recommended in this post will be owned in less than 50% of standard ESPN leagues. Let’s go streaming:

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In the 1700’s, magic meant going into an oven with raw meat and coming out wearing a hamburger as a hat.  That magic awed people, even though they had seen an oven and a hamburger before.  We’ve seen Thames before, and we’ve seen home runs before, but Eric Thames still feels like magic.  He is a modern day beef illusionist.  I will call him, David Copperfood.  Yesterday, Eric Thames went 3-for-4, 3 runs with his 7th homer, and 15th homer in the last four games, as he hits .405.  We go over Thames on the podcast that’s coming later today, but, damn, I wish I owned him everywhere.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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One quick note, our War Room guy from last year has dropped out, so if you guys (maybe four girls) want a War Room this year, someone needs to step up to make it happen.  I will take ready, willing and abled-bodied people in the comments.  Oh, who are we kidding, no one here is able-bodied!  I’ll take anyone, just comment and I’ll contact you.  This is for the downloadable Excel War Room.  Any hoo!  With the top 80 starters for 2017 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 Aaron Sanchez (pitcher, not chef), Rich Hill (pitcher, not sniglets) and Tanner Roark (pitcher, not Tattoo’s boss).  If you owned just them, you had a 2.74 ERA in 512 1/3 IP.  You really still think you need starters drafted early?  You throw in two earlier starters, say, Kluber and Gausman, and you have way too much pitching now.  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 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are there.  My tiers and projections are noted.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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The Winter Meetings concluded day two yesterday at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.  Seen at the Gaylord so far was the best free agent starter (Rich Hill) signing, one of the best closers available (Mark Melancon) signing, and Curt Schilling protesting that the Gaylord Resort should not be allowed to marry.  “Is it going to start calling a lobby ‘Bobby’ and adopt a baby too?”  That’s Curt Schilling with his own special brand of crazy. With Giants’ signing of Mark Melancon, I’m saddened to remember all the good times I had over the past few years with the Giants’ bullpen.  Here’s those times condensed into a single run-on sentence, “I can’t believe I drafted Santiago Casilla, ugh, maybe I’ll back him up with Sergio Romo, oh man, that hurts just as bad, fine, I will grab Hunter Strickland, and he’s killing me too.”  Scene.  Yeah, those times, in theory at least, are behind those owning the Giants’ new closer, Melancon.  For 2017, I’ll give Melancon the projections of 4-1/2.26/0.97/58, 42 saves in 62 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?