Can you smell that? Can you? It’s the smell of a brand spanking new baseball season about to begin and with it, the smell of popcorn, fully chewed Redman, hot dog-flavored water, and gun powder. Why gun powder? MURICA! That’s why! What are you a bunch of red commies that hate freedom? No?!?! Good! Now that we’ve established your patriotism, let’s move on to our first two-start pitcher post of the young season. As I did at the end of 2014, when I took over this ship, I’ll break down all of the starters into a few tiers based on quality of the pitcher and then of course their matchups. To back up just why I’m placing each pitcher into a particular tier, I’ll provide stats on the pitcher and the lineups they’re facing. Considering the only data I have at this point in the season to go on will be last year’s numbers…and what good are those? I’m going to skip this step and just do my rankings and usual blurbs per tier. After all, it is Week 1, and much like a toilet in a unisex bathroom, we’re dealing with everyone’s 1’s and 2’s. Plus, we have plenty of tools to help you figure this stuff out… So sit back, relax, catch ya contact, sip ya cog-ni-ac, and feel free to share your perspective in the comments. I didn’t think the last part about laundering money applied.

Shameless Plug Alert!!!! When you’re done here, head on over to Razzball Soccer and catch all the goodies that Smokey and I are providing for Fantasy Premier League!! Do it!

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This draft was so slow that I lost half my starting rotation before the draft ended. This draft was so slow that when it started Minnie Minoso was still alive. This draft was so slow when it started Tupac was still dead. I didn’t enjoy my time last year in the 15-team NFBC slow draft. I drafted Mark Trumbo, Prince Fielder, Cliff Lee, Anibal Sanchez and Patrick Corbin and my only chance was a big year from Nadir Bupkis, who gave me just that. See, there’s no waivers and the league is 50 rounds deep, so if you’re hit by injuries, you’re done. So, I was talked into doing the league one more time, but knew I had to draft starters early and often, and, of course, prior to the draft even completing I lost Zack Wheeler and Tony Cingrani. Many will disagree with me, but I’m under the firm belief that it’s a lot harder and more fun to win a league like a Razzball Commenter League, than it is to win a super-deep league. With super-deep leagues, if you’re hit by injuries, you’re done. That’s neither fun nor challenging. That’s just shizzy luck. You can say I should’ve known Wheeler and Cingrani weren’t safe, and I’d say to you that neither are any of the pitchers that are healthy all year. They just happened to stay healthy. It’s not like the guy that drafted Alex Cobb is any smarter than the guy who drafted (insert pitcher that is healthy right now that may not be healthy by the time you read this). How’s dem grapes? Sour! Anyway, here’s my 15-team, 5×5, roto, NFBC slow draft team and thoughts:

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Everything black was white and white was black. Everything up was down and down was up. I was a Girl Scout and the only cookies I could sell were Rah-Rah Raisins and I couldn’t give away the Samoas. I was an Asian in NASCAR. I was a five-foot, six-and-a-half-inch white boy that could hoop. (Actually, that last one is true.) I zagged when I usually zigged! And it felt okay. I didn’t wake in a puddle of sweat like I was a puppet in the Land of Confusion video, wondering what I had done. I didn’t burn all my old draft manifestos like I was trying to escape Olivia Pope from finding me out. I just went at it a little different. This league is a 15-teamer, OBP league, so I used Rudy’s rankings. I still knew which players I liked and didn’t like, but I decided to lean on Rudy, which makes for an interesting draft when Rudy was using the same rankings. For unstints, when Matt Holliday sat at the top of my board for two rounds, I knew Rudy was going to draft him. When Ian Kennedy sat at the top of my board, I knew Rudy was going to Marilyn Monroe that Kennedy. Though, I also knew if I wanted a guy sitting at the top of my board, I needed to act before Rudy. Okay, you’re primed, let’s start coating your mind with knowledge. (BTW, Our Razzball leagues are signing up still. Go there and sign up now!) Anyway, here’s the 2015 Tout Wars draft and my thoughts:

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Well at this point you kinda sorta maybe know what this is all about. I mean, I’ve now dropped April, May, June and July on you so if you’re lost about what we’re trying to look at it simply means you haven’t been keeping up. That’s ok, that’s what hyperlinks are for. Now if you’re asking me to spoon-feed you info…well, ok. Vvvvvvvvvvrooooooom, open the mental hangar, we’re about to drop some #PitchingIsSoDeep knowledge on you. We’ve been looking back at 2014 to get some feel for just how deep the pitching rabbit hole really went. Did we reach Wonderland? Well, I’m not here to make a verdict on either side but so far we have seen an abundance of ownable arms either for extended periods or for at least a few weeks that were sufficient if you didn’t draft a ‘top’ arm in the draft. Better yet, if your top arm was Jose Fernandez, you had your chances to make up for it. This isn’t a West Side Story thing, BTW. I’m not ‘team draft late arms forever’ any more than I am ‘draft Kershaw in the first’. I want to see both sides and weigh them out for myself so that’s why I’m here. Come join me, will you? Here’s the top August arms from the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season…

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My God, is it 2015 already? My how the time flies. It seems like only 365+ days ago it was January 1st, 2014! I hope you all had a Merry Festivus, a Happy New Year and maybe a great…President’s Day? IDK, I don’t know when you’ll get this blast from the 2014 fantasy baseball season past. It ain’t my place to say when this shall see the light of day. I just know I started a job and Imma finish it. We’ve been looking back at the fantasy baseball season through the eyes of pitcher rankings by month. We’ve now looked back at April, May, June, July, August (it’ll be out tomorrow because we like to keep you on your toes around here) and now, those who failed the sequence aptitude tests, guess what? We’re looking at September. It’s been an interesting series IMHO. IYHO, it was probably the worst but since IYHO isn’t real textual slanguage, I win so you will listen to every damn word I have to say. We’ve been exploring if #PitchingIsSoDeep really has merit which so far, there is some merit to it. That said, there’s a reason Kershaw finished numero uno on the player rater. But who’s that at #5? OH! *Fans self*. In reality, I wanted to see what the numbers had to say so I’ll let them speak for themselves. Here’s the final go at 2014 Fantasy baseball as we look back at the top pitchers from September…

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Today, it’s time for the top 60 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball, but, first, let’s jump in the world’s worst time machine and go back to this past Tuesday morning when Rudy released the Steamer Hitter/Pitcher projections along with the fantasy auction values for every conceivable league. If you go to the ESPN 12 team auction values (or any page from the menu on that auction value page), you’ll see little boxes above each column. Go to the POS box and type in SP. Frank Voila! Now it’s just listing pitchers (you can sort for whatever you want in the top boxes). Now click on the $/G box. It should turn black. You are now sorting by the dollars expected to earn per game for starters. If you click on the $K column, you are now sorting by who is expected to rack up the most Ks. So on and so forth. All of my 2015 fantasy baseball rankings are there. As always, my tiers and projections are included. Anyway, here’s the top 60 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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The CIA’s plan to work out of a Petco concession stand because the stadium is so quiet is looking far less like a good plan to stay covert. “Did you just ask for two mustard packets with your hot pretzel because you have some information for us or because you simply want an extra mustard packet? If it’s the latter, one per customer.” Probably the worst call for a covert operation’s headquarters since the CIA opened an office in Vegas in the 1940’s. “It’s just a desert, no one’s coming here.” So, the Padres traded for Justin Upton because they are obviously intent on deflating outfielder stats everywhere. At least this outfielder has two hips that don’t resemble Abe Vigoda’s. (Still alive as of this writing, but may not be by the time you read this.) Maybe the Padres can trade Kemp for Pujols to create the Up-My-Pujols lineup. I came down hard on Matt Kemp in the non-sexual way when he went to San Diego, but that had as much to do with him being the first new bat they acquired (no one around him in the lineup yet), his health and his flakiness. As with the Myers trade, I’m less inclined to write off Upton simply due to Petco. Upton’s a guy in his prime that has hit everywhere when healthy. I don’t like to put too much weight on a player’s stats in their new stadium when they were still playing as a visiting player, but Upton has 10 HRs and a .291 average in 172 ABs in Petco in his career. That’s a HR every 17.2 ABs, which is better than his career rate (1 HR every 23 at-bats). Petco played like its usual “Are you sure the fences are out there? I can’t see them” self last year, but in 2013 it wasn’t as bad after they moved in the fences prior to that season, so I think last year’s putrid offense was more the Padres hitters streaming into a confluence of crap. (By the by, Confluence of Crap was my worst selling album, despite Rick Reuben producing it. I should’ve paid the extra money for the non-imposter, Rick Rubin.) Even in Petco, Upton feels like a 25-27 homer guy, which is what he was before. His steals are leaving his game quicker than a rhinoceros with plantar fasciitis, and he’s not a huge average guy, but writing him off due to Petco feels a bit too easy. He’ll be hitting in the middle of a lineup that is at least as good as the Braves last year and in a nearly neutral ballpark. For 2015, I’ll give him 81/27/95/.266/8. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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So here we are, the last week of the season. If you’re playing now, you’re in the money game of your head-to-head league, or you’re in a dog fight to pull ahead in the roto standings. I’ve said this for the last three weeks but, congratulations! You did something right. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say there are a few things you definitely didn’t do, you didn’t draft Justin Verlander, you didn’t draft Buster Posey or Joe Mauer anywhere near the first 5 rounds, you didn’t invest in one of the top 3 closers, and you probably didn’t draft Dominic Brown (Sorry Tehol). They say fantasy championships are made after the draft. Whoever they are? Seriously do you know? I’m just going to guess that if there is a they that writes these cliches, then they know Nick Capozzi. Mostly because he knows everybody in the fantasy industry. I’m also going to assume it’s a secret club that I’m not privy to. You know, like Skull and Bones.  Wow that escalated quickly! Where was I? Oh yeah winning fantasy championships. Well my belief is that the secret to winning in the final week is pitching, and how you use your streams. If you’re in a H2H league with a limited move number than be careful. One must choose wisely. With this in mind I have created a new format for these posts. As I mentioned last week I had the vision of putting my rankings in spreadsheet form and providing a couple of key metrics I felt gave you the readers full transparency into my thought process. Well my vision is reality behold the new and improved two startapalooza. You’ll see that in addition to the Pitcher’s name and opponent, I’ve also provided the pitcher’s handedness, the pitcher’s Home/Road ERA, the opponent’s Home/Road wOBA, and the opponent’s Right/Left wOBA split. These are the numbers I look at most closely when creating my rankings for the week. So why not share them with you? Enjoy, I put some time into this and I believe you’ll find it extra helpful. I hope it also sparks more debate in the comments and gives you guys all the more reason to challenge my tiers. I’ve also made sure that I based my Two-Start roster off of Rudy’s new two start pitcher SON/tool. This way all the information mirrors each other and gives some continuity to the post. Thanks again for reading and I’m looking forward to bringing this format back next season. Go Get’Em!

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Yesterday, Wilmer Flores went 3-for-4, 2 runs, 6 RBIs with his 5th and 6th homers. With David Wright hurt, Flores has been playing every day. The Mets are thankfully still able to get Ruben Tejada into their lineup. The Mets said, “We’ve wanted to drop Tejada, send down Tejada or trade Tejada for a nickel on a dollar, but since we can’t figure out the paperwork, we’re playing him every day for the last three years.” No Met in particular said that; all of them did. Why do I care about Flores playing? In Triple-A in 2013, he hit 15 homers and .321 in 107 games. That was when he was 22 years old. Maybe he’s not God’s answer to Bac-Os and able to make every game better, but I bet he could’ve been as good as David Wright this year. The reason why baseball people and the media doesn’t like Wilmer is he fields like he has a golden glove. Not that he won a golden glove. Like he’s literally trying to catch grounders with a metal statue. If he gets a job out of spring training in fifteen after twenty, this won’t be the last time you hear me try to convince people Wilmer Flores isn’t bad. For now, he’s only viable in very deep leagues as we watch Flores’s stock bloom. Flores’s stock bloom! Flores’s stock bloom! Springtime for Wilmer, and the Mets… (BTW, when did this site become so pro-Mets? I feel dirty. Though, that could be because I haven’t showered since March.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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