Yeah, I did already use this title, didn’t I?! Manaea? Maeda? Tomato? Tomatto?! Let’s call the whole thing off! What’s funny is Sean Manaea and Kenta Maeda couldn’t be more different either, with the former is a lefty hard-thrower, and the other a righty craftsman…

I got a good amount of flack the first few weeks of the Pitcher Profile ranks for not moving Maeda way up, but I think he’s going to end up a pretty average pitcher in fantasy terms – something akin to a standard league SP4. Like Grey’s Pulitzer-winningMatt Harvey is sucking because of the playoff workload last year” advice on the Podcast, I’ve always maintained the entirely unique and previously un-thought “Maeda could start strong, but will fade as the league sees him more.” We’re all about the hard-hitting advice here at Razzball!

We’ve begun to see the cracks in the armor from Maeda (can’t use a different phrase because of Jeremy Lin, thanks ESPN). After a 0.36 ERA through his first 4 starts, he sported a 5.82 the next 4 heading into yesterday afternoon. Didn’t expect it to regress this fast! Comments exclaiming for a Maeda move-up in my ranks certainly went away! But within this 8-start microcosm, I indeed think Maeda is somewhere in that law of averages. So after a few requests for a Maeda profile, I decided to break down his start yesterday afternoon in a saucy matchup at Petco to see how he looks.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The season is here baby! Boy what an awesome opening day… The Cardinals are in dead last in the NL Central! So beautiful…

Hard to believe we’re going into year 4 of the Pitcher Profiles. So much profiling! And it’s the 3rd year of the weekly re-ranks. I’m doing so much SP heavy-lifting that I might have a UCL injury!

Speaking of injuries, a lot has changed since I put out my initial ranks exactly a month ago, but it feels like this Spring was a little more injury-free than last year. In fact, the biggest elbow injury wasn’t even a pitcher! Take that, pitching detractors! It’s mostly been some surprise risers (my K:BB obsession gave me a Juan NicasiO-face looking at his stats!) and some guys losing their opening day rotation spot (wahhhh Paxton, whyyyyy?!). As always, green for ascenders and red for The Descenderists, who as a band should be marked in red. I haven’t heard anything about them for years!

We’ll be getting into the Profiling next week (everyone watched those first 3 games, seems silly to profile any of those Opening Day guys), so get ready for some GIFfing magic! Here’s my updated top 100 SP for the first week of the fantasy baseball season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Rockies made official what seemed inevitable for the last week, Trevor Story will be the starting shortstop in Colorado.  As a visiting dignitary gets a key to the city, Story earned the shortstop job and was handed one of Tulo’s old hamstrings.  “May your hamstrings stay forever young.”  That’s Rod Stewart doing the honors.  No idea why Colorado hired Rod Stewart to handle that ceremony.  I upped Story in my top 20 shortstops, and cranked up his projections.  His Ks have been a problem in the past, but it’s Coors, so how bad could it be?  “Should I answer?”  No, Josh Rutledge, it’s a rhetorical question.  I’m fascinated to see what the Rockies are going to do with Jose Reyes.  He’s owed a lot of money to become a straight bench player.  Maybe the Rockies will just cut him.  Maybe MLB will suspend Reyes for the season.  Maybe the Rockies will hire Mo’nique to throw Reyes threw a glass door.   Maybe if I had dollars instead of maybes I’d be rich.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I briefly considered doing a closers to target post, but that’s Smokey’s domain and I didn’t want any trademark infringements happening.  I do like the price of (insert closer name going after 200th overall) because of SAGNOF!  Today concludes the fantasy baseball sleepers‘ portion of our program.  *nudges homeless woman sleeping on my couch that I tried to get Cougs to agree to a threesome with*  No more sleepers, Francine.  Meh, I’ll let her rest.  Like the outfielders to target and the middle infielders to target (shortstops and 2nd basemen), this post is necessary.  You need to target the right names at the end of the draft for starters.  Last year’s starters to target post included Danny Salazar and Shelby Miller.  The year before included Corey Kluber and Sonny Gray.  This year…the world!  Well, not the world, just some starters.  As with other target posts, these guys are being drafted after the top 200 overall.  Anyway, here’s some starters to target for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Baseball is over!  Wait, um, what World Series?  My Brewers aren’t in it, so I’m not watching…  i.e. I never watch the World Series…

2015 was a very interesting year for pitchers with a lot of unique things – guys coming out of nowhere, a lot of TJ surgeries, a crazy amount of Ks…  Wait, OK, never mind, it was about the same!  Hopefully with the doldrums of winter upon us for fantasy baseball, you hopped into some fantasy basketball leagues and can join us for an indoor fantasy sport!

Recapping February ranks can be pretty eye-opening.  As in, seeing my Chris Archer rank makes me want to gouge my eye out!  Maybe that would be eye-closing then…  Anywho, for the second straight season I went through my top 100 from Spring to see what went right and what went Chien-Ming Wang.  I think I did a little better than last year, especially when you consider James Paxton was easy to drop and didn’t just pitch bad all year…

You’ll find below in this War and Peace-esque recap SP sorted by my initial SP ranks in February, Grey’s SP pre-ranks in the top-400 sortable ranks post, ESPN’s SP pre-ranks based on whenever that list came out (I tried to find their most standardized ranks), then compared them to their Razzball Player Rater finish amongst SP.  I also mention a few times my ranks edit right before the season, since it’s not really fair to grill me on Yu Darvish.  No, Yu’re injury prone!  With all those numbers thrust together to showcase best and worst calls, I review each pitcher and include which top-40 pitchers I failed to rank.  I cut it off at 40 to make me look better, there were like 7 I didn’t rank between 40-50 and I’m lazy!  Haha.  And I promise, no more hyperlinks in the open!  Here’s the recap to 2015’s starting pitching ranks:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We have one reader in Nigeria who emails me privately about how I’ve won large amounts of muney (sic), so I don’t need to be working, which means this is more of a PSA, and should be taken even more seriously:  Starling Marte is a God.  There’s Jesus, there’s his Dad, there’s Jehovah, there’s Mormons’ magic underpants, there’s whoever the Jews pray to — Mel Brooks? — there’s Chief Jay Strongbow, there’s the Pope, there’s Allah, there’s Halla, the Arab God for dyslexics, and there’s others, I’m sure.  My God is Starling Marte.  You know how the religious say, “Peace be with you?”  For baseball players, they should say, “May you always hit in Coors.”  Yesterday in Coors, Marte went 4-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, which is the rainbow jimmies on the ice cream that has been his season.  He has 18 HRs, 29 SBs and is hitting .288.  Right now, he’s around top 25 on our Player Rater.  For 2016, it’s gonna be hard for me to wait past the top 20 overall.  Yes, he’s that good, and I may just rank him above McCutchen.  Oh, snap!  Don’t need the police to try to save them, your voice will seize, so please, stay off my back or I will attack and you don’t want that.  Hit the bass, hit the anyway and let’s do this!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Brandon Finnegan pitched five innings allowing just three hits an earned run, two walks, while striking out four to notch his first win with the Cincinnati Reds last night. James Joyce would be so proud. Although his praise would be written in the form of a street ballad that would take years to completely analyze and understand. Finnegan was the big get in the Johnny Cueto deal with Kansas City and we are starting to see why. The 22-year old lefty showed good control with a low 90s fastball and nasty change up. Used primarily as a situational lefty with the Royals, the Reds are committed to stretching Finnegan out as a starter, and it looks like that decision could pay off in the long run. Brandon was sharp last night shutting down a strong Milwaukee offense and now holds a 2.38 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with a 29/16 K/BB rate. Finnegan is more of a name to keep in the back of your mind for your 2016 drafts but I could also see streaming him next week versus the Cardinals if you feel like gambling on some rookie nookie.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Unfortunately when you watch a lot of baseball, there’s guys who at the eye-level look awesome (whoa, not like that though!) that turn out to just never put forth the numbers.  You get this big lumbering Canadian, with this long but smooth delivery, hitting high-90s at times, and you get all excited and…  It turns out to be James Paxton‘s bumpy start to his career.  A few nice stretches, but very inconsistent Ks, inconsistent control, AND THE INJURIES!!  Long-term lat strain last year, he sprains both his forearms tripping in Spring Training, then sprains a finger tendon which keeps him out almost this entire season.  Hey Pax, I have a finger with a sprained tendon for ya too!

Even with all these injuries, I still think I’ll rank Paxton favorably next year…  Eesh, I just know I will…  But I did want to see his final starts of 2015 before my off-season work…  So I decided to break down his return off the DL yesterday afternoon hosting the Rockies to see if he’s worth a spot start or two for the stretch run, or will be the worst ranked pitcher yet again in my 2016 ranks:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Troy Tulowitzki left Saturday’s game after colliding with Pillar.  That was the same way Julius Caesar hurt himself, forcing him out of baseball and into ruling.  Crazy what the stadiums were made of that the Romans used to play in.  Alas, as Caesar said, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Those roads over there took seven months!  Freakin’ teamsters.”  The MRI on Tulo’s ribs and back came back negative, though it was as in:  Doctor, “Can you move?”  Tulo, “Negative, Doc.”  Because what the MRI originally failed to mention was his cracked shoulder blade.   He won’t be shaving with that shoulder blade anytime soon!  Or possibly playing baseball for two to three weeks, according to the Blue Jays.  Ryan Goins is Goins to fill-in, and that’s the Blue Jays’ shortstop comings and Goins!  Stay tuned for more fantasy news and reborts coming up after the break.  Offscreen voice, “It’s reports, not reborts, you jackass.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m back baby!

It’s been sad these past two weeks off from the Pitcher Profiles, but fortunately I could drown my sorrows in all-inclusive, all-day drinking on the honeymoon. YES I DID GET A STRAWBERRY DAIQUIRI, GREY! Although it didn’t stain my mustache, especially since a month long of growth would just be shameful peach fuzz…

We’re now through the bulk of the season and heading into the stretch run, which means Sky has only September left to get to 1,000 moves in our quote-expert-unquote RCL league. If expert meant constantly dropping 6-7 duds every morning, than I’m an expert in my thrown room if ya catch my drift… And on the pitching side, once you get to about 50ish in my ROS ranks, they all can be given the evacuation. But I’ve been really bullish on ranking Luis Severino since his promotion, who I think is a must-own even through these final streaming weeks.

It’s a little hard to stay light-hearted and joke-y with what happened in Atlanta on Saturday night, but obviously my condolences to the fan’s family and we’re supposed to have fun in fantasy, so we won’t delve any more into that. Instead, let’s embrace what we love on the field, which is some nasty breaking stuff and hitters getting baffled. Who doesn’t base their fantasy-team live-watching on their SPs on a given night?! So this was a perfect weekend to get back on the Profiles and check out how Severino looked in a full breakdown:

Please, blog, may I have some more?