We’re almost there. Opening Day is just 11 days away (10 if you’re counting down to the Cubs/Cards game on Sunday night), which means that fantasy draft season is in full swing. For those of you who are veterans of the FBB world, you know that draft day can be quite unpredictable. Average draft positions can mean next to nothing at times, particularly in competitive leagues. What should you do if Kershaw falls into your lap unexpectedly at the turn? How about if pitching is flying off the board and productive hitters start dropping an extra round or two below ADP (or more importantly, your own personal rankings)?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greetings all, and welcome to the first installment of The Numbers Game. “Boy, that title sounds about as exciting as it would be to draft Omar Infante in 2015.” Hey, quiet in the peanut gallery! Fantasy baseball is, as the title of this series makes blatantly obvious, all about the numbers. The idea behind these posts is to identify players who fit a specific set of search criteria using statistics accumulated over the past three seasons. The various criteria that I’ll be using will be established based on player comps and/or the MLB averages in key statistical categories. Some results will include data from 2014 only, while others will include some combination of the previous two seasons as well. The ultimate goal of these exercises is to provide a different perspective that will help to confirm your evaluations of certain players and perhaps reconsider your opinions of others. While I’ll be providing my two cents from time to time, it’ll be up to you to decide how valid the results truly are.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It started with a simple email. Hey Grey and Rudy, wouldn’t it be cool if someone wrote about the top pitchers broken down by month? And within those months, to evaluate with and without wins to ascertain who pitched well and gave good value vs. who pitched for a 90 win club and had a 4-0 month? Response was a resounding yes, of course. And of course, it was my own damn fault for having such a good idea because now I’m here giving you offseason content prior to January. Clearly the time that everyone is reading about fantasy baseball. Oh well, let’s get to it. Here’s a look back at April’s pitching to see if it holds any keys going forward to 2015 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, how’s everyone holding up without fantasy baseball every day? I don’t know what to do with myself! This weekend I wandered into a Starbucks and told the coffeerista about Chris Tillman for 2015. Then I laughed hysterically for a good twenty minutes until someone asked me to leave. We’ve gone over the final 2014 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters. There’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left before we’re into 2015 fantasy baseball. You’re welcome. Well, there are Rudy’s recaps of every fantasy sites projections that are coming eventually and Sky’s “Is pitching that deep?” posts. I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking about 2015 rookies next. Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The rain cooperated to let Derek Jeter play his final game at Yankee Stadium. Thank God, the Yankees needed the tarp for Suzyn Waldman. The Yankees presented Jeter with a replica of the Yankee Stadium on-deck circle. He is going to put it outside his house and instead of pine tar rags and donuts there will be lingerie and gift baskets. I don’t really care for his final lap around Fenway. I do agree with Olbermann that I think he should have bowed out of playing in Fenway. With that said (reversal time!), sometimes stars get grooved pitches on their final retirement jaunt. I grabbed Jeter two days ago in my leagues just in case that happens, and so far, so good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m going to look right in your eye and say, “I don’t know where Jacob deGrom‘s coming from.” Don’t turn away from me. *turns your face by chin* Look at me. I don’t know everything. I’m sorry. I know that upsets you like finding out that Santa Claus is really just a drunk man in a costume. I apologize profusely if you didn’t know that about Santa too. It hurts me to ruin your naivete more than anything. Your child-like innocence is what originally drew me to you. Alas, we’ll find something else. Like deGrom, for instance, we can discover him together. In Triple-A, deGrom had a 6.8 K/9 this year, and 7.5 last year. Always had nice control, but he has a 9 K/9 in the majors. You don’t see guys often jump up a pedigree when they go from the minors to the majors. He’s always featured nice command, which is the key here. When a guy can command his pitches and then learns how to throw a new pitch that is special, he can use it effectively. So, what did he learn? Supposedly, Johan Santana gave him the secret sauce recipe for The Change. Another key is his velocity. This isn’t a guy who is adding a new pitch with 89 MPH velocity. He throws his fastball in the mid-90’s. Throw one pitch in the mid-90’s and another dropped in around 84 and you have a recipe for Ks. As was the case yesterday — 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 13 Ks — when the Marlins were like Farmer Ted striking out at deGrom. Still think he’s closer to a high-7/low-8 K-rate guy with a mid-3 ERA, but it’s still a lot better than I thought he was when he came up. Now let’s move past this lapse of judgment by me and try to enjoy ourselves. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

No, that’s not a racist title. C’mon, really? Why would I go there? Besides, ‘Alfredo The Dark’ doesn’t even sound racist. Actually, sounds like your character name when you go out LARP’ing. Lemme guess, you start with a +5 in magic and wit but are low in power and physical combat. And, duh, you have black magic and not white magic. Am I nailing this? Mmm hmmm, I see your 20 sided die in your hand there. Please tell me it’s at least steam punk genre. Loved the Lord of the Rings but really don’t care if you’re out here battling orcs. Bores me. BTW, have you ever thought about the Civil War re-enactment? Totally LARP’ing there. Yeah, yeah, you’re a history buff. Well then go read the damn book. No need to grow out the handlebar mustache and go clean out your musket to enjoy a little American history…but yeah, what the hell? That got off track fast. I blame you and your talk of tinctures. Nah, I’m just alluding to the childhood fave of anyone not young enough to quote Lil’ Wayne. So basically, nobody’s gonna get it. Show was off and on for like 10 years…shut up, it’s my childhood! Moving on…what I’m trying to get at is, Alfredo Simon has been a bit of a bear to own in regular fantasy but he’s extremely enjoyable for we daily fantasy folk. You see, these young Cubbies…well, if you caught my last Stroman call you’d understand. They’re still learning how to play baseball the right way. Sure, they’re exciting to watch and it’s great to think about the future but most of their veteran bats are done for the year due to injury and what’s left is a group that’s K’ing at an alarming rate: 28.3% heading into Sunday, to be exact. That’s just 2% less than the Twins and they’ve faced Chris Sale this past past week. And in the end, Simon keeps the ball down reasonably well wtih a 1.62 GB/FB ratio so the ball shouldn’t be flying out of the park on him. In the end, this is a bit of a punt play to give room for those 10+ K pitchers because in the end they are worth it this Monday, believe me. Speaking of, let’s move on and get to them, shall we? So without further ado, here’s Monday’s hot takes on the 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 check theDFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?