The top 20 shortstops for 2016 fantasy baseball were once as bad as the top 20 2nd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball that I went over the other day.  Now the shortstops have had an influx of youth — or utes, if Joe Pesci is reading — and the future’s so bright I gotta wear shades, Arvid.  I’m happy for the shortstops, and happier for myself.  For a while, the top 20 shortstops were Tulo and those other guys.  Kinda like the top 20 catchers is Posey and those other guys.  Oh, and there was a top 20 1st basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball post already too (organic linking!).  Hopefully, the shortstops aren’t just showing up in a librarian’s outfit with red-rimmed glasses and appearing sexy, then turning out to be Sally Jessy Raphael.  As with the other top 20 rankings, I point out where tiers start and stop and my projections.  All the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings can be found under that thing that says 2016 fantasy baseball rankings.  Unsuccinct!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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We’ve (Me’ve) have already gone over the top 20 catchers, top 20 1st basemen, top 20 2nd basemen and now it’s time for the top 20 shortstops for 2015 fantasy baseball.  It’s fun to see how many people read this in a way that makes them think this is for next year.  Let’s read it like them real quickly, “Top 20 shortstops…Tulo too low, Andrus too high, Lindor too low, how do I make a comment that illustrates my snideness about what an idiot I think Grey is without incurring the wrath of others so I can still ask a trade question in two months without any hard feelings?  Maybe I’ll just say a name with a question mark and that’ll be enough to inform Grey that I think he’s a moron, but vague enough to not set off others.”  Those people, who I’m sure aren’t reading this opening, are the true highlight of the offseason.  Here’s a comment for them to post, “Yunel???”  To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Yesterday, Lucas Duda went 3-for-5, 3 RBIs with two homers (26, 27).  He now has five homers in the last three days.  Duda goes from doodie to Duda in the blink of an eye.  He’s like a sports car that goes 0 to 60 in five seconds flat that you only drive three times a year, because, while your penis may be small, you’re also reasonable enough to realize if someone crashes into you, you’re going to cry and that’s embarrassing in front of your future trophy wife.  It seems like no matter how many games Duda misses and no matter how deep his slumps get, he gets scorching hot at some point and will get to thirty homers.  His hot streaks are shorter, but he reminds me of a poor man’s Chris Davis.  I will call him Piss Davis.  Maybe I won’t call him that to his face.  Somehow, Duda is available in over 40% of ESPN leagues. (Though 85% of leagues are abandoned already so he’s owned in 125% of leagues.  Hmm…) So, if he’s out there, grab him before he takes the car back into the shop and pays $54,000 for a new taillight.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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That title wasn’t a real question, y’all, please don’t provide your responses in the comments below. And if your answer was yes, that means you’ve eaten it and lived so I’ll just take your word for it and barf on my own time. But I don’t wanna know about your culinary disasters, what I do wanna know about is how can I find a way to price in those sweet Colorado bats. I know that you know that we all want in on that action, boss, so we have to find ways to swerve to get them in and pitching is a prime starting point to begin that search. I’m not gonna lie to you and say that Alfredo Simon has merit on his own. He’s pretty meh if we’re being honest but the Twins vs righties especially on the road will always grab my attention. For the year, the Twins rank 4th worst in wRC+ against righties and throw in a reasonably healthy K rate of 21.1% to boot. Throw in the second worst road wRC+ and a 22.9% K rate and you have the mixings for a solid if maybe unspectacular line from the Big Fettuccine. I wouldn’t even think about this in cash but for tourneys, picking on Twinkies on the road with righties is a solid Konami Cheat Code for this kind of day. But now that we’ve covered culinary dysentery, let’s move on to better things. Here’s my Wild Mushroom Risotto hot takes for this Saturday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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 subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Every time I think of Brandon Finnegan, I envision a long-storied lineage of Irish pub purveyors.  “Have a pint, laddie!”

A very big name prospect with the Royals, the Reds hit on the luck of the Irish by dealing a really awful-looking Johnny Cueto – whose numbers are getting walloped by an ugly stick – and picking up some nice prospects with Finnegan the centerpiece.  Man, both the Reds and my Brewers got some nasty returns for vets that have been atrocious in the AL…  The NL Central is going to be unreal in a few seasons…

Back to the point!  Hell, I’m all over the place – I’m writing this open while watching football, and while taking a break from putting together basketball ranks in position tiers.  Oh yeah!  Play in an RCL Basketball League, it’s like Fantasy Baseball but without rainouts!  Yikes, get me some Adderral…

Even with all the hype, and even though he’s made a few relief appearances, I don’t think I’ve ever watched Finnegan pitch.  So I decided to break down Finnegan’s first career MLB start at the Brewers last Friday night to see if he’s worth an add over the final two weeks, and/or a buzzy sleeper pick in 2016:

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I’m going down the path of J-FOH and others here and trying to give general, “win your league” type advice these last couple weeks.  I’ve decided this week that advice will come in the form of how many games each team has left, along with noting which teams have Monday and Thursday off days. It’s not only useful for stolen bases but whatever category you need.  And I’ll also be noting as I did last week, some speedsters that have gained playing time recently, these are players to consider for streaming stolen bases these last two weeks.  So definitely couple this advice with the stolen bases versus starting pitchers SAGNOF tool and stream, stream, stream for steals, if you are up to the task.  Here’s this weeks “Names to consider” from speediest to least speedy:  Sam Fuld (Athletics), Abraham Almonte (Indian), Mikie Mahtook (Rays, decent power too), Andrew Romine (Tigers), Cory Spangenberg (Padres).  Some of those aren’t exactly household names, which is basically the point.

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Don’t you know about Greg Bird?  Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy! Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy! Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy!  I, honestly, figured you would’ve heard.  Heard what, you ask.  Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy!  Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy!  Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy!  Well, everybody said about Greg Bird that Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy!  Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy!  Bird Bird Bird, Bird is the buy!  You know, I thought you’d heard.  Heard what?  About the Bird!  I was watching a TV show on cybercrime recently, and I have an idea on how to attack North Korea.  Just pump in the “Bird is the Word” song into their national Bose speakers.  (If North Korea has taken over the US by the time you read this, this cyber attack could be used in the reverse direction.  I’m yours, Kimchi Jong-il, however you want to use me.  I am very loyal.)  So, now that we know the word and that word is indeed Bird, what do we do with this info?  We pick him up in our leagues.  He has seven homers in only 29 games.  Sample size, she says.  Well, he had six homers in only 34 games in Triple-A, six homers in only 49 Double-A games, seven homers in only 27 games in Double-A last year…Do you see a pattern?  Bird’s got power.  Not really anything else, but there’s only two weeks left, grab him if you need homers.  Or had you not heard?  Bird Bird Bird, Bird– Okay, I’ll stop.  Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Hi everyone, I’m Sky the Razzball guy. You might remember me from such hits as ‘Duffy The Cam-Yard K’er‘…I mean it was just last Friday so if you read this site at all and the DK content, I’d hope you caught that. In that piece we looked under the hood at the Orioles and their offense, namely their poor numbers against lefty pitchers and guess what? A week hasn’t changed those numbers. In fact, after getting shut out for 7 innings by Matt Moore who K’d up 9 of them, I’d bet today’s numbers would tell you they’re even worse. That said, we should complete the thought process by taking that peek again and hold the phone cuz you’ll never guess this but…yeah, they still suck against lefties to the tune of a 23% K rate and a meager 85 wRC+. With that, in steps Drew Smyly who himself is coming off an 11 K performance against what was a surging Boston Red Sox offense. Cash? Check. GPP? Double check. I’m gonna have a hard time moving off Drew in any format today so while everyone talks chalk with you today, realize at $9,400 you could be getting the sweeter deal when talking about those 10K+ priced arms. So put a Smyly on your face and move on with me to for the coverage of the rest of this tilt…hrm, reference Zoolander in the title, put a Zoolander pic in the opening, and then don’t actually reference Zoolander? That’s ridiculous, I should be ashamed so let me make up for it. Here’s my Orange Mocha Frappuccino takes for this Friday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 15 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 subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Yesterday, Chris Coghlan went full Ivan Drago on Jung-ho Kang‘s knee, taking him out in a hard slide.  Kang is now done for the year, and could miss a month of next season, with a torn MCL.  That’s not the year 1150, if any Romans are reading this.  He also has a fractured fibia.  Coghlan should not be allowed to wear that Iron Mike Sharpe knee pad.  Things couldn’t be much worse for the Pirates, who will now rely on Jordache Mercer (full name).  Kang’s agent said, “It is unfortunate that what would be considered heads up baseball would cause such a serious injury.  That said, Coghlan was playing the game the way it should be played.”  Doesn’t that sound backhanded?  Like, “It’s a shame we allow 85-year-old people to drive, but that’s the law and thanks for crashing into my car.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’ve made most of my recommendations this year with the long term in mind.  I’m not easily swayed by a “hot” hitter, instead I tend to lean on the projections to set an expectation level.  This late in the season, however, I’m uncertain of how effective that approach is.  We can’t exactly count on any “regression to the mean” happening over such a small sample size of games.  Some players will be good over the last few weeks, others will be poor and I don’t have a high degree of confidence that it is possible for me, or anyone for that matter, to predict the best base stealers to own these last three weeks (see this to know why).  But I have some names for you even though I have not a clue as to whether they’ll be difference makers over these last few weeks. Here’s my recommendations, I’ve attempted to rank them by number of steals they’ll get from now until the season ends…

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