In a time long ago, when men were men and athletes freely used performance enhancing drugs to little or no consequences, there was a gameshow. A show that celebrated such athletes both male and female, athletes that invested their time, money, and focus into becoming the most gargantuan human beings they could become. On this show they matched average everyday sclubbs against these well built steroid fueled warriors in feats of strength and agility. What is this show pray-tell? Well of course it’s a little show called American Gladiators. Ever heard of it? No young-ins, I’m not talking about that gross bastardization of a program that was on 7-8 years ago, I’m talking the genuine article. The flag waving, patriotic leotard rocking, testosterone train ride, where the women had high hair and the type of muscles that would have you asking them to open the olive jar. The early 90’s were a simpler time friends.

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Apparently, it was never the elevation in Coors. It was because it was cold in Colorado. Or at least that’s what the Yanks/Tigers game looked like last night while it was played in Arctic temps (granted, a hot day in the Arctic) and snow. Other teams may get some ideas that it’s all about the cold. “Let’s get Howard, Utley, Galvis and Asche on that side of the air conditioner, and the outfield on the other side. Now go straight from the AC to the batter’s box. No, don’t stop at the on-deck circle! You’re dropping to room temp!” Yesterday, David Price gave up 8 ER on 13 baserunners in 2 1/3 IP. That reminded Yankee fans of their teams from the 1950s, or when most of the current roster was teenagers. Obviously, this is just a blip, but if you can buy Price from a panicked owner, I’d consider it, even if it did seem yesterday like Price was Rocky screaming at Mickey to cut him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I got the chills! They’re multiplying. And I’m losing all control. Because the fantasy value Devon Travis is supplying–well, for lack of a better word, it’s electrifying. Oo oo oo! Oh yes, indeed. Friday night Travis was 2-for-5 with his third home run and two RBI. He’s leading off for a mighty Blue Jays line up, batting .375 and he’s currently on a six game hitting streak with ten hits, two homers, five runs and nine RBI in that span. You don’t have to be Danny Zuko to know how rockin’ and rollin’ that is. Dude is systematic, hydromatic, ultramatic! He’s hit in every game he’s played so far except one. Grey’s been telling you to BUY and get Randy for Travis for weeks now! Two weeks, to be exact! Well, now I’m telling you, so you know things are getting serial. If you need a middle infielder, set your heart on Devon Travis. Then sing, “cause to your heart you must be truuuue, nothing left, nothing left for you to do…but pick-up-Dev-on! Off-of-the-waivers-now! Ooo ooo ooo!” What do you mean, you don’t think you like Grease as much as me!? Everybody likes Grease! Travis is owned in just over half of ESPN leagues and that number will surely skyrocket over the weekend. Irregardless! With Jose Reyes sidelined and Devon stepping into the lead off spot, the rookie second baseman is sure to be a valuable fantasy asset going forward. Oh yes, indeed!

Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy baseball:

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The first week of baseball.  The sights.  The smells.  The bacon-wrapped corn dogs stuffed with jalapeno cheddar tots.  What a week it was indeed.

A long winter has passed and many things changed.  Most notably, was Ricky Vaughn, who shed his trademark leather jacket and punk rock hairdo for a suit, tie and styling mousse.  Jack Taylor’s knees were weaker than ever, and Pedro Cerrano ditched the rum-loving Jobu for Buddhism. Even Willie Mays Hayes elected to have cosmetic surgery.

Some things need to be replaced.  The classic film Major League was not one of them.  Yet they made a sequel.  Not the worst baseball movie to grace the big screen, but we could’ve done without it.  Unlike the original Wesley Snipes character, in fantasy baseball, finding replacements is part of the game.  It’s how leagues are won.  You can’t just sit back and watch as players are picked up off the wire while you “wait to see how the guys you drafted do”.  That’s one of the most common phrases I hear early on.  Yes, it’s early, so you’re not kicking any studs to the curb, but if the “sleeper” you drafted in the 29th round has begun the season 1-for-16, and there’s a player on the wire who is playing well, go grab him!  Hanging on to an older vet with the delusion that he’ll somehow hit like he’s not 36 years old (Chase Utley, 100 percent owned on ESPN), will keep you from realizing your championship dreams.

This is the “Deep Impact” column, where I’ll only be featuring players under 10 percent owned in ESPN leagues.  During Opening Week I’ve been asked more questions about middle infielders than any other position, so I figured this would be an opportune time to reveal some of my top adds heading into the weekend:

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Dustin Pedroia will hit you two homers (3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) and then run out after the game to help hawk papers, “Extr-ee, extr-ee, read all about it!” “Keep the change, kid.” “Thanks, mister!” While Pedroia sold Boston Heralds on the corner, Hanley Ramirez (also homered twice; 2nd one was a grand slam; 2-for-4, 2 runs, 5 RBIs) was tricked into a youth-rejuvenating oxygen chamber by piping in the smell of roasted pig. All the Red Sox did was put a game-used Sandoval jersey over a fan. Buncha tricksters! Or maybe that’s trickstahs in Boston. Also homering yesterday was Mookie Betts (2-for-4, 2 runs). Well, in this game. In other games, everyone homered at least once. If your fantasy team didn’t hit at least three homers yesterday, check again, you might’ve been accidentally looking at your fantasy football team. New commissioner-slash-new-step-dad, Rob Manfred, wants your love and if that means using juiced balls and no curfews, so be it! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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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Writing for Razzball is a pretty sweet gig. The fantasy master lothario himself, Mr. Grey Albright, has provided me with a tremendous amount of creative control over the subject matter that I choose to write about. All that I’m required to do in return for this freedom is ensure that the topics that I choose to discuss are fantasy-relevant as well as consistently heap praise upon my employer (nice stache Boss!). While this arrangement is usually a blessing, it can also be a bit of a curse at times. There are so many different things to write about, so many potential angles to pursue when analyzing statistics. It can be difficult to narrow it down and focus on a specific set of search criteria. Sometimes, I know exactly how this guy feels.

Want to take me on in a Razzball Commenter League? Join my league here!

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The day of reckoning is upon us. You could even say that today is judgment day. The pitching machine known as the Klubot didn’t feel pity, or remorse, or even elbow pain en route to 269 hitter terminations via the strikeout last season and earning the ’14 Cy Young Award to take into the future. But the question remains, “Why was Terminator Salvation even made?” Wait a second, wrong question. The one we’re looking to answer today is: “Who is the next Klubot off of the assembly line?”

In the first part of this series, we identified the starting pitchers who met the “Kluber criteria” during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. But what exactly are those criteria comprised of? Here are the search parameters that I used to try to find the next Corey Kluber:

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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.

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