“I know it was you, Alfredo, you broke my heart–because I should have picked you up yesterday. You’re nothing to me now. Not a brother, not a friend–but, I’ll admit you may be an intriguing add in fantasy baseball this week.” Michael Corleone’s words for his fantasy team are harsh but true. Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon continued his streak of success yesterday, pitching six scoreless innings versus the Cubs, allowing just six base runners and striking out three. Coming off the heels of an eight inning gem last week against Tampa, where he allowed just one run and struck out four, Alfredo now has pitched 21.0 innings, allowing just 2 ER and 13 hits, while grabbing two wins. It looks like he’ll stick in the rotation while Mat Latos is on the shelf. Simon’s sparkling 0.86 ERA is good for top 3 in the league, and the 0.81 WHIP sure is purdy. But before you go racing to the waiver wire dropping your Stephen Strasburgs or your R.A. Dickeys for this guy, just wait a second. Because I didn’t say Simon says? Got ya! I know. Bad. I’m sorry. Anyway, let’s examine if Simon says  you should grab Alfredo or not. If we look closer into the starts, it’s a small sample size but we get the sense he’s been pretty lucky so far, and not just because he’s faced the Mets, Rays and Cubs. Simon’s .194 BABIP is good for top 10 in the league. Along with a 3.14 FIP (3.90 xFIP) and an insane 94.3 LOB% we have a ton a nerdy stats that say major regression coming. Translation: Alfredo is probably gonna get sauced. Mama mia! That’s not to say that those numbers are not still very good. After moving to Cincinnati from Baltimore, Simon was awesome in relief, with a 2.76 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in two years from 2012-2013, way above his career averages (3.98 ERA and 1.33 WHIP). And he’s been extremely efficient as a starter this year as his 13.4 pitches thrown per inning (roughly 3.5 per batter) shows. Doode is doing work. The 13/4 K/BB ratio is nothing special, but he is working efficiently in his starts, going deep into games. So Simon says, if you need a streamer you can grab AlFredo for his next start in Pittsburgh. He’s under 20% owned, and he’s making us an offer we can’t refuse. Ride this hot streak out for now, but if he’s ready to sleep with the fishes don’t hesitate to take him out to the middle of Lake Tahoe and take care of business.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“I’m a prince, boy. Have you ever been with a prince? …Take off your clothes.”

No, this isn’t Tehol quoting Tehol, regurgitating the way I speak to my Thai boy handlers when I’m doing  thong shoots in Phuket. Very similar verbiage, but no, this fascinating quote comes from none other than the legendary, Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne, a man I’m positive you will come to love throughout season four of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Like a supreme vortex, “GOT” has sucked in the entire nation, and it’s well past time it was brought forth into the wondrous world of fantasy baseball. [Ed. Note-- Oh, you mean like here, and here, and, ahem, here? FIRST! Bwahahahah.] Some people say fantasy baseball is the equivalent of D&D for jocks. Well, I for one, want a piece of both worlds! The season four premier was a masterful work of art, as I’m fully reminded as to why I was so entranced by the novels. Let’s have some fun and intertwine some of the premium quotes from the season premier with the annual Delight/Disgrace column. Will you allow me the pleasure of doing this? No? Too late, for I am already balls deep. and I’m on some Geno Auriemma/Charlie Sheen winning type-ish thing. So let us begin. [Warning, Game of Thrones Spoilers ahead!]

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You’re about to get busted. Do you go harder, become more brazen, with the illegal activity or attempt to clean up your act quickly so you don’t get punished more severely? I don’t know. This is where fantasy baseball meets a PBS Frontline special. I think different people react in different ways. Not to get all philosophical on you like your college philosophy prof who would invite you over for lavash and hummus and marijuana, then try to feel up your girlfriend, but last year’s Ryan Braun — 9 homers in 61 games — could be exactly what he is off of PEDs. There’s no way of knowing when he was or wasn’t using. If he knew he was about to get suspended last year, he might’ve laid off of everything and been totally clean for that decent but not spectacular partial season, even while he battled a thumb issue. The same thumb issue that has resurfaced this year. I should’ve been more aggressive in the preseason about pointing that Braun wasn’t healthy last year. The kind of unhealthy that has lingered into this year. He admitted the other day that he was unable to take a normal swing due to battling a nerve issue. Or if you’re reading in your best Curly voice, a noive issue. That’s hella bad with hella having a hashtag that says 2004. I wouldn’t sell him for fifty cents on the dollar, but I’d be interested to see if someone would give me 85 or 90 cents on the dollar. Or if someone would give me the Euro exchange rate. Why are they still making pennies?! Tell me Yahoo! Answers! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Our first full slate of games and two closers lost jobs. Mother Nature and/or Al Gore (if they’re different people), how is climate different than weather if both lead to a closepocalypse? An interested party is curious. It was a bit before concussions were in vogue, but did anyone ever check Robin Ventura for a concussion when he got cantalouped by Nolan Ryan? Cause he just lamebrained up my fantasy teams by naming Matt Lindstrom the closer– Um, Grey? What’s up, Random Italicized Voice? When Addison Reed was traded in December, you said, “White Sox GM Rick Hahn named Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom, Scott Downs and Daniel Webb as possible replacements. Due to Scott Downs’ Syndrome, Downs is out of the mix. Jones will be a favorite by fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) due to his ability to strike guys out, but I’m guessing Lindstrom will end up with the job due to that hard-to-put-your-finger-on-it closer experience quality.” And that’s me quoting you! DAH!!! I got wrapped in the allure of a young, sexy closer and forgot where my butter pickles were buttered! I imagine this shituation will get worse before it gets better, so if you have room, I’d hold Jones for now, but you should absolutely pick up Lindstrom in all leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

As esteemed Creed frontman Scott Stapp once sang: “Let’s play ball, it’s game day. We want strikeouts, base hits, duhbull plays.”

We should be havin’ a party, ya’ll. It’s the year’s first Two-Startapalooza!!

But yet something feels missing. With Clayton Kershaw out, it’s like Hendrix didn’t make it to Monterey Pop. With Yu Darvish out, it’s like Pearl Jam skipped Lollapalooza ’92. With Patrick Corbin gone for the year, it’s like, well, it’s like the Spin Doctors skipped Woodstock ’94. You get the idea.

Plenty of great double-dippers this week, though, so let’s get to it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

First off, I would like to say Eric Sogard should be the Face of the MLB; that vote was rigged in David Wright’s favor.  Baseball needs more nerdy-looking, glasses-touting, Bernie-leanin’, jive-walking players.  But without further ado, here is the AL West Spring Training Showdown. (You can check out the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

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Yesterday, I touched on the top 20 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball and only two guys pressed charges. I could’ve sworn Alex Cobb was giving me eyes and then I moved my hand and then he slapped my hand and I thought it was over but then the cops showed up and sigh. Last year, there was fifteen pitchers from 21-40 that I would’ve drafted. This year there’s 16, and the few guys I’m not crazy about in this post are probably fine too. Say it with me now, “There’s more pitchers than Michael J. Fox can shake a stick at.” I’ve already gone over all the hitters for my 2014 fantasy baseball rankings. As always, my projections and where tiers start and stop is included. Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before we get this post-Turkey celebration of When Fantasy Baseball Writers Have Nothing To Do In The Offseason up and running, I’d like to pass along a special thanks to our very own Grey Albright and Bryan Curley of Baseball Professor for setting up this multi-site super exposition of the aforementioned When Fantasy Baseball Writers Have Nothing To Do In The Offseason, or WFBWHNTDITO, if you’re into the whole brevity thing. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you can find the Round 1-5 Recap by clicking on this conveniently placed hyperlink right… about… now. And for the full results, you can check them out here. (If nineties website design is your crème de jour, enjoy that layout bro.) Anyhow, let’s get this going after the jump so I can go make some turkey sammiches.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So yeah, I promised a time and place where I would eat crow on my 11 Bold Predictions for 2013 (you can refresh your memory here with Part I and Part II), and this is where we landed. Right smack dab in the off-season where hopefully none of you will read this. Obviously that means my predictions were a smashing success, right? Totally. That’s exactly what it means. I’m lying. But hey, these weren’t rational predictions, so there’s that. Follow me after the jump for the official tally…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, it was the day of the pitcher. Since I started this blog, I can’t remember a more pitcher dominated day. Did anyone get a hit yesterday in any game outside of Coors? Put on your long johns with the flap on the butt, the Dead-ball Era is back. Yesterday reminded me when I was in a heated battle for 1st place in my first fantasy league. The year was nineteen-naught-eight. Skeets Lincoln was a staunch racist, unlike his great-uncle, and I hated him for it, but my Gramsie said, “You’re gonna get polio sitting on the radiator,” and I realized how short life was so I grabbed Skeets and he went 1-for-4 with 4 steals (at that time there were seven bases between first and home). Yesterday, Kyle Lohse threw a gem, but, really, who didn’t. He kept the Braves to two hits with no walks and five Ks. He ends the year with a 3.35 ERA and less Ks than a Klan rally as Skeets would’ve said. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?