It’s no secret that offense has been in decline across the board in major league baseball in recent years. It seems like only, uh, 17 years ago that the race was on to see who could break Roger Maris’ single season home run record. Last season, only Nelson Cruz reached the 40 HR mark and just ten other players managed to knock 30 out of the park. Remember Vince Coleman’s string of three consecutive 100+ steal seasons from ’85-’87? No? Too young, eh? If you’re familiar with the video game R.B.I. Baseball for the original 8-bit Nintendo, he’s the guy who’s able to steal bases at will. It was basically the same deal in real life. Pretty darn impressive feat, especially when you consider the fact that only four players reached the 40 SB mark last year.

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ppd

Yeah, you know me. Who’s down with PPD? Every last homie. You down with PPD? Yeah you know me. Who’s down with PPD? All the homies. Are you a homie? If your response is “homey don’t play that“, then maybe instead of fantasizing about the fly girls, you should be zipping up your fly and getting down with PPD. You like how I transitioned from homie to homey? If I’m really good, I can make my way to jabroni.

So what in the Fire Marshall Bill is PPD? And how does it work? Well… Lemme show you something!!! PPD stands for points per dollar. More precisely, it’s fantasy points per dollar spent on a player at your auction. If your league doesn’t do an auction and it’s not a head-to-head points league then you can go watch an episode of In Living Color on YouTube or do whatever it is you do when you’re not reading Razzball. But for the rest of you, it’s time you learned how to put your money where your points is. Yes, I realize the grammar on that last sentence is as poor as a church mouse. Whatever that means.

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The late rounds of fantasy baseball drafts are filled with players who have questions surrounding them. It’s usually not too difficult to categorize these players, particularly in terms of starting pitching. There’s the post-hype group (Trevor Bauer, Kevin Gausman, Tony Cingrani), the declining veteran tier (CC Sabathia, Dan Haren, Bartolo Colon), and the unproven prospect tier (Noah Syndergaard, Andrew Heaney, Archie Bradley). Several high floor, low ceiling options (Ervin Santana, Kyle Lohse, Wei-Yin Chen) and volatile injury-prone pitchers (Clay Buchholz, Matt Garza) tend to remain on the board for quite a while as well. In recent years, Brandon McCarthy has generally been perceived by the fantasy community as someone who falls into one of the latter two categories. Is this perception accurate? What can be expected from McCarthy in 2015?

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I’ve already gone over the top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball, the top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball and the top 20 2nd basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball. Last year, I thought the top 20 shortstops for 2015 fantasy baseball looked a whole lot better than the 2nd basemen. I said that’s not usually the norm, but you gotta be malleable in this fantasy baseball game. Then going on to say I’d give a free car to a brother and sister who were named Norm and Malleable. No one won the car and I was pretty off with where I thought shortstops had depth. They showed up last preseason in a librarian’s outfit with red-rimmed glasses and seemed interesting. Then they turned around and it was Sally Jessy Raphael and we should’ve ran the other way. As with the other top 20 rankings, I point out where tiers start and stop and my projections. All the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings can be found under that thing that says 2015 fantasy baseball rankings. Unsuccinct! Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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“Hey, Intern, let’s get the Mayans on hold just in case we need them in a hurry. What? Who the hell is Ralph Mayan of the Mayan Empire and Grille in Norwalk? Your blank stare tells me nothing. Go buff out my El Dorado while I write this post!” So, I’ve seen The Theory of Everything, the story of Stephen Hawking and his wife. It touches briefly on his theorems and the universe’s push and pull. Imagine the universe breathes in and out. The in is gravity and the out is energy generated by particles. However, the Cubs would breathe in, but when they exhaled it sounded like a wheeze. For over a hundred years, people thought it was dying. That constant wheeze of death. Then, Theo Epstein came along, kicked the Cubs in the ass and realized it wasn’t a wheeze but there was something stuck in its throat. The Cubs won’t breathe easy until they win a championship again, but the signing of Jon Lester should help. Last year, Lester had a 9 K/9 and a 2 BB/9. I just touched on this with the signing of Samardzija the other day, but a difference of 7 between K/9 and BB/9 is about the most beautifulest thing in the world, Keith Murray. For K-BB, Lester was 11th in the majors last year. Top ten is a who’s who that’s more glamorous than your Who’s Who of American High School Students Who Paid $75 To Be In That Who’s Who Book. I’ll give you a little hint: if you were to just draft based on K-BB, you’d win your league. Why is K-BB so important? It’s so basically basic basically basic it’s silly. If you strikeout hitters and don’t walk them, good things will happen. For 2015, I’ll give Lester the projections of 15-9/2.92/1.08/206, which is number one fantasy SP numbers. Yup, he’s going to be solid once again. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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Greetings and welcome to the first installment of the offseason stock report. If you love this silly, fake game as much as I do, you’ve either shined up your 2014 winner’s trophy several times and have shamelessly admired it since the end of the season or have shed many tears over the disappointing fantasy results that you’ve just endured. Either way, it’s time to move on and look forward to the start of the 2015 season.

In this series, I will attempt to analyze the performances of various players from this past season and project what can be expected from them next season. After digging into all of the underlying peripheral statistics, each player will be deemed either a “buy” or a “sell” depending on whether he can be expected to improve, regress, or maintain his most recent level of production. Much like commodities on the actual stock market, the idea is to buy low on a player that stands to gain value in the near future while selling high on one that is likely to lose value. Of course, players who are already valued highly but appear likely to maintain a high level of production should be targeted, while players who have experienced a sharp decrease in value and appear unlikely to improve upon their current production levels should be avoided.

Without further ado, let’s dig into three of the biggest early round busts from the ’14 season and decide if their poor results are a sign of things to come or if a rebound is on the horizon.

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Top 20 catchers, 1st basemen and the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 are in the books. What a strange, glorious trip it’s been! Though not really. Today, the top 20 shortstops for 2014 fantasy baseball get to shine. Hmm… Actually, most of these won’t shine. They’re cloudy with a chance of crapballs. To be a bit more specific, Dee Gordon was 5th for 2nd baseman, here he’s second overall. Then it stabilizes with Zobrist being 13th at 2nd basemen and only 12th here. But then the shortstops flat line with guys like Jordy Mercer and Brock Holt appearing on this list and not even making in the top 20 2nd basemen. Either way, it’s ugly. Okay, enough of the hubbub on the tomfoolery. 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 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Nicholas Tropeano sounds like a sitcom character, doesn’t he? Like that’s his real name, but he goes by the nickname of The Boof or simply Boof. Then only his mom, Mrs. Tropeano calls him Nicholas. Some girls call him Nick, but Boof or The Boof, that’s what you know him as. At one point, he even went to a technical school with Arthur Fonzarelli and Joseph Tribbiani Jr. I went over The Boof briefly the other day when he threw a five inning, meh start. There I said, “Breezed through the minors as only an Astros prospect could. What I mean is they don’t have a ton of major league options, so if someone does okay, they promote the crap out of them. In Triple-A, he had a 8.7 K/9, 0.99 WHIP and a 3.03 ERA in 124 2/3 IP.” And that’s me quoting me! This Buy is more for AL-Only leagues and keepers (I’ll go over mixed league starters to stream in the post). Shoot, this Boof buy could even be considered more for 2015 fantasy baseball. Now, maybe I’m really just having residual feelings for what Collin McHugh and Dallas Keuchel did this year, but Tropeano looks like a $1 flyer in very deep leagues that could reap similar benefits. I know it’s far from glamorous to put faith in Astros, but I’m likely to call Tropeano a sleeper for 2015 and point back to this post next year. I’d love if his velocity was a tad faster to go with his nasty change, but The Boof could pay dividends for savvy owners in deep leagues. Ayyyyy! *pounds wall, jukebox turns on* Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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“We’re more alike than we are different.” That’s what Mary Ann said of her and Ginger, but it could also be said of Marcus Stroman and a Flat-Billed Pitchypus. He needs maybe a fifteen-second ironing and a quarter-cup of starch and he’d be there. Considering the tumultuous recent years of the Flat-Billed Pitchypus, maybe it’s for the best. “You want more starch on this?” “Yes.” Dontrelle Willis reaches for his TGIF’s hat, drops jalapeno poppers on his foot and screams. Yesterday, Stroman threw a shutout in 93 pitches. Greg Maddux called and said, “You owe me a nickel.” Stroman’s sparkling like I screwed his head into my SodaStream, pushed down the level way too long and bubbles started coming into his eyes. Mary Ann’s existential quote could also be used to say there’s more similarities than differences between Stroman and an ace. He shouldn’t generate that much velocity from a five-foot-nine frame. Yet, there he is throwing 94 MPH while high-fiving his teammates on a step stool. He’s credited with a six-pitch arsenal that he can locate with pinpoint accuracy. I’m going to have a Marcus Stroman post for 2015 fantasy baseball to highlight his sensational stuff for next year, and then he’ll probably be in the top 10 pitchers for 2016. A star is born just don’t iron the brim any further; you’re good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Let me begin by thanking Papa and Nana Lifshitz for taking my two little rugrats last night so the Mrs. and I could go out for our 8th wedding anniversary. We went to a great Italian place in town and left in a food coma that put the two of us out of commission until early this morning. Not to worry Daily Fantasy Junkies I’ve arisen and am here to give you the DK knowledge you need to Get Money. I know what you’re all thinking, my Wife is truly the luckiest woman in the world. After all she’s married to me. Let’s think about this, not only am I handsome with six-pack abs, I’m also always there to explain baseball metrics like K/9, wOBA, and wRC+. Seriously I’m a real gem. You know who else has been a gem of late? Madison Bumgarner! Over his last ten starts he’s averaged 25.5 DraftKings points, he’s had 19+ point efforts in each of his last five games, and best of all he’s had two 47+ point efforts in his last 5. At a price of $11,200 he is tops on the board today but he’s totally worth it if he can keep up his hot streak. The one caution I will throw at you is his poor home ERA of 4.58. This is a little confusing when you consider that AT&T is a pitchers park but not everything makes sense now does it? (BTW am I the only that still wants to call it Pac-Bell?) I’d like to focus more on his August ERA of 1.58 in 40 innings thus far. Ready for this his K/9 for the month is 11.03 while his BB/9 is .45, those are the kind of numbers that make Grey stay at home at night and wax his mustache. They get me really excited, maybe too excited. His wOBA against is .194, those numbers are just video game on easy with cheat codes good. Sure this was an easy call and sure I’ll give you cheaper options but I always feel the need to remind you of great players playing great. These streaks only happen a few times over the course of a career even for a very good player like Mad-Bum. Well my fellow DraftKings welcome to my first DK installment on the newly minted HipHop Sunday let’s proceed to give you what you need.

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!

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