Maikellebrew strikes again! And again! Two homers last night for Maikel Franco (4-for-5, 3 runs, 5 RBIs, hitting .312), his 8th and 9th homers of the season in only his 36th game played. That prorates to, like, 189 homers in a season. (Don’t do the math.) Perhaps I’m drenched in jade, the mother jewel of sarcasm. Perhaps my cup runneth over with Blasé like a bored rapper. Perhaps I’m all cosmopolitan and citified and other words Charlie Manuel would call me, but why do I get the feeling Maikel is going to have a great rookie year than disappoint for the next three years? Has Bruce, Heyward, Machado and so many others taken away my innocence? Is that a Black Flag bumper sticker on a Cadillac? Don’t look back, I can never look back. I sure hope I’m wrong, but with each homer by Maikel, his hype grows and he moves further away from my clutches. But, if we are to entertain the insane for a moment, he’s only 22 years old. What does his future hold? Does only the papier-mâché head of Michael Jack Schmidt that sits on Prospect Mike desk hold the answers? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I need to redirect some of my anger. Strasburg has ruined a lot of that sun that’s shining in the smoggy sky. Not owning Harper has hung over me like a wet blanket that has a mixture of Rougned Odor and Marcus Semien’s last names. There’s dandelions to be picked and goofy rhymes to chant while jumping rope with a bunch of little black girls if I can just pull myself out of this fantasy funk. You know what I need? A rookie pitcher! Those have never gone wrong before, minus Velasquez, Foltynewicz, Erasmo, Taijuan, Daniel Norris, Aaron Sanchez, that one game where Syndergaard gave up like a zillion runs in less than five innings and Eduardo Rodriguez’s last game. Other than that, nothing wrong with a rookie pitcher! With that said (reversal time!), sounds like Matthew Wisler is being called up by the Braves. Here’s what Prospect Mike has said about him, “Safe and boring, but useful in fantasy. Wisler’s arsenal includes a plus fastball and a plus changeup with good control of both. The lower strikeout numbers and mid-rotation ceiling limit his overall upside, but the low risk and proximity balance it all out. Sorta of like how I balance writing for Razzball with hating Grey.” Aw, c’mon! PM nailed Wisler there. He doesn’t have huge upside or downside, due to solid control. In shallower leagues, I’d wait and see, but in deeper leagues he’s the kind of guy I’d grab immediately. Now, excuse me, I’m going to jump rope. I can read, I can dance, I have a hole in the seat of my pants! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After beginning his career almost no-hitting the Red Sox through six innings last Saturday, the legend of Chi Chi Gonzalez, whether I mean that ironically or not, continued Friday night with a complete game 3-hit shutout of the Kansas City Royals for his second win. He allowed just five base runners in all, striking out two. Oh, hello there. I am now intrigued. *Raises eyebrow, googles stats* Err. O…k. Despite my intriguement, in 43.1 innings at AAA, Chi Chi posted a 4.15 ERA with a 26/19 K/BB rate. Hmm. Well, that’s not very good at all. Still, I am not one to stare a gift horse in the butt. That’s how you get kicked in the teeth. Gonzalez has now pitched 14.2 scoreless innings to start his MLB career, allowing just five hits. Let’s focus on that. So maybe he’s almost walked twice as many batters as he’s struck out. Fair enough. I’m not saying he’s here to save your team, but he gets the Oakland A’s next week and should certainly be worthy of a ping on your fantasy radar at this point.

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

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“For Kris Bryant‘s first game, can we have Steve Bartman throw out the first pitch and have a goat catch it? Or maybe we carry Bartman through the streets like a Muslim funeral and rip the clothes from his body. Yeah, go with the 2nd idea!” That was the recently fired Cubs PR guy. You know the billboard that announces the Cubs World Series win in Back to the Future II? I took a freeze frame and blew it up, noticing something interesting. It’s not exactly the dead ghost girl in the window of Three Men and a Baby, but I could’ve sworn I saw Kris Bryant’s face reflected in the billboard. I’d show you, but I threw it away by accident. Sorry! So, Kris Bryant is being called up and I don’t own him anywhere, but I do get a certain pleasure out of the Cubs calling him up just after the extra year of team control kicked in, er, kicked Boras in the nuts. In my projections, I had him down for 42/19/54/.256/3, but not getting called up until June 1st. Now, 30 homers is a legit possibility. I do think he could have a 30%+ strikeout percentage and hit below .240, but I’ll give him the highest compliment I can, I wish I owned him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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If you’ve lived in an area with access to the major Turner Broadcasting networks at any point since 1997, you’re probably familiar with the popular holiday movie A Christmas Story. The plot of the film revolves around Ralphie’s desire to obtain a BB gun (or more specifically a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle – but who can remember for sure) for Christmas that year. What nine-year-old boy wouldn’t want a BB gun? I know I would’ve loved one. All I usually got were a bunch of socks and sweaters and other boring stuff that I couldn’t care less about. What the hell, Mom?

But I digress. Just like Ralphie, we’ve all wanted that shiny, new BB gun at some point. Without those BBs, how would’ve young Ralphie fared against the likes of Black Bart and his crew? This fantasy season, we want those BBs instead of Aunt Clara’s homemade gift of choice. That brings us to this week’s exercise. Watch A Christmas Story tonight and then post your review in the comments. Wait, that’s not it, though feel free to discuss the movie if you’re so inclined.

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Looking at the title of this post, I could of easily called it Catchers! What are they good for? In fantasy you wouldn’t be wrong, because they can cause more harm than good. Those average draining, games played depleting, good for nothing bums. Except for you Yan Gomes, I own you in a few places, as I got a thing for Brazilian booty. What’s wrong with that? Have you seen the pics of female Brazilian soccer fans? Don’t judge me monkey! Seriously my fetishes…I mean my preferences are not what I’m here to talk about, we can do that in the comments. Oh and I’m gonna talk about a few end-of-the-draft CI’s too.

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They say talent trumps experience. That said, they also say persistence trumps talent. They also say persistence pays off. Sorry y’all, got lost reading motivational posters it seems. But that’s what happens when you are trying to get people excited about Josmil Pinto for the 2015 Fantasy Baseball season. Believe me, I know it’s a bumpy road. I mean, haven’t we been down it before? The Twins organization has been a confounding crew, turning 5 year aged Malbec into two buck chuck (now probably three buck chuck…curse you, inflation!) for what feels like a long time. I mean, name the last Twins hitter you were actually excited to own? Chuck Knoublauch? And how have I made two references to ‘chuck’ in an opening paragraph and it’s not even about the same type of chuck? Weird times. All this to say, Josmil could be on the cusp of greatness…or getting traded…or being completely forgotten. Man I love those three true outcome guys! If you’re curious why I say these things, read on. Here’s my red hot take on why Pinto could be an exciting get as a second catcher in deep league settings for 2015 Fantasy Baseball…

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It feels like yesterday the baseball regular season started. You wrote “I heart baseball” in permanent marker on your arm, then you met a girl who wrote “I heart guys who heart baseball” on her arm, then, during sex in August, you screamed out “I love you, Giancarlo!” and now you don’t have baseball or a girlfriend. C’mon, calendar, make like a soldier and turn to March. The only cure for the post-baseball season blues — recapping the preseason top twenty lists and being hand-fed Doritos. First up, Cool Ranch and our preseason Top 20 Catchers for 2014. It’s important to look back before we look ahead to 2015. To paraphrase the one and only B-Real, “How do you know where you’re at, if you don’t know where you’ve been? Understand where I’m coming from?” It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. It’s cold hard math, y’all! Please, for the love that all is holy, don’t ask me if this is for next year. Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Let’s break this down like Murray Chass would want it. Felix Hernandez has the 2nd best ERA in the AL, fourth most Ks, and 14 wins. When his team needed a win more than anything, so Grey (me) could possibly collect on a preseason bet he foolishly made for the Mariners to win the World Series, Felix choked up 8 ER in 4 2/3 IP, raising his ERA to 2.34. Felix has the 2nd best xFIP, 3rd best WAR for a pitcher and 8th best K-rate, but since we’re doing this as Murray would’ve wanted it, “What the flip is xFIP and I fought in Dubya Dubya Two and F-Her doesn’t know anything about WAR! Now stop with the Pollyanna chicken crap!” Did F-Her just lose the Cy Young award? He did if all the voters are subjected to a fifteen minute wait in a post office line with Mr. Chass. “Mr. Chass, did you print out an email to snail mail it?” “I don’t trust the internet!” Did the Mariners just lose all hope at the playoffs? F-Her, you effed me. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So here we are, the last week of the season. If you’re playing now, you’re in the money game of your head-to-head league, or you’re in a dog fight to pull ahead in the roto standings. I’ve said this for the last three weeks but, congratulations! You did something right. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say there are a few things you definitely didn’t do, you didn’t draft Justin Verlander, you didn’t draft Buster Posey or Joe Mauer anywhere near the first 5 rounds, you didn’t invest in one of the top 3 closers, and you probably didn’t draft Dominic Brown (Sorry Tehol). They say fantasy championships are made after the draft. Whoever they are? Seriously do you know? I’m just going to guess that if there is a they that writes these cliches, then they know Nick Capozzi. Mostly because he knows everybody in the fantasy industry. I’m also going to assume it’s a secret club that I’m not privy to. You know, like Skull and Bones.  Wow that escalated quickly! Where was I? Oh yeah winning fantasy championships. Well my belief is that the secret to winning in the final week is pitching, and how you use your streams. If you’re in a H2H league with a limited move number than be careful. One must choose wisely. With this in mind I have created a new format for these posts. As I mentioned last week I had the vision of putting my rankings in spreadsheet form and providing a couple of key metrics I felt gave you the readers full transparency into my thought process. Well my vision is reality behold the new and improved two startapalooza. You’ll see that in addition to the Pitcher’s name and opponent, I’ve also provided the pitcher’s handedness, the pitcher’s Home/Road ERA, the opponent’s Home/Road wOBA, and the opponent’s Right/Left wOBA split. These are the numbers I look at most closely when creating my rankings for the week. So why not share them with you? Enjoy, I put some time into this and I believe you’ll find it extra helpful. I hope it also sparks more debate in the comments and gives you guys all the more reason to challenge my tiers. I’ve also made sure that I based my Two-Start roster off of Rudy’s new two start pitcher SON/tool. This way all the information mirrors each other and gives some continuity to the post. Thanks again for reading and I’m looking forward to bringing this format back next season. Go Get’Em!

Please, blog, may I have some more?