With the top 80 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball, we are so close to the end of the rankings I can almost taste it!  Wait, that’s not rankings I taste, I bit my lip and it’s blood.  I wonder if when Dracula bites his lip it’s like when Cougs goes out with her friends and I’m left at home while Emmanuelle is on Cinemax.  You might say to yourself, “Self, everyone is totally fooled by my toupee and do I really need to draft starters this deep in my friendly 12-team mixed league?”  You don’t, except you will own guys from this post this year either from the draft or from waivers or your leaguemates will own them and beat you.  Last year, in the tier of pitchers I liked in the top 80 starters was Wacha, Carlos Martinez and Heaney.  They had an ERA of 3.26 in 467 IP.  You put three guys like that together with, say, Kluber and Rodon and you have all the pitching you need.  Or team three starters like that with Hamels and Corbin or Ventura and Lester.  I’ll go over exactly how to draft starters in a few days, but there are so many ways to skin a cat we should have PETA breathing down our necks.  All the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings are there.  My tiers and projections are noted.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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You know, this signing of Zack Greinke with the Diamondbacks isn’t much of a surprise since Greinke is so intellectually driven and Phoenix is on the cutting edge of cyber-learning.  Did you know 1 out of 24 graduates from the University of Phoenix go on to make six figures?  Of course, 1 out of 24 graduates from the University of Phoenix are chosen to be in their commercials and paid $100,000.  That gives me an idea, we should start a college and charge students $200,000 for a 4-year degree, then hire every graduate for $24,000/year.  Shoot, every college and company are already working this scheme.  Any hoo!  Zack Greinke goes to the Diamondbacks and takes a hit in his value or will take multiple hits on his value.  Don’t think the Dodgers are really that much better offensively than the D-Backs.  Actually, they’re worse.  So, it’s not a hit due to chance for wins.  It’s a hit due to home stadium change.  Arizona’s decidedly a hitters’ park and the Casa de Doyers is not.  Arizona is around top five for hitting, whereas Dodger Stadium is around bottom five.  Things sway yearly, but Chase Field has had years in the top two for offense, only sniffing Coors’ butt.  Mean’s while, Dodger Stadium has had years in the bottom three for all offense, only staying in front of Safeco and Petco.  I doubt Greinke falls back to a 4+ ERA pitcher he was his last year on the Royals, but he was a 3.83 ERA pitcher in another hitting-friendly park in Milwaukee, and that’s not so good.   Oh, and Greinke is 32 years old.  Yeah, you don’t need a degree from the University of Phoenix to know this deal could go sideways real fast.  For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 15-8/3.54/1.16/194 in 210 IP and someone I am not going near.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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All the final 2015 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done.  For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball.  This is NOT for 2016 (caps for those who can’t read titles; supposedly it’s easier to read caps, I have my doubts).  This is a recap.  Will these affect next year’s rankings?  Sure.  But not entirely.  To recapitulate, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  We’re (me) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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If you’ve been following along all season, you already know that this was the first year of Razzball’s very own dynasty league – the Razznasty – made up entirely of Razzball writers and commenters. It was an absolute blast, and I was glad to have the opportunity to commish this one. It’s a 16-team, 40-man roster, keep 30 dynasty format. This year was a battle for first place between Razzball’s own J-FOH and commenter Csifu (Hannibal Montana). It was a tight race all year and at times the difference was a mere point or two. But J-FOH put his foot on the gas down the stretch and pulled away. The Hateful One did it with style by racking up top five finishes in eight of the ten categories in September, including 32 wins and 367 strikeouts over the final month. When it was all said and done, J-FOH came within four points of a clean sweep 160 for the year. Impressive stuff, and so with this final post I’m handing him the microphone so he can share a bit of his strategy and how things played out for his squad.

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It’s been a great year, and it’s been a pleasure talking to you all throughout the course of the season. But as much as I thank you for all the comments, feedback and conversation over the year, I have to thank all my favorite plays this season for the joy, and sometimes heartburn, they gave me.

SP: Zack Greinke, Corey Kluber, Chris Sale: Some nights I gave the ball to Greinke with no hope to cash in my lineups. The bats were cold, the chips were down…all was lost. But Greinke came through anyway, all season long. First month Kluber had the underlying metrics without the results, mid-season Kluber found the groove and made late season Kluber jealous. And Sale….well, nice knowing that it never mattered how many runs you have up, because those Ks….those sweet Ks, always delivered. Thanks, fellas.

C: Kyle Schwarber: The Swarb has a warm back rub when the day was so tense. Sweet, delicious power in a catcher, forever eligible on DraftKings. The stuff cash was made of.

1B: David Ortiz: Last season he led in both hard hit rating and expected power and he spent the last 2/3 of the season getting back to that. Never age, Papi, never age.

2B: Luis Valbuena, Cesar Hernandez: Valby has been a vs. RHP crutch since his time in Chicago last year. He goes for the downs every time up and does it enough to make it worth rostering him, though he cost a bit more as time progressed. Cesar was a sub-3K dynamo for far too long, ripping base hit and steals at the top of the Phillies lineup. Cesar the Great? He sure was.

SS: Carlos Correa, Andres Blanco: Correa came up and raked and hardly ever stopped. His price eventually rose to All-Star heights, but he was fun to own for long time. and Andres Blanco is my favorite vs. LHP masher at SS and is always priced like he’s homeless. Gotta love the vs. LHP Phillies.

3B: Alex Rodriguez, Yangervis Solarte: ARod was fairly modestly priced all season and early on, he was a monster and great fun to roster as the Yankees were crushing. Solarte started leading off in San Diego and was a base hit, hard hit metrics darling and paid off often at his price tag, which always hovered around 3K.

OF: From Joey Butler and Grady Sizemore to Nelson Cruz and Mike Trout all the way through The Grandy Man, JD Martinez and Gerardo Parra, the Milwaukee version, the outfield produced so much good times, it’s hard to single anybody out. Thanks fellas.

Let me know who your favorites were in the Comments area and enjoy the last couple of days of baseball. I’m going to treat the Saturday slate as if these teams will all give a darn, but check the lineups for fun and games. Thank you all!

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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The other day I made the best purchase of my life (okay, of the last week).  I bought a thermometer that has a laser beam on it.  You shoot the laser on the object and it tells you its exact temperature.  It’s meant–Actually, I don’t know what it’s meant for.  I bought it because our oven seems to be about 100 degrees off.  Though, I got it five days ago and I haven’t used it for the oven once, but have measured the temperature of about twelve hundred other things.  The coldest drinking water I’ve had was 49 degrees at this pizzeria around the corner from my house.  Oh, yeah, I’ve been taking this out with me.  I’ll go up to people on the street, shoot their temperature and be like, “You have a fever, you might want to take an aspirin.”  I like to put on my flip flops when they’re between 68 to 71 degrees.  Any colder and it stiffens my toes, any warmer and it raises my body temperature a full .4 degrees.  I know this because I have a thermometer with a frickin laser on it!  So, how does this relate to fantasy baseball?  I was watching Justin Bour slug his 23rd homer yesterday, his 2nd of two homers in the game, and I shot his temperature.  A blistering 109 degrees!  Doode’s fahrenhot!  Doode is straight butter that a professional hibachi chef puts on a sizzling lobster tail!  Doode’s Kurt Russell in Backdraft!  Yes, you should own him.  In fact (Grey’s gonna say more!), you should’ve owned him for the last few months.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, began yesterday, and Brad Ausmus, the Tigers manager who doesn’t believe in a manger, started atoning for his mistakes, by sending the Tigers closer, Bruce Rondon, home due to a lack of effort.  This sends an interesting message.  I’d guess, with a motorized scooter and knee-bypass surgery, Victor Martinez still wouldn’t be at 100% effort.  Kyle Lobstein and Randy Wolf wouldn’t be at 100% effort with a pitching machine standing next to them as they mimed throwing.  Shoot, I don’t know if Miggy was at 100% effort even in his Triple Crown season.  Also, what does this say about Ausmus?  That he’s managing a team in last place, but he’s coaching at 100% effort?  Wouldn’t he be better off pretending he was at, say, 60% effort?  How about this, “I sent Rondon home because he was at 40% effort.  I lead by example around here, and I demand everyone give 50 to 55% effort, as I do.  What?  You thought I was at 100% effort and we’re in last place?  Please!”  Alex Wilson is the likely replacement closer, maybe Neftali Feliz also sees some saves, but he blew one last night.  Then, in Kansas City, Greg Holland let the entire organization off easy by saying he had a tight elbow and is done for the year.  This saves everyone from calling for Wade Davis to close while berating and belittling Holland worse than a tourist who doesn’t smoke pot and hates windmills.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So as the two-start pitching post comes to a close, I thought I’d take a break from our usual theme based format and make this week’s edition as straight-forward as possible. But then I wrote the first draft in Old German and realized that translating it back to English was neither simple or straight-forward. There are some terms in Old German baseball vernacular that just don’t translate. Then again most of it is comparing pitchers mechanics to field work. This all gave me a great idea for a sequel to Million Dollar Arm with John Hamm. The premise is simple, upon his return from India J.B. Bernstein is driving through Lancaster County and witnesses a 16 year old Pennsylvania Dutch lefty by the name of Ezekial Miller striking out teams of grown men from a near by town. Bernstein fresh off his cricket adventure, believes he’s found his next project and wacky hi-jinx ensues. It’s one part Kingpin, One part The Natural, and one part Hoosiers. The last part only fits because there’s a lot of veiled racism that only Disney could produce. So that’s my pitch (pun point). What do you guys think, shall I kick start a Kickstarter campaign? Let’s make this happen, I have a football team of little Lifshitz to feed, or as I call them a bunch of Lil-Shitz. You like?

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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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Hello! How many of Y’all remember the early 90’s? I don’t mean you were 5 and sort of remember it. I mean you know all the words to Color Me Bad, “I Wanna Sex You Up”, or K7’s “Come Baby Come”. How many of you had a fly honey in high waisted shorts and a fresh perm? Can you bust out a Running Man or the Wop? If you caught even 60% of what I just said this one’s for you. You know for all my overall shorts with the one strap rocking CooleyHighHarmony heads. We’re bringing it back New Jack Style with some of the flyest threads of the early 90’s. Ya heard?

One big change before we go forward, the format of the charts got a little remix treatment here in the two-trey. Yours truly, decided to roll out a different set of wOBA ranks, scrapping the righty/lefty splits and instead looking at the entirety of the second half. This should give you some idea of what offenses are A. Hot and B. Putting it together following any acquisitions they made before the trade deadline. Because who really cares what a team looked like in April or June, right?  Should we let our judgement be skewed by first half data if a team has been awful for all of July and August? Hell no! So we made that change for your benefit I’m a giver. The other change is we dropped the k% and added the ERA/FIP/xFIP of each potential two start pitcher over their last 5 or so turns. We did have a couple with under 5 starts total for the season, but it was just two (Zach Davies, and Cody Martin). Once again this is taking a look at the current form of each starter, not how they were pitching two months ago. Ya Dig? Good, well let’s get to it.

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