So let’s just get this whole curse thing out of the way. Seems like every starter I’ve profiled since taking over this here gig has hit the DL, with lone exception being Luis Severino. Some how he’s escaped my DL wrath, which means he made a deal with the devil, or knows strong voodoo. Poor Charlie Morton, Vince Velasquez, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Nate Karns, y’all never had a chance without Severino’s voodoo. Yeah, seriously, the “Ralph Curse” is that real! Now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way, my condolences to the owners of this week’s victim Dinelson Lamet. Let’s pray for a shared secret between he and Luis from the BX. Because DANG, he looks good. He feels like one of those prospects that’s never bad, but falls through the cracks on some lists (mine), while being higher on others (other people not named me). He’s two strong starts, and 10 innings into his major league career, and he’s scheduled to go twice this week. So he’s firmly on the fantasy baseball radar. Enough with the bollocks, let’s dig into the bangers and mash, see what we have here, and determine if he’s someone to hold in the right formats.

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What you didn’t think I was going to go full homer with my debut pitching profile? I mean, it’s as if you don’t even know me? Suffice it to say we’ve turned the keys to the Top 100 pitching ship from one homer, to another. Truth be told, it was a busy weekend, as I covered for Grey on Friday, recorded the Prospect Podcast on that night with Halp, traveled to New York for Smokey’s 40th birthday, took in the Saturday Yanks vs. O’s game with Smokey and the crew, wrote my Minor League Update, and drove back to Massachusetts Sunday morning. Not to mention I was only tasked with this honor Thursday evening, right after I returned from my oldest son’s first baseball practice of the season. So to say it’s been a hectic few days is an understatement. However, a date for Edurado Rodriguez with the Cubs seemed like a good test for his new found swing and miss tendencies. It should be mentioned, that coming into the game Ed-Rod sported a 33 at bat hitless streak vs righthanded batters. So I was going to be paying extra attention as to how he attacked righties vs lefties, and what sequencing, pitch, etc. was leading to his success. Let’s get into it.

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Being in a crazy deep league can be a double-edged sword. Planning for a draft or auction where you know your last roster spots are going to be filled by players who are literally listed as 0% owned in some formats can be mildly terrifying. But in a weird way, it can make the first few weeks of the season easier. When the names at the top of the waiver wire are Rickie Weeks and Matt Cain (and, yes, those are actually the names at the top of the wire in my deepest AL and NL leagues, respectively), you have no chance to second-guess yourself. If you were worried about Jharel Cotton or Mike Foltynewicz’s atrocious first starts, for instance, you couldn’t just rashly dump them to take a flyer on Charlie Morton or Hyun-Jin Ryu… because those players are already ensconced on another team as someone’s third or fourth best starter.

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Yasmany Tomas, Odubel Herrera, Nomar Mazara.  What do those players have in common?  Guys that were in last year’s top 100 outfielders post that made it out like this is Orange is the New Black and those guys were Taystee.  Only then Taystee got reincarcerated and brought with her that badass b*tch Vee, and Vee then started running shizz and that white ho, who the show was originally about that is annoying AF, started getting institutionalized with panty-selling and lez ho’ing and–Well, anyway, you get the point.  There’s not a ton of sunshine in this top 100 outfielders, but occasionally you do get glimmers of hope.  All the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are under that link-ma-whosie.  As always, my projections and tiers are included.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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The Winter Meetings concluded day two yesterday at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.  Seen at the Gaylord so far was the best free agent starter (Rich Hill) signing, one of the best closers available (Mark Melancon) signing, and Curt Schilling protesting that the Gaylord Resort should not be allowed to marry.  “Is it going to start calling a lobby ‘Bobby’ and adopt a baby too?”  That’s Curt Schilling with his own special brand of crazy. With Giants’ signing of Mark Melancon, I’m saddened to remember all the good times I had over the past few years with the Giants’ bullpen.  Here’s those times condensed into a single run-on sentence, “I can’t believe I drafted Santiago Casilla, ugh, maybe I’ll back him up with Sergio Romo, oh man, that hurts just as bad, fine, I will grab Hunter Strickland, and he’s killing me too.”  Scene.  Yeah, those times, in theory at least, are behind those owning the Giants’ new closer, Melancon.  For 2017, I’ll give Melancon the projections of 4-1/2.26/0.97/58, 42 saves in 62 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Brian Dozier went 3-for-4, 4 RBIs with two homers (11, 12).  Dozier’s quietly had a great June (7 HRs, near-.350), after having a miserable May (2 HRs, .215) and an atrocious April (3 HRs, .191).  Who knows what July holds?  Which sounds like the title for a piece of art done by Daniel Johnston.  Let’s see, Daniel Johnston describing Dozier.  “June is Fun!  Fun!  Fun!  If I ever thought I could be happy, it was from Dozier.  Fun!  Fun!  Fun!  Oh!  That rock and roll!  It saves my soul!  Owning Dozier in June, it must’ve been a happy time, Kool Aid flowing like wine, the bubble gum, forever-ever-ever-ever-ever-ever after!  Now I will get on a random bus in Austin and ride to New Mexico.”  Oh, Daniel Johnston, you were taken from us way too soon.  *sees he’s still alive*  Okay, moving on.  So, Dozier has turned his season around and is close to the same pace as his previous season stats (28 HRs, 12 SBs).  Moreover, Dozier has cut his Ks by a lot, so he could hit for a better average this year (.250 vs. .235).  Daniel Johnston might be onto something.  About fun, fun fun not about getting on random buses.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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You wanna know frustration?  Of course, you do.  You play fantasy baseball!  We’ve chosen a hobby that is the least relaxing hobby possible.  May as well have a hobby of picking cheese off mousetraps.  If the mousetrap doesn’t smash your finger, you win.  What do you win?  A virtual trophy!  Oh, and bragging rights.  Awesome!  Okay, wanna really know frustration?  Wait to see how Dusty uses Trea Turner upon his call-up.  This is gonna be so fun!  Will Lloyd’s of London insure the ulcers of all Trea Turner owners?  Yesterday, he was called up to replace Ryan Zimmerman, who went on paternity leave.  So, unless Zimmerman’s wife takes as long as he does to get hot, I’m assuming Zimmerman will be back in three days tops.  At that point, Turner will stay with the club and play, stay and get benched or get demoted again.  If he stays with the club, do you think Dusty is going to play him over Espinosa?  Well, he could.  I guess.  “So, how do you play this mousetrap game again?”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Justin Upton was one of this offseason’s prized free agents, and with good reason. He’s shown the ability to hit for power (.200+ ISO and 26+ homers in each of the last three seasons), get on base (.348 career OBP), and even steal a few bags (18 or more SBs in five out of the last seven seasons). At 28 years old, the odds were pretty good that there were still a few productive seasons left in the tank. The Detroit Tigers pounced on the fresh meat and decided to lavish a six year, $132.75 million contract upon Upton in January. Thus far, the carcass of this Upton has been more rancid than the ones described by Upton Sinclair in his novel The Jungle over a century ago. J-Up has managed to produce a measly .213/.259/.319 batting line with just 3 home runs, 1 stolen base, 22 runs, and 11 RBI through the first two months of the season. Eduardo Nunez and Coco Crisp have hit more homers. Renowned speedsters Buster Posey and Mike Napoli have swiped more bags. Backup catchers David Ross and Bobby Wilson have driven in more runs in a fraction of the at-bats. Umm… what in the blue hell is going on here? Is Upton washed up already? Is there any hope for a turnaround?

Let’s take a look at Upton’s profile to see if there’s hope for a rebound. Here are a few observations:

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Felix Hernandez hit the DL with a calf strain.  He could veal it during his last start.  Sounds like a good injury to milk.  Sorry, I was just shaking out the pockets of these jeans I wore last night and I had a bunch of unused cow puns.  What’s a dad cow’s poop called?  Pa-nure!  Take it, Highlights, it’s yours!  So, James Paxton was called up to replace F-Her, who is likely going to only miss a few weeks, but Paxton could continue to get starts if he’s good.  So, can Paxton be good?  Is there’s twelve posts in post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-hype sleeper?  Paxton has shown flashes of brilliance with his 94 MPH fastball but the M’s have wanted Paxton to improve on a bunch of pitches and he’s already 27 years old, so is improvement coming?  Well, he had a 3.97 ERA in Triple-A this year and Steamer projects him as a streamer, so I have no faith whatsoever.   Speaking of faith, yesterday Paxton gave up runs like his character gave out marriage proposals.  Looking at his line is like looking at Chloe Sevigny — 3 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 5 unearned runs.  Paxton’s like when Picasso stood up from the toilet.  He’d look down and say, “That’s a work in progress.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Matt Harvey (5 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 6.08) briefly held the honor of having the worst ERA of any National League starter at 6.08, which means Harvey is the only one happy with Shelby Miller this year.  It’s time we addressed the giant imaginary rabbit in the room, Harvey.  The Mets thought that Harvey’s problems were mental and considered burning all of his locker’s contents to rid him of the bad juju.  Can you put his “animosity for Terry Collins” in the locker too?  How about his “bitterness at not being the star pitcher anymore?”  Does that fit in a locker?  What about “brooding?”  Does brooding fit in a locker?  Someone needs to salve Harvey’s ego with some Jergen’s lotion because you can see his buttsoreness (totally a word!).  His velocity looked fine yesterday, but his slider is not being located with precision.   Also, check this:  1st time through the order facing Harvey:  .241/.292/.373; second time:  .301/.326/.518; third time:  .509/.563/.764.  What does that tell me?  He’s having a hard time keeping his pitches fresh the 2nd and 3rd time a hitter sees him, which goes back to the slider.  I don’t think his problems are unfixable, but he may need a trip to the Disgraceful List with a mysterious ailment to clear his head and figure out his slider.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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