After drudging through an Andy Dufresne-type tunnel for the top 20 catchers for 2014 fantasy baseball, I find myself with a group that actually really hurt or helped your team depending on how you drafted. If you went wrong with your 1st baseman, it could kill your season. Hey, Prince Fielder, no hard feelings from me. We are totally fine. Please enjoy these cyanide pills I made special for you. If you went right, you might’ve won your league. Last year, I said the end-of-the-season rankings of the 1st basemen was the sorriest group I’d ever seen. That remains true. Last year was sorrier. This group isn’t exactly the meow’s cat, but you didn’t lose your league due to these guys. You lost your league due to guys that didn’t make this list like Chris Davis, Mauer, Hosmer, Cuddyer, Votto, Trumbo, Allen Craig and the afatmentioned, Fielder. To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ll be honest, I really wanted to do a title about Rudy. After having a top-7 pitching week and moving into the top-10 overall, I wanted to kiss some a*s to the other man in charge. It was supposed to be “Rudy Comfortable”, a play on Rudy Huxtable, but then Grey told me to talk about you guys and four girl readers. I obliged and started looking at the top-10 and the player rater to see what they have in common. The top-4 teams, 5 total in top 10, all have Mike Trout and 3 of the top 5 have Jose Abreu. The top two teams have both. Jose Altuve, Todd Frazier, Michael Brantley, and Corey Dickerson are scattered throughout the top ten. In the pitching it’s a little all over the place. One trend I found interesting was in the bullpen where Cody Allen is on 4 teams and Wade Davis is on 3. I’m pointing those two out because they were both solid all year and probably owned all year. Allen being a draft day stash for save savy owners and Davis being a K/9 machine that caught our attention back in April. Take note of this next year. Instead of drafting next season’s Jose Veras, grab a great handcuff with a high K-rate and some faith. I know that’s easier said than done, being that very few MR’s repeat from year to year. Unless your name is Tyler Clippard. There are always themes to successful teams, if you got the first or second pick and drafted Trout your chances of winning increase exponentially, share with us in the comments how your team’s did where you got that sexy fish or any other studs that put you over the top. For the Trout owners you deserve a hat from the man himself.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rusney Castillo is expected to join the Sawx on Tuesday. Whoa, did you see that? There was a rainbow going over the world and when I said that it turned red. I wonder if that’s because he’s Cuban. Oh, it’s probably because the Red Sox paid to sponsor the rainbow. That makes more sense. I didn’t think Mother Nature would sell rainbow naming rights, but there ya go. Someone’s gotta pay for the sun; the world we live in. So, Rusney’s getting a little taste of how’s your father with the Red Sox, but I don’t think he’ll A) Play every day. B) Be much a factor this year. C) There’s no C. Now, for 2015 fantasy baseball, well, there we’re gonna have to talk for a sec. Sorry, I know you’re late to be moral support at your wife’s surgery, but she can wait. Here’s what Prospect Mike said about him previously, “The one tool that is not in question is (Rusney’s) speed. A 30+ steal season from Castillo is a possibility as soon as 2015. The power is still up in the air. Some have tagged him more as an 8-12 homer type guy while others have said 15 or maybe even 20 homers could be in the cards. With any player, we get lots of comps thrown around. Two of the comps I’ve heard the most are Shane Victorino and Rajai Davis. Honestly, the Davis comp makes the most sense to me. The one that makes the least sense is Grey, he’s just a buffoon.” Hey, what’s that all about? To me, the Rajai comparison feels heavy on the speed; Victorino seems a better equivalent, but, honestly, there’s a ton of unknown here. He could be anywhere from a 7 HR/20 SB fourth outfielder to a 20 HR/40 SB superstar. Victorino feels about right — 12 homers, 30 steals. The more I read that he only had 66 steals in 1097 plate appearances in Cuba, I wonder if the hype machine hasn’t taken Rusney and thrown him into the spin cycle, making him more than he is. Shizzton of risk either way you slice the cake, and, brucely, I love cake, so I hope you’re sharing. For this year, I’d take a flyer if I could platoon him. For 2015, I’d take the risk for something special, but don’t expect more than Victorino. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m a Twins fan (we comin’ in 2016), but I have little trouble picking on Trevor May, who has gotten knocked around like a guy in Knockaround Guys (never saw – looked dumb). Through his first four career starts (14.1 IP), May holds an 8.79 ERA and 8.16 BB/9…no bueno. He actually didn’t walk anyone his last time out, but May was so concerned with throwing strikes, he ended up tossing meatballs to the Tigers, who tagged him for 5 ER off 11 hits. Things will get better for the touted prospect but probably not tonight in Baltimore. The Orioles lead the majors in HR versus RHP (121), and they’ve averaged more than 6.5 runs over their last 9 home games. I say all birds are in play, and once I decide which 6 to use (most hitters allowed on DK from one team), I am confident they will do my bidding.

Are you not feeling confident in that advice? Did you find yourself rooting for Skynet during any of the Terminator movies? Well then, you need to check out the Stream-o-Nator, Hitter-Tron, DFSBot, and Ombatsman. These Razzball exclusive tools have been on the money when it comes to making money, so pay a visit to Rudy’s clever creations. I may be a simple human, but I’m still going to give you some other picks…

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve partied in San Diego. There are lots of options for beautiful people to finish your evening with, whether male or female. Either way, you’re gonna need a Jimmy in all likelihood. Ask J-FOH. He’s a local. He knows what’s up. Or ask “Adrienne” about Cam Thomas. Anywho… a Jimmy (hat) is very necessary in San Diego. The Brew Crew happens to be in Petco which is a stadium known more for its depression of hitter statistics than for the amount of petting that occurs. Jimmy Nelson is no fine thang, but he’s got some pretty good swing and miss in him and the Friars are clearly the worst offense he’s faced this year. And if my attempts at hitting a home run in the night clubs of San Diego are any indication, striking out is a very common trend as a tourist there.

I’m not gonna try to say that Nelson is the best option on the board today, but he is a really nice option. There are so many high priced guys today that I feel like taking someone at the lower end is what will set you apart in any matchup. Last night I played in three H2H matchups where we had 4-8… yes 8 of the same players. I don’t’ have a lot of words for how stupidly frustrating that is. Well, I do, but they aren’t more or less than 4 letters of inappropriateness. I’m riding Jimmy today like it’s his last adult feature film. I’m just sayin, cuz if I was Kust Cayin’ I’d be biting Grey, and the cougar has not yet approved that behavior. Nelson gets the Padres who’ve been a teeny weenie bit better lately, but ultimately pose the least threat to pitchers today and are in Petco. I won’t put you in a full Nelson to take him, but you should submit to this wisdom.

As we approach the final month of the season we are starting to really dial in the DraftKings picks. Having nearly a full season of data to rely on helps as the DFSBot proves. Rudy’s phenomenal tool, as Mrs. Gamble calls it, cranks out the day’s best value plays and even breaks it down to expected $ per point. The Ombotsman is now standing among company in its claim that the DFSBot has been a much more accurate method of ranking value than Draftkings salaries have been.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last night, I finally took a break after nearly 30 non-stop hours of watching the Every Simpsons Ever marathon to watch Wil Myers at bat. Much like Grandpa Simpson, I imagine someday I’ll tell my grand kids about watching the at-bats of a young Wil Myers, before he went on to achieve fantasy superstardom. Also like Grandpa Simpson, I imagine my story won’t really go anywhere. Like, “Back in ought-14, I had to use a remote to change the channel, because the cable companies had yet to implant the channel-changing chips in our brains. However, the important thing was I had an onion on my belt. Wil Myers stepped up to the plate in the 8th and sent a ball 400 feet into the seats for his first homer since May. Back then, before we switched to the metric system officially in 2042, we still measured things in feet because, Amurica. Twelve inches, you know. Myers ended 1-for-3 with 2 runs, 2 walks, his fifth home run, and his fourth stolen base. Mmmm, HRs and SBs. In those days, fantasy players like that were hard to come by, steroids were still illegal in baseball at the time, and did I mention I had an onion on my belt?” Anyway, I managed to pry myself away from #everysimpsonsever to watch Myers impress for the first time since returning from the DL three days ago and was shocked to find he’s unowned in a little less than 50% of ESPN and 30% of Yahoo leagues. Why am I not in any of these leagues?  Wil “I Passed the Other L to the Player on My Left” Myers struggled earlier in the season (.227 batting average in 53 games) but the 23-year old phenom is just a year removed from being baseball’s top prospect, and hit close to .300 with 13 homers and 5 stolen bases in just 88 games in 2013. Dude could catch fire any minute! Grey told you to BUY him this week, and Myers has all the tools to Wil your fantasy team to victory in the last few weeks, so if he’s out there on waivers somehow I’d grab him immediately, then maybe someday you can bore your grand kids with the story of how Wil Myers saved your fantasy season.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Chris Tillman went 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.55 while dropping his 2nd half ERA to 2.14 in 46 1/3 IP. Still, the best thing about him is he doesn’t currently have a duet with Nicki Minaj on the radio. He’s the one person in the western hemisphere. You are so lucky, eastern hemisphere! Assuming you, Eastern Hemispherers, move to the western hemisphere in the next six months and don’t get all of our hand-me-down crap songs next. I lived in London in the fall of 1996, so I had a jumpstart on “Tell me what you want what you really want, what you really really want” by the Spice Girls, then when I moved back home, it just got here. I had a good solid 12 months straight of one stupid Spice Girls song. I called it A Clockwork Spice. Ready for me to tie this in? I bet you are! I was in on Tillman in the preseason the past two years, convinced he could make the jump to fantasy number two. I held him both years in the 1st half, as he got battered around, then in the 2nd half of both years after I dropped him, he buckled down and showed the kind of pitcher he can be. Unlike last year, his peripherals this year are pretty poor — 6.2 K/9, 3 BB/9, 4.31 xFIP. I’d definitely own him while he’s going well, but I don’t think he’s become anything more than a decent fantasy number four to five. Right now, he’s a Wannabe. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

James Paxton continued to pitch well last night versus the ferocious Tigers tossing six innings, allowing five hits, one run, walking one and striking out a pair to move to 3-0 on the year. We shall call you, Pax the Destroyer! Pax is also one of Guardians of the Galaxy, believe it or not. No, not the tree or the raccoon. No, he’s not Scott Hatteberg from Moneyball or the smoking hot green alien either, but the other guy. The big guy. Yeah, him, apparently, he can pitch too. Since returning from the DL at the beginning of the month, he’s got a 2.16 ERA in three starts, giving up 4 ER, 15 hits and 4 walks while striking out 11 in 16.2 innings against some of the leagues top offenses (Baltimore, White Sox and Detroit). Sure, the stats aren’t overwhelming, but he’s still adjusting after returning from four months on the DL with a strained lat, and if you take his early season stats into account, the Destroyer holds a 0.94 WHIP and a 24/6 K/BB ratio. Also, the sample size is tiny, but the .236 BABIP and the 2.61 xFIP sure are pretty to look at. The M’s need Paxton to step up big time down the stretch, and I think he could do the same for your fantasy team. Pax the Destroyer gets the Phillies next week, and he’s undefeated, getting better by the start. He’s available in little over 70% of leagues and you don’t have to be a space pirate, a weird alien tree man, or a even Xandarian collector to see he could be worthy of a pick up in most leagues.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

How do you like your eggs? Scrambled? Hard-boiled? Sunny-side up? Fertilized (or Shawn Kemp style for you NBA fans)? Me, I like mine Odorizzi. What Egg puns using Jake Odorizzi‘s names are lame? Well soooooorry! You try and be super funny, relevant, and informative several times a week. This is hard work ladies and gents, and I’m in the trenches. What, I’m rambling? Sorry I’m coming off a three day coke binge and haven’t slept since Tuesday. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you view drug abuse, that isn’t true. I just worked a ton of hours and have been spending my down time trying to digest baseball for these daily leagues and football for the fall. The work for a fantasy sports writer never ends. Or it never sleeps, or maybe that’s Wall Street, or money. Yeah I think it’s something with money. Either way my brain is now so filled with mundane factoids about baseball I yelled out wOBA while making love to my wife last night. And Yes, I have indeed taken up residence on the couch for the foreseeable future. Hey! I found a peanut M&M in between the cushions. Score! So what does all this have to do with Jake Odorizzi? Nothing! I told you I’m super tired and have the mental capacity of a jack rabbit on meth.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t know about you, and let me preface this by saying most if not all of my league mates at least know I contribute fantasy baseball (OPS) content, but I keep getting the old “But, he’s a Catcher/Shortstop so he’s worth more” and from a position scarcity perspective, that’s obviously true. However, I am A) going for the win-now so all I want is to take the lead in certain (all) categories and B) position scarcity-schmarcity: give me the best available.

So it’s time for your 5×5 (HR,SB,R,RBI,OPS) rankings for both position scarcity and position schmarcity.

FYI, I use the FVAR (fantasy value above replacement) approach to fantasy valuation vs. SGP (standard gains points) approach since I don’t have all of your leagues’ current and historical information. Feel free to look this up or ask below.

For reference, here are the positional replacement 5×5 values and associated players (the 5 z-scores for each category are summed up; the sum is adjusted in each position by this positional replacement value i.e. each Catcher gets .73 added to their z-sum while each First Baseman only gets .01 added to their z-sum i.e. all catchers values are inflated more because of the lower replacement-value):

Please, blog, may I have some more?