tuxes

Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…Matt Lyons, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Cleveland Indians!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

3rd basemen are the new Dolly Parton.  They are so top heavy they haven’t seen their toes in years.  After the top ten 3rd basemen, the rest are a wing, a prayer and Winger doing a cover of Living on a Prayer, which can’t hold a candle to Bon Jovi, because A) Jersey B) No one can hold a candle to Bon Jovi because of Jersey. C) There’s no C.  D)  Jersey!  I can’t remember a position like this for any other year in recent memory, but I’ve killed my brain for years with hard drugs.  If you don’t have a 3rd baseman by the 100th overall pick, you might be kissing your 3rd baseman position goodbye.  Literally, smooching your computer monitor like you’re in that Spike Jonze movie with Scarlett Johansson robot-talking.  By the way, Johansson is 31 years old, in nine years, she’s gonna be old.  In nine years, I’m gonna be distinguished.  Damn, Hollywood, you’re messed up giving me these ageist ideas!  As always, my projections and tiers are noted.   Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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The top 20 shortstops for 2016 fantasy baseball were once as bad as the top 20 2nd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball that I went over the other day.  Now the shortstops have had an influx of youth — or utes, if Joe Pesci is reading — and the future’s so bright I gotta wear shades, Arvid.  I’m happy for the shortstops, and happier for myself.  For a while, the top 20 shortstops were Tulo and those other guys.  Kinda like the top 20 catchers is Posey and those other guys.  Oh, and there was a top 20 1st basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball post already too (organic linking!).  Hopefully, the shortstops aren’t just showing up in a librarian’s outfit with red-rimmed glasses and appearing sexy, then turning out to be Sally Jessy Raphael.  As with the other top 20 rankings, I point out where tiers start and stop and my projections.  All the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings can be found under that thing that says 2016 fantasy baseball rankings.  Unsuccinct!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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There’s only a few more roundups left on the season, then I’ll be recapping the rest of October, then rookies in November, then sleepers in December, then rankings in January, then I draft Arenado again in February and then March hits and my Cougar wife says to me, “I’ll see you again in October.”  So, as you can see, we don’t have a ton of time before next year.  So, Part II:  So So Again; I wanted to talk briefly about the insanely sexy, hump-taker, Marcus Stroman.  Yesterday, he pitched a fantastic little start — 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, to leave his ERA at 1.67 since his return, but I’m more concerned with Stroman for next year.  Or as I like to call it, Sixteen after Twenty, The Year of The Stroman.  If I call it that, it might give away the ending here, but I’m going to love Stroman in 2016.  Stroman, my pain with his fingers.  One time, one time.  Well, I loved him coming into this year prior to his injury.  An injury, mind you and mind the gap, that wasn’t on his arm.  What’s to like about Stroman?  How about this checklist:  solid ground ball rate, solid Ks and excellent control.  You know who that is?  Dallas Keuchel.  Stroman can be that dominant in 2016 too.  As for 2015, he’s done, so, yo, Grey, hit the segue!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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You wanna know what’s on my mind?  “If the Nationals wouldn’t have shut down Stephen Strasburg three years ago, would they have been eliminated a day earlier this year?”  No, that’s not on my mind.  “Is there anything to your business idea of selling 500-foot rulers outside the courthouse to people who just got restraining orders?”  That’s been on my mind, but that wasn’t what I was thinking about now.  “What does Strasburg offer us for 2016?”  Yes, that was what I was thinking.  How did you read my mind?  “I’m you.”   Shh, you’re ruining the illusion.  Yesterday, he went 7 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 13 Ks.  Prettttay, pretttay good.  Of course, Effin Stressbird has been an ulcer all year with his 4.30 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and continual injuries that have left him with only 98 1/3 IP.  When digging deeper — and it hurts me soul, Lupe Fiasco, to say this — he doesn’t look bad.  His velocity went up this year to 95.3 MPH from 94.8; his K/9 is down 10.1 to 9.7, but I think that’s just due to his control, and a 9.7 K/9 isn’t bad.  He hasn’t been as sharp with command, but couldn’t that be due to the back problems he’s fighting?  I hate him as much as anyone that is making hashtags by combining MLK and the dipshit in Kentucky, but if I’m looking at his stats with impartial eyes, he doesn’t look terrible for 2016.  For this year, just give me three more effin starts like last night, you Effin Stressbird.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On a day where pitching isn’t deep and very top-heavy, it gets really hard to look past the tops of the charts. Clayton Kershaw you say? Don’t mind if I do. Jacob deGrom? Yes please may I have some more. For me, I’m looking at a guy who gets to face the Atlanta Braves. Said Atlanta Braves sit tied for last in wRC+ since the start of the second half. Also, said Atlanta Braves are missing their best bat in Freeman and have so much scrub in the lineup I’m about to start calling them the Scotch-Brites. Guaranteed to keep the scoreboards clean! But the biggest thing Jake Odorizzi has going for him isn’t even the opponent. Actually, it’s where he’s pitching. Jake is a home schooler. Through 51 innings at the Trop, Jake owns a 1.41 ERA. Sure, he’s a little lucky in that regards as his xFIP is more than double that at 3.44 but you know what helps you luck out? How about a 9.12 K/9 rate and a 20.2% K%-BB%. Overall, given the higher end options, many may find it hard to look Odorizzi’s way. Don’t be one of those people who says Odor’in ain’t easy Izzi and go with Jake. But enough about my strange rap and hip hop references, here we go. Let’s look at my it’s getting hot in here takes for this Wednesday DK slate…

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! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

 

When you think about Rob Schneider’s career, his Richmeister character was bordering on prophetic. I mean, the first time we saw the character, ok, that was fun. Annoying and yet you get the gist of it why it’s funny and it was in a small enough sample size for you to actually enjoy it and not be frustrated. And then they kept doing the skit over and over and making the skits longer and longer. The reason it was funny was that you get it, the dude is annoying. But is it really funny annoying your audience? Not really. I mean, who the eff watched Deuce Bigalow? Wait, don’t answer that, especially with a ‘yes’ cuz I want us to stay friends. Basically, Rob Schneider in small doses can work (YOU CAN DO IT!) but if you have to deal with him for longer than five minutes, you’re basically trying to annoy your audience to death. Speaking of annoying your audience to death, there’s me not talking about Luis Severino. Let’s fix that, shall we? Severino’s first start of the year wasn’t perfect but it was spectacular as he K’d 7 through 5 and only gave up 2 hits, though those two hits were smacked pretty hard and one left the yard. But said hits were in Yankees stadium and by lefties in a lefty friendly park. Progressive Field still plays well to lefties but it pales in comparison to that Bronx short porch. And though I wouldn’t call that offense lost at sea entirely, it is made up of guys still learning the game and castaways at this point as they shed payroll and try to build for 2016. Meanwhile, New York is still playing for something and Severino looked so good his first time out, I’m hard pressed not to go back to him on a day where he may go underowned because of all the other higher priced pitchers. So join me in rostering the Sevman…the Sevmeister…the Severino, won’t you? Meanwhile, Schneider looks forward to reprising his cameo roles in another Adam Sandler movie. My hatred there is for another time cuz it’s time we move on to some other calls. So here’s my red hot chick takes for this Tuesday DK slate…

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! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m picturing Droopy Dog saying, “Going down,” to my Excitement for Jose Fernandez. My Excitement for J-Fer is hooking up with a strobe light honey at a club, and my Excitement for J-Fer’s friend later tells my Excitement for J-Fer, “She was cute, except for that protruding Adam’s apple.” My Excitement for J-Fer just got a $300 red light camera ticket. My Excitement for J-Fer put the green trash can at the curb the day it was supposed to put the blue can and then puts the black can at the curb the day the green can was supposed to go out. My Excitement for J-Fer exclaims, “Why can’t I even throw out the trash right?!” My Excitement for J-Fer sighs and puts an emoji in its text messages that symbolizes its childhood hero Hulk Hogan being a racist. As you’ve likely heard, Fernandez is out indefinitely with a bicep strain. Hopefully, he can be fine for next spring, i.e., I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t return this year. Otherwise, as the old beer jingle will tell you, J-Fer, the pitcher to draft when you’re DL’ing more than one. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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This is a true story. Pamela Anderson has an identical twin sister, and when Pam went to Hollywood to seek fame and fortune, her twin, Peggy, stayed behind in Minnesota. That part everyone knows. The part less people know is Peggy followed nearly all of Pam’s career moves, but in Minnesota. Peggy starred in a Minnesota-based TV show, Lakewatch, she took off her clothes for the Minnesota rag, The Viking, and she filmed a sex tape with Chris Mars. Sadly, the people of Minnesota canceled Lakewatch to show more Paul Molitor car commercials. The people of Minnysota asked Peggy to “Please put on a sweater” in The Viking, and Chris Mars was hung like a California Raisin. Peggy, like so many things Minnesota gets its hard Norwegian hands on, disappeared from people’s consciousness. Now replace Peggy with Aaron Hicks, replace Pamela Anderson with A.J. Pollock and imagine they’re related. When Hicks first came up, people thought he was going to be better than Pollock. No, not dumb people. In Double-A, Hicks had 12 homers, 32 steals and a .285 average. Then strikeouts enveloped his game in the majors and he hit .192 with a 27% K-rate in 2013, and hit .215 with a 25% K-rate in 2014, but this year, .277 and a 17% K-rate! That’s a huge improvement. That’s what she said! What? Oh, and he’s only 25 years old. Right now, he has 6 homers and 9 steals, so the power/speed combo hasn’t disappeared like Peggy Anderson, but the K-rate has. I’d own Hicks in all leagues, and am starting to prep myself for him to be a sleeper for 2016. As long as David Wasslewoff, Peggy’s old co-star, doesn’t try to coerce him into revamping the Lakewatch series. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yeah, can’t top the start at this point. Shark done been jumped, peeps, we gotta find a new road to venture down cuz you can’t climax at the title and then tease the rest of the time…dang it, phrasing! Segueing away from this mess…the knuckle ball. It’s a curious thing. It does it’s own thing so when it comes to making a call on a knuckle ball pitcher, you have to start with two key points. One, is the pitcher ‘on’ currently? Well, R.A. Dickey has three straight 25+ DK point games to his credit so check that box. Two, how does the team fare against him/knuckle ballers in general? You see, BvP is a bit of a sticky subject in our little world that we fantasy baseball guys live in. It’s not a huge part of my research, personally…unless said pitcher is a knuckler. Overall, the Yankees as a team haven’t done well against Dickey since his return to the AL in 2013. Over 8 games, Dickey has owned the Bronx Bombers to the tune of a 1.98 ERA to go with a 0.97 WHIP and has averaged close to 7 IP per start. Now the Ks haven’t been anything special with a mere 6.67 K/9 during that span but in a tournament where Dickey has a chance to not only last long into a game but also get 4 points for a win, count me in at his current $6,600 asking price. When you factor in the current Yankees roster owns a mere .640 OPS off of R.A., it’s easy to find this matchup more enticing than at first glance. So let’s go forth together with Dickey in hand, dear friends, and see where it gets us…ugh, yeah, phrasing. Let’s move on shall we? Here’s my other throbbing hot takes for this Friday DK slate…

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! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?