Yesterday, the Twins traded Aaron Hicks to the Yankees for serial-killer-in-name-only, John Ryan Murphy.  Here’s what I said earlier this year, “When Hicks first came up, people thought he was going to be better than that Pollock fella.  No, not a stereotypical dumb person, but as in A.J. Pollock.  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?” And that’s me quoting me!  On a side note, am I the only that sees K-rate and then tries to chop in half a wooden block while screaming hi-ya?  “Today, Daniel-san, we will talk about K-rate.”  No?  Okay, maybe it’s just me.  *Grey does a flying crane kick*  “Oh, he’s been practicing his K-rate.”  Still nothing?  Okay, I’m moving on.  One more Pollock comparison that is likely coincidental but I’m gonna throw it out there.  Pollock didn’t break out until his age-27 season and Hicks is only 26.  Okay, one more Pollock comparison, Pollock never stole 39 bases in the minors leagues, but just did it in the majors.  Hicks never stole more than the aforementioned 32 bases, but that means nothing.  Okay, fine, one more Pollock comparison!  Pollock never hit more than ten homers in the minors and he just hit 20 homers in the majors.  So who cares Hicks never hit more than 13 homers in the minors.  That’s still above anything Pollock did.  Okay, and I really mean it this time, one more comparison to Pollock.  The excitement I had last year for A.J. Pollock when I called him a sleeper is nearly identical to the excitement I have right now for Hicks.  Okay, okay, one final thing on Pollock!  The mistake I made last year when I didn’t draft him after flagging him as a breakout won’t be repeated with Hicks.  Let’s go over quickly what Hicks did last year, he hit 11 homers with a 11% home run to fly ball ratio, which is completely repeatable, so last year in 155 games he would’ve had 18 homers.  He also had 13 steals and four steals in September.  If he stole 4 bags every month, he’d have 24 steals.  Last year, he had a .256 batting average with a .285 BABIP, which is low for him.  He’s got some speed and a .310 BABIP isn’t out of the question (he had years of a .340+ BABIP in the minors).  If he gets to a .310 BABIP, he’s going to hit .270.  Really, that’s not a stretch, which is also a nickname no one ever called Altuve.  18 HRs, 24 steals with a .270 average on the year?  If he would’ve done that, I’m not sure we’d even be talking about Hicks as a sleeper, but rather as a top 20 outfielder.  And this isn’t me fighting hard to get him to these numbers.  Like a migrant worker, I’m cherrypicking a little with the steals by saying he’s going to get four a month because he did that in September, except (!) he’s likely closer to a guy that could take six bags per month.  When Steamer projects Hicks for 10 HRs and 11 steals with a .256 in 2016, it doesn’t worry me.  It actually makes me more excited because that means most people aren’t going to be excited about him.  Steamer is very conservative and doesn’t flag breakouts; that’s my job.  For 2016, I’ll give Hicks the projections of 82/15/52/.274/26, assuming the Yankees find a way to get him a starting job this offseason, which seems all but assured.  So, my question for you is, who’s the Pollock now?  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, how’s everyone holding up without fantasy baseball every day?  I don’t know what to do with myself!  This week I wandered into a Starbucks and told the coffeerista about Chris Tillman for 2016.  Then I laughed hysterically for a good twenty minutes until someone asked me to leave.  We’ve gone over the final 2015 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters.  There’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left.  You’re welcome.  I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking about 2016 rookies next.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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“Hello, and welcome to the Izod Center in downtown East Rutherford, New Jersey!  We’re only 35 minutes from New York!  On tonight’s fight card, we have everyone vs. George Zimmerman and, our main event, Bryce Harper vs. Jonathan Papelbon!  Harper has him on height by a good six inches, if you count his mohawk.  They’re both tipping the scales like heavyweights, if you count their egos, but Papelbon has the reach by three and a quarter inches since Harper will be fighting off his heels, as he’s been known to do his whole career.  The Loafer vs. The Soft Shoe!  The Cock vs. The Guy With A Haircut That Makes Him Look Like A Cock!  The Veteran Who Plays The Game The Right Way vs. The Upstart Who Just Plays The Game Better Than Anyone Else.  Hosting this event is Donald Trump.  Making this country great again like he did in Atlantic City!”  Yesterday, I said, these two mix like vinegar and douche, and then the Nationals made sure they wouldn’t have to mix at all.  Papelbon was suspended for the rest of the regular season, which opens the door for Blake Treinen, Matt Thornton and/or Casey Janssen.  That’s the order I’d grab them for saves, but like a carrot in minestrone, it’s real dicey.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And now the end is near, so I face the final curtain, my friends I’ll say it clear, I’ll state my case of which I certain. I’ve written a season’s full, I’ve looked at each and every wOBA. But much more than this I did my Job-a. Regrets I’ve had a few, but then again too few to mention (cough, cough Carlos Frias). I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption. I built each chart of course, each careful stat along the byway. And much more than WHIP, I diiiiiiidddd ittttTTT MYYYYY WAAAAY!

A big thank you to everybody reading my non-sequiturs and random brain farts about two start pitchers. I surely do appreciate your time. With 25 (actually 24) of these in the can, we got one last post to go. I don’t know what will happen to us over the next 6 months. We may grow apart, you may follow your heart, and your heart might take you to a small village in the Hindu Kush mountains. Where you fall madly in love with the daughter of a Tajik Warlord by the name of Richa. Maybe you abandon fantasy baseball and live a simpler life off the land. No not like the reality show the Simple Life. A simple life like milking goats, and tending fields. Simple like owning 4 bowls amongst five people. No matter what happens to all of you, just know I’ll always be here. Well not technically here but if you click that icon up top that says soccer, I’ll magically appear. Sort of like the genie from Aladdin, just soley focused on the subject of soccer, and completely devoid of wishes. I might have matches though. Goodbye my friends, I promise to be just as crazy in the 1-6. Two start pitchers week 26.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Zach Britton has a mild lat strain.  He hopes to return soon as he’s complained that the loneliness of not pitching is killing him.  Britton went on to say, “Bollocks!”  Maybe that’s a Briton.  Any hoo!  Or as a Briton would say, “Tally hoo!”  The Orioles haven’t said Britton is shut down, but I highly doubt he closes another game in the next week.  Or as a Briton would say, “My Full Monty is knackered.  Let’s scallywag over a fag, you donkey arse.”  The Irish have fought for independence for the better part of a century, and yesterday they exacted some revenge as Britton went down to an O’Day.  Darren O’Day said, “Blarney stone something something potato something something Guinness.”  It was hard to understand.  I would grab O’Day in every league if you need saves as he’s now converted two in two like Chuck Woolery, and, holy crap, Woolery got old!  Have you seen The Voice?  His son was on there and Woolery looked like he was gonna turn to dust.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’d like to start things off this week by giving a shout out to J-FOH for covering the trash/treasure post this week while I was busy fighting traffic and stuffing my face in the Philly area during the holiday weekend. Great job, buddy. And by the way, the food pics will keep coming as long as you swear by those “Philly cheesesteaks” by that sandwich chain out on the west coast. I can’t even… Let’s move on, shall we?

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Yoenis Cespedes went 3-for-5 with his 31st homer and, like, his 12th homer in the past week.  Doode’s straight combustible heat.  Like a fatty steak on the grilling heat.  Uh-oh, I feel my rap altar ego, B-Fire, coming on.  Cannot stop the blaze.  Like a Scottish sheep, I can’t stand here, I gotta graze.  Between Monday and Tuesday is a hidden day called Muesday, between Monday and Sunday is all Grey’s days.  I watch a Merchant-Ivory period flick with my piece, because I’m strapped and going through a phase.  Shh, it’s my Victorian secret.  Whomp, there’s another Yoenis hit.  Cepedes is so on-lock it’s like he’s got a hundred legs all stuck in tar pits.  For my Def Poetry Jam audition tape, this I will submits.  I liked About Schmidt, but why Kathy Bates gotta get out of the tub naked with her flabby– Nah, I need to quit.  So, on the year, Yoenis has a line of 93/31/92/.298/7 and is nearly top five for all players on our Player Rater, not just top five outfielders, and, for 2016, it’s going to be real hard to knock him down much past the 2nd round.  Unless, of course, the Padres get their grubby mitts on him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Since the All-Star break, Joey Votto is hitting .399 with a .576 OBP.  His season line is 27 HRs, 70 RBIs, 81 runs, slashing .316/.457/.567.  Or as Reds manager, Bryan Price, would say, “I want to sew a sock puppet in Votto’s likeness, then put it on my c*** and–”  Okay, maybe we shouldn’t ask Bryan Price, he can’t keep things PG-13.  “PG-13 is for a man with a Cavapoo puppy.  Real men take their Votto-faced, sock puppet and pay an old stripper to suck its f****** yarn until those little f******** eye rolly glue-on things that you bought at Michaels Arts & Crafts store roll up into its f******* sock eye sockets.”  Yesterday, Votto had another big day in a 2nd half of lovely — 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 27th homer.  To recap, or just tell you for the first time, Rudy almost drafted Votto in the 2nd round of Tout Wars (it’s an OBP league).  Rudy ended up getting Donaldson and is in first place, so I’ll be sure to bid a penny on eBay for the world’s smallest violin for him.  But for 2016 fantasy, I have to think Votto is right there in the 2nd round again for all leagues, OBP or not.  Good for Joey, making pitchers ‘roo the day!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maybe it’s because Whip/Nae Nae is permanently stuck in my head — One word of advice.   If you take no other advice from me, please, I implore you, accept this advice.  If you don’t know what Whip/Nae Nae is, don’t, under any circumstances, Google it.  It make Gangnam Style seem like a walk in the park when it comes to catchy songs. If you don’t know what Gangnam Style is, I love how you’ve decorated under that rock of yours.  — but I can’t help looking at Jake Arrieta‘s no hitter less about the 12 Ks and only allowing one walk — Sure, those are sweet — but more about how his season WHIP is 0.94.  There’s Greinke (.85 WHIP), Kershaw (.90), Scherzer (.93) and deGrom (.94).  An under one WHIP and a 9+ K/9 is a little piece of heaven like sitting in an exit row of an airplane.  On the podcast that’s coming later today, I debate Greinke and Arrieta, Scherzer and Arrieta and deGrom and Arrieta as we try to figure out where they’ll be ranked in 2016.  I say something like Arrieta will be ranked around the 4th to about the 7th SP off the board.  I agree with Early Sunday Afternoon Grey, but I will say that Arrieta has made it difficult for me to think of four SPs that should be drafted before him.  Let alone six.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Fresh off a no-hitter, Mike Fiers is priced at $10,300 today. Are we going to buy into the no-hitter curse, that the following game he’ll get destroyed and prove that the no-no was a fluke? That Phillip Humber perfect game in 2012 always jumps into my head when I see a mid-tier fantasy pitcher get a no-hitter. It was only two months ago that rookie Chris Heston pitched his no-hitter against those first place Mets. Fiers has gone at least 5 innings or more in his last 13 starts. He’s an intriguing option today because first thought is that he’s priced too high just because of last week’s performance. Over his last 13 starts, he’s allowed 4 or more runs just 4 times. In his last 3 starts with the Astros, he’s pitched 21 innings and only allowing 1 earned run. I’m going with the optimistic approach and say that his confidence is higher than ever, and will perform very well today on the road against the Twins. Keep reading and check out some of my other DraftKings’ picks for today.

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?