Welcome back for another star-studded event! Assuming you hack into your favorite online dictionary and replace the definition of ‘star’ with “guy who lives in his mom’s basement and screams when someone finishes his Doritos,” and next to the definition of ‘stud’ you put a picture of yourself. The Razzballies are the only award show where it’s totally fine to show up in sweatpants, and for your fingers to be orange from Cheetos. We don’t judge. We will occasionally mock. Mock-judge, tomato-tomahto. Get over it! But don’t mock Judge, that’s not all right. I hope you enjoyed the clip show where I inserted myself into various baseball clips from this year. How about the clip where I was Jason Kipnis watching his team win every game he missed? Hee-lar-e-us! So, before I’m talking to no one but a room full of seat-fillers, here’s the year-end awards for the best and worst of fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Second edition of a post where I take a player’s potential 2017 stat line, sprinkle in a bit of Lance bias, and determine where said player might fall come early 2018 ADP.
To read the first edition of this column, and for a slightly better breakdown of my simple methodology, follow this link. In that post I covered: Anthony Rendon, Luis Castillo, Alex Bregman, Josh Bell, and Zack Godley. Below I’ll touch on four more players; two hitters and two pitchers.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Thursday night marked the beginning of 2017-2018
concussion football season. If your fantasy baseball league lacked waiver activity prior to kickoff, I can only imagine the subsequent days will be as lively as this fan falling asleep in the fourth inning of a Yankees-Red Sox game back in 2015. Those who stick around care; they flaunt their championship around friends, family, pets, significant others, potential significant others – just kidding, please don’t do that – while their league mates consult countless websites wondering whether this stupid kicker, or this other stupid kicker is the better play. Don’t be that friend asking about a kicker, put your time into something more valuable.
Remember in high school when teachers preached earlier time investment for projects leading to better results? This column is the child of benevolence you sat next to who saw the test, and filled your study-less void five minutes prior to the start of the exam. It’s tough to become that kid unless you are a baseball nut like myself, so in the spirit of all that is Razzball, I’ve taken it upon myself to spur some early interest in 2018.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Watching Luis Castillo is officially an ASMR trigger. *insert onomatopoeia of satisfied exhale, picks up invisible fork and knife, mimes cutting up satisfied exhale, eats exhale* Do you see how Castillo’s got me? I’m eating satisfied exhales. Can I write the 2018 fantasy baseball sleeper post right now for Luis Castillo? TFW you see Castillo: Insert Oprah’s o face around Gayle King. CASTILLO MAKING ME CRAZY! And not eating sugar for six days isn’t helping. This Whole30 Diet got me like: insert crazy-googly eyes. I got Biggie Smalls eyes right now. *smacks face* Be coherent, Grey! Sorry, about that. Yesterday, Luis Castillo went 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.12. His surface perfs: 9.9 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 3.40 xFIP, averages 98 MPH, and now I’m lightheaded again. Okay, need to save something for his 2018 sleeper post. As for this year, this was his last start, unless you count Strat-o-Matic starts I’m making with him all winter. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s an old expression in Major League Baseball, “As the sun sets on one Weaver, another rises from its ashes.” I have to say it was rather prophetic to predict the spontaneous combustion of Jered Weaver’s career. Then again, it’s not like there weren’t clear signs that we had reached the end of the line with our most recent Weaver. I mean the man was throwing 67 MPH in his last few starts, or years, but whatever… That brings me to today’s subject, our new shiny Weaver, complete with new car scent! I’m of course alluding to Cardinals rookie phenom Luke Weaver. The 24 year old right-hander got his first taste of the big leagues last year to mixed results. He looked brilliant at times, and caught too much of the plate at others. The issues with Weaver are rarely related to his pitching however. He’s had an inability to stay healthy over the course of his career, never exceeding 120 innings pitched in a season. As for the player himself he has one of the more exciting upsides of any arm in the minors, mixing swinging strikes, with weak contact, and elite control. Since his most recent callup in late August, Weaver has posted back to back starts with 10 Ks and 1 walk, while limiting his opponents to a .224 batting average against. There’s nothing I love more than digging into the start of a player I’ve been touting for a year plus. It’s even better when that player’s twitter handle (@DreamWeava7) has a Boston accent! I’m in LOVE!! Previously Weaver has ranked 48th (pre-season), and 60th in my mid-season, which is lofty praise. As anyone who reads my prospect work will tell you, I discount pitching prospects pretty heavily for fantasy purposes. Enough of the small talk, here’s what I witnessed in Weaver’s Sunday start.Please, blog, may I have some more?
September 1st, playoff races begin to solidify, wins are objectively worth more than they are in April (it’s true, just ask every stupid MVP winner who won it on the basis of a strong September instead of the better player). The Dodgers are chasing the ghost of the 1998 New York Yankees. The waiver trade deadline passed and Justin Verlander got traded to the loaded Astros, Brandon Phillips got traded to the Angels (the same quality of player, obviously). Albert Pujols is continuing his quest to be the single worst player ever to have 100 RBI, and also, Albert Pujols is extremely bad (-1.8 WAR) and is signed through 2021. At what point do the Angels just say enough is enough and waive him? If the Angels miss the playoffs by 1 game (or 2, considering that he’s likely to finish with at least a -2 WAR), do they then blame a “lack of execution” or would they blame the decision to play Albert Pujols for 150 games – again, he has a -1.8 WAR, a career worst strikeout rate (15.2%), a career worst swing & miss rate (8.8%), a career worst swing rate (47.7%), a career low walk rate (5.9%) and .237 BABIP. Further, one can’t really say that the BABIP seems low and is likely to rebound because one has to keep in mind that he’s Albert Pujols with foot, leg and knee problems and has run a low BABIP for 5 years now – the .237 is low but not that low for current Albert Pujols. All of this has been a long way of saying that Albert Pujols should not be on the field for the Angels the rest of the year, and perhaps not on the field again, period. I can even make that long-winded rant DFS relevant, as the Angels have one of the best matchups (as will be discussed later), but despite this, do not play Albert Pujols, at least until his salary drops to something like $2,200, because there isn’t a planet where a -1.8 WAR, 74 wRC+, 1B is worth $3,100 .
On to the picks once Albert Pujols drops to $2,000
New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s a narrative making the rounds that today’s Pitching Profile subject Collin McHugh just started throwing a slider. This on it’s face isn’t completely true, his repertoire included a slider two years ago, but he scrapped it in 2016 in favor of a cutter. So the “throwing a slider now” people are insane, and this is open and shut case. Right, Ralphie?” Actually, their narrative is partially correct, because while he did formerly throw a slider he didn’t go back to the pitch he scrapped before last season. He’s throwing a different slider. A reworked version he picked up from clubhouse showboat Brad Peacock. Who picked the pitch up from some shoe salesman named Jordan Jankowski, who picked his up from a decoder ring at the bottom of a box of Count Chocula. Anyway, back in 2015 when McHugh experienced a break through with the Astros, he threw his “old” slider nearly 45% of the time. It’s funny that everyone forgot he threw a slider back then, considering it accounted for such a high chunk of his usage. In fact he threw his breaking pitches, (he also has a high spin-rate curveball), 67.1% of the time. Leading his 27.2% fastball usage to rank as the second lowest in the majors behind only R.A. Dickey during the 2015 season. Before 2016 began McHugh’s usage of his ineffective slider was scrapped completely for a cutter, and an increased reliance on his hook. The results didn’t change, in fact in someways they got worse, but that’s not important, and here’s why. Fast forward to 2017, and McHugh missed a majority of the season’s first half with an elbow injury. The player that has emerged since is a completely different animal. Throwing his fastball more than 50% of time, and with a new and improved low 80’s slider, one with increased movement from his former offering. The question for today, “Is this a new and improved model or just a redesigned Grand Am?” Let’s look under the hood and see.Please, blog, may I have some more?
For the last few days, I’ve been in New York for my grandfather’s 90th birthday. With each passing year, he gets more casually racist, and, let’s just say, he didn’t start at zero. I told him Byron Buxton hit three homers on Sunday, and he said, “Byron? What’s he, a Jew?” I told him, no, I don’t think so, but, of course, he can’t hear so well, so he continued, “I didn’t think Jews played sports. Well, I guess he’ll at least be good with the money he makes.” Then he went on a twenty-minute rant about how he’d have more money if he was Jewish (he’s Italian). If you read Who Is Grey Albright?, you’ll know that I was raised by my grandparents, so let’s hope the apple rolled far enough away from the tree. Otherwise, I’m gonna be writing roundups in 40 years like this, “Byron Buxton Jr. – He has better contact rates than his father, and prolly can find a good interest rate, ya know, because Jew.” Here’s my grandfather with the entertainment we got for the party. For those of you that grew in the tri-state area in the 1980’s, you’ll be familiar with the entertainment:
My grandfather’s 90th birthday with special guest, Uncle Floyd! pic.twitter.com/hmAUH2z0Vr
— Razzball (@Razzball) August 27, 2017
Any hoo! Byron Buxton went 4-for-5, 4 runs, 5 RBIs and three homers (11, 12, 13) and his 24th steal. A triple slam and legs? What a glutton for wonderful! From the 1st half to the 2nd half, his average went from .216 to .309; his K-rate is down from 31% to 25%; his OPS went from .594 to .903; his ISO went from .090 to .245, and his OBP went from .288 to .350. Beginning to think real adjustments have been made for 2018, because everything’s been better in the 2nd half. His 2nd half has been bigger and better than the pictures I saw recently of Tiger Woods, if you catch my drift. (Okay, so the apple doesn’t roll that far from the tree after all.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
We’re back, Dr. Easy and I, for another week of Razzball Player Rater deep-diving, looking for the unexpected gems at the bottom of the ocean (a.k.a., the waiver wire) and trying to separate them out from the cubic zirconia and the fish poop. All that glisters is not gold; the owls are not what they seem; etc. etc. Last week, we probed — so to speak — rookie hitters. This time around, we’ll look at relievers and rookie pitchers. So, which players are all bling bling? Which are the real thing?
Take on your favorite contributors and other readers in the Fantasy Football Razzball Commenter Leagues for a chance at prizes! Free to join, leagues still open!Please, blog, may I have some more?
It feels good to finally be able to use a Demi Lovato song in my title. Forget Chad Kuhl let’s talk about Demi! What star power! What charisma! What a voice! Name another song besides the one in the title! You can’t!
**inner-monologue** Wait, don’t take that bet. Don’t show your true colors when you don’t have to. I mean, it’s not like I Ralph Lifshitz am actually a Demi Lovato fan. PFFT! That would be preposterous! **inner-monologue-out**
Chad Kuhl of the other hand, different story. Now he is a someone who’s fandom I’d consider! (You don’t believe me do you?) The 24 year old righthander, has followed up a promising rookie campaign with an inconsistent 2017. That’s not to say this season hasn’t had it’s bright spots. He looks on pace to reach at least 150 innings, his velocity has jumped nearly 3 miles per hour on the fastball, his swinging strike rate is up, and despite a 4.52 ERA, he’s been slightly unlucky (68.5% LOB, .316 BABIP). Luck aside he’s struggled to limit contact, and has always walked a few more batters than you’d like to see. Since the calendar turned to July, Kuhl has been a top 30 starter going 4-2 over 10 starts with a 3.21 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, .211 BAA, and his 21% K% is up about 2% from his career norm. More than likely this is a hot streak but with a player this young it’s best to see for ones self. Today we’ll dig into Kuhl’s most recent start vs St. Louis at home to get a closer look.Please, blog, may I have some more?