The royal we already went over all the hitters for 2014 fantasy baseball rankings. That’s not the “royal we” as that term usually implies. It was me writing it alone while wearing a Burger King crown. I refuse to draft a top starter where they are usually drafted. Unlike hitters, you need six starters, depending on your league depth. Simple math tells us there’s plenty of starters to go around. Simple Math, “Don’t put words in my mouth!” In most leagues, there’s a ton of guys on waivers that can help you — all year. Not just in April, and then they disappear. With the help of the Stream-o-Nator (it’s not populated right now because there’s no scheduled games), you can get by with, say, three starters while streaming the rest. To read more about streaming as a draft strategy. Rudy’s also going to be doing a post shortly about streaming hitters and starters. There’s also the fact that three stats by starters are difficult to predict due to luck. Wins, ERA and WHIP are prone to shift due to which way the ball bounces and whether or not the guys behind the pitchers can score runs. Finally, the best starters can give you four categories. The best hitters can give you five categories. If you don’t trust my rankings, you should. As always, where I see tiers starting and stopping are included and my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Two weeks ago we looked at the speedsters from 2013 and there were more than a few names on the list that were available on the waiver wire at some point. For deeper leagues and daily fantasy players that need to maximize each and every matchup, even the smallest advantages can mean the difference between a win and a loss. That’s why we focused a lot on matchups this past year, and we’ll do it again in 2014. Even the best base stealers get caught once in a while, so it’s good to know as much as we can about who might be doing the catching before deploying our fantasy lineups. There’s a lot that goes into a stolen base, of course, and the battery of pitcher and catcher is a large piece of the puzzle. Pitchers who are good at holding baserunners can be avoided while pitchers who have a tendency to cough up a lot of steals can be exploited. Here’s how some starters fared in 2013 and over the last three years against the stolen base.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

All the final 2013 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done. For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2013 fantasy baseball. This is NOT for 2014 (caps for those still wearing their Gravity 3-D glasses — by the by, if you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s kinda awesome.). This is a recap. Will these affect next year’s rankings? Sure. But not entirely. To recapitulate, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. We’re (me) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings. Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2013 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Michael Wacha was within an out of a no-hitter yesterday when Zimmerman hit a bouncer to shortstop, which he barely beat out. Ryan Zimmerman doesn’t want the world to see joy. He’s a joy killer. Every time some 14-year-old writes jk jk jk. They’re not abbreviating ‘just kidding,’ they’re really talking about Ryan Zimmerman joy killing. For a moment, I was on board with The Joy Killer because I don’t need Wacha getting hyped up anymore than necessary for next year. You hear Wacha I’m talking about? You like Wacha I’m working with? Wacha you say to that? Okay, I want to stop replacing what with Wacha, but I can’t. Wacha can I do?! There is gonna be an insane amount of young pitchers next year that I’ll be eyeing, and Wacha is yet another one. In 64 2/3 IP this year, he had a 9+ K/9, 2.61 xFIP and a 2.64 BB/9. Yes, please, come again. I could see this 22-year-old giving you a Shelby Miller-type season next year, maybe even, dare I say it, Matt Harvey. That’s Wacha I’m talking about! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Gerrit Cole has filthy stuff. He can hit 100 MPH with his fastball and make all four of our girl readers go, “Ooh…” Which reminds me of my Walk on the Wild Side remixed chorus, “And the four girl readers go doo do doo do doo do do doo.” There was a whole lot of nonsense, or whole lotta if we stick with the rock theme, when he was first called up that Cole didn’t want to strike people out. Does Alf not want to get back to Melmac?! Does macaroni not mean awesome when Yankee Doodle stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni!? Does everyone with glasses not look goofy on a 1980′s baseball card?! Ron Kittle? I rest my case! Of course, Cole wants to strike out guys. You can’t stop that! Yesterday, he struck out 12 of them. In 111 1/3 IP this year, he has a 7.60 K-rate and if you throw out June, when he was saying that nonsense about throwing to contact, his K-rate would be near 9. Oh, bee tee dubya, everything else is purdy, too. His FIP is 2.98, his walk rate is barely over 2, he gets ground balls. For 2014 fantasy baseball, Cole could easily be a top 20 starter for all of baseball and will be someone I’ll get plenty googly about this offseason. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m Asian, so it’s not raycess. Err, I think.

There have been many a fine years for a many a fine players in this 2013 Baseball season. As summer comes to a close and your mother puts her top back on, we can surmise the season like so — we have seen some good things, some bad things, and some strange things. Mostly because I’m including Tehol in the sample. Why? That matters less than you think. But this is why the game is played. And that point being established, I must say, Hisashi Iwakuma‘s year can be lumped in as a very fine year. A former Japanese starting pitcher, turned reliever by the Mariners, turned back into a starter by the aforementioned Mariners, Iwakuma has solidified the fact that he belongs on your Fantasy Baseball roster, including a 7.0 IP, 0 ER performance against the Cardinals last night. But to what degree does he belong on your roster? And are we doing Celsius or Fahrenheit? All important questions. Well, based on numbers, he looks to be around the James Shields, Jon Lester, Cole Hamels area. There doesn’t appear to be a crazy amount of regression due, the environment is a big plus, and there’s an okay history of health here. I’m willing to buy him in that zone next year. Anyhoo, here’s what else I noticed yesterday:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Damn, the planets had all lined up for Jacoby Ellsbury to be overrated for 2014 fantasy baseball. 50+ bases and only four times caught (!). Some power (8 homers) and solid counting stats (89 runs; 52 RBIs). Seemingly repeatable numbers for 2014. All he needed to do was get through this season healthy so people would forget how he can’t get through a season healthy. Then, he goes and injuring himself. Now when I say to avoid him next year, people are gonna think I actually have a point rather than being the cracked out of his mind guy who invented something this weekend that I will only share with you. It’s really for our four girl readers, but since guys are likely to buy it for their women, here it is: a Segway vacuum cleaner. Think of it as a ride-along Roomba! Brilliant, I know. So, as of right now, Ellsbury’s in a walking boot. That sounds terrific. Almost as good as Salvador Perez when a loved one is on their death bed. Ellsbury headed off to the Steadman Clinic for a second opinion — ’bout time he started bringing in some money for Oprah! — and Ellsbury was diagnosed with a compression fracture. Ellsbury’s not going to be back until the playoffs, in the best case scenario. I’d absolutely drop him. In his place has been Jackie Bradley Jr., who can walk multiple times in one game! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Weekly leaguers, you’re here to read weekly league advice, of course. But let’s begin this week by broadening our horizons with a little daily league chatter. If you’ve been paying attention to JB throughout the season, you know that we’ve teamed up with DraftKings to offer exclusive Razzball contests all year long. As JB mentioned on Wednesday, next week’s contest is our last of the year, and it’s a good one. 50 entries, $10-per, six get paid, and the winner pockets a few Benjamins. If you haven’t given it a shot yet this year, I highly recommend you join our game next Friday. It’s quite fun — you have my word on that. More details to follow. Now for the two-starters.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You don’t have to only listen to Brewers games on the radio to be excited about Khris Davis. You also don’t have to only be excited about owning him for the possibility of verbally swindling another owner. “No, you verbally agreed to trade me Kershaw for Khris Davis. I don’t care if you thought it was that other guy. Besides, this Khris Davis has more homers very, very recently.” Same name chicanery is as old as the Bible. In 25 AD, a guy by the name of Jesus Krist showed up drunk to his job, soaking wet, and got a bye when he said he was practicing walking on water. Many years later, the Roman empire invaded Britain because of a prank call by Klaudius Seesir. For three years, Tori Spelling thought she married the guy from The Practice, only recently finding out it wasn’t Dylan McDermott but Dean McDermott, so you see this is nothing new. Neither is Khris Davis’s power. In the minors, he averaged a homer just about every fifth game, a practice he’s maintaining in the majors (makes him around a 30-homer guy). He now has four homers in the last nine games, and, while he’s hitting, I’d absolutely grab him for power in all leagues. Don’t let his name stop you. Yes, Chris with a K looks like a girl’s name, but it’s not his fault his parents let Roger Clemens name him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you’re into two-start streaming, then you’re likely not into six-man rotations. They suck. They push back useful, healthy starters. They dilute the two-start pool. They’re maddening for H2H purposes. And six-man rotations are especially awful when quality teams turn to them. Enter the St. Louis Cardinals. Word from St. Louis is that Michael Wacha will be called-up on Saturday, and that he’ll remain in the rotation throughout the stretch run. Now, I’ll admit I’m conflicted on this one — as a prospect enthusiast, it’s awesome to see guys like Wacha and Carlos Martinez starting big league ballgames, but as a weekly league fantasy player, I loathe the six-man rotation. It’s a selfish hatred, as I realize it’s important for a contending team to pace out young arms like Shelby Miller and Lance Lynn, but still… what about my H2H team, John Mozeliak? The upcoming week for the Cardinals lays out the cruddy nature of SMRs pretty clearly: Adam Wainwright is scheduled to start Tuesday, which is game one of a six-game week. A typical five-man corps would have him pitching again over the weekend, but that doesn’t appear to be the case in St. Louis any longer. Perhaps Wainwright will get a special exemption and always make his starts on four days rest, but that seems unlikely. Oh well. It appears I’ll have to make do with just one Waino start in this HUGELY IMPORTANT WEEK. [weeps softly at desk]

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

Please, blog, may I have some more?