It’s Opening Day, so what better time to start an “I Told You So.”  Sure, any time is a good time for an “I Told You So,” and that doesn’t just hold true for So Taguchi.  Though, that “I Told You So” rings true, as well.  That’s if you did indeed tell So something, and he doesn’t heed your prescience.  Oh, and don’t be scared, Carl Everett, prescience isn’t science from before science.  So (Taguchi), A.J. Pollock has a fractured elbow.  I told you not to draft him.  Of course, I didn’t say he’d fracture his elbow; my Magic Eight Ball isn’t that precise, but I did say to avoid him in drafts.  If you would’ve just followed that, we’d all be okay.  You didn’t listen because you know better, and I’m not talking about that Armenian dishwasher you befriended at the bus stop, Better Vardanyian.  You might know that Better, but you didn’t know better than to draft Pollock.  For you drafters of Pollock, I’ll pour some of my “I Told You So” juice out that I’m marketing with So Taguchi.  By the way, So Taguchi — retired for seven years, but a major part of the Opening Day roundup.  Good for So Taguchi.  And great for us, we got baseball!  And not great for Pollock, he’ll be out for the better part of the year, if not the whole shebang, to quote Ricky Martin.  I grabbed Socrates Brito in one league because he’ll be facing the majority of pitchers (righties).  He was in my top 80 outfielders.  I’m a big fan, though not as a houseguest.  Wearing nothing but a toga on a couch is a little gross.  He has solid speed and some power, think 10 HRs and 22 SBs.  A poor man’s Pollock, I will call him Warsaw Ghetto.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend for fantasy baseball:

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Opening day is here! But it’s really tomorrow! But baseball happens today! Where are my pants! I’m so confused and happy all at the same time! Yes, it’s me. You might remember me from such posts as that one about that guy or that other one about that other guy. I am kinda well known in that respect. Now before you get all teary-eyed over this reunion, realize this won’t be my regularly spotted day. Think of me as the manager of a Grand Opening and I’m here making sure all the merchandise is where it needs to be. Also think of me as overweight with a heart condition and nearly suffering from a massive coronary, all while sweating profusely. No clue why on that, I just wanted you to have a fun start to the year. But speaking of start to the year, start Francisco Liriano. I know, that call took me at least 15 seconds to make. He’s the second most costly pitcher but he’s at home and the weather is chilly enough to help keep the ball in the park just in case Tommy Pham gets into one. HA, see I crack myself up, too! Look, it’s a three game slate, what were you expecting? I won’t have a huge amount of knowledge to dump on you in this post other than you should sign up for the DFSBot and make your life easier for the rest of the DFS season if you’re gonna play along with us. But with that, let’s make some bold calls. Here’s my opening day that’s not really opening day takes for this beautiful but brief Sunday slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well keep tuned, we’ll offer contests to you every day of the week excluding today to whet 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.

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The Rockies made official what seemed inevitable for the last week, Trevor Story will be the starting shortstop in Colorado.  As a visiting dignitary gets a key to the city, Story earned the shortstop job and was handed one of Tulo’s old hamstrings.  “May your hamstrings stay forever young.”  That’s Rod Stewart doing the honors.  No idea why Colorado hired Rod Stewart to handle that ceremony.  I upped Story in my top 20 shortstops, and cranked up his projections.  His Ks have been a problem in the past, but it’s Coors, so how bad could it be?  “Should I answer?”  No, Josh Rutledge, it’s a rhetorical question.  I’m fascinated to see what the Rockies are going to do with Jose Reyes.  He’s owed a lot of money to become a straight bench player.  Maybe the Rockies will just cut him.  Maybe MLB will suspend Reyes for the season.  Maybe the Rockies will hire Mo’nique to throw Reyes threw a glass door.   Maybe if I had dollars instead of maybes I’d be rich.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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What goes through J-FOH’s head when he does these ranks? I’m glad you asked. Wait… you didn’t ask? Are you sure? No? Not at all? Sheesh, thanks guys… and four girls. I’m going to be my usually contrarian self and tell you anyway. I’m looking at players from their floor to their ceilings over the next 3-5 years (and beyond). I’m looking at games played over the previous few seasons, projecting risk going forward, and predicting how they will age based on their skill set. A player whose value is heavily dependent upon speed will usually lose that speed going into the 30’s and players with power will usually keep that a little bit longer. There are always guys who defy the odds like David “I never juiced” Ortiz or Adrian Beltre. They are a special breed that should never be slept on ’til the day they retire. There is science, stats, and anecdotal B.S., and then there are “those guys”. Joey Bats and those sweet bat throws would fall into that class for me. Excuse me while I preach for a second. I love bat flips. I think they should be mandatory for any home run after the 7th, 6th for the Yankees. This is a kids game that is suppose to be fun and guys like Mad Bum need to either throw the punch or shut the front door. Any a-hole can stand there shouting with a team behind him. At least Robin Ventura had the cojones to try and fight. (I want that shirt!) Now that we have my major side track out of the way, let’s move down to some words about the list before we get to the list. Note to self, take an english class at the local adult education center next year.

Take on your favorite writers in the 2016 Razzball Commenter Leagues! Join here

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A few weeks ago, we looked at some interesting hitter stats over the last few years. If you didn’t find the stats and trends that were highlighted in that article to be particularly interesting, at least you might have been mildly amused by the inclusion of names such as Jack Cust, Candy Nelson, and Silver Flint. Today, it’s the pitchers’ turn. Perhaps I can find an excuse to reference Cannonball Titcomb in this post. There’s only one way to find out! (spoiler alert: he won’t be mentioned again)

Just as I did in the hitter edition of this series, I’ll be listing various statistics with little to no analysis so that you can be the judge of how relevant each statistic and/or trend is in regards to the 2016 season. This article focuses on pitchers only, and the stats that will be highlighted range from the basic (strikeouts, win-loss record, innings pitched, ERA, WHIP) to the slightly more advanced (K/BB ratio, LOB%, batted ball profile, SwStr%).

Let’s get to it. Here are some interesting pitcher stats and trends to consider entering the 2016 fantasy baseball season:

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The late rounds of most fantasy baseball drafts are typically filled with mediocre veterans and low percentage lottery tickets. “Maybe Jered Weaver has another sub-4.5 ERA season left in his arm. Is Max Kepler likely to be called up before the all-star break?” That’s you weighing your options in the last round of your draft. Pretty uninspiring, aren’t they? There is another group of players that is more likely to have an immediate impact on your fake team during the upcoming season – the post-hype players. These are the guys who showed promise at one point in their careers but lost some their shine due to underperformance or durability issues. Erasmo Ramirez is the type of player who falls into this group.

When trying to identify potentially undervalued starting pitchers, there are a few key things that I always look for. Notice that I specified undervalued players, since the hard-throwing, high strikeout artists (Syndergaard, Harvey, Sale, Strasburg, etc.) and the young “sleeper” types who are generally perceived to have high ceilings (Walker, McCullers, Rodon, Iglesias, etc.) don’t necessarily fit that description. So if velocity and K-rate are de-prioritized, what’s left to focus on?

There are a few other traits/skills that are worth emphasizing as far as starting pitchers are concerned. These include the abilities to:

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One word about this top 100 for 2016 fantasy baseball, before I give you another 5,000 words.  I’m going to avoid repeating myself from the position rankings in the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings.  If you want to know my in-depth feelings about a player, then you need to go to his positional page, i.e., the top 20 1st basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball, the top 20 2nd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball, the top 20 Gucci handbags for 2016– Ah, I almost got you.  This post is meant to give you an idea where guys from different positions are in relation to each other.  Since this post is only the top 100, there’s more players where this came from.  400 or so, to be inexact.  Next up, there will be a top 500.  Then after that there will be a top 7,500, then a top 25,000, then a top 600,000, until we end up with a top kajillion in April.  Or maybe I’ll stop at the top 500.  Yeah, that makes sense.  Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel.  Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2016 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.”  Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters.  Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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The royal we already went over all the hitters for 2016 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 also says, “Stop putting words in my mouth!”  In most leagues, there’s a ton of pitchers on waivers that can help you — all year.  Not just in April, and then they disappear.  With the help of the Stream-o-Nator, you can get by with, say, three starters while streaming the rest.  To read more about streaming as a draft strategy.  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.  As always, where I see tiers starting and stopping are included and my projections.  Also, Rudy’s released his Steamer Projections with auction values.  Here’s the Steamer Hitter Projections, the Steamer Pitcher Projections and the fantasy baseball auction values for every conceivable league.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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It was a year to remember for the Amazins in 2015. Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Noah Syndergaard fronted the best starting rotation in MLB. Yoenis Cespedes had a 2nd half for the ages after being acquired at the trade deadline. Curtis Granderson put his forgettable 2014 season behind him and played at an all-star level. Michael Conforto made quite an impact as a rookie following his July call-up. Jeurys Familia was one of the best closers in all of baseball. Daniel Murphy got white hot in October and helped propel his team to the World Series. Who am I forgetting? Oh yeah, there’s that Lucas Duda character. Does he even play there anymore?

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All the final 2015 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done.  For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball.  This is NOT for 2016 (caps for those who can’t read titles; supposedly it’s easier to read caps, I have my doubts).  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 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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