Can you smell that? Can you? It’s the smell of a brand spanking new baseball season about to begin and with it, the smell of popcorn, fully chewed Redman, hot dog-flavored water, and gun powder. Why gun powder? MURICA! That’s why! What are you a bunch of red commies that hate freedom? No?!?! Good! Now that we’ve established your patriotism, let’s move on to our first two-start pitcher post of the young season. As I did at the end of 2014, when I took over this ship, I’ll break down all of the starters into a few tiers based on quality of the pitcher and then of course their matchups. To back up just why I’m placing each pitcher into a particular tier, I’ll provide stats on the pitcher and the lineups they’re facing. Considering the only data I have at this point in the season to go on will be last year’s numbers…and what good are those? I’m going to skip this step and just do my rankings and usual blurbs per tier. After all, it is Week 1, and much like a toilet in a unisex bathroom, we’re dealing with everyone’s 1’s and 2’s. Plus, we have plenty of tools to help you figure this stuff out… So sit back, relax, catch ya contact, sip ya cog-ni-ac, and feel free to share your perspective in the comments. I didn’t think the last part about laundering money applied.

Shameless Plug Alert!!!! When you’re done here, head on over to Razzball Soccer and catch all the goodies that Smokey and I are providing for Fantasy Premier League!! Do it!

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bryant_park

Those of you that live in the New York City area or have visited the world’s greatest metropolis have likely walked past Bryant Park. Perhaps you even stopped to take a leak or even sat down on a nice sunny day to do some fantasy baseball research and adjust your lineup. Located between between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and between 40th and 42nd Streets in Midtown Manhattan, Bryant Park is actually built on top of an underground building containing the archives for the New York Public Library. I know… who gives a shift. Besides, I’m more of a Washington Square Park kinda guy anyway.

For those of you that thought Bryant Park was the name of the Chicago Cubs spring training stadium, guess again. That would be Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona, which happens to be the largest spring training stadium (by capacity) with room for 15,000 people. [Jay’s Note: Had amazing sight lines, rugged, yet modern feel. 8/10, would go again.] I think that translates into 25,000 little people, but my math could be wrong. Despite his herculean efforts this spring, not only did they not rename the stadium after him, but Kris Bryant was denied the opportunity of being on the Opening Day roster. Instead, Theo Epstein gave us all some bullshart excuse that he needs more time in the minors. Listen Theo, say what you want, but there isn’t a baseball fan north of the border that doesn’t believe this isn’t a service time maneuver. I’m not a Boras fan, but I love how he called him out on this. Even Cubs manager Joe Maddon has said that he’d love to have him in the lineup. I guess I’ll see you in a few weeks Kris.

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What’s that I see creeping around the corner? The stalker you’ve filed a restraining order against? Nah, our resident Creeper of the Week writer JFOH is fine; we’ve finally taught him what ‘personal bubble space’ and ‘bad touch’ is so he’s allowed to spend time with the other writers. Granted, he DOES have to wear oven mitts so he doesn’t get overly stimulated when we high five but he gets to enjoy Razzball potlucks again without the police getting involved. Baby steps! Of course, what’s creeping is the baseball season as this Sunday is the start of six months of that game we love so much…Daily Fantasy Sports! I heard you just say ‘what, huh’? If you don’t know what DFS is, just click on that link to get an idea of what we’re talking about here and then come back. Don’t worry, we’ll be waiting…ok, we’re still waiting…alright, some of us just didn’t take the speed reading class seriously, I guess. Heck, I even learned how to do it out loud. Sounded like the Micro Machines guy. Anyways, now that you’re intrigued by the concept, we’re gonna talk about what to do once you’ve signed up for DraftKings. Ah ‘but how do I sign up for DraftKings while supporting Razzball at the same time?’ is your question. I could read it on your face and let me tell you, ‘sharpie’ isn’t a good look on you. By clicking on the DraftKings link I’ve now given you thrice, you are given a signup referral from us and a free $3 ticket to any contest you choose. In fact, you COULD choose a $100,000 Moonshot tourney opening day with that $3 ticket or better yet, a free $15,000 tourney to kick off the season care of signing up through us. Or just keep it simple and join a multiplier or a head to head……if you don’t know what these words mean feel free to take a look at a review post of the league types to get yourself acquainted. Now that we’re past these link hurdles, though, let’s get down to da biz. Here’s some strategy to attack your DK games with for the 2015 Fantasy Baseball season…

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Leave it to the man living in Oregon, born and raised in Washington to take you to Electric Ladyland in the title. PNW represent *tries showing PNW with flashy gang sign…fails…breaks all fingers*. Fine, I’ll just throw up the West Coast symbol a la 2Pac and be fine with it. Grey originally pinged me with the idea of heading up a league for the NFBC back in February. When I said yes, I assumed we were talking ‘Norwegian Female Bikini Challenge’ and graciously accepted. I mean they’re right next to Sweden; what could possibly go wrong? Well, ALOT could go wrong, let me tell you. Thankfully, I had Rudy‘s recap of his 2013 team and the wherewithal and the guile to forge my own path for my own team. For those interested in only RCL style of play…well, first off that’s the link to sign up for one and second of all, make an about face. This ain’t it. No trades and no FA pickups in season. Nope, you play against 15 other teams in 5×5 roto set up and draft 50 players a team. That’s 750 players. There’s only 30 teams and they only roster 25 players at the major league level at a time. So basically, we’re drafting the entire MLB in one fell swoop. That’s special. And hard. And especially hard. But let’s not talk about bedroom things just yet. Instead, let’s review my NFBC team for the 2015 Fantasy Baseball season…

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MLB: San Francisco Giants-Photo Day

I’ve got to be “bust”ing your chops by suggesting Buster Posey as a first round pick in points leagues, right? First I declare Clayton Kershaw the top overall pick over Mike Trout, and now this? Some of you are probably thinking that I’ve been smoking a bit of the devil’s lettuce with Tim Lincecum while putting together these posts! Well I can assure you, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Although I wouldn’t mind sitting down with Big Time Timmy Jim and seeing if I can figure out what the heck happened to him, as I expected The Freak to anchor my staff for longer than he did…

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Writing for Razzball is a pretty sweet gig. The fantasy master lothario himself, Mr. Grey Albright, has provided me with a tremendous amount of creative control over the subject matter that I choose to write about. All that I’m required to do in return for this freedom is ensure that the topics that I choose to discuss are fantasy-relevant as well as consistently heap praise upon my employer (nice stache Boss!). While this arrangement is usually a blessing, it can also be a bit of a curse at times. There are so many different things to write about, so many potential angles to pursue when analyzing statistics. It can be difficult to narrow it down and focus on a specific set of search criteria. Sometimes, I know exactly how this guy feels.

Want to take me on in a Razzball Commenter League? Join my league here!

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What was I thinking when I thought this would be a fun post? I came into this wanting to be Grey’s opposite for S’s and G’s, but that ship sailed south really fast. If you are disappointed that I bailed on that idea, then go to his comments any day and you can view my contrarian ways as I try to keep him honest and keep myself being…well, me being good ole me. When Rudy told me he would make me a table doing a side-by-side with dollar values, I was a little worried about how that would be accepted by the Grey-heads. Then I thought to myself, who doesn’t like money? Well maybe Monty Brewster, who hated money for 30 days, but I would too with what he had to do in that classic 80’s baseball flick. On a hunch, I went into the archives to find that Rudy wrote this post last year and realized I got duped into doing it for 2015. Well played señor Rudolfo…well played indeed.

Want to take me on in a Razzball Commenter League? Join my league here!

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When Grey and Jay first approached me about doing some preseason posts about Two Start Pitchers “Strategy” I thought “uhhhh, play the best guy”. Problem is that doesn’t really make for intriguing content, now does it? So instead, I’m going to do 1500 words about soccer! Naw, I’m joking…if you wanted to be inundated with my footie ramblings, you’d be reading our soccer site…(shameless plug alert). So instead I’ll focus my post on the very things I look for when ranking my two-start pitchers from week-to-week. An overview of what to look for when scouring the wire for that pick up to tip the scales of your counting stats in your weekly head-to-head match-up. So we’ll break everything into sections; home vs. road splits, opposing lineup righty vs. lefty splits, K/BB ratio, and HR/9. To illustrate this we’ll use an example player to discuss each when appropriate. Sound good? Just say yes, I don’t care what you think! Muhahahaha!

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How do you know if you’ve drafted a great pitcher? If his name is Clayton Kershaw or Felix Hernandez, you are on the right track. But what about everyone else that is not them? Well, in head-to-head points leagues, I like to look at points per start (PPS). This gives me an idea of approximately how many puntos (that’s spanish for points) I am going to get, and is often a factor in helping me decide which pitchers to both draft and start.

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