I’m salivating about my hitters against Mr. Home run allowed Jered Weaver and his 84 MPH fastball in Chase Field.  Weaver has allowed a whopping seven home runs in twenty three innings this year.  But wait, he gave up 37 in 178 innings last year.  In fact, Mr. Weaver has given up 68 home runs in his last 360 innings.  And half of those innings have come in Angel stadium and Petco Park.  These are not home run havens, need I say more.  I should?  Well ok then.  Paul Goldschmidt ($4,300) has been hot hitting .522 with 2 homers in his last 7.  He’s 3 for 4 with a homer against Weaver and he loves home cooking at Chase.  Meanwhile, Jake Lamb ($3,800) has hit .293 this year with .333/.614 split against righties, and Lamb hit .291/.621 in the first half last year before he injured his hand.  Really, Dbacks galore so take your pick among Lamb, Goldy, A.J. Pollock, Chris Owings, David Peralta, and even Brandon Drury (if he’s not hobbled today; check those LUs).  Weaver will be giving, I promise.  There are other stacking targets like the Cards against Matt Latos, the high-powered Indians against Mike Fiers, or the obvious Coors stacks, but I still dream of a Jered matchup .  That 84 MPH heater against Senz’s at 94?  Is 84 MPH actually a heater?  Exactly.  This is why I dream of Weaver today.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m picturing Clint Eastwood in Escape from Alcatraz, coiffing his hair (gorgeous hair) chipping away with his pickaxe.  I’m seeing Andy Dufresne also beautiful hair and a pickaxe.  Now that I think about it, you don’t need jail cells, just take away all prisoners’ blow dryers.  Any hoo!  Why am I seeing these great prison movies?  Because they are about breakouts.  Breakouts come in different shapes and sizes.  Some would say Cameron Diaz’s complexion is a breakout.  For a baseball breakout:  James Paxton.  Yesterday, Paxton went 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 1.39.  His K/9 and BB/9 are now 10.7 and 1.8, respectively.  That’s about as ace-like as you’re gonna find.  Okay, now for one small step back from the ledge of crazy excited.  In his last start, he did give up five earned in four innings and I don’t think he’s going to avoid all wonkiness, but there’s no one throwing as well as him right now.  Okay, maybe Kershaw and Ervin Santana.  Someone get these guys blow dryers.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sign says, ‘Don’t stay away, fools,’ cause Cody Bellinger rules!  No?  Okay, go to sleep.  “Go to sleep” is my new favorite thing I say that my Cougar can’t stand.  She’s like, “Why are you excited?”  Rather than saying, “I’m excited because Cody Bellinger was called up,” I say, “Go to sleep.”  Is that bad?  I feel like her reaction is like the step before divorce.  “Baby, we’re good, go to sleep.”  “It’s 4 o’clock on a Tuesday.”  “Yeah, go to sleep.”  And then we’re divorced.  You know who isn’t divorced?  Cody Bellinger!  Okay, I’m talking crazy, but I’m excited, you get it.   In 18 games of Triple-A, he was hitting .343 with five homers and seven steals.  I will now cackle maniacally.  Who is this guy, Justice Eric Ruth Thames but with speed?  I can’t even.  *puts handkerchief to forehead, and faints*  Oh, thank you for catching me in my dream state, Giancarlo.  This is funny (not funny), Bellinger had three homers last year in Triple-A.  Guess how many games?  Oh, three.  Three games!  I wanna project him over five months for 17 HRs, 20 SBs, and .280, but feel like that is too conservative, that’s how crazy I am for him.  Yes, you should absolutely grab him.  Where will he play when Pederson returns from the DL?  Not sure, but worth grabbing him now to see how the Dodgers handle it.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Okay, hooligans and hooligals!  I did my best to ward off Rudy from recommending the title, “I’m Keano For Severino.”  Or his 2nd recommended title, “Poop Breath < Severino.”  I think Rudy’s been drinking.  So, as they say when they remove tassels from cow udders in Tennessee, “Playtime’s over, let’s get down to business!”  Yesterday, Luis Severino threw 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 11 Ks to lower his ERA to 4.50.  Maybe not so much better than poop breath?  I keed!  Much better.  Between the lines, where the game is played as I sound vaguely like George Will, Severino looks dominant.  Fastball: 97 MPH, ground balls around 45%, xFIP at 1.95.  Okay, I just put tassels on my udders, because those numbers are gorgeous.  There’s not much fun to be had in his division and park, but his stuff should play anywhere.  I’d absolutely look to add him in all leagues; he’s dramatically better than poop breath!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s really hard not to overreact, I understand.

With that said, I think that it’s best Madison Bumgarner was the human highlight reel of opening day as opposed to somebody like Mallex Smith or Tuffy Gosewich(!!!).

The early season star of 2016 was the pun machine himself, Trevor Story. I’d consider him a best case scenario for any early season performer. Six homers in his first four games, on his way to a 27 home run season over less than 400 ABs. Story was a top 30 pick this year, all after that early season explosion, and I’ll admit, there was a league where I paid that price for him.

With Bumgarner holding the headlines for the next few days, there is no need for overreaction and desperate projection for his rest-of-season value. We know what he’ll give back. Very, very good value.

Is there a chance somebody else stands out? Of course, and you’ll likely have to make a tough decision to give up that ’25th’ man on your roster as sacrifice if you want to believe in the hype…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before we jump right into this draft recap, let’s go over a little bit of background about the league and its details. This isn’t like the typical RCL 5×5 rotisserie league we often talk about in this space. LOEG is a 10×10 head-to-head keeper league, with 10 teams and four keepers per team from year to year. The league has been around for something like ten years and has been graced by the presence of yours truly for the past five.

Since the categories, scoring, and rules are a little different in this league I’ll break down all the details below. I think it’s important to break this down a bit first because not only do I want to bore you to death, but I want you to have all the information while you are going over the results and making fun of my team in the comments section. Anyway, here we go:

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There have been a few unexpected side effects from me writing a weekly injury article for Razzball. First, due to Spring Training I’ve had to pay attention and care about every irrelevant player’s bump, bruise and sniffle (why did you all let me include Tyler Collins in my article last week?!) Going forward I’m going to try to focus on the injuries that may actually have a fantasy impact. No one cares that Joe Mauer  missed one hour of practice because he had what the Twins medical staff is referring to as a “minor boo-boo.”

Another unexpected side effect is the schadenfreude I feel whenever I read about a major player getting injured. “Oh YES! David Price might miss the whole year?! More content!” What type of monster have I become?

Anyway, here’s whose pain I have gotten enjoyment out of this week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Our 2017 Razzball Commenters Leagues are in full signup mode.  I even heard there were a few people from Anonymous that signed up!  They said, “To the world, I’m Anonymous, just another white man who sits in parking lots with binoculars watching women.”  Man, that Anonymous guy is depressing!  As we always do about this time, I eviscerate the haters and complicators!  I eviscerate the not-knowers and the over-knowers!  I eviscerate the ESPN goers and the garden hoers!  I overuse a word like eviscerate that I just learned!  I am the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it) and I’ve come for your children!  See, because blog writing doesn’t pay so well, I’ve taken a second job as a bus driver, so I’m literally here for your kids.  Like a baller!  A shot caller!  An “I’m outside of Hot Topic at the maller!”  My eviscerating (I’m conjugating my new word!) today comes at the expense of ESPN and their 2017 fantasy baseball rankings.  To the tune of Kanye’s Runaway:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As I begin to prepare my projections and rankings for the 2017 season, I like to look back on the previous season’s attempt to not only assess my work, but also to learn how I can do better next time. Projecting statistics in any sport is a tedious and arduous task. The variables, formulas and algorithms are constantly changing and if you don’t adapt with them, your results will lose their precision and accuracy. However, I’d like to make one point blatantly clear, projections are nothing more than calculated guesses. Some are better than the next, but none are even close to perfect.

Let’s see how I fared with my 2016 efforts. For all positions I will provide the following six numbers: projected points, actual points, projected rank, actual rank, projected points per plate appearance and actual points per plate appearance. I am including points per plate appearance because it helps put a player’s projections vs performance into perspective when they’ve missing time due to injury. For pitchers I’ve replaced points per plate appearance with points per start. I’ve also included a column showing the percentage by which my points projections were off. Any player with an “n/a” listed in this column is because that player spent at least 30 days on the disabled list.

Lastly, a quick note about the rankings listed in this post. These rankings are based purely on points. This season I plan to provide additional rankings that allow me to adjust them based on three important factors: intuition, gut and my sporadic conversations with Nostradumass.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As we continue our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings, we head into the homestretch of ranking hitters.  For those confused, homestretch isn’t when you shoot up late at night, remembering there’s a Dorito under the couch and go reaching for it.  That is the opening to my short film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dorito.  The main character has just been Frito-Laid off and is described as Pringley and Ruffled.  Last year, this post had Adam Duvall, Jackie Bradley Junz, Jay Brucespringsteen and a bunch of vomit.  So, there is some value to still be found in the outfielders, it’s just a matter of finding it, like in the landmark film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dorito.  As with the other rankings, my projections are included and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?