The White Sox were due to wear throwback jerseys on Saturday, and Chris Sale didn’t want to wear them.  The White Sox refused to relent, so Sale took it upon himself to do something.  Cut to, ahem, ten minutes later and Sale was sent home for throwing a temper tantrum and cutting up all the throwback uniforms.  The most surprising thing in this story:  the White Sox clubhouse had a pair of lefty scissors.  After Sale cut up the White Sox 1976 uniforms, Chet Lemon weighed in, saying, “It was a tough uniform to rock.  The guys on the 1983 team thought they had a reviled uniform.  At least in 1983, you could strut around like a peacock, which they called Paciorek’ing, due to the grace of teammate Tom Paciorek.  In 1976, they dressed me up like a lawn jockey.  That shizz was offensive!”  For his antics, Chris Sale was suspended for five games by the White Sox.  That’s the last time he tries to introduce a cutter without talking to the pitching coach.  Now, if the Red Sox trade for Sale, their top two starters could help win back the casual Jewish Red Sox fan who checked out after Youk and Theo left. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Zach Eflin tossed a complete game 3-hit shutout Friday night versus the Pirates, requiring just 100 pitches to go all the way and pick up the win. It was the rookie’s first career shut out. That’s what I’m Eflin talking about! I know what you’re thinking, I loved him in those High School Musicals, I wish he was my Neighbors. Wrong Zach. Both are real good though. After a rocky debut to his rookie season in Toronto (2.2 IP, 9 hits, 8 ER, 3 BB), Zach Eflin has been on the attack ever since, allowing just 11 runs in the seven starts since his debut (2.07 ERA in 47.2 IP). More impressive is that he has pitched at least six innings in six of those seven starts, including two complete games. Dude is a horse. And at just 22 years young I guess that would make him a dot dot dot Filly. Zing! Wait, or is it a mare? Foal? Joke still works or nah? On second thought I’m thinking it might be a colt. Hmm. Regardless, Zach is clearly a stallion. So how is it he’s available in over 80% of fantasy leagues? Are you Eflin kidding me? Sure, the 26/8 K/BB ratio is nothing to call the presses about, but his 1.05 WHIP is mighty impressive. Some of the advanced stats may suggest he’s due for a bit of a correction, but why not ride the Zach train while its Eflin hot. He’s coming off his best career start and gets the Marlins next week, so pick him up, what are you Eflin waiting for?

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Francisco Liriano went 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 13 Ks with zero walks.  Insert the madman cackle of Francisco Liriano’s owners who owned him up until last night when he had a 5.11 ERA.  He had 13 Ks without a walk!  This came from a guy who had a 5.7 BB/9 coming into the game.  That’s not bad.  No, no.  You think that’s bad?  You should swipe right on Tinder the next time you come across a thesaurus if bad’s all you got.  That’s effin’ egregious.  That’s the 1980’s Lower East Side before Donald Trump fixed the entire New York City as narrated by Jon Voight.  That’s the worst walk rate since Todd Van Poppel’s walk rate of 6.87 in 1994.   Since 1980, there’s only been walk rates of 5.7 or worse four other times.  In 36 years!  Jesus, 36 years?  I’m getting old.  This start came against the Brewers who have struck out more than any other team in the major leagues.  So, nice start, but I wouldn’t go near him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As much as I hate projections, I’m going to give them to you anyway. Who cares what you actually want, right? Just let me throw some darts at some numbers and I’ll be right with you. Seriously, I’d love to try that one of these years. Next year I will be debuting my new dartboard projection system which is practically guaranteed to be no worse than any other expert. I think that’s actually how CBS and ESPN calculate their yearly projections. How bad could they be? Don’t answer that. Instead of stooping to such a level (at least yet) I have married weighted versions of my preseason projections with weighted year-to-date performances to determine rest-of-season projections. Usually I cater to the points league enthusiasts, but today I am flipping the script and going full roto. I realize that Kirk Lazarus warned us to never go full rotard, but I’m just feeling it today. If I go home empty handed, then I go home empty handed.

Here are my rest of season projections for four of the five major roto categories…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If your fantasy portfolio is anything like mine, it probably means that there’s some work to be done to ensure you’re sitting at the top of the standings at the end of the season. Sure, there have been some good calls along the way. Drafting Mookie Betts looks like it’ll work out just fine. That late round SAGNOF pick of Jonathan Villar is making you look like Nostradamus right about now. But it hasn’t exactly been all sunshine and katydids for your fake teams. That Stanton/Upton/Heyward monster outfield that you assembled on draft day has put up some scary numbers this year (and not in a good way). Perhaps you decided to go the two ace route since a Harvey/Archer combo was just too good to pass up back in March. And just like that, you went from feeling like Nostradamus to Nostradumbass. Fantasy can be so cruel sometimes. The point is that things don’t always go according to plan. Fortunately, there’s still plenty of time to turn things around, and plenty of widely available players with which to do so. The purpose of this article is to identify some of those players who have the potential to provide significant fantasy value in the second half of the season as well as a few of the expendable players who might be burning holes in your roster.

Today, we’re going to look at some hitters of interest while focusing on pitchers in the near future. Without further ado, here are some potential second half treasures on the hitting side who are widely available in ESPN leagues (ownership percentage in parentheses):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to prematurely balding men and decided if you can’t beat them, join them!  Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post.  Here, enjoy some coffee.  Oops, you just drank rat poison.  Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than owning Chris Archer in the 1st half.  Oh, you owned him and that’s why you drank the poison!  Now, I’m following!   Hey, I’m supposed to be leading!  Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2016 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up!  But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest!  So, as with all of the other 2016 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt.  If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade that outfielder for that 2nd baseman.  Also, things change in fantasy baseball.  Daily.  I could put Bryce Harper number two on the top 100 list for the second half of 2016 and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with Bryce.  Why soil a good thing, ya know?  This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued.  It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache.  This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today.  So while David Price did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because I still believe.  The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2016.  I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what players will do.  It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone.  Welcome to the future!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2016:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last year there were only four players that made it to the 20/20 club. Those players were A.J. Pollock, Ryan Braun, Paul Goldschmidt and Manny Machado. The year before, 2014, there were five members. Carlos Gomez, Ian Desmond, Michael Brantley, Brian Dozier and Todd Frazier. In 2013 there were nine. Carlos Gomez, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Hunter Pence, Will Veneble, Coco Crisp, Ian Desmond, Carlos Gonzalez and Shin-Soo Choo. Back in 2009 there were 14 players that hit at least 20 home runs and stole at least 20 bases. Attendance at the 20/20 club has been steadily falling. Are the days of the 20/20 player disappearing? How is Mike Trout’s name only listed once? What happened to Carlos Gomez? Coco Crisp? Will Veneble? More like Will Vdisable.

So how does the 2016 landscape look for 20/20 hopefuls? Based on each players’ current pace, here are the players on track for 20/20…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hey, Razzball Nation, you know it’s your favorite white boy, right?  I owe you this one.  I’ve been patiently waiting for Gregory Polanco to explode on.  You can pfft if you want but his ankles were rolled on.  It feels like Polanco has been hot for so long.  If you thinking he’s gonna fall off, you’re so wrong.  Take some Marte and Polanc and you mix them up in a pot, sprinkle a ‘little Hurdle not knowing who to bat where,’ and what you got?  You got the realest and illest batters, juggernauts of this fantasy shizz like it or not!  Seriously, I’ve been waiting all season to feature Polanco in a lede.  Yesterday, he rained some of his own fireworks on the 4th of who-lie (that’s how I pronounce it), knocking out two home runs (2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 11th and 12th homers), and you might remember from my preseason rankings, this little beaut, “Two quick things:  Yes, I’m aware that Polanco is ranked insanely high in my rankings vs. other people’s rankings.  And, yes, I’m going to own Polanco on every team.  Confession Alert!  I had Polanco in the top 20 overall prior to seeing where others ranked him and moved him down a round.  I could’ve moved him down six rounds and still had him higher than everyone.  Polanco feels like an Arenado situation from last year.  By that I mean, I will say something to another fantasy baseball ‘pert like, “Do you like Polanco?”  They’ll reply, “Yeah, I love him.” I’ll follow up with, “Then why do you have him ranked 110 overall?”  They’ll answer, “I don’t know.”  Then my head will explode.”  And that’s me mic dropping.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This marks my 100th post here at the Razzball baseball blog and I must say how thankful I am that I have a home at a blog where I can provide below average fantasy baseball analysis while referencing Jules Verne, Scientology, Jon Snuh and ayahuasca all in the same post. It’s been a wild couple a years and I outlasted many a writer I didn’t think I’d outlast. Remember when the Guru disappeared in a van? Remember Razzball TV on the Radio? And what ever happened to Kenyon!? That guy was hilarious. I remember when Grey first found me. I was trying to get my Harry Potter erotica/fan fiction off the ground and writing signs for homeless people to make a quick buck. “Why Lie I Need A Beer,” ever see that one? Yep, that’s a Dan Pants original. Grey said he could use my talents to express undying love for shortstops named Xander and tell people they shouldn’t own two catchers. The rest is history, folks. Special thanks to Grey, Rudy, and Jay. Not Tehol though–[expletive deleted] that guy. But enough about me, you’re here for the sub-par fantasy advice. The New York Mets (lol, Joakim Noah!) called up rookie Brandon Nimmo last Sunday and after going 0-for-4 in his debut, he’s hit safely in his past five games. He’s led off for NY the past two games and responded in a big way last night going 2-for-3 with a 3-run home run (a 440 foot shot). Curtis Granderson remains hobbled and with Michael Conforto “working things out” in the minors Brandon has been given an opportunity to shine at the top of the order. He slashed .328/.409/.508 with five homers and five steals in 63 games AAA this year. If you are looking for an outfielder in NL-Only and deeper mixed leagues you might consider finding Nimmo on your waiver wire.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My Spanish is more than rusty, so I apologize if I failed to offend you with my title. Actually I don’t apologize. Now have I offended you? Who cares. I realize it should have been “Aquí Viene Ramos”, but my way sounds much better. More Dr. Seuss if you will. I feel like it’s time for some points league rankings. Who doesn’t love rankings? The best part about writing this column is that if I feel like it’s time for a rankings post, I write a rankings post. Who’s gonna stop me. I guess Grey could, but if I fly in under the greydar, then I should be ok. Today’s rankings are based 70 percent on year-to-date performance, 30 percent on rest of season projections and 10 percent on experimental formulas. Yes, I realize that adds up to 110 percent, but that’s part of what makes it experimental.

Please, blog, may I have some more?