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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I’m a stat junkie. Way back in the pre-internet days when I was just a little Magoo, I would run outside first thing in the morning to grab the daily paper so I could immediately check out the previous night’s box scores. There’s Tony Gwynn leading the league in batting average yet again. A slam and legs (before I even knew what that was) by that Bonds fellow. The Big Unit piled up another dozen Ks. Another high scoring game in Colorado. What’s the deal with that place anyway?

This fascination with statistics has led to the fantasy baseball obsession that I’m burdened with today. Only now, with all of the advanced statistics and metrics that are available at the click of a button, the obsession is worse than ever. Fortunately for you, all of the man hours that I’ve wasted poring over stats this offseason has allowed me to discover some interesting nuggets of information that I think are fantasy-relevant for the upcoming season, and I’d like to share some of them with you today. At least, I find them to be interesting and potentially useful for fantasy purposes, and I hope that you will too.

From here on out, 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 hitters only, and the stats that will be highlighted range from the basic (home runs, stolen bases, batting average, counting stats) to the slightly more advanced (plate discipline, batted ball profile).

And now, without further ado, here are some interesting stats and trends to consider for the 2016 fantasy baseball season:

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Went over the catchers1st basemen2nd basemen and shortstops and top 20 3rd basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball.  Guess what’s next!  No, not pitchers. Read the title, man.  In 2010, there were only 5 outfielders that hit 30 homers, in 2011 there were 9, 14 in 2012, in 2013 there were 3, a small bounce back with 6 in 2014 and this year there were eight.  Going the right way, for sure.  Though, steals were basically gone.  There were 14 outfielders who stole 30 bases in 2012, 10 in 2013 and there were 11 in 2014.  This year there were only five outfielders who stole 30 bases (only seven players total).  Five outfielders with 30 steals!  Dubya tee eff, we need Ron LeFlore and his cocaine, stat!  As before, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 outfielders for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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It’s been a great year, and it’s been a pleasure talking to you all throughout the course of the season. But as much as I thank you for all the comments, feedback and conversation over the year, I have to thank all my favorite plays this season for the joy, and sometimes heartburn, they gave me.

SP: Zack Greinke, Corey Kluber, Chris Sale: Some nights I gave the ball to Greinke with no hope to cash in my lineups. The bats were cold, the chips were down…all was lost. But Greinke came through anyway, all season long. First month Kluber had the underlying metrics without the results, mid-season Kluber found the groove and made late season Kluber jealous. And Sale….well, nice knowing that it never mattered how many runs you have up, because those Ks….those sweet Ks, always delivered. Thanks, fellas.

C: Kyle Schwarber: The Swarb has a warm back rub when the day was so tense. Sweet, delicious power in a catcher, forever eligible on DraftKings. The stuff cash was made of.

1B: David Ortiz: Last season he led in both hard hit rating and expected power and he spent the last 2/3 of the season getting back to that. Never age, Papi, never age.

2B: Luis Valbuena, Cesar Hernandez: Valby has been a vs. RHP crutch since his time in Chicago last year. He goes for the downs every time up and does it enough to make it worth rostering him, though he cost a bit more as time progressed. Cesar was a sub-3K dynamo for far too long, ripping base hit and steals at the top of the Phillies lineup. Cesar the Great? He sure was.

SS: Carlos Correa, Andres Blanco: Correa came up and raked and hardly ever stopped. His price eventually rose to All-Star heights, but he was fun to own for long time. and Andres Blanco is my favorite vs. LHP masher at SS and is always priced like he’s homeless. Gotta love the vs. LHP Phillies.

3B: Alex Rodriguez, Yangervis Solarte: ARod was fairly modestly priced all season and early on, he was a monster and great fun to roster as the Yankees were crushing. Solarte started leading off in San Diego and was a base hit, hard hit metrics darling and paid off often at his price tag, which always hovered around 3K.

OF: From Joey Butler and Grady Sizemore to Nelson Cruz and Mike Trout all the way through The Grandy Man, JD Martinez and Gerardo Parra, the Milwaukee version, the outfield produced so much good times, it’s hard to single anybody out. Thanks fellas.

Let me know who your favorites were in the Comments area and enjoy the last couple of days of baseball. I’m going to treat the Saturday slate as if these teams will all give a darn, but check the lineups for fun and games. Thank you all!

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet 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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There’s only a few more roundups left on the season, then I’ll be recapping the rest of October, then rookies in November, then sleepers in December, then rankings in January, then I draft Arenado again in February and then March hits and my Cougar wife says to me, “I’ll see you again in October.”  So, as you can see, we don’t have a ton of time before next year.  So, Part II:  So So Again; I wanted to talk briefly about the insanely sexy, hump-taker, Marcus Stroman.  Yesterday, he pitched a fantastic little start — 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, to leave his ERA at 1.67 since his return, but I’m more concerned with Stroman for next year.  Or as I like to call it, Sixteen after Twenty, The Year of The Stroman.  If I call it that, it might give away the ending here, but I’m going to love Stroman in 2016.  Stroman, my pain with his fingers.  One time, one time.  Well, I loved him coming into this year prior to his injury.  An injury, mind you and mind the gap, that wasn’t on his arm.  What’s to like about Stroman?  How about this checklist:  solid ground ball rate, solid Ks and excellent control.  You know who that is?  Dallas Keuchel.  Stroman can be that dominant in 2016 too.  As for 2015, he’s done, so, yo, Grey, hit the segue!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It’s not a great year to be rooting for Milwaukee and it just got worse as the year progressed. GM fired? Check. Big name star traded? Double check. Big name stars hurt? Triple check. Your mama always taught you not to kick someone while they’re down, but your mama didn’t play DFS. What, were you expecting a ‘your mama’ joke? What is this, 1989? I’m sure your mama is nice, just don’t ask me why she wanted me as a job reference on her resume (subtle maternal insults are the best!). But back to beating on the bad teams…Brewers are bad. Since we started off with a beer analogy, let’s keep it rolling and say this is not Milwaukee’s Best. Or maybe it is? I’m a beer snob but haven’t had that beer so I’ll pretend it doesn’t taste like runny pig bile and give you MB lovers the benefit of the doubt. Whichever side makes me insult you less is the side I’m going for, though, let’s make that clear. Choose your own adventure here and let’s move on to why we talk of the Brew Crew being the pew crew: Andrew Cashner. Would I love to attack the Brewers with a safer option? You betcha. Am I ok with taking this chance at a low end price of $6,100? YUP. So tip a few back as you watch the DK points rack up. Or maybe as you tip a few back it just looks like you’re scoring a lot cuz you’re seeing double. Whatevs, just enjoy yourself. Here’s the rest of my PBR takes for this Wednesday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet 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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Rich Hill pitched a complete game two-hit shutout last night against the Mighty Orioles walking just one batter and striking out 10 for his second win. Where the heck was this guy in April when Justin Masterson and Steven Wright were starting? Am I really asking that question about a 35-year-old southpaw journeyman who hasn’t started a big league game since 2009, and was out of baseball in July? Yeah I guess I am asking that because Hill has been an absolute monster since debuting with the Sawx two weeks ago in Tampa Bay. In just three starts, he’s pitched 23.0 IP, allowing just 10 hits and 3 ER, with a 30/2 K/BB rate. Yes, my friends, the Hill Has Ks. That was almost your headline. Also, not for nothing, the three earned runs were surrendered to the Blue Jays, and I mean, come on, it’s the Blue Jays. And just in case you thought this story couldn’t get any sweeter, Rich was pitching for the Independent League’s Long Island Ducks just months ago. He holds a 1.70 ERA and 0.52 WHIP through three starts and although I love what he’s doing, he’s scheduled to take on the Yankees in New York next week and I wouldn’t call it a slam dunk. If you’re feeling lucky, by all means ride the snake, but I’m not sure I’d risk my fantasy season on Rich Hill, despite how awesome he’s been. But cool story, bro!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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That title wasn’t a real question, y’all, please don’t provide your responses in the comments below. And if your answer was yes, that means you’ve eaten it and lived so I’ll just take your word for it and barf on my own time. But I don’t wanna know about your culinary disasters, what I do wanna know about is how can I find a way to price in those sweet Colorado bats. I know that you know that we all want in on that action, boss, so we have to find ways to swerve to get them in and pitching is a prime starting point to begin that search. I’m not gonna lie to you and say that Alfredo Simon has merit on his own. He’s pretty meh if we’re being honest but the Twins vs righties especially on the road will always grab my attention. For the year, the Twins rank 4th worst in wRC+ against righties and throw in a reasonably healthy K rate of 21.1% to boot. Throw in the second worst road wRC+ and a 22.9% K rate and you have the mixings for a solid if maybe unspectacular line from the Big Fettuccine. I wouldn’t even think about this in cash but for tourneys, picking on Twinkies on the road with righties is a solid Konami Cheat Code for this kind of day. But now that we’ve covered culinary dysentery, let’s move on to better things. Here’s my Wild Mushroom Risotto hot takes for this Saturday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet 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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Thomas Pham is a 27-year old rookie who has made the most of his first month in the big leagues. Big Magoo wrote about him on Tuesday, saying “Enjoy the fling while it lasts, but be wary of a long-term commitment.” And I completely agree! I don’t think that Pham will be a viable option in shallow mixed leagues next year.

thomas-pham-mlb-st.-louis-cardinals-milwaukee-brewers-590x900

Can he do it? Yes, he pham! Remember those great Jorge Cantu chants? Jorge can’t hit a home run! Yes, he Cantu!

My initial reaction was: could this be a Charlie Blackmon scenario? Blackmon’s first full season came at the age of 27, when he batted .288/.335/.440 with 19 bombs. But, Blackmon had already had plenty of major league action to that point, and his skillset was generally superior to Pham’s. So, I slapped myself and recognized that Pham is a perfect playoff schmotato and nothing more. Given that information, Pham has absolutely crushed over the past two weeks, posting a 1.350 OPS with 4 homers and 12 RBI. At this point in the year, you need to grab onto these hot streaks. And, Pham’s hot streak is molten right now.

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We’ve all been slammed by the DraftKings and FanDuel commercials so much in the past few weeks. However on each one, you’re seeing the testimonials speak about how much they’ve won while playing fantasy football on the sites. That’s where the most of the attention is, especially this time of year. So if you’re still reading and still playing your DFS baseball tournaments or what have you, gold star for you.

Let’s get straight to the cash while everyone else is focused on football.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet 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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?