When Grey contacted me in mid-October about a mock draft, I thought perhaps an email that got caught up in his iPhone draft folder had finally wiggled it’s way out of technological purgatory.  Yo Grey, I fire back, I think you got hacked and the worst part is even your spam is about fantasy baseball.  After some clarification via emails and iPhone emojis, it was clear it was indeed a mock draft for the 2015 season being offered up by Bryan Curley of Baseballprof.com.  And look at that site bio pic…who could say no to that, right?  So I started the long and winding trek that was this pre-pre-pre-season mock draft.  Since we’re nowhere near the start of the season, there was a 24 hour clock for each pick.  All that to say, since the start of this mock draft, the Padres have traded for every player in the league at least once, the football season basically came and went, and we’ve found out that we side with North Korea in the matters of Seth Rogen/James Franco movies.  But after three months’ worth of setup and drafting, 12 teams were made and now we get to talk about them so here it goes.  Let’s take a look at a way too early mock for the 2015 Fantasy Baseball season…

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This is one of the most difficult posts to write all year. Maybe I shouldn’t try to write this post with my feet. Eff it, you know what? No guts, no glory. No toes, no post either, naw mean? There’s just so many different ways the top 20 for 2015 fantasy baseball could go. Maybe next year I’ll write a top 10 for 2015 fantasy baseball with a ten way tie for the tenth ranked guy. Last year, I had Jose Bautista higher than anyone and Jay Bruce. You win some, you lose some. I also had Pujols, Votto and Puig in the top twenty. Again, win, lose and…DRAW! It’s one word…A can of spinach with an X through it…A hamburger…Wimpy! Looking into my crystal ball tells me this year is gonna be even harder. Pitchers are dominating the sport. Doesn’t mean I can go completely crackers and just put ten starters in the top twenty. That shizz would be crumby! I wouldn’t draft a starter in the top twenty so I won’t tell you to do it. Finding twenty hitters isn’t going to be easy, but, while thinking of me as your weird uncle that you can only talk about baseball with, let’s find them together. Remember, one pick does not a team make. Here’s just twenty picks you should make. All the positional rankings will live under the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings. Anyway, here’s the top 20 for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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Third base was far from an epic fail like something JayWrong would have a GIF for. There were a good ten 3rd basemen and another handful that could’ve covered your corner infidel slot. The problem is after the top twelve, the 3rd basemen fall off the map like a 12th century explorer. Here’s you, “Hey, I’m gonna go to India heading west.” You’re whistling, everything is good, then you have Trevor Plouffe in your corner infidel slot and you’re dead from scurvy. This year there were fewer 3rd basemen coming out of nowhere to give you value, so if you didn’t have a top guy, you were probably stuck piecing together waiver scraps. This final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason. I look forward to the random comment about how I’ve left off so-and-so. This is not for next year. Lisa Simpson groan. Oh, they’re not reading this intro. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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You know a hitter is going well when I look to pick him up, see he’s taken, then look again a few hours later to make sure I wasn’t incorrect the first time. Then I call over Cougs and tell her to look up the player, just to make sure I’m not missing something. Then I summon my dog to the computer, and he’s good for nothing, but he does look cute trying to work a mouse. Then I call up our neighbor, who is a reverse Cougar — have I ever mentioned that we have a neighbor who is in her thirties and dates only guys in their late-70’s? Daddy issues much? Plus, she takes on the old doodes’ personas, going to the library to use a computer, eating dinner at 4 PM, calling everyone “Sonny” — and my neighbor at the library doesn’t even see the player, so I know I missed out. Yet, this hitter is only owned in 30% of leagues, so he’s available somewhere, he must be! In the last week, Norichika Aoki is hitting .517. That’s not a misprint. In fact, it’s not even a print; it’s typed on a screen. Sure, he rivaled Nadir Bupkis for the least amount of fantasy value given between April and August, but he’s on fire now. I’d grab him in all leagues. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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I wonder if Jake Smolinski had a sister that put out in high school. I could’ve swore I hooked up with an Eva Smolinski after her friend Dawn rejected me. Were my Cavariccis cuffed a little too high for you, Dawn? My B.U.M. Equipment sweatshirt too faded? I still hate you! Well, enough about me! *smacks self* Get a grip, man! Smolinski is hitting .408, and crushing pink cookies in a plastic bag since his call up, going 4-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI yesterday. The Rangers are like a prisoner with a life sentence (no offense to some of our readers; I believe you’re innocent!). Rangers have nothing but time on their hands to play their guys. Is Smolinski anything but a hot schmotato? God, no, but no one is this late in the year. I’d grab him if you need a hot bat, and who doesn’t? Dawn apparently! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Wilmer Flores went 3-for-4, 2 runs, 6 RBIs with his 5th and 6th homers. With David Wright hurt, Flores has been playing every day. The Mets are thankfully still able to get Ruben Tejada into their lineup. The Mets said, “We’ve wanted to drop Tejada, send down Tejada or trade Tejada for a nickel on a dollar, but since we can’t figure out the paperwork, we’re playing him every day for the last three years.” No Met in particular said that; all of them did. Why do I care about Flores playing? In Triple-A in 2013, he hit 15 homers and .321 in 107 games. That was when he was 22 years old. Maybe he’s not God’s answer to Bac-Os and able to make every game better, but I bet he could’ve been as good as David Wright this year. The reason why baseball people and the media doesn’t like Wilmer is he fields like he has a golden glove. Not that he won a golden glove. Like he’s literally trying to catch grounders with a metal statue. If he gets a job out of spring training in fifteen after twenty, this won’t be the last time you hear me try to convince people Wilmer Flores isn’t bad. For now, he’s only viable in very deep leagues as we watch Flores’s stock bloom. Flores’s stock bloom! Flores’s stock bloom! Springtime for Wilmer, and the Mets… (BTW, when did this site become so pro-Mets? I feel dirty. Though, that could be because I haven’t showered since March.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’m going to look right in your eye and say, “I don’t know where Jacob deGrom‘s coming from.” Don’t turn away from me. *turns your face by chin* Look at me. I don’t know everything. I’m sorry. I know that upsets you like finding out that Santa Claus is really just a drunk man in a costume. I apologize profusely if you didn’t know that about Santa too. It hurts me to ruin your naivete more than anything. Your child-like innocence is what originally drew me to you. Alas, we’ll find something else. Like deGrom, for instance, we can discover him together. In Triple-A, deGrom had a 6.8 K/9 this year, and 7.5 last year. Always had nice control, but he has a 9 K/9 in the majors. You don’t see guys often jump up a pedigree when they go from the minors to the majors. He’s always featured nice command, which is the key here. When a guy can command his pitches and then learns how to throw a new pitch that is special, he can use it effectively. So, what did he learn? Supposedly, Johan Santana gave him the secret sauce recipe for The Change. Another key is his velocity. This isn’t a guy who is adding a new pitch with 89 MPH velocity. He throws his fastball in the mid-90’s. Throw one pitch in the mid-90’s and another dropped in around 84 and you have a recipe for Ks. As was the case yesterday — 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 13 Ks — when the Marlins were like Farmer Ted striking out at deGrom. Still think he’s closer to a high-7/low-8 K-rate guy with a mid-3 ERA, but it’s still a lot better than I thought he was when he came up. Now let’s move past this lapse of judgment by me and try to enjoy ourselves. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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“We’re more alike than we are different.” That’s what Mary Ann said of her and Ginger, but it could also be said of Marcus Stroman and a Flat-Billed Pitchypus. He needs maybe a fifteen-second ironing and a quarter-cup of starch and he’d be there. Considering the tumultuous recent years of the Flat-Billed Pitchypus, maybe it’s for the best. “You want more starch on this?” “Yes.” Dontrelle Willis reaches for his TGIF’s hat, drops jalapeno poppers on his foot and screams. Yesterday, Stroman threw a shutout in 93 pitches. Greg Maddux called and said, “You owe me a nickel.” Stroman’s sparkling like I screwed his head into my SodaStream, pushed down the level way too long and bubbles started coming into his eyes. Mary Ann’s existential quote could also be used to say there’s more similarities than differences between Stroman and an ace. He shouldn’t generate that much velocity from a five-foot-nine frame. Yet, there he is throwing 94 MPH while high-fiving his teammates on a step stool. He’s credited with a six-pitch arsenal that he can locate with pinpoint accuracy. I’m going to have a Marcus Stroman post for 2015 fantasy baseball to highlight his sensational stuff for next year, and then he’ll probably be in the top 10 pitchers for 2016. A star is born just don’t iron the brim any further; you’re good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yo, it’s me, I’m back in the flesh! Well, I’ve never been in the flesh on this site. At least not yet. Give me some time, I’ve been giving out my phone number to TMZ in the hopes I get hacked so they can gain access to all my deepest, dirtiest secrets. But until that day, I keep grinding away at Daily Fantasy. Heck, I love it so much I’m doing DraftKings Football for Razzball as well. Speaking of football, did ya miss me last week? You really shouldn’t have. I gave you a Saturday article leading with Vidal Nuno the morning I departed to Chicago for Razzball Radio‘s #32in32in32 tour where Nick Capozzi and I drove around like mad men across these great states and covered a fantasy draft in all the 32 cities with an NFL club. Well, I was there for the final leg of the tour. If you wanna know how the whole thing really went, I’m fielding offers for my interview. I’m thinking Barbara Walters will be calling any time now…yup…any…time…but while I wait for that phone to ring, let’s discuss some Daily Fantasy Baseball. So we got this kid named Marcus Stroman. He’s good…hrm, thought I had more to go on here. Oh, right, the young Cubs. I’m a big proponent of ignoring season stats by about mid-June. Guys who were hot, cool and vice versa, young guys get called up and overperform for a while and another guy strains a muscle but stays in the lineup when he shouldn’t and his stats sag worse than…well, I’m not gonna ADMIT to looking at your g-ma’s boobs so lets just not go there, m’kay? All this to say, I use ‘last 7 days’ and the team stats when I do so. The Cubs are striking out at a heavy rate of 24.6% heading into Sunday’s games. And just to complete my homework, I checked the boxscore from Sunday for them: 12 K, 8 of which came from the starter. They are still a scary lineup in that there’s power up and down it but I think Stroman and his $6,800 sets you up well to spend as needed elsewhere on a semi-shortened Monday night slate. Speaking of said slate, let’s get to it. Here’s our picks for September 8th contests on DraftKings…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 team league 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 check the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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After Rafael Soriano once again looked like his apologetic alter ego, Sorry-yo, Matt Williams said the Nats won’t have a set closer. Let’s backtrack to August 18th, it was a day after the fourth time Soriano had given up runs in the matter of two weeks. At that point, I wrote there was a problem, and I grabbed Drew Storen. That was three weeks ago, and things haven’t gotten better. So, why was I able to spot there was a problem with Soriano three weeks prior to the Nationals manager, Matt Williams? Terrific question. There’s a few possible reasons A) Matt Williams’s Oakleys are worn to shield TV cameras from showing he’s actually asleep. B) Matt Williams can’t find steroids that make him smarter. C) There’s no C. D) In a secret meeting in Bud Selig’s wood-paneled basement in Milwaukee in 1999, Major League Baseball declared that every team must have at least one Mark McGwire. Matt Williams was elected to be Arizona’s Mark McGwire. (Sosa was elected to be the Cubs’ McGwire, which is why he bleached his skin.) The experiment to have a McGwire on every team was a success at first, but soon the players that were elected to be McGwire began to say, “I’m not here to talk about the past,” every time any question was asked. The biggest offender of this was Matt Williams, so, rather than risk being found out, MLB made him the Nats manager. Any of these reasons could be right, but it’s probably D. So, with Soriano in trouble, the Nats could go to Storen, Tyler Clippard or Matt Thornton. My guess is it’ll go in that order, and yesterday Storen got the clean save, helping his case. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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