Fret not, Razzball nation. The wait is almost over. As of today, we’re now just three short days away before the official start of the MLB regular season. Pretty soon, you won’t be refreshing your fantasy team’s live stats page and wondering why DeShields hasn’t stolen a base yet. They’re coming! In the meantime, let’s take a quick look at one of the most surprising rookies from the 2015 season, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the bear/bull series, here’s the deal. Each week, I’ll be highlighting a different fantasy-relevant player and creating a framework of where that player is trending in fantasy terms. After some background analysis, number crunching, and sometimes even a player comp or two, I’ll reveal whether I’m bearish (pessimistic) or bullish (optimistic) on the near future of the player in question. So essentially a one player buy/sell. Dig it? Awesome. Now let’s take a look at this week’s player under the microscope…Please, blog, may I have some more?
We are so close to the top 20 starters you can almost taste it, and it tastes like limoncello. I wonder why that is. From the top 20 outfielders through to this top 100 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball has been like the greatest mini-series ever. Sorta like what I hope the O.J. Simpson show is. By the way, don’t Google O.J. Simpson, major spoilers! In most fantasy leagues, you won’t need to draft guys from this top 100 outfielders, and they’ll be waiver wire pickups. A few of these guys will be drafted by people saying things like, “I’m really loving (fill-in name from this post) as a late sleeper,” then those same people will get to the middle of April and be saying things like, “I can drop (fill-in player’s name), right?” As with other rankings posts, I go over where tiers start and stop and my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Red Sox signed David Price to a seven-year deal for $217 million. MFW I heard. I get that half goes to the government, and ten percent goes to his lawyer, and ten percent goes to his agent, and ten percent goes to his business manager, and ten percent goes to his accountant, and ten percent goes to the guy in his business manager’s office that is pretending to be his business manager and moving money straight to a bank account in Turks and Caicos without anyone knowing, but $217 million is ludicrous. The Ghost of Curt Flood says, “Ya’ll abusing the crack baby out free agency.” The ‘crack baby’ modifier is popular amongst ghosts. The Ghost of Marion Barry started it. This contract makes me long for the days of collusion. This doesn’t even take into account how stupid it is from the Red Sox perspective, and I don’t mean just due to Price’s unstellar (Made Up Word of the Day!) playoff history. There will never be a contract where this much money ever makes sense. Look at your World Champion Royals, they don’t have one guy making more than ten million. Look at the past handful of huge contracts, have any of them looked good in hindsight? By the third year, this will look as egregious as the contracts given to Sabathia, A-Rod, Cano, Ryan Howard…Okay, nothing will look as bad as Ryan Howard’s. It’s not like contracts are secret either. It’s not as if the Red Sox are sitting there scratching their heads wondering how much the Royals are paying Hosmer. Big contracts get you nowhere! I said that last sentence while pounding my fist on a lectern as a few kids dozed in the front row. As for Price, he’ll turn 31 years old during the 2016 season, which is not exactly when pitchers get better, but he looks like he could stave off decline for a year or two. Last year, his fastball velocity went up from 2014, his K-rate was above his career average and his walk rate was within sneezing distance of his career mark. He was a tad lucky on homers, LOB% and BABIP, but he appears to be 2.70-3.20 ERA pitcher with neutral luck. Of course, I wouldn’t draft him since I don’t buy number one fantasy aces, but I doubt Fenway or the AL East really hurt him that much. At least not until the third year of his deal when there will be 217 million reasons why the Red Sox want to unload him. For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 17-7/3.03/1.10/225 in 220 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If Friday, when I last wrote, was the worst pitching day I had ever seen, this one looks fantastic. Aces abound. Congrats if you recognize the reference from my title. One of my favorite movie scenes from a great movie, Rounders. Classic really, it could be a little overplayed and some may say overrated, but I’m a big fan. It’s an aces full day and so I’m going to skip to fellas I’ll be looking to pair with my aces. Some folks will pay up and pair two aces tonight, it’s a matter of your own personal strategy and risk assessment. Two aces will be more “safe”. Kluber/Syndergaard will probably be amazing. Scherzer/Gray, that would most likely be incredible. However, with a game in Coors and some high priced bats, I’m much more likely to take one lower tier ace (like Syndergaard for instance) and pair him with a cheap upside play, someone such as Mike Foltynewicz. Mike’s point totals throughout May are a bit of a mixed bag, but his strikeouts are not. Starting May 6th his K totals are: 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 5. San Diego is willing to play along as they rank 3rd in MLB in Ks right now. They’re an all or nothing, HR or strikeout style team a’la the Astros. For $7,200, I’ll take my chances that tonight is a nothing night and the kid can rack up the Ks at home. Let’s look at a couple more value pitchers to pair with our aces.
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?
Logan Morrison performed some late night heroics yesterday as he went 2-for-5 with two RBI including a walk off home run off Dan Otero in the 11th inning to beat the A’s. LoMo now has three home runs and is batting .364 in the past week, and yes, of course he’s trending on twitter. Trending hard. His twitter feed is blowing up like a Michael Bay film and after struggling in April he’s really come alive in May. Logan’s hit four of his five dingers in May, and is slashing .385/.448/1.000 (compared to .197/.238/.250 in April) with a 1.448 OPS. Yes, more please! Small sample sizes sure are fun! Based on his career norms his .238 BABIP is certainly low, but so is the 11.9 K%, however, the 37.1 hard hit percentage looks real nice. You know I can make the stats tell you whatever I want, but the fact is LoMo is a hot little potato right now. He’s hit safely in every game he’s played this month except one, and he’s homered in four of them. Grey told you to BUY this week and he’s available in most leagues. When asked about his heroic walk off homer, Logan admitted he didn’t do it for the fame, the fortune, or even for the stats, he did it for the followers. So have a @CupOfLoMo with last night’s hero, and pick him up if you need some power at the corner.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s mid August, which means it’s football season for everyone except those still in contention in baseball leagues (and those gracious, absurd souls that maintain high effort levels on out-of-it teams). The author of this piece confesses that he, in fact, is not one of them. Of the three leagues for which I drafted teams, only one —the one I’m currently in first– commands my honest attention.
But lemme tell ya, I really want to win that one league. Real bad. And I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you are in a similar spot in your league and can Relate. If we call Level 1 “Showing up to the draft” and Level 2 “Replacing injured players”, then I’m operating on like a Level 13 level right now. That means doing all the little things right like making sure I’m taking advantage of platoon splits, dropping fringe guys with unfavorable upcoming matchups (sorry Grady), and starting a guy in every spot on every night, every day of the week. That last part is what this column is all about, so let’s take a look at some of the lesser-owned hitters at our disposal this Thursday.Please, blog, may I have some more?
In the past, I’ve gone out of my way to focus more on rookie hitters than pitchers, but after last year and living through season-after-season of diminishing offense, this is the world we live in. Before you blame anyone, look in the mirror. What do you see? Besides, the blackheads. You see someone that supported baseball ridding itself of PEDs. So, this is what we have. Pitching up the wazoo. I still contend it should be ‘out the wazoo’ and not ‘up the wazoo,’ but I’m playing by your rules now. I’m no longer sticking it to the man and going up the wazoo. Hmm, that sounded wrong, but never the hoo! Kevin Gausman just barely maintained rookie eligibility by only pitching 47 2/3 IP last year. Really showing a thing or two about not knowing what was coming or going either by having a 5.66 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. It really means nothing. First of all, his xFIP was 3.04, so his ERA shouldn’t have even been that bad. Second of all, he had a 9+ K-rate, which is right in line what you can expect. Third of all, there is no third of all. Why would you think there was a third of all? Gausman isn’t a 5+ ERA pitcher. He could be the best rookie pitcher this year. He has that kind of stuff. With the O’s, you gotta mind your P’s and Q’s. Excuse me, I had Alphabet Soup for lunch and just burped. What I mean is the O’s aren’t in the best division for nurturing along a young starter. You have to be on the top of your game in the AL East. Gausman has the stuff to tame the big offenses. As I’ve tried to beat into your head, a pitcher with great control and strikeout stuff is worth your attention. Gausman is that type of pitcher. The only real question is do the O’s stay with him in the rotation. If today’s game vs. the Tigers is a spot start and back to the minors, it’s not great. Opportunity + Stuff = Fudgie the Whale. Wow, my math is off there. It should’ve equaled “worth a flyer in all fantasy leagues to see if he stays in the rotation.” To give you an idea of this guy’s upside, in Prospect Scott’s top 25 fantasy baseball prospects, the top five are Tanaka, Abreu, Bogaerts, Taijuan and then Gausman. That’s elite company. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
On this day, I’m reminded of the Imagine Dragons song, Demons. “It’s Prince Fielder‘s curtain’s call, it’s the last of all, when the lights fade out all the other players look like an upgrade. They look like an upgrade! Prince Fielder let us down! He should be hell bound! Though he says it’s all for you, stop hiding the truth! No matter what Cecil Fielder would breed. We are still made of greed, my fantasy team is my kingdom come, when will Prince Fielder’s homers come? When will they come?! When you feel my heat, look into my eyes, it’s where my hate for Fielder hides, it’s where my hate hides. Abreu, don’t get too close, it’s dark inside and Fielder might rub off on you. It’s where my hate for Fielder hides, it’s where my hate hides. They say it’s okay if he hits .280 with 85 RBIs and 20 homers around the pole that is foul. I say it’s up to fate, it’s woven in my soul, Prince Fielder is an a**hole!” Usually I’m like don’t sell so-and-so for a DVD box set of the third season of Punky Brewster, but I’d sell Fielder low. Who knows maybe someone in your league won’t think you’re selling low. I’d explore ALL (yes, capped) offers for him immediately before things get worse. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Fredo is a disgrace. That’s Fredo Gonzalez. He’s running around yapping his mouth about my fantasy team’s business, saying Alex Wood can go to the bullpen and Gavin Floyd can stay in the rotation. Why don’t you defend Moe Green while you’re at it, Fredo? I’m sorry, I’m about to have an aneurysm. Fredo said he doesn’t want to go to a six-man rotation, saying, “(Floyd) is one guy that would not go to the bullpen… We all know how the bullpen thing is. You get up. You get down. You go in. You got to warm up in 15 (pitches), and I don’t want to do that to (Floyd).” No, instead you’ll do it to one of your best, young arms. Jonny Venters just asked an elderly man behind him in line at the bank to sign his check for him because he can’t lift his arm! I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart! Well, I haven’t heard anything official yet, but it sounds like Wood is headed to the bullpen so Floyd can start. Super. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This should go down easier than Danny Salazar‘s last start, but it’s still not going to be that easy to digest. You have a Tums handy? Good, take like seven of them. Don’t worry, if they give you kidney stones, it will take your mind off of K-Zar. Something is wrong. I hypothesized that he was tipping his pitches last time. It didn’t make sense that he would strikeout more guys in four innings than anyone has ever while still getting rocked. Maybe he is, I still have no idea. I don’t have my degree from the University of Pitch Scouting, which is still in a heated lawsuit with the United Parcel Service. You should sign the online petition for the United Parcel Service to change to the acronym NBU for Nice Brown Uniforms. If an online petition can’t get something changed, what can? Member when people actually protested things and not just clicked a box on an online petition site? Those in-person protestors were silly! Any the hoo! A larger problem with K-Zar is his velocity is down. Still decent for most mortals, but he could be hiding a larger issue with his arm. The other day when he K’d ten guys in four innings, it might’ve masked a bigger problem. Yesterday’s start was a real eye-opener — 4 2/3 IP, 5 ER and only 3 Ks — is terrible. That’s not tipping pitches, that’s something is wrong. The final ruling on K-Zar is you should hold him if you can, but I don’t think the short-term is going to be pretty. Obviously, you can’t start him next time out or until he throws a decent start. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?