When struggles happen, the fantasy geeks come out of the wood work with words like “decreased velocity”, “contact rate” and “swing strike percentage”.  Now I am no geek, but Roberto Osuna is failing the eye test for me.  Control is all over the place and he has zero confidence in his pitches.  Yes, if you look at all his secondary pitching attributes, they are all down or up for the worse.  First, his velocity is down almost two MPH from last year.  Granted, he did miss some time this spring though, so there is a reason to have a letter from his mom to explain that.  His z-contact rate (pitches in the strike zone) is off the charts bonkers.  It currently sits at 91%.  If he had pitched more than five innings to date and qualified, he would have the highest such contact rate in baseball among relievers.  That is not a good trait to have as a closer, let alone a mammal.  Finally, his swing strike percentage has bottomed out at a cool 10%, which would put him outside the top-100 relievers.  And surrounded by names like Tommy Hunter and Michael Ynoa, all staples to a flourishing fantasy team.  So what do we do?  You cuff him.  Jason Grilli is the best name there and Ryan Tepera just got the save in extra innings the other day.  All we can hope for from Bobby Osuna is that with some more innings and builds back up to the 9-plus K/9 reliever we drafted as our 1A closer.  It isn’t time to panic, but do yourself a favor and cover your bases.  Here’s what else is going down in the end game… Cheers!

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?

It was right in front of our faces and we ignored it.  No one said the obvious.  The elephant in the room.  We all should have known that we were getting fooled by the A’s because we trusted a Melvin.  A Melvin!  After years of hoodwinking by Upton, we now get the reflexive of this, and are getting bobbed.  Predictably, the A’s manager has made a real hash of the bullpen situation already, and we only sit four games into the season.  I get his mentality in some states, because you want your best pitcher pitching to the best players in the opposing lineups and yadda, yadda, yadda.  But this is fantasy baseball sir.  We don’t have the time or social skills warranted to be able to deal with this type stuff.  So for those of you living on a house boat with no wifi, the A’s bullpen usage is a flummoxed up mess with no one to trust.  It’s like November 23rd, 1963 in Dallas, Texas type of questioning everything.  Madson was the presumed closer and he has been treated as the go to guy for getting the tough outs.  Twice against the middle of the order which included a Trout named outfielder.  Then the first day went to Santiago Casilla, then the next day to Ryan Dull.  But the things that boggles the mind is set orders here.  I get that it is early and mixing and matching is cool like millennials do with socks now, but we need some kind of pecking order for rostering-type priorities.  I can’t deal with this madness, I am going to alphabetize my canned goods.  In the mean time, check out the closer menu, now with a deal on salads.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Somewhere, Melissa Leo is acting out today’s title and it’s so spot on you’re not sure if you should applaud, or put your wallet in the front pocket.  “I came straight from the packie because I heard you were having a sale on shamrock undergarments.  Are you having a shamrock undergarment sale or not?”  That’s Melissa Leo acting out the title.  Okay, okay, okay, guys and six girl readers and one girl writer. (She debuted yesterday; is there a female verb for that?  She debutante’d yesterday?  She debbie’d yesterday?  She damsel’d yesterday?  I’m asking, don’t roll your eyes at me like I’m a moron; I’ve had enough of that!)  Chris Sale looked great yesterday (7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks), but you knew he was going to look great.  You didn’t draft him in the first three rounds for him to look like hot garbage under Pablo Sandoval’s ass.  Or, rather, you didn’t not draft him in the first three rounds because I told you not to.  But you know who looked as good in Fenway?  Jameson Taillon (7 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks).  He doesn’t miss a huge number of bats — will average around 7.7 K/9 — but his control is masterful.  He will have around a 1.7 BB/9, if not lower.  When a guy has a difference of six between his K/9 and BB/9 great things can happen, and Taillon will be no different.  I’m not sure if he’ll get all the way to 190+ IP this year, but he had a 3.38 ERA last year, and I’m ready for around the same this year, if not better.  Like Melissa Leo would say, “This guy is fahkin spacktackulure.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Now that we’re in the regular season I get to actually discuss injuries that will have immediate impact on fantasy owners. For each player I will discuss whether you should stash the player in your DL spot or if you should trash them back to the waiver wire. This decision is going to be based on the talent of the player and the length of their DL stay. If I recommend that you stash a player in your DL spot, I will offer a few players who I think are good fill in options at that position. I will be determining these fill-ins based on their percentage ownership in ESPN leagues and a similar skill set…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When did Opening Day for the Padres become a laugher?  Was it when Corey Seager (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) homered off Christian Bethancourt?  You might remember Bethancourt was a catcher last year, but the Padres brought him back this year as a reliever.  If the Padres are going to make every one of their terrible hitters a reliever, their bullpen is going to get crowded.  Maybe that wasn’t the moment it became as cringeworthy as Michael Jackson/Lisa Marie’s romance.  Maybe it was the moment Jhoulys Chacin was pulled after giving up nine earned in 3 1/3 IP.  Considering this was the Padres’ best starter, the game score for their fifth best starter is going to be 38 to 1.  Maybe the moment an 0-162 season became a possibility was when Yasmani Grandal (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) hit his 2nd home run, tying Madison Bumgarner for the major league lead.  Or maybe it was the moment Manuel Margot (1-for-4, 1 run, hitting leadoff) tried to take first base after three balls, because he was facing Kershaw, and no one wants to face Clayton Kershaw (7 IP, 1 ER, 2 baserunners, 8 Ks).  Kershaw must’ve felt like Meatloaf when he mowed down Dan Cortese’s 1999 Rock n Jock team.  Oh, and haven’t even mentioned Joc Pederson (1-for-3, 5 RBIs with his 1st homer, a grand slam).  He never gets any love in the preseason, but I can’t ever (I mean never) move past that he was the first 30/30 guy in the PCL in 80 years.  Kinda wish I owned Pederson in more (any) leagues.  Well, looks like LA now owns San Diego’s Chargers and Chacin.  Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles might be the next beneficiary.  Though, if LA takes San Diego’s navy, it’ll prolly only be used in a West Hollywood musical featuring Village People songs.  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?

I’m not a woman.
I’m not a man.
I am something that you refer to as Fantasy Master Lothario.
I’ll never beat you (except in fantasy, that is my pledge).
I’ll never lie (except about how much I once liked Josh Rutledge).
And you’re evil but unless Rougned Odor disappoints I’ll forgive you!
Cause baseball will start 4 2!

*takes a long inhale* Can you smell the freshly cut grass?  No, because it’s still freezing in half the country?  Where’s your climate change now, Al Gore?!  I’m so hyped up about Opening Day, I’m slangin’ bean pies like Ice Cube and picking up and dropping catchers for s’s and g’s!  *goes to my Yahoo fantasy team page*

All right, so I guess I’m not making changes to my Yahoo team on this glorious of splendiferous days.  This day that is more beautiful than Giancarlo’s tukis.  This day that is the most frou-frou of all catchpennies!  Okay, I think my thesaurus steered me wrong on that last one.  On a sappy level, this was a weird offseason, and I’m glad to put the real world in my rearview mirror for six glorious months, and worry about nothing but winning as many fantasy baseball leagues as I can, and helping everyone along the way.  Now who was it again that had Greg Bird (0-for-4, but batted third; yes, you should own him) ranked higher than everyone else?!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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:

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Surprise.  Huston Street is already injured and being replaced by someone who isn’t the full measure or picture of health in Cam Bedrosian.  Cam is the goods, it is just a matter of him grabbing that role, remaining healthy, and then riding off into the sunset like the end of the movie Shane.  Minus the slumped-over presumably a dead thing.  The thing that I love about Cam is that he is growing as a pitcher.  He always had the K/9 rate (9.3 in 2014, 9.2 in 2015, and 11.4 in 2016), but the thing that says that he is legit is that his walk rate was basically halved last year.  To extrapolate on that further, in his last 26 appearances of last year he faced 92 batters, walked 8, and allowed 12 hits.  Good for a slash line of .146/.239/.159 for a .398 OPS.  That is approaching reliever stalwarts like Bush and Barraclough. And we know how much they are coveted right now, and they don’t have a sniff of savedom. Oh… and add in only one earned run during that time.  Stats sound great because they are basically forgotten about, because his season ended the first week of August.  He was basically licking the closer bait, and then poof.  Til now.  If you are looking to invest in him for the season, he is basically going to give you Kelvin Herrera type production, and by his ever rising ADP (last week 200, this week 140) the secret is out for the save chase in La La Grey.  Let’s see what else is going down in the realm of closers as we get ever closer to draft days…

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?