boston-red-sox

Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post… Brendan O’Toole, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Boston Red Sox!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And now the end is near, so I face the final curtain, my friends I’ll say it clear, I’ll state my case of which I certain. I’ve written a season’s full, I’ve looked at each and every wOBA. But much more than this I did my Job-a. Regrets I’ve had a few, but then again too few to mention (cough, cough Carlos Frias). I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption. I built each chart of course, each careful stat along the byway. And much more than WHIP, I diiiiiiidddd ittttTTT MYYYYY WAAAAY!

A big thank you to everybody reading my non-sequiturs and random brain farts about two start pitchers. I surely do appreciate your time. With 25 (actually 24) of these in the can, we got one last post to go. I don’t know what will happen to us over the next 6 months. We may grow apart, you may follow your heart, and your heart might take you to a small village in the Hindu Kush mountains. Where you fall madly in love with the daughter of a Tajik Warlord by the name of Richa. Maybe you abandon fantasy baseball and live a simpler life off the land. No not like the reality show the Simple Life. A simple life like milking goats, and tending fields. Simple like owning 4 bowls amongst five people. No matter what happens to all of you, just know I’ll always be here. Well not technically here but if you click that icon up top that says soccer, I’ll magically appear. Sort of like the genie from Aladdin, just soley focused on the subject of soccer, and completely devoid of wishes. I might have matches though. Goodbye my friends, I promise to be just as crazy in the 1-6. Two start pitchers week 26.

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The Cardinals never not produce prospects out of nowhere.  Double negatives don’t not be damned.  Or is that be damned?  There’s likely hundreds if not thousands (maybe five or six) prospects that have come out of nowhere for the Cardinals.  The big one I can think of is Albert Pujols.  Pujols was originally signed as the 402nd pick overall and turned down an offer of $10,000 to play instead in the National Baseball Congress, against Dick Gephardt and Nancy Pelosi.  Finally, he signed with the Cardinals when no one else wanted him.  We know how that turned out.  Jason Motte was a 19th round selection in 2003, and he was still closing games this year (though for the Cubs).  In 2001, the Cards drafted a little known shortstop, Michael J. Fox, in the last round and he had a fine career in sitcoms and starring film roles.  So, Thomas Pham was drafted in the 16th round of 2006 and came up with little fanfare.  “Little fanfare?”  No way, this is St. Louis baseball, we have the best fans yadda whatever!  Pham was considered a fringe prospect at best and a Thai beef salad at worst.  Could’ve Pham just got lost in the shuffle?  In 2014, he had 10 HRs, 20 SBs, hitting .324 in Triple-A.  Then, with no room to play in the majors, he went back to Triple-A this year and hit 6 HRs with 9 SBs and a .327 average in 48 games.  He’s likely more interesting in fantasy than real baseball, but, guess what, you numbnuts, we’re talking about fantasy.  For 2016 fantasy baseball, I could see him being a 14 HR, 25 SB, .280 hitter, who gets a huge boost if he stays at the top of the order as he’s been doing thus far.  For right now, Pham’s hitting near-.400 in the last week, and taking this back to the beginning with Pujols, he’s in the two-hole with his Phamy jewels.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So as the two-start pitching post comes to a close, I thought I’d take a break from our usual theme based format and make this week’s edition as straight-forward as possible. But then I wrote the first draft in Old German and realized that translating it back to English was neither simple or straight-forward. There are some terms in Old German baseball vernacular that just don’t translate. Then again most of it is comparing pitchers mechanics to field work. This all gave me a great idea for a sequel to Million Dollar Arm with John Hamm. The premise is simple, upon his return from India J.B. Bernstein is driving through Lancaster County and witnesses a 16 year old Pennsylvania Dutch lefty by the name of Ezekial Miller striking out teams of grown men from a near by town. Bernstein fresh off his cricket adventure, believes he’s found his next project and wacky hi-jinx ensues. It’s one part Kingpin, One part The Natural, and one part Hoosiers. The last part only fits because there’s a lot of veiled racism that only Disney could produce. So that’s my pitch (pun point). What do you guys think, shall I kick start a Kickstarter campaign? Let’s make this happen, I have a football team of little Lifshitz to feed, or as I call them a bunch of Lil-Shitz. You like?

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Troy Tulowitzki left Saturday’s game after colliding with Pillar.  That was the same way Julius Caesar hurt himself, forcing him out of baseball and into ruling.  Crazy what the stadiums were made of that the Romans used to play in.  Alas, as Caesar said, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Those roads over there took seven months!  Freakin’ teamsters.”  The MRI on Tulo’s ribs and back came back negative, though it was as in:  Doctor, “Can you move?”  Tulo, “Negative, Doc.”  Because what the MRI originally failed to mention was his cracked shoulder blade.   He won’t be shaving with that shoulder blade anytime soon!  Or possibly playing baseball for two to three weeks, according to the Blue Jays.  Ryan Goins is Goins to fill-in, and that’s the Blue Jays’ shortstop comings and Goins!  Stay tuned for more fantasy news and reborts coming up after the break.  Offscreen voice, “It’s reports, not reborts, you jackass.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Pacific Northwest siiiiide! Ouch! My fingers aren’t limber enough for a PNW gang sign. Gonna have to start that Phalanges yoga I’ve been meaning to do…but hey, that’s my problem. Wanna know what else my problem is? Bad beer. I’m a beer snob, proud of it. The history of drinking bad beer started when the US government put the smack down on home brewing. You know, that whole ‘prohibition’ thing that went over so well. Take note, War on Drugs! But my point is, don’t bring your watered down swill up north here, we’re doing just fine with our micro brews, thanks. With all that said, in comes the Colorado Rockies to Safeco Field. Yeah, the Rockies have played like their stadium name this year: bland, tasteless and lacking substance. This not so perfect analogy is a great way to look at the Rockies as a whole, especially when you take them out of their friendly Coors confines and throw in a lefty starter to boot. The numbers ain’t pretty, folks. The Rockies are bottom of the wRC+ barrel against lefties on the year at 66 and the next closest team – the White Sox – ain’t even close at 75. Factor in the 23% K rate and you’ve got one good reason to start Roenis Elias today. The other? Those road stats, bro. Rockies are barely 2nd worst carrying a 79 wRC+ – just ahead of the Twins wRC+ of 78 – while K’ing 23.9% of the time. All this lines up just fine for starting Elias in the friendly confines of Safeco. Starting opposite Yohan Flande, Elias not only has a great chance for high K potential but also the win and maybe a beer shower afterwards…ok, I lied, I don’t mind Coors for once. No IPA baths needed, break out that crappy six-pack! And then finish your night with a tasty cold one when you’re done. But enough about me not so silently judging you, let’s move on. Here’s my Chipotle Ale 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 20 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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When I hear the name Domingo Santana, I’m immediately transported to a small village in the Catalan region of Spain.  A Gregorian monk overlooks the city of Barcelona.  A breeze of air rolls in.  Not from the Mediterranean, but it’s that breeze of air that rolls over the city from the residents pronouncing Barcelona with a lisp.  This is the Gregorian monk’s city, and his name is Domingo Santana Sr. Sr. and the year is 1789, and I feel like I just pitched a cheap wine commercial to a client at an ad agency.  “The tag line is:  This monk’s got spirit!”  Client leaves; I’m fired.  I scream, “But I’ve seen every Mad Men episode,” as the screen fades to black.  So, Domingo Santana isn’t the best guy on waivers in every league.  I’d likely go with Jayson Werth, Wil Myers and a bunch of other guys over Sunday Santana for this year, but some of youse are in keepers and this post can also be for 2016 fantasy baseball, because I said so.   According to some Jean Smarts at other sites, Santana made contact on only around 70% of minor league pitches that were in the strike zone over the past two years.  Only one other player in the minors was that bad (Rymer Liriano).  To put that in perspective, Domingo can’t hit balls that are in the strike zone.  So far this year in the majors, he has a 30% strikeout percentage.  What do all of these numbers mean?  He might hit .230 if he’s lucky.  So, why am I crushing on him so hard like I’m a Swede who just found a frozen time capsule filled with Frusen Glädjé?  Because Sunday Santana has 30-homer power and 15-steal speed, and kinda reminds me of a young Carlos Gomez with a bit less speed.  The same CarGo that struggled until he was 26 years old, and Domingo is only 23.  Will Santana ever make enough contact?  It’s hard to say, and it may not come in 2016, but I’d definitely grab him for cheap in keepers for a flyer for next year, and I like him in deeper leagues right now for some occasional flashes of the power/speed combo.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello! How many of Y’all remember the early 90’s? I don’t mean you were 5 and sort of remember it. I mean you know all the words to Color Me Bad, “I Wanna Sex You Up”, or K7’s “Come Baby Come”. How many of you had a fly honey in high waisted shorts and a fresh perm? Can you bust out a Running Man or the Wop? If you caught even 60% of what I just said this one’s for you. You know for all my overall shorts with the one strap rocking CooleyHighHarmony heads. We’re bringing it back New Jack Style with some of the flyest threads of the early 90’s. Ya heard?

One big change before we go forward, the format of the charts got a little remix treatment here in the two-trey. Yours truly, decided to roll out a different set of wOBA ranks, scrapping the righty/lefty splits and instead looking at the entirety of the second half. This should give you some idea of what offenses are A. Hot and B. Putting it together following any acquisitions they made before the trade deadline. Because who really cares what a team looked like in April or June, right?  Should we let our judgement be skewed by first half data if a team has been awful for all of July and August? Hell no! So we made that change for your benefit I’m a giver. The other change is we dropped the k% and added the ERA/FIP/xFIP of each potential two start pitcher over their last 5 or so turns. We did have a couple with under 5 starts total for the season, but it was just two (Zach Davies, and Cody Martin). Once again this is taking a look at the current form of each starter, not how they were pitching two months ago. Ya Dig? Good, well let’s get to it.

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All year we’ve been ranking the top prospects closest to the majors. With September call-ups quickly approaching, this post is a little different. Instead of limiting the list to players with their rookie eligibility intact, this will include any players currently in the minor leagues regardless of their at bats or innings pitched totals. There’s a catch, though. It’s only going to list players who are currently healthy and on their team’s 40-man roster. If you see a big name omitted, it’s probably because they aren’t currently on the 40-man. That can still be manipulated of course, but if a player is already on the roster, it increases the chances they’ll get a look next month. I also decided to weed through it for players that I thought could actually have some relevance in fantasy. With guys like Domingo Santana, Trea Turner, and even Aaron Altherr already up, this isn’t exactly the sexiest group. But there are some nice players in here, and if they can find playing time, they could also help your fantasy team down the stretch. When looking at who to pick up, I’d recommend focusing on teams that are out of the playoff hunt and who may be more inclined to give their younger players a look. Zeroing in on injuries (or potential ones) is also a good move. I bolded a few of the names that I think are interesting gambles…

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It’s the 4th of July everybody and life is good. You’re probably spending your day with loved ones grilling, drinking, swimming, and reminding yourself why you hate your cousin Gary. Pretentious prick! Do I really care that you do Andrew W.K’s taxes? Do we always have to listen to “Let’s Get The Party Started” at every July 4th pool party? Oh BTW your wife Cheri propositions me every time we’re alone. What can I say she wants the Lifshitz naknik. Enough about me I mean you, yes you. This in no way bears any resemblance to my life. I don’t even have a cousin Gary! In fact if you’re here reading this then you probably have no friends or family and more than likely own cats or have dead bodies in your basement. It’s cool I’m not going to say anything. So I know the question on everyone’s mind “Ralph you’re rambling what’s the theme this week?” Well it’s the 4th of July. So that’s my theme, 4th of July’s of Lifshitz past. So each tier will include an offbeat story about my Independence Day misadventures. No these misadventures will not feature Will Smith, Bill Pullman, or aliens. Or will they? Week 14 Two Start Pitchers are upon us….

Please, blog, may I have some more?