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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The other day I made the best purchase of my life (okay, of the last week).  I bought a thermometer that has a laser beam on it.  You shoot the laser on the object and it tells you its exact temperature.  It’s meant–Actually, I don’t know what it’s meant for.  I bought it because our oven seems to be about 100 degrees off.  Though, I got it five days ago and I haven’t used it for the oven once, but have measured the temperature of about twelve hundred other things.  The coldest drinking water I’ve had was 49 degrees at this pizzeria around the corner from my house.  Oh, yeah, I’ve been taking this out with me.  I’ll go up to people on the street, shoot their temperature and be like, “You have a fever, you might want to take an aspirin.”  I like to put on my flip flops when they’re between 68 to 71 degrees.  Any colder and it stiffens my toes, any warmer and it raises my body temperature a full .4 degrees.  I know this because I have a thermometer with a frickin laser on it!  So, how does this relate to fantasy baseball?  I was watching Justin Bour slug his 23rd homer yesterday, his 2nd of two homers in the game, and I shot his temperature.  A blistering 109 degrees!  Doode’s fahrenhot!  Doode is straight butter that a professional hibachi chef puts on a sizzling lobster tail!  Doode’s Kurt Russell in Backdraft!  Yes, you should own him.  In fact (Grey’s gonna say more!), you should’ve owned him for the last few months.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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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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“All year.  All.  Year.  I’ve been starting Jeff Samardzija in one 15 team league.  It’s an NFBC league so I couldn’t drop him (there’s no waivers).  It’s not a great league to bench starters.  I had options like Colby Lewis and Adam Warren.  Not great options.  But, finally, yesterday, I decided enough was enough.  If I was going to lose, at least I would lose with Samardzija out of my lineup.  So, Samardnuts goes out and throws a one-hitter (9 IP, o ER, 1 Hit, Zero Walks, 6 Ks).”  That was how I concluded the story to the doctor when I first ended up in the mental asylum.  Samardzija is actually easier to type while wearing a straitjacket.  Coincidence?  Immediately following the story, I cackled myself to sleep in a puddle of my own bodily fluids.  I’m not even sure what fluid it was.  I’m guessing urine, but you got me on specifics.  As we know, earlier this year Oxford Dictionary replaced &@*^&*@%! that connotes a curse word with Samardzija, and I can think of nothing more fitting than screaming SAMARDZIJA!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Every time I think of Brandon Finnegan, I envision a long-storied lineage of Irish pub purveyors.  “Have a pint, laddie!”

A very big name prospect with the Royals, the Reds hit on the luck of the Irish by dealing a really awful-looking Johnny Cueto – whose numbers are getting walloped by an ugly stick – and picking up some nice prospects with Finnegan the centerpiece.  Man, both the Reds and my Brewers got some nasty returns for vets that have been atrocious in the AL…  The NL Central is going to be unreal in a few seasons…

Back to the point!  Hell, I’m all over the place – I’m writing this open while watching football, and while taking a break from putting together basketball ranks in position tiers.  Oh yeah!  Play in an RCL Basketball League, it’s like Fantasy Baseball but without rainouts!  Yikes, get me some Adderral…

Even with all the hype, and even though he’s made a few relief appearances, I don’t think I’ve ever watched Finnegan pitch.  So I decided to break down Finnegan’s first career MLB start at the Brewers last Friday night to see if he’s worth an add over the final two weeks, and/or a buzzy sleeper pick in 2016:

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Hi everyone, I’m Sky the Razzball guy. You might remember me from such hits as ‘Duffy The Cam-Yard K’er‘…I mean it was just last Friday so if you read this site at all and the DK content, I’d hope you caught that. In that piece we looked under the hood at the Orioles and their offense, namely their poor numbers against lefty pitchers and guess what? A week hasn’t changed those numbers. In fact, after getting shut out for 7 innings by Matt Moore who K’d up 9 of them, I’d bet today’s numbers would tell you they’re even worse. That said, we should complete the thought process by taking that peek again and hold the phone cuz you’ll never guess this but…yeah, they still suck against lefties to the tune of a 23% K rate and a meager 85 wRC+. With that, in steps Drew Smyly who himself is coming off an 11 K performance against what was a surging Boston Red Sox offense. Cash? Check. GPP? Double check. I’m gonna have a hard time moving off Drew in any format today so while everyone talks chalk with you today, realize at $9,400 you could be getting the sweeter deal when talking about those 10K+ priced arms. So put a Smyly on your face and move on with me to for the coverage of the rest of this tilt…hrm, reference Zoolander in the title, put a Zoolander pic in the opening, and then don’t actually reference Zoolander? That’s ridiculous, I should be ashamed so let me make up for it. Here’s my Orange Mocha Frappuccino takes for this Friday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 15 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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The original title Rudy suggested was, Love Is To Own Lindor, but Rudy tells me that title only makes sense to people forced to watch Frozen 5+ times.  Let it go…Let it go…Let it go…  I just sang that in perfect key and it still caused a cat to screech and paint to peel.  Luckily, I don’t have a kid, a cat or paint.  Let’s count the ways I love Francisco Lindor.  *five minutes later, makes farting sound with hand in armpit*  And that’s it!  Oh, yeah, I should count the ways I love him aloud so you can hear.  Fair enough, you nitpicker, you.  Yesterday, he hit his 9th homer (3-for-4, 4 RBIs), topping off a week when he was hitting over .400, a month when he’s hitting over .340, a 2nd half when he’s hitting over .350 with 7 homers and 7 steals.  He’s only 21 years old.  At 21 years old, you fell asleep on a couch outside of your local bar waiting to talk a girl that you think might have been interested, only waking after a passing bus splashed a puddle of your own vomit onto you.  Guys and five girl readers, he has 9 homers in 82 games (essentially a half a season) and he has 30-steal speed.  I just got goose pimplies.  To emphasize them, I’m drawing little goose faces on my pimples like those psychopaths draw on grains of rice.  Yes, you should own Lindor on your teams for this year, and I can’t wait to draft him in sixteen after twenty.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Don’t be judging my title. I’m always late to the topical title party. I’m lazy! I haven’t seen Straight Outta Compton because I refuse to pay for overpriced tickets to movies that have nothing visually cool to offer. Seeing the clips and Grey talking it up and being in the same room as Cube has made me reflect… When that album broke, I was in the 8th grade and it was the biggest game changer for us since the Beastie Boys and RUN DMC (I group them together because it felt like it was around the same time). I wasn’t a huge hip-hop head, but I had friends that listened to nothing but street poets. Then came NWA and Eazy-E (I say them separately because Eazy’s album dropped a month after Straight Outta Compton and was treated like a companion piece). It was impossible to own one and not the other. Now, I bring this up because this movie reminds me of the first time I heard Eazy Duz It. I was coming back from Carpenteria (its just south of Santa Barbara) with my good buddy and his mom. He asked her if we could play his new tape on the way home. She, being the very open minded lady she was, obliged and sat through that whole album. Damn, I don’t miss my buddy since he turned into a bitch ass when we got older, but his mom was the baddest mom I knew. From Boyz N’ Tha Hood to Eazy-er Said Than Dunn, we would bump this almost as much as SOC. Hey, we were from L.A., it was great to get someone changing the game from our backyard. Now, you might be asking yourself what this has to do with this weeks creeper. Nothing, I just felt like waxing about NWA.

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FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2011 file photo, Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun reacts after hitting a game-winning home run during the 11th inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, in Milwaukee. Braun won the National League MVP Award in voting announced Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
When I think of the term “Hebrew Hammer” I think of Moishe Steinbergowitzman, the handyman that put the deck on my neighbor’s house. That dude was out there every morning at 8am hammering away, except for Saturdays. Friday nights must have been his night to cut loose and throw back some Manischewitz. Of course there is also Mordechai Jefferson Carver, the baaadest Heeb this side of Tel Aviv. However, neither of these descendants of Abraham are the Hebrew Hammer to which I am referring.

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