There’s a reason why people get hung up on a guy like Ryan Howard.
Playing long ball in fantasy, of course, is a losing game. Power guys are often slobs who whiff, make errors, and fail to get on base. But you knew that already.
This is kind of who Ryan Howard has always been, but when he was going good, Howard would hit for decent average and do extremely well in the slugging and OPS categories. When he started going bad, which was about four years ago, these stats began to shrivel up like Tommy Lasorda’s sack and Ryan Howard became a not-very-productive, and not-very-popular, fantasy baseball player. Gettin’ nerdy with it, the stat page says he’s chased more pitches outside the strike zone in the past two seasons than at any point in his career. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Spring training has sprung! Where’s my Rusty Staub Expos throwback? I got this in junior high and it still fits great. I have the body of an 11-year-old girl. *moonwalks across living room, falls on face* Most fantasy ballers are in the mocking mood right now with the for real fake drafts firing up in a few weeks. (There’s still time for you to commish an RCL league wink wink nudge nudge slap in the back of the head.) As we prepare this year’s team(s) (ss) and (sss), let’s fire up the jammer crammer machine once again and turn our all knowing fantasy eye toward first base. First base may have plenty of quality to find through the first 100 picks – Señor Stache has 15 first baseman in the top-100 – but the position ain’t what it used to be (and that’s what she said). Only six first baseman had more than 30 bombs last year, the fewest in over two decades. Is Andres Galarraga still playing? Those were the fantasy baseball golden years. Personally, I’d grab one early, say within my first three picks. We are not talking about whether or not to jam Paul Goldschmidt or cram Chris Davis here, we know what’s up there. We are looking towards players not ranked in the top 100 that can win you your league and all the cash, bragging rights and glory holes that go along with it. Last season, players with first base eligibility like Michael Cuddyer and Daniel Murphy were ranked (according to the Yahoos!) outside the top-100, but finished in the top-45. Any expert that told you they predicted that is actually from the moon and a time traveler. Sorry, watched Lunopolis on Netflix last month and just found out it wasn’t a documentary. While I’m no man on the moon, let’s cue up Mott the Hoople, make like Andy Kaufman in a wrestling match and jam it or cram it. Nothing is cool. Please, blog, may I have some more?
As spring training takes off, we, the wonderful people of Razzball, thought it would be a good idea to look into some intra-team rivalries. What positions are a lock? What positions are being fought over? What positions will they hire me to fill-in for (second base Blue Jays, I’m looking at you)? Find out as the start of this series will focus on NL East… Please, blog, may I have some more?
This top 20 1st basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball goes to about forty-six. Last year, I said the first base position is going through a transition. Pujols isn’t what he used to be; Howard, Te(i)x and Konerko are washed up; guys like Chris Davis, Hosmer and Trumbo were on the way up. Right, right and yup. The position is still deep in that transition. We’ll come out of the other side this year with a good idea of where we stand. If Pujols continues to fall, if the washed up ones are completely done and if the up-and-comers are still on the move. Hey, that sounds like a commencement speech from a school for porn. Okay, let’s get into it because I can’t count to twenty and this list goes on forever. As always, for each player there’s my projections and where I see tiers starting and ending. There’s the position eligibility chart for 2014 fantasy baseball, and all the 2014 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
First Heyward, and now Brandon Beachy is headed to see Dr. Freeze. This is the worst back-to-back days in Atlanta since Sherman burnt Atlanta and then Home Depot decided to push back their grand opening by 100 years. If the Braves keep going like this, TBS might have to show repeats of The George Lopez Show. NOOOOOOOO!!! The caps were for emphasis, you know, in case it was lost on anyone. The last pitcher to see Dr. James Andrews and pitch again within 6 months was Lee Majors during a Battle of the Network Stars tourney, but he was bionic. I’d put five internet dollars on Beachy missing the season, but I’d hold him for now. This would obviously clear up the confusion in the rotation between Alex Wood, Paul Maholm and Kris Medlen. Or Alis Moodlen, for short, though that sounds like a guitarist for Deep Purple. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jose Bautista left yesterday’s game as Jose hip got amiss and he hit the DL. In his place will be Anthony Gose and Kevin Pillar, who’s good friends with Jason Paritek and Kevin Poukilis, but even Pillar can’t stand Jonathan Ppappelbon. Pillar said, “He’s a pancing fool!” In the minors this year, Pillar had nine homers and 23 steals while maintaining a .300+ average. He profiles as a fourth outfielder, but you never know when someone gets hot. He hasn’t yet though. Meanwhile, Gose is good if you have the need…the need for speed! Or so says Maverick. Gose stole 70+ bases some years in the minors. No, that’s not a misprint. Unfortch, he never heard that anonymous credo, you can’t steal first. Together, they’re interesting from a Jays’ perspective. Together, not so much from a fantasy one, unless one steals the job (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, duck, duck, Gose!). In AL-Only leagues, I’d grab the Pillar and wait until someone says, “Hey, you making sure the Parthenon doesn’t fall?” In deep mixed leagues, I’d grab Gose if you’re desperate for steals. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Phew! The fantasy baseball DT’s have finally subsided. It was touch-and-go for a while with many Trainspotting-like moments. Choose life. Choose a job. Choose Razzball. We are 90 games in and while I’m not so good with the math (look I spelled “boobs” on my calculator) me thinks that’s more than half-way through this fantasy season. If you were one of the lucky ones that drafted Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis or Carlos Gonzalez good for you. If you happen to own all three, I tip my turban in your general direction. But for the rest of us that drafted Jason Heyward, Matt Kemp and Brett Lawrie, we have some ground to make up. Hurry, everybody in the El Camino and let’s cruise over to the waiver wire flea market. While sifting through Mexican blankets, Blue Oyster Cult 8-tracks and old Playboys (Jaywrong, put that down! Oohh, Suzanne Somers), we might just find the player that catches fire in the second half and sends us to a fake baseball championship. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose to jam it or cram it. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Matt Kemp is headed back to the DL. He needs Chris Brown to slap some health into him. Obviously, this a terrible sign for Kemp since it’s his shoulder that he had surgery on that is bothering him. Prior to last week, I stayed away from him all year. Teach me to waffle. Billy Butler, “Who’s making waffles?!” On the bright side, Andre Ethier (3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI yesterday) should see everyday playing time. I’m not sure who that’s a bright side for outside of Ethier and his close relatives. Maybe in some leagues where you’re struggling to find a fifth outfielder, you give Ethier a bit of how’s your father. There’s no bright side for Kemp. I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole or touch a ten-foot Pole named Stanislaw. He’s the Pole I’ve been seeing in my dreams. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Let’s start with an SAT question as old as this world that we call Planet Earth, assuming the SATs were around thousands of years ago when man was staying warm by humping a Buysellatops until they were feeling bi and sore. Which number doesn’t belong: A) 21.4% B) 21.7% C) There’s no C. D) 5.7%. If you answered C, I hope your folks are rich so you can get into an accredited college. Just think, after you graduate you can put Harvard on your resume just like everyone else new to the workforce. If you answered A because it’s the only even number, you’re overthinking; odds and evens is something you can forget after elementary school unless you plan on working the roulette table. If you answered B, because it’s the only B, at least you can get your pants on in the morning. They are on backwards though. If you answered D, you’re right. Those are Matt Kemp‘s last three years of homers per fly ball. 5.7% is silly bad. Last year that would’ve put him in the company of Alexei Ramirez and Michael Young. If there was no offseason shoulder surgery for Matt Kemp, that number alone would mean Kemp is a huge buy low. Of course, there was the surgery and his home run distance is down. He’s not driving the ball as far as he has in previous years. So, as I said in this week’s fantasy baseball podcast, I’m buying Kemp for the first time in about two years. I’m only buying him because his value is so low. I’m not buying him for 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th, 5th round talent. I’d want a discount, but I’d still buy. Look at a guy like Justin Upton last year. He was nursing an injury, then hit 9 homers in the last six weeks of the season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kemp do something similar. He could easily regain some strength as the season progresses and hit 17-20 homers in the final two months with 15 steals. He’s still a risky play because of the injuries, but for the right price, I’m buying. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
That’s a Shame (Bold Predictions) continued to set the pace, while MasterofGrond (Waco Night Terrors – Imposing Sea Creatures) moved ahead of Slocemb If You Got Em for second. Of the current top 10 teams, 4 snagged Joey Votto with their first pick, three got Miguel Cabrera, two took Prince Fielder, and one selected Carlos Gonzalez. Check out the Master Standings (you can also access them via the Leagues menu up top) to see where your team ranks in comparison to the other 767 teams through Sunday. The page now includes sortable stats. Please, blog, may I have some more?