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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, began yesterday, and Brad Ausmus, the Tigers manager who doesn’t believe in a manger, started atoning for his mistakes, by sending the Tigers closer, Bruce Rondon, home due to a lack of effort.  This sends an interesting message.  I’d guess, with a motorized scooter and knee-bypass surgery, Victor Martinez still wouldn’t be at 100% effort.  Kyle Lobstein and Randy Wolf wouldn’t be at 100% effort with a pitching machine standing next to them as they mimed throwing.  Shoot, I don’t know if Miggy was at 100% effort even in his Triple Crown season.  Also, what does this say about Ausmus?  That he’s managing a team in last place, but he’s coaching at 100% effort?  Wouldn’t he be better off pretending he was at, say, 60% effort?  How about this, “I sent Rondon home because he was at 40% effort.  I lead by example around here, and I demand everyone give 50 to 55% effort, as I do.  What?  You thought I was at 100% effort and we’re in last place?  Please!”  Alex Wilson is the likely replacement closer, maybe Neftali Feliz also sees some saves, but he blew one last night.  Then, in Kansas City, Greg Holland let the entire organization off easy by saying he had a tight elbow and is done for the year.  This saves everyone from calling for Wade Davis to close while berating and belittling Holland worse than a tourist who doesn’t smoke pot and hates windmills.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maybe because The Bastard Executioner premiered last night, but I’m feeling reminiscent for Sons of Anarchy — Jax, Clay, Peg Bundy and that Irish guy I couldn’t understand — and, specifically, to the Season 4 premiere set to Joshua James’s Coal War.  In that spirit, I ain’t cuttin’ my Strasburg till the good Strasburg shows!  Ain’t cuttin’ my Strasburg till the good Strasburg shows!  Ain’t cuttin’ my Strasburg till the good Strasburg shows!  Good Lord, when’s he gonna come!  I hate to give someone a lede soon after I just gave them a lede, but Stephen Strasburg had a line of 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 1 Walk, 14 Ks, and I need to make exceptions.  As previously stated, Strasburg’s control and ERA (still at 3.98 on the year) have been all over the map like a drunk Magellan, but, as he showed yesterday, he could easily be a Cy Young candidate for 2016.  I just wish he’d wait until April of next year to show it so we can draft him for cheap.  Likely, most have moved on to fantasy football, so people will see a 3.90-ish ERA from him and under draft him next year.  That’s when we pounce like SAMCRO near an Elvis impersonator that’s not Bobby.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, I was watching the Twins game and I fell asleep and had a dream that Razzball’s Twitter account got one of those blue check marks.  I’m not sure what this says about my fantasies, but it says something about Tyler Duffey and the Twins.  They lack a certain je ne sais Michelle Kwan.  The Twins seem to do this on purpose.  Very workmanlike.  Like a Minnesota woman who would handily beat me in an arm wrestling match.  Pun noted.  I’ve never been to Minnesota, but I picture the women looking like Jesse Ventura when he used to wear feathers in his hair and leotards.  As with just about every Twins pitcher since Radke, minus Liriano and Johan, Duffey is yet another Twins hurler that has solid control and okay, not great strikeouts.  Yesterday, he went 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 7 Ks vs. the Tigers, and had a 2.53 ERA in Triple-A with a 7 K/9.  I don’t see any huge upside here and is better in real life, which apparently the Twins play in.  The Stream-o-Nator hates his next start, but I would start him if I needed to gamble.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hopefully everyone had an enjoyable Labor Day Weekend and if all went well, a profitable one. Labor Day weekend is a fine time to cruise for overlay as it’s a busy outdoors weekend for many folks. I, for one, took the weekend off from DFS. I enjoyed some of the great outdoors and took part in a few fantasy football season-long drafts. I’m ready to hit MLB hard for the last five weeks as people become less focused on it and turn their eyes instead to NFL. With any luck, that will lead to some dead money out there. Terrible transition time as we go from dead money to the Grateful Dead. I know there’s a few deadhead fantasy baseballers out there reading Razzball, I’ve seen the steal your face avatars. Truth be told, I’m a fan via love as the woman whom I live with and to whom I’m related by marriage is a huge fan. When I saw that both Sonny Gray and Jon Gray were pitching tonight and both had nice match-ups, I couldn’t help myself. I’m choosing to focus on Jon Gray since, frankly, Sonny Gray has, and will continue to be, a great play all year. Jon Gray on the other hand, gets the hard to handle task of pitching in Coors for his home games. We saw the effect this can have when he faced the Mets at Metco and was on the golden road (6 IP, 1 ER, 5 Ks) and then faced them again a couple weeks later at Coors and had the Mexicali blues (1.2 IP, 7 ER, 0 Ks). Gray faced the Padres in Coors a few weeks ago and made barely a ripple, giving up just one run in 5 IP and striking out five friars. Doing some quick math means he should only give up negative five runs when he faces them in Petco Park. It’s like a box of rain when a promising young arm gets drafted into the Rockies system, but we always have their away games to look forward to. Gray’s got a pretty nasty looking 95+ MPH fastball and a nice change-up (85 MPH)/slider combo that makes him at least serviceable with upside for more. Thanks to his home park and some rough outings there, he’s practically free for $4,600. The pitching friendly Petco Park and a bottom three team OPS for the Padres makes me pretty excited to roster the young gun tonight. You should be too and if nothing else, we will get by, we will survive.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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?

Last weekend I wanted to go see Action Bronson when he performed at the Shrine Auditorium in LA. I was feeling my usual cheap self, so I hit up some of the homies in the lighting game to see if anyone was working the show. Well, they weren’t, and I didn’t go. So bummed I couldn’t use the connects to get a pass into the show. That group of friends have been good guys to know, and if they are working an event they can sometimes get a few cats access. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those guys always looking for a freebie, but it’s nice to have a guy. You know that guy, the one who can score you the primo stuff, get you in contact with the right people, get your car smogged (California BS) because it’s customized like a mother f***er, or help you out of a bad spot. The last one is never advisable, because then you owe them a favor and that’s not the kinda favor you want to owe them. To go along with the theme of the title, I hope I’m your Creeper guy, your go to creeper caller. This week I’m the guy telling you to add the Guy(er) to be your guy… for the coming week. Okay, enough about guys, this is starting to get weird… let’s get to creepin’.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Nah, this ain’t an episode of Maury, my friends. If you wanna watch trash tv, do it on your own time…by clicking here! Just realized this was handpicked just for your brain-rotting tastes in mind. In some small way, I’m just happy you’re not watching something Kardashian associated at this point. Bar just keeps lowering, I’ll take what I can get. Nah, I’m of course talking in that colloquially dirty way…which actually isn’t better but maybe a tad more clever? I don’t know, I’m just here to present the facts and the fact is, the Padres have struggled mightily against lefties all year. How bad, you didn’t ask but I’ll pretend you did? They’re bottom 10 in wRC+ at a meager 89 but the big grab is the K%. The Padres are 4th worst in the league with a 23.2% K clip vs southpaws and even with their recent upturn as an offense have not solved this issue. And with that, enter Cole Hamels. He’s not a cheap play but if someone out there is playing Clayton Kershaw, I can’t see how they squeeze in Hamels’ $10,800 salary. All this to say, much like my Danny Salazar call on Monday, sometimes you just need to play the room to find the upside and Cole has that in spades. On a day where you’re gonna be feeling like most pitchers are gonna have you in the fetal position, it’s nice to play daddy somewhere. But enough about my weird role playing fetishes, let’s carry on. Here’s my NSFW Benny Benassi hot takes for this Wednesday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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?

It feels like only yesterday when everything was right in the world.  An animated blue bird landed on my window ledge and sung to me about boobies and other things the republicans want to make illegal, then another animated bird joined him and sung to me about foie gras and other things the democrats want to make illegal, then a centrist animated bird landed and said a lot of nothing that could neither be refuted nor approved.  Why do I have all of these damn cartoon birds but no Carlos Carrasco?!  Yesterday, Carrasco hit the DL with a sore shoulder.  This sounds to me like an early shutdown is not too far off.  “Hello, shopping mall ear piercer, can you put a diamond stud in the hole in my heart that Carrasco left?”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique.  This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief.  Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed.  Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you?  Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way.  Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring.  Scary good.  May be best of Cubs lot right now.”  Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed.  If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances.  Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming.  On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur.  Or make that, as craptastic as those guys.  In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel.  Time, not the magazine, will tell.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?