Man, after thinking about where I need to go with this intro, I got a mad hankering for Italian food.  Just ordered some to get here during afternoon baseball.  Is it profiling that now I’m non-stop craving Italian when I hear a name like Sal Romano?  But Italian food is so positive!  Is there such a thing as positive profiling?!

Speaking of Profiling, we’re back with enough edition of the Pitcher Profile!  I know I’m picking someone that’s pretty far off the beaten path, but any time Sunday baseball features an-even-somewhat-interesting guy making their debut, I’m intrigued!  Romano was vaguely on the radar for the NL-only and NFBC-type leagues given the Reds complete lack of a starting rotation, and surprisingly it was Rookie Davis getting the first DL stint (not their old farts, although Brandon Finnegan got hurt as well Saturday night) that opened an early spot for Romano to make his debut.  Buried on prospect lists in the 10-20 range for Cincy (they do have a good farm system though), with Ralph ranking him as merely a “floorboard”, Romano apparently has pretty interesting stuff from what I read, mainly a mid-to-high 90s fastball.  As tradition, I write the intro to the Profiles before I watch a pitcher’s start, and I’ll withhold any judgment until I see him throw.  So as I eagerly await my baked ziti, the Brewers game is about to start and I’m pumped to see how Romano looks and Profile his debut.  Here’s how he fared yesterday afternoon in his debut:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Joining Paul Hollywood at The Great Britton’s Brach Off is Orioles’ manager, Buck Showalter.  Showalter said, “Craig Gentry (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) hit a home run with his leadoff Battenberg cake even if it is missing the mark on OBP, but I love its moistness, and I apologize for using the word moist.”  Trey Mancini (3-for-5, 4 RBIs, and his 3rd and 4th homers) was crowned this week’s Star Baker, beating out Mark Trumbo (2-for-5, 1 run), who was in the cleanup spot, saying, “Why do these people have to use so many pots and pans?”  The Great Britton’s Brach Off didn’t end without losing one baketestant.  Zach Britton over-whisked his meringue and left with a forearm strain.  The Brits are calling it, Zaxit.  So, Britton will be out for at least ten days with Brad Brach filling in, behind Brach will be Darren O’Day, who sounds too IRA to me, then behind him will be Mychal Givens, who is Mike Tyson and Robin Givens’ child.  Buck Showalter said he hopes Britton will be ready in ten days, but forearm strains don’t work that way, so you should grab Brach, at least.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over my life playing fantasy sports, it’s that you need to be patient in the early going. We’re two weeks into the season with teams playing 10-12 games. Would you be worried about a fantasy football player if he had a bad week one? I certainly wouldn’t be so give your team some time. When it comes to hockey, I suggest waiting at least a month to consider any major moves to your roster. I feel the same way in baseball, perhaps even more so. For the most part, variance when it comes to BABIP, park factors, etc. swamps everything in a two week sample. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t make any moves; you should always be looking to upgrade the bottom of your roster through the waiver wire and should use the Buy/Sell columns linked below to help. If you have a team at the bottom of your standings, like I do in an RCL, all we need is a little patience. Mm, yeah. Here’s a look at what everyone posted on Razzball over the last week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We back baby!  The Pitcher Profiles are back!

It’s a brand new season, so we got some brand new digs!  Hah not really, just some new GIFfing magic to help make the posts pop a little, and see some pitches a little clearer.  Even better content if these posts are too long, and you just watch the GIFs then scroll to the ranks!

If you’re new to the Profiles, I break down a starter’s outing pitch-by-pitch, to try and portray how they “really” looked.  We’ve seen multiple guys have a lucky BABIP day – or a few flares fall against them – that can really skew their numbers (especially early in the year).  The Profiles try to help give an eye level account, leaving nothing to question.  I also developed my own “Gamescore+” stat, that I will continue scoring for pitchers getting Profiled.  With Statcast data now out there, I still need to work with Rudy to automate it!

So to our subject today, I know I’ve Profiled Sean Manaea before…  Here’s his 2016 Profile, but I decided to go back to the well and see if he’s maintaining his good stuff that he showed in the second half last year.  Plus in that Profile, it was his Major League debut and I thought he looked a lot better once he settled into the rotation by August and September.  I mostly hope and pray he looks good in a tough matchup @TEX so Grey would feel bad about laughing at my high Manaea rank.  My order of baseball priorities – 1) Brewers 2) Proving Grey wrong 3) My SP Ranks 4) My fantasy teams.  Here’s how Manaea looked yesterday afternoon in the desert:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I wonder if Freddie Freeman has Fletch-like dreams where he pictures himself with a huge afro and his name is Freddie World B. Freeman.  “He’s actually 6-5, with the afro, 6-9.  Pretty good hands, loves to hit ones deep.  His club is behind by three, and World B. Freeman drains a three-run homer!  Wow, was that some kind of hit.  You know this kid from the gritty streets of Orange County, California sure can play.”  By the way, gritty in Orange County refers to a Sonic Drive-In that has a B grade from the Health Department.  So, yesterday, Freeman put up those stats that I told you to pay a 2nd round price for — 4-for-5, 3 runs, and a double slam (1, 2) and legs (1), hitting .346 on the year.  I was truly perplexed how low I saw some people ranking Freeman in the preseason.  If anything, I think a stronger case could’ve been made to have Freeman ranked above Miggy, who was a consensus top 12 pick everywhere.  Guess Freeman could use the name Mr. Under-ranked when he sneaks into country clubs to visit Dansby Swanson (1-for-5, 1st homer, hitting .179).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Me watching Lance McCullers:

The genius thing in that gif is the moment where Tom doesn’t seem like he knows which way to twirl the pool stick, looks about to mess up, and crack a smile, then spins and starts walking away.  Scorsese likely had cleaner takes, but it brilliant that he uses a slightly flubby take because the character Vince is so full of himself even when he shouldn’t be.  There were no such flubs in Lance McCullers’ start yesterday (6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks).  May your God strike me down if this guy isn’t so butter that I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter sees him and says, “You are more butter than I can ever hope to be,” then I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter bows repeatedly, backing out of the room, saying, “Your butterness, I am not worthy.”  As I said repeatedly in the preseason, I was thisclose to putting McCullers in my top 20 starters overall, but his health deterred me.  Well, de-turd this, because he looks healthy and I wish I owned McCullers everywhere.  If he throws 180+ IP, he could be a top ten starter.  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?

With all the innings totals I wish I could accurately project for 2017, two that carry some of the most weight in drafts come from the same team. To say the Dodgers have a plethora of starting pitching would be an understatement. One of the many divergences between baseball and fantasy baseball is the value of depth. The Dodgers have roughly 10 viable starting pitchers from which they can construct their opening day rotation, yet that only creates headaches for fantasy owners trying to figure out projections for arms like the two I’m curious about, Julio Urias and Rich Hill.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We back baby!  Spring Training is already starting up (We desperately need shorter games, but like 2 extra weeks of Spring Training?!?! I know, I know, WBC, but whatever!), we’re about to March, drafts about to be drafting…  Love this time of year.

So note to self – get the rankings done earlier in 2018.  Second note to self – bitch slap Grey when I see him in person next week for making everyone else look so bad, with his ranks done so early!  But hey, not like he’s got other sports to worry about!  Speaking of, if you haven’t played fantasy basketball yet, shameless plug sentence/link for you to come over and check us out on hoops!  Play in some Hoops RCLs next year maybe!

Ok, JB’s ADHD voice, back to bidness!  My yearly baseball magnum opus is finally complete – weeks in the works – and went from 9600 words last year to 9700!  Weird they were so similar… I’m kinda like Tolstoy, they just gonna keep getting longer, hah!  Of course no one is expected to read War & Peace in one sitting, so take your time getting through this bad boy!  I’ll wait!

I’m pumped to get the Pitcher Profiles ramped up again, better quality GIFs, and another year with the Gamescore+, which maybe we can start to automate with more batted ball data out there.  RUDY?!?!?!  WHERE’S RUDY?!?!?!?!  SOMEONE GET ME RUDY!!!  Also, if you missed the wrap up I put together a few weeks ago, you can check out how Grey and I did vs. ESPN with the 2016 SP ranks.

A question that is always debated and weirdly always different for each ranker/rankings sets is: are these your personal rankings?  Adjusted for ADP?  Are they how you would draft, or how you think guys will finish?  I’ve decided I have the be all, end all answer.  I did these ranks initially without looking at ADP or any other rankings sets.  The ranks are my personal ranks for how I would value guys one over the other, and then I’ll use this list to be malleable for every draft/site/league format.  Pigeonholing ranks to adjust for ADP means you’re stuck looking at one list of ADP data.  So there’s my answer for how I approach rankings.

Anyway, here we go!  Find below my top 100 SP for 2017.  And as always, my top-5 sleepers (to varying degrees) are James Paxton, Sean Manaea, Blake Snell, Ivan Nova & Reynaldo Lopez.  Plus bonus #6 – Tyler Skaggs – moved him up after re-looking at his data.  Apparently I love my lefties this year!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

To paraphrase Tupac from Brenda’s Got a Baby, “I hear Grey’s got 2017 fantasy baseball rankings, but Grey’s barely got a brain.  A damn shame.  That guy can hardly spell his name.  GREY’S….GOT EM….RANKINGS!  Don’t you know he’s got ’em.  He wrote them solo, and he wrote them on his bathroom floor and didn’t know what to throw away and what to keep.  He crumbled these rankings up and threw them in a trash heap.   GREY’S….GOT EM….RANKINGS!  Don’t you know he’s got ’em.”  Don’t say I don’t keep my shizz socially conscious.  Or is it socially conscience?  Meh, doesn’t matter, I do it either way.  So, this top 60 starters has seven pitchers I’m not crazy about.  That’s more than the last post, but still not that many.  I.e., there’s a ton of starters to draft.  As with previous rankings posts, my projections are included and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 60 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?