Way back in January, when the very first signs of ADP data sprouted out of the ground, I went down the rabbit hole, hoping to catch a glimpse of early signs of value. ADP at that point was more convoluted than forming an expectation for how much Pablo Sandoval would weigh coming into Spring Training, but since it was the only sign we had as to the ‘market’ rate for various players, I utilized it as much as I could.

James Paxton was the poster-boy of my early preseason eyebrow raise. He was going past the 200th overall pick with a maximum just outside of the 11th round. Paxton sits right now with an ADP around 192 overall according to NFBC data, with a max that has ticked up to 109 overall. Grey has Paxton as his 41st ranked starting pitcher and his 162nd overall player. Finally in the process of publishing my personal rankings, Paxton is my 27th overall starting pitcher and my 115th overall player, with still some finagling to bring that up even more if I feel so moved.

What Paxton accomplished last season was nothing short of fascinating. We see mechanical changes in pitchers a lot, but rarely do we see changes that cause such palpable success and subsequent expectations that aren’t afraid to project out that success. Fangraphs did a really nice dive into exactly what Paxton changed and why success followed. Simply put, Paxton reverted to his natural arm slot on the mound, opting to venture away from the ‘over-the-top’ motion he used that we’ve seen cause problems in the past – see Wacha, Michael. This slot helped him hone his command on the inner third of the plate to righties, opening up the outside of the plate to his insanely effective cutter/slider. Eno Sarris breaks this down in the piece linked above.

When I uncovered this story last season, I was wildly intrigued for one reason. A natural arm slot, logically to me, would mean less risk for injury. The DL is something Paxton hasn’t been able to avoid for most of his career, but if there was ever a storyline to give hope for health, I can’t think of a better one than him being more comfortable on the mound…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are under that link.  Why are you lifting your computer?  Not literally under that link!  Okay, you’re thick like a CVS receipt folded in half twelve times.  In years past, the top 40 starters is a mix of guys I like and don’t like.  Like a high cholesterol cow, it’s about half and half.  This year, I really had to struggle to find guys that I didn’t want to draft in the top 40 starters.  In the end, there were five starters in this top 40 starter post I was less okay, and more amscray.  Each fantasy team needs about six starters total, so tell me again why you need to draft starters early?  There’s a ton of them, like, this is simple math.  So, simple, there’s no actual number and just ‘a ton.’  As with past rankings, my tiers and projections are included for the low, low price of $19.99!  Kidding, they’re free.  The oxygen you need to live while reading them is gonna cost you though.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here we are, the third of four posts about the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft. Previously, I posted recaps of rounds 1-6 and rounds 7-12. This post is for rounds 13-18. The final post will be for rounds 19-23. Complicated stuff, I know. But try to keep up.

In case you have yet to see my previous posts, here is a quick recap of the league rules for this mock:

This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1).

As I have done with the other posts, I’ll post the results below by round and will offer a few of my thoughts for each round…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greetings, friends. I hopped over to the football side of things once last year’s baseball season ended, but now I’m back. And apparently, I am such a disturbed individual that I am doing fantasy baseball mock drafts in early January. And, I am writing about them. And, well, I just wanted to start another sentence with and because it feels so wrong but so right at the same time. Anyway, moving on.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft, and we’re going to recap it here. This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1). As long as I did that math correctly, that is 23 spots.

Below, I will provide the results for the first six rounds and a give my thoughts for each round. I’ll do the same for rounds 7-12, 13-18, and 19-23 in subsequent posts. I’ll try to keep it brief. All we really care about are the results here, right? Feel free to tell me how awesome or crappy you think my team is, along with what you think were the best and worst picks of the draft or the different rounds…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Happy Black Friday!  Oops, sorry, I mean Happy African-American Friday!  As I type this, I’m being trampled at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  “There’s enough Scrub Daddys for everyone!”  The Diamondbacks got a head start on Black Friday sales on Wednesday when they traded Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger and Zac Curtis to the Mariners for Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte.  What’s that old axiom, if you don’t know who the sucker is at the table, you’re the sucker.  Mariners, you’re the sucker.  If anyone forgot that the Diamondbacks fired Dave Stewart immediately following the end of the season, this was a reminder.  If Stewart were still there, the Diamondbacks would’ve traded Greinke for Todd Walker.  As Dave Stewart would say after reading that, “I’m not mad at ya.”  Don’t love the move to Chase Field for Walker, but the NL West makes that medicine go down a little easier, chim chiminy chim chiminy chim chim cher-ee!  Walker had a 8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 last year in 134 1/3 IP.  That goes up to 8.5 in the NL West and he’s pretending to yawn as he puts his arm around a low to mid-3 ERA.  The only thing that’s stopping you from nodding your head like a plus-size Pez is that Walker hasn’t done it yet.  He’s only 24 years old, not doing it yet isn’t a great excuse for never doing it.  For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 12-11/3.44/1.18/153 in 160 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s hard to believe it’s almost over, but here we are, the final Friday of the regular season. Some DFS will continue through the MLB playoffs, but that shizz is only for the hardcore degens. You can play a couple bucks in that mess if you want, but I’m all set with 300 similar lineups because there’s four teams to chose from. Friday is typically the biggest night of the week for MLB DFS, it’s when the biggest contests typically run, and this is the last of it, especially with NFL stealing all the Sunday love. So, if you’re going to make a big play, this is your last shot. Hopefully you’ve done well for yourself this season and have a little disposable bankroll to toss out there. If you’re not down for taking a shot at a $100 buy-in tournament, then by all means, join our newly created Razzball League. Taking advantage of DraftKing’s new “Leagues” feature I created this as a place for all us Razzball DFSers to hangout, create contests and play against one another. Anyone can create a contest and there it will appear for all to join. You can create a H2H or a 10 man league, whatever you like, for whatever buy-in you’re comfortable with (even free!). I created a contest for tonight, so hop on in, the more the merrier! This league will continue posting contests through the NFL season as well, so if you’re into that sort of thing, I’ve got you covered. Hope you’ve had a great year and it’s been a pleasure writing for you all season long. Take care, but first, let’s get into some picks for tonight’s slate:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday October 3rd to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Sunday morning, I woke around 8 AM to read a text from Rudy saying, “Awful news, Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident.”  I put on my glasses, no time for contacts, and turned on the TV.  It was still on Fox Sports West because I was watching Vin Scully tributes all weekend.  Yesterday morning, Fox Sports was playing Anglers Chronicles, a fishing show, which is wrong in so many ways.  After switching the stations, groggy-eyed and still half asleep, I realized TV was not the place anymore to go for breaking news.  I shut it off and turned to the internet.  I’m still piecing together my thoughts.  He was 24 years old, even if he never played baseball this is a horrible loss of life.  I’m reminded of all the friends I lost to motorcycles in their twenties.  I’m struck by how inconsequential fantasy feels.  There’s a giant pit in my stomach.  Then, I think about how I never saw Jose Fernandez not smiling.  Not having fun.  I think about how on that boat, Saturday evening, you know Jose Fernandez was having a great time, because he was always having a great time.  That exuberance came through in everything he did.  I think about how he spent time in prison after one of his numerous failed attempts of escaping Cuba, and how, even then, he was likely making fellow inmates smile.  How the excellence he brought to the mound every fifth day was felt all the way back in Cuba to raise up even the darkest corners of Cuba’s prisons.  “That was us.  That is us,” the inmates, who are still incarcerated for trying to escape, likely said.  How baseball does that.  How special that is.  You see what you’re going to see in tragedy, but I see Jose Fernandez pitching, and baseball, and making himself and others smile.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m OCD about my iTunes.  I listen to a new album a few times, pick out some songs that I like, five star them, and then play them endlessly until I’m sick of them.  My top 20 for most played is embarrassing.   I like Lil Wayne more than anyone should ever admit.  Sometimes I have a song on repeat, and I’ll get a phone call (rare; only old people use the phone for calling people), the doorbell will ring (less rare; Cougs orders a ton of shizz on Amazon) or I’m just called away from my desk for some reason.  Then I’ll forget I have a song on repeat and I’ll go to lunch, dinner or…No, those are the only reasons I leave my fantasy cave.  When I come back and see a song’s play count has been artificially boosted with me not listening, I will edit info in iTunes and reset the play count to where it was before the accidental repeat.  It’s important to have a gage to tell how much you like a song.  Do you like it enough to play it 200 times like, say, Aloe Blacc’s Red Velvet Seat or do you like it enough to listen to it 120 times like, say, Tom Petty Yer So Bad (actual play counts)?  Why do I bring this up now?  Because Rick Porcello should roll his win count back to 15.  21 wins?!  C’mon!  That is misrepresenting him in every conceivable way.  Yesterday, Rick Porcello went 9 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.08, to move his record to 21-4 <–LIES!  He’s pretending to be Eazy E vs. Johnny Cash (great song; play count 278) when he’s really Randy Newman’s Short People (good song, but you ain’t listening to that nonsense more than once every few months; play count 59).  His ERA isn’t even accurate.  It’s saying, “I’m Bon Iver’s Skinny Love (play count 175),” when it’s really You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb by Spoon (play count 96).  The only thing that is sort of legit is his 0.98 WHIP, but that’s more Men At Work’s Overkill (play count 186) legit.  Have a season, Rick Porcello, but you are so Rihanna’s Diamonds (play count 86) and not Martians vs. Goblins (play count 365).  Also, if you want more, we talk about Rick Porcello on today’s podcast.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I know Grey already touched on the huge Starting Pitching casualties from this weekend, but man I got a swift kick in the nuts losing both Jacob deGrom and Carlos Carrasco for the year, so please forgive me as my wounds are still fresh. I had a ton of stock in Mets pitching this year, I was drafting Thor, deGrom and Steven Matz where ever I could thinking that they would have monster second halves in the weaker NL East, propelling me to multiple Championships through the dog days of the season. We had a few bumps in the road, but for the most part things were clicking, when Thor was off, deGrom was on, when deGrom was off then Matz was on and so on. Things were touch and go there for a few weeks as Noah looked like he was going to hit the DL around the All Star break, Matz was battling the elbow spurs and deGrom was steady, but not dominate. Then the wheels just fell off, everything went to Shizz and now here we are with Thor being the last man standing in the Mets rotation. I would like to initiate an investigation into the cause of bone spurs in the elbows of Mets pitchers, there’s has to be an alternate explanation as to why every single guy in that rotation is dealing with similar ailments. I know that there’s certain Pizzeria’s here in LA that will fly in NY water to make an authentic New York pie, so if we shipped water from the Beartooth Mountains in Wyoming to the Mets clubhouse would that solve the problem? Do we need to start a Go Fund Me page so we don’t lose our stud Mets pitchers to the bone spurred infected New York drinking water? Enough conspiracy theories for today, but I wanted to document it just in case it becomes a “thing” like #JonSnowIsWinter. Noah Syndergaard, $11,600 has a great home matchup vs the Braves tonight and he is back to swinging around his hammer full of K’s with authority. Over his last six games he’s 4-1 with a 1.37 ERA while racking up 42 Ks in 39.2 innings of work, yep I’d say he’s finishing the season strong. With Madison Bumgarner, $12,600 and Clayton Kershaw, $12,600 facing off I think the majority of people will be rostering Madbum due to the Dodgers awful numbers versus LHP. Now that we got Thor locked in, let’s take a look at the rest of the ideal matchups for our DK dominance.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run today to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Kevin Kiermaier might be my first sleeper of the 2017 fantasy baseball season.  The funny thing (completely and irrefutably not funny) is with fantasy football starting, fantasy basketball getting underway (don’t worry, I won’t clickbait you to death) and fantasy teams just falling out of contention, players that do well in September are often forgotten by next March even though they’re performing in the month closest to the next preseason. (Guys and five girl readers, if anyone says I don’t know the calendar, you tell them that is just inaccurate.  Grey knows the calendar very well.  Happy July 4th!)  Kiermaier has that potent mix that I crave so much.  No, not Russian dressing and relish, though that is delicious.  Your secret is safe with me, sauce!  Instead, I’m talking about a power and speed combo.  For 2017, it seems entirely possible that he gets to 25+ HRs and 30+ steals.  He’s only played in 91 games this year for 12 HRs, 18 SBs, and has a repeatable HR/FB%.  In fact (Grey’s got more!), with his walk rate trending up and speed, his average might be more like .275 in 2017 vs. .250 this year.  It’s not all yums ‘n roses with his Slash line.  He could be more Dexter Fowler (14-ish HRs, 17-20 SBs) than Correa.  That’s fine, because he’ll be drafted way closer, if not after Fowler.  As for why to grab him now?  He’s got five homers and six steals in the last ten days.  DUR!  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?