First off, I would like to say Eric Sogard should be the Face of the MLB; that vote was rigged in David Wright’s favor. Baseball needs more nerdy-looking, glasses-touting, Bernie-leanin’, jive-walking players. But without further ado, here is the AL West Spring Training Showdown. (You can check out the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and NL East Spring Training Preview here.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ve gone over the top 20 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball, the top 40 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball and the top 60 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball, which brings us to the top 80 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball. Crazy how that worked, huh? Next thing you know, tomorrow will be the top 100. There’s a few names in this post that I’m really gunning for on my teams. In last year’s version of this post, there were a few guys that I also wanted — Matt Harvey, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chris Tillman, Alex Cobb, Shelby Miller and Andrew Cashner, and they all shot up the rankings this year, except for Harvey for obvious reasons. His star shone too bright! I imagine a lot of you won’t need most of the names on this list, but there will be some great bargains to be had. Who doesn’t love a great bargain, says Jewish Stereotype Man. There’s tiers and projections mentioned for everyone. All of the 2014 fantasy baseball rankings are there. Anyway, here’s the top 80 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hunter Pence has the manic energy of a gangly man-bird. On average, Hunter Pence’s home run trots last about 20 seconds. So in the last week, he’s run for about minute and twenty seconds while the rest of the world has watched, thinking, “I wonder if he was raised by a pack of pink flamingos.” One time during a trip to the zoo, Hunter Pence got separated from his human family for two hours. He was eventually found in the aviary section of the zoo chewing popcorn and spitting it into a baby bird’s mouth. Those two hours were wiped from all zoo surveillance cameras so it was never accounted for, but anyone who has seen the gangly man-bird run probably can figure out that Hunter Pence was trying to reproduce with an ostrich or some other tall bird. This week he shedded more than feathers. He lost the OCD tissue boxes he’s worn on his feet most of the season and went power crazy: 6 homers in the last week with two coming on Sunday. Hunter Pence said thank you to his H2H owners for believing in this half-bird creature. For next year, I think he’s bound to disappoint as his speed evaporates and goes back to where it was prior to this season (the 10-12-steal range), but for now enjoy a bird/guy who was an afterthought in drafts and has turned into a top five outfielder, according to our Player Rater. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Taijuan Walker will start vs. the Astros on Friday. The Mariners’ front office decided if they were going to sell him for ten cents on the dollar this offseason, then it was best to give him some major league experience. Here’s what Prospect Scott had to say in the preseason, “Walker is my #3 overall SP prospect, behind only Dylan Bundy and Jose Fernandez. He brings legit ace potential, and he should be ready for big league ball this year. Still, Taijuan’s greatest asset is his ability to hit Grey in the head with a fastball every time I dream about it.” Hey! That snippet was obviously prior to Bundy’s injury problems. Here’s what I said the other day, “It could be roofie burnout, but I’m not interested in shallower mixed leagues. In deeper leagues, I’d stash Walker to see if you catch a firefly in a bottle, or whatever that yokelism is. He definitely has shown great stuff in the minors (10+ K-rate) if a bit wild (4+ BB/9) in Triple-A. He will be a great pitcher, it probably won’t be this year. Think Wheeler when he was called up.” And that’s me quoting me! Well, I also lied. Kinda. I didn’t intend to lie, but he was just sitting there and I had a free roster spot… Ugh, I’m a glutton for punishment. I need serious help. Why can’t I turn down any high-upside rookie pitcher? Am I an adrenaline junkie like Keanu Reeves in Point Break? Hopefully, Walker doesn’t hang ten earned runs on my pitching line, but I’m expecting him to get Ks and have a relatively unremarkable start on Friday for earned runs and WHIP. For 2014, Taijuan is on the top of the list of guys that could be Matt Harvey 2.0, and I’ll have much more to say about him in the offseason. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In what will be a wild weekend across the Majors, there will be five Interleague matchups over the weekend, throwing a wrench into a lot of Pitcher v. Batter data. Just imagine if this were last year and everyone was in Interleague at the same time minus two teams… But with even divisions of 15 these days, Interleague happens every day with this weekend amping them up to five Interleague matchups taking over ten teams. Cut to the hitters on the Padres at Yankees Stadium, “Hey, Venable, I can actually see the fences from home plate!” I generally will avoid hitters against new pitchers that are throwing well, and will tend to like pitchers more against line-ups that have never seen them.
This Friday, another RAZZBALL EXCLUSIVE CAN YOU BEAT RUDY GAMBLE contest is back, opening up a few more spots to a 40 person contest, getting you one step closer to the $100,000 Sweet Spot for a shot at a $20,000 top prize. It’s the usual game, $5.00 an entry, up to two per person, and you can only get in through our exclusive link. Spots 2-10 double up, and people from last week who finished 1-11 are not invited. I can’t believe I got 12th last week! I was winning for a good while there with early pitchers going, but then Edwin Encarnacion went bonkers off the AAA Astros pitching. But to quote the immortal Maury Ballstein, “what do we do when we fall off the horse?”Please, blog, may I have some more?
You wrote a letter to your leaguemates, but before you sent it to them, you asked me to proofread it but not share it. Too bad, here it is, “Yo, what’s up, snitches?! I have six closers and am sticking it to the rest of the league in their whole bum, then acting that out like Knight from MTV’s The Challenge. I don’t need no one! All I need is Huston Street, Kevin Gregg, Ernesto Frieri, Joaquin Benoit, Brad Ziegler and this chair, I need this chair. I got saves for days! Open up your ‘kitten-playing-with-motherf**king-yarn’ calendar and mark September 28th down for the day when you concede the championship to me. Use your rainbow-colored pencil. Is it okay to use that word? Any the hoo! Rather than recount all of that SAGNOF g’dness, let me take this time to instead ask you if you watched the most recent Top Chef Masters. I’m lonely and looking for friends.” Solid letter, I probably wouldn’t put single quote marks around kitten-playing-with-motherf**king-yarn but it’s fine to send it off as is. The only other problem is you might also lose more than half of your closers in less than a week. This is also the last week when you and your opponents can gain major saves if you’re hurting in that category. On July 31st there could be as many as 10 new closers. At no point from now until October do you have a chance for this much turn over. Guys that could move into the closer role in under a week includes, but is not limited to: Luke Gregerson, Blake Parker, Ryan Webb, James Russell, Antonio Bastardo, Carter Capps, Dale Thayer, John Axford (still even with Henderson taking over the job), Jose Cisnero, Pedro Strop and Antonio Alfonseca, because he has six fingers on each hand and you can’t ever count him out, at least not without removing your pants and a shoe. Granted, guys like Huston Street or Tom Wilhelmsen or Glen Perkins might be traded and stay in the closer role on their new team, but that means someone else would lose their job. Or maybe Huston Street will go to the Yankees and become the 8th inning man and Robertson moves to the 7th. Or maybe Jonathan Papelbon goes to the Tigers and Benoit owners have to call the Ben-wambulance. A lot could happen in the next few days or nothing, but I’d absolutely stash as many middle relievers as I could right now. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
At the time of this writing, there’s a tentative trade in place, one that would send Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers in exchange for a few prospects, including the heavy hitting 1B/3B, Mike Olt. Olt has long been a trade candidate — he’s an MLB-ready third baseman, but he’s thoroughly blocked by Adrian Beltre — and I’m surprised he wasn’t moved last season when his value was higher. Still, he’s a good fit for the Cubs and he’s been hitting quite well over the past month at Triple-A. The deal seems to make sense for both clubs, but this sort of tentative trade is never a sure-thing, as Cubs fans can attest. There’s a decent chance that this one will be off the table by the time this post runs. And if that’s the case, then Garza is scheduled for two starts next week. He’s listed below along with all the others going twice.
As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Matt Cain had his shortest outing of his career with 2/3 IP and 3 ER. At least Bochy had the sense in his giant watermelon-sized head to remove Cain quick enough that yesterday’s damage was that of a bad Heath Bell outing. Wait a second, did I just compare Cain to Heath Bell? I just rang my own bell and answered with, “Holy crap no one wants to be compared to Heath Bell.” Where did it all go wrong for Cain and can Cain (almost stutterer!) get it back to good, assuming you’re not just signing a Matchbox Twenty song? Looking at his K-rate from last year to this year, he’s actually been better this year. His velocity is fine. His xFIP is nearly the same as last year when he had a 2.79 ERA. The only big change is his luck and his walk rate. He’s missing his spots. This can come one of two ways. He can miss his spots off the plate and walk guys or he can miss his spots in the zone and give up hits and homers. He usually works up in the zone. Done it his whole career. If you miss up…up, it’s a ball. If you miss up…down, you’re Sandy Duncan with one glass eye while watching with your other eye as the ball is leaving the park. The Giants are saying he might not be healthy, but I don’t think Cain is hurt. Still could land on the Disgraceful List. More likely, he needs to tweak something in his mechanics. Until that happens, I’d stay away from him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yasiel Puig‘s been lighting up the mainframe on the giant computer out of a bad 1950′s sci-fi movie, but he’s not the only Cuban. Leonys Martin also hails from our neighbor to the south that took up residence in Miami. Last night, he hit two homers, is hitting .417 in the last week and has a hit in each of his last ten games with 4 steals during that time. It’s the year of the Cubans, y’all! In all of their pressed hammy, mustardy, cheesy, pickley goodness. Side note: Do pickles seem like something Cubans would put in their food? Maybe Hyman Roth, but he’s not really Cuban or real, for that matter. Somewhere, ex-Cuban pitcher, El Duque, has a little extra hop in his exaggerated leg-kick that he still does, only now he does it before he cleans up tables at Chipotle. “You’re not going to finish your guac?” *leg kick* Leonys Martin should be owned in all leagues while he’s going well, and is the type of player that could have value all year if you’re patient since he could hit 12-15 homers and get 25-ish steals. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Domonic Brown went 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and yet another homer, his 17th. Can we just bask in the Brown glow? Or Basque, if you’re Spanish. A run like this only happens once in a blue moon. Or Blue Moon, if you like orange wedges with your beer. Brown is in the zone, then the zone called and said Brown doesn’t need to pay his room service bill. It’s on the house! (The zone just doesn’t do that sorta thing usually.) Everyone wants a piece of Brown. The League of Extraordinary Italian-Americans called and claimed True Romance was right and Domonic is Italian. The Mexican American hip hop duo, A Lighter Shade of Brown, is going to a tanning salon in anticipation of changing their name. Charlie Manuel said he’s known all along what Brown was capable of, but no one understands a word he says. From my mouth to your deity of choice, please let him stay hot until October. That is all I ask. That and to win the lottery. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?