Chicago_Cubs5

Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…Neil Finnell, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Chicago Cubs!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sneaky free K’s are all the rage for a streaming option when a starter just won’t do.  The numbers they put up are more of a collection-basis rather than a hunt, play and punt.  Relievers, not just closers, are the container that transports the glue.  Can you imagine glue not coming in a container and just being had at the local sundry store by the handful?  Messy proposition my friends.  Non-closers are what every complete fantasy team need.  They are like the egg in a good recipe – you can often substitute one reliever for another.  That’s what makes them so handy… they don’t usually carry a huge draft day burden.  They are basically free waiver-wire adds.  For those in holds leagues, that doesn’t always ring true, and when I start getting into the preseason hold rankings, some of the names will be similar.  That’s because the names you want just don’t give you holds, they give you multiple stats.  They are the five-tool performers in the industry of relief pitchers.  So here is a little preseason primer for guys who don’t really adorn too much draft day attention, but should be snagged in situations that require their services when you are short on K potential and maximizing the K/9 of your fantasy roster…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I am a realist.  Not everyone is down with the rationale of being hip to pitching and ditching.  That statement is both literal and figurative.  We now have three weeks remaining of games.  I mean, you either want to win and go for it with whatever you have at your discretion, or you will just listen to the piper playing and roll off the side of the mountain with the other lemmings that will go by the best names possible on my roster wins.   Sorry if I stand here in my skidz pajamas and call you stupid, but you stupid.  Go to the bathroom, smash your head into the sink, and then splash some water your face.  It ain’t over until it’s over, it wasn’t over when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and it ain’t over now.  Go to our waiver wire, listen to what I have to say about streaming… It’s really simple: Pitch twice and ditch, regardless of outcome or what J-FOH says about pitching, because little league was 25 years ago and pitching donuts is different than actually knowing baseball.  So here is some late season K/9, usage and trends that I have noticed that’s going on with the bullpens in the past few days.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Man, I was coming into yesterday afternoon all pumped for today’s Profile – high-caliber young gun in Noah Syndergaard going on Sunday, facing my terrible Brewers, it was going to be a monster start…  Andddddd – he plunks my favorite player Carlos Gomez in the face.  F you Noah!  You went from Chris Hemsworth to whoever played the nincompoop in Blue Lagoon.  What a ninny!  And he didn’t even look remorseful, but in retrospect while re-reading my open, he was a little shaken.  Regardless, I only barely like him more than Yordano Ventura now…

Biases be as they be (I think I heard that on some rap mixtape Grey made for me), but I still gutted through an objective-as-possible Pitcher Profile to break down how Syndergaard looked and how much we can expect from him in his rookie season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Through the first month of the first year of our new dynasty league here at Razzball, team Hannibal Montana (owned by commenter Csifu) has jumped out to an early lead. Thanks in part to a ridiculously good 2.22 team ERA and top 5 performances in all but two of our ten categories, Csifu is sitting on 132.5 points in the early going. Razzball’s own JFOH (119.5) is hot on his tail, with Ra’zbahl Al Ghul (113) rounding out the top three. It’s a 16-team, 40-man roster dynasty league with weekly FAAB pickups and no restrictions on how long players can be kept (we keep 30). I love this format, and the league has been active in both trades and pickups. Considering how many players were owned coming out of our 40-round draft, there has been a lot of activity on the waiver wire. Here’s a peek at our league’s standings, as well as the trades and major free agent acquisitions that have gone down so far…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As you might have already figured out from the title of this post, Josh Reddick (+76.1%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball this past week. What else could you have possibly guessed? Wait, let me stop you at leather chaps and Rammstein. To each his own. But getting back to JOSH Reddick, it’s not difficult to figure out why his recent ownership numbers have surged. Over the last two weeks, he’s produced a 10/3/15/0/.463 batting line across 48 plate appearances, leading MLB in both on-base percentage (.542) and slugging percentage (.805) during that time period. Consider his early plate discipline numbers (8/5 BB/K), high LD% (29.7%), and low SwStr% (4.9%), and Reddick looks like he’s locked in. Enjoy the ride while it lasts, and based on these early results, it could last for a while. Here are a couple of other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball this week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The title’s not to be confused with a Wahlburger. By the by, Marky Mark was at my gym the other day. My man’s short. He looked like a Caucasian Altuve. Steal some bases, Marky Mark! You know, there’s nothing quite as frustrating as setting your weekly lineup and having your star go down the moment games begin on Monday. It’s more frustrating than the person in front of you trying to locate exact change. Use your debit card! What do you mean you’re going to see if there’s some loose change in your car ashtray? Cars don’t even have ashtrays anymore! In the preseason, I supposed that Hanley Ramirez would need to be moved to shortstop at some point, unable to handle The Green Monster. Yesterday, Hanley got a taste of Wally. The Red Sox said it’s a shoulder sprain, which could mean he’s back in a few days or out until July. Yay, specifics! On a related note, a Red Sox reporter from The Boston Globe tweeted in the 2nd inning, “It’s 4-0 Rays. Red Sox season could be done soon at this rate. Losses and injuries piling up.” I’m in no way a Red Sox fan, but really? Done because you’re losing in the 2nd inning of an early May game and your team is practically at .500? Wow, is that guy a Masshole. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greetings, my fine DK’ers and so that we have it out of the way, May the 4th be with you. See that? Now it’s covered so don’t bother me about it. I’m not even a Star Wars fan. There, I said it and I can’t take it back. I don’t care you’re still hot and bothered about Princess Leia in that bikini but I am sorry George Lucas bent over and took a steaming pile on what you divine to be a national treasure and then wiped his pimply butt with the money he made off you. I had a similar thing happen to me with the Alien franchise so I can relate. Alien: Resurrection? *Man dumping trash into trash can emoji* Nonetheless, it’s done, enjoy your new Disney money-making machine while I trudge on in the DFS world. So Travis Wood. He’s been pretty good. Obviously, that’s the only reason I’m suggesting him, right? Welllll, not exactly. I mean, do I love his 9.89 K/9 and his 2.28 BB/9? Of course, but there’s more to love, namely his opponent. On the surface, you wouldn’t think that the Cardinals are a team to attack for Ks, AKA the money-making tool on DraftKings when it comes to taking a pitcher. Their overall team K% of 18.2% puts them 25th worst (well, for them 6th best) in the league. But then you go and look at the splits and realize a hidden gem of a secret. Over 190 PA this year, they strike out 23.7% of the time versus southpaws. But that’s what happens when half your lineup are left handed bats and you force Mark Reynolds into your lineup because he is one of your better hitters against LHP. BTW, thanks STL for those two free Ks! Anywho, let’s move on. Here’s my scalding hot take on the May the 4th be with you DK slate. See, I did it again just for you…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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?

To many, 1993 is considered the watershed moment in Hip-hop’s golden era.  Classic album after classic album was released over that year.  It’s the only year I can think of that’s in the title of an all-time hip hop classic.  Some might even argue a top 10 song of all time within the genre.  I’m of course talking about the Souls of Mischief classic and title of this post.  If you don’t know by now I like to ramble about something that has nothing to do with baseball in my intro.  This is to set the stage for the theme of the week’s two start pitching tiers.  This week we delve into the greatest years in hip hop.  Why? because if there’s one thing I know better than baseball it’s soccer… oops, I mean hip-hop.  Then again soccer is pretty awesome….did you know we have a site here on Razzball where we talk about it exclusively?  My plugs are shameless like William H. Mace, better have legs like B-Ham if you wants to keep pace, lace the track, dutchies dipped in honey, two start pitchers ain’t nothing move but the streamonator $.  Okay now back to the lecture at hand, perfection is perfected…. What’s perfection? Why the greatest years of hip-hop of course.  So I’ll discuss this week’s two start pitchers in relation to each great year in hip-hop and share some science on the top jewels to drop in the tier’s title year.  If I missed any years or albums let me know.  Hell drop some of your favorite jams/albums/miscellaneous stories about your mom’s slutty college experiences in the comments. I like to talk about all those things…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

True story: in a 15-team league last year, I toyed with dropping Corey Kluber in April. He was being dropped in multiple leagues, most shallower than mine. If you think I’m crazy as a loon wearing a “I’m crazier than a loon” t-shirt, you have selective memory about him from last year. I decided to stick it out with Kluber and he ended up winning the Cy Young last year. This true story, of course, makes me sound even more moronic than usual. It also highlights a point, Kluber likes the cold weather about as much as a chapped nipple. Or maybe he just takes some time to get going. Either way, his Aprils have been forgettable for the last two years. This year, his April is actually better than last year’s by any measure that means anything. His K-rate is up, ground balls are up (not literally), fly balls are down (literally), xFIP is way down, walks are down and his K/BB is up. You have to do some serious digging to find something that is negative for him this past month other than his ERA. His velocity is down a hair (0.5 MPH on his fastball) and his line drive rate is up (people are making better contact). Everything else is nails, and not as in Lenny “Nails” Dykstra just invested me in this mutual fund and I lost my retirement savings. There’s some worry to some that Kluber threw too many innings last year. That’s not a worry. He’s 29 years old; a jump in IP from one year to the next is for pitchers 25 years and younger. Also, plenty of great analysis here and elsewhere has shown that jump in innings isn’t the end all/be all, even if it applied, which it does not. As the weather warms up, his sensitive nips will be less dry and he’ll likely have months of a sub-2 ERA. If you can buy him now, do it. Quickly! Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?