We’re gonna find out if the top 20 shortstops are as Ken Bonerific as the top 20 2nd basemen.  Hint:  they are.  Damn, I gotta work on building suspense.  That hint pretty much gives the whole kit away and tacks the kaboodle onto its back as it’s walking out the door.  Goodbye, kit and kaboodle, I just gave you away for nothing.  I am very charitable.  When I go to Whole Foods, I only throw a small hissy fit when they ask me to donate money, “Take a dollar out of the $12 per pound olive bar and you donate!”  To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2016 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Every off-season my phone prepares itself to get a lot less use; not checking it every five minutes to see stat updates  makes my wife happy.  For me, there’s a bittersweet feeling.  It almost seems like the baseball season isn’t six months long (wait, yes it does). In a week it’s bye-bye to Stat-tracker, Yahoo! and ESPN apps, MLB Network and MLB AtBat; now it’s time for just watching baseball.

I’m talking a whole nine-inning game, not just highlights and live look-ins or catching three innings of a game when I can; or hitting up a few games, getting a hot dog, complaining about parking and overpriced beer, never catching a foul ball, leaving early because it’s a blow out; I’m talking playoff baseball.  My Cubs are in it and I’m ready to see them get to that World Series.  Yes, this is the year.  No more curses, stupid goats or nerdy scapegoats.  This is the year!  And now that I’ve sufficiently jinxed the Cubbies, back to fantasy baseball.

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2015 was a golden year for rookies. Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Noah Syndergaard, Francisco Lindor, Addison Russell, Lance McCullers, Roberto Osuna, and many other youngsters made a huge impact for their respective teams during their first run through the big leagues. This season’s rookie crop hasn’t been quite as impressive as that historically productive group, but it’s been a pretty strong one as well. Corey Seager (technically in his rookie season), Trevor Story, Trea Turner, David Dahl, Jon Gray, and Michael Fulmer are some of the players who have been outstanding in their first full MLB seasons. Perhaps the brightest prospect of them all, however, especially on the pitching side, is 20-year-old Dodgers phenom Julio Urias. He’s considered by many to be the best pitching prospect in baseball over the past several years, and it’s not difficult to see why. With plus velocity (his fourseam fastball can reach 96 mph at times) and a varied arsenal (fastball/slider/curve/change) that can generate swings and misses with regularity, it doesn’t seem to be a matter of if Urias will be successful, but when. Considering he was still a teenager for the bulk of his rookie season, it’s reasonable to question whether or not Urias is ready to contribute down the stretch for fantasy owners this season. What can be expected from him over the next month or so?

Let’s take a look at his profile to determine how the rookie has been performing during his first run in MLB. Here are a few thoughts and observations:

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Stashed Orlando Arcia in a few of my deepest leagues back in March.  What a waste.  Well, 59 games left — guess that’s something.  If he Lindors.  No idea why he hadn’t been called up until now.  Milwaukee’s 3rd base position has been bratwurst casings all year and Jonathan Villar plays shortstop like the guy who hacks the meat to fill those casings.  Were the Brewers afraid Arcia would’ve been too confused by the fact Will Smith was white?  Did they need to first move Jeffress due to language stipulations?  “Wait until we trade Jeffress — he might hurt his tongue saying the R’s in Orlando Arcia’s name.  Remember Higuera hit the DL when he yelled Robin Yount.”  If the Brewers didn’t drag their heels worse than the kielbasa in the sausage race after he bet five-large on the chorizo, I would’ve had Arcia months ago!  *takes deep breath*  Okay, I’m good.  So, what can we expect from Arcia?  A little pop and solid speed — think Jean Segura or Villar over the course of the final two months.  Yes, I’d grab him if I were hurting at shortstop.  Speaking of hurting at shortstop (DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!), Trevor Story hit the DL with a torn UCL in his thumb, and will be out for the season.  Colorado already has DL forms with SS written in.  Just have to cross out Tulo for Story.  Save that piece of paper for rolling!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So since my last post Yahoo! decided to update their app.  They didn’t tell me it was coming (I sent them emails for months asking for an update I guess [email protected] isn’t their email) but I like to think that I had a direct cause of the outcome (since I didn’t) as I did talk about it a few weeks ago, and now that we have an updated app it’s time to talk about it again.

First off, appearance: the drastic change in contrast from black to white (first thought: Michael Jackson, second thought: Seinfeld and the black & white cookie).  I am decidedly not a fan.  I have to turn down the screen brightness, and that’s just silly.  Why can’t I choose what color I want the background to be?  I’d like a light green personally but since we are all unique snowflakes we should all get the color we choose.  This is America dammit!

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Aaron Sanchez, $10,300 vs San Diego, has been great over his last six games limiting offenses to less than 2 runs, 6 hits and 2 walks over 40 innings. The 24 year old former closer has been the Blue Jays Ace this year going 10-1 with a 2.87 ERA to go along with his 108 Ks. Even more intriguing is that he’s doing all of this in the AL “Beast” going up against some of the toughest hitters in the league. Hitters have been struggling all year to square him up as his 3.44 FIP ranks sixth behind Corey Kluber. The Padres scored 10 runs yesterday, but much of that damage was done against Washington’s bullpen in the 8th and 9th innings. San Diego still leads the league in Ks vs RHP, so I’m counting on that trend to continue so our boy Cheeze can rack up at least 7-9 K and possibly hit double digits if he doesn’t get pulled early innings limits. There’s been tons of of talk about him getting sent to the bullpen and if those rumors are true this may be one of a handful of times that we have left to roster him in DK. Let’s get some Cheeze, so we can get that DK cheddar.

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.

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?

The White Sox were due to wear throwback jerseys on Saturday, and Chris Sale didn’t want to wear them.  The White Sox refused to relent, so Sale took it upon himself to do something.  Cut to, ahem, ten minutes later and Sale was sent home for throwing a temper tantrum and cutting up all the throwback uniforms.  The most surprising thing in this story:  the White Sox clubhouse had a pair of lefty scissors.  After Sale cut up the White Sox 1976 uniforms, Chet Lemon weighed in, saying, “It was a tough uniform to rock.  The guys on the 1983 team thought they had a reviled uniform.  At least in 1983, you could strut around like a peacock, which they called Paciorek’ing, due to the grace of teammate Tom Paciorek.  In 1976, they dressed me up like a lawn jockey.  That shizz was offensive!”  For his antics, Chris Sale was suspended for five games by the White Sox.  That’s the last time he tries to introduce a cutter without talking to the pitching coach.  Now, if the Red Sox trade for Sale, their top two starters could help win back the casual Jewish Red Sox fan who checked out after Youk and Theo left. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Zach Eflin tossed a complete game 3-hit shutout Friday night versus the Pirates, requiring just 100 pitches to go all the way and pick up the win. It was the rookie’s first career shut out. That’s what I’m Eflin talking about! I know what you’re thinking, I loved him in those High School Musicals, I wish he was my Neighbors. Wrong Zach. Both are real good though. After a rocky debut to his rookie season in Toronto (2.2 IP, 9 hits, 8 ER, 3 BB), Zach Eflin has been on the attack ever since, allowing just 11 runs in the seven starts since his debut (2.07 ERA in 47.2 IP). More impressive is that he has pitched at least six innings in six of those seven starts, including two complete games. Dude is a horse. And at just 22 years young I guess that would make him a dot dot dot Filly. Zing! Wait, or is it a mare? Foal? Joke still works or nah? On second thought I’m thinking it might be a colt. Hmm. Regardless, Zach is clearly a stallion. So how is it he’s available in over 80% of fantasy leagues? Are you Eflin kidding me? Sure, the 26/8 K/BB ratio is nothing to call the presses about, but his 1.05 WHIP is mighty impressive. Some of the advanced stats may suggest he’s due for a bit of a correction, but why not ride the Zach train while its Eflin hot. He’s coming off his best career start and gets the Marlins next week, so pick him up, what are you Eflin waiting for?

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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“But I can’t Jo-Fer that (Jo can do).  No, I can’t Jo-Fer that, (Jo can do).  Oh, I can’t Jo-Fer that (Jo can do), I can’t Jo-Fer that, can’t Jo-Fer that, can’t Jo-Fer that, but Jo can do!”  I can do this all day.  Seriously.  That yin vs. yang, angel vs. devil, Ho-Hos vs. Yodels constant battle wrecks havoc on me.  Jose Fernandez showed why he’s one of my favorite pitchers yesterday.  I mean, goddamn, he made that pitch famous, he made that pitch famous!  His line:  6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 14 Ks.  So, what’s the problem?  What is the yang, devil, Yodel?  That he will be shut down barely into September.  If the Marlins stay in the pennant race, Jo-Fer may even be shut down earlier to give him a chance to pitch in October.  I love him, but if you can get anything close to equal in value for him, I could see trading him in redraft leagues.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to prematurely balding men and decided if you can’t beat them, join them!  Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post.  Here, enjoy some coffee.  Oops, you just drank rat poison.  Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than owning Chris Archer in the 1st half.  Oh, you owned him and that’s why you drank the poison!  Now, I’m following!   Hey, I’m supposed to be leading!  Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2016 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up!  But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest!  So, as with all of the other 2016 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt.  If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade that outfielder for that 2nd baseman.  Also, things change in fantasy baseball.  Daily.  I could put Bryce Harper number two on the top 100 list for the second half of 2016 and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with Bryce.  Why soil a good thing, ya know?  This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued.  It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache.  This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today.  So while David Price did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because I still believe.  The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2016.  I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what players will do.  It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone.  Welcome to the future!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2016:

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