Jose Bautista is such a douche canoe.  He bat-flipped after a home run that cut the Braves lead to 8-4.  That’s like “Pimp my Ride” with a Hyundai.  That’s like moonwalking at a bar mitzvah with toilet paper on your shoe.  That’s like screaming at your recently ex-girlfriend, “I’ll never be alone, because I will always have my mom!”  He’s hitting .208, and hasn’t looked right since Odor ended him like Drago ended Apollo.  Any hoo!  This has nothing to do with Bautista.  Well, kinda.  Freddie Freeman was hit on the wrist, and then all hell broke out for the better part of the Jays/Braves games.   Freeman looked like he was in serious pain and he’s headed for an MRI and CT scan today.  I don’t own him, but I will join your prayer hexagon if you need me.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

29 days. As I write this, that’s how many days of fantasy baseball have transpired in 2017. Sure, in a way it feels like we just started, but at the same time, I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted and it feels like the season has been going on as long as the movie Boyhood. Which doesn’t really make sense, I realize, because that movie was less than three hours long, but it felt like it lasted for about twelve years, and when it comes to some of my leagues, that’s about how long it feels like 2017 has been dragging on. Maybe this happens every year and I block it out, but I just don’t remember a season where so many fantasy teams appeared to be dead in the water due to catastrophic injuries just as the calendar was hitting May. And this year, it’s the NL-only teams that appear to be hardest hit… at least those that feature some combination of Madison Bumgarner, Noah Syndegaard, Rich Hill, Jon Gray, Shelby Miller, Starling Marte, Adam Eaton, and David Dahl. Some of these names were first-round picks in an NL-only draft, and even guys like Gray and Eaton could legitimately have been a team’s number one starter or outfielder in very deep leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Did you see last night’s Yankee/Red Sox clash? No? It lasted a super fast 2 hours and 20 minutes and here’s a recap: Sale crushed souls to start the game and then gave up runs late. Masahiro Tanaka threw the year’s first Maddux (CGSO under 100 pitches) and it was glorious. Maddux’s are fantastic. The dominance and efficiency is a thing of beauty (Come on DFS sites, let’s get a Maddux bonus!). On the other side, the Red Sox offense continues to struggle. They have the league’s worst isolated power (.107) and are a below average offense (99 wRC+) with the league’s 2nd best BABIP (.319). They are thoroughly mediocre despite getting well above average offense from Benintendi (143 wRC+), Betts (144) and Moreland (151). Hanley (62), and Pedroia (66) are going to rebound, but I’m not sure that regulars Chris Young (77) and Pablo Sandoval (74) will improve by much – those numbers are likely just who those two players are at this point in their careers. A rebound from Hanley and Pedroia will likely be offset by the normal regression of Benintendi and Moreland and the extreme regression of Christian Vazquez after he just had the best 25 PAs of his life (254). All of this means the Red Sox might be an offense to target in GPPs with pitching because without Ortiz it relies on Betts and Benintendi and a bunch of average-ish bats.  As we are seeing with Toronto right now, you take a link or 2 away from a very top-heavy chain and the entire thing breaks down.

On to the picks once we celebrate the year’s first Maddux, which are better than no-hitters…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

As the old expression goes, you can count on three things in life, death, taxes, and Mets pitchers ruining your week/month/season with an injury of some sort. This is a slight update on the late 80’s iteration of this expression, death, taxes, and Mets pitchers at a snowstorm. If you’re a Noah Syndergaard owner you might want to hit up Doc’s medicine man, because the mighty righty was skipped in the rotation due to a sore bicep. Apparently curls are for the girls, and the DL too. Seriously how does Bartolo stay healthy eating like Kristie Alley on a bender, while Thor spends his free time living like Schwarzenegger in the beginning of Twins? Nothing makes sense, I’m writing the Notes! Riddle me this, Does that mean Colon was birthed from his poop? Or is it the other way around. Yes, I was an odd child. As for Thor, and his right arm, he’s headed for an MRI today. After first experiencing pain between bullpen sessions, and playing catch. He said he “felt great” playing catch, two things, “who doesn’t feel great playing catch?” and as far as I know “felt great” doesn’t mean I couldn’t lift my arm above my shoulder. But Syndergaard is from Texas and a Viking, so he may speak a different language. Oh, yeah, that’s not a joke. He actually said I “felt great playing catch”, but his bicep “stiffens up when it gets cold”. Funny, mine does the opposite when it gets cold. The worst part is that gem of a comment was followed with “I couldn’t really lift my arm above my shoulder at that point”. However, the Mets and Terry Collins assure us that Thor isn’t hurt. In fact, he showed up to the park ready to pitch! But old cautious Terry pulled the plug, because as he so eloquently put it, “when you are talking about anything that runs into the shoulder to where he changes his delivery and other things happen.” Damn, the man has the vocabulary of Sling Blade! Not going to lie, I’m intrigued about these “other things” happening in Syndergaard’s bicep. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This morning, I decided to look at my deepest NL-only league to see who the highest-ranked player who went undrafted was. It didn’t take long to find him: as of Tuesday morning, Anthony Senzatela was ranked as the eleventh most valuable pitcher in standard, mixed 5×5 fantasy baseball leagues. My NL–only league includes a fairly complex farm system as well, so it is beyond hard to find a diamond in the rough, since most minor league players with any decent prospect status at all were drafted years ago. It’s clear why Senzatela slipped through the cracks, though – he was a mid-level prospect at best, who entered spring training as a long shot to be part of a pitching rotation in the worst pitchers’ ballpark baseball has ever seen…

Will Senzatela still be the eleventh best pitcher in fantasy at the end of 2017? Uh, no. We’d have to expect some major bumps along the way even if half of his starts weren’t going to come at Coors Field. But he’s owned in just 20% of Yahoo leagues (21% of ESPN), which I think is too low. I am basing this almost entirely on the gut feeling I had while watching him pitch. In fantasy, upside can be overrated: just ask the Robert Stephenson owner in the league I mentioned above. Stephenson has been taking up a minor league spot on his owner’s roster for four years now. Even worse, now that he’s on the big club and his owner feels pot-committed to him, Stephenson and his 5.40 ERA are taking up a valuable active roster spot. There is no guarantee that even the highest-ranked prospects will even reach star status, either in real baseball or the fantasy variety. Taking a flyer on gut feeling won’t always work out either, and sometimes can be fairly disastrous, but it’s a risk that I think you need to take from time to time in a deep league. Otherwise, how will you ever find this year’s Junior Guerra — that guy whose past statistics make you absolutely sick to your stomach, but looks damn good on the mound every time you watch him pitch… and before you know it, has been a major contributor to the success of your single-league team.

Moving on to some other deeper-league names, starting with the AL…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There have been a few unexpected side effects from me writing a weekly injury article for Razzball. First, due to Spring Training I’ve had to pay attention and care about every irrelevant player’s bump, bruise and sniffle (why did you all let me include Tyler Collins in my article last week?!) Going forward I’m going to try to focus on the injuries that may actually have a fantasy impact. No one cares that Joe Mauer  missed one hour of practice because he had what the Twins medical staff is referring to as a “minor boo-boo.”

Another unexpected side effect is the schadenfreude I feel whenever I read about a major player getting injured. “Oh YES! David Price might miss the whole year?! More content!” What type of monster have I become?

Anyway, here’s whose pain I have gotten enjoyment out of this week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Let the overreaction to Spring Training numbers begin! Gregory Polanco went 3-for-3 with 2 stolen bases in his debut — 115 SB prediction for Polanco! Jason Castro went 2-for-2 with a HR in his first game — 60 HR for Castro! Shelby Miller allowed 2 runs, 3 hits over 2 innings — that is actually pretty on-brand for Shelby Miller. Do not trust Shelby Miller! Health is really what you’re looking for in Spring Training and these guys are failing that test so far…

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Yasmany Tomas, Odubel Herrera, Nomar Mazara.  What do those players have in common?  Guys that were in last year’s top 100 outfielders post that made it out like this is Orange is the New Black and those guys were Taystee.  Only then Taystee got reincarcerated and brought with her that badass b*tch Vee, and Vee then started running shizz and that white ho, who the show was originally about that is annoying AF, started getting institutionalized with panty-selling and lez ho’ing and–Well, anyway, you get the point.  There’s not a ton of sunshine in this top 100 outfielders, but occasionally you do get glimmers of hope.  All the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are under that link-ma-whosie.  As always, my projections and tiers are included.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Shawn Kelley notched his second save in as many days Friday night, recording the final out, allowing just one hit for his sixth save of the season. Is your fantasy team in dire need of saves? Are you tired of owning the entire Braves bullpen? Well, it seems your prayers may have been answered. Manager Dusty Baker has yet to commit to Kelley, but Baker usually doesn’t commit to anything unless it’s ruining some young player’s career in the long term. Unlike Atlanta, the Nationals bullpen will likely see a good share of save chances and with Jonathan Papelbon struggling, it appears Shawn Kelley is the add here. Oh Papelbon, how the mighty have fallen, right? I remember when he wasn’t just the most obnoxious pitcher in all of baseball, he was also a very good closer! Shawn Kelley has the potential to be a very good closer as well. He holds a 3.05 ERA, and 1.02 WHIP, with a 60/7 K/BB rate. Did I mention he can get you saves? Did I mention he’s available in over 80% of fantasy leagues? Geez, all this stuff I forgot to mention, my memory is really shot lately. There’s still a chance Washington trades for a closer, but I’d pick up Shawn Kelley everywhere I needed saves as he looks to be the top option in the Nats pen at the moment, Grey told you to BUY and he won’t be available for very long.

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello everyone, and welcome to Sunday!

We have a very healthy 10-game main slate on our hands today, with four pitchers being priced above $10k, and those being Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Michael Fulmer, and Jon Gray, but for tournaments, I like none of them. You’ll have to keep reading!

Instead, I wanted to talk about the Washington Nationals bats today against the extreme gas can that is Chad Kuhl, who owns a 5.67 SIERA, a 12.9% K-rate, a 7.9% SwK-rate, and a 31% GB-rate. But usually, I dive a little deeper in my articles, and see who has the better matchups, lefties or righties, and how they do against RHP’s. But here’s the catch, everyone is in play, and by everyone, I mean, everyone. I can’t list out the entire Nationals starting lineup, but look at the lefty-righty splits Kuhl has-

vs. L vs. R
xFIP: 6.45 xFIP: 5.64
K%: 10.8% K%: 16.0%
BB%: 8.1% BB%: 8.0%
wOBA: .407 wOBA: .376
Hard%: 40.0% Hard%: 42.1%

Yes, it seems like lefties have the advantage, but if this pitcher was good against lefty bats, then we would be firing up the righties with confidence. So if there are any Nationals bats you would want to roster, you won’t hear me complaining.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?