Astros announced that Lance McCullers would start the year on the DL.  Just like a Mick to skip out on work on St. Patty’s Day.  Keeping an eye on you, Andrew McCutchen!  At least we don’t have to start the year with tears for Fiers.  Everybody wants to rule the Astros rotation!  With it being announced that McCullers would start the year on the DL, I dropped him 15 spots in my starting pitcher ranks and lowered his projections.  He’s now in the top 60 starters vs. the top 40 starters.  He’s a young pitcher with a shoulder issue, so if you take my previous excitement and divide it by my current hesitation, you get the entire Angels team dancing on the head of a pin.  Okay, my math might be off there, but I’m trying to weigh my current cautious optimism with my realistic pessimism.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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Detroit-Tigers-Tiger-Logo-Design_9662f8d9-183f-462b-8e45-81432b69a110_1024x1024

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… Rob Rogacki, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Detroit Tigers!

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After the top 20 catchers for 2016 fantasy baseball, it’s all downhill.  And by downhill, I mean it will pick up speed and start moving quickly.  That really should be what “it’s all downhill” means.  I fixed you, English language, you’re welcome.  The top 10 for 2016 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2016 fantasy baseball were done the other day too.  I think this is what they call getting you up to date.  I don’t mean that as in, “We have to shave his unibrow into two eyebrows, and maybe have him wear something other than a sports jersey, so he’s ‘up to date’ a girl.”  This top 20 1st basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball goes to about 60.  Every year it seems like it gets longer and more unwieldy like the story you tell people on why you didn’t finish college.  As always, for each player there’s my projections and where I see tiers starting and ending.  There’s the position eligibility chart for 2016 fantasy baseball, and all the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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I’m a stat junkie. Way back in the pre-internet days when I was just a little Magoo, I would run outside first thing in the morning to grab the daily paper so I could immediately check out the previous night’s box scores. There’s Tony Gwynn leading the league in batting average yet again. A slam and legs (before I even knew what that was) by that Bonds fellow. The Big Unit piled up another dozen Ks. Another high scoring game in Colorado. What’s the deal with that place anyway?

This fascination with statistics has led to the fantasy baseball obsession that I’m burdened with today. Only now, with all of the advanced statistics and metrics that are available at the click of a button, the obsession is worse than ever. Fortunately for you, all of the man hours that I’ve wasted poring over stats this offseason has allowed me to discover some interesting nuggets of information that I think are fantasy-relevant for the upcoming season, and I’d like to share some of them with you today. At least, I find them to be interesting and potentially useful for fantasy purposes, and I hope that you will too.

From here on out, I’ll be listing various statistics with little to no analysis so that you can be the judge of how relevant each statistic and/or trend is in regards to the 2016 season. This article focuses on hitters only, and the stats that will be highlighted range from the basic (home runs, stolen bases, batting average, counting stats) to the slightly more advanced (plate discipline, batted ball profile).

And now, without further ado, here are some interesting stats and trends to consider for the 2016 fantasy baseball season:

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Zach Britton has a mild lat strain.  He hopes to return soon as he’s complained that the loneliness of not pitching is killing him.  Britton went on to say, “Bollocks!”  Maybe that’s a Briton.  Any hoo!  Or as a Briton would say, “Tally hoo!”  The Orioles haven’t said Britton is shut down, but I highly doubt he closes another game in the next week.  Or as a Briton would say, “My Full Monty is knackered.  Let’s scallywag over a fag, you donkey arse.”  The Irish have fought for independence for the better part of a century, and yesterday they exacted some revenge as Britton went down to an O’Day.  Darren O’Day said, “Blarney stone something something potato something something Guinness.”  It was hard to understand.  I would grab O’Day in every league if you need saves as he’s now converted two in two like Chuck Woolery, and, holy crap, Woolery got old!  Have you seen The Voice?  His son was on there and Woolery looked like he was gonna turn to dust.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Maybe because The Bastard Executioner premiered last night, but I’m feeling reminiscent for Sons of Anarchy — Jax, Clay, Peg Bundy and that Irish guy I couldn’t understand — and, specifically, to the Season 4 premiere set to Joshua James’s Coal War.  In that spirit, I ain’t cuttin’ my Strasburg till the good Strasburg shows!  Ain’t cuttin’ my Strasburg till the good Strasburg shows!  Ain’t cuttin’ my Strasburg till the good Strasburg shows!  Good Lord, when’s he gonna come!  I hate to give someone a lede soon after I just gave them a lede, but Stephen Strasburg had a line of 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 1 Walk, 14 Ks, and I need to make exceptions.  As previously stated, Strasburg’s control and ERA (still at 3.98 on the year) have been all over the map like a drunk Magellan, but, as he showed yesterday, he could easily be a Cy Young candidate for 2016.  I just wish he’d wait until April of next year to show it so we can draft him for cheap.  Likely, most have moved on to fantasy football, so people will see a 3.90-ish ERA from him and under draft him next year.  That’s when we pounce like SAMCRO near an Elvis impersonator that’s not Bobby.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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When I hear the name Domingo Santana, I’m immediately transported to a small village in the Catalan region of Spain.  A Gregorian monk overlooks the city of Barcelona.  A breeze of air rolls in.  Not from the Mediterranean, but it’s that breeze of air that rolls over the city from the residents pronouncing Barcelona with a lisp.  This is the Gregorian monk’s city, and his name is Domingo Santana Sr. Sr. and the year is 1789, and I feel like I just pitched a cheap wine commercial to a client at an ad agency.  “The tag line is:  This monk’s got spirit!”  Client leaves; I’m fired.  I scream, “But I’ve seen every Mad Men episode,” as the screen fades to black.  So, Domingo Santana isn’t the best guy on waivers in every league.  I’d likely go with Jayson Werth, Wil Myers and a bunch of other guys over Sunday Santana for this year, but some of youse are in keepers and this post can also be for 2016 fantasy baseball, because I said so.   According to some Jean Smarts at other sites, Santana made contact on only around 70% of minor league pitches that were in the strike zone over the past two years.  Only one other player in the minors was that bad (Rymer Liriano).  To put that in perspective, Domingo can’t hit balls that are in the strike zone.  So far this year in the majors, he has a 30% strikeout percentage.  What do all of these numbers mean?  He might hit .230 if he’s lucky.  So, why am I crushing on him so hard like I’m a Swede who just found a frozen time capsule filled with Frusen Glädjé?  Because Sunday Santana has 30-homer power and 15-steal speed, and kinda reminds me of a young Carlos Gomez with a bit less speed.  The same CarGo that struggled until he was 26 years old, and Domingo is only 23.  Will Santana ever make enough contact?  It’s hard to say, and it may not come in 2016, but I’d definitely grab him for cheap in keepers for a flyer for next year, and I like him in deeper leagues right now for some occasional flashes of the power/speed combo.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Yoenis Cespedes went 3-for-5 with his 31st homer and, like, his 12th homer in the past week.  Doode’s straight combustible heat.  Like a fatty steak on the grilling heat.  Uh-oh, I feel my rap altar ego, B-Fire, coming on.  Cannot stop the blaze.  Like a Scottish sheep, I can’t stand here, I gotta graze.  Between Monday and Tuesday is a hidden day called Muesday, between Monday and Sunday is all Grey’s days.  I watch a Merchant-Ivory period flick with my piece, because I’m strapped and going through a phase.  Shh, it’s my Victorian secret.  Whomp, there’s another Yoenis hit.  Cepedes is so on-lock it’s like he’s got a hundred legs all stuck in tar pits.  For my Def Poetry Jam audition tape, this I will submits.  I liked About Schmidt, but why Kathy Bates gotta get out of the tub naked with her flabby– Nah, I need to quit.  So, on the year, Yoenis has a line of 93/31/92/.298/7 and is nearly top five for all players on our Player Rater, not just top five outfielders, and, for 2016, it’s going to be real hard to knock him down much past the 2nd round.  Unless, of course, the Padres get their grubby mitts on him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about U2. I already go over boring hitters below. Seriously, they are one of the most overrated bands ever. They are like the 80’s and 90’s version of the Eagles. The closest they get to my iPOD is this song. This week we are going in a different direction than before, because I killed the Top 100. After receiving Grey’s blessing (thanks bossman!), here’s what’s going to happen: After going through the evolution of ranking players this season, it became clear to me that it wasn’t working. By June 1st, you know what you have and it’s generally a good point to start making trades to address needs. As the season goes forward, those needs get increasingly particular until you get to this point. After some discussions with Mike, Sky and Big Magoo, I got some good input and a really confusing emoji text conversation with Sky. Still not sure if we cool, but I got my Japanese friend coming over later to translate. This week, I have a Top 50 Hitters and a few sub lists for you to check out. Every week, it’s my plan to mix a few different sub lists in to help cover all bases… pun point!  I have included Steamers, ROS, HR/SB, projections, the ROS player rater, dollar values, and my own HR/SB projections. Don’t worry if you don’t see someone here, they are probably going to appear in another list next week or thereafter. Some people may even appear on multiple lists. You never know? Any questions? Good moving on…

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So you’re telling me if the Mets played in Coors field every night, they’d be the highest scoring team in baseball instead of bottom 5, where they were pre-Coors? Huh, 33 runs in 3 games ain’t too shabby and I hope you benefited from Yoenis Cespedes’ onslaught Friday night. I managed to somehow cash without him, but I couldn’t touch the top spots. The Mets have clearly sacrificed some chickens to Jobu over the past month. The good fortune continues as they go from beating up on Rockies pitchers in Coors to now getting to feast on Philly pitching in Citizens Bank Park. Here’s some fun with numbers: in the month of August, the Mets are 5th in Runs, 1st in doubles, 4th in HRs and 3rd in team OPS, one of my favorite stats to look at. As I write this, I just watched Daniel Murphy hit the 7th HR of the the game for the Mets, tying a franchise record. So, how much of this new found offense is Cespedes induced? Well, he hasn’t exactly been cold, his slash line since joining the Mets: Tonight the human Cespedes gets to dine on the shizz that is Jerome Williams’ right arm. Sky, in his recent roundup, mentioned Jerome’s reverse splits this season. Much like the hips, Sky don’t lie. The numbers this year vs. RHB: .336/.363/.597 and vs. LHB: .315/.379/.399 tell you all you need to know. Of course as you can see, everyone is hitting for a hall of fame average off the guy, so you really can’t go wrong when throwing anyone and everyone out there at him, but righties are especially brutalizing him. Reverse splits are fairly screwy, I tend to think they normalize over time, but there are exceptions, like in everything. For his career, Williams’ marks are generous to both handed hitters. Lefties enjoy a better batting average and OBP while righties have a higher slugging percentage. That’s over a 12 year career of course and things change with age. For example, a bag of garbage left in a black trash can in the middle of summer gets much worse with age. Jerome is said bag of garbage and the hot summer months aren’t being kind to him. With any luck, people will take a quick glance as guys like Curtis Granderson (L) and Michael Conforto (L) are highly owned and Cespedes sneaks under the radar. I need you tonight, Yoenis, don’t let me down. Here are some more picks for tonight’s slate:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 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?