This week’s slate of two start pitchers reminds me of fire-crotched former hottie and child star Lindsey Lohan. So let’s examine the parallels. No, they don’t have whiney coked up fathers or unstable attention whore mothers who may or may not be as equally coked up. No, they don’t post pictures to their Instagram accounts where they fail miserably at “breaking the internet”. Well, they may do all these things, but not to my knowledge. Then again, my knowledge consists of Fantasy soccer, baseball, and Fernando Tatis MS paint artwork. Oh you are unfamiliar with Tatis’s work? Click here and check her out. Seriously, I have five Tatis’ on my office walls at work. People often ask if those are blown up drawings by my four-year-old son. When I inform them that are in fact cherished works of computer generated art by a former fringe major leaguer, they typically stop extending invitations to lunch, but no matter, I like eating alone. Where were we? Oh yeah! Lindsey Lohan and two-start pitchers! So much like Lindsey Lohan’s career and looks the options start strong, but are very brief and ummmm….well, drop off dramatically. In the first two weeks we’ve been blessed with a plethora of sexy names and strong performers to double up on in our head to head and weekly leagues. This week not so moooch! (Last sentence said with bad Italian accent) I even struggle to rank anyone in the top tier. I love Jake Arrieta and you can make the case that he is matchup proof at this point but it’s two road starts. The first against a good offense and the second against an above average offense at a hitter’s park. I guess he’s sort of like Mean Girls Lindsey. She’s certainly hot and it’s an entertaining flick but A. Do you look like a creep for drooling over a teenager? and B. do you share with your bros that you were watching Mean Girls on TBS for the fourth time? (Shawshank Redemption it is not my friends.) That just means we need to dig a little deeper and appreciate each tier for what it is. Sort of like Lindsey’s wild coked out knife play phase, her lesbian phase, her doing anything for money including nude pictorials phase. We just need to avoid her methed out shell of herself phase. Those ladies and gentleman are your tiers. Good luck may your Li-Lo’s be kind.

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For the first time, there’s Reasonable Doubt for you, the Jay Z owner. Asking yourself, on Growing Pains, am I, Boner? You’re supposed to put up goose eggs, and be all zen. Now the Black Album is scrambled, got funky albumen. Grey told me don’t draft a top starter, but I got Jordan Zimmermann not Shawn Carter. Jigga what…is with all the runs? His starts make me want to curse, hide your nuns. Pardon my question, but my H2H is on tilt and I need streamers from the SON, see. This is fantasy, where’s my funzies!? Yesterday, Zimmermann went 2 1/3 IP and gave up seven, but at least I have Kershaw, Strasburg and Samardzija. Wait, then why is my team’s ERA pushing five and I don’t have anything that rhymes with Samardzija!? As for Zimmermann, he looks like he’s hiding an injury so far this year. Velocity’s down, Ks are down, pitches are up. I wouldn’t panic trade him, but I wonder if something might be wrong and I would explore trade possibilities. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Lads (and ladies), sit with me for a moment while I bless yee with a bit of the folklore of the old country, the Emerald Isle to be exact. A place of legal drugs, pubs, whiskey, rolling green hills, lovely redheaded lassies, and a tradition of folklore as rich as an Irishman’s heart. You may be familiar with stories of wee men and their pots of gold, or the luck of the Blarney Stone, Stonehenge perhaps, but how many of you are familiar with the Púca? To be clear Púcas are ghosts or spirits, bringers of good luck or bad fortune, they are said to be both helpers and hindrances. The really tricky thing about Púcas is how tough they are to identify due to their ability to change appearances and shape-shift. We’re all familiar with Púca’s in one way or another but the most well known Púca to those of us in the States is a giant rabbit named Harvey. That would be the protagonist from Mary Coyle Chase’s play of the same name. The play was later adapted to the silver screen in a film staring Jimmy Stewart, and its a worthwhile take.

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Last night, Mat Latos looked like he was headed for the Disgraceful List. He didn’t fool anyone. I didn’t say he didn’t fool any hitters because he was facing the Braves, they don’t have any hitters besides Freeman. After giving up seven runs, he didn’t get out of the first inning, replaced by Brad Hand. Here’s some tweets Dallas Latos wanted to write, “Keep pitching like that and Hand will replace me too.” “My third collagen injection blew up less than you.” “I knew I should’ve slept with Cueto.” In the preseason, I should’ve dropped Latos in my rankings when Rudy wrote his warnings. I screwed up. I did mention last week about staying away from him, but it was likely too little, too Latos for most of you. I think you could likely sell very low right now — like for a Brain Freeze closer — and still be happy just to get Latos off your team because he looks like Latoast. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It’s really hard to pick a Creeper for Week 1. I asked myself, do you suggest a player the Razz army all drafted but is undervalued everywhere else? Is telling them to drop a player they drafted for my one week call a good idea? Why does Sky wear running shorts in the shower? How do I know what he wears in the shower? The latter is because I shared a hotel with him during Spring Training (insert winking emoji) and the former is why we are here. Welcome back to Sundays everyone, no not you troll…okay, you can come on over and troll. I don’t mind. Everth Cabrera is a recipient of opportunity this week and like we say around here SAGNOF! Why not start now? Unlike a diet in January this is a regiment that needs to be stuck to for the next six months. Yes we play for six months here. I don’t want any of that, I’m out of it in June B.S. from any of you. You might be surprised what can happen if you stick it out. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

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This draft was so slow that I lost half my starting rotation before the draft ended. This draft was so slow that when it started Minnie Minoso was still alive. This draft was so slow when it started Tupac was still dead. I didn’t enjoy my time last year in the 15-team NFBC slow draft. I drafted Mark Trumbo, Prince Fielder, Cliff Lee, Anibal Sanchez and Patrick Corbin and my only chance was a big year from Nadir Bupkis, who gave me just that. See, there’s no waivers and the league is 50 rounds deep, so if you’re hit by injuries, you’re done. So, I was talked into doing the league one more time, but knew I had to draft starters early and often, and, of course, prior to the draft even completing I lost Zack Wheeler and Tony Cingrani. Many will disagree with me, but I’m under the firm belief that it’s a lot harder and more fun to win a league like a Razzball Commenter League, than it is to win a super-deep league. With super-deep leagues, if you’re hit by injuries, you’re done. That’s neither fun nor challenging. That’s just shizzy luck. You can say I should’ve known Wheeler and Cingrani weren’t safe, and I’d say to you that neither are any of the pitchers that are healthy all year. They just happened to stay healthy. It’s not like the guy that drafted Alex Cobb is any smarter than the guy who drafted (insert pitcher that is healthy right now that may not be healthy by the time you read this). How’s dem grapes? Sour! Anyway, here’s my 15-team, 5×5, roto, NFBC slow draft team and thoughts:

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therecord

I’ve been playing fantasy baseball since I was 15 back in 1992. If you have access to a calculator, that should tell you how old I am. Back then we had to gather the stats from newspapers, The Bergen Record to be precise, and compile the standings by hand. We had two guys in the league responsible for this awful task, and I was one of them. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but to look back at it from where we are today with all of the websites and mobile apps we now have that make it so easy, I wonder what fantasy sports will be like in another 20 years. What I’m hoping for is a button that I can press that will instantly taser a player on my team if he does something that I don’t like. Not likely? I didn’t think so, but a guy can dream.

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When Grey and Jay first approached me about doing some preseason posts about Two Start Pitchers “Strategy” I thought “uhhhh, play the best guy”. Problem is that doesn’t really make for intriguing content, now does it? So instead, I’m going to do 1500 words about soccer! Naw, I’m joking…if you wanted to be inundated with my footie ramblings, you’d be reading our soccer site…(shameless plug alert). So instead I’ll focus my post on the very things I look for when ranking my two-start pitchers from week-to-week. An overview of what to look for when scouring the wire for that pick up to tip the scales of your counting stats in your weekly head-to-head match-up. So we’ll break everything into sections; home vs. road splits, opposing lineup righty vs. lefty splits, K/BB ratio, and HR/9. To illustrate this we’ll use an example player to discuss each when appropriate. Sound good? Just say yes, I don’t care what you think! Muhahahaha!

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The late rounds of fantasy baseball drafts are filled with players who have questions surrounding them. It’s usually not too difficult to categorize these players, particularly in terms of starting pitching. There’s the post-hype group (Trevor Bauer, Kevin Gausman, Tony Cingrani), the declining veteran tier (CC Sabathia, Dan Haren, Bartolo Colon), and the unproven prospect tier (Noah Syndergaard, Andrew Heaney, Archie Bradley). Several high floor, low ceiling options (Ervin Santana, Kyle Lohse, Wei-Yin Chen) and volatile injury-prone pitchers (Clay Buchholz, Matt Garza) tend to remain on the board for quite a while as well. In recent years, Brandon McCarthy has generally been perceived by the fantasy community as someone who falls into one of the latter two categories. Is this perception accurate? What can be expected from McCarthy in 2015?

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With the top 80 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball, I will say this, we are having such a gay time! Gay like Colin Firth would use it. In an 19th century period drama. As in merriment. We are having ourselves a merry old time! Okay, that’s very gay. Still the same definition of gay. Merry. Merry, merry, quite contrarian of you if you say different! The starters start to thin out a little when we get to this post — not you, Sabathia! — but there’s still plenty to go around. You could likely draft starters from only this post and do fine in some leagues. Think I’m a liar. Well, I’m offended, but in this post last year was Samardzija, Peralta, Ventura, Quintana and Pineda. How many of those guys had an ERA over 3.50? One, Peralta at 3.53. I just got goose pimples typing that, but I also have the flu so maybe I should drink fluids. All the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings are there. My tiers and projections are noted. Anyway, here’s the top 80 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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