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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… James Attwood, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Arizona Diamondbacks!

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The other day the top 10 for 2016 fantasy baseball was straight sexy like when a model on America’s Next Top Model knows how to smize and booty tooch.   Then, the next day, the top 20 for 2016 fantasy baseball was all the flavors of the Skittles rainbow melted into one giant Skittle that was a color that was not-black even though all colors together should’ve been.  Today, the top 20 catchers for 2016 fantasy baseball is the direct opposite of those wondrous achievements.  This post, here, is, um, catchers.  Lowercase yay.  Most of you know how I feel about catchers.  If you draft a catcher any time before the first 100 picks, you don’t know how I feel about catchers.  Let me freshen up your cocktail with a splash of insight.  I don’t draft top catchers in one catcher leagues.  I Reggie Roby them.  Last year, Posey was the top ranked catcher at the end of year.  Yet, he was only the 8th best 1st baseman, about as valuable as Albert Pujols, who hit only .244.  The best catcher can’t spray aerosol deodorant on the top guy for another position.  The top five catchers last year were Bust Posey, Bri McCann, Eve Gattis, Russ Martin and Sal Perez.  Only one guy was drafted in the top 100.  No one should draft a top catcher because there are no top catchers.  They’re all hot garbage with a side order of gefilte fish, or kapelka as Q-Tip calls it.  Catchers are unreliable to stay healthy; the job is grueling and takes its toll on offensive stats.  There’s not much difference between, say, the tenth best catcher and nothingness.  Last year, Welington Castillo was the tenth best catcher.  He was on waivers for at least half the season.  He was the tenth best catcher with a line of 42/19/57/.237.  Yo, Q, forget kapelka, Welington Castillo makes me vomit.  Also, with this crop of catchers — they’re actually deep in mediocrity.  You can draft the fifth best catcher or the 12th best and they’re tomato-tomato said with a different emphasis.  Because I ignore the top catchers doesn’t mean I’m starting the top 20 catcher list at number twenty-one; some of you might want to know the top catchers.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them draft d’Arnaud.  In two catcher leagues, catchers are a little more valuable, but I’d still prefer to avoid them.  You can see other top 20 lists for 2016 fantasy baseball under 2016 fantasy baseball rankings.  Listed along with these catchers are my 2016 projections for each player and where the tiers begin and end.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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It feels like just the other day the baseball regular season started.  You wrote “I heart baseball” in permanent marker on your arm, then you met a girl who wrote “I heart guys who heart baseball” on her arm, then, during sex in August, you screamed out “I love you, Arenado!” and now you don’t have baseball or a girlfriend.  C’mon, calendar, make like a soldier and turn to March.  The only cure for the post-baseball season blues — recapping the preseason top twenty lists and being hand-fed Doritos.  First up, Cool Ranch and our preseason Top 20 Catchers for 2015.  It’s important to look back before we look ahead to 2016.  To paraphrase the one and only B-Real, “How do you know where you’re at, if you don’t know where you’ve been? Understand where I’m coming from?”  It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  It’s cold hard math, y’all!  Please, for the love that all is holy, don’t ask me if this is for next year.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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That title wasn’t a real question, y’all, please don’t provide your responses in the comments below. And if your answer was yes, that means you’ve eaten it and lived so I’ll just take your word for it and barf on my own time. But I don’t wanna know about your culinary disasters, what I do wanna know about is how can I find a way to price in those sweet Colorado bats. I know that you know that we all want in on that action, boss, so we have to find ways to swerve to get them in and pitching is a prime starting point to begin that search. I’m not gonna lie to you and say that Alfredo Simon has merit on his own. He’s pretty meh if we’re being honest but the Twins vs righties especially on the road will always grab my attention. For the year, the Twins rank 4th worst in wRC+ against righties and throw in a reasonably healthy K rate of 21.1% to boot. Throw in the second worst road wRC+ and a 22.9% K rate and you have the mixings for a solid if maybe unspectacular line from the Big Fettuccine. I wouldn’t even think about this in cash but for tourneys, picking on Twinkies on the road with righties is a solid Konami Cheat Code for this kind of day. But now that we’ve covered culinary dysentery, let’s move on to better things. Here’s my Wild Mushroom Risotto hot takes for this Saturday DK slate…

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.

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Hi everyone, I’m Sky the Razzball guy. You might remember me from such hits as ‘Duffy The Cam-Yard K’er‘…I mean it was just last Friday so if you read this site at all and the DK content, I’d hope you caught that. In that piece we looked under the hood at the Orioles and their offense, namely their poor numbers against lefty pitchers and guess what? A week hasn’t changed those numbers. In fact, after getting shut out for 7 innings by Matt Moore who K’d up 9 of them, I’d bet today’s numbers would tell you they’re even worse. That said, we should complete the thought process by taking that peek again and hold the phone cuz you’ll never guess this but…yeah, they still suck against lefties to the tune of a 23% K rate and a meager 85 wRC+. With that, in steps Drew Smyly who himself is coming off an 11 K performance against what was a surging Boston Red Sox offense. Cash? Check. GPP? Double check. I’m gonna have a hard time moving off Drew in any format today so while everyone talks chalk with you today, realize at $9,400 you could be getting the sweeter deal when talking about those 10K+ priced arms. So put a Smyly on your face and move on with me to for the coverage of the rest of this tilt…hrm, reference Zoolander in the title, put a Zoolander pic in the opening, and then don’t actually reference Zoolander? That’s ridiculous, I should be ashamed so let me make up for it. Here’s my Orange Mocha Frappuccino takes for this Friday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 15 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?

I start my lineups these days in one place: the starting pitcher. They’re the fulcrum upon which all things must work. You can find way more diamonds in the rough among the hitters than you can on the hill, so it behooves you to focus on this position first before attacking the rest.

That doesn’t mean you can’t target hitters, especially when there are Coors games and the like, but those hitters aren’t going to lift you as high if there is a SP in your slots working a negative number.

That said, it doesn’t mean you should just pop the first two pitchers you come to in the salary list and then mine the lineups for values. That happens sometimes, but what you should really do is look at the SP trends, matchups, splits, parks, swinging strike and K-rates to whittle down the slate to a few good men you could live with for the night.

Oh I’ve gone through this process and ended up with some strange birds on the hill. There was a night this season where Joe Blanton, patron saint of gas cans, actually went into Safeco and helped me to a nice payday. Recently, even, Kris Medlen has been helpful with his low salary and decent performances, allowing me to target more prime bats.

As I look at the slate for Wednesday, I was hoping I could log on, take a quick glance and know where I was going, but I couldn’t. This was because the best two SP on the slate happened to be the highest paid as well:

David Price, SP: $12,500

Jake Arrieta, SP: $14,000

Price in Atlanta and Arrieta in Pittsburgh were, at first glance, the best SP, so I had to dig deeper just to be sure and, sure enough, they came through the process on top.

Since they are so high priced, about 6K more than I like to dedicate to the cause, I didn’t automatically ink them in the lineup until I could see if there was indeed enough value in the hitters to make it work. Looking down the list, it was clear that I could roster two or three Phillies, who can hit a lefty fairly well and have a nice home park, to make it happen. Facing Gio Gonzalez, who has a mid 4s SIERA and nearly 800 OPS vs. righties over the last 30 days also made it easy to go that route.

So I did. It looks like a newb move, rosting the top two SP of the night, but you have to trust your process. Other nights, I would lay up short well short of this $$ commitment at SP, but tonight, it’s pay up.

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?

Matt Harvey did a 180 on his 180.  This weekend he announced that he’s not pitching past 180 innings.  Come rain, come shine, come playoffs.  Then, when met with a huge backlash, he reverted course to say he will not pitch past 180 innings in the regular season, so he can pitch in the playoffs.  Somewhere, Nolan Ryan is cackling like a mad man (though, after he cackles, his arm falls off and he needs to Crazy Glue it back on).  I don’t have anything personally against Harvey’s decision, but, to announce it yourself, it comes off like a selfish decision.  PR 101, have the team announce it.  And, don’t, whatever you do, have your agent announce anything, especially while Boras is wearing that horned costume with the pitchfork.  Or maybe I just saw a picture doctored by a Mets fan.  This is not at all surprising.  He’s coming off of Tommy John surgery.  He should be shut down at some point.  Glad to hear he’s pitching in the playoffs, those innings won’t count towards his innings count for next year.  Of course, I’m being sarcastic.  None of this bodes well for how much I’ll like Harvey next year, since I prefer pitchers to get babied, but I guess this won’t be an issue if the Mets are bounced early in the playoffs.  Let’s go Dodgers!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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While the 2015 version of the Boston Red Sox has been a complete disaster for the most part, one redeeming element of this year’s team has been the surprising play of rookie Travis Shaw (+37.4%), who was the most added player in fantasy baseball over the past week. Entering yesterday’s play, he’s been one of MLB’s best offensive players in the 2nd half of this season, producing 16 runs, 6 homers, 13 RBI, and a .386/.431/.738 triple slash line in 72 plate appearances. Those numbers are especially surprising when considering his mediocre minor league results since being promoted to AAA in 2014 (.256/.319/.395 in 158 games). The upcoming slate doesn’t look too promising for him either, as the 25-year-old left-handed slugger faces Jose Quintana and Chris Sale over the next two days before heading to Citi Field to face the Mets over the weekend, where he’ll likely cede first base duties to David Ortiz for a game or two due to the lack of a DH for that series. In Shawshank terms, Shaw seems to be most similar to Tommy – the young, charismatic inmate who gets transferred to that prison and provides a spark before being unceremoniously snuffed out by the warden and the head guard. Like any hot schmotato, ride the streak while you can but have a backup plan ready for when the wheels fall off.

Here are a couple of other significant adds and drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

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Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique.  This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief.  Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed.  Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you?  Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way.  Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring.  Scary good.  May be best of Cubs lot right now.”  Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed.  If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances.  Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming.  On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur.  Or make that, as craptastic as those guys.  In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel.  Time, not the magazine, will tell.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m in New York celebrating my grandfather’s 88th birthday, or as he calls it “achy-ache,” and we started talking about Caitlyn Jenner, and he said, “She’s a hot number, I’d throw her one.”  Throw her one, I believe, means have sex with her.  I thought this was pretty forward thinking for my grandfather, then he continued, “Do you know how they put lost children on the side of a carton of milk?  I heard if Caitlyn got lost, they’d put her on a carton of Half & Half.”  Ah, there he is.  Reminds me a bit of Marge Schott, which brings us to Raisel Iglesias, who threw a gem yesterday — 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 13 Ks.  “Raise the Church” has looked far superior since he returned from his stint in the minors with an ERA that’s bordering on startable everywhere (3.93), and peripherals that look ownable everywhere (9.5 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 3.42 xFIP).  At this point in the year, I would go one start at a time for him, but I would definitely own him, and start him for his next one.  Now, if you excuse me, I have to get back before my grandfather tries to “throw one” at Cougs.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?