It feels like yesterday 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, Giancarlo!” 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 2014. It’s important to look back before we look ahead to 2015. 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 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Around six months ago, your mother left us in the middle of the night with nothing but each other and our drafted fantasy teams. I tried to make you French toast as you stood on a stool and watched, but we got egg shell in the batter and you cried about drafting Brad Miller. I was trying to do work one night, looking for a middle infield replacement as you played with your toy airplanes and — crash! — you spilled your milk all over my fantasy team. I screamed, you cried and Prince Fielder hurt his neck. Then your mother reappeared and began a custody battle to take over our teams right as Wilin Rosario seemingly lost his job. It was the Fourth of July, and no one was available, but I frantically searched for a replacement catcher with a job. If your mother’s attorney got wind that we couldn’t even manage to have a catcher with a job, we’d lose our teams forever. With a last ditch effort, we grabbed Yan Gomes off waivers, and another crisis seemed averted. It wasn’t all smooth sailing the final stretch, like when you fell off the jungle gym, and I carried your through Central Park screaming, “We have to replace David Wright and Alex Rios!” But you just needed a few stitches and Xander Bogaerts with 3rd base eligibility and a hot schmotato for the outfield. The final test was making French toast again and seeing how well you adapted to finally cutting the cord on Jay Bruce. We did it, seemingly conquering a mountain, just the two of us, but due to a hot week from Ryan Rua we lost in the H2H playoffs. As you packed up your stuff to leave, we sat on the couch in silence. The weight of the summer on our minds when you turned to me and said, “What do you think about Dallas Keuchel for 2015?” Today, we close our fantasy baseball team window for the first time in six months. Of course, you can never remove those teams from your mind’s eye because you turned off your computer’s screensaver months ago and your team is burned into your monitor screen. Last year, Henderson Alvarez pitched a no hitter on the last game of the season, and this year he pitched against Jordan Zimmermann, who returned the favor with his own no hitter, with the help of an incredible, diving catch from Stephen Souza. Of course, a guy named after a composer known for patriotic marches secures it for the Nationals. In a season that saw seemingly every pitcher have a sub-3.50 ERA this was about as apt of a way to close out a season as any. As Bud Selig doffs his toupee, bidding baseball adieu, let us bid this season adieu too (almost stutterer!) and say hello to the offseason. Seriously, what about Dallas Keuchel for next year?! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
At the end of the year, you can look at season long stats and try to build a DK lineup and I can pretty much promise you, disappointment will follow. You see, season is all but done, bro and bro-ettes. That means guys get tired. The studs of May, June and July give way to the youthful, the fresh guys of the DL and the DFAs who get invigorated by their new teams. De Aza, I’m looking directly at you…and many of my season long teams thank you. But truly, if we were to look at the baseball season like it were cut up into the different eras of the Beatles catalog, September would have to be the psychedelic phase. Everything you thought you knew about the baseball season just doesn’t apply right now. Oakland has been a ‘bad’ team for a couple of months yet their record on the surface says otherwise. Nelson Cruz leads the MLB in HRs with 39 but most of those HRs came in May with 13. And in the end, what happens works now in context but overlapping with the season it seems just completely out there. Going from ‘Love Me Do’ to ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ is quite the drastic jolt, Lennon. I Am The Walrus? Shut the f@#$ up, Donny! Now where was I? Oh yeah, all this to say, hanging your hat on season stats don’t get you nowhere. Case in point, Tyler Matzek. Season stats tell you he’s pretty mediocre. The ERA is 4.19…meh. The K/9 says 6.69…ambien pills. But let’s look at Tyler through a different lenses…say from the start of September. This Tyler has a 1.74 ERA over 20.2 IP to go with 19 K and 6 walks. For you non-mathies out there, that’s an 8.27 K/9 and a 2.61 BB/9 rate. Sure, I ain’t streaming him nor am I throwing him into any cash games but I think even with the plum matchup against the Padres, Matzek will be overlooked and underowned because he’s been ‘so bad for so long’. Well, so long to that so bad call. Ride the young arm to victory friends. And with that, let’s move on. Here’s some other hot takes for your Monday DK 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 check theDFSBot for your daily baseball plays.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday was the first day of autumn; this demands a poem. I call this, “Naked Prince Fielder Has The Definition Of Melted Tootsie Rolls.” The passing of summer; it’s a total bummer. Word, word, word; man, I’ve gotten dumber. Michael Brantley was da bomb; Napoli’s mom has got it going on. Jose Abreu would’ve been a sweet draft pick; Frank Thomas sued him for copyright infringement. Kershaw’s FIP is 1.87 on all hitters; Sonny Gray’s got selective dyslexia, using my teams for his personal shitter. Everything will be okay in this final week; Avisail Garcia is on a streak! Garcia went deep twice yesterday for his 6th and 7th homers. If he’s out there, of course you grab him. I’d prefer to talk about Avisail Garcia for 2015 fantasy baseball. He was a preseason sleeper this year, and he will be again in fifteen-after-twenty because he missed five months this year with an injury. Yes, he looks like Miggy, but he doesn’t act like Miggy. He’s a 20/20 type guy without killing you on average. In this injury-plagued year, his stats don’t look exactly as he has in the past, but that’s probably due to shutting it down in April and starting it up in August. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years we look back at this year and see how it didn’t portend anything. Unless he really did learn how to take a walk, as he’s shown this year. Though, I kinda doubt it. I expect he’s a line drive machine, 17-20 homer and 15-steal guy with a solid-enough average. Think what you were expecting from Brantley, rather than what you ended up with. Now smoke a spliff! Oh, wait, I stopped rhyming about ten lines ago. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you’ve been scouring all your picture books for a proper fantasy hitter in the final week, look no further. Oswaldo Arcia was 3-for-4 with his 19th home run and two RBI last night. Arcia has a nice little six-game hitting streak, with four homers in that stretch. To be fair, however, he’s also sat four games in that span with a tweaked muscle in his upper back. Injury concerns aside, Oswaldo is destroying baseballs when he’s on the field. In his past six games, he’s clubbed four homers and with 8 RBI. He’s slugging .858 in the past two weeks while batting over .400, and with 19 homers (12 at cavernous Target Field) in 94 games, he’s got serious power and might be someone to consider on draft day next year. He’s worth the pick up in all leagues if you need some pop in the final week of the season. Oswaldo could power you to fantasy glory. He’s missed some time in the past few days, but he hasn’t shown any ill effects of the injury while on the field, so hopefully this back injury is behind him for the most part. Get it!? Ha! Either way that shouldn’t discourage you from picking him up this hot little potato while he’s mashing.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You know a hitter is going well when I look to pick him up, see he’s taken, then look again a few hours later to make sure I wasn’t incorrect the first time. Then I call over Cougs and tell her to look up the player, just to make sure I’m not missing something. Then I summon my dog to the computer, and he’s good for nothing, but he does look cute trying to work a mouse. Then I call up our neighbor, who is a reverse Cougar — have I ever mentioned that we have a neighbor who is in her thirties and dates only guys in their late-70’s? Daddy issues much? Plus, she takes on the old doodes’ personas, going to the library to use a computer, eating dinner at 4 PM, calling everyone “Sonny” — and my neighbor at the library doesn’t even see the player, so I know I missed out. Yet, this hitter is only owned in 30% of leagues, so he’s available somewhere, he must be! In the last week, Norichika Aoki is hitting .517. That’s not a misprint. In fact, it’s not even a print; it’s typed on a screen. Sure, he rivaled Nadir Bupkis for the least amount of fantasy value given between April and August, but he’s on fire now. I’d grab him in all leagues. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I wonder if Jake Smolinski had a sister that put out in high school. I could’ve swore I hooked up with an Eva Smolinski after her friend Dawn rejected me. Were my Cavariccis cuffed a little too high for you, Dawn? My B.U.M. Equipment sweatshirt too faded? I still hate you! Well, enough about me! *smacks self* Get a grip, man! Smolinski is hitting .408, and crushing pink cookies in a plastic bag since his call up, going 4-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI yesterday. The Rangers are like a prisoner with a life sentence (no offense to some of our readers; I believe you’re innocent!). Rangers have nothing but time on their hands to play their guys. Is Smolinski anything but a hot schmotato? God, no, but no one is this late in the year. I’d grab him if you need a hot bat, and who doesn’t? Dawn apparently! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m going to look right in your eye and say, “I don’t know where Jacob deGrom‘s coming from.” Don’t turn away from me. *turns your face by chin* Look at me. I don’t know everything. I’m sorry. I know that upsets you like finding out that Santa Claus is really just a drunk man in a costume. I apologize profusely if you didn’t know that about Santa too. It hurts me to ruin your naivete more than anything. Your child-like innocence is what originally drew me to you. Alas, we’ll find something else. Like deGrom, for instance, we can discover him together. In Triple-A, deGrom had a 6.8 K/9 this year, and 7.5 last year. Always had nice control, but he has a 9 K/9 in the majors. You don’t see guys often jump up a pedigree when they go from the minors to the majors. He’s always featured nice command, which is the key here. When a guy can command his pitches and then learns how to throw a new pitch that is special, he can use it effectively. So, what did he learn? Supposedly, Johan Santana gave him the secret sauce recipe for The Change. Another key is his velocity. This isn’t a guy who is adding a new pitch with 89 MPH velocity. He throws his fastball in the mid-90’s. Throw one pitch in the mid-90’s and another dropped in around 84 and you have a recipe for Ks. As was the case yesterday — 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 13 Ks — when the Marlins were like Farmer Ted striking out at deGrom. Still think he’s closer to a high-7/low-8 K-rate guy with a mid-3 ERA, but it’s still a lot better than I thought he was when he came up. Now let’s move past this lapse of judgment by me and try to enjoy ourselves. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
After Rafael Soriano once again looked like his apologetic alter ego, Sorry-yo, Matt Williams said the Nats won’t have a set closer. Let’s backtrack to August 18th, it was a day after the fourth time Soriano had given up runs in the matter of two weeks. At that point, I wrote there was a problem, and I grabbed Drew Storen. That was three weeks ago, and things haven’t gotten better. So, why was I able to spot there was a problem with Soriano three weeks prior to the Nationals manager, Matt Williams? Terrific question. There’s a few possible reasons A) Matt Williams’s Oakleys are worn to shield TV cameras from showing he’s actually asleep. B) Matt Williams can’t find steroids that make him smarter. C) There’s no C. D) In a secret meeting in Bud Selig’s wood-paneled basement in Milwaukee in 1999, Major League Baseball declared that every team must have at least one Mark McGwire. Matt Williams was elected to be Arizona’s Mark McGwire. (Sosa was elected to be the Cubs’ McGwire, which is why he bleached his skin.) The experiment to have a McGwire on every team was a success at first, but soon the players that were elected to be McGwire began to say, “I’m not here to talk about the past,” every time any question was asked. The biggest offender of this was Matt Williams, so, rather than risk being found out, MLB made him the Nats manager. Any of these reasons could be right, but it’s probably D. So, with Soriano in trouble, the Nats could go to Storen, Tyler Clippard or Matt Thornton. My guess is it’ll go in that order, and yesterday Storen got the clean save, helping his case. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Sorry, I ran out of “solar energy” puns and “Cirque du Soler” was already taken by Keith Law, so I went with Seinfeld. As I write this, I am stripped to the waist eating a block of cheese the size of a car battery. [Jay's Note: That's hot.] We need to mention Jorge Soler (+91%) one more time though. His 91% increase in ownership was by far the highest jump this week. It’s also the highest increase I’ve seen since I started writing this trash/treasure waiver wire column. Soler continued to make the game look easy on Monday. Batting fifth for the Cubs, the 22-year-old outfielder went 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored. He has an extra-base hit in each of his first five games.
It’s not like we didn’t see this coming. Soler was a big sign for the Cubs but injuries hindered his development at times. Earlier this season was a good buy-low opportunity in dynasty leagues actually, as Soler did not even appear in some mid-season Top 50 prospect lists. In Triple-A, Soler had a similar August as fellow Cubs prospect Kris Bryant. For the month Bryant hit .274/.435/.579 with 8 homers and 19 RBIs in 117 plate appearances, while Soler hit .276/.364/.598 with 6 homers and 24 RBIs in 99 plate appearances. They are both 22 years old. It’s scary to think what this lineup could do if all the parts click. You shouldn’t need me or anybody else to tell you to go out and add him. Here are this week’s other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball…Please, blog, may I have some more?