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 September, you screamed out “I love you, Chris Davis!” and now you don’t have baseball or a girlfriend, unless your girlfriend was Bill James. 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 2013. It’s important to look back before we look ahead to 2014. 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 2013 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’d say Alex Cobb was fantastic again last night, but I have to pay David Stern a nickel to use the word fantastic and money is tight, yo. If it wasn’t for the ball off his melon, The Tampa Bay Peach would’ve been a top 15 starter this year. I’m currently debating if Cobb is going to be in my top 15 for 2014 fantasy baseball. (What I mean by debating is I have three monkeys stand against a wall with signs that read, “Yay,” “Nay” and “Let Rudy decide.” Ling Ling, put down the sign until I ask the question. Ling Ling! Hard to find a well-trained monkey nowadays. His K-rate wasn’t otherworldly like I prefer my beefcake starters. It ended the year at 8.41 K/9. That is ace-ish, but not straight aces rollin’ through Compton flashing signs. His walk rate was 2.83. Again, it’s solid, I’d like to see better on that. Now his ERA ended up being 2.76, but his xFIP was 3.02. That’s not shabby at all. That’s right around Jose Fernandez, Chris Sale and Anibal Sanchez. Guys with seasons you would hump if a ‘season’ wasn’t an amorphous thing. For 2014, I think Cobb’s gonna be right around 15-20 overall for starters, which does mean Cobb is ready to emerge from the husk. Zadow! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
*sings Kelis song in head for five minutes before starting post* Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I can teach you, but I have to charge. Stupid brain! Denard Span has been hotter than something that’s hot in a situation that’s even hotter. I’m thinking he’s hotter than a stolen wallet that fell into the crack of the world’s fattest man. You can fill in a better allusion if you’d like. I’m empowering you, my prematurely balding men readers. Let’s go back to the beginning of the season, March Grey drafted Denard Span in his last draft of the year, an NL-Only league. I, Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario, was happy to get him, figured he could give me solid counting stats and 20-25 steals. Five months later, I was benching him for Eric Young, Garrett Jones, Reymond Fuentes, really anyone. Then Span decided to reach my projections in the final month. He’s hitting over .400 in September and has stolen more bases this month than all of August (yes, he only stole one base in August, so it’s not that spectacular of an achievement). If you’re struggling for runs, steals and average, I’d grab Span in every league. The only way he could get hotter is if the world’s fattest man farts. Allusion callback! Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Felix Hernandez was scratched from his Wednesday start with an oblique strain. Guys and four girl readers, you can’t be too precious with your guys. That whole credo “dance with the one who brought you” is real cavalier. You’re a real gentleman as you lounge about in sweat pants while your woman cooks you dinner. It’s honorable. Remind me to submit you to the Reader’s Digest Five Humans That Make A Difference contest. It’s also silly for fantasy baseball. Save your loyalty for your kids when they ask you, “Daddy, do you like me more than your automobile?” Or, “Daddy, how come you were hugging the mail lady for ten minutes with your hands on her butt?” Forget your loyalty for your starting pitchers (or hitters). Felix could throw this weekend to see if he can start again this year. If you’re strapped for space, I’d absolutely look elsewhere. What’s the worst thing that happens? You miss two starts from him? His last starts weren’t even great. You could find better starts off of waivers. Look at me having faith in you! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ah, yes, fall is in the air. *cues up Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer”* As the calendar turns to September, the days get shorter, my seersucker suit returns to its rightful place in the closet, the kids are lovingly shipped off to military school, every tattooed hipster barista in town attempts to sell me something that tastes of pumpkin (I just want coffee flavored coffee dammit) and the fantasy baseball playoffs are set to begin. Our fake baseball season is nearing its completion, its finale, the culmination of 22 weeks of jams and crams that have hopefully led you to the edge of the fantasy glory hole. No more Ike Davis wisecracks, no more Ryan Braun shrunken gonad jokes and no more contact with Heidi Watney per court order. 500 feet, phfffft! So, my dear Razzballin’ gurus, if you’re reading, you’re leading and sprinting to the finish line of this marathon known as the fantasy baseball season. Quick question? Is there a fantasy marathon league? No? Damn, I was going to draft Gebregziabher Gebremariam. Oh well, it’s time to win this baseball thing. Somehow it all feels anticlimactic. Even if we win, if we win, HAH! Even if we win, it just wouldn’t matter because all the really good looking girls would still go out with the guys from Mohawk because they’ve got all the money! Sorry, in an effort to be inspiring I went all Meatballs there for a moment. It’s time to jam it or cram it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
First off, Jose Iglesias is gone. The less intelligent Red Sox fan screams bloody murder like Schilling’s sock, “But Julio Iglesias was batting .400 after ten games about two weeks ago! His name’s Julio, right? RIGHT?!” The intelligent Sawx fan screams, “Does this mean Xander Bogaerts is coming up?!” The drunk Sawx fan screams, “We’re fine with this trade no mahder what ‘cuz Jackie Bradley Jr. wok’d three times in his first game! I need more Sammy A!” The Sawx fan who doesn’t play fantasy says, “Um, what about Jake Peavy?” The Sawx fan who does play fantasy says, “His value doesn’t change with this trade, maybe a few more wins.” The drunk Sawx fan butts in, “I’m going to the packie, you wahnt anything?” The less intelligent Red Sox fan says, “I’ll take a packie of Pahl Mahls.” Then the drunk Sawx fan shakes his head, “Yah more stoned than Robert Parrish.” Then Will Middlebrooks says, “Hey, I could get called up instead of Bogaerts.” Then all the Sawx fans in unison say, “Shaddup!” So, Iglesias goes to the Tigers, which is a solid landing spot for him. He’s known for his defense, which puts his fantasy value at slim to anorexic, unless you have a Web Gems category in your league. He’ll act as insurance for when the steroid hammer drops on Jhonny Peralta. Avisail Garcia goes to the White Sox, and he’s a light hitting corner outfielder who will probably take over once Rios is moved. Bogaerts or Middlebrooks will take over shortly (or third basely) and I stashed Bogaerts immediately when I heard this trade go down. Finally, Peavy is who he is as the Sawx fan pointed out above. He doesn’t have substantial innings in Fenway in his career, but that doesn’t matter because they would’ve been against the Sawx. He’s a terrific addition in real life for Boston, but he’s a 3.70-ish, 8+ K-rate starter for fantasy, which is around a fantasy number three. Jake Peavy will definitely do better than Jack Pervy, who Rudy and I went to school with in Boston. He used to hang out with someone we named Tim Wackfield and you can imagine how we mangled Keith Foulke’s name. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This post comes to you by the power of Greyskull! I have the power! The power of Greyskull dropped Justin Masterson earlier in the year after one bad start. I have a power outage! Then the power of Greyskull watched as the power of Rudyskull picked him up and has been reaping the rewards ever since, but the power of Rudyskull benched Masterson yesterday, so the power of Greyskull let out a small, fleeting smile. Yesterday, Masterson threw a complete game shutout. He’s been great all year with a 9+ K-rate. Yadda, yadda eff me. Just above him on the K-rate chart is a who’s who of the pitchers you want: F-Her, Sale, Samardzija, Miller, Harvey, Yu, Scherzer, etc. etc. etc. He also has one of the worst walk rates in that group (not bad overall, just in that group), which will hold Masterson out of the top tier of pitchers this year, but will make him ownable in all leagues and why the power of Greyskull failed me. I wonder if Skeletor is hiring. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Indians had themselves a good ol’ fashioned hometown community pow-wow in Chicago yesterday, scoring 29 runs off 33 hits in Friday’s double header. The Tribe tallied 19 runs in the first half of the double header, with eight different Indians having multi-hit games including 3-hit games from Asdrubal Cabrera, Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles. And as if the ChiSox weren’t having a bad enough night, the Injians managed to rally to score four runs in the ninth to win with a walk off home run by Nick Swisher in the second game. Jason Kipnis was the real hero going 4-for-7 with four runs, four RBI, four BB and his 18th stolen base. Kip’s got a .473 OBP in the past month, which is definitely worthy of a rain dance. Anyway, this is the second time Cleveland had scored 19 runs in a game this season, and they move within two games of first place in the AL Central. Rough night for ChiSox fans, but hey, Jeff Keppinger (6-for-8, 2 runs, HR, 4 RBI) had a great day, right? Right!? I’m making it worse aren’t I? I better take some happy pills quick before the world starts getting dark.
Sigh, well, here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
K:BB. Mmmm can’t think of a sexier group of three letters. Double D’s are nice but that’s only two letters. JB is only two letters. So if you have to go to three letters, I’ll take K:BB.
A guy I’ve liked for a while now, Corey Kluber came into yesterday’s matchup against the Nationals with a sparkling 57:12 K:BB ratio so far this season. Don’t believe me that he’s been my man crush the past month? Look at phone records to Sky or my friend Peter. Just ask the NSA, they’ve got them saved somewhere… Kluber has been around a while, pitching in the Minors since 2006 with consistent strikeout numbers, but other than that never has put it completely together. Now 27 years old, Kluber is suddenly owning MLB offenses.
As soon as I saw Kluber’s numbers last month before he was the talk of the town, I went and looked at his pitch selection. He’s completely changed his arsenal from a slider as his main breaking offering into tossing a cutter as his second pitch. Does that remind you of any other Cleveland Indian who had late(r) career success? Reminds me of Cliff Lee! Ok so I’m not saying Kluber is the next Cliff Lee, they’re very different pitchers, but it is interesting.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Julio Teheran held the Pirates to one hit yesterday with 11 Ks in 8 innings, lowering his ERA to 3.30, making Teheran victorious vs. the Pirates. Which sounds like it was a battle of hostage takers. “You give us Wandy’s forearm!” “Okay, you give us Uggla’s Ed Hardy-clad booty.” “Um…What?” “You heard me, those jeans are hot on the black market.” “So, you just want the jeans or his actual booty?” “Enough questions, infidel!” Only these weren’t like Somalian Pirates, they were more like The Pirates of Penzance. Zing, high-five self! As Obama and New Jersey work tirelessly to restore Beachy to its former glory of cigarette-scented arcades, frozen custard and teased-out hair, Teheran is making the Braves job difficult for what happens when Beachy returns. Do you think the Braves bump Teheran? Maholm? Hudson? I got a question broken up into three parts, y’all! Maybe Maholm will get hurt. He did, after all, throw, like, 17,000 sliders last year. Well, time will tell unless the Mayans stop the planet abruptly. I’d obviously hold Teheran until the situation resolves itself. I.e., I’d take Teheran hostage. Zadow, fist pump self! Anyway, here’s what else happened yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?