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The royal we already went over all the hitters for 2016 fantasy baseball rankings.  That’s not the “royal we” as that term usually implies.  It was me writing it alone while wearing a Burger King crown.  I refuse to draft a top starter where they are usually drafted.  Unlike hitters, you need six starters, depending on your league depth.  Simple math tells us there’s plenty of starters to go around.  Simple Math also says, “Stop putting words in my mouth!”  In most leagues, there’s a ton of pitchers on waivers that can help you — all year.  Not just in April, and then they disappear.  With the help of the Stream-o-Nator, you can get by with, say, three starters while streaming the rest.  To read more about streaming as a draft strategy.  There’s also the fact that three stats by starters are difficult to predict due to luck.  Wins, ERA and WHIP are prone to shift due to which way the ball bounces and whether or not the guys behind the pitchers can score runs.  Finally, the best starters can give you four categories.  The best hitters can give you five categories.  As always, where I see tiers starting and stopping are included and my projections.  Also, Rudy’s released his Steamer Projections with auction values.  Here’s the Steamer Hitter Projections, the Steamer Pitcher Projections and the fantasy baseball auction values for every conceivable league.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball:

1. Clayton Kershaw – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until deGrom.  I call this tier, “Security blankets are for bouncers who are chilly.”  This is a refresher for noobs, which I believe is spelled with two zeroes.  I’ve gone over this before, but it bears repeating like a hairy gay man from San Francisco who stutters.  If you own Kershaw or any of the guys in this tier, you’re drafting scared.  You’re scared to go into the season without a number one starter.  You’re afraid that if you don’t have an ace you’ll never find a starter off waivers or your later picks won’t pan out.  You’re chicken, as Biff would say, because there’s more pitchers than Michael J. Fox can shake a stick at.  The only people that draft a top starter want a security blanket.  They want to feel like they’re pitching staff is safe.  They want to feel nuzzled like a bug in an alpaca rug.  If you would’ve owned Marco Estrada, Jaime Garcia, Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, Edinson Volquez and Erasmo Ramirez last year, your ERA would’ve been 3.36 in 1036 1/3 IP.  Sure, I’m cherrypicking guys from last year…Just like you could’ve cherrypicked any of them off waivers in your league.  In some leagues, you could do fine not drafting ANY starters.  Yes, I brought out the caps.  I’m not only talking about H2H leagues where you can carry only relievers.  I’m talking 10 or 12-team roto leagues where you can stream starters.  Maybe you own one starter and stream five spots.  Maybe you own two guys and stream four spots.  Maybe you drink seven cups of coffee and stream all day.  Last year, I finished in the top ten out of 1200 RCL teams and I owned only three starters all year:  Gerrit, Archer and Carrasco, while collecting 41 out of a possible 48 starting pitcher points.  You might be saying to yourself, “Well, those are great starters.”  True, but I didn’t draft a starter before 70th overall in that league.  So, yes, those were great starters, but you can get great starters after everyone else is drafting them.  Even if you want to draft an entire rotation and hold them (or try to), you don’t need a guy from this tier.  There’s plenty of options later to fill out your rotation so you’re competitive in leagues where you can’t stream.  I’m not suggesting you Reggie Roby starters.  I’m telling you to Reggie Roby top starters.  Concentrate on your hitting while these guys are being drafted.  As for Kershaw, I went over him in the top 20 for 2016 fantasy baseball.

2. Jake Arrieta – I owned Arrieta last year and it was glorious.  Like off the chain, and good ‘off the chain’ not bad ‘off the chain’ like when your bestie removes your half of the friendship heart charm.  Last year was the year to own Arrieta.  Don’t worry, there will be Arrieta-types to own this year.  I think a lot of times people get concerned that they missed last year’s breakout and there won’t be breakouts this year.  There will be.  I’m going to repeat that for emphasis, there will be breakouts this year.  There’s always breakouts.  I tell you who to draft every year, and I don’t ever tell you you (stutterer!) need a top starter.  I think some people reading this might think the RCLs, due to being 12-team leagues, are easier to find streamers.  That’s true, they are easier than, say, 14-team leagues.  But let’s look at a 14-team league and my pitching in that league last year.  In a 14-team league with Funston, Behrens, Pianowski and some Rotoworld guys, I didn’t draft a starter until the 66th overall pick, that guy was Gerrit Cole (see a theme?), then I grabbed Arrieta with the 94th pick, then Carrasco with the 122nd pick.  Any ideas if my pitching did well?  I got 51 points out of a possible 56 points.  In a 15-team league called Tout Wars, I zigged where I usually zag and drafted Strasburg in the 2nd round.  How’d that turn out?  Well, I drafted Arrieta in the 7th round, Salazar in the 10th and C. Martinez in the 18th round and it led to me getting 55 points out of a possible 60 points.  I’m moving to douchey one word sentences for emphasis.  You.  Do.  Not.  Need.  A.  Number.  One.  Starter.  2016 Projections:  17-8/2.38/0.96/224 in 220 IP

3. Chris Sale – I have a feeling next year around this time we’re going to be saying, “Of course, Kanye and Kim are getting a divorce, but I never would’ve guessed Kanye and Caitlyn are hooking up.”  Oh, in relation to starting pitchers, next year we’re gonna be saying, “Sale is better than Kershaw.”  Hopefully we’re a bit pithier when we say it.  Otherwise, what a snooze, Future Grey!  Sale has been biding his time as the third to fifth best starter in the game while being as unlucky as a seat cushion under Tom Arnold after a bowl of chili.  Last year, he had the best K-rate in the majors and threw almost a full mile per hour faster than previous years.  It feels like he’s been around a while, but he’s only going to be 27.  Want a guy that could have a sub-1 ERA going into July?  Here ya go.  Shame we won’t be drafting him.  2016 Projections:  17-6/2.49/0.99/245 in 205 IP

4. Max Scherzer – He turned 31 this past season and his velocity went up almost two miles per hour in his first year in the NL.  Explanation:  he didn’t have to face all of those garbage DHs.  Scherzer will once again be dominant and this year he might finally get to 300 Ks in a season.  Of course, that’ll be made easier when Dusty throws him for 300 innings.  “Your arm’s future will be as bleak as the characters in Anomalisa.”  That’s Dusty Baker talking to Scherzer while they are in an arthouse theater.  2016 Projections: 16-8/2.65/0.98/258 in 220 IP

5. Jacob deGrom – Is he better than his teammates, Harvey and Syndergaard?  Totes McTotes, which sounds like I’m talking to my umbrella.  How much better is where things get interesting.  How interesting is a question for another day.  DeGrom’s K-rate was better than Harvey, but less than Syndergaard; deGrom’s xFIP was better than Harvey and about equal to Syndergaard (2.92 to 2.91); deGrom’s walk rate was 1.79 vs. 1.86 for Syndergaard and 1.76 for Harvey; deGrom throws the slowest at 95 MPH on his fastball, but that is not slow; it’s actually top ten in the majors for pitchers with at least 150 IP; this is the 3rd longest sentence in the world, and the first two were written after the Gutenberg typewriter was first invented, but before someone invented punctuation.  I feel bad for those of you who have Siri speak these posts; she’s probably out of breath after that last sentence.  So, after that data purge, why deGrom above Harvey?  I think that’s obvious.  Besides velocity and walk rate, deGrom is better than Harvey, and I’d take the guy who was better in xFIP and K-rate every day of the week and twice on Muesday, a magical day between Monday and Tuesday that was discovered by Scientologists.  Why deGrom over Syndergaard is a trickier question.  I don’t believe deGrom is better, I think he’s just safer.  That’s why I’m putting deGrom in a tier I’m not drafting and Syndergaard in a tier I want.  2016 Projections:  17-7/2.61/0.97/217 in 210 IP

6. Matt Harvey – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Bumgarner.  I call this tier, “I ain’t mad at cha, I ain’t mad for you either.”  This is the 2nd tier I’m not drafting.  So, why not just rank them with the tier above, you ask with those inquisitive eyes of yours.  Because I don’t believe this tier of pitchers is as good as the above tier and I felt I needed to separate them.  As for Harvey, this post is going on 30,000 words so just see my deGrom blurb for Harvey info.  Only thing I’ll add is with one year removed from Tommy John I wouldn’t be surprised if Harvey’s better than last year, not worse.  Assuming the Mets pushing him about 50 IP too far last year doesn’t have any repercussions.  By the way, those are not what a goth chick decorates with, those are Reaper cushions.  2016 Projections: 15-9/2.86/1.06/206 in 200 IP

7. David Price – Here’s what I said this offseason, “The Red Sox signed David Price to a seven-year deal for $217 million.  MFW I heard.  I get that half goes to the government, and ten percent goes to his lawyer, and ten percent goes to his agent, and ten percent goes to his business manager, and ten percent goes to his accountant, and ten percent goes to the guy in his business manager’s office that is pretending to be his business manager and moving money straight to a bank account in Turks and Caicos without anyone knowing, but $217 million is ludicrous.  The Ghost of Curt Flood says, “Ya’ll abusing the crack baby out free agency.”  The ‘crack baby’ modifier is popular amongst ghosts.  The Ghost of Marion Barry started it.  This contract makes me long for the days of collusion.  This doesn’t even take into account how stupid it is from the Red Sox perspective, and I don’t mean just due to Price’s unstellar (Made Up Word of the Day!) playoff history.  There will never be a contract where this much money ever makes sense.  Look at your World Champion Royals, they don’t have one guy making more than ten million.  Look at the past handful of huge contracts, have any of them looked good in hindsight?  By the third year, this will look as egregious as the contracts given to Sabathia, A-Rod, Cano, Ryan Howard…Okay, nothing will look as bad as Ryan Howard’s.  It’s not like contracts are secret either.  It’s not as if the Red Sox are sitting there scratching their heads wondering how much the Royals are paying Hosmer.  Big contracts get you nowhere!  I said that last sentence while pounding my fist on a lectern as a few kids dozed in the front row.  As for Price, he’ll turn 31 years old during the 2016 season, which is not exactly when pitchers get better, but he looks like he could stave off decline for a year or two.  Last year, his fastball velocity went up from 2014, his K-rate was above his career average and his walk rate was within sneezing distance of his career mark.  He was a tad lucky on homers, LOB% and BABIP, but he appears to be 2.70-3.20 ERA pitcher with neutral luck.  Of course, I wouldn’t draft him since I don’t buy number one fantasy aces, but I doubt Fenway or the AL East really hurt him that much.  At least not until the third year of his deal when there will be 217 million reasons why the Red Sox want to unload him.”  And that’s me quoting me!  2016 Projections: 17-7/3.03/1.10/225 in 220 IP

8. Madison Bumgarner – I realize that I can’t say every year that Bumgarner is going to break down due to innings, then eventually take credit for predicting it when he finally does after being wrong about him breaking down for three straight years.  That doesn’t exclude me from using that as rational for avoiding him.  Shoot (not you, deranged white person!), if Bumgarner was regularly being underdrafted, I might even draft him myself, because his numbers don’t scream that the end is nigh.  By the by, if you ever go in the nude hosiery business, you should call them, Nigh High.  I won’t be manufacturing pantyhose any time soon, so you can have the name.  2016 Projections:  17-9/2.95/1.03/216 in 215 IP

9. Gerrit Cole – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here to Strasburg.  I call this tier, “I have illusions of drafting these guys, maybe they’re delusions, or is it allusions?”  I’m writing this post in January, and I don’t know where most are ranking or drafting anyone.  If Cole is ranked and drafted as a top three starter off the board, then, so be it, I won’t own him.  I’ll own Strasburg or Syndergaard or I none of them and someone in another tier.  There’s too many starters to worry about whether or not you can draft one specific starter.  This is a tier I’d love to draft, but I won’t be drafting a starter before the 50th starter off the board, so if they don’t fit the bill then we’ll move on to one of dozens of other starters.  At some point soon, I will post a separate article with a tool on how to draft starters.  Hehe, I said tool.  As for Cole, last preseason I said he’d break out and he just had a year with a 2.60 ERA and 200 Ks, so this year I say, told ya so.  I’m just banking on no one else realizing Cole’s already broke out.  Or, I guess in regards to a Pirate, I’m just PNC’ing on no one else realizing.  2016 Projections:  15-9/2.78/1.06/217 in 215 IP

10. Jose Fernandez – From early ADP reports I’ve seen, I don’t have a legitimate chance to own Jo-Fer.  Jo figure!  That’s a bummer because he is tantalizingly delicious, and if he falls to around 50 overall in drafts, then I’m gonna be on that faster than you can say, “Mom, did you throw out my lucky underwear?!”  Last year, Jo-Fer returned with a 11 K/9 and 2.62 xFIP.  In other words, RRRRAOWR, RRRRAOW like a dungeon dragon.  In other other words, is that a baculum in your pants or did you just read Jo-Fer’s numbers?  Talk about not missing a step after missing a year.  Yes, that was what you were talking about, your point?  Shut up, Random Italicized Voice.  Jo-Fer will likely be ranked as the 1st, 2nd or 3rd pitcher overall next year.  Like fo’reals.  2016 Projections:  13-5/2.44/1.01/210 in 180 IP

11. Noah Syndergaard – Do I really have a chance of drafting Syndergaard this late?  Let’s do some quick math.  Yup, I have a chance!  What, you never said I had to show my math.  Okay, I love him.  I love Syndergaard for the man he wants to be and the man he is.  I love him!  He had me at hello.  He completes me.  His brain weighs nine pounds.  She’s got a Syndergaarden.  Okay, now I’m just mashing up Jerry Maguire with that terrible Springsteen song.  Sorry, Jersey, there are bad Springsteen songs.  On a related note, was there any good music made by white people in the 90s?  So, I mostly went over Syndergaard in the deGrom blurb.  I’ll only add here that Syndergaard could easily be a top five pitcher this year.  Only concern I have is whether he can get 190+ IP.  2016 Projections:  15-6/2.88/1.07/208 Ks in 185 IP

12. Stephen Strasburg – Sometimes I get so burnt by a guy I don’t want to ever hear his name again.  When watching Narcos and hearing someone say Pablo, I’ll think Sandoval and throw something at my TV.  Other times, I’ll get burnt and line up for some more burning like a person with an unshaven pubis region at Burning Man.  Strasburg falls into the latter category.  And I don’t mean he looks like Don Johnson in The Harrad Experiment from the waist down, or do I mean that?  I’ve painted myself into a corner where on one side I want to own a man in fantasy and on the other side I’m talking about unshaven pubis.  It’s almost due to Strasburg burning me last year that I want him more.  That’s not it though.  (At least that’s what I tell my fantasy shrink, which is actually just a Mr. Potato Head.)  Here’s what I said after his final start of the year, “From June 1st on, he was hit by random injury after random injury, but when he was on the mound, his ERA was 1.76.  One more time with some stank, in 82 innings from June 1st on, his ERA was 1.76.”  And that’s me copying and pasting me!  Strasburg screwed over last year’s owners with one bad month in May, don’t let that stop you from grabbing him this year.  2016 Projections: 14-9/2.89/1.08/231 in 205 IP

13. Carlos Carrasco – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Salazar.  I call this tier, “Okay, you need to draft a starter at some point prolly, but if you’re looking at me to force you to draft a starter, you’re looking at the wrong guy.”  This tier could’ve also been named, “These guys were great last year, not totally sure why no one realizes it, or maybe they do realize it and I’m being daft.”  Grey being daft is actually always a possibility.  “Did he tell us to draft Gyorko three years in a row?”  “Grey being daft.”  “Did he really rank F-Her all the way down there?”  “Daft.” “Did he really use hydrogen peroxide after he shaved?”  “Dafter shave.”  This is something I see just about every year.  Players (hitters too) break out and no one drafts them like they should.  Instead, people will either draft guys they know — F-Her — or guys that just had a career year — Keuchel.  I think there’s a certain element to drafting that people don’t want to look stupid.  You’re in a draft with your friends, or at least people you pretend to like, and it’s your turn to draft.  You then draft F-Her in front of Carrasco because you’re afraid of being mocked by people not as smart as yourself.  I don’t know, it’s a working theory.  As for Carrasco, there’s few categories you can point to where he didn’t excel except 1st inning runs allowed and ERA.  We all know ERA only gets you so far and 1st inning runs aren’t a reason to not draft someone.  His ERA last year from the 2nd inning on was 3.03.  If he corrects his 1st inning problems, he could be a top five starter, and, even if he doesn’t, last year he was the 14th best starter in fantasy.  In other words, he was already terrific!  2016 Projections:  14-8/3.09/1.04/223 in 202 IP

14. Chris Archer – I was perusing wins above average on pitches to see what was the most effective pitch in the major leagues and you know what it is?  Hint it’s a slider and it’s Chris Archer’s.  Okay, that was less of a hint and more of a I just didn’t feel like waiting for you to guess.  I got no patience and I hate waiting!  Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, big pimpin’.  Kershaw had 24.4 wins above average with his fastball, F-Her was top with curveball at 19.8 (Kershaw was close second with 17.2), Greinke was top with a change at 20.9, then Archer’s slider was 25.4.  Hitters hit .186 against his slider.  His Swinging Strike rate with the slider was 20.4%.  The top two in baseball for Swinging Strike rate were Kershaw and Scherzer with 15.9% and 15.3% respectively.  To go with this unhittable pitch, Archer has a 95 MPH fastball.  This is a long way of saying woo-hoo.  Or a short way to say woo-hoo with four hundred O’s after the W and H.  2016 Projections:  12-10/3.02/1.12/238 in 204 IP

15. Corey Kluber – I think it’s safe to say you likely won’t be battling with many of Kluber’s 2015 owners to get him this year.  Unless they have the same Burning Man love for him like I have for Strasburg.  Kluber cut his walks from his Cy Young year to last year, but lost some on his fastball and his K-rate, but, honestly, interjection, he had some room to spare on those.  His xFIP last year was 3.05, good for 12th in the majors between Bumgarner and Lester.  He also had the 7th best K-rate.  Okay, sorry he screwed some of you last year, but your loss is our gain.  Did you just subconsciously touch your Rogaine?  You did, didn’t you?  2016 Projections:  14-10/3.18/1.08/235 in 217 IP

16. Danny Salazar – Pound for pound, the Indians have the best AL pitching staff.  At some point, this will become common knowledge.  On a real baseball note, I’d be furious if I were an Indians fan and my team’s best offseason moves were signing Napoli and Rajai.  They have Kluber, Carrasco and Salazar and they’re going into the season with Giovanny Urshela at 3rd base?  The Indians should be ashamed of themselves.  Notice how I didn’t say the Indians should be red-faced.  Any hoo!  Salazar is right there with Carrasco, Archer and everyone else in this tier, he wasn’t bad last year.  In fact (Grey’s got more!), he was really good.  Last year, Salazar cut his walks from 2.86 to 2.58.  If he can move that number to 2.1 or lower, he’ll be a top five starter.  Even if he doesn’t, he’s more than worthy of being drafted here.  2016 Projections:  13-11/3.12/1.10/216 in 200 IP

17. Dallas Keuchel – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until F-Her.  I call this tier, “You guys had a good run, which is the only exercise you had last year.”  By the tier name, I mean I’m not drafting these guys, and likely won’t even be presented with the opportunity since they should be gone way before this.  As for Keuchel, this is funny (not funny at all), I looked at Keuchel’s numbers and started digging in to figure out how he did what he did last year, and if he can do it again and I ended totally puzzled.  Then I looked at what I said last October in my recap and I said, “Strikeouts are the easiest to predict.  They stabilize relatively quickly and don’t usually change a ton, especially not for a guy who tops out at 89 MPH (like Keuchel).  Taking a look at Keuchel’s numbers to figure out where the extra Ks came from, still leaves me a bit baffled, but watching me be confused is fun, so here goes.  His cutter usage went up a little and change went down a little, which led to better numbers for both of them.  He tends to throw those more against righties because they work better against them.  Then against lefties, he’s unhittable with a slider and sinker.  What does this mean? He learned how to be more effective using his arsenal.”  And that’s puzzled me quoting baffled me!  I need a nap!  A guy that gets ground balls at a 62% rate like Keuchel and strikes out 8+ batters is a top five pitcher.  The ground balls I believe, I don’t buy the Ks, and likely won’t ever with a 89 MPH fastball.  For qualified pitchers last year, that was the 12th slowest fastball.  He feels a little to me like when R.A. Dickey won the Cy Young.  Dickey was a bit more out of the blue (balls), and Keuchel has two years in a row with a sub-3 ERA, but a sub-3 ERA with 170 Ks isn’t nearly as interesting as 200+ Ks.  What I believe is happening is his Ks are a function of his control.  He knows how to pitch.  Knowing how to pitch is less interesting to me than a guy that can just blow hitters away.  I’m not writing him off, but I’m also not writing him on!  Okay, that sounded better in my head.  2016 Projections: 15-10/2.98/1.15/172 in 215 IP

18. Zack Greinke – Here’s what I said this offseason, “You know, this signing of Zack Greinke with the Diamondbacks isn’t much of a surprise since Greinke is so intellectually driven and Phoenix is on the cutting edge of cyber-learning.  Did you know 1 out of 24 graduates from the University of Phoenix go on to make six figures?  Of course, 1 out of 24 graduates from the University of Phoenix are chosen to be in their commercials and paid $100,000.  That gives me an idea, we should start a college and charge students $200,000 for a 4-year degree, then hire every graduate for $24,000/year.  Shoot, every college and company are already working this scheme.  Any hoo!  Zack Greinke goes to the Diamondbacks and takes a hit in his value or will take multiple hits on his value.  Don’t think the Dodgers are really that much better offensively than the D-Backs.  Actually, they’re worse.  So, it’s not a hit due to chance for wins.  It’s a hit due to home stadium change.  Arizona’s decidedly a hitters’ park and the Casa de Doyers is not.  Arizona is around top five for hitting, whereas Dodger Stadium is around bottom five.  Things sway yearly, but Chase Field has had years in the top two for offense, only sniffing Coors’ butt.  Mean’s while, Dodger Stadium has had years in the bottom three for all offense, only staying in front of Safeco and Petco.  I doubt Greinke falls back to a 4+ ERA pitcher he was his last year on the Royals, but he was a 3.83 ERA pitcher in another hitting-friendly park in Milwaukee, and that’s not so good.   Oh, and Greinke is 32 years old.  Yeah, you don’t need a degree from the University of Phoenix to know this deal could go sideways real fast.”  And that’s me–Well, you know.  2016 Projections:  15-8/3.54/1.16/194 in 210 IP

19. Felix Hernandez – F-Her has been a number one starter and ranked in the top 10 for starters as long as Razzball has been around.  That was *covers mouth so you can’t hear the number* years ago.  If I didn’t cover my mouth at the worst possible time, you would’ve heard a big number.  I’m been Grey’ing your skies blue since you can remember, which is alternate lyrics for Jeff Tweedy’s next song.  I made you wish your ears were cauliflowered like Bob Backlund from my cackle and made you want to plastic surgeon your eyes wider to see my ‘stache.  Okay, this is sounding like a eulogy.  Well, I guess it is for Felix.  His K-rate dropped to 8.5 (almost a full K per nine), his velocity dropped to 91.8, he’s overly reliant on his curve, he’s turning 30 this year and his xFIP was its worst in six years.  Time is not on Felix’s side and neither am I.  2016 Projections:  14-10/3.43/1.16/190 in 204 IP

20. Tyson Ross – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until top 40 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball.  I call this tier, “Fetty Wap.”  By the tier name, I mean that like Fetty Wap all of these pitchers have one good eye on the future and one good eye into a void of nothingness.  If your first starter is from here, you don’t want no sauce, no A1.  These pitchers are not as easy to live with as your first pitcher as the guys in the Gerrit Cole and Carrasco tiers.  Like I’ve said a million times in this post, I’m punting top starters, but I’m not saying to punt starters completely.  If you’re at this point in the draft and don’t have a number one, then you need to draft one of these guys.  Hopefully they provide at least 200 IP, close to 200 Ks and not too many headaches.  I’d prefer to have a starter like Strasburg and skip this tier completely and get another starter in the top 40, but that’s not always an option.  At a later date, I will explain exactly how to draft a six-man rotation.  As for Ross, he was like an ambassador at the Ministry of Silly Walks last year, bumping from 3.3 BB/9 in 2014 to 3.9 last year.  Keep going like that and the only one that can save him will be Ray Searage and a team of astronauts, because, as everyone knows, a team of astronauts never hurt in any circumstance.  Fortch, Ross’s Ks also went up last year to almost 10 K/9, he pitches in Petco and he’ll give you around 200 IP, so I’ll give him a grant for some silly walks.  2016 Projections:  11-12/3.09/1.26/209 in 200 IP

 
  1. Chris says:
    (link)

    Good Day Grey!!

    Looking forward to much fun and frivolity here at Razzball again this season.

    I’m in a Yahoo 12 team keepr 6×6 with OPS and KK/B as the extra cats.

    We keep 10 players each season at no cost and this team won the title for me last year.

    Bats:
    C.Davis
    Hosmer
    Duda
    K.Davis
    C.Santana
    Cron
    Piscotty
    Solarte
    Valencia
    Canha
    Ozuna
    E.Escobar
    Gyorko
    Shaw
    Profar

    Arms:
    Kluber
    Cole
    Syndergaard
    Lester
    Carrasco
    Pineda
    Familia
    Ramos
    Jepsen
    Capps
    Elias
    Ray
    Burdi
    Robles

    Anyway I know my batting needs a lot of work and I think it was the same story last year but with that pitching corp and 4 of your predicted top 20 starters for this season, I was able to make it work therefore I was thinking of hanging onto:

    C.Davis
    Duda
    Hosmer
    K.Davis
    Lester
    Carrasco
    Kluber
    Cole
    Syndergaard
    Familia

    What do you reckon? What’s the story with Profar as I was entertaining the thought of hanging onto him?

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Chris: Piscotty over Lester

  2. Robert says:
    (link)

    Ok I’ll bite, I’m huge Cub fan have Arrieta ranked 4 behind Schzerzer and Sale. I would love to own Sale one year but know cost is too high. I only rank Arrieta behind the other two for strikeout rate, experience. I love all 3 Indians pitchers wouldn’t mind owning them all, the defense should be better this year. The Mets pitchers of course get the hype and Synderggard also my favorite hopefully great value or he falls in drafts. I’m kind of surprised Jon Lester isn’t before Tyson Ross. I don’t like Ross’s walk rate at all, so think 20 is too high.,
    I still have guys talking in my league about Zach Greinke like he’s a top 5 starter, I agree way overvalued. Unfortunately people are unto Felix Hernandez, but he probably will still be drafted in top 10. I’m also hoping Chris Archer falls he is a stud, last couple of starts hurt his era last year so many don’t see ace. I owned Strasburg last year (got in a trade) can’t say want to own him again but all depends on value. I see Keuchal going high in drafts, again another guy overvalued.
    Sorry for ranbling on the point I’m making is starting pitching is mainly judged by perceived value. Carrasco is being drafted usually 15th off board but he could easily be top 5. Thaks again great work.

    • Fungazi says:
      (link)

      @Robert: I would rather have Joe Ross than Tyson Ross.

      • FKA Ralph says:
        (link)

        @Fungazi: you’d have to predict a huge step forward in Ks for that to make sense. Joe Ross put up a boring 8 k/9 last year, and steamer projects 7.5 for 2016. That hurts a lot, especially in leagues where there is an IP cap or you use k/9. Joe Ross’s WHIP was great, but not supported by his 2.5 BB/9. Again, Steamer projects his BB/9 will rise and his WHIP will shoot up to 1.29. So a 7.5 k/9 guy with a 1.29 WHIP over a 10 k/9 guy with a similar WHIP? Nah

        • Fungazi says:
          (link)

          @FKA Ralph: I’d rather take a shot on a guy that may or may not have the same WHIP & ERA, will get more wins, and just slightly less K’s with my last pick than know that’s what I’m getting with my #2 SP.

          • Shill Team 6 says:
            (link)

            I think you’ll lose more than a few K’s.

            • What's a Drexl? says:
              (link)

              @Shill Team 6: is tyson ross really that asured of having a 1.29 whip now?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Robert: Yeah, I hear ya, thanks!

  3. Zeus says:
    (link)

    Loved this column while listening to Punks Jump up To Get Beat Down, Paper Planes and Sunshine of Your Love. Damn alcohol prevents speed reading. I still laughed and cried. Cheers

    • Zeus says:
      (link)

      @Zeus: By the way the greatest Don Johnson movie was the Hot Spot if only because we got to see Jennifer Connelly’s breasts during the season with her highest WAR

      • Grey

        Grey says:
        (link)

        @Zeus: Thanks for the tip!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Zeus: Thanks!

  4. Ante GALIC says:
    (link)

    Grey!!

    Finally, the Holy Grail, or is that the Holy Grey! Foiled again! You win every time, Grey.

    Such a great effort on the article. Thanks a billion.

    So question(s)…At what pick would each of the tiers be good value to select?

    1. From Kershaw to DeGrom

    Latest Pick…

    2. From Harvey to Bumgarner

    Latest Pick…

    3. From Cole to Stras

    Latest Pick…

    4. From Carrasco to Salazar

    Latest Pick…

    5. From Keuchel to F-Her

    Latest Pick…

    Thanks,
    Ante

    • Ante GALIC says:
      (link)

      @Ante GALIC: Sorry, forgot to mention that would be in a H2H mixed points league.

      Cheers,
      Ante

      • james says:
        (link)

        @Ante GALIC:

        you may have to wait until the final top 400 rankings (where everyone is ranked together). You can look at the top 20 for kershaw, and last years ranks will give you a general idea where he starts to grab SP (normally teir 2-3 in the 8th and 9th rounds)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Ante GALIC: I’ll put up the pitcher pairing tool shortly and that’ll help… There’s no latest pick

      • Ante GALIC says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Grey!

        Thanks for the message. Have signed up for a 4 drafts (re-draft, H2H, mixed, points) but all in late March and latest April 1 (no foolin’).

        I know I’m late to the party, but just started watching this…(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4299972/). Looks pretty good so far.

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          The Jinx is great! You’re gonna love it

  5. Otto Von Bismark says:
    (link)

    Pretty surprised to see Ross so high. Love the K/9 and IP but he was a sore spot on my WHIP all year. Would you keep him over McCullers in a keep-forever league with QS? I know you luh you some McCuddler. Thanks!

  6. scott steelers says:
    (link)

    Very skeptical on Sano after yesterdays article. Would you keep salazar 11th rd in place of Sano 11th rd?

  7. the swinging says:
    (link)

    U sure u couldn’t find room for Matz in there? Lol. The Mets rotation is best I can remeber in a while. Hope the Mets let Noah get really loose.

    • Cram It says:
      (link)

      @the swinging: Shhhh. I’d rather he not be so people are blinded by the Harvey/Jacob/Noah glow.

    • james says:
      (link)

      @the swinging:

      Super rotations always have struggles randomly. Gio was the big guy for the Nats super rotation last year (Actually all 3 of their big arms struggled, but Gio was the only what became a FA fodder guy).

      The 2010 Phillies Hamels reverted back to a 3.67era… and Oswalt was hurt a good chunk of the year.

      My person thought is that a #4 starter is likely to pitch like a #4 starter once they realize they do not have to be as amazing to get wins.

      • What's a Drexl? says:
        (link)

        @james: i’d love to hear this one, so those other years of pitchers have to do with this year’s NYM pitchers why exactly?

  8. JohnnyBeGood says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey, happy new year!! Need some advice on my keepers. Need to choose only 3 out of these following (5×5 Roto):

    – Arrieta in 4th round
    – Stroman in 8th
    – Familia in 10th
    – C Seager in 10th
    – B Hamilton in 16th
    – Hosmer in 17th
    – Darvish in 18th
    – Granderson in 21st

    Thx!!

    • JeF WiTh 1 F says:
      (link)

      @JohnnyBeGood: Arrieta, Stroman, Seager

      • JohnnyBeGood says:
        (link)

        @JeF WiTh 1 F: ! U guys at Razzball are all pretty consistent …you, Mike & JeF all agreed on same 2 of Arrieta & Seager…but 3rd choice was all different. Hamilton , Hosmer & Stroman…all pretty close? If 10 msn league, go with a batter?? Thx guys!!

      • JohnnyBeGood says:
        (link)

        @Grey: thanks! U guys at Razzball are all pretty consistent …you, Mike & JeF all agreed on same 2 of Arrieta & Seager…but 3rd choice was all different. Hamilton , Hosmer & Stroman…all pretty close? If 10 msn league, go with a batter?? Thx guys!!

  9. Malicous Phenom says:
    (link)

    Interesting choice at # 20, not sure how many wins dude can get with a very bad Padres team..But, hey it’s YOUR top 20, call em as YOU see em..

    • james says:
      (link)

      @Malicous Phenom:

      Wins is so hard to predict… Shelby Miller had ace periferals last year and got no wins, McHugh got 19 wins on a solid hitting but not amazing Stros team with a 3.89 era, Colby Lewis won 17 witha 4.66 era… King Felix got 18 wins with a meh ERA and a terrible offense.

      I would just ignore wins potential here and just look at the great ERA, great Ks, and realize at 20 you are gambling on a whip (1.31 last year) and wins.

  10. nightpandas says:
    (link)

    What’s up Grey, your Canadian buddy hung over in Atlanta…..got a couple of offers

    Bautista Degrom Kimbrel for Rizzo Cueto

    Bautista for Harvey

  11. Who's Your Papi says:
    (link)

    Grey:

    In a H2H Yahoo league where hitting categories are HR, R, RBI, SB, and OPS. We are allowed 3 forever keepers and I am torn between Sano and Schwarber as my 3rd and final keeper. Other possibilities are Heyward, Cole and Archer.

    Thanks

  12. papasmurf says:
    (link)

    I am wary of Ross. Petco yes, but he’s a groundball/K guy anyway, so the size of the park shouldn’t matter much. That SD team is awful.

    • Cram It says:
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      @papasmurf: Size of the park always matters. AL-WAYS.

      • Copperhead Road says:
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        @Cram It: That’s what Chan Ho’s wife said…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @papasmurf: Groundballs and Ks? Yes please

  13. Kas says:
    (link)

    Grey, I need one more keeper to select for 2016. So far I have Goldy, Correa, Cruz, and Soler. I’m torn between Sonny Gray and Cano. I know you’re not that high on Cano, but with 2B being so shitty, do I keep him and just wait to draft my pitchers? Thanks man.

    • Malicous Phenom says:
      (link)

      @Kas:I’d go with Cano.

    • Cram It says:
      (link)

      @Kas: Yup. Throw Gray back.

    • Alcibiades Escobar says:
      (link)

      Sonny Gray. Better to have a good, young, pitcher that an old, declining second baseman

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Kas: Neither are good…Go Cano

  14. Jj says:
    (link)

    Hey grey.

    He countered with Hosmer and Salazar for Bautista. I may get him to bite on Dozier Salazar. Or should I just take the Hosmer Salazar deal. It is a keeper league. Maybe I should aim for a younger bat.
    What do you think?

    • james says:
      (link)

      @Jj:

      Joey bats will still be good, but he is over 35, so you are buying 1-2 good years. I love Salazar but for a good team he is only a #2 starter, and Hosmer is exactly what he did last year. SO i think you can find another hosmer type in a 12 teamer for pretty cheap.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Jj: Sure, try Dozier

      • Jj says:
        (link)

        @Grey:
        He passed on dozier. Should I give in and go hosmer/Salazar?

  15. RoPo says:
    (link)

    I’ll preface with stating this will be my first year joining a RazzCL league. Avid SN, HT subscriber. Without further ado… Yahoo 10-team h2h, standbat cats + H 2B Kagainst OPS & standpit cats + Lagainst HRagainst, HLD, NSV. Friendly but $ league. Last year I traded Harper (1) for Soler (free) straight up before the season started. Silly, but still beat him in the playoffs and took 2nd, took 1st the prior two seasons… Keep 3 losing corresponding draft pick. Leans? Tks!

    Arenado (2), C. Davis (4), Arrieta (8), Carrasco (9), Kluber (free), Jo-Fer (free), Soler (free), Lindor (free)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @RoPo: Arenado, Jo-Fer, Davis

      • RoPo says:
        (link)

        @Grey: %*#$ yeah, tks G

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem

  16. The Thumb says:
    (link)

    I’d take Stroman right behind Salazar, but I understand the need to get the F-Her tier in there.

    I’m all over your love of J-Fer and Noah. I think they could easily break out in an Arrieta 2015 way. If they’re there in the late 30s/early 40s I might have to give in.

    A healthy Stressbird in a contract year also piques my interest.

    Sad not to see your Sonny boy in this list but I guess he is just a better prime James Shields type that performs across the board but doesn’t accel in anything.

  17. Trial Baby says:
    (link)

    I’ve done a ton of early mocks including a couple with Howard Bender’s Mock Draft Army. Starting Pitching is all over the place. In some it goes early, some not until late. I’m with you. I’ll wait. Too many other positions dry up early. I’d much rather have a Cole/Salazar/Kluber as my #1 vs a craptastic OF. Great work, Grey. Thanks!

    • SwaggerJackers says:
      (link)

      @Trial Baby: I wouldn’t feel great with Salazar as a #1. Cole or Kluber, yes. Salazar…not so much.

  18. Jr says:
    (link)

    Top 20 Starters! It’s like Christmas morning!

    I am in a 12 team h2h categories league that counts k/9, bb/9, era, whip and qs. We also have 28 man rosters so the streaming options are almost nonexistent. How, if at all, would you change your strategy for building a rotation. It’s a keeper league, but I’m going to trade SP depth to get better on offense. Curious how much pitching to leave myself with.

    • Cram It says:
      (link)

      @Jr: You’ll still have plenty of streaming options, I probably wouldn’t change too much. But don’t know how much pitching you have now…

      • Jr says:
        (link)

        @Cram It: my roster going into the draft is
        1b abreu
        2b Altuve
        3b Frazier
        SS tulo
        Of marte, Braun pence
        Util beltre
        SP kershaw, scherzer, strasburg, Lester, cueto, Iwakuma, Samardzija, gio, Bauer,
        RP Jansen kimbrel Allen
        Dl Brantley, McCarthy, wheeler

        Each team typically has 10 starting pitchers on their roster at all times. We are switching to k/9 and bb/9 this year, so unsure how that changed things.

        • Cram It says:
          (link)

          @Jr: You have enough pitching to move someone for a bat. But you’re saying this is your team with keepers already chosen? Or you don’t know how many to keep? You didn’t specify how many keepers you get if you have to choose from this roster.

          • Jr says:
            (link)

            @Cram It: this is my team after keepers. It’s a complicated system that is changing this year. I’m thinking of moving an arm or two, but not sure what to leave myself with.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Jr: Agree with Cram

  19. tyler says:
    (link)

    I cannot wait to see what you think about Samardsijjjizzahhh, in a Giants uni. I know you were big on him, but moving to NL only helps right?

  20. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
    (link)

    Surprised by the Kluber/Salazar proximity, but completely get it (and loving it).

    It looks like I’ll be owning a lot of Syndergaard and Salazar if ESPN’s rankings of them (Synder – 71 overall, Sal – 88) stay around where they are! That would be a pretty great 1-2 punch.

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Fingers crossed! BTW – Baez is now finally after Castro on ESPN…”after further consideration of playing time concerns”.

        Similarly, C. Seager (or as the Coens say, Hail, Seager!) went from around 168 to 68 “upon further review of his AAA numbers”. LOL. 68 still seems like a Buy opportunity, right?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          On further review! HA!

          • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
            (link)

            @Grey: “On reading Razzball and a little Fangraphs…”

  21. Dodger Rabbit says:
    (link)

    Your pitching projections helped me win my dynasty league two years in a row. Thanks for the greyt work (and especially for including innings pitched this year!).

  22. Matt says:
    (link)

    Last year I experimented in a H2H league with the strategy of loading up on RP to try and win K/9, ERA, WHIP, and SV (W a toss-up, QS a loss). I made this transition midseason, and ended up rolling with 3 SP/7RP (Scherzer, MadBum, Hamels). What I found was I generally needed 4 starts a week to meet the 40 IP minimum requirement. If none of the 3 starters had a double-start week, I was stuck picking up someone like Hendricks or Karns to meet the minimum (high chance of backfire). If I was to pursue this strategy from draft day and target 4 SP, how might you do it? Would you try to load up on aces? What tiers/ranges might you target to acquire 4 SP (with the knowledge that SP4 might be benched if SP1 or 2 gets two starts). Hope this is enough details; appreciate the advice!

    • james says:
      (link)

      @Matt:

      the 40 inning minimum is to stop this strategy. So you have a different beast to deal with.

      I think it could work if you went 7 relevers with at least 2 of them being multiple inning guys who can get 80 innings or more a year (a lot for a releiver).

      The other option is if i you have 7 spaces for releivers (i assume a few RP spots and a few P spots), you can pick up a few more RP and stream them too on off days for the other guys.

      Personally, i think your strategy last year was right, but your execution was the issue. you have 7 days to find a 4th start of the week. Look every day for a good matchup and if you get it monday do it then, if not wait till you have something to work with. Streamonator goes a few days into the future, so you can plan a few days out for the guy you want for the week (i did this with a league with a 5 move per week max, so only streamed a guy when there was a guy with a good matchup- focusing more on ratios than win potential)

      • Matt says:
        (link)

        @james:

        The execution was actually pretty solid considering where it began (there was a complete roster overhaul over about 2 weeks). The 40IP limit was workable; with 9 P spots, I could throw out 7-8 RP guys a day which was probably good for roughly 16-20 elite IP per week. The real issue was when I needed an extra start, there was nothing on the wire. Most teams rostered 9-10 SP so the wire was very slim pickings once you’re at SP100. (Hence the strategy adjustment midseason to take advantage of a untapped market of elite relievers.) But with this strategy, you need to dominate hitting and I wasn’t in the position to trade for another SP.This go around, I think if I were to implement this from Draft Day that I could balance the pitching better and more efficiently without detracting from the hitting assets. The question is which tier(s) of pitchers to tap to maximize hitting potential and maintain a reliable SP core for this strategy to be effective.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Matt: In a ten team league, no…In a 20 team league, probably

  23. Left Hangs Lower says:
    (link)

    In a dynasty, how would you rank the Mets’ trio of SP?

  24. Teddy Heater says:
    (link)

    Top 20 Starters YAH!! I’m feeling extra good with Noah now! Ironic you mentioned our besties charm cause I just mailed your half yesterday. Hey Internet, We got the Top 20 Starters over here, yeah over here!! Thanks for brightening up Thursday.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Teddy Heater: You’re supposed to keep that half on at all times!

      • Teddy Heater says:
        (link)

        @Grey: I would never take my half off, in fact it’s on an extra long chain so it’s close to my heart at all times. I was saying that your half is on it’s way!

        You like this staff? I feel like I could of gone without Salazar after seeing the top 20, but i’m tinkering. J-Foh brought up a great point regarding Yahoo rankings. I was all happy because I was able to draft most of the guys I was targeting, hopefully the masses don’t sway those numbers too much.

        Noah
        Salazar
        Giles
        K-Rod
        Capps
        W Smith
        C Smith
        Storen
        Bench-McCullers, Walker, Rodon, Buchholz

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Has Mrs. Heater started watching Great British Bake Off? I do like that staff, feels a bit light on the sheer number of SPs

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Forget my comment about sheer number of SPs, I didn’t see the bench… Looks great

          • Teddy Heater says:
            (link)

            @Grey: What?! No she hasn’t but I will add it to the DVR list. We changed over to Direct Tv a few months ago so we’re still forgetting some of the shows and adding them as we go. We’re going to Jimbo’s for Super Bowl and they’re doing a Taco bar. I got the brilliant idea of trying the Tito’s copycat recipe for the meat and salsa. I’ll let you know how it comes out.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Great idea! Jimbo was awesome, nice big personality… GBBO is on Netflix, i suggest starting there

              • Teddy Heater says:
                (link)

                @Grey: Yeah he’s awesome, funny that I spend more time with him than his son, but hey that’s what happens when you have a kid. He’s my golf partner too, so we have a good ol’ time on the links. Netflix, even better!

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  In the end, he just felt like a really good guy, ya know?

  25. nick the dick says:
    (link)

    Seriously G? I think you’re finally going to drop the Top 20 Utility/Bench players and instead we get some kind of pitcher list? So help me, if I have to wait another week for the Top 20 Managers I might lose my shit…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @nick the dick: Top 20 1st base coaches is next… Wait until you see where Ruben Amaro landed! You watch OJ on FX?

      • nick the dick says:
        (link)

        @Grey: I’m gonna own Rocco Baldelli and Rusty Kuntz everywhere for 1BC, going super late, like Kuntz always are….have it taped but havent’t watched it yet, prob tonight. Was going to say I hear it wasn’t very good, but I believe I heard that round these parts, ’tis true?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          It was great, not sure what Grimey was saying yesterday… Definitely worth watching

          • nick the dick says:
            (link)

            @Grey: oooh well that’s a horse of a different shade. Definitely watch it tonight then. I’ve been too busy thinking of roast jokes 24 hours a day to watch anything

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              You’re roasting a family member again already?

              • nick the dick says:
                (link)

                @Grey: I turn 30 at the end of the month and a bunch of people decided theyre roasting me. ME! My family, obviously, and some close friends. They dun messed up G. It’s gonna be fantastic….and brutal

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  Can you eat Kenny Roger’s arms with hot sauce? No! You can’t roast the roaster!

                  • nick the dick says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey: Haha they’re gonna get it! I do deserve it though, these last 3 roast i’ve dished out by far the most stuff and have been shat upon the least out of the rest of the family. This is for sure going to top them all though. Oh yes, there will be blood.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      You’re teflon, Nick! Teflon!

  26. Longbeachyo says:
    (link)

    What about Nirvana?

      • nick the dick says:
        (link)

        @Grey: white people that made good music in the 90s he means

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          I don’t know of white people’s music

          • Teddy Heater says:
            (link)

            @Grey: HA!

  27. The Ace says:
    (link)

    Alright Grey, keeper league question for you. I usually never draft top starters, usually waiting until round 6 to start drafting a starter. This year I am keeping 5 hitters and DeGrom in my keeper league. I have pick number 10 and 11 in the draft. Would you consider taking Kershaw/Max/Sale/Arrieta there or would you keep going hitting? My team will be Abreu, Correa, Bryant, Springer, Betts, DeGrom going into my first pick.

      • The Ace says:
        (link)

        @Grey: 10 teams, most pitchers not being kept.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          You don’t need another SP immediately

          • The Ace says:
            (link)

            @Grey: So would you try to target Altuve or just try to fill CI/MI?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Altuve’s fine

  28. Snarky Anklebiter says:
    (link)

    If you play in a yahoo league, with their current rankings, there is no chance of getting Jo-Fer. They have him 5th SP overall. You could get all 3 Mets though.

  29. Clint says:
    (link)

    I was comparing Mad Max and Price’s previews and it really sounds like the two are on similar paths (velocity up to career years last year & age, for instance) so are you predicting a similar downfall in a year or two for both as well? Just looking ahead for us keeper league folks to see if we should look to get out on Max if they can this season at some point. That, or just keep Kluber outright over Max heading into the season maybe?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Clint: Scherzer’s old, this could be his last year ranked this high

  30. Joebob says:
    (link)

    Hi Grey,

    I’ve got DeGrom and Harvey at 5 each expiring after season in a 10 team NL only keeper league. Costs 5 each additional year to keep a player. Trying to save for auction–should I keep as is or add a year to pay each player 10, or two years and pay each 15? Thanks in advance.

    • JeF WiTh 1 F says:
      (link)

      @Joebob: I’d add 2 years

  31. Pine Tar Incident says:
    (link)

    Grey, a keeper question that may even put your “don’t draft a starter” to the test. Keep any of these 3, forever, 5X5 w/ OBP and QS, 12-team, H2H. Already keeping Trout.

    Miggy, Arenado, Dee Gordon, Miguel Sano, Sale, Arrieta, Carrasco (why yes I did win this league last year).

    Arenado seems like a gimme. Miggy and Dee over Sale and Arrieta? Nice to have 60 SB from a 2nd baseman, and Miggy is great in OBP… but Sale and Arrieta are prettay prettay prettay good.

    • Hawk says:
      (link)

      @Pine Tar Incident:

      Miggy, Arenado, Sale or Arrieta (dealers choice)

      • Pine Tar Incident says:
        (link)

        @Hawk: Thank you, Hawk.

      • Pine Tar Incident says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Thanks Grey! Loving the preseason content as usual. And for the record, you’re the 107 best sport’s podcast in my heart.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Ah, c’mon, you’re just saying that!

          • Teddy Heater says:
            (link)

            @Grey: You’re gonna break the top 100 if you keep this up!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              One day, if all my wishes come true from every birthday of my life

  32. Branta says:
    (link)

    In my keeper league (12 team h2h w pitching cats of ERA/WHIP/K/HR/NSVH/QS) in year 1, I did a bunch of streaming. For some reason the commish of the league got annoyed by it. In year 2, he instituted a limit of 6 adds per week. By year 3, he got everyone (well, a majority) to vote in favor of dropping that down to 4 adds per week.

    So, with this arbitrary/dumb limit to streaming in mind, how many SPs should I draft? (There are 5 starting SP slots and 3 RP slots) I’d probably still stream a little (3 per week if I can).

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Branta: I’d draft 6 SPs, 2 RPs

  33. Hawk says:
    (link)

    Keeper league question, 10tm 5×5. We keep 10, no cost.

    Dealing Giancarlo
    Getting Corey Seager and Max Scherzer

    Am I getting a good deal, too much back or too little back

  34. Bravos14 says:
    (link)

    Grey (or anyone), I’m looking for some reinsurance concerning my Draft Strategy. I won’t bore you with league details other than it’s a 20 team H2H 9×9 Keeper league. The situation is that my five best players (+keeper value) are starting pitchers, Arrieta, deGrom, Keuchel, C.Martinez, and S.Miller. My 6th and final keeper spot is a toss up between Granderson at pick #141 or Norris at #261 or K.Gibson at pick #501. I’m the reigning Champion so my first pick is at 20 followed by 21, 60,61 and so on until round 13 when draft pick trades start. My current Draft Strategy is to with the pitching, SP/CL, SP/CL, for the first four picks. This should give me seven top 50 starting pitchers and two top 10 closers going into round 5. I’d then focus strictly bats for eight to ten rounds. What da think, I’m a genius or am I fucked?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Bravos14: “My current Draft Strategy is to with the pitching” Huh?

      • Bravos14 says:
        (link)

        That’s my 11 years of education showing up, should of said, “My current Draft Strategy is to go with pitching”. I also butchered the last sentence.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          @Bravos14: The last sentence didn’t matter for me to understand what you were saying… You’re keeping SPs and you plan on then drafting more SPs? Yeah, that doesn’t make sense, homey

    • Fungazi says:
      (link)

      @Bravos14: You are fucked!! Draft bats and trade your SP for more bats.

      • Bravos14 says:
        (link)

        In defense of my obviously flawed “Strategy ” it has worked, albeit unintentionally. I was SP heavy last year due to drafting Kluber (15th rd) in 2014, as well as picking up de Grom, Keuchel, and Arrieta as undrafted free agents. I traded Kluber mid May last year for Shelby Miller, Souza, and a three round draft pick upgrade. I know, I lost on that one, but with the above SP’s and others (Iwakuma, Gibson, Santiago, Nelson, DeScalfani, etc.) I was able to finish the regular season with a .594 (216-145-17) record, a weekly record of 15-5-1. That was good enough for a solid 6th place finish (8 play-off spots). I should also mention I accomplished this record with one weekly win in the Holds category and zero wins in the Saves cat. So, the way I’m looking at it, I could improve my pitching staff as a whole from last year. Therefore win more categories and at a higher winning percentage than last year.
        If I were to pick bats with my first two picks in this particular league I’d be looking at Cespedes, Braun, C. Gonzalez, or Upton. My next two picks could be Choo, Desmond, Perez, or Lucroy. So I may be fucked either way I go.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Well, you know how I feel about these guys from my hitter ranks

  35. Ritchie Rich says:
    (link)

    I’m not exactly sure how your SP rankings work… you say that Cole is the first player in the tier that you would draft…

    In a keeper league, would you trade Cole straight up for Arrieta?

  36. Troy says:
    (link)

    I can keep 3 . 14 team 5×5 $250 budget

    Polanco $6
    Rizzo $16 (no brainer)
    Familia $3
    Salazar $6
    J Garcia $3

    I’m leaning toward polanco, Rizzo and Familia, mostly because closers seem to be over paid for in our league. But in actual value I think Salazar might be a better choice than familia. Thought?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Troy: Polanco, Rizzo, Salazar

  37. Tweak says:
    (link)

    Had my first draft of the year the other night (standard Yahoo roto). Following The Lothario’s advice in drafting pitching, I ended up with:

    Rd 6 – N. Syndergaard
    Rd 7 – M. Stroman
    Rd 8 – L. McCullers
    Rd 13 – T. Walker
    Rd 14 – S. Matz
    Rd 15 – D. Smyly
    Rd 20 – J. Garcia
    Rd 23 – K. Gausman

    Rotation looks solid enough to me. Thanks Grey!

  38. Jon says:
    (link)

    Keep forever league, no costs. Deal Arenado + Pederson for Bogarts + Polanco?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Jon: No

    • Cram It says:
      (link)

      @Jon: I wouldn’t

    • SwaggerJackers says:
      (link)

      @Jon: That’s a very anti-Razzball trade you’d be accepting.

  39. Rice says:
    (link)

    I love that we are talking baseball again finally!

    It’s early but here is the first keeper debate going on in my head… Choose one:

    Chris Archer at pick 131
    or
    Sonny Gray at pick 211

    • Bravos14 says:
      (link)

      Gray

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Rice: Archer

  40. Mookie says:
    (link)

    12 team mixed 5×5 $260…do I keep a $5 Cueto over a $1 Betances?

  41. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
    (link)

    And here I was waiting for the top 40 Catchers list. Pitchers bore me, backup catchers are where the stats are!

  42. HolyGhostClaw says:
    (link)

    Yo yo Grey!!! Awww man!!! I’m taking my time reading this. So far I’ve read through Kershaw, then a couple of meetings, and now I’m going to read #2 and #3. Really going to savor this. Then maybe a few more over lunch. May have to print out a page to read on the subway home. Its starting to feel like spring. I can almost hear the bell for when I’m on the clock for my first draft pick. {shivers, tingles, spasms, heavy breathing, foggy glasses} Top 20 Starting Pitchers!! Wooohooo!!!

    Also, I wanted to ask about Streamonator/Hittertron setup for this year. Are you guys going to use the same setup as last year? A lot of us couldn’t link to the Streamonator/Hittertron from our nerdy spreadsheets for auto-updating our models daily, so we were left to manually copy/paste like filthy peasants. Are you guys staying the course? Are you changing to a new setup? I gotsta know! Maybe this is a Rudy question? If so, Rudy, please let me know.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @HolyGhostClaw: It’s a Rudy question, but as far as I know it’s the same as last year

    • @HolyGhostClaw: Yeah, it’ll be a similar setup. It’s REALLY hard to enable auto-updating spreadsheets and keep up a paywall. We’re not technically sophistimicated enough to provide APIs so cut/paste is the only option for now. Sorry – at least it cuts/pastes okay vs some other sites (e.g., no GIFs in the way, no stupid stuff appended to the player name for linking, etc.)

      • Teddy Heater says:
        (link)

        @Rudy Gamble: Rudy, Your Shizz is the Beez Neez SON! Love all the hard work you put, shizz is on point!

        • Thanks for the compliments and your liberal use of the letter z (or zed to our British reader).

  43. John says:
    (link)

    Grey, keeper league, roto, can keep up to 5 players of the following list:

    Harper, Tulo, Bryant, Scherzer, CarGo, Blackmon, Bumgarner.

    I’m thinking in Harper, Bryant, Scherzer, Blackmon and Tulo.

    What do you suggest? Also, I could get Syndergaard in a trade for a draft pick, would you consider that?

  44. r.p. angstmann says:
    (link)

    14 team keeper,have to drop one of these guys
    Harvey
    Carasco
    Salazar

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Salazar

  45. Joe MacDonald

    Joe MacDonald says:
    (link)

    Great looking list, Grey. I have 4 of your top 20 on my squad. Scherzer, Harvey, Strasburg and Felix. I’ll be quite happy if your projections are on the mark.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Thanks!

  46. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
    (link)

    Also, so excited to see where you have McCullers. He’s ranked 180 (!!!) on ESPN . . . here’s hoping I can snag him in the9th/10th round of a 12-teamer like I did Jake Arrieta last year and have him follow suit…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      180 is insane

  47. Curt C says:
    (link)

    12 team, 6×6(ops)….Marte or Votto?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Votto

  48. Curt C says:
    (link)

    TY, you handsome God.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      *waves hand like royalty*

  49. Wilson says:
    (link)

    Hi Grey , nice article , thanks.

    I need SP and only 2 starters in my team (Cole, Cueto)
    Trying to trade my Bautista for Syndergaard. Is it a good deal to me? Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      You don’t need another top SP

  50. J-FOH says:
    (link)

    You’d like my staff in that writers mock I did. For reference I had the 6th pick. My top three starters were Noah in the 6th Salazar in the 7th and McCullers in the 9th. McCullers I jumped up to grab as my upside arm

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Sexy!

      • J-FOH says:
        (link)

        @Grey: are we talking grey washing his car without a shirt on sexy or giancarlo doing anything sexy?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Giancarlo bending over

          • J-FOH says:
            (link)

            @Grey: oh….ohhhhhhh. excuse me for a minute

  51. E says:
    (link)

    How should keepers affect SP drafting strategy? I’m in a 12-team league where we can keep 4 players. So 48 of the best players are already off the board. If a guy like Sale (who can’t be kept in the league this year due to keeper rules) is around in the middle of the 2nd round, which means 60+ of the best players already taken, do you grab him? Or does the relative scarcity of good hitters left to take mean you would ignore pitchers even more?

    Obviously, the kinds of players you’re already keeping will affect things, but I’m wondering if you’ve got a more global opinion on this.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Sale at 60+ is a bargain, I’d take him, but there are other factors like you mentioned

  52. E Yu says:
    (link)

    18 team league, 4 keepers allowed, who do I hold onto out of Votto, Blackmon, Dee Gordon, Greinke and Carrasco?
    I was surprised Greinke was ranked so low here, but I guess park factors will be the biggest deal?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Not Greinke

  53. pbmax says:
    (link)

    Love the Backlund reference! Give ’em the Crossface Chicken wing!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      HA

      • DonnieB says:
        (link)

        I grew up with Bob Backlund in Princeton,Mn i watched him win state high school wrestling championships. He was a beast farm boy. Thanks for the memories……

  54. GhostTownSteve says:
    (link)

    Neutral Milk Hotel, Sleater Kinney, Guided By Voices, Yo La Tengo, early Beck, Belle and Sebastian, the beginning of the Dylan revival, the Pogues, Tom Waits

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Belle and Sebastian is the only one on that list whose albums I own

      • GhostTownSteve says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        The Neutral Milk Hotel album is in the indy rock HoF, Waits album Mule Variations is really, really good. Harvest Moon is a very underrated Neil Young folk album. Clem Snide “Your Favorite Music” slid in during 1999.

        None of this is really to your taste though, I know.

        • J-FOH says:
          (link)

          @GhostTownSteve: harvest Moon is an amazing album, when it cam out it was his best work in almost 20 years. His MTV unplugged album is equally good and is a must own

          • GhostTownSteve says:
            (link)

            @J-FOH:

            I think his Silver and Gold which is kind of in the same style is a little under the radar too. Not a perfect album but 4 or 5 really great songs on there.

            Pixies, Nirvana, Radiohead (OK Computer!), Flamming Lips, Weezer,

            The whole Uncle Tupelo tree including Son Volt, Wilco and Farrar solo

            • J-FOH says:
              (link)

              @GhostTownSteve: and the best of all Alice in Chains

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Clem Snide’s Ice Cube is a great song

          • GhostTownSteve says:
            (link)

            @Grey:

            I saw them in a very small venue up here called the Make Out room and I got hold of some of the best weed I’d ever had to that point. Side bar, the medical weed these days is insane. tt’s practically mushrooms. But back then I got this stuff we used to call The Caution and that Clem show was dreamy.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Ha, nice! Never tried the medical Mary Jane, I don’t think I can handle it anymore

              • J-FOH says:
                (link)

                @Grey: its so specialized that you can pick out if you want the head high, the body high or if you want to you can just vape straight CBD, which contains no THC but relaxes your body. I got these “pain patches” and they were ridiculous. No more pain for Jackie boy

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  Weed’s come a far way since I smoked

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  So far, it doesn’t even sound like you smoke it anymore

                  • J-FOH says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey: it comes in coffee, it comes in tea, cookies, candies and everything in between. You can pop it in your popcorn or rub it into your feet, weed is available in any conceivable way

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Crazy, weed’s come so far!

  55. guest says:
    (link)

    I’m in a keep 5 league 14man league and right now the following pitchers out of your top 20 are being kept:

    Sale, degrom, harvey, cole, fernandez, carrasco, thor, archer, kluber, salazar, keuchel,

    that only leaves kershaw, arreita, scherzer, price, bumgarner, stras, greinke, ross, and f-her left

    Would such a limited pitching pool cause you to draft a pitcher earlier if you’re keeping 5 bats?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      That’s drafting at 70 overall with five bats on your team, I say in this post I’m drafting a starter around top 50 overall

      • What's a Drexl? says:
        (link)

        @Grey: 50th around same as every year. nothing new there, always valuetown.

  56. G says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey. I’ve asked you variations of this question before. My keepers are Machado (5th rd), Chris Davis (6th), correa (10th), and arenado (11th).

    I was wondering your thoughts on what my draft strategy should be with the 11th overall (and 13th picks) in my snake draft. I basically have 4 picks before machado and davis, and 4 picks between those guys and my other two keepers. The other element to this is that from your top 20 hitters and top 20 pitchers only 17 remain, only 8 of them hitters. I am wondering if i should go best available hitter and pitcher with my first two picks or still go with two hitters as I normally would. Or I can go both hitters and hope one of these pitchers comes around for my 3rd/4th pick. The 17 guys available from your two top 20 are below. Thanks as always and sorry for the complicated way of asking this question.

    Trout
    Harper
    Goldy
    Stanton
    Dinaldson
    Marte
    Cutch
    Cabrera

    Kershaw
    Sherzer
    Price
    Madbum
    Strasberg
    Carrasco
    Salazar
    Felix
    Ross

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Take a pitcher

  57. The great knoche says:
    (link)

    Not saying I plan on doing anything, but if I were to try and move Kershaw at $33 in a ten team auction league where salary increases $4 every year if kept, what’s a fair swap. ( have Arrieta at $14 so I can play a little) obviously a big bat would be fine, but what about?

    Fernandez at $10 and Frazier at $13
    Cain at $9 and D Gordon at $13

    Enough?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Sure, Frazier/Fernandez

  58. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
    (link)

    Somewhat bearish on Scherzer and Greinke and Lester misses the top 20. Ageist!

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @Big Magoo: Grey gets older and they stay the same age

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I am!

  59. ashtray says:
    (link)

    For the first time in my league we will be allowing keepers. Looks like it’ll be 2 keepers in a 12 team league. Does that switch require much in the way of strategy?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Nope

  60. Dan McGurgan says:
    (link)

    I’m in a 10 team keeper league in which we can each keep up to four players. Do you think I should keep C. Blackmon as third rounder or T. Ross as a 15th rounder in a 25 round daft? I also plan to keep deGrom in the 4th, J. Abreu in the 6th and S. Marte in the 12th.

    Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Blackmon

  61. Bob says:
    (link)

    H2H 7×7 8 man league. Already keeping Edwin, Altuve, and Pollack. Who are the last 2 between Arrieta, Bumgarner, and Sano? ESPN league so Sano will start as UTIL.

    Also, would you draft Sano in a H2H 7×7 10 man league around the 55th pick? This one is in Yahoo! so he has 3B and I currently didn’t keep a 3b. I am keeping Trout, Goldy, Cutch, Scherzer and Xander. 55th pick is really the first round so 5th pick overall. Good or bad value without knowing who’s available?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Arrieta, Sano

  62. Dan says:
    (link)

    Matz or CMart for this year(?) …and beyond!
    Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I’ll rank them soon

  63. Tigres says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey, I’m totally hoping to intern at the Ministry of Silly Walks. I’ll put you and the Ross brothers down as references.

    Puig is for me like Strasburg for you. I have him one more year in OBP keeper. If I were to try dealing him for SP, what’d be lowest tier to aim for?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      No problem! Don’t think I understand how he’s like Strasburg for you, I want Strasburg

  64. Alex says:
    (link)

    Hi Grey, first question of 2016!…unfortunately off the starter topic.

    My league has decreased to 1 keeper and it has been declared that this is the way it is going to be from now on.

    I have owned Goldy for a long time, but now I also find myself with Correa and having a hard time with the impending decision.

    Do you think it would be a worthy gamble to go with Correa over Goldy considering 1st base is deeper, Carlos is so young and could turn into a top 5 pick as early as next year? Or am I just crazy?

    Thanks!

    • Alex says:
      (link)

      @Alex: Oh and the other consideration is I have a shitty pick in the first round and there is no way I could get Correa if I let him go.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Goldy over Correa

  65. ScreechOwl says:
    (link)

    I’ve got four of these guys (Arrieta, Archer, Keuchel, and Ross), and all I can think about is how I want to trade as many of them as I can, because that’s what I do with pitchers. (Dynasty league, so the most valuable asset I gave up to get one of these guys was Marcel Ozuna.)

    It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out what kind of second baseman (I can just wait for the overall rankings for that) I can get for one of these guys (probably no one better than what I have), but is there some combination of those four guys you would take for a top five second baseman? Er, top four, because I don’t like Matt Carpenter at all. The rest of my pitching is solid, so even trading both Cy Young winners wouldn’t destroy my pitching numbers.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Nice staff!

    • Teddy Heater says:
      (link)

      @ScreechOwl: Target Odor for Keuchel or Ross

  66. joe says:
    (link)

    I know this is a pitcher’s post, but i was looking back on some of the rankings and didn’t see Gatis anywhere. Am I missing something?

    I noticed it when he wasn’t in the Catcher rankings and figured he may be in with the DH as he probably lost eligibility in most leagues. However, he wasn’t ranked as a DH either. Is he ranked as another position?

    Is he injured? Suspended? Jobless? Eaten by Bartolo? Thanks.

  67. Go Jaysss says:
    (link)

    Any change to pitcher strategy in shallow leagues. In a 8 team 5×5 H2H, Some teams will be rolling out 2 or 3 number one starters each week, still viable to stream??

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Everyone’s a streamer in that league except the top 20 or so SPs, I’d wait longer to draft an SP…Prolly wait until around my top 40 that’s coming tomorrow

  68. matt says:
    (link)

    Grey love your site..22 team league 275 salary 5×5 standard ….
    been offered Machado 22$ for Sano 1$and Giles 2$…what do you think?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Thanks! I’d want Machado

  69. Teddy Heater says:
    (link)

    This is my last draft for a couple weeks, but IMO my best so far. Standard 12 team 5×5 Yahoo Roto:

    Castillo
    Rizzo
    Odor
    Nado
    Castro
    JDong
    Upton
    Polanco
    Belt
    Joc
    Bench-Krush Jr, DeShields

    Noah
    Salazar
    Giles
    Tolleson
    Hernandez
    W Smith
    Capps
    C Smith
    Bench-Rodon, Matz, Buchholz

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Yeah, looks like an even shallower league than 12 team… Real nice team overall, love the hitting and pitching

      • Teddy Heater says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Thanks! Yeah, I’d be pumped if all my drafts came out this pretty. Getting Nado & Rizzo in the first two rounds was a steal. As you can see I’m picking up what you’re putting down. I was flip flopping between Nola and C Smith for the last pick, but if I learned anything last year in RCL, those middle relief guys are very valuable.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Yeah, definitely valuable, but also kind of a dime a dozen

          • Teddy Heater says:
            (link)

            @Grey: I was all excited to tell Bug about the British Bake Off on Netflix and she was like, “Yeah Grey told me at dinner and I put it in my phone to remind us to watch it” We just started it and they had an American version a few years back. I binge watched it when Bug was in Houston visiting her family. Leave me home unsupervised for 4 days and I’ll burn through some shizz!!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              HA, nicely done!

  70. Moscowitz says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey,

    12 teams, H2H, 5×5. What do you think about this team

    C Schwarber
    1B Fielder
    2B Kinsler
    3B Frazier
    SS Machado
    OF Bryant, Heyward, Eaton
    UTIL Belt, Plouffe
    BN Desmond

    SP Carrasco, McHugh, Fires, Matz, Rodon, Smyly, Leake, Nola
    RP Ramos, W.Smith, D.Hernandez, D.Hudson

    Wish you a great fantasy season

    Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Looks weak on average, speed and Desmond is odd… Pitching looks decent enough

      • Moscowitz says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        Desmond, Plouffe and Hudson were auto picks but i think its correctable over the course of a season. I agree with your assessment regarding avg. and speed but i always tend to go for power rather than for speed. I took a brief look at the other teams in that league and it seems like there are probably just 2 teams that are more balanced than mine. Most of them are heavy on speed and light on power which i am not a friend of at all.

        Thanks a lot anyway

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Yeah, it’s not a bad team

  71. Nate says:
    (link)

    I’m also trying to trade high on Keuchel for a Dynasty League, but have a unique problem. First off, he was part of a massive rebuild that left me with a planned INF of Sano-Baez-Odor-Adams around the horn, but questions involving Baez and Sano have ripped my plans to shreds. Without Sano’s eligibility I have Lamb-Yunel at 3B. At 1B it’s Adams-Cron-Olson. Now the real problem: I’m stuck with a rotation of Gio, Keuchel, McCullers, Chen, J. Ross and Lincecum. Obviously really no room in there for a trade.

    My idea was to use my 3rd overall pick with Keuchel to land a CIF and a serviceable SP in return. I was offered Adrian Gonzalez and my choice of either Alex Wood, Samaradizja or Smyly for Keuchel and my 3rd pick, which BTW is likely going to be Swanson or Benetendi. Should I hope Olson comes up raking or that Adams and Cron mature? Is Gonzo a good enough upgrade to blow that type a hole in my rotation? Is it really that big a loss? My OF is Braun-Fowler-JBJ-J. Hamilton-Kepler. Should I try using them as bait instead of my pick? Or should I simply hold?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Samardzija and A-Gon works for me

  72. J-FOH says:
    (link)

    I read Nick talking to you about his roast, he told me about it a few weeks ago and I already requested a live video feed and a special appearance via web cam by you as the celebrity roaster.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      That would be awesome…for me!

      • J-FOH says:
        (link)

        @Grey: well of course, and Nick, he would love for you to poop on him

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          How’d you get there?

          • J-FOH says:
            (link)

            @Grey: you would be roasting him, triumph the insult comic dog, it wasn’t a stretch…was it?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Not a stretch at all

  73. JeF With 1 F says:
    (link)

    What’s up bro…Dynasty..would you take Moose and Familia for Wong and Gomez? Last year I laugh at this this year I’m leaning towards taking it

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @JeF With 1 F: and I can get Schoop to replace Wong

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I’d want Jeurys’s side

      • JeF With 1 F says:
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        @Grey: Thanks boo …Muah

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Muah you!

  74. What's a Drexl? says:
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    16 team roto dynasty with OBP replacing AVG, net steals steals, net saves and holds saves, QS wins, and total bases, K/BB added 6X6. 1500 max innings (so 7 or so SP smart), 2 RP, 4 P (so 6 RP smart). can only keep up to 25. actually glad maybin is backup, it would’ve been harder to let a steals CF go otherwise. 2 utils. 25 total active slots. 5 DL/5 NA.
    C sal perez
    1B rizzo
    2B kipnis (he’s better in OBP/total bases league)
    SS
    3B bryant
    LF dave peralta
    CF ellsbury
    RF jew don
    util (x 2)
    NA dahl, tapia, jp crawford
    SP cole, liriano, pineda, buchholz
    RP romo, giles, watson, a.miller, britton
    NA stephenson

    team drafts at 14th in 1st round (non-snake since dynasty)

    I’m at 20 now, keep how many of Fiers,Ryu, Wheeler, Joe “the boss” Ross, Lind (might be able to get better power bat, maybe not if i don’t keep Lind). Could keep the 3 pitchers and still draft 1st 2 rounds, but i do have 3 starting hitting holes to fill. Which are best 3 SP out of those 4?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Keep Fiers, Ryu, Wheeler, Ross

      • What's a Drexl? says:
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        @Grey: have heaney i’m already having to drop. probably try to trade 1-2 of these guys for a bat or 2 of similar value probably a good idea having 3 hitting roster holes. even with wheeler in DL for near half the year 8 SP of too good value to drop there. but unless and until somebody gets hurt 8 SP is too many for 1500 innings probably too. If this was H2H this wouldn’t be an issue at all, 8-9 SP would be smart. might be able to drop tapia and get back later to draft 2nd hitter if i can’t get trade done.

        • What's a Drexl? says:
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          @What’s a Drexl?: is 2 of those for cargo 2 too much?
          2. what about for cain sugar? another owner has 4 very high SP, but nothing thereafter, and was just trying to move me cargo 2 for JD mart (which i’m not doing). he’s also shopping cain sugar.

  75. Grey Rizzo vs Pollock Frasier…which side ya got?

    Keeper Obp and Slg

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Rizzo

  76. kaztan says:
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    Taking SPs late works. Last year I got 118.5 league points in the RCL and this is gonna come off as obnoxious (because it is) but I beat the best fantasy baseball writer on the internet (Grey) in all 10 categories.

    Didn’t take an SP until Garret Richards and deGrom somewhere around rounds 6-9. By late June, hitting was in great shape but pitching was weak so I traded Trout for Kershaw and Hanley for Arrieta, ending up with 3 of Grey’s 2016 top 5 for the last 3 months. Getting my hitting right let me trade for pitching to make up for some lousy starts from low-drafted SPs like GRichardson, Pineda, Salazar, TWalker (had some bad SP luck before the great luck of Arrieta and Kershaw). Both those trades were me trading down (at the time) and trading away tons of HRs with none coming back — tough trades to make if you’re not really confident in your hitting categories.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      There were only seven of you that beat, if I remember correctly

      • kaztan says:
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        @Grey:
        Your league index was 104, mine was 98 so my overall finish was 11th (kumamoto expungers). I’m talking about the individual categories (runs, HRs…).

    • What's a Drexl? says:
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      @kaztan: crazy that somebody by late june would give you arrieta for hanram. would’ve believed start of year, but that’s nuts.

  77. The PEN15 Club says:
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    Grey (and whoever else that would like to chime in),
    Do you stick by your “pitchers are overrated” philosophy across all fantasy platforms (like auctions), even the leagues that allow larger rosters?
    For example, I’m in a weekly auction keeper league and we have to start 8 pitchers in any given week. Typically, a team in my league will go with 2 closers, 6 starters. Each team will also typically roster an extra 4 pitchers on their bench. With 12 teams in our league that’s almost 120 starters (6 + the 4 bench starters) that will occupy spots on the roster. On top of that, my league seems to put a premium on pitching. In fact, one team kept Urias the whole year on his roster last season! Granted that guy did not finish in the money (and he’s a bit of an extreme case), but that just shows you how much pitching is valued in my league. So what ends up happening is a lot of pitchers even the young studs that you would tab as sleeper picks would either get kept or bid to the point that they no longer feel like a value pick.
    Based on what I told you about my league, (with a $260 budget) what would be your auction strategy?
    And for a quick and dirty reference point, .what’s your highest bid for a top 10 pitcher? A 11-20 pitcher? a 21-30 pitcher? 31-40?
    Last year, Sale happened to be the only top 5 pitcher that was dropped back into the auction pool and he went for a whopping $40! But is that a fair price?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I don’t bid on SPs higher than $30 for anyone, but $40 sounds about right for Sale… Auction values are here: http://razzball.com/playerrater-preseason-espnmlb12/ for many types of leagues

      I wouldn’t change up strategy for this league… That’s a basic league setup… 6 SPs, 2 RPs and then a mix match of bench arms… With keepers, auction prices go up a little higher than usual

  78. DBo says:
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    Dynasty league: I was offered Posey for Carlos Martinez, Y Grandal & 2017 1st round pick. Posey side or C Martinez side? Thanks!

  79. goodfold2 says:
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    in 30 man league now with this offense set for now
    c-d’arnaud
    CI beltre
    CI smoak
    MI segura
    MI alcides
    OF a-jax (no team yet, how can MIL or LAA not sign him though with cunningham/nava or captain kirk manning starting slots)
    OF rosario
    OF altherr
    util l.martin
    along with pitchers (davies just lost a spot with c.anderson coming around) i’ll have 28.2 million for 8 roster spots during bidding.
    If i don’t get any CI starters, like howard/sandoval (probably costs more than value)/laroche /hill. will probably bid fairly high on howard just from homer need.

    1. which 4 of these would be best targets (looking for some upside in my backup/platooning CI along with smoak)
    dietrich/pearce/mini donkey/wallace/flaherty/blanks/k.johnson/uribe. i attempted to rank them correctly already.
    2. Rank for these actual SP r.hill/ERV santana/hellickson/b.anderson/c.anderson/colby/roark (just top 3)
    3. rank for these possibly later SP petit/conley/mccarthy (mid season)/warren/morrow

  80. FrankGrimes says:
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    I’d say something but
    it’s past your bedtime these days

  81. Mike B says:
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    Ok so I know your general stance on hitting vs pitching, but I want to give some context before gaining your approval on a deal and asking advice on another; my 10 team league keeps 10 and rosters 30, players kept by draft round decreasing by 1 each season. 16 of your top 20 here kept and most likely half or more of next 20.
    I just traded Harvey and a 5th round pick(equates to about round 12 in redraft) for Betts. Both kept in 15th round. QS and OBP league in place of BA and W.
    Approve?
    I own Kluber in 11th and have an offer out forSyndergaard (22nd round) in which I would be receiving additional draft pick compensation. Thor owner acknowledged it was solid offer, but is hesitant because theyre a Mets fan. Based on your ranking above, I take it you would advise going as far as moving the additional picks to other side of deal?

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @Mike B: you mean taking thor without that extra pick, i would think that’s easy yes as these two are ranked right together, and thor is younger. all this being the case if your opp read razzball and/or let his NYM fandom affect him YOU’D be needing to add your own pick giving to opp.

  82. Grey it’s like this I’ve checked your schedule I’ve done my homework. I want to write for your website. No joke

    • Mordacious Levator says:
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      @Dnut Eastwood: what do you mean by schedule?

  83. Dan says:
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    Would you trade Salazar and Conforto for Bogaerts and Polanco in a keeper league? I already have Castro and Kang as SS options. Thanks!!

  84. Malacoda says:
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    Have you ever considered throwing in some auction prices on these rankings? Or QS projections?

  85. paul koop says:
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    Keeper League – keep 2 based on where you drafted them and kept them the whole season (including trades)

    3. Arenado – Thank you (my no brainer)
    4. Marte
    10. Archer
    11. Pollock

    Trying to convince the league to include pick ups and in that case it would be Correa – in like the 8th, but absent of that. What value would you take with Arenado?

  86. Trenchtown says:
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    LOVE that Razzball is back, but then again you never left right?

    Wondering what you think I should do jo’!

    2 keeper league (kept in round you drafted them)

    Rizzo (rd 5 again), Jose Fernandez (rd9), and Macho Macho Machado Man (rd 10 – definitely keeping him especially with SS eligibility in yahoo)

    love having the bats, but feel like this will also be the lowest i’ll get an ace like jose …till the marlins hurt his arm again. Thoughts? I’ll hang up and wait for your answer. Thanks jo’!

  87. Mike L says:
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    Would you keep Thor for $10 or Salazar for $2? Also, I can keep Sano or Giles for $10 or Darvish for $7. Not sure what to do here. Please help.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thor… Sano

      • Mike L says:
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        Okay. Now last question mark is Goldschmidt for $32 or Sano for $10? 10 team league with $250 budget.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Goldy

  88. Brick says:
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    Which 2 would you keep: Harvey, Sano, Springer and bogarts…? Kicker is I can only keep Harvey and Springer for one more year after this season where I can keep Sano and Borgatts for 2 more… I also have 2 first round picks in a 12 man league for flexibility.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Sano, Springer

  89. AL says:
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    I can keep Harvey in Round 13 and can’t keep him next year, or I can keep Jose Fernandez in Round 12 and can keep him next year in Round 10. Have to go with Jo-Fer, right?

    Also…
    Kris Bryant in Round 6 (Round 4 next year)
    Rizzo in Round 11 (can’t keep him next year)
    OR
    Carlos Correa in Round 15

    Appreciate the assist. Dig the site, keep up the good work!

    • AL says:
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      *Correa would be Round 13 next year

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, Jo-Fer

  90. William Habart says:
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    I joined a 10 team 5×5 auction qs replaces wins but now the commish changed ks to k/9. We have 12 hitters [ci/mi/1util/5of] 9 Ps and 7 bench spots. Does that make closers more valuable and sps even less and even some hitters? How do you think that affects player values

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      K/9 would make SPs less valuable, but QS make them more valuable so it’s a push

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