Batters that are consistent week after week are much more enjoyable to have on your roster than those with frequent hot and cold spells. Sure a player putting up 50 points in a week can almost single handedly earn you a win, but the three weeks prior where he didn’t break single digits can be extremely frustrating. Especially when such a cold spell leads you to bench said player on the week he finally breaks out for 50 points. As Grey would say “sonofabench”. Byron Buxton punched me in the nuts with one of those last year. In years past Jay Bruce is a hitter that often fell into this category.

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Those that have been reading my points league posts since I started with Razzball a few years back know that I dislike batters that strikeout a lot. I’ve been a vocal supporter of penalizing batters for strikeouts. I have even gone as far to say that if you are in a points league that does not subtract points for strikeouts that you should find another league. In points leagues strikeouts cost you points. Anything that costs you points is a poison. Take a player like Khris Davis. Last year he had about 399 fantasy points, finishing just inside the top 50 batters. Davis struck out 195 times. In leagues that penalize one point for a strikeout, that’s 195 points he lost. That’s as many points as Alex Gordon had in all of last year. Chris Davis with a “C”, had 190 points. Like Khris Davis with a “K”, he also had 195 points deducted for strikeouts.

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Eeeeeh, sexy Pirate
Op, op, op, op
Oppan Kingham style
Eeeeeh, sexy Pirate
Op, op, op, op
Eh-eh, eh-eh-eh-eh

By now this post will most likely feel like it’s late to the party, but since I only write once a week there’s not much I can do about that. The word on the street is that Kingham will get another turn in the rotation. I guess a near perfect game more or less forced their hand. Way to do a good job with that tough decision there Pittsburgh. However, Clint Hurdle did say that there were no promises after his second start. Looks like Kingham has another hurdle in front of him to keep from being sent back to Indianapolis. Perhaps another near perfect game will do the job.

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I thought about going with “Yadda Yadda Yadier” as the title for this week’s rant, but I used that line last week when discussing the top catcher in fantasy baseball points leagues. While I would only be stealing from myself I wanted something new. If only Molina had homered three times last night this would have been perfect. I still think it’s good enough, and good enough is good enough for me. Speaking of “good enough”, Yadier Molina has been far better than good enough. In fact, he has been fantastic. The dude’s got 6 home runs, 16 runs batted in, a .316 batting average and 2 stolen bases to boot! With 69 points Yadier is in a league of his own at the catching position. Eat your hearts out Gary Sanchez owners! While you were busy drafting Sanchez in the third round I drafted Manny Machado. And when I drafted Molina in the 12th, you were stuck taking Paul DeJong.

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Preston Tucker is on pace for 32 home runs, 129 runs batted in and a .278 batting average. I realize that the whole “on pace” argument three weeks into the season holds about as much water as a bottle with a hole in the bottom of it, but the point is that he is off to a very good start. Unexpected? I think so. After spending all of 2017 in AAA fixing flat tires for the Astros, he was traded to the Braves in the offseason where he would hopefully have the opportunity to play in the Majors. Ok, maybe he didn’t fix any flats, but he did hit 24 home runs in 569 plate appearances. Perhaps the Astros felt they were one Tucker over the limit considering they also had Preston’s younger brother Kyle in the organization. Kyle also happens to be their top hitting prospect. When the front office gave him the news I hope he said “Tucker out” as he exited the meeting.

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I really can’t believe that I let a mediocre Spring Training keep me from drafting Shohei Ohtani with a reasonable pick. I remember last year when the rumors were becoming clearer and it was looking very much like he’d be coming to the Majors in 2018. My first thought was that whoever had the first pick in my league was going to take him. Our league has ten teams and six keepers so the first pick is actually the 61st pick. There was no doubt in my mind that he’d be the first pick. Having won the league I would be stuck with the last pick. No chance I’d get a crack at Shohei. Ohtani wasn’t drafted until the sixth pick of the sixth round. That’s 126th overall. I made SIX picks and didn’t think once about grabbing him. You might want to think twice about taking advice from me.

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Einhorn is Finkel. Finkel is Einhorn. Einhorn is a man! You know who else is a man. Dick Lovelady. Who? Richard Lovelady. If you find yourself wondering who the you-know-what is Richard Lovelady, it’s a perfectly normal response. About two weeks back or so I was watching a random Spring Training game and the guy on the mound for the Royals had on jersey with the name Lovelady across the back. I made a quick voice note using Google Home to remind myself to somehow wedge his name in one of my posts. Today is the day I decided to shoehorn that bad boy in. To be honest, Lovelady sounds like something Hyun-jin Ryu claims to be very good at. Moving on.

Maybe it’s just me, but I need to see George Kontos and Gerrit Cole in the same place at the same time. I astutely put two and two together after seeing Cole’s Fantrax profile picture and Kontos’s CBS profile picture. Perhaps it’s because I was two beers deep and those beers were ironically Tree House Dopplegangers, but any time I get the chance to make two plus two equal five, I jump at the opportunity.

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If you read the title and expected this post to be an anit-MadBum rant, you’ll find your initial impression to be inaccurate. I’ve been a huge Bumgarner fan since he came into the Majors. In fact, I picked him to be this season’s National League Cy Young Award winner in the Razzball experts picks. I had to change that prediction to Stephen Strasburg after the injury for obvious reasons. Last year’s accident was one hundred percent avoidable. As much as I love him, I really hope he did not get paid for his missed time. Shame on him for riding a dirt bike. What’s next, sky diving? This year, however, was just another of the many injuries to a pitcher as a result of an unpredictable comebacker. I’m going to go out on a short limb and say that there was very little, if anything, he could have done to avoid the injury. The incident actually looked quite harmless compared to other comebackers I’ve seen over the years. My favorite was back in 2008 when Papa Grande took a line drive right off the dome piece. I can’t seem to find a good quality video, but he went down like he had been shot. The craziest part is that he ended up staying in the game and getting the save. The messed up part is that when he went down, all I could think about was the ten points I wasn’t going to get for the save. I was pissed. When he ended up staying in the game he became an instant hero.

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The part I like the most about making predictions is that it’s my opportunity to get my gut feelings out on paper in way where it won’t jeopardize the success of my fantasy teams. What I mean is that when it comes to draft day I will only act on my instincts and select a certain player when the decision is between two relatively similar players. I am a person of numbers. I spend a shitload of time preparing and fine tuning my estimations and league specific rankings for the exact purpose of sticking to the results on draft day. Winging it just isn’t in my game plan. I play it pretty much by the letter. I do allow for some wiggle room in the later rounds of the draft, but early on and mid-draft there is something a bit robotic about my choices.

However, when it comes to predictions, I am free to toss out any crazy idea I might have. I’d like to preface the upcoming predictions by saying these shouldn’t play more than a coin toss role in your decision making on draft day. What that means is that you shouldn’t use this information to make any serious choices when it’s your turn to pick. However, if it comes down to a toss up between player A and player B, feel free to consider my thoughts when deciding whom to pick. And if that’s not the proper use of “whom”, I don’t care.

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In the spreadsheet I released this past Sunday there was a column on the “Rankings” tab labeled “Draft Score”. Several of you asked in the comments section what it meant. I thought I’d take this opportunity explain. And while I’m at it, I also thought I’d point out some players that stick out as obvious draft day bargains according to their estimated draft score.

Here is my response to the inquiries about draft score with a few minor modifications.

FVARz dictates a player’s value compared to the rest of the players. We get there by determining each players’ value above the replacement player at his position. The replacement player is the player you can get off the wire.

A simple example is if you are in a 10-team league and you start only one 2B, then your league really only cares about 10 second basemen. The 11th 2B is considered the replacement 2B. It’s a little more complicated than that in that we probably care about 12 second basemen making the 13th the replacement, but it should give you the idea.

So when choosing between two players, use FVARz. Draft score is just indicator as to whether you are getting good value at the pick. However, I’d always take the player with the higher FVARz regardless of draft score.

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