Jose Altuve was the clear cut number two coming into the 2018 season. As a matter of fact, there were some “experts” that even dared to put him ahead of Mike Trout. Personally I though that was about as silly as drafting the oft injured James Paxton in the earlier rounds. Fool me once James. I guess that’s why I put the word expert in quotes when referring to those of us that write down our thoughts and call it advice. Altuve has averaged about 512 points a season over the last four seasons with 0.738 points per plate appearance. That’s pretty damn good. However, my preseason rankings had him as the fourth hitter behind Mike Trout, Nolan Arenado and Mookie Betts. Overall I also had Max Scherzer, Chris Sale and Corey Kluber ahead of Altuve. Regardless, he was an obvious first round pick.

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I considered titling this post “White Is Right“, but I thought that even though it was paying tribute to Tyler White’s emergence in points leagues over the last month it was still sure to stir the pot. Then I contemplated “Like White On Rice” where I’d talk about Tyler and Shohei Ohtani discussing fantasy baseball over dinner, but again I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers. Wait a minute, who am I kidding, I love ruffling feathers. While I certainly want to talk about Tyler White, when looking at some of the most productive batters in the last three weeks Charlie Blackmon’s name appears near the top of the list. That enabled me to go with the chosen title. Just to be clear, I love everyone. Well, almost everyone.

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I’ve officially had it with head-to-head points leagues. That’s right. You heard me. I’ve finally encountered the straw that broke the camel’s back. Or should I say the Strawberry that broke the camel’s back since this is baseball. Or since this is Razzball perhaps I should say the Strawberry that did all my cocaine while I was taking a piss. I just can’t believe that he had the nerve to blame it on Lenny Dykstra. Speaking of Dykstra, have any of your heard him on Howard Stern the past year. The guy is seriously messed up.

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Fred Flintstone has just been locked out of his house and he needs to replace Joey Votto before lineups lock for the week in twenty minutes. He’s banging on the door, but his wife doesn’t seem to hear him. She’s likely out shopping with her best friend Betty. Meanwhile, Fred’s dimwitted neighbor Barney hears the hollering. When he asks Fred what all the yelling is about he agrees to set Fred’s lineup for him. After all, as commissioner of the Bedrock Fantasy League (BFL) he can do that easily. “Just tell me who you want to add,” says Barney. Just as Fred is about to respond, Barney’s adopted son Bam Bam begins banging away on something up in his bedroom. At the same time Fred says “Wilmer Flores“. Barney can’t hear sh!t over Bam Bam’s ruckus. “Who? I can’t hear you,” shouts Barney. “Wilmer Flores,” yells Fred. “Who?”, repeats Barney. “WILMER FLORES!”, demands Fred. “You got it,” replies simple minded Barney Rubble who proceeded to log into 1-800-Flowers.com and buy Fred’s wife Wilma flowers. Moments later Bam Bam and Pebbles came out of Bam Bam’s room. Pebbles was crawling funny but had a big smile on her face.

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I rarely ever talk about relief pitchers, but since I’m on vacation and my time is limited I’m writing about whatever rolls off my fingers most easily. Blake Treinen is exactly the reason I do not draft a relief pitcher in the early or even early middle rounds. Because of this I will never own Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman or Kenley Jansen, and I am perfectly fine with that. Treinen’s ADP this season was the 14th round. That gives you thirteen rounds to fill the more important roster spots. If I’m being honest, I probably wouldn’t wait until the 14th round to pick a closer, but the point is that drafting closers is like navigating a mine field and using an early pick seems like a bad investment. Even the top closers are far from a guarantee. Consider Kenley Jansen. He’s having a great season and now he’s out with a heart condition. Let’s not forget about the volatility of a closer and the number of eventual closers that go completely undrafted. Look at Keone Kela until he was traded. The bottom line is that by drafting a closer early I feel you are giving up too much value at other positions.

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Without looking it up, do any of your know Javier Baez‘s actual first name. Now that you’ve looked it up, we can move on. How do I know you looked it up? Because I didn’t tell you and unless you’re a legit Javy fan, you didn’t know. Baez currently has 337 points which puts puts him in the top twelve batters. He’s second among second basemen behind Jose Ramirez (472 points) and fourth at short behind Francisco Lindor (403), Alex Bregman (373) and Manny Machado (367). For years first base has been the position with the big hitters, but right now four of the top twelve hitters have shortstop eligibility both this year and next. If we look at the top fifteen then we can also include Didi Gregorius (324). I guess shortstop is the new first base. The only first base eligible batters in the top fifteen are Freddie Freeman (335) and Matt Carpenter (339).

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Draft day is by far my favorite day of the fantasy baseball season. Even more so when the draft is an auction. All of the preparation and anticipation leading up to the day culminates into my version of Christmas. I don’t believe in all the hocus pocus of religion, so draft is where it’s at for me. Fantasy football draft day falls just a bit shy of baseball. There’s just so much more that goes into constructing a well balanced baseball roster that makes it that much more interesting than football. While I do look forward to actually playing the game throughout the season, what I find more interesting than playing is negotiating trades.

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If only I had a top performing pitcher to highlight that was the son of an ex-pitcher to really drive home my title. I guess I could discuss Dereck Rodriguez, but his daddy was a catcher. I could change the title to “Son of a Catchter”, but it doesn’t have the same ringtone. While I am here, however, let’s give him a quick shout. Over eight starts Pudge Junior is averaging 16.50 points per start. That sandwiches him in between Lance McCullers (16.42)  and Mike Clevinger (16.37). Ignoring the small sample size factor, that puts him inside the top 30. And the list of pitchers ahead of him reads pretty much like a who’s who of who you’d expect the top starting pitchers to be. One surprise on that list is Ross Stripling, whose last name sounds like a little person (midget for you less PC readers) that takes their clothes off for money. Stripling has a 2.43 ERA, is averaging more than 20 points per start and is striking out more than ten batters per nine. His numbers (xFIP of 2.83) say he’s the real deal. And guess what, he’s got RP eligibility. He could end up being the waiver wire pick of the year. I haven’t given that much thought, but his name would certainly be up there. Given his year-to-date performance I’m willing to forgive him for hanging that curveball to Rhys Hoskins Monday night and costing me about ten points, but I would like a complimentary lap dance in the champagne room the next time he’s in town.

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(614), (594), (567), (568), (606) and (609). This is a list of the batters with the most fantasy points in the last six seasons. Did you notice that there’s one name noticeably missing from the list? If you were thinking , you’d be wrong. By the way, with a name like that he’s got to […]

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After spending about seven weeks on the disabled list possibly sipping rum through a paper straw, Wil Myers appears to be making up for lost time. Please note that Wil uses paper, not plastic, straws because he cares about the environment. You should too. Public service announcement… Check! In the last week Wil posted 45 fantasy points. If the season began at week 14 he would be the top hitter along with Alex Bregman. Do you breg to differ? I didn’t think so. Considering Myers only played ten games before returning at the end of week 13, you could say that his season really did start in week 14. It’s unlikely that he will keep up this pace of 0.76 points per plate appearance, but it’s worth keeping an eye on Mr. Myers moving forward. If you’ve had him stashed all this time, it might just be about to pay some hefty dividends. However, with all of that said, given his injury history, I’d seriously consider selling high. Tim Lincecum just traded him in every league he owns him. Even a few he doesn’t.

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