Over the past few weeks, Yasmani Grandal has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball. Despite being a pinch-hitter who sometimes wears the wrong helmet, he has been hitting .345 with a .392 wOBA over his last 30 days. Part of that has to do with an unsustainable .409 BABIP during that span, but most of it has to do with Grandal being locked in and being more aggressive at the plate. While he has a history of being frustrating to fantasy owners who aren’t utilizing him in OPS or OBP leagues, Hot Yasmani has been very different this season.

Regular Yasmani is a patient hitter who posts OBPs 100 points higher than a mediocre AVG, who walks 15% of the time and strikes out 25% of the time. He can hit home runs but hurts AVG in standard leagues. Last season, he rewarded fantasy owners with 27 home runs, which is great, especially at the catcher position. But, again, he hit just .228, struck out 25.4% of the time, and recorded just 86 hits. That means a third of his hits went for home runs. With 116 strikeouts and 62 walks, it also means that he either struck out or walked 50% of the time. Other than the home runs (which, again, are great to get at the catcher spot), those numbers are fine for OBP/OPS leagues but are not ideal for your standard leagues.

Hot Yasmani, 2017 Yasmani, is a different story. Hot Yasmani has no time for patience at the plate. He wants to eat. HY’s BB% over the last 30 days is less than 6%, and it’s below 10% on the year. He already has 42 hits and is on pace for well over 100 for the first time in his career. He his hitting around .300 after hitting below .235 the last four seasons. The home runs are down, for now, but he is making up for it with career marks in nearly every other offensive category (except walks, of course). I included HY in this week’s Top 100 because he is no longer just posting good numbers for a catcher; he’s one of the hottest hitters not named Charles Cobb Blackmon (full name, look it up) right now.

Now, for a few guys who are not so hot right now…

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I was originally excited to focus on Baby Thor Mike Clevinger in my first post taking over the Two-Start Starters for [email protected], but the rainout on Thursday threw everything out of whack. So, I had to pivot and focus on what’s going on in Seattle. Enter Ariel Miranda and Sam Gaviglio.

Of the two starters for the Mariners right now, Miranda is the one to target. To be honest, neither one is likely to be a long-term fix for your rotation. Gaviglio is a 27-year old who has an ERA of 4.01 over seven seasons in the minor leagues, while Miranda is a 28-year old Cuban who had moderate success in the Cuban National Series and the minors. Both are scheduled to start two games next week for the Mariners.

At first glance, it would appear that Gaviglio is the tasty treat that a starter-needy fantasy owner should target. After all, he has the shiny 1.29 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Unfortunately, not only is that a very small sample size, but there are some pretty serious red flags. For starters, while he only gave up one run against the Nationals, he only struck out one batter in six innings. That shiny ERA is also aided by the fact that he actually gave up five runs, but just the one was earned. Against the White Sox in his previous start, he went five innings and only struck out two batters. In his two starts this season, he has thrown 11 innings and struck out just three batters.

But that’s not it, here is the bigger issue with Gaviglio. His ERA might be 1.29, but his FIP currently sits at 4.22. At 2.93, his FIP-to-ERA ratio is the highest of any of the 40+ two-start starters in week 9. Between his lack of strikeouts, his lackluster career in the minors, and his inflated FIP-to-ERA ratio, you better believe he is going to regress to the mean sooner rather than later. Ignore that ERA and stay away from Sammy G.

As for Miranda, I like him more and hate him less. While he doesn’t have the same sub-2.00 ERA as Gaviglio, he does have an 8.75 K/9, a less hideous .40 FIP-to-ERA, and a 5.77 K/9-to-BB/9 ratio. While he has had a couple of disastrous starts this season, he also has six starts in which he has given up two runs or fewer. You could do worse than Miranda as a two-starter starter. In fact, you could have Gaviglio. Both should be available in more than 75% of leagues. Despite the fact that the Mariners visit the Rockies next week, there are worse options for two-start starters…

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Jackie Bradley Jr. Pitch Breakdown. Click to zoom.

See what I did there? His name is Jackie Bradley but I capitalized B-A-D because, you know, he’s bad at baseball. Well, I shouldn’t say that. He’s bad at hitting baseballs, but he is an elite defender. The latter means nothing to the fantasy world except that it is the only reason some schlubs get to stay in the lineup sometimes. That is certainly the case for JBJ sometimes.

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The first Frankencatcher Report came at a pretty ironic time for me. Right before sitting down to work on this report, I checked my lineups and saw that Welington Castillo was placed on the disabled list with tendinitis in his shoulder. Castillo missed Monday’s game with neck spasms, and the assumption was that he would be day-to-day and likely be fine by Wednesday or Thursday, but screw me I guess. So, I had to pick up a catcher before getting started on this. I’ll go over who I picked in some detail below.

Continuing with a trend of the past few years, catcher is not exactly a prominently contributing position in fantasy baseball this season (hence the need for such a handsome Frankencatcher Report). If you don’t get lucky with one of the elite catchers, of which there are very few these days, you are likely going to have to stream the position at some point in the season.

In ESPN leagues, there are only 11 catchers with an ownership percentage of more than 70. The next highest is Russell Martin, at just over 47%. And of those 11, one of them is Gary Sanchez, who has been on the disabled list for a couple weeks and only has 20 at-bats to his name on the season. Here are those 11:

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Greetings and welcome back to the Mike Maher Recovery Center for Madison Bumgarner and Starling Marte owners. I apologize for my absence couple weeks, but I had to go out and do some crazy stuff like get married and then head out on a honeymoon without internet or phone reception for a week. Seeing friends and family, getting married, and then taking a cruise through the Caribbean was fun and all, but I missed pretty much the first two weeks of the MLB season. Not only is there no internet on a cruise unless you pay insane amounts for it, but there are hardly any televisions on board except for the one in your room that has about five English-speaking channels that all show Chicago Bulls playoff games from the 90s or the same two episodes of Ladder 49 all week.

Why am I telling you this? Well, for starters, I wanted to talk about the unique perspective that gave me. Since I missed the first two weeks of the season and didn’t even really get to see any highlights, I came back and had to make fantasy evaluations based entirely on box scores and the statistics available to me. I spent my first 48 hours back reading box scores, recaps, game logs, and statistics (not literally. I would be very tired and my full-time employer would not be pleased). When I checked my fantasy leagues, I found out that I was in first place in three leagues, second place in another, and absolutely dead last in the Razzball ‘Perty ‘Perts league (thanks for getting injured while I was gone, Jackie Bradley).

I considered cramming in an article last week as soon as I got back, firing off opinions based solely on Greg Bird batting around .100 or yet another hot start for Travis Shaw, but I decided to give myself a week to compare the numbers I was staring at with every bit of baseball I could consume for a week. That brings us to where we are now…

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Greetings and welcome back to the Mike Maher Halfway House for Troubled Fantasy Baseball Owners. There will be cookies and White Russians, and they are mandatory. The season is but a few days away, and there is much to be done if you want to avoid embarrassment, at least in your fantasy leagues. I can’t help you with your daily embarrassments. Or maybe I can. Hit me up on Twitter, and I’ll give it a shot. What’s the worst that could happen?

Anyway, we’re going to talk about a few players and, as you might have guessed, their relative fantasy environments. What does/do fantasy environments mean, you ask? Great question. It means whatever you want it to mean.

Oh, more specifically? Well, it can mean a bunch of things. I went over them a few weeks ago after making a hilarious joke about how I envisioned it by putting my bitmoji-face in a picture with Kate Upton. :::pause here for laughter:::.

Now that you’re all good and warmed up, let’s get to some players…

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Before we jump right into this draft recap, let’s go over a little bit of background about the league and its details. This isn’t like the typical RCL 5×5 rotisserie league we often talk about in this space. LOEG is a 10×10 head-to-head keeper league, with 10 teams and four keepers per team from year to year. The league has been around for something like ten years and has been graced by the presence of yours truly for the past five.

Since the categories, scoring, and rules are a little different in this league I’ll break down all the details below. I think it’s important to break this down a bit first because not only do I want to bore you to death, but I want you to have all the information while you are going over the results and making fun of my team in the comments section. Anyway, here we go:

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

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You’re the monster preparing for your fantasy draft, and I’m Dr. Frankenstein telling you it’s all going to be OKAY.

If you are one of our beloved loyal Razzball readers, you know by now that this site tends to discourage you from taking catchers early in fantasy drafts. The argument is simple: the difference between a top 5 catcher and a 5-15 range catcher is negligible. At other positions, the difference is much more significant. Plus, there are always surprises who end up either getting drafted later or picked up on waivers who put up top 10 catcher numbers.

Some years ago, a younger Grey with what we can only assume was a less prominent mustache wrote about his draft strategy for punting catchers. I’ll wait here while you give it a look. Go ahead. It’s the same website, so I won’t get in trouble. I might even get some kind of bonus for encouraging clicks or something.

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

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Greetings, everyone. You might remember me from my days writing the Frankencatcher Reports here last year or the Handcuff Reports this past football season. The Frankencatcher Report concept is pretty simple, but if you need a refresher feel free to check out one of my posts from last year. In most fantasy leagues, at least half of the teams utilize some kind of revolving door at the catcher position because, after the very small top tier of kind-of-elite options, there sits a tire fire of lesser options, each burning, glowing, and extinguishing at different times throughout the year. More tire fire metaphors, you say? Sure, I thought that felt good, too. Maybe we can revisit that later.

For the 2017 season, the current plan is for me to write the Frankencatcher Report every other week. For the other every other weeks, I’ll be writing about Fantasy Environments. What are fantasy environments, you say? Good question. Maybe we can figure that out together. Usually, when I think about fantasy environments, though, it ends up something like this:

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It took us a few weeks, but we have arrived at the finale. We can finally wrap up the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft recaps. It feels like just yesterday I was getting started on what was likely to be a 60,000-word article on all 23 rounds of this mock draft before Grey slapped me and told me to put down the bourbon and split this into multiple posts. Below, I’ll be posting the results of rounds 19-23, my thoughts on said results, and the final team for every owner.

In case you have yet to see my previous posts, here is a quick recap of the league rules for this mock:

This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1).

Links to previous recaps:

Now, let’s get rounds 19-23 out of the way so that we can get to the good stuff!

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