The date was July 6, 2018. My debut with Razzball. Before that date, I was just a home-league fantasy expert with literally zero published articles when Mattruss gave me a shot at writing DFS. I’ve been honored to have just the opportunity to be affiliated with Razzball. Hell, my first official baseball card was created in my Razzball likeness (also my perfect form). But today, I announce my retirement. Hanging up the ole writing pants. What will I do with all my free time? Oh, you mean the hours of 10-11:30 pm when I finally had time to create content? I’ll reclaim my sleep. I’ve thought about picking back up Call of Duty, but I’m not sure that my fragile 38-year old ego can handle a 10-year old sh!tting on me. Perhaps I’ll pick up a book and read. But god, that sounds terrible. Enough about me, let’s get to baseball. Just like last week with third base, the list will be the top 25 for the rest of this season, but we’ll also do a look back at the biggest risers (wink) and fallers.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Welcome to September. In four short weeks, the MLB regular season will be over. The majority of teams have just nine series left. For some, nine lives left to lock up that playoff spot. More importantly, in seven days, my kids (and wife) return to school, and the magic that is a silent house returns. While this final list will cover the rest of season rankings, I want to take a look at some of the biggest movers from the beginning of the season. We’ll talk about the breakouts and the busts and see what went right (or wrong). Without further ado, let’s take a look at the list:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I can’t tell you how many times I sit down to create this list and go, “Jesus, how bad are you at this?” Predicting the future has been tough and each week I kick myself for having to make big swings in the rankings. This week, Ty France pops onto the list, but he’s batting .292 with 16 homers on the year. That places him 14th among first basemen on the year according to ESPN’s player rater. Three spots below France is Jesus Aguilar, who has been a big bright spot for a young Marlins team that has shown a lot of promise in their young bats. And yet, the projection systems (and me) missed on Aguilar. Here I am, putting out yet another list lacking the Marlins slugger. While the power has been there over the last two weeks, the batting average has slipped some. In addition, the projection systems, even those that factor in opponents have Aguilar ranked outside of the top 25 first basemen. So, here I am, stubborn and sticking to my guns for the final countdown. I’ve mentioned how first base has been an embarrassment of riches for a while. That remains the same now. That’s not meant to be a knock on Aguilar at all, it’s just an explanation of how a player can still be useful in fantasy even if he’s not on a silly list. Let’s get to said list and then we’ll talk about some of the movers.Please, blog, may I have some more?
When I was asked to take over these rest of season rankings columns, I accepted and really didn’t think it would be all that tough of an assignment. But looking back, this was a tough job. Trying to keep in mind a long-term outlook and not just focus on what a player did over the last week was pretty tough and truth be told, I missed a decent amount. For example, I bet I could 25 shots at naming the player that rated 17th among third basemen for the year and you’d never pull the name “Josh Harrison” from your butt. The dude has seven homers and seven steals with just 84 combined runs and RBIs and yet those numbers are good enough to be among the top 25 third basemen. That’s wild. Or how about that despite Isiah Kiner-Falefa stealing just one base since July 1st, he’s still ranked as the 13th best third baseman for the year. With the knowledge that we have now, the proof is in the pudding that riding the hot hand and being willing to play fringy players over struggling big names is a viable strategy. It’s certainly one that I’m going to be more open to in my daily leagues heading into next year. Let’s take a look at this week’s list and we’ll talk about some movers.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I can’t believe that it’s been over 11 years since “Looking Like A Fool With Your Pants On The Ground” happened. And yet, the goofy, quippy tune is ringing strong in my ear. My version is slightly different though. It goes, Votto too low, Votto too low, looking like a fool with Votto too low. After missing four games in the middle of July, Joey Votto has gone on a torrid stretch mashing 12 homers in 23 games while batting .325. I don’t feel that bad for not predicting an unreal power pace, but there were some indicators that pointed towards success. From the start of the season to July 11th, Votto posted a career-best 13.1% barrel rate along with a 48.8% hard-hit rate. Those numbers have since increased even higher, but not before making me look like a fool. Votto takes a big leap up this list and while we shouldn’t expect another 24 homers over the last 49 games, he’ll provide above-average power, a steady batting average, and decent counting stats down the stretch. Let’s take a look at the list and then we’ll talk about some of the movers.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Welcome to August! Four months down, two to go. Earlier in the season, I was all about having patience for your struggling sluggers. Now that we’re down to just eight weeks of baseball, I’m more likely to ride the hot hand and opportunity is everything. There were some big names moved at the trade deadline including Kris Bryant and Eduardo Escobar. For the most part, nothing changes for those players, but there is now an opportunity that opens (or closes) with their move. In Chicago, Patrick Wisdom has become the Cubs’ everyday clean-up hitter, causing his value to spike. However, in Milwaukee, Luis Urias went from having regular plate appearances to being the odd man out in a crowded infield. One door closes, another one opens. Let’s take a look at the list and then we’ll get into our movers.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Have you ever been the last person on a sinking ship? See that monster of a Carnival Cruise ship sinking off the coast of Florida? See the f*cking clown on top wearing a Cody Bellinger jersey? That’s me. Bellinger’s extreme upside kept me hanging onto the tiniest straw of hope for a turnaround down the stretch. This week, he tweaked a hamstring. He’s back in the lineup Tuesday night, but I’ve finally decided to throw in the towel. This is probably like when Rocky failed to throw in the towel and watched as Drago killed Apollo Creed….aka my teams with Bellinger are dead. The Dodgers’ slugger was easily the biggest faller of the week. But as one sun sets another Dodger rises in the west – that’s science, right? Max Muncy took a big leap into the top five. Muncy has managed to keep his walk rate above his strikeout rate all year and his Baseball Savant page is filled with the “red stats” that we want to see. Let’s dive into this week’s list and then we’ll talk about some movers.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The hot corner has been a nightmare this year and not just because of injuries. Third base is a corral of struggling horses led by Matt Chapman and Yoan Moncada. However, the Dodger duo of Max Muncy and Justin Turner have been killing it. Muncy missed two weeks in June with an oblique injury and to me, that’s an injury that could’ve tanked his approach at the plate. But since his return on June 22nd, Muncy’s been nothing short of greatness – .300/8 HRs/25 RBIs and a walk rate (15.8%) way higher than his strikeout rate (9.5%). Turner has been, well, exactly what he’s been the last couple of years – consistent. Batting over .300 with power to boot in the middle of a Dodgers lineup is a recipe for success for the 36-year old Turner. Coming into the year, I had some doubts about Turner, mostly because of his age. He’s certainly exceeded the expectations and I expect he and Muncy to continue to carry the Dodgers down the stretch. Let’s take a look at the list and then we’ll get into some of these scrubs….I mean players:Please, blog, may I have some more?
We’ve hit the All-Star Break and it was quite fitting to see Vladimir Guerrero Jr mash a homer into the next solar system. The Blue Jays slugger has done nothing short of taking the league by storm, destroying 28 homers into oblivion. I have zero ragerts about placing Vlad on top of the first base list, but Freddie Freeman certainly has had something to say about the move. Freeman is batting north of .350 over the last month and with his running mate Ronald Acuña done for the year, the Braves’ first baseman will have to carry the big boy load down the stretch. Can he do it? Or will the weight of losing Acuña be too much for him to bear. Find out this week, on “Days of Our Lives”. Sorry, I blacked out. What are we doing?Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “The cream always rises to the top.” What happens when there’s no cream? In doing these lists, one of the major parts is taking a look at the injuries from the last two weeks. Once I look into how serious the injuries are, I slide players up or down depending on how long they’re expected to miss. Third base has been pretty rough this year and this week is no different. Anthony Rendon hit the IL, while Josh Donaldson remains forever DTD and there were a handful of others that were DTD over the weekend, but returned to the lineup – Jose Ramirez, Eduardo Escobar, and Yoan Moncada. Will teams be smart and just let them stay out through the break and return healthy? Or will they try and play through the injuries? Neither is good for these rankings, but things got further complicated by struggling hitters – Kiner-Falefa, Riley, McMahon. I ended up leaving Alex Bregman relatively high, even though he’s going to be out until late July. If you’re dealing with injuries or struggling players, you can look for relief with the likes of Wilmer Flores and Starlin Castro. Just ride those hot streaks until they dry out completely. Let’s check out the list and then we’ll talk about some of the movers.Please, blog, may I have some more?
This year was my twins’ first year of t-ball and they both managed to make the all-star team. Not only was I a proud papa, but because I helped coach, I got to be on the field with them. Our commissioner made the awesome call to have the game on a little league field and announced all the players over the loudspeaker. During the year, it was an incredible experience to help kids learn the game – running the bases, fielding grounders, keeping your eye on the ball. One thing I didn’t do, was pitching to our team once we got to the “coach pitch” level. So, when Coach turned to me and asked me to pitch….during the all-star game….I felt those familiar butterflies. I took the mound and had it working. If a kid swung and missed at a pitch, I used my Terminator-style targeting system and threw the ball where it would hit the bat. Six batters up, six base hits from our National League All-Stars. “Now batting, number 6, “Richardo’s Son”. Both my kids hit lefty and this was the first lefty that I was facing in my “coach pitch” career. Pitch number one was a little outside. Okay, I have to adjust the other direction. Pitch number two HIT MY CHILD SQUARE IN THE CHEST. Me on the mound (in my best Ralphie from A Christmas Story voice), “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh fuuuuuuuuuuuddddddddddddddggggggggggge”. He was fine and after a little laughing and “DAD THAT WAS TERRIBLE”, he hit the next pitch. That’s when I saw it out of the corner of my eye – Coach walking to the mound. You hit one kid in a t-ball all-star game and that’s it? I got pulled. My day was done. Six batters up, six successful hits were given up, and one hit batsman. Let’s take a look at the first base list and then we’ll talk about some players:Please, blog, may I have some more?
One of the first articles that I wrote when I began my writing “career” was in 2019 about my love for Eugenio Suarez. That year he did not let me down, mashing 49 taters and batting .271. Yes, there was the “please don’t look over here” 28% strikeout rate, but my man mashed. In the shortened 2020 season, he continued to mash, but his .202 batting average reflected his 29% strikeout rate. Anyone who has Suarez on their team knows the struggle that we’ve gone through this year – sub .200 batting average, albeit with power. He’s currently on pace for 34 homers and 100 RBIs and yet, he doesn’t feel close to a turnaround in the average department. Since the 2019 season, Suarez has been selling out for power. Swinging out of his shoes trying to hit a home run on every swing. While that’s fun in theory, the reality is it’s not a path that leads to consistency. I’ve finally dropped Suarez down this list as I’m probably one of the last people that thought a turnaround would come. Despite the struggles, I had a tough time sliding him down significantly, because frankly, I’d still rather have his upside over guys like Kyle Seager. Let’s take a look at the list and then we’ll talk about some movers.Please, blog, may I have some more?