Major Key Alert! Now, for all you Gen-X’ers and cowboy hat-wearing’ country boys, “Major Key” is a term used by us Millennials. Well, anyone can use it really. You should try it in your next board meeting, or at home in a convo with your wife. Have a great idea? Care to pass on some knowledge or drop a little truth bomb into a situation? Gotta give ’em that major key.

And yes, there’s an emoji for that…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Is there anything better than baseball on a rainy Saturday afternoon? You can’t do any yard work, you know, because it’s pouring, so you settle into your favorite chair, crack a beer, and you’re whisked away to a place much warmer, and much sunnier. Here I sit, beer in hand, ready to watch this week’s test subject Royals righty Nate Karns vs the first place Baltimore Orioles. The journeymen starter is on his 4th organization in five seasons, and there’s two ways to look at this. Either Karns can’t keep a job, or he’s highly “in-demand” by multiple teams throughout the league. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, never good enough to lock-down a rotation spot, but also good enough to find opportunity year after year. So far Karns has been a good fit in Kansas City, making his 7th start today vs. a surprisingly mediocre Orioles offense, one that ranks in the bottom half of MLB in nearly every offensive category. So the home matchup vs. Baltimore is a good one, even if it’s a first place club he’s facing…. Here’s what I saw on Saturday.

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We all have fears, no matter who you are, no matter what you’ve been through, you’re scared of something. It might be clowns, maybe it’s spiders, perhaps it’s being strapped to a chair Clockwork Orange style, and forced to watch a Ben Stiller movie marathon. Totally a plausible scenario, might I add. While not quite as frightening as any of the aforementioned options, I must admit, I have developed a new fear. And no it’s not the fear of Grey mistaking me for Giancarlo, and having to have him surgically removed from my toilet leg. No, that ain’t it, though I am frightened by that thought. It’s far more topical, and far less titillating. It’s the fear of covering a bad start in my weekly pitching profiles. What fate could be worse than writing up an absolute slugfest? What if the pitcher I pick is chased in less than 3 innings? What if he trips and falls jumping imaginary lines? Shizz happens, right? So to prevent this, I decided to pick out three games, record them, and use the start I like best. In my whitewashed, pre-fab world of pitching, there are no bad starts, only starters I poorly ranked.  So who did I go with? Who was this lucky recipient of my barely readable prose? Well, it just so happens, I decided to go ying to last week’s yang, and cover another young AL East starter, facing the Cubs on Sunday Night baseball. That’s right, this week’s Pitcher Profile is on Yankees righty Luis Severino. Not a bad time to dive into the young flamethrower as he’s hotter than fish grease.

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HOT TAKE! Haha, everyone can get all giddy about the renaissance happening in Washington, but I’ll take my attention a little further north in the NL East. Sure, a certain Zimmerman is on pace for like 75 HR and 180 RBI, but I’m not interested in the past. Give me the future. You can take your old balls and five year plan, I’ll take the upside of a incredible prospect we’ve been waiting on for two years.

Listen, everything’s lining up for this. Curtis Granderson? He forgot how to hit. The Mets pitching staff? Essentially dead. Haha, they have Jose Reyes playing 3B. For the Mets, the future is now (watch out for Amed Rosario to get the call soon), and a primary cog for them in that movement is Michael Conforto. Finally.

If you lookout the current stats and slap line, Zimmerman’s the choice, but in projecting out the future, I’d take the younger option. Even ZiPS agrees with a 21 HR to 16 HR ROS projection in favor of Michael. (Keep reading…I’m a fan of Zimmerman, too.)

  • Michael Conforto, OF, NYM (75.9% owned) – With a current line of .325/17/7/20/1 Conforto’s bringing great value since taking over an everyday role. All those numbers are in only 96 PA. Looking deeper the peripheral stats seem to be sustainable, as well, whereas guys like Zimmerman have a massively inflated BABIP and ISO. And by massively inflated I mean it’s almost double anything consistent with their careers. Conforto, though, sports a .345 BABIP and a .300 ISO. Those may drop slightly, but even if they go down to the ZiPS numbers (in 450 PA) of a .224 ISO with a .292 BABIP it gives him a season ending slash of (~).285/81/28/88/3. That’s sustainable. And greater than Zimmerman. They’re both rising, but I’ll take the young buck. And if you’re in one of the 25% of ESPN leagues where he’s not owned…change that. Fast.

ROS projections are tough. Take the savvy veteran with a lower ceiling but higher floor? Go for the risk of the young’n without the history to prove he can do it further? Find what works for your team and go for it! Here’s the Top 100 Hitters…based on my thoughts! My. Subjective. Thoughts.

They just happen to be right a lot. Ha!

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What you didn’t think I was going to go full homer with my debut pitching profile? I mean, it’s as if you don’t even know me? Suffice it to say we’ve turned the keys to the Top 100 pitching ship from one homer, to another. Truth be told, it was a busy weekend, as I covered for Grey on Friday, recorded the Prospect Podcast on that night with Halp, traveled to New York for Smokey’s 40th birthday, took in the Saturday Yanks vs. O’s game with Smokey and the crew, wrote my Minor League Update, and drove back to Massachusetts Sunday morning. Not to mention I was only tasked with this honor Thursday evening, right after I returned from my oldest son’s first baseball practice of the season. So to say it’s been a hectic few days is an understatement. However, a date for Edurado Rodriguez with the Cubs seemed like a good test for his new found swing and miss tendencies. It should be mentioned, that coming into the game Ed-Rod sported a 33 at bat hitless streak vs righthanded batters. So I was going to be paying extra attention as to how he attacked righties vs lefties, and what sequencing, pitch, etc. was leading to his success. Let’s get into it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

It was almost 15 years ago (somehow) when Outkast introduced us to the truth that sometimes “roses really smell like poo-poo-oo.” Ha, that silly Caroline thought she was special. Back in January, not gonna lie, I had a two weeks spurt of praying and hoping that I could break the mold, that I was special, and that I could get away with not smelling while disregarding one important component of every adult’s life.

After a wedding in Charleston for New Years Eve I came home with zero deodorant. Who in the balls steals deodorant, I don’t quite understand. But that triggered a little experiment for two weeks of wearing none. (Gasp) The horror!

Well, I actually got away with it. For a while. Then came one day at work when I had to walk about 10,000 steps…you can see where this is going. Let’s just put it this way, I didn’t raise either of my arms anywhere north of about 5 degrees from my sides. While it wasn’t doo-doo that I smelled like (because that would be quite possibly the. worst.), Ol’ Three Stacks was right in that you just can’t avoid the necessary elements and think you’re 100. For Caroline, that betch needed a little humility. For me, it was as simple as stop being a cheap bastard because the experiment failed miserably. But, oh, for Rougned Odor? The approach would catch up with him eventually. Here comes the massive drop.

  • Rougned Odor, 2B, TEX (96.2% owned) – I can feel the scorn of all the Grey acolytes reading this. I’m lucky enough to somehow be a part of the FantasyPros Expert Consensus rankings, and while doing a little studying back in March one person stood far above the others in his love for the smelly Texas man with a nasty right haymaker: our Grey. Now, I trust Grey’s ratings above almost everyone else’s, but with Odor we weren’t in lockstep. And then his first week happened and I felt a little silly, because our mustached macho man was looking quite nice for his top 15 ranking of Rougned (3 HR in first 4 games). But then reality set in: this dude’s streakier than Frank the Tank running around the quad (somehow also almost 15 years ago). With a BABIP south of .300 last year he hit .271 and posted 33HR with 14 SB. Incredi-belmo! When the ol’ BABIP drops under .200, though, you get a player slashing .194/9/4/13/1. His game doesn’t allow him to weather the bad storms because he never walks (4.0% this year), whereas players that walk to a double-digit rate can still provide value while getting on base when the bat goes cold. He’s a special talent with a massive ceiling, but until he turns it around there are plenty of other options I’d rather own. At only 23 years old he’s prime to turn it around and still finish with a .250/80/25/80/12 line, but if April’s a precursor for the rest of 2017 we need to pump the brakes on what we dreamed he may be. .270/90/30/90/20 just ain’t happening. This is bad Odor. You’ll have to live with it. It’s definitely not roses.

Now, I’m sure I’ll look like an idiot for this in a few days when he goes all Anthony Rendon, but then I’ll just say this was all a ploy to make my big boss man look better (insert Grey cackle here)! Still worth the 96.2% own rate? Yep. Still worth a top 25 ranking where even I had him preseason? Nope. And much of the below rankings are my subjective thoughts, so don’t agree? THAT’S WHAT THE COMMENTS ARE FOR!

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So here’s something ridiculous – I think the Oakland A’s are my least favorite team.  Scratch that, F THE CARDS!  Even if they do have the best fans in baseball…  A’s are my least favorite AL team.  And it’s nothing to do with particular players, trying to be “hipster” and not liking Monyeball (It’s a cool movie!  Love the music.), or residual ire due to the Warriors.  Ugh, NBA with only 2 or 3 competing teams every year – BORING!  It just seems like every year, their offense is lacking, yet they pound on pitchers when you least expect it.  Cough, James Paxton, cough.  It’s so annoying!  It all started when I owned CC Sabathia on some dynos back when he started with the Yankees, and it felt like every April or May the A’s would tag him for 7 or 8 runs every game.  Plus, ya know, I didn’t buy into Josh Donaldson and Khris Davis decided to be a consistent power hitter in a shittier park, but we’ll end this absolutely ludicrous rant here.

Due to the above, I don’t watch a ton of A’s, so I have yet to see Andrew Triggs pitch.  His scouting report is unimpressive: his fastball actually lost velocity to be a sub-90 MPH pitch, he gets groundballs which usually means Ks should be low, is 28 and a converted closer, and it just all feels like smoke and Black Mirrors.  He’s a robot!  But maybe that perception is a reaction to my A’s bias, especially since he went into yesterday with three straight scoreless start wins.  Well, he did allow 2 unearned runs in one of em and 1 in another – yet another reason I think it’s Black Mirrors.  So I decided to watch his start Sunday afternoon to finally get the book out on the guy, and here’s how he looked against the Mariners:

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When you’re 6’7″, 275 lbs as an athlete there are a few limits to how you can reach the highest level. Running back? Nope. Shortstop? Nope. Quarterback? Well, Jared Lorenzen did at about 4 bills, so maybe? But as much as Andre 3000 loved singing about the prototype, you can’t put that label on a 6’7″, 275 lb outfielder. Remember Richie Sexson? Ugh. Hey, @JB…what would it look like with you galavanting around the outfield? #Razz30

All that to be said, I was totally out on the Aaron Judge experiment. He has massive power in his bat, but I just didn’t see his build and makeup translating well into a MLB slugger. Same worry I have about Phillies minors monster Dylan Cozens. In 670 plate appearances at AAA the last two years Judge hit around .250 with 27 HR. He improved from 2015 to 2016, but I just held some big hesitations.

And man…was I wrong.

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Man, after thinking about where I need to go with this intro, I got a mad hankering for Italian food.  Just ordered some to get here during afternoon baseball.  Is it profiling that now I’m non-stop craving Italian when I hear a name like Sal Romano?  But Italian food is so positive!  Is there such a thing as positive profiling?!

Speaking of Profiling, we’re back with enough edition of the Pitcher Profile!  I know I’m picking someone that’s pretty far off the beaten path, but any time Sunday baseball features an-even-somewhat-interesting guy making their debut, I’m intrigued!  Romano was vaguely on the radar for the NL-only and NFBC-type leagues given the Reds complete lack of a starting rotation, and surprisingly it was Rookie Davis getting the first DL stint (not their old farts, although Brandon Finnegan got hurt as well Saturday night) that opened an early spot for Romano to make his debut.  Buried on prospect lists in the 10-20 range for Cincy (they do have a good farm system though), with Ralph ranking him as merely a “floorboard”, Romano apparently has pretty interesting stuff from what I read, mainly a mid-to-high 90s fastball.  As tradition, I write the intro to the Profiles before I watch a pitcher’s start, and I’ll withhold any judgment until I see him throw.  So as I eagerly await my baked ziti, the Brewers game is about to start and I’m pumped to see how Romano looks and Profile his debut.  Here’s how he fared yesterday afternoon in his debut:

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A lot’s happening in Korea these days. Not sure if you watch the news, but let’s just say they’re not happy with us in the North. You know, the whole communist vs. freedom thing. [Jay’s Note: Or is it simply two man-child idiots battling over who’s more emotionally unstable?] But in the South, where our friends live, we may be getting on their bad side, as well. No, not in a manner that causes global political strain, but with one of their most beloved past-times… our national past-time.

The KBO had a monster in it the last few years. Sure, Japan claims Godzilla, but Korea can say they produced a baseball godzilla. Steamer loved him in the preseason projections, ESPN hated him enough to put his pre-draft ranking at 200+, and other Razzball pundits warned of not overspending for someone that couldn’t make it in the MLB just a few years ago.

And now? Well, Milwaukee not only paid him, but they’ve been seeing a lot of the gif above recently. Platoon? GTFO. You don’t platoon this…

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   
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