Alright ladies and gentleman, just a forewarning this will be very brief as I am posting from 35,000 ft above the Pacific Ocean.  After a weekend of wedding festivities, I am now on my way to the land of cheese, bread, pasta, and pizza.  The beautiful country of Italy.  Let’s be honest though, there was no way I’d be able to spend my entire honeymoon without dabbling in Roto Leaders for our lovely Razzball followers.  Time change is a little confusing so let’s see if we can find a way to make this happen! Once I’m back home, I’ll be able to go more in depth, Ciao! and Eccoci qui! (Here we go)!

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Welcome back to Perception Vs. Reality where we run through the player rater and talk about players that have been outperforming their expectations from a numbers standpoint. Last week, I mentioned how poor the weather has been and it seems that we are seeing a much better outcome from mother nature going into this week so let’s hope that it continues. This week might seem like a little bit of a rerun from my post a couple of weeks ago, but there are a couple of names that are worth repeating again as they continue to crush baseballs and expectations. But I will start with a name that is new to this post in an effort to shake things up.

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Each week on the Razzball Prospect Podcast, Ralph and I often touch on prospects we expect to see within the coming weeks. Over the weekend I’m convinced every General Manager in baseball listened to our podcast and decided to rid us of all talking points for our next show. Dissapoting? Indeed. But does this mean we’re finally getting more looks at prospects on the big stage? Absolutely.

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Gleyber Torres (25-30%) [MASSIVE BID POTENTIAL] is one of the highest ranked prospects projected to come up this season is Gleyber Torres. He will make his first start for the New York Yankees on Sunday, April 22nd and, according to Jack Curry, slots in as the starting 2B for the rest of the year. The upside is evident based on his track record in the minors. Always young for his level, Torres has accumulated 19 home runs in his last 180 games with impressive BB/K ratios. We have seen prospects called up only to manifest career-high power numbers in the MLB, so Gleyber could easily be another one of these narratives. This week the bid is for an above-average approach with decent power and speed to provide excellent fantasy value in a star-studded New York Yankees lineup.

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A little over four years ago my girlfriend and I moved in together. Or, more accurately, I moved from my mom’s basement to my girlfriend’s basement. Shortly after the move, my lady and I were having dinner with my grandparents. It was during this meal that I received some of the only praise I’ve ever received from my grandfather: “Nice work Donkey, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free!?”

You’re probably wondering what this is going to have to do with fantasy baseball. What’s the milk going to be in this analogy? And is Bartolo Colon the cow? Of course he’s the cow! But not for the reasons you’re thinking. He has big bones, people! Cut Big Boned Bart some slack! I’m going to leave you on the edge of the toilet seat in your office bathroom, contemplating this analogy for just a little longer.

First, I need to add a preface; the following bit of fantasy baseball theory is mainly geared towards season long rotisserie leagues. If you only play head to head leagues you can feel free to flip back to that pornhub tab for the last few minutes of your bathroom break. Unless of course you’re looking for more sage life lessons from Grandpa Donkey, in that case stick around.

In recent seasons you may have noticed the league-wide pitching numbers are on the decline across the board in a big way. Starting pitchers are throwing fewer and fewer innings while giving up more and more runs. Whereas only a couple years ago it may have taken a 3.25 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP to win those categories in your league, this past season a 3.75 ERA and 1.20 WHIP was plenty to land the top spots in many roto leagues. I’ve compiled some data in the tables below to support these claims.

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Baseball season eh? Are they going to play any? Am I right? It’s not all bad, they still have to make up the games so it should lead to more full slates and double headers. Hopefully more full slates, I’m not a big fan of the double header. Who likes to see 1-8 with a run scored next to a player for the day? Life is full of disappointments elsewhere, leave baseball alone. Like we did in the first two weeks, we are going to look at the player rater and find some gold that your league mates might be under appreciating more than you under appreciate prestige television like The Americans.

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We’re back with our second installment of this year’s Roto category leaders.  Once again, listed is the current leaders, favorites in a group (if tied), and who is licking their chops to, meow mix meow mix please deliver, take over the lead, ready to run a train on them chicken fingers nom nom nom nom.  You know what, let’s get right into it!

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Each of the last two weeks, I’ve looked at pitchers who changed something in their repertoire. The first change I looked at was my opinion of starters – Take that for data! – before that exact trio started generating substantial buzz (Corbin, Bundy, Lucchesi). I then navigated to velocity changes on two arms I was particularly intrigued by (Berrios, Castillo). Now to complete the trinity, I wanted to look at what I consider “hipster pitchers.”

Said in layman’s terms – are hipsters layman now? – these arms are following the breaking-ball trend that has taken over the game, buoyed by the philosophy that your best pitch should be thrown more than the past would suggest. Breaking balls are the most successful pitch at inducing whiffs for the majority of pitchers, that’s why the majority of starters, when broken down by pitch usage and count, will tend to utilize breaking balls with two strikes (duh!). They’re also the most fun to gif up – just ask one of the most popular baseball accounts on Twitter, @PitchingNinja.

Speaking of pitchers, if you like the sound of my voice, which you can judge for yourself weekly on the Razzball Prospect Podcast I co-host with Ralph, I’m doing also doing a weekly “Pitcher Thoughts” podcast. It’s available on the Apple Podcast app, Stitcher, Spotify, and Soundcloud. Shameless plug!

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Two days ago, Justin Bour hit 2 home runs against the New York Mets. Prior to that game, though, Bour had 6 hits in 37 at-bats with 1 run scored and 1 RBI. As a result, my inbox was inundated with questions regarding Bour and the ownership percentage in ESPN leagues went down 13.4% to 59.1%. My inbox wasn’t inundated with questions regarding Bour. That honor goes to the Nigerian prince that continues to profess his willingness to help out society by giving everyone money. The decrease in ownership, though, was indeed real. Is it warranted? The plate discipline numbers seem fine. Bour is swinging a little less than normal, but the contact rates are in line. The batted ball profile is where things are out of whack. More ground balls, fewer line drives, more infield pop ups, less hard contact, tons of soft contact, and more hits to the opposite field. No surprise then that the BABIP is .200 and batting average is .190. The strikeout rate of 22.2% is close to the career average, but the walk rate of 6.7% is well below the 10% career average.

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Hello and welcome!  We’re going to take a look at the AL and NL league leaders in each standard rotisserie category after the first full week of baseball and discuss, analyze, and Razz it up! (90’s phrasing!) My favorite in the group is ONLY available when there is a tie in a category. Waiting in the weeds is a pitcher or hitter that is not currently leading the category, but could find their way into the lead soon…

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