The Jays approach 2018 as a bit of a wild card. A wild card that could be a Wild Card, if ye catch me drift. They’re unlikely to take down the AL East with the likes of the Yankees and Red Sox flexing full powerhouse mode, yet their roster is far from a disaster. All they really lost from 2017 was Jose Bautista, and one could consider that addition by subtraction. They brought in Aledmys Diaz, Danny Espinosa, and Yangervis Solarte to bolster their infield depth behind the injury-prone Devon Travis. They didn’t want to have to rely on youngsters Teoscar Hernandez and Anthony Alford in the outfield, so they traded for Randal Gritchuk and signed Curtis Granderson. They even reinforced their pitching staff with cheap options Jaime Garcia and Seung-hwan Oh. It’s been an unheralded offseason for Toronto, but considering what they accomplished without spending a lot of money, it’s been an impressive one. With better seasons from Aaron Sanchez and Marco Estrada, this could be a team that improves quite a bit from their 76 win 2017. I spoke with Tom Dakers from Blue Bird Banter about some of the fantasy situations surrounding the Jays in 2018.

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Note: The season has started, but we’ll have a couple more previews to release this weekend for your viewing pleasure!

Welcome to Razzball’s 2018 team previews. As we’ve been doing the last few months, we’ll be previewing all of the teams and talking to writers who represent those teams around the web. We want to provide the best and most in-depth fantasy projections to go along with the asking the most useful questions to those who know their teams best. We want to talk about the players in the first half of your draft and also the deep sleepers that make you log into google and start watching Midwest Single-A ball for hours. Just kidding, don’t do that, hopefully we don’t go that far…

Did you know that the Arizona Diamondbacks are putting baseballs in a humidor?…. The humidor has been the talk of the fantasy baseball community this off season. How will heavier baseballs affect Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb’s power numbers? Should we roster a plethora of Diamondback pitchers? The Diamondbacks made the playoffs last year! Arizona was a great story in a stacked division. The Diamondbacks are bringing back all of the same talent and should also feature some pretty decent bullpen arms especially if Archie Bradley works out in the closer role. The top half of this lineup is just as dangerous as any in the National League and the rotation features 5 pitchers who are capable of sub-4 ERAs. I chatted up Scott Bogman of In This League to talk about his favorite team. You can also check out the player debate book he wrote with The Welsh.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Note: The season has started, but we’ll have a couple more previews to release this weekend for your viewing pleasure!

Welcome to Razzball’s 2018 team previews. As we’ve been doing the last few months, we’ll be previewing all of the teams and talking to writers who represent those teams around the web. We want to provide the best and most in-depth fantasy projections to go along with the asking the most useful questions to those who know their teams best. We want to talk about the players in the first half of your draft and also the deep sleepers that make you log into google and start watching Midwest Single-A ball for hours. Just kidding, don’t do that, hopefully we don’t go that far…

It’s been an interesting offseason for the Orioles, who (at least for the time being) have decided to hold on to superstar Manny Machado rather than dealing him prior to his walk year. They are moving him to shortstop though, perhaps to showcase his talents there and raise his value. In any case, we love the value boost he gets in fantasy. The O’s have brought in the likes of Andrew Cashner and Alex Cobb to “bolster” their rotation, in addition to re-signing Chris Tillman. When those are the highlights of your offseason, you probably shouldn’t get your hopes up too high. That said, Baltimore consistently beats their projected win total, so who knows? Maybe they’ll surprise us. They’ve still got a ton of offense, although Mark Trumbo is slated to begin the year on the disabled list, and Chris Davis has been coming along slowly as well. To make sense of the rest, I got in touch with Christopher Church from Fansided’s The Baltimore Wire.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Welcome to Razzball’s 2018 team previews. As we’ve been doing the last few months, we’ll be previewing all of the teams and talking to writers who represent those teams around the web. We want to provide the best and most in-depth fantasy projections to go along with the asking the most useful questions to those who know their teams best. We want to talk about the players in the first half of your draft and also the deep sleepers that make you log into google and start watching Midwest Single-A ball for hours. Just kidding, don’t do that, hopefully we don’t go that far…

Well, it’s been an offseason, hasn’t it Rays fans? It’s hard enough to compete with the likes of the Yankees and Red Sox in general, but the Rays also have to do it with one of the lowest payrolls in MLB. They have shipped off the likes of Evan Longoria, Jake Odorizzi, and Steven Souza. They even went so far as to DFA Corey Dickerson, who was eventually dealt to Pittsburgh. They lost Lucas Duda and Logan Morrison in free agency, who hit a combined 68 home runs in 2017. They lost Brent Honeywell and Jose De Leon to Tommy John surgery already this spring. Sounds like they should just put the Trop up for sale and pack it in, right? Well, you’d think this season would look like a total dumpster fire, but they did bring in CJ Cron, Carlos Gomez, and (I guess he bears mentioning) Denard Span. In fact, PECOTA actually has the Rays winning 83 games, which would put them in the Wild Card game according to their projections. The Rays will be a very interesting team to watch this year, but for fantasy purposes we turn to Adam Sanford of DRays Bay to illuminate us on some of the most interesting situations in Tampa.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Welcome to Razzball’s 2018 team previews. As we’ve been doing the last few months, we’ll be previewing all of the teams and talking to writers who represent those teams around the web. We want to provide the best and most in-depth fantasy projections to go along with the asking the most useful questions to those who know their teams best. We want to talk about the players in the first half of your draft and also the deep sleepers that make you log into google and start watching Midwest Single-A ball for hours. Just kidding, don’t do that, hopefully we don’t go that far…

It turns out trading for Chris Sale was a good idea. Who knew. The 2017 Red Sox won 93 games and the AL East crown came along with it, although they would be swept by the Astros in the ALDS. This offseason they brought back the likes of Mitch Moreland and Eduardo Nunez to help keep their MLB core strong, but that’s not all they did. They ponied up for the biggest bat on the market, signing JD Martinez to a surprisingly reasonable 5-year, $110 million contract. He’ll provide some much needed thump to a lineup that was lacking power following the retirement of David Ortiz. With a young core of hitters, a good bullpen, and a top-heavy rotation, Boston will look to repeat as champs of the AL East in 2018. I spoke with Sean Penney of Fansided’s BoSox Injection to parse out some of the most relevant fantasy questions surrounding the Red Sox this year…

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The AL East is “big boy” baseball. Four teams from the division ended 2017 in the top 10 for home runs in all of baseball. The Yankees were first with 241, the Orioles were fifth with 232, the Rays were sixth with 228….Hold up. The Rays? Yes, the Rays. The final team was the Blue Jays with 222. With great power, comes great responsibility. Unfortunatley, there was a lot of DGAF’ing, as the Rays were second in MLB for striking out and the Orioles were eighth. From a pitching perspective, it would makes sense then that three of the teams (BOS, NYY, and TOR) ended top 10 in strikeouts. TB ended 11th. Big boy baseball indeed. To cement the point home, four of the teams (BOS, BAL, TB, and NYY) were bottom 10 in sacrifice hits. TOR was 13th. Small ball, schmal ball. Chicks dig the long ball. Ladies and gentlemen, the AL East.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Welcome to Razzball’s 2018 team previews. As we’ve been doing the last few months, we’ll be previewing all of the teams and talking to writers who represent those teams around the web. We want to provide the best and most in-depth fantasy projections to go along with the asking the most useful questions to those who know their teams best. We want to talk about the players in the first half of your draft and also the deep sleepers that make you log into google and start watching Midwest Single-A ball for hours. Just kidding, don’t do that, hopefully we don’t go that far…

Here we have the Chicago White Sox, yet another rebuilding (read: tanking) AL Central team. Also known as the Pale Hose (not to be confused with a male Irish cabaret), we do have a team with some very intriguing young talent. The rotation is looking shaky at best (my God, look at those Steamer projections), but Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson are bringing some youth and speed to the top of the lineup with more exciting prospects on the horizon. Keep an eye on the closer situation heading into the season; veteran Joakim Soria is the current favorite, but Juan Minaya lingers, and Nate Jones looks healthy and could be dominant. I asked Collin Whitchurch of BP South Side about some of the more interesting players and playing time situations.

The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Welcome to Razzball’s 2018 team previews. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be previewing all of the teams and talking to writers who represent those teams around the web. We want to provide the best and most in-depth fantasy projections to go along with the asking the most useful questions to those who know their teams best. We want to talk about the players in the first half of your draft and also the deep sleepers that make you log into google and start watching Midwest Single-A ball for hours. Just kidding, don’t do that, hopefully we don’t go that far…

The Yankees got an early jump on their expected window of contention (if such a thing ever ceases to exist with the Yankees), racking up 91 wins in 2017 and taking a Wild Card berth all the way to an ALCS Game 7. Aaron Judge exploded into a legitimate second coming of the Tall Man superstar, leading the league with 8.2 fWAR. Gary Sanchez confirmed his status as the top fantasy catcher, Luis Severino turned into an ace, and they traded for solidifying pieces Sonny Gray, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle. As if that wasn’t enough to make them the favorites to win the AL East, they took advantage of potential Yankees spy Derek Jeter’s Miami fire sale. They landed Giancarlo Stanton (and his $300 million contract) for next to nothing, giving them the most feared tandem in baseball with Judge/Stanton. They also added veteran Neil Walker on a cheap deal and traded for Brandon Drury, giving them easily one of the most complete rosters in baseball. I spoke to Fansided’s Yanks Go Yard editor Mike Calendrillo about the fantasy value of some of these studs…

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For the upcoming season, Fangraphs has four teams projected for a run differential greater than 100. Three of those teams reside in the AL Central. Ha! For shits and giggles, the fourth team is the Miami Jeters. No wonder Chief Wahoo’s smile is so big. The division is straight forward so my only question regarding the AL Central is: why is the logo for the White Sox black? Wouldn’t white with black trim make more sense?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Welcome to Razzball’s 2018 team previews. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be previewing all of the teams and talking to writers who represent those teams around the web. We want to provide the best and most in-depth fantasy projections to go along with the asking the most useful questions to those who know their teams best. We want to talk about the players in the first half of your draft and also the deep sleepers that make you log into google and start watching Midwest Single-A ball for hours. Just kidding, don’t do that, hopefully we don’t go that far…

The Tigers finally embraced their need to rebuild in 2017, trading off superstar pitcher Justin Verlander for prospects Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron, and Jake Rogers. Miguel Cabrera had the worst year of his career, Victor Martinez is just about over the hill, and there isn’t much else going for the roster either. Kate Upton won’t even be in the bleachers anymore. Times are tough. The projection systems all have the Tigers fighting for the worst record in baseball. However, there is still fantasy gold to be mined on crappy teams, so let’s get to diggin’. I asked Emily Waldon of The Athletic Detroit to help us polish this Tigers coal into diamonds. Wait, crap, I was going with the gold metaphor, not diamonds. Umm…let’s just get Emily’s take and try to milk some fantasy value from the teat of this ugly roster.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   
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