“It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.” No truer words, Jean Valjean. MLB has/will set the single-season record for both strikeouts and home runs in the same season. For my last post this season I wanted to take a look at the season at large and 2019 has proven to be quite the spectacle. Strikeouts have risen every year now since 2008; that’s 12 years straight of rising strikeouts. Grounding into Double Plays (GDP) is at 3393 for 2019, on pace to be the lowest total since 1995 when there were 28 teams. So due to Ks and HRs being up, fewer groundballs and fewer ducks on the pond, this has gone down. On the wings of eagles (and juiced balls) Home Runs will totally obliterate (word of the day) the total of 5585 last year by over 1000; yes, 1000. Currently at 6647, it is already destroying the old record by over 500.

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The other day I stumbled on this: Highest average for a 22-year-old in the past 100 years (min 300 PA): .406 Ted Williams; .358 Freddie Lindstrom; .357 Stan Musial; Luis Arraez; .346 Joe DiMaggio — four Hall of Famers and Arraez. Since that faithful day (three days ago), I’ve been on Team Arraez. I’ve called six local-area Spanish restaurants and asked them to change “arroz” to “Arraez.” I called a local biker bar, where the Spanish Kings Motorcycle Club hangs out, and asked them to change the “mind eraser” to the “Mind Arraez” and asked them to tell people it’s “mind” as in to pay attention to like, “Mind the Gap.” Finally, I called the Kiwanis Club of Madrid and said, “Hola, yo quiero Arraez to tengo a key-o to the ciudad.” In each case, the person I talked to said either, “What?” or “¿Que?” and hung up on me, which is why I’m here to tell you all about Arraez! Wait! Don’t hang up! I’m not done yet! With a minimum of 300 PAs, Arraez has the lowest strikeout rate in the major leagues (8.5%), and his walk rate is around top 50 (10.3%). No one in the league is particularly interested in OBP — sorry, Michael Lewis! — but Arraez would be top 5 in OBP if he qualified. Not exactly a guy who gives a ton of power or speed, which hurts his 5×5 redraft value, but he gets a ton of hits, and I got this stupid Team Arraez jersey and I was obliged to shine a light on him. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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John Grisham is a veteran in the book game, as he’s written 43 of them. The Pelican Brief and The Firm were the two that elevated him to superstar status, but it was A Time to Kill that put him on the map. My money is on people thinking it was To Kill a Mockingbird, but whatever. By any means necessary, right? Anyways, A Time to Kill was about some southern drama, in which a ten-year-old girl was killed by two men. Girl was black. Men were white. The girl’s father takes justice into his own hands, clutched around an assault rifle. White community becomes enraged. The rest is lawyer blah blah blah. As the father to a four-year-old girl, there is no better time to kill. Man, this post has gotten a lot edgier than I anticipated. Let me quickly hop onto my segue and roll back onto the fantasy streets. We have one more week left in the fantasy season. It’s a……time to kill (Yes, this website is still free) and Trent Grisham of the Milwaukee Brewers, no relation to John as far as I know, could assist in ascertaining fantasy glory.

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So we are at that time in the season when we start to look back. Look back at the disappointments and the triumphs, the status quo and the surprises. The tale of Eugenio Suarez has been a fascinating one to tell. At the All-Star break this year he had 20 HR and a .248 AVG, and since then he’s hit 25 HR with a .300 AVG. Right now he’s sitting on 45 HRs and making a run at the homerun title, behind only Pete Alonso. Suarez, we all know, was acquired from the Tigers for the low low price of only one Alfredo Simon, veteran reliever. That’s right. Since joining the Reds, he has bested his season HR total every season. On top of that, he’s increased his wRC+ and oWAR every year except this one shockingly, 2019 (including fewer RBIs). What does that mean? Well, on the whole, it means he’s not quite as efficient as he was at the dish the year prior. He’s evolved each season, but for some reason, despite the HR surge he’s produced less with it this year. So sports fans, lets dive in and see what we learn.

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It’s crunch time kids, only two weeks to go.  Many of you probably gave up on your fantasy baseball teams weeks or months ago (as I have with a couple of mine), and are now concentrating your free time on fantasy football, enjoying what is technically the last week of summer, or, craziest of all, focusing on real-life work or family issues.  But if you’re in a deep fantasy league and still fighting for a championship, let’s get right to what we came for:  a few names that may be of interest to those in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues.

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We used to be inundated with the corniest commercials from McDonald’s. Ha! Gotta love the ’80s. But they worked, as people flocked and continue to flock to their establishments for the Big Mac. It’s estimated that close to 1 billion Big Macs are sold yearly around the globe. There was a time when each McDonald’s sign would show the number of people served. I remember when it was in the millions. Now they don’t even bother. It’s like when someone has F U money. There’s no need to count anymore and you look like an a-hole to everyone else if you do. With that said, it hasn’t been all good for McDonald’s, as there have been numerous failures throughout their history: McLobster Roll, Hula Burger, McPizza, McSpaghetti, Mc HotDog, and McDLT. Now, Nick Solak of the Texas Rangers has been en fuego to begin his major league career. Will he force MLB to produce Big Solak Attack commericals or will he go the way of the McDLT?

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“…and the Fantasy Baseball Overlord smitten thee with wheat, maize and Christian Yelich, then said, ‘You can’t have all three, you must choose two,’ and the people of Jerusalem, Wisconsin, a small city outside of Milwaukee, received their bounty of corn and wheat to make beer and dispatched Yelich to a nearby hospital.” — The Book of Uecker. *makes sign of the cross* Sadly, it’s written, therefore it is, as they say in elementary schools using fifteen-year-old textbooks.  The bright side to come out of Yelich’s body issue — not the one that your sister touched herself to, the other one — is Trent Grisham should leadoff and play every day. Remember, he was a guy who hit 13 HRs and stole six bags, while hitting .381, in only 34 minor league games, and could be worth a pick up in all leagues for the stretch-run. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Messiah is the strongest of strong descriptions to bestow upon someone. Savior. Liberator. Deliverer to the Promised Land. It is also the scratch-and-sniff of the literary world, as all the senses are aroused when the word is spoken; the rays of light raining down from the heavens and the singing by the angels. Personally, I smell the incense embedded into the mahagany pews, but cupcakes work just as well. How can we know who a true messiah is, though? Jesus of Nazareth is considered to be the preeminent Messiah in our society, but did he fulfill the messianic prophecies from the Old Testament of bringing universal peace and restoring Israel to it’s former glory? Back in the mid-400s, Moses of Crete declared himself to be the messiah and persuaded the Jews to walk into the sea in order to return to Israel. They all died. Wasn’t Matt Wieters the messiah for baseball not too long ago? On the flip side, the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals don’t win the World Series without David Eckstein. Messiah is a powerful yet broad word, as it fits a variety of perspectives. Sean Manaea of the Oakland Athletics has pitched two excellent games this season, and is scheduled for three more juicy starts, but could he help deliver you to the fantasy Promised Land?

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Change is always a difficult endeavor to endure. I smoked for over 25 years before I decided to try and quit. I don’t even remember how many times it took, but eventually after many years, and many attempts, I was finally able to do it. That shit was hard, so props to any of you that have done it. For those thinking about or are currently in the process of quitting, email me at [email protected] or DM on the Twitter machine @Stan_Son if you need someone to talk to. Maybe my experiences can help in some way. Ok, back to our regularly scheduled programming. During the process of quitting smoking, I got addicted to the CVS menthol cough drops. Now I can’t stop! And I gained a ton of weight. So I’m now in a new phase of change, which is to excercise and diet more, and stop going to CVS so much, but it’s tough. But like with smoking, I’ll get there, as long as I keep trying. It’s never too late to change, but change doesn’t happen overnight. Which brings me to Kolten Wong of the St. Louis Cardinals. Wong has been so right for the Cardinals, as he’s been carrying the club on his back recently. I’ve seen headlines of “must-watch tv” and “team MVP.” There’s also been mention of a new approach at the plate. Can it continue?

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Life is complicated. There are billions of people on planet Earth, each with different perspectives and motives, all trying to coexist together. Who is to say one is more correct than another? Just look at the many philosophical schools of thought: Empiricism, Rationalism, Idealism, Positivism, Stoicism, Structuralism, Materialism, Existentialism, Scepticism, Cynicism, and Romanticism. All attempt to describe and understand the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. Why this? Why that? Why ask why? As a result, many experience paralysis by analysis. Hanser Alberto of the Baltimore Orioles does not have such problems, as his philosophy is simple, pure, and unadulterated: see ball, swing at ball, hit ball. Alberto has been the #44 player on the Razzball Player Rater over the past week, and has been added in 8.8% of ESPN leagues. Trash or treasure?

Please, blog, may I have some more?