We’re nearing the 40% mark of the season, which means our favorite pitchers are fully loose and getting all sorts of problems with their shoulders and [reads notes] A4 pulleys. OK! Everyday, we learn something new. Today, I’m going to teach you the following: the Electric Slide, the G.O.A.T. recipe for yakisoba, and also, what an A4 flexor pulley tendon is. I’m not even sure I wrote that last part correctly, but I’ll trust the editors to fix it up.*

*Editor’s Note: Budget cuts have led to our dispossession of a copy of Grey’s Anatomy, both the book and the first season on DVD. Without McDreamy, we have no compass to guide our knowledge. 

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It’s Memorial Day folx! In addition to your firework festivities that will surely keep my toddlers up all night, we are now 1/3 of the way through the MLB season. In fantasy terms, that’s probably more like half of the season, depending on your playoff format. Especially in deeper leagues, fantasy MLB playoffs are like the NBA and NHL, where they go on for half a year. Nothing says hockey like teams from Florida, Texas, and Nevada playing in June! Just as I was writing this up, I realized the Razzball Basketball site was still churning out articles. Good job, Son! I think my RazzJam team last played in…March? ENYWHEY. I’m here for all your weird fantasy scheduling needs. Have a happy Memorial Day for you Americans, or bank holiday for you Brits, or pre-solstice preparations for all my dwellers of the night. 

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It’s nearly freaking Memorial Day, folx! I finally relented on No Mow May today and sheered about 8 million dandelions from my backyard. Do you know the meaning of “deadhead”? Other than being one of the greatest Devin Townsend songs. Oh, and that other band with Jerry Garcia. Oh, and the trucker slang. That’s right — the fourth guess did the trick! It’s when you pop the head off a dandelion. I suppose you could do this maliciously while cackling, but I do it with a lawnmower that dates to the 1980s. Have I succeeded in giving you a feeling that my life is ultra-exciting like Grey’s? 

And now, much like Grey, let’s see if we can save your fantasy baseball team as it heads into the 1/3 mark of the season. 

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Now we’ve entered the meaningful stats era and the Twins are still in first place. Who wants to go to the World Series with me? I kid, I kid. Like I could afford the parking for the World Series. Also, the entire AL East has a better record than the Twins. [sigh]

Twins superstar Joe Ryan sits at SP2 on the Razzball Player Rater, propelled largely by his 6 Wins in 8 Games started, which feels a lot like 2022 Tony Gonsolin. Clayton Kershaw and Joe Ryan are neck and neck in terms of fantasy value — same Win contribution, same K contribution, and nearly the same ERA. These are all good things.

And [ahem] Eduardo Rodriguez is SP5 on the year. Nathan Eovaldi is SP10. Justin Steele is SP8. Whoever Tyler Wells is, is SP12. Wells was a reliever in 2021 who became a starter in 2022 and nearly halved his K rate.

This reminds me of when Alec Mills spent significant time in the Top 10 Starters on the Player Rater in 2020. The guy had a curveball that you or I could throw faster than, and I haven’t thrown a pitch in 23 years. The guy even notched a no-no. But by the end of the year, batters caught up to his Eephus pitches and he finished well outside of usable starters. A couple years have passed and the guy’s not even in Major League Baseball anymore.

This is the power of small sample sizes: they make outliers look normal. Justin Steele’s ERA is 2.3 points lower than his xFIP. Tyler Wells is marginally better, with about a 1.8 point difference. Joe Ryan? He’s pretty good. But at his current Win luck, he’ll finish the season with 24 Wins. It just doesn’t work that way anymore.

A couple balls get by a defender here, a couple pitches called balls instead of strikes there, and these guys go from the tops of the charts to unrosterable. Let’s see if we can make any sense of who’s for real, and who’s just noise.

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I admit: I’m living in a massive contradiction. I tell y’all about pitchers who limit runs, but I’m a glutton for offense. I’ve been around baseball for the better part of three decades, and there’s nothing I find more boring than a 1-0 game. I know defense wins championships, but every time there’s a close play at the bag, I root for the runner. I get to be a part of the baseball blogging community, and I can’t say I have a true favorite pitcher from the modern era. I’m old enough to have watched Nolan Ryan’s farewell tour in person, and who was my favorite pitcher growing up? Jimmy Key. Efficient. No walks. Quick games. Favorite team? The Twins. Efficient. See ball, hit ball. Coming of age in Minneapolis, you could get a student ticket, a beer, and two hot dogs for $10. But that dang fortress of an outfield in the Metrodome — the trash bag in right field, and the plexiglass in left field — that was a nightmare for offense. Y’all remember Kirby Puckett jumping up the plexiglass in the World Series, don’t cha? Nah? Guess we gotta get those copies of This Week in Baseball transferred from VHS.

Enough about my youthful pining for Jimmy Key — a pitcher who cataloged nearly 2600 innings of MLB work while striking out fewer than 6 per 9. By my own algorithm, he’d be Tier 4. Tier 1 in my heart, but ready to let your fantasy team down, eh?

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With all the accuracy of genetically modified water, my rankings are here in full form! Imagine it like an early Cinco de Mayo present. Or if you don’t observe Cinco de Mayo, then at least it’s a May the Fourth (be with you) surprise. Like Rey finding Luke’s lightsaber, I hope that you find hope and light by knowing the hierarchical ordering of pitchers for your imaginary sports team. Now, concentrate really hard, and will your team to first place!

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Friends and family and enemies who read this for the schadenfreude — we’re 10% into the 2023 MLB season! The Twins and the Rays are the best teams in baseball, and Kyle Freeland is your Cy Young frontrunner. Let’s Freeland GO! 

For longtime Razzball readers, you know the motto is still: Don’t Panic. Three games started. 10% of the season. How many of y’all quit one episode into a Netflix series? Maybe that’s why the icon for Squid Game is that robot girl. Or maybe Netflix thinks the prime demographic for the show are fans of cybernetic giantess fantasies. It’s probably both, to be fair. I, for one, would love to see The Terminator throw 120 MPH with his right arm while simultaneously blasting T-1000s with a gun in his left hand. But until we see Ahnold blasting his way to the mound, we’ve got our human pitchers and they’ve got their flaws. 10% of the season is still a drop of non-GMO motor oil in the sea.

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Here’s the reason why us residents of the Bold North, USA (ZIP Code issuance pending) never supported that whole Marie Kondo trend of paring down our clothes drawers: this past week, we’ve gone from a 17 degree low, to a supposed 80-degree high next Wednesday. I have four seasons’ worth of drawers, and I’m not talking about storage. I just did an easter egg hunt and there was still ankle-deep snow, at the same time as the Twins had their home opener series. Great baseball weather, eh?

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Welcome folx and family! We awake into a brilliant new year of MLB baseball where theft is common, the per-hour wages have increased nearly 10%, and random young minds are usurping the services of the veterans. It’s complete anarchy! And who better to guide you through the mean streets of MLB than your one and only host, EverywhereBlair. I’ve been doing this pitcher thing at Razzball for over three years now. I understand that you have a choice in which anonymous internet face you go to for fantasy baseball advice, and I’m proud to be your anonymous face. Whether you’re joining for the first time or have been there since my first Jake Odorizzi sleeper that had two subtitles, I’m happy to have you along. 

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Your most anticipated article of the year is here! I can read your mind like I read a Twitter feed: scattered and filled with unmentionable things. But don’t worry, I won’t tell people about your Gundam fantasy. Let’s stick to the socially acceptable fantasies — like baseball!

Every year, I sift through my trove of data and give you ridiculous yet data-driven takes that aim to give you the edge in your fantasy team construction. Successful calls have included Robbie Ray and Luis Castillo, while failed calls have included Jack Flaherty and Tyler Mahle. So…if it wasn’t for injuries, I’d be Nostradamus!

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You love a masterful start. Pawn to E4. Welcome to the Jungle. The pilot of The Sopranos. Friends, I don’t know if you’ll agree with me, but I had a masterful start in our RazzSlam best ball contest. Why does this matter? Because it’s basically the same philosophy and scoring system behind your favorite best ball moneymakers, whether it be on Underdog or NFBC or OnlyFans. At least, OnlyFans told me they did “best balls.” Did I misunderstand? Possibly.

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