You know what makes me upright?  Ew, gross!  I’m talking about sitting up in my chair and taking notice!  Anyway, I get upright, when a guy ups his K/9 and lowers his walk rate.  To make me even more erect — Again, in my seat!  Geez. — a guy who had an already elite K-rate and wasn’t that miserable with his command.  Eduardo Rodriguez had a 9.8 K/9 and 3.3 in 2017, and bested both numbers last year with a 10.1 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9.  That makes me pitch a tent!  A tent in my backyard that I’ve labeled “Pitchers I like.”  C’mon, you perv!  Eduardo Rodriguez had the 20th best K/9 last year.  Wow, I am so horny!  Horny as in bullish on Eduardo Rodriguez!  What is wrong with you?  Anyway, what can we expect from Eduardo Rodriguez for 2019 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

When everyone and their mother is striking out guys, being top twenty is impressive.  That’s everyone and their mother, except Wisler.  His mother just paints the corner.  In that top twenty of starters, only one guy had a 4+ ERA, and that was Nick Pivetta, who was an enigma wrapped in an antacid.  It goes without saying, which is what I say right before saying it, that if a guy strikes out hitters, it’s a lot harder to score on them.  I’m seeing people draft Mike Foltynewicz like he’s the best thing since a slice of bread from a rustic loaf, when last year everyone thought he was a rustic loaf as defined prior to 2000, when it was just five-day-old poop.  No knock on Foltynewicz, but Rodriguez’s K/9 and BB/9 were much better, and his xFIP was practically the same.  From 2017 to 2018, his cutter usage went from 5.4% to 18.4%.  That’s a big difference, and mostly from just throwing his fastball less.  This resulted in his fastball becoming a slightly more valuable pitch (39th best in majors), and his cutter became much more valuable, going from a negative to the 12th best cutter in the majors.  Normally, snooze.  Or maybe still snooze, depending on your levels of tryptophan, but a young pitcher (only 25) who figures out how to mix his pitches can be the difference in forgotten number four to five fantasy starter and an ace.  His Swinging Strike % was 11.1%, which was right above Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw.  I get it, the AL East and Fenway suck.  Also, no one wants to see an already stacked Red Sox team get better without spending any more money, but Rodriguez is going into his third season in the majors, the time I love to jump in on starters, and is right on the precipice of breaking out.  If he builds on next year and gets even better, he could be a top 15 starter.  A 25-year-old pitcher getting better is unheard of?  Maybe, if you’ve never followed baseball and you read this far only because you Googled “pitch a tent + what makes me upright + even more erect + horny,” and were looking for something else entirely.  The only drawback for Rodriguez is his health, but he has been sidelined with mostly problems originating from below his waist.  Hmm, maybe he was the one Googling all of those things.  For 2019, I’ll give Eduardo Rodriguez the projections of 13-7/3.58/1.24/168 in 158 IP with a chance for more.

  1. Ante Galic says:
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    Grey!!

    Great SleeperS report, yet again, AGAIN!!

    a. So Edward Scissor-hands you say, huh? Fantastic and loving that spread of 7 between K/9 and BB/9!! So, he’d be around pick 150 or 125 if you want to reach? Or later than that? Grey? Okay, I’ll wait for January 14th like the rest of us! Man, we really can’t wait for January 14th!

    b. Changing internet service provider. Internet went out yesterday so am using my wife’s hotspot (not that one, you pervs!). New ISP installation guy coming on Thursday. Taking a road trip to the capital tomorrow (it’s only about 2 hour drive away). Our daughter is looking for a dress to wear to the prom. Of course, this dress has to be really special for her. It couldn’t be bought at Sears for 20$ even if it fit and looked nice! So, see you Thursday. Maybe connect somehow tomorrow on our road trip, my wife hates when I do that but…

    c. Subdued Norm MacDonald quote for January 8 (just until the start of the season when Abbott and Costello take over)

    [I promise not use any GIFs or weblinks.]

    Another breakthrough in the Middle East…Arab and Israeli negotiators working through the night accidentally resolved the baseball strike!

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ante Galic: A. He’s going 160 overall on average now B. The ol’ wife’s hotspot! Hey now! That sounds good, good luck… C. Nice…

    • Malicious Phenoms says:
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      @Ante Galic:
      Happy New Year Ante

      • Ante Galic says:
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        @Malicious Phenoms: MP!!!

        Happy NY to you too. All the best to you and your loved ones.

        Cheers,
        Ante

  2. justin says:
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    You had me at slice of bread from a rustic loaf. 3 more sleeper pitchers? Will godley make the cut?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @justin: I’m hoping there’s less than that, which means Bryce or Machado will sign

      • Justin says:
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        Don’t want to spoil future sleepers/rankings, so answer as much or as little as you can. Or just give a quippy response. But what would you see as the main difference between Godley vs. Pivetta. And Marco Gonzales was mentioned earlier in a post. His K rate is a little lower than we would like, but other than that, he seems like a good buy-low candidate. Do you see Marco as a good buy albeit not a sleeper?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I don’t mind Marco, but he’s on a team that is trying to lose 100 games and he doesn’t strike people out like I prefer… He’s not getting a sleeper post, but I would draft him — Godley I’m off of…

          • Justin says:
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            Is it the walks? Found an ERA minus FIP stat (you have probably seen this too) called E-F.

            Top Three E-F:
            1) Jon Gray
            2) Nick Pivetta
            3) Zack Godley

            Marco is 6th btw. I got burned by Gray and Godley last year which is why I’m hesistant. But I’m trying not to let the personal burn affect logic. What’s the reason to avoid the Jon Gray and Zack Godleys when the stats suggest they are due for a rebound?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, it’s the walks… Stats suggested Gray and Godley were going to be good last year and they weren’t… Godley — walks; Gray — homers/Coors

  3. knucks says:
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    Not trying to compare skill sets at all in my comments below, as its not my forte. Maybe OTS gives us even more perspective on E-Rod vs Bauer later today.

    But I’m eagerly awaiting who we think will be this year’s breakout SP stud… AKA your 2018 Trevor Bauer call. Is this him? I went looking for last year’s Bauer Sleeper post. There wasn’t one. You just nailed him as the guy to jump up a round or three and own. He won a lot of teams for me last year.

    Grey’s 2018 Trevor Bauer Projections:
    15-10 / 3.59 / 1.29 / 204 in 189 IP

    In February of 2018, I grabbed Bauer with my #125 pick in NFBC last year. Bauer’s K/9 then jumped from 10.00 (2017) to 11.34 (2018).

    So obviously E-Rod is in a much more difficult division than Bauer was last year. And there is the health thing that you alluded to in the post.

    That is all. Just a ramble of information in anticipation of your 2019 ranks starting next week!

    Also, here an obviously well produced video to get us hyped for the Chargers/Pats on Sunday.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f7GH8btcok

    RIP the San Diego Super Chargers. Haha! How sad do you think these die hards must be watching the Chargers excel in “LA”?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @knucks: Yeah, I didn’t think Bauer is a sleeper… Hard to say a guy I think is a #1 starter is also a sleeper… I’ll have some guys in my top 20 starters who I don’t think others will, so those could be the Bauer type you’re looking for… Let’s go Chargers! Do they have any chance whatsoever?

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        @Grey: Chargers can and will beat Pats.

        Happy New Year fellow Jersey man.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Happy New Year! Jersey!

        • knucks says:
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          @Malicious Phenoms: Funny enough… I am also Jersey, man.

          I like the positivity MP. Bolts always play to the level of the competition. This is prob Mr. Hate-the-Face Rivers last shot at a ring. All of the talking heads saying that the Chargers will win is what makes me the most nervous.

  4. Johnny Be Good says:
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    Hey Grey, Happy New Year man!! Early fantasy baseball keeper question….as I am torn on which one of these keepers to select for this year (keeper moves up 2 rounds each year kept). Which guy/value you liking best ?!?

    – W Buehler 10th rd
    – Z Wheeler 10th rd
    – J Paxton 12th rd
    – J Taillon 14th rd
    – Y Moncada 19th rd
    – V Robles 20th rd

    • Johnny Be Good says:
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      @Johnny Be Good: actually, correction sorry – both Buehler & Wheeler would be 7th rd keepers this year, not 10th…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Johnny Be Good: One guy? Prolly just go Robles, but are there other keepers you are keeping?

      • Johnny Be Good says:
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        @Grey: Thanks! Yea im also keeping

        Baez in 10th
        Belli in 11th
        Story in 13th

        Was debating between Paxton in 12th or Robles in 20th…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I like Robles a lot

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            As long as the Nats don’t do something stupid with him or sign Harper

            • Johnny Be Good says:
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              @Grey: LOL i agree! If Nats do resign Harper…would you keep Paxton (in 12th rd) instead? or Moncada in 19th ?

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Paxton over Moncada

  5. Darren Gallagher says:
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    Great writeup! Who do you like better as a Dynasty keeper going forward in H2H league? No $$ amount assigned. Keep forever. Trea Turner , or Arenado

    • CMUTIMMAH says:
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      @Darren Gallagher: Depends on the settings…
      Standard Points or Power heavy categories – Arenado

      standard categories – Probably Turner (assuming normal 5×5) as a guy with above average power and elite steals is worth more than a guy with just elite power.

      At the same time, it’s good problem to have such a tough decision.

  6. Johnny Be Good says:
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    @Johnny Be Good: actually, correction sorry – both Buehler & Wheeler would be 7th rd keepers this year, not 10th…

  7. Matty says:
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    If your sleepers keep matching up with my dynasty roster I may find myself to be the one with the injury originating below the waist.

    Two part question as I weigh (6×6 OPS) dynasty trade options- a) Do you prefer Bellinger or Hoskins long term? b) Which side of Betts and Folty for Acuna and Bellinger or Hoskins?

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha! I prefer Bellinger, but they’re very close, for this year, prolly Hoskins, guessing Bellinger in future years… Acuna side

  8. CMUTIMMAH says:
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    So far, I am in complete agreement with your sleeper posts… which is not always the case. (See our Joc Pederson conflicts in comments past) I will go down with your ship this year, if we’re on an ill fated voyage.

    You’ve introduced me to a few upside young guys where apparently I had blinders on. And you’re not even Prospector Mike/Ralph/Jermaine/Hezekiah etc. So grace-ius. (That’s a little Spanglish lingo for ya)

    We are kind of hanging out in the Upside Down with first base, and I don’t see some weird little girl with a shaved head showing up to save the position this year. I see your Voit and Austin love in the sleepers, but I’m not in love with either, and your sleeper posts were tempered also. I anxiously awake the under the Greydar guys at 1B when starting lineups start to take shape. I’d hate to play the “well, I guess I’ll hope Miguel Cabrera can live up to a 6th round pick” game. And it’ll take a solid 1B plan pre-draft to save me from myself.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, I agree with you on 1B…And Austin has since lost his job with the Twins signing Cruz… Austin now needs an injury to someone… 1st base is a wasteland like I can’t remember…

      • Dave D says:
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        @Grey:

        Sadly I had pick 109, also the exact the ADP for Matt Olson. One pick before I had him in my queue and “boom”. OUCH! I was going with a 1b there so I was left witha choice on Muncy or Encarnacion. I took Muncy begrudgingly. I don’t trust the playing time issues with ol’ Dave Roberts which affects about 4 or 5 players on my radar right now.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I do like Muncy a lot, hopefully the Dodgers don’t get Machado (or Harper) to clog things up further…

  9. Dave D says:
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    EdRod just went 10th round in my DC, 141 overall. That is ahead of his rotation mates Porcello and Eovaldi. I was two spots ahead and grabbed “Mr. Boring” aka Kyle Hendricks. I feel great about that. I’m interested in your overall rankings and where each of your SP sleepers stand in relation to your other SP sleepers. They all seem to be in the same ADP range of 140-170, curiously ( unlike T. Williams last year).

    Good stuff. No way Id take ERod ahead of Hendricks, Heaney, Pivetta though. It looks like he jumped ADP a bit in my draft.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Small sample size of just your draft, but he doesn’t seem to be going much differently elsewhere… He’s somewhere between 140-180, and seems to be 160 on average, splitting the difference

      • Dave D says:
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        @Grey:

        Are you saying one draft is a small sample size?

        Don’t be unreasonable. Hehe.

        Well the results so far since my post yesterday:

        7. Upton
        8. Muncy
        9. Yates
        10. Hendricks

        I was a little torn on the closer thing as usual. I’d gamble more in a non-hold em, but I kinda wanted a lt least one certain closer to enter the year. He was 16th closer off the board and a lot of “maybes” after. The part I like is that the”handcuff “ ( a fantasy hockey back-up goalie term) to him is Stammen at like 550. The problem with many guys is the #2 in bullpen has too high ADP for my taste. Like if you’re talking MIL, NYY, NYM, PHI, all have too many good #2’s, 3’s that need yo be drafted high. Carrying a lot of RPs seems wasteful to me in DC hold ems.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Can’t argue with that, Yates is fine, and I believe his handcuff is that late right now, but guys always emerge…His handcuff could be someone different by May…I don’t invest in my guys’ handcuffs usually… Meaning, if I have Yates, I’d be fine taking Trevor May, Twins’ handcuff, before one of my own guy’s handcuffs….

  10. Dude Von Dudenstein says:
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    Is there another SP (other than Folty, was never a fan of his) that you would compare ERod to that’s going earlier in the draft? Someone who is overvalued ADP wise that you can get similar or equal value to rounds later with ERod? Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Clevinger? Berrios? Severino? — None are exact copies, but close K/9 and BB/9

  11. OaktownSteve says:
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    I had a long comment on Rodriguez pre-season last year. Noted that he’d quieted his mechanics, particularly the front shoulder not flying open. Really helped his command. Liked him last year, even more this year.

    So far this year I haven’t found a guy I really like as a breakout. Last year I missed on Bauer, though for once in my life (maturity?) I listened to the consensus and encouraged the Bellis kids to take him. My top recommendation last year was Snell. I was also in on Flaherty, Clevinger and Morton. So far this off season haven’t settled on my guys but at first glance not as much jumping out at me immediately as in years past, but it’s early yet.

    Funny a guy mentioned first base above. I was looking at the position this morning.

    Per NFBC ADP there are none going in the 1st rounf of a 12 teamer. Only 2 in the first three rounds and only 4 in the first six rounds.

    Meanwhile 11 pitchers in the top 36.

    The guy I think with the most currently inflated ERA is Mikolas. Not impressed. He had a ton of luck last year even beyond the flukey wins. I’d stick him down in the Jose Quintana range 100 picks later.

    I do think I might have found my Treinen for this year though…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I have a few guys in my top 20 starters that I love that are outside consensus top 20 SPs and can own… Honestly, Ed-Rod, Heaney, Glasnow, Lucchesi and two SPs I have on Thursday and Friday, are enough for me… Throw in a Corbin or someone #1 and don’t need that many more SPs… 1st base is a dumpster fire this year…Actually, it was last year, and now it’s caught up to itself in the preseason… I’m loving Hoskins, then I like some flyers later but pretty much bleh…

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @Grey:

        I’ve been eyeballing Hoskins too, though he doesn’t qualify at first base in NFBC to start the year. Pain in the ass.

        I think as draft season goes on Encarnacion is going to slide down the boards with the trade to Seattle. I think he can still put up 30 and will probably end up being available after pick 120 in a lot of drafts.

        Peter Alonso’s role is a good place to watch. Hoskins and Olson are interesting comps with a crazy power surge for at least part of a season a real possibility.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I like Olson too, and Muncy… There’s a few guys, just not a ton… Peter Alonso feels like AJ Reed part 2… I don’t trust the Mets to promote and play him… And if they do, he needs to perform too… Prolly not in on him…

          • OaktownSteve says:
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            @Grey:

            I hear you on the Mets. But the raw power puts him on the radar for me.

            I think Olson is basically exactly last year’s numbers.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Which wasn’t bad (re: Olson)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Oh, and as for Mikolas…I don’t mind him, he seems like he could K a few more this year, maybe 7.7 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, it’s solid, feels safe as a #2…

      • OaktiwnSteve says:
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        @Grey:

        You crazy. He’s going to have an ERA of 4 and a 150k. Let me try to save you from yourself. You recommended him last year so psychologically you’re attached. If you look at him objectively, he is so not your kind of pitcher. His swing and miss was below 10% even though his out of zone swing percentage was top 10 was high. The out of zone contact rate was high but it didn’t necessarily lead to a ton of soft contact. So he’s going to be pretty Babip luck dependent. Only one pitch, slider, had a double digit whiff rate. 7k/9 is the best you can hope for. His hard hit rate was the same as Lucas Golito. Thank the fates for last year and just move on. He’s not even Kyle Hendricks.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I’ll have to dig in further on him… he’s not the kind of guy I like that high anyway, so I could see passing at his current ADP… definitely likes him a lot more at 275 overall…

    • knucks says:
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      @OaktownSteve: You don’t have to admit which one… but is it one of these 5?

      Swarzak, Leclerc, Adam Conley, Alvarado or Trevor May

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @knucks:

        Yep. And it’s a guy I’ve been on for years

      • Squat Cobblers says:
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        @knucks: I’m guessing O-Town is on Alvarado or Buttrey

        • OaktownSteve says:
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          @Squat Cobblers:

          I like Alvarado. Had him in draft champs last year but he’s not the guy.

  12. DozierTheDozierian says:
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    That might be the greatest first paragraph in the long and sordid history of sleeper post first paragraphs. Keep ’em comin’! (The sleeper posts, I mean! — Jeez!)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks!

  13. Jackson5 says:
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    Can’t wait for the 14th Grey, it’s like waiting for Christmas to come!!!!

    In a OBP dynasty I’m rather deep in the middle so looking to move Seager. what kind of SP should I be looking for Thor and deGrom too much?

    Can you throw me a few names. thanks

    • knucks says:
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      @Jackson5: Because he’s been Out of Office for so long, it’ll prob be tough to get either of those Mets. Wheeler prob more realistic. Also, SS being so deep lately could hurt the return a bit. But it just takes one owner/team to need one.

      Usually, its best if you throw Grey a few names.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Corey? I’d take deGrom, seems crazy tho… maybe Strasburg?

  14. jack florida says:
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    keeper help please , toughest choices for me in a long time

    12 team h2h points—-162 game limit at each position—-keep 8, keep forever

    hoskins
    mondesi
    arenado
    bogaerts
    acuna
    robles
    soto
    bregman
    dahl
    gleybar
    eloy,
    ozuna,
    snell
    flaherty
    clevinger

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Wow, impossible choices… good thing is they’re all great options… probably keep Hoskins, Bregman, Arenado, Mondesi, Dahl, Snell, Soto, Acuna

      • jack florida says:
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        @Grey:i took this team over and drafted all the young guys, ended being the toughest choices i have had to make in a long time

        thanks, that seems like a good mix, i might consider gleybar over dahl, 2 utility spots available

        as uual, thanks for the help

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yup, No problem

    • The Dude says:
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      @jack florida: If I’m in your position I’m looking to package a couple of young guys and land a top 5 player like Betts or JoRam. There’s always someone in the league who needs to restock their youth movement.

      • jack florida says:
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        @The Dude: thanks Dude—i am looking into that also–i am the new guy [last year], do not know these guys at all

    • Malicious Phenoms says:
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      @jack florida:
      Nice choices Jack.

  15. OaktownSteve says:
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    I’m liking Zack Wheeler a lot this morning. Just watch quite a few innings. 36th pitcher off the board right now. Injury history going to keep many cautious.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I like him too, but he seems to be going about at the point where I’d take him

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @Grey: I think that’s fair. I guess the way I’m looking at it is there’s clear upside from that adp. But I understand why he’s being priced there. His pitch mix is interesting.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I see him as a guy I’m willing to gamble on… BTW, just heard Simply Fred died suddenly…

          • OaktownSteve says:
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            @Grey:

            Terrible news.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, super sad…

  16. Dave D says:
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    Damn. Heaney just went 151. Oh well. My draft is not average.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, you’re above average!

  17. Dave D says:
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    At 162, Pivetta, Glasnow, Heaney, Erod all gone!!!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Someone’s spying on us!

    • knucks says:
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      @Dave D: I’m curious Dave, who do you have holstered for your next picks?

      • Dave D says:
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        @knucks:

        Ha! Are you drafting with me?

        I just jumped the shark at 162 with Lucchesi

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Lucchesi of the Meatball Parm Crime Family? Nice!

          • Dave D says:
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            @Grey:

            Newcomb 169

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Meh, I have some issues with Newcomb

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I mean, he’s fine, nothing huge

              • Dave D says:
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                @Grey: g

                I don’t love him either but best option at SP among these vultures. Good k/9 decent era but erratic 2nd half

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, that late it’s not awful… I might go a different way, but I can see it…

                  • OaktownSteve says:
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                    @Grey:

                    I don’t like him

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yeah, there’s concerns, and I’d likely go a different way, but what’s done is done and since Dave drafted him, here’s hoping he’s okay…

        • knucks says:
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          @Dave D: Nah not drafting with you, but I def feel the same way when I’m doing those NFBCs and posting about it. Was just curious, as I’m looking forward to doing one in a few weeks.

    • OaktownSteve says:
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      @Dave D:

      Actually those ADPs aren’t too far out of line. Nfbc for:

      Pivetta 155, Glasnow 175, Heaney 177, eRod 157. Glasnow and Heaney maybe a round ahead but reasonable.

      • Dave D says:
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        @OaktownSteve:
        I’m not saying any one is unreasonable, but all of them going before 160 messed up my plan

        • OaktownSteve says:
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          @Dave D:

          Sucks when it goes like that. You got a list and you assume one will fall and then you gotta scramble. Hate that. NFBC Lived up to the reputation for being aggressive on pitching.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Something I don’t think is discussed…We all use NFBC ADP, but majority of schmohawks on ESPN and Yahoo in friends and family leagues, these guys will go 50 to 100 spots later…

            • Dave D says:
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              @Grey:

              NFBC is only format I play now. Money leagues only. I have little interest in playing with novices and newbies. I’m a somewhat curmudgeonly forty-something afterall.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Haha, I hear ya… I like them all, but can see the allure to money leagues

  18. OaktownSteve says:
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    Been looking at Brooks baseball a lot the last couple of days. Albright, you should really sprinkle some brooks into your life if you don’t already.

    I’ve noticed two trends in the Fangraph’s crowds over the last couple years, both of which I think I kind of agree with. The first is the idea that we should evaluate pitchers almost entirely, and perhaps completely, based on the quality of their pitches. Brooks is the best place to go and look at a pitchers arsenal and dig into what those pitches look like and how they perform.

    What I like to do is go on Fangraphs and see what the pitcher’s arsenal is. Then I’ll take some selected games from the previous year and watch a few innings on MLB.tv. I try to watch an equal amount of good and bad performances to tamp down any bias.

    I try to make some evaluations about make up, mechanics, pitch action and especially sequencing. I’ve also kind of starting looking at how pitches might tunnel.

    Then I’ll go to Brooks and get a feel for the numbers pitch by pitch and see how they conform to my visual perception. There are lots of interesting questions that pop. Why did this pitch improve or decline. What did the change in movement translate to? So on and so on.

    I don’t really watch much baseball during the season. Mostly a radio guy, so I love catching up on scouting this time of year.

    • OaktownSteve says:
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      @OaktownSteve:

      So brooks is the place I go to kind of try and follow the evaluate the pitches advice.

      The other thing with the smart set the last few years has been “when in doubt, don’t bet on the guy with the two seamer.” I think what the data seems to be saying, in a nutshell, is they turn into homers at a higher rate.

      One thing I picked up on Brooks in going through a lot of data sets the last few days is super obvious and I’m surprised I never really thought of it this way, and I’m sure I’m not breaking any new ground here. We seem to associate strike outs a lot with fastball velocity. And yet fastballs are not really a swing and miss pitch. You won’t find many (maybe any, I didn’t run a full search) of starting pithers with a swing and miss rate above 20% on fastballs. Most are in the teens or even the single digits.

      Most strike out pitchers have at least one non-fastball offering in the 20% or greater rate. 23% or better seems to be a bench mark I’ve heard thrown around for quality swing and miss pitches. You some north into the mid-30% range.

      And I guess what’s obvious as well as the velo helps make the secondary stuff more effective by reducing reaction time, but it’s not the stuff of strike outs itself.

      So if you want to look for K sleepers, a good way is to look for a guy with a high whiff rate pitch that he’s not throwing a lot and hopes he just figures out to throw that pitch more. Which has kind of been a common theme in K break outs recently, hasn’t it?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Re: velocity — Think I said this for someone recently, or maybe I was just thinking it myself, or maybe I wrote it in the rankings blurbs that are coming but yes yes, a thousand times yes. Velocity doesn’t mean everything, but when a 91 MPH fastball is combined with a devastating breaking pitch then the fastball is elevated… It might’ve been Lucchesi I saw this on bc his fastball is *only* 90

        • OaktownSteve says:
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          @Grey:

          His was 20% for the year. But it was 28% in September when it tightened up. My thing with him I’ll put to you and the rest of the Razzballians. Show me a starter from last year who succeeded while having a repertoire of 2 pitches thrown 95+ % of the time. I’d want to see a comp as a path to success for him.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            That makes sense… I would love to see one more pitch from him, hard to keep guys honest with two…

            • OaktownSteve says:
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              @Grey:

              When the news starts rolling around spring training I guarantee you’ll hear about a third pitch from him. I’m guessing cutter

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                How hard is it to adjust your fingers and throw one more pitch?

          • OaktownSteve says:
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            @OaktownSteve:

            I should say “another starter” since Lucchesi did it himself.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I usually have a game on in the background all year… I look at Brooks and Fangraphs, in reverse order… If Fangraphs is showing something and I want to dig in further I’ll look at Brooks and game tape… Sometimes there’s an information overload with players (hitters too) where I’ll look at someone and like them, then dig in and find things to dislike and like and dislike and I’m going crazy with information and try to pare back to why I liked or disliked a guy originally… For instance, I could’ve dug in so far with Bauer last year to not like him, but at certain point, you just have to trust you know enough… You can always dig up something negative or positive, ya know?

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @Grey:

        That’s true about info overload. I think what got me with Bauer last year is I kind of got stuck with a somewhat rigid, strong idea of who he was so I didn’t really do enough of the research on my own to understand the reasons for the success. And then I said publicly that I didn’t like him so I dug in. Like I said, by the end of the off-season last year I came around and that was a good lesson for me.

        A lot of this is also just some snap judgement stuff. I looked at Jake Junis yesterday and after about 20 pitches I was done. A big no thanks.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Jakob Junis! Haha, there will be a stretch of games where he appears to be solid, and then there will be 20 pitches from him to a good team and it will be blam-o. He did have a decent 2nd half tho!

          • OaktownSteve says:
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            @Grey:

            People like the slider and he did have numbers with it, but it won’t last. No there there.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, agreed… I could see a deep NFBC-type league pick of him late, but more for a potential 180 IP of 3.85-4.20 ERA numbers…

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                And likely on high side of that

  19. Sean says:
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    5×5 OBP league, $310 budget, can only keep 6, who do I drop?

    Betts 41
    Harper 38
    Eduardo Rodriguez 13
    Pivetta 3
    Voit 1
    Mondesi 1
    Eovaldi 1

    Thanks!

    • Sean says:
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      @Sean: Oh and Edwin Diaz 13

      need to drop 2

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Eovaldi, Eduardo

  20. Primetime says:
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    I own verlander, scherzer , Bauer and severino. My staff is nasty. May keep those 4 plus.. Lindor bellinger And Rizzo.

    Was offered k Bryant for Bauer?

    Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Sounds good for you!

      • Primetime says:
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        @Grey: how you feel about Bauer? Can Kris get back to form?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I love Bauer and think Bryant can get back to form… Prefer bat over arm… Not a slam dunk, but I’d go Bryant

  21. Tommy Herr says:
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    Yo! Ive got Edmundo sosa as this years juan soto! Rememeber this post!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, done and done

  22. Crazy J says:
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    If he really stays at this draft position, then yes… of course I’m in!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nice!

  23. Nightpandas says:
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    Would you trade Gleybar for either of Cmart or Bauer? Qs K/9 and obp league

    You liking Josh James this year? Is he far of EdRod?

    Looking forward to next week m!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Bauer… James is below Ed-Rod…

  24. Dave D says:
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    A slow day so far. No MLB news and my DC is stalling. No pics yet today. Took Renfroe #192 and Eaton #199 last night. Ive got pics #222 and #229 later today. I’ll probably do another OF and maybe a P.

    So far:
    1B: Muncy
    2B: Albies
    SS: Story
    3B: Rendon
    MI: Baez
    OF: Pham, Upton, Renfroe, Eaton
    SP: Berrios, Hendricks, Lucchesi, New-comb
    RP: Yates

    I’m happy but not overjoyed

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Solid team so far, don’t love your OF, if being honest, but they could be okay… I’d look for safe from OF, if there’s any of those left…

      • Dave D says:
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        @Grey:

        Yeah, like Pillar, Kemp, Gardner, Ass-veil, Calhoun types. I might take a flyer on some of the recently traded guys on new teams whose playing time was blocked (hint, hint) previously

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, depends who’s there, but Pillar/Calhoun are exactly in that mode… Maybe on Kemp, I don’t think he has full-time PT on the Reds…

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Really depends on Winker

            • Dave D says:
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              @Grey:

              Yeah. I like some of your sleepers too. I’m Mullin over Palka. Any thoughts on Jay signing and Alonso impacting Palka’s playing time?

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Palka should be fine still, Delmonico was likely screwed by Jay… I like Palka a lot still, and Mullins, but you could use some stabilizing in that OF…

                • Dave D says:
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                  @Grey:

                  Yeah. I think youll like my next two picks. Hehe. I’m up soon. Will update when I pull the trigger.

  25. Acuna Matata says:
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    As always Grey, love the sleeper posts. Can’t wait for the full rankings.

    Now that Fantasy Football is done it is time to get right back into Fantasy Baseball as I have some big decisions to make this year with my keeper team and was hoping to get some insight from you..

    My potential keepers this year in a 12 man OPS forever keeper league are:

    Acuna, Machado, Correa, T Turner, Soto, Stanton, Blackmon, Rendon, Merrifield, Gennett, Miggy, Scherzer, Kershaw, Kluber, Snell, E Rod, Aroldis Chapman

    I get to keep 10 guys … your thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks! Acuna, Machado, Correa, T Turner, Soto, Stanton, Scherzer, Kershaw, Kluber, Snell

      • Acuna Matata says:
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        @Grey: Thanks Grey. I was thinking along those lines too.

        Follow up question – if I were to try and trade a package of my players for a single player who would you target? Is it as easy as just saying Trout or would do you prefer another player long term – Betts, Guerrero, Arenado, JRam?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I like Trout, Betts, Arenado, Vlad… That order long term…

  26. ERad says:
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    ::rubs eyes::

    Where am I??

    Ah yes, back in the Razzball comments

    ::Goes to sit on the toilet for the next 30 minutes::

    Glad to be back for another season, happy new year and early birthday! Yes, I don’t remember any of my family members birthdays, but I somehow never forget your birthday corresponds with the rankings drop.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Glad to help your poop schedule! Happy New Year!

  27. Fungazi 2.0 says:
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    Here’s a conundrum for you, keep 6 of these players. It’s 12 team H2H with 2 hitter cats: TB/BB, and 2 pitching cats: L/QS added to standard 5 x 5. There are a couple of quirks. There’s CI and MI, but only 3 OF, so OF are usually available to easily pick up or trade for. 3 adds per week and everyone holds 8 -9 SP, so streaming is hard to impossible.

    Arenado, Stanton, Bregman, Albies, Cole

    Goldschmidt, Benintendi, Hoskins (as 1B)

    I’ve narrowed it down to the top 5 and likely Hoskins, due to age and lower value of OF position. What you think?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hard to argue with those 5 and Hoskins…

      • Fungazi 2.0 says:
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        @Grey: Think so. Have had Goldy for the better part of 7 yrs, hard to let him go. Thanks Grey.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No problem

  28. Paul Visconti says:
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    In my 12 team h2h points league should i trade moncada for profar and conforto??

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yup

      • Paul Visconti says:
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        Ive been struggling with this for 2 weeks honestly. If moncada finally breaks out i dont want to be the JERK

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I don’t think that trade is that close

  29. Jr says:
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    H2H Dynasty league keeper question. BB, OBP and SLG are cats in this league.

    Which of these would you rather do?

    My sherzer for his JDM (can be kept for 3-4 years max)
    My scherzer and maybe Marquez for his Soto, but Soto is really cheap for next 4 years, can be kept for 10+ if he warrants keeping for that long.

    This league is entering year 10 and still going strong, so could see it going another 10.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hmm… I like the idea of Juan Soto… Otherwise, I would take JDM

  30. DonnieB says:
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    For the next two years, would you want Arenado or Machado? Thank you and looking forward to your rankings next week! They are the best.

  31. nightpandas says:
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    Grey my man,

    Rebuilding with Vlad, Eloy, Senzel, Devers, Gleybar, Othani (bat), Springer, Meadows, Adell, Soroka, J Urias

    15 team obp

    In our 10 round draft I have 6 picks in round 1, 2 in round 2, 2 in round 5 so figure I can grab lots of decent pitching

    Just got offered his Treat Urner for my Vlad. Got me thinking….what do you think?

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