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Hahahahahahahaha–Breathe, Grey, breathe!  Nick Castellanos?!  As a sleeper?!  Again?!  Well, it must be fantasy baseball sleeper season with a post about Nick Castellanos.  I debated on whether or not to write this post (for 17 seconds), but I kinda have to write a sleeper post about Nick Castellanos now because if he really does breakout in a huge way this year, I can’t have this offseason be the one year he doesn’t have a sleeper post.  That wouldn’t make any sense.  Kinda like every episode of Mr. Robot.  Elliot is doing what now?  I have no idea, and I watch the episodes and read the recaps.  I nearly talked myself out of this sleeper post, too.  Not because I’ve written the same one four years counting, though that would’ve been a good reason.  I almost didn’t write it because his power was so lucky last year.  He nearly led the league with ‘Lucky’ homers (4) and was fifth in the league for ‘Just Enough’ homers (12).  16 homers out of his 26 homers that could’ve easily been doubles (one, actually, could’ve been an out because it was a misplayed inside-the-park-homer).  Who’s Greek and might only hit 10 homers next year?  Nick Markakis, the Greek God of the Bloop Single, but if there’s room for one more, Nick Castellanos, the Greek God of Hard Contact, seems like a worthy bedfellow.  Though, there’s the thing:  Hard Contact.  So, what can we expect from Nick Castellanos for 2018 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

The Greek God of the Line Drive also works as a, uh, Nick name.  Castellanos was 10th in the league for LD% with 24.5.  The top ten isn’t quite as glamorous as you might imagine.  Shin-Soo Choo, Jed Lowrie, DJ LeMahieu, Chase Headley…Now I know why he’s a sleeper, because these names are putting me asleep.  Joe Mauer, Alex Gordon, Miguel Cabrera, in his worst year, Dansby Swanson…I mean some of these guys in the top 25 for line drive rate couldn’t or shouldn’t have even been in the majors.  Hard Contact, however, is a bit more exciting.  Top 5:  Gallo, Judge, Au Shizz, Corey Seager and Castellanos.  So, this is, like, really weird, said like John Travolta, it seems like the more line drives a guy hits in the Hard Contact clique, the less interesting they are for fantasy.  Castellanos’ ground balls were up (not literally), which is not great for a guy that can steal five bags, but is nowhere near a speedster.  However, where this gets a bit confusing is there’s other guys in the top five for Hard Contact that hit more grounders than Castellanos:  Au Shizz and Seager, so it’s not the death knell.  *crosses self*  RIP Nell Carter, the original death knell.  However, Castellanos’ HR/FB% is way below those two guys.  Castellanos has found some kind of magic formula to hit the ball exactly 24 degrees off the ground, which means he hits rockets for 375 feet, and occasionally the fence is low enough for these to go over.  It’s weird, wacky stuff, said like Johnny Carson.  It’s not exactly the makings of a breakout on the face of it, but if he can alter his launch angle just the smallest of degrees, he could be a 34-homer guy.  Other thing going for him:  his home runs in the last three years are 15, 18, 26.  Nice trend.  His average on line drives was .629, which is insane, as you’d imagine for an average on line drives, but what makes him different is how many liners he hits.  This guy’s like an iceberg!  Finally, his month of September was 7 HRs and .359, which shows what he’s capable of.  If Castellanos had a 40-homer, .315 season, it would not shock me.  If you’re betting on a guy, why not one that hits a ton of line drives?  Rhetorical!  For 2018, I’ll give Nick Castellanos the projections of 81/29/103/.283/5 in 588 ABs with a chance for more.

   
    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, Hopper! No one better at work today…

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: Nothing like a reminder that Blue Velvet exists

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Love Lynch, couldn’t get into Twin Peaks, don’t know why

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Grey: me neither. I might go back and try it again. A show like that you have to be in the right place and I don’t even know my place anymore

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, I’m not sure if I’m going to try again… Maybe… I tried twice now and I just can’t get past the nonsense in the pilot… It’s so dated now…

              • J-FOH says:
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                @Grey: maybe if you take up blazing again you will be able to make it through.

                On another note,Ive been watching the homicide hunter on Hulu. Really good re-enactments

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Oh yeah? I gotta watch that, I love shows like that usually… I’ve watched about 600 episodes of Forensic Files… BTW, I finished Godless, it was great…

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @Grey: the guy is so consistent on HH. His voice is hypnotic like Giancarlos thighs

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Haha, I’m so sold now!

          • LenFuego says:
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            @Grey: It is because there was no end point in mind, so the show was a bit of a meandering mess. Like Lost, it was capable of creating tremendous moments and scenes and even episodes, but the overall arc did not work because the show runners did not care about the arc (and let’s face it, a serial TV show is all about the arc). A good guy would become a bad guy would become a good guy again only to become the a bad guy again and then back to a good guy followed by a bad guy … etc. etc. When there is no consequence to anything that occurs, the viewer eventually picks up on that and ceases to care when a character makes a transition … once that happens, the show is toast.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, that could be, I never even got that far in to start to care… Was all too much effort…

  1. Scott Kimmel says:
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    Merry Christmas Grey!!!! Hope you had a good one. Santa left me a trade offer under the tree. He said I can have Robbie Ray in exchange for Danny Duffy and one of these prospects: Glyber Torres, Nick Senzel, Austin Meadows or Jason Groome. Would you make that deal? If so, which prospect would you give up? Thanks in advance.

    • Slappy Jack says:
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      @Scott Kimmel: def Meadows imo, he just doesn’t have the ceiling of the other guys even if he does end up being decent (which might not even happen)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Christmas, Kimmel! I’d take Ray, send Meadows

      • Scott Kimmel says:
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        thanks Grey. Hope you had a great christmas

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Thanks, Scott, hope you did too!

        • Scott Kimmel says:
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          he said he doesn’t want Meadows anymore. he only wants Torres or Groome

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Tell him no backsies

            • Scott Kimmel says:
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              I gave him the choice of who he wanted, when I offered Meadows he then said he didnt want him.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                But I thought he originally said he wanted Meadows…

                • Scott Kimmel says:
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                  he did and when i offered him he didnt want him anymore

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    Tell him it’s too late, he has to take him now

                    • Scott Kimmel says:
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                      its a deal.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Nice!

                    • Scott Kimmel says:
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                      He accepted Meadows and Duffy for Ray

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Nice, Scott!

                    • Scott Kimmel says:
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                      Grey,

                      Im torn between two prospects. Would you take J.B. Bukauskas or Adam Haseley

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      JB

  2. Crime dog says:
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    Grey- not sure if you’ll cover this at some point between now and draft day but what’s typically your strategy for drafting closers? I know you wont be drafting a top closer around 60. Are you grabbing your first closer around 100-120? If so, are you drafting multiple closers or maybe just drafting 1 solid option and then picking up saves as the season goes on?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’ll go over drafting closers when we get into the preseason… Around 100 sounds about right…

  3. Chris says:
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    Need 2 Keepers: Castellanos in the 17th Round, Benintendi in the 8th, Sano in the 9th, Paxton in the 8th.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Sano, Benintendi

  4. Slappy Jack says:
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    I checked out Castellanos a few times during last season.
    It seemed fishy to me when I was verifying his godlike hard hitting abilities, that so many Detroit Tigers were among the top “hard hitters”.
    It was like him, Miggy, Upton, JD, Vmart, Avila, and even Kinsler were in the top 50 whenever it was that I checked.
    And I also remember seeing something about how the Detroit pitchers were getting hit “hard”er than usual.
    The ultra scientific conclusion I drew was that the Statcast guns/cameras/whatever, ran a little ‘hot’ in Detroit.
    Not to say all those guys shouldn’t have been in the top 50, but 3 or 4 of them were having lousy seasons despite supposedly hitting the crap out of the ball.

    Nick’s september saved his god awful season up until that point.
    All this is to say I am super skeptical of Mr. Castellanos , or I was until I read your spin
    Now I’m trying to figure out what round to try and scoop him in

    What odds would you give your projection line Grey?
    50/50?
    35%?

    and thanks my dude, loving the offseason coverage!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hmm… Maybe on the gun running hot in Detroit, but Nick’s got nice trends in the standard categories too… And he’s a solid age to break out… I like Nick, 90% confidence in him….

  5. Jose says:
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    Grey, Happy Holidays to the leader of the sweatpants army!

    Long story short, do you think with Kemp gone, Acuna will be up by May? If so do you think he’ll slot into LF? If so don’t worry about reading the rest of the babble below, haha. Thanks!

    Toward the end of last season I realized I had a LF problem in my 25 man roster, keep forever league. I’d been keeping Yelich for 3-4 season, which whatever, he was good enough. But realized he was going to lose LF eligibility for 2018. My other LF option is Kris Bryant. Great! Except, he wont have eligibility either. So going into 2018 I have no LF options on my roster.

    Looking at LF it’s quite a mess of who will repeat there performance from last year (Upton, Gennett), who wont have eligabilty (Ramirez, Bryant, Yelich), and who could overperfom/break out (aaaaaahhh???)

    Top available LF are (by points scored in our league): M Cabrera, Peralta, Granderson, Joyce, Thames

    Other Available options: A Hicks, G Polanco, K Schwarber, Para

    I’ve got some decent trade chips (Merrifield, J Turner), but who should I target, I doubt I can pry Bellinger away from his Owner and now that OZuna is a Cardinal (Owner lives in STL) that’s a long shot. After Brett Gardner and Benintendi, I’m back to M Cabrerra.

    Do I just “stream” LF?

    Thanks Grey

    • Jose says:
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      @Jose:

      *Edit: I traded away Yelich late last year along with Segura for deGrom.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Happy holidays, Jose! I think Acuna will be up towards end of April, think Kris Bryant his rookie year, or Bellinger last year

  6. nightpandas says:
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    Happy Boxing Day Grey!

    Offseason trading has begun, wondering your thoughts on keepers here so I can move a few:
    15 team, 7×7 with OBP/SLG/QS/Kper9

    Need 11:

    Pitchers: Sale, Honeywell, Glasnow, Bundy, Familia
    Batters: Hoskins, Odor, Happ, Brinson, Calhoun, Dahl, Desmond, Orlando Arcia, CDick, Franco, Lucroy, Margot, Myers, Peraza, G Torres

    I was thinking: Sale, Bundy, Hoskins, Odor, Dahl, Happ, Myers, G Torres, as first 8 but struggling with last 3..

    Pitching holds a little more value I feel as there are only 9 starting batter spots in this league with the 4 SP and 2 RP starting spots.

    1. What does Santa Grey think?
    2. Did get an offer of T Walker or Manaea for my Happ…but thinking not enough

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      And may all your boxing be bright! Margot, Peraza, Desmond…. 2. Nah

  7. mikestatic says:
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    Hey Gray, Keeper thoughts: 12 team weekly standard 5X5: (AVG, HR, RBI, R, SB – W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP) 5 OF, CI/MI, UTIL. Keep 6 Forever and they cover rounds 1-6. Example: I only keep 5 and I get a 6th round draft pick. Here is the list:

    Pos: Harper, T. Turner, Bellinger, Dozier, Encarnacion, Hoskins

    P: Kluber, Carrasco, and Ray

    I am definitely keeping Harper, Trea, Bellinger and Kluber but my other 2 keepers are in the air. I was leaning keeping Hoskins and Carrasco with the last 2. Really tough call. I would try to trade whoever I dont keep to get something out of them instead of just losing them to the draft. Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hoskins, Carrasco works for me

  8. SR says:
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    Hey Grey,

    Dynasty question for you – standard 16 team 5×5 roto with 40 man rosters.

    I’m in the middle of a rebuild, and improving the assets I inherited on this team. An year in I’ve basically gutted the roster, added a ton of top-50 prospects and sub-25-30 MLB guys.

    Last remaining aging assets are Kemp and Scherzer – I’ve gotten an offer to swap these two for Stanton. I should be able to snag an upsidey top-75 prospect with the extra roster spot.

    Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Take Stanton in a heartbeat

  9. Matt says:
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    I swear dude, do you have a copy of my roster? So like in the last month, you’ve put four of my guys in the sleeper category: Trevor Story, Trey Mancini, Eddie Rosario and now Nick Castellanos. Besides those guys, you’ve also written about my other players: Marcell Ozuna, Dee Gordon and Tyler O’Neill. I love reading your blog, it’s like a daily update on my team!!!!

    Merry Christmas Grey! How about a piece on Aaron Altherr or Mitch Haniger as another “sleepy” player??!!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, you’re welcome! Happy holidays!

      I do like Altherr and Haniger a lot…So maybe…

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: I think a lot of people like Haniger and does he become enough of a value to be a “sleeper”? Getting both of these player to 600 AB’s (injury history) feels like wishful thinking. Do you see Altherr as that streaky hack who will kill you for 5 weeks then gives you a big week then repeats the cycle.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, that’s the problem, do they play enough? Not sure they do

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Grey: I worry about Altherr having too many cases of the JUPdohs where he is killing you while you wait for that big week

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Maybe, I worry the outfield might be crowded…

      • Matt says:
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        @Grey: I gave you an idea for your next sleeper didn’t I!! Haha!!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, nah…

  10. The Great Knoche says:
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    After Xmas, back to Fantasy baseball is my life.

    And I’m bored so how do you rank this group for 2018?

    Rizzo, Votto, Freeman.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      They’re all close

      • The Great Knoche says:
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        @Grey: Not letting any secrets out early…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Nope

  11. Phil Up Your Crevice says:
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    Grey, I hope you’re enjoying the holidays. Please help me out here. 6×6 Roto league (OPS & holds), and I need to keep 3 of the following:

    Trea Turner, Aaron Judge, Marcell Ozuna, Anthony Rendon, Buster Posey, Daniel Murphy.

    I’m pretty confident in keeping Treat Urner and Judge, but torn between Ozuna and Rendon. Please enlighten me with your opinion…thanks, Grey!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Urner, Judge, Rendon

      • Phil Up Your Crevice says:
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        Thanks, bro. You really are the best. I was also leaning towards Rendon considering the position.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No problem

  12. Speill says:
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    Hi Grey. Not sold on Casti yet. Maybe 1 more year. I was just offered in the Christmas spirit Bregman who is getting $19 next season for Trout who I prob would not keep since he would require $69 of my espn budget next year. I have J Turner for $4 and Gregorius for $4 to fill my SS and 3b spots. My question is should I swap out one of these guys for Bregman at $19 or hold. I prob wouldn’t not keep Trout at his price would you. Standard espn 5×5 keeper $260 budget. Thanks guy

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      How many teams in your league?

      • Speill says:
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        @Grey: 8 teams

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Trout’s prolly go for that then

          • Speill says:
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            @Grey: So out of the other two but would you keep Turner thanks

            • Speill says:
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              @Speill:who would you keep Turner or Gregorius at $4 each. Thanks

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Didi

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Didi

  13. Bbboston says:
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    Grey,

    With Sano now a “stretch” to play 150 games at 3b and possibly trade fodder to boot, has Escobar’s value gone up? I ask because I have him at $1 in a keeper league and it’s starting to feel like he’s a very good keeper at that price…. especially if he can repeat a 20 home run year. Thought on Escobar as a keeper at $1?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I like Eduardo Escobar… he’s a keeper for a $1 if your choices are limited

  14. Scott Kimmel says:
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    Grey,

    SHould I draft Jeren Kendell or Brent Rooker next?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Rooker

      • Scott Kimmel says:
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        DO you think Kendell will be there for me when its my selection again at #50?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Maybe, not sure

  15. Abe Froman says:
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    Grey, I asked the other day about my 10 team, Roto Dynasty, 6×6 (OBP + QS). Keep up to 17 forever. Turns out Urias counts as a minor leaguer, so I get one more keeper.

    Here’s where things stand. Keeping:
    1. Goldschmidt
    2. Trea Turner
    3. Rendon
    4. Springer
    5. Dee Gordon
    6. Carrasco
    7. Darvish
    8. Khris Davis
    9. Story
    10. Polanco
    11. Desmond
    12. Paxton
    13. McCullers
    15. Doolittle
    16. Haniger

    Minor Leaguers:
    1. Urias
    2. Senzel
    3. Willie Calhoun

    And I get one more of the following:
    DeJong, JBJ, Salazar, Duffy, Corbin, Snell, Morton, Shark

    Thoughts? Also worth mentioning that for any given week, we only start one person at each infield position, 3 OFs and a util. No MI/CI. And for pitching, we start 4 SPs, 2 RPs, and 1 SP/RP

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