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Draft This: Eugenio Suarez, CIN ~Not That: Miguel Sano, MIN

Miguel Sano missed 39 games in 2017 with a stress reaction in his left leg. He underwent surgery to repair the issue, but this surgery lead to the unintended consequence of Sano bucking the trend by showing up to spring training in the “worst shape of his life.” Sano is listed as 260 pounds on Baseball Reference now, but judging from pictures at spring training he looks closer to 280+. This lack of conditioning and added pressure on his legs leaves Sano open to higher risk of future injury. On the other side, Eugenio hasn’t missed a big league game due to injury in the past two seasons.

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Razzball provides rankings for a whole lot of league types; seriously, it’s overwhelming (my 18 team, 7×5 league on ESPN gets owned using these rankings). Right here, right now, however, these are my OPS rankings (I almost said “Phil B.s’ rankings,” and thought how silly it was to say that, and now I’ve done it anyway…great start). There’s no time to do position by position, so let’s get right to the good stuff, corner infielders. The basis of any good team, in any kind of format, this 2018 season provides many an option to choose from.

Using tiers makes it easier to not get too attached to one player; rather I can like a couple of guys in a group of them. So in honor of the Olympics, we’ll start with the medals and add in some other metals (btw, anyone reading Batman Metal right now? It’s real good and it has a Joker as Batman!) because there’s more than three tiers. So here we go!

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My prior, uber, hard-line stance has been that you with that one hair wrapped around your head acting as a hairstyle don’t want to draft a sleeper 1st baseman.  By the by, I tried to replace Uber with Lyft in the previous sentence, but it didn’t make sense.  Previously, I’d tell you to go to my top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball (not clickbait at all) and draft some top guys and stop fooling around with sleepers at this position.  Of course, I’m malleable like Gumby and this year I could see drafting a sleeper first baseman, though at my corner infidel or utility slot.  Yes, I still want a top 1st baseman.  No, ‘utility slot’ doesn’t have multiple meanings.  Yes, even for fantasy.  As with other positions like the catchers to target (again, not clickbait), these are 1st basemen that are being drafted after the top 200 overall.  I love Rhys Hoskins, but he’s not going to appear here.  Dear, steer clear–*short circuiting internal rhyming dictionary*  Anyway, here’s some 1st basemen to target for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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The American League West. Home to the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros. Home to the best player in baseball. Is that Mike Trout or Shohei Ohtani? Home to the team that has a need for speed, as the Seattle Mariners acquired Dee Gordon. Can some of that speed and “other stuff” be transferred to the arm of Felix Hernandez? Home to the only team that has had a Bush own the team, pitch for the team, and had, not one, but two POTUS’s. Or is it POTI? Home to the team with the second-lowest payroll in all of baseball. The Oakland Athletics are at $50.7 million for the 2018 season, while the Boston Red Sox have a $229.7 million payroll for the upcoming season. Ladies and gentlemen, the American League West.

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

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I spent a good amount of time swimming through all of the hitter rankings and just had the opportunity to dive into the vast pool that is Grey’s starting pitching rankings. Sifting through this list is much more difficult due to volume. Number 30 on this list is much more impactful than number 30 on the 3B list. As I scrolled through to find a surprise Grey wasn’t too hot on, I mostly saw players he’s a tad bullish on. Trevor Bauer in the top 20, Ohtani at 21, those definitely piqued my interest. A few more in the top 30 like Luke Weaver, Kevin Gausman, and Drew Pomeranz had me thinking too. I also like these guys, but maybe not enough to push them up there. This is where I stumbled across the topic of this article, a player I felt should outperform all those mentioned above, Gerrit Cole.

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Last week (or so) I put out my early first base rankings. I completely intended to follow that up with a post for each position, but if I’m being honest, I’m running out of time. With drafts already starting to happen, it’s time I got to it and worked on my official rankings. With that said, I am knee deep in projections, rankings and spreadsheets. I know many of you are patiently waiting for my customizable spreadsheet, but that’s still a couple days away. In the meantime, I have gotten far enough to share my rankings.

Please keep in mind that these rankings are based on a specific scoring system. When my spreadsheet is released it will allow you to enter your league specific scoring system and will generate custom rankings. Because as I’ve said many times before, “all leagues are not created equal”.

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Baseball, like a flower, blooms in the spring.  They also share equally effusive PR people.  Just the other day I read about how a petunia’s branches gained 15 pounds and was in the best shape of its life.  Sure, it’s always good to look at spring training numbers to give you an idea what you can expect from guys during the season — can I draft Ronald Acuna yet?!  Players in spring training are facing the top pitchers who are all displaying their best stuff.  No one needs time to get warmed up.  No one’s trying new pitches or getting a feel for the ball.  They are at the height of their game in the beginning of March.  Our former commissioner, Bud, once doffed his toupee and tried to have the World Series played in March.  Since these spring training numbers mean so much, I decided to look at some players stats so far:

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With the season starting early this year, it seems like everything is a bit crunched.  This includes preparing for the Razzball Commenter Leagues drafts.  March is already upon us and it’s time to get drafting!  Hopefully, you’re not caught unprepared.  This week I just wanted to drop some additional strategy notes I couldn’t cram into last weeks posts.  This time next week we’ll have an assortment of draft data to wade through, which will be much more exciting and make it seem like real fantasy baseball season!  As of now one league has drafted, the Writers League jumped in first with a draft this past Saturday evening.  There were a few autodrafters (raises hand in shame), but an overall good looking draft (just don’t look at my lack of pitching staff, wow, that’s ugly).  There will be a Q&A style recap of that in the coming weeks.  Keep an eye out for that if you’re interested but in the meantime, let’s cover the last few tips you need before tackling your own drafts in the weeks to come.

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I woke up from a cold sweat this morning, and decided to hammer out some miles on the treadmill at the 24 hour gym down the road. There I was, in the shortest of shorts, gonads dangerously on the edge of exposure, watching hours of Oakland Athletics tape. When getting into the mindset to write these posts, it’s important to mimic the approach and personalities of those General Managers you’re studying. DiPoto week in the Lifshitz house is a trip! I trade the kids for three older middle aged adults with poor credit, and mounting debt. Thank god I’m given permission to cosplay A.J. Preller in order to trade back for the kids. Wow, this got off track! Oh yeah, Oakland! The Athletics modus operandi is common knowledge. Trade for controllable talents, get the most out of the arb years, move along, and do the same damn thing. After a couple of molasses slow rebuild years, things progressed nicely toward the end of 2017, as a young core led by Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, and Franklin Barreto began to emerge. With a well stocked farm system, and some top level talents on the cusp, this is another great system for Dynasty managers looking to target strong rebuild pieces. Who wants to talk about the prospects? #MeToo. It’s the Oakland Athletics Top Prospects for 2018 Fantasy Baseball.

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It was a tall task, but we came, we saw, we talked a shizz ton about 60 outfielders for your listening enjoyment. We pickup where we left off last episode, and take you from 41st all the way to 100. Of course we sneak in some time for NFBC team talk, and a host of other banter. This has to be one of the most comprehensive shows we’ve ever done. No lie, it’s three to four days long! We cover three of Grey’s outfield posts, and give you the low down on all the names to target, and which ones to avoid. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast:

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