Please see our player page for Aaron Hicks to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Zach Plesac was on the attack again Friday night holding the New York Yankees to just two earned runs on six hits in seven innings, he walked one and struck out five for his first career win. All this coming after another seven inning one-run gem last week in Chicago where he struck out seven. I’ve now learned to have blind faith in whatever young starting pitching prospect Cleveland brings up. Zach is now rocking a 1.86 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and a 14/3 K/BB through his first three starts, two of which came against fairly potent lineups (Boston and NY). Yep, I’ve seen all I need to see here. Where do I sign? I want to own the next Bieber/Clevinger before anyone else gets wind of this. Fun fact!  Zach’s uncle Dan also won his first start against the Yankees in 1986 and even lost his first against White Sox! How cool is tha-ZZZZ. I mean, way cool! In nine starts in AA/AAA this year, Plesac was 4-1 with a 1.41 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 56/7 K/BB! Uhh, yes please! Batters hit just .185 against him. So this isn’t exactly coming from nowhere. Sure, he has a bit of a limited arsenal which could catch up to him his second time through the league, but for now it’s all hands on deck. Uncle Dan gives him his full endorsement! He gets the weak Cincinnati Reds line up next week and I’d own him wherever I needed starting pitching help.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s not easy writing a post about a hitter that went bingo-bango on your pitcher three times. Why the hell was Trevor Bauer in the game for 119 pitches?  Did Bauer invite Tito Francona to his house for one of his baseball player meet-and-greets and serve him coconut water? Cause if he did that, then hell hath no fury like someone served coconut water.  “Is this sweet…perspiration?”  That’s me drinking coconut water.  Trevor Bauer (8 IP, 5 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.93) has the Twitter handle BauerOutage and, gotta be honest, it’s meaning something that he’s not intending this season.  It’s like 1977 in New York City power outage and Son of Sam is talking to his dog about what a mess my fantasy pitching is, due to Bauer.  Any hoo!  Max Kepler went to-the-window-to-the-wall three times yesterday (4-for-4, 4 RBIs, hitting .266) with his 13th, 14th, and 15th homer, and is doing what I always dreamt of, only I was dreaming about it in 2017. See, I’m accurate about everything, except years.  Right now, on our Player Rater, Kepler is around the 25th best outfielder.  However, before his home run yesterday, he was hitless for close to a week, so it shows you his hot and cold natural.  Right now, it’s Max Power:

Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Andrew McCutchen is out for the year with a torn ACL.  To borrow a phrase often quoted in the White Sox bullpen box score, that’s A. Bummer.  On the bright side, Cesar Hernandez (1-for-5) isn’t some obscure Roman emperor, you’re thinking of Nero Antivirus and Flavor Flavius!  Last year when Cesar Hernandez had 563 at-bats in leadoff, he was a sneaky top 50 bat.  Before last night, he had only 5 at-bats at leadoff.  Well, all that’s about to change for the better.  Then you have the new Phils’ outfielder, Jay Effin-Up-My-Paddack Bruce (3-for-4, 3 runs, 6 RBIs and his 15th and 16th homers).  Also, Adam Haseley (0-for-4) suddenly has value as the Phils’ center fielder, when two days ago you thought Haseley was the singer of Ghost.  You say you’re no good for me, I like it ANYWAY! What, I have to work the five-lady crowd too.  As I said yesterday, “(Haseley is the) Phils’ 2017 1st round pick. Prospectonator doesn’t love Haseley, giving him 15/7 with little average over the course of a season (by the way, if you click on Haseley’s name, his projections are there for free — like every player). I will say this for Haseley, he looks ready to contribute in the landmark case of sooner vs. later since he played college ball.  In NL-Only leagues, I’m interested since McCutchen looks out for a while, but wait and see in mixed.”  And that’s me quoting me!  The Phils also said (This Phil character has a lot to say!) Scott Kingery (2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer) will be getting regular starts at 3rd.  When asked about Maikel, they said, “…”  Oh, now you have nothing to say!  But Maikel hit a pinch-hit homer, his 9th.  Still nothing?  “…”  Damn.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Kinda obsessed with our Top 100 Fantasy Starts tool (not a tool as much as it’s a free list).  Since I’m writing this on Sunday, I’m not sure yet where Shane Bieber and his 9 IP, 0 ER, 5 hits, zero walks, 15 Ks will rank, but my guess is 1st or 2nd overall.  (The tool (list?) updates after this is posted.)  Pretty deep into the season to have Shane Bieber throw possibly the best start of the year.  Bieber was the youngest Indians pitcher since 1987 with 12+ Ks — wow! — the last to do it was Greg Swindell — um, all right! Bieber was the 4th youngest since 1908 to have a 15-K, zero-walk game, the other three:  Gooden — crazy! — Kerry Wood — nasty company! — and Vince Velasquez — well, um, he had a good game.  Only two Indians starters in history with a shutout, no walks and 15 Ks are Bieber — damn! — and Luis Tiant, who at 78 years old just beat up my autocorrect for changing his name to Luis Taint.  Sunday’s start shows why I wanted to draft Bieber in every league.  Hopefully, he keeps it gong…gong…go I ng–Sorry, my autocorrect is scared to change anything now.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, the Indians called up Oscar Mercado, after a hilarious bit where they phoned their Triple-A team and asked to speak to Oscar and they were met with, “The Oscar Mercado called and said they’re out of you!”  The Indians have now cornered the mercado on Oscars like Meryl Streep.  Mercado has speed to burn. He is so fast he just ran into your room, mussed your hair and ran back out before you even had a chance to flinch, which is great because you’re secretly being filmed for the new Netflix game show, Flinch.  Mercado had one season in the minors with 50 steals.  I just became aroused like Lorenzo Lamas after he sees himself in the mirror.  Prospect Mike said of him, “Mercado came to Cleveland from St. Louis at last year’s trade deadline in a move that probably slipped under everybody’s radar. He had a crazy good season in Triple-A though, hitting .278 with eight homers and 37 steals.  Caveat:  Grey is dumb.”  What?  That’s not a caveat. I grabbed Mercado in a few leagues, because I could use steals, and, brucely, who doesn’t need steals?  Not to answer, but bat your eyelashes and look pretty. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve never been that high on Corey Seager. Back in February I only had him ranked 52nd on this list. Back then I said, “A 25-HR bat with a .300 average? That’s not bad — but boy if he could even just manage 10 stolen bases I’d like him more.” Seager owners are probably begging for a 20 HR bat with a .250 average at this point. Long term? I think he’ll be more Corey Seager 2016 than Kyle Seager 2018. I still worry about that power cap and complete lack of speed though.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There hasn’t been a  #1 ranked hitter in my rankings besides Mike Trout since he went down with an injury at the beginning of August 2018. His replacement, Mookie Betts was in the thick of his AL MVP/World Series campaign and the difference between them wasn’t that vast anyway.

This year, the 2018 NL MVP who everyone was sure was going to regress has done just the opposite and started off even hotter than anyone anticipated. Christian Yelich has tied Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez with 14 HRs to begin the season. To top both of those jabronis, Yelich has also stolen 6 bases. Just to whet the appetites of Yelich owners — A-Rod went on to win the AL MVP that season while Pujols was the runner-up in his season. Yes, I know that Cody Bellinger is beating Yelich in some statistical categories already this season, but forgive me if I believe more in Yelich’s .350 AVG right now over Bellinger’s .420.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m starting a new feature for this column — Jose Ramirez Watch! The mood is tense! No one is losing more value than Ramirez right now. In a lot of leagues he was a top-10 pick and right now he isn’t even justifying a top-100 pick. It’s still early for him — but his owners have to be disappointed.

Last Week: 14 | This Week: 25

Last 7 days: 5/22, 6 runs, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB, 227 AVG

Another disappointing week for J-Ram, however, it is better than the previous week when he went 2 for 25. Baby steps? Here’s what I said to a commenter in last week’s top 100 column:

“JRam wasn’t hitting over .250 until April 24th last year.He’s got a higher hard contact rate so far this season (yay!) but also a higher soft contact rate (boo!) His BABIP is only .167 after last year’s 252. I’d obviously hold and wait until May 1. I think he’ll be fine — not 2018 foooiinnneee — but 2019 fine.”

Let’s see where his average sits later this week…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s the most glorious weekend of the year — Wrestlemania weekend! You know what that means: wrestling themed blurbs!

On the Double Turn…

Two players in my pre-season top-5 are trending in opposite directions, but I don’t start freaking out too much until tax day. A lot of experts were calling for Jose Ramirez and Christian Yelich to regress from their MVP-caliber seasons last year. Well Yelich came out swinging an angry stick hitting a homerun in four straight games to start the season leaving him ranked third on the Razzball Player Rater so far. He’s reached base successfully in every game so far and is on his way to competing for the MVP again in 2019. Jose Ramirez? Not so much. For some players we like to point out how they’re “continuing their hot hitting from the end of 2018.” Ramirez is doing the opposite. He ended 2018 with a 40 game slump hitting .166 with a .597 OPS. He also only hit .231/.646 in the minors. His BABIP is currently sitting at .150, he only has 3 strikeouts to 2 walks and he’s hitting a higher percentage of fly balls from 2018 (small sample size) so maybe he’s just getting a bit unlucky in the early going. However, it’s enough to make me flip these two in the rankings.

Please, blog, may I have some more?