How long should we wait for prospects that hit the majors to become fantasy relevant? At what point do we give up and move on? Every season we get so hyped up about guys we’ve never seen throw or hit a ball in the MLB and yet for some reason we get so excited about these names that are rumored to hit rosters in mid May. Sometimes these players become superstars and are even better than we could have imagined and sometimes they keep dropping in the batting order until there back in minors a few weeks later. Its not the players fault that we expect way to much out of them so quickly as fantasy players we are not a patient bunch! We give them three at bats before we start dropping them in our ranks and they haven’t even had time to learn their teams celebrations yet. Sometimes we just give up on these guys to soon but every player is different and some need years to adjust in the majors to actually become fantasy relevant.

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So the title is a bit of a superlative.  What was I gonna say, “The Mostly Kinda Good Fantasy Baseball Team?”  You’ll get over your scoffing; I have faith in you.  This is the best 2018 fantasy baseball team that I can put together when drafting from my top 100 for 2018 fantasy baseball and top 500 for 2018 fantasy baseball.  Honestly, I could draft another 25 teams from those lists, and they’d all be different, but equally terrific… Well, one of the twenty-five would only be sorta terrific, but it would be really hard to tell which one that is.  If I took Cody Bellinger in the 2nd round, everything after would change.  If I took Arenado in the 1st round, everything after would change.  I’ve previously gone over my 2018 fantasy baseball draft prep for the first few rounds and pitchers pairings.  For this exercise, I’m taking Mike Trout first, because, well, I have him first overall.  Until pick 100, I’m taking one guy somewhere in every fifteen picks.  It would be nice if I was in a league where someone drafted Scherzer and Kershaw in the first two rounds and I was able to take Freddie Freeman in the 2nd round (which is very likely), but since Trout and him are in my first 14 picks, according to the rules I’ve set up for myself, I can’t take them both.  Then, as we all know, once you get into the 100s, there’s wide gaps between ADP and where players are actually taken.  People tend to look at team need over value.  So for this exercise, once I get to pick #101, I’m going to pick two players every twenty picks.  Finally, because there is so much latitude in the last 300, I gave myself free reign to fill up my team.  Throughout the draft, I also gave myself the ability to reach to a lower draft pick, but not reach forward.  Or reach around, if you’re feeling frisky.  It should still be my ideal team… Or not.  Let’s see, shall we?  Bee tee dubya, this team is 5×5, one catcher, 5 OFs, MI, CI, 1 UT, 9 P, 3 bench, just like the Razzball Commenter Leagues (go sign up).  Anyway, here’s the best 2018 fantasy baseball team:

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It’s baseball season, long-lost Razzball friends! Okay, fantasy baseball season. Okay, fantasy baseball drafting season. Okay, fantasy baseball drafting season for fantasy baseball writers and mildly disturbed folk who couldn’t make it through the first day of 2018 without entering into a fantasy baseball draft (proud to count myself a member of both of those elite groups, thank you very much).

Drafting the first week of January feels downright crazy. Well, is downright crazy. Projecting stats takes on a new layer of complication right now with such a ridiculous number of draftable players unsigned, and it’s trickier than ever trying to guess how fellow owners might be valuing players. I recently completed my first official fantasy baseball draft of the year, and found my instinct taking over regularly, leading me to impulsively click on a name which was far below other, higher-ranked names on my tidy little spreadsheet, simply because I had a gut feeling. Sure, we could call it women’s intuition, if we wanted to sound like we were writing this article in 1978. (As it turns out, there are studies that support some version of women’s intuition being a biological reality, due to the fact that females are exposed to less testosterone in the womb, which leads to an extra “sense.” Google if bored).

“What’s the point, lady??!” you ask…

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The Rays pitching could be excellent this year.  Chris Archer is due for a positive correction; Jacob Faria might take the next step; I’ve always liked Jake Odorizzi; Matt Andriese is underrated; Jose De Leon is ready, willing and maybe healthy; I’ve already told you why my Brent Honeywell fantasy includes heart emojis and unicorns, in that order; I can’t wait for Jose Mujica to be promoted just so I can say, “Mujica Eff Yeah!” and Nathan Eovaldi…Well, he’ll likely still be crap.  Yet, the best one of those bunch could be Blake Snell.  Last year in 129 1/3 IP, his record was 5-7/4.04/1.33/119.  *turns computer upside down, turns head sideways, puts Instagram filter on stats, looks at stats in mirror*  Okay, any way you look at those stats their not gorge.  The 4.04 ERA is particularly vexing when you look at it in different ways because it’s a palindrome.  However, the 911 strikeouts is no joke.  Booooooooi!!!  By the way, leave it to the Rays to keep Snell trapped in the minors for six years when he’s looked ready for the last four.  If Snell were on the Tigers, he would likely be in his fifth major league season, on his 2nd major league team and would’ve won a Cy Young by now.  So, what can we expect from Blake Snell for 2018 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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All my fantasy baseball championship titles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though one is here to stay *sung in a very fast voice* oh, crap, nope, because I didn’t draft Daniel Murphy because he didn’t believe in the lifestyle of a gay,
Oh, why didn’t I believe in Murphy like he didn’t believe in a…gay…gay…gay.
Suddenly!  David Price’s arm is not half of what it used to be.
There’s a shadow hanging over me,
Oh, it’s Giancarlo’s groin that I made of plaster of Paris to admire and it just exploded in paste on me…Suddenly!
Why the season had to go, I don’t know, it wouldn’t say… because it can’t talk, it’s a baseball season that ended yesterday…yesterday…yesterday!
Fantasy Baseball was such an easy game to play,
Now I need a mother’s basement to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday…day…day.

*sniffles*  Here, take a tissue.  You have to excuse me, I don’t have any clean ones.  What will we do for the next few months without an update on a Mets’ pitcher elbow?  Will Rougned Odor reveal he was accidentally batting while crossing his eyes and that’s why he barely hit .200?  What will we do without a James Paxton injury update?  WHAT?  WILL?  WE?  DO?  Prepare for next season, of course.  But, first, let’s bask in the last day of the season.  Today is the day when you realize you’ve spent 27,000 man hours this summer beating eleven other strangers to win a virtual trophy, and it feels great!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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*fumbles with an envelope, Hillary Swank stands next to me, watching on, embarrassed for me*  And the Teoscar goes to…Teoscar Hernandez!  Hillary Swank leans into the microphone, “Well, he was the only one nominated.”  Ugh, totally unnecessary Swank!  I should’ve pointed out how she was checking out Hugh Jackman’s wife the entire time on stage.  I picked up Teoscar before yesterday’s game for the runs because he was leading off, I never expected such a windfall of gorge.  He went 2-for-5, 4 RBIs with his 6th and 7th homer in only his 73rd at-bat.  That’s 20 hits total for him, with seven going gonzo.  This is better than Million Dollar Baby!  Yeah, I hope Hillary Swank’s Google alerts are going bizzonkers today.  Not ready to announce my love for Teoscar for next year, I am more of an IFP Spirit Awards guy, but you have to grab Teoscar for these final days.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Greetings and welcome to the last Two-Start Starters post of the year. With it being the last week of the season, make sure you take this list with the biggest grain of salt you can find. Just stay away from the bath salts. That will lead to entirely different issues in the coming weeks.

For the last week, obviously, our problem is that these rotations are written in pencil. As more and more teams clinch the playoffs and become locked into their spots, they will rest starters. Some teams, looking ahead to a potential one-game playoff (which is the dumbest thing baseball has ever decided to do, but that is a rant for another time), may even tweak their rotation to get a certain starter lined up for that crucial game. So, disclaimer over. Take this list as a starting point, but know that it could be very fluid throughout the week.

The first thing you may notice is that Chris Sale is scheduled to make two starts, but I did not include him in the rankings. That is because that second start is not a certainty by any means, and I would argue it is very unlikely. If the Red Sox have already clinched the division, there is little chance he starts or, if he does, that he pitches deep into the game. If the Red Sox might be destined for a Wild Card Playoff game, then they will likely want to keep Sale fresh to be able to start that game. Sale is obviously still worth starting for his one start, but don’t bank on getting two starts from him this week.

There are others who are probably in similar situations. I removed Dallas Keuchel, Jon Lester, Luis Severino, and Jake Arrieta because I would avoid them strictly for two start purposes. Obviously, those are still pitchers worth starting; they just are not reliable options if you absolutely need two starts. While I left them on the list, I would also avoid Yu Darvish, Alex Wood, and Carlos Martinez.

As for the Streamonator picks for this week, there are actually seven starters with positive money values who are owned in less than 75% of RCLs:

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You know how they say think about baseball to make sex last longer?  Okay, so I was thinking, to make the baseball season last longer do we think about baseball?  Maybe we think about sex.  This is a riddle for the Sphinx!  I saw Chris Sale struck out his 300th batter of the season, and I got a pit in my stomach.  I mean, I know the season’s quickly approaching its French end title, “Fin,” but it still bums me out like a mid-20’s Evan Gattis.  Yesterday, Chris Sale went 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 13 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.75.  He became the first Red Sox player to record 300 Ks in a season since Pedro Martinez in 1999.  And Pedro had his good luck charm, little person, Nelson de la Rosa!  Well, I guess Sale does have Pedroia.  You look at Sale’s peripherals and you kinda wanna drool — 12.9 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 2.62 xFIP, and averaging 94 MPH on his fastball.  His K-rate is the third best for a starter since 1900.  Okay, so maybe Kluber doesn’t win the Cy Young.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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If you’re at all familiar with management theory, then you’re probably aware generally of the “Peter Principle”. The concept is simple, managers rise to the level of their incompetence. Here’s where you think about your current manager, and snicker. Are you done? Okay, so it’s concept that many of us can relate to, some of us first hand. But what does this have to do with the subject of today’s profile Marlins starter Dillon Peters? Ahhh, his name is Peters? It works right? But perhaps there’s more there. Or maybe I’m overthinking. Yeah, totally overthinking it. Then again, is it possible that Peters has risen to his own level of potential incompetence here in the Bigs? His numbers over the last two years in the minors have been phenomenal, rarely letting up multiple earned runs in a game. In fact over the last two years, across 37 starts between high A and AA, Peters has amassed a 21-9 record with a 2.11 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, .224 BAA,  7.5 K/9, and 1.74 Bb/9. While allowing just 5 balls to leave the park in 191.2 innings. So to say he’s on a great run the last few years is an understatement. Will that continue here in the majors or is he due for a heavy regression? Through Peters first few starts he’s been solid but lucky. I actually intended to profile his start last Tuesday at Philadelphia, but pivoted to Sunday’s turn for the rescheduled home game vs the Brew Crew. I figured in case things went awry in Milwaukee recency bias would win out. Here’s what I saw.

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Welcome to the home stretch, boys, gals, and in-betweens. Like we discussed last week, the two-start starters list has been dwindling due to expanded rosters, young arms having their innings limited, and many teams opting for six-man rotations as a result. This week, with many teams also having an off day, there are fewer than 30 options for two-start starters. (By the way, fogimon, will you be watching Corey Kluber’s second start tomorrow? #KissyEmoji)

There are still some options for two-start streamers, however. Checking in with Streamonator, here are the two-start starters for this week with a positive dollar value who are owned in less than 75% of RCLs:

  • German Marquez COL, $16.80, 20%
  • Jharel Cotton OAK, $5.60, 18%
  • Blake Snell TB, $4.70, 31%
  • Tyler Mahle CIN, $1.70, 1%
  • Dan Straily MIA, $0.70, 53%

Despite the light list, we still have five starters with positive dollar values. Of the names on this list, I like Marquez and Straily the most. Snell I would gamble on if I needed to, but I would stay away from Cotton and my cousin Tyler Mahle (not really my cousin).

Marquez shines through this week because of his matchups: at San Francisco and at San Diego. Two teams who have struggled mightily at the plate, and he gets them in their pitcher-friendly ballparks. He is not without risk, but you could not ask for two better matchups.

I’m not sure how Straily is still only owned in 53% of RCLs, but sign me up for that, too. His matchups aren’t as good (vs. Mets and at Diamondbacks) because of that trip to Arizona, but I am still willing to roll with him over the others on the list.

Snell is meh, but he doesn’t scare me as much as Cotton or Mahle. Despite their positive value, if I am in need of starts in H2h playoffs, I am not going near either of those two. Their potential for disaster outweighs any value they provide, at least in my eyes. Stay away and save yourself.

And now, to the charts!

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