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.
Just finished my first draft if you’re reading this as I type it, and other than one shirtless man in yellow sweatpants standing behind me in this internet cafe, I don’t think anyone’s reading this as I type it. Unless, of course, there’s micronauts living inside my brain watching as my inner monologue is sending info to my fingers. Gadzooks, I got micronauts in my brain! I wonder if these micronauts made me draft eight Twins and White Sox players. I need to delve deeper into this subject. Maybe I will in my pastel journal that is covered in Giancarlo’s picture from ESPN’s nude magazine. So, I took on the monsters of the industry in an AL Only league that was hosted by Scott White of CBS and I came away with a team that is more imbalanced than Amanda Bynes. This league is deep so hold onto ye old hat. (If you want a shallower league, play against me and hundreds of your closest buddies in the Razzball Commenter Leagues. Or closet buddies, if you’re reading fast and/or experimenting.) Anyway, here’s my 12-team AL-Only team and some thoughts:
Steven Souza, Michael Conforto, Avisail Garcia, Corey Dickerson, Eddie Rosario, Michael Taylor. What do those players have in common? Guys that were in last year’s top 100 outfielders post that made it out like this is Orange is the New Black and those guys were Taystee. Only then Taystee got reincarcerated and brought with her that badass b*tch Vee, and Vee then started running shizz and that white ho, who the show was originally about that is annoying AF, started getting institutionalized with panty-selling and lez ho’ing and–Well, anyway, you get the point. There’s not a ton of sunshine in this top 100 outfielders, but occasionally you do get glimmers of hope. All the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings are under that link-ma-whosie. As always, my projections and tiers are included. Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2018 fantasy baseball:
As the story goes, Daniel Mengden entered the Lion’s Den Friday night with a 6.59 ERA through 17 career major league starts, and somehow left the game with his first career complete game shut out allowing just two hits and striking out seven retiring the last 11 batters in the row for his first win of the year. He looked dominant at times allowing only two base runners in the outing with Philadelphia not being able to manage any hard contact off the young right hander, who’s got a funky handle-bar mustache and an even funkier looking windup/delivery. This was by far the best start of the 24-year old’s young career, and just his second scoreless start in the majors. He added his first career hit as well and scored a run to help his cause. Whata night for the youngster! After struggling with a 6.50 ERA, and 1.61 WHIP through 14 starts last year, and two subpar outings in May/June of this year, Mengden has returned to the rotation in September and now put up back-to-back quality starts including a six inning two earned run performance against the fearsome Astros line up last week. Mengden may not be the safest fantasy option out there on waivers, but the A’s seem to be playing the role of spoiler late in the year and he remains a pitcher available in most leagues. I’d take a flier on Mengden, bible readers know how Daniel fared against the lions, let’s hope he can keep it going as he heads to the Tigers den next week in Detroit.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:
Put down that Fantasy Football magazine!! (Do they even make fantasy sports magazines any more? Man, I miss walking to the mailbox in late February and seeing my beautiful new fantasy baseball magazine sitting there. Damn interweb! Wait, if it weren’t for reading about fantasy sports on the internet, I wouldn’t be writing this right now. Hmm, may need to rethink my position on this). Anyway, I know it’s hard to pay attention to fantasy baseball at this time of year, even if your teams are hanging in there, and it’s emotionally and mentally grueling to follow along if your teams have already crashed and burned. I get it… another weekend of one step forward (Colin McHugh) and two steps back (Jake Odorizzi and Roberto Osuna – thanks, guys!) had me so frustrated in a deep AL-only league where my team is fading fast, that I barely remembered to set my lineup this week. I’ll also admit that when I sat down to write this article, I was almost immediately distracted by all of the pretty pictures of NFL players, and spent about twelve minutes thinking about whether to rank Bilal Powell or Carlos Hyde higher in a football draft that isn’t happening for another week and a half.
But even if it’s only a few minutes each week, check in on your poor, neglected friend, your old pal fantasy baseball. Even if you don’t have a team vying for a money spot, keep your head in the game. Do it for your league-mates, and do it for yourself… even if it doesn’t make a difference this year, maybe it will impact your 2018. You may uncover a hidden gem of a player, or a piece of information that will percolate in your brain over the winter, and turn into a late-round steal or early waiver wire pick up next year. Those of us who missed the Ryan Zimmermans, Justin Smoaks, and Scooter Gennetts, of the world in 2017 know just how big a difference a couple of these fellas can make.
For now, though, we remain in 2017… with another handful of players who may be available in your NL or AL-only league to assist you in getting through the season’s remaining weeks:
We go over Adam Jones later on the podcast. Kidding, no one gives two effs about Adam Jones. I mean, I’m sure he’s a pleasant enough guy. I don’t mean no one gives two effs like a person from Boston before they all became magically woke this past weekend. I’d let Adam Jones date my daughter, if I had a daughter. Shoot, he can date my mom if he wants; I got one of those. I just want Adam Jones in my family! *snaps fingers* They’re creepy and they’re kooky, all together ooky; The Adam Jones Family. Nah, it isn’t about him on why no one gives two effs about him, it’s because of how boring he is for fantasy. Not bad boring, just boring boring. Don’t put words in my mouth. Shut up, Random Italicized Voice. Yesterday, he went 4-for-4, 3 runs and his 23rd and 24th homers, hitting .281, and had zero hits the game before, and will likely have zero hits today because he needs to level out yesterday’s wonderful with a strong helping of boring. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
As oft-misheard lyric is, “Eddie, are you okay? Are you okay, Eddie?” For those millennials who are reading, misheard lyrics were lyrics you thought you were hearing in songs before you could just Google, “[song name] lyrics.” For 25 years, people went around singing, “I can see clearly now Lorraine is gone,” and were just happy to be rid of Lorraine! R.E.M.’s It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine) was just a chorus and four minutes of jumbled words, and that…sounded…fine! So, is Eddie Rosario okay, or is he just okay Eddie? Yesterday, Rosario went 2-for-5, 4 RBIs with his 17th homer as he hits over .400 in the last week. Some notes about Eddie: he’s gone hitless in only two games in August; has five steals to go with the 17 homers; is hitting .303; has a .209 ISO which is tied for 56th in baseball; and now hits at the top of the order. He should be grabbed in all leagues, and, I’m moving close to him becoming my 2018’s Max Kepler. *inhales deeply* Ah, the sweet smell of embarrassment. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
I hear Jerry Dipoto kills the whistling solo from the Scorpions “Winds of Change“. Then again, it’s a whistling solo in a rock song. But that’s not the reason he kills it. Oh no, it’s because JDP, as I call him, loves change. I mean, JDP walks into a room and changes everything just because he can. He only leases cars, and never moves in with his girlfriends. He loves a good month to month contract, and has had 7 different hairstyles in the past 17 months. Suffice it to say things at his workplace are changing too. His work place just so happens to be the Seattle Mariners baseball club, and he just so happens to run the joint. He’s already made dozens of trades over the last couple of offseasons, and overhauled the organizational philosophy. Running a hitting summit for their minor leaguers focusing on cutting strikeouts and improving contact rates. What followed were career years from some of their top power bats with contact woes, players like Tyler O’Neill, and DJ Peterson gained the most. All across the organization winning became a priority. In fact, all six of the Mariners minor league affiliates qualified for some sort of post season baseball, with Jackson their AA affiliate, and their rookie level Arizona League affiliate taking home titles. The changes are evident in the upside of their recent draft class too, spearheaded by 2016 Golden Spikes winner Kyle Lewis, and talented prep bat Joe Rizzo. Add that to trades for MLB ready talents, and the aforementioned break outs across the organization last year, and you have recipe for success. Big shouts to Tehol Beddict, Sky, and the rest of the Mariners fans here on Razzball. It’s the Top Seattle Mariners Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball.
Seattle’s farm produced two interesting players for the 2016 fantasy baseball season. I like Ketel Marte as a late-round flyer at a shallow middle infield position. He can hit and steal, and should be a good source of runs if he bats in front of Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz as he’s currently projected. Then there’s Carson Smith, who I imagine a lot of fantasy owners will be drafting as the closer in waiting if he hasn’t already taken the reins by opening day. The first thing I noticed when putting together this preview is the plethora of outfield prospects in the Mariners’ system, as well as the lack of impact talent from the 2015 draft (they didn’t pick in the first round). It’s a bit dicey gambling on hitters that may call Seattle their home one day, so this has never been my go-to system for fantasy prospects. Of course the flip side of that is that their pitching prospects have a little more room to breathe.