With the top 80 starters for 2018 fantasy baseball, we are so close to the end of the rankings I can almost taste it! Wait, that’s not rankings I taste, I bit my lip and it’s blood. I wonder if when Dracula bites his lip it’s like when Cougs goes out with her friends and I’m left at home while Emmanuelle is on Cinemax. I’ll go over exactly how to draft starters in a few days, but there are so many ways to skin a cat we should have PETA breathing down our necks. Also, I’m hoping to do the RCL signups next Monday. Stay tuned! Or not, your call. All the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings are there. My tiers and projections are noted. Anyway, here’s the top 80 starters for 2018 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is it! The last article of the year, the end of the baseball season. I want to thank you, loyal readers for taking time out of your day to read this article every week and hopefully helping you win some contests. There are going to be a lot of players who wind up sitting and there’s going to be a lot of value opening up throughout the day so you must pay attention to all the released lineups. Additionally, many teams, both those with nothing to play for, and those who playoff-bound but are entirely set in terms of playoff positioning, will look to pull their players (both pitchers and position players) at the earliest opportunity. In short, there will be a lot of randomness and it won’t be easy to predict. Although I’m going to try my best to recommend some players and teams that I like today, one general piece of advice I can give is to focus on the teams that still have something to play for – the Red Sox, Brewers, Rockies, and arguably the Indians and Astros. The first three are the only teams we can be fully sure will play their guys as normal. To be honest – if someone showed me a cash lineup today that featured mostly players from the Brewers and Rockies (the Red Sox have a marginally tougher matchup than the other three teams), with only a value or punt play here or there from other teams, I wouldn’t talk that person out of that lineup. I’m not saying for sure it will be the way to go, but both the Brewers and the Rockies have good enough matchups (the Rockies are in Coors too), and both have something to play for, something you can’t say about pretty much every other team.
On to the picks as soon as we start the playoffs…
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Yesterday, Dee Gordon went 4-for-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and stole his 55th base. Mean’s while, his teammate and my crush-bae, Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and hit his 55th homer. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last time two teammates hit their 55th homer and stole their 55th base in the same game was Jimmie Foxx and Sugar Cain in 1932. Though, historians, led by Ken Burns, have said Sugar Cain played on a doctor’s prescribed cocaine named Hurry Coke, a precursor to Cherry Cola. Sugar used to bunt with one hand while rubbing his gums with his other hand. Any hoo! Dee Gordon is carrying my NFBC team in steals, where I’m in first, and SAGNOF, and all of that, but steals are pathetic this year, as they were last year. 25 players have 20 or more steals, after 28 last year, but with a few players at 19 steals, we should get to 28 players again. However, 14 guys stole 30 bags last year, and, this year, we’re at six players. I will now laugh hysterically to avoid crying. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Matt Olson went 1-for-2, 2 RBIs with his 18th homer, hitting .273, all in only 49 games, and seven homers in his last ten games. Dizzamn, who is he the American League’s Rhysus? I’d call him Olsonus, but that sounds stupid. We’re ridin’ the Ols-mobile? That’s better (not)! Like me after Taco Bell, he is Olplosive (much worse!). I hear the train a comin’ rollin’ round the bend! I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when! Well I’m stuck with Matt Olson and time keeps dragging on! While a train keeps a rollin’ like Olson to San Antone! Well when I was just a baby my mama told me Olson, Olson, OLSON! Always be a good boy don’t ever play with guns (flexes, showing gun show). Well I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die, not OLSON! When I hear that whistle blowin’ I hang my head and I cry because I don’t have OLSON! Whew, that was exhausting. So, obviously, if you need power, you should grab Olsonus, and ride the Ols-mobile. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
To anyone from Southeastern Massachusetts my title means something to you. If you’re anything like me it signifies the first time in your life you were severely disappointed. I can still remember packing into my parent’s station wagon with another family my parents were friendly with. We were headed to the “World Famous King Richard’s Faire“. Six year old Ralph couldn’t believe I was headed to THE fair of THE King Richard. I mean he was the best king ever, and here I am headed to his fair! Me, lowly 6 year old Ralph with a golden bowl cut! Welp, much like everything else in life since, it was a massive disappointment. What was supposed to be a day of jousts, knights, kings and princesses, quickly turned into reality. That reality was drunk bikers with swords, mutton, and the inescapable smell of feces and urine. The strangest part is it smelt just as much like urine as it did poop. It was as if the two smells were competing for dominance, each pushing itself to it’s limits but neither overtaking the other. Needless to say I never went back. I could have, but I did better things with my time like drinking or masturbating. What does this have to do with Garrett Richards and his most recent start? Well let’s just say I was excited, only to be disappointed. That’s my big market tease, trust me you’re bound to be disappointed…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Victor Robles was called up by the Nats. He’s number two in Prospector Ralph’s top 100 prospects, and everyone loves him, even Brad Garrett! Robles will likely be the first guy I go over this offseason when I go over some high-profile rookies for 2018. He is real, and he’s beautiful. So, here’s the text question I posed to Prospector Ralph yesterday, “Who gets more at-bats from now until the end of the season for the Nationals, Alejandro De Aza or Robles?” At that point, Ralph stopped talking to me, but it’s even worse. Prior to my text, I saw “…” showing that he was typing, then that disappeared and nothing. Just silence. Eventually, I got a text back that Robles could play half the time. I don’t know. My guess is Nats are promoting him as a sort of butt pat that he did well this year. Maybe he replaces Werth, Kendrick or Taylor here and there and plays a few times a week. Werth’s shoulder has been barking and he’s woof, in general. I didn’t care about picking up Robles in a 12-team mixed league, but grabbed him in a 15-teamer to drop Francisco Mejia, who was last week’s “YOU GOTTA GRAB HIM!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s an old expression in Major League Baseball, “As the sun sets on one Weaver, another rises from its ashes.” I have to say it was rather prophetic to predict the spontaneous combustion of Jered Weaver’s career. Then again, it’s not like there weren’t clear signs that we had reached the end of the line with our most recent Weaver. I mean the man was throwing 67 MPH in his last few starts, or years, but whatever… That brings me to today’s subject, our new shiny Weaver, complete with new car scent! I’m of course alluding to Cardinals rookie phenom Luke Weaver. The 24 year old right-hander got his first taste of the big leagues last year to mixed results. He looked brilliant at times, and caught too much of the plate at others. The issues with Weaver are rarely related to his pitching however. He’s had an inability to stay healthy over the course of his career, never exceeding 120 innings pitched in a season. As for the player himself he has one of the more exciting upsides of any arm in the minors, mixing swinging strikes, with weak contact, and elite control. Since his most recent callup in late August, Weaver has posted back to back starts with 10 Ks and 1 walk, while limiting his opponents to a .224 batting average against. There’s nothing I love more than digging into the start of a player I’ve been touting for a year plus. It’s even better when that player’s twitter handle (@DreamWeava7) has a Boston accent! I’m in LOVE!! Previously Weaver has ranked 48th (pre-season), and 60th in my mid-season, which is lofty praise. As anyone who reads my prospect work will tell you, I discount pitching prospects pretty heavily for fantasy purposes. Enough of the small talk, here’s what I witnessed in Weaver’s Sunday start.Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s a narrative making the rounds that today’s Pitching Profile subject Collin McHugh just started throwing a slider. This on it’s face isn’t completely true, his repertoire included a slider two years ago, but he scrapped it in 2016 in favor of a cutter. So the “throwing a slider now” people are insane, and this is open and shut case. Right, Ralphie?” Actually, their narrative is partially correct, because while he did formerly throw a slider he didn’t go back to the pitch he scrapped before last season. He’s throwing a different slider. A reworked version he picked up from clubhouse showboat Brad Peacock. Who picked the pitch up from some shoe salesman named Jordan Jankowski, who picked his up from a decoder ring at the bottom of a box of Count Chocula. Anyway, back in 2015 when McHugh experienced a break through with the Astros, he threw his “old” slider nearly 45% of the time. It’s funny that everyone forgot he threw a slider back then, considering it accounted for such a high chunk of his usage. In fact he threw his breaking pitches, (he also has a high spin-rate curveball), 67.1% of the time. Leading his 27.2% fastball usage to rank as the second lowest in the majors behind only R.A. Dickey during the 2015 season. Before 2016 began McHugh’s usage of his ineffective slider was scrapped completely for a cutter, and an increased reliance on his hook. The results didn’t change, in fact in someways they got worse, but that’s not important, and here’s why. Fast forward to 2017, and McHugh missed a majority of the season’s first half with an elbow injury. The player that has emerged since is a completely different animal. Throwing his fastball more than 50% of time, and with a new and improved low 80’s slider, one with increased movement from his former offering. The question for today, “Is this a new and improved model or just a redesigned Grand Am?” Let’s look under the hood and see.Please, blog, may I have some more?