The Miami Marlins are a baseball team. I mean the sport they play is recognizably baseball. 

Other than that, there isn’t a lot of certainty in Miami. Even 2019 Whit-alike contest winner Jon Berti seems as likely to fall back as spring forward in 2020. 

Is it really darkest before the dawn?

Anyway, hope floats just off the coast. Er, inland, where Marlins affiliates are loaded with the fruits of an organizational tear-down that would’ve been vetoed in my home league. 

“Fruits” feels kind of extreme. Maybe we should call it the “eggplants” of an organizational tear-down. 

The eggplants for all-world Christian Yelich were players who do everything but hit, which seems to be something of a type for the Front Office helmed by Derek Jeter and Gary Denbo. They whiffed on Lewis Brinson who whiffs at everything, and they face a similar fate for everything in those Yelich and Stanton deals from two winters past unless someone (looking at you, Monte Harrison) changes their trajectory. 

Either way, even with those brutal trades, the Marlins are trending up thanks to a deep farm with rich soil for arms. 

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Greetings and salutations, fellow baseball researchers. It is I, Mr. Moving Averages back at the helm as we charge once more through sports and time in our exploration to dissect the inner workings of the Quality Start.  We have come so far in such a short period of time. If any of the references or stats in this article appear to lack context, please refer back to prior segments for their basis, creation or explanation. There’s a lot of information and results we have established to get to this point, so looking back for a refresher is always understandable; We’ve introduced several new processes and statistics. We’ve confirmed our assertions and finally, the data mining is done; Let the analysis begin! In Part 8, the fantasy rubber meets the road as we apply some of our research to actual ballplayers that will help us to take home the fantasy trifecta; The cheddar, the chip and the trophy. We came into this with a purpose, and once this collective of truth seekers climbs the top rope you know the big elbow isn’t far behind (RIP Randy Savage OOOOH YEAAAA).

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We’re back with our second installment of this year’s Roto category leaders.  Once again, listed is the current leaders, favorites in a group (if tied), and who is licking their chops to, meow mix meow mix please deliver, take over the lead, ready to run a train on them chicken fingers nom nom nom nom.  You know what, let’s get right into it!

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Hello and welcome!  We’re going to take a look at the AL and NL league leaders in each standard rotisserie category after the first full week of baseball and discuss, analyze, and Razz it up! (90’s phrasing!) My favorite in the group is ONLY available when there is a tie in a category. Waiting in the weeds is a pitcher or hitter that is not currently leading the category, but could find their way into the lead soon…

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Home runs bring a different type of excitement to baseball.  Fan of the team or not, when hitters like Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), Alex Rodriguez, (696), Willie Mays (660), or Ken Griffey Jr. (630) came to the plate, people dropped what they were doing to watch or listen, because they knew something big could happen.  Some of the numbers above are frowned upon or listed with an asterisk because of the introduction of performance enhancing substances that likely played a part in some of the added power.  For example, one of my favorite seasons of all time growing up was the 1998 season where Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa duked it out to catch Roger Maris’s record 61-home run season.  They both caught that record and everyone wondered how many more they would hit by the end of the season.  McGwire finished with 70 and Sosa with 66.  Not long after, Barry Bonds surpassed McGwire’s record with 73 home runs in 2001.  Looking back at all of those records broken can be looked at with a grain of salt knowing that all three were involved in the steroid controversy, whether they admitted it or “didn’t understand the questions” (cough Sosa cough).  Low and behold, the home run ball is back and better than ever.  According to statistics from Baseball-Almanac, home run totals by season have steadily increased over the last century.  2017 saw the most home runs in a season with 6,105 homers.  To put that number into perspective, that record-breaking season in 1998 saw 5,064 home runs.  Will we see another uptick in the 2018 season, or was last year just a fluke?  Let’s take a look at the potential top-ten home run hitters for 2018.  Included is Razzball’s own preseason overall rankings, and FantasyPros ADP. Please feel free to follow up in the comments with your own opinions!

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

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The first week of baseball.  The sights.  The smells.  The bacon-wrapped corn dogs stuffed with jalapeno cheddar tots.  What a week it was indeed.

A long winter has passed and many things changed.  Most notably, was Ricky Vaughn, who shed his trademark leather jacket and punk rock hairdo for a suit, tie and styling mousse.  Jack Taylor’s knees were weaker than ever, and Pedro Cerrano ditched the rum-loving Jobu for Buddhism. Even Willie Mays Hayes elected to have cosmetic surgery.

Some things need to be replaced.  The classic film Major League was not one of them.  Yet they made a sequel.  Not the worst baseball movie to grace the big screen, but we could’ve done without it.  Unlike the original Wesley Snipes character, in fantasy baseball, finding replacements is part of the game.  It’s how leagues are won.  You can’t just sit back and watch as players are picked up off the wire while you “wait to see how the guys you drafted do”.  That’s one of the most common phrases I hear early on.  Yes, it’s early, so you’re not kicking any studs to the curb, but if the “sleeper” you drafted in the 29th round has begun the season 1-for-16, and there’s a player on the wire who is playing well, go grab him!  Hanging on to an older vet with the delusion that he’ll somehow hit like he’s not 36 years old (Chase Utley, 100 percent owned on ESPN), will keep you from realizing your championship dreams.

This is the “Deep Impact” column, where I’ll only be featuring players under 10 percent owned in ESPN leagues.  During Opening Week I’ve been asked more questions about middle infielders than any other position, so I figured this would be an opportune time to reveal some of my top adds heading into the weekend:

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Around six months ago, your mother left us in the middle of the night with nothing but each other and our drafted fantasy teams. I tried to make you French toast as you stood on a stool and watched, but we got egg shell in the batter and you cried about drafting Brad Miller. I was trying to do work one night, looking for a middle infield replacement as you played with your toy airplanes and — crash! — you spilled your milk all over my fantasy team. I screamed, you cried and Prince Fielder hurt his neck. Then your mother reappeared and began a custody battle to take over our teams right as Wilin Rosario seemingly lost his job. It was the Fourth of July, and no one was available, but I frantically searched for a replacement catcher with a job. If your mother’s attorney got wind that we couldn’t even manage to have a catcher with a job, we’d lose our teams forever. With a last ditch effort, we grabbed Yan Gomes off waivers, and another crisis seemed averted. It wasn’t all smooth sailing the final stretch, like when you fell off the jungle gym, and I carried your through Central Park screaming, “We have to replace David Wright and Alex Rios!” But you just needed a few stitches and Xander Bogaerts with 3rd base eligibility and a hot schmotato for the outfield. The final test was making French toast again and seeing how well you adapted to finally cutting the cord on Jay Bruce. We did it, seemingly conquering a mountain, just the two of us, but due to a hot week from Ryan Rua we lost in the H2H playoffs. As you packed up your stuff to leave, we sat on the couch in silence. The weight of the summer on our minds when you turned to me and said, “What do you think about Dallas Keuchel for 2015?” Today, we close our fantasy baseball team window for the first time in six months. Of course, you can never remove those teams from your mind’s eye because you turned off your computer’s screensaver months ago and your team is burned into your monitor screen. Last year, Henderson Alvarez pitched a no hitter on the last game of the season, and this year he pitched against Jordan Zimmermann, who returned the favor with his own no hitter, with the help of an incredible, diving catch from Stephen Souza. Of course, a guy named after a composer known for patriotic marches secures it for the Nationals. In a season that saw seemingly every pitcher have a sub-3.50 ERA this was about as apt of a way to close out a season as any. As Bud Selig doffs his toupee, bidding baseball adieu, let us bid this season adieu too (almost stutterer!) and say hello to the offseason. Seriously, what about Dallas Keuchel for next year?! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Damn……It’s the end. The last day. Just one more game, and it’s all over. Seemed like only yesterday you came into all our lives. You had so much hype, so much promise, and you met that hype, you fulfilled that promise. We won together. A lot! We had some great wins didn’t we? Now you’re gone. I wonder what I’m going to do without you. What am I going to do? As soon as Monday hits I’m going to feel it. My food won’t taste as good. Nothing will be as good. You are pretty special. Shhhhh don’t tell the others but you’re my favorite. I see your TV commercials all the time now. Got to say you’re pretty cool. Who would’ve thought a Red Sox fan would say this….but…(gulp)

DraftKings you’re the best! Daily fantasy somehow made the last two months of baseball bearable. Seriously. Even when it felt like the Red Sox were in the middle of a 162 game losing streak. Even when there were 1,063 Tommy John surgeries. Even when I had to listen to Derek Jeter retirement hoopla for 6 months. Hahahaha! I bet you thought I was eulogizing “The Captain’s” career. Ah! I am a tricky one! You need to watch me. Never know what this guy is going to do! Yeah it was straight Corballius Bennett. So what! Seemed appropriate. In truth I watched his last game at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night and it seemed wrong that he should have to end his career at Fenway. Then again the Yankees probably thought they’d be in the playoffs…Sad Trombone.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. After all it is the final one of the year! Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to check the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Cuban sensation Rusney Castillo did his part to ensure he’ll be over valued in fantasy leagues next year going 2-for-3 with a home run and a stolen base last night versus the Yankees. He’s now 4-for-7 with two homers, four RBI and a steal starting in center field in the past two games. I guess it’s pretty clear from his bat that’s where he’s most comfortable. With New England, the new home for Cuban All-Stars and Big Papis, sure to be buzzing all offseason over these final games, the hype should build enough that Rusney Castillo is the next Manny Ramirez by draft day. At the very least he’ll be the next Jackie Bradley, Jr.  Still, desperate times, call for desperate fantasy measures and Castillo could be a hot schmotato with a whole lot more to prove in these final two games than most players.  We know he can steal. We’re seeing him hit. Two homers in two days, people! It’s mathematical! You’re trying to win a championship, right? Well, this Rusney trombone could be the reach around your fantasy team needs for the final push. Did I just type those words that way? Doesn’t matter it’s my last day of the season, is anyone still reading this? If you are, it’s about time you picked up Rusney Castillo and let him help you bring home a trophy.

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

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Today, it’s the final Buy of the year. Next week, we’ll be doing one last roundup on Monday and recaps the rest of the month until I start on 2015 rookies that could make an impact. In other words, where the hell did the summer go? And does this mean I have to go back to spending time with Cougs? To paraphrase the Broadway musical Rent (or maybe it was Abe Lincoln), eight thousand, two hundred million seconds, five hundred trillion milliseconds and three fortnights ago, our forefathers had a full head of hair and began on a journey to win their fantasy league. Today, I sit in front of you, a changed man, if we were to count my underwear. No longer do I love unconditionally any man (in redraft leagues). Now I simply like hot schmotatoes. And today’s hot schmotato is Ender Inciarte. So, sneaky good, he’s got CIA in the middle of his name. Ender has six steals this month and is hitting .400 in the last week. There’s no time to worry about the future, only the present. I call this Ender’s Game. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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