I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training Statistics. You never know who the statistics are coming against. Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level. This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced. You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach. So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat? Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards. Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Dylan Covey 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.
Corey Kluber (7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 2.83, and his 1st 20-win season) just passed Trevor Bauer with 216 Ks, giving the Indians four guys with 200 Ks. They may not even win as many games as the Rays, but you’re really coming for the Indians in the playoffs? I predict a red-blooded, all-American Indians-Braves World Series. “Hello, my name is Woke Wally. Yes, I’m wearing a badge that reads, ‘Woke.’ I received this honorary badge as a participation trophy from my wife, Margaret. Do you know what I was participating in? Citizenry! I’m here at your sheriff’s office to file a formal complaint on behalf of the millions affected by a casually racist World Series.” The Stream-o-Nator lines Kluber up vs. the Royals for his final game, but I can’t imagine he throws more than three innings in that start, and is likely just skipped. For 2019, Kluber is once again going to be way out of reach for me, like an imaginary tassle on the end of a Braves fan imaginary tomahawk. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is going to blow your mind. Before you read any further, I want you to take some precautions. Grab some masking tape from your “Never Used Shizz” drawer and wrap it around your head. Whoa, whoa, whoa! You didn’t just wrap your head with masking tape, covering your eyebrows, did you? Hmm, well, when you remove that tape, you’re gonna look like Phil Simms. (Hint: He’s got no eyebrows.) Okay, I told you to avoid Tommy Pham in the preseason, due to his draft price, and ranked him 31st for all outfielders. On our Player Rater going into yesterday’s game, he was ranked 31st. *does Ace Ventura victory dance on the porch* I have exorcised the demon! Yesterday, he had one of his best games of the season, if not best (yes, too lazy to look), he went 3-for-5 with his 18th and 19th homer, hitting .266, but hitting .327 on the Rays, and if he wasn’t derailed by an injury when he first arrived in Tampa, he’d be doing better (or worse as his BABIP stabilized; it’s ~.500 in September). I could see letting up on my hate on Pham in 2019, but he’s still old and has stopped running, so the price will need to be much more reasonable. Okay, you can remove the tape now. Hey, eyebrows are overrated (like Tommy Pham coming into this year). Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
DJ LeMahieu hit the DL with an oblique injury, and is out for months. It happened when DJ was carrying a crate of records. “Aunt Audrey is requesting the Electric–Side! My side!” As DJ collapsed into a heap of bar mitzvah party favors he’d collected. Garrett Hampson (0-for-3) was called up to fill in for him, and I tried to add him everywhere. Prospector Ralph had him in his top 100 fantasy baseball prospects, and said, “Hampson brings a nice mix of plus contact and plus-plus base running ability. With his combination of contact, speed, and plate approach he has a shot to carve out a niche as a top of the order run producer, which is different than Grey who is a ‘runs producer,’ as in he produces crap.” Hey! Hampson could have a 6 HR, 15 steal 2nd half, or, knowing the Rockies, Hampson will sit on the bench four out of five games while Pat Valaika plays. I wish these were laughter tears. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Mets started Jerry “Mathers As The” Blevins yesterday (as a starter; not because the Mets are ‘bullpenning’ but because they are bullsh*tting), taking advantage of the Mets waving the white (person sitcom star) flag was everyone on the Dodgers. First up, Enrique Hernandez (3-for-6, 3 runs, hitting .232) as he hit his 11th and 12th homer in Metco. Or as Jesse Jackson would say, “Kike homered in Jaime town.” By the by, players who Hernandez has more homers than (this is gonna make you cry): Jose Abreu, Bregman, Dozier, Ozuna, Matt Chapman and Smoak, to name but a few. I’ve been rocking Enrique — sounds Enrisqué! — for the whole year in an NL-Only league, but he doesn’t play every day (unlike all those schmohawks he’s besting on power). Next up, Cody Bellinger (2-for-5, hitting .239) as he hit his 14th and 15th homer. I get the sense that people think Cody’s absolutely bombing out his sophomore year. Not close. He’s not repeating his great rookie year (yet), but he is top 75-ish on the Player Rater and could easily be top 30 on the year with one extended hot streak. Lastly, Max Muncy (2-for-5) hit his 15th homer, or as I like to call him, This Year’s Chris Taylor. Muncy is having a legitimate breakout, or the Dodgers are slowly poisoning Taylor to make Muncy look great for a case of Muncyhausen By Proxy. I think it’s the former, but a teamster smoking may not be the only one leaning on the latter. To buy Muncy’s breakout, you have to buy a near-30% HR/FB, but he is top 35 for exit velocity, top 10-ish for hard contact percentage, and 2nd for Barrels. What does all this mean? The breakout looks real and beautiful. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Kelvin Herrera was traded to the Nationals, and immediately lost his fantasy value — from a total geek to totally chic back to Game of Thrones’ Reek. From a SAGNOF hero to a SAGNOF zero. From sneaky fantasy value status to king status to no status. Okay, enough of the bastardized Can’t Buy Me Love […]Please, blog, may I have some more?
This one just came across my desk in the Razzball news room. Apparently Walker Buehler suffered this injury (rib microfracture) three starts ago (!) but he’s a hockey player who fought his way through it. Conflicting reports about whether he’ll just miss one start or more in case they want to manage his innings. Stash or Trash: Stash. Kid’s looked great and a worthy heir to the Clayton Kershaw crown. Fill In: With another six starting pitchers going on the DL, I’m going to make my starting pitcher replacements at the bottom of this article.Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Lower the koozie a little bit. No, a little bit more. Okay, now spray some mist on the outside of the can to make it look like it’s sweating. Now rub your finger from the D in Dr. to the R in Pepper. This is romance! For me!” That’s me explaining to Cougs how I want her to seduce me with a visual metaphor of Juan Soto. Or as I like to call him, Sexy Dr. Pepper. Last night he hit two more homers (2-for-3, 4 RBIs) and now has five homers on the year, hitting .344 since his call-up and he’s only 19 years old. *puts handkerchief to head, faints* He was the first 19-year-old to homer at a Yankee Stadium since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1989. He is the fifth youngest major leaguer with a two-homer game (Mel Ott, Danny Murphy (not that one), Griffey, Andruw Jones). He is the third youngest major leaguer to show up at Yankee Stadium and say, “A concession guy offered his wife to me for sex.” (Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich) Not to put the hype too much to eleven, but he is blowing away what Bryce and Trout did when they were both 19 years old. 19-year-olds who hit a home run in the last 40 years: Soto, Bryce, Trout, Justin Upton, Andruw, Griffey and Juan Gonzalez. Betting on a 19-year-old to fail who is already up in the majors succeeding is betting the Don’t Pass line, and no one likes that guy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
All it took was a few homers in a week for us all to realize that Joc Pederson (FAAB: 8-10%) is pretty, pretty, PRETTY good this year. Now on his third year of plate discipline improvements, the Los Angeles outfielder has cut the K% under 20% for the first time in his career. Not only is it below 20%, but it falls to a ridiculously low 14.5% to go along with higher contact%, lower SwStr%, and overall better pitch recognition. He is making more contact than ever on breaking and off-speed offerings. The specific contact Pederson is making this year shows more fly balls with a career-high FB% and Under%. (Baseball Savant) It is inspiring to see this 26-year-old finally make the jump, stop swinging and missing, and improve as a baseball player. Joc Pederson carries excellent power (Career ISO: .218) and a plus-approach (Career OBP: .345) that is improving in 2018 with a .255 ISO and .347 OBP, but the real marker of elevated batters-eye exists in the 14.5% K%. Below is an image of exactly how Joc battled to advance his pitch recognition into the realm of his power. It took a little while to get going, but these changes stem from last season which seemed like a down year for Pederson. At the end of 2017, he had his first ISO below-.200, first OBP below-.345, and his worst AVG. However, he also had his best K%, SwStr%, and Chase%. Joc Pederson continues to develop all of these statistics in his game which is why I’m buying this year, and I’m not afraid to pay up. Hopefully, he can find space in a healthy Dodgers lineup that includes a red-hot Max Muncy (also one of my favorite pickups for the past few weeks.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
You’ve got to be realistic about these things: Stephen Strasburg isn’t the man we all dreamt he’d become. Absolutely, he’s become a very valuable pitcher and member of the invariably underachieving Washington Nationals, but alas, we expected career eliteness, Nicolas Cage in the 90’s level Eliteness. (Capital E for Emphasis.) Instead, we were given 2000’s Cage; Yes, Lord of War and Kick Ass were solid, but the rank stench of Bangkok Dangerous and Ghost Rider shall endure throughout the eternity of human existence. [Jay’s Note: But his hair sure achieved a lot in those two.]
We all recall Strasburg’s seven inning, 14 K performance in what was the most hyped debut in MLB history. Anything less than a first-ballot hall of fame career would be a massive disappointment after the mound mastery we saw displayed June 8th, of 2010. A little while later, as we all know, the dreaded Tommy John surgery was required and he just never became the man I desired him to be. Of course neither did I, but that’s a conversation for my therapist and I to have, but I suppose a botched penile enlargement surgery and Tommy John surgery have similar consequences (Jay, please look that up). [Jay’s Note: Risky Google of the day…] Every season, I would predict Strasburg to have his breakout season, and joining or surpassing the Clayton Kershaw’s and Justin Verlander’s of the world, only to be shamed by my colleagues, family and friends alike. It just never happened. The guy has TWO complete games in his CAREER. TWO COMPLETE GAMES!!!!!?!?!? How is that even possible?. I want to know how many times baby nuts has gone more than seven innings in his career since his debut. It’s one of the more insane stats I could ever imagine, and that’s without me even having a clue what the number is. I just know it’s extremely, mind numbingly low. So I suppose that is having a clue, but I’m not a detective, I’m Beddict the Elder and want JUSTICE!!!!! I could go on, but I’ll spare you the pain and self-loathing Strasburg has bestowed upon me over the last decade.
Last night, the former golden boy was taken to the woodshed and bent over a barrel and shown all 50 states by a lineup that features Pablo Sandoval, as he went a whopping two innings, and gave up three, before leaving with shoulder tightness. Here’s what I else I’ve found interesting around the MLB along with your Two Start Pitchers for the coming week!
Take Heed!Please, blog, may I have some more?