Please see our player page for Edwin Diaz 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.

When I wake up in the morning and the alarm gives out a warning and I don’t think I’ll ever make it on time. By the time I grab my books and I give Razzball a look, I’m at the website just in time to see the news fly by. It’s alright ‘coz I’m saved by Josh Bell. Was Samuel “Screetch” Powers spotted in Pittsburgh last night? No he was not. Neither were any of the other cast of Saved By The Bell. However, Josh Bell was in attendance. Trailing by five runs going into the ninth, Bell’s three run homer helped the Pirates tied the game. You’d have to be living under a rock not to notice how well Josh has been this year. If it weren’t for Yelich and Bellinger, Bell would be the top choice for the National League MVP. Bell went two for four on the night, but the Pirates ended up falling short in extras. As for Mr. Belding and crew this year marks the 30th anniversary of the show. In related news A.C. Slater and Zack Morris are both blue belts in jiu-jitsu. Perhaps we can get rematch of their fight that took place at Bayside High.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s not easy making a reliever as an MLB closer these days. The ball is juiced and more hitters than ever have figured out that swinging for the fences pays off even with some extra strikeouts. Those factors equal plenty of blown saves these days. The pitching landscape is changing. You need to take more cracks at saves than ever, even if you strike out, too.

Yesterday, the Pirates exploded for five homers, touching up Brad Peacock (3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 4.13). Maybe the Pirates would’ve let up more if his name was Brad Parrot.  Kevin Newman led the way once again, going 3-for-5, 2 RBIs with his 4th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. Of course, he will be in this afternoon’s Buy column.  Didn’t need Newman to star in the show off the Peacock, but fantasy owners should still be saying, “Hello, Newman.”  Then, Starling Marte (2-for-5, 3 runs) got a slam (12) and legs (12), as he plays his OCD for laughs, as one can do in the decade of the 90s.  Then, Jacob Stallings, subject of Permanent Midnight and staff writer on ALF, got into the action, going 3-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his 1st homer.  Then, Corey Dickerson (1-for-4, 2 RBIs) hit his 2nd homer, and had his 2nd big game in a row. Previously, Co-Dick was famous for what Siamese Twins filled out on a medical report, but maybe we should be “Stuck on You!”  Finally, Josh Bell (2-for-5, 2 RBIs) hit his 22nd homer, 2nd homer in the row and Bell said, “If we’re doing this like the 90s, I saved you,” but the Pirates couldn’t be reached for comment, in hiding, wearing a puffy shirt. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Between preparing for drafts and actually doing the drafts I’d be lying if I said I feel refreshed now that it’s over. In fact I’m quite exhausted and have found myself walking around in a zombie-like fashion the past two weeks. And it doesn’t help that I don’t drink coffee. Never have. Most people find it fascinating when I tell them that at 42 years of age I have never had a single drop. It’s just not my cup of tea. I mean coffee. Whatever. Truth be told, drafting season is my favorite part of the whole experience. Watching the season play out is often stressful, disappointing and underwhelming. This is generally true even during successful championship seasons. Anticipation is often greater than realization. I’m looking forward to watching Carlos Correa, Trevor Story and Javier Baez fall far short of their ADPs.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Redraft leagues are the standard of the fantasy sports industry. Each year you get a fresh start at remembering you shouldn’t draft A.J. Pollock. Ever. You can draft whoever you want at your draft position or spend as much as your budget on whoever you want. But for me there is nothing more fun than a good long-term keeper league. Smart owners get to flex on their leaguemates by keeping players they selected deep in their drafts or picked up on a hunch. Keeper leagues are a great intermediate option between full-on redraft leagues and the craziness of a dynasty league. 

Below you’ll find my keeper rankings for 2019. I’ve included each player’s age, position eligibility for the start of the 2019 season and any concerns I have about each player. Here’s what you’ll also see: I’m not high on starting pitchers. Too likely to suffer an injury and miss a large chunk of time. I’m not high on guys with less than two seasons of experience. I’ve seen sophomore slumps and prospect busts far too often. There are exceptions like Ronald Acuna who seem like a sure thing — but when it comes to Vlad Guerrero Jr. I prefer the wait and see approach. Plus, we really don’t know when he’ll even debut. Players over the age of 31 worry me — especially players whose value is speed dependent. I don’t want to keep a player whose decline is starting to begin. Injury prone players: duh. I’m not going to keep someone who can’t take the field.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Auction drafting reminds me of playing poker. Having a plan of attack, choosing the right hand to play, and then subsequently winning the hand while finding out that you could’ve made a lot more money if you had played it correctly. If you’re patient enough, play the rights hands and stick to the calculations, it’ll work out to your benefit more often than not, but are you that patient?

Can you let a player go under value because he’s not part of your plan? Can you avoid getting sucked into the auction and over paying for your guy? Can you avoid killing your budget faster than a college kid on spring break?

Hindsight is 20/20 and that is rarely more apparent than over the course of an auction. I don’t believe I’ve ever left an auction without regret. However, even if you don’t stick to your plan, there are ways to maneuver the auction to make your team build complete.

My plan coming into the auction was similar to my draft strategy for most of my leagues. I wanted to concentrate my bat spending on top of the order, high average, speed guys. Accomplished this with my combination of Ronald Acuna Jr. and Trea Turner. I balanced that speed with power in Edwin Encarnacion, Miguel Andujar, Justin Upton, and Max Muncy.

For my pitching, I took a more aggressive stance than normal and only wanted one ace and two established closers. I got Max Scherzer and then grabbed Edwin Diaz, Sean Doolittle, and Pedro Strop late.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In last week’s article, we went over bargain bin players, so we’re going to go a different route here. This is going to be a two-part piece where we focus on players that I won’t draft. These are guys that simply won’t end up on any of my fantasy teams for a number reasons, as they’re all being drafted too highly. We compared last week’s bargain bin players to tasty donuts but these players in this article are closer to rotten milk. While they may look normal on the surface, you get a whiff of them up close and nearly fall to your knees because of that sneaky smell.

In this first article, we’re going BIG! We’re going to give you three guys in the top-50 that I’m going to fade. In the next article, we’ll pick players that are going between 50-100 that we want to avoid. While none of these guys are necessarily busts, I just have a hard time seeing any of them live up to their draft price because of numerous outlier statistics. So, with that in mind, let’s get started with an MVP.   

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While Grey was off gallivanting in Jackson’s Hole sipping hot toddies and drafting his AL-Only team from heated chair lifts, I spent my day at a shady Illinois car dealership drafting my AL-Only team in that same league while getting fleeced on a used car. After I spent $35 on The Messiah, Adalberto Mondesi, Grey cracked, “I hope you get a better deal on that car than you got on Mondesi!” Oh real funny, Grey! That’s rich coming from the guy who spent $10 on Bryce Harper in an AL-Only league!

Nevertheless, my AL team took a turn for the worse when the car dealer tried to tack a $399 “Dealer Inventory Fee” onto the negotiated sale price. And that’s the story of how I spent $3 on Daniel Mengden and $1 on Chad Pinder in the all-important late stages of an AL-Only auction with the titans of the industry. Fortunately, our friend Scott White of CBS gave ya boy Donkey Teeth one more shot at the glory-hole in the NL-Only version of the same league. And this time, I wouldn’t be preoccupied disputing undisclosed dealer inventory fees while being stuck with auto-nominated Chad Pinders. Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and the tale of how I left Grey lusting after my Wong, again:

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Let’s set our baseline for the closer hierarchy as spring evolves. There hasn’t been that much in the way of news and Craig Kimbrel remains unsigned. He’s therefore unranked. If he signs he goes in the top tier. I shoveled snow this morning, so you’re getting winter weather themed tiers.

  • One guy I’m coming back around on is Archie Bradley. He dealt with a fingernail issue last season that sapped some bite from his curveball. He recently said, “I’m throwing some hammers this year. I’m going to have one of the best curveballs in the big leagues.”
  • I’m coming around on Matt Barnes. He should have the inside track to that job as the veteran.
  • People are paying too much for Pedro Strop in my eyes. There’s almost no chance he has that job to himself all year.
  • I’d be cautious on Jordan Hicks and Andrew Miller. With Carlos Martinez nursing an arm issue he might be moving into the pen.
  • Some of the best pens to speculate on for early saves are going to be the Twins, Rays, and Mariners. All three team will be competitive. If someone takes the job and runs with it they’re a league winner.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?