I’m back with another exciting article on pitcher analytics.  This week, I dive in (feet first into the shallow end mind you) with a little project built upon a fantastic article done by one of our finest Razzball baseball writers, @everywhereblair.  Way back in 2021, our 3x @fswa finalist and @razzball wiffernaut (his word, not […]

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Camp is starting up and it’s weird out there folks.  Split squad positionless scrimmages, Covid tests, opt outs….baseball is back!?!  This whole thing feels like the Jessie Spano caffeine pill freakout from Saved By the Bell…”I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so…..scared”.

First round of Covid testing is coming back and there’s plenty of interesting names that have tested positive: Jesus Luzardo, Eduardo Rodriguez, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Hector Neris, DJ Lemahieu, Tommy Pham, Scott Kingery, Mitch Keller, Ryan O’Hearn, Salvador Perez, and Kole Calhoun are notable confirmed positives.

Of these, most fall into the “asymptomatic” category and should return to the team soon (hopefully).  Hector Neris was already around Phillies camp this week, and Joey Gallo already has one negative test under his belt.  He should be good to go soon.

The most serious case looks to be Freddie Freemen.  The Braves are being candid about exactly what Freeman is going through, but they’re not expecting him back to camp any time soon.

There’s several other guys who are missing from camp still with no given reason why.  Some teams are releasing positive tests, some teams aren’t stating what’s keeping players away but letting us read between the lines.  This list includes: Aaron Nola (who was seen around Phillies camp earlier this week similar to Neris), Yonny Chirinos, Juan Soto, Kenley Jansen, Gavin Lux, AJ Pollock, Tony Gonsolin, Yordan Alvarez, Jose Urquidy, and Josh James.  The Astros, as well as some other teams, have had issues with their testing in terms of getting results quickly, so that may be holding up the ‘Stros players, but these are all guys to keep an eye on.

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First Charlie Blackmon, now Freddie Freeman…Somebody check on Reggie Cleveland! Welp, this sucks. That’s me cutting to the chase quicker than the editors of the Fast & Furious movies. “Um, Vin Diesel’s been talking for like seven seconds, don’t we have any tire spinning footage?” That’s the editors cutting to the chase. There’s also the Entourage editors, who tried to cut around Chase. Or Ruben Tejada who would like to cut Chase. Any hoo! Freddie Freeman tested positive for Covid and is battling a fever. Besides the fear for Freeman, if something serious happens to a player, baseball’s not happening this year. Other players will walkout, and I wouldn’t blame them. Sorry, I know that’s no fun to hear, but you’re not here to be lied to. As for fantasy, these Covid positive tests are super hard to predict for projections and rankings. Of course, if drafting right now; you can’t draft Freddie Freeman in the top 20 overall. Not sure you can draft him in the top 50 overall, but that’s about where I’d risk it, and have updated my top 20 1st basementop 100 and top 500. I did blow the dust off my landscape architect degree and hedge with my new ranking of Freeman by not updating his projections. It’s just impossible to know if he’ll be out for two-to-three weeks, and fine for near the start of the season, or miss the whole season. Unknown risk is baked into his new ranking, but I left projections. Putting aside “Let the kids play,” MLB has adopted a new slogan for this season:  “Play!” “What? No, it’s not safe.” “I said, “Play!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

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For some of you too young to remember (ya know, all of you 4-year-olds reading a fantasy baseball blog), Jose Reyes sat out after a 1st inning single in order to win a batting title in 2011. A weasel move if there ever was one. It’s like sleeping with Kate Hudson, Kate Upton and Kate Beckinsale then declaring you’re off the market for life because you’ve got the Triple Kate Crown. Not even trying for Kate Bush, Kate Gosselin or a Kate Spade handbag. You sold yourself short, just like Jose Reyes. Well, yesterday was, well, have I said ‘well’ yet, well, um, well, Mike Minor (8 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 12 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.59) got 200 Ks on the season. He did. There’s no denying it, but here’s the path he took: He gave up five runs, didn’t look great, was at 117 pitches and came out for the 8th inning because he needed one more K for 200. Much to his chagrin, he threw a 1-2-3 8th inning on three pitches. So, would he come out for the 9th? You betcha, home slice! Skullduggery was afoot! He got another out, then a two-strike count to Chris Owings, when Owings popped up to Ronald Guzman in foul territory. Guzman, knowing Minor needed another K for 200, dropped the pop-up and his dugout cheered. Baseball:  team sport.  Then, on the next pitch, he struck out Chris Owings and got his 200th K on an 86 MPH winded-as-all-get-out fastball that was called a change with an eye roll on the 126th pitch. So, does this make Minor as bad as Reyes? Much worse? Or better because he was at least trying to do more? No one will ever be as bad as Jose Reyes! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Was thinking how much I like Harrison Bader and how he feels tailor-made for a 2020 sleeper post, then I had a deep thought. No, not my deep thought about oat milk, but if you wanna hear that one, it goes like this. The dairy industry invented oat milk because when you order, “Coffee with oat milk,” you invariably get a coffee without milk, and it makes you appreciate dairy much more. I’m onto you, industrial dairy complex! But my deep thought about fantasy baseball sleepers was:  If every hitter is great, doesn’t it make more sense to only look at pitchers who are sleepers?  Anyone can tell you so-and-so hitter is a sleeper, because they will likely hit 30+ homers, but every hitter hits 30+ homers, so bleh! More discussion for the offseason, I guess. Yesterday, Harrison Bader went 2-for-4 with two homers (9, 10) as he hits .213. He’ll be 26 years old in 2020, and way past the point when he should have an everyday job, and we care because he has 20/15/.250 potential. Reminds me a bit of all the Bradley Zimmer/Clint Frazier sleeper posts over the years, and now I want nothing to do with him. Obviously, with three homers in last four games, he’s hot, but, as the eight-hole hitter, I’m once again wondering about pitcher sleepers.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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My preseason NL MVP pick was Travis Shaw.  *turns to a mirror* You’re handsome, but hella stupid.  My mirror reflection separates from my body.  The apparition picks up a see-through suitcase, “I think it’s time we went our separate ways.”  But how will you get along out there without me? Can an apparition order Chick-fil-A or boba? “Don’t make this harder than it needs to be.”  It was one bad call.  “Tell that to my teams with Travis Shaw and Daniel Palka.”  Nooooooo!!!  Any hoo!  My soul left me after I told it to draft Travis Shaw, and I can’t blame it.  What a garbage call.  Maybe Shaw will return as Travos so we can “see worth.”  It’s a game of puns!  With the Brewers moving on from Shaw by sending him to the Ineffective List, they called up Keston Hiura.  I know I say this shizz three times a week, but he could be *the* call-up of the year.  Here’s what I’ve said in the past, “One scout said this offseason at the Arizona Fall League, ‘We all talk about the bat of Vladdy, with obvious reason, but outside of Vladdy, I’d call Keston Hiura the purest power bat I saw out in Arizona. He’s just a special, special kid.’  The scout continued, ‘Have you seen my chew?’ turning his lip inside out, ‘Ah, there it is,’ then after a pause, ‘I’m big league, baby!’ I actually have owned Huira for the better part of two years in two separate NL-Only leagues, and I’m a fan.  Think there’s a chance for a 18/7/.270 season.  That sounds downright–Don’t say Jed Lowrie, don’t say Lowrie, don’t say Lowrie, don’t say Lowrie– Led Jowrie!  (What’s worse, I thought of saying ‘what Brett Lawrie was supposed to be’ — woof!)  In Double-A last year, Hiura hit 6 HRs with 11 SBs and .272 in only 73 games, but his bat will play, and, as mentioned above about how he looked in Arizona, he destroyed the AFL, getting better and better.”  And that’s me quoting me!  He continued to get better this year, hitting .333 with 11 HRs in 37 Triple-A games, while chipping in four steals.  He was striking out way too much in Triple-A to hit .333 in the majors, but 18/7/.270 sounds about right from this point forward with a chance for more.  Maybe he could even be the NL MVP.  I’m kidding, apparition!  Please, come back, I’m empty inside!.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Hope our five girl readers had a beautiful Mother’s Day yesterday. I sent my mother a trade offer sending her Tyler Flowers and Goodrum. She appreciated the thought. Also, I wore pink the entire day for you mothers, because that is a very girly color that baseball keeps perpetuating every year. Why can’t mothers be into purple or lavender or mauve or rose or fuchsia or flamingo or other shades of a color similar to purple or pink? How about next year all players wear lavender pants suits for Mother’s Day? Ooh, I have an idea. Since all pink bats are relegated to the trash bin after Mother’s Day, how about players use them again to raise awareness to spay or neuter your pets?  Like an in-heat bitch (medical term in vet school), George Springer was hot with that pink bat (more vet med terms), going 5-for-5, 5 runs, 4 RBIs with his 14th and 15th homer, hitting .321.  The good news is he’s finally living up to his top 10 potential.  The bad news is his owners from last year are on suicide watch.  But, hey, it’s not us, right?! (Actually, it is me. Damn.)  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Due to the light schedule, let’s drill down on Cody Bellinger (2-for-4 and his 10th homer, hitting .432).  If man love bothers you, perhaps you should shield your eyes.  This could become naughty, and, yes, I need to remove my pants to write the rest of this.  Cody is 2 1/2 home runs from being halfway to last year’s homer total.  How does one hit a 1/2 of a home run?  You hit it out of the park, then pimp with a bat flip so long you get tackled rounding 2nd.  Right now, Bellinger’s HR/FB% is absurd.  He’s not even hitting that many fly balls.  It’s just everything he touches goes bim-bam-zoom to the moon.  Can that continue, you ask with your doe eyes and soft lips.  You drafted Goodrum on too many teams, because you sound drunk.  Of course, it won’t continue.  His launch angle last year, when he hit 25 homers, was 16 degrees.  This year it’s 13.  He is hitting the ball damn hard, though.  He’s third in the majors with 96 MPH average exit velocity.  I’d be shocked if he hits less than 35 homers, but I also don’t think he’s going to hit more than his career high of 39 homers, if his fly ball rate holds.  His strikeout rate has absolutely cratered, in a good way, but, of course, when a guy is hitting well, he’s not striking out.  He will go cold, turkey, and cold turkey on power at some point.  It’s early, yadda-blabbity-bloo, so don’t panic sell.  He’s now a legit top 15 bat vs. the top 40 one we thought he might be in the preseason.  Now, I will put back on my linen Tommy Bahama pants and continue.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We all know what it’s like to part with a loved one; An ex-girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband/lover/sidepiece/sugar daddy/sugar baby, and we know how painful it can truly be. I…I can’t believe I’m saying this…but after much self-reflection the time has come for me to part with my alter ego…Tehol Beddict.

You see, Tehol was the person I wanted to be in real life; peaceful, spiritual, focused on dominance, a total sex-addict, someone who was sought after for advice, and other than the moments I go back to Twitter or when I’m screaming at people in traffic, I honestly feel like I’ve become this person in 2019 (other than the sex-addict part…I’m celibate). Also, my friends and family can’t seem to understand that this is me, as they can’t comprehend why if it was me it wouldn’t say my real name. My freaking father says he can never find my work online, so basically I’m making this maneuver to assist the elder folk. You know, the elderly, though slow, and dangerous behind the wheel, can still serve a purpose, so it’s important we help them out whenever possible. Wonder if he struggles this mightily in searching for porn???

Anyway, most of my old readers have most likely moved on to new writers…who are we kidding! They have been biding their time, strategizing and plotting for my triumphant return,  organizing a masterful battle plan to destroy all who oppose me, and believe me, it melts my heart guys/gals. Say one thing for Tehol…errr, LT, say that he loves his supporters like the children he never wanted. (I almost deleted this 100 times as it’s extremely difficult to say goodbye to the legend, but it’s time to rip the sutures out and bleed my own blood, and festoon the walls of Razzball with it.)

If you have no clue what I’m speaking of, or have no clue who or what I am, prepare yourself for next level savagery, for play around, I do not. Let’s get down to business, shall we?

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For the Seattle Mariners, all is lost…

Well, well, well…..What in the ever-loving mother of the elder gods do we have here!!? Baseball is upon, guys/gals, and after taking a brief hiatus to give my absolute all to battling some forces that were severely limiting my effectiveness as a writer, I return to thee thirsty for battle, lusting for justice, soothsaying for savants, and fully equipped to do battle with any who shall oppose me in this art form of writing about the game we know and love; Fantasy Baseball. I have missed this so much, truly, I have. Sadly, you are not here to read about me and newfound love of life and everyone in it, but to discover sort of a basic understanding of what the Seattle Mariners are up to…..I will try to put it into words, which may prove difficult, being that I’m not allowed to drop F-bombs or post dick pics, but here’s a hint; IT’S ALL BAD!!!!! Like, it’s rotting badger carcass under your backseat bad, when whom you believe to be your dream girl blows up your bathroom after railing an eight-ball to the face bad, like, any Nicolas Cage movie from the last ten years bad, like, REALLY, REALLY, ASTRONOMICALLY PISS POOR!!!!!! Say one thing for the Seattle Mariners, say they are going absolutely going to be one one of the five worst teams in the sport this season.

Before I get started, did anyone read the Minnesota Twins preview? I was starting to blast the dude on Twitter for buying fake followers, only to realize he’s a professional wrestler!?!?!?! WHAT!?!?!?! Is this real? Can someone confirm? If so, it is with great honor that I accept this cohabitation of mannishness, and look forward to continuing the greatness of Razzball, thee premier site for fantasy baseball. Aaaaahkay, now let’s set it off in this MF.

I am Tehol Beddict and this is your Seattle Mariners team preview. TAKE HEED!

Check out our other team previews here!

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With these top 100 starters for 2019 fantasy baseball, I’ve finished our (my) 2019 fantasy baseball rankings for positions.  Still coming will be a top 100 overall and top 500 to see how all the positions mesh together like your mesh Redskins jersey that meshes with your burgundy sweatpants.  Trust me, when you see how long this post is, you’ll be glad I kept this intro short.  As always, my projections are included, and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  If you want an explanation of tiers, go back to the top 10 overall and start this shizz all over again.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 starters for 2019 fantasy baseball:

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