It feels like just the other day the baseball regular season started. You wrote “I heart baseball” in permanent marker on your arm, then you met a girl who wrote “I heart guys who heart baseball” on her arm, then, during sex in July, you screamed out, “Give it to me, Giancarlo!” and now you don’t have baseball or a girlfriend. C’mon, calendar, make like a soldier and turn to March. The only cure for the post-baseball season blues — recapping the preseason top twenty lists and being hand-fed Doritos. First up, Cool Ranch and our preseason Top 20 Catchers for 2017. It’s important to look back before we look ahead to 2018. To paraphrase the one and only B-Real, “How do you know where you’re at, if you don’t know where you’ve been? Understand where I’m coming from?” (If you missed it, I interviewed B-Real last year on our podcast, though that might not have been as good as our Jose Canseco interview.) It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. It’s cold hard math, y’all! Please, for the love that all is holy, don’t ask me if this is for next year. Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2017 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s the second-last day of the regular season, and I feel like I’m back at Opening Day, there’s such a smorgasbord of pitchers to roll around in (so to speak): Kluber (vs. the White Sox, $12,000), Scherzer (vs. the Pirates, $10,800), Kershaw at—important couple of letters, those—the Rockies, $9,600), Archer (vs. the Orioles, $9,300). They’re all so famous we need use only their last names. Of the 4 listed here, Kluber will bankrupt you, and I’m leery of Kershaw in Colorado, and also of Archer, given his last outing versus the Orioles, so how about for our very last Saturday <sob> [Sidebar: Thanks for reading, all these weeks! It’s been a slice. Feel free to come hang with me on Twitter and we’ll get through the cold, dark hell of the off-season together], we go old-school with ol’ Blue-Green Eyes and run out Max Scherzer at home versus the Pirates? Let’s look at some more options for our final Fan(Duel)-tasy together.
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Who doesn’t love them some BOGO sales? Girls love them, hell even flamboyant fake baseball players like it. I prefer the pun value in them better than buying two pairs of shoes, only of which I need one. Which leads us to Javier Baez. I equate him to that sushi roll that you aren’t sure that you like and don’t exactly know what’s in it. Like a Ahi Tuna special, but in a baseball hat. Entering play (as of me writing this) he had 21 Homers and 9 steals. Not fantastic by any stretch of the SAGNOF variety, but I wanna see if there is more juice to squeeze out of the North Side orange. We are fully entrenched in the here and now of fantasy, but always need to be looking to next year. So with his uptick in speed over the past eight games (3 steals), making everyone aware of their surroundings in the SAGNOF world seemed like a good spot to write about Javy for the first time this year. Batting average is not what you want him to be a stalwart on your team, but the 21 taters with 12-15 stolen base potential with SS, 2B and 3B eligibility heading into next year, he is someone with name value that you may want to ask to your fantasy prom. Enough with the debate about Baez for now and later, let’s get to the Stealers and Savers for the week… Good luck down the stretch lads!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Ender Inciarte went 8-for-10 with two runs, 5 RBIs and two steals (18, 19), hitting .310. That’s a doubleheader that would’ve made Ernie Banks blush. And Ernie only blushed one time that we know of, the time Ernie confused Fergie Jenkins with Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas late one night at Harry Caray’s. “Yo, Ernie, what you talkin’ about with my humps, my lovely little lumps? And I don’t know what I’m going to do with the junk in my trunk, why do you keep asking? You holding a garage sale?” I don’t know why I enjoy the sweet stylings of Ender Inciarte so much. I kinda hate guys like Adam Eaton, and we should call Ender, “Cheap Eats with Some Indian Guy Named Khan,” because he is nothing more than a cheap Eaton. Maybe it’s because Ender always comes at a discounted rate to go with his “Yes, You Khan Cheap Eats” shizz. Though, he is a fantasy beast for supporting actual beasts. In other words, Ender is not making or breaking your team, but when you have guys that hit 40 HRs and .250, guys like Ender make all the difference as supplements. “Did someone say supplements?” What the hell are you doing here, Bonds? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Michael Conforto left yesterday’s game on a swing and miss that dislocated his shoulder and a posterior capsule tear. Dude fell like he was punched in the face by the Ghost of Muhammad Ali. Anyone know if the Ghost of Muhammad Ali was at the game? Float like a butterfly in a sheet… Ever hear about the three drunk ghosts? They were three sheets to the wind. Take it, Highlights! It’s yours! This doesn’t sound good for Conforto. Reports are saying he’s likely done for the year. Taking over for Conforto will likely be Brandon Nimmo. Laura Holt just gave you her Brandon Nimmo fantasy, as if she had some sort of premonition about Conforto. Oh my god, she’s a witch! Hand her a refrigerator and she if she floats! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Kolten Wong (14.2% owned – increase of 9%) was far from being the most added player over the past week. In fact, he barely made the list, but the fact that he made the list at all is amazing. It would be Wong of me to not at least dig into him further, no?
Ok, I apologize. That was bad. Anyways, since the start of the month, Wong has a triple-slash of .375/.458/.583 with one home run, five doubles, one triple, 12 runs scored, 10 RBI, and one stolen base. Remember, back in 2014 Wong hit 12 home runs and stole 20 bases, so there’s some potential here. Let’s break it, break it down. He’s walking 10% and striking out 14% of the time. Those are nice numbers and an improvement from his 2014/2015 numbers. BUT…they are very close to his 2016 numbers when he hit .240. The swinging strike rate hasn’t changed but the chase rate has improved by 5%. In addition, his contact on pitches outside the strike zone has increased 6%. He’s also hitting left-handed pitching very, very well so far (.333 average vs .258 career mark). Now, to the portion of the show that you’ve all been sitting on the edge of your seats for…..We are not Wong to be overlooking Kolten. The BABIP is a sky-high .353. That batting average is going to come back down to the .260-ish range. That batting average against lefties is fueled by a .385 BABIP. Nothing in the peripherals shows a drastic change that motivates me to think that his recent success is sustainable. Looks like a lot of luck. TRASH
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Thank Cobb this injury wasn’t worse. After failing to stick the landing on his improvised triple lutz down the first base line, Bryce Harper owners ran to their bobble head and starting lineup figure shrines to pray to the old baseball Gods and the new (Praise Be to Frank Thomas.) Luckily, there was no knee meat damaged in the play which is good, but it is still looking like a mid-September return from a bone bruise in his knee. But Harper is just crazy and young enough to beat that time frame. Funnily enough, the first few suggestions when you start to type “bone bruise” into Google are “bone bruise knee,” “bone bruise heal time” and “bone bruise knee heal time.” Fantasy managers are so quick to become amateur physicians when their players go down. How you handle a Harper replacement could be key to you making & surviving your playoffs. Stash or Trash: Stash. Fill In: Say it with me now: “Goosfraba.” No one man can replace Harper. Now that that’s out of the way let’s see what we’re working with. You know who you should grab before it’s too late? Eddie Rosario (37%.) Since July 1st Rosario has a .333 average with 20 runs, 6 HR, 22 RBI and 3 SB — 5 of those HR have come in his last 8 games. Is this realistic? Not entirely. However, Rosario is only 25 and was a 20/20/.280 threat in his minor league days. Ride the hot hand here.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Because I am always late to the writing party, I figured why not just add another Bryce Harper column, but with a Michael Taylor happy ending. So what’s-his-face got hurt and now Mike Taylor returns from the DL to save the day. Gone one day and BH is now what’s-his-face. It sucks, but injuries happen. That is why waivers and free agent pools exist. So before Taylor inured his oblique in early July, he was on a torrid pace that was making him an asset for fantasy. Now what capabilities will he have with that injured oblique? Since this is the SAGNOF report, we only care about one thing. Increasing his SB total from 10. The thing in his favor is that the Nationals lineup is going to change slightly. Because of the absence of “some guy”. Small ball and base-to-base stuff still wins and it may have to happen without a middle of the lineup thumper (besides Zimmerman). I can’t believe I just called him a thumper, well… suspend disbelief for a minute and just assume I didn’t mean it. Taylor may take a few days to get into the swing of things but Bryce isn’t walking through the door anytime soon, so at-bats and top of the order stuff are coming. Happy SAGNOF’n!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Valar morghulis. Who could predict that throwing over 150 innings every year since Felix Hernandez turned 18 would be dangerous? Oh, everyone? In pitcher years I’m pretty sure King Felix is 63 years old. Stash or Trash: Trash. He’s predicted to miss 3 or 4 weeks and I’d hate for you to stash Felix and miss your playoffs. This is the 3rd year in a row that Felix’s ERA has risen and it is now at the point where he should yield his “Mariners Ace” crown to the Kingslayer James Paxton. Fill In: German Marquez (44.7%.) It’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: “What Are This Colorado Pitcher’s Splits?!” Home: 4.31; Away: 3.86. Actually not that bad! Marquez has allowed more than 3 runs in only 4 of his 18 starts this season including his last 5 starts being quality starts.
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Adrian Beltre was promoted to the Dodgers the same year I moved to Los Angeles. I distinctly remember listening to AM sports radio a lot that summer, and, man, did people in LA hate Beltre. With justification too, he struggled for six seasons. When he finally broke out in 2004 (48 HRs, .334), no one believed it. If you would’ve told people in LA, Beltre would be a surefire Hall of Famer, they would’ve thought you were related to him. This would be the same as now saying Nick Castellanos will be a Hall of Famer in 14 years. Yesterday, Beltre went 1-for-5, 2 runs and secured his place in history with his 3,000th hit. Good on, Beltre, may all your cheap beers and head remain untapped. As for fantasy, well, doesn’t mean anything, but it’s a hat tip, while a hat pat is forbidden. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?