Please see our player page for Joe Ross 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.

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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!  Also pay attention to where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign… Note that those two signings can instantly eliminate some of the position battles detailed herein.

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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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In the biz, we call this post, In Appreciation. It’s like In Memoriam, but Jennifer Hudson isn’t singing a song and no one died.  What did you just ask?  Is your childhodd guinea pig alive again because I just said, ‘No one died?’  Doode, I’m saying no one died in general.  No, that doesn’t mean General Tsao is alive again!  Shut up!  Yesterday, Javier Baez went 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his 31st homer, hitting .295.  That day?  For this year?  As the pimp told his lady of the night, ho-hum.  But, five ladies and gentlemen, Javier Baez is your NL MVP if only Cubs fans vote!  By the by, Baez has more 100 RBI seasons in his career than Bryce Harper.  I will now drop a 140 WUT.  How about we make every post the rest of the year about how much Bryce sucks?  Worst 35-homer hitter in the history of baseball ever?  Okay, that’s prolly Adam Dunn, but Bryce is real close for useless.  When the Nats need a big hit, he Ks or walks.  When the game is out of reach and no one is on?  Harper’s you’re man.  Okay, this is becoming about Harper instead of Baez.  On the year, Baez has 31 HRs, 21 SBs, .295 and 90/100 on the runs/RBIs.  On our Player Rater, he is teetering between 5th and 6th overall.  For 2019, I’m having a hard time envisioning me ranking him any lower than 10th overall, and likely much closer to top five.  Now, about that sucker Harper…  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Hello again, deep-league friends! Get your calendars out and get ready. If things aren’t going exactly as planned as far as 2018 fantasy baseball goes, don’t sweat it — in case you haven’t heard, next year’s MLB season-opener will be the earliest in MLB history (not counting games out of the country). New baseball that counts will be here before you know it, with all thirty teams scheduled to play on March 28, 2019. And if that news isn’t exciting enough, there’s also going to be actual baseball even earlier than that: speaking of baseball games out of the country, the A’s and Mariners will be playing real games in Tokyo on March 20th and 21st. Just a little something to look forward to if your 2018 fantasy players haven’t been treating you so well (or even if they have). For now, let’s take our customary look at a few players from each league that might be of interest to those in AL-only, NL-only, and other deep leagues as we head into the final few weeks of 2018 major league baseball.

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In Philly, a celestial light shines down on a book.  A deep breath, and someone blows dust off the book so we can read its title, “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Scoring In Philly.”  A hand opens the book, turning to the first page, reading, “To all my loving fans, but mostly the females.”  We pull back to reveal, reading is its author, Pat Burrell.  For reasons we can’t explain, he wears a dead parrot on his shoulder.  The Mets could easily have written that book after yesterday’s first game.  Putting up the reedonkeylicousness:  Amed Rosario went 6-for-11, 7 runs, 4 RBIs and a slam (6) and legs (14) across both games.  In the first game, Rhysus (3-for-7, 4 RBIs and his 24th and 25th homer) and Amed both homered.  Halleberrylujah!  Jose Bautista (3-for-7, 3 runs, 7 RBIs) hit his 10th homer as he continues to turn back the clock to 1987, when he was a 7-year-old and hit barely .200 with some occasional pop off garbage lefties who would put it on a tee for him.  Michael Conforto (6-for-12, 3 runs, 5 RBIs) hit his 17th homer, and now has three homers in the last week, and is finally showing signs why people are always saying, “The Mets are bad, but I like that Conforto guy.”  The Mess had so much offense I don’t even have time before my Carpal Tunnel kicks in to mention Kevin Plawecki (4-for-5, 4 runs, 3 RBIs).  A shame, because Plawecki deserves a mention outside of being mentioned for not being mentioned.  The big takeaway, on our 7-day Player Rater of hitters, Amed Rosario is in the top 30 and worth a look.  Amed to that.  Or Amen.  Or Apeople, if that’s how you roll.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Crabs gon’ eat, whether you like it or not. The best advice I can give is move out of the way when they come through your town. If they request buckets of your finest chum, drop it on your porch and back away slowly. From east to west, from north to south, and every where in between, Crabs inhabit this fine land. They might be your UPS driver, insurance agent, or state senator. They’re your husbands, friends, and neighbors. They are a secret society of highly intelligent fantasy baseball masters, and Samurai’s of the comment section, prepared for battle at the drop of a hat. I am of course discussing the inhabitants of Razzball’s own 30 team dynasty league The Razz30. It’s been a month of elite level play, with several teams still in the hunt for the 4 playoff spots in the AL and NL. Our trade deadline came and went on Monday, and there was action galore up until the last bell. As we close in on the end of our first year of independence, I’m glad to report that the state of the league has never been stronger. To all my smooth gooch rocking, white monster drinking, thirsty villains, get out the spreadsheet. Claws Up!!!

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Now the baseball Gods have gone too far. Carlos Correa was my AL MVP pick for this year, my biggest keeper in my main league and one of my few reasons for joy so far this fantasy season. 6-8 weeks is his time table and since it is a torn ligament and not a broken bone he probably won’t have that super-human Freddie Freeman healing time frame. August 29th is the earliest we might see Correa take the field again in real life, but he’ll be playing SS and hitting HRs every night in my dreams. Stash or Trash: Stash. Unless you’re in a 2-team league. In which case, what the hell is wrong with you? Fill In: I grabbed Jose Reyes (18.3%) because I’ve lost control of my life. Since the beginning of July, Reyes has a .405 AVG with 3 HR but only 1 SB. If he’s figured something out he might find eventually himself hitting higher than 7th in the Mets lineup. More likely though, I’ll be cycling short stops in an out until August 29th. 

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I really wanted to start this post with a quote, something like “it’s always darkest before the dawn”, or something like that. I figured that was a great way to offer hope and encouragement regarding the “second half” of the season. Let’s face it, with this whole “seamingly” out of nowhere spike in offense the last two seasons, there’s one inevitable conclusion. Pitching sucks!!! I mean we’ve been holding onto any shred of decency available. Look at Jason Vargas! Why am I ranking Jason Vargas? Does he have some sort of magnificent secret about these new Hi-C joints MLB is calling balls? Why the hell is he so much better than Justin Verlander? I have too many questions! I’m supposed to have answers! Here’s the truth, as if I’ve been lying to you before. There’s maybe 20 matchup proof starters in all of baseball, and then the rest of them you have to be careful with to varying degrees. Now, that’s not necessarily true for points formats, or deeper leagues with quality starts. Or even those with a greater emphasis on counting stats over ratios. But in our RCL formats, or any 5×5 roto with innings or starts limits, you must choose wisely. Around every corner lurks a roofie to your ratios. Just because Jordan Montgomery has been good more often than not, that doesn’t mean I’m up to a level of confidence that I’d start him in Colorado. Nah mean?  Nod along.  If you’re having trouble knowing which starts to avoid, check out Rudy’s Stream-O-Nator. It’s the perfect objective voice on those tough decisions you won’t get in your own head, or from your friends. That is, if you have friends with voices in your head and all. Anyway, be careful out there, and good luck in the second half.

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This is an excerpt of a phone call Razzball intercepted during Sunday’s afternoon games.  Since every state involved is a two-party consent for recording, we cannot reveal who recorded the call, but it rhymes with Trudy Gramble.  Here, let’s listen in:  “Hello, this is the CEO of Super Ball, the world’s hardest, bounciest, craziest, shouldn’t-be-used-as-a-baseballiest ball.  Who is this calling?”  Our Commissioner Rob Manfred disguises his voice so he sounds raspy, “I’m Kathleen Turner.  I was wondering if you would sell me 70,000 Super Balls to not be used for baseball purposes.”  “Body Heat Kathleen Turner?  Not to get all James Lipton, but I am a huge fan of your–”  “Okay, toots…”  Manfred lowers the phone receiver, to his secretary, “Toots?”  Back into the phone, “Um, so don’t make me kill you and blame a different femme fatale.  I need those Super Balls.”  So, yesterday was bonkers for homers, yet again.  I will now list the home runs by guys in just the Astros game:  Yulieski Gurriel (2-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 11th; Jose Altuve (3-for-4, 4 runs, 3 RBIs, hitting .347) hit his 13th; Evan Gattis (2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs) hit his 8th and Carlos Correa (4-for-5, 5 RBIs) and two homers, his 19th and 20th.  Holy Salami Tom, there’s a crapton of home runs this year.  I have two mixed leagues where I feel like if I’m not getting at least five homers per day, I’m falling behind.  Also, on a pitching front, if I can just maintain a 3.50 ERA, I could come in first for ERA.  By the way, I hope we’re not sued by Our Commissioner Rob Manfred, but something must be done.  Get the Super Balls out of baseball!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Thankfully, I no longer do 4th of July like I used to, because when you have a holiday weekend that lasts five days, you will get alcohol poisoning if you go too hard, and the 4th is especially dangerous because:  day drinking.  At least with New Year’s Eve, it’s at night.  The Fourth is lying on a discarded sofa on the side of a highway at 3 PM and being like, “The hum of 75 MPH cars is so peaceful, I go to sleep now,” and waking up with a flashlight you mistake for a fleshlight and now you’re a registered sex offender.  Hopefully, none of that happened to any of you, well, maybe the fleshlight part, and you all had a safe holiday.  Any hoo!  Yesterday, Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-4 and his 15th and 16th homers as he hits .288.  He found the Fountain of Youth sometime in May and has been a Zombino eating brain custard ever since.  I’m still half expecting — cting? — McCutchen will resort to blah in the 2nd half, but it looks like I wrote off McCutchen before his sell-by date.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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