Baseball, like a flower, blooms in the spring. They also share equally effusive PR people. Just the other day I read about how a petunia’s branches gained 15 pounds and was in the best shape of its life. Sure, it’s always good to look at spring training numbers to give you an idea what you can expect from guys during the season — can I draft Adalberto Mondesi yet?! Players in spring training are facing the top pitchers who are all displaying their best stuff. No one needs time to get warmed up. No one’s trying new pitches or getting a feel for the ball. They are at the height of their game in the beginning of March. Our former commissioner, Bud, once doffed his toupee and tried to have the World Series played in March. Since these spring training numbers mean so much, I decided to look at some players stats so far:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I wonder what Keith Law aka [email protected] thinks about Yordan Alvarez. *searches through transcripts of Klaw chats, which he calls a Koffee Klawtch* Hmm, that’s weird. He didn’t rank Yordan in his preseason top 100. Prospect Mike had him at 27 overall in the top 50 for fantasy baseball prospects. “Hello, Mr. Skywriter? Yes, can I pay you to fly above [email protected]’s home with the message, ‘Oops.’ Where does he live? Hmm, I’ve been training my dog to sniff out bad takes, so I just need a few hours and a box of Milkbones.” On our Prospectonator, Yordan is ranked in the top 5. Again, with some stank, [email protected] didn’t even rank him in the top 100. I get it; he’s doing real baseball vs. fantasy. The problem is real baseball has become fantasy. Do people even care about defense anymore? The Orioles top pick overall is a catcher who is already in talks about moving off that position. Just one more time — he didn’t rank Yordan Alvarez in his preseason top 100! Are we even comprehending how crumby with cracker crumbs this is? Any hoo! Heir Yordan had 23 homers and a .343 average in 56 games of Triple-A. I will now laugh myself into coughing fit. Yo, Yordan, you Babe Ruth? I know what you’re thinking, how long has he been in Triple-A, is he old? He’s 21 years old. No idea of the Astros’ plans for him, and, if by some stroke of the malocchio, he doesn’t hit, I guess he could get sent down. However, I think Tyler White’s done and Yuli Guli sounds like an anime character who can’t hit, so even when George Springer, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa — damn, you wrestling gators in hopes of passing the Yanks for most injured players? — return, I think Yordan is here to stay, and, yesterday, his 1-for-3 with his 1st homer is just the start. Get him accordingly. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, on the way to the park, Chris Paddack felt under the weather. Not to confuse people, Paddack had the flu, there’s no weather in San Diego. So, Chris Paddack was touching 100, and I’m not talking about his fastball. As Paddack made his way to the mound, he’d cough and: “You rang?” That’s the on-staff hernia nurse. Well, it’s not just the hernia nurse who’s on-staff when it comes to Paddack. Yesterday, he dismantled the Mariners — 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 9 Ks, ERA at 1.67 in 27 IP, getting some swinging strikes that were…Well, one swing by Daniel Vogelbach was the highest pitch generating a swing all year at four-feet and eight-inches aka “an Altuve.” Currently, Paddack sits at 10 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 3.80 xFIP, and, Steamer’s rest-of-the-season projections for him are 3.49 ERA with a 10 K/9 in 120 IP, i.e., a top 40 starter in all mixed leagues. With all his commercials, Justin Verlander can push his Flonase down our throats (noses?), but Paddack pitching is sick — God bless you! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“After Chris Davis raved about it, I had to check it out.” said James Paxton, as he sipped maple syrup. He continued, “It was my favorite show since the last time I saw Rush.” The Canadian then put on moose antlers, an orange vest and grabbed his shotgun. Before he exited the press conference, he smiled, adding, “Eh.” So, James Paxton busted that slumped like Chris Davis before him and like every team that faces the Sawx. Crazy when you have Mookie Betts hitting near-.200 and Benintendi out of the lineup, what a massive hole the Red Sox become, or a Mass-hole for short. Yesterday, James Paxton went 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 3.91, putting to doubt some concerns that he would be eaten alive by the New York lights. Paxton laughed, “It’s just like downtown Saskatchewan.” All the New Yorkers grinned, Paxton was already growing a tough, sarcastic sense of humor indicative of New York, when Paxton added, “Seriously, eh, there’s nothing finer than Regina.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Today we have a very special Game of Thrones edition with your host, Ball-less Greyjoy. Or, I guess since it’s a Buy, as in pick up off waivers, it’s a Game of Thrones addition. To prep for the Game of Thrones finale, I pushed a kid out a window. As I get into bed with Cougs, I yell, “The one-eyed raven is here and winter is coming!” This show better not end as a Bob Newhart dream or in a snow globe of an autistic boy. As Daenerys would say, “I just flew to King’s Landing and boy are my armies tired.” I wonder if Daenerys used to be Daenery but added the S on the end like Kendrys. Speaking of which, Kendrys Targaryen has no position flexibility, and is just rigid, due to the 75 years he’s been guarding a freakin’ wall. Why does he guard the wall? Because of the dreaded White Walkers. The Night King, head White Walker, is Christian Walker. Since Kendrys Targaryen unleashed his dragon and it ate a Lamb (then burped fire), Christian Walker could see more time on the other side of the dugout wall. He’s shown good pop (who doesn’t sleep with mom who is his sister) and I’m adding him in all leagues. He hit 30+ homers in Triple-A, during his last full season there. Hopefully, George RR Martin doesn’t stop doing his bend the knee burpees at a Westeros Fitness and kill him off. Spoiler Alert! Game of Thrones ends with Fonzie jumping over a dragon. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
There was a time when I thought Freddy Peralta (8 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 11 Ks) was merely a starter. A guy who took the ball every fifth day, stared in at the catcher, shook off a sign or two and scratched his balls. Not like a Gaylord. Perry, not, um, yeah, Perry. Yesterday, we (me) gained a newfound appreciation for FP Saintdamnvelo. His command was gorge, and I’m engorged. In fact, I’m not typing this with my fingers. It’s whether he can replicate that command going forward like he’s a replicate in one of those sci-fi movies with replicates. I don’t know sci-fi, so you have to figure out your own analogy. Sci-fi is for nerds! That’s why I play fantasy baseball. Either way, you have to pick up Freddy Peralta after yesterday’s start to see if he can build off it. If Peralta continues that no-walk command, he’s a potential breakout. Speaking of breakouts (can you believe the ease of that segue), Matthew Boyd dropped the ew, dunked 13 Ks on the Yankees and that’s straight Matth. Like his most famous fantasy baseball owner would say, “Yeah, Boyd!” Damn right, Flavor Flav! Matthew Boyd (6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 13 Ks, ERA at 3.18) leads the majors in Ks. El oh cmon. He’s the first Tigers starter to start the season with back-to-back 10+ K games. This wasn’t the A lineup for the Yankees, but more “a Yankees lineup.” Still, I’m buying partly because of FOMO, and since he had 26 swinging strikes, i.e., he was fooling them real good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I remember distinctly the day Will Clark retired. I just got home from a Winter Solstice Pageant. I was only 12 years old at the time, but my mustache was already coming in. Earlier that night, when I was singing in the pageant, a mother yelled out from the audience, “Who’s the midget with the mustache?” Then another parent yelled out, “Or is it a dwarf? I always get confused.” Another yelled, “Is that kid 40 years old? I don’t know if I want my kid around that adult.” I didn’t think my day could get worse, then, back at home, I heard that Clark retired. I was still in my autumn leaf costume, sobbing into my Pop Rocks, essentially ruining them. A devastating day all around, but things got better eventually. Soon my friends’ parents wouldn’t call the cops when I was hanging out with their kid, thinking I was a 40-something pervert. One mother even complimented me on my mustache. Maybe this was where my love of Cougars first started. What does this have to do with Pete Alonso? Nothing at all. Just like his Spring Training means nothing. Yes, he mollywhopped the ball to parts of the field this spring with a bat that can only be discussed in terms from British literature that no one has ever read. “Pete Alonso’s bat is so fast I will call him Mr. Dashwood.” *blank stares* “Um, yeah.” He has 80 grade power — Mr. Darcy, you aloof bedswerver! I’m buying all them shares of Alonso and I talk about him in today’s first Buy video at that top of the post. Can Colin Firth play him in the movie? Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball: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?
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.Please, blog, may I have some more?
After going over the top 20 shortstops for 2019 fantasy baseball, I needed a cigarette. A good after-sex cigarette, not a waiting-to-go-into-court-to-hear-if-you-have-to-spend-18-months-in-jail cigarette. Subtle, but important differences. We also hit up the top 20 catchers for 2019 fantasy baseball, the top 20 1st basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball and the top 20 2nd basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball. In no way was that clickbait. Okay, onto the hot corner. Here’s Steamer’s 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All projections listed are mine and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping. Good times, dyn-o-mite! Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Have you heard? The Mariners are rebuilding. Cool, but haven’t they been rebuilding for the last fifteen years? Also, is it the wisest decision to tell other teams you’re throwing in the towel in November? Is that like when you’re a girl and you make a vision board that says you’re going to get a boyfriend and you do? Or is it more like a guy who throws a PBR into a fountain and makes a wish to get laid? A girl can find a boyfriend if she’s available. A guy needs more than optimism, otherwise he’s going home with his hand. Guess what I’m saying is the Mariners are a bunch of jerkoffs. With that said, they traded James Paxton to the Yankees for Justus Sheffield and some other prospects. I will get to the prospects on the other side of the ‘Anyway,’ for now it’s Paxton, who I do love, but how surprising is it that he’s 30 years old already? Surprising, right? Last year was the first time he threw more than 160 innings in a year. Walter Johnson, you are not. You’re not even Josh Johnson. His numbers, as always, were spectacular — 11.7 K/9 (4th in majors), 2.4 BB/9, 3.02 xFIP (4th). By the by, in his best career year for innings, he didn’t even qualify for those stats in the leaderboard. I had to sort down to 160 IP. Meh, 150 insanely good innings is better than 200 innings from an Orioles starter. Speedball guys don’t age great, but his velocity was still 95 MPH on average last year, which has been his norm, and he had the third best cutter in the majors (8.2), and the top 5 don’t have anywhere near his fastball. Corey Kluber, for unstints, had 16 wins above average on his cutter, and had a -7 fastball. Paxton had a 11.6 on his fastball. We’re talking elite stuff, obviously. The move to Yankee Stadium and AL East will deflate him a bit, but he can pitch anywhere. For 2019, I’ll give James Paxton the projections of 14-7/3.64/1.12/206 in 179 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2019 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Off the album, Get Hits or Buy Ryon, 50 Cent sung about Many Men at a corner spot, rapping, “Many men, wish Joe Mauer on me, have mercy on me, many men.” Then on his other chart-topping song off that album, In Da Club, he rapped, “You can find at my corner slot, some schlubs. Look, mami, at my corner infidel slot I got X, if you’re into scrubs. I’m into havin’ specs, I ain’t into a corner man who’s known for his glove, so come give me a hug, if in my corner slot I got Cory Spangenberg’s mug.” He followed those up with 21 Questions, when he sang, “Would you leave me if your father found out my corner man was scrubbin’? Do you believe me when I tell you, I thought Josh Donaldson would be more than nothin’?” Then, after all those, 50 Cent managed one last smash hit with P.I.M.P., where he rapped, “I don’t know what you heard about me, but a Mitch can’t get a FAAB dollar out of me. No Kingery, no Sano, you can’t see, that my corner man is P.I.M.P.,” where P.I.M.P stood for Please, I’M Playing (Ronald Guzman). So, Ryon Healy has been one of the hottest corner man over the last week, but beyond that, on our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater, he’s the 17th best 3B this year, in front of Kyle Seager, Longoria, Devers and Carpenter, who are all owned in more leagues than him. Healy’s also on pace for 28-31 homers with a decent-enough average. There’s no reason why he’s on waivers in any leagues. Take 50 Cent’s word for it, Get Hits or Buy Ryon! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell for this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?