Lionel Richie, “Say you…

Suzuki, “Seiya…”

All together, “Say it for always…That’s the way it should be!”

And he’s signed by the Cubs! Um, Seiya Suzuki not Lionel Richie, Though, how’s Lionel’s arm? The Cubs could use a starter. “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” That’s Lionel Richie picking up the bullpen phone. All right, enough giggles, this move’s got me all fired up! Seiya Suzuki just landed in a top five situation. The lineup around him is whatever, but that’s better for him. No way the Cubs pull any nonsense like platooning him or resting him more than he needs. As the new Cubs starter Lionel Richie would say, “We’re going to Party, Karamu, Fiesta, forever!” Also, Wrigley gives Seiya the little extra bang for his power buck that you want to see. Saw him as a 23-29 homer guy. A much bigger range than you want, but he landed in a solid spot that will give him the top-end of his homer range. “I’ve got this feeling down deep in my soul that Seiya just can’t lose!” That’s right, Lionel! Finally, Seiya’s speed was likely five to 12 range. Again, big range, bigger than you want, but he prolly lands on the high-end of that because the Cubs won’t slow him. “Woo-oh, what a feeling (Woo-oh, what a feeling).” I got it too, Lionel! I’ve done a big update on the outfielders rankings and moved Seiya up to the top 40 outfielders for 2022 fantasy baseball, and he’s now on the tail-end of the top 100 for 2022 fantasy baseball. Also, my top 500 for 2022 fantasy baseball has been updated. For a huge breakdown of Seiya, check out Coolwhip’s Seiya Suzuki fantasy. It’s worth the read. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this preseason for 2022 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In solidarity with MLB players, I drove to a cliff on the PCH, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, stepped out of my Sebring while it was still in neutral, locked the doors, and watched as it rolled off the cliff, crashing into the roof of a billionaire’s beachfront home. To illustrate the MLB owners’ position, I went to a Chipotle, and on a sign clearly labeled “pull,” I pushed for hours, screaming, “What happened? Am I locked out? This is totally unfair!” For the fans, I took out a full newspaper ad, pleading for both sides to go back to the negotiating table, and that was seen by the 12 people who still read a hard-copy of the paper. We. Are. United! Which is what I was shouting as I was escorted away from the Delta terminal.

So, no great news has come out about the MLB lockout. I’m not a labor reporter, and won’t bore you while pretending to be. This is an evolving shituation that could change tomorrow or six weeks from now. My guess is there will be movement in the landmark case of sooner vs. later. Hopefully, it won’t last much longer. *wavy lines* The year is 2081. After a 60-year lockout, a deal is finally struck between the 80-year-old player rep, Wander Franco, and Rob Manfred Jr. Jr., the 15-year-old MLB commissioner-slash-influencer who opens graves and harvests human bones for petroleum on TikTok. *wavy lines* Yikes, what kind of dream was that?

If you want this broken down to you in the simplest of terms, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is we already lost one week of games. The good news is you’re not Rob Manfred.

“It’s all about the fans.” — Rob Manfred, walking past a store that sells ceiling fans. What if Rob Manfred’s real job was to make Bud Selig look good in retrospect? Makes ya think, huh? Ain’t sayin’ anything groundbreaking here, but when MLB owners aren’t losing money by losing games, the system is broken.

Okay, back to fantasy, as I said last week, I was updating my 2022 fantasy baseball rankings, but later on I discussed it with Rudy and we’re holding tight for now, because, honestly, one week missed of games isn’t going to change anything. Two weeks isn’t really anything, either. Later this week, maybe I’ll change my mind and remove a couple weeks from the projections. Maybe I’ll leave the positional rankings’s projections on a 162-game scale and only change my top 500. A few players might actually be benefited by the lockout, and there was some news. So, let’s get on the other side of this “Anyway,” and get to it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2022 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hidey-ho neighborino! Is that phrase trademarked or just very, very old? Fine, let’s dismiss the formalities and get straight to the nitty-gritty: men who throw balls. Hard. We’re at the point in the pre-season where we understand that the MLB and MLBPA are definitely far, far away from any sort of agreement on a contract. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s actually a “realistic” contract that’s been shared between the groups and we’ll see that contract appear the first week of March, just in time for a shortened spring training and perfectly-timed Opening Day. But that’s just me spitballing labor negotiations, and what do I know other than the chords to every song on Green Day’s Dookie album? I suppose I know pitchers somewhat well, and wouldn’t you know it — I’ve got a pitcher listicle for you! A Pitchsticle!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Tigers must be picking my brain, because Eduardo Rodriguez was on my short-list for a 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper post. I am asking the Tigers politely: Please, stop picking my brain, after just recently going on a Scarecrow-esque spiritual journey of going from no brain to a half brain to a full-full brain. People with full-full brains call them “full-full brains,” right? Yes? Cool, thanks. So, last year, Eduardo Rodriguez went 13-8 with a 3.32 FIP, a 10.6 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9. If you’re like me — a full-full brain person — then you’re likely thinking, “Hey, this guy never mentioned his ERA or WHIP!” Smart, we are. Talk like Yoda, I do. I didn’t mention those stats, because I wanted you to see how good Eduardo Rodriguez was before telling you how bad Eduardo Rodriguez was. If you just saw those numbers, you’d be like, “This guy with a full-full brain is telling me Ed-Rod is good, and those numbers are showing me Ed-Rod is good-good, so how would he even be a 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper?” Good question for someone who doesn’t sound full-full in the head like me. Ed-Rod had a 4.74 ERA last year in 157 2/3 IP. Ha, that’s awful, and why I think a lot of people will be ignoring him. Eduardo Rodriguez was very unlucky in 2020, then in much different ways he was unlucky again in 2021. Focus on his xBA numbers, because that’s what’s gonna f**k us (pun points!):

Look at those xBA’s. That’s crazy. Every single pitch should’ve produced better results, except his slider (more on that in a second). His velocity was down a hair in 2021, but it was really down in April, after a full year off, then it hovered up. Not quite reaching 2019 levels, but close enough. I’m not worried about velocity losses. Fenway is not a great park for BABIPs, so can dismiss some his bad luck across the board, but *that* much bad luck? Did he walk under a ladder on the way out to the mound every game? If he were traded after 2019, and he had a new home park in 2021, I might say these BABIPs might not regress, but this guy is clearly being unlucky and that will correct itself. Quick take away unrelated to the xBA numbers is he’s starting to figure out his slider, which has been a long time in the germination pod. Since 2015, he’s been throwing a slider and the values that it’s produced are all negative, which makes me chuckle a little. He’s still trying it, and it still is not great. Either way, last year was the best, uh, negative it’s been at -0.14. To give you an idea of how to compare that, in 2019, it was -2.31. That’s very bad. Don’t think that means a lot, but if his slider becomes a positive pitch for him to go with his cutter, fastball and change, three pitches that were all extremely positive as recently as 2019, Ed-Rod’s not going to be a sleeper that becomes a number two, but he’ll be an ace.

I’ve been a fan of Ed-Rod for so long, I painted his face on a kitchen cabinet that I call my Ed-Rod cupboard and it’s where I store my Top Gun-themed collectible Big Gulp cups. He’s rewarded me with two seasons of 3.82 and 3.81 (who are you, Khris Davis with the number .247), then I was out last year, due to him missing 2020, but it’s time to get back in. 2022 might be the year where we finally see him realize the immense upside. For 2022, I’ll give Eduardo Rodriguez projections of 14-7/3.77/1.24/217 in 191 IP with a chance for more. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2022 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

All I ever wanted for Christmas was to see Robbie Ray get all worked up. And Santa brought me my gift early this year! Maybe you casual fans just want to see Lance Lynn get worked up, but when Robbie Ray and the Orioles manager get into a tongue-lashing, that’s the kind of baseball I want to see! Yeah, things are getting pretty slow here on the baseball side. On the plus side, I’m in the top 20 in RazzSlam. On the downside, the cutline only sends the top 10 to the playoffs. So, it’s kind of like I’m the benevolent tight-pants-loving lord of a small fiefdom that resides outside of Coolwhip’s kingdom. I beg thee, King Coolwhip, let Luis Severino pitch! How are all of your teams doing? Still active? Let’s see if we can find some pitchers for your fantasy playoffs!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Just got back from the First Annual Razzball Flag Football Competition, where we took on Bishop Sycamore in a battle of the fake schools. As expected, Donkey Teeth served as a quarterback while Grey stood on the sidelines wearing his “Coach” attire. It was a little weird to see him wandering around with a $10,000 handbag, but I don’t judge. Rudy called the plays, although his reliance on bootleg plays 90% of the time really underestimated DT’s ability to turn left. He’s a donkey, Rudy! He goes forwards! Besides from DT being stubborn, the game played out fairly nicely, with yours truly spraining an ankle in the first 30 seconds and then spending the next hour watching the game from the shade of a tree with a little adult beverage. In the end, Bishop Sycamore defeated the Razzballers 122-6, our only points coming from an accidental pick-6 when Coolwhip designed a replica Bishop Sycamore jersey and snuck onto the other team. Their rosters were so confusing they didn’t notice. On to the Greinke graphic and the pitchers! Hut, hut, hike! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Saw Blake Snell had a no-hitter through seven innings, but with 107 pitches thrown and I was like, “He can’t throw 90+ pitches so this will be quick,” then I remembered he threw 122 pitches in his last start and 100+ pitches in four of his last five starts, and I began to imagine the unimaginable. *wavy lines* Hey, is this imaging the unimaginable? Cool! Whoa, it’s a party in my honor with a very much alive Rowdy Roddy Piper? This is amazing. Wait, what are you doing? Don’t smash me over the head with a coconut! *wavy lines* Imaging the unimaginable stinks and the unimaginable never happens! They pulled Snell at 107 pitches. Why when he just threw 122 pitches last time? I don’t have the answer. I am the one asking the question. Blake Snell finished with 7 IP, 0 ER, zero hits, 2 walks, 10 Ks, ERA at 4.31. Snell ended the month of August with 1.72 ERA in six starts, and was his best month since 2018. If he did it last year, he would’ve won a Mickey Mouse Cy Young. But what about 2022, and why does it feel like Blake Snell is so unpredictable he’s become Robbie Ray pre-2021? He can be wildly lights-out or just wild. Maybe Blake Snell can be 2021 Robbie Ray in 2022 as long as it doesn’t mean Robbie Ray becomes pre-2021 in 2022. Why are they even connected? Again, I asked the question, that means I don’t know the answer. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Fantasy playoffs! I don’t kink shame here. If you’re Googling “MLB Playoff Fan Fiction,” that’s your thing. My thing? Ranking pitchers in a giant table. We’re down to the last month of the MLB regular season — and many fantasy leagues are in the playoffs already — so you’ll want to start any hot hand you think will help your team. Within reason, of course. We’re going to see a lot of rookie starters called up, and even with their immense hype (see Cabrera, Edward), they can still put up lackluster performances that don’t really help your cause. As always, consult Rudy’s Streamonator Tools (and if you’re not subscribed, where have you been? Jump in and support us!) and check-in with the writers throughout the week. We’re here to help!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s back-to-school week! Do we have any students out there reading this, or is it all just all people who last updated their phones when Bell Northern went AWOL? Still can’t believe the price I used to get on long distance. With each passing week, we’re watching a couple more pitchers fall to the injury, so let’s try and focus on finding some replacements for the arms that just hit the IL.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m writing this lede as Tristan McKenzie comes off a near-perfect game with 11Ks. As fans — like, baseball fans who spend their time watching games and maybe even attending them — this is cool as hell, right? A rookie throws a no-hitter in his first appearance on Saturday night and then another near-rookie throws a near-perfect game the next day. Each pitcher is on a bombing team that is in a race for draft picks in the 2022 lottery. Yet, the players refuse to give up. They see the lights, the contracts, the ability to overcome their past mistakes. But we as fantasy players, sometimes we’re just puzzled. Do I like McKenzie in a real-life setting? Oh hell yeah, I named him the “Cardiac Kid” last year after his desire to be a cardiologist. But in fantasy? He struck out as many batters on Sunday as he had struck out in his previous 3 starts combined (he also had a 6.00 ERA / 6.00 FIP / 5.8 K/9). The reason we play fantasy sports is just because wild stuff like this happens. The unexpected happens every week, and we can’t predict who will throw a no-hitter or who will get blown up. With that, I bid everybody a great week as we round the corner into the last weeks of the fantasy baseball season. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Howdy folx! Are you asleep at the wheel of your fantasy baseball teams yet? Are you imagining a world where you had a couple hundred more dollars in your pocket and didn’t start your draft with Mike Trout, Lou Bob, and Eloy? Or spend 65% of your FAAB on Huascar Ynoa? Come now, let us commiserate! We’re closing in on the most important weeks of the season while you struggle to get into that last playoff spot so you can take on the team that FAAB’d Shane McClanahan and sold high on Aroldis Garcia. Also, I’ve moved on from the Greinke graphic. See ya later Zack!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On the day the Phils retired Roy Halladay’s uniform number, Zack Wheeler was the first Phillies pitcher to retire 22 consecutive batters in a start since May 29, 2010 — Roy Halladay’s perfect game. How does baseball baseball so entirely? Of course, Roy Halladay Day was going to feature a complete game shutout vs. the Mets. It’s baseball baseballing. Anything else would’ve been shocking. Can you just bet the Mets will suffer? Does Vegas take that sorta bet? Awkward segue alert! The Patreon podcast is booked to do a live show in Vegas with me, Donkey and Billy. Details are on the podcast. So, how do you bet the Mets will suffer? Do you bet something like, “I want…The Mets to suffer plus ‘will be swept,’ plus ‘while being shutout,’ plus ‘while going against the ex-Mets pitcher, Zack Wheeler (9 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, 1 walk, 11 Ks, ERA at 2.42),’ plus ‘while losing 1st place.'” That’s like a Quinella combined with a Pick 6. Wheeler has the 2nd best xFIP of qualified starters; 2nd best FIP if you prefer that; 3rd best xERA if you want that; 10.4 K/9, 2 BB/9, his best velocity of his career (!) and best SwStr%. It’s hard to imagine Zack Wheeler being ranked any lower than the top five starters for 2022 fantasy baseball. Since he’s an ex-Met, that might be the bonus number on the Pick 6. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?