Please see our player page for Maikel Franco 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.

Domingo Santana (1-for-5 with a grand slam) is already in beast mode.  That beast is a dingo, emphasis on ding, as in dinger, and you can’t spell Domingo without dong, but this dingo eats dongs not babies, and I’ve got smoke coming out my ears….We have real baseball!  Then, tomorrow we won’t have real baseball again for a week.  MLB is so crackers it’s staying at the Ritz by the water, Cheez-it, Mary and Joseph!  “Happy Opening Day two days later,” said the Time Zone to the Baseball Fan.  I can’t wait to see how Mike Fiers (3 IP, 5 ER) and Marco Gonzales (6 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks) react to pitching in a game, then taking a 56-hour plane flight home to pitch again in a week.  Their combined 89 MPH fastballs are gonna have some jet lag.  Hopefully, their elbows won’t.  The Stream-o-Nator wasn’t thrilled with either pitcher, and neither was great.  Yes, the Stream-o-Nator is back!  The only real takeaway I have from these games is the A’s are at least thinking similarly to me, and that Ramon Laureano (0-for-5, 3 Ks) is the best man for the A’s leadoff job.  I’ll toast to that!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:

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Do you like roast pork with provolone and broccoli rabe? Do you find John Kruk both devilishly handsome and well spoken? Can you recite from memory Michael Jack Schmidt’s retirement speech, including the exact moment he breaks down in tears? Do you know what jawn means? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re a Phillies fan. This jawn is for yous. 

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When I was writing up the 2019 fantasy baseball rankings in December/January — or simply Janember — I couldn’t imagine what February and March had in store — ya know, Farch. Players come out of nowhere in Spring Training to cause us to stop and take notice.  Of course, I just told you to ignore Spring Training stats.  This is true; Spring Training stats are a lot like my pants; they are propped up by a small sample size.  However, or howmever if you’re trying to sound smart, it is important to stay on top of guys who are fighting, and winning, everyday jobs.  Of course, with my Oracle third eye, I saw all of this back in Janember, but my third eye got into a spat with my first and second eye at the optometrist’s office.  My first and second eye were taking the eye test and my third eye was like, “ECFYE–Yo, this shizz is way too easy,” and then my 2nd and 3rd eyes were like, “You’re like the Felicity Huffman of eyes and your cheating is going to have us incorrectly placed with better lenses than we should have.”  It got ugly, and they refused to work together to type up this post for a few weeks.  Finally, they all came to their senses — the sense of sight, specifically — hashed it out at a Friendly’s over a Fribble and we’re all good.  Never the hoo!  With Farch turning into a full-fledged March, it’s time for me to let you in on some thoughts and changes to the 2019 fantasy baseball rankings and what they could mean for your drafts:

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NL WestNL Central | NL East | AL West | AL Central | AL East

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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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:

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I lied to you loyal Razzball readers. In part 1 of this 2019 fantasy baseball mock draft hosted by Justin Mason of Friends with Fantasy Benefits, I told you this was going to be a four-part series. Well, unfortunately between rounds 23 and 24, the MLB regular season ended and thus, so did our Fantrax mock draft. The draft room disappeared from the league page and every future pick was being auto-drafted. Rather than waste your time discussing random players being auto-drafted I’m just going to highlight a few notable undrafted players at the bottom of this article. Back to the draft itself: three words can sum up rounds 15 through 23: risk, relievers and rookies. You’ll soon see what I mean. (BTW, the 2nd part of the fantasy baseball mock draft.)

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The story of German Marquez isn’t one they tell you in your parochial schools.  It’s an ugly story punctuated with cowardice and the worst atrocities in history.  You’d think if a family emigrated from 1940’s Germany they would’ve had the common decency to not name their child German.   Also, his father claiming to be an appliance repairman who specializes in ovens is disgusting.  The last straw was when his family tried to claim sauerkraut was good in tacos.  Shame on you!  What’s less shameful is how he’s pitched in the 2nd half.  He now has a 2.64 ERA in the 2nd half in 68 1/3 IP, and his peripherals on the year are gorgeous — 10.2 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 3.21 xFIP.  He’s doing it with newfound success in his slider, which he throws 15% of the time. That slider is top 15 in the majors, and is supported with a 95 MPH fastball.  In other words, this breakout appears real.  Last night, he went 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 3.94, and I see no reason to not start him in any matchup, even in Coors.  Or Löwenbräu as he calls it.  Disgraceful!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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“That guy does not look familiar.”  “Which guy?”  “That guy on the mound.”  “The Wade Miley fella?”  “Yeah.”  “Did he used to serve us coffee at The Blue Danube?”  “I don’t think so.  That guy’s name was Ronnie.  And he had dreads.”  “But he was white.”  “Yeah, Ronnie was a white guy with dreads.  He looked like he had a smelly undercarriage.”  “I don’t disagree.  So… This guy… This Wade Miley guy… He just looks so unfamiliar.  He just threw a 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 5 Ks start against the Cubs with a 2.12 ERA.  Do you know him?”  “No, but ever since we were talking about a white guy with dreads I’ve wanted to sing Informer by Snow.” Wade Miley as an ace and Bumble profiles that read, “5′ 7″, 120 lbs., fitness model who loves cooking and cleaning and sex” are often very similar.  Expectations and reality don’t always run hand in hand.  Before picking up Miley, do me one favor.  Ask Edwin Jackson owners how the experience was owning him.  Though since they’re probably your competition they may lie to you.  Those bastards!  Maybe you can ask Jackson yourself since he’s probably on waivers.  Can Miley be lights out?  I suppose, there’s not much time left, but there’s nothing jumping out that says he’s suddenly a Cy Young contender.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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That’s the question that’s been on my brain as I worked on these rankings the past few weeks. I’m not over the past 10 years, not for next year, not for the next 10 years — right now — is Mike Trout still the #1 hitter this year? Even with a lengthy DL stint, Trout is still one of the top players in the league and is close to surpassing all of his numbers from last year’s (also) injury shrunken season (88 runs/31 HRs/2 SBs in 116 games so far this year vs. 92/33/22 in 114 games last year.) But while he missed 19 games in August this year, three players have kept chugging right along and putting up phenomenal numbers. Let’s take a look at these three challengers for the crown.

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Don Mattingly and Ken Griffey Jr. sit in the airport, waiting for their flight out to Toronto, trying to make small talk, “How has post-Hall of Fame life been?”  “Good, good, how has post, uh, mustache life been?”  “Fine, yeah, fine.”  Finally, a Cooperstown employee approaches, “Where do you want Dale Long’s sarcophagus?”  “Are you not staying with it?”  “I was just told to deliver it.  Now, if Kendrys Morales breaks the home run record, you press this button on the side of the sarcophagus.”  Ken and Don look at each other and decide to try the button.  Dale’s sarcophagus opens and what resembles a crypt keeper says, “Wow, I can’t believe he broke our record.  That’s outta sight!”  And Dale’s mummified eyes spin like a slot machine.  This is reenactment of what Mattingly and Griffey are going through as they join Kendrys for the chase of their home runs in eight straight games record.  Yesterday, Morales homered in his 7th straight game, going 1-for-3, 2 RBIs, and that was his 21st homer.  I actually just picked up Kendrys Morales in my RCL league, after I picked up my jaw from surprise that he was still available.  He’s so smooth right now, they call him Kendrys Alba.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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