Please see our player page for Mark Melancon 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.

This league has been going on so long I’m not sure if I’m a friend or family at this point. Think I started as a friend, became a frenemy, briefly became family through a cousin’s marriage to Dalton Del Don’s uncle, Don Del Don, then, after a messy divorce and some ugly text messages, I was called a friend again, but it was like when you say you are friends with the one person from your high school class who is now a millionaire, but they don’t really know you, i.e., we’re Facebook friends, but they’ve muted me and I don’t know it. For those unfamiliar, this is a standard 5×5, 16-team league, and, since it’s Yahoo, it’s 4 outfielders and two UTIL. As always, I used Rudy’s War Room, which is available with a subscription to our Razzball Tools. (I’m not peeing in your water and calling it Corona, we’re still drafting up in this mug, because the season will happen; it’s on my vision board!) Anyway, here’s my Yahoo Friends & Family draft recap:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh, the Dirty South! After breaking down some lackluster NL West teams in my first three previews, we finally get a legitimate contender in the Braves. After posting an impressive 97-win season last year, this club looks fully ready to rock-and-roll again behind Ronald Acuna Jr. This dude has established himself as one of the best players in the Majors and it’s scary just how good this order looks with him up top. The one thing they need to clean up is their mascot game though.

The 2020 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join!

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We know spring training is fully underway when a bunch of arms break. We’re sure to see more as soreness becomes less general and more devastating to our early drafts. The four-tier format is back for our closer report. This week, pandemic foodstuff themed tiers. I’d laugh but for fear that might cause me to cough resulting in those nearby turning mob justice on me. Let’s get to some news and notes on the reliever front first.

  • Emmanuel Clase – He of the hardest cutter in baseball is starting his Cleveland career off on a sour note. A back strain will likely sideline him for 8-12 weeks. This opens the door for fellow reliever wunderkind James Karinchak to solidify a leverage role. If you want a job relieving for Cleveland just have a hard to spell name, throw gas, and be in your early 20’s.
  • Jose Alvarado – Don’t look now but Alvarado looks sharp as ever. But Roto-Wan, Nick Anderson is *the* it closer of draft season?!? I have no issue with Anderson’s stuff, just his role. He factors into their ninth inning, no doubt. Let me ask you this, though. He saved some games for them last year since they’re a team that’s the most progressive in leverage roles, right? No? Ok, well he came over from Miami, who’s bullpen was a collection of molding leftovers. He racked up a bunch of saves there, surely? How about one save. Well, at least he’s a young prospect? Turns 30 in June. I don’t mean to rain on your Nick Anderson parade, and by “don’t” I mean I do, but he’s far from a lock. I’m betting on Alvarado seeing some of their saves as the lefty side of a committee in every league I draft that uses RPs.
  • Brandon Kintzler – Things are not off to a great start this spring for the presumptive Marlins closer. Like, walking four straight batters bad. I’d consider a spec play on Ryne Stanek early on.
  • Ryan Helsley – I’m not the Helsley guy but some people I respect (see: Matt Thompson, Nick Pollack) have made it a point to draft the young Cardinal in the late rounds. Their ninth inning is a mess to predict, as usual. Helsley also has an outside shot at the rotation it seems, depending on the health of their assumed starters.
  • Trevor Rosenthal – Rosie is the latest zombie reliever. He’s always been able to light up radar guns. He just has zero command at times, as in most of the time. The command seems to be there this spring, however. KC would love to add any talent it can to baseball’s most mediocre bullpen.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?

After much success last year in NFBC’s Cutline competition (around top 30 overall out of 1,000 teams), I decided to give it another go. Mind you, they only pay top 20, and I came in approximately (I don’t remember) 30th, so I didn’t win money last year, but money can’t buy happiness. Happiness can only be derived from seeing a Japanese mascot petting a dog. Nothing else counts towards happiness. Luckily, this league doesn’t have a happiness category. You might remember (likely don’t) that I autodrafted the first four rounds last year for my “much success” team, so in some ways this year’s league is a test of Man vs. Machine because I drafted this whole kit and/or kaboodle. Everyone likely knows what a Best Ball league is, but, if you don’t, it’s when you draft a team and the computer manages it for you by choosing who are the best players, and you get those stats. It’s basically one fantasy league removed from the robots taking over and killing us all. Now that I think about it, it’s not Man vs. Machine this year for me; it’s Man vs. Machine vs. Machine. HOLY CRAP, WE’RE OUTNUMBERED!  Anyway, here’s my NFBC Best Ball, Points League, 10 team draft recap:

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You might remember ten years ago I drafted in the live LABR NL-Only auction. Okay, you don’t remember, but I do, so you’ll have to take my word for it. It was the first major league I was in. I was sailing on the wind of doves. I thought my feces smelled like Reese’s Pieces. I even joined the Local 564, a railway union, thinking LABR had something to do with that. Ah, the memories…they sure were fleeting! I was booted from the league after one year. Why? I’m not sure, but my money’s on I insulted someone. Well, ya boi’s back and he’s learned his lesson! Though, someone drafted Rhys Hoskins for $28 and I was cackling about that for a good 45 minutes. Yo, just send Rhys flowers and a ball in the dirt for him to swing through; he might respond quicker. For those of you not in the know, this is a 5×5 league with average. (If you want a shallower league, play against me and hundreds others for prizes –> Razzball Commenter Leagues.) Anyway, here’s my LABR 12-team, NL-Only draft recap:

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I regret to inform you, my fantasy friends, that even fake jedi get the flu. That’s right, Roto-Wan is coming to you today from a Sudafed laced haze that would make Jesse Pinkman proud. Stop interrupting me pink elephant, I’m trying to get a preamble together here. At any rate, we’ve reached the NL in our bullpen previews. Let’s kick it off with the very in flux NL East. My advice is to exercise even more caution with these names than we usually do.

AL East AL Central AL West

NL East NL Central NL West

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Listen, the Padres gave Luis Urias a little over 100 at-bats. If a guy can’t hit major league pitching in that time, then he should be released. It doesn’t matter if he just turned 22 years old. He’s not cut out for a game of sewn-ball. Just the facts, ma’am/ma’an. Sorry. (Okay, it’s crazy what the Padres are doing with Urias. Jose Pirela got like 800 at-bats before he was deemed unusable, and they’re still giving Austin Hedges a chance to hit after about 1,300 at-bats.) On the opposite spectrum from Urias in the doghouse is Ty France getting a chance to show what he can do, after he did this in the minors this year:  Won AAA All-Star Game MVP, PCL Rookie of the Year and PCL MVP. Also, he has the best player pic:

France hit .399 in Triple-A this year (so crazy what hitters are doing across all leagues) and added in 27 homers in 296 ABs. Don’t think batting average will be there for France, but we’ll see along with someone’s underpants. He has power, though, for any park, and could be a short-term add, if nothing else. Just be careful if he ever faces any pitcher with the name German, because he will come to the plate with a white flag attached to his bat. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After Reynaldo Lopez‘s last start of 2/3 IP, 6 ER, I wrote him off for this year and next year.  Now, I will begin a backpedal not seen since the bear at the circus who can ride a bicycle. “Beaux-Bo, you can’t pedal so close to that family of three eating a turkey leg. Beaux-Bo, stop it! Beaux-Bo, no! Beaux-Bo, no! Beaux-Bo, put down that torso!” And that’s the final written transcription of Beaux-Bo, the bicycle riding bear. Actually, I’m going to backpedal my backpedal, so, eat a D, Beaux-Bo, the bicycle-riding bear! I was serious last week when I said I’m outlawing pitchers who start a game, give up 5+ runs and can’t get out of the 1st. They’re completely untrustworthy, so it’s not surprising Lopez would have a start of 9 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 11 Ks, ERA at 5.17. That’s the problem!  What are we getting next time out?  3 IP, 6 ER? 7 IP, 2 ER? No one has any idea. Listen, I know there’s uncertainty in this crazy thing called fantasy (worst Queen song ever), but I’m not inviting more risk. I’m still out on Lopez. Sorry, gotta put my foot down, even if I’m writing this from an anti-gravity chamber where I can eat turkey legs without fear of a bicycle bear attack.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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At 22 years old, Kyle Tucker is nearly a 30/30 guy in Triple-A. There’s some other problems with baseball, but this should be the number one thing that is fixed. This is just about everything that’s wrong with baseball. No one should go 30/30 in the minor leagues. The last player to do that (who I remember) was Joc Pederson in 2014. The reason why it’s so rare and should be extinct? If you’re going 30/30 in the minor leagues, you should be in the major leagues! I don’t have a solution. I’m a problem spotter, not a problem solver. How many titles you want me to hold? Imagine another sport where one of your best players was artificially held down in an instructional league for a year or more. You can’t and it’s not a failure of imagination. Though, still fantasizing about an 18-year-old Alyssa Milano could lead one to that conclusion. The Astros have said Tucker will be called up in September. Will he play? Not 100% sure, but I’d guess he will most days because the Astros have room to play him over Reddick and will clinch a playoff berth. Now is the time to stash him in all leagues. Yes, the Astros will be going from a Reddick to a Tucker like Jame Gumb. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The title refers to Lisztomania by Phoenix, which led me down a rabbit hole of Wikipedia that I have to share with you. Lisztomania was a frenzy over composer Franz Liszt, the original Justin Bieber. This is especially hilarious from Wikipedia, “Lisztomania was considered by some a genuine contagious medical condition and critics recommended measures to immunize the public,” and not considered the same as Beatlemania, which was used to mean a craze; Lisztomania caused actual craziness. Will Luzardo-Manaea cause women to rip their brooches from their bosoms and throw them at passing horse-drawn carriages in Oakland? Well, let’s let Tupac tell you about Oaktown, “Out on bail, fresh out of jail, California dreamin’, soon as I step on the scene, I’m hearin’ brooches screamin’.”  Screamin’ instead of whizzin’ by for the rhyme, obviously. Sean Manaea and Jesus Luzardo should be back with the team within ten days and now’s the time to stash them. For thousands of years, Samoans were a persecuted people, due to their big bones. One Samoan, Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la told one reporter, “If you ordered a flank steak, and got a thick ribeye, you’d be elated,” then Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la got choked up, “But if you order a five-foot, six-inch man and get a 485-pound man wearing a grass skirt, they make fun of you.” Manaea, the one skinny Samoan in the world, doesn’t have this problem. He has control, not just appetite control.  He could have an under-2 BB/9, which should limit damage, just like his home park. I’m stashing him everywhere. Luzardo is a bit more of an upside gamble. He also has pinpoint control, and can strike out a ton of guys. There’s little to not like about Luzardo, except how he might be deployed in September and does he get enough starts to matter. Plus, roofies, those darn things. I’m stashing Luzardo too, but I’m not throwing brooches at him. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?