Please see our player page for Matt Barnes 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.

Oh, hello random blog reader. I didn’t see you there. Don’t mind me, I’m just doing early offseason fantasy baseball research while listening to Rage Against The Machine’s “Bulls On Parade” on a loop. It gets me in the proper mindset to tackle bullpens. I generally find few fantasy positions that elicit more angst than relievers. Nevertheless, I’ve hit the double-digit mark on BoP and am feeling all kinds of weird. It’s the perfect place to dip a toe into choppy reliever waters. I’ve broken down the roles while unveiling my new “Razzers” rating system (base 1-5). Is this a ploy to trick search engine’s into redirecting users searching for Brazzers? Yes. Yes, it is.

Ok, now that you’ve returned to this tab from your incognito browsing session, the Pens!

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I’m back from vacation and ready for another week of madness with Grey Albright Fantasy Master Lothario. Lots of news with the All-Star Break approaching and we hit on all of it. We touch briefly on the London games, learn that Grey doesn’t watch “normal tv”, always bets the over, and doesn’t understand the overseas scheduling. We try to make sense of the Red Sox bullpen. Discuss Brendan McKay’s debut and his value going forward. Name some possible second half bounce backs, hit on some breakout second baseman, and touch on what to expect from Dylan Cease. But the show culminates in the unveiling of the Sogard Cycle, a new tool to predict the five to six weeks of hit hitting from The Accountant each season. It’s the Razzball Fantasy Podcast.

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It’s not easy making a reliever as an MLB closer these days. The ball is juiced and more hitters than ever have figured out that swinging for the fences pays off even with some extra strikeouts. Those factors equal plenty of blown saves these days. The pitching landscape is changing. You need to take more cracks at saves than ever, even if you strike out, too.

Yesterday, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. went 3-for-5, 4 RBIs with his 11th and 12th homer, hitting .304.  Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is the greatest living hitter, and I’m not living in a hyperbolic chamber, while dining out on superlatives to describe how hot Gurriel’s been since he returned from the minors.  On our 30-day Player Rater, he’s a near-top 10 hitter over the last month. His father, Yuli Gurriel, calls his son every day and asks him how he does it and LouGu Jay R is just like, “Father, I cannot explain my success with the white ball.”  And Yuli’s like, “Careful with the coded language because I learned the hard way people don’t like racism. Who knew?”  LouGu Jay R may simply be a hot bat, but there’s something to be said for a guy who has been hot the entire time he’s returned from the minors.  Maybe this is LouGu’s floor vs. ceiling.  At least one Junior is impressing on the Jays.  “I got a better butt.”  That’s Vlad Jr. modeling in front of a mirror for ESPN’s Nude Magazine. However, the song Vlad Jr. sings to his reflection is apt, “Gurriel, you knows it’s true.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The sun rising at dawn as two towheaded surfers paddle out on their longboards.  One surfer, Rob, wears a business suit and sunglasses.  The other surfer looks like Tony Hawk’s wet brother.  Tony Hawk’s wet brother asks, “Why the business threads, my brosef?”  “I’m the commissioner of baseball and could be called into action at any time.”  “Whoa, right on.”  Rob points at the ocean, cascading out in front of them, “You see this Tony Hawk’s Wet Brother?  This water as far as the eye can see?”  “I do, my brosef.”  “This is juice that I will be stuffing into baseballs.”  “Whoa, right on.” And that’s Our Commissioner Manfred surfing in the morning sun.  Yesterday, was another day for the long ball bizzonkers led by the Diamondbacks.  Leading off literally and, well, literally, Jarrod Dyson went 2-for-4 and hit his 4th homer.  Inner monologue, “You know you want to compare how many home runs Dyson has to David Dahl.  You know you want to do it, so do it.  Come on.  Compare them.”  Dyson’s having a nice year.  “A nice year compared to who?  Say it!”  Hopefully, Dyson keeps it up.  “You are the lamest!” Next up literally and literally, Ketel Marte went 3-for-5, 2 runs and hit his 16th homer.  “I dare you to compare Marte to David Dahl!”  Shut up, Inner Monologue!  I hate you!  Next up literally and literally, David Peralta went 1-for-4 and hit his 9th homer, as they started the game Dback-to-back-to-back.  Four home runs is most home runs ever hit in a row. That record is in jeopardy this year in every inning. Then not literally, Ildemaro Vargas went 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and hit two homers (3, 4). I have a hard time suggesting him because names starting with Il confuse my pea brain.  You Il Duce? No? Then goodbye!  Finally and literally, Eduardo Escobar went 4-for-5, 3 runs, 5 RBIs and hit his 16th and 17th homer, hitting .299.  Gabe Kapler said to the opposing pitcher, Jer-khoff, “Don’t blow this,” and Escobar screamed, “Did someone say blow?!”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It’s not easy writing a post about a hitter that went bingo-bango on your pitcher three times. Why the hell was Trevor Bauer in the game for 119 pitches?  Did Bauer invite Tito Francona to his house for one of his baseball player meet-and-greets and serve him coconut water? Cause if he did that, then hell hath no fury like someone served coconut water.  “Is this sweet…perspiration?”  That’s me drinking coconut water.  Trevor Bauer (8 IP, 5 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.93) has the Twitter handle BauerOutage and, gotta be honest, it’s meaning something that he’s not intending this season.  It’s like 1977 in New York City power outage and Son of Sam is talking to his dog about what a mess my fantasy pitching is, due to Bauer.  Any hoo!  Max Kepler went to-the-window-to-the-wall three times yesterday (4-for-4, 4 RBIs, hitting .266) with his 13th, 14th, and 15th homer, and is doing what I always dreamt of, only I was dreaming about it in 2017. See, I’m accurate about everything, except years.  Right now, on our Player Rater, Kepler is around the 25th best outfielder.  However, before his home run yesterday, he was hitless for close to a week, so it shows you his hot and cold natural.  Right now, it’s Max Power:

Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This weekend Jay Bruce was traded to the Phillies, because, as the front office in Philly put it, “We’re sick of our autocorrect writing Bruce Harper.  Now we write Bruce Harper and rather than backspacing we can just continue on and we’ve typed out two-thirds of our outfield.  Next we have to try to get Michael Chavis, for our issue with the autocorrect Michael Franco.”  Guys and five girl readers, the Phillies have a plan!  This move also kills two birds with one stone since now Bryce Harper will look so much better by comparison.  Before, “Man, Bryce stinks.”  After, “Man, Bruce stinks.”  Autocorrect and by comparison — done and done!  This likely puts David Herrera’s time all but done on the Phils and maybe baseball until the Astros take a chance on him.  Yes, Odubel’s real name is David, which is now what we, like the cops, call him.  As for Bruce, this is a boost up for him, due to park and lineup.  Now he’s a 30-homer hitter with a .225 average and better runs and RBIs.  Can I get a middle-case yay?  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Kinda obsessed with our Top 100 Fantasy Starts tool (not a tool as much as it’s a free list).  Since I’m writing this on Sunday, I’m not sure yet where Shane Bieber and his 9 IP, 0 ER, 5 hits, zero walks, 15 Ks will rank, but my guess is 1st or 2nd overall.  (The tool (list?) updates after this is posted.)  Pretty deep into the season to have Shane Bieber throw possibly the best start of the year.  Bieber was the youngest Indians pitcher since 1987 with 12+ Ks — wow! — the last to do it was Greg Swindell — um, all right! Bieber was the 4th youngest since 1908 to have a 15-K, zero-walk game, the other three:  Gooden — crazy! — Kerry Wood — nasty company! — and Vince Velasquez — well, um, he had a good game.  Only two Indians starters in history with a shutout, no walks and 15 Ks are Bieber — damn! — and Luis Tiant, who at 78 years old just beat up my autocorrect for changing his name to Luis Taint.  Sunday’s start shows why I wanted to draft Bieber in every league.  Hopefully, he keeps it gong…gong…go I ng–Sorry, my autocorrect is scared to change anything now.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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It’s getting ugly in the reliever market. Injuries, ineffectiveness, and promotions have wrung much of the top talent out of the scene.  Much like the bazaar in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle there’s stuff everywhere, but it’s hard to find what you need. Also, there’s a basket with a cobra in it. You just have to hope the Rock shows up and start throwing people through walls. I don’t actually know what the fantasy baseball equivalent of that is. I’ve gotten off track here thinking about the Rock’s ridiculous biceps, as per uzhe. I’ll wrap up this lede in ramble with a comparison Jumanji’s theme: the only way to win the game of relievers is to play and win.

Please, blog, may I have some more?