The National League Central, the division that cannot be won unless you have a C in the name. Let’s see, the Chicago Cubs won in 2016 and 2017, the Cardinals won from 2013-2015, and Cincinnati won in 2012. A glitch in the Matrix occurred in 2012, when the Brewers took home the crown. Other than the Houston Astros, who won four division titles (1997, 1998, 1999, 2001) before getting the boot to the American League West in 2010, it’s been all Cincinnati, Cardinals, and Cubs. Pittsburgh. Where you at? Ah, it’s good to have baseball back. Each week, I will go through the position battles for each division. Let’s take a look at the NL Central.

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The hits keep coming as Castle Grey-Shitz is ready to make your dreams come to true. Then again maybe your dreams don’t come true, and instead your team comes crashing down around you, leaving you preparing for your fantasy football draft in late May. Try and avoid that, listen to Grey’s top 20 Third Basemen post, and use this podcast as your book on tape. Draft good players, win your league! We can help! This is turning into an infomercial and not the introduction to a podcast. Where did I go off the rails? Any who, here we are, third basemen; Machado, Arenado, Bryant, Ramirez, Rendon, and the whole gang. We go about 30 deep on this one, giving you all the jewels and gems that Mobb Deep dropped on ‘Em. We talked to ‘Em and recovered the gems. Oh yeah, Third base be deep yo! Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

**On a more somber note, a member of the Razzball extended family was touched by the tragedy that took place last week in Parkland, Florida. Our very own numero uno sponsor Kenneth Cashman lives in the Parkland area, and one of his neighbors, and the niece of one of his close friends, Gina Montalto was amongst the victims. The family has setup a Memorial Scholarship in her honor, and it would be much appreciated if all of you could do your part by donating, liking, sharing or retweeting. You can get involved by clicking here. **

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Our 2018 Razzball Commenters Leagues are in full signup mode.  I even heard there were a few people from Anonymous that signed up!  They said, “To the world, I’m Anonymous, just another white man who sits in parking lots with binoculars watching women.”  Man, that Anonymous guy is depressing!  As we always do about this time, I eviscerate the haters and complicators!  I eviscerate the not-knowers and the over-knowers!  I eviscerate the ESPN goers and the garden hoers!  I overuse a word like eviscerate that I just learned!  I am the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it) and I’ve come for your children!  See, because blog writing doesn’t pay so well, I’ve taken a second job as a bus driver, so I’m literally here for your kids.  Like a baller!  A shot caller!  An “I’m outside of Hot Topic at the maller!”  My eviscerating (I’m conjugating my new word!) today comes at the expense of ESPN and their 2018 fantasy baseball rankings.  To the tune of Baby Blue (Feat. Chance the Rapper) by Action Bronson:

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Boner alert! It’s another week of the Razzball Podcast starring the one the only, the King In The Standings, The Master of Rankings, The Opener of Jars! It’s our very own Fantasy Master Lothario, Grey Albright. This time around we’re not talking nothing but the keystone. It’s second base this week, as we cover Grey’s top 25 or so names at the position. We debate Dee Gordon, Robinson Cano, Jonathan Schoop, and many more! I learn what boba is, and immediately decided I would never ingest it. Just another week here with Ralph & Grey! Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast:

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The top 20 3rd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball ends the infield rankings for 2018.  I say, Amed to that!  Rosario, specifically.  With the end of the infield rankings, we can get a bigger picture, uh, picture on depth of each position.  I call this segment of the program, The Fantastically Flexible File on Marwin Gonzalez.  Or The Marvelous Mr. Marwin, if Jeff Bezos is reading.  Since Marwin’s got more eligibility than a guy who lives in his mom’s basement and has a cat named Kylo, let’s look at where he is in each ranking.  For the top 20 1st baseman for 2018 fantasy baseball, he was ranked 30th, for the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball, he was ranked 22nd, for the top 20 shortstops for 2018 fantasy baseball, he was ranked 20th, and here he’s 24th.  Clearly, the infield positions from deepest to shallowest are:  1B, 3B, 2B, and SS.  Marwin, you illuminating mother!  Any hoo!  My projections are noted for every player and all positions are at the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings.  By the hoo, Rudy has all his 2018 rankings up on the Preseason Player Rater.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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Before we get into the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball, let’s go bobbing for clickbait.  Here’s my top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseballtop 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball, top 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseball and the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball. So, without further hubbub on the tomfoolery, the top 20 2nd basemen were shallow like how Altuve likes his pool water as recently as three years ago, then bounced back two years ago, then were drowning in a puddle last year.  So, what about this year?  Thanks for the expository segue!  As always, my projections are included and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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I have to keep this short, because after the jump is going to be the longest post you’ve ever seen in your life.  How do I know all the posts you’ve seen to compare this one to?  Because I’m sitting behind you.  *waves*  Hey!  I’ve given you the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball, top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball and top 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseball.  All projections included are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included.  Let’s do this!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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*fumbles with an envelope, Hillary Swank stands next to me, watching on, embarrassed for me*  And the Teoscar goes to…Teoscar Hernandez!  Hillary Swank leans into the microphone, “Well, he was the only one nominated.”  Ugh, totally unnecessary Swank!  I should’ve pointed out how she was checking out Hugh Jackman’s wife the entire time on stage.  I picked up Teoscar before yesterday’s game for the runs because he was leading off, I never expected such a windfall of gorge.  He went 2-for-5, 4 RBIs with his 6th and 7th homer in only his 73rd at-bat.  That’s 20 hits total for him, with seven going gonzo.  This is better than Million Dollar Baby!  Yeah, I hope Hillary Swank’s Google alerts are going bizzonkers today.  Not ready to announce my love for Teoscar for next year, I am more of an IFP Spirit Awards guy, but you have to grab Teoscar for these final days.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Tim Anderson is a guy that I would glance at earlier in the season and then move on with my life and with our beloved Top 100. He is a nice young player and all, but he wasn’t spongeworthy. Now, though, we’re in the last couple weeks of the season, and homeboy is lighting it up. And more than just hitting, TA is running wild. He has six stolen bases in his last seven games after not running much at all this year, so he is providing SAGNOF value, as well.

Anderson has been so hot that he is your PR15 king this week, with a 17.18 rating. That stretch of games only includes two home runs, which should give you an idea of just how hot he has been at the plate in order to be able to record a 17+ PR15 with only two long dongs. Our boy is hitting everything in sight and swiping bags now.

If you are battling down the stretch in roto leagues, Anderson can help you while providing some SAGNOF. If you are battling it out in weekly H2H league playoffs, though, he doesn’t have the same kind of appeal. IF (read: big IF) he stays hot, he will help across the board except for power and possibly RBI, while helping with AVG, R, and potentially SB. Compared to the standard stiff on the waiver wires, he looks like a stud. But in terms of cross-category production and overall value, he does have a pretty low ceiling. Grab him for the hot streak, but don’t drop anyone of value for him if you can help it.

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Greetings and welcome back to everyone except salty commenter Fogimon. Just kidding. Love you, Fogimon. If you didn’t read Saturday’s post, I moved up north from South Florida just in time to avoid Hurricane Irma, avoiding the chaos of evacuating or staying and hunkering down for the storm. Can’t have much better luck than that, I guess.

Hopefully, you survived without me for a week as we head into the home stretch and fantasy playoffs. If you didn’t, then you are probably not reading this, I guess. So, welcome, survivors. Let’s all bring these leagues home.

We only have so much time left, so we have to continue to focus on the players who are contributing now. If that means dropping Miguel Cabrera (in non-keeper and non-dynasty formats) in order to pick up Matt Olson or a Nick Williams, so be it. Now is not the time for name value consideration. I usually preach patience in this space, but we only have a few weeks left here to close this out. Go, go, gadget Jose Reyes!

Expanded rosters make these last few weeks even more difficult, especially if you have players on teams like the Dodgers or Nationals who can afford to rest players like Daniel Murphy and Corey Seager. You want to make sure you have some additional positional flexibility where possible, which makes waiver wire additions such as Eduardo Escobar and Matt Olson that much more valuable. Not only are they producing right now, but they play a couple positions and give you some added flexibility.

I touch on Olson a bit in a blurb below, but Escobar is a guy who taking a look at because of his eligibility at both shortstop and third base. He won’t have too much value once Miguel Sano returns, but it sounds like Sano is progressing pretty slowly. With only a few weeks left in the season, we probably still have at least another week of Escobar playing time, if not more. There is no guarantee that he continues to play every day once Sano comes back, but it is equally possible that, if he keeps hitting, the Twins find a place for him in a lineup that could certainly use the help. For a guy with a 9.92 PR15 who is owned in less than 20% of ESPN leagues, I would definitely be willing to take a chance.

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