Just wanna put it out there that Al Gore did a better job of inventing the internet than he did at global warming.  All these postponements is a real shitshow…snow.  The way we’re going there’s going to be back-to-back tripleheaders in August for some teams with the ceremonial first pitch thrown out by Joel Youngblood.  Here was me trying to field a full fantasy team the last few days:  I’m going to hold onto Matt Davidson through his postponed games, at least I have Freddie Freeman, and now the Braves are rained out, well, I have Miguel Andujar in a doubleheader, and…that’s been canceled, guess I can grab whomever is starting for the Royals vs. Ohtani and that game has been called.  Hmm, down to one game on Sunday — Rays vs. Phils.  C’mon, Kiermaier–And he’s out after one inning.  FMFBBL.  Any hoo!  Yesterday, Starling Marte went 5-for-5, 4 runs and his 3rd homer, hitting .305.  If you’re facing him, urine trouble, if you’re a PEDs tester, that is.  By the way, I heard an interesting tidbit on a podcast the other day.  If you wipe a baby diaper filled with pee on your face, you will stay forever young.  Of course, the advice came from a prisoner serving 25 years to life in San Quentin, so there might be side effects.  Coming into this game, Marte was hitting .241, and he raised his average more than sixty points, which shows you how young the season is still.  Maybe the season wiped baby urine on itself.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Franchy Cordero went 1-for-4 with his first homer as he was called up and hit leadoff.  Franchy!  Franchy!  Franchy!  Holy almond tart, no Franchy pan for me!  I won’t pan Franchy’s tools, I won’t suffer any fools, I want Franchy, man, pardon my drools.  Franchy is the kind of player you watch and you’re like, “Can I own him in every league on the basis of his sprint speed?”  By the way, Franchy has crazy sprint speed yet wasn’t able to make it out there for the brawl — hand on chin emoji.  Franchy seems like the kind of guy that will be better in fantasy than in real life.  Think about the outfield version of Tim Anderson.  I grabbed him in a few leagues to see what happens.  Remember, Franchy Cordero marries the best of French and Ranch dressing which is, um, I dunno, do I look like a senior citizen or a sorority girl?  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The Spring has sprung and real baseball is here!  That fake stuff and all its glorious research has come to a head and later this week, that team that you built will go to battle.  Don’t go into battle with a little extra ammo in your tool belt though.  We all know who the steals candidates are and where to draft them by now.  The names are familiar, and if you drafted them, you are hoping the results that they have promised with our expectations.  My post this week is instead taking a look at the reflexive of the actual base stealers, and since the end of this week we’ll actually have counting stats, why not look at the pitchers and catchers that have the propensity to give up the most frequent of thievery?  It is often a very overlooked facet of the game.  We always see the counting stats of the perennial stolen base leaders, but never hear a peep about the pitchers who give up the most, or the catchers that are god awful at throwing them out.  I get that other forces of baseball nature encompass both of those factors of caught stealing and pitchers tendencies for base thefts, but if numbers don’t lie, let’s take a look at them and see who has the “better”chance for giving up the stat.  So here is this week’s SAGNOF report, basically picking on guys who do nothing but aid us in the stolen base category.  Cheers!

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Today, we take a look at the positional battles for the National League East, a division that is quite emblematic of the US of A. The power and leadership resides in Washington DC. The New York Mets have the money, 11th highest payroll in baseball, but they are not the Yankees. Atlanta. Sorry, I mean Hotlanta, always gets overlooked, but there’s tons of talent down south. We may be seeing lots of non-Native Americans tomahawk chopping on TV very soon. Philadelphia is usually in the shadow of New York. Well, the Eagles won the Super Bowl, so suck on that New Yorkers. I kid. There’s tons of young talent on the Phillies, especially on the pitching side, but they will continue to play in the shadow of their brethren to the east. Miami. This is where things break down. A city of opulence and culture, yet the Marlins sold off all their assets like a Pookie crackhead would for one last hit. The only way I can tie this into the US of A analogy is that Miami is located in the state of Florida, a state in which the lawmakers said that porn is dangerous but refused to talk about assault rifles. Ladies and gentlemen, the NL East.

The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!

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Welcome to Razzball’s 2018 team previews. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be previewing all of the teams and talking to writers who represent those teams around the web. We want to provide the best and most in-depth fantasy projections to go along with the asking the most useful questions to those who know their teams best. We want to talk about the players in the first half of your draft and also the deep sleepers that make you log into google and start watching Midwest Single-A ball for hours. Just kidding, don’t do that, hopefully we don’t go that far…

Baker finally hit the dust…y. Dave Martinez now takes over as the National’s manager as they try to bring Washington D.C. a World Series title. This lineup remains an offensive machine and still boasts a top half of the rotation that causes a lot of whiffs. There are still a couple of new faces to talk about and also a highly touted prospect who is sure to see at bats in the majors this season. I talked to Drew Douglas from District on Deck.

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After going over the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball (clickbait!), it’s now time to turn our lonely eyes to you, Mr. Robinson Chirinos.  To paraphrase The Refreshments from their should-be smash hit, Fonder and Blonder, “Who said absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Pitches are thrown to catchers, but that doesn’t make my heart grow fonder.”  Later in that song, they sing, “I’ll be scratchin’ it down,” which sounds like it applies to all baseball players.  Or as the rhyming dictionary has never said, applies to oranges.  Any hoo!  The projections noted in the post are my own, and I mention where tiers start and stop.  I also mention a bunch of hullabaloo, so let’s get to it.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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Who doesn’t love them some BOGO sales? Girls love them, hell even flamboyant fake baseball players like it.  I prefer the pun value in them better than buying two pairs of shoes, only of which I need one.  Which leads us to Javier Baez.  I equate him to that sushi roll that you aren’t sure that you like and don’t exactly know what’s in it.  Like a Ahi Tuna special, but in a baseball hat.  Entering play (as of me writing this) he had 21 Homers and 9 steals.  Not fantastic by any stretch of the SAGNOF variety, but I wanna see if there is more juice to squeeze out of the North Side orange.  We are fully entrenched in the here and now of fantasy, but always need to be looking to next year.  So with his uptick in speed over the past eight games (3 steals), making everyone aware of their surroundings in the SAGNOF world seemed like a good spot to write about Javy for the first time this year.  Batting average is not what you want him to be a stalwart on your team, but the 21 taters with 12-15 stolen base potential with SS, 2B and 3B eligibility heading into next year, he is someone with name value that you may want to ask to your fantasy prom.  Enough with the debate about Baez for now and later, let’s get to the Stealers and Savers for the week…  Good luck down the stretch lads!

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Because I am always late to the writing party, I figured why not just add another Bryce Harper column, but with a Michael Taylor happy ending.  So what’s-his-face got hurt and now Mike Taylor returns from the DL to save the day.  Gone one day and BH is now what’s-his-face.  It sucks, but injuries happen.  That is why waivers and free agent pools exist.  So before Taylor inured his oblique in early July, he was on a torrid pace that was making him an asset for fantasy.  Now what capabilities will he have with that injured oblique?  Since this is the SAGNOF report, we only care about one thing.  Increasing his SB total from 10.  The thing in his favor is that the Nationals lineup is going to change slightly.  Because of the absence of “some guy”.  Small ball and base-to-base stuff still wins and it may have to happen without a middle of the lineup thumper (besides Zimmerman).  I can’t believe I just called him a thumper, well… suspend disbelief for a minute and just assume I didn’t mean it.  Taylor may take a few days to get into the swing of things but Bryce isn’t walking through the door anytime soon, so at-bats and top of the order stuff are coming. Happy SAGNOF’n!

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Welcome to another week of “Set Your PVR (Perception Versus Reality),” wherein Dr. Easy and I scour the Razzball Season-to-Date Player Rater for the arcane, the mundane and the insane when it comes to player rankings for fantasy baseball: who’s rated higher than you’d think they would be? Who are we surprised to see among the bottom feeders? Who’s just been quietly getting it done without fantasy baseballers (Grey’s mom’s term!) really noticing or scooping them up, meaning they juuuust might be sitting out there on the waiver wire, yearning for an owner like a puppy in the window of a pet shop?

Today we’ll focus on some surprises in the category of starting pitcher, but before we get into that, we thought we’d mention a regime change at the top (of the Player Rater. Not in Razzball. No coup yet that we know of). Over the last four weeks since we started this column, Paul Goldschmidt and Aaron Judge have been battling it out for position 1 and 2 (overall): 6 July—Goldschmidt 1st; 13 July—Judge 1st; 20 July—Goldschmidt 1st. Max Scherzer has consistently held 3rd place throughout. But as we’re writing this on July 26, Charlie Blackmon has suddenly shot up from his habitual 5th or 6th place and is perched on top, tied with Jose Altuve. Judge is 3rd, Goldschmidt 4th. Scherzer’s slipped to 9th overall. Blackmon was rated 19th pre-season; his numbers were always good, but people may have anticipated a trade mid-season (which will have hurt his numbers) that hasn’t happened because the Rockies aren’t sellers.

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The fastest answer to the title is that no, you can not just fix what Trea Turner was giving you and the lack thereof for the next few weeks.  Dude was a man among spatulas.  Twenty two steals in the month of June alone was more then four teams in the entire majors.  For fantasy, he was the only person over 20 in the last 30 games, only person in double digits in the last 15, and now he will get you zero for the next, presumably, six weeks…  So where do you turn?  The answer is: I wish I knew, because the waiver wire is not going to give you that type of production.  Trade?  Sure, if you have the assets, or you can just plain ignore the stat.  Interestingly enough is that if he is gone from the league, it kind of evens the playing field for steals across the board.  Billy hasn’t been Billy in some time, Dee is probably the most prestigious thief left right now is universally owned, and the waiver wire is littered with 2-3 steal guys every 10-game types.  I am not saying that losing Trea Turner is a good thing… it is an excellent thing for everyone that doesn’t own him.  If you are the sad owner of him, replacing Turner is not the biggest need.  In reality, you just need to maintain the fort ion the steals department.  That’s where me and this column come in.  SAGNOF to your wildest content.  The waivers are now your oyster at the SS, OF, or wherever you had TT employed.  Moves a plenty should be made and don’t be afraid to play match-ups versus catchers or pitchers or both.  Luckily for you, I have supplied one after the bump.  Happy post-Independence day.  Cheers!

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