Please see our player page for Matthew Liberatore 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.

Miles Mikolas (8 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.62) or Paul Goldschmidt (6-for-8, 4 runs, 8 RBIs, and his 14th, 15th and 16th homer)? Which one do I talk about first?! What’s on 2nd? I don’t know. Third base! Au Shizz went Au Shizz three times in yesterday’s doubleheader. He’s hitting .349 on the year. He’s challenging Aaron Judge for the top of the Player Rater–Okay, not Judge, but the top 5? Yes, siree, Bob. “I’m sorry, Grey, I need more info on what Bob you want to call.” Siree! Not Siri! “Chillax, phonedaddy.” Shut up, Siri! Au Shizz is capping one of the best decades we’ve seen in baseball over the last ten years. As for Miles Mikolas, I literally turned on his no-hit bid as the Calm Itchell double was landing in center. Hey, am I starring in the fictional version of The Jinx as the young, and more handsome Robert Durst? “Kill them all…Why did I say that? Maybe I can say I was saying my favorite Metallica album?” While Mikolas isn’t quite this good — 7 .2 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 3.72 xFIP — he’s capable of one of those 3.00-ish ERA seasons, or better, as he’s done once in his career already. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We have every conceivable rookie’s projections who might be called up. Guys I’ve never heard of like Bobson Dugnutt, but even we don’t have Michael Harris II because he was so young and seemingly far away. Michael Harris II is so young Michael Harris I is still in theaters! Andruw Jones played just 50 games above Single A before he was called up by the Braves at age 19 in 1996. Michael Harris II, who is 21, played 43 games above Single A. How’d he go from A to the majors in roughly a month and a half? Hitting, baby! I give a lot of teams shizz for manipulating service time, but the Braves promote guys quickly. Maybe they feel bad after signing them for $500 and a bag of Takis when they’re 12. In 43 Double-A games, Michael Harris II went 5/11 .305/.372/.506 in 174 ABs. His skills are power and speed, which means he’s worth adding in all leagues. Speed doesn’t disappear for a young player after promotion. Power should remain too. The contact is going to make or break his game this year. If he can’t make contact, he might not hit and get demoted. If he can make contact, then he might be on the short list for biggest impact bats to get called up. Here’s what Prospect Itch said, “He’s a must-add where you can fit him. I’m about 60/40 that his swing-happy approach combined with the big-league heavy balls will prove too big a challenge for his first few hundred plate appearances, but stranger things have happened.” This guy sneaking in subconscious Netflix promos! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Having Tommy Pham in last week’s article makes me happy. He provided the moment of the season when he slapped Joc Pederson in the face over a fantasy football dispute. That sounds like something from The Onion, but that is something that factually happened! If moments like that don’t make you love baseball, I don’t […]

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Pirates’ front office looking at the clock labeled, “Service Manipulation.” The big hand clicks towards “Extra year of service time,” and the little hand creeps towards, “Being cheap AF.” Just as Being Cheap AF and Extra Year of Service Time meet at 12 o’clock, a little birdie flies out in a Pirates’ jersey with the uniform number for Tyler Glasnow and starts cuckooing. With that, Roansy Contreras was called up by the Pirates, and will start today. In Triple-A, he had 2.66 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 10.6 K/9, 4.9 BB/9, and a 1.33 HR/9. He can be electric, but those walks scare me. Yo, I don’t trust the Pirates at all. Not with pitchers, not with hitters, not for nothing but not with nothing. No trust. Anyone rostering Ke’Bryan and Bryan Reynolds liking it? Has Mitch Keller clicked yet? Will he ever? How’s Oneil Cruz doing you? Sucks to put that all at Roansy’s feet, but there ya go. That’s my feelings on him. For those that found us by googling “sucks” + “feet,” you a freak! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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They say he’s the greatest Orioles catcher ever. They say the greatest catcher prospect since Yogi Berra. They are talking about Matt Wieters. “They” are Keith Law. He’s not the only one. I went back to the 2009 prospect guys to see what people were saying about Matt Wieters and found, “Has the power of Mark Teixeira,” and “a bat so potent he could be a two-time batting champion and one of the game’s biggest stars in almost two years.” Okay, I lied, those are all Keith Law quotes! Good for baseball that Wieters wasn’t its biggest star. Others were just as complimentary to Wieters with Kevin Goldstein, who got a job with the Astros and now the Twins said, “Wieters, Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz are can’t miss.” They had great things to say about Matt LaPorta too. Who? Not sure, I think Matt LaPorta is French for doormat. From that draft alone, there was no mention of Madison Bumgarner, Giancarlo, Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson, or even Travis d’Arnaud, all guys drafted after Wieters and LaPorta. Why mention any of this? Just tamping down Adley Rutschman enthusiasm with this hype-cleaver. That’s my Tamp-ax! Wait, maybe it’s not a good idea to say that. So, this is a weird way to start a post where I say I’d absolutely pick up Adley Rutschman in every league. Killing enthusiasm with my Tampax. Yikes, need to stop saying that. The Tampax (this is not a sponsored post, by the way) is simply to stop up hype that Rutschman will be a top five catcher as soon as he’s called up. I don’t think he will, but he could be. Think 15 HRs and .280 for four months. It’s irrelevant what he was even doing in the minors. He was ready two years ago. He’s worth adding in all leagues if you’re struggling at catcher, Tampax be damned. Period. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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First, the bad news, Tyler O’Neill hit the IL with a right-shoulder impingement. Took how long for him to come up with some made-up injury? Hope it wasn’t very long, because it’s not believable. His exit velocity on his lame-ass excuse is almost as bad as his hitting. Take a TO, TO, you disappoint me. Replacing him…*drum roll*…Nolan Gorman is being called up for today’s game. Lezzzzzzzzzzzzzz Fudginnnnnnnnnnnnnn Gooooooooooooooooo! *jaw comes dislocated from screaming, goes to the hospital, doctor diagnoses me with Gormania* Gormania can’t be cured, according to WebMD. Does it matter that I keep wanting to call him Norman Golman? No, dude. So, he’s going to start at 2nd base, and Edman likely moves to the outfield. It’s about to get crowded in Saint Louie. Ugh, seeing they might have a cure for Gormania, it’s called a 35% strikeout rate. That’s not cool. Gorman could hit 45 homers, and .170. Here’s my Nolan Gorman fantasy; some stats might be a little off, but sentiment stays same. Also, I am go over Nolan Gorman at our Youtube channel. Click that link, hit subscribe and come back. Thank you! We’re halfway to thousand. Get us to thousand and never hear about it again. Here’s the video:

Also, getting the call was Matthew Liberatore to start on Saturday. If you think I’m slightly less enthused for Liberatore than I am for Gorman, you’re right. It’s a hitter vs. pitcher thing. Not much else. In 40 IP in Triple-A, Liberatore had 10.4 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, and 3.83 ERA, and he should have better command than that. Here’s what Prospect Itch said, “For a while, Liberatore seemed fated to become a blip in trivia history as the player acquired for Rays postseason beast Randy Arozarena. After 2021, skies look a little clearer. The club jumped him over AA and let him throw 124.2 innings at AAA, where he was six years younger than his average competitor. He struggled at first (5.21 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 1.87 HR/9 through 11 starts) but got better results over his final ten turns (2.67 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 0.78 HR/9). The WHIPs here show some luck both ways, but the home run ball was clearly his bugaboo early, and he cut that by more than 100 percent over the 2nd half. His pitch shapes could still leave him vulnerable in that department (his fastball doesn’t ride), but he’s adding velocity as he ages and was burying that big curve with consistency by season’s end. If he keeps that up, he’ll be a nice addition to the Redbirds’ rotation this year. And Grey is a big dummy.” Honestly, that’s fair. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Woe be to ye who love pitching prospects in dynasty baseball. Seriously. No fun to learn the hard way how tricky it is to trade a big-named pitching prospect in a strong dynasty or keeper league. Even tricker to graduate them as mainstays of a winning staff. 

I already discussed a fair bit of this in the Top 25 Starting Pitcher Prospects for Dynasty Fantasy Baseball in 2022Hitters fail, too, but they can typically be traded earlier and later than pitchers in their minor league career arc. Pitchers can be traded the week or month they get called up and then again if they’ve been really good as rookies. If you’re lucky enough to land an Alek Manoah type, you probably don’t want to trade him anyway. The Daniel Lynch types can still be moved for pennies on the dollar, but they’ve have lost at least half the perceived value they had as top 25 prospects, which, again, isn’t much in a real strong dynasty league where everyone has been burned by enough pitchers to recount the scars. 

I really should be more positive in this intro, but honestly a lot of this group is made up of players I’d trade away in a heartbeat yin my leagues. Let’s look ’em over. 

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The birds just hired Carlos Marmol to manage, which would be wild if true. Instead, they went with Oliver Marmol, who is not related to the former Cubs hurler who never met a man he couldn’t walk. 

It’s interesting that they moved on from Mike Schildt following an epic winning streak to end the season, but them’s the breaks. Life comes at you fast. Halloween. The World Series. Facebook soiling a word nobody at the company understands. The Cardinals firing and hiring managers in the blink of an eye. It’s all happening, and we don’t miss a beat here at Razzball, so let’s stroll through this system and see what we can see. 

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For a two-time World Series Champion with over 40 years of experience in MLB front offices, Dave Dombrowski gets a bad rap. The consensus on the baseball operations veteran seems to be that his only formula for success is to either ink big contracts or swap top prospects for elite talent that comes accompanied with hefty salaries. However, Dombrowski’s maneuvers have largely come as a result of the hands he has been dealt and the relative competitiveness of his various organizations at the time of his hire. He turned the 1997 Florida Marlins, a 1993 expansion team, into a World Series Champion. He built one of the greatest starting rotations in modern history in Detroit. He came to Boston in 2015 with a mandate to take the Red Sox to the top and did just that in 2018. Is he perfect? Far from it. Can he win a championship? Clearly. You should desire the same.

I say this to explain why I frequently refer to my strategy in dynasty leagues as Dombrowski-esque. It is not simply because of Dave’s suave, shiny gray hair to which I look forward to sporting myself in my mid-50s. In these formats, managers are drafting using such polarizing strategies that the key is to seek out excess value by pitting your opposition’s own intelligence (or so it may seem) against them. Seek opportunity where it presents itself, and if that means honing in on proven talent to win now, then do so. There will always be newer, shinier (but not as shiny as Dave’s hair) prospects to target in these leagues down the line. That’s why today I will be reviewing my selections in the 12 team, H2H points dynasty startup mock that fellow Razzballer Dylan Vaughan Skorish and I partook in this past week. Although I will reveal all of my selections, my focus in this piece will be to review my strategy and discuss the prospects I targeted in this mock draft.

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My system overview would be incomplete if it failed to cite JKJ’s recent article from the pages of Razzball, Randy Arozarena & the Ex-Cardinals’ All-Star Team.

I’m not one for pouring salt into open wounds, but I think any sports fan can totally relate to the catharsis endemic to deconstructing the various rosters your team didn’t build, even as that team is relatively successful on the field. 

The redbirds’ minor league build is fine. It’ll probably land mid pack or better for the people who rank whole systems. That evaluation will be a bit inflated by Dylan Carlson’s last gasp of prospect eligibility and Norman Gorman’s residual shine from his early returns, but there’s also plenty of topside waiting in the lower minors and an outstanding 2020 draft class on the way. 

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