Please see our player page for Max Scherzer 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.

Redraft leagues are the standard of the fantasy sports industry. Each year you get a fresh start at remembering you shouldn’t draft A.J. Pollock. Ever. You can draft whoever you want at your draft position or spend as much as your budget on whoever you want. But for me there is nothing more fun than a good long-term keeper league. Smart owners get to flex on their leaguemates by keeping players they selected deep in their drafts or picked up on a hunch. Keeper leagues are a great intermediate option between full-on redraft leagues and the craziness of a dynasty league. 

Below you’ll find my keeper rankings for 2019. I’ve included each player’s age, position eligibility for the start of the 2019 season and any concerns I have about each player. Here’s what you’ll also see: I’m not high on starting pitchers. Too likely to suffer an injury and miss a large chunk of time. I’m not high on guys with less than two seasons of experience. I’ve seen sophomore slumps and prospect busts far too often. There are exceptions like Ronald Acuna who seem like a sure thing — but when it comes to Vlad Guerrero Jr. I prefer the wait and see approach. Plus, we really don’t know when he’ll even debut. Players over the age of 31 worry me — especially players whose value is speed dependent. I don’t want to keep a player whose decline is starting to begin. Injury prone players: duh. I’m not going to keep someone who can’t take the field.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Auction drafting reminds me of playing poker. Having a plan of attack, choosing the right hand to play, and then subsequently winning the hand while finding out that you could’ve made a lot more money if you had played it correctly. If you’re patient enough, play the rights hands and stick to the calculations, it’ll work out to your benefit more often than not, but are you that patient?

Can you let a player go under value because he’s not part of your plan? Can you avoid getting sucked into the auction and over paying for your guy? Can you avoid killing your budget faster than a college kid on spring break?

Hindsight is 20/20 and that is rarely more apparent than over the course of an auction. I don’t believe I’ve ever left an auction without regret. However, even if you don’t stick to your plan, there are ways to maneuver the auction to make your team build complete.

My plan coming into the auction was similar to my draft strategy for most of my leagues. I wanted to concentrate my bat spending on top of the order, high average, speed guys. Accomplished this with my combination of Ronald Acuna Jr. and Trea Turner. I balanced that speed with power in Edwin Encarnacion, Miguel Andujar, Justin Upton, and Max Muncy.

For my pitching, I took a more aggressive stance than normal and only wanted one ace and two established closers. I got Max Scherzer and then grabbed Edwin Diaz, Sean Doolittle, and Pedro Strop late.

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Baseball, like a flower, blooms in the spring.  They also share equally effusive PR people.  Just the other day I read about how a petunia’s branches gained 15 pounds and was in the best shape of its life.  Sure, it’s always good to look at spring training numbers to give you an idea what you can expect from guys during the season — can I draft Adalberto Mondesi yet?!  Players in spring training are facing the top pitchers who are all displaying their best stuff.  No one needs time to get warmed up.  No one’s trying new pitches or getting a feel for the ball.  They are at the height of their game in the beginning of March.  Our former commissioner, Bud, once doffed his toupee and tried to have the World Series played in March.  Since these spring training numbers mean so much, I decided to look at some players stats so far:

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Knock knock. Who’s there? It’s your 2019 fantasy baseball points league draft. What are you waiting for? Open the damn door! With draft season just around the corner, I decided it was time to put together my points league spreadsheet. That and the avalanche of emails I got asking when it would be ready. Ok, perhaps avalanche was a bit of an exaggeration, but there was a small storm. Today’s post is the only post I author each year that most of you care about. Once I’ve put it out there I feel a little bit like a chick after a one night stand. However, by now I’ve come to terms with the fact that my popularity will peak early and taper off as the season progresses.

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I was never particularly motivated to use VLOOKUP (or any other function in Excel) for “professional” working purposes. I learned it a few years ago strictly to become better at fantasy baseball. By taking all of the public information that is available at your disposal, and combining fantasy valuations and projections from various industry resources (using mostly VLOOKUPs – seriously, it’s the only thing that I know how to do), you can formulate composite projections which paint an accurate picture of the fantasy landscape, and eliminate limit your individual bias when you inevitably use those projections and re-rank players by position. One resource that I find particularly helpful, and which you might not already incorporate into your own process, are the player propositions and betting over/under totals provided by sportsbooks. The betting market sets extremely reasonable expectations with regards to player floors and league leaders in statistical categories and can provide guidance as to where your projections stand relative to public perception both on an individual player basis, and against the league as a whole.  The fact that a player is listed in a category, in and of itself, can be extremely telling as to their raw skills and expectations for the upcoming season.

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As of this writing, Part 3 of The Eighteenth Out literally went out to the public less than an hour ago and I’m already back in the lab, ready to see where our latest exciting correlative discovery may take us. Nothing like a good statistical breakthrough to start the week, am I right?  If you’re just joining me on my exploration through time and sports you can catch up on the foundations for this work here (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).  I am so genuinely stoked about the path we’ve found ourselves on, that yesterday afternoon I almost asked the girl at the pork store if she could believe that Quality Starts were so highly correlated to Starting Pitcher End of Season Position Ranks in Fantasy Point Leagues (exhale). I mean at this point it had to be all over social media, right? Trending worldwide? Would I be dodging swaths of sabermetric paparazzi on my way back to the car?  Well, it was not, I was not and I didn’t even end up asking her. I just took my hot soppressata and left (it’s pronounced soo-pah-sad for all my non Brooklyn born baseball lovers).

Now that I’ve successfully referenced my favorite cultural salted meat, its time to get back to work.  To quickly recap, we left off with all Starting Pitchers in 2018 with at least 20 Quality Starts (15 Players) and tested for correlation with that pitcher’s finishing rank by position in each format…

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A howdy, a hey and a hi-yo Silver to all the hot-rod rowdy Razzball readers in deep anticipation of this; The third installment of my series on the oft spat upon Quality Start (Part 1 and Part 2).  I’m so glad to be back at the grindstone so soon; Things around here are getting better every day. Recuperation from a neck surgery is progressing daily, and little John is sleeping a little longer every night. In fact, I’ve sat down to start this article three different times already; Each time ending up down a different rabbit hole of QS stats which set me on a productive, yet different path than intended.  So for the delight of the crowd (and the detriment of the nerve endings in my fingers) the H2H part of our QS exploration will become a series within a series.  Just as a note going forward; Always keep in mind that point league formats can vary greatly. I will be using the format from my own CBS Home League which is only slightly varied from the standard: +0.5 per out, +1.0 per K, -0.5 per runner, -1.0 per run, +7.0 per W, +5.0 per QS, -5.0 per L. We wanted to make sure that in the event of taking a Quality Start + Loss, (which we call ”eating the cock-meat sandwich”) that the QS negates the Loss. All leagues are different so make sure to adjust for your own format as we progress.

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The intro for Yahoo’s 2019 fantasy baseball rankings reminds of a Dear John letter written by your ex-wife.  Only your name is Kevin and she accidentally writes “John,” and doesn’t have a chance to proofread it because she’s bedding down your best friend.  Read for yourself:

Sure, guys and five girl readers, “You’ll find your familiar Trouts’, the Betts’, the Martinez’, but questions remain.”

Huh?

Yeah, I have questions that, uh, remain.  How many Trouts have they ranked?  The Betts’?  Did they rank his entire family?  The Martinez’?  Is that like World War Z, but instead it’s, “An Apostrophe Z?”

“When should the first pitcher go off the board, and should there be more than one?”

Said like Ron Burgundy, “That’s not English.”  Should there be more than one?  Are Yahoo leagues this year one-pitcher leagues?  I’m so confused.  Did 100 monkeys with 100 typewriters, who only read Bleacher Report, write up this intro?

“Enough talk though.  Let’s jump into the rankings!”

Ha!  Was there enough talk?  I’ve written more in this intro than they wrote.  With that level of effort, they don’t even deserve this evisceration, but… *sharpens nails that look like the 108-year-old Asian man in the Guinness Book of World Records* …here goes nothing.  For this post, I will be looking at the consensus Yahoo 2019 fantasy baseball rankings vs. my own 2019 fantasy baseball rankings.

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Our 2019 Razzball leagues are in full signup mode. Today, I’m in dress-down mode.  Casually coming for you in the middle of the night, wearing nothing but slippers and a multicolored housecoat that’s half open so you can see the family jewels while I apply my Ambi.  Here’s what Grey thinks about you (repeat 17x).  I’m about to blow my top as I let my aggravation Michael Bublé over.  If you’re clutching pearls like Barbara Bush’s hologram, you’re better off looking at cute pet pics on Instagram, because I’m sharpening my pointer fingers, i.e., the fingers that I use to type!  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!”  Now let’s open a window and defenestrate ESPN’s 2019 fantasy baseball rankings.  To the tune of Ice Cube’s No Vaseline:

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One word about this top 100 for 2019 fantasy baseball, before I give you another 5,000 words.  I’m going to avoid repeating myself from the position rankings in the 2019 fantasy baseball rankings.  If you want to know my in-depth feelings about a player, then you need to go to his positional page, i.e., the top 20 1st basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball, the top 20 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball, the top 20 Gucci handbags for 2019– Ah, I almost got you.  This post is meant to give you an idea where guys from different positions are in relation to each other.  Since this post is only the top 100, there’s more players where this came from.  471 more, to be very exact.  Next up, there will be a top 500 that will go to 571.  Then, after that, there will be a top 7,500 that will go to 8,602, then a top 25,000 that will go to 28,765, then a top 600,000 that will go to 892,121, until we end up with a top kajillion in April that will go to a kajillion and one.  Or maybe I’ll stop at the top 500.  Yeah, that makes sense.  Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel.  Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2019 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.”  Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters.  Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter!  Also, the online Fantasy Baseball War Room is, uh, online.  It might be a little wonky still, but working out kinks.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2019 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?