Please see our player page for Michael Brantley 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.

It’s the most glorious weekend of the year — Wrestlemania weekend! You know what that means: wrestling themed blurbs!

On the Double Turn…

Two players in my pre-season top-5 are trending in opposite directions, but I don’t start freaking out too much until tax day. A lot of experts were calling for Jose Ramirez and Christian Yelich to regress from their MVP-caliber seasons last year. Well Yelich came out swinging an angry stick hitting a homerun in four straight games to start the season leaving him ranked third on the Razzball Player Rater so far. He’s reached base successfully in every game so far and is on his way to competing for the MVP again in 2019. Jose Ramirez? Not so much. For some players we like to point out how they’re “continuing their hot hitting from the end of 2018.” Ramirez is doing the opposite. He ended 2018 with a 40 game slump hitting .166 with a .597 OPS. He also only hit .231/.646 in the minors. His BABIP is currently sitting at .150, he only has 3 strikeouts to 2 walks and he’s hitting a higher percentage of fly balls from 2018 (small sample size) so maybe he’s just getting a bit unlucky in the early going. However, it’s enough to make me flip these two in the rankings.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m not going to overreact to 20 at-bats. I will not do it. That being said, if you’re in a league with me — every one of my players is a bum and is on the block. Starting next week we’ll start to see some moving and shaking, but this list is mostly a refresher from the pre-season. There are really only six “fallers” this week and they’re all injury related. I’ll be writing more about them in my injury column which drops on Wednesday, but here’s who slipping, tumbling, sinking, fumbling:

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Hello, Genie, I have three wishes for this baseball season?  My first wish is “No one I own get hurt.”  I didn’t buy Kevin Kiermaier, Steven Souza or Troy Tulowitzki, so I made your job easy for you, great, powerful Genie.  My 2nd wish is “Everyone I own do well.”  I drafted Trea Turner, Luke Voit, Enrique Hernandez, so, really, I’m doing much of the heavy lifting for this wish too.  My 3rd and final wish is “All 3rd base coaches send runners home by doing The OA interpretative dance.”  Thanking you in advance, Genie.  Wait a second, you’re not a genie, you’re Bartolo Colon in Blue Man Group paint.  Damn you!  So, we’re off and running for another great season, just like the Dodgers’ offense.  Enrique Hernandez (2-for-3, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) hit two home runs.  Ya know what, maybe Kiké does love me.  Next up, Joc Pederson (3-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs) hit two homers, as he hit leadoff.  A double dong day from Wong and Joc?  Baseball, do you stuff your pants?  Also, Max Muncy (1-for-4, 2 RBIs) hit his first homer, saying, “Hey, don’t forget Grey wrote a sleeper post about me?”  Then Cody Bellinger (2-for-4, 2 runs) hit his 1st homer; he’s not Cody Malinger!  Actually, I’m convinced Dave Roberts could field any lineup and they would score more runs than their opponent for at least 90+ games, especially when they’re going up against some of these teams.  Wilmer Flores (1-for-4, 1 run) was the three hole hitter on the Diamondbacks.  I love Wilmer and his ubiquitous tears like he’s reading The Notebook, but there’s a bunch of MLB lineups out there that just are not good.  Also, in this game, Corey Seager (1-for-3) hit his 1st homer and Austin Barnes (3-for-4, 2 runs) hit his first homer, because BASEBALL’S BACK!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

NL WestNL Central | NL East || AL West | AL Central | AL East

I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training Statistics.  You never know who the statistics are coming against.  Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level.  This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced.  You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach.  So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat?  Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards.  Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles!

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Categories, eligibility and speed. These are the things that dictate where I rank hitters. Categories: A guy who contributes in all 5 categories is going to be ranked higher than someone who contributes in only 4 — even if those 4 categories are elite. That’s why I’m a bit lower on J.D. Martinez and Nolan Arenado compare to other people. Eligibility: obviously guys with multiple position eligibility or a shallower position will be ranked higher than say an outfielder. “Then why aren’t you higher on catchers?” Because after the top-2 catchers they’re basically all the same and likely to miss time. Speed: the most elusive of 5×5 categories. If you can give me at least 10 steals I’m going to give you a boost in my rankings. That’s why I’m higher on someone like Tommy Pham than others. If Trea Turner gets the 75-80 stolen base attempts that the Nationals want him to get then he has the chance to end the season as a top-3 player.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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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The top 60 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball will be filled with guys you absolutely should and will own, and guys you absolutely will and should not own.  Was like that last year, was like that the year before and has been like that since the dawn of time.  In 6,000 B.C., a caveman scratched his butt on a stick and thought, “Hey, I wonder if I can patent a stick for butt scratching, and should I hold this top 60 outfielder or drop him?”   Such is life with the top 60 outfielders.  So, here’s Steamer’s 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers.  As with all of my 2019 fantasy baseball rankings, my projections are included and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 60 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Another baseball season is in the books and with it, another year living in your mom’s basement with zero prospects of freedom on the horizon. As your fantasy guide donkey, I consider it my duty to lend a hoof in resolving this dire lodging situation. Let me regale you with my story of escape from the comforts of mom’s basement, out into the unknown.

Looking back, there was one major factor which led to my now girlfriend rescuing me from my mom’s basement and allowing me to move into her much nicer basement. It began with an innocent conversation with a friend about stinky balls, sweaty dongs and general swamp crotch. Through this one conversation, I discovered we don’t need to live in constant fear of these groinal afflictions.

My buddy spoke of a miracle cure for this vicious epidemic. The magical solution goes by the name of talcum powder. It turns out, if you cover your genitalia in this wondrous powder, you’ll never fall victim to the swampy nether stank again. Don’t take my word for it, sprinkle away and see for yourself. Just don’t forget about ole Donkey Teeth once you’re living it up in your new girl’s basement.

Now, a bit of fair warning: you’ll want to grasp the sack loosely as you apply the marvelous talcum formula. As a wise man once said, if you cling too tightly you’re gonna lose control of your powder application. This all reminds me of Hold on Loosely – Part 1 & Part 2 where we discussed the dangers of clinging too tightly to mid-round fantasy baseball draft picks.

In the past Hold on Loosely chronicles, I speculated about the growing phenomena of elite offensive fantasy baseball production becoming more available later in drafts, or even on the waiver wire throughout the season. Take a look at some examples of this occurrence in the table below…

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The trade of Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood to the Reds means one thing, the Dodgers are signing Manny Machado or Bryce Harper.  I’m kidding, in the non-funny way.  Maybe it means that, but I kinda hope it doesn’t, so Muncy, Pederson and others have room to play.  Not sure why the Dodgers rehired Dave Roberts, but I’m impressed the Dodgers realized that Dave Roberts had zero capacity for managing a team.  “What’s he doing?”  “I don’t know.”  That’s two Dodgers execs watching Dave Roberts juggle three VHS copies of the movie Platoon.  “I don’t think he understands what we meant when we asked him to juggle platoons.”  “Yeah.”  “So, we should trade Puig?”  “Maybe trade like five guys.”  “Okay.”  So, Puig goes back to the Reds, but they’re no longer an island nation in the Caribbean.  Now, they’re in Ohio.  In five years, people will be like, “I forgot Puig played for the Reds for three months.”  Yes, I think he’ll likely be traded in July.  Either way, he will get everyday at-bats and should get a nice boost in fantasy value.  The Reds were surprising solid last year on offense, and I see no reason why that would end.  For 2019, I’ll give Yasiel Puig projections 73/27/83/.273/11 in 502 ABs.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in 2019 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?