This preseason Gregory Polanco was a Capri Sun.  Yes, the pouch drink that you need to stab 17 times to get the straw in.  Crazy, right?  What’s crazier is I have an explanation!  Ready?  Here we go, readers!  There is something just completely gross about liquids in a pouch.  Put some delicious nacho cheese in a ziplock bag.  You do not want to eat that anymore.  Seriously, cut the corner and squeeze it into your mouth.  So nasty!  An IV bag?  Yeah, that’s appetizing.  Why not grab a colostomy bag and cut out the middle man?  Bagged liquids are gross.  However — again with some stank! — HOWEVER, Capri Sun is surprisingly good.  Okay, u-turn to Polanco.  This preseason the Pirates looked like a mess.  No one really wanted any of them.  Marte had a suspension last year, but even he was kind of, “Well, he’s ranked here, so I guess I’ll take him.”  Polanco, though?  You didn’t even want him around pick 150 overall!  It was a “Hmm…Take a boring MI or Polanco” pick.  And a lot of you took Ian Kinsler instead!  Yesterday, Gregory Polanco went 2-for-5 with two more homers, and is now up to 5 homers, and, as Anime Grey said in the first Buy, Sell, Hold video, Polanco is still a buy.  Polanco is orange-flavored water in a silver pouch, the ultimate Capri Sun.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello and welcome!  We’re going to take a look at the AL and NL league leaders in each standard rotisserie category after the first full week of baseball and discuss, analyze, and Razz it up! (90’s phrasing!) My favorite in the group is ONLY available when there is a tie in a category. Waiting in the weeds is a pitcher or hitter that is not currently leading the category, but could find their way into the lead soon…

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I’m convinced you’d be better off if you ignored everything from Spring Training.  For every one thing you gleam from the spring that pays off, there’s five terrible habits you pick up like you’re a priest in The Keepers on Netflix.  Okay, maybe you would have seen Joey Gallo wasn’t striking out as much (barely has carried over), but you also would’ve seen Shohei Ohtani looking terrible.  Hat tip to someone on Twitter who screenshot this:

So many things wrong with this — Has Bryce Harper ever been bad?  I mean, maybe injured, but a bust?  WUT.  Also, it’s one thing to be concerned about Shohei Ohtani, but bust?  He hadn’t pitched one inning in the major leagues by that point and was being drafted around 100th overall.  Bust?  It was a gamble, risk was baked in.  Yesterday, Shohei Ohtani bust…ed out!  (See what I did there?)  He went 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners (1 hit, 1 walk), 12 Ks.  Good luck convincing someone he’s a bust now when trading for him.

The other pitcher with “Otani” in their last name is Jameson Taillon who went 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 2 walks, 7 Ks, ERA at 1.26.  Last year, I suggested to get his feng shui back, to find his equilibrium, because he couldn’t pitch with one testicle missing, I suggested he put a walnut in his jock strap for balance.  Well, I’m not saying he took my advice, but, yesterday, Jameson Taillon gave up one hit.  Imagine he was a eunuch?  He’d be Sandy Koufax!  Wait, was that why Koufax had a girl’s first name?  For a while last year, Taillon was treating the surviving twin like a punch bag, but he looks back to the potential ace he once was.  Go get ’em, Jameson Walnut!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There’s nothing better than an April Fools’ prank that is so sly it’s barely perceptible as a prank.  You don’t even know if it’s a gag.  One year, I had a sound engineer friend make a recording that said, “This call is being recorded.  A copy of that recording is available automatically to the police and the prosecutors.”  Then used that to call my mom and tell her I was in jail for accidentally running down a family of four.  “But mom the light was yellow!”  Apparently, I overestimated how funny she’d find that phone call, and twelve years later, she still calls me the night before April Fools’ to remind me not to pull any pranks on her.  This year the best prank I saw was one done by Major League Baseball.  It was so slight, if you blinked you’d miss it.  For their prank, they scheduled a half day on a Sunday.  Since 1908, MLB has played a full schedule of games on Sunday.  What a great joke!  Well done, MLB.  But, seriously, this is a joke, right?  Any hoo!  Know what’s not a joke, the love Trevor Williams has for Razzball, apparently:

Yesterday, Williams wasted no time to prove to me that his love for us is as strong as my love for him.  He went 6 IP, 0 ER with zero hits, but he failed to locate as well, and walked five guys, while racking up only one strikeout.  I believe his love for Razzball is only growing so this is just the beginning of great things to come.  Notice spelling of ‘come,’ you sickos.  On the reals, I like Williams for this year, and wrote a Trevor Williams sleeper for him this preseason.  Anyway, here’s what I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Does anybody else remember the Adventures of the Gummi Bears? It was on the Disney Channel back in the day and it was THE Saturday Morning jam. Medieval, personified bears, that bounce like kangaroos. Where do I sign up, right? In one of the sloppiest and more unconnected openings in Razzball history, starting pitchers are nothing like Gummi Bears. No, they are not my Saturday Morning jam. They’re my Saturday Morning job, digging into numerous deep dives, for hours on end, trying to figure out which players are trending where. The results of these Saturday Morning exercises are below. As a reminder these rankings are for 5×5 roto with value focused on rest of season value for 2018. So, a player like Michael Kopech is ranked for his value over the entirety of the 2018 season. Not just the next month. In previous seasons, this post was a weekly ranking with a pitching profile included. This year we will continue the weekly pitching profile, but once a month we will update the rankings. Because honestly, how much can happen in a week? One or two starts? So there’s changes coming for 2018, but they’re slight, and you’ll still get the same quality profiles, notes, and ranks. You might also get a cupcake or a venereal disease, but no telling which one. The expiration dates will just be a little longer. On the rankings not on the cupcakes or your fresh batch of herpes.

Here’s my Top 100 Starting Pitchers for 2018 Fantasy Baseball.

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I love keeper leagues. Love ‘em. Can’t get enough of ‘em. Redraft leagues are fine and all but with keeper leagues you become more connected to certain players and have an affinity for them over all others. They become the unofficial “face of your franchise” and are synonymous with your team. Hanley Ramirez will always be one of my favorite players because he was one of my keepers from 2007 (back when he was a 50 base stealing FLORIDA Marlins shortstop) until 2012. I grabbed 26 error third basemen Ryan Braun in 2007 and he was my ride or die until he was 61 games-played outfielder Ryan Braun in 2013. I still haven’t forgiven him for embarrassing the Roswell Aliens like that…

Keeper leagues add a new wrinkle to your draft strategy. You’re keeping Gary Sanchez? Great! You don’t have to decide whether you want to draft James McCann or Tucker Barnhart in the 25th round!  Keeping one of the big-4 aces? Wonderful! You can now load up on offense early and wait to take Kyle Hendricks as your second starter.

If I were writing this article pre-season 2017 pitchers would be few and far between on this list. Only Clayton Kershaw would’ve been found in the top 25. Now, in this juiced ball era, starting pitchers find themselves a bit more valuable. Although, with this universal humidor situation it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the faces of our teams. For example, the day after the Arizona Diamondbacks announced that they would utilize a humidor in their stadium I saw a tweet that said Paul Goldschmidt fell to the 15th overall pick in one draft. If they kept Paul Goldschmidt himself in a humidor for all of 2018 I’d still draft him before pick 15.

Let’s get into my methodology here. I’m going to be mainly focusing on 2018 because the future is hard to predict. However I’m not going to completely ignore that if you’re reading this article you’re probably not in a 1-year keeper league so there will be some projecting for the next few years as well. That means age will be a factor here. Joey Votto can still smash, but is 34 while his younger brother Freddie Freeman hits just as well and is only turning 29 at the end of this season. Position will also be a factor. Needing 1 second basemen in a shallow pool means that they’re more valuable than the 3-5 outfielders you’ll need. The intersectionality of speed/power and age will also be considered. Dee Gordon is turning 30 in April — how long will his legs hold up? Chone Figgins went to Seattle in his 30’s in 2012 and his career was donezo by 2013. Injury history should also be considered. Giancarlo Stanton was an MVP in 2017, but had over 500 ABs just twice in his previous 7 seasons. As a Yankee fan I’m hoping he stays healthy, but as a fantasy baseball owner I’m cautious. Have any of you actually read any of this or did you just jump straight to the chart to find your players?

Oh well, enough jibber-jabber! Let’s get into it:

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

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As the regular season draws to a close, it is with not a little melancholy that Dr. Easy and I bring you one last adventure with the Razzball Season-to-Date Player Rater (STD PR). Thanks for hanging with us for all these weeks! If you take one thing away from this series, it’s “next season, use the Razzball Player Rater” (pre-season and during). It’s free and it’s eye-opening. We thought that for our last post, we’d continue with our look back to the beginning of the season. This time, with the help of the Razzball Pre-Season Player Rater (PS PR), we wanted to check out some of the biggest surprises and biggest disappointments among hitters and pitchers who managed to stay healthy for most of the season (hitters who made it to 500 plate appearances or more; starting pitchers who hurled 100 innings or more). This means we can rank them by the good ol’ Player Rater $ (for previous posts, we’ve used the $/G rubric for players who have missed time due to injury). Where are the biggest differences between the pre-season and now, both positive and negative? Note: With all these players who have surprised big time, we expect a high variation on where they will be drafted next year. We don’t know about you, but we’re generally risk averse: we see big variation and let others take the flyer, unless it’s in the late rounds. Note 2: this is a bit of a selective list; we’ve talked about other big surprises and disappointments like Andrus, Judge, Villar, Cabrera, Upton, and Jose Ramirez, in previous posts.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, where does Mookie Betts go in 2018?  That’s what we all want to know, right?  That and WHAT TIME IS IT?!  Sorry, was listening to Steppin’ To The A.M.  I was not listening to Time to Get Ill, however, because I don’t like the Beastie Boys, but it might be more appropriate with The Bettsie Boy, Mookie.  Home run distance is a weird thing.  Well, maybe not weird, but hard to trust.  Yeah, that’s the ticket, said like that Jon Lovitz character.  In hindsight, it’s obvious.  Mookie had so many Just Enough home runs last year, of course, he’s not hitting as many this year, but I thought there would be enough mitigating factors to lessen Betts’ drop off.  He’s young — power still peaking; he’s in a good park — Pesky/Wall; the lineup — oh, that lineup.  Didn’t play out that way for power and average.  His average is nearly fifty points off of last year, and his power will end likely down about five homers from last year.  Not huge?  Well, that is around a 15% drop — even after his big game yesterday of 3-for-5, 6 RBIs and his 20th and 21st homer.  So, what does all this mean for next year?  I think he’s going to be undervalued, and I expect a bounce back of sorts.  Likely closer to a 27-homer guy than his 30+ last year, but there’s no way he hits near-.265 as he is right now.  He’s hitting as many line drives as last year, hitting the ball harder, in general, and a .267 BABIP.  He’s gotta be one of the unluckiest hitters this year.  He’s basically hitting line drives up the middle, but a squirrel is knocking it down into a fielder’s glove.  Maybe he’s not Mookie Best this year, but I’m not counting out Mookie Ballgame yet.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Carlos Carrasco went 6 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.41, as the Indians won their 162nd game, and four-thousandth in a row.  Hayzeus Cristo, who wants some of the Indians right now?  Who?  Or, more appropriately with the Indians, how?  They’re fired up like their relatives just got a bad case of the pox and they’re all out of peace to put in their pipe.  Am I right?  Or am I just borderline racist?!  You tell me, Redskins fans!  By the way, you know your team name is racist when you can substitute in Redskins and it makes sense, i.e., “The Cleveland Redskins won last night, oh, I’m sorry, I mean Indians.”

Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

To anyone from Southeastern Massachusetts my title means something to you. If you’re anything like me it signifies the first time in your life you were severely disappointed. I can still remember packing into my parent’s station wagon with another family my parents were friendly with. We were headed to the “World Famous King Richard’s Faire“. Six year old Ralph couldn’t believe I was headed to THE fair of THE King Richard. I mean he was the best king ever, and here I am headed to his fair! Me, lowly 6 year old Ralph with a golden bowl cut! Welp, much like everything else in life since, it was a massive disappointment. What was supposed to be a day of jousts, knights, kings and princesses, quickly turned into reality. That reality was drunk bikers with swords, mutton, and the inescapable smell of feces and urine. The strangest part is it smelt just as much like urine as it did poop. It was as if the two smells were competing for dominance, each pushing itself to it’s limits but neither overtaking the other. Needless to say I never went back. I could have, but I did better things with my time like drinking or masturbating. What does this have to do with Garrett Richards and his most recent start? Well let’s just say I was excited, only to be disappointed. That’s my big market tease, trust me you’re bound to be disappointed…

Please, blog, may I have some more?