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Spencer Strider is the best starter, right? I’m asking, because his mustache clouds my judgment. I know Everywhere Blair has Spencer Strider ranked number one in his top 100 starters, but Blair might get clouded by the mustache too. His mustache is very beautiful. More beautiful than mine? Who is to say? Yes! Fine, I am saying it. It is more beautiful than mine. I feel like it’s Rollie Fingers, Spencer Strider then Me. That’s it. That’s my mustache rankings. I’m not even number one for my own mustache rankings! I am pitiful! My best pitchers in baseball rankings likely start at Spencer Strider too. Yesterday, he went 8 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 13 Ks, ERA at 1.80. His ERA might be a little bit higher than Gerrit Cole’s. Strider is basically Jacob deGrom but without seven straight years of being unable to throw more than 75 IP. Strider is Ohtani, but without the 35-homer bat. Okay, that’s pretty good for Ohtani. I’m on the Struggle Bus going choo-choo like I’m on a train, because Strider’s mustache has me so mesmerized, trying to come up with a legit top five starters based on stuff alone. Eff it! Top 5 of the top of my head based on stuff and nothing else: Strider, deGrom, Ohtani, Greene, and Strider’s Mustache. Strider ranks twice in five starters! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sometime around the end of February, I contacted my Cards’ connection and they said Jordan Walker would break camp, and from that moment I donned my train conductor cap on the Jordan Walker hype train, grabbed the wheel (do trains have steering wheels?), put my foot on the gas (again, pedals?) and started screaming choo-choo-choo out the window (is it up to the conductor to say ‘choo-choo-choo?’) and went full speed ahead. Topping off the hype train sundae (clearly, I know a lot about trains), I drafted him this past weekend in Vegas at the Main Event with the minimal pick at 97. And it felt effin’ glorious!

Or as Kenny from Rotowear aptly captured:

This weekend we found out Jordan Walker did, indeed, make the Cards’ Opening Day lineup. You want this year’s Julio Rodriguez? It’s prolly Corbin Carroll. You want this year’s Bobby Witt Jr.? It’s maybe Corbin Carroll too. So, who is Jordan Walker? I’ve haven’t seen a guy like Jordan Walker since rookie Giancarlo Stanton. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s on the Struggle Bus with inside pitches, and there’s some chance here that he’s nothing more than 25/10/.240, but the upside is, brucely, as big as he is.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m having this weird feeling. It’s not gas; I know what that feels like. It’s not anger that my neighbor planted a tree that smells like semen on my property line. It’s…I think…extreme sadness? I hate this team. I never love my AL-Only teams. Sometimes, I’m okay with them. Sometimes, I’m unhappy with them but pretend to be okay with them, like a sad clown with a painted-on smile. But hate an AL-Only team? No one good is even in the AL, so, yeah, I guess it happens. I drafted so many guys I don’t love, because Rudy’s values kept whispering in my ear, “Take this guy, Grey, he’ll be good for you. Like brushing your teeth and Brussels sprouts.” Brussels sprouts are little cabbages that I don’t like, and the draft was 4 1/2 hours long — no one should brush their teeth that long! Not even Julia Roberts! Drafting guys I hate? What’s going on with me? Something’s comin’ over, mmm mmm. Something’s comin’ over, mmm mmm. Something’s comin’ over me. My baby’s got a secret — he hates his AL-Only team, which I sing while wearing a bridal gown as I roll around on an empty stage. I also cut out each player’s name I drafted and throw them at my face like wedding rice. Is this metaphor still going, you ask yourself. Yes, it is! So, I drafted against Scott White at CBS, a bunch of Razzball guys and a lady (hey, Laura!), and a few ‘perts from other sites. This league is deep so hold onto ye olde hat. (If you want a shallower league, play against me and hundreds of your closest buddies in the Razzball Commenter Leagues. Or closet buddies, if you’re reading fast and/or experimenting.) Anyway, here’s my 12-team AL-Only team and some thoughts:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*takes a long inhale* You smell that? No, not your sweatpants you’ve been wearing for the last week. Well, them, but I’m talking about the smell of the 2023 fantasy baseball draft season. So fresh, so clean. So ulcer, so sniped. It’s good to be back to one of the best times of the year. It’s so much better than “Playing your 9th outfielder because everyone is hurt” time of the year. I’ve even begun rolling out my 2023 fantasy baseball rankings on our Patreon. So, me and a bunch of Razzball commenters got together and took part in an NFBC Draft. Will get another draft started prolly around January/February, if you wanna take part, and, of course, Happy New Year (of drafting fantasy baseball)! Anyway, here’s my NFBC 2023 fantasy baseball draft recap; it’s a 15-team, two-catcher, draft and hold league that goes 50 rounds and has no waivers:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Hey, kid, welcome to the bigs! Bigs are what we now call the bags, because they’re big. During the lockout of 2022, in effort to fix the game, MLB started using couch cushions at each base and the frame of the couch as home plate. So, in the bigs, you just collect the cushions as you round the bases and put them in the couch to score at home. See, ‘home’ is already there in the name, and the MLB owners were smart enough to realize that. Plus, it helps them reach a new demographic. Kids love furniture.” Wakes with a sudden jolt. Whoa, I was having a nightmare that MLB was in a lockout, and instead of figuring out the financials for both sides, they were making the bases bigger. That wasn’t a nightmare? Oh, crap, I’m going back to sleep. Though, now I kinda understand Rudy’s hitter projections for Oneil Cruz. He’s 7’4″, so bigger bags means he just needs to make one step towards 1st base, hence Cruz’s projected .282 average. So, the TGFBI is an industry league of ‘perts from all different sites, competing against each other. The league is a 30-round draft, 15-team, mixed league with weekly waivers. Kinda like the Draft Champions, 15-team leagues we do at NFBC. By the way, who wants to do another league? I need to draft to fill this pre-pre-preseason. (If you want to compete against me and a few hundred of your worst frenemies, here’s our Razzball Commenter Leagues signups.) So, here’s my 15-team, mixed league, TGFBI draft recap and some thoughts:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In solidarity with MLB players, I drove to a cliff on the PCH, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, stepped out of my Sebring while it was still in neutral, locked the doors, and watched as it rolled off the cliff, crashing into the roof of a billionaire’s beachfront home. To illustrate the MLB owners’ position, I went to a Chipotle, and on a sign clearly labeled “pull,” I pushed for hours, screaming, “What happened? Am I locked out? This is totally unfair!” For the fans, I took out a full newspaper ad, pleading for both sides to go back to the negotiating table, and that was seen by the 12 people who still read a hard-copy of the paper. We. Are. United! Which is what I was shouting as I was escorted away from the Delta terminal.

So, no great news has come out about the MLB lockout. I’m not a labor reporter, and won’t bore you while pretending to be. This is an evolving shituation that could change tomorrow or six weeks from now. My guess is there will be movement in the landmark case of sooner vs. later. Hopefully, it won’t last much longer. *wavy lines* The year is 2081. After a 60-year lockout, a deal is finally struck between the 80-year-old player rep, Wander Franco, and Rob Manfred Jr. Jr., the 15-year-old MLB commissioner-slash-influencer who opens graves and harvests human bones for petroleum on TikTok. *wavy lines* Yikes, what kind of dream was that?

If you want this broken down to you in the simplest of terms, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is we already lost one week of games. The good news is you’re not Rob Manfred.

“It’s all about the fans.” — Rob Manfred, walking past a store that sells ceiling fans. What if Rob Manfred’s real job was to make Bud Selig look good in retrospect? Makes ya think, huh? Ain’t sayin’ anything groundbreaking here, but when MLB owners aren’t losing money by losing games, the system is broken.

Okay, back to fantasy, as I said last week, I was updating my 2022 fantasy baseball rankings, but later on I discussed it with Rudy and we’re holding tight for now, because, honestly, one week missed of games isn’t going to change anything. Two weeks isn’t really anything, either. Later this week, maybe I’ll change my mind and remove a couple weeks from the projections. Maybe I’ll leave the positional rankings’s projections on a 162-game scale and only change my top 500. A few players might actually be benefited by the lockout, and there was some news. So, let’s get on the other side of this “Anyway,” and get to it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2022 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m a big fan of the everyman. I consider myself the everyman. I’m every man’s everyman. A pioneer of normcore. Track pants and a blinking light on my car’s dashboard that either means my seatbelt isn’t on or I need oil. That is me. What better way to elevate the Everyman Culture, then to take part in a tourney where no one is smarter than anyone else. Enter the RazzSlam, a Best Ball tourney. Every everyman likely knows what a Best Ball league is, but, if you don’t, it’s when you draft a team and the computer manages it for you by choosing who are your best players, and you get those stats. It’s basically one fantasy league removed from the robots taking over and killing us all. Well, the last laugh is on you robots, cholesterol is beating you to the punch! Kinda love that Razzball is putting on a tourney (hosted by NFBC — thank you!) that no one really has any clue how to strategize. A true everyman experience. Oh, I’m sure there’s a few people who think they know the correct strategy for Best Ball, and a few of them might be right, but there’s an under 1% chance they know why they’re right, and it isn’t just luck. In some ways, Best Ball leagues are a lot like Best Ball strategies. Throw a ton of them out there and a few good ones will rise to the top through sheer force of players’ performances and nothing you’re actually doing. That’s the fun. Anyway, here’s my RazzSlam, a 42-round, Best Ball 12 team draft recap:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The great thing about studying relievers is you only have to focus a half-inning at a time, if you’re watching the games as you go. The bad thing about studying relievers is you can only do so half-inning at a time, if you’re watching the games as you go. 

This year’s relief article involved more legwork than any before for a number of reasons, one being the void where pro baseball used to be. But it’s more than just the lockout, of course. My processes in general have evolved over time, and now I’m fast enough moving in and out of the game logs, finding the right inning to jump toward on the time scroll. I’m better at eyeballing what inning looks like it might be the sixth, just given the size of that time-scroll along the bottom. I feel like Dr. Who. Time and space are limitations of the past. I watched three weeks of Indigo Diaz’s career the other day, just in between and alongside doing other stuff: making bacon for my daughter, jotting down the bones of a lesson plan, writing a relief pitcher article in a separate window, doom-scrolling the socials on my phone, flipping the eggs, clicking back in as Diaz encounters some early wildness, digging for the next game, three days later in a different city, finding where he entered the game, and zooming to that moment in my tardis (laptop). 

Yes, dear reader, it’s a brave new world out there. Some of these MILB.tv feeds are terrible, mind you. Blimp view. My 2D video game brain is okay with it, like playing an RBI Baseball match-up on Nintendo: Clemens v. Tudor, but that’s so much more than I could’ve seen 25 years ago when I was 13 and burrowing deep into the baseball universe for the first time. Really seeing it from the ground up for the first time. My dad took us to see the Clinton Lumberkings when we were very young. Got some cards signed. And I guess the dig actually began in 1989, when my brother and I traded the Upper Deck Rookie Cards of Ken Griffey Jr. and a Gary Sheffield for the Upper Deck Rookie Card of . . . drumroll . . . Jerome Walton. I was six. I would, obviously, remember it forever. 33 years later, here we are. Sorry for the old-guy anecdote. It’s just, I couldn’t believe the breadth of my powers this week, compared to my powers then. I am defeated by time in so many other, very real ways, and yet, here I am, farting in its general direction as I prepare what has become my favorite article to create every year. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is the top 100 starters for 2022 fantasy baseball? This is the top 100 starters for 2022 fantasy baseball! Which means. Dot dot dot. This is the end of the 2022 fantasy baseball rankings. I can reclaim my fingers! Wait, I still have to do the top 100 overall and top 500 overall. Hmm, that was short-lived. Subscriptions are up and running, and they come with our Fantasy Baseball Draft War Room, now for auction leagues, snake leagues, Best Ball leagues and AL-Only and NL-Only leagues. Here’s Steamer’s 2022 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2022 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. As always, my projections are included, and where I see tiers starting and stopping. If you want an explanation of tiers, go back to the top 10 for 2021 fantasy baseball and start this shizz all over again. Anyway, here’s the top 100 starters for 2022 fantasy baseball:

NOTE: All 2022 fantasy baseball projections are based on a 162-game season, and will be until we hear definitively there will be less games, due to the CBA. Also, I’m going on the assumption the NL is getting the DH.

NOTE II: All my rankings are currently available on Patreon for the price of a Starbucks coffee, if you get one of those extra grande frappuccino jobbers. Don’t wait for the rankings to come out over the next month, and get them all now.

NOTE III: Free agents are listed as just that and not yet projected. Once a guy signs, I will write out their blurb and add in projections, or remove them, if they sign in an unfavorable place. They are ranked currently where I think they might be if they sign on for a full-time job.

Please, blog, may I have some more?