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! Also pay attention to where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign… Note that those two signings can instantly eliminate some of the position battles detailed herein.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Cardinals acquired Paul Goldschmidt for Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly and Andrew Young. Or as they’re known in St. Louis, “Giggle, giggle, WUT.” I’ll go over the “Giggle, giggle WUT” part of the trade after the lede jump. As for Goldschmidt, Au Shizz was “aw shizz” until the beginning of June last year, as he hit .144 in May. However, Au Shizz’s BABIP in May was .186, and his strikeouts boomed to 31.5%, because he was in an extended slump. He still ended the season more valuable (33/7/.290) than, say, Freddie Freeman who played 162 games (23/10/.309). Au Shizz still feels pretty risk-free, like you getting to the airport four hours before your flight. At least less risky than your November charity pledge to go “condom free” or dressing as Jar Jar Binks for a Star Wars convention. For 2019, I’m giving Au Shizz the projections of 102/30/105/.284/8 in 574 ABs. He also scrambles up the Cards’ infield a bit. Carpenter picks up his tools and screws Gyorko out of a 3rd base job, and Jedd’s on the wrong side of the Wong 2nd base platoon. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2019 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
After blowing a save Monday night, Hunter Strickland broke his hand, punching a door. Apparently, he doesn’t know how to close a door either. He also doesn’t know what punch outs are. He can’t figure out pitching from punching. He confused saves with staves. I can go on. He puts the loser in closer. A fit for all rages. Okay, you get it. He’s going to miss 6-8 weeks, needing surgery on his hand. What kind of idiot punches a door with their pitching hand?! This was his season to finally prove he could close in the majors, and he threw that away. He’ll likely get replaced by Sam Dyson (who got the 2/3 IP, 0 ER save last night) or Tony Watson, and Dyson, Watson or Mark Melancon will take the job, run with it, and Strickland’s literally ruined his career. “To be continued” for Strickland should always read, Moron. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Nick Kingham retired the most batters to start a game since 1961 in a debut. Elias Sports Bureau also said, “There were sixteen cracks in the 5th floor’s tile closest to the bathroom, which is a new record for cracks in a tile.” Yo, Elias Sports Bureau might have OCD. On our top 100 starts of 2018 chart, Kingham registered in the top 10. According to Baseball-Reference, he’s the first pitcher to debut with 7+ IP and not have a baserunner reach scoring position. According to Kent Tekulve, Kingham was the first pitcher in a 1979 Pirates uniform not high on cocaine since Tekulve. In all, a terrific debut for Kingham — 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 9 Ks. Originally, the Pirates planned on a one-and-done, hit-and-run, wham-bam-thank-you, young-man start for Kingham and see him get sent right back down, but they rightfully are having him travel with the team, and appear to be keeping him up. His Triple-A numbers (10.7 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 1.59 ERA) say this is the right move. I’d hold off for now in mixed leagues, but you should cyclops him with a monocle. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Reds put on a hit parade Friday night scoring 15 runs on 20 hits lead by Jose Peraza who went 4-for-6 with two home runs, and two runs batted in. It was only a matter of time before this offense woke up. And by this offense, of course I mean Joey Votto who was 3-for-3, with his fourth homer. Eduardo Suarez was also 4-for-6 with two runs and an RBI, Scooter Gennett had three hits, and Scott Schebler and Adam Duvall added two hits a piece. Votto has now homered in in his fourth straight game, and I bet you’re thinking to yourself, “Self, I thought this lede was about Peraza, not the Reds bats and Votto.” Silence, knave! It all starts with Votto, whom Peraza hits in front of, and I can’t very well tell you to buy Votto now, unless his owner’s been in a coma for the past four days and is ready to trade immediately after waking up. That seems unlikely. But with Jose’s ownership at just 20%, it seems more likely he’s still available in your league. He’s hit safely in five straight games hitting .387 with the two dingers, nine runs and a steal in the past week and has quietly raised his average to .286. After hitting .259 last year with 23 steals he was a popular sleeper pick because of his speed. However, the .719 OPS is a whole lot of meh and I’d like to see him stealing a lot more bases before I fully endorse him as a buy, but I’m watching him closer than the darkest moments of Avengers Infinity War. You don’t need Tony Stark’s super intelligence or the Vision’s, uh, err, vision to see that Jose Peraza could be worth a look.
Here’s what else I saw Friday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s nothing more frustrating in fantasy baseball than injuries to your studs, and nowhere is that magnified to the extent that it is in the deep-league world. Sure, it may not be fun or exciting having to replace Christian Yelich with Nick Markakis for a couple weeks in a standard league, but just think about how us deep-leaguers feel. I’ve got a few NL-only leagues where I need to replace some combination of Yelich, Wil Myers, and Eugenio Suarez… where the top “hitters” on the waiver wire are Greg Garcia and Mike Tauchman. I know that situations like this are why many people don’t understand the appeal of deep leagues in the first place, and I get it: I have at least one league where, due mostly to injuries (and perhaps one or two bad decisions ;), I am pretty much dead in the water for the season in the second week of April. But I shall press on, despite the fact that the free agent pool in most leagues is about as drained and ugly as it will be all year. All of the early surprise performers have been scooped up, and there hasn’t been time yet for new faces of deep-league hope to emerge. The following list isn’t pretty or snazzy, but it’s what we’ve got: a handful of names to consider for the injury-riddled — or otherwise desperate — in AL-only, NL-only, and other deep leagues.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Over the passed six months I have been imprisoned, suspended in static animation in the maximum security Galactic Fantasy Federation facility, falsely accused of recommending buys I would never endorse and urging people to sell players that I actually hold very dear. A couple lucky shots from a make-shift ion blaster I was able to telepathically build in space incarceration using spare pieces from my Mark VII Quantum E-Meter and I have escaped at last. I am writing this through a secure, untraceable VPN so I can provide you loyal readers with the fantasy information you’ve come to expect from me, even if its information so sensitive and secret that the Galactic Fantasy Federation would do anything to stop me from sharing it. I have time for a quick Friday recap before the space dogs come sniffing around my hiding hole again. And I do mean quick–just eight games on a Friday!? Y tho? Regardless, one of the few games played featured the Pirates of Pittsburgh’s plundering of the poor Cincinnati Red Legs. Unlike Sea of Thieves, this Pirates game actually featured a lot of action. The Bucs scored 14 runs on 15 hits, lead by 25-year-old third baseman Colin Moran who collected four hits, scoring three runs and driving in three. I wrote about Moran last July but that may have been a bit premature. So many super prospects in Houston, it’s hard to stand out. In Pittsburgh, almost every prospect they’ve had over the past five years has been disappointing so the bar is much lower for Colin to excel. The youngster is slashing .318/.348/.545 through five games started with a homer and 8 RBI, but it’s that sexy .893 OPS that makes me raise my eyebrow, Dwayne Johnson! It’s still early, but Colin should have plenty of opportunity to show what he’s got in the surprisingly exciting Bucs line up. Buy Moran, don’t be moronic! I think he’s worth a flier in all leagues, but don’t tell the Galactic Federation I told you that! Moran is Colin you to pick him up!
Here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Here we are, everyone! And by everyone, of course I mean the few souls out there who still have something to play for in a deep league over the next week and a half. And by here, I mean my last NL/AL only column of the season.
It’s been quite a year. I have much more to say about it, and I probably will over the next few months. While everyone is off playing fantasy football, enjoying the holiday season with family and friends, and generally braving the long winter months ahead, I’ll be hunkered down, obsessively thinking about and occasionally sharing my thoughts on the fantasy baseball season that is behind us, as well as the shiny new one that lies ahead of us in 2018.
But for now, I need to clear my head a bit. I’m still having trouble processing the fantasy seasons that Ryan Zimmerman and Gio Gonzalez have had, and am not sure when I will be able to move on from the burn I’m feeling, as I think this is literally the first year in the last five or six that I haven’t owned both of them in at least one NL-only league. Thinking about the way they treated me in the past, all while watching them wine and dine their current owners with more home runs and quality starts than they know what to do with – well, as with any nasty breakup, it has not been easy. But, it’s time to move on… and if nothing else, I can spend the winter daydreaming about who my 2018 imaginary fantasy baseball boyfriends will be (look out, Zack Godley, I may be coming after you!)
And, if you are one of the lucky ones soldiering on in a deep NL or AL-only league over the next ten days or so, here are some fellows that are owned in only a few percent of leagues… but who, if all the stars somehow align correctly, could end up giving you that magic stolen base or 3-RBI game that puts you over the top.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Dee Gordon went 4-for-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and stole his 55th base. Mean’s while, his teammate and my crush-bae, Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and hit his 55th homer. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last time two teammates hit their 55th homer and stole their 55th base in the same game was Jimmie Foxx and Sugar Cain in 1932. Though, historians, led by Ken Burns, have said Sugar Cain played on a doctor’s prescribed cocaine named Hurry Coke, a precursor to Cherry Cola. Sugar used to bunt with one hand while rubbing his gums with his other hand. Any hoo! Dee Gordon is carrying my NFBC team in steals, where I’m in first, and SAGNOF, and all of that, but steals are pathetic this year, as they were last year. 25 players have 20 or more steals, after 28 last year, but with a few players at 19 steals, we should get to 28 players again. However, 14 guys stole 30 bags last year, and, this year, we’re at six players. I will now laugh hysterically to avoid crying. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
With only seven games on the schedule today we’re spending the bulk of our money on starting pitching, because once you get passed the top 3 arms, there’s not a whole lot left. Clayton Kershaw, $26,700 at Philadelphia and Patrick Corbin, $18,600 at San Diego are on top of the Streamonator and I’m feeling both matchups. They’re both lefties, the’ye both facing two terrible offenses who strike out more than most teams in the league and they’re the cream of the crop tonight. It’s Kershaw’s four start coming off the DL, so he should be in a good groove and he won’t be on a pitch count less than a 100 pitches. The reins should be off tonight and I’m thinking he’ll come away with a W and double digit Ks. Corbin got rocked for 8 ER in 4.1 innings at home against the Padres back on September 8th. Look for a monster bounce back game in pitcher friendly Petco tonight, as I’m sure he’s been studying tape. Now that we’ve spent a good chunk on our pitchers. let’s get creative and see what we can do on the offensive side.
New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m not a woman.
I’m not a man.
I am something that you refer to as Fantasy Master Lothario.
I’ll never beat you (except in fantasy, that is my pledge).
I’ll never lie (except about how much I once liked Josh Rutledge).
And you’re evil but unless Rougned Odor disappoints I’ll forgive you!
Cause baseball will start 4 2!
*takes a long inhale* Can you smell the freshly cut grass? No, because it’s still freezing in half the country? Where’s your climate change now, Al Gore?! I’m so hyped up about Opening Day, I’m slangin’ bean pies like Ice Cube and picking up and dropping catchers for s’s and g’s! *goes to my Yahoo fantasy team page*
— Razzball (@Razzball) April 2, 2017
All right, so I guess I’m not making changes to my Yahoo team on this glorious of splendiferous days. This day that is more beautiful than Giancarlo’s tukis. This day that is the most frou-frou of all catchpennies! Okay, I think my thesaurus steered me wrong on that last one. On a sappy level, this was a weird offseason, and I’m glad to put the real world in my rearview mirror for six glorious months, and worry about nothing but winning as many fantasy baseball leagues as I can, and helping everyone along the way. Now who was it again that had Greg Bird (0-for-4, but batted third; yes, you should own him) ranked higher than everyone else?! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I hate early drafts. There’s absolutely no skill involved in drafting on March 3rd and avoiding Ian Desmond due to a broken hand that hasn’t happened yet. It’s like not getting on a subway car and you end up marrying a Cougar vs. Coldplay’s Chris Martin and you keep forgetting your Apple ID so you can’t download a song you really want to hear vs. getting free iPhones hand-delivered by Bono. Admittedly, I never saw the movie, Sliding Doors, but I picture the plot being something like that. I want to marry Chris Martin and get iBonos! Man, this effin’ sucks. Looks like I’m going to have to battle just a wee bit harder in Yahoo’s Friends & Family draft where I took Desmond. *cries uncontrollably* But I don’t want to battle harder! The tears running down my face have fallen onto my desk and are spelling out, “Why can’t you have anything mice?” Mice? What the hell are you talking about tears? I’ve updated my top 20 overall, top 100 and my top 60 outfielders. The Fantasy Baseball War Room is updated, and, since Mark Reynolds will be the Rockies’ 1st baseman, I’ve updated the top 20 1st basemen. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?