After volunteering to have his first start of the season skipped last week (what a stand up guy!), Joe Musgrove opened his season with a seven inning gem, cruising through the Cinncinati Red Legs line up allowing just three hits and a walk and striking out eight for his first win of the year. Joe has always been a master with his control (just a 5% walk-rate in 2018 and he threw 18 first pitch strikes Friday night) but it’s them tasty strikeouts that make me go crazier than a shadow person in a Jordan Peele movie. The replicants have risen, and they’re here to steal all our best waiver wire acquisitions right before we’re about to click add. That’s why you have to grab Joe Musgrove while he’s still available in about 40% of fantasy leagues. Shadow Lupita Nyong’o would tell you Musgrove put up some of his best numbers down the stretch last year (August and September), when he started mixing in his off speed pitches more his strikeout rate increased as a result. She’s saying if he carries that mindset into this season he’s got all the tools to break out in a big way in 2019 and if Friday’s night performance was any indication (induced 17 swinging strikes) we’re about to see Pittsburgh’s prize from the Gerrit Cole trade finally pay off. Buy Joe Everything Musgrove!

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

The fantasy baseball season has officially kicked off and we have real, live draft data to sift through.  Numbers nerds, assemble! We have spreadsheets, charts and ADP, oh my! It was a busy first week here at Razzball Commenter Leagues HQ but I’ve gone through each league that has drafted and added their drafts to a master spreadsheet in order to calculate RCL ADP.  We’ve had eighteen leagues draft already, so there’s plenty of numbers to look at. We’ve had some close calls, but all leagues have filled so far and we’d love to keep it that way. We don’t want to axe any leagues, so if you notice your league is not full the day before the draft, hit us up on Twitter: @Razzball or @MattTruss and let us know.  You can also leave a comment in Grey’s most recent post and/or invite a friend to join. I know, sacrilege to tell your fantasy baseball friends you read Razzball, but sharing is caring. Speaking of sharing, jump below and I’ll share with you a fancy RCL ADP spreadsheet for your perusing pleasure.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
THOME: Not just a big sexy retired baseball player now employed by MLB Network. Steve Paulo, and/or Neil deGrasse Tyson, joins the sausage fest to discuss his brainchild, Thomeprojections.com. Steve deGrasse Tyson explains what an IMPACT player is and breaks down how they can be utilized for fantasy baseball success. And he shares one young offensive catcher his projection system loves for this season and nobody is talking about. Paulo also attempts to dumb down the inner workings of his projection system so even Donkey Teeth can understand it.
If you’re interested in sports investing, team win totals, simulation baseball, or just listening to a really smart guy talk about really smart guy things, this is the fantasy sausage pod for you.

Speaking of projections, be sure to check out Rudy’s tool, I mean tools, here.
Want to take me on in the RCLs? Join now, free to play!
Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

While Grey was off gallivanting in Jackson’s Hole sipping hot toddies and drafting his AL-Only team from heated chair lifts, I spent my day at a shady Illinois car dealership drafting my AL-Only team in that same league while getting fleeced on a used car. After I spent $35 on The Messiah, Adalberto Mondesi, Grey cracked, “I hope you get a better deal on that car than you got on Mondesi!” Oh real funny, Grey! That’s rich coming from the guy who spent $10 on Bryce Harper in an AL-Only league!

Nevertheless, my AL team took a turn for the worse when the car dealer tried to tack a $399 “Dealer Inventory Fee” onto the negotiated sale price. And that’s the story of how I spent $3 on Daniel Mengden and $1 on Chad Pinder in the all-important late stages of an AL-Only auction with the titans of the industry. Fortunately, our friend Scott White of CBS gave ya boy Donkey Teeth one more shot at the glory-hole in the NL-Only version of the same league. And this time, I wouldn’t be preoccupied disputing undisclosed dealer inventory fees while being stuck with auto-nominated Chad Pinders. Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and the tale of how I left Grey lusting after my Wong, again:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mets outfielder/grandfather Jay Bruce hit his second home run in the past three days last night, a 3-run shot that put the game out of reach and he finished the night 2-for-5, with his eighth home run and four runs batted in. When Jay has-a-day at Fenway that calls for the throwback “Bruuuuuuuuce!” Despite battling injuries all year long, the veteran is now batting .270 with four home runs and 12 RBI in September and he’s getting hot at just the right time for his team and fantasy owners. The Mets have won seven games in a row, you guys! That’s right, that same Mets team that won just five games in June are 7-3 over their last 10 games! Why do you care? Well, Bruce’s mighty power bat could be a big reason why! There was also a rat in the dugout and on the field at ‘Family Friendly’ Fenway Friday night, and I’m inclined to say the New York Mess probably brought the plague with them, but at least no one has hand foot and mouth disease…yet. Barring him catching the black plague, Bruce might catch fire in the next couple days because that’s what Jay Bruce does, so I’m telling you now that all the signs are there for the beginning of an absolute tear and maybe you should grab him before that happens. It’s easy to forget he hit 37 home runs between New York and Cleveland last year. I’m not saying he gets to 30 home runs, or even 20, but the Mets are hot, Jay sits in the heart of this line up and one of a few players capable of a 5+ homer week. He was a BUY and he’s available in over 75% of leagues and the team is Queens in a fantasy gold mine right now. I can’t believe I’m saying that, what a wild season!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

That’s the question that’s been on my brain as I worked on these rankings the past few weeks. I’m not over the past 10 years, not for next year, not for the next 10 years — right now — is Mike Trout still the #1 hitter this year? Even with a lengthy DL stint, Trout is still one of the top players in the league and is close to surpassing all of his numbers from last year’s (also) injury shrunken season (88 runs/31 HRs/2 SBs in 116 games so far this year vs. 92/33/22 in 114 games last year.) But while he missed 19 games in August this year, three players have kept chugging right along and putting up phenomenal numbers. Let’s take a look at these three challengers for the crown.

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I’ve been on the wrong side of Jon Gray ($16,800) all season long it seems like.  I drafted him in season long leagues, only to suffer through his miserable first half and drop him once he was sent to the minors.  Next, he was picked up by another team only to see him go on a run that was ace-like. Besides his most recent hiccup in LAA, Gray has given up more than 3 ER just once since his return.  Tonight, he gets the hapless Padres in Petco, which is a dream matchup for any pitcher, nevermind one with the strikeout upside of Gray. To make things even more juicy, the Padres are second in the league in team strikeouts, just one strikeout behind the White Sox.  Gray should be a staple of GPP lineups tonight and I could even see using him in cash.

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 you do.  It’s how we know you care!

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…You should occasionally look to the results,” goes the rest of the quote by Winston Churchill, but we’re going to ignore that last bit for now (although it’s generally good advice) and talk strategy for our lineup on Draft.com today. It’s an interesting day, given the pitching. We have a bunch of excellent – Cy Young-level excellent — pitchers who have the misfortune of playing in good hitting parks or facing good hitting teams. And then pitchers who would normally be only mid-tier suddenly get a bump because of the teams they’re facing or the parks they’re pitching in. In short, there’s a lot of pitching and you can probably afford to wait until your second round to grab a pitcher. So I’d aim for a top IF first, then a pitcher, then an OF. Let’s take a look at who’s out there for the grabbin’.

New to Draft? 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 you do. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?