Please see our player page for Trevor Richards 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.

Now that the stupid spring training is nearly over, we can focus on some real baseball. No more gas can pitchers or football players like Tim Tebow dropping fly balls. We get real baseball and more importantly, real statistics!  

In my first season with Razzball, I’m going to release a streaming article every weekend for the coming week. Seeing as how I play in numerous Yahoo Pro Leagues, we will focus on Yahoo ownership percentages. Our baseline in these articles is going to be 50 percent ownership or lower. While we will include two-start pitchers, the goal here is to find guys who are going to help your ratios. Streaming on Yahoo is critical and hopefully, this article will help lighten the load from the bums that blow up your ERA and WHIP. This opening weekend will be a bit tricky in terms of guessing who will start but we have a good idea of who should be on the mound and who they’ll be facing. So, with that in mind, let’s get started with some pitchers in San Diego. 

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When I was writing up the 2019 fantasy baseball rankings in December/January — or simply Janember — I couldn’t imagine what February and March had in store — ya know, Farch. Players come out of nowhere in Spring Training to cause us to stop and take notice.  Of course, I just told you to ignore Spring Training stats.  This is true; Spring Training stats are a lot like my pants; they are propped up by a small sample size.  However, or howmever if you’re trying to sound smart, it is important to stay on top of guys who are fighting, and winning, everyday jobs.  Of course, with my Oracle third eye, I saw all of this back in Janember, but my third eye got into a spat with my first and second eye at the optometrist’s office.  My first and second eye were taking the eye test and my third eye was like, “ECFYE–Yo, this shizz is way too easy,” and then my 2nd and 3rd eyes were like, “You’re like the Felicity Huffman of eyes and your cheating is going to have us incorrectly placed with better lenses than we should have.”  It got ugly, and they refused to work together to type up this post for a few weeks.  Finally, they all came to their senses — the sense of sight, specifically — hashed it out at a Friendly’s over a Fribble and we’re all good.  Never the hoo!  With Farch turning into a full-fledged March, it’s time for me to let you in on some thoughts and changes to the 2019 fantasy baseball rankings and what they could mean for your drafts:

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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!  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.

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Do you remember the last time you swung and missed?

Maybe it happened at your beer league softball game? Or maybe it was during last week’s company-wide meeting when you thought you’d tell that funny story about the peanut butter thing but screwed up the beginning, and nobody laughed—not even Amber from accounting who giggles at everything—so you sat down all hot faced, feeling stupid all day?

Or maybe you’re thinking of that day you finally asked out Amber from Accounting, and that time she did laugh?

Nobody likes to swing and miss, is all I’m saying. And nobody likes that awkward what-what of trying to save a story from a bad opening line. Here’s some baseball-related proof:

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With these top 100 starters for 2019 fantasy baseball, I’ve finished our (my) 2019 fantasy baseball rankings for positions.  Still coming will be a top 100 overall and top 500 to see how all the positions mesh together like your mesh Redskins jersey that meshes with your burgundy sweatpants.  Trust me, when you see how long this post is, you’ll be glad I kept this intro short.  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 overall and start this shizz all over again.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 starters for 2019 fantasy baseball:

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Sample sizes are everything, or so I’ve heard.  From other people.  Not about me.  I’m personally told sample sizes mean nothing.  Gently reminded, as I’m also reminded, it happens to everyone.  What is ‘it?’  Damn, that’s deep, which is not what I hear often when discussing sample sizes, but Tim Beckham (2-for-4, 3 RBIs) went deep twice yesterday (11th and 12th homer).  I’m talking about sample sizes more than a bachelorette party because Beckham had done nothing up until yesterday’s game.  At this point in the season, it’s not what has a guy done this month or past week, but what did he do yesterday and what can he do today?  Two homers tell me a guy is locked in.  *Beckham mimes being in a box* Perfect!  I’d grab him, sample size be damned.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Tampa Bay Rays super-utility man Joey WendleFAAB 2-4%, is posting one of the quietest stand-out stat lines of the past 30 days. He currently sits 14th on the wOBA leaderboards during that time with only 3 HR and 1 SB. However, those counting statistics couple with a 6% BB%, 8.4% K%, .233 ISO, and an overall profile that entices anyone hoping for a hot streak. Wendle provides a safe floor to hold on to with injuries popping up at the end of the season. He also possesses an intriguing ceiling that could include a lot of power with decent speed to close out the fantasy year.

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Rick Porcello was masterful Friday night, turning in one of the best, most efficient, pitching performances we’ll see all season, holding the New York Yankees to just one hit (a home run) and striking out nine for a complete game win. His only hiccups were a HBP to begin the game and a solo home run to rookie 3rd baseman Miguel Andujar, after which Porcello proceeded to retire the next 21 straight batters with ease. More like Siiiiick Rick, brah *shock emoji* Or Quick Rick? IMHO (the “H” stands for handsome) this was the best start we’ve seen from a Boston pitcher all season, and that’s saying something for a team with Chris Sale on it. The former Cy Young threw first-pitch strikes to 23 batters and threw 68 strikes of the the just 86 pitches to get through this one. Veintidos, which might be the worst nickname ever, moves to 14-4 with a 3.84 ERA and 1.16 WHIP.  Most amazing for me, however, was that a Yankees/Red Sox game took just 2 hours and 15 minutes! It was the fastest Boston/NY game since May 6, 1994! So keeping in that spirit I will wrap this up quick. The last two Sox pitchers to 1-hit the mighty Yankees line up facing the minimum batters were Pedro Martinez in 1999 and Roger Clemens in 1991, and those are some pretty great names to have in your company.

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

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Unfortunately we all put a lot of hope that the 21 year old Rafael Devers would live up to his massive potential this season, but he’s been oft-injured and oft-not hitting. Stash or Trash: Stash. Unless you’re in a 10 team league — if you have a better option available — then jump on him. Fill In: David Fletcher (3.4%.) With Ian Kinsler traded to the Red Sox, Fletcher could be due for a big boost in playing time. In 254 AAA ABs was hitting — wait, this can’t be right — .350?! Fletcher also hit 6 HRs so he has some power potential and stole 20 bases last season so he can even steal a few bags. He only has 1 of each in 114 ABs so far, but the .298 is pretty on par for him and the added at bats should result in more power and stolen base opportunities. 

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Every time Max Muncy hits a home run, a little piece of me dies. Okay, perhaps I’m being a bit melodramatic, but that’s exactly how I feel these days. It would be bad enough if I’d just read about Muncy and not taken a fantasy flier on him, but given that I was one of the folks actually suggesting him as a pick-up — because his past numbers were better than I thought they’d be after I looked them up, because Dave Roberts was finding a way to keep Muncy in the lineup even as the players he’d been replacing were returning from their injuries, because he just looked like he knew what he was doing at the plate — and STILL not wrapping my head around the notion that he’d be a productive player as the season progressed… well, that just makes a girl feel silly. And a bit sad.

In the deep league world, guys like Muncy can be insane difference-makers. I have a couple NL-only leagues where I’m hovering around 4th place, trying to scratch and claw my way to a money finish. If I had picked up Muncy in those leagues, he singlehandedly would have provided stats that would likely have me in 2nd place, where a strong last couple of months could put me over the top and give me a good shot at winning my league.

I’ll regret Muncy all season – and perhaps beyond in my keeper leagues – but nothing I can do about it now. Time to get back to my Muncy-less NL-only reality, scouring the waiver wire for anyone that might provide a boost between now and the end of September.  And speaking of the waiver wire, time to get down to business and take a look at some names who might be available for those looking for help in the deep-league world.

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