The Indians and Twins set sail for the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico to rid themselves of the cold weather.  Puig should really be from there, because white people pronounce each similarly awful.  “Welcome to Pwwwwwayto Rico!”  This was a homecoming for Francisco Lindor (1-for-5, 2 RBIs) and he promptly hit his 2nd homer, a moonshot that went about 275 feet (but, hey, it counts).  Also, taking advantage of the short fences was Michael Brantley (3-for-5, 2 RBIs, 1st homer), Jose Ramirez (3-for-5, 4th homer) and Yonder Alonso (1-for-4, 3rd homer).  The video of Lindor going around the bases is all that dem feels that baseball does right.  How does baseball not have a team in Puerto Rico?  Talk about something that is so obvious you have to be as ignorantly run as MLB to not see it as plain as day.  Move the fences back 25 feet in Hiram Bithorn Stadium, switch out the fungo bats for mofongo and let that star shine!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The AL East is “big boy” baseball. Four teams from the division ended 2017 in the top 10 for home runs in all of baseball. The Yankees were first with 241, the Orioles were fifth with 232, the Rays were sixth with 228….Hold up. The Rays? Yes, the Rays. The final team was the Blue Jays with 222. With great power, comes great responsibility. Unfortunatley, there was a lot of DGAF’ing, as the Rays were second in MLB for striking out and the Orioles were eighth. From a pitching perspective, it would makes sense then that three of the teams (BOS, NYY, and TOR) ended top 10 in strikeouts. TB ended 11th. Big boy baseball indeed. To cement the point home, four of the teams (BOS, BAL, TB, and NYY) were bottom 10 in sacrifice hits. TOR was 13th. Small ball, schmal ball. Chicks dig the long ball. Ladies and gentlemen, the AL East.

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Here, friend, are some catchers that I will be targeting at my 2018 fantasy drafts after the top options are gone.  I’m not going to get into the strategy of punting catchers.  Been there, half-drunkenly wrote that years ago.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2018 projections.  This is a (legal-in-most-countries) supplement to the top 20 catchers of 2018 fantasy baseball.  Now, guys and five girl readers, I am not saying avoid catchers like Salvador Perez if they fall, but to get on this list, you need to be drafted later than 200 overall, and, to preemptively answer at least seven comments, yes, I will go around the entire infield, outfield and pitchers to target very late.  Anyway, here’s some catchers to target for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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What could be more exciting than an entire Fantasy Baseball Podcast dedicated to the catching position? Who doesn’t want to own more catchers? Okay, okay, so I’m laying it on thick, but thick is the new thin, not sure if you heard. Low key thickness aside, January Grey or Anime Grey, not sure which Grey I’m getting, but either way our hero returns for another week of in depth fantasy baseball discussion. We fawn over Gary Sanchez, discuss JT Realmuto vs. Willson Contreras, breakdown Buster Posey’s value, and talk up Salvador Perez’s sleeper status amongst the top tier at the position. But it’s the recent “Evan Gattis is a full-time DH with catcher eligibility” story-line that hangs over the podcast like a storm cloud, eliciting reactions from us intermittently. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

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After going over the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball (clickbait!), it’s now time to turn our lonely eyes to you, Mr. Robinson Chirinos.  To paraphrase The Refreshments from their should-be smash hit, Fonder and Blonder, “Who said absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Pitches are thrown to catchers, but that doesn’t make my heart grow fonder.”  Later in that song, they sing, “I’ll be scratchin’ it down,” which sounds like it applies to all baseball players.  Or as the rhyming dictionary has never said, applies to oranges.  Any hoo!  The projections noted in the post are my own, and I mention where tiers start and stop.  I also mention a bunch of hullabaloo, so let’s get to it.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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Oh, I get it, it was a C lineup for a team whose B lineup ain’t an A lineup.  Understood, my dude, don’t be rude.  *smacks face*  No more rhyming and I mean it!  Anyone want a peanut?  But yesterday showed the flashes of greatness from Carlos Carrasco — 8 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 14 Ks, ERA at 3.29, and notched 200 IP for the first time in his career — that he is constantly hinting at, and I don’t want to end a sentence with at — dah!  If only he’d stop with the hinting.  Paint the corners — great!  Paint a picture of an ace — super!  But we’re not playing Pictionary here, stop with the hints!  He’s 30 years old already.  At what point is it no longer what he can do and rather this is who he is?  No question mark actually.  This is it methinks, I said dressed like a leprechaun.  Some amazing starts, some lackluster starts, some random DL stint, some of the parts is greater than whole.  Yes, I know I spelled sum wrong, don’t make me go back there!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Erasmo Ramirez was masterful Friday night in what was one of his best starts of the season going eight strong innings against the we-don’t-lose Windians, allowing just three hits, one earned run and striking out a season high 10 batters. Erasmowing down hitters? ErasMo Innings, Mo Strikeouts? ErasMost definitely more comfortable in Seattle than in Tampa? Ugh, I know. Headlines are hard you guys, I ran out of steam about three weeks ago and I’m sorry but that’s the best I’m going to do. However you headline it, after being wang-jangled around the Rays pitching staff, from starting rotation to bullpen and back again, Ramirez has settled nicely into the starting pitching job he deserves since being acquired by his old team, the Seattle Mariners, in July. He holds a respectable 3.79 ERA in 10 starts with the M’s since, but it’s the 52/13 K/BB ratio that really raises my eyebrow, Dwayne Johnson. If we remove a hiccup he encountered with a rough start in Houston, Erasmo has three quality starts in September with a 22/4 K/BB ratio. Yes, more please! He gets to finish his season strong with a favorable start next week in Oakland, and outside of the obligatory Matt Olson home run, I could see him pitching a successful outing there. At about 10% owned, Ramirez is a streaming option readily available in most fantasy leagues if you’re looking for an easy win to push you over the edge. And if you’ve been out of contention for weeks and are still reading this, first, Ramirez could be a decent late-late round sleeper to consider for 2018, and second, thanks for sticking with us and not jumping ship to fantasy football coverage (which you can check out here). You guys are the true Razzball MVPs. Except of course for the writing staff, obviously, they the real MVPs, especially me.

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

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There’s a common term sociologists use called, The Tide of Uze.  Everything that encompasses everyday life is on The Tide of Uze.  Brushing your teeth, walking your dog, Jose Abreu, they’re all on The Tide of Uze.  There’s small pleasures to be found with them, but they’re so consistent they are often lost amongst other more exciting things.  However, this past weekend The Tide of Uze was raised by Irma GAWD!, the fantasy football kickoff and me going to a Dodgers game with Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, a frequent commenter who was in town.  I didn’t rank those per their importance, I’ll leave that to you.  Big weekend for the world, right?  (Yes.) With the Tide of Uze raising, it lifts everything that was floating on its surface, which meant Jose Abreu had a career weekend.  On Saturday, he hit for the cycle, and, not to be outdone, he homered twice on Sunday (2-for-3, 3 RBIs, home run, 30 and 31).  His season numbers are now 85/31/90/.302/1.  All preseason I talked about how I wasn’t getting a 1st baseman in the first two rounds, so I was drafting Abreu everywhere, and I was nervous about it.  Let’s just say I’ve learned to appreciate The Tide of Uze.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Did you hear about the Native American who wouldn’t leave the bathroom?  He said home was where the TP was.  Hey, this Drunk Uncle Jokebook isn’t that bad!  August has been miserable for Jose Ramirez with a .200 average, zero homers and two steals until last night.  You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.  Thankfully, the eggs he broke last night were the goose eggs representing his power numbers as he went 2-for-3 with his 19th and 20th homer, and his 14th steal.  Babies babble on, they lookin’ for excuses.  Not here to make excuses for Jo-Ram, but this was his first terrible month in two years.  Even Rhysus rested one day a week.  His righty/lefty splits are both at .298, which is odd since he’s hitting .300.  Did he go 0-for-1 against someone who spit the ball at him?  *intern whispers in my ear*  I see, the .298 righty/lefty splits were before last night.  You learn something gnu every day.  Spelling will be tomorrow!  Assuming Jo-Ram rebounds for his standard month in September, it’s going to be hard to be too down on him in the non-sexual way.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I fired up the trusty Razzball Stream-o-Nator to glean its wisdom about the pitching slate for today, and nearly fell over. The top-ranked pitcher of the day? Kyle Hendricks versus the Phillies, which in itself is not surprising; the surprising part is that he is 8.9 Stream-o-Nator dollars ($SON 8.9), which is oscillating wildly on the brink of “don’t start this guy.” To put this into perspective, things get back to normal with SON’s Sunday’s prospects, with the top-rated pitcher of the day being Yu Darvish at $SON 33.6. Uhhh… can we punt pitcher altogether today? Sadly, FanDuel’s not going to let us do that and still enter a valid lineup (harrumph; the cheek of it). SON’s number 2 (so to speak) for the day is Ross Stripling ($6,000 on FanDuel; SON$ 7.5), who has actually been Quite Good as a long reliever, but this is a spot start and he has a limit of 55 pitches. So, as much as I’ve made it my life’s purpose to follow the Way of SON, I’m going risky and starting Gio Gonzalez (a terrifying $SON 1.3), while trying to compensate by paying up for batting, with games going down in hitter-friendly parks like Arizona today. A.k.a.: time to stack and hope!

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