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The day after Christmas is called “Boxing Day” in the old country because that’s when men and women of status would emerge from their post-supernatal stupor and pummel each other in the street. I know this because I’m a history major. The day after Mother’s Day, while not an official holiday, has quickly become known in knowledgeable circles of fantasy baseball analysts as “My team can’t be worse than how yesterday went so let’s keep on trucking.” The greeting card industry doesn’t know how to market that yet, but I bet it’ll catch on by 2040 or so. That’s 16 more years of baseball tragedy you’ll live through. Just think — you start a dynasty league now, and by the time there’s a national holiday for your fantasy team, that team will be old enough to drive away from you, honking its horn in anger and blasting EDM-remixes of Metallica. At least they fixed Lars’ snare drum sound.

ENYWHEY. Let’s see if we can dig your team out of a hole.

That’s What I Like

Trevor Williams (WSH, SP, 3% Rostered): While everybody read OK Player back in the day, I was one of of the OGs reading KO Player. What is KO Player, you ask? Why, it’s everything you want out of a pitcher — strikeouts and outs. Ks and Os. And a player. Whether they have that dawg in them doesn’t really matter. This week, I shuttered the Whiffonator and replaced it with the KO Player, which is really just a rebrand of the same system but geared toward new demographics that I hadn’t been reaching before, like, “People under 50” and “People who know what Fortnite is.” Where did Trevor Williams pop up on the KO Player rankings? Right below Shota Imanaga. Sure, things are screaming false positive, much like your discount Covid test. It’s like Trevor Williams’ initials are hiding a sign: that TW shows the Trigger Warning that you shouldn’t trust this guy with your fantasy success. That said, he hasn’t allowed a homer all year, his baseball card stats are elite (1.96 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) and his SABR stats aren’t that bad (3.00 xERA, 2.50 FIP). Even after his expected regression, he’s still putting up like SP3/SP4 numbers, pro-rated on the year. Trouble with the TW is, you know something dangerous is coming. Williams has been in the league since the Obama era and he’s got maybe one usable fantasy year in all that time. Thanks, Obama. If you’re desperate for pitching depth, there’s a lot of intriguing stuff for Trevor Williams in 2024, but it comes with a ton of risk that he resumes his old form and belly flops into your backyard inflatable swimming pool. That’ll KO any player.

Cole Irvin (BAL, SP, 26% Rostered): Further demonstrating that 70% of leagues are already abandoned, the guy who just went on a 20+ IP scoreless streak is basically available everywhere. Much like my career skillset, Irvin is always the backup to the backup to the guy that you actually want. Starting your baseball life on the Oakland A’s will do that to you. Irvin has since moved over to the Orioles, the team purchased for $1.5 billion that has the 25th lowest payroll in baseball. If you take 2024 acquisitions Corbin Burnes and Craig Kimbrel out of the equation, the Orioles have basically the payroll of the Athletics, which should make Irvin feel right at home. What’s this all to say? Player who achieved little on one low budget team, moved to another low budget team with better practices, and seems to be doing a bit better than usual. Might as well copy/paste that Trevor Williams TW blurb down here — Irvin is a bit dangerous, but there’s a lot of things going for him. Even low K players can make a big impact for fantasy when they can crank IP, and Irvin might be allowed to do that this year.

Max Kepler (MIN, OF, 85% Rostered): Galileo once said that the Bible tells you not how the heavens go, but how to go to heaven. Kepler once said, “If I play a full season will you finally roster me?” The whole Twins team should be an add right now, and after my advice to add Willi Castro last week, his rostership maxed out and he rewarded managers with another week of .400 average and a dinger. Kepler’s a similarly well-known tale — your perennial UTIL player that starts whenever the Twins have a series against the Royals or Tigers. He hasn’t topped 500 AB in a year since 2019, and hasn’t played a “full” year since 2018. But this year…this could be it! The profile is always there — low(ish) K rate, high walk rate, and enough pop to make you put him on the watchlist. But that batting average…woof. I mean, I did that too when I was trying to make the most of my meaningless youth league at bats — if you just try and hit a homer every time, you’ll end up with some homers. But those other 20 ABs in-between homers where you fly out? That’s the killer. Add Kepler in all formats and see if his streak holds out — if he gets 500+ AB this season, you’ve got yourself a Top 100 player.

I’m the Problem – It’s Me

Corbin Carroll (ARI, OF, 100% Rostered): Back in the preseason, I gave you a bunch of other hitters who had batting profiles to the New CC (the Old CC is, of course, Sabathia). Some of those hitters included Gunnar Henderson (#7 on the Player Rater), Christian Walker (#35 on the Player Rater), and Ketel Marte (#20 on the Player Rater). There’s two points here: the first I made in the preseason is that Corbin Carroll’s profile didn’t look like a #3 overall pick — it looked more like a #100 guy. Where’s New CC on the Player Rater, anyway? #290, right ahead of Charlie Blackmon. Right, right. So, point the first — New CC wasn’t a top pick. [check emoji]. The second point is something I’ll make here — the New CC has a profile that can be successful. See  Christian, Ketel, and Gunnar above (also, check out their law firm if you can). Carroll’s profile shows maturation — more walks, fewer strikeouts, and fewer whiffs and called strikes. The guy is trying. But just because you throw your bat in front of the plate and bunt the ball to the pitcher doesn’t mean you’re on the path to regression. A lot of the New CC value was baked into his Speed, of which the Raw score is half this year of his 2023 campaign. And now that New CC isn’t getting on base or hitting for power, his profile looks a lot like, say, Myles Straw. Do you need a guy who will go 10/50 and bat .240? Sure. Is there a significant chance the New CC bell curve has an 8/25/.230 slot with 35% outcome right now? Sure does. Dynasty managers can hold, but the rest of y’all might be better served moving on from Corbin Carroll if you can get some value out of him.

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martinrostoker
martinrostoker
6 days ago

Hi Blair,

would you pick up Nester Cortés of the Yanks either or both Cristopher Scott?

who would you drop among Cristopher Sanchez, Reese Olson and Charley Mize?

another option is to cut one of my hitters?

Another option is to pass.

thoughts?

thanks!

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
Reply to  everywhereblair
5 days ago

thanks’

Chucky
Chucky
6 days ago

Who you starting this week H2H, C.C. With 6 games at home v Cin/Det v 4 R / 2 L or Westburg 5R/ 1L. Inc Miller/Castillo/ Kirby

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
6 days ago

Hi Blair,

1. I am weak at 3B with Rengifo who is on IL and Ryan McMahon. Would you pick up Cody Mayo?

2. should I Keep these two but figure out a way to grab Mayo?

3. What are your Thoughts on picking up Scott, Sem Robberson or Cade Povich? Do you think that any could be SP2 or SP3?

Always enjoy your responses!!

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
Reply to  everywhereblair
6 days ago

really great advice! thanks!!