This year the Razzballies are going without a host. I, Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it) am merely a long-form presenter. Remember, you can’t spell ghosting without host. You also can’t spell hostage, but no one is forcing you to stay for the award show. You’re going to want to, though, because without these awards, you’ll have no idea who was the best and worst hitters and pitchers this year, and you’ll be left giving out your own awards and no one cares if your “Low sodium tomato soup in a sourdough bowl” won your “Whitest Lunch Of All-Tme” award. Stop making up fake awards! For all of you winners and losers, I ask that you please keep your acceptance speeches down to a minimum. As a hero once said, “I’m going to thank everyone in private.” So, before I’m talking to no one but a room full of seat-fillers, here’s the year-end awards for the best and worst of fantasy baseball:
Fantasy AL Most Valuable Player – Before we announce our first winner, I just want to introduce the accountants from Kipnis, Zimmerman and Zimmermann. Stop giving them the evil eye, German Marquez! Your AL MVP this year, and for the first time in history — or at least as far back as I can remember (3 years) — is a pitcher. The incomparable, the inimitable, the nonpareil candy, Justin Verlander! The runner-up is his teammate, Gerrit Cole, another pitcher. In fact, to find an AL MVP hitter you have to scroll down to Rafael Devers, who barely gave $35 of fantasy value. After him, comes Alex Bregman and Mike Trout, which isn’t surprising. The fourth most valuable AL hitter? You guessed it, of course, Jonathan Villar. Haha…*pours gasoline on award envelopes*…you’re all gonna burn in hell!
Fantasy NL Most Valuable Player – The NL Fantasy MVP, like the AL one, doesn’t take into account team wins and “intangibles.” Nope, here at Razzball HQ, we look at tangibles! And those aren’t fungible! This is commonsensible. Uh-oh, I’m stick in an ‘ible loop, what can I do? Listen to the Bible on Audible? What’s this in my pocket? A rookie card of Oddibe McDowell? Okay, I’m done. The winner is Ronald Acuña Jr. Tildaddy was obviously the number one hitter in both leagues, because I just gave the last award to a freakin’ pitcher! Pay attention! At the very least, Tildaddy tells you to stop paying attention.
Fantasy AL Cy Young – This winner shouldn’t be shocking to you, or Kate Upton, it’s her brother during Flowers in the Attic cosplay…Justin Verlander! Our 1st double winner (out of three awards, so there’s a chance here for him to take home a lot of gold today, especially if he stole the most bases and saved the most games. He didn’t do that? Oh, well, then no chance for more gold. Not to mention, these are just gold-plated.)
Fantasy NL Cy Young – If the NL dominated for hitting and the AL dominated for pitching — which is exactly what we all thought. Lowercase yay for the world not making any sense! — the best NL pitcher was barely in the top 30 overall on the Player Rater. Guys and five girl readers, I know you’re not here for superlatives, just cold hard facts, but that’s effin’ crazy. No wonder my 4.15 ERA in my NL-Only leagues was middle of the pack. Congrats on your win, Stephen Strasburg, but you were the tallest midget in the room. No offense to Jose Altuve. When I go over all pitchers in my recap, I’ll have more to say, but let me leave you with this: James Paxton wasn’t good, but he was still 25th for starters, but not in the top 100 overall.
Fantasy AL Least Valuable Player – So many great contenders for this award. Khris Davis inhabited the body of his namelganger, Chris Davis; Carlos Correa has never met an expectation he couldn’t limbo under; Jose Ramirez had a 1st half to remember if you want to remember why you hate him, and if Andrew Benintendi wanted to cause us to lose our hair at a more rapid rate, then call me Mr. Clean. However, there was only one guy who truly was the cream of the crap — my one-time boo-bae, Giancarlo Stanton. Giancarlo isn’t here to accept the award because there’s two steps up into the auditorium and his knees couldn’t handle them.
Fantasy NL Least Valuable Player – Last year, Corey Seager won this award, and somehow I still ranked him 45th overall in the preseason this year. I deserve a Least Valuable ‘Pert award, but the guys from CBS are in possession, and possession is nine-tenths of the law. You should hear the CBS guys rail on Donkey Teeth in their preseason podcast (it starts around 43:00) because he drafted Acuña 5th overall, talking about how DT was a total idiot. Well, now that I write it out–No, I mean, c’mon. Anyway, Seager was bad again, but the highest ranked hitter in the NL for me with the worst return was…And he wasn’t that bad…though, was still bad enough…Manny Machado! No, that’s fine, Manny, take your time coming up to get the award.
Most Valuable Player Based On Draft Price – There was one guy who was either barely drafted prior to March 15th or drafted around 300th overall. One guy who singlehandedly won people leagues. One guy who only needed one home run call signifier — Albombso! Pete Alonso, may you be blessed from now until the day you stop hitting homers, then you can eff off.
Fantasy POS – Because Least Valuable Player doesn’t do one man justice. One man who ruined us due to an illegal use of trust. A guy who is still swinging at a curve ball in the dirt four months after it was thrown. The one and only (thankfully)…Travis Shaw! We will be shipping an x-ray of Pablo Sandoval’s stomach to Shaw, because a few years back Sandoval ate this award.
Fantasy Hitter You Most Likely Dropped and Picked Up A Dozen Times – “I’m over Joc Pederson, not even sure why I drafted him….Hmm, he seems to be hitting, maybe I should grab him…I’m grabbing Joc Pederson! Wow, this guy is amazing!…Is this the breakout we all thought would happen? Holy crap, he’s so amazing! Hmm, he seems to have cooled off, goodbye, Joc Pederson…Hello, Pederson!…Goodbye, Joc!…Hello, Joc!…Now, I’m smelling my jock! Now I’m smelling my computer screen where it says Joc on my team and it seems like roses!…I’m in a waiver wire time loop!…Someone help me!”
Player You Had Forever and Most Likely Should’ve Dropped – There were worse guys than Daniel Murphy, but for the promise of Coors and what Murphy ended up doing, you were better off with anyone off of waivers in all but the deepest of leagues, and, in those leagues, you were more ‘stuck with’ Murphy vs. ‘enjoyed owning’ him. He had a year that was about the same as (turn away if you owned Murphy, because this is gonna hurt) Adam Frazier.
Player On The Top Of Your Waivers That You Just Couldn’t Bring Yourself to Pick Up – Max Kepler. He was as valuable as Nicholas Castellanos, Adalberto Mondesi and Sonny Gray. And you fought yourself to pick up anyone but Kepler for the better part of three months. Runner-up: Kevin Pillar. Or simply Maxin Killer. Hmm, maybe not that portmanteau.
Pitcher You Streamed So Much You Ended Up Owning Him – “Okay, I’m going to give a Whirlybird Streamer Streamstein to Ryan Yarbrough, but if he’s bad, I’m losing him so fast it’s gonna hurt him.” And that’s the story of how you ended owning Ryan Yarbrough for two months. (Only for that trust to backfire in the worst of ways in September.)
Player You Were Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop From, But Thankfully It Never Did – “I’m fine, fine, fine, fine — FINE! — with Lucas Giolito not quite throwing as good in the 1st half. I know not to expect it.” Then he had a 12.5+ K/9 in the 2nd half and a barely 2 BB/9.
Player You Were Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop From and It Ended Up Kicking You in the Groin – “Josh Bell carried my team into the All-Star Break and, against my wife’s wishes, I named our kid, Josh Bell. It doesn’t really go with our last name, Poshwell. It sounds like Dr. Seuss, but I don’t care. He’s the greatest living player in our modern era!” Then his 2nd half happened.
Player You Were Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop From and When It Did You Were Okay With It – Cody Bellinger. Fine, he wasn’t as good as his 1st half, but since he put up a full season’s worth of stats in the 1st half, he didn’t have to do much in the 2nd half, and he was able to do a bit more than that. If only a bit.
Player You Traded Away That You Most Regretted – Jose Ramirez. “Last July he was accused of taking steroids, and since then, he’s one of the worst hitters in baseball and this guy is offering me Edwin Diaz for him, which seems more than fair! I should’ve listened to that handsome ess oh bee, Grey Albright, and not drafted Jo-Ram at all!” Actually, I said don’t draft him, then said to trade for him in July.
Top SAGNOF – Liam Hendricks/Mallex Smith — Remember, the essence of SAGNOF is cheap saves and steals. No one came close to Hendricks for cheap saves, ranking 4th on the Player Rater for RPs above Roberto Osuna, and Mallex wasn’t even owned for parts of the year, so if you grabbed a May Mallex you stole SAGNOF down by the seashore.
Remember That Feeling You Had When You Walked In On Your Parents Having Sex, This Pitcher Gave You That Feeling Every Fifth Day – German Marquez. May Marquez accidentally have a tub of mayonnaise dropped on him, then get caught in an elevator with Willians Astudillo.