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As I’m sure some, (translation: none), of you already know, the RCU – or the Razzball Cinematic Universe as it is more formally known – is the moviemakers’ pinnacle of fantasy sports mediums.

You’ve probably already seen the trailers for our upcoming blockbuster films. The much-anticipated sequel to Batman’s Poison Ivy spinoff entitled, “The Itch”. The preview of “Shrek 46: A Trip to The Swamp Dentist with Donkey Teeth”. Maybe you’ve even seen the leaked clips for the upcoming Horror classic, “Bo-ltergeist” starring a certain Blue Jays shortstop and featuring our podcast host B-Don. Well, after much consideration, I figured this one was overdue.

Heading into my 3rd year here at Razzball, I think it’s finally a good time to explain my moniker. 

The Razzball Cinematic Universe presents…“Marmo: The Origin Story”(™).

Marmo showing unconditional love and sporting her classic red supersuit

A long time ago, a much younger version, (and with fewer grey hairs), of MarmosDad went with a former girlfriend to ‘visit’ a pet store just north of Toronto (pronounced: Tir-ah-nah by the locals). The longer version of the story, (as I am often wont to provide), is littered with excess details that I’m sure some might consider unnecessary.

Let’s just say that we emerged from that “just visiting” trip with a dog that would change my life for the better, and give me a pretty good practice run at this crazy thing called parenting. Marmo, (nickname, of course, and not real name), was a beauty of a canine companion. She had a really sweet temperament mixed with a high level of energy. Basically, equal parts of sky high loyalty intermingled with a fair share of mental instability and a splash of doggie ADHD. (Side note: I wonder if anyone ever argues the old adage that the dog takes on the personality of its owner).

Marmo was around for longer than that girlfriend was, and, to be honest she outlasted more than a couple of other ones too. I managed to work into the wedding speech that part of the reason why I ended up with my wife was because the dog gave her the Marmo seal of approval…aka didn’t claw her half to death or jump on her until she fell down and broke an ankle.

A favorite story that some friends love to retell was when one of the aforementioned potential life partners asked this fantasy baseball writer the million dollar question…

Girlfriend : “Who do you love more…me or your dog?”

(you pet owners can guess what’s coming next)…

M.D. : “Don’t ask me that question.”

Girlfriend : “Why?”

That’s when I figuratively dealt the finishing blow…forward, down, down, triangle…

Instant response if you deliver the love ultimatum to a dog owner.

M.D. : “Because you’re not going to like the answer you get.”

And with that final, frosty blow, our furry, (and frequently frustrating), Marmo claimed another victory in the game of life.

Now that you’ve got some bits and pieces from the backstory, it should be an easier puzzle to assemble. Yes, that was the quickest, easiest, and probably least creative pick when Twitter launched and I needed a social media handle. And, yes, I didn’t really consider that I would be using it as much as I have over the past few years.

That’s it. The general gist of the MarmosDad origin story, with a bit of a background on the dog that changed my life for the better. For the record, the two dogs that we have now are superhero members of our family in their own ways. But none of them will match the time spent with Miss Marmo. Even my kids still comment about how much they miss her, despite my youngest’s age still being measured in months when she took that final trip across the rainbow bridge. 

So give your pets a squeeze and a cold nose nuzzle from old MarmosDad today. 

Speaking of the RCU and acronyms…

Segue way complete! There are a few more Razz-based links for you to hit up before we get to the starting pitcher goods this week.

As always, I like to lead with the link to Rudy’s.Razzball subscriptions. The tools, ad-free-browsing, Streamonator, and War Room access make it well worth the price of admission.

Truss and I have been hard at work hammering out emails to those of you that participated in last year’s Razzslam too. If you didn’t receive an email or are new to the game, feel free to check out Truss’s Razzslam post with all the details and sign-up page. 

Lastly, the Razzball Commenter Leagues are filling up fast. Come play against the frequent commenters in our RCLs, or jump into a league with yours truly (League 4). We’re close to closing off registration for both soon, so make sure to sign up while they’re open!

As for the pitching news, in this installment, I’m following up my Top 100 SP list launch from last week with some up and down movers. This week I’ll specifically focus on a few BUYS or bargains. To be clear, our extra column this week will indicate if the player moved UP or DOWN from last week’s rankings, and I’ll introduce the Marmo(™) BUY icon. This will be where the ranking here (or on our site in general) seems to veer away from the general groupthink that is ADP, and, thus, presents a decent buying opportunity.

Lastly, if you get really excited about buying opportunities and the Marmo story, you can Venmo me some cash to help me pay off the double knee surgeries that I had the vet perform on her 10 years ago. (*jokes*). 

Yeesh. You can certainly say a lot of things about your over-the-internet friend MarmosDad, but you can’t say he’s disloyal.

Have a peek at the list below, and have a look out for appearances by the BUY icon. There should be four buys that show up in the list this week, and are identified by the image and their fairly pronounced jump in ranking.

THE LIST

  • Based on 5X5 SP Player Rater projections from 2024 15 team (Standard/NFBC) auction values/rankings (as of Saturday, February 17)

 

SP

RANK

(overall)

Name R$ NFBC 

ADP

FANTRAX ADP GREY 

RANK

(SP)

ROUND

(AVG)

BUY

Or

SELL

1 (2) Spencer Strider 36.5 8.59 6.95 1 1
2 (14) Gerrit Cole 29.2 14.02 11.54 2 2 Up 1
3 (19) Kevin Gausman 27.2 30.71 25.86 5 1 Down 1
4 (20) Framber Valdez 26.9 62.46 52.25 21 4/5
5 (23) Zack Wheeler 25.6 28.53 28.59 4 2
6 (25) Pablo Lopez 24.8 42.79 37.45 9 3
7 (27) Aaron Nola 24.2 53.62 44.48 17 3/4
8 (30) George Kirby 23.5 41.11 41.79 8 3
9 (32) Luis Castillo 22.9 31.94 31.46 6 3
10 (38) Zac Gallen 21.8 39.85 28.29 10 2/3
11 (39) Corbin Burnes 21.7 26.18 24.02 3 2
12 (42) Logan Gilbert 20.9 70.67 59.54 13 4/5
13 (43) Blake Snell 20.6 64.75 51.20 18 4/5
14 (44) Tarik Skubal 20.2 54.60 46.81 14 4 Up 1
15 (45) Yoshinobu Yamamoto 20.2 58.45 56.39 16 4 Up 4

16 (47) Freddy Peralta 20 60.33 54.67 7 4
17 (60) Max Fried 19.3 64.99 56.23 20 4/5 Down 3
18 (58) Logan Webb 19.3 65.25 39.43 11 4/5
19 (61) Tyler Glasnow 19.1 44.32 44.60 19 3 Down 2
20 (69) Kodai Senga 17.8 71.33 51.78 15 4/5 Up 1
21 (75) Zach Eflin 17.6 89.94 81.01 22 6 Down 1
22 (77) Joe Ryan 17.5 94.67 77.29 27 6/7
23 (89) Carlos Rodon 15.5 170.64 200.69 62 12-14 Up 1
24 (92) Jose Berrios 15.3 169.49 126.34 44 9-12 Up 1
25 (93) Jordan Montgomery 15.1 146.50 160.78 41 10/11 Up 2
26 (94) Justin Verlander 15.1 124.31 125.38 39 9 Down 3
27 (100) Jesus Luzardo 14.4 88.80 69.99 12 5/6 Up 1
28 (102) Chris Sale 14.2 169.58 165.53 58 11/12 Up 2
29 (103) Sonny Gray 14.2 124.16 94.80 26 7-9 Down 3
30 (104) Justin Steele 14.2 105.65 75.42 24 6/7 Up 1
31 (105) Cole Ragans 14.2 111.76 95.78 37 7/8 Up 1

32 (108) Bobby Miller 14.1 82.38 86.05 30 6 Up 1
33 (123) Grayson Rodriguez 13.3 71.71 71.00 29 5 Up 2
34 (128) Chris Bassitt 13.2 138.65 120.04 38 9/10 Up 2
35 (130) Hunter Greene 13.1 137.27 118.06 35 8/9 Up 2
36 (132) Merrill Kelly 12.9 152.39 118.87 42 8-13! Up 2
37 (135) Joe Musgrove 12.7 111.80 99.41 36 7/8 Up 2
38 (142) Shane Bieber 12 174.41 141.74 60 10-12 Down 9
39 (150) Eduardo Rodriguez 11.5 191.29 152.41 40 11-13 Up 1
40 (153) Dylan Cease 11.4 110.37 75.53 34 6-8 Up 1
41 (156) Hunter Brown 11.1 190.19 148.67 46 10-13 Up 1
42 (158) Yu Darvish 10.9 216.48 176.70 93 12-15 Up 1
44 (162) Mitch Keller 10.8 167.72 124.29 32 9-11 Up 1
45 (163) Tanner Bibee 10.8 115.83 108.74 31 8 Up 2
46 (167) Eury Perez 10.6 77.60 80.87 25 6
47 (183) Lance Lynn 9.6 312.27 312.69 103 20 Up 2
48 (185) Charlie Morton 9.5 240.82 208.16 52 14-16 Up 2
49 (190) Nestor Cortes 9.1 282.34 238.99 69 16-18 Up 2
50 (196) Lucas Giolito 8.8 216.44 158.88 61 11-15 Up 4
51 (206) Bailey Ober 8.5 164.65 162.34 43 11 Up 2
52 (208) Reid Detmers 8.4 243.85 197.50 78 14-16 Up 5
53 (213) Gavin Williams 8.3 159.75 144.97 57 10/11 Up 14

54 (215) Cristian Javier 8.2 175.36 158.31 56 11/12 Up 2
55 (216) Nick Lodolo 8.2 246.49 208.79 64 14-17
56 (219) Yusei Kikuchi 8 249.91 301.71 63 17-20 Up 2
57 (224) Nathan Eovaldi 7.7 204.45 157.05 51 11-14 Down 9
58 (225) Braxton Garrett 7.6 192.26 183.95 28 13 Up 1*
59 (228) Jon Gray 7.2 361.45 254.33 90 17-21 Up 1
60 (230) Griffin Canning 7.1 307.18 258.85 94 17-21 Down 8
61 (231) Kyle Bradish 7.1 96.33 76.79 61 (23) 6/7 Down 26
62 (233) Nick Pivetta 7 187.49 179 54 13 Down 1
63 (234) Andrew Abbott 7 262.50 281.63 77 18/19 Down 1
64 (242) Marcus Stroman 6.3 283.31 311.08 73 19-21
65 (244) Aaron Civale 6.3 209.71 214.77 53 14/15
66 (250) Brayan Bello 6 228.71 197.52 80 14-16 Up 3
43 (160) Shota Imanaga 10.8 228.72 171.50 76 12-16 Down 1
67 (253) Kenta Maeda 5.8 252.61 235.5 65 16/17
68 (258) Bryce Miller 5.7 187.69 170.78 45 12/13 Up 1
69 (260) Bryan Woo 5.4 190.84 182.73 48 13 Up 2
70 (271) Ranger Suarez 4.8 426.91 282.14 98 19-29 Up 2
71 (272) Kyle Gibson 4.5 521.91 312.96 126 22-35! Down 1
72 (273) Miles Mikolas 4.5 514.37 328.95 102 22-35! Up 2
73 (275) Emmet Sheehan 4.5 263.00 315.33 131 18-21
74 (276) Sean Manaea 4.2 474.54 352.18 101 24-32 Up 1
75 (282) Kyle Harrison 3.9 277.15 262.28 82 18/19 Up 2
76 (289) JP Sears 3.6 495.66 316.22 113 22-33!
77 (295) Reese Olson 2.9 269.92 259.43 79 18 Up 3
78 (298) Andrew Heaney 2.8 481.70 339.19 117 23-33
79 (299) Dean Kremer 2.7 405.04 262.56 71 18-27
80 (303) Walker Buehler 2.5 111.17 96.13 33 7/8 Up 1
81 (304) Brandon Pfaadt 2.5 214.47 212.23 81 15 Up 1
82 (305) Seth Lugo 2.4 275.66 241.16 55 17-19 Up 1
83 (306) Dane Dunning 2.4 480.96 348.6 72 24-32 Up 1
84 (407) Michael King -0.3 152.40 211.96 50 11-15 N/R

86 (321) Triston McKenzie 2 239.60 169.1 67 12-16 Up 2
85 (320) Cristopher Sanchez 1.9 253.75 238.06 66 16/17
87 (325) Frankie Montas 1.8 428.97 357.89 105 24-29 Up 1
88 (332) Taj Bradley 1.4 266.23 231.09 83 16-18 Up 1
89 (333) Jose Quintana 1.3 520.90 340.86 100 23-35! Up 1
92 (344) Tanner Houck 1.1 544.58 319.15 135 22-37 Up 1
90 (340) Brady Singer 1.1 546.44 360.26 N/R 24-37 Up 1
91 (342) MacKenzie Gore 1.1 315.55 314.85 75 21 Up 1
93 (346) Patrick Sandoval 1 539.76 353.93 127 24-36 Up 2
94 (354) Louie Varland 0.9 355.10 342.95 88 23/24 Up 2
95 (356) James Paxton 0.7 455.51 356.67 119 24-31 Down 1
96 (361) Logan Allen 0.6 444.12 317.71 85 22-30
97 (364) Luis Severino 0.5 354.90 321.14 92 22-24 Up 1
100 (382) Jameson Taillon 0.1 335.50 292.57 96 20-23 N/R
98 (379) Alex Cobb 0.1 553.91 415.25 128 28-37 N/R
99 (380) Trevor Rogers 0.1 463.69 327.40 121 22-31 Down 1

Quick Notes from the list

  • Shoto Imanaga jumped overnight from #66 to #43 in my final edit and his projected R$ went up to 10.8 from 6. I left him in his original slot from last night’s ranking just to show the original spot as I’m not convinced yet that his boost should be that dramatic.
  • Depending on how things go over the next few days, Braxton Garrett’s “arm soreness” could affect his ranking for my next post. This is just more of a ‘heads up’ and check for news if any of you are drafting before then.
  • ADPs may be off by a couple hundredths of a point. Round up or down accordingly.

 

BIGGEST DUMPERS : With apologies to Cal Raleigh, these are some of the biggest dumpers (in value, not pants size).

Kyle Bradish – If you’re not still running on dial-up internet, you’ve probably already heard the news about Bradish’s UCL tear. I’ll go into it more next week in the SELLS piece, but needless to say, this giant slide down the dump chute is directly related to that health news. Down 26 spots instead of entirely off the list is more about the hope that he won’t be shut down for the year than anything else.

Steven Matz – A big Canadian ‘sorrey’ to you Cards fans out there, as this was one of three RedBird names in consideration to bounce off the list for our first Marmo-fuelled cut. Without giving too much away from the upcoming SELLS article, and to throw a bone to a commenter from last week, the first on the 2024 chopping block is Matz.

Having him in this Top 100 SP but still with an overall rank of 700+ last week should mean it won’t produce much blowback. Matz did correct his 12% K-BB% from the first half last year to post a 20% the rest of the way, but at 33 years of age I can’t see a magical rebirth.

The number 162 is nice…until you realize that’s the total number of days spent on the IL through the 2022 and 2023 seasons with a left shoulder impingement, a torn left MCL, and a strained lat muscle. Pass.

P.S. Don’t fret if you’re a Gibson or Lynn hater too. You might like what you see next week. *wink, wink*

 

BIGGEST JUMPERS : Who’s got hops? These are some of the biggest jumpers in value this week.

Cole Ragans – Oh boy. If this is not the dearest ‘sleeper’ in the land, I don’t know who is. 

Writers of pitching sleeper posts lurrrrrrrve them some Ray Guns.

 Ragans went from sludge to star over the course of a half a season. This kid, (26 years old. Cut me some slack, I’m so old that 26 is still a kid to me), looks like sat down for tea with the devil over the all-star break. Check out this first half (as a reliever) versus second half (as a starter).

 

K/9 BB/9 HR/9 K% BB% K-BB%
1st Half 8.88 5.18 1.48 22.60% 13.20% 9.40%
2nd Half 11.18 3.39 0.38 31.10% 9.40% 21.70%

There’s been a lot of whispers about Ragans this winter. And the attention seems warranted. After being dealt to the Royals for Aroldis Chapman on June 30th, Ragans was thrown directly into the starting five and didn’t look back. He increased his velocity from 92.1 to 96.6 MPH, and is finally starting to look like the arm that the Rangers drafted in the first round in 2016. His Statcast page is redder than a flower shop on Valentine’s Day, and if he can manage the walks while putting up 140-160 innings in the Royals rotation, he should be a lock to return value in this draft range. Buy.

Gavin Williams – I wanted to throw a few words in Tarik Skubal’s direction, but I couldn’t help to notice the 9 spot jump by Gavin Williams. After a quick hop into the Marmo-bile, a trip to the research plant yielded these nuggets as possible reasons for Williams’ pronounced increase in rank…

Since the start of 2022, Williams averaged a 12.1 K/9 while he blew through three minor league levels. Last year, in 60.1 innings, (before his call-up on June 21), Williams posted a 12.2 K/9 and an above average 3.5 xFIP (averaged between the two stops).

Without diving too much more into the specifics and statistics, expect to see Gavin WIlliams’ name on those same ‘sleeper’ lists that Ragans highlights this spring. In redraft, you may have to weather some bumps along the way, but in keeper leagues this kid is a golden ticket if you can lock him in on the cheap. Buy.

Michael King – I took my first liberties of the year for this one. Michael King is the big “get” from the Yankees/Padres Juan Soto deal. Grey has him ranked as his 50th SP, and the preseason player rater has him off the Top 100. 

There are a few clips out there of this media meet and greet, but one of the things that stood out with this one was him talking about learning to pitch instead of just throw. It’s always a question of “Is he just saying the right things in front of a camera?”, but this sounds like a very focused pitcher who is very happy to have a locked down rotation spot, for a very good team, with some very good teammates to mentor him in Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish. If he can manage an increased workload, he’ll definitely warrant this spot, if not an increase in ranking here.

OOF : The following pitchers dropped off the Top 100 this week (former ranking in parentheses) : 

The aforementioned scythe swipe for Steven Matz (84) was accompanied by a very sad Fozzie Bear fumble for Michael Wacha Wacha Wacha (100).

 

WHEE! : The following pitchers moved up to crack the Top 100 this week :

Not too much action here, but along with the Michael King move to 87, Jameson Taillon and Alex Cobb cracked the bottom of the board at 98 and 99, respectively.

 

OTHER NOTES ABOUT SOME BUYS I WOULD LOOK AT WHEN DRAFTING

Of course, there are a ton of deep league darlings and more than a few solid dart throws in the post-100 landscape that are starting pitching rankings. Here are a few that I would take a couple of seconds to peek under the hood or double check how the spring health/pitch mix is going. (I might even write a few up just before we get some games underway) : Erick Fedde, Michael Kopech, Josiah Gray, Aaron Ashby, Matt Manning, Paul Skenes, Casey Mize.

 

That’s all for this week! I hope you enjoyed, and that you’ve secured your presale tickets for Marmo: The Origin Story. If anything, the actual running time of that film would put the Lord of the Rings trilogy to shame if I included all of the events that I could explain in more detail here.

Have fun perusing the chart, and come back next week when I give you some sells or players to avoid based on some of the data that I have set up here. I certainly left more than a few names out of this week’s roundup just to ensure that we had something to focus in on and discuss next week.

Drop some comments in the chat if you’re feeling extra fired up about some of the names I do (or don’t) have here, too. Have a great week and for those of you drafting leagues already, good luck!

Follow me @marmosdad on Twitter/X and Bluesky @marmosdad.bsky.social

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Norman Ginsberg
Norman Ginsberg
1 month ago

What causes the big swings? I understand injuries (or better than expected status) and increased opportunities — but these don’t address many of these guys. Also are you basing the ratings on full season vv pitchers that may do well in partial seasons (e.g., Walker Buehler).

Also are your $ values based upon your methodology or are they derived from others?

Last edited 1 month ago by Norman Ginsberg
becker66
becker66
1 month ago

Great stuff as always! Is there a downloadable version of this available?

OzoneRanger
OzoneRanger
1 month ago

Great article and mad props on the fatality throwback

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everywhereblair
1 month ago

Awesome work!

Grey
Admin
1 month ago

oh my god, this is amazing…the RCU!

Grey
Admin
Reply to  MarmosDad
1 month ago

HAHA, amazing