The royal we already went over all the hitters for 2018 fantasy baseball rankings.  That’s not the “royal we” as that term usually implies.  It was me writing it alone while wearing a Burger King crown.  I refuse to draft a top starter where they are usually drafted.  Unlike hitters, you need six starters, depending on your league depth.  Simple math tells us there’s plenty of starters to go around.  Simple Math also says, “Stop putting words in my mouth!”  In most leagues, there’s a ton of pitchers on waivers that can help you — all year.  Not just in April, and then they disappear.  With the help of the Stream-o-Nator, you can get by with, say, three starters while streaming the rest.  There’s also the fact that three stats by starters are difficult to predict due to luck.  Wins, ERA and WHIP are prone to shift due to which way the ball bounces and whether or not the guys behind the pitchers can score runs.  Finally, the best starters can give you four categories.  The best hitters can give you five categories.  As always, where I see tiers starting and stopping are included and my projections.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2018 fantasy baseball:

1. Max Scherzer – Went over him in the top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball.

2. Clayton Kershaw – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Sale.  I call this tier, “La Croix bacon-avocado cheeseburger flavor.”  By the tier name I mean, these are the best of the best, so why don’t I want any part of them?  La Croix is delicious.  Bacon-avocado cheeseburgers are delicious.  So, when you put them together, isn’t that wonderful?  No, it’s sparkling water that tastes like the smell in an Arby’s bathroom.  Great starters in fantasy are La Croix bacon-avocado cheeseburger flavor.  This is a refresher for noobs, which I believe is spelled with two zeroes.  I’ve gone over this before, but it bears repeating like a hairy gay man from San Francisco who stutters.  If you own Kershaw or any of the guys in this tier, you’re drafting scared.  You’re scared to go into the season without a number one starter.  You’re afraid that if you don’t have an ace you’ll never find a starter off waivers or your later picks won’t pan out.  You’re chicken, as Biff would say, because there’s more pitchers than Michael J. Fox can shake a stick at.  The only people that draft a top starter want a security blanket.  They want to feel like they’re pitching staff is safe.  They want to feel nuzzled like a bug in an alpaca rug.  If you would’ve owned Aaron NolaAlex WoodRich HillJames PaxtonRobbie Ray and Madison Bumgarner last year, your ERA would’ve been 3.12 in 864 1/3 IP.  And that would’ve been in spite of your top pitcher drafted, Bumgarner!  Without Bumgarner, your ERA would’ve been better at 3.10!  Sure, I’m cherrypicking guys from last year…Just like you could’ve cherrypicked any of them off waivers in your league or drafted them way later than the top 20.  Not one of the guys I mentioned I told you to avoid either, except Bumgarner.  Also, I could’ve easily slanted the results by saying I told you to draft Kluber, C-Mart, Carrasco, Verlander and other starters who were drafted high, but not top five starter high.  In some leagues, you could do fine NOT drafting ANY starters.  Yes, I brought out the caps.  I’m not only talking about H2H leagues where you can carry only relievers.  I’m talking 10 or 12-team roto leagues where you can stream starters.  Maybe you own one starter and stream five spots.  Maybe you own two guys and stream four spots.  Maybe you drink seven cups of coffee and stream all day.  Even if you want to draft an entire rotation and hold them (or try to), you don’t need a guy from this tier.  There’s plenty of options later to fill out your rotation so you’re competitive in leagues where you can’t stream.  I’m not suggesting you Reggie Roby starters.  I’m telling you to Reggie Roby top starters.  Concentrate on your hitting while these guys are being drafted.  As for Kershaw, he’s great, yadda3.  2018 Projections: 17-6/2.51/0.94/225 in 202 IP

3. Corey Kluber – I forgot this classic bit of informational head-shaking from Kluber’s Wiki page:  the Padres traded Kluber to the Indians for Ryan Ludwick.  All dem memes — blinking white guy meme, black guy pointing at his head meme, I caN’T EvEn BeLIeVe thE pADreS trADed kLuBer SpongeBob meme — can’t properly contextualize my dismay.   If the Padres would’ve done nothing in the last six years, they’d have Rizzo, Kluber and, well, Yangervis Solarte, but still.  Kluber just had his best season of his career, and he already won the Cy Young in 2014, that’s how good he was in 2017.  He had a 11.7 K/9, 1.6 BB/9, 2.52 xFIP, 2.25 ERA, 18 wins, and a 1.79 ERA in the 2nd half in 110 1/3 IP.  My guess is when he has a 4+ ERA in April this year a lot less people will be trading him away, but never underestimate a panicked fantasy owner.  2018 Projections: 17-7/2.61/0.97/228 in 205 IP

4. Chris Sale – He had Corey Kluber’s season in its inverse — Korey Cluber?  Meh, now he sounds like a YouTubrity.  Sale’s overall numbers were still beautiful, but his 1st half was better than his 2nd half.  His April ERA of 1.19 led to a 2.75 ERA in the 1st half, with a 4.38 ERA in August it showed kryptonite and led to a 3.12 ERA in the 2nd half.  This might be an indication that Sale’s on the wrong side of the age curve for hard throwing pitchers, but it was mostly his slider abandoning him late in the season, and his K/9 in the 2nd half was still 13.5 with a 2.62 xFIP, and 308 Ks on the season, so, yeah, it’s not just my Jewish heritage saying it’s hard to be negative on a Sale.  2018 Projections: 17-9/2.87/1.01/256 in 207 IP

5. Stephen Strasburg – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Carrasco.  I call this tier, “Skunked can of La Croix bacon-avocado cheeseburger flavor.”  This is just like the above tier, and I will be avoiding it, but rather than the above guys who I actually like, just won’t draft, I do not like the guys in this tier, and would never draft them at their price.  So, while I wouldn’t draft the above guys, I really wouldn’t draft these guys.  Got it?  Cool.  Full disclosure, I had Strasburg in the Sale tier, then moved him down here.  I like Strasburg, but a guy who hasn’t thrown 200 IP in three years doesn’t deserve to be in the 1st tier of starters.  Might be a case made that he doesn’t even deserve to be in this tier, but I’m not making that case.  Like a kissing booth, this is all lip service since I’m not drafting Strasburg either way.  2018 Projections: 16-7/2.96/1.04/211 in 182 IP

6. Noah Syndergaard – The Mets have a new manager, Mickey Callaway, who I will start calling “The Caddy” because Callaway will be lugging around a useless club.  However, he may not have that terrible of a pitching staff.  Assuming health.  There’s that old chestnut.  Syndergaard had a 10.1 K/9 and 0.9 BB/9 last year.  EXCLAMATION MARKS!  In only 30 1/3 IP because of injury.  Lowercase yay.  See no reason why Syndergaard won’t be healthy, but put confidence of Mets starters in one hand, and their ability to stay healthy in the other hand, and you have two empty hands.  Seriously, how can you put someone’s ‘ability to stay healthy’ in a hand?  C’mon.  2018 Projections: 15-10/2.81/1.06/215 in 184 IP

7. Jacob deGrom – I just Googled “DeGrom elbow” and there was 44,000 results.  “DeGrom shoulder” produced 78,000 results.  “DeGrom neck” produced 117,000 results.  “DeGrom hair” produced 300,000 results, all of which were grown men complaining about how deGrom cut off his hair in October.  “My emojis are all sad, even the eggplant,” said one Mets fan.  So, assuming deGrom is healthy, and didn’t generate all his power Samson-like from his hair, he should be solid.  Again, that assumption is high on the ass meter.  2018 Projections: 16-9/3.06/1.15/221 in 195 IP

8. Carlos Carrasco – In a lot of ways, I’m not ranking starters by their projected ERAs (though I am), I’m ranking starters based on their K/9 and BB/9 (and other stuff, but you catch the drift).  Parentheticals be damned, somehow a guy has a 10.2 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 with a career 3.78 ERA, as Carrasco does, and be a top seven starter.  For the first time in his career, Carrasco (Careerasco?) threw 200 IP last year.  Not bad for a 25-year-old.  Less so for Carrasco who is about to be 31 years old.  I know, I was surprised he was that old too.  Not as surprised, as say, a cat jumping out of a closet.  They should do a Cats revival on Broadway where the whole thing is cats jumping out of closets.  Nothing in Carrasco’s peripherals is pointing to a guy who will fail this year, but nothing is saying, “Yeah, he’s totally going to be a 2.50 ERA pitcher,” either.  2018 Projections: 15-10/3.35/1.12/217 in 194 IP

9. Luis Severino – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Yu.  I call this tier, “Draft, but don’t be a Panty Mouth.”  By the tier name I mean, I will draft these guys if they’re available at a reasonable price.  Yes, I like these guys and will be drafting them, but you’re way too excited, and the St. Bernard panting vibe you’re giving off is betraying your cool demeanor.  You can’t be too anxious, otherwise you’re going to overdraft starters.  There’s still plenty of guys.  So, don’t be a sweating drool face, Panty Mouth.  You didn’t think “Panty Mouth” meant something else, did you?  As for Severino, if he was in the NL, I would’ve ranked him five spots higher.  What?  Even in Coors?  Okay, no, but stop quibbling, you quibbler!  For average fastball velocity on qualifying pitchers, Severino was number one with 97.6 MPH.  Can you say butter with fifteen syllables?  Okay, a fast fastball does not make a pitcher.  True.  But how about Severino’s sixth best in the majors slider, the sixth best change, and a top 20 fastball?  Can you induce another five or six syllables in that butter pronunciation?  I think you can.  2018 Projections:  16-8/3.10/1.06/222 in 190 IP

10. Robbie Ray – Damn, Cousin Sweatpants, I wanna draft all of the starters in this tier, but this is where not being a panty mouth comes in.  You really don’t need a starter here, but if you get caca-cuckoo for Ks like me, I can see why you’re foaming at the lips.  Ray had 218 Ks last year in only 162 IP.  Imagine he throws 200 IP this year.  Oh, man, I’m feeling lightheaded from wonderful.  I wanna go into a Thai massage right now and ask for a Robbie, and hope they misinterpret my meaning.  2018 Projections: 16-7/3.26/1.16/234 in 191 IP

11. Carlos Martinez – Reminds me of Carlos Carrasco with slightly less Ks, slightly better division to pitch in, worse walks, better dependability, less upside, less downside, more porn in his Twitter likes, much younger, with a similar fastball velocity.  See?  Just like Carrasco!  2018 Projections: 15-8/3.24/1.19/212 in 202 IP

12. Justin Verlander – Who’s 34 years old and just averaged 95 MPH on his fastball all year?  If you said your cousin, Laverney, I’m gonna say no, I don’t think so, but I don’t know Laverney.  If you were to say Justin Verlander, I’d say bingo, then a priest would check my card for a winner.  Not entirely sure how Verlander is doing it, but my guess is drinking the same boba milk tea as Nolan Ryan.  It appeared for about four years that Verlander lost that fastball feel, but now that he’s got it back, I’m not betting against him.  Steamer, which is usually conservative, even sees Verlander raising his 2017 K/9 of 9.6 to 10.1 in 2018.  (Though, they also see his ERA falling to 3.94).  2018 Projections: 16-9/3.41/1.15/223 in 212 IP

13. Yu Darvish – As for Yu, nice sweatpants.  Oh, wait, that’s you, not Yu.  Here’s the thing, and there is a thing, on our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater last year, Brad Peacock was a top 20 starter.  So, what does that have to do with anything?  Pitchers are straight garbage right now.  Could Darvish be a top 20 starter?  Yeah, he does have a top 15 K/9.  Last year, shizz went pretty pear-shaped — 3.86 ERA; 4.50 2nd half ERA; his K-rate fell almost two Ks per nine from the previous year.  This is ignoring his postseason too, as I’m trying not to hold small sample sizes against him.  Hey, that’s what the ladies usually say to me!  If we were to fault him for his postseason, shizz isn’t pear-shaped, it’s more the shape of a watermelon with a mushroom sitting on top, like a naked fat man lying down.  UPDATE:  Yu signed with the Cubs for $126 million.  If you just had Siri read that off to you, stop celebrating, and get off the phone with the Lambo dealer.  It’s not you, it’s Yu Darvish.  Not saying this is everything, but I just looked at the park factors for Wrigley vs. Dodger Stadium.  I mean, I knew they were grossly in favor of Dodger Stadium for pitchers, but I just wanted to confirm.  And, what do you know, I confirmed it.  Darvish had a 3.44 ERA in Los Angeles in 49 2/3 IP, and, while Wrigley won’t be as gentle, it won’t be any worse than Arlington, where he played previously with success.  He feels like a richer Archer.  Call him, Robin Hood: Prince of Ks.  2018 Projections: 14-10/3.51/1.15/221 in 196 IP

14. Chris Archer – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Bauer.  I call this tier, “The shruggle is real.”  *shrugs*  Man walking by, “Why did you just give such an aggressive shrug?”  Because I’m struggling to get extremely excited about these starters, but I need to draft a starter, and these guys should be solid, so I’m drafting them.  Struggling to draft with a shrug?  Yes, the shruggle is real.  I know, I know, we were chill AF for a second there, but by the end of this tier, I’d really like to see you own a starter.  As for Archer, something I’ve noticed with hitters is everyone’s HR/FB% was way up last year, because, ya know, everyone and your maw-maw hit homers last year.  Something I’m noticing three-quarters of the way through the top 20 starters is all hitters were K’ing Shizz from Shinola, which caused all starters to have high strikeout rates last year.  Archer was no different, posting his highest K/9 of his career (11.2).  The problem with Archer, and really there’s only one.  Doode gives up home runs.  He didn’t used to, but in the last two years he’s given up more than one ding-dong per nine, which has helped make his xFIP (3.35) more digestible than his 4.07 ERA.  If he avoids big innings (which vs. the Yankees should be no problem, right, brah?), Archer could put together that ever elusive 2.75 ERA with 250 Ks.  2018 Projections: 11-10/3.69/1.22/237 in 205 IP

15. Zack Greinke – There’s an easy way to get to positive on Greinke — he had a 2.86 ERA in 116 1/3 IP last year in the 1st half with a 10.1 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9.  Unfortch, with him at 34 years old, it’s easy for me to get negative too.  8.8 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 with a 3.63 xFIP in the 2nd half is a steaming cup of meh with a mehmallow melting on top.  His fastball has had declining value for two straight years, but his offspeed stuff still is still repped by Elite Model Management with a strong sashay on the catwalk.  This year the humidor appears to be in full effect, which means good things for the breaking stuff, and Greinke.  Struggling to not just draft Greinke with a shrug.  A shruggle.  2018 Projections:  14-9/3.45/1.10/202 in 205 IP

16. Aaron Nola – Out of all the pitchers in this tier, I’m most excited about Nola.  So, why the shruggle?  His track record of greatest hits is about as long as Crazy Town’s.  Come come my lady, you’re my butterfly, sugar baby.  And *raspberries lips*  That’s about it.  I love guys about to throw in their third full season, and under the age of 25 —  *chef’s kiss* — Muah!  I love me some of that sugar baby.  Could Nola still be another year away from a top 20 starter season?  Yeah, that’s my worry.  Hence, the shruggle.  2018 Projections: 14-9/3.41/1.18/188 in 184 IP

17. Jose Quintana – Last year feels like an aberration for Quintana as far as his 4.15 ERA is concerned.  This is anecdotal, but I think he knew he was leaving the White Sox and it was bothering him in the 2nd half.  Then, after he was traded, his K/9 swelled and his walk rate plummeted to his usual 2.2 BB/9 levels.  I know, it makes little sense that he wanted out of Chicago so bad that it affected him, then he was fine when he ended up back in Chicago, but it’s my working theory.  I’m also at a standing desk, so any working theory of mine is outstanding!  When people say, “Grey, do you work out?”  I say, “No, I work up!”  2018 Projections:  15-9/3.49/1.17/204 in 202 IP

18. Trevor Bauer – El oh eff me.  I didn’t want to put Trevor Bauer in the top 20 starters, even as I was writing his name in the top 20.  This feels like it’s going to bite me in the ass almost immediately.  Can you imagine a fantasy staff with Trevor Bauer as your number one?  I can:  insert poop emoji.  OR IS IT?!  Damn, Abrupt Reversal Question, bringing it.  In the 2nd half last year, he had a 3.01 ERA in 83 2/3 IP with a 10 K/9.  That’s a number one.  Of course, his 1st half was a 5.24 ERA and that might’ve been hard to stomach like a ghost pepper.  However, his 1st half K/9 was also a 10.  Who are you with all these 10’s?  Bo Derek?  So, what was the difference between the 1st half and 2nd?  He started throwing his curve 30% of the time, and everything clicked.  30% of the time leaning on the curve sounds like a lot, right?  Yeah, Nola and Kluber were right there with him.  Another thing that Bauer’s got going for him is he’s young and has been a workhorse compared to, say, Alex Wood or James Paxton.  I admit there’s some risk relying on Bauer, but his 2nd half appeared to be a forward step, and I’m ready for a trust fall into this shruggle.  2018 Projections:  15-10/3.59/1.29/204 in 189 IP

19. Dallas Keuchel – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Ohtani.  I call this tier, “Wu-Tang ain’t the only thing not to eff wit.”  I want no part of these starters.  It’s not that I don’t like Daylass Koochel, it’s that I don’t understand him.  I get that he throws a ton of grounders — yo, that sinker, yo.  It doesn’t matter that his fastball is only 88 MPH, his ground ball rate was 66.8% last year, which would’ve been the 2nd best rate in the last seventeen years if he qualified (he only threw 145 2/3 IP last year).  This isn’t even about how he was seen in a walking boot right after the Astros won the World Series because his championship parade dance instructor was Mark Madsen.  This is because I just don’t understand banking on positive results from an 88-MPH, ground ball pitcher.  If he loses a hair off any of his pitches, he’s going to be a 4.75 ERA guy, and if you own him, you’re gonna lose more hairs than that.  2018 Projections:  15-7/3.41/1.14/160 in 190 IP

20. Shohei Ohtani – I already gave you my Shohei Ohtani fantasy.  It was written like the sunrise, too early in my eyes.  It was also written prior to us hearing about his elbow injury.  After we heard that, I wrote, “Revealed he has a sprain of his UCL in his right elbow.  So, you’re saying there was a reason he only threw 25 IP last year?  Surprise, surprise.  I guess he can always hit instead of pitch, or do neither and have Tommy John surgery.  The Angels are saying Ohtani can pitch through it, after he received some injections.  This makes him their third pitcher in last two years “pitching” through it.  I wonder if Garrett RichardsMatt Shoemakeror Skaggs have any advice for him.  Like, I don’t know, have the surgery immediately?”  And that’s me quoting me!  I also added that I’d be removing forty innings from my prior projections of 12-4/3.28/1.22/146 in 140 IP for Ohtani.  After reading more on his injury and success of the PRP injection, I’m going to leave my projections as they were, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think he was very risky, or that I was drafting him in any league.  Hence, the Wu-Tang tier.  2018 Projections:  12-4/3.28/1.22/146 in 140 IP

STARTER RANKINGS CONTINUE IN TOP 40 STARTERS FOR 2018 FANTASY BASEBALL

  1. Jose says:
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    Is Eric Fedde a keeper?
    Those he have a chance to make WAS rotation in 2o18?
    I keep hearing that WAS is looking for a starter, if they get one he would be the odd men out.
    1- Scherzer, 2- Strasburg, 3- Gio, 4- Roark 5- ???

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Jose: He’s the 5th man in the rotation right now, but they have other options and could still sign someone

  2. You don’t deserve your dog says:
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    i choose to focus on the fact that bumgarner got a big rest on that arm that threw less than half the innings of his career average in 2017. That extra rest was just what he needed after 3 WS runs on that arm. I know he had a torn labrum but it wasn’t pitching related and he pitched close to his typical self upon return from the injury. I put him in the first tier after Sale.

  3. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Love that ray ranking!!! Plus, who knows what might happen for him with the mysterious ~humidor~ bump.

    Cracked up at that Korey Cluber blurb for Sale.

    Bauer was definitely a surprise, but the great thing about drafting him “as your ace” is that you won’t have to pay anything near ace prices to do so. Something like Nola/Quintana then Bauer as 2 would be a nice start.

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Grey: Might work! I can tell you that I’m psyched to be able to roll with Sev and Nola in my H2H categories keeper league, at a combined $10 total. Feel like I can basically just spend $1-$2 on every other SP + be absolutely fine (up to 3 waivers per week, so plenty of waiver moves available).

  4. Awesome Auger says:
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    Padres gave away Trea Turner too

    • Curious George Springer says:
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      @Awesome Auger: I was going to mention Turner and Joe Ross. I wouldn’t say they gave him away, though. They got Wil Myers in that deal. Not a good trade, but they got a very good player back.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Awesome Auger: I forgot about that, Padres are hilariously terrible

      • Sweatpants Nation says:
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        @Grey: Expos gave away so many HOFers. Wonder which was worse.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          They had to, no money

          • Whit says:
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            Rays fans have more misery than the Pads. We gave up Myers to get Ross and Turner and then traded them for F’ing souza. Seriously, They got Souza! WTF!!!!!!!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Haha, ouch

  5. Hometown Heroes says:
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    I’m in a 12 team AL only roto keeper league and was offered Mookie(1 yr at $16) and Clevinger(2 yr at $10) for Buxton (3 yrs @ $16), Healy (1 yr $10) and Kyle Tucker$1 for first 3 yrs of service. I know Mookie is a stud but I’m worried about giving up too much of my future for one year. I need pitching help as well. Is clevinger even going to win a starting spot?

    Thanks for the help!

  6. Dodger Rabbit says:
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    Couldn’t get video to work. Tried two different browsers.
    Greyt stuff, otherwise!

    • Slappy Jack says:
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      @Dodger Rabbit: I also couldn’t get it to work *sadface eggplant emoji*

      • Count de Monetball says:
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        hope it works on my desktop, how can I start the day without claymation Grey?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Dodger Rabbit: Bummer, let me see what the problem is — thanks!

  7. Mickey Maloney says:
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    Always look forward to your Starting Pitching rankings, thank you! I still have PTSD after drafting MadBum last year. In H2H points league, do you generally subscribe to the strategy of drafting pitching early? Seems at least three SP will go in the first round.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Mickey Maloney: In points leagues, you have to draft starters earlier

    • El Marco says:
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      @Mickey Maloney: I’d go first SP in rounds 4 or 5 and grab two more solid ones In the next few rounds

  8. Dodger Rabbit says:
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    What are your projections for Alex Avila this year in Arizona?
    Thx!

  9. Jensen says:
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    If you are targeting 1800-1900 IP would your strategy on top end starters change?

    • Curious George Springer says:
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      @Jensen: if you plan to log a lot of innings the impact of having a top SP is even less. His contribution to the overall performance of your staff is a smaller percentage as the total innings you accumulate increases.

      • Jensen says:
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        @Curious George Springer: It’s also much harder to stream 1,000 quality innings than 400. I don’t have a side, I’m just making a counter point.

        I have Nola and McCullers. If I only need 1100 IP I feel a lot better about that combo than I do in my league where i need 1900.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Jensen: That’s a lot of IP, I’d draft even less top SPs

  10. G says:
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    Hey Grey,

    Wondering your more specific thoughts on choosing between Strasbourg and Madbum in pairing them with Severino who is my only pitcher keeper.

    I have some solid hitting keepers and have 12th and 13th overall picks. Normally I’d avoid a pitcher as you suggest but it’s actually advantageous for me
    To take one of Madbum or Strasberg for one f those picks considering how diluted the hitter pool is at top. The pitchers you have ranked before these guys are almost certainly going to be gone. Thanks as alway

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @G: Stras never pitches 200 IP, and Bum is an injury risk due to last year

  11. Cram It says:
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    @G: MadBum is one spot higher than Strasburg. What’s the issue?

    • G says:
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      @Cram It:
      No issue. And can see the one spot difference as you pointed out. Just wondering if one of them would be a better compliment to owning Severino considering the risks that come with each. I guess it’s hard to predict injury but wanted some extra feedback.

      I’m also not thrilled that my first two picks will be choosing from those pitchers and Donaldson and Encarnacion.

      • Cram It says:
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        @G: I don’t think owning Severino changes how you should look at them. I’d take Bum over Stras, for what Grey said.

  12. Cram It says:
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    Pitching is not deep!

    • Willy Mo says:
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      @Cram It: agree. Waiting too long for starters really burnt me last year. Grey makes it seem like it was easy to get an alex wood from last season (who i owned and i still stunk at pitching).

      The problem was by the time i was ready to start drafting pitchers, i needed to reach becasue in round 6ish all the good starting pitchers are gone and we were already well outside the top 20. So it felt like i should have drafted a pitcher earlier.

      Theres so many more quality hitters that i believe pitcher scarcity (gasp) needs to be accounted for

      • Cram It says:
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        @Willy Mo: It’s not necessarily easy to identify guys that will severely outperform their draft price but it can be done and that’s half the fun. Last year was brutal for SP’s. I don’t know if it was an anomaly or the start of something, but I’m still not drafting a starter in the first few rounds.

        • Willy Mo says:
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          @Cram It: yea i prolly just waiting too long last year. I think round 4 is the sweet spot, with guys like sevy and carrasco available.

          I dont think its a bad idea to draft another starter with one of your next 2 picks thereafter as well which is probably not the reccomended route.

          • Earl says:
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            @Willy Mo: I think I would agree that need 1st pitcher perhaps round #3 (Syndergaard or Strasburg) or definitely by round #4 with perhaps a Sevy or Carrasco maybe Ray??

            • Earl says:
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              @Earl: Last year on a team that did well in roto 5×5 league, I went hitters round 1-3, then starting pitchers 4 and 5, followed by hitter round 6 and then good closers rounds 7&8. Seemed to work well for me last year anyway. LOL.

          • Willy Mo says:
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            @Willy Mo: example:
            Round 6. Lets say u picked second in a snake draft and got-
            Altuve 2
            Springer 23
            Jose abreu 26
            Severino 47
            Rendon 50

            In round 6 the top pitchers available per fantasy pros for ur next pick are keuchel, nola, quintana. Top hitters buxton, wil myers, schoop.

            I think it makes sense to take one of those starters here in round 6 becasue the bext 3 pitcher names listed after the 3 i mentioned are cole, tanaka, and lester, of ehich should go much later and make for shaky sp2 imo.

            I def will be taking 2 sp with my first 6 picks. Not saying first round but in rounds 4 and 6 i think thats the where the value is with current adp.

          • Cram It says:
            (link)

            @Willy Mo: Round 4 is reasonable.

            • Sweatpants Nation says:
              (link)

              @Cram It: Yeah, load up on bats in the first 4-5 rounds and see how the draft is evolving from there. The problem with waiting too long is when you pick a hitter then have to wait while the next guy picks a pitcher that starts a run so by the time it gets back to you there isn’t much left to have confidence in. Auctions work a little differently, obviously, but you still have to avoid the over pay especially early.

      • Crime Dog says:
        (link)

        @Willy Mo: . I think all Grey’s pitching strategies center around your standard settings and size for the most part. I’m in a 14 team league where you need 7 starts a week with categories of QS, HR, SV, ERA, WHIP and K/9 and I adjust accordingly. I think I over adjusted last year in my first year when I took scherzer in the second. This year I will be looking to take my first starter at the end of 3.

        If I were in a standard 10 or 12 team I’d probably hold off until rounds 4 or 5 to take a pitcher. A lot depends on league settings.

      • Curious George Springer says:
        (link)

        @Willy Mo: I drafted Hill, Paxton, and Ray last year based on the metrics Grey talks about, and my staff was awesome. It can be done with some work.

    • The Great Knoche says:
      (link)

      @Cram It: There’s 150 starters!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Cram It: Not up top, but there are a ton of #2-4’s

      • Cram It says:
        (link)

        @Grey: If guys with a 4.00 ERA are #2’s then shizz ain’t deep. *cough cough* Gausman *cough*

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Oh, not deep conventionally, but I’m saying there’s about 40 pitchers that are all the same diff, so no reason to draft an SP high

          • Cram It says:
            (link)

            @Grey: Agreed. I’ll never draft an SP high regardless of the landscape. Finding those SP gems is my favorite part anyway. Just need to do a little extra research in this minefield and make sure I get some of them!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Any chance you draft Shohei?

              • Cram It says:
                (link)

                @Grey: There’s a chance. I don’t how much he’s going for/ADP but I won’t pay for him as a top 100 player if that’s his price tag.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  Yeah, he’s easily going in top 100

                  • Cram It says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey: I’m not paying for that. But then I’m in the 8th round of the ‘Perts league, and I’ve half cockeyed and I’m staring at a queue of Jon Lester, Michael Fulmer and Adam Jones and I pull the trigger.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Oh eff all of those guys… My guess it will be Gallo or Ohtani…

                  • Cram It says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey: I don’t even know how this guy is going to be used. Probably not interested in him at all at his price tag if he’s mainly going to hit. If I have a low risk team by the time he’s draftable, maybe I’ll take a chance on him.

                    Eff Gallo. I typically struggle in BA every year. I’m making a concerted effort to not put myself in that hole early.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      I hear ya on Gallo, but his price vs. Judge has me interested… Tho, the AVG will kill ya…. I’m not touching Ohtani, nothing but downside, and he only threw 25 IP last year…

            • Crime Dog says:
              (link)

              @Cram It: yo Cram, what do you consider high? Would you say regardless of any format, you’d never take a SP in the first 2 rounds? 3 rounds? what’s your cutoff with a format heavily weighted towards elite pitching in mind? hopefully that makes sense lol.

              • Cram It says:
                (link)

                @Crime Dog: I’m definitely not taking SP in the first 2 rounds. Format could dictate taking one in the 3rd, like a 15 team NFBC league, and so could the draft flow. I’m in a points league where pitching is weighted heavier than hitting, but still, I take my chances playing musical pitchers during the season if the ones I draft don’t work out.

                • Crime Dog says:
                  (link)

                  @Cram It: Good to know, thanks Cram. This is my second year playing fantasy baseball, longtime fan though, and still trying to get a solid base strategy to go by. I found this site a little too late last year and took Scherzer in 2, never again! I think a good rule of thumb it sounds like is never in the first 2 rounds no matter the format (unless of course it’s some sort of whacky all pitchers league).

                  • Cram It says:
                    (link)

                    @Crime Dog: Right on! Glad you found fantasy baseball and this site. Grey and the gang will surely cover draft strategies and supply tools to help you draft a good team.

                    But yeah, the favored strategy around here is to not pay for pitching at the draft.

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
                    (link)

                    Crime Dog, I got your email, sending it along to Rudy

                    • Crime Dog says:
                      (link)

                      @Grey: thank you!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Let me know tomorrow if you haven’t heard back

  13. El Marco says:
    (link)

    It’s like Christmas! Love me everyone in the Archer tier. Bauer seems a tad high but I will trust you blindly like always. (As you slam my hand against the closest person’s arse) Damn you Grey!

    • Cram It says:
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      @El Marco: And 120 of them stink!

      • The Great Knoche says:
        (link)

        @Cram It: So deep. So Deep!

        • Cram It says:
          (link)

          @The Great Knoche: If I come away from the draft with Bauer as my ace, I’m going to kick a cat.

          • The Great Knoche says:
            (link)

            @Cram It: Yup, I just love saying pitching is sooo Deep!!!

            I’m in on Bumgarner, Strasburg, Severino, Ray. Not touching Mets so I may over-invest to make sure I get one of those guys.

              • The Great Knoche says:
                (link)

                @Cram It: Matt Harvey. The Comeback!

              • Willy Mo says:
                (link)

                @Cram It: lol matz? i guess hes a name. He had a mid 6 k rate over 66 innings last year, and injured as usual.

                You can get him in one of the last rounds id think. Fantasy pros has him as the 100th sp off the board at pick 347

                • Cram It says:
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                  @Willy Mo: I’m not putting any stock in last year. It was a lost season for him due to injury. Dude is good.

                  • Willy Mo says:
                    (link)

                    @Cram It: always injured. Last year bad and injured. Hes just not built to be a guy who can take the ball every 5 days it seems

                    • Cram It says:
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                      @Willy Mo: Too soon to tag him as always injured.

  14. SWCMinor says:
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    I predicted (to myself) that Grey would be low on Severino due to the drastic increase in innings. I’m sad to be wrong, but happy that Severino (who I love) got a vote of confidence.

  15. MacGruber says:
    (link)

    I love the aggressive Bauer ranking.

    In a 15-team mixed if my starters were Syndergaard, Cole, McCullers and Pomeranz should I pay the[ high] auction price to get someone else in this tier or wait a bit and shop in the $5 bin for a bunch of high upside high risk dart throws?

  16. Fanciful Basesball says:
    (link)

    SPs are terrible. The worst thing your hitters are going to do in a freak day is go 0 and 9 on a doubleheader. But starting pitchers will put up two months of solid numbers, then get destroyed by a noodle-batted team for 7 earned runs, 12 hits, and 5 walks in 1.2 innings. Just like that, your h2h week is dead. Just like that, you’ve dropped down 3 points in roto. Just terrible.

    Starting pitchers are like the tail end out a bad relationship. The best times are sexy, but most of the time you’re just trying to hold on to normal, fearing the fight that will ruin your day. You never come home to your batters and spend an hour with them in awkward silence, not wanting to be the first one to speak. You can easily forgive batters, and they weren’t offended by what you said to them. Pitchers will leave your team if they catch you checking out another pitchers ERA on the wire.

    Batters never say “not tonight, I have a blister.”

    This was a reply about baseball.

    • @Fanciful Basesball: …and so much more. Great post. I heartily endorse the philosophy of hashtag FUCKPITCHING. I drafted a bunch of trash last year, picked up Lance Lynn the day after, and streamed my way to the playoffs. (only to get knocked out solely because of Yu Darvish getting his ass eaten by the Padres) ((and yes, I traded for Darvish for that “playoff run Ace”, never ever again.)) Stream life is exhausting, but its the only life for me.

    • Stickball Al says:
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      @Fanciful Basesball: Hahahaha !!! Thanks for the laugh…

  17. Justin says:
    (link)

    Darvish lower than expected, Bauer obviously higher. Bauer incorporated a slider last year too, on top of the previously mentioned curveball usage. I think his second half is indicative of lasting changes but I’m still scurred of his past 3 IP 7 BBs performances. The walks have me a bit squeamish but he has shown improvement over the last 3 years there. Wonder how walk rate differed from first to second half last year….

    Yu, like most of these guys, has some concerns. Post injury Yu doesn’t look quite the same as pre-injury Yu. I’m hopeful he continues to ramp up the slider usage now that he’s 3 years removed from TJ. I do like Yu more than Chris Archer, as I feel like there is more upside there with Archer basically just being a slider pitcher (good slider though). I think Archer is what he is, which isn’t something I’m that excited about, whereas Yu could make a jump especially depending on where he goes.

  18. Willy Mo says:
    (link)

    I dont get why you would rank carrasco over sevy

    Sevy had a higher k rate, lower walk rate, lower era, lower whip, more ks, and as u mentioned last year was the first time carrasco ever pitched 200 innings and hes 31 years old (sevy is 23). I know they are only 1 spot apart and in the same tier but in round 4 of my mocks i keep getting choice of either so i was curious who u liked more.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Willy Mo: They’re next to each other, flip a coin

      • Willy Mo says:
        (link)

        @Grey: i might just see how many yankees/astros i can draft lol

        U see the news that braun is going to play first base? Counsell seems like he wants to go that direction from what i read and braun is open to it. Braun came up as an infielder so shouldnt be an issue at 1b. Maybe Sunday santana will get those 500 abs. This would also obv crush eric thames to undrafted, not that i want thames anyway but…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Yeah, he says he’s willing to try 2nd base too, that should last until about 2nd week of spring training

          • Willy Mo says:
            (link)

            @Grey: haha

            Counsell dismissed that right away. A reporter brought that up to him and counsell said somthing like yes and shortstop…

            Braun at first tho i think is going to happen makes a lot of sense. Keep braun healthy at 1B and OF is cain yelich santana. Thames play sporadically in good spots.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Makes sense for Braun and OF, agreed…

    • @Willy Mo: I agree. Sevy is younger and on a powerhouse Yanks team with plenty of run support potential for Sevy. I’m drafting him as my #1

  19. Justin says:
    (link)

    Id say lack of performance history on Sevy. I get what you’re saying though. Sevy sexy. But he could go straight up Shelby Miller. Never should have trusted a man with the first name “Shelby”….#regrets

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Justin: *shudders* Shelby Miller

  20. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
    (link)

    What’s up, GA? Thought I’d stop by and say hello to January Grey on his last day of eligibility. How’s the offseason treating you?

    • FrankGrimes says:
      (link)

      @Big Magoo:
      Magoo! Name two guys you are targeting this year please?

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
        (link)

        @FrankGrimes: Grimey! In terms of SPs? I like Castillo, but everyone seems to be in on him. Reminds me of Severino a bit.

        I seem to be higher on Richards and Snell than most. The Angels might have the best defense in baseball, and they play in one of the most pitcher-friendly home parks too. The Rays aren’t too far behind in those regards. Both guys have great velo, swing-and-miss stuff. It’s all about health with Richards and control with Snell, but those red flags are more than baked into their current ADPs. Snell was lights-out over his last dozen or so starts last year.

        I think that Cueto is being undervalued too. Dealt with a blister issue for most of last season. Great park, and the Giants have made several short-term upgrades this offseason. If healthy, I like him for a bounceback.

        • Justin says:
          (link)

          @Big Magoo:

          My poor fantasy performance last year was due to a blister as well

          • Sweatpants Nation says:
            (link)

            @Justin: Cueto was also carting his sick father around all year wasn’t he? Maybe that distracted him? IDK. Anyone know what happened with that?

            • Big Magoo

              Big Magoo says:
              (link)

              @Sweatpants Nation: I remember reading in spring training last year that his dad didn’t even recognize him anymore. That must’ve been a distraction. Can’t find any updates on the situation though.

        • J-FOH says:
          (link)

          @Big Magoo: You’ve always had a boner for Richards

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
            (link)

            @J-FOH: He’s a less durable C-Mart. I’ll take that outside of the top 200.

            • J-FOH says:
              (link)

              @Big Magoo: Im busting balls. I always liked him too and have been waiting for that one year…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Big Magoo: What’s up, Magoo? Tough day for me, February Grey is standing next to my desk, cracking knuckles

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Today might not be as tough on January Grey as it is on Rudy. RIP Oscar Gamble.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Damn, that’s really sad to hear

        • J-FOH says:
          (link)

          @Big Magoo: Magoo! You’re alive!!!

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
            (link)

            @J-FOH: Just barely. Prepping the house to sell, looking for a new place, dealing with work, and keeping up with a six year old. Fun times!

            • J-FOH says:
              (link)

              @Big Magoo: where are you moving? Enjoy them being 6 because when they are 10 you want to constantly smack them upside the head. shoot me an email…

              • Big Magoo

                Big Magoo says:
                (link)

                @J-FOH: I’ll still be in the same general area. I’ll email you later when I get a chance.

        • Dr Easy says:
          (link)

          @Big Magoo: Came here to say this! We need a post from Rudy on this matter.

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
        (link)

        @Grey: That’s ok. January Grey can get ready for a round of super long toss with his new BFF… Trevor Bauer!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Don’t be jealous!

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
            (link)

            @Grey: If you could throw from one end of the field to the other on the fly repeatedly, I’d be extremely jealous…

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              I can with a jai alai handle

              • Big Magoo

                Big Magoo says:
                (link)

                @Grey: What’s that about Eloy’s handle? Guess I should check out the OF rankings.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  115 ABs from Eloy in 2018, over or under?

                  • Big Magoo

                    Big Magoo says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey: That sounds like a question for Prospector Ralph. I’d guess just slightly under. Probably a Sept call up. Might not even get the call until next year. They don’t have any real reason to start his clock early.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Agreed, wanted to make sure we were on same page

                  • Big Magoo

                    Big Magoo says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey: What do you think? Did you rank him this year?

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Didn’t even rank him… I think at most 75-100 ABs

  21. Darek says:
    (link)

    The other reason to avoid starters is injury risk (especially severe injury risk). Tough to recover from losing a top round pick for season.

    Also as pitchers pitch less often (6 man rotations) and get pulled from games earlier, it could decrease starter production and relative value further.

  22. Todd says:
    (link)

    A Reggie Roby reference in a Clayton Kershaw blurb? My week is made. Thanks, Grey!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Todd: Ha, nice

  23. Lil john says:
    (link)

    10 team, standard roto. Weekly league, so aces are a bit more valuable. Keep 5 players, one has to be a pitcher.

    I’m currently keeping Trout, Machado, Rizzo, JDM, and C-Mart. I’d have to cut Dozier and B Buxton.

    What do you think about trading JDM, Rizzo, and C-Mart for Trea and Kluber?

    Keepers would then be Trout, Machado, Turner, Dozier/Bux, and Kluber

  24. Peacecoast says:
    (link)

    Thanks for the reminder and pep-talk! I am drafting 11th this year and toying with the idea of getting one of the high tier SP in round 1 or 2. You have brought me back to my senses.
    Last year I drafted Danny Fucking Salazar and Gerrit Cole as my first 2 SP in rounds 6 and 7. I still finished 3rd in pitching and 2nd overall. There is no need to reach for ace SP early.

    On another note, I am in a Saves PLUS holds league. Can keep Devenski in 20, is that any real value versus say Raisel in 19?

  25. cabron says:
    (link)

    I like Trevor. How much of a tinkerer he is worries me a bit. But being that he is readily available around pick 40 I do not feel a need to reach at all.

    A lot of middle relief/set up men are getting 5-10 wins every year. Those numbers are going to continue to increase. These guys are also putting up far better rate stats. Am I crazy to do a repeat of what I did last year in a few leagues and stream starters and grab wins from higher rate stat relief pitchers? The only starter I kept the entire season in a 5×5 that I won was Rich Hill (well I dropped him last few weeks as it was an inning cap) . There really is no reason that I can see to reach for starters.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @cabron: If you can get a solid MR or three, I’d do it… I love carrying an MR for ratio help and vulture wins

  26. knucks says:
    (link)

    Thanks for these SP Rankings Grey, well done.

    Not usually one for one of these types of posts, but here it goes. So I’m through 5 rounds in my NFBC and below is my squad so far. Really looking for some feedback from those with NFBC experience. Mainly, what should I treat differently than I would in a standard roto draft. I’m assuming SP/RP is more important to nail, without being able to stream? That’s somewhat obvious. But like I said, would really appreciate Razzers chiming in with some tips.

    In round 6, I’m targeting Hosmer/Schoop/Yelich, who should mostly all be there at my pick. Or maybe an SP2 that I haven’t really identified yet. Then maybe Saves or an SP in Round 7. After today’s write-up, looking at Bauer as an SP3 in Round 11/12/13. His NFBC ADP is 143 and I have picks 125, 140 and 149.

    I read somewhere about the 1st place teams from 2017 having averaged the following batting stats when divided by 14 (number starting batting slots)…

    84 Rs, 26 HRs, 82 RBIs, 12 SBs, .278 AVG

    Doing my best to hold my bats to that standard throughout. The second Catcher slot is pretty disgusting.

    C-
    C-
    1B-
    2B-
    3B-Arenado
    SS- Lindor
    OF- Dee Gordon, Empty (x4)
    CI- Rendon
    MI-
    Util-
    P- Verlander, Empty (x8)

    • Justin says:
      (link)

      @knucks:

      IMO, Yelich

    • knucks says:
      (link)

      @knucks: Thanks guys. Rest of my rambling/strategy sound decent?

  27. Hollywood says:
    (link)

    I like a Nola/Quintana pairing. 2 seemingly safe guys who should come after the first or second wave of SPs – then roll with some upside guys from there.

  28. Sweatpants Nation says:
    (link)

    Interesting new names in the top 20! Just got Quintana in a trade so I’m glad to see you think his K’s are for real. I’m one of those guys who had Bauer every year until finally giving up on him last year so a bit gun shy with him.
    The real fun starts tomorrow with top 40 and then top 60. That’s where gold is mined.

      • Sweatpants Nation says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Yes, Swami Grey.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          *does belly dance*

          • Peacecoast says:
            (link)

            @Grey: *gets aroused*

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Rawr!

    • Racehorse says:
      (link)

      @Sweatpants Nation: “The real fun starts tomorrow with top 40 and then top 60. That’s where gold is mined.”

      Wondering out loud if digging for gold in 60 – 80 will mean more nose picking than gold digging ~

      • Sweatpants Nation says:
        (link)

        @Racehorse: That’s where it can get ugly in a hurry if one is not careful, Grasshopper.

  29. Mind=Blown says:
    (link)

    Previously you told me to keep Paxton in my 8 team 6 X 6 keep forever roto league. He is the top pitcher I have to keep but if another team in my league does not keep someone from this list, i.e. Robbie Ray, should I not keep Paxton and look to draft a pitcher more in the 13 to 20 range here? Or hold Pax and draft someone like Ray? Current keeper list for reference:

    Rizzo
    Merrifield
    Bregman
    JDM
    Blackmon
    Springer
    Hoskins
    Domingo
    Schoop
    Paxton

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Mind=Blown: Who are you keeping if not Pax?

      • Mind=Blown says:
        (link)

        @Grey: I have it narrowed to:
        Mazara, Pollock or Schwarber.

        Here are some pitchers I am pretty confident are not being kept:
        Ray
        Quintana
        Nola

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          I’d go Pollock

  30. chrisL says:
    (link)

    Dynasty question 5×5 with OBP
    Keep 4 with no picks lost:

    Ozzie Albies
    Alex Bregman
    Benintendi
    Braun
    Cano
    R. Devers
    C Bellinger
    M Brantley
    Vlad. Guerr Jr.
    V. Robles
    A. Rendon
    A. Nola

    Thank you!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @chrisL: Cody, Rendon, Benintendi, Bregman

  31. Justin says:
    (link)

    Looking forward to Grey’s thoughts on Cueto, David Price, Fulmer, Castillo. I’m assuming they’ll be in the next 20 or so. Any hints as to whether you are up or down on these guys compared to their ADP? Or are you going to tease me with check back in tomorrow, even though I’ll check back in regardless…

  32. J-FOH says:
    (link)

    I finished season 1 of the Sopranos. I’m so glad I went back and watched again. So much I forgot about and honestly one of the better season ones Ive seen

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I’d like to go back and watch it again too… You finish Scott Tucker? He’s still pissing me off…

      • J-FOH says:
        (link)

        @Grey: I haven’t. Ive had a crazy couple of days. We had 9 sheriffs on my street yesterday

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Damn, who did you rob?

          • J-FOH says:
            (link)

            @Grey: you have one felony larceny arrest when you are 17 and everyone thinks you’re a thief for the rest of your life

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Deflection! Cops there totally bc of you!

              • J-FOH says:
                (link)

                @Grey: real story: Im in my room working and I hear this car horn going non stop and hear a woman screaming. Babys mama, who is working in the dining room, says someone is yelling for help. I bust out the front door hearing this woman two doors down screaming NO and asking for help. This was blood curdling screaming. Seriously it sounds like someone died. I can see her car is all busted up and think maybe she killed someone and ran. I went over to my neighbors house (he’s a retired sheriff) and ask him what he saw and he had no idea but was on the phone calling it in. Next thing I know this black truck comes barreling down my street (its a cul-de-sac) and he gets out by the lady screaming and talk to her. Minute later that guy hops in his truck to leave and the retired sheriff is filming him and the guy notices so he pulls up and starts getting into it with my neighbor. Super confrontational like he wants to fight him. Well the dumbass didn’t know my neighbor was still on the phone with the local sheriffs (his old co-workers) and they hear everything so they came full cavalry to see this guy fight. Im standing there trying to look away for (plausible deniability). Oh man, it was pretty funny. This guy picked the wrong guy to fuck with. His plates goit run and now he’s labeled in the system. I had cops there for over an hour figuring out the crazy lady, who it turns out is the crazy estranged daughter of my neighbors, and under questioning said she didnt hit anything as she is standing next to her car with a busted up grill and half the bumper ripped off. A lot of drama with nothing bad happening…for now. Best thing is I got introduced to a bunch of local sheriffs by my neighbor. Im gold over here

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  Wow, that’s insane… So, you had stringers there?! Did any of the guys from Shot in the Dark show up?! Deets!

                  • J-FOH says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey: I wish. Ive been in Hollywood when stringers showed up. Ill keep you posted because I know Ill be getting more info on this lady. We had people from blocks over trying to get down my street and heard ambulances. She had to hit something or someone.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Imagine being somewhere one of the Netflix stringers showed up? Like, “Wow, cool sighting!” Then, “Crap, I’m broken down in the fast lane and they’re waiting for me to die.”

                    • J-FOH says:
                      (link)

                      you dont drive anywhere on the freeway except to Palm Springs so I think you’ll be okay

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      This is true

      • Could be your Dad !!! says:
        (link)

        @Grey: You know your Mom and I were right in the middle of Soprano land in Bloomfield NJ. I think they controlled the Garbage union among other things. Was your Mom from Bloomfield or the general area ?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Dad, is that you? My mom went to Bloomfield College for two years.

  33. Cabby says:
    (link)

    Stroman must have been close. I would likely take him over a few of these guys. Thoughts?

    • Justin says:
      (link)

      @Cabby:

      Stroman had 4+ ERA 2016 but basically a 3.00 ERA last year. His LOB percentage was higher last season by a lot and most of the other peripherals are the same. Makes it seem like he was a bit lucky last year. His K’s are lower than you’d expect from someone with a good heater and slider combo. Unless K’s go up and he repeats his luck, you’re looking at a 4.00 ERA guy with sub 8 K/9 innings.

      Having said that, dude’s young and showed K ability in minors. I’d put him in 20-40 range.

  34. Fred says:
    (link)

    Struggling to decide which keepers to hold onto this year…

    Its a 13 man 5×5 Roto league (Saves+Holds)

    – 3 year max for keepers and we are going into year 2. 6 keepers MAX and you forfeit your draft pick for the round they were drafted in (-1) each year. If a keeper is traded, the new owner gets 3 more years.

    Here are my options:

    Judge @ round 23 (no brainer)
    Severino @ 18 (no brainer)
    Moncada @ 10 (Potential superstar, gotta take him)
    Fulmer @ 13 (Maybe looking to trade Fulmer as he has lots of value or should I keep?)
    C [email protected] 4 (I want to keep him to pair with Severino as my aces)
    Mazara @ 12 ( Im super high on him and hes only getting better)
    Cole @ 9
    Price @ 13
    Baez @ 18
    Gallo @15

    Let me know which 6 you would choose! More feedback the better!

    Thanks,

    Fred

    • Justin says:
      (link)

      @Fred:

      Judge
      Severino
      Cole
      Price
      Baez

      • Fred says:
        (link)

        @Justin:

        Thanks for the input. You have reenforced my thoughts about Cole and Price. Im interested to see what a healthy Price can do, fingers crossed hes healthy.

        I am able to keep 6 players and you only gave me 5. DId you attend the University of kids who cant read good?

        • Justin says:
          (link)

          @Fred:

          I don’t know what you mean…

          I think Cole and Price have good value. Not over the moon over either but at that price, it’s worth it

    • Fred says:
      (link)

      @Gray

      What are you thoughts?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
        (link)

        On what Fred? All I see on my phone is:

        @Gray

        What are you thoughts?

        • Fred says:
          (link)

          @Grey:

          Your thoughts on life itself…

          Kidding. I thought my questions would be attached to the thread. My bad. Here is my question below:

          Struggling to decide which keepers to hold onto this year…

          Its a 13 man 5×5 Roto league (Saves+Holds)

          – 3 year max for keepers and we are going into year 2. 6 keepers MAX and you forfeit your draft pick for the round they were drafted in (-1) each year. If a keeper is traded, the new owner gets 3 more years.

          Here are my options:

          Judge @ round 23 (no brainer)
          Severino @ 18 (no brainer)
          Moncada @ 10 (Potential superstar, gotta take him)
          Fulmer @ 13 (Maybe looking to trade Fulmer as he has lots of value or should I keep?)
          C [email protected] 4 (I want to keep him to pair with Severino as my aces)
          Mazara @ 12 ( Im super high on him and hes only getting better)
          Cole @ 9
          Price @ 13
          Baez @ 18
          Gallo @15

          Let me know which 6 you would choose!

          Thanks.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
            (link)

            It is in the thread, but not when I’m on my phone app, so usually I do see it…. Anyway:

            Judge @ round 23 (no brainer)
            Severino @ 18 (no brainer)
            Moncada @ 10 (Potential superstar, gotta take him)
            Baez, Gallo, Mazara…

            Can trade Fulmer, if you can.

            • Dubs23 says:
              (link)

              @Grey: The explanation of phone app and thread now explain why you kept saying “I don’t know who you are keeping” and “Not sure what other options you have” in the thread yesterday. I was going crazy as I knew I had listed everything for you. Ha. It’s startin’ to come together.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
                (link)

                Ha, yeah, sometimes I’m on my computer and in the thread, but easier for me to be on app

                • Dubs23 says:
                  (link)

                  @Grey: You’re high on both these guys so do you prefer an $8 Bauer or $1 Wacha?

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
                    (link)

                    Bauer

  35. Bravos14 says:
    (link)

    Grey, I own Keuchel in a 20 team Keeper League, picked him up as a free agent early in the 2014 season. He now holds a 20th round keeper spot, reduces by 2 rounds annually, so he obviously has great value and he’s often sought after. My question is, would you attempt to unload him this season and if so what type of haul, draft picks, would you feel is a fair trade? I realize it’s somewhat difficult to answer without a full understanding of the league, so just think picks 1-27 in play with multiple picks allowed. Like you I’m concerned about his mph dipping into the danger zone, Grey sings quietly to himself “Danger Zone, Danger Zone” before disregarding the question.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I’d unload him if I could… A top 20 OF maybe?

  36. TheTinDoor says:
    (link)

    What’s your preferred strategy in a weekly moves league? Specifically, how high & how many starters would you draft vs. stream (standard categories for 9 roster spots)?

    Daily streaming is off the table, but in some ways that makes streaming MORE attractive as you only need to find the best available start for the full week.

    I’d prefer 3 top-30 SP, including 1 of the top 4 if I can swing it, and stream the rest. Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Number of teams matters

      • TheTinDoor says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        13 team mixer. No bench (DL) so ~75 SP plus injured guys are rostered at any given time.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I’d draft just as I always do… I won an NFBC league last year that was 15 team, and I didn’t draft a starter until 4th round…

  37. Peacecoast says:
    (link)

    yo we talked about The Leftovers last year huh. That shit still affects me to this day. Loved that show. It moved me. Do y’all LA types still get moved by shit? Word son. Keep it real.

    • Peacecoast says:
      (link)

      @Peacecoast: P.S. need more show recs

      • Grey

        Grey says:
        (link)

        Watch Dark on Netflix (but subtitled)

        • Peacecoast says:
          (link)

          @Grey: thanks! restarted the Americans too, season 3 now

          • Grey

            Grey says:
            (link)

            Such a great show!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Let me clarify what I think you’re saying, you moved to LA and now you’re moved by emotions 12 months later? Welcome to LA!

      • Peacecoast says:
        (link)

        @Grey: you used to understand me, you’ve changed

        (still in Boston, east coast forever)

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Bahston! I *want* to understand you again.

          • Peacecoast says:
            (link)

            @Grey: then maybe spend less time on your laptop fucking writing all the time and more with me at Fenway eating Italian sausage. I’m not Italian stop that.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              I deserve that outburst…

  38. Cheese says:
    (link)

    Wow I was waiting to find that 1 guy you are ecstatic about and I kept reading and didn’t see it! A ton of guys you like, but no one you HAVE to own. What is the percentage likelihood you come out of a draft and not have one of these top 20 guys?

    • Justin says:
      (link)

      @Cheese:

      I don’t know he seems pretty horny for Bauer. I haven’t seem him rated in anyone else’s top 20. Hopefully Bauer turns out to have a more pleasant smell than Odor…cheap shot…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I am much higher on Bauer than anyone

      • Cheese says:
        (link)

        @Grey: I agree that the ranking of Bauer seems higher, but even reading through the blurb it is isn’t like years past (i.e. Carrasco the last couple years). And looking at the tier names, there’s no “NOW you draft your first starter” tier.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Pitching’s a bit of a mess, but there’s more excitement in the top 40

          • Count de Monetballl says:
            (link)

            Sometimes the Grey’s instructions of when to draft pitchers is obvious, sometimes not…:

            “You’re mine and we belong together.” (2013)
            “I’ll let you be my first fantasy starter if I don’t have one yet” (2014)
            “Commence drafting, Drafty McDraftstein” (2015)
            “Okay, you need to draft a starter at some point prolly, but if you’re looking at me to force you to draft a starter, you’re looking at the wrong guy.” (2016)
            “Slowly remove the hand from under your bun and click yo mouse.” (2017)
            “The shruggle is real.”(2018)

            I remember one where he said something to the effect of “ok, go ahead and take your pitcher condom off and draft”… PURE GENIUS!!!! Couldn’t find it, but was definitely in my top 100 Grey quotes!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Haha, thanks!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Bauer’s gonna have a 6.00 ERA in April, and the world’s gonna hate me, I can feel it…

          • Peacecoast says:
            (link)

            @Grey: naw man nothing will beat the Deshizz fiasco of ’16

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              I appreciate that, Peacecoast

              • Peacecoast says:
                (link)

                @Grey: we are your army though, remember that! we believe.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  Forever and ever, amen

                  • Peacecoast says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey: does it feel weird to have an army of nerds and 5 women willing to follow you into any draft room?

                    btw what leagues are you playing in this year? You did real well last year right? What did you win? let’s hear some bragging

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      I was the bomb dot gov last year… Including Rudy, Razzball won three Tout Wars leagues, and Rudy came in 2nd in LABR… Same leagues as last year, I think 7 or 8 leagues…. Depends on who fills in for Funston in Yahoo league organization…

  39. knucks says:
    (link)

    Seeing that you didn’t yet get props for fitting Mark Madsen in here today and just wanted to say, “BRAVO!”

    Haven’t laughed like that in a hot minute. Had to watch Madsen on Yo-Tube a few times today after reading that.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Ha, nice!

  40. block says:
    (link)

    H2H categories Dynasty League: I trade Aaron Judge an Joey Gallo for Noah Syndergaard and Jose Abreu? Besides Abreu I would then have Cespedes, Chris Davis, Renfroe, Bird and Pham as my main source of HRs. Syndergaard and Abreu enough of a return?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      That sounds fair, I think I’d go for it…More faith in Noah than Gallo and Judge about equal with Abreu

      • block says:
        (link)

        @Grey: It’s actually been updated to Noah, Abreu, Ian Happ and Joe Musgrove for Gallo, Judge, Buxton, and Odorizzi. Worse or better?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Sounds slightly worse

  41. CoreyII says:
    (link)

    Very happy to see Ray and Nola high on your rankings!

    I have both of them as 10 team NL Only keeper options (Nola at $18, Ray at $13). I also have Alex Wood for $4.

    Which one of those would you cut if you could only keep 2? I was leaning towards cutting Nola, but you have him ranked top 20 so now I’m second guessing myself!

    • Justin says:
      (link)

      @CoreyII:

      I think you got it right at those costs with Ray and Wood.

      • CoreyII says:
        (link)

        @Justin: Cool, thanks for the input. Would a $4 Arodys Vizcaiono make you reconsider keeping either of those SP?

        • Justin says:
          (link)

          @CoreyII:

          No

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Nola’s high at $18

  42. David Niven says:
    (link)

    Hey RIP Oscar Gamble, just read about it. Grey please give my regards to Rudy, his bro from another mo.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      His ‘fro from another mo

  43. sport says:
    (link)

    My be waiting til the 5th round to nab my first starter in Nola or Quintana!

    I am serious and don’t call me Surely!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Hehe

  44. CO Jason says:
    (link)

    10-team, H2H keeper question. I’m keeping Abreu, Arenado, Benintendi, Blackmon, Archer Berrios, and Severino. Who are my last three keepers out of Wilson Contreras, K. Davis, G. Cole, J. Gray, Knebel, and F. Rivero? Thanks!

    • Cram It says:
      (link)

      @CO Jason: First 3

      • CO Jason says:
        (link)

        @Cram It: Thanks Cram It, I appreciate it.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Agree with Cram

  45. Hanklongball says:
    (link)

    Grey,

    Great stuff, as always! If one used the SON and only held three SPs, how many would you suggest they target in the top 20 vs top 40? Can they do with all three in the 21-40 range, or do they need at least one (or more) in the top 20?

    Last, where would Castillo and Mikolas fall on your rotation? SP3 and SP5? Higher? Lower?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Prolly go one from here, and two from tomorrow’s post

      • Hanklongball says:
        (link)

        @Grey: the suspense!

  46. Rob says:
    (link)

    Trade Kingery for McKenzie in Dynasty?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Nah

      • Rob says:
        (link)

        @Grey: I do have decent depth at 2B with Moncada, Merrifield and Pedroia…Plus it’s a daily lineup league so more pitching can only help…Still nah?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Makes sense to go for it then

          • Rob says:
            (link)

            @Grey: Thank you! More context can only help I guess…Tough to answer these questions with no context…

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Yup

  47. I am the Walrus says:
    (link)

    Please rate these combinations in a 10 team auction league:
    1- Degrom and Tanaka
    2- Quitana and Salazar
    3- Nola and Quintana
    4-Kluber and one of these – Manaea/Snell/Berrios

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Just freebies? 4, 1, 3

      • I am the Walrus says:
        (link)

        Just freebies?? I don’t follow? I think the dollar values for these combo’s will be pretty close to the same. Thanks Grey!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          I mean, no rounds attached? If you’re drafting Kluber, you know how I feel about that

          • I am the walrus says:
            (link)

            It’s an auction/keeper league, so no rounds. Plus my keepers are Bellinger, Devers and Lamb for $13 combined. So i have pitcher money to burn.

  48. Sad Keanu says:
    (link)

    Would you take Rhys Hoskins over Luis Severino? Both have the same auction value. I can’t wait for the top 100 rankings to come out so asking now. Thanks Grey!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      They’re the same auction value, literally next to each other in my top 100

  49. Richie says:
    (link)

    I’m in a keeper contract points league. We get 8 years of contracts per season and once the contract is over, the player renters the draft. My keepers this year are 2 Betts, 2 Just Dong, 2 Bellinger and 1 on Abreu/Schoop/Upton/DSantana. Would you trade the 6th pick (Scherzer/Kluber), the 11th pick (Encarnacion/Yelich), and Upton for the 3rd pick (Harper) and Votto?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Seems a little steep

  50. A2K says:
    (link)

    Dronefinger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (No response needed)

  51. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
    (link)

    Since I’m back in full FBB mode, figured I’d throw in my two cents on a player listed here who seems to be getting a lot of positive attention in the comments today.

    Out of the 57 starting pitchers who threw at least 50 innings last season and managed a K/9 of 8.5 or higher, guess who finished last in SwStr%? Jose Quintana (8.5%).

    I think the spike in Ks was due more to the NL’s unfamiliarity with his repertoire and sequencing than anything else. Never posted a K/9 over 8 prior to last season. There’s nothing in his profile (velo, pitch usage) that would suggest that the spike is sustainable.

    Not trying to rain on any Quintana owner’s parade. Just pointing out that it might be wise to expect closer to 180 Ks in 200ish IP than 200+. The 4+ ERA looks like an anomaly too, so cutting half a run off of that might help to even things out as well.

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @Big Magoo: Good to have you back!

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
        (link)

        @J-FOH: Glad to dampen the enthusiasm around here!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Geez, Big Bummermagoo! Are we still going with unfamiliarity to pitchers and/or hitter as a reason with all interleague? In the 1st half of the year he had a 9.4 K/9… Hitters are just striking out more, maybe his rate falls to 8, but I’d take the over…

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Just pointing out that I think a K/9 around 8.5 is more likely for him this year than 9+. Not a big deal for his overall value assuming his HR/9 comes back down to his career norms. Maybe 185-188 Ks and a 3.6 ERA, with the WHIP and win projections remaining similar. Should still be a top 20ish SP in this landscape, but maybe more of a low-end SP2 than a high-end one in 12 teamers.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          That’s all fair enough, sounds like we’re pretty close…Glad we worked that out!

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
            (link)

            @Grey: Hey, what do you mean “we”?

            I have him as my SP21, so we’re not far off though. After the top 10 SPs, there are red flags galore for me. It’s looking like I might grab one (or even two) of those guys and then wait a while to grab my SP3 this year. Not crazy about the SPs in the 40-100 pick range (roughly Greinke-Wood according to early NFBC ADP). Plenty of good bats and relievers to grab in that area of the draft though.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              There’s red flags in the top ten too, no? Bum? Noah? Stras? Carrasco? So many question marks…

              • Big Magoo

                Big Magoo says:
                (link)

                @Grey: Bum’s injury was due to a freak off-field accident.

                Noah’s injury wasn’t arm related and the Mets canned their pitching coach and head trainer this offseason (not to mention the fact that Callaway has a pretty good track record with SPs).

                Stras might only throw 175-180 innings, but they’re likely to be of high quality, and 180 IP is the new 200.

                Carrasco? Yeah, he has some question marks (over 30, ’17 was his first time over mid-180 IP, fairly inconsistent, loss of Callaway, extra postseason innings). He and Severino (huge increase in workload, one elite season) are sort of hovering between the 2nd and 3rd tiers for me.

    • Sweatpants Nation says:
      (link)

      @Big Magoo: His first half he struck out 109 in 104 innings, second half 98 Ks in 84 innings. Not a big jump from AL to NL . Still more than 9 Ks per 9.
      April-June it was about a K an inning, July was 40 Ks in 28 (no idea teams he faced for that outlier), then Aug and Sept a little more than a K per inning. SwStr% is odd and wouldn’t be attributable to aggressive hitter approach so maybe he sequenced differently all year and hitters were going on the old book out on him? Who knows? Strange.

      • Sweatpants Nation says:
        (link)

        @Sweatpants Nation: He also struck out righties and lefties at basically the same rate.

        • Sweatpants Nation says:
          (link)

          @Sweatpants Nation: I’m spending too much time on this. Haha
          July he struck out 10 at Colorado, then followed that up with 12 against Balt. Other games were about a K per inning.

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
            (link)

            @Sweatpants Nation: I bet a large percentage of his owners benched him for that start in Coors too

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
        (link)

        @Sweatpants Nation: The obvious explanation would be a high percentage of called third strikes, but I’m not sure how accurate this is without digging in further. If true, that would strengthen the unfamiliarity argument a bit. As far as the July results go, I’d attribute that to small sample size volatility more than anything else.

  52. Justin says:
    (link)

    General comment, the Razzball podcast (too lazy to look for name) is infinitely better than the fangraphs one. Fangraphs one is unlistenable. Grey giggling cracks my ass up. Only qualm is intro, I know the band is probably a razzball garage band outfit but it’s clunker. Sorry if you’re on lead vocals….

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Thanks! I am most definitely not lead vocals

  53. Malicious Phenoms says:
    (link)

    I have five of your top 20 on my dynasty team:

    Max
    Stras
    Yu
    Ray
    Bauer

    Glad to see Bauer a top 20 SP this year! Solid rankings!

    I have been in on Bauer since he was a rookie and I believe this is the year he takes the next step into an elite SP land.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Thanks! And agreed

      • J-FOH says:
        (link)

        @Grey: maybe he has it figured out. Will see how league adjusts to the curveball. I still wouldn’t draft him as my ace. Guy was such a stubborn head case for so many years. Did the zebra change his stripes ?

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
        (link)

        @J-FOH: @Grey:

        I think we could be looking at Bauer as an ace for 2019.

        I have a feeling about this kid, I like his toughness & competitiveness he wants to be out there.

        When I first saw Jake Peavy pitch back in the day in San Diego., I told my buddies, this guy will win a CY Young and he did.

        I get a good feel about pitchers, just by watching them pitch.

        I’m old school, not a stats head.

  54. Dean White says:
    (link)

    Did you really just goof on Parkinson’s disease? You’re some kind of narcissistic ahole.

    • And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:
      (link)

      @Dean White: you’d be more angry to find out he’s joked about that many many times. it’s a funny thing when people shake. not of course how it makes THEM feel, but just somebody shaking. somebody dying of dysentery isn’t of itself funny, but if that person was constantly farting as they shat themselves to death the farting itself would easily be noticed as such.

      • DEAN L WHITE says:
        (link)

        My take is that it’s a bit uncool to eff with a guy’s disease while he’s actually suffering from that disease. Ali jokes are fine…he’s already cold. It was more the tie to MJ Fox I guess.

        Sometimes I just wish these guys would write more “straight” articles…their analysis is among the best, but sorting through the cleverness takes effort.

  55. Christian herman says:
    (link)

    You have Carrasco ahead of Servino, despite Servino being projected better stats across the board, but with 4 less innings than Carrasco. Is this a mistake?

  56. Xin Ge says:
    (link)

    I am in a keepers league that has 2B, SS and MI, standard ROTO scoring. I have the choice to keep one of the two guys:

    Aaron Nola for $7
    or
    Whit Merrifield for $6

    What are your thoughts?

  57. Turd Furgeaon says:
    (link)

    Nice list.
    Keeper league… whom to keep?

    Verlander
    Nola
    C Rodon

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Nola

Comments are closed.