Yesterday, we went over the top 20 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball and today it’s the top 40 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball.  This is one of my favorite ranking posts because I usually end up with two starters from these twenty.  They are the low end number one starters.  To quote Lil Jon at his fantasy baseball draft, “Get low end number ones!  To the Carrasco, to the Wheeler!  Til Wood drop his base on balls!  Til all these pitchers fall!”  Is it weird I have a man crush on Lil Jon?  He seems like he’d be a constant source of entertainment if you hung out with him on the day-to-day.  Also, besides the low end number ones, there’s number twos and high end number threes.  These are going to be your fantasy staff linchpins.  So, all the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings are right in there.  As with all other ranking posts, my projections and tiers are included.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball:

21. Mat Latos – This tier started in the top 20 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball.  This tier ends at Hughes.  I called this tier, “Save your druthers for your mothers, these are (this is?) my druthers.”  This offseason I said, “(Latos was) traded to the Marlins.  If the Marlins are making a run at a championship this year, that means they could be selling off their entire team this time next year and moving to Montreal.  I’m not even half-joking.  I’m like twenty-nine percent joking.  You know who is going to accept this trade with open arms?  Dallas Latos.  She looks forward to the challenge of insulting a new fan base on Twitter.  She might need to learn some Spanish curses.  The only thing stopping Latos from being a number one fantasy starter is health.  He had knee surgery in the early part of last year and then got skipped in September due to an elbow bruise.  When I Googled updates for Latos’s elbow, I swear to you I found multiple results that read, “Mat Latos’s wife says the injury is minor.”  She’s one dye job from being Anna Benson.  Latos is too young (27) to be breaking down, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, but he does come with some risk.”  And that’s me quoting me!  2015 Projections:  13-7/3.19/1.17/181

22. Zack Wheeler – I’m likely the only fantasy baseball ‘pert telling you to draft Wheeler prior to Harvey, and surely the only one telling you implicitly to draft Wheeler and not Harvey.  Let’s just go with what we know, okay?  Last year, Wheeler had a 9.1 K/9 and a 3.49 xFIP in 185 1/3 IP and Harvey didn’t pitch due to Tommy John surgery.  That alone has me puzzled why I’m the only one telling you to draft Wheeler and use caution with Harvey.  Seriously.  Are we taking everything we’ve learned about Tommy John surgery over the past three decades and chucking it into a New Jersey river-slash-sewage receptacle?  Doesn’t all the work that Tommy John has done operating on young pitcher arms deserve better?  The Mets have already said Harvey will be held out until mid-April and will be on a limited workload.  Whereas, Wheeler can throw 200+ IP and strikeout 200 guys.  200 strikeouts alone is worth about $5 in fantasy value.  200 IP should yield at least 12 wins (which is pessimistic).  12 wins is about $2.50 in fantasy value.  Let’s say Harvey pitches 150 IP, gets 150 Ks and 7 wins (both of which are optimistic).  150 Ks is $1.50 and 7 wins from a starter is $-2.3, so Harvey is a negative eighty cents value vs. Wheeler that is $7.50.  You’re telling me Harvey will be that much better in ERA and WHIP to make up the $8.30 difference?  Sorry, but you’re crazy.  UPDATE:  The moral of this story is never trust the Mets2015 Projections:  12-9/3.39/1.28/201

23. Phil Hughes – Felt like Hughes has been kicking around the majors for, like, seven years.  Yeah, it felt that way, because he had.  Luckily, he was called up when he was only 21 and is now only 28 years old (let’s just say I didn’t trust you to do the math).  Since 2000, Hughes had the lowest walk rate for any pitcher with an 8 K/9.  Only guys close to him were Cliff Lee, Iwakuma, Halladay, and only The Adverb was really, really close.  Yes, two reallys.  (I had three reallys ready to go, but I’m saving one for later.  I’d hate to be without a really in a pinch.)  Quite a few guys were very successful giving up very few walks, but never with that many Ks.  Hughes won’t get you 200 Ks, but the low walks isn’t a fluky thing.  Or a hirame thing, if a sushi chef is reading.  He had a barely 2 BB/9 back in 2006 in the Yankees minor league system.  If Hughes can get a 7.6 K/9 (slightly below his 2014) and a 1.2 BB/9 (almost double his walk rate last year), he’s still going to be a low-3 ERA guy without bad luck.  2015 Projections: 13-9/3.29/1.14/178

24. Yu Darvish – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Harvey.  I call this tier, “Not touching them with a nine-foot pole that has twelve one-inch straws taped to its end.”  Pretty self-explanatory on the tier name.  You can draft the guys in this tier, but then we will no longer be friends and I already bought you a birthday gift that I will need to return.  As for Darvish, he only threw 144 1/3 IP last year and he was still having MRIs on his elbow as late as November.  That sounds awesome!…If your league has MRIs as a category.  If it doesn’t perchance, then I wouldn’t draft Darvish anywhere.  He could be absolutely fine but there’s about four hundred (maybe thirty) pitchers that I would draft, why draft one you know is already nursing an injury?  It makes no sense.  Let someone else take the gamble. UPDATE:  I wouldn’t draft him anywhere, since he could be headed for Tommy John surgery very soon.  Sadly, I’m not implying he’s going to sit in the audience for Brandon Beachy’s 5th surgery.    2015 Projections:  11-9/3.42/1.24/188

25. Masahiro Tanaka – I feel ya on wanting to draft Tanaka or Darvish.  And, when I say I feel ya, I’m being empathic, I’m not saying I’m the random guy standing behind you, massaging your shoulders.  I don’t know who that is.  Yeah, they could be terrific this year and will likely come at a small discount since they might not be healthy.  It’s not worth it.  If you draft a guy in this tier, you’re either going to have a false sense of confidence and not draft appropriately.  I.e., You, “I drafted Tanaka, so I don’t need a number one starter, so while my leaguemates are drafting starters, I’m going to write pithy comments in the draft chat room.”  Or you’re going to draft Tanaka, not trust him and just have to draft yet another top starter, which is going to leave you short on offense.  Either scenario stinks, though the first scenario does involve you thinking you’re funny while annoying your leaguemates, but it’s still not worth it.  2015 Projections:  10-4/3.49/1.15/150

26. Adam Wainwright – Oops, I almost ranked 2014 Justin Verlander here.  It’s a pretty easy call to tell you to stay away from Wainwright.  His fastball velocity has fallen to barely 90 MPH.  He has a ton of innings on his arm.  His xFIP last year was 3.34.  His K-rate was 7.1.  That was good for 48th overall last year for qualified starters.  Just in front of Aaron Harang.  Any time you’re mentioned in the same breath as The Harangutan it’s bad news unless you’re Jane Goodall after swallowing three breath mints.  2015 Projections:  14-12/3.53/1.15/161

27. Matt Harvey – I went over Harvey in the Wheeler blurb.  You’re skipping ahead if you didn’t know that.  Shame on you.  2015 Projections:  7-3/3.27/1.10/150

28. Matt Shoemaker – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Gray (I’m right here.  Oh!).  I call this tier, “Go ahead, draft your pants off.  No, figuratively!”  Last year, Shoemaker had a 8.2 K/9 and a 1.6 BB/9.  That sounds like Iwakuma.   And in the top 20 starters, I said Iwakuma sounded like Greg Maddux.  And I’ve heard Greg Maddux sounds like a deflating balloon animal while on the toilet.  And a toilet flushing sounds like Merle Haggard after two bottles of whiskey.  So Shoemaker is a drunk Merle Haggard.  That’s some pretty good company Shoemaker finds himself in.  2015 Projections:  15-8/3.33/1.09/164

29. Mike Fiers – I already went over my Mike Fiers fantasy.  I wrote it while someone tried to sell me on new windshield wipers while my oil was changed.  I live in LA, I don’t need new windshield wipers, Jiffy Lube!  (Note:  Since I wrote the Fiers sleeper post, the Brewers traded away Yovani (someone actually took him?), so Fiers is no longer at risk of losing his starting job.  No tears for Fiers!)  2015 Projections:  12-8/3.35/1.15/189

30. Julio Teheran – I was crazy for Teheran last year.  Screaming Teheran #1, Teheran #1, Teheran #1 and ptooey’ing on your flag.  Unfortch, he took a pretty sizable step backward and we were lucky to escape with a 2.89 ERA.  His K-rate fell to 7.6 and his velocity fell a full mile per hour.  He’ll only be 24 years old, and was a top prospect, so I’m not done with him, but I do have him behind guys that will likely go after him, which makes it unlikely I draft Teheran this year.  I will if he’s there, he just may not be.  Even more succinct:  Teheran there okay, Teheran not there okay.  Succinter:  Not okay, okay.  2015 Projections:  12-10/3.37/1.10/167

31. Jacob deGrom – On a side note that is more related than most of my side notes, don’t ask why so-and-so is above so-and-so, but the 2nd so-and-so has better projections than the first so-and-so.  There’s more than just numbers going on with rankings.  The risk of not reaching the projections needs to be weighed.  Wainwright is above Shoemaker, for instance, but Shoemaker has better projections.  Yeah, but Wainwright has seven years of being good, Shoemaker has three-quarters of a year.  Wainwright is an injury risk and has declining skills, Shoemaker HAS THREE-QUARTERS OF A YEAR OF BEING GOOD.  Damn, my caps lock button is sticky.  I must’ve read Alex Wood’s blurb again.  Finally, it’s moot that Wainwright is above Shoemaker because guys like Alex Wood are above Wainwright, so if Wainwright is still around in your draft when you’re ready to draft a starter, there’s no way Alex Wood is not still around to draft instead.  Or Zach Wheeler or someone.  As for DeGrom, he averages 93 MPH on his fastball, has a 9+ K/9 and an under-3 BB/9.  There’s a case to be made for him in Wheeler’s tier, but I’m not making that case.  Though, I still like DeGrom, i.e., I want all my fantasy dreams to come true at DeGromicon.  2015 Projections:  11-6/3.19/1.19/164

32. Sonny Gray – Maybe I’m just like my father.  Too bold.  Maybe I’m just like my mother.  Too in love with anyone named Gray.  Why do we scream at each other when we’re at the table with wine?  This is what it sounds like when Jews and Italians dine!  Oh, I didn’t hear you come in.  Sorry, I was just singing in the shower.  Wait, why are you in my bathroom?  Gray didn’t take that big step forward like I’d hoped last year.  He’s similar to Teheran in that regard.  He didn’t lose velocity or have a ton of luck either.  His BABIP was .277 (which seems low), but O.co is notorious for low BABIPs.  I’m sure most will assume Gray will show regression in his ERA this year, but he seems more likely to just repeat his last year than exceed it or…What’s the opposite of exceed?  Deceed?  Suckceed?  Sorry, I’m having a brain…What’s it called when you poop air?  2015 Projections:  12-11/3.27/1.21/189

33. Francisco Liriano – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until McHugh.  I call this tier, “You’re not on the ones and twos, just twos and maybe threes.”  You should have a number one starter already.  If you don’t, well, you’re punting a little, but that’s okay.  I got nuttin’ but love for you, baby.  RIP, Heavy D.  With this tier, we’re in the fantasy number two to three range.  At a later date I’ll go over how to draft a staff, but that gives you a bit of an idea where we’re at.  Here’s what I said this offseason about Liriano, “Re-signed with Pirates.  I ranked Liriano crazy high last year because in 2013 he had a 9+ K/9 and 3.02 ERA and I was like, “What’s the problem?  Doode’s straight fire getting spit out of a Tongan’s mouth at a ritual for something sacred.”  Then the first half of 2014 happened and it looked like that Tongan fire was just a really acidic burp.  In the end, Liriano got his shizz together and ended with a 9.7 K/9 and a 3.38 ERA.  Of course, last year every pitcher had an ERA under 3.40, but Liriano ended up connecting the dots on something better than we would’ve thought when he had a 4.72 ERA in July.  I still like him (what, I’m a sucker for Ks, leave me alone), and now I’m just more concerned that he’s a 31-year-old who has only been healthy for more than 163 IP in one season in his career.  He appears solid, but for only a few months a year.”  And that’s me quoting me!  2015 Projections:  12-7/3.52/1.26/161

34. Yordano Ventura – If a number one starter can be generally described as a guy with a 6 or greater difference between his K and walk rates, a number two to three starter can be described as a guy with around a 8 K/9 and 3 BB/9.  (Or 9 K/9 and 4 BB/9 in Liriano’s case.)  Yordano has a bit more upside because he throws harder than any man has ever thrown who also would barely come up to Brigitte Nielsen’s shoulder line.  Ventura also might weigh a buck fifty soaking wet.  On his father’s side, there was no sprouts, but a bunch of string beans.  2015 Projections:  12-11/3.41/1.26/173

35. Collin McHugh – Steamer projections hate McHugh.  I get the no love thing.  He did come out of nowhere to have a 2.73 ERA and 9.1 K/9 last year.  I mean, not out of nowhere nowhere, if my repetition makes it more clear what I mean.  I have my doubts.  McHugh did have great years in the minors in the Mets system, and it’s a point in his favor that the Mets gave him away, since they only part with the best.  His curve has a 16.1% strikeout rate, which is terrific.  His fastball is pretty boring and flat but he doesn’t throw it all that much, and his slider is decent.  He’s also never thrown 200 IP in a season.  In layman’s terms, which isn’t a euphemism for a porn actor, McHugh won’t repeat next year, but he shouldn’t also take a dive either.  2015 Projections:  10-9/3.35/1.19/184

36. Chris Archer – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here Pineda.  I call this tier, “Scarf isn’t just a piece of clothing I’m wearing, it’s a verb for nom nom nom.”  I want to nom nom nom these starters.  I have my crosshairs directly scoped to Archer.  Pun point!  Sure, the Rays may only win 42 games this year, but that’s why you’re carrying middle relievers when you can, so you can vulture wins.  The Rays being muy mal has me optimistic for Archer.  He won’t have any pressure.  Alleviate the pressure and the steam rises, which I believe was a quote by Mr. Wizard.  Archer averaged the 7th fastest fastball, between Samardzija and Strasburg.  Okay, I’m sold.  Seriously, he’s on the precipice of being a 9+ K/9, 2+ BB/9 pitcher and a number one.  2015 Projections:  9-11/3.47/1.26/182

37. Marcus Stroman – All you have to know is he has a sub-2 BB/9 and averaged 93.5 MPH on his fastball.  If you have to know more, Stroman could be a number one starter this year.  If you must know even more, he could be a top 5 starter next year.  If you need further info, you’re greedy.  What’s up with that?  There’s people in North Korea starving for information and you’re hogging it all.  UPDATE:  Torn ACL, out for year  2015 Projections:  14-10/3.53/1.12/188

38. Drew Hutchison – I already gave you my Drew Hutchison fantasy.  I wrote it on a hunch.  My apologies to the man with osteoporosis.  2015 Projections:  13-9/3.72/1.24/197

39. Drew Smyly – The Emoticon dominates lefties with ease.  Hey, what are you Smyly at?  Oh, it’s a lefty.  Last year, his BAA vs. same handedness was .171, but vs. righties it was .264, which is passable.  He doesn’t throw hard.  He can get beat on his fastball.  He gives up too many fly balls.  He needs to rely on his curve.  And he does.  He threw it 28.5% of the time, that’s the 2nd most in the majors behind only Burnett, A.J., not Carol.  Here’s a list of guys that use the curve the most:  Burnett, Smyly, Wainwright, Gray.  Only Gray has an above-average fastball.  In July, Smyly’s curve went kerploop.  Hitters hit .345 vs. the curve.  I have no idea why, maybe he lost the feel for it.  In that month, his ERA was 4.85.  In August, when the curve was working, he had a .061 batting average against the curve and a 1.50 ERA.  Like a male porn star, he goes whichever way his curve goes.  There’s a bit more risk to Smyly, but I like a guy that throws a pitch nearly 30% of the time that hitters can’t touch on most days.  2015 Projections:  10-11/3.38/1.14/162

40. Michael Pineda – (This tier ends here but starters continue in top 60 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball.) Here’s about the only reason the Yankees should be optimistic about the upcoming season.  Should make it interesting to see how ESPN filters the pee-poor Yankees through rose-colored glasses for the Yankees thirty-seven Sunday night, nationally-televised games.  “A-Rod is only batting .212 on the year, but with runners in scoring position in the fifth inning, he’s batting .575.  You can’t say he’s not clutch.”  That’s Soup.  Pineda is getting the benefit of the doubt with this ranking.  He needs to throw 180 IP to come close to this value.  He has thrown 171 IP prior in a season, so it’s not as ridiculous as it sounds.  Since he hasn’t thrown more than 76 1/3 IP in any year since 2011, it’s also not completely not absurd.  Double negatives be damned!  Pineda’s slider is a lights out pitch, and not just because the ball looks pitch black with all the pine tar slopped on it.  His fastball (92-ish MPH) isn’t awful and I could easily see a 8+ K/9 and 2+ BB/9.  That puts him in the 2.95-3.50 ERA range with 160 Ks.  Why I really want to scarf him up is due to his upside.  There was a reason why he was once a top 5 arm in the minors.  2015 Projections:  10-9/3.42/1.12/151

 
  1. Snootie McAllister says:
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    Great rankings as usual.

    Are there any websites where you can currently draft? The gates haven’t quite opened yet at my usual spots and I’m feigning for drafts like Nixon.

      • Ryan says:
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        Yahoo starts on the 31st, I believe.

    • JeF With 1 F says:
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      @Snootie McAllister: I heard CBS…not positive though

    • Dawtcommish says:
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      @Snootie McAllister:

      If you purchase the commish package on Sportsline, you can tweak the settings to start your draft immediately.

  2. murray says:
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    Are you waiting for shields to sign, or do you not think he will be a top 40 starter?

    • Stav says:
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      @murray:

      know he is coming off injury, but still surprised not to see richards in the top 35ish.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @murray: I’m not waiting for him to sign

  3. Kid A says:
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    These articles are just (great). They are literally (un)exhausting to read. I may have to (not) go to one of the 3000 other sites that offer a ranking of fantasy baseball players.

    • JeF With 1 F says:
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      @Kid A: Ha …Nice

    • PK says:
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      @Kid A: How many times did you hit refresh waiting for the article to post so you could be the first one to troll comment?

      • Kid A says:
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        @PK:

        When you draw lines through words I get confused.
        When I get confused I run as fast as I can.
        When I run as fast as I can I aim for brick walls.
        Now I have a boo-boo.
        I hope you’re happy.

        • PK says:
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          @Kid A: A commercial told me you could have prevented all of this by getting DirecTV.

    • Wake Up says:
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      @Kid A: Ha! I knew it was you the whole time!
      Don’t even try to kiss me!

      • JeF With 1 F says:
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        @Wake Up: WAKE UP!!!!!!!

      • Kid A says:
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        @Wake Up: Pucker up, you sexy sonuvabitch.

    • nick the dick says:
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      @Kid A: I’m just here for the fake vomit. Maybe a lava lamp or some flavored body cream while i’m at it….Grey is that you over there??!

  4. Miles says:
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    Where’s your David Ortiz blurb? he wasn’t in the first basemen article and I don’t see any DH only post.

    • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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      @Miles: i’m not sure about blurb for him, but he’s nowhere yet since to make these lists you have to qualify for position elsewhere than on just yahoo, Ortiz only is non DH there. Either way, I believe Grey said he’d be around pocket full of Posey’s spot there (12th)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Miles: He’ll be in the top 100

  5. Swfcdan says:
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    Phil UGHes ranked above Darvish or Wainwright, I think Ive seen everything now. Only the devil is next.

    Great scott!

    • Fastpitch says:
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      @Swfcdan: it’s simple. just draft Yu or Waino when it’s your turn. That saves the other guys for me!

      • dem ribbies says:
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        @Fastpitch: Lol, ya. Yu, Waino, Greinke, Cueto, all guys who are going to fetch top 15 money in auction legaues. Love introducing guys like this and biding them up feverishly to like $15 and watching the ‘winner’ walk away with $25+ fewer bullets.

  6. Swfcdan says:
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    DeGrom decent value at $7 this year? Well at least some value…

    • james says:
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      @Swfcdan:

      it is a solid buy at that level, but he is an 8-12 dollar guy

  7. Tigres says:
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    Thanks, Grey. Top 40 SP is like a reward for reading through the entire list of catchers.

    Salazar: great stuff, but has burned (burnt? why can’t I spell?) us before. And unlike the other top 40 SPs, not guaranteed to start the season in the rotation – Bauer, Floyd, House also in the mix. I would draft him but prob not until very last rd.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Tigres: Salazar will be in the rotation

  8. Prettay, Prettay, Prettaaay, Prettay Good says:
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    Grey,

    I find myself faced with a big life decision (beyond deciding whether it is too soon to invest in a Byron Buxton tramp stamp) and came to the only person I trust for such things.

    I can keep both Marcus Stroman and Matt Shoemaker for $1 for next year (and up to 3 years in total). I was waiting for you to rank Stroman in the top 20 and then I could give you a virtual high five you and keep him. Now I see Shoemaker ranked where I expected Stroman, and I am lost and confused. Based on your rankings, Shoemaker is the guy to keep, but come on, where is the sex appeal?

    What would you do?

  9. Ante GALIC says:
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    Grey!

    I REALLY knew that this SP list would get better as we move along.

    A. This is really interesting read as good as late 80s Penthouse forum (remember the pocket-sized magazine with only stories?).

    B. I could seriously live in this 21 to 40 group and easily win fantasy this year.

    C. Need to stay vigilant of injury reports.

    D. Saw what Dyson signed for (1.225 mil) and told my ten-year old to immediately drop his books and start training for baseball.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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      @Ante GALIC: A. of course we remember, they fit easier in our pockets for traveling fun. D. Sadly, your 10 year old will never be fast as the 4th fastest baseball player currently (at least pretty likely)

  10. keeper question says:
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    That’s a lot of love for Phil Hughes! Last year I grabbed him for a buck at the end of our auction (keeper cost of $4) So now I think I migut keep him, would you think I might keep him though? If so which guy should I throw back the the player pool?

    Rizzo $15
    Polanco $3
    R Castillo $3

    Let’s face it, I’m keeping Rizzo, but what about the other two unknowns?

  11. Schwab says:
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    Hey Grey,
    Keeper league 8 teams H2H points.
    Would you trade Waino, Paxton & Sano For Felix? If so, do you consider it close?
    Thanks.

    • JeF With 1 F says:
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      @Schwab: Id take Felix

    • jay says:
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      @Schwab: that’s too rich for me

      • JeF With 1 F says:
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        @jay: Really??…what is he losing…waino is a shell of himself…Paxton..Eh…Sanowho knows if he even plays this year…Take the king

        • JeF With 1 F says:
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          @JeF With 1 F: Not to mention its only 8 teams…so paxton and sano should be easy to replace

          • Jay says:
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            @JeF With 1 F: yeah you’re right. I didn’t pick up on the 8 teamer. every comment I read automatically assumes my league settings in my head.

            Agreed on Waino too. I saw that at the beginning of last year and was able to turn waino Edwin and dread pirate into Trout and Goldy. didn’t work out for last season as much as i’d hope but at least it’s a keeper!

    • Hawk says:
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      @Schwab:

      8 team leagues are rosters full of top tier talent. This is exactly the right kind of trade to make – one quality guy (Waino) and two lottery tickets for a top talent.

      Go get Felix, don’t think twice.

    • Baezaworldseries says:
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      @Schwab: F-Her all day. Then, hurry up and trade for King Felix.

  12. Powerslave says:
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    by throwing 60% breaking pitches, McHugh takes a nose dive into Dr. Andrews Office…., another bet…

  13. KCC26 says:
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    It’s probably a coin flip, but what do you think is a greater value in a keeper league? Wood as a 11th rounder or Stroman as an 18th rounder? Thanks!

    • JeF With 1 F says:
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      @KCC26: Stroman

  14. David says:
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    Love your articles and insight, thanks. 12 team 7×7 (obp, slg; qs, hlds). Keep 6 as long as you want but has to be at least 2 pitchers and 2 hitters. Which 6 do I keep from: Braun, Rizzo, Brantley, Puig, Pederson, Marte. Pitchers are: Price, MadBum, Carrasco, Cobb, Harvey.

    Thanks.

    • Hawk says:
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      @David:

      Rizzo, Puig, MadBum, Price

      If you subbed in Brantley or Marte for Puig, that’d work too

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @David: Thanks! Agree with Hawk

  15. Lville Jim says:
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    I see your uncle Joel came out of the closet yesterday. A male Broadway performer gay, shocking.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Lville Jim: He’s mad at my mom, taking it out on me

  16. Brian says:
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    Thanks for these. I’m curious how being in an NL-Only League affects strategy. Does it mean it might be worth ponying up for a Scherzer or Strasburg or would you still avoid that tier and target someone from this range as a number one?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Brian: You need a number one in NL-Only, they’re usually auction drafts, so I’d be more interested in the price I was getting them at… I wouldn’t go over $30

  17. Alcibiades Escobar says:
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    Grey,

    Pick 5 please. 10 team H2H, keep forever. Avg. and OBP:

    Carlos Gomez
    J. Upton
    Adam Jones
    E5
    Soler
    Altuve
    Kluber

    I was thinking Kluber as my 5th guy, but sweet Jesus (Montero) pitching is deep. Hate to throw Klubes back into the pile, but I want all of the #20-#40 starters. What say you?

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @Alcibiades Escobar: Gomez, Upton, Jones, Altuve, Kluber

    • Catcher Fever says:
      (link)

      @Alcibiades Escobar: Grey would probably say the first 4 + Altuve (the bats). I’d go with Gomez, A.Jones, Encarnacion, Altuve and Kluber. Corner infielders are imperative, some OF will slip so you don’t need to have 3 this minute, plus I just wouldn’t take a Padre hitter that early.

      • goodfold2 says:
        (link)

        @Catcher Fever: to reiterate, last year’s ATL wasn’t much better than last year’s SD. ATL’s park also isn’t that much better than SD’s for hitters, AND NL East is worse for hitting than NL West, people have continued to shit on SD compared to ATL when mentioning Upton’s supposed lack of value. Upton had his first consistent season in 3-4 years last year, and now is on better offense than last year.

      • Alcibiades Escobar says:
        (link)

        Thanks Grey. Thanks Catcher, JeF!

  18. Del Griffith says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey,

    I know you love you some upside, but I think you’re doing exactly what you said about Lance Lynn.
    ” Lynn is one of the reasons why these recaps are so important. No one thinks Lynn was a top 20 starter (or Roark or Ross or Hughes). That’s how I ended up ranking Teheran so high in 2014. He was great in 2013, ranking in the top 22 starters. It’s just no one realized it like how no one will next year with Lynn and et al. Wanna make a bet? Lynn and others I just mentioned will be completely undervalued next year, even though they’ve already proven to be solid.” And that’s me copy and pasting you!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Del Griffith: Yeah, lots of guys I tried to get in here… Not to mention, in the big picture the guy ranked 40th overall and 50th overall there’s maybe a round separating them in the top 400

  19. Lville Jim says:
    (link)

    Filled out my starting pitching in an all keeper no values attached league off the waiver wire last year. My team at seasons end included Duffy, Hahn, Hughes, Hutchison, Roark, Shoemaker, and DeGrom. If it were only as easy to pull bats off the scrap heap as it was pitching.

  20. PK says:
    (link)

    This post makes me happy.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @PK: Thanks!

  21. JeF With 1 F says:
    (link)

    I call this Tier…Most of my rotation

  22. nick says:
    (link)

    Grey, Great stuff as always. Can you help? Keeper questions. 4 keepers 10 team league 10×10, auction draft. Which 4 do you like?

    C. Gomez $18
    N. Arenado $8
    J. Soler $5
    K. Wong $5
    J. Altuve $15
    J. Arrieta $5
    J. Samardzija $11

    Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @nick: Arenado, Wong, Gomez, Arrieta

  23. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
    (link)

    looks like we’re gonna have at least 2 of degrom/shoemaker/hughes/fiers/wheeler on about 80% of all rosters this year, likely wood almost as frequent. Liriano probably on nearly the same amount as last year, but not as a #2 as much.

  24. Wilson says:
    (link)

    Hi Grey, enjoy your words as always. Appreciate.

    In a forever keeper league, i am hesitant to keep Kershaw or Abreu.
    Kershaw could be the greatest pitcher in following years. I can even image he will join HOF after twenty years. So it feels good to own Kershaw.
    Abreu was good last year. But .. can he be the top 1B for following years? I am not sure. Maybe it’s because he only got one year proven.

    In a forever keeper league, Keep Kershaw or Abreu? Thanks.

    • Hawk says:
      (link)

      @Wilson:

      Kershaw

      • Wilson says:
        (link)

        @Hawk: thanks for your answer.

        Grey’s answer was Abreu without forever keeper info.
        So, I am double confirming the keeper decision making.

        Getting Grey’s thoughts. Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Wilson: I’d go with the bat, but number of teams is most important info

      • Wilson says:
        (link)

        @Grey: It’s a shallow league (10 teams).
        So is Grey’s answer Abreu? And, will Abreu be a reliable top one or two first baseman in following years? Thoughts appreciated.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Abreu, you don’t need a top arm in a ten team league

          • Wilson says:
            (link)

            @Grey: thanks for response.
            If so, I could lose Kershaw forever…

            Do you think Abreu be a top two 1B for next years?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Maybe, maybe top 5… There’s no guarantee… But you’re in a ten team league so you don’t need Kershaw

  25. Schwab says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey,
    Another keeper question. Keeper league 8 teams H2H points.
    Would you trade Waino, Paxton & Hosmer For Goldy? If so, do you consider it close?
    Thanks.

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @Schwab: Id take Goldy…everyday

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @Schwab: Its not close…with only 8 teams there has to be pitching all over the place

      • Schwab says:
        (link)

        Thanks.

        • JeF With 1 F says:
          (link)

          @Schwab: DO IT

          • Swfcdan says:
            (link)

            @JeF With 1 F: Someones got a snow day today! Or are you Greys new apprentice haha.

            • JeF With 1 F says:
              (link)

              @Swfcdan: He has been training me all winter for this

  26. Colorado Rockies Ace Assessment Committee says:
    (link)

    Will you be identifying our ace for us before you get to 100? Sadly, we’re at an impasse.

  27. the swinging says:
    (link)

    I get the concerns with harvey off tj, or tanaka with a partial tear last season, or waino with age and loss of velocity and k rate. But Yu doesn’t fit, you are being overly paranoid with Yu. Can’t just assume he’s injured when he’s healthy now.

    Darvish had over 11k/9 and was banged up last season and still tossed 144 innings. If he throws 180 innings at his normal rates he’s roughly a top 10 sp, caus that would equate to 220ks, no? U think its that unlikely darvish can reach 180 innings, or u just think he will be less effective this season?

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @the swinging: In the same token…last we saw of him he had an elbow injury so you cant assume hes healthy…of course hes going to say he feels great, he hasnt pitched. The real question is why take the risk if you don’t have to?

      • the swinging says:
        (link)

        @JeF With 1 F: 277ks, in 209 innings about 15 months ago, that’s why. Darvish elbow is clean no structural damage. It’s not like everyone has the ability he has to fan 250 batters in 200 innings, that’s why u take a little more risk on him coming off 144 innings. It’s not a ton of risk either. Maybe I’m way off.

        • Cram It says:
          (link)

          @the swinging: It’s just risky for a high pick man. He hasn’t pitched healthy yet. Just because he didn’t have surgery, doesn’t mean he’s good to go. If the reward is worth it to you, go for it. If he comes at a discount, say the 25th SP off the board, sure. But if you’re paying a premium for him, it’s just not smart.

          • the swinging says:
            (link)

            @Cram It: if you get yu darvish as the 25th sp off the board your stealing money.

            This is irrelevant anyway, by the time most of us draft in late march darvish is going to be having a dazzling spring and u won’t get him anywhere near this rank. Gl.

            • Cram It says:
              (link)

              @the swinging: Fair enough. So draft him in the first round then. Why you bein’ all mad about his ranking? You his PR guy or something?

          • J-FOH says:
            (link)

            @Cram It: he may be a value in early drafts and the price will go up based on what he does as spring rolls on. Will probably see a lot of articles scrutinizing his starts so we should see some non fantasy”expert” opinions. In no conceivable world would pitchers come off the board as they are ranked here so it’s all a moot point. Like many projections you don’t draft where you think they’ll be at the end but somewhere between there and their adp. Preferably closer to their adp.

      • the swinging says:
        (link)

        @JeF With 1 F: so I ask again, do we really think it’s that unlikely darvish pitches 180 innings, or do we think he’s just going to be less effective then he’s been over his last 550 mlb innings?

        • Catcher Fever says:
          (link)

          @the swinging: are you going to keep asking about Yu 5 times per day? If you want him (or are likely keeping him and feel offended), then go for it. No one says you can’t.

        • JeF With 1 F says:
          (link)

          @the swinging: He could do all of those things …he could be great…he could need TJ by the all star break…Thats the risk im not taking

    • goodfold2 says:
      (link)

      @the swinging: D9! Man, if only these guys read other people’s posts just imagine the condensation (that’s what she said)

  28. Hawk says:
    (link)

    There’s 2 feet of snow outside and I’ll I’m thinking about is baseball.

    Thank you, January Grey!

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @Hawk: Word

      • the swinging says:
        (link)

        @JeF With 1 F: lol what a weird reply Jeff, wannabe

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Hawk: No problem

  29. Trenchtown says:
    (link)

    First Time Long time lol…

    love the humor and the legit stats unlike the talking heads at blahoo and and the lebron network:

    12 team keeper league. can only keep two.

    I’m keeping H to the Rizzo in the 5th

    who would you pair with him?

    miggy rd 1
    joey batts rd 2
    salvador perez rd 10
    sonny gray rd 12
    w. myers rd 17 (previous keeper)
    zach wheeler rd 19 (who i’m thinking)
    dozier rd 22

    thanks, i’ll hang up and wait for your answer

    • Hawk says:
      (link)

      @Trenchtown:

      Trust your instincts. Go Wheeler.

  30. warlord says:
    (link)

    Harvey for Darvish??? Keeper league

  31. Grant says:
    (link)

    Grey you are crazy man, I stashed Harvey on my DL all of last year just so I could keep him and relive the glory days of his youth. He’ll be top 10 for sure this year, maybe even break into the top 5 like he is capable of. I can’t wait, 200 k’s here we come….

    PS: I am going to try my hardest to get 3 Mets pitchers. I don’t think that sentence has ever been said before.

    • Hawk says:
      (link)

      @Grant:

      Something tells me you’ve got a little “he’s on my roster and I want him to be good” bias going on. Read what Grey wrote about innings limits and try to let it sink in.

  32. Beastman says:
    (link)

    Grey, it’d be weird if you didn’t have a man crush on Lil Jon. He’s in the running for real-life most interesting man in the world.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Beastman: His personality quotient (PQ) is off the charts

  33. JakBillie says:
    (link)

    i have lots of sp. in a keep-14 keeper league that counts QS not w. I have both Harvey and jofer, what to do? Sadly I have about six spots for pitching

    Harvey
    Jofer
    Kluber
    Iwak
    Arrieta
    Ryu
    Stroman
    Aaron Sanchez (probably not starting)
    Liriano

    • Hawk says:
      (link)

      @JakBillie:

      IIf you HAVE to keep 6 pitchers from that list, ‘d go Kluber, Arrieta, Iwakuma, Ryu, Stroman and Harvey.

      Fernandez is (was) great but you just don’t know when he’ll be back. July? August?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @JakBillie: Kluber, Iwakuma, Arrieta, Stroman, Harvey, Ryu

  34. Johnson says:
    (link)

    12 team mixed keeper – C/1B/2B/3B/SS/3x OF/Util. 1450 Innings. 25 roster spots and 3 DL.

    Based on your SP rankings, my staff looks pretty good right?

    Kershaw, Zimmerman, Arrieta, Carrasco, Shoemaker…not even keeping Salazar as a 15th rd pick.

    And this to go along with these bats is pretty good?

    Lucroy, Miggy, Betts, Jose Reyes, K. Seager, Stanton, Polanco, Pompey, Pujols, Danny Santana.

    oh and my closers are Kimbrel, Britton and Rodney.

    Probably need to get some more power in the OF?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Johnson: Sounds about right

  35. Todd says:
    (link)

    Hey, Grey.

    Roby yesterday, Mr. Wizard today. Well played, sir. It’s almost like we’re probably about the same age or something.

    So my big question is: Who is this year’s Kluber? You know, the guy you rank higher than anyone else does, who I can draft in the last few rounds then trade for Bautista when my OF gets hurt?

    Thanks!

    • Hawk says:
      (link)

      @Todd:

      Carrasco

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Todd: Thanks! Was hoping it was Carrasco, feels more like Wood now since everyone’s ranked Carrasco high

      • Todd says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Thanks Hawk and Grey!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem

      • Hawk says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        Despair not!

        CBS and ESPN all have Carrasco in the 30 range. You’re still much higher on him than they are!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Nice!

          • Todd says:
            (link)

            @Grey: Nice!

  36. Beardawg says:
    (link)

    LMAO, I swear to gosh I opened the page and scrolled straight to Harvey

  37. AJA says:
    (link)

    In 2012, McHugh made a spot start for the mets and pitched a solid game (7 ip, 9 k’s 0 ERs). I was listening to the FAN after the game and callers wanted to trade him for CarGo because the Mets needed an OF and the Rockies probably wanted to offload his contact (Because outside NY/Boston, teams are all small market).

    I am still proud to be a part of this delusional fanbase.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @AJA: Ha

  38. Hondo says:
    (link)

    I’ve been wearing the draft simulator at edraft.com down.This week whenever I haven’t taken a SP before the 10th round I haven’t finished with a team ranked lower than 3rd of 12 overall yet.

  39. Nick says:
    (link)

    Now that Latos and Wheeler are on the list, keep which 3 of the following? Still leaning all bats but intrigued….

    Dickerson (2 years left)
    Kipnis (2 years left)
    Machado (2 years left)
    Myers (1 yr left)
    Wheeler (2 yrs left)
    Latos (2 yrs left)

    • Cram It says:
      (link)

      @Nick: Bats

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Nick: What Cram said

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
      (link)

      @Nick: probably the 2 year bats over myers, just due to extra year.

  40. scott steelers says:
    (link)

    Name 2 pitchers rank 11-40 that you think have a possibility of finishing top 5. Just for fun

  41. Swfcdan says:
    (link)

    Got your boy Yordano in a keeper, only 8 keepers year to year so dont wanna go overboard on him, but hes a great price as a promoted prospect. Should I go:

    1 year ($3), 2 years ($6) or 3 years ($8) on him?

    Love the arm just is a small worry about TJ with a wiry flamethrower like him.

    Thanks.

  42. Will says:
    (link)

    Would you keep Wood (12th) over Kershaw (1st)? I know you don’t recommend SP early on but I have the 14th pick in the first and feel like that is decent value. We can only keep 1 SP.

    We also count Losses as a 6th pitching category which I think only adds to Kershaw’s value.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Will: Kershaw

  43. Jay says:
    (link)

    hey Grey – yesterday you replied back on my question but ididn;t get a chance to answer until late. BUT don’t worry because I copied and pasted it here for you: (thanks for the time and sorry to make you read this again)
    I have scherzer and sale both as keeper options and reading through this has helped me figure out my keepers. Keeping scherzer and dealing sale to a pitching starved team with a major mancrush on sale.
    Thoughts: keeping Stanton puig Upton arenado and max.
    We allow off-season trading and you can move anyone from your 2014 final roster. I also have Freeman, who is valued kinda high in my league so I’m gonna try and take advantage of that and move Upton and Freeman for Rizzo and a draft pick.
    If I can pull it off I’d be able to choose from Stanton puig rendon Rizzo arenado and scherzer. But we can only keep 5. With those choices does arenado make the cut? Also affecting my decision on keepers is the fact that with draft pick trading I do not pick until the 11th rd hence the max consideration.
    I guess my question is with my draft position do I keep max or arenado assuming I pull off my moves.

    10 teams. I know it’s shallow. However one of the quirks of this league is several teams focus on pitching and they’re taken pretty quickly. 2 teams right now profile to keep 4 SP based on current roster and past tendencies. This is the only reason max is in consideration. Otherwise hitters all the way.

    I totally agree with on Harvey, but you’re not supposed to throw anything but fish in those drains according to the notice on them….

    Thanks again man.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Jay: Arenado

  44. Oppo taco says:
    (link)

    Howdy, first post of the new season! this website helped me win my big money keeper league last season. major props grey! I have a team full of studs but can only keep 8 of these guys. who ya got?
    c- yadi
    1b – goldy
    2b – wong
    ss – hanram
    3b – frazier
    of – Jup, Joey Bats, Cutch,
    util – Rizzo, Vmart
    bench – soler, segura, gracia

    sp – madbum, price, gerrit cole, cobb, iwakuma, alex wood, degromm,
    rp chapman

    Not sure who to keep besides Cutch, Goldy and rizzo. who ya got? 8 players total. thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      You picked up an extra O in the offseason? Goldy, Hanley, Frazier, Bautista, Upton, Cutch, Rizzo, Price

  45. Tingling says:
    (link)

    OPS league where we can keep guys as long as we want…. Which side are you on?
    Miggy/Cano or Freeman/Rendon?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Miggy

  46. William says:
    (link)

    Nice Prince reference. Purple rain, purple rain………………….

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Thanks!

  47. dude says:
    (link)

    Any chance we get a post about all the Cuban players that will be making there way to MLB this year; Moncoda, Olivera, Fernandz, Ibanez, etc. Couple of them are touted as the best thing since sliced bread and curious where they might fit in for 1 year and keeper leagues.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      The relevant ones will be ranked

      • dude says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        From what I’ve read Olivera and Fernandez have a chance to be MLB starters this year at 2B. If so, where would you see them ranking? #6 and #8 ranked Prospects and at 30 and 26, might need little or no seasoning. Badler has said he would have ranked Tomas #7 if for perspective. Might be some interesting possibilities to stash as keepers before the hype begins.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          I ranked Tomas, and when the others sign, I’ll rank them

  48. Carnac says:
    (link)

    “Reds manager Bryan Price said Wednesday that he wants Devin Mesoraco to catch 145 games in 2015.”

    [Dusty Baker smiles, puts a toothpick in his mouth, and quietly slips out of the back of the room.]

    • Carnac says:
      (link)

      gonna produce a series of x-files inspired shorts for Razzball Radio on the TV… video clips of managers saying or doing stupid things followed by a camera cut to Dusty Baker (dressed like the Smoking Man) coming out of the clubhouse.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
        (link)

        HA… How about anyone doing stupid things? George Bush Jr. quote, cut to Dusty Baker

        • Carnac says:
          (link)

          I’ll do the off-season spinoff with Bochy.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
            (link)

            Can we work in Weiss?

            • J-FOH says:
              (link)

              @Grey: sounds like an outdated software program

              • Grey

                Grey says:
                (link)

                Or an old command for BASIC

                • J-FOH says:
                  (link)

                  @Grey: dont make me miss my old DOS systems at work….because I do.

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
                    (link)

                    Member when you thought it was cool when you made your computer count?

                    • J-FOH says:
                      (link)

                      @Grey: or draw pictures out of half inch squares.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Yes!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Haha

  49. Jackie Treehorn says:
    (link)

    Keep one:

    M. Harvery – Rd. 23
    M. Tanaka – Rd. 7

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Harvey

  50. Job3rd says:
    (link)

    Awesome post as usual!

    I have some ‘big picture’ draft questions in the form of a long rambling post:
    10-team, H2H, standard 5×5.

    First 5 rounds: All Hitters
    Next 5 rounds: 1 SP, 1 Closer, 3 Hitters
    (So, thru 10 rounds, 3 CM, 3 OF, 2 MI, 1 SP and 1 Closer).

    Next 7 rounds: 3 Hitters (OF, MI, C), 4 Pitchers (2 SP, 2 Closers).
    (Thru 17, 4 OF/3CM/2MI/1C, 3SP and 3Closers).

    Final 5 rounds: 3 SPs, 5th OF and a UT.

    3 Reserve rounds: Closer (prob a questionable one), OF, CM

    Obviously, I would want flexibility. These are just broad strokes.
    Does this strategy seem plausible? Any suggested alterations?
    Like, for example, a 4th CM perhaps in the middle rounds (at UT) instead of
    a 4th OF?

    Thanks again Grey …and anyone else.

    • Carnac says:
      (link)

      Sounds sound. Definitely don’t worry about having more than 1 pitching in the first 10 rounds. Given the size of the league, I wouldn’t worry about grabbing an RP in the first 10 though.

      Note: don’t lock into too much of a game plan – things can change in a draft very quickly!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Thanks! Sounds fine, but you need to go with what the draft gives you…

  51. Johnny on the Spot says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey, keeper question.

    Can you rank who youd rather have for the next *3* years?

    Mookie Betts BOS
    Javier Baez CHC
    Kolten Wong STL
    Marcell Ozuna MIA
    Kevin Gausman BAL
    Colin McHugh HOU
    Marcus Stroman TOR
    Yordano Ventura KC

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Wong

      • Johnny on the Spot says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        Sorry, I was unclear… Is there any way you could rank them all? I have to narrow it down to 6. Thanks, I’d really appreciate it!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Look at the rankings for this year… No difference for 3 years…

  52. dem ribbies says:
    (link)

    Wood or Avisail for $3

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Wood, they’re a toss up

  53. GhostTownSteve says:
    (link)

    Grey you’ve made it your mission to help we dateless and bepimpled to improve our odds at our boyish hobby. I say that because what I am about to write is in no way meant to be critical but rather in the spirit of let’s be good at this stupid thing. It is also pursuant to yesterday’s conversation.

    First, the issue of pitcher reliability comes up all the time. I have seen and created data that supports the notion that top tier arms are reliable assets. I’m going to look at last year’s results from your rankings for some illumination. I have great appreciation for anybody who puts rankings out publicly and stands behind them. For each tranche I’m giving the total $ earned per the razzball end of season ratings and the NFBC pre-season 2014 final average pick # (essentially ADP) for the players in the tranche.

    Razz Top 10 for fantasy 2014: actual earned money-$132.6, Average pick-7.12
    Top 20 for 2014: $147.33, AP 22.77
    Top 10 pitchers for 2014: $173, AP 32.46
    Top 10-20 pitchers for 2014: $111.1, AP 93.65
    Top 20-40 pitchers (excluding injured Miley and Iwakuma who were redacted, 19 pitcher in all): $120.42, AP 129.46

    Top ten ranked pitchers cost less than top 20 overall (all hitters) and performed substantially better. In the top ten of each there were three busts (Fielder, Cargo, Harper, Lee, Verlander, Fernandez). The 11-20 players had just two busts (Votto, Bruce). There were more busty players in the 11-20 pitchers (Sanchez, Bailey, Moore and Liriano to a lesser extent given his price).

    The 21-40 pitchers were Dolly Parton busty. Cain, Masterson, Wacha, Salazar, Cingrani, Minor, Miller, Latos and Cashner all returned less than $5 with 5 of them producing negative returns.

    Gotta jump to a meeting. I’ll probably have more later.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      You don’t need to broach your comments by assuaging… It’s all good… Discussion is great… Top pitchers perform, agreed… Rudy and I were just talking about how you could’ve had F-Her, a future HOF and in the middle of his prime, around the same spot as Allen Craig (!!!) last year… But here’s where the disconnect is coming in, top pitchers perform, but so do pitchers that are drafted later and ones not drafted at all. Whereas hitters are harder to find later. Sure, there’s a few hitters that aren’t drafted that perform, but they get scooped up quickly. For instance, a pitcher goes well, and you eye him in his next game…Then he pitches just okay, and you leave him on waivers. Then he pitches well again and suddenly he’s looked good in his last 2 out of three games… Now you have him on your team for the next 2 months and he does well. There was about a week there where you could’ve grabbed that pitcher. Hitters hit a few games in a row and they are owned until they stop hitting, whether that’s in a month or a day. There’s no waiting period to pick up hitters. Also, anyone that has streamed hitters and pitchers knows it’s a lot harder to stream hitters. The sheer amount of times you have to be right for the hitter vs. the pitcher is huge. With hitters if you grab him and he hits for a few games, things are great, then he stops for two days and you drop him, only to see him explode again on someone else’s team (Pearce last year). Whereas with a pitcher, he pitches well on your team two times in a row, then a stinker, you hold him for another start…and he does well again. Now you have a starter for almost 3 weeks. The hitter you had for three days and are back to the drawing board. Pitchers are just easy to cobble together and draft later.

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
        (link)

        @Grey: You asked for my simple and boring take, so here it is: execution trumps strategy. You can win or lose with a variety of strategies – hitting early, pitching late; pitching early, hitting late; taking a hitter and a pitcher with alternating picks; one pitcher every five rounds; elite relievers, cheap starters, upside hitters; power heavy on both sides – HRs and Ks; etc. If you have the perfect strategy but draft the wrong players, you will lose. If you have a flawed strategy but avoid injuries and hit on a few breakout players, you can win. Play to your strengths as a drafter, take value where it presents itself, maintain balance. It’s as simple as that for me.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Basically what Rudy said yesterday… Yeah, I tend to agree, but I think there’s one way to draft that’s easier vs. harder

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
            (link)

            @Grey: Yeah, but you’ve been better at identifying mid-late round breakout options on the pitching side than on the hitting side in recent years, as is the case with the majority of opponents that I’ve been leaguemates with over the years. There are people who are better at identifying values on the hitting side late in drafts though. The pitching early strategy would fit those drafters well, while the hitting early strategy might be a better fit for others. It’s not one size fits all, is what I’m saying.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              I hear ya, it’s pretty much what Rudy was saying yesterday…

        • GhostTownSteve says:
          (link)

          @Big Magoo:

          I disagree with you my esteemed amigo. Less and less do I believe that one can or cannot draft the right/wrong players consistently. I think small sample sizes give rise to massive confirmation biases when it comes to player evaluation based success. In the old days when there was less information widely available or understood I think you could win that way. But I think no can win that way any more.

          I think it’s now superior strategic framework (assuming competent execution of that framework) that provides the only real edge. It’s just hard to see that edge because not enough sample to normalize for luck.

          What I’m offering here, I think, is pretty compelling. It’s an argument that the abundance of pitching has fundamentally changed the talent pool and stat distribution and that changes the optimal strategic frame for roster construction.

          I don’t really expect that it’s very easy to follow what I’ve been saying in this format though.

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
            (link)

            @GhostTownSteve: Just like I wrote to Grey above, it depends on where your strengths lie as an “evaluator.” Some people are better at identifying the breakout players on offense, and vice versa.

            I don’t believe that any one strategy is the best, and more often than not, if you go into a draft with a rigid strategy that you plan on adhering to no matter what, it’s a recipe for failure. Best to have a plan that’s fluid with alternate strategies in your back pocket in case you need to shift gears.

        • GhostTownSteve says:
          (link)

          @Big Magoo:

          A very simple example of the importance of strategic considerations, a dramatic one, is right here in the RCL. If you don’t understand how to stream and why to stream and how to use MRs, you cannot compete consistently. When I started talking about streaming and RCL in 2011 everybody said BAH. In more subtle formats, the strategic benefits are smaller but they are still there and still represent the only tangible edge when pitted against players whose preparation is equivalent.

      • GhostTownSteve says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        But what the above shows is that the pitchers you pick in those slots outperform the hitters you pick in those slots. You see that right? The pitchers are generating more dollars and are more reliable on average across those tranches. So why do you want to draft a lesser asset? I see the streaming side of it. It is easier to stream pitchers. But I think a good case is coming together for me where you want to own top arms and get late arms and stream to be able to compete in pitching. And in leagues where streaming is a lesser option this is even more pronounced. Also, keep in mind I am not advocating picking a starter before pick 30 because that seems to be the current inflection point where offensive potential falls off and top flight pitching is available. That’s just the marketplace operating.

        Your premise that pitchers are easier to find later than hitters doesn’t really hold up I don’t think. There’s a lot to say on that topic. I’ll start with something I ran last night. This is an analysis of last year’s ADP once again cross-referenced against the Razzball final 2014 dollar values. Last year in the first 30 picks there were 7 1st basemen, 3 2nd basemen, 2 SS, 3 3rd basemen, 11 of and 4 pitchers taken. That means if you are sitting at pick 31, in theory you are looking at drafting the 8th best 1st baseman or the 4th best 2nd baseman or the 12th best OF etc.

        So I looked at what the 8th best 1st baseman produced, 4th best 2nd baseman in actually dollars based on the year end rankings. I anticipate some objection to this. Keep in mind that this is what you are looking at when you actually draft. Of course you’re believing you have better player evaluations, predictions etc, but you are dealing with probabilities here and outcome ranges. The truth is most predictions and evaluations and projections work out to be basically the same in their effectiveness/imperfection. So it’s a reasonable lens to look at the draft and say what do I get if I draft the 8th best 1st baseman and he gives me 8th best 1st baseman performance.

        Here is a list of the next best at each position (I left out catcher because they are garbage), what the $ value produced in actual production was in 2014, how that compared to the average $ for the remaining slots at that position down to 15th best and also against the 15th best player at that position.

        Example:

        The 8th best 1st baseman produced $21.1 last year. The average production for 1st basemen 8-15 was $17.98. The 15th 1st baseman was $15. So by selecting a 1st baseman in that slot you did $3.12 than you would be taking the average remaining player at that position and $6.1 better than getting the 15th. Here’s how it looks on the infield:

        1st: 8th $21.1, Average $17.97, Avg diff $3.12, Diff to Worst $6.1
        2nd: 4th $23, $14.16, $8.83, $15.7
        SS: 3rd $18, $11.86, $6.13, $11.6
        3rd: 4th $24.3, $14.51, $9.78, $15.5

        For OF I went from 12th best to 30th best:

        OF: 12th $20.4, $16.3, $3.19, $5.9

        For pitchers I went only down to 30 like with OF but really to be on par I should have gone even further, which would have even more drastically shown my point here:

        P: 5th $27.9, $18.5, $13.2, $13.9

        So this is what I was saying yesterday about how actual performance has been distributed in the pitch heavy era. There are early breakpoints in the top performing hitting results after which the hitters will be begin to look more and more the same. Look at 1st and OF in particular where the 8th and 12th best performers respectively were worth only $3.12 and $3.19 more than what you’re predicting to get from the remaining average performers. Contrast that to how much better you might expect to do buying a pitcher there relative to remaining historic results by rank.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          I get what you’re saying, I do say to draft a starter around pick 50 vs. 30, so we’re not far off… You were much further off last year than me if I remember correctly, choosing to punt starters almost completely (maybe that wasn’t your stance, if not my bad)…. I always felt like you needed a number one starter; I’m just saying number one starters are a bit further off than most sites. Does that put us closer to agreement? I don’t know, but that’s been my stance for a long time. Hence my Cobb/Teheran led staffs last year and my Samardzija/Ross (likely) led staffs this year… I just don’t see the point of drafting a Kershaw through Sale (Scherzer?) SPs (which you seem to agree on per their ADPs) and disagree on Greinke through Cueto (after 30 to 50)… I just don’t see the positive gain from a Greinke to a Samardzija, and refuse to give up a top 30 hitter for a Sale or Kluber.

          • GhostTownSteve says:
            (link)

            @Grey:

            So that’s a big 20 picks.

            Right now NFBC Avg Pick:

            Stras: 29.41
            Kluber 31.22
            Scherzer 31.49
            Price 32.8

            That’s a perfect place to get those guys and you’ll likely see par to profit in them.

            There’s some dicey hitters in that area:
            Harper
            Puig
            Martinez
            Frazier
            Freeman
            Marte
            Kemp
            Gordon
            Springer

            Pitchers in the 50ish range include:
            Darvish
            Waino
            Greinke
            Lester
            Zimmermann
            Harvey

            Also a fair amount of risk there. Zimm the best of the bunch.

            I wouldn’t touch Samardalz=iaa’ this year. Or Ross. Very disappointing both I’d wager.

            RCL I think pitching falls so ridiculously far that it’s worth it, but it has to because streaming is still optimal. I think if I had all the time in the world I’d still draft no pitching in RCL. It’s just that the value plus the impact on time committed would make it worthwhile.

            • GhostTownSteve says:
              (link)

              @GhostTownSteve:

              Also for what it’s worth, as good as they were with ratios, Cobb and Teheran were 26th and 38th respectively in K/9 among qualified starters last year.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
                (link)

                Yeah, MRs needed to balance Cobb and Teheran, no question

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              I don’t know how much these ADPs hold up, but assuming they do, Lester and Zimmermann are great values, then you wait another round for Samardzija or Ross to pop up… So my question to you, if those 4 SPs are gone, do you reach for Zimmermann, and if you don’t and he’s taken, do you continue and take Greinke, Harvey or Darvish etc?

              • GhostTownSteve says:
                (link)

                @Grey:

                That’s a great question. The kind Magoo likes to kick around. If I was in a draft slot where I would have to reach, I’d reach a little for Scherzer most likely. But I wouldn’t reach too much. If I were at the back end of a 15 team snake I’d probably bump Zimm up to 45 if I were on the wheel and then hope that Cobb or Cole makee it back to me at 75.

                I don’t trust Samardaskzjcofa at all, as I mentioned. I loved Lester last year and he helped me cash in the NFBC for sure. This year I think there will be some fallback. I know the move to the NL helps. I suspect either his BB rate with go back in line with his career norm for some reason or his K rate will decline with the BB holding steady. I think last year was his high water mark

                • GhostTownSteve says:
                  (link)

                  @GhostTownSteve:

                  If I did get Scherzer I’d still want to get G. Cole or Cobb or possibly Iwakuma to back that up.

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
                    (link)

                    Scherzer will be ranked and drafted in the 20s everywhere, so he’s gone by 45.

                    • GhostTownSteve says:
                      (link)

                      @Grey:

                      I mean if I did get Scherzer at an ADP I like I would still be looking to get an SP2 in that draft around the Cobb Cole area. I did not mean I thought Scherzer would be there at 45. Scherzer is at 30 right now. He’ll probably inch up from there but not too much.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Gotcha… Yeah, Scherzer is off the board for me, and he’s not for you if he’s there at 30

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  So if you were drafting at the 15/16 slot, you’d take Scherzer at 16? Or pray Zimmermann is there at 45? I say they’re both gone if you wait for 45 and then we’re both drafting starters next. I really don’t think we’re that far off from each other unless you can commit to Scherzer at 16 overall.

                  • GhostTownSteve says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey:

                    No I wouldn’t go Scherzer at 16. JZimm is at 62 NFBC ADP. Earliest he’s been taken in any draft is 43. So if I’m planning looking at that ADP I’m hoping really hard he’s there and I can adjust to the old wait wait wait on pitching. He may move up as the season gets closer.

                    I think where we differ and where my thinking has adjusted since even last year is that if I’m at the 1 in the 15 teamer, I’m all over Stras/Scherzer/Price if available whereas in years past I’m taking a pitcher 60 or later. I think you’re still passing on a pitcher from the 1 slot at the 2/3 wheel.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Yeah, that’s a fair disagreement point… I do hear what you’re saying about the difference between values on what else could be taken… I’ve been saying for ages that I would never take a Posey-type because he’s really just the 8th best 1st baseman. I guess it goes to that I feel like I can get a $20 SP vs. your $29 while getting a $29 1st baseman without worrying I’m going to get a $15 1st baseman later.

                    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
                      (link)

                      @GhostTownSteve: i’m glad you qualified just what slots you intended to be arguing about finally, picks 30 to Grey’s 50ish.

                    • Mike B says:
                      (link)

                      @GhostTownSteve: just want to pop in and say that I appreciate this candor! I generally split the difference of the these two approaches. If I’m picking end of 1st/early 2nd and kershaw happens to be there I’m pulling the trigger, but by no means am I hoping for a sp in 1st. Part of the reason being my leagues are generally trade happy so everyone is movable. I like both of your takes on pitcher vs hitter bust rates and corresponding year end values.

                      One thing that I would like a take on is the long term value of the current injured/feared to be injured/rehabbing arms who have dropped in ADP and perhaps garnered some warranted redraft skepticism. In a keeper league where Harvey or JoFer could be had multiple rounds later than any year of good health or the likes of tanaka darvish who could drop multiple rounds or more out of drafter’s lack of confidence in their current health, would these guys(and others I may have skipped over) pose potential good bargain keepers for teams not in the best position to win this year? Disclaimer: my keeper league values are draft round minus 1 per year kept.

  54. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
    (link)

    Choose your own adventure:

    A) Tyson Ross is the right-handed version of Francisco Liriano

    B) Mat Latos is a riskier version of Hyun-Jin Ryu

    C)

    D) Stan Wawrinka will successfully defend his Australian Open title

    If this had odds on it, D would probably be at 1000-1, but I figured I’d throw it in there. I’m now two episodes behind on TC, so I left that off of the table for now…

    • Sky

      Sky says:
      (link)

      I choose C)

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
        (link)

        @Sky: Collin McHugh is extremely overrated?

        • Sky

          Sky says:
          (link)

          I thought it was ‘Chris Davis: the new Mark Reynolds?’ Something wrong with my invisible ink markers.

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
            (link)

            @Sky: It looks to me like “Zack Wheeler: the new Justin Masterson.” It is a bit fuzzy though.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Magoo you don’t want to weigh in on the Oaktown stuff?

              • Big Magoo

                Big Magoo says:
                (link)

                @Grey: I could, but my answer would be simple and boring and debating the issue would be akin to spinning one’s wheels in the mud. Been down that road before.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  Simple and boring is fine, let’s hear it, I’m curious

                  • Big Magoo

                    Big Magoo says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey: Responded on the above thread

            • Sky

              Sky says:
              (link)

              Now that I recolored it, it looks like it says ‘Anthony Rendon: likely regression candidate’…how could you?

              • Big Magoo

                Big Magoo says:
                (link)

                @Sky: Hold on a second… from this angle it looks like “Todd Frazier: Fantasy Albatross.” That sounds pretty harsh!

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
                  (link)

                  I just flipped the page over, held it up to the light and read it backwards: why did you put ‘Jose Altuve: At Least He’s Taller Than Grey?’ Not only was it not fantasy relevant, it was just plain rude, sir. RUDE.

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
                    (link)

                    Feelings: hurt.

                    • JeF With 1 F says:
                      (link)

                      @Grey: you got the old school …”talk to the hand” ha ha

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Figures

                    • J-FOH says:
                      (link)

                      @Grey: that is the harshest thing sky has ever said

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      He’s hurtful, maybe too hurtful to be my BFF

                    • J-FOH says:
                      (link)

                      @Grey: being a friend of sky isn’t always easy, he may come off harsh sometimes, but it comes from a loving place. i can’t even count how many times he will make me feel stupid by pointing out something so obvious that it makes me cry…and now i need a good cry. *grabs copy of Rudy*

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Someone’s made a copy of Rudy?

                    • J-FOH says:
                      (link)

                      @Grey: no comment

                  • Big Magoo

                    Big Magoo says:
                    (link)

                    @Sky: I’ve never met Grey. Stop trying to pass your handwriting off as mine!

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
                      (link)

                      It looks like it was actually written in pee…to the lab!

  55. Eng says:
    (link)

    Oh boy, no Kevin Gas-MAN in the top 40? If you were keeping one, him or Rosenthal?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Gausman

      • Eng says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Thanks!! BTW, your site is linking my Mac to some suspicious “software update” site when I refresh the page. May want to look into that. I’m not computer expert but the download request seems super shady.

  56. Thirsty fo' Ayahuasca says:
    (link)

    in a keeper league:

    1. Hamels and Gallardo for Ryu, Carrasco, and Salazar

    2. Sano vs Syndergaard

    3. Bruce vs Duda

    bonus: will Belichik have a long sleeved hoodie on?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      1. Carrasco said 2. Sano 3. Bruce… I don’t know football

      • Thirsty fo' Ayahuasca says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        ha – you dont know football? I should have ignored the football side to your site then…

        thank you, sir

        • Sky

          Sky says:
          (link)

          DON’T YOU DARE

        • J-FOH says:
          (link)

          @Thirsty fo’ Ayahuasca: he doesn’t write it, we have football specialists. Everyone calm down *holds sky back*

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          I don’t write for the football side of the site, so you must’ve ignored it

          • J-FOH says:
            (link)

            @Grey: we wouldn’t want Dan Marino as the #1 rated player every year. “Hey grey, why is Marino number one?” He could come out of retirement

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Isotoners is a category

              • J-FOH says:
                (link)

                @Grey: no but good looks are

  57. Was not expecting you to rank Wheeler that high. I always got the impression you were lower on him then others.

    Better keeper: $8 Wheeler or a $15 Fraizer?
    ($260, 14 team, 2C ,5×5, keep 9)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Frazier

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem

  58. Jason says:
    (link)

    Grey,

    Dynasty points league. I have a slew of SPs and I put them all on the block to get bites…not much yet. Which ones (say, which two or three) would you actively be putting in offers? Cashner, Liriano, Richards, Ross, Kazmir, Keuchel, deGrom, Fiers, Lynn?

    Thanks!

    • Cram It says:
      (link)

      @Jason: Oddly worded question. If I was a team looking for a pitcher, which of your SP’s would I go after?

      • Jason says:
        (link)

        @Cram It: I’m asking more: Since throwing them all out there hasn’t brought the buyers running, which guys should I start pushing out in trade offers?

        • Cram It says:
          (link)

          @Jason: Depends what you’re looking for in return. I’d say Liriano, Ross, DeGrom or Fiers would net the biggest returns. Maybe Cashner would get something decent. The rest have little trade value. Unless you’re packaging.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I’d go by my rankings

  59. Copperhead Road says:
    (link)

    Looking for input- what order do you put these $1 keepers (all can be kept at this price for 2 years)
    Odor, Zunino, Howard, Hunter
    Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Zunino, Odor

  60. Nico says:
    (link)

    Can’t help but think of The Fugees when Marcus Stroman’s name comes up… “Stroman my pain with his fingers.” Here’s to hoping he doesn’t Kill Me Softly with his stats when I draft him.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Totally, ha

  61. Mike says:
    (link)

    1-Wheeler for $7, Carrasco for $10, iwakuma $13…Which 2 are the best value?

    2-with a budget of $280, is Strasburg at $32 good value?

    3-agon $21, or kinsler $20? Or neither at those prices?

    Thanks!!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      1. Wheeler, Carrasco 2. No 3. Neither if you have other choices

  62. dan says:
    (link)

    Grey,

    No love for James Paxton in the top 40 Starters?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Nope

  63. Jay says:
    (link)

    I’m probably late with this but Yahoo registration opens tomorrow

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Cool

    • goodfold2 says:
      (link)

      @Jay: ya, can start looking to fill a razzball league.

  64. papapsmurf says:
    (link)

    Man nowadays you can just spit in the wind and land yourself a strong SP or two, or three, or four.

    I think I will avoid Liriano this year. I had Masterson and Liriano (first half only) last year as my number 3 and 4 in my 16 team league… I got 1 win and a 5+ ERA out of them and somehow still won my league with the best ERA. Which makes the point again that there are many SPs available on waivers.

    Definitely go offense early in the draft!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Agreed!

    • Can you imagine..., the gallons of human spit says:
      (link)

      @papapsmurf: liriano will be almost as cheap as last year.

  65. Bammers says:
    (link)

    Grey,
    Got a basic draft question for you. I am towards the end of a slow dynasty draft. I have 1 more reserve spot to fill that cannot be a SP. It is a points league where you can change the lineups daily. My starting catcher is Yan Gomes. Do I take a 2nd catcher to start when he sits? Or do I take another RP (we start 4 and I have 5 currently)? If I take a RP, it would most likely be Casey Fien or Brad Ziegler. Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Ziegler, but I don’t know who that 2nd catcher would be

      • Bammers says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        Not much left for the catchers. Would be picking between Ianetta, AJ ellis, Castillo, Avila, Jaso, Pierzynski. Any of those studs change your mind about the pick?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Take Ziegler

  66. Teddy Heater says:
    (link)

    Now I have my Starting Pitching set I’m going to run over to Things Remembered to commemorate the top 13-40 SP’s Any requests BFF?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Dutch boy hummel. Thanks, BFF!

      • Teddy Heater says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Oh so we share a love of Hummels, That is too funny! True story………..When my Grandma passed away 15 years ago there was a lot static about how to split up her massive Hummel collection. Everyone wanted the same ones so I was like only one way to settle this shizz. Hummel Draft!! Each grand kid got a puck in each round, the more kids you had the more picks. My Mom scored the most lucrative because he had the 2ND most kids and You know I snagged the most expensive ones cause I’ll turn anything into a draft! This was before Google so I had to buy a Beckett for Hummels!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          That’s amazing! I want into your family… Have a draft for me!

          • Teddy Heater says:
            (link)

            @Grey: What are you talking about? You were the number pick. You didn’t get your contract? Btw, I didn’t think there were any grown men out there who could use a Hummel reference!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              I’ll check the mail… I got hummel references for days!

  67. GhostTownSteve says:
    (link)

    Grey, the catcher thing is a really good way to look at what I’m talking about. The reason why you didn’t draft catchers is that there was little difference between them and the reason there was little difference is because there was very little total offense to go around in the catching pool. So as the amount of offense deflates league wide, all players become more like catchers. The inverse is also true. As the amount of pitching production (lowered ratios, Ks both count as production) inflates, there are wider variances between pitchers. In my analysis there is a particular point of inflection among the top 10 pitchers.

    I urge you to strongly consider a pitcher at 25-30ish this year.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Yeah, I follow completely now… It’s why I also have been saying for year to draft a high 1st baseman when others were saying it’s deep take a shortstop (or something shallow)… It’s an interesting theory, the difference I find between SPs and shortstops is the sheer number of SPs… Every year there’s a ton of Jesse Chavez types that aren’t drafted at all or until the 500/600s in NFBC that turn out quite valuable… I will fully admit to confirmation bias though…

      • GhostTownSteve says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        While there are a ton of pitchers, you also need a ton of them. That’s part of the illusion of abundance. If you only need two donuts to feel full but 6 candy bars, people will still say a pile of 5 candy bars is more abundant that a plate with 2 donuts. It’s a cognitive trick. There are relatively fewer breakout 3rd basemen, but many fewer are required.

        And because pitching is so deep you need a lot of it. Inflation, inflation, inflation.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          I could see that argument, you do need more, but even if you need eight, there’s 150 of them (not all good obviously) and there’s 30 SS…

          • GhostTownSteve says:
            (link)

            @Grey:

            Well if you’re in 15 teamer and everybody needs 8 that’s 120 pitchers. If there are 30 ss and you need about 22.5 rostered. That’s 75% of shortstops rostered and 80% of SPs rostered. At 7 SPs that’s 70%.

            And among those 22.5 SS, 17 of them are basically the same player.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Maybe even 22 of them are the same…

    • GhostTownSteve says:
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      @GhostTownSteve:

      and it occurs to me that the reason why you avoid Posey isn’t because he’s my not outproduce the 8th best 1st baseman. There are breakpoints in the tiers where it does make sense to take a less productive player relative to a player at another position because of the gap to the next available option within the position. But with catchers, the gap between the best and worst catchers seems large when comparing catchers to catchers but it is small when comparing catchers to everybody else. 2015 the year of the great offensive concatenation.

      • GhostTownSteve says:
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        @GhostTownSteve:

        It’s just like when Bonds was hitting 73 home runs in the juice era. Of course you would be a moron to look at pitching early. But now that the stat pool has inverted, doesn’t it make sense to explore the idea that the strategy inverts with it?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, but when everyone was hitting 50 HRs, there was a case that Pedro was a top five pick…

          • GhostTownSteve says:
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            @Grey:

            Well yes, it’s not a perfect analogy. I’m not yet ready to say load the 1st round with pitchers. I’m starting to wonder though…

            But I’m definitely feeling earlier pitching and the numbers I looked at kind of support the idea.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Well, today i fully understand it, tomorrow I get on board!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Haha… Well, 2014 defintely was

      • jal179 says:
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        @GhostTownSteve:

        It’s precisely why I think Carlos Santana with C eligibility around 70th overall obliterates a Ross or Samardjia pick 1 rd later.

        Fack I’m strongly considering a 3rd rd starter now… Trout, Donaldson/Desmond, Sherzer or Stras sounds just fine…

        Damn Ghosttown…

  68. trigger cut says:
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    I’m required to keep a pitcher in a highly competitive 16 team league. Keep Tyson Ross, Jake Arrieta, or a broken (for now) Jose Fernandez?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ross or Arrieta is a coin flip

      • trigger cut says:
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        @Grey: Agreed. But flip a coin and keep the winner or stash Jo-Fer for the long haul?

        • GhostTownSteve says:
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          @trigger cut:

          Jo-Fer

          • trigger cut says:
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            @GhostTownSteve: Thanks GhostTown (formerly NZ?). That’s the direction I’m leaning, given that I got both Ross and Arrieta insanely cheap last year. There’s going to be other similar finds this year; pitching seems to come out of the woodwork every year. But Jo-Fer could be a bona fide beast for years to come, right?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Not Jo-Fer

          • trigger cut says:
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            @Grey: Gah! One vote for Jo-Fer and one vote for a coin flip. And I seriously respect both of your opinions. Now what? Flip a coin between Jo-Fer and a coin flip? Time to turn off my computer, turn off my machine, and do it myself, I suppose. Trust my feelings and all that. Thanks for your input, the both of youse. Looking forward to another great Razzyear.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              @trigger cut: So as a guy who plays in a keeper as well – albeit not as big possibly – here are my thoughts.

              Take Arrieta and throw Ross/Jo-Fer back because of those three, Arrieta should go the highest. If you want all three, you can still have them. I play this strategy to a relatively high level of success in my keeper. It does depend on your league structure, but that would be my approach.

              • trigger cut says:
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                @Sky: Sage advice. Ross will probably slip away from me while I’m still assembling my offense, and I’ll probably have to draft Jo-Fer while decent healthy arms are still on the board, but so be it. Keeper leagues present tough decisions. Thank you, Sky, for helping me think this one through.

  69. nick the dick says:
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    Got lunch up in Westerly RI today, had a stuffed peppers grinder. Literally 2 stuffed peppers on that shit. Hayzues Christo what a taste explosion!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Sounds so good! I’m making miso-butter chicken for Cougs right now… Serious Eats up in here, up in here!

      • nick the dick says:
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        @Grey: Ooooh you gon make me lose my mind up in here, up in here! Doing it big baby babyyy!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Like a baller!

      • nick the dick says:
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        @Grey: *comes home to bland baked chicken, ponders divorce*

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Shizz was good too

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: did you make the miso butter? What kind of miso? Color?

  70. Schwab says:
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    Hey Grey,
    Another keeper question. Keeper league 8 teams H2H points.
    Would you trade Cargo for Tyson Ross? If so, do you consider it close?
    Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nah

  71. booya says:
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    10 team H2H keeper w/ OPS
    Which side do you want?
    Stanton & Encarnacion or Goldschmidt, Billy Ham & Votto

    Stanton side right?

    • Wake Up says:
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      @booya: yes

  72. goodfold2 says:
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    30 man super deep league, about to enter bidding on free agent player period. Comish has broken up all the players into 4 groups, each biddable for a week. All players not on rookie contracts/franchised (for extra 6 million per year over their original contracts from 2 years ago, prices set up by fantrax at that time)/or tagged are the current free agent crop. Due to matching bids on Erv Sant and Werth (8.77 mil 1 year and 12 mil each for 2 years, and Werth’s just before shoulder surgery), I have 9.984 mil left over to fill these roster spots: 1 CI/ 1 util/ 1 SP (this is for a 6th SP spot, my 5 already pretty good)/ 4 RP/ 1 backup C (likely Recker, as i have D’Arnaud)/ 2 more BN guys (likely hitters). Any contract under 1 million can be cut with no penalty. If Werth was on DL i’d get back that 12 million but he’s not (he’s in jail currently). I used both Razz player rater/ B. Forecaster to rank guys after grouping them into roles. It’s very likely i won’t afford any hitting starter, some teams have shitty rosters but over 40 million to spend (and based on past, i.e. k.johnson last year getting 17 million cough cough), and some really will; thus my real play here is to get best backups or guys who could do the most if they luck into roles. OPS league as well, and i am homer/OPS weak, not steals weak. Tell me if these ranks look right. (I know your rankings, but this is in a league where at bats trump upside for a lot of these spots)

    1. CI starters/righty side platooners – Plouffe/Freese/Morrison/Solarte/G.Jones/I.Davis/Loney/Valbuena/McGehee/Swisher/Callaspo/Amarista
    2. CI backups/lefty side – Reynolds/Smoak/Turner/Aviles/Nava/Dominguez/Beckham/Baker/S-Rod/E.Nunez/E.Escobar/Ishikawa
    3. no team/minors – J.Francisco (should he be bumped up somewhere)

  73. Wake Up says:
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    I like your thinking on Teheran, Harvey and Wheeler.

  74. g says:
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    Im in a 12 team h2h keeper league where we can keep 4 players. The keepers I plan on selecting are Abreu (7th round), Arenado (10th round), Harvey (11th), and Arrieta (12th). These are clearly the best options from my roster of available keepers, but my question is regarding draft strategy for rounds 1-7 (plus 9th round pick) – in those 8 picks, knowing I will have Harvey and Arrieta, would you go with all hitting in those rounds or try and snag a pitcher. If so, what round would you target (with the understanding that part of that will be based on how the draft is going). Thanks in advance

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @g: why are you not mentioning 8th round pick, but are mentioning 9th rounder? Answer to this would have something to do with what pitchers were kept.

      • G says:
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        @goodfold2:
        Thanks. Messed up in asking my question. Meant to ask if I should be drafting a pitcher in rounds 1-6 or rounds 8 and 9 knowing I’ll be drafting Harvey and arrietta in rounds 11 and 12. Was thinking of trying to draft the best available of Greys top 20 SPs with my 6th, 8th, or 9th pick. Thanks again in advance.

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @G: if you already have arrieta and harvey, you’ll probably only need 1 SP in those rounds at most. But you should look into just which guys are being kept, in case all the other top end guys are; the less highly ranked guys that are left, the longer you can likely wait.

          • goodfold2 says:
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            @goodfold2: wait, that’s backwards, the MORE highly ranked guys that aren’t kept, the longer round you can wait to grab one.

  75. Reno 911 says:
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    Should I trade Brian Dozier for Zack Wheeler? Both are cheap ($4), and both are under control for three years. H2H 12-team weekly; points. SPs typically outscore hitters. Simlar (CBS) points projections. Five or Six SPs must start each week, and I’m keeping Kershaw, Kluber, Kennedy (the killer Ks!), Iwakuma and Harvey. Seeing that, maybe I’m good on pitching, and should keep a cheap Dozier? I do like Wheeler though. Please help, dear sir!

    • Reno 911 says:
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      Any comment/advice on Dozier or Wheeler, Grey? Thanks

      • Reno 911 says:
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        Good deal. I always get the warm-fuzzies when you verify my thinking. *Ahem*, in a manly bro-hug kind of way, that is (ahem again)…

  76. Clint says:
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    Some points:
    1) Been using another site’s winter rankings purely because I wanted something to cut & paste names into when RB’s came out & make the process faster and this site, which shall remain nameless for it’s BS-PN factor, ranked Shoemaker #90 at SP. Nice to see Grey’s way ahead of the curve as always as it’s gonna be a great year for me!

    2) Regarding Ventura: his speed drop when coupled with the arm concerns later in 2014 don’t make you more squeamish on a him being a potential TJ candidate than other guys? Seems to be the narrative floating around the fantasy shops lately about him.

    3) Do you buy any of the talk Gray was wearing down late in 2014 being an issue for 2015?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      1) Cool 2) Yeah, I have some concerns on him 3) He’s young, building stamina for 2015

  77. Steve says:
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    no Dallas Keuchel?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      razzball.com/top-60-starters-2015-fantasy-baseball/

Comments are closed.