So, how’s everyone holding up without baseball every day?  I don’t know what to do with myself!  Yesterday I wandered into a Starbucks and told the coffeerista about German Marquez for 2019.  Then I sobbed into a cheddar scone until someone asked me to leave.  We’ve gone over the final 2018 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters.  This is different than Final Fantasy rankings where you rank Final Fantasy 1 thru Final Fantasy 15.  That’s hardcore nerd shizz!  This is simply fantasy baseball — we’re softcore nerds like Emmanuelle is to porn.  So, there’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left.  You’re welcome.  I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking next about 2019 rookies.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2018 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

21. German Marquez – Seeing two Rockies starters in the first 21 starters, especially after drafting Jon Gray in multiple leagues, makes me feel like Stan Gable seeing his Pi in that tin.  By the way, it’s hard to watch Revenge of the Nerds now and not think, “Wow, Lewis going in a dark room and having sex with a girl who thinks he’s someone else feels a lot like rape.”   Preseason Rank #131, 2018 Projections: 11-10/4.31/1.33/158 in 171 IP, Final Numbers:  14-11/3.77/1.20/230 in 196 IP

22. Jameson Taillon – Putting up a season like this, he must’ve had a ball!  *moonwalks to another one testicle joke* I’ll save you for next year!  Preseason Rank #48, 2018 Projections: 10-7/3.51/1.29/141 in 152 IP, Final Numbers: 14-10/3.20/1.18/179 in 191 IP

23. Rick Porcello –  And we have our first starter with a 4+ ERA at 23 overall.  Ha, so bad.  I mean, bad bad bad.  Not bad as in good.  Bad as in poop emoji.  Preseason Rank #73, 2018 Projections: 13-11/4.12/1.27/175 in 195 IP, Final Numbers: 17-7/4.28/1.18/190 in 191 1/3 IP

24. Zack Wheeler –  Take a moment to laugh that Wheeler got more wins than deGrom, then abruptly stop your laughter because Wheeler had a better ERA and WHIP than deGrom in the 2nd half.  Preseason Rank #88, 2018 Projections: 6-8/3.89/1.35/99 in 104 IP, Final Numbers: 12-7/3.31/1.12/179 in 182 1/3 IP

25. James Paxton –  May not have notched 200+ Ks if he only threw 142 IP like I projected, but you can take back those 18 extra innings and give me back a decent ERA. I guess I forgot pitchers are terrible nowadays.  Oddly enough, pitchers are terrible, yet hitters strike out more now than at any point in the history of baseball. *scratches head* Hey, what gives? Preseason Rank #26, 2018 Projections: 13-6/3.09/1.07/165 in 142 IP, Final Numbers: 11-6/3.76/1.10/208 in 160 1/3 IP

26. Kyle Hendricks –  Hendricks in Wrigley *air guitar lick* The Wind cries scary for fly balls.  Thankfully, Hendricks gets by on ground balls and is about one of the safest do-nothing-exciting starters.  Preseason Rank #38, 2018 Projections: 13-8/3.54/1.24/156 in 178 IP, Final Numbers: 14-11/3.44/1.15/161 in 199 IP

27. Jhoulys Chacin –  This guy and the next met this postseason and Chacin was the one I wanted, which becomes slightly crumby with crackers when you see the next guy is Kershaw. Chacin continues to float between the raindrops without getting wet as he beats his xFIP like Pauly D beats back the beat. Preseason Rank #100, 2018 Projections:  9-11/4.51/1.41/143 in 172 IP, Final Numbers: 15-8/3.50/1.16/156 in 192 2/3 IP

28. Clayton Kershaw –  This is about last year, er, um, this year, but next year?  Does Kershaw break the top 10?  He can’t stay healthy anymore, and he’s showing all kinds of signs of aging.  And not the good kinds of aging like Cougars and wine.  Sippin’ the Cougarnnay?  Chardoncougarnay?  Cougdonnay?  Okay, moving on!  Preseason Rank #2, 2018 Projections: 17-6/2.51/0.94/225 in 202 IP, Final Numbers: 9-5/2.73/1.04/155 in 161 1/3 IP

29. Walker Buehler –  Hate, hate, haaaaaaaate with extended ‘a’ emphasis that Buehler threw so many innings this year (with the postseason too).  Dave Roberts ruined Buehler until 2020, and that’s a big-time optimistic hopefully because, when he comes down with Tommy Johnitis next May, he could be out until 2021-22.  Preseason Rank #117, 2018 Projections: 4-2/3.33/1.18/75 in 63 IP, Final Numbers: 8-5/2.62/0.96/151 in 137 1/3 IP

30. Jon Lester –  Saberhagenmetricians will tell you just look at Lester’s ERAs from year to year and I’m done fighting it.  You’re right, Saberhagen-heads!  Preseason Rank #43, 2018 Projections: 12-10/3.94/1.28/177 in 183 IP, Final Numbers: 18-6/3.32/1.31/149 in 181 2/3 IP

31. Jose Berrios –  His numbers tell us he was a hair better than Syndergaard (not judging on hair, literally, obviously), but Berrios’ numbers are a lot more impressive.  Those Ks! The walks fell from his previous year!  Was able to start 32 games!  Okay, the last one is more of a participation exclamation mark.  Preseason Rank #29, 2018 Projections: 13-9/3.72/1.19/170 in 174 IP, Final Numbers: 12-11/3.84/1.14/202 in 192 1/3 IP

32. Noah Syndergaard –  His 2nd half has more warning signs than an Uber driver toasting you with a shot of whiskey when you get in the car.  His 2nd half K/9 was 8.1, walk rate was 2.6 and a 3.55 xFIP.  Maybe there’s signs of bad luck, but good luck with that.  Preseason Rank #6, 2018 Projections: 15-10/2.81/1.06/215 in 184 IP, Final Numbers: 13-4/3.03/1.21/155 in 154 1/3 IP

33. Trevor Williams –  I loved this guy.  I wrote a sleeper post for him when everyone else was like, “Seriously, who?”  But, I mean, his Ks are hilarious.  You’re about to see why I’m one of the greatest ‘perts in this biz because I’m about to flip from loving a guy to not wanting any part of him at the snap of a finger.  Hmm, can you snap only one finger?  Preseason Rank #58, 2018 Projections: 11-9/3.87/1.27/158 in 178 IP, Final Numbers: 14-10/3.11/1.18/126 in 170 2/3 IP

34. Masahiro Tanaka –  His 2nd half ERA this year: 2.85.  His 2nd half ERA the previous year was 2 runs lower than his 1st half.  He’s like Jon Lester on a very small sample.  Drink that PABST!  Post-All-star Break Stats from Tanaka!  (Eat a D, Teixeira!) Preseason Rank #23, 2018 Projections: 14-9/3.49/1.14/205 in 194 IP, Final Numbers: 12-6/3.75/1.13/159 in 156 IP

35. Jack Flaherty –  Once again, never underestimate the Cardinals with starters.  They always get guys to perform, it’s just never the same guys.  Next year, Bud Norris will be converted to the rotation and be a top 40 starter.  Preseason Rank #76, 2018 Projections: 9-8/3.64/1.29/129 in 137 IP, Final Numbers: 8-9/3.34/1.11/182 in 151 IP

36. Rich Hill –  I found this funnier than I likely should’ve, but Rich Hill began his career in 2005.  That’s a long time ago, think we can agree on that.  His career total in wins?  61!  Rich Hill has less wins than he’s had blisters!  Preseason Rank #28, 2018 Projections: 11-6/3.14/1.13/155 in 132 IP, Final Numbers: 11-5/3.66/1.12/150 in 132 2/3 IP

37. Sean Manaea –  *pours a bottle of liquor out for Manaea*  Preseason Rank #63, 2018 Projections: 11-11/4.11/1.35/152 in 177 IP, Final Numbers: 12-9/3.59/1.08/108 in 160 2/3 IP

38. Mike Fiers –  There is so much pitching available I picked up Fiers in July in a 15-team league.  He had a 3.34 ERA in the 2nd half.  Bravo, kudos, yadda, nice pick up, I know.  Now put on your 1940’s aviation helmet because I’m about to blow your mind.  He had a 3.70 ERA in the 1st half!  He should’ve been owned all year, but there’s a lot of pitching even in deeper mixed leagues.  Preseason Rank #101, 2018 Projections: 7-13/4.64/1.40/153 in 168 IP, Final Numbers: 12-8/3.56/1.18/139 in 172 IP

39. Eduardo Rodriguez –  Not saying he’s going to be Trevor Bauer next year, but Ed-Rod’s stats are pointing directly to a break out for next year.  His 10.1 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 alone could make him legendary.  All he needs to do is return with the same Ks and get his walks down a half walk per nine and throw 175 innings.  Okay, okay, OKAY!  This is about the past year, next year, but Ed-Rod is only 25 and *shoves arm in face* I have goosebumps!  *you look down and see a Goosebumps tattoo*  What, the sequel looks good?  Preseason Rank #79, 2018 Projections: 7-3/3.84/1.26/105 in 98 IP, Final Numbers: 13-5/3.82/1.26/146 in 129 2/3 IP

40. Anibal Sanchez –  Rip up all preseason starter rankings.  Seriously.  Something no one will tell you, but you honestly should just focus on guys who you like vs. actual rankings, because starters are an absolute crapshoot, which is smellier than a turkey shoot and twice as messy.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 7-6/2.83/1.08/135 in 136 2/3 IP

  1. Razzsnowflake says:

    “Is this shirt making love to me? What’s going on?” I laugh every time. There’s a bunch of familiar expert voices giving boring praise of the shirts when Your distinct voice chimes in with that peculiar statement. So funny.

  2. Ante Galic says:


    Fantastic top 40 starters RECAP! Better than Andy Capp or JA Happ on a hot summer’s day.

    a. Yeah, agreed on Ed-Rod. Hope he can just stay healthy AND get in shape for the start of the season on time.

    b. CK, man. Tough times for him. Hoping he can have a DL-free season next year.

    c. Mark Twain quote of the day for October 26

    I was born the 30th of November, 1835 in the almost-invisible village of Florida, Monroe County, Missouri. The village contained 100 people and I increased the population by 1%. It is more than many of the best men in history could have done for a town. There is no record of a person doing as much, not even Shakespeare. But I did it for Florida, Missouri. And it shows I could’ve done it for any place. Even London, I s’ppose.

    This is a list of his works.

    1. (1867) The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (fiction)

    2. (1868) General Washington’s * Body-Servant (fiction)

    3. (1868) My Late Senatorial Secretaryship (fiction)

    4. (1869) The Innocents Abroad (non-fiction travel)

    5. (1870-71) Memoranda (monthly column for The Galaxy magazine)

    6. (1871) Mark Twain’s (Burlesque)

    7. (1872) Roughing It (non-fiction)

    8. (1873) The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today (fiction, made into a play)

    9. (1875) Sketches New and Old (fictional stories)

    10. (1876) Old Times on the Mississippi (non-fiction)

    11. (1876) The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (fiction)

    12. (1876) A Murder, a Mystery, and a Marriage (fiction)

    13. (1877) A True Story and the Recent Carnival of Crime (stories)

    14. (1877) The Invalid’s Story (Fiction)

    15. (1878) Punch, Brothers, Punch! and other Sketches (fiction)

    16. (1880) A Tramp Abroad (travel)

    17. (1880) 1601: Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors (fiction)

    18. (1882) The Prince and the Pauper (fiction)

    19. (1883) Life on the Mississippi (mainly non-fiction)

    20. (1884) Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (fiction)

    21. (1889) A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (fiction)

    22. (1892) The American Claimant (fiction)

    23. (1892) Merry Tales (fiction)

    24. (1892) Those Extraordinary Twins (fiction)

    25. (1893) The £1,000,000 Bank Note and Other New Stories (fictional stories)

    26. (1894) Tom Sawyer Abroad (fiction)

    27. (1894) The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson (fiction)

    28. (1896) Tom Sawyer, Detective (fiction)

    29. (1896) Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (fiction)

    30. (1897) How to Tell a Story and other Essays (non-fictional essays)

    31. (1897) Following the Equator (non-fiction travel)

    32. (1898) Is He Dead? (play)

    33. (1900) The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg (fiction)

    34. (1900) A Salutation Speech From the Nineteenth Century to the Twentieth (essay)

    35. (1901) The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Updated (satire)

    36. (1901) To the Person Sitting in Darkness (essay)

    37. (1901) Edmund Burke on Croker and Tammany (political satire)

    38. (1902) A Double Barrelled Detective Story (fiction)

    39. (1904) A Dog’s Tale (fiction)

    40. (1904) Extracts from Adam’s Diary (fiction)

    41. (1905) King Leopold’s Soliloquy (political satire)

    42. (1905) The War Prayer (fiction)

    43. (1906) The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories (fiction)

    44. (1906) What Is Man? (essay)

    45. (1906) Eve’s Diary (fiction)

    46. (1907) Christian Science (non-fiction)

    47. (1907) A Horse’s Tale (fiction)

    48. (1907) Is Shakespeare Dead? (non-fiction)

    49. (1909) Letters from the Earth (fiction, published posthumously)

    50. (1909) Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven (fiction)

    51. (1910) Queen Victoria’s Jubilee (non-fiction)

    52. (1912) My Platonic Sweetheart (dream journal, possibly non-fiction)

    53. (1916) The Mysterious Stranger (fiction, possibly not by Twain, published posthumously)

    54. (1924) Mark Twain’s Autobiography (non-fiction, published posthumously)

    55. (1935) Mark Twain’s Notebook (published posthumously)

    56. (1962) Letters from the Earth (posthumous, edited by Bernard DeVoto)

    57. (1969) No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger (fiction, published posthumously)

    58. (1985) Concerning the Jews (published posthumously)

    59. (1992) Mark Twain’s Weapons of Satire: Anti-Imperialist Writings on the Philippine-American War. Jim Zwick, ed. (Syracuse University Press) ISBN 0-8156-0268-5 (previously uncollected, published posthumously)

    60. (1995) The Bible According to Mark Twain: Writings on Heaven, Eden, and the Flood (published posthumously)

    My vote is for #21, I used it a lot in the year. Also hot were #44, #54 and #55.

    I dare all of you to read any of these books that you haven’t read or watch the Ken Burns documentary. He is a true American legend.

    d. Have a nice weekend.


    • Grey

      Grey says:

      @Ante Galic: A. Yeah, agreed B. Doubt it C. His autobiography was published posthumously? Hmm… No wonder why he wrote so much, he was able to write after he died D. You too!

  3. fishfanuk says:

    I’m sure I’ll return to read the post but the mention of Jon grays abysmal year and his huge helping in torpedoing my year has caused me to balk at the post.

  4. Tommy Herr says:

    Are you willing to plead the fip on Jon gray this year? I feel like if hes healthy he has to be better and he did have 180+ ks

    • Grey

      Grey says:

      @Tommy Herr: Yeah, he also pitches in Coors and was less great for Ks in the final 6 weeks

      • Tommy Herr says:

        @Grey: yeah you are thinking he will be better next year? I have him at $18 in my nl only keeper

        • Grey

          Grey says:

          Better, but $18 is steep, think you can get him back for less… Unless you keep a ton of players

  5. knucks says:

    Did you see the changes that the NFBC just announced? Love the forced Auto after a missed pick. Surprised that that wasn’t already a thing. But the shortening of the clock after the first 30 rounds in the DCs is going to be suchhh a great change.

    Already looking forward to doing multiple $50 NFBC drafts. Did my first NFBC draft this year and won that $400 pretty easily. Because of the lower buy-in, I feel like there were at least 2 or 3 rubes in the league (maybe even more). But using your pre-season ranks is such a large advantage in February that I would be an absolute fool to not jump in and dominate as many of those drafts as I can.

    Here was my typical starters from last years $50 NFBC team that started drafting on the last day of January:

    C- Alfaro
    C- Vazquez (or Leon)
    1B- Hosmer
    2B- Scooter
    3B- Arenado
    SS- Lindor
    CI- Rendon
    MI- Tim Anderson
    OF- Castellanos
    OF- Acuna
    OF- Puig
    OF- Mazara
    OF- Renfroe
    UT- Escobar
    Bench- Dee Gordon, Jed Lowrie, Nimmo, etc

    SP- Verlander, Snell, Bauer, Tanaka, Clevinger, VV, Trevor Williams
    RP- Treinen, Osuna

    • Grey

      Grey says:

      @knucks: I don’t follow, a forced auto after a missed pick? So, an auto pick if you don’t pick in time? How was that not already a thing? Looks at that team! Hosmer stinks, but, man, there is a ton of value there!

      • knucks says:

        @Grey: Yea and the pitching was clutch.

        So if you don’t make a pick, you go on Auto (after an auto pick is made). Then you will not come off autopick until you login and take yourself off of it. There were at least 2 teams in the draft I did las tyear that had a forced auto-pick, then when it was their turn in the next round, they ghosted the shizzz out of us and took the entire 4 hours again. So the change for next year is that they will stay on Autopick until they return to the draft room and click off on Autopick.

        • Grey

          Grey says:

          Ooooh, gotcha… That is surprising that wasn’t already like that… Guess they figured paying $ prolly don’t want auto, but people paying $ should also pay attention….

          So, what’s the other change about?

          • knucks says:

            @Grey: “We noticed in the past that the last 20 rounds took longer than the first 30 rounds and have the ability now to address that. Once we hit Round 31, the clock will automatically be reduced to 2 hours in a 4-hour draft and to 1 hour in a 2-hour draft.”

            So key.

            • Dave D says:


              Yeah. It was torture in my DC draft too. This is a very welcome change.

              Btw, nice team. How many overall points did you get?

              • knucks says:

                @Dave D: Not sure that my overall points matter, since it was a $50 league and not a $100 or $400 Draft Champs league. There was no overall winner for these new $50 leagues.

            • Grey

              Grey says:

              Nice! I like it! That is definitely something they need to really talk about on site tho bc that’s not intuitive…

  6. TheTinDoor

    TheTinDoor says:

    You couldn’t be more right about depth of pitching.

    I did a post-mortem on a league where I finished just out of the money. In that league I traded away pitching all year: dealt Jon Gray, Snell, Heaney, Vizcaino, Bum, and Yates. Guess what? 51 out of 65 possible pitching points, but only 29/65 hitting. I found Stripling, Wheeler, Marquez, and streamed many others.

    At the draft, it’s always scary to come away light on SP b/c projections don’t like the team, but I’ve gotta just trust this.

    • Grey

      Grey says:

      @TheTinDoor: Yeah, exactly! That’s the thing, it is so scary to not draft pitching, but you have to trust

      • Grey

        Grey says:

        @Grey: …you can find it

  7. Dave D says:

    Kyle Hendricks at 109 overall was a pretty good pick for me. He is not a game changer but fills the stat sheet with B+ numbers. Zach Godley had a lot of hype and went one pick before him. Taillon one after. I can’t complain at all. I’ll probably draft him again in 2019.

    • Grey

      Grey says:

      Agreed, not sexy, but thankfully not Godley either… Godley had so much hype coming into this year (I might’ve been for him), but woof he disappointed, glad I didn’t own him

      • Dave D says:


        Yeah, and Robbie Ray went #50 overall. For whatever reason I have never toyed with Arizona starters. I remember all the humidor hype leading into the season. Luckily I didn’t bite. I think you’re right about the Cardinals. Any starter on STL, ATL, TB, SF are probably worth drafting late or streaming. Any starter on KC, TOR, LAA probably good to avoid. It’s interesting how organizations work. But Anibal Sanchez? C’mon, seriously… Braves magic hat tricks.

        • Grey

          Grey says:

          Oh, I bite big time on Robbie Ray, he hurt me bad in RCL… Glad that’s only league I had him… Agreed on organizations, Angels Stadium isn’t bad either, but so many guys who can’t throw 120 IP… Jays killed Stroman and Sanchez, and Royals have a good park too, but since WS not a ton there

          • Dave D says:


            For whatever reason people seem to overreach on Angels starters annually. Ohtani went 135, Richards 163 in mine. That was ahead of Clevinger, Morton, Happ, Corbin, Gausman, Newcomb, Manea, etc. Ohtani went before Bauer. Healthy arms are a must. It does back your approach.

            But what if you were playing against 14 other Grey clones and Scherzer was available at, say, pick 45? Would you still pass. I think I’d pull the trigger on him or Kluber at that juncture. After that I would probably wait until round 10 to grab another P.

            • Grey

              Grey says:

              Yeah, exactly… If a guy isn’t throwing 150 IP regularly, it’s hard to picture (pitcher) him above the 150 overall mark… Nah, I’d pull the trigger on Scherzer at 20th overall if I was playing with all Grey clones, but never would happen, someone would bite around 12th overall likely higher

              • Buzzdainer says:

                @Grey: In the podcast posted yesterday, one of the guys said he’d grab Scherzer at #2 overall.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:

                  That’s ridiculous

  8. FrankGrimes says:

    Did you get to a game?

    • Grey

      Grey says:

      Nah, too much $$ — just watched from home… Can’t believe I live in the equivalent of Buffalo Bills territory in the early 90s, except Dave Roberts is no Marv Levy…

      • FrankGrimes says:


        Haha. Can’t say I’m sad about it.

        • Grey

          Grey says:

          Such a hater!

  9. SteveNZ says:

    Anyone here?

Comments are closed.