With the top 80 starters for 2018 fantasy baseball, we are so close to the end of the rankings I can almost taste it!  Wait, that’s not rankings I taste, I bit my lip and it’s blood.  I wonder if when Dracula bites his lip it’s like when Cougs goes out with her friends and I’m left at home while Emmanuelle is on Cinemax.  I’ll go over exactly how to draft starters in a few days, but there are so many ways to skin a cat we should have PETA breathing down our necks.  Also, I’m hoping to do the RCL signups next Monday.  Stay tuned!  Or not, your call.  All the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings are there.  My tiers and projections are noted.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 starters for 2018 fantasy baseball:

61. Vince Velasquez – This tier started in the top 60 starters for 2018 fantasy baseball.  This tier goes until Giolito.  I called this tier, “Stunod or in a mirror it’s donuts.”   VV, or as I like to call him W, will give you absolutely nothing this year — like 17 IP with a 5.00 ERA — or will give a 10 K/9 with 150 IP and be next level.  This late in the game it’s worth the flyer.  Plus, he plays in Philly, which is the home of the Flyers.  He’s starting to sound can’t miss.  2018 Projections: 8-10/4.14/1.32/143 in 136 IP

62. Alex Reyes – Clevinger, Velasquez, Reyes, Lamet and Giolito could be a sub-tier called, “Pray you get 140 IP, expect 100 IP.”  Reyes is returning from Tommy John surgery, or as they call it in Tommy John’s house, ‘my surgery.’  By the way, for Christmas, Cougs bought me a pair of Tommy John underwear, and I opened it and said, “You bought me arm surgery.”  And we laughed, then I coughed and said, “No, really, this is what you bought me?  I mean, I get the whole Jew thing celebrating Jesus’ b-day, but you bought me underwear?  WTF?”  The Cards are saying Reyes should be back by May 1st, which likely means at the earliest June 15th, then you consider he’s gonna be Rusty Griswold, and who knows what you’re going to get from him.  However, I love the enormous upside — amormous?  Hey, that’s not bad. 2018 Projections: 6-2/3.12/1.30/102 in 91 IP

63. Sean Manaea – I sorted all starters last year by ERA with at least 150 IP and Manaea was 49th overall.  Unfortunately, only 33 starters had an ERA under 4.00 and Manaea’s ERA was 4.37.  I mentioned this because I was looking at what I was projecting for starters through 60 or so starters, and I thought I was too high on ERA, projecting already guys in the 4.00’s, but apparently I’m being optimistic if we have another year like last year.  For comparison’s sake, last year’s 64th ranked pitcher I projected to have a 3.83 ERA.  Oh, and I saw this about Manaea on Rotoworld, “Manaea should build on this season’s experience and continue to become one of the game’s better pitchers in 2018.”  He had a 4.37 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and an under-8 K/9 and over 3 BB/9 last year.  He was much worse last year than in 2016.  Become one of the game’s better pitchers?  He had a 5.23 ERA in the 2nd half.  I’d give that “one of the game’s better pitchers” line the eye roll it deserves, but I’m afraid I’ll pop a blood vessel.  2018 Projections: 11-11/4.11/1.35/152 in 177 IP

64. Lucas Giolito – I have a predilection for inexperienced hitters with a solid minor league track record, and less so for pitchers.  I will also say I don’t 100% trust anyone that uses the word predilection in everyday conversation.  They sound like they have a pedo-lection.  Stretch a Home Depot slide ruler out 500 feet and talk to me from there.  “What’s that?  Having a hard time hearing you.  No, don’t come within 500 feet of me.  Thanks.  Why?  Because you used the word predilection.”  Pitchers are just so flaky.  Prefer to see a solid half season from a young pitcher in the majors before going crazy drafting them (I will pick them up off waivers; after the season starts, all bets are off for grabbing guys).  With that said, I think Giolito is still a work in progress.  Worth a flyer, but I wouldn’t go crazy.  2018 Projections:  7-12/4.23/1.37/159 in 176 IP

65. Garrett Richards – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Samardzija.  I call this tier, “Shallow Grave.”  Member that movie?  Great flick, right?  Yeah, indeed.  These starters aren’t great.  I call this tier, Shallow Grave, because I wanna make sure I’ve buried these guys sufficiently, i.e., I don’t want any part of them.  As for Richards, he had a 2.28 ERA with a 8.8 K/9 last year.  *trying to type with drool hanging from mouth*  He only threw 27 2/3 IP, and I’d expect less than 100 this year.  *wipes drool, smells wiped-up drool*  Hey, why do guys feel the need to smell everything that comes out of their body?  2018 Projections:  5-3/3.61/1.22/87 in 95 IP

66. Cole Hamels – If I were doing a Life of Pi remake with major league players, I’d put F-Her and Hamels on a raft and push them out to sea.  Though, this is coming from someone who only got three pages into the Life of Pi book and saw a commercial for the movie once, so, ya know, my reference odometer maybe broken.  2018 Projections:  12-10/4.27/1.32/144 in 189 IP

67. Julio Teheran – The Iron Sheik’s fantasy baseball rankings:  Teheran, Trout, Curled Boots.  That’s overall!  “Teheran is #1, ptooey everyone who says otherwise.”  Teheran entered his prime last year, yet he looked like the Braves wished they ordered Prime so they could just ship him somewhere for free.  There’s obviously a chance for a bounce back, but there’s also a chance the girl who blinked at you was actually winking.  2018 Projections:  9-12/4.13/1.33/161 in 192 IP

68. Jeff Samardzija – He’s reliable in every category, except ERA.  For ERA, label a dartboard with 3.00, 3.30, 3.75, 4.00, 4.25 or 4.75 ERA, blindfold yourself, then throw a dart.  What that darts hits has as good an idea as anyone what Samard!&*%@%!^! will do this year.  UPDATE:  Out for a month with a pectoral strain. Apparently, pectoral strains are going around the majors. I blame millennials. They ruined pectorals, and the world. Sorry, guys, this shizz is on you.  I’ve docked Samardzija a monthzija of projections.  2018 Projections: 9-10/4.34/1.18/152 in 161 IP

69. Aaron Sanchez –  This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Mikolas.  I call this tier, “Dollar Store condoms.”  By this tier name I mean, these guys are a mix of sorta safe, sorta cheap and worth a flyer.  “Wow, I’ve seen lambskin condoms before, but I never knew they made hedgehog skin condoms.”  That’s you going through the Dollar Store condom assortment.  I used this tier name last year, but it made me laugh still, so I used it again.  Shoot me (not you deranged white man).    As for Sanchez, he was shut down with a blister on his finger after Rich Hill sneezed on him, then it was later revealed Sanchez had a finger ligament sprain, then, because all teams lie, the Jays said in October his blister was healed.  Guys, you already told us it was a ligament sprain, not a blister.  *scratches head, moves on*  So, Sanchez will likely be fine to start the season, and, no foolsies, I actually like when pitchers are coming off none elbow/shoulder injuries and didn’t throw a ton of innings the previous year.  Sanchez has been a 7.5 K/9 guy now for a few, and that doesn’t stoke my inner loins, but maybe there’s a reason to throw on the bearskin condom, especially if it helps avoid blisters.  2018 Projections:  8-10/3.90/1.29/130 in 154 IP

70. J.A. Happ – Was a little lost as to where to rank Happ.  What the Happ?  Yeah, I don’t know.  I had him at one point in the David Price tier in the previous ranking post, then had in the next one in the top 100 starters.  I see his past three years of ERAs:  3.61, 3.18, 3.53, and I’m a like, “Yo, the average ERA right now is around 7.35, so Happ’s kinda good.”  He’s older (35), and doesn’t have the flashiest of stuff, and he’s in the AL East–Now you see why he ended up all the way down here with these blowfish skin condoms.  2018 Projections: 12-9/3.66/1.30/161 in 187 IP

71. Jake Odorizzi – Another name for this tier could be, “I like your peripherals, except the ratios that actually matter in my fantasy leagues, like ERA and WHIP.”  Another name for Jake could be, “Jake How I Like My Eggs.”  Another name for you could be, “Buddy Boy.”  Now that we got that out of the way!  I could cherrypick stats from the last three years to make this snakeskin condom appear to be a top 30 starter — 11.2% swinging strike percentage last year, 2.4 BB/9 in 2015, 9.3 K/9 in 2014.  I know that’s a bit goofy — boofy? — but he’s only going to be 28 this year, and has a 3.40 ERA at home in his career.  Odorizzi putting it altogether wouldn’t be the strangest thing to ever happen.  Then again, if you watch CNN, there’s a new strangest thing to ever happen every day.  I’m numb, y’all! UPDATE: Traded to the TwinsTwins ordered eggs Odorizzi, but all I see is:

I see no discernible change from Tampa to Minny.  Odorizzi’s home ERA in his career was 3.40 in 384+ IP vs. 4.35 in away games, but it’s relatively standard for a guy to pitch better at home.  Everyone’s better at home — you sleep in your own bed, you’re in front of your own fans, you’re able to make eggs into boobs at your favorite greasy-spoon diner.  2018 Projections:  9-12/3.98/1.22/139 in 152 IP

72. Tanner Roark – Tanner’s appropriate for the Dollar Store Condom tier because he sounds like a process used to turn animal hide into a Dollar Store condom.  Oh my God, I just thought of something.  Our Dollar Store condoms that use weird animal skins instead of things like lambskin, could be marketed as Animal Hides.  “That tickles.”  “Aw, shucks, baby, it’s just my deer hide.”  “You dear hide’d your pickle?”  “I sure did, Ms. Thing.”  Okay, sounds like Fifty Shades of Grey now.  Tanner puts up a Gio 2017 season would surprise you?  Then, you need to toughen up, you’re surprised too easy.  Any pitcher in the NL East could “Gio 2017” this year, especially one on the Nats.  2018 Projections:  14-9/4.09/1.31/155 in 177 IP

73. Rick Porcello – Bit of an aardvark-skinned condom here.  The inside is smooth, but could hurt real bad if it breaks.  Last year, it broke.  His fastball went from a 13 runs above average to -14.7.  El oh ouch.  There’s hope if he moves away from using a two-seamer that wouldn’t even fool a baby chimp.  And baby chimps are stupid!  As they age, they grow into their intelligence.  Sorry, Harambe!  2018 Projections: 13-11/4.12/1.27/175 in 195 IP

74. Miles Mikolas – Here’s what I said this offseason about Mikolas, “Signed with the Cardinals after having a 2.18 ERA with an 8 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 424 2/3 IP in Japan.  When I heard this, I tweeted out something obnoxious like, “But what’s his speed score?!”  Ya know, cause people are saying Ohtani has an 80 speed.  What I’m also saying is if Ohtani is super overrated, Mikolas might actually be a bargain.  If only he could also hit 30 HRs!  Riiiiiiiight.  Yes, seven I’s.  The verdict, as they say, is still out on Mikolas, but I’ve seen him compared favorably to starters like Maeda, Hendricks and teammate, Wacha.  Plus, it’s the Cardinals, they make mountains out of anything that takes the hill.  For safety’s sake, I’ll put him around a 7.2 K/9 and a 2.4 BB/9 which is 2013 Jose Quintana, a 3.51 ERA/3.86 xFIP guy.  I see now why Mikolas is Greek for “Me likey.”  And that’s me quoting me!  I also go over Mikolas in the video.  I’m trying to maintain my better senses, but I’m really liking Mikolas this year.  2018 Projections:  11-4/3.64/1.23/115 in 144 IP

75. Brent Honeywell – As for Honeywell, I already gave you my Brent Honeywell fantasy.  It was written trying to figure out who let Party Rock in the house.  UPDATE: Tommy John surgery ended up on the Honey Do list for Honeywell.  2018 Projections:  7-2/3.55/1.17/110 in 102 IP

76. Jack Flaherty -This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until the top 100 starters for 2018 fantasy baseball.  I call this tier, “Imagine a St. Bernard with his head out the window, his name is Caution.”  With this tier, I’m putting Caution to the wind, and just grabbing a late starter with some upside.  Before you say, “Hey, uh, Grey, you’re giving better stats to guys lower in the rankings then ones above them, are you a mental patient?”  First off, how do you define ‘mental patient?’  Second, there’s other factors baked into the rankings besides numbers.  Risk, likelihood a player reaches his projections, potential, upside, downside–Okay, these things are all risk.  As for Flaherty, know how you know (you let me down, thesaurus) when you have a good organization?  When I’m ranking guys who have little chance of making the rotation.  For what it’s Werth, Prospector Ralph listed Flaherty in his top 100 prospects for 2018 fantasy baseballUPDATE:  Made the rotation with the Wainwright injury, and Wainwright’s been Way-wrong for a few years now, so I’m all-in on Flaherty.  2018 Projections:  9-8/3.64/1.29/129 in 137 IP

77. Jimmy Nelson – Are you ready for this carousel of commenter questions, “The Brewers are saying Jimmy Nelson is going to be ready by April 15th…Woo-hoo!…Wait, now they’re saying May 5th — Cinco de Mayo!  I’ll drink to that!…. Hmm, they say at the earliest the All-Star break.  Should I drop him?”  2018 Projections:  5-3/3.55/1.29/86 in 82 IP

78. Mike Minor – When Minor signed with the Rangers this offseason, I didn’t project him because I wasn’t sure yet if he’d be in the rotation or bullpen.  There’s still a *pinkie to mouth* Minor problem; I still don’t know.  He’s been more valuable in recent seasons in the bullpen, but maybe not throwing many innings the last few years will do his arm some good back in the rotation.  This late in drafts (and this is late, we’re around 300 overall) it’s worth a gamble.  No relation to Rudy.  2018 Projections:  10-8/3.77/1.24/145 in 164 IP

79. Eduardo Rodriguez – Strikeouts are so insane right now that I looked at Eduardo Rodriguez’s 9.8 K/9 and thought I had an “in” to this blurb.  I sorted all pitchers last year for K/9 expecting to see Eduardo Rodriguez near the top.  Okay, at least top 5… Maybe top 7?  Hmm… *runs finger down computer screen because I read with my finger*  Top 10?  Definitely top 15, right?  I mean, a 9.8 K/9 is nothing to sneeze at unless you’re allergic to great K-rates.  Dizzamn, Eduardo Rodriguez’s K/9 was only the 20th best K/9 last year?  That is gizzoofy.  Due to a rounding error, there were 29 pitchers last year with a 9+ K/9.  There were 23 in 2016; 22 in 2015; in 2014, Eduardo Rodriguez’s K/9 would’ve been the 7th best in the majors.  It’s almost like the Guatemalans, who are tightly sewing the baseballs without any oversight from Our Commissioner Manfred, are also causing the ball to dipsy and/or doodle away from hitters at exactly 59 feet.  Or Rob Manfred is Etch-A-Sketch’ing baseballs into a circle curve at 59 feet or leaving meatballs for hitters to hit 440 feet.  Not saying it’s happening, but it’s happening.  Last year, Ed-Rod had six wins in 24 starts with a 4.19 ERA.  Not the greatest ERA, but Trevor Bauer had a 4.19 ERA last year and 17 wins.  If Rodriguez had 17 wins last year, he would’ve been a top 30 starter in 2017.  So, why is he ranked way down here?  Injured, might be out until June/July, you need to check his knee before drafting him.  Boo, work for you to do!  2018 Projections:  7-3/3.84/1.26/105 in 98 IP

80. Sean Newcomb – Okay, yes, I’m going to be drafting a bunch of Braves starters this year, just to face the Mets and Marlins.  Watch Newcomb and Faultytowerswitz give up all of Asdrubal’s homers this year.  Likely outcome for Newcomb this year, some absolute dazzlers.  Maybe a month or two of them.  Then some uneven flophouse sweats, a drop or two to waivers, and next year he becomes all that and the vending machine unhooks two bags of Doritos for the price of one.  (Full disclosure:  I re-peeped Pitchspector Ralph’s Sean Newcomb pitching outlook from last year, and it got me pretty jazz-handed.)  His command is all that’s holding him back right now, and that usually takes a couple of years to come around, which is based on no actual data.  “Oh God, why did you mention my father?!”  That’s you misreading ‘no actual data.’  2018 Projections:  7-10/4.22/1.43/166 in 157 IP