The Padres traded Franchy Cordero to the Royals. Vincent Vega, “Franchy calls them the Royales with cheese.” If Padres keep trading away fun ballplayers, then Fernando Tatis Jr. better watch himself aka FTJ aka Fun The Jewels. First, the easy side of this trade. With Franchy packing up his red, white and blue flag (no stars), the Padres have an opening for Edward Olivares. They wouldn’t dare, would they? If they dared, then I might be interested. In Double-A last year, he went 18/35/.283, but he was a tad old at that level. Still those numbers are eye-poppers. His overall value until then was of a 4th outfielder (IRL, not IFL). Our Prospectonator (it projects every single rookie) has him down for 14/22/.244 over 162-game season. That’s honestly not bad. I don’t know if Olivares sees any actual playing time, or enough to make him worthwhile. I have added him to today’s Buy column that will be up in a few hours. Yes, that’s right! There’s a Buy this afternoon! Exclamation! (It was released yesterday to our Patreons.) My guess is Wil Myers, Tommy Pham and Trent Grisham are the outfield; Josh Naylor is the DH with, I guess, Ty France, and Edward Olivares is the 4th outfielder. With Franchy headed from the ocean to a-near-a-riverderci, he goes to an equally terrible hitters’ park, and likely still in a platoon. Only now his platoon is less about outfielders needing looks. Against righties, Maikel Franco possibly moves to the bench, and Hunter Dozier takes over third. But vs. lefties, Maikel gets in at third, Dozier moves to the outfield and Franchy is out of the lineup again. It’s pretty flat on fantasy value movement. But, as Franchy was told by Ty France, “If we are going to get men to wear berets, we’re gonna have to spread out.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve gone over potential strategy for wins, ERA & WHIP, strikeouts, batting average, steals, runs & RBIs, and home runs. Today, it’s, betcha can guess from the title, Saves! How many saw that coming? Terrible secret keeping when writing titles that are so descriptive. Like steals, saves actually do change pretty dramatically in a 60-game season. Unlike steals, not sure if they’re going to be quite as easy to find on waivers, or if those on waivers will be as worthwhile. It would be a weird year for someone to just discover fantasy baseball. Imagine this was someone’s first season. “So, you don’t always punt starters completely? You don’t think Oscar Mercado could be as valuable as Mike Trout? Was it all lies?!” That’s a 1st time fantasy baseballer screaming into the pounding of rain in a torrential thunderstorm. That person seems slightly unhinged. Come in from the rain, man. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for saves?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I only drafted Yasiel Puig in one league (that I remember) and it was a 12-team NL-Only league! *humps the air a’la Ace Ventura* I have exorcised the demons! That’s a new reference, right? What’s that, Inner Monologue, I only drafted Puig because the day I did it it was reported he was being signed by the Rockies? Yeah, so? Get out of my mentions, Inner Monologue! Okay, not to move from humping the air to getting sprung, but the Braves are making me hot under my Skidz. Thank God, they’re drawstring! Can we talk about the Braves’ outfield? Yes, please. Tildaddy, OZUNA and Puig. *gulps* If I were in 8th grade and asked to go to the chalkboard, I’d have to make up an excuse. “Sorry, Teach, my foot fell asleep, and I’m not just saying that because the Braves’ outfield is dirrrrrrrty with seven R’s.” I’d be happy with just Acuña in any outfield. That’s all you need. Throw in OZUNA and I’m starting to sweat, and then you see Puig and it’s time for, “Cougs, I want you right now but lit by the shine of the Braves’ depth chart.” So, I updated my top 40 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball, and Rudy updated all the hitter projections. Funnily enough, I predicted back in January that Puig would not sign until June, but little did little ol’ me know that he wouldn’t miss any actual games. I was so right, yet so not really right at all. Well done! (Not really!) Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Dusty Baker, making an art of not saying a player has Covid while saying a player has Covid, hired an airplane to drag a banner in the sky proclaiming, “Yordan Alvarez is out for an unspecified amount of time for an unspecified reason.” Then another plane flew past with the banner, “Read the context clues here, guys.” Dusty Baker has the most subtle touch with Covid, and that’s why I love him. Unless it’s not really Covid and Yordan just has something else mysterious. MLB should hire Scooby and his Gang (but not Scrappy, he can get f*cked) to try to figure out all these mysterious IL stints. Maybe the league isn’t haunted, but it’s some old-timey guy with a top hat who is just trying to live in one of the stadiums without being hassled. So, Yordan Alvarez hit the IL and this is now me expressing full-throated concern. I moved him down in my top 100, top 500 and top 20 outfielders. Hopefully, he’s okay and can get back out there quickly, but he seems assured to miss the start of the season. This might just be the opening Kyle Tucker needs to get everyday at-bats, which is what we say right as Dusty Baker names Aledmys Diaz the DH. I kid. Kinda. Anyway, here’s what I saw for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Aroldis Chapman tested positive for Covid and has mild symptoms. Aroldis was reading a radar gun, when he said, “Damn, I haven’t thrown 101 in so long,” then he realized he wasn’t reading a radar gun. This is not great news. Zack/Zach Britton would fill in if Aroldis can’t get back on the field in time for Re-Opening Day. (I’m trying to make Re-Opening Day happen. Is it obvious/working?) I’m hesitant about moving Aroldis down in my rankings, because he only needs — what, two throwing sessions to be ready? Seems like he could be back by Re-Opening Day, or maybe a day or two past Re-Opening Day or three days past Re-Opening Day (is it a thing yet?).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Joey Gallo tested positive, negative, positive, negative, positive, negative, positive, positive, negative, negative for Covid and is asymptomatic. The good news is the Rangers, fans and fantasy baseballers have been contact tracing Gallo for years. You, “This makes no sense, Statcast shows Gallo’s avoided contact for his entire career.” Snort, snort, wheeze! “Geez, Gallo can’t avoid contact when it’s most important.” Wheeze and repeat! Get this pretty fun testing story: Gallo tested positive for Covid on 6/29, then negative on 6/30, then positive again on 7/2, then negative on 7/7, so he seems to be fine, but who knows. Like the guy in The Royal Rumble who hides in the corner for most of the match, the smartest team will just hole themselves up in a hotel somewhere, until every other team loses all their players, then emerge World Series champs. On the reals, Gallo seems to be okay now, and why it’s so iffy on moving guys down in redraft 2020 rankings right now based on a positive test. Don’t think anyone knows how long someone tests positive or negative or positive or–Well, you get it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Finally, a straightforward post about fantasy baseball strategy for a 60-game season. I gave you fantasy baseball strategy for batting average in 60 games and basically shrugged, gave you fantasy baseball strategy for wins in 60 games, which I wrote like a high schooler who had to write 1,000 words on what I did this summer, and wrote a couple hundred really’s. None of this is going to be easy, which I think is why it will be fun. But will this be like your usual fantasy baseball season? No, not at all. Starters will be like following fantasy football advice if guys you drafted were only to play once every fifth game, and 12 times all year. It’s a bit ludicrous, if I’m being honest. Fun when compared to real life? You’re crazy if you don’t think so right now, or have tunneled your ostrich head so far into the sand you can’t see daylight. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for strikeouts?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

BABIP is going to fuel batting average this year, which is to say good luck finding lucky hitters. Now one thousand words on how maybe we can pare down the luck. Since 2000, only three players have qualified for the batting title and hit .400+ BABIP. Last year was a particularly weird year. In 123 games and 518 plate appearances, Tim Anderson hit .335 with a .399 BABIP. Like a sushi chef who smells his fingers after handling hirame, “That’s fluky.” Yoan Moncada had 559 plate appearance and a .406 BABIP. (The other two .400+ BABIPs since 2000 were Manny Ramirez in 2000 and his .403 BABIP and Jose Hernandez in 2002 with a .404 BABIP.) Someone this year is going to have a .425+ BABIP and hit .350+. I hope it’s Ketel Marte, because I own him in every league. Pulling focus and moving into a close-up shows that in August of last year there were 15 guys who had a .400 BABIP. I’d el oh el if I weren’t such a serious man. In September, there were also 12 guys who had .400+ BABIPs. Wait, it gets better. In a full slate of games in September, Moncada had a .520 BABIP and hit .412. Yo, Yoan, you Tony Gywnn Jr. Jr. or no? Okay, cool. You might think BABIP is fueled by speed in the short-term, to which I say, Ryan McBroom, Wil Myers and Kyle Schwarber were in the .400+ BABIP group in September. BABIP is going to make batting averages a short-term coin flip, but we still need to figure out some battle plan. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for batting average?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Dudes and five lady dudes, pitching is going to be a mess in 2020. Pitching is usually where I excel at pinpointing guys to draft and avoid, and right now I’m looking at an array of hot takes: “Top starters are more valuable! “Top middle relievers are more valuable!” “Tops are bottoms, and I’m not talking about baseball anymore!” I can’t tell hot takes from shiitakes. Usually I’m able to say, “With 100% confidence, I would not draft a top starter.” This year, if you’re saying anything with 100% confidence, you’re lying. Seriously, don’t trust anyone who is confident in predicting anything in a 60-game season. We’ve never seen anything like this and may never again. Embrace it? Sure. But “Be Water” like Bruce Lee said, and adapt. With so few innings to prepare for the season in Summer Camp, will top starters even be ready to go? That alone should shut up the “You need top starters” people. With so few innings in the actual season, that should also shut up the “Don’t pay for starters this year” people. Instead, let’s just break down the categories, and see if we can’t just win those. Laura also just gave you a solid look at possible ERA strategy. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for ERA & WHIP?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

First Charlie Blackmon, now Freddie Freeman…Somebody check on Reggie Cleveland! Welp, this sucks. That’s me cutting to the chase quicker than the editors of the Fast & Furious movies. “Um, Vin Diesel’s been talking for like seven seconds, don’t we have any tire spinning footage?” That’s the editors cutting to the chase. There’s also the Entourage editors, who tried to cut around Chase. Or Ruben Tejada who would like to cut Chase. Any hoo! Freddie Freeman tested positive for Covid and is battling a fever. Besides the fear for Freeman, if something serious happens to a player, baseball’s not happening this year. Other players will walkout, and I wouldn’t blame them. Sorry, I know that’s no fun to hear, but you’re not here to be lied to. As for fantasy, these Covid positive tests are super hard to predict for projections and rankings. Of course, if drafting right now; you can’t draft Freddie Freeman in the top 20 overall. Not sure you can draft him in the top 50 overall, but that’s about where I’d risk it, and have updated my top 20 1st basementop 100 and top 500. I did blow the dust off my landscape architect degree and hedge with my new ranking of Freeman by not updating his projections. It’s just impossible to know if he’ll be out for two-to-three weeks, and fine for near the start of the season, or miss the whole season. Unknown risk is baked into his new ranking, but I left projections. Putting aside “Let the kids play,” MLB has adopted a new slogan for this season:  “Play!” “What? No, it’s not safe.” “I said, “Play!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?