Yeah yeah, I know we have a bear-bull post that SON has been leading the charge with for several years now, but I haven’t gotten out of my pajamas since the beginning of March and I’m knee-deep in social distancing, I just don’t have the energy to create a better title pun. WE’RE DOING IT LIVE. Not really, but you get my point. While baseball remains in a rut, depending on how much optimism you have left, there are rumblings that July 4th is being eyed as a return to normalcy. Well, maybe not normalcy, but some within the MLB are pushing this date as an achievable goal. I for one am not falling for that hope of optimism, I’m an American dammit, nothing but Cheetos and depression for me! Whether or not this date works out (Narrator: “It wouldn’t”), I have been slowly creating content that is starting to follow a trend: and that’s going over players coming into the season that have either been forgotten, banished to the low-expectation corner of the room, or are unlucky enough to call themselves Padres. This time, I’m setting my sights upon a pitcher, who with a passing glance looks a lot like Bruce Chen reincarnated (pretty cool trick if you ask me since Bruce is still alive), but upon further sight-setting (real word?), might actually end up looking more like Aaron Nola…

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Still adjusting to the lack of baseball, one has to wonder when we can go back to watching homeruns and strikeouts instead of staying six feet away from everything and anything (including your mom). And because we are stuck in this perpetual state of doing nothing but browsing the internet and checking the fridge (what is a man to do at home for weeks on end?), one has to accept that we all have to do our part and social distance for quite a while. And that goes for MLB players too! (I think/hope?) Regardless, the concept I’m touching on here is the same I alluded to during my SEO baiting post on Baseball and COVID-19. In that post, I proffered that pitchers dealing with injuries or currently in recovery would benefit greatly, because basically, time is on their side. (Technically it’s on my side if you ask the Rolling Stones.) And while there are a lot of pitchers that fit this criteria (and we might even cover them at a later point), I did want to focus on Jordan Montgomery, who may not just be healthy coming off his Tommy John surgery, but could also be ready to be an impact pitcher on day one. Even if day one looks more and more like year 2021…

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Straight from my basement bunker to yours, our first “Corona” post (as a philosopher once said:”You can have any virus you want… as long as it’s a Corona.” is here! And we’re talking about… Marcus Stroman‘s strikeout rate? Well, yeah. As we enter this elongated (heh) period of nothing going on, what better way to proceed than focusing even more on information we already have. And what does that exactly mean in this context? Well, in terms of Marcus Stroman, there seems to be consensus that he might be alright this upcoming season (currently Razzball ranks him just above Julio Urias as the 43rd overall pitcher as of this writing, and is generally in the top-100 no matter which platform you choose). Whether you consider him a sleeper, a buy-low, or a player with expanded potential (why not all three!), this post will act as confirmation bias. Yes, I only offer the best bias. For those who are a bit more bullish (as the stock market shows, you should never go bear), this post is made for you. Think of it this way: Everyone knows Stroman did better the second-half. What this post presupposes is… maybe it can continue?

“Stroman’s K/9 went from 7.0 to 8.8 from the 1st half to the 2nd half and had a 3.28 ERA with a miserable BABIP (.332). Of course, he’s prone to some BABIP bad luck and iffy defense because he has a top five ground ball rate in the majors. His Ks only on the Mets were 9, recording 60 Ks in 59 2/3 IP. If Stroman holds these improvements to his K rates, and he’s gonna go from a ‘just okay’ fantasy number four to a number two, bordering on an ace. Dare I call him, Black Greinke.” – Grey.

I don’t quote Grey just to read what’s right, I also quote Grey so I can read his sweet nothings in my own voice. Look, it’s not sexual if you do it in your own voice! But why is Grey right? Because he always is? That’s it folks, we’re done here, let’s wrap it up.

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While I’d rather be writing a Corona post on Kenedy Corona, the current pandemic which has gripped the world the last month has now arrived in America and already affected the greatest two pillars of our society: Tom Hanks and Baseball. While apple pie seems to be unaffected, I can say that Tom Hanks infection has directly led to my loss of appetite, ergo, apple pie is affected! Science, baby. Grey, of course, had an amazing write-up covering the shuttering of spring training and delay to the regular season and so with this post, I’d like to delve a little deeper into the macro and micro effects that will occur moving forward. I’d also like to keep a sharp focus on just the impact that COVID-19 will have on baseball and fantasy baseball only, so while I realize it’d be weird to ignore the human cost entirely, I want to state that for the most recent CDC guidelines, go here, and there’s a fantastic live map tracker here. And be sure to start showering yourself in Purell hourly and avoid touching yourself. (Bathing suit areas should be safe. And if it isn’t, well, may God have mercy on us all…)*

*The last two recommendations were jokes, so don’t sue bro. But to be honest, a Purell shower doesn’t sound like a net-negative, so who knows…

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Shin Soo Choo has been around for a while. I know this because I’m a pretty sentimental person. I’m the guy who stops walking when he smells a familiar fragrance, trying to pinpoint the memory. (Generally it’s an ex and nausea immediately follows.) I’m the guy who starts crying when someone quotes The Matrix, and I’m all smiles when I see how much Lego sets cost nowadays. (So much money saved by being an 80’s kid.) And of course being part Korean, Choo was a cornerstone to almost every one of my fantasy teams the last decade, because racism or something. Choo has also been entwined with my long history of content here at Razzball as a vehicle for kimchi jokes, because racism or something. But despite all that racism, there is another trend I’m noticing, and that’s I really have to remember to draft him this season. Granted, there are some red flags in his profile that we’ll address, but despite waxing poetic about how all my ex’s make me sick, I wanted to make sure you didn’t forget about Shin Soo Choo either…

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Welcome to the 2020 Razzball Team Previews! (Our “2020” comes with more Jay and less Barbara Walters!) (That joke is probably older than you!) Sorry for all the parentheses and exclamation points, I just get so excited when I think about Barbara Walters, and don’t even get me started on Hugh Downs… Regardless, here, you’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season, Razz-style. So while you’re stretching your lats and relearning calculus to get that upper hand on your fantasy peers, why not also check out what the Los Angeles Traders have in store for you and your fantasy team?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to the 2020 Razzball Team Previews! (Our “2020” comes with more Jay and less Barbara Walters!) (That joke is probably older than you!) Sorry for all the parentheses and exclamation points, I just get so excited when I think about Barbara Walters, and don’t even get me started on Hugh Downs… Regardless, here, you’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season, Razz-style. So while you’re stretching your lats and relearning calculus to get that upper hand on your fantasy peers, why not also check out what the Baltimore Birds with orange on them have in store for you and your fantasy team?

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That’s right folks, we’re doing an expert league from the NFBC with the D-O-double-jay in the LBC while AFK and whatever other acronyms you can think of. ALL THE ACRONYMS. So while I’m sippin’ some gin n’ juice, with literally no money on my mind and my mind in desperate search of money, I decided to summarize this expert draft for mass consumption. [Insert my usual statement on how I generally prefer “writers” over the term “experts”, mostly because I’ve never considered myself an expert at anything in life, here.] And don’t worry, we won’t spread this series out too much, I think we’ll focus this post on the first five rounds, then in a future post all the middle rounds, and then we’ll follow up with one final review, focusing on the late-round sleepers and trying not to draft Domonic Brown by mistake. Life goals! Now, for those unfamiliar with the NFBC, it’s your general Roto 5×5 setup with two catchers, 1,000 innings pitcher minimum, and 15 total teams with their world famous marathon drafts that have their own bicentennial celebration midway. For this specific league, I’ll be representing Razzball among other industry stalwarts like Dalton Del Don, Andy Singleton, and Bret Sayre among many other talented fantasy writers. And so, here are how the first five rounds went…

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Welcome to the 2020 Razzball Team Previews! (Our “2020” comes with more Jay and less Barbara Walters!) (That joke is probably older than you!) Sorry for all the parentheses and exclamation points, I just get so excited when I think about Barbara Walters, and don’t even get me started on Hugh Downs… Regardless, here, you’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season, Razz-style. So while you’re stretching your lats and relearning calculus to get that upper hand on your fantasy peers, why not also check out what the World Champion Nationals have in store for you and your fantasy team?

 

2019 Recap

Final Record: 93-69 (2nd)
Runs Scored: 873 (2nd)
Runs Against: 724 (5th)
SB: 116 (1st)
ERA: 4.27 (8th)
Saves: 40 (9th)
Strikeouts: 1,511 (4th)

 

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Ketel Marte had a very fine season in 2019. In fact, Ketel Marte had such a fine season that most of us have now priced in that this fineness probably won’t happen again. Much like when I’m walking down the street and people are screaming at me the same thing. (I’m more of a capital “F” Fineness type of guy.) After hitting 329/389/592 with 32 home runs and a staggering .264 ISO, his high BABIP has been targeted as reason for regression. While this stat remains an easy crutch to make fast conclusions, if I could just make one important point: I have a higher Fineness factor than Ketel Marte. Most people, actually. But if I could make two important points; I’d also say that Ketel Marte’s demise has been greatly exaggerated…

 

The 2020 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join!

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