Much has already been pontificated (so many years I’ve waited to use the word ‘pontificate’!) in terms of what lay before us as both baseball fans and fantasy baseball players. And all of this pontification (2-for-1!) can be culminated (or stirred) into one simple question: What can we expect in just 60 games? Now, I’d be remiss for not mentioning that we are in the midst of another spike of the first wave of the Miller Lite Corona virus, and the increasing dangers in both the Arizona and Florida areas is making this whole Manfred fantasy complicated, and then of course the player opt-outs, the chance we won’t even be able to complete the season from a many number of factors… you could say that we are practicing folly by pushing forward. Like that one girl I dated in college. That being said, if baseball does become more reality than fantasy, it’ll be one of the most unique moments contextually speaking. I mean, I don’t think a 60-game season compares to sliced bread, but that’s just me, a toast-lover. So while Joseph Gordon Levitt had 500 days to woo everyone’s favorite manic pixie girl Zooey Summer, we’re going to have only 60 days to un-woo COVID, all while trying to experience America’s favorite pastime as safely and carefully as possible. What could go wrong?

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This is it folks. I can feel baseball getting closer. It’s either that, or Rob Manfred has moved into my basement bunker and has been whispering sweet nothings in my ear. What this weird aside presupposes is, why not both? And despite having a subconscious urge to add a DH to my daily routine, we’re going to shake things up and instead of covering a value pitcher or a Padres anything, I wanted to focus thy gaze (do you even gaze, bro?) upon J.T. Realmuto. Wrongly-used partial middle “ye” English vernacular aside (the yeee!), I’m here to establish that J.T. Realmuto is a very good baseball player. In fact, he’s probably the best catcher in the league right now, both in fantasy and in real MLB terms. And while it’d be quite the content strategy to end the post here and consider this mission accomplished, I’d prefer to make the case that while Realmuto may be the real acuerdo, he’s not the droid catcher you’re looking for. In fact, drafting him may actually handicap your team the entire season, even if that season is shortened down to something like 12 total triskaidecagon-headers…

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As we move closer and closer to a day that we can start beginning to think of a plan to start playing baseball (and I guess moving to Arizona, yikes), I’m realizing that my Padres content quota is sorely lacking. An entire preseason, with bonus pandemic time, and only one (one!) post highlighting a swinging Friar? WHAT NECROMANCERY IS THIS? Yeah, no clue how dark magics in all caps entered the chat, but this lockdown has been long, the flesh has been weak (don’t look at me like that when yours is too!), so I ask you: what exactly would be the downside of becoming bizarro Harry Potter with evil witch powers? +5 to magic missile, bro. [*Crosses arms, drops shades, waves wand in a counter-clockwise motion, raises the dead.] Regardless, I’m supposed to be talking about whales. Not just because San Diego is named after the vahina of one (silent ‘g’ for our NSFW friends), but because a literary tale as old as the last pandemic has just been referenced (give or take 50 years, but you get the point). The point is, I’m struggling connecting anything thematic in this lede, so we’ll just get to the part where I tell you about my Padres-content quarantine ending (check), the fact that I’ve somehow ended up writing about nothing but value pitchers the last month, so a hitter (a prospect no less!) would be a nice change of pace, and quite simply put: while Ismael Mena is prospect on the fringes, I’m here to convince you that you there might be something special here. Plus, I get to quote Herman Melville. NO DOWNSIDE FOLKS.

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.”

That’s what she said…

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Can a baseball player both be a buy-low and a sell-high at the same time? I don’t know, maybe? And that’s what Schrödinger’s cat is all about. If you don’t like cats, or you’re allergic, you should still try and meet this Austrian physicist’s little furry feline. Why? Well, you came here for complex thought experiments in theoretical physics and quantum mechanics, right? RIGHT? No, you didn’t at all, but the basic concept is simple, I promise. Better learn this meow than later, ya know? This theory lies in the belief that information exists at the very miniature (we’re talkin quantum baby!) level, and that until we observe a result, that observation is in a flux state (quantum superposition).

So what’s up with a cat in the box?

Well, put a cat in one, (along with poison in a flask, and a Geiger counter). Once an atom decays, an internal monitor would react to the Geiger counter and break the flask. Now, if you’re still with me and not sending an e-mail to Grey complaining about my science sesh, just think about looking at the box. Think really hard as your staring at it. Stare at it for a while. Now, let me ask you this: Is the cat alive or dead? And that’s the point… The cat is both alive AND dead because we lack the information, despite knowing the two end results possible*.

All this is to say, that maybe, just maybe, Mike Soroka is a cat in a box. (And also: I’m a nerd.)

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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?

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