Hello, again. Time to wrap this baby on up with the NL East. I don’t know what else to write here that I haven’t in the other two pieces. Check out the NL West Edition and the NL Central Edition if you haven’t already.

Just made myself another old fashioned, the wife is reading, and the kiddo is asleep. Let’s do it to it.

Atlanta Braves

Probably not gonna surprise anyone with this pick: Austin Riley. Riley was having himself a very nice spring, but so was Johan Camargo, his competition at third. Now the DH solves all that – let the slugging prospect, well, slug. Camargo is the better glove, so there you go.

Riley showed glimpses of serious power last season, bashing 18 homers in only 80 games. My lazy and mathematically-challenged brain would double that to 36 HR in 160 games just to give a very rough idea of what we’re looking at. Of course, that’s not sound fantasy advice nor very accurate given those were his first 80 games ever in the majors. We gotta look deeper. Deep dives are king! I’m no expert delver, but let’s give this a shot anyway. He slashed .226/.279/.471 with Atlanta, but hit for a much better average all through the minors. I know that’s not very telling, but I like to at least see if someone has shown ability to hit for average somewhere, sometime. The power last season was nuts – 127 games total and 33 homers. Looking at just his AAA numbers, in 2018 he hit 12 HR in 324 PAs, but launched 15 HR in just 194 PAs last year. Then came up to the bigs and hit 18 more. That’s quite the progression in just a year’s time. His isolated power was .182 in AAA in 2018, which is pretty solid (.200 is the baseline for “great” according to FanGraphs, though it fluctuates a little relative to league averages in a given year). Anyway, his ISO spiked to .333 in 2019, which is off-the-charts good. Yes, we’re judging these numbers off fewer PAs than FanGraphs recommends, but whatever. You can see the power is there. Riley did his best Aristides Aquino when getting the call last season, slashing .324/.368/.732 with nine homers and 25 RBI in his first 18 games. Buuut in his final 62 games, he had almost the exact same production (nine HR, 24 RBI) and a yucky, yucky slash (.192/.249/.379).

The 2019 AAA Riley struck out 20.1% of the time (his best anywhere) and walked 10.3% of the time; but alas, 2019 MLB Riley struck out 36.4% of the time and walked only 5.4% of the time. He still managed a .245 ISO in the majors, which is very damn good, but the rest of his offensive metrics definitely took a nose dive as the year went on. The batted ball metrics are great: 13.7% barrel rate, 44.6% hard-hit rate, and a 20.6-degree launch angle. Riley had 7.7% barrels per plate appearance, which would be top 50 in the league if he qualified. Better than Ketel Marte, Rafael Devers, Gleyber Torres, Max Muncy, and like a ton others, of course. Those are just some big fantasy studs that stood out.

I think you all get the picture. Riley has the chops to be a fantasy force as is, but he’s got improvements he needs to make. If a pitch is in the zone, dude swings like every time (okay, 80.5%) but also chased almost 38% of the time. If he can keep barreling balls and show some more patience, then whoa nelly. They’ve got Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna, and now this guy?!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello, again. Hope all you Razzballers enjoyed my takes on how some bats in the West might be impacted by the DH. This time around I’ll take you through each team in the Central. Remember, folks, I’m not here to guess who will DH necessarily. I’m looking at the overall boost a player might get because of the likelihood of an extra hitter in the lineup being a thing. Think more along the lines of guys who would have platooned or had questionable status entering the season.

Welp, let’s jump right in, shall we?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello, again. It’s nice to be back in the saddle, writing up some fantasy baseball tidbits. I took a little hiatus after my COVID-19 Bargains series, but I’m kicking off a new one for yinz. If what’s on the grapevine is true, then we’ll finally get what I hope all of you have been waiting for: a DH for National League teams! I know you old-schoolers out there hate the idea – and trust me, I consider myself pretty old school in a lot of respects – but I don’t give two soggy turds about watching a pitcher try to hit a baseball. Some can do it okay, but the overwhelming majority cannot. It’s largely a meaningless at-bat, as far as I’m concerned. And let’s not even talk about pitchers running bases.

The 2020 fantasy baseball season is going to be a strange one, no doubt. I keep seeing this whole thing about 100 games and only three divisions total. Will these games be played in Spring Training parks? Regular parks? No one knows for sure. Are we gonna get doubleheaders like crazy? *shrug emoji* The latest proposal suggests regular home parks without fans, but we’ll see. For the sake of my sanity, I’m going to treat this series as if we’re gonna get regular home parks, and I’m going to categorize each team in their regular divisions, since that’s what we’re (read “I’m”) used to. Yes, Cardinals hitters facing more aces than just what the Cubs, Reds, Brewers, and Pirates would throw at them certainly changes things, but that’s true for every lineup if this proposal comes to fruition. I’m not going to sit here and analyze how Tyler O’Neill might fare against Matthew Boyd. I’m just going to point out some NL bats you might want to pay attention to since they may become regular instead of platooning. Capeesh? Obviously, if this division re-alignment happens, there has to be a universal DH. Either that or make the AL teams use a pitcher in the lineup. Who wants that? I sure as hell don’t.

Bear in mind, I’m not necessarily focusing on each team’s potential DH. This series is more about which NL bat benefits the most on each squad due to said DH. Could be because said bat might be said DH, or could be because said bat might be a better defensive option for another bat who could be said DH. Capeesh?

So, without further ado, here are my biggest risers were we to indeed get the lovely universal DH:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The long-awaited finale to my COVID-19 Draft Bargains series culminates with a dive into starting pitchers who were looking at some innings restrictions for 2020. Since we aren’t likely to get a full season at this point, that’s kind of become a moot point for the most part. Here is a list of potential studs who could give similar returns to the household names who are being drafted much, much higher.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maybe the real-life baseball season has stopped, but that doesn’t mean fantasy baseball has to. It’s all we have these days, really. Fantasy sports while we fantasize about real sports coming back. I feel bad for my fellow fantasy hockey folks – I get the feeling it ain’t coming back, even if regular hockey does. I’m not about that fantasy basketball life (I dabbled in my younger years – Tracy McGrady anyone? Had to have him on all my teams), but I fear it’s the same fate. Only fantasy football is unscathed…so far. Wild stuff happening on that front, too. Brady to the Bucs? Da BUCS?! DAFUQ! Gurley and Newton RELEASED?! Hopkins TRADED?! Maybe Watson, too?! Madness, I say!

Anyway. This is a fantasy baseball article. Almost forgot. It’s an important year for the fine ladies and gents here at Razzball: the inaugural season of RazzSlam! Big shoutout to the NFBC peeps for hosting it. Give ’em a follow on the Twitter at @TheNFBC. I had the honor of being accepted into League 2 (of 18). Some scrub ass writer for CBS is in it. Big deal. I’m kidding, he’ll probably whoop my ass.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello again. I’m back to remind you that baseball is still indefinitely delayed. While you’re likely still sequestered like myself (remember when I said I’d bet my next check? Bingo bango, no school for a week at least, plus Spring Break), why not take the time to read up on fantasy baseball stuff? Get some more names on your radar you may have neglected because of injury.

Last week, I talked about a bunch of Yankees and mostly some household ace names like Max Scherzer, Mike Clevinger, Justin Verlander, etc. Those guys were some big names whose stock slipped some in the ADP department thanks to their various ailments. I promised some more, so I won’t dilly dally any longer. This week’s crop isn’t necessarily superstars (though I guess that’s arguable), but they’re definitely some names you want to keep in mind.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

While the COVID-19 outbreak may be wreaking havoc in the real-life world of sports, fantasy baseball is at least unscathed, for the most part. In fact, the delay for Opening Day announcement lends value to some of the injured superstars whose ADPs have slipped because of their injuries. If you strike while the iron’s hot, you just may be able to grab yourself a bargain stud now that there’s extra recovery time before the season begins.

Please, blog, may I have some more?