My last fantasy team preview went live on May 1, 2020. What a simpler time! Back then we were debating the new cross-league divisions they were thinking of creating. I was a rather stupidly optimistic man who predicted we’d get a return to baseball on July 4th. Now with 10 baseball camps claiming they’ve had someone come down with the ‘VID we’ll be lucky if we even see the Long Island Ducks take on the Morristown Mud Rats. Now be honest — how many of you have already googled “NPB fantasy baseball leagues” and searched Amazon for “conversational Japanese for baseball fans?” I know it’s not just me. I’ve already got my first round draft pick lined up for my yakyu chimu: the league’s best ni-rui shu Tetsuto Yamada! He hits lots of hon-rui da and gets tons of tourui. 

Come on Rob SaidFred — let’s get this league back up and running!

As with all of fantasy team preview articles this year I’m not talking about the guys you know to draft. A healthy Joey Gallo is a lock for 45 HRs. Elvis Andrus will still be one of the deepest 15/15 threats in the league. Shin-Soo Choo will continue to be the Korean God of walks until he’s 64. Instead, I like to look deeper at the teams to help you find value you might not have heard of yet — or someone who has been slipping in drafts. 

“No prospects? You’re trash!” Nah anger management comment guy — The Itch is the resident prospect guru and here’s his top 10 Rangers prospects for 2020 fantasy baseball

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh what a year it’s been since my last article was published on April 3rd. At that point I was thinking “Wow, the Athletics could win the AL West this season with this lineup!” Now, I’m left wondering “I wonder if the Blue Jays can beat their division rivals, the NY Mets and the Pittsburgh Pirates and win the MLB East.” At this point I don’t care how they break the teams down. Three divisions, six divisions, 15 divisions — just gimme my baseball! There’s only so much KBO I can watch and MLB Power Pros I can play! 

My prediction is that baseball dives face first into “We’re baseball! We ARE America!” and the season launches for 100 games on Saturday, July 4th. What’s more ‘Murican than that?! 

Enough banter — let’s talk about the Blue Jays sleepers. As always — I’m not here to talk about Vlad Guerrero or Bo Bichette — everyone already knows about them and how they’re going to perform. Also — I’m not really going to touch on prospects. The Itch already did a bang up job telling you about Nate Pearson and the other Blue Jays prospects here: https://razzball.com/top-2020-prospects-toronto-blue-jays/

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The little team that I always forget about until the regular season is over and ask myself “wait — the Athletics made the playoffs?!” This team is filled with exciting fantasy hitters at their top of the lineup who will provide solid fantasy production to your team. Marcus Semien and Ramon Laureano both should go 20/20 with great run totals (80-90) and decent RBI totals (65-75.) Then they’ve got the three burly sluggers in Matt Chapman, Matt Olson and Khris Davis who could all flirt with 40 HRs and 100 RBI.  They’ve also got three starting pitchers with sexy names who could break out in a big way this year in Sean Manaea, Jesus Luzardo and Frankie Montas — but everyone is drafting them as such. And at the end of the game they have Liam Hendriks, he of a career 4.72 career ERA before 2019, who came out of nowhere to close out 25 saves with a 1.80 ERA and 13.1 K/9. These guys have postseason written all over them in my eyes. But you guys already know about all of them! Below you’ll find a few sleepers I think could have solid fantasy value in 2020 based on their ADP. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I consider myself a fairly optimistic person. Take this whole coronavirus thing. I don’t have it (or maybe I do — or maybe I do and don’t know it — or maybe I don’t and do know it and now you have it just from reading this article.) It’s a scary time, but I’ve tried to remain looking on the bright side that we’re all washing our hands, self-isolating, and wiping our butts so well that this thing will pass quickly. Then I started looking at the Mariners projected lineup, rotation and bullpen for 2020. Now I’ve covered the Tigers, the White Sox and the Royals to prove you can mine for fantasy gold in the darkest of baseball caves. But the Mariners might be my hardest task yet. It’s hard to be optimistic about this team.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m attempting something new with this year’s top 100 keepers article. It’s something I’ve always thought about doing but never had the time or brainpower to figure out. I want to try to objectively (impossible) rank each player on how many projected categories they provide for your team. 

I broke each standard 5×5 category down into five statistical outcome ranges. Take runs for example.

 

Points 0 .25 .5 .75 1
Runs Under 54 55-69 70-84 85-99 Over 100
HRs Under 16 17-23 24-30 31-37 Over 38
RBI Under 54 55-69 70-84 85-99 Over 100
SBs Under 8 9-13 14-18 19-23 Over 23
AVG Under .254 .255-.269 .270-.284 .285-.299 Over .300
W Under 7 8-10 11-13 14-16 Over 17
K Under 159 160-184 185-209 210-234 Over 235
ERA Over 4.45 3.96 – 4.44 3.46-3.95 2.96-3.45 Under 2.95
WHIP Over 1.33 1.24-1.32 1.15-1.23 1.06-1.14 Under 1.05
SV Under 11 12-17 18-23 24-30 Over 30

 

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So there I am — minding my own business after putting the finishing touches on a blurb about Leury Garcia and Razzball’s CEO, COO, CFO, HMO, RKO, HBO, Master Lothario, his royal Greyness himself drops this bomb on the Twittersphere: 

“#1 rookie who is not being drafted high who will end up being picked up in 75% of leagues the 1st week:  Nick Madrigal. White Sox added Yasmani, Edwin, signed Lou Bob and they’re going to give the 2nd base job to Leury Garcia? Cmon. Read writing on wall.”

What do I do? I wasted so much time justifying Leury as the lone sleeper bat on this team. Everyone else in this lineup is being appropriately drafted or is a prospect that everyone knows about. There’s Nomar Mazara I guess — but he’s got a Khris Davis-like consistency to not hit over 20 HRs. Do I embrace the potential roasting I’ll receive from Grey? Do I delete the 450 words I wrote about Garcia and lie to myself about some other player? Did you think I’d crumble? Did you think I’d lay down and die? Oh no, not I! I will survive! If things go south for Garcia — Madrigal is obviously sitting there in waiting — but I’m still a believer in the potential of Garcia. 

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

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I don’t really care about the Super Bowl too much this year. I’m a Giants fan so I’m just biding my time until they’re back in it in 2022. MARK MY WORDS! So instead I’ll do the next best thing — I’ll cover the Kansas City baseball team. Now I’m not going to be writing about Whit Merrifield, Adalberto Mondesi or Jorge Soler. Those are the 3 obvious names on this team and you can find articles about them on Razzball by people much smarter than myself. Just like when I get to the Angels — what am I supposed to write about Mike Trout?  “He’s the best player in the game — draft him!” Duh — you should be so lucky. No, instead I’m going to focus some other lesser-known guys on this team who should be on your radar. 

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When Donkey Teeth asked me to take some of the team previews I let him know that I would take a bunch of the bottom of the barrel teams that no one else with pride or self-respect would want to write about. Yea, there’s a lot of sex appeal and glory writing about the Yankees, Astros, and Dodgers — but only the truly down-and-dirty fantasy writers will try to find fantasy relevance on the Tigers and Orioles! Turns out — there’s actually a few slightly dim — but still moderately bright fantasy spots on the Tigers.

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It’s rare to see a player having a breakout year in his age 35 season in the post-Selig era, but Yuli Gurriel needs just 2 runs, 1 RBI and even 2 SB to set career highs in all of those categories. He already has a career-high in HRs with 25 and could end the season with 30-35. With 37 games remaining Gurriel could end the season with an 85/33/100/8/.300 line for the year. Not too shabby from a guy with an ADP in the 200s. This production uptick is due to a career-low ground ball rate, career-high fly ball rate, career-high hard contact rate — the underlying numbers are pointing to this being for real and he should finish the year strong.

Please, blog, may I have some more?