The Fantasy Baseball Head to Head season is coming to an end.  We can all hope that it goes the way of some other amazing finishes, like MASH, Breaking Bad, and Parks and Rec.  I feel it is my sole responsibility to deliver the goods this week so that your Head to Head finish isn’t reminiscent of the final episode of Game of Thrones or Quantum Leap.  So Sam Beckett could have always lept back home, and he ultimately never did?  Huh?  That is the equivalent of Vlad Jr being forced to jump into the body of Matt Carpenter to get his batting average over the Mendoza mark, and never choose to return to his glorious MVP self.  Oh well.  

Contrary to other weeks, depending on your league format and assuming it isn’t a keeper-based league, you can now just drop any player that can’t help you, or won’t hurt you by your opponent adding them.  If you have a starter pitching on Wednesday or later, you can drop him after their start and move on to the next guy.  This weeks’ schedule is filled with tricks and treats that should help you gain an edge over your competitor if you can strike while the iron is hot.  And I am not using that reference as an homage to that garbage fest of a finale in Game of Thrones.  Don’t get me wrong, the show had to end, but it was as if the MLB condensed the entire playoffs into a game of Strat-O-Matic.  

So what can we look for in this final week?

9-Game Week: Cleveland (2-Double Headers)

8-Game Week: St. Louis & Chicago White Sox

5-Game Week: New York Mets & Boston 

Interleague Matchups

MIA @ TB. (MIA gains DH) 

BAL @ PHI  (BAL loses DH) – Monitor Anthony Santander

NYM @ BOS (NYM gains DH)

MINN @ CHC (MINN loses DH) – Monitor Josh Donaldson

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Congratulations! 

I can only assume that congratulations are in order if you are reading this.  The journey that we have been on this season has been a blast, and I am very fortunate to have you riding shotgun!  The road ahead is definitely not for the faint of heart, but the finish line is within sight!  

I once had been out with some friends and taking in some liquid courage, when a friend challenged me to a race.  Now, I have never been the fastest guy on Earth (I had the Molina-Esque speed), but had been exercising and felt a little spry…or it was the buckets of Captain Morgan that we had consumed.  Either way, I was feeling a little cocky and thought “what the hell”.  

Fast forward about two seconds and I am lying face-down on the concrete with instant regret and unknown knee pain.  No, the need didn’t buckle under my tremendous speed, it was the after-effect of tripping over the speed bump directly in front of me.  Yes, loyal readers, the speed bump is a metaphor for preparation.  Don’t just start sprinting into this weeks’ matchup!  Look around, or below you, and determine the best route or angle to victory.  

So without further ado, here are the tools needed to avoid those pesky speed bumps preventing victory!

Interleague Matchups:

Hou v Ari-Arizona will gain the DH 

Det v Mil-Mil will gain the DH

7-game weeks: Minn (Double-header), NYY, TB, HOU, TEX, SD, SF

5-game week: Mil

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The Playoffs have arrived, and if you are like me, the anxiety of making the wrong move is paralytic.  With that knowledge, trust in the fact that I have only steered you wrong on occasion.  Taking that a step further, at least I took us in a different direction that led to a fun destination.  This destination is the land of; Drop your bums and take advantage of the matchups. 

Yes, the idea of playing matchups has been my season-long approach, but it has even more impact during these do-or-die scenarios.  When it comes to Week 1 of the playoffs, there are a couple of interesting scenarios to focus on.

8-Game Schedule: Baltimore & Toronto play a doubleheader on Saturday.
5-Game Schedule: Arizona & San Diego-Fringe players can be eliminated from these two team
Interleague DH gains-Milwaukee & Arizona
Interleague DH losers-New York Yankees, Texas, Detroit, and Los Angeles Angels

So who are we adding for Week 1 of the Playoffs?

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It’s the final countdown!

Razzball friends and family, we are in the final week of most H2H leagues.  What a long strange trip it’s been?  Nate? What’s up with all the music references?  Some would say it’s because some are hearing the fat lady singing, but not us!  Not you!  If you have been following all year, we have had some really nice wins on the season.  Cedric Mullins, Robbie Grossman, Raimel Tapia, Robbie Ray, and countless others.  I am not trying to pat myself on the back, but it’s nice to have some W’s to go along with the L’s.

Are you fighting for that final playoff spot? Have you already punched your ticket into the playoffs?  Regardless, now is the time to fine-tune that fantasy team.  Take a look at your upcoming schedule and see if your opponent has been wiping the floor with offense or with pitching, and align your team to match their strengths or weaknesses.  If you happen to have a bye, look ahead two weeks and try to see which pitchers may have 2-starts, or if there are any matchups at Coors, etc.  

While it’s nice to look ahead, let’s not get carried away!  Here are the key players who will help you get ahead in H2H for Week 21!   

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Call it a Ponzi scheme, getting flimflammed, or good ole bamboozled.  All are terms that describe getting taken advantage of.  I can tell you for one, that there is no “guarantee” to prevent this from happening to you, but there are precautions that you can take to greatly reduce the chances.  Yes, it is pretty obvious that you shouldn’t send money to a Nigerian prince, or fall prey to the oddly thick-accented “IRS” agent willing to help you out of your upcoming lawsuit by sending him $200 in Chuck-E-Cheese giftcards.  People are looking to get ahead every day, and it is no different to fantasy baseballers (<–Grey's mom's term).  I am here to remind you, albeit 19 weeks too late, that signing up for Razzball's endless list of fantasy tools is the surefire way to avoid getting hoodwinked.  Don't get me wrong, you can get your resources from anywhere you want, and if you like finishing 3rd or worse, keep doing just that.  Simply click this link, and finish the season strong!

So without further ado, here is Week 20's Head to Head heroes with no chicanery!

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In the ’80s and ’90s,  Mystery Science Theatre 3000 was a staple of my childhood.  The show starred Joel Hodgson as Joel Robinson, a janitor stuck on a ship forced to watch B-Movies with his handcrafted robot companions.  The show was pretty much just Hodgson and his robotic friends riffing on the terrible movies from a silhouetted view for about 2 hours.  The show received Time’s 100 Best TV-Shows awards and was nominated for multiple awards.  I would love to put together a fantasy baseball show of Gray playing the role of Joel with his robotic companions.  They would just sit back, watch glorious highlights of Giancarlo Stanton, Mark Reynolds, and other Razzball heroes.  The riffing would be at any elite SP who underperforms or gets “Gomber-ed”.  

Wait, where was I?  I got teleported back to the early ’90s as I reminisced about my youth, thinking about drinking an Ecto-Cooler, having some Dunkaroos, and playing clairvoyant to how we all will lose our minds watching a player slide into home on a never-ending loop.  So let’s get back to the Man with Two First Names.  Joel once said to never trust a man with two first names, especially if one of them is a girls’ name.  Well, it’s 2021, people are named after anything they want, and it is acceptable to have two first names, as in the case with Connor Joe.  But before I ruin the anticipation, let’s get to the players who will help you win your Week 19 H2H matchup

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In most head-to-head leagues, the hierarchy is starting to form, and the top 6-8 are starting to separate themselves from the pack.  A lot of this is as a result of people losing interest, transitioning to fantasy football, or just not tinkering with their team enough.  It is easy to look at the big names that are not producing, I’m looking at you Michael Conforto, and do not want to drop them in case they heat back up.  Let me be the first to tell you, keep tinkering.  

Now, when I say keep tinkering, I don’t mean sit Jacob DeGrom, er, I mean Fernando Tatis, uh, I mean Ronald Acuna Jr…sigh…I guess what I am saying is that you don’t tinker with your studs, but feel free to rotate a piece or two out of your starting rotation bases on matchups, games played, etc.  Hopefully, you have been doing this all season tho.  Who am I kidding?  If you are still reading this article 18 weeks later, you are definitely doing it!  Take a lesson from the Texas Rangers and Mike Foltynewicz.  He decided to tinker with his curveball after having a rough start to the season, and *checks note* actually has seen his ERA rise to 10.42 and his xFIP increase to 6.66.  So maybe don’t tinker as much as Folty.  

All this talk of Tinkering has me reminiscing of my younger years when Tinker Toys were all the rage.  Sharp pointy stick scattered about the house, right next to my Jarts.  The toys back then were so much more fun than the ones we have today, and by fun, I mean life-threatening.  Speaking of life-threatening toys, there was a toy released in the 1950s called The Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab.  This “toy” was actually a real-life radioactive bearing Lab for children.  It contained 4 samples of Uranium-bearing ores and a Geiger counter.  

From the world’s most dangerous toy to the worlds’ most helpful Head to Head article, enjoy!

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I really think that I will know my target audience when I start breaking out the Sanford and Son references.  With that being said, this article series parallels the television series perfectly.  As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  There was this episode of Sanford and Son where LaMont brought home this suitcase, let’s call it Sorje Joler.  It appears a little worn and not worth much anymore, despite the fact that at one point you could tell it was very nice.  Well, LaMont gets the suitcase home and Fred finds that it is stuffed with cash.  Well now it still appears to be junk to the naked eye, but when you dig a little deeper, voila!  I could continue to go on and on with my S & S references, but I think I feel the big one coming Elizabeth.  I shall bring you your Week 17 Head to Head junk heap heroes. 

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Week 16 is here and upon us, and it is stacked with some intriguing inter-league play, as well as  a couple teams fitting 8 games into 7 days. With Inter-League, if you happen to have Giancarlo Stanton, Nelson Cruz, or Yordan Alvarez, pay attention to their lineups.  While I plan on laying out a couple special players this week to give you that competitive edge, there are also a few players returning the IL that could pay dividends down the stretch.  Most likely he has been stashed on IL, but Chris Sale is inching closer to returning, and looking good!  The White Sox are about to be whole again as both Luis Robert and Eloy are playing in rehab games.  Cookie Carrasco is eyeing a return this upcoming week, as is Aaron Sanchez if you can need to stash some arms.  If you have hung around this long, it’s a labor of love…We have made it 16 weeks, and if your league is the traditional 24 weeks….2 months left.  Let’s go!!

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The All-Star game has come and gone, which means the 2nd half is upon us.  During the beginning of this 2nd half, now is a good time to go back and look at anticipated return times for some of the players that have been on the IL since the start of the season.  While the majority have been stored away in the designated IL spots, there are always a few stragglers available for the picking.  Since this is a weekly H2H article, I don’t want to speculate on weeks in the future.  Let me just take this time to give a couple extra pointers to help you gain an edge on your competition.  Hell, the majority of your competition is digging into fantasy football.  Keep grinding Razzball family…Keep Grinding!  

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With the All-Star game this week, most head to head leagues are combining this weekend and next week into one long week.  This is an opportunity to take a small sample and “get ahead”.  Is this the time that I am supposed to look at the camera and smirk because I used the article name in the actual article?  Who knows?  What I do know is that there are some excellent matchups and opportunities to take advantage of over the weekend.  Finally, remember this, now is the time that many of your league mates transition to Fantasy Football, and just being attentive and aggressive gives you the biggest advantage!  

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Let me begin by apologizing for not having an article last week as my family and I took a vacation and left me no time to provide my normal content.  Who knows, maybe by now it’s the whole, team a man to fish and he will smell like Bass, or is it you can lead a horse to water?  Hell, I don’t know.  All I know is that July 4th is the unofficial “midseason”, and we have made it!  Halfway to the finish line, and we have one more week before the All-Star Break.  

My family has had a tradition of hosting an annual 4th of July party, with copious amounts of fireworks, booze, and food.  Obviously, the booze and fireworks aren’t combined, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a threat of going Jason Pierre-Paul (footballer<—Grey's mom term) and losing some digits.  As the tradition grows, so does the amount of gunpowder and danger.  Week 13 of the season has the same feel to it.  The risk is high and the injuries have mounted.  I am going to throw caution to the wind and play with proverbial fire in this weeks' installment.  Enjoy as I prepare you to Get Ahead in Head to Head!

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