True or false, the best thing about Brendan McKay is he sounds like what a dad in the 1990’s would’ve called two different characters on 90210. Gonna go with false, but a fantasy baseball ‘pert has the prerogative to change his or her mind. On a side note that’s only tangentially related (like the rest of this will be related), McKay is the fourth guy this offseason who either just kept or lost rookie eligibility. McKay threw 49 innings, and the cut-off is 50. Interesting side note there, Tangent Grey. Brendan McKay is a two-way player from the Rays; imagine if the Rays were short for Ray Searage. *insert GIF of Rays fans King Tommen’ing out of a window* Thankfully, it’s not and the Rays, I’m told, are good with pitchers, but how are they with hitters? Fine, but they’re like a guy who lives in a refrigerator in Home Depot. They have a ton of tools at their disposal but there’s an overload of tools with way too many options, and they’re always giving us the cold shoulder. (You thought the refrigerator was unplugged — ha!) If hitting and pitching made Ohtani a unicorn, McKay is a commitaphobe unicorn. Capable of doing the two-way thing, but either he or the Rays don’t seem committed to having him hit, so I don’t plan on projecting him for hitting. Maybe he gives a handful of homers in under 100 ABs, but you’re not really drafting him for that. Picture Michael Lorenzen without having the whole ‘pitchers hit’ thing. Sorry for those of you having Siri read you this, picture/pitcher prolly confused the shizz out of you there. So, what can we expect from Brendan McKay for 2020 fantasy baseball?

Brendan McKay was called up in June when calls for his promotion from fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) became just too much and Kevin Cash was like, “Fine, you guys!” Why, that is an obvious lie; Kevin Cash is a fantasy baseballer’s nightmare, due to platoons, Openers, Middlers, and just overall stubbornness to go for real baseball wins and not fantasy ones. Dubya tee eff, my dude. Cash ruins everything around me, fantasy baseball streams get the money! It is true, however, fantasy baseballers were anxiously calling for McKay’s promotion for about a month before fruit ripened into fruition. In 49 IP, McKay ended up going 2-4/5.14/1.41/56. Of course, it’s fine to write off wins and ERA. His 4.03 FIP told a more promising story. His .331 BABIP showed some unluckiness, along with his 64% LOB. His numbers respectively should’ve been closer to .290 and 75%. The BABIP can help his WHIP lower, and his under-3 BB/9 should preclude an insane WHIP. Also, not pulling its weight on the WHIP was a terrific K/9 of 10.3. You strike out guys and have neutral luck and, well, the worst WHIP for a guy with an under-3 BB/9 and over 10 K/9 was Matthew Boyd with a 1.23 WHIP. Pretty much common sense here, if you’re not allowing baserunners through Ks, your WHIP comes down, and it doesn’t take a whole day to recognize sunshine. Boyd is not the most analogous, though, because his 11.56 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 were much better than McKay’s. The closest pitcher to McKay’s ratios is even better, it’s Patrick Corbin. Now, of course, I’m not saying that’s who he’ll be. I mean, he could be, but McKay gave up way too many homers (1.5 HR/9). Thankfully, this was never his problem in the minors. In fact (Grey’s got more!), McKay’s 47% ground ball rate in Triple-A tells a totally different story than his 35% rate in the majors. This is gonna come as a shock after spending 300 words talking about his previous season, but I don’t think it’s indicative of future value for McKay. He looks headed to becoming a fantasy #2 to (stutterer!) #3 starter with #1 upside. It’s hard to not love 10.5 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 potential and I won’t try. For 2020, I’ll give Brendan McKay projections of 8-7/3.87/1.18/131 in 112 IP with upside and possible use as a Opener or Middler at times to keep his innings down.

  1. Dave D says:
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    Yeah, McKay’s K’s warrant a late round flyer in many leagues for sure. I wonder if he’ll have the same P/U eligibility. Not that it’d matter much functionally. Btw, results are in for the first real life NFBC slow. Very interesting:

    NFBC $150 Draft Champions
    Round 1:
    1 1 Acuna Jr., Ronald OF
    2 1 Yelich, Christian OF
    3 1 Trout, Mike OF
    4 1 Betts, Mookie OF
    5 1 Bregman, Alex 3B
    6 1 Cole, Gerrit P
    7 1 Bellinger, Cody 1B
    8 1 Soto, Juan OF
    9 1 Story, Trevor SS
    10 1 Turner, Trea SS
    11 1 Lindor, Francisco SS
    12 1 deGrom, Jacob P
    13 1 Arenado, Nolan 3B
    14 1 Rendon, Anthony 3B
    15 1 Villar, Jonathan SS

    Round 2:
    16 2 LeMahieu, DJ 1B
    17 2 Buehler, Walker P
    18 2 Tatis Jr., Fernando SS
    19 2 Alonso, Pete 1B
    20 2 Verlander, Justin P
    21 2 Scherzer, Max P
    22 2 Freeman, Freddie 1B
    23 2 Ramirez, Jose 3B
    24 2 Judge, Aaron OF
    25 2 Marte, Starling OF
    26 2 Torres, Gleyber 2B
    27 2 Devers, Rafael 3B
    28 2 Martinez, J.D. OF
    29 2 Clevinger, Mike P
    30 2 Bieber, Shane P

    Round 3:
    31 3 Flaherty, Jack P
    32 3 Strasburg, Stephen P
    33 3 Harper, Bryce OF
    34 3 Springer, George OF
    35 3 Altuve, Jose MI
    36 3 Meadows, Austin OF
    37 3 Baez, Javier SS
    38 3 Bogaerts, Xander SS
    39 3 Alvarez, Yordan OF
    40 3 Marte, Ketel 2B
    41 3 Snell, Blake P
    42 3 Gurriel, Yuli 3B
    43 3 Mondesi, Adalberto MI
    44 3 Suarez, Eugenio CI
    45 3 Ryu, Hyun-Jin P

    Round 4:
    46 4 Kershaw, Clayton P
    47 4 Blackmon, Charlie OF
    48 4 Corbin, Patrick P
    49 4 Giolito, Lucas P
    50 4 Albies, Ozzie 2B
    51 4 Stanton, Giancarlo OF
    52 4 Severino, Luis P
    53 4 Paddack, Chris P
    54 4 Realmuto, J.T. C
    55 4 Greinke, Zack P
    56 4 Bryant, Kris OF
    57 4 Sale, Chris P
    58 4 Castillo, Luis P
    59 4 Pham, Tommy OF
    60 4 Merrifield, Whit 2B

    Round 5:
    61 5 Hiura, Keston MI
    62 5 Rizzo, Anthony 1B
    63 5 Moncada, Yoan 3B
    64 5 Jimenez, Eloy OF
    65 5 Goldschmidt, Paul 1B
    66 5 Robles, Victor OF
    67 5 Machado, Manny 3B
    68 5 Nola, Aaron P
    69 5 Morton, Charlie P
    70 5 Soler, Jorge OF
    71 5 Sanchez, Gary C
    72 5 Ozuna, Marcell OF
    73 5 Kluber, Corey P
    74 5 Semien, Marcus SS
    75 5 Vazquez, Christian C

    Round 6:
    76 6 Grandal, Yasmani 1B
    77 6 Abreu, Jose 1B
    78 6 Ohtani, Shohei UT
    79 6 Cruz, Nelson UT
    80 6 Laureano, Ramon OF
    81 6 McNeil, Jeff OF
    82 6 Glasnow, Tyler P
    83 6 Olson, Matt 1B
    84 6 Hader, Josh P
    85 6 Anderson, Tim SS
    86 6 Syndergaard, Noah P
    87 6 Muncy, Max 2B
    88 6 Darvish, Yu P
    89 6 Chapman, Matt 3B
    90 6 Guerrero Jr., Vladimir 3B

    • bigbear says:
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      Assuming snake: Villar and LeMaheiu at the 15-16 turn? Then Kershaw/Ryu and Vazquez/Grandal? No thanks.

      Wow, Manny slipped a ton! Kinda hoping that trend continues…

      • Fungazi 2.0 says:
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        Only way to cap off that start to a draft is the old double catcher knockout in round 5/6

        • Dave D says:
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          Yeah, totally, that guy at 15 clearly is off the mark. I really like the #3 position here: 3.Trout
          28. Just Dong
          33. Bryce
          58. Castillo
          63. Moncada
          88. Darvish

          Also #1 ain’t bad, but Id replcae Merrifield with Pham or Moncada if I could:

          1. Tildaddy
          30. Bieber
          31. Flaherty
          60. Merrifield
          61. Hiura
          90. Guerrero

          I don’t love Guerrero but that late seems like something I could see as possible good value if he breaks out. A lot of the other rosters seem wonky.

          • bigbear says:
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            Gotta zig when everone’s sagging and corner the backstop market!

            #13 is Grey! Arenado, Tatis, Mondesi, Corbin. Then he stepped away and it went auto draft with Kluber and Ohtani.

            • Dave D says:
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              Yeah, I agree, first four look great then BARF!!!

            • Dave D says:
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              Btw, NFBC is treating Ohtani this year as one player that can be played weekly as either P or U. I’m not sure if it matters as much for McKay. In a points league like the Cutline I’m not sure what they are doing, but that is one place Id value him if he collected points at both simultaneously. Then he might be a top 20 or top 10 pick. Elsewhere I wouldn’t take him in weekly leagues and maybe after 175 as a SP.

      • andrew edenbaum says:
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        Trend ? It’s nov. 8. Talk to me in march. Btw, Machado’s 2019 stats of .256/32/81/85/5 don’t even deserve the 67th pick. Perhaps he’s a candidate for last years bum, but I have my doubts.

        • Smitty says:
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          Agree, totally off Machado and his sorry act.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      The person with the 15/16 turn just wanted to donate money to the kitty

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Way too many to comment on but Vlad Jr at 90th overall shows people are just throwing darts at a board for now

      • Dave D says:
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        Sounds like you’ve gone a little soft in your sixth week of the offseason. ;-)

    • Bamabterry says:
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      Im in this draft. Got bellinger in the 7th.

    • Bamabterry says:
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      I like my team a lot.
      C-realmuto
      C-perez
      1b-bellinger
      2b-mcmahon
      3b-machado
      Ss-baez
      Mi-fletcher
      Ci-hosmer
      Of-judge
      Of-m smith
      Of-mccutchin-
      Of-upton
      Of-santander
      Ut- grichuck

      P-hader
      P-bauer
      P-chapman
      P-gallen
      P-luchessi
      P-richards
      P-stroman
      P-keuchal
      P-lyles/sheffield

  2. MLBTR (trade rumor) is running a contest where the top 50 free agents will sign. They list each player and you pick what team will sign them. Entries must be in by nov.11. Could be a way to get though the winter months. I’m in with some other razzball friends.

    • Sweatpants Nation says:
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      Me too!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nice! Is it free to enter?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Also, I guess, is there a prize?

        • Malicious Phenoms says:
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          Free and $500 for first, most correct picks, 300 for 2nd, 100 for third.

      • Yes it’s free to enter. Just fill out before the nov.11.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Fun! I’ll have to get in there… Even though that sounds more like a crapshoot than anything

          • Crap shoot is right I pick both dodgers catcher to stay there. Should get one right. Better than both wrong.

              • Last years winner of the 500 dollars got 4 right. So I was told. You can change your picks up to nov.11 at 11pm est hoping for 2 or three signing @ 10:45pm.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Haha, only 4?!

  3. bigbear says:
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    McKay will probably be buried a little more than he should be this year given his surface stats. Seems like a perfect fit for the “wait on the arms” draft strategy! He’s threw 120 IPs last year across 3 levels. Probably some room for him to throw more than 112 IPs in 2020. Of course that depends on how they plan to use his bat.

    A follow up to the Austin Hays blurb from yesterday… I’m a B-more local for better/worse. He’ll probably get close to full-time ABs. I like the take on him that he’s a decent late round dice roll. I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets to 20 HR, but I think there’s more upside elsewhere in the late rounds. There’s a good chance the O’s trade away higher arbitration value guys (like Villar). So that opens up a spot at the top of the batting order for Hays as well.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, he could throw more but the Rays have to actually throw him for more IP and not just move him in and out of the rotation

      I hear ya on Hays, wouldn’t be shocking, and any time you’re expecting more HRs vs. less, you’re gonna be right with today’s ball, assuming it is today’s ball

  4. Schoolboy P says:
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    Kicking myself for trading McKay in a late season push, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do to win. Speaking of Boyd. I have him for $1 and his first half was a big part of my teams success last year. But his second half… holy shit that was bad. I will be anxious to hear/read? your thoughts on him going into next year.
    For now, I have him $1 for my 10th keeper over an $18 Ozuna. Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Depends on how many teams and are you keeping other SPs?

      • Schoolboy P says:
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        12 team –

        also keeping:
        $18 Beiber, $10 Clevenger, $25 Flaherty

        Bellinger, Hiura, Rendon, Mondesi, Vlad, Meadows

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Nah, I’d go Ozuna, hopefully he lands in Coors!

  5. Like many Rays, McKay could help depending on his usage. Got some decent stats from Y. Diaz and B. Lowe in segments last year, but Rays (apologies to Meadows) are hard to count on.
    Thanks Dave D for the 6 round glimpse (7+ rounds in my 12 teamer).
    Interesting to see Bo and Eloy still on the board…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Agreed on Rays and…Yeah, Bo and Eloy are surprising too…. Not sure how much I trust any of that, but you’d think people spending $ wouldn’t be throwing it away

      • Dave D says:
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        No worries. While we’re at it, here’s a glimpse of a second league that seems more typical:

        NFBC $150 Draft Champions
        Round 1:
        1 1 Acuna Jr., Ronald OF
        2 1 Yelich, Christian OF
        3 1 Trout, Mike OF
        4 1 Betts, Mookie OF
        5 1 Cole, Gerrit P
        6 1 Lindor, Francisco SS
        7 1 Bellinger, Cody 1B
        8 1 deGrom, Jacob P
        9 1 Turner, Trea SS
        10 1 Bregman, Alex 3B
        11 1 Story, Trevor SS
        12 1 Verlander, Justin P
        13 1 Soto, Juan OF
        14 1 Arenado, Nolan 3B
        15 1 Scherzer, Max P

        Round 2:
        16 2 Ramirez, Jose 3B
        17 2 Torres, Gleyber 2B
        18 2 Tatis Jr., Fernando SS
        19 2 Freeman, Freddie 1B
        20 2 Buehler, Walker P
        21 2 Devers, Rafael CI
        22 2 Alvarez, Yordan OF
        23 2 Villar, Jonathan SS
        24 2 Flaherty, Jack P
        25 2 Rendon, Anthony 3B
        26 2 Martinez, J.D. OF
        27 2 Bieber, Shane P
        28 2 Judge, Aaron OF
        29 2 Clevinger, Mike P
        30 2 Alonso, Pete 1B

        Round 3:
        31 3 Mondesi, Adalberto SS
        32 3 Harper, Bryce OF
        33 3 Strasburg, Stephen P
        34 3 Altuve, Jose 2B
        35 3 Marte, Starling OF
        36 3 Hiura, Keston 2B
        37 3 Nola, Aaron P
        38 3 Meadows, Austin OF
        39 3 Bogaerts, Xander MI
        40 3 Baez, Javier MI
        41 3 Springer, George OF
        42 3 Sale, Chris P
        43 3 Snell, Blake P
        44 3 Castillo, Luis P
        45 3 Albies, Ozzie 2B

        Round 4:
        46 4 Machado, Manny CI
        47 4 Paddack, Chris P
        48 4 Guerrero Jr., Vladimir 3B
        49 4 Marte, Ketel 2B
        50 4 Blackmon, Charlie OF
        51 4 Merrifield, Whit 2B
        52 4 Rizzo, Anthony 1B
        53 4 Corbin, Patrick P
        54 4 Realmuto, J.T. C
        55 4 Morton, Charlie P
        56 4 Giolito, Lucas P
        57 4 Greinke, Zack P
        58 4 Bryant, Kris 3B
        59 4 Jimenez, Eloy OF
        60 4 Robles, Victor OF

        Round 5:
        61 5 Suarez, Eugenio 3B
        62 5 Ohtani, Shohei UT
        63 5 Kershaw, Clayton P
        64 5 Darvish, Yu P
        65 5 Moncada, Yoan 3B
        66 5 Stanton, Giancarlo OF
        67 5 McNeil, Jeff OF
        68 5 Gallo, Joey OF
        69 5 Goldschmidt, Paul CI
        70 5 Syndergaard, Noah P
        71 5 Severino, Luis P
        72 5 Glasnow, Tyler P
        73 5 Pham, Tommy OF
        74 5 Semien, Marcus SS
        75 5 Paxton, James P

        Round 6:
        76 6 Correa, Carlos SS
        77 6 LeMahieu, DJ 1B
        78 6 Olson, Matt 1B
        79 6 Sanchez, Gary C
        80 6 Hader, Josh P
        81 6 Benintendi, Andrew OF
        82 6 Berrios, Jose P
        83 6 Chapman, Matt 3B
        84 6 Yates, Kirby P
        85 6 Rosario, Eddie OF
        86 6 Abreu, Jose 1B
        87 6 Soroka, Mike P
        88 6 Bichette, Bo SS
        89 6 Bauer, Trevor P
        90 6 Robert, Luis OF

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          That does seem to make more sense from a cursory look… At least DJ LeMahieu didn’t go 16th overall!

  6. Ante Galic says:
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    Grey!!

    Nice fantasy outlook on McKay!

    a. But because of this report, I won’t even think of drafting him in a redraft until 2021, when they do the re-run of BH 90210.

    b. All quiet on the western front.

    c. ‘Giants in 2020’ said the Giants fan who just woke up after a 4-year coma.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      A. But they started the new 90210 already

      B. That’s good, right?

      C. Depending on when they fell into the coma, they just said “Giants in 2019!” too

      • Ante Galic says:
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        Grey!!

        a. Didn’t they win in even years? I haven’t looked it up (too lazy) but I thought they won in even numbered years when Lincey was their ace.

        b. That is indeed all good. To wit…

        1. Our son is good, he’s going to school. We’re coping but it’s much better than it was in week 1. We’ve just moved into week 4 since the diagnosis Oct 14.

        2. Our dog does his job outside, which is also a plus. He pees a bit at night but he’s mostly toilet trained. He knows who to go to when he needs something. Like when he is hungry, he barks at my wife (his cook). When he wants to go out for a potty break, he barks at me. When he wants to go to sleep, he just climbs into his bed, curls up and goes to sleep. He’s really a good dog. Also, he hears the dogs in our area bark, hears their horror stories and says ‘Damn, I must be the luckiest dog in the world.’

        3. The job front is as you say, not so good! But still hopeful something positive will come up.

        Hope you and your loved ones are well, kind Sir.

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          A. Ah, yeah, gotcha now… Crazy how Kevin Pillar won World Series MVP this year, such a great series!

          B. That’s awesome to hear! It’s gonna keep getting better too!

          2. Haha, you’ve described all 1st world dogs

          3. Damn, keeping fingers crossed for you!

          Thanks! You too, of course!

  7. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Thoughts on any of these guys having good value in 2020.

    Pivetta
    Vinny V
    Montgomery
    Peacock
    Mchuge
    Bundy
    J A Happ
    Leake

    Kela – new closer in Pitt
    Melanceson- stays closer in Atl

    B. Dozier

    10 team 6 x 6 roto dynasty. 60 players per team. Start 21 bats and 14 pitchers.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Why is Kela the new closer in Pitt? Did they say that? I didn’t even think Pitt had a front office yet

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        I was asking on the closers, I haven’t heard anything about either, thought you might know.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Nah, I haven’t yet… Pirates don’t even have a coaching staff right now, I don’t think

          • Malicious Phenoms says:
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            So really none of the guys I listed are worth anything?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              They could be worth something, too early to say

  8. Harley Earl says:
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    Grey,

    Been watching your mock draft with the other experts on PL and love your first four picks. Springer at #36 and Baez at #48, WOW! Really surprised Muncy fell to #123. Seems like value there. You like Benintendi to rebound next year? See you took him at #96. Nice draft so far!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Meh, seems okay at 96 — thanks!

      • Harley Earl says:
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        Yeah, looking at the other teams, I think you’re smokin’ the Perts!!! lol

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, I think my team is much better too, but I did draft it after all

          • Harley Earl says:
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            I think your team really shows how much better you can build it if your early emphasis is on hitting and not pitching. Clear difference there with your picks.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, I agree, I love my pitching and waited way longer than most

    • andrew edenbaum says:
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      Baez at #48….haha. Where can I sign up ?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        I know, give me that all day

  9. Soxxx says:
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    Do you rank McKay higher or lower than these pitchers for 2020: Soroka, Dustin May, Gallen

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Lower then Soroka and Gallen; May’s close

  10. Hernan says:
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    I think McKay will be 2020’s poster boy for “primary pitcher” , follow opener dude…, living in Tampa . I watch almost every freaking Rays game(most annoying/obnoxious announcers in baseball ever) and McKay is one guy that seems to run into trouble/high pitch counts first 5/6 hitters, almost every time…, don’t know if it’s him having trouble warming up or a combination of nibbling way too much against the top of Red Sox/Yankees/BJays, even lousy Orioles(Alberto Mancini, etc), sooo aggravating for DFS , love the Ks, hate the short outings and low wins…., but, I can see your boy Cash starting Castillo/Kittridge first handfull of hitters then bringing McKay , with that bullpen , an increase in 25ish innings.., that projection of Ws could easily double…, if a guy with nowhere near McKay’s stuff, like Yarborough can pile up Ws like that, imagine McKay?…, maybe our expert pitching guy , Donkey Teeth , can start earning his money , come up with a nice article on the effectiveness of “followers” and a top 10 list of guys that can thrive in that spot.., guess most of those guys are slotted as SPs, but would be interesting to see how the numbers breakup for managers that use openers, and if it’s something we’ll see more, going forward….

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, Donkey Teeth, get on it! Middlers do seem like they’re in good position to get wins, needing at worst 3-4 IP for a Win

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