Calm down fans! I know Blair just gave you his continuously updated Top 100 Starting Pitchers list. That’s the link you want to use for your drafting needs over the next week. (Note from Donkey: You can now bookmark this page you’re currently reading instead, it’s the same embedded table which will be updated. Or bookmark the other one if you like it more. Lots of options!). I’ll update that table every day as news breaks, and you’ll have the freshest info at your fingertips.

In the meanthyme–no, not the Spacehog rocker but my custom-made spicy herbal blend for your marinading needs–I’ll highlight some of the movers and shakers through the list.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Learn more about our 2020 Fantasy Baseball Subscriptions!

The best daily/weekly Player projections (hitters, starters, and relievers) for each of the next 7-10 days + next calendar week starting Friday. Kick-ass DFS lineup optimizer and projections for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo!.

I don’t have enough spam, give me the Razzball email newsletter!

Weekly Razzball news delivered straight to your inbox.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Major League Baseball is pushing through time lapses in testing procedures in its quest to fake having a plan until it makes one, but two things have become crystal clear: 1) players will be opting out, and 2) players will be catching the virus. 

Players can opt back in at any time if the situation changes, so that could make for some interesting faab runs.

Other side of that coin: players can opt out at any time. 

Along with the danger and chaos comes opportunity, so let’s scan the NL Central for players poised to climb that ladder.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 
 

On our Steamer Fantasy Baseball Rankings, which have been updated to a 60-game season, we have 1,310 players ranked. 645 of them gained value. Some, for unstints, gained $0.1 of value like Juan Soto. Another hundred had zero value change like Christian Yelich. Another 600+ lost value. These are their stories. *Law & Order sound effect chung-chung* This post will feature the top 20 players who lost the most value from doing nothing but bingeing Netflix for the last three months. Who knew Love Is Blind could hurt one’s fantasy value? “I’m gonna go with George, he’s so funny.” “Okay, Jenn, here’s George…He’s a sign spinner for State Farm!” Anyway, here’s the top 20 biggest negative value changes for fantasy baseball pre vs. post-shutdown:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

The Rule 4 Draft kicks off this Wednesday! Time to get amped for an actual sporting event! 

Or not. I mean it’s your call. Would totally understand if you’re so irritated by big-wig greed you can’t pretend MLB doesn’t suck at being a professional league for a couple of weeknights. 

2020’s will be a supremely weird draft, but I’m geeked for it. I’ll post a mock draft here midday Wednesday, after which I’ll continue these rankings. I know some leagues like to do their First-Year-Player Drafts immediately after the July 2 signing date for international amateurs (in a typical season), so I figured the time was right to start synthesizing the talent trickling into our game this summer. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

I’ve been looking forward to this post for a while.

The shut down threw the content-creation world one hell of a curveball. Many outlets have been using the dead time to catch up on unfinished 2020 organizational prospect rankings, but I completed Razzball’s back in January, so I moved on to another large project I didn’t have the winter minutes to complete but spun it forward to next season, ranking just about everyone across each position from a long-term perspective. 

Got some push back early. “So we’re just skipping to next season? smdh”

But I kept riding through the Wild West of dynasty baseball’s future, mapping middle-aged aces alongside yet-to-be-drafted youngsters. This led to wonderful conversations with Razzball’s brilliant readers, who helped me build a set of rankings I hope we can all use to find fantasy fun and glory in the seasons to come. 

I’m proud of this project, thrilled to be working with so many smart fantasy players, and eager to distill the past few months of work into this one post. Can’t wait to keep chatting and building with you all! Happy scrolling!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

In Sunday’s introduction to the top 50 relief pitchers for 2021 dynasty baseball, I explored how Rolaids may have played a role in early analytics by assigning point values to relief pitching events in their quest to annually reward each league’s best pitcher in the 1970’s. 

During these years, Rolaids commercials claimed that their company name spelled relief. Now I know it was just a bit for a commercial, and I appreciate Rolaids bringing shine to an oft-shadowed position (especially to that point in baseball history), but I don’t appreciate—as an English instructor and father of an almost two-year-old human—that a company can build its core marketing strategy around obfuscating the spelling of words. Morphemes matter, y’all. Mastering the English language is heartburn-inducing enough without Rolaids playing fast and loose with phonics.

This reminds me of major league managers playing fast and loose with bullpens while the rest of us scramble to figure out how that team is going to spell relief for the next few weeks. 

But scramble we must, and relish the hustle I do, so let’s get to the list.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

I take a lot of antacids.

Rolaids created an award (not for me)–a gold-plated firefighter’s helmet–to honor baseball’s best relief pitcher every year from 1976 to 2012. The history behind this fascinates me. Feels like some seeds of analytics were born in the bowels of Rolaids’ 1970’s corporate office.

Relief pitching events were each given a point value. Three points per save. Two points per win. Two points per loss. The biggest end-of-season number won, period. 

Blown saves (-2) were introduced in 1987.

Tough saves (+4) came along in 2000. Surprises me that I’ve never seen this as an option by fantasy providers, especially in points leagues or daily games. An antacid company was using it 20 years ago ffs. Refers to any time a reliever enters the game with a tying run on base and secures a save. 

Relievers might be my favorite thing about fantasy baseball, for reasons I can’t explain except to say I love games that resist attempts to shrink/minimize/categorize/rubricate them. The more multi-layered the better. And saves bring that to fantasy baseball. (As do stolen bases.) I also love Holds leagues because they throw the math off a nudge further and open another market of elite players who just happen to pitch the not-ninth. 

Ranking RP’s is kind of a paradox. It might be the least accurate yet most useful of any positional ranking, especially for dynasty leagues.

So that’s the caveat. 

These rankings are for standard 5×5 leagues, btw. Would look totally different in a holds league.

Relief pitching is a strength for me in fantasy, year over year. I tend to trade from it and trade for it on a regular basis, sometimes within the same week. Still, I’m a little leery to put fingers to keys on this one. The yearly upheaval at this position is like no other, so I’m not surprised there’s very little on the market right now covering relief pitching in dynasty leagues. 

The very thought of the task has my hand reaching for the (insert highest-bidding antacid company here).

Kidding. I love this stuff. My full geek breathes fire when researching the K-BB % leaders across all leagues, digging into their game logs, skipping to their innings, even watching/reading an interview here and there.  

Let’s get to the list.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

On Sunday, I imagined a hypothetical post-rona bar scene being akin to the deep pitching pool in dynasty baseball.

Today I’ll let you know whose drinks I’m buying if I’ve got the budget (and the roster space). 

I’m going to focus first and most on the 150-200 range because that’s the origin of this article–a comment and question by Harley Earl regarding which arms among the group I’m buying. To which my brain responded: Farts! I should’ve been doing that for every position!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

You see a girl across the bar.

She’s gorgeous.

An angel.

Maybe.

It’s dark.

Tough to see real well.

But one thing you can say for sure is there’s a human sitting across the bar in this post-rona scenario. 

You’re eager to move a little closer, maybe buy a couple drinks. And who knows? Might be the start of something long term. 

You can feel the competition looming. Lotta hungry eyes in the house. Can’t sit around much longer. Have to move in before you’re certain.  

What I’ve just described is the free agent pitching pool in most dynasty leagues. It’s also the general pitching landscape between spots 150 and 200–this week’s focus point. The situation can seem dire most nights, but people get picked up all the time, and some turn out to be great finds. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?