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?

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With all the changes to the 2020 season to the 2020 seasons swirling around, I wanted to narrow in on one specific item: the DH in the NL, and specifically, the impact to pitchers. I’m comparing Rudy’s Steamer/Razzball projections from March to those here in July; we’ll focus in on changes in projected ERA.

At first glance, it’s easy to minimize this change. After all, we’re talking about 2-3 plate appearances per start, and pitchers aren’t complete zeros at the plate. In a reduced season, this is likely only 25-35 plate appearances over 10-12 starts. How big of a deal is it?

To set a baseline, let’s first look at the impact on AL starters. Here’s the top 50, comparing their March to July ERAs:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

BABIP is going to fuel batting average this year, which is to say good luck finding lucky hitters. Now one thousand words on how maybe we can pare down the luck. Since 2000, only three players have qualified for the batting title and hit .400+ BABIP. Last year was a particularly weird year. In 123 games and 518 plate appearances, Tim Anderson hit .335 with a .399 BABIP. Like a sushi chef who smells his fingers after handling hirame, “That’s fluky.” Yoan Moncada had 559 plate appearance and a .406 BABIP. (The other two .400+ BABIPs since 2000 were Manny Ramirez in 2000 and his .403 BABIP and Jose Hernandez in 2002 with a .404 BABIP.) Someone this year is going to have a .425+ BABIP and hit .350+. I hope it’s Ketel Marte, because I own him in every league. Pulling focus and moving into a close-up shows that in August of last year there were 15 guys who had a .400 BABIP. I’d el oh el if I weren’t such a serious man. In September, there were also 12 guys who had .400+ BABIPs. Wait, it gets better. In a full slate of games in September, Moncada had a .520 BABIP and hit .412. Yo, Yoan, you Tony Gywnn Jr. Jr. or no? Okay, cool. You might think BABIP is fueled by speed in the short-term, to which I say, Ryan McBroom, Wil Myers and Kyle Schwarber were in the .400+ BABIP group in September. BABIP is going to make batting averages a short-term coin flip, but we still need to figure out some battle plan. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for batting average?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

I let out a full-throated cackle when I wrote the title. I don’t know how to predict wins in a 162-game season. In a 60-game season? Dress up your four cats in players’ jerseys and spin a bottle. Whether the Fanta lands on Hairy Styles or Cat Stevens, don’t matter, pick them up, because they could lead the majors in wins. I was saying to Rudy the other day, I don’t know if it’s fortunate or not to roster Freddy Peralta. He could be the 3rd thru 6th inning guy every third game and lead the majors in wins, or he could be unrosterable. (Brewers are especially problematic with Corbin Burnes, Peralta, Josh Lindblom, Brett Anderson, and Eric Lauer. Start Brandon Woodruff and Adrian Houser and pray for rain, but since MLB has a hard stop date, there’s no time for rain, so spin the bottle and hope it lands on Purry Mason.) So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for wins?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

This year we don’t have SAGNOF we have SSSAGNOF. That’s Shortened Season SAGNOF, baby! I just started breakdancing after screaming baby. What, is this a lost episode of Ally McBeal? ‘Member that show? I don’t, because I didn’t ever watch crap TV shows. Get your taste out yo’ ass! Also, that popsicle stick. That vacuum cord. That microwaved burrito. How many things do you have in your butt? As mentioned the other day in my Jarrod Dyson 60-game sleeper, steals might be the most predictable stat we have this year. Have Sprint Speed, will travel from 1st to 2nd. With runs and RBIs, it’s going to come down to lineup placement. With home runs, it’s going to come down to–Well, just go read the article. With steals, it’s gonna be as easy to measure as clicking that little button on the top of your stopwatch. By the by, what if the person pressing the clock button is slow, doesn’t that change the clocked time by a lot? Has anyone ever said runners’ times pre-digital age are all hogwash because it depended on the old man in black & white with the monocle pressing a stopwatch button? Did I just uncover some truth that everyone already knew but me? Yes? Cool. Our 2020 fantasy baseball rankings have been updated to a 60-game season. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for steals?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Welcome back to another post that you never thought you’d read from a guy who never thought he’d write it! We’re sailing into uncharted territory, worried we could die from some unknown disease, while maybe carrying the unknown plague ourselves that will kill everyone else. “Argh! Name that team in Cleveland the Indians and lets get these 60 games going!” Guys and five female readers, if someone beats the 73 homer record in only 60 games, they have to count it even if the person is shooting up while in the on-deck circle, right? As Long John Silver once said, don’t want to go out on a limb, but c’mon. In a shortened season of 60 games, it will be imperative that you go after categories vs. players. Sure, use the fantasy baseball trade analyzer. (I clickbaited you and you didn’t even see it coming!) Roast your leaguemates with them quick-to-the-point-to-the-point-no-faking fake baseball trades, but you need categories and stats over player names. Who can get you home runs and how fast can they do it? How do we even figure that out? Luckily, this is a rhetorical question to tell you I have you covered like a blanket infected with lice. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for home runs?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Deal has been struck, right? Baseball is the only sport where it announces its start, but no one is sure if it really announced its start. Good ol’ baseball being super stupid as usual. Okay, baseball is set to return on July 1st, and the season will happen, if Covid cooperates. The season won’t look like any baseball season we’ve ever seen before. This year someone will get to 220 at-bats and it will take playing every game of the 60-game season while ducking Covid, which is not “ducking” after Siri autocorrects it; that’s not “ducking” at all. No one says get the duck out of here, Siri, unless you have Daffy problems. Mookie Betts might get 50 runs, and he will lead the major leagues in runs. Cody Bellinger might lead the majors in RBIs with 58 and only score 35 runs. There could be guys who hit at the bottom of their respective lineups, play every day and barely crack ten runs or RBIs. Actually, gonna google real fast if anyone has every played in every game of a baseball season and failed to reach 10 runs or RBIs. Just messin’! I ain’t googling that shizz because obviously it ain’t ever been done. There might be five everyday players in the Tigers’ lineup this year who don’t reach 10 runs or RBIs. You know AP style is to write out numbers one through nine? Well, it is, and we might need to write out numbers in statlines this year. Nike Goodrum:  nine/four/nine/.two-fifty-four/three. Ain’t no way around it. I have gone on the record as saying I welcome any baseball this year. Whether it’s 50, 60, or 20 games. Doesn’t matter to me, because I want to see them get out there and play baseball. Give me a month of games; works for me! Just don’t let me see anyone spit! You heathens! This year could be so screwy that MLB start its 60-game season and, due to Covid, end early and we only get 40 games. That’s just what we’re gonna have to deal with this year. Instead of going over all the players who will become DHs in the NL, which I will let stew for a week, I’m going to talk about overall strategy for a 60-game season. All 2020 fantasy baseball rankings have been updated for a 60-game season. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for runs and RBIs?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

How nice is it to be back in the baseball grind? After an unpredictable opening week with a stupid amount of injuries, it’s time to build off that momentum and ride down the stream. This week’s streamers are actually much weaker than last weeks and it’ll do some digging to find some good options. While last week’s article was called Week 2 because it was our second article, we’re going to go ahead and call this Week 2, since that’s the case for most of you fantasy owners. With that in mind, let’s get into a couple of two-start streamers. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Razzball’s daily fantasy baseball tools – Streamonator, Hittertron, and DFSBot – are available by subscription in 2015. If you play in roto leagues with daily roster changes or Daily Fantasy Sports like DraftKings, these tools will rock your world. Please see our Subscriptions page for details – including how to get a free subscription by opening up a new Daily Fantasy Sports account.

In my previous ‘hot hitter’ post, I found that a hitter’s recent performance (measured as last 3 games and last 5 games) had no value in projecting next game performance once you account for the player’s known skill (as measured by Steamer Rest of Season projections) and the relevant gameday matchup info incorporated into our Hittertron/DFSBot (e.g., quality of opposing pitcher, handedness of opposing pitcher, park factors).

This post will cover whether recent performance by a starting pitcher helps improve the next start projections in our Streamonator and the pitching component of DFSBot.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Greetings all, and welcome to the first installment of The Numbers Game. “Boy, that title sounds about as exciting as it would be to draft Omar Infante in 2015.” Hey, quiet in the peanut gallery! Fantasy baseball is, as the title of this series makes blatantly obvious, all about the numbers. The idea behind these posts is to identify players who fit a specific set of search criteria using statistics accumulated over the past three seasons. The various criteria that I’ll be using will be established based on player comps and/or the MLB averages in key statistical categories. Some results will include data from 2014 only, while others will include some combination of the previous two seasons as well. The ultimate goal of these exercises is to provide a different perspective that will help to confirm your evaluations of certain players and perhaps reconsider your opinions of others. While I’ll be providing my two cents from time to time, it’ll be up to you to decide how valid the results truly are.

Please, blog, may I have some more?