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?

1. FB% and HR/FB:  Kyle Schwarber, Teoscar Hernandez, Gleyber Torres (twice), Franmil Reyes, Matt Chapman (twice), Eduardo Escobar, Aristides Aquino, Willie Calhoun, Nolan Arenado (twice), Mike Yastrzemski, Ronald Acuña Jr., Matt Olson, Jorge Soler, Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, Pete Alonso, Alex Bregman, Randal Grichuk, Eric Thames, Eugenio Suarez, Rougned Odor, and Harrison Bader just missed. Any ideas what those names have in common? No, they didn’t all try to do your mom. That was Matt Harvey. They all kinda make sense as a whole group, aside from Brett Gardner and Bader, who didn’t even qualify, but I threw him out there, because he’s super cheap and surprising. Any guesses? I’ll give you a hint, they were above certain thresholds for fly ball rate and home run per fly ball. Threshold was top 30 for fly ball rate in August or September (with guys appearing twice mentioned) with top 30 being roughly 44% (league average is 35.7, so 44% is high) and they were players above 20% HR/FB (league average is 15.3). What I’d take away from this is straight home run hitters don’t have to be expensive to acquire. Torenado, Gleyber, Tildaddy, Albombso, and Bregman are not cheap, but Teoscar, Yaz Jr. Jr., Odor and a bunch of these are barely being drafted in some leagues, and were fantasy baseball sleepers that I went over in the last two months that I called Dart Throws. If a guy hits a lot of fly balls and can get into at least 20% of them, they can help you in the home run category in a shortened season. If you’re wondering about that newfangled Launch Angle thingie-ma-boob that isn’t that new. It correlates pretty closely, as you’d imagine, with fly ball rate.

2. Home Park Factors: This is gonna blow some people’s minds, but players in good home run parks will hit more home runs. I know, SHOCKER! I attempted to isolate park factors for months, and specifically August/September, but I couldn’t figure it out. Worst fifty seconds I ever spent! I did look at the teams who hit the most homers in August/September and cross-referenced that with park factors for season, and it’s most of the usual suspects. Can’t say any of the stadiums surprised me. Wanna know top team home run parks? Cool, here ya go:  Jays, Nats, Coors, O’s, White Sox, Astros, Philly and Cincy. Know why the top ten was eight? I got bored of typing. No surprises either way, but that takes me back to the 1st bullet point which was actually numbered:  Teoscar Hernandez is so butter.

3. Boiling Smoke Shows: Finally, hitters who get so hot that you can’t stop them, only hope that they don’t engulf into flames because that would be bad for too many reasons to enumerate. The number one Boiling Smoke Show:  a tie with Eugenio Suarez and Pete Alonso; they appeared in the top 10 for home runs in one month the most times last year. No surprise there, considering how many Albombsos they both hit last year. If a guy can hit 10+ home runs in any month, he gets a Boiling Smoke Show mention, here is entire list of guys who might surprise you (and are being drafted after the top 100):  Khris Davis, Joc Pederson, Josh Bell (is he going after 100? Meh, close enough), Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson (close to top 100, but still), Yuli Gurriel, Justin Turner, Aristides Aquino, and Brett Gardner. Special shoutout to the month of August when there was more 10-or-more home run hitters than any other month.

In summation: Players who hit the ball in the air are especially good for a short season, and will succeed more times than not to hit home runs in the hot air of August and into September. Guys who hit a lot of fly balls are usually death traps for batting average, so that’s not good, but you need that loft for home runs. It will be all about loft. Loft, loft, loft. I’d want at a few guys who hit everything in the air for power, and pray the ball doesn’t come down until it’s in a fan’s seat’s hands.

Besides the Boiling Smoke Shows (BSS), here’s a few names that stood out to me as going late and could surprise with 15+ home runs in a 60-game season:

Renato Nunez
Rhys Hoskins
Derek Dietrich
Hunter Renfroe
Rougned Odor
Cavan Biggio
Eric Thames
Daniel Vogelbach
Willie Calhoun

 
  1. Ante Galic says:
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    Grey!!!

    What a great report, I have to curb my enthusiasm but yowsers it looks like it’s happening!

    a. So signed up Thames and Teoscar over Schoop and Domingo Santana. Two dart throws for two dart throws, that always works as a strategy! On this team my pitching is a little suspect so I am going for gold with the hitting hoping it will offset any pitching weakness.

    b. MLB quote of the day for June 17, 1998

    ‘It was one of those things where I had to earn my stripes.’ [on why he wore #39].

    Benny Peter Agbayani, Jr., aka ‘Hawaiian Punch’. He wasn’t very good, didn’t play for a long time. He was famous for getting thrown out at 3rd base by Guerrero (from Tuesday’s quote). Was planning to use this quote yesterday but felt yesterday’s announcement warranted something bigger!

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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      Agbayani was not very good, I’ll agree. He was not bad, though. He was average or good.

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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      Agbayani was not very good, I’ll agree. He was not bad, though. He was average or good.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Benny Agbyani was awesome — the original Flyin’ Hawaiian

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks!

      A. Works for me!

      B. Earn his lei too — you better connect Agbayani to tomorrow’s!

      • Ante Galic says:
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        Grey!!!!

        a. Ga!!! I actually had Casey Kotchman queued for today (as like a catch he made of Guerrero’s throw from the outfield or something) but then I saw he has no quotes associated with him except this one…

        ‘I just landed at Hopkins. Saw a guy holding a sign for a limo that said “Kotchman”. Please let it not be Casey.’

        That’s not even baseball-related! How would I ‘splain that one?

        b. No problems on finding a connection. Hawaii+baseball=Barry Bonds played for the Hawaii Islanders of the PCL!! Frank Voila, Barry Bonds quote tomorrow or…Tune in tomorrow!

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          A. Haha, solid blast from past with Kotchman

          B. Nice!

      • bigbear says:
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        Or at least a Benny the Jet quote.

  2. Dave D says:
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    Damn. I had four NFBC teams wiped out yesterday. I really liked all of the still. Had three shares of Acuña, Alonso, Marte, Calhoun deleted. Lots a couple shares of Aquino, Verdugo, Schwarber. I’m not happy about their decision and losing teams I put a lot of effort into and still looked great. I avoided the obvious land mines of Syndergaard, Severino, Sale. Guys who drafted them now get a free pass. That’s kinda bunk in my view. Now I gotta try and redraft teams that will be impossible to redraft. The fallout from this COVID shit keeps getting worse. I’m left now with the only two DC teams I drafted in late 2019 and none I drafted in Feb and March. Makes no sense to me.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      That sucks — I’m surprised they did that — not sure what the thought process was

      • Dave D says:
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        There stated reason was it was unfair because most teams rely on FAAB to win championships and that since there were only 10 FAAB periods that was unfair, so they cancelled all leagues that use weekly FAAB and left only DCs. In my view Cutlines/Best Ball should have been the only ones cancelled because the whole concept of the league is attrition leading a playoff. Instead they are doing Cutline without elimination and playoffs. Weird.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, agreed…If you’re relying on FAAB that means you have no idea what you’re drafting and hoping you get lucky with FAAB? That makes no sense

          • DonnieB says:
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            To win high stakes NFBC leagues, you need to do it all—-drafting and working FAAB. FAAB separates a lot of pretenders from the good players over a season and can overcome an unfortunate draft or overcoming a bad team owner who got lucky in a draft. I have won titles and lost titles via FAAB.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              That’s fair, but I figure pot-committed and I’d want to go for it…But maybe that’s why they canceled bc some would be against it

              • Dave D says:
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                They cancelled because they listened to whiny voices that drafted Severino, Syndergaard, Sale.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  That’s super lame if true…

            • Dave D says:
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              I agree with you but this punished good drafters who made good decisions. Sale, Syndergaard, Severino were all guys I was avoiding and drafted nowhere. Those were self made problems but those suckers avoid consequences now. I think it’s BS.

  3. Wallpaper Paterson says:
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    Gonna start a league now. Head-to-head seems pointless. Roto or points it will have to be. Anybody going to experiment with oddball settings in this abbreviated season?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Roto

  4. YANTS says:
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    Derek Dietrich!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, he rocks dookie phat gold chains and middle in fastballs

  5. LennyDykstraIsJustMisunderstood says:
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    Paragraphs!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha

  6. NUX says:
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    I’m jumping ahead here, but Garrett Richards is def a target for SPs. He’s in the last year of his deal with the Padres so I would think that as long as they don’t completely tank out early, they’ll push him as hard as they can and he’s at Petco for home games (probs). He can stay healthy for 2 months, right?

    • NUX says:
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      Just did a search and saw you have him for Tout, so this isn’t news for you Grey. But knowing what we know now, he’s looking even better for this supposed 2020 season we seem to think is going to occur ;)

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        How’s my Tout team look now?

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      Gimme All the Garrett Richards.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’m in on Richards — How about Shoemaker? Interesting too, right

      • NUX says:
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        Yea true on Shoe as well, but I haven’t touched him in those BB10s we have been doing. Roster list wasn’t getting deep enough for Shoe, but maybe in our next one!

        I’ll rally the troops, was talking to Knoche a little about it last night. Grey you down to do one still? Thinking about starting early next week. I don’t imagine it’ll be difficult to fill, as the group we had has been asking me here and there if we are doing another.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, what the hell

        • return2earth says:
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          :)

  7. JaysForDay says:
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    Morning Grey!

    5×5 obp 12 team keeper league.

    I got offered yelich Semien and Nola for my story and Harper.

    I could use the pitching help, but feel like I’m still paying too much. Which side do you like?

    My potential keepers as of now are acuna, trout, Harper, and story, and for potential pitching keepers (don’t laugh lol) luzardo, Sonny, wheeler, or McCullers jr. haha

    I can keep 3 batters and 2 pitchers or the other way around.

    • JaysForDays says:
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      And what about swapping out Semien for Vlad? Would t change anything?

      • JaysForDays says:
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        And sorry I forgot to mention, we are just carrying our teams over, don’t doing a draft next year and getting back to normal the year after this shit show of a season. So whomever I have at the end of the year I have for next year as well including picks

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          That’s what our keeper is doing too

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Semien or Vlad is push, both are fine

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yelich side

      • JaysForDays says:
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        Would you rather Vlad or Semien going forward with your team?

          • JaysForDays says:
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            Ok brother thank you, so recap yelich, Vlad and Aaron Nola, for my story and Harper, I’m winning that eh?

            That’ll make my outfield acuna trout and yelich lol

            • JaysForDays says:
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              And frig sorry again dude, Nola or Castillo? Who would you prefer

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Nice outfield!

  8. The Great Knoche says:
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    I mentioned to NUX we should do one more $10 Best ball since we have 4 weeks until season starts and they are letting that format continue and keeping all past drafts valid.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yes!

    • NUX says:
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      Just saw this, we’ll def do one more. I have a GroupMe of 12 players. But I’m reserving both your spots. Its likely that at least 2 will want to sit out from the GroupMe, but if not, we will be holding a RPS event live on Zoom for entry into the league (only half kidding).

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Ha, cool

        • The Great Knoche says:
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          Maybe we should go by highest overall finishes in RCLs last year? Keep it civil.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            For what?

            • The Great Knoche says:
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              The 12 spots in the Bestball.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Ah, gotcha

  9. Coolwhip

    Coolwhip says:
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    I don’t see Mitch Garver anywhere in this writeup, please correct this injustice.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, I considered him for the last list

      • Coolwhip

        Coolwhip says:
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        Throught the first 60 games of last year Garver went: 45/20/45/.277/.362
        bahahahahahaha… pardon me… bahahaha… i’m trying to stop… ha ha ha…
        If we discount that by 20% its still 36/16/36/.266!!!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, jealous of anyone who owns Mitch Garver in a shortened season

          • Coolwhip

            Coolwhip says:
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            *hand raised*

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Sounds like you might be biased, can you agree my LABR team looks butter?

              • Coolwhip

                Coolwhip says:
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                i’m only biased because the data led me there, hahaha.

                Yep agreed, It got a lot better for shortened season, though also taking on a bit more risk for the same. Oneil, Hill-dog, Dahl, etc. But man, Baez, Alonso, Story, Marte, etc = sexy time, then Urias Lamet… Melancon might actually be good LOL because he wont have time to lose his job. Just gotta hope Matz, Quintana, etc start good.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  I see what you did! Yeah, I kinda love my Alonso shares now — okay, I loved them too…Who doesn’t love Albombso in a 60-game season? Show yourself!

  10. Perfect Game says:
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    In a S+H league. Want to squeeze in another reliever that I can slot in both the SP and RP spots.

    Diego Castillo or LeCleec?

    Castillo will have to face both the AL and NL East, but is more co sister than LeClerc.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Castillo

  11. Gotime says:
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    12 team keeper H2H with OBP .
    1. Somehow I have 4 Royals in my lineup (Sal P, Dozier, Mondessi, Soler). Soler and Mondessi are keepers- would you drop Sal for Vazquez or meh (catcher question eeesh)
    2. I have Story at SS, and Tim Anderson and Mondessi in my 2 util – auto drafted Polanco which means way too many SS. Looking for a backup 2B – would you drop Polanco for Odor as a bench bat?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      1. Vazquez, yes

      2. Yes

  12. MrBaseball says:
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    Teoscar Hernández – crazy warm weather homerun power

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Lets go, Mr Baseball!

  13. The Great Knoche says:
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    Career Active Home Run Leader in August? Also tied for all-time lead?

    Giancarlo.

    All those people that waited on him in Feb and March and still got him will now be rewarded.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I drafted him in every league, knowing this was coming

  14. Rick Brown says:
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    Hey Grey,
    Would you drop either Andujar or McMahon for Teoscar? Thinking about the playing time issue.
    Thanks,RICK

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Andujar

  15. LaRockakis says:
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    Grey! Whatchu think about Gallo, fam?

    Dude can hit some bomberewskis. And his BA from last year was pretty spicy. Will he keep it up? Maybe no, but is the rique worth the rewarde?

    Probs not since you dint mention his trifling ass, but couldn’t help but think of him reading this.

    Thanks, fam.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Think he’s worth the risk now, think he’s going before 100 overall which is why I didn’t mention him

      • LaRockakis says:
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        Gotcha. Thanks, fam.

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