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?

1. Lineup placement:  Player names mean less this year than any previous year. It will be all about opportunity this year. Do I think Evan White is a better hitter and fantasy asset than J.P. Crawford? Yes, I do. But if Crawford hits leadoff or out of the two-hole for the Mariners, he will be more valuable for runs. If you need RBIs, you need guys somewhere between the three and six hole. You can’t carry guys hitting below that for more than a week in a 60-game season. For counting stats this year, it will be about lineup placement vs. talent. If the M’s decide Kyle Lewis should be the leadoff guy, then he’s more valuable for runs than, say, J.D. Davis, who I obviously like in a vacuum much better. You won’t be chasing talent this year. You will be chasing opportunity. If you need runs and Tom Murphy is hitting third, he’s better than a catcher hitting fifth. This article is old (11 years ago! Haha, we are so old.), but check out Rudy’s article on Lineup Position Impact on Runs and RBIs; it is everything for this year (of course, ignore how the NL and AL are different since we have the universal DH).

2. Lineup composition:  Briefly mentioned this in the introduction, lineups that are, how do I say, not good won’t be filled with solid contributors for runs or RBIs. If Cameron Maybin gets the leadoff role for the Tigers, he’s better for runs than, say, Jeimer Candelario or Isaac Paredes in the same lineup. But Cameron Maybin vs. Tim Anderson for runs? The White Sox are just a better lineup. However, if you’re looking at strictly runs, and Cameron Maybin is leading off vs. Luis Robert, who is hitting eighth? Then Cameron Maybin for runs. As I said above, but will say again for emphasis after this sentence intro which is meant for emphasis too, it will be important in a 60-game season to go strictly for categories over player names. With only sixty games in a season, just about everyone is droppable or trade-able. What are we doing about trade deadlines anyway? Guess another question for another day.

3. Ability to get on base is ranked third here for a reason:  In a 54 or 60-game season, there won’t be time for hitters to battle their way out of the bottom of the lineup. Not to pick on Luis Robert — I love him, you love him, we all love him — but if he’s hitting 8th, he’s not going to have three months to hit his way into the leadoff spot. If his OBP is .360 and Tim Anderson’s is .310, then maybe over the course of a 162-game season, those things would even themselves out, and maybe Robert would move up in the order, but, in 60 games, Anderson’s .310 OBP is a whole lot more enticing if it’s coming from the top of the order, if you want runs. OBP is nice, but it won’t matter much in a shortened season, when considering runs or RBIs. I’d break my lineup down into sections, figure out who I had for runs and RBIs and make sure I had a good mix of both. If you carry two players for 60 games who are hitting 7th or lower, you’re going to lose both categories.

Summation: These were in order. Just like being on top of the order is important for runs in a shortened-game season, it’s also important to be at the top of this list, i.e., lineup placement is of the utmost importance, way more important than OBP. There won’t be a chance for you to just draft the most talented hitters and hope things figure themselves out over the course of a long season. We will be starting around the same time most trade delays were passing in previous seasons, and players in the top 100 were being dropped. Yes, everyone is on the chopping block. Also, I nearly made the case the most important aspect to runs and RBIs will be to play on good teams. Just looking at the top of the runs producers from last August, it is a list dominated by guys on the best offensive teams. At 18th overall for runs in August last year:  Jon Berti on the Marlins is the top runs guy on a weak team. 17 guys above him, but four guys from the Astros; four guys from the Nats; two guys from the Red Sox; two guys from Twins, and sprinkling of other good offensive teams. At 9th overall for August, Bryan Reynolds on the Pirates is a little bit of a head-scratcher, until you see the Pirates were tenth in the league in runs last August, and Reynolds had a top offensive month. Whereas, Jon Berti was the only one in the top 20 who was fueled by steals. In the top 20 for runs, the one most dominant trait is simply being at the top of the order. Top of order bat on a top offensive team? Then you’re a double threat for runs in 60 games. Top of the order on a great team while also being able to get on base? Well, like Taco Bell, that fuels the runs.

 
  1. Terrence Mann says:
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    I’m with food.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, that’s catchy!

  2. packers2018 says:
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    1 . I agree with what you said, however with each week worth 9% of the 60 game season it may take awhile for us to feel confident on lineups.

    2. We all should know who is batting in the middle of the lineup (3,4,5) but those top guys and #9 hitters can get interchanged…..

    3. It’s going to be a sprint and not a marathon.

    • Wake Up says:
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      Something to keep in mind with the story of Marathon…many know that he ran to warn…most forget that after he warned, he collapsed and died. It’s a cautionary tale against running really. We should not be running.

      Also keep in mind that #3 should ne’er bespoke again in 2020 due to, amongst other things, hindsight…

      • Cram It says:
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        Tiger Woods’ biggest career regret? Running 4 miles a day.

        • Wake Up says:
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          Does a tiger run in the woods?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Prefontaine hates this year

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          *finger to earbud* Hearing now that Prefontaine hates every year since he died

          • Wake Up says:
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            More of a Postfontaine really…

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, good call

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      1. Don’t have much time to feel confident

      2. Not in better lineups they won’t for most part

      3. Haha

  3. You really only want 1-5 in the lineup.

    No 6,7,8,9th.

    Also no Jair. Limit Jairs.

    PS Free love on the freeway and hot love on the highway

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Jair Jurrjens hates what you’re saying, hates, hates, hates it

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          So good!

          • Wake Up says:
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            Co-writer?

            Oasis.

            A literal watering hole for the thirsty. Just like this lovely sport.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Haha, Oasis being a watering hole is good, is that well-known?

              • Wake Up says:
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                They are by the Berbers…

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Damn, you lost me

  4. Ante Galic says:
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    Grey!!!

    Awesome report and hella advice. Trying to wrap my head around things like Reynolds 9th in runs for August!!! Head wrapper and head scratcher all in one!

    a. Did Puig sign somewhere? I can ask now, right?

    b. MLB quote of the day for June 15, 1923

    ‘Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth…..I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for.’

    Henry Louis ‘Lou’ Gehrig (born Heinrich Ludwig Gehrig), aka ‘The Iron Horse’. Still has the highest runs scored + RBIs per 100 plate appearances (35.08) and per 100 games (156.7). First player to have his uniform number retired. Many times Grey refers to the ‘XXX 1927 team’ in a reference to the 1927 Yankees, many believe the best lineup ever. Well on the best lineup ever, Gehrig had the best statistics. Check ’em out here below.

    BA=.373
    Hits=218, of which 117 were XBH.
    Doubles=52
    Triples=18
    HRs=47
    RBIs=175 (surpassing Ruth’s record of 171 set in 1921)
    TB=447, 3rd behind Ruth (457 in 1921) and Hornsby (450 in 1922)

    His 184 RBIs in 1931 remain the AL record and rank second to Hack Wilson’s 191 (1930).

    A legend!

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks!

      A. Not yet

      B. Wow, one of the biggest quotes of all-time, figured that would’ve been opening day — interesting, playing fast and furious with the importance of quotes

      • Ante Galic says:
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        Grey!

        I know one of the best, but I thought it was warranted for today. Still have Yogi Berra quotes that I think are better. Every day in razzball land is a special day for me so, I try to make every quote count.

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Appreciate you!

  5. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Going to be a weird year, but hey, some baseball beats no baseball!

    This article is just what we need, thanks!

    So, Schoop (5th), Shed Long (Maybe lead off) and Adam Frazier (expected 3rd) easily over guys like Chavis (6) and Didi (8)?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Agree, Duda, 100%

      Yeah, if those are the lineup spots

  6. Yancy says:
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    That Grey so hot right now

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      And I’m in the desert where it’s 110 degrees, so literal and figurative

  7. lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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    So in this Bizarro World Gabe Kaplars strategy of putting big slow guys who are slumping into the leadoff position may help someones fantasy

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, yup

  8. lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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    Funny you mentioned spitting ……..that won’t stop i have been golfing in a couple leagues and stll alot of guys spitting on the greens and teeboxes….never really noticed it before…………pre-pandemic would not think twice of throwing a cigar or club on the green while putting……not anymore

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I sneezed today out in public and I got looks from everyone

  9. Cram It says:
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    I used to spit a lot, in public, it was a terrible habit from a lifetime of baseball. Thankfully I stopped doing it, but one time I almost got into a fight with 3 gay guys because they thought me spitting on the ground while they were talking to me was a show of disapproval/disrespect, like spitting in their face. It’s one of my unique stories that I won’t detail here because I’m saving it for my book. Buy my book in twenty years guys!

    • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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      Yeah I used chew Redman and sunflower seeds while playing…..i think mostly due to down time and someone would just hand you some ……spit was everywhere did’nt think anything of it.

      • Cram It says:
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        Exactly, it’s just what you did out there, always chewing on something. Christ, I’m salivating just thinking about it now. I think I’m going into relapse!!!

        *Girlfriend “Why are there wet spots all over the floor?”*

        • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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          I still remember the first time took a big hunk of chaw and got all light headed……then went right back for more

      • It’ll be 10 years in July for me being tobacco free. Mostly dipped, and did go Redman at times. Something about being on the field and spitting tobacco juice, still miss it. I do allow myself 1 day a year to use tobacco, that’s when I’m drafting with my buds in our home league (est. 1984). Salivating extra now that there seems to be some baseball coming. Got the #3 pick in our 12 teamer – where is my spit cup? Play ball!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Nice work, Smitty!

        • Cram It says:
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          Good thing there’s a season or you wouldn’t get your yearly fix!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I have pre-ordered it!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      BTW, I thought spitting on the ground as disrespect was a mafia thing

      • Cram It says:
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        It’s probably disrespectful in most realms. I was doing it so naturally that I wasn’t even aware.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Really? I don’t know, spitting never bothered me

      • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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        did you over watch the Outlaw Josey Wales…..spits before every gunfight as an insult

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, don’t spit in front of the cowboys

          • Cram It says:
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            I’m going to Kentucky for 5 days tomorrow. Never been. I’ll try this! I imagine I’m going to offend someone anyway, spit or no spit.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              You gonna land yourself in a duel!

              • Cram It says:
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                I don’t have a gun, but I do have brass knuckles and a throwing knife. He better not miss!

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Haha, you better be wearing a gi

  10. thehombre says:
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    Thanks. Adding Yastrzemski everywhere.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nice!

  11. JSF says:
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    Keep up the good work Grey.

    What a strange season this will be.

    I’m in a 12-team keep 8 forever H2H league. Last year, I had a fire sale and got a bunch of picks in the first 3 rounds of the draft.

    I’m a bit worried that we’ll draft and then the season doesn’t get completed and I’m stuck having to throw a bunch of guys back into the pool for next year.

    How would your drafting strategy change for someone in my position who has a ton of picks when we’re not sure if the season plays out?

    Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yup, it’s gonna be nuts

      You have to assume the season gets completed and I think it does…It takes a lot to start a season (twice) and not have actual games — but why would you have to throw guys back, and why wouldn’t you keep who you draft?

      • JSF says:
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        It’s a keep-8 forever without round restrictions. So, I have my 8 keepers going into this year and whoever is drafted and never dropped to free agency can be kept.

        My point was just that, in a normal season, I would have a huge advantage for this year, but now that might get wiped out if the season doesn’t get completed. Should that change my draft strategy on whether to go heavy on this year, or draft more with an eye towards next year.

        I imagine less trades will happen in a short year as less teams will be looking to buy using draft picks and prospects and teams won’t sell the farm in a short year.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ah, I think you should go for it this year…Not to be doom and gloom, but next year might look similar if there’s a Covid breakout in March

  12. NUX says:
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    I think I saw that players need to inform teams within 72 Hours of the finalized agreement if they have decided not to report for 2020 season? Anyone else see that too? So I think that means by Friday evening, we may start to hear what guys are sitting out… or maybe that info won’t come out until early next week.

    • NUX says:
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      Oh and also, Roster Resource updated lineups for NL to include the DH and it feels so very right. I hope we never go back.

      • Jolt In Flow says:
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        Thanks for the tip.

        BTW, Roster Resource has a note saying they’re moving to Fangraphs. I guess Fangraphs swallowed up a smaller fish.

        I think this calls for the creation of a new celebratory shot: the DH shot (1/2 Drambuie, 1/2 Hypnotiq). Might taste slightly rough, but will get you going.

        • NUX says:
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          That note there has been up since sometime during 2019 season I think. I’m pretty sure the agreement is that he can keep his website up and Fangraphs can also use it on their site. Could be only for a specified amount of time, dunno though. Just letting you know that’s been there for a hot min.

          Beverage sounds fierce, I’m a beer guy not a mixer guy. But one thing I know on Hypnotiq is that its the base of the Hulk Smash. Those were always fun.

          • The Harrow says:
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            they are owned by fangraphs and have been.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Agreed, DH in NL forever please

        • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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          I used to like the strategy of when to keep a pitcher in vs going for the run but in recent years with all the specializion and analytics there are way to many pitching changes slowing the game down. The DH will probably help speed things up….and I’m getting to old to waste my time …….watching a pitcher at bat is like watching old people fuck………..unless you are into that

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Haha

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I think only players at risk can sit out and not get paid, so I’d guess most report — haven’t heard 72 hours tho

      • Gigorilla says:
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        Grey — per notes from MLB.com —
        “Players will be able to opt out of the season, but only those who are at high risk of contracting the coronavirus (or living with a high-risk person or pregnant spouse) will be able to do so while earning full and service time, according to Nightengale, who reports the league will have the right to relocate teams to neutral sites during the regular season and playoffs for health and safety reasons. Also, Nightengale notes that the regular IL will be 10 days for all players. As was reported earlier, there will also be a COVID-19 IL with no specific length.”

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, makes sense

  13. Blah says:
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    Just wanted to drop in and tell you how much I miss this freaking place. Like everybody else, this year has been less than stellar. Your daily write-ups have become a fixture in my life at work literally every day during the season, drink my coffee, read the write-up, be happy. Just miss it. Looking forward to it so much at the end of next month (barring more shenanigans of course) and it will coincide with the end of the longest tax season ever (I’m an accountant) so yay! Anywho, just thanks for doing what you do, mad excited for games to start.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, me too! Just want games to start again

  14. Whatever says:
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    Just wanted to drop in and tell you how much I miss this freaking place. Like everybody else, this year has been less than stellar. Your daily write-ups have become a fixture in my life at work literally every day during the season, drink my coffee, read the write-up, be happy. Just miss it. Looking forward to it so much at the end of next month (barring more shenanigans of course) and it will coincide with the end of the longest tax season ever (I’m an accountant) so yay! Anywho, just thanks for doing what you do, mad excited for games to start.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Agreed!

  15. primetime says:
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    Grey, so Andrus is better option then A Rosario. Rosario been hitting 8th and Elvis is #2 batter.

    I do own story, but it just a bench move.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, he is

  16. NUX says:
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    You read the NFBC statement yet? Its long and there is a lot to digest, but I think they did just about as good of a job in the situation as could be expected. Good for them.

    I think the gist of it all is that if at least 40 games aren’t played (or 600 total games played across MLB) then everyone gets refunds. I’ll admit that I was staring mostly at the part regarding Bestballs, but I did see that there is no “cutline” for those type of leagues.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I haven’t read it yet, but whee! It’s already pot-committed money so I’m good with it

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Just read it — sounds like BestBall and Draft Champions are good to go, which is all I have — LFG!

      • NUX says:
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        Yep same here. Didn’t see anything about eligibility, did I miss that? I have too much fat Sano and need him to have 1B quickly. Hope that he only needs like 3 or 4 games instead of the 10 to get the eligibility.

        I’m gonna take home that Razzslam title and embrace that asterisk like my first born.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Same here, give me all the asterisks!

      • NUX says:
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        NM just found it, he said 4 games

  17. Stat Man says:
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    Muncy or Gleyber? I like the thought of Gleyber playing 10 of 60 games against the Orioles.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Gleyber

  18. Stat Man says:
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    Sorry if this showed up twice. Didn’t look like it posted first time.

    JD Martinez or Springer for this season?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      JD

  19. SwaggerJackers says:
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    Newman leading off for Pirates might make it into my lineup now.

    Edman hitting 7th for STL on the other hand…

    Any chance Wander Franco makes an impact this season given what we know now?

Comments are closed.