Hey all! It’s Blair, your 2020 Top 100 starting pitcher ranker. Glad you came along for the ride! Your fantasy season is over now, and hopefully you won the championship, or you made a dent in your dynasty league, or you just managed to stay a bit saner in the depths of the pandemic that’s been clawing away at us for the past six months.

Let’s get the business side out of the way first: if you like what I did with [waves hands around] this series, hop on over to the subscription page and get an ad-free subscription to support me and Grey  and Lauren Holt and Coolwhip and MattTruss and JKJ and, and, and. If you’re not in a place to grab a subscription, then tell your friends about us, or share Razzball content on social media, or, well, just say thank you in the comments and I’ll give you a virtual high five.

Since there’s no longer traditional fantasy baseball going on right now, my weekly series at Razzball is more or less done until spring training. If you want my advice on DFS or dynasty leagues or whatever, feel free to ping me on Twitter, or leave a comment at the bottom of this page, or ask one of the many other talented writers here on Razzball what their opinion of your situation is. Otherwise, I’ll provide some updates on player profiles throughout the winter and I hope you keep coming around to check them out.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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We have a special treat for you this week on the Razzball Patreon Podcast! The not not new takes somewhat of a backseat on this episode as Grey shows off his vocal range with top notch impersonations of Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert Deniro, Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Marlon Brando, Leonard DiCaprio and Sean Connery. Billy adds in his great impressions of Trump, Obama, Bush Sr. and Ross Pero for good measure, as well as a hilarious new character: “Timid Don Corleone.”

But of course the name of the show is still, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Not News,” and this weeks outrageous stories will not disappoint either, including the man who saved a half eaten Richard Nixon BBQ buffalo sandwich for 60 years, a ban on pooping on New York City subways and Australian courts rule that employees may now use the toilet and drink water while at work—how progressive. Tune in now for all the laughs and Albright cackles you can handle by signing up for the exclusive Razzball Patreon Club for only $5/month!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

When MLB shutdown on March 13th, we all assumed the season would start up again by April. It was just down for a few weeks, we figured. Baseball would continue, as it always would. Then we were boarded-up into our homes, and baseball wouldn’t return until…June, right? June would be fine, we thought. 100 games they could play, and we could all have some semblance of a season. A distraction during darker times. Then June 1st came and went and we were like, “They can still get 100 games in if they start on that magical day:  July 4th.” Of course, we thought, Rob Manfraud is secretly a genius and the season would start back on our nation’s greatest holiday. The day that saw the birth of George Washington, Ben Franklin, Rob Thomas, literally every great American’s birthday. July dot dot dot Fourth. Fireworks and baseball, and everyone would stand, one hand over their mouth, one hand outstretched so no one was within six feet, and baseball would rise from the ashes like Joaquin Phoenix. Then that passed, and it became clear MLB would start with no fans just to get in the bare minimum of a season as a precursor for their real moneymaker, the playoffs. Finally, when games began, there was a DH in the NL; 7-inning games; runners starting innings on 2nd, and teams shutting down for a week with protocol breaches. Ah, yes, wonderful, terrific protocol breaches. Yet, through all that, we preserved through the craziest fantasy baseball season on record. And on wax, if you’re old school. If you made it to this point, you deserve congratulations. Doesn’t matter if you won your league or not. You deserve kudos for just getting through this season (two months). Also, because I’m in an especially touchy-feely mood, I don’t thank all of you enough. Without you, it would just be me making stupid baseball jokes, snorting and–Well, it is all of that, but with you it makes it feel like we’re all in this together. My over-the-internet friends. Be well and safe all offseason. I’ll be here, churning out offseason content and hoping for a slightly more normal 2021. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

It took me a while to pass my spellcheck when attempting to type out the word ‘bombardier’, but you know, I got 99 first world problems, and spelling is definitely won. Making puns? Most likely a problem, but we’ll say it’s a solution, if only to caress my ego the way your mother does. Which brings us to the point (does it?) that Alec Bohm seems to be a pretty good baseball player. Hot takes all around! With the Phillies trying to hold onto any semblance of sneaking into the playoffs (not looking good as of this writing), there’s a hype train that’s been travelling in and around Philadelphia, and its final destination looks to be Rookie of the Year, with, of course, nonother than Bohm at the steering wheel. Yes, it was a whole sentence dedicated to a train metaphor, and no, I’m not sure if they have steering wheels or not. I assume they have some kind of steering mechanism, but there are only so many things I can nerd out to in this life, and it turns out my niches are essentially science fiction and sports. Trains go choo choo, that’s all I know and I’m stickin’ to it. That being said, now that I know how to spell bombardier and create a work of art such ‘Bohmardier’, we’re going to ride this sustainable peak right into the analyzations, procrastinations, and other multi-syllabic words that mean to say that Alec Bohm is a good baseball player now, but will it last as we hopefully move into a more normal future? And you know, the whole point of the pun, where are the bombs? Let’s find out after the jump!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

We’ve finally made it, the final day of the MLB regular season.  Thanks for reading along with our DFS content this year and I hope you made yourself some dough.  It was one weird season and I never really got a great feel for things.  This is honestly about the time when season stats start leveling out and we really get a hold on our data.  Still, some wins were had though and DFS was fun despite everything.  We’ll look for one more hit today and for that we’ll need to search for teams with something to play for.  Aaron Nola ($10,900) and the Phillies fit the bill in that regard as they look to punch their postseason ticket.  Nola is the top option on the board and one of the few who could go more than three innings today.  The Rays have long since clinched and can’t lose the top spot, so they should be resting up for their playoff push.  Nola is your key to one last DFS win this regular season.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

I’d like to begin with a quick retrospective to count our blessings despite the stark reality that hitting pause on minor league baseball made 2020 anything but a prospector’s dream. 

This decision was not without its own hidden benefits, though I feel kinda funny saying the temporary demolition of a couple thousand young men’s dreams was not without upside for the fantasy baseball player. Wasn’t even without upside for the real-life player if he found positive ways to invest his time like Luisangel Acuña reportedly has, packing pounds of muscle onto his developing frame. When MLB increased the playoffs from 8 to 16 teams, the entire prospect landscape changed. Suddenly, Baltimore, San Francisco, Toronto and more had incentive to push for wins on the margins. One could argue they had even more incentive to rush their prospects up to the majors just to keep them playing games. We saw more players jump AA and AAA in 2020 than any season I can remember. The expanded playoff format is not solely responsible for that, but it has been a crucial element in breathing some aggressiveness and unpredictability back into our game. I’ll be mildly shocked if MLB doesn’t retain both the 16-team playoffs and the universal DH. 

The stage is set in the American League. Tampa Bay, Oakland, Minnesota, Cleveland, New York, Houston, Chicago, and Toronto are all officially playoff teams. 

Tampa Bay OF Randy Arozarena was kind of the inciting incident for this article focused on at least one guy from each team who should be flat-out fun to watch this October.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Someone had his white Vans on! Daniel Ponce de Leon had another strong start Friday night pitching 6.1 innings allowing just three base runners (1 hit, 2 BB) and one run while striking out six for his first win of 2020. He had a no-hitter going through the first six innings until an Orlando Garcia home run, the only hit he surrendered, ruined his bid. Damn Daniel, 2016 called–they want their meme back. I touched on PDL (can I call him PDL? sounds like a bad light beer) last week and concluded he was too risky to touch, but his 3.15 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 28/6 K/BB in September tell me something has definitely clicked. Considering he was rocking a 7+ ERA at the start of the month that gives you a sense of the strides he’s made in just a few short weeks. Perhaps he discovered the dot, dot, dot…fountain of youth? I’m sorry! I had to. Regardless the win was his first as a starting pitcher in 20 tries–that’s right 20! And yes, that is the record, albeit a fairly depressing record to hold. Maybe its these Brewers’ hitters, who he’s struck out 15 times this month to pad his 12.6 k/9 in 20 IP in September, or maybe it was finally getting the run support he needed (Cards scored zero runs for him in half his starts this year). More likely he started consistently locating his elevating fastball which allowed him to mix in breaking balls and keep opposing hitters off balance. Whatever it has been, his 4.96 ERA and 1.32 WHIP don’t tell the full story here. I’m going to choose to believe his 31.5 K% and .221 BABIP are more indicators of the pitcher DPdL is and he’s a player I’ll be keeping a very close eye on this postseason even if he’s just pitching in a middle relief role. So grab your white Vans and make sure they’re cleaner than the “WAP” radio edit because I’m telling you Daniel Ponce de Leon could be a a 2021 sleeper to watch!

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Here we are on the penultimate day of the regular season. It actually happened, we’re almost to the finish line. With so many teams making the playoffs, and so much at stake for some and not as much at stake for others, we have to tread carefully if we want to finish in the money. The White Sox are 2-8 in their last 10 and looking to turn things around as they go into the playoffs. The Cubs are slugging under .600 in September and no matter what happens this weekend cannot loose their 4th seed in the NL playoffs. They’re more likely to sit their bats to rest them rather than get them going these last two days. All of this adds up to grabbing Dane Dunning ($7,700) as your starter today. Over his last three starts he’s averaged 29.8 FanDuel points, and he’s grabbed the win and quality start bonus in two of those three. Many will be on Civale and the Indians against the Pirates, but Joe Musgrove is cooking again and the Pirates are showing a bit of life at the plate. Dance with Dunning and open up some payroll for a surprising stack.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

So I was talking with the boss man and found out there wasn’t going to be no buy/sell today. Of course, since there are all of 3 days left in the season, and possibly some of you are already done or knocked out (condolences). Though, take heed, I am here for you all that are playing for the championships and top 3 finishes. Fight on to victory! This is a shoutout for one final Buy of the season. And dare I say, a sneak peek sleeper pick for 2021 and possibly a dynasty hold to boot. That pick, my friends, is Justus Sheffield. So why is he a good buy for these final days and beyond?

Sheffield is top 5 in the league in lowest Barrel/BBE% among starting pitchers. Barrells is a term you hear us throw around here a lot. And I’m realizing that there might be some of you with no idea what I’m talking about. Via statcast a “barrel” is:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Anthony Rizzo ($3,400) leads the Cubs tonight in a stack that could be overlooked against Dylan Cease. Cease has good numbers on the surface but has been getting extremely lucky, as he’s got a 5.92 FIP and just a 16.7% K-rate. Rizzo is batting .277 over the last two weeks and can easily be used as a standalone batting atop the Cubs order. Otherwise, pair him with affordable Cubs bats like Kyle Schwarber ($2,900) and Willson Contreras ($2,900). If the Cubs aren’t highly rostered, they could be the ticket to taking down a tournament on FanDuel tonight.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?