Baseball’s Rat Pack is back! A classic saxophone beat starts playing. It’s Bobby Darin’s Don’t Rain on My Parade. A disembodied voice can be heard, “Hey world here I am!” Just then Jose Altuve stands up from an umbrella stand, “Don’t tell me not to hit a deep fly, I’ve simply got to!” George Springer walks out banging on a bucket, “If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you! Ow, my hamstring!” Alex Bregman walks out, and faux bashfully closes Altuve’s jersey, “Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on our 2017 World Series parade.” Yesterday, was a sign of old stolen signs. Alex Bregman (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 5th homer, and came within a single of the cycle. The Hungry Man cycle! For 2021, Bregman seems less impacted by this egregious season. He was never going to reach last year’s peak, but he can also avoid this year’s nadir. Speaking of low points (segue!), Jose Altuve (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 4th homer, and his 1st homer in more than a month. Mentioned this a few times on recent podcasts, but I tested positive for a 2021 Jose Altuve not being on my teams. He won’t be drafted in the top 25 again, and I’m not sure if he’ll be in the top 100. Finally, George Springer (3-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 14th homer, and, well, he’s acksually been good, when he’s been on the field, which, like usual, is nowhere nearly enough. Now watch the Astros get hot at the perfect time for the playoffs, and give MLB one of the worst storylines for a team contending for the playoffs since the 1920 White Sox were led by “Wearing Shoes” Jim Jackson, Joe’s dandy brother. “Take your shoes off, Jim! You’re embarrassing yourself!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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When it comes to strategy in dynasty formats, I deploy an unorthodox approach. Depending on where you play and the roster rules that accompany your league, my method may or may not be feasible for you, but it’s simple. I do my best Dave Dombrowski impersonation, fully equipped with a suave, silver wig, a coating of Jurgen’s Natural Glow and a Palos Heights, Ill. birth certificate. What I mean by this, is I like to make win-now moves while my league-mates are busy competing for the strongest prospect pool award and salivating over the talent that is waiting in the wings, each one desperately trying to convince the rest of the league that they are the very best at identifying young talent.

If I’m in any position to win in any given year, I’ll happily dump a few prospects, even ones with top 100 status, for a veteran player with a lower career ceiling in order to help my chances. Like I said, this may or may not be a possible trade-off for you depending on your league rules, but I’ve seen all too many league-mates dwell in the cellar year-after-year, stockpiling more and more top 100 names and never getting the production they were waiting for. Win when you can win — and be willing to sell your highest-rated prospects. That is, except for the select few that you should stash and forget, and wait on no matter the circumstances. This does not necessarily mean honing in on the top 10 in the MLB 100, but rather identifying the players who are young and quickly developing skill sets you just know are going to play at the next level. The fantasy gems. They play loud. Think of Ronald Acuna during the 2017 season, before he became the No. 1 prospect in the game.

Today, I’ll go in-depth on three players you could make this type of argument for: Julio Rodriguez, MacKenzie Gore and Matthew Liberatore. I’ll provide detailed, unbiased data along the way, before providing my own brief opinion at the end regarding whether or not you should pack this player for the long haul. As a reminder, all the players I’ll go over today were previously requested in the comments section by the readers of Razzball. If there is a particular prospect you would like to see an in-depth profile for in the future, please feel free to voice such in the comments section. Now saddle up, take off your shoes and belt, and join me over at the TSA security check.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

I always remind you to check your lineups before start of play, and never more so in this most roller-coastery of weeks in the most roller-coastery of seasons, as it barrels breathlessly toward the finish line. You have teams who have clinched berths in the playoffs and others realizing that 2020 is not their year (is it anybody’s year, really?), so it’s always an interesting time for setting lineups, as things can change at the very last minute: players resting, pitchers not going deep, et cetera. But as of time of writing, Kevin Gausman ($8,300) is still projected to start at home for the Giants versus the Rockies, and it is he on whom we are pinning our hopes for our FanDuel DFS lineup, this Thursday. He’s also been great in his last 2 outings, versus the A’s and Diamondbacks, going 6.0 innings with 1 earned run on each occasion. For the rest of this, my very last post of the 2020 “regular” season (thanks for hanging out with me!), let’s take a look at some hitters to recruit around him, as well as some alternative pitching, after the jump.

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?
 

Trevor Bauer (8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 1.73) is going to win the NL Cy Young. Sooner you come to terms with that, the better for your own mental well-being. You’ll be able to listen to relatives talk about how they saw Trevor Bauer on HBO’s Real Sports, and how Trevor Bauer invented ‘a ball spinning,’ and how he’s so old school with his notebook, but not a spiral notebook. No, no, no — a laptop that Bauer calls, “My Notebook.” You can hear about how Trevor Bauer’s best friend is his dad and how he can make any other pitcher better just by talking him through ‘The Process.’ You come to terms with all of this now, you’re gonna be happier later. Trevor Bauer does have two Cy Young-worthy years in the last three, so maybe there’s something to it. Not sure how that circle is squared with last year, which I still haven’t forgiven him for — 4.48 ERA in 213 IP absolutely killed me. For 2021, it’ll be hard for me to stay away, as it always is with Bauer. Hey, I’m a sucker for 12+ K/9 and the promise of a 2.5 BB/9 or lower. If Bauer can do that, he could have this level of success every season. Wonder if there will be people drafting him in the top five starters. Maybe if I’m in a league with Bryant Gumbel, or your uncle who watches him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

I’m making some cuts today in my 15-team dynasty. More than ‘some,’ I suppose. I currently have 50 claims in for Thursday morning’s free agent run, but that’s mostly because I use my pending transactions screen as a watch list. My style of dynasty play involves building lists of free agents I want and cutting all the guys I think are drop-able before faab runs. I arrange the list by talent/value over need and let the dominoes fall where they may. This presents some drawbacks in terms of balance between MiLB and MLB players at times and occasionally trips me up on the positional-depth front for a couple days, but it remains my preferred method in large part because it enforces a kind of thinking I find beneficial. 

Knowing where the cut line lands in any particular league is endlessly valuable. It prevents you from trading for replacement level talent and invites you to swap out some of those players when their value spikes. It’s a theoretical concept and a moving target, so the more frequently you’re checking in with it, the better grasp you’ll have of who to add, drop, trade and ignore. 

So who’s on the chopping block this week?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

It’s an annual tradition unlike any other, it’s the Razzball Way Too Early Top 25 For 2021 Fantasy Baseball. That’s right, Grey Albright, FML, and yours truly, work our way through the top 25. There’s some surprises and I try and make a silly case for Michael Conforto. Hey, what can I say I’m out of touch with reality. Another riveting conversation with plenty of Grey “cackles” for the masses. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Is this it? Are we really at the final Wednesday of the 2020 regular season? Sadly we are at the end of our sprint which means only a few more chances to make some DFS cash with a full slate of games. It’s certainly been a wild ride, and I would even say a fun one so lets go out with a bang. Speaking of a bang, turn your attention to Alec Bohm (3B: $2,900). September has been a good look for him, batting over .350 with three of his four bombs. Look for that hot streak to keep on keepin’ on. He can take you to the top. Let’s keep chasing that dragon. The bot is big on Phillies hitters in general today so keep that in mind. 

It’s been real, it’s been fun but it hasn’t been real fun. Oh who am I kidding? Fantasy baseball is a hoot and this season has been crazy fun. Stay safe out there party people and best of luck.

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?
 

This is what they call in the biz a GAP — a General Appreciation Post. It has not been a general appreciation type year, but Juan Soto (1-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (12) and double legs (4, 5), hitting .345) aka Sexy Dr. Pepper makes me wake up at quarter to 6 every morning, jump out of bed like Dicky Fox and scream, “I love Juan Soto!” Then Cougs rolls over and mutters, “865,” which is the number of times she’s said to stop screaming that first thing in the morning. Listen, it’s been a trying year, and I appreciate all of you sticking with us through what was the craziest year on memory, and I’m not gonna get choked up, because I’m way more appreciative of Juan Soto. HE’S BETTER THAN TROUT. Sorry, but Mr. Al Caps is right. Sexy Dr. Pepper is 12 years old and he’s doing things not seen since 2002 when a headless ghost Ted Williams was teaching a bone-sober and dead Babe Ruth why he was striking out so much. It’s an absolute joy to watch. I think I like Treat Urner (3-for-6, 1 run and his 11th and 12th steals) partially because he plays with Juan Soto. In 2021, I’m not sure yet if I’m going to have Juan Soto in the top two, three, four or five, but this is only the beginning of that discussion which will go until 2030, when we’re all finally stepping out of quarantine like a bunch of vampires. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

This is the end. Beautiful friend, the end. We’re at the end of our 60 game sprint and I hope this finds you in the championship game. This is going to be a tough week to sift through to find viable streamers – both hitters and pitchers – that also have something to play for. Let’s start with Mr. Happy himself, Drew Smyly (3% ESPN, 9% CBS). The Giants lefty has thrown 16 innings and has posted an eye-popping 39.1% strikeout rate. Granted, he’s only gone a max of 4 IP in any start so far, but Smyly should help out in strikeouts and ratios. The Giants are still in the playoff fight and get a matchup at home against the Rockies tonight. Colorado currently has a 1.7% chance of making the playoffs according to ESPN and just placed slugger Nolan Arenado on the IL with a shoulder injury. Over the last 14 days, the Rockies have posted a team wOBA of .286 against lefties. During that time they’ve walked just 1.3% of the time. Check that out. Over 155 plate appearances against left-handed pitching, they’ve walked just 2 times. There might be one more play against the Rockies, but we’ll get to that soon. Let’s take a look at some other under the radar options to help you win your fantasy championship.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

We have just one week remaining in our Razzball Commenter League season now.  This funny little sprint of a season is winding down and this is the week when shizz gets whacky.  Every hot schmotato is in play and any big name missing any amount of time is hitting the waiver wire.  Top starters with no remaining starts, they’re out too.  Use those moves, max out those ABs this week and do what you can to max out your innings while holding onto those ratios.  The top ten overall had some shake-ups this week, but the top team remains the same.  We’ll dive into those shake-ups and we’ll also get historical this week.  Someone in the comments last week asked me about historical weekly records, which I didn’t have.  This question sent me down the rabbit hole of historical data and now I have the best RCL weekly records since I started collecting the data way back in 2016.  All that, plus the rest of the week that was, week eight is waiting for you below.

Please, blog, may I have some more?