I’ve got to be honest, I’m not even that excited for the 2020 fantasy baseball season. It almost feels dirty to actually say that. I started playing fantasy baseball back in 1990. For those not so quick with that math, this would be my 30th year playing this great game. So why am I not pumped for the start of the season. Well, I think it’s mostly hesitation. I just do not believe that we will actually see a full season. And by “full season” I mean sixty games. How long is it going to be until a couple of players test positive and things get shut down? I wonder if a player would rather test positive for PEDs or Coronavirus? I asked my buddy if he’d rather have Coronavirus or Syphilis. Any guesses how he answered? He chose Coronavirus because it would be easier to explain to his wife. We are already facing an extremely shorted season, any interruptions would exponentially compound the problem.

A shortened season is much less disruptive to the roto format, but when it comes to head-to-head points leagues, a nine week season practically cripples the season. In roto it’s just less time to accrue stats, but in a 12-team head-to-head league, you’ll play each team once, and some twice if you have two opponents each week. If you play one team each week you won’t even play every team in the league over those nine weeks. And what about playoffs? Why does Jim Mora’s reaction to the topic of playoffs immediately come to mind? For every week of playoffs that’s one less week of regular season. Can playoffs even be afforded? Do you just award the championship to the team that finishes the regular season in first place? I can see it already, the team that finishes first will be the team that got to play the shitty team twice. Can you blame the second place team for feeling slighted?

I think that the number of arguments, headaches and butt hurt participants just might outweigh the love of the game this year. And by “game” I mean head-to-head points leagues. COVID-19 related issues aside, I’m in one league where a member is insisting another team change his team name because it’s offensive. As commissioner I awarded the complainer a lifetime ban from the league. So what if the team was named “Billy Beane Hits Homo Runs”. Isn’t that better than “Rollie Fingers Little Boys”?

The truth is that that there will often be someone that is offended by just about anything. Where do we draw the line. My Facebook page is blowing up with posts from my high school alumni as the Board of Education voted to remove our mascot (the Indians). At first I was like “what the you know what”. I played varsity soccer for four years and will always consider myself an “Indian” when I think about my high school years, but then I actually thought about it for a bit. If the term “Indian” really is offensive to Native Americans, then it was probably a bad choice in the first place. And just because it’s been that way for the last sixty or so years doesn’t make it ok. Can you imagine a high school named the Nashville Negroes. Or how about the Bear Mountain Beaners. For the record I don’t condone either of those names and they were only mentioned for illustrative purposes.

So where do we go from here? The regular season is slated to begin on July 23rd. I just read that Mike Trout is hesitant on playing. I don’t blame him. Others have already opted out. If Trout does too, who else might follow suit? If leagues are drafting this weekend, do you still take Trout with the first pick? Is he just trying to tank is ADP so that his buddies that have the second or third picks in their drafts can get him?

Way back in early March (which feels like months ago) I generated my estimations (projections) and created my spreadsheet. Well since those estimations are now garbage, so is the spreadsheet. It is unlikely that I will be creating a new version. I just can’t justify the effort for what I see as a lost season. I still need to think about it, but for those wondering, now you know which way I’m leaning. The juice doesn’t seem like it’s worth the squeeze.

However, based on Rudy’s top notch projections, here is what I am seeing for top 50 hitters.

Name FPTS PPPA
Cody Bellinger 200 0.83
Alex Bregman 199 0.80
Mike Trout 191 0.84
Nolan Arenado 190 0.81
Mookie Betts 189 0.75
Francisco Lindor 187 0.75
Anthony Rizzo 187 0.76
Juan Soto 186 0.76
Christian Yelich 180 0.75
Jose Rami­rez 180 0.77
J.D. Martinez 177 0.75
Rafael Devers 176 0.72
Freddie Freeman 174 0.73
Ketel Marte 172 0.71
Anthony Rendon 172 0.72
George Springer 168 0.69
Carlos Santana 168 0.71
Ronald Acuna Jr. 167 0.67
Bryce Harper 166 0.69
Manny Machado 166 0.69
Ozzie Albies 165 0.68
Charlie Blackmon 163 0.70
Jose Altuve 162 0.68
Xander Bogaerts 160 0.67
Michael Brantley 160 0.70
Trevor Story 159 0.65
Josh Donaldson 159 0.69
Kris Bryant 159 0.65
Pete Alonso 157 0.66
Max Kepler 157 0.67
Trea Turner 156 0.65
Gleyber Torres 156 0.66
Yuli Gurriel 156 0.70
Nelson Cruz 154 0.69
Giancarlo Stanton 153 0.71
Mike Moustakas 153 0.67
Rhys Hoskins 153 0.66
Josh Bell 152 0.66
Marcus Semien 151 0.62
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 151 0.70
Matt Chapman 150 0.63
Carlos Correa 149 0.68
Jorge Polanco 149 0.61
Austin Meadows 148 0.62
Andrew Benintendi 148 0.60
Justin Turner 148 0.67
Jeff McNeil 147 0.63
Marcell Ozuna 146 0.64
Joey Votto 146 0.62
Yordan Alvarez 145 0.69

 

Here’s what I have to say about this list. The difference between number 1 (Cody Bellinger) and number 50 (Yordan Alvarez) is 55 points. Over nine weeks, that’s just six points a week. It’s easy to make up six points considering a solo home run is worth six. The key take away is that there is a small margin between a first and approximately sixth round pick when you factor in pitchers. That’s what a shortened season will do. Hot and cold streaks are going to have a tremendous effect on a player’s final stats and there will be very little time to recover from even a slightly prolonged slump.

In fact, I am almost certain that leagues will absolutely be won by the teams that play the best waiver wire game. I think the draft this year is nothing more than a crapshoot which is a big reason why I can’t convince myself to redo my spreadsheets. Many players are going to be on short fantasy leashes this season. I’m wondering if all of this puts a premium on starting pitcher studs as I think it’s easier to find a hitter on the wire that can perform at the “stud” level over 40-50 games than a pitcher.

How in the world is Joey Votto on that list? Comeback Player of the Year?

Will anyone touch twenty home runs? How about a .400 batting average? I’ve heard that thought being tossed around.

Last thought. Should we add a category for positive Coronavirus tests? Perhaps 20 points for your player in a week where he goes down with the virus? Or bonus prize money to the team with the most players that test positive by the end of the season?

One more last thought/question. Is the term/expression “blind date” offensive to blind people? Close your eyes and think about that one.

Follow malamoney on Twitter at @malamoney

 
  1. johnnyhobbes says:
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    Malamoney, I’m hurting at 1B. C Walker is out there but he’s hard to look at in pts. What do you think of Danny Santana or Travis Shaw ???

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      What’s your scoring system?

  2. johnnyhobbes says:
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    -1 for k. 1 for 1b, 2 for 2b etc. HR is 6. Runs, RBI ,SB is 1

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      I rank them Walker, Santana, Shaw…

  3. TheBigHurt says:
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    Do you think Jesus Luzardo jumps way up the draft board? Guess he hasn’t reported to camp yet but say he’s god to go and doesn’t have an innings restrictions.

    • TheBigHurt says:
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      I also know it must be a lot of work to do your rankings, but I would really appreciate it. Thanks

      • TheBigHurt says:
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        on the other hand, I’m kinda with you on who cares about this season.

      • malamoney

        malamoney says:
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        I’m not reaching for Luzardo, but he starts the season in the rotation I’ll definitely have my eye on him.

        If by rankings you mean my Spreadsheet, that’s highly unlikely.

  4. WheelhouseWreck says:
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    My league does not penalize strike outs. Does this shoot up guys on the list that k a lot?

    • WheelhouseWreck says:
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      No Starling Marte?

      • malamoney

        malamoney says:
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        Not in the top 50.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      Here’s the top 50 when strikeouts don’t count.

      Cody Bellinger 244
      Mike Trout 237
      Juan Soto 233
      Alex Bregman 231
      J.D. Martinez 231
      Christian Yelich 229
      Nolan Arenado 228
      Ronald Acuna Jr. 227
      Mookie Betts 226
      Bryce Harper 226
      Francisco Lindor 223
      Trevor Story 223
      Anthony Rizzo 222
      Freddie Freeman 220
      Rafael Devers 219
      Pete Alonso 218
      George Springer 217
      Giancarlo Stanton 216
      Josh Donaldson 213
      Kris Bryant 213
      José Ramírez 211
      Manny Machado 209
      Nelson Cruz 209
      Rhys Hoskins 208
      Anthony Rendon 207
      Matt Chapman 207
      Charlie Blackmon 206
      Kyle Schwarber 206
      Ketel Marte 205
      Carlos Santana 205
      Gleyber Torres 205
      Javier Baez 203
      Ozzie Albies 202
      Xander Bogaerts 202
      Trea Turner 201
      Keston Hiura 200
      Paul Goldschmidt 198
      Eugenio Suárez 198
      José Altuve 197
      Max Kepler 197
      Andrew Benintendi 197
      Matt Olson 197
      Josh Bell 196
      Carlos Correa 196
      Austin Meadows 196
      Yordan Alvarez 196
      Yoán Moncada 196
      Joey Gallo 196
      Mike Moustakas 194
      Michael Conforto 194

  5. TheBigHurt says:
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    Alright so say I use your spreadsheet for this season that you made before the shortened season news. How bad of shape will I be in? Who do you have your eye on in the shortened season? Anyone really jump up the rankings? Do I draft two catchers in the top 10 rounds? Using your spreadsheet I think I had 3 catchers in the top 50 players. Was going to draft them all and run a monopoly but that was before the shortened season news. Got a 12 team league. Just stick to drafting one catcher and round out the rest of my lineup accordingly. Drafting three catchers works in a long season because people get desperate and I can then trade for a good pitcher or something. I don’t think this strategy works in a 60 game season though. Any tips or strategy would be appreciated. Thanks

    • TheBigHurt says:
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      any advice on pitching? people are saying starters are going to be going like 3 or 4 innings this year. So that screws the quality start over. My league doesn’t let you put a sp in the sp slot to collect holds, so do you know of any guys that are going to be pitching like innings 4-7 that are rp eligible? Josh Hader seems like a guy that will be throwing a lot..no idea how I should approach this draft. Im taking Cole at #3 regardless.

      • malamoney

        malamoney says:
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        Well if SP only 3-4 not only does that kill the QS, but also the W. That means a lot of wins for middle relief guys. I haven’t had the chance to confirm this. I can’t see why starters would be pulled so early.

        Hader is always valuable.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      When is your draft?

      • TheBigHurt says:
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        Friday the 17th, thanks

        • malamoney

          malamoney says:
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          Keep an eye on Razzball.com today as I have a post that should help.

  6. TheBigHurt says:
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    How is Jose Leclerc ranked #15 overall on my spreadsheet?
    I get he’s sp/rp and all that
    Still makes no sense to me…
    FPTS=136
    I got Acuna next at 16 with FPTS=271
    Setting is on reduced rp weight
    Thanks

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