Please see our player page for Aaron Nola to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Inspired by JKJ’s recent lament on the St. Louis Cardinals, combined with my First Year Player Drafts informed by The Prospect Itch and Hobbs, as well as noted scout John Sickels’ “Shadow Twins” series of articles, I wanted to reveal my own mourning process for my beloved tolerated local sports team, the Minnesota Twins. More than just an elegy to the Midwest Monsters that could have been, the Minnesota Twins stand as an example of a team that dynasty fantasy managers might want to avoid, and the reason is rooted in the “real world” dynamics of the Twins’ ownership and management over the past century.

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All the final 2020 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done. For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball. This is NOT for next year (caps for those who can’t read titles; supposedly it’s easier to read caps, I have my doubts). This is a recap. Will these affect next year’s rankings? Sure. Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know. Not entirely. Entirely. Like when you had a knee replacement, this is a recap! To recapitulate the recap, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  We’re (me’re) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings. Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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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:

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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.

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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:

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I’m freshly back from The Hotties, which is the annual Razzball award ceremony for the “hottest taeks” in fantasy baseball. With the sharp-toothed piranhavirus in full swing, Grey called for a “Mask-erade” ball, but the Eventbrite invitation auto-corrected it to a “masquerade” ball. Everybody showed up with the wrong parts of their face covered. I thought Grey would be upset but he seemed to take everything in stride, saying that he had been waiting for this day since “Eyes Wide Shut” was released. Is that a movie or a novel or a contact delivery service? Anyway, Grey started giggle-whispering “Fidelio!” at everybody. Hey, Grey, I get it. Fidel Castro liked baseball. Let’s get with the times!

I did manage to record Grey’s speech to all the writers and Instagram models who attended. Here’s the transcript if you want to read it:

“I’ll get right to the point: I’m proud to announce a new partnership between Razzball and the San Diego Padres. 2021 will be known as STAN DIEGO around here, and all hot taeks will involve Padres players. The top 10 pitchers? Lamet, Davis, Clevinger, and Paddack [audible hissing from the crowd]. The top 10 hitters? Tatis, Machado, Grisham, and Myers. Trevor Rosenthal is a top 30 pick. You will all write sleeper articles on Joey Lucchesi, Adrian Morejon, and yes, Eric Hosmer. [pause while Grey dodges thrown masks] Fear not, for STAN DIEGO comes with perks! You will all get a free hot dog with a purchase of an annual pass to Sea World, and you’ll get a personal tour of the tiger enclosure at the San Diego Zoo. Now, writers, start hyping Jake Cronenworth!”

At that point, all the people Grey whispered “Fidelio” to disappeared into Grey’s private grotto, which he named “50 Shades of Play” because of the underwater mini-golf course he installed. Myself? I was left standing in the foyer with a mysterious note that only said, “MacKenzie Gore, 2021 hot taek.”

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I had Dane Dunning listed as a two-start pitcher last week, but I guess that didn’t happen for whatever reason. However, he was the headlining player of that article, and he’s back again for this week! Way back then I wrote: “I’ll give him this — the career 0.5 HR/9 over 449 professional innings will serve him well this week. Also working in his favor is he’s facing the 7th and 9th worst teams in K/rate to right-handed pitchers.” Well, he did allow a HR to the Twins last week, but still only held them to that 1 ER over 7 innings while tying his season-high with 7 K’s. JUST LIKE I TOLD YOU. So what about these Indians? They’re only hitting .230 against righties with a .373 slugging percentage. The ingredients are there for another delicious recipe for success from Dunning. I’m a little less optimistic about his start against the Cubs, although they have been middle of the road against righties with their third-highest K/rate against them. Take the risk if you can afford it. 

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Yesterday, Byron Buxton went (3-for-4, hitting .270) and hit his 11th and 12th homer. This is the 2nd time this year he’s homered in three straight games. Prior to this year, he had never homered three games in a row. What could be if Buxton could only stay healthy…*wavy lines* “Whoa, dream sequence! What’s this, a rainbow with a map to its natural end? I will follow this! Wow, only three years later to find the end of this rainbow, I should’ve drove! Hey, look…a pot! Let me see what’s in it…neat, there’s gold, and Buxton being a 40/20/.260 hitter in 162 games, and a young Pamela Anderson, and a battery for my calculator watch that I couldn’t find after the Radio Shack by me went out of business…this dream sequence is amazing!” *wavy lines* Oh, man, here I am still with a constantly broken Buxton and calculator watch. Dreams don’t exist. For 2021, Byron Buxton is going to once again be a total wild card who could be a top 20 outfielder, or act like one for about 80 games. 80 games of Buxton still comes out to…*plugs numbers into calculator watch*…8.6? Ugh, why’d Radio Shack abandon me? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Hard to believe, but my first season as a baseball analyst here at Razzball is almost at an end! For athletes, that means they’re leaving the bubble soon. Us fantasy writers? We’re all bubbled-up to protect from the dreaded Piranhavirus. Oh, you don’t know what that is? See, we’re so forward thinking here at Razzball, we’re already sequestered away for the next pandemic. You may be asking, “How does the Razzbubble work?” Well, future victims of piranhas, let me show you my notes from earlier this summer when I bubbled up.

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Mariners’ outfielder slash infielder slash superhero Dylan Moore continued his onslaught on the MLB Friday night hitting his seventh home run and stealing his 10th base of the year. The 28 year old is now slashing .282/.362/.563 in just 28 games played and is looking like a bonafide fantasy darling. A slam & legs, you say? In Seattle, the slam & legs is served up mid-air at Pike’s Market and must be caught before consuming. Chase it down with piping hot latte from Seattle’s Own (but not ‘Seattle’s Own’) Starbucks, because what goes better with fresh fish besides espresso? Dylan’s got three homers and four steals in the past week! He’s also reached base safely in every game he’s played since the start of September. The steals are why I added him but the homers are why I’m now obsessed with him. Mmmoore. This no-simp September thing is going to be tough. He’s over 50% owned at the time I’m writing this and that number’s going to probably double over the weekend, but I figured you deserved a Dylan Moore lede regardless of ownership percentage and also I couldn’t get that Britney Spears song out of my head. In more important slash concerning news you should know, an anonymous San Francisco Giants’ player (probably not Pablo, definitely not Yaz) tested positive for the COVID Friday which I assume means all Giants games are cancelled for the next 5-7 days so here’s your heads up to find some warm bodies to replace your Giants and Padres this weekend ASAP as possible.  As for Moore, if you still read the late season Razzball posts you know I covered Kyle Lewis in my final post of 2019, so there are some gems to be uncovered in my lazy, late-September musings. Sometimes looking to 2021 is the best plan of action, especially when you know that each post could be your last as there is always risk of the entire Razzball staff contracting COVID and the blog getting shut down for the final two weeks. There’s nothing we could do to prevent, there’s only one straw in the office and the plastic ones are bad for the planet. Anyway! TL;DR Pick up Moore if he’s out there and drop all your Giants except Baby Yaz!

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

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