Please see our player page for Alex Wood 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.

When assessing starting pitchers, savvy fantasy players look at a wide variety of measures. Velocity, stuff, BABIP, Statcast, 2019 performance…balancing out all of the available metrics to determine cost (draft slot, $ value) is the name of the game.

Today we’re going to look at a metric I rarely see discussed in the pre-season: strength of schedule (SoS). In-season, SP matchups are gold, whether you’re playing DFS or streaming in season-long. But before the year, I rarely see analysis go any deeper than AL-vs.-NL comparisons. This makes partial sense because we don’t know what a rotation will look like beyond the next week, making projecting out specific matchups impossible.

At the team level, however, we can get get a pretty good handle on who may have advantageous matchups and who will have a tough road in front of them. More specifically, we’re interested in the extremes: How frequently will each team face really tough matchups, or really easy ones? These are actionable (start/sit decisions). For the rest – the fat part of the bell curve – we’ll mostly be making decisions based on individual SP talent, not matchup.

One other note: in a 60-game season, each SP only gets 10-12 starts, meaning SoS will be more important than normal. In a reduced season, there isn’t time for the schedule to balance out. If a Rays pitcher has to face the Yankees three times, that’s 25-30% of their 2020 season stats, and you may want to downgrade them on draft day.

I’m basing this analysis on the proposed breakdown of the 60-game schedule found on MLB.com:

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True story: DonkeyTeeth calls me up on the ol’ Twitter machine this morning.  Me, I’m just awake from dreaming of 5-year-old Blair riding out in my dad’s Buick Skylark into the Minneapolis night to celebrate the Twin’s 1987 World Series win.  Suddenly Donkey’s typing: “Top 100 Switchers.” And I’m like, “Donkey, it’s 7AM, I’m not ready for that!” He types into the Twitter machine, “TOP 100 PITCHERS!” So I say, that’s fine, here: 1) Beer, 2) Sangria, 3) Margarita… . Donk does it. You know. He starts typing, but doesn’t finish. The little dots on the bottom of my Twitter machine beep out in morse code–or whatever code Jack wants to call it–that causes mental insanity among so many people. I’m transfixed. The next use of a nuclear code, you know it’s going to be preceded by those little waiting dots. President Swift will have to verify the code with Vice President Lovitz but only after they clear their notifications. Finally, Donkey’s message comes across. “2-for-1 pitchers at BWW if you get there before 9AM. See ya.” That’s the level of training they give here at Razzball. I tell ya, I get no respect at all. 

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Alanna Rizzo (@Alannarizzo), host/reporter for the L.A Dodgers joins the show to breakdown this loaded Dodgers team. We discuss where we think players will bat in the order and who will have the biggest impact. Will Gavin Lux stay in the bottom of the order? Is the catching position Will Smiths to lose? The starting rotation is loaded with great lefties. Who holds down the 5 spot? Alex Wood, Ross Stripling, Jimmy Nelson could all get a shot. Alanna gives us her insight on who holds down the rotation. We also dove into one of the deepest farm systems in baseball. Alanna also tells us how great it has been covering Clayton Kershaw and others throughout the years, her favorite ballparks and some other fun memories!

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I’ve been really struggling on a monthly basis to write these articles. It isn’t because my love of baseball, or sports is gone. It’s simply from waiting with anticipation for an entire month to get a confirmed framework for a season to provide true actionable information to you the reader, and then as the article deadline slowly approaches… once again… nothing. So I bite my lip and carry on into the great speculative arena of a potential MLB season as we are all doing. Ironically, the approach the MLB and the players association are taking to negotiating a 2020 season seems to be the root cause of this push the article, get nothing, write speculative article cycle. The two sides are going to take this negotiation down to the last minute and play deal or no deal. I don’t blame either side. It’s business, from both the owners and players perspectives, and there are A LOT of moving parts here. However, I do believe we are coming down to the wire and the MLB can ill afford to miss the natural bump they would receive in even a partial season in viewership. As this deadline is trickling down it seems that the framework for the season is becoming even more narrow. At this point, we haven’t heard any other speculation since the 3 division 10 team proposal approximately a month ago. In my mind, this must be the working plan for the 2020 MLB season going forward. In analyzing these divisions, considering the addition of the designated hitter for the NL teams I see some clear winners and losers:

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Day 17,881 of Quarantine and I ran into an old friend of mine at the supermarket. We wrestled over a roll of toilet paper and he tried to pull my mask off my face, but I’ve glued it on. A muffled laugh as I kicked him in the groin and walked off with the toilet paper. Cougs and I will be crapping tonight! So, the top 100 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball were updated with new projections for a 100-game season. With this series, I took a look around the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings to see if there’s any differences now that we might only play a 100-game season. Projections have been updated on all my positional rankings. Tomorrow, I’m unveiling a new series, it’s gonna pack a punch. Too bad it’s not packing a lunch. I don’t have a Whole Foods delivery window until the end of May. Anyway, here’s thoughts on the top 100 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball with the new Corona timeline:

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These are some strange days that we’re living in. Alexa – play the album Strange Days by the Doors. Nothing like a little mood music. For the past 28 days, I’ve been stuck in a house with my wife and twin five-year-old boys. Since my wife is a teacher, she’s spent half of the time teaching remotely. For me, that means I’ve been dadding-so-hard. I’ve become an expert obstacle course builder, an expert in all things monster trucks, and unlocked that special part of my brain that has to do with Pokemon. Secret time – my favorite thing to do while playing hide and seek is to pretend I can’t find them and get five minutes of quiet. UPDATE – I found that if I hide in my bed, under my comforter, they can’t find me. This is a game-changer! In other words, send help. I need sports so badly.

In my fantasy drafts that have already taken place, I’ve ended up rolling the dice on Yasiel Puig a lot. Like, we’re at an alarming rate. If you want to consider this a puff piece on Puig, that’s fair, but this is also a time for me to dive into Puig and reflect. We’ll dive into Puig for fantasy purposes, as well as take a look at why the 29-year old outfielder – one that’s averaged 25 homers over the last three years – is still without a team.

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The long-awaited finale to my COVID-19 Draft Bargains series culminates with a dive into starting pitchers who were looking at some innings restrictions for 2020. Since we aren’t likely to get a full season at this point, that’s kind of become a moot point for the most part. Here is a list of potential studs who could give similar returns to the household names who are being drafted much, much higher.

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Maybe the real-life baseball season has stopped, but that doesn’t mean fantasy baseball has to. It’s all we have these days, really. Fantasy sports while we fantasize about real sports coming back. I feel bad for my fellow fantasy hockey folks – I get the feeling it ain’t coming back, even if regular hockey does. I’m not about that fantasy basketball life (I dabbled in my younger years – Tracy McGrady anyone? Had to have him on all my teams), but I fear it’s the same fate. Only fantasy football is unscathed…so far. Wild stuff happening on that front, too. Brady to the Bucs? Da BUCS?! DAFUQ! Gurley and Newton RELEASED?! Hopkins TRADED?! Maybe Watson, too?! Madness, I say!

Anyway. This is a fantasy baseball article. Almost forgot. It’s an important year for the fine ladies and gents here at Razzball: the inaugural season of RazzSlam! Big shoutout to the NFBC peeps for hosting it. Give ’em a follow on the Twitter at @TheNFBC. I had the honor of being accepted into League 2 (of 18). Some scrub ass writer for CBS is in it. Big deal. I’m kidding, he’ll probably whoop my ass.

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This was written before all the craziness this week and nothing has changed. Despite the season being moved back, there’s still a ton of value in drafts. It just blows my mind how many good players there are outside of the Top-150. That’s where all of these guys lie and I truly believe that a couple of these players can be game-changers for your fantasy team. Without further ado, let’s get into some of my late-round values. 

If you have any comments or questions, comment me below or reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel 

Also, if you want to see some of my team previews, check out my profile here! 

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There is a LOT of information available for fantasy owners to try and digest these days. New writers and podcasts emerge every day (over 500 different fantasy analysts by last count). New stats and ways of slicing and dicing existing data are constantly emerging. Don’t get me wrong – I love the latest Statcast research as much as the next guy. But fantasy writers often pile up the acronyms and exotic statistics, as if 2000 words on spin rate has inherent interest just because it’s in-depth. It can be hard to find actionable fantasy moves in a table with 10 varying components of xStats.

I’m kicking off a new series today, utilizing data visualization to try and narrow in on fantasy baseball insights. Good visualization helps you achieve your goals by channeling success onto your subconscious until your reality lines up with your drea….I’ve been watching too much late-night Tony Robbins. Good data visualization takes complex raw data and translates it into easily-understood, actionable images.

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