Please see our player page for Anthony DeSclafani 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.

Merry Christmas, you giant nerds! Look at you, checking a fantasy baseball blog on Christmas like a bunch of giant nerds! That’s why I love you. Seriously, I have love for you. Like someone who’s never met someone else could love someone. Very, very intimate. I wasn’t planning on doing a post today, but Josh Bell was traded to the Nationals and I really wanted to get out this update post of so many other signings, that I was like, “Meh, what the heck, put it out there for my over-the-internet friends since this Christmas is like none I’ve ever lived through.” I miss my family, but I have you, my non-family family. So, Josh Bell was traded to the Nats, conspicuously within minutes of, well, we know what happened here. The Pirates’ payroll needed to be slashed after the House was unable to increase the stimulus checks to $2,000. Now that Josh Bell is in Washington there’s only one thing can we can be certain of:  confirmed Josh Bell 2021 All-Star. Could see Josh Bell out-pitching even Tyler Glasnow. If he wants to, of course. He might just want to hit. So, getting out of Pittsburgh can’t hurt anyone. He’s also coming off one of the boringiest (totally a word!) 1st baseman seasons. How’sever, if 2019 was only two months long, Josh Bell would’ve been a top 20 overall player last year. What’s my point? Meh, don’t really have one, but Josh Bell was hurt by last year’s small sample, and hurt by 2019’s, uh, long sample. Who is Josh Bell in Washington? A better question might be how long is this season going to be and when will it start? Josh Bell is prolly somewhere between the two extremes of his 1st few months of 2019, and his 2020. For 2021, I’ll give Josh Bell projections of 73/26/81/.257/1 in 512 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2021 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In the highly lucrative industry that is imaginary sports team management, we here at Razzball are always looking to give you readers the sharpest edge of advantage. I mean, how do we keep up with a provider like Pitching Ninja, whose name literally invokes the finely-honed edges of a ninja star slicing through bats before landing softly in the supple leather of a catchers mitt? Fear not, fearful reader! I have been to cram school, and I have been to Austria, and I have been in dungeons, and I combined all of my knowledge of those places and completely threw it out the window. See, to be sharper than sharp, you gotta think outside the box. When the competition goes sharp, you go — that’s right! — blocky. I present to you, followers of the Top 100 Starting Pitcher series, the latest in pitching analysis: 8-bit graphics.

Robbie Ray Demonstrates his elite level of unpredictability

Let’s apply this newfangled technology to our top starting pitchers and see what we can do to help you to fantasy glory!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mike Clevinger and Greg Allen were traded to the Padres for Gabe Arias, Cal Quantrill, Joey Cantillo, Owen Miller, Austin Hedges, and Josh Naylor. Cleveland will be melting together Quantrill, Arias, Cantillo, Hedges, Naylor and Miller to form one super player, Johnny Q. Baseball who can catch, pitch middle relief and hit .215. Cleveland Indians’ GM said, “I have one rule, that’s Rule 5.” Before Clevinger can leave town, Zach Plesac will be planning a blow out going away party that no one is to know about. It will be at Carlos N’ Suzie’s, a downtown Cleveland favorite known for tequila and heating up Totino’s pizza rolls. Can’t wait for the postseason redemption story of Mike Clevinger ginned up by Fox where he does no actual apologizing for anything, but pitches well for six innings and gets some flashy graphics and wild hyperbole. So, Clevinger going to the Padres is obviously a huge boon for his value if boon means what I think it means. Let’s assume it does or at least makes sense within context clues. Everyone the Indians got? Useless for this year, but I’m sure Prospect Itch or Hobbs will go over the prospects at some point. Only downside I can see for this trade is it might actually be lowering Chris Paddack’s value, because now the Sheriff will have to spend all waking hours policing to make sure Clevinger doesn’t do anything stupid. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

All right, we almost made it a week without a Covid positive test in MLB, but Sunday morning, the Oakland Athletics announced that a member of their crew tested positive for coronavirus and their play has been postponed. News will be developing more, but as of the time of writing (Sunday morning), you’ll probably want to pay attention to your Oakland starters (i.e. Jesus Luzardo, Frankie Montas, Chris Bassitt) in weekly lineup leagues. For DFS and daily lineups, you can follow the news and do what you have to do.

Again, we’re nearing the 60% mark of the season for most teams in MLB, and the same goes for most of your fantasy baseball teams. If you’re going to make a move — whether the waiver wire or a trade — it’s time to do it now. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the Rest-of-Season-o-Nator-o-Tron. That Sixto Sanchez guy that everybody’s talking about? Hit Control-F and search his projections for the rest of the season. Come on, do it! Oh fine, I’ll just tell you. It’s 23IP, 1W, and a probably too-conservative 17K. What about Gerrit Cole? 36IP, 3W, and 49K. OK math majors, let’s get to work! If you’re trailing in pitching stats in your fantasy league, what’s the likelihood that Sixto Sanchez helps you catch up to the team that’s starting Gerrit Cole every 5 days? Not all that great, right? The Marlins have a lot of catch-up to do, and Sixto Sanchez can’t throw those extra games, and no manager is going to risk The Sanchize by throwing him overtime in a year when 50% of the teams make the playoffs. For actual baseball, this is amazing, because the Marlins seem on track to make the playoffs and you’re going to see The Sanchize playing in the wildest shootout of baseball playoffs ever seen in human history. But for fantasy baseball, you’re getting, at most, maybe 2W and — if you’re lucky — 30Ks from Sixto over the next few weeks.

So, how do you overcome the teams that are starting the entirely-possible rotation of Shane Bieber, Lance Lynn, Mike Minor, and Andrew Heaney (all of whom are in the top 25)?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s tough to even examine how the streamers went last week. There were so many doubleheaders and craziness across the rotations, no one could have predicted anything. In any case, we actually had a really good week. Corbin Burnes, Framber Valdez and Kwang Hyun Kim all had brilliant starts and none of our guys got blown up. That’s really good news with all the unpredictability right now and we’re going to look to keep that momentum rolling here.  

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“I want to be a cardiologist, to be a heart surgeon, but I don’t know how that’s gonna work with baseball as well. So, I might do something business-related, so I get a little bit of business acumen going into the real world. And then once I’m done with baseball, I can probably go back and continue my study in medicine.”

–17-year old Triston McKenzie in 2015

 

Triston McKenzie strikeout

23-year old Triston McKenzie, 2020 Debut

I mean, Triston McKenzie achieved both of his dreams, right? In his major league debut, McKenzie surgically sliced through the heart of the Tigers lineup, giving up one run over six innings while whiffing 10 batters. And you know what? There’s a very good chance that he takes the heart out of Zach Plesac, whose arbitration schedule would be delayed if Cleveland keeps him at the alternate site much longer. Is it too early to call McKenzie the “Cardiac Kid?”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

[Chapter 1 of my upcoming novel, FML Grey]

Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario, wakes in a haze. Last night was hard, but not in the way Cougs would have preferred it. After watching Chris Paddack get shelled by the Dodgers, Grey collapsed on the couch, crumpled boba containers at his feet. “Draft pitchers late,” he muttered, falling into a fitful sleep with images of Stephen Strasburg and Justin Verlander haunting him.

Now awake, Grey runs to the bathroom and grabs the Barbasol. “5.54 FIP!” he spits into the sink. “Paddack has a negative value fastball!” Grey lathers his lip sweater, and grabs his razor. The man in the mirror is manic. “You’re no lothario!” Grey shouts at himself, his Schick stick in hand. “You don’t deserve this anymore!” With short, rapid strokes, Grey shaves off his mustache. The commotion wakes Cougs, who enters the bathroom. Grey looks up,  wiping his now-naked philtrum, “Dylan Bundy’s the top pitcher on the player rater,” he says. “I need a boba.”

Please, blog, may I have some more?