As we march diligently toward the two-thirds point of the season, we are getting closer and closer to knowing who players actually are for the season. But, because it’s major league baseball, we are also still getting surprised every day. Cole Irvin is the best pitcher of the last two weeks? Michael Harris leads all of […]

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You can’t judge a prospect by his draft position, the same way you can’t judge a middle-aged man for walking around shirtless in your neighborhood. A player could get drafted 40th overall solely due to signability and financial asking price, but still be a top-15 overall player (more on that later). Along those same lines, that middle-aged man could have recently burnt his nipples on a saucepan while reaching across the stovetop to adjust a knob, and now walking around shirtless is the only comfortable way he can go for an evening stroll. You simply never know the underlying circumstances at play, which is why it’s always best to ask questions and gather reliable intel before rushing to judgment. That exact premise is the motivation for this piece: don’t treat the 2021 draftees as shirtless middle-aged men. Assess the tools and how each player aligns with your fantasy team’s winning timeline, and draft the top players available regardless of where they were selected in the 2021 MLB Draft. Draft position should not directly correlate with first-year player draft (FYPD) order and rankings.

So here’s a few shirtless, middle-aged men to target in your upcoming FYPDs — of the baseball variety, of course!

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Happy Sunday friends. Why is it happy you ask? Why the eff not I answer. Nah I couldn’t think of anything else to say to start off the article. Anyway, welcome to our DFS MLB tout article, the Sunday version. Today is an interesting day in the world of Major League Baseball. There are 2 of the top 5 fantasy pitchers going today, plus a few good mid-tier guys accompanied by a litany of solid lower-level options. If you are new here I will tell you that I don’t tout the big-time pitchers. Everyone knows they are good and especially today where strikeout records are being broken left and right. Whether or not to roster these studs is more about roster construction. I did talk a little about this a few weeks ago if you want to go back and check. Seems like we got the pleasantries and ancillary stuff out of the way, so let’s do this.

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In my last prospect security check, I went over Atlanta’s Christian Pache, Miami’s Sixto Sanchez and Detroit’s Tarik Skubal. Since then, both Pache and Skubal have received the call to the Bigs, and I predicted we might even see all three in 2020 when I originally wrote the piece. The same is not the case for this week’s lucky luggage — Jazz Chisholm, Oneil Cruz and Blake Walston — although they are all equally thrilled to be featured in one of my articles. In fact, I actually just got off the phone with Jazz, who is one of the few remaining real baseball players left at the Jupiter training site. After thanking me for including him in my article, Jazz began telling me how even though no one else is left in camp except him, he made a new friend: a baseball named Bilson whose face he drew on with a Sharpie. Times have apparently been tough in Jupiter — Jazz also has an imaginary cat named Tom Mattingly.

As poor Jazz sends smoke signals to Derek Jeter from the training site, we must press on with this security check. Unlike the last installment, we’ll probably be waiting until 2021 to see Chisholm and Cruz crack the MLB, while Walston won’t debut until 2022-23. That said, I’ve done my best to gather information about all three of these players and provide my own personal spin on each, despite the fact that there is no new statistical information to reveal. As one last reminder, all three 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, just say so. If you’re on the fence, please keep it to yourself because the more of these profiles I write, the more Grey will make fun of me for writing 1,000 words on a single player in his daily round-ups. Alright, before we get to cruzin’ and waltzin’ — let’s start it off with some smooth Jazz.

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Now that the 2020 MLB season has hit the three-week mark, we’re at the point where we can start looking into some sell-high and buy-low candidates. With sample sizes increasing from the “far-too-small” to the increasingly indicative, we begin to ask ourselves questions like: “is Dylan Bundy actually good now, or are hitters just being thrown off by his dusty, pathetic attempt at facial hair?”  Translation: are the results we’re seeing legitimate? If you’re willing to make a calculated gamble, this is as good of a time as any to find excess value in the trade market and/or dump an early star destined for decline to the league dingus. One such player I’m looking at adding shares of at present is Eduardo Escobar of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who entered the week of Aug. 10 batting .164/.233/.255 with just two extra base hits across his first 55 at bats of the season. After finishing draft season with an ADP of 113 overall as 2B13/3B17, Escobar looks to be an obvious bust from the outside looking in — but let me tell you why he’s a major buy-low candidate for me for the rest of the season.

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Over the past two months, I have immersed myself in the college baseball ranks and provided in-depth analysis in regard to which players to target in dynasty formats. As it relates to the priorities of my life, I refer to this project as the “Immersion Diversion,” in which I neglect all other areas of my life for researching college prospects. This began with my top 10 college prospects, which then grew into a top 25 before culminating into my top 100 overall. Then, I was slammed with arguably the largest hazing scandal Razzball has ever seen, as some questioned in the comments why I failed to address the underclassmen in these lists. Was it solely due to an underlying hatred for the newcomers? 

At the time, my response was two-fold: 1) the upperclassmen have added value due to the fact they will be attainable via first-year player drafts next off-season and 2) only those eligible for the 2020 MLB Draft come with complete and updated scouting grades. Not only do these scouting tools help us predict future MLB production, but they shed light on where players will be drafted, and where specifically a player is drafted goes a long way in determining said player’s perceived value in deeper formats. What I’m saying is that no first-year player fantasy drafts have 10th round talents being selected. At least they shouldn’t. Draft position influences hype, which influences who you and your league-mates target post-draft and beyond.

Still, this posed an intriguing dilemma. What about open world leagues, where everyone in the college circuit is readily available at present? In those cases, would I recommend Asa Lacy (2020 class) or Kumar Rocker (’21)? Would I advise anyone to pass on LSU’s Daniel Cabrera (’20) for Colton Cowser (’21) of Sam Houston State? Over the next several weeks, I will begin revealing college underclassmen not yet eligible for the MLB Draft who I recommend deep-leaguers begin targeting NOW, beginning with five names this week to put on your radar.

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After breaking down my beloved Rockies last week, we’re going to keep things rolling here with another NL West team in the Diamondbacks. While the Los Angeles Dodgers are obviously the cream of the crop in this division, Arizona is a fascinating team. Almost as fascinating as their mascot, Baxter the Bobcat. Why the hell is a snake not the mascot? I mean, they’re the Diamondbacks, not the Arizona Bobcats. In any case, this is one of the most interesting teams this season (including their mysterious mascot), so, let’s get into it.

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This time last year, the baseball world was predicting the downfall of Chase Field as a hitter’s haven to the tune of a 25%-50% drop in offensive production with an uptick in pitching expected to benefit from the new humidor. After a season of the new Chase Field, I wanted to review the data and see where the drop off landed.

If you’ve been following me, you know that I was a bit skeptical that we would be looking at that kind of change in production. From my Chase Field article last year, “Home runs across the league were down, away teams actually hit more home runs in Coors in 2002 than 2001, and the culture in baseball was starting to turn away from the steroid era.” Basically, Coors was used as the case study for what would happen in Arizona, but there were a number of factors that came into play outside of the raw numbers.

I’m not going to rehash that article, but will examine the numbers to see where Chase Field landed on the scale of hitter friendly to pitcher friendly parks. If we start with the basics, we can look at how Chase Field finished in park factors for 2018. I typically utilize FanGraphs for their park factors, but they have not updated for 2018 yet, so, I looked at ESPN. As you can see below, home runs were down in 2018 compared to 2016 and 2017, but not compared to 2015. However, runs and hits were both 4 year lows in 2018 with the humidor.

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We all believe in Grey. That is why we are here. It is why we read every recap, every buy/sell, and why we all spend hours, and countless reams of paper, printing Grey’s rankings. We want to dominate our fantasy baseball drafts and our leagues and do everything in our power to humiliate and destroy our friends (which is what true friendship is all about).

Razzball was built on the power of Grey’s Greydar and his ability to spot fantasy baseball studs before anyone else. It works because Grey’s Greydar is a million times better than anyone else’s Greydar since he is Grey and everyone else is not. Keep in mind, however, that ranking players is not black and white. There are many shades of grey, which explains why Grey is the best Grey there is.

Nevertheless, even the best will have a few misses when ranking hundreds of players. This is why I have been tasked with questioning the Greyness of Grey’s great Greydar, specifically the players that Grey may have overrated for this upcoming season. We are calling this analysis: Over the Greydar.

In this first installment of Over the Greydar I focus on an older pitcher who has been dominate (most of the time) over his career and is coming off a season in which he finished 4th in the NL Cy Young race. While this pitcher needs to be ranked somewhere near the top, I think that Grey may be a little too high on him this season:

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