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Holy crap shortstop is deep! You’re guaranteed to say this to yourself at least twice during this episode as we discuss the Top 20 Shortstops for 2020 Fantasy Baseball. From top to bottom few positions offer the type of excitement the six does. In fact, the top six players at this position are all covered in the Overall Top 20 for 2020 Fantasy Baseball. But that’s not all as we touch on nearly 40 players during this episode, it’s a jam packed shortstop-copia. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast.

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It’s time for my first (and longest) post of the year. My LABR Mixed draft review.

As always, thanks to Steve Gardner at USA Today for the invite.

Last Year Recap (here’s my post-draft writeup)
Yet again, another competitive season (92 points) but outside the top two (6th place out of 15). The last 5 years I have scored between 87-102.5 points and finished between 3rd-7th.

This is not for lack of trying or being too conservative. Sometimes you barrel a ball only to end up with a double off the Green Monster vs a home run.

One year after basically throwing away a 4th round pick (Darvish 2018), I ended up getting absolutely nothing from my 2nd round pick (Stanton). Combine that with a 10th percentile bad outcome with my 5th round pick (Daniel Murphy) and it is a marvel I was in the top half of the standings. The rest of my early picks were solid to very good: deGrom (#1), Rendon (#3), Mondesi (#4), Robles (#6), Vazquez (#7). I hit big on two later picks with Austin Meadows (#14) and Christian Vazquez (#28). I do not recall any major in-season pickups but I imagine I did pretty well in that regard. I traded Mondesi for Hoskins once my SB lead was secure but Hoskins struggled. Traded Robles late for Bryce Harper which worked out okay.

Congrats to Steve Gardner on the win and Zach Steinhorn on the tough 2nd place finish (crazy last week).

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One word about this top 100 for 2020 fantasy baseball, before I give you another 5,000 words. I’m going to avoid repeating myself from the position rankings in the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings. If you want to know my in-depth feelings about a player, then you need to go to his positional page, i.e., the top 20 1st basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball, the top 20 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball, the top 20 Patterns In Queso That Look Like Messages From Another Planet for 2020– Okay, but I almost got you. This post is meant to give you an idea where guys from different positions are in relation to each other. Since this post is only the top 100, there’s more players where this came from. 467 more, to be very exact. Next up, there will be a top 500 that will go to 567. Then, after that, there will be a top 7,500 that will go to 8,602, then a top 25,000 that will go to 28,765, then a top 600,000 that will go to 892,121, until we end up with a top kajillion in April that will go to a kajillion and one. Or maybe I’ll stop at the top 500. Yeah, that makes sense. Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel. Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2020 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.” Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters. Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter! Razzball Subscriptions are also now open. Early subscribers get Rudy’s War Room, and you can go ad-free for a $9.99. Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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Wasn’t that long ago that we were screaming about how terrible the shortstops are and how the sky is falling and how red wine is good for your health and you were like, “What if I put grenadine in my vodka?” Maybe it comes with age, but if you’re around long enough you know these things go in cycles. For a few years, middle infidels are terrible, then corner infidels are in that sinking boat. As of now, shortstops are stupid stacked, and the top 20 shortstops for 2020 fantasy baseball are an absolute joy for at least twenty of the twenty but, as always, this is going much deeper. So, here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All my 2020 fantasy baseball rankings are under that thingie-ma-whosie, and I mention where all tiers start and stop, and all shortstop projections are mine.  Let’s get to it!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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Back in high school I remember there was a kid in my class who sported an iron-on patch on his backpack. The patch read, “Pornography Rapes the Mind.” I’m guessing that kid wouldn’t approve of my last production: Donkey Does Dallas. Anyway, I’m not here to analyze the porn industry and its effects on the mind—Grey will be covering that extensively in his Giancarlo Sleeper Post next week. Instead I’m here to discuss how mock drafts rape the mind. We join these mocks, select all our favorite players and rosterbate the night away. Then our real draft comes around and every player we want is taken two rounds earlier than in the mock; we’re left grasping our limp lineup wondering what in the name of Jesús Luzardo happened.

What I’m saying is, don’t take these mock results too seriously. For me, the real value in mock drafting is in gaining greater familiarity with the player pool and contemplating roster construction. Regardless, it’s still entertaining to take a look at the results and consider which players may or may not come at a value next year. Below you’ll find the first four rounds of my 2 Early Mock which took place across a two week period from early to mid-September. Find the full ADP data from all six 2 Early Mocks here, generously provided by Smada of Prospects Live and Friends with Fantasy Benefits.

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Juiced ball? Whatever. Honestly, I don’t care if balls go bazinga all over the place. If everyone’s using the same ball, it’s all good. It’s more fair than when some were using ‘roids and others weren’t. Pace of game? Doesn’t bother me at all. More the merrier, and more is time. Let games go five hours with no commercial breaks. Sounds awesome to me. Teams not fielding their best team? That’s the biggest issue and it effin’ sucks. Austin Hays didn’t exactly tear up the minors this year, but you can’t tell me a 24-year-old potential future All-Star should’ve been in the minors at all. Same goes for Ryan Mountcastle. The O’s are the worst (literally) and that’s made even worse by them holding down prospects. Can the worst be made worse? Yes, that’s what I’m saying and the Orioles did it.  I’m not saying this simply because I drafted Mountcastle and Hays in leagues this year expecting them to be up by May. Actually, it is the reason!  So what? It makes logical sense the O’s would’ve promoted them. Stupid me using logic. They really needed to see what they had with Rio Ruiz, Mark Trumbo, Dwight Smith Jr.– Do I need to go on? Yesterday, Austin Hays went (3-for-8, 5 RBIs) and a double slam (3, 4) and legs (1), as he bats 2nd. If the O’s start the year with Austin Hays in 2020, and they should, he’s going to be a guy I target everywhere with his 27/10/.260 potential. Too bad he’ll spend all of next year in the minors because the O’s want to infuriate me.  Stop inflaming my ulcer, you bastards! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Cubs rookie Nico Hoerner hit his first career home run Friday night going 2-for-5 with 4 RBI. He started off the Chicago onslaught with a 2-run shot in the first inning and added a 2-run single in the fifth! He was a BUY and here’s what Grey had to say about him, “Hoerner is the Cubs’ top prospect, which is more of an indictment about the Cubs’ farm system. He doesn’t strike out, and possesses decent on-base skills, so maybe some short-term value.” And that’s me quoting Grey! If that’s not a high endorsement, I don’t know what kind of waiver adds you’re looking for in mid-September but Nico might be your best bet. Does he make you Hoerner, baby? Woah, sick reference, bro, how old even are you? Nico is slashing .350/.435/.600 through his first 20 at-bats with a home run and 8 RBI, he’s also still available in most leagues, which is important since I don’t know how many of you are even left reading this at this point in the year. Just my mom and my stalker, most likely (hi mom, hi Gordon!). My stalker Gordon’s wondering why I had to stop playing WoW Classic for 4 hours to do other fantasy things. I’ll be right back, Gordon, I swear, please don’t send my family death threats again! Nico could be worth an add for any team in need of some runs and average, especially if the Cubs plan on scoring 17 every game from here on out.

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

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Welcome to September baseball, where I get new call ups mixed up with running back handcuffs. FanDuel has us set up with a 15-game slate to start the weekend. There are three things that are certain in life: death, taxes, and the Tigers being terrible against right-handed pitching. Since the All-Star Break, the Tigers are tied for the second-worst wRC+ against righties, while striking out at the highest clip (28.5%). The Tigers face Homer Bailey ($8,200), who has been excellent over his last eight starts, outside of a disastrous start against the Cubs. In fact, over his last four starts, Bailey has a 2.25 ERA in 24.1 innings, while striking out 27 batters. I’m praying to the fantasy gods that Homer can keep that success rolling today. Let’s take a look at the rest of today’s slate.

New to FanDuelScared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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After Reynaldo Lopez‘s last start of 2/3 IP, 6 ER, I wrote him off for this year and next year.  Now, I will begin a backpedal not seen since the bear at the circus who can ride a bicycle. “Beaux-Bo, you can’t pedal so close to that family of three eating a turkey leg. Beaux-Bo, stop it! Beaux-Bo, no! Beaux-Bo, no! Beaux-Bo, put down that torso!” And that’s the final written transcription of Beaux-Bo, the bicycle riding bear. Actually, I’m going to backpedal my backpedal, so, eat a D, Beaux-Bo, the bicycle-riding bear! I was serious last week when I said I’m outlawing pitchers who start a game, give up 5+ runs and can’t get out of the 1st. They’re completely untrustworthy, so it’s not surprising Lopez would have a start of 9 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 11 Ks, ERA at 5.17. That’s the problem!  What are we getting next time out?  3 IP, 6 ER? 7 IP, 2 ER? No one has any idea. Listen, I know there’s uncertainty in this crazy thing called fantasy (worst Queen song ever), but I’m not inviting more risk. I’m still out on Lopez. Sorry, gotta put my foot down, even if I’m writing this from an anti-gravity chamber where I can eat turkey legs without fear of a bicycle bear attack.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Welcome to the start of the weekend DFSers! We have a 13-game slate on FanDuel this Friday. The Twins send their ace, Jose Berrios ($8,800), to the mound where he gets one of the best matchups a pitcher could ask for in the Tigers. In the second half, the Tigers have just a 70 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, which is good for 28th best in the league. They also have the highest strikeout rate against righties at 28.2%. Jose Berrios has always had better numbers at home, and this year is more of the same (3.27 ERA vs. 3.45). Berrios should have no problem cruising through the declawed Tigers. My only worry with this pick is at this price, Berrios is likely to be heavily owned. Let’s take a look at the rest of FanDuel’s slate to see if we can find a decent pivot.

New to FanDuelScared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?