I don’t really care about the Super Bowl too much this year. I’m a Giants fan so I’m just biding my time until they’re back in it in 2022. MARK MY WORDS! So instead I’ll do the next best thing — I’ll cover the Kansas City baseball team. Now I’m not going to be writing about Whit Merrifield, Adalberto Mondesi or Jorge Soler. Those are the 3 obvious names on this team and you can find articles about them on Razzball by people much smarter than myself. Just like when I get to the Angels — what am I supposed to write about Mike Trout? “He’s the best player in the game — draft him!” Duh — you should be so lucky. No, instead I’m going to focus some other lesser-known guys on this team who should be on your radar.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Brad Keller 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.
With these top 100 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball, I’ve finished our (my) 2020 fantasy baseball rankings for positions. Still coming will be a top 100 overall and top 500 to see how all the positions mesh together like your mesh Redskins jersey that meshes with your burgundy sweatpants. Trust me, when you see how long this post is, you’ll be glad I kept this intro short. All the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings are there. Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. Here’s all the 2020 fantasy baseball auction rankings. As always, my projections are included, and where I see tiers starting and stopping. If you want an explanation of tiers, go back to the top 10 overall and start this shizz all over again. Anyway, here’s the top 100 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Is it a corny acronym? No doubt.
Does it have a purpose in fantasy baseball? Absolutely.
I’m not the smartest person on the planet. There is zero chance I can combine hundreds of metrics into a special formula to conveniently spit out 2020 breakout pitchers. Ask Rudy for that. However, I can break down the game to simple components and use a few metrics at a time. That is exactly what I plan to do in this series for the next month. Keep It Simple, Pat. K.I.S.P.!
Last week, I highlighted a group of pitchers who exceed expectations in the past 3 seasons. Time after time in reviewing these pitchers a commonality was the use of a highly effective secondary pitch. Additionally, the usage of this secondary pitch contributed to a rise in the effectiveness of the player’s fastball. This cohesion leads to the hypothesis of this week’s article, locating exceptional secondary pitches. If a pitcher throws hard with at least one valuable secondary pitch they will generate more strikeouts, more poor swings, and infrequent hard contact.
In order to find players that matched to this premise I did the following:
- Started with 2019 Fangraphs pitch data and filtered out anyone with less than 50 MLB innings pitched and more than 400 career MLB innings pitched to isolate for Youthful Jumps.
- Brought in the average fastball velocity for the last two years and removed all pitchers throwing less than 93.4 MPH. This isn’t an arbitrary number; Shane Bieber was the average velocity floor from the Youthful Jump group at 93.4 MPH.
- Highlighted only players with a Standardized Pitch Value (Pitch Type Linear Weights per 100) for a secondary pitch over 0.5 for the 2019 season.
Shockingly, there were only 12 pitchers from the 2019 season who met the criteria. Of those, seven could be removed for various reasons mentioned at the end of the article for clarity. The five pitchers who remain are detailed below:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Anthony DeSclafani went 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.05. This start was against the Marlins, so, thankfully, Anthony DeeScalated the hard-charging school of fish. “Lobsters don’t have sex, they butter each up and green stuff forms in their middle belly.” That’s a substitute teacher at fish school half-assing it. So, DeSclafani bought a pet goldfish and named it Flushy, but he’s better than some random game against the Fish. The Fish haven’t been good since Hootie said, “I’ve had enough of all of you.” DeSclafani, on the other hand, has been good in the not-too-distant past and is better this year — his peripherals: 9.2 K/9 (best of his career), 2.8 BB/9 and velocity up to 94.6 MPH from 93.6. His gamely homer allowance (GamHomAll) needs to be curbed for real success, but I can see why the Streamonator likes his next start. He’s underrated, unlike the Marlins, who are underwater. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Stephen Piscotty was IL’d — why? Don’t ask, he doesn’t know. Nick Martini was DFA’d. See ya round like an olive! And, in their place, the A’s called up Seth Brown (2-for-6, 2 runs, 1 RBI), their power-hitting prospect, who had 37 HRs in Triple-A. Baseball is so effed prospects are hitting 37 homers in the minors and everyone’s like, “Whatevs, Tommy La Stella hit 17 homers in 25 at-bats.” Tommy La Stella ruined everything for everyone! I hate you, Tommy La Stella! The Prospectonator doesn’t love Brown, Prospect Mike hasn’t had much to say on him, and I don’t know how much he’ll play, but I guess he’s fine in AL-Only leagues for now, and mixed leagues, if you need power. The A’s said, “(Brown is) Brandon Moss 2.0.” Then call him, Re-Peat Moss. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Brendan McKay has been taking a big crap on my last two articles and I’m learning that it’s hard to trust these kids. While they may have the spectacular minor league numbers, I want to see some production at this level before recommending them as streamers. That’s why everyone in this article will be prior streamers, as I really want to get back on track for you guys. With that in mind, let’s start with one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yacht Rock has polluted my brain. I’m singing Bertie Higgins, dressed like Thurston Howell, III, and wearing deodorant that smells like Pina Colada. And the most frightening aspect of the previous sentence is only one of those statements is make-believe! Cougs figured since I like blended, virgin pineapple drinks it would be a good idea to buy me Pina Colada-scented Suave deodorant. I walk around all day wanting to lick my armpits! I’m damaged! Even more upsetting, I don’t own Xander Bogaerts (3-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 26th and 27th homer, hitting .308) or Rafael Devers (2-for-4, 2 runs, 25th homer, hitting .327) in any meaningful way. (I own Bogaerts in one league, but it’s my worst league, so it doesn’t matter.) I briefly mentioned this yesterday, but last year Betts and Martinez put fantasy owners on their backs (no easy feat for some of you), and this year it’s been all Bogaerts and Devers. On our Player Rater, both guys are top ten for the season (Acuña reached the mountaintop, by the by). Incredibly, neither guy has been lucky. Bogaerts upped his walks; has a BABIP in line with career norms; held all batted ball profile marks from previous years, except raised his launch angle and fly ball rate just a tad. Bingo-bango-Bogaerts! Devers’s numbers are new from him at the major league level, but nothing jumps out as a career year and he’s only 22 years old. Both guys will and should be highly ranked next year. Now, excuse me, while I go lick my armpits. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Justin Verlander, SP: $12,000, is locked in. He is so locked in he is our super-duper, locked and loaded, slam dunk, touchdown goal of the week. He transcends sports. He will win you a NASCAR tournament. He will make your burrito taste better and your skies less cloudy. That’s how good he is right now.
Not that Justin Verlander needs factors in his favor to dominate – so don’t mistake the intention here, no disrespect, ever – but there are reasons to believe he could treat this Mariner lineup like a little league B-lineup. Worse than the no-hit performance they’re coming off yesterday. They might quit baseball after this, and here’s why:
• Park factor: Minute Maid Park is usually neutral, but today is the most pitcher-friendly park on the slate for a right-handed pitcher.
• Weather: There is no rain risk, as they have a roof, but air density still affects the travel of the baseball, and today the conditions in Houston are the best of the slate for pitching. Higher air density provides more resistance to a baseball traveling through the air, which increases spin rate and movement (at the expense of a little velocity, yes, but it’s worth the tradeoff), and decreases the distance a batted ball travels. It’s science.
• Visual Memory Index: This is a Razzball Premium feature that measures the change in conditions from one game to the next. The exact same pitch will move differently depending on the density of the air in which it is thrown. How much differently is what VMI aims to quantify for us. Negative numbers are worse for hitting and better for pitching, and just the opposite for positive numbers. Today, the Mariners have the most negative VMI number of the slate, so we should expect their hitters to require the greatest adjustment compared to recent conditions. Uphill battle against Verlander.
• Strikeouts: The Mariners strike out a lot, more than any other team in baseball.
• Caveats: The way this could go wrong is pretty clear. The Mariners are top 5 in the league in team ISO and team walk rate, and Justin Verlander gives up the majority of his runs allowed through home runs, and also walks about 2 hitters per 9 innings pitched. If things fall apart, this is the likeliest reason why.
Enough said. Play him in a crazy percent of your lineups today and enjoy.
And guess what? There’s more! Read on for our top picks of the day. Have a great one!
New to FanDuel? Scared 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?
Yesterday, Jason Vargas was traded to the Phillies. Good luck, Phillies reporters! Vargas will be the 1st player to throw batteries back at fans. “What’s with that stupid grin?” Rhys Hoskins pulls Vargas by the arm, “Hey, Vargy, that’s, uh, the Phanatic. His expression doesn’t change.” “I’ll knock that smirk off his face!” So, Vargas now becomes the ace of the Phillies’ staff, which means he’s a league-average starter. I keed. A little. Aaron Nola is good, just not this year. Since Vargas doesn’t even change divisions, his value stays pretty level, except Citizens Flank is a worse park than Metco, so there’s a slight tick down, if anything. How about this trading deadline so far? Huh? It’s almost as good as the Winter Hot Stove. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Shane Bieber went 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.44. Donkey Teeth and I made a trade the other day. My first trade of the year. I sent him Kenley Jansen for Shane Bieber. I discuss it on this week’s podcast. I receive Shane Bieber in this trade…TOMORROW! I don’t even want him now! He’s tainted with Donkey Teeth juice. That one-hitter is supposed to be mine! Mine, I say! Only thing worse would’ve been he threw a one-hitter and broke his hand high-fiving Bauer. Ugh, why couldn’t Donkey Teeth offer the trade the day before so I had Bieber on my team? I want him. Me! Me! Me! *Idris Elba opens an envelope* “…and Best Dramatic Retelling of a Fantasy Baseball Trade goes to…Some guy in his mom’s basement you never heard of.” Damn, I lost that too! Donkey Teeth offered me Rhys Hoskins, Madison Bumgarner or Bieber and I jumped at the lattest (totally a word), because Bieber’s peripherals are gorge — 11.2 K/9, 2 BB/9, 3.19 xFIP. Bieber was a preseason sleeper of mine, and he is essentially a top ten pitcher. So, put that in your natch and natch it! Too bad I own him in one less league as of yesterday. Me! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?