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.

Yard Byron Buxton, known for such classic poems as Don Juan Soto, She Walks In Beauty But Buxton Doesn’t Walk, and Fare Thee Well, a poem about Baby Jessica, was a classic poet during the Romantic movement. Yard Byron would say, “That blows,” and women would say, “That’s so romantic.” If they were being sarcastic, it’s news to Yard Byron. The Yard once said, “I was thunder-stroke recently, until I realized it was Miguel Sano standing on my foot.” Oh, Yard Byron, you are so witty! So, last night, Yard Byron Buxton was more than just witty, he was *sorry* hitty. He went 3-for-5 with his 4th homer and 5th homer, hitting .298, and now has four homers in the last week, and it shows you how quick someone can turn their season around when the season is a blink. Last week, Buxton was droppable; now he’s a top 20 outfielder. That doesn’t blow, and is romantic. Thank you, Yard Byron, and kudos to taking Yardley yard, Yard. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Surprised Dylan Bundy is breaking out, said no one because literally everyone said exactly that when he was traded to the Angels. Okay, maybe the O’s are surprised, but I have a feeling even they knew it was coming. They just like losing, right? “We like to be owned by the good teams.” That’s the O’s front office. Even the Pirates are like, “Damn, for Bundy, we would’ve traded you Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows and…well, we don’t have anyone else. You want Colin Moran?” So, Dylan Bundy was masterful yesterday, going 9 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.08. He has changed his pitch mix in a dramatic way. Leaning way more on a slider and easing off his fastball, that has been become increasingly bleh in velocity. His command and Ks have been outstanding, but, I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% sold. Don’t get me wrong, I can be sold. I’m not saying it’s a mirage, go buy some more tigers, Steve Wynn. I’m just saying it’s 21 2/3 IP in three starts. Oh, I’d own him in 100% of leagues, but decreased velocity makes me want to see more. Promising vs. Promise Land. Me like vs. Me likey. Yummo vs. Gummo is a masterpiece. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Joey Gallo tested positive, negative, positive, negative, positive, negative, positive, positive, negative, negative for Covid and is asymptomatic. The good news is the Rangers, fans and fantasy baseballers have been contact tracing Gallo for years. You, “This makes no sense, Statcast shows Gallo’s avoided contact for his entire career.” Snort, snort, wheeze! “Geez, Gallo can’t avoid contact when it’s most important.” Wheeze and repeat! Get this pretty fun testing story: Gallo tested positive for Covid on 6/29, then negative on 6/30, then positive again on 7/2, then negative on 7/7, so he seems to be fine, but who knows. Like the guy in The Royal Rumble who hides in the corner for most of the match, the smartest team will just hole themselves up in a hotel somewhere, until every other team loses all their players, then emerge World Series champs. On the reals, Gallo seems to be okay now, and why it’s so iffy on moving guys down in redraft 2020 rankings right now based on a positive test. Don’t think anyone knows how long someone tests positive or negative or positive or–Well, you get it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

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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. 

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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?