Please see our player page for Brett Gardner 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.

Welcome back to another post that you never thought you’d read from a guy who never thought he’d write it! We’re sailing into uncharted territory, worried we could die from some unknown disease, while maybe carrying the unknown plague ourselves that will kill everyone else. “Argh! Name that team in Cleveland the Indians and lets get these 60 games going!” Guys and five female readers, if someone beats the 73 homer record in only 60 games, they have to count it even if the person is shooting up while in the on-deck circle, right? As Long John Silver once said, don’t want to go out on a limb, but c’mon. In a shortened season of 60 games, it will be imperative that you go after categories vs. players. Sure, use the fantasy baseball trade analyzer. (I clickbaited you and you didn’t even see it coming!) Roast your leaguemates with them quick-to-the-point-to-the-point-no-faking fake baseball trades, but you need categories and stats over player names. Who can get you home runs and how fast can they do it? How do we even figure that out? Luckily, this is a rhetorical question to tell you I have you covered like a blanket infected with lice. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for home runs?

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Last week, we talked about players that are on the old side and are generally boring fantasy picks, but who might still be able to provide some decent deep-league value.   This week, we’ll focus on guys that may be able to help with two components crucial to most any successful fantasy team, namely power and speed.  In deeper leagues, we’re hit with a kind of double whammy.  First, the potential for things to go wrong is more prevalent since we’re drafting deeper into the player pool and therefore rostering much riskier players — whether the risk is injury, demotion, or just poor performance.  Second, once this level of risk leads to the need to replace players and fix holes on a roster, that’s much harder to do with what it usually a dearth of options available via the free agent pool.  If you’ve ever played in a 12-team “only” league with a deep bench, you know what I mean:  I’ve actually had situations where I needed to replace a hole at, say, second base when my second baseman was sent to triple A, and ended up having to just keep the minor leaguer in my lineup because there was literally not a free agent major league player who qualified at second base available in my league’s player pool.

At any rate, as I’m filling out a deep-league team, I’d often rather have two players who can both help me in both homers and steals rather than one hitter who I hope to count on for power and one who is more of a straight speed threat — even if I have to give up a little bit of ADP value or pay a buck more for a guy than I’d like to in an auction.  It’s just a way to mitigate risk slightly, in hopes of preventing the loss of one player from hitting me too hard in a single category. Thus, on to some names.  All of the following players A) had at least 10 homers + at least 10 steals last year, B) are guys that I think, in my completely unscientific projections, could reach a number of both home runs and steals that’s at least in the teens this year, and C) have current NFBC ADPs outside the top 225.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’ve done it! We’ve reached the end of the fantasy baseball hitter rankings for 2020 fantasy baseball rankings. Give yourself a big round of applause. I’d clap for you, but I have carpal tunnel from actually ranking all the hitters and writing all their blurbs and calculating all of their projections and– What exactly did you do? Oh, yeah, you read them. No wonder why your hands can still clap. Okay, let’s get to it because this post is like 5,000 words long and I wrote it with my toes. C’mon, pinkie toe, push down the shift key! Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All projections listed are mine and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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The Rangers traded Delino DeShields Jr. and Emmanuel Clase for Corey Kluber. Finally, someone that likes Delino DeShields Jr. as much as me! Indians tried to not compete last year, but at first you don’t succeed in not succeeding, don’t try, don’t try again. Cannot wait to see what the Indians get for Francisco Lindor. Maybe Clint Frazier and a bucket of balls gets it done. You’d think Indians would be against trying to tank, being more team that wants its horse in the race, but, wow, MLB is completely broken. Teams that should and can be good are going out of their way to tank. I saw someone (think it was a Cleveland-area radio sports show host) say something like, “Indians can’t afford these players so this is their only option.” Yo, the Indians owner, Dolan family, is worth $6.5 billion, according to Forbes. That’s not according to their bank, because you can’t count that much money in a lifetime. If the Dolans can’t afford a $25 million dollar per year contract, then who can? Bezos? Does Amazon need to buy all MLB teams? Can we get Jack Ryan day at the park? That might be fun. This isn’t even about whether Kluber is broken for good either, because his salary ($17.5 mill) should be affordable for any team, even if the player is broken. Blake Treinen got $10 million for Pete Bourjos’s sake! Any hoo! For Kluber fantasy value, I’m torn, because he feels like the type who can gut out a solid season, but that is soooooooooooo — yes, eleven O’s! — anecdotal and isn’t based on anything. But, also in his favor, he saved his arm last year from throwing another 200+ IP, which has to be good. Yes, I know his arm was injured, but it was a broken forearm. I’m not a doctor, but a forearm isn’t an elbow or shoulder injury, and a broken one is better than a strained one. Unfortunately, he had to be removed from a rehab assignment last year, due to diminished velocity, and, prior to  the injury, his velocity was down and his ERA, FIP, xFIP were all up. Just too much risk and I’m out on Kluber this year. For 2020, my Kluber projections are 10-5/3.81/1.17/164 in 158 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the top 40 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball, we’ve finished all the hitter recaps. We meaning me, but I’ll include you. No, that’s not a cue to try to hold my hand. Why are you now patting my butt? Don’t muss my hair! The pitching recap will begin next. You can hardly wait. No, you! To recap, the end of the season rankings are based on our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  I felt the easiest way to keep it objective would to go this route.  This way when I say someone finished 30th and I ranked them 23rd in the preseason, it carries more weight like Willians Astudillo.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Even though I wanted to bet on the Twins to win the World Series and didn’t, I still have to root for them this offseason. With all the bad publicity on baseball, it will be nice to see a team as pure as one led by Polanco, Pineda, Cruz–Wait, has everyone on their team been suspended at one point for PEDs? At least they have Miguel Sano (2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 32nd and 33rd homer). Hmm…I remember something with Sano.  Hold on…*googling Sano and suspension* Oh, he just tried to force a smacker on a photographer and broke a police officer’s leg in the Dominican Republic. As Young Grey used to dream about, screw the Twins. Any hoo! Miguel Sano now has the 2nd lowest HR/AB (11.1), only being beat by Mike Trout. If we can get a full season from Sano (no guarantee with him) in 2020, I wouldn’t bet against a 45+ homer season. Mean’s while, his price will be that of what? $5 and/or the 12th round in a 12-teamer? There’s gonna be some crazy value for Sano in 2020. You could say *pinkie to mouth* In-Sano.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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*glances at Houston score* Welp, another insane offensive night for the As–Wait a second! Make that As– into an A’s. We’ve got a barnburner like the Astros were John Wilkes Booth! (If you get that joke, you’ve also read Manhunt, to which I say — nerd!) The ALCS is going to be a series of 24-23 games that last eighteen hours. “Joe Buck, are you even watching the game or are you just reading old issues of Men’s Health with the pages stuck together?” That’s Ron Darling reprimanding Buck. It was the 4th inning and the entire A’s lineup already had multiple hits, so let’s check some boxes, shall we? Sean Murphy (3-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs) hit his 2nd and 3rd homers, and I recently picked him up for an AL-Only league. He had ten quick homers in only 31 games of Triple-A so he’s got power to spare, and Chris Herrmann was just designated for assignment. I hope Herrmann can find peace with they’re re-assignment. Matt Olson (2-for-4, 3 runs, 4 RBIs) also hit two homers. What Olson is doing in 70% of a season and without a hamate is going fairly unnoticed, and I already know I’m going to be so high on him in 2020. Then, Marcus Semien (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 27th homer, because what goes up must come down with, uh, Semien. Finally, Khris Davis (3-for-6, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 20th homer, asserting he’s not really Chris Davis, but I’m not sure I believe him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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One day, late-summer, when your cousin, who you don’t like, started posting her kids going-back-to-school pictures on Facebook and a Russian troll farm began mining said pictures and getting your cousin’s kids to distribute propaganda, your so-called ace, James Paxton, decided to show up and be spoken for, after five months of grueling ‘what’s wrong with him/is there something wrong with him/is there something wrong with us for not accepting James Paxton for who he is’ questions. Yesterday’s Paxton line of 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 12 Ks, ERA at 4.16, was what we signed up for! (If we signed up for it, I didn’t, but that’s semantics.) If you drill down on Paxton — hey now! — his velocity is relatively samesies; his K/9 is fine; his walks are up (3.4 BB/9); his FIP is the highest it’s been in almost five years and he’s getting choked by the long ball like a zipper on a senior. This looks like poor luck and worse command. For 2020, a lot depends on how much the ball is flying out still, and I imagine a lot, but it’s hard to not think he should rebound, no matter what your cousin’s brats’ leaflets say.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On a day when there’s Clayton Kershaw and a lot of two’s priced as Aces, hunting for value is our favorite past-time. Enter Marco Gonzales ($7,700).  You may remember him from such hits as a 3-0 April with a 2.14 ERA.  Since then he’s hit a rough patch, but he did go 3-1 with a 3.54 ERA in July, including 6.0 innings with no walks, one earned run, and eight K’s against a Detroit team that still had Nick Castellanos on July 27th.  He went 6+ innings against the Rays his last time out, with nine K’s and two earnies, but he left after being hit on the leg with a comebacker.  He should be good to go today, but just in case you could more than throw a dart at Kyle Gibson against the sneakily struggling Brewers offense for a similar value play.  Now on to the picks.

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Rob Manfred presses the button on a contraption that looks like a skinny hose, and juices spurt out. Rob looks up to the store clerk, “So, I just push this end of the hose inside the baseballs and juice comes out and balls go zoom?”  “Zoom, baby, zoom.”  “I’ll take 300 of them.”  “You only want 300 homers?”  “You’re right, I’ll take 45,000.”  “Will do, Kemosabe. Hey, wanna see where I store the white pine tar that pitchers can use undetected?”  “No, that’s illegal!”  So, what’s this, three days in a row with a hitter hitting three homers in a game? Shizz is bizzonkers. Every year I say the same for Nelson Cruz (3-for-5, 5 RBIs and his 23rd, 24th and 25th homer) and Edwin Encarnacion. They will hit home runs until they’re 50. That’s if they’re not already 50, then make it 70.  When reached for comment after the game, Cruz said, “I could’ve hit four homers, but then you find out why Mark Whiten was called ‘Hard Hittin.'” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?