Folks, this is all she wrote. The fantasy baseball season is entering its final week. What a wild ride it’s been, eh? In a way, it doesn’t even feel like it actually happened. I mean, normally, by Week 9 we’re talking about who’s for real and who isn’t for real, which slumping superstar is primed to bounce back and carry your team the rest of the way, whatever. But now we’re already bidding farewell.
I think for my next piece I’m going to put together a 2020 Waiver Wire All-Star team. Take a standard Yahoo lineup format and fill it with waiver gems. So be on the lookout for that!
For this week, it’s gonna stay in line with how last week looked. More names to look at (with some repeats from previous weeks) and my quick thoughts on each.
It’s been a pleasure writing these up for you every week! Hope they’ve been helpful to some of you. My apologies if not. I blame 2020, in that case.
Rookie Alec Bohm continued his explosive September Friday night going two for three with a run and an RBI in game one and one for three with a run and his first career steal in the second game. Oh my, did he just steal a base! *swoons* Alec’s underwhelming power to start his career has made it hard on hilarious jokesters like myself who just want to pun all day and improv all night. No bombs for Bohm? What about a nice lip balm? Does that work? Fret not, Bohm-dot-com has picked it up lately with two Bohm-bombs in the past week. So maybe Alec is more of an opposite field contact guy than a ding dong dinger guy? Or maybe it’s his first year in the league and once he adjusts he’ll be a monster and yes I’m absolutely going to draft him everywhere in 2021? Melikes the latter one most. His manager thinks he’s a future 40 home run hitter and Gabe Kapler seems to know exactly what’s up. *hard cough* But forget about the power for a sec, Alec has multi-hit games in nine of his last 20 starts, and has hit safely in all but two games this month. He’s slashing .359/.400/.551 with three Bohm bombs and 14 RBI in September and that’s no joke! I almost wrote this lede about another scrubby Red Sox prospect, but I didn’t (you’re welcome!) because I noticed Bohm was a BUY and was still criminally under owned at less than 35%! What gives? He should have been scooped up in August. Bohm could be the dot, dot, dot…spark your team needs to dot, dot, dot…explode in your final week of fantasy. I’m sorry, I have t,–and you have to pick up Bohm and win your final week. This kid’s gonna be a star–ha-cha-cha!
Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:
Hard to believe, but my first season as a baseball analyst here at Razzball is almost at an end! For athletes, that means they’re leaving the bubble soon. Us fantasy writers? We’re all bubbled-up to protect from the dreaded Piranhavirus. Oh, you don’t know what that is? See, we’re so forward thinking here at Razzball, we’re already sequestered away for the next pandemic. You may be asking, “How does the Razzbubble work?” Well, future victims of piranhas, let me show you my notes from earlier this summer when I bubbled up.
His full name is Randy Arozarena, and he was kidnapped and raised by Nicholas Cage and Holly Hunter as their own. On today’s podcast coming later today, I was surprised to hear Podcaster Ralph say he thought Randy Arozarena was for real. I honestly thought he was a hot schmotato, and the best part of him was his last name sounds like a Red Hot Chili Peppers’ lyric. Psychic spies from Tampa try to steal your fantasy team’s elation, and little girls from Sweden dream of me quoting me quotation, and if you want these kind of dreams of Arozarenication. Also, he has a readymade nickname, the Rice Bowl, because his name split up is Arroz Arena. Damn it, I love him now too! In Triple-A, Arozarena went 12/9/.358 in 64 games in 2019, and he has 25+ steal speed, and roughly 15-homer power. That’ll play the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the Rice Bowl. Yesterday, Arozarena (1-for-2) hit his third homer in two games, and is hitting .471. Even if he doesn’t keep up that, and Cash tries to platoon the Rice Bowl, he’s well worth picking up. Don’t worry, I haven’t said Randy Arozarena 2021 sleeper, so no jinx yet. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
In the highly lucrative industry that is imaginary sports team management, we here at Razzball are always looking to give you readers the sharpest edge of advantage. I mean, how do we keep up with a provider like Pitching Ninja, whose name literally invokes the finely-honed edges of a ninja star slicing through bats before landing softly in the supple leather of a catchers mitt? Fear not, fearful reader! I have been to cram school, and I have been to Austria, and I have been in dungeons, and I combined all of my knowledge of those places and completely threw it out the window. See, to be sharper than sharp, you gotta think outside the box. When the competition goes sharp, you go — that’s right! — blocky. I present to you, followers of the Top 100 Starting Pitcher series, the latest in pitching analysis: 8-bit graphics.
Robbie Ray Demonstrates his elite level of unpredictability
Let’s apply this newfangled technology to our top starting pitchers and see what we can do to help you to fantasy glory!
I was a big Spencer Turnbull believer at the beginning of the season — but now I’m not too sure. And unfortunately, he has no one to blame but himself. He’s got the highest BB/9 in the league with a 5.97 mark. Yee-ikes! How bad is that number? Well since 2000 the worst BB/9 was Matt Clement’s 5.49 in 2000. He ended the season with a 5.14 ERA. In fact, you have to go all the way back to 1994 to find someone with a worse BB/9 than Turnbull right now. A young man by the name of Todd Van Poppel of the Oakland Athletics had a 6.87 BB/9. His ERA at the end of that year was 6.09. The Brewers shouldn’t be a tough team — they have the 3rd worst OPS vs righties in the league. However, he faced them his last start and — you guessed it — walked way too many guys (5 in 5 IP) and allowed 5 ERs. He’s never had the best control — but almost 6 per game is unprecedented. In the minors, he hovered around a 3.5 BB/9 mark. Right now he’s at the bottom of his tier and looking down because if you look through some of his previous starts this season when he keeps the walks below 4 he can have some success — but unfortunately, that often isn’t the case.
All right, we almost made it a week without a Covid positive test in MLB, but Sunday morning, the Oakland Athletics announced that a member of their crew tested positive for coronavirus and their play has been postponed. News will be developing more, but as of the time of writing (Sunday morning), you’ll probably want to pay attention to your Oakland starters (i.e. Jesus Luzardo, Frankie Montas, Chris Bassitt) in weekly lineup leagues. For DFS and daily lineups, you can follow the news and do what you have to do.
Again, we’re nearing the 60% mark of the season for most teams in MLB, and the same goes for most of your fantasy baseball teams. If you’re going to make a move — whether the waiver wire or a trade — it’s time to do it now. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the Rest-of-Season-o-Nator-o-Tron. That Sixto Sanchez guy that everybody’s talking about? Hit Control-F and search his projections for the rest of the season. Come on, do it! Oh fine, I’ll just tell you. It’s 23IP, 1W, and a probably too-conservative 17K. What about Gerrit Cole? 36IP, 3W, and 49K. OK math majors, let’s get to work! If you’re trailing in pitching stats in your fantasy league, what’s the likelihood that Sixto Sanchez helps you catch up to the team that’s starting Gerrit Cole every 5 days? Not all that great, right? The Marlins have a lot of catch-up to do, and Sixto Sanchez can’t throw those extra games, and no manager is going to risk The Sanchize by throwing him overtime in a year when 50% of the teams make the playoffs. For actual baseball, this is amazing, because the Marlins seem on track to make the playoffs and you’re going to see The Sanchize playing in the wildest shootout of baseball playoffs ever seen in human history. But for fantasy baseball, you’re getting, at most, maybe 2W and — if you’re lucky — 30Ks from Sixto over the next few weeks.
So, how do you overcome the teams that are starting the entirely-possible rotation of Shane Bieber, Lance Lynn, Mike Minor, and Andrew Heaney (all of whom are in the top 25)?
Before we begin: a large, AROOGA-AROOGA caveat to this post. I’m writing it in advance without knowing whether more games will be postponed today, owing to the protests over racial justice. All this to say, please be sure to check your line-ups before start of play. Should everything go ahead, FanDuel is offering us a slate of 6 games (starting at 6:37 ET) — to accommodate the double-headers, I suspect — which slims down our options somewhat, but let’s look at what we can do within those parameters. Because I started this post really far in advance, I was originally going to tell you to play Zac Gallen at home, where he holds a 2.37 ERA, versus the Rockies. He’ll also give you Ks and his WHIP is pretty good. But he’s not part of today’s slate on FanDuel, so I’ll just say now, if you have the opportunity to play him anywhere in a DFS or roto league, give him a shot! As it stands, pitching is a little ouch-it-hurts on this slate. With any luck, your competitors will flock to Max Scherzer ($10,600) for their pitching needs, but I prefer Hyun-Jin Ryu ($9,100). Buffalo is starting to look like a hitting park, but Boston’s offense is limited other than Mitch Moreland (who likely won’t face LHP).
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“I want to be a cardiologist, to be a heart surgeon, but I don’t know how that’s gonna work with baseball as well. So, I might do something business-related, so I get a little bit of business acumen going into the real world. And then once I’m done with baseball, I can probably go back and continue my study in medicine.”
I mean, Triston McKenzie achieved both of his dreams, right? In his major league debut, McKenzie surgically sliced through the heart of the Tigers lineup, giving up one run over six innings while whiffing 10 batters. And you know what? There’s a very good chance that he takes the heart out of Zach Plesac, whose arbitration schedule would be delayed if Cleveland keeps him at the alternate site much longer. Is it too early to call McKenzie the “Cardiac Kid?”
“Thinking about how I could’ve had Jose Abreu three rounds after Pete Alonso,” is what I tell the man in the plane after I say I want to parachute from the plane without a parachute. “You have anything that burns hotter than 500 degrees?” Is what I ask the grill store employee as I put charcoal briquettes down my pants as I watch Jose Abreu hit six homers in one series. “Just seeing if I can chew glass, that’s all,” which is what I say to Cougs as I bite into a water glass while thinking about El Grande Dolor hitting .322 and four home runs in a row from Saturday until Sunday. “No, I’m not cutting onions, I’m ripping my fingernails out,” which is what I say to my reflection when I think about how Jose Abreu has 11 homers and Pete Alonso hasn’t played in four days and was moved down the lineup for Dom Smith. How’s everyone else doing, that’s nice. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball: