Please see our player page for Chris Bassitt 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.

[places soapbox on ground, stands tall]

Starting pitchers are more important this year. But you should still take hitters first. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

For most fantasy league formats, you are chasing wins in 2020. Thus, WAGNOF (Wins Ain’t Got No Face). With starting pitchers, you’re looking for #1/#2 starters on good teams, who will pitch a lot of innings and contribute to Wins, ERA, WHIP, and K. Relievers with great K/9–even middle relievers–will help immensely with ERA, WHIP, and K. But wins? Welcome to the Twilight Zone. Whereas wins used to the be the domain of starters (and Twins’ middle relievers), we’re already getting reports of top pitchers having inning limits and pitch counts. So, we’ll be seeing a lot of wins going to middle relievers, which makes it much more difficult to predict that category (unless you’re a lifelong Twins fan, holla!). If you don’t believe me on this, then take the advice from three-time Trout Fishing Champion Grey Albright. If you’re in a league that uses Quality Starts, the top three tiers of pitchers are even more valuable because you’ll be relying on pitchers who stay in games AND who don’t give up earned runs. The coronavirus and the style of play in 2020 placed a high scarcity on pitchers who meet these requirements. That said, crafty managers can combine mid-tier pitchers with relievers who provide elite ratios and make an effective pitching staff that will win leagues. So, let’s teach you to be a crafty manager.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

True story: DonkeyTeeth calls me up on the ol’ Twitter machine this morning.  Me, I’m just awake from dreaming of 5-year-old Blair riding out in my dad’s Buick Skylark into the Minneapolis night to celebrate the Twin’s 1987 World Series win.  Suddenly Donkey’s typing: “Top 100 Switchers.” And I’m like, “Donkey, it’s 7AM, I’m not ready for that!” He types into the Twitter machine, “TOP 100 PITCHERS!” So I say, that’s fine, here: 1) Beer, 2) Sangria, 3) Margarita… . Donk does it. You know. He starts typing, but doesn’t finish. The little dots on the bottom of my Twitter machine beep out in morse code–or whatever code Jack wants to call it–that causes mental insanity among so many people. I’m transfixed. The next use of a nuclear code, you know it’s going to be preceded by those little waiting dots. President Swift will have to verify the code with Vice President Lovitz but only after they clear their notifications. Finally, Donkey’s message comes across. “2-for-1 pitchers at BWW if you get there before 9AM. See ya.” That’s the level of training they give here at Razzball. I tell ya, I get no respect at all. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Day 1,292 of Quarantine and I’ve started sliding my feet everywhere I go in my house while swinging my arms and screaming to Cougs, “Guess who I am?!” Then she has to try to guess which Olympic skater I am based on my routine. Me, stopping suddenly, glitter top chafing my nipples, making me especially irritated, “Dorothy Hamill?! Are you drunk woman? I’m Maxim Kovtun, you absolute loon!” Honestly, from my selection of Genesis’s I Can’t Dance for my routine, I thought it was obvious. So, the top 80 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball were updated with new projections for a 100-game season. With this series, I will take a look around the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings to see if there’s any differences now that we might only play a 100-game season. Projections have been updated on all my positional rankings. Anyway, here’s thoughts on the top 80 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball with the new Corona timeline:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The little team that I always forget about until the regular season is over and ask myself “wait — the Athletics made the playoffs?!” This team is filled with exciting fantasy hitters at their top of the lineup who will provide solid fantasy production to your team. Marcus Semien and Ramon Laureano both should go 20/20 with great run totals (80-90) and decent RBI totals (65-75.) Then they’ve got the three burly sluggers in Matt Chapman, Matt Olson and Khris Davis who could all flirt with 40 HRs and 100 RBI.  They’ve also got three starting pitchers with sexy names who could break out in a big way this year in Sean Manaea, Jesus Luzardo and Frankie Montas — but everyone is drafting them as such. And at the end of the game they have Liam Hendriks, he of a career 4.72 career ERA before 2019, who came out of nowhere to close out 25 saves with a 1.80 ERA and 13.1 K/9. These guys have postseason written all over them in my eyes. But you guys already know about all of them! Below you’ll find a few sleepers I think could have solid fantasy value in 2020 based on their ADP. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Today concludes the fantasy baseball sleepers‘ portion of our program. *nudges homeless woman sleeping on my couch that I tried to get Cougs to agree to a threesome with* No more sleepers, Francine. Meh, I’ll let her rest. Like the outfielders to target, this post is necessary. You need to target the right names at the end of the draft for starters. Last year’s starters to target post included Kenta Maeda, Chris Paddack and Brandon Woodruff. They’ve moved way up ranks this year with one making the jump to my top 20 starters, and, well, can you believe ESPN ranked Paddack 263rd overall last year? Yeah, well, Woodruff was unranked by Yahoo and ESPN. As with other target posts, these guys are being drafted after the top 200 overall. A quick aside portion of the program, as for the coronavirus aka Covid-19 aka “The Disease That Apparently Hates Baseball,” I’m not pretending it’s not going on, but some people still have drafts, and if I liked these guys before the virus started karaoke’ing to Public Enemy’s Shut ‘Em Down, I still like them. There are upcoming RCL drafts, and I plan on doing another NFBC league for s’s and g’s to pass time until the National Pastime returns. Is there more interest from you in another NFBC draft vs. me vs. youse? Let me know in the comments. (Side note within side note:  If NFBC is still doing new leagues, I’m hearing conflicting reports.) Also, all Steamer hitter projections have been updated to 100 games, and all 2020 fantasy baseball rankings have been updated. Anyway, here’s some starters to target for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the top 80 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball, we are so close to the end of the rankings, I can almost taste it! Wait, that’s not rankings I taste, I bit my lip and it’s blood. I wonder if when Dracula bites his lip it’s like when Cougs goes out with her friends and I’m left at home while Emmanuelle is on Cinemax. I’ll go over exactly how to draft starters in a few days, but there are so many ways to skin a cat we should have PETA breathing down our necks. Also, I’m hoping to do the RCL signups next Monday. Stay tuned! Or not, your call. 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. At the top of that page there’s about 20 different league types to choose from. All projections listed are mine and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 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:

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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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You know how you bought that prosthetic pierced nipple in college? Then, one day, you were at a strong-in-energy kegger and everyone was screaming for you to jump in the pool, but you knew there was a 99% chance your prosthetic pierced nipple would come off and everyone would know you’re a fraud? But you jumped in anyway, and your prosthetic pierced nipple floated away, but, to your surprise, everyone liked you still, without the prosthetic pierced nipple. Lucas Giolito is your tan-lined nipple without the prosthetic piercing. He may get hit around occasionally, he might not always get Ks, but, at the end of the day, Lucas Giolito (6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 13 Ks, ERA at 3.42) is a great, bare-nippled pitcher.  His 11.3 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 3.35 FIP tell me next year he’s going to be a sneaky top 15 starter in 2020, who is forgotten like a prosthetic pierced nipple. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The Jurickson store called and they’re out of you so please report back to your nearest Jurickson store, because the A’s called up Franklin Barreto, who was named PCL Player of the Month. I just want to see Barreto on top of a Caprese salad, and then I’m going to dream I’m in Tuscany with Diane Lane and will hang a Do Not Disturb sign from my door for three whole minutes.  “Diane, did you enjoy that as much as I did?”  “I’ve never been satisfied.  Can I call you Hugh Jack-in-the-Box?”  “I’d be honored.”  Then we return from Tuscany and get bogged down in bills…stress…PTA meetings, but we’d always have three minutes in Tuscany to remember fondly.  In June, Franklin Burrata collected nine homers, three lasagnas and 13 doubles, and he hit .387 with 32 RBIs. His overall minors numbers were 65/12/48/.296/13 in 277 ABs.  He’s now on his 3rd call-up to the majors, and each time his Ks have skyrocketed like the fireworks that Diane saw in her eyes after our three minutes.  Franklin Barreto will be the A’s regular second baseman moving forward, and Bob Melvin is excited to see what he can do. I’m with Bob!  Which is what I say in every south Florida massage parlor, after explaining I want Lui-Sue to pretend she’s Diane Lane.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?