My brain whenever I see Brandon Lowe: “It’s Low, right? No, you idiot, it’s like Lau! LAU! LAU! Say LAU! Which is pronounced like Low, right? NO! It rhymes with chow! It’s Lau!” Then, I compose myself and pronounce it as “Low.” Literally, without fail. I hope you do this too, so I’m not alone. It would make me feel better. Thank you. Yesterday, Lowe–Lau! But spelled Lowe!–went double ding dong, as he led-off (3-for-4, 3 RBIs) with his 27th and 28th homer. Also, in the Hooters-adjacent Tampa Bay-adjacent St. Pete’s Basilica, Kevin Kiermaier (1-for-4) hit his 4th homer; Brett Phillips (2-for-4) boogied his way to his 10th homer and Mike Brosseau (1-for-4) hit his 5th homer. Now I see why Brosseau, “Whoa.” Lowe, though (doesn’t rhyme), is repeating his HR/FB% from last year’s breakout, along with FB%, and HardHit%, but not really his strikeouts. He’s way more aggressive at the plate (O-Swing% and Swing% up), and unfortunately for him, he’s making more contact on junk pitches. Wish the average was higher for Lowe (that’s not a pun, it’s Lau not Low), but he’s established himself as a 32-homer guy with upside for 2022. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Cole Hamels 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.
In the front row of Dodger Stadium, an empty seat adorned with only everything bagel seasoning and suspenders commemorating Larry King sat to the right of home plate. Still there in person, Mary Hart recounted how Larry used to say, “Something smells funny in my Duane Kuiper.” A big game for the Dodgers, make no mistake. Almost as big as the game they lost the night before. This game they wouldn’t come up short, especially with Jake Odorizzi (3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 4.95) helping. Mookie Betts (2-for-5 and his 16th and 17th homer) led the way, showing why he’s Mookie Best. The celebrities weren’t just in the stands, as Will Smith (1-for-3, 3 RBIs) hit his 15th homer. The big story, of course, was the debut of the newly-acquired Max Scherzer (7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.75). One film exec in the crowd was heard saying, “He wouldn’t be half-bad if he had the same color eyes.” Oh, and A.J. Pollock (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) hit his 14th homer, and he’s been about 500 spots better than Cody Belanger on the Player Rater, as Cody now hits out of the eight hole. Hey, the 8-hole is only two spots from ‘falling’ to leadoff, which is what I say as I slowly climb out my window. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Lance McCullers‘s middle name is Inconsistent. It’s Irish. It was O’Inconsistent, but assimilation through Doc Ellis Island softened the edges. There’s some pitchers I love. That’s it. Just love them. Trevor Bauer, you seem like a total douche, but welcome to my teams! There’s a few pitchers I hate. Good luck getting on any of my teams aging pitcher who doesn’t throw strikeouts. Yo, have fun, Jon Lester, but not here, homey. Finally, there’s pitchers I go back and forth on. Do I love, hate or something else…indifference? This year was indifference for Lance McCullers (6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.24), due to coming off Tommy John surgery. For 2021, it’s going to be hard to figure out what to expect from him. Will I love, hate or…indifference? McCullers-Cullers-Cullers’s velocity returned, but his Ks have been kinda flat. He’s not getting a ton of guys to chase outside the zone, and hitters are making contact. The zone numbers are pretty average, but he’s also battled back from major surgery, and may not yet be at 100%. Do you really hold against a guy a goofy six weeks of stats with his stuff? Maybe, but if you’re holding anything against a guy to love to hate, then that sounds more just like love and you don’t know how to show it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I had Dane Dunning listed as a two-start pitcher last week, but I guess that didn’t happen for whatever reason. However, he was the headlining player of that article, and he’s back again for this week! Way back then I wrote: “I’ll give him this — the career 0.5 HR/9 over 449 professional innings will serve him well this week. Also working in his favor is he’s facing the 7th and 9th worst teams in K/rate to right-handed pitchers.” Well, he did allow a HR to the Twins last week, but still only held them to that 1 ER over 7 innings while tying his season-high with 7 K’s. JUST LIKE I TOLD YOU. So what about these Indians? They’re only hitting .230 against righties with a .373 slugging percentage. The ingredients are there for another delicious recipe for success from Dunning. I’m a little less optimistic about his start against the Cubs, although they have been middle of the road against righties with their third-highest K/rate against them. Take the risk if you can afford it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Keep on go on wondering why, I got out of bed at all,” which are the lyrics for Thank You by Dido, which was the chorus for Stan by Eminem, and I want to thank you, Kwang-Hyun Kim (7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 0.63) as he was activated from the IL after having kidney problems, and to misquote Eminem, “I Stan Kim.” Actually, here’s Eminem singing The Golden Girls theme song, “Stan Kim for pitching a gem.” Eminem is a big Golden Girls fan, obvi. Any hoo! What a year by Kim, whoa. He has 24 consecutive scoreless innings, and has allowed only one home run all year. Granted, he’s only thrown 28 2/3 IP all year, has allowed only two earned runs all year, and that’s less than a month of a regular season. But, wow, what a year! We’ll leave it at that. Will Eminem, or us for that matter, be singing The Golden Girls theme song, “Stan Kim for pitching a gem” in 2021? That seems less likely. His peripherals are not particularly inspiring, but for this year *genuflects* Stan Kim, Stan Kim, Stan Kim. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Dane Dunning sounds like someone who should be hosting a 70’s dating show and looks like the T.A. all the young co-eds would be lusting after in Psych 101. That being said, he’s pitched pretty well in his 4 starts so far this year allowing only 6 ERs in 20 IP. If he does well against the hard-hitting Twins and the Reds at home — I’ll consider moving him up. I’ll give him this — the career 0.5 HR/9 over 449 professional innings will serve him well this week. Also working in his favor is he’s facing the 7th and 9th worst teams in K/rate to right-handed pitchers.Please, blog, may I have some more?
In the first of sixteen doubleheaders yesterday, we were treated to The Bobby Dalbec Show, starring…Bobby Dalbec. *Bobby enters stage right and the crowd quiets* One boy in the front row of the black & white audience stands and points, “It’s the resurrection of the great Red Sox legend, Bobby Doerr!” Then an usher points, “Oh, my God, Dalbec is present tense for Doerr!” Another argumentative guy screams, “Yo, Bobby Dalbec, what’s the deal with Red Ruffing? He die from huffing? From being a Red? Screw socialism!” Yesterday, Bobby Dalbec, local hero, and all-around Red Sox player, went 3-for-6, 4 RBIs with his 4th and 5th homer in, like, two games. His power isn’t without its ceiling, but that ceiling is on the moon. He could be a 35-homer guy in the majors. The big drawback is–Wait a second, did he have a 50% strikeout rate going into the doubleheader? Hey, Dalbec, B. Doerr, don’t B. Don’ter. Dalbec might hit .205 for the immediate future, but he eventually finds contact once he gets comfortable in a league. For this year, Dalbec or Moistasskiss? Ya know what I’m saying, go with the hot hand and Bobby Doerr’s present tense. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Our long national nightmare is over (except for the actual long national nightmare that isn’t over — sigh, to be a person with parenthetical blindness and not have to read this caveat)! We did it, boys and five girl readers. We f*cking did it! Not us, per se. We didn’t do shizz, except draft some baseball players for fantasy. But, ya know what, that’s enough for me! See, with lowered goals and expectations, you’re never disappointed. It’s a zen thing; you wouldn’t understand. It was a mere nine months ago when we started talking about sleepers and rankings and…How old am I now?
When 2020 started vs. Now pic.twitter.com/MQRevUcPbV
— Razzball (@Razzball) July 21, 2020
Well, whatever, baseball is back and that’s all that matter. Singing like an absolute loon, “Baseball’s back and I want to get married — hey nah, hey nah — baseball’s back!” And, now in my mind, I’m married to Giancarlo Stanton. Ask yourself why you didn’t send us a wedding gift. Selfish much? Of course, Opening Day couldn’t have happened in any other way in 2020. It had to be met with cold-ass reality, which why Juan Soto tested positive for Covid. It sucks, Mr. Obvious said, but it’s also a reminder of what this year will be. It’s going to be waiver wire pickups, the Streamonator, the Hittertron and playing of matchups. If you’re curious and want to torture yourself, Juan Soto fell to 179th overall in the final 2020 preseason rankings. Stepping in to replace Juan Soto will be Andrew Stevenson, the James Spader of replacements. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Dudes and five lady dudes, pitching is going to be a mess in 2020. Pitching is usually where I excel at pinpointing guys to draft and avoid, and right now I’m looking at an array of hot takes: “Top starters are more valuable! “Top middle relievers are more valuable!” “Tops are bottoms, and I’m not talking about baseball anymore!” I can’t tell hot takes from shiitakes. Usually I’m able to say, “With 100% confidence, I would not draft a top starter.” This year, if you’re saying anything with 100% confidence, you’re lying. Seriously, don’t trust anyone who is confident in predicting anything in a 60-game season. We’ve never seen anything like this and may never again. Embrace it? Sure. But “Be Water” like Bruce Lee said, and adapt. With so few innings to prepare for the season in Summer Camp, will top starters even be ready to go? That alone should shut up the “You need top starters” people. With so few innings in the actual season, that should also shut up the “Don’t pay for starters this year” people. Instead, let’s just break down the categories, and see if we can’t just win those. Laura also just gave you a solid look at possible ERA strategy. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for ERA & WHIP?Please, blog, may I have some more?
So we’re gonna have a season, maybe, hopefully…..who knows. But we need to be prepping like there’s going to be one. So let’s take a look at some of the specifics that have come down from MLB with the new plan for the season and how it should effect how you handle injuries/Covid related issues going into the year.
First off, the rules. MLB released a list of precautions when they and the players’ union approved the deal for the 60 game season. Testing is the biggest thing we need to keep an eye on. Everyone’s getting tested for active Covid-19 as well as antibodies upon reporting to Spring Training 2.0. They will not be cleared for work until they tests negative for Covid (we’ll come back to this). In season, players will undergo multiple “symptom tests” per day (temp checks and “how are you feeling” questionnaires). They will also be tested every other day.
So what happens if someone tests positive? Well, each team has to put in place their own Covid handling program that meets certain minimum requirements. The biggest thing though is that, in order to be cleared to play, a player must test negative twice within a 24 hour period and show now symptoms for 72 hours. This is a big deal. There’s no real rhyme or reason for how long Covid stays in your system, but even asymptomatic cases seem to last a minimum of 14 days. I looked into some prominent cases that took place over in Europe when Covid hit some of their soccer leagues: Callum Hudson-Odoi, a winger for Chelsea tested positive for Coronavirus at the beginning of March. He wasn’t able to test negative until the beginning of May, despite showing few symptoms. Paolo Dybala, who plays for Juventus, tested positive in mid-March and was asymptomatic. He wasn’t cleared until almost the end of May. Suffice to say, it’s going to be case by case when it comes to each one of these testing scenarios, but I think it would be wise to treat a positive test like a month long or more injury when trying to evaluate how to handle your roster.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Anyone who plans on engaging in a little fantasy baseball fun over the (hopefully) upcoming 60-game season has certainly been thinking about the overwhelming number of meaningful changes that have occurred over the last several months. There are so many alterations and unusual circumstances, and so much incomplete information, that it’s been hard for me to begin even preparing for how to attack things in 2020. How this all translates specifically to AL-only, NL-only, and other deep leagues is yet another wrinkle that it may be tricky to successfully iron out before it’s too late.
I have a few teams that have sat “frozen” since as early as November that will re-open for FAAB and waiver wire moves soon, plus at least three more deep-league drafts to do over the next few weeks. As I begin formulating some strategies for addressing these teams, I’m going to start by checking in on some deeper-league injury situations. Since I’m writing this several days before players are expected to show up at their new camps, there will likely be a flurry of news and updates soon, but for now let’s take a look at some of the health news that’s come in over the last week or so. We’ll keep it deep league by checking in on some players outside the top 300 in NFBC ADP this year, listed in order of earliest drafted to latest drafted. These are guys that we might have forgotten about and who might get ignored in standard leagues regardless of whether or not they’re ready to take the field, but who, if healthy, might help those of us who are going to need to get a little more creative with our roster construction.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday most teams announced their 60-man rosters for Summer Camp. You know Summer Camp, it’s when MLB players compete against each other in kayak and potato sack races, learn to respect other kids, even ones with nerdy glasses, and are managed by Bill Murray. Oh, and, yeah, all teams were supposed to release their 60-man rosters, but when you make a rule that in extra innings a runner will start on 2nd base, then rules are officially stupid and should not be followed. Rob Manfred speaking into a phone, “Brewers, we need your 60-man roster.” Brewers, “It’s in your ass, Rob.” Rob, “I’m looking in a mirror and I do not see it.” One other thing about the 60-man rosters that were released: they were all a few short of 60. 60-man rosters are a lot like Opening Day, a wait-and-see affair. Guys can be added still in the coming days. So, maybe there’s hope still for Ryan Mountcastle and Adley Rutschman, since they were omitted from the Orioles’ released 44-man roster. It would be surprising if they weren’t included in the coming days, if this weren’t the Orioles. Some teams included their 2020 draft picks. The Orioles have yet to include their 1st pick from 2015 (Mountcastle) and their 1st pick from last year. i.e., Grey’s about to lose his crap and only talk in 3rd person. Anyway, here’s what else I saw 2020 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?