Please see our player page for Curt Casali 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.

Hope everyone had a glorious Memorial Day, while placing some hot dogs in your gullet and swallowing them whole with some cheap beer. Like George Washington would’ve wanted it! George used to remove his wooden teeth and eat hot dogs whole. True story. So, I’ve become Mr. Pull My Pitcher With 90 Pitches. I hate pitches 90-100. They suck. In ten years, I will hate pitches 80-90. Then, ten years later, I will be Mr. I Like The Starter Who Comes In From The 4th Thru The 5th Inning. ACKSUALLY, that brings up a point, what happens when no starters go more than four innings? It’s coming at some point. Will we adjust our fantasy scoring categories? Something to think about, which is why I’m looking for an emoji with a hand on a chin that is using its other hand to slowly raise its middle finger towards Craig Counsell. Aaron Ashby (6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 2.70) was fantastic. Dot dot dot. Through 6 innings! He never needed to go out there for the 7th, and it unraveled from pitches 90 thru 100. See? That’s why I am whoever I said I am five sentences ago, to paraphrase Eminem. Ashby’s 11.5 K/9, 5 BB/9, 3.08 xFIP is so itsy-bitsy close to an ace and unusable on the other side. Thankfully, his command is usually much better, i.e., AA – BB = CC, i.e., Aaron Ashby minus walks equals CC Sabathia. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yusei…

I only hear what I want to. *sob-snorting* I thought what I felt was simple! *mumbling words I don’t know* Turn the MLB dot com on! Yusei is on. *mumbling more words I don’t know* I think that Yusei’s throwing, but I’m thrown. Is Yusei…oh…kay? *mumbling more words I don’t know* You try to give away a keeper, or keep me cause you know you’re just so scared to lose, and Yusei…Stay.

It’s kinda crazy how much Lisa Loeb was singing about Yusei Kikuchi (6 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.38) when he was only three years old. Yusei’s command is usually around a 3.5 BB/9, but this year so far it’s 5.6. His Ks are still so far’king good — 9.3 K/9, and his velocity is fine (95 MPH on the speedball), and he seemed like he wasn’t controlling the cutter/slider well early on, and it was forcing him to throw the fastball more. So hitters were sitting dead-red on the chugga-chugga, and it wasn’t working. In his last three starts, things have been better, and Yusei isn’t just a Gen X anthem for lost love angst. Yusei…Stay on my teams. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Okay, guys, to start the song we’re going to count out to four, but we’re going to count 1, 2…Then go back to the beginning and finish with 1, 2, 3, 4…Questions?”
“Hey, Bruce Springsteen, uh, yeah, big fan, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to show you I belong as a background vocalist in the E Street Band — ESB? Do people use that? Anyhoo…Have you considered hiring someone else to count, because ‘1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4’ isn’t how people count?”
“Who are you?”
“I saw a flyer at The Stone Pony for an opening in your band.”
“That flyer was supposed to be taken down 48 years ago. Get out of here.”

And that’s how we got the title for this post: Al, Tu, Al, Tu, Ve, Four. It’s also how many homers Jose Altuve (2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 16th homer, hitting .298) has in the last three games. He has eight homers in the last 10 games, but Bruce Springsteen never counted to eight. As another singer, Lady Sovereign, would sing, “Altuve is the biggest midget in the game!” That Lady Sovereign song is 15 years old, and now I feel 100 years old. Jose Altuve also has 16 homers in 57 games; his career high is 31. Maybe this time he can steal an MVP award from someone his own size (if he’s standing on top of a car, and you include the car’s weight). Imagine being Aaron Judge and saying Altuve stole an MVP from you. Bro, you stole the sun from anyone within 10 feet of you. It’s a form of cheating by just being big. At least that’s what I tell anyone who challenges me to any sporting event. So, drilling down on Altuve’s peripherals, he’s pulling everything, and his Launch Angle is a little goofy early on (as in high), which could lead to a lot of fly balls, and lower average, or more homers, if he’s connecting, as he has been. Now, if pitchers pound away, he might be in trouble. There’s a possibility here for him to come back to earth (small fall), but anyone would come back to earth after an eight-homer, ten-game stretch, but, in general, he seems back. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Good for the Mets. Seriously. No joke. They deserve to act like they’re from a big market, because, here’s the wild thing, they are. How’sever, it is shameful how Cleveland punts every year. Offsetting Browns’ recent success? Baker Mayfield? More like Baker could field anywhere on that team. Also, what’s with all the sweets going from Cleveland? Lindor truffle, Cookie…Lucky it’s Shane Bieber vs. Shane Keebler or he would’ve been traded too. Cleveland’s front office calling up teams, “We got a Double-A middle infielder named Ferrero Rocher, any interest?”

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?

Starts quietly at first then builds, “Javy….Nagilla….Javy…Nagilla…Javy…Nagilla!” Waving napkins above my head while I’m lifted in my chair above my fantasy team, “Javy….Nagilla….Javy…Nagilla…Javy…Nagilla!” Spots someone who looks like a Rabbi with a long beard, and screams down, “Thank you, Rabbi!” The bearded man replies, “I’m Lance Lynn.” So, Javier Baez went 3-for-5, 2 RBIs, 3 RBIs with his 4th and 5th homer, hitting .219. Shoot, hold on, someone is ringing my doorbell. “Oh, hey, Instacart deliveryman, I ordered the smelling salts thinking I might need them for Javier Baez, what’s your return policy?” Hopefully, this is the start of Baez hitting like a top 25 hitter, and not like every rookie the Marlins call up. I could use it. Plus, I have this chair now propped on top of my desk for the Javy Nagilla dance. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, the Mets debuted their 2017 1st round pick, David Peterson, and he went 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 3 Ks. Here’s bit of tid on him:  Tall dude, stands about 6’6″. *standing on my chair, arm up in the air* About yay high. Fastball velocity sits *gets off chair, points at my framed picture of Angela Lansbury* low 90’s. Slider and curveball are *looks around to illustrate, points at colored-in Denny’s placement of a cowboy, realizes that won’t be enough, takes crayon and draws a cape on the cowboy* That’s a super okie. As in okie doke. C’mon, that was an easy one. So, lots of okie-doke usually equals okie-dookie, but he has solid command, so he might be a four to five real-world starter, which makes him good for Streamonator in shallower fantasy leagues. In a short season, there could be some value here. He should at least limit damage, as he did last night in Fenway. Also, Prospect Itch wrote about 500 words on David Peterson in his 2020 Mets fantasy baseball prospects writeup, and only one overt threat directed at me. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, how’s everyone doing after four days of games? Still early, right? Actually, it’s not early. It’s never early this year. Early took the first train out of the station with your wife and dog. Say goodbye to your life, Early walked off with it. Four days this year is approximately three weeks into a regular season. Four days into the season this year is a cherry and whipped topping into this sundae, and one scoop in there might be chocolate chip mint, which you have to skip because it tastes like sugary toothpaste. One guy whose entire Sunday was chocolate chip mint is Justin Verlander. Sounds like he’s out for the season with a forearm strain, which is usually a precursor for much worse news. Won’t speculate what this means for his career, but if this is the last time he plays, it truly bums me out, even if I never wanted to own him. He was glorious to watch, in and out of the bathroom mirror with Kate. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Nostalgia can be a funny thing. In challenging times, especially, it can be nice to revisit things that you think back on fondly. It wraps you in a warm, comfy blanket of good memories and better times. Even now, as I’m writing this, I just put on a random 90s alternative rock/grunge playlist that I found on YouTube. I have some very nostalgic feelings about the music from that era. Alice in Chains? Yes please. Soundgarden? Mmm… so cozy. Better Than Ezra? Sure, why not. Underrated band. Tal Bachman? Ahhhh, that’s… wait, what? Joan Osborne? Brrr… it’s getting drafty in here. Savage Garden? Hey, where the hell did my blanket go? Time to pull a Randy Savage and drop the big elbow on this list. Magoo’s gettin’ angry!

Well, so much for my nostalgic musical trip. That brings us back to baseball. It’s really the ultimate source of nostalgia for me. Whether playing, watching, or getting hooked on the fantasy side of things, it’s been a constant in my life since I was about four years old. A nice, warm blanket that’s always at the ready. So to be sitting here in late April with no baseball in sight feels weird. Really weird. And while nobody really knows when or where or in what form our national pastime will return, I’m hopeful that it will at some point this year. But instead of focusing on what we can’t control, let’s focus on what we can control, shall we?

Which brings us to the topic at hand. We might not know when and where baseball will be played this season, but we can certainly choose who we want playing on our fantasy teams. With that in mind, I’ll be discussing all of the players who I’ve drafted in my fantasy baseball leagues in 2020. It might sound like a lot, but it’ll just be covering five leagues in total – four NFBC Online Championship leagues, and one NFBC Draft Champions league. For some perspective, the four OC leagues are 12 team mixed with weekly lineup locks, weekly pickups, and the following starting lineup requirements: 2 C, 1 1B, 1 2B, 1 SS, 1 3B, 1 MI, 1 CI, 5 OF, 1 Util, and 9 P. There is a 1000 innings pitched minimum, but no specific minimum or starting requirements for starting or relief pitchers. The Draft Champions is a 15 team mixed league format with the same starting lineup requirements as the OC format, except it’s a 50 round draft-and-hold with no in-season transactions. What you draft is what you’re stuck with until the end of the season. There is no trading and no injured list in both formats as well.

I’ll be breaking things down by position, briefly discussing my pre-draft strategies followed by a quick analysis of each player that I ended up pulling the trigger on. Since this article is already longer than a typical baby seal comment, I’ll just be covering catchers and corner infielders today, with middle infielders, outfielders, and pitchers soon to follow.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the likelihood of a shortened MLB season growing by the day streaming and targeting matchups will be more important in our 2020 fantasy world than ever before. One of the best places to take a stab at that is using catcher defense to try and mine some stolen bases. Two things factor into this: how often a catcher is run on and how often they throw runners out. Ideally, you’re getting a good matchup on both sides, like finding toilet paper at the grocery store that’s also not sandpaper texture, but I’d prefer volume to efficiency. Here are the 2019 stats and some of the likely hot spots.

Please, blog, may I have some more?