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?
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.
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?
Before Charlie Morton (4 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.11) threw one pitch yesterday, the Astros greeted him with a highlight reel of some of Morton’s greatest Astros moments. Like the clip of him burning his Pirates jersey. And the clip of him pitching relatively solid for about 150 IP, then hitting a wall and never getting through a whole season. There wasn’t a dry eye in the stadium, especially on the Rays’ bench. I told you to sell Morton last month because he can’t ever complete a season. Any hoo! Morton seems headed for a 3-minute bread beep as he becomes toast, but this is about how the Astros hit multiple balls into orbit, which is also the name of their mascot’s scooch hole. Yordan Alvarez (3-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs, hitting .329) hit his 20th and 21st homer in *hand-clapping emoji* 60 *hand-clapping emoji* games. Actually, stop and hand-clap emoji for a few minutes he’s such a thing of beauty. In total sincerity, if you haven’t seen him hit, go watch a clip. I see him hit homers and I’m puzzled, asking myself, “How does he not hit more homers?” And he hits a lot of homers! That’s how gorgeous his swing and ease-to-pop appears. For 2020, I’m going to fight with myself to not put him in the top 20, and I might lose. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Alexa, for Amazon Prime Day can you order me Clorox? Thank you, Alexa. Now can you order me clips to hold my mouth and eyes open? Thanks, Alexa! Now can you order me a large man to pour the bleach into my mouth and eyes while shoving me into my oven? Oh, and Alexa, if you can get German Marquez to do it, that would be so appropriate!” German yesterday? Guten tagged! Here’s a visual metaphor for you: A German U-boat filled with men, one toilet and only Taco Bell to eat for a blitzkrieg of runs. Marquez is driving me insane but he is not an Uber ally, because he is dead to me. Goodbye, Nazi In Exile, enjoy your long walks along the Chilean coast and your alpaca farm where you shave little German helmets on your animals. After 2 2/3 IP, 11 ER, ERA up to 5.12, I will never draft you again or any Rockies pitcher. I should’ve learned my lesson from Jon Gray last year! (Though, he’s been okay this year — shut up, Contrary Grey!) In my deeper leagues, where I have no choice, I’ll still be sadly starting Marquez in away games. *sees his next start is in Yankee Stadium* Lowercase yay! He might be Deutschland but I’m Dunceland for owning him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Padres sent Chris Paddack down to Single-A to limit his innings. When Nick Margevicius heard the news, he said, “Damn, guess I’ll be limited too.” Padres, “Nah, you good, throw 270 IP if you can.” Paddack being sent down to the minors feels like an encapsulation of all that’s wrong with baseball. Or at least that element. That whole manipulation of young players element. Paddack won’t pitch in Single-A. He’s going for a rest. A vacay, of sorts. A little ‘how’s your father’ in Lake Elisnore at the House of Alfredo Griffindoor. He has to be back in 20 days (due to service time), and he will be. My guess is in two weeks. Why any team thinks it’s better to shut down a guy early and start them up again vs. shut them down in August is beyond me. Member how well that helped Julio Urias? He needed surgery to correct things. To put it in laymen’s terms, shut down your car in the dead of winter and restart it or leave it running while you run into CVS? Okay, maybe the Consumer Value Store scenario depends on some of your janky neighborhoods, but you catch the drift. Either way, I’m trying to hold Paddack in most leagues; he’ll likely only miss three starts. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Friday night, Milwaukee Brewers’ newest phenom/heartthrob/infielder Keston Hiura went three for four with his fourth home run and three RBI. Keston case you were wondering, Hiura is slashing .296/.345/.537 with four homers a steal and seven RBI through his first 15 games in the majors with two of those dingers coming in the past week along with a .353 batting average in that stretch. Did I mention he has a four game hitting streak as well? Well yes. I just did. Hiura has arrived, folks. Grey gave you his Keston Hiura fantasy a few weeks ago, and when he didn’t Austin Riley rake out of the gate, excitement seemed to cool a bit for the 22 year old 2nd baseman. But now’s your chance. He hit .333/408/.698 in 37 games at AAA San Antonio with 11 home runs, 26 RBI and four steals. I liked everything about that last sentence. Of his 43 hits, 24 went for extra bases. Sure, the 40 strikeouts in just 129 ABs is a bit concerning but when you’re fishing for rookie upside you casually ignore little warning signs like that. Here’s what Grey said about Keston, “He was striking out way too much in Triple-A to hit .333 in the majors, but 18/7/.270 sounds about right from this point forward with a chance for more. Maybe he could even be the NL MVP.” Methinks Grey just likes him because of his mustache, but honestly, what’s not to like! He should only be better when Milwaukee comes to their senses and moves him into the heart of the lineup. Hiura/Yelich sammys anyone? He’s currently criminally under owned in many leagues and I’d add him everywhere he’s available. This kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!
Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?