Please see our player page for Dakota Hudson 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.

Maybe the real-life baseball season has stopped, but that doesn’t mean fantasy baseball has to. It’s all we have these days, really. Fantasy sports while we fantasize about real sports coming back. I feel bad for my fellow fantasy hockey folks – I get the feeling it ain’t coming back, even if regular hockey does. I’m not about that fantasy basketball life (I dabbled in my younger years – Tracy McGrady anyone? Had to have him on all my teams), but I fear it’s the same fate. Only fantasy football is unscathed…so far. Wild stuff happening on that front, too. Brady to the Bucs? Da BUCS?! DAFUQ! Gurley and Newton RELEASED?! Hopkins TRADED?! Maybe Watson, too?! Madness, I say!

Anyway. This is a fantasy baseball article. Almost forgot. It’s an important year for the fine ladies and gents here at Razzball: the inaugural season of RazzSlam! Big shoutout to the NFBC peeps for hosting it. Give ’em a follow on the Twitter at @TheNFBC. I had the honor of being accepted into League 2 (of 18). Some scrub ass writer for CBS is in it. Big deal. I’m kidding, he’ll probably whoop my ass.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With these top 100 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball, I’ve finished our (my) 2020 fantasy baseball rankings for positions.  Still coming will be a top 100 overall and top 500 to see how all the positions mesh together like your mesh Redskins jersey that meshes with your burgundy sweatpants. Trust me, when you see how long this post is, you’ll be glad I kept this intro short. 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. As always, my projections are included, and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  If you want an explanation of tiers, go back to the top 10 overall and start this shizz all over again. Anyway, here’s the top 100 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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Eloy Jimenez went 1-for-4 and his 28th homer, hitting .259, as he marches to the finish line on a mediocre year…Or was it?!  Damn, reversal question, you always scare me. It’s worth noting, Jimenez struggled with injuries a bit this year and he only has 430 ABs. He’ll get roughly forty more at-bats this year, so figure 32 HRs in 470 at-bats (this math totally tracks; don’t come for me, nerds!). Give him the standard 570 ABs and he would’ve hit roughly 38 HRs in his rookie season. Geez, it doesn’t sound so bad when I put it like that. Wait, I can do more, he was playing injured a bit so 50 more healthy at-bats and Eloy Jimenez hit 40 homers in his rookie year. Want me to keep going, because I can get him to 73 homers? No? Suit yourself. Think people are looking at Eloy as having a poor rookie year, and the shine’s off him for 2020. However, I see a guy who almost hit 73 homers in his rookie year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Jeff McNeil went 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs with a double slam (19, 20) and legs (5), hitting .326. It’s legitimately surprising when I see any player who has more than 400 ABs with less than 20 homers, so I’m glad McNeil stopped confounding me. Usually don’t do this before the end of the season recaps, but sneaked a peek at my preseason blurb for McNeil, and I will share it right after this awkward sentence, “Truth bomb alert!  I almost wrote a McNeil sleeper post, but A) Mets B) Mets C) There’s no C. D) The Mets are saying he might not have a set position and be more of a floater, and, ever since Meatballs, there’s never been a good use of a floater. E) Mets F) Mets G) I wasn’t as blown away by his projections that I came up with as I thought I would be.  H) That’s about it.  I) Whoa, there’s a HI in the middle of the alphabet?  Who’s trying to say hello?!” And that’s me quoting me! I projected him for 17 HRs and 8 SBs. Those numbers aren’t far off, but you know where I was way off? Yup and yup, his average. I projected him to hit .269, so what changed? He hits everything well. He is in the bottom seven in the league for soft contact — Just Dong, Bryce, Mookie, Bryce — are a few of the names there. He also leads the league in Swing% (59.5), but he doesn’t strikeout a lot. Translation:  He swings a lot and makes good contact. It’s a recipe that’s worked for Castellanos, Javy Baez and Devers, to name a few. The fear for 2020 is McNeil becomes Castellanos on the Tigers, and not the She-cah-go Greek God of Hard Contact. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After Reynaldo Lopez‘s last start of 2/3 IP, 6 ER, I wrote him off for this year and next year.  Now, I will begin a backpedal not seen since the bear at the circus who can ride a bicycle. “Beaux-Bo, you can’t pedal so close to that family of three eating a turkey leg. Beaux-Bo, stop it! Beaux-Bo, no! Beaux-Bo, no! Beaux-Bo, put down that torso!” And that’s the final written transcription of Beaux-Bo, the bicycle riding bear. Actually, I’m going to backpedal my backpedal, so, eat a D, Beaux-Bo, the bicycle-riding bear! I was serious last week when I said I’m outlawing pitchers who start a game, give up 5+ runs and can’t get out of the 1st. They’re completely untrustworthy, so it’s not surprising Lopez would have a start of 9 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 11 Ks, ERA at 5.17. That’s the problem!  What are we getting next time out?  3 IP, 6 ER? 7 IP, 2 ER? No one has any idea. Listen, I know there’s uncertainty in this crazy thing called fantasy (worst Queen song ever), but I’m not inviting more risk. I’m still out on Lopez. Sorry, gotta put my foot down, even if I’m writing this from an anti-gravity chamber where I can eat turkey legs without fear of a bicycle bear attack.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

America’s greatest Indian was Sitting Bull. Maybe Pocahontas. Possibly Bob Feller. I’d accept Apu even. But on the list of great Indians, Jose Ramirez and the service he provided this year does not go unnoticed because I am here noticing it. First, he did awful to make me look like a genius for telling you to avoid him in drafts, then he did well after I told you to buy him in June. Jo-Ram did what others thought impossible:  made me look brilliant. Stop throwing roses at my feet, I’m allergic. Now, Jo-Ram’s gone for the year with a hamate bone injury. If he’s anything like Matt Olson, he’ll return in October and hit 35 homers in ten games. Glory be. He’s droppable in redraft leagues though, and Yu Chang will replace him. He was David Bowie’s favorite player. Time may Chang Yu, but Yu can’t Chang time. Prospect Mike just gave you a Yu Chang fantasy, and I didn’t run out to grab him, but, in deep enough leagues, I could see it. Prospect Mike did mention Aristides Aquino in relation to Chang, and I had to Chang my underwear. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Cardinals pulled Dakota Hudson 111 pitches, 6 2/3 IP, into his no-hitter, which is a smart move. He was gassed and they had thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening, Gallegos (Gallegos), Gallegos (Gallegos), Gallegos Figaro magnifico! The Cardinals don’t make dumb moves. They even make smart moves about which teams to hack. The Ghost of Dave Duncan makes something out of nothing with every Cards starter (don’t look at Wacha). It’s without can. Ya know, uncanny. David Duncan’s leftover notes jotted on a loose-leaf spiral notebook are better than Ray Searage. Don’t at me; it’s true. Put him in the Hall of Fame before he really is a ghost. You look at Hudson’s numbers — 7 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, 5.10 FIP — and you shudder they’re so bad. Yet — again with stank — YET! he has a 3.63 ERA and he no-hit the Brewers last night for almost seven innings. Dave Duncan, man!  He’s the best ghoster. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Robinson Cano went 4-for-4, 5 RBIs and became the oldest 2nd baseman to ever hit three homers in a game (and he still has 4+ years on his contract!), hitting his 7th, 8th and 9th homers, and nearly had a fourth homer, but pulled it fowl (Mets sold the rights to their foul poles to Chick-Fil-A; don’t ask).  Kill me now:

Seriously, lay me down on the hot pavement and let Tawny Kitaen stomp my genitals like I’m Chuck Finley. The awfulness of owning Robinson Cano coupled with actually owning him for a three-homer game while he’s on my bench is too much to bear.  Sprinkle Doritos dust on my head, put me in an office chair, and roll me towards Billy Butler, then run the other way so you spare yourself.  He was going against Chris Paddack (5 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.84) — my baby boo! — how could I start Cano?  How? *screaming in the rain, shaking fists at the heavens* How?! So Cano hasn’t been good, but maybe this is the turnaround he needs.  More than likely, I’ll now put him in my lineup for an 0-for-45 stretch.  HOW?! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Alex Verdugo went 1-for-4 and his 12th homer.  Were there guys who had better games yesterday? It’s not a rhetorical question. I want a typewritten response, notarized at my doorstep by 5 o’clock today. Reminds me of a joke. Father interrogating a suitor, “So, my daughter says you’re Irish. That’s important to us.” A little panicked, not really Irish, but lying through teeth, the young man says, “Yes, that’s right.”  The father quickly snaps, “What’s your last name?”  “Uh… O…clock.” Any hoo! Check out Little Daddy Smooth, Alex Verdugo’s last 30 days stats from the 30-day Player Rater:

That’s good for approximately top 25 overall for the last month. He’s owned in almost 100% of RCL leagues, as you see photo op, but he’s owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues, which is why he’ll be in this afternoon’s Buy column, but, if he’s out there in your league, no one said you can’t grab him now. *listens for a moment* Okay, nope, no one said it. Was double checking. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?