Please see our player page for Daniel 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.

“The best things in life (baseball season) are worth waiting for.”    –Pete Alonso

To draft or not to draft?  There doesn’t seem to be much reason to draft a fantasy baseball team these days, but there also seems to be absolutely no reason not to. As long as you’re drafting online, it’s certainly a socially-distanced-friendly activity, since you don’t need to be in the same city, state, or even country with your fellow drafters.  And is drafting now really any weirder than the drafts I was doing in November and December, knowing that the baseball season was months away? Well, yes, it’s a million times weirder, but like I said, I can’t really think of a reason not to do it.  I’m confident that if the baseball-related worst happens and the season is cancelled altogether (wow, I don’t even like typing that), any leagues I’ve paid for will be refunded, and many of us suddenly have quite a bit more time than usual to spare these days, so there’s nothing to lose, right?  I have my last scheduled NFBC online draft set for later this week, so I guess I’ll just try to jump in and make the best of it, both for the sake of my current psyche as well as for the future hopes of the team I’ll be drafting.  It’s been admittedly difficult for me to keep a positive mindset lately, what with the thing that I usually turn to to make me calm and happy during tough times having been taken away indefinitely. I’m going to try to focus less on the notion that baseball might not be back for a really, really long time, and more on the thought that there’s still a decent chance that the players whose names I’m thinking about, adding to my queue, and rostering on my pretend teams now will be playing real-life major league baseball in a few months.  I’m excited enough just at the thought of them playing, period… and if they lead me to a little fantasy baseball success while they’re at it, that will be some scrumptious frosting on an already delicious cake.

The 2020 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join!

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We know spring training is fully underway when a bunch of arms break. We’re sure to see more as soreness becomes less general and more devastating to our early drafts. The four-tier format is back for our closer report. This week, pandemic foodstuff themed tiers. I’d laugh but for fear that might cause me to cough resulting in those nearby turning mob justice on me. Let’s get to some news and notes on the reliever front first.

  • Emmanuel Clase – He of the hardest cutter in baseball is starting his Cleveland career off on a sour note. A back strain will likely sideline him for 8-12 weeks. This opens the door for fellow reliever wunderkind James Karinchak to solidify a leverage role. If you want a job relieving for Cleveland just have a hard to spell name, throw gas, and be in your early 20’s.
  • Jose Alvarado – Don’t look now but Alvarado looks sharp as ever. But Roto-Wan, Nick Anderson is *the* it closer of draft season?!? I have no issue with Anderson’s stuff, just his role. He factors into their ninth inning, no doubt. Let me ask you this, though. He saved some games for them last year since they’re a team that’s the most progressive in leverage roles, right? No? Ok, well he came over from Miami, who’s bullpen was a collection of molding leftovers. He racked up a bunch of saves there, surely? How about one save. Well, at least he’s a young prospect? Turns 30 in June. I don’t mean to rain on your Nick Anderson parade, and by “don’t” I mean I do, but he’s far from a lock. I’m betting on Alvarado seeing some of their saves as the lefty side of a committee in every league I draft that uses RPs.
  • Brandon Kintzler – Things are not off to a great start this spring for the presumptive Marlins closer. Like, walking four straight batters bad. I’d consider a spec play on Ryne Stanek early on.
  • Ryan Helsley – I’m not the Helsley guy but some people I respect (see: Matt Thompson, Nick Pollack) have made it a point to draft the young Cardinal in the late rounds. Their ninth inning is a mess to predict, as usual. Helsley also has an outside shot at the rotation it seems, depending on the health of their assumed starters.
  • Trevor Rosenthal – Rosie is the latest zombie reliever. He’s always been able to light up radar guns. He just has zero command at times, as in most of the time. The command seems to be there this spring, however. KC would love to add any talent it can to baseball’s most mediocre bullpen.
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Welcome to the 2020 Razzball Team Previews! (Our “2020” comes with more Jay and less Barbara Walters!) (That joke is probably older than you!) Sorry for all the parentheses and exclamation points, I just get so excited when I think about Barbara Walters, and don’t even get me started on Hugh Downs… Regardless, here, you’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season, Razz-style. So while you’re stretching your lats and relearning calculus to get that upper hand on your fantasy peers, why not also check out what the World Champion Nationals have in store for you and your fantasy team?

 

2019 Recap

Final Record: 93-69 (2nd)
Runs Scored: 873 (2nd)
Runs Against: 724 (5th)
SB: 116 (1st)
ERA: 4.27 (8th)
Saves: 40 (9th)
Strikeouts: 1,511 (4th)

 

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I regret to inform you, my fantasy friends, that even fake jedi get the flu. That’s right, Roto-Wan is coming to you today from a Sudafed laced haze that would make Jesse Pinkman proud. Stop interrupting me pink elephant, I’m trying to get a preamble together here. At any rate, we’ve reached the NL in our bullpen previews. Let’s kick it off with the very in flux NL East. My advice is to exercise even more caution with these names than we usually do.

AL East AL Central AL West

NL East NL Central NL West

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And another one! That’s right, to the dozen(s) of you out there still reading this, Kyle Lewis did it again Friday night going 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and his sixth home run. Lewis now has six dingers through his first 10 games as a pro, making him just the fourth player (Aristides Aquino, Trevor Story and Dino Restelli are the other three) to accomplish this. He’s now slashing .325/.349/.850 on the year with 10 runs scored and 12 RBI. He’s got three doubles to go with his six jacks, and yeah, that will help your fantasy team, people! Ignore the fact that he’s struck out in 40% of his at bats, and ignore the dreadful Double-A stats, dude’s got a .525 ISO! The 20.6% swinging strike rate, or the 58.3% contact rate in the minors? Ignore that too! If you want a reason not to BUY Kyle Lewis I suggest checking out Son’s awesome post where he really breaks down some of the advanced stats we saw from Lewis at AA. But like I said, I’m going to ignore all that and focus on the fact that he is hitting all the beisbols right now and he’s hitting them over the fence. He will have plenty of time this offseason to come back down to Earth to be the below-average Mariners prospect he is clearly destined to be, but right now Kyle is hotter than a JLo striptease set to Fiona Apple’s “Criminal.” And trust me that’s about as hot as it gets. I’d add Lewis everywhere on every team for the final week and pray he can fight off the regression fairies another 7 days and keep hitting home runs into the cheap seats. He was a BUY and he’s the most exciting player to come out of a week of Seattle baseball since Domingo Santana in the first week of 2019. Start with a bang, end with a bang, and play like absolute garbage in between. You do you, Seattle! In the meantime, I’m going to pick up Kyle Lewis.

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

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Yours truly caved in and purchased a minivan last week with the arrival of child number two. If you decline to take any further of my baseball advice I will understand. Let me tell you something, though. I love it. It’s roomy. There’s a TV in it. The sound of rain on the giant flat roof is hypnotically melodic. Just like a fantasy season, life goes in stages. Don’t get stuck holding on to something from yesterday that will ruin your tomorrow. You could end up like Matt Foley, thrice divorced, eating a steady diet of government cheese, and living in a van, down by the river. Tiers are of course van themed.

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At 22 years old, Kyle Tucker is nearly a 30/30 guy in Triple-A. There’s some other problems with baseball, but this should be the number one thing that is fixed. This is just about everything that’s wrong with baseball. No one should go 30/30 in the minor leagues. The last player to do that (who I remember) was Joc Pederson in 2014. The reason why it’s so rare and should be extinct? If you’re going 30/30 in the minor leagues, you should be in the major leagues! I don’t have a solution. I’m a problem spotter, not a problem solver. How many titles you want me to hold? Imagine another sport where one of your best players was artificially held down in an instructional league for a year or more. You can’t and it’s not a failure of imagination. Though, still fantasizing about an 18-year-old Alyssa Milano could lead one to that conclusion. The Astros have said Tucker will be called up in September. Will he play? Not 100% sure, but I’d guess he will most days because the Astros have room to play him over Reddick and will clinch a playoff berth. Now is the time to stash him in all leagues. Yes, the Astros will be going from a Reddick to a Tucker like Jame Gumb. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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What a disaster major league pitching has been this year. With the juiced ball on top of mounting injuries, we’re all plugging holes faster than Captain Ahab. If you’re in good shape in your pitching categories I recommend a conservative approach using a stopgap reliever until you can sort out something more permanent. Protect those ratios, maybe grab a few strikeouts, and figure out your fringe solution on your bench.

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I hope you’re all making a standings push as we inch toward September. Now is the time for action. Don’t wait too long and need a drastic solution. Don’t be like Patrick Swayze’s star character in Road House, bouncer extraordinaire Dalton. He kept having to up the violence ante to maintain the status quo. Look ahead at which categories could be within reach with a few wise adds this week.

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MLB teams were whistling 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover yesterday:

Just slip out the back, Zac, make a new plan, Tanner,
Don’t need to be coy, Greek God of Hard Contact, just listen to me,
Hop on the bus, Jesus, don’t need to discuss much,
Just drop off the key, Greinke, and get yourself free.

The deadline seemed to be lulling people to sleep, then the Diamondbacks stepped up and decided they were contenders, be-bopping Jazz Chisholm to the Marlins for Zac Gallen. But it turned out they were Indiana Jones, when he would replace an ancient artifact with a sand bag by switching one Zack with another Zac, so the booby trap wouldn’t expose them to trouble. See, and I always thought the idea of the outfield hot tub was to expose booby traps.  Incredibly, the Cardinals announced the Zack Greinke to Astros deal hours before the Diamondbacks. The Astros rotation is now, as they would’ve said in the 20’s, bona fide. In good spirits, Justin Verlander tweeted out, “As long as we don’t get Bauer, we good.” I hear that, JV.  I don’t trust home/away splits much at all, unless it’s Coors vs. non-Coors, but, if you must know 2.96 home ERA vs. 2.80 away. Usually it’s the inverse, but Greinke is a 15-year vet; you really think he’s going to pitch that differently in Houston? The answer you’re looking for is no.  He’s a control artist whiz like you’d want from your child when they’re doing the pee-pee dance. Speaking of which, did every team relieve themselves of their relievers? Let’s find out!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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