Please see our player page for David Price 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.

Merry Christmas, you giant nerds! Look at you, checking a fantasy baseball blog on Christmas like a bunch of giant nerds! That’s why I love you. Seriously, I have love for you. Like someone who’s never met someone else could love someone. Very, very intimate. I wasn’t planning on doing a post today, but Josh Bell was traded to the Nationals and I really wanted to get out this update post of so many other signings, that I was like, “Meh, what the heck, put it out there for my over-the-internet friends since this Christmas is like none I’ve ever lived through.” I miss my family, but I have you, my non-family family. So, Josh Bell was traded to the Nats, conspicuously within minutes of, well, we know what happened here. The Pirates’ payroll needed to be slashed after the House was unable to increase the stimulus checks to $2,000. Now that Josh Bell is in Washington there’s only one thing can we can be certain of:  confirmed Josh Bell 2021 All-Star. Could see Josh Bell out-pitching even Tyler Glasnow. If he wants to, of course. He might just want to hit. So, getting out of Pittsburgh can’t hurt anyone. He’s also coming off one of the boringiest (totally a word!) 1st baseman seasons. How’sever, if 2019 was only two months long, Josh Bell would’ve been a top 20 overall player last year. What’s my point? Meh, don’t really have one, but Josh Bell was hurt by last year’s small sample, and hurt by 2019’s, uh, long sample. Who is Josh Bell in Washington? A better question might be how long is this season going to be and when will it start? Josh Bell is prolly somewhere between the two extremes of his 1st few months of 2019, and his 2020. For 2021, I’ll give Josh Bell projections of 73/26/81/.257/1 in 512 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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Pitching, like everything else this year, has been a literal S-Show. My TGFBI team got quickly dismantled thanks to David Price, Justin Verlander, Corey Kluber, and Joe Musgrove. That dismantlement forced me to turn to streaming early on. Now that we’re a full five weeks into the season, it’s clear what teams to pick on and what teams to avoid for streaming. For example, Indians versus righties avoid (.364 wOBA over the last 14 days), but those same bats against a lefty have posted a .272 wOBA on the year. Justin Dunn (7.5% ESPN, 10% CBS) has learned well that the Rangers are an awesome team to stream against. He’s faced the Rangers twice already this year going 6 IP in each start and allowing just 2 earned runs. He didn’t do anything exceedingly special. Dunn struck out 8 batters over those two starts, but just let the Rangers do what they do best – suck. As of this writing, Dunn gets a third lucky matchup with the Rangers on September 7th. A little bit of a look-ahead for us, but a great spot for us to attack if you’re looking to improve your ratios or grab a streaming “W”. Let’s take a look at five more streamers this week to get you ahead of your competition.

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Camp is starting up and it’s weird out there folks.  Split squad positionless scrimmages, Covid tests, opt outs….baseball is back!?!  This whole thing feels like the Jessie Spano caffeine pill freakout from Saved By the Bell…”I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so…..scared”.

First round of Covid testing is coming back and there’s plenty of interesting names that have tested positive: Jesus Luzardo, Eduardo Rodriguez, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Hector Neris, DJ Lemahieu, Tommy Pham, Scott Kingery, Mitch Keller, Ryan O’Hearn, Salvador Perez, and Kole Calhoun are notable confirmed positives.

Of these, most fall into the “asymptomatic” category and should return to the team soon (hopefully).  Hector Neris was already around Phillies camp this week, and Joey Gallo already has one negative test under his belt.  He should be good to go soon.

The most serious case looks to be Freddie Freemen.  The Braves are being candid about exactly what Freeman is going through, but they’re not expecting him back to camp any time soon.

There’s several other guys who are missing from camp still with no given reason why.  Some teams are releasing positive tests, some teams aren’t stating what’s keeping players away but letting us read between the lines.  This list includes: Aaron Nola (who was seen around Phillies camp earlier this week similar to Neris), Yonny Chirinos, Juan Soto, Kenley Jansen, Gavin Lux, AJ Pollock, Tony Gonsolin, Yordan Alvarez, Jose Urquidy, and Josh James.  The Astros, as well as some other teams, have had issues with their testing in terms of getting results quickly, so that may be holding up the ‘Stros players, but these are all guys to keep an eye on.

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These unprecedented times call for unprecedented preparation for upcoming fantasy drafts. Never before have we had the worry of a player opting out of the season after or even during our drafts. So now we plan, we update, we read the news (baseball news), and we pray our teams stay in tact. Is this a silly pastime? Absolutely! Are there many much more important issues? Of course! But level with me, we all need some release and I like many of you hope this sixty game sprint can provide the escape we all need. In this vein Grey and I breakdown the opt outs, the positive tests, and the opportunities created. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball podcast in it’s most apocalyptic form.

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First Charlie Blackmon, now Freddie Freeman…Somebody check on Reggie Cleveland! Welp, this sucks. That’s me cutting to the chase quicker than the editors of the Fast & Furious movies. “Um, Vin Diesel’s been talking for like seven seconds, don’t we have any tire spinning footage?” That’s the editors cutting to the chase. There’s also the Entourage editors, who tried to cut around Chase. Or Ruben Tejada who would like to cut Chase. Any hoo! Freddie Freeman tested positive for Covid and is battling a fever. Besides the fear for Freeman, if something serious happens to a player, baseball’s not happening this year. Other players will walkout, and I wouldn’t blame them. Sorry, I know that’s no fun to hear, but you’re not here to be lied to. As for fantasy, these Covid positive tests are super hard to predict for projections and rankings. Of course, if drafting right now; you can’t draft Freddie Freeman in the top 20 overall. Not sure you can draft him in the top 50 overall, but that’s about where I’d risk it, and have updated my top 20 1st basementop 100 and top 500. I did blow the dust off my landscape architect degree and hedge with my new ranking of Freeman by not updating his projections. It’s just impossible to know if he’ll be out for two-to-three weeks, and fine for near the start of the season, or miss the whole season. Unknown risk is baked into his new ranking, but I left projections. Putting aside “Let the kids play,” MLB has adopted a new slogan for this season:  “Play!” “What? No, it’s not safe.” “I said, “Play!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

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True story: DonkeyTeeth calls me up on the ol’ Twitter machine this morning.  Me, I’m just awake from dreaming of 5-year-old Blair riding out in my dad’s Buick Skylark into the Minneapolis night to celebrate the Twin’s 1987 World Series win.  Suddenly Donkey’s typing: “Top 100 Switchers.” And I’m like, “Donkey, it’s 7AM, I’m not ready for that!” He types into the Twitter machine, “TOP 100 PITCHERS!” So I say, that’s fine, here: 1) Beer, 2) Sangria, 3) Margarita… . Donk does it. You know. He starts typing, but doesn’t finish. The little dots on the bottom of my Twitter machine beep out in morse code–or whatever code Jack wants to call it–that causes mental insanity among so many people. I’m transfixed. The next use of a nuclear code, you know it’s going to be preceded by those little waiting dots. President Swift will have to verify the code with Vice President Lovitz but only after they clear their notifications. Finally, Donkey’s message comes across. “2-for-1 pitchers at BWW if you get there before 9AM. See ya.” That’s the level of training they give here at Razzball. I tell ya, I get no respect at all. 

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It’s Day “Thinking about Delilah of Hey There Delilah meeting Virginia from Meet Virginia and what they’d say to each other” of the Quarantine. You know the normal stuff you think about it. The top 60 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball were updated with new projections for a 100-game season. With this series, I will take a look around the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings to see if there’s any differences now that we might only play a 100-game season. Projections have been updated on all my positional rankings. Anyway, here’s thoughts on the top 60 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball with the new Corona timeline:

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Last week, I introduced the goal of this series: utilizing data visualization to try and narrow in on fantasy baseball insights. We looked at ERA across the draft, finding some potential values based on ADP. Today, we’ll take a closer look at Starting Pitcher WHIP by ADP.

To begin with, what’s the context in which we should gauge whether an SP’s WHIP actually helps our team? Here are WHIP trends over the last 5 years:

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B_Don and Donkey Teeth are joined by Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) of Pitcher List. We ask Alex about his pitching strategy and how it changes in his various industry leagues.

The guys talk about the different strategies being utilized for the RazzSlam, as Alex fits closer to the Donkey Teeth/Grey build than what B_Don tried. Later on, we discuss how the approach in the 15 team snake darft TGFBI and the 15 team LABR mixed auction before breaking down his teams. DT connects with Alex over their shared belief that a Gallo/Gary Sanchez build won’t tank their batting average.

We ask Alex specifically about some of his pitchers and what we can expect from guys like: David Price, Zack Wheeler, Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and more.

B_Don and DT ask Alex about his Jameson Taillon interview from how he was able to reach out to some of the more interesting points from the interview. Cannot say it enough, if you enjoy pitching discussions, it’s a must listen.

As Taillon works his way back, we talk about which spring training stats might matter. While you’re stuck at home avoiding coronavirus, you might as well listen to some baseball talk.

Side note: Here’s the chart I discuss during the podcast for 2019 spring training velocity increases.

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There is a LOT of information available for fantasy owners to try and digest these days. New writers and podcasts emerge every day (over 500 different fantasy analysts by last count). New stats and ways of slicing and dicing existing data are constantly emerging. Don’t get me wrong – I love the latest Statcast research as much as the next guy. But fantasy writers often pile up the acronyms and exotic statistics, as if 2000 words on spin rate has inherent interest just because it’s in-depth. It can be hard to find actionable fantasy moves in a table with 10 varying components of xStats.

I’m kicking off a new series today, utilizing data visualization to try and narrow in on fantasy baseball insights. Good visualization helps you achieve your goals by channeling success onto your subconscious until your reality lines up with your drea….I’ve been watching too much late-night Tony Robbins. Good data visualization takes complex raw data and translates it into easily-understood, actionable images.

Please, blog, may I have some more?