Please see our player page for Eduardo Rodriguez 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.

August 3-9, 2020

The Major League Baseball 2020 season is a mess, and this is a post about it. As of Saturday night, 104 players and 24 staff/training members had tested positive for coronavirus since the inception of the season, with 42 cases identified in the last week. Boston Red Sox star and former Tier 3 member Eduardo Rodriguez has been shut down for the 2020 season following myocarditis that was associated with his bout of coronavirus. 20% of MLB teams had games postponed this weekend, with the Marlins and Phillies not having played since last week. At the time of writing, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred stated that he intended for the remaining teams to continue playing the truncated season, although there are reports that if more positive cases erupt on Sunday, then a work stoppage would follow. There’s a non-zero chance that if you’re reading this on Monday afternoon, baseball is again in a holding pattern.

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On Saturday, Isan Diaz opted out of the season. Someone doesn’t want to sneak out to the strip club anymore. Then, on Sunday, the Marlins said they would bring up Monte Harrison and summon a bunch of journeymen to Baltimore for their next series, starting on Tuesday. I don’t care if they have one player, as long as that player’s Monte Harrison. Outside of Harrison, it sounds like their lineup might be filled with Matt Joyce, Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla. “Bah gawd…it’s Ricky Nolasco’s music!” Last year, Harrison went 9/20/.274 in 56 Triple-A games. *does the robot as I head to my waiver wires to pick up Monte Harrison in every league* Robot voice, “Don’t…mind…if…I…” Damn, I was messing around, and someone got him before me. Stupid slow robot! So, grab Monte Harrison in every league for some power and great speed, though he might hit .210. I’d wait and see on Jorge Cantu. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Daulton Varsho was called up by the Diamondbacks. His numbers in the minors are gorge, as in they will engorge you. 18/21/.301 in Double-A, and he’s a catcher. Oh…*climbs to top of world’s tallest stack of pancakes*…kay. Yo, Varsho, you the greatest living catcher ever? Varsho! Here’s what Prospect Itch said, “Prospects don’t get much rarer than Daulton Varsho. My estimated time for his arrival says late 2020, but that might be dependent upon Arizona deciding to stop developing him as a catcher. He struck out just 13.9 percent of the time while walking in 9.3 percent of his plate appearances. That along with his .301/.378/.520 slash line and 159 wRC+ in a decent pitching environment suggests he might be ready for the leap to MLB pitching right now. Can Grey take a leap?” Not cool, man. I haven’t been this excited for a catcher since I married my Cougar. My guess is he plays DH, since the DBacks ditched Kevin Cron, and already have Total Request Live and Rock the Vogt to catch. Playing time could be an issue, which is why I didn’t grab Varsho in every league, but I did try him in one very shallow league, knowing I can just drop him if he doesn’t work out. Yo, do you even lift, bro? Also, he’ll be in this afternoon’s Buy, which you could already be reading if you subscribe to our Patreon. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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July 27-August 2, 2020

We’re watching baseball again! I’m watching baseball again! The Japanese and Korean and Taiwanese people, well, they’ve been watching baseball for like a month because they stayed home instead of going to Uncle Johnny’s Cinco de Mayo party. Be a hero, wear a mask!

This top 100 starting pitchers series is, as David Bowie would stutter, Ch-ch-ch-changing. For the duration of summer training, I treated readers to a daily update in the Top 100 Starting Pitchers while they went through their draft boards. Feedback on the constantly updated list was super-positive for the most part, because most sites weren’t providing news links and sleeper articles and rankings–all updated daily–in one spot. Now that drafts are finished, I’m shifting back to the usual weekly updates. It’ll be like Friends used to be, before you could watch it 24/7 on every streaming platform and TV network.

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Our long national nightmare is over (except for the actual long national nightmare that isn’t over — sigh, to be a person with parenthetical blindness and not have to read this caveat)! We did it, boys and five girl readers. We f*cking did it! Not us, per se. We didn’t do shizz, except draft some baseball players for fantasy. But, ya know what, that’s enough for me! See, with lowered goals and expectations, you’re never disappointed. It’s a zen thing; you wouldn’t understand. It was a mere nine months ago when we started talking about sleepers and rankings and…How old am I now?

Well, whatever, baseball is back and that’s all that matter. Singing like an absolute loon, “Baseball’s back and I want to get married — hey nah, hey nah — baseball’s back!” And, now in my mind, I’m married to Giancarlo Stanton. Ask yourself why you didn’t send us a wedding gift. Selfish much? Of course, Opening Day couldn’t have happened in any other way in 2020. It had to be met with cold-ass reality, which why Juan Soto tested positive for Covid. It sucks, Mr. Obvious said, but it’s also a reminder of what this year will be. It’s going to be waiver wire pickups, the Streamonator, the Hittertron and playing of matchups. If you’re curious and want to torture yourself, Juan Soto fell to 179th overall in the final 2020 preseason rankings. Stepping in to replace Juan Soto will be Andrew Stevenson, the James Spader of replacements. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I remember my final week of Summer Camp. I was in the Weeniechoke Mountains when I had my first experience with a girl. Her name was Michelle Branch. Not the singer, but a branch I named Michelle. This final week of Summer Camp is equally less-than-ideal for some bullpens. “Certain teams with uncertain ninths.” That’s me being poetic. Michelle Branch would’ve appreciated it. So, Keone Kela hit the IL. As I said in Friday’s Buy, “Kyle Crick stands to act as the Pirates’ closer for at least the re-opening. Crick is also one of the few players who will have a cheering section in the fan-less stadiums.” And that’s me quoting me! Since then, Crick gave up four earned in a third of an inning vs. the Indians and I’m checking my watch for Kela’s return. Nick Burdi is lurking there too, but you’re speculating two deep on a pen that might get ten total saves? Next up, Roberto Osuna hasn’t thrown off the mound yet and, when asked when Osuna would, Dusty said, “We don’t have any answers.” Dusty is reassuring as always! I think Osuna will be fine, since he’s with the team, but Ryan Pressly is there, and ain’t no hound dog. (Sorry. Moving on…) Giovanny Gallegos‘s undisclosed reasons for being away have turned into he’s ‘dis close’ to rejoining the Cards’ bullpen. Likely can tear up your Ryan Helsley shares, they’re doing a backwards STONKS. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The Padres traded Franchy Cordero to the Royals. Vincent Vega, “Franchy calls them the Royales with cheese.” If Padres keep trading away fun ballplayers, then Fernando Tatis Jr. better watch himself aka FTJ aka Fun The Jewels. First, the easy side of this trade. With Franchy packing up his red, white and blue flag (no stars), the Padres have an opening for Edward Olivares. They wouldn’t dare, would they? If they dared, then I might be interested. In Double-A last year, he went 18/35/.283, but he was a tad old at that level. Still those numbers are eye-poppers. His overall value until then was of a 4th outfielder (IRL, not IFL). Our Prospectonator (it projects every single rookie) has him down for 14/22/.244 over 162-game season. That’s honestly not bad. I don’t know if Olivares sees any actual playing time, or enough to make him worthwhile. I have added him to today’s Buy column that will be up in a few hours. Yes, that’s right! There’s a Buy this afternoon! Exclamation! (It was released yesterday to our Patreons.) My guess is Wil Myers, Tommy Pham and Trent Grisham are the outfield; Josh Naylor is the DH with, I guess, Ty France, and Edward Olivares is the 4th outfielder. With Franchy headed from the ocean to a-near-a-riverderci, he goes to an equally terrible hitters’ park, and likely still in a platoon. Only now his platoon is less about outfielders needing looks. Against righties, Maikel Franco possibly moves to the bench, and Hunter Dozier takes over third. But vs. lefties, Maikel gets in at third, Dozier moves to the outfield and Franchy is out of the lineup again. It’s pretty flat on fantasy value movement. But, as Franchy was told by Ty France, “If we are going to get men to wear berets, we’re gonna have to spread out.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

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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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Joey Gallo tested positive, negative, positive, negative, positive, negative, positive, positive, negative, negative for Covid and is asymptomatic. The good news is the Rangers, fans and fantasy baseballers have been contact tracing Gallo for years. You, “This makes no sense, Statcast shows Gallo’s avoided contact for his entire career.” Snort, snort, wheeze! “Geez, Gallo can’t avoid contact when it’s most important.” Wheeze and repeat! Get this pretty fun testing story: Gallo tested positive for Covid on 6/29, then negative on 6/30, then positive again on 7/2, then negative on 7/7, so he seems to be fine, but who knows. Like the guy in The Royal Rumble who hides in the corner for most of the match, the smartest team will just hole themselves up in a hotel somewhere, until every other team loses all their players, then emerge World Series champs. On the reals, Gallo seems to be okay now, and why it’s so iffy on moving guys down in redraft 2020 rankings right now based on a positive test. Don’t think anyone knows how long someone tests positive or negative or positive or–Well, you get it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

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Dudes and five lady dudes, pitching is going to be a mess in 2020. Pitching is usually where I excel at pinpointing guys to draft and avoid, and right now I’m looking at an array of hot takes: “Top starters are more valuable! “Top middle relievers are more valuable!” “Tops are bottoms, and I’m not talking about baseball anymore!” I can’t tell hot takes from shiitakes. Usually I’m able to say, “With 100% confidence, I would not draft a top starter.” This year, if you’re saying anything with 100% confidence, you’re lying. Seriously, don’t trust anyone who is confident in predicting anything in a 60-game season. We’ve never seen anything like this and may never again. Embrace it? Sure. But “Be Water” like Bruce Lee said, and adapt. With so few innings to prepare for the season in Summer Camp, will top starters even be ready to go? That alone should shut up the “You need top starters” people. With so few innings in the actual season, that should also shut up the “Don’t pay for starters this year” people. Instead, let’s just break down the categories, and see if we can’t just win those. Laura also just gave you a solid look at possible ERA strategy. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for ERA & WHIP?

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