Please see our player page for Edwin Encarnacion 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.

This is gonna be a weird one. Just when you think the top 20 1st basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball are stacked chef’s kiss finding a vacation home on House Hunters International, they take a left turn and become ugly like the Property Brothers. Well, mostly the one who always wears plaid. Any hoo! This post goes on for about 1.8 million words, so let’s dive in. Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers.  All projections included here are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included.  Let’s do this!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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Someone wins the off-season every winter. The baseball calendar invites us to imagine how a power bat like Edwin Encarnacion and a high OBP catcher like Yasmani Grandal will impact a lineup. It’s math we can do more easily than we can measure the addition of a great left tackle to a football team. We can plug Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez into Chicago’s rotation and add up their wins above replacement. It’s all very earnest and joyful and helps us push through the expanding darkness. 

Course, someone wins summer in football, too, but it feels very different. Football has no WAR, ironically enough, and while I think that’s at least as flawed a statistic as batting average, WAR is currently treated with reverence due to the shorthand evaluative powers it grants the baseball world. 

While it’s efficacy can be debated, WAR dominates our world, and there can be no doubt the White Sox have gone to WAR this winter. The people are singing songs of freedom and glory—not just for these winter wins but also for the prospect waterfall coming this Spring. 

And who doesn’t love to see a slow-cooked recipe come together, especially during the holiday season?

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Hyun-Jin Ryu signed with the Jays. That’s…interesting. *scrambling to see Ryu’s interleague ERA vs. AL teams* 3.84 ERA in 86 2/3 IP with a 8.8 K/9 and this is still too small a sample. Plus, as I always say, you can’t just say a guy’s away stats are what he’d now do when he’s calling a place home. Also, what is going on with Ryu’s early draft price? Maybe it’s still early for ADP and I shouldn’t assign any real truth to where guys are going, but like Hugh Jackman’s marriage to his grandmother, it’s very real how late Ryu’s been going so far this year. I get it, I get it, I GET IT! He’s not a 1-something ERA pitcher, so y’all are compensating for that, but like me with my Happy Socks in my pants, you’re overcompensating. He didn’t just have a Cy Young-type year last year. He had a 1.97 ERA in 2018, too. In six seasons, his career ERA is 2.98. Okay, fine, ERA is stupid. He has a 1.01 WHIP two years in a row. WHIP’s stupid too? Fine, but these are two of the categories you’re hoping to get from your starters. Wins are just stupid stupid. Nothing can be figured from those. So, that leaves us with Ks. He has a 8 K/9 and a 1.2 BB/9, so, you got it, you’ve figured out a reason to not absolutely love Ryu. He’s merely a 2.75/1.01/150 guy. Shucks, what a shame. For penance, I will dye my skin whiter and cat-o-nine-tails my back like a villain in a Dan Brown book. Even if you think the AL could be less kind for Ryu, how much worse will he be from a 2.75/1.01 ratio guy? Fifty points on ERA? Sixty? Five points on WHIP? Ten? He suddenly won’t have one of the best walk rates in baseball? I’m going to be conservative with his projections and they still look great. For 2020, I’ll give Ryu projections of 13-6/3.32/1.09/153 in 167 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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Listening to the yearning in Lana Del Rey’s voice calling for easy livin’ in the summertime and longing for the days of every team playing. To ease the hole in my heart, today’s journey through the recaps take us to the 1st basemen. They’re better than the top 20 catchers for 2019 fantasy baseball (not clickbait at all), but by how much? How do I explain that? I have an idea! By recapping them. To recap my recap before the recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The ones that don’t draft pitching early. The Muslim Mrs. Garretts. The Yu’s that we saw in the 2nd half. The ones that see things differently and not simply the ones who are holding drinking glasses up to their face to make googly eyes. They’re not fond of the rules like:  Don’t wear sweatpants every day. And they have no respect for the status quo, because they’ve checked out every time someone defined “status quo” for them. They held onto Yu Darvish (6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 14 Ks, ERA at 3.97) all 1st half and were rewarded nicely. Unless he’s just on a team that started checking out fantasy football in June. Back in July, Coolwhip wrote, “I’m not prepared just yet to say he’s back back, but it’s looking like he’s finding his way back. I’ll call him a tentative buy for now, while advising to keep an eye on his walks and I’ll be watching his velocity and arm slot. In fact, I just picked him up where I could to see what happens.” Hashtag nailed it. Prior to that, Darvish had a 5.01 ERA.  Since then, 2.44 ERA in 66 1/3 IP. The fix, as we all know by now, he’s stopped walking everyone. His season-long peripherals 11.2 K/9, 3 BB/9, 4.39 FIP are sweet, but his 2nd half peripherals are legendary, and some of the best in baseball — 12.6 K/9, 0.8 BB/9, 3.20 FIP. For 2020, the thought of getting anywhere close to Darvish’s 2nd half has me, not only interested in him, but thinking he could be a steal as a number two fantasy starter. Yu might think I’m crazy, but the crazy ones change the world, or at least do well sometimes in their leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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One day, late-summer, when your cousin, who you don’t like, started posting her kids going-back-to-school pictures on Facebook and a Russian troll farm began mining said pictures and getting your cousin’s kids to distribute propaganda, your so-called ace, James Paxton, decided to show up and be spoken for, after five months of grueling ‘what’s wrong with him/is there something wrong with him/is there something wrong with us for not accepting James Paxton for who he is’ questions. Yesterday’s Paxton line of 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 12 Ks, ERA at 4.16, was what we signed up for! (If we signed up for it, I didn’t, but that’s semantics.) If you drill down on Paxton — hey now! — his velocity is relatively samesies; his K/9 is fine; his walks are up (3.4 BB/9); his FIP is the highest it’s been in almost five years and he’s getting choked by the long ball like a zipper on a senior. This looks like poor luck and worse command. For 2020, a lot depends on how much the ball is flying out still, and I imagine a lot, but it’s hard to not think he should rebound, no matter what your cousin’s brats’ leaflets say.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Happy Labor Day, everyone! Today, we celebrate all of those mothers who are in labor giving birth to us, so put your legs up, grunt real hard and scream at a loved one that they are a “bastard” or a “weasel-d*cked moron who isn’t even the real father.” You’ve earned this day, male or female, though I’m not sure how men earned a Labor Day. Do I have this celebration right? Any hoo! People acting like Justin Verlander‘s 3rd no-hitter was stamping his ticket to Cooperstown are hilarious. He was a lock for the Hall of Fame when he posed nude in the mirror with Kate Upton. Yesterday’s butter:  9 IP, 0 ER, 1 walk, 14 Ks, ERA at 2.56 is just another example of the legacy of one of the greatest pitchers ever. Everyone should stop to watch a Verlander game. That’s a ‘stop to smell the roses’ request because you deserve something as glorious as seeing Verlander throw a baseball. This is a request for you to live your life, not like you’re in labor with your feet in stirrups, but like your feet are on the ground and you’re reaching for the stars. Okay, now I’m just misquoting Casey Kasem. For 2020 and beyond, Verlander is an ace until he shows he no longer is, and I’m thankful for every one of his pitches that I’ve never owned on a fantasy team (eff me). Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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It’s rare to see a player having a breakout year in his age 35 season in the post-Selig era, but Yuli Gurriel needs just 2 runs, 1 RBI and even 2 SB to set career highs in all of those categories. He already has a career-high in HRs with 25 and could end the season with 30-35. With 37 games remaining Gurriel could end the season with an 85/33/100/8/.300 line for the year. Not too shabby from a guy with an ADP in the 200s. This production uptick is due to a career-low ground ball rate, career-high fly ball rate, career-high hard contact rate — the underlying numbers are pointing to this being for real and he should finish the year strong.

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Who else got victimized by Nelson Cruz last week? In his last 75 ABs here’s his line: 19/14/26/0/.333. That’s more than some guys had in the entire first-half. Oh wait — that’s almost more than the 16 Cruz put up the first half. The Twins are going to be battling for the AL Central with the Indians until the bitter end and clutch Cruz should keep them afloat the rest of the way.

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A reporter, ducked behind chairs, yells at Aaron Sanchez at his no-hitter, post-game press conference. All we hear is the reporter’s disembodied voice, “Isn’t it true your four-seam spin rate went from 2,300 rpm to 2,565 rpm overnight?” Some reporters move out of the way for the reporter, who is crouched behind the chairs. One reporter recognizes him, asking, “Trevor Bauer, is that you?” What are the Astros feeding their pitchers? Pine tar and they’re being told to eat with their hands. Aaron Sanchez (6 IP, 0 ER, 0 hits, 2 walks, 6 Ks, ERA at 5.76) had a 6.07 ERA before this game! I get it, it was the Mariners, but this is crazy. Sanchez wasn’t usable at all in Toronto.  The Astros’ coaching vs. cheating argument:  Sanchez did kibosh his sinker, which was by far his worst pitch. Could it have been that easy?  How could the Jays not figure this out?  I could’ve figured this out!  I guess Sanchez’s worth the flier. If he’s fixed, he’s too valuable to ignore. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?