Please see our player page for Eric Lauer 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.

Never in the history of fantasy baseball posts has anyone successfully pulled off what I’m about to do. I’m going to write out my pre-draft plan here for everyone to see, and leave it unchanged even if the plan doesn’t come together. I’m the world where Mike Nesmith’s mother never invents Liquid Paper. Yo, keyboard, take away my delete and backspace buttons, don’t need ’em. Have you heard of the My Pillow guy? Well, I’m the My Plan guy. Okay, here goes, prepare your eyeballs. My Plan: Buy top hitters, and cheap pitchers. Use Rudy’s War Room (free with a Razzball Tools subscription). Change underwear in case something happens. Surprise! This is the same plan as I’ve used just about every year in NL and AL-Only leagues. I really need to start changing my underwear more than just prior to drafts. I go for balance in 12-team mixed leagues. (If you want one of those, play against me and hundreds others for prizes –> Razzball Commenter Leagues.) In these mono-leagues, I go for a few big bats, and usually around a 78/22-ish split. Doesn’t always work out; let’s be honest, sometimes I barely spend 18% on pitchers. If you’re wondering why I don’t spend on pitchers, welcome to the site, may I suggest starting at top 20 starters for 2021 fantasy baseball? Anyway, here’s my LABR 12-team, NL-Only draft recap:

Psyche! Before going into the LABR draft recap, Donkey asked that I notify people that RazzSlam qualifier leagues are now signing up. Didn’t get into the RazzSlam and wanna correct that for next year? Top 10 finishers will secure a spot for 2022. Slow drafts (4-hour pick clock) will begin 30-minutes after your league fills. It’s Best Ball, so after you draft, you don’t need to change your lineup. Just slowly rub your hands together and smile evilly. Here’s the RazzSlam rules if you’re a completist. Anyway II, the LABR recap:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, I got the 5th pick. How’s your day going? At the Winter Meetings? That’s cool, same. Maybe you’ve seen me in the lobby, I’m wearing a floral arrangement on my head while I hide in a pot. Wait, there’s no Winter Meetings, that’s right. I mean there is, a group of billionaires are Zoom’ing into the Winter Meetings where the hottest commodity is a guy who was a backup catcher last year. Hey, Jon Heyman, stop leaking McCann news. I ate a few too many Olestra-laden potato chips and McCann is leaking! It’s none of your business! Last week, I took part in an NFBC team league, and here is, as the people say who are trying on hats, my recap. For those not in the know, this is a 15-team, two-catcher league that lasts for 50 rounds and there’s no waivers. You draft it, and manage it. Weekly moves for pitchers, bi-weekly (rawr!) for hitters, changing out on Monday and Friday. I didn’t want the fifth pick. I wanted any pick but the fifth pick. As I see it, there’s an obvious top four (Sexy Dr. Pepper, Tildaddy, FTJ, Mookie Best), then…Dot dot dot…Question mark. What now? I didn’t want to think for the 1st pick, but the automated draft picker thing (that’s its name) said I was the most qualified to think, so I thought. Or I just screwed up my pre-draft rankings for which pick I wanted. Like a teamster, I’m leaning on the latter. Anyway, here’s my NFBC draft recap:

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Yard Byron Buxton, known for such classic poems as Don Juan Soto, She Walks In Beauty But Buxton Doesn’t Walk, and Fare Thee Well, a poem about Baby Jessica, was a classic poet during the Romantic movement. Yard Byron would say, “That blows,” and women would say, “That’s so romantic.” If they were being sarcastic, it’s news to Yard Byron. The Yard once said, “I was thunder-stroke recently, until I realized it was Miguel Sano standing on my foot.” Oh, Yard Byron, you are so witty! So, last night, Yard Byron Buxton was more than just witty, he was *sorry* hitty. He went 3-for-5 with his 4th homer and 5th homer, hitting .298, and now has four homers in the last week, and it shows you how quick someone can turn their season around when the season is a blink. Last week, Buxton was droppable; now he’s a top 20 outfielder. That doesn’t blow, and is romantic. Thank you, Yard Byron, and kudos to taking Yardley yard, Yard. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Brett Anderson hit the IL with a blister on his finger. Shame really. Super, super sad news. *watches two-hour VHS titled, “Fist Pump Like Tiger Woods,” ejects the tape, stands up awkwardly, raises hand and FIST PUMPS* I’m doing it! I’m fist pumping! So, little ol’ Anderson was willing to play through it but the coaches were worried the compromised grip would affect him. Little ol’ Anderson said, “Gonna have to leave it to the other four horsemen.” Corbin Burnes wasn’t in my rankings, but if I were adding people, I would add him. (At this point, I’m only removing opt outs and seriously injured players, because it’s too late in game to be adding guys for drafts. If you’re following along, you know which guys I like more now.) So, Burnes works off three-point-seventy-five pitches. Not quite four, and operates in the fast lane with a 95+ MPH fastball, and a babymaking slider that produced a 52.1% strikeout rate and .188 BAA. The Milwaukee Burnes’ers’ Burnes had a 12.9 K/9 last year and has great command, though he didn’t show it. Looking for a breakout that is likely available in most shallower leagues? Burnes said, “Say goodnight, Bretty,” and you say hello to Corbin. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As many of you know, I’m in the NL-Only Tout Wars and LABR, so every year I take part in an industry NL-Only league with the CBS peeps to try to find my footing before I go off this Friday to Florida to take on the heavyweights, and Mike Gianella, who appears to have a healthy BMI. Some might mock, some might mock draft, but this is my draft prep, and am happy to take part in this league. Until about 25 minutes into the draft, and players go for way too much, and I start getting hungry and I just want the whole thing to be over and ermahgerd! But, for those first twenty-five minutes of the five-hour draft, I’m laser focused. For this league, I once again use Rudy’s NL-Only rankings, and his War Room (it’s free with a subscription). I won’t try to get you to buy it anymore. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make the horse put a cape down so I can walk over the water without getting wet. (If you want a shallower league, play against me and hundreds others for prizes –> Razzball Commenter Leagues.)  Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and some thoughts:

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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:

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The hot stove heating up right before Thanksgiving is exactly how it was meant to be. Now if I could see Giancarlo in nothing but taters that would make me thankful for everything. Five hours through my thankfulness, “…um…I’m also thankful for the lines at the DMV because they give me time to reflect…” Seven hours later, “…I’m thankful for my wife’s cooking because it helps me appreciate dining out…” Ten hours later, “…I’m thankful for the kid at the frozen yogurt place who puts his grubby fingers on the yogurt spout because I really shouldn’t have been eating yogurt anyway…” I hope you’re all as thankful for everything you have too on this glorious day of turkey, stuffing and ignoring the cranberry sauce. Any hoo! The Padres and Brewers igniting the pilot light on the hot stove, sending Trent Grisham and Zach Davies to the Padres for Luis Urias and Eric Lauer. This trade is close to even, so why make it? That’s a mystery best left to Grisham’s older, unrelated cousin.

Trent Grisham had a higher walk rate (14.6%) than strikeout rate (13.9%) in Triple-A last year. That originally attracted me. If I’m being honest, before I go any further, a lot was turning me off. He didn’t look like a major league regular as recently as a year ago — I mean, for Criss Angel’s sake, he hit .233 in Double-A in 2018. Hilariously, he had a 26% strikeout rate in Single-A. Grisham is a lefty, which immediately gives me pause, because the wrong manager — hey, Tingler, how’s tings? — will platoon a lefty almost exclusively. Now that I say the quiet part out loud, what the hell am I doing being excited about Grisham, and has anyone turned my marbles in at my library’s lost & found? Thankfully, it wasn’t just a minor league walk rate in a mere 34 games that drew me in for Grisham. In 2015, Trent Clark was drafted 15th overall by the Milwaukee Beermakers. Trent said, “I miss my mommy’s née and I want you to now call me Trent Grisham,” and a legend was born. I.e., you people who need things like I and E spelled out to you, Grisham was a top prospect in the country five years ago. Maybe he should’ve went to college, but can’t fault a guy for skipping classes to play pro ball. Without college, he brought warts with him to minor league baseball, that he might’ve been able to shake prior. So, to recap, Grisham was good, was terrible in the minors, became good again this year. He’s still only 23 years old. Better he figure things out now than later like those great waxy candies. So, what changed, you ask with a bat of your eyelashes. An approach change. He used to try to be overly patient and hit everything the opposite way. He began to pull more pitches this year and became more aggressive, and things went Click, like that terrible Adam Sandler movie, but in a good way. This year Grisham hit 32 homers across three levels. This is a guy who regularly took a walk, and that hasn’t just disappeared. Oh, and he has 15-steal speed. I’m sorry, a guy who can go 30/15 with walks? Who’s being drafted around the last round in many fantasy drafts? Hmm, all of those reasons why I didn’t like him seem like distant memories, which gives me an idea. Hello Sharks! For $400,000, you can have 5% of my secondhand memory foam mattress store called Distant Memories. Only real concern is that Grisham doesn’t do well early on, falls into a platoon or worse, is demoted, but his price is so cheap in drafts, that he’s well within the realm of being a sleeper. Also, he hit .284 vs. lefties last year in the minors, which was better than his average vs. righties, so he’s not an obvious platoon guy. For 2020, I’ll give Trent Grisham projections of 64/19/51/.254/13 in 453 ABs with a chance for much more. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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They say New Jersey can only be appreciated by people from New Jersey, which seems stupid. Where else can you get your ass beat over a sub while meeting the love of your life in a Wawa parking lot? Where else can you say you’re from New York when you’re from New Jersey? Where else can you win loose Newports in a boardwalk claw machine? Is there anywhere else you can simply lower the window to hide the smell of a fart? I think not!  Similarly, maybe you have to own Eugenio Suarez (3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 43rd and 44th homer, hitting .269), to appreciate him, but I just dug in on him, and there’s some concerning stats for 2020. His HR/FB% is goofy high, even though he’s hitting the ball less hard and more in the air. That’s a recipe for a plummeting batting average, and the skyrocketing Ks won’t help. His exit velocity is that of Amed Rosario; his average feet per homer is Piscottish (totally a word) and not Soleresque. The ball dripping of juice could fix all of this, but Suarez looks a lot more like a 32-homer, .255 hitter vs. this new incarnation.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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After the worst start of his year (4+ IP, 7 ER) Matt Strahm was placed on the DL with a rib strain. This seems to be a minor injury and might just be an easy, smart way to manage his innings. The most innings he’s thrown in a single season was 102 way back in 2016. Last year he threw 61.1 innings and he’s already sitting at 60.1 this year. Ruh-roh. The Padres are only 2.5 games back in the NL Wild Card so managing the innings of Strahm, Cal Quantrill, Chris Paddack, and Dinelson Lamet is going to be key for their playoff hopes. Replacement: The award for most unlikely, unexpected and unbelievable late-career resurgence has to go to Anibal Sanchez (6.6%.) The 35-year-old, 14 year veteran inexplicably and probably accidentally had one of the best seasons of his career last year with a 2.83 ERA and 1.083 WHIP (lowest of his career!) In his first 5 starts of the season Sanchez returned to the rotten pumpkin we knew him as: 27 IP, 18 ER (6.00 ERA.) However, things have improved in his 6 most recent starts. He’s allowed only 7 ERs in 21.2 IP (2.91 ERA.)

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The Brewers, as you likely heard, sent down Keston Hiura, which means the return of Travis Shaw, The Mayor of Ding-Dong City returns to Milkwaukee.  *sees Travis Shaw carrying a box of Ding-Dong snack cakes*  Oh!  See, the whole time I thought that meant home runs.  The nickname makes more sense now, and would’ve been good to know in the preseason. Let me hear your jubilation for manipulation of service time.  This, more than anything else, MLB really dominates. Hear that’s why MLB is the most popular sport amongst knobsticks, blacklegs and union busters. I grabbed Shaw, because he hit .235 during his rehab in the PCL, which is like hitting with aluminum bats on the moon.  No, his .235 average isn’t the reason I picked him up, it’s because I called him my preseason MVP and must wear him like a Scarlett Letter.  No, not for that reason either.  Because I had room and it was a deep league and I was like dubya tee eff.  That really is the reason.  Muy excitamente Señor Ding Dong!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?