Welcome to my inaugural post for the top 50 Middle Infielder rankings for the rest of the 2020 fantasy baseball season.  Throughout the year, I will be updating my rankings and calling out those movers and shakers.  For those of you here looking to gather some insights, welcome.  For those of you looking to steal my rankings and use them against me, I am not afraid!

Let’s take a quick look at the landscape up the middle of the diamond.  Middle infield is deep this year, more specifically shortstop is stacked.  This isn’t Jason Bartlett’s shortstop class of 10 years ago.  The top four all have an argument for being first round picks.  After that, there are all-stars abound with blemishes (Can Altuve hit without a buzzer?  How often will Gleyber play against Baltimore?  Will Tatis regress or grow?).  Once we get past the top 20-25, there is a steep cliff that will leave you wishing you had invested earlier.

Now let’s get into a few key guys standing out from the pack in the rankings.

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Donkey Teeth and B_Don are joined by Darik Buchar from SportsHub, that’s SPORTShub everyone. They discuss the various National Fantasy Baseball Chapmionship (NFBC) formats and it’s growth from only the main event to where they are now, with leagues from $50 up to $15k.

Darik walks everyone through the new Solo Shot game, similar to the Silver Bullet from football (NFFC), before they get into the Cutline and the modified Cutline format of… THE RAZZSLAM. Some old faces in new places, MLB free agency style wraps up the show.

 

P.S. If you play on NFBC platform, check out this FAAB tutorial, it’ll make your life much easier.

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After a lengthy hiatus, and much world travels, Donkey Teeth and B_Don are back talking baseball on the Goin’ Deep Razzball Podcast. After talking about some of the big free agent landing spots and few of the free agents still yet to sign, the guys introduce the RazzSlam.

The RazzSlam discussion includes a full layout of the rules, point scoring system, playoff and prizes. The B_Don and DT also chat a little about draft strategy and how they might use their very limited RazzSlam FAAB opportunities. Slow drafts will start in late February, sign up here for your chance to compete against some of the biggest names in the industry!

At the back end of the show (36:30) the fellas discuss the Fantrax Best Ball draft B_Don is currently participating in with some industry stalwarts. Find out where Luis Robert, Fernando Tatis Jr, Lucas Giolito, Jo Adell and many other exciting names were drafted.

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Grey joins Donkey Teeth and B_Don to discuss ideas for 2020 fantasy baseball on the Goin’ Deep Razzcast. They debate whether Ronald Acuna or Mike Trout should be taken #1 overall next year, or maybe dark horse Christian Yelich? The changing landscape of Major League Baseball and fantasy baseball is at the forefront of the discussion.

And should you gamble on Pete Alonso or Yordan Alvarez in the late 2nd or early 3rd round? Yes, but you’ll have to tune in to find out which one. Then later in the show Grey disowns B_Don for suggesting Bryce Harper should be drafted over Rafael Devers, and Donkey Teeth is disowned shortly after for contemplating Aaron Judge over Devers. Don’t miss all the drama on this week’s episode of Goin’ Deep!

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  • Last week of the regular season. Playoff teams may decide to adjust or sit their starters as they lock up their position and start getting ready for the playoffs. Did my best to recognize the 2 starters as best I could here.
  • There’s still some questions about who will start, but the situations I couldn’t nail down were:
    • Baltimore: Dylan Bundy is in line to start, but there’s a chance that Chandler Sheperd gets a chance in that spot instead.
    • Mariners have Marco Gonzales down to pitch both Sunday and Tuesday. It could be Tommy Milone or Justin Dunn if Marco goes Sunday.
    • The Reds could throw Kevin Gausman as an opener or could let Sonny Gray take the spot on Tuesday.
  • Oakland and San Diego are likely running a 6 man rotation.
  • Cincinnati may run a 6 man rotation, but have to monitor that situation.
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No Doubt

Player Team Opp. 1 Opp. 2 Player Rater ERA 2nd Half FIP 2nd Half
Justin Verlander HOU TEX LAA 39.3 1.93 1.94
Stephen Strasburg WSH @STL @MIA 23.9 3.25 3.27
Yu Darvish CHC CIN STL 8.3 2.44 3.06

Raise your hand if you passed up a Darvish trade, or even waiver wire pickup, earlier in the season. *Raises hand and puts head down in shame.*  K rate is over 36% in the 2nd half and the walk rate down at 2.4%; it’s like I don’t even know who Yu are Darvish.

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Starter Notes for Week 24…

    • The Padres and Athletics are both throwing a 6-man rotation this week.
    • The Dodgers are giving Hyun-Jin Ryu a pass on his next start, but haven’t announced when he will make the next one yet, or how the rotation will work this week. While Ryu will be skipped, the Dodgers are also getting Rich Hill back this week, which could maintain the 6 man rotation.
    • How the Dodgers handle the rotation means that Walker Buehler may or may not have 2 starts this week. The good news, of course you’re starting Walker Buehler. The bad news, not sure that he’s getting 2 starts, but he’d be a ‘No Doubt’ guy if he does.
    • The Yankees Tuesday starter has yet to be announced, but should be a 2 start option whoever they throw. My best guess right now is that it’s a bullpen game with Chad Green starting.
    • Please, blog, may I have some more?

Trying to track rotations in September is similar to watching the Cha-Cha Slide at a wedding. Pitchers slide to the right…slide to the left…criss cross…CHARLIE BROWN. September brings so much rotational uncertainty with call-ups, 4 man, 6 man and even 7 man rotations utilized with spot starts out of the blue.

Here are my best guesses and some 2 start notes to help you find 2 start options this week.

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No Doubt

Name Team 1st Opp. 2nd Opp.
Shane Bieber CLE @NYM KC
Clayton Kershaw LAD TOR NYY

For the second straight year, the Topps card company struggled to remember which Bieber plays baseball and which one is a pop star. At least Shane seems to take it all in stride, just look at his uniform from last year.

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