Please see our player page for Gerrit Cole 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.

2020 turned out okay for the Astros, all things considered. 

This week’s ball-doctoring story that mentioned Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander might have otherwise grabbed some eyeballs but wound up buried beneath the seesawing fate of America’s democracy. 

All in all, the trash-bang scandal of 2019 got lost in much bigger conversations, so the traveling circus that would’ve been Houston’s 2020 playing on the road in front of fans that hated them never got out of the garage. Despite season-ending injuries to Justin Verlander and Yordan Alvarez and mostly silent bats from Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel (curious), the Astros remained a force to be reckoned with when it mattered most, striking fear in the hearts of baseball fans everywhere when they pushed the Rays to game 7 of the ALCS. 

2021 will be even more challenging. Though Yordan Alvarez is running again after surgeries on both knees, Houston will likely be without free agent outfielders George Springer and Michael Brantley. The system offers some possible help on the mound, but the bulk of their position prospects are too young to contribute anytime soon. 

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Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, especially you Mets fans. Y’all pumped or what? Cleveland _______ fans, I’m sorry. Tank time. How’s Cleveland Tanks sound for a new moniker to put in that blank? Tanks are…cool, right? World of Tanks is a kinda popular game, no?

Alrighty, folks, here’s the best of this past week in offseason baseball (with a different format cuz I like to shake it up):

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All the final 2020 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done. For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball. This is NOT for next year (caps for those who can’t read titles; supposedly it’s easier to read caps, I have my doubts). This is a recap. Will these affect next year’s rankings? Sure. Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know. Not entirely. Entirely. Like when you had a knee replacement, this is a recap! To recapitulate the recap, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  We’re (me’re) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings. Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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It’s an annual tradition unlike any other, it’s the Razzball Way Too Early Top 25 For 2021 Fantasy Baseball. That’s right, Grey Albright, FML, and yours truly, work our way through the top 25. There’s some surprises and I try and make a silly case for Michael Conforto. Hey, what can I say I’m out of touch with reality. Another riveting conversation with plenty of Grey “cackles” for the masses. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast

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This is what they call in the biz a GAP — a General Appreciation Post. It has not been a general appreciation type year, but Juan Soto (1-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (12) and double legs (4, 5), hitting .345) aka Sexy Dr. Pepper makes me wake up at quarter to 6 every morning, jump out of bed like Dicky Fox and scream, “I love Juan Soto!” Then Cougs rolls over and mutters, “865,” which is the number of times she’s said to stop screaming that first thing in the morning. Listen, it’s been a trying year, and I appreciate all of you sticking with us through what was the craziest year on memory, and I’m not gonna get choked up, because I’m way more appreciative of Juan Soto. HE’S BETTER THAN TROUT. Sorry, but Mr. Al Caps is right. Sexy Dr. Pepper is 12 years old and he’s doing things not seen since 2002 when a headless ghost Ted Williams was teaching a bone-sober and dead Babe Ruth why he was striking out so much. It’s an absolute joy to watch. I think I like Treat Urner (3-for-6, 1 run and his 11th and 12th steals) partially because he plays with Juan Soto. In 2021, I’m not sure yet if I’m going to have Juan Soto in the top two, three, four or five, but this is only the beginning of that discussion which will go until 2030, when we’re all finally stepping out of quarantine like a bunch of vampires. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’m freshly back from The Hotties, which is the annual Razzball award ceremony for the “hottest taeks” in fantasy baseball. With the sharp-toothed piranhavirus in full swing, Grey called for a “Mask-erade” ball, but the Eventbrite invitation auto-corrected it to a “masquerade” ball. Everybody showed up with the wrong parts of their face covered. I thought Grey would be upset but he seemed to take everything in stride, saying that he had been waiting for this day since “Eyes Wide Shut” was released. Is that a movie or a novel or a contact delivery service? Anyway, Grey started giggle-whispering “Fidelio!” at everybody. Hey, Grey, I get it. Fidel Castro liked baseball. Let’s get with the times!

I did manage to record Grey’s speech to all the writers and Instagram models who attended. Here’s the transcript if you want to read it:

“I’ll get right to the point: I’m proud to announce a new partnership between Razzball and the San Diego Padres. 2021 will be known as STAN DIEGO around here, and all hot taeks will involve Padres players. The top 10 pitchers? Lamet, Davis, Clevinger, and Paddack [audible hissing from the crowd]. The top 10 hitters? Tatis, Machado, Grisham, and Myers. Trevor Rosenthal is a top 30 pick. You will all write sleeper articles on Joey Lucchesi, Adrian Morejon, and yes, Eric Hosmer. [pause while Grey dodges thrown masks] Fear not, for STAN DIEGO comes with perks! You will all get a free hot dog with a purchase of an annual pass to Sea World, and you’ll get a personal tour of the tiger enclosure at the San Diego Zoo. Now, writers, start hyping Jake Cronenworth!”

At that point, all the people Grey whispered “Fidelio” to disappeared into Grey’s private grotto, which he named “50 Shades of Play” because of the underwater mini-golf course he installed. Myself? I was left standing in the foyer with a mysterious note that only said, “MacKenzie Gore, 2021 hot taek.”

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I had Dane Dunning listed as a two-start pitcher last week, but I guess that didn’t happen for whatever reason. However, he was the headlining player of that article, and he’s back again for this week! Way back then I wrote: “I’ll give him this — the career 0.5 HR/9 over 449 professional innings will serve him well this week. Also working in his favor is he’s facing the 7th and 9th worst teams in K/rate to right-handed pitchers.” Well, he did allow a HR to the Twins last week, but still only held them to that 1 ER over 7 innings while tying his season-high with 7 K’s. JUST LIKE I TOLD YOU. So what about these Indians? They’re only hitting .230 against righties with a .373 slugging percentage. The ingredients are there for another delicious recipe for success from Dunning. I’m a little less optimistic about his start against the Cubs, although they have been middle of the road against righties with their third-highest K/rate against them. Take the risk if you can afford it. 

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Another huge Yankees’ threat was activated last night, and he’s a big, big threat, I mean, big, big, big, it’s Aaron Judge, guys and five girls! And, wouldn’t you know it, the Yankees hit seven homers, with three of them from Kyle Higashioka (3-for-4, 5 RBIs with his 2nd, 3rd and 4th homer); DJ LeMahieu (3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) hit two homers (8, 9); Luke Voit? Oh, you know Voit (1-for-4, 3 RBIs) hit one of them! He has 19! Clint Frazier (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) even got in on the action, hitting his 7th homer. Oprah screaming like a lunatic, “You get a home run! You get a home run! You get a home run!” Aaron Judge looks under his seat, pulls out a gift-wrapped box, “I get…an 0-for-4?” *hears Final Jeopardy music* “What is six games?” “Oh, I’m sorry, that’s wrong. Aaron Judge will be injured again in four games.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Hard to believe, but my first season as a baseball analyst here at Razzball is almost at an end! For athletes, that means they’re leaving the bubble soon. Us fantasy writers? We’re all bubbled-up to protect from the dreaded Piranhavirus. Oh, you don’t know what that is? See, we’re so forward thinking here at Razzball, we’re already sequestered away for the next pandemic. You may be asking, “How does the Razzbubble work?” Well, future victims of piranhas, let me show you my notes from earlier this summer when I bubbled up.

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There are only 2 Thursdays left in this weird season where life feels a little Groundhog Day-ish (doesn’t it?). So here we are on another Thursday, another day in which the pitching options seem somewhat on the “meh” side for our DFS slates on FanDuel. It’s pay up for Gerrit Cole, or take a risk and go cheaper and spend on hitting instead. Because I’ll admit to needing a little excitement in my life these days, I’m going to build a lineup around Aaron Civale ($9,200) versus the Royals. Civale could make for a good match-up versus the poor, last-in-their-division, Royals. He may earn some runs. He’s not going to be a strikeout machine. He’s more risky than Cole, but less than Paddack (more on the below). But he should go deep enough into the game and he could get a win. That’s a VictoriaB Ringing Endorsement™.  Let’s take a look at who else is out there, after the jump.

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