Please see our player page for J.D. Davis 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.

Hello, again. Time to wrap this baby on up with the NL East. I don’t know what else to write here that I haven’t in the other two pieces. Check out the NL West Edition and the NL Central Edition if you haven’t already.

Just made myself another old fashioned, the wife is reading, and the kiddo is asleep. Let’s do it to it.

Atlanta Braves

Probably not gonna surprise anyone with this pick: Austin Riley. Riley was having himself a very nice spring, but so was Johan Camargo, his competition at third. Now the DH solves all that – let the slugging prospect, well, slug. Camargo is the better glove, so there you go.

Riley showed glimpses of serious power last season, bashing 18 homers in only 80 games. My lazy and mathematically-challenged brain would double that to 36 HR in 160 games just to give a very rough idea of what we’re looking at. Of course, that’s not sound fantasy advice nor very accurate given those were his first 80 games ever in the majors. We gotta look deeper. Deep dives are king! I’m no expert delver, but let’s give this a shot anyway. He slashed .226/.279/.471 with Atlanta, but hit for a much better average all through the minors. I know that’s not very telling, but I like to at least see if someone has shown ability to hit for average somewhere, sometime. The power last season was nuts – 127 games total and 33 homers. Looking at just his AAA numbers, in 2018 he hit 12 HR in 324 PAs, but launched 15 HR in just 194 PAs last year. Then came up to the bigs and hit 18 more. That’s quite the progression in just a year’s time. His isolated power was .182 in AAA in 2018, which is pretty solid (.200 is the baseline for “great” according to FanGraphs, though it fluctuates a little relative to league averages in a given year). Anyway, his ISO spiked to .333 in 2019, which is off-the-charts good. Yes, we’re judging these numbers off fewer PAs than FanGraphs recommends, but whatever. You can see the power is there. Riley did his best Aristides Aquino when getting the call last season, slashing .324/.368/.732 with nine homers and 25 RBI in his first 18 games. Buuut in his final 62 games, he had almost the exact same production (nine HR, 24 RBI) and a yucky, yucky slash (.192/.249/.379).

The 2019 AAA Riley struck out 20.1% of the time (his best anywhere) and walked 10.3% of the time; but alas, 2019 MLB Riley struck out 36.4% of the time and walked only 5.4% of the time. He still managed a .245 ISO in the majors, which is very damn good, but the rest of his offensive metrics definitely took a nose dive as the year went on. The batted ball metrics are great: 13.7% barrel rate, 44.6% hard-hit rate, and a 20.6-degree launch angle. Riley had 7.7% barrels per plate appearance, which would be top 50 in the league if he qualified. Better than Ketel Marte, Rafael Devers, Gleyber Torres, Max Muncy, and like a ton others, of course. Those are just some big fantasy studs that stood out.

I think you all get the picture. Riley has the chops to be a fantasy force as is, but he’s got improvements he needs to make. If a pitch is in the zone, dude swings like every time (okay, 80.5%) but also chased almost 38% of the time. If he can keep barreling balls and show some more patience, then whoa nelly. They’ve got Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna, and now this guy?!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The drumbeat of social distancing goes on. But as Rob Manfred says, baseball will happen….eventually. And the New York Mets will have a left fielder too. Or will it be a few left fielders? This whole quarantine thing is managing to make seasons possible that seemed impossible. In other words, those we thought would miss large portions of the the season are now in play. There was a time Yoenis Cespedes would strike fear into opposing pitchers. Then he signed with the Mets. Okay, that’s not fair, he did hit 31 home runs and was an All Star two years ago. But that was two years ago. Now he’s 34, and thanks to his lingering issues J.D. Davis, among others, got his chance. So what will happen in 2020?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Excuse the exposition and this clunky intro into aforementioned exposition, but here’s the catchers to target1st basemen to target2nd basemen to targetshortstops to target and something to stick to your dartboards to target. These 3rd basemen to target are being drafted after 200 overall.  Keep in mind, nephew (and five niece readers), your Uncle Grey likes to have a corner man drafted by the time these guys appear, so you’re looking at potential utility men more than anything. As for the coronavirus aka Covid-19 aka “The Disease That Apparently Hates Baseball,” I’m not pretending it’s not going on, but some people still have drafts, and if I liked these guys before the virus started karaoke’ing to Public Enemy’s Shut ‘Em Down, I still like them. So, I’m getting these “To Target” posts out in case people are still drafting. There are upcoming RCL drafts, and I plan on doing another NFBC league for s’s and g’s to pass time until the National Pastime returns. Is there more interest from you in another NFBC draft vs. me vs. youse? Let me know in the comments. Now, this is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Indonesia) supplement to the top 20 3rd basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball.  (All 2020 fantasy baseball rankings have been updated to 100 games played, but I am still going into the positional rankings and moving guys who were injured who now have a better “corona timeline.”) Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2020 projections. Anyway, here’s some 3rd basemen to target for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Been saying for the last four months it’s crazy anyone would draft Chris Sale this year. Or maybe it was just so brazen, like a guy wearing no helmet on a motorcycle in the rain. You got cantaloupes in your pants, you absolute loon! It was like somehow everyone forgot the narrative all of last year was he lost his velocity and his elbow was bothering him. Like a coconut hit their head and they woke up thinking they were Ginger from Gilligan’s Island and that Sale would stay healthy. Alas, you fruit loops, he will start the year on the IL as he heads for an MRI on his elbow. Next stop will be a lost season for him. The people drafting Sale early on, even with a discount, well, I’ve never seen people convince themselves of nonsense like I see in fantasy sports. “He’ll be fine! It was just the flu! His elbow is feeling great! Great, I tell you!” Use some common sense! You kinda deserve to lose if you drafted Sale in any leagues. Everyone saying things like, “Oh, you’re a doctor now, I guess. You saw this coming, I imagine.” Don’t guess, Goofy McGoofstein! I was pre-med for two months of my freshman year in college! Also, it doesn’t take a doctor to know if a guy missed time due to an arm injury last year, showed up to camp after refusing surgery on his arm, you should avoid him. If only I could’ve placed a bet on whether or not anyone drafting Sale in the first few weeks of drafts would regret it. Damn, I would’ve been a billionaire (assuming I could bet a billionaire dollars and had even odds, but I technically would’ve only made that bet if I were a billionaire already). While singing Happy Birthday twice, I’ve washed my hands of Chris Sale. He’s temporarily ranked in the top 40 starters, but I wouldn’t draft him anywhere (as I wouldn’t have before this), and the next step I imagine will be crossing him out of the top 500 for 2020 fantasy baseball. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh man, the crack of the bat and the sound of the ball hitting leather. It’s seamhead heaven, boys of summer katnip, and time to put away the hot stove (well almost). Spring training baseball has just started. Beer is flowing from Florida to Arizona and lazy afternoons at the ballpark are in vogue.

As such, Razzball’s 2020 inaugural Top 100 Hitters is here to inform, entertain, and track your favorite sluggers, five category studs and perhaps underappreciated gems. We have to start somewhere, so here are the rules for this first list: They’re geared towards 5×5 roto leagues. “Last” is tracking where the hitters were in the last Top 100 of September of 2019. “Change” is a change from that last 2019 ranking.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The ax fell yesterday on Luis Severino‘s elbow. That ax was wielded by Dr. James Andrews, who was wearing a Jason mask at the time of the news conference. A reporter stands, “Doc, do you think Severino can avoid Tommy John surgery?” Dr. James Andrews, breathy like Kathleen Turner with an unmistakeable Charleston accent, “I do declare,” Dr. James Andrews pats his mask with a handkerchief, “Severino’s time under the knife will be short, but his stay on the Injured List long.” He then scratched his arm with the ax and accidentally ripped his doctor’s lab coat. “If there’s no further questions, I will be going,” Dr. James Andrews stood, sticking out his arms in a Jason pose, and slowly left the stage. So, Severino and Dr. James Andrews have been acquainted and if you drafted Severino early, you’re ess oh el as they say in Acronyms R’ Us chatrooms. I’ve removed Severino from the top 40 starters and top 500 for 2020 fantasy baseball. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Back in the early 90s there was a somewhat groundbreaking rap group by the name of 3rd Base. You might be familiar with such classics as “Pop Goes The Weasel” or the cult classic “The Gas Face” (featuring a pre-mask MF Doom). What you might not know is that Grey Albright is really MC Search. If you’re amongst the segment of the population that didn’t know that, then tune into this week’s show where Grey runs through his favorite verse from the classic Cactus Album. As would be expected this is hands down Grey/Search’s favorite episode of the season as we go through third basemen (check out Grey’s Top 20 3rd Basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball), a position that’s near and dear to our fearless FML’s heart. We talk discovering Nas and why Josh Donaldson is actually on Grey’s draft list this year. It’s a can’t miss show for those of us that are 50% hip-hop head and 50% roto dork. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Cactus Podcast!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Our 2020 Razzball leagues are in signup mode. Robot in Signup Mode, “I am entering contest to win Razzball t-shirt even though I’ve never seen a robot wear a shirt. Starting….” The Robot begins to peter out, “…New…Fad.” Oh no, the Razzball Robot has died! *screaming to heavens* What hath you forsaken me?! Heavens, “Focus on the ESPN rankings, you moron.” Wow, the heavens do not take well to histrionics. So, this year’s ESPN rankings are a tad goofier than I remember them, but maybe I just got smarter — Smarterened? Smartered? Became the smarts? Meh, I don’t know. What I do know is ESPN has Tim Anderson ranked 143rd overall and that made me cackle like a hyena for so long a group of white-jacketed asylum workers showed up at my house and tried to cart me away. Me singing to the tune of Pharcyde, “Can’t keep gettin’ carted awaaaaaaaaaay…Can’t keep gettin’ carted awaaaaaaaaaay…Can’t keep gettin’ carted awaaaaaaaaaay…” Any hoo! I’m clutchin’ my pearls like a Barbara Bush hologram and about to take out some ‘perts! *slowly, menacingly sharpens index finger for more incisive typing* I’m about to cut up somebody with words! Now let’s open a window and defenestrate ESPN’s 2020 fantasy baseball rankings. To the tune of Major Tom, I call this Major Dumb:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m usually not big on worrying too much about positional scarcity, but anyone who has competed in a variety of different fantasy baseball league formats knows that depth at a given position is one thing that can make a big difference in approaching a draft for a shallow league versus a deep one.  The last couple of years, I’ve been making a concerted effort to draft with less concern about a player’s position, and more towards getting the best value possible with every draft pick or auction purchase, regardless of league size.  But when approaching a draft this way, it’s even more important to know what your options are going to be at each position, which positions you can wait to fill later, and which players are actually worth reaching for if you do realize you’re running out of decent options at a given position.  Getting to the point of today’s post, let’s take a look at some third basemen for 2020, with an emphasis on how I’ll be approaching the position in deeper leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In our first Ambulance Chasers post this season, we touched on some of the bigger names that were dealing with some off-season question marks about their injury status and health.  Now that we’re into January, we’re starting to get updates trickling in on some players rehab processes, and they’re not all good. We also touch on some late round names here and speculate on some situations that could change between now and the beginning of the season that would count some of these players as huge bargains for early drafters.

Please, blog, may I have some more?