Please see our player page for Jake Cronenworth 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.

What’s up, Razzballers? Hope playoff baseball is treating you well, and if you’re in any playoff pools like I am, hope they’re treating you well, as well!

Well. What a wild season of fantasy baseball we had, eh? I’m not a super high-stakes type of fantasy baller – I did two Yahoo public leagues mainly because drafts are so easy to join and get through quickly (I won both!), my home keeper auction league (which moved to roto for this year and I got 2nd after being two-time defending champ *sad emoji*), and then the RazzSlam. I got really lucky in the Slam, not suffering a lot of COVID-ness or injury. Finished second in my league and #46 overall. Not too shabby for my first industry league endeavor! Just want to thank Grey, Donkey and others, but mostly of all, you. You’ve made me feel so welcome. Hey, watch me make like a tree’s sap and get sappy!

Anywayyyyy, I bring up my own leagues because a large part of my success came down to waiver wire wizardry. Well, RazzSlam not so much (waivers are limited there), but my final rosters in the other three leagues looked a lot different from Opening Day. That’s always the case in fantasy sports, of course, but this year especially so in baseball.

I thought a fun exercise would be to go back and honor those who were league winners for a lot of you. What better way to honor real players than with fake All-Star selections?! I’m gonna take a standard lineup of C/1B/2B/3B/SS/OF/OF/OF/UT/UT/SP/SP/RP/RP/P/P/P/P and fill it with the best that the 2020 waiver wire had to offer. In most leagues, most of these guys were drafted late or not at all. Of course in deeper leagues maybe all of them were drafted at some point, but in standard 12-team leagues, almost all of these guys came off the wire.

Without further ado, let’s do it to it!

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So much of 2020 baseball has me dazed and confused. One injury pops up and “poof”, there goes the season. One 10 day hot stretch begets a 10 day cold stretch, and players pop up and go away like so many prairie dogs on the windswept empty plains of stadiums with no fans to be seen except in cardboard. Those who have hovered away include, in no particular order, Jonathan Schoop, Robinson Cano, Kyle Schwarber, Willy Adames, Alex Dickerson, Austin Meadows, Jorge Polanco, Shohei Ohtani, Jesse Winker, Yuli Gurriel, Mitch Moreland, Pedro Severino and Max Kepler. Some of that is poor performance. Some of it is as simple as paternity leave at an inopportune time. Much of this unlucky 13 is gone simply because others have outperformed them. Now the good news.

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October 2019, the A’s had just been eliminated in the wildcard game by the Tampa – Billy Beane sits in his office *click* as turns off the TV with a sigh… he then stares out the window for a good minute as he draws a calm and quiet, deep breath. “It’s been a helluva run,” he thinks to himself, reflecting back on the nearly 20 years since the team had their 20-game win streak on the back of Scott Hatteberg (disregarding that Tejada won the MVP; but, I digress) and the hollow shell of David Justice.

They had changed the game. And in those 18 years with a small market budget, they’ve had a winning record 11 times and won the AL West 5 times with 3 wildcard berths. Billy and Peter Brand had found the formula to stay competitive in the brutal business of sport, where, money doesn’t guarantee success but it punches tickets; and, it certainly can patch quite a few mistakes like a soldering iron. They had found a way to be nimble with the data apart from the extra cash. Getting on base is what mattered, not just the hit. Walking was the same as singles. If the slugging and hard hit-rates were there, OBP was just as good as average—just get on base…

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The time is getting close. The possibility of a season ending that was barely a possibility in June is upon us. Fall is peaking around the corner and pumpkin spice (I SAID PUMPKIN SPICE) is everywhere! I mean, the NFL is back, not all of football but at least the NFL. So it’s the home stretch and Fantasy Baseball championships can still be won and lost in the last two weeks. Additions to the list of players like #90 Jeimer Candelario, who has 5 homers and a .417 batting average the past two weeks, can boost you in multiple categories. Someone like D.J. Stewart can too, but his 6 homers and .455 batting average were done in bulk the last 7 days so he’ll take a bit more to get on the list. His teammate #91 Ryan Mountcastle, however, has won a spot thanks to his 4 homer .367 last two week mark and slightly higher pedigree. Other additions include the practically homering in every game #98 Bobby Dalbec (sure, it was close with Stewart, but Dalbec set a Red Sox rookie record for homers so…), welcome back #92 Michael Brantley  and #96 Isiah Kiner-Falefa (a lone Ranger highlight). Of course, we can’t forget that sultan of swat, that bountiful Brave, #70 Adam Duvall. Are you serious with a 9 home run barrage, including hitting in the .290’s over the last 15?

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Of the two current Rookie of the Year front-runners, Jake Cronenworth (NL) and Luis Robert (AL), one was relatively predictable. In our 2020 Razzball Fantasy Baseball Staff Picks article, 12 of 22 writers tabbed Robert as their preseason choice for AL ROY (Kyle Lewis received one vote and remains in the race). On the other hand, none of those same 22 contributors picked Cronenworth in the NL, although current runner-up Dustin May garnered five votes. For a former seventh round pick that was on the 30-man roster bubble heading into Opening Day, there wasn’t much of a reason for him to be on anyone’s radar. But here we are with just about two-and-a-half weeks left in the unique 2020 season, and those two aforementioned names are leading the way down the stretch.

As one of Razzball’s two prospect writers, this got me thinking: 1) how have these two young hitters stacked up against other rookie bats in certain underlying metrics so far this year? 2) Does The Itch think about me throughout the day as much as I think about him? In regard to the former, the bulk of the 2020 season may be over, but there’s still useful batted ball data that can be implemented to make start/sit and add/drop decisions throughout the final two weeks. On top of that, rookie batted ball data is arguably even more important to look at for those who play in dynasty formats. Although the season is nearly in the rear-view, there are dynasty roster decisions looming for 2021, as well as the ever-present questions of “should I buy on Player A vs. Player B as part of my core moving forward?” In this post, I’ll present the top-12 rookie batters in average exit velocity, hard hit percentage and percentage of barrels-per-plate appearance through Sept. 8. If you have any further questions about any of the names that follow, I’m more than happy to discuss this topic further in the comments section or on Twitter, where you can find me @WorldOfHobbs.

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Here we are again with nine more changes to the Top 100. In general a drop happens either through flash in the pans that hopped on or season long slumps for highly touted guys or injuries. A hot two weeks can get someone on the list, but if there is no history it takes more time than if there isn’t. First the good news. The six newcomers are San Francisco treats #97 Brandon Belt and #96 Alex Dickerson, (welcome back) #84 Andrew McCutchen, #78 Willy Adames propping up Tampa, #77 Robinson Cano (the old man has ramped it up big time),  the San Diego boys #71 Jake Cronenworth (proving me wrong) and #70 Eric Hosmer, (welcome back) #68 Rhys Hoskins and #67 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Those leaving are Aaron Judge and his injuries, Gary Sanchez, David Peralta, Edwin Encarnacion, Hanser Alberto and Christian Vazquez all batting around or under .200 with little power or slumping, and IL trips for Justin Turner and David Fletcher. The biggest blow is Anthony Santander. An oblique is probably the end of his season. It was tempting to move Trout back up to Number 1, but Tatis’ slump is too small to knock him off. #6 Trea Turner is hot as a pistol but couldn’t crack the Top 5 (Soto’s MRI came back clean), and #19 Charlie Blackmon all of a sudden isn’t squaring everything up. You can find last week’s list here. Now on to some of the other movers this week.

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Wasn’t planning to feature (Alex Dickerson, OF: $3,200) here today but after that offensive explosion (5 for 6 with 3 big boys) I say jump right back in those flames. After all he is still in Coors. Maybe don’t expect a repeat power barrage but he did blast another one a couple nights ago and I think that gets him at bats today even with a lefty on the mound. How exciting that there are actually some Giants hitters worth picking for DFS.

 

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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When the Padres are in Colorado finding some value in a starting pitcher is essential to get as many high priced bats in your FanDuel lineup as possible. In this case the needle points to Trevor Cahill ($7,000). In this season m/ore than ever it’s about what have you done for me lately. In Cahill’s case he just scored 37 points against these same Diamondbacks on 8/23. He’s stretched out and likely to go at least five, which is more than you can say for most of the pitchers. And sure, you could attempt to go with Bundy at more thank $2K more but then be left to pick up the riskier pieces for most of your lineup. One extra nugget on this game in Cahill’s favor: Eduardo Escobar has two homers in four at bats against Cahill in the past but is badly slumping to a .184 batting average. This is one area you can find some value on the Main Slate today at FanDuel. Let’s look for a bit more and figure out how to add Tatis and Machado to your lineup. Of the two Machado is much hotter, and look to Boston of all places to perhaps zag while others stick with the Padres and Rockies. More on that in the “Doing Lines In Vegas” area. Sometimes those lines can make you $$$.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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Hello again, students! You’re just in time for Lesson Three in  JKJ’s School of Waiver Wire Wizardry. This weekend has already been tainted by another positive COVID test just as the Cardinals got back in action. The Reds and Pirates game Saturday was cancelled due to a Reds player testing positive Friday. Things were looking up! And then this. Just a reminder that COVID is bigger than baseball, and most especially fantasy baseball. It’s not going away any time soon by the look of it, so please continue to practice safety measures to keep you and others around you safe! This is a class after all, so a teacher has to get on their soapbox every once in a while. Fun fact: I’m a real-life teacher, too. High school English. Not my first go-around getting on a soapbox. Sorry not sorry.

Anyhoodles, let’s dive right in to the hotties you need to pay attention to for Week 4.

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One third of the season is in the books and things are going exactly as planned across the league!  With such a predictable season, it should be little surprise that our Middle Infielder Rankings are stable…right?  That could not be further from the truth.  At this point, we are enjoying our first  glance at the first place Marlins, the Cardinals have played a mere 5 games and the Astros look like a hot mess.

With so much change and outside influence, it should be no surprise that our rest of season rankings are going through a shakeup from top to bottom.  With that movement comes a new #1 for our list: Trevor Story.  Let us take a quick look at his hot start and why it is not just a hot start but the beginning of a bigger breakout and a chance to lay claim to the top spot the rest of the season.

When Story first entered the league, he was carrying a lofty 30+ K%.  Through the first 18 games of the season, he has walked (10) nearly as often as he has struck out (11) resulting in a minuscule 13% K rate.  So, are we seeing real improvement in his approach at the plate?  Let us dig a little deeper

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