Please see our player page for Jeff Samardzija 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.

The 2nd game in a row Dinelson Lamet has taken a no-hitter into the 6th inning and, this time, it went into the 7th, ending up 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 11 Ks, ERA at 1.61. I’m about to start moaning out his name like a pizza deliveryman in a porn. “I didn’t ask for sausage.” “And I didn’t ask for my salad to be hand-tossed, but here we are.” There’s no whacks on Dinelson as he keeps the whacks off. Now paint the fence! *Dinelson starts painting Mejia’s glove* No, the fence, not ‘fense. Forget it, you’re beautiful. There’s nothing to gleam from 22 1/3 IP, other than to say he’s regularly hitting 97 MPH, and, while he only has two pitches, they’re good and there’s no reason to think he can’t keep something resembling this for 40 more innings. With a drooling sly grin, “Did someone order a Meat Lover’s?” Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

[places soapbox on ground, stands tall]

Starting pitchers are more important this year. But you should still take hitters first. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

For most fantasy league formats, you are chasing wins in 2020. Thus, WAGNOF (Wins Ain’t Got No Face). With starting pitchers, you’re looking for #1/#2 starters on good teams, who will pitch a lot of innings and contribute to Wins, ERA, WHIP, and K. Relievers with great K/9–even middle relievers–will help immensely with ERA, WHIP, and K. But wins? Welcome to the Twilight Zone. Whereas wins used to the be the domain of starters (and Twins’ middle relievers), we’re already getting reports of top pitchers having inning limits and pitch counts. So, we’ll be seeing a lot of wins going to middle relievers, which makes it much more difficult to predict that category (unless you’re a lifelong Twins fan, holla!). If you don’t believe me on this, then take the advice from three-time Trout Fishing Champion Grey Albright. If you’re in a league that uses Quality Starts, the top three tiers of pitchers are even more valuable because you’ll be relying on pitchers who stay in games AND who don’t give up earned runs. The coronavirus and the style of play in 2020 placed a high scarcity on pitchers who meet these requirements. That said, crafty managers can combine mid-tier pitchers with relievers who provide elite ratios and make an effective pitching staff that will win leagues. So, let’s teach you to be a crafty manager.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When assessing starting pitchers, savvy fantasy players look at a wide variety of measures. Velocity, stuff, BABIP, Statcast, 2019 performance…balancing out all of the available metrics to determine cost (draft slot, $ value) is the name of the game.

Today we’re going to look at a metric I rarely see discussed in the pre-season: strength of schedule (SoS). In-season, SP matchups are gold, whether you’re playing DFS or streaming in season-long. But before the year, I rarely see analysis go any deeper than AL-vs.-NL comparisons. This makes partial sense because we don’t know what a rotation will look like beyond the next week, making projecting out specific matchups impossible.

At the team level, however, we can get get a pretty good handle on who may have advantageous matchups and who will have a tough road in front of them. More specifically, we’re interested in the extremes: How frequently will each team face really tough matchups, or really easy ones? These are actionable (start/sit decisions). For the rest – the fat part of the bell curve – we’ll mostly be making decisions based on individual SP talent, not matchup.

One other note: in a 60-game season, each SP only gets 10-12 starts, meaning SoS will be more important than normal. In a reduced season, there isn’t time for the schedule to balance out. If a Rays pitcher has to face the Yankees three times, that’s 25-30% of their 2020 season stats, and you may want to downgrade them on draft day.

I’m basing this analysis on the proposed breakdown of the 60-game schedule found on MLB.com:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

True story: DonkeyTeeth calls me up on the ol’ Twitter machine this morning.  Me, I’m just awake from dreaming of 5-year-old Blair riding out in my dad’s Buick Skylark into the Minneapolis night to celebrate the Twin’s 1987 World Series win.  Suddenly Donkey’s typing: “Top 100 Switchers.” And I’m like, “Donkey, it’s 7AM, I’m not ready for that!” He types into the Twitter machine, “TOP 100 PITCHERS!” So I say, that’s fine, here: 1) Beer, 2) Sangria, 3) Margarita… . Donk does it. You know. He starts typing, but doesn’t finish. The little dots on the bottom of my Twitter machine beep out in morse code–or whatever code Jack wants to call it–that causes mental insanity among so many people. I’m transfixed. The next use of a nuclear code, you know it’s going to be preceded by those little waiting dots. President Swift will have to verify the code with Vice President Lovitz but only after they clear their notifications. Finally, Donkey’s message comes across. “2-for-1 pitchers at BWW if you get there before 9AM. See ya.” That’s the level of training they give here at Razzball. I tell ya, I get no respect at all. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A couple of weeks ago, I took a look at hitters who are being priced cheaper in 2020 than their 2019 stats would dictate. This week, it’s time to assess Starters using the same approach.

Recency bias suggests that 2019 performance weighs most heavily in our minds when making 2020 decisions. That certainly plays out in many scenarios, but there are other players who’s 2020 price is discounted compared to what just happened. I’m guessing that’s mostly due to the prevalence of projection systems in player valuation. A good projection system should absolutely be the baseline for your 2020 valuations. But as we know, these systems are slow to pick up on skill changes. Three year weighted averages & regression to the mean helps the systems get the most players right; but it also means they systematically devalue 2019 stats. The goal of this post is to look at what just happened (2019 performance) and find places where the market (ADP) isn’t pricing in those stats.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In last week’s preview, we covered the Arizona Diamondbacks. For this week, we’re deep-diving to the bottom of the NL West to find the Giants. Many naive San Fran fans will tell you that this is their year since it’s an even year (2020) but that’s a pretty stupid notion if you look at this team. The championship days are certainly a thing of the past and it’s crazy just how far this team has fallen since then.

If you have any comments or questions, reach me here or on Twitter @Bartilottajoel

Also, if you want to see some other team previews or my bust picks, click here!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, how’s everyone holding up without baseball every day?  I don’t know what to do with myself!  Yesterday I wandered into a Starbucks and told the coffeerista about Mike Clevinger for 2020.  Then I sobbed into a cheddar scone until someone asked me to leave.  We’ve gone over the final 2019 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters.  This is different than Final Fantasy rankings where you rank Final Fantasy 1 thru Final Fantasy 15.  That’s hardcore nerd shizz!  This is simply fantasy baseball — we’re softcore nerds like Emmanuelle is to porn. So, there’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left.  You’re welcome.  I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking next about 2020 rookies — PUT ON YOUR FREAKIN’ SHOES! Not sure why I just yelled that. Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2019 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Adalberto Mondesi will have surgery on his shoulder and miss the next five to six months. *insert GIF of King Tommen falling out of the window* Mondesi likely won’t be ready for Opening Day. Cancel 2020. Don’t even want to go on. Please, don’t try to cheer me up. I’m wallowing! Let me wallow! Guess it’s better to get the injury out of the way now vs. in March. Ha, you thought I was being positive! Screw you for misreading my intentions! It’s not good news, this means his shoulder could re-injure at any point in 2020 and become a recurring issue. Give me a tissue. I already miss you. I’m a sad poet and aware of it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What do we say to the devil? Not today, devil. But they say, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.” And devil’s in the details.  So, for the last five months, Giancarlo Stanton (1-for-3) was the devil I didn’t know any details about, but yesterday we said, “Today, devil,” so where does that leave us? In hell still, as the Yankees said they will baby Stanton, sending him out for only a few at-bats. Yo, are you Arthriticarlo Stanton? Should’ve never held him all year, but his thighs are so beautiful and well-lotioned in bed! Sorry, was reading a well-tailored-to-me fortune cookie. I suppose if Stanton’s out there, you can add him, and play him, but a few at-bats here and there doesn’t exactly instill confidence. Hopefully, by the time 2020 rolls around, Giancarlo will be less Arthriticarlo and more the Giancarlo I’ve pasted to my pillow. And that’s not Elmer’s Glue. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?