Please see our player page for Joey Votto 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.

With the world continuing to be in dumpster fire mode, I figured I’d write about things that I love. No, not my kids (although this week we learned to ride a bike without training wheels, flew a kite, lost a tooth, and watched The Sandlot for the first time – pretty epic week), but two players that I’ve fallen hard (phrasing) for – Marcell Ozuna and Nick Castellanos. Both players have similar ADPs, with Castellanos being at 83.4 and Ozuna landing at 88.6 (average ADPs from ESPN, NFBC, Yahoo, and CBS). Both players also have new homes that feature good lineups in hitters parks and the sum of the parts has my pants feeling a little tight….oh wait, that’s just the quarantine-15 that I’ve put on. Let’s dive into both players and see if we can find a clear winner.

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Maybe the real-life baseball season has stopped, but that doesn’t mean fantasy baseball has to. It’s all we have these days, really. Fantasy sports while we fantasize about real sports coming back. I feel bad for my fellow fantasy hockey folks – I get the feeling it ain’t coming back, even if regular hockey does. I’m not about that fantasy basketball life (I dabbled in my younger years – Tracy McGrady anyone? Had to have him on all my teams), but I fear it’s the same fate. Only fantasy football is unscathed…so far. Wild stuff happening on that front, too. Brady to the Bucs? Da BUCS?! DAFUQ! Gurley and Newton RELEASED?! Hopkins TRADED?! Maybe Watson, too?! Madness, I say!

Anyway. This is a fantasy baseball article. Almost forgot. It’s an important year for the fine ladies and gents here at Razzball: the inaugural season of RazzSlam! Big shoutout to the NFBC peeps for hosting it. Give ’em a follow on the Twitter at @TheNFBC. I had the honor of being accepted into League 2 (of 18). Some scrub ass writer for CBS is in it. Big deal. I’m kidding, he’ll probably whoop my ass.

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Over these next two weeks, we’ll be focusing on late-round category targets. This week we’ll touch on hitting categories and follow it up next week with pitching categories. While these will be geared towards the standard 5×5 categories, feel free to leave a comment if you have a more specialized category.

For this exercise, I limited my player pool to hitters projected to get at least 350 plate appearances (with a handful of exceptions). I tried to stick with players being drafted beyond pick 175, but in my mind, the later a player’s going, the better. With that in mind, let’s get to it.

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Last week in H2H Categories Strategy we discussed the merits of punting. This week, I want to talk about what I look for in hitters once we get past the early rounds – consistency. Since we play a game that resets every week, we want to roster players that will fluctuate less. Hot and cold streaks will happen even with the best players, but there are certain qualities we can look for in hitters that should minimize our risk.

Growing up, my dad was the coach of my little league team. He would tell us, get on base and good things will happen. While it seems really simplistic, I still follow my dad’s advice when I’m looking for consistent hitters – high contact rates and a low K-BB%. Basically, we’re looking for players with good plate skills. These might not be the sexiest names in the draft, but grabbing a handful of these players in the mid to late rounds will provide your team with an ample floor. Without further ado, let’s get to the list:

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It’s not easy to draft a player who is old (at least relative to baseball ability), boring, and offers little true upside.  Well, it’s easy, but it’s not fun.  I can’t believe how often in a draft I veer off of my carefully-constructed, perfectly-ordered master list of players, skipping a solid but dull veteran to reach a few spots lower on my list for a youngster who may or may not end up with any fantasy value at all.  I’ve already been guilty of this in 2020, and I need a little re-set for myself to remember how helpful a boring but probably steady player with a decent floor can be, especially in deeper leagues.  Thus, a list of some players whom I can’t possibly call “targets,” but could actually pay off nicely down the road with solid-if-not-spectacular production come summertime.  (All of the following players are on the ugly side of 30, and are being drafted outside the top 250, according to current NFBC ADP).

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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:

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Let’s face it. The baseball world is waiting on the Mookie Betts to the Dodgers trade to go through. While that may happen any moment, not everyone will have the opportunity to draft Mookie Betts. So we turn our attention to the definitely at this moment in time overlooked Nicholas Castellanos. He traded in the cavernous Comerica Park for the cozy confines of Wrigleyville and took off in the second half last year. What does a move to Cincinnati mean for him?

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This is gonna be a weird one. Just when you think the top 20 1st basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball are stacked chef’s kiss finding a vacation home on House Hunters International, they take a left turn and become ugly like the Property Brothers. Well, mostly the one who always wears plaid. Any hoo! This post goes on for about 1.8 million words, so let’s dive in. Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers.  All projections included here are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included.  Let’s do this!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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Happy New(ish) Year, Razzball friends!  It’s time to stop worrying about what we haven’t quite gotten around to accomplishing so far this offseason, and time to start thinking about fantasy baseball in 2020 — or as I like to think of it, a slightly more official reason to go into procrastination mode when it comes to things like real-life commitments, chores, and duties.  Since it’s still January and all, and since we’re all preparing for drafts and auctions of many different shapes and sizes, I’m going to try to cover things somewhat more generally for the time being.  We’ll still lean towards the deep-league perspective to some degree, but what I’m most interested in for now is keeping on top of the overall baseball landscape – trades, free agent signings, rule changes, depth chart shake-ups, draft trends, recent statistics that I might have overlooked, MLB teams facing unprecedented punishments for cheating, etc. – and viewing it from a more generic lens for the moment, then tailoring all of that information to individual leagues, drafts, and auctions as they come.

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With two weeks left in the season we have plenty of sample size with which to make analytical decisions.  However, it doesn’t take that analysis to determine that the Miami Marlins are bad. The Marlins are far and away the worst team in OPS and they rank top ten in total team strikeouts.  This makes Madison Bumgarner ($9,900) my top option tonight.  We’ve got a massive 11 game slate, which I love on a Saturday night.  deGrom, Clevinger and Greinke could all make a case for top pitcher on the slate, but Bumgarner has the cushiest match-up while also pitching at home.  I like the double digit strikeout upside here and love MadBum to get the Win. Lock him in and let’s get some bats to go along with him tonight.

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