Please see our player page for Johnny Cueto 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.

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.”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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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Alec Mills (9 IP, 0 ER, 3 walks, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.93) threw a no hitter for everyone who is like, “I hit 66 on the speed gun, ya think I can be a major league pitcher?” Alec Mills threw a no hitter for everyone who ever said to themselves, “I look kinda like a landscaper for a Target parking lot, but am unemployed. Maybe I can pitch in the bigs.” Alec Mills threw a no hitter for everyone who once said, “I’d make a pretty mediocre minor leaguer, but am already on the 40, and the Cubs haven’t promoted a prospect in five years, so maybe I can pitch for the Cubs all year.” Alec Mills threw a no hitter for the one guy who woke yesterday and said, “I’m going to have the best day of my life today,” but not the person who said that, and thought eating a whole bowl of nacho cheese was their best day ever. Alec Mills, while not a great major league pitcher, like that man who ate the whole bowl of nacho cheese, had himself a great day. Going forward for him, I’d use the Streamonator, so that’s a pass. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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In the highly lucrative industry that is imaginary sports team management, we here at Razzball are always looking to give you readers the sharpest edge of advantage. I mean, how do we keep up with a provider like Pitching Ninja, whose name literally invokes the finely-honed edges of a ninja star slicing through bats before landing softly in the supple leather of a catchers mitt? Fear not, fearful reader! I have been to cram school, and I have been to Austria, and I have been in dungeons, and I combined all of my knowledge of those places and completely threw it out the window. See, to be sharper than sharp, you gotta think outside the box. When the competition goes sharp, you go — that’s right! — blocky. I present to you, followers of the Top 100 Starting Pitcher series, the latest in pitching analysis: 8-bit graphics.

Robbie Ray Demonstrates his elite level of unpredictability

Let’s apply this newfangled technology to our top starting pitchers and see what we can do to help you to fantasy glory!

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All right, we almost made it a week without a Covid positive test in MLB, but Sunday morning, the Oakland Athletics announced that a member of their crew tested positive for coronavirus and their play has been postponed. News will be developing more, but as of the time of writing (Sunday morning), you’ll probably want to pay attention to your Oakland starters (i.e. Jesus Luzardo, Frankie Montas, Chris Bassitt) in weekly lineup leagues. For DFS and daily lineups, you can follow the news and do what you have to do.

Again, we’re nearing the 60% mark of the season for most teams in MLB, and the same goes for most of your fantasy baseball teams. If you’re going to make a move — whether the waiver wire or a trade — it’s time to do it now. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the Rest-of-Season-o-Nator-o-Tron. That Sixto Sanchez guy that everybody’s talking about? Hit Control-F and search his projections for the rest of the season. Come on, do it! Oh fine, I’ll just tell you. It’s 23IP, 1W, and a probably too-conservative 17K. What about Gerrit Cole? 36IP, 3W, and 49K. OK math majors, let’s get to work! If you’re trailing in pitching stats in your fantasy league, what’s the likelihood that Sixto Sanchez helps you catch up to the team that’s starting Gerrit Cole every 5 days? Not all that great, right? The Marlins have a lot of catch-up to do, and Sixto Sanchez can’t throw those extra games, and no manager is going to risk The Sanchize by throwing him overtime in a year when 50% of the teams make the playoffs. For actual baseball, this is amazing, because the Marlins seem on track to make the playoffs and you’re going to see The Sanchize playing in the wildest shootout of baseball playoffs ever seen in human history. But for fantasy baseball, you’re getting, at most, maybe 2W and — if you’re lucky — 30Ks from Sixto over the next few weeks.

So, how do you overcome the teams that are starting the entirely-possible rotation of Shane Bieber, Lance Lynn, Mike Minor, and Andrew Heaney (all of whom are in the top 25)?

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Trevor Rosenthal and Mitch Moreland were traded to the Padres. Here’s what the Padres are saying to the major leagues: We are your father. Going the other way was Edward Olivares, and some prospects. The hug at the airport when Franchy Cordero sees Edward Olivares will be priceless. “What kind of things are there to do in Kansas City?” “Do you like jazz?” “I thought people just said they like jazz, but no one actually likes jazz.” “True.” Then after a brief pause, “Do the Royals let you play?” “Nah, they have Alex Gordon.” As for Rosenthal, he goes to a place with no set closer, and they will win some games. Rosenthal could be a top 10 closer the rest of the way, or he blows up his 1st game, and Drew Pomeranz is the closer again, or Emilio Pagan. For now, I’d put Rosenthal, Pomeranz then Pagan, as the pecking order. In KC, I’d look at Greg Holland, Scott Barlow or Josh Staumont, that order, but with limited chances. Oh, and Jesse Hahn, who got the save on Saturday, is there and he had an affair with Reverend Jim Bakker. Finally, Mitch Moreland, well, nothing really changes for him, or the main Padres hitters. The DH gave the Padres more room to play with, and they got Moreland. He can hit it out of any stadium, and he enters a better lineup. Did I just say the Padres’ lineup is better than a Red Sox lineup? Yup, welcome to 2020 and back from your coma! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Lucas Giolito was the first White Sox pitcher to get a no hitter and rack up ten-plus Ks, going 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 walk, 13 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.09. And you didn’t think he was an ace that you should draft as your 1st starter! *screams at the heavens* REDEMPTION! Crap, I think I just hurt my back. Okay, the Pirates’ lineup was hilariously bad. They didn’t have one hitter with an OBP over .300. No need to bring in a defensive replacement for the White Sox outfield. Go ahead and put your glove away, DeWayne Wise. “Aw shucks.” That’s DeWayne. I turned the game on for the 9th, and I more just wanted to see a social distancing no-hitter celebration. Something akin to Don Larsen jumping into Yogi’s arms, and Yogi sidestepping him to put on a mask and Don skidding on his butt. But that wasn’t the case. We had our first good thing of 2020. Dot dot dot. Until Eloy Jimenez looked like he got hurt in the celebration. “You thought you’d get something nice?” That’s the year 2020 as it evilly cackles. You suck, 2020! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“I want to be a cardiologist, to be a heart surgeon, but I don’t know how that’s gonna work with baseball as well. So, I might do something business-related, so I get a little bit of business acumen going into the real world. And then once I’m done with baseball, I can probably go back and continue my study in medicine.”

–17-year old Triston McKenzie in 2015

 

Triston McKenzie strikeout

23-year old Triston McKenzie, 2020 Debut

I mean, Triston McKenzie achieved both of his dreams, right? In his major league debut, McKenzie surgically sliced through the heart of the Tigers lineup, giving up one run over six innings while whiffing 10 batters. And you know what? There’s a very good chance that he takes the heart out of Zach Plesac, whose arbitration schedule would be delayed if Cleveland keeps him at the alternate site much longer. Is it too early to call McKenzie the “Cardiac Kid?”

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If you were to predict the ace of the Astros staff in April — it would’ve been the Fram-Fram man wouldn’t it? Framber Valdez’s 1.72 ERA obviously isn’t sustainable, but his 2.59 FIP is showing me that maybe it’s not TOO far off from reality. The guy has improved drastically on his control (2 BB/9 compared to 5.6 last year) and has allowed only 1 HR in 31.1 IP this year. I’m a little worried about the walks and hits returning to previous numbers — but for this week he has two relatively good match-ups (vs LAA; vs OAK) and you should ride his hot hand. He could be up in Code Blue soon. 

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Who ropes us in? Did you just answer, “A rodeo cowboy?” No, I’m talking about in fantasy. Did you just say, “My fantasies involve rodeo cowboys?” I’m saying Bud Black ropes us in…*sees your eyes start to glaze over*…like a great rodeo cowboy! Now that I have your attention, David Dahl was IL’d with something. He is Mr. Glass. I won’t hear otherwise. Earlier this summer it was reported Dahl had no spleen. I have no idea what a spleen does, but if I were a scientist, I’d be looking into how no spleen equals a litany of injuries. “Is the spleen connected to back pain?” That’s me as a scientist while not knowing anything a scientist might know. So, Brendan Rodgers was called up! I grabbed him in all leagues where I could. He could be the call-up — flashing power, some speed and solid average because, and I can’t stress this enough after saying something that is meant to stress this:  Coors. In only 37 games in Triple-A last year, he hit 9 HRs and .350, and guess how many games the Rockies had left when he was called up. Ding, ding, ding — 37! Hopefully, Bud Black isn’t just roping us in again. “I caught me some rodeo clowns.” That’s Bud Black. That bastard. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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