Please see our player page for Jon Berti 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.

It’s days like Thursdays where we are thankful that FanDuel only requires us to pick one starting pitcher.  The pickings are slim in this five game slate and the pitchers are mediocre at best.  There is only one starter today that I have a high degree of confidence in and that is Nate Pearson ($7,500).  As a Braves fan, I hate going against this offense, but facts are facts and the fact is, the Braves are striking out…a lot.  As of this writing they have an 18 strikeout lead over the next closest team, the Mets.  So, while the offense might be a little scary to face, the DFS bills are paid by way of the K and Pearson should end up with plenty.  Ozzie Albies is out of the lineup now too, which gives me even more reason to like Pearson.  Not to mention, when you see the other options, you may have to keep from laughing out loud.

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For as batshizz crazy 2020 is, I will say that it is exciting. Maybe exciting isn’t the right word. Maybe batshizz crazy is the right thing to say, and leave it at that. Every day we have another rookie callup and I’m here for it, even if it might lead to roofies and waking up to wonder why a member of al Qaeda is making a lampshade out of your back skin. “Que quiero mi torso…lampshade?” Al Qaeda, “We don’t speak Spanish.” So, yesterday the Padres called up Luis Patino. My mom is always telling people about her kitchen cabinets’ faux patina, so this must be good. Check it out: Here he is in Prospect Itch’s top 25 prospects for 2020 fantasy baseball. Also, Prospect Hobbs wrote about 1200 words in his Luis Patino fantasy. I’m jazzed like hands and psyched like a shrink! Here’s a small snippet from PH’s post, “Even with just two refined pitches (and another two in the making), Patino has completely baffled right-handed hitters, as they produced a meager .163/.259/.220 slash against him in 2019. Clearly, Patino could step into a big league bullpen tomorrow and be elite. Like, ya know, the opposite of whatever Grey is.” Oh, man, cmon! So, is this the end of Joey Lucchesi of the Doing Crimes To Your Fantasy Team Crime Family? Not sure, but even if Patino is a long man in the bullpen, he’s worth a flyer in leagues 12-team mixed and deeper, depending on needs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)

Hey, welcome back, Buy/Sell Column! “It’s good to be back. I haven’t been this anxious for something to happen since I was screaming for sixteen straight weeks for people to pick up Ty Wigginton.”  Yeah, wasn’t Ty Wigginton already retired, and you were still screaming about it. “I’ve made a lot of other good calls in the past.” Right, right. Like…*The Buy/Sell Column and I think for a good ten minutes about a good call it made* Maybe we should scroll through some of your old posts. “Yeah, good idea.” Hey, in the 1st Buy/Sell last year you told people to pick up Pete Alonso! “I am the best of all-time!” Yeah, then you followed that with a Clint Frazier Buy. “We don’t have to keep recalling past calls.” Fair, fair. So, who’s the number one guy I’m trying to get this week? Kyle Lewis makes me so horny! Last year in 18 games, he hit 6 homers and .268 with the M’s, and has always shown big-time power. I know, I know, I KNOW! His Double-A power numbers (11 HRs in 122 games) are confusing, but that park is one of the worst hitters’ parks in the minors, and his raw power grades out as some of the best you’ll find. I already gave you a Kyle Lewis sleeper during the shutdown, but I’m going to keep pushing the Kyle Lewis narrative until everyone gets him. He has what it takes to be a top 50 overall player in a 60-game season. As good as Pete Alonso? *the Buy/Sell Column and I look at each other* Simultaneously, “Let’s not be crazy.” All I know is Kyle Lewis is more than just what you hear when Forrest Gump says Carl Lewis. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

BABIP is going to fuel batting average this year, which is to say good luck finding lucky hitters. Now one thousand words on how maybe we can pare down the luck. Since 2000, only three players have qualified for the batting title and hit .400+ BABIP. Last year was a particularly weird year. In 123 games and 518 plate appearances, Tim Anderson hit .335 with a .399 BABIP. Like a sushi chef who smells his fingers after handling hirame, “That’s fluky.” Yoan Moncada had 559 plate appearance and a .406 BABIP. (The other two .400+ BABIPs since 2000 were Manny Ramirez in 2000 and his .403 BABIP and Jose Hernandez in 2002 with a .404 BABIP.) Someone this year is going to have a .425+ BABIP and hit .350+. I hope it’s Ketel Marte, because I own him in every league. Pulling focus and moving into a close-up shows that in August of last year there were 15 guys who had a .400 BABIP. I’d el oh el if I weren’t such a serious man. In September, there were also 12 guys who had .400+ BABIPs. Wait, it gets better. In a full slate of games in September, Moncada had a .520 BABIP and hit .412. Yo, Yoan, you Tony Gywnn Jr. Jr. or no? Okay, cool. You might think BABIP is fueled by speed in the short-term, to which I say, Ryan McBroom, Wil Myers and Kyle Schwarber were in the .400+ BABIP group in September. BABIP is going to make batting averages a short-term coin flip, but we still need to figure out some battle plan. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for batting average?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This year we don’t have SAGNOF we have SSSAGNOF. That’s Shortened Season SAGNOF, baby! I just started breakdancing after screaming baby. What, is this a lost episode of Ally McBeal? ‘Member that show? I don’t, because I didn’t ever watch crap TV shows. Get your taste out yo’ ass! Also, that popsicle stick. That vacuum cord. That microwaved burrito. How many things do you have in your butt? As mentioned the other day in my Jarrod Dyson 60-game sleeper, steals might be the most predictable stat we have this year. Have Sprint Speed, will travel from 1st to 2nd. With runs and RBIs, it’s going to come down to lineup placement. With home runs, it’s going to come down to–Well, just go read the article. With steals, it’s gonna be as easy to measure as clicking that little button on the top of your stopwatch. By the by, what if the person pressing the clock button is slow, doesn’t that change the clocked time by a lot? Has anyone ever said runners’ times pre-digital age are all hogwash because it depended on the old man in black & white with the monocle pressing a stopwatch button? Did I just uncover some truth that everyone already knew but me? Yes? Cool. Our 2020 fantasy baseball rankings have been updated to a 60-game season. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for steals?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, I thought by the time June rolled around I’d be writing knowing whether or not a plan was in place for at least an attempt at baseball in 2020, but instead as I write this the immediate future of the MLB, along with much else in the world, is still painfully up in the air. As we all deal with everything going on around us, though, I don’t think it’s too self-indulgent to turn to a favorite past time/hobby/obsession/part-time job to help strengthen us mentally and emotionally — and for the readers and writers here at Razzball, that past time, of course, is fantasy baseball.

Since I’ve always been a fan of mining bad real-life MLB teams for deep-league value — attempting to find treasure in the perceived trash pile that other owners may overlook completely — we’ll take one of those bad MLB teams and see what it might have to offer, especially for us deep leaguers.  I’m choosing the Marlins, since for about five months now I’ve just had a feeling that they could be at least a bit better than folks expect, especially in fantasy terms (though in a shortened season with expanded playoffs, who knows what craziness could ensue).  I’ve gone through my rosters, and here are the Marlins I have on multiple teams, all of whom I’d consider grabbing more shares of if and when I draft more teams for 2020.  Let’s see who on this team is leading the charge to make me think there might be something to see here…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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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The highlights of this post last year were Fernando Tatis Jr., Jorge Polanco and Brendan Rodgers. So they’re not all winners, but 2nd basemen to target and the shortstops are necessary evils like changing your underwear. Whether you want to or not, it is a good idea to take a flyer on a late middle infielder, and you should still expect to get crapped on. Unlike previous years, I’m hopeful that everyone owns at least one shortstop prior to getting to the sleepers in this post. Top shortstops are the bees knees and bees do have knees; I’m a scientist. This is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Lichtenstein) supplement to the top 20 shortstops for 2020 fantasy baseball.  The players listed have a draft rank after 200 on other sites.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2020 projections. Anyway, here’s some shortstops to target for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?