Please see our player page for Jose Berrios 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.

Dudes and five lady dudes, pitching is going to be a mess in 2020. Pitching is usually where I excel at pinpointing guys to draft and avoid, and right now I’m looking at an array of hot takes: “Top starters are more valuable! “Top middle relievers are more valuable!” “Tops are bottoms, and I’m not talking about baseball anymore!” I can’t tell hot takes from shiitakes. Usually I’m able to say, “With 100% confidence, I would not draft a top starter.” This year, if you’re saying anything with 100% confidence, you’re lying. Seriously, don’t trust anyone who is confident in predicting anything in a 60-game season. We’ve never seen anything like this and may never again. Embrace it? Sure. But “Be Water” like Bruce Lee said, and adapt. With so few innings to prepare for the season in Summer Camp, will top starters even be ready to go? That alone should shut up the “You need top starters” people. With so few innings in the actual season, that should also shut up the “Don’t pay for starters this year” people. Instead, let’s just break down the categories, and see if we can’t just win those. Laura also just gave you a solid look at possible ERA strategy. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for ERA & WHIP?

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.

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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. 

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Nick Pollack (@pitcherlist) joins the show to discuss how Pitcher List got created. We also discuss the process on what made Pitch Con such a successful event. Nick gives us some of his favorite pitchers as well as a Jose Berrios breakdown. We all give our earliest fantasy baseball memories and why Brent and Jordan started the podcast. Nick gives us his thoughts on why the Twins can’t beat the Yankees in the playoffs.

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Welcome, friends! Come, sit down, and let me tell you a tale of baseball. Indeed, baseball is truly America’s game, where the owners swim Scrooge McDuck-style in a vat of gold coins while shaking their canes vigorously at those thieves pounding at the door asking for some gruel. But you–yes, you!–fantasy lothario, with your fantasy baseball app at the ready and a sweaty finger hovering over the “draft” button, you can roster these needy players and give them the virtual coins they so deserve. Today, I’m offering a pitcher profile of Jake Odorizzi, and why you should consider him for a place on your team for the next 50, 70, or how ever many games MLB owners decide to let happen before they move their money vaults into the Norwegian tundra.

Because this is my first article with Razzball, I consulted Grey’s Secret Dictionary to see his definition of ‘pitcher,’ and here’s what it said: “1) a tool for mixing margaritas on Wednesday mornings, 2) players you don’t take early in a draft.” And that’s me quoting Grey! Wednesday Grey must have been deep into his routine of margs and Frasier reruns when he wrote the following on Odorizzi: “Odorizzi’s being drafted like a number three or four, but I see a strong number two.” Whoa, Grey, TMI! Let’s get down to business and see why you want this number two to work for you.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve been really struggling on a monthly basis to write these articles. It isn’t because my love of baseball, or sports is gone. It’s simply from waiting with anticipation for an entire month to get a confirmed framework for a season to provide true actionable information to you the reader, and then as the article deadline slowly approaches… once again… nothing. So I bite my lip and carry on into the great speculative arena of a potential MLB season as we are all doing. Ironically, the approach the MLB and the players association are taking to negotiating a 2020 season seems to be the root cause of this push the article, get nothing, write speculative article cycle. The two sides are going to take this negotiation down to the last minute and play deal or no deal. I don’t blame either side. It’s business, from both the owners and players perspectives, and there are A LOT of moving parts here. However, I do believe we are coming down to the wire and the MLB can ill afford to miss the natural bump they would receive in even a partial season in viewership. As this deadline is trickling down it seems that the framework for the season is becoming even more narrow. At this point, we haven’t heard any other speculation since the 3 division 10 team proposal approximately a month ago. In my mind, this must be the working plan for the 2020 MLB season going forward. In analyzing these divisions, considering the addition of the designated hitter for the NL teams I see some clear winners and losers:

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A wise man once said, “He who says he can and he who says he can’t are usually both right.” That was Confucius, who also once remarked to a bright young pupil on a particularly overcast day in 531 BC that “He who places his livelihood in the hands of starting pitching health is indeed the king of fools among us all.” I can assure you he said both of those things, and I can assure you that I will do my best to heed his insightful words as I reveal the pitchers on my 2023 All-COVID Team.

Like I said, Confucius was a wise man. He would have never dared use ESPN’s rankings to set up his fantasy baseball draft board. No, he would likely make his way to a site like Razzball, where he would study my 2023 All-COVID Team with great satisfaction before stumbling across this post. At this point, we would likely faint out of mere displeasure.

Projecting the top pitchers in fantasy three years from now is an asinine task in nature. Experts such as Grey who are able to nail preseason fantasy pitching rankings year-by-year have achieved quite a feat as is. To venture further into the unknown is, quite frankly, setting oneself up for failure. But, to heed my good friend Confucius’ words, I will be “he who says he can,” and I shall be right.

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.

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I hear the only way this Coronavirus goes down any smoother is with the Lyme Disease. Thank you, I will be here all day. Don’t forget to tip your waitresses. *waitress coughs on me, I tumble slowly out an open window*  WHAT…THE…WHAT…THE…WHAT…? Sadly, I’ve landed on my feet…and standing in a sea of mouth breathers! AHHHHHHH!!! Well, this sucks (unlike mouth breathers — yo, do you ever breathe, like, in?) and there’s no easy way to say it, but baseball is about to go MIA for a few. Guy in Miami, “Don’t send anyone here!” Not to MIA International Airport, they’re going missing in action. The healthcare professionals say–I’m totally kidding. I’m quoting healthcare professionals? WHO am I. No, I’m not the WHO. WHO is the World Health Organization. But WHO’s on third base? Ugh! This is garbage-awful news, but we must soldier on. Holy crap, Tom Hanks has it! AHHHHHH!!! No! No! No! No freaking out! We must pull up our big-boy pants, wash our hands while singing Happy Birthday twice, and get through this national crisis. I’m Grey and I approve this message. In my highly unprofessional opinion, baseball will return in some capacity by May 1st. In the meantime, I’ll still have posts every weekday, because, honestly, what else are we doing? I write every day during the offseason, nothing’s changed for me. Thinking about doing a series of posts about guys most likely to cough without covering their mouths. Is Matt Albers still in the league? He 100% never covered his mouth. I’ve updated the top 500 for 2020 fantasy baseball with a few small adjustments, which I’ll get to in the post. And, to the Coronavirus, I say, “T. Hanks, but no thanks!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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Okay, so we recorded this show over the weekend prior to the big news about Justin Verlander. Hearken back to a more simple time where yours truly was 100% secure in his second round selection of Justin Verlander in the 2020 TGFBI. Grey, this episode’s unlikely voice of reason tries to impress into my thick skull that pitcher’s are the worst. As it turns out pitcher’s are in fact the worst, but I cannot quit them. Any the who, we roll through another 50 pitchers and tell you who to draft and who to avoid as we navigate the unsuspecting waters of drafting pitchers in fantasy. It’s the Top 50 Pitchers for 2020.

Please, blog, may I have some more?