Please see our player page for Jose Urquidy 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.

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?

Today concludes the fantasy baseball sleepers‘ portion of our program. *nudges homeless woman sleeping on my couch that I tried to get Cougs to agree to a threesome with* No more sleepers, Francine. Meh, I’ll let her rest. Like the outfielders to target, this post is necessary. You need to target the right names at the end of the draft for starters. Last year’s starters to target post included Kenta Maeda, Chris Paddack and Brandon Woodruff. They’ve moved way up ranks this year with one making the jump to my top 20 starters, and, well, can you believe ESPN ranked Paddack 263rd overall last year? Yeah, well, Woodruff was unranked by Yahoo and ESPN. As with other target posts, these guys are being drafted after the top 200 overall. A quick aside portion of the program, as for the coronavirus aka Covid-19 aka “The Disease That Apparently Hates Baseball,” I’m not pretending it’s not going on, but some people still have drafts, and if I liked these guys before the virus started karaoke’ing to Public Enemy’s Shut ‘Em Down, I still like them. There are upcoming RCL drafts, and I plan on doing another NFBC league for s’s and g’s to pass time until the National Pastime returns. Is there more interest from you in another NFBC draft vs. me vs. youse? Let me know in the comments. (Side note within side note:  If NFBC is still doing new leagues, I’m hearing conflicting reports.) Also, all Steamer hitter projections have been updated to 100 games, and all 2020 fantasy baseball rankings have been updated. Anyway, here’s some starters to target for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Spring Training Sleeper Watch: American League West Edition

One of my favorite traditions as a young fan was Peter Gammons profiling each team’s spring training focus points. 

I loved the spittle and shake of his voice, the depth of his details, and especially how he always shot the segments in front of people playing catch, gloves popping symphonically as we imagine the impossible topside of Rich Harden.

It’s in that spirit that I begin our next prospect series—one that works in concert with Razzball’s Gammonsian team previews and one that involves a few nods to some non-prospects. Graduating from eligibility requirements doesn’t mean you’re a known quantity, nor that you’ve graduated to an everyday opportunity. Yesterday’s failed prospects are often tomorrow’s sleepers, so let’s take a lap around the division looking for some fantasy profit. 

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Last week, I introduced the goal of this series: utilizing data visualization to try and narrow in on fantasy baseball insights. We looked at ERA across the draft, finding some potential values based on ADP. Today, we’ll take a closer look at Starting Pitcher WHIP by ADP.

To begin with, what’s the context in which we should gauge whether an SP’s WHIP actually helps our team? Here are WHIP trends over the last 5 years:

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In our first Ambulance Chasers post this season, we touched on some of the bigger names that were dealing with some off-season question marks about their injury status and health.  Now that we’re into January, we’re starting to get updates trickling in on some players rehab processes, and they’re not all good. We also touch on some late round names here and speculate on some situations that could change between now and the beginning of the season that would count some of these players as huge bargains for early drafters.

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With the top 80 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball, we are so close to the end of the rankings, I can almost taste it! Wait, that’s not rankings I taste, I bit my lip and it’s blood. I wonder if when Dracula bites his lip it’s like when Cougs goes out with her friends and I’m left at home while Emmanuelle is on Cinemax. I’ll go over exactly how to draft starters in a few days, but there are so many ways to skin a cat we should have PETA breathing down our necks. Also, I’m hoping to do the RCL signups next Monday. Stay tuned! Or not, your call. 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. At the top of that page there’s about 20 different league types to choose from. All projections listed are mine and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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If you set the filter to 30 minor league innings pitched, 65 Houston Astros struck out more than a batter per inning in their minor league system in 2019. The Cubs: 44. The Yankees: 46. Dodgers: 62. I think I checked all the teams I thought had a shot to match, and I might’ve actually checked all the teams. There’s not a leaderboard for this so far as I know. Just me geeking out with my cat, Calvin. 

Every time I would think of a team to check–the Rays–yes, duh, of course, the Rays! 45. 

The Marlins? They seem to have a lot of heat last year, right? 36. 

The Padres? Yup, gotta be. 64. Huge, but second place. 

Anyway, they’re gonna be fine–the Astros–at least in the medium-term. Or maybe not. Maybe that one hyper-competitive dude was making all the magic and the next crew won’t take time for all his tricks (“Illusions, Dad! You don’t have time for my illusions!” – G.O.B.)  

But it wasn’t just tricks. Something true came out of all the spycraft. Four-seam fastballs up. Curveballs down. Timeless. 

More, too, but that’s at least partly how I’ll remember the Lunhow Astros. They redefined pitching. It wasn’t just them, of course, but they were a huge part of it. 

They also tainted my favorite game on the planet. Changed history. Changed lives. Yu Darvish. Dave Roberts. No need to cry for everyone here–it’s just a game and all–and a lot of the people most impacted by the cheating are probably doing pretty damn great on the quality of life scale, historically speaking, but it’s not a good look. It’s kind of amazing the game can just pick up and move on. Even more amazing how many people just shrug the everyone cheats. I get it. The world is built to make us do that.

Anyway, so: Astros prospects! Do they throw things? What do they throw? Let’s find out! 

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At some point in the process of curating these Top Prospects lists, I went to talk to Hampson.

I was allowed to see him but learned he’s fresh out of prospect eligibility and busy showrunning for a Winter pilot on CBS called “Everybody Hates Hampson.”

I suggested he tweak the name to “Everybody Loves Garrett . . . Except His Boss.” 

We’re in talks about a Sam Hilliard, Jorge Mateo spin-off/mash-up.

In the meantime, keep your TV Guides at the ready and enjoy these next few tiers of talent!

Review the top 25 here and the top 50 here.

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Yesterday, Jeff McNeil went 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs with a double slam (19, 20) and legs (5), hitting .326. It’s legitimately surprising when I see any player who has more than 400 ABs with less than 20 homers, so I’m glad McNeil stopped confounding me. Usually don’t do this before the end of the season recaps, but sneaked a peek at my preseason blurb for McNeil, and I will share it right after this awkward sentence, “Truth bomb alert!  I almost wrote a McNeil sleeper post, but A) Mets B) Mets C) There’s no C. D) The Mets are saying he might not have a set position and be more of a floater, and, ever since Meatballs, there’s never been a good use of a floater. E) Mets F) Mets G) I wasn’t as blown away by his projections that I came up with as I thought I would be.  H) That’s about it.  I) Whoa, there’s a HI in the middle of the alphabet?  Who’s trying to say hello?!” And that’s me quoting me! I projected him for 17 HRs and 8 SBs. Those numbers aren’t far off, but you know where I was way off? Yup and yup, his average. I projected him to hit .269, so what changed? He hits everything well. He is in the bottom seven in the league for soft contact — Just Dong, Bryce, Mookie, Bryce — are a few of the names there. He also leads the league in Swing% (59.5), but he doesn’t strikeout a lot. Translation:  He swings a lot and makes good contact. It’s a recipe that’s worked for Castellanos, Javy Baez and Devers, to name a few. The fear for 2020 is McNeil becomes Castellanos on the Tigers, and not the She-cah-go Greek God of Hard Contact. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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MLB teams were whistling 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover yesterday:

Just slip out the back, Zac, make a new plan, Tanner,
Don’t need to be coy, Greek God of Hard Contact, just listen to me,
Hop on the bus, Jesus, don’t need to discuss much,
Just drop off the key, Greinke, and get yourself free.

The deadline seemed to be lulling people to sleep, then the Diamondbacks stepped up and decided they were contenders, be-bopping Jazz Chisholm to the Marlins for Zac Gallen. But it turned out they were Indiana Jones, when he would replace an ancient artifact with a sand bag by switching one Zack with another Zac, so the booby trap wouldn’t expose them to trouble. See, and I always thought the idea of the outfield hot tub was to expose booby traps.  Incredibly, the Cardinals announced the Zack Greinke to Astros deal hours before the Diamondbacks. The Astros rotation is now, as they would’ve said in the 20’s, bona fide. In good spirits, Justin Verlander tweeted out, “As long as we don’t get Bauer, we good.” I hear that, JV.  I don’t trust home/away splits much at all, unless it’s Coors vs. non-Coors, but, if you must know 2.96 home ERA vs. 2.80 away. Usually it’s the inverse, but Greinke is a 15-year vet; you really think he’s going to pitch that differently in Houston? The answer you’re looking for is no.  He’s a control artist whiz like you’d want from your child when they’re doing the pee-pee dance. Speaking of which, did every team relieve themselves of their relievers? Let’s find out!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?