Please see our player page for Josh Hader 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.

Brent (@ExitVelo_BH), Jordan (@ExitVelo_JR), and Zach (@Braffz), breakdown the MLB 60 game schedule and what teams have the easiest path to the playoffs. The Twins, Padres, Indians, and White sox have a great chance to make the playoff and compete. The Angels, Athletics, and Rockies have some of the tougher schedules in the league. We discuss the underrated fantasy assets on teams that will compete. Can Wil Myers, Franmil Reyes, Luis Robert make impacts on their rosters? We discuss our award winners in a 60 game season. Can Josh Hader as a reliever get CY Young consideration? We all agree Josh Hader will be a very valuable asset in fantasy leagues. We talk about the future of the Exit Velocity Podcast and guests we will feature, highlighted by SP Streamer, Carter Capps, Adam Aizer, Chelsea Ladd, and Deegs. We also launched a new podcast store on Instagram (exitvelocitypc), which include shirts, mugs, koozies, wine glasses, and beer steins!

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Jeff Levering (@JLevering4), radio play by play voice of the Milwaukee Brewers joins the show to breakdown the Brew Crew. We dive into the surprisingly deep rotation and bullpen. We discuss what Corbin Burnes has to do to re-discover his elite form to make a major impact in the rotation. Can Brandon Woodruff take the next step and become one of the best pitcher in the N.L.? Will Corey Knebel get his closing role back or will it be Josh Haders to lose? We also dive into the lineup and discuss how big of an impact Avisail Garcia, Brock Holt and Luis Urias can have. Can Christian Yelich hold this lineup together and provide another MVP type season? We discuss all these topic and more!

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In Sunday’s introduction to the top 50 relief pitchers for 2021 dynasty baseball, I explored how Rolaids may have played a role in early analytics by assigning point values to relief pitching events in their quest to annually reward each league’s best pitcher in the 1970’s. 

During these years, Rolaids commercials claimed that their company name spelled relief. Now I know it was just a bit for a commercial, and I appreciate Rolaids bringing shine to an oft-shadowed position (especially to that point in baseball history), but I don’t appreciate—as an English instructor and father of an almost two-year-old human—that a company can build its core marketing strategy around obfuscating the spelling of words. Morphemes matter, y’all. Mastering the English language is heartburn-inducing enough without Rolaids playing fast and loose with phonics.

This reminds me of major league managers playing fast and loose with bullpens while the rest of us scramble to figure out how that team is going to spell relief for the next few weeks. 

But scramble we must, and relish the hustle I do, so let’s get to the list.

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We know spring training is fully underway when a bunch of arms break. We’re sure to see more as soreness becomes less general and more devastating to our early drafts. The four-tier format is back for our closer report. This week, pandemic foodstuff themed tiers. I’d laugh but for fear that might cause me to cough resulting in those nearby turning mob justice on me. Let’s get to some news and notes on the reliever front first.

  • Emmanuel Clase – He of the hardest cutter in baseball is starting his Cleveland career off on a sour note. A back strain will likely sideline him for 8-12 weeks. This opens the door for fellow reliever wunderkind James Karinchak to solidify a leverage role. If you want a job relieving for Cleveland just have a hard to spell name, throw gas, and be in your early 20’s.
  • Jose Alvarado – Don’t look now but Alvarado looks sharp as ever. But Roto-Wan, Nick Anderson is *the* it closer of draft season?!? I have no issue with Anderson’s stuff, just his role. He factors into their ninth inning, no doubt. Let me ask you this, though. He saved some games for them last year since they’re a team that’s the most progressive in leverage roles, right? No? Ok, well he came over from Miami, who’s bullpen was a collection of molding leftovers. He racked up a bunch of saves there, surely? How about one save. Well, at least he’s a young prospect? Turns 30 in June. I don’t mean to rain on your Nick Anderson parade, and by “don’t” I mean I do, but he’s far from a lock. I’m betting on Alvarado seeing some of their saves as the lefty side of a committee in every league I draft that uses RPs.
  • Brandon Kintzler – Things are not off to a great start this spring for the presumptive Marlins closer. Like, walking four straight batters bad. I’d consider a spec play on Ryne Stanek early on.
  • Ryan Helsley – I’m not the Helsley guy but some people I respect (see: Matt Thompson, Nick Pollack) have made it a point to draft the young Cardinal in the late rounds. Their ninth inning is a mess to predict, as usual. Helsley also has an outside shot at the rotation it seems, depending on the health of their assumed starters.
  • Trevor Rosenthal – Rosie is the latest zombie reliever. He’s always been able to light up radar guns. He just has zero command at times, as in most of the time. The command seems to be there this spring, however. KC would love to add any talent it can to baseball’s most mediocre bullpen.
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I’m attempting something new with this year’s top 100 keepers article. It’s something I’ve always thought about doing but never had the time or brainpower to figure out. I want to try to objectively (impossible) rank each player on how many projected categories they provide for your team. 

I broke each standard 5×5 category down into five statistical outcome ranges. Take runs for example.

 

Points 0 .25 .5 .75 1
Runs Under 54 55-69 70-84 85-99 Over 100
HRs Under 16 17-23 24-30 31-37 Over 38
RBI Under 54 55-69 70-84 85-99 Over 100
SBs Under 8 9-13 14-18 19-23 Over 23
AVG Under .254 .255-.269 .270-.284 .285-.299 Over .300
W Under 7 8-10 11-13 14-16 Over 17
K Under 159 160-184 185-209 210-234 Over 235
ERA Over 4.45 3.96 – 4.44 3.46-3.95 2.96-3.45 Under 2.95
WHIP Over 1.33 1.24-1.32 1.15-1.23 1.06-1.14 Under 1.05
SV Under 11 12-17 18-23 24-30 Over 30

 

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As pitchers and catchers report we’re beginning to be graced with some reassurances as to who certain teams will use at closer. Those are always nice. Just remember managers don’t feel beholden to what they say in February and situations can change. Not unlike myself and fellow analysts. “I don’t recall recommending Jose Leclerc as a top 10 2019 closer, Senator.” We’re all playing a guessing game. My best advice is to invest lightly and spread your exposure over as many arms as possible.

AL East AL Central AL West

NL East NL Central NL West

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One word about this top 100 for 2020 fantasy baseball, before I give you another 5,000 words. I’m going to avoid repeating myself from the position rankings in the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings. If you want to know my in-depth feelings about a player, then you need to go to his positional page, i.e., the top 20 1st basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball, the top 20 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball, the top 20 Patterns In Queso That Look Like Messages From Another Planet for 2020– Okay, but I almost got you. This post is meant to give you an idea where guys from different positions are in relation to each other. Since this post is only the top 100, there’s more players where this came from. 467 more, to be very exact. Next up, there will be a top 500 that will go to 567. Then, after that, there will be a top 7,500 that will go to 8,602, then a top 25,000 that will go to 28,765, then a top 600,000 that will go to 892,121, until we end up with a top kajillion in April that will go to a kajillion and one. Or maybe I’ll stop at the top 500. Yeah, that makes sense. Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel. Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2020 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.” Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters. Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter! Razzball Subscriptions are also now open. Early subscribers get Rudy’s War Room, and you can go ad-free for a $9.99. Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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For a long time in his career, Jose Quintana seemed to be underrated in some fantasy circles and, if those people didn’t recognize Quintana’s genius, I’d call them jerks, so they were circle jerks. Early in his career, even his radar blips would end up being a tugboat filled with pandas rather a real scare. Then, later in his career, we boarded the tugboat and they were feral pandas. “Ling-Ling thinks my arm is bamboo!” Jose Quintana was no longer safe like the circle jerk Quintana, but became more of the feral panda Quintana. Recently, however, Quintana’s been a good blip again and the feral pandas are satiated with boba, greeting us with Panda Express menus. Yesterday, he went 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 14 Ks, ERA at 4.11, and in three August starts:  1.89 ERA, 26 Ks and only one walk. He looks fixed, and I’m willing to give him more rope, but if I see one more gee-dee feral panda, all bets are off. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Zack Wheeler went 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.45.  Can you please be “2nd Half Wheeler?” Can you be anything but “1st Half Wheeler?” Who do I have to pay for that to happen? Because I made $1.67 from yesterday’s ads and I am willing to give a percentage of that to ensure Wheeler is right for another two months. It’s all I ask and I one day have to say, “Damn, I can’t believe I crashed my 1st yacht into my 2nd yacht. Stupid yacht problems!” Okay, now to go on a rant you never asked for, but I have some legitimate first world problems that need addressing:  the Starbucks menu is too complicated.  What is all this crap and no Unicorn Frappuchino?! Dubya tee eff!  Oh and Netflix has a 15-second rewind but no 15-second fast forward? Are you people stupid?! Also, Amazon Prime two-day shipping begins when the seller ships your item but not when you order? Is this a joke?  Seriously? Do I look like a chump to you!  Any hoo!  Wheeler was phenomenal last 2nd half, and I keep saying I was buying him for his 2nd half. All his peripherals point to him being much better: 9.9 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 3.64 FIP, velocity up to 97 MPH on average. Drop the R from boring, because that’s BOING! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to PBMs and decided if you can’t beat them, join them!  Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post.  Here, enjoy some coffee.  Oops, you just drank rat poison.  I should’ve used different mugs.  Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than owning Giancarlo Stanton in the 1st half.  Oh, you owned him, and that’s why you drank the poison!  Now, I’m following!   Hey, I’m supposed to be leading!  Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2019 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up!  But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest!  So, as with all of the other 2019 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt.  If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade that outfielder for that 2nd baseman.  Also, things change in fantasy baseball.  Daily.  I could put Cody Bellinger number three on the top 100 list for the second half of 2019 and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with Bellinger.  Why soil a good thing, ya know?  This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued.  It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache.  This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today.  So while Aaron Judge did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because, well, we have to believe in miracles — my 12-year-old self would want that, and to sleep with Cher.  The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2019.  I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what players will do.  It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone.  Welcome to the future!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2019:

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