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.

Hello, again. We’re officially into the second half of the 2020 fantasy baseball season. Where teams like the Tigers, Mariners, and Marlins are churning out league-winning type value guys and the Red Sox, Cubs, Yankees, and Mets disappoint for various reasons, be it performance or health or whatever. With double-headers stacking up like a good plate of pancakes, we’re seeing prospects squeeze into lineups and rotations and bullpens. Managers have to get creative, and that can wreak havoc in the fantasy realm. Or maybe it’s just managers tinkering more than they need to. All I want is my guy Garrett Hampson to hit leadoff every single day and steal a lot bases, Bud Black! That’s all I want, and it’s all you should want, too! All I want is Dominic Smith to head higher in the order, Luis Rojas!

Whatever. Anyway, let’s delve into the hotties I like (and actually a couple I don’t as much) heading into Week 6.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jesse Winker had his open eye locked on the baseball Friday night as he extended his hot streak going 2-for-3 with two home runs and three RBI. It was the 26 year old outfielder’s first multi-homer game in ever. Winky’s now slashing an insane .365/.484/.712 with five jacks, eight RBI and a steal for good measure. But I’m not finished yet! Wink’s been hotter than Cardi B’s “WAP” video, batting .688 in the past five days and hitting all five of his homers in that stretch. To be fair, his .424 BABIP and .346 ISO aren’t exactly sustainable numbers, even by a Trout-Mookie frankenbaby (although that does sound adorable)–regardless, Jesse is a hot little potato right now. This is not completely out of nowhere either, as he flashed some pop with Cinnci last season, batting .269 with 16 bombs in 113 games. Are you intrigued yet? Because Jesse is still available in just about half of fantasy leagues! Where do I sign, you ask? And has this pen been sanitized? Well, unfortunately, like everything in 2020, Winker isn’t exactly a no thinker (err, brainer) of a pick up just yet. The Reds announced Friday that a PTBNL has tested positive for COVID-19 and Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates has been postponed. That’s all the information available to me at the moment, but I assume if this turns into a Marlins/Cardinals situation, then adding Reds players right now (no matter how hot) is probably not pro stratz, bro. Whatever happens, I’ll always remember that five day stretch where Jesse Winker was the hottest man in baseball, and I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “wow he didn’t make a ‘Winker? I hardly know her!’ joke this whole time. But you’d be wrong. I actually did. It just wasn’t funny! Lol. Jokes aside, let’s hope the Reds can get back to playing baseball ASAP as possible.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Scott White, Sr. Writer for CBS Sports, talks with B_Don and Donkey Teeth about the shortened 2020 season. The guys ask Scott about his expectations for his Braves for both hitting and pitching. We ask Scott about his thoughts on Mike Trout as he comes in at 5 among his rankings.

The guys then move on to discuss the recent CBS roto auction. Scott criticizes DT and B_Don’s approach in the auction grabbing 3 top hitters in Ronald Acuña Jr. ($49), Cody Bellinger ($44), and Chrsitian Yelich ($56). The podcast hosts then explain their thinking toward the full stars and scrubs approach.

We move on to Scott’s team and how he planned his team prior to the auction. We get his take on Francisco Lindor and his possibilities of being traded, and his expectations for Mike Soroka.

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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.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?