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.

What’s up, Razzballers? Hope playoff baseball is treating you well, and if you’re in any playoff pools like I am, hope they’re treating you well, as well!

Well. What a wild season of fantasy baseball we had, eh? I’m not a super high-stakes type of fantasy baller – I did two Yahoo public leagues mainly because drafts are so easy to join and get through quickly (I won both!), my home keeper auction league (which moved to roto for this year and I got 2nd after being two-time defending champ *sad emoji*), and then the RazzSlam. I got really lucky in the Slam, not suffering a lot of COVID-ness or injury. Finished second in my league and #46 overall. Not too shabby for my first industry league endeavor! Just want to thank Grey, Donkey and others, but mostly of all, you. You’ve made me feel so welcome. Hey, watch me make like a tree’s sap and get sappy!

Anywayyyyy, I bring up my own leagues because a large part of my success came down to waiver wire wizardry. Well, RazzSlam not so much (waivers are limited there), but my final rosters in the other three leagues looked a lot different from Opening Day. That’s always the case in fantasy sports, of course, but this year especially so in baseball.

I thought a fun exercise would be to go back and honor those who were league winners for a lot of you. What better way to honor real players than with fake All-Star selections?! I’m gonna take a standard lineup of C/1B/2B/3B/SS/OF/OF/OF/UT/UT/SP/SP/RP/RP/P/P/P/P and fill it with the best that the 2020 waiver wire had to offer. In most leagues, most of these guys were drafted late or not at all. Of course in deeper leagues maybe all of them were drafted at some point, but in standard 12-team leagues, almost all of these guys came off the wire.

Without further ado, let’s do it to it!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Officially, this is the 11.5th Razzballie ceremony, and our first socially distanced one. *looks out at the cardboard cutout audience* I see some familiar faces out there. There’s the cutout that sells me car wax at Pep Boys. Good to see you! Figure you’d like some recycled jokes, since you’re all made of biodegradable material. *eerie silence* Okay, moving on. I’ll be your host for the ceremony after A-Rod backed out. Turns out he couldn’t host, he’s just a parasite! It’s all right he’s a no-show, you can’t spell ghosting without host. You also can’t spell hostage, but no one is forcing you to stay for the award show. You’re going to want to, though, because without these awards, you’ll have no idea who was the best and worst hitters and pitchers in this absurdly abbreviated year, and you’ll be left giving out your own awards and no one cares if your “Low sodium tomato soup in a sourdough bowl” won your “Whitest Lunch Of All-Time” award. Stop making up fake awards! Leave that to me. Anyway, here’s the year-end awards for the best and worst of fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Someone had his white Vans on! Daniel Ponce de Leon had another strong start Friday night pitching 6.1 innings allowing just three base runners (1 hit, 2 BB) and one run while striking out six for his first win of 2020. He had a no-hitter going through the first six innings until an Orlando Garcia home run, the only hit he surrendered, ruined his bid. Damn Daniel, 2016 called–they want their meme back. I touched on PDL (can I call him PDL? sounds like a bad light beer) last week and concluded he was too risky to touch, but his 3.15 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 28/6 K/BB in September tell me something has definitely clicked. Considering he was rocking a 7+ ERA at the start of the month that gives you a sense of the strides he’s made in just a few short weeks. Perhaps he discovered the dot, dot, dot…fountain of youth? I’m sorry! I had to. Regardless the win was his first as a starting pitcher in 20 tries–that’s right 20! And yes, that is the record, albeit a fairly depressing record to hold. Maybe its these Brewers’ hitters, who he’s struck out 15 times this month to pad his 12.6 k/9 in 20 IP in September, or maybe it was finally getting the run support he needed (Cards scored zero runs for him in half his starts this year). More likely he started consistently locating his elevating fastball which allowed him to mix in breaking balls and keep opposing hitters off balance. Whatever it has been, his 4.96 ERA and 1.32 WHIP don’t tell the full story here. I’m going to choose to believe his 31.5 K% and .221 BABIP are more indicators of the pitcher DPdL is and he’s a player I’ll be keeping a very close eye on this postseason even if he’s just pitching in a middle relief role. So grab your white Vans and make sure they’re cleaner than the “WAP” radio edit because I’m telling you Daniel Ponce de Leon could be a a 2021 sleeper to watch!

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?