Please see our player page for Justin Verlander 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.

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Grey comes on the podcast to blame B_Don for everything coronavirus related. Grey and Donkey Teeth are going a little stir crazy while B_Don was partying in Vegas. I think Grey was just jealous.

The trio then move on to how they are adjusting for ongoing and future drafts during this unknown period.  Grey discusses how he’s adjusted his projections initially and the randomness that may ensue in a shortened season. We each offer up our thoughts on how a shortened season may adjust our approach at pitching.

We finally get to discuss Grey’s Tout Wars NL auction and Grey auction value shames us poor amateurs. We discuss Grey’s big purchases of Bellinger and Soto, and how that affected his auction strategy. Grey identified the types of players he needed, and we ask him about some of his buys.

Before everyone retreats to their quarantined sections of Razzball HQ (aka Grey’s basement), we discuss Grey’s pitching and how he thinks he can make his value staff work. Rather than watching The Office for the 53rd time under quarantine, you might as well listen to a little baseball talk. It’s not like I watched a 2+ minute marble race yesterday or anything.

 

You can check out all of the auction results here. If you’d rather read Grey’s article about his NL Tout team, you can read his article here.

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Hello again. I’m back to remind you that baseball is still indefinitely delayed. While you’re likely still sequestered like myself (remember when I said I’d bet my next check? Bingo bango, no school for a week at least, plus Spring Break), why not take the time to read up on fantasy baseball stuff? Get some more names on your radar you may have neglected because of injury.

Last week, I talked about a bunch of Yankees and mostly some household ace names like Max Scherzer, Mike Clevinger, Justin Verlander, etc. Those guys were some big names whose stock slipped some in the ADP department thanks to their various ailments. I promised some more, so I won’t dilly dally any longer. This week’s crop isn’t necessarily superstars (though I guess that’s arguable), but they’re definitely some names you want to keep in mind.

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While I’d rather be writing a Corona post on Kenedy Corona, the current pandemic which has gripped the world the last month has now arrived in America and already affected the greatest two pillars of our society: Tom Hanks and Baseball. While apple pie seems to be unaffected, I can say that Tom Hanks infection has directly led to my loss of appetite, ergo, apple pie is affected! Science, baby. Grey, of course, had an amazing write-up covering the shuttering of spring training and delay to the regular season and so with this post, I’d like to delve a little deeper into the macro and micro effects that will occur moving forward. I’d also like to keep a sharp focus on just the impact that COVID-19 will have on baseball and fantasy baseball only, so while I realize it’d be weird to ignore the human cost entirely, I want to state that for the most recent CDC guidelines, go here, and there’s a fantastic live map tracker here. And be sure to start showering yourself in Purell hourly and avoid touching yourself. (Bathing suit areas should be safe. And if it isn’t, well, may God have mercy on us all…)*

*The last two recommendations were jokes, so don’t sue bro. But to be honest, a Purell shower doesn’t sound like a net-negative, so who knows…

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While the COVID-19 outbreak may be wreaking havoc in the real-life world of sports, fantasy baseball is at least unscathed, for the most part. In fact, the delay for Opening Day announcement lends value to some of the injured superstars whose ADPs have slipped because of their injuries. If you strike while the iron’s hot, you just may be able to grab yourself a bargain stud now that there’s extra recovery time before the season begins.

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If you drafted any time between the end of the season and now, and you took a SP with one of your top two picks, there’s a good chance you’re playing injury optimism roulette right now.  Someone put Jacob DeGrom, and Walker Buehler under full bubble wrap treatment as they’re really the only ones unscathed from the top 20 picks or so at the moment in the pitcher camp. Even Gerrit Cole had a Coronavirus scare with a fever last month that’s since subsided.  Let’s do some quick hits on where everyone is at the moment.

Editorial Note from the Donkey: Of course everything will be turned upside down if and when the MLB makes a decision on a delayed start to the season. Some of these guys will end up being great buy low targets if you have to draft today. Stay tuned and please be safe out there!

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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.

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Can I *itch about utter nonsense for a second? (Asterisk replacing a B there, but also works since I’m talking about the Houston Asterisks.) People who say it’s okay to draft top starters in February, due to how well they did the previous season, invariably ignore all the starters who were bumped down in rankings by the start of the season. No one next year will mention Chris Sale, Mike Clevinger, Luis Severino, Justin Verlander or Blake Snell were drafted in the top starters in 2020 up until March. People in October will be like, “Top starters were safe last year, only Scherzer, Cole and Flaherty missed time.” Yeah, only those three and five others! Contests which rank rankings always end the morning of Opening Day, when, ya know, 99.9% of leagues have drafted already! Am I saying this because I want some glory for telling to ignore top starters as early as January? YES, GODDAMN IT! Any hoo! Justin Verlander was shut down with a lat strain. Luckily, you didn’t draft any top starters, right? You did? Aw, shucks. Going onto eBay and put in a one cent bid on the world’s smallest violin, then adopt a baby and teach it how to play from a YouTube tutorial. Not sure how many times I have to say don’t draft a top pitcher, but I’m sure everyone this time next year will have forgotten I ever said it. A lat strain is better than an arm injury, or so I’m told. As in, I’m told that it’s a lat strain, but on Sunday it was triceps soreness. Sounds great! *insert giant thumbs up emoji* I told you not to draft Verlander before this, guess what this does for me? I’ve updated Verlander’s projections and moved him down in the top 20 starters and the top 500 for 2020 fantasy baseball. Also, with Verlander’s latissimus dorsi more banged up than a dolphin at Sea World, I’ve added Josh James into the top 100 starters. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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If you ask an “expert” for advice about your points league and they don’t answer with a question then you have very likely asked the wrong person. Or perhaps just a lazy person. While many points league have similar scoring systems, how is the person you’ve solicited advice from supposed to know that a stolen base is worth two points and that your league doesn’t penalize for strikeouts. Heck maybe you and your leaguemates had one too many Skrewballs, that’s peanut butter whiskey for those of you that think I misspelled the pitch (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it), and you decided to make doubles worth more than a home run. These simple facts are going to have a direct effect on the value of a player and his comparison to the next.

For those of you that have been loyal readers (thanks), this is a topic I have touched upon more than once before, but I feel it’s extremely important to hammer home. The first thing an analyst should ask you upon receiving your inquiry is “what’s your scoring system?”. Only then can he/she provide you with an answer customized for you. Imagine logging into Amazon Prime and ordering underwear without specifying a size. You could get lucky, but more often than not you’re going to be uncomfortable. One size does not fit all when it comes to points league advice and underwear.

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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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