Baseball’s Rat Pack is back! A classic saxophone beat starts playing. It’s Bobby Darin’s Don’t Rain on My Parade. A disembodied voice can be heard, “Hey world here I am!” Just then Jose Altuve stands up from an umbrella stand, “Don’t tell me not to hit a deep fly, I’ve simply got to!” George Springer walks out banging on a bucket, “If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you! Ow, my hamstring!” Alex Bregman walks out, and faux bashfully closes Altuve’s jersey, “Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on our 2017 World Series parade.” Yesterday, was a sign of old stolen signs. Alex Bregman (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 5th homer, and came within a single of the cycle. The Hungry Man cycle! For 2021, Bregman seems less impacted by this egregious season. He was never going to reach last year’s peak, but he can also avoid this year’s nadir. Speaking of low points (segue!), Jose Altuve (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 4th homer, and his 1st homer in more than a month. Mentioned this a few times on recent podcasts, but I tested positive for a 2021 Jose Altuve not being on my teams. He won’t be drafted in the top 25 again, and I’m not sure if he’ll be in the top 100. Finally, George Springer (3-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 14th homer, and, well, he’s acksually been good, when he’s been on the field, which, like usual, is nowhere nearly enough. Now watch the Astros get hot at the perfect time for the playoffs, and give MLB one of the worst storylines for a team contending for the playoffs since the 1920 White Sox were led by “Wearing Shoes” Jim Jackson, Joe’s dandy brother. “Take your shoes off, Jim! You’re embarrassing yourself!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m freshly back from The Hotties, which is the annual Razzball award ceremony for the “hottest taeks” in fantasy baseball. With the sharp-toothed piranhavirus in full swing, Grey called for a “Mask-erade” ball, but the Eventbrite invitation auto-corrected it to a “masquerade” ball. Everybody showed up with the wrong parts of their face covered. I thought Grey would be upset but he seemed to take everything in stride, saying that he had been waiting for this day since “Eyes Wide Shut” was released. Is that a movie or a novel or a contact delivery service? Anyway, Grey started giggle-whispering “Fidelio!” at everybody. Hey, Grey, I get it. Fidel Castro liked baseball. Let’s get with the times!

I did manage to record Grey’s speech to all the writers and Instagram models who attended. Here’s the transcript if you want to read it:

“I’ll get right to the point: I’m proud to announce a new partnership between Razzball and the San Diego Padres. 2021 will be known as STAN DIEGO around here, and all hot taeks will involve Padres players. The top 10 pitchers? Lamet, Davis, Clevinger, and Paddack [audible hissing from the crowd]. The top 10 hitters? Tatis, Machado, Grisham, and Myers. Trevor Rosenthal is a top 30 pick. You will all write sleeper articles on Joey Lucchesi, Adrian Morejon, and yes, Eric Hosmer. [pause while Grey dodges thrown masks] Fear not, for STAN DIEGO comes with perks! You will all get a free hot dog with a purchase of an annual pass to Sea World, and you’ll get a personal tour of the tiger enclosure at the San Diego Zoo. Now, writers, start hyping Jake Cronenworth!”

At that point, all the people Grey whispered “Fidelio” to disappeared into Grey’s private grotto, which he named “50 Shades of Play” because of the underwater mini-golf course he installed. Myself? I was left standing in the foyer with a mysterious note that only said, “MacKenzie Gore, 2021 hot taek.”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Keep on go on wondering why, I got out of bed at all,” which are the lyrics for Thank You by Dido, which was the chorus for Stan by Eminem, and I want to thank you, Kwang-Hyun Kim (7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 0.63) as he was activated from the IL after having kidney problems, and to misquote Eminem, “I Stan Kim.” Actually, here’s Eminem singing The Golden Girls theme song, “Stan Kim for pitching a gem.” Eminem is a big Golden Girls fan, obvi. Any hoo! What a year by Kim, whoa. He has 24 consecutive scoreless innings, and has allowed only one home run all year. Granted, he’s only thrown 28 2/3 IP all year, has allowed only two earned runs all year, and that’s less than a month of a regular season. But, wow, what a year! We’ll leave it at that. Will Eminem, or us for that matter, be singing The Golden Girls theme song, “Stan Kim for pitching a gem” in 2021? That seems less likely. His peripherals are not particularly inspiring, but for this year *genuflects* Stan Kim, Stan Kim, Stan Kim. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hard to believe, but my first season as a baseball analyst here at Razzball is almost at an end! For athletes, that means they’re leaving the bubble soon. Us fantasy writers? We’re all bubbled-up to protect from the dreaded Piranhavirus. Oh, you don’t know what that is? See, we’re so forward thinking here at Razzball, we’re already sequestered away for the next pandemic. You may be asking, “How does the Razzbubble work?” Well, future victims of piranhas, let me show you my notes from earlier this summer when I bubbled up.

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In the highly lucrative industry that is imaginary sports team management, we here at Razzball are always looking to give you readers the sharpest edge of advantage. I mean, how do we keep up with a provider like Pitching Ninja, whose name literally invokes the finely-honed edges of a ninja star slicing through bats before landing softly in the supple leather of a catchers mitt? Fear not, fearful reader! I have been to cram school, and I have been to Austria, and I have been in dungeons, and I combined all of my knowledge of those places and completely threw it out the window. See, to be sharper than sharp, you gotta think outside the box. When the competition goes sharp, you go — that’s right! — blocky. I present to you, followers of the Top 100 Starting Pitcher series, the latest in pitching analysis: 8-bit graphics.

Robbie Ray Demonstrates his elite level of unpredictability

Let’s apply this newfangled technology to our top starting pitchers and see what we can do to help you to fantasy glory!

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Happy Labor Day, everyone! Today, we celebrate all of those mothers who are in labor giving birth to us, so put your legs up, grunt real hard and scream at a loved one that they are a “bastard” or a “weasel-d*cked moron who isn’t even the real father.” You’ve earned this day, male or female, though I’m not sure how men earned a Labor Day. Do I have this celebration right? Any hoo! University of Seinfeld Dean Kremer made his major league debut yesterday vs. the Yankees, going 6 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 7 Ks. The Orioles acquired Dean Kremer from an Animal House cosplay kegger, where he was lecturing kids on alcohol–Wait, hearing now he was acquired from the Dodgers in the Machado trade. He led the minors in strikeouts in 2018 and 2019, which is a backhanded minor league compliment. If you’re in the minors leading the league in something, it means you’re good enough to excel (check) but not good enough to push your cheap club to promote you (check). Though, in fairness to Kremer, the O’s are especially thrifty, as anyone watching one at-bat with Mountcastle can attest — dude looks like he could’ve been up two years ago, spitting on tough pitches. Kremer looks like he could struggle with command against a better lineup. The curve was the standout pitch, freezing hitters. The fastball look fine (94-5 MPH), if he commands it well. Overpowering? Far from it. He seemed to control the fastball better than the offspeed pitches, so he could be a sneaky backend fantasy pitcher in 2021. For this year, I’m looking at the Streamonator over owning him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“I should have four remotes.” That’s Mark Whiten as he clicks on his TV remote, and breaks it because of his strength. He was going to check out, Alex Dickerson (5-for-6, 5 runs, 6 RBIs and his 5th, 6th and 7th homer, hitting .261) to make sure Dickerson didn’t hit four ding-dongs in one game like Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten. For some reason, I’m hearing Lil Wayne sing, “She Alex Dickerson,” and it’s making me horny as my daydreams dance to Alex Dickerson actually on any of my fantasy teams. Take a lap around your desk on your office rolly chair if you were one of the 1.9% who owned Dickerson last night. You’re living right. If you’re a time traveler who came back to a pandemic just to roster Alex Dickerson for one game, then you are an absolute nutbag, but props. Also, in this game, everyone had bazinga glory, except Jon Gray (2 2/3 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 6.69). Between him and Sonny Gray, I might take my cue, and not go outside the rest of the week. Brandon Crawford went 3-for-6, 3 runs, 6 RBIs with a slam (4) and legs (1), hitting .280. “I’m drunk, man.” “Yeah, you’re on a Bra-Craw.” Also, Donovan Solano went 4-for-6, 2 runs, 6 RBIs, as he hits .345. Donovan then sang, “It’s the Season of the Pitch, but not for you Rockies.” Yes, there were three guys in the Giants’ lineup with 6 RBIs. Wait…666…And you can’t spell San Francisco Giants without Satan. AHHH!!! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

All right, we almost made it a week without a Covid positive test in MLB, but Sunday morning, the Oakland Athletics announced that a member of their crew tested positive for coronavirus and their play has been postponed. News will be developing more, but as of the time of writing (Sunday morning), you’ll probably want to pay attention to your Oakland starters (i.e. Jesus Luzardo, Frankie Montas, Chris Bassitt) in weekly lineup leagues. For DFS and daily lineups, you can follow the news and do what you have to do.

Again, we’re nearing the 60% mark of the season for most teams in MLB, and the same goes for most of your fantasy baseball teams. If you’re going to make a move — whether the waiver wire or a trade — it’s time to do it now. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the Rest-of-Season-o-Nator-o-Tron. That Sixto Sanchez guy that everybody’s talking about? Hit Control-F and search his projections for the rest of the season. Come on, do it! Oh fine, I’ll just tell you. It’s 23IP, 1W, and a probably too-conservative 17K. What about Gerrit Cole? 36IP, 3W, and 49K. OK math majors, let’s get to work! If you’re trailing in pitching stats in your fantasy league, what’s the likelihood that Sixto Sanchez helps you catch up to the team that’s starting Gerrit Cole every 5 days? Not all that great, right? The Marlins have a lot of catch-up to do, and Sixto Sanchez can’t throw those extra games, and no manager is going to risk The Sanchize by throwing him overtime in a year when 50% of the teams make the playoffs. For actual baseball, this is amazing, because the Marlins seem on track to make the playoffs and you’re going to see The Sanchize playing in the wildest shootout of baseball playoffs ever seen in human history. But for fantasy baseball, you’re getting, at most, maybe 2W and — if you’re lucky — 30Ks from Sixto over the next few weeks.

So, how do you overcome the teams that are starting the entirely-possible rotation of Shane Bieber, Lance Lynn, Mike Minor, and Andrew Heaney (all of whom are in the top 25)?

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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.

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Greetings, my excellent friends. I think it’s time we face the music. This year of fantasy baseball has not been an excellent adventure. Not by any means. As one wise dude once said “strange things are afoot at the Circle K”. Honestly if it’s not COVID-19, it’s a blister, paternity leave, explosive diarrhea, in-climate weather or protest that has derailed my weekly lineups. I pled with my league to switch from weekly lineups to daily for this year, but they huffed and they puffed and they blew the league up. I think I said it last week, the teams that win the championships in their respective leagues this year are not going to be the best teams, they are going to be the ones that got the luckiest when it came to navigating players not playing. I’m glad we got a season in, but this season is in danger of flunking most heinously.

What do Trevor Story, Kyle Seager, David Fletcher, Yuli Gurriel all have in common? I’m guess they probably have a handful of stuff in common, but the thing to which I am referring is the fact they have all scored double digit points every week this season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?