For next year’s All-Star Game:  The best of the AL and NL will face off against just ex-Mets players. Maybe they can get Steven Matz (4 1/3 IP, 8 ER, ERA at 8.20) to pitch the Home Run Derby too. He’s useless otherwise. Oh, don’t worry, Matz is a great 2nd half pitcher, so wait until you see him around September 1st. Wrong city transpo line and total mixed metaphor, but the Nats T’d off on Matz like they were his daddy and Asdrubal Cabrera (4-for-4, 3 runs, 5 RBIs and his 2nd and 3rd homer) was in charge of doling out the punishment. Then Juan Soto (3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer) was the uncle who came in to tell Asdrubal that the Mets had enough, only to wait until no one was looking and lay a noogie on them himself. Then, as Sexy Dr. Pepper left the room, he tagged in Treat Urner (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer) who laid all 155 pounds of himself into them. If the Mets ever let Pete Alonso go, he might be the first to hit five homers in a game. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Most of the starting pitchers for week 3’s games haven’t even been officially announced yet. Pair this with reports that MLB is warning television stations to get their Big Bang Theory re-runs and copies of Shawshank Redemption loaded up and it’s hard to be optimistic about the season. The chart I’m working off only has 4 starters confirmed so I had to do some diggin’, scratchin’, and prognosticatin’ to try and determine exactly who might be a two-start pitcher for this week. Below, you’ll find 4 tiers below of week 3’s two-starters. They are in order of descending disappointment. That’s not to say you can’t find any one-start gems in the lower tiers, but I just can’t recommend rolling them out for both starts. 

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It’s 1993. Funny man and lady slayer, Billy Crystal hosts the Oscars; Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time becomes a bestseller because guys buy the book to put on their shelves to be a lady slayer like Billy Crystal, and a mother and father fawn over a newborn: “What do you want to name him?” “I like the name Tejay.” “I think it’s an abbreviation.” “Does it have to be?” And with that Tejay Antone was brought into the world. Yesterday, he announced himself with a start vs. the Indians of 4 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners (4 BBs), 4 Ks, ERA at 2.08, but the line might not do it justice. He had a solid number of called/swinging strikes in yesterday’s game, and his 83 MPH slider, and 80 MPH curve really dips off the table from his 96 MPH fastball. Honestly, he looked to me like a great bullpen arm, or, if he can command his stuff, a high-upside starter. I kinda drooled at some of his offerings. Don’t think he’s there yet for mixed leagues, outside of favorable Streamonator matchups, but he went from off my radar, to definitely on it. As T.J. Lavin would say to a mirror, “You’re killin’ it, Teej!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So, how’s everyone doing after four days of games? Still early, right? Actually, it’s not early. It’s never early this year. Early took the first train out of the station with your wife and dog. Say goodbye to your life, Early walked off with it. Four days this year is approximately three weeks into a regular season. Four days into the season this year is a cherry and whipped topping into this sundae, and one scoop in there might be chocolate chip mint, which you have to skip because it tastes like sugary toothpaste. One guy whose entire Sunday was chocolate chip mint is Justin Verlander. Sounds like he’s out for the season with a forearm strain, which is usually a precursor for much worse news. Won’t speculate what this means for his career, but if this is the last time he plays, it truly bums me out, even if I never wanted to own him. He was glorious to watch, in and out of the bathroom mirror with Kate. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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[places soapbox on ground, stands tall]

Starting pitchers are more important this year. But you should still take hitters first. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

For most fantasy league formats, you are chasing wins in 2020. Thus, WAGNOF (Wins Ain’t Got No Face). With starting pitchers, you’re looking for #1/#2 starters on good teams, who will pitch a lot of innings and contribute to Wins, ERA, WHIP, and K. Relievers with great K/9–even middle relievers–will help immensely with ERA, WHIP, and K. But wins? Welcome to the Twilight Zone. Whereas wins used to the be the domain of starters (and Twins’ middle relievers), we’re already getting reports of top pitchers having inning limits and pitch counts. So, we’ll be seeing a lot of wins going to middle relievers, which makes it much more difficult to predict that category (unless you’re a lifelong Twins fan, holla!). If you don’t believe me on this, then take the advice from three-time Trout Fishing Champion Grey Albright. If you’re in a league that uses Quality Starts, the top three tiers of pitchers are even more valuable because you’ll be relying on pitchers who stay in games AND who don’t give up earned runs. The coronavirus and the style of play in 2020 placed a high scarcity on pitchers who meet these requirements. That said, crafty managers can combine mid-tier pitchers with relievers who provide elite ratios and make an effective pitching staff that will win leagues. So, let’s teach you to be a crafty manager.

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On our Steamer Fantasy Baseball Rankings, which have been updated to a 60-game season, we have 1,310 players ranked. 645 of them gained value. Some, for unstints, gained $0.1 of value like Juan Soto. Another hundred had zero value change like Christian Yelich. Another 600+ lost value. I’ll go over those guys in another post. This post will feature the top 20 players who gained the most value from doing nothing but bingeing Netflix for the last three months. Who knew watching Joe Exotic would add more value than any Driveline drills? Apparently, all baseball players need to know is, “Who is dumpster diving at your nearest Costco?” Anyway, here’s the top 20 biggest positive value changes for fantasy baseball pre vs. post-shutdown:

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True story: DonkeyTeeth calls me up on the ol’ Twitter machine this morning.  Me, I’m just awake from dreaming of 5-year-old Blair riding out in my dad’s Buick Skylark into the Minneapolis night to celebrate the Twin’s 1987 World Series win.  Suddenly Donkey’s typing: “Top 100 Switchers.” And I’m like, “Donkey, it’s 7AM, I’m not ready for that!” He types into the Twitter machine, “TOP 100 PITCHERS!” So I say, that’s fine, here: 1) Beer, 2) Sangria, 3) Margarita… . Donk does it. You know. He starts typing, but doesn’t finish. The little dots on the bottom of my Twitter machine beep out in morse code–or whatever code Jack wants to call it–that causes mental insanity among so many people. I’m transfixed. The next use of a nuclear code, you know it’s going to be preceded by those little waiting dots. President Swift will have to verify the code with Vice President Lovitz but only after they clear their notifications. Finally, Donkey’s message comes across. “2-for-1 pitchers at BWW if you get there before 9AM. See ya.” That’s the level of training they give here at Razzball. I tell ya, I get no respect at all. 

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The BBC announced during the shutdown that when the season returns they will keep airing reruns of Fawlty Davis, delaying Mountcastle for the foreseeable future. The BBC’s head of programming Peter Angelos, noted spendthrift and lover of reality shows, said, “We should air a full season of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here starring Richie Martin trying to unsuccessfully cross the River Ruiz.” Filling their lineup:  Hanser & Renato, a BBC surprise hit, will be returning, and generating some underground enthusiasm is Austin “Martin” Hays, a David Tennant-led vehicle, where he’s a mechanic by day and detective by night, and Dwight Smith Jr. & Jose Iglesias starring in AB Unfab, where they just get gross at-bats. Okay, seriously, what on the earth that is in total lockdown is going on with the Orioles? They announced Ryan Mountcastle was optioned to the minors. THERE’S NOT EVEN ANY MINORS?! There’s no freakin’ baseball, Orioles, you giant nimrods! How can they be so dense? Trey Mancini, which I still pronounce like fettuccini, but hoping he gets healthy, needs some time, I’d imagine. Doesn’t cancer lead to chemo which leads to a lower immune system? That makes me think Mancini won’t be back this year, and I removed him from my top 20 1st basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball, while also moving down Mountcastle. Now all we have to look forward to is the new season of Luther starting Idris Alberto. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this week for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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In our first Ambulance Chasers post this season, we touched on some of the bigger names that were dealing with some off-season question marks about their injury status and health.  Now that we’re into January, we’re starting to get updates trickling in on some players rehab processes, and they’re not all good. We also touch on some late round names here and speculate on some situations that could change between now and the beginning of the season that would count some of these players as huge bargains for early drafters.

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Hiyo, whaddup, it’s ya boy, Grey Albright, the King of SWING! SWING, which abbreviates to Swiss National Guard. See, I got this certificate with my Swatch watch–Any hoo!  Today is the top 60 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball.  You think we’re late into the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings here, but, in this post alone, you might be able to put together a pitching staff. So, let’s do this! Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All projections listed are mine and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping. Anyway, here’s the top 60 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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