Please see our player page for Madison Bumgarner 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.

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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There is a LOT of information available for fantasy owners to try and digest these days. New writers and podcasts emerge every day (over 500 different fantasy analysts by last count). New stats and ways of slicing and dicing existing data are constantly emerging. Don’t get me wrong – I love the latest Statcast research as much as the next guy. But fantasy writers often pile up the acronyms and exotic statistics, as if 2000 words on spin rate has inherent interest just because it’s in-depth. It can be hard to find actionable fantasy moves in a table with 10 varying components of xStats.

I’m kicking off a new series today, utilizing data visualization to try and narrow in on fantasy baseball insights. Good visualization helps you achieve your goals by channeling success onto your subconscious until your reality lines up with your drea….I’ve been watching too much late-night Tony Robbins. Good data visualization takes complex raw data and translates it into easily-understood, actionable images.

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We made it folks. On Sunday, the news flashed a Chicago forecast without a temperature below 40 degrees on it. March brings warmer air, a clock change, a celebration with green, the anniversary of millions of vasectomies, and opening day baseball. With that last one in mind, I released my top 100 starting pitcher rankings. Rankings bring out a special brand of emotions among fantasy baseball addicts. I’m here to explain as many of my disputed rankings as possible before opening day. I am nothing if not transparent. I’ve detailed six pitchers below that I am significantly higher, or lower, than the market on. In addition, I have linked to every article with a blurb about pitchers in the top 100 that I have written and paraphrased my commentary from a Reddit thread. In the weeks leading up to opening day I will release my top 10 pitching values to complete the finding aces series, a revised version of the top 100, and further commentary on major discrepancies. Feel free to let me know where you would like to see more detailed analysis. I owe a few frequent commenters player blurbs and I haven’t forgotten, just give me a couple of weeks, looking at you Magoo.

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After breaking down my beloved Rockies last week, we’re going to keep things rolling here with another NL West team in the Diamondbacks. While the Los Angeles Dodgers are obviously the cream of the crop in this division, Arizona is a fascinating team. Almost as fascinating as their mascot, Baxter the Bobcat. Why the hell is a snake not the mascot? I mean, they’re the Diamondbacks, not the Arizona Bobcats. In any case, this is one of the most interesting teams this season (including their mysterious mascot), so, let’s get into it.

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*rubbing hands together*  This is where things get interesting. Anyone could tell you Cole, deGrom, yadda-blabbity-blue are top 20 starters.  I could ask some bean counter in Modesto, California who the top 20 starters are and he’d know, and he counts beans! Anyone can count beans! Honestly, why is he counting beans? Seems like a waste of time. Unless he’s making sure each can comes with 239 beans, because one more would be too farty! Any hoo! The top 40 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball is a bit like the top 20 for 2020 fantasy baseball. It could go dozens of ways.  This is the way I went. Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. Also, Razzball Subscriptions are now open. Early subscribers get Rudy’s War Room. All projections listed here are mine and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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Since we last provided you with a podcast, fantasy football has come and gone, the Astros became synonymous with trash cans in a variety of ways, and Gerrit Cole joined the Yankees and got all of the money. It’s been a wild, frustrating, and exciting few months depending upon your allegiances to team or player. It all culminated in a blockbuster filled Winter Meetings as over $800 million in contracts were handed out. Grey and I team up once again for the annual Winter Meetings wrap-up, an update as we head into the end of the calendar year and the dawn of the 2020 Fantasy Baseball season. We talk Corey Kluber, Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Madison Bumgarner, Padres trades and so much more. Tune in for a little Holiday scented hot stove talk.

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The Rangers traded Delino DeShields Jr. and Emmanuel Clase for Corey Kluber. Finally, someone that likes Delino DeShields Jr. as much as me! Indians tried to not compete last year, but at first you don’t succeed in not succeeding, don’t try, don’t try again. Cannot wait to see what the Indians get for Francisco Lindor. Maybe Clint Frazier and a bucket of balls gets it done. You’d think Indians would be against trying to tank, being more team that wants its horse in the race, but, wow, MLB is completely broken. Teams that should and can be good are going out of their way to tank. I saw someone (think it was a Cleveland-area radio sports show host) say something like, “Indians can’t afford these players so this is their only option.” Yo, the Indians owner, Dolan family, is worth $6.5 billion, according to Forbes. That’s not according to their bank, because you can’t count that much money in a lifetime. If the Dolans can’t afford a $25 million dollar per year contract, then who can? Bezos? Does Amazon need to buy all MLB teams? Can we get Jack Ryan day at the park? That might be fun. This isn’t even about whether Kluber is broken for good either, because his salary ($17.5 mill) should be affordable for any team, even if the player is broken. Blake Treinen got $10 million for Pete Bourjos’s sake! Any hoo! For Kluber fantasy value, I’m torn, because he feels like the type who can gut out a solid season, but that is soooooooooooo — yes, eleven O’s! — anecdotal and isn’t based on anything. But, also in his favor, he saved his arm last year from throwing another 200+ IP, which has to be good. Yes, I know his arm was injured, but it was a broken forearm. I’m not a doctor, but a forearm isn’t an elbow or shoulder injury, and a broken one is better than a strained one. Unfortunately, he had to be removed from a rehab assignment last year, due to diminished velocity, and, prior to  the injury, his velocity was down and his ERA, FIP, xFIP were all up. Just too much risk and I’m out on Kluber this year. For 2020, my Kluber projections are 10-5/3.81/1.17/164 in 158 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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So, how’s everyone holding up without baseball every day?  I don’t know what to do with myself!  Yesterday I wandered into a Starbucks and told the coffeerista about Mike Clevinger for 2020.  Then I sobbed into a cheddar scone until someone asked me to leave.  We’ve gone over the final 2019 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters.  This is different than Final Fantasy rankings where you rank Final Fantasy 1 thru Final Fantasy 15.  That’s hardcore nerd shizz!  This is simply fantasy baseball — we’re softcore nerds like Emmanuelle is to porn. So, there’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left.  You’re welcome.  I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking next about 2020 rookies — PUT ON YOUR FREAKIN’ SHOES! Not sure why I just yelled that. Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2019 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Remove Giancarlo’s hamate bone! Please! Actually, remove all players’ hamate bones immediately! Sorry, not to get all The Handmaid’s Tale here, but have Aunt Lydia line up all hitters and scalpel their hamates out of their hands. No, no, no, seriously! What if the hamateless hand is just a millisecond quicker around on a swing adding to exit velocity and–Ugh! Can’t that be a possibility? I will remove my tinfoil hat for you to answer me. Okay, I can’t risk Thetans invading my between-the-ears-space so I’m putting the hat back on. Sorry. So, Jose Ramirez returned from the IL, hamateless, and did what Matt Olson and legions of others (maybe no one else) have done before and homered a bazillion times. Yesterday, Jose Ramirez went 2-for-3, 7 RBIs with his 21st and 22nd homer. In 2020, I imagine Jose Ramirez will be ranked in the preseason by everyone like I ranked him coming into this year — at some point in the 2nd round vs. that top five ranking everyone was giving him like a bunch of loons. Though, now that hamate removal surgery is the new cortisone shot… Hmm…  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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22-year-old Rafael Devers ($3,900), a.k.a. Baby Face Killa, has been an elite hitter against right-handed pitching with a .325/.383/.598 line, along with 24 homers and just a 15.8% K-rate. He can easily finish as one of Tuesday’s top hitters against an opener in Edinson Volquez, who has more walks (11) than strikeouts (9), followed by Ariel Jurado and his 5.73 ERA. Devers should be a centerpiece of your lineups and is affordable at this price.

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