Please see our player page for Matthew Boyd 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.

[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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If MLB is actually able to pull off an abbreviated 2020, I’ll have four or five drafts/auctions the week of July 23rd. Right now, even though I’m not planning on veering far from my normal draft plan, I do realize that some major adjustments in strategy may need to be made for what will certainly be a bizarre season, and I’m still pondering potential tweaks to my game plan in case I have any brainstorms about what might give me an edge in 2020.  One thing I have decided to do is to pay a little less attention to ratios and more to counting stats this year, assuming they’ll be slightly more predictable with such a small sample size of a season.

Speaking of ratio stats that may be harder to control than ever this year, a while back I saw a suggestion somewhere on Fangraphs or a similar website mentioning the notion of punting ERA as a strategy for this season.  There was no follow up in terms of how one might go about doing so, and it seemed like a crazy idea to me, since punting ERA without destroying WHIP seemed impossible even from an on-paper standpoint.  But in an effort to at least consider out of the box ideas this year, I decided to follow up the thought by trying to put together a pitching staff that I felt had a solid chance to be relatively successful once I didn’t take ERA into account at all, largely using last year’s performance as a guide.  Even though prior year’s performance isn’t necessarily an indicator of what will happen in the present even in normal times, looking at things through this lens has, if nothing else, revealed some numbers that surprised me a bit. The bottom line is, if I’ve decided that I’m not going to put as much stock as usual into ratio categories like ERA — and I think I have — then I may have discovered a few starting pitchers that I’ll be more interested in drafting for 2020 than I would have guessed.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello, again. It’s nice to be back in the saddle, writing up some fantasy baseball tidbits. I took a little hiatus after my COVID-19 Bargains series, but I’m kicking off a new one for yinz. If what’s on the grapevine is true, then we’ll finally get what I hope all of you have been waiting for: a DH for National League teams! I know you old-schoolers out there hate the idea – and trust me, I consider myself pretty old school in a lot of respects – but I don’t give two soggy turds about watching a pitcher try to hit a baseball. Some can do it okay, but the overwhelming majority cannot. It’s largely a meaningless at-bat, as far as I’m concerned. And let’s not even talk about pitchers running bases.

The 2020 fantasy baseball season is going to be a strange one, no doubt. I keep seeing this whole thing about 100 games and only three divisions total. Will these games be played in Spring Training parks? Regular parks? No one knows for sure. Are we gonna get doubleheaders like crazy? *shrug emoji* The latest proposal suggests regular home parks without fans, but we’ll see. For the sake of my sanity, I’m going to treat this series as if we’re gonna get regular home parks, and I’m going to categorize each team in their regular divisions, since that’s what we’re (read “I’m”) used to. Yes, Cardinals hitters facing more aces than just what the Cubs, Reds, Brewers, and Pirates would throw at them certainly changes things, but that’s true for every lineup if this proposal comes to fruition. I’m not going to sit here and analyze how Tyler O’Neill might fare against Matthew Boyd. I’m just going to point out some NL bats you might want to pay attention to since they may become regular instead of platooning. Capeesh? Obviously, if this division re-alignment happens, there has to be a universal DH. Either that or make the AL teams use a pitcher in the lineup. Who wants that? I sure as hell don’t.

Bear in mind, I’m not necessarily focusing on each team’s potential DH. This series is more about which NL bat benefits the most on each squad due to said DH. Could be because said bat might be said DH, or could be because said bat might be a better defensive option for another bat who could be said DH. Capeesh?

So, without further ado, here are my biggest risers were we to indeed get the lovely universal DH:

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Last week, I introduced the goal of this series: utilizing data visualization to try and narrow in on fantasy baseball insights. We looked at ERA across the draft, finding some potential values based on ADP. Today, we’ll take a closer look at Starting Pitcher WHIP by ADP.

To begin with, what’s the context in which we should gauge whether an SP’s WHIP actually helps our team? Here are WHIP trends over the last 5 years:

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B_Don and Donkey Teeth are joined by Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) of Pitcher List. We ask Alex about his pitching strategy and how it changes in his various industry leagues.

The guys talk about the different strategies being utilized for the RazzSlam, as Alex fits closer to the Donkey Teeth/Grey build than what B_Don tried. Later on, we discuss how the approach in the 15 team snake darft TGFBI and the 15 team LABR mixed auction before breaking down his teams. DT connects with Alex over their shared belief that a Gallo/Gary Sanchez build won’t tank their batting average.

We ask Alex specifically about some of his pitchers and what we can expect from guys like: David Price, Zack Wheeler, Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and more.

B_Don and DT ask Alex about his Jameson Taillon interview from how he was able to reach out to some of the more interesting points from the interview. Cannot say it enough, if you enjoy pitching discussions, it’s a must listen.

As Taillon works his way back, we talk about which spring training stats might matter. While you’re stuck at home avoiding coronavirus, you might as well listen to some baseball talk.

Side note: Here’s the chart I discuss during the podcast for 2019 spring training velocity increases.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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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When Donkey Teeth asked me to take some of the team previews I let him know that I would take a bunch of the bottom of the barrel teams that no one else with pride or self-respect would want to write about. Yea, there’s a lot of sex appeal and glory writing about the Yankees, Astros, and Dodgers — but only the truly down-and-dirty fantasy writers will try to find fantasy relevance on the Tigers and Orioles! Turns out — there’s actually a few slightly dim — but still moderately bright fantasy spots on the Tigers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

How is it going today? Presumably this is our most anticipated day of the year, as it is the penultimate Sunday of the MLB regular season. It’s hard to get better than this – it’s practically been on my calendar my whole life, and today it arrives. Unbelievably exciting. Or, we can at least pretend.

We have 11 games to consider when constructing FanDuel Main Slate lineups. That’s a lot of games, a lot of players, however, it is one game in particular that warrants the majority of our attention: Cubs vs. Cardinals. There is a lot to consider with this game, though. So let’s list out our pros and cons to see if it provides clarity.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?