Please see our player page for Max Kepler 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.

In these dystopian times, my mind can only wonder if Mad Max could ambush and/or eradicate COVID-19. Probably not since the Rona is invisible, but Max Rockatansky could do unimaginable things when mad, so I’m not completely dismissing the possibility. There is another Max, though, who may ease the pain that COVID-19 has brought into our fantasy baseball universe, and that’s Max Kepler of the Minnesota Twins (Max Scherzer is too old and happy from winning the World Series). And this Max is mad as well because he’s being drafted as the 136th overall player in NFBC drafts from 2/1 – 3/23. Is it warranted for this Max to be mad, and can he bring a ray of sunshine into these gloomy days?

Kepler was signed at the age of 16 back in 2009 for the largest signing bonus ($800k) ever given to a European-born player. He then spent three years in rookie ball, where he hit for a high average, showed good plate discipline, had a high BABIP, and produced 10 home runs and 7 stolen bases in 269 plate appearances during the 2012 season. As he moved up the ranks, the walk rate continued to improve (from 10% to 13%), while the strikeout rate remained very low (13% to 15% range). The BABIP also remained above .300 while Kepler continued to hit for a good average. When he finally received consistent playing time with the big club in 2016, the batting average and BABIP both plummeted, while the walk rate went down to 9% and strikeout rate went to 20%. Not uncommon when making the leap to the majors. He was a 18 home run and 6 stolen base player the first two seasons in the majors. Then in 2018, things started to improve. The walk rate went back to above 11% while the strikeout rate cratered to 15.7%. The batting average and BABIP continued to trend lower, though. He ended the season with 20 home runs and 4 stolen bases. Last season, Kepler broke out with 36 home runs but only stole 1 base. The walk and strikeout rates were similar to 2018, but the ISO spiked while the batting average increased to .252 with a BABIP of .244.

Kepler ended last season as the 107th offensive player for fantasy, so the NFBC ADP seems fair. Is there room for improvement?

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Last week in H2H Categories Strategy we discussed the merits of punting. This week, I want to talk about what I look for in hitters once we get past the early rounds – consistency. Since we play a game that resets every week, we want to roster players that will fluctuate less. Hot and cold streaks will happen even with the best players, but there are certain qualities we can look for in hitters that should minimize our risk.

Growing up, my dad was the coach of my little league team. He would tell us, get on base and good things will happen. While it seems really simplistic, I still follow my dad’s advice when I’m looking for consistent hitters – high contact rates and a low K-BB%. Basically, we’re looking for players with good plate skills. These might not be the sexiest names in the draft, but grabbing a handful of these players in the mid to late rounds will provide your team with an ample floor. Without further ado, let’s get to the list:

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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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Oh man, the crack of the bat and the sound of the ball hitting leather. It’s seamhead heaven, boys of summer katnip, and time to put away the hot stove (well almost). Spring training baseball has just started. Beer is flowing from Florida to Arizona and lazy afternoons at the ballpark are in vogue.

As such, Razzball’s 2020 inaugural Top 100 Hitters is here to inform, entertain, and track your favorite sluggers, five category studs and perhaps underappreciated gems. We have to start somewhere, so here are the rules for this first list: They’re geared towards 5×5 roto leagues. “Last” is tracking where the hitters were in the last Top 100 of September of 2019. “Change” is a change from that last 2019 ranking.

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Hey, guys and five girls, we’re (I’re) back!  Today’s 2020 fantasy baseball rankings tackle your favorite (I’m guessing!), the top 40 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball.  Last year, this post was an absolute minefield that would’ve made Princess Di shudder. By my count, only Eloy went from this post last year into the top 20 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball this year. Yuck. Well, those who don’t learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them. Or is it, ‘Those whom don’t learn?’ Someone explained this to me before. Meh, whatever! Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. As always, my projections are noted for each player and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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With the top 40 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball, we’ve finished all the hitter recaps. We meaning me, but I’ll include you. No, that’s not a cue to try to hold my hand. Why are you now patting my butt? Don’t muss my hair! The pitching recap will begin next. You can hardly wait. No, you! To recap, the end of the season rankings are based on our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  I felt the easiest way to keep it objective would to go this route.  This way when I say someone finished 30th and I ranked them 23rd in the preseason, it carries more weight like Willians Astudillo.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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This year the Razzballies are going without a host. I, Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it) am merely a long-form presenter. Remember, you can’t spell ghosting without host. You also can’t spell hostage, but no one is forcing you to stay for the award show. You’re going to want to, though, because without these awards, you’ll have no idea who was the best and worst hitters and pitchers this year, and you’ll be left giving out your own awards and no one cares if your “Low sodium tomato soup in a sourdough bowl” won your “Whitest Lunch Of All-Tme” award. Stop making up fake awards! For all of you winners and losers, I ask that you please keep your acceptance speeches down to a minimum. As a hero once said, “I’m going to thank everyone in private.” So, before I’m talking to no one but a room full of seat-fillers, here’s the year-end awards for the best and worst of fantasy baseball:

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The top offenses today come with elite plays and values, so the majority of the picks are going to come from the Indians, the Twins, the Astros and the Red Sox. Outside of Cleveland those are three of the top six offenses in the game this year, so when in doubt, go with the good offenses. 

On to the picks…

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!

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Welcome to September baseball, where I get new call ups mixed up with running back handcuffs. FanDuel has us set up with a 15-game slate to start the weekend. There are three things that are certain in life: death, taxes, and the Tigers being terrible against right-handed pitching. Since the All-Star Break, the Tigers are tied for the second-worst wRC+ against righties, while striking out at the highest clip (28.5%). The Tigers face Homer Bailey ($8,200), who has been excellent over his last eight starts, outside of a disastrous start against the Cubs. In fact, over his last four starts, Bailey has a 2.25 ERA in 24.1 innings, while striking out 27 batters. I’m praying to the fantasy gods that Homer can keep that success rolling today. Let’s take a look at the rest of today’s slate.

New to FanDuelScared 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!

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If there’s one reason to start James Paxton ($9,200), it’s to rack up strikeouts, as Paxton’s 29.2% K-rate is one of the best in the game. That’s why he’s got so much upside for this start against the Rangers, who strike out more than any other team against lefties at 26.0%. Paxton has recorded a win in six straight starts, and should have another strong performance here.

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?