Please see our player page for Michael Brantley 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.

For many stuck at home during this health crisis, we have suddenly been given the responsibility of “home schooling” our children. For some I know this has been quite a challenge, especially those with more than one child. Fortunately for me I only have one, a first grade girl that enjoys math and reading. Also fortunately for me, I work from home 99 percent of the time, so I’m used to the environment and routine. As for having a kid constantly looking to play, it just feels like the summer to me. Although it did snow here yesterday.

One of the math worksheets I gave my daughter this morning required her to determine which way the alligator mouth opens to. For those not in tune with first grade math lingo, this is referring to the greater than/less than sign. The alligator mouth opens to the bigger number. I can almost see light bulbs going on in some of your heads. Chomp! Chomp! Anyway, I figured I’d play a little game of greater than with points league players for the supposed 2020 season.

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Dude, what does mine say? Sweet. What about mine? Dude. What does mine say. It says “hey malamoney dude, where is that spreadsheet you’ve promised us”? It’s tattooed right here on my upper back. Unfortunately today is not the day. This whole virus thing we’ve got going on has really put a monkey wrench in my plans. The problem is that my spreadsheet is driven by projections. The problem with my projections is that with the length of the season up in limbo, my projections are kinda in a holding pattern. I highly doubt we are going to see a full season, and am expecting a shortened season. But how short. No clue. There’s even a chance of no season. Say it ain’t so.

So why can’t I just share the spreadsheet with whatever projections I currently have and then adjust once the season is better understood. The short answer is that it would be a boat load of work. Unfortunately the way I created that thing it’s not so simple to just replace the projections, at least not for more than a few players. I have no desire to go through the motions twice once they announce the official plans for the season. A lot of the work I have been doing to the spreadsheet these past few weeks has been to remedy this problem for the future.

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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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What’s up party people. Throughout the season I’ll be bringing you my, you guessed it, Top 75 outfielders rankings for the 2020 season; or as I sometimes refer to them, the Top 75 glorified ball-shaggers (yes I was an infielder, why you ask?). Like my other compadres, I will be updating these throughout the season and pointing out the risers (the ins), fallers (the outs), and others that have me thinking at the moment warranting attention (the what-have-yous). We all have opinions, and I have plenty to share with all of you (aren’t you lucky?). You can share yours with me in the comments below (shameless plug). Baseball is back.

Outfield, the final frontier (for failed infielders with plus bats that managers are trying to hide in the field). Sure you have your superstars with arm-canons and so on, but one thing is often overlooked. Some of these players, while they have above-average offensive potential, are liabilities in the field and essentially are trying to swing their way into the everyday lineup. Their future, as a function of playing time, is tied to their production at the plate. Domingo Santana is a prime example. Last year in Seattle he contributed a solid -1.9 dWAR, a career-low. Obviously, he’s not a golfer. This brings me to my next point, the DH, allows some “outfielders” on AL teams to get many more ABs than NL part-timers including big bats like Soler, Alvarez, and Reyes.

This year we also have a lot of young guns getting their shot at full-time gigs across a full season and more set to make an appearance as the season goes on. Rookies like Luis Robert and Jo Adell are set to make their debut in The Show. Second-year guys like Cavan Biggio and Oscar Mercado aim for Opening Day jobs and a full season of ABs. This offseason I was hyped to see Kyle Tucker and his 30/30 skills unleashed this season but then Bang-gate happened; Hinch was fired; and the death-of-all-young-position-players, the Toothpick, Dusty Baker was hired. Hopes and dreams squashed. Sure he might eventually come around, but I’m not holding my breath (yet).

Some initials thoughts as we begin Spring Training:

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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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Good Sunday to you. We have a relatively small 8-game FanDuel Main Slate, providing us only some 250 billion possible lineup combinations, without salary cap considerations, compared to our usual 1-10 trillion. It’s quite the lack of options we’re facing.

But, there are actual limitations we face today, not just exaggerated ones, as the majority of games provide us with far better hitting conditions than pitching, leaving us little in the way of potential starting pitcher value, and an abundance of potential value for hitters. More than usual today, we’d like to reach for cheaper starting pitching in order to pay up for hitting.

Our preferred reach is Asher Wojciechowski, SP: $6,700, who has flashed high upside over the past couple months and has a favorable matchup today against Detroit. While he can struggle with control, which results in his higher than average hard contact and walk rates, the Tigers are near the bottom of the league in both measures. Pair that with this game being played on the road, virtually guaranteeing a more favorable pitching environment than the bandbox of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and it’s reason enough to confidently deploy him. We do not need to rely on a world-beating performance here, above average will do us perfectly well, as the scoring fireworks today are likely to be predominantly hitter-driven.

Keep on keeping on, and read below for additional Razzball 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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With Javier Baez lost for the year — *pours out a bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby oil for the sexy one we lost* — the Cubs called up shortstop, Nico Hoerner (3-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs). And the internet exploded. Everywhere I looked for a good 45 minutes (long in internet minutes), I saw things about Nico Hoerner. “Reinforcements on the way!” one Chicago sportswriter announced exuberantly.  Another exclaimed, “Hoerner is here to save the season!” A third declared they were, “Hoernier than ever,” though they might’ve just typed a search term into their tweet. Then I looked at Hoerner’s Double-A numbers — 3 HRs, 8 SBs, .284 in 70 games — and I giggled a little. Hoerner is the Cubs’ top prospect, which is more of an indictment about the Cubs’ farm system. He doesn’t strike out, and possesses decent on-base skills, so maybe some short-term value. He should play short since karma knocked Addison Russell in the head and Baez is out, even if Ben Zobrist is playing after just recovering from a five-month divorce, which was initiated because his wife was jealous of how much Maddon loves him. You can cyclops Hoerner or try him, but him or, say, Starlin Castro? Semper Fidelis Castro. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We have eight games to consider today when playing the FanDuel Main Slate. When looking over the options it seems we can find all kinds of creative ways to avoid paying up and starting Justin Verlander, SP: $11,900. Darvish is pitching with the wind blowing in to a fairly beat up Brewers team. Corbin is facing the terrible Marlins lineup. Morton is pitching at home. But there are times when overthinking the best option is detrimental, and this is likely one of those times. We just need to not over think it, and do the obvious. Start Justin Verlander.

Verlander faces a strikeout-prone Blue Jays team. That point potential is too much to resist. What we do need to be concerned with is the park factor and Verlander’s season long struggle with the long ball. If things click today, he’ll put up 60. If not, rostering him could look like a very bad idea because of just one or two mistake pitches. It is risky on that level, but worth the risk because of his upside.

For additional picks, keep reading the words written below.

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?