Please see our player page for Mike Clevinger 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.

A couple of weeks ago, I took a look at hitters who are being priced cheaper in 2020 than their 2019 stats would dictate. This week, it’s time to assess Starters using the same approach.

Recency bias suggests that 2019 performance weighs most heavily in our minds when making 2020 decisions. That certainly plays out in many scenarios, but there are other players who’s 2020 price is discounted compared to what just happened. I’m guessing that’s mostly due to the prevalence of projection systems in player valuation. A good projection system should absolutely be the baseline for your 2020 valuations. But as we know, these systems are slow to pick up on skill changes. Three year weighted averages & regression to the mean helps the systems get the most players right; but it also means they systematically devalue 2019 stats. The goal of this post is to look at what just happened (2019 performance) and find places where the market (ADP) isn’t pricing in those stats.

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Matt Williams (@MattWi77iams), host of the Turn Two Podcast, joins the show to breakdown the Cleveland Indians Ball Club. We take a deep dive into why Jose Ramirez had such a bad stretch and what he did to fix it. We look into why or why not Francisco Lindor will get traded and to which potential suitors. How good can this pitching staff be? Matt gives his thoughts on why Mike Clevinger can win a Cy Young and if his teammate Shane Bieber can follow in his footsteps. We also look into their farm system for potential impact players that can make the big league roster.

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It has been a while guys. I will be entirely honest; I have thought about baseball for approximately five minutes over the last month prior to writing this article. The lack of clarity on the 2020 MLB season puts me at a stand still in how to approach it from a fantasy perspective and without a full picture it is almost impossible to determine a strategy. That said, it is evident that there are a few obvious winners from a delayed season. One of those winners is assuredly Mike Clevinger. It does not take a rocket scientist to embrace the idea that if a player was guaranteed to miss a percentage of the season, he has less value. However, the coronavirus has given him a new outlook on the 2020 season, with the ability to be a rotation mainstay from day 1. While I was as low as you can be on Clevinger in my original top 100 rankings a second look is needed under an entirely new scenario.

Mike Clevinger made a monstrous jump in the 2018 MLB season. He morphed from an upside arm having difficult to square up stuff into a complete pitcher. Most of this jump can be attributed to simply attacking the strike zone. His zone percentage in 2017 was 40.5%. In 2018, it jumped to 48.2%. His walk rate dove and he started showing signs of an elite arm. This set the foundation for a thrilling 2019 season in which Clevinger was a top 20 fantasy starter in only 126 innings thrown. This season was made possible by a 1-2 MPH increase in fastball velocity year over year. Clevinger’s fastball averaged 95.6 MPH in 2019 and the pitch went from a career negative to one of the best pitches in baseball with a 19.5 pVAL. Clevinger has always held a true 4 pitch mix but needed that fastball velocity leap to make the final jump to ace arm. Clevinger is only 29 years old meaning the velocity gains are not likely to fall off overnight. These gains will only help in making Clevinger’s best pitch, his slider, more effective. His slider has a positive pVAL in every MLB season he has thrown. He threw the pitch 5% more in 2019 to a batting average against of .176 and 21% whiff percentage. An underrated component of Clevinger’s game is that he is highly effective the 3rd time through the order. In my mind, this means he understands how to vary his approach and is using all his pitches to the full effectiveness. The ability to pitch a third time through the order is rare and something pitchers with only 2, or even 3, MLB pitches struggle to perform effectively.

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Howdy pardners! It’s Day 703 of quarantine (feels like it!), and we’re doing a Deadwood-themed quarantine day. Cougs is cussing like Swearagen and I’m mopping the floor like Jewel. She sure is being harsh to me, but I sure do deserve it! Hopefully tomorrow’s “Sitcoms ruined by adding a character late in the show’s run”-theme works out better for me. Cougs is gonna be Nellie from The Office and I’m gonna be Cousin Oliver. “C’mon, guys, I’m just a little accident prone,” as I tumble off a roof. Good, right? Nope, not stir crazy at all! Any hoo! The top 20 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball were updated with new projections for a 100-game season. With this series, I will take a look around the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings to see if there’s any differences now that we might only play a 100-game season. Projections have been updated on all my positional rankings. Anyway, here’s thoughts on the top 20 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball with the new Corona timeline:

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A wise man once said, “He who says he can and he who says he can’t are usually both right.” That was Confucius, who also once remarked to a bright young pupil on a particularly overcast day in 531 BC that “He who places his livelihood in the hands of starting pitching health is indeed the king of fools among us all.” I can assure you he said both of those things, and I can assure you that I will do my best to heed his insightful words as I reveal the pitchers on my 2023 All-COVID Team.

Like I said, Confucius was a wise man. He would have never dared use ESPN’s rankings to set up his fantasy baseball draft board. No, he would likely make his way to a site like Razzball, where he would study my 2023 All-COVID Team with great satisfaction before stumbling across this post. At this point, we would likely faint out of mere displeasure.

Projecting the top pitchers in fantasy three years from now is an asinine task in nature. Experts such as Grey who are able to nail preseason fantasy pitching rankings year-by-year have achieved quite a feat as is. To venture further into the unknown is, quite frankly, setting oneself up for failure. But, to heed my good friend Confucius’ words, I will be “he who says he can,” and I shall be right.

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Maybe the real-life baseball season has stopped, but that doesn’t mean fantasy baseball has to. It’s all we have these days, really. Fantasy sports while we fantasize about real sports coming back. I feel bad for my fellow fantasy hockey folks – I get the feeling it ain’t coming back, even if regular hockey does. I’m not about that fantasy basketball life (I dabbled in my younger years – Tracy McGrady anyone? Had to have him on all my teams), but I fear it’s the same fate. Only fantasy football is unscathed…so far. Wild stuff happening on that front, too. Brady to the Bucs? Da BUCS?! DAFUQ! Gurley and Newton RELEASED?! Hopkins TRADED?! Maybe Watson, too?! Madness, I say!

Anyway. This is a fantasy baseball article. Almost forgot. It’s an important year for the fine ladies and gents here at Razzball: the inaugural season of RazzSlam! Big shoutout to the NFBC peeps for hosting it. Give ’em a follow on the Twitter at @TheNFBC. I had the honor of being accepted into League 2 (of 18). Some scrub ass writer for CBS is in it. Big deal. I’m kidding, he’ll probably whoop my ass.

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Hello again. I’m back to remind you that baseball is still indefinitely delayed. While you’re likely still sequestered like myself (remember when I said I’d bet my next check? Bingo bango, no school for a week at least, plus Spring Break), why not take the time to read up on fantasy baseball stuff? Get some more names on your radar you may have neglected because of injury.

Last week, I talked about a bunch of Yankees and mostly some household ace names like Max Scherzer, Mike Clevinger, Justin Verlander, etc. Those guys were some big names whose stock slipped some in the ADP department thanks to their various ailments. I promised some more, so I won’t dilly dally any longer. This week’s crop isn’t necessarily superstars (though I guess that’s arguable), but they’re definitely some names you want to keep in mind.

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While I’d rather be writing a Corona post on Kenedy Corona, the current pandemic which has gripped the world the last month has now arrived in America and already affected the greatest two pillars of our society: Tom Hanks and Baseball. While apple pie seems to be unaffected, I can say that Tom Hanks infection has directly led to my loss of appetite, ergo, apple pie is affected! Science, baby. Grey, of course, had an amazing write-up covering the shuttering of spring training and delay to the regular season and so with this post, I’d like to delve a little deeper into the macro and micro effects that will occur moving forward. I’d also like to keep a sharp focus on just the impact that COVID-19 will have on baseball and fantasy baseball only, so while I realize it’d be weird to ignore the human cost entirely, I want to state that for the most recent CDC guidelines, go here, and there’s a fantastic live map tracker here. And be sure to start showering yourself in Purell hourly and avoid touching yourself. (Bathing suit areas should be safe. And if it isn’t, well, may God have mercy on us all…)*

*The last two recommendations were jokes, so don’t sue bro. But to be honest, a Purell shower doesn’t sound like a net-negative, so who knows…

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While the COVID-19 outbreak may be wreaking havoc in the real-life world of sports, fantasy baseball is at least unscathed, for the most part. In fact, the delay for Opening Day announcement lends value to some of the injured superstars whose ADPs have slipped because of their injuries. If you strike while the iron’s hot, you just may be able to grab yourself a bargain stud now that there’s extra recovery time before the season begins.

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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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