Please see our player page for Mike Fiers 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.

I’m freshly back from The Hotties, which is the annual Razzball award ceremony for the “hottest taeks” in fantasy baseball. With the sharp-toothed piranhavirus in full swing, Grey called for a “Mask-erade” ball, but the Eventbrite invitation auto-corrected it to a “masquerade” ball. Everybody showed up with the wrong parts of their face covered. I thought Grey would be upset but he seemed to take everything in stride, saying that he had been waiting for this day since “Eyes Wide Shut” was released. Is that a movie or a novel or a contact delivery service? Anyway, Grey started giggle-whispering “Fidelio!” at everybody. Hey, Grey, I get it. Fidel Castro liked baseball. Let’s get with the times!

I did manage to record Grey’s speech to all the writers and Instagram models who attended. Here’s the transcript if you want to read it:

“I’ll get right to the point: I’m proud to announce a new partnership between Razzball and the San Diego Padres. 2021 will be known as STAN DIEGO around here, and all hot taeks will involve Padres players. The top 10 pitchers? Lamet, Davis, Clevinger, and Paddack [audible hissing from the crowd]. The top 10 hitters? Tatis, Machado, Grisham, and Myers. Trevor Rosenthal is a top 30 pick. You will all write sleeper articles on Joey Lucchesi, Adrian Morejon, and yes, Eric Hosmer. [pause while Grey dodges thrown masks] Fear not, for STAN DIEGO comes with perks! You will all get a free hot dog with a purchase of an annual pass to Sea World, and you’ll get a personal tour of the tiger enclosure at the San Diego Zoo. Now, writers, start hyping Jake Cronenworth!”

At that point, all the people Grey whispered “Fidelio” to disappeared into Grey’s private grotto, which he named “50 Shades of Play” because of the underwater mini-golf course he installed. Myself? I was left standing in the foyer with a mysterious note that only said, “MacKenzie Gore, 2021 hot taek.”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hard to believe, but my first season as a baseball analyst here at Razzball is almost at an end! For athletes, that means they’re leaving the bubble soon. Us fantasy writers? We’re all bubbled-up to protect from the dreaded Piranhavirus. Oh, you don’t know what that is? See, we’re so forward thinking here at Razzball, we’re already sequestered away for the next pandemic. You may be asking, “How does the Razzbubble work?” Well, future victims of piranhas, let me show you my notes from earlier this summer when I bubbled up.

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In the highly lucrative industry that is imaginary sports team management, we here at Razzball are always looking to give you readers the sharpest edge of advantage. I mean, how do we keep up with a provider like Pitching Ninja, whose name literally invokes the finely-honed edges of a ninja star slicing through bats before landing softly in the supple leather of a catchers mitt? Fear not, fearful reader! I have been to cram school, and I have been to Austria, and I have been in dungeons, and I combined all of my knowledge of those places and completely threw it out the window. See, to be sharper than sharp, you gotta think outside the box. When the competition goes sharp, you go — that’s right! — blocky. I present to you, followers of the Top 100 Starting Pitcher series, the latest in pitching analysis: 8-bit graphics.

Robbie Ray Demonstrates his elite level of unpredictability

Let’s apply this newfangled technology to our top starting pitchers and see what we can do to help you to fantasy glory!

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I was a big Spencer Turnbull believer at the beginning of the season — but now I’m not too sure. And unfortunately, he has no one to blame but himself. He’s got the highest BB/9 in the league with a 5.97 mark. Yee-ikes! How bad is that number? Well since 2000 the worst BB/9 was Matt Clement’s 5.49 in 2000. He ended the season with a 5.14 ERA. In fact, you have to go all the way back to 1994 to find someone with a worse BB/9 than Turnbull right now. A young man by the name of Todd Van Poppel of the Oakland Athletics had a 6.87 BB/9. His ERA at the end of that year was 6.09. The Brewers shouldn’t be a tough team — they have the 3rd worst OPS vs righties in the league. However, he faced them his last start and — you guessed it — walked way too many guys (5 in 5 IP) and allowed 5 ERs. He’s never had the best control — but almost 6 per game is unprecedented. In the minors, he hovered around a 3.5 BB/9 mark. Right now he’s at the bottom of his tier and looking down because if you look through some of his previous starts this season when he keeps the walks below 4 he can have some success — but unfortunately, that often isn’t the case. 

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All right, we almost made it a week without a Covid positive test in MLB, but Sunday morning, the Oakland Athletics announced that a member of their crew tested positive for coronavirus and their play has been postponed. News will be developing more, but as of the time of writing (Sunday morning), you’ll probably want to pay attention to your Oakland starters (i.e. Jesus Luzardo, Frankie Montas, Chris Bassitt) in weekly lineup leagues. For DFS and daily lineups, you can follow the news and do what you have to do.

Again, we’re nearing the 60% mark of the season for most teams in MLB, and the same goes for most of your fantasy baseball teams. If you’re going to make a move — whether the waiver wire or a trade — it’s time to do it now. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the Rest-of-Season-o-Nator-o-Tron. That Sixto Sanchez guy that everybody’s talking about? Hit Control-F and search his projections for the rest of the season. Come on, do it! Oh fine, I’ll just tell you. It’s 23IP, 1W, and a probably too-conservative 17K. What about Gerrit Cole? 36IP, 3W, and 49K. OK math majors, let’s get to work! If you’re trailing in pitching stats in your fantasy league, what’s the likelihood that Sixto Sanchez helps you catch up to the team that’s starting Gerrit Cole every 5 days? Not all that great, right? The Marlins have a lot of catch-up to do, and Sixto Sanchez can’t throw those extra games, and no manager is going to risk The Sanchize by throwing him overtime in a year when 50% of the teams make the playoffs. For actual baseball, this is amazing, because the Marlins seem on track to make the playoffs and you’re going to see The Sanchize playing in the wildest shootout of baseball playoffs ever seen in human history. But for fantasy baseball, you’re getting, at most, maybe 2W and — if you’re lucky — 30Ks from Sixto over the next few weeks.

So, how do you overcome the teams that are starting the entirely-possible rotation of Shane Bieber, Lance Lynn, Mike Minor, and Andrew Heaney (all of whom are in the top 25)?

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Welp, wasn’t expecting to be writing this lede today. I had gone over Ian Anderson already writing, “Expected to be called up. I already own him in one NL-Only league. *drops ass, twerks nasty-like, someone enters to TikTok me and I let them not expecting that to ever come back to haunt me* Would I own Anderson in a mixed league? Well…His command looks a little suspect and that could lead to a huge blow up and I’m not really interested in that in mixed leagues yet. Long-term for keepers? I’d guess he’s owned, or your league is shallow. He was on Itch’s top 150 dynasty pitchers, right behind Kyle Wright, who just did bad stuff to one of my teams, and I could see the same from Anderson.” And that’s me quoting me! Then, yesterday happened: 6 IP, 1 hit, 1 ER, 2 walks, 6 Ks, holding the Yankees hitless in 5 1/3 IP. Guess I have to dig in deeper. He was working a 96 MPH fastball, and a 87 MPH change, which had hitters off-balance. The arm speed looked to devastate Yankees’ hitters trying to pick up the change. It is apparently his best pitch. Appeared to be. He also has a solid curve that drops from above the zone into the bye-bye-thanks-for-playing. Don’t think his command is all the way there, but I’m interested now in mixed leagues vs. before yesterday’s game. See, I’m not as Thick as a Brick, Ian Anderson. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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“I want to be a cardiologist, to be a heart surgeon, but I don’t know how that’s gonna work with baseball as well. So, I might do something business-related, so I get a little bit of business acumen going into the real world. And then once I’m done with baseball, I can probably go back and continue my study in medicine.”

–17-year old Triston McKenzie in 2015

 

Triston McKenzie strikeout

23-year old Triston McKenzie, 2020 Debut

I mean, Triston McKenzie achieved both of his dreams, right? In his major league debut, McKenzie surgically sliced through the heart of the Tigers lineup, giving up one run over six innings while whiffing 10 batters. And you know what? There’s a very good chance that he takes the heart out of Zach Plesac, whose arbitration schedule would be delayed if Cleveland keeps him at the alternate site much longer. Is it too early to call McKenzie the “Cardiac Kid?”

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[Chapter 1 of my upcoming novel, FML Grey]

Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario, wakes in a haze. Last night was hard, but not in the way Cougs would have preferred it. After watching Chris Paddack get shelled by the Dodgers, Grey collapsed on the couch, crumpled boba containers at his feet. “Draft pitchers late,” he muttered, falling into a fitful sleep with images of Stephen Strasburg and Justin Verlander haunting him.

Now awake, Grey runs to the bathroom and grabs the Barbasol. “5.54 FIP!” he spits into the sink. “Paddack has a negative value fastball!” Grey lathers his lip sweater, and grabs his razor. The man in the mirror is manic. “You’re no lothario!” Grey shouts at himself, his Schick stick in hand. “You don’t deserve this anymore!” With short, rapid strokes, Grey shaves off his mustache. The commotion wakes Cougs, who enters the bathroom. Grey looks up,  wiping his now-naked philtrum, “Dylan Bundy’s the top pitcher on the player rater,” he says. “I need a boba.”

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Aside from Tyler Mahle getting removed from the rotation about 12 hours after my article was published, we had another successful streamers week. Randy Dobnak, Brandon Bielak, Christian Javier, Framber Valdez and Dylan Cease all performed well and that’s really all we can hope for. That makes for two successful weeks in a row and we’re going to look to keep that momentum rolling here! 

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Taking a look back at last week’s predictions I had Randy Dobnak as my two-start pitcher of the week and although we haven’t seen his second start I like the results from his first game (5 IP, 1 ER, 3 Ks.) Sure we’d all like more K’s — but I even told you that in last week’s article. What?! You didn’t read last week’s article? Here: “You’d like to see more than a 4.8 K/9 — but take that liquid gold ratio and the guaranteed wins from the Twins.” Oh yea — he got the win too baby. 

My deeper league two-start pitcher of the week was Tyler Mahle. Well, he made his first start and shutout the Indians over 6 innings allowing only 3 baserunners with 6 strikeouts. The Reds rewarded him by — removing him from the starting rotation for Wade Miley?! The same Wade Miley who has allowed 6 ERs in 3.1 IP so far this year? Yep, the very same! 

This week I’m nominating Trevor Williams and Tyler Anderson as my two-start pitcher adds of the week. Hopefully, neither of them throws a complete game shutout only to be replaced by Francisco Liriano!

Please, blog, may I have some more?