Dudes and five lady dudes, pitching is going to be a mess in 2020. Pitching is usually where I excel at pinpointing guys to draft and avoid, and right now I’m looking at an array of hot takes: “Top starters are more valuable! “Top middle relievers are more valuable!” “Tops are bottoms, and I’m not talking about baseball anymore!” I can’t tell hot takes from shiitakes. Usually I’m able to say, “With 100% confidence, I would not draft a top starter.” This year, if you’re saying anything with 100% confidence, you’re lying. Seriously, don’t trust anyone who is confident in predicting anything in a 60-game season. We’ve never seen anything like this and may never again. Embrace it? Sure. But “Be Water” like Bruce Lee said, and adapt. With so few innings to prepare for the season in Summer Camp, will top starters even be ready to go? That alone should shut up the “You need top starters” people. With so few innings in the actual season, that should also shut up the “Don’t pay for starters this year” people. Instead, let’s just break down the categories, and see if we can’t just win those. Laura also just gave you a solid look at possible ERA strategy. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for ERA & WHIP?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Rich Hill 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?
With baseball still on the proverbial shelf, most offseason concerns we had for injuries are gone. We’ll cover a few small updates here today as we hopefully move towards some number of games this season.
The biggest news over the last few weeks was with Chris Archer. The Pirates righty was shut down for surgery to correct “Thoracic Outlet Syndrome” this is the same issue that sidelined Matt Harvey earlier in his career. Archer was already a shell of his former self, and really only someone you’d be taking a late round flyer on or picking up in a 2 start week hoping for some K’s, but this puts him on the shelf until the beginning of the ’21 season at best.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The BBC announced during the shutdown that when the season returns they will keep airing reruns of Fawlty Davis, delaying Mountcastle for the foreseeable future. The BBC’s head of programming Peter Angelos, noted spendthrift and lover of reality shows, said, “We should air a full season of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here starring Richie Martin trying to unsuccessfully cross the River Ruiz.” Filling their lineup: Hanser & Renato, a BBC surprise hit, will be returning, and generating some underground enthusiasm is Austin “Martin” Hays, a David Tennant-led vehicle, where he’s a mechanic by day and detective by night, and Dwight Smith Jr. & Jose Iglesias starring in AB Unfab, where they just get gross at-bats. Okay, seriously, what on the earth that is in total lockdown is going on with the Orioles? They announced Ryan Mountcastle was optioned to the minors. THERE’S NOT EVEN ANY MINORS?! There’s no freakin’ baseball, Orioles, you giant nimrods! How can they be so dense? Trey Mancini, which I still pronounce like fettuccini, but hoping he gets healthy, needs some time, I’d imagine. Doesn’t cancer lead to chemo which leads to a lower immune system? That makes me think Mancini won’t be back this year, and I removed him from my top 20 1st basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball, while also moving down Mountcastle. Now all we have to look forward to is the new season of Luther starting Idris Alberto. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this week for 2020 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
With these top 100 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball, I’ve finished our (my) 2020 fantasy baseball rankings for positions. Still coming will be a top 100 overall and top 500 to see how all the positions mesh together like your mesh Redskins jersey that meshes with your burgundy sweatpants. Trust me, when you see how long this post is, you’ll be glad I kept this intro short. All the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings are there. Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. Here’s all the 2020 fantasy baseball auction rankings. As always, my projections are included, and where I see tiers starting and stopping. If you want an explanation of tiers, go back to the top 10 overall and start this shizz all over again. Anyway, here’s the top 100 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Remove Giancarlo’s hamate bone! Please! Actually, remove all players’ hamate bones immediately! Sorry, not to get all The Handmaid’s Tale here, but have Aunt Lydia line up all hitters and scalpel their hamates out of their hands. No, no, no, seriously! What if the hamateless hand is just a millisecond quicker around on a swing adding to exit velocity and–Ugh! Can’t that be a possibility? I will remove my tinfoil hat for you to answer me. Okay, I can’t risk Thetans invading my between-the-ears-space so I’m putting the hat back on. Sorry. So, Jose Ramirez returned from the IL, hamateless, and did what Matt Olson and legions of others (maybe no one else) have done before and homered a bazillion times. Yesterday, Jose Ramirez went 2-for-3, 7 RBIs with his 21st and 22nd homer. In 2020, I imagine Jose Ramirez will be ranked in the preseason by everyone like I ranked him coming into this year — at some point in the 2nd round vs. that top five ranking everyone was giving him like a bunch of loons. Though, now that hamate removal surgery is the new cortisone shot… Hmm… Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The ones that don’t draft pitching early. The Muslim Mrs. Garretts. The Yu’s that we saw in the 2nd half. The ones that see things differently and not simply the ones who are holding drinking glasses up to their face to make googly eyes. They’re not fond of the rules like: Don’t wear sweatpants every day. And they have no respect for the status quo, because they’ve checked out every time someone defined “status quo” for them. They held onto Yu Darvish (6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 14 Ks, ERA at 3.97) all 1st half and were rewarded nicely. Unless he’s just on a team that started checking out fantasy football in June. Back in July, Coolwhip wrote, “I’m not prepared just yet to say he’s back back, but it’s looking like he’s finding his way back. I’ll call him a tentative buy for now, while advising to keep an eye on his walks and I’ll be watching his velocity and arm slot. In fact, I just picked him up where I could to see what happens.” Hashtag nailed it. Prior to that, Darvish had a 5.01 ERA. Since then, 2.44 ERA in 66 1/3 IP. The fix, as we all know by now, he’s stopped walking everyone. His season-long peripherals 11.2 K/9, 3 BB/9, 4.39 FIP are sweet, but his 2nd half peripherals are legendary, and some of the best in baseball — 12.6 K/9, 0.8 BB/9, 3.20 FIP. For 2020, the thought of getting anywhere close to Darvish’s 2nd half has me, not only interested in him, but thinking he could be a steal as a number two fantasy starter. Yu might think I’m crazy, but the crazy ones change the world, or at least do well sometimes in their leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s playoff times ladies and gentlemen, which means picking the right streamers is more important than ever. What’s frustrating about that for this week is the fact that we have a weak group of two-start streamers. It seems to be either high-owned studs or low-owned risky players, so we’re going to try our best to offer up some good options that are widely available. With that in mind, let’s get into these streamers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Trevor Story hit the IL with a thumb sprain, which is bad news (no dur), but the Rockies are saying there’s no ligament damage, so it could’ve been worse. The good news is Brendan Rodgers was promoted. Is this good news? For Rodgers, I’d imagine it is. For the Uber driver taking Rodgers to the airport? Prolly good news for them. The guy sitting next to Rodgers on the plane having to hear about how Rodgers is not going to sit on the bench for Pat Valaika, this time, things are gonna be different? Doesn’t sound like good news for that guy sitting next to him. What a bore! Okay, so I know, I know, I KNOW the Rockies have burned us all to the point where we shudder at commercials for Burn Notice reruns on USA, but there is a reason why the Rockies have burned us. Because we all want to own all of them due to the stadium. I grabbed Rodgers for that very reason. We shall see, but I put it at 70/30 the Rockies play Pat Valaika, and 30 is for: Rodgers doesn’t play, is sent down and Hampson is recalled to also not play. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?