Please see our player page for Robbie Ray 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.

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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Our fantasy baseball trade analyzer just got a little better as you now have an option of valuing players by their full/rest of season value ($) OR their per game value ($/Game).

I think the $/Game metric is one of our more underrated/underused metrics so I am going to use this post as a primer on its value.

What is the difference between $ and $/Game?

The standard way of valuing fantasy players is based on each player’s projected stats for the full season (or rest of season once the season has started). These stats are converted into a total value. We find auction $ value (based on $260 for all starting players with a 67/33 hit/pitch split) to be the most intuitive scale for displaying player values but other methods like summing z-scores provide similar benefits.

The downside of full/rest of season projections for comparing players is they reflect both projected performance AND playing time. This is fine when comparing players with similar playing time projections but creates issues if playing time is uneven because one of the players is projected for less playing time because of injury, minor league time, unsettled role, etc. A full season value for a player with discounted playing time essentially treats all that missing time as a zero. We know for DL stints or minor league time that we can plug in a replacement and, thus, the full season stats will undervalue the player with discounted playing time.

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After breaking down my beloved Rockies last week, we’re going to keep things rolling here with another NL West team in the Diamondbacks. While the Los Angeles Dodgers are obviously the cream of the crop in this division, Arizona is a fascinating team. Almost as fascinating as their mascot, Baxter the Bobcat. Why the hell is a snake not the mascot? I mean, they’re the Diamondbacks, not the Arizona Bobcats. In any case, this is one of the most interesting teams this season (including their mysterious mascot), so, let’s get into it.

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It is important to maintain the fundamental rules of society. One of those rules being, respect your elders. Last week, I introduced luck regression candidates with less than 400 career innings pitched, and piggybacking off of that premise we must also account for our Restored Vets. In order to identify Restored Veteran pitchers who suffered from poor luck in 2019 I performed the following:

  • Gathered all starting pitchers with over 50 innings pitched in 2019. Thanks, Fangraphs.
  • Removed pitchers with less than 400 career innings pitched to isolate for Restored Vets.
  • Sorted to find only pitchers whose ERA was 0.5 greater than one of FIP, xFIP, or SIERA.
  • Eliminated any pitchers who did not have a metric under 4.5.
  • Deleted any pitchers without a top 30 WAR season in the past 3 years.

The result? 9 pitchers. I’ve removed 4 of those for reasons noted at the bottom. The rest of the group is evaluated below:

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*rubbing hands together*  This is where things get interesting. Anyone could tell you Cole, deGrom, yadda-blabbity-blue are top 20 starters.  I could ask some bean counter in Modesto, California who the top 20 starters are and he’d know, and he counts beans! Anyone can count beans! Honestly, why is he counting beans? Seems like a waste of time. Unless he’s making sure each can comes with 239 beans, because one more would be too farty! Any hoo! The top 40 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball is a bit like the top 20 for 2020 fantasy baseball. It could go dozens of ways.  This is the way I went. Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. Also, Razzball Subscriptions are now open. Early subscribers get Rudy’s War Room. All projections listed here are mine and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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While Donkey Teeth finishes up his trip to the zen forest, forest of zen? Anyway, B_Don is joined by fellow Razzballer Roto-Wan to discuss their co-managed Prospects Live 5 Year Best Ball dynasty squad and how they approach a deep draft.

Roto-Don also talk about some of the draft challenges that have come up in the early draft season and how you address your pitching staff may dictate how you attack the first few rounds. Sit down and listen to this classic tale involving fantasy baseball luchadors.

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Some of you may be saying, “Is this the guy from the football side who is obsessed with defensive pressure rates?” Yes, it is.

Some of you will then ask, “Is this man as funny as Grey?” Sadly, no.

Everyone will then most definitely ask, “What does this man know about baseball?” Enough to spew 1000+ words per week into WordPress.

Baseball is far and away my favorite fantasy sport. I’ve been a Razzball consumer since I was a pimple faced teenager. My background with Razzball is important. It explains many of my philosophies, primarily those in regards to pitching. Typically, I wait on starting pitching far later than the norm and complete pre-season prep with that notion in mind. Instead of spending hours sorting top ranked pitchers, I focus in on pitchers who have the highest probabilities of far exceeding expectations.

This concept is at the core of the series, in which the sole purpose is to find the likeliest 2020 breakout pitchers. To start, I will delve into a group of 12 pitchers who exceeded draft day value from the last 3 seasons. Using their backgrounds, I hope to find some cohesion to locate what changed and led to the breakout. Finally, I’ll take those commonalities and locate 2020 pitchers meeting the same criteria to find who is most likely to win us our leagues.

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So, how’s everyone holding up without baseball every day?  I don’t know what to do with myself!  Yesterday I wandered into a Starbucks and told the coffeerista about Mike Clevinger for 2020.  Then I sobbed into a cheddar scone until someone asked me to leave.  We’ve gone over the final 2019 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters.  This is different than Final Fantasy rankings where you rank Final Fantasy 1 thru Final Fantasy 15.  That’s hardcore nerd shizz!  This is simply fantasy baseball — we’re softcore nerds like Emmanuelle is to porn. So, there’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left.  You’re welcome.  I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking next about 2020 rookies — PUT ON YOUR FREAKIN’ SHOES! Not sure why I just yelled that. Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2019 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Yesterday, Eloy Jimenez went 1-for-4 and his 28th homer, hitting .259, as he marches to the finish line on a mediocre year…Or was it?!  Damn, reversal question, you always scare me. It’s worth noting, Jimenez struggled with injuries a bit this year and he only has 430 ABs. He’ll get roughly forty more at-bats this year, so figure 32 HRs in 470 at-bats (this math totally tracks; don’t come for me, nerds!). Give him the standard 570 ABs and he would’ve hit roughly 38 HRs in his rookie season. Geez, it doesn’t sound so bad when I put it like that. Wait, I can do more, he was playing injured a bit so 50 more healthy at-bats and Eloy Jimenez hit 40 homers in his rookie year. Want me to keep going, because I can get him to 73 homers? No? Suit yourself. Think people are looking at Eloy as having a poor rookie year, and the shine’s off him for 2020. However, I see a guy who almost hit 73 homers in his rookie year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Trying to predict what’s going to happen at this time of the year is similar to fouling off a pitch straight into your man parts. You try to do everything possible to do the right thing and sometimes you just Mitch Haniger yourself out of the season. While the streamers last week were all mixed up […]

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