Please see our player page for Scott Kingery 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.

Camp is starting up and it’s weird out there folks.  Split squad positionless scrimmages, Covid tests, opt outs….baseball is back!?!  This whole thing feels like the Jessie Spano caffeine pill freakout from Saved By the Bell…”I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so…..scared”.

First round of Covid testing is coming back and there’s plenty of interesting names that have tested positive: Jesus Luzardo, Eduardo Rodriguez, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Hector Neris, DJ Lemahieu, Tommy Pham, Scott Kingery, Mitch Keller, Ryan O’Hearn, Salvador Perez, and Kole Calhoun are notable confirmed positives.

Of these, most fall into the “asymptomatic” category and should return to the team soon (hopefully).  Hector Neris was already around Phillies camp this week, and Joey Gallo already has one negative test under his belt.  He should be good to go soon.

The most serious case looks to be Freddie Freemen.  The Braves are being candid about exactly what Freeman is going through, but they’re not expecting him back to camp any time soon.

There’s several other guys who are missing from camp still with no given reason why.  Some teams are releasing positive tests, some teams aren’t stating what’s keeping players away but letting us read between the lines.  This list includes: Aaron Nola (who was seen around Phillies camp earlier this week similar to Neris), Yonny Chirinos, Juan Soto, Kenley Jansen, Gavin Lux, AJ Pollock, Tony Gonsolin, Yordan Alvarez, Jose Urquidy, and Josh James.  The Astros, as well as some other teams, have had issues with their testing in terms of getting results quickly, so that may be holding up the ‘Stros players, but these are all guys to keep an eye on.

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Wait…Baseball!?  If I am being honest, I did not think we would have a season to watch and give us a distraction from the upcoming election season…ohhh and that whole Global Pandemic thingy.  But really, it is amazing to think we will have a season and there will be numerous unique adaptations from a fantasy perspective as we no longer have the benefit of patience over a long season.  A hot month can lead to an MVP campaign or the Mendoza Line!

We also cannot forget the bigger picture.  These players are real people in a highly unique situation.  All I can do is hope for their continued safety as they try their best to give us an escape from 2020.

So how am I reacting in the middle infield rankings?  Let us look at four key areas of change.

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What’s up party people. We’ve been through some things, haven’t we? Not sure how this year’s July 4th BBQ will go down with social distancing, but could work out a bit in your favor. No one will be able to stand close enough to the grill to criticize your sear technique. That’s gotta count for something! Back at the end of February in the before times of the long-long ago, I gave you my pre-Spring Training first look at the Top 75 Outfielders for 2020. The world has since been torn asunder and we weren’t sure there was going to be any baseball season, let alone civilization. We screwed up the chocolate factory and the whole thing had to be washed and sterilized. Then so shines a good deed in a weary world. We had a wonderful debate between owners and players about how to fund this season, for those who took a nap (or 80 in between), allow me to recap it for you:

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Well, this is icky. I don’t know what MLB is doing by reporting that they’re not reporting Covid cases. I mean, I think I get it. It’s icky and it’s tricky and — “Shut up, brain, don’t start singing Run-DMC.” — and AND and I don’t know! But not reporting it is doing what exactly? They report injuries to Mitch Haniger that make you want to cross your legs. They report injuries about how a guy fell in a bathtub with a deer — hello, Clint Barmes! — but they don’t report Coronavirus? I just…I don’t know. Not sure it’s the answer. With that said, the Phillies placed Scott Kingery, Hector Neris, Tommy Hunter and Ranger Suarez on the IL yesterday without even a press release. Someone just happened to notice the roster moves. Does that mean they have Covid? Again, I don’t know. Since they announce literally every other injury, one can conclude. How serious is their symptoms? Again, no idea. This is gonna be one helluva 60-game season, huh? My solution is, if you really don’t want Covid speculation, just don’t announce any injuries at all. Change the IL to the ILL and whether it’s a hammy or Covid, don’t say anything. Just say they’re ILL. As for fantasy, Neris’s loss for saves could be huge, but we don’t know yet he’ll miss any of the season. I’d hold him. If you want to speculate, I guess Adam Morgan or a committee (which is atrocious for a 60-game season). As for Kingery, again, we don’t know how long he’ll be out (or why he’s out), so hold. This could be a boost to Adam Haseley. He could be a top 60 outfielder with everyday at-bats, and worth a shot. Or not. Wheeeeee! A 60-game season! Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

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Actress Ellen Adair (@Ellen_Adair), who was featured in TV series such as Homeland, Billions, and The Sinner, joins the show to breakdown the Philadelphia Phillies roster. She gives us her thoughts on the 60 game season and if it will get played in full. She gives us great breakdowns of Rhys Hoskins and Aaron Nola and why they may have struggled in 2019. We also discuss the depth of the bullpen and if Hector Neris can hold down the closer roll for a whole season. She is the host of “Take me in to the Ballgame” which breakdowns baseball movies on a 20-80 scale and she gives us some of her favorite movies. We discuss her acting career, her favorite ballparks, and much more!

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This year we don’t have SAGNOF we have SSSAGNOF. That’s Shortened Season SAGNOF, baby! I just started breakdancing after screaming baby. What, is this a lost episode of Ally McBeal? ‘Member that show? I don’t, because I didn’t ever watch crap TV shows. Get your taste out yo’ ass! Also, that popsicle stick. That vacuum cord. That microwaved burrito. How many things do you have in your butt? As mentioned the other day in my Jarrod Dyson 60-game sleeper, steals might be the most predictable stat we have this year. Have Sprint Speed, will travel from 1st to 2nd. With runs and RBIs, it’s going to come down to lineup placement. With home runs, it’s going to come down to–Well, just go read the article. With steals, it’s gonna be as easy to measure as clicking that little button on the top of your stopwatch. By the by, what if the person pressing the clock button is slow, doesn’t that change the clocked time by a lot? Has anyone ever said runners’ times pre-digital age are all hogwash because it depended on the old man in black & white with the monocle pressing a stopwatch button? Did I just uncover some truth that everyone already knew but me? Yes? Cool. Our 2020 fantasy baseball rankings have been updated to a 60-game season. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for steals?

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After assessing starting pitching the last couple of weeks (ERA, WHIP), today I turn my attention towards the hitting side. There are so many unknowns right now about the length of the upcoming season; possibilities include everything from no games, to a full 162-game season stretching until Christmas. With at bats & counting stats completely up in the air, evaluating hitters with rate stats makes sense. What are the best ones to use?

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Psst!  This post is gonna list 2nd basemen that you should target in your 2020 fantasy baseball drafts. I’m whispering because you don’t want everyone to see this post. No, I can’t whisper louder, then it WOULDN’T BE WHISPERING! Okay, gig’s up (or maybe that’s jig’s up), the love I’m about to reiterately (Made Up Word of the Day!) confirm is on these guys I love later in drafts. I’m not going to mention Ketel Marte other than this one mention of him where I say I’m not going to mention him. At least that’s my apophasis and I’m sticking to it! These are players that you’re looking at later and all of them have ADPs after 200 (unlike Marte; okay, two non-mentions). Some could be the 2nd baseman on your team, they are more than likely MIs. This is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Croatia) supplement to the top 20 2nd basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2020 projections. Anyway, here’s some 2nd basemen to target for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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Head-to-head fantasy baseball encompasses some of my favorite parts of fantasy – rivalries, strategies, and ties. Okay, maybe not that last one, but overall, it’s my favorite format to play. Like in roto leagues, you’re focused on compiling stats in your scoring categories (homers, runs, steals, strikeouts, etc.), but your matchup resets each week and you’re on to the next opponent.

Punting is one of my favorite strategies in H2H Categories, mostly because it allows me to not pay a premium for saves or speed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating a) punting both or, b) fully punting either, but I do recommend a version of punting that I feel gives you an advantage over your opponents.

Here’s our disclaimer – This is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. You know your league and your in-season management ability. If you’re an owner who is excellent at scooping up new closers, then punting saves is a reasonable strategy to explore. These strategies are also not meant to be half-assed. If you’re leaving your draft knowing you need to find steals on the wire, take the time to find those steals. Now that you’ve been warned, enter the punting dungeon……if you dare.

 

The 2020 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join!

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Back in the early 90s there was a somewhat groundbreaking rap group by the name of 3rd Base. You might be familiar with such classics as “Pop Goes The Weasel” or the cult classic “The Gas Face” (featuring a pre-mask MF Doom). What you might not know is that Grey Albright is really MC Search. If you’re amongst the segment of the population that didn’t know that, then tune into this week’s show where Grey runs through his favorite verse from the classic Cactus Album. As would be expected this is hands down Grey/Search’s favorite episode of the season as we go through third basemen (check out Grey’s Top 20 3rd Basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball), a position that’s near and dear to our fearless FML’s heart. We talk discovering Nas and why Josh Donaldson is actually on Grey’s draft list this year. It’s a can’t miss show for those of us that are 50% hip-hop head and 50% roto dork. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Cactus Podcast!

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