Please see our player page for Scott Oberg 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.

We’re getting close to the re-launched opening day, so any serious knocks guys are picking up in camp now are going to start impacting playing time.  That also holds true for new, positive, Covid tests that might pop up.

Eduardo Rodriguez is currently on a throwing program away from the team as he awaits clearance from a positive Covid test.  From a physical standpoint, this is all good news, but he’s still up in the air until he tests negative.

DJ LeMahieu, Salvador Perez, Kenley Jansen, and Joey Gallo were both back in camp this week after clearing Covid protocol.

One guy not back yet is Freddie Freeman.  His case was originally thought to be more serious, and he has not been cleared to participate yet.  The Braves think there’s a chance at opening day for him, but at this point, if he’s still feeling symptoms, I’d put that timeframe at doubtful.

Along with Freeman, Yordan Alvarez, Austin Meadows, Aroldis Chapman, Jesus Luzardo, and Howie Kendrick are all also absent from camp.

Alvarez and Chapman have both been put on the IL, signaling their cases may be a bit more severe than others.  I’d expect Zack Britton to get the first shot at saves if Chapman can’t get cleared for a bit.  On the Astros front, you’d have to imagine Kyle Tucker has an easier path to ABs with Alvarez sidelined.

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We know spring training is fully underway when a bunch of arms break. We’re sure to see more as soreness becomes less general and more devastating to our early drafts. The four-tier format is back for our closer report. This week, pandemic foodstuff themed tiers. I’d laugh but for fear that might cause me to cough resulting in those nearby turning mob justice on me. Let’s get to some news and notes on the reliever front first.

  • Emmanuel Clase – He of the hardest cutter in baseball is starting his Cleveland career off on a sour note. A back strain will likely sideline him for 8-12 weeks. This opens the door for fellow reliever wunderkind James Karinchak to solidify a leverage role. If you want a job relieving for Cleveland just have a hard to spell name, throw gas, and be in your early 20’s.
  • Jose Alvarado – Don’t look now but Alvarado looks sharp as ever. But Roto-Wan, Nick Anderson is *the* it closer of draft season?!? I have no issue with Anderson’s stuff, just his role. He factors into their ninth inning, no doubt. Let me ask you this, though. He saved some games for them last year since they’re a team that’s the most progressive in leverage roles, right? No? Ok, well he came over from Miami, who’s bullpen was a collection of molding leftovers. He racked up a bunch of saves there, surely? How about one save. Well, at least he’s a young prospect? Turns 30 in June. I don’t mean to rain on your Nick Anderson parade, and by “don’t” I mean I do, but he’s far from a lock. I’m betting on Alvarado seeing some of their saves as the lefty side of a committee in every league I draft that uses RPs.
  • Brandon Kintzler – Things are not off to a great start this spring for the presumptive Marlins closer. Like, walking four straight batters bad. I’d consider a spec play on Ryne Stanek early on.
  • Ryan Helsley – I’m not the Helsley guy but some people I respect (see: Matt Thompson, Nick Pollack) have made it a point to draft the young Cardinal in the late rounds. Their ninth inning is a mess to predict, as usual. Helsley also has an outside shot at the rotation it seems, depending on the health of their assumed starters.
  • Trevor Rosenthal – Rosie is the latest zombie reliever. He’s always been able to light up radar guns. He just has zero command at times, as in most of the time. The command seems to be there this spring, however. KC would love to add any talent it can to baseball’s most mediocre bullpen.
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Much like the classic Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC) PC game, The Oregon Trail, we finish our bullpen parade out west. Apologies if the research in this post is light, I stayed up all night playing TOT on the Wayback Machine. Suck it deer, I shot so many of you I can’t even carry all the meat. Much like the game, your journey to saves accumulation is a series of decisions fraught with peril. Do your best not to die of dysentery. In this example, Wade Davis is dysentery.

AL East AL Central AL West

NL East NL Central NL West

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As someone who lives in Colorado and considers the Rockies “My Team,” I’m ecstatic to get to write their team preview. With that said, I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a fan because how the hell can anyone be a fan of the Rockies? It’s fun to watch these guys mash baseballs in Coors Field but it’s embarrassing to watch these pitchers crap the bed year after year. That’s simply the nature of playing in Coors Field every year and it makes for some weird baseball. That will surely be a major focus of this preview, so, let’s go ahead and get into it!

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Coming into 2020, there’s not a ton of major injuries that we need to worry about in terms of keeping guys out to start the season. The biggest names that will definitely be on the shelf (and off your draft boards) are guys like Jameson Taillon, Jordan Hicks, and David Robertson. Those aren’t exactly guys that will alter draft strategies significantly going into the season. What we do have is a lot of players that will be drafted high, or be prime breakout candidates, who have some questions over how their offseason recoveries could affect their situations this year.

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I hope you’re all making a standings push as we inch toward September. Now is the time for action. Don’t wait too long and need a drastic solution. Don’t be like Patrick Swayze’s star character in Road House, bouncer extraordinaire Dalton. He kept having to up the violence ante to maintain the status quo. Look ahead at which categories could be within reach with a few wise adds this week.

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Commissioner Rob Manfred was recently seen at a yard sale looking at the stitching on a crocheted dress when he remarked, “The stitching seems kinda loose.”  From there, he picked up his grandkids and they asked if they could watch Lilo & Stitch and Manfred wrinkled his nose and said, “Stitch is a genetic experiment who escaped from an alien planet, which is a loose contrivance. Wouldn’t you like to see something with tight stitches? Like 12 homers in one game?” Later in his evening, Manfred tossed and turned in his bed, asking Womanfred, “I can count with my back all 500 threads in this linen. We need tighter stitching!” So, with Manfred on a quest for the tightest stitching possible, we also have more dongs than the Houston 500. First, Matt Adams went 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs with his 19th homer. Mean’s while, Ryan Zimmerman has a Chia pet growing on his foot. Next, Victor Robles (2-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 16th homer, hitting over .500 in the last week. This was only his third homer since the break, and hitting .260-ish in that time. Would’ve loved to see him get a legit shot at the two hole — hey now! — but he hasn’t truly earned it. Next next, Juan Soto (2-for-5) popped two tops of Sexy Dr. Pepper (27, 28) and he’s 20 years old. In 2020, he’ll be 21 and will be a 70-homer hitter by the time he’s 27. You can hold me to that, assuming you forget. Next next next, Brian Dozier (3-for-4, 4 RBIs) hit his 18th and 19th homers, and he doesn’t even start every game. Just your average 2019 part-time middle infidel who gets 25 homers. Next next next next, Anthony Rendon (1-for-4, 3 RBIs) hit his 27th homer and he’s three RBIs from 100. Feels like RBIs are down this year. Maybe because no one’s on base and everyone’s just hitting home runs. That reason feels galaxy brain-ish. Next next next next next, Adam Eaton (2-for-3, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 10th. What’s Eaton eating? Tightly-wound baseballs. Just ask Womanfred, she’s sick of hearing it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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As is the on-trend thing to do this season, Mike Yastrzemski joined the 3-homer club Friday night smashing three long balls in one night including his 16th of the season, a go-ahead solo shot in the 11th inning. The three-dinger-day!?! Yaz queeen! That kind of feat is something his hall-of-fame grandfather Carl, who will ALWAYS be mentioned whenever Mike does anything of note, only accomplished once in 3,308 career games. But this is 2019. We have Monster energy drinks and super baseballs and over 15 players who have had a 3-homer games this season alone. Friday’s Giants/DBacks match up was a perfect illustration of this with both team’s combining to hit 12 home runs. Just the second time two teams have combined to hit this many homers. Kevin Pillar had his own double-dinger day, hitting his 16th and 17th of the year, the second a go-ahead in the 10th. But the Snakes countered with homers from Wilmer Flores (his second of the game) and Nick Ahmed to tie it up before Yaz’s game-winner. Brandon Belt, Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Adam Jones also chipped in their own bombs.  Yeah so, basically, everyone was dinging dongs Friday night at Chase. Still, Mike Yasztremski deserves his credit, and his credit is due. The hat-trick is a special thing and he’s now rocking 5 homers and a .333 average in the past week.  His .272/.324/.548 slash is nothing to sneeze at and he’s also slugging .755 in August with a 1.088 OPS. He’s a 30+ homer hitter across a whole season, folks. Yeah, you’d own that! And Yaz is criminally still available in about half of leagues at this point. Sure, Vlady and Bo and Cavan are cool, but grand kids are where it’s really at and Mike Yastrzemski needs to be owned everywhere. Yaz more please!

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Did you ever think that sometimes your haters offer relevant critiques that you should maybe take into consideration? Me neither, just wondering if that’s a thing. Don’t think about it too long if it doesn’t apply. It’ll make you cuckoo like Cocoa Puffs’ Sonny, the Cuckoo Bird. Speaking of which, Sonny, the Cuckoo Bird went to a rally recently with a sign that read, “You can’t be cuckoo without cuck.” I can’t tell if Sonny is woke, shook or just cuckoo. Either way, or eye-thurr if Chingy is reading, for a few weeks now people have been asking me about J.D. Davis, and I’ve mostly ignored them. You, “Yo, Grey, you hard of hearing?”  Me, “WHAT?!” J.D. is having himself a bit of a star mitzvah, but is it completely out of nowhere? Nope and nuh-uh. He had 17 HRs in only 85 Triple-A game last year and 30 HRs the year before across three levels.  It’s easy to write him off, because what business do the Mets have pulling a fast one on the Astros? Yet, here we are and they pulled it.  Davis has been getting regular playing time and with improved plate discipline (25.7% K% vs. 20% this year). I’m going cuckoo for Mets’ stuff, and I’d grab Davis for power and average. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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If you need speed you’re in luck of late. New options for steals chasers having been popping up. Don’t fret if you don’t have the budget left for Bo Bichette. There are some lesser names that can help boost the category for you.

  • The last of the Wunderkind got the call as Bo Bichette joined the Blue Jays major league team. Speed is certainly part of his profile, though the power may translate to the majors easier if he isn’t given that many green lights. You’d better have some FAAB squirreled away. He won’t come cheap.
  • Josh VanMeter swiped three bases last week. That’s a healthy amount for someone without an elite speed profile. It’s interesting to see the steals flow as JVM was moved more into the heart of the Reds order.
  • Two Braves, Ender Inciarte and Johan Camargo, have found themselves with more playing time lately. Inciarte is the better bet for steals, though Camargo can sprinkle in a little bit of everything if he gets going with regular at-bats.
  • The newest Cleveland Indian Yasiel Puig has already stolen two bases in four games. It could be somewhat coincidental. It could also signal the Tribe’s intentions for their newest toy.
  • Roman Quinn has always offered tools, the greatest of which is his 80-grade speed. His challenges have always been finding at-bats and staying healthy. Let’s see if the Phillies can find ways to keep their sparkplug involved.
  • Scott Oberg notched his first save since Wade Davis was demoted. You won’t get elite ratios or an exceptional K/9. They aren’t going to be detrimental, though. Let’s face it, you’ll take saves from any avenue at this point.
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Alex Wood looked solid as oak in his second start of the year since coming off the IL with back issues and pitched six and two thirds innings allowing just four hits and two earned runs while walking one and striking out five to notch his first win the year. Welcome back, Alex! Also, me. For those of you who follow my career closely (hi mom), I missed a few weeks there due to some mandatory volunteer work aboard the Sea Org. Turns out I’m starting the third level of my bridge in the church of Scientology and they recommended a full disconnect from fantasy baseball. But I’m back and stronger than ever before. My thetans have never been clearer and I’m pretty sure I can tell players to homer with my mind now. That’s right I told Mike Trout to do that. But back to Alex Wood! After an underwhelming debut versus Colorado last week (4.2, 7 hits, 2 ER, BB, 4 K), Wood returned looking like the pitcher the Reds have waited four months for with the 6.2 inning gem against his former team. Revenge game! Wood must have had an axe to grind. Outside of a couple solo homers surrendered, Alex limited the damage in a tough road assignment against one of the leagues best offensive teams. I’m buying Wood! It’s cherry, you guys! Is that enough wood puns for you, or wood you like more? Oak-key dokey, Alex gets the Cubs next week and I’d go out on a limb and pick up Wood if he’s still available!

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

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It’s not easy making a reliever as an MLB closer these days. The ball is juiced and more hitters than ever have figured out that swinging for the fences pays off even with some extra strikeouts. Those factors equal plenty of blown saves these days. The pitching landscape is changing. You need to take more cracks at saves than ever, even if you strike out, too.