Please see our player page for Sean Doolittle 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 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.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?

After much success last year in NFBC’s Cutline competition (around top 30 overall out of 1,000 teams), I decided to give it another go. Mind you, they only pay top 20, and I came in approximately (I don’t remember) 30th, so I didn’t win money last year, but money can’t buy happiness. Happiness can only be derived from seeing a Japanese mascot petting a dog. Nothing else counts towards happiness. Luckily, this league doesn’t have a happiness category. You might remember (likely don’t) that I autodrafted the first four rounds last year for my “much success” team, so in some ways this year’s league is a test of Man vs. Machine because I drafted this whole kit and/or kaboodle. Everyone likely knows what a Best Ball league is, but, if you don’t, it’s when you draft a team and the computer manages it for you by choosing who are the best players, and you get those stats. It’s basically one fantasy league removed from the robots taking over and killing us all. Now that I think about it, it’s not Man vs. Machine this year for me; it’s Man vs. Machine vs. Machine. HOLY CRAP, WE’RE OUTNUMBERED!  Anyway, here’s my NFBC Best Ball, Points League, 10 team draft recap:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As many of you know, I’m in the NL-Only Tout Wars and LABR, so every year I take part in an industry NL-Only league with the CBS peeps to try to find my footing before I go off this Friday to Florida to take on the heavyweights, and Mike Gianella, who appears to have a healthy BMI. Some might mock, some might mock draft, but this is my draft prep, and am happy to take part in this league. Until about 25 minutes into the draft, and players go for way too much, and I start getting hungry and I just want the whole thing to be over and ermahgerd! But, for those first twenty-five minutes of the five-hour draft, I’m laser focused. For this league, I once again use Rudy’s NL-Only rankings, and his War Room (it’s free with a subscription). I won’t try to get you to buy it anymore. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make the horse put a cape down so I can walk over the water without getting wet. (If you want a shallower league, play against me and hundreds others for prizes –> Razzball Commenter Leagues.)  Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and some thoughts:

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Welcome to the 2020 Razzball Team Previews! (Our “2020” comes with more Jay and less Barbara Walters!) (That joke is probably older than you!) Sorry for all the parentheses and exclamation points, I just get so excited when I think about Barbara Walters, and don’t even get me started on Hugh Downs… Regardless, here, you’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season, Razz-style. So while you’re stretching your lats and relearning calculus to get that upper hand on your fantasy peers, why not also check out what the World Champion Nationals have in store for you and your fantasy team?

 

2019 Recap

Final Record: 93-69 (2nd)
Runs Scored: 873 (2nd)
Runs Against: 724 (5th)
SB: 116 (1st)
ERA: 4.27 (8th)
Saves: 40 (9th)
Strikeouts: 1,511 (4th)

 

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I regret to inform you, my fantasy friends, that even fake jedi get the flu. That’s right, Roto-Wan is coming to you today from a Sudafed laced haze that would make Jesse Pinkman proud. Stop interrupting me pink elephant, I’m trying to get a preamble together here. At any rate, we’ve reached the NL in our bullpen previews. Let’s kick it off with the very in flux NL East. My advice is to exercise even more caution with these names than we usually do.

AL East AL Central AL West

NL East NL Central NL West

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Happy Labor Day, everyone! Today, we celebrate all of those mothers who are in labor giving birth to us, so put your legs up, grunt real hard and scream at a loved one that they are a “bastard” or a “weasel-d*cked moron who isn’t even the real father.” You’ve earned this day, male or female, though I’m not sure how men earned a Labor Day. Do I have this celebration right? Any hoo! People acting like Justin Verlander‘s 3rd no-hitter was stamping his ticket to Cooperstown are hilarious. He was a lock for the Hall of Fame when he posed nude in the mirror with Kate Upton. Yesterday’s butter:  9 IP, 0 ER, 1 walk, 14 Ks, ERA at 2.56 is just another example of the legacy of one of the greatest pitchers ever. Everyone should stop to watch a Verlander game. That’s a ‘stop to smell the roses’ request because you deserve something as glorious as seeing Verlander throw a baseball. This is a request for you to live your life, not like you’re in labor with your feet in stirrups, but like your feet are on the ground and you’re reaching for the stars. Okay, now I’m just misquoting Casey Kasem. For 2020 and beyond, Verlander is an ace until he shows he no longer is, and I’m thankful for every one of his pitches that I’ve never owned on a fantasy team (eff me). Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yours truly caved in and purchased a minivan last week with the arrival of child number two. If you decline to take any further of my baseball advice I will understand. Let me tell you something, though. I love it. It’s roomy. There’s a TV in it. The sound of rain on the giant flat roof is hypnotically melodic. Just like a fantasy season, life goes in stages. Don’t get stuck holding on to something from yesterday that will ruin your tomorrow. You could end up like Matt Foley, thrice divorced, eating a steady diet of government cheese, and living in a van, down by the river. Tiers are of course van themed.

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Before Charlie Morton (4 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.11) threw one pitch yesterday, the Astros greeted him with a highlight reel of some of Morton’s greatest Astros moments. Like the clip of him burning his Pirates jersey. And the clip of him pitching relatively solid for about 150 IP, then hitting a wall and never getting through a whole season. There wasn’t a dry eye in the stadium, especially on the Rays’ bench. I told you to sell Morton last month because he can’t ever complete a season. Any hoo! Morton seems headed for a 3-minute bread beep as he becomes toast, but this is about how the Astros hit multiple balls into orbit, which is also the name of their mascot’s scooch hole. Yordan Alvarez (3-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs, hitting .329) hit his 20th and 21st homer in *hand-clapping emoji* 60 *hand-clapping emoji* games. Actually, stop and hand-clap emoji for a few minutes he’s such a thing of beauty. In total sincerity, if you haven’t seen him hit, go watch a clip. I see him hit homers and I’m puzzled, asking myself, “How does he not hit more homers?” And he hits a lot of homers!  That’s how gorgeous his swing and ease-to-pop appears. For 2020, I’m going to fight with myself to not put him in the top 20, and I might lose. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?