Please see our player page for Spencer Howard 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.

Floundering at the big league level despite fanatical off-season spending, the Phillies could really use a boost from their farm system in 2021. Who couldn’t, right? But whereas some teams are so deep their prospects have to join the queue when they’re big league ready, Philadelphia is a land of opportunity for youngsters. Without a minor league season, the club was forced to promote several players with little to no experience in the upper minors: Spencer Howard, Alec Bohm, Rafael Marchan, and former #1 pick Mickey Moniak. I’m eager to see how 2021 plays out for everyone in the game who saw aggressive assignments and whether or not the results impact future processes. Hell I’m just eager to see minor league baseball again, but this season tossed so many variables into the equation that the game might feel ripples forever. 2021 feels incredibly important for the Phillies. They’ve demoted General Manager Matt Klentak and appointed Ned Rice in the interim. Jim Hendry was floated as a possible replacement by Jon Heyman (truckful of salt, I know), and I’d like to see Hendry get another chance after he loaded up the Cubs just before Theo Epstein came aboard. Feels like Girardi might have the loudest voice in the room, which feels like a net positive for an organization that hasn’t made the playoffs in 19 years. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is what they call in the biz a GAP — a General Appreciation Post. It has not been a general appreciation type year, but Juan Soto (1-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (12) and double legs (4, 5), hitting .345) aka Sexy Dr. Pepper makes me wake up at quarter to 6 every morning, jump out of bed like Dicky Fox and scream, “I love Juan Soto!” Then Cougs rolls over and mutters, “865,” which is the number of times she’s said to stop screaming that first thing in the morning. Listen, it’s been a trying year, and I appreciate all of you sticking with us through what was the craziest year on memory, and I’m not gonna get choked up, because I’m way more appreciative of Juan Soto. HE’S BETTER THAN TROUT. Sorry, but Mr. Al Caps is right. Sexy Dr. Pepper is 12 years old and he’s doing things not seen since 2002 when a headless ghost Ted Williams was teaching a bone-sober and dead Babe Ruth why he was striking out so much. It’s an absolute joy to watch. I think I like Treat Urner (3-for-6, 1 run and his 11th and 12th steals) partially because he plays with Juan Soto. In 2021, I’m not sure yet if I’m going to have Juan Soto in the top two, three, four or five, but this is only the beginning of that discussion which will go until 2030, when we’re all finally stepping out of quarantine like a bunch of vampires. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m freshly back from The Hotties, which is the annual Razzball award ceremony for the “hottest taeks” in fantasy baseball. With the sharp-toothed piranhavirus in full swing, Grey called for a “Mask-erade” ball, but the Eventbrite invitation auto-corrected it to a “masquerade” ball. Everybody showed up with the wrong parts of their face covered. I thought Grey would be upset but he seemed to take everything in stride, saying that he had been waiting for this day since “Eyes Wide Shut” was released. Is that a movie or a novel or a contact delivery service? Anyway, Grey started giggle-whispering “Fidelio!” at everybody. Hey, Grey, I get it. Fidel Castro liked baseball. Let’s get with the times!

I did manage to record Grey’s speech to all the writers and Instagram models who attended. Here’s the transcript if you want to read it:

“I’ll get right to the point: I’m proud to announce a new partnership between Razzball and the San Diego Padres. 2021 will be known as STAN DIEGO around here, and all hot taeks will involve Padres players. The top 10 pitchers? Lamet, Davis, Clevinger, and Paddack [audible hissing from the crowd]. The top 10 hitters? Tatis, Machado, Grisham, and Myers. Trevor Rosenthal is a top 30 pick. You will all write sleeper articles on Joey Lucchesi, Adrian Morejon, and yes, Eric Hosmer. [pause while Grey dodges thrown masks] Fear not, for STAN DIEGO comes with perks! You will all get a free hot dog with a purchase of an annual pass to Sea World, and you’ll get a personal tour of the tiger enclosure at the San Diego Zoo. Now, writers, start hyping Jake Cronenworth!”

At that point, all the people Grey whispered “Fidelio” to disappeared into Grey’s private grotto, which he named “50 Shades of Play” because of the underwater mini-golf course he installed. Myself? I was left standing in the foyer with a mysterious note that only said, “MacKenzie Gore, 2021 hot taek.”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hard to believe, but my first season as a baseball analyst here at Razzball is almost at an end! For athletes, that means they’re leaving the bubble soon. Us fantasy writers? We’re all bubbled-up to protect from the dreaded Piranhavirus. Oh, you don’t know what that is? See, we’re so forward thinking here at Razzball, we’re already sequestered away for the next pandemic. You may be asking, “How does the Razzbubble work?” Well, future victims of piranhas, let me show you my notes from earlier this summer when I bubbled up.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Alec Mills (9 IP, 0 ER, 3 walks, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.93) threw a no hitter for everyone who is like, “I hit 66 on the speed gun, ya think I can be a major league pitcher?” Alec Mills threw a no hitter for everyone who ever said to themselves, “I look kinda like a landscaper for a Target parking lot, but am unemployed. Maybe I can pitch in the bigs.” Alec Mills threw a no hitter for everyone who once said, “I’d make a pretty mediocre minor leaguer, but am already on the 40, and the Cubs haven’t promoted a prospect in five years, so maybe I can pitch for the Cubs all year.” Alec Mills threw a no hitter for the one guy who woke yesterday and said, “I’m going to have the best day of my life today,” but not the person who said that, and thought eating a whole bowl of nacho cheese was their best day ever. Alec Mills, while not a great major league pitcher, like that man who ate the whole bowl of nacho cheese, had himself a great day. Going forward for him, I’d use the Streamonator, so that’s a pass. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In the highly lucrative industry that is imaginary sports team management, we here at Razzball are always looking to give you readers the sharpest edge of advantage. I mean, how do we keep up with a provider like Pitching Ninja, whose name literally invokes the finely-honed edges of a ninja star slicing through bats before landing softly in the supple leather of a catchers mitt? Fear not, fearful reader! I have been to cram school, and I have been to Austria, and I have been in dungeons, and I combined all of my knowledge of those places and completely threw it out the window. See, to be sharper than sharp, you gotta think outside the box. When the competition goes sharp, you go — that’s right! — blocky. I present to you, followers of the Top 100 Starting Pitcher series, the latest in pitching analysis: 8-bit graphics.

Robbie Ray Demonstrates his elite level of unpredictability

Let’s apply this newfangled technology to our top starting pitchers and see what we can do to help you to fantasy glory!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This sounds crazy to say but we’re approaching the end of the fantasy baseball season. It literally feels like it just started but here we are with just three weeks remaining. I don’t even know how to comprehend that and it just absolutely blows my mind. Anyway, last week’s article was up for debate whether it was successful or not. We had some hits and some misses but I’m feeling strong about these streamers this week and am ready for some action! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mike Clevinger and Greg Allen were traded to the Padres for Gabe Arias, Cal Quantrill, Joey Cantillo, Owen Miller, Austin Hedges, and Josh Naylor. Cleveland will be melting together Quantrill, Arias, Cantillo, Hedges, Naylor and Miller to form one super player, Johnny Q. Baseball who can catch, pitch middle relief and hit .215. Cleveland Indians’ GM said, “I have one rule, that’s Rule 5.” Before Clevinger can leave town, Zach Plesac will be planning a blow out going away party that no one is to know about. It will be at Carlos N’ Suzie’s, a downtown Cleveland favorite known for tequila and heating up Totino’s pizza rolls. Can’t wait for the postseason redemption story of Mike Clevinger ginned up by Fox where he does no actual apologizing for anything, but pitches well for six innings and gets some flashy graphics and wild hyperbole. So, Clevinger going to the Padres is obviously a huge boon for his value if boon means what I think it means. Let’s assume it does or at least makes sense within context clues. Everyone the Indians got? Useless for this year, but I’m sure Prospect Itch or Hobbs will go over the prospects at some point. Only downside I can see for this trade is it might actually be lowering Chris Paddack’s value, because now the Sheriff will have to spend all waking hours policing to make sure Clevinger doesn’t do anything stupid. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

All right, we almost made it a week without a Covid positive test in MLB, but Sunday morning, the Oakland Athletics announced that a member of their crew tested positive for coronavirus and their play has been postponed. News will be developing more, but as of the time of writing (Sunday morning), you’ll probably want to pay attention to your Oakland starters (i.e. Jesus Luzardo, Frankie Montas, Chris Bassitt) in weekly lineup leagues. For DFS and daily lineups, you can follow the news and do what you have to do.

Again, we’re nearing the 60% mark of the season for most teams in MLB, and the same goes for most of your fantasy baseball teams. If you’re going to make a move — whether the waiver wire or a trade — it’s time to do it now. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the Rest-of-Season-o-Nator-o-Tron. That Sixto Sanchez guy that everybody’s talking about? Hit Control-F and search his projections for the rest of the season. Come on, do it! Oh fine, I’ll just tell you. It’s 23IP, 1W, and a probably too-conservative 17K. What about Gerrit Cole? 36IP, 3W, and 49K. OK math majors, let’s get to work! If you’re trailing in pitching stats in your fantasy league, what’s the likelihood that Sixto Sanchez helps you catch up to the team that’s starting Gerrit Cole every 5 days? Not all that great, right? The Marlins have a lot of catch-up to do, and Sixto Sanchez can’t throw those extra games, and no manager is going to risk The Sanchize by throwing him overtime in a year when 50% of the teams make the playoffs. For actual baseball, this is amazing, because the Marlins seem on track to make the playoffs and you’re going to see The Sanchize playing in the wildest shootout of baseball playoffs ever seen in human history. But for fantasy baseball, you’re getting, at most, maybe 2W and — if you’re lucky — 30Ks from Sixto over the next few weeks.

So, how do you overcome the teams that are starting the entirely-possible rotation of Shane Bieber, Lance Lynn, Mike Minor, and Andrew Heaney (all of whom are in the top 25)?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A new king has been crowned! Shane Bieber is on some other ish right now. He has thrown at least 6 innings in all of his starts this year – he’s won 6 of those 7 starts. He’s first in K/9 among qualified starters, 12th best in BB/9, 3rd in WHIP, tied for first in ERA. Oh and he’s facing the 24th and 28th ranked offenses vs. righties. This might be the best two-start week of all time so he’s earned that #1 spot over Gerrit Cole. Plus in my hunt for a clever article headline has lead me to find out that his surname is derived from the German word beber which means beaver — the animal best known for chewing up wood. Bats are made of wood. Bieber has been chewing up wood! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?