Please see our player page for Tommy Milone 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.

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.

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“Jeimer real boy,” says Jeimer Candelario, as his nose, labeled with Louisville Slugger’s insignia, grows. Gepetto clears his throat and sits Jeimer down for a heart-to-heart. “Jeimer, I saw you went 5-for-6, 2 RBIs with your 6th and 7th homer in yesterday’s doubleheader.” Jeimer tells him again, “Jeimer a real boy.” Jeimer’s nose-bat grows a little bit more. Gepetto looks at Jeimer’s stats from the last week, “Wow, three homers in four games, and hitting near-.400 in the last seven.” Jeimer, losing his temper, restates, “Jeimer real boy!” Gepetto shrugs, “Works for me,” and Gepetto whittles Jeimer’s nose into a club, and applies pine tar to its tip. So, Jeimer Candelario has been one of the hottest nose-bats in the leagues, recently. Wasn’t entirely by design when I benched Nelson Cruz in one league for Jeimer Candelario, but it actually has worked out better than planned. Jeimer will also be in the Buy column later today. To read it right now, join our Patreon. It’s $5, the cost of 15 minutes on a NYC parking meter. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We’ve reached the home stretch. If your lineup needs a short shot in the arm heading down the stretch, look no further than Samwell Tarly lookalike, Rowdy Tellez (23.9% ESPN, 20% CBS). The Blue Jays’ power lefty has been on a tear of late and has made some really impressive gains in the plate discipline department. Tellez has cut his strikeout rate nearly in half thanks to a lowered O-Swing rate and an increased Z-Contact rate. For the year, he sports a .383 wOBA and has managed to hit lefties pretty hard. That’s kept his bat in the lineup full time. Just take a look at his Baseball Savant page, it’s full of “Red”. Tellez currently sits as the 14th ranked first-baseman on the ESPN Player Rater and has provided positive contributions in every category except stolen bases. I was very surprised to see Rowdy as low owned as he was, so scoop him up now and ride the hot hand! Let’s take a look at some other pickups to help you down the stretch.

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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!

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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)?

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Trevor Rosenthal and Mitch Moreland were traded to the Padres. Here’s what the Padres are saying to the major leagues: We are your father. Going the other way was Edward Olivares, and some prospects. The hug at the airport when Franchy Cordero sees Edward Olivares will be priceless. “What kind of things are there to do in Kansas City?” “Do you like jazz?” “I thought people just said they like jazz, but no one actually likes jazz.” “True.” Then after a brief pause, “Do the Royals let you play?” “Nah, they have Alex Gordon.” As for Rosenthal, he goes to a place with no set closer, and they will win some games. Rosenthal could be a top 10 closer the rest of the way, or he blows up his 1st game, and Drew Pomeranz is the closer again, or Emilio Pagan. For now, I’d put Rosenthal, Pomeranz then Pagan, as the pecking order. In KC, I’d look at Greg Holland, Scott Barlow or Josh Staumont, that order, but with limited chances. Oh, and Jesse Hahn, who got the save on Saturday, is there and he had an affair with Reverend Jim Bakker. Finally, Mitch Moreland, well, nothing really changes for him, or the main Padres hitters. The DH gave the Padres more room to play with, and they got Moreland. He can hit it out of any stadium, and he enters a better lineup. Did I just say the Padres’ lineup is better than a Red Sox lineup? Yup, welcome to 2020 and back from your coma! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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“I want to be a cardiologist, to be a heart surgeon, but I don’t know how that’s gonna work with baseball as well. So, I might do something business-related, so I get a little bit of business acumen going into the real world. And then once I’m done with baseball, I can probably go back and continue my study in medicine.”

–17-year old Triston McKenzie in 2015

 

Triston McKenzie strikeout

23-year old Triston McKenzie, 2020 Debut

I mean, Triston McKenzie achieved both of his dreams, right? In his major league debut, McKenzie surgically sliced through the heart of the Tigers lineup, giving up one run over six innings while whiffing 10 batters. And you know what? There’s a very good chance that he takes the heart out of Zach Plesac, whose arbitration schedule would be delayed if Cleveland keeps him at the alternate site much longer. Is it too early to call McKenzie the “Cardiac Kid?”

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If you were to predict the ace of the Astros staff in April — it would’ve been the Fram-Fram man wouldn’t it? Framber Valdez’s 1.72 ERA obviously isn’t sustainable, but his 2.59 FIP is showing me that maybe it’s not TOO far off from reality. The guy has improved drastically on his control (2 BB/9 compared to 5.6 last year) and has allowed only 1 HR in 31.1 IP this year. I’m a little worried about the walks and hits returning to previous numbers — but for this week he has two relatively good match-ups (vs LAA; vs OAK) and you should ride his hot hand. He could be up in Code Blue soon. 

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I love fast cars, fast turnaround at the buffet, and fast waiting lines, so when it comes to pitchers, it only makes sense that I’ve got the need….the need for speed. Guys…or girls…..who can throw mid-90s make me hyperventilate. Even better when they are young. Now, no need to call the authorities or anything, but I’ll admit that I’m an ageist. Once a player passes the 30-year threshold, I start giving the, “I’ll call you back when I get a chance.” So, then why do I sort of, kind of like Tommy Milone, a 33-year-old pitcher who averages 86 mph on his fastball?

Milone was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 10th round of the 2008 MLB draft. He was traded to the Oakland Athletics in 2011, where he spent two years before getting traded to the Minnesota Twins. To the New York Mets in 2017, then back to the Nationals in 2018, the Seattle Mariners in 2019, and finally ending up with the Baltimore Orioles this season.

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