Please see our player page for Tyler Chatwood 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.

More canceled games early this week as the Cardinals quarantine at least for the early part of this week. As has become blatantly obvious the skill of winning this season will be maximizing your at bats and innings as much as you can. Grey and I chat a little around the best way to attack that depending on your format. It’s a year unlike any other and you’ll need to be more flexible than ever. After we run through the strategy portion we jump into the closer roles across the league and wrap-up with some of the recent call-ups (**cough-cough** Jo Adell). It’s another action packed week of the Razzball Baseball Podcast.

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August 3-9, 2020

The Major League Baseball 2020 season is a mess, and this is a post about it. As of Saturday night, 104 players and 24 staff/training members had tested positive for coronavirus since the inception of the season, with 42 cases identified in the last week. Boston Red Sox star and former Tier 3 member Eduardo Rodriguez has been shut down for the 2020 season following myocarditis that was associated with his bout of coronavirus. 20% of MLB teams had games postponed this weekend, with the Marlins and Phillies not having played since last week. At the time of writing, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred stated that he intended for the remaining teams to continue playing the truncated season, although there are reports that if more positive cases erupt on Sunday, then a work stoppage would follow. There’s a non-zero chance that if you’re reading this on Monday afternoon, baseball is again in a holding pattern.

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On Saturday, Isan Diaz opted out of the season. Someone doesn’t want to sneak out to the strip club anymore. Then, on Sunday, the Marlins said they would bring up Monte Harrison and summon a bunch of journeymen to Baltimore for their next series, starting on Tuesday. I don’t care if they have one player, as long as that player’s Monte Harrison. Outside of Harrison, it sounds like their lineup might be filled with Matt Joyce, Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla. “Bah gawd…it’s Ricky Nolasco’s music!” Last year, Harrison went 9/20/.274 in 56 Triple-A games. *does the robot as I head to my waiver wires to pick up Monte Harrison in every league* Robot voice, “Don’t…mind…if…I…” Damn, I was messing around, and someone got him before me. Stupid slow robot! So, grab Monte Harrison in every league for some power and great speed, though he might hit .210. I’d wait and see on Jorge Cantu. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Welcome to JKJ’s School of Waiver Wire Wizardry. This is Lesson One. Please, take your seat. Feel free to drink adult beverages in class. I encourage it.

It’s been a good while since I’ve blessed your brains and your eyeballs with my writing. And I’ll be honest, in the meantime I wasn’t fully confident we’d have baseball at all. But yay! I was wrong! For now…several teams didn’t play at all this weekend, and I just can’t see this being the last time something like this happens. Maybe I’ll be wrong again. Hope so. First the Marlins, now the Cardinals, maybe still the Phillies, but it seems they may have dodged a giant bullet. Time will tell.

For now, though, we still have baseball, which means we still have fantasy baseball, which means you lucky folks get to read the first of my brand-spankin’ new weekly column here at the Razzball on fantasy baseball waiver targets.

Gonna keep it pretty straightforward. No particular order. Bats in one section, arms in the other. I’m only interested in players owned in the 30-range percentiles or less in either Yahoo! or ESPN leagues, but I’ll list both platforms just cuz I’m nice. That way, there’s a better shot the guys you’re reading about are actually out there for you to get. Ownership rates are always a-changin’, of course, so keep that in mind. I mean, duh, but friendly reminders never hurt. Also, keep in mind this doesn’t include Saturday’s stats since I’m writing before games have started.

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Baseball is finally here as the regular season starts on Friday! In this weekly article, I’ll attempt to bring to light lower-owned players that are adds to help you stay ahead of the competition and win your league. This is a sprint, not a marathon, so now is not the time to get attached to those slow starters. Normally, they’d have time to turn it around, but with a 60 game season, a couple of struggling bats or arms could drag your team to the bottom of the standings. With that in mind, here are some Week 1 options to get you started on the right path.

Shogo Akiyama, OF, CIN – 24% owned on ESPN and CBS – Akiyama is penciled into the leadoff spot for the Reds and they get six games against the hapless Tigers rotation to start the season. The other four games come against the Cubs, where they’ll face Tyler Chatwood and Alec Mills in two of those games. Akiyama has been scouted with “above average plate skills”, while most projection systems have him hovering around a 9% walk rate. With Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, Nick Castellanos, and Mike Moustakas batting behind Akiyama, he should score plenty of runs out of the gate. If Akiyama is still available in your leagues, now is the time to add him.

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The main difference between standard fantasy leagues and deep leagues is, of course, the depth of the player pool and the talent an owner has available to choose from when constructing a roster.  Trying to decide how to let player pool depth affect draft strategy is where things get challenging, and I find that especially true when it comes to starting pitching.  While I, like most of the Razzball community, prefer to eschew top-tier starters in mixed leagues, it can become both more tempting — and in some cases more necessary as far as I’m concerned — to roster a top-ranked starting pitcher in NL or AL-only leagues because that nice big pool of mid-range starters whom you can count on just doesn’t exist.  But whether you decide to splurge on a Cole or a deGrom in a deep league, or choose to try to build a stable of starters without one of the top studs, one thing remains the same:  at the end of any deep-league draft or auction, you’ll want a handful of SP names that you can take fliers on to fill out your rotation or plant on your bench.  Today we’ll take a look a some pitchers that I’d consider throwing a late dart at:  for now, these are all ‘bird in the hand’ guys that theoretically are expected to open the season in their respective MLB rotations, rather than players that might have more upside but may have to wait a bit longer for a full-fledged starting gig.  All of the following players have current NFBC ADPs outside the top 350 players drafted — so as long as you’re not counting on them to do any heavy lifting on your squad, they’re low ultra risk, and any reward you get is almost like free production.

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

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J.A. Happ might’ve realized he wasn’t staying with the Jays much longer when guys in the front office kept asking him if he liked the team’s new jersey and it was the same jersey he had been wearing but a small man with a goatee, who said he worked as Peter Dinklage’s stunt double for parts of season 2 and 3 of GOT, was standing with his hand over the ‘Ja’ of Jays.  Happ tried to understand, “Do I like the Blue Ys?”  The front office exec tried to lead him to the answer, “If there was no,” motioning to Dinklage’s stunt double’s hand covering the ‘Ja,’ “In the Jays, would that be okay with you?”  Rather than the low-rent game of charades, they just traded him to the Yankees.  Happ should be happy to be out of Canada, we have a burgeoning coal economy.  No idea what Happ will do on the Yankees, but what he SHOULD (caps for emphasis, not due to a sticky keyboard) is be great.  His 10.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and 3.63 xFIP makes him easily the 2nd best pitcher on the Yankees and around that of a top 30 starter.  Also, the AL East is like this:  J.A. Happ mimes wiping dandruff off his shoulder.  Nothing to it, kid!  Of course, it’s been like this all year and he still has a 4.18 ERA, so ‘should’ and ‘would’ can have a baby and it will still be, ‘who knows?’  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Many of you might not realize this, but I try to stay consistent in advice.  When you write 3,000 words/day, sometimes things get blurred.  I like so-and-so and don’t like that so-and-so, then the first so-and-so gets cold and I no longer like that so-and-so or the 2nd so-and-so gets hot and I like him, so I no longer like so-and-so, but do like that so-and-so.  Or sometimes I’m just so-so on a particular so-and-so, but that so-so is fluid and a so-and-so can become a little more than just so-so or a little less than just so-so.  BTW, those who just Googled for “so-so fantasy advice,” welcome!  You’re at the right place.  So, my so-so feelings on Nathan Eovaldi have moved up, and he is rattling off irrefutable evidence that he should be owned.  Yesterday, Eovaldi took a perfect game into the 7th, ending up with 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.35, and, outside of one start in Yankee Stadium, he hasn’t allowed more than four earned runs in any start.  He’s thrown three starts with one hit or less!  Johnny Lasagna may have been exposed as a noodle arm, but the Italians still have Rachel Ray’s E-O-V-A.  Eovaldi is now at 8.2 K/9, 1.1 BB/9, 3.36 xFIP; those numbers suggest he should be owned in every league, and I’m in agreement.  The origin story film, Velo, may have received mixed reviews, but is a guaranteed crowd pleaser, and I loved Jordan Hicks’ cameo.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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This weekend, I was kneeling in a garden, tending to my Monkey Face Orchid, when I heard some commotion outside my greenhouse.  It was my much, much older wife, Cougs, screaming, “Grey!  They’ve come for you.”  It was the Rockies, and they were trying to send me to the minors.  They trampled over my azaleas with their jackboots, dragging me through the soil, ruining my suspenders.  I tried to tell them, “You have the wrong man!”  Finally, they heard my pleas and checked my state ID card.  Before they left, I asked, “Who are you looking to send to the minors?”  They replied, “Jon Gray,” and I began to scream again, “Please!  Take me instead!”  So, Jon Gray was optioned to the minors.  Can’t say I fully blame the Rockies, but, of course, I can try.  Have the Rockies heard of underlying peripherals?  Sure, the results have been miserable, but it’s Coors and everything says Gray should be much better.  You really have a better replacement pitcher who is worth ruining your best pitcher’s confidence?  He has the 6th best xFIP in the league with an 11.6 K/9.  I honestly can’t even with the Rockies.  They are the worst.  Then, they brought up Raimel Tapia to fill the roster spot, so, of course, Tapia will sit on the bench.  WHAT THE HOLY EFF ARE THE ROCKIES DOING?!  Caps for emphasis and the hyperopic.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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After blowing a save Monday night, Hunter Strickland broke his hand, punching a door.  Apparently, he doesn’t know how to close a door either.  He also doesn’t know what punch outs are.  He can’t figure out pitching from punching.  He confused saves with staves.  I can go on.  He puts the loser in closer.  A fit for all rages.  Okay, you get it.  He’s going to miss 6-8 weeks, needing surgery on his hand.  What kind of idiot punches a door with their pitching hand?!  This was his season to finally prove he could close in the majors, and he threw that away.  He’ll likely get replaced by Sam Dyson (who got the 2/3 IP, 0 ER save last night) or Tony Watson, and Dyson, Watson or Mark Melancon will take the job, run with it, and Strickland’s literally ruined his career.  “To be continued” for Strickland should always read, Moron.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?