Please see our player page for Tyler Flowers 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.

Baseball is a funny sport. You remember baseball, don’t you? Men wearing gloves chase down a ball hit by another man holding a big stick. Like I said, funny. Damn, I really miss it though. Baseball is special beyond words (the rest of this post notwithstanding) and uniquely American in that you have to proactively win a game or lose by failing (unlike that silly soccer/euro-football). Earl Weaver once said, “You can’t sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You’ve got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game of them all.”  There are two other things about baseball that make it special beyond the rest:

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With the likelihood of a shortened MLB season growing by the day streaming and targeting matchups will be more important in our 2020 fantasy world than ever before. One of the best places to take a stab at that is using catcher defense to try and mine some stolen bases. Two things factor into this: how often a catcher is run on and how often they throw runners out. Ideally, you’re getting a good matchup on both sides, like finding toilet paper at the grocery store that’s also not sandpaper texture, but I’d prefer volume to efficiency. Here are the 2019 stats and some of the likely hot spots.

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Hello, darkness, my old friend.  But replace ‘darkness’ with ‘catchers’ and ‘my old friend’ with ‘we have to get through this to get further into our 2020 fantasy baseball rankings.’  Hmm…Then replace ‘our 2020 fantasy baseball rankings’ with ‘my 2020 fantasy baseball rankings,’ then replace ‘with’ with ‘wit’ to millennialify it, then replace every third ‘replace’ with ‘in place of’ to diversify word choice because my 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Pinatauro, said we shouldn’t repeat words–Actually, she can eat it!  After going over the top 10 for 2020 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2020 fantasy baseball (clickbait!), we are now in the positional rankings, and all 2020 fantasy baseball rankings can be found there.  Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers.  The projections noted in the post are my own, and I mention where tiers start and stop.  I also mention a bunch of hullabaloo, so let’s get to it.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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Have you not heard yet? The hottest goss (I promise no Avengers spoilers) is that the Los Angeles Angels will call up top prospect slash future OC-heartthrob Griffin Canning to start against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. What a Friday for the rooks! We got Vlad, Kieboom, and Rengifo all in one night, and now Griffin Canning. It’s almost like a symbolic passing of the torch with all these young guys arriving this week. New replacing old, etc. And no, that was not an Endgame spoiler. Leave me alone, nerds! I haven’t even seen it yet you bought all the tickets! Normally, I’d save the prospect posts for Mike or Grey, but I don’t want you dear readers and even dearer web crawling robots missing out on another sexy call up this weekend. So let’s talk about Griffin Canning. Sounds like a very dangerous game or the new coolest extreme sport they might play at Hogwarts. Griffin’s got a 0.56 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 17/2 K/BB ratio through his first three starts at AAA Salt Lake Bees (bzzz), which to be fair, looks a whole lot better than anything the Angels starters have been doing over the past four weeks. Canning features four solid pitches including his mid-90s fastball and a real nasty curve. His past struggles have all been related to his command but he’s thrown 66% of his pitches for strikes so far this year and the 3.3 BB% indicates he may have figured things out. Griffin doesn’t necessarily profile as an top end ace, but he could be a solid back of the rotation starter and help your fantasy team immediately. Rookie pitchers may be my kryptonite (not a spoiler), but what are you waiting for? The prospect sweepstakes has begun and Griffin Canning is worth a flier in all leagues. The Angels think he’s got the stuff to help them win right now and methinks he could do the same for you.

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

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As a Cubs fan in Braves country, I see a lot of similarities in the Braves to the 2015 Chicago Cubs team. They offensive pieces are falling in place as they have a couple MVP candidates. One being a veteran 1B in Freddie Freeman and the other is an exciting young player that is the future of the franchise, but the rotation may not be there yet. They have plenty of nice prospect arms coming from the minors, however, I’m not sure they are ready to carry the team yet. Atlanta does have the pieces in the farm system to make some trades if they need to as well.

The NL East is likely the most competitive division in baseball. It is the only division projected with 4 teams over 80 wins per the THOME projection system. Currently, the Braves are the front runner per THOME, the Nationals and Phillies are tied per PECOTA, and Vegas odds favor the Phillies. Regardless, it’s going to be a fun season for Braves fans and they have a lot to look forward to, not only in this season, but for the future.

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While Grey was off gallivanting in Jackson’s Hole sipping hot toddies and drafting his AL-Only team from heated chair lifts, I spent my day at a shady Illinois car dealership drafting my AL-Only team in that same league while getting fleeced on a used car. After I spent $35 on The Messiah, Adalberto Mondesi, Grey cracked, “I hope you get a better deal on that car than you got on Mondesi!” Oh real funny, Grey! That’s rich coming from the guy who spent $10 on Bryce Harper in an AL-Only league!

Nevertheless, my AL team took a turn for the worse when the car dealer tried to tack a $399 “Dealer Inventory Fee” onto the negotiated sale price. And that’s the story of how I spent $3 on Daniel Mengden and $1 on Chad Pinder in the all-important late stages of an AL-Only auction with the titans of the industry. Fortunately, our friend Scott White of CBS gave ya boy Donkey Teeth one more shot at the glory-hole in the NL-Only version of the same league. And this time, I wouldn’t be preoccupied disputing undisclosed dealer inventory fees while being stuck with auto-nominated Chad Pinders. Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and the tale of how I left Grey lusting after my Wong, again:

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NL WestNL Central | NL East | AL West | AL Central | AL East

I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training statistics.  You never know who the statistics are coming against.  Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level.  This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced.  You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach.  So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat?  Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards.  Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles!

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It’s all Rangers, all the time up in this Mug’s Root Beer.  You in your 90’s, “Hey, kiddo, I remember back in the August of 2018, this young man, Grey Albright.  He had a full head of hair and a gorgeous hairlip.  Well, that young squirrel talked at length about the Texas Rangers.  Texas?  You don’t remember that?  It was a state.  It became a part of Meh-eee-co after the War of 2020, when Admiral Kushner tried to invade Tijuana to erect a large-scale fence twenty yards from an already erected fence.  Oh, well, it was nice talking to you, I’m going back to watch The Real Housewives of Miami Island.”  Yesterday, Joey Gallo (3-for-5, 4 RBIs and his 30th and 31st homer) lit up the scoreboard like the Macy’s Day Parade.  Macy’s Day is a holiday when jeans you don’t want are purchased cheaply by relatives and handed to you, much to your chagrin.  It’s a tradition; don’t act above it.  You, “Can this guy really talk for 500 words about Joey Gallo without talking about Joey Gallo?”  Just try me!  So, Gallo is on pace for a nearly identical year to last year when he hit 41 HRs and .209.  Right now, his average is at .202, but, don’t worry, he’s got at least .007 in that bat!  His strikeout rate never budged from last year no matter what spring training narratives were saying about him cutting his Ks down.  Have you seen his swing?  He starts in Austin and ends in Arlington.  Never the hoo!  He is who he is, and good at what he does — hit bombs.  Now, see you back here tomorrow for all the dirt on Isiah Kiner’s Korner with Falafel.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Hope everyone’s well rested and had a joyous Michael Bay Day.  If you couldn’t be American yesterday, I hope at least you got drunk and ate a bunch of hot dogs.  As they say in Mississippi, Amurica, “Spelling’s for sissies!”  In honor of Amurica’s half birthday, I hope you put a hot dog in your fly and went up to a female reporter, then let Roger Clemens watch you have sex with his wife.  Amurica would’ve wanted it that way!  Trevor Cahill did his part of keeping Amurica as true as the red, white and blue underwear you wash once a year and shut down those Rays, who we know want to have Devil in their name.  Cast out their demons, Trevamurica!  Yesterday, Cahill went 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners (zero walks), 6 Ks, ERA at 2.25.  He’s never gonna give you a fire emoji of 98 MPH or even throw his fastball more than 45% of time.  He is throwing his slider twice as much as last year, cutting his curve’s usage, and after about 11 years in the league, it looks like its paying dividends.  His ground ball rate is over 60% and his walk rate is down to 1.8 with a 8.4 K/9.  What, you a rich man’s Dallas Keuchel?  I will call you, Dynasty’s Carrington.  I could see owning him in almost all mixed leagues.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I went into the Mike Foltynewicz vs. Red Sox in Fenway matchup a spry, jovial young rascal.  The mischievous imp of Chinese food, the rapscallion.  Then Mike Faultywirewitz went 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners (3 BBs), 7 Ks, ERA at 2.55, and I aged forty years.  “I was told just the painting of me is supposed to age.”  That’s me trying to get a refund for my Dorian Grey Albright portrait.  The time Finkynewhitch was on the mound was like the three-year span when I lost my fortune investing in Beanie Babies compressed into two hours.  He just loses all semblance of the strike zone out of completely nowhere.  It’s like, “We’re cruising….so cruising…And now I’m throwing five feet outside the strike zone.”  With that said, it’s hard not to be encouraged — his velocity is up to 96 MPH; his K/9 is up to 10.4; he’s got the best xFIP of his career, and his team should provide run support.  He’s also in his third full year when I like to look for starter breakouts.  The only drawback is his command is a mess.  As long as you watch him pitch with cucumbers on your eyes to combat the wrinkles, you’ll be fine.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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