Please see our player page for Will Smith 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.

Greetings all, I’m stepping in for Mr. Pants today throwing on short rest. I went and got loose in the pen and now I’m ready to get poppin’. It’s been a long week so rather than beat around the bush, let’s just dive right into what I saw around the MLB on Friday night:

 

Ryan Weber – 3 inn 7 baserunners 2 ER 3 Ks. He’s bad and so is their bullpen.

Brandon Workman – 1 inn 0 ER and SV. Okay except for him, he’s the only bright spot in that radioactive wasteland.

Andrew Benintendi – 0-4 with BB, 1 run, and the golden sombrero as he continues to bat leadoff hitting .061/.279. I’ve noticed he’s walking a lot yet his contact is atrocious. His eyes are fine, but his swing is way off. I have no idea why Roenicke is keeping him at leadoff. Could be to ensure he has more ABs to help him out of his funk and/or further evidence the Sawx are mailing in this entire season. Just one big extended Spring Training.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Surprised Dylan Bundy is breaking out, said no one because literally everyone said exactly that when he was traded to the Angels. Okay, maybe the O’s are surprised, but I have a feeling even they knew it was coming. They just like losing, right? “We like to be owned by the good teams.” That’s the O’s front office. Even the Pirates are like, “Damn, for Bundy, we would’ve traded you Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows and…well, we don’t have anyone else. You want Colin Moran?” So, Dylan Bundy was masterful yesterday, going 9 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.08. He has changed his pitch mix in a dramatic way. Leaning way more on a slider and easing off his fastball, that has been become increasingly bleh in velocity. His command and Ks have been outstanding, but, I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% sold. Don’t get me wrong, I can be sold. I’m not saying it’s a mirage, go buy some more tigers, Steve Wynn. I’m just saying it’s 21 2/3 IP in three starts. Oh, I’d own him in 100% of leagues, but decreased velocity makes me want to see more. Promising vs. Promise Land. Me like vs. Me likey. Yummo vs. Gummo is a masterpiece. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I have so many questions about the 2020 season. How long will it last, for starters. For seconds: Piped-in crowd sound. It’s just… weird. Is there a crowd-sound DJ and how are their skills tested during the job interview? Are the players really fooled? Has the crowd sound ever been so loud that players can’t hear each other across the field? But I digress! Today I come at you from the great sultry north with some FanDuel picks for your DFS state this Thursday, 30 July. Another question for me today is pitching: it’s one of those days where it would be nice to dispense with a pitcher altogether, but we cannot and still, you know, actually submit a valid line-up on FanDuel, so perhaps we go the punt-pitching, splurge-on-hitting route. That’s where John Means comes in. Not to start him, but because I sense he’s going to present us with some stacking opportunities as he squares up against the Yankees. Let’s take a look at what else is out there, after the jump.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What is up party people? Here we are with real live sports. Welcome to the 60 game sprint which means that fantasy baseball has turned into one long DFS contest. Good thing you’re here at Razzball to get some DFS advice and dominate your contests. We’re down a few players today owing to the recent spike in Covid cases in Miami. We’ve got some big time pitching names on the docket today, but as we’ve seen so far guys are still getting warmed up. My advice is to not overspend on pitching since guys don’t seem to be going deep into games yet. I wouldn’t fault you for taking one of the studs but I think your money is better spent on bats. So buckle up and party on.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Man am I glad to have baseball back. Fantasy baseball is my escape from reality. I guess that’s partly why it’s called “fantasy”. I don’t know about you, but every time I turn on a different game on my TV I feel like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson when they walk into a different wedding in Wedding Crashers. The excitement is real people.

I have a suspicion that Michael Brantley is going to be a very valuable fantasy player this season. In Jay’s Staff Picks post from earlier this week I chose Carlos Santana as the potential MVFH. If I could get in Bill and Ted’s phone booth I would have Rufus help me change my pick to Brantley. First I guess I’d have to go back and get Rufus (RIP). I chose Santana last year and I think I hit the proverbial nine inch nail on the head. But this year I’m leaning towards Brantley. Guess I kinda rushed my selection. I do like me some Carlos Santana, but the big difference between the two is their ADP, which is a significant factor in determining MVFH. Santana had a H2H ADP in the 60s, while Brantley clocked in at around 118. I have Santana projected to score a few more fantasy points, but it’s close. Nothing a big game couldn’t erase. In twelve team leagues Santana is being drafted in the 5th round, while Brantley is going in the 10th. If you can get nearly the same production 5 rounds later I think it’s clear which pick would be more valuable.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Camp is starting up and it’s weird out there folks.  Split squad positionless scrimmages, Covid tests, opt outs….baseball is back!?!  This whole thing feels like the Jessie Spano caffeine pill freakout from Saved By the Bell…”I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so…..scared”.

First round of Covid testing is coming back and there’s plenty of interesting names that have tested positive: Jesus Luzardo, Eduardo Rodriguez, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Hector Neris, DJ Lemahieu, Tommy Pham, Scott Kingery, Mitch Keller, Ryan O’Hearn, Salvador Perez, and Kole Calhoun are notable confirmed positives.

Of these, most fall into the “asymptomatic” category and should return to the team soon (hopefully).  Hector Neris was already around Phillies camp this week, and Joey Gallo already has one negative test under his belt.  He should be good to go soon.

The most serious case looks to be Freddie Freemen.  The Braves are being candid about exactly what Freeman is going through, but they’re not expecting him back to camp any time soon.

There’s several other guys who are missing from camp still with no given reason why.  Some teams are releasing positive tests, some teams aren’t stating what’s keeping players away but letting us read between the lines.  This list includes: Aaron Nola (who was seen around Phillies camp earlier this week similar to Neris), Yonny Chirinos, Juan Soto, Kenley Jansen, Gavin Lux, AJ Pollock, Tony Gonsolin, Yordan Alvarez, Jose Urquidy, and Josh James.  The Astros, as well as some other teams, have had issues with their testing in terms of getting results quickly, so that may be holding up the ‘Stros players, but these are all guys to keep an eye on.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

First Charlie Blackmon, now Freddie Freeman…Somebody check on Reggie Cleveland! Welp, this sucks. That’s me cutting to the chase quicker than the editors of the Fast & Furious movies. “Um, Vin Diesel’s been talking for like seven seconds, don’t we have any tire spinning footage?” That’s the editors cutting to the chase. There’s also the Entourage editors, who tried to cut around Chase. Or Ruben Tejada who would like to cut Chase. Any hoo! Freddie Freeman tested positive for Covid and is battling a fever. Besides the fear for Freeman, if something serious happens to a player, baseball’s not happening this year. Other players will walkout, and I wouldn’t blame them. Sorry, I know that’s no fun to hear, but you’re not here to be lied to. As for fantasy, these Covid positive tests are super hard to predict for projections and rankings. Of course, if drafting right now; you can’t draft Freddie Freeman in the top 20 overall. Not sure you can draft him in the top 50 overall, but that’s about where I’d risk it, and have updated my top 20 1st basementop 100 and top 500. I did blow the dust off my landscape architect degree and hedge with my new ranking of Freeman by not updating his projections. It’s just impossible to know if he’ll be out for two-to-three weeks, and fine for near the start of the season, or miss the whole season. Unknown risk is baked into his new ranking, but I left projections. Putting aside “Let the kids play,” MLB has adopted a new slogan for this season:  “Play!” “What? No, it’s not safe.” “I said, “Play!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh, the Dirty South! After breaking down some lackluster NL West teams in my first three previews, we finally get a legitimate contender in the Braves. After posting an impressive 97-win season last year, this club looks fully ready to rock-and-roll again behind Ronald Acuna Jr. This dude has established himself as one of the best players in the Majors and it’s scary just how good this order looks with him up top. The one thing they need to clean up is their mascot game though.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

For those of you familiar with online auction draft rooms, you know the constant refrain to which the article title refers. Waiting for that final, SOLD, to make sure you can mark the player off your list. Well, I was invited to join the CBS NL auction league hosted by Scott White with many names that you’re likely more familiar with than mine.

Spreadsheets on Spreadsheets

Let me start by plugging Rudy’s tools as part of the Razzball subscription. The War Room alone is worth the price of the subscription and is something I take into every roto or categories draft. Grey can give you the hard sell over in his write up though.

I combine Rudy’s War Room with my auction values. I think of auction values in tiers of players with a range of dollar amounts for that tier. If you have a dollar values assigned to tiers rather than specific player values, you can wait for the value or anticipate the cliff coming in that tier rather than being strict on a specific number.  There is, of course, that delicate balancing act between not overspending early when everyone is flush with money and waiting too long while missing out on all of the top options.

Before entering the auction, I lay out the positions on a spreadsheet and input various dollar amounts for different spending in the auction. It helps me to see what rosters may look like if I take a $45 Christian Yelich vs a $30 Pete Alonso. How spending various amounts at hitting vs pitching can adjust a team’s construction.

It’s nothing fancy, just an Excel spreadsheet using the sum function at the end of each column.

Please, blog, may I have some more?