Los Angeles is such an eco-friendly city that when a recent EPA report cited jet fuel as accounting for 17% of air pollution, the Dodgers went out and traded for Mookie Betts. See, this year’s All-Star Game is in Dodger Stadium, and now eleven of their players don’t have to fly anywhere for the All-Star Game festivities. Always giving, my great City of Angels, that’s not actually the city of the Angels, that’s Anaheim, but they call themselves Los Angeles and it’s nowhere near Los Angeles. Not confusing at all! Let’s just drool for a second at the Dodgers’ lineup: Betts, Muncy, Turner, Bellinger, Pederson/Pollock, Seager, Will Smith and Gavin Lux. If they trade Austin Barnes to the Astros for a trash can, then their 2020 title hopes will be sealed! Before you laugh, the Astros could use a catcher. So, Betts’s best will be in the starry skies of Los Angeles, and Rihanna might just start liking baseball again. “You’re cute with that silliness.” “Nah, seriously, I want to go bowling.” That’s Mookie and Rihanna on their first date. Betts is in the prime of his career, and I can’t see any chance a move to Los Angeles slows him down, however–Don’t do it, Grey! Don’t be negative here! Well, Fenway to Dodger Stadium isn’t the best move. Some of those doubles off the wall might go for deep outs to the left fielder. The Dodgers didn’t steal a lot in 2019 either, but that could be from a lack of threats. Justin Turner is running? Muncy? Bellinger did run, because he can. Betts should still be a lock for 15-20 steals, but I’m knocking his power down a tad with the park change. While his projections will change a bit, his ranking is staying the same in my top 10 for 2020 fantasy baseball. For what it’s Werth, Rudy’s auction rankings changed dramatically for Betts, knocking him way down, but Betts’s projections are even better than mine, as seen at the hitter projections. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Yolmer Sanchez 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.
The hot stove heating up right before Thanksgiving is exactly how it was meant to be. Now if I could see Giancarlo in nothing but taters that would make me thankful for everything. Five hours through my thankfulness, “…um…I’m also thankful for the lines at the DMV because they give me time to reflect…” Seven hours later, “…I’m thankful for my wife’s cooking because it helps me appreciate dining out…” Ten hours later, “…I’m thankful for the kid at the frozen yogurt place who puts his grubby fingers on the yogurt spout because I really shouldn’t have been eating yogurt anyway…” I hope you’re all as thankful for everything you have too on this glorious day of turkey, stuffing and ignoring the cranberry sauce. Any hoo! The Padres and Brewers igniting the pilot light on the hot stove, sending Trent Grisham and Zach Davies to the Padres for Luis Urias and Eric Lauer. This trade is close to even, so why make it? That’s a mystery best left to Grisham’s older, unrelated cousin.
Trent Grisham had a higher walk rate (14.6%) than strikeout rate (13.9%) in Triple-A last year. That originally attracted me. If I’m being honest, before I go any further, a lot was turning me off. He didn’t look like a major league regular as recently as a year ago — I mean, for Criss Angel’s sake, he hit .233 in Double-A in 2018. Hilariously, he had a 26% strikeout rate in Single-A. Grisham is a lefty, which immediately gives me pause, because the wrong manager — hey, Tingler, how’s tings? — will platoon a lefty almost exclusively. Now that I say the quiet part out loud, what the hell am I doing being excited about Grisham, and has anyone turned my marbles in at my library’s lost & found? Thankfully, it wasn’t just a minor league walk rate in a mere 34 games that drew me in for Grisham. In 2015, Trent Clark was drafted 15th overall by the Milwaukee Beermakers. Trent said, “I miss my mommy’s née and I want you to now call me Trent Grisham,” and a legend was born. I.e., you people who need things like I and E spelled out to you, Grisham was a top prospect in the country five years ago. Maybe he should’ve went to college, but can’t fault a guy for skipping classes to play pro ball. Without college, he brought warts with him to minor league baseball, that he might’ve been able to shake prior. So, to recap, Grisham was good, was terrible in the minors, became good again this year. He’s still only 23 years old. Better he figure things out now than later like those great waxy candies. So, what changed, you ask with a bat of your eyelashes. An approach change. He used to try to be overly patient and hit everything the opposite way. He began to pull more pitches this year and became more aggressive, and things went Click, like that terrible Adam Sandler movie, but in a good way. This year Grisham hit 32 homers across three levels. This is a guy who regularly took a walk, and that hasn’t just disappeared. Oh, and he has 15-steal speed. I’m sorry, a guy who can go 30/15 with walks? Who’s being drafted around the last round in many fantasy drafts? Hmm, all of those reasons why I didn’t like him seem like distant memories, which gives me an idea. Hello Sharks! For $400,000, you can have 5% of my secondhand memory foam mattress store called Distant Memories. Only real concern is that Grisham doesn’t do well early on, falls into a platoon or worse, is demoted, but his price is so cheap in drafts, that he’s well within the realm of being a sleeper. Also, he hit .284 vs. lefties last year in the minors, which was better than his average vs. righties, so he’s not an obvious platoon guy. For 2020, I’ll give Trent Grisham projections of 64/19/51/.254/13 in 453 ABs with a chance for much more. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Justin Verlander, SP: $12,000, is locked in. He is so locked in he is our super-duper, locked and loaded, slam dunk, touchdown goal of the week. He transcends sports. He will win you a NASCAR tournament. He will make your burrito taste better and your skies less cloudy. That’s how good he is right now.
Not that Justin Verlander needs factors in his favor to dominate – so don’t mistake the intention here, no disrespect, ever – but there are reasons to believe he could treat this Mariner lineup like a little league B-lineup. Worse than the no-hit performance they’re coming off yesterday. They might quit baseball after this, and here’s why:
• Park factor: Minute Maid Park is usually neutral, but today is the most pitcher-friendly park on the slate for a right-handed pitcher.
• Weather: There is no rain risk, as they have a roof, but air density still affects the travel of the baseball, and today the conditions in Houston are the best of the slate for pitching. Higher air density provides more resistance to a baseball traveling through the air, which increases spin rate and movement (at the expense of a little velocity, yes, but it’s worth the tradeoff), and decreases the distance a batted ball travels. It’s science.
• Visual Memory Index: This is a Razzball Premium feature that measures the change in conditions from one game to the next. The exact same pitch will move differently depending on the density of the air in which it is thrown. How much differently is what VMI aims to quantify for us. Negative numbers are worse for hitting and better for pitching, and just the opposite for positive numbers. Today, the Mariners have the most negative VMI number of the slate, so we should expect their hitters to require the greatest adjustment compared to recent conditions. Uphill battle against Verlander.
• Strikeouts: The Mariners strike out a lot, more than any other team in baseball.
• Caveats: The way this could go wrong is pretty clear. The Mariners are top 5 in the league in team ISO and team walk rate, and Justin Verlander gives up the majority of his runs allowed through home runs, and also walks about 2 hitters per 9 innings pitched. If things fall apart, this is the likeliest reason why.
Enough said. Play him in a crazy percent of your lineups today and enjoy.
And guess what? There’s more! Read on for our top picks of the day. Have a great one!
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After going over the top 20 shortstops for 2019 fantasy baseball, I needed a cigarette. A good after-sex cigarette, not a waiting-to-go-into-court-to-hear-if-you-have-to-spend-18-months-in-jail cigarette. Subtle, but important differences. We also hit up the top 20 catchers for 2019 fantasy baseball, the top 20 1st basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball and the top 20 2nd basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball. In no way was that clickbait. Okay, onto the hot corner. Here’s Steamer’s 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All projections listed are mine and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping. Good times, dyn-o-mite! Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
One super quick word about the top 20 2nd basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball and all the 2019 fantasy baseball rankings, each ranking appears insanely long and it is, but I imagine in a lot of leagues guys won’t have eligibility, because I’m using the extremely lax Yahoo position eligibility. Without further ado because this post is longer than the combined length of the Gutenberg Bible and Steve Guttenberg’s IMDB page, I mention where tiers start and stop and all projections are mine and cannot be reproduced without the express written consent of Major League–Damn, I’m being told by Major League Baseball I did not have express written consent to use their warning. Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Mets started Jerry “Mathers As The” Blevins yesterday (as a starter; not because the Mets are ‘bullpenning’ but because they are bullsh*tting), taking advantage of the Mets waving the white (person sitcom star) flag was everyone on the Dodgers. First up, Enrique Hernandez (3-for-6, 3 runs, hitting .232) as he hit his 11th and 12th homer in Metco. Or as Jesse Jackson would say, “Kike homered in Jaime town.” By the by, players who Hernandez has more homers than (this is gonna make you cry): Jose Abreu, Bregman, Dozier, Ozuna, Matt Chapman and Smoak, to name but a few. I’ve been rocking Enrique — sounds Enrisqué! — for the whole year in an NL-Only league, but he doesn’t play every day (unlike all those schmohawks he’s besting on power). Next up, Cody Bellinger (2-for-5, hitting .239) as he hit his 14th and 15th homer. I get the sense that people think Cody’s absolutely bombing out his sophomore year. Not close. He’s not repeating his great rookie year (yet), but he is top 75-ish on the Player Rater and could easily be top 30 on the year with one extended hot streak. Lastly, Max Muncy (2-for-5) hit his 15th homer, or as I like to call him, This Year’s Chris Taylor. Muncy is having a legitimate breakout, or the Dodgers are slowly poisoning Taylor to make Muncy look great for a case of Muncyhausen By Proxy. I think it’s the former, but a teamster smoking may not be the only one leaning on the latter. To buy Muncy’s breakout, you have to buy a near-30% HR/FB, but he is top 35 for exit velocity, top 10-ish for hard contact percentage, and 2nd for Barrels. What does all this mean? The breakout looks real and beautiful. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
A no innings restriction Alex Reyes = Geez, first time that’s ever happened, usually I last much longer. Yesterday, Reyes went 4 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 2 Ks as he was activated. But his rehab told me he was supposed to throw a complete game with 15 Ks! What gives? There was some concern his velocity dropped towards the end of yesterday’s start, but it seemed to me more like a situation where he was just gassed from not being able to find the plate, and he confirmed that after the game. I’m still all-in on Reyes, but he might be more like every other pitcher who has ever had Tommy John surgery than we thought, i.e., lacking command for a month or two to regain mechanics, which is different than a bunch of balding guys at Pep Boys. That’s Rogaine mechanics. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Lot to unpack here with Robinson Cano (2B, Fractured Hand; Dumb)… First Cano took a fastball off the back of his hand and suffered a broken bone in his hand, then an even bigger disappointment hammer fell. Cano was suspended 80 games for taking performance enhancing drug. That brings him to an early August return. Yikes. Stash or Trash: Stash. He’s too good for you to drop. He’ll still have two months of baseball once he returns. Fill In: Yolmer Sanchez (22.2%.) Can’t believe I’m still recommending this guy! He’s got a nice 2B/3B eligibility, a .296 average and is hitting 2nd for the White Sox. Great fill in option now, and bench bat for later.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Now, on most occasions, if one were to toot his own horn, he’d never leave the house. And, coincidentally, I don’t go out that much. However, seriously, rain down your props on me for Nick Pivetta. Rain them down! Who else told you to grab him the 1st week of the season? Yesterday, he went 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 3.72. I’ve been telling you people — yeah, you people! — to own Pivetta forever (six weeks). He’s a new, different — better even! — pitcher this year. He has a 10 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9. If you don’t know why that’s good, I can help you, but it could take some time. You do know what numbers are, right? Okay, good first step. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
SAGNOF info is the best way to get a leg up on the SAGNOF trade. (I challenged myself to use that anagram twice in the same sentence.) Challenge accomplished, and in the first line too! Wish I had longer arms than those baby T-Rex arms because the pats on the back wouldn’t stop. As I continue the back lauding, the week upcoming is a bear market in steals. The year is mimicking the previous year’s steals downward trend, as it is down almost 8% of the pace from last years total to date. So if you have a valuable piece of steals bait that isn’t doing so great, let’s say his name is “Billy Hamilton” and you are having trouble getting ample trade value for him… read this post so it can be explained that despite his sub-200 average and lower than expected 5 steals to date, he still has stolen base value. Yes, you are going to have to trade for 75 cents on the dollar, but explain this to someone looking for steals and are down on Billy that he is still top-20 in steals and with that 5 steals total, he would be at 20% of most teams total steals on the year in fantasy. That number obviously changes by league type and such, and I took an average of all the leagues I myself compete in (median is 31). So while I sit here and let you either figure out how to sell high or buy low on Billy Hamilton, continue the read and learn about the steals that will come, have happened, and the week’s thievery to be. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?