Please see our player page for Yoshihisa hirano 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.

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You walk into the banquet hall where your cousin, Jared Walsh, is having his bar mitzvah, and the first thing that hits you is the macho-aggressive tones of Kenny Loggins. Kenny shouts at you a question, “Are you gonna wait for a sign, your miracle?” Down by your side, you snap your fingers, and quietly answer, “Stand up and fight.” As if he’s talking directly to you, Kenny’s pulsating voice hits you with another command, “Make no mistake where you are,” and under your breath you quietly respond, “This is it.” Kenny, “Your back’s to the corner.” You slide your back against a wall and louder now, “This is it.” Kenny’s fighting you to be better, “Don’t be a fool anymore.” You, fighting back tears, “This is it.” Then your aunt comes over and asks you if you’re still dating that goy, sees tears streaming down your face and uncomfortably waits for you to compose yourself. Kenny’s back, “The waiting is over,” you run to the stage, but Kenny sings, “No, don’t you run.” Finally, you get to the stage where the deejay has his back to you. All you see is his Orioles’ jersey and his last name Stewart. When he turns to you, you see DJ Stewart, the epitome of cool, and not just because he’s in front of a wind machine. He leans down and says with the wisdom of a great sage, “I’m just a hot schmotato, you’re the real star.” He’s right, of course. That’s all you need for the final ten days. Jared Walsh looks like a Quad-A player, but he’s hitting in front of Mike Trout, and it doesn’t get any better. I’m grabbing Walsh, DJ Stewart and everyone from this bar mitzvah — even you, Aunt Marilyn! Also, everyone is expendable (except Aunt Marilyn, bless her heart). Play only hot hands. You need to play footloose and fancy free with your teams in this final stretch. “Did someone say Footloose?” That’s DJ Stewart readying up the next Kenny Loggins. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Are you tired of me complaining about how drastically so many bullpens are changing week to week yet? WELL GUESS WHAT? I’m gonna do it again. And probably again next week. Just assume I do it until Grey agrees to kick me a bonus for every change to the closer board. Even with the upheaval, most of it’s at the lower rungs. Which is nice at least. Tiers are football slate themes with the NFL kicking off last night (all you baseball purists making a face at the mention of football can go watch a Colts-Jaguars TNF game).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Josh Naylor was gently touched on by me when he was traded from the Padres to the Indians, like the Padres gently touch on the Indians while playing Cowboys and Indians. *phone rings* “Hello, yes, that’s me. What’s that? I’ve been cancelled? I see. No, no, it’s understandable. Hey, I had a good run.” Welp, before I get out of here, Josh Naylor is only 23 years old, and doesn’t get nearly the love one with his type of power should get. You don’t have to be a carpenter to Naylor! *phone rings* “Hello…You again? I know I was cancelled, but I thought I could finish up prior to–Keep it short? Okay, like Al Pacino. What?! That was a short joke. They’re not allowed either? Oh c’mon…” Whispers, “Your mom…What? Did I say ‘c’mon your mom?’ Uh, yeah.” Damn, I just got cancelled while being cancelled. Any hoo! The Indians said Naylor would play every day. His last Triple-A year shows what he’s capable of:  10 HRs, .314 in 54 games. His Launch Angle is rather flat, and I’d love to see him hit more fly balls. That’s the only way to Naylor! *phone rings* “Ugh…Yes, I’m done.” Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to your first Bullpen Report of the season. How’d day one of your season go? You know, besides losing two top 30 players moments before lineup lock. Unfortunately, that’s more likely to be the norm than the exception. If you didn’t already (you donkey), build any flexibility into your fake teams that you can. On the pitching side that means having a reliever that can juice a category for you when a body is needed in a pinch.

  • The big free agent this week was Zack Britton with Aroldis Chapman hitting the COVID-IL. If you missed out on him I’d suggest considering Adam Ottavino. Britton is getting the first call but I wouldn’t be shocked if Ottavino gets a look if Boone feels the matchups favor him.
  • Kwang-Hyun Kim is being anointed the Cardinals closer. I’m holding my breath here. It’s hard to trust someone who’s never pitched an inning stateside to immediately walk into the closer role. To me, it feels more like they’re set on the injured Giovanny Gallegos and don’t want to disappoint Ryan Helsley with a demotion this early.
  • I’m targeting the options behind Kyle Crick as the Pittsburgh closer. Just a gut feel that Crick can’t hack it in the ninth. Richard Rodriguez and Nick Burdi get much more swing and miss with their stuff.
  • Yoshihisa Hirano is another COVID delayed player of the early year. That may give Matt Magill enough leash to take over the closer gig in Seattle. It was kind of his last year. He was kind of going to close this year. Now he can at least win or lose it on his own merit.
  • Let me remind you that Corey Knebel has nasty movement on his off-speed stuff. He’ll need to find his fastball velocity with reports of it in the low 90s thus far in summer camp. If he can get that up a few ticks he could immediately figure into the ninth for the BrewCrew.
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I only drafted Yasiel Puig in one league (that I remember) and it was a 12-team NL-Only league! *humps the air a’la Ace Ventura* I have exorcised the demons! That’s a new reference, right? What’s that, Inner Monologue, I only drafted Puig because the day I did it it was reported he was being signed by the Rockies? Yeah, so? Get out of my mentions, Inner Monologue! Okay, not to move from humping the air to getting sprung, but the Braves are making me hot under my Skidz. Thank God, they’re drawstring! Can we talk about the Braves’ outfield? Yes, please. Tildaddy, OZUNA and Puig. *gulps* If I were in 8th grade and asked to go to the chalkboard, I’d have to make up an excuse. “Sorry, Teach, my foot fell asleep, and I’m not just saying that because the Braves’ outfield is dirrrrrrrty with seven R’s.” I’d be happy with just Acuña in any outfield. That’s all you need. Throw in OZUNA and I’m starting to sweat, and then you see Puig and it’s time for, “Cougs, I want you right now but lit by the shine of the Braves’ depth chart.” So, I updated my top 40 outfielders for 2020 fantasy baseball, and Rudy updated all the hitter projections. Funnily enough, I predicted back in January that Puig would not sign until June, but little did little ol’ me know that he wouldn’t miss any actual games. I was so right, yet so not really right at all. Well done! (Not really!) Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When it comes to fantasy baseball, there may be no position where player values vary more from shallow league to deep league than that of middle reliever.  Even if your league doesn’t use holds, a middle reliever that wouldn’t be draftable in standard leagues — even if roster size doubled — can provide some nice value in deeper leagues.  Last year, I drafted Hector Neris and Nick Anderson at the end of all of my very deep and NL-only leagues — both were available for a buck or in the free round of even my deepest, 15-team NL-only auction league. Both pitchers ended up helping me immensely, Neris by pitching well (his season was underrated in my opinion:  2.93 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 89 Ks in 67 innings) and ultimately assuming the closer’s role and notching 28 saves.  Anderson, on the other hand, while pitching in many high-leverage situations, never got that closer gig in 2019 that I thought he might, either with the Marlins or after he was traded to the Rays.  He ended up with one measly save — but that didn’t stop him from being a useful part of my NL-only pitching staff; in fact, in at least one league he was one of the only players who was in my active lineup from day one through game 162 last year.  The solid ratios, five wins, and whopping 110 Ks in 65 innings were enough to make a difference of a few points for me across those categories, which ultimately helped lead my team to a money finish.  If I’d been messing around with junk starters in that spot, I may have gotten some wins and Ks, but that progress would have been offset by the damage to my ratios.

With the current corona timeline that baseball is (hopefully) on track for, I’m guessing that middle relievers who are trusted near the end of games may even have a small spike in value — at least if anything close to expanded-roster teams playing 8 games a week and lots of doubleheaders into November becomes a reality.  (Please let it become a reality!)  Here are some true deep leaguers to look at, all outside of the top 500 NFBC ADP (with the exception of my first entry, Hunter Harvey, whose ADP is 475 — and probably only that high because of how many times I’ve drafted him!)

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I consider myself a fairly optimistic person. Take this whole coronavirus thing. I don’t have it (or maybe I do — or maybe I do and don’t know it — or maybe I don’t and do know it and now you have it just from reading this article.) It’s a scary time, but I’ve tried to remain looking on the bright side that we’re all washing our hands, self-isolating, and wiping our butts so well that this thing will pass quickly. Then I started looking at the Mariners projected lineup, rotation and bullpen for 2020. Now I’ve covered the Tigers, the White Sox and the Royals to prove you can mine for fantasy gold in the darkest of baseball caves. But the Mariners might be my hardest task yet. It’s hard to be optimistic about this team.

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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?

The ax fell yesterday on Luis Severino‘s elbow. That ax was wielded by Dr. James Andrews, who was wearing a Jason mask at the time of the news conference. A reporter stands, “Doc, do you think Severino can avoid Tommy John surgery?” Dr. James Andrews, breathy like Kathleen Turner with an unmistakeable Charleston accent, “I do declare,” Dr. James Andrews pats his mask with a handkerchief, “Severino’s time under the knife will be short, but his stay on the Injured List long.” He then scratched his arm with the ax and accidentally ripped his doctor’s lab coat. “If there’s no further questions, I will be going,” Dr. James Andrews stood, sticking out his arms in a Jason pose, and slowly left the stage. So, Severino and Dr. James Andrews have been acquainted and if you drafted Severino early, you’re ess oh el as they say in Acronyms R’ Us chatrooms. I’ve removed Severino from the top 40 starters and top 500 for 2020 fantasy baseball. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in fantasy baseball:

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The best 2020 fantasy baseball team is a misnomer. Thankfully, none of us know what misnomer means. Sounds to me like someone tentatively wants to date the Travelocity Gnome’s daughter, “Miss Gnome, er, you wanna grab some boba and chill?” Miss Gnome brushes back her hair and bats her eyelashes that are almost as long as her two-and-half foot body, “I’d love to,” but her voice is high-pitched, which is a turn-off, so you cancel plans with her repeatedly until she gets the hint. Sorry, Miss Gnome, I like my women’s voices low like their stature. Any hoo!  So the title is a bit of a superlative. What was I gonna say, “The Mostly Kinda Good Fantasy Baseball Team?” You’ll get over your scoffing; I have faith in you. This is the best 2020 fantasy baseball team that I can put together when drafting from my top 100 for 2020 fantasy baseball and top 500 for 2020 fantasy baseball. Honestly, I could draft another 25 teams from those lists, and they’d all be different, but equally terrific… Well, one of the twenty-five would only be sorta terrific, but it would be really hard to tell which one that is. If I took Adalberto Mondesi in the 2nd round, everything after would change. If I took Trea Turner in the 1st round, everything after would change. I’ve previously gone over my 2020 fantasy baseball draft prep for the first few rounds and pitchers pairings.  For this exercise, I’m taking Fernando Tatis in the first, because, well, people complained previously I always did this post by taking the first pick, so I’m switching it up, like when you combover your hair right instead of left. Until pick 100, I’m taking one guy somewhere in every fifteen picks. It would be nice if I was in a league where someone drafted Gerrit Cole and deGrom in the first two rounds and I was able to take Trevor Story in the 2nd round (which is likely), but since Tatis and him are in my first 14 picks, according to the rules I’ve set up for myself, I can’t take them both. Then, as we all know, once you get into the 100s, there’s wide gaps between ADP and where players are actually taken. People tend to look at team need over value. So for this exercise, once I get to pick #101, I’m going to pick two players every twenty picks. Finally, because there is so much latitude in the last 300, I gave myself free rein to fill up my team after pick 200. Throughout the draft, I also gave myself the ability to reach to a lower draft pick, but not reach forward. Or reach around, if you’re feeling frisky. It should still be my ideal team…or not. Let’s see, shall we? Bee tee dubya, this team is a 12-team, 5×5, one catcher, 5 OFs, MI, CI, 1 UT, 9 P, 3 bench, just like the Razzball Commenter Leagues (go sign up).  Anyway, here’s the best 2020 fantasy baseball team:

Please, blog, may I have some more?