Officially, this is the 11.5th Razzballie ceremony, and our first socially distanced one. *looks out at the cardboard cutout audience* I see some familiar faces out there. There’s the cutout that sells me car wax at Pep Boys. Good to see you! Figure you’d like some recycled jokes, since you’re all made of biodegradable material. *eerie silence* Okay, moving on. I’ll be your host for the ceremony after A-Rod backed out. Turns out he couldn’t host, he’s just a parasite! It’s all right he’s a no-show, you can’t spell ghosting without host. You also can’t spell hostage, but no one is forcing you to stay for the award show. You’re going to want to, though, because without these awards, you’ll have no idea who was the best and worst hitters and pitchers in this absurdly abbreviated year, and you’ll be left giving out your own awards and no one cares if your “Low sodium tomato soup in a sourdough bowl” won your “Whitest Lunch Of All-Time” award. Stop making up fake awards! Leave that to me. Anyway, here’s the year-end awards for the best and worst of fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Yu Darvish 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.
Hey all! It’s Blair, your 2020 Top 100 starting pitcher ranker. Glad you came along for the ride! Your fantasy season is over now, and hopefully you won the championship, or you made a dent in your dynasty league, or you just managed to stay a bit saner in the depths of the pandemic that’s been clawing away at us for the past six months.
Let’s get the business side out of the way first: if you like what I did with [waves hands around] this series, hop on over to the subscription page and get an ad-free subscription to support me and Grey and Lauren Holt and Coolwhip and MattTruss and JKJ and, and, and. If you’re not in a place to grab a subscription, then tell your friends about us, or share Razzball content on social media, or, well, just say thank you in the comments and I’ll give you a virtual high five.
Since there’s no longer traditional fantasy baseball going on right now, my weekly series at Razzball is more or less done until spring training. If you want my advice on DFS or dynasty leagues or whatever, feel free to ping me on Twitter, or leave a comment at the bottom of this page, or ask one of the many other talented writers here on Razzball what their opinion of your situation is. Otherwise, I’ll provide some updates on player profiles throughout the winter and I hope you keep coming around to check them out.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Someone had his white Vans on! Daniel Ponce de Leon had another strong start Friday night pitching 6.1 innings allowing just three base runners (1 hit, 2 BB) and one run while striking out six for his first win of 2020. He had a no-hitter going through the first six innings until an Orlando Garcia home run, the only hit he surrendered, ruined his bid. Damn Daniel, 2016 called–they want their meme back. I touched on PDL (can I call him PDL? sounds like a bad light beer) last week and concluded he was too risky to touch, but his 3.15 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 28/6 K/BB in September tell me something has definitely clicked. Considering he was rocking a 7+ ERA at the start of the month that gives you a sense of the strides he’s made in just a few short weeks. Perhaps he discovered the dot, dot, dot…fountain of youth? I’m sorry! I had to. Regardless the win was his first as a starting pitcher in 20 tries–that’s right 20! And yes, that is the record, albeit a fairly depressing record to hold. Maybe its these Brewers’ hitters, who he’s struck out 15 times this month to pad his 12.6 k/9 in 20 IP in September, or maybe it was finally getting the run support he needed (Cards scored zero runs for him in half his starts this year). More likely he started consistently locating his elevating fastball which allowed him to mix in breaking balls and keep opposing hitters off balance. Whatever it has been, his 4.96 ERA and 1.32 WHIP don’t tell the full story here. I’m going to choose to believe his 31.5 K% and .221 BABIP are more indicators of the pitcher DPdL is and he’s a player I’ll be keeping a very close eye on this postseason even if he’s just pitching in a middle relief role. So grab your white Vans and make sure they’re cleaner than the “WAP” radio edit because I’m telling you Daniel Ponce de Leon could be a a 2021 sleeper to watch!
Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m freshly back from The Hotties, which is the annual Razzball award ceremony for the “hottest taeks” in fantasy baseball. With the sharp-toothed piranhavirus in full swing, Grey called for a “Mask-erade” ball, but the Eventbrite invitation auto-corrected it to a “masquerade” ball. Everybody showed up with the wrong parts of their face covered. I thought Grey would be upset but he seemed to take everything in stride, saying that he had been waiting for this day since “Eyes Wide Shut” was released. Is that a movie or a novel or a contact delivery service? Anyway, Grey started giggle-whispering “Fidelio!” at everybody. Hey, Grey, I get it. Fidel Castro liked baseball. Let’s get with the times!
I did manage to record Grey’s speech to all the writers and Instagram models who attended. Here’s the transcript if you want to read it:
“I’ll get right to the point: I’m proud to announce a new partnership between Razzball and the San Diego Padres. 2021 will be known as STAN DIEGO around here, and all hot taeks will involve Padres players. The top 10 pitchers? Lamet, Davis, Clevinger, and Paddack [audible hissing from the crowd]. The top 10 hitters? Tatis, Machado, Grisham, and Myers. Trevor Rosenthal is a top 30 pick. You will all write sleeper articles on Joey Lucchesi, Adrian Morejon, and yes, Eric Hosmer. [pause while Grey dodges thrown masks] Fear not, for STAN DIEGO comes with perks! You will all get a free hot dog with a purchase of an annual pass to Sea World, and you’ll get a personal tour of the tiger enclosure at the San Diego Zoo. Now, writers, start hyping Jake Cronenworth!”
At that point, all the people Grey whispered “Fidelio” to disappeared into Grey’s private grotto, which he named “50 Shades of Play” because of the underwater mini-golf course he installed. Myself? I was left standing in the foyer with a mysterious note that only said, “MacKenzie Gore, 2021 hot taek.”Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Yankees scored 20 runs and Giancarlo Stanton returned from the IL with an 0-for-4. Giancarlo Stanton really impressed me last night by staying on the field for numerous swings without oblique, hammy, calf, forearm, torso, shin, neck or shoulder issues. Stanton has a chance to pass his games played total last year of 18. He’s currently at 14, but there’s no way he plays four more games, right? *pop, pop, pop* Paul O’Neill from a remote location, “What is that popping noise?”
Michael Kay in his trademark baritone, “Paul, that’s Giancarlo wrapped in bubble wrap!”
“Ah, that’s great to see.”
“Yeah, really cool. What a team player.”
“Hey, you ever notice our Yankees’ broadcasts are the boringest broadcasts?”
“Is boringest a word?”
“I bet it is.”
“Interesting. Like this conversation.”
Also, in this game, Luke Voit went bazinga two times (3-for-5, 5 RBIs), hitting his 17th and 18th homers. He was the late-round corner man to draft. Sigh. Speaking of sighs, Gary Sanchez (1-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 8th homer, hitting .131) had his first ball hit that didn’t include his crotch. Then, DJ LeMahieu (4-for-6, 3 runs, 5 RBIs) hit his 7th homer, as he hits .363. He’s so adamant to defy me it makes him a real pest. Finally, Aaron Hicks (1-for-4) hit his 5th homer on my bench. *breathes in 95% smoke-filled air mixed with pandemic* What a time to be alive! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Welcome to the home stretch. One silver lining of this shortened season, with expanded rosters from the beginning, is fewer question marks at this point. We aren’t worried about teams resting players for the playoffs, or how expanded rosters will juggle playing time. It’s pretty much business as usual. We start pitchers against the worst offenses and we start visiting hitters at Coors. Tonight is no different. The pitcher lucky enough to grab a start against one of those worst offenses tonight is rookie Jose Urquidy, P: $6,300, who is our top value play of the day. Urquidy is just getting started this season, but threw nearly 90 pitches in his most recent start, so he shouldn’t be restrained much by a pitch count. He is facing the Rangers, the worst offense of the slate by wOBA. We are hoping for a repeat of his performance against the Rangers last season, when he threw 7 innings of two hit ball with 9 strikeouts and no walks. Any performance even approaching that will see Urquidy return exceptional value.
For additional reading material, including our other top pitching choice for FanDuel Main Slate contests, keep on keeping on, and read below.
Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hard to believe, but my first season as a baseball analyst here at Razzball is almost at an end! For athletes, that means they’re leaving the bubble soon. Us fantasy writers? We’re all bubbled-up to protect from the dreaded Piranhavirus. Oh, you don’t know what that is? See, we’re so forward thinking here at Razzball, we’re already sequestered away for the next pandemic. You may be asking, “How does the Razzbubble work?” Well, future victims of piranhas, let me show you my notes from earlier this summer when I bubbled up.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Dane Dunning sounds like someone who should be hosting a 70’s dating show and looks like the T.A. all the young co-eds would be lusting after in Psych 101. That being said, he’s pitched pretty well in his 4 starts so far this year allowing only 6 ERs in 20 IP. If he does well against the hard-hitting Twins and the Reds at home — I’ll consider moving him up. I’ll give him this — the career 0.5 HR/9 over 449 professional innings will serve him well this week. Also working in his favor is he’s facing the 7th and 9th worst teams in K/rate to right-handed pitchers.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Matthew Boyd (3 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 7.63) is the ultimate poison pill. If I could, I’d hack into my opponent’s team and put Boyd on their team, and the crazy thing is they’d prolly thank me because there are a lot of FanBoydz out there who think he’s somehow worth owning. Sorry, not just worth owning, but people actively want him. It’s a sickness, FanBoydosis. People affected with FanBoydosis, aka FanBoydz, want you to believe there is so much more here. Oh, there could be, but he needs to stop allowing home runs. He goes from an ace to an Ace of Clubbed from start to start with no consistency, but that K/BB is so tantalizing–Hold up! I’ve been afflicted by FanBoydosis. I’m 250 words into a post about the Brewers and Corbin Burnes (7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 11 Ks, ERA at 1.99), talking about Boyd. Not sure what they feed the Brewers’ pitchers — hops? — but Burnes is now throwing his fastball 96 MPH, up from 95, and has completely changed his pitch mix (slider and fastball way less with a cutter and change added). He was essentially a two-pitch pitcher, and now throws four. His 12.7 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 is giving me the feels that I thought I’d get from Woodruff. Is Burnes a number one? Time will tell, but he has the makings. Also, in this game, Jedd Gyorko (2-for-5, and his 6th and 7th homer) went double dong like Jennifer Connelly, and I don’t even want to look at the Player Rater to see how much higher Gyorko is than a bunch of guys who I own. My mental health isn’t worth it. I get it, it’s not Jedd; I’m the Gyorko. Next up, Jacob Nottingham (1-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) hit his 2nd homer. Fun fact! Nottingham was the not very successful spin-off to Mountcastle. Now Orlando Arcia (4-for-6, 3 runs) didn’t homer, but four-hit games from Orlando gives Florida Man a good name. Over to Ryan Braun (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) who hit his 3rd homer. Have I mentioned the Brewers scored 19 runs? Flavor Flav through sobs, “Yeah, Boyd.” Finally, Tyrone Taylor (4-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 1st major league homer. He looks like a Quad-A prospect and sounds like a silent film star. Tyrone Taylor Chaplin-steps into frame, motions that his pockets and skills are empty, then a silent film title card reads, “What about Matthew Boyd?” Not you too, Tyrone! Well, with 19 runs scored, at least I have Keston Hiura. He went 0-for-2 without a run scored?Holy ticker tease! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In the highly lucrative industry that is imaginary sports team management, we here at Razzball are always looking to give you readers the sharpest edge of advantage. I mean, how do we keep up with a provider like Pitching Ninja, whose name literally invokes the finely-honed edges of a ninja star slicing through bats before landing softly in the supple leather of a catchers mitt? Fear not, fearful reader! I have been to cram school, and I have been to Austria, and I have been in dungeons, and I combined all of my knowledge of those places and completely threw it out the window. See, to be sharper than sharp, you gotta think outside the box. When the competition goes sharp, you go — that’s right! — blocky. I present to you, followers of the Top 100 Starting Pitcher series, the latest in pitching analysis: 8-bit graphics.
Let’s apply this newfangled technology to our top starting pitchers and see what we can do to help you to fantasy glory!Please, blog, may I have some more?