Opening day is finally here!
In 2020, we had two distinct draft seasons – both in February/March as well as in June/July. Some fantasy teams of mine were drafted four or five months ago, while others were assembled just this past weekend. We typically spend all winter longing for the time when our fantasy teams finally start accumulating statistics. This year, due to the tragic global pandemic of COVID-19, we had to wait even longer. We are now finally here. Tonight the standings go live!
I am well aware that there is still much suffering in the U.S. and in the rest of the world from the disease. I do not mean to make light of the world’s situation by any means in my enthusiasm for baseball’s return. At the same time, watching our nation’s pastime played day in and day out, may aid the morale of the country. Although there will be many challenges, I am hopeful that the MLB will be able to start and finish the abbreviated 2020 season without major hiccups.
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For the 60-game season, I’m going to rank the starters each week by their probable matchup(s). This will be different than my standard longer-term rankings as it will be hyper-focused on the week ahead. As such a solid two-start arm (of which there are none this time around since I’m focusing solely on the upcoming Thursday-Sunday run) with good matchups will slot above a superstar ace in a one-start week, though you’ll likely not be pressed to choose between the two. The decisions will likely wind up on the fringes when you’re deciding between your last starter and another reliever. Talent will still matter, but matchups can create some separation in the short term.
Here’s what I’ve got based on the probable SP lists and notes I’ve gone over thus far. Let me know if someone I have listed is for sure not starting this weekend.
The notes will always be sporadic throughout the chart as I won’t always have something to say about every single arm.
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2020 STARTING PITCHER RANKING REVIEW
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We’re a week away from baseball. I unloaded the chamber and dropped 181 names here (and probably still missed SOMEONE). As with the last update, I’ll have a podcast or column out on Monday covering specifics, but for today here are the rankings with the comparison to the last list.
Let’s talk about these rankings the comments!
(Blue indicates a new tier starting)
There is no argument that if two position players would be guaranteed to produce the exact stats, the one with multi-position eligibility should have more value. The added flexibility would be helpful while drafting or setting lineups. The question of how much value does it add remains unanswered? Todd Zola and I have attempted to answer the question with Todd coming to the conclusion of “adding $3 or $4 to each player in mixed formats, and a couple bucks in single-league formats.” That’s fine in theory but I wanted to see how the market values the flexibility in this short season by matching similar players with and without extra positions. In the end, the results matched up with Todd’s findings.
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With most teams planning to limit the innings their starters throw, there are going to be a few middle relievers who bridge the gap to the seventh to ninth-inning guys. Because most starters will not go five innings, these bridge relievers will have the chance to accumulate a few Wins while hopefully providing decent ratios. Here are some targets.
Every season, some middle relievers go off accumulating half dozen Wins and Saves, great ratios, and over 100 strikeouts. They are more valuable than most starters and closers. The deal is that no one has a clue which middle reliever it will be, but whoever rosters them will be loving it. I decided to query a target list.
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With baseball officially inching closer to an actual season, it is time to update draft ranks for those of you that are like me and still have leagues that still need to draft. I will likely be updating each set of ranks I release once or twice before opening day as news of the schedule, players opting out of the season, and other information could shake things up tremendously. However, here are my current third base ranks as of now. (Beginning of tiers are highlighted in blue). Read the rest of this entry »
With baseball officially inching closer to an actual season, it is time to update draft ranks for those of you that are like me and still have leagues that still need to draft. I will likely be updating each set of ranks I release once or twice before opening day as news of the schedule, players opting out of the season, and other information could shake things up tremendously. However, here are my current first base ranks as of now. (Beginning of tiers are highlighted in blue)
We’re just going to freeform this and make it essentially a notes column. I’ll start by saying that not every move is influenced by the 60-game season. In fact, few are. A lot of them are influenced by a change in health or just more studying that led me to make a move.
Biggest moves up the rankings since my February 28th list.
Rich Hill +65 to 64 – He was slated to be out until June with an elbow injury so now his full IL stint happened in quarantine and he’ll now be ready from the jump. He’s been great on a per inning basis the last four seasons, but will he stay upright throughout this mini-season?
Michael Kopech +30 to 82 – Returning from TJ, Kopech was expected to miss some time at the outset of the season with a late-May/early-June target. Like Hill, that time has passed and now he’s made the 60-man roster, though his role is unknown. For fantasy purposes, it’d be perfect if Kopech was paired with an opener so if he’s limited to 3-4 innings, it comes in the middle innings and puts him in line for wins.
James Paxton +27 to 21 – 100% injury-related.