Baseball is back, with MLB's Opening Day scheduled for July 23 and 24. Before we know it, bat flips will make everyone furious in a fanless ballpark. Even better, countless amounts of people are about to spend way too much money on a game they have no control over.
We're of course talking about fantasy baseball, which will be much different this year.
Everything about the game changes this season. Instead of a 162-game marathon, this will be a 60-game sprint. Instead of pitchers embarrassing themselves in the batter's box, the NL has adopted the DH this year. That could have a big impact on both the Giants and A's.
So, what does this mean for Giants and A's players? First and foremost, the experts like the A's more than the Giants, a whole lot more. The A's have 11 players ranked ahead of the Giants' top player when it comes to fantasy baseball going into the season.
A's top-ranked players
Matt Olson: (ESPN 51, Yahoo 89)
Matt Chapman: (ESPN 53, Yahoo 71)
Marcus Semien: (ESPN 57, Yahoo 72)
Liam Hendriks: (ESPN 89, Yahoo 91)
Ramon Laureano: (ESPN 98, Yahoo 92)
Khris Davis: (ESPN 103, Yahoo 150)
Sean Manaea: (ESPN 165, Yahoo 173)
Frankie Montas: (ESPN 198, Yahoo 111)
Stephen Piscotty: (ESPN 214, Yahoo N/A)
Mark Canha: (ESPN 226, Yahoo N/A)
Mike Fiers: (ESPN 250, Yahoo N/A)
Jesus Luzardo: (Yahoo 149, ESPN N/A)
A.J Puk: (Yahoo 165, ESPN N/A)
Giants top-ranked players
Jeff Samardzija: (Yahoo 249)
That's it ...
All the hype on the A's pitching staff is around Luzardo and Puk, and understandably so. They are two of the best left-handed pitching prospects in baseball, and should be AL Rookie of the Year candidates.
If Luzardo and Puk can stay healthy, they quickly can become Oakland's aces. But Luzardo still hasn't joined the A's after testing positive for the coronavirus. That brings us to perhaps the A's current ace.
Montas at 111 and 198 feels low. The 27-year-old went 9-2 with a 2.63 ERA over 16 starts last season. He was suspended 80 games, but wasd dominant when on the field. The big right-hander struck out 9.7 batters per nine innings, and has been praised for the shape he showed up to Summer Camp in.
There's a real chance Montas establishes himself as a star this season, and can finish the year ranked much higher than he currently is.
Evan Longoria couldn't have started off last season much worse. He hit just .212 in March/April and .215 in May. That number rose to .241 in June, but between July and August, he was back to his All-Star self.
Longoria hit .400 with six homers and 12 RBI in just nine games in July. Then in August, he hit .345 with four homers, 20 RBI and a .901 OPS. Over 31 games combined in July and August, the Giants' third baseman hit .359 with 10 home runs, 32 RBI and a 1.065 OPS.
With Buster Posey out, Longoria will be relied upon as a veteran leader. Gabe Kapler will platoon his lineup nearly every game, and Longoria should be one of the only everyday players. If he's the player he was last summer, the Giants have a star.
Nolan Arrenado and Trevor Story of the Colorado Rockies might be in the top 15 as well, and San Diego Padres infielders Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado could find themselves in the top 25 or 30. That doesn't even bring us to Madison Bumgarner.
The former Giants ace now is in his first season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. ESPN ranks MadBum as their 110th-best fantasy player, and Yahoo has him lower at 136.
Oakland will face plenty of star power in the AL West, too. Mike Trout always will be near the top of rankings, while fellow two-way Angels star Shohei Ohtani is a fantasy anomaly. The Angels also added Anthony Rendon, who could be in the top five.
Love them or hate them, the Houston Astros are full of stars, with a long list of highly ranked fantasy players. Joey Gallo will hit dingers for the Texas Rangers, and maybe a healthy Kyle Lewis will live up to his potential for the Seattle Mariners.
No matter what, though, it's hard to find a team with as many fantasy stars as the A's.
Fantasy baseball 2020: Rankings, sleepers for Giants, A's this season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area