True story:  I looked at my fantasy baseball sleepers from last year and decided since I wrote a Ryan Yarbrough sleeper last year, I wouldn’t write one this year, and instead focused on Chris Bassitt, who I wrote as a ‘guy to target’ but necessarily a full sleeper post. Coming off such a weird year, it’s honestly difficult to have my opinions on starters change that dramatically. I’m trying not to cover ground I covered as recently as last year (which might explain my Nathan Eovaldi sleeper), because I was covering that ground as recently as last July/August. Ryan Yarbrough is still 100% a guy I like, and I have no idea why he’s ranked so low in ADP. He doesn’t have huge strikeouts, but he doesn’t walk anyone, and is good for a mid-3 ERA, which is nothing to sneeze at unless you’re allergic to quality starters. See that, I was able to give you a quick Ryan Yarbrough sleeper inside my Chris Bassitt sleeper. Also, one more thing that needs to mentioned prior to talking about Chris Bassitt and after this awkward intro to this sentence, I’m taking 20-30 innings off all my starter projections this year. I don’t know how to handle guys only throwing 40-60 IP other than just dock them all. It’s worth keeping that in mind when drafting starters this year, and looking at projections. It means there’s gonna be a lot of sixth, seventh and maybe even eighth starters on teams getting upwards to 50 IP, because someone is going to need to replace the missing innings. Without reading anything about docking starters this year, it seems to me people are already doing this. Using Gerrit Cole as an example, he usually is projected for 220+ innings, and this year I see him being projected for ~200 IP. My guess is maybe one starter gets 200 IP this year. You’re gonna read something similar from me in my starter rankings, so quickly forget what you just read so it seems new in a few weeks. By the way, my 2021 fantasy baseball rankings start on Monday. All of them are already available on our Patreon. So, what can we expect from Chris Bassitt and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Ahh, fantasy baseball. Coming back to writing baseball is more refreshing than a long swig of a double IPA after a day with the in-laws. It sure is good to be back, dear readers. After a seasonal hiatus during which I contributed to Razzball Fantasy Football, I’m finally back and ready to talk college draft hopefuls, prospects, rookies and beyond. Being away from you all, I felt like Pumba without my Timon. DJ Lemahieu without his chaw. Tony La Russa without someone to drunkenly yell at. You see, this is where I belong. And after reading some of Grey’s 2021 fantasy outlooks on the rookie class, there’s one debate I have been waiting and waiting to dip my Dunkaroos into: do I prefer Sixto Sanchez, Ian Anderson or Triston McKenzie for 2021 fantasy baseball? And where might be a good starting point to value each player heading into draft season?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

*smiles through gritted teeth* Hi. *people turn around heading for the exit* Wait! Before you leave, just let me show you some Nathan Eovaldi stats from last year! *people stream out of the post, one guy throws a tomato at my head* Okay, I’m sorry! Geez, you people make like you’re the only ones who have been screwed by Nathan Eovaldi in the past. I have too. Multiple times! Hmm, what am I doing here? Nathan Eovaldi? Have I lost my mind? Don’t answer me; the “Nathan Eovaldi, 2021 Sleeper” title answers that. So, last year Eovaldi had a 9.7 K/9, 1.3 BB/9, 3.32 xFIP, 3.45 SIERA, 7.43 K/BB, which was 7th best in the majors, and a 3.72 ERA with a .336 BABIP, so a tad unlucky. Can you imagine what his numbers look like if his 98-MPH smoke show had any life? Noted Red Sox enthusiast, Podcaster Ralph says it’s all about his fastball release point. It’s easy to pick up, making it more of a contact pitch. I consulted PR because he’s had the most eyes on Eovaldi, and I wanted to make sure his sexy eh-eff peripherals weren’t sending me astray like a Pall Mall. Wait, that’s ashtray. Any hoo! You get the point, release and otherwise. I look at pitchers mostly by hiding their names, then I remove the blinders and see the starter’s name, whose numbers are exciting me, and I saw Nathan Eovaldi and nearly clawed my eyes out of my skull, while screaming, “You don’t deserve to see!” So, what can we expect from Nathan Eovaldi for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Psyche! Before we get into the Nathan Eovaldi sleeper, just wanted to announce all my rankings are currently available on Patreon for the price of a Starbucks coffee, if you get one of those extra grande frappuccino jobbers. Don’t wait for the rankings to come out over the next month, and get them all now. So II, the Nathan Eovaldi sleeper:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Despite a huge investment in Anthony Rendon and a smart trade for Dylan Bundy, the Angels couldn’t overcome the Astros or A’s in the AL West. I think most baseball fans want to see them build a winning team around Mike Trout, and I think most baseball fans suspect they’ll fail to do so. I know I do. What they need more than anything is a breakout two-way season from Shohei Ohtani during which the lineup makes sense on a day-in, day-out basis. I’m not saying everyone has to be in the same spot everyday, but they need to hang some successful bats on either side of Rendon and Trout if they’re going to have any chance of contending. The top two guys on this list could certainly help their cause. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

My dear readers, we all know what happened in 2020 and I indeed shared what I saw. Some of you have asked me if I told you everything there is to know about Mitch Garver’s season (or lack thereof). And while I can honestly say I’ve told you the truth, I may not have told you all of it. Now that my schedule has loosened up after the holidays, I think it’s time for you to know the whole story.

It began long ago (in the before times) when Manfred juiced balls and the Twins were making a playoff run the likes of which you had never seen. It began… well it began as you might expect. In a box, there stood a catcher. Not a dirty cardboard box left in the attic; or a box belonging to Christie. This was a batter’s box. And that means offensive production, not always premium production from a catcher, and yet when it shows up tapping you on the nose you can’t help but notice.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

I nearly didn’t write this sleeper. It’s not that I don’t believe in John Means, but I’ve built a brand for over a decade that is “Guy who doesn’t draft Orioles starters.” Branding isn’t cheap, companies spend in the millions to get their name out there, and since I’m a million short of a million, all I had was my reluctance to touch an Orioles’ starter. Like Boog Powell at a buffet of rice cakes, it wasn’t that difficult to abstain. Not to be confused with Boog Powell at a BBQ buffet, which produces ab stains to his shirt. There were moments when Chris Tillman upped the level of difficulty to stay away from Orioles starters, but like Danny Cabrera things could never get that wild for me. Dan Duquette builds only winners, and Buck Showalter leads those winners to the brink of excellence like no other, but I just couldn’t! I even waited until Dylan Bundy was on a new team before fully embracing him. The branding was kept by any means necessary, until Means became necessary, as I told my marketing execs, who are interns from SUNY Albany. That’s the same school Steve Guttenberg went to! So, what can we expect from John Means for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Psyche! Before we get into the John Means sleeper, just wanted to announce all my rankings are currently available on Patreon for the price of a Starbucks coffee, if you get one of those extra grande frappuccino jobbers. Don’t wait for the rankings to come out over the next month, and get them all now. So II, the John Means sleeper:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

What is up everybody!? It’s the pre-season reunion here at Razzball, and we’re coming back strong as ever to deliver you the hottest takes, the slippery-est snakes, and a crap-ton of Grey’s quality bakes. What? The guy likes to bake! But for cereal, if Grey ever offers to send you bear claws, don’t take him up on it! The Chinese authorities have been all over me after Grey mailed me a package of ursine talons. ENYWHEY. I’ll repeat this again when we’ve moved from January Grey into March Grey, which is not to be confused with the Greymarch for all you Elder Scrolls fans: Yours truly has taken on an editorial role across the baseball and football sides of Razzball. What does that mean? It means my deadly red cursor of editorial prowess will grace these digital articles for the foreseeable future, which is pretty foggy right now admittedly. Thanks be to Grey and Rudy and Donkey Teeth for entrusting me with the “Schedule” button, and I hope to introduce you to some solid new writers while welcoming the familiar Razzball crew that you know and love and definitely wouldn’t want to see star in Bridgerton. While we collectively wait for the start of the 2021 MLB season, let’s gather for some pre-season hype pieces and get ready for drafts.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Razzball Patreon members receive our weekly podcast where Grey cackles about the funniest news stories we’ve found over the past week, plus you get that warm fuzzy feeling of supporting your favorite fantasy sports site in all the land.

It’s your favorite hour of the week! I Can’t Believe It’s Not Not News is back again with all the Billy Hurley jokes and Grey Albright cackles you can handle. First we discuss how a drunken man blacked out and changed his name to “Celine Dion.” Then we dig in on some questionable octopus propaganda from the evil mainstream media. Finally we round out the show with the story of a man who robbed a bank using a pillow case without holes as a mask and a wildlife trapper who disguised herself as an elderly woman in order to capture an aggressive turkey.

Tune in now for all the laughs and Albright cackles you can handle by signing up for the exclusive Razzball Patreon Club for only $5/month, or upgrade to receive the weekly podcast plus early access to all of Grey’s 2021 fantasy baseball rankings and posts for just $13/month!

Find all of this week’s hilarious stories here:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Can put this Tony Gonsolin sleeper in the same bucket as my Rowdy Tellez sleeper. The numbers were just too good to not write it. Tony Gonsolin also has the feel to me like a “smart” person’s sleeper, which means he’s not a sleeper if you’re in a league with a “smart” person. Those quotes are short for “people who think they’re smart and drive the price of a guy up to the point where they are no longer sleepers or at all reasonably priced.” You can see why I shortened it with quotes. There’s no explanation for why I spelled it out anyway. In some friendly, office leagues, where Karen pops are head in and is like, “Hey, what are you guys doing? A fantasy sports draft? Fun!” then she goes directly to HR to get you all busted — Don’t draft on company time; Karens says. But in those leagues, no one’s drafting Tony Gonsolin, so he will be a sleeper in those leagues. Also, he feels like the kind of guy that ESPN barely ranks, then next year they talk about how great he is, approximately 18 months after us. I can understand the trepidation with drafting Gonsolin. Is he in the rotation? I don’t know. That’s a bit of a bummer and why he might be slightly overrated in “smart” leagues and not talked about at all at ESPN. They (ESPN) are not not talking about him because they’re smart enough to know Gonsolin won’t get the innings. No, they’re not not talking about him because they think their audience won’t know him, and they’re 100% geared towards telling people what they know already. Quadruple negative equals a positive there. Again, the numbers were too good; Gonsolin needed a sleeper post for those of you in not “smart” leagues, which are the real smart leagues. This is not a confusing post at all! So, what can we expect from Tony Gonsolin for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Psyche! Before we get into the Tony Gonsolin sleeper, just wanted to announce all my rankings are currently available on Patreon for the price of a Starbucks coffee, if you get one of those extra grande frappuccino jobbers. Don’t wait for the rankings to come out over the next month, and get them all now. So II, the Tony Gonsolin sleeper:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

2020 turned out okay for the Astros, all things considered. 

This week’s ball-doctoring story that mentioned Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander might have otherwise grabbed some eyeballs but wound up buried beneath the seesawing fate of America’s democracy. 

All in all, the trash-bang scandal of 2019 got lost in much bigger conversations, so the traveling circus that would’ve been Houston’s 2020 playing on the road in front of fans that hated them never got out of the garage. Despite season-ending injuries to Justin Verlander and Yordan Alvarez and mostly silent bats from Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel (curious), the Astros remained a force to be reckoned with when it mattered most, striking fear in the hearts of baseball fans everywhere when they pushed the Rays to game 7 of the ALCS. 

2021 will be even more challenging. Though Yordan Alvarez is running again after surgeries on both knees, Houston will likely be without free agent outfielders George Springer and Michael Brantley. The system offers some possible help on the mound, but the bulk of their position prospects are too young to contribute anytime soon. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?