Did you ever think we’d get to the end of the 2021 fantasy baseball rankings? You did? Wow, you had more faith than me. Some time around the top 60 outfielders for 2021 fantasy baseball, I thought we were gonna have to pack it up and start ranking something else, like the top 20 reasons why we weren’t finishing the 2021 fantasy baseball rankings. Never the hoo! Here we are now! Entertain us! Wait, that’s my job. Now that I think about it, why is Nirvana saying “Entertain us?” They were the band supposed to entertain us. Wait, were their concerts just mass karaoke singalongs where the audience sang to them? Hmm, will research this and get back to you! So, from the 2021 fantasy baseball rankings, specifically the starter rankings, comes a need for this post: The 2021 fantasy baseball pitchers’ pairing tool. This is where things get interesting! And by ‘interesting’ I mean massively confusing. If what you’re about to read were found scribbled in a notebook, the FBI would be watching me. If The Night Stalker stood up and read this at the next prison Meet N’ Greet, no one would blink an eye. Besides, of course, him being dead might raise some eyebrows.
For these pitcher pairings, I’m going to be using our (my) 2021 fantasy baseball rankings. Notably, the top 20 for 2021 fantasy baseball, the top 20 starters for 2021 fantasy baseball, top 40 starters for 2021, top 60 starters for 2021, the top 80 starters for 2021 and top 100 starters. You can also just get Rudy’s downloadable War Room by signing up for the Razzball Subscriptions. Okay, formalities out of the way. *rolls up sleeves, makes farting noise with hand under armpit, rolls down sleeve* Let’s get busy! Now, what is a pitcher pairing? It’s your plan for putting together a fantasy pitching staff. A course of action, of course — of acoursion, naturally. If you have A pitcher, which B, C, D, E and F pitcher goes with him? Which is different than ‘F this pitcher,’ that’s what you say by end of April about at least one of your starters. You should have six starters. The sixth starter is Nate Pearson or take whoever you want. I suggest an upside pick. Luke Weaver comes to mind. Or Caleb Smith. Dustin May also comes to mind. Triston McKenzie anyone? I’m going to assume you’re in a 12 team, 5×5 and some variation of 9 pitcher leagues like the Razzball Commenter Leagues, which are now in the process of filling up. Put on your pants and look presentable! Anyway, here’s pitcher pairings for pitching staffs for 2021 fantasy baseball drafts:
If your first pitcher is from the tiers: Sipping on your daiquiri, and Hanging out with Neil, Patrick, Harris
These tiers are from Bieber to Nola. If you draft someone from these tiers, you’ll probably lose your league or get lucky with your hitters. If you do draft one, I wouldn’t take another pitcher until the tiers, “Bon varyäge” and “Get fitted for a tuxedo shirt now.” Take one pitcher from one of those two tiers, then grab another starter from one of those two tiers or, “Sideways bosom.” Then grab another starter from, “Sideways Bosom,” “Got tix for your team’s home opener,” or “Dorf on Golf Presents: Fore!” or “Broken emergency anchor glass.” Then one starter from Anchor glass or “I’m using the milkrowave.” Finally, draft one more starter from a milkrowave. So, you’d have a rotation something like Shane Bieber, Jose Berrios, Jesus Luzardo, Kyle Hendricks, Sean Manaea and Triston McKenzie. Or you could have Gerrit Cole, Julio Urias, Kyle Hendricks, Chris Bassitt, Brady Singer, and Nate Pearson. Either of those staffs will probably net you 13’s in every pitching category in a 12 team league.
If your first pitcher is from the tier: Allusions (delusions?)
This tier is from Scherzer to Gallen. I’d pair any of them with anyone in their same tier or the tier, “The Safety Dance,” “Bon varyäge” and “Get fitted for a tuxedo shirt now,” but it’s not mandatory you grab two in the first two tiers. In other words, if I drafted Max Scherzer, I could see taking Zac Gallen or Brandon Woodruff or anyone from any of those tiers, but I wouldn’t reach either. If you do take two guys from those first two tiers, then move to “Bon varyäge” and “Get fitted for a tuxedo shirt now,” and take one guy. You will also be fine taking Woodruff and moving right to Bon varyäge or the tuxedo shirt. If you skip a 2nd starter in Allusions and The Safety Dance, then draft two guys in the Bon varyäge and/or the tuxedo shirt. So, you could have either something like Woodruff, Lance Lynn and Luzardo or Woodruff, Berrios and Luzardo. Either way, you then move along to Sideways bosom, Got tix? and a Dorf and grab a guy, then onto another Dorf, anchor glass or a milkrowave. Finally, one guy from the milkrowave. So, you’ll have something like Woodruff, Lynn, Luzardo, Kyle Hendricks, Ryan Yarbrough and Jameson Taillon. Don’t mind if I do! Or you could have something like Scherzer, Carrasco, Julio Urias, Patrick Corbin, Ryan Yarbrough, and Noah Syndergaard. That’s straight gorge. As in engorged.
If your first pitcher is from the tier: The Safety Dance
This tier goes from Hyun-Jin Ryu to Sonny Gray. This is likely the way I’m going in 12-team leagues and shallower. This would be ideal (and just as convoluted. Anyone that actually reads AND understands this post deserves a gold star and a head exam. “You, sir, are fit for the looney bin.”) My first pitcher will be from The Safety Dance, then two starters bon varyäge and getting fitted for a tuxedo shirt, then one starter from sideways bosom, got tix?, a Dorf and one starter from a Dorf, anchor glass and milkrowave. Finally, a milkrowave. So, you could have something like Sonny Gray, Kevin Gausman, Pablo Lopez, Kyle Hendricks, Ryan Yarbrough and Nate Pearson. You just won your league and games haven’t even started. You’re welcome. Could this post become more confusing? Short answer: no. Long answer: nooooooooooo. But let’s try…
You can’t go wrong with a lot of different sets of pitchers. You probably could do fine with drafting only 3 starters and 3 great relievers and streaming. (Razzball Subscriptions are now open with the Streamonator.) If you stick to the pitchers I like, then you’ll do well matching them up any way you see fit. For unstints, I could see a lot of people saying Luzardo is being drafted closer to a number two vs. a number three, so do I reach for him? Sure. If you draft only pitchers that I like, then I have no quarrel with you. Wanna reach for Luzardo in the area when I’m saying bon varyäges are coming off the board? That’s cool with me. Just know you’re adding risk to your rotation.
WHIP Issues – For every pitcher who is projected over a 1.23 WHIP, take one below. The quicker you do this, the better off you’ll be. For unstints, if you take Patrick Corbin, who I have projected for 1.24, you need to pair him with someone I have projected below a 1.23. Don’t pair Corbin with Tyler Mahle. Pair him with someone like Zach Eflin. Remember, the further you get into the rankings, the harder it becomes to find lower WHIPs. Side note: WHIP can be helped by closers and MRs… Or hurt by them.
What about the tier “Changing underwear every day in case you die,” or any starter listed in the top 100 starters who are in tiers not listed above. They are 7th starters or IL, minors or bullpen-bound. I wouldn’t count on any of them for anything. I like me some Edward Cabrera or a bunch of those guys, but are you really starting any of them every time out in April and risking a huge blow up or them just not being in the rotation, which would lead to a crushing April that leaves you in your fantasy baseball basement and a chance to start trading for keepers in May? You take a flyer on someone like Alex Wood, hope he works out and if he doesn’t, you decide whether to drop him in redraft leagues. He’s not your 6th starter.
K ISSUES – For drafters who follow my lead, this shouldn’t be much of an issue. You’re shooting for around 150/starter.
Overall Pitching Issues – Just about everyone, including yours truly, drops at least one of their starters by May 1st. Obviously, you want the best team coming out the draft, but it’s a marathon not a sprint. Starters always come out of nowhere on waivers to become productive. Always. Even in deep leagues.
Because we both know everything above this point was the gibberish of a mad mind, here’s an easy to use shortcut. Just click the pitcher you draft, then you’ll get a short list of the next pitcher you’re supposed to draft. Frank Voila, snitches! Now, have at it: