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Here’s everyone’s favorite post delivered to you on Valentine’s Day so you can make love to it. I pardon your grotesque actions, and will allow a one-time hump-a-roo fest on your computer while this post is open on it. Go ahead. Hump-a-roo. Okay, done? Good, sicko! What, I never said I would have no judgments. Okay, did you ever think we’d get to the end of the 2023 fantasy baseball rankings? You did? Wow, you had more faith than me. Some time around the top 60 outfielders for 2023 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 2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings. 1. Lazy. Then a new tier for 2. Winning the lottery. Never the hoo! Here we are now! So, from the 2023 fantasy baseball rankings, specifically the starter rankings, comes a need for this post:  The 2023 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 Green River Killer stood up and read this at the next prison Meet N’ Greet, no one would blink an eye. Because, well, his company would prolly be all murderers too. Moving on!

For these pitcher pairings, I’m going to be using our (my) 2023 fantasy baseball rankings. Notably, the top 20 for 2023 fantasy baseball, the top 20 starters for 2023 fantasy baseballtop 40 starters for 2023top 60 starters for 2023, the top 80 starters for 2023 and top 100 starters. You can also just get Rudy’s downloadable War Room by signing up for the 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 after one of your starters gives up five earned in two-thirds of an inning. You should have six starters. The sixth starter is, well, Bailey Ober comes to mind. Or Hunter Brown. Justin Steele also comes to mind. Edward Cabrera anyone? By the by, I use this opening every year, except change the names, and last year the names I told you to grab with your 6th starter were Cristian Javier, Triston McKenzie, Tony Gonsolin and Bailey Ober. Not a bad track record and here’s Ober going around that track one more time! 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 2023 fantasy baseball drafts:

Psyche! Before we get to the pitchers’ pairing tool, just wanted to announce we’re doing a new Draft Champions league at NFBC. It’s a slow draft, four-hour time limit, so it could take a few weeks, and you might only get one or two picks per day. So you don’t need to be “available” to draft, but it starts this Friday at noon EST. It’s $150 to enter, 50 rounds, draft and hold (no waivers), and the prizes are all listed there, I think it’s like $40,000 for overall and $1000 to winner of the league, $350 to 2nd place and money back to 3rd. Here’s the link to join. Anyway II, the pitchers’ pairing tool:

If your first pitcher is from the tiers: Fritos feet, and Hanging out with Neil, Patrick, Harris

These tiers are from Corbin Burnes to Woodruff (and other non-Brewers starters). 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,” “Bosom buddies,” 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 the milkrowave. So, you’d have a rotation something like Corbin Burnes, Hunter Greene, Chris Bassitt, Charlie Morton, Martin Perez and Edward Cabrera. Or you could have Gerrit Cole, Joe Ryan, Jordan Montgomery, Charlie Morton, Zach Eflin, and Bailey Ober. 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 tiers: Fill my holes with dry rice to reduce moistness.

This tier is from Spencer Strider to Aaron Nola. I’d pair any of them with anyone in their same tier or the tier, “Eat your ideal lover’s weight in cookie dough,” “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 Aaron Nola, I could see taking Max Scherzer or Joe Ryan 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 Nola and moving right to Bon varyäge or the tuxedo shirt. If you skip a 2nd starter in the tier “reduce moistness” and “cookie dough,” then draft two guys in the Bon varyäge and/or the tuxedo shirt. So, you could have either something like Nola, Scherzer and Greene or Nola, Framber Valdez and Triston McKenzie. Either way, you then move along to Sideways bosom, Bosom Buddies 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 Nola, Scherzer, Greene, Chris Bassitt, Nick Lodolo and Hunter Brown. Don’t mind if I do! Or you could have something like Aaron Nola, Zac Gallen, Tyler Glasnow, Chris Bassitt, Brady Singer, and Reid Detmers. That’s straight gorge. As in engorged.

If your first pitcher is from the tier: Eat your ideal lover’s weight in cookie dough.

This tier is from Alek Manoah to Yu Darvish. 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 Cookie Dough, then two starters bon varyäge and getting fitted for a tuxedo shirt, then one starter from sideways bosom, Bosom Buddies, a Dorf and one starter from a Dorf, anchor glass and milkrowave. Finally, a milkrowave. So, you could have something like Manoah, Hunter Greene, Tyler Glasnow, Chris Bassitt, Jeffrey Springs, Charlie Morton, and Justin Steele. 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…

Overall Thoughts

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 Tyler Glasnow 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 Glasnow in the area when bon varyäges are coming off the board and he’s a tuxedo? That’s cool with me. Just know you’re adding risk to your rotation.

TROUBLE AREAS

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 Andrew Heaney, who I have projected for 1.26, you need to pair him with someone I have projected below a 1.23. Don’t pair Heaney with Steele. Pair him with someone like Edward Cabrera. 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 “Saying romance into a glass bottle, then tossing it into the sea,” 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 David Peterson 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 Drey Jameson, 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.

BONUS FEATURE

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: