Good for the Mets. Seriously. No joke. They deserve to act like they’re from a big market, because, here’s the wild thing, they are. How’sever, it is shameful how Cleveland punts every year. Offsetting Browns’ recent success? Baker Mayfield? More like Baker could field anywhere on that team. Also, what’s with all the sweets going from Cleveland? Lindor truffle, Cookie…Lucky it’s Shane Bieber vs. Shane Keebler or he would’ve been traded too. Cleveland’s front office calling up teams, “We got a Double-A middle infielder named Ferrero Rocher, any interest?”

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This sleeper post feels like it’s been three years in the making. I first started getting the vapors for Zach Eflin coming off his 2018 season, when he had 8.7 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 in 128 IP. What always kept me recommending Zach Eflin, while not going full-throated with a sleeper post on a giant megaphone like The Mouth of the South, Jimmy Hart, was his strikeouts seemed maxed out at 8.5 vs. having real promise for more. The command was never an issue, as far as I was concerned. He had 1.5 BB/9 in Triple-A in 2016, and rarely scrapped above a 3 BB/9 at any stop in pro ball, usually hovering around 2.5. To make a 2.5 BB/9 work, you only need about 8.5 on Ks, but that’s a number four/five fantasy starter range, and that borders on yawnstipating. Not much excitement for sleepers, or nada mucho enthusiasmo en dormirs, for my Spanish-language readers. Hey, I’m worldly, deal with it. So, what’s changed from a guy giving me the snooze button to a full-on sleeper? Last year his K/9 and BB/9 were 10.7 and 2.3. Hello, beautiful, I’m glad you could join us. Allow me to shower you in spa accouterments that I’ve seen on TV shows. Perhaps a rub of the shoulders? Maybe some thinly-sliced cucumbers for your eyes? A hot towelette? I’m showing my love for you, Zach Eflin, don’t push me away! So, what can we expect from Zach Eflin for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Psyche! Before we get into the Zach Eflin 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 Zach Eflin sleeper:

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I was between writing a sleeper post for Framber Valdez and Lance McCullers. Not Lance McCullers Jr., he’s a bum. Kidding. At a certain age though, drop the Jr., junior. It’s like being a thirty-year-old Bobby. Put on your big boy pants, Bobby, and call yourself Robert! I’d even accept Rob. No freakin’ Robbie! Any hoo! I didn’t love everything I saw on Lance McCullers’s peripherals. Enough to like him at his current ADP? I think so, but it might be a game-time decision when I’m doing my rankings. Framber Valdez, how’sever, a chef’s kiss echoing through the caverns of your mind, which sounds like a Yacht Rock song, making it even more special. Special like the guy who opens the door at thirty seconds into this video. Yes, I could’ve just embedded right to that part, but you really need the lead-up to brace yourself for the door-opener. Oh my God, that guy is Jose Alvarado, i.e., The Opener.

Damn it, that will never get old. I want to read a 15,000 word essay about Jose Alvarado from the Benny Mardones video. “Skim read,” not read read, but still. So, what can we expect from Framber Valdez for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Psyche! Before we get into the Framber Valdez 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 Framber Valdez sleeper:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ya know when people really love the starters I love? About a year after I love them. I’m happy for Kenta Maeda, Max Fried, Yu Darvish, Brandon Woodruff, Zac Gallen, Dinelson Lamet, Zach Plesac and Sonny Gray. Really, I am. And I might own some of them this year. Happy to pay the price. Know when I told you to draft them when their price was still dirt cheap? Last year around this time. I drafted Yu Darvish, Kenta Maeda, Sonny Gray, Woodruff and Lamet on a bunch of teams last year for half of their price or less, and, when I did, people were like, “Wow, you have a handsome face, but obviously you’re dumb as balls.” Who’s having the last laugh now? Me, a soft chuckle that builds into a loud, wildly obnoxious cackle. I don’t just happen to state my bona fides in this post for s’s and g’s. I think I need to lay out my case for why I’m not crazy to want to draft Tyler Mahle. Prior to this year, T. Mahle was best known for “Tuesday’s special that give you indigestion.” So, what can we expect from Tyler Mahle for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Psyche! Before we get into the Tyler Mahle 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 Tyler Mahle sleeper:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Without copping to being a rocket surgeon or just someone with an abnormally-sized brain, Kevin Gausman jumped off the page to me as the very first pitching sleeper, and a guy I want in every league. Always a good sign is me seeing someone’s stats, and scratching my head why they’re not being drafted higher. There’s not one thing I can find for Kevin Gausman that makes him less than an ideal sleeper. The only thing I can think of that is scaring people off, and this feels like a stretch, but maybe his 5.72 ERA from 2019. I don’t know, I’m merely guessing. People are smarter than that, though. I mean, not all people, obviously, but if you’re playing fantasy baseball, you know better than to look at ERA from a guy who bounced between the ‘pen and rotation eighteen months ago, right? I mean, I mean, I MEAN! We’re not talking about the general public here. The people who care are guys and five girls who are such fans of baseball they’re playing fantasy baseball so they most know better, right? No? Okay. Last year, Kevin Gausman’s surface area numbers are gorgeous, and make me engorged. 11.9 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, and 3.06 xFIP in 59 2/3 IP. You can put those numbers next to any pitcher in the game and you’d be hard-pressed to figure out which one is Kevin Gausman and which one is, say, Gerrit Cole. Yes, I said Gerrit Cole. Allow me to explain with Cole’s numbers:  11.6 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, and 3.38 xFIP. Such a new schooler that you spell it nu skool? Gausman had a 3.24 SIERA and Cole’s was 3.21. Trying to figure out why Gerrit Cole is being drafted in the top 5 overall in some leagues and Gausman’s going around 160? Effin’ A, me too. So, what can we expect from Kevin Gausman for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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I sorted Steamer projections by home runs, and did one of those skimming jobs I’m famous for. You didn’t know I was a famous skimmer? Oh, yeah, worked as a pool boy for five summers in my youth without the use of a net. I once skimmed the 729-tome A People’s History of the United States, and fifteen minutes later, came away with a working knowledge that Taft was fat. Splendid, very astute skimmer, I am. Skimming the Steamer projections, notably by home runs, led me to find a few gems for sleeper posts, but I thought you’d throw tomatoes at me if I wrote one on Pete Alonso, and I didn’t want to write one on Yordan Alvarez, because I think he’s accurately priced considering injury. Which brings us to Franmil Reyes, and the first time (at least that I can remember) that I’ve written a sleeper post for a utility-only hitter. As mentioned last week in my position eligibility for 2021 fantasy baseball, not a ton (palindrome!) of guys have multi-position eligibility this year. So, natch — snatch? — there’s a lot of guys with Utility-only eligibility. Speaking of snatches, maybe Franmil gets time in the outfield this year to make some, and get that eligibility. Where did you think I was going with ‘speaking of snatches?’ Oh. I see. I say he could see time in the outfield, because Cleveland currently has zero outfielders that have done anything of note, and they’re supposedly sellers. Unless Google was right when I looked up UTIL., and found a Urinary-Tract-Infection-Lingering, and I need to rethink everything. So, what can we expect from Franmil Reyes for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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Padres’ great aunt passed away and left them with a fortune, but they had to spend it all by Monday at midnight. The way the Padres are going Chris Paddack is soon gonna be the long-man out of the bullpen. Okay, please comment below if the Padres have traded for, signed or spoke to you about acquiring your services in the last two days. I’m tracking all Padres’ moves. There’s only one team making moves this offseason, what an absolute mess. The only must-see MLB games this year are gonna Padres’ split-squad games. Can the Padres sign George Springer and J.T. Realmuto too (Realmutoo?), so we get this offseason over and onto the real stuff? Half expecting Rob Manfred to announce divisions will be taking turns, and only the NL West is playing in 2021. Just had a solid laugh thinking about the Giants’ lineup going into a four-game series vs. the Padres. Please, Alex Dickerson, don’t hurt ’em! So, Yu Darvish went to the Padres, because of course he did. The Padres are rumored to acquire (insert name of best player for your favorite team).

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The Rays are Matthew McConaughey in Dazed & Confused with underpaid pre-arb rookie contract players being their high school girls. The Rays write the address a letter is going to where the return address is supposed to be, then don’t put postage on the letter so it’s “returned” to its destination. The Rays are NBC with their iconic The Hogan Family, then the Rays cut Valerie Harper, sign on Sandy Duncan and don’t miss a beat. Someone needs to fold 15 MLB teams into one team that can actually afford free agents.

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Merry Christmas, you giant nerds! Look at you, checking a fantasy baseball blog on Christmas like a bunch of giant nerds! That’s why I love you. Seriously, I have love for you. Like someone who’s never met someone else could love someone. Very, very intimate. I wasn’t planning on doing a post today, but Josh Bell was traded to the Nationals and I really wanted to get out this update post of so many other signings, that I was like, “Meh, what the heck, put it out there for my over-the-internet friends since this Christmas is like none I’ve ever lived through.” I miss my family, but I have you, my non-family family. So, Josh Bell was traded to the Nats, conspicuously within minutes of, well, we know what happened here. The Pirates’ payroll needed to be slashed after the House was unable to increase the stimulus checks to $2,000. Now that Josh Bell is in Washington there’s only one thing can we can be certain of:  confirmed Josh Bell 2021 All-Star. Could see Josh Bell out-pitching even Tyler Glasnow. If he wants to, of course. He might just want to hit. So, getting out of Pittsburgh can’t hurt anyone. He’s also coming off one of the boringiest (totally a word!) 1st baseman seasons. How’sever, if 2019 was only two months long, Josh Bell would’ve been a top 20 overall player last year. What’s my point? Meh, don’t really have one, but Josh Bell was hurt by last year’s small sample, and hurt by 2019’s, uh, long sample. Who is Josh Bell in Washington? A better question might be how long is this season going to be and when will it start? Josh Bell is prolly somewhere between the two extremes of his 1st few months of 2019, and his 2020. For 2021, I’ll give Josh Bell projections of 73/26/81/.257/1 in 512 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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On Dancer! On Prancer! On–Oh, I didn’t hear you come in. Welcome, reader! Grab some egg nog and brandy it up to the fire. You look festive. I love that Rudolph tongue ring. That’s the great thing about Christmas, no matter what your interpretation is, it’s all about commercialism. That’s unless you light the Munenori Kawasaki. The 2021 fantasy baseball rankings are not far away. Right now, January Grey is throwing darts at a board to figure out where to rank Randy Arozarena:  rookie, customer of Big Bossman’s Bail Bonds, and first ballot Hall of Famer — a triple threat! In the meantime, let’s look at the players who have multiple position eligibility for this upcoming 2021 fantasy baseball season. I did this list of multi-position eligible players because I figured it would help for your 2021 fantasy baseball drafts. I’m a giver, snitches! Happy Holidays! Seriously, in a year as crazy as 2020, take a moment and thank those you truly love:  Me.

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