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?

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In a baseball universe flickering with intentional losing, the Royals employ a bold strategy: trying. They haven’t seen much success of late, but that’s largely due to the natural contention cycling of a small market club. Also due in part to the death of young fireballer Yordano Ventura, whose innings could’ve gone a long way toward bridging from one cycle to the next. This group of prospects isn’t quite as promising as the Hosmer Moose crew that brought home a title, but it’s not overly optimistic to compare the two. Brighter times are coming to Kauffman Stadium. 

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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?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Thank god for the Padres huh? Just when we thought the baseball off-season couldn’t get worse A.J. Preller shows up on a new scooter ready to get us to Aspen. Is it the Shaggin’ Wagon? No, but it’ll do. So Grey and I return to talk Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Ha-Seong Kim, and all the other baseball players good enough to squeeze blood from a stone. The Razzball podcast is back!

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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?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Been a few big trades over the holidays, so it can’t hurt to take a quick jaunt around the league and update the lists for the teams involved. 

On Sunday Night, Tampa Bay doubled down on its “decision” in game six of the World Series to pull its best pitcher after surrendering one hit in 73 pitches, selling that pitcher for minor league parts to a Padres squad with whom Blake Snell’s style should fit nicely. Might be weird for him to play for a human manager after working for TI-84 graphing calculators these past few years, but he’ll adjust. 

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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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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. After Grey updates us on his pastrami drama we dive on on this weeks stories, including a naked man rollerblading on an Ohio highway wearing only a panda head and an illegal winery operating out of an Alabama sewage plant. Later we investigate hyper-realistic masks in Japan, McDonalds new Spam/Oreo burger and cat poop coffee.

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Find all of this week’s hilarious stories here:

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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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?