Please see our player page for Andrew Heaney to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

With beloved Razzball writer Ralph Lifschitz finally revealing his true identity on Twitter, I realized it came down to me — the pitcher ranker and weekend editor — to unmask the final mystery man of Razzball: Grey Albright himself. So I invited the Fantasy Master Lothario to a fancy brunch that I never showed up to. Instead, I snuck into Razzball HQ…which wasn’t hard to do because Donkey Teeth is there literally every minute of every day searching for shirtless pics of Yusei Kikuchi. Grey never locks his office because he feels that he gives away all of his data for free on the internet; there’s no reason for anybody to break in. Except, for the holy grail: the real identity of the Master Lothario.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Joe Musgrove pitched the first no-hitter in Padres history Friday night, but this isn’t about him. It’s not about how he dominated the dreadful (so, so bad) Texas Rangers line up allowing just a single hit batsman to reach base in the fourth inning. Or how he he struck out 10 of these so, so bad Rangers. Moss Grove is already owned in all fantasy leagues. If he’s available well then by all means go pick him up now. This is about a player you can pick up. The Cleveland Baseball Team’s new, maybe, possibly, could be, I really don’t know but can you imagine if it was, closer Emmanuel Clase. Manny got his first save of the season Friday night pitching a perfect inning with two strikeouts. That’s right. Clase Closed. It’s almost too perfect. He did it with just 14 pitches. He reached 100 mph on 11 of those pitches and topped out at 101.2 mph with his cutter. Sweet sassy molasse! Let’s give him the chop! James Karinchak was the de facto closer in many minds going into the season but he’s blown a save and he’s also anti-VAX which is not a good look right now. We just might have ourselves a bit of a committee. So let’s speculate. Considering only Nick Wittgren and Clase have gotten saves so far, and Nick Wittgren doesn’t have a 101.2 mph cutter, hmm, imma grab Clase if I’ve targeting saves, or just some stinky, smelly cheese. He’s got the stuff to run away with the ninth inning gig in C-Land and the Cleveland Baseball Team’s closer has usually paid rich fantasy dividends in the past. I wouldn’t drop your James Karinchaks for him just yet, but I’d grab him wherever I needed saves. Clase closed! Ha! I love it!

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to my new column in Razzball: The Magazine! Every week I’ll be responding to letters from fans who are in a fantasy crisis. Let’s jump right in and see our first question:

Dear EverywhereBlair, 

I drafted Sixto Sanchez in the first round. I know! I’m a sucker for alliteration. I even named my team, “Sexy Sixto Stacks Stampede.” You told me ADP was a trap and I could draft whomever I want whenever I want! 

Signed, 

Suxto See Sixto Sick

Well, we’ve got ourselves a humdinger for the first mailbag question! Did you hear that Sixto has a sore arm? You really don’t need to be taking pitchers in the first round. But it’s your team, you do you. You can fix your team by drafting Jacob Stallings, and renaming it the Sticky Stallings Smashers. Onwards, to the main event!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Aaaand we’re back. Aaand John Means is an Ace now. Wait–rewind. Means stifled the Boston bats and spoiled their home opener Friday afternoon, allowing just a single base runner (one hit) in seven innings of work and striking out five to notch his first win of the season. I know exactly what you’re thinking outdated Fry meme–not sure if Red Sox are this bad or John Means is this good. Well, as bad as the Sawx looked, Means probably pitched one of his best games in ever. He commanded the zone with 65 of his 95 pitches thrown for strikes, and generated 14 swings-and-misses, eight with changeup alone, which can be an especially nasty pitch when he’s got it working, paired with his 4-seamer. After an awful start to 2020, Means finished strong in September with a 1.52 ERA, 0.63 WHIP and 30 strikeouts in 23.2 IP averaging around 94 mph on his fastball, up about 2 mph from 2019. Grey told you to BUY, gushing about his xBA and saying “if he can keep those gains, velocity increases, and stop handing out more gopher balls than a veterinarian with weird party favors, John Means could be a top 25 starter while costing nowhere near that price.” And that’s me quoting Grey! Look, I understand the hesitation owning Orioles pitchers, and Means HR/9 doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. In fact, when I drafted Means on draft day I got a audible “HA!” for the pick. But we’ll see who’s laughing in September. Sure things aren’t getting any easier for the homer-prone lefty as he travels to New York next week to take on the Yankees, but Means is owned in less than 50% of leagues and has got some major breakout potential. I think he’s worth a flier at that price wherever he’s available. Means means business! That’s two “means”, and that means something?  Who else is confused? Where else you going to get an Ace after draft day. Now your chance! I means it!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I walked down a dark hallway of Razzball Headquarters, some corner I had never been before. The walls were the color of aquarium gravel. I squinted in the dim light to verify that I had the correct office. I knocked on the door and peeked my head inside, seeing the Fantasy Master Lothario himself, Grey Albright, sitting in an office chair behind of a well-built desk. The image of Don Draper in a sweater-vest.

“Everywhere!” he said, wringing his hands excitedly. He put his hand out for a shake. I reached for it, but he pulled his arm back as if almost touching a hot stove. “Nah-ah!” he smiled and wagged his finger. “Not in the time of Covid!”

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Play the uplifting montage music, for we have conquered our off-season rundown of the top players at each position in this crazy thing called fantasy baseball. It’s the 2021 season, likely to be three times longer than last season. Don’t worry the guy that won your league last year will go back to losing focus in July. Yeah marathon! Speaking of marathon. We did 100 pitchers!!!! Yeaaaah!!! Wooooo!!! Grey and I talk about all the guys to draft and the dudes you should let the other guys take. It’s fun, we don’t wear pants, and we breakout in song.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In Japan, you bond with your coworkers by going to an enkai. You say it like “N-kai,” and the Kai is as in Cobra Kai, not “Kay” as in, “I’m so American I can’t envision speaking any language than N-glysh. The enkai is usually where the office (not the TV show) gets together for some BBQ and beers. Everybody goes to the enkai, even if they don’t like beer and BBQ. Sometimes, Japanese managers conduct official office business at the enkai, which makes it somewhat awkward when they pass out documents to read while you’re navigating grilled meat. Then comes the nijikai, or “second meeting,” when the “cool people” leave the “squares” behind, and they go to a place where there’s more beer, some snacks, and some karaoke. But for the bold — and those who are truly initiated into the office — there’s the sanjikai, or the “third meeting.” This is the event where only the hardened drinkers, the Buddhist teetotalers, and those people trying to forget the horrors of 9-5 hyper-capitalism are found. For the sanjikai, you’re out there not because you have to, but because you want to. Because you’re driven, by some supra-rational urge that verges on the paranormal, to see what’s hidden behind the curtain. You want to suck the marrow out of life and maybe get a bone splinter in your gums. You know the world has made its mark on you, and you want to mark the world before you transit off this plane of existence into the cosmos, awaiting to be reborn on your ascent to Nirvana. You might not get home tonight if you go out to the sanjikai, but that’s OK because you’re willing to sit in the park and watch the stars until first train.

That’s what this third pre-season edition of the Top 100 Starting Pitchers is all about: You want to know what the others don’t know. You’ve probably drafted already, but you’re here to get prepped for who to pick up off the waiver wire and what to do for next year. You, my dear reader, are initiated into my office, and I invite you to the sanjikai of my weekly pitchers series.

This article is probably my greatest contribution to fantasy sports so far, and I hope you enjoy it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh, yes. Very good. I’ll have a Bloody Mary, a steak sandwich and a…steak sandwich. I don’t know about you, but for me, that movie never gets old. I do love me some 80s Chevy Chase. Speaking of 80s movies, have any of your seen Coming To America 2? If you haven’t, don’t. I was greatly disappointed. After watching it I felt like the guy that has drafted Byron Buxton the last five years. Why did Eddie Murphy have to stop making funny movies?! I feel like it was right around The Nutty Professor that he jumped the proverbial shark. But the 90’s and 2000’s are a bit hazy to me, so I could be off by a few movies. He needs to start putting bananas in peoples tailpipes again!

First things first. Thanks for all of the positive feedback many of you have given me about the spreadsheet. I really do appreciate the kind words. It almost makes all the hard work worth it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m sure many of you have spent countless hours pouring over Grey’s 2021 fantasy baseball rankings to see who he’s got way higher than anyone else. Grey’s rankings are great but they’re focused on categories so they don’t tell the whole picture for points leagues. For example, average isn’t important for points. Yes a higher average means more hits but you also get points for walks as well. What we’re really looking for is total bases. I still highly recommend that you check out Grey’s thoughts because he knows what he’s doing, but mostly he’s pretty entertaining. 

Now onto points leagues. I crunched some numbers behind the scenes to see who should get shifted in the ranks. Basically made my own simplified version of malamoney’s spreadsheet using the Razzball/Steamer projections and what seems to be the standard scoring system. The result is some cold hard data on who’s going to do what this season. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“I did it. It’s done,” Grey said, running his hand through his mustache in splendid celebration. A fire roared in the hearth and cup of sparkling Fresca waited by his side. He pulled on his faux fur thrift store coat, looking every bit the 5’7″ “Legend of Los Angeles” that Fantasy Baseballer Magazine had dubbed him. He moved to his easy chair, reached for the remote, and turned off the National Geographic documentary about the hunting patterns of the Siberian Tiger, which always put him in the mood “to eat the competition” in the draft room. With clear eyes and full heart, he recited his daily mantra, I am the fantasy master lothario. 40 rounds, player upon player upon player upon sleeper. Like a talk show host, he fended off attacks from the left and the right and emerged above the fray, insouciant to what carnage he left in his path.

His mental respite was shattered when Cougs came rushing through the door, home from the grocery store. She whipped off her mask, panting, the twinkle of a tear down her cheek. “Grey, I’m so sorry. Cookie crumbled!” she said.

Please, blog, may I have some more?