Please see our player page for Diego Castillo 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.

Howdy, folks.

Another doozy of a week. I don’t know what it is about this year, but hamstrings and shoulders are DOOMED. Feels like 90% of the injuries I keep getting updates about are “hamstring tightness” or “pulled up lame” or “sore shoulder” or “shoulder inflammation.” Ugh.

If by some stroke of insane luck you’ve managed to avoid injury to this point, no doubt this week the fantasy baseball gods deemed you unworthy after all. I told you in the title that I had bad news. Well, let’s get to it:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The best haircut I ever received was from a bald man. I don’t usually get anything fancy — just a trim here, a buzz there. Throughout my life I went through all the same generational hair trends of men currently in their mid-30’s. As a pre-schooler in the early-90’s my Mom spiked my hair straight up a la Bart Simpson because who was cooler than the Bart man? Then in the mid-90’s, I transitioned to the Jonathan Taylor Thomas Home Improvement middle part because all the girls thought he was so cute. In the early 2000’s  I jumped on board the ‘Caesar’ bandwagon popularized by George Clooney in his ER/From Dusk Till Dawn days and that’s pretty much where I’ve remained. Low maintenance, good enough, it was “The Rachel” for men! Back to the point of this story — the bald man. Who better to appreciate hair than a bald man? I got out of his chair looking like a million bucks and the bald man was proud of his work. 

What does this have to do with fantasy baseball, you ask? In my 14-team home league, I’m punting saves. Correction — I’m punting saves + holds. 

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 I know exactly what you’re thinking outdated Fry meme–not sure if Red Sox are this bad or John Means is this good.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?

*rubs ancient lamp, a blue genie appears* I have three wishes for this baseball season. My first wish is “No one I own get hurt.” I didn’t draft Dinelson Lamet, Josh Donaldson or Trevor Rosenthal, so I made your job easy for you, great, powerful Genie. My 2nd wish is “Everyone I drafted do well.”  I drafted Juan Soto, Trevor Story and Alec Bohm, so, really, I’m doing much of the heavy lifting for this wish too. My 3rd and final wish is “All defensive shifts are eight catchers stacked on top of each other like a totem pole.” Thanking you in advance, Genie. Wait a second, you’re not a genie, you’re Bartolo Colon in Blue Man Group paint. Damn you!

Okay, breathe in, breathe out. Take a moment. Really feel the ground below your feet. The air in your lungs. The soon-turds in your lower intestine. You’re alive. That’s the feeling. April baseball, you giant love muffin! I missed you so much. I’d get choked up, but I cried out all my tears at Luis Castillo’s start. Remember, the only thing you really should take away from yesterday’s player performances is:  It’s one game. Anyway, here’s what I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello again, Razzgals/bois.

Welp, odds are you done got rekt this week with some injury news one way or the other, especially if you’ve invested heavily in Blue Jays players and a certain MVP candidate on the White Sox. The latter is true for me. Good news is I have my Hardwood Hogs playing for an Elite 8 berth to look forward to tonight. And honestly, if Oral Roberts shocks the world once again, the March Madness fan in me isn’t gonna 100% hate it. I might cry, but some of those tears will be of joy for ORU. Maybe.

Enough about me. Let’s get to those injuries:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And the men who hold high places

Must be the ones who start

To mold a new reality

Closer to the heart

 

What? You didn’t know that Toronto-based prog rock band Rush were huge roto baseball fans? That song was released in 1977 — the same year the Toronto Blue Jays played their inaugural season. It’s actually about their love for under-appreciated closer Pete Vuckovich who saved 8 games for the blue birds that year. A lot of us have that same love for certain closers and when it comes to draft time we think with our hearts rather than our heads. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The best 2021 fantasy baseball team is a misnomer. Thankfully, none of us know what misnomer means. Sounds to me like someone tentatively wants to date the Travelocity Gnome’s daughter, “Miss Gnome, er, you wanna grab some boba and chill?” Miss Gnome brushes back her hair and bats her eyelashes that are almost as long as her two-and-half foot body, “I’d love to,” but her voice is high-pitched, which is a turn-off, so you cancel plans with her repeatedly until she gets the hint. Sorry, Miss Gnome, I like my women’s voices low like their stature. Any hoo! So the title is a bit of a superlative. What was I gonna say, “The Mostly Kinda Good Fantasy Baseball Team?” You’ll get over your scoffing; I have faith in you. This is the best 2021 fantasy baseball team that I can put together when drafting from my top 100 for 2021 fantasy baseball and top 500 for 2021 fantasy baseball. Honestly, I could draft another 25 teams from those lists, and they’d all be different, but equally terrific… Well, one of the twenty-five would only be sorta terrific, but it would be really hard to tell which one that is. If I took Adalberto Mondesi in the 2nd round, everything after would change. If I took Trea Turner in the 1st round, everything after would change. I’ve previously gone over my 2021 fantasy baseball draft prep for the first few rounds and pitchers pairings.  For this exercise, I’m taking Cody Bellinger in the first, because, well, people complained previously I always did this post by taking the first pick, so I’m switching it up, like when you combover your hair right instead of left. Last year in my “Best Fantasy Baseball Team” post, I took Tatis with my 1st pick, when ESPN was telling you to draft him 43rd overall. Cust kayin’. Until pick 100, I’m taking one guy somewhere in every fifteen picks. It would be nice if I was in a league where someone drafted Gerrit Cole and deGrom in the first round and I was able to take Trevor Story in the 2nd round (which is likely in some leagues), but since Bellinger and him are in my first 12 picks, according to the rules I’ve set up for myself, I can’t take them both. Then, as we all know, once you get into the 100s, there’s wide gaps between ADP and where players are actually taken. People tend to look at team need over value. So for this exercise, once I get to pick #101, I’m going to pick two players every twenty picks. Finally, because there is so much latitude in the latter rounds, I gave myself free rein to fill up my team after pick 200. Throughout the draft, I also gave myself the ability to reach to a lower draft pick, but not reach forward. Or reach around, if you’re feeling frisky. It should still be my ideal team…or not. Let’s see, shall we? Bee tee dubya, this team is a 12-team, 5×5, one catcher, 5 OFs, MI, CI, 1 UT, 9 P, 3 bench, just like the Razzball Commenter Leagues (go sign up, you Big Chungus).  Anyway, here’s the best 2021 fantasy baseball team:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Holds Ain’t Got No Face! 

These poor schlubs. No one’s favorite player is a middle reliever. The middle reliever never gets the girl. The signed middle reliever rookie card never fetches more than a buck-fifty on eBay. 

Yet these working-class heroes continue to go out every day and grind away to bridge the gap between the billion-dollar, sexy starting pitchers and the dark, mysterious closers. 

So here’s to you Graeme Lloyd! Here’s to you Mark Eichhorn! Here’s to you Matt Thornton! And MY personal favorite player of all time — here’s to you Jeff Nelson! 

 

From a fantasy perspective, the middle reliever has been a non-factor since the beginning of roto baseball. In your standard 5×5 leagues there’s just no room for a player who barely contributes in any of the 5 pitching categories. However, after years and years of heart attacks from being forced to draft Fernando Rodney because they missed the closer runs — cardiologists have created a new fantasy category to prevent such cardiac conditions: saves + holds 

Below I’ve ranked the top-40 non-closers for saves + holds leagues. In true Kerry-fashion, I’ve manufactured my own ranking system. I’ve ranked these guys out into three categories: sv/hlds, limiting runs, and K/9 — the three categories that middle relievers can consistently help you in. Limiting runs is a combination of ERA and WHIP — basically, in one inning, a reliever needs to keep guys off the bases — and if there are already guys on the bases — keeping them from scoring runs. You know — like the job of every pitcher! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Whats happenin’ all. I’m back again after a call to the pen. I’m steppin’ in, as I hold the pen. Lets go, lets get it. Lets begin… Friday was quite the night in honor of Jackie Robinson. There was so much I could have led off with here, Mets walking off to sweep Yankees, Slam Diego unloading on the Rockies, Gyorko store restocked, my bae Zac Gallen set a record (we’ll get to that), and Franmil ate a lot of BBQ. I love baseball. Like I said, a lot of great things to talk about but a certain rookie pitcher gave me the feels tonight in all the right ways…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)

Is it already time for my Jonathan Schoop pickup post this year? Geez, time does fly. Like your mother! What does that mean? I thought I heard she was a flight attendant. If not, I’m so sorry. Like your mother! What? I thought I heard she was very polite and always said sorry. Guess she’s a terrible person. My bad, was trying to be nice. So, Schoop, rhymes with dope, not Shoop, Shoop-e-doop. Uh, here I go, here I go, here I go again. Five girl readers, what’s my weakness? Men (who play baseball)! Damn it! I promised myself I wouldn’t make any allusions to Salt-N-Pepa. By the way, George Clooney has really nice hair. What color is it? SALT AND PEPPER! God damn it! Okay, so Schoop has cut his Ks (minimally), but is hitting better than usual with a much flatter swing. Considering how much he would loft the ball vs. now? I think he can get power and average with his new swing. Maybe call it the New Jonathan Swing — Tony! Toni! Tone! says Feels Good! If nothing else, Schoop is worth rostering because he’s A) Not rostered in nearly enough leagues. B) Showing off a new swing that’s working for him, and is around a top 10 2nd baseman on our Player Rater. C) There’s no C. D) There was no C, why would there be a D? E) Grumbles F) Me, stop listing letters! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?