Please see our player page for Hyun-Jin Ryu 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.

A lot of pitcher fantasy analysis centers around pitcher quality: Velocity, stuff, BABIP, Statcast, recent performance…balancing out all of the available metrics to determine cost (draft slot, $ value) is the name of the game. Today we’re going to look at a metric I rarely see discussed in the pre-season: strength of schedule (SoS).

In-season, starting pitcher matchups are gold, whether you’re playing the streaming game or DFS. But pre-season, I rarely see analysis go any deeper than AL-vs.-NL comparisons. At the individual-SP level, this makes sense: projecting out specific full-season matchups for an SP is impossible.

At the team level, however, we can get get a pretty good handle on who may have advantageous matchups and who has a tough road. More specifically, we’re interested in the extremes: How frequently will each team face really tough matchups, or really easy ones? The middle 60% will be mostly based on pitcher quality; at the margins, we have actionable start/sit decisions.

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Choosing fantasy baseball players is a little bit like choosing who to marry. In both cases, we’re making a commitment to somebody while trying to make our best prediction of the future using incomplete and sometimes unquantifiable data. I know, they’re not completely the same. Unless you’re the most polyamorous m’fer around, you’re probably not choosing 50 people to marry one year and then starting all over again a year later. But to each their own. Listen, the point is that we have to engage in some level of risk assessment in both of these situations. 

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I woke up the other day in a sweat from a dream where I drafted Dinelson Lamet, Chris Paddack, and Corbin Burnes as my top starters in RazzSlam. I was confused: did I do well? Did I do poorly? Would the internet validate my team or would they mock me in private chats? Could I ever show my avatar online again? I started to second guess everything about my life. “French fries should be eaten with mayo!” a voice in my head shouted. “And Mariners pitchers are smart draft choices!” My moral compass was haywire. Had I crossed the threshold from “Bold” to “Brazen?” Should I not have made sriracha Oreos? Is Zombies and Bridgerton too much for my next spec script? No! Sexy Victorian zombies are avant garde! It is the world that doesn’t understand me. Brazen is only the beginning…

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Hello, all you brave, courageous, adventure-seekers, you’ve found the wrong website. This is fantasy baseball, not fantasy role playing, unless it’s fantasy roll-playing and this is Stratomatic, but that’s still not right. Still, fantasy baseball. Good, now that we got rid of all those people wearing fedoras and shopping from the Indiana Jones collection at Eddie Bauer, we can get down to the bidness. The Auction value bidness? Not quite, but you can find all auction values in Rudy’s rankings — one example, 12-team mixed league auction values. This is a top 100 for 2021 fantasy baseball.

One word about this top 100 for 2021 fantasy baseball, before I give you another 5,000 words. I’m going to avoid repeating myself from the position rankings in the 2021 fantasy baseball rankings. If you want to know my in-depth feelings about a player, then you need to go to his positional page, i.e., the top 20 1st basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball, the top 20 outfielders for 2021 fantasy baseball, the top 20 Patterns In Queso That Look Like Messages From Another Planet for 2021– Okay, but I almost got you. This post is meant to give you an idea where guys from different positions are in relation to each other. Since this post is only the top 100, there’s more players where this came from. 458 more, to be very exact. Next up, there will be a top 500 that will go to 562. Then, after that, there will be a top 7,500 that will go to 8,602, then a top 25,000 that will go to 28,765, then a top 600,000 that will go to 892,121, until we end up with a top kajillion in April that will go to a kajillion and one. Or maybe I’ll stop at the top 500. Yeah, that makes sense. Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel. Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2021 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.” Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters. Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter! Razzball Subscriptions are also now open. Early subscribers get Rudy’s War Room, and you can go ad-free for a $9.99, because ads suck. Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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The royal we already went over all the hitters for 2021 fantasy baseball rankings. That’s not the “royal we” as that term usually implies. It was me writing it alone while wearing a Burger King crown. I refuse to draft a top starter where they are usually drafted. Unlike hitters, you need six starters, depending on your league depth. Simple math tells us there’s plenty of starters to go around. Simple Math also says, “Stop putting words in my mouth!” Simple Math has an attitude problem. Simple Math says, “Try counting on your fingers without me!” Yo, eff you, Simple Math! In most leagues, there’s a ton of pitchers on waivers that can help you — all year. Not just in April. With the help of the Stream-o-Nator, you can get by with, say, three starters while streaming the rest. (By the by, Razzball Subscriptions are now open. Early subscribers get Rudy’s War Room, which I haven’t drafted without in about five years, and it’s worth the price of a subscription.) There’s also the fact that three stats by starters are difficult to predict due to luck. Wins, ERA and WHIP are prone to change, depending on which way the ball bounces and whether or not the guys behind the pitchers can score runs. Finally, the best starters can give you four categories. The best hitters can give you five categories. So, here’s Steamer’s 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. As always, where I see tiers starting and stopping are included with my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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Toronto signified their intent to contend by signing Hyun-Jin Ryu during the winter of 2019, and he repaid their confidence with an excellent season in 2020. The rest of their pitching decisions didn’t pan out quite so beautifully, but the offensive core of a yearly contender is growing together north of the border (well, assuming they can play north of the border sometime soon), and it’s just a matter of time before they amass enough pitching to scare the bullies that beat up the AL East year over year. 

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We’ve gone over the final 2020 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters. This is different than Final Fantasy rankings where you rank Final Fantasy 1 thru Final Fantasy 15. That’s hardcore nerd shizz! This is simply fantasy baseball — we’re softcore nerds like Emmanuelle is to porn. So, there’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left. You’re welcome. I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking next about 2021 rookies. Let’s boogie to the next year, I’m so done with 2020. Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Baseball’s Rat Pack is back! A classic saxophone beat starts playing. It’s Bobby Darin’s Don’t Rain on My Parade. A disembodied voice can be heard, “Hey world here I am!” Just then Jose Altuve stands up from an umbrella stand, “Don’t tell me not to hit a deep fly, I’ve simply got to!” George Springer walks out banging on a bucket, “If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you! Ow, my hamstring!” Alex Bregman walks out, and faux bashfully closes Altuve’s jersey, “Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on our 2017 World Series parade.” Yesterday, was a sign of old stolen signs. Alex Bregman (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 5th homer, and came within a single of the cycle. The Hungry Man cycle! For 2021, Bregman seems less impacted by this egregious season. He was never going to reach last year’s peak, but he can also avoid this year’s nadir. Speaking of low points (segue!), Jose Altuve (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 4th homer, and his 1st homer in more than a month. Mentioned this a few times on recent podcasts, but I tested positive for a 2021 Jose Altuve not being on my teams. He won’t be drafted in the top 25 again, and I’m not sure if he’ll be in the top 100. Finally, George Springer (3-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 14th homer, and, well, he’s acksually been good, when he’s been on the field, which, like usual, is nowhere nearly enough. Now watch the Astros get hot at the perfect time for the playoffs, and give MLB one of the worst storylines for a team contending for the playoffs since the 1920 White Sox were led by “Wearing Shoes” Jim Jackson, Joe’s dandy brother. “Take your shoes off, Jim! You’re embarrassing yourself!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I always remind you to check your lineups before start of play, and never more so in this most roller-coastery of weeks in the most roller-coastery of seasons, as it barrels breathlessly toward the finish line. You have teams who have clinched berths in the playoffs and others realizing that 2020 is not their year (is it anybody’s year, really?), so it’s always an interesting time for setting lineups, as things can change at the very last minute: players resting, pitchers not going deep, et cetera. But as of time of writing, Kevin Gausman ($8,300) is still projected to start at home for the Giants versus the Rockies, and it is he on whom we are pinning our hopes for our FanDuel DFS lineup, this Thursday. He’s also been great in his last 2 outings, versus the A’s and Diamondbacks, going 6.0 innings with 1 earned run on each occasion. For the rest of this, my very last post of the 2020 “regular” season (thanks for hanging out with me!), let’s take a look at some hitters to recruit around him, as well as some alternative pitching, after the jump.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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I’m freshly back from The Hotties, which is the annual Razzball award ceremony for the “hottest taeks” in fantasy baseball. With the sharp-toothed piranhavirus in full swing, Grey called for a “Mask-erade” ball, but the Eventbrite invitation auto-corrected it to a “masquerade” ball. Everybody showed up with the wrong parts of their face covered. I thought Grey would be upset but he seemed to take everything in stride, saying that he had been waiting for this day since “Eyes Wide Shut” was released. Is that a movie or a novel or a contact delivery service? Anyway, Grey started giggle-whispering “Fidelio!” at everybody. Hey, Grey, I get it. Fidel Castro liked baseball. Let’s get with the times!

I did manage to record Grey’s speech to all the writers and Instagram models who attended. Here’s the transcript if you want to read it:

“I’ll get right to the point: I’m proud to announce a new partnership between Razzball and the San Diego Padres. 2021 will be known as STAN DIEGO around here, and all hot taeks will involve Padres players. The top 10 pitchers? Lamet, Davis, Clevinger, and Paddack [audible hissing from the crowd]. The top 10 hitters? Tatis, Machado, Grisham, and Myers. Trevor Rosenthal is a top 30 pick. You will all write sleeper articles on Joey Lucchesi, Adrian Morejon, and yes, Eric Hosmer. [pause while Grey dodges thrown masks] Fear not, for STAN DIEGO comes with perks! You will all get a free hot dog with a purchase of an annual pass to Sea World, and you’ll get a personal tour of the tiger enclosure at the San Diego Zoo. Now, writers, start hyping Jake Cronenworth!”

At that point, all the people Grey whispered “Fidelio” to disappeared into Grey’s private grotto, which he named “50 Shades of Play” because of the underwater mini-golf course he installed. Myself? I was left standing in the foyer with a mysterious note that only said, “MacKenzie Gore, 2021 hot taek.”

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