The bomb to right-center, his fourth homer of the year, wasn’t even the most impressive thing Shohei Ohtani (3-for-5, hitting .364) did yesterday. He beat out a single to short with a sprint speed of 29.5 ft/sec. That’s the 5th best Sprint Speed this year, just a bit better than Ronald Acuña Jr. Uh…*looks around for forty-five minutes, looks back*…Is anyone else seeing this? Can Acuña, serious question, also throw 101 MPH and have an under 2.00 ERA? Yo, is Shohei Ohtani really Roy Hobbs? ACKCHYUALLY If you had Roy Hobbs hit a 460-foot homer, beat out a grounder to short and pitch 101 MPH speedballs, you’d be like, “I appreciate the love story, and the friendship he built with the cross-eyed bat boy that he saved from a burning supermarket, but the baseball stuff isn’t believable in this movie.” Ohtani is not believable. That’s it. He’s one of the best baseball players ever, tools-wise. Truly not believable how good he is at each tool. Unfortch for fantasy, the Angels insistence on him pitching is hurting his overall fantasy value. Sorry, I’m not being a giant idiot. I mean, I might be a giant idiot, but not in this case. You miss a game or two each week as a hitter, and your stats are going to suffer. Hopefully, he has three months’ worth of Rich Hill blisters and can’t pitch all year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for John Means 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?
The season is a week old which means we finally have some real data to analyze. So let’s overreact to all of it. The best part about the early weeks of the season are the lesser known guys come out swinging and light the world on fire. First on the list is Akil Baddoo who is here to save your fantasy season. If you haven’t picked him up yet, stop reading right now and go grab him. You can ride the molten lava hot start while it lasts. Naturally the average will come down at some point but the power should remain and he has the tools to be stay in your lineup all season. He’s taking the league by storm after smacking a home run in his first at bat with his parents in the stands. It’s Baddoo’s world and we’re all just fortunate to be living in it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Stephen Strasburg went 6 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 8 Ks. And, um. That’s roughly one-thousand percent surprising. Take every cat that’s every jumped out of a closet in a movie and put ’em together and you have a catomic bomb of shock and it’s less shocking than how well Strasburg pitched. Take the “I see dead people” twist and put it in The Crying Game “ding dong” twist and that’s nowhere nearly as surprising. Take a surprise party where the guest of honor has a heart attack and you have something, okay, about that surprising. Yet. Dot dot dot. Still don’t trust Strasburg. If you have him, then I wish you well, but it would not be me. Now I’m simply second-guessing whether or not my fears were for naught. By the way, try to say “naught” without sounding like you’re in a movie in South Boston with Ben Affleck. You simply cannot. “Where’s my munchkins?” “I went to Dunkies and they were out.” “Naught?” “Naught.” See what I mean? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday 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:
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!
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?
(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH OR $13/MONTH WITH AN EXTRA WEEKLY PODCAST.)
I enter a cave in the coastal region of the Sierra Leone, wearing a pith helmet and other garb you’d see on someone butterfly hunting. Only I’m not searching for a Pussycat Swallowtail. I press my hands to my mouth and call out, “Hey, Buy/Sell column, hey, are you in here!” My echoes reverb back to me with not a sound more. No indication it’s here. Then, suddenly, the Fantasy Baseball Buy/Sell column rises like the WWE wrestler, The Undertaker, and holds a flashlight to its face for great effect, “What do you want?” We need you for another year of fantasy baseball Buy/Sell columns. “Okay, I was bored just laying here under an inch of dirt.” To get in the Buy section of this post, a player needs to be rostered in less than 50% of leagues, and more than 50% for the Sell side, i.e., Welcome back to another year of, “This guy is only owned in 7% of ESPN leagues?! WUT DA WUT!?” Or simply WDW. Okay, enough dinging-a-linging on the side note tip, let’s get down to bidness. Our first buy of the year is Andrew Vaughn. There’s Hobbs’s Andrew Vaughn fantasy, which I won’t be able to supplement in any meaningful way. He covers the stats. The White Sox are on the cusp. They had nothing to wait for in promoting Vaughn, and they didn’t wait. It’s White Boy Summer and Vaughn Chets all the boxes. T. Hanks. The projections don’t love Vaughn — 20/6, .215 average. Yes, that’s 20 homers and six steals in 500 ABs. But there’s not one league where I wouldn’t take a Vaughn flyer. With Eloy going down, the White Sox need all help they can get and they’re not turning to utility man Mendick to starch their socks, so to speak. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m a big fan of the everyman. I consider myself the everyman. I’m every man’s everyman. A pioneer of normcore. Track pants and a blinking light on my car’s dashboard that either means my seatbelt isn’t on or I need oil. That is me. What better way to elevate the Everyman Culture, than to take part in a tourney where no one is smarter than anyone else. Enter the RazzSlam, a Best Ball tourney. Every everyman likely knows what a Best Ball league is, but, if you don’t, it’s when you draft a team and the computer manages it for you by choosing who are your best players, and you get those stats. It’s basically one fantasy league removed from the robots taking over and killing us all. Well, the last laugh is on you robots, there’s a virus beating you to the punch! Kinda love that Razzball is putting on a tourney (hosted by NFBC — thank you!) that no one really has any clue how to strategize against. A true everyman experience. Oh, I’m sure there’s a few people who think they know the best strategy for, uh, Best Ball, and a few of them might be right, but there’s an under 1% chance they know why they’re right, and it isn’t just luck. In some ways, Best Ball leagues are a lot like Best Ball strategies. Throw a ton of them out there and a few good ones will rise to the top through sheer force of players’ performances and nothing you’re actually doing. That’s the fun. Anyway, here’s my RazzSlam, a 42-round, Best Ball 12 team draft recap: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!”Please, blog, may I have some more?
Today concludes the fantasy baseball sleepers‘ portion of our program. *nudges homeless woman sleeping on my couch that I tried to get Cougs to agree to a threesome with* No more sleepers, Francine. Meh, I’ll let her rest. Like the 2nd basemen to target or outfielders to target, this post is necessary. You need to target the right names at the end of the draft for starters. Last year’s starters to target post included Kenta Maeda, Kevin Gausman, Pablo Lopez, Julio Urias, Joe Musgrove and Jake Odorizzi, who I apparently can never get enough of. They’ve moved way up ranks this year with one making the jump to my top 20 starters, and, well, can you believe ESPN ranked Maeda 206th overall last year and left Gausman unranked? Yeah, well, Pablo Lopez was unranked by Yahoo and 375th overall by NFBC, so, as I always say, starters are available later. As with other target posts, these guys are being drafted after the top 200 overall. Also, all Steamer hitter projections are updated just about every day (mostly small adjustments), and all 2021 fantasy baseball rankings are updated, as well, including for Zac Gallen, who I would no longer draft as I say in the top 40 starters. Anyway, here’s some starters to target for 2021 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?