Please see our player page for Jose Iglesias 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.

I have waited a very long time to say this, Happy Opening Day!  Now, with that out of the way, let’s get down to business.  Your H2H league has drafted, we have an 11-day Week 1 (in most formats), and I am here to help you tighten up those categorical needs to help you win every week.  In this weekly segment, I am going to give you some players that can help you win your categories. Contrary to ROTO, you need to strike while the iron is hot on a week-by-week basis!   While I would love to help you out in your 6-team 15×15 with caught stealing and crotch grabs, I am simply going to look at Runs, RBI, HR, Wins, and Saves.  The Ratios will get some love here and there!  Without further ado, let’s get started!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With your NCAA tournament bracket now busted due to the rash of upsets this weekend, you can turn your attention back to baseball. In fact, why was your attention even turned away from baseball? With less than two weeks until the start of the regular season, spring training starts to take on a little bit of importance. OK, who am I kidding? We don’t need spring training to know who the top shortstops are, especially in 12-team mixed leagues.

However, there are plenty of 16-, 18- and 20-team leagues and thus a much larger player pool you need to dip into. Additionally, many deep leagues still require a middle infielder in addition to needing a starting shortstop. Depth is critical in deep leagues, and finding that gem late in the draft can be the difference between winning and losing a league.

With players locked into battles for a starting job, the spring training stats we overlook could help determine if Nico Hoerner earns the starting job with the Chicago Cubs or starts the season in the minor leagues. Or maybe a player you are tracking as a sleeper is having a horrible spring and doesn’t deserve to be on your watch list right now.
However, there are plenty of 16-, 18- and 20-team leagues. The player pool you need to dip into is greatly expanded when you have that many teams. Additionally, many deep leagues like these still require a middle infielder in addition to needing a starting shortstop. Depth is critical in deep leagues, and finding that gem late in the draft can be the difference between winning and losing a league. 

With players locked into battles for a starting job, the spring training stats we overlook could help determine if Nico Hoerner earns the starting job with the Chicago Cubs or starts the season in the minor leagues. Or maybe a player you are tracking as a sleeper is having a horrible spring and doesn’t deserve to be on your watch list right now.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Steals might ain’t got no face, but team stolen base attempts definitely do got yes face. (Totally crushed this lede!)

Today we’re going to get into something that normally makes fantasy baseball FAR superior to fantasy football in my opinion: coaching decisions. You could have the best wide receiver in the game, but whoopsie daisy — Mike McCarthy decides he wants to run the ball a lot today. Now you’re out $500. At least with fantasy baseball, the manager will always put his best lineup on the field and it is completely up to the hitter to do his job. The coach isn’t telling him “Hey you, I don’t even want you to swing up there.” 

Today’s article deals with managerial decisions on the basepath — specifically the stealing of second base. I’m going to let you in on some secrets on which managers have itchy trigger fingers when they have a runner on first with an empty base 90 feet away and those who are a bit gun shy when it comes to sending their runners. (Wow with all the violent imagery. What is this, CPAC?) 

First, some alarming data — here are the average manager second base stolen base attempt percentages from the past 10 years. (Analytic nerds will soon refer to this stat as MASBSBAP.) 

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Could I see owning two of the top 20 shortstops for 2021 fantasy baseball? More like: Can I draft four of them? This post is going to envelope you with so much love you’re going to remember when it was that you were first stung by the Fantasy Baseball Bug. By the way, the Fantasy Baseball Bug is mostly found in North America, struggles to reproduce and inhabits dark basements. Here’s Steamer’s 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All projections included here are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included. Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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So, I got the 5th pick. How’s your day going? At the Winter Meetings? That’s cool, same. Maybe you’ve seen me in the lobby, I’m wearing a floral arrangement on my head while I hide in a pot. Wait, there’s no Winter Meetings, that’s right. I mean there is, a group of billionaires are Zoom’ing into the Winter Meetings where the hottest commodity is a guy who was a backup catcher last year. Hey, Jon Heyman, stop leaking McCann news. I ate a few too many Olestra-laden potato chips and McCann is leaking! It’s none of your business! Last week, I took part in an NFBC team league, and here is, as the people say who are trying on hats, my recap. For those not in the know, this is a 15-team, two-catcher league that lasts for 50 rounds and there’s no waivers. You draft it, and manage it. Weekly moves for pitchers, bi-weekly (rawr!) for hitters, changing out on Monday and Friday. I didn’t want the fifth pick. I wanted any pick but the fifth pick. As I see it, there’s an obvious top four (Sexy Dr. Pepper, Tildaddy, FTJ, Mookie Best), then…Dot dot dot…Question mark. What now? I didn’t want to think for the 1st pick, but the automated draft picker thing (that’s its name) said I was the most qualified to think, so I thought. Or I just screwed up my pre-draft rankings for which pick I wanted. Like a teamster, I’m leaning on the latter. Anyway, here’s my NFBC draft recap:

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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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The Yankees scored 20 runs and Giancarlo Stanton returned from the IL with an 0-for-4. Giancarlo Stanton really impressed me last night by staying on the field for numerous swings without oblique, hammy, calf, forearm, torso, shin, neck or shoulder issues. Stanton has a chance to pass his games played total last year of 18. He’s currently at 14, but there’s no way he plays four more games, right? *pop, pop, pop* Paul O’Neill from a remote location, “What is that popping noise?”
Michael Kay in his trademark baritone, “Paul, that’s Giancarlo wrapped in bubble wrap!”
“Ah, that’s great to see.”
“Yeah, really cool. What a team player.”
“Totally.”
“Hey, you ever notice our Yankees’ broadcasts are the boringest broadcasts?”
“Is boringest a word?”
“I bet it is.”
“Interesting. Like this conversation.”

Also, in this game, Luke Voit went bazinga two times (3-for-5, 5 RBIs), hitting his 17th and 18th homers. He was the late-round corner man to draft. Sigh. Speaking of sighs, Gary Sanchez (1-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 8th homer, hitting .131) had his first ball hit that didn’t include his crotch. Then, DJ LeMahieu (4-for-6, 3 runs, 5 RBIs) hit his 7th homer, as he hits .363. He’s so adamant to defy me it makes him a real pest. Finally, Aaron Hicks (1-for-4) hit his 5th homer on my bench. *breathes in 95% smoke-filled air mixed with pandemic* What a time to be alive! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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“Keep on go on wondering why, I got out of bed at all,” which are the lyrics for Thank You by Dido, which was the chorus for Stan by Eminem, and I want to thank you, Kwang-Hyun Kim (7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 0.63) as he was activated from the IL after having kidney problems, and to misquote Eminem, “I Stan Kim.” Actually, here’s Eminem singing The Golden Girls theme song, “Stan Kim for pitching a gem.” Eminem is a big Golden Girls fan, obvi. Any hoo! What a year by Kim, whoa. He has 24 consecutive scoreless innings, and has allowed only one home run all year. Granted, he’s only thrown 28 2/3 IP all year, has allowed only two earned runs all year, and that’s less than a month of a regular season. But, wow, what a year! We’ll leave it at that. Will Eminem, or us for that matter, be singing The Golden Girls theme song, “Stan Kim for pitching a gem” in 2021? That seems less likely. His peripherals are not particularly inspiring, but for this year *genuflects* Stan Kim, Stan Kim, Stan Kim. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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

Josh Naylor was gently touched on by me when he was traded from the Padres to the Indians, like the Padres gently touch on the Indians while playing Cowboys and Indians. *phone rings* “Hello, yes, that’s me. What’s that? I’ve been cancelled? I see. No, no, it’s understandable. Hey, I had a good run.” Welp, before I get out of here, Josh Naylor is only 23 years old, and doesn’t get nearly the love one with his type of power should get. You don’t have to be a carpenter to Naylor! *phone rings* “Hello…You again? I know I was cancelled, but I thought I could finish up prior to–Keep it short? Okay, like Al Pacino. What?! That was a short joke. They’re not allowed either? Oh c’mon…” Whispers, “Your mom…What? Did I say ‘c’mon your mom?’ Uh, yeah.” Damn, I just got cancelled while being cancelled. Any hoo! The Indians said Naylor would play every day. His last Triple-A year shows what he’s capable of:  10 HRs, .314 in 54 games. His Launch Angle is rather flat, and I’d love to see him hit more fly balls. That’s the only way to Naylor! *phone rings* “Ugh…Yes, I’m done.” Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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It’s trade deadline season already? It feels like the season just started. Well, sometimes one’s feels are the correct feels, and sometimes one’s feels are the type of feels that have you on a first date snorting through tears that your daddy never hugged you. Today, I’m having the right feels. This feels weird. The season just started and teams are buyers and sellers. This is all so nuts. We will never see another season like this in our lifetime (barring a strike, then we might see this in 18 months). Never again will the league sit out for Covid. Even if there’s an outbreak next year with no vaccine, teams will just go into bubble mode in March. This past year happened because people didn’t know what they didn’t know. The ‘what we know now stuff’ is the Mariners sent Taijuan Walker to the Buffalo Bleu Jays. A better team is a greater than symbol, but ballpark A doesn’t equal ballpark B. This isn’t a great move for Walker to Buffalo’s Wild Winds, but there’s only about six starts left for pitchers, so Streamonator. I do think Taijuan Walker has become a fascinating name for 2021. His 8.3 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 are back up to where he was pre-Tommy John (surgery, not underwear), and back then he was a 3.50-ish ERA pitcher. That was in an easier league, but also a bad park. He becomes a free agent this offseason, so we’ll see where he is pitching next year, but I’m way more interested in him now vs. later. Yum, those candies were good! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?