Please see our player page for Luis Garcia 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.

As many of you know, I’m in the NL-Only Tout Wars and LABR, so every year I take part in an industry NL-Only league with the CBS peeps (and Donkey Teeth, BDon, Itch…Now that I think about it, it’s all Razzball people and CBS’s Scott White) to try to find my footing like a drunk sailor hearing about a peg boy for the first time. If you don’t know what a peg boy is, don’t google it, which is what someone says knowing that will 100% cause someone to google it. Some might mock, some might mock draft, but this is my draft prep, and am happy to take part in this league. Until about 25 minutes into the draft, and players go for way too much, and I start getting hungry and I just want the whole thing to be over and ermahgerd! But, for those first twenty-five minutes of the five-hour draft, I’m laser focused. For this league, I once again use Rudy’s NL-Only rankings, and his War Room (it’s free with a subscription). I won’t try to get you to buy it anymore. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make the horse put a cape down so I can walk over the water without getting wet. (If you want a shallower league, play against me and hundreds others for prizes –> Razzball Commenter Leagues.)  Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and some thoughts:

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The top of the 2nd base pool is funky as all get-out, and I wish a lot of these guys would get out I’m trying to watch Get Out. Are the top 20 2nd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball shallower than the top 20 catchers for 2021 fantasy baseball? No, but it’s pretty close, and that’s the last time you’re gonna hear the word pretty and 2nd basemen in the same sentence. 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 2nd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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2020 turned out okay for the Astros, all things considered. 

This week’s ball-doctoring story that mentioned Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander might have otherwise grabbed some eyeballs but wound up buried beneath the seesawing fate of America’s democracy. 

All in all, the trash-bang scandal of 2019 got lost in much bigger conversations, so the traveling circus that would’ve been Houston’s 2020 playing on the road in front of fans that hated them never got out of the garage. Despite season-ending injuries to Justin Verlander and Yordan Alvarez and mostly silent bats from Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel (curious), the Astros remained a force to be reckoned with when it mattered most, striking fear in the hearts of baseball fans everywhere when they pushed the Rays to game 7 of the ALCS. 

2021 will be even more challenging. Though Yordan Alvarez is running again after surgeries on both knees, Houston will likely be without free agent outfielders George Springer and Michael Brantley. The system offers some possible help on the mound, but the bulk of their position prospects are too young to contribute anytime soon. 

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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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Another huge Yankees’ threat was activated last night, and he’s a big, big threat, I mean, big, big, big, it’s Aaron Judge, guys and five girls! And, wouldn’t you know it, the Yankees hit seven homers, with three of them from Kyle Higashioka (3-for-4, 5 RBIs with his 2nd, 3rd and 4th homer); DJ LeMahieu (3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) hit two homers (8, 9); Luke Voit? Oh, you know Voit (1-for-4, 3 RBIs) hit one of them! He has 19! Clint Frazier (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) even got in on the action, hitting his 7th homer. Oprah screaming like a lunatic, “You get a home run! You get a home run! You get a home run!” Aaron Judge looks under his seat, pulls out a gift-wrapped box, “I get…an 0-for-4?” *hears Final Jeopardy music* “What is six games?” “Oh, I’m sorry, that’s wrong. Aaron Judge will be injured again in four games.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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With four home runs and a stolen base in his first seven games, Randy Arozarena finally bloomed this week. Better late than never. 

One highlight of my winter was plucking Randy Rose atop the 2nd round of a 30-team First-Year-Player-slash-Supplemental Draft. 

The pre-Rona times were a mood, man. We had plenty of stuff to be indignant or cosmically fearful about, but we kinda weren’t, you know? Like on the day-to-day basis? We were mostly thinking about Randy Arozarena’s flashy spring in the fantasy factory that is Tampa Bay. Or maybe that was just me. 

But Tampa’s the pivot-slash-segue here, if such a thing exists when a conversation wanders among the Rona thoughts. Tampa’s Rays have been getting a lot of winter shade the past few off-seasons because the front office there would prefer to platoon the planet. The reticence to embrace young Rays makes plenty of sense, but on the other hand, a lot of what Tampa touches turns to gold.   

Arozarena will cool off soon enough because nobody could sustain his pace, but I think he’s here to stay as an impact bat for our game. He posted 16 home runs and 19 stolen bases in about 400 plate appearances between AA, AAA and MLB in 2019, slashing better than .300/.400/.500 at every level. Only the Cardinals would look at a guy like that and say no thanks. The “industry” in general loved the trade for St. Louis because we can dream on LHP Matthew Liberatore for a long time. Maybe it’ll still break their way, but Arozarena is a perfect fit in Tampa as a lefty masher who’s been improving against righties the past few seasons to the point where I think he’ll be above average against same-siders. He’s also a plus defender across the outfield. If I have to pick between Arozarena and Dylan Carlson in 2021, I’m feeling Randy enough to pluck the rose. Might even prefer him over the balance of their careers, partly because I’ve always loved the guy, partly because I just trust Tampa’s touch. 

So who else do we need to monitor in Tampa?

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This sounds absolutely crazy to say but there are two weeks left in the fantasy baseball season. It felt like I just started writing these articles and here we are at the end of the season. It’s been an absolute sprint to get to this point and it makes the rest of these games absolutely critical. That’s why I’m going to kill it with these streamers, so, let’s go ahead and get into it! 

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Matthew Boyd (3 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 7.63) is the ultimate poison pill. If I could, I’d hack into my opponent’s team and put Boyd on their team, and the crazy thing is they’d prolly thank me because there are a lot of FanBoydz out there who think he’s somehow worth owning. Sorry, not just worth owning, but people actively want him. It’s a sickness, FanBoydosis. People affected with FanBoydosis, aka FanBoydz, want you to believe there is so much more here. Oh, there could be, but he needs to stop allowing home runs. He goes from an ace to an Ace of Clubbed from start to start with no consistency, but that K/BB is so tantalizing–Hold up! I’ve been afflicted by FanBoydosis. I’m 250 words into a post about the Brewers and Corbin Burnes (7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 11 Ks, ERA at 1.99), talking about Boyd. Not sure what they feed the Brewers’ pitchers — hops? — but Burnes is now throwing his fastball 96 MPH, up from 95, and has completely changed his pitch mix (slider and fastball way less with a cutter and change added). He was essentially a two-pitch pitcher, and now throws four. His 12.7 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 is giving me the feels that I thought I’d get from Woodruff. Is Burnes a number one? Time will tell, but he has the makings. Also, in this game, Jedd Gyorko (2-for-5, and his 6th and 7th homer) went double dong like Jennifer Connelly, and I don’t even want to look at the Player Rater to see how much higher Gyorko is than a bunch of guys who I own. My mental health isn’t worth it. I get it, it’s not Jedd; I’m the Gyorko. Next up, Jacob Nottingham (1-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) hit his 2nd homer. Fun fact! Nottingham was the not very successful spin-off to Mountcastle. Now Orlando Arcia (4-for-6, 3 runs) didn’t homer, but four-hit games from Orlando gives Florida Man a good name. Over to Ryan Braun (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) who hit his 3rd homer. Have I mentioned the Brewers scored 19 runs? Flavor Flav through sobs, “Yeah, Boyd.” Finally, Tyrone Taylor (4-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) hit his 1st major league homer. He looks like a Quad-A prospect and sounds like a silent film star. Tyrone Taylor Chaplin-steps into frame, motions that his pockets and skills are empty, then a silent film title card reads, “What about Matthew Boyd?” Not you too, Tyrone! Well, with 19 runs scored, at least I have Keston Hiura. He went 0-for-2 without a run scored?Holy ticker tease! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Trevor Rosenthal and Mitch Moreland were traded to the Padres. Here’s what the Padres are saying to the major leagues: We are your father. Going the other way was Edward Olivares, and some prospects. The hug at the airport when Franchy Cordero sees Edward Olivares will be priceless. “What kind of things are there to do in Kansas City?” “Do you like jazz?” “I thought people just said they like jazz, but no one actually likes jazz.” “True.” Then after a brief pause, “Do the Royals let you play?” “Nah, they have Alex Gordon.” As for Rosenthal, he goes to a place with no set closer, and they will win some games. Rosenthal could be a top 10 closer the rest of the way, or he blows up his 1st game, and Drew Pomeranz is the closer again, or Emilio Pagan. For now, I’d put Rosenthal, Pomeranz then Pagan, as the pecking order. In KC, I’d look at Greg Holland, Scott Barlow or Josh Staumont, that order, but with limited chances. Oh, and Jesse Hahn, who got the save on Saturday, is there and he had an affair with Reverend Jim Bakker. Finally, Mitch Moreland, well, nothing really changes for him, or the main Padres hitters. The DH gave the Padres more room to play with, and they got Moreland. He can hit it out of any stadium, and he enters a better lineup. Did I just say the Padres’ lineup is better than a Red Sox lineup? Yup, welcome to 2020 and back from your coma! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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(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?