Please see our player page for Marcus Stroman 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.

Good afternoon, everyone–don’t panic, you’re in the right spot. You’re used to coming here for EverywhereBlair’s outstanding rankings and coverage of MLB starting pitchers, but our guy needs a fill-in this week and next. I’ll do my best to bring you my iteration of SP rankings while hopefully not disappointing those of you who come […]

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“Only thing better than three homers in a game is three World Championships in three years for three different teams.” — Joc Pederson probably. Joc Pederson is 80-grade fun. Maybe it’s the goofy paunchy body, maybe it’s the frosted hair that seems done by himself on a whim. I don’t know; he’s just so much fun. Yesterday, him and his fantasy owners had a whole lotta fun — 4-for-6, 8 RBIs and his 8th, 9th and 10th homers and his first career three-homer game. I know it’s inaccurate, but it feels like Joc Pederson hits 30 homers every year, and they’re all hit in the matter of 10 games. Think the only thing you need to know about Joc Pederson is this picture:

Joc Pederson has ice in his veins and NFTs in his crypto wallet. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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First, the bad news, Tyler O’Neill hit the IL with a right-shoulder impingement. Took how long for him to come up with some made-up injury? Hope it wasn’t very long, because it’s not believable. His exit velocity on his lame-ass excuse is almost as bad as his hitting. Take a TO, TO, you disappoint me. Replacing him…*drum roll*…Nolan Gorman is being called up for today’s game. Lezzzzzzzzzzzzzz Fudginnnnnnnnnnnnnn Gooooooooooooooooo! *jaw comes dislocated from screaming, goes to the hospital, doctor diagnoses me with Gormania* Gormania can’t be cured, according to WebMD. Does it matter that I keep wanting to call him Norman Golman? No, dude. So, he’s going to start at 2nd base, and Edman likely moves to the outfield. It’s about to get crowded in Saint Louie. Ugh, seeing they might have a cure for Gormania, it’s called a 35% strikeout rate. That’s not cool. Gorman could hit 45 homers, and .170. Here’s my Nolan Gorman fantasy; some stats might be a little off, but sentiment stays same. Also, I am go over Nolan Gorman at our Youtube channel. Click that link, hit subscribe and come back. Thank you! We’re halfway to thousand. Get us to thousand and never hear about it again. Here’s the video:

Also, getting the call was Matthew Liberatore to start on Saturday. If you think I’m slightly less enthused for Liberatore than I am for Gorman, you’re right. It’s a hitter vs. pitcher thing. Not much else. In 40 IP in Triple-A, Liberatore had 10.4 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, and 3.83 ERA, and he should have better command than that. Here’s what Prospect Itch said, “For a while, Liberatore seemed fated to become a blip in trivia history as the player acquired for Rays postseason beast Randy Arozarena. After 2021, skies look a little clearer. The club jumped him over AA and let him throw 124.2 innings at AAA, where he was six years younger than his average competitor. He struggled at first (5.21 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 1.87 HR/9 through 11 starts) but got better results over his final ten turns (2.67 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 0.78 HR/9). The WHIPs here show some luck both ways, but the home run ball was clearly his bugaboo early, and he cut that by more than 100 percent over the 2nd half. His pitch shapes could still leave him vulnerable in that department (his fastball doesn’t ride), but he’s adding velocity as he ages and was burying that big curve with consistency by season’s end. If he keeps that up, he’ll be a nice addition to the Redbirds’ rotation this year. And Grey is a big dummy.” Honestly, that’s fair. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Wish I could say Kevin Gausman‘s success this year will end forever, “(Pitcher’s name) is going to AL East, now you better be scared, right, Grey? Grey, tell me you’re supposed to be scared. Say that now. I beg of you! Tell me (pitcher’s name) going to the AL East is bad for him!” Grabs Aquanet hairspray and a Zippo lighter, threatening, “Tell me, Grey, or I will burn down your house.” Even with the NL getting the DH, something about a pitcher going to the AL East frightens guys more than hearing Amber Heard just ate Raisin Bran. Yesterday, Kevin Gausman went 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.27. That’s now 41 Ks and zero walks to start the year. That’s the third most Ks to start the year without a walk since 1900 (only behind 2021 Corbin Burnes and 2017 Kenley Jansen). It doesn’t matter if a pitcher has two pitches, if one is unhittable like Gausman’s splitter, and it doesn’t matter what division a pitcher is in if he’s unhittable. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Above Yankee Stadium last night was a transparent cherub, sitting on the clouds — rosy cheeks, belly full of gabagool, Italian flag wife beater shirt. It was the one and only American actor, James Gandolfini, and next to him was the American actress, Nancy Marchand, who famously played his mother. Together, they smiled down on the Italian stallions, Joey Gallo, who went 1-for-4, and his 1st homer; Aaron Judge, whose name ends in a vowel, went 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 4th homer, and Anthony Rizzo who went 3-for-4, 4 runs, 6 RBIs, 6th, 7th, and 8th homers, because last night the Yankees went ayo whaddya know bada bing bada boom. Though, Rizzo went bada bing bada boom bada bing bada boom bada bing bada boom. The three bada bing bada booms were previously reserved for guys from Staten Island and celebrated on special occasions like a baptism or when someone buys a Corvette. So far, Anthony Rizzo’s year couldn’t be coming at a better place for a true Zombino. The short porch was made for him. First, the Yankees Letter, then Anthony Rizzo’s 3-homer night. Not since Babe Ruth homered the night he torched his house with his lovely wife inside, have the Yankees had such a roller coaster day. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Shohei Ohtani went 6 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 12 Ks, ERA at 4.40, and 2-for-4, 1 run, 2 RBIs, and is that one of the best single game performances of all-time? Yes. So commonplace from Ohtani that it’s become expected? Also, yes. He’s just so good always, that it’s kinda like a pimp’s favorite phrase, ho-hum. What more can you say? I can’t do a lede for Ohtani after every one of his extraordinary performances, because they’re going to happen once a week. Is he one of the greatest players ever? Yes. What’s truly remarkable and shows you how incredible he is: He’s on a team with a top 20 hitter of all-time and he’s made people forget about Mike Trout. Making Mike Trout obsolete on Mike Trout’s team? That is truly extraOhtaniary. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So get this: sometime back in the stone ages when there was just Pets.com and only one Matrix movie, some guy named Clint “Command Strip” Feverback invented the Quality Start. Legend has it that Clint was having beers in his garage while listening to the game on the radio, where Matt Cain was on his way to another 4-12 season with a 2.83 ERA. Clint chugged a beer in honor of failing fantasy baseball team, which also fared pretty well in the ERA and WHIP categories but just couldn’t muster enough Wins to, well, win. Fed up with finishing second place to his junior high school bandmate and future boss at the shrimp canning factory Tyler Stilwicky — who just trotted out Yankees pitcher after Yankee pitcher and dominated the Wins and Saves categories — Clint decided to invent a statistic so unassailable in its statistical fortitude that fantasy baseballers for the next century would consider it superior to the Win. Thus, the Quality Start was born in that garage, after Clint’s first six-pack but before his first heart attack.

And twenty years later, us fantasy baseballers still have no freaking clue what to do about the quality start. So let’s jump in fears first and see if we can do anything to celebrate — or even prognosticate — the legacy that Clint “Command Strip” Feverback left us.

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I’m a little uneasy about putting out rankings at this stage of the game given the uncertainty surrounding the start of the MLB season, but I know many of you need to make some decisions about keepers and are probably starting to think about drafts. I strongly recommend that your league considers delaying any keeper deadlines and solidifying a draft date until the start of the season is more of a certainty. A lot can happen between now and Opening Day and that will directly affect player values. Those of you that read my posts over the years know that I am a numbers guy. My rankings are based on my estimations. Estimations are my version of projections. However, I have not yet started to formulate my estimations given the aforementioned MLB climate. Luckily for me, and you, Rudy, perhaps the best in the business, has generated projections. I think I might have broken a record for the number of commas in that last sentence. Almost certain it was bad grammar. Today’s rankings are based on a proprietary blend of those projections and my patent-pending algorithms.

I don’t often do ranking tiers, but when I do, I share them with you.

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The top 40 starters for 2022 fantasy baseball fall roughly in the 75 to 125 overall for those of you who are wondering where we are overall, and, of course, when the rankings are done I will be along with a top 500 overall to show you exactly where we are. Think of this set of starters as your number twos and number threes, but, again, I will have a pitchers’ pairing tool to help with that too. I give and you receive. Ho, ho, ho, that’s me giving and you receiving. Also, our subscriptions are up and running, and that comes with our online Fantasy Baseball War Room. Here’s Steamer’s 2022 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2022 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 40 starters for 2022 fantasy baseball:

NOTE: All 2022 fantasy baseball projections are based on a 162-game season, and will be until we hear definitively there will be less games, due to the CBA. Also, I’m going on the assumption the NL is getting the DH.

NOTE II: All my rankings are currently available on Patreon for the price of a Starbucks coffee, if you get one of those extra grande frappuccino jobbers. Don’t wait for the rankings to come out over the next month, and get them all now.

NOTE III: Free agents are listed as just that and not yet projected. Once a guy signs, I will write out their blurb and add in projections, or remove them, if they sign in an unfavorable place. They are ranked currently where I think they might be if they sign on for a full-time job.

Please, blog, may I have some more?