Please see our player page for Triston McKenzie 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.

You could help us both a bit here by imagining the standard intro about 2020 being weird for minor leaguers. Unprecedented, at least in my lifetime. Well, I guess I was in grade school during the strike that stopped the Expos’ title run. I remember sitting in music class thinking about Steve “The Scab” Reed. That’s when I learned what a scab was. But you couldn’t just scrape ole Steve Reed off that wound and fling it in the garbage. On no, he hung around for a little longer than anyone wanted, a coagulated reminder of the strife that brought on the steroid era. Though that shutdown was much shorter on the minor league side, young players’ timelines were similarly wonked up back then, I suspect, but they persevered, and so will some among this covid-complicated crop.

Here’s a refresher link to the Top 100 Prospects for 2021 Fantasy Baseball.

In this space, I’ll bid farewell to the prospects on their way off the lists as we head into mid April and discuss my thoughts in building a new list for May.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Did you know Huascar Ynoa signed as a 16-year-old, when he was likely 10 years old, because the Braves scout players when they’re in Latin American T-ball? “The kid throws 97 as an 8-year-old, we might want to throw $500 his family’s way so he signs with us for twelve years.” That’s a Braves scout. By the way, according to prospect grades, Latin American T-ball is comparable to Double-A. If Huascar would’ve held out, he would’ve been a 1st round draft pick and everyone would be crazy about him. Ya know? Yeah, ya know Ynoa. He’s on the list of the top ten velocity increasers this year, up to 96+ MPH on his fastball, and he has two pitches — an 85 MPH slider is the other. Both are wipeout, bye-bye, ‘say hello to your mother for me’ type pitches. Yesterday, he had the most Ks for a 22-year-old Braves pitcher since 2013 (Teheran), going 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 0.75. With two pitches, he could get some mileage around the league once, twice, three times a Ynoa, or be out of the rotation in a few weeks. Absolutely would grab him in all leagues to see if he can keep it up each time around the track.

Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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.

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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:

Dear EverywhereBlair, 

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! 

Signed, 

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!

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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!”

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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:

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In Japan, you bond with your coworkers by going to an enkai. You say it like “N-kai,” and the Kai is as in Cobra Kai, not “Kay” as in, “I’m so American I can’t envision speaking any language than N-glysh. The enkai is usually where the office (not the TV show) gets together for some BBQ and beers. Everybody goes to the enkai, even if they don’t like beer and BBQ. Sometimes, Japanese managers conduct official office business at the enkai, which makes it somewhat awkward when they pass out documents to read while you’re navigating grilled meat. Then comes the nijikai, or “second meeting,” when the “cool people” leave the “squares” behind, and they go to a place where there’s more beer, some snacks, and some karaoke. But for the bold — and those who are truly initiated into the office — there’s the sanjikai, or the “third meeting.” This is the event where only the hardened drinkers, the Buddhist teetotalers, and those people trying to forget the horrors of 9-5 hyper-capitalism are found. For the sanjikai, you’re out there not because you have to, but because you want to. Because you’re driven, by some supra-rational urge that verges on the paranormal, to see what’s hidden behind the curtain. You want to suck the marrow out of life and maybe get a bone splinter in your gums. You know the world has made its mark on you, and you want to mark the world before you transit off this plane of existence into the cosmos, awaiting to be reborn on your ascent to Nirvana. You might not get home tonight if you go out to the sanjikai, but that’s OK because you’re willing to sit in the park and watch the stars until first train.

That’s what this third pre-season edition of the Top 100 Starting Pitchers is all about: You want to know what the others don’t know. You’ve probably drafted already, but you’re here to get prepped for who to pick up off the waiver wire and what to do for next year. You, my dear reader, are initiated into my office, and I invite you to the sanjikai of my weekly pitchers series.

This article is probably my greatest contribution to fantasy sports so far, and I hope you enjoy it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“I did it. It’s done,” Grey said, running his hand through his mustache in splendid celebration. A fire roared in the hearth and cup of sparkling Fresca waited by his side. He pulled on his faux fur thrift store coat, looking every bit the 5’7″ “Legend of Los Angeles” that Fantasy Baseballer Magazine had dubbed him. He moved to his easy chair, reached for the remote, and turned off the National Geographic documentary about the hunting patterns of the Siberian Tiger, which always put him in the mood “to eat the competition” in the draft room. With clear eyes and full heart, he recited his daily mantra, I am the fantasy master lothario. 40 rounds, player upon player upon player upon sleeper. Like a talk show host, he fended off attacks from the left and the right and emerged above the fray, insouciant to what carnage he left in his path.

His mental respite was shattered when Cougs came rushing through the door, home from the grocery store. She whipped off her mask, panting, the twinkle of a tear down her cheek. “Grey, I’m so sorry. Cookie crumbled!” she said.

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What is up everybody? It’s March, which means March Grey has been burrowing out from his hibernation hole (which is what he calls his pantry) and starting to educate you all about your fantasy baseball teams. DRAFT THIS, NOT THAT! The beautiful spring chirp of the March Grey bird resounds through the forest of fantasy baseballers staring at their Fantrax apps. Just as you’re about to draft Dinelson Lamet in the first round, March Grey swoops in and caws, DRAFT CHRIS PADDACK IN THE TENTH! He then lands in the nearest tree and swigs from an abandoned boba container that may or may not have been sitting there all winter serving as a transient’s chaw spittoon. Now, while Grey’s spending the rest of the week sanitizing his mouth with detergent, I’m coming in hot to give you my takes on starting pitchers for your 2021 fantasy baseball season!

Let’s find that free use graphic I made of Zack Greinke in his Royal Blues!

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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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?