Please see our player page for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 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.

Rostering a starting pitcher with a high strikeout total is a big part of performing well in GPP tournaments, which is why Lance McCullers, Jr. ($9,000) is an ideal target tonight. He’s got a 10.02 K/9 for his career and faces an Oakland lineup with a 28.1% K-rate against righties this season. In his first start against the Athletics, McCullers struck out seven batters in five innings with just one earned run, so his ceiling is even higher if he can work deeper into this outing. If you’re looking for a top pitching performance, Lance gon’ give it to ya.

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I’m still not convinced Yermin Mercedes isn’t a LARP. Or a Transformer. His name really is Yermin Mercedes? Just out here with a name that sounds like a German saying German Mercedes? And he doesn’t wear a Mercedes emblem around his neck like Flavor Flav? Is this real life or a simulation? The White Sox lost Eloy and just randomly found a guy who can do exactly the same? Right, right, okay, so the story I heard about one fantasy baseballer hearing the news of Eloy’s injury while on the Mercedes-Benz factory tour and crying onto a C-Class, and that transforming into Yermin, was a lie? I don’t hear lies, I hear truths! So, Yermin Mercedes went 2-for-4 and hit another home run (2nd) yesterday, and has basically done what we would’ve hoped for from Andrew Vaughn in our wildest dreams. But can it continue? Ah, excellent leading question! Yes, Yermin can hit .550. No! Of course not! He does have a solid hit tool (can hit .280) and good power (20-ish homers). The moment he slumps and Vaughn hits (it’ll happen — hopefully for my teams) Yermin will be on the outside, while Vaughn moves in. There is a chance Mercedes could hit 25 homers/.280, which is essentially Trey Mancini-type projections, so he’s worth rostering for now. tl;dr: Mercedes goes vroom, vroom, make room. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Baseball watchers are funny, right? Corbin Burnes (6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 11 Ks) was absolutely dazzling. I’m talking one of the best performances of the young season. Everyone was talking about him. Just filth and people wanted that filth rubbed in their eye balls. “Is that eye black?” “No, it’s Burnes’s filth. I applied it myself.” That was everyone. But why was no one talking about Jose Berrios? He matched Burnes, then one-upped him with a 6 IP, 0 ER, 0 hits, 12 Ks, performance. Is that, oh, I don’t know, as I pause here for emphasis, not good? Both of these guys were fantastic, but one of them gave up a home run to Byron Buxton, and one of them was Jose Berrios. Early season overreaction alert! Both of these guys are going to be top 20 starters this year, but only one of them (Burnes) is being treated that way. Berrios is a safer bet for a huge season, and might actually be able to throw 175+ IP this year. Joe Berry has been berry berry good to me. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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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:

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I’m sure many of you have spent countless hours pouring over Grey’s 2021 fantasy baseball rankings to see who he’s got way higher than anyone else. Grey’s rankings are great but they’re focused on categories so they don’t tell the whole picture for points leagues. For example, average isn’t important for points. Yes a higher average means more hits but you also get points for walks as well. What we’re really looking for is total bases. I still highly recommend that you check out Grey’s thoughts because he knows what he’s doing, but mostly he’s pretty entertaining. 

Now onto points leagues. I crunched some numbers behind the scenes to see who should get shifted in the ranks. Basically made my own simplified version of malamoney’s spreadsheet using the Razzball/Steamer projections and what seems to be the standard scoring system. The result is some cold hard data on who’s going to do what this season. 

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One time. That’s all I’m asking for. One time where all the BABIPs and xWOBACONs in the universe align to propel me to the $150,000 grand prize in the NFBC Main Event. I understand that I’m a huge long shot, especially given the fact that it’s my first time in this contest. But remember that movie Little Giants, where a bunch of rag-tag underdogs coached by Rick Moranis went on to beat the clearly superior Cowboys? That movie gives me hope that even the biggest long shots can come through sometimes. One of the pivotal moments in the Giants’ upset victory was when Rudy Zolteck let out a huge fart and cleared the running lanes for Johnny “Viper” Vennaro.  I may not be planning to let out any massive farts during the draft (unless I accidentally pick Hyun-Jin Ryu) but I do think there’s a path for things to fall into place and for me to take down the overall. Another thing Little Giants taught me is the importance of preparation. While they had the Annexation of Puerto Rico playcall queued up for the game’s most important moment, I’ll have my “Mapping out the Main Event” pulled up throughout my draft.  This is the 3rd and final installment of that series, where I take you through rounds 9-1 and provide you with the finished hypothetical product. If you’ve missed out on the first two parts of this series, check them out here and here. Remember y’all, we’re building this team backwards with a focus on constructing a balanced team that can compete in all 10 roto categories. I’ll give you my main target in each round as well as outline  one back-up option if I miss on my main target. Let’s get to it. 

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I don’t get it. This…this…this “pitchers have to be drafted early” …thing! Am I the only one who lived through the last baseball season? Even if you were to say to me, “I always draft starters early,” I’d say you’re living in some kind of goofball world made out of unicorns and iPhones that don’t correct the F word to duck. But fine! If this were a normal year. “If this were a normal year” is the ying, the yang, the sun and the moon. No pitchers are going to throw a lot of innings. Less innings means Gerrit Cole, if he’s the best pitcher, and the tenth best starter are going to be closer together. Pitchers as pancakes. Have one, and it’s Yum City, population: You. Have two, and it’s solid, great. Have three and it’s, “Do you have blueberries or something for these?” Have four and it’s, “Well, I liked my first two.” Have five and it’s, “I want bacon.” Have six and it’s, “I don’t even remember liking the first two anymore, and I never want to see another pancake.” All these guys taking starters crazy early are eating pancakes. Before I even drafted a starter, one team took Cole, Woodruff and Glasnow! “Cole…cool, cool. Yum City!…Woodruff…Um, yeah, but maybe I can get some blueberries or something…Tyler Glasnow? Stop! I’m diabetic!” For those unfamiliar, this is a standard 5×5, 16-team league, and, since it’s Yahoo, it’s 4 outfielders and two UTIL. As always, I used Rudy’s War Room, which is available with a subscription to our Razzball Tools. Anyway, here’s my Yahoo Friends & Family draft recap:

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I feel like I say this every year around this time — but I LOVE keeper leagues. Especially all the crazy rules and context to them. “If you drafted him in the 13th round, he becomes a 10th round keeper next year, then a 4th round keeper the year after that, then a 1st the year after that. And if you keep him in the 1st you can’t keep anyone else with a 1st.” or “If you bought him for $5 his inflation becomes $18 in 2022. Then in 2023 he’ll be $31.43” or “You can’t keep anyone in the first 5 rounds, because one year Smitty somehow kept Miggy, A-Rod, Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols and Roy Halladay and broke the league.” And let me tell you — I love ALL of it. Your league’s crazy rules are what make it unique and interesting. Navigating this craziness is part of the fun. So these are just my rankings for your standard, vanilla 5×5 roto league. But my favorite part of this article — is always in the comments helping you guys breaking down your crazy keeper rules and making the best choices. So get down there and tell me your league’s crazy keeper system and how I can help you make your best decision! 

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I am still amazed that Toronto seems to have cracked the genetic code of baseball. How in the world have they managed to dedicate a third of their lineup to the children of former stars? Outside of fantasy baseball, this game has always been perplexing and gives us wonderful nuggets like this. The other wonderful thing about baseball is that it gives us fantasy baseball and there is a good chance that is why you are here.

Despite their major league talent, the boys of the north (trademark pending) will be spending the upcoming season in Buffalo or Dunedin or maybe Toronto. Who really knows? Regardless of where they call home, the Jays host several interesting fantasy assets. Two of the boys are going off the board in the fifth round but could not be more different yet intriguing at the same time.  Let us spend a little time digging into the 2021 fantasy baseball profiles for Vladdy Jr. and baby Biggio.

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