Please see our player page for Zach Eflin 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.

The best 2021 fantasy baseball team is a misnomer. Thankfully, none of us know what misnomer means. Sounds to me like someone tentatively wants to date the Travelocity Gnome’s daughter, “Miss Gnome, er, you wanna grab some boba and chill?” Miss Gnome brushes back her hair and bats her eyelashes that are almost as long as her two-and-half foot body, “I’d love to,” but her voice is high-pitched, which is a turn-off, so you cancel plans with her repeatedly until she gets the hint. Sorry, Miss Gnome, I like my women’s voices low like their stature. Any hoo! So the title is a bit of a superlative. What was I gonna say, “The Mostly Kinda Good Fantasy Baseball Team?” You’ll get over your scoffing; I have faith in you. This is the best 2021 fantasy baseball team that I can put together when drafting from my top 100 for 2021 fantasy baseball and top 500 for 2021 fantasy baseball. Honestly, I could draft another 25 teams from those lists, and they’d all be different, but equally terrific… Well, one of the twenty-five would only be sorta terrific, but it would be really hard to tell which one that is. If I took Adalberto Mondesi in the 2nd round, everything after would change. If I took Trea Turner in the 1st round, everything after would change. I’ve previously gone over my 2021 fantasy baseball draft prep for the first few rounds and pitchers pairings.  For this exercise, I’m taking Cody Bellinger in the first, because, well, people complained previously I always did this post by taking the first pick, so I’m switching it up, like when you combover your hair right instead of left. Last year in my “Best Fantasy Baseball Team” post, I took Tatis with my 1st pick, when ESPN was telling you to draft him 43rd overall. Cust kayin’. Until pick 100, I’m taking one guy somewhere in every fifteen picks. It would be nice if I was in a league where someone drafted Gerrit Cole and deGrom in the first round and I was able to take Trevor Story in the 2nd round (which is likely in some leagues), but since Bellinger and him are in my first 12 picks, according to the rules I’ve set up for myself, I can’t take them both. Then, as we all know, once you get into the 100s, there’s wide gaps between ADP and where players are actually taken. People tend to look at team need over value. So for this exercise, once I get to pick #101, I’m going to pick two players every twenty picks. Finally, because there is so much latitude in the latter rounds, I gave myself free rein to fill up my team after pick 200. Throughout the draft, I also gave myself the ability to reach to a lower draft pick, but not reach forward. Or reach around, if you’re feeling frisky. It should still be my ideal team…or not. Let’s see, shall we? Bee tee dubya, this team is a 12-team, 5×5, one catcher, 5 OFs, MI, CI, 1 UT, 9 P, 3 bench, just like the Razzball Commenter Leagues (go sign up, you Big Chungus).  Anyway, here’s the best 2021 fantasy baseball team:

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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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All things being equal the top 60 starters for 2021 fantasy baseball is around the 150th overall range to about 225th overall. This is your number three to fourth starters. Of course it could be your first starter and you’ve punted everything accidentally by oversleeping your draft. Wipe that sweat off your brow and grab the Streamonator! Here’s Steamer’s 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. Also, you can get Rudy’s downloadable War Room by subscribing early to the Razzball Tools. As always, where I see tiers starting and stopping are included with my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 60 starters for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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This sleeper post feels like it’s been three years in the making. I first started getting the vapors for Zach Eflin coming off his 2018 season, when he had 8.7 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 in 128 IP. What always kept me recommending Zach Eflin, while not going full-throated with a sleeper post on a giant megaphone like The Mouth of the South, Jimmy Hart, was his strikeouts seemed maxed out at 8.5 vs. having real promise for more. The command was never an issue, as far as I was concerned. He had 1.5 BB/9 in Triple-A in 2016, and rarely scrapped above a 3 BB/9 at any stop in pro ball, usually hovering around 2.5. To make a 2.5 BB/9 work, you only need about 8.5 on Ks, but that’s a number four/five fantasy starter range, and that borders on yawnstipating. Not much excitement for sleepers, or nada mucho enthusiasmo en dormirs, for my Spanish-language readers. Hey, I’m worldly, deal with it. So, what’s changed from a guy giving me the snooze button to a full-on sleeper? Last year his K/9 and BB/9 were 10.7 and 2.3. Hello, beautiful, I’m glad you could join us. Allow me to shower you in spa accouterments that I’ve seen on TV shows. Perhaps a rub of the shoulders? Maybe some thinly-sliced cucumbers for your eyes? A hot towelette? I’m showing my love for you, Zach Eflin, don’t push me away! So, what can we expect from Zach Eflin for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Psyche! Before we get into the Zach Eflin sleeper, just wanted to announce 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. So II, the Zach Eflin sleeper:

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Trevor Bauer (8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 1.73) is going to win the NL Cy Young. Sooner you come to terms with that, the better for your own mental well-being. You’ll be able to listen to relatives talk about how they saw Trevor Bauer on HBO’s Real Sports, and how Trevor Bauer invented ‘a ball spinning,’ and how he’s so old school with his notebook, but not a spiral notebook. No, no, no — a laptop that Bauer calls, “My Notebook.” You can hear about how Trevor Bauer’s best friend is his dad and how he can make any other pitcher better just by talking him through ‘The Process.’ You come to terms with all of this now, you’re gonna be happier later. Trevor Bauer does have two Cy Young-worthy years in the last three, so maybe there’s something to it. Not sure how that circle is squared with last year, which I still haven’t forgiven him for — 4.48 ERA in 213 IP absolutely killed me. For 2021, it’ll be hard for me to stay away, as it always is with Bauer. Hey, I’m a sucker for 12+ K/9 and the promise of a 2.5 BB/9 or lower. If Bauer can do that, he could have this level of success every season. Wonder if there will be people drafting him in the top five starters. Maybe if I’m in a league with Bryant Gumbel, or your uncle who watches him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m freshly back from The Hotties, which is the annual Razzball award ceremony for the “hottest taeks” in fantasy baseball. With the sharp-toothed piranhavirus in full swing, Grey called for a “Mask-erade” ball, but the Eventbrite invitation auto-corrected it to a “masquerade” ball. Everybody showed up with the wrong parts of their face covered. I thought Grey would be upset but he seemed to take everything in stride, saying that he had been waiting for this day since “Eyes Wide Shut” was released. Is that a movie or a novel or a contact delivery service? Anyway, Grey started giggle-whispering “Fidelio!” at everybody. Hey, Grey, I get it. Fidel Castro liked baseball. Let’s get with the times!

I did manage to record Grey’s speech to all the writers and Instagram models who attended. Here’s the transcript if you want to read it:

“I’ll get right to the point: I’m proud to announce a new partnership between Razzball and the San Diego Padres. 2021 will be known as STAN DIEGO around here, and all hot taeks will involve Padres players. The top 10 pitchers? Lamet, Davis, Clevinger, and Paddack [audible hissing from the crowd]. The top 10 hitters? Tatis, Machado, Grisham, and Myers. Trevor Rosenthal is a top 30 pick. You will all write sleeper articles on Joey Lucchesi, Adrian Morejon, and yes, Eric Hosmer. [pause while Grey dodges thrown masks] Fear not, for STAN DIEGO comes with perks! You will all get a free hot dog with a purchase of an annual pass to Sea World, and you’ll get a personal tour of the tiger enclosure at the San Diego Zoo. Now, writers, start hyping Jake Cronenworth!”

At that point, all the people Grey whispered “Fidelio” to disappeared into Grey’s private grotto, which he named “50 Shades of Play” because of the underwater mini-golf course he installed. Myself? I was left standing in the foyer with a mysterious note that only said, “MacKenzie Gore, 2021 hot taek.”

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Hard to believe, but my first season as a baseball analyst here at Razzball is almost at an end! For athletes, that means they’re leaving the bubble soon. Us fantasy writers? We’re all bubbled-up to protect from the dreaded Piranhavirus. Oh, you don’t know what that is? See, we’re so forward thinking here at Razzball, we’re already sequestered away for the next pandemic. You may be asking, “How does the Razzbubble work?” Well, future victims of piranhas, let me show you my notes from earlier this summer when I bubbled up.

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In the first of sixteen doubleheaders yesterday, we were treated to The Bobby Dalbec Show, starring…Bobby Dalbec. *Bobby enters stage right and the crowd quiets* One boy in the front row of the black & white audience stands and points, “It’s the resurrection of the great Red Sox legend, Bobby Doerr!” Then an usher points, “Oh, my God, Dalbec is present tense for Doerr!” Another argumentative guy screams, “Yo, Bobby Dalbec, what’s the deal with Red Ruffing? He die from huffing? From being a Red? Screw socialism!” Yesterday, Bobby Dalbec, local hero, and all-around Red Sox player, went 3-for-6, 4 RBIs with his 4th and 5th homer in, like, two games. His power isn’t without its ceiling, but that ceiling is on the moon. He could be a 35-homer guy in the majors. The big drawback is–Wait a second, did he have a 50% strikeout rate going into the doubleheader? Hey, Dalbec, B. Doerr, don’t B. Don’ter. Dalbec might hit .205 for the immediate future, but he eventually finds contact once he gets comfortable in a league. For this year, Dalbec or Moistasskiss? Ya know what I’m saying, go with the hot hand and Bobby Doerr’s present tense. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today”. Wise words for us fantasy baseballers (sup Ms. Albright) these days. Whether that be cutting bait with dead weight or moving on from a star who is under-performing. This season is a sprint and you gotta do what cha gotta do. This week we dig a little deeper and look under the hood of a handful of under-performing stars to determine whether this downturn in production is a blip or signs of larger concerns to come. Who do we discuss? Well, you’re just going to have to listen. We then follow that discussion up with quick hitters on some of the top rookies in 2020, top wavier wire ads, and players who got the call over the last week. It’s an action packed episode of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast.

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In the highly lucrative industry that is imaginary sports team management, we here at Razzball are always looking to give you readers the sharpest edge of advantage. I mean, how do we keep up with a provider like Pitching Ninja, whose name literally invokes the finely-honed edges of a ninja star slicing through bats before landing softly in the supple leather of a catchers mitt? Fear not, fearful reader! I have been to cram school, and I have been to Austria, and I have been in dungeons, and I combined all of my knowledge of those places and completely threw it out the window. See, to be sharper than sharp, you gotta think outside the box. When the competition goes sharp, you go — that’s right! — blocky. I present to you, followers of the Top 100 Starting Pitcher series, the latest in pitching analysis: 8-bit graphics.

Robbie Ray Demonstrates his elite level of unpredictability

Let’s apply this newfangled technology to our top starting pitchers and see what we can do to help you to fantasy glory!

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