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.

I sat down in Grey’s chair behind his office desk and began rifling through his personal belongings. There was his autographed Kevin Kouzmanoff rookie card, his 40 oz. drinking mug with Adam Dunn’s face, and his passport for the time he worked as a scout in the Dominican League and told the Twins to take Wander Javier instead of Juan Soto or Fenando Tatis Jr.

The passport! I had it! I opened it, my fingers trembling from excitement and having nothing to do with my habitual caffeine intake to keep me awake while I typed articles. Suddenly, I heard footsteps in the hallway approaching. Grey was smart to me! I quickly put the items back in their home just before the Fantasy Master Lothario entered.

“Everywhere!” Grey said, “I thought we were meeting for hamburger sandwiches this morning?” He carried a boba drink in his hand and moved the straw up and down in a rhythmic pattern. I quickly recognized it as “Ain’t Nobody” by Chaka Khan.

I looked at him, and it all made sense. The anger toward ESPN. The alternate identity. The inability to say anybody’s last name without adding 16 extra syllables. I knew I had to speak truth to power. It was time to let him know that I knew.

“Yes, we were to meet for burgers this morning, Eric Karabell Jr.” I had spoken it into existence. The world shook beneath my feet. Grey started to lose his footing. Razzball HQ, after all, was in California, and earthquakes were common. When it was calm again, it was as if the world was new. The mid-day sun shone through the windows. I could hear Donkey Teeth shouting in the breakroom that Sam Hilliard was launching dongs. And Grey, his shirt covered in spilled boba, looked at me and said, “Clubbie, do my laundry and get the exit velocity of that home run.”

I was only too happy for my analytics and laundry service.

News and Notes

Joe MusgroveHow can we start anywhere other than Coolwhip’s favorite boi, Joe Musgrove. Because he threw a no-hitter — Joe that is, not Coolwhip. Coolwhip can only throw back some beers. But Musgrove — he was cranking. His pitches were about 1MPH faster than his previous average, and he finished the game with a nice 35% CSW. On the year, Musgrove has 15 IP with 3 hits allowed, 18K, and 0BB. Why was everybody somewhat low on Musgrove in 2021? Because in 2020 he was pretty bad to start the year, with an ERA over 6 and a K-BB% of 12. He had a month off in 2020, and after his return, he had a K-BB% of 33% and an ERA of 2.16 and a FIP of 1.39, and a K/9 of 13+. Those, my friends, are SP1 numbers. Now if you’re a Razzball regular, you saw Coolwhip’s Joe Musgrove 2021 Fantasy Baseball Outlook this past winter. If you followed my SP rankings, I had Musgrove in the equivalent of the Top 30 SP. And if you drafted him, you’re getting ace numbers right now. The only thing I wished I had been — other than braver as a child — was bolder as a ranker to see how similar Musgrove and Corbin Burnes were at the end of last season. See, Musgrove had the tough start to 2020, and Burnes had the rough 2019. A couple of visits to the fastball fixers and they’re suddenly Lightning McQueen off to the races. Fingers crossed everything stays in gear for Musgrove in 2021.

Kohei AriharaLooking through Musgrove’s box score, an astute investigator could notice that the opposing starting pitcher was none other than the international man of mystery, Kohei Arihara. Going back to his time in Japan, Arihara was never a big K guy. Luckily for y’all, I read Japanese and figured out what the Texas front office didn’t really notice: He’s not all that exciting. In 800+ innings in Japan, he racked up only 626 strikeouts and compiled a 3.74 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. So, I loaded up the ol’ Stathead (at least that’s what my wife calls it) and plugged in Arihara’s career numbers into it, looking for an MLB comp. I spent way too long fiddling with the criteria because, well, few pitchers in MLB last 800 IP with a 12.5% K-BB%. And then I talked to the Razzbois and we decided that wasn’t possible, and Nate Marcum showed me what he found on FanGraphs. So I dug through that and found two close comps: 1) J.A. Happ, and 2) Miles Mikolas. Happ has more K% and more innings, and Mikolas has same K%.BB% but 50% fewer IP. So, J. Miles Hikolas, welcome to the MLB! Arihara is off to a less-than-stellar start to his MLB career, with [checks box scores] 2 strikeouts in his first two starts. Whew. It just got hot in here. So, if you’re in a super-deep league — like, you’re oxygen-deprived and painting psychedelic images in a cave — then you can roster Arihara. Otherwise, let him go.

Stephen Strasburg6IP, 8K, 2BB, 0ER. Strasburg struggled with injuries all through spring training, including his puzzling vestigial tendon injury where half of baseball Twitter finally learned about the theory of evolution. And Strasburg, minus one tendon, went out and produced a quality start for the first time since 2019. Bully! If you were one of the brave managers that took Strasburg, you’ve got a nice reward so far. But seasons aren’t won in the first start, and the long-term results from carpal tunnel recovery are less than thrilling. Running with Strasburg right now is like buying a car with a salvage title from the auto-lot. Yes, it could work just fine. Maybe it was just hail damage. Or maybe that clunking noise is something you should check out. White knuckle and hope that Strasburg keeps performing well.

Corey KluberWow, this is totally the “boring and injured” pitcher list. ENYWHEY. I’m here like Dr. Oz to tell you to eat more kiwis. Kluber followed up his lackluster first outing (4IP, 3BB, 5K) with a 2.1IP outing where he gave up 5R (3ER) while walking 2 and striking out 3. Some rankers put Kluber in the top 30. After the next start, 10% of the season will be done, and he’ll likely have as many IP as some middle relievers. I’ve already warned you about Kluber, and if you’re still white-knuckling his performances, I have nothing but admiration and recommendations for hand surgeons for you.

Jacob deGrom8IP, 14K, 1ER. See, here’s the thing about taking pitchers early: the rarest category they contribute to are Wins. Wins are arbitrary and often out of the SP’s control. DeGrom now has two lights-out performances to start the year and 0 wins to show for it. If you had taken Jose Berrios and Joe Musgrove in your roto league, you’ve got more Ks, the same WHIP, and 4 wins. Fantasy baseball is, well, a game. And sometimes you gotta play the game. Sure, deGrom is nasteh (which is what Donkey Teeth says when he’s in hot yoga), but the reason he doesn’t top the end-of-year SP charts is something he can’t control: the Mets doing Mets things. Fingers crossed his teammates give him some support for the rest of the year.

Jake ArrietaSpeaking of starters with 2 wins, Arrieta is the poster child for arbitrary wins. Sure, he’s 35. He could pitch a few more years. But with an average launch angle of 21 degrees, a K-BB% less than 10, and an xERA and xFIP above 5.00, we’re a scant few games away from seeing Arrieta’s numbers regress to the mean. So, don’t roster Arrieta, but do stack against him in DFS.

Madison BumgarnerNo, I’m not trying to sell you snake oil. If I was doing that, I’d be complimenting your hair. After all, it’s really shiny with EWB’s Classic Carpenter Snake Oil! But Bumgarner…isn’t as bad as his numbers indicate. Sure, an ERA of 11.00 isn’t great. or even acceptable, but neither is his BABIP of .433. He’s got a 3% barrel rate and a 13% swinging strike rate. Yeah, the velocity isn’t stunning, but his pitches aren’t rating too poorly overall, and his CSW% is at 29.5%. Bumgarner’s not too far from his surprising CSW% neighbor, Clayton Kershaw. Now, I know you want to make a million dollars and personally, I know the secret: staying the course with pitchers who seem to be the victim of poor luck. MadBum seems to be in a bad-luck trap, so hang on just a bit longer if you can. If he keeps pitching like this, that BABIP should regress and we’ll see better numbers for deep league managers. Nobody in a 12-teamer or less should be rostering MadBum anyway.

Corbin BurnesYou’ve probably seen the tweets by now: Burnes is the first pitcher in 100 years to start the year with 6+IP, 9+K, 0 BB, and 1H in each start. Guy’s the embodiment of Acumen, the Greek God of Shooting Your Shot. In the pre-season, I hypothesized if Burnes brought in his slider more, he could be a top 10 SP. Instead, he’s bringing his curveball out more. Unforch — which is the name of my porch removal service bee-tee-dubs — the slider is still the superior pitch and it’s not getting the use it should. So, I’m not saying one needs to improve upon a historically good start to a year…but imagine if that slider came out more.

Dylan BundyOne of my top SP1 targets has 12IP, a 12 K/9 with a 26.5 K-BB%, an xERA of 2.22, and a SIERA of 2.80. Those sure sound like top 10 SP numbers. Fingers crossed he keeps those performances up and can notch a few wins.

Rich HillMountain of Dick has been really good to start the year. Problem is, he hasn’t pitched more than 60IP in a year since 2018. He was already injured in spring training, and he pitches for the Rays, who love to pull pitchers early. Maybe they’ll preserve his arm a bit better than his other teams. Regardless, if you’re in a tournament and are desperate for arms, take a flier on Mr. Mountain. If you’re in a standard league, only roster him if you enjoy YOLO’ing your money into AMC stonks.

Brent Honeywell2IP, 0ER, 0H, 2K. Honeywell showed up as an opener for the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday. Honeywell is an elite prospect…who hasn’t logged regular-season innings in organized baseball since 2017. So, temper all those expectations. It’s the Rays, and there’s service time to be manipulated, and there’s injury history. The most likely upside outlook is probably 80IP, which gives Honeywell the profile of an elite reliever. The most likely normal outlook is 50IP, which gives Honeywell the profile of a spot starter like Freddy Peralta last year. Useful in deep fantasy leagues, but only a streamer in other formats.

Elieser Hernandez Officially hit the IL with biceps inflammation. That injury could take a month to alleviate, possibly longer. We can’t have nice things.

James PaxtonOff to see Dr. Freeze. Cut in all formats.

Trevor WilliamsThe internet got excited when Trilliams went 6IP, 2ER, 2BB, and 6K. That’s completely yawnstipating in most formats, but the big deal is that Trilly has been one of the worse starting pitchers in the majors over the past couple of years and now he looks just OK. From 2017-2020, he threw 500 innings of 4.34 ERA ball with a K-BB% around 10. OK, that’s not bad in real life, but no fantasy manager was winning their leagues with the former Pirates hurler. Now that Trilly is on the Cubs, he joins Jake Arrieta in the possible “career rebirth renaissance squad.” The 35-year old Arrieta and the 29-year old Williams have plenty of track records to say, “we are no good for your 12-team standard league.” But the hype train that’s carrying all of us through 2021 has spray-painted across the side, “Take a shot on us in deep leagues but don’t expect too much.” Funny, I didn’t know taggers wrote like that.

FAAB God, Millionaire

Here are some quick take options on players that are rostered on less than ~50% NFBC leagues:

Space:X Rankings

A couple of pitchers we can look at and clearly say, “You changed something! I like it!” See Musgrove comma Joe. However, it’s still dangerous to over-react on 2 starts of data because we know some of the best pitchers actually start a bit slow. So, here’s what I decided to do: the familiar S-Tier, A-Tier, and so on. Here’s how I define those:

  • S-Tier: If these pitchers continue their performance in this manner, they’ll be in the Top 10 at the end of the year.
  • A-Tier: We’re seeing some good starts and bad starts, but these pitchers are most likely to finish in the top 25.
  • B-Tier: Some rough or aggressive starts with the potential to finish SP5-SP30.
  • C-Tier: Past history concerns and current start are indicating a finish from SP20-SP70. Anybody above C-tier should be rostered in 12-team leagues or shallower.
  • D-Tier: Deep leagues, tournaments, and extreme streamers.

Please remember that the order within the tiers really doesn’t matter. I wrote 8,000 words on that before. Just trust me. I tried to organize the pitchers have I’m more “certain” about to the top of the tiers, but there are a bunch of other categories I calculate behind the scenes that also influence rankings which made some of the certainty rankings get wonked up. I’ll try to fix this next week. Any pitchers that don’t appear remain with their pre-season rankings. Most notably, Robbie Ray should be back in action this week, and y’all know I love him. But, I’m not gonna tell you to start him against the Yankees.

And continuing my previous ranking stats, these stats — K-BB%, SIERA, and CSW% — are all reflective of the types of pitchers who finished SP10 or better, as well as being effective indicators of prediction of performance in my Space:X model (based on Carlos Marcano’s more accurate and more complex speX model). The stats below represent the current MLB year up to Saturday, April 10.

Let me know if you have questions in the comments, keep your hate mail in your desk, and I’ll see you soon!

Name K-BB% SIERA CSW%
S-Tier
Corbin Burnes 48.80% 1.01 37.60%
Jose Berrios 40.50% 1.71 32.20%
Gerrit Cole 39.60% 1.81 35.10%
Jacob deGrom 38.80% 1.86 35.50%
Joe Musgrove 36.70% 1.64 37.90%
Lucas Giolito 35.70% 2.09 33.90%
Shane Bieber 32.10% 2.61 38.90%
A-Tier
Stephen Strasburg 28.60% 2.8 31.80%
Lance Lynn 27.80% 2.76 28.60%
Dylan Bundy 26.50% 2.88 34.20%
Brandon Woodruff 26.20% 2.75 30.30%
Yu Darvish 25.00% 3.35 31.90%
Blake Snell 23.30% 3.39 31.20%
Hyun-Jin Ryu 22.40% 3.01 30.20%
Zack Wheeler 22.20% 3.28 30.40%
Aaron Nola 18.80% 3.52 29.00%
Walker Buehler 17.80% 3.9 26.10%
Kenta Maeda 17.00% 3.92 27.00%
Clayton Kershaw 17.00% 3.45 29.80%
Luis Castillo 4.30% 4.95 28.60%
Max Scherzer 39.10% 2.46 34.10%
Trevor Bauer 33.30% 2.28 35.00%
Tyler Glasnow 30.20% 2.46 33.30%
B-Tier
Carlos Rodon 27.30% 3.2 30.50%
Sandy Alcantara 27.10% 2.84 34.70%
Yusei Kikuchi 26.50% 2.9 31.70%
Dustin May 26.10% 2.71 32.90%
Cristian Javier 25.70% 3.02 29.80%
Trevor Rogers 25.00% 3.31 36.50%
Tyler Mahle 24.30% 3.44 30.70%
Andrew Heaney 23.10% 3.3 31.30%
Charlie Morton 20.00% 3.25 35.20%
Jesus Luzardo 18.40% 3.8 30.10%
Lance McCullers Jr. 17.10% 3.77 34.40%
Zach Plesac 16.30% 3.86 26.70%
Kevin Gausman 16.00% 4.15 30.10%
Zach Eflin 16.00% 4.06 26.10%
John Means 15.90% 4.28 30.50%
Kyle Hendricks 15.00% 4.04 25.70%
Pablo Lopez 14.30% 3.97 27.30%
Patrick Corbin 9.50% 4.94 32.50%
Jack Flaherty 9.10% 5.02 26.20%
Drew Smyly 30.40% 2.45 36.20%
Griffin Canning 30.00% 2.56 33.30%
Ian Anderson 23.80% 2.91 27.70%
C-Tier
Jose Urquidy 23.30% 3.36 26.30%
Rich Hill 22.50% 3.35 33.80%
Freddy Peralta 22.20% 4.16 33.00%
Alex Cobb 22.20% 2.54 33.00%
Michael Pineda 20.50% 3.45 36.50%
Max Fried 20.50% 3.48 30.80%
Steven Matz 19.10% 3.34 32.00%
Aaron Civale 18.80% 3.7 22.10%
Trevor Williams 18.20% 2.76 36.50%
Mike Minor 16.70% 4.19 35.50%
Julio Urias 16.00% 4.04 29.90%
Zack Greinke 15.60% 4.31 27.50%
Nathan Eovaldi 15.60% 3.62 31.70%
Kyle Gibson 15.60% 3.96 33.30%
Logan Webb 12.50% 4.14 31.70%
Matthew Boyd 11.80% 4.37 31.90%
Casey Mize 10.50% 4.44 18.30%
Ryan Yarbrough 8.70% 4.91 25.30%
Chris Bassitt 8.00% 4.92 23.50%
Marco Gonzales 5.80% 5.32 24.10%
Chris Paddack 5.60% 5.24 25.60%
Dallas Keuchel 4.80% 4.92 29.00%
Marcus Stroman 4.20% 3.08 27.10%
Zach Davies 2.70% 5.78 28.80%
German Marquez -2.20% 5.51 26.20%
D-Tier
Jameson Taillon 41.20% 2.04 28.40%
Chris Archer 40.00% 1.59 28.60%
Eduardo Rodriguez 35.00% 2.09 29.10%
Dane Dunning 33.30% 2.28 32.90%
Jose De Leon 33.30% 2.35 34.60%
Elieser Hernandez 33.30% 2.12 29.40%
Jordan Montgomery 31.80% 2.47 30.10%
Tanner Houck 31.80% 2.26 34.10%
Wade Miley 23.80% 2.87 28.20%
Jakob Junis 23.50% 3.29 32.80%
Huascar Ynoa 23.50% 2.8 32.40%
Derek Holland 23.10% 3.17 32.60%
Matt Shoemaker 22.70% 3.63 23.90%
Mike Foltynewicz 22.20% 3.67 22.10%
Tyler Anderson 21.70% 3.4 32.00%
Chris Flexen 20.00% 3.76 24.50%
Aaron Sanchez 20.00% 2.66 27.00%
Trevor Cahill 20.00% 3.63 23.30%
Johnny Cueto 18.50% 3.71 28.30%
Martin Perez 17.40% 4.11 28.30%
Ross Stripling 17.10% 4 26.50%
Mitch Keller 16.70% 4.08 29.90%
Jordan Lyles 16.70% 4.1 28.60%
Michael Wacha 16.70% 3.91 30.00%
Matt Harvey 15.90% 3.75 24.70%
Jon Gray 15.20% 4.12 29.00%
Brett Anderson 15.00% 4.09 24.10%
Bruce Zimmermann 14.90% 4.19 31.60%
Luke Weaver 14.30% 4.57 26.80%
David Peterson 14.30% 4.12 38.50%
Domingo German 13.90% 4.46 29.30%
Tanner Roark 13.30% 5.62 25.40%
Jeff Hoffman 13.20% 4.34 26.40%
Frankie Montas 11.60% 4.5 23.20%
Justus Sheffield 11.50% 4.18 25.00%
Joe Ross 11.10% 4.57 28.40%
Taylor Widener 10.60% 4.81 29.90%
Brady Singer 10.50% 4.39 29.90%
Adam Wainwright 10.30% 4.58 30.70%
Madison Bumgarner 10.20% 4.81 29.50%
JT Brubaker 10.00% 4.94 29.30%
Adbert Alzolay 10.00% 4.61 29.90%
Jorge Lopez 10.00% 4.65 22.70%
Jake Arrieta 9.80% 5.05 27.70%
Daniel Ponce de Leon 9.50% 5.45 21.50%
Danny Duffy 9.10% 5.28 22.70%
Shohei Ohtani 9.10% 4.86 30.40%
Corey Kluber 9.10% 4.83 33.10%
Taijuan Walker 8.70% 4.85 32.20%
Sean Manaea 8.70% 4.67 27.30%
Carlos Martinez 6.80% 4.71 26.90%
Cole Irvin 6.70% 5 19.90%
Jose Urena 6.30% 5.89 27.20%
Adrian Morejon 5.90% 4.7 32.80%
Jose Quintana 5.90% 5.18 30.60%
J.A. Happ 5.60% 5.47 22.50%
Caleb Smith 5.60% 5.44 25.30%
Dean Kremer 5.60% 5.75 29.40%
John Gant 5.30% 5.12 26.80%
Chase Anderson 5.00% 5.31 27.50%
Tarik Skubal 4.90% 6.26 23.50%
Logan Allen 4.80% 4.68 22.20%
Anthony DeSclafani 4.30% 5.08 19.80%
Merrill Kelly 4.30% 5.43 24.50%
Antonio Senzatela 4.10% 4.53 23.50%
Riley Smith 4.00% 5.36 20.70%
Garrett Richards 2.80% 5.7 20.70%
Kohei Arihara 2.70% 5.69 20.50%
Adrian Houser 2.40% 4.83 21.50%
Nick Pivetta 0.00% 6.55 27.20%
T.J. Zeuch 0.00% 5.81 27.00%
Julio Teheran 0.00% 6.15 22.20%
Matt Moore 0.00% 6.39 20.30%
Dylan Cease 0.00% 5.9 25.00%
Chad Kuhl -3.00% 6.93 28.10%
Brad Keller -6.30% 6.65 23.30%
Chi Chi Gonzalez -10.00% 7.6 21.30%
Nick Neidert -10.00% 7.89 22.40%
Austin Gomber -10.00% 7.96 24.30%
Luis Garcia -11.80% 8.84 20.60%
Erick Fedde -14.30% 8.32 13.30%
Justin Dunn -22.70% 10.74 24.70%

Aye, you made it this far, didn’t ya. EverywhereBlair is, well, located at home right now. He’s a historian and lover of prog-metal. He enjoys a good sipping rum. When he’s not churning data and making fan fiction about Grey and Donkey Teeth, you can find him dreaming of shirtless pictures of Lance Lynn on Twitter @Everywhereblair.

 
  1. Kingslayer says:
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    In a weekly AL only 5×5 cat league;

    2 start Robbie Ray (Yanks/Royals) over 1 start Griffin Canning (Royals)?

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      Hey Kingslayer,

      It might be contrarian, but I sat Robbie Ray in my leagues this week. None of my teams are in desperate need right now, and I think Ray coming off injury and playing the Yankees is riskier than letting Canning do his thing. That said, if you’re already in the hole, no harm sending Ray out and hoping for the best. Good luck!

  2. Perfect Game says:
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    In a standard roto using QS.

    Looking out over a whole season in what order would you trust for the best combo of counting stats and ratios?

    Bundy
    Maeda
    Morton
    Alcantara
    Ryu

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Hey PG!

      Ryu, Maeda, Morton, Bundy, Alcantara in that order.

      Ryu edges out Maeda by a bit but Ryu has the highest ceiling. Top four are very close though. Good luck!

      • Perfect Game says:
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        Not a believer in Alcantara being a breakout this year? His stuff looks awesome and now with higher K-rates.

        What are your thoughts on him? They really like him over and Pitcher List.

        • everywhereblair

          everywhereblair says:
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          Oh snap, pitting me against my other job at Pitcher List, I better be careful! :) Actually I make sure that I don’t cross the streams with Nick, but I know he ranks more highly on “stuff” than Razzball. Rudy/Grey/myself tend to focus on opportunity and regressed stats because those tend to be a better indicator of performance for the majority of players.

          Alcantara could be the breakout guy and I don’t want to take that away from him. But in the 300 MLB innings he’s thrown so far, he’s been very pedestrian. His pitch values aren’t blowing the roof off of the league yet, and his BABIP/barrel % is monstrously low for his career norms. I’m seeing the biggest change in his style being the swinging strike rate especially on pitches out of the zone — batters aren’t making contact *at all*. Now if that was *in the zone,* I’d be getting super hyped. And I’m not trying to say, “don’t follow your dreams.” But coming from the sentiment that we need to see a couple more pieces of his metaphorical puzzle fall into place before adjusting expectations, I would wait to see if batters start to catch up to his changes before jumping all in.

          • Perfect Game says:
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            Thorough…I appreciate this.

            What about Gallen? He was highly touted coming into the season and is supposedly all healed up now. Is he a top 15 arm? I have him stashed on my IL and a couple others on IL that will be back soon. Im deep in SP and wondering if I should keep Gallen or not. Will have to drop a SP or do a 2 for 1 to make room. Advice. This is a QS league.

            Cole
            Woodruff
            Ryu
            Maeda
            Morton
            Alcantara
            Glasnow
            Lynn

            • Perfect Game says:
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              Was thinking about packaging 2 of these SP that would be a fair offer for Bauer or Nola.

              • everywhereblair

                everywhereblair says:
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                Grey and I disagree on Gallen. Grey has/had Gallen in his top 15 before injury. I made a bold pre-season projection that Gallen didn’t finish in the top 30, and Rudy had him near SP40 in pre-season. Gallen doesn’t have the prototypical IP load or the K-BB% to easily reach the top 10 SP threshold…Top 30 most likely, possibly top 20. But, if we say, “Gallen looks awfully close to Andrew Heaney in some ways,” the conversation changes.

                So yeah, if you can do Gallen/Alcantara or Morton for Bauer/Nola, that’s a steal. But your SP are already hyper-powered, so if your hitting needs support, go for that.

                • Perfect Game says:
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                  Thx for your advice. Is Morton along with either Gallen/Alcantara for Bauer or Nola a fair offer in your opinion?

                  • everywhereblair

                    everywhereblair says:
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                    Depends on format, but I’d say maybe 75% of managers take that for Nola and 40% of managers take it for Bauer. I like Nola more than Bauer this year but they have probably the same range of outcomes.

  3. Mike Honcho says:
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    I see German Marquez is still ranked.
    You can’t start him at Coors.
    You can’t start him against the Dodgers…or the Padres…and now the Giants at Oracle.
    He needs to be traded by his real team and dropped in any league under 14 teams

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Hey Mike!

      Everybody gonna be ranked, it’s just a matter of where they end up. :) Track record says Marquez should be turning things around, but, yeah, Rockies need to blow up the team and let Bud Black go. But they’re the team with the Clubbies, so, probably same ol same ol for the future. Thanks for checking in!

  4. Coolwhip says:
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    To add to the Musgrove highlight, in my article I pointed to his success coming from throwing his fastball less and his slider/curve combo more. In his no-hitter he only threw his fastball a total of 8 times the entire start, and zero times in the last 3 innings. Slider/curve usage were both above 25%… ITS HAPPENING!

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      [Shaq shimmy GIF}

  5. Norman Ginsberg says:
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    Are the tiers based solely on the 1st two starts — If not, how much? Could a single bad game doom someone for half the season?

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      Hey Norman!

      I cross-checked these stats with previous rankings and most of the “top-tier” guys are somewhat protected from their bad starts. Thus, Luis Castillo and Jack Flaherty still hanging out in tiers 1/2. But, there’s some legitimate concern going there…we’re almost 10% of the way through the season and I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I was a bit worried about Flaherty’s control right now. But as I wrote last week, I’m not moving the needle too much for players who have a track history. Right now, it’s more important to see the players who have both a track record *and* are changing in a positive manner, such that we can catch the risers now while they’re still at a good value.

      Thanks for checking in!

      • Norman Ginsberg says:
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        Good column; sorry I hadn’t been reading it before. I was surprised to see Canning (who I own 2x) and Smyly rate so highly.

        • everywhereblair

          everywhereblair says:
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          Yeah, Smyly is a weird one. Stats say that if he stays healthy, he’s gonna be great. Grey was very high on him too. If he can pitch 100+ IP, he’s the steal of the draft.

      • uncle wighty says:
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        Thoughts on dropping skubal or cease for odorizzi?

        • everywhereblair

          everywhereblair says:
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          Hey Wighty!

          Generally that’s sound advice to take Odorizzi. Rudy even made sure to mention to his followers that Odorizzi has a nice matchup this week with nice potential outcomes. Personally I drop Cease…I don’t know why people like him all that much, he’s pretty streamer-quality to me. Good luck!

  6. Pops says:
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    Max Fried is considered a deep leaguer and extreme streamer? I get that his first two starts, mostly his second, wasn’t ideal… but he’s a guy that has the talent to comfortably sit in the C Tier, if not the back end of the B – Tier. What am I missing here?

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      Hey Pops!

      Yeah I’m probably being a bit too hard on Fried. I didn’t like his ADP in the pre-season and that affected my pre-season ranking of him, and he’s struggled out of the gate somewhat with bad luck this season, which affected my placement on him on my personal ranking sheet. I’ll edit the document and put him in the C-Tier, where his skill set and history fits better. Thanks for the heads up!

      • Pops says:
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        Thanks for the quick feedback. I’m looking forward to seeing how this column progresses throughout the year.

  7. Philomath says:
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    Thoughts on Franco or Trammell in my DH spot? Thanks in advance.

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      Wander Franco? Or Julio Franco? Cuz they’re both not in MLB right now. :)

      Trammel takes that spot. Good luck!

      • frankgrimes says:
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        Maikel…

        • everywhereblair

          everywhereblair says:
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          Grey’s AL MVP candidate, eh?

          If that’s the case, definitely Maikel for the time being. Thanks for the clarification Mr. Grimes!

  8. Slimcompoop says:
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    Funny blurb at the top EWB…

    In a 12-team, 6×6, K/9 keeper league. My closers are fine, but I’m a little worried about my starting pitching staff after the top 4 (e.g., Bundy, Darvish, Bauer, Eovaldi, Bassitt, Dunning, Singer and Allen).

    The waiver wire has the likes of Honeywell, T. Williams, Widener, Weaver, M. Keller, L. Webb and I’m keeping a monocle on Garcia and Gore.

    Are there moves to make there given what’s listed? Also curious about your thoughts on Logan Allen making drastic strides this year now that he’s in Cleveland?

    Appreciate your write-ups!

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      Thanks for the support! If you’ve got keep forever status, the upside goes to Honeywell. He’s not going to be terribly useful this year, but I see you’ve already got some other pitchers locked up for the future. Otherwise, Rudy has put in some FAAB on Logan Allen and that’s meaningful to me — he’s hoping that Cleveland put their special touch on Allen and he’s “figured it out”. Otherwise Keller is another dart throw that might have it figured out, but his presence on the Pirates will take a toll on his fantasy value.

      So if anything, I stay the course with Allen a bit longer on the advice of Rudy, and if doesn’t work out, swap Allen for Keller/Honeywell as you like.

      • Slimcompoop says:
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        Thanks EWB…appreciate it!

  9. Huffin Gas says:
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    Paddock. A lot of talk about him lately. I’m leaning towards selling after his start against the Pirates. Still though, he’s on a very good team that may figure him out. Tricky one.

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      Yeah, so much potential but it’s just not clicking. Going into last year, Grey had Paddack in his top 15 SP. Guy’s barely worth rostering so far. He’s absolutely worth that dice roll, but desperate teams may need to cut bait sooner than later to take a known quantity rather than waiting for him to figure it out.

  10. steve stevenson says:
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    AL-only, basically have to keep everyone active unless they get hurt or you can otherwise do some roster voodoo, I need a couple SP and have some roster spots opening this week. How would you prioritize bids among L. Allen, Pivetta, Junis, Duffy and Fulmer? I think Allen’s the potential prize but don’t know who I should be targeting next.

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      Yeah, I put the priority on Allen there. If you’re AL-only, Duffy is the only guy who is basically guaranteed a job throughout the year, and that’s meaningful. Pivetta might have run in spring but Sale will be back and if Pivetta hasn’t staked his claim to a roster spot, he’ll be out. Junis is kind of riding the line of that 5th/spot starter role, and Fulmer’s got the Mize/Skubal/Manning beast to deal with.

      I think Allen holds the fort for now, but Duffy is my personal choice to target after Allen. I could see arguments for Pivetta and Junis. Fulmer don’t get my attention even in deep leagues.

      Best of luck!

  11. scoboticus says:
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    Eric Karabell?!?!?
    That was plot twistier than an M. Night Shyalaman movie!

    DId you hear Rodon has stomach trouble last night? I was going to stream him yesterday and Rich Hill vs Texas tomorrow. Now Rodon is pitching tomorrow too vs. Cleveland. Which one would you choose?

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      Like father, like son!

      In theory I dislike both Rodon and Hill but if I’m forced to choose, I take Rodon. Rich Hill is playing waaaaay beyond his career norms right now. Yeah I’m all about change and improving oneself, but there’s too much smoke to believe he’s had a career renaissance at age 41.

      Stream Rodon and white knuckle it.

      Thanks for checking in!

  12. ONLY a 4 X 4 — W S ERA WHIP —-

    1) —Has Luke weaver found a new pitch? Is he for real and worth dropping for T. Rogers (SF)- Ross- or Webb(SF).?

    2)—Should I take a shot on Ginkel over T Rogers ( SF) for saves

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      Hey Rooks–

      Weaver was, believer it or not, in Grey’s top 40 sp last year! He can definitely return to form and I give him the ceiling among those decisions, so I take Weaver and white knuckle it while we hope he returned to pre-2020 form.

      As for relievers, it’s truly a coin toss. Managers are messing with their pens a ton this year, so the best thing to do is keep an eye on the news to hear any inkling about a favorite.

      Good luck!

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