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 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!”

“But you don’t have a mask,” I started.

Grey pointed to his mouth. “Trident gum!” he said. “It cleans the teeth!”

I backed away and sat on a black leather couch on the long-edge of the room. “Isn’t this unethical?” I asked. “You’re my boss, you can’t be my therapist too.”

Grey tapped his desk a la Alex van Halen in the intro to Hot for Teacher. “Everywhere, I’ve been giving advice for ten years to people all over the inter–“. He was interrupted by a phone ringing. He held his finger to me to shush and took the call quickly and hung up. “Sounds like Coolwhip’s microwaving fish in the break room again. One moment while I manage this.” Grey wasn’t asking my approval, he was telling me.

After he left the room, I gazed upon his desk. Memories from an imaginary sports life. The Tout Wars trophy. His cover on Fantasy Baseballer Magazine. The World’s Okayest Golfer award. His fake ID that identified him as “Big Nas X” that he used to get into the most exclusive L.A. clubs.

Grey returned after a few minutes, holding a glass and sipping from it. “Donkey Teeth made lemongrass kombucha today,” he said, downing the drink and returning to his seat. I could see his pants — beige corduroy trousers — seemed slightly wet. “Now, what’s the matter, you need fantasy help? Or sarcasm?”

I sat forward on the couch, “It’s about the pitchers…” I started, only to be interrupted by the Fantrax horn emanating from Grey’s phone. It was his turn to draft.

Alec Mills or Jazz Chisholm?” he asked me, looking up from the draft app. I had barely blurted out Jazz when Grey announced “Alec Mills it is!” He drummed again on his desk, the rhythm of Dancehall Days from Wang Chung. “Now, what can I do for you?”

I spilled it out like a vessel overflowing: “I wrote what Oaktown Steve called the Greatest Piece Ever on Razzball last week, and Rotowire did a podcast on it, and it got the Rudy retweet, and Vlad Sedler retweeted it, and only one person on Reddit yelled at me, and…”

“Oh, you mean this article about your Top 100 Starting Pitchers for 2021 Fantasy Baseball?” Grey said in SEO-optimized English.

“Yes! The one that said pitchers aren’t as valuable as we perceive and that pocket aces are almost never worth it. And then I watched everybody go to the Main Event and draft pitchers in the first round and ask my permission to draft pocket aces.” I had overflowed my cup. “So I wanted to ask you boss, how do I follow that up? How do I keep writing the next 25 weeks of articles when they’re all downhill from my week 3 preseason article? Am I just shouting at clouds?”

Grey stood up, tugged on his sweater vest, and looked me in the eye. “Adbert Alzolay made the Cubs starting rotation. I don’t think you put him in your rankings, did you?” I nodded. “And John Gant, he’s a starter now. Also not in your rankings, correct?” I nodded again.

“The only certainty is change, Everywhere. If you’re going to tell people to wait on pitchers, then give them the next Corbin Burnes! Go forth and change! Change the world! Adjust the ranks young man!” Grey shouted, his arms pointing in the air triumphantly. I was vaguely sure that I was older than Grey, too.

Nevertheless, I stood, like Apollo, readying to cleanse the world through my lyrical words in blog form. But my Midwestern roots emerged at the last minute and I blurted out, “Okey dokey!”

“Before you go,” Grey said, putting his hand in his pocket in the area that seemed wet, “Take Coolwhip’s fish to the dumpster.” He threw it to me, noting the social distancing protocols Razzball fervently enforced.

“Does this mean I’m promoted to Clubbie?” I asked, a light in my eye.

Grey nodded. “Analytics and laundry, my friend.” He stripped off his sweater vest and tossed it my way. “Light starch, if you don’t mind.”

I carried the fish and laundry back to my cubicle and my own simple desk with a typewriter. I would not be visiting the dumpster or the laundromat. That afternoon, I started my own line of “trophies,” counting my victories in the fantasy sports world.

FAAB Strategy

By the time you’re reading this, you’ve probably finished your draft and are salivating at the thought of watching real, live, April baseball come this Thursday. Or, maybe you’re blacked out of everything and you’ll watch it Friday morning. Thanks MLB.TV! That’s exactly the product we all wanted in 2021! ENYWHEY. You’ve got your team and you read all my draft strategy and you drafted 8 pitchers in the first 10 rounds anyway and you drafted Stephen Strasburg, Dinelson Lamet, and Kirby Yates just to spite me. Way to go, bucko! You’ve already got some FAAB-ing to do. For those who didn’t go through Fantasy Ed in 8th grade, FAAB-ing is something best done safely and a bit later than others. I’m talking about the Free Agent Acquisition Budget, come on! Now, whether you have the waiver wire or the FAAB, you’re probably going to wait on this whole process. Why? Because there’s a bunch of players on rosters in April who won’t be there come May. Don’t make this mistake of paying April prices on May waivers.

There are a couple of FAAB-worthy pitchers who got the surprise starting rotation gig that I’ll list below in my news and notes section. Otherwise, don’t go H.A.M. on players who are injury fill-ins, service-time manipulators, or, well, just bad. If you’ve got unlimited moves, sure, have at it. But if you’ve got a limited budget or limited moves, you’re probably best served by waiting a hot minute until the weather warms up and the youngsters show up.

News and Notes

Freddy PeraltaHoly flurking schnitzel go get him now. Just stop reading this and go pick him up or trade for him or start a new league and draft him there. Last year, Peralta’s K-BB% would have been 6th best in the league. His Called Strike + Whiff % would have tied Zac Gallen and been ahead of Gerrit Cole. His SIERA would have been 3rd best. So why was nobody drafting Peralta? Because he didn’t have a rotation spot and he’s never done the long-haul starter gig. But, uh, and I mean this so very nicely to everybody: Peralta actually pitched more innings from 2019-2020 than Tyler Glasnow (dodges apples from the crowd). Actually, Peralta has more IP since 2019 (including minors) than Nathan Eovaldi, Luke Weaver, and a bunch of other pitchers that you cared about last year but not this year. Could Peralta be another pitcher you don’t care about in 2021? Sure. Every pitcher has the potential for a dead arm situation. But Peralta has electric numbers and he’s now in the starting rotation. That’s 90% of the battle. Go get him.

John GantSpeaking of pitchers you cared about last year but don’t give a crap about this year, Ron John Gant will be taking the fifth starter role in St. Louis. Whoa Nelly! [puts a band-aid on his cheek] Gant was supposed to be in the mix for a rotation spot last year before things went sideways, and he finished 2020 with 17 appearances out of the pen for a ridiculous 2.40 ERA and a 2.19 FIP. Unlike Peralta, Gant had way more called strikes than swinging strikes, a hard hit % nearly 50%, and a walk rate that was mimicking Robbie Ray’s stat line. Gant is worth a flier in the deepest of leagues, but otherwise let him ride the pine.

Cal QuantrillOne of the trade pieces in the Mike Clevinger Escape Plan from 2020, Quantrill has amassed nearly 20 starts over the past 2 years with a sweet 4.19 FIP, a K-BB% of 14 (not half bad), and a hard hit rate in the lower 30%. Quantrill is past his rookie eligibility and looked set to take the fifth starter spot, except for the galaxy brain Cleveland coaches putting in…

Logan AllenAllen was the consolation package when Cleveland shipped out Trevor Bauer in 2019. Last year, he walked as many batters as he struck out. He has a cumulative 1.77 WHIP from 2019-2020. And he’s actually been lucky, as his FIP is over a run better than his xFIP. So, if you get anything out of this cynical take on Logan Allen, it’s that you’ve got a week or two of stacking offenses against him before the Quantrill rumor mill starts up. Don’t roster Allen. Wait for Quantrill.

Adbert AlzolayGrey says “Hooray!” for Alzolay! Double-A made the Cubs opening day roster and will slot into their rotation. You know, it’s odd that Grey hates Robbie Ray so much when Alzolay has stats that are so similar…[gets called back for more therapy]. Alzolay is fine for deeper leagues but there’ll be growing pains.

Alec MillsMoves to long relief in lieu of Alzolay. With Jake Arrieta, Trevor Williams, and Alzolay in the rotation, it might not be long before Mills comes back. And that’s not exciting. Avoid except for the deepest of leagues.

Stephen StrasburgThe guy I’ve been avoiding like the plague tore a vestigial tendon in his leg. He’ll be back and he’ll still be working up his strength and hopefully his skills and hopefully you listened to me and drafted somebody who could feel their hands.

Randy DobnakSupposedly going to start in long relief but the Twins starters not named Maeda or Berrios are getting shelled in spring training. Dobnak has given the Twins every reason to let him drive the Uber rather than be the passenger, so it’s just a matter of time until the GOAT-ee gets his rotation spot.

Carlos RodonI’ve had a lot of questions about Rodon and I’ve answered them thusly: he’s given us every reason to not trust him. Sure, spring training looks great. Success in small sample sizes is wonderful for DFS and Best Ball formats. It’s gross for roto and head to head, which is 95% of you readers. You know who started 2020 with a 200 wRC+ and a .636 SLG? Donovan Solano. You know who has 500+ MLB innings of K-BB% of 12.7, ERA of 4.14, and a swinging strike rate of 10%? That’s our boy Carlos Rodon. Don’t confuse the Solano for the Rodon. If you want a SP with upside at that ADP, draft Freddie Peralta 100% of the time.

Casey Mize and Tarik SkubalThe Tigers surprised everybody by keeping their future aces on the opening day roster. They were probably drafted in your league, but in case they weren’t, go get them.

Tejay Antone: Made the opening day roster but will start in the bullpen. Only a matter of time until he’s in the rotation.

Josh LindblomFreddy Peralta’s ascension pushes Lindblom from the rotation. Lindblom’s numbers on paper actually look pretty nice, so expect him to get another shot at the rotation in the not-too-distant future. If Adrian Houser struggles or Brett Anderson remains yawnstipating, Lindblom will take a rotation spot.

Rankings

Well, this is awkward. You’re probably done drafting. I, for one, have written nearly 20,000 words on pitchers and draft strategy in the past four weeks. Like, we’ve done this pitcher thing to death. Do we have anything else to learn?

Well, turns out Fangraphs added some features, and my good friend Carlos Marcano wrote up a new way to approach pitchers, so [Bernie Sanders voice] I’m again asking you to adjust the ranks. Actually I didn’t adjust anybody other than a few people at the bottom, but, ya know, imagine like I’m an 80-year-old man asking you for money. I can’t replicate for free entirely what Carlos is doing, so if you want that extra 0.5% edge in what Carlos is setting up, support him with some content shares and wish for him to beat me in our RCL. But Carlos and I came to very similar conclusions on totally different studies with totally different methodologies, so he’s my brother from another mother. I had a couple secret factors in my calculations last week that included my own home-brewed ERA estimator, so while Carlos is giving you “speX” as his project, I’ll call mine, “Space:X.” Hey Grey, we can’t possibly get in trouble with that name, right? Cool. See, mine has a colon in the title. Totally different than that other thing that explodes upon landing.

But really, IP, K-BB%, and SIERA are a super-effective way to look at pitcher production. I’m just adding in Called Strike + Whiff% — now available on FanGraphs! — to create that extra edge of pitcher performance prediction. Just to make things fun, I took the CSW% from 2019-2020, so pitchers with more innings have a bit more concrete sense of their strikeout skill. Once the season is underway, you can compare what I have — which will be recency-bias based — to what Rudy has, which will be regression-based. In other words, you get the best of both worlds, especially when they agree.

Since you’re probably done with your draft, there’s no need to put players in small tiers anymore. Saves me time on editing, too! Let me know your thoughts in the comments, keep your hate mail in your desk, and I’ll see you next week!

Name 2021 K-BB% 2021 SIERA ’19-20 CSW%
Shane Bieber 25.87 3.06 32.9
Jacob deGrom 27.9 2.79 30.7
Yu Darvish 22.99 3.24 31.8
Brandon Woodruff 20.22 3.66 28.5
Aaron Nola 18.81 3.74 31.9
Trevor Bauer 20.07 3.63 29.9
Luis Castillo 20.43 3.53 29.9
Jack Flaherty 19.41 3.71 30.6
Max Scherzer 24.5 3.48 31.9
Walker Buehler 21.28 3.41 30.1
Gerrit Cole 25.59 3.33 33.3
Lucas Giolito 19.63 3.92 31.6
Lance Lynn 17.81 4.06 27.3
Jose Berrios 17.26 4.09 29.1
Hyun-Jin Ryu 15.38 4.11 27.5
Clayton Kershaw 19.56 3.46 29.5
Zac Gallen 17.45 4.03 31.3
Corbin Burnes 18.33 3.94 31.2
Zack Wheeler 16.14 4.06 25.9
Zach Eflin 14.82 4.5 27.2
Kenta Maeda 17.45 4.13 31.8
Kevin Gausman 18.35 3.74 29.9
Kyle Hendricks 14.77 4.21 29.6
Andrew Heaney 17.69 4.27 29.2
Blake Snell 20.38 3.33 31.7
Tyler Glasnow 21.9 3.55 32.3
German Marquez 16.14 4.29 29.6
Sonny Gray 16.78 3.94 30.7
Zack Greinke 16.24 4.16 29.8
Dylan Bundy 15.4 4.57 30.3
Charlie Morton 17.56 3.82 30.9
Chris Paddack 18.3 3.85 28.6
Tyler Mahle 16.46 4.48 29.7
Patrick Corbin 15.57 4.1 28.2
Marco Gonzales 12.74 4.55 27.4
Pablo Lopez 14.27 4.02 26.2
Joe Musgrove 16.5 3.9 29.1
Lance McCullers Jr. 16.24 3.71 32.2
Jesus Luzardo 16.57 3.84 31.1
Zach Plesac 14.47 4.75 27.5
Dallas Keuchel 9.21 4.44 25.3
Mike Minor 13.25 4.68 28.7
Sandy Alcantara 10.96 4.46 25.9
Chris Bassitt 13.45 4.4 27.2
Marcus Stroman 11.87 4.03 26.8
Max Fried 13.91 4.01 28.2
John Means 14.39 4.83 25
Matthew Boyd 17.01 4.43 29.2
Jose Quintana 13.66 4.44 26.5
Nathan Eovaldi 17.45 4.27 28.5
Jordan Montgomery 15.88 4.37 29.1
Ian Anderson 13.46 4.37 30.3
Elieser Hernandez 14.9 4.64 28.9
Triston McKenzie 16.32 4.61 29.3
Drew Smyly 18.69 4.25 29.1
Dinelson Lamet 22.88 3.35 32.5
James Paxton 17.32 4.11 28.4
Zach Davies 9.09 4.98 25.9
Robbie Ray 16.8 4.58 30.4
Danny Duffy 12.93 4.84 26.7
Ryan Yarbrough 11.63 4.71 28.1
Jake Odorizzi 16.91 4.42 26.8
Yusei Kikuchi 14.3 4.28 25.6
Griffin Canning 14.41 4.58 29.2
Aaron Civale 14.12 4.58 27.8
Brady Singer 12.02 4.33 32.3
Sixto Sanchez 13.93 3.93 26.8
Sean Manaea 13.85 4.24 27.9
Eduardo Rodriguez 15.64 4.47 27.9
Adam Wainwright 11.15 4.46 28.4
J.A. Happ 13.33 4.58 25.1
Michael Pineda 15.55 4.43 27.4
Julio Urias 13.57 4.34 27.3
Taijuan Walker 13.17 4.59 26.8
Dustin May 15.86 3.66 26.7
Freddy Peralta 19.24 4.1 29.6
Streamers / Dart Throws Below
Name 2021 K-BB% 2021 SIERA ’19-20 CSW%
Tejay Antone 13.26 4.36 34.1
Steven Matz 14.21 4.64 27.5
Tarik Skubal 16.55 4.34 25.5
Alex Wood 13.2 4.16 26.8
Carlos Carrasco 21.66 3.52 30.3
Antonio Senzatela 6.71 5.52 23.5
Brad Keller 8.07 4.67 24.4
Kyle Gibson 10.79 4.64 27.9
Madison Bumgarner 11.32 5.22 27.4
Kyle Freeland 8.68 5.26 25.5
Stephen Strasburg 17.14 4.05 31
Spencer Turnbull 12.34 4.31 25.5
Johnny Cueto 11.94 4.53 24.8
Frankie Montas 14.54 4.16 29.3
Jon Gray 11.17 5.11 28
Alec Mills 10.63 4.89 28
Alex Cobb 11.51 4.54 28.5
Steven Brault 8.49 4.82 26.4
Jose Urquidy 15.35 4.49 28.9
Merrill Kelly 12.87 4.72 27
Corey Kluber 18.64 4.03 28.3
Mike Fiers 8.97 5.35 25.4
Anthony DeSclafani 13.96 4.37 25.7
Kwang Hyun Kim 13.08 4.09 #N/A
Mike Soroka 12.09 4.27 27
Justus Sheffield 9.72 4.65 27.6
Jon Lester 10.91 4.96 25.5
Caleb Smith 14.11 5.17 28.1
Cristian Javier 14.05 4.95 26.7
Ross Stripling 13.19 4.67 29.7
Dylan Cease 12.71 4.58 26.3
Adrian Houser 11.41 4.39 27.2
Jake Arrieta 8.54 4.81 26.7
Michael Wacha 11.89 4.78 24.2
Dane Dunning 12.61 4.59 28.2
Luke Weaver 15.21 4.56 27.1
Chris Archer 16.85 4.35 30.1
Dean Kremer 10.4 5.09 26
Mitch Keller 12.65 4.38 25.4
Jameson Taillon 14.8 4.45 29.7
Brett Anderson 9.32 4.47 24.5
Logan Allen 11.83 4.8 25.6
Garrett Richards 13 4.82 28.6
Keegan Akin 10.91 5.2 28.8
Chad Kuhl 10.9 4.78 27.9
Cal Quantrill 12.98 4.73 24.9
David Price 16.82 3.99 28.7
Matt Shoemaker 13.67 4.61 28.5
Randy Dobnak 8.18 4.69 25.7
Rick Porcello 13.29 4.73 25.2
Nick Pivetta 12.08 5.17 26.6
Eric Lauer 12.75 4.82 25.4
David Peterson 10.67 4.4 27.7
Shohei Ohtani 13.13 4.58 #N/A
Tony Gonsolin 19.24 3.74 27.8
A.J. Puk 17.04 3.9 31.2
Kohei Arihara 13.04 4.82 #N/A
Spencer Howard 13.72 4.69 27.1
Framber Valdez 15.49 3.56 28.6
Domingo German 15.48 4.7 29.6
Justin Dunn 9.59 5.28 26.8
John Gant 8.21 4.7 29.5

 

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. Mike says:
    (link)

    The way undervalued pitchers 2021:
    Blake Snell
    Frankie Montas
    Dinelson Lamet
    – All three will be top 10 Cy Young finishers.

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Corbin Burnes would like a word with you.

      Nice ranks, look forward to seeing how they turn out!

  2. Fister Furbush says:
    (link)

    Love Love LOVE how you have Woodruff ranked fourth.
    He has all the tangibles to make a legit run for Cy Young.

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Thanks! I think formally he’s 2A in Tier 1 but I’m done with the tiers for now. Time for the season to play out!

  3. stevie says:
    (link)

    Question Mr. Blair. Would you throw one of those darts at Tanner Houck, who is looking like a starter for now. If so, would it be a hit or a miss?

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Believe it or not we’ve been having that conversation all the time in our Razzball work chat. Dart throw, sure. Every year there’s gonna be a dart throw that works out. Problem is whether they stay in the rotation past April. Biggest factor in SP fantasy performance is IP, which requires being “up” in the top 3ish of the rotation to really make an impact.

      But yeah, go for it if you’ve got the roster space.

  4. Vash says:
    (link)

    Deep league but my rotation has Kohei Arihara, Kuhl, Brubaker, and Houser.

    Each year I find good diamonds but essentially what do you think of each.

    Surprised everyone is off the Houser train as I remember he was the sleeper darling of many.

    I am curious about the opinions of Arihara, Bruce Zimmermann, Kuhl and Brubaker.

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Kuhl is definitely not his namesake. He’s pretty blah.

      Arihara is an unknown of course. Most projections are pretty down on him and usually the Japan/Korea transition to MLB takes at least a year to become successful. There are always outliers and Arihara might be that guy, but he’s a dart throw for now.

      I’m back in on Houser this year. He was awful last year. If you search “adrian houser + razzball” in Google you’ll see Hobbs’ article from last year and it got me excited again. Houser got *really* unlucky last year and was actually performing pretty well from a statcast perspective. I made sure to target him late and get him in the razzslam.

      Brubaker’s kind of blah but now that I take a closer look at his peripherals he’s at least worth a dart throw. Big Mike Leake vibes.

      I can’t see any reason to roster Bruce Zimmerman other than as a contrarian DFS play in tournaments on the hope that he gets a ton of people to pop out.

      Good luck!

  5. Prawn Lord says:
    (link)

    Welp. Took a late round flier on Logan Allen yesterday buying into his transformation and spring stats. Guess he’ll be riding the bench until I can replace him with Quantrill. Thanks for the heads up though, guess I should’ve dug deeper into the numbers…that’s why you’re the expert!
    I also took fliers on David Peterson and Cole Irvin. Any chance those guys surprise?

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Hey Prawn Lord!

      It’s worthwhile to point out that Rudy and some other touts are fine with Logan Allen. But I look at the stats and I don’t see anything to like. Rudy’s working off of spring training stats and put it like this, “I’d rather take a chance on a guy like Allen to see if he “figured it out” in the offseason than drop FAAB on a guy that I know hasn’t figured it out.”

      So, give it a few starts and see if he’s this year’s Corbin Burnes. He’s probably not, but you never know.

      I like Peterson, and Itch just wrote him up last week. Take a look!

      I don’t see anything in the Cole Irvin stat line to move my proverbial “dart throw” needle. He’s about as “floor” as it gets. Maybe he’s figured something out too, but I’m not looking at him in any format.

      Good luck!

  6. johnnyhobbes says:
    (link)

    Hey thanks for your contributions. Ina 12 team 23 man roster- Kikuchi and Canning haven’t been drafted…. I am assuming you’d say that a mistake….. What are you thought on Taillon compared to the two previously mentioned? A lot of buzz about Taillon right now.

    In a points league I have Vlad jr, Christian Walker, and Andrew Vaughn – i can drop Walker for sure – which pitcher of the three i just mentioned should i go for?

    • johnnyhobbes says:
      (link)

      Throw Casey Mize into that list of potential pick ups. Hes also an FA

      • everywhereblair

        everywhereblair says:
        (link)

        I’ve got Kikuchi over Mize, but I like Mize too. I like Mize more for next year tho.

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Hey JH!

      I like Kikuchi this year, the other razzballers like Canning. Taillon hasn’t pitched in a long time and the track record of those players isn’t great. It’s fine with the whole “best shape of his life” narrative but usually the whole TJ+ recovery time doesn’t lead to stupendous results off the bat. I’m keeping JT on the dart throws for now. Happy to be wrong on him but there are so many reasons to be wary.

      So, I have no problem for the Walker>Kikuchi swap.

      Good luck!

      • johnnyhobbes says:
        (link)

        Everywhereblair, (for some reason that name is hard to type) – I also am leaning Kikuchi…… strong homer (philly) and east coast bias in my league– im looking to expose it

        • everywhereblair

          everywhereblair says:
          (link)

          Social engineering is half the battle in fantasy baseball!

  7. OaktownSteve says:
    (link)

    Logan Allen looks really good. Totally different pitcher. I think the Indians fixed him. They’ll do that.

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Hey Steve! I tossed that in a comment above that Rudy and I are in disagreement on him right now. Rudy’s going for the “Cleveland can change people” motto and I’m all for that. He’s throwing some FAAB at Allen and I’m not buying until I see more results.

      So, tournament players, give Allen a shot.

      Casual fantasy baseballers — let Allen ride the pine for a moment.

      Thanks for checking in!

  8. Huffin Gas says:
    (link)

    Logan Webb and Trevor Rogers are the two hottest SP pickups in most of my competitive 12 teamers following news blurbs about spring training performances. I went all FOMO and drafted Rogers in my next draft. Always interesting to see how the hot spring training types work out.

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      I’m with ya, I put $3 on Rogers in my home dynasty and won him. Dart throws are dart throws, and it’s fun when they work out. Hopefully they’re signal and not noise!

  9. NonTrads says:
    (link)

    Thanks for the write up!
    Anything I need/can address from the following rotation: (12 team, standard 5×5, H2H weekly)

    Buehler
    Ryu
    Berrios
    Urias
    Sixto
    Keuchel
    Gallen (when/if)
    RPs: Aroldis/Hicks/Garrett

    When Gallen goes DL, should I add one of : Peralta/Mize/Yarborough/Webb?

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Hey NonTrads!

      Love the rotation, no worries about it at all as long as your hitters are up to par.

      Peralta and Yarbrough are my favorites from that group. Peralta has the edge because he was healthier last year.

      Keep an eye on the WW/FAAB for early closer breakouts, but that’s easy enough to do. Good luck!

      • NonTrads says:
        (link)

        Keeper league auction—
        For perspective, my hitters are:

        C: D’arnaud
        1B Alonso
        2B Ian happ
        SS Adalberto Mondesi
        3B Manny Machado
        CI Yoan Moncada
        MI TommyEdman
        OF Ronald Acuna
        OF Luis Robert
        OF Austin Riley
        OF Nick Solak
        OF Kyle Lewis
        Util- cronenworth
        Willi Castro
        Bobby Dalbec

        • everywhereblair

          everywhereblair says:
          (link)

          Pretty nice! Keep an eye out for a bit more power on the wire.

  10. Alex Constantinides says:
    (link)

    Urias at 97 overall behind guys like John Means, Eovaldi, and Happ(just to name a few)?? Funny stuff, this is finally the year the dodgers are expected to let him pitch without as many restrictions, he’s on the best team in baseball, and has awesome stuff.

    Consensus rank on him for SPs is about 40, and most people that are trusted for Pitching advice have him even higher. Hard to trust advice that is this off, sorry.

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Hey Alex,

      Looks like you’re a first time commenter. Welcome! You might have missed the other 20,000 words I wrote on pitchers earlier in the year, explaining both my system and the importance of rankings different from the consensus in order to maximize your fantasy game. Also I rank in tiers, which I took out for this post because everybody’s done drafting and it’s a whole bunch of work to do for something that people already have from my previous articles and won’t be useful to anybody starting tomorrow. I know, it’s kinda like you’re coming in at the end of the story, which is why I think it would be really cool if you judged my work by going back to the beginning and seeing the how and the why, rather than a misperception on one pitcher.

      So, happy to hear what you have to say on Urias, but I’m worried about his innings due to his previous shoulder injury. I would encourage you not to look at players by their numerical rank but rather by their specific set of skills and how they fit into your rotation. So, feel free to go through my previous writings and see if I’m able to change your mind on your approach. Otherwise, Grey and Rudy have their rankings available as well, and you might just be surprised to see that Rudy has him ranked as SP64. Grey, however, is more bullish, with SP27 numbers. Plenty of ways to look at Urias, but I don’t think he merits his current draft cost.

      Best of luck and let me know what you think of my other stuff!

      • Samuel Thomas says:
        (link)

        As much as I’ve enjoyed your writing and analysis, this right here is wonderful.

        • everywhereblair

          everywhereblair says:
          (link)

          Thanks! [heart hands]

      • Alex Constantinides says:
        (link)

        You seem to have gotten a bit defensive over my comment, and I don’t think it’s the right approach to tell me I “missed the other 20k words you wrote” or I don’t understand your approach. I’m well aware of your approach, and what tiers are, but still do not see how any realistic way for a ranking to have Urias at 97 for SPs since individual spots still matter in tiers. About half this list above Urias has some kind of injury concern or possible inning limit, so to say he’s at 97 with that as your main reason, does not make any sense to me. There are plenty of guys above Urias who have equal concerns but with MUCH lesser of quality stuff AND on a much worse team. What I’m getting at is, I don’t think the entire industry is just ignoring his concerns, yet they still have him at ~40 for a reason. In fact as you mentioned, Rudy and Grey if you average their ranks have him at ~45, and I’m sure if you ask Rudy who has him at 64, he would have similar concerns to you yet is still 33 spots higher. So you can say I don’t understand your approach, but I just flat out think you are way off on your rank even given any concerns. The potential for growth, already dominant career numbers, and upside for wins are just too much to keep him this low, even if you are down on him. He also made a change to his curveball in the playoffs and has been even more dominant since then including this spring(yes I get it’s spring) where he’s looked awesome and didn’t allow more than a run in any appearance. So I’d like to know what else
        keeps you so low on such a talented arm- It can’t be just injury otherwise you would be just as low on Lamet, right? Just remember my comments when you inevitably move Urias up the board as the seasons progresses- maybe you will just come back and admit you were wrong at that point instead of taking a defensive approach. Good luck this season!

        • everywhereblair

          everywhereblair says:
          (link)

          Cool Alex. I’m not gonna get uproarious about free rankings. All I’m pointing out is that I have significant explanation in my previous articles about my strategy and precisely why I’m offering a different set of rankings than other rankers. If Urias succeeds, that’s fine and great. I have no problem being “wrong” on pre-season ranks because that’s not where my focus in fantasy baseball is. I would much rather succeed in helping people re-orient their relationship to the rankings industry.

          Cheers for checking back in and I hope the season goes well for you.

  11. Richard Scott Olcott says:
    (link)

    In keep forever league, do you like Tristan McKenzie or Freddy Peralta.

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      My man!

      Sticks McKenzie there by a tinge. I *do* like Cleveland in general, and it looks like he’s going to get his seasoning in the Majors. Peralta actually has a surprisingly good contract with the Brewers, so he’s going to get his shot at SP full time very soon, but I think McKenzie’s ceiling is just a bit higher, while we’re probably already looking at Peralta’s ceiling.

      Thanks for checking in!

      • Richard Scott Olcott says:
        (link)

        Thanks brother! Always a fan.

  12. LG Baseball says:
    (link)

    Blair you are awesome! Loving your work and the effort you put into not only your analysis but thoughtfully answering questions.

    Someone dropped F Peralta and I’m all over a waiver claim. Wish me luck!

    LG

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Thanks LGB!

      Good luck on Peralta…and fingers crossed for us all that he keeps that rotation spot. Brewers have him on a long term contract so there’s not a ton of incentive to force him to perform…hopefully he shows his true colors and stays in!

  13. Dan i says:
    (link)

    In 12 team , 23 player roster league. My starting pitchers are
    Mad max
    Lynn
    Luzardo
    Sonny Gray
    Gausman
    Means
    Bundy

    Thoughts on staff?
    Thanks
    Dan

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Hey Dan!

      I think you’re running away with the pitching categories in that league. Love the staff and it’s going to be hard to beat!

  14. Son

    Son says:
    (link)

    At first, I came for the pitchers. Now, I only want the lyrical gold.

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Always my biggest supporter, Son! [heart hands]

  15. Anodyne says:
    (link)

    Standard 12-team league. Here’s my list of starters:

    Yu Darvish
    Andrew Heaney
    Germán Márquez
    Mike Minor
    Marcus Stroman
    Matthew Boyd
    Freddy Peralta
    Elieser Hernandez
    Daulton Jefferies

    Thoughts on this group? Any glaring weaknesses I should focus on fixing?

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      You’re pretty good overall! The ERA/WHIP might be a bit daunting, but if you play matchups on Marquez/Minor/Str0/Boyd you’re fine. Or if you have really good RP to balance them out.

      Nice work!

  16. Thundershoe says:
    (link)

    Hey Everywhereblair, Thanks for these awesome pitcher write-ups you’ve been doing!

    The tail end of my rotation includes Taillon, Skubal, Kikuchi, and Gonsolin. Would you swap any of those out for Logan Webb, Jefferies, Cease, or Trevor Rogers? 14-team H2H points league. One extra note on Gonsolin is that perhaps I shouldn’t compare him directly with the others since he’ll be in a long relief role and thus could fit nicely into that SP/RP role that allows me to roll with 5 RPs instead of 4.

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Hey Thundershoe!

      Thanks for the support! I listed Gonsolin in my brazen predictions for 10 starts on the season…and now we’re hearing David Price is going to start in the bullpen…one step closer!

      I took Rogers in my home league for $3 in a keep forever…can’t say I’ll keep him forever but it’s worth a shot. There’s a group of people that stan each of the other pitchers but I personally don’t see any merit to them.

      So, if you want to drop anybody, I drop Taillon or Gonsolin for Rogers. But, I *like* Gonsolin if he gets a regular job.

      Good luck!

  17. John Ham says:
    (link)

    I’m getting the Logans confused! Webb! Allen! Gilbert! Can you give me a run down of them so I can untie my medula oblongata and decide which one fits my needs best?

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Logan — see, Wolverine.

      Logan Webb: bleh.
      Logan Allen: Might have figured it out but more than likely bleh. We’ll know more by May, but by that time predator drafters will have snatched him up.
      Logan Gilbert: Son of virtuoso guitarist Paul Gilbert. Nowhere near the show. Stash him if you have a dynasty.

      Tied up brains are a medical emergency and you should see a doctor about that. If you really want a Logan, try Allen and see if the Cleveland coaches fixed something in him.

      Good luck!

      • dude says:
        (link)

        Surprised on Logan Webb. That change up is elite to go with his other offerings. Always seemed a pitch away, and think he has it now.

        • everywhereblair

          everywhereblair says:
          (link)

          Like all pitchers, he can definitely be a consideration for dynasty pickups. I mean, he’s 24. Tons of growth to be had. But for redraft leagues in 2021, the stats all line up to say “dart throw.”

          I mean, my new set of rankings are basically as old as some of these pitchers’ new pitches. Whether they all end in fire or ice is something we won’t know for a little bit of time, right?

          Fingers crossed Webb has it figured out now!

  18. swaggerjackers says:
    (link)

    Was looking for some confirmation bias that T Rogers is a better pickup than T Walker. But no Rogers anywhere in the rankings. *tears*

    Is he really worse than Kohei Arihara?

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Goes along with the previous “anybody not listed is a dart throw” motif. I think I stopped at 130 because, ya know, scrolling is tedious.

      They’re about equal in my book. Rogers has more ceiling obviously, but Walker seemed to have been on the start of his “figured it out” campaign last year before injury. If you’ve got the feeling, go for it!

      • swaggerjackers says:
        (link)

        I gots the rookie nookie hard right now.

        Vaughn, Dalbec, Rogers, India. Gotta catch em all! (and then drop them in a few weeks).

        I like your content, by the way. I ended up fusing your SP list with Grey’s rankings which is saying quite a lot as a loyal Razzreader for many years.

        • everywhereblair

          everywhereblair says:
          (link)

          Thanks swagger! It’s a great compliment!

          It’s been really helpful studying under Grey and Rudy. I often think of myself as ranking more like Rudy and drafting more like Grey.

          Because I rank alongside Rudy on both baseball and football for Razzball, I try to provide a different outlook so that readers can get another perspective. On football, I created the “Razzball Consensus Rankings” so I could get an idea of how aggressive I was or was not compared to Rudy, Donkey Teeth, and MB. On baseball, I compare my rankings to Rudy’s (because it offsets my tendency to think like Grey) and then understand why/how there are major differences. Sometimes it’s just a matter of injury and formality (i.e., Strasburg). Other times it’s a matter of disagreement (i.e., Logan Allen). Sometimes I look at Rudy’s rankings and find super-interesting nuggets that become infatuations (i.e. Robbie Ray). So, it’s super cool to see you using my stuff alongside Grey. Hopefully it helps you!

  19. citizen5 says:
    (link)

    I really enjoy your writing and takes, more…more…more!

    My SP staff is:
    Giolito, Lazardo, Lopez, Eovaldi & Urias

    On the bench:
    Elisier H, Minor & Caleb Smith

    1. Keep those starting 5 or swap any?
    2. Better stash? Quantrill or Antone?

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Thanks for the support, citizen!

      I think your rotation is fine. We’ll find out about Smith–he looked great going into last year and then 2020 happened and it was disastrous.

      Definitely Antone for the stash. Guy just needs an opportunity.

      Thanks for checking in!

  20. Mike says:
    (link)

    Faded heavy investment in SP for my dynasty league (auction) cuz that’s what Grey sez I should do (as usual, used his pitcher picker tool!). Stacked in hitting, though I probably need some razz-advice on who I should be targeting with FAAB on my SP staff. Results “keepers” from prior year have a *:

    C1-Sean Murphy* $1
    C2-Austin Nola* $1
    1B-Eric Hosmer $8
    2B-Keston Hiura* $19
    SS-Trevor Story* $19
    3B-Matt Chapman* $17
    MI- CJ Abrams $1 (minors stash until first FAAB)
    CI- Bobby Dalbec $1
    OF- Ronald Acuna* $38
    OF- Juan Soto* $36
    OF- Bryce Harper $37
    OF- Marcell Ozuna $28
    OF- Ryan Mountcastle $9
    DH- Franmil Reyes $1 (inexplicably)

    SP1 – Chris Paddack $19
    SP2- Lance Lynn* $1
    SP3- Julio Urias* $7 (via preseason trade for Ke’Bryan Hayes $1)
    SP4- Tyler Mahle* $1
    SP5- Chris Bassitt $1
    SP6- Zach Eflin $1
    SP7- MacKenzie Gore $2 (minors)
    RP1- Will Smith $6
    RP2- Jordan Romano* $1

    Thoughts on who I should look to (we can start using 3 bench spots) at first FAAB week to fortify my SP streamers?

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
      (link)

      Yeah I definitely want to join a league where I can get LL for $1!

      For dynasty, I’d be looking at Elieser Hernandez, Tejay Antone, Tarik Skubal/Matt Manning, AJ Puk, Freddy Peralta — those kinds of guys. Rudy’s targeting Logan Allen in a lot of leagues. Ultimately, you’re looking for the dart throws that “figure it out”. The people that can be $1 investments next year or the year after.

      Hope that helps!

      • Mike says:
        (link)

        Thanks, LL won me the championship in 2019 at a $1. Last year I can have him, so def looking for more guys like the ones I highlight. Thanks!

  21. Keeks says:
    (link)

    Got roped into another league last minute…
    In an 8-team league, where would you say the cutoff is for must-roster versus streamers?

    My uneducated guess would be around Keuchel or Luzardo?

      • Keeks says:
        (link)

        Thanks Blair! great writing, looking forward to your posts this season!

Comments are closed.