The royal we already went over all the hitters for 2021 fantasy baseball rankings. That’s not the “royal we” as that term usually implies. It was me writing it alone while wearing a Burger King crown. I refuse to draft a top starter where they are usually drafted. Unlike hitters, you need six starters, depending on your league depth. Simple math tells us there’s plenty of starters to go around. Simple Math also says, “Stop putting words in my mouth!” Simple Math has an attitude problem. Simple Math says, “Try counting on your fingers without me!” Yo, eff you, Simple Math! In most leagues, there’s a ton of pitchers on waivers that can help you — all year. Not just in April. With the help of the Stream-o-Nator, you can get by with, say, three starters while streaming the rest. (By the by, Razzball Subscriptions are now open. Early subscribers get Rudy’s War Room, which I haven’t drafted without in about five years, and it’s worth the price of a subscription.) There’s also the fact that three stats by starters are difficult to predict due to luck. Wins, ERA and WHIP are prone to change, depending on which way the ball bounces and whether or not the guys behind the pitchers can score runs. Finally, the best starters can give you four categories. The best hitters can give you five categories. So, here’s Steamer’s 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. As always, where I see tiers starting and stopping are included with my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2021 fantasy baseball:

NOTE: All 2021 fantasy baseball projections are based on a 162-game season, and will be until we hear definitively there will be less games.

NOTE II: 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.

NOTE III: Free agents outside the top 100 are not yet written up or projected. They are approximately ranked, obviously subject to change.

1. Shane Bieber – Already went over him in the top 20 for 2021 fantasy baseball.

2. Gerrit Cole – Already went over him in the top 20 for 2021 fantasy baseball.

3. Jacob deGrom – This tier goes from here until Nola. I call this tier, “Hanging out with Neil, Patrick, Harris.” Your buddy tells you to meet him at this place, because Neil Patrick Harris is gonna be there, and you’re like, “Holy crap, Doogie Howser, that’s amazing!” You rush over there with some memorabilia for him to sign that you plan on keeping and not immediately putting on eBay, then you get there, and it’s three guys named Neil, Patrick and Harris. That disappointment is what you will have when you draft one of these guys. Now for a diatribe, I give every year, “If these starters were to fall in drafts to where I’m willing to draft a starter, I will draft any and/or all of them. It’s not about them as much as it’s about their draft slot. Sure, I have actual problems with guys like, say, Buehler and Flaherty, which I will get to, but if they fell to the 50s in a draft? Sure, at that point, you have to draft one, because I would be drafting a starter and he’d be above other guys. (Thank you for not laughing too loud when I said Buehler or Flaherty at pick 50.) For unstints, I always draft a starter around 50th overall (give or take ten picks), so if I’m in a draft with eleven other Greys and we’re sitting there discussing boba and the Maxo Kream album and just general BS’ing, and all of us forget to draft a starter, I’d draft Shane Bieber at 50th overall, then Cole, etc. So, this is a ranking of my starters, it’s just unrealistic for me to say I’m actually drafting these guys. They’ll be gone before I’m willing to draft a starter. Yes, I love the pitchers in this tier. They are great. There, I said it. But I will never own them.

Last year if you owned Trevor BauerKenta MaedaLuis CastilloLance Lynn and Zac Gallen, you would’ve walked away with your league’s pitching categories and not drafted any top starters. Am I cherrypicking? Yes, just like you could’ve cherrypicked last year’s pitchers based on my suggestions! You could’ve had Maeda, Lynn, Woodruff, Darvish, and Giolito and not drafted one starter before 50th overall. I love top pitchers, but you do not need them. In some leagues, you could do fine NOT drafting ANY starters. Yes, I brought out the caps. I’m not only talking about H2H leagues where you can carry only relievers. I’m talking 10 or 12-team roto leagues where you can stream starters. Maybe you own one starter and stream five spots. Maybe you own two guys and stream four spots. Maybe you drink seven cups of coffee and stream all day. Even if you want to draft an entire rotation and hold them (or try to), you don’t need a guy from this tier. There’s plenty of options later to fill out your rotation so you’re competitive in leagues where you can’t stream. I’m not suggesting you Reggie Roby starters. I’m telling you to Reggie Roby top starters. Concentrate on your hitting while these guys are being drafted.” And that’s me diatribing me!

It’s like this every year. Without fail. In the preseason, everyone will be telling you that you need a top starter, some people might even tell you that you need two top starters. What they never say, or purposely fail to mention is how every year there’s starters in the “top starters” who weren’t there a year ago, so you could’ve had a top starter without paying for one. I told you to draft Maeda in every league last year; grab Woodruff, I said; Lynn was one of my biggest bargains I drafted everywhere and Gallen, Gray and Nola were all guys I liked. You didn’t need Cole, Bieber, Buehler, Flaherty or deGrom, and didn’t want Scherzer, Strasburg, Verlander or Greinke. There’s dozens of starters to own, and you need at most six. For whatever reason, everyone forgets how many starters are available later. It’s almost like they’ve forgotten Bauer, Woodruff, Gallen, Maeda, Lamet, and Lynn weren’t drafted until after 100th overall or much later, and here they all. I wrote Lamet, Woodruff and Maeda sleeper posts last year they were going so late! Just like next year, I will be saying I told you Tyler Mahle, Kevin Gausman, Pablo Lopez and others were insane values. I’m being 100% serious when I tell you that if someone tells you that you need a top eight starter, you should question everything they tell you. If they tell you to draft two aces, then you should make an anonymous call for help. They need it. As for deGrom, he’s great. Dur. 2021 Projections: 16-4/2.51/0.95/244 in 193 IP

4. Yu Darvish – Another guy you absolutely know, and if you don’t know Yu, you need some spa-level introspection in Sedona with just you and the gal pals, so in’s tead you have a Choose Your Own Adventure:  Read my Yu Darvish fantasy or I’m going to give you a long explanation about pitching in general in the Year Blackjack after 20. (Trying to make that stick, so please use it.) No one threw a lot of innings last year. Without taking all the fury out of my Lynn blurb, which you might’ve read already anyway when he was traded, it’s one of the reasons I like Lynn so much this year. I picture, uh, pitchers getting to around 140 IP this year and just struggling to finish off strong. If there was a pitcher who only threw 60 IP in 162 games, you would never expect them to turn around and throw 200 IP the next year, and I don’t think we should be thinking it after a 60-game season. This is gonna make top starters even less valuable. I gonna have around five starters projected for 200 IP this year, and that’s projecting vs. reality. In reality, there might be two guys who throw 200 IP, and it might be German Marquez and Kyle Hendricks. What I think we’re gonna see is a bunch of rotations of seven or more starters with a lot of backend guys getting around 50+ IP and a bunch of Openers, helping take innings off of arms. Also, there’s a peak of 205 IP projected from any one starter this year (Cole). Usually there’s a handful of 220 IP starters projected. Drafting pitching this year is more precarious than ever, but it doesn’t mean top starters are more important. It means there’s gonna be even more need for the random starter who you grab for a few starts in July, and is then out of the rotation by August. 2021 Projections: 14-8/2.79/1.03/237 in 188 IP

5. Aaron Nola – Was surprised by how much I loved what Nola did last year. Such an odd year to look at as a step forward. Only step forward I wanted to do last year was in front of oncoming traffic. If Nola gets better, he will be the best starter in baseball. From Crescent City to Crescendo City: The Story of My Love for Nola. A) There’s no reason to think Nola can’t approach 200 IP, which is one of my biggest problems with a lot of guys. B) He finally found the next level on his Ks and combined that with command he always had, but lost briefly in 2019. C) There’s no C. If I were the type to get in on a top starter, I’d happily grab Nola, as he looks like he’s on the cusp of a Cy Young. 2021 Projections: 15-4/2.89/1.02/236 in 201 IP

6. Lucas Giolito – This is a new tier. This tier goes until Bauer. I call this tier, “I yam disgustipated.” I was super tempted to drop Giolito, and this whole tier down below the next tier. Right now, Giolito’s ADP is 20 and that makes me laugh like an absolute loon. I look at an ADP for Giolito and I’m like, “Yo, that’s cool, but how can I get some of the shrooms everyone else is taking?” Then after some staggering around like a Robert Altman-filmed Popeye, I’m like, “Oh my gorshk! I yam disgustipated!” Seriously, though, y’all so horny for starters that you’re taking Giolito 20th (or higher!)? I know, it sounds silly when I say I would draft Giolito at 50th overall, but not at 20th, but it’s really not. 20th overall is barely the 2nd round for some drafters. Giolito off the board before someone’s taken their 2nd pick is absurd and I yam disgustipated. 2021 Projections: 16-8/3.18/1.03/239 in 190 IP

7. Walker Buehler – After four seasons in the majors, Buehler has a record of 24-9/3.15/1.03/420 in 365 2/3 IP. In 1974, Nolan Ryan went 22-16/2.89/1.27/367 in 332 2/3 IP. Oh…*hikes to the top of Machu Picchu*…kay. On a side note, I wonder how many people climb to the top of Machu Picchu then sing The Village People’s Macho Man, replacing Macho with Machu. Nolan Ryan was obviously a freak of nature, but Trevor Bauer a quote-unquote workhorse has one season in nine seasons of 200+ IP. Y’all drafting Buehler in the top 25 overall, might be lucky to get 150 IP, which would still put him about 100 innings more than this year, when factoring in postseason. Insert emoji removing a corn cob pipe, squinting, then pull back to see a truck emoji about to run over the other emoji.  2021 Projections: 14-5/3.07/1.00/188 in 158 IP

8. Jack Flaherty – I know ERA is dumb. So, I will put aside his 4.91 ERA in only 40 1/3 IP last year. In fact, throw out his 2020. He started and stopped, due to shutdowns, so there’s very little chance he was “right” at any point. That’s fine. His 2nd half two years ago is still doing more heavy lifting than Ken Patera and “The Polish Power” Ivan Putski combined. I do like his price more this year, but still not enough to get invested. If I were his pitching coach, I would tell him to throw his slider (.182 xBA, 49.5% Whiff rate) as much as possible. If we’re not throwing out his 2020, he needs to fix his fastball or locate it better. Horizontal movement year over year shows me he was missing up. Some quibbles in there, and if he were going two rounds later, I could see being in on him. Some are going Flaherty, and I’m obviously going with nitpickery. 2021 Projections: 14-7/3.33/1.09/209 in 178 IP

9. Trevor Bauer – Was holding out as long as I could to write up Bauer, just as he was apparently doing for the biggest contract. The Mets seemed to land him. If they haven’t due to some last-minute change, I will update the blurb, but honestly think Bauer’s gonna be a Metropolitan. Just a matter of crossing T’s, dotting I’s and hiding an arm injury. I kid! The Mets have never ruined anyone. “Who didn’t want to be ruined!” That’s a Mets doctor who is currently holding a rectal thermometer under his tongue. Wonky analogy alert! Imagine the Tasmanian Devil spinning through a ceiling, then continues up into the sky, spinning through the moon, then continuing up until he disappears into the distance, out of range of the world’s largest telescope. That’s Trevor Bauer’s spin rate. Pretty convenient it happened during his contract year when people were too busy checking for viral droplets instead of pine tar droplets on a hat. Not saying Bauer cheated last year. I’m saying I’m 99.9% sure he cheated, and if I were him, I’d cash out, then not cheat again this year, which will see his value plummet, but if he does have an opt-out after one year, well, who knows, maybe he’ll cheat again. Either way, his draft price is way too inflated, and I won’t be drafting him. Metco is a solid landing spot though. Nothing involving the Mets has ever gone horribly wrong. UPDATE: Dodgers signed Bauer, as Bauer returns to where he first started making enemies with Gerrit Cole. “3, 2, 1…” That’s me counting down the seconds until David Price opts out again. Wonder what happened with the Mets and Bauer. Maybe Steve Cohen offered him the same GameStop in Massapequa that Steven Matz worked out in high school, and Bauer turned him down. Stonks, but no stonks, perhaps. Maybe Bauer failed the Mets’ physical because he was too healthy. “What do we do with this arm? It works!” That’s the Mets’ doctors. This hurts all the other Dodgers’ starters more than anything, assuming my prediction on David Price doesn’t hold. Maybe I can republish my Tony Gonsolin sleeper in 2022. Everything I said in Bauer’s main blurb about his spin rate still applies. Also, I’d be hesitant thinking Dodger Stadium, and run support will simply offset his starts vs. the Padres and when he goes to Coors. Though, RIP to all Diamondback and Giants bats.  2021 Projections: 15-8/3.47/1.18/247 in 203 IP

10. Max Scherzer – This is a new tier. This tier goes until Gallen. I call this tier, “Allusions (delusions?).” This tier is filled with guys who I have allusions (delusions) of drafting around 50th overall. As for Scherzer, I take some pride in Scherzer being the first HOFer who I wrote a sleeper post for before he was anything on the Diamondbacks. What’s better, having a Hall of Fame career or writing a sleeper post? I think we both know the answer. Also, holy crap, I’ve been doing this for a while. I’m going to be writing a sleeper post about Ramon Laureano Jr. at some point, aren’t I? Eff me. I’m going to be answering trade questions by hunting and pecking on the typewriter with my nose, because of arthritic fingers. Any hoo! I had some allusions (delusions?) of drafting Scherzer this year, thinking his price might’ve finally fell, but I haven’t seen a ton of times he’s fallen into the 45 thru 60 range overall. He’s close though (as late as 47th overall in some leagues,) so I loosened up my restrictions on drafting a starter. More than likely Scherzer and everyone in this tier will be go before I pull the trigger on my 1st starter. This is a slight difference from past years. Usually the 10th starter off the board is about 50th overall. This year everyone seems to be panicking earlier than usual to draft a starter. Don’t do that, there’s starters to draft. As for Scherzer (finally), he’s the closest we have to Nolan Ryan. I can’t imagine him not recording 200+ Ks if he gets anything close to 170 IP. That might be the issue. I do worry about any starter who at any point has had back issues after the age of 35. Call him a Max Schiropractor. 2021 Projections: 12-6/3.47/1.12/237 in 174 IP

11. Luis Castillo – You, “Yo, I can’t get over your handsomeness. It is alluring. Is that the right word? But you’re also one of the dumbest motherf*ckers I’ve ever met if you think you’re getting Castillo around 50th overall.” Tough, but fair. I can’t believe how hard people are going after starters this year. It’s almost like everyone thinks top starters are going to be more valuable with less innings thrown, when it will absolutely be the reverse of that. Not to get all scientific with examples, but look at our Player Rater from last year. The top 20 starters last year were nowhere near top 20 starters drafted. With less innings, guys don’t have as much time to shake off luck or spread themselves with sheer quantity. For unstints, Jacob deGrom and Dinelson Lamet were about equal in value. If deGrom threw 220 IP, he’d pull far away from Lamet, who would throw around 160 IP, because an extra 60 IP of insane Ks and great ratios makes a huge difference. 190 IP vs. 160 IP is just not as big a difference. Less innings from everyone will not make top starters better or make it harder to find starters later. Sorry, PETA’s ringing my doorbell for beating this dead horse. I get it, but you know Castillo, so there’s not much to say on him. He’s a 11 K/9, 3.35 ERA starter who has four pitches he uses equally and with great effect–That is so boring to read. I need to stop. One final note on him, FanGraphs should consider removing their 2017 prospect rating of him that was 45 grade, kinda points out how insanely off they were. You say TINSTAPP, I say TINJUSTSTOP; let’s call the whole thing off. 2021 Projections: 12-9/3.37/1.15/227 in 186 IP

12. Brandon Woodruff – I have a standing desk, but stand on top of a very little chair, so I can fall off my chair when I see things like someone projecting Woodruff for 192 IP. I loved Woodruff last year, and love him this year. This is coming from a place of love when I scream into my inner monologue cavern, “You’re projecting Woodruff for 192 IP?!” Like my next dog, Arfer Woofruff, would say, “Woof!” If Bra-Wood reaches 192 IP, the Brewers aren’t just drunk in name. Woodruff is benefitting from the “lesser innings from everyone” in the same way deGrom or others are being hurt by it, but that doesn’t mean expect 190+ innings. His career high is 121 2/3 IP. Yo, you want him to throw the final fifty innings with his left arm? Though, he is about to throw the prettiest 150 IP anyone’s ever seen with a 10.5-11 K/9 and barely-over 2 BB/9. 2021 Projections: 11-5/3.12/1.01/189 in 154 IP

13. Zac Gallen – This is a mini tier of guys who are being projected for HOW MANY INNINGS?! Caps and interrobang for emphasis not aesthetics. Gallen’s being projected for 198 IP by some. Those “some” are on some cool new designer drugs.

Opens trench coat, “You wanna try some IPprofen.”
“Why are you shadily trying to sell aspirin?”
“This isn’t ibuprofen. This is IPprofen. It makes you think a starter’s IP will be high this year.”

I feel like some of you are trying to make up for the terrible season we just saw by overcompensating. Guys and five girls, it sucks we just had a 60-game season, but you can’t expect a guy to throw 125 more innings year over year. Just because Gallen threw 72 IP this past year and was around the league leaders, it doesn’t mean he’s going to come back and be amongst the league leaders in IP again when the league leaders are near-200 IP. I love Gallen, but everyone needs to chill on expectations or get off the IPprofen. 2021 Projections: 10-6/3.07/1.14/182 in 158 IP

14. Hyun-Jin Ryu – This is a new tier. This tier goes until Gray. I call this tier, “The Safety Dance.”

We can pitch in the dance if we want to,
We can leave your top starters behind,
‘Cause your top starters don’t dance past 200 innings,
And if they don’t dance past 200 innings.
Well, they’re no starters dancing past 200 innings.

Like a Molina, that’s catchy! These starters are good-slash-capable of shoving. Shoving, as defined by Baseball Terms dot com, is when a pitcher is capable of pitching extremely well. It’s also one of the worst words, and makes no sense in context of pitching. Sounds like a guy is taking a dookie on the mound. Any hoo! These guys are “safer” number ones. I throw up the deuces around safer, because no starters are going to safe this year. As for Ryu, wavy lines take over the screen, and we slowly fade to…

The year is 2030. Baseball seasons are now a five-game series between two teams. There’s 28 other teams, but they don’t play, because their billionaire owners were too broke to afford players. Since there’s only five games, only three starters are needed for each team, and of those six teams, a 43-year-old Hyun-Jin Ryu is coming off his 13th straight sub-3 ERA season, but, because of fear this is the year he’s not good, he’s drafted last out of the six possible starters. *wavy lines taking us back to present day* Seriously, how does Ryu get a sub-3 ERA every year, and has a 2.95 ERA in 807 1/3 career innings, and is still under-drafted? Lack of Ks? Okay, that’s been over 9.5 K/9 in two of the past three years, so try again. He doesn’t even have a good stadium to pitch in, if the Jays are in Buffalo again, and he still is coming off a 2.69 ERA in Buffalo in the supposedly scary AL East. 2021 Projections: 13-6/2.81/1.06/181 in 184 IP

15. Blake Snell – Already gave you my Blake Snell fantasy. It was written while getting the tattoo, “Zhug Life,” across my chest to honor that delicious Middle Eastern sauce. 2021 Projections: 13-6/3.12/1.18/187 in 153 IP

16. Kenta Maeda – Remarkably consistent in every facet except ERA, which is fine and/or dandy. Even in 2019, when his xFIP ballooned up, I saw him coming off that year as one of the biggest sleepers, and he delivered in admittedly a dopey year. Don’t expect 2020 again if we see anywhere close to 162 games. Maeda is still great for 150 IP, but I wouldn’t push him much beyond 170 IP, and even that I Kent-a get behind. 2021 Projections: 12-7/3.41/1.14/178 in 162 IP

17. Lance Lynn – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Traded to the White Sox. Take that with your ‘No teams are competing to win!’ In every deal, one team is clearly competing and one team is the Texas Rangers. So, they suck. Too bad they will only see a third party World Series celebration. Aw, that’s harsh. Sorry, Rangers fans, if there are any. So, Lynn to the White Sox, moving from Arlington National Cemetery for Home Runs to Guaranteed Rake. *Larry David meh face* It’s not great. If you must look at splits for a new park, Lynn was a 4.50 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 12.6 K/9 guy in Chicago, but that really means nothing. He was facing the White Sox, not the White Sox’s opponents and he was there as a visitor. In 1426 2/3 IP in his career, Lynn has been a 3.57 ERA guy, under-4.00 xFIP and 9-ish K/9. That’s who he is, give or take .25 ERA and .5 K/9, until he declines into not being that, and it hasn’t happened yet. Last year he had a 2.53 ERA thru 79 IP, until a final rough start (5 2/3 IP, 9 ER) that knocked him up to 3.32. In a year where most threw roughly 70 IP, he’s also one of maybe five pitchers who might approach 200 IP this year. There’s gonna be real value in that. I’m a big fan of Lynn’s, even in the new park.” And that’s me quoting me! 2021 Projections: 15-8/3.61/1.11/212 in 204 IP

18. Clayton Kershaw – As you go through this blurb, you should mime Pac-Man with your arms, only instead of eating dots, you’re trimming hedges, because this recommendation is one big hedge, with Kershaw’s ranking even a hedge. Will you be able to draft him as the 18th starter off the board? No, prolly not. But I would! Is he good for 200 IP? No, but no one is! Will he still throw less innings than even guys who are throwing less innings after a 60-game season? Yes! Did he gain fastball velocity last year? Yes! Will it carry into 2021 when he needs to throw more innings? No! One hedge that doesn’t need clipping, is that he is a low-3 xFIP pitcher. Always except in the postseason. Damn, I just ordered a parasol off Amazon for no reason, because there’s already shade moving in. I kid on the Kershaw postseason narrative, it’s such nonsense. 2021 Projections: 12-5/2.94/1.02/169 in 159 IP

19. Sonny Gray – Ya know what’s slightly wild — Gray’s walk rate last year! Hey ho! — No, but seriously, folx, as they spell it on crypto exchange bulletin boards, Gray’s had plenty of seasons (five!) where he deserves a top 15-ish starter draft spot, and this is the 2nd year in a row when I’m way higher on him than his ADP. He has a 8.5 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 3.54 ERA in his career 1132 IP. This isn’t a guy who just suddenly figured it out. Last year, I kinda understand the push back because he went from an 8 K/9 guy to 10.5 K/9, but why I was into him last year and still am, he found more Ks. He had the 21st least amount of contact, about the same as Bauer and Gallen. He had the 16th best fastball, and he’s really a changeup guy, having the 2nd best change in the majors. I’d discount some of his Ks last year, due to the lopsided schedule, but he appears to be a 10 K/9 guy vs. the 8 K/9 he was earlier in the career. I could go on and on about my love for Gray, which is also what I would have Maria Bello say on a Cameo video, if you’re looking to buy me as a birthday present. 2021 Projections: 13-9/3.71/1.16/192 in 172 IP

20. Dinelson Lamet – This is a new tier. This tier goes into the top 40 starters for 2021 fantasy baseball. I call this tier, “The Butcher of Bologna.” You’ve been wanting to open a deli your whole life. You’ve had dreams of a write-up in the Peoria Journal Star that announces your arrival. “A charcuterie that dazzles the eyes, nose and eventually the mouth with cured treasures.” Finally, you retire from your job at 65, and invest your entire 401k in the deli dream. The day the sign for your deli, “The Butcher of Bologna,” is hoisted a madman kills dozens of people in Bologna, Italy, and he’s nicknamed The Butcher of Bologna. It becomes a worldwide sensation, and people shy away from your salami because it reminds them of murder. That wanna-be deli man’s failed dreams is this tier. Tee bee aitch, I’m giving you a tier now that I won’t own partially because I like to mix it up. As for Lamet, when I see the news for him say, “(Elbow) feels good, could throw soon,” I don’t walk, I run to drafting someone else. Only real shame is Lamet’s going to be a good three months behind Mike Clevinger, when he returns. 2021 Projections: 6-8/3.88/1.22/149 in 129 IP

CONTINUE ON TO THE TOP 40 STARTERS FOR 2021 FANTASY BASEBALL

 
  1. Member Berries says:
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    Grey,
    In an RCL, i want to see you draft 2 SPs in your first 2 rounds then no SPs until at least round 12 or later (excluding closers but SAGNOF).

    Dont be scared. Do it. Do It. (insert Ben Stiller’s Starsky and Hutch gif)

    I saw there’s a doc coming out on Mr. Miyagi – looks dark. So many sad comedians…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’d do it, then change my team name to Member Berries – insert evil laugh

      • VinWins

        VinWins says:
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        One year when I was drafting my 40th team I figured I’d do it. I had the 12th pick and said I’d take Scherzer and Kershaw if they were both available. They were, but I couldn’t do it. Did take Scherzer.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Haha

  2. Banana Man says:
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    Grey, do you still feel the same way about not drafting high starters in 15-team NFBC leagues with weekly FAAB? Seems that’s the format where they get pushed up the highest.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      You’re fine after about ten SPs are off the board — you don’t need an ace in the 1st two to three rounds

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Obviously with 15 teams, and me saying I’d draft a starter around 45 overall — you’re only waiting barely two rounds, and depends where you’re in the draft order

  3. Ante GALIC says:
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    Grey!!!

    Formidable (spoken in a Quebecois accent) top 20 for SP report!

    a. I like both the Allusions (or Delusions) and The Safety Dance Tiers for my #1 SP in a 12-team RCL. Should be okay, right?

    b. MLB quote of the day for February 5, 2021

    1. Hank Aaron, born February 5, 1934

    ‘As far as I’m concerned, (Hank) Aaron is the best ball player of my era. He is to baseball of the last 15 years what Joe DiMaggio was before him. He’s never received the credit he’s due.’

    Mickey Mantle in Baseball Digest (June 1970) [Hank Aaron Quotes]

    2. Lee Thomas, born February 5, 1936

    “‘There was the time Lee Thomas went up to pinch-hit and (Leo) Durocher sat on the bench saying, ‘Look at that bleep bleep bleep. He can’t run, he can’t hit, I don’t why the bleep bleep bleep I got him. Look at him! He’s going to pop up.’ And sure enough, Thomas popped up. Durocher swore for several minutes, then turned to Ted Savage and told him to pinch-hit next. ‘Why should I go up there,’ said Savage, ‘and subject myself to abuse?'”

    Roy Blount, Jr. (The Quotable Baseball Fanatic, Page 234)

    3. Roberto Alomar, born February 5, 1968

    ‘I’ve seen a lot of second basemen in my time. My father played in the Negro Leagues and the Caribbean Winter League, where I saw Cool Papa Bell play. I played with Julian Javier, Felix Millan, and Cookie Rojas. I played against Bill Mazeroski and Joe Morgan. In All-Star games, I saw Rod Carew. As good as they were, none of them were as good as Roberto Alomar. I’ve been watching baseball for sixty years, and he’s the best I’ve ever seen.’

    Orlando Cepeda (George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, ‘Roberto Alomar’, Source)

    4. Adam Everett, born February 5, 1977

    ‘The inside-the-park home run is the most exciting play in baseball, I think. I’m kind of surprised it was the first one ever hit at this ballpark (Minute Maid). I’m glad Adam (Everett) did it; I know I couldn’t.’

    Teammate Geoff Blum (on August 6, 2003)

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Jolt In Flow says:
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      “Catch the taste!” – Roberto Alomar – McCain Fruit Punch commercial – 1993, 3 years before he spit on the ump.

      Tasty times those 90’s.

      Jolt

      • Grey

        Grey says:
        (link)

        Haha

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Formidable!

      A. Yeah, plenty

      B. 4. Wow, that must’ve been a long time before one was hit if it was Everett

      • Ante GALIC says:
        (link)

        Grey!!

        a. Haha!

        b. Btw, thank you for not mentioning how I failed to correctly number the quotes section I sent. I numbered the quotes as 1., 2., 3., 5., 4. and nobody batted an eyelash!!

        c. Hank Aaron getting props from Mickey Mantle in Black History Month, only creme de la creme at Razzball Nation!

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          B. I’ve made plenty of misteaks!

          C. Haha

  4. No Bueno says:
    (link)

    Great work as always. I know it’s early but I’m trying to sort out my keepers for this season as trades have already been starting to happen. It’s a 12 team 5×5 roto with no costs associated in keeping 8 players for as long as we want.

    So far I know I’m going to keep: Trea, Freeman, Bieber, Giolito.

    Which other 4 guys would you keep out of : Bregman, Alvarez, Vlad, Biggio, Grisham, Rizzo, Woodruff

    Thanks!

    • Carloots says:
      (link)

      Bregman, Yordan, Vlad and Grisham for me … Grisham, Biggio and Woodruff is tough though. But I’d go with Grisham because of your OF needs, and I prefer him over Biggio.

    • packers2018 says:
      (link)

      My 2 cents.

      I would keep Bregman, Biggio, Grisham and Woodruff.

      Alvarez knees plus UTL only.
      Rizzo and Vlad because you have Freeman.

      There are things we don’t know such as who might be available, trades….
      With 3 strong SP’s you could go after bats and maybe get back one of your guys.

    • The Great Knoche says:
      (link)

      Bregman, Woodruff, Grisham, Biggio for me.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Thanks! Bregman, Alvarez, Vlad, then dealer’s choice — I guess Grisham since you’re lacking OF

  5. Wallpaper Paterson says:
    (link)

    Getting new single season (redraft) league started. I think I will go from OBP back to batting average and have the other four regular batting categories. Then for pitching I would have K, ERA, saves + holds, wins, and BB allowed. So the only thing weird would be walks allowed. I would be adding that as the anti-mindless streaming measure. I find restricting moves to cut down on streaming to suck.

    In other words,
    R
    HR
    RBI
    SB
    BA

    W
    K
    BB
    ERA
    Saves + holds

    Good, bad, ugly?

    Let me know your thoughts. Thank you in advance, Grey.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Not really sure why you’re doing walks allowed — how does that cut down on streaming more so than WHIP?

      • Wallpaper Paterson says:
        (link)

        It does because walks allowed will increase if you stream mediocre guys. WHIP more than likely would do but it is less of a guarantee.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Meh, seems like tomato tomahto to me…But if it curbs what you want then go for it — just makes life more difficult is my thought

          • Wallpaper Paterson says:
            (link)

            Thanks. I will give it more thought this weekend.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              No problem

  6. Jimmy says:
    (link)

    Great work as usual! Trade question would you trade Willie Adames and Tommy Edman for Elieser Hernandez and Justin Turner I have Edman slotted at 3rd…I won’t bore you with listing my club and needs other than I need pitching….5×5 20 team keeper thanks gain!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Thanks! Seems fair, though I do like Edman the best

  7. Zeus says:
    (link)

    I generally agree with you in most formats but what about a 50 round draft and hold? Don’t have the waiver luxury to fall back on when your mid round targets crap the bed.

    • Tom says:
      (link)

      Top pitchers go quite early in the NFBC draft champions, and if you do the more expensive ones you will see most players go hot and heavy for the top pitchers, and most if not all are gone by the end of round 3. Which of course makes sense without the luxury of the waiver. So if you wait you really have to hope your other targets pan out.

    • The Great Knoche says:
      (link)

      I still won’t draft a pitcher until 3rd round in those unless someone falls that shouldnt. (They dont)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I finished top 10 overall in DC without drafting a top starter — around 3rd round is fine for your 1st SP

      • Tom says:
        (link)

        I won a DC league and my first 3 pitchers taken were closers, starting in round 5 went 3 in a row. That team didn’t get too high in the overall but won me the league bucks.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Yeah, don’t believe anyone that tells you you need to draft a starter high

  8. Chucky says:
    (link)

    Just got this offer in a 12 team, keep 10 with no contracts. Bieber and Max Muncy for Bauer and Bregman. Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Bieber side

  9. Jolt In Flow says:
    (link)

    As Razzball being the major source of my baseball fantasy drafting info and entertainment, I, Jolt In Flow, solemly promise not to draft a starter until the 50th slot overall. With a possible exception of Scherzer taken at 47th if available. I promise to throw out the 2 ace minimum rule. Should I decide to go break the promises stated above, may the fastball of the second ace I choose, if they did not fall to me at a Razzball approved slot, hit me square in the head and knock sone sense into me to never question the fantasy pitching process laid out here at Razzball.

    Jolt
    PS. Good explanation of when to choose pitching. I’ll bookmark this write-up for future reference. Much appreciated, Grey.

    • packers2018 says:
      (link)

      Great comment, lol.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Haha, I’m gonna hold you to this!

    • Malicious Phenoms says:
      (link)

      Good stuff Jolt lol

  10. Play Ball says:
    (link)

    I’m fairly new to fantasy baseball. In a small 6-team friends league this year- 5×5 roto using QS, K, ERA and WHIP.

    There are 3 SP, 2 P, 2 RP and 4 bench slots to put a SP and there’s a 1400 IP max. No cap on games started.

    I got the first pick in a snake for our upcoming draft.

    Because my league is small, what round would you start taking a SP?

    • packers2018 says:
      (link)

      Probably round 6 – 8. Depends how many bats are in your starting lineup.

      3 or 5 outfielders ect.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      No caps on moves, picking guys off waivers? Around 50th overall pick seems fine

      • Play Ball says:
        (link)

        Thanks Grey.

        Our league is small and shallow – C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 3 OF, 2 Util 4 Bench.

        Because it’s a 6-team league Belli, Lindor, Freeman, J-Ram will be available in 2nd round and I’ll have pick 12 and 13.

        Acuna will be my first pick. If available, who would you take around the turn?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Lindor works for me

          • Play Ball says:
            (link)

            And who else with Lindor? I get the 12th and 13th pick.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Belly or JoRam

  11. I remember your Max Scherzer post after he got sent down in Arizona and you described him as being dipped in like a gold pond or something, anyway, one of the funniest things I’ve read and it was the reason I started to read this daily. Crazy to think that was like 10 years ago.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Haha, it’s nuts — we’re old!

  12. Mike L says:
    (link)

    I don’t disagree with you much and laugh at most of your articles. However, I have done several mocks already this year and every single time I passed on a starter in the first 3 rounds my team looked awful for pitching. The best names available were usually Strasburg, Sonny Gray, or Glasnow. So I was either left with making a desperate choice for a starter, or waiting and taking a top relief guy or someone like Alonso or Hiura. So I’m not saying you can’t find some guys that could definitely prove to be much better than their draft value, but that is a very risky move.

    • Cram It says:
      (link)

      It’s been a proven strategy for myself for over a decade and other razzball disciples. What did your staff look like?

      • Mike L says:
        (link)

        I couldn’t tell you overall the names because I’ve done like 10 so far. I just know almost every time the evaluation I got for my pitchers was always in the bottom 5. I play in a dynasy roto league with 12 teams but I’ve doing these mock drafts because I started a new league with some parents and kids on our travel baseball team. I am pretty loaded in my dynasty because I built and sucked for 3 years before I had a team that could compete so not having a top 8 guy worries me. It’s also different because in my dynasty league we are stuck with our rosters for 2 months at a time there are no waiver moves unless we draft live. Maybe that’s why I have a hard time with this strategy who knows.

        • Cram It says:
          (link)

          Evaluation from Yahoo, like the mock draft report card? That doesn’t mean anything. Those are based on Yahoo projections.

          A dynasty league changes the landscape completely. This strategy is mainly targeted for redrafts.

          • Mike L says:
            (link)

            I’ve been doing them through FantasyPros. I know that sometimes the evaluations don’t mean much. I just got done drafting again and had Woodruff, Wheeler, Paddack, Mahle, P. Lopez, and Montas. Took Betts, Le Mahieu, and Bregman and then Woodruff in 4. Now I like all those guys but because I scrambled to get some more mid-tier guys I got hosed on relief pitchers. It just seems like year after year finding a reliable pitcher to get you wins gets more difficult.

            • Cram It says:
              (link)

              Honestly, I would go by Grey’s rankings when they’re finished. Yes, it’s more stressful picking the right guys when you wait on pitching, but that’s what Razzball is here for. Hard to say who the best available options were.

            • Cram It says:
              (link)

              I just did a Yahoo mock out of curiosity to see who was available.
              Story
              Bellinger
              Devers
              Springer
              Woodruff
              Ryu

              So I got two of Grey’s top 15 pitchers waiting until the 5th round for SP. You wouldn’t be happy with that start?

              • Grey

                Grey says:
                (link)

                Yeah, that’s what I’m saying…That pitching staff is totally fine to start — everyone forgets that by June you will have dropped and added numerous pitchers whether you draft a top 3 SP or not

                • Mike L says:
                  (link)

                  I’m trying to balance my re-draft mind and my dynasty mind. It’s a wicked game.

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
                    (link)

                    Was that a Chris Isaak song?

                    • Mike L says:
                      (link)

                      ??

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      It’s a wicked game. — thought that was Chris Isaak

                    • Mike L says:
                      (link)

                      That was supposed to be 2 crying emojis. I do believe you are correct. It was the dirtiest thing I remember on MTV as a kid in the 80s besides California Girls.

              • Mike L says:
                (link)

                I just have my doubts about both of those pitchers. I love the first 3 picks. But if Giolito or Nola are there I would have a tough time passing in round 3. This is a standard roto league so not sure if that changes your opinion. No matter what, the hitters will always trump the pitchers. I’m a firm believer in that.

      • 183414 says:
        (link)

        In the 36th round of my 1st (and only) Draft Champions. Got the 1st pick, and waited until the 4th round(pick 60) to draft a starter (Ryu).
        Huge mistake in waiting. Actually pick #1 would not be a spot I’d ever draft again in a 15 teamer, and not even in a 12 teamer.
        I will get destroyed in k’s, and likely in wins. Had I known what I’d be facing, I would definitely tried to start somewhere in the middle, and not waited even until the 3d round to take my 1st starter.

        1) (60) Ryu
        2) (90) Berrios
        3) (120) McCullers
        4) (180) Mahle
        5) (210) Bassitt
        6) (270) E. Hernandez
        7) (300) Walker
        8) (390) Houck
        9) (420) Richards
        10)(450) Patino
        11)(480) Shoemaker

        Was never expecting to win a Draft Champions, but I won’t be waiting in the OL to draft my 1st 2 s.p.’s.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          That’s your DC rotation? That’s stacked

          • 183414 says:
            (link)

            That’s it through 33 rounds.
            Added Luis Garcia and Bryce Wilson @ 540/541.
            No free agency sucks, so started drafting upside over the Freelands, Lesters, Roarks, Senzetelas, Gomber, Porcellos…..
            Passed on Aquino who I wanted, but without elite s.p.’s at the top, I want some upside guys who can finish the year strong.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Can’t argue with that!

        • Smitty says:
          (link)

          Hear ya, had #2 spot in an earlier DC and went SP with my 2nd pick (29) when Scherzer fell to me. SP’s were flyin off the board and wanted at least 1 big dog. Went hitter in the 3rd (31), but if I would’ve waited until the 4th round (59) anything close to a SP1 was gone. You have a solid staff, maybe your hitters will rise up. Good luck

          • 183414 says:
            (link)

            Didn’t want a s.p. who had back problems the last year , or maybe 2 years.
            Waiting until the last pick on the 4th round for my 1st s.p. was treacherous.
            The fact that Grey thinks my rotation is stacked, I guess is a compliment.
            Every s.p. and r.p. went flying off the board.
            I posted my starters.
            My lineup is:
            S. Murphy
            Jansen
            Olson
            Wendle(Polanco)
            Bogaerts
            Arenado
            Acuna
            Conforto
            Verdugo
            Taveras
            Dozier
            Dalbec
            Wendle/Polanco
            Haniger
            Pillar
            Goodrum
            Odor
            K. Davis
            Locastro

            Rp’s:
            Rosenthal
            Hicks
            Rainey
            J. Hernandez
            Soto

            I thought the Padres after making those 3 S.P. moves would bring back Rosenthal. Thought they were dumb not to. Rosenthal was filthy, and Pomeranz better suited for 7th/8th and Pagan was garbage last year.
            Betting that Hill ends up as the closer in St. Louis, but was a gamble.
            Nationals g.m. and mgr. talked about using Hand against toughest lefties. I can see Rainey picking up a bunch of saves. He was pretty awesome last year+.
            Don’t trust LeClerc. Think Hernandez is better equipped for role.
            Prefer Soto over Bryan Garcia.

            • Solid club overall, good luck. Disagree on Max, back issues in 2019 were due to skewed throwing mechanics. Didn’t miss a start last year 67IP/91K and believe he still has something to prove. Nationals will contend with Sherz

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Could see that with the closers…Don’t trust LeClerc either…Soto and Garcia are both so bad…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I don’t mind Sonny Gray…Glasnow and Strasburg are off board for me this year

  13. Ryan says:
    (link)

    I agree with you on drafting starters late and that there are always late round values at SP. However, I did this for years and learned the hard way that my best seasons are when I shore up on a couple extra starters, as someone WILL get hurt. That often pushes my selection of starters earlier in the draft, so I can land my final starters just as everyone else is fighting over the dredges of sleepers. Cause lets face it, anyone who is a sleeper on Razzball in February is not a sleeper in late March, word gets out.

    With regards to Gallen, his innings pitched the last four years are:

    2017 – 91 innings
    2018 – 133 innings
    2019 – 171 innings (check out minor record)
    2020 – 72 innings

    I get what you are saying that he wont pitch 200 innings cause of 70 innings in 2020, but he was one of the few guys (and by few I mean max 40) who was poised to pitch 180+ innings last season. Many of those guys got hurt and fell off last season. For the ones who are left, you have to think teams have made these guys put in the offseason reps to maintain their 180 inning arms, no?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Yeah, maybe, I don’t know with IP this year, but it’s gonna be a lot more fluky, and I wouldn’t throw someone coming off 70 IP for 180 IP…

  14. Honest Joe says:
    (link)

    I went into 2020 season targeting pitchers from the AL Central, then pivoted to Central region. It was a league winning strategy as that region proved to be the weakest hitting region by a mile, and a pitchers paradise.
    I only bring this up because I like to caution people against reading too much into pitchers stats from Central region. Bieber, Darvish, Bauer, Giolito, Burns, Woodruff, Maeda,
    All these guys had great seasons, but I would expect regression due to competition.
    I still feel like it’s best to target stud pitchers in weak divisions, so does that still belong to the Central in both leagues?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      AL/NL Central still are not good divisions…Wainwright might win 15 in that division

      • VinWins

        VinWins says:
        (link)

        From your lips to God’s ears.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Hey now!

      • Honest Joe says:
        (link)

        Crazy how loaded the Cardinals should be on pitching, and we are still talking about Waino.
        They are always in the hunt for the NL Central, but they should be much better than they are.
        The Cardinals arms are like the Cubs bats, they look better on a lineup card than they do in the box score.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          I don’t like him for fantasy, but Wainwright does what he needs to do for real baseball…

  15. mcmi11ions says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey, remember a couple days ago I was all “should I keep McNeil or one of Ricebowl or Lewis” because I was going to keep two pitchers? Well since my 2nd pitcher i was gonna keep is Plesac and he isn’t in your top 20, you still think I should keep him, or throw him back and keep all three of the above guys?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Plesac not in top 20 SPs doesn’t mean overall he’s not that far off from say the Rice Bowl….Plesac is before McNeil, though, so maybe him…I don’t remember this from the other day — what’s the question?

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
        (link)

        Question, who is Ricebowl?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Arroz Arena

          • Malicious Phenoms says:
            (link)

            Ok.lol I do not know how people that play fantasy baseball do not use your site. You are a brilliant baseball mind and your humor is off the charts. It just would not be the same without you!!!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Thanks, man! Appreciate you! Hope things are well by you

      • mcmi11ions says:
        (link)

        I’m looking at the following 6 bats and 2 SP for keepers:

        Lindor, Belli, Rendon, Bregman, Acuna. Mondessi
        Beiber, Plesac

        Which of the two do you think I should hold onto – McNeil, Ricebowl, Lewis, or keep all three and throw back Plesac?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Lewis, Rice

      • mcmi11ions says:
        (link)

        you answered previously to keep McNeil and either Lewis or Arroz due to the speed on my team.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Oh, I see…You do have a lot of speed…Rice after Lewis if you want to go that way

          • Grey

            Grey says:
            (link)

            Plesac seems like a for sure…Then I don’t think you can go wrong with last three

            • mcmi11ions says:
              (link)

              McNeil, Lewis, Plesac. thank you Fantasy Master Lothario ( I didn’t abbreviate!)

              • Grey

                Grey says:
                (link)

                I appreciate that

  16. bill D says:
    (link)

    “The day the sign for your deli, “The Butcher of Bologna,” is hoisted a madman kills dozens of people in Bologna, Italy” LOL!!!???

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Haha, it’s not great for business

  17. misformookie says:
    (link)

    Hi Grey, excited for another year.

    I’ve got the eternal keeper league question. 12 team Yahoo roto 6×6 (standard + OPS, standard but it’s SV+H and+ QS), and I need to pick 3 keepers. Unfortunately all my good hitters bar one are no longer able to be kept (max 3 years) so I’m oddly looking at probably keeping a bunch of pitchers and then not drafting pitching til like…round a billion? There are some borderline hit options, but curious what you think.

    Available to be kept:
    Christian Yelich
    Trent Grisham
    Anthony Rizzo
    Wander Franco

    Sonny Gray
    Lance Lynn

    There are others but those are definitely the top guys (plus flyer in Franco). I could see keeping Yelich, Gray, and Lynn for sure, or maybe dropping one of those to keep Rizzo. Thoughts?

    Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Yelich, Grisham, Gray or Lynn

  18. G says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey,
    Was wondering your thoughts on my final keeper and Paddack – obviously he didnt crack your top 20. For my last keeper spot, I have the option to keep Lynn in round 8, Paddack in round 10, or Trent Grisham in round 10/11. Was leaning Grisham.

    My other keepers are Lindor, Arenado, Trea, and Julio Rodriguez. Ive gone into seasons with no keeper pitchers, and other years with up to 2. I have 4th overall pick and one of Bellinger or Yellich will be there along with Bieber and Cole. There are about 8 of your top 20 pitchers being kept. Any thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      How many teams in your league? If you can go Grisham and grab Bieber…That’s pretty awesome

      • G says:
        (link)

        12 teams. Up to 5 keepers per team so about 60 solid guys being kept. First 3 picks before me are likely Trout, Betts, Bellinger. The Grisham and Bieber route does sound exciting. Theres one guy drafting ahead of me who I can see taking Cole or Bieber over the hitters above. If Bieber is taken, do you still like Cole over Yellich or Belly with my first pick? Thanks as always.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          I don’t know man, I kinda don’t want Cole

          • G says:
            (link)

            Gotcha. That hurts to hear from you more as Yanks fan than regarding my team hahah. And not too enthusiastic about the additions of Kluber and Taillon, especially Kluber. But thanks again

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              No problem

  19. Vacation says:
    (link)

    Gray,

    Thanks to your 2020 rankings I won all the pitching categories in my league. It is a standard 5×5 keeper league where we keep 6 players from the prior year’s roster – no attached salaries, keep forever. I have Acuna, Story, Freeman and Albies and need to pick 2 pitchers from this glorious group I landed last year (again, thanks!):

    Bieber
    Castillo
    Woodruff
    Fried
    Lamet

    Your rankings suggest keeping Bieber and Castillo, but I’m wondering if the fact that it is a keeper league changes your opinion? Also, am I crazy to keep Fried as a Braves fan over Lamet, Castillo and Woodruff? (Bieber is a no brainer)

    • Vacation says:
      (link)

      Damn, I misspelled Grey and I know you hate that. Sorry.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
        (link)

        Haha, it’s ok

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Bieber/Castillo — 100%

  20. Earl says:
    (link)

    Question Mr.Grey,

    So in a 5×5 roto 12 team league, I am hearing that you would not perhaps grab a starter until say round 5 or 50-60 overall.

    What might be your strategy for closers. I have sometimes gone with getting starter in round 4 or 5 and then follow that up with top/good closer. So this would be after perhaps getting good bats with 1st 4 rounds of picks.

    Thoughts??

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I usually draft a closer around 110-120 overall

      • Grey

        Grey says:
        (link)

        My first that is

        • Earl says:
          (link)

          Thanks.

          For perhaps couple of my drafts this year, I am going to follow your advice and rankings to the letter and see what happens.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
            (link)

            Hope it works out!

            • earl says:
              (link)

              What could go wrong if I am following the advice/rankings of the man, the myth, the legend!!

              • Grey

                Grey says:
                (link)

                Literally nothing

  21. B V says:
    (link)

    Grey, awesome material is a given from you. I have some tough decisions in a points league in which I protect 7, no contracts, forever keeper. Starting pitching is overvalued in comparison to hitting.
    SP – Yu, Bauer, Giolito, and Nola.
    Hitters – Acuna, Trout, Bo Bichette, Ramirez, Devers.
    I need to either drop a SP and a bat or Drop 2 bats. In a league in which owners do not trade much out of season.
    Help!
    Thanking you in advance, if not simultaneously as I am typing this.
    Stay Safe

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Wow, nice keepers..How many teams? I guess Devers and Bauer

      • B V says:
        (link)

        12 team, developed it over the years through trades and use of your rankings and comments, e.g. last year’s rankings and recommendations on Darvish and Bauer.

        Thank you, much appreciated.

        • B V says:
          (link)

          I am curious to see if Bauer ends up in NY or LA. Looks like NY? Assuming NY has a greater supply of pine tar, I am hoping he can replicate last year or somewhere close to it. Nola always seems to underachieve. I was worried about what is around Ramirez, not sure it really matters.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Yeah, two guys who are going way higher this year

          • B V says:
            (link)

            Where in NJ is Grey from? I am a life long resident of the turnpike myself.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Nice! Exit 13 — Elizabeth

              • B V says:
                (link)

                Sweet. Summit guy here. No I leave in South Jersey, of eastern Philly.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  I feel like I used to go to Summit for baseball card shows

    • LenFuego says:
      (link)

      They may not trade much out of season, but you have to give them the opportunity in your situation. Go look for the top top players that are not already on your roster, and try some two for one offers. E.g., Devers and Nola for Soto, or Bichette and Giolito for Bieber. If they turn them down, so be it, but somebody who is keeping one of those top guys along with some 10th round talent would be foolish not to consider that kind of trade.

  22. m0nkeyk1ng says:
    (link)

    Is there no Razzball discord or is my google-fu just bad

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I don’t know what discord is

  23. toolshed says:
    (link)

    So you are not very bullish in lamet. Would you advise on seeing how this plays out or trying to trade him in a dynasty format? I am thinking if I trade him I need to wait to hear a report that he is good to go and healthy

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I think he’s headed for TJS

  24. Will says:
    (link)

    My league must be unusual in that most teams run with 10 or 11 starters, 3 or 4 closers, and rotate the starters through the available active pitching slots on a daily basis. This is a 10 team standard roto 5×5 league with daily moves. The ‘run on closers’ happens every draft, usually in the first few rounds since there are so few truly good ones out there (and half will lose the job over the first half anyway). Keep up the good work, looking forward to seeing the rest of the starters and the top 500 when it comes out.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      There’s still gotta be so many SPs on waivers you don’t need to draft them high

      • Will says:
        (link)

        For sure. Some of the guys use the waiver wire as part of their streaming strategy. We’ve never had an innings limit so some teams put up huge innings pitched numbers this way.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Gotcha

  25. Bamabterry says:
    (link)

    Always good to see the list of the guys who will be gone before I draft my first SP. bring on the 30-40 pitchers!!!! Those are my aces.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Amen!

  26. jayj says:
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    Arenado($31) for Nimmo($1), Julio Urias($17), and Taillon($2).. 16 man dynasty. thoughts?. thanks.

    • jayj says:
      (link)

      6×6 walks counting stats.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Arenado side

  27. Whatever says:
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    in a 12 team mixed keeper league (10 keepers) with 10 active pitching slots and 300 dollar budget would a 1 dollar Sandy Alcantara be keepable? I know this is a bit of a depends question but just wondering if you feel Alcantara has upside to justify keeping him at a buck?

    • LenFuego says:
      (link)

      It really depends on what the alternatives are, but if you feel good about Alcantara’s future and have nothing better to do with that keeper spot, sure … it’s not like you’re going to get him any cheaper in the auction.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      He’s worth keeping for a $1 for sure

  28. Denver90 says:
    (link)

    Good read today, can’t wait for next week.

    I’ve got JoRam, Bieber, and Manny to choose as keepers for 1st 2 rounds with Abreu in the 5th, Grisham 18th, Hayes 24th. Do I keep JoRam and Bieber, JoRam and Manny or just JoRam? And is benintendi worth a 20th round keeper? I’ll need to draft SS/OF with 36/37 turn and probably SP with pick 61.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      JoRam, Bieber

      • Denver90 says:
        (link)

        Thanks, what about benintendi? He slots in at pick 229, prolly Of 4 or 5.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          He’s not good

          • Denver90 says:
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            Ok, appreciated.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              No problem

          • swaggerjackers says:
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            Haha. Great response.

  29. swaggerjackers says:
    (link)

    @Grey:

    In a 12 teamer, what if you could get Gerrit Cole in the 3rd round and Yu Darvish in the 4th round? I ask because I’m in a 4 keeper league where I could walk into the draft with those two + Acuna and Treat Urner. The alternative would be keeping Pete Alonso instead of one of those pitchers.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      That’s a good price for those SPs, don’t draft another SP for a while tho

      • swaggerjackers says:
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        For sure. There is always a big pitcher run in the beginning of this league so I’ll let everyone else snatch up those innings issue young cats like Buehler, Flaherty, Gallen, etc and then scoop up one of the less sexy guys like Lance Lynn after I fill out more of my offense.

        I also might try to trade Yu for draft picks and keep Luis Castillo.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          You don’t need Lynn if you have those 2

          • swaggerjackers says:
            (link)

            Geez, Lynn is going higher than I realized. Sonny Gray is ranked outside the top 100 according to your boys at ESPN. That’s a better target.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Really? That’s a steal!

  30. Frank Rizzo says:
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    Rats. Typically you have a few nuggets in your top 20 that others don’t and I go on to dominate pitching in my league. This year the only guy I see that is outside of the top 20 comparison is Ryu.

    Looks like I’m going to be really dependent on your top 40 because my league mates will be all over most of the top 20 before me.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I hear ya!

  31. MrBaseball says:
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    Dustin May will he be one of the dodgers 4 or 5 starters at this point since TREVOR BAUER is here

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yes

  32. Jason Murray says:
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    Bauer, Kershaw, Buehler, Price, Urias, May… What do you think this rotation looks like now? Thanks.

    • Jason Murray says:
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      Sorry, just read your update above. I’m thinking specifically of Urias and May. Sounds like the Price decision is huge for those two.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I think Gonsolin and May are hurt, if Price pitches

      • Jr says:
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        They’re all hurt by it. With Bauer’s contract he’s the only one who probably won’t have limitations. After last year, even if price doesn’t pitch, they’re gonna baby Urias, may, gonsolin, and they’ve been doing it for years with kershaw. Can’t trust any of those starters to get a decent amount of innings unless they get traded.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Urias isn’t hurt much…He has to start…Gonsolin does not have to start, and May works out of pen too, and Price didn’t pitch last year

  33. Nathan Ducharme says:
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    Lamet is forever to be named The Butcher of Bologna!!!

    For-Ev-Er —For -Ev-Er

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Haha

  34. Will says:
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    “Wonder what happened with Bauer and the Mets?” Trevor’s agent looked up the history of the Mets and pitching injuries and pointed him in the direction of LA. Plus isn’t Bauer a CA kid? I know he went to UCLA…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Yeah, mentioned UCLA and hating Cole in the blurb above

  35. Dreamtickle says:
    (link)

    Absolutely fantastic as usual, thanks for all your hard work. I won last year, but have to make some tough calls and maybe trade a couple.
    12 team H2H, keep 6 forever, no cost.
    7×7 (H,R,HR,RBI,SB,AVG,OPS – IP,W,L,SV,K,ERA,WHIP)

    Keep 6:
    Soto
    Albies
    Springer
    T. Anderson
    Darvish
    Giolito
    Flaherty
    Castillo

    I’m leaning: Soto, Albies, Springer, Darvish, Giolito, Flaherty

    Anderson & Castillo out. Thanks for being amazing.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      No problem! You’re stacked on pitching, huh? I guess those six — Soto, Albies, Springer, Darvish, Giolito, Flaherty — Would love to do Anderson over Giolito tho

      • Frank Rizzo says:
        (link)

        So with Bauer going to LA it creates even more opportunity for the Dodgers to keep their starters down in innings pitched. Is it dumb to maybe drop all of them slightly with that being a possibility?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Bauer will get 200 IP, Kershaw will throw every 5th day he can go, which isn’t every 5th day all year, Urias has to start, they can’t yo-yo him back and forth, May works out of pen and Gonsolin works out of pen, and Price didn’t throw last year

          • Geez, drafted May AND Gonso, got to hope Price goes away. Geez, unless an opening develops I’ll be streaming those 2 – UGH!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Bauer will get 200 IP if healthy; Kershaw will throw every 5th day he can go, which isn’t every 5th day all year; Urias will start or piggyback off Dustin May, who will bounce between pen/rotation; Gonsolin works out of pen; Price didn’t throw last year and is biggest ?

              • Grey

                Grey says:
                (link)

                Plenty IP to go around

                • Smitty says:
                  (link)

                  You’re right, we’re playing 162 right? BTW are there ongoing discussions on the universal DH? 7 inning DH’s? Starting extra innings with a runner on 2B? Are those a possibility for ’21? Are they still unresolved? Unbelievable!

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
                    (link)

                    Think all of that except DH are a go

  36. Mecha Oni says:
    (link)

    Grey,

    Great information as always.

    Speaking of Lamet, keeper league questions early. I have to pick 2 of these 4 players in NL only $260 12-team auction 5×5 —- Lamet $14, McCutchen $13, David Peralta $15 or Albies $32

    What are your thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Thanks!

      Albies for sure, then I guess Lamet

  37. Ldbowe10 says:
    (link)

    Grey,

    I need help selecting 3 keepers. My options are J-Ram in the 1st, Giolitto in the 3rd, Baez in the 7th, Ian Happ in the 15th, Judge in the 17th, Grisham in the 18th

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Baez, Grisham, JRam

  38. ryan says:
    (link)

    In my h2h dynasty league i was offered ketel marte gallen noelvi marte for my albies and george kirby. Am i nuts for considering this trade?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Not nuts, seems fair

      • ryan says:
        (link)

        Which side do you like more?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Gallen

  39. Jr says:
    (link)

    10 team h2h dynasty league with obp and walks instead of average. What side do you like?

    J. Baez/lamet or bichette

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Bichette

  40. JayJ says:
    (link)

    16 man dynasty: 6×6( walks, holds)

    C- jeffers
    1b – bellinger
    2b – biggio
    3b – arenado
    ss – lindor
    mi – solak
    ci – K hayes
    of – L robert, puig, V. reyes, Loudes gurriel jr,
    util – pillar, vogelbach, Will smith(Catcher)
    bench- andujar, brinson

    SP – Maeda, Sixto, canning, odorizzi, stroman, Garret rich.
    RP – no closers. might get a mixed bag of saves. bummer, moronta, diego castillo, rainey, clase, munoz

    What type of trade would you make for this team? thoughts on it?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      You need an OF if Puig and Pillar don’t sign, right? Looks like you need an SP too…

  41. DonnieB says:
    (link)

    Which side do you like in this trade:
    Shane Bieber at $10 for one more year
    FOR
    Dansby Swanson at $4 for 2 more years
    Dustin May at $10 for 2 more years
    Brady Singer at $10 for 2 more years
    It’s a 12 team roto auction keeper. THANKS!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Bieber side

    • Captain obvious says:
      (link)

      That’s kind of a dumb ass question.

      • Captain obvious says:
        (link)

        Seriously wtf is wrong with you.

  42. David says:
    (link)

    finalizing my keepers for my dynasty league. It’s a 10-teamer w/ 1C, 2-1B, 2-3B, 3-MI, 7-OF, 10-P, and 5 bench slots. The keeper system rates players as 1’s, 2’s, or non-rated and allows a limit. In my case it’s, 7-1’s, 7-2’s, and 18 total.

    Current definites are Vlad, Olson, Chapman, Biggio, Lindor, Mondesi, Loreano, Kyle Lewis, Luis Robert, Rosario, Soto, Tucker, Verdugo, Lynn, Woodruff, Bundy, and McCullers.

    This leaves 1 slot open w/ sparse options. I can take the extra draft pick but not sure what will be available as that pick ends up being last before we draft bench slots. My options are Vazquez (shore up C position), Heaney, Taijuan, May, or Domingo German

    I’m leaning Heaney or Vazquez. Interested in your opinion. Who will provide the most value?

    In addition, do you see Biggio giving more value as my 3rd MI or 2nd 3B option?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Vazquez

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Oh and not sure what you mean on Biggio question

      • David says:
        (link)

        Position eligibility is particular. The rules wouldn’t allow me to move him freely. Say I stick him at MI and he plays exclusively at 3B at some point I can move him to 3B but not back. If I set him at 3B going in, I won’t be able to move him to MI. There are strict restrictions in this league. Would you recommend playing him at 3B or MI this season?

        With 3 MI slots and only 2 3B slots on the roster I think going in the draft I’d find it easier to get a 3rd MI that is a better fantasy option than whatever #2 3B there would be available. In other words I slot Biggio as my other 3B with Chapman, my team would be better with whatever 3rd MI available than the opposite scenario (setting Biggio with Lindor and Mondesi) and drafting a 3B. Hope it makes sense.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          He’s better at MI with Chapman at 3B

          • David says:
            (link)

            Thanks for the help. Looking forward to a new season.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              No problem

  43. DanJNZ says:
    (link)

    Great reads as always. Keep up the good work.
    Keeper question for ya…Auction style, 12 team mixed H2H, 7×7 (Ks against, OPS, K/9, QS, Svs+Hlds).
    Can keep 4, $260 budget, 20 man roster, minimum keeper price is $10.
    Locks: Betts $55, Bichette $10, Tucker $10
    Last spot?: Bauer $17, Conforto $12, Mondesi $23, Judge $26
    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Thanks!

      Can’t go wrong with any of the 1st three, think it’s between 1st two tho bc you have Bichette…Would lean Bauer bc of your categories

      • DanJNZ says:
        (link)

        Cool. Second guessing myself after reading the Bauer skepticism lately. Even still, he keeps ending up in everyone’s top 10.

  44. speill says:
    (link)

    Morning to ya. Love this early season stuff! Early keeper question for you. 6×6 ESPN Roto with total bases and quality starts. 7 keepers. 8 team auction league with $260 budget. Betts $19, Bregman $13, Story $15, Bellinger $19, Turner $13, Merrifield $11, Yelich $29, Abreu $8, Yastrzemski $5, Buehler $8, Cole $21, Thanks Grey

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Morning!

      Betts $19, Story $15, Bellinger $19, Turner $13, Yelich, Buehler, Cole

      • speill says:
        (link)

        Thanks Grey. Pretty much what I thought also. I was giving Abreu some thoughts at $8 but could not decide who to drop for him. Probably hold these cards.

  45. Let’s Play Two says:
    (link)

    Even in Coors I don’t see where Story gets his R and RBI counting stats.

    Outside of him and Blackmon, there are big holes and question marks in the lineup and the Coors factor only goes so far. Story will also be dealing with the distraction of when and where he will be traded since he’s a FA at the end of the year.

    I’m a huge Story fan fan, but have some reservations with his lineup situation compared to the other SS this year.

    1. Will you be changing your projections or do you feel good about where they’re at now?

    2. Would you take Lindor over Story this year?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I feel fine where he is, wanna take off five-10 runs and RBIs, I could see it

      2. I have them ranked

  46. Mr Baseball says:
    (link)

    Anthony Santander  or  Ramón Laureano  in keeper league – wow this is a tough one for you grey
    this is why you get paid the big money

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Laureano

  47. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey! I hear some other sport without bats or gloves is playing something today, not sure what that’s about.

    So, final offers in for this never ending Bieber-fest, making the final decision today. So, my choices are:

    Option A. My Bieber ($19) for that Xander ($13) and Voit ($10) pair.

    Option B. My Bieber for Mondesi ($11), no second piece.

    Here’s what the full keeper set would look like in each version:

    OPTION A.
    Xander (13)
    Voit (10)
    Acuna (32)
    Story (19)
    Eloy (10)
    TWO OF:
    Cookie (12) or Snell (19) or Burnes (4) or Manny (31 – not much savings) or Robert (24 – prob not much savings)

    OPTION B.
    Mondesi (11)
    Acuna (32)
    Story (19)
    Eloy (10)
    THREE OF:
    Cookie (12) or Snell (19) or Burnes (4) or Manny (31 – not much savings) or Robert (24 – prob not much savings)

    Thanks again!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Yes, man, the Puppy Bowl!

      Xander/Voit looks better to me, but both are good and decent, then you just gotta keep SPs

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
        (link)

        Thanks! Puppies fo sho. Thanks for your help, and the bonus to Xander Voit is that it goes to the owner with degrom yu Lynn and no hitters besides trea.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Haha, what a sucker

  48. Zoolandon says:
    (link)

    Grey so happy to be back reading your content! Very excited about a potential full season of baseball after last year.

    I’m in a limited keeper league but due to Covid we carried over entire squads. I have Ian Anderson in my farm system and want to bring him up so I’m trying to trade an SP to acquire strength in other areas.

    Would you pull the trigger on sending Lance Lynn and George Springer for Brandon Lowe and Devin Williams along with two farm draft picks (we have two rounds of farm draft every year where we can draft ANYONE not in the majors so long as they aren’t already owned, like if you see a video of a ten year old hitting bombs you could theoretically take him).

    For context my squad:
    C – Grandal
    1b – Abreu
    2B – Moustakas
    3B – Eduardo Escobar
    SS – Javy
    OF – Springer
    OF – Teoscar
    OF – Gallo
    Util – Laureano
    Util – Winker
    Bn – Berti

    SP – Darvish
    SP – Bauer
    RP – Chapman
    RP – R Iglesias
    P – Woodruff
    P – Lynn
    P – Davies
    Bn – Yarbrough
    Bn – R. Hill
    Bn – Holland
    Bn – Strasburg

    I think I could upgrade over Eduardo/Berti and am overloaded with OF guys. It’s a Saves/Holds league and feel like Williams and Lowe strengthen my weaker areas.

    Anyway thank you again for your great content and hard work on behalf of all fantasy baseballers.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Thanks!That doesn’t sound like a great trade tho, you’re giving up too much

  49. IntendedSteb says:
    (link)

    Happy “Big Game” day (not an official trademark of NFL)
    I have both DeGrom and Bieber on my roster. I just loaded up on some Lynn, Maeda, Carrasco goodness and would like to flip one or both (DeGrom and Bieber that is) for hitting. Is Harper a good return for one of them in a keep 20 league? Main needs are RF, 1B and 2B.
    Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Yeah, I’d take Bryce for either

  50. Blue Jay says:
    (link)

    Lourdes is 2B/OF eligible in my league. Where would you rank him if he was to be drafted as a 2B?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Around Brandon Lowe

Comments are closed.