Fantasy Baseball

2021 Fantasy Baseball National League News Roundup

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Opening Day is tomorrow! No, this is not an April Fools joke. We’re finally getting a full season of baseball. By now, most rosters have been set and lineups are being penciled in. That doesn’t mean there aren’t last-minute nuggets of wisdom that we can use. Let’s take a quick roundup of the 2021 Fantasy Baseball National League News.

One piece of Padres news before we get into it. The Friars did not give Mackenzie Gore a spot in the rotation for Opening Day. The news isn’t surprising but it’s now confirmed that Adrian Morejon will be in the San Diego rotation until Dinelson Lamet returns.

In case you missed it, here is the roundup of the latest news out of the American League.

One last time before Opening Day, let’s begin to roundup the 2021 Fantasy Baseball National League News.

2021 Fantasy Baseball National League News Roundup

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NL East

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Atlanta Braves – Mike Soroka makes his return

Soroka made his return to the mound on Tuesday after tearing his Achilles early in 2020. He looked good in his first inning back, striking out two batters on a pair of nice off-speed pitches.

His timetable puts a return in late April or early May. Soroka is a Cy Young level talent being drafted at No.169 on FantasyPros and could be a landscape-shifting talent for whoever is able to stash him in the late rounds of their draft.

Miami Marlins – Jazz Chisholm makes the roster, Sixto Sanchez doesn’t

Chisholm and fellow prospect Isan Diaz battled for the second base job all spring, with Chisholm emerging as the victor. The 23-year-old is an enticing middle-infield option late in drafts, as he’ll contribute both power and speed.

In 20 spring games, Chisholm smacked three home runs and stole five bases in eight attempts. His average will likely be a negative category but Chisholm provides the type of across-the-board upside that managers look for late in the draft.

Sanchez was optioned to the alternate site and will likely return in short order.

New York Mets – Joey Lucchesi takes Carlos Carrasco‘s rotation spot

Carrasco’s hamstring injury is likely to keep him on the injured list for the first month of the season. While he remains week-to-week, Joey Lucchesi and David Peterson will be rotation mainstays.

Neither starter is a strong option to start the year. However, if Peterson is able to lower his 11.7 percent walk rate from last season, he could be a solid SP4 behind the Mets’ much-improved offense.

Philadelphia Phillies – Scott Kingery optioned, Odubel Herrera does not make the roster

After struggling to an ugly .159 average in 27 games last season, Kingery was optioned to the minors to start the season.

The 26-year-old’s versatility could help him find a spot with the club sometime this season but he would need to have a huge turnaround in Triple-A in order to take a full-time job from Alec Bohm at third, or Didi Gregorius at third.

He may have a shot in center field after the camp battle resulted in a platoon between Adam Haseley and Roman Quinn, while Odubel Herrera will not be on the 40-man roster.

Haseley and Quinn are not projected to do much hitting from the bottom of the order but an injury or extended slump could give Kingery another shot.

Washington Nationals – Carter Kieboom optioned to Triple-A

Kieboom’s 2020 struggles translated to Spring Training, as the 23-year-old slashed a ghastly .133/.204/.222 in 17 Grapefruit League games.

Starlin Castro will start the year at third base while Josh Harrison will see the bulk of the starts at second. Kieboom still has plenty of time to make a return and supplant Harrison, so long as he’s able to get his strikeout issues under control.

NL Central

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Chicago Cubs – Hoerner optioned, Mills will begin in the bullpen

Nico Hoerner was optioned to the minors, meaning David Bote and Eric Sogard will man the keystone for the Cubs. Bote does have solid upside if he is able to maintain a regular role. He had an excellent Spring Training, hitting three home runs in 19 games go along with a .311/.367/.622 slash line.

Mills was considered the favorite for a rotation spot. However, the team has opted to give rotation spots to Trevor Williams and Adbert Alzolay. Alzolay is a better option between the two as he looked solid in 2020, posting a 2.95 ERA in 21.1 innings pitched.

Cincinnati Reds – Tejay Antone ready for Opening Day assignment in the bullpen

Antone was one of the most popular breakout candidates entering 2021 but groin and hip issues cut his spring short. As a result, the 27-year-old will start the year in the bullpen. It would only take one injury for Antone to re-enter the rotation if the Reds choose to stretch him out. For now, he should provide excellent ratios, strikeout numbers, and possibly be in the mix for holds.

Milwaukee Brewers – Freddy Peralta will start in the rotation

The Brewers opted to make Peralta their fifth starter instead of Josh Lindblom. While the veteran was a bit of a boring option, Peralta brings a ton of upside to the table.

He struck out 47 batters with a 3.99 ERA in 29.1 innings last season. His spring was more of the same, as he struck out 23 batters over 13.2 Cactus League innings. If he is able to maintain the control he showed in Spring Training, Peralta could be one of the best pitching values available.

Pittsburgh Pirates – Anthony Alford wins center field job

Long-time Toronto Blue Jays prospect Anthony Alford has finally earned a starting job. Alford has always had upside but was always unable to put it together for long enough to crack the Jays’ lineup.

Now with the rebuilding Pirates, The 26-year-old will have every opportunity to prove himself. Alford possesses 20-steal speed and managers should keep an eye on how well he can get on base early in the season.

St. Louis CardinalsHarrison Bader hurt, Justin Williams will start

The news here isn’t very actionable. Bader is much more valuable in real life than he is in Fantasy. Williams was a second-round pick back in the 2013 MLB Draft but has played just four MLB games to date.

Dylan Carlson will now play center field and is projected to bat in front of Williams, which might result in teams pitching around him.

NL West

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Arizona Diamondbacks – Varsho sent down to the minors

Varsho was a popular late-round catch selection because he wasn’t actually going to play catcher. Varsho was pegged to play the outfield but his poor spring forced the Diamondbacks to send him down to the minors.

Pavin Smith and Tim Locastro will platoon in right field but neither is a useful fantasy option at this point.

Colorado Rockies – No timetable for Rodgers’ return

Brendan Rodgers suffered a hamstring injury a couple of weeks ago and there is still no timetable for his return. However, manager Bud Black is encouraged with his progress.

“His work has increased as far as intensity and activity,” Black told reporters in a media call. “He’s been playing catch all along. He was riding a stationary bike for the last week. Now he’s on his feet and jogging. He’s been in the batting cage, hitting, so that’s a good thing.

“There’s progression. He’s on a nice path right now.”

Until he comes back, Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson will see more consistent at-bats at second base. Chris Owings might see some time as well.

Los Angeles Dodgers – Dustin May wins the fifth starter job

May beat out Tony Gonsolin and David Price for the fifth starter job and is worthy of an add in all leagues.

The 23-year-old had an excellent spring, compiling a 2-0 record with 17 strikeouts in 13.1 innings. May carried a 4.62 FIP last season, so managers should not expect an ERA under 3.00 consistently. However, if May is given a full year of starts, has he top-25 potential thanks to his own pitching arsenal and the offense behind him.

San Diego Padres – Grisham hits IL with a hamstring issue

Trent Grisham will begin the season on the 10-day IL with a hamstring strain. He is playing in simulated games but will not be ready for Opening Day.

He shouldn’t miss more than the minimum 10 days while he gets up to speed. Although his steals attempts early in the season may be decreased if the Padres choose to ease him back to prevent aggravation.

San Francisco Giants – Yastrzemski leaves with hand injury

Mike Yastrzemski left the Giants’ final Spring Training game after being hit in the hand with a Sean Manea pitch.

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X-rays came back negative and the team has listed him as day-to-day with a contusion. If he is unable to play, Austin Slater should see extra at-bats to start the year.


Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

About Jonathan Chan

Winning fantasy leagues since 2004. Losing them for much longer. Follow Jonathan on twitter @jchan_811 and he'll be ready for all your questions!

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