Fantasy Sports

Fantasy Baseball Standouts in 2021

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As we reach the home stretch of the regular season, we know which players have been boons or busts but there is still plenty of daily, as well as playoff tournament, fantasy baseball left in our sights. Below we discuss which players have made the biggest impact thus far during the 2021 campaign and those who could come on strong in the postseason.

Nasty Boys

  1. Gerrit Cole (New York Yankees) – The stat line on Cole as of early September reads exactly the way the Yankees would want to read it when they signed the 6’4” righty to a mega-contract nearly two years ago: 14-6, 2.73 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 215 K’s over 155 innings pitched. He’s the real deal and is worthy of inclusion, regardless of price, in your DFS or a first-rounder in your playoff tournament.
  2. Walker Buehler (Los Angeles Dodgers) – The Dodgers are picking up a head of steam as the season rounds to a close, and first-place in the NL West is in their sights. And while the contributions to Big Blue’s success have come from many sources, starting pitcher Walker Buehler is one critical piece to their championship puzzle. Incidentally, the MLB odds at all of the best online sportsbooks are showing LA as the favorite to win the World Series again this season. Buehler’s impressive line reads as follows: 13-3, 2.31 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 184 K’s over 179 innings.
  3. Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals) – The three-time Cy Young Award winner continues to dominate even at the ripe old age of 37 and his numbers continue to bear him out as one of the filthiest hurlers on the bump. His stat line reads 13-4, 2.28 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and 210 K’s over 154 innings of work. He shows no signs of wearing down and should be a top pitching choice next season. Unfortunately, Scherzer will not have an opportunity to pitch in the postseason this season as the Nats are hopelessly out of contention.
  4. Liam Hendriks (Chicago White Sox) – Every championship-caliber team needs a nasty closer and the Southsiders have one in spades in 32-year-old Liam Hendriks. If your fantasy baseball team is without a top-tier reliever then you could do no better than this two-time All-Star who has found his groove after a rather journeyman-like career. As of this writing, Hendriks numbers read like a best-seller to his owners: 8-3, 3.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 32 saves, and 95 K’s over 60 innings.

Monster Mashers

Catcher – Salvador Perez (Kansas City Royals) – Season Stats: .277, 41 HR’s, 103 RBI

The 31-year-old righty has been a blessing to those prescient enough to draft him in their season-long leagues and it appears as though he will tear into next season as a top prospect at the position.

First Base – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Toronto Blue Jays) – Season Stats: .321, 40 HR’s, 98 RBI

There is no other first baseman in professional baseball that can claim the top spot other than Vlad Jr. The 22-year-old right-handed hitter is just getting started in what is shaping up to be, barring injury, a Hall-of-Fame career. He has had the breakout season every pundit anticipated and will be a top choice on everyone’s fantasy roster next season.

Second Base – Ozzie Albies (Atlanta Braves) – Season Stats: .260, 26 HR’s, 89 RBI

Unlike some other categories, an argument could easily be made for Jose Altuve, Trea Turner, or Whit Merrifield to take top honors at this position but for our purposes, we will stick with the diminutive switch-hitter from Willemstad, Curacao. At 24, Albies has a big future ahead of him and will be an impact player in the postseason for the Braves if they can maintain their narrow lead in the NL East.

Shortstop – Fernando Tatis Jr. (San Diego Padres) – Season Stats: .280, 37 HR’s, 85 RBI

Here is another young gun who is cementing his legacy as one of the biggest boppers in the game. Fernando Tatis Jr. has put up terrific numbers for those who own him in their leagues and is usually worth the hefty price you will pay in the daily leagues. Don’t sleep on Tatis next season in your season-long fantasy baseball drafts.

Third Base – Jose Ramirez (Cleveland Indians) – Season Stats: .260, 32 HR’s, 86 RBI

Ramirez is closing in on a career year and although he won’t match his 34 stolen bases from three years ago, he is hitting with power and producing big results in the fantasy baseball world. At age 28, he is in his physical prime and should have another big year in 2022.

Outfield – Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels) – Season Stats: .255, 43 HR’s, 93 RBI

The 27-year-old Japanese import is the Babe Ruth of our generation as he is one of the game’s most feared hitters and lethal pitchers. There are others who could arguably be at the top of this list but for our money, Shohei Ohtani gives us the biggest bang for our betting buck.

About Andy Stitzer

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