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Episode 257: Opening Day 2021 Extravaganza

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station description Mike Gianella and Jon Hegglund of Baseball Prospectus take a deep dive into current... read more
Flags Fly Forever Fantasy Baseball
Duration: 01:50:52
It's Opening Day, like we are sort of used to! Mike, Jon, and Samuel come to you a day early to give you their thoughts on what is going to happen during the 2021 MLB season. They break down every division and the major awards, with some surprises from each in the mix. They finish out with a questio
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It's Opening Day, like we are sort of used to! Mike, Jon, and Samuel come to you a day early to give you their thoughts on what is going to happen during the 2021 MLB season. They break down every division and the major awards, with some surprises from each in the mix. They finish out with a questionnaire created by Samuel that probes deeper into the baseball mind in a way that is fun, insightful, and a little depressing also. It's one of our most fun episodes of the year, so enjoy it and enjoy baseball!Get 20% off your order and free shipping from Manscaped.com with the promo code "FLAGSFLY20."Got a content idea for the show? Shoot us an email at flagsflyforever@baseballprospectus.com or a message at our Twitter feed @FlagsFlyBP.Flags Fly Forever is a Baseball Prospectus podcast. For more fantasy baseball information, visit baseballprospectus.com and click on "Fantasy" or visit our Twitter feed @baseballpro. You can find Flags Fly Forever on Twitter @FlagsFlyBP. The hosts of Flags Fly Forever are Mike Gianella(@mikegianella) and Jon Hegglund(@JonHegglund). The executive producer of Flags Fly Forever is Samuel Hale(@thesamuelhale).
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Yeah, we'll do about wild cards when we do like the over. Okay, All right. So give us your Samuel. I have Yankees Rays, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Orioles. That's that's like the chalky ist of the three of us. I would. It is. It's very chalky. It's fine. I have some chalky divisions, though. I will say, I did think about the Blue Jays very long and hard for second, and I think we all kind of have some. I think we're I think we're all bullish on the Blue Jays in some way, are we not? Yeah, I mean, they the pitching looks thin, but you know, if if that offensive talent that young offensive talent comes together, I think they can slug their way to some some winds and and make some noise, at least in the wild card race, especially when you consider like it looks like it could be a buyer's market. This trade deadline, just the early way, too early projection for that. If they need a really good picture, they might be able to go get one like there's some. There will be some options out there, it looks like, Yeah, it also It also seems like there there. There are a bunch of teams that are contending without really great rotations. And I think you know this year's going to look a little different because it's going to look more like what the race did last year, where teams are just going to be managing innings and giving more to the bullpen. And that might be enough for teams with a good offense to squeak into the playoffs. So and the end of the day is, of course, and the Red Sox, I would argue. Both have pretty strong offenses. So well, we go from one division of strength to a division of question marks. Uh, the A L Central John. Why don't you start us off? Yeah, I'm going. White socks, Cleveland Twins, Royals Tigers. Okay, Mike, I have the same. Whoa! Cleveland wins Royals! Tigers! Okay, well, then allow me to pull dynamite in that water. White Sox Twins, Royals, Cleveland, Detroit. Wow! We're all on the White Sox. So that's not terribly surprising. I mean, I mean, I will say like Cleveland, definitely. There's a lot of outcomes. I mean, short of finishing last, I can't see them finishing behind the Tigers like there's a lot of ways that team could go like the offense is really weak. I think part of the reason I picked them so high and John and if you did, I look at the pitching and particularly the depth of that bullpen. And this year, when teams are going to struggle to get innings and get quality innings, that that can be made a difference. Yeah, that's pretty much my reasoning as well. I think the Twins surprised me at looking at their roster that I actually think they are. There's a lot of potential for, if not collapse, at least a pretty big downturn. Because if you think about that line up, you've got a lot of injury and or performance risks. I mean, you've got Donaldson, Buxton, um, who are injury risk you got. Nelson Cruz is over 40 and maybe he keeps it up. Maybe he doesn't. You've got so I know who. You have no idea what you're going to get from one week to the next. And you know, they ditched Eddie Rosario and Alex Kirilov is not with the team, so they're starting. It looks like Jake Cave who is fine. But he is not a regular on a division winning team. Probably so. And I don't think that rotation after Maya and Barrios, it's pretty flimsy. So I don't I don't see the Twins, um, necessarily repeating. I could see that being a 500 team pretty easily. I'm of the mind that the White Sox are pretty far and away the best team on paper here. And that was more than enough to get them into the top of this vision. And I think it's a kind of a steep drop off. I love my data to the Twins. I think I'm you know, there's quite a few people that seem to love that. I know our own Howard Magdala over baseball perspective from an article about he thinks he might be the SP one this year for fantasy purposes, Uh, which is a compelling argument. I love the boldness, but I think what's gonna end up happening, I agree on Cleveland. They've got talent. They've got talent to spare. I have this odd feeling that they're going to end up parting it out at the trade deadline because the owner has decided that this is going to go one way and one way only. So, like you see, like Class A who looked fantastic near the end of spring training may go to a contender. Uh, Karen Shock may go to a contender. Uh, take some of those other really good pieces that are, like, now pieces. I I don't think Shane Bieber getting traded is necessarily off the market, though I shudder to imagine what somebody would have to pay duty to Duke Bieber because that would cost just a ton. But I also like Kansas City. I think they're doing some nice stuff there. I like Brady Singer coming up the Attleboro modesty news kind of sucks, but I like what? Mary Field. I think you know Bobby. What Junior is going to make an impact sometimes sooner rather than later. Jorge Soler is ready for a bounce back here. I think there are sneaky good team like I think they're in progress. But, I mean, there's a path for them. I mean, everything is a break right there. There's a path from the finish 500 like without a doubt, it's they're not gonna win the division. I know that now and you know that when the division, you can play this back, But realistically, we're not gonna win the division. But, yeah, it's they have an interesting team. I agree. And and about the Royals, I wrote the season preview for the for the site, Um, for the Royals. And the one thing about the Royals is they are one of the only if not the only team that doesn't seem to be interested in gaming service time for their prospects. And that gets them to players Who are the players, Like all of these college pictures that they have, we're gonna be getting to their peaks pretty soon. Like singer, um, I think Booth, which is a step below. But I think you know, Daniel Lynch is looking pretty good in spring. Um, might not take too long to get there, and so that that's a team with the free agent signings and the trades they made to actually feel the credible offensive line up. You know, if everything falls right? Yeah, as Mike said like this, there's 500 is not not out of the question, but, you know, but yeah, I wouldn't bet on that happening in 2021. I'd love to see them by at the deadline this year. I don't think that would mean they could contend this year, but, like, it really looks like there's gonna be a lot of interesting options in both the pitching and hitting markets. And I just love to see what they can they can make of that. If they could find something they needed, it would be a lot of fun. Um, the A L West. Speaking of things that are going to be fun. Question Mark, Uh, Mike, once you kick us off in the West, uh, Astros, athletics, Angels, Mariners, Rangers, and it looks like they're hopefully doesn't show up in the articles and error that the Angels are showing up at the bottom of my frame. But I had them third, Okay, John? Yeah, I went Astros aids, but I flipped, uh, flip the next to I have Mariners, angels and, uh, want want Rangers. So I kind of split the difference. I went eight. Astros, Mariners, Angels, Rangers. Mm. Bold. I'll be honest. I'll kick us off here. I don't believe in the Astros this year. I think they are. I have to. I will say I have them making the playoffs. We'll talk about that in a little while. But I think the A S R This is the year that they're about to really put it all together and have a good year. I think the pitching is about to show up. I think you know Olson Chapman. Some of the other players are you know, Laureano returned to form is on his way. Sean Murphy looks like he's ready to go.
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