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George Springer 2021 Outlook: Blue Jays Betting, Fantasy Baseball Tips

Posted: Jan 26, 2021Last updated: Jan 26, 2021

George Springer 2021 Outlook, Blue Jays Bet: George Springer has officially moved to the great white beyond. No, not heaven, but close — Toronto (well, technically Buffalo for 2021 but nevermind that). We’re looking at Springer’s signing and

Springer moves from one potent lineup to another with his departure from the former World Series-champion Houston Astros to his new home with the Toronto Blue Jays.

George Springer 2021 Outlook: MLB Betting, Fantasy Baseball Tips

Springer signed a six-year, $150 million dollar deal that will essentially last him the rest of his career. The 31-year old outfielder entered free agency for the first time in his career and made sure to cash out.

This move is not only economically wise, but also great for his legacy! The Blue Jays are entering a renaissance period. They are aching for a return to relevance after a half-decade of mediocrity and are chock-full of young talent that will be discussed throughout this piece.

George Springer: 2020 Review

George Springer’s 2020 season was incredible, yet par-for-the-course. Springer did not have a career year in this COVID-shortened season, but the numbers he put up were more than enough to earn the contract he did. Springer produced 14 home runs, 37 runs, 32 RBI, a .265/.359/.540 (AVG/OBP/SLG) slash line and the lowest strikeout rate of his career (17.1%).

What’s most tantalizing with Springer here is that his numbers SHOULD have been even better! According to Statcast, his expected batting average (.294) and slugging percentage (.570) were higher than his actual.

Now, these numbers should always be taken with a grain of salt and considered more descriptive than predictive. The expected rates just suggest that Springer hit the ball very well.

George Springer 2021 Outlook: Springer's underlying metrics, shown here, say his 2020 season could've been even better

George Springer 2021 Outlook: Springer’s underlying metrics, shown here, say his 2020 season could’ve been even better. (Baseball Savant)

George Springer: 2021 Fantasy Outlook

Springer’s 2021 season should be full of production assuming he is at full strength. He is at the peak of his powers with his highest career wRC+ seasons coming since 2019. While Springer is not getting any younger at age 31, rest assured that an MLB player can still be effective in their 30s. This misnomer needs to be dismissed among fantasy players who disregard “older" players in drafts when in reality, it is guys like Springer who can help win your leagues.

Is he less motivated after signing a massive deal? Maybe! We are not George Springer and do not have a direct Being John Malkovich-esque look into his psyche, but as far as fantasy is considered, he should be fine even if with a slight underperformance thanks to the offense surrounding him.

The Blue Jays have legitimate All-Star — and, not to speak too soon, but possibly Hall-of-Fame — talent — among their hitters. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette were top-10 prospects, respectively, while Vladito was the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball just two years ago. They possess an elite pedigree and have already proven ready at the MLB-level.

Cavan Biggio, the lesser of the name-brand trio by default, is also extremely valuable to any lineup and has proven above-average through his first two MLB seasons.

Going beyond the recognizable talent, Toronto is home to Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Rowdy Tellez, and Randal Grichuk. All are skilled hitters who round out the lineup nicely and provide back-end protection for the offense as a whole.

No man is left out to dry in the lineup at full strength. Even the catcher duo of Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk should prove valuable given Jansen’s untapped skill set and Kirk’s flashes in 2020.

Springer should be in for as good of a year as he has in the past or even better with this blossoming team. There could even be a little Easter egg if his stolen bases return. Springer’s sprint speed is still in the upper percentiles, and now he’s playing for an organization that might not be as analytically inclined as the Astros.

However, the Blue Jays do not have much of precedent over the past few seasons running wild (outside of Jonathan Villar last year), but that is likely due to their lineups playing so power-heavy. Springer has not stolen more than 6 bases since 2016 and only once has hit double digits (16 in 2015).

He’s probably just not a good base-stealer even though he is fast. Getting caught stealing 31 times in 79 career attempts is usually indicative of that.

Nevertheless, if he can rack up 8-10 steals this season to complement the rest of his production — whew, that is enough to turn heads and display second-round value in a 12-team standard draft.

Fair warning: Though Springer has not missed *too* much time with injury throughout his career, he is notably injury-prone and did deal with a back issue as recently as 2019. Getting older does not help anyone’s case for health and playing the field certainly does not help. If the Blue Jays can afford to DH him more often than he has throughout his career (just 3 DH appearances in 2020), then there should be little-to-no worry.

Author

Kev Mahserejian

Kev Mahserejian is an NFL/NBA/MLB analyst at The Game Day, residing in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 2017 and began creating sports content soon after. Kev currently writes fantasy and betting pieces while also hosting his podcast The Operating Room with various guests from the sports industry to discuss topics primarily regarding fantasy. He also writes for RotoBaller and is quite active on his Twitter @RotoSurgeon.

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