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We are going to take a break from the closenado news to bring the middle-reliever news and updates for those of you that are in Holds and NSVH leagues. While it’s not as sexy as the closer news that you usually expect, it is still fundamental in forming a well-balanced pitching staff. It has been a bizarre season, as far as Holds go, and no one person is showing their stoutness and running away with being “that guy”.  The usual candidates are lying in the weeds [Ed. Note-- you haven't smoked it all?] waiting to jump out and show you how to make balloon animals. So here are some snippets that I’ve noticed so far this year, though the season is still short ‘n sweet. There’s a long ways to go my friends. So be patient when it comes to the dudes who pitch after the dudes, but before the dudes that really matter.

  • As of writing this, the Angels are the worst NSVH team in the league. They have  2 NSVH.  That’s  one save, and one hold, for Frieri and Smith, and the other bunch of slap-tards that occupy the bullpen spots are just standing around watching.
  • The NL version of the LA based teams is setting the world on fire for Holds, having four guys with at least 2. (Paco Rodriguez, Chris Withrow, Chris Perez and J.P. Howell). Now, it’s prolly cause they are a better team, but having more than zero isn’t very hard. The Dodgers are also leading the league in relief appearances having a lead, with 25.
  • Carlos Martinez  is pacing the world in Holds right now, and is looking like a sexy stash for everyone that held onto him after he failed to crack the rotation. Just to add some numbers to his appreciative Hold stats, he has allowed 4 hits to 25 batters for a 5.7 hits/9. For further perspective, Craig Kimbrel‘s career rate is 5.0 H/9.  Good things are coming for the kid, even if it’s like he goes to Kentucky and is one and done in the set-up role.

So much like last year these are the tools or trends or the things that I personally look at to determine a relief pitchers both adequacy and use in high profile situations. it’s not as filled as of yet with lots of counting stats, but still helpful and will give you a glimpse of what I look for out of MR.  So enjoy my little chart, as it’s here to steer you towards the hugs of fantasy, and not the drugs.

PLAYER HOLDS Appearances  With Lead Inherited Runners Inherited  Runners Scored
Carlos Martinez 4  4 4 0
David Carpenter 3  3 0 0
Tyler Clippard 3  3 0 0
Mark Melancon 3  3 0 0
Adam Warren 3  3 1 0
Yoervis Medina 3  3 1 0
Aaron Loup 3  3 4 0
Chris Perez 3  4 4 0
Sean Doolittle 3  3 0 0
Jared Burton 2 3 0 0
Chris Capuano 2  2 2 0
Aaron Crow 2  3 5 3
Jake Diekman 2  4 0 0
Rex Brothers 2  2 0 0
A.J. Ramos 2  3 2 0
Kevin Siegrist 2  4 1 0
Mike Dunn 2  2 0 0
J.P. Howell 2  4 2 0
Adam Ottavino 2  3 3 1
Tom Wilhelmsen 2  4 3 1

  1. The Thumb says:
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    Hey Smokey, would you drop Carpenter, Siegrist, K-Rod, or Peralta for AJ Ramos, Warren, Casilla, Cook or Medina? I was contemplating AJ Ramos because his stuff looks filthy. And who out of Doolittle and Cook ultimately has more value? (Gregerson is already taken)

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @The Thumb: I would hold off adding Ramos for now based on guys listed. Doolittle until Cook has some innings under his belt and then I see him getting a split with Luke.

  2. ColdNeverBother Sonny Gray says:
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    Thanks Smokey, its really tough to sort out who the best pitchers are to have in my s+h league…Tough to tell when its better to have a closer vs a setup man…

    Can you pick the top 3 out of this group?

    C Allen, J Peralta, C Martinez, S Kelley, P Strop, J Fields, B Kintzler, Benoit, A Warren, Gregerson, Doolittle, D Carpenter, S Casilla, T Watson, Farquahr, Lindstrom

    Thanks

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @ColdNeverBother Sonny Gray: Well I would rather have a great set-up guy compared to a “Kill” closer. Allen, Carpenter, Gregerson, Benoit and C Mart should be owned in everything but 8 team leagues. Lindstrom and Fields should be owned as save getters.

  3. Battle of the Sleepers says:
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    Great rundown!
    In a S+H league, debating either Melan or Brothers… Need to pick an arm to cut, not sure if should cut an SP or closer… Leaning towards closer since my SP got hurt losing Moore, and because our league also scores IP and QS, so favors SP… Who would you cut:

    SP: Verlander, Ryu, Dickey, Eovaldi, Porcello, Pineda, Kluber
    RP: Reed, Perkins, Papelbon, Cishek, Axford.

    • Battle of the Sleepers says:
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      @Battle of the Sleepers: or Perez, medina, Doolittle–good K/ERA/WHIP compared to Melan or Bro

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Battle of the Sleepers: Thanks, I would hold you have nearly 170 saves if all goes right.

      • Battle of the Sleepers says:
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        @Smokey: well I can’t punt holds, such an easy win in h2h… Gonna cut a bench bat… Who would you add? I missed out on clippard, Allen, cmart–rest I named above are out there still.

        • Battle of the Sleepers says:
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          @Battle of the Sleepers: Benoit, Gregerson, Melancon, Brothers, Perez, Medina, Doolittle…

            • Battle of the Sleepers says:
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              @Smokey: no, that’s my bad, hit +. Thanks!

              • Smokey

                Smokey says:
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                @Battle of the Sleepers: That’s right it is your fault, now go to your room and thibnk about what you have done young man/lady

  4. Lville Jim says:
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    Gotta believe Nathan lands on the dl with a real or phantom injury soon. Sifting through the garbage that is the rest of the Tiger’s pen is pretty damn depressing. I looked last night but couldn’t bring myself to picking anyone up as a speculative add.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Lville Jim: His leash is practically unfathomable. No other arm there says anything but avoid.

  5. Schmohawks Bob says:
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    Oakland announced it’s closer by committee. Who is the head of the committee?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Schmohawks Bob: It’s Gregerson for now until Cook gets some meaningful innings.

      • Schmohawks Bob says:
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        @Smokey: Thanks.

  6. Grant says:
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    Hey Smokey,

    we have holds in our league and I love it, still trying to find that guy to stash all year, I drafted Nate Jones for closer, but then he was removed, and luckily I dropped him like its hot, I picked up Paco Rodriguez, but he hasn’t even like pitched since those 2 holds, would you pick up Perez, he was a closer once, a damn good one, so he might be more of the high tension situation guy.

    Also who would you peg as the best holds guy with SP eligability as well, Love having one of those guys playing every day as well.

    Thanks

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Grant: Lots of good options in the Dodger pen and Perez looks like the RH and anytime guy and Paco seems to get more lefty based Holds.

      Capuano

  7. Jamiehov says:
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    I have Hunter and try to handcuff my shaky relievers with my holds guys. Any insight on O’day. I know it’s early but is Matusz the not to own between the two?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Jamiehov: Baltimore as a team only has 5 team save ops and 2 holds to show for it. So while it’s early I would grab a RP getting some counting stats and punt your theory for awhile.

  8. Jamiehov says:
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    * the one to own. Fn autotype

  9. Alan says:
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    This dude offered me Stroman and Tyson Ross for C Martinez in deep dynasty, I gotta accept right?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Alan: I’d want C-Mart. I have seen him pitch in person, like from where your dad would stand at little league close and his movement on pitches is completely silly. He is going to be very special if he doesn’t get jerked around from pen to start.

  10. Clyde Prompto says:
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    Howdy, Smokey. I’m in an AL Only league where most notable bullpen arms are owned. Just wondering if you had any guys deep down in your bag, mixed in with the stems and scrids that might help. Not looking for saves so much, just a fair amount of high K, low ratio usage. For example I’m liking the looks of this Betances fellow on the Yanks.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Clyde Prompto: Tough without knowing who is there but I’ll give ya some names and you can come back and say yah or nay. Maikel Cleto, Bettances, Nick Maronde, Fernando Abad, Evan Meek

      • Clyde Prompto says:
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        @Smokey: I actually had it narrowed down to Betances, Meek. and Wade Davis.

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @Clyde Prompto: Bettances it is then.

    • Korey says:
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      @Clyde Prompto: I lobe this my strategy , and started using it in my AL only last year. The nice thing is you can drop one of these guys to stream a bitter, occasionally, and still be able to pick them back up. I am currently holding Allen, Daniel Webb, and Doolittle in hopes of a lucky save or two but will eventually use a spot or two the RP you speak of. Thanks for posting the question and the Smokey’s feedback.

  11. JohnnyO says:
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    Thoughts on Delabar for ROS?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @JohnnyO: High k rate, figure 20 plus holds

  12. Red Barons says:
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    What are the chances that Brothers takes over Closer duties in Colorado at some point? Also will Bastardo get some save chances (not necessarily take over) in Philly?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Red Barons: Brothers will be in there just waiting for the Hawkins antique car to breakdown. Bastardo won’t see much, barring injury or Papelbon deportation.

      • S AT ANate says:
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        @Smokey: e

        Not to sound like a jerk, but I’m continually baffled by the love for Brothers. Did ANYBODY check his Stranded Runners Rate he relied on? He has seemingly gotten worse with control as his career has gone along, and this started on Day 1 of his pro career. Not MLB career, but Rk ball. Coors isn’t the best place to remedy that.

        I would say AVOID BROTHERS AT ALL COSTS, but then again you could use him as serious trade-high fodder. I’m serious, go for it.

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @S AT ANate: Im confused by this, his LOB rate is a good thing when it goes up, and he has consistently been a mid 4bb/9 pitcher his entire career, including minors. He is missing way more bats now if you look at his decreasing H/9 rate. Maybe we are just having different look and handpicking stats, but good debate nonetheless.

  13. Scott says:
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    If it’s not too difficult, it’d be great to have a BS column in that chart when you post it again in two weeks.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Scott: Damn you Scott and your demands, you want their weight and height, favorite color too? LOL, no problem on the BS category will see it in 2 weeks.

  14. Josh says:
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    Which set-up guys can I expect to post the best K, K/9, and K/BB? I’m in a holds/saves league with those stats as well.

    I have Clippard and Brothers right now, but pretty much all the holds guys are available.

    • Josh says:
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      @Josh:

      To clarify, the pitching cat’s are W, QS, IP, HLS, SV, ERA, WHIP, K, K/9, and K/BB

      • Josh says:
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        @Josh:

        Martinez, Carpenter, Peralta, etc all are available. If you could toss me some names based on performance in the categories I mentioned that’d be awesome!!! Most teams in my league just have elite closers and are passing up on holds.

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @Josh: three posts in a row means that I cant answer it and you are banned from the forum. Cody Allen, C-Mart, Carpenter are who I would look at first. If the league isn’t very deep than you should have your choice of top RP non-save guys.

  15. manormachine? says:
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    Here’s how I win holds nearly every time.

    1. Draft Clippard or Melancon.

    If I have to go to the waiver wire:

    1. Find the guy with the most holds.
    2. Add him.

    A couple of other factors I look at besides ratios:
    1. Innings pitched/Appearances – the more innings a guy is throwing, the more chances he gets for a hold.
    2. How secure is his job? – You don’t want your amazing setup man to suddenly be converted into a closer, so pick someone with an established role behind a solid closer.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @manormachine?: all good things to look at.

    • UncleLarryWalker says:
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      @manormachine?: If I have to go to the waiver wire:

      1. Find the guy with the most holds.
      2. Add him.

      In other news…water is wet.

  16. Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Smoke: What is your take on Oakland.

    I’m betting on Doolittle.

    Yeah he’s a lefty. But, Oakland has 2 other ones there.

    This committee thing won’t last long IMO.

    Granderson is getting the touts excited. So it boils down to him or Doodoo.

    I’m a Doodoo man, he is core Oakland.

    Cook is in a doubtful way – they will handle him with kit gloves for a few weeks.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Ghost of the Disappeared: I think its Gregerson until Cook is ready, then it will be a conundrum

      • Brillz says:
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        @Smokey: They are claiming committe in Oakland, as it stands I would agree, Gregorson will see the “saves”… But they may play matchups, just to see if it will work. Doo does not seem to show platoon splits, so he could stay in against righties if need be. There is no bad option in that pen honestly

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @Brillz: Def not all offer something to any roster so not a shot in the dark wasted roster spot.

          • Brillz says:
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            @Smokey: HEY, Smokey back here takin’ a shit!

          • Brillz says:
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            @Smokey: Cust Kayin’ the last guy outta the pen in Oak, is Abad. He is rosterable. In a holds league that counts saves. I have played in Holds and Saves for years. Bullpens in flux, to me, are opportunities for a 5 hold 5 saves, guy etc. Quite valuable to a RP

  17. pistole pete says:
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    Would you rather keep Shawn Kelley or grab Carlos Martinez for holds?

  18. pager24 says:
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    i saw you mentioned this early but i wanted to pick your brain a little more. You said you don’t think Bastardo sees many save chances this year barring injury/ineffectiveness. Are you fairly confident Pap turns it around? if so, would you drop Bastard for Martinez? pretty low on saves
    Thanks!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @pager24: Martinez is just a better stat adder to your team now. Paps can’t get any worse, I can see a save here or there off but don’t forsee a total removal unless he get worse then he is now.

  19. Nate says:
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    I’m in a MEGA-DEEP Dynasty League, have long-since given up on the talent and time consuming goal of one-category Sv pursuit, now I’m a beast of a whole different color, actually stumbling upon these guys with stunning regularity. For instance, I used a later round of a 5-round redraft to snag Hunter, that was it for me. Since then I have hoarded certain guys and I’m wondering if you could verify them as good ideas: AJ Ramos, J. McGee, J. Collmenter, C. Stammen, Withrow as well as O’Day as my Hunter backup. I’m about to junk him for Paco, though. I don’t see what Joel Peralta brings, honestly. I NEED K/IP, and a LOT of IP, otherwise it’s worth nothing. They’re like mini-starters over the course of these HUGE deep-league seasons. And great ones at that.

    Has my strategy been looking sound so far? No, you don’t have to look at my league’s wire, you’ll have a pretty accurate guess of what it looks like. Collmenter just moved to the rotation so I’ll be replacing him possibly. I dunno, maybe you can help me out here.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Nate: Peralta brings track record that’s about it. I love Ramos and I like Stammen and adding Paco wouldnt be an awful idea, depending on what else is on the wire. It’s about finding the right mix and match at the right time.

  20. Matty says:
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    Manny Parra has killer ratios. Any chance we ever see him in a spot that counts?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Matty: prolly not, with Broxton back and Aroldis on the way in a bit he will settle in to the 3-4th option in the pen

  21. Al koholic says:
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    nice post ,thanks for the hard work

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Al koholic: I see through your sarcasm Al….just foolin’ thanks

  22. schtickball says:
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    love the read smokey. whats your 2 cents on ottavino?? seems hes been flying under the radar in the short season. is he worth a pick up over lets say withrow or ramos?? i rostered withrow and considered ramos but didnt think miami would get too many W’s this season.. at least not as many as LADs or COL.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @schtickball: love ottavino. I pumped him up preseason though don’t think anyone listened. I do like him better than Withrow slightly.

      • schtickball says:
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        @Smokey:
        shame on me and everyone else that didnt listen! my bad smokey, wont make the same mistake again

  23. theguywholikesfantasybaseball says:
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    I’m in a saves league and all current closers are taken. Last year I won my league with the help of 3 holds guys with sick ratios filling in the RP and P slots (I don’t understand why more people don’t use the strategy to get the ratios all down). Anyway, gimme 3 guys with sick ratios that have a shot at the closer role at sometime this year. Please! NOW!

  24. fitz says:
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    Wise to drop Fields for Gregerson?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yup

      • fitz says:
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        @Grey: thanks Grey!

  25. Zander says:
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    I’m in a Saves + Holds league with K/9 as well. The only relievers I have currently are Benoit and Valverde. I need to wait till next week for moves to refresh but which 2 would you pick up from this bunch? (I don’t care about closers really so if I can drop Valverde for better ratios, I’m down):

    Jonathon Broxton, Carlos Martinez, David Carpenter, Cody Allen, Antonio Bastardo, Luke Gregerson, Ryan Cook

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Zander: Carpenter and Broxton, then get ready to dump Broxton in 2-3 weeks

      • Zander says:
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        @Smokey: Thanks my man.

  26. Clint says:
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    Looking at the past winner of my H2H pts league, the league winners going all the way back to 2010 had ZERO closers on their final rosters (10 keepers/team). Whether this carried them through the seasons or they had closers up until the playoffs they then dropped, obviously I can’t tell. But, given the scoring system and my pitching roster below, Smokey, would you advocate rolling with no closers and picking up Smyly, Wheeler, and C-Mart to fill the spots currently held by Axford, Street, & K-Rod?

    Scoring
    IP=1pt, Wins/Holds=4pts, Losses=-2pts, Saves=7pts, K’s=2pts, ER’s=-0.5pt

    Roster
    SP’s (2): Liriano, Teheran
    RP’s (2): Axford, Street
    P’s (4): K-Rod, Ventura, Gray, Porcello
    Bench: Cobb, Anibal, Masterson, Kazmir, Eovaldi
    DL: T. Walker

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Clint: I don’t like punting during season at the end if the season during playoffs anything goes as people stream to the max. I’d wait until then to decide to drop all closers

  27. Greyismyhero says:
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    The smoke man liveth…smokeem up, pass it around!! I just picked up Carpenter/Medina, dropping Avilain/Kinstlzer….Ok smoke? or do I need to hit my bong again? SMOKE THE GREEN!

      • Greyismyhero says:
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        @Smokey: Thanks, based off your chart of course, holds league..Thanks man, you do great work…PEACE–9 DAYS—420

        • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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          @Greyismyhero: medina is over kintzler?

          • Smokey

            Smokey says:
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            @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: shouldn’t be I thought it was an either or question. Kintzler>medina

            • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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              @Smokey: i think “Smoke It!” guy dropped Kinzler and Avilan for Carpenter and Medina (agree with getting carpenter part of it)

  28. Not sure that I’m seeing the reason for the Carpenter love. Braves haven’t used him in more than a week.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Rich urbacki: braves have had one hold save situation in that week

  29. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    in 20 team keep forever league where this is my pitching staff (we CAN’T have more than 12 active pitchers at any time to combat hoarding) and we have QS/hold/k by 9/RW/total innings (instead of K’s as counting stat)/era/whip
    darvish/m.perez/w.peralta/scheppers/c.lewis (starter stream spot, due to having a high innings minimum per week of 35) and this bullpen
    soria/ogando/santos/cotts/kelley/parra/melancon
    also these stashes bradley/stephenson/feliz
    1. who is drop for walden (just dropped by ATL team)? i’m thinking parra or kelley.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: I don’t think walden is more valuable for you to pick up if it costs you parra or Kelley. If nothing else he is about equal to parra

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Smokey: really it would have to cost any one of those guys. i figured parra long term worth less since he’s older, and I thought didn’t even project as his own team’s best lefty (marshall), and possibly kelley since he’s probably not as locked into 8th inning long term (really anybody could at NYY except we know K-Rob is best) as I would think Walden (former closer) is.

        • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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          @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: from your answer though it appears you have ogando and scheppers (as RP, not SP, which i think he’ll soon go back to) behind Walden as well long term.

          • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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            @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: dammit, i meant you have scheppers and ogando ABOVE Walden.

  30. Dan Pants

    Dan Pants says:
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    Good stuff, smokey. Very helpful

  31. brett says:
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    Smokey

    WIth Brian Wilson coming back this week can you rank these guys for holds the rest of the year:

    Kelley, Brian WIlson, Casilla

    Thanks

Comments are closed.