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Even being 1/10th of the way through the season, it is never too early to see some trends forming.  The trends I am learning you about are the bullpen usage rates.  Not every team follows an A to B to C type formulas, and it would be nice, but usage rates in certain situations, even 15 games into the season, peak their heads out for fantasy usefulness.  The ancillary stats that no one really notices, and that I use all year, are runners inherited and appearances with the lead.  All key factors for what a reliever is and what they are at sustaining.  The inherited runners stat is a ruiner, not only for themselves but for the pitchers they are replacing.  Basically a sad trombone in the case of reliever sad trombones.  The appearances with the lead factor is what we all eat our Holds and gravy with.  It basically says that they are pitching with a lead, granted, holds are scored the same as a save.  So all that less than four runs runner on deck shenanigans that people made up for it to qualify.  So welcome to the first Holds/bullpens post of the year as we embark on a road far less traveled then it should.  Holds matter, regardless of color.

  • I love me some Astros bullpeners.  Will Harris is the boss, Gregerson is the Don of Holds and Chris Devenski is thinking of multi-inning Holds.  He has crazy K-rates and is basically behind the Giles/Harris/Gregerson trio.  Only caveat is that he doesn’t pitch on back-to-back days and probably won’t.  For leagues looking to capitalize on the 12-plus K/9 rate, you need to time his appearances.  Right now, it’s every third game and a win vulture.
  • The Rox playing some good ball leads to goodies from the bullpen.  Incumbent closer before the Holland signing, Adam Ottavino, has the lead early on with 7 Holds in 8 appearances.  No complaints in other categories, K’s are there and so everything else is tidy.  Should be rostered most everywhere, but go check no Holds leagues.
  • Sneaky holds are what makes the world go round, so does sexy effectiveness out of the pen.  The Brew-ha-ha’s feature two right now.  Jacob Barnes for my money looks the better of any reliever in the Milwaukee pen, but Corey Knebel is getting more leverage situations.  Both are decent adds all around with K-rates at plus per inning.
  • Quick name the best reliever in the Cardinals bullpen. Nope.  Nope not Rosey either.  It’s easily Matthew Bowman.  He looks a little bit like Lincecum and a lot like dog the bounty hunter.  I know it’s early but Siegrist owners can ping pong around to someone with a higher K rate then 4 …yikes.
  • Sleeper holds guy for the week, check out Tommy Kahnle.  Dude winds up and throws it hard.  His name has bounced around a bit in past years, but looks to be establishing himself behind Jones, Robertson as the next RH.
Player Holds/BS App with Lead IR Runners/IR Scored
Adam Ottavino  7/1 8 3/1
Brad Brach 5/0 6 0/0
Heath Hembree 5/0 5 5/2
Mike Dunn 5/0 5 4/1
Corey Knebel  5/1 7 3/2
Felipe Rivero 5/0 5 2/1
Pedro Strop 4/1 5 2/1
Justin Wilson 4/0 7 4/1
Luke Gregerson 4/1 7 0/0
Carlos Torres 4/1 6 0/0
Jacob Barnes 4/0 5 1/0
Daniel Hudson 4/0 4 2/2
Matthew Bowman 4/0 9 9/2
Danny Farquhar 4/0 5 2/0
Arodys Vizcaino 3/1 4 0/0
Jose Ramirez 3/1 4 4/0
Matt Barnes 3/0 5 4/2
Carlos Estevez   3/0 4 4/1
Alex Wilson 3/1 6 3/2
Fernando Salas 3/1 6 3/0

 

 

 

 
  1. Swfcdan says:
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    Thank god, couldn’t come soon enough!

    A) Barnes getting the save last night shows high leverage no. I’m not a Felizer, Barnes or evil Knebel for the stash?

    B) OH’s looked shaky hasn’t he. You think Bowman’s next in line then, he a better stash than even the Brewers combo above?

    C)

    D) I dropped Kelley about a week ago thinking Treinen was the guy….now someone with a high priority claimed him…eff me closers! At least tell me he’ll split the job and be out by mid-season when they trade for a closer right?

    E) At least I got Bush! You think as long as he’s pitching well/healthy he’ll remain the man? Have to think injury is the bigger of the concerns, stuff is downright dirty.

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @Swfcdan: Oh and 2 best options out of these holders:

      J Ramirez, A Wilson, Leclerc, Duffey, Jeffress, C Torres, B Treinen

      HAGNOF!

      Thanks!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Swfcdan: The Sawx bullpen is going to be crowded when every one is healthy lots of government mouths to feed in the holds department.

      Bowman is the guy with intrigue. Oh is comfy

      It’s a split until trade fills the void.

      Health is the key

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Smokey: Thanks. Not sure what the Sawx has anything to do with Barnes or Knebel in MIL though!

        Lastly want to pick up T Duffey (I know but he’s been decent in the pen) to use in a SP slot in my H2H which counts holds. Would you rather drop Treinen, Jeffress, or LeClerk (been dirty!)? We could saves as another cat, so that’s why I’m hesitant to drop Jeffress right now/

        • The Harrow says:
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          @Swfcdan: treinen or leclerc (but at least the 2nd is doing well), so treinen. the answer is in that sentence too, don’t trick yourself. that being said MIN’s moved duffey around, sometimes in good holds spots (some times multi inning ones) other times he’s behind rogers/pressly. pressly has been pretty yuck though.

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @Swfcdan: wrong Barnes my B. I’d hold

  2. Five-On-One says:
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    Hey – missed your posts, Smokeman. Hope all is good. that is all.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Five-On-One: All good… just older

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Welcome back, Smokey! Happy birthday!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Grey: Thnaks jefe

  4. Notorious PING! says:
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    Hey Smokey! I’m in a 12 team points league, owning Devenksi. Guy is picking up more points than a handful of my hitters!

    Anyway, another RP like that is, Justin Wilson. Thoughts on him producing in a points league?

    Would you drop…. Gurriel for him?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Notorious PING!: What good is Gurriel doing besides a replacement level guy. Stream the relievers screw the bats

      • Notorious PING! says:
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        @Smokey: Good call, thanks. Ok, so I can drop Gurriel or Mancini for Justin Wilson or Joe Jimenez…. who would you grab?

        hand a great weekend amigo!

  5. SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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    Still owe you for the Jose Ramirez call man. Love it.

    Do you think Salas stays relevant with Familia coming back? Everyone moving down + Blevins worries me for holds.

    Also – do you think Knebel still is 2nd in line to Feliz if and when he falters? have knebel and feliz in NFBC so definitely sweating Barnes

    Thanks mang

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @SheriffMcRawDawg: Thats what I do. Wait what do you owe me….
      Salas gets moved down a peg with Familia back. and Blevins is the sexy lefty to get high leverage guys out.
      Yes Knebel is if it happened today, in a month it will be Barnes

  6. Gonzo_The_Great says:
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    Is Hembree a real option for holds? I’m so confused by relievers this year. Other available options with similar SV/HLD totals in my league are Knebbel and Torres.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Gonzo_The_Great: Hembree is a guy if you time right in a holds league is effective. I would rather have Knebel for spurts

  7. Wacha Wacha says:
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    I have had D Phelps in one of my SP slots all year in my 10 team h2h with s+h hoping to get some extra holds. Do you think he is worth owning or am I better off just dropping him for a SP?

    Thanks for the input!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Wacha Wacha: Drop, stream the spot

  8. Racehorse says:
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    Smoke –

    Great timing on your part! Long day at the j-o-b for me so I haven’t had a chance to read your post closely, but I will be sure to check out your words of wisdom later this weekend.

    16 team dynasty mixer with saves and holds …

    I’m looking for the highest ceiling … Please rank Koda Glover (dropped by an impatient owner who dislikes Dusty Baker), Matt Strahm, Joe Jimenez.

    Thanks!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Racehorse: Glover, Jiminez, Strahm….ion a month it will be Jimenez by a wide margain

  9. JakeTPE says:
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    Hey Smokey,

    Great to see your post, sir.

    So, I came out of the draft with Siegrist and Bush so I have like one Hold all year. It’s frustrating.

    I know the trick is to be patient as teams’ situations and results change week to week, but I’ve had no luck this year.

    Can you give me your top 2 of this list for Holds?

    Barraclough (rostered), Dull (rostered), Hudson, Bowman, Torres, Shaw, Edwards Jr, Rzepczynski…

    I’m thinking swap Bowman in for Barraclough and ride Dull for a bit longer (W and HD past two games).

    Thanks!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @JakeTPE: Bowman for sure and then i would stream the hell out of the other spot, dont worry about Dull

      • JakeTPE says:
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        @Smokey: Bowman FTW! Thanks, Smokey.

  10. Fausto

    Fausto says:
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    18 Team ROTO and Im sagnof chasing and would be in 1st place had i not lost britton to the DL( the first yr i paid big $ for a closer because of the RP-ocalypse that i saw coming with bullpen drama) any way best bet add for saves going forward..(Kela(TX), J. Jiminez(Det), Barnes(Mil)…like i said its an 18tm so SLIM PICKING.
    Thoughts and thanks.. appreciate the work.

  11. Organigram Dan the Met Fan says:
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    Hey Smokey, Kahne is availible in my 16 teamer H2H dynasty league. I love his K rate but no idea who to drop… can you help me decise what to do? Here is my roster, who is the drop if any?

    C Salvador Perez, KC C
    1B Paul Goldschmidt, Ari 1B
    2B Jose Altuve, Hou 2B
    3B Kris Bryant, ChC 3B, LF
    SS Jonathan Villar, Mil SS, 2B, 3B
    CF Charlie Blackmon, Col CF
    OF Nomar Mazara, Tex RF, LF
    OF Brandon Drury, Ari 3B, 2B, LF, RF
    OF Mitch Haniger, Sea CF, RF
    UTIL Jorge Polanco, Min SS
    UTIL Adam Frazier, Pit LF
    Bench Yoenis Cespedes, NYM LF, CF  DTD
    Bench Yunel Escobar, LAA 3B  DTD
    Bench Matt Davidson, CWS DH
    Bench Robbie Grossman, Min LF, DH
    DL J.D. Martinez*, Det RF  DL10

    PITCHERS

    P Kyle Barraclough, Mia RP
    P Mychal Givens, Bal RP
    P Heath Hembree, Bos RP
    SP Jake Arrieta, ChC SP PP
    SP Jacob deGrom, NYM SP  DTD PP
    SP James Paxton, Sea SP
    SP Lance McCullers Jr., Hou SP
    RP Wade Davis, ChC RP
    RP Addison Reed, NYM RP
    RP Cam Bedrosian, LAA RP
    RP Greg Holland, Col RP
    Bench Zack Greinke, Ari SP
    Bench Aaron Nola, Phi SP
    Bench Chad Kuhl, Pit SP
    Bench Brandon McCarthy, LAD RP, SP
    Bench Trevor Cahill, SD RP
    Bench Jordan Montgomery, NYY SP
    DL Tyson Ross*, Tex SP  DL10
    DL Shae Simmons*, Sea RP  DL10

  12. J-Hova says:
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    Smokey, any chance you can get hired full time and run a Holdalsanator tool??

    You can never have too many closers but Bush getting saves oops hurts my holds. I have the and Harris. I was handcuffing Kimbrel with Joe Kelly but need to stream that spot for holds moving forward. In your opinion is that he right move? Thanks Smokey, incredibly informative article as usual!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @J-Hova: def stream that spot behind Kimbrel look for guys who havent pitched in a day with good match-up…so basically what the holdsanoator would tell you. If you are on twitter shoot me something of guys avail on certain days @smokey_loogy

      • J-Hova says:
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        @Smokey:

        awesome! I’ll take you up on that. Thanks!

  13. Brett says:
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    Smokey, Hope you had a great vaca. 2 questions.

    1. 12 team daily roster moves league with holds as a category and saves as a category. Current relievers are Bradley, Bush, Giles, Neris and Benoit. (Bradley’s SP eligibility is very valuable). Would you cut Benoit for Kelley or keep him so I have both the Philly pitchers to ensure the closer and the holds guy for the time being.

    2. You concerned with Harris pitching the 7th that his holds could be limited this year? I had him as top 5 holds guy thinking he would pitch the 8th.

    Thanks

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Brett: Kelley is the better pitcher.

      not really his will come, once everything settles he will get you 20

  14. Chris says:
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    Dynasty- would you trade archer for Jose abreau? My first baseman is bird

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Chris: who are other SP? but I think you will be ok with Bird when it all ends

  15. Christopher Sherwin says:
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    Aye Smoke

    Hurting bad in holds, looking for a guy to be able to plug into a SP spot to vulture some holds (Phelps I found the hard way is NOT that guy)

    Any of these guys worth owning?

    Tyler Duffey
    Jorge De La Liva La Rosa
    Shane Greene
    Archie Bradley
    Ross Stripling
    Juan Nicasio

    If so, who would you drop, Madson, Knebel, Hembree, Storen, Strickland

    Also one final question, what do you see Bearclaw’s value at right now, what type of SP range would you think to offer for him?

    Thanks as always much appreciated!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Christopher Sherwin: worth owning to stream yea. Storen is the guy to stream out and add one of those guys. Duffey is most intriguing right now

      top 100 type or someone that looks better then he really does

  16. Alan says:
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    How does Knebel get Ks without a big swinging strikeout rate?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Alan: wish I knew really, has some deception with the change and is a top 1 in strikes looking for relievers

  17. Brett says:
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    Smokey

    Zona hasn’t had much opportunity but who is there 8th inning guy for holds? You think it’s Bradley?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Brett: he ma be eventually but they mix and match a ton. Has multi inning appearances 3 times so that doesn’t scream 8th inning guy, but he has the goods. Zona is not a place to be chasing arms for holds

    • The Harrow says:
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      @Brett: george of the roses and hoover lately. surprising hoover is having a very good year.

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