It’s the first week of the season and there is really only one question as we enter the first week of fantasy SAGNOF-ville. What in the name of Brian Boitano are the Tigers doing with the closer situation. Well I liken it to a drug cartel, 3 Latinos and some coke, with some equal distribution until someone gets too big for their britches and knocks everyone else off. I like a good even mix of Al-Al, Benoit, Dotel and Coke to all get some run based on the situation and it being too early for Leyland to cash in his Marlboro miles for that new kayak. So with the first post of my inauguration, I am starting from scratch and the rankings start with this post so no fancy pluses or minuses until the next post. I will also try and alternate between closers and Holds guys for my weekly posts.

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As the Season draws closer, hell, it’s basically here tomorrow, the Closer Apocalypse of 2012 is starting to be as ritualistic as a Mayan prediction. So, for those not in the know, it’s basically going to happen again, and has already started. Injuries either that are lingering from last year or new ones that get covered with Snoopy boo-boo strips are popping up. It’s going to happen, but don’t fret. Smokey is here with a doomsday prepper’s guide to handling the relief situations that are always in flux. So grab your prepper’s bible and 12 lbs. of powdered eggs and let me settle you down some. Here are some guys that I am storing away for the inevitable next closer carousel situation, because staying ahead of the waiver wire is cool and gets you stickers.

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Chris Perez has been shut down for 3-4 weeks. The Indians are saying it’s due to a shoulder strain. Seems pretty coincidental that Chris Perez rocks a mullet and there’s a guy with a “business on top, party in the back” haircut on The Amazing Race this season. I’m calling BS. “Yeah, what’s up?” Sorry, didn’t mean to actually call BS. “Cool, now you’re wasting my time. I’m gonna call myself on you!” So with Perez out, a giant gaping hole opens in Cleveland, and I don’t mean when Drew Carey is eating. Vinnie Pestano should take over the closer role in the mean’s while. Unfortunately (depending on how you’re looking at it), Perez went down so early that he could return as soon as the first or second week of the season. That means you need to draft Perez and Pestano. My advice is to wait two seconds after someone drafts Perez then take Pestano. This will be real cute in auctions. They’ll either have to spend $15-ish to have both Indian closers or they’ll be stuck without one. If I could only draft one, I’d take a late flyer on Pestano. As with most things SAGNOF-related, there’s no sure thing in the bullpens and the cheaper way to get saves is always the most preferable. Anyway, here’s all the closers for fantasy baseball:

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With the season growing eerily closer, I sit back today and examine the closer situations for some teams that aren’t as cut and dry as others. Some of these teams have a great situation if one guy can take the reigns and run with, the others, well, as the Fresh Prince said, “that’s not that simple.” So have a gander, minus the goose, at the closer situations that you will want to monitor for your upcoming drafts and who to be proactively drafting just in case.

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As you read in the title, this is the second installment of the bullpen check-up. Today we look at the American League. (The National League middle relievers post is there, and Grey’s Closer Look.) The options seem to be less as compared to the NL, but quality is still abundant. So enjoy my targets for Holds in the American league. As per the NL post the Peeping Tom’s are guys that you want to watch from a far, but don’t get caught looking too long because it’s the clinker for you or in actuality a miss on the waiver wire.

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Unlike other 2013 fantasy baseball rankings posts, I’m just gonna rank all of the closers in the format of every Closer Look I’ve done in the past. Unlike other Closer Looks, I put projections in. The setup men are in order in parentheses, and the relevant ones have projections, as well. Once Brian Wilson and Jose Valverde sign, I’ll add them; neither are much more than end of the staff flyers. You should draft saves first and foremost in all but Holds leagues. Ratios for relievers are very fickle. Ratios for middle men are all over the map. Every year middle men come out of nowhere. Just because Venters is with a top reliever does not make him the number one middle man. David Robertson would be that. When I rank my top 400 on Friday, I’ll have everyone in there. Closers as of right now are listed first even if I think someone else will get more saves; as with the Tigers shituation. The other day Smokey did a top middle relievers for the NL post (AL will be up shortly); Rudy also has all of the Holds projected in the 2013 fantasy baseball projections. My biggest problem with ranking Holds is there’s no rhyme or reason from season to season with closers, then take that fickle fluidity (fickidity?) and multiple it by five when you start to go further into bullpens. Last year, the Holds leaders were Joel Peralta, Pestano, Mitchell Boggs and Dor-K (for our dyslexic readers). The year before, only Pestano made it in the top 20 and he ranked 16th overall. Tyler Clippard was the best in 2011, where was he in 2012? 66th overall after he took May thru August off to captain a ship in America’s Cup. If getting saves is about opportunity, getting Holds is about opportunity plus a coin toss. Anyway, here’s all the closers for 2013 fantasy baseball:

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Bullpens. I couldn’t love them more. They are good and good for you like a bowl of prunes or a pile of old Mad magazines. So with the season approaching I delve into the Hold guys that you want to focus on if your league is awesome enough to include them as a counting stat category. Today is the NL edition, personally I like taking pitchers from the NL to add depth to my bullpen. They have to face weaker line-ups and more pinch hitters. So enjoy who I think you should own in the Who You Want category. I also added a few from each team for you to keep an eye on (but not get noticed doing it by your leaguemates) in the Peeping Tom category. By the by, Rudy just added Holds to the 2013 fantasy baseball projections.

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Only a week left and if you’re reading this you’re probably still in contention somewhere. Congratulations on making it this far!  Otherwise, move on to football already, and leave the waiver wire alone, you’re screwing up the finals! (Don’t you just hate that?) Using, mathematics (NERD!), there’s a good chance you can roughly estimate how many saves you can get in the coming week and whether or not that can win you the category.

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Bobby Valentine opted to go with Andrew Bailey over Alfredo Aceves for the save on Friday night. Initially, I thought it was because Alfie had thrown 37 pitches the night before, but Aceves disagreed. No, this time it was personal. So personal, in fact, that Alfredo let his feelings be known that night and got into a shouting match with the Red Sox manager.

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