I love this time of the year, the opportunities for fleeting teams to make a splash fantasy wise gets really fun.  Guys pop up here there and everywheres.  Young guys looking to plant the next year seed in their clubs minds is a great thing for all of us.  This week, we focus on the go-go Brewers.  Yeah… them.   My apologies to the 50’s White Sox, but there wasn’t fantasy back then or I would be waxing poetic about Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio.  Alas, a different era and a completely different town.  Same like for beer, which automatically makes me a fan of either.  So we shine the LED spotlight this week on Keon Broxton.  The evictor of everything Niewenhuis. Over the past 14 days of games, he is flashing an OBP of .447, with 8 steals and an almost crazy 19% BB rate.  Those are all things we look at from a straight SAGNOF contributor, but throw in the .320 batting average and a run every 6.5 plate appearances and he is a swoon for the stretch run of cheapie SB’s.  Best part is he has only gotten two games off this month, minus the PH appearances for one quality AB in the stat column.  Ownership is the key here, and he is being carried in just over 16% of ESPN RCL leagues, That, my friends, is probably a tad low for the ones surfing for pre-September goodies.  The Brewers are most likely going to give him the go for the final 40 games, which should net him 130-140 at bats.   So go use those stimulating numbers I gave above and extrapolate those over those games.  If all stays the same, he should get you 10-12 Sb’s and 15-18 runs.  Good for a regular team not a team cruising 20 games under .500.  Lets see what else is going down in the world of cheap SAGNOF-dom…

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I wish that he wasn’t… and I wish I could parse my words a little better for a good pun’s sake, but the fact is in the stats.  Sam Dyson is allowing more baserunners, more baserunners to get on via the walk, and a higher slugging percentage in the second half of the year.  Add in the fact that batting average against and K-rate are down since 30 days ago, its never a good sign for someone to be all cozy and buy long-term property in the town of closerville.  Listen, he already wasn’t elite in the K-rate department, but to be hovering in the mid 5’s for the past 20 appearances is just bad.  From what I am noticing, his velocity has leveled out, but he isn’t using his arsenal as much or as frequent, relying mostly on his sinker and moving away from his ancillary fastball and slider.  Not all awful things in the immediate world in the result-driven world of fantasy, but troubling nonetheless.  When a reliever doesn’t trust or use his stuff in a way that was once successful, it shows a lack of confidence in it.  The guests knocking at the door have been a phenomenal swoon for almost all fantasy leagues with the likes of Diekman, Barnette (who has been sneaky great), Bush and Kela.  The saves that have been divided up show that Bush and Diekman look like the guys to watch most for in a change.  So with about a month of useful fantasy to go, now is not the time for a 20-save guy to spin his wheels… grab the cuff in advance and cover yourself like it was your Linus blanket or a just in case of emergency fantasy glass thingy.

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Come on in and talk it over.  So many the Erie warriors would want to say, but I think the platoon is very much over.  So Jose Ramirez has embedded himself in the land where former Chisenhall’s roamed.  Who, by happenstance, is playing here, there, and most left of nowhere… which is left field.  Jose is getting all the good spot-stuff you need for a guy to be rostered, and I am not just referencing the SAGNOF love.  He is hitting .431 over the last 15 games with 10 RBI’s 15 runs scored, 4 home runs, and the salt on the rim of the margarita glass is 6 steals.  If you wanna lump in the fact that he is eligible in most formats at four positions…  This is Hernan part deux the redux of multi-eligible position players with Latino descent showing out.  He is currently, over the last 15 games, in the top-2 of all players in the ESPN database.  Only Mr. Blackmon can hold sway over him.  Now the ownership has spiked and he is currently in the 80’s, but hey, some leagues are dumb and slow, so just in case, he is there, which he shouldn’t be (just check). Worse comes to worse, he makes for an interesting guy to trade for down the stretch because his name isn’t sexy and could probably be involved with a bigger name with some draw.  SAGNOF report is incoming with some players to look at and some saves ups and downs from the three days that you missed me so…

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The holds leaderboard has been basically demolished as guys have switched roles. Three out of the top-10 holds guys (Bettances, Herrera, and Watson) currently are holding down the closer roles for their respective teams.  Add in two more from the top-20 (Andrew Miller and Ken Giles) and you can see that 20% of the entire holds leaders are double dipping in stats.  Not always a bad thing, but when you are counting on one stat from a guy and then it switches to another, it detracts from the previous.  Have no fear, because the bullpen aficionado is here to steer you through the muck and mire that is the bullpen shuffle.  So for this week, we are going to look at guys who aren’t in a closing role.  I have taken current closers out of the equation for the chart, because this is a holds piece and we don’t want “their kind” infiltrating the holds stuff.  So be active on the waiver wire as we come down to the end of the season, there should be no commitment in the relief game.

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I remember years ago the gold standard for fantasy goodness was getting 20 home runs and 20 steals.  That trend is unfortunately not in our favor anymore.  As I have waxed poetic before about the growing trend of the stolen bases laying by the roadside and becoming less of an accumulated stat across baseball…  This year, we roughly have 50 games to go and we have one player that has just accomplished the feet, and if someone would have guessed that it would have been Wil Myers in preseason, I would have spit out my grape Fanta.  With other players on pace to eclipse this mark, the number is still trending in a bad way. In the last six years, the number was the highest in 2011 with 12 players making the 20/20 barrier.  Since then, it has reduced every year, 9 in 2012, 8 in 2013, 5 in 2014 and 4 just last year.  With Myers, there is some hope that a few other players get there, but the numbers are not in the stats favor to be opposite of what they once were, and there is no way that I can see it getting up to double digits again.  This tells me a few things about rostering SB guys, first, the elite are more coveted.  Players like Jose Altuve to me should be a top-5 player next year because he basically wins you, or at least is the reason that you win two categories.  Second thing is that grabbing players that are steal-only guys is probably not worth the chase, and the punt of the category is most likely the best strategy.  But hell, what do I know, I have only been here since forever and a day.

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The price that was paid, and the results that led him up to the trade had everyone believing that Andrew Miller would trump the incumbent Cody Allen in Cleveland.  Through two-pitched games, he has seen one save opportunity in the 6-7th inning, and the other was in a losing effort.  Now, I am not reading the tea leaves here, but after just two appearances and five games overall, I think Cody is not a droppable player in any format, saves holds or NSVH.  I mentioned it out loud to myself after the trade was completed, and also to Prospector Ralph.  With 55 games to play and save chances in 52 percent of games won… so that would leave 14 or so chances for the Indians and Miller to retain value.  And don’t get it twisted, he still has a ton of value with a ridiculous K-rate over 16, and the Indians are still a first place squad.  Just everyone that seems to matter has struggled with the Twins. It’s crazy that they are 20-plus games under .500.  So for the Allen owners, hold firm, like Gi-Joe style grip type stuff.  Miller owners, you have most likely owned him all year, so your peripherals aren’t going to be flawed because of him.  As far as saves go, I think it could go 70/30 the rest of the way and be a situational thing on occasion.  Let’s look at the plethora of changes that are basically pillaging the relief ranks around baseball…

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I was going to just delay this post due to inclement weather, but Grey’s super Doppler 5001, which is also a giant B.S. detector, wouldn’t let me.  So here we sit, some 48 hours before the list that you are about to see means about as much as single-ply toilet paper…  Really, what cheap s.o.b. concocted this idea of pinching pennies?  I mean everyone has had a run-in with it at some point.  Awful.  It’s part of the reason I have a salt-water bidet in all three outhouses at the Smokey compound.  So back to the deadline… closer gossip teams are lining up other contenders closers in such a bullish market, namely the rumors surrounding Mark Melancon.  The market and teams that need reliable relievers, let alone closers, is the Nationals, Indians, Rangers and Giants.  It is just the land of confusion and there is not enough LOOGY’S to go around.  I will touch on who I can see where after the bump to prolong the suspense, but the teams I just mentioned are teams to monitor on the opposite end of closers, because if the big names start rolling, all but Cody Allen looks to be out of a job.  Here’s what I can see going down by the deadline in the bullpen game, plus some rankings and next in line stuff.  Plus, Razzball Soccer has started pumping out quality, so go over and check it and join the official game…

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Today is the first time that I can look at Billy Hamilton and say, “now is the time if he was available in a league I was in, I would add him.”  Chances are some douche canoe has been sitting on him all year, playing him sporadically and reaping the semi-benefits of him.  Watching him recently and correlating that into his last nine games, he has 9 stolen bases and looks to be turning the corner for the last 60 games of the year.  Long term, I wouldn’t trust him to babysit my schnauzer, but the immediacy of his stats and the effect they can have on a your steals in impactful.  The Reds are going to be sellers in a day or ten, and it would behoove them to play him everyday and let him run rampant and cause people headaches on the base paths like he is currently doing.  Since the All-Star break, he has a unsustainable .390 OBP, which has garnered him the SB total that we should expect from him.  The unfortunate thing is that it is like the cat calling the kettle black and the cat actually being black, because if he keeps up the .390 OBP, he is a HOF-bound and I will eat Grey’s hat.  In the short term, go look at your waiver wire just to make sure that he isn’t available… if he isn’t, see if the owner is asleep at the wheel and throw him something stupid via trade.  If he is available, grab him and reap the benefits for the next fortnight with your footie pajamas, kick back, and enjoy the new Jughead comic.  This week in SAGNOF deets is after the bump, so do your sister a favor before I do a favor for your sister and click that button.

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Shaba Antone in the know knows that I am all about Jamaica.  Love to visit the place.  I also have several friends that reside on the isle and like to partake in the national festivity of… well, you know, don’t make me say.  The Dodger pen has been a flux of capacitors all year, and I think at some point I’ll bet a sixer on the leading hold leader from them being someone who may have contracted a melanoma.  Enter Joe Blanton.  The resurrection project of all resurrection projects.  Not only has he flourished in the role of set-up to the stars, but he doesn’t seem to have any competition to say the opposite.  In his last 30 days, minus a week off for the All-Star break, he has a one-off the pace total of 7 holds, a K/9 rate of above average, and an ERA of two bills.  All this for a team that has lacked stability setting up the dude who sounds like someone you would rent a kickboard from in Jamaica.  Now, he isn’t the only reason for the Dodgers having a top-5 bullpen ERA in the last 30 days, but he isn’t not-not the problem.   He is someone you may need to own though, add in the fact that in some leagues, I have SP eligibility, and he looks even sexier.  So now that we have got the lede out the way, let’s get to the milk and cookies of the bullpen report.

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I am always a day late and a buck short on the posts because I am relegated to be the Saturday morning cartoon of the Razzball variety.  No worries, I mean, who doesn’t love 80’s cartoons and can’t list 10 shows that would drastically alter children’s universes today?  One word… Snorks.  So with everyone else doing the second-half rankings, I felt it was my duty to give the closer rankings based solely on the second games remaining.  The elite will still be the elite, the mediocre are still mediocre, and the middling teams will still be middling. I don’t care what algorithm Jimmy Bill came up with to have expected win totals and blah blah.  Expected win totals are an indicator of save expectations. because the percent of saves converted in wins by teams has been pretty stagnant at 52%, give or take a few sheckles each way.  So looking at the games remaining, some teams have less games to play then others, and some have more so the expected totals for some teams will be different then what you would expect them to be.  So as a wise person once said to me in throws of fantasy passion, lets have at it.  Cheers!

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