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We break from the usual 12 dollar salads, donkeys, and hypothermia to breakdown, in basic fashion, the relief rankings for the final 70-plus games.  Why is this helpful you may ask?  Because for trade target reasons or chasing saves for points, you may want guy A over guy B.  With the relief ranks it is as fluid as a clogged sewer drain, because on any given week, the middling type closer can hit bumps in the road and be removed from contention. So if you are using this as a trade commodity in your quest to add saves, my advice is this add the elite only.  Nothing lower than the top-12.  These guys are all nailed on and in an impressive state, barring an injury obviously. Now with that, we also have to realize that trades will happen… and take one reliever from a good situation to a better one, then on the reflexive of that, it can turn one with a job into a set-up situation.  Regardless, here is my stab at the top relief pitchers for the second half of the Fantasy Baseball season.  Cheers!

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Rk Name
1 Kenley Jansen
2 Craig Kimbrel
3 Aroldis Chapman
4 Ken Giles
5 Roberto Osuna
6 Wade Davis
7 Alex Colome
8 Corey Knebel
9 Zach Britton
10 Andrew Miller
11 Greg Holland
12 David Robertson
13 Brandon Kintzler
14 Raisel Iglesias
15 Seung-Hwan Oh
16 Edwin Diaz
17 Cody Allen
18 Fernando Rodney
19 Kelvin Herrera
20 Felipe Rivero
21 Tommy Kahnle
22 Bud Norris
23 Mark Melancon
24 Jim Johnson
25 A.J. Ramos
26 Brandon Maurer
27 Santiago Casilla
28 Trevor Rosenthal
29 Keone Kela
30 Dellin Betances
31 Justin Wilson
32 Addison Reed
33 Bruce Rondon
34 Joakim Soria
35 Kyle Barraclough
36 Jose Leclerc
37 Sam Dyson
38 Matt Albers
39 Hector Neris
40 Brad Brach
41 Jeurys Familia
42 Arodys Vizcaino
43 Sean Doolittle
44 Cam Bedrosian
45 Matt Bush
46 Luis Garcia
47 Phil Maton
48 Jose Ramirez
49 Will Harris
50 Juan Nicasio
  • There aren’t many contending teams looking for an immediate closer, and the only one that comes to jump up the list is David Robertson or Kelvin Herrera.  The Nationals seem to be the only team that has an immediate “Okay, you are our closer situation”.
  • Which makes Tommy Kahnle the cuff with flair for right now in Chicago.
  • Which gives Joakim Soria some intrigue as well.
  • Teams that could trade their closer to contenders that could become set-up men are: A.J. Ramos, Jim Johnson, and Justin Wilson.  Making all their second fiddles in play, Kyle Barraclough (because I think Phelps gets traded even before Ramos), Arodys Vizcaino, and Bruce Rondon are the buy candidates there.
  • You then get to guys that didn’t make my list because they will be late season call-ups for teams that are seeing what they have out of their youth.  Guys like Jimmy Herget, Zack Burdi, Ricardo Rodriguez and John Curtiss are ones that jump out.
   
  1. Alex says:
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    I just moved David Price and David Peralta for Jansen. I’m chasing saves, and could use a solid reliever to chip away at my whip and era. Peralta was my drop with Trout returning, so I feel pretty good about it.

    • Fogimon says:
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      @Alex:Great move. Jansen is more valuable than Price, and as long as you don’t have a massive gap in the OF, Peralta is expendable.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Alex: good deal

  2. Adam Bell says:
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    Will Zach Britton actually be closing this week or should I bench him?? weekly League not daily…

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Adam Bell: he should be back in the saddle but am worried about back to backs. Bench

  3. My Seven Rizzos says:
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    Is Edwin Diaz going to figure it out over the 2nd half or lose his job? He’s my only closer in my 12 team points league, but has not produced thus far. I feel like i’m getting more production out of my bench guys, at this point.

    Thanks Smoke

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @My Seven Rizzos: I think he will be slightly better then what we have seen to date. So there’s optimism.

      • My Seven Rizzos says:
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        @Smokey: Thanks, Smokey! Decided to keep Diaz and trade Thames for Duvall instead. Hope thats an upgrade!

  4. E says:
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    Does Brad Brach need to be held on to until after the trade deadline with the Zach Birtton trade rumors?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @E: yes most def. not even for trade sake back to back save chances Buck will be leery of Britton for a few.

  5. Rocky bamboa says:
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    10 team H2H, Who would you drop: Conforto, Thames, Trumbo, Marte?

    Thanks Grey!

  6. Ryan says:
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    In a H2H saves/holds league, how valuable are Ramos and Johnson as set up guys if traded? I have both and am trying to figure out what to do with my RP staff currently.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Ryan: depends on where the land. I would say that they are in the top 20 of holds guys stat wise from when they get traded to end of season

  7. lwomack58 says:
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    I need to speculate on a closer and was thinking of grabbing Kahnle. I would need to drop J. Montgomery or Wacha.

    Which pitcher would you drop and is Kahnel a better grab than say Kela, Neris or Vizcaino?

    Thank you

    • lwomack58 says:
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      @lwomack58:

      Also could pickup Rosenthal as last night might be the final straw for Oh.

      • Smokey

        Smokey says:
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        @lwomack58: drop those two and add Rosey and tommy the K

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @lwomack58: Neris or Viz can go. Both on really bad save garnering teams. Def grab Kahnle but gently he’s a cuddler from what I hear

      • lwomack58 says:
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        @Smokey:

        Which of the two you be picked up first-Rosey or Tommy K?

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @lwomack58: Rosey. Oh is too up and down to trust and will at least give you something immediate. Kahnle needs a trade to be. The dude

          • lwomack58 says:
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            @Smokey:

            I was holding out for Wacha’s next start-So drop Mont. first? or is Mont a better hold than Wacha?

            Thanks for your quick response

            • Smokey

              Smokey says:
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              @lwomack58: comparable but matchup type guys.

  8. dfrench23 says:
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    14-team 5×5 roto (ERA, WHIP, K, QS and the last category combines Saves and Holds)

    I need Saves or holds.

    My two RPs right now are Betances and Devenski.

    A guy is shopping these four guys “looking for a front line starter for one or two of them. ” which I don’t think he’s going to get unless his definition of “front line” is different than mine.

    Offered:
    Zach Britton RP | BAL
    Santiago Casilla RP | OAK
    Corey Knebel RP | MIL
    Roberto Osuna RP | TOR

    My rotation is Kershaw, Scherzer, Bauer, Duffy, Maeda, Tanaka, Pivetta/Musgrove and others depending on SoN.

    I was thinking offering Duffy for two….good? If so, which two?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @dfrench23: knebel and Osuna would be my targets. Britton may or may not be traded and has injury risks. Casilla is just blah.

      • dfrench23 says:
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        @Smokey: Thanks! Got Britton, Knebel and Osuna for Duffy, Betances and Devenski

  9. BW says:
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    Why so low on Rivero? Are you worried he won’t keep the role? Maybe I’m missing something, but if he closes the rest of the way I don’t see how his ratios and K% don’t make him too 10.

    • BW says:
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      *top 10

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @BW: trade is possible and he is pitching a ton. So while he has the stellar stuff and numbers just worry it all catching up to him and the Pirates punting sp may hurt also

  10. The JoGarza says:
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    FYI Burdi is going to have TJ surgery.

    Also in DET, why Rondon over A.Wilson?

    Thanks!

    • dfrench23 says:
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      @The JoGarza: He mentioned in the story (at the end) that he thinks Wilson will be moved and be somebody’s Setup Man. He likes Rondon to close after he’s moved.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @The JoGarza: yea I saw the Burdi news after I wrote this. I think Alex Wilson if Detroit goes full punt could be dealt. Rondon seems like the rebuild closer of the hour.

  11. Hanklongball says:
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    Was offered Price for Giles… would you take it or hold out for more/offer less?

    Their SP is Strasburg, Grienke, Price, Cueto, Berrios, Nova, Leake.

    My current SP is Yu, Lester, Duffy, Peacock, Sanchez and J. Montgomery. Current RP is Giles, Rivero, Iglesias, Betances, Bradley.

    Also, I have a possible deal with another team to get Osuna for Justin Turner, so I can recoup some loss of RP from this deal

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Hanklongball: I’m not a Price fan and would rather have Giles and Turner as compared to Price and Osuna.

  12. Carter says:
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    I have a bit of a hard time with the Rivero ranking. He is the 29th ranked player in the entire MLB this season, and the 3rd rank closer. In the land of job insecurity, I would venture he has a pretty firm grip on his. He is throwing the ball nearly as hard as Chapman, and is sporting a sparkling .76era, .72 whip. The underlying metrics are not quite as kind, but a 2.3 fip is respectable and better than nearly everyone ahead of him, having him 6th overall. I think he should be in the top 10.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Carter: I explained it above in comments. Trade possibility and punting by Pieates may hsppen

  13. Greg says:
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    Would you drop Dyson for Kahnle before it is too late?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Greg: id want saves now

  14. luvdarooks says:
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    WHO Would be better to trade for in an NL ONLY dynasty League ?
    Calhoun(LAD) Renfroe and I Happ (chi)
    or
    Acuna H Greene J Gray

    I want to win in ’18 so the first I think would be obvious
    HOWEVER
    for the year ’19 and beyond would the first choice still be the one to get or the second?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @luvdarooks: 18 a. For longer term b.

  15. Jump on it! says:
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    Who do you think will have more Saves/Holds in the second half: Neshek or Hand?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Jump on it!: both should be on contenders I’ll say neshek gets one more then Hand.

  16. Apox says:
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    Isn’t zack burdi down with Timmy John?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Apox: yup. Wrote before it was confirmed.

  17. Braden D Christensen says:
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    Who takes over in Washington? Doolittle or Madson?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Braden D Christensen: Madson I think has more experience and that’s what they are looking for. I think this trade takes them out of A big name closer also. And Glover will be back eventually

  18. lwomack58 says:
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    Rosey or Madson?

  19. Brett says:
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    Still confident Robertson gets dealt? Looking for saves in a league with category for holds and one for saves. Vizcaino or kahnle

  20. Matthew Macdonald says:
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    Does Andrew Miller at 10 suggest he gets the bulk of the saves ROS over Allen? He is available because my league is saves driven. He has awesome stats but not many saves

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