Hey, hey,  hey, talking relievers on Thursday.  What could be better? Well, maybe ice cream covered in Kate Upton.  Actually strike that and flip it.  That sounds better.  OR exactly the same.  Regardless, the top ‘pens are starting to take shape as we reach the 1/5 part of the season.  The who’s are the who’s and the what the eff’s are, well, what the eff’s.  The MLB average for bullpen ERA is 3.92.  Now, that isn’t exactly something that makes you have confidence in any teams collective bullpens.   That’s why you get to be selective… take who you want and disregard the rest.  It’s like the Chinese buffet down the street– not everything looks edible, and yeah, you will probably get sick from most of it, but there’s some value savings.  Always go with the soup, excellent starter, can’t go wrong with that option.  So, take a look at bullpen arms that are doing these three things: Save situations, games with the lead, and total batters faced (and the percentage of K’s from that).  You have those three things, you have a stout middle reliever.  Yeah, I hear ya dude in the corner with his hand raised, there are other stats that we should look at.  Everyone looks at them, every site pounds you on the simple stats.  Dig deeper, look past the first page of stats and do something different.  Sorry… I was yelling. I get mad when I am hungry.  Food for me, continue reading and comments for you.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ah, charts with actual stats are so much nicer to look at.   The first bullpen report of the year was like reading Playboy in braile, ’cause technically we shouldn’t need both hands, but we do.  The cream is rising to the proverbial top when you look at the chart below.  The familiar names are settling in, and if you drafted some of them, or they have been mentioned in the closenado of 2014 for save chances, they probably are owned, were owned  or some semblance there in between.   Middle relievers are like that old cartoon Pound Puppies, yeah they are cute and good ‘n all, but they are still living in the pound in acartoon.  No homes to go to, no freedom…  Sad, but as kids we were fooled.  Relievers are much the same, they never really have a home unless we give them one.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Cardinals are sick of Edward Mujica not playing way over his head like the rest of their entire team. “You see Joe Kelly? He sucks and he’s pitching well. You see Seacrest?” “You mean Siegrist?” “Yeah, him. He’s dynamite! Pitch better than you’ve ever pitched in your life or you’re out.” Mujica couldn’t find the intestinal fortitude (maybe he didn’t eat enough Thai food) and was replaced from the closing role for a few days. The Cards bullpen is solid behind him, which makes it difficult to pinpoint who exactly is his replacement. It could be John Axford, Trevor Rosenthal or Kevin Siegrist. I’d own any of them, but more because of how solid they’ve been. For saves, I’d rank them Rosenthal, Axford then Siegrist. Then there’s Mark Melancon. Like a guy who never flushes his toilet, the crap has caught up to him and the Pirates are now going ‘one day at a time’ for who their closer is, which I believe was Clint Hurdle’s nod to the late-great Bonnie Franklin. Bonnie, we miss you every day and we love your son, Nick, for the man you made him. I’d absolutely own Jason Grilli if I were chasing saves, but I wouldn’t drop Melancon either. Unless you don’t need saves and no one can catch you because you’re more bomb dot com and less bomb dot org. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In what will be a wild weekend across the Majors, there will be five Interleague matchups over the weekend, throwing a wrench into a lot of Pitcher v. Batter data.  Just imagine if this were last year and everyone was in Interleague at the same time minus two teams…  But with even divisions of 15 these days, Interleague happens every day with this weekend amping them up to five Interleague matchups taking over ten teams.  Cut to the hitters on the Padres at Yankees Stadium, “Hey, Venable, I can actually see the fences from home plate!”  I generally will avoid hitters against new pitchers that are throwing well, and will tend to like pitchers more against line-ups that have never seen them.

This Friday, another RAZZBALL EXCLUSIVE CAN YOU BEAT RUDY GAMBLE contest is back, opening up a few more spots to a 40 person contest, getting you one step closer to the $100,000 Sweet Spot for a shot at a $20,000 top prize.  It’s the usual game, $5.00 an entry, up to two per person, and you can only get in through our exclusive link.  Spots 2-10 double up, and people from last week who finished 1-11 are not invited.  I can’t believe I got 12th last week!  I was winning for a good while there with early pitchers going, but then Edwin Encarnacion went bonkers off the AAA Astros pitching.  But to quote the immortal Maury Ballstein, “what do we do when we fall off the horse?”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Holy hell was week 1 long… though it’s always good when your ace goes three times in the first week. Hopefully, everyone has remained calm and not added Alex Avila and Willie Bloomquist to anchor anything not named a boat. It’s way too early to get all ‘Jerry McGuire’ and say, “The fish are coming with me.” This fantasy is a relationship — not a one night stand! Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?