I think we need to sit down and have a talk about Cody Allen.  He does his chores by striking people out on the regular, but other than that, what exactly is he doing to make us feel all cuddly as a RP-2?  I will tell you, because that’s sorta my job here at Le Razzball.  That, and I think I am the designated golf cart driver at the bi-millennial golf outing.  So I have basically looked at every facet of Allen’s year to date and even compared them to last year’s goodness that he dropped on us.  The velocity is still there, and has risen slightly over the last week, but has just one counting stat in the last 18 days.  That, my friends, is not very good at all for someone you drafted expecting a good 30 plus saves from.

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As has been the theme since day one of this series, I’ve been stressing the fact that you shouldn’t panic. The fantasy season is still very young, (very fragile, like your mom, sure), but anything can happen in any amount of short time anywhere. SO META. For example, does anyone think they’d notice Evan Gattis going 12-for-73 in the month of June? Probably not, as the first month of the season shines an unfair spotlight on a player’s production (or lack thereof). Also, Evan Gattis isn’t really that good, which probably would have an affect on someone not noticing as well. While the majority of players (that aren’t suffering from an obvious injury or velocity loss specifically with pitchers) it’s been fairly easy for me to say, “It’s April”… well, that actually doesn’t ring true any more. Nope. Instead, I’ll just simply say “It’s May.” Now, if there are some players in a few more weeks that are wildly off their career norms, then we can talk. But until then, have patience, but here something you can do… and that’s start assessing your needs, wants, dreams and start gauging the market for those things you seek out. Excuse me while I go search the free agent wire for a date… Anyhow, follow me after the jump to take a look back at what was week four AND a look forward on all things Razzball, including some player suggestions for next week, straight from Razzball’s Streamonator, Hitter-Tron, and DFSBot!

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True story: in a 15-team league last year, I toyed with dropping Corey Kluber in April. He was being dropped in multiple leagues, most shallower than mine. If you think I’m crazy as a loon wearing a “I’m crazier than a loon” t-shirt, you have selective memory about him from last year. I decided to stick it out with Kluber and he ended up winning the Cy Young last year. This true story, of course, makes me sound even more moronic than usual. It also highlights a point, Kluber likes the cold weather about as much as a chapped nipple. Or maybe he just takes some time to get going. Either way, his Aprils have been forgettable for the last two years. This year, his April is actually better than last year’s by any measure that means anything. His K-rate is up, ground balls are up (not literally), fly balls are down (literally), xFIP is way down, walks are down and his K/BB is up. You have to do some serious digging to find something that is negative for him this past month other than his ERA. His velocity is down a hair (0.5 MPH on his fastball) and his line drive rate is up (people are making better contact). Everything else is nails, and not as in Lenny “Nails” Dykstra just invested me in this mutual fund and I lost my retirement savings. There’s some worry to some that Kluber threw too many innings last year. That’s not a worry. He’s 29 years old; a jump in IP from one year to the next is for pitchers 25 years and younger. Also, plenty of great analysis here and elsewhere has shown that jump in innings isn’t the end all/be all, even if it applied, which it does not. As the weather warms up, his sensitive nips will be less dry and he’ll likely have months of a sub-2 ERA. If you can buy him now, do it. Quickly! Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Step right up folks, only $5 waiver wire bucks gets you the admission of a lifetime!  It brings you wonderment beyond compare, unfulfilled roster spots with the snap of a finger, and most of all, it gives you zero return on your initial investment sometimes.  Yes, that’s right gents (and gals too!), it’s the ever growing laundry pile that sits in the corner, but without the physical stench its the bullpen keystone capers.  Key the music!  The Blue Jays started the year thinking the man with the poor eye sight would be nice a cozy in the head bullpen chair.  Unbeknownst to them, he sucked and failed at his job and was demoted to a set-up role.  Fast forward two and half whole weeks, and he is somehow back to being the man again.  Did he develop a new pitch, started throwing with his feet? Nope, he is still the same ole Brett Cecil.  He isn’t throwing any harder and didn’t change his wind-up.  He is just the next man up after Miguel Castro went all bay of pigs, making us all buy into him, and then poof went the dynamite.  I personally didn’t think it would be a forever type scenario, and as far as I’m concerned, Cecil isn’t the man either as he sits right now.  That just opens the door for possiblities… a trade (Papelbon perhaps), a free agent signee off the street (Rafael Soriano), or eventually going back to Castro or letting Roberto Osuna get a shot at the title.  My answer is yes to all the above.  I think it takes another failure by Cecil for the contending Blue Jays to realize that they need to shore that thing up.  So in a month we could see a whole new bullpen there, and no, I am not kidding.  So now that the team beyond the wall is taken care of this week, let’s peruse what else is happening around the league in bullpen situations.

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Masahiro Tanaka hit the DL with a strained forearm. It’s not related to his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. So, here’s my question? Why not just play through the forearm strain too? That’s where he draws the line? It’s like, “I was fine sleeping with my wife’s sister, and having a baby with her that no one knows about, and plotting to kill my wife on a weekend jaunt to Mexico, but I will not jaywalk. Those people in New York are crazy!” You have nothing to lose, Tanaka, get in there and shank someone in the yard and Hacky Sack the ball to the plate! The Yankees haven’t announced how long Tanaka will be out, but maybe they’ll try to sneak in Tommy John surgery while he’s sleeping. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Rajai Davis is, once again, a SAGNOF-ian legend.  Again, again, again, was exactly what he did on Saturday when the 34-year-old outfielder stole 3 bases.  This year he might just be the best fantasy player of all those playing only part time (the other player fighting for this honor, in my opinion, is Alex Guerrero).  He has 6 stolen bases despite starting in only 9 of 18 games through Saturday for the Tigers.  Digging up some career stats I see that he’s never needed much playing time to rack up the SBs.  Since he broke out with 41 stolen bases in 2009 he’s averaged 42 steals per season while at the same time averaging only 124.5 games played.  And many of those games weren’t starts.

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I’m a value oriented fantasy manager.  I’m not a believer in positional scarcity and I take that approach (aka meritocracy) to my draft by relying largely on projections.  When evaluating my slumping players I look at their projections and peripherals to see if the slump means anything.  When looking at the hot players in the player pool I take the same approach.  I am going to make recommendations to you based on these approaches.  For the next in line closers it means recommending players with good projections but also considering each players chance to close in the future.  For base stealers it means making sure the player won’t destroy your AVG or at least letting you know if he’s going to.

This week in SAGNOF (Saves Ain’t Got No Face) Recap: Early last week Adam Ottavino ascended into the closer role for Colorado and it looks at the very least to be semi-permanent.  He was previously my 7th best next in line closer to own.  Formerly my 2nd best next in line closer to own, Joakim Soria had ascended due to an injury to Joe Nathan, who should be back soon and will regain his closer role.  Jordan Walden notched a save last night but it appears Trevor Rosenthal was being given the night off.  Now onto this week’s recommendations…

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I got the chills! They’re multiplying. And I’m losing all control. Because the fantasy value Devon Travis is supplying–well, for lack of a better word, it’s electrifying. Oo oo oo! Oh yes, indeed. Friday night Travis was 2-for-5 with his third home run and two RBI. He’s leading off for a mighty Blue Jays line up, batting .375 and he’s currently on a six game hitting streak with ten hits, two homers, five runs and nine RBI in that span. You don’t have to be Danny Zuko to know how rockin’ and rollin’ that is. Dude is systematic, hydromatic, ultramatic! He’s hit in every game he’s played so far except one. Grey’s been telling you to BUY and get Randy for Travis for weeks now! Two weeks, to be exact! Well, now I’m telling you, so you know things are getting serial. If you need a middle infielder, set your heart on Devon Travis. Then sing, “cause to your heart you must be truuuue, nothing left, nothing left for you to do…but pick-up-Dev-on! Off-of-the-waivers-now! Ooo ooo ooo!” What do you mean, you don’t think you like Grease as much as me!? Everybody likes Grease! Travis is owned in just over half of ESPN leagues and that number will surely skyrocket over the weekend. Irregardless! With Jose Reyes sidelined and Devon stepping into the lead off spot, the rookie second baseman is sure to be a valuable fantasy asset going forward. Oh yes, indeed!

Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy baseball:

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It’s trendy to be trendy and follow your nose like Toucan Sam.  Unfortunately, there are no Fruit Loops here, only Holds.  Holds with a silver lining of saves that helps everyone.  For now though, it’s all about the holds.  It’s only a dozen games into the season and it’s never too early to turn a side eye to what’s going on with the key bullpen pieces around the league.  These guys are mostly for holds only leagues, but the elite of the elite are the rosterable guys that should be universally owned.   So, for those that are new to the Bullpen Report, it goes a little like this…  I focus on relievers that are pitching in high leverage situations, games with the lead, inherited runners and the inherited runners they allow to score.   Those more or less correlate to the stat we are chasing, and no it’s not that white dragon.  It’s the hold.  Team situations, team success, and the players ability in those situations all dictate that stat.  It’s no coincidence that teams with better teams usually have more save chances, it just happens.  So have a gander at some trendy type stats that have happened in the games so far.  Be aware that stats this early are misleading like a Polish GPS, so be aware and don’t go for the first car you see when your hitchhiking your way through the holds life.

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Why does it seem like there’s always more closer situations in flux in the first week than at any other time?  Well, whether that’s true or not, this year was no different.  Don’t even try to think about what that actually means.  Here’s your sumary: By Thursday there were already three new closers, then Sunday we had two old guys getting worked like speed bags at your local gym.

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