Yesterday, Kyle Hendricks went 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, lowering his ERA (if that’s even possible at this point) to 2.09. The Seattle museum, Experience Music Project is going to need to update their Hendricks section. EMP Tour guide, “In 1970, Hendricks said, ‘I’m going to take my guitar, grab Janis, impregnate Afeni Shakur, have my lawyer write a letter that says Ben and/or Jerry can never name an ice cream after me while simultaneously sucking and blowing this joint. Then thirty-six years later, I’m going to win the NL Cy Young if the BBWAA votes based on ERA.’ Now, let’s move on to our five floors of Nirvana memorabilia. There’s some interesting flannel stories I can’t wait to share.” No, of course, Kyle Hendricks isn’t this good. His fastball velocity is down to 87 MPH, he’s relying heavily on a changeup that isn’t that much slower and his BABIP is absurdly low. Not saying you drop him, but if Hendricks does win the Cy Young, in 2017, the same faith that befell Dallas Keuchel this year will happen to Hendricks too. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Mookie Betts was 5-for-5 and drove in two runs Friday night. It was the first five-hit game of his career and the number of pets in New England being named Mookie is climbing quicker than his batting average. Let me gush about Betts for a minute, even though it might be tough because I know Xander is reading. (Do not worry, you are still my number 1, Awesome-X.) Mookie is slashing .320/.360/.557 with 28 homers, 93 RBI, 21 steals, and 99 runs scored. He is the only reason I am winning anything fantasy baseball this year and he is an early favorite for AL MVP. I tell all my real life friends, who are definitely all real life humans and not people I just made up for the purposes of the post, that Mookie Betts is my spirit animal. However, I was recently told I can’t say this because I’m not Native American and if you ain’t Native you can’t have spirit animals. That’s their thing. Quit trying to take their thing. Well, I just did San Pedro cactus and tripped out in the desert last weekend, does that mean I’m a real native now or nah? At the very least I’d hold it makes me much more spiritual. In the past two weeks, Betts is hitting .387 with 12 runs scored, 5 homers, 18 RBI and 3 steals. If those numbers don’t bring you existential enlightenment, I’m not sure a psychedelic cactus or a sweat lodge will either. He’s hitting close to .400 in August as he attempts to carry the Sawx to the promised land aka the postseason. In addition, since moving from lead off to clean up over the past week and a half he’s only gotten better, slashing .400/.455/.550 with two jacks and 8 RBI. I love Mookie Betts more than I could ever love a human baby. I think I am feeling more spiritual already.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:
Want to take on Razzball writers and contributors in the great game of Fantasy Football? For Prizes? OH MY GOD YES. Where do you sign up? Great question! (Even though you didn’t technically ask. I mean, you might have, but I couldn’t hear you…) You can join here!Please, blog, may I have some more?
If history teaches us anything about fantasy baseball, it’s that the proof is in the pudding. If history actually teaches us anything, it’s that Brad Pitt killed Hektor. See what I did there, I pulled the ole okie doke. It’s a favorable trick passed down through the years of dudes who vape and like to talk about how a dime won’t even buy a nickle anymore. Those first few sentences are brought to you by filth and non-sense, because life isn’t fitting if there isn’t filthy or nonsensical. So onto Holds, which about six actual readers, and one of the female variety still get all excited about. The title says it all this week for the lede, Hector Neris has been carried in most formats all year because he brings some fantasy goodness to the table. As a handcuff, there’s no way he can do it for the whole year, even with Jeanmar, or the fact that he has sexy enough reliever numbers, 11-plus K-rate, under 3 ERA. I could go on and on and bore the crap out of you, but let’s just put it this way: he has 27 Holds behind a closer that has 34 saves for a surprise bullpen asset in the Phillies. So in the last two weeks with the Phil’s getting there fair share of victories he has been an augmenter to your hold total notching a league high 5 holds. He is a key cog down the stretch for not only the Phils , but for your fantasy team regardless of format. So go take a look, just in case the late year shuffle has thrown him by the wayside. After you do that follow the bottom for some Holds, set-up and other relief goodies…Please, blog, may I have some more?
In my preseason Randal Grichuk sleeper post (hey, they’re not all Delino DeShields sleepers, which is to say God awful vs. just merely bad), I said, “How much Grichuk can Grichuk chuck if Grichuk strikes out 30% of the time? Now, I’m no gypsy; I’m just a boy, standing in front of a girl that was born in a manger in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Let’s look at some comp hitters, shall we? Not to answer, but to keep reading. Last year, Grichuk struck out 31% of the time after striking out 23% of the time in Triple-A. His minor league strike out rate makes me think he’ll be closer to a 27-28% strikeout guy. Brandon Moss is also around a 27-28% strikeout guy, which Grichuk should be. Grichuk won’t walk as much as Moss, but, okay, they’re close enough for me. Grichuk is a young Moss. I shall call him Pete Moss.” And that’s me quoting me! Maybe old fools die hard with a vengeance while Samuel Jackson screams at them, but Grichuk was just some bad luck with his BABIP away from being exactly what I thought he’d be. His strikeout rate is 27.8% (vs. Moss’ 30%), and he’s only 25 years old. I’m still jazzed on Grichuk like Coltrane with a needle in my vein. Of course, none of this matters if he didn’t hit a bunch of homers this week, and was available in about 75% of leagues. Plant Pete Moss on your team and watch the growth! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Dodgers were one of the hottest clubs offensively coming into this game, so, what happened? Baseball happened, and Matt Moore throws a gem — 8 2/3 IP, 1 Hit, 3 Walks, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.95. There’s no sport like this anywhere in the world. Though, my 89-year-old Italian grandfather says the bounce on the bocce ball court can be tricky. By the way, I recounted the other day on the podcast how he drove back from Florida, non-stop, in flip-flops. So, yesterday, he went to the doctor because his foot was bothering him and the Pakistani doctor said it was due to the flip-flops. He said, “Get out of here! Your people wear nothing but sandals!” So, great start by Matt Moore, no dur, but he threw the most pitches in a game this season at 133 pitches. Why do you think? Because he can’t throw strikes. Dodgers just happened to feel like swinging at balls. That’s what I hope she didn’t say! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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!Please, blog, may I have some more?
After swinging a deal for Aaron Hill on Wednesday, the Red Sox have beefed up their bullpen trading for Brad Ziegler. Ziegler was rocking a 2.82 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 18 saves with Arizona but he will likely be relegated to set up duty in Bean town. This is not to say his value is completely shot…yet. With Craig Kimbrel crying about his sore knee, Boston may be in need of an interim closer. Koji Uehara is the obvious first choice but his 4.96 ERA and 8 homers allowed in 32.2 IP make it seem like the choice ain’t so obvious. Still Koji’s 46/9 K/BB ratio makes me happy, and he notched the save Friday night (after surrendering a home run), so he’s the best bet for saves if Kimbrel misses any time. As for your new closer in the land of the rising sun? Tyler Clippard is the most likely candidate if you need saves or a buzz cut. He’s got a 3.06 ERA with 39 strikeouts over 32.1 IP, and saved 19 games for the Mets and A’s last year, but his career 57% save conversion rate certainly doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence. Daniel Hudson is the ideal saves candidate in Zona but has struggled mightily over the past month (12.96 ERA, 2.40 WHIP in 8.1 innings). Regardless, if you need a save and a haircut, I’d grab Clippard and Hudson in that order. And if you’re a Boston Red Sox team that desperately needs starting pitching, I’d recommend trading for a infielder and a relief pitcher.
Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Whatever your cultivation of choice may be, go with it. Oscar Gamble was, and is still a pimp in social culture, as is California sensemilia. So whatever your subset of life is, that’s cool with me. My obsession is a little of column A, a lot of column B, and I incorporate column C. Column C being my love and passion for the deliverance of the most finite bullpen jargon on the web. Go look, there isn’t anything better than me. I checked, if I added a pretty colorful chart with catchy funny names, then I would literally have to kick my own ass. So here we sit, and look at what the Rangers are doing. They have been doing, in the last 30 days what the Cubs did over the first 30. They are, in no large part, being buoyed by a stout bullpen. Their starters are all hitting the DL and fast. The trio of Matt Bush, Jake Diekman, and Sam Dyson are about as tight as a bullpen can get, and the best group I have seen since the Isley Brothers concert Prospector Ralph and I went to see. I have talked about Dyson and Diekman on separate occasions this year. So no, it’s the one without voting privileges turn. Bush has basically been a la machina since promotion on May 12th. He has appeared in 13 games for the Rangers to date, and his usage has only recently spiked having pitched in 13 of the last 22 overall for the Rangers. His 10-plus K-rate over that time is coupled with an ERA under a buck and his xFIP is basically what David Phelps is giving you. Who, in most hold leagues right now, is pretty much a must own and isn’t a guy you yawn at in mixed company leagues either. Bush is a feel good story that I think can continue as long as the Rangers can duct tape their starting rotation together long enough to maintain their AL West dominance. He should be rostered in most leagues going forward for his usage potential as the remaining Rangers starters, minus Cole Hamels, average less than 6 innings per start. So head for the mountains and roster some Bush. Stick with me for some other diatribes of greatness…Please, blog, may I have some more?
What if I told you that the top-four teams last year in Holds didn’t make the playoffs? I know the obvious answer would be: it’s a made-up stat that does nothing but clog a fantasy roster with fodder and otherwise un-rosterable relievers. Well, if you said that out loud, then I am mad at you and you can not come to the Razzball Winter Dance Carnival. No, but seriously, I get offended when people make such determinations. Listen, you are either in a league that uses Holds or you aren’t. Not all of these guys is basically like having a second doorstop (when one doorstop will do). Many of these guys are usable in most formats as ratio gaps in K/9, looking for cheap wins or for a slow day of waiver wire madness. My theory on any league is to roster any two relievers that are non-closers at all times. At worst, they decimate your rates for one day. At best they give you an inning or two and give you great rates and a few K’s. Now, for Holds leagues, I am a hoarder. I live by this simple motto. Two pairs and a wild, just like five-card poker. It stands for two closers, two stud holds guys, and a streamer. In moves leagues, it’s a little more difficult to do, but in non-move limited league, it’s a fun way to just basically win your Holds category by August, save yourself the innings/starts and then stream the holy hell out of the last seven weeks. So since you have searched around the web and found zero other info on the topic (yeah, I looked, so take that), here are the holds tiers and sleepers for the 2016 year.
“A Hold is credited any time a relief pitcher enters a game in a Save Situation, records at least one out, and leaves the game never having relinquished the lead. Note: a pitcher cannot finish the game and receive credit for a Hold, nor can he earn a hold and a save.” ~ The edited out part of the Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln.Please, blog, may I have some more?