With the season winding down and most H2H leagues in full-on go mode, this week’s holds post will be the last one of the year.  I know, so sad, right?  It has been a 25-week journey into the pits and pendulums that are fantasy bullpens.  But with the conclusion, it is always good to look ahead to next year for everyone in keeper, dynasty or just anyone looking to get a jump on next year now.  I mean, I never stop really doing bullpen research all year, I drink one can of beer at a time and then look to the bottom of the can to see if the answer or answers are printed on the bottom.  Alas, I haven’t found one yet, but that won’t stop me from trying again and again in my ever search for bullpen enlightenment. Things to look for late in the year for future bullpen potential; high leverage usage, a great success with stranded runners and a great situational involvement in that teams bullpen moving forward. Just a P.S., those are the things I give you with every bullpen piece in my helpful chart. Yes that last one is tough because we never know who will be traded and add or subtract value from another, but great bullpen arms on one team with potential for holds, saves and just overall decent fantasy return are very rarely ever traded and don’t return to same spot with new team.  So put your feet up, I have 10 more beers left before this post is done…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As we always do about this time!  *beat drops, Grey does the worm, Grey’s iPhone alarm goes off, time to put more money in the meter*  Damn, how long was I worming for?  September 1st hits and teams expand their rosters to the Four-Oh.  Now pour some extra bullpen guys out for all the dead moments between pitcher changes.  So, what does this mean for all of us, fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!)?  It means call-ups and rookie nookie is aplenty.  Aplenty, I tell ya!  By the by, for big boned people, rather than an X-Large t-shirt, they should call them aplen-Tees.  Yeah, I just made the English language better.  High-five yourself for even knowing to read me.  *Grey worms, alarm goes off*  Damn, I need to get more coins.  At this point in the year, you need guys that are getting everyday playing time, so I’m pumped up the jam on rookie nookie, but if a guy isn’t playing every day, he’s as good as dirt in redraft leagues, and I don’t have a Soil category, do you?  It’s a most exciting time to be alive and be fantasy balling, but don’t lose sight of the real goal here:  to get quality at-bats from guys that are playing, not to pick up a guy that will be great in 2017.  (Unless you’re in a keeper league; then, by all means, knock yourself out!  Not literally!  Ouch.)  Which bring us to Yoan Mocada.  Red Sox manager, John Farrell, says Moncada’s promotion is eminent.  They have a bobblehead giveaway planned, a kid’s jersey giveaway, a ‘Yoan yawn coverer’ which is really just a foam hand, a–*intern whispers in my ear*  Seems I was misusing ‘promotion.’  I already gave you my Yoan Moncada fantasy.  He’ll be up on Friday.  He should be owned everywhere and will play 3rd base.  No Gas Face there.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There are 15 games on today’s slate. That means there are 30 starting pitchers to choose from. Well… Don’t have a cow, Man! Just pick Big Bart. Bartolo Colon has a 2.25 ERA in four starts this month, with a 15:4 strikeout to walk ratio. Tonight, the Phillies are in town and have not done well vs Colon this season. In three games, the Phillies only had a .206 BA and a .588 OPS, with a 15:3 strikeout to walk ratio. In 267 career inning pitching in Citi Field, opposing hitters have only managed a .715 OPS off Colon. Right handed pitchers should be happy when they get to face the Phillies, who have a 21.8% strikeout rate and a 84 wRC+. Ay Caramba, that’s bad! The Phillies will be eating Big Bart’s shorts by the end of this game. And with that, here are the rest of my Friday DFS picks…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday August 29th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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This weekend, I went to an Ikea for the first time. First of all – you are herded through the store on a specific path like you’re being herded alongside other furniture-buying sheep.

Bahhhhhh! That bottom left frame of Buster is about how I handle crowds like that…

Anywho, at the end when you pick your furniture to buy, it’s in this giant warehouse that makes the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark look like it’s in a studio apartment’s tiny closet. Ish is huge! And that giant warehouse is exactly how I used to look at starting pitching in my 10 and 12-team waiver wires through any given MLB season. Limitless streaming opportunities – sure some with more risk than others – but pretty much a starter widely available every night that I could feel decent enough with rolling out. Alas, it’s no more, with hitting making a comeback this season. Balls are juiced! And in that vein, I’ve been overlooking a lot of the “been there, done that” pitchers that have broken through, none worse than being slow to warm up to Danny Duffy. We’ve seen him have power stuff, but not hold up as a starter, getting meh K numbers in the process. This will anger people – but I saw him as a lefty Nathan Eovaldi coming into this year. Ouch! In more ways than one! But Duffy has been absolutely crazypants this season, vaulting all the way into my top-15 last week. And through this amazing run, he hasn’t even been blessed with a Pitcher Profile! This changes now! Here’s how Duffy looked yesterday afternoon against the Twinkies:

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The Astros offense had some fun with the Orioles pitching staff Friday and Saturday night, collecting a total of 32 hits and scoring 27 runs. Solar plexus! Now those are some rockets that would make NASA proud. George Springer lead the way going 7-for-9, with 2 home runs (24), 6 runs and 4 RBI. Jose Altuve was 5-for-10 with a home run (20),  Evan Gattis was 5-for-9 with a homer (19) and a stolen base, and rookie Teoscar Hernandez was 3-for-6 with 4 runs, a homer (2) and 3 RBI. Well, I guess I know one team that prefers the sticky swampiness of the Baltimore humidity in the air. Even with all Houston’s stars doing their part it was the rookie phenom, Alex Bregman, who really impressed me, going 6-for-11, with four runs, his third home run and five RBI. Oh, hello there. What did you say your name was again? Alex slashed .306/.406/.580 with 20 homers and 7 steals in 80 games at AAA, but struggled to start his MLB career a miserable 2-for-38. But the top-prospect has come on strong of late batting .317 with 3 homers, 13 runs, and 10 RBI over the past two weeks. He extended his hitting streak to five games Saturday night, and has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 contests. The best part? While all your real life non-internet friends are off drafting their fantasy football teams, Alex Bregman sits on the waiver wire available in over 70% of leagues. I don’t want to brag, man, but it sounds like most of you gave up on Bregman too soon and he’s just now getting going. Grey told you to BUY this week and I’d grab Bregman everywhere he’s available for some sweet Houston upside in an even sweeter Houston line up. Don’t make me Breg, man! This kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!

Here’s what else I saw Friday and Saturday in fantasy baseball:Sv

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Chad Green was out there painting corners like he was on work release and someone decided the yellow curb needed to be yellower!  Green ball in the corner pocket is what he felt!  Green was dealing like a sad-looking, poker dealer at a poker room that is badly lit, which is known for having great dealers!  Green for the money, gold for the honeys!  Yesterday, Green was the envy of the league, though not a shizzton happened, admittedly.  He threw 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 11 Ks vs. the Jays.  Because his name is Green!  Nah, that’s prolly not the reason, but it’s an interesting thought.  Green has worked well in the minors (1.52 ERA in Triple-A), and gets strikeouts (9.5 K/9) with his mid-90s MPH fastball, and cutter.  At this point, I’d still rely on the Stream-o-Nator with him for shallower mixed leagues, but I could see a flyer on him in keeper leagues for a chance there’s something here moving into 2017.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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I mean, is there any other photo that more represents the name Phelps this summer? Wait. (Checks the photo again). Hang on.

There we go! Haha, sorry about that. Who’s that other dude? HE’S NO DAVID PHELPS! I tell ya that much…

Now, in all seriousness, David is no Michael, but in Week 20 he has the potential of bringing your fantasy baseball some significant value. And we’re not talking GOLD-TONED value, for all you Razzball Podcasters (thanks for that one, @Grey). While only starting two games this year, Phelps is producing a career year. By far. With a K/9 over 11 the Marlins have used him in multiple situations leaving to his 5 W and 3 SV. He’s been valuable in his role, but moving into the rotation for this week could bring great things. The Marlins are in the playoff hunt and need some fresh breath to get some elusive wins of late. Enter Phelps. And enter the Reds and Pirates lineups.

Phelps LOB% (Left on-base %) is a large reason his stats look so great (88.5%), but all the peripherals match up to his impressive surface stats of ERA (2.40) and strikeouts (11.03 K/9). It will be interesting to see how he translates his success through a lineup a second and then, hopefully, a third time, and he’ll need to do better than his history as a starter, but I have every reason to believe he can. The Reds are a porous team with a few traditional bright spots in the lineup, and the Pirates offense has tried its best to suck enough to rival the Braves in season-long numbers. Phelps is on the road for both, but has a good defense behind him and features a great shot at scoring some W.

Lastly, unlike many of the pitchers highlighted in this series, David Phelps is ACTUALLY AVAILABLE FOR PICKUP! He’s only owned in 10.2% of leagues. He won’t go past 6 or 7 innings, but it’ll be enough to bring great value.

Here’s how the rest of Week 20 stacks up!

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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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Yesterday, Carlos Gomez was designated for assignment.  Outfielders in the tier of guys in the preseason I told you not to draft:  Pence, Kemp, Gomez, Schwarber, Hanley, Corey Dickerson, Ellsbury, Brantley, Adam Jones and Carlos Gonzalez.  I’ll take a 7-for-10.  You believed still in the preseason about Carlos Gomez, didn’t you?  *touches finger to nose but not for a sobriety test*  I’m more surprised by the people shocked by Gomez’s fall from grace.  *makes crazy, rolly finger motion by ear*  Anyone who saw him in his prime knew he was gonna find a steep cliff.  Even when he broke out, the underlying stats told you something had to change or he wasn’t going to have continued success.  *sticks finger in nose, smiles*  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?