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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It’s the last post before the all-star break and nothing seems more fitting than a Neal Diamond reference.  If you don’t like or appreciate Neal, then we have problems and I challenge you to a duel or whatever the young kids are doing now a days to show dominance.  (Because I know it’s not anything like what transpired in West Side Story.)  Moving on swiftly to the pressing closer news as I get lost in my ole timey spirit…  So the Cardinals have moved away from the Oh and more to the Rosenthal.  Trevor Rosenthal has sorta looked like he did three years ago, which seems like forever ago but really isn’t.  The bad thing is that he and the rest of the save chasers that are in the Cardinals bullpen are pitching blah-squared.  The best pitcher over the last 20 games is Matt Bowman… again.  I said that same statement about a month into the season when Oh originally looked about as shaky as an 11-year-old with his first attempt at using a blow torch.  Over the past 30 games the saves have gone Oh for 3, Rosenthal 1, Bowman 1 and Tyler Lyons with 1 (was a multiple innings save).  Over the past 30 games for a usual dominant bullpen fixture, in terms of fantasy, to post 5 saves (I am not counting Lyons effort) is more condemning than the way they are pitching.  If you are a Seung-Hwan Oh owner, you kinda have to hold the ship until it becomes more of an official thing.  If Rosey is on your wire (55% owned in ESPN leagues) then nab him up.  If you want to roster a RP with appeal, then Bowman is your guy (1.8% owned).  As I can see it, Oh is still the guy but with some daylight for others.  Just be leery that the past 30 days of track record for savedom have not been all that rosey for the Cards.  Don’t frown, we got more goodies and sunshine after the bump.  Cheers!

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So, this legit blew my mind.  As you know, I’m busy getting my top 100 for the 2nd half ready for next week, and I was looking at our Player Rater.  So, Domingo Santana?  He’s top 50 on the season!  No, not for outfielders.  For all players!  Seriously!  For all hitters and pitchers.  Digest that for a second.  What are you swallowing?  I was speaking metaphorically.  What does this mean?  Invest in players with home games in domestic swill parks.  Rename PNC Park to Iron City Park and I want me some Jordy Mercer!  Busch Stadium is the exception that proves the rule, whatever that means.  This also means fantasy value is about filling out five categories.  All your Miggys and Edwins are purdy, but you get a guy that hits 15 homers and steals bases, and you’re getting value.  Yesterday, Domingo went 4-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBIs with his 9th steal, as he hits .288 with 14 homers on the year.  That’s how you get fantasy value.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The worst news in terms of closers, especially in a situation like Philadelphia, is the word: committee.  I mean, it is kind of like getting free tickets to see the Village People, hell yes they are the Village People.  But do you wanna be known for knowing more than two of their songs?  Nope, not me.  So look at this way, Pat Neshek got the save the other day after Gomez and Mortecia Neris had their turns at the gig.  Now this isn’t a Pat on the back (pun intended for Neshek), because it is still a full blooded committee for a team that ranks in the bottom six in all of MLB in saves, save opportunities, and relief appearances with them having the lead.  Add all that up and it goes back to what I was spitting a few months ago, are saves really worth the rigmarole of dumpster diving for futility?  The problem with that whole “rostering multiple guys for a chance at a save” is all well and good if you are able to roster both or even three guys… and that is the dumbest thing I have ever typed out.  Who in here has a Philly reliever let alone three?  Show of hands?  Yeah, you shouldn’t.  So Neshek is worth a grab while they showcase him for trade value, and Neris is a hold because who knows when a last place team tries to keep it real? Let’s hop on the good foot and see what’s going down with the late-gamers…

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We all exploit it, and with good reason.  The elusive RP/SP eligibility is a sassy beast.  She entices you with peripherals and gaudy cheeses, and let’s you fill up starter spots with relievers and vice versa.  I mean, if cheese and dual-eligibility don’t draw you in, I don’t know what else to say.  As we are basically 45 games into the season for most teams, it is time to reassess the eligibility of some players.  Lots of eligibility has been added to a lot of pitchers, and that is a benefit to your fantasy roster.  Guys like J.C. Ramirez, Matt Andriese, and Jose Urena all have SP next to their names and on the reflexive, the names of Brad Peacock, Archie Bradley, and Jorge de La Rosa have been on some rosters at some points in the year. So do yourself a favor and scour the waivers in your leagues and recheck the eligibility of some of the players that have some use in some leagues.  It is a coveted thing in the preseason, so why not now? Get comfy, it is the closer report for this week!  Lot’s of tibits or bittids for you folks battling dyslexia.

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Well, the demise of the active leader in career saves has happened. I can remember the days when he burst on the scene all wide-eyed and rally monkey backed.   That, unfortunately, was a dogs age in closer years.  Hell, most closers now a days are judged by weeks instead of years.  I personally don’t wanna think that he is completely done closing, but I think that he is done closing with the tigers (barring an injury or three).  So now it is the Justin Wilson show.  He is no stranger to high-leverage spots as he has been a critical holds guy for the past three years.  For comparison’s sake, think Tony Watson type of reliever… they even came up together with the Pirates to boot.  So the main question is will Wilson continue as such as the Tigers closer?  I say why not.  Joe Jimenez isn’t ready for prime time yet, or they don’t wanna throw the reigns on him yet.  The team has looked mediocre, and sorta old.  So alleviating Wilson to the closer role does two things: Makes their best reliever in the bullpen the closer, and it gives him even more trade value should the Tigers fall out of the race and eventually sell of some pieces.  Saves are ownable everywhere, and this doesn’t appear to be a committee type thing, so if you own him good on ya.  Let’s see what else is going down on Save Street lately…

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Greetings! Ahhh, memories, this title brings me back to my childhood where I grew up in Bishop Eddie Lamont’s house for boys, raised and praised as his adopted son. It was only later I discovered I was the heir to House Beddict, when I reconnected with my birth parents. Met my father in rehab, actually. Funny story. I learned we both share a weakness for mule-ass’d women and peyote. A tale for another time, my goodmen. A tale for another time…

What I’m really here for, as I pound away on my keyboard in what seems to be the most barbarian rain/lightening/thunderstorm I’ve ever experienced, is to give praises of the highest order to Philadelphia’s most promising young male since Will Smith. Philly management, the parents if you will, just don’t understand, and they thought it was a good idea to move him to the bench, where he wouldn’t cause any trouble, and the great Howard Kendrick would take his place. We know how Will Smith’s story concluded, as he made it big in L.A. after grinding at the Peacock for years, taking down countless honeys, and delivering more one-liners than Stephen Dorff in a Las Vegas nightclub bathroom.

Altherr has seemingly responded much in the same fashion, as he has continuously made rice cakes out of baseballs, mushing three balls out of the ballpark and swiping a couple bags to boot. Trying to find answers for as to why a rebuilding team wouldn’t give the starting job to one of their young, exciting players reaches far beyond the reaches of my intellect. They’d rather sign a soon to be 34-year-old, former second baseman, who hit .255 with EIGHT homers last season to help carry them to the a surprise title? I’m seriously confused… and offended… angry even. Altherr’s BABIP sits at a mind-humping .417, which obviously will most definitely not continue, BUT I still expect Altherr to have a very productive season, where 15-15 is well within reach. Say one thing for Aaron Altherr, say he’s earned my respect. He’s also earned my trust but if I said that, then, well then it would be two things.

Here’s what else is weighing heavily on my mind… Take Heed!

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Corey Kluber left yesterday’s game with lower back discomfort, before giving up five earned in three innings to the Tigers.  In every game, the Tigers look like John Jaso, just dreadful.  I mean, you ain’t got no alibi.  U-G-L-Y.  Then Kluber makes them look like The Ghost of Charley Lau is gliding each bat from beyond the grave.  “Don’t worry, Alex Avila, I will help you hit .400 and don’t forget to buy your mother a gift for Mother’s Day.”  “Hey, Ghost of Charley Lau, you help with the hitting and let my iCal do the rest!”  That’s so ungrateful, Alex Avila!  Looking at Kluber’s peripherals, there’s some cause for concern, but cause for optimism too, assuming his back will be fine (maybe a large assumption).  His velocity is down a hair, but his Ks, walks, and xFIP are not saying he should be pummeled like a gymnast’s horse.  His Aprils have been terrible for the last two years (yes, I know we’re in May), so I’m hoping Kluber comes out of it.  At worst, he’s a 3.70 ERA guy with 200+ Ks.  At best, it all still comes together. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Anthony Rendon went 6-for-6, 5 runs, 10 RBIs and his first three homers of the year.  *gulps*  Sonavabench!  That is worst sonavabench I’ve had in my life and I thought my worst sonavabench was when I benched Conforto on Saturday for his double slam and legs.  Five homers on my bench in two days.  I feel a little uneasy from this sonavbenching.  Is woozy a side effect of sonavabench?  I feel legit woozy.  I need to sit down.  *vomits*  I feel worse.  “Hello, I need a paramedic.  The problem?  I BENCHED RENDON FOR THE TOP OFFENSIVE GAME OF THE SEASON!  Yes, I have insurance.  No, it’s not an HMO.”  *turns on oven, sticks head in oven, reads The Bell Jar lit by the pilot light*  This book is so boring, at what point does Plath mention Rendon and bite the big one?  So, yeah, I’m an idiot for benching Rendon, but what can do, as my Polish neighbor used to say.  On the bright side, he appears out of his early season slump.  That’s a consolation prize like coming in second on The Bachelor and all you get is herpes.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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It was right in front of our faces and we ignored it.  No one said the obvious.  The elephant in the room.  We all should have known that we were getting fooled by the A’s because we trusted a Melvin.  A Melvin!  After years of hoodwinking by Upton, we now get the reflexive of this, and are getting bobbed.  Predictably, the A’s manager has made a real hash of the bullpen situation already, and we only sit four games into the season.  I get his mentality in some states, because you want your best pitcher pitching to the best players in the opposing lineups and yadda, yadda, yadda.  But this is fantasy baseball sir.  We don’t have the time or social skills warranted to be able to deal with this type stuff.  So for those of you living on a house boat with no wifi, the A’s bullpen usage is a flummoxed up mess with no one to trust.  It’s like November 23rd, 1963 in Dallas, Texas type of questioning everything.  Madson was the presumed closer and he has been treated as the go to guy for getting the tough outs.  Twice against the middle of the order which included a Trout named outfielder.  Then the first day went to Santiago Casilla, then the next day to Ryan Dull.  But the things that boggles the mind is set orders here.  I get that it is early and mixing and matching is cool like millennials do with socks now, but we need some kind of pecking order for rostering-type priorities.  I can’t deal with this madness, I am going to alphabetize my canned goods.  In the mean time, check out the closer menu, now with a deal on salads.

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