Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…Max Rieper, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Kansas City Royals!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?
Sneaky free K’s are all the rage for a streaming option when a starter just won’t do. The numbers they put up are more of a collection-basis rather than a hunt, play and punt. Relievers, not just closers, are the container that transports the glue. Can you imagine glue not coming in a container and just being had at the local sundry store by the handful? Messy proposition my friends. Non-closers are what every complete fantasy team need. They are like the egg in a good recipe – you can often substitute one reliever for another. That’s what makes them so handy… they don’t usually carry a huge draft day burden. They are basically free waiver-wire adds. For those in holds leagues, that doesn’t always ring true, and when I start getting into the preseason hold rankings, some of the names will be similar. That’s because the names you want just don’t give you holds, they give you multiple stats. They are the five-tool performers in the industry of relief pitchers. So here is a little preseason primer for guys who don’t really adorn too much draft day attention, but should be snagged in situations that require their services when you are short on K potential and maximizing the K/9 of your fantasy roster…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe the worst thing to happen on the trade deadline was something that didn’t happen. Carter Capps to the Yankees would have been stupendous. I wanted to see the media and baseball people lose their mind over Capps’ delivery and I think that’s exactly what would have happened had he ended up there. But the thing that really has fantasy baseball managers in a tizzy is Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals. As their closer. (Yeah this old news, Grey and Smokey already beat me to Paplebon/Nationals puns. Whatever.) Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Joakim Soria and Jim Johnson are out of their closing job but jobs were created in the form of Ken Giles, Edward Mujica, Alex Wilson, and Arodys Vizcaino. Now some of us might still be scrambling for players that can get some saves. Well the Rockies have a closer spot up for grabs. It sure took long enough, but this is something I’ve been saying would happen since Axford took that role. Justin Miller, Rafael Betancourt, and Tommy Kahnle are the candidates to close there and that’s the order I would own them in.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Luis Severino will be called up to face the Red Sox on Wednesday and presumably will stay in the rotation for the busted, no-candy-giving Pineda. I say presumably, because can we really be sure about anything other than smart stuff coming from my brain, but not being able to come up with a synonym for stuff? It’s rhetorical, don’t rack your brain custard. Severino’s minor league numbers are eye-popping like John Lithgow in The Twilight Zone: The Movie (not a dated reference at all!). In Double-A, a 11.4 K/9 and a 1.91 ERA in Triple-A. Yup, I’m like a migrant worker cherrypicking stats, but I’d gamble on Severino in all leagues for upside. He looks like he might be the 2nd coming of wonderful with a splash of yummystiltskin. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You know they say, every Blue Jay fan has his Price, and every dog has his day and what does the cat say? Me-ouch. Is that a well-known idiom? Sounds like something Pol Pot would’ve said. “You look like a clown because you’ve applied too much Khmer rouge. Now what does the cat say? ‘Me-ouch!'” That was Pol Pot at his most disarmingly charming. You ever look at pictures of dictators and think to yourself, “He looks like a total tool. What kind of a-holes followed this guy?” Any hoo! David Price was acquired by the Blue Jays for Daniel Norris (who I’ll get to in a moment). The Blue Jays GM, Alex Anthopoulos doesn’t believe he gutted the farm system to deliver Price and/or Tulo. No more than, say, a Greek farmer needs to gut a lamb to make shawarma. As they say on the lamb farm, sacrifices need to be made. I don’t think this changes a thing about Price’s value. Comerica was actually more offense-friendly this year, and the Blue Jays will provide more run support, but Price is essentially the same pitcher whether he’s in Toronto, New York or Boston, in Philly, Miami or Houston; in Detroit or– Is this a Kid Rock song I’m singing? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So with the festivities of All-Stardom concluding, thus comes the second half. It’s an inevitable thing, you eat half a cookie the other half remains. So this week I am going to run down a list of the closers for the remainder of season. So sorry for not doing salads with donkeys this week, I felt this was more noteworthy since we are about two weeks from the trade deadline in real and fake baseball life (in some leagues). The closer rankings that I came up with will be based off of a few things: saves (no durrr), team success, likely hood to remain a closer, and peripheral stats. So we lump all those together and we get the ROS STSLRCPS. Which basically looks like a pretty good scrabble deck. Bare with me, it’s a busy time of year, and for those in the know, Fantasy Soccer is live and in full effect. Go check it out, it’s fantasy baseball with an accent. So now onto the closer ranks for the rest of the 2015 campaign…Please, blog, may I have some more?
I am equating this one solely on one thing for the Cubbies… and that term is? Pseudo-intellectual. Joe Maddon does everything different and it’s gotta be the glasses. He makes everyone want, need or have to be involved in his bullpen. Basically, he is the united colors of Benetton of managers. His hydra approach at the bullpen is not only bothersome or troubling for the roster-bater in all of us, it’s damn near impossible to roster and guess which guy it will be today. The trio of Jason Motte, Hector Rondon, and Pedro Strop all seem to play the part of a closer, but get shuffled around like Joe is playing little game in his head. I get that some situations warrant certain match-ups, but sometimes it doesn’t make any sense to me. So for those of you that still care about the Cubs and their six save chances combined between all relievers in the last 14 days, I would roster Motte and Rondon equally, and if I had the space, I would roster Rafael Soriano and hold on tight. Soriano is going to come in like the new city slicker, with a shiny pair of aldo shoes and end up being the cat’s pajamas for about a minute in Maddon’s mind. Personally, rostering three guys to garner one stat is a crazy, crazy thing to get wrapped up into and is a waste. If you are rostering one non-closer reliever to help with ratios, where are you making this roster space up from? Nowhere is the answer, my friends. So stick to the straight and narrow for saves for now, don’t chase unless a clear situation opens it’s doors and gives out the good candy on Halloween. Stick around for some tidbits about the world of relief-dom…Please, blog, may I have some more?
You ever look at a pitcher and just realize that he’s running out of gas much sooner than you expected him too? Well, that’s what I am noticing from the Mets closer of the moment, Jeurys Familia. He is pitching like his best friend died or his pet rock was used in a terrarium for a science fair project. I am not liking the trend of the K’s disappearing, hell he went four appearances without getting one. For a guy with a 10-plus K/9, that is worrisome. The BAA is up for the month, walks are triple from what the previous two months were, and he is trying to pull of a mocha shoe with a green suit. I mean, come on. So just the other day, Bobby Parnell came in got a nice tidy 5-out save and it made me think, the way the Mets are and what their needs as a team are, is this the solution that they need? They needed bullpen help, a nice veteran returning who knows the ropes, walks with a pimp skip (no cane on the field though), and has the ability in previous years to get the job done if need be. I personally just think Jeurys needs a lessened work load to make him bounce back. Still, it is worth noticing or monitoring that Bobby P is back, and he is rounding up his bottom and top slags from Queens Point and is in waiting. Lets see what other bits of delusion I have to scour up for ya. Enjoy the week… cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
For a few days it’s been all quiet on the closer front. Usually in the lede, I talk about a change in regime and the pluses/minuses and my opinion on it. There hasn’t been one for two whole weeks… It’s crazy. MLB is putting me outta business in the jibing about fantasy closers market. Where does the unemployment line start? I am only half kidding, and I’m also half crazy too. So that makes me half-something. So believe it or not, the season is officially 3/8 of the way over. That is just crazy in itself to even fathom. I think I have rambled on about nothing long enough… let’s talk about someone, anyone, shall we? I like the rebound to form that Mark Melancon has shown, due to a K/9 of 4.68. I haven’t seen a true one-outcome reliever before, but if you own him, I would sell for a better product. You can probably get by on two things in your favor. One, his name uses letters that can be read in a left-to-right format, which, from what I am understanding, is standard for reading purposes. Two, he has 6 saves in the last two weeks and when people look to see how he has been doing, they will see that he is tied for the lead during that time frame in saves. Listen, if you need saves and you own Melancon, I am not saying go out and sell him cause I said so. I am saying swap him and a extra player and see if you can get an improvement on the K category. The other owner will be so smitten that he got a closer and another player for just a closer, he won’t realize that he was jobbed. Side note, make sure he doesn’t read this blurb first or the jig is up. Stick around more snippets of informative justice are on the way…Please, blog, may I have some more?