Now, if Clay wants to be called Buchholz, Imma call him Cassius. Clay Buchholz took a no-hitter into the 8th inning and ended with the line 8 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 11 Ks vs. Tampa. The Jewish Journal’s headline read, “Clay Spins Rays Like A Dreidel.” You know why he’s pitching this well, right? Cause I had nothing positive to say about him in the preseason. That’s spiteful, Clay. Spite is one of the seven deadliest sins. Right after that soup the fat guy ate in Se7en and Paltrow’s career after she stopped sleeping with Harvey Weinstein. “Sleep with the gross, sweaty producer, win an Oscar. Sleep with that guy from Coldplay, do movies with Huey Lewis.” Okay, this is a big step for me, but I’m willing to buy into the new and improved Buchholz with his splitter that he learned at the tail-end of last year. I’m not going out and trading for him, but if you went against my wishes and drafted him, you did good. It looks like you might’ve stole a pitcher late that has number two fantasy starter upside. Though I can’t say that I won’t be rooting against him every step of the way, since I don’t own him. My will vs. your will in a steel cage. My will will rake your will’s eyes. My will fights dirty. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Gird your loins – we’re going to be navigating positions battles in each division. Today I’m talking about the NL Central, which loses the Astros this year, so you can basically knock off five wins from each team’s 2012 win total. It feels like this could be a close race for the first couple months until the Reds replace Dusty’s toothpick with bubblegum at the trade deadline. There’s also a good amount of both young and rebound pitchers spread out across the division, so this could be a boon for late round draft picks in mixed leagues. Am I telling you to draft a pitching staff solely from the NL Central? Those are your words, not mine. Although I kind of wish they had been my words (you quick thinker, you). You can also read about the position battles for the NL East and the AL Central. Anyway, here are some of the position battles to watch in the NL Central:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Chris Perez has been shut down for 3-4 weeks. The Indians are saying it’s due to a shoulder strain. Seems pretty coincidental that Chris Perez rocks a mullet and there’s a guy with a “business on top, party in the back” haircut on The Amazing Race this season. I’m calling BS. “Yeah, what’s up?” Sorry, didn’t mean to actually call BS. “Cool, now you’re wasting my time. I’m gonna call myself on you!” So with Perez out, a giant gaping hole opens in Cleveland, and I don’t mean when Drew Carey is eating. Vinnie Pestano should take over the closer role in the mean’s while. Unfortunately (depending on how you’re looking at it), Perez went down so early that he could return as soon as the first or second week of the season. That means you need to draft Perez and Pestano. My advice is to wait two seconds after someone drafts Perez then take Pestano. This will be real cute in auctions. They’ll either have to spend $15-ish to have both Indian closers or they’ll be stuck without one. If I could only draft one, I’d take a late flyer on Pestano. As with most things SAGNOF-related, there’s no sure thing in the bullpens and the cheaper way to get saves is always the most preferable. Anyway, here’s all the closers for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Unlike other 2013 fantasy baseball rankings posts, I’m just gonna rank all of the closers in the format of every Closer Look I’ve done in the past. Unlike other Closer Looks, I put projections in. The setup men are in order in parentheses, and the relevant ones have projections, as well. Once Brian Wilson and Jose Valverde sign, I’ll add them; neither are much more than end of the staff flyers. You should draft saves first and foremost in all but Holds leagues. Ratios for relievers are very fickle. Ratios for middle men are all over the map. Every year middle men come out of nowhere. Just because Venters is with a top reliever does not make him the number one middle man. David Robertson would be that. When I rank my top 400 on Friday, I’ll have everyone in there. Closers as of right now are listed first even if I think someone else will get more saves; as with the Tigers shituation. The other day Smokey did a top middle relievers for the NL post (AL will be up shortly); Rudy also has all of the Holds projected in the 2013 fantasy baseball projections. My biggest problem with ranking Holds is there’s no rhyme or reason from season to season with closers, then take that fickle fluidity (fickidity?) and multiple it by five when you start to go further into bullpens. Last year, the Holds leaders were Joel Peralta, Pestano, Mitchell Boggs and Dor-K (for our dyslexic readers). The year before, only Pestano made it in the top 20 and he ranked 16th overall. Tyler Clippard was the best in 2011, where was he in 2012? 66th overall after he took May thru August off to captain a ship in America’s Cup. If getting saves is about opportunity, getting Holds is about opportunity plus a coin toss. Anyway, here’s all the closers for 2013 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Only a week left and if you’re reading this you’re probably still in contention somewhere. Congratulations on making it this far!  Otherwise, move on to football already, and leave the waiver wire alone, you’re screwing up the finals! (Don’t you just hate that?) Using, mathematics (NERD!), there’s a good chance you can roughly estimate how many saves you can get in the coming week and whether or not that can win you the category.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the trade deadline in the bag and closers moving, we have a lot to talk about.  Some of it refreshing like a glass of ice cold lemonade on a summer’s day.  Some of it less so like being asked to write something for Lainie Kazan, wondering who Lainie Kazan is and Googling her to find Playboy pics from the 1970′s juxtaposed with her present-day pics.  

Please, blog, may I have some more?