“Is this Men on the Move Moving Company?  Great.  I have a small problem.  Okay, it’s not small.  But it is a problem.  I have a ‘hype sleeper’ sitting here and I’m trying to move sixteen posts in front of it.  You can handle the job?  That’s great!  Can I get hyphens between each post too?  I can?  Wow, you guys are lifesavers.”  *comes in to see* Hype-hype-hype-hype-hype-hype-hype-post-sleep-hyper.  What the hell is this?!  I wanted sixteen posts in front of hype sleeper!  Not this gobbledygook!  So, Taijuan Walker flashed some of that post16-hype sleeper business last night — 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 11 Ks — to lower his ERA to 4.28.  It was an easy matchup (vs. Angels), but it still showed why year after year I keep going back to Walker.  He is talented.  Can anyone say seventeen posts for 2017?  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In the world of fantasy, when players hit the rewind button and show flashes of brilliance from days gone by, the buy-in factor is sometimes slower than most waiver acquisitions.  Well, enter B.J., Melvin, or Bossman Jr. Upton.  Whichever name you want to use for him, he is quickly becoming a must own player and is pushing to be the SAGNOF waiver wire pick-up of the year. Currently, I think Eduardo Nunez is in that spot, wait, did I just say that and mean it?  When all is said and done though, I think Melvin is the most likely to sustain his value and is on a 23HR/35SB pace.  Had we known that in preseason, it would have put him in 2nd round draft range.  But alas, he wasn’t, and is still only owned in 43% of all ESPN leagues.  His on-pace numbers are basically production wise to what we got from Charlie Blackmon last year.  Blackmon, was of course, a top-30 player entering the season.  The only problem holding Upton back is that he has been bad for a few years, in his favor though, is that he has been bad for a few years.  What I mean by that is that I don’t think he has much value to anyone but the Padres.  He will play every day for an offense that is near the bottom in all categories, and doesn’t appear to be a sell candidate for them at the deadline.  So add away my friends, and happy SAGNOF’n this week.  Here are some updates to the pitchers that are easiest to steal against and some waiver wire type blurbs for steal/save streaming…

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Trevor Bauer has a long history of not being great like he has long toss, which is to say he has it.  Was that clear?  Good.  I’d hate to start us behind the eight ball for understanding one another.  Unless it’s a Magic Eight Ball, then we’d be finishing each other’s sentences.  But since you didn’t finish that sentence maybe our Magic Eight Ball says ‘Outlook:  Cloudy.’  I feel like I just went into Home Depot, bought the color paint, Persimmon, then painted myself into a logic corner.  Can we start again?  Trevor Bauer’s history is as long as his long toss, which is to say he could throw from here to China, have the ball begin a trade agreement for fortune cookies, with us sending them to China, have fortune cookies become our number export over Kardashians and balance the budget, making Trump announce his running mate is Bauer’s ball from his long toss, the Ball Broker, as it’s colloquially known.  That’s how long Bauer’s toss/history is.  Long story short, Bauer’s been around a while.  Long people short, Altuve.  Bauer came up in 2013 with ‘He can be an ace’ pedigree, and failed.  Then failed for three more years.  Old dude I’m moving on, is what you’re thinking.  Well, you’re thinking wrong.  He’s only 25 years old.  His velocity upticked to 93.3 MPH this year vs. 92.8 last year.  His walks have always been issue.  So far this year, not much of an issue.  His Ks are always around 8.5, still there.  His ground balls have been whatevs in the past.  This year, they’re way up, which is to say down.  Everyone has been burned by Bauer.  Been there, need aloe for that.  But he looks like he’s finally turned a corner, and he wouldn’t be the first pitcher in his third full year at the age of 25 to accomplish that.  If you need a starter, I’d grab him.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My pain is self-chosen
At least, so the prophet says
I could either burn
Or cut off my pride and buy some time
A head full of lies is the weight, tied to my waist

That is quite the downer, isn’t it? Makes you want to jump out of the nearest window. Welcome to the saves game! It is the river of deceit. I can’t believe I went with a “grunge” title today, but I missed Sky this offseason. [Jay’s Note: The Emo King, to rule them all!] Mad Season is the inspiration today, as the saves game is the most emotionally painful part of the fantasy season. Well maybe “can be” the most painful would be more apt for this discussion. So in the spirit of classic me and using the song titles of Mad Season’s other bands, I will say this in hyper link glory. The closer game in the shadow of the season is a state of love and trust that hopefully signals it’s over now… in a good way. I went almost full unplugged there. So friggin’ 90’s. Enough of that decade, let’s move into today.

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I’ve drafted my Razzball Commenter League team (last call for fantasy baseball — I’m saying that so it rhymes with alcohol), and now I’m ready for the season.  All those other drafts — like Tout, Friends & Family, Scout, yadda-whodoodie — are in the past.  They were prep for this draft.  This draft is the one that matters, because I’m going against, like, a thousand of youse.  And youse are the ones that matter.  Well, a few of youse matter more than a few of the other youse.  Just assume you are part of the favorable youse.  In this league was Tim McLeod from RotoRob, Mike Gianella from Baseball Prospectus, Dalton Del Don from Yahoo, and from Razzball:  Rudy, JayWrong, Big Magoo, Smokey, J-FoH, Tehol, Prospector Ralph, JB and yours truly.  All of these people make me very thankful (that it wasn’t an in-person draft).  I was drafting out of the twelve-hole (which is porn-speak for the right nostril), and I knew after all those preliminary drafts that I was finally going to take guys that I really, really wanted from my 2016 fantasy baseball rankings (clickbait, snitches!).  Well, until around the 5th round, then shizz went to hell.  Okay, enough hubbub on the tomfoolery, let’s get to it!  Anyway, here’s my RCL draft (5×5, roto, mixed league, 12 team, 5 OFs, etc.):

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So, Rudy and I took part in Yahoo’s Friends & Family league hosted by Brandon Funston.  I believe Rudy and I are on the Friends side of equation, but some of the things I find on Ancestor.com could shock you.  I’m only like 12 cousins removed from my wife.  I’m so well-adjusted that doesn’t even make me shudder anymore!  Could Brandon Funston be my uncle?  Unkie Funston?  That would be cool.  I would be like, “Unkie Funston, can I have your old baseball card collection?”  And he’d be like, “Sure, if you trade me Starlin Castro.”  In this league is a few Rotoworld guys, a few Rotowire guys, a few Yahoo guys, a Wall Street Journal guy, a boneheaded Razzball guy and our very own, Rudy Gamble.  Quite the array of talent.  It’s like a Dave Navarro supergroup and I’m Sammy Hagar.  “Have you tried my tequila?  It’ll make you slap your momma and call her daddy.”  That’s me as Sammy Hagar.  This league is a standard Yahoo league with a 1400 max IP for pitchers.  Anyway, here’s my Yahoo 12-team, mixed league draft recap:

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No, you haven’t stumbled onto a WebMd bait page.  Well… this is an advisory blog, none the same, but we won’t scare you into believing that you have clinical depression with every symptom.  I mean, I’ve seen some other fantasy sites that attempt to advise on bullpen strategy.  It’s easy to throw stuff up about closers and bullpens and say this guy will fail because of this and that.  Heck, I like watching Jeopardy and guessing at the stuff I don’t know about either.  Add in the fact that I remember my first beer…  So this is one of the last pieces of the fantasy bullpen puzzle before we get down to brass tacks.  The NSVH question…  I always get it from the fantasy inspectors of the net of how and what to do about it.  Do I stick with what I know, or do I go complete rover and draft whatever, whenever?  That’s why I am here, hopefully to quell all ills in the race for bullpen dominance.  The NSVH leagues are tricky and can be described as: people don’t know until they have to know.  I know that really isn’t a draft strategy that I am going to “learn” you with this post, since I am better than that and take pride in leading my disciples into reliever bliss.  So go get a comfy seat upon the porcelain throne of fantasy knowledge and let me guide you, for I am the fantasy bullpen shepherd.

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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.

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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…

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It’s telling over a period of time, taken into account the teams success rate naturally, how well their bullpen is performing. Take a look at the Texas Rangers over the last 30 days.  They are a 19-10 and steaming toward playoff relevance… maybe.  During that time they had 17 save/hold situations.  Those of you that can’t count well, that is a lot. Leading the charge for them has been bullpen recall and future closer dubbed by me Keone Kela, who over that same 30 day period is contributing a hold basically every third game with 8.  As a team, they have 28 team holds which is more than the White Sox, Orioles, Phillies, Athletics and Mets… combined.  So basically they are the Costco of holds for those who like to buy in bulk.  Kela isn’t alone in his fantasy hold-em,  Sam Dyson has kicked in 7, Jake Diekman 6 and Sam Freeman with 4.  The best part of this whole thing is that the latter three guys were not on the roster to start the year.  I love that kind of stuff, that’s like wearing matching t-shirts with your friends whether it be on purpose or not.  Awesomely awkward.  Stick it here for some more bullpen tidbits and a fancy chart with gadgets and numbers that show an order.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?