This is the best time of the year, next to when Shark Week is on TV. All the movement in real baseball sends a ripple throughout the fantasy universe and in most position player cases, the player is owned to the moon or already a contributor. Not so much in the realm of baseball’s forgotten warriors: the setup men. As teams scramble for bullpen help, it creates an everlasting (not really forever) waterfall effect that resonates to the new and old team. Take for example the Yankees/White Sox trade it has created job questions for five separate relievers: Betances, Robertson, Kahnle, Clippard and Swarzak. Now with all the hype surrounding trade rumors, it is best to identify the team who gets the bullpen help first, than the trading team second. Because the trading team usually is where the goodies are at. Anthony Swarzak looks to be the biggest beneficiary in the setup options, and yes, Clippard will be closing, but Swarzak will be there when Clippard gets dealt again whether it’s before or after the non-waiver trade deadline. So to summarize here, be speculative but not crazy. Pay attention to the reliever deals in place and realize that some pitchers get moved down a few pegs, but on the reflexive, some move up. Have at some juicy reliever tidbits, Cheers!.Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you look around Petco and see Padres fans on the edge of their seats, they’re A) Probably the visiting team’s fans. B) If they are Padres fans, they’re on the edge of their seats because they don’t want to wrinkle the back of their Izod shirt. C) There’s no C. They’re not anticipating Trevor Cahill, because they think Trevor Cahill is the ex-Navy guy who works in their office who they need to fire but are worried he’s going to beat the crap out of them. When they hear Trevor Cahill is a Padres pitcher, their response is, “Ah, Padres, I miss Tony Gwynn.” So, who is Trevor Cahill? He ain’t Luis Severino, I’ll tell you that. I don’t see the upside of Pineda, Paxton, McCullers, Urias or any other sexy AF young starter. As commenter, Bigly Leagues pointed out, Trevor Cahill is:
7th in FIP (2.64)
6th in xFIP (2.83)
8th in K/9 (11.1)
18th in WAR (0.8)
What he didn’t point out is how Cahill is doing it. That’s no critique of BL, it’s not his job to point it out, though I guess he could’ve and saved me the work. C’mon, BL! Cahill’s doing it with the league’s 2nd best curveball. He’s not doing it with his 90 MPH fastball, that’s for sure. He doesn’t even have the world’s best control (3.3 BB/9). The rest of his pitches are mostly basic, which brings me to my problem. If he doesn’t get the curve over, or it’s just not working for some reason, the house of cards is going to fall and Kevin Spacey is going to be talking into the camera about how terrible Cahill looks. I’d own Cahill everywhere to see if he can continue, but I have less confidence in him in away games. That giant safety net in Petco makes everyone a slightly better trapeze walker. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The last week of the spring always breeds injuries, demotions, and the occasional leap frogging. Or in some cases, Dusty is going to be simply be Dusty. But I will get to that little blurb in a few. So with the injury news to T.T., the Red Sox order is now Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, and then maybe Bob Stanley. Joe Kelly is the interesting name here because I always thought he was at least in the conversation for the secondary chair behind Tyler. This is interesting because if, and only if, Kimbrel goes down, the man on the spot may very well be Joe freaking Kelly. The same guy that said that he could win a Cy Young last year. Adjusting to a newer role is always a tough spot, even though he appeared in 14 games as a RP last year. His K-rate spiked, his walk rate halved, and his ability to be touched for hits disappeared. Not unusual for former starting pitchers, but this was kind of a drastic change from what we saw as a starter. He is not the second coming of Luke Gregerson circa 2012, but is a fine enough arm with enough quality in it to garner the counting stats needed in Thorny’s stead. Let’s see what else is happening in the set-up facet of the game and update the final preseason Holds chart before the games actually mean something…Please, blog, may I have some more?
A funny thing happened on my way to work today, I sat there in my favorite sitting place and did some research. I looked at the availability of information provided by the other experts in the world of fantasy baseball, and then correlated that to what I do best. That, my friends, is bullpens. We as a collective fantasy universe play in leagues with the illusive yet sultry stat category known as the Hold. In fact, in some further research that I have done, an estimated 30% of all fantasy players play in a league with some sort of Hold associated with the final outcome in the standings. I mean, 30% is basically like winning the popular vote. [Jay’s Note: I love you Smokey.] But I am standing here aghast at the amount of research poured into this fantasy industry by experts all around the world, yet here I sit. Giving you the most diverse, in-depth, informative (yet funny), and groundbreaking stat analysis that not even world-wide leaders give… for free might I add. I love me some bullpens, and if you don’t play in a league that adds diversity to the game to include them, then maybe you should down shift a bit and give it some thought and do a league that includes it. Don’t do it for me, do it for yourself. Because this way I gain, at least one reader from each person that does it. Go search the inter-webs for holds type information, you get a column sorted catastrophe written by some intern who doesn’t know the difference between good and well. So stay here my friends, I am the goods through and through. I dropped the Holds chart weeks ago and now you get just straight cheddar and some rankings.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I wish filling out your fantasy roster with middle relievers was as easy as plop-plop, fizz-fizz. But I’m sure it isn’t, because not everyone is using the same model of success. I can dig that, I mean, I come from a long line of Smokeys that like the art of shoveling. Listen, I get it if you don’t wanna help your team-rates and ratios by adding guys that are stout in production for basically free at the end of your draft. Streaming relievers is a real thing, I didn’t make it up. It does exist, and it lives in the house between Nessy and Sasquatch. It’s not for the faint of heart and is probably not for everyone. It is about optimizing your free innings (very useful in RCL leagues that have games started limits, which everyone wants to win). It’s a basic theory and the patent is pending, so stick around as I get into the art of streaming relievers. And as an added bonus, I have broken down the MR corps into four separate groups. These groups are broken down by usefulness. We have one for straight cuffs, one for rates and holds, a straight holds, and then some stone cold sleepers for you deep-leaguers.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The problem you’re having with your innings limit is everyone’s problem with just five weeks to go. The combative strategy against this is to use a familiar SP option for streaming, but this time, use it for RP. The concept is sound, and is an effective method for leagues without limits, kinda like doctors without borders, but with mitts and jerseys. So here’s how it goes: find the guys you’re streaming on your roster for SP, but instead, find an effective middle reliever or two or three. Get greedy, as they help in groups, kinda like the non-anime version of Voltron. These RP stream guys don’t have to be elite names, as most of them are going to be owned already, but if they aren’t, lets start there. You wanna focus on guys that have a K-rate above 10, which cuts the available guys you want in half. Next, pay attention to their opponent and their teams record… both important. Guys on contenders get used more frequently in better situations. Lastly, and this is important, as soon as they pitch, dump them and pick up a guy who hasn’t pitched that day or the day before to maximize your usable stats. I don’t care how well they did in the game you streamed them in. He pitched? Now he’s is gone. Forget about em. Pretty simple. No? I’ll draw it in crayon, but put on this helmet so we don’t have any liability issues. (If you pick the right guys that is.) Stick around for some pretty charts and tidbits of fantasy goodness…Please, blog, may I have some more?
The debates will always rage on– the chicken or the egg, bacon or more bacon, and quality or quantity? All are equally important discussions, I mean who doesn’t want more bacon? But for pretend-baseball sake I am going to focus on quality vs. quantity. Relief pitchers continue to get a bum rap, judged as useless and set to harsh shunning like dudes subjected to Megan’s Law. Well, I’m here to learn you something, or at least completely waste your time for 10-12 minutes. I ask you, who doesn’t want more K’s with low ratios? Sounds like the 24-36-24 dimensions of that skin mag you “borrowed” from that zany uncle. K/9 is the stat that people tend to light up there funky jazz cigarettes to. They bask in it, the better… the more greedy. So why not just stream SP and get all the K’s you want? Well there are reasons for and against it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The first bullpen report of the year is always league-dependent, so read this with a grain of salt. Some of the top-chaps will be and should be rostered in most normal scoring leagues, while some are strictly reserved for Holds only leagues. For those of you with the ever trending upward Saves+Holds leagues (NSVH), (a trend I have tried for a few years that seems to work) the process isn’t really a groundbreaking formula where you need a calculator watch and/or an abacus to figure out.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Waiver Man Cometh:
Called up from Double-A to fill in for Neil Walker, Brock Holt has had a very hot 23 plate appearances. Obviously, with a .533 BABIP, the 400/409/450 will come down to earth. But at this point in September, you want the hotness. Please, blog, may I have some more?Please, blog, may I have some more?